The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


The union of the snakes

Posted on January 03, 2015 by

There’s a new hot topic among the Westminster commentariat.

guardiangrand

Because desperate times call for desperate measures.

The odd thing about the growing discussion of a Labour-Tory coalition is that it goes right across the media’s political spectrum. Not only is the Guardian suggesting it may be “the only way forward” from this year’s general election, but the Financial Times is unequivocally predicting it:

ftgrand

The right-wing Spectator likes the sound of it too:

spectatorgrand

And back on the left, the New Statesman called it before the referendum:

“Imagine a Tory-Labour tie on 295 seats each, with the Lib Dems reduced to 20, Ukip on ten seats and others 20. Try forming a governing majority out of that with wars raging in the Middle East and eastern Europe. A Tory-Labour grand coalition, anybody? Remember, you read it here first.”

It seems a wildly improbable notion. Labour’s entire campaign (particularly in Scotland) is based on pretty much nothing other than “Vote for us to get the Tories out!”, while the Conservatives are painting a nightmarish picture of a dystopian Marxist future if Labour get back in. Joining forces, without the excuse of a war or even a particularly pressing economic crisis, would make such an open mockery of the electorate as to render democracy meaningless.

Yet neither party has ruled it out. You’d think it would be a no-brainer, as easy as Hibs unambiguously declining a merger with Hearts. A simple dismissive “of course we won’t” from Ed Miliband would nip all the speculation in the bud.

But the two big parties who’ve stitched up power in Britain between them for the last century thanks to the crooked and broken First Past The Post electoral system really don’t like the idea of uppity newcomers muscling in on their game, and it seems they’re prepared to consider anything that’ll keep their grip intact.

We remain doubtful.Labour would be signing a final suicide note in its heartlands north of Birmingham, and if the notion hasn’t been comprehensively quashed by April, voters would be likely to punish both the main parties severely at the polls. But the fact that the UK media is even taking it seriously as a possibility throws yet another ingredient into the heady and confusing brew that is the 2015 general election. We wish the odds-makers good luck.

Print Friendly

    4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. 03 01 15 13:01

      The union of the snakes | FreeScotland

    2. 03 01 15 13:47

      The union of the snakes | Politics Scotland | ...

    3. 04 01 15 00:12

      A New Year, An Alternate Reality | A Wilderness of Peace

    4. 06 01 15 02:01

      Land of Hope and Glory | the mirror@wordpress.com

    414 to “The union of the snakes”

    1. Cuilean says:

      It will happen; they are, after all, still in ‘Better Together’ mode.It will mean, for Scotland, independence at warp 10 speed. Make it so.

    2. Ryan frampton says:

      If this happens I’d be backing the SNP to move further south, securing some north England seats before eventually sacking York.

    3. Tamson says:

      If it happened, both parties would split in two. However, the Establishment would have calculated beforehand whether enough from each party would stay in the coalition to sustain a majority.

      During the campaign, each and every Labour/Tory candidate MUST be asked at Hastings what they would do if elected and a coalition formed.

    4. Ryan frampton says:

      If this does happen I’d be backing the SNP to gain traction in the north of England before eventually sacking York.

    5. BillDunblane says:

      The SNP have clearly stated that they will have no part of helping the Tories in government.

      Will the Labour party do the same?

    6. M4rkyboy says:

      British nationalism to thwart Scottish nationalism.

    7. Davie Cheekwind says:

      Surely can’t be true. Are the media mischievously paving or is it the start of the end?

    8. Brian Powell says:

      The time for that would have been when the banking disaster was in full swing, then it might have had some meaning but the ConLabs decided the public didn’t matter in comparison to them having their turn at sitting swinging their legs on the front benches in Westminster.

      Now their troughfest seems to be under ‘threat’ from democracy, the kind of democracy that is normal across Europe, fear has loosened their bowels so much the contents seem to be coming out both ends.

    9. Ali says:

      I don’t think this will happen overtly as a formal coalition. But, I expect whichever party from Labour or Conservative wins the most seats will run a minority govt with support from the other ‘big’ party on all votes on austerity, any future wars etc

    10. Malcolm says:

      Perhaps we should challenge St Jim, his Murphyness, to rule this out.
      After all, he controls Labour Scotland, takes no orders from
      Millibrain, etc.
      Call his bluff.

    11. Lesley-Anne says:

      And thus it was on the eight day that the Rainbow Conservative party was born and it’s leader, Saint David of Cameron, said to his loyal and faithful followers … go forth and spread the word of Rainbowism for it is good … for us! 😛

    12. CyberNiall says:

      That’s what you call a Labouratory experiment.

    13. Giesabrek says:

      Not sure I share your cynicism Stu – the national emergency is the danger from the “insurgents” as one article described the SNP, Plaid Cymru and UKIP.

      In fact, if you regard the potential breakup of the UK as the ultimate danger to the UK then logically Labour have to do anything to prevent it.

      Think about the various possible outcomes from the UK general election – would a minority Labour government really chose a coalition with the SNP, the party they rabidly hate? Or would they argue that desperate times call for desperate measures to defend the UK from breakup and form a coalition with the Tories?

      Remember that Labour have haemorrhaged their support in Scotland and so have little more to lose with joining with the Tories (which they already did for the referendum).

      And regarding their northern England support, they have stuck with Labour after they introduced all sorts of privatisation legislation and a big lurch to the right – I put this down to no obvious alternative party to vote for in England. There is nothing left of Labour there (UKIP, LibDems and Tories are all obviously to the right, if only just), whereas at least in Scotland we have the SNP as a left wing alternative.

      Yes, many Labour supporters in England may stop voting for Labour but they won’t switch to anyone else in large numbers so Labour are likely to hold onto those seats currently with large majorities, albeit with reduced majorities.

      Another benefit attractive to the left wing is that the Tories would no longer need to consider forming a coalition with UKIP, something everyone believes is a very likely outcome and everyone left of facism fears.

      Besides, a national unity government wouldn’t be announced till after the general election, so it’s unlikely to affect Labour’s support in the run-up to the GE.

    14. Baheid says:

      British nationalism to thwart Scottish nationalism

      And Welsh and Irish.

      The Westminster establishment is under threat as it has never been before.

    15. msean says:

      It shouldn’t be too hard for Labour to rule this out,it’s not as if they get on with each other and have champers parties together and campaign closely is it?

    16. handclapping says:

      It will be real when you read it in the Daily Mail. These reports are from thinking papers.

    17. jimnarlene says:

      It may happen, there is not a lot, of difference, between them. Both, cheeks of the same arse.

    18. sandra says:

      Proof, if it were needed, that there is no difference between them.

    19. Stoker says:

      OK, until they refute the idea we now have another weapon in our armoury:

      A vote for Libore is a vote for a Tory coalition.

      Vote for Scotland – vote SNP.

    20. Peter Bell says:

      But they do have “the excuse of a war”. My response to Ian Birrell’s piece in The Guardian:

      A few days ago there were a small number of people, including myself, positing the possibility of a Tory/Labour coalition after the UK general election. I initially asked the question in a spirit of half-mischievousness. But, having broached the idea, I became increasingly convinced that it is a very real possibility.

      Now we have this possibility being explored in the British media.* It isn’t a joke any more. Kites are being flown. Elbows are being dipped in the waters of public opinion. A Tory/Labour coalition is now being discussed openly as a readily imaginable scenario.

      More imaginable, I suspect, for people in Scotland who have the recent experience of seeing British Labour standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their Tory allies in a desperate effort to preserve the structures of power and privilege which define the British state. and from which both parties benefit greatly. The inexorable rise of the SNP and other Scottish parties is, in part at least, explained by the fact the distinction between the main British parties has been all but blurred out of existence.

      Scotland has pretty much shrugged off the old politics of faux rivalries and interminable spin. In Scotland, politics is now much more about policies than parties. It is about issues, not sound-bites. It is about people, not personalities. The old Tory/Labour division is barely relevant. Increasingly, the division is between the British parties, which represent the old politics; the old order; and the old ways, and the Scottish parties, which represent the new, progressive politics that has arisen out of the positive, aspirational grass-roots Yes campaign.

      Ian Birrell tries to put a gloss on this possible Tory/Labour coalition by portraying it as “government of national unity”. A nice bit of spin in itself. But he gives the game away with his use of pejorative, emotive and, some would say, downright insulting terms such as “insurgent” and “militant” to refer to those who are doing no more than using lawful democratic processes to challenge an unacceptable and untenable status quo.

      By his use of such language Birrell reveals a British establishment that sees itself as besieged by political forces it neither understands, nor wants to understand – only to obliterate. The ruling elites of the British state are under threat. It is only to be expected that the British establishment will close ranks to defend the established order. Under such circumstances, a Tory/Labour coalition becomes not only imaginable, but almost inevitable.

      But let there be no mistake, for all that this alliance will be represented as being for the benefit of the people of these islands, it has but one purpose. It is entirely about thwarting the democratic will of the people of Scotland. It is all about stopping the SNP and the tide of dissent that success for the SNP is likely to unleash.

      British politicians are scared of the people. And that’s just the way I like it.

    21. heedtracker says:

      So where is UKOK saviour, next Scottish First Minister, million quid in a few years expenses Jim Murphy spender in all this? Vote SNP get Conservative is all we get from SLab, BBC etc.

    22. Peter Bell says:

      But they do have the excuse of a war. My response to Ian Birrell’s piece in The Guardian:

      A few days ago there were a small number of people, including myself, positing the possibility of a Tory/Labour coalition after the UK general election. I initially asked the question in a spirit of half-mischievousness. But, having broached the idea, I became increasingly convinced that it is a very real possibility.

      Now we have this possibility being explored in the British media.* It isn’t a joke any more. Kites are being flown. Elbows are being dipped in the waters of public opinion. A Tory/Labour coalition is now being discussed openly as a readily imaginable scenario.

      More imaginable, I suspect, for people in Scotland who have the recent experience of seeing British Labour standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their Tory allies in a desperate effort to preserve the structures of power and privilege which define the British state. and from which both parties benefit greatly. The inexorable rise of the SNP and other Scottish parties is, in part at least, explained by the fact the distinction between the main British parties has been all but blurred out of existence.

      Scotland has pretty much shrugged off the old politics of faux rivalries and interminable spin. In Scotland, politics is now much more about policies than parties. It is about issues, not sound-bites. It is about people, not personalities. The old Tory/Labour division is barely relevant. Increasingly, the division is between the British parties, which represent the old politics; the old order; and the old ways, and the Scottish parties, which represent the new, progressive politics that has arisen out of the positive, aspirational grass-roots Yes campaign.

      Ian Birrell tries to put a gloss on this possible Tory/Labour coalition by portraying it as “government of national unity”. A nice bit of spin in itself. But he gives the game away with his use of pejorative, emotive and, some would say, downright insulting terms such as “insurgent” and “militant” to refer to those who are doing no more than using lawful democratic processes to challenge an unacceptable and untenable status quo.

      By his use of such language Birrell reveals a British establishment that sees itself as besieged by political forces it neither understands, nor wants to understand – only to obliterate. The ruling elites of the British state are under threat. It is only to be expected that the British establishment will close ranks to defend the established order. Under such circumstances, a Tory/Labour coalition becomes not only imaginable, but almost inevitable.

      But let there be no mistake, for all that this alliance will be represented as being for the benefit of the people of these islands, it has but one purpose. It is entirely about thwarting the democratic will of the people of Scotland. It is all about stopping the SNP and the tide of dissent that success for the SNP is likely to unleash.

      British politicians are scared of the people. And that’s just the way I like it.

    23. fred blogger says:

      must be the tory ‘trap’ then?
      rule 2 tanner’s!

    24. Schrödinger's cat says:

      Tam sons correct
      We need to ask every slabber if they would form a coalition with the Tories

    25. Bob Mack says:

      I saw this as a possibility several weeks ago, and posted the same on this site.I hope it does happen.It would be the final, final nail in the coffin of Westminster , and all the parties therein.Scotland would not forgive or forget, a much hackneyed phrase, would have real tangible substance in this scenario.It is one of several possibilities to break the Union, but is one of the more certain ones I would suggest.

    26. Barontorc says:

      It will no doubt not escape the attention of the 54% Scots who voted NO that this is merely a continuation of what they voted for when they agreed with BT that it was better and ‘safer’ to listen to both Labour and Tory and do just what they wanted done.

      Nothing has changed from that ‘winning’ formula since then. The VOW was a lie and was totally meaningless, yet when they swallowed it hook line and sinker they shook in their British boots myopically ignoring previous dastardly deeds and lies, so why change a winning formula?

      All such a coalition of snakes needs to do is put their very well greased political propaganda machine into gear and tell the people what they want them to do – it’ll be swallowed up like before by the same 54% – a voting bloc which shrinks daily BTW – and here lies the rub as far as Scotland is concerned. In the Labour heartlands of England it will be sorely testing, but then again – there’s the old ‘loyalty fear factor’ to play – it worked so well with the Jocks after all.

      Let’s hope they try it on again and let’s see UKIP stirring the anti-europe pot to focus business minds and we’ll watch from the sidelines with our popcorn.

      Boy, oh boy, is democracy dead in this UK or not?

    27. Peter Bell says:

      Excuse me. My comments are not appearing. Just want to see if replies work.

    28. Barbara McKenzie says:

      Well, Happy New Year!

      Interesting times. A big question is what this would do to the alliance between the trade unions and Labour, the cornerstone of Labour’s existence. Surely this really would finish them off, and not just in Scotland.

      BTW, was the erstwhile left-wing New Statesman really trying to imply that the wars in the ME and Ukraine justify seeing the UK as being on a ‘war footing’ equivalent to WWII?

    29. Brian S says:

      Not my preferred outcome in May. However, if it does come to pass then at least it may have one positive aspect in that those deserting both main parties would be likely to rediscover their parties core values, minimising the same-same guff they spout currently.
      We shall soon see.

    30. Gallowglass says:

      I can’t see it.

    31. Tackety Beets says:

      Ohhhh boyyy

      Let me fink now

      Vote Labour and get Tory surely Naw
      Vote Tory and get Labour surely Naw

      Vote Labour or Tory and get Labour and Tory , aye that hits the spot !

      FFS , what’s next ?

    32. YESGUY says:

      Oh please let it happen.

      The Lab/Tory coalition will split the UK. The Scots, Welsh,and Irish can now see that England and Westminster come first. We are left to the fringes. UK democracy is a fucking Joke…

      Vote SNP and lets get out of this broken union. This proves once and for all that England gets the party they vote for full stop.

      No voters.

      Open your eyes and ears. The facts are there in front of you. You are being used, conned, cheated.

      Stop bleating about the referendum being over. It will never be over. Not until Scotland gains the freedoms and finances to build a country for our kids to be proud off.

      Roll on May when we finally release our country from labour’s shackles. This party has kept Scotland in it’s place. Never mind the voters think party first.

      TICK TOCK

    33. Marie clark says:

      Well nothing would surprise me after the antics of bitter thegither, but it would indeed be a suicide note for SLAB. Lurch, since he does not take orders from darn saff, had better get oot there pronto and let the voters know what he is going to do.

      Mind you, I’ll no hoad ma breath waiting fur that tae happen.SLAB AND UK RIP. Quality.

    34. Swami Backverandah says:

      As newspaper reports are inclined to point out, the policies of the Tories, Labour (and the LibDems – or they will be once we know them), particularly on austerity, are almost without meaningful distinction.

      If two major parties form a grand coalition, this will represent the will of Establishment corporate crony capitalism.

      A grand coalition could not indicate the demonstrated will of the people unless the parties campaigned on it.

      For it to be formed after the election without consulting the people means that Her Majesty’s Opposition is effectively known as democracy.

    35. thomaspotter2014 says:

      Great plan to ask the slippiest snake of them all-Slimy Jim Murky what his position is as the High Lama of the Independent Scottish Labour Party.(?)

    36. AndyW says:

      I am struck by Ian Birrel’s repeated use of “insurgent’ and “insurgent force”,
      sneakily implying some similarity between the SNP and thon bad-yins in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan etc…
      Professor Poultice was up to the same trick earlier this week.

    37. thomaspotter2014 says:

      And let’s not kid ourselves that a CON/LAB coalition wouldn,t be the end of the UK.
      Please let it be and set us free!

    38. ClanDonald says:

      So this could mean the SNP being the biggest party on the opposition benches, with Alex Salmond asking the FM questions every week? Sounds like fun.

      Their lab/Tory coalition will have to be forever, by the way, their war-footing status will have to be permanent; us viral insurgent nazi rapists are going nowhere.

      All they’re doing is postponing indy, yet, by their actions, making it more likely. They are clearly getting desperate and don’t understand why Scotland still has power, we’re supposed to be a defeated nation.

    39. AllyPally says:

      YouGov asked me today whether the trend for the main parties to become increasingly similar is a good thing (consensus) or a bad thing.

      Someone seems to be looking at a grand coalition as a serious option.

    40. Gavin says:

      Are these newspapers mischief making or simply testing public opinion with regards to the possibility of a “National Government” ?

      The traditional parties (Tory/Lib/Labour) are very much part of the establishment, which fears anyone or anything that threatens the status quo. Therefore the mere idea of a Tory/Lab coalition is not as daft as it seems. They fear the rise of the SNP, Green, & UKIP parties and will do anything to keep them out.

      If labour were to seriously consider a pact with the Tories it would be a final nail in the coffin for “Scottish” Labour

      Voting SNP is the only option at the general election.

    41. Stoker says:

      OK Slabberites, pay yer quid tae join the Tory Alliance.

      Pay yer quid and help support paedophile cover-ups.

      Pay yer quid and help promote WMD and mass murder of innocents.

      OR, you can tell the Labour Party to GTF.

      Put Scotland first – vote SNP.

    42. One_Scot says:

      A Tory-Labour UK government, and I bet some Scots will still vote Labour in May.

      I wonder how many Scottish No voters are now checking the mirror to make sure no one can see the word ‘sucker’ imprinted on their forehead, and now wishing they were given a time machine for Christmas.

    43. Karmanaut says:

      There is no way Labour could spin this positively, but they might try. Their alliance with the Tories killed them in Scotland. Doing this in WM, would see Labour go the same way as the Lib Dems.

      What they really need is an external threat. They might attempt to use any handy Middle East conflict to their advantage, calling it, “The gravest threat to the UK” etc, saying “We must join forces to combat X”. X will most likely be ISIS. A terror attack in the UK prior to the election would be an enormous gift to Westminster, as it would allow them to form just such a national government.

      They would need to stir up hatred against Muslims to get Labour voters on side. We might see an escalation of “Muslim threat / High Danger of Attack” type press leading up to the GE, in preparation of a possible Tory/Labour coalition. All this will play right into the hands of extremist groups, of course, and also benefit the private companies controlling Westminster who will be set to profit enormously from whatever conflict is engineered.

      Remember the media propaganda they put out over Iraq? If they can instigate an *illegal* war, murdering 120,000 innocent people, then they can use propaganda to form a national government.

      Of course such an act would damage Labour beyond any recovery for decades (unless there was a full war). But then Labour seems determined to destroy itself. It’s difficult to comprehend the level of stupidity required to elect Murphy “The Face of No” to lead Scottish Labour, when the most important thing they had to do (for themselves) post indyref was win back Yes voters.

      Labour’s problem is that it puts too much faith in lies and propaganda. Scots are too canny.

    44. Training Day says:

      The London bubble-ite writing in the Guardian worries that an elderly monarch might be dragged into murky political waters if a ‘national’ coalition were to be established.

      Oblivious to the fact that an elderly monarch has already been dragged into murky political waters by dint of her unwanted advice on how to vote in the referendum and subsequent ‘purring’.

      Still, good to know that we’re now ‘insurgents’. The BBC will no doubt be good enough to let us know when we’ll be neutralised.

    45. PictAtRandom says:

      This would be setting it up as Scotland v. England, with 40-50 Ukippers ranting from the England technical area.
      I think a LabCon Coalition could come second at Holyrood in 2016 under these circumstances. As for Labour on its own, a medal position couldn’t be guaranteed.

    46. Murray McCallum says:

      I remember David Cameron calling Ed Miliband a “waste of space” at a recent PMQs.

      They must have an agreement that each gets to publicly insult the other in the name of the greater good / bigger picture – the continuing rule of the Conservative & Labour Party.

      You would think that the “left wing” Labour bloggers who constantly attack the Tories and support Ed must be a bit bewildered by all this. Ah well, maybe not.

    47. Gallowglass says:

      Definitely can’t see it. I’m also struggling to see how it would answer the problems each party has, because when it came to disentanglement after the term of parliament everybody knows they wouldn’t have the party they thought they started with. It would have also rubbished and demoralised their core support and campaigning teams, and more than likely embolden the growing and threatening opposition parties.

      Times are changing, but I don’t think they’re going to hold the revolution for us.

    48. tinyzeitgeist says:

      In the event of the SNP playing a part in any likely coalition with the labour party to allow a government to be formed there would a price to be paid. Remember what Nicola said, the removal of Trident from the Clyde would be the first such priority. Does anyone really think that any of the unionist parties would agree to this? So a grand coalition with the three main unionist parties would be the only way they could preserve the status quo, to protect the union from the insurgents/separatists. Far from being an unlikely possibility, I see this as a real possibility and I suspect the SNP strategists will be factoring in just such a proposition.

    49. jock mc X says:

      Er,i believe this coalition is already in place,surley what
      is meant is that they wont be able to hide it anymore,no?

    50. Stephen Bowers says:

      Interesting , could this just be the next in the line of political machinations, is it even true , we all know now that the MSM is firmly in the hipper of The Establishment so what’s to stop them sending out something like this to test the water, seems the most likely to me.

    51. Effigy says:

      There is no distance between Red and Blue Tory Parties.
      Labour took on the Blue Tory Dirty work for them during the referendum, took their cash, supported Cameron’s closed door speeches, made Vows that they had no intentions of keeping.
      The Big Westminster Parties are only run for the benefit of the millionaire MP’s and their back room corporate supporters.
      I believe that around 81% of MP’s are millionaires, with another 18% millionaires in waiting.
      On line suggestions that “Trotsky” Darling has Flipped 4 x Houses
      supplied by you and me to turn a very nice sum for himself.
      He is alleged to have made circa £250,000 on after diner speaking on better together, and of course he has a nice salary as an MP.
      Vow now Brown cow is reportedly drawing down £10,000 per week on expenses from his own “charity” fund.
      The Pooling that Labour speak of are the Olympic size Pools
      at the 5 Star Hotels they frequent and the sharing is they take
      their fill of public funds and the electorate take on the debt.
      No one should vote Labour or Tory and condone their corrupt cartel. Libs have never held a majority in 100 years so they will
      crawl into bed with anyone if they can get their 15 minutes of fame and a sack full of cheques for services rendered.

    52. Bob Sinclair says:

      I personally would view a LabCon coalition as an outright declaration of War on the people of Scotland, and against my oft stated peace loving nature would be forced to act accordingly.

    53. Papadox says:

      A conlab national government would be the end of Westminster’s con trick of the people of these islands regarding democracy. The establishment (mostly rich TORIES, businessmen and bankers holed up in the HOL) will still be in control of the politics of HMQ, HMG. Labour will be finished as the once powerful LIBS were 100 years ago, the TOLLIES will be waiting for the next contender to corrupt and manipulate for the powers that be (the ESTABLISHMENT).

      Whatever wheeze WESTMINSTER comes up with I think the wheels have come off the Labour boagy. The MSM & EBC are flying a kite to see how the peasants react.

      Interesting times!

    54. muttley79 says:

      While I cannot really see it happening, Miliband and co in London would be up for it imo. If there was a coalition with the the Tories, Labour would be finished in Wales, Scotland, and almost certainly the north of England as well. It would spell the end of the Union, not immediately, but in all likelihood in the short to medium term.

    55. laukat says:

      I had thought that the most likely timescales for the next referendum were in the aftermath of England voting to take Scotland out EU in 2017.

      Having a Con/Lab coallition could bring this forward. However I am increasingly thinking that a hung parliament with the SNP as kingmakers will also accelerate this timescale as England gets frustrated with a perception that Scotland is calling the shots and telling England what to do.

      The last referendum was mainly fought on economic arguments with no clear winner hence the narrow margin. I believe the next referendum will be almost entirely focused on constitutional issues as either Scotland resents England telling us what to do or England resenting the role Scotland has in telling it what to do.

      So it won’t be surprise if we have a referendum in 2016 and this time it might be bit nasty with England more involved in trying to obtain its Independence

    56. merida says:

      I am beginning to think they would do anything to hang on to their jobs.

    57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Besides, a national unity government wouldn’t be announced till after the general election, so it’s unlikely to affect Labour’s support in the run-up to the GE.”

      It wouldn’t be ANNOUNCED, but if the two main parties got all the way to the election without categorically denying it, voters would smell a rat.

    58. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      A very real scary prospect. After all, the Labour party does its upmost, at every turn, to do the contradictory point of the argument from the SNP. What better way to relieve themselves of being held to their promises than under the banner of a union unity government of red & blue tories.

    59. IAB says:

      I would love to see it as it would mean UDI in 2016 but I imagine all sorts of unofficial deals are happening in the background. Not to have red/blue Tories in power and opposition means the end of WM and they are already retreating. WM is really their only power base with its corrupt, elitist culture.

    60. Chitterinlicht says:

      I am starting to believe that Tom Devine was correct. The union is dead.

      If this comes to pass we might as well live in old school communist China for all your vote is actually worth.

      Vote SNP and get it right up em

    61. JBS says:

      “Sturgeon, what is best in life?”
      “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of Alistair Darling!”

    62. manandboy says:

      A Tory-Labour coalition at Westminster after May 7th has been discussed on here long before now.
      Voices crying in the wilderness.

      Only certain media it seems can bring an idea to birth as is the case here with the FT, the Guardian and, possibly including the Spectator though not the Statesman.

      Desperate times call for desperate measures. If the First Class passengers of the UK Establishment are to be saved, then a ‘National Coalition’ is the logical choice.

      It will be but the latest domino to fall as the Empire and the Union take their final breaths.

      The question is – will it be the last domino?

      The Titanic may not just have been tragic for the UK but prophetic.

      So maybe voices in the wilderness do have an effect after all.

    63. Stoker says:

      “The union of the snakes”

      If we view the LibLabCons as a two-headed snake, the LieDems must be its ersehole and the bulk of its body orange.
      UKIP, BNP, NF and EDL are its various forms of excrement.
      https://archive.today/79PYt

    64. woosie says:

      This is too far fetched even for Yes Prime Minister! That it is even being mooted shows the English establishment for what it is; empire at all costs. If this scenario is allowed to become reality, it will confirm that Scotland is condemned to slavery to England forever. Far from speeding up independence, it will prove that independence will never be tolerated, and that the recent referendum result was decided before a single vote was cast.

    65. Valerie says:

      Just wow! Please make it so! We are the insurgents, we are those crushed seedlings!!! Haha.

      Where is Smithy, BTW?

    66. aitchbee says:

      It’s interesting to see the repeated use of ‘insurgent’ or ‘insurgents’ used in reference to parties such as SNP, Plaid Cymru, Greens and UKIP. It has a very specific meaning in news bulletins and articles elsewhere, generally along the lines of ‘rebels against lawful authority’. I wonder if this is the beginning of the softening up process to make a Tory-Labour coalition seem like a reasonable solution.

    67. muttley79 says:

      The reactiom from SLAB would be priceless. Their remaining argument, vote Labour to stop the Tories, which they are going to spend months chanting in their drone like manner, would be completely obliterated by their own party. Of course we all know that the argument is utterly specious anyway, as 2010 in particular showed.

    68. Jimbo says:

      When did democratically elected MPs from parties outwith Labour and the Conservatives become insurgents, a person fighting against a government or invading force; a rebel or revolutionary? WTF?

    69. Awayanbileyerheed says:

      The ONE Party Imperial Empire is Almost Complete!!!

      *** There is but one hope – The Rebel Alliance needs your assistance – Vote for Hope not Fear ***

      “Obi Wan Sturgeon you are our only hope” 😉

    70. Capella says:

      Don’t forget the baleful influence of the BBC. I unfortunately listened to a Radio 4 hatchet job on the referendum at 1.30 today.
      Yessers should just shut up and move on. They create terrible divisions. They try to leap on the moral high ground supporting food banks (all that food in George Square went off and was wasted. Snigger). Interview with Labour MSP. No corresponding interview with SNP who, after all, are relevant to this debate and are in fact the government in Scotland. Nevermind the neverendum.
      If you’re a glutton for punishment:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04vkm6y

    71. Swami Backverandah says:

      Any ‘talking up’ of threat to national security in order to bring about a grand coalition, is just the means.
      The end is Trident renewal. And all the glorious associated contracts it brings with it.

    72. manandboy says:

      The formation of a Government of National Unity/Security would be an attempt to thwart the will of the voters who would likely react angrily.

      In that case, Dave and Ed will need more than 600 armoured personnel carriers currently in stock and the UK will become a quasi-military State.

      Scottish Independence soon I think – or a state of war.

    73. muttley79 says:

      @Woosie

      I do not see where you are coming from at all on this one. Nothing is more likely to finish off the Union than a coalition government between the Tories and Labour imo. Tory backbenchers would not accept a coalition with Labour, they would see it as truly shameful, and huge demeaning that Scotland would be the cause of it. In those circumstances they would press for independence for England, many more would probably defect to UKIP. Either that or they would completely destabilise a Tory-Labour government imo, it would be a repeat of their actions during the Major years. Only this time the cause would be Scotland as well as Europe.

    74. Onwards says:

      It will be interesting to see if Labour will give an outright denial to any deal with the tories, or if interviewers will allow them to get away with avoiding a direct answer.

      They would be finished in Scotland with any such deal, so I could see the election being re-run first.. which could be amusing if that resulted in more MP’s for the insurgents.

    75. manandboy says:

      From GraGraGra in the comments section of the article in the Guardian and receiving the most support by a distance

      Ian Birrell, who wrote this fantasy piece, was a speech-writer for Cameron during the 2010 election.
      You see how this dirty 2015 election campaign is going to be run by the Tories? They realise they can’t win so they are trying every dirty trick in the book to prevent Labour getting in.
      Never underestimate the depths that a desperate Tory will sink to.
      And once again it’s The Guardian who will give them their platform.

    76. Fergus Green says:

      Step one: support a US led invasion of Iran
      Step two: declare state of national emergency
      Step three: set up government of national unity

    77. Effijy says:

      Has anyone gathered any research figures regarding the UK debt?
      I found a site that suggests that we were up to 67% of our GDP in Debt when the current government came to power in 2010, and now we sit at 91% of GDP.
      How do the Tories suggest that they have everything under control
      and the debt is being reduced? Answers on a postcard.
      The Tories also suggest that if you could elect them just one more time, they will wipe out the debt in the next parliament?
      They obviously took into account the Scottish oil revenues as a nice regular income with ever increasing revenues, they don’t seem to have made any adjustments to their fantasy figures, now that the price of oil is heading south rapidly?
      It seems that the price drop has only affected Alex Salmond?
      So strange when Alex had only considered the revenue as a bonus
      and never at any time had any control over past mismanagement
      of the industry or its funds.
      Have any of our academics come up with stats on how the reduced levels of oil income will affect Tory debt projections?

    78. Carin Schwartz says:

      Where are the Greens in all this? How long will it take before the Green Party and the SNP could form a sensible coalition?
      Climate change did not feature much in the referendum, but it is real and wrecking all of us quicker than expected. At some stage more people ought to see that and join forces for a ‘future’ at all.

    79. Dr Jim says:

      1.6 million of us voted YES and yet there are only 100,000 SNP members maybe we need to get our membership up to 2 million, wonder what would happen to Scottish democracy then, would we still be insurgents or would we be a hostile takeover or would we just declare Independence? Couldn’t argue with 2 million of us could they?…I am Alex Salmond…

    80. Luigi says:

      The Red Tories really need to be pressed on this – would they or wouldn’t they form an informal alliance with the SNP?

      IMO, the Red Tories would never agree to work with the SNP at WM, no matter what the cost. It just won’t happen. Of course, they don’t want to be asked about it right now.

      English reporters really ought to be asking Ed Milliband (or Jim Murphy) if they would work with the SNP – if they agree, they destroy their chances in England, if they disagree, then they show Scotland that Labour are willing to let the Tories remain in power for another five years, rather than work with the SNP.

      The Red Tories can’t have it both ways (despite the best efforts of the BBC).

    81. It will never happen says:

      It will never happen!, the Tories are too left wing for Labour.

    82. muttley79 says:

      The ‘insurgent’ talk is revealing. All the SNP did in holding the independence referendum was fulfilling a manifesto pledge, albeit a major one. I would say that democracy in the UK is in serious difficulty if the SNP are included as ‘insurgents,’ as they are in office and power in Edinburgh. It seems the British establishment and their MSM buddies are crapping themselves because of democracy. As Jonesy says in Dad’s Army, they don’t like it up em… 😀

    83. Bob Mack says:

      I think one critical thing has to be factored into all the permutations which makes it entirely possible for Labour to form a coalition with Westminster.That is E.V.E.L.. Murphy could be postured as being at odds with many decisions taken at Westminster, but nave no part to play as he is not an English M.P..This may explain why the Tories are pushing the agenda so quickly through Westminster.The end result would be that Westminster by virtue of its English M.P.s pushes through with its programmes whilst a helpless Scotland can only watch, given that many of the policy changes could be justified as an English only issue which may have some unfortunate effect elsewhere.Murphy could be seen at odds with his main Labour Party, but secretly agreeing to all things, and so be seen as trying to preserve the true Socialist prlnciples in Scotland. HERO FOR DEMOCRACY.

    84. Stoker says:

      woosie says:
      3 January, 2015 at 3:24 pm
      “This is too far fetched even for Yes Prime Minister!”

      Don’t kid yourself my friend.

      They already held a dummy-run throughout the referendum.

      Without Scottish resources England is in serious shite.

      Unionists are very aware of this and will stop at nothing to hold on to the cash-cow that is Scotland.

      There is every chance that a Tory Alliance will be refined and reformed and until they deny it we would be wise to believe that is exactly what they intend on doing.

      Personally, i think they may even deny it and then still go ahead with it anyway, or at the very least announce their own version of an “issue by issue” basis, but not until after the 7th.

      I stated on here just after the referendum that i believe the 3 main Westminster parties have already held secret “scenario” meetings and i still firmly believe that.

      Time will tell!

    85. wingman 2020 says:

      Is there anyone on here still paying the BBC blood money?

    86. a supporter says:

      The English were always complaining about the Scottish tail wagging the English dog when Blair, Broon and his mates were governing at Westminster. And bejezzus here’s the TIP of the SNP tail whipping them all over Westminster. The more I read the outpourings of the English ‘commentariat’ the more I wonder how they got those fancy degrees from Oxbridge. (Daddy bought them?. They are FUCKING idiots. But you never know the career mad WM politicians may be just as stupid.

      All of this because Alex Salmond is coming to get them!?

    87. The Earthshaker says:

      Happy New Year/Blwyddyn Newydd Dda Wingers

      Logically it shouldn’t happen, a deal isn’t in either Labour or the Tories best long term interests, but after the indyref we are living in strange times and I agree with Rev Stu that it’s even being discussed by the press in non war times is noteworthy.

      I’d welcome it here in Wales where Labour is still reasonably strong because it would help break their stranglehold over the Welsh electorate by exposing them for the fraudsters they are.

      The next few months are going to be fascinating.

    88. Effijy says:

      Also notice that countries with similar populations to the UK, namely France and Spain have 92% debt against ther GDP, against the UK’s 91%.
      During the referendum the Tory Alliance seemed to agree that Scottish Oil revenues had brought in over £1,000,000,000,000
      (One Trillion) in revenue since the oil started to come ashore.
      Neither France nor Spain has an oil industry yet we have similar levels of debt, can we conclude from this that almost all of the UK oil revenue over the last 40 years has done nothing to benefit the general population?
      To make matters worse, the last time I travelled through France & Spain, petrol at the pumps came in at a lower cost than the UK?

    89. Big Jock says:

      Its not actually a great leap from Labour to Tory. People said the same about the Lib Dems having outright bars to a coalition with the Tories. Westminster parties and MPs are opportunists. Its amazing what a small sniff of power brings out in some people. Principles are great in a manifesto ,but can be easily dropped at the thought of true power. Milliband has no chance of being elected. He would either fall on his sword or form a coalition with Cameron. Guess what move I think he would make!

    90. galamcennalath says:

      Two things.

      Firstly I have posted a few times that a Lab-Con (English) National Unity Front seemed more likely than Lab surviving with SNP help. There would be an uprising in the shires if those pesky Scots separists forced policy on the Motherland. The power at WM would effectively be rUK to the exclusion of Scottish representation. Not a bad thing when we are all looking for IndyRef2!

      Secondly, the Unionists are bound to be at disadvantage at WM2015 because they have two entirely different battles to fight … A traditional Lab-Con battle for control of WM, and battle against those pesky Scots again which only Labour can fight. There is no significant Scottish MSM, the power is at a UK level. That MSM is going to find this difficult. Which may make the MSM less effective than during IndyRef1. Again, to Scotland’s pro democracy advantage.

    91. galamcennalath says:

      From an English perspective, a Lab Con Coalition might herald the end of that traditional two party politics. Voters down south would drift further from the big two. Heavens, given a long enough parliament and the LibDems might come back again!

    92. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      I remember Neil what’s him name saying at the Branch Office hustings that Nicola Sturgeon wanted to crush The Labour Party. Well Neil, you can replace Nicola with Ed Miliband.

    93. Karmanaut says:

      Someone *needs* to ask Milibrain to state Labour’s position on a possible Tory coalition. Any journalists out there have the courage and integrity?

      If a Labour/Tory coalition happens, it will be to deny Scotland its voice in the union. “Now you’ve voted to remain in the union, you cannot have a say in the running of that union.” It would strip democracy from Scotland. We would become a fiefdom with control of our own road signs.

      Incidentally (and O/T), Labour’s £1 membership drive is a desperate attempt to hide its membership numbers before they have to put their accounts in. If their total earnings from membership are, say, £80k, they can claim this includes a large number of £1 members.

    94. drawdeaddave says:

      If this ConLab coalition transpires, then sure it might quell the power of the “insurgents” representatives in the undemocratic cesspit they call WM for a term, it will however bolster support for the insurgent parties once the electorate see whats going on,& ConLab can’t form an undemocratic national government for ever, a coalition is only delaying the inevitable, unless there is an almighty constitutional change…

    95. Capella says:

      @ Wingman
      Is there anyone on here still paying the BBC blood money?
      Not guilty! I haven’t had a licence for decades. But you don’t need one to listen to the radio or watch/listen on the iPlayer – on the rare occasion that there is anything interesting. (Mostly for Scandinavian noir. But I will listen to the Alan Bennett play later on the iPlayer, he’s always a sharp observer of English quirkiness and common decency).
      You only need a licence to watch or record in real time.

      I get my news from RT etc and the Keiser Report is always very entertaining.

    96. davidb says:

      It would be no big surprise. Remember the only thing certain about the next election is that the Libdems will be routed.

      Labour has the most to lose. I suspect that they would take a serious hammering for a long time in Scotland particularly – and can kiss Holyrood goodbye in 2016. The 5 year term would see an EU referendum on Government terms which they would therefore likely win, thus removing UKIP’s big grievance in time for 2020. But Labour craves the ring, my precious…

      They must hope that they can return to the cozy duopoly at the end. And what are the Scots going to do about it anyway? Vote 59 SNP MP’s onto the opposition benches? There’s no talk here of UDI, and there are no organised civil disobedience protests. We have good cause to do a poll tax on the telly tax, but its all individuals, no Solidarity campaign. They will have calculated we are pussies – unlike the Irish who have form.

      We live in interesting times.

    97. Big Jock says:

      Given BBC Scotland’s behaviour during the referendum in propping up the no campaign. I expect a full backing of Murphy and Milliband from them. Indeed they have already begun the love in with Murphy in earnest. A straw poll of noes and yeses by me indicated that he is loathed by everyone. Murphy that is! So if BBC continue this way then its wipeout time for the SLAB 2015.

    98. De Valera says:

      Makes perfect sense to me, they agree on most major issues and they most certainly agree on keeping Scotland in its place.

      Insurgents??? Where did that come from? I wonder how long it will be before the Murphy Broadcasting Corporation takes that one up?

    99. Wuffing Dug says:

      National unity? Fuck that. Sounds like ‘V for Vendetta’ FFS. Corrupt state – check. Manufactured external threat – check. Insidious state propaganda – check. you couldn’t make this shit up eh?

    100. Capella says:

      O/T did anyone see this comment on Wee Ginger Dug from Michael Housman? Seems the UK government has instructed European banks not to change Scottish currency into Euros; Bank of England notes only.
      Anyone know why this would be?
      http://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/giving-up-bad-habits/comment-page-1/#comment-15470

    101. fred blogger says:

      Effijy
      yes, and pensions are also much better, as is life expectancy.
      their economies are also far more ‘diverse’.
      ‘costs’ of being a pensioner are lower, due to less social/cultural fragmentation.
      diet is far better, and climate mostly warmer.
      uk benefits rates is 46th (@ 0.189) out of 51, below uk is; Brazil 0.152 47, Estonia 0.132 48, Lithuania 0.117 49, Chile 0.115 50,Georgia 0.09 51.
      spain is 5th @ 0.635, france 15th @ 0.479, of median income.
      french pensioners live 5yrs longer.
      http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/socialcharter/Conclusions/State/UKXX2_en.pdf

    102. Karmanaut says:

      @De Valera

      “Insurgents” was the word used by Ian Birrel in his Guardian piece. Democracy is fine, but not when it’s the Scots.

    103. Paula Rose says:

      I think I’ve got it now –

      Vote SNP and get a grand Union coalition that’ll really hurt, or

      Vote Labour for only half the pain.

    104. bugsbunny says:

      I see the Scottish Nurse Pauline McCafferky is very seriously ill. God bless her.

      Katie Hopkins, burn in fucking hell. Your a bitch and a complete and utter bastard. Drop dead you ugly cunt.

      Stephen.

    105. Tony Little says:

      I posted this idea months ago (Perhaps not here, I can’t recall now) and was soundly ridiculed. I still think it has more legs than common sense would suggest. If it’s the only way to retain power, they’ll do it

    106. Luigi says:

      Having spent the last few weeks hounding the SNP and asking if they will support Labour or the tories in a hung parliament, the MSM are now testing the idea of a grand unionist coalition in 2015.

      I expect, therefore, that the MSM will now apply equal pressure to the unionist parties to inform us whether or not this is on the cards.

      Ed Milliband – will Labour work with the SNP to keep the tories out?

      Jim Murphy – will Labour form a unionist coalition with the tories if the SNP win a majority of Scottish seats?

      The people need to know.

      (I’m not holding my breath).

    107. Luigi says:

      “The voters outside looked from Tory to Labour, and from Labour to Tory, and from Tory to Labour again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

    108. Buster Bloggs says:

      But then again

    109. Jim Mitchell says:

      It’s one way of Labour cutting their throats!

    110. bugsbunny says:

      Luigi,

      Animal Farm. A far better account of Political Duplicity and Backstabbing I have yet to read.

      Stephen.

    111. Buster Bloggs says:

      The unionists know if the SNP hold balance of power the Union is over, I voted SNP my whole life well before Scottish parliament in the hope we return a majority of SNP MPs which would give us indy, lets hope that hasn’t changed.

    112. Valerie says:

      I remember very shortly after the Ref result, a jubilant BT foot soldier, speaking to camera, and saying, there was no way they could have achieved the No result without the English Tory supporters coming up here, and turning out their voters.

      It makes a lot of sense. Slab has never had to cultivate an army of foot soldiers, because the vote was taken for granted. They don’t even really know how to organise.

      Now the party is decimated in numbers, what else can they do?

    113. Schrodingers cat says:

      would laboutr do it…..
      yes, especially if they get wiped out in scotland in 2015, nothing to hol themback from swinging to the right.
      whether it happens or not, the SLABBERS need to be brought to task, Pledge cards etc, (ask labour supporters and members at every opportunity)if they do go into a coalition to keep the voice of scotland out, then we need the amo to make them pay in 2016
      indyref2 will only happen when the polls show a least 60% YES, the above senario way bring it quicker.

    114. Hector says:

      One of the most thought provoking debates I have seen on Wings. Insightful and analytical……will any of the Scottish press pick this up and run with it from a Scottish perspective?

    115. galamcennalath says:

      Karmanaut says:
      “Democracy is fine”

      I have to strongly disagree. WM and the London Establish just don’t do democracy, period. 🙂

    116. robertknight says:

      The trouble for the Tories and labour in this scenario is that in Scotland, Labour would be exterminated by the SNP, and in England the Conservatives would lose out to UKIP in a similar manner.

      Would either risk it just to keep a choke-chain around the neck of two-dozen SNP MPs?

    117. Capella says:

      @ cynicalHighlander
      Thanks for the link. Seems to be two completely contradictory accounts here. Let’s see what, if anything, it means!

    118. yesindyref2 says:

      Talk about a possible Coalition between the Tories and Labour could do wonders for the revival of LibDem fortunes in England, and perhaps also UKIP who seem to be slumping a little in recent polls. But perhaps the biggest winners could be the Greens, who knows.

      I agree that in Scotland it could totally kill off Labour for a “generation” 🙂

      When people here and elsewhere were talking about the possibility, I must admit my thoughts were to wonder what they were smoking or popping. Well, the times-they-are-a-changing, and the reactionary Tories and Labour could react!

    119. yesindyref2 says:

      However, the Guardian used to be LibDem, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re stirring it up as a last gasp hope for the LibDems before they get wiped out. There’s been a lot of talk about a LibDem revival, this could be the start of that campaign.

    120. manandboy says:

      If politics is the new Rock ‘n Roll, then pretty soon we’re gonna’ be all shook up and 2014 will be seen as the new 1960 – a year which marked a big change in society but also a contrast between what went before and what came after.

      The UK electorate seem ready for such an event, none more so than in Scotland. The ruling classes will object, but will likely be swept aside as the irresistible force for change meets the crumbling corruption of the immovable object of the Establishment.

      It may be that IndyRef came too soon. If that’s the case, then what’s coming down in 2015 – and maybe beyond – may just be at the right time.

    121. Stoker says:

      Luigi,

      When asked any questions on possible coalitions Skeletor and Deputy Dug etc will simply answer by following London’s orders of sticking to the “we’re in it to win it” mantra and avoid any mention of possible defeat etc.

    122. Big Jock says:

      I think it was Derek Bateman that said he laghed when the unionists called for unity after the no vote. We operate on a different Spectrum to the unionists. How can we possibly unite with people we fundementaly disagree with on just about everything we want for Scotland. Just because we didn’t win doesnt mean we werent right and are still right.

      If your neighbours are atheists and you are a believer, do you give up your religion to keep the peace. The peace the unionists want is for us to forget about Scotland and social equality, and get on with being shat on citizens. The misjudgment they made was thinking they had won. They never won. Scotland lost and there is a difference! We are more alive than we have ever been. The union is falling down a cliff and the ground is getting nearer not further away.

    123. yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, Danny Alexander played a very high profile part in the Indy Ref, and Carmichale did his best. The media was delighted to give them as much column space as they wanted, and contacts will have been made. Hence why Carmichael seems to get as much space as he wants, and Alexander only needs to say how tiring it all was and he cried at the result, and lo and behold, he gets a whole article.

      The cynical part of me would say that they both took their part in the Ref just to achieve this, and that rather than Indy being important to them, they were just preparing the ground to try to fight back from their abominal Coalition principles discard, for the General Election in which they face being wiped out.

    124. Brotyboy says:

      @PeterBell

      Great post. I agree.

    125. Steely Glint says:

      We have them rattled guys, it’s as simple as that, this is a question the electorate will want answered before the election, I said on Sept 19th that we had only lost a battle not the war and that the fight had to be taken south. This will cause the ill informed and politically illiterate to begin to question their “firmly held” political support. Lets help them wake up just as Scotland has.

    126. Chas says:

      But what happens in the house of commons? I suggested a Lab/Con coalition several weeks ago and surmised that the minority parties then make up the opposition. That could mean Alex Salmond leading the opposition at PMs question times. It would be worth watching.

    127. Garry says:

      Folk are right to point out the terrible cost of a grand coalition to Labour in their traditional heartlands and also the potential cost to the Tories in theirs.

      But if it is the only option they have to be sure of shutting out more radical interests for another 5 years then don’t think for a moment they won’t take it. Having your hands on the levers of power can be a useful tool in changing the political landscape over such a period and provides a possible escape route.

      The important point is this though; they know the political cost of such a deal will great and that it could spell the end for one or both of them at least as we know them today, so they will do whatever they can to avoid it BEFORE the election.

      I wonder therefore if we are about to see a campaign of the sort we have never encountered before where both sets of Tories turn their fire on everybody but each other and help each other stem the flow behind the scenes and on the ground, out of the media spotlight.

      The Yes campaign should have been morphed into a formal Anti-Westminster Alliance to combat this and extended to include the Greens in England and Plaid in Wales but our political leadership did not have the appetite for it or the vision to see it (or both).

      The SNP will in all probability make some gains – and maybe many – in May but I do wonder whether a far bigger victory has been sacrificed on the altar of a ‘local’ SNP triumph which, at the end of the day, might not move our cause forward very much depending on what happens elsewhere and how others react to the outcome.

      One thing the SNP always seem to forget is that it has no control over the outcome of a Westminster election overall but it remains determined to play the Westminster game as if it was just another election. It is anything but and a completely different approach is required in order to maximise the chance of ever being able to progress our cause through that most disreputable of institutions.

    128. Brian Powell says:

      A crude attempt by the establishment to lump SNP with UKIP to try to diminish it.

    129. BJ says:

      The prediction at the moment is that Danny Alexander will lose his seat in May to a huge majority to the SNP. Maybe more tears for the big man aww!

      As for Carmichael, every time he speaks I think to myself that there is a village somewhere in Scotland missing an idiot. Someone please tell him where the Islay ferry leaves from, I think he’s just lost. Poor soul aww!

    130. Valerie says:

      That scenario may yet happen, @Garry, the 3 women talk on a regular basis, I’m sure of that. Nicola, Natalie and Leanne.

    131. Paula Rose says:

      An alliance would have been overtly pro-independence, the SNP can stand on a what’s best for Scotland platform (ie FFA/devomax) and appeal to the wider electorate. At present the Green Party will not do that – and I’m one of their supporters.

      I want the most astute minds of the Greens, SSP and Independents available for Holrood in 2016, not squandered in Westminster.

    132. Andrew Walker says:

      It’ll never happen.

      But it’s mildly humerous how scared the establishment is.

      Bring on May.

    133. indigo says:

      Without a doubt this is what is being planned, for it to be ‘discussed’ in multiple major newspapers at the same time using the language of war suggests this is deliberate briefing and floating of a proposal.

      Combined with the You Gov question asking about consensus being a good or bad thing, this is probably already a done deal behind the scenes.

      From a PR point of view it’s incredibly easy to spin, with the vote fragmented the only consensus from the GE is that XX% of the population voted for one of the main two parties, and, after all, there is much they share views on policy-wise. Confidence & supply minority government with both propping the other up, or grand co-alition, in essence it’ll be the same thing.

    134. Macart says:

      “the fringe parties on the fringe”

      Unveiling Westminster politics as the beastie we’ve known it really was all along. Do they think that the UKs population are ready to accept the reality?

      Heh, they really should be careful what they wish for. If they pull such a stroke though, the end of the UK will come that much sooner sooooooo… 😉

    135. yesindyref2 says:

      BJ
      Yes, Danny’s 12th on the list according to Ladbrokes at 4/9 on, i.e. 6th on the list of gains. I extracted the info from Ladbrokes during the night and have it in a table anyone’s welcome to copy (view source even):

      http://yesindyref2.wordpress.com

      Sadly Carmichael is 58th on the possible SNP seats, just above Michael Moore’s seat, which I think is a bit strange. Odds are changing now though, so my “snapshot” even if I don’t update it, will be interesting to compare to see what happens in a few weeks.

    136. Hamish says:

      Has his eminence Mr Murphy said if he is standing for the general election or doing a swap with a MSP? Ms Lamont?

    137. John Porteous says:

      Well, they have been two cheeks of the same arse for the past twenty or so years…

    138. Effijy says:

      Thanks for the Link Fred Blogger!

      uk benefits rates is 46th (@ 0.189) out of 51,

      He we are taking the risk of losing these wonderful Westminster Political parties when in spite of £1,000,000,000,000
      worth of oil revenue we rank 46th out of 51 in benefit rates.

      What are we thinking off?
      Could we pour the oil down a drain somewhere and be any worse off?

      All profits for the corporate elite and their political puppets!

    139. Famous15 says:

      The unionists were desperate to demonise those supporting Scottish independence. Their greatest wish was Scot Nats would become violent in frustration. Wise heads prevailed and the greatest violence was committed by Better Together.

      Again they wish to shoehorn the YES supporters into violence. Call them insurgents and some will wish to act out that part? Keeping calm and using words instead of swords drives them demented!

      The sadness is that they would deny being undemocratic but that is exactly what they are by using such intemperate and insulting language

    140. De Valera says:

      I have started to think of Labour not so much as the red tories but more as the Vichy tories and Brown as their Petain.

    141. Les Wilson says:

      Well,if some think this is far fetched, I strongly disagree.
      Westminster cannot be trusted on any level. That includes ALL the Westminster parties not just those in power.
      Scotland is a threat to the Union, they feel it, they smell it.

      This would be an attempt to put Scotland in a straight jacket, but may prove the final undoing of their precious Union.

      S/Labour would be finished and such a move would bring havoc, as even Northern England would raise it’s colours in pusuit of real democracy, and would perhaps start talking to the SNP.
      Would a real North/South divide appear?

      They would be taking an enormous gamble, but the elites are panicking, they will do anything to keep things as they are and run down Scotland to a backwater. So Yes it is very possible, but will it, within a short few years it bring the opposite effect?

    142. Kevin Sim says:

      I think Cameron is preparing to negoiate the break up of the UK in 2016. Far easier to do this as part of a coalition (labour/con) government. Ian Birrell (Camereon’s former speech writer) has been sent out to prepqre the ground.

    143. bjsalba says:

      @Paula Rose

      I wholeheartedly agree with you.

      Keep the best of our politicians for Holyrood, and send down the toughest hardest SNP team we can put together to Westminster with one goal in mind – FFA/Devo Max.

      Good plan.

    144. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Maybe Milliband and Cameron will get married for the sake of British unity.

    145. Stoker says:

      “The union of the snakes”

      Scotland (The Mongoose) – V – Westminster (The Snake)

      My money’s on The Mongoose, bring it on!

      Vote for Scotland, vote SNP.

      btw, i take it Chris is not back until next Saturday?

    146. fred blogger says:

      Effijy
      ‘Could we pour the oil down a drain somewhere and be any worse off?’ nope.
      like many said oil was/is a bonus and some bonus no matter the BoE price.
      cheap electricity and fuel to propel our economy with, @ very least.
      the fact is we’d have no debt, our own currency, and no uk state to burden ourselves with.
      makes me weep, bawl, what were the naws thinking?

    147. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ De Valera says:
      3 January, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      “I have started to think of Labour not so much as the red tories but more as the Vichy tories and Brown as their Petain.”

      I think you mean

      “Les Collabos”

      ?

    148. Alex Clark says:

      I don’t think this suggestion is far fetched else it wouldn’t be being tested using the MSM to get the suggestion across, particularly to an English audience.

      Choosing the Guardian and FT to release this message was also not coincidental, one notionally “left” leaning and the other a business publication.

      I expect some more chatter around this topic in the coming weeks among the broader media including the BBC.

      I think it’s great, another own goal. If enough of those inclined to vote Labour in Scotland get whiff of the possibility of Labour sharing government with the Tories at Westminster after 2015 many will likely switch to the SNP.

      The only possibility of this happening of course is if neither Labour or the Tories can form a government without the support of the SNP.

      We need to get as many Indy supporting MP’s as possible into Westminster then sit back and enjoy the show. Especially if they choose this path and end up cutting their own throats for the sake of power over blind hated of rebellious Scots and the SNP.

    149. Tam Jardine says:

      We have to think what benefits the UK establishment’s and ultra rich elite- everything pushing the anti progress/status quo/austerity agenda.

      If they want a government of national unity between the 2 snakes they will need to manufacture a crisis to allow it. War is probably the easiest to push but I rule nothing out. With the BBC on board anything is possible.

      One thing is for sure in my mind – there is no way the elite will bend over and allow the SNP to call the shots as some have suggested – there is more likelihood of a series of general elections until a desirable result is achieved.

      If the labour party and conservatives unite then the people should simply march on Holyrood, declare UDI and dig in. For at that moment the idea of democracy in the UK, obscure and precious as it has been will finally be extinguished.

      I am just so happy we are not sitting with an election 3 or 4 years away which will mean the head of steam doesn’t have a chance to subside.

      If the BBC are pressing this then prepare for the full bhuna propaganda job.. We have all seen it ramp up before.

    150. desimond says:

      The doubters should ask themselves 1 question:

      Would Westminster care?

      Self Preservation of The Establishment at all costs.

      The really sad fact is most voters wouldnt even care or notice..they dont look beyond their pay-packet bottom line.

    151. kestral says:

      Just love it

      Can you imagine the betrayal which will be felt in these 2 parties if they join together

      OMG at the fallout

      one only has to look at what happened here in scotland to see the effect that a Lab/Con coalition would have

      oh the betrayal of the left labour
      oh the betrayal of the right conservatives

      really….the 2 arch enemies, north and south poles……..get into bed together

      well I sure look forward to the effect that will have

      because in the end, they play with the voters hearts – just as ALL of us who believed our country could stand on it’s own 2 feet believed with passion so do those that vote labour or conservative believe their party has the right approach

      Smiles……passion, belief and morals (no matter how twisted) are a very dangerous playground for politicians

    152. kininvie says:

      Easily spun – no need for a war ‘threatening economic circumstances’ will do – especially if there’s a Euro crisis.

      Voter: “Would you consider forming a coalition with Lab/Tory?”

      Candidate: “There’ll be no need. We’ll win”

      Voter: “What if there’s a hung parliament?”

      Candidate: “There won’t be, but if there is, we shall of course do whatever is best for the country at this difficult time….”

    153. heedtracker says:

      So much for THE VOW then. And So the old order have nothing to lose again, 5 months hard core Project Fear 2, BBC deifying a very creepy idiot like Murphy all fails to whip Scotland back into Slab line, what next for teamGB?

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/a-less-permanent-permanence/

    154. The Man in the Jar says:

      I reckon that there is bugger all “real” news and the journos are just making it up.

      Granted its worth keeping an eye on but I wont be losing any sleep over this.

    155. Simon K Findlay says:

      I’m beginning to see a pattern here.

      1. Vote SNP you get the Tories
      2. Vote SNP you get Labour
      3. Vote SNP you get a Labour/Tory Coalition

      Do you think the MSM is trying to tell us something?

      Looking forward to “Vote SNP you get Nigel Farage as Deputy PM” somewhere around April.

    156. gerry parker says:

      @ Kinivie.
      (continued)

      Voter: So what’s your plan B then?

      🙂

    157. Murray McCallum says:

      I thought these two parts of a recent Opinium poll were proxy measures of Labour disillusionment and SNP motivation.

      % of a parties voters who will definitely vote #GE2015
      SNP 95%
      CON 84%
      UKIP 82%
      LAB 81%
      LD 63%

      Net approval rating by own party
      Cameron +87%
      Farage +74%
      Clegg +44%
      Miliband +33%

      http://www.ukgeneralelection2015.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/opinium-survey.html

    158. Marga says:

      Fringe parties? Insurgents? SNP? Plaid? Greens?

      Others will have exclaimed already but it’s impossible not to do the same!

    159. Kevin Sim says:

      I suspect Cameron is preparing to negoiate the break up of the UK in 2016. In practise this means a Con/Lab coalition government. Ian Birrell (Cameron’s former speech writer) has benn put out to prepare the ground.

    160. Marga says:

      Isn’t the phrase: “Aprés moi, le déluge”.

      And curiously Spain is 100% in the same boat, discussing 100% the same solution, but not (just) nationalists, mainly the redical left Podemos are “the insurgents”.

    161. HandandShrimp says:

      A Tory Labour Coalition? Well that really would put paid to voting. How demotivating would that be?

    162. Paula Rose says:

      My point is – what is best for Scotland is best for my people in the rest of the UK – explain otherwise Mr Murphy.

    163. De Valera says:

      @ Bugger (the panda)

      Good point, perhaps Les CoLabos?

    164. Dale says:

      please, please edit this article to point out who the projected 3rd party, who would become HM’s official opposition at Westminster as the largest party not in government, actually is.

      Seriously, you’re not covering this story well unless you point out that the grand coalition would likely leave the SNP heading HM’s official opposition, possibly even headed up by Alex Salmond.

      That’d make for a few entertaining sessions of PMQs.

      I can understand why the MSM have missed that angle to the story, but I expect greater analysis from you.

    165. Robert Bryce says:

      If this happens then I for one will demand the Scottish government make a UDI.
      Westminster would have absolutely no mandate to govern Scotland in any way shape or form if we return a majority of Indy MP’s.

    166. Graeme Doig says:

      Capella @ 3.43pm

      No amount of morbid curiosity would make me venture anywhere near that.

      ‘Insurgent’

      a person who fights against an established government or authority (Merriam Webster online)

      I am a proud insurgent. 🙂

    167. cirsium says:

      Obi Wan Sturgeon you are our only hope

      thank you for that, Awayanbileyerheed,3.39

    168. Alex Clark says:

      @Dale

      It’s already been pointed out twice at least in the comments who the official opposition would be if SNP was the 3rd largest party.

      Sometimes it’s good to be able to fill in the blanks by yourself and anyway who would really care about being the opposition in Westminster.

      It’s worthless.

    169. Paula Rose says:

      New year honeys – I ken we’re on the main thread, but we need to bop!!!

      Bet the Rev would like to have a wee skirl in his ha bitty thingy!

    170. Kevin Evans says:

      Right – this whole thing has just turned into madness

    171. Dr Jim says:

      Does this mean they won’t accept the settled will of the people of Britayn who will have voted together to be apart from the Great UK of B. Surely they would have to accept the overwhelming margin of the hung parliament and get over it never to raise the subject again for at least a generation or we could get a foreign president or something to intervene to make them see sense..or a pope..or

    172. Titler says:

      *pops back in briefly*

      It’s good to see the people of Wings didn’t give up post-referendum; and odd as it may seem, here’s the first signs of pay off for your staying strong and engaged. Why?

      Although Labour will probably be wiped out by the SNP in Scotland, on most of the major policy issues, they are to the left of Labour currently. As long as the SNP voters then hold them to that position, on any hung parliament the votes of the SNP will break behind Labour before the Tories.

      That also goes for the Green party, with their unknown number of seats.

      The Lib Dems, who might have voted for the Tories due to having already gotten into bed with them previously, are now so discredited in the eyes of the public they’re on course for an electoral wipeout. The one or two who remain however will be left leaning, or at least in those kinds of electoral areas.

      Which leaves only UKIP as potential partners for the Tories; but supporting them would tear their own party apart due to the pressure over Europe.

      Thus, Labour not only has to lose, but lose so badly to counteract the huge left wing coalition that is in waiting, that the question would be moot anyway for the Tories; such a loss would mean a Tory majority. Yet a small majority is actually far, far worse for them than a loss because the Tory party would implode from having to take a lead on the Referendum on Europe they promised if re-elected… And UKIP will insist on that being honoured as the price of any support for a Tory led coalition.

      The Tory leadership was never really convinced they’d have to fight for the Referendum anyway; I’ve said all along that privately the Cameron wing of the Party expected to lose this election after gutting as much of the state in a huge act of vandalism whilst they could. They expected another 5 years out of office before coming back and re-toxifying again; they’re moving to the US Republican concept of guerilla campaigns to break the system beyond repair, rather than constant ruling and having to move slowly.

      Now however, their own Euro-Skeptics and UKIP combined will still be big enough to cause trouble in any hung parliament. And the Tory party knows it’ll lose every vote all the same, whilst even out of office the continuing story will still be “Tory Disunity Over Europe”.

      The only hope they have is this suggested Labour-Tory coalition, because then they can try and get Labour to take all the blame for the antics of their own Wreckers; “We will let you rule, if YOU address the question of Europe.”

      But why should Labour sign up for that? The Tory hope is that, being pro-Europe, at the head of “a national unity Government”, Labour will claim to be part of the pro-Europe majority, will campaign against any “out” voting, the vote will fail, but Labour gets all the flack from the anti-Europeans. Phew, the Tories get to stay united a bit longer.

      Of course, the Tories will insult the vile Scots for dominating Westminster politics with their evil communist ways; But the SNP has got a phenomenally strong hand here. The people voted to stay in the Union; you said we were better together too, remember? And we’ve got an electoral mandate to be putting these policies forward…

      Labour can ignore that, if they want, and stay much further to the right; however they’d be throwing away an incredible political opportunity in doing so. Expect them instead to shift to the left to keep the SNP and Greens on board. Simply out of the power it brings in putting the boot into the Tories. Whilst the constant abuse of Scots will increase the support for Independence…

      Not to mention the outright rioting that would break out if they were stupid enough to vote with the Tories directly. I don’t think they will; no one wants to end up looking like the Lib Dems did after doing that.

      But again… I don’t think the Tories involved in this claim necessarily expect such a coalition to happen; I suspect what they are really doing is trial ballooning where the movement in votes is. “Can we get a swing towards us going by saying ‘you may as well vote for the real thing’… or even towards Labour instead, if we can use our own toxicity to avoid a hung parliament that would destroy us”. They’re flailing around in panic trying to engineer a “Heads we win, tails you lose” situation.

      Even so: There’s a fantastic opportunity for left leaning Scots here. You didn’t want to be part of the Union I know; but your time shaping the political future of it isn’t over yet. Who knows, the venom directed against you previously may come to be mainstream Toryism; “If they’re going to vote so far left anyway, better off without ’em.” And you’ll be voting in Westminster now for the good of the entire UK community. So I’m glad you’re still with us, even if it is for what could be the dying days of the British state.

      Go on folks, pull that electoral map back to the Left, even if you didn’t think you could, even if you didn’t want to still be here to have to do so! Give those ‘effing Tories a kicking and do everyone a huge favour, including yourselves. Let’s see Alex Salmond really get up some Westminster noses.

    173. Lollysmum says:

      @ Kevin Evans

      Well that’s politics for you-sheer madness 🙂 & that’s why everyone is so gripped by it right now!

    174. yesindyref2 says:

      It’s a fun propsect for the 3rd Jan for us – and the media – to consider a main party Coalition. But as the article points out there hasn’t been such a Coalition since 1945, when the people of Great Britain were so pleased with the performance of Churchill during the War, they promptly got rid of him and his party for a few years.

    175. Alex Clark says:

      @Titler

      Enjoyed the read, what most of those that voted Yes believed was that it would bring the rUK political mindset further to the left.

      An Independent Scotland may have been a leading light not just for the left in the rUK but middle England as well. Not everyone got that, the MSM focused on the Nat English haters. Which of course was all bollocks.

    176. Kenny says:

      Bring it on! People have been talking about a Lab/Con alliance for a long time. As always, Scotland is ahead of the rest with several Lab/Con alliances to keep the SNP from power in councils.

      I would love for Lab + Con to gain the exact same number of MPs. Some 40+ SNP MPs holding the balance of power…

      Or a Lab/Con alliance with the SNP as HM Opposition. Can you imagine what PMQs would be like?!?

      That is why I really think the SNP needs to stand in North English constituencies, maybe also in Cornwall and Devon. Because as it is, they are confined to Scotland and the absolute maximum MPs they can really hope for is something approaching 50 (and even then not so realistic). But with their policies opposing the bedroom tax, ATOS, nuclear weapons, austerity, etc., they could make great inroads in North England. And there are 100,000 Scots just dying to repay the favour the unionists did in the indy ref campaign by bussing up their supporters!

      I fear that Ed is so useless, however, that there will be a majority of Tory + UKIP members. And Labour will be the opposition…. Having said that, the slow death of Labour across the country is also good for us (and the Greens).

      And all this talk of how the parties are so similar might help a few more people to finally open their eyes…

    177. Paula Rose says:

      @ Kevin Evans

      The London bubble started it.

    178. Stoker says:

      gerry parker says:
      “Voter: So what’s your plan B then?”

      Nice yin Gerry, i await my opperchancity tae use it.
      😉
      _________
      Apologies if this has already been shown.

      15 things to look out for in politics in 2015.
      (WOS gets a mention at No10)

      “We have general elections here and abroad, the rise of populist and marginal parties, and widespread anger at establishment parties.”

      No shit, Sherlock!

      https://archive.today/8QJdA

    179. caz-m says:

      Labour-Tory, Tory-Labour, The Terrible Twins.

      A mirror image of each other. No one would notice even if they did merge into one big Unionist heap. Their priority is London and the establishment.

      It makes them think they still have some relevance in world affairs.

      Deluded lunatics.

      We must get away from this shower ASAP.

      Rev, I have to say, your Posts have been shit hot over the festive period and takes my mind right off the weather out here. Keep up the great work, you put EVERY UK journalist to shame.

    180. Robert Peffers says:

      So now we campaigners for Scottish independence have become, in the minds of the Unionists, “Insurgents”?

      Now the definition of an, “Insurgent”, is : – rebellious, rising in revolt. n, – a person who fights against established authority, a rebel.

      So just what do these, so called, journalists define as rebellious when the Scottish Independence movement has been entirely peaceful and well within, “The Establishments”, own rules of democracy.

      In point of fact, after the official signing of, “The Treaty of Union”, (an agreement between two equally sovereign kingdoms), the former Parliament of the three country Kingdom of England sat and legally dissolved itself.

      Not so in Scotland where the Scottish Parliament was, ““prorogued”, (Terminated the session of parliament without dissolving it). Thus, when Winnie Ewing opened the first session of the devolved Scottish Parliament she declared it, (correctly), as re-convened.

      In no way can the Scottish Independence movement be legally a revolt. However, several of the actions of the post treaty Westminster Parliament most certainly were and are.

    181. Macart says:

      Apologies for going O/T, but the condition of Ebola victim Pauline Cafferkey has apparently deteriorated.

      Thoughts go out to Ms Cafferkey.

    182. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      The most effective weapon is the SNP for the General Election. There is virtually no chance of any other party winning a FPTP seat. People like the Greens and socialists and Tommy Sheridan should aligning themselves with the SNP because the right place for a YES Alliance is the 2016 Scottish Election where the electoral system presents real opportunity for the election of lots of non SNP independistas taking most list seats away from trounced Labour,Tory and LibDems in the process.
      This could be absolutely spectacular. How do you fancy a Scottish Parliament made up of over 100 MSPs supporting independence?

      And the 2017 Local Council Elections could be interesting if we have a referendum the same year. How about two SNP and a Green or a Socialist candidate for every ward?

    183. ScotteDog says:

      Up till now, the city of London is quite happy with the political arrangement in the uk. A pseudo 2 party state where the population alternates between two compliant parties that offer only trivial differences. No doubt, the SNP seems to be the spanner in the works.

      Plenty of Tories I speak to would vote labour before SNP. Well of course they would. Fundamentally they are the same.

      It will be an interesting few months!

    184. Hobbit says:

      The idea of the SNP standing in the north of England is an interesting one. Industrial Scotland has more in common with the North of England than the North has with the southeast. More than once I have heard Edinburgh referred to as “Little England”; and that Edinburgh has more in common with the Home Counties than it does with Glasgow.

    185. yesindyref2 says:

      Robert Peffers
      Indeed. 1707 the Scottish Parliament was dissolved by proclamation by Queensberry (in the streets of Edinburgh) who, by various devious means had been appointed as the negotiator by the Scottish parliament – but not with the authority to dissolve it.

      I’d say a good argument could be made that as it was not dissolved the Union itself had never come into being, but in any case the Queen nor Roseberry had the authority to dissolve the Scottish one, the queen only the UK one or English one.

      So far the argument hasn’t been used by the Scottish Government, but then the Referendum was achieved via a Section 30 order and the Edinburgh Agreement, not by the Scottish Parliament having to throw off any court challenges, and/or face getting international recognition afterwards.

    186. Titler says:

      @Alex Clark

      That’s true on why people voted Yes in the Referendum; the Tories know it too, they were in the strange position of arguing to keep Scotland but not actually wanting the Scots. Some of the more asinine wing were openly hoping you’d leave because of that personal hatred and the way it would change the electoral system; now they’re stuck with the worst of all worlds (for them)… Something I suspect Mr Salmond noticed when he decided to head to Westminster; his divisiveness to a certain kind of Tory is going to do wonders for Scottish devolution and in the long term, independence. I don’t think he ran a very good Indy campaign, but he’s on the side of angels there, even if it’s a second best for true Yes voters.

    187. Devorgilla says:

      Good article Stu. I have thought this a real possibility for some time. I have also thought of the implications for Scotland supposing a large number of SNP MPs are elected. What would such a nationalist opposition do to ensure the Vow is delivered? To hold their feet to the fire? What traction could they possibly have? The Con-Labs could just ignore them. They would have no incentive to placate them.

      So it occurred to me that they could only have traction if there was a good deal of protest outside of parliament. If there was a broad-based non-party Yes movement organising workshops, town hall meetings, petitions, marches, appeals to the EU, UN, etc., about the democratic deficit and the damage to Scotland’s interests by policies we didn’t vote for. If the MPs had irrefutable evidence that the people demanded change, if Westminster under a Con-Lab refused to grant the Vow, then UK could end up being a pariah state, and would be forced by international reaction and embarassment to deal.

    188. Dale says:

      @Alex Clark

      “who would really care about being the opposition in Westminster.

      It’s worthless.”

      Having an anti-austerity party as opposition instead of a pro-austerity party would be worthless?
      The establishment parties no longer being able to control the range of political discourse at PMQs is worthless?
      Getting an unedited weekly platform to display that the SNP represents both Scotland and the English left better than Labour do is worthless?
      The best opportunity to win greater support since winning an absolute majority in Holyrood is worthless?
      Pray tell, what GE result would not be worthless?

    189. Hobbit says:

      While I’m here, this story on The Scotsman raised many a laugh …

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/nigel-farage-irked-by-parody-phone-app-game-ukik-1-3641659

    190. Robert Peffers says:

      @Baheid says:3 January, 2015 at 1:27 pm:

      “British nationalism to thwart Scottish nationalism And Welsh and Irish.”

      Rubbish! There is no such thing as, “British Nationalism”, for the very good reason that Britain, is not now a Nation and, Britain has never actually ever been a nation throughout its entire history.

      The Romans, (the first to record British History), acknowledged that the northern part was, “Caledonia”, and the southern country was, “Albion”. With Wales named, “Cambria”, and Ireland recorded as, “Hibernia”.

      There was no country called England, for the very good reason that the Angles only got invited into south Britain after the Romans left.

      After which time the two countries of Scotland and England remained as enemies until 1706/7. Furthermore, there was no, “Union of the Crowns”,, just two independent kingdom’s crowns on the same royal head. Then, in 1706/7 only those two kingdoms united, (but not as a single country). They became a, “United Kingdom”, of two equally sovereign kingdoms. However,the Kingdom of England had annexed the Princedom of Wales in 1284 & the kingdom of Ireland in 1542. So two kingdoms but four countries

      Britain is an archipelago that thus contains four United Kingdom countries and four non-United Kingdom countries. These latter four are – The Republic of Ireland, The Bailiwick of Jersey; Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

      There is thus no such thing as a State of Britain, a Country of Britain nor a Nation of Britain. By continuing to use such terminology you further the cause of the United Kingdom who consistently claim they, and only they, are British. Furthermore they claim that if any of Scotland, Wales or N. Ireland were to leave the United Kingdom then they, the leavers, would cease to be British.

      The legal truth is that there are only two kingdoms that comprise the United Kingdom and, upon Scotland leaving the Union, that Union legally ends. There cannot therefore be a legal rUK. What remains without Scotland is the three country Kingdom of England and we revert to two independent crowns upon the same regal head.

    191. Sorry I have not read all the comments but this is the very subject that I was talking about with my wife today, while sitting in a cafe in Holland (I am an exile in Flanders by the way) and before I even started on the beer. I think she thought I must have been eating the “funny” cakes that you can obtain in Holland

      Would not a Labour/Tory combination mean that the UK is going to be a ongoing Dictatorship from May onwards; which is a favourite subject much raised by the UK government in reference to all these “nasty countries” in far away places such as Russia and certain states in Africa for example and much used by the Unionist campaign in reference to the way that Alex Salmond ran Scotland.

      I think most people in the UK in general were expecting a “Hung Parliament” and not a government of so called National Interest (i.e. so our betters can keep their jobs). I think they were expecting a Hung Parliament to mean just that, that all the successful new MP’s were to be hung asap after the election.

      Am I missing something here, after all I did not attend political studies at any university, so maybe I am not so politically aware as I thought. Surely this is a matter for the Trade Description people to look into; hung should mean hung. I await clarification from some of your usual participants, thank you.

    192. Devorgilla says:

      To keep Scotland but not actually wanting the Scots… how true, how very true. You’ve hit the nail on the head. By definition, that’s colonialism. No doubt about it. Scotland was not a colony as long as she participated in her captivity by joining and voting for UK parties. She gave her consent to be governed by the metropole. But if that is no longer true, and the metropole enacts policies that have no support amongst the Scottish electorate OR its representatives, then that is colonialism. The fig leaf of democratic respectability has been blown away.

    193. Devorgilla says:

      Ian Macdermott. In the 1930s there was a government of National Unity in response to the crisis. It was a kind of dictatorship but one which the people were willing to submit to in the national interest. I suspect if our financial worries continue the papers will make the same case for it as they did in the 1930s and the people will believe them.

    194. Carol says:

      Re Hobbit says:

      I have read on numerous occasions on this site sarcastic comments against Edinburgh. Please remember a lot of us in Edinburgh did vote Yes – if you want Scotland to be independent you have to get buy in from everyone and having a go at us in Edinburgh, or the retired or the English living in Scotland or whatever will just alienate people. The Edinburgh v Glasgow is tedious and childish.

      I thought the Yes side was supposed to be inclusive and outward looking but reading some of the comments on this site it is just as bad as the union lot at times.

    195. Tam Jardine says:

      Now that we are to be insurgents, do we get to wear bandanas?

      And can we establish if we are talking about khaki, Viet Cong black or maybe those blue combats you see in the Crimea? I don’t want to make a trip to Leith Army Store and pick up the wrong gear.

      Paula – this is your area I believe

    196. Alex Clark says:

      @Dale

      How useful have Labour been in opposition? What policies of the Tories have they thwarted by asking questions at PMQ’s?

      PMQ’s itself is just a joke and as it stands almost meaningless. It’s all about playing to the gallery and although Miliband may score some points, Cameron scores just as many. Total waste of time.

      This suggestion in the first place of a ConLab coalition is in my view also a joke.

      How many MP defectors would there be from the Tories to UKIP if this was the case? Especially if Cameron agreed a deal with Labour not to have a referendum in Europe? Which is after all what both Cameron and Labour want.

      As for Labour, what would the likes of Len McCluskey have to say on this? I think I believe that what he would say is two words ending with off.

      Why wouldn’t a large number of Labour MP’s split from the NuLab to form a new left of centre party with the backing of the trade unions?

      Too many unanswered questions. This is just fantasy, but somewhere, someone is testing the water, for some reason we are not privy to.

      I hope I am totally wrong and that in 2015 they do form a coalition, not because I see anything of value in the SNP being leader of the opposition but simply because I KNOW Labour in Scotland would be totally wiped out in 2016 and 2020.

      In fact maybe forever and a new party would arise in opposition to SNP in Scotland at least after Independence which would then be guaranteed.

      Are both parties that stupid? Maybe, personally I doubt it.

    197. fred blogger says:

      Tam Jardine
      saltire bandannas are cool, when not in use we can wrap our driving licences up in it.
      🙂

    198. Hobbit says:

      Carol – your point is noted, but I’m certainly not trying to be sarcastic at Edinburgh’s expense. Sorry if that’s how it came across.

    199. I feel like the devil,s advocate here, but after the proposal of having the union flag only on passports and the non-recognition of Scottish currency abroad, could this be a drip-drip of measures by the establishment to irritate certain sections of the Scottish public, culminating in “a serious incident”
      Would this then give the Labour /Tory politicians an excuse to form a National Government and also discredit the SNP?

    200. Tam Jardine says:

      Carol

      Very true – and of course there were parts of Edinburgh that voted yes – Edinburgh North and Leith for instance was a narrow Yes.

      Wait until the fracking begins – well see yes posters on Heriot Row I’m sure

    201. Katie says:

      Hahaha!!!! OK we know that red and blue tories are erm… the two cheeks of the same backside. But an official Tory-Labour coalition….??!! Oh dear Ed Miliband and David Cameron must be sh1ting themselves…Westminster… its all gone Pete Tong!!!

    202. Paula Rose says:

      Tam honey – we are the people who live here, the insurgents are those who deny us our destiny.

    203. Carol says:

      Hobbit says:

      Thanks for the apology – maybe I was a bit harsh picking on you when it was really a lot of comments I have read since the vote that has annoyed me (and I am in a bit of a mood tonight!).

    204. yesindyref2 says:

      Well, 155 referrers from WOS to the SNP target seat table on my new blog, plus one from the Scottish libdem site, a link posted by a regular poster here for some reason, something to do with keeping deposits! I feel kind of sorry for the Scottish LibDems – though not for their MPs.

    205. Dr Jim says:

      @Carol
      Carol, there are people who come on this site who are not what they say they are you have to watch out for them deliberately sowing seeds of discontent it’s their life it’s what they do, it’s because this is the most read Indy friendly site there is and they would dearly love to put as many people off posting as the could, so be of good cheer and post away there are more people for you than against, these other types will always hang around unfortunately, give them no thought…I am Alex Salmond…

    206. kininvie says:

      So, what’s in it for them? Who would gain from a Tory/Lab National Government?

      The Centrist Tories would lose the Eurosceptics to UKIP – a pleasing purge:

      The Blairite Labourists would lose their left fringe and maybe some odious Brownites – making them much more appealing to Middle England.

      No one would have to woo the LibDems (assuming there are any) Huge relief all round.

      The remainder (from both parties) would probably be able to agree quickly on an economic policy (austerity). In all other areas, cosmetic adjustments will do the trick, plus a bit of ’emergency’ propaganda.

      And they’d have a massive majority between them, with the opposition split between leftists, Kippers, and ‘insurgents’ – none of whom are likely to agree with each other for long.

      What’s not to like?

      Scotland can be more or less ignored. Murphy will rally the Blairite ScoLabs to the cause….as for the others….who cares? They aren’t needed any more.

    207. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Dr Jim 11.36. Glad you,ve noticed to Jim all Wingers should be aware of those people sowing the seeds of devision , there,s more than enough older Wingers who should be pointing out those that are intent on causing arguements.

    208. liz says:

      I believe that for a long time there has been no difference between any of the UK main parties but most folk thought there was.

      The indy ref has now exposed the UK state for what it is, a corrupt system kept together to enrich the elite and service the City.

      We are now fully aware but what about the rUK? Do they yet see this?

      If a ‘grand coalition’ can hold it together for another 5 years, Scotland will be asset stripped into poverty and the UK will finally die.

      This explains the mad rantings of the BritNats on-line who provide no evidence to support the UK except slagging off all us indy supporters.

      The public is being ‘softened up’ for this to occur in May.

    209. Alex Clark says:

      @kininvie

      Other than Mr Murphy and Ms Dugdale are there that many more Blairites in the Labour party?

      Ah they got voted in do there must be, that would be members though rather than voters. I’d guess.

      As too your other point, the main gainers from a Tory/Lab National Government would be the Establishment. You should have known that LOL.

      They can only pull the wool over the eyes of the people for so long, any Tory/Lab pact would open the eyes not of a few but of the many!

    210. Alex Clark says:

      Think about it.

      Feel sorry for those in England who have no alternative. They would be destined to have a Red Tory or Blue Tory in government for ever more.

      No matter the colour of tie it’s still a Tory. We have a choice, make sure you make the right one in 2015.

    211. Paula Rose says:

      Thepnr honey, nae wool left.

    212. kininvie says:

      @alex

      I suspect you underestimate the number of Blairite Labour voters in Scotland. Oor Jim may not appeal to all, but he will appeal to many…

      That the Establishment gains goes without saying. They will have five years to ‘stabilise’ the UK. They won’t need to have an EU referendum.

      (They can also dispense with ‘The Vow’. No need for it any more)

      They will calculate that five years of austerity plus a few sops thrown in Murphy’s direction will be more than enough to exhaust the SNP impulse. Then it will be back to business as usual.

      As I say, what’s not to like?

    213. Rock says:

      Papadox says:

      “A conlab national government would be the end of Westminster’s con trick of the people of these islands regarding democracy.”

      Yes, it would be the most honest thing to come out of Westminster politics since Labour officially ceased to be a Socialist party under Kinnock.

      They are all the same, and to protect themselves they have also tried to con the Scottish people into believing that the SNP are also like them.

    214. Rock says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell,

      “It wouldn’t be ANNOUNCED, but if the two main parties got all the way to the election without categorically denying it, voters would smell a rat.”

      The media would not give them an ‘opportunity’ to deny it.

      And even if they had categorically denied it, they are so shameless, they would not have any trouble in finding an excuse to form one after the election.

      I just hope that the people of Scotland are not yet again conned into ‘voting Labour to keep the Tories out’.

    215. Alex Clark says:

      @kininvie

      I think it is fair to say that I probably have underestimated the number of Blairite voters else Murphy would never have been elected in East Renfrewshire.

      I have not though underestimated the number of Labour voters I know personally who would never countenance a coalition with the Tories.

      Basically all of them, they may have voted No some of them. They may not have been online reading blogs like this. They know what a Tory is though and one sniff of a Tory/Lab government would be the END.

      Hahaha, not gonna happen though.

    216. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Kininvie, Alex Clark & others –

      This link features Jim Kelman outlining an attitude to voting which is perhaps controversial, but strikes me as impeccably logical.

      If it is? We’re all – more-or-less unwittingly – participating in the system, and even our ‘opposition’, in electoral terms, may be sustaining it.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq3Yyq1uRFo

    217. Alistair Grapevine says:

      Robert Peffers says:
      Always find your posts interesting. And I agree with you Britain is geographical. And I explain to people you can be 100% Scottish & 100% British. Yet not any longer a part of the UK.

      Kininvie,
      I think you over estamate how many blairites are among us

    218. Tackety Beets says:

      Bandanas for the ” insurgent”
      Google Saltire Neck Buff , I like mine and wear it often .
      It would be amusing if we all turned up @ PQ or Whatever YES event wearing them as bandanas .

      Dec 2013 a close friend said he was on the No side , we had a friendly discussion of the usual points but I decided to discuss no more but tactfully emailed links from here etc right up to Sept 18th . I do not know how he voted .

      He sent me text on the morning of 19th to the effect .
      ” I know how disappointed you must feel this morning , considering the effort you put into it .
      DC / Tories will wish they had let the YES win as it may prove to be easier in the end ”
      I’m starting to think WTF , does my friend know more than he lets on ?
      This is certainly the most interesting of times politically .

    219. Joemcg says:

      Don’t know how the red Tories can keep pedalling this mantra when the easy retort is a no vote would have kept the conservatives out FOREVER in Scotland.

    220. Paula Rose says:

      Excuse me a sec fellow wingers, but I’ve got to plant a big happy new year smacker on the cheek of the one and only ronnie anderson, and I know there are the perfect number residing out there – I will stroke you all.

    221. kininvie says:

      @alex

      Ah – but the National Government won’t be announced until long after your friends have cast their votes. And as we know, the Branch Office will have no power to do things differently (Plus Jim will be purring in approval)

      I agree it’s not a pretty picture I paint. But it is one we should be aware of.

      Make no mistake – There’s a lot of optimistic talk on here about holding the balance of power, etc. That won’t happen. The established parties will do everything to prevent it. The Rev warned, often, that if we voted No, revenge would be taken. If that means teaming up with your enemies to shut Scotland down – well, we’ve seen in before, and it worked.

      So let’s just be aware of what we’re up against, and not get carried away.

    222. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Robert Peffers.

      Your input on this site is always worth reading and, what I like about it, is you command of grammar, for example knowing that ‘nor’ is the correct term to use, as opposed to ‘or’.

      Jiss wee things, an’ thah’, but brah grammar maks it easier on the ehz, iye?

      8=)

    223. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Shütt!

      “is youR command of grammar”!

      (And I retreat to the leftmost seat in the front row of the class…)

    224. Frann Leach says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill
      Well, Tommy has already called for all his supporters to get behind the SNP for the General Election, and I’m sure most of them will follow his lead.

      But strange times ahead, seemingly. For a politics watcher like me, it looks as if this is going to be one of the better shows on Election night.

    225. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @kininvie –

      You sound uncharacteristically downbeat.

      ?

    226. kininvie says:

      @ian,

      Interesting link – but – ultimately, arguments about ‘rights’ are delusionary. We have no ‘rights’ other than those which we assert within the framework of a political system which recognises them. But in the context of, say, a Zombie invasion (or more pertinently the Holocaust) those ‘rights’ vanish overnight. Go back to your Shakespeare:

      Thou art the thing itself.
      Unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art.—

      That’s the starting point we work from. To ‘prop up the establishment’ by voting may not be wonderful, but the alternative is worse.

    227. kininvie says:

      @ian

      Not especially downbeat – I’m just suspicious about the air of frothy optimism that’s going around at the moment. We should have learned by now that the Establishment ain’t going to vanish in a puff of smoke just because the SNP has 30 members in the HoC…

      This is going to take time and hard work – as all worthwhile things do – and there will be many more disappointments to thole along the way.

      But we’ll just get stuck in and not let go – which is what we do, and have done for almost a thousand years.

    228. Alex Clark says:

      @kininvie

      Do me a favour and go back to the post at 10:59.

      I state the difference will be made in 2016 and 2020. I am not optimistic, I’m suspicious at the aim of these articles released today.

      One paper I’d accept, but to be in two in not coincidence.

      Time and hard work will do it for me and I will never let go. That’s how I feel now whether or not I was an SNP supporter.

    229. Rock says:

      Alistair Grapevine,

      “Always find your posts interesting. And I agree with you Britain is geographical. And I explain to people you can be 100% Scottish & 100% British. Yet not any longer a part of the UK.”

      Very, very few people (academics and pub bores) consider ‘Britain’ and ‘British’ in geographical terms. The vast majority here, and the world over, consider them to be political terms, especially in the imperial, colonial sense of the word.

      After independence, who in their right mind would want themselves to be considered ‘British’ apart from British nationalists who preferred the rUK ‘British’ passports to Scottish ones?

      Can you imagine Scots showing Scottish passports and arguing that they were Scottish British?

      Scottish independence in practical terms means no longer being British. No one in Portugal ever talks about being Iberian.

    230. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Having just read both of your latest comments, I’m not sure how far your position differs from Kelman’s!

      In any case, I’m glad to hear you are not ‘downbeat’ – hopefully we’ll meet in the months ahead, and I look forward to it.

      More power to ye mister, as always.

    231. fittie says:

      Please,Please ,please ,let it happen .

      As it is unionism is seen in Scotland as right wing politics and the SNP as Scotlands defenders this will only seal the deal

    232. yesindyref2 says:

      Sad person I am, I thought to check the standings in the 2010 election, and found that the SNP were second in 29 seats, but 3rd or 4th in 24 seats. According to Ladbrokes odds, they’re either favourites or second favourites in all bar 1 seat this time around.

      Which I think is significant bearing in mind the Labour’s undoubted attempt to say “vote Labour to keep Tories out”. Well now, in some seats at least, “a vote for Labour is totally wasted”.

    233. terry says:

      @carol @hobbit – agreed . posters shoud give up on having a go at edinburgh. I live in Aerdeen, so i understand.

      I tell you what – my english mates from the north voted yes so it might be a bit of a propognanda coup to post an snp or yes candidate in the north, – the referendum was as much about culture and class than state. They would rather be with us than westminster. Betty’s meat pies, anybody?

    234. Rock says:

      kininvie,

      “Make no mistake – There’s a lot of optimistic talk on here about holding the balance of power, etc. That won’t happen. The established parties will do everything to prevent it.”

      “So let’s just be aware of what we’re up against, and not get carried away.”

      Totally agree.

      After ‘losing’ the referendum, we are as far away from independence as we have ever been.

      We cannot beat the establishment as long as we play according to their rules.

      The Yes movement from high on should have loudly criticised the Electoral Commission and the BBC for their total pro Union bias instead of meekly accepting that they were not biased.

      Promising new powers days before the referendum was illegal but we meekly accepted it. We let them get away with it.

      If 40+ Scottish Labour MPs are elected in 2015, we won’t find any ‘evidence’ of postal vote fraud. We will be expected to accept the will of the ‘silent majority’.

    235. Rock says:

      Alex Clark,

      “Think about it.

      Feel sorry for those in England who have no alternative. They would be destined to have a Red Tory or Blue Tory in government for ever more.”

      Wasn’t that a ‘Better Together’ argument for Scots to what No to independence?

    236. Given that there is no difference between the two parties save the colour of their logos, that the Blue Tories and the Red Tories should coalesce to form a “national government” is not too far fetched.

      Now let’s indulge in a thought experiment (gedankenexperiment). Cameron would not survive having twice failed to return a Tory government, and newly elected Conservative MP Boris Johnson, becomes PM.

      The LibDems parliamentary party is eviscerated at the polls, leaving naught but a wet stain on the Westminster landscape.

      Sinn Fein decide to end their boycott of Parliament and along with the Greens and Plaid Cymru, form an alliance with the SNP.

      The SNP with 47 seats is the largest opposition party by some distance and despite Ulster Unionist opposition, the consensus is that Alex Salmond should become Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

      For the first time since Thatcher’s ouster at the hands of her own cabinet, PMQ becomes an interesting spectacle. The orbiting of the Yin and the Yang, a zen-like magnetic attraction, where the best politician in Britain and champion of the have-nots, Salmond, the-voice-of-reason, faces off against Bullingdon’s best boy, Boris, the-sound-of-one-neuron-clapping.

      My inner Yoda predicts Boris by the short and curlies, Salmond has.

    237. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @yesindyref2 –

      Only ‘sadness’ involved, so far as I can see, is for Murphy and his disciples.

      Why not put some flesh on dem statistical bones, and give Rev a publishable article? From the sounds of it, it’s right there.

    238. Democracy Reborn says:

      I recall a Better Together poster with “Save the NHS : Vote No”.

      What a difference 3 months makes… A certain Douglas Alexander (Labour’s chief election ‘strategist’) quoted by BBC News today that the NHS will be “unrecognisable” if Cameron wins another term.

    239. R-type Grunt says:

      I notice some people on here saying that the idea of a coalition of the willing is some kind of fantasy and would like to tell them they’re wrong. It’s what we have right now after all, in all practical purposes. Politics is a unique profession in that even in defeat you keep your job. And your pension. Scotland will be free when we Scots free her, and not by some tactical sleight-of-hand by the SNP.

      Sorry if that’s not up-beat enough for some.

    240. Alex Clark says:

      @Rock

      I take it you meant vote No rather than what No?

      Either way I have no idea what you are talking about.

    241. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      What a fantastic idea for a pro UK WM Labour Party!
      “I know – Scotland are cowards – so if we put out the idea that …”

    242. Patrician says:

      I am sure this has been debated on here before, albeit more in the context of what would happen at Westminister after a Yes vote. At the time I thought that a formal unity alliance between Labour and the Conservatives would happen and that it would make sense during the transition period.

      However, imo these articles are just kite flying. The unity government will happen, it just won’t be official. Whichever tory party gets the most seats will take charge of government with no coalition partners, the other tory party will go into opposition. They come together to vote on issues that keep the other tories in power. This keeps the insurgents (I am a democratic insurgent) away from any real power or influence and stifles any issues they might campaign on. Therefore, UKIP get no EU referendum, SNP don’t get any more powers or referendums.

      The Westminster hope is that 5 years without any impact will be enough to wither any support for the insurgents.

      As a last note on this, I am not so sure this hasn’t already been happening in Westminster since 2010.

    243. thoughtsofascot says:

      @Dale

      I’m sure they will use EVEL to engineer a scenario where only an English MP can become the leader of the opposition. This is westminster we are talking about. Nothing is beneath them.

    244. thoughtsofascot says:

      And isnt this pretty much the current situation anyway. Labour abstain from issues where they disagree in principle with the current government, rather than actively voting against. Its basically already an informal coalition

    245. john king says:

      I have a question
      What happens if all the Labour and Tory mp’s turn up at once?(snigger)
      Will Ed have to sit On Dave’s knee?

    246. Andy White says:

      I wonder how many votes the SNP would get in England if they put up a candidate in every constituency. With the increasing virulence of the MSM to all things Scottish, which seems to be a form of Nationalism we’ve long left behind, maybe a considerable number would vote to rid themselves of their ungrateful neighbours.

    247. Ken500 says:

      Just vote SNP/Alliance 7/5/15 to save Scotland for these Westminster devious, greedy, lying, thieving, murdering,warmongering bastards. SNP is funded by it’s members not hedge funds. SNP/Alliance is the only stop from Westminster secrecy, lies and the Official Secrets Act to cover up their crimes. Westminster are a bunch of crooks. Thry are above the Laws that they make.
      Power to the people.

    248. Ken500 says:

      Do they have a join manifesto, or do they just lie again to the voters?

    249. Ken500 says:

      People in Britain have an EU passport. The driving licence should have a EU flag on it. Westminster are trying to being in ID licence/cards, which is illegal. Vote SNP/Alliance to get rid of the Union flag on Driving licences.

    250. Ken500 says:

      THe North of England are quite capable of looking after themselves, some of them vote Tory, and have a proportionate say in Westminster and are not subject to the Barnett Formula. Taking their wealth away to be squandered. They have their say and their share of resources or have the ability to do something about it. If Scotland was Independent, the North of England would be better off.

    251. J Galt says:

      May I suggest the title of
      NATIONAL PATRIOTIC AUSTERITY GOVERNMENT (Npag)

      Criticism of it would be “Anti-British” and punishable under the conveniently available new “HATE SPEECH” Laws!

    252. heedtracker says:

      https://archive.today/TXDfZ Lots of teamGB fun today already. This is deeply creepy Graun says dont hate, its bad politics, after Guardian’s very own relentless we hate AlicSamin/Scottish democracy don’t we everybody camping too!

      Equally, the twin distrust of the state and taxation, if allowed to turn into hatred, leads straight to George Osborne’s autumn statement, with the burden of eliminating the budget deficit borne wholly by reducing public spending to impossible levels.

      No less an irrational dead end is the new Tory approach to Scotland, coming across as the putative English national party. To try to create a second class of MP in the name of English votes for English laws is inevitably to break up Britain. Only haters could imagine this is sane while at the same time professing undying loyalty to the union.

    253. galamcennalath says:

      It would be difficult right now to have a saltire on passports and licences. After Indy that’s sorted!

      As a compromise they could offer the choice of EU or UK flag.

      And, yes, I know some people like neither!

    254. Tam Jardine says:

      O/T Strange piece in the telegraph today putting a very negative spin on the Scottish Government being on track to meet her ambitious energy targets along the lines of Blow to Sturgeon as Scotland generates too much electricity.

      https://archive.today/PC5ul

      If you cut out the 90% negativity there is an article about the challenges facing the renewables sector which could have been written – the issues with electricity storage (Cruachan?) and transmission need solved as the excess electricity is wasteful.

      On reflection, quite a positive piece if you filter out the gloom

    255. Nana Smith says:

      Going by what I see on twitter, people suggesting best to vote labour. They seem to think labour are not so heavily involved in the paedophile scandal which of course is not the case.

      Memories are short or are they just so sick of the tories they will vote for labour thinking it’s bound to be better this time.

      So if labour are elected with a majority down south, what then for Scotland?
      We must make folks aware of the blair/brown government paedophile links, I would hope people would be so disgusted at their involvement in a cover up of child abuse, torture and murder voting for labour or tory would be a complete no no.

      A lot of information is coming to light daily, some of it is too distressing to mention and I don’t see how it can be covered up any longer. The whole dirty rotten establishment needs disinfecting. There is not a carpet big enough to sweep this corruption under.

      http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/01/03/if-british-citizens-do-not-rest-the-control-of-the-establishment-paedophile-scandal-from-the-government-it-will-forever-be-a-source-of-national-shame/

    256. Ken500 says:

      Nonsense Austerity Tosser Zealots Party – LavConDems.

    257. Robert Peffers says:

      Now here’s a thought. As the Scottish Government is the Established government in Scotland’s parliament then, by Westminster own definition, the Westminster unionist parties are all insurgents in Scotland?

      Sauce, geese, ganders an aa that.

    258. Ken500 says:

      A wind farm is in Development off the NE coast. £32Million of EU funding. Renewables for Oil revenues

    259. I agree with the comments regarding some of the people now writing on this site. While Stuart’s articles are as informative as ever, it seems to me that there is an element of persons, who could legitimately be described as “fifth columnists”, trying to sow seeds of discontent where none exists, amongst independence supporters. As we all found out during the referendum campaign, the “establishment”, will go to any lengths to protect their hold over us, and destabilising this site must be one of their aims. Be aware.

    260. Al Dossary says:

      “Tony Blair D notice” is an interestING google search. Likewise Messrs Blair and Straw were allegedly behind a couple of super injunctions but a few years ago.

      Likewise if you search for my own MP “Frank Roy flute band” google states that some of the search results have been omitted due to EU privacy laws.

    261. Ken500 says:

      If this site goes, another takes it’s place. ‘Ye of little faith’

    262. Gary says:

      So, vote Labour and get Tory. Vote Tory and get Tory. Vote LibDem and get Tory. Vote SNP and get SNP holding Labour’s feet to the fire…

    263. David Agnew says:

      A government of national unity to resolve a crisis. A crisis that Labour and the conservative party are responsible for.
      Labour for its weak oversight of UK banking, leaving the UK dangerously exposed to the crash. The conservatives who took advantage of this crisis to launch an attack on the most vulnerable and the poor, while at the same time destroying the very fabric of the UK.

      These gonophs being in a coalition, will make a lot of voters, north and south, feel very queasy. The crisis was made in Westminster – Westminster is the problem and clearly it is no longer the answer.

      When we lost i expected a long period of despondency. We got it alright, but it was the Union that was suffering it. They won the referendum but lost the Union anyway. Nothing changed for the Union, there was nothing to celebrate. As the days went by, the more they realised that that they had lost almost half of Scotland. They didn’t really have a union anymore.

      Smith is were they could have won it back. But chose instead to shoot themselves in the foot. Labours vote began to collapse, but the smith commission cannot save them, because labour of all the parties, did the most to ensure it failed. There is now a crisis of confidence in British politics and the response is – a coalition of the villains.

      Beginning to look like “Bettertogether” didn’t even manage to kick the ball down the road.

    264. Ken500 says:

      Ground Hog day at the Herald
      Posters can’t read a balance sheet

      Scotland raises £53Billion +++ in tax revenues. (No including taxes raised in Scotland going through UK/London HQ’s and revenues lost because of unpopular Westminster policies.

      Total taxes raised in the UK £490Billion.

      Scotland gets less back. Raises more and spends less than the rest of the UK and is forced by Westminster economic policies to loss revenues on Trident/illegal wars £1.5Billion. Scotland can’t put a tax on ‘loss leading’ al HoL to save £1.5Billion and eradicate poverty. Etc

      The increased 11% (£2Bilion) Oil tax increase in 2011 Budget supported by D.Alexander/Carmichael (for personal gain) in spite, to ruin their constituents opportunities and lose Scotland £4Billion+ a year in Oil revenues. .

    265. old highlander says:

      NEVER underestimate the depths that a desperate establishment will sink to.

    266. Truth says:

      @Tam Jardine

      What that article (deliberately) ignores is the energy produced by wind farms does indeed cover the energy needs of Scots households, but there’s none left over for industry.

      Strange then how it concludes that Scotland has enough wind farms already. As ever with the media you have to concentrate on what they are not telling you rather than what they are telling you.

    267. Robert Peffers says:

      Face facts, about people, parties and party positioning. It is not a new thing for political figures to jump ship and board another ship to further their own political career. For example Winston Churchill shimmied across the political spectrum throughout his career. Joining different parties to suit his own ends.

    268. Tam Jardine says:

      Truth

      Good point.

    269. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Re a Con-Lab Government of National Unity.

      Not going to happen as a legal entity but will happen by agreements behind closed door.

      Just remember how well the NO campaign followed the Canadian Referendum Blueprint?

      After that, and for some years, the Bloc Quebecois was the second largest Party in Canada and thus became HM’s Loyal Opposition.

      The rest just marginalised then in Ottawa and ensured they were outvoted.

      Thos who never learn the lessons of History are condemned to make the same mistakes again.

      or

      Know you enemy better that thyself and you know where he is vulnerable, what he will do next, where. and how to beat him before he gets there.

    270. Footsoldier says:

      The SNP being the 3rd largest party in the UK by membership are now insurgents. Was that included in the Vow?

    271. muttley79 says:

      I have difficulty in thinking that a Tory-Labour government would last very long. While both parties are more or less the same, there is internal politics to consider. Many Tory backbenchers want out of the EU. They want a referendum on the EU, and it they don’t get it, I just can’t seem them accepting this situation. They would regard it as demeaning and humiliating for Scotland to be the issue that forced them into a coalition government with Labour. I think it is also very risky for Labour, particularly in areas outwith the south of England.

    272. Ken500 says:

      Dugdale is an ignorant liar. Pathetic

    273. Rod Robertson says:

      reality check folks ,even in the above scenario the SNP will not be allowed to be the official Opposition.
      There would be so many defections from the two unionist parties into UKIP that it is more likely Nigel would be the leader of the biggest party.
      There is no chance the English MPs or media would tolerate Alex Salmond being in that hallowed position in their London parliament

    274. Helena Brown says:

      Oh dear, I can just hear our informed friends in the South in this the year of Magna Carta bemoaning that another Alexander is invading to sort them out with his army (us)as did Alexander the second.
      I can well believe this has more than crossed the mind of the Establishment, that Labour and Tory could go into a coalition. It will mean a suicide note for Labour in Scotland but then who cares. They have regarded the porridge wogs as collateral damage for years and thanks to the 55% they think we are still daft enough to tolerate it.
      I think they have been reading the wrong books and watching the wrong film, Divergent and Insurgent were okay sort of books, but more suitable to the teenage market than the twitterati.

    275. Ken500 says:

      Dugdale is not only an ignorant liar but has never had a job in her life, but troughs on the public purse along with Murphy.

    276. muttley79 says:

      @Bugger

      I get what you are saying in regards the unionists following the Quebec example. However, there are at least two main differences, Canada is a federal state, while the UK is unitary. Most importantly, there is the EU issue in UK politics. Many Tory backbenchers will be getting completely fed up with Scotland, because their main beef is with the EU.

    277. Jack Murphy says:

      OT Top Secret Files Reveal Pleas for USA to Intervene in Scotland’s Independence Referendum!
      Today’s Sunday Express:-
      Archive link:
      https://archive.today/rEYlB

    278. Ken500 says:

      Pickles has banned wind turbines in the south. losing revenues.

    279. Lochside says:

      As unlikely as it may seem, a National coalition, may well be a ‘Plan B’ for Conlablib. Think about, they gave it a dummy run in our Referendum and it worked.

      The msm; academia; the civil service; big business; the unions; foreign leaders and the piece de resistance, the ‘VOW’ stopped the break up of the UK, albeit temporarily, but in their eyes it was effective.

      Hence, the ‘anointed one’ Murphy is set on the throne of of SLAB on the totally bogus public agenda of leading a separate and autonomous ‘Scottish’ Labour Party. This agenda so patently false in every way ably assisted and promoted by the msm ACROSS THE UK.

      Murphy is a British nationalist to the tips of his ragged and chewed fingernails. He will lead the attack on the ‘Insurgents’ i.e the SNP in this country using every ounce of his unctuous smarm supported at every turn and contradiction by a unanimous msm, particularly the BBC.

      In England, the inherent contradictions of a ‘buggins turn’ lasting half a century of red and blue tories in government, has finally created such electoral disgust that now thousands are grasping for a radical alternative in UKIP.

      The British State is in serious shit, oil which was always the real reason for holding Scotland fast, is dropping in price and underminding Osborne’s austerity programme to a degree that something approaching a Falklands scenario will be required to save the Westminster charade.

      They are waking up to reality: Scotland has not been subjugated, and it must be to save the UK financially. Anything that can undermine Scottish self determination and UKIP incursions on all the traditional and morally bankrupt W.E. parties will be currently under group discussion.

    280. Ken500 says:

      They complain about migration which they have caused in the Middle East/world for over 100 years. Westminster cause it and then complain about it. Crazy.

    281. Macart says:

      So the big question is, are we looking at the birth of a one party state? Is this how it begins?

      A perceived threat or group of threats – break up of the union, immigrants, austerity, overseas conflict. Liberal application of fear, uncertainty and doubt fed to the public through media channels. Create scapegoats by demonising and marginalising elements in your population resistant to the concept. Let’s call them insurgents for the sake of argument and then the whammy, a big show of unity by the union’s leading politicians. Politicians willing to bury a non existent hatchet in order to ‘save Britain’ in time of crisis.

      Or we could vote our way out of such a bat shit nuts scenario and the sooner, the better. To think they accused us of wanting to create a right wing, xenophobic, insular one party state on a daily basis during the referendum campaign. People laughed in our faces when we accused them of projection y’know.

      Whose government sent out billboard vans telling people to go home or risk imprisonment again? Whose government stood together (all three parties) to deny pre-negotiation, close the door on currency union, lobby the corporate world and threaten to close borders against a neighbour? Oh and whose government with ‘big beasts’ past and present, (again members of all three parties), lobbied international aid and opinion against Scottish self determination?

      Seems to me they were all quite cosy working together when their livelihoods were under threat. A one party state ‘in time of emergency’ doesn’t seem so far fetched now.

    282. fred blogger says:

      Ian Brotherhood
      i see where the man in youtube clip is coming from.
      we do how ever, all need free and reliable access to vitality giving vitals of life.
      a basic citizens income.
      http://tlio.org.uk/welfare-reform-is-ending-the-bribe-for-the-theft-of-our-land/ common weal.

    283. Dorothy Devine says:

      jack Murphy , the Express is delivering what we all knew that Westminster was pulling in every debt and creating new ones in an effort to thwart Scottish independence .

      I wish I hadn’t bothered reading the ignorant comments beneath that article – breathtakingly moronic.

    284. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ Dorothy Devine

      It is an English edition.

      It it in the Scottish version, I wonder?

    285. Dorothy Devine says:

      OT But did anyone pick up on this posted on WGD?

      “I live in Germany and this morning, 2nd January, 2015, I went to my village bank. The VOLKSBANK is Germany’s second largest bank. I put down 35 Scots 20-pound notes on the counter. “Can you change these into Euros please?”
      The lady looked at them and said, “Sorry, since October 1st 2014, we can only change Bank of England notes from the UK”. I got the manager to come over, asked who had written that order, and made quite a fuss, believe me. I’ve been a customer of theirs for years. The manager made a couple of calls and came back. He said, apologetically, “Apparently the British Government in London recommended that all European banks only change English notes, I’m sorry, it seems to be a political decision.” I asked him to call the Sparkasse, his competitor, and ask them. They also said, “No, no Scots notes at all. ”

      This is utterly shocking and needs checking out and if found to be policy then it needs BIG publicity.

    286. PictAtRandom says:

      Meanwhile, some support for a local Unionist coalition in SlaveringOnSunday:

      https://archive.today/5JGVC

    287. Lollysmum says:

      @ Patrician at 4.19am

      I tend to agree with most of your post except for the last point-that this started in 2010.

      I believe it goes back much further than that, at least to 1997 when labour decided it quite liked the idea of the permanent seat on the gravy train & started to ape their long time political opponents (Tories & Lib Dems).Maggie had started the ball rolling by selling off electricity, gas,oil, GPO (the old national phone system), closing down the mines, steel mills, heavy industry & making any form of commercial manfacturing too expensive to sustain. Maggie also removed Rent Control systems which kept landlords demands for higher rents in check & sold off council housing whilst constantly refusing demands to allow councils to use reciepts to build replacement housing. The cumulative effects of these policies turned us into a society of cash cows aka consumers meaning we had to buy everything we used.

      It was Blair that took us into an illegal Gulf War against the wishes of the people. Labour started the sell off of the NHS , education & other sectors by introducing PFI contracts. Then the Broon sold off our gold reserves at almost rock bottom prices. Now in England the NHS is being sold off to private interests. £12 billions worth so far so it’s no wonder the system is struggling. Labour introduced the Bedroom Tax (albeit with a different name but the same effect)into the private letting sector & supported its introduction under the guise of the coalitions Welfare Reform. That is why they never spoke out against it-it was labour’s idea.

      Tories -red, yellow, & blue-it matters not. They are here to preserve & fund the elite by fair means or foul & to reserve their own place within the establishment (the 1%). Doesn’t matter who they walk over to get there -we are all just a means to their end-fodder to be used up & thrown away when they have no more use for us.

      And once the next election is over, it will be the pensioners turn to be hit by whichever party wins or contrives to gain a result of any of those suggested combinations. There aren’t any other targets left to asset strip-indeed this is starting in England in April this year under the so called Care Bill where people have to pay for their own care after they die through the sale of their property.

      So yes, I do envy the Scots their SNP. Care for it, nurture it because right now it is all that stands between Scotland & Westminster’s plans for Scotland. It has taken 80 years for SNP to get to it’s present position & WM will do anything to destroy it because WM wants the Scots to be as compliant as the Welsh & English. Please don’t let that happen.

      In May the only vote for Scotland is a vote for SNP because that gives it the people’s mandate to continue fighting on their behalf. Split the vote & you sign Scotland’s death warrant as a country in it’s own right.

      2016 is the time to concentrate on SP elections. If SNP don’t do well in 2015, you may not have a Scottish Parliament to worry about by 2016-that’s how important May 2015 is.

    288. @Dorothy Devine

      Its mischieve making.

    289. Jim Thomson says:

      @Dorothy Devine

      Although it wouldn’t surprise me, I’ve had a hunt through BofE, EU and UK gvmnt stuff on-line and can’t find any reference to it.

      I’d prefer to see a link to an official document on an official website before I start retweeting/rebroadcasting the assertion.

      I’m with @cynicalHighlander and reckon it’s mischief-making.

      If we are to be seen as serious about independence, we need to be fully above board and honest with all postings, backing up assertions with sources (which is EXACTLY what Stu does). Don’t fall into the trap of believing anything that seems to back up what we know is a corrupt and manipulative government.

    290. Dr Ew says:

      It’s not sufficient to ask each and every Labour candidate (and Tory, and LibDem) if he/she would “support a grand ooalition”. They must be pressed to say that they would oppose it, vote against it and refuse to join. Their replies – or, more likely, weaselly-worded soundbites with plenty of wiggle room – must be recorded, published and shared widely. That’s the only way we can hold them to account.

      And if they subsequently renege on that (ahem) “pledge” then it can be used against their parties Holyrood 2016… assuming a Grand Coalition would allow that election to proceed. In that circumstance 2016 could become a de facto vote on independence – assuming it were to proceed.

    291. Effijy says:

      Rock at 2.19am

      The Yes movement from high on should have loudly criticised the Electoral Commission and the BBC for their total pro Union bias instead of meekly accepting that they were not biased.

      I’m missing out on something here, can someone explain?
      I know that we are not pro everything that happens at 38 Degrees,
      but they posted a petition some months ago demanding an Inquiry into BBC Bias during the referendum. They/we need 100,000 signatures to force this Inquiry, and with 86,000 names already in place, why have the signatures dried up in recent times?

      The announcement of this inquiry can only provide a positive influence for SNP in Scotland, and hopefully it might convince
      the English that they only allowed access to government approved propaganda. Please sign up on the link below-

      https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/independent-enquiry-into-bbc-bias-regards-scottish-independence-referendum

    292. Patrick Roden says:

      This is fantastic!

      The demonization of the Yes campaigners is now rebounding on the Unionists, as people in England are asking what their leaders are going to do about the terrifying possibility that the Evil War-Lord Salmond and his hoard of benefit scrounging voters, will hold the Good Wholesome & Generous English voter to ransom.

      The way the Union fought the campaign, has left the English completely misinformed and they are convinced we get far more than our far share of the tax-payers hard earned.
      They have also been convinced (mostly by Scots like Cockring) that our politics is focused on how much more we can squeeze from the English tax-payer.

      So, the lies that the English voter has been fed over the years,

      (even pre-referendum, the Tories used this angle to attempt to damage Labour, who had a number of Scots in their cabinet, by claiming that these Scots were making sure that Scotland got more than it’s fair share of money at the expense of the English)

      …has created a mind-set in these people, that could never except the idea that the SNP could hold the balance of power at Westminster, so the establishment need to find a solution.

      If they don’t find a solution, it will play right into the hands of Nigel Farage, because one things for sure, he will have a simple and sweeping solution at the ready.

      (Perhaps a veto system, or a change in the HOL, that would ensure that any legislation that harmed the interests of England, would always be voted down)

      Nigel is not burdened with the desire to retain Westminster’s traditions, so he would quite happily rip up the rule book if it won Ukip some real political power.

      Whatever way you look at it the Blue and Red Tories are caught between a rock and a hard place and the people who pull the strings behind the scenes, are left with very little option if they want to continue being served by their cosy little stitch up.

      Merge for the rich and wealthy elites who fund them as parties and reward them as individuals sake, or fight on for the people who vote for them.

      So they’ll be merging!

      Be fine in England…but in Scotland, oh dear 🙂

    293. Patrick Roden says:

      The political approach to this in Scotland is simple:

      Bring up conversations with the following question:

      Hey did you hear about the Labour and Tories merging?
      It’s been all over the papers that they are merging to make sure that the Vow isn’t delivered and Scotland or Wales can’t get any more powers/changes even if we vote for this change.

      This will flush Scottish Labour and Murphy out to reveal their position on this.

      If they don’t support it then, Labour Scottish MP’s at Westminster, would have to refuse to join this coalition!

      Pass the popcorn 🙂

    294. Alba 46 says:

      Kininvie & Rock

      Totally agree with the comments stated. Westminster are NOT going to role over to the SNP or other non establishment party. They know that the the political map is changing in favour of alternative views. They are fighting for their very survival (gravy train) and as such they will use every weapon in their armoury to negate this challenge.
      The MSM and the BBC will again be utilised to maximum effect, a rerun of the referendum campaign. If the non establishment westminster parties are to have any chance of defeating this lot we must fight as dirty as they do. Lets condemn the blatant lies and disinformation they they pump out on a daily basis. On TV and Radio debates publicly condemn the BBC and newspapers for their blatant bias for unionism. Highlight the flaws in their character and their voting records in parliament. The BBC and MSM for months prior to the referendum mercilessly slated Salmond. The YES campaign meekly accepted it without recourse.
      If you want to beat the establishment you have to get into the trenches and fight as dirty as they do.
      Principles are fine but I want to win rather than a polite subservient second.

    295. Capella says:

      @ Dorothy Devine
      I posted on that WGD comment and cynicalHighlander posted a link further up thread to a BoS tweet saying it isn’t true. So looks like a wind-up.
      Here’s a link to a statement about Scottish Bank notes.
      http://www.scotbanks.org.uk/legal_position.php

      Re Lab/Tory/Lib coalition – they have already formed that in Scottish Local Authority constituencies to retain control of councils and ensure the SNP, which has the most councillors, can’t form the administration. This is the case in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire and in others. So no political or moral scruples in the Unionist parties when it comes to manipilating democracy and retaining power at all costs.

    296. Mark says:

      And the latest news from the Guardian is that the Tories and UKIP have refused to rule out a Tory-UKIP coalition:

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jan/04/david-cameron-ukip-coalition-nigel-farage

      If the next UK government is a coalition with Tory involvement, whether a Blue Tory-Red Tory coalition, or a Tory-UKIP coalition, the UK can kiss goodbye to Scotland.

    297. Patrick Roden says:

      @ Alex Clark
      “Basically all of them, they may have voted No some of them. They may not have been online reading blogs like this. They know what a Tory is though and one sniff of a Tory/Lab government would be the END.

      Hahaha, not gonna happen though”

      Thing is Alex, it will boil down to what the real power brokers tell Ed he has to do.
      If he doesn’t do ‘The Right Thing’ the Media will crucify him in England.

      He will be painted as the man who is prepared to let England down, by doing a (sneaky behind the scenes) stitch up with the SNP, (letting all those sneaky Scots in Labour talk him into it, because he is so weak)

      And all because he is desperate for power.

      In Scotland, Labour will be finished, but when it comes down to it, the Labour Party will do whatever it needs to do, to get into power where it really matters to them and that’s Westminster.

    298. Chic McGregor says:

      Probably OnT for this thread, but as this one is nearly ‘played out’ I will also add it as an OT to the new thread once there have been a reasonable number of posts there.

      It is the excerpt in Charlie Brooker’s 2014 retro, which was the serious message stand out in the programme. I found it interesting because perhaps I have in the past misinterpreted the apparent conflicting messages from different politicians in the BT camp. Indeed, often made by the same politician to different audiences and in some cases, e.g. Margaret Curran, even making conflicting statements in the same sentence.

      Remember Alex’s classic “The trouble with Labour, is they say one thing in public and another thing in public.” ?

      I had interpreted it simply as a scatter gun approach. The strategy being that it doesn’t really matter which scary story ‘converts’ a voter, each voter will only remember the one which scares them the most and disregard conflicting ones, or not even notice the conflict.

      However the idea presented here represents an altogether more sinister strategy. A quick metaphor being making loud noises to start a stampede and then more to guiding it to the cliff edge. Probably obscuring the cliff edge with a smoke screen for good measure. (A method apparently used by Native Americans to hunt buffalo once.)

      Anyway, whatever Charlie’s viewing figures are, I think this deserves exposure on line.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcy8uLjRHPM&feature=youtu.be

    299. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Mark 1.33 Marr today . Cameron stateted the Tories wont have a pact or coalition with any other parties ( statement near the end of the programme).

    300. Dorothy Devine says:

      Cynical , Jim and Capella , thank you all – I am more than happy to accept what you say.

      But why would anyone bother to instigate such a wind up?
      Rhetorical question , obviously!

      I have to get my alert reader , cynical hat back on my slightly fuzzy New Year head.

    301. Paul says:

      Lets see the Daily Record spin this if it happens.

    302. Robert Peffers says:

      @Titler says: 3 January, 2015 at 10:36 pm:

      ” … Some of the more asinine wing were openly hoping you’d leave because of that personal hatred … “

      Indeed so, but if more members of the Scottish electorate were to tune their TVs to the Parliamentary Channel, (now on Freeview channel number 131), and saw first hand how the Establishment’s elected members treated the Scottish members in both houses debating chambers I’m certain there would be a landslide movement towards independence.

      I have the equipment and skills to record, edit and produce video from most sources. Perhaps some such video on YouTube might do a good job of letting more Scots see the, “High Regard”, in which their elected representatives are held by Unionist elected Parliamentary representatives.

    303. Barbara McKenzie says:

      @ Robert Peffers. This sounds really worthwhile – I myself cannot access UK TV directly so I would certainly be interested.

    304. HYUFD says:

      It won’t happen, the Tory right and Labour left would not stand for it and it would be a huge boost for UKIP, the Greens and SNP. It only happened in Germany because the CDU-FDP and SPD-Green blocks did not have enough for a majority and neither would deal with Die Linke. No such former Communist Party exists in the UK. It has though boosted the Greens and the AfD, the German UKIP. A Labour-SNP confidence and supply deal, a LD coalition, or even a Tory-SNP deal with devomax in return for EVEL are more likely!

    305. HYUFD says:

      Mark Of course UKIP now has a Scottish MEP. As UKIP would be lucky to get 5 seats it would of course never happened and would likely require DUP support but even then would not be enough. A Tory-SNP deal is more likely as the SNP will have at least 5 times the UKIP seats, say Devomax for EVEL

    306. Robert Peffers says:

      @Rock says: 4 January, 2015 at 2:04 am:

      “After independence, who in their right mind would want themselves to be considered ‘British’ apart from British nationalists who preferred the rUK ‘British’ passports to Scottish ones?

      Whoa! There, Rock. You are, of course, still making a grave error. Perhaps a wee bit of information may clear things up. There is indeed a, “British Passport”, even although there is no such thing as a, “British Nation”, nor a country of Britain. There is though a British Kingdom that includes both the United Kingdom and the Crown Protectorates

      This is again the confusion of terms where many people wrongly conflate, “country”, and, “United Kingdom”, then confuse both terms with that of, “nation”.

      The United Kingdom is a bipartite union of the kingdoms of Scotland and England. There are only two signatory kingdoms to the Treaty of Union. However, in 1706/7 the Kingdom of England was composed of three countries. Having annexed the Principality of Wales, (by the Statute of Rhuddlan, 1284), and The Kingdom of Ireland, (By the Crown of Ireland Act, 1542). Thus the United Kingdom of 1706/7 was a new single kingdom, of two equally sovereign partners, that contained four countries.

      The partition of Ireland did not create any new kingdoms or countries but politically made a part of the country of Ireland a republic and thus not part of the United Kingdom but still part of the country of Ireland and still part of the British archipelago.

      As to, “British Passport”, this is correct for although the Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Isle of Man are Not part of the United Kingdom they are, all three, Crown Protectorates.

      There are special terms applied to the Republic but these are complicated and not clear. British Passports are legally issued by the Crown – not by the United Kingdom. The distinction is clear, the term, “British Citizen”, does not legally mean the same thing as UK Citizen.

    307. Tam Jardine says:

      Robert Peffers

      Great idea Robert – Scottish Questions is the best example of why the union isn’t working (for Scotland).

    308. Paula Rose says:

      @ Robert Peffers

      I understand your point completely, what though in your opinion is the most appropriate name to use instead of British – UK citizen?

    309. Robert Peffers says:

      @Alex Beveridge says: 4 January, 2015 at 10:04 am:

      “I agree with the comments regarding some of the people now writing on this site. While Stuart’s articles are as informative as ever, it seems to me that there is an element of persons, who could legitimately be described as “fifth columnists”, trying to sow seeds of discontent where none exists, amongst independence supporters.”

      Well, Alex, look at it this way, as my old Granny used to say, “If they’re getting at iz, then they’re leavin ither guid fowk alain”,

      Wingers are a pretty astute lot and mostly aware of the fifth columnists true intentions. Thus the fifth columnists are just wasting their time here and would probably cause much more harm elsewhere.

      As my old Grand Dad would have put it, “”Ach! Leave thaim alian. It keeps thaim oot o the road o the kairts”.

    310. Rock says:

      Alex Clark,

      “I take it you meant vote No rather than what No?

      Either way I have no idea what you are talking about.”

      Yes, I meant vote.

      What I am talking about is, if you understand your own comment, you are using exactly the same argument that Better Together were using during the referendum campaign.

    311. Rock says:

      Ken500,

      “THe North of England are quite capable of looking after themselves, some of them vote Tory, and have a proportionate say in Westminster and are not subject to the Barnett Formula.”

      Totally agree.

      Let us first sort ourselves out by becoming independent, then we will do what we can to help them.

    312. Rock says:

      Effijy,

      “I’m missing out on something here, can someone explain?
      I know that we are not pro everything that happens at 38 Degrees”

      38 Degrees cannot be trusted. They let Gordon Brown hijack someone else’s petition.

      Anyway, petitions, signatures and peaceful marches have zero effect on our rulers. They went ahead with a illegal war despite millions protesting against it.

      The only solution is economically boycotting the likes of the BBC and Asda as much as possible. Only money talks.

    313. Rock says:

      Caesar! 46,

      “If you want to beat the establishment you have to get into the trenches and fight as dirty as they do.

      Principles are fine but I want to win rather than a polite subservient second.”

      Precisely.

      Not a single colony became independent without fighting dirty. We can only win by beating them at their own game.

    314. HYUFD says:

      Well the voters did re-elect Blair in 2005 even after the Iraq War, they could have voted for Charles Kennedy and the LDs

    315. Kirsty says:

      I saw a tweet from Rev Stu from The Telegraph where WM are planning on making childminders and nursery school staff report kids that they think might go on to be terrorists?! Is this real or am I still incredibly pissed from Hogmanay?! Really?! Childminders are to decide whether a wee baby who probably can’t even string a sentence together is a potential terrorist?! Am I still pissed or is this real?

    316. Robert Peffers says:

      @Capella says: 4 January, 2015 at 1:29 pm:

      “Re Lab/Tory/Lib coalition – they have already formed that in Scottish Local Authority constituencies to retain control of councils and ensure the SNP, which has the most councillors, can’t form the administration.”

      In fact the Blue & Red Tories have been in an informal coalition for some years now at Westminster. Note how the Labour Party, particularly their Scottish branch office, often abstain on certain votes. This even upon some Labour instigated motions and always on all SNP/Plaid Cymru instigated motions.

      Look at the history of members of the Establishment hierarchy and you will see they mainly come from the same backgrounds. Wealthy/titled Families, Private Prep School, private junior school, English Public School, (mainly Eaton & Harrow), then on to Cambridge and Oxford, (mainly Cambridge), where many, from all three establishment unionist parties, were not only classmate/dormitory-mates but also Bullingdon Boy Club-mates together.

      Many of them leaving University to become interns at one of the establishment parties headquarters and then found a safe party seat. Mind you it is not confined to just MPs. The Civil Service, Armed Forces and CofE are full of the same elite bunch of rich families being primed for leadership.

      Mind you some of them need not have bothered for they gain automatic entry into the ruling classes by being already hereditary members of the Royals or aristocracy and hence the HoL. In effect it has always been a stitch-up.

      The old saying among the upper classes was, “First son & heir the HoL, Second son the Navy, Third son the army and fourth son into politics. Daughters were expected to marry into other aristocracy families or at least into wealthy families.

    317. Rock says:

      Robert Peffers,

      “The United Kingdom is a bipartite union of the kingdoms of Scotland and England.”

      With due respect Robert, what you say is correct but only of interest to academics and pub bores.

      For all practical purposes, ‘Britain’ and ‘British’ are known both locally and throughout the formerly colonised world as meaning the POLITICAL country governed from Westminster which flies the Union Jack (or whatever its true name is).

      An independent Scotland governed from Edinburgh (I would prefer from Glasgow or Dundee) will not be ‘British’ or part of ‘Britain’ for all practical purposes.

      If I remember right, a majority of Scots according to the last census consider themselves to be Scottish not British.

      Anyone arguing that we will remain ‘British’ after independence is flogging a dead horse.

      The same applies to the finer points of the Treaty of Union which you so often quote. The Treaty has been broken a million times and no one cares about it any more, not even the SNP.

      When we become independent, hopefully within the next 310 years, we will be Scottish citizens and people in the rUK and ‘proud but Scots’ will be ‘British’ citizens. End of story.

    318. Robert Peffers says:

      @Barbara McKenzie says: 4 January, 2015 at 4:52 pm:

      “This sounds really worthwhile – I myself cannot access UK TV directly so I would certainly be interested”

      I will certainly give it a good try. The missing factor is time. I’m retired but not in the best of health now. I also have my fingers in several other pies but I’m sure I can do quite a bit with timed pre-recordings and constructing templates for the editing. I’ll post here when I get organized.

    319. Robert Peffers says:

      @Ken500 says: 4 January, 2015 at 11:31 am:

      “Pickles has banned wind turbines in the south. losing revenues.”.

      The media is publishing much misinformation that a little thought should show as lies. In the first place the question of subsidy is utter tripe. I’ll now quote some figures for a typical year along with cites to their sources.

      “Gas, oil and coal prices got subsidised by £3.63bn in 2010, (Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

      Offshore and onshore wind got just £0.7bn in that same year from April 2010.

      All renewables, (including wind), in the UK got just £1.4bn over the same period. (Data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc).

      Just before announcing the then new renewables subsidies the government cut subsidy for on shore turbines by 10%.

      Nuclear power gets subsidised, some well hidden, more than all others sources put together.

      Not only that but simple logic will show the benefits of subsidising renewables that does not apply to any form of fossil fuels. All fossil fuels, (including nuclear), require money to be spent to gain them as a raw source. Then more money is used to process them. They still need the construction of generating stations and they all require more spent to dispose, or store, waste matter and pollution. There are also continued transportation costs.

      Renewable fuels fetch themselves to the generators and leave no harmful waste or pollution behind them. There is also no continued cost of buying, processing and transporting fuel and waste during the plant’s lifespan.

      Lastly every form of generation gets paid to go off-line in times of low demand and to be ready to come on-line as needed. Nuclear, in particular can neither stop quickly nor can it restart quickly. New ways of storing renewable power are being developed too.

    320. Rock says:

      Dorothy Devine,

      “They also said, “No, no Scots notes at all.”

      The Travelex foreign exchange counters at Edinburgh Airport refuse to exchange Scottish bank notes for English ones.

      I needed some English notes while travelling to England, where they refuse to accept Scottish notes, but Travelex refused, lying that they didn’t have any, although I saw several in the drawer.

      Next time round, I want a campaign based on an independent currency for an independent Scotland.

    321. Robert Peffers says:

      @Tam Jardine says: 4 January, 2015 at 5:56 pm:

      ” … Scottish Questions is the best example of why the union isn’t working (for Scotland).”

      I might be wrong but I think the only things the Union Parliament works for are the Union Parliamentarians, their friends in finance, big international business and the arms industry. Not to mention the aristocracy and royalty.

    322. tom keatings says:

      Why is this so strange,they have been together since Blair arrived,he was a successor to Thatcher in every policy ,the notion that their is an ideological difference between Tory and New Labour fails by any analysis,they are and have been the same since Blair arrived,the fools who vote Labour thinking they will deliver something different are the most deluded individuals on the planet,its a con,wont make a difference which of them is in power,you get the same,,,,,,Austerity,,,,,,they should just declare unity and give us what they want ,one party fascist state.

    323. HYUFD says:

      Spending did rise under Blair, Miliband has proposed a Mansion Tax and a 50% top tax rate restoration, something even Salmond opposed

    324. HYUFD says:

      And of course RBS and HBOS, despite Sir George Mathewson backing Yes

    325. Natasha says:

      Rock
      Are you determined to alienate every single longstanding Winger on this site? Sometimes your comments are bizarre. And lay off Robert Peffers; he’s forgotten more stuff than you’ll ever know.

    326. Robert Peffers says:

      Rock says: 4 January, 2015 at 8:50 pm:

      “With due respect Robert, what you say is correct but only of interest to academics and pub bores.

      Well, Rock, what you actually do is show me the utmost disrespect and you do so on the strength of Unionist propaganda.

      I am neither an academic nor, I hope, a bore. I am a life long Scottish National Party supporter but most of all I am a Scottish Briton. I will never allow these, far more nationalistic than I, United Kingdom Unionists to rob me of my right to call myself British for, as a Scot, I have far more right to call myself British than they have.

      The English, after all only obtained a country called England after the Romans left South Britain. Caledonia was here before the Romans came to Britain and even they did not colonise Northern Britain.

      The aboriginal inhabitants of Britain cannot be traced further back than the stone age ancient Britons who came to Britain from what we now call, “Doggerland”, (Now under the North Sea). In fact the overwhelming numbers of those in all Britain’s countries are still descended from those aboriginal Britons. Recent genetic testing shows that the actual differences in the British population are cultural rather than genetic.

      In fact the Celts are not genetically Celt but only absorbed Celtic culture while the Anglo Saxons are less than 5% Anglo Saxon and they too absorbed a long succession of different elite rulers who treated them as slaves. First in south Britain were the Romans, (44BC to 450AD), nearly 500 years with the Romans NOT interbreeding with the Britons. In fact Roman Centurions took oaths of celibacy. South Britons were thus slaves for those 500 years.

      These were followed by the Angles, Jutes, Saxons and other Germanic tribes who were also an elite who treated the South Britons as slaves. There were also the Vikings Normans and so on. Note that the present system Royalty and the various levels of the aristocracy were the lords of the Manor and the original Britons their serfs or villeins. We are still under a form of feudal law under the United Kingdom.

      As the Romans named the north of Britain as a separate country called Caledonia, and it remained NOT part of Roman Britain, we Scots have far more right to claim to be British. For Scotland remained an independent country until 1706/7 and even then were a fully equally sovereign nation as the English who took their name from the Angles who called the land the emigrated to, “Angle Land”.

      Scottish Law is based upon the fact that the people are sovereign and not the monarchy, (or the state). I refuse to allow these Unionists to rob me of my British birth right. They are United Kingdom citizens and British but the UK does not govern all of Britain and it never has.

    327. Natasha says:

      What does HYUFD stand for?

    328. HYUFD says:

      Highly Youthful Unionist Free Democrat, if you wish it to stand for something!

    329. Hobbit says:

      @Rock – a couple of the money machines at Edinburgh Airport issue Bank of England notes (ie not Scottish notes). I don’t take Scottish notes overseas; why do we want to keep them at all?

    330. Natasha says:

      Okay, now I know exactly where you’re coming from.

      Are you aware that with only 8.5% of the UK’s population, the Scots contribute 9.5% of the overall UK tax take? Given that tax rates are the same across the UK, what do you think could be the reason for this discrepancy?

    331. Barbara McKenzie says:

      I agree that it is bizarre for the concept of a ‘Briton’ to be owned by the English. I read somewhere (maybe Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree) the claim that it was inappropriate to use the term British Isles, as they include Ireland!

      With regard to the Roman occupation, my understanding was that the legionaries retired quite young and married afterwards, and some stayed in Britain to do so. Also that some wealthier Britons did become Romanised and moved in Roman society.

      Maybe rUK should be called Wangland, and I can only guess at the possible variations …

    332. Natasha says:

      Deafening silence from HYUFD. Was that question too hard for you to cope with?

      Let’s try another one. We sent 53 billion pounds in tax revenues to the UK treasury last year. The Scottish Government received about 30 billion pounds for the block grant. The remaining 23 billion pounds remained in the hands of the UK government; some of it was spent in Scotland, but not all of it. How does that equate to Scotland being subsidised by the rest of the UK?

    333. Natasha says:

      Obviously HYUFD needs to go back to school. Let’s try a third one. Scotland has had a higher GDP per person than the rest of the UK for the past 33 (that’s THIRTY THREE) years. How have we managed that, do you think, despite the destruction of our manufacturing base and our industries since 1979?

      I realise it must be difficult for you to answer specific questions with anything other than the word ‘NO’, but if you haven’t responded by, say, 12.30 I’ll assume you’re away with your tail between your legs. Either that or you’ve gone to do your homework.

    334. Natasha says:

      🙂 . . .

    335. HYUFD says:

      I was talking about RBS being supported by UK taxpayers, not the whole of Scotland, so your answer is not related to the point in question. Of course Scotland benefits from defence etc which cover the whole UK. London gives the biggest net contribution of any UK region in terms of the amount it pays in in tax and receives back from the state. London also has a gdp per capita of £40,215 as opposed to a UK average of £20,873 and a Scottish gdp per capita of £21,982. London is not yet asking for independence.

    336. Barbara McKenzie says:

      Maybe I’m the only one with a problem regarding the turn the comments for this post have taken …

    337. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      HYUFD

      Why would London want to be independent? If it was independent is couldn’t hoover up its vastly disproportionate share of Britain’s resources which it does at the moment which allows it to pay itself higher wages out of the money it has always collected from other people’s efforts.
      It has always been the counting house. Now it is the casino, gambling with fantasy money in a completely bankrupt and debt ridden economy but still paying out its bonuses to the fly men friends of the mighty.

      The figures being argued about here are basically bogus. They do not take account of Government procurement and spend on national projects which makes up about a third of government spend. If you factor this in the residents that live in the south eastern corner have a far higher per capita spend on them than in any other area.
      “National” projects for Government spend include such as London’s new underground stations (we are paying our full share), the new high speed rail line to the “north” ie Leeds(we are paying our full share) and the London Olympic Games to which we all paid our full share though the Government provided no funds for the Commomwealth Games in Glasgow.

      Anyway the relative prosperity or otherwise of any other area in the UK has no bearing whatsoever on whether Scotland should be independent.
      All that is important is that Scotland is self sufficient despite an exploited economy and would radically improve this position were it in charge of its own economy

    338. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      HYUFD’s position is basically that of the Better Together campaign. Basically Scotland is subsidised by being in the UK. That a clever country with more national resources than any other comparable nation should think that a 300 year union leaves it needing subsidy is a disgraceful position to hold.

      Thankfully now very few intelligent and informed people hold this position but we still have work to do with the blinkered and the daft,

    339. HYUFD says:

      London attracts people from all over the world to work in the City, as the falling oil price shows the idea Scotland would radically improve its position as an independent nation is much less clear. I never once mentioned Scotland needing subsidy, many poorer parts of England and Wales are more subsidised than Scotland, I was talking about RBS, but that is not the same as Scotland being independent.

    340. JBS says:

      @HYUFD

      Good for you. I, too, wish Scotland to be Unionist Free.

      Oh, wait…

    341. Natasha says:

      @JBS
      Nice one! 🙂

    342. HYUFD says:

      Well, you will be waiting a while!

    343. Barbara McKenzie says:

      Good for you, HYUFD, for arguing your corner, and I am sorry your arguments are not being treated with more respect.

      I’m sure you realise, or remember, that there are indeed some very intelligent, informed and witty people who support independence, but Yes will have it’s share of the rude, aggressive and arrogant.

    344. HYUFD says:

      Thanks, it is true that both the BT and pro independence camps have a whole range of people, not all of the highest IQ!

    345. Paula Rose says:

      HYFUD darling, you wrote –

      many poorer parts of England and Wales are more subsidised than Scotland

      Hate to spoil things – but Scotland is not subsidised.

    346. HYUFD says:

      But it does get £10,152 per head from the Barnett Formula, compared to £10,876 for NI, £9,709 for Wales and £8,529 for England

    347. Paula Rose says:

      HYFUD darling, I presume you have read –

      The Barnett Trap and the expensive lunch

      posted on this site on the 23rd Oct 2012? Might help if you did xx

    348. HYUFD says:

      Nothing in that article changes the fact Scotland still gets and will get more per head than England or Wales through the Barnett formula, or that Scotland will also raise its own income tax revenues as well as continuing to control most Scottish domestic policy once legislation implementing the Smith Commission proposals have been put forward

    349. Thepnr says:

      Link to how the Barnett Formula works

      http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/sr2010_fundingpolicy.pdf

      Very very dry, for a simpler explanation just go to Wiki.

    350. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Lets get one thing straight.

      The Barnett Formula deals with around 67% of Government spending. This is used to continually provide a distortion suggesting that Scotland gets more per head than other parts. It does not factor in Government procurement and spending on “national” projects.
      Scotland’s geography guarantees that spending on social services (which is what the Barnett Formula largely deals with) costs proportionately more than for instance it costs in the south east. You could produce figures showing the same for Cornwall or Cumbria. If you produced figures for instance from greater Glasgow you would show much lower apparent per capita figures.

      If you base your estimate however on all Government spend it proves without a shadow of a doubt that the area that benefits most per capita from Government spending is the south east of England.
      The oft repeated fiction that Scotland benefits disproportionately from Government spending is a complete myth based on very selective use of spending figures.
      This becomes apparent when the fact that Scotland continually provides more to the treasury than it gets back on expenditure is pointed out, which is incontrovertible.
      Incontrovertible. I will repeat that.
      That is because we pay our full share towards “national ” projects and national procurement but get in Scotland less than 50% of our national share of the expenditure in these areas.

      I find it very hard to take that some believe we are subsidised and think this is a perfectly happy position to be in.
      As I have said often if we need a subsidy after 300 years of a union that union is disaster.
      That is the same old story that was sold to all the colonies.

      Lets knock on the head the other myth about “Scotland’s Oil Revenues”. Scotland doesn’t have and never has had oil revenues.
      Scotland gets exactly the same share of the oil revenues per capita as every other person in the UK

    351. Natasha says:

      Sorry Barbara, but any unionist who comes on this website making deliberately provocative and misinformed statements is fair game. If he can’t take the heat, he should stay out of the kitchen. I’ve still not had any adequate answers to my questions.

    352. Natasha says:

      By the way, Barbara, “it’s” is short for “it is”. When you mean “its” in the sense of something belonging to something else, you should leave out the apostrophe. Just a tip from someone of low IQ there.

    353. Rock says:

      Robert Peffers,

      The point I am making is anyone arguing that we will remain ‘British’ after independence is flogging a dead horse.

      Apart for academics and pub bores, no one considers ‘Britain’ and ‘British’ in geographical terms.

      When we are independent, we will be Scottish not British, end of story.

      You don’t need to write a historical book to accept this simple, realistic point.

    354. HYUFD says:

      They were neither provocative nor misinformed, nothing I have said has been wrong. I was originally talking about the RBS bailout by UK taxpayers, which you then decided to interpret as an argument about a subsidy for the whole of Scotland, the facts about the share of Barnett formula funding, whatever the reasons or explanations for them, were also correct

    355. Rock says:

      Robert Peffers,

      I guess you are in full agreement with Gordon Brown in referring to Scotland as ‘North Britain’.

      Mind you the vast majority of independence supporting posters here don’t like the idea of Scotland being called ‘North Britain’.

    356. Rock says:

      Natasha,

      “Rock
      Are you determined to alienate every single longstanding Winger on this site?”

      How “longstanding” are you?

      Do you prefer to call Scotland ‘North Britain’?

    357. ben madigan says:

      Have summarised some of your thoughts , together with other material here. Enjoy

      https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/land-of-hope-and-glory/

    358. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      HYFUD
      Ah, the “Scottish Banks”.

      HBOS is of course a Yorkshire based entity which took over BOS many years ago so we can skate over that. RBS on the other hand is mainly Nat West though it is also Ulster Bank, Coutts (bankers to the Royal Family) and Citizens Bank in the USA and other bits and pieces in other places.
      Around 5% of RBS activity is in Scotland and that by international protocol is all a Scottish Government would have been liable for.
      The fact is that RBS was the biggest BRITISH Bank doing a majority of its business in London which is where its problems came from. Had RBS (or Barclay’s which was even deeper in trouble) gone down so probably would the UK economy which is why London had to save it with British taxpayers monies. I’m not sure it’s entirely saved however.
      (I have an inside source who tells me that jittery international finance is preparing to pull out of London if things don’t turn around fairly soon.)

      Of course the well informed, intelligent people on this site know all this

    359. HYUFD says:

      HBOS has HQs in Edinburgh, Leeds and Halifax. It was a merger between the 2, Bank of Scotland became the principal banking subsidiary of HBOS and Halifax transferred its undertakings to Bank of Scotland and operated under its trading licence.

      RBS has its HQ in Edinburgh and was at one stage the biggest bank in the world. Its problems mainly came from the decision of its ceo, Scotsman Fred Goodwin, and chairman, Scotsman Sir Tom McKillop, to take over ABN Amro. Barclays of course did not request a bailout, but did raise funds from the Middle East. Of course Lehmans was allowed to go bust and we lived to tell the tale.

      As London is the top international finance capital of the world, rivalled only by New York and Wall Street, which does not have its timezone advantages, I highly doubt all of international finance is going to move out of London.

    360. Barbara McKenzie says:

      ‘RBS on the other hand is mainly Nat West though it is also Ulster Bank, Coutts (bankers to the Royal Family) and Citizens Bank in the USA and other bits and pieces in other places.’

      RBS of course means Royal Bank of Scotland, which expanded to take over NatWest and various other banks, with wide international activity. Head office was in Scotland and HO management was almost totally Scottish. Some consider that to have been a problem, simply because Scotland was too small to provide the talent for such a huge operation(my source being Fraser’s Shredded), though I wouldn’t necessarily agree. Maybe this is not relevant to your debate.

      I don’t know why considering people wrong, misinformed or even stupid is a justification for being obnoxious on Wings these days but certainly this blog is on a downward slide, despite the quality of RevStu’s posts. People put forward other viewpoints should be encouraged to debate rather than shouted at.

    361. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      RBS of course means Royal Bank of Scotland just as McDonalds means McDonalds and McVitties means McVitties.
      What is your point?
      Despite RBS having a HQ in Scotland less than 5% of its operation was in Scotland and that is all a Scottish Government would have been liable for. That is a fact.
      The nationality of various folk who worked for RBS is entirely irrelevant though in fact most of its top management was not Scottish and it employed many times as many people outside Scotland than it did in Scotland and virtually all its investment banking and corporate affairs were managed in London.

    362. HYUFD says:

      Agreed

    363. HYUFD says:

      The key decisions which put RBS on the rocks, most notably the acquisition of ABN Amro, were made in the boardroom in Edinburgh

    364. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Let me be very straightforward. Most folk on this site are very well behaved. A few sometime get a little too lippy but the comment is nevertheless usually honest if sometimes a bit extreme. But we all recognise trolls very quickly and deal with them very generously most of the time by disputing their diversions in good spirit.

      On the banks the fact is that a RBS collapse would have hurt Scotland a bit but it would have destroyed the UK economy.
      When it was suggested that RBS might as a result of a YES vote move its brass plate from a building in Edinburgh to its real operational HQ in London folk here were high-fiving and saying good riddance.

      I would like to think that an independent Scotland would have dealt with errant banks the same way Iceland did. Let them go to the wall and put your resources into your economy instead. If there was a vote that’s exactly what a majority would have done and more so now that the thieves that caused the banking crisis were put in charge of the recovery and have lost no time in rewarding themselves handsomely as usual. But in the UK context that was exactly what the Tories had to do or the South East of England would have been beggared.

      And it was the UK Government and Gordon Brown (who sucked up tax revenues from vast fantasy money fiddling) who provided the circumstances for the banking crisis. The Vickers report may well mean this will not happen again. But it would never have happened in an independent Scotland because an independent Scotland wouldn’t have a huge bloated financial services industry dominating its economy.

      Dear Barbara. Nobody I know gives a shit about the “Scottish Banks” and has no sympathy for money fiddlers so you are wasting time going on about it – as am I.
      Everybody knows it was London wot done it.

      There is form here of course. RBS was founded as an anti Jacobite bank and the “parcel of rogues” who took cash bribes to vote for the Union 1706 to pay their own debts mostly deposited their spoils in it.

    365. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      The decision to acquire AMBRO most certainly damaged RBS hugely. This decision was led by (Sir)Fred Goodwin who was knighted by Labour and was Labour’s UK economic adviser.
      If you want to argue about that contact Gordon Brown

    366. Barbara McKenzie says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill

      Please read the Etiquette and Formatting section of the WOS About Us page.

    367. Paula Rose says:

      Barbara McKenzie darling – you are an absolute hoot!

    368. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Barbara McKenzie –

      Any chance you could read it to us? (It is beddy-baws after all, eh?)

    369. HYUFD says:

      Of course former RBS chief executive and chairman Sir George Mathewson was a prominent Yes backer. In fact most of the banks that needed bailouts, Northern Rock, Bradford and Bingley, HBOS and RBS were based outside London and the South East, although Lloyds also took a bailout admittedly after its rash decision to take over HBOS. Had they been allowed to go bust like Lehmans then the impact would have been felt heavily in the north of England and Scotland. Of course Edinburgh is full of financial services industry, not only with RBS but the likes of Standard Life based there too. It was of course Salmond who sent a personal letter of congratulation to Goodwin after he acquired ABN Amro.

    370. Barbara McKenzie says:

      @Ian Brotherhood

      I’m assuming you’re serious …

      ETIQUETTE AND FORMATTING

      There are, however, some rules. As the site’s readership has grown, so has the number of comments. Four-figure numbers in a single day aren’t unprecedented, and that brings with it certain responsibilities for commenters, because we can’t spend all day monitoring them and still produce the site. So please keep a few things in mind.

      1. Write as if an undecided voter is reading.

      Fewer than 1% of the site’s readers post comments. That means the comments give you an inaccurate picture of the overall readership, and things that might go down well within a small group of dedicated activists don’t sound so good to people who’ve come to the site looking for information to help make up their minds.

      People without whom we won’t win.

      So try to avoid puerile name-calling like “Bitter Together”, “Johann Lamentable” or hilarious mis-spellings of/puns on Anas Sarwar’s name. Do you think they’re more likely to win someone over, or to put them off? Would they work on you?

      (We’d also happily live for another 300 years without ever again seeing anyone using the phrase “parcel of rogues” as if they were the first person who ever thought of it, or posting entire poems or song lyrics. That’s what YouTube’s for.)

      2. Play the ball, not the man (or woman).

      And by all means disagree, by all means disagree forcefully – but argue with people’s views, don’t insult them personally. And that includes calling them “trolls” or implying they’re undercover Unionists. We’ll decide if someone’s trolling or not. But in the meantime, if you think they are, ignore them.

      If you know what a “troll” is, then you’ll also know that getting you angry and talking about them, derailing the conversation off the subject, is exactly what they want.

      Email us about suspected trolls if you want. But don’t engage them in debate if you doubt their motives, and DEFINITELY don’t engage in on-thread discussions about whether they’re a troll or not.

      [And then some stuff about formatting, which maybe I should read more carefully]

      I confess that I myself enjoy the puns/misspellings that people come up with for e.g. the Daily Record, but perhaps they are permissable when witty?

      I am assuming Dave McEwan Hill is not a troll, which is why I have addressed my request to him.

    371. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Barbara

      Suggest you start your own site and police it yourself. That’ll keep you busy while the rest of us get on with stuff.

      HYUFD

      Insofar as Scotland and the Scottish Government had no responsibility for banking,banking regulation, banking crash etc etc shouldn’t you be directing all your concerns to the UK Government and treasury.
      The clue is that the banking crash was a British event.

    372. HYUFD says:

      True and it was British taxpayers who bailed out those British banks which needed it, including those with an HQ in Scotland like RBS

    373. Macart says:

      HYFUD

      No, it was the UK govt. who bailed out the banks using taxpayer monies. I don’t recall the taxpayer being asked if they wanted to bail out the banks. Oh and the banks were only in such a precarious position because of UK government deregulation policy.

      It ALL goes back to Westminster’s doorstep and their corrupt and utterly compromised relationship with the corporate world. It was their watch, their area of competence and their responsibility. Oh and bank bailouts/debt share doesn’t take into account location of headquarters. The share of debt is predicated upon where the bulk of business/debt was conducted/accrued.

    374. Macart says:

      Apologies

      HYUFD (Genuine typo).

    375. HYUFD says:

      It was the Banks who took the decisions which ultimately led to their demise. Of course more could have been allowed to go bust like Lehmans, but whether the world economy would have survived is another matter. Salmond was equally as chummy with Goodwin as Brown

    376. Natasha says:

      Wow! I can’t believe this is still going on. I got bored with shoving stuff back under the bridge days ago.

      Ian Brotherhood and Dave McEwan Hill, you’re absolute gems. More stamina than I have.

      Barbara, you’re right, I am arrogant, but I take issue with the description of ‘rude’ and ‘aggressive’. I believe I was actually sarcastic and contemptuous – quite different.

    377. Paula Rose says:

      Arrogant honey? I think you have to be able to look down one’s nose at people to be that!

    378. Natasha says:

      I can still look down my nose at people, I just have to tilt my head back far enough without falling over! Or would that count as looking up my nose?

    379. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Barbara McKenzie –

      No, I wasn’t serious, but anyway…

      Thanks for your lengthy response, which was entitled ‘ETIQUETTE AND FORMATTING’ (ouch! don’t you know that’s regarded as ‘shouting’?)

      Unfortunately, you neglected to indicate that you were quoting from the WOS Guidelines for New Readers, thus making it appear that the advice was your own. That is unfortunate, potentially misleading, and may, if interpreted harshly, be regarded as plagiarism.

      Thanks for the effort though. Your comment appeared at 2.19 a.m. – my nurse started dictating it shortly thereafter, and assures me I was snoring before half-past.

      Toodleoothenoo!

    380. Paula Rose says:

      Natasha honey – you have such a pretty pert nose no wonder you try to look at it!

    381. Natasha says:

      @Paula Rose
      🙂

    382. Barbara McKenzie says:

      Barbara McKenzie says:
      7 January, 2015 at 12:36 am

      ‘…Please read the Etiquette and Formatting section of the WOS About Us page.’

      And subsequently cuts and pastes from relevant section, having (foolishly?) decided to assume good faith on behalf of Ian Brotherhood.

      If you people are unhappy with Stu’s guidelines, then I am sure there are options open to you.

    383. Paula Rose says:

      Natasha dearest – thank goodness there are long term commenters on this site to keep us newcomers in order!

    384. Natasha says:

      Behave yourself, Paula Rose. Some people can’t cope with being teased.

      By the way, Rock is now calling me gullible! I might just go away and sulk in a corner, like the four year olds I teach. (I once taught a P3 boy who was taller than me – I kid you not. I still managed to put the fear of God into him with my icy stare, though.)

    385. Paula Rose says:

      Natasha my sweet doll – you’ll always be one of the awkward squad xx (new badge boys).

    386. Natasha says:

      Paula Rose, have a look on Back to Work Blues; Fred’s trying to curry favour with you. I think he wants to be stroked . . .

    387. Paula Rose says:

      Sweary word – should have been ‘aukward’

    388. Natasha says:

      Why? Is this some obscure Scottish version of ‘awkward’ that I haven’t heard of? Remember my disreputable English past.

    389. Paula Rose says:

      (Gull)ible

      (Auk)ward

      Seabirds

    390. Rock says:

      Natasha,

      “By the way, Rock is now calling me gullible!”

      Stop making up things.

      This is what I asked you in response to your comment addressed to me:

      How “longstanding” are you?

      Do you prefer to call Scotland ‘North Britain’?

      Perhaps you could answer instead of making up things.

    391. Natasha says:

      Dear Rock
      Please, please go away and acquire a sense of humour, otherwise known as a sense of proportion. Winding you up is quite amusing, but I’m beginning to feel I have an unfair advantage.

    392. Macart says:

      @HYUFD

      ‘Salmond was equally as chummy with Goodwin as Brown’

      No, he really wasn’t. The then First Minister did what any head of government would do with regards the highest representative of what was prior to 2008 Britain’s biggest success story, he was eager to be seen supporting said success story. Something he alone has publicly issued regret over. We’re still waiting on Labour copping to their share of egg on face publicly and with them it goes far deeper than a personally humiliating episode.

      Also it wasn’t Alex Salmond who retained Mr Goodwin as a special adviser to HMG, that would be Messrs Brown and Darling. It wasn’t Mr Salmond who put Mr Goodwin forward for honours, again that would have been the then Labour government. As I was saying above, government compromised by the corporate world. Whichever way you wash it, HMG and the banks were hand in glove as the world economy nose dived. Constantly saying Alex Salmond’s name over and over does not constitute either responsibility or culpability in the shameful actions of UK government and the city.

      You can surmise all you like about what sort of relationship Mr Salmond had with Mr Goodwin, it doesn’t make it true. The relationship and course of events between the then UK govt. and Mr Goodwin IS a matter of record.

    393. HYUFD says:

      Salmond is a former energy economist for RBS. One of his closest allies is Sir George Mathewson, the former chief executive and chairman of the RBS, Mathewson is now on Salmond’s financial services advisory board and backed the Yes campaign.

      As for the ABN Amro disaster, just days after winning the 2007 election, Salmond wrote a letter to Goodwin. In it he said ‘It is in Scottish interests for RBS to be successful, and I would like to offer any assistance my office can provide. Good luck with the bid. Yours for Scotland, Alex.” A copy of the letter is here http://www.channel4.com/news/salmond-you-keep-scots-bank-debt-well-keep-the-oil-money

    394. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      and……..

      What has any of this got to do with whether Scotland should be independent or not?

      You think Scotland is unfit be independent because Alex Salmond congratulated Fred Goodwin. Eh?
      Alex Salmond of course had no way of knowing how damaging the acquisition of ABN Amro would be. But you would think the UK banking authorities had an obligation to know.

      Do you think UK is unfit to be independent because UK knighted Goodwin and Gordon Brown appointed him chief adviser to the UK Government?
      You’re banging at an empty drum

    395. HYUFD says:

      Well as RBS would be the biggest bank in an independent Scotland, and was bailed out by UK taxpayers of course it is relevant. Gordon Brown would of course have been re-elected in 2010 in Scotland, but he lost the election in the rest of the UK!

    396. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      HYUFD
      Exactly. An independent Scotland would have had to bail out only the 5% of RBS which was operational in Scotland if it chose to do so.
      It is highly doubtful if Gordon Brown would be contesting elections in an independent Scotland but he would of course be free to do so.

    397. HYUFD says:

      An independent Scotland would of course have had to bailout the bank with an HQ in Scotland and the rest of the UK would not have been responsible for that or necessarily the decisions taken by Scot Fred Goodwin and the mainly Scottish board of RBS.

      Gordon Brown won 41% of the vote in Scotland in 2010, the SNP 19%, so had Scotland been independent in 2010 he would have been PM of Scotland. By contrast he won only 29% in the UK as a whole despite being UK PM for 3 years

    398. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      An independent Scotland would have had to bail out that part of any bank’s operations in Scotland. That is a fact.

    399. HYUFD says:

      As RBS was the biggest bank in Scotland that would obviously not have been considerable

    400. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      HYUFD
      Yes , but as easily achieved as the UK and US borrowed bailouts in their jurisdictions.

      However in the very unlilkely event of an independent Scotland allowing the sort of inadequate supervision that the UK allowed to the City of London British banks I would have supported any policy to let them go to the wall – as Iceland did to very useful effect. That was not an option in UK because the UK economy is hugely over-reliant of the financial service in London and the South East of England would have been beggared as a result

      The rest of us are now paying for this disaster and paying to prop up the economy of the South East.

      However I rather think a Scottish Government would have had banking regulations similar to that of the Australian government which were employed for instance on the Clydesdale bank.

      There is of course tons of money stacked away in UK banks by business and industry which is not optimistic enough to use it.
      Money or capital not in use becomes meaningless. It only has value when it is in use. The present austerity policies means that his money will sit meaningless. The money flung into banks for instance could have rejuvenated the whole economy had it been flung into construction,manufacturing etc instead.

      The money sitting in bank accounts might as well be in big trunks on a desert island where it is equally valueless.

    401. HYUFD says:

      Of course the US did allow Lehmans to go bust, and Lehmans did indeed have a large office in London, the city is still going. Many London based banks, HSBS and Barclays for example, did not request a bailout from the UK government.

      Considering Edinburgh is built on financial services, RBS, HBOS and Standard Life to name but 3 the effect of the crash on Scotland would also have been huge and probably as big as the effect on Ireland. Given Salmond’s close relationship to Goodwin and the letter he sent urging RBS to acquire ABN Amro ‘for Scotland’ a decision which proved disastrous, the effect on Scotland is clear.Of course the UK government and Chancellor Osborne and Business Secretary Vince Cable in particular are now encouraging banks to lend to businesses, manufacturers etc as indeed they should

    402. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      You are obviously not listening to a word I am saying. Very little of the sub prime lending and other reasons for the banking crash had anything to do with financial activities in Edinburgh which were entirely different to the financial activities which engulfed the Irish banks which got themselves entrapped in the UK/US banking axis.

      You do understand that Ireland is basically out of its problem now, don’t you – or perhaps you haven’t noticed, though it has been very difficult and it lost a lot of jobs – though these were being provided by an unsustainable economic situation.
      Iceland has the fastest growing economy in Europe. Small, nimble countries get out of difficulty much quicker because of their flexibility. The UK on the other hand is borrowing over £12 million per hour at the moment on a debt that is close to unserviceable – and we voted to stay with the basket case!

    403. HYUFD says:

      The problems with RBS, including most notably its acquisition of ABN Amro, were sanctioned by its mainly Scottish board based in Edinburgh. Far from being a basketcase the UK had the fastest growth in the G7 last year, public spending as a percentage of GDP has fallen from 47% in 2010 to 43% now but it will not be until 2018/19 that a surplus will be achieved. Iceland and Ireland have had to undergo even harsher austerity regimes than the UK!

    404. Tackety Beets says:

      Sorry to but in , I have been following with much interest .

      Dave , you have great patience .
      I follow your points and would agree fully .
      Iceland have made a remarkable recovery !

      It’s not very relevant to the debate .
      My suspicion , from my memory at the time I have not researched , on the RBS on ABN Amro purchase is as follows .

      Barclays were involved in a protracted take over negotiations with ABN .
      RBS saw an opportunity and put in a slightly higher bid .
      My suspicion is that RBS assumed Barclays had done due diligence, after all the regulators were happy . RBS were perhalps more interested in wrestling the deal from Barclays than any other matters .
      I can’t recall who stitched up ABN Amro with all the dodgy stuff either ?

      I concede I’m not so on the button as you clearly are Dave , so happy to be corrected .

      Thanks

    405. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      HYUFD
      Ireland and Iceland on every indicator rank above the UK in economic terms and on the provision of all services, particularly social provision. They are both now out of trouble. They both got involved sadly in the UK/US banking axis. They are unlikely to make the same mistake again. On Iceland’s case its banks, considerably UK owned, on a UK model leant out huge sums of fantasy money offering huge returns. Iceland has put some of its bankers and politicians in jail for what was basically fraud and has honoured only Icelandic deposit and debts.

      Ireland got itself a huge unsustainable housing bubble. Sound familiar? It chose savage austerity – not to universal agreement – but is now out of trouble but it will take sometime to build up its levels of economic engagement, particularly in the employment area.

      Neither country has even the tiniest percentage of the percapita national debt that the cripples the UK.

      Both countries provide a much better level of social provision in all areas than the UK does and have economic growth far ahead of the UK’s. It has however been the tactic of the unionist to say “look at Ireland” and “look at Iceland” as they know the ill informed among us have been fed and swallowed lies about both these countries.

      As I made clear I couldn’t care less whose arses were on what seats in which locality when the multi national owned RBS made a huge mistake in buying that bank. I’d have let it and its multi national money fiddling owners go to the wall and compensated its Scottish customers and depositors. The Icelandic model in fact.

    406. HYUFD says:

      Iceland actually had a deficit of 13% of GDP in 2008, Ireland 7.4%, the UK only 5.1%, so both Ireland and Iceland have had to implement even more severe austerity measures than the UK. http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/government-deficit_gov-dfct-table-en

      I also would have let some UK banks which asked for bailouts go bust as the US let Lehmans go bust and Iceland let several of its banks go bust. It was of course Scotsman Gordon Brown, who only ever won a majority of seats in Scotland, who bailed out every bank which asked.

      Ireland’s growth was 2.8% in 2014, Iceland’s 3.5%, the UK’s 2.9%, so there was actually little difference between them.

    407. HYUFD says:

      Tackety Beets One would have thought RBS would have done proper due diligence itself before rushing into the purchase of ABMN-Amro.

    408. Tackety Beets says:

      Yes HYUFD , its merely my suspicion as my post says .
      That said Amro maybe knew they had duff stuff and did its utmost to hide all the crap stuff , as you’d expect .

      Dave,
      I agree , the rest off us have to take it on the chin when things go sour financially , seldom anyone to bail us out .
      I thought GB was particularly re-miss and failed to explain why he bailed / funded any bank .
      Let them go bust .
      As an aside , most of us owe the bank O/drafts , mortgage etc so most of us had nothing to loose if they went down ?
      The only people to loose out big time would be those with deposits of more than £36k ? I think it’s now £80k since the drama .
      So the real question is , who’s arse was he , GB , really protecting ?
      The biggest error was his failure to implement any internal changes within the Banks , to turn their losses round to profits , and the most obvious a Repayment Plan !
      Thank again for the info .

    409. HYUFD says:

      Maybe ABN Amro was being crafty, but RBS should still have done its homework properly and that would probably have identified any areas of concern



    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