The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


The Trojan Horse

Posted on November 12, 2015 by

One of the stranger criticisms regularly levelled at this site is that we don’t attack the SNP/Scottish Government enough.

labwhiners

That’s weird firstly because it’s not like there’s currently a shortage of hostile media scrutiny of Nicola Sturgeon and her colleagues, and secondly because we’ve never in our four-year life claimed for a moment to be neutral.

But the reality is far more nuanced than that.

Wings is openly and unashamedly a partisan pro-independence site. And because we monitor the media, and the media spends at least 90% of its time attacking the Nats, then when we point out lies and distortions in the press they’ll almost certainly have been lies and distortion aimed at the SNP, which means that highlighting them will tend to frequently involve – directly or indirectly – defending the party’s record.

Everything we write is published under the full disclosure that we’re unequivocally in favour of independence. Readers can judge our output in the prior knowledge of what side we’re on – something that can’t be said about Severin Carrell in the Guardian or David Torrance in the Herald or Tom Peterkin in the Scotsman (to name but three of many), all of whom implicitly pretend impartiality by not revealing to their readers which parties they vote for or what their constitutional preference is.

(As editor, and author of the majority of Wings articles, I’ve freely admitted voting Lib Dem for almost all my adult life, until this May when I reluctantly spoiled my ballot paper, unable in any conscience to vote for any of the candidates on offer.)

Nevertheless, while it’s not our job, from time to time we’ve voiced disagreement with SNP policies or those widely supported in the independence movement – we’ve been bitterly attacked by those on the Yes side on several occasions on issues around gender quotas and Gaelic, for example.

We also oppose the SNP’s policy of “full fiscal autonomy” (FFA), and have regularly drawn our readers’ attention to the trap being set by the Unionist parties around the extension of devolution, and both of those issues are about to come to a crucial decision point that could dictate the future of Scotland.

trojan

For more than two-and-a-half years we’ve warned that the “more powers” plans put forward by the Unionist parties meant loading more burdens, responsibilities and costs onto the Scottish Parliament, without giving it any meaningful extra powers at all.

The recent tax-credits fiasco is a case in point. On current proposals, the Scottish Government will find itself forced to devise, construct, administer and pay for a crazily complex system in an attempt to defend Scotland from the worst effects of savage welfare cuts from the Conservative government at Westminster.

(An attempt that may turn out to be entirely futile anyway – UK government ministers have repeatedly and conspicuously refused to rule out clawing back “top-ups” given to claimants by reducing their other benefits, which would leave those on low incomes still much worse off and Holyrood hundreds of millions of pounds out of pocket.)

The money and resources to do so will have to be found from Holyrood’s existing budget, which is at the same time being subjected to heavy cuts (set to amount to a 20% fall in a decade by 2018-19, according to Fiscal Affairs Scotland) so that the UK government can divert money to reducing taxes for millionaires and billionaires.

fiscalaffairs2

The only means available to the Scottish Government to generate cash to protect the victims of the cuts will be the power to raise income tax. But in a geographically tiny unitary state differential tax rates are wildly impractical, because it’s very easy for people – especially the wealthy who would be chiefly targeted – to move their tax address (and/or themselves entirely) out of Scotland.

The Scotland Bill which this week passed its final reading in the House Of Commons is a poison pill designed deliberately and specifically as a political tool to damage the SNP (just like GERS was before it), after an eight-year political and media onslaught has failed to do the job. The right-wing columnist Alex Massie of the Spectator called it “the smallest offer [David Cameron] thought he could plausibly escape with making”, but in reality it’s far more sinister than that.

There’s almost nothing in the Bill that genuinely amounts to a “power”. It’s mostly an accounting exercise – Scotland is being “assigned” half of VAT revenue raised in the country, for example, but only as a replacement for being given that same money in the block grant. Holyrood will still have no power to alter any aspect of VAT – cash that was previously sent to Scotland anyway has simply been relabelled.

The income tax “powers” which will be delivered, meanwhile, are also a trap. While in practice they can’t be used to raise any more money (for reasons we’ve already noted above), they have a much more real downside.

The esteemed Professor John Curtice told Radio Scotland listeners on Tuesday that even simply keeping tax rates the same as they are in England may very well result in Holyrood having less revenue:

(The Kaye Adams Programme, BBC Radio Scotland, 10 November 2015)
.

“[Tax powers] have the potential to raise more money in Scotland, [but they] also come, however, with the risk that  even if the rates of taxation in Scotland remain the same as they are in England, that Scotland could end up being worse off than it is at the moment.

That depends on the bouyancy of the tax base, and equally of course, increasing rates of taxation doesn’t necessarily result in increased revenue. For example, if a future Scottish Government were to decide to increase the top rate of tax from 45p to 50p, then it would be facing the potential risk that those who are liable to that tax decide to move south of the border.

What Prof. Curtice points out is that the Scotland Bill effectively largely removes the “pooling and sharing” safeguard the No campaign sold as a key benefit of the Union. (Interestingly, he believes there should be a referendum on the Scotland Bill.)

He notes that if any future UK economic growth is disproportionately concentrated in England (and what that really means in practice is London, where the vast majority of the “recovery” since 2010 has occurred), then Scotland will lose out because even with tax rates the same, the tax base will have fallen behind and there will no longer be a Barnett compensation to make up for it.

Because the Scotland Bill gives Holyrood almost no powers to generate growth or jobs (the only one which arguably has the potential to do so to a small degree is the ability to cut Air Passenger Duty, which Scottish Labour is bursting a gut to make politically impossible), that’s quite likely to happen.

At BEST, therefore, the tax powers will leave Scotland where it is now, except loaded with extra administrative costs and responsibilities. On almost any plausible scenario the Scottish Government and the country will be significantly financially damaged, having to spend more money from a reduced budget just to stand still.

The political problem for the SNP is that it campaigned on a demand for more powers, but then Labour’s collapse in England destroyed its ability to shape those powers to Scotland’s advantage. With a Tory majority, assisted by Labour abstaining or even voting with it (as on the rejected devolution of tax credits), the UK government has been able to ride roughshod over even the SNP’s huge proportion of Scottish MPs.

(The electorate voted No last September, but then they also voted in 56 SNP MPs because they didn’t trust Westminster to keep its promises, and the media led them to expect a hung parliament in which the Nats could hold the balance of power over the devolution negotiations. Labour’s uselessness in England wrecked that plan.)

The resulting Scotland Bill represents the worst of all possible worlds (why wouldn’t it? Why would a UK government, especially a Tory one with nothing to lose in Scotland, voluntarily hand over loads of goodies once it had secured a No vote?) and the opinion of the SNP’s own supporters seems to recognise that fact very clearly.

A poll run on Twitter this week had a striking result:

contessapoll

While not scientific, the nature of social media makes it likely that most respondents to the poll were Yes/SNP-sympathetic, and with a decent sample size the resounding nature of the figures – given that “more powers” is still officially SNP policy – is a powerful indicator of grassroots feeling.

Rejecting the Bill is still an option that’s open to the Scottish Government. It requires legislative consent from the Scottish Parliament to come into force, and the SNP has not ruled out blocking it. Much will depend on the “fiscal framework”, the all-important arrangements for exactly how the block grant will be adjusted to account for the new “powers”, which are currently completely unknown.

(The SNP may also feel that even if the Bill’s effects are negative in themselves, the principle of bringing ostensibly major aspects of governance to Holyrood will make the final step to independence seem smaller and easier in the event of a future second referendum, especially if a UK-imposed devo package has made things economically worse for Scotland anyway. We have no idea, they don’t consult us on stuff.)

In their haste to celebrate, the Unionists have already given the game away regarding the Bill and its true purpose, which is to siphon money from Scotland to Westminster while damaging the SNP. It remains to be seen whether the party can extricate itself politically from the corner it’s rather painted itself into by sticking to its FFA demands.

But what seems to be in no doubt is that as things stand, the people can see the trap this site’s been warning about for a very long time as what it is. And if the SNP walk dumbly into it, we’ll be at the head of the lynch mob with a torch and a pitchfork.

Print Friendly

    3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. 12 11 15 11:29

      The Trojan Horse | Politics Scotland | Scoop.it

    2. 12 11 15 11:44

      The Trojan Horse | Speymouth

    3. 21 11 15 10:00

      Scottish Economics: Devolution and Tax | The Common Green

    426 to “The Trojan Horse”

    1. Training Day says:

      There’s little doubt the Bill should be rejected, but the key issue here is how the SNP get their message about why it’s been rejected out there, in the context of the utterly compromised and corrupt ‘Scottish’ corporate media.

      But it’s going to be bite the bullet time, and a lot sooner than many in the party may have thought.

    2. Wulls says:

      i have been saying exactly that for years.
      As a socialist I cannot countenance voting labour.
      As a nationalist I can only in good conscience vote SNP as long as they have Scotland’s interests as a core value.
      There is absolutely no way they can accept the Scotland act as it stands.
      To do anything other than reject it in its entirety would be to Scotland’s detriment.
      However there is a deeper problem.
      If the SNP accept this Trojan horse who do we vote for ??????
      Not the SNP.
      Not Labour.
      Not Tory.
      Certainly not Lib Dems.
      Tommy Sheridan for FM ????????

    3. Fireproofjim says:

      Well put Stuart.
      I have used the cliche “poisoned chalice” several times to describe the Scotland Bill, but this Bill is definitely toxic.
      If accepted it will be extremely useful to the Tories and Slab as a means of attacking the SNP for not using the so called “powers” to alleviate the cuts that the Tories have put in place.
      I will be writing to my MP and MSP to urge rejection. We should all do that.

    4. TheGreatBaldo says:

      “And if the SNP walk dumbly into it, we’ll be at the head of the lynch mob.”

      Fair enough, but it’s hard to see how the SNP have any option but to (ultimately)accept The Scotland Bill.

      After all, that is what the Scottish voters decided they wanted on Sept 18th last year.

      Even if the fiscal framework is trap, you can almost predict the response if/when the SNP rejects it.

      Only plausible option is to practically demonstrate that the ‘powers’ granted simply don’t work.

    5. Murray McCallum says:

      The Scotland Bill should be rejected as it does not represent the full devolution / federalism waved in front of voters prior to the referendum.

      The SNP should highlight the rejection in their 2016 manifesto and seek a popular mandate to insist on full devolution, and a second independence referendum if this does not materialise.

      If the Scotland Bill goes ahead, it looks like a golden opportunity for the Scottish Labour & Conservative unionist alliance to cobble together cost mitigation upon tax increase upon spending promise (as Scotland has no power to modify Westminster policy) to the point where the Scottish parliament effectively needs a financial bailout.

      A devolved Scottish Parliament simply cannot compete politically with the sovereign Westminster one. It is a mistake to pretend it can. Rather than crystalize this through accepting the Scotland Bill, surely better to stick to what was promised – full devolution / federalism.

    6. Onwards says:

      It would be politically hard to reject the limited new powers completely.

      But they could be accepted whilst making clear they are only a TEMPORARY first step, to be followed by a devolution referendum.

      A public mandate is needed to prove exactly what should be devolved.

      Yes, devolution needs to be negotiated, but it is far harder to ignore a public mandate, and doing so could be a good argument for independence.

    7. Ruglonian says:

      Well said!

    8. heedtracker says:

      Prof Curtizz beats that saggy UKOK drum “Scottish government is now more accountable and responsible for the decisions that it makes”

      Ofcourse Scots.gov is accountable, its a PR elected parliament! You can’t get anymore democratically accountable or responsible than Holyrood. Its why the red tories are finished.

      But Curtice is merely parroting the propaganda of UKOK BBC unionist fanatics, via an England ruled by a minority vote Toryboy.gov, unelected House of Lords and ofcourse, the queen.

    9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “After all, that is what the Scottish voters decided they wanted on Sept 18th last year.”

      You can’t punish voters for being fooled by the No camp’s promises. Had the hung parliament everyone (except us) was predicting come to pass, the SNP’s MPs could still have been in a position to exert much more influence over the Bill.

      That’s what the electorate actually voted for – they voted No, but then they voted in 56 SNP MPs to make Westminster keep its promise. Unfortunately, the uselessness of Labour in England wrecked that scenario.

    10. Itchybiscuit says:

      Every time you post a new article it is liberally sprinkled with links to reports/stats/interviews/quotations so that WE can decide whether or not you’re being accurate in your criticisms.

      I read a piece by Carrell published yesterday, regarding the Carmichael case. It was (one would have thought) supposed to be a balanced account – as we should expect from journalists – but what I read was ‘Carmichael’ good, ‘the People’ BAD.

      The headline of his piece? ‘Lawyer asks judges to throw out Sturgeon memo leak case’.

      1. That’s the JOB of the defence lawyer – it’s hardly ‘news’.
      2. It’s NOT the ‘Sturgeon Memo Case’- it’s ‘The People vs Carmichael’.

      Just two points off the top of my head and these people wonder why the meeja is going down the tubes…

    11. Anagach says:

      Also there is the effect of trying to split the SNP support, into those that recognize the poison in the chalice and would refuse it, and those that would drink it as part of a process to keep pushing for a better deal.

      Whatever the Scottish Government does we should avoid fighting amongst ourselves over the impossible situation.

      And advertise in what poor faith the whole trap construct has been made.

    12. Colin Church says:

      The Trojan horse may be getting wheeled into Holyrood as one tactic. But they are also digging at the foundations to collapse it with open but unchallenged attacks on Scottish economy. Oil taxation, jobs, steel, Longannet and grid charges, Youngs, renewables, carbon capture, London infrastructure, Trident, stealing farming subsidies…

      One of the great questions of the referendum that is still relevant. If we are better together why aren’t we better just now?

    13. Clootie says:

      The people who are paid up members of the SNP don’t always agree with the policies e.g. vote against land reform at the conference (it didn’t go far enough)

      However the vast majority of members believe that the people of Scotland have the right to decide our future as a nation.

      I don’t care if someone is Green / SSP / Labour or even Tory.
      Party Political membership has nothingto do with the core YES principle in that WE should have the right to chose the direction of a nations political travel.

      The policies themselves come second. e.g. If to my great surprise Scots voted for Trident in an Independent Scotland I will accept it.

      The Unionists just cannot understand the core drive and keep reverting to individual topics and even worse the judgement is always as a mini-England (Westminster model)
      London continues to suck the life and wealth from our country.

    14. squewedperspective says:

      I think the SNP should put it to the electorate, by saying “the Scotland bill as it stands is insufficient, if you want it renegotiated vote SNP”.

      If it cannot be negotiated to yield actual power, well that could be grounds for a referendum…

    15. Dan Huil says:

      Unionists of every political hue will always put the interests of Westminster above those of Scotland; that’s why they think the Scotland Bill is a good thing. Thankfully it seems the majority of people in Scotland can see the Bill, as it stands, is an insult to Scotland. My call to the Scottish government: reject the Bill and govern Scotland as though she was already independent. If it should break the law according to Westminster, then so be it.

    16. Auld Sandy says:

      When do the SNP need to make a decision on implementing this? I’d suggest waiting until after the Holyrood elections. They could campaign on the basis of blocking this and leave the unionist parties to campaign for accepting it. Or would that look a bit too much like a referendum?

    17. Angra Mainyu says:

      Rev, I think your opposition to FFA and Devo-Max is really an expression of criticism and concern regarding its implementation; that is to say, those involved in the implementation would no doubt do their utmost to screw it up. I accept that but that isn’t a criticism of the idea per se.

      We are talking about federalism here and federalism could work for us, as it has worked for others. It would at least, if configured properly, be a massive and rewarding step in the right direction.

      Campaigning for another referendum on independence, identical to the last, is fraught with potential difficulties. That said, I would jump at the chance.

      The worst thing that could possibly happen for the independence movement is a sort of terrified stalemate, with the SNP too risk averse to push for or oppose anything. If that happens we are doomed and in 5 years we will all have given up.

    18. nodrog says:

      In total agreement with your post Stuart. We are all aware of the bias of the MSM, including BBC and STV. I have never seen it so obvious as the last 10 days it is an utter disgrace.

      I am hoping that the SNP are keeping their powder dry and allowing enough rope to the opposition. The opposition are most certainly becoming more bombastic and I detect the Scottish public are picking this up.

      There is only one way now – INDEPENDENCE – nothing else will do the job. We must reject the sham called the “Scotland Bill”. We need to be independent on or before 2020 or I fear our opportunity will be lost. Let us hope Nicola and Alec have a plan.

    19. crisiscult says:

      Serious question: can’t it be put to a referendum, or at least a consultation of ‘stakeholders’, both of which, if SNP didn’t campaign for a yes, would result in failure?
      Questions for an opinion poll:
      a) Scot gov should accept scotland bill
      b) Scot gov should reject scotland bill
      If you answered yes to b), I believe the way forward is:
      1) more powers for Scottish gov
      2) less power for Scottish gov
      3) status quo

    20. Kennedy says:

      The Establishment are hurting the Scottish people to score political points against the SNP.

      SNP must reject the bill. we will support them. how long do we suffer before no becomes yes?

      Snap election to reject the bill removes the stick they will beat the SNP with. we will all suffer until no becomes yes. this can only go one way. how long?

    21. starlaw says:

      Put the acceptance of this bill to a referendum with two choices, accept or leave the union.

    22. Helena Brown says:

      I want this bill rejected, I do not care what the 55% want they happily decided they were too frightened, to complacent or TOO BRITISH to care.
      So it is up to those who do care to protect what is left of Scotland since they decided as one of the only countries in the world to give up control to their competitor.
      So be brave SNP and do not give a hostage to fortune because with this you cannot win for all the reasons listed above.

    23. Dair says:

      The SNP are still at 58% on today’s TNS poll despite a heavy increase in the concentration of Unionist media fire. They need to use that, to reject the Scotland Bill and use it as a springboard for a guaranteed Referendum in the next Holyrood term.

      The Unionists have failed, this is grounds for the Second Referendum. The Quebecois failed when they refused to deliver a third Referendum in 1999 (which they would have won). The SNP cannot fall into the Unionist trap of rejecting the chance for another vote.

    24. David Mooney says:

      Have to agree FFA is an unworkable trap as Westminster would never allow it to happen in the first place.

      The SNP are backing themselves into a corner. I see no alternative other than rejecting the Scotland Bill. Unfortunately this will allow the Unionists – through the corporate media – to unleash an avalanche of criticism designed to undermine the SNP’s position.

      In order to be heard above the cacophony of media criticism the SNP would be forced in to yet another defensive posture. This requires drastic protective action.

      It won’t happen – but my suggestion is that. Early next year, all 56 SNP Westminster MPs resign on mass. This would force multiple by-elections in the whole of Scotland. They could be held at the same time as the Hollyrood elections in May.

      The SNP should fight the election on a mandate for full and unequivocal Independence. A risky strategy I know, but if it succeeded the reward would be worth it. Westminster would have no choice other than to negotiate Independence.

      Just my twopence worth.

    25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Rev, I think your opposition to FFA and Devo-Max is really an expression of criticism and concern regarding its implementation; that is to say, those involved in the implementation would no doubt do their utmost to screw it up. I accept that but that isn’t a criticism of the idea per se.”

      No, it’s both. FFA provides all the downsides of independence, but not control over the worst aspects of being in the Union – the things we’d most want to change if we were independent.

      The most obvious illustration is that under FFA we’d lose Barnett, but still be tied into the UK’s ludicrously oversized defence budget.

    26. Dennis Nicholson says:

      No question at all about it, they have to reject – and hopefully be clever enough to turn that to their (and our) advantage…

    27. AndyH says:

      If the Scottish Government throw this crap (Scotland Bill) back at them and tell them to shove it the people will be right behind them.

      Nobody seriously thinks this is what was promised by Broon and his cohorts.

      It’s a trap and now they need to start shouting about it.

    28. Sunniva says:

      Excellent analysis, many thanks. What is being offered is the curse of middle management throughout the years – responsibility without power whilst in the board room they enjoy the opposite – power without responsibility.

      The only power worth a jot hete is APD, and that could be removed at a stroke by English MPs or the Lords as an amendment to the Scotland Bikl. The SNP must be brave and reject this poisoned chalice.

    29. Big Daddio says:

      What about dropping the top rate of tax instead?

      A bit controversial, but any loss in revenues would surely be more than compensated by all the top tax earners in London moving their tax address to Scotland.

      Let’s use their trap against them!!

    30. Erchie says:

      I would rather rip my baws affordable with rusty pliers than see that narcissistic wanker Sheridan within a mile of influence or power

      All Tommy cares about is Tommy

    31. Doug Daniel says:

      I can’t decide if the unionist parties’ motivation here is:
      a) create the conditions to ensure the Scottish economy is wrecked;
      b) come up with a settlement so poisonous that the SNP simply can’t accept it.

      For a), it’ll happen under the SNP’s watch, so they think this will destroy the SNP once and for all. For b), they think the only way to but the brakes on independence is to call the SNP’s bluff, so they can then say to the voters “we offered them more powers, and they refused. They’re basically admitting Scotland can’t afford to be independent.”

      I don’t think they’re clever enough to have intentionally arrived at the situation they’re currently at, where the SNP effectively has to choose between a) and b).

      The whole thing just shows that devolution is not a long-term solution, though. You can’t run an economy with your hands tied behind your back. The powers which are and aren’t devolved are completely random, with no thought given to how they actually work together. This is what happens when you set up commissions to devolve just enough power to get the natives to shut up, with “how do we stop independence?” as your motivation, rather than “how do we create the best conditions for Scotland to thrive?”

      Unionists simply do not care about Scotland. For all their accusations that the SNP is obsessed with independence, the irony is everything they do – particularly Scottish Labour – is about trying to stop independence. That is their first priority. It’s possible to be against independence but still put the interests of Scotland first (although I obviously think putting Scotland first inevitably leads to independence), but these people choose not to do that. Labour do not think “would devolving this be beneficial for Scotland?”, they think “would devolving this lead to independence?” That’s all they care about. They would turn Scotland into a barren wasteland if that was what they had to do to stop support for independence.

      I’m fed up of their scotched earth policies. Wake up, Scotland. Wake the fuck up.

    32. nodrog says:

      The magnificent Suu Kyi has shown us the way – let us follow her example. From Truth, Patience and Persistence follows FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE.

    33. mealer says:

      The SNP certainly won’t “walk dumbly into it”.They will consider their position and choose what they think is the best option.That option may involve something that nobody expects.

    34. DerekM says:

      its quite simple Rev the SNP are not trying to discredit other parties they go about the business of what they get paid to do,come up with policy that is good for Scotland and dont get involved in the shit flinging the other parties seem to think is an acceptable face of politics,well its not and is the reason the SNP are so popular.

      The others are so busy attacking the SNP and spreading lies i still have no idea what policies they have on offer,if they actually have any that is not in some way trying to discredit the SNP.

      As for these twats that are saying you are biased its because they have lost the debate and are reverting to onion type of pointing the finger throwing some shit and hoping it sticks.

      And you are right if the SNP do fall into this trap they will soon figure out that 100,000 members does not equate to millions of yes voters,but then i really dont think they will since unlike the other parties they actually listen to the electorate,and so they should as should all other parties because the sovereign people of Scotland have taking back the ownership of politics in Scotland.

      And whoa betide any political party that does not listen,we have already shown what the collective bosses of Scotland can do at the GE2015.

      So my advice to the SNP is keep doing what you are doing guys we the bosses are impressed and are seriously considering an extension to your contract of being the Scottish government.

      As for the others well big fail on their part and we will show our displeasure in 2016 by sacking as many of these useless idiots as we can.

    35. squewedperspective says:

      I think the SNP should stall.

      They should debate it and complain and then put it to the electorate next May, by saying “the Scotland bill as it stands is insufficient, if you want it re-negotiated vote SNP”.

      Of course if it cannot be successfully re-negotiated to yield actual power, well that could be grounds for a independence referendum…

    36. Martin Wood says:

      The message that the Scotland bill is a poisoned chalice going out has to be broken down into easy chunks…

      Chunk 1: Labour voted with the Tories to block full devolution of tax credits costing the SG £3bn.

      Devolution of tax credits would have transferred £3bn from reserved spending to the SG DEL moving it from £30bn to £33bn…

      from there we could have reorganised tax credits and mitigated the cuts from a £33bn pot…

      Thanks to Labour and the Tories we have to mitigate the cuts from a £30bn pot…

      Small pieces to chip away at the Hardened Labour fans

    37. Murray McCallum says:

      If Scotland had full devolution of all powers barring defence and foreign policy it could make more transparent and therefore highlight:

      Scottish fiscal balance 1
      Contribution to UK Debt 2
      Contribution to UK Defence 3
      Contribution to UK Overseas 4
      Scottish fiscal balance in UK 5

      We could also better justify strengthening Revenue Scotland and building the institutions to regulate and manage our economy / public assets.

      It is the Scottish fiscal balance that people need to be more confident about. We can debate what items 2, 3, and 4 would fall to in an independent Scotland.

    38. Les Wilson says:

      The Unionists have one agenda after Indy, that is make us bleed,then make us bleed more. Keep that in mind constantly, and grit your teeth.
      We need to get the momentum to another referendum.

      People really have to get angry about this, realising their
      true true agenda and spreading it as far into the population as we can,would be a start.

    39. Colin Dunn says:

      I like the idea of the SNP having a referendum about this. IT would give them a platform for highlighting the meagre powers vs the serious flaws, and point out all of the risks and costs. Letting the people decide means that the SNP couldn’t then be blamed for accepting the Bill later.

      It would also demonstrate a very different way of doing this in Scotland vs rUK.

      However, does the Scottish Government have the power to hold such a referendum?

    40. heedtracker says:

      http://www.buzzfeed.com/jamieross/gordon-brown-challenges-the-snp#.ivQ4RzQrbK

      So from just one rather sneaky creepy unionist hack comes-

      “Gordon Brown Urges The SNP To Use New Powers Instead Of “Going Along” With Tory Cuts”

      then

      “The former prime minister said Nicola Sturgeon’s party has “reluctantly” had to accept that it will be able to top up benefits with the Scottish parliament’s new powers.”

      with

      “The SNP must use new powers being handed to the Scottish parliament to help the country’s poorest or risk being seen to “go along” with Tory cuts, Gordon Brown has said.”

      Crash Gordon sez, urge, has to, must, the heat gets turned up by toryboy world, red and blue.

    41. mike cassidy says:

      Political cojones time for the SNP.

      Put rejection of the Bill into their manifesto for next year’s Holyrood election.

      Let the voters decide.

    42. Des B says:

      I think the scenario for SG is pretty much damned if they do and damned if they dont. SG’s eyes are pretty wide opened, but, it is clear that Under the Current Totalitarian rule, the SNP MPs fight for Powers are for nothing. It’s a complete Humiliation. The only way step forward currently is an all out SNP result in May and a very clever Manifesto.

    43. galamcennalath says:

      Good article covering several HUGE issues.

      I think people need to appreciate that the Scotland Bill level of devolution is probably ‘the max’ WM will agree to. After a very close run referendum, deceitful promises, and negotiations of sorts … this is it, this is most likely the FINAL product.

      There is scope for the SG/SNP to call for further devolution negotiations, but only as a tactic to flush out WM to state clearly, “you’ve got all you going to get”.

      IMO we are at the stage of two choices, DevoCameron or independence.

      The ongoing problem, as can be seen in comments above, is that many people still believe there is a third way. There probably isn’t. However that needs to be stated clearly by WM.

      Having said that, there is another dimension covered eloquently by Stu – WM intend to damage the SG and the SNP. Punishment, possibly. More likely the thinking is to put people off the idea that we Scots can run our own country. If they can engineer devolved government to fail badly, they hope few people will believe an independent one would work either.

      This aspect is perhaps the most critical and dangerous. While we ponder more devolution, WM plans ultimately to roll it back!

      The only actual power contained in the SB seems to be APD. At best this will allow very limited economic stimulus. Giving responsibility without decision making powers over other areas is worse than useless.

      Solution? Fight the May election for a mandate to negotiate DevoMax / Home Rule within say 3 months, or we call IndyRef2. I am convince WM will not contemplate any more significant devolution. So Indyref2 would follow as day follows night.

      A clear choice. DevoCameron versus independence. No extra promises. The straight choice we always should have had.

    44. Onwards says:

      Joan Macalpine explained the situation well in her Daily Record column.

      https://web.archive.org/web/20151112120354/http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/joan-mcalpine-labour-tories-set-6808329

      ——-
      ..when George Osborne sets his budget, he has a whole range of taxes to draw from.

      These include fuel and alcohol duty, capital gains tax, corporation tax and national insurance. He can balance one against the other.

      In Scotland, we will effectively have just one – income tax. It is notoriously volatile. And we have fewer higher rate tax payers to start with.

      It sounds like a trap. It looks like a trap. And that’s exactly what it is.
      ——-

      Effectively, we are being given a toolbox with only a hammer in it and expected to fix the house.

      On the plus side, it’s obvious the Scottish people want far more. We need to demonstrate that with a clear question to the Scottish people. I would like to see an extra question on specific more powers on the same day as the Holyrood elections.

      SNP/SNP/
      Yes/Yes/Yes/Yes/Yes

    45. Alison Rollo says:

      Of course the Scottish Government should reject the Scotland Bill in it’s present form. It is not what was promised for their precious NO vote and will be detrimental to our cause by allowing the Unionists to blame the SNP for not ‘using the powers’. Nicola must put the ability to demand Devo Max and the right to call a referendum in the 2016 Manifesto. If she is re-elected then we demand a New Scotland Bill — if this is refused (as it would be!!) then — Ref2 and if it’s YES — UDI.

    46. Angra Mainyu says:

      Rev: “The most obvious illustration is that under FFA we’d lose Barnett, but still be tied into the UK’s ludicrously oversized defence budget.”

      Looking at it like that, we would “lose” Barnett if we were independent too.

      The target for defence spending as part of NATO is 2% of GDP, whether you are in the UK or not. That assumes NATO membership which I’d say was a given. One way or another, 1 to 2% is the normal cost of defence spending and we would need to spend some amount.

      The biggest flaw in FFA is that we would be tied to UK foreign policy and potentially involved in more stupid and illegal wars. But at a later date we could use their typically irresponsible Foreign Policy as a basis and argument for full detachment, and, who knows, maybe the risk of that would help socialise them.

    47. yesindyref2 says:

      In the Referendum and this 14 months after, 45% of us voted YES for Indy and we’re not getting it. Roughly half of the 55% NO voters voted for the status quo (27.5%) which was stable, and they’re not getting it, and the other half (27.5%) voted NO for substantial more powers and they’re not getting it.

      What does all of Scotland have in common? We’re not getting it!

    48. As long as we remain part of the UK Westminster will always do everything in its power to financially damage and disadvantage Scotland.

      Though I never believed in FFA, maybe the reason the SNP leadership supported this policy is because they knew it would never be delivered.

      However if the Scottish Government doesn’t reject these new devolution powers and instead accepts them, though not using the tax powers.

      It must ensure that the people of Scotland are fully informed about as to what the consequences of those additional powers the unionists boast about, means for them financially, their jobs and public services.

      And then let the unionists bang on about how the Scottish Government is failing to use the tax powers to mitigate Westminster’s cuts.

    49. A2 says:

      It’s not really thinking ahead though is it. If the ultimate aim is to derail the SNP and restore Slab to it’s “rightful place”, then they’ll be stuck with the same conditions themselves. Unless they want to do away with the parliament altogether it’s lose /lose.

    50. Soda says:

      This may seem too obvious a question to ask but… cant the ref result now be declared void as it was sold on a lie… ok, a promise that was broken… and plans be now put in place for another ref in 2019 or 2020?

    51. Ken500 says:

      ‘A trap’. It just increases support for the SNP and Independence. Vote every Unionist politician out in Scotland. They are just destroying their Parties and the Union. The SNP are doing everything they can to protect Scotland from Westminister. Westminster the enemy of the people. Cameron and Osbourne are dangerous amateurs. Blair and Brown should be in jail.

      Curtice has a cheek. The unreliable skewed Polls helped manipulate the Referendum result.

    52. Robert meechan says:

      Its even simpler than that we walk away saying this union is over we stop all the flow off our resources to england oil water whisky energy easy peasy but do we have the guts and the balls to do it in the end that what it will come to and the thing is we know it

    53. Ken500 says:

      Congratulations to Tommy Sheridan on his Law Degree and his opposition to the Poll Tax and Warrant sales in Scotland.

    54. Bob Mack says:

      Surely the way to deal with this conundrum is to put it before the electorate.I think there is enough savvy out there to trust people to avoid this trap.
      As someone else has said,include it in the manifesto for the elections next year.
      They will be supported.

    55. ben madigan says:

      @Angra Mainyu who said “We are talking about federalism here and federalism could work for us, as it has worked for others. It would at least, if configured properly, be a massive and rewarding step in the right direction”.

      Federalism within the UK is not a feasible option because of

      a) the disproportionate size of the English population (85%)

      b) divided loyalities.

      c) Nearly half the populations in Scotland and NI want out of the Union.

      d) The English want England to stay united.

      f) Finally, federalism with its separation of powers, written constitution and so on, is alien to Westminster

      Read all about it here
      https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/squaring-the-circle-what-no-means/

    56. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Onwards.

      Your ‘web archive’ link isn’t showing the article, only the survey.

      Here’s a link that gives the article.

      https://archive.is/Udgcn

    57. Dair says:

      Murray McCullum wrote :-
      If Scotland had full devolution of all powers barring defence and foreign policy it could make more transparent and therefore highlight:

      Scottish fiscal balance 1
      Contribution to UK Debt 2
      Contribution to UK Defence 3
      Contribution to UK Overseas 4
      Scottish fiscal balance in UK 5

      You’re forgetting probably the biggest item that Scotland has to pay for yet would save in nearly it’s entirety under Independence – the National Infrastructure Plan.

    58. muttley79 says:

      I support FFA because it would mean that Holyrood would have control over our own welfare and taxation systems, we would have our own broadcasting and media services, control over energy, and it would greatly increase the chances of joined up government in Scotland. The Barnett formula is starting to be phrased out anyway, and if we are independence or have FFA, then it would obviously not apply anyway. FFA takes us much, much closer to independence. The point about high defence costs under FFA would only be another selling point for independence, as would the continued presence of Trident at Faslane.

    59. galamcennalath says:

      yesindyref2 says:

      “What does all of Scotland have in common? We’re not getting it!”

      Yup! Everyone, Yes and No are getting screwed over.

      Status quo has gone forever.
      Indy has been prevented by lies and deceit.
      Devolution has become a trap.

    60. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Onwards.

      I typed,
      “Your ‘web archive’ link isn’t showing the article, only the survey.”

      Apologies – unlike in the past, the web archive page has the survey working, so you can go through the questions and eventually see the article. I assumed it was a ‘static’ archive.

    61. Dan Huil says:

      New TNS full Scotland Poll [after an even greater than usual BritNat media onslaught]:

      Constituency:
      58% SNP
      24% Lab
      12% Con
      4% Lib

      List:
      52% SNP
      25% Lab
      11% Con
      5% Green
      5% Lib

    62. I trust the S.N.P leadership to get it right when the time comes. We have political giants, especially Merlin, who wil run rings around their opponents.
      The major problem is, then as now, the M.S.M. They will never change, so no matter what Nicola and her advisiors decide to do, they will be castigated by the media. The one political party trying to do their best for the people of Scotland, will be lambasted no matter which course they take.
      Yes of course social media plays a big part now in getting our message out there, but I still feel the old methods, cavassing, leafleting, still have a huge effect on the electorate. Just back in from talking to people on their doorsteps, and unless they are kidding, and they weren’t at the General Election, most are no longer being fooled by the unionist propoganda.
      O.K, we have distance to go, but we will get there despite all the disrespect, and lies being told by an establishment determined to hold onto Scotland’s wealth, and subjugate it’s people.

    63. ronnie anderson says:

      I suspect a large number of people in Scotland did’nt watch the Scotland Bill debate, a lot of People on here gave up watching it & we’re used to all the grap.

      Scottish Gov should debate the Bill in its entirety, including the emendments put forth by SNP MPs at Westminster & it should be Televised & Livestreamed , lets see Kezia, Ruthie, Wullie, defend it.

      Cmon SNP put them to the test 2/3 day debate.

    64. orri says:

      The constant asking the SNP would use powers to mitigate Tax Credit cuts was in the hope that a commitment would be made before any guarantee that said powers would be forthcoming. It was also designed to plant in the minds of the public that such powers were going to be devolved. If Holyrood votes to accept an inadequate transfer of powers the propagandists will go on about them being more useful than they are and harp on about how the SNP have let the vulnerable down. Outright rejection might be the only safe bet as it isn’t fit for purpose.

    65. Murray McCallum says:

      Dair @ 12.38PM

      You are absolutely right. We would need to add a line for:

      Contribution to UK institutions/infrastructure

      Full devolution / federalism would enable a Scottish government that favoured full independence to highlight the cost of staying in the UK.

      This is why it would never be fully granted.

    66. Luigi says:

      A2 says:
      12 November, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      It’s not really thinking ahead though is it. If the ultimate aim is to derail the SNP and restore Slab to it’s “rightful place”, then they’ll be stuck with the same conditions themselves. Unless they want to do away with the parliament altogether it’s lose /lose.

      Och, it’s just SLAB demonstrating a combination of low expectation and a complete lack of any long-term strategy. They don’t really expect to be in power anytime soon, and seem to be incapable of thinking/planning beyond the next election. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for the corporate media to keep polishing the red tory turd.

      The SLABers still haven’t come to terms with, or understood why they were so utterly rejected by their traditional support in May. The only reason they can come up with is that the SNP cult has somehow brainwashed the voters, but they still don’t recognise that they sowed the seeds of their own destruction over many years. The referendum merely brought it to a head.

    67. Les Wilson says:

      It would take a big write, to explain just how Westminster screws Scotland, they have had 300 years to perfect it.
      Most are underhand, that do not hit headlines so are rarely exposed, others very obvious.

      However, I consider the new “powers” for Scotland to be their most transparent and blunt ploy yet devised. Their aim is to wear down and destroy democracy in Scotland, by proposed measures that simply will not work for Scotland.

      To undermine our democracy, cause division, and push the country back financially for decades.
      They do not care who they hurt. They have no time for Scots as amply shown at Westminster. To better England at our expense is the overall game plan, and always has been.

      With their anti democratic retoric, and there is a disaster awaiting if we do nothing to prevent this.

      I think the signing of the new powers, should be delayed, notifying Westminster they will only be passed if they come up to scratch for Scotland. Give them a deadline before total rejection. 3-6 months or whatever is deemed reasonable.

      In this they would be offered the chance to put things right,that would be a chance for them to do the right thing, a reasonable position considering their present aims.

      If not Indy2 should be raised, the whole country would be aware of the failure of Westminster and how it holds Scotland as a cash cow.
      This would in my view, throw the decision on to Westminster for the split of the UK.

    68. For those who want this bill put to the electorate in the 2016 manifesto.

      I have a couple of queries when is the deadline for the acceptance or rejection of the powers in the new devolution bill?

      And does Westminster intend these powers to be accepted
      and in place for the 2016 Holyrood elections?

    69. liz says:

      This watered down ‘Vow’ is not what was promised to the people.

      Therefore I dont think the SG have to accept it.

      The press will be SNP bad no matter what they chose to do and I trust JSwinney to do the right thing.

      Also I dont support the SNP in all things.

      On a previous post someone mentioned his wife thought the new Sou Gen was bad as she read it somewhere, BBC or DR??
      So there are still folk out there not hearing the truth.

      Nearer the Holyrood elections a new WBB is needed.

    70. Les Wilson says:

      ronnie anderson says:
      Well, that would be a good way to focus public attention,to the inadequate package of garbage we are offered.
      Read my other post as another option.

      What you propose would make it transparent,and could lead up to my proposition. So I agree Ronnie, a good idea.

    71. Colin Church says:

      @Colin Church 11:29

      …and HMRC

    72. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Looking at it like that, we would “lose” Barnett if we were independent too.”

      Yes, of course. But without anything to offset that loss against.

    73. ArtyHetty says:

      My first thoughts were to accept the bill, but after what has happened this week, in principal we have to reject it. To accept it, in practice will make Scotland worse off, especially with Barnett being cut or being axed even. Non of this was meant to make Scotland worse off, but standing still is counter to being able to grow our economy and invest in areas that we need to. With UKOK making people even poorer, that also reduces spending in our high streets and more to the point local shops etc.

      Given that this is a poison chalice, it might not kill us, yet, but it will no doubt make us very ill, whereas at the moment, people are seeing the positive actions of the SG, against the massive odds put in front of us, by UKOK.

      The Scotgov have a difficult choice in a way, but it does look like the voters are seeing this shambles for what it is, and will go with stalling, or rejecting the bill, With the pretendy powers, we are not fooled one bit.

    74. heedtracker says:

      Its all getting a very weird UKOK media propaganda treatment, Graun not even mentioning it to its Scottish reader

      http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/nov/12/george-clooney-visit-edinburgh-social-bites-cafe-helps-homeless-people

      Neo fascist Voice Of The North Press and journal hasn’t reported it at all this week, just lots of English news from London especially and you hate SNP don’t you brain washing.

    75. Colin Church says:

      @Doug Daniel

      “I’m fed up of their scotched earth policies.”

      Is that where Scotland is entombed in a sausagemeat straight jacket.

    76. Macart says:

      Frankly I couldn’t give a flying squirrel what Westminster’s politicians or their pet media would have to say on the issue. That bill is pure poison with only one aim in mind.

      What we have is a central government and those who parties support it, willingly causing hardship to their own electorate in pursuit of political agenda. This bill is dependency writ large and a ‘mitigators’ dream come true.

      As for who is calling a bluff? I’d say that’s exactly what the Scottish Government have done since May this year. They ran on a ticket of FFA/Home Rule/Devo Max and worked their socks off to get it on the table. No one, absolutely no one can be in any doubt about the effort involved in getting it on there and just as surely no one can be in any doubt what Westminster’s decision on the issue was and just who voted against the measure.

      I’m for throwing this poisonous piece of legislation back in their faces and having them think again. The Scottish electorate shouldn’t have to offset or mitigate any bloody thing. We’re a partner, not a region and effectively paying twice simply to have effective and representative legislation is beyond dumb. As for those politicians who think that’s what devolution is for?

      Get off your damn knees, you’re wearing a hole in the carpets.

    77. HandandShrimp says:

      The latest TNS poll will have the Onionists wondering what it is they need to do.

      Of course the answer is obvious – be positive for Scotland but I’m putting my money on them sticking with SNPbad 🙂

    78. scotspine says:

      Missed FMs questions. Any news?

    79. Ian Brotherhood says:

      No Jabba on FMQs?

      Bah, humbug…money back please.

    80. John Walsh says:

      Gordon Brown the deliverer of the “vow” said The SNP must use the new powers that are in the Scotland Bill to mitigate the Tax Credit cuts imposed by the Tories and Supported by Labour.
      he is either very Stupid or ignorant of the consequences .I believe he is neither .
      1. He just admitted the the SNP will form the next Scotttish Government thus giving Kezie a vote of no confidence .
      2. Knowing Slab could not balance the fiscal budget because ( what Stu says earlier ) Brown is happy for Slab to be the party of opposition for the next 5 years hoping the SNP uncoil and make such a mess of Scotland’s finances that the old Slab supporters come”Home” to them.

      He forgets that The Scottish Government may well reject ” The Scotland Bill” once it has been watered down and interfered with so much by the Lords that even a compliment SMSM will find it hard to defend it,which they will.

    81. Tony Little says:

      Agree with the majority of sentiments expressed here. But let’s not forget that this Bill has still to negotiate the Lords where all our “Betters” will no doubt dilute it further.

      I read in particular that Labour “Lords” (How that very idea grates on me as a socialist) will try to delay or remove the devolution of abortion policy. I have no doubt there will be other ‘amendments’.

      Once the final product is known I want the Scottish Government to debate the reality of this new set of “powers” and then present them to the electorate in the manifestos.

      This gives the SNP until May 2016 to present the reality of these non-practical powers to the Scottish public. The choice in May2016 will be:

      Vote SNP to fight for more powers and if none come to opt for a new Referendum on Independence, or

      Vote for the Unionist parties and see Scottish social and economic environment destroyed.

      The SNP must get FACTS and REALITY out into the public domain, and do so immediately the HoL and HoC push this appalling bill through. Quite how they do this, I am less clear about. We know the Scottish Corporate Media will lies, smear, lie, exaggerate, and lie, so how? (Genuine question)

    82. HandandShrimp says:

      My gut feeling is that the bill will go through Holyrood…although if it is filleted by the Lords it may never get to Holyrood.

      Mundell is Romulan and not to be trusted. He would rename Scotland Greater Northumbria if he got half a chance. However, there are enough titbits in the bill to make it worth adding to Holyrood’s list of powers. His demands to know how they will be used are irrelevant posturing. He is a Tory, his party can set out how they will use them that is all.

      We will have power over road signs. I suggest every road sign has the additional legend Vote for Independence

      🙂

    83. One_Scot says:

      ‘Unionists – particularly @scottishlabour – would turn Scotland into a barren wasteland if that’s what was necessary to stop independence.’

      Doug Daniel, if you are out there, that is one of the most intellectually perceptive comments I have read in a long time.

    84. Jack Murphy says:

      OT. Major job losses with HMRC Scottish office losses.

      “The tax collection agency, HMRC, is to consolidate its UK network of offices in a move which could see more than 2,000 jobs lost in Scotland. 🙁
      More than 8,000 people are currently employed at the agency’s 18 Scottish offices, including major centres in Dundee, Cumbernauld and East Kilbride.”

      BBC Scotland:- https://archive.is/94B1Q

    85. galamcennalath says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Looking at it like that, we would “lose” Barnett if we were independent too.”

      Yes, of course.

      This the BIG point about independence the Unionists (conveniently) overlook. They consider Scotland’s balance sheet after Indy to be identical to the present one which includes UK policies and spending. Aspects which would change for sure.

      Their black hole, they witter on about, looks smaller when you reduce defence spending to typical EU levels.

      Then there are debt repayments which, as a result of negotiations over assets, are bound to end up proportionately smaller – if we don’t get the assets, we don’t take the debt.

      Most important of all, the Indy government would be focusing on policies to grow our economy, not policies for the SE of England.

      Barnett or Indy? Easy choice!

    86. yesindyref2 says:

      @galamcennalath
      Yes, and this is something we can work on, that the divide between YES and NO is disappearing as none of us are happy. What did you want, substantial more powers? So you’re not happy. What did you want, things to stay as they were? That’s not happening it’s a negative package of extra powers being devolved, it’s a trap. I wanted full independence, I’m not happy. So what do we do about it? What’s best for all of us?

      I agree with others that it’s on the doorstep, socially, at work if possible, social media. But not in the confrontational way, ignore activists, just talk to people who vote but otherwise don’t take part. Hearts and minds.

    87. Craig P says:

      Scots voted No last year, fully aware that the likely consequences of that vote included being screwed over by UK Tories.

      They then voted SNP this year, in a vain attempt to mitigate the effect of their actions in the referendum.

      That mitigation is not going to happen. So I am not sure what else the SNP is supposed to do about it until enough voters think this situation through to its logical conclusion – which will be difficult so long as the media they rely on keeps telling them any budget cuts will be the Scottish Government’s fault.

    88. mealer says:

      Latest TNS poll shows Libdems have lost half their support over recent months.Time for Rennie to make way for a fresh face?

    89. Nana says:

      2:45pm, MSPs will discuss the delivery of benefits in Scotland. Watch live online at http://ow.ly/UyLDm

    90. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Alison Rollo [ If she is re-elected then we demand a New Scotland Bill — if this is refused (as it would be!!) then — Ref2 and if it’s YES — ].

      What! do you want to see our MPs & the Scottish People suffer more humiliation at the hands of Westminster, they would talk forever & still get Nothing.

    91. heedtracker says:

      https://www.holyrood.com/articles/news/polling-shows-snp-leads-scottish-labour-34-cent-constituency-vote

      34% in front is pretty good, considering what’s being rammed down our throats/buried bt Pacific Quay freak out.

      The Press and Journal is interesting today in that instead of Scottish news, it reports stuff like a Princess Anne likes light houses, a super rich dude in London is having fun converting his basement, smiling Wullie Rennie sez SNP bad.

      80p worth of UKOK grot.

      Am not making up that full page P&J thing about Princess Anne and her love of lighthouses, really I’m not.

    92. Jim Morris says:

      Wikipedia lists 41 sovereign states or territories which are smaller than Scotland. So ‘too wee’ goes off the list. We are still left with ‘too stupid’ and ‘too rich’ as the reasons why we are not to be allowed our independence.

    93. Robert Louis says:

      Well said REV Stu. There is a big freaking red klaxon going off right now at Bute House, and it says, for freaks sake, reject this trap from Westminster. No good will come of it.

      Mundell, and his coterie of anti Scotland accolytes within the red and blue tories, are sitting poised, just waiting for the Scots Government to agree to this nonsense, and then the tsunami will be released.

      Make no mistake, this is the biggest, deceptive piece of machiavellian trash ever to come out of Westminster.

      If the SNP reject it, I have no doubt the people of Scotland will back them 100%. This ‘Scotland’ bill tells us EVERYTHING about the utter, utter contempt which Westminster, red and blue Tories really have for the people of Scotland.

      Why, why, why did they so want Scotland to vote NO, when it is clear they hate us so very, very much.

    94. @BoatyJames says:

      Good article Rev.
      Another point is that this bill is not what the 55% voted for either. The vast majority of them voted for the status quo and a lot of them want less not more devolution. The percentage that actually voted positively for “The Vow” is almost certainly less than 10% of voters.

    95. Dan Huil says:

      @ heedtracker 1:33pm

      The Moray edition of the odious p & j has a front page of the newly-elected cooncillor for Heldon & Laich – Independent but really Tory. He’s gone and pressed the wrong button when voting on flood defences thereby upsetting those locals who voted for him. Shame.

    96. yesindyref2 says:

      @Dan Huil
      The TNS poll is good, excellent, especially because the SNP aren’t actually doing anything yet towards the Holyrood election, whereas the media onslaught has been steadily on against the SNP.

      I think the SNP are content to let it all wash over them and the electorate, wait until the Scotland Bill has gone through the Lords and as others have said, beeen diluted further by parties including Labour. Then when that’s set and ready for passing in the HoC and Royal Assent, let the battle commence. I think that’s a wise policy, the SNP were elected in the General Election to fight for more powers, Devo-Max. They’re doing their best there, and Westminster’s time is not yet over, until it’s gone through the Lords.

      Then it will be Holyrood’s turn, Westminster having been seen to fail.

    97. yesindyref2 says:

      I could have made that stronger.

      Westminster having been seen to fail Scotland.

    98. Petra says:

      ”The only means available to the Scottish Government to generate cash to protect the victims of the cuts will be the power to raise income tax. But in a geographically tiny unitary state differential tax rates are wildly impractical, because it’s very easy for people – especially the wealthy who would be chiefly targeted – to move their tax address (and/or themselves entirely) out of Scotland.”

      There’s another side to this coin. As we all know Machiavellian Westminster want to force the SG to cover their benefit cuts (which may be clawed back anyway). Nicola Sturgeon has indicated that her party will try to mitigate the cuts as they have done with the bedroom tax.

      That’s not going to happen in England. There is no other recourse, agency or charity, for the ordinary English person: No financial aid from any other source. Anyone on low pay who has their working tax credits removed, especially if they have children, would be better off on the dole.

      If I lived in England and was going to lose my WTC, was to become homeless (housing benefit payments stripped for under 25s), had half a dozen children (child benefit cuts) or was disabled (cuts to disability living allowance) I would pack in my unsustainable job (if I had one), scrape up the money and head North. Two way traffic: Benefit claimants heading North and wealthy tax-payers heading South.

      Westminster’s agenda in ‘giving’ the proposed ‘power ‘s” to Scotland is to ensure that we face an economic and social disaster. It really sticks in their craw that we have free prescriptions, free (to a point) home care, free tuition fees and more than anything have managed to keep afloat following cut after cut to our budget. They want to see all of that go and the SNP castigated from every side …. lose their credibility and popularity. They think … hope …. ultimately lose the Cause.

      They are hell bent on destroying our economy / raising unemployment levels such as by cutting our renewable energy subsidies (worth 14 billion of potential investment … whilst planning to help other EU countries): In turn forcing the SG to consider fracking no doubt.

      I can just about accept the revengefulness of Westminster, their hatred of the SNP (maybe Scots in general), their jealousy of our successes but I can hardly stomach the Scots, politicians and journalists, who are covering up the facts, promulgating lies and actually seem to be gleeful with the prospect we are facing. Top of the list is Mundell followed by Brown, Murray and Dugdale. I understand that to mention the ‘parcel of …in a nation’ is not acceptable on here but I’ve got to say that if Burns was still around he would be pointing a finger at every last one of them. They’re a bl**dy disgrace and should be hanging their heads in shame.

      If the so-called powers to Scotland, economic levers, don’t improve dramatically our SNP MSPs at Westminster should walk out. Nicola Sturgeon should address the Nation (find a means to), outline the situation and do an Eddy the V111, abdicate, and hand the reins over to Dugdale and let them get on with it. That would bring the whole (Independence) situation to a head hopefully without causing a civil war.

      The latest from Business for Scotland:

      http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/westminsters-devo-fail-is-an-economic-and-constitutional-timebomb/

      That’s the Business for Scotland ‘think tank’ that has been selected as the top business and financial blog in the UK.

      http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/scottish-business-buzz-12-11-15/

    99. heedtracker says:

      Dan Huil says:
      12 November, 2015 at 1:40 pm
      @ heedtracker 1:33pm

      P&J Aberdeen front page is a weird non story on what’s going in on a factory demolition up behind George street, royals worshipping and then endless English/London stuff.

      That lot of UKOK fanatics usually cut n paste from the Torygraph anyway, then go toryboy mental with it but no mention of Scotland Bill and not much if anything at all on Carmichael three day Edinburgh trial either.

      Local far right toryboy hackdom, for far right local toryboys, at its finest:D

    100. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Proud Cybernat PMSL is that ah Dodge. Westminster wont Dodge the comeback from their Scotland Bill,i’ll get rammed rite up em an they dont like it up em.

    101. Takeourblueback says:

      Good article and in tune with my thoughts exactly.

      I’m seriously considering forcing SNP to indyref2 by encouraging a Vote No to Europe – still undecided, but grassroots needs to also use the process to better the independence cause.

    102. I Clark says:

      Devious Dave instead of Devo Max

      If someone offered you some wine as a reward for doing something and then he pissed all over you afterwards, you would want, at the very least, justice, if not revenge.

      It would not help matters if he explained to you that he had fulfilled his promise to you. It’s just that he had neglected to mention his intention to pass the wine through his kidneys first.

      Your mood would not be improved, if others also told you should accept what had happened. Maybe you didn’t get exactly what you wanted, but you still got most of the underlying elements in wine. Stop whingeing and get on with it.

      There are three main problems for us. One, some people don’t know they’ve been pissed on and if they do question the smell, certain people will tell them it’s wine. How successfully can we overcome their lies?

      Two, others sort of know they’ve been pissed on, but how much can we count on them to do something about it?

      Three, for those of us who know we’ve been pissed on, do we grit our teeth, try to purify the piss into water and use it to sustain ourselves while we wait for the best opportunity to strike back? Or do we try to kick the big guy in the balls, right now, and demand the wine we were promised?

      Not easy problems to solve.

      My view? For what its worth. Go for the balls. We won’t get the wine and may get beaten up, but our defiance might bring home to others the true nature of the big guy. An arrogant bully who has only contempt for those he considers inferior.

      Over to you SNP. You wanted power. You got it. You’ve got the support and trust of at least half the people of this country. Make the hard decisions.

    103. Wee Jonny says:

      “Why would a UK government, especially a Tory one with nothing to lose in Scotland, voluntarily hand over loads of goodies once it had secured a No vote?”
      Because they fuckin said they would!!!

      They said that ‘we’ (just us) put the ‘Great’ into Great Britain.
      That ‘we’ (all of us) were a family of nations.
      That together ‘we’ (all of us) were stronger.
      That together ‘we’ (all of us) were safer.
      That we (just us) were too wee.
      That we (just us) were too poor.
      That we (again just us) were too schoopid.
      That we (probably just us) were better together.

      That’s why they should hand over loads of goodies coz they’re oor fuckin goodies.

      But they won’t coz they’re cunts.

    104. Doug Daniel says:

      One-Scot: I am indeed! Ta, muchly.

    105. Gighagirl says:

      The vow was hollow from the start…non specific and mainly timetables for legislation, but the permanence of the Scottish parliament is in the vow…and is not in the Scotland bill.
      Fall Guy Gordy was expendable so promised the moon.
      Great poll -let’s build on that. The SNP could well present a “clever manifesto” and ask for a mandate for a referendum because of the broken vow. Hope so!

    106. Bill McLean says:

      Muttley 79 – do you really believe they will ever give us control over the media? Do you really believe they will ever give us full control over our economy? Wise up! Westminster will NEVER give Scotland control over anything that will move us closer to Independence. With respect I’m amazed that people keep pushing this FFA, Devo Max even federalism line. We will NEVER be allowed anything that will better life for people in Scotland. The only way is Independence. Learn from their history and their historical greed! You are allowing yourself to be diverted from our aims and the only people that suits is those who have no regard, respect or concern for people in Scotland – in other words unionists!!

    107. Fran says:

      Robert Louis says
      Why, why, why did they so want Scotland to vote NO, when it is clear they hate us so very, very much.

      Cos they love kickin the shit out of us !

    108. Luigi says:

      Robert Louis says:

      12 November, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      If the SNP reject it, I have no doubt the people of Scotland will back them 100%.

      Indeed. I am actually looking forward to this devious, watered-down piece of garbage reaching Holyrood. Methinks the SNP have not been sitting on their thumbs since May and have already anticpated every pathetic little WM manouver.

      Remember the Cairns cartoon with Hamish waiting at the corner with sharpened claws, for Old John Bull to come stumbling round? WM just can’t see what’s coming!. 🙂

    109. North Chiel says:

      Agree with Galamcennalth, FFA / DEVO MAX has to be viewed as next step.Obviously it is not
      what we want, however I feel that next year will be ” the crunch” with a Westminster vote on trident and the Europe referendum. If the SNP reject the bill , and include a pledge of a referendum
      on Devo Mundell against Devo Sturgeon ( to be spelled out in detail in manifesto ) this would crystallise the issue and allow the electorate “to see” the options clearly.
      Also this referendum cannot be used by Westminster , as would an early 2nd referendum on
      Independence, to highlight “the once in a generation” event.
      If the result is a “yes” for FFA then non implementation by Westminster within a “reasonable
      timescale” could be the lever for 2nd Independence vote.
      A manifest pledge on the location of trident ( if Westminster renews) should also be included for May 16 to “ramp up the pressure” with a further referendum on this if necessary.( Thus the
      “sovereign will ” of the Scottish people can be explicitly shown on these issues.
      If Westminster continues to ignore the “people” then we move into the realms of a “constitutional crisis ” Drastic action would have to be considered thereafter ?

    110. t42 says:

      Where is my Admiral Ackbar “It’s A Trap!” meme..

    111. heedtracker says:

      Looked at The Guardian on a PC just now with adblock, with a huge and really snazzy ad for Porsche at the top of their god awful Scotland region section. Porsche adverts in the Graun, says more about them than anything else today, SNP bad, buy a Porsche vile SNP voters

      So from the nasty old hypocrite and frauds hell bent on taking down Scottish democracy-

      “We notice you’re using an ad-blocker. Perhaps you’ll support us another way? Become a Supporter for just £50 per a year”

      to

      http://www.porsche.com/uk/models/918/

      I quite like this one but its tad out of my price range.

      Am I UKOK Slabouring the point here, that UKOK media’s repellent in the extreme?

      Good:D

    112. kininvie says:

      Over to you SNP. You wanted power. You got it. You’ve got the support and trust of at least half the people of this country. Make the hard decisions.

      It’s not up to the ‘party’ as some abstract body, to make hard decisions – those who are members are the party. It’s your decision. You have the power – and the responsibility….

      The SNP leadership is in a lonely position here. It needs the support/persuasion of its membership. The way forward for any of you who are members is to discuss this at branch meetings and put forward resolutions.

      We have a wee bit of time before the Bill comes before Holyrood. Get your branch decisions formalised and sent directly to Nicola. Or submit them to National Council, or to the Spring Conference.

      The SNP know the media shitstorm will fall on them if they spurn these ‘extensive powers’. So the backing of the membership – and of the Yes movement as a whole – will be of great value and comfort.

    113. marydoll says:

      I have NO doubt that the SB will be watered down even more – if thats at all possible- especially with SLAB Lords in HOL.

      Delay the decision about the SB until election time and have the Scottish electorate vote on it. It MUST be in SNP manifesto.

      Run Scotland like its already independent – mitigate nothing – and
      promise nothing. Every answer to an MSM question – wait for the manifesto.

    114. Luigi says:

      Bill McLean says:

      12 November, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      Muttley 79 – do you really believe they will ever give us control over the media? Do you really believe they will ever give us full control over our economy? Wise up! Westminster will NEVER give Scotland control over anything that will move us closer to Independence. With respect I’m amazed that people keep pushing this FFA, Devo Max even federalism line. We will NEVER be allowed anything that will better life for people in Scotland. The only way is Independence. Learn from their history and their historical greed! You are allowing yourself to be diverted from our aims and the only people that suits is those who have no regard, respect or concern for people in Scotland – in other words unionists!!

      No diversion Bill, but rather smart politicking. Remember the unionists generously provided a devomax/FFA stick to beat them hard with in the run up to the referendum. We need to hold them to account. We have them skewered and they are squirming. The big issue is that many soft NO voters (who we need to win over) are still supporting devomax/FFA. Until the penny drops (and it will) that, as you say WM will never agree to it, we need to go through the motions until exhausted. It’s frustrating as hell, but there is a massive, potential harvest of soft NO voters worth hanging on for.

    115. Triangular Ears says:

      Is it not time to revisit that two question referendum that was killed off by Cameron?

      Given that The Vow has not been delivered and that bad faith is clearly demonstrable and provable in the Scotland Bill, this is a trigger for another referendum, which doesn’t necessarily have to be a straight independence referendum.

      “1 Do you believe The Scotland Bill is an acceptable settlement with respect to the 2014 independence referendum?

      If No:

      2 Should the settlement be:
      a Devo Max [this must be clearly defined in an appendix to the question, eg everything except defence, blah, blah]
      b Full independence.”

      This could obviously be a huge gamble as you are potentially splitting the independence vote, but it will definitely prove that the electorate are not happy with the Scotland Bill and will justify further change.

    116. Luigi says:

      kininvie says:

      12 November, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      The SNP know the media shitstorm will fall on them if they spurn these ‘extensive powers’.

      You mean like the ones that failed spectacularly to prevent the SNP tsunamis in 2011 and 2015?

      Bring it on!. 🙂

    117. heedtracker says:

      Toryboy international boosts toryboy Cammers, shock.

      http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/nov/12/forget-marriage-equality-praise-david-cameron-for-tough-calls-tony-abbott

      So from the toryboy what just got booted out in OZ but gave the world this

      “Tony Abbott told the Times it was “hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland”.

      Mr Abbott said those who would like to see the UK break up were “not the friends of justice… [or] freedom”.

      To what he really is and why he’s UKOK toryboy of the day, three cheers sensibledave 2, hip hip huzaah

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3IaKVmkXuk

    118. scotspine says:

      I’m with Petra regarding the Bill, in that the FM should find a way of addressing our Nation, outline the pile of shit that is the Bill, reject it and then stand the Govt down to let the Labour pricks flounder and drown in a welter of ineptitude.

      Fuck them all.

    119. McBoxheid says:

      English Labour is just that, English, with only one Scottish MP they have absolutely no reason to back the SNP. They are looking after their English voter’s interests and trying to win some back. They know they lost Scotland.

      Slab on the other hand, are either to thick to realise that they are a branch office or they are so full of hatred for the SNP that they will risk the future of their constituents and their country for absolutely no political gain.

      By supporting ELab,Slab are cutting their own throats.
      There are 2 ways out of this.
      Reject the Scotland Bill as a manifesto promise or indyref 2 as a manifesto promise.

      Alternatively they could use option three, a road map to UDI as the Catalans are currently doing.

      Why anyone would want to stay in this poisonous union is beyond me. Why are people still willing to accept the crap we have suffered before, during and after indyref and still try to get Westminster to play fair is beyond rational thinking.

      If this Scotland Bill becomes law in it’s present form, the Scotland should go on strike. Stop working, stop playing their games. We will never win by playing their rules.

    120. wull says:

      I may be wrong, but seem to remember the SNP leadership saying they would accept a Bill that included all the Smith Commission’s proposals. They were not happy about these proposals, which they regarded as inadequate, if not derisory, but having participated in the Smith process they would accept its outcome.

      This was an honourable position for the SNP to take, even if to many in the Yes campaign it may have seemed rather weak. Like everyone else, the SNP were well aware that Smith’s final watered-down proposals fell far short of the Home Rule/Near Federalism that had been touted and promised prior to the Referendum.

      What looked weak at that time may now prove to be a strength, showing the SNP to have been prudent, wise, and prescient. All the SNP have to do is to point out the discrepancies between Smith’s proposals and those put forward in the Scotland Bill. Instead of implementing Smith’s feeble proposals, which were already squelching from having been so greatly watered down, the Scotland Bill has – I suppose – sunk (most of) them altogether.

      I do not have ‘Smith’ in front of me, or indeed the Scotland Bill: I am therefore unable to give anyone a blow by blow account of the extent to which the above statement is true. However, presuming it is, couldn’t the SNP devise a vote in the Scottish parliament which will highlight what the Conservatives – and Labour – have done with ‘Smith’?

      I see no reason why the Scottish Government could not cut the Scotland Bill into two bits, the first comprising those (presumably few) parts of it that do comply with Smith’s proposals and the second consisting of those (no doubt many) parts which do not. Holyrood would then vote to accept the first, and reject the second.

      Even if the UK Government, or Westminster more widely, squeals that this is illegal, because it is an ‘all or nothing’ offer, and yells that that their beloved Scotland Bill cannot be cut in two in this way, the Scottish Government should just go ahead and do it anyway.

      The squealing and yelling from the Mother of Parliaments will simply prove that the Scotland Bill is their baby, demonstrating their real reasons for bringing it into the world in the first place. The ‘ill will towards Scotland’ with which it was conceived will be hard to hide, even for the MSM. Why are the Unionist Parties who set up the Smith Commission (supoposedly to ‘fulfil’ the Vow) not following its proposals?

      I think the SNP could do well with this, as could the pro-independence movement, not least by highlighting how dishonouarbly Scotland has been treated in all of this.

      Most of the people who read this site know that already, of course, and all too well. But don’t forget – a lot of fellow Scots are still to be convinced. This really could help them to see better what has been happening all along.

    121. Kenny says:

      One strong option might be for the SNP to stand on an explicit platform of more/better powers next year. For example, power over tax credits could be one clear demand, as could greater devolution of social security powers. Energy policy is another one, and one where the SNP could co-operate with the Greens and RISE. This emphasises the SNP’s democratic credentials while also giving the clearest possible message that this is NOT what Scotland voted for. Moreover, it will leave Labour and the Tories fighting side by side once again to stop the SNP at any cost. It will be an ugly fight and it will need to be handled with care to avoid it looking like nothing but “seeking grudge and grievance,” but the SNP has some smart people who are used to a media war against them. It can be made to work.

    122. galamcennalath says:

      Triangular Ears says:
      “Is it not time to revisit that two question referendum that was killed off by Cameron?”

      IMO, we’ve all moved on, so No.

      The result of IndyRef1 was a rather woolly, we want DevoMax. What did they give us – DevoCameron.

      If there is to be a referendum it should be their best final devolution offer, versus independence. I believe we are seeing their idea of devolution to the max in DevoCameron.

      They won’t agree to DevoMore. They won’t agree to test their offer against Indy.

      However we have the May election. I think this is the opportunity to flush WM out of the brambles and force them to state in clear terms, “this is all the devolution you are getting”.

      One way I have suggested is to seek a mandate to negotiate DevoMax Home Rule with a fall back of IndyRef2. They won’t negotiate. We move onwards and upwards.

    123. One_Scot says:

      The only way the Scottish Government could ever get any message across the whole of Scotland would be if we had a neutral TV New channel for Scotland.

      Until this happens it will always be an uphill struggle.

    124. Taranaich says:

      Here’s another idea I had:

      1. The Bill gets through the Lords, having stripped it of even more powers.

      2. The Bill comes to Holyrood, and there’s a vote to adopt it.

      3. The Scottish government decide that since the Bill is completely and woefully inadequate, that they will change the bill to better reflect the will of the Scottish People.

      3. The Scottish government then campaigns the 2016 election with a manifesto that sets out the changes they will make to the Scotland Bill upon election (welfare, broadcasting, taxes etc), effectively turning it into a referendum on devo-max.

      4. This will, of course, put Holyrood right against Westminster. However, Holyrood will cite the sovereignty of the Scottish people as having precedence over the sovereignty of the UK parliament when it comes to Scottish affairs. And if the people show they want these powers by voting for the party which places this in their manifesto, then the UK government has no choice but to respect that, or risk jeopardising the Union itself.

      5. Ultimately the 2016 election will be fought by those who will put the sovereignty of the Scottish people first (SNP et al) or those who put the sovereignty of the UK Parliament first (Unionists). And given the UK is supposed to be a democracy, it would be very strange indeed if Scottish parties would actually argue against even allowing the will of the Scottish people to overrule the UK Parliament, given the great song and dance they made about “the settled and sovereign will” of the Scottish people in the referendum.

      The SNP has been bold in the past: their principles on English-only bills has changed, their stances on the Euro and NATO have flipped, they’ve made radical changes over the years. And even after everything, the people of Scotland seem to trust them more than any other party.

      Even if they accept the Bill, they surely have something up their sleeve.

    125. Robert Peffers says:

      @TheGreatBaldo says: 12 November, 2015 at 11:17 am:

      ” … After all, that is what the Scottish voters decided they wanted on Sept 18th last year.”

      I think we can safely say that since September 18 there has been a great opening of eyes in every corner of Scotland. The proportion of those wanting full independence has most certainly changed since then.

      “Only plausible option is to practically demonstrate that the ‘powers’ granted simply don’t work.”

      I may be wrong but I believe that fact has now dawned upon a great many of those who feel they were cheated in the referendum campaign.

      I do not know a single YES campaigner who has not had certain NO voters express the view to them that they wished they had voted YES.

      The new, so called, powers are like a 45gal drum of toxic waste buried in a landfill site close by a built-up area in Scotland. It may have been safe when it was sneakily dumped but the prevailing wet environment of Scotland has now rusted away the steel drum with soon to happen predictable results.

      I’m betting a majority of the now politically aware and switched on Scottish electorate are well aware of the Establishments obdurate intention to defraud Scotland. Such obduracy comes so naturally to these dishonest and self-serving creatures.

      They actually justify their crass actions to themselves as justifiably in the service of the Union. Just like Alistair Carmichael is doing right now in a court of law.

      I am of the opinion that a majority in Scotland now sees right through the Establishment and its propaganda and independence is a great deal closer than many thought on September 19th last year.

    126. galamcennalath says:

      North Chiel says:
      “Agree with Galamcennalth, FFA / DEVO MAX has to be viewed as next step.”

      … but only as a stalking horse. It will never happen. They will never give us it. However, we need to get them to say so.

      There are two choices – what WM currently propose or independence. There is no other option available, IMO.

      It suits WM to have people believe that someday, somehow, WM will give us DevoMax. It needs to be killed off, buried, and the grave hidden under concrete!

    127. yesindyref2 says:

      @wull
      I think you’re right. The SNP stood on the patform in the GE of holding Westminster’s feet to the fire over delivering Smith, and that’s what some of those that voted in the 56 MPs would be entitled to expect. So the SNP have worked non-stop to deliver that, and to try for FFA as well. They should be seen as having tried their best, and failed only because of Westminster – and insufficient support from the Labour Party.

    128. Petra says:

      @ Dcanmore says at 2:17 pm ”@Jack Murphy re: HMRC Scotland job losses …

      from this http://www.cumbernauld-media.com/news/politics/1206-labour-claims-cumbernauld-tax-office-jobs-are-under-threat-from-indyref-yes-vote

      to this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-34798266

      Thanks for the links Dcanmore. I wonder how many no voters will be aware of the fact that one threat after another made by Westminster / Scottish Unionist were nothing more than a load of old Tommyrot?

      I know I posted this earlier but I’m posting it again to remind everyone of the level of ignorance exhibited by the pig loving, millionaire simpleton that’s running this country. This is the man, Prime Minister, that Nicola Sturgeon, our 56 SNP MSPs and the Scots in general are supposed to look up to / believe in. This is the man who wants to Lord it over the Scots. This gives you SOME insight into his mentality and sums up how the UK is going down the veritable stank. If you haven’t seen it already take a look.

      Chunky Mark: ‘Is David Cameron the Most Stupidest Person in Britain??’

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFR8IBdXdJE

    129. Kevin Evans says:

      I would have liked a situation where we could have worked with the new Scotland bill but it’s obvious it’s unworkable and it is designed to be unworkable.

      The bill should be rejected – it’s not devo max as close to federalism (never forget that is the platform the union fought the last days of the refurendum on).

      Devo max as the union saw it was battered our and dissolved by “smith” so even before the bill was discussed in Westminster they had already went against there “vow”.

      Now even smith has been dissolved into this farce called the “Scotland bill”

      The bottom line is – no one, and I mean no one signed up for this Scotland bill. A few signed up for devo max. Well that’s out. Most signed up for smith. Well that’s out now too. But no one signed up for this Scotland bill. Soft no’s. Hard no unionist didn’t even sign up for this bill.

      The economy was better togethers best tool during the referendum. Most no’s decided they’d be better off finically in the union. This new Scotland bill insures no one in Scotland will be better off in the union so even the no voters didn’t vote for this new bill.

      Reject the bill Scottish government now. It’s an insult to everyone in Scotland – no voters and yes voters.

    130. Robert Peffers says:

      @Itchybiscuit says: 12 November, 2015 at 11:27 am:

      ” .. Just two points off the top of my head and these people wonder why the meeja is going down the tubes…”

      The meeja is not just going down the tubes it has almost gone so far down those tubes as to almost arrived at the sewage works. They just haven’t realised it yet.

      Tick! Tock!

    131. galamcennalath says:

      One_Scot says:
      “The only way the Scottish Government could ever get any message across the whole of Scotland would be if we had a neutral TV New channel for Scotland.”

      You are correct, however, we don’t need to get the message through to every potential Indy supporter among the NOs – just enough of them.

      The iron is hot.

      The SNP have a majority, and hopefully will have one after May. The Tories are trying to force through their most extreme policies early in their term. We have grassroots. We have the upper hand online. Indy support is growing and is probably above 50%.

      We need to make our move in the next few years using the tools we currently have.

    132. McBoxheid says:

      Kenny says:
      12 November, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      One strong option might be for the SNP to stand on an explicit platform of more/better powers next year. For example, power over tax credits could be one clear demand, as could greater devolution of social security powers. Energy policy is another one, and one where the SNP could co-operate with the Greens and RISE. This emphasises the SNP’s democratic credentials while also giving the clearest possible message that this is NOT what Scotland voted for. Moreover, it will leave Labour and the Tories fighting side by side once again to stop the SNP at any cost. It will be an ugly fight and it will need to be handled with care to avoid it looking like nothing but “seeking grudge and grievance,” but the SNP has some smart people who are used to a media war against them. It can be made to work.

      Sorry Kenny, asking for more powers doesn’t work. Scotland has been lied to, bullied and cheated by Westminster for far to long. Look at the the whole devolution process to date. At every point, we have had beg for crumbs of what is already ours.

      This political rhetoric is coming to a head, like a nasty boil just waiting to be lanced. It’s up to us now. The people have to do this, bercause the politicians won’t.

      What happened when the people in East Berlin could smell and end to the DDR? They swarmed onto the streets and over the wall and could not be stopped. They took that final step and got their country back.

      The tories are taking the piss, all of them, blue red and yellow. People have to take the final step themselves.
      Rejecting the unionist parties in Scotland unequivically at the Holyrood elections won’t be enough if the SNP don’t ask for a mandate in their manifesto. If they don’t then it’s time to vote them out.

    133. yesindyref2 says:

      People ask why FFA when we want Independence?

      I think from the Union point of view that if they had delivered FFA it would have blunted the urge for Independence, set it back some years, and reduced the current support for Indy from 50% perhaps even down to 30%. The UK itself has problems, and perhaps from that they could have addressed their own Constitutional problems, a rise in interest from the “regions”, Yorskire, North-East, North-West, South-West, London and Midlands. And perhaps slowly moved to a full federal system which could work if there were enough English federal regions rather than the one big overwelming voting block.

      From our point of view, the Scottish Government would have had most of the full powers to grow the economy, tackle social justice, and differentiate ourselves from the UK way of doing things (austerity austerity austerity). It would have had to include full borrowing powers. It would demonstrate that Scotland was able to stand mostly alone, we would have had most of the Ministries set up, and far more control over our economy. A big step towards Independence for those who like the idea, but were too cautious to step out and grab it with both hands last September.

      Would it last? Perhaps, perhaps not. I doubt England would move to an internal federal system, and even if so it could take decades. Meanwhile Scotland would give say £3.5 billion to Westminster for defence, including Trident which many don’t like, as also many don’t like the UK’s “foreign adventures”. Another sum of money for International affairs which would prevent us from realising the full potential of “Scotland the Brand”. And of course we would have no control over the money supply, interest rates. Once the rest of the pwoers and levers were assimilated and used, dissatisfaction might grow again. Meanwhile though it would be as stable fiscally as the current devolution settlement.

      It would most likely delay Independence but on the othre hand would make it less “risky”, as we’d already have most of the neccessary in place. That’s the gradualist approach, and as well as supporting the flat out Indy or bust approach, I supported the gradualist approach, still do.

      But as for what this actual Scotland Act will actually give us, you can stuff it.

    134. Angra Mainyu says:

      Ben, “Federalism within the UK is not a feasible option because of…”

      I won’t bother pasting your list of reasons which is rather flimsy in my opinion.

      What you should understand is that population size is also given as a reason for a Federal structure making sense in the UK.

      You might also bear in mind that similar arguments to those you are making here against Federalism were given in respect of and against Devolution. Identical arguments actually.

      The upshot is that, however piecemeal, this is the direction Scotland is heading in at the moment in relation to the UK.

      Note: there is nothing in principle or practicality that would stop Scotland having a Federal relationship with the UK whilst Wales and NI enjoyed the more fully incorporated relationship they have now.

    135. galamcennalath says:

      A short play based on the likely negotiations between the Scottish Government and Westminster sometime in late summer 2015.

      Act 1, Scene 1

      A large meeting room in Whitehall with representatives from each side.

      Nicola Stugeon, “You made solemn promises in the referendum campaign to give us real economic powers. We won a mandate in the General Election. We won a further mandate in the recent Scottish Elections. Your party, the Tories, have no mandate in Scotland. So now we demand you accept the democratic will of the Scottish people and deliver real powers to the Scottish Parliament.”

      David Cameron, “Points noted. It’s been nice meeting up with you again Nicola. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

      The End

    136. yesindyref2 says:

      I didn’t finish the second last paragraph properly. I’d add:

      It’s almost inevitable that this would bring about an eventual rise of support for full Independence, but with far less arguments to use against it, making it more certain for the next Ref – which might, however, be a few years later. it would make it a straight choice: YES or NO.

    137. ClanDonald says:

      A major reason that I voted yes in last year’s referendum was because of the likelihood thatthe Tories would try to implement exactly this kind of scenario. It was clear from the Strathclyde commission that they’ve been planning this for a long time.

      I voted against it then and, given the chance, I would still vote against it again now.

    138. Bill McLean says:

      Luigi – sorry to have to disagree with you but remember Alex offered to have FFA/Devo Max on the referendum ballot!
      Did any of all those supporters of FFA/Devo Max come forward? Take them for fools at our peril. They know that devolution of broadcasting, full tax raising etc would quickly lead to independence – they also know that Westminster cannot afford to allow it. Diversion is working against us so far. We must reject the in-between options as we are only playing into unionist hands and concentrate on the persuadable who appear to be increasing by the day. Hard-line unionists only have time for one kind of nationalism – British!

    139. Sensible LenziePar says:

      They could tell Westminster, “We’ve passed it on to Chilcott; we’ll get back to you.”

    140. Capella says:

      Re picture caption: the Trojan Horse only held a few soldiers. They then snuck out at night and opened the gates for the army to enter. Clever.

    141. ian says:

      Why not have a referendum next year when the New Scottish Devolution bill is announced and put it to the people of Scotland its all very democratic so WM could’nt complain.The BBC and the MSN’s heads would be spinning and it would also let the SNP of the hook.Seems a no brainer and would also force many no voters to confront the issues they dont want to hear or dont know about.Seems a win win for the SNP.

    142. Marian says:

      It would be extremely surprising if the leadership of the SNP allowed themselves to be bounced into accepting a Scotland Bill that is a poisoned chalice for Scotland and by default the SNP.

      Its a sad fact that there hasnt been any scrutiny or criticism of the Bill in the media but all of that will change when MSP’s get the opportunity to scrutinise the Bill in detail line by line, and these details become known to Scots voters.

      The SNP’s majority of MSP’s can then vote against accepting the Bill when it comes to a vote for approval at Holyrood.

    143. seanair says:

      Doncha’ love all this pooling and sharing?
      Re the Smith Commission, why doesn’t Lord Smith write a letter to all the rags explaining how he feels at his conclusions being sliced and diced in Westminster? Oh of course he’s a Lord–he can’t upset the applecart.

    144. David McDowell says:

      O/T

      I think Mitchell proved the case against Carmichael.

      He drew an unambiguously clear line between a “political” lie and a “personal” lie.

      A “political” lie is one told in the arena of public discourse, where one politician openly accuses another of duplicity and an opponent denies it, and the electorate can decide for themselves which, if any, is telling the truth.

      A “personal” lie is one told outside the arena of public discourse, where a politician conceals from public view a dirty little secret about themselves that neither the electorate, nor any political opponent, can deny, since only the liar, and perhaps one or two privileged confidantes, has access to the truth.

      That makes it crystal clear: Carmichael’s lie was “personal”, not “political”.

    145. Iona says:

      But here’s the thing. While I fully understand why people are reticent about raising tax is that not what eventually has to happen to the higher earners if we are ever going to make this a fairer society. Is that not what we constantly complaining is not happening at a UK level?

      Perhaps we forget what we have in Scotland. I was commenting recently to a friend that I was hearing more and more English voices around. There is a reason people want to live in Scotland … and it is not the weather!!!

      I believe that many many people want to live in this country because of it’s commitment to a fairer society. In that respect we are all ‘strivers’ to use that most obnoxious of terms.

      So what about the tax? I read an article yesterday in Bella where it was suggested that people earning in excess of 50K should perhaps experience increased rates of tax by 3p/£? It drew the kind of comments you might expect but …
      if I understand this correctly (please tell me if this calculation is wrong) it would mean that it would take someone on an income in excess of 90K to be paying an extra £1200 in tax. Less than the much feared and publicised £1300 loss which Osborne intends should be picked up by our most vulnerable members of society.

      Shopping in Waitrose v foodbank
      This is not about making the well off poor. This is about asking them to pay more because they can.

      Something has got to give.

    146. DerekM says:

      @ Capella

      Aye Capella and it led the the phrase beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

      I cant remember who said it but it sticks with me ,why beware of Greeks bearing gifts it should be beware of Trojans as they are well stupid.

    147. Jimbo says:

      It is patently obvious that when conspiring together to achieve their shared goal to damage the SNP that these Unionist parties were well aware that their ploy would also do serious damage to Scotland’s economy and people.

      It speaks volumes of the people who govern us from London that they are prepared to wilfully undermine Scotland’s economy and financially hurt Scotland’s people for their own narrow political interests – while at the same time asking us to vote for their dishonest and unprincipled political parties and to reject the only political party in history to put Scotland and her people first.

      The 2014 referendum result must have convinced them that Scotland’s people really are stupid. This is the Union dividend. This is what they call better together.

      I sincerely hope that Scotland’s SNP government jettison this contemptible Scotland Bill.

    148. Sinky says:

      From the TNS Poll showing SNP support at 58%, Ms Sturgeon emerged as the favourite party leader, with 44 per cent saying they like her (scoring between 7 and 10) while 25 per cent disliked her (scoring 1-4). The SNP leader is held in high regard by SNP supporters (82 per cent like her) and is the most popular party leader among undecided voters (liked by 28 per cent). She is also liked by more Labour supporters (32 per cent) than Ms Dugdale (25 per cent).

    149. Les Wilson says:

      For those interested in the Willie McRae case, as I am anyway,
      have a look at this.
      http://www.justiceforwillie.com/

    150. Rock says:

      The SNP’s slowly slowly softly softly approach was extremely successful, giving us a Yes-No referendum.

      But now it has reached a dead end.

      The SNP should now have full independence as its top priority and reject the Scotland Bill.

      Losing the 2016 election will be a better alternative to being in charge of the trap created by the unionists.

      Bring back the 56 SNPs now and stand on a full independence manifesto in 2016.

      Let them take our SNP representatives to the UK supreme court like the Catalonians. We will all be part of the mob that accompanies them. At least 45% of us.

    151. muttley79 says:

      @Bill McLean

      Muttley 79 – do you really believe they will ever give us control over the media? Do you really believe they will ever give us full control over our economy? Wise up! Westminster will NEVER give Scotland control over anything that will move us closer to Independence. With respect I’m amazed that people keep pushing this FFA, Devo Max even federalism line. We will NEVER be allowed anything that will better life for people in Scotland. The only way is Independence. Learn from their history and their historical greed! You are allowing yourself to be diverted from our aims and the only people that suits is those who have no regard, respect or concern for people in Scotland – in other words unionists!!

      Where did I say that FFA is going to be delivered in my post? That is right I never said it was going to be!.. My post was in relation to the Scotland Bill, and I was merely saying that I would prefer FFA to the status quo, or the coming status quo. I am really not sure why you have jumped in on my post given that I never commented about delivery.

    152. Ruby says:

      Doug Daniel says:
      12 November, 2015 at 11:45 am
      That is their first priority. It’s possible to be against independence but still put the interests of Scotland first (although I obviously think putting Scotland first inevitably leads to independence), but these people choose not to do that. Labour do not think “would devolving this be beneficial for Scotland?”, they think “would devolving this lead to independence?” That’s all they care about. They would turn Scotland into a barren wasteland if that was what they had to do to stop support for independence.

      Ruby replies

      Mr Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland) (LD):
      My objection to full fiscal autonomy remains that, in my view, it constitutes effectively independence by the back door, and therefore it does not respect the decision we reached as a nation last September.
      House of Commons 8th June 2015 Scotland Bill debate

      Sir Edward Leigh:
      Could it just be that the Tory right, as the hon. Gentleman describes it, and the present Labour shadow Chancellor both recognise that the one way to defeat nationalism is to have a real Parliament in Scotland with full power over what it taxes and spends and that at that stage the SNP will have to take responsibility for its own actions? It will become a grown-up political party and we will start to defeat it in Scotland.
      House of Commons 9th November 2015

    153. Robert Peffers says:

      @Colin Dunn says: 12 November, 2015 at 12:08 pm:

      ” …However, does the Scottish Government have the power to hold such a referendum?”

      No Colin, the Scottish Government does not have the power to hold a referendum but the legally Sovereign people they represent do.

      The entire history of this damned Union has hinged upon a certain fact. The independent Scottish Legal System has been the main barrier to English domination since 1320 and the Declaration of Arbroath.

      Facts – In 1603 the law of the three country Kingdom of England was still, “The Divine Right of Kings”, thus when James VI of Scotland inherited the English Crown he could, under Kingdom of England law, have just tagged the three country Kingdom onto his existing Scottish Kingdom as per Divine Right. No such thing happened as James, not being sovereign in Scotland, had no, “Divine Right”, to do so. We the Sovereign People hold that legal right.

      James moved to England where he was sovereign and only once returned to Scotland but he tried the rest of his life to form a union.

      In 1688 the English Parliament seized power and deposed James II of England but lacked the legal power to depose James VII as Scotland was still independent. The English imported King Billy and Queen Mary of Orange but removed from them the Royal veto over parliament, (took away their Divine Right). This made the three country Kingdom of England a Constitutional Monarchy but not only could they not legally depose the King Of Scots but they could not make Scotland part of that Constitutional Monarchy.

      That was what the Jacobite Uprisings were really about and these continued for almost 40 years AFTER the forced Treaty Of Union. That Union had/has only two signatory kingdoms as the English, under Divine Right, had annexed Wales in 1284 and all Ireland in 1542. It is a bipartite union of two legally equally sovereign partners.

      In 1689 the Scots made a Claim of Right and again in 1989. Those Claims of Right really are reasserting that the people of Scotland are still legally sovereign and as such, if a majority of us decide to end the Union then we legally can do so.

      Ironically three prominent names on that second Claim of Right were Alistair Darling, Gordon Brown and Donald Dewar. These cynical political frauds signed to aver we Scots are legally Sovereign yet campaigned to have us remain in a marriage like union in which we have become an increasingly abused equally sovereign partner.

      The time has come to seek a legal Divorce Decree Absolute on the ever increasing grounds of mental and physical cruelty.

    154. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      Okay Admiral Ackbar, let’s leave aside the fact that there is ZERO chance of Nicola dumbly walking into a ‘trap’ everyone BUT EVERYONE knew was coming. (at least you didn’t claim walking into it would kill the SNP STONE DEAD, which is something)

      If you really want to help Stu then you exert what influence you have and make sure as many people as possible STOP calling it the Scotland Bill and name it correctly and truthfully as Cameron’s Scotland Bill.

      I mean all the time and at every single opportunity you have until the Scottish public cannot move without hearing about Cameron’s Scotland Bill.

      You do that and the chances of it ever being accepted by scots becomes vanishingly small.

      It really is THAT simple.

    155. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      Okay then Admiral Ackbar, let’s leave aside the fact that there is ZERO chance of Nicola dumbly walking into a ‘trap’ everyone BUT EVERYONE knew was coming. (at least you didn’t claim walking into it would kill the SNP STONE DEAD, which is something)

      If you really want to help Stu then you exert what influence you have and make sure as many people as possible STOP calling it the Scotland Bill and name it correctly and truthfully as Cameron’s Scotland Bill.

      I mean all the time and at every single opportunity you have until the Scottish public cannot move without hearing about Cameron’s Scotland Bill.

      You do that and the chances of it ever being accepted by scots becomes vanishingly small.

      It really is THAT simple.

    156. ronnie anderson says:

      Yakety Yak ALL THE WHILE OUR MONEY FLOWS SOUTH

      HMRC job losses is another way of hampering a Independant Scottish Gov. I,ve said it before Westminster WILL LAY WASTE TO SCOTTISH STUCTURES & INDUSTRIES BEFORE INDEPENDENCE.

      Make no mistake here People,we,re not getting anything from Westminster,as several posters have said look at the history.

      McCrone report, now what were they frightened of at that time SNP & Independence. Now there,s more OIL & more still to be discovered West Coast,they need us more than we need them.

    157. Proud Cybernat says:

      The Scottish Govt. is merely allowing the London Tory Govt. enough time and rope to finally bury the Devo-Max ruse (lie) once and for all.

      Devo-Maxers in Scotland (of which there is a sizeable percentage) must be shown that their idea of Devo Max is very different to London’s idea of it–and never shall the twais meet. Devo Max will simply NEVER happen. That is the message that must be hammered home to every single Devo Max supporter in Scotland. It is OFF the table and, in truth, was never really on it.

      There is little point in the Scottish Govt. seeking more powers from the Tory Govt. in London because there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of anything of any substance or significance ever being devolved from London; nothing that will allow Scotland true control of its own destiny.

      As many here have oft said: Devolution must be GIVEN (by London). Independence is TAKEN by us. It is THAT simple.

      Right now we are in the Devo Max endgame where it will now becoem Crystal Clear as to the extent London is prepared to go in devolving power. And when that becoems clear to the Devo Maxers they will have a choice. Do you accept London’s ‘offer’ of Devo-Nano/Poisoned chalice or are you now prepared to bite the bullet, accept the reality of Scotland’s constitutional straight-jacket and opt for full independence?

      That is where we are at. And that is the choice that will very soon be confronting the Devo Maxers. I just hope they see sense and bite the bullet.

      (Note: Caps for emphasis only–not shouting at anyone, honest).

    158. Ethan Blair says:

      “Iain Gray’s Subway Lament says:
      I mean all the time and at every single opportunity you have until the Scottish public cannot move without hearing about Cameron’s Scotland Bill.

      You do that and the chances of it ever being accepted by scots becomes vanishingly small.

      It really is THAT simple.”

      There’s probably allot of truth in that.
      At least when it fails it’ll be seen as Cameron’s Failure.

    159. JimF says:

      I don’t know how the numbers stack up, but how about reducing the top rate of tax to draw the millionaires in, and cutting airport duty to allow commuting. A higher value vat take may offset it.

    160. Ruby says:

      One of my main reasons for voting YES was that I don’t want to live in a warmongering country with the 4th largest defence budget in the world, a country with weapons of mass destruction, a country that goes to war illegally.

      I would never have voted for devo-max or FFA had their been that option.

      I would be happy with FFA if that did as Alistair Carmichael suggested led to Independence by the back door.

      NO voters have given Westminster carte blanche to do whatever they like with Scotland and most definitely what they would like is to destroy the SNP and ensure Scotland is an economic basket case.

    161. North Chiel says:

      Galamcennalth , yes a “stalking horse” it needs to be “flushed out” .absolutely,
      this then can be used as a lever for 2nd referendum. The post from “Taranaich” posted at 0256pm
      looks to be a very good proposal or something along similar lines to this .Denying the “sovereign will of the Scottish people” is surely a “material change in circumstances”??

    162. Ruby says:

      Cameron’s Scotland Bill is that where English Tories with the support of English Labour tell Scotland what they can and can’t have?

      Cameron’s Scotland Bill that was voted through by English votes?

      English votes for Scotland Bill.

    163. yesindyref2 says:

      @Rock
      As one of the 45% who voted YES I won’t be part of that mob, and I doubt many others will be either.

      We had our first Independence Referendum last September and 55% voted NO, that’s a democratic majority. Until Indy Ref 2 that majority stands. The only exceptions are:

      1). if Indy Ref 2 is refused by Westminster
      2). Indy Ref 2 returns a YES majority and Westminster refuses to honour it.

      Then I’ll be there, but at the moment the only democratic vote so far has been for NO. Democracy is majority rule or it’s nothing.

    164. Ruby says:

      ‘HMRC reorganisation could see 2,500 Scots jobs go’

    165. Bill McLean says:

      Muttley 79 – nowhere in my post did I write that you suggested or wrote that FFA would be “delivered” – although from reading your post again (1238) it would appear to suggest that you do believe that! “I support FFA because etc” and “We would have etc” would imply some expectation of that situation. You write “I am really not sure why you have jumped in on my post”. As a continual reader, and sometime poster, I believed that was the point of posting – so that others, who agree or otherwise, could follow the topic. Surely, by now, those of us who want the best for our country and the people who live here, realize that Westminster will NEVER do anything that reduces their income from Scotland as FFA/Devo-Max or federalism would do!

    166. Rock says:

      Robert Peffers,

      “No Colin, the Scottish Government does not have the power to hold a referendum but the legally Sovereign people they represent do.”

      How does that work in practice?

      “Sovereign” my foot.

    167. Wuffing Dug says:

      @Ronnie Anderson @4.16

      I believe that the British government is trying to disrupt north Sea oil export infrastructure through targeted early decommissioning campaigns.

      The oil will then be tankered to ports / processing facilities of their choice by-passing the existing network in Scotland entirely.

      Some platforms are hubs, you take them out of the equation the whole system ceases to function.

      Look at the situation right now with BP / schiehallion field / sullom Voe.

      Is that whole thing just bullshit? They can’t process the crude there? Really?

      Needs investigating….

    168. Rock says:

      yesindyref2,

      “but at the moment the only democratic vote so far has been for NO. Democracy is majority rule or it’s nothing.”

      The referendum was extremely undemocratic.

      Have you forgotten Pravda GB’s role in it?

      The supposedly ‘neutral’ Electoral Commission went as far as to distribute the No campaign’s propaganda for it at public expense because the No camapign itself didn’t have the manpower to do it.

      The purring queen intervened on behalf of No.

      Then there was the ‘Vow’.

      We don’t live in a democracy, never have and never will until we have the guts to be part of a mob that brings down the establishment, peacefully Ghandian style of course.

    169. Luigi says:

      I think most of us now agree that we are fast approaching the time when rope-a-dope has run it’s course, the gloves come off and the real fight-back begins. The exact timing of this I’m not sure, TBH, although when “Cameron’s” watered down Scotland Bill finally reaches Holyrood seems to be a likely opportunity. Then all hell breaks loose. 🙂

    170. Alastair says:

      It’s not the Scoland Bill
      It’s the Scotland Bile.

    171. Iain More says:

      I wouldn’t waste time renegotiating the Scotland Bill. I wouldn’t even waste the steam of a one of my shites on it.

      The Election next May should be nothing less than a Referendum on Constitutional Progress. Give Westmidden one year to legislate for Devo Max or we go UDI.

      The SNP should against the Scotland Bill in that context.

    172. Andrew McLean says:

      O/T
      Carmichael trial concludes, just watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmE03oktbpk And remember that he is a self confessed liar! Nicola wipes the floor with him, pompous bastard!I Know play the ball not the man but he is the ball, and in so many ways!

    173. Jamie says:

      I wonder why you are against FFA or DEVO MAX? Scotland would be better off if it had control of everything except defence? Why are you against it? Surely if there was a referendum on this issue you would support Devo Max or FFA?

    174. Iain More says:

      Off topic

      On HMRC Mr Grumpy Naw Bag was greetin intae his pint about how his son might lose his job at HMRC in the reorganisation.

      He then went on tae weep intae his dram about how the UKOK Govt is moving to reduce its liabilities in relation to UKOK Banks by reducing the guaranteed safe deposit limit to 75K from 85K.

      I just love those Unionist Dividends!

    175. Jamie says:

      I just noticed someone else asked and you answered my question.

      You say the defence budget is too big but the white paper suggested spending a similar amount but on patrol vessels and other things as needed so I presume the SNP felt that the defence budget would be affordable.

      If Scotland can not survive without barnett (which i do not believe I think Scotland would prosper) best find out with devo max and be bailed out by england rather than go full independent and fall flat on the face, no?

    176. Onwards says:

      @Iona

      The problem with raising income tax is our particular situation, where it is possible for some of the highest earners to switch their declared place of residency between Scotland or England.

      It only takes a handful of the very highest earners to relocate to end up losing money on the highest band.

      http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/72837.aspx

      Only 0.55% of taxpayers pay at the highest rate, but they account for 15% of total income tax in Scotland.

      Adjusting the 40% rate, the Scottish Government could gain a few hundred million more the first year, but at the price of making Scotland relatively uncompetitive for new investment whilst we are still part of the UK. It would result in a gradual relative decline.

      There is a good reason that income tax is the only main tax that is being devolved, and it isn’t to benefit this country.

      If we had a broad range of taxes we could spread the costs across business and individuals, or target certain areas to grow the economy.

    177. heedtracker says:

      To think we could have booted out these imperial master/morons for good. Osborne’s in charge.

      http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/nov/12/george-osborne-fights-mod-for-control-of-trident-project

      Rear Adm John Gower, a retired submariner, said that building a new generation of submarines is a task of epic proportions. Gower told the Times: “You have to fit, within a steel tube capable of silently surviving at great depth, the nuclear reactor and the propulsion and power generation trains, complex electrical, water, high pressure air and hydraulic systems.

      “On top of that you have weapon systems, both tactical and strategic, electronics, computers and the sensors and sonars. After all of that, you must squeeze in people and the facilities for them to live for months at a time.”

      At least he’s learning how they work, rancid The Graun gives our government one line

      The Scottish National party is due to hold a Commons debate on Trident later this month. It could table a vote to highlight divisions in the Labour party.

    178. Angra Mainyu says:

      Iona: “But here’s the thing. While I fully understand why people are reticent about raising tax is that not what eventually has to happen to the higher earners if we are ever going to make this a fairer society. Is that not what we constantly complaining is not happening at a UK level?”

      Not necessarily. You can redistribute wealth and tackle poverty without raising Tax, by increasing economic productivity and growth, for example. This is precisely what the SNP are committed to doing.

      The problem with simply taxing and increasing welfare is that it doesn’t address the underlying problem which is unemployment (to a large extent). Better to treat the disease rather than the symptoms, if you follow.

      Create lots of jobs and economic activity and not only do you reduce welfare dependency but you get more to spend through taxation. It’s a win-win.

      The appeal of independence is that we would be able to nurture our economy, invest in areas of growth and potential like the Germans do, rather than simply trying to attract low-skilled and low-paid jobs such as that found in call centres.

    179. yesindyref2 says:

      @Jamie
      At the time of the White Paper, Scotland’s share of the UK defence budget was around £3.5 billion, and the SNP’s proposal was for £2.5 billion. On International Relations, as in embassies, the White Papre proposal was quite modest, and after all we would be able to use the EU embassies including the UK ones, and the UK uses Canadian ones etc.

      I suspect Scotalnd would want to spend proportionately more to help the Scotland Brand, but rather than plush old empire style fixed ambassadors we’d have visiting ambassadors responsible for say 6, and mostly a trade mission, but that’s just my visuatlisation.

      I think probably the cost of defence + IE would be the same FFA or Indy, but we’d get more for our groats in terms of bringing business in and out of Scotland. One of the huge benefits of iScotland is Scotland the Brand, which is fairly weak now submerged under the UK but couldn’t help but grow enormously with Indy. FFA would grow the brand a little because ScotGov would have more resouces and clout, but nowhere near as much.

    180. Andrew McLean says:

      O/T
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v56WJQrG9Q

      a nice little sing along, catchy tune all about our state broadcaster, And this link is for any odd Journalist who may be passing http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tim-knight/bill-c60_b_3293764.html

    181. velofello says:

      Credit to the SNP MPs, they have taken the insulting behaviour of Westminster procedures and its Unionist members with quiet dignity.We should be proud of them.

      I’m confident that the shrewd political brains of the SNP, Westminster and Holyrood will set an astute course of response and action to this worthless Scotland Bill.

      There is a movement to kickstart Yes2. Headlined posters and flyers will be needed for street stalls identifying the reality of the Scotland Bill, and the clear Tory strategy to “bind Scotland closer”, by impoverishing her Holyrood parliament’s ability to meet the needs of the people – income support; defence resources; renewable energy; NHS; now HMRC.

    182. Thepnr says:

      O/T but i don’t think you’ll want to miss this.

      Independence Live in association with kiltr talking to Yanis Varoufakis about all subjects under the sun and hopefully in relation to Independence for Scotland.

      Big live turnout hoped for, try and see this.

      http://livestream.com/IndependenceLive/YanisVaroufakis

    183. yesindyref2 says:

      Sorry, IR not IE – International relations.

    184. Angra Mainyu says:

      Proud Cybernat, I read your post above with interest.

      You said, “As many here have oft said: Devolution must be GIVEN (by London). Independence is TAKEN by us. It is THAT simple.”

      I had a discussion with this earlier with Rev. I think, like him, you need to distinguish between Devo-Max in principle and Devo-Max in reality.

      Devo-Max in principle makes a lot of sense, hence the appeal. The country is divided — we could debate how much by — and not everybody here, sadly, wants independence. I think as soon as you accept that fact you are heading in the direction of saying one of two things;

      1) to hell with those who want to be part of the UK

      or

      2) we should accommodate those who want to remain part of the UK.

      You need to be pragmatic and realistic. And I assume we all want to be reasonable.

      What you need to remember though is that everything is transitory until we reach the terminus of independence. Opting for Devo-Max in 2017 doesn’t mean we will have Devo-Max in 2027. By then mood might have changed, the Westminster sociopaths might have embroiled us in another illegal war.

      I quote you above and the reason I did so was to ask you this; who is going to take independence and when? I don’t see anybody taking much right now.

      The SNP are committed to playing by the political rules and so is everybody else it seems. That means they need Westminster approval for anything resembling a referendum on constitutional matters. I wish it were otherwise.

    185. Thepnr says:

      O/T But this is well worth watching and starting soon at 18:00.

      Independence Live together with kiltr are interviewing Yanis Varoufakis and will be discussing all kinds of subjects hopefully some in relation to Scotland and Independence.

      livestream.com/IndependenceLive/YanisVaroufakis

      Hoping for a large number of viewers, will be well worth watching. Sorry for the late notification.

    186. Jamie says:

      @yesindyref2

      So a third less but still pretty large. I guess it should not be too much trouble to propose a veto on defence or even have a referendum on a deco max that includes defence this way we can control and cut budget as and when.

    187. The Isolator says:

      Proud Cybernat @ 4.16

      That’s exactly how I see it.The Devo Maxers are crucial to us getting over the line to Independence.

      Devo Max was always a mirage,was never on any table and never will be, hence the clunking fist and federalism intervention followed by the vow pish.

      The day Cameron stood on the steps of Bute House with AS having signed the Edinburgh Agreement was the day the union ended and they both knew it.

    188. yesindyref2 says:

      Off at a Tangent
      It’s funny, in my early days of posting on the Grun from Jan 12 on and later, there were a couple of annoying Unionist posters waffling on about IR, and it’s kind of an offputter so you just want to make some answer and shut down the rubbish.

      But IR is perhaps the most important reason externally for Scotland going Indy. As a small 5.31 million population we can’t exactly throw our weight around militarily but the influence small nations have in the world can be vastly greater than the small population.

      For instance way back Sweden with a population now of 9.6 million was known worldwide for medical stuff, and along with Switzerland population 8 million, for Red Cross, aid, refugee and such like. Norway pop 5 million and Denmark 5.6 million, are largely responsible militarily for the Barents Sea fo GIUK gap, at least for regular patrol purposes. Ireland seems to be universally popular.

      I’ve no doubt Scotland would succeed in IR terms with a very different ouotlook from the current UK, and be very successful, with our own brand of contribution and even worldwide influence. And an economy growth would rise from that as well.

      A lesson from that could be to watch what Unionists are going on about most, because perhaps they’re betraying the weakest part of their arguments against Indy.

    189. McDuff says:

      From day 1 the SNP should have stated that their only goal is independence and should never have flirted with “more powers“ or that they might accept federalism.
      The SNP is the party of independence that’s why I vote for them, its independence or nothing.

    190. Phil Robertson says:

      “The only means available to the Scottish Government to generate cash to protect the victims of the cuts will be the power to raise income tax.”

      This is, of course, nonsense.

      Have you forgotten already the devolution of APD which is revenue raising? But more significant are council tax and business rates which raise roughly half the amount that income tax does. Of course, the SNP has chosen to impose a council tax freeze.

    191. yesindyref2 says:

      @Jamie
      A paper by Crawford and March “A’ the Blue Bonnets: Defending an Independent Scotland” had an annual budget of £1.6 billion worked out. Problem being with that in my opinion was that mainly army people, the airforce particularly was thrown in by them as an afterthought with subsonic Hawks being thought capable of intercepting supersonic jets. Ummm.

      Makes a good read though:

      https://rusi.org/rusi-news/blue-bonnets-defending-independent-scotland

    192. Dr Jim says:

      Look at the motivation of the Yoons, they need to rid themselves of the SNP, how do they do it?

      Crush Scotland any way they can in the hope the population will do the job for them and rid them of this Cancer (SNP)
      and get back to business as usual

      I’m far from a financial expert but even I’ve seen this one coming for a long time and I certainly hope that unless John Swinney has an alternative secret clever scheme up his sleeve then this Bill in all it’s Tricksy forms should be completely and totally Spurned, Rejected, Returned to sender and shoved up their Lily white Arses

      Let the UK Government Implement the cuts and taxes they want without blaming it on the SNP

    193. yesindyref2 says:

      @Jamie
      Another very interesting resource to look at is NORDEFCO. It’s not a military alliance, though it could be a base of a sub-alliance, but more of a defence spend co-operation.

      http://www.nordefco.org/

    194. galamcennalath says:

      The Isolator says:

      “Devo Maxers are crucial to us getting over the line to Independence.

      Devo Max was always a mirage,was never on any table and never will be”

      Precisely. IMO the route to Indy is to get DevoMax advocates to realise it won’t happen and support independence as the the only way for Scotland to move forward.

      It IS happening. And, WM are certainly playing their part, slowly but surely.

      Presumably WM is gambling on DevoMaxers accepting what’s on offer, continuing to be afraid of Indy, or simply wanting to remain UK citizens. Well, IMO they are more likely to move to Indy.

      Many WERE already onboard for Indy when the Vow and associated promises swung them back to No. These people should be very soft targets!

    195. Fran says:

      @ Phil Rob

      So your solution is to tax everyone in Scotland to the max, crushing growth, crushing spending power, strangle the economy, while all the time WM squeeze us in the block grant.

      Aye good economics there

    196. David McDowell says:

      Torrance was a parliamentary aide to David Mundell so we can work out what his constitutional preference is without reading any of his tripe.

    197. yesindyref2 says:

      @Phil Robertson
      You forgot aggregates tax worth £45 million. Wow. Sadly taxes such as aggregates and APD are already budgetted for, and already taken into account in Barnett.

      Council tax and business rates plusses and cons, and policy. Raise the taxes and decrease other spending and employment. Drop them, take less revenue, increase spending and employment.

      For Scotland to benefit from with increased income tax, NI, corporation tax, VAT … Oh, I forgot, most of these aren;t going to be devolved. Well, Phil, you just made the case for FFA instead of SFA.

      Next.

    198. I Clark says:

      kininvie says:
      12 November, 2015 at 2:25 pm
      (I Clark)
      Over to you SNP. You wanted power. You got it. You’ve got the support and trust of at least half the people of this country. Make the hard decisions.

      It’s not up to the ‘party’ as some abstract body, to make hard decisions – those who are members are the party. It’s your decision. You have the power – and the responsibility….

      I agree with you that the SNP’s members are the party. But I am not an SNP member, so it’s not my decision. I consider it’s my responsibility to do my best to help bring about independence. So, as a member of ‘the Yes movement as a whole’ I am trying to contribute to the wider debate. I did say the problems were ‘Not easy problems to solve’ and offered my own opinion. The post was partly an expression of support for the SNP.

    199. yesindyref2 says:

      @David McDowell
      What’s noticeable is that Torrance seems to hang around with Gardham and Carrell. And vice versa.

    200. Brian Powell says:

      I wonder if Tory No voters thought they would have immunity from their Government’s cuts?

    201. yesindyref2 says:

      OT (well, what isn’t these dayu)
      From the National (LPW): “For Carmichael, Roddy Dunlop hit back, appealing to the court that “a man is not to be convicted on an ambiguity” arguing that “to end a man’s political career on the basis of something blurted out in a TV interview” would be disproportionate.

      Bad word “blurted”, for Carmichael’s case that it was poltiical not personal. If it was a politically thought out plan to lie, then it’s not very likely he would have “blurted” it out on TV. But if it’s personal it’s far more likely.

      It could be Dunlop has helped to seal the case against Carmichael.

    202. Phil Robertson says:

      Fran says:
      “So your solution is to tax everyone in Scotland to the max, crushing growth, crushing spending power, strangle the economy”
      In word, no.

      yesindyref2 says:
      “You forgot aggregates tax worth £45 million.”
      No, I didn’t – indeed I was making the point that income tax wasn’t the ONLY revenue.

      “aggregates and APD are already budgetted for” but you can still change the rates.

      “Council tax .. drop them … increase … employment.”
      That will be why numbers of public sector employees is at an all-time LOW following the council tax freeze!

    203. Duncan Gray says:

      I like the idea of a referendum on the Scotland bill. I’d like to see them sell that to the Scottish electorate. I think the danger of accepting it to demonstrate its uselessness could cause years of explaining and bickering. A ref would free snp from obligation of ‘more powers’

    204. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      JUst picked this up from Facebook. Published on 17th September, 2014…

      “Thousands of tax officials who deal with Londoners and other people in Britain face losing their jobs in Scotland if it votes for independence, experts warned today.

      Just under 8,500 people are employed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in Scotland, the vast majority of them full-time staff. But if the UK splits up after a Yes vote HMRC is expected to shut its offices in Scotland and move their work south to other centres over a period of time.”

      https://archive.is/oP9b6

      Yi kidnae mak it up…

    205. robertknight says:

      O/T

      Bet the words ” Better Together ” sound somewhat hollow in the minds of those HMRC employees in East Kilbride who voted No last year…

    206. Ken500 says:

      High earners (companies) in the UK register as Non Doms and tax evade. They pay no tax in the UK. The Press is owned by tax evading Non Doms. The Mail, Telegraph, Express. The rest are printing companies in Westminster pockets. The business is in the UK and they make vast profits. Many are based in the City of London and pay no tax. It damages British business. An unfair, illegal trading place. The UK tax Laws are not being enforced.

      If Scotland was Independent, they could licence businesses that do pay tax, and enforce the tax Laws.

    207. Ken500 says:

      Vote NO you get nothing. People were warned.

    208. msean says:

      I think that the bill should be rejected,but that is probably what the UK government and their lapdogs want,a dodgy unworkable rubbish that any sane administration would have to reject.

      When it is rejected,the uk government will see it as some kind of political victory that they hope will destroy the SNP and kill independence stone dead as there will be nothing else forthcoming,stretching out the process so long hoping for disillusionment to descend on independence supporters.

      Maybe a referendum on whether to accept the bill or not would be the right move right enough. I don’t know if the Scottish Parliament can do that,and if you have to go to westminster to get permission,then westminsters refuses,then rejection it should be.

    209. Badger says:

      Surely the chickens have come home to roost,the HMRC offices closing the underneath stuff has begun,getting rid of the offices and losing so many jobs.When will we as a nation learn that we really do not come into “Westminsters”fairness.

    210. galamcennalath says:

      Duncan Gray says:

      “I like the idea of a referendum on the Scotland bill.”

      Yes. As long as it is their best offer (SB) versus independence. Because it would appear, if we stay in the Union, the SB is as far as they will go.

      ” I’d like to see them sell that to the Scottish electorate.”

      Which is where the ref on SB falls down. They know it’s a crock of shite! They intend it to be a crock of shite! They certainly don’t intend it to be democratic.

    211. Clootie says:

      The Carmichael case.

      Strange that very little discussion focused on the composer of the memo later leaked by Carmichael’s aid.

      It takes a certain level of incompetence to hear “Good Morning” and translate this into “I hope the Tories win in the General election”

      I suspect Carmichaels involvent goes much, much further than the leak. I suggest he composed, dictated and directed the full circus.

    212. Ghillie says:

      Really useful article Rev Stu, thank you.

      This is a really tough question for people to wrangle, especialy those who read Wings, follow as much of the Westminster politicing as they can stomache and chase up what the rotten msm are putting out as well.

      So what on earth is everyone else who is not so engaged making of this?

      I’m not sure I know exactly how this should be handled, but I do know that I trust the SNP to have a good answer.

    213. handclapping says:

      O/T
      Why will nobody speak for the LibDems? Won’t anyone think of the LibDems? to misquote The Simpsons.
      That TNS is fascinating as an obituary for the Liberal Democratic Party in Scotland.
      Page 15 retention of LibDem GE vote 49% less than half those that voted LibDem in 2015 intent voting LibDem in 2016 !
      Pages 8, 17 They may retain Orkney or get a list in H&I, they have a possible list in both Lothian and Glasgow and that is it.
      2 or 3 LibDems in Holyrood; look on your works Lord Jim of Tonkatown and mightily despair 😀

      But its only a poll and nobody believes them but I know a girl who does
      List Tories – Glasgow 4% Lothian 14%

    214. msean says:

      A referendum would not free the snp from a more powers obligation,it would say to westminster,”this isn’t good enough,the people have rejected it”. I’m sure the obligation for more powers lie with the the side that made the offer in the first place.

      After all,it was the people they made the vow to,so it should actually be up to the people to say yes or no to the offer,now that I think of it.

      This time though,nobody should be allowed to make mad offers to the electorate after free airtime without having to ANSWER questions about the offer from the public as opposed to no questions or hand picked questions from hand picked audiences. Never that again 🙂

    215. galamcennalath says:

      Ken500 says:

      “Vote NO you get nothing. People were warned.”

      They were most certainly warned. Many wanted nothing. Many believed and trusted the messengers of more powers.

      They will, slowly but surely, realise they were wrong and their trust was misplaced.

      Our role is to persuade them if they want more, they have to support Indy.

      As for those who are content with UKOK and the Tories … they are a minority who won’t be converted. That’s their problem, in the long run.

    216. Dr Jim says:

      To all SNP members leaflets are on their way NOW and deliveries will be starting this weekend
      If you haven’t been contacted yet by email or other, contact your branch offices for details of runs and areas

      Your country needs you (big pointy finger thing)

    217. Lochside says:

      The Scotland Bill is a crock of shite and even the dogs in the street know it to be so.

      The Unionist hegemony has been collaborating since 2007 to dismantle and damage the Scottish economy as quickly and as fast as possible. The latest wheeze aimed at undermining the IR in Scotland with a quarter of the jobs going on top of three thousand already lost ( 1/3 of all UK job losses) points the way to the economic armageddon they wish to impose on us.

      The total disdain shown to our representatives in their façade of a democratic institution surely is the last straw. The naked racist and imperialist hatred of our nation and its ambitions is an ugly sight to behold but a salutary one.

      We must reject this legislation as yet another attempt to manacle the neck of a (perceived) subject nation. Our MPs must at some stage walk out physically and symbolically from the de facto English Parliament and accelerate the process of separation.

      As for waiting for the Soft No to come round. Well how long can we wait for hollow men and women to find a spine? Do we need to be subjugated to such a level that the only solution is emigration or abject surrender?

      The SNP must reject this insult root and branch.

    218. Robert Peffers says:

      @JimF says: 12 November, 2015 at 4:23 pm:

      “I don’t know how the numbers stack up, but how about reducing the top rate of tax to draw the millionaires in, and cutting airport duty to allow commuting. A higher value vat take may offset it.”

      Nah! How about not being so bloody stupid?

      That proposed Westminster Bill reminds me of a poem many have heard about but few actually have read. Be my guest : –

      The Spider and the Fly

      “Will you walk into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly;
      “’Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.
      The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
      And I have many pretty things to show when you are there.”
      “O no, no,” said the little fly, “to ask me is in vain,
      For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

      “I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
      Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the spider to the fly.
      “There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin,
      And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in.”
      “O no, no,” said the little fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
      They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed.”

      Said the cunning spider to the fly, “Dear friend, what shall I do,
      To prove the warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
      I have within my pantry good store of all that’s nice;
      I’m sure you’re very welcome; will you please to take a slice?”
      “O no, no,” said the little fly, “kind sir, that cannot be;
      I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see.”

      “Sweet creature!” said the spider, “You’re witty and you’re wise!
      How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
      I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf,
      If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
      “I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you’re pleased to say,
      And bidding you good-morning now, I’ll call another day.”

      The spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
      For well he knew the silly fly would soon be back again:
      So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
      And set his table ready to dine upon the fly.
      Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing
      “Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with the pearl and silver wing:
      Your robes are green and purple; there’s a crest upon your head;
      Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead.”

      Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little fly,
      Hearing his wily flattering words, came slowly flitting by.
      With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew
      Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
      Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
      Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast.
      He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
      Within his little parlour; but she ne’er came out again!

      And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
      To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed;
      Unto an evil counsellor close heart, and ear, and eye,
      And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

      by Mary Howitt (1799-1888).

      Do I need spell out who is the spider and who is the fly?

    219. R-type Grunt says:

      Scotland Free or a Desert!

    220. Nana says:

      @Thepnr

      Ta much for the link to Yanis which is excellent.

      He says at the end “the media, the main battlefield for democracy” how true!

    221. Sheryl Hepworth says:

      What ever happened to the ”NO DETRIMENT” bit?? The Scotland Bill, as it stands is definitely detrimental to Scotland!!!

    222. Lesley-Anne says:

      Apologies if this has already been posted but here is the list of *ahem* panelists for tonight’s “let’s put S******d down and treat its people as second class citizens” show a.k.a. Question Time.

      Panellist Sajid Javid Tory
      Panellist Lucy Powell Labour
      Panellist Paul Nuttall UKIP
      Panellist Paris Lees Journalist presenter and transgender rights activist
      Panellist Stig Abell Sun editor

      I wonder how far into the *cough* programme we’ll get before the anti S******d mentality breaks out. 😉

    223. Ken500 says:

      The Councils waste £Million/Billions of taxpayers money. GCC is corrupt. Edinburgh CC wasted £1/4Billion on half a tramline. ACC are spending £33Million doing up an Art Gallery.. They refused a Gift of £80Million to pedestrianise the City Centre and are building a carbuncle which will be leased back for thirty years costing £Millions. Against the majority wishes and the pubic interest, People are protesting on the streets.

      Councils get plenty of money for public services and spend it on other things without a mandate. Unionist councils are rubbish. .

    224. galamcennalath says:

      @Lesley-Anne

      QT. We have about one twelfth of the MPs at WM. There are usually 5 panellists. It a politics show.

      Should that not mean five out of every twelve weeks their should be a Scottish pro Indy member on the panel. And, three of those five, it should be an SNP MP/MSP/MEP and the other two, someone like Jeane Freeman?

      Or is expecting balance from the BBC waaaay too much!?

    225. manandboy says:

      Whatever Scotland does with the Scotland Bill, it must do it together. The Westminster Establishment’s plan is to destroy the trust and support for the SNP in Scotland.
      The SNP MUST keep the country together.

      A referendum, even just a nationwide poll, on the Scotland Bill will do that

    226. I say it again you can blog all you want but ad long as you play by their rules you can never win they will make sure you don’t honesty and truth are an enemy to them so they lie it is the only way they can ever hope to win and all your protests are just ignored they treat the 55per cent with the contempt they deserve they treat the rest of us with pure hate as someone said its as if we were holding up a crucifix to a vampire the sheer terror of the truth is unbearable to them so they bury justice and the truth in an unmarked grave you are already at war you better believe it

    227. yesindyref2 says:

      @Phil Robertson
      Don’t be naughty now Phil lad, what I said was:

      “Council tax and business rates plusses and cons, and policy. Raise the taxes and decrease other spending and employment.” Together with the first about APD and aggregates that’s taxes, as are income tax which you mentioned.

      What I DIDN’T say was what you quoted me as:

      ““Council tax .. drop them … increase … employment.””

      Naughty naughty.

    228. Angra Mainyu says:

      Galamcennalath & Isolator,

      You seem a bit too keen on creating a divide between devo-maxers and non devo-maxers. 4 legs good, 2 legs bad.

      It’s potentially an entertaining dichotomy but the truth is it’s nonsensical. Most people I know are both. I’m both.

      There are degrees of independence just as there are degrees of socialism and everything else. You seem to be arguing a sort of purist line that separates you from those of a similar political complexion rather than brings us all closer.

    229. heedtracker says:

      https://www.facebook.com/Reject-Marischal-Square-Development-680385528714395/

      ACC are spending £33Million doing up an Art Gallery.

      Unionist red and blue tory cabal blew over £100 million doing up one of the finest granite buildings in the world, Marischal College. Then they sold their land opposite, replaceing ghastlhy council office block with another giant UKOK white elephant, as well as underwriting developers the risk for 39 years.

      Aberdonians protesting were told by SLAB finance boss Wullie Young to move on. No public meeting, no consultation taken, no opinion sought. Its the UKOK unionist way.

      Wullie Young banned all Saltires from any ACC property, then just for kicks, banned First Minister Alex Salmond from any ACC property too.

      They think they own Scotland. Vote them all out next May.

      https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/news/local/alex-salmond-warned-hes-unwelcome-on-aberdeen-council-property/

      SCOTLAND’S First Minister was today facing a ban from council property in Aberdeen after chiefs declared him “unwelcome”.

      Town House leaders want to bar Alex Salmond and his Ministers from all council-owned facilities, including Marischal College and all schools, parks and sports centres.

      Cllr Willie Young said a motion would be put forward to the council on Wednesday calling for the “no go” until the independence referendum in September.

    230. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just a wee outside the box pointer here.

      Bella have an article disputing, apparently, Stu’s previous workings on the 2nd vote next May showing the futility of voting SNP/SNP.

      http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2015/11/12/tns-poll-shows-snp-2nd-votes-wasted-alan-bisset-backs-rise-for-a-yes-parliament/

    231. Lesley-Anne says:

      galamcennalath says:

      Or is expecting balance from the BBC waaaay too much!?

      The only *ahem* balance that the BBC understands Galamcennalath is the balance of a “G n T” in one hand whilst holding plater of hors d’oeurves in the other and puffing away on an extra large Cuban cigar! 😀

    232. Bob Mack says:

      The difference between a practical joke and a confidence trick is that the victim finds out the truth after the joke has been sprung ,and not much later.

      The Scotland Bill is a confidence trick, baited with offers and relying on public opinion to push it through with suitable pressure applied by the media.

      However,the golden rule of a successful confidence caper has been broken. The potential victims must never be aware of what you are planning. We are very much aware.

      I for one will never agree with accepting this poison chalice, nor should any of us.
      Instead, let us turn their attempt at a confidence trick on us ,into a practical joke on them.

    233. Dr Jim says:

      The SNP have advised if you want an SNP majority government vote SNP/SNP
      They wouldn’t be doing that if they thought they were wrong so it’s likely that others who advise differently have a different agenda
      which they’re entitled to do but shouldn’t pretend otherwise, that’s just a wee bit Carmichaely

      They’ll be telling us next Nicola Sturgeon prefers Ruth Davidson to be First Minister

    234. Robert Peffers says:

      @Rock says: 12 November, 2015 at 4:42 pm:

      “Sovereign” my foot”.

      Strange foot you have there Rock.

      The reason that it is not working so well in practice is people like you who don’t know their foot from their elbow.

      In is in fact the basis of Scots Law and it is the main thing that The Westminster Establishment has spent 695 years of their propaganda attempting to suppress and have been brainwashing such as you all that time.

      In 1320 the Declaration of Arbroath changed forever the legal system of Scotland. The legal system throughout Christendom had long been, “Divine Right of Kings”, under this system the accepted law said that Monarchs were God appointed owners of their kingdom and their word was law. They owned everything including their subjects.

      On 10 February 1306, the two main claimants for the vacant Scottish crown, Robert Bruce and John, (the Red), Comyn had a meeting in the High Kirk of Dumfries. No one knows the truth of what happened there but the Bruce killed the Comyn.

      King Edward I of England had been asked nobles to decide who was best placed to be King of Scotland and Edward was manipulating the situation to his advantage, (Nothing changes). Now Edward claimed that Bruce Murdered the Comyn but as there were only two people present the Bruce may well have been defending himself but that didn’t suit Edward who had the ear of the leader of all Christendom.

      The upshot was the Pope excommunicated Bruce and, under Divine Right that meant all Scotland. This left Edward the chance to take over the Scottish Kingdom. However, Edward’s greed for power and his flouting the laws of Christian Faith caused him and the Pope to fall out and Edward claim to be the Leader of the Church in England.

      The Scots drew up and sent, “The Declaration of Arbroath”, to the Pope who accepted the declaration as legal. Scotland was very many years in advance of its time and not only did they declare Scotland an independent Kingdom but they ended, (in Scotland), the law of Divine Right of Kings and made the people of Scotland sovereign instead of the Monarch. The Monarchy were declared the, “Defenders of the people’s sovereignty. This is still Scots Law today.

      England has never removed the sovereignty of their monarchy – only delegating the Monarch’s Divine Right to the Parliament of England. That is still the law of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. However since 1320 the Kingdom of England has always ignored, where could, the Independence of Scots Law but most law is governed by precedence and there is even modern precedence that proves that the People of Scotland are sovereign.

      For example there can be no English style trespass laws in Scotland for a sovereign people own Scotland and cannot trespass on land they own. Which is why it is a criminal offence in Scotland for private persons to clamp or otherwise hold a vehicle and demand money to release it.

      That is a decision of the Scottish High Courts and proves the point. You can please yourself what you believe but that won’t change the facts. When all is said and done and the matter of the splitting up of the only two partners of the United Kingdom end in the international courts they will have no option but find Scotland’s people have every legal right to end, (not leave), the United Kingdom.

    235. Nana says:

      @Lesley-Anne

      James Kelly’s response to Rise

      http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/

    236. Ken500 says:

      They spent £Millions doing up Marischal College for Council Offices. Nothing but the best. Unionists illegally sent out letters to taxpayers telling then to vote NO. They were advised by Council Officials it was illegal but ignored the advice.

    237. Breeks says:

      A referendum on the Scotland Bill will achieve nothing.

      However a plebiscite on which powers are retained in Holyrood and which delegated to Westminster delivers a new and powerful mandate for our SNP governments in both Holyrood and Westminster to demand those powers which the Scottish electorate has requested are formally delivered. That is REAL democracy. Westminster cannot trump the declared will of the people.

      The SNP have no mandate for Independence since the YES Referendum, where the No vote empowered the Unionists. A plebiscite is not a re-run of the same issue, it is progressive, and is the easiest and best way to re-mandate the SNP to wrestle powers from Westminster. We, the people of Scotland, have the power to decide these issues. It is our will which empowers our Members of Parliament.

      It frustrates me that we continually let Unionism get away with setting contrived and artificial agendas, and floating bullshitty nonsense like “the vow”. We, the Scottish people, should stop falling for it, and it is us who should be taking the initiative and taking back what is ours.

      Why should we let Westminster define the powers we are allowed to possess? Let us define the powers the powers which we are content to have run by Westminster.

      Yes, they treat us like mugs. But we are mugs for letting them get away with it.

    238. @Phil R Moronic go play another tune with the volume turned off.

    239. ScottieDog says:

      Good interview with Yanis Varoufakis on KILTR.
      Echoes what a number of U.S. Have been talking about with regards to a separate Scottish currency. There really is no alternative should we leave the UK and I hope the SNP are listening..
      http://livestream.com/IndependenceLive/YanisVaroufakis

    240. squirrelknutz says:

      The SNP powder will be kept very dry for a while yet although Pete Wishart touched on it the other day and I wished he hadn’t.

      But Labour peers will make rejection of the bill a no brainer that even those who currently believe we should accept it will soon change their minds pdq.

      Much as I hate that overused expression “the gift that keeps on giving”, I can’t think of a more appropriate expression.

    241. ScottieDog says:

      Damned auto correct – U.S should read ‘us’

    242. R-type Grunt says:

      @Angra Mainyu

      Pish! You either are independent or you are not independent. There are no degrees.

    243. Lesley-Anne says:

      Thanks for the link Nana. 😉

      Dr Jim says:
      12 November, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      The SNP have advised if you want an SNP majority government vote SNP/SNP
      They wouldn’t be doing that if they thought they were wrong so it’s likely that others who advise differently have a different agenda
      which they’re entitled to do but shouldn’t pretend otherwise, that’s just a wee bit Carmichaely

      They’ll be telling us next Nicola Sturgeon prefers Ruth Davidson to be First Minister

      I wholeheartedly agree with you Dr. Jim. I posted the link cause I thought it would be interesting for folks to see the ideas coming out now from sources other than Wings.

      I have no doubt myself that SNP/SNP is the only way to go but this is the sort of alternative that we will have to fight against next May.

    244. mealer says:

      The way to get independence is to knock on doors and tell the folk the SNP will stand up for Scotland.

    245. galamcennalath says:

      @Angra Mainyu

      You miss my point about DevoMaxers completely.

      I don’t think it’s necessarily a good or a bad thing. I personally am not against it. I would prefer full independence, of course. It could work. It might improve Scotland’s position, or without control over defence it might cause problems.

      However, my strongly held opinion is that DevoMax WILL NEVER EVER BE GRANTED BY WESTMINSTER.

      Of course there is a spectrum from status quo right up to full independence. Anything is technically possible. I propose that virtually nothing on that spectrum is politically achievable.

      When I refer to DevoMaxers, I imply people who still believe that somehow we can win a referendum or negotiate from a position of democratic mandate and insist WM delivers DevoMax.

      Again, it is my opinion and others may have greater faith in Westminster’s democratic values, but I believe DevoMax is not on the table and never will be.

      It suits WM for people to go believing that somehow, sometime, some middle ground, some compromise can be agreed upon. It delays what I consider the only choice of DevoNotMuch versus full independence.

      To my mind, and others minded the same, need to put forward arguments that the current Scotland Bill is probably as much devolution as will ever be offered. We need to persuade DevoMaxers that they have in reality only two available choices, DevoCameron or independence.

    246. Jim McIntosh says:

      Haven’t read all the comments above, so apologies if this has been mentioned before.

      As powers from the Scotland Bill don’t apply until 2017 at the earliest why doesn’t the SG add an extra slip in with the ballot papers for Hollyrood next year with a straight accept/reject the Scotland Bill question.

      As most people will not have watched the debate last week, and some might be unaware of Labour’s shameless behaviour, the SNP can explain to people during the hustings what accepting the limited powers mean to them. E.g tax increases, other cuts in services required to ‘mitigate’ Tory (with Labour’s blessing) policies.

      If the majority accepts the Scotland Bill, the newly formed government has a mandate to do what’s required to help the poorest in society without the usual uproar about raised taxes.

      This would show Scotland in a good light, where people don’t mind paying a bit more to ensure the poorest don’t suffer unnecessarily. At the same time everyone, even Labour/Tory voters, would understand that any additional taxes, service cuts etc. would be due to policies being foisted on us by WM.

      Also pulls the rug from under the feet of the unionists. How can they complain about spending decisions when the SG are mitigating unionist policies on the poorest. To use a Christmas analogy, it would be akin to pulling tiny Tim’s crutch away from him. 🙂

      If as I suspect we decided to reject the Scotland Bill, WM is then in a spot because the people of Scotland obviously don’t accept the ‘Vow’ or ‘Davo-Max’ was delivered as promised. We then have a constitutional crisis.

      New referendum please.

    247. bjsalba says:

      I’m not sure that SNP and the SG are as daft as you think.

    248. Phil Robertson says:

      yesindyref2 says:
      What I DIDN’T say was what you quoted me as:
      ““Council tax .. drop them … increase … employment.””

      Sorry if my use of ellipsis confused you. What you said in full was “Drop them, take less revenue, increase spending and employment.” Them are council tax and business rates.

      Care to explain how you didn’t say that cutting council tax increases employment?

    249. Robert Peffers says:

      @Iain More says: 12 November, 2015 at 5:02 pm:

      “The Election next May should be nothing less than a Referendum on Constitutional Progress. Give Westmidden one year to legislate for Devo Max or we go UDI.”

      When is it going to get through to some that if a majority of, “The Sovereign People”, of Scotland decide to dissolve the bipartite Treaty of Union it is a perfectly legal thing to do. UDI is, by definition, an illegal act.

      There is no denying that, under Scottish law, the people, and not either the Monarchy nor the Westminster parliament have sovereignty in Scotland. Other than in the sense they do what the majority of Scots legally mandate them to do.

      With a majority in either or both parliaments with a mandate to end the Union is exercising your legal sovereignty and, as was demonstrated when the Lockerbie Bomber Case was held under Scottish law, the international courts recognise Scots jurisdiction in Scotland.

      Scotland is unique in having her people legally sovereign. To date there has never been a need for the people to directly apply their sovereignty. It has always been accepted that if a majority of our elected representatives vote for something that it is the democratic wish of the people of Scotland.

      However, for example, who believes that the Treaty of Union was actually the will of the people rather than the will of the landowners who were also the parliamentarians? The people were rioting in the streets and we had another 40 years of Jacobite Uprisings from 1706/7 until The Culloden battle in 1745, to prove it was not.

    250. mealer says:

      More Labour voters like Nicola than like Kezia……NEXT!!!

    251. yesindyref2 says:

      @Lesley-Anne
      Thanks for that. In ordinary circumstances I’d like to see RISE, the SSP, Solidarity / Hope Over Fear and Greens getting a good few MSP, to get another voice, different points of view, to the SNP.

      As an SNP member I’ll be SNP / SNP, but if I wasn’t I might if my judgement told me it was worth it, lend my vote fo Greens or even any of the others, gratitude if you like for their support to the SNP in the constituency vote.

      But with that outright dishonesty, trying to tell SNP voters our list vote is wasted on the SNP, a complete nonsense, I’d not vote for RISE till hell froze over. And not even then!

    252. yesindyref2 says:

      @Phil Robertson
      I’ve already dealt with your dishonest attempt to misquote me, and I have not the slightest intention of doing it again when you try vainly to repeat your dishonesty.

    253. Nana says:

      Letter to Mundell

      scottish.parliament.uk/2015.12.11_Letter_to_the_Secretary_of_State_on_the_Scotland_Bill_and_Report_Stage.pdf …

    254. mealer says:

      Does anyone know of a site that shows the candidates for each constituency as the info becomes available?

    255. Lesley-Anne says:

      Here is a link to a wbsite that is fighting for justice for Willie McRae … for those interested in this sort of thing. 😉

      http://www.justiceforwillie.com/

    256. Nana says:

      Don’t know how to post that link I attempted at 9.30pm. Peat worrier tweeted it a wee while ago. So perhaps someone can go take a look and sort it to a clickable link.

    257. Nana says:

      Thanks Lesley-Anne. I’m still getting used to this computer. Fallen out with it a few times already this week!

    258. Phil Robertson says:

      yesindyref2 says:
      “I’ve already dealt with your dishonest attempt to misquote me”

      I cut and pasted what you wrote! Your definition of “misquote” is a strange one.

      You seem unable to justify your own words.

    259. Lesley-Anne says:

      I know that feeling Nana. 😀

      I’ve had this laptop for a wee while and suddenly it decides that it is having *ahem* issues with some of the pages I have up. 😀

    260. Nana says:

      Hear Lord Smith of Kelvin’s verdict on whether the Scotland Bill delivers on the Smith Commission,exclusively on ITVBorderRB tonight 22.40

    261. yesindyref2y says:

      @Phil Robertson says ?

      Stet

    262. Clydebuilt says:

      I’m backing you on this Rev. Stu. ……. Another great effort.

      The Excuse for a news paper that is the Herald. Today regurgitating Brown and Dugdale’s latest utterances on Tax Credits (page 6) ….. The first commentary on tax credits since The Scotland Bill passed through the Commons on Monday night. No mention of 1. Both Tory Parties voting to stop Scotland getting control over T. C ‘s 2. Mundell refusing to answer SNP queries as to whether top up payments from The Scottish Government in lieu of removed T. c.’s would be taxed.

      BUT yet under the Editorial the paper persists with the lie ….of providing Fair and Impartial coverage of Scotland’s affairs and does not endorse any political party. . So not only is the Herald as biased as ever, it’s desperate editor wants us to believe otherwise. Is Catherine MacLeod back at the paper pulling the strings?

    263. Bob Mack says:

      @Phil Robertson,

      How much do you think Councils were sitting on, invested in foreign banks at the time of the banking crash,.
      I think you will find they are actually not short of money.,It is however expedient politically to blame the SNP for being skint.

      The majority of councils are as you can imagine Labour run.

    264. Bill Fraser says:

      The Scotland Bill or what little it will contain ,is a no-no as far as I can see .There is little prospect of Scotland improving her lot by increasing taxes etc,especially aimed at the big earners who can simply move south.John Swinney has said that he will simply block whatever the bill contains unless it is to Scottish people’s advantage.I can see it coming to that.Stalemate!

    265. Nana says:

      Meant to add to my post at 9.59 hope someone is able to record this for those of us unable to view.

      Hear Lord Smith of Kelvin’s verdict on whether the Scotland Bill delivers on the Smith Commission,exclusively on ITVBorderRB tonight 22.40

    266. One_Scot says:

      The Red Arrows spewing out the colours of the Indian flag over London is just taking ‘Trolling Scotland’ to another level.

      I don’t think they could rub our face in it more if they tried.

    267. Bob Mack says:

      Just as a matter of interest,the 20 odd Scottish Councils had over 1.3 billion invested in overseas banks at the time they were also asking to increase Council tax due to “need”.

    268. Onwards says:

      Jim McIntosh says:
      12 November, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      “As powers from the Scotland Bill don’t apply until 2017 at the earliest why doesn’t the SG add an extra slip in with the ballot papers for Hollyrood next year with a straight accept/reject the Scotland Bill question.”
      —-

      I think something like this would be helpful.
      Although I would prefer a question on upgrading the bill with extra powers.

      The ScotGov cannot hold an official referendum on constitutional matters unless we have another Edinburgh-style agreement.
      But it could hold an unofficial ‘consultative’ referendum.

      In order to increase turnout and reduce the impact of any unionist boycotts, it would have to be held at the same time as another planned vote.

      The next opportunity would be the council elections in 2017

    269. Phronesis says:

      A rejection of the Scotland Bill from the electorate in Scotland would be a statement of national unity. We should reject this hazardous hotchpotch of damaging proposals that will do nothing to address socio-economic inequalities in Scotland. It does not reflect the aspirations of Scotland’s electorate that understands very well the relationship between inequality and politics embodied by a WM elite whose agenda is to concentrate wealth and income along with political power and influence in the hands of the very few.

      Scotland is a wealthy country (+/- its oil resource)and could very well manage its entire economy and set its social policies without the benevolence of WM.

      Instead we have an WM political elite, closely aligned with the ‘Masters of the Universe’ who have together diminished the net worth of the UK state and whose greatest achievement will be remembered as the intergenerational transfer of widening inequalities- a return to ‘Victorian values’ indeed.

    270. Angra Mainyu says:

      R-type Grunt says:
      @Angra Mainyu
      “Pish! You either are independent or you are not independent. There are no degrees.”

      There isn’t one truly independent country in the world and never has been. England is our biggest trading partner and most likely always will be. In an increasingly globalised world, no country really has or can have independence.

      But, if by independence we mean independence of Westminster, then yes, the more the better. Independent countries influence one another though and since they are our neighbours and 10 times bigger than us they will always have influence here.

      Additional to that, as you know, the intention would be to join the EU. Again that implies a dilution of indepndence and again, since England is a member, that will in essence mean they are able to influence us.

      Indepndence is an abstract idea, like a perfect circle or square, it doesn’t exist in reality.

    271. Kevin says:

      I think Taranaich’s idea is elegant and sensible. I hope this is how we’ll go.

    272. Cath says:

      FFA / DEVO MAX has to be viewed as next step.

      I thought that in May but actually the Scotland Bill makes me think it not only doesn’t have to be, but can’t. We were told last year a no vote would not be for the status quo but “as close to federalism as it’s possible to get within the UK”. We were told we were loved and respected and should stay and lead the union and all that nonsense. It was always crap, but many people believed it – the media were full of the word “federalism” for 2 years in the run up as well; it was, they said, “inevitable, especially if there was a large yes vote”.

      Well now we have it, plain for all to see. We have “as far as Westminster will ever allow us to go within the UK, as far as we can go” and we can plainly see the end result of a relatively large yes vote actually delivered, which is the square root of f*** all, less respect than before, our MPs being ignored more than ever, despite May being nothing short of a revolution in parliamentary terms.

      The SNP are right to bide their time, let the “debates” happen in WM and the Lords, let it wash over them. Put forward sensible amendments and let them be shot down by English MPs and Lords. But note every one, every speech, every sneer.

      It won’t be passed in time for 2016, or if it is the powers won’t take affect until at least 2017-18, which still gives plenty of time for the Scottish parliament and its committees to scrutinise, while the Yes campaign continues to build, to talk to people, to make the facts widely known.

      There could then be a second referendum with a genuine point to it – do you, the people of Scotland, wish to accept and ratify this bill, the best we’ve been able to get from Westminster, after you sent down 56 SNP MPs who worked their socks off to get something better and far less than you were promised? A bill which actually weakens Scotland and creates huge problems for whoever sits in our parliament. Or would you now prefer independence?

    273. mealer says:

      Onescot 10.10
      Aye.Its all good.

    274. yesindyref2 says:

      Oh dear, “Belgium exports more to India than the UK does”.

      Belgium population 11.2 million, UK 65 million, nearly 6 times as large. Big is better.

      Oh.

    275. Ben Donald says:

      If you want to know how FFA would work out, study 1603 to 1707: the “Long Defeat” – fenced off diplomatically from the rest of the world, our economy systematically undermined.

      It’s a trap. Independence or nothing.

    276. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just in case folks do not get their hands on a copy of the National tomorrow here is what the front page looks like. 😉

      https://twitter.com/ScotNational/status/664909508406284289

    277. Angra Mainyu says:

      Galamcennalath, two things. If Devo-Max is firmly off the table, as you say, so is indepndence.

      I would guess WM fears Devo-Max more than it fears independence. Why? Because more people support it here and that means it’s more likely to win majority support in any future referendum. Evidence supports this.

      I agree WM could not be trusted in terms of implementing anything though. But that is a separate issue. Worth pointing out that we had a vote on independence and they cheated us there too. No easy answers. If UDI is possible, good, I’d support it. But I don’t see it happening or where it might come from.

    278. yesindyref2 says:

      @Angra
      Don’t know whether you ever read this paper:

      http://www.irpa.is/article/view/910

      “Scotland as an Independent Small State: Where would it seek shelter?”

      One of the more thoughtful unbiased papers about our Indy.

    279. Gary45% says:

      One thing is for sure, the Unionists coffin must have more metal than wood.
      Another classic FMQs today, more nails in the unionist coffin.
      And still they don’t get it.
      Each day the country slowly wakes up to the fact, the UKok is FCUKED.
      TickTock.

    280. yesindyref2 says:

      @Angra
      Sorry, direct link to the PDF:

      http://www.irpa.is/article/view/910/pdf_56

    281. JimF says:

      @Robert Peffers says: 12 November, 2015 at 7:29 pm:
      “Nah! How about not being so bloody stupid?”

      And then I nodded off.

      When you’re done boring people with your beery spittle peppered copy/pasted school poetry perhaps you might consider composing a more constructive response.

      More informed thinking outside the box than you or I are able to provide will be needed to get us out of this unionist trap.

      And take your pointy finger off my lapel.

    282. Nana says:

      @Ruby

      Thank you,excellent work. Go to the top of the class!

    283. crazycat says:

      @ mealer

      For previous elections there have been sites which collated information from the parties about their candidates, and I expect the same to happen again, but it does not appear to be available yet – my search attempts just brought up links to separate sites for each party.

      I’ve forgotten the name of the site where all the 2015 GE candidates were tabulated, although I did use their list at the time. If I remember/find out, I’ll let you know.

    284. sinky says:

      On Lord Smith dont forget Labour deputy Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland told Commons on Monday evening that Smith had not been delivered in full

    285. Thepnr says:

      @Angra Mainyu

      Iv’e been reading your posts with interest, thought you had something positive to add to this debate. Maybe I have been mistaken?

      “There isn’t one truly independent country in the world and never has been.”

      Can you clarify that staement? I believe it to be false. Name one.

      “England is our biggest trading partner and most likely always will be. In an increasingly globalised world, no country really has or can have independence.”

      Yes, England are our biggest trading partner, that’s why they need us as much as them. Thed rest of your sentance is well, pish.

      “Additional to that, as you know, the intention would be to join the EU”

      No, we are already in the EU and would not be leaving. Got that?

      “Indepndence is an abstract idea”

      Hahaha @Angra Mainyu

      Says you, and why should anyone listen to you. Your efforts at posting on here are not worth bog paper.

    286. Onwards says:

      Nana says:
      12 November, 2015 at 10:39 pm
      Lord Smith speaks

      Of course he will say it delivers the limited powers of the Smith Commission.

      The problem is that the Smith Commission didn’t deliver the expectations of the Scottish people.

      The SNP were part of the Smith process, but outvoted at every opportunity. They said all along it was insufficient.

      That article mentions the fiscal framework behind the bill.
      I have a suspicion that could torpedo the whole thing.

      Then the SNP can campaign in 2016 for a resounding mandate on Devo-Max.

      If that isn’t delivered, we have the trigger for a second referendum, where no last minute bribes will be credible.

    287. yesindyref2 says:

      @Nana
      Oh dear, we’re going to have to refer to Smith as Lordy Lordy Smith.

    288. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Lesley-Anne.

      RE: the Bella Caledonia article.

      There has been much jabberin’, over the past few months, in favour of trying to tactically vote in the regional vote.

      Both Rev Stu and James Kelly have pointed out the pitfalls in this. So I thought I would play about with the figures from today’s TNS poll.

      I have left the constituency vote ‘as is’ but provide three examples of different figures in the regional vote. The thing to bear in mind that the regional votes, to be effective, would ALL have to go to the same party – there’s no point in the regional votes being spread amongst Greens, RISE and Solidarity.

      The question then arises: who is going to assume the right to tell us where our regional vote should go? After all, they’ve all got to go to the same party.

      I’ve seen examples on Facebook that go along the lines of, “If 50% of the SNP regional vote is ‘lent’ to the Greens, then we’ll have a pro-indy majority in Holyrood, post 2016”.

      It always seems to be that those promoting these ideas always suggest that it should be SNP voters who switch in the regional vote, because, I guess, they’re a given as ‘pro-indy’. This to me is the soft option. If we want a pro-indy majority in Holyrood, why should it matter whether it’s SNP or a coalition of parties?

      BECAUSE WE NEED AN SNP MAJORITY TO CUT OUT OVEN DOUBT!

      So this first graphic shows the unaltered figures from the TNS poll. As you can see, the SNP have 71 constituency seats and 6 regional seats, giving a total of 77. A majority.

      http://i.imgur.com/nFXrLxc.png

      The next graphic shows what would happen if 50% of SNP voters voted Green in the regional vote. (I know – highly unlikely but that’s what’s being bandied about on Facebook.) You can see that the Greens increase to 27 seats, while the SNP drop to 71 (no regional seats) and Labour drop from 33 to 23. The fact that there is an increase in pro-indy MSP’s makes not an ounce of difference; the SNP still have a majority, albeit, reduced by the increase in Greens. Do the SNP and Greens see eye to eye on EVERYTHING?

      http://i.imgur.com/BCd3h4R.png

      Why should the Greens be looking for votes from a pro-indy party? Would it not make more sense to target the other substantial percentage, ie, Labour voters? Now, if the tactical voting lobby were to suggest targeting the regional vote of Labour voters, what would be the result, if 50% 0f Labour voters ‘lent’ their regional vote to the Greens?

      The SNP would lose 1 regional seat, Labour would be reduced to 17 and the Greens would have 20.

      http://i.imgur.com/K2dYkWN.png

      So we still have,
      A. An SNP majority
      B. A pro-indy majority of 96
      c. A reduction in Unionist MSP’s.

      What’s the point in trying to reduce an SNP majority?

      As has been stated in the past, it is impossible to organise tactical voting in the regional vote. Tactical voting only works in a ‘first past the post’ vote. Next May, the strategy is simple…

      If you’re an SNP member/voter/supporter, you vote SNP constituency and region.

      However, if you’re a member/voter/supporter of another pro-indy party, you may LEND your vote to the SNP, if your own party is not standing in your constituency. You then vote for your own party, or whatever, in the regional vote.

      It is pointless to attempt to make SNP voters NOT vote SNP.

    289. Sinky says:

      Question Time discussing NHS but Dimbledum failing to mention its England NHS

    290. mealer says:

      Crazycat 10.46,
      Cheers.

    291. Angra Mainyu says:

      Thepnr, you make a few points but, as it happens, your first is the one that troubles me most and the odd thing is it seems like the most innocuous of them all.

      You say you thought I had “something positive to add”.

      Let me clear on this, it’s important. I have absolutely nothing positive to offer on this debate. Not one single positive thing. We are in a desperate position right now. Anyone who suggests otherwise is either deluded or trying to delude you.

      Nothing else you said is worth responding to and actually I found good parts of it unintelligible.

    292. call me dave says:

      @Lesley-Anne

      46% “including those who support labour” Don’t know who she is!

      What an indictment. 🙂

      I am on the electronic version but that’s one worth going into the shop for. Hope I meet my ‘labour’ acquaintances in the cafe tomorrow.

      PS:

      SNP x 2 and reject the Smith Commission ‘new powers’

    293. X_Sticks says:

      How about we petition the Scottish government to either:

      A) debate the Scotland Bill
      B) reject the Scotland Bill
      C) hold a referendum on the acceptance of the Scotland Bill

      If only we had some one really clever, well informed and capable of robust debate who could take the Petition through he process. Any thoughts folks?

      Was looking for something else and came across this what I wrote on BwB back in 2011. Deja Vu?:

      ‘Academic ping pong’ 10:27am on 19 Jan 2011
      The unionists are determined to push the Scotland Bill through. It is westminster’s stepping stone to “getting Scotland back in line”. It will be used to keep Scotland in its place and reduce the amount of money Scotland is allowed to spend. This in turn will be used to force Scotland to give up the small gains that the SNP have managed to introduce over the last five years. The westminster agenda will include:

      Forcing Scotland to adopt the underhand privatisation of the NHS (as is happening in England).

      The sale of Scottish Water (and how badly do they want to get their hands on that!).

      The introduction of Student fees in line with England.

      Forcing Scotland to build nuclear plants (to provide England with the power they need at a knock-down price).

      Rolling back the free care for the elderly.

      Re-introduction of bridge tolls (and probably some toll roads too, the Aberdeen Western Periphery Route for one).

      If the unionists get back into power in Scotland al the above will come to pass. It will herald the end of any chance Scotland has for independence. The asset stripping will continue unabated. Anyone thinking of voting for any of these unionist charlatans will be voting for the demise of Scotland as a country we can be proud of.

      The SCOTLAND BILL [an INVOICE from wESTMINSTER]

      Plus ça change, eh?

      @Lesley-Anne

      Thanks for the front-page, I was in sore need of a laugh 😀

    294. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Brian Doonthetoon at 11.07

      Well put

      In particular Greens, RISE and Solidarity splitting votes will probably have the effect of leaving none of them with a significant enough strength to gain a few list seats or even any at all

    295. Thepnr says:

      @Angra Mainyu

      What’s your point? My quote:
      Iv’e been reading your posts with interest, thought you had something positive to add to this debate. Maybe I have been mistaken?

      This is your response?

      “You say you thought I had “something positive to add.
      Let me clear on this, it’s important. I have absolutely nothing positive to offer on this debate. Not one single positive thing.”

      Deary me, you are wasting your time here.

    296. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      McDuff at 5.54

      The SNP have never at any point said their goal is any less than independence or that they would accept Federalism.
      But they have never said either that they would oppose any more powers for Scotland,which is different thing.

    297. Ruby says:

      Nana

      I hope you won’t send me back to the bottom of the class for saying this but that programme that you posted a link to was rubbish!

      Alex Massie & Joyce McMillan what a couple of little prima donas!

      Ha Ha Ha Kezia wishes the people of Scotland weren’t interested in polls.

    298. Paula Rose says:

      I was at my local SNP branch meeting on Tuesday evening.
      Why am I in the SNP rather than the SGP –
      because independence is necessary to create a green exemplar;

      I gave two talks that the branch asked me to do –
      One was on the AMS and the other on our media.

      Earlier business dealt with informing our various elected representatives
      of our views on a variety of matters.

      At the moment our political chances are best served by joining a party that gives you your voice and is able to make that voice heard by those that can actually do something.

      If you have joined a party – are you actually actively involved and if so here seems as good a thread as any to share experiences, I’m sure there’ll be another thread along soon.

    299. Ian Brotherhood says:

      ‘When a parasite actually begins to destroy the body it’s living on, it’s beginning to kill itself.’ Alasdair Gray

      From this great video (currently 4,199 views) shot just a couple of years ago at Glasgow Green, also featuring Jim Kelman:

      ‘Glasgow’s Dirty Laundry’ –

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJokEhlMBZ4

    300. Cadogan Enright says:

      I cannot see what the SNP have to lose in sending the Scotland Bill back to Westmonster.

      Nicola saying that she is giving them a second chance to deliver what they promised.

      Most powers have been given under conditions that cannot be used.

      Send it back – its not ‘as near to federalsism as makes no difference.

      Insist that only Scottish MP’s sit on the Scottish Committee too

    301. Ruby says:

      What are all these problem with the police that Kezia & Joyce McMillan are referring to?

    302. Nana says:

      @Ruby

      I don’t know what programme with Massie you are talking about. I posted the Smith interview and did not read or watch anything else on that link.

      My reason for posting was the smith interview and nothing else.

    303. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      North Chiel at 2.24

      “FFA / DEVO MAX has to be viewed as next step”

      No, it hasn’t. It’s the next impediment. We may be offered it however if we campaign effectively and strongly for independence.

    304. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Triangular Ears says:
      12 November, 2015 at 2:27 pm
      Is it not time to revisit that two question referendum that was killed off by Cameron?

      Nope. We didn’t want it then and we don’t want it now. Didn’t you notice what effect the Vow and the promise of new powers had on our vote? These are impediments which can keep us tied up for years and give us always less than we ask for

    305. Ruby says:

      Thank you so much for posting the link I am most definitely not holding you responsible for the quality of the programme.

      I watched the whole thing including the Smith interview which I wasn’t very impressed with.

      What did you think of Smith interview?

    306. Cadogan Enright says:

      OR simply have the Scottish Parliament vote to put the Scotland Bill ‘on hold’

      WHILE holding a referendum on Devo Max as narrowly defined – without Westmonsters permission.

      Then send the bill back to Westmonster with the results of the referendum

    307. Robert Peffers says:

      @Ruby says: 13 November, 2015 at 12:05 am:

      “What are all these problem with the police that Kezia & Joyce McMillan are referring to?”

      Oh! Just the standard SNP BAD Establishment Party claptrap as usual.

      The trumped up complaint of armed Police being deployed to normal police duties. This is of course to make better use of manpower. Why have a squad sitting twiddling their thumbs waiting for the rare chance of the need for armed officers.

      If they are deployed on normal duty they are still available to attend incidents that require weapons. Thing is if they cannot be trusted with arms in public they shouldn’t be armed in the first place.

      Then we have the one about non-urgent call about a car lying among trees by the M9 that turned out to have a dead guy and an injured woman in it. Thousands of vehicles must have driven past that and not noticed it yet the police are supposed to have ignored it.

      Also the complaint that a single force takes away the local control by the local council run police boards. Utter twaddle as there is still local area officers and area headquarters. They are just under one head office now. No cosy wee area Chief Constable/local councillor area boards.

      Much cheaper and a lot less stuff like the previous complaints being swept under the carpet like they used to be in those fore mentioned cosy wee Police Boards with local councillor appointed Chief Constables.

    308. Thepnr says:

      An old post from me from a link of the Revs above

      Thepnr says:
      20 August, 2014 at 3:15 pm
      I think the Rev’s vision of what the future holds for Scotland under Westminster’s “Grand Plan for More Powers in Scotland” is absolutely spot on. At the minimum it is a close approximation.

      There can be no doubt whatsoever that the following is true.

      1. Westminster wants greater cuts.
      2. Westminster wants Scotland to fall into line with rUK and abolish free tuition fees, health care, prescriptions etc.
      3. Westminster wants to privatise the NHS.
      4. Westminster wants to scrap welfare.
      5. Westminster needs our oil money to fund Trident replacement, HS2, London infrastructure spending ect.

      Put all of this together and you can clearly see why this article hits the nail on the head. As an added bonus the nasty Nats are punished for daring to hold a referendum.

      What’s my point, well all of it is true and now we face the reality. I say we take it head on and tell Westminster to get tae. We can have a referendum on the Scotland Bill by putting it in the SNP’s manifesto for 2016.

      We either win or we don’t. What’s to be scared of?

      Just fucking do it!

    309. Nana says:

      @Ruby

      Same as you, not impressed. Smith is toeing the unionist line. Lying and hoping there are folk who will believe the vow delivered.
      That’s why we have to work at getting the truth out to people who are not clued up and let’s face it there are plenty of them.

      Night night.

    310. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Devo Max is entirely in the gift of Westminster. It is a form of dependency for which we have to beg concessions. No referendum is required for it.
      Independence we take

    311. Jim McIntosh says:

      Re the new TNS poll out today. I can see why the Greens have a squeaky bum, and are trying to persuade us to give them our second vote.

      Assuming the SNP win all the constituency seats and regionals are as predicted:

      SNP 52%
      Labour 25%
      Tories 11%
      Green 5%
      LibDems 5%

      That would equate to: 4 Labour, 2 Tory, 1 SNP.

      A 0.5% swing from the SNP to the Greens (i.e. SNP 51.5%, Greens 5.5%) would give the Greens that SNP list vote. It really is as tight as that.

      Assuming we don’t give any votes away, with these figures, even if we lost a constituency seat to Labour or Tory we would take the corresponding list seat. No loss no gain. This only happens if we stay above the 50% mark, so it’s important we vote SNP/SNP.

      Sorry Mr Green.

    312. Cadogan Enright says:

      @Thepnr 12.34

      I don’t see the point on voting on something that the majority of the Scottish People do not want.

      If the people vote the Scottish Bill down as you suggest, Westmonster can simply accept the result and give nothing at all in compliance with the peoples wishes

      If however there was a vote on Devo Max / FFA that Cameron blocked for 2014, well, that would be clear.

    313. Chic McGregor says:

      @Paula Rose

      “If you have joined a party – are you actually actively involved and if so here seems as good a thread as any to share experiences, I’m sure there’ll be another thread along soon.”

      Was out delivering calendar cards for the SNP today. Cut short by a breath-reflex level deluge.

    314. Robert Peffers says:

      @Cadogan Enright says: 13 November, 2015 at 12:04 am:

      “I cannot see what the SNP have to lose in sending the Scotland Bill back to Westmonster.

      Nicola saying that she is giving them a second chance to deliver what they promised.

      Most powers have been given under conditions that cannot be used.”

      If EVEL is good enough for English folks then so is Scottish Votes for Scottish Laws and Holyrood is NOT free to do so. It is curbed in almost everything by Westminster restraints.

      I speak only for myself but I will not settle willingly for anything short of full and free independence. Having said that I see it as a far better way for the two Kingdoms to work together for the betterment of both.

      “Send it back – its not ‘as near to federalsism as makes no difference.”

      It can never be federalism in any way whatsoever while Westminster remains as the de facto parliament of England.

      In a Federal system the partners are equal and there is a federal parliament of equality. The idiotic system we have now is without doubt the Parliament of England lording it over everyone else and cannot be otherwise until there is a real Parliament of England.

      “Insist that only Scottish MP’s sit on the Scottish Committee too.”

      Aye! and English only MPs on an English Only committee too.

      Now I’m off to bed as I’m absolutely whacked for lack of sleep.

    315. Ruby says:

      Triangular Ears says:
      12 November, 2015 at 2:27 pm
      Is it not time to revisit that two question referendum that was killed off by Cameron?

      Ruby replies

      What could be interesting would be to look back at what was being said about the Devo Max question at the beginning. Over and over and over again Westminster insisted ‘independence must be settled, without “muddying the waters”‘

      Michael Moore must have repeated the phrase ‘muddying the waters’ re a devo max question about 1000 times a week.

      However they seemed to have totally forgotten about the desire not to ‘muddy the waters’ when they introduced the clear as mud VOW!

    316. Al-Stuart says:

      North Chiel at 2.24 “FFA / DEVO MAX has to be viewed as next step”

      North Chiel & Triangular Ears, you both make good points.

      Dave McEwan Hill had a go at me too for expressing a similar view to you when I wrote in The National a while back.

      I can see Dave’s point and respect his strongly held principles – especially after the utter farce in Westminster this week at the Scotland Bill “debate”.

      After watching the Westminster durge this week, I’m half way towards agreeing with Dave McEwan Hill.

      The concern is that on WoS and at SNP constituency meetings, and in The National it is fine and well us all being enthusiastic about winning IndyRef2, BUT that on it’s own is UNLIKELY to get us to 60% for a year to trigger IndyRef2. Let alone win the thing. We need to carry the NO VOTERS and UNDECIDEDS with us.

      North Chiel and Triangular Ears, I am with you. The utter contempt Scotland has been shown with that Scotland Bill – should, in and of itself – trigger a referendum NOW; not wait for IndyRef2 in 5 years or so. We need a specific type of referendum that we can win NOW. In essence: FullDevoRef1

      To reassure Dave McEwan Hill, this is not a proposal to ASK Westminster to negotiate more powers which the Tories will resile from and lie about – along with Labour.

      FullDevoRef1 is something we TAKE.

      In simple terms, Scotland votes on whether we take ALL government departments to Scottish control at Holyrood (other than Foreign Affairs and Defence – we can have a further referendum on Trident in due course).

      The thing is I know several of my friends would vote FOR FullDevoRef1 – Full Devolution of ALL government departments, but still stick to no when the “IndyRef2” option is proposed. Ironically there is virtually no difference between IndyRef2 and FullDevoRef1.

      If only someone (WoS) could run polling figures to see what the answers to the two versions of this thorny subject would yield if put to a vote:-

      Q1] If a second Scottish Independence Referendum was held tomorrow would you vote YES?

      OR

      Q2] If a referendum was held tomorrow for FULL Devolution – bringing ALL government powers (except Foreign Affairs & Defence) to Scotland, would you vote YES?

      Stuart, is there any chance that these two options might be tested please? If FullDevoRef1 went to 60% then given Scotland has already been insulted by the lies dripping from that discredited Vow – I cite 56 SNP MPs as evidence Scotland is severely pi55ed off at the Vow and Scotland Bill lies – then surely this FullDevoRef1 is a way to go NOW?

    317. Onwards says:

      Dave McEwan Hill says:

      —-
      >“FFA / DEVO MAX has to be viewed as next step”

      No, it hasn’t. It’s the next impediment.

      —-

      Tactically, going for significant devolution might have a better chance of winning independence.

      Say the SNP proposed a new referendum for an ‘enhanced’ Scotland bill with more powers, and won a public mandate for that.
      That is a far better negotiating position than present, where the Tories are using the 55% No voters as a mandate for limited change.

      1. If we get significant home rule, then fair enough, that is what most people want. Then we have the tools to make a success of it, making an upgrade to independence more likely.

      2. If it is refused as is likely, we have a trigger for independence, and proof that it is needed. Last minute promises won’t work afterwards.

      Otherwise, if we reject everything, and aim for a second referendum in a few years, we are going to get a repeat of the same last minute bribes.
      They are holding off on genuine home rule or federalism to offer as a consolation prize in a second referendum.

      Maybe it is better to bring it to a head, and remove that trap.

    318. crazycat says:

      @ mealer at 11.16

      Sorry for the delay – I hope you see this – I had some odd technical issues with posting.

      I’ve now remembered that the man who compiled lists of candidates for the GE is this fellow:

      https://twitter.com/andyjsajs

      He doesn’t have anything for Holyrood yet, but I expect he will – keep an eye on him.

      (Re the technical issue – I suddenly found that everything I typed was invisible in the preview box – this occasionally happens with my e-mail too – apart from red underlining of unrecognized words and typing errors. I could see my text below the box with all the italics, etc, but when I tried to submit the post, it was so slow I gave up and turned everything off and started again.

      Any advice about my disappearing letters would be appreciated, from anyone.)

    319. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Onwards at 1.02

      Nope

      We nearly won independence last year. Some believe we did (and some very knowledgeable people are in this group).
      How do we improve our bargaining position by lowering our aims?
      That would be doing the opposite and would represent a victory for our opponents.
      We bargain from a position of improving support for independence and concessions will be offered. That is the best, most powerful and most logical position for us.
      Arguing for any less than independence means we would be offered much less again

    320. Lesley-Anne says:

      I’ve just come across a link to the Guardian from 2012. I think some folks on here may find the link some what interesting. 😉

      http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/jul/05/pfi-contracts-list?CMP=share_btn_tw

      There is a link from the Guardian site to a full set of data relating to ALL P.F.I. projects.

      http://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xJ17j5Il-ZbG_qKDvqrr1naE7HWRc5ZrPrKOdw_X4_Q/edit#gid=0

      There are some extremely interesting figures contained within the data set. Being a regular visitor to my local Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary I’ll pick out just a few examples shall I? 😉

      1) Provision of Maternity and Day Care services. Started in 2001 and expected to run for 30 years. The total capital costs were £10 Million and the total repayments are a smidgeon under £72 Million. <SEVEN times the capital costs!

      2)New Craigs Hospital, Inverness. This site was expected to be in operation for 25 years with a capital cost of £16.5 Million. The total repayments for this hospital are a smidgeon under £108 Million. This is just short of SEVEN times the capital cost.

      3) Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh. This site was expected to be in operation for 30 years with a capital cost of £180 Million. The total repayments for this hospital are a smidgeon under £1.449 BILLION! This hospital costs of repayments are running at an eye watering EIGHT times the capital cost!!!

      When will Labour crawl out from under the rock they are cowering under to apologise to the people of Scotland for this economic disaster?

      Whenever Labour next have the gall to moan about ANYTHING to do with the S******h N.H.S. they should have these figures flung straight in their face and an explanation AND apology DEMANDED!

    321. Thepnr says:

      @Cadogan Enright

      “I don’t see the point on voting on something that the majority of the Scottish People do not want.”

      Mr Enright I don’t know which post of mine you are referring to but that is unimportant unless you male it clear. Can you explain?

      For what it’s worth, IMO regarding this article, the answer to Westminster offer is a big “FUCK YOU” and don’t waste my time. Which is where we are right now.

      Prof John Cortice suggests a referendum on the question, yeah why not?

      Make it part of the SNP manifesto, a big part. Your for us or against us, you’ll get an answer. No one supporting Independence should be “scared” of the possible answer.

      2016 LAST CHANCE FOR THE SCOTTISH PEOPLE TO SHOW THEIR POWER. DO NOT BOTTLE IT. FORCE YOUR PARTY TO MAKE THE CHOICE.

      The truth is, is you believe you are winning the argument you would have no fear whatever. How many fearties are left?

      Personally, I’d get in there with the head down, all Wingers should..

    322. Andy Fletcher says:

      Westminster is not afraid of DevoMax because Westminster approval is needed to devise, legislate for and approve any DevoMax scheme. It cannot be forced out of Westminster.

      We have seen the best offer WM will come up with, having gone to the verge of defeat in the Indy Ref and seen an SNP surge in the general election. SNP have done all they could to let WM demonstrate good faith. There is none.

      The idea that the SNP should stand on a labyrinthine manifesto commitment to a conditional referendum that we can’t guarantee for something that we can’t force WM to concede in a year or two’s time is a non-starter.

      There is an election next year when Labour and Tories will argue for the poisoned chalice hoping the SNP are left to drink from it. Whatever happens one way or another I don’t think the SNP will be drinking from it.

      If all goes well after that election or perhaps during Jeremy Corbyn’s usefulness to UK PLC will be over. He is totally irrelevant here already.

    323. Thepnr says:

      Oh Dear!

      I wrote that, yet don’t get it myself.

      Simply, it says if you believe that RIGHT NOW we have enough votes to win Independence then we can say resolutely give us the VOW in it’s entirety.

      Not the wattered down of Westminster reality, just the promise that YOU made.

      The SNP I hope will put this in their manifesto for 2016, they will win out of the park. Old saying, “strike while the irons hot”.

      It has never been hotter, 2016 is a certainty, what is in the manifesto is not. Now is the time to be bold, no time to waste.

      Might be their and our last chance.

    324. Dr Jim says:

      There are folk once again arguing for more talks with the UK on FFA or Devo Max or El Fukcing Supremo devo

      The whole of history right up until right this minute in time tells us really really loudly jump off the page screamingly ear burstingly that……..

      You can’t negotiate with Westminster, you’re not dealing with normal people here
      The minute you are prepared to negotiate with the worlds biggest liars and thieves, you just lost

      The UK Government understands two things, Power and Power,
      Pick one of those positions and you’re in with a chance

      Either we stand up and make a fight of it or we lie down and let them roll over us because that’s what they’ve started doing now, they’re mocking us for gods sake

      If we don’t do this politically now, our country will be stripped out just like before and there’ll be sod all left to fight for, and our Grandchildren will have a whole new set of folk songs to sing which will sound very like the ones our Grandparents used to sing except without the woolly jumpers, even though sheep might be the only thing left, but we’ll be eating them

      Watch for the hit coming to the I.T digital and gaming industries with the offers of better and bigger and more gooder opportunities and more lovely money in that big London

      Negotiate? Aye Right!

      Talk? My Fat Arse!

    325. Thepnr says:

      @Dr Jim

      There is no other NOW. I’m sure you know that.

      There is only NOW! I’ll try and appear sensible and say two things. The Scotland Bill is a pile of shite. That’s one, and two, the SNP must ask the Scottish people in May 2016 if they feel the same.

      I very much doubt there will be another opportunity in decades to give the people of Scotland the opportunity to tell Westminster exactly whet we think of them.

      And know what Dr Jim?

      If we that believe in Independence fail at that tine to ensure we win it will be our fault for failing to persuade the switherers, the doubters and the UKOK’s.

      Let’s though not think of any downside

      Reject the Scotland Bill, or at least let the give the People of Scotland the opportunity to reject it at the ballot box.

      This is the first big issue since the referendum. The SNP should be making hay despite what the media say. Please do it now, do not miss this chance. Right now.

      We will not go back in the box and I will not lie down.

    326. Sandy Henderson says:

      Just a thought. When the tory welfare plans, tax credit removal, etc. come into force south of the border, what’s the odds that riots will recommence with personal violence, burning of buildings, destroying everything in their path.
      After all, there seem to be quite a substantial number of single cell amoebas in their cities & towns.
      Remember what happened a year after the poll tax was introduced in Scotland.

    327. Schrodingers cat says:

      The anger atl and btl is palpable
      I read all your comments with interest

      But however Nicola frames her response, know this, she doesn’t need a referendum to confirm, she can simply put it in the snp manifesto and she will have an electoral mandate come May, i
      Wm will of course ignore that mandate, but the mandate will be a threat, a trigger for indy2 , I believe support for Indy is now over 50%, we are moving in the right direction
      Come May, we might be in a position to carry out the threat. Remember, 62% is the target

    328. Ken500 says:

      The Greens renege on their own policies and waste £Milllions/Billion of public money. Their campaigns are (secretly) financed by wealthy landowners. Against the majority wishes and the public interest. They voted against Independence at Westminster. Hypocrites.

      Scotland is half empty. There will be places where it is OK to frack. Instead of relying on imported fracked Gas from the US. Hypocrites.

    329. Early Ball says:

      @Lesley-Anne

      Great link. I agree PFI payments should be publicised and mentioned as much as possible. Line item in the budget statement for example.

    330. Ken500 says:

      There be no tax credits cuts or bombing of Syria, because of the SNP.

      The ‘Scotland’ Bill is irrelevant it changes nothing. The only thing that will change matters in Scotland is control of spending. Vote every Unionist politician out of Scotland. Then when the Polls are right go for Independence.

    331. Ken500 says:

      The SNP are protecting Scotland from Westminster Madhatter policies. Cameron and Osbourne are greedy, dangerous amateurs who can’t get their unmandated policies through the Commons but they do love a Parade. Totally greedy, ignorant and arrogant.

      What does Scotland spend £12Billion (the so called deficit) on in the rest of the UK. Where’s the list?

      Where’s the Chilcot Report. Over 5 years late. Westminster should be held to account.

    332. mealer says:

      It’s great to read all the various arguments,all the various “solutions” to the “problem” of the poisoned chalice that is the Scotland Bill.There is no great hurry.We work away,doing what’s best for Scotland.

    333. louis.b.argyll says:

      Yes, PFI repayments are crippling councils and health boards,..thanks to Gordon Brown putting our futures into the hands of the markets.

    334. Dorothy Devine says:

      Robert Peffers ,I have just been reading the comments – and many enlightening ones too – but I had forgotten the wonderful Spider and the Fly .Thank you!I shall read it to my grandchildren.

      I also noted there was a less than appreciative response from someone – I’d ignore that if I were you!

    335. Capella says:

      @ Lesley-Anne
      Hapless Labour MP, Ian Lavery, scores a spectacular own goal at PMQs in 2011. Being working class he is clearly not with the privatisation project. But Cameron cruelly disillusions him.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLcwhgrxTWs&sns=em

    336. starlaw says:

      Why do people want Devo Max or anything other, this relys on Westminster being honest and upright, a position unknown to Westminster.
      Independence is the only way.

    337. K1 says:

      We cannot allow them to harm the future generations of Scotland.

      We lost everything in the last 30 odd years, with their policies and the continuation when the Red Tory’s got their turn.

      We have to take our country back. They have to reject the Scotland Bill. Because we reject it. Just have to figure our whether there are enough of us willing to do this.

      I know it’s lame, but could we get a Scotland wide poll on this one question?

      Just to get some idea, I mean it’s got to be one for all and all for one?

    338. Glamaig says:

      …and Radio Scotland says this morning that ‘Lord’ Smith says the Scotland Bill give Scotland the most powerful devolved parliament in the world, and a Holyrood Committee says they will reject it if is found to be a pile of crap (I paraphrase)… and thats it from our national broadcaster – a full 5 second analysis of the biggest constitutional change since 1997.

    339. Capella says:

      OT Jihadi John killed again. Same MO different drone. These people have a remarkable ability to resurrect and become headlines again, and again.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34805924

    340. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      @Jim McIntosh
      I am not sure why the Greens are after the SNP list vote when they should be targeting disaffected Lib-Dems.

      They are basically in a head to head with them for the lower list seats and surely there can not be a better time to consign the Lib-Dem in Scotland to oblivion.

      With Carmichael being totally discredited in court whether he wins or loses his credibility is completely shot.

      Tavish Scott calling the court a show trial – bound to impress the judges.

      Lord Renard being promoted to Lib-Dem ruling body after his sexual exports will not go down well with female voters.

      Willie Rennie as Scottish leader?

      and I cannot even remember the UK leader’s name?

      So if the Greens cannot win some votes of the Lib-Dems, who are in a complete shambles, and pick up these list seats then they do not deserve them.

      SNP1 SNP2.

    341. john young says:

      This country is/has it,s full share of ("Tractor" - Ed)s,none more so than the “Orange Order” and their camp followers who for the world of me don,t eff off down to the home of the Union,where I am sure they would be welcomed with open arms you would think mm!as they do not consider themselves Scots in any shape or form.

    342. Angra Mainyu says:

      So, I have decided to yield to the force of Thepnr’s superior intellect.

      I am now his humble servant and am left wondering what “take it” and “just fucking do it” mean?

      I worry that people will think these phrases are suggestions for tattoos that a tourettes group came up with, so please elaborate, Thep….

    343. Ken500 says:

      Cameron is inviting every despot leader to Downing Street to try and scam money out of them. Instead of raising enough taxes in the rest of the UK to pay for essential services. Cutting essential public services, starving people and bombing half the world to bits. Welcome to Toryland. Junior Doctors are voting on strike action and A&E are at breaking point in England. Tories elected to protect the NHS and cut the debt.

      Osbourne is selling off the for former Nat Rock assets for £13Billion to a private equity company. No doubt for a large commission for his associates. Embezzling public funds.

    344. heedtracker says:

      BBC Scotland bosses lobby for ‘Scottish Six’ news programme
      Executives to tell Tony Hall that show would help answer growing complaints about corporation’s weak coverage of Scottish affairs

      http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/nov/13/bbc-scotland-bosses-lobby-for-scottish-six-news-programme

      Have to hand it to these chancers, they have a sense of humour, Scotland bill never happened right, vote SLab, or else, airbrush everything Scotland out of sight out of mind, that’ll fix them.

      Anyway you can easily have actual news about Scotland BBC bleh style, royals worshiping, cat stuck up a tree, murder most fowl, vote red and blue tory, SNP bad, bish bosh, wish we were England…and finally SNP bad.

    345. Proud Cybernat says:

      @ Angra Mainyu

      “The SNP are committed to playing by the political rules and so is everybody else it seems. That means they need Westminster approval for anything resembling a referendum on constitutional matters. I wish it were otherwise.”

      We don’t need WM approval to hold a referendum. The SNP called a referendum last time without WM’s approval and they did so because it was in their party manifesto and the people of Scotland gave them the mandate to hold one. What was WM going to do? Dismiss the democratic will of the people of Scotland? Really? They didn’t do that because they couldn’t. And the same will happen again. The PEOPLE are sovereign here, not WM.

      As for Devo-Max. David Cameron made sure it wasn’t on the ballot paper because:

      a) He didn’t ever want to give Scotland that much power and;
      b) He thought he could easily win a straight Indy Ref.

      Cameron gambled. And then, when it looked like his gambit was bust and that he might actually lose Scotland, what does he do–he makes vague, woolly promises of Devo-Max/Federalism and gets the compliant Corporate Media and State Broadcaster to drum his promise, ‘The Vow’, into people’s heads.

      And now, a year on, where do we find ourselves?

      With a broken promise and a pile of nothing.

      So let me ask YOU a question. When IndyRef2 comes along (as it most surely will), and the London Govt. promises Scotland Devo-Max / Federalism, “We really, really mean it this time” – will you believe them? After everything that has happened with the Scotland Bill and the utter contempt and humiliation shown towards our MPs and, by exyension, to the people of Scotland, would you believe their promise next time?

      If you are really honest with yourself, that answer will be an unequivocal “No chance!” And that is the conclusion any supporter of Devo-Max should also come to.

      If there is a majority in Scotland to have us self-governing then those who support that ideal must now see that there is only ONE way now to achieve it–despite any future promises (lies) spouted by any London Government.

    346. Robert Peffers says:

      @Sheryl Hepworth says: 12 November, 2015 at 7:40 pm:

      “What ever happened to the ”NO DETRIMENT” bit?? The Scotland Bill, as it stands is definitely detrimental to Scotland!!!”

      Nothing happened, Sheryl. It is a given that Scotland is exempt from all Westminster made laws. Just like, for example how Scots are the exception in the anti-racist laws. Under these laws it is a criminal offence to call a German a Hun but all right to call Scottish YES supporters NAZIs.

      Don’t even think of calling a Jew a Yid and heaven forfend calling a coloured person a darkie and worst of all never even think of offending a Muslim but Jocks, Haggis Basher and any other term of abuse thrown at the Scots is not only exempt from the law it is positively encouraged to the point of being almost compulsory.

    347. Macart says:

      Interesting comments overnight.

      Wee thought.

      Westminster has been given not one, not two, but three chances to come good on home rule/devo max/FFA. Two devolution referendums and an independence referendum to be precise. Three opportunities to come to an equitable settlement and three times it loaded the settlement in favour of the state construct.

      Devolution is power retained.

      IMO, Westminster’s establishment not only will not, but indeed cannot afford to allow Scotland full control of all of its fiscal levers and resource base. It wouldn’t even be that great a deal for Scots as we would still be paying for the UKs geopolitical adventures and a shit load of toys we’d rather see binned. We’ve already seen the lengths they would go to in order to retain full control via the ballot.

      Its true to say that devo max and federalism was not only achievable but desirable in terms of the UK state’s future where the people are concerned. Most folks just want to cut along together. People already know what is fair and acceptable, hell even the odd politician accepts this was the route of travel to retain the construct. Anything is achievable with enough will behind it.

      How and ever, that is NOT how WMs political establishment, the state, the corporate world or the UKs caste system works and it NEVER will. They all have invested heavily in the system as it currently works and they stand to lose far too much to allow that to alter lightly.

      Again IMO, if we truly want to aid our friends and family in England, retain the very closest social ties that bind, then Independence followed by some high level negotiation and a confederation I suspect is the way forward.

    348. Sinky says:

      Never fail to be amazed that more is not made of Gordon Brown’s PFI charade to get borrowing off bankrupt Britain’s balance sheet but is an ongoing burden for our Health Boards and Local Authority education budgets.

      Recently Einburgh Southern MSP Jim Eadie highlighted that under Edinburgh Royal Infirmary’s PFI contract, Consort Healthcare will be paid £47.8 million in Unitary Charge payments this year alone, for a hospital that cost £180 million to build.

      The hospital will cost the taxpayer £1.4 billion by 2034, allowing Consort Healthcare to make profits of around £14 million per year.

    349. Martin Wood says:

      “murder most fowl”

      What you got against chickens?

      and since it is “most” which ones would escape the slaughter?

      :->

    350. Ken500 says:

      Carmichael is a example as what can happen to the rest of the liars. It he paying his own expenses? Get a few more of them up in court. Hold them to account. Blair and Brown should be in jail. Westminster is full of crooks and criminals, using the Official Secrets Act to evade the Law.

      The UK is being run by a secret society. The Privy Council. The Royals are not impartial. The Press is owned by tax evading Non Doms. Or printing companies in Westminster’s pocket. The majority evading tax.

    351. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just a wee aside here.

      I don’t know if anyone watched BBCQT last night but I thought that Paris Lees did very well, apart from the wee bit she said about wanting S******d to remain part of the union. Other than that wee *ahem* slip I thought she fought her corner quite well, especially towards the end when she brought up the exorbitant cost of Trident and the *cough* missing £ Billions from tax avoidance.

      As per usual after she brought up ditching Trident we had the usual earsehole in the audience rabbiting on about how Trident has kept us all safe.

      I thought about that earsehole’s comment for a millisecond then asked him, through the force of E.S.P. you understand, how safe folks felt when the bombs were going off in London and two bampots tried, and FAILED, to blow up Prestwick airport?

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/6257194.stm

      Personally speaking I tend to think that this Trident white elephant did NOT stop these or any other terrorists in the U.K. so NO I do NOT feel safe thanks to Trident I feel bloody well UNSAFE!

    352. Robert Peffers says:

      @Angra Mainyu says: 12 November, 2015 at 8:03 pm:

      “There are degrees of independence just as there are degrees of socialism and everything else. You seem to be arguing a sort of purist line that separates you from those of a similar political complexion rather than brings us all closer”

      Absolute Claptrap, Angra.

      Independence is an absolute so, by definition, there are no degrees of independence. If you have the slightest dependence upon anything you are dependent. Socialism is not an absolute so you can be slightly socialist.

    353. HandandShrimp says:

      I will be kind to Smith in that although he has a vested interest in saying that his work was delivered (a lot of it was – the fact that it didn’t go far enough was an issue from day one) but he did say that it won’t work unless the fiscal framework is right. That is where the no detriment bit comes in.

      Regardless of what the bill does or does not include there is barely a single line on the fiscal framework yet. The bill will fall or pass on this key leg of the process. If the fiscal framework is good then I think the bill will go through Holyrood simply because every single step towards control over our own affairs is a step towards showing the nervous that Scotland can stand on its own feet.

      If Mundell and Co try to implement a fiscal framework that some sort of pathetic attempt at a booby trap (a more apposite term for anything constructed by Mundell is hard to think of) then it will be deservedly kicked into touch.

    354. Tam Jardine says:

      Macart

      Well said. The situation we are in with the poisoned chalice of the Scotland Bill brings to mind the first Russian roulette scene in the Deerhunter with the media slapping us in the face and screaming ‘Mau!’ at gunpoint.

      A time to hold one’s nerve and take it until the opportunity presents itself to break out.

    355. Training Day says:

      After the last few days, you’d need a heart of stone not to laugh at anyone who thinks we’ll ‘get’ devo max/FFA from the cesspit of entitlement and corruption that is Westminster.

      The point is worth repeating. Spend the next few years campaigning for devo max and you might end up with a second seat on the Northern Lighthouse Board for your efforts.

      Reject the Scotland Bill and for God’s sake let’s stop begging Westminster for scraps.

    356. heedtracker says:

      Independence followed by some high level negotiation and a confederation I suspect is the way forward.

      But its not going to happen.

      1. Red and or blue tory Westminster will not allow another referendum.

      2. If they ever did, Project Fear 2 BBC style will mean its NO again.

      Which is why the Scotland Bill has been buried by our staggeringly corrupt media and will just have to be accepted by SNP Holyrood.

      From now til the end of time, UKOK will merely state over and over, we gave you The Vow, shut up and get on with it.

      Ask anyone in Scotland if they know what the Scotland Bill actually is?

      Its the greatest shyste ever by the biggest shysters around and they are not giving up their last ever colony. A pack of spivs and crooks that never worked a day in their lives, what else could they do, actually be honest, honorable, trustworthy?

      They’re British. That’s not racist, it cant be, I’m still British, governed by British crooks with soft white hands, emptying Scottish wallets.

      And the majority in Scotland like it?

    357. Jim says:

      A cabbie who was forced at gunpoint to help rob a bank and believed he had explosives strapped to his body, was escorted by two Police Scotland officers to a location safely away from the public and where bomb disposal experts dealt with the crisis.

      Although no explosives were found, these 3 men potentially put their own lives at risk for the safety of others.

      The Sun has a front page headline praising the bravery of these men but unfortunately and perhaps predictably the BBC news website has a small headline burried way down it’s Scottish news page.

      How do you like them apples, Willie, Ruthy and Kezia?

      No doubt next FMQs you will be praising these brave men but I wont hold my breath.

    358. galamcennalath says:

      Training Day says:

      After the last few days, you’d need a heart of stone not to laugh at anyone who thinks we’ll ‘get’ devo max/FFA from the cesspit of entitlement and corruption that is Westminster.

      Precisely my assessment.

      The problem is too many people still appear to believe WM can somehow be persuaded to deliver it to Scotland. There is now amble evidence it is off the menu, now and forever.

      Two short term targets ..

      first, to secure a good SNP majority in May

      second, ensure everyone accepts the choice is DevoFA or Indy

      The second, killing all notions of DevoMax being available, really needs WM to declare that. The SNP need to get WM to admit the reality.

    359. Brian Powell says:

      Jim

      An armed officer in Edinburgh, dealing with a knife attacker, was stabbed four times. He took the decision not use his weapon in case he hit people in the background.

    360. Jim says:

      Sexual deviant, Lord Rennard has been appointed to the Lib Dem party’s ruling body.

      What say ye Willie Rennie, will you condemn this move?

    361. Lesley-Anne says:

      HandandShrimp says:

      If Mundell and Co try to implement a fiscal framework that some sort of pathetic attempt at a booby trap (a more apposite term for anything constructed by Mundell is hard to think of) then it will be deservedly kicked into touch.

      To be honest HaS I think we all know that Fundily Mundilly has already acknowledged that that is indeed going to happen. Remember Mharie Black asked wee Fluffy on Monday about the situation regarding the S******h government giving financial assistance to people who will have had their tax credits CUT. She asked Fluffy if he would confirm whether or not the WM government would see this assistance as taxable income. Needless to say wee Fluffy refused to answer which leaves me to draw only one conclusion … anyone who receives financial assistance from the SG to alleviate the draconian tax credit cuts WILL be taxed on the assistance!

      To me this one step alone should be enough for the SG to reject out of hand this deplorable excuse of a S******d bill!

    362. Capella says:

      What are the “new powers” which make Scotland the most devolved nation on earth?
      Apart from Abortion Law (which everyone but Yvette Cooper would have assumed already was devolved since the SNHS and legal system are separate), I can’t see these new powers spelt out.

      The ability to set tax rates existed already and the ability to mitigate welfare cuts. Perhaps these are “enhanced” but are not new.

      Allocating half of the VAT simply alters a line in the block grant. it is not a power.

      The Independent tries to define it:

      “What is in it?

      From April 2017, the Scottish Parliament will be able to set the rates and bands of income tax for the first time. It will also keep half of all VAT receipts and be allowed to top up welfare benefits and create new payments. The Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament will also be recognised as permanent parts of the constitution, with a referendum required before either can be abolished.

      Ministers at Holyrood will also be given control over Scotland’s abortion laws, although the SNP says it has no plans to make any changes in this area. Enhanced powers over welfare were also granted, including the ability to top-up any cuts to tax credits made by the UK government.”

    363. Macart says:

      Steady in the line Heed.

      Wait till you see the whites of their eyes…

      … and then moon them. 😀

    364. Jim says:

      @ Nana
      ______
      Tax office workers in Inverness were told yesterday that the office will shut in 2017 as part of a government project designed to save hundreds of millions of pounds.

    365. Grouse Beater says:

      Our ain Sweetie Wife can’t answer unexpected direct questions because he doesn’t have answers. he has to ask his master what to say.

    366. Jim says:

      Brian Powell says:

      Jim

      An armed officer in Edinburgh, dealing with a knife attacker, was stabbed four times. He took the decision not use his weapon in case he hit people in the background.
      _________________

      Which makes me mad as these so called opposition fuckers, Tory, Labour, two cheeks of the same arse and Lib Dems being the arsehole, never give praise where it is due, just negativity, negativity and more negativity.

    367. Robert Peffers says:

      @JimF says: 12 November, 2015 at 10:42 pm:

      “@Robert Peffers says: 12 November, 2015 at 7:29 pm:
      “Nah! How about not being so bloody stupid?”

      And then I nodded off.

      When you’re done boring people with your beery spittle peppered copy/pasted school poetry perhaps you might consider composing a more constructive response.

      More informed thinking outside the box than you or I are able to provide will be needed to get us out of this unionist trap.

      And take your pointy finger off my lapel”

      Yes Dear!
      There!
      There!
      There!

    368. Capella says:

      Forgot to include link to Independent article on the “raft of new powers”.
      https://archive.is/Sw8Zj

    369. galamcennalath says:

      Tax office jobs. Is Scotland going be hit proportionally harder, or are jobs being lost across the UK evenly?

      I ask because WM has two parallel agendas. Firstly, to redistribute wealth upwards by spending less and collecting less tax from the rich. And secondly, to attack Scotland to make independence increasingly more difficult.

      What’s happening at the tax offices, just the former or both?

    370. HandandShrimp says:

      Lesley-Anne

      Yes I agree, I do not trust Fluffy the Egregious one tiny inch. I think he will try to be clever, a terrible over-estimation of his own abilities, and if not reined in by Cameron will scupper the whole bill.

    371. Lesley-Anne says:

      Well what do you know … yet ANOTHER Tory BAMPOT minister opens her gob and spews SHITE!

      https://archive.is/JFlCu

      I tell you if some of these Tory morons actually had a solitary brain cell instead of completely empty space between their lugs they’d be TWICE as dangerous and TWICE as thick!

    372. Angra Mainyu says:

      @ Proud Cybernat

      Good question. Funnily enough, the question can be asked in respect of Independence too. In essence you are asking ‘how can we ever trust them to deliver anything that we vote for?’

      From Westminster’s perspective there’s no real difference between Devo-Max and Independence. Both scenarios, if realised, result in them losing control and access to resources and markets up here.

      Evidence suggests they’d suffer a 15 to 20% drop in GDP if we decoupled our economy and that’s huge for them. Let’s be under no illusions as to how important we are to the UK in economic terms.

      The independence argument is easier to win for Westminster because, like it or not, a lot of people here have ties with England etc.; making it easier to play on fears and emotions in any debate. At the same time, it’s hard to make a political case for dismissing those people as irrelevant, as much as some of us would like to (myself included), as long as you are committed to democratic
      processes.

      On the basis of the above, Devo-Max is the easier argument for us to win. That’s not to say I’d be happy being roped into another illegal war or allowing them any sort of say in defence and foreign policy matters, but I would view that as a temporary step in the right direction.

      The English economy depends to a huge extent on exploitation and involvement abroad so it would be just a matter of time before they served us an excuse to pull out of the arrangement.

      On the specific question of how trustworthy they are in terms of delivering, as I said, I know many people had the same concerns about independence. You’ve just got to trust that they would and deal with the consequences if they don’t.

      If you look around the world at the British ex-colonies, quite a lot of them were in a similar situation. India and Egypt are obvious examples; both went through decades of acrimony before Britain walked. When they did walk, though, the British approach changed dramatically and their policy aims shifted towards making the best of the new reality; evidence points to the British being unusually reasonable once they knew the game was up.

      That’s how I expect it will go if Scotland votes for Independence and it could be the same with Devo-Max providing the SNP goes to great lengths to define exactly what it means. The reason they could so easily rip us off with The Vow was down to the very loose definitions they gave as to what it amounted to. I don’t think any of us will be so daft next time.

    373. Robert Peffers says:

      @Dorothy Devine says: 13 November, 2015 at 8:06 am:

      “Robert Peffers ,I have just been reading the comments – and many enlightening ones too – but I had forgotten the wonderful Spider and the Fly .Thank you!I shall read it to my grandchildren.”

      You are most welcome. It is surprising that almost everyone can(mis)quote, “Come into my parlour said the spider to the fly”, but have never read the actual poem. It has, though, stood the test of time.

      “I also noted there was a less than appreciative response from someone – I’d ignore that if I were you!”

      I’ve been an independent minded wee cuss since I was around six years old. What others thought of me has left a wide channel on my back as it ran, like water, down my back.

      The guy’s reply only informs me I hit a nerve.

    374. nodrog says:

      I am ashamed of myself how could I possibly disbelieve the honest and forthright “Better Together Campaign”. Please accept my apologies – everything you warned us about – if we voted YES is beginning to happen.

    375. Ken500 says:

      HMRC isn’t fit for purpose. A shambles. The Tax Laws in the UK are not enforced by Westminster but they hound people to death.

      There will be no tax credits cuts or bombing in Syria. The SNP are preventing it. That will save a few £Billions.

    376. Flower of Scotland says:

      Robert Peffers.

      Keep on with your great comments. I copy a lot of them and keep them for a rainy day (or to use as ammunition!)

      When the wee “unionists” get angry, you know somethings working.

    377. galamcennalath says:

      @nodrog

      Aye. So much has happened I can’t remember if BetterTogether actually spelt out that the predictions in the fear and doom mongering was dependent on Yes or No.

      Perhaps they were just letting us know the Ten Plagues of Westminster were definitely heading Scotland’s way for simply daring to contemplate leaving UKOK.

    378. Thepnr says:

      @Angra Mainyu

      …am left wondering what “take it” and “just fucking do it” mean?

      Tell it like it is.
      Don’t beat around the bush.
      Say what you mean.
      Don’t lie to yourself.

      Guess I’m just rude. I don’t care enough to think about your feelings before opening my mouth.

    379. Bob Mack says:

      England has been a perpetual parasite throughout history. It survives by living off and feeding on others,like a tick on a sheep.

      We are the last host on which it can feed,given everybody else has rid themselves of the infestation.

      Without us they will die economically.

    380. Luigi says:

      Ruby says:

      13 November, 2015 at 12:19 am

      I watched the whole thing including the Smith interview which I wasn’t very impressed with.

      What did you think of Smith interview?

      He has obviously been got at – so desperate is WM to convince us to forget the vow (please) – the Smith Commission has been honoured. Someone had quiet word with Mr Smith and suddenly he is telling us everything is now hunky dory.

      The clock is ticking to May 2016 and a dismal 9% of scots believe that the vow has been honoured. If Gordzilla suddenly reappears and states that the vow has been honoured after all, then you know they are already in full panic mode. 🙂

    381. Robert Peffers says:

      @Flower of Scotland says: 13 November, 2015 at 10:22 am

      ” … When the wee “unionists” get angry, you know somethings working”

      And they sure are very, very angry just now. Two things I’ve learned in a fairly long life as an independence supporter are – the progress towards independence is slow but, in spite of the many setbacks, is all towards a slow move to independence.

      The second is to never let the doubters get you down and never take things too seriously or it will drive you to despair.

    382. galamcennalath says:

      The Unionist plan as I see it

      1) Attempt to deny the SNP a majority. Try to drive a wedge between left and centre. Talk up small parties on the list vote. So far the polls are holding up to their media divide and smear assault. If the SNP lose their majority, all is lost! Perhaps that should be looked at differently – eventually they will lose their majority so Indy needs be achieved before that happens.

      2) Use devolution as a poisoned chalice to damage the credibility of the SNP and SG. The objective is to make Scots feel if a limited devolved government fails, how could we contemplate full Indy?

      3) I sense a new tactic. Attempt to bog us down in a quest for more powers. Turn the gradualist approach to Indy into a never ending pursuit of elusive Home Rule. Keep the dream of a middle DevoMax way open, indefinitely.

      It’s not a bad plan.

    383. Dan Huil says:

      I know it’s been said many times on this site but one very good way of showing our disgust at the BritNat establishment and the bbc in particular is to refuse payment of the licence tax. Can’t the SG pass a law saying there will be no criminal and civil law proceedings against someone refusing to pay?

    384. Tam Jardine says:

      Training Day 9.17am

      Exactly my thinking- well said. I just hope my party is listening to the membership.

    385. caz-m says:

      Message to BBC Scotland and STV,

      Get that bastard Mundell in front of the camera to answer questions from an audience of “ordinary Scots”.

    386. Chic McGregor says:

      Don’t know how many times I have said this here but will repeat.

      The SNP position in their 2016 manifesto should be that they will, at a future date (early 2019?) decide on whether to have an indy2 referendum in late 2019 or early 2020. That decision will be based on how Westminster has treated Scotland, in particular how well it has fulfilled the promises made in indyref1.

      That, in a sane world, should curb the worst excesses of Westminster spite and be better for the Scottish people. If, as is likely given the psychotic mentality of most of the Tory leadership, that does not happen then they declare said referendum.

      If Westminster blocks it (using the ‘Supreme’ Court) it leaves time for independence to be the main plank of the 2020 manifesto with a call to all pro indy people to vote SNP regardless of nominal party. Thus securing a mandate to begin immediate negotiations for independence. If Westminster does not play ball then UDI remains the nuclear option, however since that would be the worst scenario for both sides, and faced with a clear mandate, Westminster will negotiate.

    387. Nana says:

      O/T

      Re Carmichael court case…

      https://fionamoraggrahame.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/bearing-witness/

      Germany protests to US on lack of transparency in trade talks [while the UK bends over]…

      https://euobserver.com/foreign/131099

      Sun Newspaper on BBCQT an absolute disgrace

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1l_nGZVCZg&feature=youtu.be

    388. Breastplate says:

      It’s actually quite frustrating reading through the comments to find people talking of events that might produce a trigger for indyref2.
      Wake up ffs.
      The SNP put it in the manifesto and then we vote for it. It is that simple.

    389. yesindyref2 says:

      Smith says “Scotland, Smith delivers”.

      What he means is “Scotland, Stand and deliver”.

    390. heedtracker says:

      Macart says:
      13 November, 2015 at 9:42 am
      Steady in the line Heed.

      Wait till you see the whites of their eyes…

      Red staring angry eye more like. Its not a stale mate but its close to it. The Vow’s a massive fraud and electorally half of Scotland wont vote red or blue tory again precisely because we know all it. They want Devo-Max? tell them we gave them it and fuck em.

      SO all they can do now is keep on pounding away at keeping SNP Holyrood and Westminster vote levels in check with relentless vote anyone but SNP BBC attack propaganda.

      Effectively what we’re experiencing is a test of this toryboy UKOK zealot’s thesis
      https://notesfromnorthbritain.wordpress.com/author/conlawforum/

      “All bubbles burst. All tides recede. Eventually. At the moment the SNP is, to many people, more of a cult than a political party. One poll found recently that 62% of Scots plan to vote for them next year despite only 35% of us thinking that they are doing a good job with the powers they have. But this too will pass, as Scots come to understand that the SNP is not just another anti-austerity protest movement but, you know, an actual government with, you know, actual powers and stuff. Reason can be blinded by the passions, but only for so long.”

      So sayeth BetterTogether Slovenia branch.

      But will the great Professor Smirky thesis hold?

      Is SNP vote actually only a UKOK electoral bubble or nascent nation state of Scotland appearing?

      Once again, its up to all the red/blue tory lads and lassies in newsrooms across teamGB.

      Are they capable of actually bringing down SNP Scots.gov and the triumphal return to power of the red tory party, where they so rightly belong?

      They destroyed the miners and Scargill, saved Snatcher Thatcherite UK, surely annihilating SNP is pretty straightforward, even for the red tory henchmen in Pacific Quay.

      They have their endless wars and endless terror but really need another Satchi and Satchi basically and stuff like London 2012 Olympics circus, ever 2 years.

      If you want to beat the red and blue toryboys, think like them, then detox, with WoS:D

    391. HandandShrimp says:

      galamcennalath

      It is a plan but I sense frustration with the Scottish electorate 🙂

      Someone linked the Hootsman story on the latest TNS poll and from a cursory glance at the comments section it seemed that there a was a tide of opinion that many Scots should be denied the vote because they were clearly not up to it

      In other words for all that their shenanigans annoy us, the obstinacy of the polls appears to be doing the SNPouters heads totally in.

    392. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Training Day at 9.17

      “The point is worth repeating. Spend the next few years campaigning for devo max and you might end up with a second seat on the Northern Lighthouse Board for your efforts.”

      Exactly!

    393. Chic McGregor says:

      @galamcennalath
      Yes that plus personal smearing of Nicola and other SNP politicians plus hammering the one party state nazi line plus anti-Tory leaders for Lab and Libdem.

      Wee bit surprised they are not, temporarily, allowing Corbyn to be a bit more credible, but time for that yet.

      If they do allow Corbyn some credibility I think we will lose.

      All very predictable you would have thought but I was dismayed at the level of hubris on display by SNP supporters in general after the 2015 result, if not by the hubris of the politicians.

    394. manandboy says:

      and with that, snow began to fall ….

    395. heedtracker says:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-34807881

      “The man who chaired the Smith Commission on Scotland’s devolution settlement has said the Scotland Bill honours the agreement that was reached.

      Lord Smith of Kelvin also said his cross-party commission’s welfare power recommendation had been “delivered in full”.
      The bill was backed by the House of Commons on Monday.
      The SNP did not oppose it despite saying the bill fell “far short” of the Smith recommendations.”

      Unelected Lord Nobody dictates, BBC lie, another day in teamGB.

    396. North Chiel says:

      “Dave Mcewan Hill” comment at 1212am .If you go back to the original post from
      Galamcennalth at 12.12 pm ( yesterday) , you will see that “Devo/FFA next step”
      was specifically a “tactic” to trigger 2nd referendum.( denying the sovereign will of the Scottish people”.)I do not believe for one minute that Westminster would “grant” FFA.I note an
      interesting post on this from “a-Stuart” at 12.59am.

    397. Macart says:

      They’ve been trying for a long time Heed.

      Wonder how that’s working out for them? 😀

    398. john king says:

      L/A @10.34

      that is frightening L/A considering Scotland is supposed to be THE most politically electorate in the UK,

      If they dont know who the darling of BBC scotland is what chance is there of them knowing just how disgracefully their representatives are being treated in westminster and by extension they themselves!

    399. caz-m says:

      The Tories want to “push” the Scotland Bill through by March.

      Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government should use all the powers at it’s disposal to reject, delay or stall this in the Scottish Parliament, send it back to Westminster and tell them where they can shove their Scotland Bill.

    400. Sinky says:

      Usual Daily Wail headlines this morning over Sandra White’s unthinking retweeting but don’t recall any mention of Ian Smart or Cllr Terry Kelly or Marie Rimmer MP or any Labour apologies.

      http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/st-helens-mp-marie-rimmer-10290113#ICID=sharebar_twitter

      Sums up Westminster when someone facing criminal charges for assault is appointed to Justice and Human Rights Committee in preference to one of Scotland’s most eminent QCs Joanna Cherry.

      PS Good article by Scot goes Pop on Holyrood list vote

      http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/maintaining-pro-independence-majority.html

    401. yesindyref2 says:

      Just for interest, Smith is Chair of the British Green Investment Bank. It was announced in June that the Green Bank is to be part privatised, I think it has received about £1.8 billion of taxpayers miney so far, could be wrong.

      By part privatised that means 70% “to be free of state aid restrictions currently in place”.

      I daresay the usual suspects will get their cut, and the bank will be sold off for less than was invested in it – by us.

      But never fear, Smith is here. Smith will deliver.

    402. starlaw says:

      Scotland .. the most powerful devolved parliament in the world .. I’ve never heard mention of any others, who do we compare ourselves with ?

    403. Jim McIntosh says:

      I see the GMS after 9 topic this morning was should we allow poorer students into Uni with lower grades.

      I don’t see the problem, Prince Charles got into Cambridge with a B and a C at ‘A’ level, and Prince Edward with two ‘D’s at ‘A’ level.

      Oh wait, they’re not poor are they.

    404. galamcennalath says:

      Chic McGregor says:

      ” I was dismayed at the level of hubris on display by SNP supporters in general after the 2015 result, if not by the hubris of the politicians.”

      The 2015 result was welcome, but with the Tory majority was never likely to deliver anything significant in a policy sense. The value of the 56 is mainly to expose WM for what it is to more Scots. And, perhaps send a message that we aren’t happy bunnies.

      Welcome, yes, but not the victory it would have been 20 years ago!

      A good result in 2016 is more important. Our whole future hangs on that.

    405. heedtracker says:

      Macart says:
      13 November, 2015 at 11:19 am
      They’ve been trying for a long time Heed.

      SNP bad of The Guardian day thing, so far

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/12/new-politics-old-politics-tribalism-labour-conservatives

      This red tory conman says UKOK politics good, but the fly in their Britishness is, wait for it

      “New politics? Pull the other one. And while we’re on the dark arts, do not forget the SNP. This is the party which likes to see itself as new politics incarnate, and which until recently made a virtue out of only voting on Scottish business on the grounds that England and Wales were none of their concern.

      This week, the SNP found a compelling reason of, ahem, principle, why it was necessary to join the other opposition parties and a group of Tory rebels and vote against the government’s Sunday trading reforms, which do not affect Scotland in any serious way.”

      SNP and their dark arts?

      I honestly had no idea just how corrupt UK hacks are and I just got here on a neep truck.

      Just don’t mention the Scotland bill everyone. As long as we keep in the dark the UK is saved for another week at least.

    406. Macart says:

      @caz-m

      Weeellll, there is more than one possible method.

      Say, for instance, the Scottish Government states that they will table the question of acceptance before the Scottish electorate as part of the SNPs manifesto? Acceptance, or not, determined by democratic mandate?

      Then of course there is always the old tried and trusted long grass of endless debates and committees in Holyrood itself.

      WM aren’t the only ones who can play the delaying game. 😉

    407. Jet Jockey says:

      Star Law @ 11.31.
      I was trying to figure that out myself , can anybody help? Fluffy must know he has made that comment at least 10-15 times over the last couple of weeks on the telly, ask him to explain how Scotland becomes the most powerfully devolved country in the world!!!!

    408. Triangular Ears says:

      @ Dave McEwan Hill:

      Hi Dave, I didn’t and don’t want just devolution either, but the sad fact is that we voted against full independence and the agenda now, whether we like it or not, is to get the best devolution we can for now.

      Everyone is of the view that the Vow was far more than the current Scotland Bill (and I accept all the arguments about the Vow being vague, but what matters is what people perceived it to be much more).

      I’m simply proposing that we establish legally and unabiguously, via a plebiscite, that the current offering is unacceptable and that nothing less that DevoMax will do for the vast majority of the population. Personally, nothing less that full independence will do for me, or has ever done for me, or will ever do for me, but I’m one voice in 5 million.

      This approach has advantages that it’s not necessarily another independence referendum (depending on wording) and so is harder to argue against, and also might not use up our ‘second shot’ depending on wording.

      It might also ‘prove’ to soft Nos once and for all that there is no meaningful devolution coming ever and so they better just get with the programme and vote Yes the next time.

    409. Angra Mainyu says:

      lol @ Thepnr who says ” I don’t care enough to think about your feelings before opening my mouth.”

      You really did make me giggle with this.

      Anyway, I’m not sure it’s my feelings you should be concerned with. I was thinking more about your reputation.

      If you want to take part in a grown up debate about Scottish Independence then you have a responsibility to explain what “just take it” and “just fucking do it” mean.

      They’re your words.

    410. Fireproofjim says:

      The Scotland bill should be rejected as unworkable and not fit for purpose.
      Write to your MSP asking him or her to vote it down in Holyrood.

    411. Fred says:

      Stop harping on about Devomax, it was never on offer and never will be, it’s Shit-Creek or Independence, your choice?

    412. Bill McLean says:

      Growing feeling of bickering going on here in the last few days. Just because we are nearly all angry with the insult from Westminster that they have vomited at us is no reason to take it out on each other! Remember that the disgrace that is Britain has always kept power by divide and rule! Stop aiding them!

    413. Rock says:

      Robert Peffers,

      “The reason that it is not working so well in practice is people like you who don’t know their foot from their elbow.”

      The reason it is not working in practice is it doesn’t and never existed in practice.

      The plebs never were “sovereign”.

      Give a single example of the Scots’ “sovereignty” ever having worked in practice.

    414. TheWealthOfNations says:

      This is accidentally a great example.

      A Trojan Horse is only an effective strategy if your opponent is unaware of its nature.

      Had the people of Troy been aware of the nature of the Greek ‘gift’ they would have lit the thing on fire and at a stroke eliminated some of the best of their enemies warriors.

      The question we should be asking ourselves is not should we accept this ‘poisoned chalice’ but how can we turn it to our advantage?

      Had I a game plan to use the Scotland Bill to turn the tables on my opponents you had better be damn sure I would be keeping my big gob shut about it until after it was too late for Westminster to back out or make changes that anticipated my moves.

    415. Thepnr says:

      @TheWealthOfNations

      Best post on this article. Thanks.

    416. Tom Platt says:

      Well said, Thepnr! I came here to post my late but considered thoughts on this mess that is Cameron’s Scotland Bill. I will not do so for 2 reasons:-
      1. I will merely be repeating the suggestions of others here.
      2. As you imply, with your reference, to do so would merely allow the Unionists to read and provide an opportunity to take avoiding action.

      I will rest content that the Holyrood Government will guide us to a National Consultation.with voting coincident with May’s Holyrood election if they do not reject it outright before then. As an English Scot I am delighted with the quality of strategic thinking that SNP have employed in recent years. We are in good hands.



    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