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Through the vortex again

Posted on June 30, 2014 by

It feels almost insulting to you to even mention this, readers, so we’ll be brief.

Balls seeks to reassure business by pledging to maintain low rate of corporation tax

Because we all know – though the media never mentions it – that Labour’s attitude to Corporation Tax is somewhat different when it’s speaking to a Scottish audience.

We do not want a race to the bottom on corporation tax where big business benefits and the workers on the shopfloor don’t. That might be nationalist politics, Conservative politics, not ours.” (Anas Sarwar, February 2014)

Hmm. Being “committed to maintaining” the lowest Corporation Tax rate among your competitors sounds a lot like the fabled “race to the bottom” to us. After all, it means that if your competitors lower their rates to match yours, you’ll have to cut yours too in order to still be the lowest.

Of course, the “race to the bottom” is a complete myth anyway, but we’re pretty sure that Labour can’t have that one both ways.

“The SNP have a clear commitment to cut Corporation Tax to levels well below that of the rest of the UK.

They have based their whole economic case on the Laffer Curve economic model. The belief in trickle down style Reaganomics.

They want to reduce tax for big business and for the working class that means sharing more of the burden.

That wasn’t in the vision of the Labour movement 100 years ago and it’s not part of our vision now.” (Anas Sarwar, October 2013)

Ed Balls’ speech commits Labour to “reversing” the Tories’ proposed CT cut from 21p to 20p (which hasn’t actually happened yet), but for some reason NOT to reversing the 5p of cuts that Gordon Brown made between 1999 and 2007. When specifically asked by the New Statesman’s George Eaton, the shadow Chancellor reportedly said that he supported the current 21p rate.

eatonballs

We could frankly fill several thousand words just with quotes from Anas Sarwar attacking the SNP’s plans to lower Corporation Tax, so let’s find some different voices.

“We believe that investing in lifelong learning will attract employers to Scotland – not by guaranteeing that you will give multinationals and millionaires a bigger cut in corporation tax than anything the Tories could contemplate.” (Johann Lamont, March 2014)

Bigger than anything the Tories could contemplate? Maybe and maybe not (we suspect the Tories could contemplate pretty big tax cuts), but the SNP’s proposed 3p reduction is still only 60% of what Gordon Brown cut Corporation Tax by when Labour were last in power, and he also promised to cut it further as soon as possible.

These MSPs should explain to their constituents, and people across Scotland, why they are happy to back a near £400 million tax cut to big business in the form of the SNP’s proposed corporation tax cut but not improve wages for working people in Scotland.” (James Kelly MSP, March 2014)

And what of Mr Brown himself?

“In his address Brown said the biggest winners from the SNP’s plans for a 3% corporation tax cut and its refusal to back Labour’s fuel prices freeze were the energy companies built out of the UK’s privatised utilities.

‘”We’ve talked about fat cats. Now we’ve got a new phenomenon – fat Nats. That’s what we’re going to see. The biggest beneficiaries of an SNP government are the privatised utilities in Scotland,’ he said.” (The Guardian, March 2014)

During 13 years of government Labour didn’t renationalise any of the utility companies, they slashed Corporation Tax on them by far more than the SNP propose to, and they have no plans to reverse any of those cuts, or to renationalise the firms if elected in 2015. We’re not aware of the party ever having released a document or statement explaining the apparent U-turn in its stance regarding whether cutting Corporation Tax is a good or bad thing.

Nevertheless, we’re sure there’s a good reason for it which Gordon Brown can readily and easily explain, and that he’ll be rigorously quizzed on it by Scottish journalists the next time he, or anyone else from Scottish Labour, makes a speech condemning the SNP for planning to do, to a lesser degree, what Labour did when last in power.

Elements of the paragraph above may have been sarcastic.

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    1. 30 06 14 15:57

      Through the vortex again | Scottish Independence News

    110 to “Through the vortex again”

    1. Camz says:

      Ed Balls, The quintessential 21st century Westminster politician. No principles. Changes with the wind. Promises the earth. Claims his expenses. Delivers nothing.

    2. Jiggsbro says:

      It’s not hypocrisy. UK Labour is committed to competing with foreigners, which is a good thing. Scotland wants to be the foreigners competing with the UK, which is clearly evil.

    3. MajorBloodnok says:

      Corporation tax isn’t just for big business – AFAIK all businesses pay it, whatever their size. But perhaps Labour don’t know that?

    4. muttley79 says:

      Just as well Anas Sarwar is on the SLAB bus. 😀 😀 I wonder if he will be unavailable to comment on this latest fiasco?

    5. Jim Thomson says:

      @MajorBloodnok

      It would be nice for there to be a threshold on CT, as there is with income tax, so that “micro” companies like mine could try to re-invest that tiny bit more into the business.

      Right enough, there is a starting threshold for CT. It’s £0.00 – extremely helpful.

    6. MajorBloodnok says:

      Labour keep banging on about corporation tax cuts for big businesses, but what is more important is an efficient tax collection regime, not something they are particularly bothered about it would seem.

      The UK tax system is so complicated and is basically unreformable and that’s the way the British Establishment and their tax lawyers and accountants like it.

      After independence I seriously see the rUK leaving the EU and its ‘interferring’ banking regulations and laws and becoming the money laundering capital of the world; though just London mind, with a deprived hinterland of the poor to blame for their ills behind it.

    7. BrianW says:

      They really must think folk are zipped up the back, I swear to god.

      I just wish they could hear themselves. They tangle such a web of pish they forget what they say one minute to the next.

      The Labour Party must have their own version of Countdowns Dictionary Corner. It’s called Contradictory Corner. And todays Nine Letter Contradiction is .. (enter witty A Sarwar punch line..ohh err)

    8. Macart says:

      But, but, but wait now… 😀

      We have it on good authority from no less than Ed’s boss that, and I quote:

      “What does that tell you? It tells you that this is a race to the bottom,” Miliband said. “The race to the bottom is, in the end, the logic of nationalism and I don’t believe that that is the answer. … You don’t tackle social justice by putting up borders”.

      Or was that some other hypocrite. You lose track easily these days.

    9. gordoz says:

      The most blatant hypocracy form the mighty ‘Truth Team’ (??? their words remember).

      So just what exectly is the truth here ? Both positions ??

      Take that to the electorate SLAB.

    10. semus says:

      So Balls is havihg a race to the bottom?Is that why he calls our hereditary MP Anus?

    11. Skip_NC says:

      Greetings from Raleigh, North Carolina. major Bloodnok, you are, of course, quite correct that small companies pay CT as well. Indeed, for much of the time I worked in tax in the UK (I left in 2001) the Small Companies’ Rate was fixed at the basic rate of income tax. In other words, if you were a freelancer with your own small company you paid the same rate of tax as someone who was employed.

      Things have changed quite a bit since I left and I haven’t kept bang up to date with all of them. However, it is clear that the (ahem) debate on CT is about the rate that large companies will pay. It has nothing to do with the vast majority of companies who, in any western economy, provide most of the jobs and create most of the wealth.

    12. Juteman says:

      It’s the dishonesty that makes my blood boll. These Labour drones know their party is saying one thing down south, and the complete opposite up here.
      They are lying to their fellow citizens, and they don’t give a shit. Bastards, the lot of them.

    13. Grouse Beater says:

      One law for England’s United Kingdom, and because they think they can impose it, a useless one for wee Scotland.

    14. seanair says:

      Just a few days ago when he was getting a doing from Denis Canavan, Ian Murray MP also attacked the SNP Govt. for planning to cut CT. Somebody In Labour Party London will have to write a new script for Anwar, Lamont, Murray etc which they will no doubt seamlessly adopt and forget last week’s policy. Principles, what are they?

    15. MajorBloodnok says:

      @seanair

      Yes, Murray was annoyingly smarmy with it too. My bet is it won’t stop them continung with that line of attack as they are safe in the knowledge that the MSM and BBC won’t point out their hypocrisy and lies.

    16. bookie from hell says:

      ED MILL is resident in Scotland till sept 18th

      Stirling Castle,bookies hot fav 1/3

      word hasn’t reached him LOL

    17. MajorBloodnok says:

      @bookie from hell

      I hear there’s some accommodation available in Ferguslie Park he really ought to experience.

    18. heedtracker says:

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jun/30/ed-balls-industrial-policy-pledge-30bn-cities-counties-labour-growth
      is how you try and fail to spin away rancid bettertogether ukok hypocrisy vote no Guardian style. Its a national news paper but their nationness stops dead at Carlisle. Once they’ve gone for good from Scotland, its going to be like escaping from a mad house.

    19. bookie from hell says:

      off topic

      I want to read a historic book Scotland pre 1700

      any recommendations

      bought The Scottish Nation,a modern history T. M. DEVINE

      1700–To present date

    20. mjaei says:

      So within three days we have gone from Miliband attacking the SNP over their corporation tax policy to Balls proudly announcing that under his stewardship the UK will have the lowest corporation tax possible.

      Like you say, Rev, I’m sure the Scottish press will thoroughly scrutinise that little inconsistency.

    21. heedtracker says:

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jun/30/banking-crisis-independent-scotland-the-banker and one more rancid dollop of the Guardian’s who the hell do you lot think you are and who also think Scotland’s populated by the so so stoooopid sweaties.

    22. YESGUY says:

      Every day i see more bull from SLAB and wonder how in hell they are going to face us when a YES vote wins.

      I spoke to many who will never vote Labour again and hope to god the people of Scotland remember this after September. They have lied and cheated us and have dug their own graves. Please give me a shout when it’s time to fill in the grave as i will drop a few SLABS on top incase they try to dig their way out.

      Labour-NO THANKS

      YES, YES please.

    23. Grouse Beater says:

      BfH asks: any recommendations?

      Extrapolating the 1705 book page by page is taking time, Latin elements and all, however this is free:

      Essays in Betrayal 1 (2 & 3) – grousebeater.wordpress

      I’ll leave others to recommend contemporary publications on Scotland’s history pre-Treaty.

    24. joe kane says:

      The lowest corporation tax in Europe with the worst welfare state in Europe. There’s your British Labour Party international socialism for you.

      ps
      The Westminster Parliamentary Labour Party Front Bench has tabled a debate about the Department for Work and Pensions in the House of Commons this afternoon which ought to be hoot, given the fact it supports every single Coalition Government DWP reform and them some (except the bedroom tax which it has recently abandoned given the strength of feedback from Labour Party focus groups – nothing to do with principles of course).

      OPPOSITION DAY (3RD ALLOTTED DAY) – Performance of the Department for Work and Pensions
      Business Today: Chamber for Monday 30 June 2014

    25. Luigi says:

      It’s the dishonesty that makes my blood boll.

      It’s the compliance of the British media in this deception that angers me the most.

      Any journalist with half a brain could easily take these pompous fools apart and expose them for what they are. They could and should have been publically humiliated years ago. And yet, here we are in 2014, and the untouchables are still strutting around on centre stage, spreading their muck.

    26. bookie from hell says:

      thx grouse

    27. chossy says:

      …. Isn’t ed. balls just saying he will keep it as it is, and not lower it more like the SNP want to do? The SNP want to reduce it a further 3%

    28. chossy says:

      edit, no I see so if the other G7 lower their rate then they will follow.

    29. wee mousie says:

      I grew up in Saxony, East Germany and after the wall came down so came our economy.

      Saxony abolished corporation tax for big businesses, the likes of VW, Daimler, BMW settled there and employed tens of thousands of people and today Saxony is one of the richest and best educated part in the whole of Germany.

      Alex knows what he’s doing. He did his homework. Eddy didnae.

    30. Jimbo says:

      Didn’t CBI Scotland also speak out against the SNP’s proposal to cut corporation tax?

      I’m sure they stated that a cut in tax for Scottish businesses would be a bad thing.

    31. heedtracker says:

      Balls “Pledge announced before launch of review that aims to show Labour has ideas beyond tax and spending to boost growth” says anti independence spin machine Guardian, which is pretty good/sneaky spin really. It’s a lot like Milliband scrapping benefits for young people is not austerity cuts, it’s opportunity.

      So if Anas is on say Sarah Smitth dire vote NO 24 thing, what are the chances Anas or Johan waffle away on their “vote no, vote labour, boldly go beyond tax and spend, to boost growth, safety, security, BetterTogether” shyste.

    32. Murray McCallum says:

      Maybe OneNation Labour have found the global “Goldilocks” Corp Tax rate. Any reductions or increases are bad.

      Alternatively, they may be reacting to events and making it up as they go along.

    33. R-type Grunt says:

      Politicians are what they are. Without the media they’d be out of business.

    34. Joe M says:

      Sorry O/T

      I see that the Times and Independent are both running with a story, today, that the tories are planning on integrating income tax and national insurance.

      https://archive.today/uJ19d

      This has been mooted before by a tory think tank. However, it looks like it may be adopted as part of their manifesto. It would be a disaster for many future pensioners. Currently, any income from private pensions, annuities etc, over the personal allowance, are charged at the relevant income tax level but NI is not charged. If this policy is adopted, future pensioners who have paid into company or private pension schemes may find their tax burden increase from 20 to 32%.

      Forget all of Cameron’s annunciations on his “triple-lock” for pensioners, they have a massive granny-tax in the pipeline.

      You cannot trust Westminster with your retirement income.

    35. 'could a said' says:

      One of the most annoying things about this specific point that even those on the Yes side seem to miss that, corporation tax isn’t just paid by big global companies.

      The vast majority of small firms are private limited company’s (some only employing an owner/director) and also pay corporation tax.

      The portrayal of this policy as seeming to show the SNP as supporting tax avoidance corporations like that Google, Amazon and Starbucks etc is utter nonsense and should be challenged much more vigorously on a point of fact.

      I’m not an SNP member or activist but I do support Yes and the Yes campaign. I can also tell you I own half a small Limited company (along with my business partner who is a devout No) and we employ two people.

      We’ve just taken a 10% pay cut to ensure our survival and I can assure you, in the same way that we were extremely grateful for Small Business Rates relief (an SNP government policy), we’d be delighted to be able to pay a little less corporation tax to take some pressure off our finances.

      In conclusion, this is less about objecting to the inaccurate reporting of this issue, which is to be expected. Its as much about what those who are pro-independence ‘could a said’ in defense of this worthwhile aspiration and that the benefit actually spreads around to those a lot less ‘fat cat’ than you might think!

    36. Geoff Huijer says:

      The duplicity is just eye-wateringly sickening.

    37. Andy-B says:

      Anas Sarwar and Ed Balls have been travelling around in Labours battle bus which Sarwar says is now called the “Indyrefexpress.” Sarwar and Balls claim they’ve been blown away by with the support for Labour, Sarwar goes on to claim that people have been stopping him in the street, desperate to sign up as volunteers, for the no camp.

      Sarwar then goes on to claim that there’s genuine outrage on doorsteps directed towards the nationalist by very angry voters. Sarwar goes on to slate the SNP much more in the paper version but here’s the online version.

      No doubt Sarwar and Balls have mention corporation tax, as a weapon against independence even though they’re guilty of hypocrisy as you say.

      http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/opinion/columnists/the-labour-family-is-ready-to-take-on-the-arguments-for-independence-169145n.24596450

    38. Jim Marshall says:

      I doubt if it matters much what Labour come out with now. This guy Miliband is unelectable as a Prime Minister. He will join an ignominious list of Labour losers which includes Gaitskell, Foot and Kinnock. Scotland will be on a different course leading to independence by the time of the UK general election.

    39. Andy-B says:

      Sorry Rev, to go off topic, this is similar to your foodbank story the other day.

      Drumchapel foodbank are finding that people are in such dire straits, that they’re using camping stoves and other devices,indoors to heat food,because they can’t afford gas or electricity, even though they could die from monoxide poisoning.

      http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/food-bank-campaign-glasgow-families-use-camping-stoves-to-cut-fuel-169139n.24536927

    40. G H Graham says:

      As this website has demonstrated before, there is absolutely no effect whatsoever on one country’s corporation tax rate by another, even when they are border neighbours. It makes total sense too because it’s just one of dozens if not hundreds of ways to raise tax.

      Proof here: http://tinyurl.com/bj5d7wk

      Each country has basically the same problem. How do you spend the money collected from all the sources of income including tax? What are the priorities as seen by the government in power?

      To single out any one tax and attempt to define it as a problem because someone intends to lower it or raise it, is meaningless mumbo-jumbo.

      It’s like declaring that the breadwinner in your household has decided to lower the cost of bread by choosing a different brand. It makes no difference to the household budget in itself unless you prioritise the entire income & expense sheet.

      Needless to say but I’ll mention it anyway. There is unlikely to be any inquisition by our stupid print & TV news media because they are indeed either too fucking stupid to do the analysis themselves or perhaps just too lazy to care.

      Either way, the media we get fed with in Scotland is just as bad if not worse, as those lying, money grubbing, bastards in Westminster.

      P.S. Don’t forget to vote YES in September. Just in case you haven’t noticed, your newspapers, Westminster & the BBC think you readers are as thick as pig shit. Voting YES means you have the first & perhaps only chance to do something about it.

    41. alexicon says:

      Gordon Brown who was chancellor then unelected prime minister kept the higher rate of income tax at 40% for 12.5 years of his 13 year tenure at 10 Downing street, only cynically putting the higher rate up to 50% 6 months before the UK general election.
      He looked after the rich while he removed the 10p tax band for the low paid.
      What a hypocrite.

    42. heedtracker says:

      Anas on the Labour in Scotland.com truth team section

      “The Scottish Parliament already has control over enterprise, skills, infrastructure and the key levers needed to grow the Scottish economy but none of these are being used effectively to grow the Scottish economy. The only economic policy Alex Salmond has is to cut tax for big business”

      Will the Anas truth team remove that last sentence although it does explain the colossal spin from the Guardian for example, as in say Balls giving out £30 billion to local business for local peoples safeness in teamGB and it’s definitely not a tax cut for big business, at all, in any way, whatsoever, got that, because that’s all AlicSamin’s wants to do and it’s not on.

    43. I tend to agree with Mrs Darling’s sentiment, though perhaps not her language, on this one regarding her hubby’s Labour colleagues.

      https://archive.today/vdFQb

    44. Haggis Hunter says:

      SLAB will have to dissappear after the Yes vote and re-appear, re-branded and re-modelled as a genuine socialist party. The Torys will need to do the same.
      They are both right of centre, with the extreme right wing UKIP moving up in England, there is only trouble ahead, for England

    45. Robert Peffers says:

      No matter how the referendum goes there will be a reconning in Scottish politics and media.

      Nothing can eventually hide the lies that have been told. There will be several other things happening but the lies will come home to roost. On that day there will be many jounralists and columnist unemployable anywhere in the British Isles and the dole queues will swell with unemployable broadcasters.

      Though not a religious person I have indeed read the Christian Bible and this springs to mind :

      Proverbs 6:16-19:
      “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers”.

      You had better believe that, folks.

    46. Andy-B says:

      What is it about Labour have they no new plan of attack first we have the repeat of corporation tax which, no, wrongly liken to a race to the bottom. Now we have Kezia Dugdale in the London owned and anti-independence, newspaper the Daily Record, harping on about how the SNP’s childcare policy is impossible, and a non starter.

      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/kezia-dugdale-debate-over-childcare-3787500

    47. cirsium says:

      @bookie from hell re History of Scotland

      good general histories
      Scotland: a New History by Michael Lynch

      Scotland: a Short History by Christopher Harvie

      classics
      Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland by Geoffrey W.S. Barrow

      A History of the Scottish People 1560 – 1830 by T. C. Smout

      All these texts have good bibliographies if you are looking for more information on specific topics.

    48. heedtracker says:

      @ Robert Peffers, or as it says on the front of evey progressive liberal Guardian newspaper, “Facts are scared” C P Scott. God only knows what he’d make of the raging hypocrites and vicious liars at the Guardian now. Libby Brooks, Sevein Carrell, Kevin Macenna, the upper class twit of the year editor…

    49. Clootie says:

      @bookie from hell says:
      30 June, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      The Picts – Tim Clarkson

      Covers the birth of the nations / place names / irish connectons / 7 tribes etc – great read and reference book

    50. Clootie says:

      @bookie from hell

      Picts covers 4th to 9th Century mainly

    51. Kev says:

      It looks like the only way Labour’s hypocrisy will be exposed to the Scottish public is when Alex Salmond rips Darling several new erseholes on stv on August 5th, cannae f@cking wait.

    52. heedtracker says:

      TeamGB rules the world and if only we could use trident on the blighters

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/29/andrew-rawnsley-cameron-right-about-juncker-which-makes-his-defeat-worse

      If you want to know why ConDem’s bombed at the EU president elections, Westminster liggers like Rawnsely above can’t or won’t tell you, just that our man was jolly right, as per.

      Then there’s what really happened and why but you won’t read this in any teamGB media ever because this is not right wing UKOK propaganda.

      http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/06/30/federalism-or-deconstructing-unionism/

    53. Clootie says:

      All those years that Labour could have one headline in England and another in Scotland gone!

      The must be heartbroken that their two faces can now been seen at the same time AND recorded, enabling the reminding of what they said and did at home and in Westminster.

      The one good thing that will come out of this is that the good Labour party members will recover control of their party.

    54. Les Wilson says:

      What is showing through in all of this, is the utter incompetence of Westminster politicians of all colours.
      As my mother used to say, to be a good liar, you need a
      good memory, and lying is only one of their faults.

      Obviously most of them did not come from a working class background, or they would know that.
      They do not teach streetwise common sense! at Oxford et al!

    55. bookie from hell says:

      thx clootie

    56. Defo says:

      Corporation tax isn’t just about the big boy’s, like Soutar or Weir.

      Labour policy shmolacy anyhoo, John Cruddas let slip the fact that focus groups reflecting the wants of those voters in marginals sets the party policy agenda.

      Same as it ever was.

      If a cut in corp tax suits ‘the firm’, & those marginals, it’s in the manifesto.

      Power for its own sake.

      Can anyone guess where Trident will go ? They’ve done a lovely graphic, maybe a sweepstakes ?

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28009977

      They left out Daltons, but Kings Bay is looking good.
      I doubt the entente cordial is THAT strong, but oh, the humiliation.

      Barrow it is then. I wonder if Daltons have a branch there ?
      You could do another sweepstakes, on who gets the vacant permanent seat at the security council ?

    57. Democracy Reborn says:

      “United with Hypocrites”?

      “Vote No Principles”?

      “Bullshit Together”?

      All of the above?

    58. Defo says:

      Ps I really think that we have moved into a position, that not only are the establishment keeking themselves, they have moved on too. Lots of stories starting with the presumption of us winning.

      Publish the secret poll fearties. We paid for it !

    59. Kryczek says:

      Thorougly recommend Tam Devine’s book it was a good read if a bit heavy on the numbers for me.

    60. Grouse Beater says:

      BfH Says: Thanks, Grouse.

      You’re welcome.

      There’s a wonderful book by an American academic entitled, “How The Scots Invented the Modern World.”

      It’s an entertaining as well as an eye opening guide to clever Scots, too many of them unsung heroes.

    61. muttley79 says:

      @heedtracker

      As far as I am aware Kevin McKenna is going to vote Yes. Libby Brooks has written good articles on the grassroots Yes campaign. I get you on Severin though.

    62. Defo says:

      I wonder if those 5,200 people living within 5 km of armageddon central (They say Faslane, but the real action is at Coulport obvs) feel a bit unloved.

      Maybe they can reconcile themselves that they are taking the hit for many more of our friends in Portsmouth. In a sharing, all in it together, spirit of the blitz kinda way.

    63. heedtracker says:

      @ muttley79, Carrell is a hatchet man and Brooks etc are much the same but they try to be more subtle, like the CND badge in Full Metal Jacket or the smiley face badge in Watchmen. They no doubt use smiley face Libby Brooks to try and keep from looking exactly like the Torygraph etc but check out the Brooks shyste on the STV Darling/Salmond debate and how it was all just a silly wee Scottish “stooshie.”

    64. heedtracker says:

      @ muttley79, the Guardian discuss teamGB media phoney’s like Brooks and Mackenna here, although they don’t approve of “fake intimacy” except when they do it with their sucker readers in Scotland ofcourse.

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/25/rebekah-brooks-journalists-politicians-phone-hacking-trial

    65. Jimbo says:

      @ Bookie from Hell:

      May I recommend Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser. I do not think you will find a more comprehensive biography on Queen Mary anywhere else.

      Read how Scotland almost became a French dominion:

      There was an open treaty signed prior to the wedding that stated the French king and the dauphin and their successors, in the event of Mary’s death (if she were childless) would support the rights of her nearest kin by blood to the Scottish throne. At the time of this treaty her nearest kin was the Duke of Hamilton.

      There was also a second treaty that the Scots had no knowledge of and were not told of.

      Prior to the marriage, the French, knowing that the Dauphin would produce no heirs, and keeping this knowledge from Mary, they managed to persuade her into signing 3 secret documents:

      1. In the event of Mary dying childless, Scotland and Mary’s rights to the English crown were to become the property of France.

      2. Scotland and all its revenue were to become the property of the French crown until Scotland repaid France all the money France had spent in the defence of Scotland.

      3. Mary renounced any former agreements she had made of her estates.

      This meant that in the event of Mary dying childless, Scotland was to become a French dominion.

      As for them being sure Mary would die childless: The Dauphin’s testicles had not descended. Something that should have happened naturally by the time he was four years of age.

      Fortunately for Scotland she outlived the Dauphin (Francis II).

    66. Clootie says:

      @bookie from hell

      You must read this sometime (not if you have high blood pressure)

      http://www.andywightman.com/?page_id=1082

    67. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      O/T – Popped into the YES shop in Inverness today for a chat.

      This news is 2nd hand, but apparently they have been notified of some amazingly good canvassing results from Aberdeen (not sure which part of the City).

    68. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Calgacus, there’s a fine saltire on the wall there, btw the shop is at the end of Union…Street

    69. BigRik says:

      They will say and do ANYTHING, to cling onto their expenses, and 2 week fact-finding trip to Barbados to discuss public transport 🙂

    70. HandandShrimp says:

      I bet Johann is so astonished her brass neck is gleaming red

    71. Liquid Lenny says:

      bookie from hell

      Warlords and Holy men – Alfred P Smyth
      The Sea Kingdoms Alistair Moffat
      Macbeth Peter Berresford Ellis

      All very good, however the Macbeth one which is hard to get these days Try ABE books, is well worth a read for the
      story of the Historical Macbeth and not the creation dreamt up by Shakespeare.

    72. Nation Libre says:

      To correct the Major B, not all companies pay CT, just small and medium sized ones, it seems! You are correct however, small guys benefit, lots of ordinary self employed people just making a wage

    73. R whittington says:

      What are all your thoughts on peanut butter? Smooth or crunchy?

    74. Neil Waugh says:

      I know this is a little off the ball but I also know the Rev loves a good laff.
      So just wait until we read how the MSM chancers twist themselves in knots trying to debunk today’s British Geological Survey report.
      Revealing there’s a MASSIVE OIL AND GAS PLAY in central Scotland just waiting to be drilled. (And because it’s a tight shale, also fraced.)
      With a potential 6 billion barrels of oil and another 80 trillion cubic metres of gas in situ.
      They’re already calling it “modest.”
      Where in reality it’s what oil and gas guys call an ELEPHANT.
      Stay tuned. Because it’s going to get real weird real fast.

    75. alexicon says:

      @calgasus macandrew.

      The results of #Seaton #Aberdeen #MassCanvass are in too: 62 canvassers, over 400 conversations; 39% Undecided; 44% YES; 17% No

      Wee tip. Go to their, or any other area, Facebook page.

      https://www.facebook.com/YesScotlandAberdeen

    76. handclapping says:

      If you have a virulent nut allergy you should try it

    77. dennis mclaughlin says:

      Twisted, lying Scotlab Thugs in suits…..same old.

    78. Alan Mackintosh says:

      O/T Can anyone point me to the website which has a collection of Indy posters on it. Have seen it linked before on here but forgot to bookmark it. Want to print some off for Inverness Yes shop.

    79. punklin says:

      I suppose you could say, when it comes to business taxes, Ed Miliband doesn’t know his Anas from his EdBalls…

      (oh well, please yersel!)

    80. Walking on Sunshine says:

      The main race to the bottom is between what Labour says to a Scottish audience and what it says to an English audience.

      The one that tells the biggest whopper and gets away with it is the winner.

    81. Jim Marshall says:

      Grouse Beater 4.02

      “There’s a wonderful book by an American academic entitled, “How The Scots Invented the Modern World.”

      I found this book heavy going and have not finished it even although I”ve started it several times.

      Bill Brysons ” A short history of nearly everything” is excellent light reading with some added humour and a lot of achievements by Scots scientists and social pioneers are described in detail. Bryson really gave the Scots recognition for the development of civilisation.

    82. Dan Huil says:

      Labour politicians will continue to utter such duplicitous cant smug in the knowledge the unionist media will give it full backing.

    83. alexicon says:

      It gets worse for Labour.
      A new Ashcroft survey poll has put the Tories on 33% and Labour on 31%.
      I thought opposition parties were supposed to lead at this stage of a government term?

    84. alexicon says:

      @Alan Mackintosh.

      Do you mean this one?

      http://www.indyposterboy.info

    85. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Alexicon, yep thats the one, guess the clue is in the name…doh!

      Ta!

      I know we shouldn’t feed them but is someone upthread trying to attract squirrels…

    86. Boorach says:

      @ Calgacus

      Where is the Yes shop in Inverness?

    87. Fireproofjim says:

      Bookie from hell.
      A great history of Scotland from earliest times (and very readable) is “The Lion in the North” by John Prebble.
      I checked and it is available from Amazon from £2.50.

    88. Dan Huil says:

      @ Boorach
      The unofficial[?] Yes shop in Inverness is the Gellions pub on Bridge Street. That’s my excuse, anyway.

    89. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Boorach, its at the end of Union… street. Opposite the Railway station at the Caley (Mercure)hotel end

    90. Robert Peffers says:

      @Boorach says: 30 June, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      “Where is the Yes shop in Inverness”.

      Err! Boorach, Isn’t it in Inverness?
      ;-))

      I’ll get my coast!

    91. Lesley-Anne says:

      Dammit Robert you beat me to it. 😉

      I’m right behind you, just fetching ma coat. 😛

    92. Morag says:

      “Facts are scared.”

      I’ll just bet they are, if they realise Severin is eyeing them up.

    93. clochoderic says:

      Major Bloodnok,

      Re. Milliband coming to stay in Feegie Park while he’s in Scotland, I am sure he and local cooncillur, comrade Terry Kelly, will find much in common to discuss regarding social policy. Here is Terry’s reaction to the story about the Maryhill food bank:

      “Well Mr. /Ms Anonymous what a terrible story, a woman and her 2 children going without food for 4 days, did they have to walk several miles in their bare feet through howling winds and driving rain to get there as well?. No wonder you prefer anonymity, what a crock of bulldung. If your social worker with 20 years experience actually exists, you should ask her what caused this catastrophic breakdown in the social work system which has provision to make sure that such an incident could not happen. Hyperbole is difficult to avoid when you are an idiot.”

      Sunday, June 29, 2014 3:15:00 pm

      For those of you unfamiliar with the name, this is no random internet troll – these are the considered words of an elected SLAB politician for one of the areas of the worst social deprivation in the whole of the UK, on his own blog, in reference to a genuine case of hardship widely reported on here and elsewhere.

      Milliband and Terry could chat about the good old days when Terry’s mates were able to buy all the good cooncil hooses.

    94. Nana Smith says:

      Slab are a festering boil ready to be lanced so that what is left of the body may recover.

      Kelly is just part of the infection…

    95. crazycat says:

      @ Bookie from Hell –

      I recently gave someone this – http://www.word-power.co.uk/books/scottish-independence-and-the-idea-of-britain-I9780748623600/ (paperback, much cheaper) – as a present and intend to read it myself when she’s finished with it. It doesn’t cover the entire period you mention.

      There’s also this – http://www.word-power.co.uk/books/a-peoples-history-of-scotland-I9781781682845/ – which I haven’t read, and which also includes more recent Scottish history.

    96. Capella says:

      @ bookie from hell 2:12
      There’s Tom Steel ” Scotland’s Story” Fontana/Collins and Channel Four 1984
      T C Smout “A History of the Scottish People 1560 – 1830” Fontana Press 1969
      Haven’t checked amazon but they may still be in print.

    97. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Alexicon, there is this one as well, eventually found it

      http://www.pinterest.com/stewartbremner/scottish-independence-posters/

    98. Brian Powell says:

      Labour still can’t admit to themselves it doesn’t matter what they ‘win’ in Scotland, Westminster decides.

    99. Capella says:

      @ bookie from hell
      Also if you like a reconstruction of social history through the clues in poetry then this book is great – “A Midsummer Eve’s Dream, Variations on a Theme By William Dunbar [Hardcover]” only available second hand for £3.70
      It analyses the poem “The Twa Married Women and the Widow”.

    100. Boorach says:

      @All

      Many thanks for info and smile. Had a good day which seemingly just goes on and on. 🙂

    101. heedtracker says:

      Morag says:
      30 June, 2014 at 6:04 pm
      “Facts are scared.”

      I’ll just bet they are, if they realise Severin is eyeing them up.

      Lol. Great stuff Morag

    102. cynicalHighlander says:

      @Robert Peffers

      Inverness is a one system from end to tother so routes have to be planned well in advance otherwise the magic roundabout comes out to play.

    103. geeo says:

      I think everyone on here is being a bit harsh on the MSM.

      How on earth can you expect them to delve into and report the nuts and bolts of the referendum issues, then write articles, arrange interviews so they can present these new facts to Better Together on tv radio,papers etc when they are spending all day on wings over scotland reading about everything which is ACTUALLY going on…..

    104. Paula Rose says:

      I think geeo has a point – if we all keep quiet they will have to… nope geeo… xx

    105. Robert Peffers says:

      @Lesley-Anne says: 30 June, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      “Dammit Robert you beat me to it.

      I’m right behind you, just fetching ma coat”.

      Aye! Lesley-Anne and even although it was way back in the 1940s I can still hear Big Johnny, (English Teacher and hardest swinger of the, “Lochgelly”, in the school), saying, “That should be, Where in Inverness is …, Peffers, hold out your hand”. Either that or, if he was within range, the swish of the descending blackboard pointer upon my head.

    106. Lesley-Anne says:

      Ha you were lucky it was only the blackboard pointer. My English teacher had a knack of throwing the blackboard duster, the one that had a wood centre and cloth outer, around the class at anyone who fell asleep. If it wasn’t that it was getting the pupil behind you to drop their heaviest book on your head. 😛

      As you’ll recall kids are such caring individuals no one would possibly have agreed to do such a thing. 😉

    107. Paula Rose says:

      There is justness – we can not live in all honesty in a land where a mother is starving – FOR FUCKS SAKE WAKE UP AND GET OUT THERE,START TALKING, see what I mean?

    108. Appleby says:

      And the saddest part is that Wings makes it all clear and shows how easy it would be for journalists to do an honest job. They could easily add 2+2 and get 4 like this but instead they don’t even try. The UK media are are (or have already) becoming a mindless propaganda machine.



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