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The truth may out

Posted on November 30, 2014 by

As the Unionist press and parties indulge in orgasmic paroxysms this week about how “The Vow” has allegedly been delivered and exceeded, it rings even stranger that absolutely nobody wants to claim the credit for authoring the historic document that saved the UK. Our investigations continue.

To: Prime Minister’s Office
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request – Material relating to “The Vow” on Scottish devolution

Dear Prime Minister’s Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Prime Minister’s Office’s handling of my FOI request ‘Material relating to “The Vow” on Scottish devolution’.

The Prime Minister is a signatory to the document, and given its multi-party nature and the negotiations described by the editor of the Daily Record it seems highly implausible that there were no communications recorded with regard to it. Perhaps if his office does not hold the records it could tell us who does.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address.
Yours faithfully,

Stuart Campbell

(Apart from the long paragraph in the middle it’s a form letter from the website, so we’re disclaiming all responsibility for “I am writing”.)

Not unrelatedly, we’ve also filed a formal complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation regarding the Daily Record’s appallingly dishonest coverage of the Smith Commission report:

“The statement on the front page of the Daily Record that “Scottish Government budget to nearly double” is a flat-out lie. The Smith Commission report which the article concerns expressly and explicitly states (on page 9) that its recommendations will ’cause neither the UK Government nor the Scottish Government to gain or lose financially simply as a consequence of devolving a specific power’ and (on page 25) that ‘the Scottish and UK Governments’ budgets should be no larger or smaller simply as a result of the initial transfer of tax and/or spending powers’.

It notes further on page 25 that ‘the initial devolution and assignment of tax receipts should be accompanied by a reduction in the block grant equivalent to the revenue forgone by the UK Government”.

It is therefore categorically and unambiguously false to state that the recommendations would ‘nearly double’ the Scottish budget. They would in fact not change it at all, and that they would NOT change it was in fact one of the fundamental guiding principles of the Commission’s report.

The Daily Record printed the Commission’s findings in full, and is therefore perfectly well aware of this fact. The claim on its front page is therefore a deliberate attempt to mislead readers.”

We also sent the same letter directly to the Record, but have as yet received no reply and no correction has been printed. To be honest, we suspect both requests will be fobbed off, but we can only try. Because at the very least, the Scottish people deserve to know exactly who it was who sold them out.

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    1. 30 11 14 11:11

      The truth may out | Politics Scotland |

    2. 30 11 14 12:03

      The truth may out | FreeScotland

    3. 30 11 14 12:40

      The truth may out - Speymouth

    98 to “The truth may out”

    1. jimnarlene says:

      I don’t think I could my breath that long, awaiting any answer; from either body.

    2. Capella says:

      Thanks for pursuing this Stu. The press (and TV and radio) are an utter disgrace in the UK. Of course IPSO is a press baron’s dining club and in no way meets the Levinson recommendations but that can just be added to the ever increasing list of inquiries whose recommendations are either buried or filed in bin.

    3. john ferguson says:

      Rev, I understand the motivation of “What’s in it for me” what I don’t understand is what’s in it for the Daily Record to produce tripe.

    4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      John: the Record’s chief motivations are its own sales and the fortunes of the Labour Party. It can see (from circulation figures and opinion polls) that “The Vow” is backfiring in both those regards, and is desperately trying to convince Scots that it was a good thing to save its own and Labour’s skins.

    5. Helena Brown says:

      Thank You Stuart, as long as we have a dishonest press in this country we have no democracy. I am sure I am not alone in thinking that it took the Referendum to expose their shortcomings. Good luck with this. we will hope for better luck than with the Cabinet Office.

    6. Juteman says:

      Many thanks for your dogged pursuit of the truth, Stu. The ‘Vow’, and the folk involved in it, are guilty of a massive con trick on the Scottish people.
      I strongly believe that this con trick swung the result of the referendum.

    7. Grouse Beater says:

      Better a request for clarification and explanation recorded as sent than shrugging shoulders and accepting defeat as a matter of course. The effort draws attention to reluctance on the part of our elected representatives to be open and honest.

    8. Pam McMahon says:

      Saw somewhere else this morning, in relation to the MSM current cover-up of the CSI enquiry, the description “presstitutes”
      Thought it summed up the UK media exactly.

    9. dramfineday says:

      Well done Stuart…..certain feet should be toasting quite nicely by now I should think. Another log for the fire Daily Wrecker or is it getting hot enough for you?

    10. Alastair Seago says:

      Can’t really see the point of transferring control of income tax when any difference will result in changes to block grant and leave Scotland with the same amount of money. Just creates another layer of bureaucracy.

    11. steviecosmic says:

      I read a story several years ago, I think on NNS, of a conversation between a journalist and the then editor of the Daily Record in which the journalist was asking why the Record wouldn’t run a story of some scandal in the Labour party. The editor replied that it had come down to him from Labour HQ that if he ran the story, Labour would withdraw the £1,000,000 a year they spend in advertising in the paper, revenue which the paper relies on to survive.

      The Daily Record is practically owned by the Labour party. Only a cursory glance at it’s referendum coverage is enough to convince the most ardent cynic that this is the case.

    12. boris says:

      I wish you luck with your request. Succinct because it goes right to the cabinet office and the heart of government. It is this place that is manipulating, controlling and directing all events pertaining to the referendum and the Smith report.

      I have posted to my blog a report on Steve Hilton, the chap credited with the election of the Tory part of the present government. He fell foul of the 3 amigo’s who are in charge of the coalition government, namely Sir Jeremy Heywood, George Osborne and (he of the poisoned tongue) Danny Alexander.

      Of note is Cameron’s Contract letter to the nation of My 2010 in which he proclaimed a number of commitments which if undelivered would be sufficient to bring about a change of government in 2015. I wonder just how many of the firm pledges have been kept/achieved.

      It seems to me Cameron and his cronies are playing the game of the gods with the Scottish nation, “those whom the gods wish to destroy the first make mad”. But we Scot’s must not get mad. We just need to get even.

    13. Valerie says:

      At least someone is challenging the Rancid crap. It’s a disgrace to any decent journalist to think they can put blatant lies on their FrontPage to manipulate sales.

      We know what is happening, many don’t, so they work from there, really disgusting.

    14. scotcat2014 says:

      Sorry for going O/T but Lord Smith on Sunday Politics Scotland undergoing probably the least incisive interview I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness. Utter disgrace to journalism.

    15. Murray McCallum says:

      Good work Stuart.

    16. sinky says:

      Scotcat the soft soap bbc interview was similiar to the fawning deference they reserve for the monarchy and gordon brown who are never questioned

    17. galamcennalath says:

      Stu, keep up the pressure. We are in for a long war of attrition with the next significant skirmish being WM2015. The more discredited the MSM, Labour and WM look by then the better.

    18. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      OT but relevant and far enough into the thread not, I hope, to disrupt it

      ? Ponsonby, I think the guy who founded Newsnet Scotland, appears not to be connected with it any more and is writing a book on how the BBC stole the Referendum and is crowdfunding an appeal to support him whilst he writes it.

      I have read the first chapter and guess what, Blair McD was central to ensuring that the BBC was not devolved in Scotland to Holyrood!

      The first chapter is free to read and by contributing you will get the second one free.

      Apologies for being OT.


    19. Macart says:

      Well said Rev.

      Though as jimnarlene points out holding your breath may not be an option. 🙂

    20. heedtracker says:

      Its certainly worth complaining but this is just a tiny sample of our noble UKOK establishment at the trough and that’s what the Daily Record THE VOW was so desperate to save.

    21. Rev, good work.

      I would just like to say thanks, I don’t know how you keep daeing this shite day after day. I know I would have chucked it months ago.

      I suppose I’m saying, yir a better man than me.

    22. Roberto Esquierdo says:

      I wrote it on here numerous times leading up to the referendum. How do you educate the poorly educated . There lies the problem. A lot of people are so fick they believe everything they read. Fact—–Labour controlled below average academic achievement.

    23. Karmanaut says:

      The Labour Party. The party of the “Brown Promise”. You can always tell a Brown Promise, because it stinks.

    24. Brian says:

      my sincere thanks for continuing to pursue the liars and distorters of the truth. I’m sure you feel like it’s banging your head against a brick wall. Maybe the results in May next year will alleviate the pain.

    25. caz-m says:

      scotcat2014 11.45am
      “Lord Smith on Sunday Politics Scotland undergoing probably the least incisive interview I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness.”

      I also put myself through the pain barrier to listen to that mince. It was a competition between the interviewer and the interviewee to see who could whisper in the lowest tones. Cringing with embarrassment for the two of them.

      It was like one of those powder puff American ABC interviews. All that was missing was the vaseline smeared round the camera lens to give it that extra bit of fluff.

      FFS BBC Scotland, who exactly is your target audience?

    26. Clydebuilt says:

      Well done Stuart, keep up the excellent work.

      Ps have you seen the article on Willie McRae in today’s Sunday Express.

    27. Grouse Beater says:

      Did the SNP members on the commission sign up to the recommendations, or is there an appendix in the report stating their concerns over watered-down policies being prejudicial to Scotland’s economic health?

      Whilst it’s politic to agree to sit on the Commission and not resist change before it’s exact nature is discussed, it’s quite another to sign up to changes aware of their destructive consequence.

    28. proudscot says:

      Surely the Press Complaints Commission if complained to, must censure the Daily Record’s Editor and its political correspondent (Torquil Crichton?), for this obviously deliberate attempt to mislead its readers. Come on Scottish Government Press Office, this is one of these times when a genuinely necessary official complaint can not be misinterpreted by the unionists as either bullying or suppression of the press.

    29. Famous15 says:

      Whoever posted the three ginger bottles story should get a plain english award.

      The story goes that a wee boy found three ginger bottles (returnable) for which the corner shop would pay him a penny each.

      He tells his dad and his dad being Westminster generous says that’s great son I’ll only need to pay you half your pocketmoney now.

      Perhaps this is what the Daily Record means by doubling a budget?

    30. caz-m says:

      In a lot of ways, the Daily Record is like the ship HMS Bounty, with Murray Foote acting more and more like the deluded Captain Bligh.

      Surely the crew on HMS Daily Record are starting to notice the downward direction that their newspaper is going in.

      What they need is is a “Fletcher Christian” character to stand up to Captain Bligh (Murray Foote). C’mon Daily Record staff, grow a pair and throw your very own Captain Bligh into the lifeboat and set him adrift.

      If not, the good ship Daily Record is going to sink, with you lot stuck onboard unable to get off.

      It’s your move.

    31. Marcia says:


      We did. See previous thread for the comments about it.

    32. scunnered says:

      you have some patience stu i get stressed oot just reading about the lies..thanks for exposing the lies and not letting them con half of scotland all over again

    33. Patrician says:

      a bit o/t. Some of the usual suspects in Dundee today.

    34. Luigi says:

      Keep the pressure on Stu. Sooner or later someone will blink and it will all unravel. They won’t be able to hold the line forever. The truth will out eventually.

    35. wingman 2020 says:

      Meanwhile… Out and about in central Scotland it is still difficult to find many ‘NO’ ‘voters.

      How is it possible that ‘NO’ voters appear to be so scarce?

      I have a broad and varied network of friends and contacts. I move in fairly wide circles and speak to almost everyone… and yet without ‘spooking’ anyone (e.g. allowing the conversation to casually reach the referendum and without any YES badges or signs that I am YES) I find that there is a dearth of NO voters?

      Did the cynical Scots really swallow the VOW in the percentage that was the referendum result?

      More and more, I simply don’t understand how we reached a ‘NO’ outcome.

    36. Grouse Beater says:

      I ask that question (at 12.48) because we will be judged by our record of resistence. If we don’t point out the Smith Commission’s recommendations are a poisoned chalice we have put it to our lips as well as the next generation.

    37. caz-m says:

      Protest against Trident, Live right now at Faslane.

    38. AuldA says:

      @BtP: Given some quids to the guy.

      Stu’, I suppose it won’t be an easy task. It’s not unlike David versus Goliath.

      Did you see that by the way?

    39. tombee says:

      @Tree of Liberty,

      With respect,
      I do not think you wished to portray the Rev as ‘daen shite’. I feel sure you wished to convey that he was clearing up shite.
      Doing the job that the gutless slobs of the so called UK free press fail to do.

    40. Macca73 says:

      If they are all acting so proud of “THE VOW” why is nobody from any party laying claim to it.

      Also, I don’t understand why people on the NO side never own up to the fact that it was this vow that made people change vote based on it. YES was winning in all the opinion polls upto the point they pulled this out the hat.

      Just two observations I couldn’t help but throw out there.

    41. Barontorc says:

      Would it not be appropriate to send a similar FOI to the Scottish Government asking what representations it has made to the UK government and the three leaders who have signed the VOW?

      I am certain that much correspondence is passed from the SG that we the public do not know about and which the SG cannot bring to the table because of political etiquette, or whatever it may be called, but which would have to be revealed under FOI.

      The list must be endless; BBC, VOW, the Pound, Trident, Oil, Crown Commission, Bedroom Tax, etc.,

      What is the SG view of the Briefing Note registered in Parliamentary papers which tells all and sundry that the DR has printed the VOW which was signed by the three UK party leaders? See below:-

      Scotland: Devolution proposals
      Standard Note: SN/PC/06987
      Last updated: 27 November 2014
      Author: Hazel Armstrong and Paul Bowers
      Section Parliament & Constitution Centre

      2.3 UK party leaders’ “vow”

      On Tuesday 16 September the leaders of the UK political parties issued a joint signed statement of undertakings, which was published in the Daily Record, under the headline, “The Vow”. The statement included:

      The Scottish Parliament is permanent and extensive new powers for the Parliament will be delivered by the process and to the timetable signed and announced by our three parties, starting on 19 Sept….

      We agree that the UK exists to ensure opportunity and security for all by sharing the resources equitably across all four nations to secure the defence, prosperity and welfare of every citizen.

      And because of the continuation of the Barnett allocation for resources, and the powers of the Scottish Parliament to raise revenue, we can state categorically that the final say on how much is spent on the NHS will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament….

      We will honour these principles and values not only before the referendum but after.

      Three leaders sign promise to Scotland, Daily Record, 15 September 2014.

    42. Andy-B says:

      Well done Rev, for not letting Daily Record off the hook, its a complete and utter disgrace that a paper that’s mean’t to represent the folk of Scotland (Or so it claims) could so willfully dupe them, into believing its false claims.

      We expect that kind of action from Westminster MP’s not our daily newspapers.

      Meanwhile the daily record’s sister paper the Sunday Mail, has given Gordon Brown a double page spread, in which Brown tries to convince Scots to vote Labour.

      The Daily Record has surely caused itself irreparable damage.

    43. Clootie says:

      No need to worry about more powers or their impact.

      It is becoming increasingly clear that neither Labour or the Tories wish to change the cosy relationship at Westminster (despite the bluster). Sufficient reviews and studies will give the illusion that they actually care what the people say – without actually doing anything.

      The “Vow” was given to cross one bridge – winning a NO vote in the Independence debate. The next hurdle is the 2015GE. EVEL / Gordon Browns “Reset” are all part of the traditional party self interest of winning back voters. Tories from the Daily Mail/UKIP/South of England “we subsidise the Scots” brigade and Labour from the SNP.
      Neither of these Parties cares about Scotland or it’s people and certainly not the disadvantaged in society.

      You achieve nothing in politics without leverage. If you want Independence or the devolution of “real” powers then you need a strong SNP group at Westminster next year.

      Keep in mind why many of us took part in the YES campaign – We wanted a fairer Scotland.

      They want us to “go away” and to let things return to their idea of normal. I see little chance of that!

      Keep talking to friends and family about the lack of fairness in our society and the need for change. Keep up the pressure because your voting intent is all they truly understand.

      It is all that scares them.
      a) The Tories at the thought of a large SNP block NOT supporting them (and actually behaving like socialists)
      b) Labour losing its 40+ seat entitlement delivered by Scotland to help deliver a “Right Wing” agenda promised to Middle England.

      Voting SNP may be difficult for some but consider the overall gain of a unified party block at Westminster. With the first past the post system any split allows Labour to hold on – and people will continue to suffer as both main parties are united on delivering savage welfare cuts.

    44. Jack Murphy says:

      Bugger(the Panda)at 12:02
      ‘How The BBC Stole The Referendum’.
      Book coming out soon subject to funding.
      Here’s another link with the full Chapter One free:…/6-how-the-bbc-stole-the-referendum
      “Chapter 1 – Turning Yes into No”
      A quote:–“The BBC had stolen the referendum from under the noses of the Scottish electorate. So bad had been the BBC’s behaviour that former BBC reporter Paul Mason tweeted the following:
      ‘Not since Iraq have I seen BBC News working at propaganda strength like this. So glad I’m out of there.’ ” !!!
      Let’s support the book. 🙂

    45. Dr Jim says:

      Was not the most important aim of the Sith Commission from our point of view Holyrood’s permanency so that our parliament was free from the threat of being dissolved by any UK government, and the ability to hold referenda if it chose, both of which have been achieved, we did’nt expect anything else financially did we? I’m happy, coz they’ve proved themselves to be exactly what everybody knew them to be and try as their Media Propaganda machine will, it’s too late already, “The truth is out there xxx”

    46. bookie from hell says:

      REV–your wrong—nobody wants to claim credit praise the VOW–our fav journalist–AC

      At the root of this strange phenomenon was the Vow: a piece of brilliant tabloid journalism in which the leaders of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties promised “extensive” extra powers for the Holyrood Parliament.

    47. fred blogger says:

      BT knew that only a shaky few % needed to swallow the con, they did, job done.
      the truth is now out and irrefutable, thanks to wings.
      as admitted, and confirmed by the polls, many of the 2m who voted no, voted for devo-max.
      devo-max has not been delivered, nor will it be.

    48. Dan Huil says:

      It will take years for all of the Smith recommendations to be implemented – if all recommendations get through the Westminster parliament in the first place.
      EVEL will be in place before Smith.
      In my opinion Evel and its consequences will be a bigger step towards independence.

    49. Bob W says:

      @Dr Jim

      Nothing has been achieved, until any recomendations are passed into law.

    50. HandandShrimp says:

      The Record’s coverage of the Vow and the aftermath has been little short of inept. They got shafted by Cameron and they know it.

      One might feel sorry for them if they were honest brokers but they participated in all of this purely to achieve one outcome. They are willing dupes and therefore to be despised.

    51. allan thomson says:

      Pity Labour are leaderless at the moment. It would be interesting to hear their recommendations for best use of the forthcoming enlarged Scottish budget. Contact your Labour MSP for his/her suggestions.

    52. peter says:

      The Scottish people have been hoodwinked, the establishment
      has done it’s job, and with the help of ("Tractor" - Ed)s within Scotland we will get absolutely zilch. What they give with one hand they will take it away with the other hand zero zero zero . Thats what We get………….

    53. IAB says:

      Decent article in the Guardian – I prefer Liar to Politician though if we were giving Cameron a title

    54. caz-m says:

      Get Jim Murphy and Murray Foote into a TV studio with a neutral Scots audience and don’t let them out until they explain how this is a good deal for Scotland.

      Gordon Brown, aided by BBC Scotland, repeated the moves he carried out during the Referendum yesterday, get the speech filmed in front of a mute, willing audience, then show film on every news bulletin thereafter, simples.

      Then the third player in the Trinity (Daily Record/Sunday Mail) prints it.

      BBC Scotland
      Scottish Labour
      Daily Record

      These three are our true enemy.

    55. Grouse Beater says:

      The Scottish people have been hoodwinked

      Well, stupifyingly trusting. I’d have hoped after every political party denied Scotland using the pound the majority of intelligent people would see clearly how aggressive is English political policy towards Scotland’s democratic rights.

      They were absolutely right those who said whether you want independence or whether you want Devo-Max you should vote Yes, otherwise we get nothing.

    56. Valerie says:

      Can anybody think of a journalist that is more arrogant, conceited and repugnant than Alan Cochrane???

      I feel sick reading the vitriol and his self love, he also has a strange fixation on commenting on men’s bodies.

    57. BrianW says:

      I appreciate that private enterprises such as the Daily Record have agendas to pursue and push. Some papers are Red Tops, some are Tory Trumpet pieces (hard to tell the two apart these days mind you). We even have our own in The National.

      But to blatantly pull the wool over readers eyes in an attempt to prevent a nation from self determination, then to claim the results are just what they asked/campaigned for, and to readers benefit, defies me.

      I’m delighted that their readership is dwindling (just wish it would dwindle a bit quicker). Folk at my work, who voted ‘Yes’ still buy the trash – force of habit they say, and yet complain about the Record’s blatant Unionist Stance, and lies.

      I, like many Stuart do appreciate the effort and energy you put into getting to the knitty gritty of the facts/story/lies that we see/hear every day. If only the people in the media (especially the BBC in my mind) had the balls to be the slightest bit objective in their reporting. That they cared for the story and gave a shit for the people who read their pieces, the people who are ultimately affected on a daily basis by the politics that impacts our daily lives.

      No, they choose to adopt an agenda. A self protecting agenda. The Record has chosen to adopt (in my view) a megalomaniac ‘UK Labour Branch in Scotland’ stance in it’s reporting. Preaching to it’s readers an opinion it seeks to spread across the nation in the hope it’s influence becomes ingrained in readers through some form of osmosis, all with a large whiff of Labour.

      I’ve never been aware of such a dereliction to the regard for peoples well being in the reporting that has been evident these last few years. I can stop buying papers, this hurts them in the pocket, but for a publicly funded broadcaster to thrown it’s journalistic integrity to the wind is shameful.

      The media know the Smith Commission is a load of shite and is of no benefit to the people of Scotland, but yet it fails to say so. Too busy with their Propaganda machine to see the wood for the trees.

      If only those in the MSM had the same zest for getting to the truth of a story as yourself Stuart and being open about it.

      Sad times.

      (rant over.. ahhhh.. this is like

    58. Dr Jim says:

      Too many tits not enough breast milk…Bye…

    59. Clootie says:

      Valerie says:
      30 November, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      Unfortunately Yes!

      They mostly work at the Daily Record / Herald / Scotsman / The Mail/BBC………….need I go on 😀

      Cochrane doesn’t have a lot of readers so his damage is limited. The Daily Record has a lot of “Labour” readers therefore the damage is magnified.

      I know what you mean though 🙁

    60. Brian Powell says:

      Looking forward to G Ponsonby’s book on BBC bias.

      But when I see this, “former BBC reporter Paul Mason tweeted the following:
      ‘Not since Iraq have I seen BBC News working at propaganda strength like this”, and we see others like Henry McCleish, it does highlight the bystander mentality.

      Why didn’t they speak out?

    61. farrochie says:

      We must start to AUDIT our MPs & MSPs.

      Auditors are aware that we never except any statement at face value and will always say:

      “Show us the original, signed & dated version.”

      Why? Because we want evidence that it exists. We’re not prepared to accept anyone’s word. We want to see the document that was signed.

      We have to hold MPs & MSPs to the standard that is accepted in audit. We’ve been getting bullshitted for too long.

    62. Fred says:

      Well done indeed Stuart, Gordon Brown no longer does “Vox Pop” appearances, not only does he only appear before a vetted (in both senses of the word) audience, he’s obviously also shit-scared of being bumped off. As the man who found the cash to blow tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens to kingdom-come in an illegal war, this guy (a Christian remember!) doesn’t lack enemies.
      Security for Broon must cost a fortune, who picks up the tab for this?

    63. gus1940 says:

      Something has just occurred to me.

      If The 3 Amigos were responsible for the creation of The Vow and bearing in mind that in the run-up to 18/9 every news outlet Broadcast and Print with the honourable exception of The Sunday Herald was hysterically supporting BT why did The Record have it as an exclusive?

      Surely if it emanated from WM its originators would have wanted it to have maximum media exposure and would have released it to all the media and not given The Record an exclusive.

    64. No no no...Yes says:

      The Truth may out:

      Great report by the Sunday Post but have a look at it on the SNP website:

      Lords with no public record of what they did for their money:

      Baroness Adams of Craigielea (Labour) Total expenses – £53,252; Spoke in 0 debates, Has never asked a written question (since entering the Lords in 2005), Has not been a member of a Committee since 2007-08.

      Lord Kirkhill (Labour) Total expenses – £51,849; Spoke in 0 debates, Asked 0 written questions, Has not been a member of a Committee since 1988.

      Lord Elder (Labour) Total expenses – £48,843; Spoke in 0 debates, Hasn’t asked a single written question since 2003, Was a member of the Refreshment Committee 2008-13 (i.e. the Committee that oversees the restaurants and bars in the Lords)

      Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill (Labour) Total expenses – £45,143; Has never spoken in a debate (since at least 1999), Has asked 0 written questions since 2002, Is a member of 0 committees, Attended for 122 days in 2013-14.

      Lord Howie of Troon (Labour) Total expenses – £39,300; 0 debates in the last year, 0 written questions in the last year and no questions since 2009, No committee since 2006-2007

      Lord Leitch (Labour) Total expenses – £12,000; 0 Debates. 0 Written Questions, No Committee, ever.

      Now we’re talking. This is what Jim Murphy and cohorts are really after.

    65. Grouse Beater says:

      Those who voted No are sheep. They needed the Border collie that is Gordon Brown to round them up and show them which pend was the safe one.

    66. gus1940 says:

      Unless I have missed something since Brown burst on to the Referendum Scene in the run-up to 18/9 our wonderful media have given saturation coverage to every burp and f-rt emanating from him but I can’t recall a single media interview.

      It would appear that he is reluctant to be interrogated regarding the pack of lies that he has been excreting over us. Where are the interviews by Marr, Brillo, Brewer, Ponsonby et al?

      What a contrast to Murphy who for most of the last few weeks seemed to have taken over BBC Scotland.

    67. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ gus1940 says:

      Possibly the others turned it down for whatever?

      Or, and more logical,

      The DR made it all up.

      Time to resurrect Okram and Sherlock Holmes?

    68. An Teallach says:

      I just watched the live stream of the protest at Faslane. Brilliant stuff and a good turn out.

      It was mentioned that there is to be a peaceful protest outside the Daily Record’s offices at Central Quay, Glasgow on 21st December 12- 4pm.

      See you there! Tick tock, tick tock 🙂

    69. ticktock says:

      O/T but apparently we’re not the only country where a large swathe of the population prefers to believe what they’re told by their owners.

    70. Truth says:

      Thanks Stu.

    71. tombee says:

      Aye, and left the Scottish yessers to pick up the dog shit. You know it’s shit. It smells awful and is BROWN.
      Spot on pal.

    72. Lesley-Anne says:

      Sorry for going O/T here but has anyone seen this in the Independent on Sunday?

      Apparently oor wee Georgie Porgie is allegedly going to devolve powers over CORPORATION TAX to Northern Ireland! :8

      Yet again Westminster sticks the boot into Scotland. If my memory serves me right Holyrood has previously been asking for APD to be devolved to Scotland only for Osborne to refuse to do so yet amazingly at the same time he devolved it to Northern Ireland. Now we are asking for Corporation Tax to be devolved for it to be refused yet amazingly Northern Ireland is, apparently, about to see it devolved.

      Now you can call me cynical if you like 😉 but is it just me or do others think that wee Georgie is using requests for particular powers, APD and Corp. Tax for example, as a brain shaker for him to devolve powers to Northern Ireland. (Please note I use the term brain shaker in the loosest possible sense as I sincerely doubt he has much of a brain to shake about in the first place! 😛 )

    73. Stoker says:

      Rev writes in the article above:

      “Not unrelatedly, we’ve also filed a formal complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation regarding the Daily Record’s appallingly dishonest coverage of the Smith Commission report:”

      I for one am really looking forward to reading the outcome of that one.

      I’m not optimistic of them finding in your favour but i want to see, for the first time, just exactly what sort of an organisation “IPSO” truly are.

      A bit like the ‘Myth Commission’ – we all know what to expect, but nothing beats having it confirmed.

      Keep it up, Rev, its exactly that tenacity which keeps WOS well ahead of all the rest, by a country mile.

    74. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      Leveson was brought up so it’s pertinent to remind anyone getting carried away with the VOW and Smith that these are nothing more than RECOMMENDATIONS. NOTHING has changed.

      Leveson took considerably longer than Smith, Leveson also seemingly had the backing of ALL the westminster parties to carry out it’s recommendations, was Judge led, had the actual LAW behind it’s scrutiny (including arrests so serious was it) and yet what happened?

      Leveson’s main recommendations were completely ignored by Cameron and the tories and NOTHING has come of it.

      ‘Scottish’ Labour MPs are now caught between a rock and a hard place because some of them want the Smith recommendations to go the way of Leveson simply because EV4EL is an inevitability if Smith is actually carried out. They would prefer to keep their status and ability to climb the greasy pole in westminster but they know they aren’t just dealing with tories backing a resurgent English nationalism but kippers and their own leadership at westminster. Wee Ed Miliband made a complete twat of himself over Thornberry and the English flag for a REASON. It has managed to penetrate the extremely thick skulls of English Labour MPs that they are far from safe from their own voters turning kipper particularly with a joke of a leader like Miliband. The means EV4EL might well be a price some English Labour MPs will countenance to keep the kippers from eating into their vote. After all, if ‘scottish’ Labour MPs are going to get hammered anyway (as the polls continue to indicate) why not shore up their vote in the marginals in England where it will matter considerably more than an already lost cause in scotland.

      It’s also why the Murphy sideshow looks increasingly irrelevant as it is finally dawning on SLAB that because Murphy is self-evidently Miliband’s placeman in the London Labour branch office SLAB and ‘scottish’ Labour MPs own views on the matter will count for nothing. Murphy will do as he’s telt and if that means screwing over some in SLAB and some scottish MPs then so be it. It’s also how Murphy has always operated which those in ‘scottish’ Labour should actually know by now.

    75. kininvie says:

      Ian Macwhirter in The SH must have been reading Wings: “Power over income tax only will doom Scotland to a downward spiral.” – no link, go and buy a copy 🙂

      It’s a clear analysis of the trap that we awaits us if we accept this ‘power’. A pity that it’s in the SH and not anywhere that No voters will read it.

      I’m certain that John Swinney is well aware of this trap, so I trust the SNP will have worked out a strategy of how to deal with it. I’m sure he’s hoping that the Vow won’t get through Westminster with the 100% income tax intact. If there’s a hung parliament there will be several opportunities to make an overt or covert deal to get rid of it.

      But if it does, I believe I’m right in thinking that the Scottish parliament has to approve any new devolution legislation – so it can be rejected at that point (secretly pleasing Labour because it would put off the EVEL day). It would probably mean throwing away some of the desirable things in the Smith report too, but would have to be done if we are not to be left with a dwindling tax base and having to raise income tax just to stand still.

    76. msean says:

      Mr Murphy just as bad at manipulating a helpless media as Mr Brown,after all,al the broadcast licences are handed out from London as well as broadcasting charters.

      We haven’t forgotten the astroturf stuff (vote no borders etc) that seemed to get huge automatic free press time for the views of unelected people working for millionaires. Even the kipper excuse re public support doesn’t fit that episode.
      There’s yer McPravda.

    77. Fred says:

      Great news on the land front. It is intended to give equal rights to heritable property instead of Rupert the eldest scooping the pool and leaving Torquil,Ruaridh & Pippa with hee-haw. This antiquated nonsense is why the descendant of a court prostitute like the duke of Buchleugh owns half the south of Scotland etc’.
      Inevitably the great estates will have to be broken up to comply but you can bet your last guinnea that the Edinburgh lawyers will be burning the midnight oil to circumvent the legislation. How will this affect land owned by a trust, like Balmoral for example?
      Tenant farmers who should have had the right to buy their farm found themself offered partnerships instead of an extension of the tenancy.
      When a Danish shopkeeper becomes one of Scotland’s greatest landowners and pays taxes on land owned here to Denmark while Scotlang gets zilch. There’s something rotten in the state of Scotland’s land laws.

    78. Alan Mackintosh says:

      @ Lesley Anne, When Alex was on the Thurs night politics thing with Andrew Neil, Portillo, Abbott, he made a bet with them that NI would get Corp Tax in next 10 days or so. It is well worth a watch, Alex on top form.

    79. caz-m says:

      Scottish Labour, the Party of the people.

      When was the last time any Unionist rep had a genuinely open, public debate? You just can’t get near them to ask a question.

      The media NEVER ask the tough questions, example, that interview with Lordy Hee Haw Smith today on BBC Scotland, has got to be the worst political interview ever broadcast.

      Then you had Johann Lamont, who would disappear into her bunker for months. She even tried a face lift, thinking we wouldn’t recognise her when she came back. For over two years now they have all been in hiding. It can’t go on like this, they have to talk to us. We demand it.

      Even whenever I email my MP Douglas Alexander, it’s his Secretary who replies to me. They don’t seem to want to put their name to anything. I have told his Secretary that if he doesn’t start replying to me personally, then I will campaign to have him replaced with someone who is willing to stand up and be counted on my behalf.

    80. SeanW says:

      I would like to thank you Stuart for taking your own time to continue to persue this and actually keep your readers well informed. The Daily Record was my mums paper of choice and it is infuriating to see the lies staring back from the coffee table in the morning, I’ve since steered her from buying it and also put her on to Wings Over Scotland. Keep up the good work as it is much appreciated and more important now than ever before, we wont sit back whilst Scotland is swept under the rug!

    81. Lesley-Anne says:

      Aye he was Alex.

      Ever since he has stepped down I think he has actually become MORE of a threat to the media and opposition parties. He is no longer tied to the, all be it imaginary, strings of “be respectful to everyone at all times.” I think after Thursday night’s “This Week” both Michael Portillo and Andrew Neil left the building with more than ONE flea in their ears after the battering they both took from Alex Salmond.

      Diane Abbott on the other hand was respectful TO Alex and in return he was respectful to her. He allowed her to make her points but politely told her where she was wrong.

      I think as result of Thursday night’s programme the presenters of “This Week” as well as the producers know that they will have to step on egg shells in future when they deal with Alex Salmond. I reckon they thought they would have an easy “Scots bashing” 10 minute slot on Thursday. … BOY were they wrong! 😛

    82. Ananurhing says:

      Fred @5.34
      The LRRG report was a bit of a dog’s breakfast, and I believe Nicola’s proposed legislation is a watered down version of that. So I won’t be holding my breath.

      The SNP have really missed a trick with land reform. Even Slab wanted more radical change in 2007.

    83. Lesley-Anne says:


      Sorry Alan, I called you Alex by mistake in my last post. DOH! 😛

    84. JayR says:

      @An Teallach

      Great news about the Daily Record demo on 21 December. Let’s give them an early Xmas present…mass disgust. See you all there

    85. North chiel says:

      Anyone any idea of revenue potential as
      Regards Nicola’s land reform proposals ( business rates to be levied
      On sporting estates?). Is the plan to redistribute this to help the
      Low paid via a a Scottish tax credit or similar?

    86. fred blogger says:

      re osbourne’s strong economy claim, not true.
      all we need is a strong line of credit.

    87. Fairliered says:

      No they didn’t. They were just pretending to be socialist in an attempt to con some votes from Old Labour voters

    88. Lesley-Anne says:

      Ach who needs a STRONG economy anyway Fred when we can get everything we need on tick, or the never never, or as wee Georgie Porgie calls it a “strong line of credit!” 😀

      With regards to the protest outside the Daily Record’s offices on 21st December I have a few *ahem* queries. 😉

      a) Will the D.R. report this as a rally of SUPPORT for the D.R.?

      b) Will the D.R. actually report the TRUTH and report this protest actually as a PROTEST? ( apologies for swearing there in my use of the word TRUTH. )

      c) Will the D.R. be using the a calculator borrowed from the BBC to calculate the numbers attending the protest?

      d) Will the D.R. actually report the ACTUAL numbers at the protest?

      e) Will the D.R. dare to send anyone outside to give a statement to the protesters?

    89. manandboy says:

      Does the DR burn easily

    90. Ananurhing says:


      I have no wish to defend Slab, but I remember pre 2007, a recognition from them that their land reform had failed, and a promise of new legislation with teeth.

      You possibly/probably know something that I don’t. Either way, the SNP have been woeful in their approach to much needed reform.

    91. gus1940 says:

      Excellent article by Kevin McKenna in today’s Observer.

    92. gerry parker says:

      Thanks for posting the photo Jim, sorry you and Jan could not make it through. Caught up with Farochie ok, and passed on your regards. Wings stall was looking great, I liked the idea of the A4 size posters as a backdrop.
      Ronnie and Pete, Brian, Natasha, x sticks and the others that made it through all doing a great job( too many to mention individually).

      Roll on May 2015, we’re just getting started.

    93. Stoker says:

      manandboy says:
      30 November, 2014 at 6:54 pm
      “Does the DR burn easily”

      Sh!te dizzny burn, apparently, it smoulders and reeks.

    94. Stoker says:

      Excellent post @ 4.18pm and thanks for the link.

      Sorry ma freend, don’t like using your username, it contains too many negatives, portrays a 3-1 scoreline for the enemy.

    95. geeo says:

      Talking of Gideon, i am surprised some of the labour minded papers have not highlighted his strange behaviour at PMQ’s last week.

      I usually check out the front bench behaviour on a wednesday, and Osbourne last week was bizzare to say the least.
      He honestly looked off his head on something

      Not a peep on any MSM, unsurprisingly.

    96. Chic McGregor says:

      A big boy done one and ran away.

    97. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      A3 posters, Gerry!

    98. Fred says:

      Ananurhing, the problem is that the Scots now live in reservations and have little enthusiasm for righting the wrongs of the land issue. Nobody in my family has milked a coo for three generations and folk generally have more interest in the scandal of the “food banks” than the “banks & braes”. As Lesley Riddoch says in “Blossom”, we are divorced from our countryside and whereas in Scandinavia the folk have their woodland cabins to escape urban life, we go to the pub.
      The Carbeth Hutters are a shining example of how it could be and we are fortunate to have the likes of Andy Wightman & Alastair McIntosh keeping the flame of the land issue burning, how discouraging therefore in September to discover that in the areas where they do know how to milk a coo, folk have little appetite for independence or indeed knowledge of the shit thair forefathers had to put up with.

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