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Tilting at windmills

Posted on April 10, 2015 by

With the “biggest party forms the government” lie now sunk and rusting slowly on the seabed (weighed down even further by polls suggesting that Labour actually will be the largest party even if they lose all of Scotland to the SNP), and four weeks of campaigning left to fill, Scottish Labour have had to grab a hammer, smash the glass on the “EMERGENCY – IN CASE OF DESPERATION” box and clutch desperately at whatever they found inside.

worstfisc

The abject answer is “Project Fear 2 – This Time It’s Full Fiscal Autonomy”.

Ed Miliband and Ed Balls came to Scotland this morning to unleash a three-pronged assault on Scottish self-confidence. With Miliband on “too wee”, Balls on “too poor” and Murphy on “too stupid”, they stood up and tried for 40 minutes to terrify voters with something that’s never going to happen, whoever wins the election.

The new bogeyman is the £7.6bn “black hole” that would allegedly be brought about by Scotland being given full control of its own economy, laying waste to every public service along the way in a blood-curdling bonfire of benefits and the Barnett Formula.

mcclymont

It’s hard to know where to begin listing the huge, gaping holes in the argument, so we’ll just focus on the two biggest ones.

The first is that Labour are comparing this nightmarish future with the status quo, which is disingenuous because the Barnett Formula is on the way out anyway. Under the Smith Commission proposals, the UK government has already explicitly stated that Barnett will be slashed to account for Scotland collecting its own income tax.

But the Smith recommendations also insist that there must be “no detriment” to either Scotland or the rUK as a result of those changes, so the idea that getting rid of the rest of Barnett would leave Scotland £7.6bn worse off is plainly a lie. (Labour’s figure also assumes the oil price never recovers from its current low, though it’s widely predicted to rise very substantially in the near future.)

Nevertheless, FFA is currently a weakness in the SNP’s policy position. Before the referendum we identified it as a trap, and they’ve rather carelessly blundered into it. But it’s a cage with an open door. The strange thing is that the party arguing for FFA can neither offer nor deliver it, whereas the parties who warn it would be a catastrophe are the only ones who CAN implement it, and have already categorically stated that they won’t do it, thereby instantly disarming their own dire warnings.

The Smith Commission report, agreed by all five parties who signed it, absolutely ruled FFA out. It asserted that most tax and almost all of welfare – that is, the vast bulk of government revenue and spending – had to remain reserved to Westminster. That position was arrived at on the insistence of the three Unionist parties, and none of them have shifted an inch on Smith since (except backwards).

The maximum possible number of seats the SNP can win next month is 59, out of the 650 in the House Of Commons. Labour and the Tories are likely to take somewhere in the region of 550 between them. Just two days ago, Jim Murphy explicitly stated during the BBC debate that Labour would vote against any FFA proposals.

Keen students of arithmetic will have noted that you can’t win a vote with 59 out of 650 MPs. Even if the Nats could somehow persuade everyone in Parliament other than Labour and the Tories to back FFA, they’d still be well over 200 votes short of passing it. It simply isn’t going to happen.

And we also know that there’s no chance of it being agreed as a concession in a deal. Labour have expressly rejected the idea, saying that they’ll give the SNP nothing and dare them to vote Labour out, while the SNP have committed themselves implacably and unequivocally to never dealing with the Conservatives.

FFA, then, is a totally phantom threat. Scottish Labour, unable to land a single blow on the real Nats, has been reduced to jousting with ghosts. The SNP’s defence – “We want this bad thing, but luckily you’re never going to give us it so it doesn’t really matter” – is a bit rubbish, but has the significant advantage of being completely true.

Its other main plus point is of course that the line Scottish Labour are pushing – “We and the Tories guarantee to absolutely prevent this thing from ever happening, but oh boy, if it ever DID you’d regret it” – is even weaker. If FFA is all Jim Murphy and his ailing troops have got in the next four weeks, they’ve really got SFA.

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    344 to “Tilting at windmills”

    1. Kevin evans says:

      I constantly work on my neighbours who are labour drones – like one who made the point during the refurendum that his holidays in Spain would be at risk if we didn’t get a currency union!!!! I know, but he’s dumb. Well this same neighbour today told me how we’d be in financial ruin at the moment due to oil prices. The dreaded burden of oil once again being used to make us think were dependant on the uk for hand outs. This will always be a hard one to over come but we have to keep reminding folk oil is only a bonus, not what we base our whole economy on. But it’s sad to say some labour voters will never move.

    2. Ross says:

      Full Fiscal Autonomy is not a trap. It’s independence in all but name. It’s Home Rule, Devo Max, what Keir Hardie wanted and what a evidencial majority in Scotland have wanted for the last four years, at least. If, due to a couple of bad economic years under the status quo, we’re unwilling to enunciate the obvious advantages of full control over the economy (minus a payment for foreign affairs, army) then we’re as well not bothering with independence either.

      Worrying development when we’re calling FFA a trap. Westminster weren’t proposing to vote through independence either. Should we have just packed up and gone home, then?

      Have we genuinely got a point where after giving the Unionist parties pelters for not delivering Devo Max (as heavily implied to the electorate in the Vow) that we are distancing ourselves from the next staging post to independence?

      Incredible. By this logic, we should never have bothered with the dogs breakfast that is the current Scotland Act.

    3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Worrying development when we’re calling FFA a trap.”

      It’s not a “development”. We’ve been saying it since months before the referendum. It’s the worst of both worlds – responsibility for a country that’s inherently more expensive to run than the rest of the UK, but without the ability to make savings in some very big budgets. An FFA Scotland would still be stuck with a multi-billion-pound share of the bills for Trident and the misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, for a start.

      There are broader reasons to argue for it, but at this precise moment in time the numbers are just a giant stick for the Unionist parties to beat the SNP with.

    4. Mosstrooper says:

      Kevin Evans

      the solution with your Einstein of a neighbour should take this form, Ask him what the price of a barrel of oil will be in 12 months or 6 months or three or next week. Then tell him to buy oil shares based on his forecasts.

    5. Stoker says:

      Project Fear 2 does not exist.

      Project Fear, Smear, Lie & Manipulate has been ongoing for a few hundred years. Cranked up or toned down to suit the political climate at any given time.

      The Unionists (mainly Labour) are promoting the FFA myth because WOS smashed their previous wee deceitful scheme, in conjunction with the BBC, when they denied Crash Broon ever said “Devo Max’.

      VOTE SNP.

    6. lumilumi says:

      Sorry, haven’t even read the whole of Rev Stu’s article but – being a dutiful Wings reader, clicked on the second link which took me to a Guardian article, started reading and ground to a halt reading this:

      The polls were all conducted before the Tories launched a raw personalised attack on the Labour leader on Thursday, accusing him of being willing to stab the country in the back and abandon Trident, Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent, to gain power.

      Whit?!?

      Stab the country (which country???) in the back???

      Later, much later, in the Graun article you get a partial explanation for the words used by Patrick Wintour, Graun political editor in the second paragraph. Strange journalistic writing.

    7. Lollysmum says:

      Oh Labour-you really haven’t thought this through have you. The more you say, the more laughable your arguments become.
      Dismantled by the Rev before Ed had chance to get back to the safety of London 🙂

      Project Fear 2-alive but barely kicking.Bwaaaaaaaaa!

    8. Johnny says:

      Ross @ 4:55

      We won’t be getting FFA anyway, so the point is moot. The most the unionist parties are willing to grant is what we saw in Smith, i.e. allowed to collect much less than half the tax for ourselves. Nowhere near FFA, nowhere near good enough. Anything they offer except indy will be some dog’s breakfast that suits them to grant, not for the good of Scotland.

    9. Dr Jim says:

      Wait and watch…

    10. Les Wilson says:

      As all the Unionist parties, who are not fond of us Scots despite their love in, do not want this under any circumstances.

      For us, it should be a reason FOR wanting it.
      As it tells a story, and that is that they are frantic of Scots getting too powerful, that we might just do things right, and show them up for what they are. We also may cause a change of thinking in England, and the just could not allow that.

      Add in the thought of a democratic Scotland on the near horizons and all that means for THEM,they will try everything to thwart our democratic movement. Propaganda, lies, threats, all the stuff they threw during Indy.

      Propaganda is a way to steal your vote from you, do not let it happen this time.
      It is time we thought of our own. Vote SNP.

    11. One_Scot says:

      Seriously, just looks at those two parasites. Really, who in their right mind would vote for any of them.

    12. Marcia says:

      Cue – solemn music

      ‘Labour in Scotland is dead’ a Scottish Labour MP confirms;

      https://archive.today/raBa2

      – an article in the Telegraph

    13. Juteman says:

      Stop calling it FFA. It’s Home Rule, simply what we were promised if we voted No.

    14. Linda McFarlane says:

      Swinney just buried BBC news over 7.8 billion black hole.

      High Five Stuart

    15. galamcennalath says:

      I’m confused. FFA means we keep all tax, run almost everything and write a cheque for defence and diplomacy to WM. Why is that a trap? It is economic independence, but not full independence on the world stage. It would be a step forward. I see nothing negative about FFA.

      (Other than, it’s unlikely delivery might delay full independence.)

      Having said that, there is not a snowball in Hell’s chance that any WM party will deliver it to Scotland. So Stu is correct in saying the Unionists are attacking something that will never actually happen. That bit I get and agree with.

      We can take full independence, but we must be given FFA. And, they won’t be giving it, ever.

    16. Alastair says:

      Sorry to go at this one again.

      Threats and blackmail to our seniors about their pensions should be completely off limits by all parties. Its abhorrent and they deserve better.

    17. desimond says:

      Lsbour promise sweet FFA!!

    18. Kevin Evans says:

      Just watching the news about the pollution hitting the UK from Africa and the Med.

      Thank god we have trident.

    19. Linda McFarlane says:

      oops! so excited I mixed my elected representatives up.

      Stuart Hosie – High Five

    20. desimond says:

      The FFA argument was destroyed when Saviour Jimsus said we would miss out on all that South England mansion tax…job done!

    21. Ross says:

      “Keen students of arithmetic will have noted that you can’t win a vote with 59 out of 650 MPs.”

      So Devo Max can only come about via pressure from an SNP majority in the Scottish Parliament, presumably.

      “The Smith Commission report, agreed by all five parties who signed it, absolutely ruled FFA out.”

      Correct. At the time, we raged against that as it controvened what we were apparantly offered in the Vow. Is that the end of the matter? Hardly. I thought Smith was to be discredited, not pinned as the tomb of time.

      “Nevertheless, FFA is a weakness in the SNP’s policy position”

      Is it the Wings Over Scotland position that Devo Max is not desirable for Scotland?

    22. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      I always find it useful to remind voters on the doorstep that Ed Miliband’s Red Tories will keep privatising the NHS just like Blair did till you have to pay to see doctors and pay for operations.

      We’ll see who the scottish public trusts the most when it comes right down to it.

    23. Robert Louis says:

      Firstly, wholly agree with what Ross says at 455pm.

      Secondly, the demands of the SNP are not about what they can win a vote on, as they cannot win a vote on anything in Westminster. The whole point, is to work vote by vote with Labour, possibly in a confidence and supply arrangement, but NOT a formal coalition. In such a situation and holding the balance of power, the SNP will set out its demands in order to put and keep Ed in number 10 for a whole five years.

      There is one more factor that I think Rev Stu is missing here, and that is this, come the 8th May, and there are almost no Scottish Labour MP’s, do any of us seriously think Ed will worry about those MP’s he has lost in Scotland? I don’t think so, The pressure will be on Ed from his own rUK (mainly England) Labour MP’s to ‘do a deal’ with the SNP.

      In that scenario I have described above, Scotland will have been effectively lost for Labour anyway, so they will no longer have anything to lose by agreeing to full fiscal autonomy or something similar/more powers for Scotland. The only reason they currently oppose it, is because of EVEL, and their current dependence upon Scottish Labour MP votes in Westmidden.

      Anyway, none of us really know how any of this will play out. In my opinion, of course Labour will do a deal with the SNP – otherwise the English Labour MP’s would possibly literally crucify Milliband.

      When Milliband has the choice – the one and only chance in his life – to be PM in number 10 or not, the deal will be done.

    24. Juteman says:

      A Home Rule / FFA Scotland could say GIRUY to the UK if it didn’t want to fund its world power adventures. How is this a trap?

    25. Andrew Morton says:

      FFS!

    26. jake says:

      If you’re a UK pensioner living in Spain or Florida or wherever, your UK pension is safe. Spain and the US are fiscally autonomous and there’s no Barnett Arrangement with these countries. Why would it be that only Scottish pensioners alone in world would be worse off and denied the pension they’ve paid into?

    27. Bob Mack says:

      The one brain cell among the collective,received a signal from the synapse that this had worked before, so why not again?
      Answer—- because we know better now.No more fear.No more scares.No more doubt.
      More importantly,this is a general election,not a referendum.
      On a further note ,I really am having quite a time believing that these people are at the apex of a politicl party.It just defies belief.

    28. tartanfever says:

      The SNP response broadcast on the BBC radio was ‘it’s a smear/project fear etc’.

      Whereas what should have been pointed out is that currently the UK has an annual black hole of £100bn and the much larger black hole of £1.5t. In response to pension accusations, they could have pointed out that if pension liabilities are included in UK debt figures (insanely, they are not) then that UK total debt figure rises to a mindblowing £4 trillion.

      Indeed, the SNP could have said, hold on, what was the annual black hole the last time we had a Labour govt, oh that’s right £160bn’

      There’s a whole raft of figures and data to respond with, yet we get ‘it’s a smear campaign’

      I don’t know who the PR and media people are at the SNP, but they need to get their finger out. We went through this 8 months ago, let’s not do it again.

    29. Ross says:

      Apologies if I’m over-egging the point, Rev.

      So we should be “holding the Unionists’ feet to the fire to deliver Devo Max” is something that the SNP should categorically not do, in your opinion?

    30. faolie says:

      Hmmm, thought I understood FFA too, until I read this. @galamcennalath says: I’m confused. You’re not the only one mate.

      So what’s the difference between FFA and Home Rule? If home rule, aka devo max, is control over all income and expenditure, then what’s FFA? If, as the Rev says above in a reply, that with FFA we’d still be stuck with Trident and foreign wars, how is that FFA? NFFA maybe (nearly full fiscal autonomy).

    31. call me dave says:

      @Marcia: Loved this bit in the article!

      ————————————-
      The MP added: “Gordon Brown is a without doubt the best orator of his generation. He is actually better than [Alex] Salmond, he is a better debater when he wants to be.
      “In environments which he is comfortable, in packed rooms, he will genuinely blow doors off. There is no politician in either parliament who comes close to him.”
      ……………………………………………

      Only works if it’s an invited labour audience the rest of us mortals are not allowed in to question the dinosaur.

      Solemn music:

      Good choice is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KylMqxLzNGo

    32. CyberMidgie says:

      FFA is not a trap.

      The trap lies in what else Westminster would do to us using FFA as a smokescreen.

      For example, they’d probably try to claim that North Sea oil belongs to the UK as a whole, and retain those taxes at Westminster despite the fact that 85% of those taxes are levied on oil from Scottish waters.

      If they did do something like that, the SNP would complain long and loud about the way we were being shafted, then use it as a demonstration of why we should be independent.

      On the other hand, if we get a fair FFA settlement, the SNP can bide its time, let the people of Scotland see that it really can work, then use it as a demonstration of how we can be independent.

      Finally, if we don’t get FFA, the SNP can point to the way Westminster ignores the clear wishes of the Scottish people, then use it as a demonstration of why we should be independent.

      Win – win – win, as long as we, the Scottish people, keep our end up by sending as many SNP MPs to Westminster as possible.

    33. Onwards says:

      http://www.thenational.scot/comment/gordon-macintyre-kemp-scare-stories-are-designed-to-rob-us-of-the-powers-we-were-promised.1932

      Great article in the National today by Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp.

      “Westminster parties don’t want Scotland to have more power, because if we made it work it would mean in a future referendum they wouldn’t be able to create uncertainty and fear.”

    34. RMF Brown says:

      Well, if FFA is a trap, and we’re unlikely to have another indy referendum for a few years, why are voting SNP on May 7th?

      What’s Scotland getting out of this if we return 50 SNP MPs?

    35. Author_Al says:

      Glad you put this post up, Stu. Just now BBC Radio anti-Scotland were banging on in their news report that Scotland would be 7 billion worse off, which is plainly a big fat rollicking porky.

      Now, there was no challenge to this – because the reporter was simply indirectly quoting Milipede and Camoron. There was a very feeble addition that Nicola wants FFA to counter austerity. There was no analysis that the 7 billion odd figure is dodgy and based on shifting sands…oil, etc.

      The fact that SNP will have to prop up a complete talentless arse such as Miliband also grates on me at the moment.

      The ‘news’ was then followed by a crap conversation between the presenter and some bloke who chatted about the inaccurate smearing of Nicola as if it were all a biit of fun, and echoing indirectly the assertion by Carmichael that it’s just the game of politics.

      Jeez, the BBC journalists in Scotland are by and large a bunch of…

    36. Lollysmum says:

      Press release from SNP
      SNP message to Miliband and Balls: “Haste ye back”

      Fri, 10/04/2015 – 17:09
      Commenting after the campaign visit by Labour leader Ed Miliband and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls to Edinburgh today, SNP Depute Leader Stewart Hosie said:

      “The SNP’s message to Ed Miliband and Ed Balls is ‘haste ye back’ – they are a very big part of the reason for Labour’s decline in the polls in Scotland. They represent the Westminster establishment – who were joined at the hip with the Tories in the referendum – that the people of Scotland want an alternative to.

      “We have the extraordinary situation of a Labour leader being even more unpopular in Scotland than a Tory Prime Minister – and a Scottish Labour leader who the polls show did even less well in a debate than a Scottish Tory leader.

      “And Ed Balls is the Shadow Chancellor who committed the Labour Party to Tory austerity cuts, which is their key weakness in this campaign.

      “People are moving to the SNP because they want a real alternative, and a strong voice for Scotland at Westminster.”

      Today’s YouGov poll shows the net satisfaction ratings as follows:
      Nicola Sturgeon: +48
      Ed Miliband: -46
      David Cameron: -25
      Jim Murphy: -18

      And of those who watched the two-hour STV debate on Tuesday, the winner was
      judged as follows in the YouGov poll:
      Nicola Sturgeon: 56%
      Ruth Davidson: 14%
      Jim Murphy: 13%
      Willie Rennie: 1%

      44% of Labour voters said Jim Murphy was the winner, while 88% of SNP voters judged Nicola Sturgeon best.
      ————————————————-

      Guess they aren’t taking any crap from Labour & clearly not afraid to say so. Nice one SNP 🙂

    37. DickieT says:

      So in effect rUK subsidises Scotland by £7.6bn per year? Good to know. Thanks guys.

      BTW – its BS…..

    38. muttley79 says:

      I don`t agree that FFA is a bad thing. It would give us powers over everything apart from defence, and a few other areas. The gap between FFA and full independence is far smaller than the current status quo to independence. It would mean we had our own tax base, almost taxation powers, all welfare powers, all energy powers, broadcasting based in Scotland. I believe FFA would give the people of Scotland much more confidence.

      I am a gradualist supporter of independence. I think it is going to be a hard sell getting more than 50 per cent to vote for independence from the status quo at the moment or Smith Commission proposals. I am not convinced by your arguments against FFA Rev Stu. Scotland would have a lot more power under FFA.

    39. K1 says:

      The branch of the Labour party in Scotland don’t do ‘dying with dignity’ do they?

      Doesn’t matter what you say Labour, doesn’t matter how you spin the numbers, doesn’t matter how much you try to scare us.

      It’s Not Going To Work.

      We’ve had it! Done, Over, The End…You are A Dead Parrott. Amen.

    40. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      This all comes down to trust and where it comes to trust from the scottish public wee Miliband, Balls and Murphy are fucked.

      However, the most hilarious thing about this incompetent scaremongering is that these red tory idiots are repeating the precise same mistakes they made in 2011.

      Read on and laugh. 😀

      ***From the Spectator 25 April 2011***

      Balls and Miliband to rescue Labour’s Scottish campaign…

      Can Ed Miliband and Ed Balls save Labour in Scotland? The two Labour heavyweights have decided to move in to rescue their party’s disastrous campaign in Scotland — with Balls being sent up north to sharpen his party’s teeth. A desperate measure for a desperate situation: Labour has not only blown a 10-15 point lead over the SNP in just a few weeks, but now languishes some 10-13 percentage points behind. A mammoth, humiliating defeat looms.

      Until now, Labour has liked to portray its campaign for the Holyrood elections as a totally Scottish affair: run in Scotland, organised in Scotland and led by Scottish politicians. Not any more.

      Senior staffers in Ed Miliband’s office started briefing Scottish hacks last night that Miliband is now going to take a much more “hands on” approach to the campaign. Miliband has only made one, brief appearance in the campaign so far. But he and Ed Balls are due to be in Scotland this week to push a more strident “anti-independence” message.

      Gordon Brown has also only appeared on the campaign trail once so far, and that was to meet a few voters within easy reach of his home. But he is also due to take a more active part in the Scottish
      Labour campaign this week.

      Will it work? Scottish politicians are rightly wary of involving Westminster leaders too much because they tend to run against the semi-autonomous spirit of devolution. The leader of Scottish MSPs, Iain Gray, will know he risks being ridiculed as someone who needed to be saved by his party bosses from London.

      Yet Labour managers must have weighed up these risks and decided it was still worth sending for the cavalry — in the form of Balls and Miliband. And this is not without risk for Miliband.

      With Labour seemingly heading for defeat in Scotland, he will now be associated with a campaign that may well end in disaster.

      ===========================================================

      For the avoidance of doubt the final weeks of panic and inept Labour scaremongering from Labour in 2011 did indeed result in complete and utter disaster and a “mamoth humiliating defeat” for ‘scottish’ Labour and an SNP landslide.

      Gray was indeed one of those humiliated along with wee Ed Miliband, Balls and the rest.

      They really haven’t learned a thing, have they? 😉

    41. george says:

      if FFA – home rule – was offered, is there anyone who wouldn’t put up with the short term hurt for the long term gain?

      it looks very much as if westminster is preparing to drive the country into the ground regardless.

    42. desimond says:

      Lets not forget…Labour are proudly claiming they are the plucky underdogs in Scotland..never mind FFA..thats plucking unbelievable considering their current seat holding.

      Post this election…its another generation stepping away from traditional Labour expectations..it makes no difference what they say, do or even promise…Theyre gone and the new world approaches sooner rather than later

    43. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      ‘Is it the Wings Over Scotland position that Devo Max is not desirable for Scotland?”

      At present, and depending on your definition of “Devo Max”, yes.

    44. Duine Bochd says:

      Rev, do you see FFA as being worse / better than the current arrangement and/or the Smith Commission proposals?

    45. galamcennalath says:

      Some of us, some of the time, only see posts which are 30mins old. It’s therefore hard to keep up with points already made!

      Stu’s point about FFA not allowing us to reduce defence spending is a good one. Also, I believe the diplomatic presence Scotland would have would be smaller than our share of the UK’s. Then there’s GCHQ etc which we’d still be paying for.

      However, we wouldn’t be paying for National Infrastructure projects like HS2, I would hope. Or perhaps that’s the problem, WM’s idea of any unlikely FFA deal would still expect us to contribute to these.

      It’s academic, FFA will never happen.

      So, what’s all this ‘feet held to fire’ stuff from the SNP? Posturing so that WM are forced to say FFA is a No No?

      Well, when so many Scots believe FFA IS what they want , that should drive them to become Indy supporters.

      Am I suggesting this is all an SNP trap to get the Unionists to say before May, “you will be getting DevoFA and no more”? If it is, Labour just walked straight into it!

    46. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “What’s Scotland getting out of this if we return 50 SNP MPs?”

      Um, Parliament does a lot more than fiddle with the constitution. Do you trust Labour MPs to defend Scotland’s interests, on any subject?

    47. call me dave says:

      @jake

      I think they are implying (but not saying) that those near to or moving towards retiring would have to rely on the Scottish Government in future years to provide a decent pension.

      Those who are already retired in Scotland and (as you rightly point out in Spain etc) will not be effected at all.

      It’s the way they ‘don’t tell em’ but same old scare story.

      PS:
      Remember UK pensions are the worst in Europe at the moment and under a SG are just as likely to go up.

      I mean all that oil for example divided by 6 million folk is a good deal because at the moment there are 63 million ‘sharing’ it. 🙂

    48. bald eagle says:

      so can anybody tell me if tombstone jim has registered to be an msp or not im just catching up so if its been mentioned before what happened

      coming to a cinema near you

      tombstone jim and his deputy dug dizzy kez in a silent movie

      shout at the moon

    49. Giesabrek says:

      Like some others above, I’m also confused why Scotland should avoid FFA – surely if all money raised in Scotland can finally be accounted for, including the currently hidden VAT revenue, export duty, oil revenue, etc and we pay WM for defence, foreign office functions, etc then that provides 2 benefits.

      Firstly, we finally get to find out how wealthy Scotland really is.

      Secondly, we get to see exactly how much of our money is spent by WM, especially on those big toys Scotland doesn’t want, need nor benefit from. Just think how many people will get p*ssed off seeing the Scottish government forced to write a cheque for billions to be spent on those things we don’t want.

      Surely FFA is a win-win for us, while anything else could be a trap? Certainly explains why the unionists are against it.

    50. Cutommy says:

      The analysis that the SNP cannot achieve full fiscal autonomy if both Labour and Tories oppose it applies equally to the removal of Trident from Scotland. As long a majority of English MPs reserve the right to blow up the planet, there is nothing the SNP can do about it. The only way for Scots to remove this monstrosity from our country is to achieve independence.

    51. Proud Cybernat says:

      A much better BBC strapline…

      http://www.scottcreighton.co.uk/GE2015/mili-n-shouty.png

    52. Onwards says:

      “And we also know that there’s no chance of it being agreed as a concession in a deal. Labour have expressly rejected the idea, saying that they’ll give the SNP nothing and dare them to vote Labour out,”

      The SNP doesn’t have to vote Labour out to have negotiating power.

      If they hold the balance of power and a large group of MP’s they can abstain or vote against many day-to-day Labour votes and generally be such a pain in the arse, that running a minority government is ineffective.

      The ones most against further devolution are Scottish Labour MP’s and with a bit of luck, their presence will be greatly diminished.

      Assuming the principle of ‘no detriment’ is applied, what difference would it make if Scotland had some extra powers?

      If Scotland became more prosperous as a result of growing its economy, or when oil prices rise again, then it will end up making transfer payments to the rest of the UK.

      US states still have transfer funding, and a far greater ability to compete with each other.

    53. David Agnew says:

      Also consider how deeply reckless, not to mention how idiotic it is to infer that Scottish pensioners are subsidised by the English tax payer. FFA makes sense if you are completely independent – no more picking up the tab for stuff you should never have been paying for in the first place. But a hybrid FFA that still expects you to pitch in for things that you weren’t involved in could be a problem. But for labour to keep peddling this subsidy junkie line is far more corrosive.

    54. Calgacus says:

      We were promised home rule on the eve of the referendum, if we don’t get it after electing a majority of SNP members to both Westminster and Holyrood then there will be hell to pay politically.

      Our imperial masters know this, hence project fear 2.

      The Union is dead.

    55. Luigi says:

      Trap or no trap – there is the little issue of that fact that FFA is what the vast majority of people in Scotland actually support it!

      For this reason alone, we have to go through the motions of fighting for more powers until the people, at last, recognize that, it ain’t ever going to happen. Not if WM has anything to do with it.

      Voted NO, got nothing.

      Not to worry folks, the penny will drop (eventually).

    56. Dr Jim says:

      Maybe some of you guys who are good with the numbers game can help me with this
      If..Scotland achieves FFA does that not mean that we stop paying a share towards massive infrastructure projects in rUK
      or paying for frozen Rail Fares that only benefit the South East middle classes where all the rail connections travel up to London and are really funded by the motorist in the rest of the UK

      As i say numbers is not my area so i bow to those with superior knowledge

      Just a thought though if we ever decided Fracking was safe and good is that not all ours then, or indeed when the price of oil goes up which it inevitably will, will that be less of a burden once it’s ours

      I dare say there must be other stuff i’ve missed but as i say numbers is not my area
      Maybe i’m an optimist or maybe i’d like to do something for my country rather than wait for it to do something for me

      Eh..that sounds familiar…can’t think where i heard it

      Never liked the sound of can’t, my mother would’ve slapped me, and she’d have been damned right
      But numbers are not my area so some of you clever guys who know this stuff help me out here ( genuine request )

    57. James123 says:

      This is why I am underwhelmed by all of this and why Westminster elections leave me cold. I really don’t see much to get excited about. What will say 50 SNP MPs actually achieve? They will ultimately have to vote through Labour’s Queen Speech otherwise they could open the door to another Tory government or the chaos of another election.

      They can’t actually hold Labour to ransom over anything, take austerity for example, it doesn’t matter if every SNP MP votes against it, enough Tories will back it to see it through, Labour did after all vote for Tory austerity measures. The same applies to just about everything, more powers for Scotland, how? Scraping Trident renewal, no chance.

      Hopefully this will be an exercise in showing the people of Scotland that 59 MPs don’t make a jot of difference in Westminster, and how easily our views can be ignored. On the other hand all these SNP MPs could be seen as ineffectual and not actually achieving anything. Maybe I’m being ultra-pessimistic, or perhaps I’m suffering from the longest post-referendum hangover ever, but I’m finding it hard to give a shit about all of this.

    58. David Agnew says:

      Also, its pretty safe to say that Miliband and Balls will be privately incandescent with anger at having to come up here and rescue Scottish labour. Particularly if its to help Murphy push Scotland as fiscally feeble beyond belief. After Murphy has lost so much ground after the debates, it is going to look pretty desperate.

    59. heedtracker says:

      “FFA disastrous for Scotland if you vote SNP” is headlining every local and national English BBC radio and TV news now. Its nice to see why they’re total and utter fraudsters so clearly explained. All new Project Fear is devoid of reality shock.

      Makes you wonder again who does all this coordinating with SLabour and the BBC etc. Last week, most dangerous women wants Cameron in No.10, we have the leaked memo to prove it. This week, frighten the living daily lights out of Scots pensioners

      Once again, next polls are going to interesting to see if this blanket BBC public broadcast media terrorising of Scotland is really working.

    60. Mealer says:

      Is it wise for the creepy lad to go on telly wearing funeral attire?

    61. robert graham says:

      dear ed listen up if we want a referendum we will let you know ok got it

    62. Robert Peffers says:

      @Kevin evans says: 10 April, 2015 at 4:44 pm:

      ” … This will always be a hard one to over come but we have to keep reminding folk oil is only a bonus.

      Kevin, listen carefully now – Scotland gets no revenues whatsoever from oil & gas..

      The reason being that all the revenue is collected by the Westminster treasury as coming from Extra-Regio-Territory which is a United Kingdom asset.

      Scotland’s entire income is from the Block Grant and that is calculated by the Barnett Formula and that formula increases the level of the Block Grant on a per capita basis according to the devolved powers granted by Westminster.

      If they devolve a power from a Westminster Ministry to Scotland they also devolve from that Ministry the funds needed to run the devolved function. How else did you think Scotland could fund the devolved functions as we don’t get the powers to raise taxes?

      So just how do these numpties jalous that Scotland can lose revenue by oil & gas prices when it is Westminster that gets ALL the revenue?

    63. Onwards says:

      @muttley79 says:
      10 April, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      I don`t agree that FFA is a bad thing. It would give us powers over everything apart from defence, and a few other areas. The gap between FFA and full independence is far smaller than the current status quo to independence. It would mean we had our own tax base, almost taxation powers, all welfare powers, all energy powers, broadcasting based in Scotland. I believe FFA would give the people of Scotland much more confidence.

      I am a gradualist supporter of independence. I think it is going to be a hard sell getting more than 50 per cent to vote for independence from the status quo at the moment or Smith Commission proposals. I am not convinced by your arguments against FFA Rev Stu. Scotland would have a lot more power under FFA.

      I agree with this 100%.

      I don’t think Scots have got the bottle to vote for full independence without having experience of maximum devolution to prove themselves.
      Any future referendum would be a re-run of the last one – Project Fear all over again.

      I would still support Devo-Max even if we were worse off for the first few years, because it’s the best long term solution for Scotland. In reality it would be phased in.
      The alternative is a situation where London continues to become ever more dominant due to its natural advantages.

      Jim McColl on fiscal autonomy.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-32140639

      If the SNP ends up with the balance of power, and we don’t end up with far more powers, then it will be all for nothing.

    64. katsoft says:

      Just watching STV News I’ve realised why FFA was brought up. Poor Ed MillerBand has a slight lisp and saying Full Fiscal Autonomy is difficult for him.
      Hmmmm, this must be another cybernet plan to make him look stupid.
      Mind standing him beside his holiness The Lord Jim “sanctamonious” Murphy doesn’t do him any favours either.

    65. heedtracker says:

      Sure is full attack at BBC 1 national news here in England, with Bob Peston and IFS double whammy. Its all “a shadow over Scotland future finances” so vote SLab, vote Morphy, because they know what they’re doing with Scotland’s finances dont they. lol

      Anyone else spot Duncan Hothersal’s buddy Dr Scott shaking Milliband hand there, all on national tv too? Dunc will be ever so jealous. To be fair, Dr Scott actually looks like a far better bet for future SLabour MP choice than silly old Dunc but they still have to make us vote SLab first.

      https://twitter.com/DrScottThinks

    66. Rob Outram says:

      OK, I get that this is something which isn’t on the table and therefore it’s a non story but, my understanding from the debate was Nicola was asked if she would vote for ffa now and she said yes. Firstly as Stu has pointed out it won’t be offered so there won’t be a vote and secondly if there was a vote and if miraculously it was won the terms would take time to work out and a date sometime in the future would be set for it to start…I suspect that these terms would detail the best financial circumstances in which to start it.

      I’m also frankly confused by the terms, is ffa a strictly defined thing..I’d have thought ffa should include all receipts raised in Scotland and all costs incurred. With a modest rise in oil prices, progressive tax rises and anti austerity investment we should be fine?

    67. Macart says:

      They really are the lowest of the low. Not content with intimidating Scotland for the past three years and hi-fiving their way through that whole period with the other two Tory parties, they now seek to continue where they left off in September?

      These would be the same fearmongering tactics which have brought about their rapid decline in the polls in the period September past to right now. The same tactics which has made the name Labour toxic to so many now in Scotland and the same tactics whose referendum claims have now been categorically shot down in flames.

      Whether it was their claims over pensions, the NHS, home rule, Holyrood parliament’s permanence secured under law. All gone the way of the dodo.

      So we should listen to these lying duplicitous pricks why?

    68. Cag-does-thinking says:

      I’m not against FFA but I think there was a danger, now realised, that the other parties would use it to muddy the waters and yet again, threaten the pensioner element of the voting population with tales of apocalyptic pension meltdowns regardless of the fact that the biggest meltdown in pensions might be the liberalisation proposals put through by the tories just before the election.

      Labour are curiously quiet on whether they would put any protections in to protect those potentially duped out of all their life savings, but you know Labour, they are the party of the hard working family so tough cheddar oldies, we’ve had all yer taxes!

    69. RMF Brown says:

      “Um, Parliament does a lot more than fiddle with the constitution. Do you trust Labour MPs to defend Scotland’s interests, on any subject?”

      No, I don’t trust Labour on anything. If they told me grass was green, I’d be out on my front lawn double checking.

      But replacing 50 feeble Labour MPs with 50 feeble SNP MPs is not going to change much either.

    70. Davy says:

      I frankly would welcome FFA, one of the main problems with the referendum was the unionist’s backed up by the bbc/MSM spent all their time telling us we were not fit to run anything by ourselves.

      With FFA we can show not just Westminster but all the naysayers in our own country we are fully capable of running our own nation.

      If I have to pay a little more tax to get our country on a even keel for a couple of years, so what ! I would be delighted, because I have faith in the skill and expertise of my fellow Scot’s and our government to get our country into a positive budget and economic position.

      FFA means everything that Scotland produces apart from defence and foreign policy, thats all taxes from exports, oil/gas, incomes, coperation taxes, liences, VAT, Fines etc.

      We are a wealthy country and once that genie is out of the box there is no putting it back, and the unionist’s can never say we are not capable of running our own country during the next referendum if we are already doing it.

      Bring on FFA.

    71. JLT says:

      I must admit, this runs deep.

      This is real murky waters stuff, and I can see all sides of the argument. If FFA is something that we know will never be delivered (because both Labour and Tories will never agree too), then the SNP are obviously looking to provoke and literally destroy Labour in Scotland.

      This is going to be a game of bluff, double-bluff and ‘who’s chicken’. The SNP go down there and demand FFA; Labour and Tories vote it out 550 to 50. The SNP therefore tell Scotland that Westminster is betraying the Scots again (ie failing to fulfil the vow). The SNP then decide to punish Labour. When it comes to a key Labour policy that Labour desire (and doesn’t affect Scotland in any way); the SNP abstain in the vote, and the Tories vote it out. If Westminster wants Trident, then both Labour and Tories vote it in while the SNP vote against it. The SNP then point the finger at Labour and tell the people of Scotland that Labour has betrayed them again by voting with the Tories.

      Now comes the ‘who’s chicken’ part. Going back to the point of the SNP clamouring for FFA. The SNP demand it, but ‘shock, horror’ …Westminster say ‘OK, Yes. You can have it’. This then possibly kicks off a new argument as Scotland seeks control of ALL the oil and whisky revenues as well as anything else raised in Scotland. Labour refuse seeing the damage that could fall on England if hypothetically (1) Scotland has full control of the Black Gold (2) Black Gold possibly rocketing to £200 a barrel (thus giving us a huge profit and thus destroying the Project Fear of ‘Scotland’s financial black hole) (3) Scotland starts to creates huge financial profitable fund from the Black Gold while England watches the ‘UK debt’ rise and go over £2 Trillion pounds! so if Labour refuse, then once again, the SNP point the finger at Labour and point out that they are voting with the Tories.

      If I’ve got this right …then this is deep …very deep.

    72. Harry Shanks says:

      Is it just me?

      Currently the UK “black hole” i.e. Deficit is (I heard quoted) around £95 billion.

      With around 8% of the population, Scotland’s share of the CURRENT “black hole” must be around £7.6 billion – right?

      So….what’s the bloody difference between the current situation and the FFA claims of the Red, Blue, and Goldy/Yellow Tories?

      As I say, is it just me?

    73. icyspark says:

      Here is how I see it panning out:

      The SNP are pushing for FFA, Devo Max, Home Rule, knowing it will be blocked at every turn by Westminster, no matter who is in charge.

      It’s all about Holyrood elections in 2016.

      There is now well over 60% who want Home Rule from the latest polls. The SNP can then go into the SG elections with a mandate for a new referendum, as the people who wanted extra powers will feel betrayed that Westminster refused to act on Scottish public opinion.

    74. Brian Powell says:

      I’ve thought for some time it is not Scotland failing the Unionists worry about , it is Scotland succeeding.

    75. HandandShrimp says:

      God Labour’s fetish with bombs and bullets never ends.

    76. Lollysmum says:

      Labour & Tory top brass told to stay away from marginal constituencies. Graun today

      https://archive.today/ZOz2w

    77. Cag-does-thinking says:

      Feck…. ITV news journalist asks Ed Milliband why he never meets any ordinary voters, followed by a shot of him meeting only a group of Labour activists in Edinburgh.

      My gob is firmly smacked…

      PS worth watching just to watch the graphic showing Labour losing all their seats bar two!

    78. icyspark says:

      Whether you agree with FFA or not it would be very interesting indeed if the SNP were to put FFA only (Yes/No) in a referendum as part of their 2016 manifesto.

      It would cause total chaos in WM, as they know it would win the day. They will desperately try and block it, turning even more Scots over to the SNP.

    79. Les Wilson says:

      Brian Powell says:
      I second that!

    80. neil munro says:

      I’m probably misunderstanding this but as far as I can see Britains deficit last year was £81.8b. Scotland share of that (if we use the generous figure of 10%) would be £8.18bn, therefore £7.6 billion seems like a better deal for us.

    81. Terry says:

      If FFA isn’t going to be delivered by either labour or conservative then why does the snp spend time arguing about it? Also when it comes to trident and Westminster all the Tories and a fair chunk of labour will vote for it. The snp can’t possibly outvote this. Even with some labour rebels. So why spend time on it?

    82. Mo says:

      O/T…. Just spent a couple of hours reading “UNIONIST” sites online. I can’t believe they are all made up of old men talking about wars in the past. Stick together to fight more wars? The old “pink bits” on the world maps ! It’s scary to read how utterly single minded people can be. They don’t seem to want to create a better society for everyone, just keep everything as it was, live in the past. I’ll be thankful for Nicola, a breath of honesty, when I go to sleep tonight.

    83. HandandShrimp says:

      Harry

      The UK only has a fiscal deficit

      Scotland would have a

      ZOMG!!!!! BLACK HOLE END OF THE UNIVERSE WE ARE ALL DOOMED…borrowing requirement

      It is easy when you can speak fluent Labour.

    84. Ghillie says:

      Oooh boy.

      More love bombing.

    85. Capella says:

      Daily Record says:
      Election 2015: Labour leader Ed Miliband rules out second referendum insisting ‘You can’t move the goalposts after the result’
      He says Nicola has to stick to the “once in a generation” mantra. (I don’t recall Nicola saying that. Alex Salmond said it was his personal opinion which others might disagree with.)
      Miliband will block a second referendum, he says.
      Sorry the link to an archived version has a click form to get past.
      https://archive.today/wFe7r

    86. Terry says:

      @JLT

      Wow. That’s good. If we got five years of FFA when the average oil price was favourable – thus establishing an oil fund to keep things buoyant if needs be – and renewables and job creating powers take fuller effect then we could have it sussed. The next ref would be a Yes and then it’s goodbye to trident.

      What’s not to like?

    87. Lenny Hartley says:

      Disagree That home rule/FFA is bad

      The uk deficit as already mentioned is over 100 billion pa.
      Currently the so called Scottish deficit is similar however under FFA we will be able to identify the billions per annum we are charged for hs2, London crossrail and other “London” projects deemed to be British. It will be relatively easy to show how much we actually take in on the various taxes and how much we are charged to be part of the glorious Union. Once these figures hit home it will be a short step away from independence.

    88. thomaspotter2014 says:

      Trident yesterday

      FFA and pensions attack today

      Tommorow the next hellish headline.

      This shit is gonna go all the way to the election and they’re only warming up.

      They really are peeing their pants and with the 49 % SNP poll they’re now shittin them as well.

      The reasoning for them now is it’s us or them,there’s no middle ground so we better get a thicker skin or ear and eye defenders.

      This marriage has been like a pack of cards-started off with 2 hearts and a diamond and ended up with a club and a spade.

      WESTMINSTER IS OVER.

    89. call me dave says:

      @Alcedo Atthis

      “Klaatu barada nikto”

      Gort as Gordon oh no! Gort had more heart. 🙂

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqSIA2ISTvA

    90. Dcanmore says:

      Project Fear part2

      Of course it’s all bullshit, just an exercise of getting what negativity they can out on the BBC and probably a Daily Record front page/spread. Labour know who their allies are. Meanwhile in sunny England all the right-wing press running with how Labour’s economic plans will ruin Britain. Labour caught between two battlefronts.

      Scotland will end up with Home Rule or FFA but it will be through getting a policy here and there over five years if there is a Labour/SNP agreement. Scotland could be independent in everthing but name by the end of the next parliament.

      Personally I think everyone has already made up their minds who they are going to vote for hence the consistent poll ratings.

    91. Onwards says:

      @Brian Powell says:
      10 April, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      I’ve thought for some time it is not Scotland failing the Unionists worry about , it is Scotland succeeding.

      ————

      Exactly.
      It might not happen overnight, but in the long term the amount of resources this country has compared to the size of the population.. Not to mention the history and geography and extra tourism potential with way more direct flights.

      With the right powers and policies we could be in a FAR better position.

      I think unionists secretly want Scotland to be subsidised, making it easier to keep control.

    92. Lenny Hartley says:

      Neil munro re deficit figures I have seen for uk deficit are around 90 billion for 9 months and approx 110 billion forecast for year.

    93. Guttersnipe says:

      As I understand it none of the Westminster parties are offering FFA.

      I would agree with the analysis above in that regard however that does not mean that a home rule or FFA bill wouldn’t be raised in parliament. Any Member of Parliament can introduce a Bill and that would include SNP members too. After all the ‘Vow’ did promise devo max/home rule/ffa, the details swift evaporation is what has been attributed to the rise in support fort the SNP. If the SNP are elected on a manifesto pursuing these goals for Scottish voters then the fact it was not on offer from any of the Westminster parties makes little difference.

      Now the machinations and ramifications of such a bill being raised in Westminster might be a topic for debate.

    94. heedtracker says:

      C4 news now campaigning for tactical voting in Scotland to stop SNP vote aswell as black hole finances, if we dare vote anyone but SLabour. Its a different attack from BBC so that’s nice but its very sneaky with divided Scotland C4 creep out too.

    95. JLT says:

      Hi Terry,

      As said, this is a huge bag of spanners with quite a few permutations. Its all pure theory and so is the oil theory; pure hypothetical guesswork. One can also argue, that it also could go the other way; we get FFA, the oil price doesn’t rise, and therefore Scotland’s debt grows.

      My guess is that the SNP will choose their battles carefully knowing that issues like FFA will not happen. Knowing that the SNP are choosing their battles also leaves Miliband very nervous knwoing that his bitter partners could destroy not only him, but make his governmentship a pigs ear.

      But what it does mean that the SNP can tell the people of Scotland that everyone of their demands is being vetoed not only by the Tories, but also by Labour themselves. That will be the key point. This eventually even gets to the ‘No’ voters who slowly get peed off at watching their beloved Union taking the mick out of Scotland. Slowly but surely, the ‘Yes’ vote rises.

      Once again …all hypothetical.

      Where an In-Out EU referendum resides in all of this is open to debate. With no Tories in power, therefore there will be no EU referendum. Or will there? What happens if Labour MP’s do demand a Referendum? There are some. What happens if Miliband is forced into it. Apparently just after the Scottish Referendum, a poll conducted found that 45% of Labour supporters wanted one! Now imagine that issue raising its head again in Parliament, but also backed by the opposition Tories. This would be a huge coup for the SNP to which they really could beat the Scottish Labour party with a stick. But once again …this is all hypothetical.

      I think we just need to wait and see how the UK Elections turn out, and then get a better idea of the political landscape. Put it this way …exciting and interesting times!!

    96. msean says:

      Still can’t believe so many fell for all that bettertogether stuff. All got blown away within hours of Indyref result. Now trying the same guff again because it worked. Soon,on a screen near you,former PMs who will promise near federal home rule during an hour long free airtime slot from bettertogether propaganda channel.

    97. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      tartanfever at 5.26

      Well said. The “black hole” wea re supposed to have pales into insignificance against the UK’s “black hole” of £80 – £100 billion deficit and debt of £1,500,000,000,000.

      Our only response should be to point this out. Arguing about the figures of a Scotland trapped in an bankrupted UK is pointless but I bet our opponents love it when they catch us up in it.

      Well said, Stu
      FFA is a trap and I have no idea why we are even arguing for it. It is impossible to achieve except through independence. Anything that any of the illusory offers being banded about can do independence does more easily and better.

      I suppose the SNP believes (or is completely aware) that we will never get FFA (whatever it actually is)and are trying to make a powerful point when it is not delivered.

      The SNP,however, is confusing some of its new members who all joined because they knew SNP was going for independence.

      The old rule of politics is clear. As we are shouting for FFA our enemy has wiped its brow in relief is working out a way to give us half of that or much less.

    98. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Onwards at 6.10

      Absolute, offensive rubbish.
      Scaremongering dressed up as support and aimed at half wits

    99. Ken500 says:

      The Unionists are determined to ruin the Scottish economy. They are just mad, bad an dangerous. The lies and manipulation are contemptible, to keep people in Scotland, in poverty under Westminster rule. Why did some voters believe the lies and vote NO? Vote NO you get nothing but Westminster secrecy and lies.

      At least the SNP can protect SNHS/Education, mitigate ‘the bedroom tax’ social care, prescription, mitigate welfare cuts. They can’t stop Trident/illegal wars, banking, fraud, tax evasion, put a tax on ‘loss leading’ drink, have control of Oil taxation. Scottish taxes pay for (UK) pensions/benefits. £16Billion. The SNP can call them out for their duplicity and lies. They can propose another Referendum.

      There would be no deficit in Scotland without Westminster economic policies. Why did some people vote NO. Few people in the UK imagined ever living in a country where the vulnerable were sanctioned and starved to death by the greedy liars in Westminster.

    100. Ken500 says:

      Westminster/Unionists don’t do Democracy. 70% of people in Scotland want full fiscal autonomy/Home Rule/Federalism not Unionist lies. Get Trident out of Scotland.

    101. gordoz says:

      UK National Government / GB Grand Coalition is coming folks – Mark my words; anything to block the Scots move towards emancipation.

      Test the air – you know it makes sense for the Unionists.

    102. Phronesis says:

      The economy is the linga franca of Project Fear 2 that assumes that the abstract complex issues of the economy are poorly understood by everyone who has the vote. The counter question should really be why is the economy faltering and why is everyone except the super rich suffering the penalty of austerity under the stewardship of the UK economic ‘leaders’? Fortunately many of these unintelligible doom laden warnings were de-bunked by the YES campaign – Scotland is perfectly capable of running its economy successfully independently (and there’s always the excellent Business for Scotland organisation who have concise facts and figures on the economy for reference).
      When Harold MacMillan said ‘The wind of change is blowing through this continent :whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact’ he was framing the independence movements in the British colonies as a natural force and implying that independence should be accepted because it was the result of a natural process-an inevitable concession by the British government. We have an opportunity in May to naturalise independence for Scotland- its inevitable.

    103. orri says:

      If FFA is to a contribution towards defense then we have an easy way of setting what that is. As far as I’m aware the UK must spend 2% on conventional forces in order to satisfy it’s NATO obligations. Cameron is allegedly playing fast and loose with that by allocating intelligence and foreign aid as part of that. Also not the woeful lack of ships and manpower. Simply setting that as a limit on Scotland’s contribution to the UK’s defense would severely impact the ability to replace Trident.

      As far as foreign relations are concerned I doubt that could or would all be left up to the UK. Holyrood is already engaged on our behalf so if anything that’d be a step back.

      The bit about pensions is a definite tell. For one thing if Scotland can simply take over the paying of state pensions it’s a wonder it was such a problem during the referendum debate. On the other hand i’d always assumed it’d have to be a gradual separation of responsibility. For instance someone who lived all their lives in the rUK and then moved to Scotland would be comparable to someone who moved to Spain. At a minimum some deal would need to be made. All of which is academic as under FFA there would be no immediate need for cross border pension schemes to be fully funded which there would have been under full independence. Remember all the pressure on workers to get their own pensions?

      Simply put the problem with FFA is that from the sounds of it either Labour won’t give it, which isn’t going to play well if the vast majority of Scotland’s MPs are SNP or they will be compelled to grant it. At the same time there’s the draft legislation already waiting to be passed. If there’s anything in there Labour don’t like it’s possible that, for one time, the Conservatives and SNP might unite to force it through. Not saying that’s what going to happen.

      Regardless of which the only real danger from FFA is that it might actually settle things down for a while and leave Scotland in a far happier state than now. On the other hand if all the economic questions have been answered then the next independence debate will focus on other matters. One interesting aspect is we could head to a sort of Greenland/Denmark situation only in reverse so that Scotland could retain membership of the EU if the rUK withdraws.

    104. Big Jock says:

      I am going to disagree with you Stu.

      68% of Scots want FFA ,according to a recent poll. So it has widespread popular support. That’s one thing.

      The next thing is this. FFA is everything bar foreign affairs and defence. Its effectively independence without defence and foreign affairs. If we want to be independent,this will be the starting point. Why or how could Scotland want independence,if it doesn’t want to start controlling its own economy?

      The next point is this. If Labour need support to prevent all their bills being knocked back, by the Tories. Then they need to give the SNP some kickbacks, to get that support.

      FFA,incredible as it may seem might be on the table. Strange things happen in government when you need support.

      FFA is not a trap and I believe Sturgeon and the SNP are genuinely seeking this. Otherwise what the hell, has this whole independence campaign been about

    105. Dan Huil says:

      Why are Labour so keen to do the Tories dirty work in Scotland again? The stench of vermin ermine.

    106. Bob Mack says:

      We on wings have already picked clean the bones on how Westminster hides our revenues.What FFA doesis allows us to gather and spend revenues,but also obliges us to service debt ,defence,and all the other costs which would be set and retained by Westminster.
      They would overcharge for everything,and also ensure that revenues generated in Scotland but paid in English head offices would be out of reach to the Scottish Government.
      It is better I feel to dip our toe in the waters to test what we can realistically do in spite of these problems rather than plunge headlong into deliberate sabotage.

    107. North chiel says:

      Radio “Scotland”? Earlier this evening broadcaster informs
      The listeners that “wildfires are being fought” in “Dornoch in
      Scotland”.Makes you wonder if they are actually broadcasting from
      Scotland? Or perhaps from an underground bunker “down South”?
      Or perhaps “Australia (passing away sadly of cricket commentator)
      Or even Malta ? (Something regarding hunting) however they still managed
      To give the 3 unionist parties plenty airtime as regards the “mythical
      Black hole “( as if Westminster doesn’t have a deficit).
      Come to think of it perhaps they were broadcasting from India (Calcutta?)

    108. HandandShrimp says:

      Nicola and the SNP have played their hand well since the referendum but we have also been fortunate with our opponents. Miliband simply does not get Scotland and Cameron doesn’t even want to get Scotland….and neither will get Scotland.

    109. Luigi says:

      If Jim Murphy really did as well in the recent debates as his BBC chums would have us believe, then his boss would not suddenly be up here preaching in Scotland to hand-picked audiences.

      Just sayin.

    110. JayR says:

      So wee Miliband threatened to put border posts on our border if we became independent and threatened to prevent us from using our own money during the referendum.

      Now HE thinks he can decide if WE have another referendum? Sounds just like the arrogant, out-of-touch bullshit we had from Maggie and Major during the 80s and 90s.

      The few remaining Labour voters and functionaries should open their eyes and ears…and grow a spine.

      Ed Miliband decides NOTHING in my country.

    111. Ken500 says:

      Out of touch Guardian

      Still calling for Gordon Brown to save Labour. The one who caused their demise in Scotland.

      It would laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. The constant attacks on Scotland are beyond despicable. It’s disgraceful.

    112. Marie clark says:

      Aye, they’re doing it again. Trying to set the agenda, and now your a’ running around arguing FFA or not FFA, that is the question. Or maybe no.

      We should be fighting back on our agenda not theirs. Get out there and tell pensioners that their pension is safe. FFS, if its safe if you stay in Spain, Cyprus or anywhere else in the world, you’ll still get paid yer feckin pension. The black hole is theirs’ no our, they caused it. Point it out.

      Come on guys, stop playing there game. They set these hares running then sit back and laugh.

      Mind you I think that they’ll be laughing on the ither side o’ they’re face come May 8th. We’ve been through a’ this crap a mere seven months ago. We have seen a’ the vows and promises turn to hee haw. That is why their vote is crumbling.

    113. desimond says:

      A long time ago someone said there is no way the Unionists want the SNP to see the official true books.

      Every day with each increasingly crazed scare story (this is a Westminster election after all) its starting to look more snd more plausible.

      Its the Wizard of Oz and our wee Mongrel SNP are ready to pull back the darl curtain of facade

    114. Marie clark says:

      By the way which one is Don Quixote and which one is Sancho Panza.

    115. Bob Mack says:

      Yes Marie Clark I agree. In any event FFA would take a masters degree in chicanery to try and track down all our resources.Time enough after independence.

    116. Dal Riata says:

      Channel 4 have just said that of those asked (they didn’t give numbers) who said they were Conservative or Labour voters, 44% of Conservatives said they were contemplating voting Labour and 34% of Labour voters were contemplating voting Conservative – tactical voting to keep down the numbers of SNP MPs going to Westminster.

      Seemingly, this behaviour is fine and dandy since the SNP are, as Michael Fallon says, “separatists” after all.

      Channel 4 then went on to show interviews with two pensioners, one with a posh English accent, who agreed with this behaviour to put a stop to those dastardly SNP types.

      A Conservative and Labour coalition in action as we speak.

      Oh, and lovin’ the UK’s MSM doin’ their thang when the UK’s ‘integrity’ is at stake…

    117. Onwards says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill says:
      10 April, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      Onwards at 6.10

      Absolute, offensive rubbish.
      Scaremongering dressed up as support and aimed at half wits

      ———–

      Why?
      It’s a valid opinion.
      Many people simply don’t agree with this ‘All or Nothing’ approach to independence. Most Scots want Devo-Max.

      And why do you think unionists resist it so much?

      Yes, it’s unlikely to be given away, but going for a few selected powers would be realistic.
      Corporation tax would be best one to start with.

      Anyway, this all depends on the SNP holding the balance of power which isn’t guaranteed. But if we do end up in such a fortunate position then we should use it to achieve steps towards independence.

    118. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Marie Clark at 7.30

      Well said. They’ve got some of our support jumping through hoops arguing about an FFA (whatever it is) that we won’t ever get.
      They must be overjoyed.

      Nicola will of course call for it in public because they said we were going to get it but she knows we wont -except as a concession against a rising tide for independence. It’s our job to campaign for clean,simple uncomplicated independence.

    119. wull says:

      If FFA really was a trap for the SNP, one that would cause them so much damage that it would take the wind out of the sails of the independence movement once and for all, the Unionist Parties would grant it tomorrow.

      Because that – the destruction of the movement for independence (and therefore the SNP) – is their main objective.

      Labour created the Scottish parliament in order to reach that objective. The parliament was going to kill the SNP, and independence, stone dead. So thought not only Robertson but the whole crew – Dewar, Cook, Brown, the lot of them. But it backfired completely when the impossible happened just over a decade later, with the SNP forming the Scottish government.

      So too with the Tories. Same objective. In his own mind, Cameron saw himself as ‘allowing’ the referendum, (though, in reality, he could not have done otherwise). In doing so, he was sure that it would see off the SNP and their independence agenda for ever: only a meagre 30%, or less, would ever vote ‘Yes’. Again a mighty backfire of a calculation: the result was an unprecedented ‘45%’ for independence, ‘and (still) rising’.

      When Cameron deliberately kept Devo-Max (essentially the same thing as FFA) off the ballot paper, it was for the same reason. He knew a Yes vote for that option was very likely and that if that happened, the SNP would profit from it. Even if they lost on the independence issue in 2014, they would use Devo-Max/FFA (call it what you like) to keep the independence movement alive, and it would soon gain new momentum.

      That question had to be suppressed if the Tory objective of finally burying the SNP, and Scottish independence, was to be achieved. Wrong again. Cameron’s little game (‘You lot can have Independence or Nothing’) only drove a considerable number of would-be Devo-Max/FFA voters into the ‘Yes (pro- independence)’ camp, who would never have been there otherwise.

      Then came the last-minute panic when it looked as if all might be lost. The resurrection of the ghost of the dead and buried Devo-Max / Home Rule etc. – all of which means FFA – led to the (equally ghostly – i.e. insubstantial) Smith Commission. A ghoul of a Commission for a ghoul of a ‘Vow’, made by ‘everyone’ in such a way that ‘no one’ could technically be held accountable for it. But something had to be done to ‘seem to’ fulfil the ‘seeming’ Vow, and Smith rode to the rescue. With the patently false ‘This is as much as you can ever get’ compromise that was based on no principle whatsoever. It was only what could be stitched togather at the time, a patchwork quilt that will come apart at the seams no matter which way anyone pulls it.

      The Smith solution, subsequently watered down even further, likewsie failed to produce the desired effect. The SNP surged further and, albeit less quickly, so too does support for independence. Every means to sink that agenda, and the SNP, below the waterline has not only failed: it has actually had the opposite effect.

      So too, in the long run, will Labour’s latest ploy to finish off the SNP and the independence movement. Jim and Ed attack the FFA because, whatever lies they tell about it and whatever present oil figures may conveniently suggest, they know it is the slippery slope which will end very quickly in Scotland becoming independent.

      The SNP are right to show that they are not afraid of FFA. If they really got it, they would know how to use it to engineer independence. It would become quickly evident that Scotland loses out under whatever form of FFA is granted, in comparison to what she could achieve by independence.

      They also know they are not going to be given it. If the Unionists were genuinely confident that FFA would be a disaster for Scotland they would grant it, then ride to Scotland’s rescue. That might just gain them the objective they have been trying to achieve for so long. But they know it won’t happen, because genuine FFA would demonstrate that Scotland is better off, in every way, on its own. Not just financially, but in every way …

      Meanwhile, whatever concessions the SNP do gain short of FFA will always be painted by them, not incorrectly, as inadequate. They will highlight everything that Westminster holds back, and its less than noble reasons for doing so. Try as the Unionist parties might, whichever way they turn, the movement towards independence is in fact unstoppable. The question is only when, and by which particular means.

      Whether we see FFA as a weak point or a strong point in the strategy – and there is obviously some disagreement on that one – it is a matter of strategy, not purpose. The juggernaut is not for turning, and it’s not going to jack-knife. Every Unionist startegy tostop the SNP, and above all the independence movement, ends up backfiring on itself. This will happen to the desperate little game being played by Ed and Jim today as well.

    120. YESGUY says:

      AAAAArgggggggggggg !!!!!

      Hurry up and die LIEBOR . The sooner this country is unshackled from your rotten corpse the better.

      Attack the pensioners PF2 .

      Fine . Wingers get out there and talk to all of the local pensioners. Bring them aboard and point out they receive a shitty pension compared to ANYWHERE .

      Show the lies and scares for what they are. Blackmail and deflection from the vow and other powers promised > Get the young team on the job. I’m a grand dad and i would do anything for my bairns – This is for their future.

      Don’t let our pensioners feel scared. We are with them all of the way.

      These disgusting bastards are supposed to represent our needs and wants. Continually downing our country and it’s people. And if we are such a basket case who’s fault is that ???? Who ruined the economy and put us in a position where we are up to our eyes in debt but are one of the richest countries on Earth????

      Lies, Scares, Smears . Who would vote for these cretins. They offer us nothing but fears.

      NO More .

    121. orri says:

      At least they haven’t said if we got FFA we couldn’t use Sterling.

      As to them wanting us subsidised, I beg to differ. What they want is us to have the appearance of being subsidised.

    122. Capella says:

      I think that Gordon MacIntyre -Kemp article linked to by someone above is spot on re the the “more powers” argument.
      ” a Labour insider boasted to me that the more powers argument is keeping the SNP vote high, and if they destroy the case for more powers then they destroy the surge”.

      Sounds like MacTernan think to me anyway.
      http://www.thenational.scot/comment/gordon-macintyre-kemp-scare-stories-are-designed-to-rob-us-of-the-powers-we-were-promised.1932

    123. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      “Tilting at Windmills.”

      Judging by what has been saying Nicola and the SNP I would put it firmly in the “pissing into the wind,” category.

      It will all come back to haunt them.

    124. neil munro says:

      We need to understand what we are arguing for Marie. At least I do.

    125. starlaw says:

      Tactical voting was given the once over by Bernard Ponsonby on the STV news tonight. Went with great enthusiasm and detail on the best ways to keep the SNP out, Perhaps he is hoping to be awarded Labours red star of the week award

    126. Swami Backverandah says:

      Just parking this here for reference:
      If their is no clear majority party come May 8, and SNP rule out formal coalition with Labour, by what mechanism can it be said that they have formed a Government?

      Queen’s Speech scheduled for May 27.

      If they have an informal arrangement, (which must be considered a formal arrangement if Miliband expects to be PM), how is it he could retain his position as leader of a majority Government if the Queen’s Speech is not palatable to the SNP?

      No wonder they hammered the ‘largest party” rhetoric for so long in the face of all rebuttal.

    127. Wp says:

      The fact is they are running so scared of SNP getting near Westminster. If we were in a coalition of any sort we would then see the books. Something to hide?

    128. GhavGrim says:

      “The biggest party forms government lie is dead.”

      Today…on the BBC

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32202072

      …still being trumpeted.

    129. jakedm says:

      The biggest argument in indyref were two-fold! “Can we do it” & “Should we do it“! We lost the ref on the first point as I believe (lowly me) but it was clear WE had a real impact on the 2nd point.

      Strategically, the best way to handle the first point “Can we do it” would be to show people we can & what better way to do that than from FFA? It would be in Scotlands arsenal to show what we pay the UK for and how much.

      Having that information close to our chests will then allow us to answer that question when it comes again “Can we do it? Hell yeah, we’re tough enough! And we would be stronger if we didn’t have to pay for – HS2, London Sewers, Iraq and on and on!”

      FFA is another stepping stone to position ourselves for the next referendum question, and being forearmed for that argument would make a HUGE difference.

      Good points by all though!

      J

    130. Ken500 says:

      Scotland doesn’t have to share another country’s debt. In fact it should be compensated for the revenues that ave been secretly taken from Scotland by Westminster.

      Scotland raises £54Billion in tax revenues (including it’s geographical share of Oil revenues)
      The Scottish Gov Website search GERS. The table is there. Scotland has lost £4Billion a year in Oil revenues because Osbourne/Alexander increased Oil tax by 11% (£2Billion) in the 2011 Budget. The Oil sector cut production (they had to invest 10% more to cover the increased taxation). In total Scotland lost £16Billion+ in Oil tax revenues. An example of how Westminster policies damage the Scottish economy. Scotland can’t put a tax on ‘loss leading’ drink which would benefit the Scottish economy cut social costs, fire, police justice system. There is a link between drink/drugs and offending. Trident/illegal wars cost Scotland more. Banking fraud and tax evasion in the City of London. Corp tax paid through London HQ’s for commercial activities in Scotland. Westminster puts £4Billion on to Scotland for loan repayments it doesn’t borrow or spend.

      APT should be devolved so flights from Scotland would be more economical and journeys better encouraging tourism. Instead of having to go to Heathrow etc causing congestion and more expensive overnight stays etc. It takes a day (and a night) to get through Heathrow.

      The rest of the UK raises less tax (pro rata) £412Billion. Westminster has cut taxes, especially for the wealthy who caused the crash. Total taxes raised in the UK are £466Billion. The official UK Gov website search ‘statistics. Scotland spends what it raises. The rest of the UK raises less and borrows more £90Billion. Scotland would not have a Deficit but for Westminster policies.

    131. starlaw says:

      dal riata … channel 4 has given the same figures Ponsonby was stating on STV Ponsonby also had little coloured rosettes and demonstrated how it all could work and would leave labour with at least thirteen seats instead of four

    132. Dr Jim says:

      If they’re so desperate for us NOT to have it

      Damn right i WANT it

      We know they don’t give shit about Scotland, all they want to do is keep their damn jobs and their party from losing

      So FFA MUST be good..Anyway…why not, could things be worse with our own Guv they’d be sealing their own fate if it was
      So if they say i can’t have it then i’m a wee bitty suspicious and i WANT it and i want it now thanks very much
      coz i’m keen on it and the more they say NO the more my back’s up

    133. Louis B Argyll says:

      To be brief.. re ALL the previous Slab leaders, add all the UK’s too..they have patently LOST the arguments..and now this election to boot.
      IT IS UP TO THE CURRENT CANDIDATES TO REPRESENT THE DECENCY IN THE PEOPLE IN THEIR CONSTITUENCIES AND SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR SCOTTISH VALUES.

    134. muttley79 says:

      @Capella

      The Labour source is probably someone like McTernan, McDougall or Murphy. The delusional thinking involved pointedly rejects the obvious conclusion that SLAB’s vote in the polls has plummeted because in effect they have completely lost the trust and respect of large swathes of progressive voters in Scotland. This source, whoever it is, has learned nothing from the last 10 years or so of Scottish politics. In effect, it is a view that if we only attack the SNP more then we are bound to win again. It is right up there in logic with those crackpots in the USA who said if they bombed Vietnam more they would have won the war there.

      It starts from the entirely specious premiss that the problems SLAB have are solely the fault of their main rival, the SNP. In short, Scottish Labour are in complete self denial about the dire situation they find themselves in.

    135. One_Scot says:

      Is Ed Miliband a hypocritical muppet or what.

      Apparently he said, “No, this was settled. Everybody said before the referendum that this was a once in a generation decision. You can’t move the goalposts after the result.”

      Oh really, but he can put a dodgy knee jerk ‘Vow’ on the table three days before the result.

      The man is beneath contempt.

    136. Onwards says:

      ————-
      @Capella says:
      10 April, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      I think that Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp article linked to by someone above is spot on re the the “more powers” argument.
      ” a Labour insider boasted to me that the more powers argument is keeping the SNP vote high, and if they destroy the case for more powers then they destroy the surge”.
      ————–

      Even just changing the focus to ‘FFA’ is part of that.

      They don’t want to say ‘Devo-Max’ or ‘Home Rule’ because that is popular. To many No voters, maximum devolution sounds like the ‘best of both worlds’ they were promised.

      The one phrase that unionists definitely don’t like is ‘more powers’
      They want to keep it as technical a discussion as possible.

      Who doesn’t want more powers for Scotland?

    137. Clootie says:

      These suits with red rosettes have as much in common with Labour values as a corgi has with a wolf.

      Modern Labour and the domestic dog come from powerful roots but changed as they grew accustomed to living in the “House” and receiving “Treats” from their “Master”.

      Miliband, Balls, Murphy, Alexander etc – Yappy little dugs protecting their territory.

    138. Valerie says:

      Big Jock 7.25, I agree with your analysis.

      I also think SNP want FFA, because it forces the books to be opened as never before, and will lay bare all of the stuff we are either charged for, and don’t get, like defence, or are overcharged for, like the recent garbage about the charges to be connected to the National Grid.

      Remember, we have Merlin behind all this.

    139. Swami Backverandah says:

      It struck several commenters as odd – particularly the timing – when Cameron came out and said he wouldn’t contest a third election?
      Does he expect to be PM, or LoO?
      If PM, would he respect majority SNP 2016 Holyrood result with 2nd Indyref in manifesto? Ruth Davidson seemed to indicate they wouldn’t block.
      Under fixed term 5 year parliaments, next UK election 2020.
      (Holyrood also 2020? unless moved again? clarification needed).
      If SNP has maj Holyrood 2016, indy ref2 could be scheduled, although post-2020 would be a likely earliest date. Too soon, and it could just make No voters even more dogged.

      If Tories are in Gov, post UK 2020, it won’t be Dave who goes down in history as the Tory PM who lost Scotland. His greatest fear.
      And if Lab are in Westminster, Tories can cane them with that stick.
      That says one thing. They believe an Independent Scotland is inevitable.
      (or perhaps Dave’s been made an offer to replace Clarkson).

    140. Robert Peffers says:

      @george says:10 April, 2015 at 5:40 pm:

      “if FFA – home rule – was offered, is there anyone who wouldn’t put up with the short term hurt for the long term gain?”

      What short term hurt would that be, George?

      If you actually believe England’s taxpayers the United Kingdom government are actually fighting that hard, for so long, so they can gift we undeserving Scots £7.6bn per annum you need your head looked even more than they do.

      There is no way in the real World that any Westminster Establishment would be fighting to retain Scotland if we were even just breaking even. To think they would struggle to subsidise us is utterly ludicrous. Remember you are talking of a lowdown bunch of vile troughers who would put their Granny on the street with a wee short skirt and a red handbag if it would earn them a skunk tipped jaikit and a title.

      These guys are not yer average philanthropists motivated by the pure goodness of their hearts. They take our money, George, not give us theirs.

    141. gordon robertson says:

      Full Fiscal Autonomy is just another way of saying you have total control of your own finances, for better or worse, just like any household has. Now Jim, Ed and Ed appear to be suggesting that on the day that happens Big Brother Westminster will take away little Scotty’s £7.6b pocket money. As Stuart has pointed out that is not what the Smith Commission says. Tell me is Big Brother Westminster really giving Scotland £7.6b pocket money, if yes please document it. ‘Cos it sounds a little far fetched to me!!

    142. BrianW says:

      The Panic Button has well and truly been hit by someones clunking fist.

      I can’t help but pictures their brains doing the Team America distress signal inside their deluded wee heids.

      They scared the Elderly with the Pension story during the referendum, and now they are doing it again.

      Is this what Labour have become. Intimidating Elderly folks into believing that their pensions are at risk.

      Really? Petrifying the Elderly. Sheesh..

      We read only too often about Elderly people being taken advantage of by con artists, unscrupulous workmen, folk posing as Police, Care Workers, Utility Workers. All with the explicit aim of parting them with their cash/possessions. These people are vilified in the press for picking on the vulnerable elderly in our society, and wee all nod accordingly in disgust at their behaviour.

      But yet, Labour are happy to sit back and SCARE/TERRIFY/FRIGHTEN and ALARM the Elderly with utter lies.

      Do you think Labour voters/supports are happy with this?

      They must have elderly relatives. Surely they’d defend them against any con artist chapping at the door or phoning the house?

      Why would they let this terrifying claim just pass unchallenged?

      Maybe they’d be better pointing out how said pensions pots have been raided over the decades by successive Govts. (was in not Maggie’s mob that said companies could gap their pension funds then anything over that could be creamed off the top by the company? sure i heard/read that somewhere)

    143. Tackety Beets says:

      Harry Shanks @ 6.25pm

      I’m slightly confused too , we have a £7.9b Black hole equates to Scotland currently costing £7.9b , remind me again , after 300 years in our Union tied to WM we are still costing rUK all that amount every year .

      O FFS . Davie , Ed et tout were right , after all this time we are still a disaster . Ache well Kevin Evans nee boor might be right we are a basket case too stupid too poor etc .

      We are this way BECAUSE of the Union.

      I’m maybe naively finking ;

      If the SNP put FFA in their GE 2015 manifesto and we get even circa 40 MPs ( We all want 59 tho’ ) . Then during the Parliament the Smith Com stuff arrives , SNP table an amendment for more powers like FFA and it gets no support from Con/Lab/ Lib ?
      Could this be seen as a change in circumstances . Ie Its another case of Scotland voted vote X and gets Y or Votes for more power and may even get less .

    144. Brian Powell says:

      ED going to block a 2nd Referendum, he says. So England does own Scotland, he thinks.

    145. fittie says:

      Why is FFA a trap ? –Scotland already pays its share of the borrowing for the UK deficit.

      FFA is much less than said share of UK deficit even paying for defence and foreign affairs and could be covered in the same way that the UK uses –borrowing

    146. Sinky says:

      Can no one point out to these muppets that the UK has has a National Debt of £1500 billions and annual deficit (shortfall) of almost £100 billions because Rule Britannia is bankrupt?

      In any event no UK Party will agree to Full Fiscal Autonomy within the next five years by which time Oil prices will have increased

      At a time of historical low interest rates in this hypothetical situation a Scottish government would just borrow to sort out any temporary shortfall just like all governments do.

      The whole point about FFA is that smaller economies can react quicker to changing circumstances.

      The SNP should be a bit more explicit on this issue

      http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/project-fear-relaunched-to-justify-backtracking-on-vow/

    147. muttley79 says:

      I have read a few posts from people who are taking and all or nothing approach to achieving independence. Salmond had to spend a lot of his first period in charge of SNP trying to knock sense into its adherents. Nothing showed the intellectual poverty of their argument and approach more than when Gordon Wilson urged SNP voters and supporters to vote No in 1997. If we had voted No then, there would almost certainly have been no independence referendum in 2014, or the two SNP elections victories that preceded it.

      This all or nothing approach assumes that all we have to do to win independence is to shout more. It is not based on strategy or tactics, it is based on emotion, and as a result it is seriously flawed. I believe that we need to get to a stage where we either achieve or get close to Home Rule/Devo max/FFA through electoral success, or it is rejected so categorically by unionists that they can never use the 1979 and 2014 line about getting something better/more powers ever again.

      However, I still believe that Scottish voters need to have the confidence of seeing the nation make a success of having and using our own taxation and welfare systems. That is why attempting to gain Home Rule is so important. It is not the end or the main goal, independence is.

    148. Bob Mack says:

      They can vote tactically,but they would need to do it for the rest of their lives,because we are not going away.Ever.

    149. BrianW says:

      Another thing that struck me other day was Duncan H saying he was confident of Labour doing well nearer the time..

      Call me a cynical cyber crazed loon, but that sets off alarm in my head.. Could Duncan be possibly spending his evenings filling in Postal Votes? Are other Labourites maybe spending their evenings filling in Postal Votes?

      Just a thought.

    150. Mealer says:

      The media seem to be promoting the idea of tactical voting to try to keep SNP out.The trouble for them is,for it to make a real difference to the arithmetic in more than just a few seats,an open and public large scale promotion of tactical voting would be required.I think that would have serious long term consequences for the unionist parties.It would foster a “them against us” entrenched kind of politics that doesnt really work for a cause so many of whose supporters aren’t long for this world.But crack on,if that’s the way you want to play it.

    151. fittie says:

      What the unionists miss out is that Scotland already pays its share of the Uk deficit and that deficit is larger than the one we would have with FFA .

      We are given nothing from the UK govt ,

    152. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Onwards at 7.44

      “I don’t think Scots have got the bottle to vote for full independence without having experience of maximum devolution to prove themselves.”

      I refuse to accept such nonsense. What Scots are you talking about? The intelligent, informed Scots who knows exactly what that offensive, patronising statement represents or the hard of thinking who are the branded cattle of the No Vote.

      FFA is a trap. I cannot be given in any significant sense as it it incompatible with an efficient unitary state. It is a complicated mess which we could argue about for decades(which is exactly what some have started at the moment).
      It is not a step to independence but another impediment on the road.
      It is not being given to us because no further devolution is the programme of Westminster. Unwise demand for it can result only in half of it – at best – being conceded.
      FFA will only be achieved,if ever,as a sop against a full blown movement in favour of independence. If you want FFA go for independence and FFA will be conceded perhaps to block the road.

      FFA is however an ideal diversion into which lots of well meaning and naive activists can be coralled.

      We have had this argument many times over the past forty years. We only make progress by campaigning for independence -which actually is simpler,less complicated,less contentious,easier to achieve than FFA or any other flavour of devo whatever.

      We nearly got independence six months ago, our stock has risen since, our independence movement has quadruppled in size and some false prophets are calling for us to lower our aims.
      How does that work?

      And BTW the main reason I want to be independent is that I want absolutely nothing whatever to do with UK Defence or Foreign Affairs policies

    153. Robert Peffers says:

      @CyberMidgie says: 10 April, 2015 at 5:31 pm:

      ” … For example, they’d probably try to claim that North Sea oil belongs to the UK as a whole, and retain those taxes at Westminster despite the fact that 85% of those taxes are levied on oil from Scottish waters.

      Err, Cybermidgie, Westminster has been claiming ALL oil & gas revenues from before a single drop of oil had been extracted and the proportion is around 95%,not 85% (differences between 95% & 98% estimates are due to there always being some wells out for maintenance).

      The revenues are classed as being from, “Extra-Regio-Territory”, and claimed as a United Kingdom asset. They take all the revenue but in other calculations assess that 8.4% (by per capita assessment), is counted as being Scottish earnings when the proper geographic share is indeed around 95%. Note that 8.4% is a nominal figure in relation to other fiddles they carry out by creative accounting.

      Note also that the Scottish Crown Estate revenues are also whipped away by counting them in with the Kingdom of England Crown Estates. Note there are no Welsh or N.Irish crown estates as these both are part of the English Kingdom.

      Then we have all fines from the independent Scottish Legal System taken by The Treasury, (and I’m just scratching the surface of creative accounting here).

    154. Mealer says:

      Bob mack 8.51,
      You’ve said what I just said,but much more concisely.

    155. orri says:

      Meanwhile back in the world of sanity simple maths tells us that as part of the UK Scotland’s per capita share of a 100 billion deficit is 8.4 billion. So FFA would cut that by a billion and we’re supposed to get borrowing powers and have an oil industry that’s currently a long overdue overhaul.

    156. haud on the noo says:

      On the point of postal votes etc…the referendum was September. Any news of the various investigations ?

      Aye that’s what I thought.

    157. Dr Jim says:

      Well we’ve had the threat so i reckon a couple of weeks for the next phase of “A Promise, A Pledge, A Vow”

      Nobody, particularly on this site should have not expected this infantile attempt to outdo last years Torie Organised intervention by using the Labour Party to carry out the deed
      in the belief that the Thicko Jocks will fall for it AGAIN

      Cameron now can sit back and blame Miliband for the loss of Scotland, he’s in the clear ( a bit )

      What we should be doing is opening a book on who’s going to be the next “Interventionist”

      We’ve had Brown, we’ve had Blair, so who can they wheel out to threaten, or promise us something coz in words we’ve all heard before

      “THEY WULL”

    158. orri says:

      Also if the £18 per week pension cut is one of the cuts that Labour assume would be needed one has to ask why they think that is true? Is there something about the proposed cuts Labour and the Conservatives have lined up that they want to tell us about?

    159. Grouse Beater says:

      On the basis of a cadaverous MP trying to persuade people he is not a Unionist, and a Labour party making policy on the hoof, they will be hosing down Hapless Gordon now to wheel him out to save the Union a second time.

    160. muttley79 says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill

      We have had this argument many times over the past forty years. We only make progress by campaigning for independence -which actually is simpler,less complicated,less contentious,easier to achieve than FFA or any other flavour of devo whatever.

      No, the SNP campaigned for devolution in 1979 and 1997. Therefore, arguing and trying to achieve Home Rule, Devo max/FFA is a perfectly consistent and logical position for the SNP to take. It is a step on the road to independence, not the destination in itself. This is the gradualist approach to independence, which acknowledges the confidence and psychological factors that can act as a barrier against independence.

    161. Author_Al says:

      O/T Been getting a bit of grief on twitter for the SNP stance re NATO along the lines of “your party supports bombs. Which is why it would remain in nuclear NATO. What’s so hard to grasp?” “Scotland, happy to be protected by Nuclear weapons, just as long as they don’t to fire them. Weird morality that.”

      Anyone got any info on this that will help me get the ‘we must have Nukes at all costs’ nutter off my back?

      I’m blaming the Unionists for stoking this bloody argument up.

    162. Wulls says:

      Brilliant quote……
      The party that wants FFA can’t deliver it and the party’s who can deliver it have stated they won’t.
      Ergo, we are being threatened with something that will never happen.
      Kinda same as Jim Murphy still being Scottish labour leader after presiding over the decimation of his party.
      Ditto with Nick Clegg.
      And with Miliband.
      And Cameron.
      What’s the betting the only mainstream party leader left standing will be Nik ??????

    163. Mealer says:

      Dave McEwan Hill 7.44
      The majority of Scots want FFA.A large contingent of SNP MPs go down to London and demand FFA.London tells them to get stuffed.”Well,we tried,but they just aren’t going to give us any meaningful powers”.Then into the Scottish election campaign with indyref2 in the manifesto.

    164. Caroline Corfield says:

      Author-Al

      Iceland is in NATO and doesn’t have a standing army, ask them if they think being in NATO means you have to get rid of your army? Well, obviously not. But then only three countries in NATO are nuclear you armed, so how can your nutter suggest NATO is nuclear, when it’s also no standing army?

      Might be a bit too sophisticated for them mind. Personally I’ve given up arguing with staunch unionists.

    165. Luigi says:

      Wulls says:
      10 April, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      Brilliant quote……
      The party that wants FFA can’t deliver it and the party’s who can deliver it have stated they won’t.
      Ergo, we are being threatened with something that will never happen.

      The unionist parties are trying very hard to dampen expectations after May 7th, because they can see what’s coming!

      Desperate stuff.

    166. muttley79 says:

      @Grouse Beater

      The problem for the MSM and Labour in Scotland is that Gordon Brown has now retired from even backbench politics, he is not even standing for election next month. How can they justify giving him any significant coverage? He is not even a lame duck politician like he was in the referendum campaign last September, when he was clunking around Loanhead. 😀 😀

    167. IAB says:

      Cue the Great Clunking Fist

    168. scottieDog says:

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-barnett-future/
      Now they’re arguing on twitter that labour are the only party that can save barnett. Caught out again as above article shows

    169. Calgacus says:

      I agree that home rule or FFA is a distraction but our no voters need to learn that perfidious Albion is a lying, stealing, cheating parasite.

      The SNP have my complete trust in their strategy of softly, softly catchee monkey.

    170. Sinky says:

      muttley79 says: 8.49

      Yes thanks to Alex Salmond’s gradualist approach dominant in Scottish politics as the fundamentalist approach of Jim Sillars and Gordon Wilson would have left the pro indy forces in a cul de sac.

    171. Sinky says:

      Author_Al says: at 9.11

      AS I recall some 26 out of 29 counties in NATO do not want nuclear weapons on their soil

    172. icyspark says:

      @Author_Al

      Just say this:

      What have all these countries got in common?

      Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Caesar!nia, Croatia.

      They are ALL non-nuclear members of NATO. Why should Scotland be any different?

      Or you could say: Would you not find it “frightening” if Scotland had nukes and England didn’t?

    173. Fran says:

      Everything bar independence is a trap. Even with FFA you will not get full control of the countries finances.

      The Tories were right during the inyref, its all or nothing, independence or the status quo. There is no Home Rule, there will never be a Federal state. That is why we are all still on this and other blogs like it, because we all know and understand that it is all or nothing.

      A bit of that and a bit of this is disastrous for us. We as a nation can not settle for less. If we do then we might as well pack up, give up and call ourselves North Britains. Those Proud Scots But will need to learn to live without a Scottish football or rugby team because we will not and should not exist. Scotland will not be a country and a kingdom but just north britian aka Englands northern border.

    174. Capella says:

      In the last days of the referendum campaign, once the majority for YES rose to 51%, the Westminster “three amigos” rushed north to promise more powers. A vote for NO is not a vote for NO CHANGE. Devo to the Super Max (George Galloway). Home Rule, as near Federalism as you can get (Gordon Brown).

      So now they have to deliver. Or do we accept that democracy is about politicians promising things they have no intention of delivering? In that case we should abandon any pretence of democracy and ban elections and referendums for good.

      Alex Salmond advised us that we should “hold their feet to the fire”. I agree. He claimed to be an “all or something” politician. If the majority of Scots want Home Rule then Home Rule is what they are entitled to get.

    175. BrianW says:

      Is Laura Kuenssberg a paid up member of the Labour Party?

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32257035

      I look forward to her follw up Party Political Broadcasts for the SNP, Tory, Lib Dem and UKIP parties – all in quest for impartiality of course.

      Why are Journalists so far of the mark when it comes to the current political landscape in Scotland (or is it just me seeing it all through SNP tinted spec?)

    176. Big Jock says:

      New Zealand seamlessly went from Devo Max to independence. They had a referendum ,but it was really just to formalise something that had already happened.

      So it can work that way. Salmond said there was more than one route to independence! I think he knows what he is talking about.

    177. Sinky says:

      this afternoon got the “Scottish” labour Party postal vote election address PRINTED IN CARDIFF some 10 days before postal votes go out.

      I suppose its different from the three previous “Scottish” Labour Party leaflets I received which were printed in Essex.

      And Labour talk about subsidy junkies and Scotland’s fiscal deficit.

    178. heedtracker says:

      Silly old Guardian getting more and more agitated with Scotland.

      Look into his beautiful eyes, not around the eyes, look into his eyes etc. Never seen any news media anywhere in western democracies get this bad over another countries democratic will. The shittiest thing is they know full well even if SLabour do cling on for a bit longer, its the horrifying record of Labour that’s brought on English tories and UKIP.

      A wretched newspaper with very creepy motives for closing down Scottish democracy like this. End of the British Empire rancid Graun so deal with it.

      https://archive.today/X8nBZ

      Douglas Alexander voted very strongly for the Iraq war

    179. CameronB Brodie says:

      If you are in any doubt as to where British Labour’s ‘loyalty’ and focus of attention will be, if elected.

      …But they also contribute something to the growing awareness of a distinctly ‘English’ political identity. According to recent polling, four in ten English voters believe England gets a raw deal at present – with Scotland viewed as receiving too much preference from the centre and England not enough. Double the amount of people perceive themselves as English over British compared to the other way around. Almost one in four voters believe that none of the major parties truly stands for English interests. There is obvious capital to be made for a party that can assuage such dissatisfaction and forge a positive pro-English platform.

      @ The Fabian Society
      You just can’t get past your imperialistic genes, can you? Weren’t you telling Scotland that we are Better Together? Were you not being completely honest with us? Gerry Hassan?

      In the late 1950s the Oxford don Isaiah Berlin spoke of two concepts of liberty: ‘negative’ liberty which involved freedom from external coercion, and ‘positive’ liberty – the freedom to act. Through various central mandates, our local government has been predicated too much on the former, and not enough on the latter. By consequence, our national politics has homogenised to the point where few perceive genuine change can occur…..

      Many eyes are now on Alex Salmond and the Scottish referendum. But the English place in the union still needs to be rearticulated – not least become sub-national government in England (with the exception of the Mayor of London) can seem to pale by comparison to that in Wales or Scotland. Greater London comprises only about a sixth of the population of England (and an eighth of the UK), yet spending power and fiscal autonomy is drastically concentrated in a sliver of departmental buildings all within a mile of each other in central London. Even including the whole of the South East, over 68 per cent of English people live outside London and its commuter belt environs. A system so geographically concentrated can scarcely complain when people who live nowhere near the levers of power become disillusioned. The fact that London’s economic Gross Value Added grew by five times that of the East Midlands between 2007 and 2011 suggests some reform is needed.

      http://www.fabians.org.uk/english-deal/

    180. Edward says:

      @Author_Al

      Just to add what icyspark stated –

      In Spain Franco allowed the US to base nuclear weapons on Spanish soil
      After Franco’s death and the path to democracy, the Spanish told the US to remove and close the Nuclear bases as they didn’t want any Nuclear weapons on Spanish soil

      Nuclear weapons were removed and was quickly followed by Spain being accepted into NATO

    181. David Smith says:

      It’s nice to be dangerous, isn’t it? 😉

    182. alexicon says:

      Author_A1.

      Ask him/her why we need nukes in the first place?
      Under NATO if, a big if, we are attacked with nukes NATO has to retaliate with nukes, even if we have no nukes at all.
      Now guess who has all the nukes that can destroy the world many times over? Yes the good old US of A.

      So the USA has enough to protect us all and the only reason the UK wants them is to play big boys on the world stage.

    183. shiregirl says:

      ….I feel the need to help out. How do I do something?…letter drop/make tea/etc??? I’m in the Buckie/Cullen area. All this Labour guff on the tv is driving me nuts. Can someone let me know? Thanks

    184. Robert Peffers says:

      @Terry says: 10 April, 2015 at 6:48 pm:

      ” … The snp can’t possibly outvote this. Even with some labour rebels. So why spend time on it?”

      So you haven’t figured out how negotiations work yet, then, Terry?

      You don’t consider just one single issue when every working day involves very many different issues. Many of which the main Unionist parties will be diametrically opposites. Think how many, “Red Lines”, they keep on about or even all those, “Lines in the sand”, they have drawn through the years.

      Also remember there are other parties and independents who all have their own agendas who may add to the SNP on different issues.

    185. Onwards says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill says:
      10 April, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      ———–
      It is not a step to independence but another impediment on the road.
      It is not being given to us because no further devolution is the programme of Westminster. Unwise demand for it can result only in half of it – at best – being conceded.
      ———–

      What happens if we get another referendum with little change in our circumstances?
      Why wouldn’t it be the same Project Fear all over again?

      IMO, Every single power we can get is a step down the road to independence. Demonstrating we can run our own economy better.

      I don’t think we will get FULL fiscal autonomy, but if the SNP has the balance of power, there is a chance we can negotiate significant powers on top of the feeble Smith proposals.

      The Smith proposals are poor because we are taking a Barnett hit with very few real economic powers. Income tax is virtually useless on its own.

      Corporation tax & Capital Gains tax would be reasonable demands to actually have some impact to grow the economy here. And making sure we get the Crown estate devolved.

      If these are denied then it increases the chance of another referendum. And unionists will look unreasonable for refusing the major powers that were promised.
      Devo-Max won’t have the same impact as a future last minute ‘compromise’ because who would believe them?

      We do have the same ultimate aim.

    186. Polscot says:

      Not before the US accidentally dropped an atom bomb on Spanish soil causing a mess that has still to be cleaned up. Sometimes n- or a-bombs have a habit of being dropped unintentionally, weird or what?

    187. Ferncake says:

      @ BrianW 9.48pm

      There will be widespread tactical voting, of that there can be little doubt. And what a stinking commentary that will be – to desperately cling to this fraying and unfit-for-purpose union people will completely pass on any sort of political principle or positive conviction.

      Desperate stuff indeed.

    188. Robert Peffers says:

      @HandandShrimp says: 10 April, 2015 at 6:52 pm:

      “It is easy when you can speak fluent Labour.”

      Should that not have read, “Speak effluent Labour”, Handandshrimp?

    189. James123 says:

      Robert Peston on the BBC just claimed that Scotland contributes £200 less per head each year in tax than the rest of the UK and described Scotland’s budget as a ‘subsidy’. Yeah, sure.

      It’s funny how low oil prices are being rammed down our throat and warnings about if we were independent. I don’t remember the opposite happening, when oil prices were high I don’t remember the media saying “imagine how rich Scotland would be if was independent”. Bastards, the lot of them.

    190. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Mealer at 9.14 and others

      I understand that completely. This is a tactic. I am perfectly happy with it as such. Let the party call for FFA and have it refused.

      But some on here think we will get it. We will not.
      And even if we ever did it would only be as a desperate blocking device by Westminster as support for independence grows. And I think they would have little appetite for it. It would be a shambles of years of growing ill feeling between Scotland and England.
      Independence is simpler.

      In the meantime our Achilles Heel is being exposed again because we have not universally established the fundamental fact that we are comfortably self supporting.

      The response to all this pish today about our deficit is to point out initially the similar UK deficit,that every country runs a deficit and highlight the UK national debt of £1,500,000,000,000 and assert that any problem could only be because we are trapped in a bankrupted UK economy. None of this applies to an independent Scotland
      Independent we will be doing things very differently.
      Figures quoted today are irrelevant in the context of an independent Scotland

      Sadly we will not get a opportunity today in our media and broadcasting to debunk the nonsense and it has to be done on a continuous basis over the next years. But it should have been done as a first priority.
      Establishing as we do so that we have been lied to big time on economic issues would be hugely useful.

    191. crazycat says:

      @ shiregirl

      The new SNP councillor in Buckie should be happy to help, presumably.

      Her e-mail is sonya [dot] warren [at] moray [dot] gov – there will also be a local party, but since I don’t live in Moray, this the first search that occurred to me.

      (If it seems odd that I’ve answered when I live in Ayrshire, my grandfather came from Elgin and his parents from Portsoy.)

    192. Ken500 says:

      The rest of the UK don’t want nukes and haven’t got them. Scotland doesn’t want nukes, so why are they in Scotland.

    193. BrianW says:

      Spoke to my Mum tonight and she got one of the Pension leaflets in from Labour in Moray.

      God love her, she threw it straight in the bin – “fit a load a shite” were her words.

    194. crazycat says:

      this was the first search….

      (I did use the preview pane; I just can’t read!)

    195. Patrick Roden says:

      Can I ask all wingers, to email/write to or tweet @helptheaged, and ask them if they are happy to see Labour using scare tactics to frighten OAP’s again and ask them what they will do about this?

      I wonder if it’s another Labour Place-Man leading help the Aged in Scotland?

      Must be something like this, because I’ve watched Labour use ‘frighten the elderly’ as a campaign tactic for years, yet the ‘so called Help the Aged, don’t seem to care about this, they should be organising marches outside to protest about it.

    196. CameronB Brodie says:

      This is how the USA is circumventing non-proliferation agreements. Refurbishing existing weapons and dispersing them throughout NATO. Trident 2 is a protection racket offering little or no strategic protection, IMO. It’s a simply a racket.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_sharing

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B61_nuclear_bomb

    197. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Muttley at 9.10

      The SNP of course supported devolved concessions at those times but if you remember refused to have anything to do with any commission that did not include independence as an option in its deliberations and left the body.
      I have no memery whatsover of the SNP as a party suggesting the SNP support should vote against any concessions. Perhaps you can provide examples
      The Constitutional Commission delivered a blueprint for devolution but the engine for it was increased support for the SNP and independence on the outside of it
      The SNP will of course welcome any other concession of powers to Scotland but will never make such its objective

    198. Swami Backverandah says:

      FFA is a great tactical move.
      Miliband promised Home Rule as a future PM.
      If he gets to be PM he won’t deliver it.
      Therefore, he can’t be trusted. On anything. Like Cledge. 😀

    199. frankieboy says:

      There is no Scottish Labour. It’s a bit like traditional ‘Scottish breakfast’ in that it is imaginary. It’s just breakfast.

      ps A popular Scottish breakfast is a Mars bar, a packet of crisps and a can of ‘juice’

    200. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Mealer at 9.14

      Exactly. It’s a very clever tactic,not an objective

    201. Mealer says:

      Ken500 10.28
      I hear various unionists making a case for spending billions on Trident renewal.I don’t agree with it,but if I did I’d still want ask them why,if Trident is so vitally important,are they proposing to continue keeping the new Tridents in an area which could quite likely be in a different country in a few years time.Surely it would make sense to shift them to England at the time of renewal,What’s their Plan B for this very expensive project if Scotland does go independent?

    202. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Sinky at 9.32

      That’s one opinion. Others believe we would have been independent by now if we had followed Sillars.

    203. Patrick Roden says:

      Ah some lovely news:

      As The increasingly rabid Daily Record, continues to plummet the depths of disgusting journalism,

      It also continues to have plummeting daily sales, with another 10.22% drop in it’s sales reported today. lol.

    204. icyspark says:

      @shiregirl

      Contact your local SNP group.

      or

      http://www.snp.org/get-involved/volunteer

      You don’t have to join the SNP to help out 🙂

    205. Tam Jardine says:

      Author_Al

      I’m a little worn down listening to all this enthusiasm for nuclear weapons as well. I never use phrases like ‘what would Jesus do’ but it does strike me that if objects, ideas and people can be defined as good or evil and there is more to existence than gas, matter, light, radiation etc then it’s difficult to place nuclear weapons or their advocates in the ‘good’ category.

      What kind of a country, and indeed world do we want to live in?

      I want to live in a country where we are trying to lead the world and lead by example. Where doing the right thing, doing *good* is a guiding principle rather than some kind of red nose day-frequency lip service.

      Jesus would have been agin trident. Ghandi too. Dostoyevsky would have opposed it. Burns would have opposed it. That’s good enough for me.

      And if that angle doesn’t work, just ask them to imagine how much more impressive our conventional armed forces could be if we channelled that £100 billion into a proper standing army!

    206. Mealer says:

      Shire girl 10.16
      Great to hear you’re going to lend a hand.You’ll get a lot out of it.The work you do over the next month will be a great help not just in this election,but for the future of our cause.We need a lot more people being the movement rather than observing it from the sidelines.

    207. shiregirl says:

      @crazycat – thanks for that. Portsoy just a few minutes away – it’s a small world. Will drop her an email.

      h

    208. Robert Peffers says:

      @GhavGrim says: 10 April, 2015 at 8:01 pm:

      ” … The biggest party forms government lie is dead.”

      …still being trumpeted.

      Aye! GhavGrim, but there’s still people who believe the Earth to be flat. Others who believe a superior being created the Earth in 7 days and some even believe the Moon Landing was faked in a big film Studio.

      More tragically, though, there were children killed by family members attempting to exorcise devils or evil demons from innocent bairns.

      Why then should there not be people who believe that the Westminster Establishment are fighting so very hard so as to continue to subsidise the ungrateful Scots.

      Tell you what, I do not, and I never have, believed Westminster has ever, in its entire history, ever subsidised Scotland. If it had we would have been out of the Union on our collective ears before we even knew we were being subsidised.

    209. Sinky says:

      Dave McEwan Hill says:
      10 April, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      Sillars was opposed to devolution saying it was a trap and without the SNP proving it could govern competently there would have been no referendum and we would never have a majority of MPs.

    210. Glamaig says:

      Some great posts on here, wish I could contribute like that. New SNP member and feel like I know nothing.

      Gradualism seems to have worked a treat so far and the pace is accelerating. FFA would be another step but as far as I’m concerned that’s all it would be, and having come close to independence, FFA is boring as f**k.

      It seems FFA is a step too far for the Unionists and now we are in the situation where if it’s delivered (which it won’t be) we are a big step further to independence, and if it’s not delivered that will also make us stronger.

      Once it dawns on the 10% who want FFA but not independence that they don’t want to spend Scottish taxes on nukes, House of Lords, HS2 and foreign wars, we will be at 60% support for independence.

      FFA is nothing more than a stick to beat the Unionists with.

    211. Mealer says:

      Just got an email from Kezia Dugdale.She says she hopes to meet me on the campaign trail soon.That’ll be a barrel of laughs.Got one from Nicola at the same time.Much more wise-like.I think Kezias just fallen in with a bad crowd.

    212. Free Scotland says:

      What do the Scottish daily express, the Scottish daily mail and Scottish labour have in common? They are all non-Scottish channels of anti-Scottish sentiment.

    213. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Scare the bejaysus out of pensioners? Again?

      It worked last time, with numpties and fearties alike (of pensionable age or not) because the mandarins got out their slide-rules, spirit-levels, and calculated precisely what had to be said, by whom, and when.

      They did it in ’79. They did it again last summer. But it only worked because the choice was binary, and the threat was easily communicated – ‘if you vote Yes we’re going to come round and shave your eyebrows off.’

      How can the threat be articulated this time? ‘We’ll come round and collect your pension book/PS4/cat unless you follow these instructions…’?

      Nah. LIVs, the petrified and terminally stubborn don’t ‘do’ instructions. (‘I suppose there’s loadsa big forms to fill in?’

      There isn’t enough time for McTernan, Jim et al (whoever he is) to terrorise people individually.

    214. boris says:

      Patrick Roden enquired about Help The Aged policy directors apparently allowing the Labour Party to distribute misleading literature designed to frighten them into turning away from the SNP. Are their links between the Charity and Labour??

      “AgeUK” is the umbrella organisation that controls the policies of “Help The Aged”.

      Caroline Abrahams: Is the Charity Director:

      Before taking up the post with AgeUK she was a Senior Policy Adviser to the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls.

    215. Norway is about the only country in the world that`s General government financial balance is not in deficit.

      99% of countries have a `black hole` in their yearly spending against income.

      Outwith the Greeks and Slovinians the UK has one of the worst deficits in Europe.

      Th

    216. Mealer says:

      Glamaig 11.08
      I think you contribute well to this site.More sense than a lot of the p*sh I come out with anyway!As a new member,have you been out campaigning yet? If so,how’s it going? If not,you really should get in touch with your branch and give it a go.Its good fun,you meet interesting people and it gives you a good feeling to be actually making this thing happen.And you don’t have to do anything uncomfortable.If youre a bit self conscious about campaigning in your own neighbourhood they’ll put you in touch with someone in another branch where your help will be welcome.

    217. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      We have to separate strategy and tactics.

      The SNP’s strategy is to achieve an independent Scotland.

      The tactics employed to achieve that strategy may not be understood by Indy supporters, or even by the SNP. We are, kinda, in uncharted waters.

      We have to dip our toes into the deep end of tactics and, in the end, we may achieve the goal.

      Hopefully…

    218. Free Scotland says:

      Labour scaring old folks about the security of their pensions? Is that the same labour Gordon Brown the Pension Plunderer used to work for?

    219. Robert Peffers says:

      @Ken500 says: 10 April, 2015 at 8:04 pm:

      ” … Scotland has lost £4Billion a year in Oil revenues because Osbourne/Alexander increased Oil tax by 11% (£2Billion) in the 2011 Budget.”

      Sheesh! Ken500, how in the name o the wee man could Scotland lose £4billion a year in Oil revenues when Scotland has no oil revenues and has never had any in the first place?

      Cannot you understand the truth?

      The entire revenue from oil & gas comes in several ways and none of it is officially Scottish.

      Companies buy licences to prospect for oil & gas in Scottish waters from THE UNITED KINGDOM.

      If oil & gas fields are discovered then companies buy Licences to extract oil & gas from Scottish waters from THE UNITED KINGDOM.

      The Oil & Gas is taxed on each barrel extracted at the wellhead in Scottish waters and it is classed as being revenue from Extra-Regio-Territory – which belongs to THE UNITED KINGDOM.

      The vast majority of oil & gas companies have London Head Offices which pay their tax earned from Scottish waters to THE UNITED KINGDOM.

      The workers on the installations in Scottish waters are paid via the companies London Head Offices and their PAYE goes to THE UNITED KINGDOM.

      The Shareholders/investors in the companies working in Scottish waters are registered at the London Head Offices and pay tax to THE UNITED KINGDOM.

      The Scottish Crown Estates that include the Scottish waters are rolled up with the English Crown Estates and thus the profits for rentals of the oil & gas platforms goes to THE UNITED KINGDOM.

      Where do you get this strange idea that Scotland can lose oil & gas revenues when none of it comes to Scotland?

    220. Fireproofjim says:

      Tam Jardine, you are right. The £100 billion would be far better value if channelled into conventional armed services.
      The navy only has 19 warships and a helicopter carrier. The RAF can only keep 30 Eurofighters flying and has no maritime surveillance aircraft, and the army can only muster one division at short notice.
      Anyway I don’t see how being able to murder all the children in Moscow and St Petersburg with Trident missiles at one blow can ever be justified. It is the morality of the madhouse.

    221. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Sinky at 11.07

      I was not suggesting I agreed with that opinion. Only pointing out that there were many different ways of proceeding open to us and we have no idea how things would have turned out had we done things differently.
      We have however never taken enough trouble to establish that with or without oil revenues we are a comfortably self supporting country and I believe had we seen clearly that this had to be done and had we done it would be independent by now.
      Everything else is secondary to this necessity

    222. Dr Jim says:

      @Glamaig

      Welcome, post away and enjoy yourself

    223. Norway is about the only country in the world that`s General government financial balance is not in deficit.

      99% of countries have a `black hole` in their yearly spending against income.

      Outwith the Greeks and Slovinians the UK has one of the worst deficits in Europe.

      The Americans had a `black hole`deficit in 2013 of $680,000,000,000(680 billion) their actual debt this year is expected to reach $21.694,000,000,000 (21 trillion)

      In today`s global/financial market `debt is good`without debt or financial black holes the whole world economy would collapse.

    224. Alastair Wright says:

      Here’s a thought, has anyone visited Kier Hardies grave to see if there’s been a disturbance yet?

    225. BrianW says:

      @ Ferncake 10:23pm

      “There will be widespread tactical voting, of that there can be little doubt. And what a stinking commentary that will be – to desperately cling to this fraying and unfit-for-purpose union people will completely pass on any sort of political principle or positive conviction.

      Desperate stuff indeed.”

      Completely agree.

      I find the whole tactical voting idea very disturbing. I mean I get it, but what an unbelievably lame bullies way to win a constituency vote.

      What hope is there if you can’t win a vote fairly because you speak for your constituents? Persuade them that your policies find traction with them and you will serve them well as their MP.

      It just screams of complicity more than anything. It’s like spreading rumours on someone you don’t like to get your own way. Stand back, watch it happen with a smug smile of ‘told you’.

      It’s sleekit! So I suppose (in writing that) it suits the Unionist Parties to a tee – and for the media to perpetuate it.

      Thank god we live in a country were our Politicians – and wanna-be MP’s like to connect with people, listen to their concerns and deliver policies which deal with those concerns for our benefit and well being eh?

      I can feel a Catherine Tate Granny moment coming on.. “What a load of old shit!”

    226. boris says:

      The SNP needs to provide reassurance to pensioners in Scotland that the party will work hard to protect and increase rights and services bringing lie to misleading information being spread by the Labour Party.

      AgeUK is offering an opportunity to all prospective MP’s seeking election to sign up as an “Age Champion”. All those who sign up will benefit from support of AgeUk in their campaign. If the SNP moves fast they could register all of their candidates for office.

      http://www.ageuk.org.uk/general-election-2015/age-champion-mp/

    227. Stoker says:

      BrianW wrote:
      “Spoke to my Mum tonight and she got one of the Pension leaflets in from Labour in Moray. God love her, she threw it straight in the bin – “fit a load a shite” were her words.”

      Well done that woman!

      That shower o shite are no better than the loathsome loan sharks who would prey on the weak and vulnerable in our society by taking their pension or family allowance books as security for loans given.

      Horrible self serving henchmen masquerading in political suits.
      ________

      The Free Dictionary: henchman:
      1.A loyal and trusted follower or subordinate.
      2.A person who supports a political figure chiefly out of selfish interests.
      3.A member of a criminal gang.

      Or you could say, in short, all of the above.
      😉

    228. Louis B Argyll says:

      All “sides” comparisons and links between issues, eg “the billions on trident” “black holes” ..”could be spent on health” etc…

      All moot points and irrelevant to the people who are now as wise as their masters (are).

      The shift to progressive thinking is being enabled, despite the best efforts by the doomsayers and warmongers, types who can stoop to unfathomable depths, (see almost every war in the last 200 years)

      Unlike most other countries we have the same historical and continuing oppressions tied to the constitution and government influence.

      We will see the lies coming at us.. they being so large.

      An enlightened nation feeds on progressive notions, if we can just slip the leash.

    229. Onwards says:

      Dave McEwan Hill says:
      10 April, 2015 at 11:33 pm
      We have however never taken enough trouble to establish that with or without oil revenues we are a comfortably self supporting country and I believe had we seen clearly that this had to be done and had we done it would be independent by now.
      Everything else is secondary to this necessity

      Dave, that is precisely what Devo-Max would do, as well as show how much we contribute for the remaining UK services.

      Every single power that Holyrood gains will help in demonstrating that.

      The devolved Scottish parliament is one of the reasons that SNP and independence support is higher in younger people. They have grown up in a country where it is natural that decisions are made here.

    230. Big Jock says:

      If you had asked me on Sept the 19th about FFA. I would have said who gives a toss, its just fluff and tinkering. We lost the biggest prize and I feel like a stranger in my own country.

      But that was then and this is now. I have been in the SNP for 25 years. I never really thought we could get to within 5% of independence. We did despite them!

      Like Salmond the so called gradualist. I think I have enough patience to wait another couple of years for the big prize. I believe like Devo, FFA is good for the SNP and Scotland. If we can demonstrate competence in really running our economy. Then people will come to us and realise independence isn’t so scary.

      Patience is difficult when you have to listen to constant bullying from the unionists , and biased MSM. But as they say:” Nothing of true value comes easy in life”.

    231. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      This isn’t a referendum it’s an election and the scottish voters know that perfectly well. Just like they did in 2011 when Labour last tried this desperate panicky scaremongering pish in the last couple of weeks of an election campaign.

    232. Big Jock says:

      Alastair…No but I hear Browns CPU is getting rebooted. Apparently there was a firmware issue. They said it was because he was programmed by Tony Blair using 90s ideology. Apparently his voice command just kept repeating:” its not their flag,its not their flag,its not their flag”.

    233. Vince says:

      Where is the SNP.s Idiot’s Guide rebuttal to all this latest labour/unionist S@@@e.

      Let us see the economic evidence which suggests that Scotland is richer than the rest of the UK.

      Let’s hear the explanation that every nation often has an annual deficit and that our’s proportionally if we are to believe the Unionist figures is just the same as the rest of the UK.

      Can we hear the argument that even if we will ever be granted FFA that this will be phased in,

      Let’s hear the statement that the UK’s pensions are relatively one of the poorest in Europe. So much for being better together.

      I personally, desperately want to see these arguments being expressed clearly and regularly in appropriate public forums ( or am I missing something).

    234. icyspark says:

      One good thing about FFA whether you agree with it or not is devolution of broadcasting,

    235. Robert Peffers says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill says: 10 April, 2015 at 11:33 pm

      ” We have however never taken enough trouble to establish that with or without oil revenues we are a comfortably self supporting country and I believe had we seen clearly that this had to be done and had we done it would be independent by now.”

      Och! Dave, Of course it has been done before. Many Many times. Here’s just one link for you and this person has done the study more than once : –

      http://www.electricscotland.com/independence/economy_taxations.htm

      On this link you can find a sub-heading, “The Great Obfuscation”, by Niall Aslan – a Scottish Forensic Accountant. It is now a bit old but will still open many eyes. It was originally done to counter the then Tory Governments original GERS Reports designed to prove us Too wee, too poor and too bloody stupid to run our own country.

      It was getting side-lined on the net as many Unionist items suddenly came along all with the same original title, “The great Lie”, that it became difficult to find. Unless you get a site from someone it can still be hard to find. If memory serves it was first done around 2005.

    236. Almannysbunnet says:

      Fear 2 has targeted the pensioners. We don’t have the mass media on our side to counter these fearmongers. That does not mean we let them get off with this a second time. Get out there and tell your mothers, fathers, grandparents that they are being taken for suckers by these clowns. Explain to them why their threats cannot be carried out. Let’s turn the people they try to scare into activists. Nothing scares a politician more than a cantankerous old cunt on the warpath, trust me, I am one.

    237. Tackety Beets says:

      Welcome to all our new Readers & Posters .
      I look forward to Revs next bout of Readership figures.

      Sorry O/T and I posted same this time last year,so I’ll keep it short this time.

      Ref Trident ,in responce to posts above.

      Trident is based where it is for a very good reason,its actually one of the best places in the world to base subs.
      Subs are detected primarily by HEAT .
      We can all appreciate the Atlantic Ocean forces itself in and out between the narrows of all the Islands on the West Coastline. It is well documented the dangers and pressures of these currents in these narrows. This makes Subs ( heat dispersed ) impossible to detect.

      Once out in the oceans N S E or W , do we know what they do?
      My understanding is that Nuke Missiles are planted strategically all around the World on the ocean bed. Mmmm not a good thought.

      My next question is there a “Sell by Date” on Nukes ?
      So appart from updating Technology why can we not defend ourselves with the Nukes we already have ?
      Not for a moment do I want them to be used.

      Tell me I will awake in the morning and my 50 odd year nightmare is over .

    238. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Vince at 12.07

      Exactly. A fundamental priority

    239. dakk says:

      At the very least, FFA gives Scotland it’s self respect and financial dignity.

      Westminster would undoubtedly attempt to extort excessive charges for Defence and Foreign Affairs,which our Exchequer would rightly refuse to comply with.

      We would pay what we think is fair and no more.

      What would they do,expel us from the Union? take Trident away from us? oh ,please no,that would be awful!

    240. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Onwards at 11.56

      Correct. But we got the devolved parliament because we were going for independence and support for it was continually growing. That’s the way politics works

    241. Tackety Beets says:

      Almannysbunnet @ 12.12 am

      “cantankerousold C@@t on the war path ”

      Aye , me an naa ! LOL

    242. Kenny says:

      As the great Winnie Ewing has said, Scottish independence is a PROCESS. I can remember when support for the SNP and Scottish independence was around 10% and it seemed like a marginal pipedream.

      Then it slowly crept up over time… 20%….30%….40%…. The referendum could have been an end in itself (achieving indy), but it also acted as a means to an end, galvanising support and putting the whole question at the forefront of Scottish politics.

      The indyref also helped to awaken the nation from its slumber and to see and defeat the enemy within (the Labour Party). We inevitably had to go through this at one point on the road to independence.

      And so on the day of the indyref, we were at 45%. That was like a photograph taken on 18 September. But life is more like a home movie, always moving, never static, but dynamic.

      Right now we are on roughly 50-50. The highest was even 54%, and there has been 51% and 52%, but the very latest poll has it back down at 48%. But basically now half the country wants independence, wants to leave the current set-up, including our largest city Glasgow (which is the third largest city in the union).

      Furthermore, 61% of the country wants home rule. Meanwhile, the country has changed forever. 61% of 18-24 year-olds plan to vote SNP next month. We are heading one way and this process simply cannot be stopped (because a PROCESS is what it is).

      [O/T I have created an historical model, based on what history tells us of other nations gaining independence, the collapse of empires like the Soviet Union and the ancien regime in France, various other factors. I have no idea whether it is right or not, but the model is telling me this: independence might be TWO years away.]

    243. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Robert Peffers at 12.12

      Yes.Of course. We all know this,and I could write all night on the subject.

      You are missing my point. The general population doesn’t know it and until they do our opponents will be able to scare a significant proportion of them.

      They are being lied to at the moment and they have no idea they are being lied to but if we establish that they are being lied to about our economic viability we win ( barring postal ballot hanky panky)

      After this election we should spend next year letting every Scot know how rich a country we are. There are dozens of different ways of doing this and we have dozens of highly respected figures who would do it for us.

      I’m away to bed

    244. Dr Jim says:

      It just occurred to me this might have been deliberate
      what have we all been talking about for weeks
      how much the Labour Party are losing by

      This could be just the “Dead Cat” strategy
      When everybody’s talking about what you don’t want them to talk about you throw a dead cat on the table

      everybody goes “Whoa” and immediately talks about that
      It would be an easy distraction for Labour to get everybody off the point of their situation and onto getting the SNP defending something pretty meaningless to a lot of the population

    245. ben madigan says:

      bit OT but still on track with labour in scotland –
      hope you all enjoy this wee film –
      may it raise a smile
      Best to all Wingers
      here’s to every SNP success on the Day
      https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/the-fall-of-labour-in-scotland/

    246. Gary says:

      Worst case scenario, for Labour, is that they are in government supported by SNP. There is no downside for them. Yet they raise problems which could put their English votes in question. Why?

    247. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Latest odds, so far as I understand them…

      Katy Clark is 7/2 to keep her seat (North Ayrshire & Arran). The SNP candidate, Patricia Gibson (Kenny’s better half) is 3/10. That means Katy has, by now, open a new file on her Desktop called ‘CV’.

      In Ayrshire Central, the good news for Slab fans is that Brian Donohoe is odds-on to keep his seat. Yay!! Unfortunately, he’s 8/11, which is as barely ‘odds-on’ as it’s possible to be. The SNP candidate (Phillipa Whitford, if memory serves)is Evens. That’s why Donohoe, even as we speak, is sewing buttons onto his club blazer using only his arse.

      Oh, and BTW, you can, if you are so inclined, get Evens on Dougie Alexander keeping his Paisley seat. Double your money? A cert, surely?!

      (Seriously – check out the oddschecker place, and find the politics stuff right at the bottom of the opening page. Search constituencies as if you’re looking for a match…endless hours of fun…)

    248. Michael McCabe says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood Thanks for that. I love a bet so that’s my sunday afternoon entertainment taking care of. I will be having a look and a wee bet on some of those outcomes. Cheers.

    249. Ian Brotherhood says:

      P.S.

      Sorry, didn’t provide link – here it is, but you’ll have to do your own searching to find the politics stuff – your own constituency IS in there, somewhere!

      http://www.oddschecker.com/

    250. Michael McCabe says:

      Already know mine. its been a labour seat for years. not for much longer though. Sheila Gilmore 13/8 My man Tommy Shephard 1/3 on. The tide is turning. I E mailed Sheila Gilmore and asked is it true the largest party always forms the Government. told her that her Answer would decide which way I voted. No reply yet. They know the game is up. Good Riddance I say.

    251. Alex says:

      More rampaging lies from those with the usual, suspect, Anglo-centric view of things.

      If we were a basket case, England would bin us as soon as it could. I am no economist, but surely they realise that Scotland having fiscal control over, say, oil revenues, would instantly put us in the black? Forget the talk of a ‘black hole’, proper fiscal control – which we are not going to get – would allow us to build our economy.

      This country, we are told, produces 95% of the ”UK’s’ output. And we get, what, roughly 8.5% as our ‘share’ per barrel. Even if the price of a barrel dropped to a tenner, if we had FULL and PROPER control over our resources, we would be better off because we’d control 100% of the resource from seabed to Scottish treasury, not the situation in which we have to bow and scrape for the crumbs from England’s table.
      It is plain that England needs to be disavowed of the notion that we are going to know our place.

      I would counsel caution about the polls, but we do seem on the verge of major change.

      And that can only be good for Scotland in the face of continued hysteria and synthetic outrage from the Unionist parties, particularly, as usual, from London Labour’s Scottish accounting branch.

    252. Alex says:

      Another excellent piece, BTW Reverend

    253. john king says:

      Robert Peston @ 05.00am on BBC
      Says that Scotland will have a £7.5b black hole and pays £205.00 less in tax than rUK!

      Surely Robert you arnt including that “extra regio” thingy in your calculations since when the oil price is high it miraculously disappears off the Scottish balance sheet?

      He also carefully failed to point out the previous 30 years surplus.

    254. Tam Jardine says:

      john king 

      Enjoying your use of the term ‘extra-regio’ John. Tell me, do you think in 10 years time we will all be posting exclusively in latin?

    255. john king says:

      James123 @ 10.26pm
      F**k*n hell
      almost word for word,
      high five big man!
      No I really DIDNT read yours first.

    256. Taranaich says:

      @Author Al:O/T Been getting a bit of grief on twitter for the SNP stance re NATO along the lines of “your party supports bombs. Which is why it would remain in nuclear NATO. What’s so hard to grasp?” “Scotland, happy to be protected by Nuclear weapons, just as long as they don’t to fire them. Weird morality that.”

      The fact that NATO has two members which carry nukes doesn’t make it “nuclear NATO” any more than those countries being in the EU makes the Eurovision Song Contest “Nuclear Eurovision.” NATO a mutual defense organisation which happens to have two member states with nuclear weapons. If NATO didn’t have nukes, it would still exist.

      It’s a nonsense argument.

    257. Ken500 says:

      Miliband and Murphy are a couple Conmen preying on pensioners. Two millionaires protecting their fortunes by telling lies about Pensions.

      Scottish taxpayers pay (UK) gov pensions/benefits. It come from tax revenues raised in Scotland. £16Billion. Over nearly 1/3. Pensions get £6K a year (a 1/4 of the average wage) and many have to rely on welfare benefits (housing benefit) to survive. The increase in the tax threshold to £10K will not help them but the cuts in welfare benefits will affect them.

      Scotland would be better off – £10Billion?a year with full fiscal autonomy (total control of tax and spending) No Trident/illegal wars, tax evasion, banking fraud, taxes (corp) for commercial activities in Scotland which go through London HQ’s. Etc. Scotland would have little debt and could pay higher OAPensions.

      When the ConDems came power £600Billion was raised in tax revenues. Now £466Billion is raised in taxes. £134Billion less. It does not raise enough to pay off down the deficit. The ConDems have not protected NHS/Education are still borrowing £90Billion+

      The elderly might not vote for Independence (being lied to) but they will vote SNP.

    258. aldo_macb says:

      If FFA/devo max/ home rule highlight to Scots the absurdly wasteful cost of Trident and the UK’s foreign policy, then BRING IT ON.

    259. Tam Jardine says:

      john king

      The 7.6 billion figure is going to be used ad nauseum and it is tricky to pull apart. What Robert Preston is doing is reinforcing this figure in the minds of the electorate until it becomes an undisputed “fact”.

      The SNP’s economic team need to get on it like a car bonnet and tear this figure apart, tell us exactly what situation they are pursuing FFA, more powers, whatever. Nice as it is to receive an SNP app for my phone the 7.6 billion line is more important.

      Have a guid day John

    260. Ken500 says:

      Business for Scotland has a great article on Project Fear

    261. Ken500 says:

      Robert Preston is a liar. The £7.6Billion was created by Westminster policies. Westminster secrecy and lies. Without Westminster policies for the last forty years Scotland would have a £220Billion Oil Fund. If the truth had been known Scotland would have been Independent years ago.

      The SNP can change policies in Scotland to protect the vulnerable and can hold Westminster feet to the fire, until the next Referendum.

    262. Stoker says:

      Tackety Beets wrote:
      “Welcome to all our new Readers & Posters .
      I look forward to Revs next bout of Readership figures.”

      Just a couple of days ago the Rev tweeted the following:
      “350,000 people read Wings last month.”

      That will give you a rough idea.
      😉

    263. john king says:

      Tam Jardine
      ” do you think in 10 years time we will all be posting exclusively in latin?”

      shit in silvis facit ursi! 🙂

    264. Ken500 says:

      Miliband is just as bad as his brother to stand and lie like that is disgraceful.

    265. ScottieDog says:

      Absolutely Ken500.
      The last 30 years of monetary and fiscal policy have destroyed the North’s economy and I include parts of England in that. It will only get worse under lab and Tory rule.

    266. Ken500 says:

      Aye Preston never gives the full figures. A BBC whitewash. Just like the Chilcot verdict. Where is it? The BBC protects Westminster. Lies for Westminster. Lies about the Middle East. Covers up Westminster crimes, protects child abusers. The BBC is a disgrace.

      The BBC economic ‘journalist’ claimed the UK raises £600Billion in tax but others claimed the UK spent £720Billion. Never in the same report. They were trying to cover up the Deficit. It didn’t work. Just as they never give the true figures of taxes raised and borrowing. Focus on the unexplained ‘deficit’ in Scotland. Cherry picking to support their argument.

    267. bookie from hell says:

      Jim for Scotland

      He ain’t a Unionist(ho hum)but now is asking for the tory tactical vote

      walofs

    268. Tam Jardine says:

      Ken500

      Great question for Conservatives everywhere: why are we talking about simply North Sea oil and gas TAX receipts instead of profits from the industry? Is it not because Margaret Thatcher punted the UK’s controlling stake of just over 50% of BP between 1979 and 1987?

      Norway have retained Statoil. It’s funny how some people still believe Thatcher was some kind of genius economic expert when all she did was sell national assets. I’m no expert but i believe the British National Oil Corporation which became Britoil is another case in point.

      What did they get for punting the last tranche of shares after the crash in 1987? GBP7.5 billion ($12.2 billion). Nice figure to bring up when tories mention a 7.6 billion black hole.

      Anyone with a little time want to work out what the UK exchequer has lost in 51% of BP dividends over the years since (on shakier group with this as I do not know what stock UK PLC ever bought back during this period).

    269. Tam Jardine says:

      … and good to know what the value of that stake in BP would be worth in today’s money

    270. Capella says:

      @ john king
      Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.

    271. Robert Louis says:

      So we have the two English Ed’s come up to Scotland yesterday, to tell us all how rubbish our country, Scotland, is. Murphy stands with them, cheering them on. Then Labour wonder why Scots have stopped voting Labour. Jeez!

      Fact is, here we are again, project FEAR!!!! part 2. Lies and disinformation courtesy of the lying Labour party and the paid liars of the state propagandist BBC (like Robert Peston of the BBC, who last night oh so conveniently omitted the surplus paid by Scots over the last 34 years – I’m sure it’s just a mistake, eh, Robert??).

      It is up to us to get out there and make sure we spread the SNP message, and help ensure we do not let these Liars trick Scots like they did in the independence referendum.

      Just so Edinburgh folks know, the SNP have their stall today again in the meadows (where the YES stall was for most of last years). Get your SNP stickers and posters up.

      The fight is on, it is up to all of us to make sure we win. 🙂

    272. Tackety Beets says:

      Thanks Stoker

      I’ll assume he refers to 350k readers as , 350k different log on Ips .

      Rough Count then . On a population on 5m of which 3.6m are voters .
      10% of the voters are readers here ? Jings !
      Impossible to work out but how many copy onto FB and is shared , it must go a long way towards people’s view ?

      Last night catching up on News , I saw a camera on a couple being asked their voting intentions
      ” We used to vote Labour , am SNP ” the lady exclaimed followed by the man ” Labour have telt that much lies, am SNP ”

      Malcolm Bruce on FFA ” I think SNP should be careful on what they wish for , WM might turn round and give it to them “.
      Well Malcolm , I used to give you respect and listen to you and at times you made reasonable points . What a doh ball statement to make .
      YES indeed Project Fear is starting to roll into a town near you , eh via the EBC !

      Does anyone know where the official latest GERS figures are to be found .

    273. Robert Louis says:

      I see Angus McNeill of the SNP has just tweeted “the tiny Isle of Man has Full Fiscal Autonomy – send Ed Milliband quick and dont mention the decades of continuous growth 😉 ”

      A good point, and of course the Isle of Man has the manx parliament which has more powers than the Scottish Parliament, allowing it to do things such as sell the electricity it generates to England for a profit.

      Mind you, the Isle of Man is not “burdened” with the curse of Europe’s largest oil reserves oil and gas reserves, like Scotland is.

      Poor wee Scotland, best stay subservient to London, eh?

    274. Les Wilson says:

      Here is a little comparison for you.
      Scotland coerced/threatened into joining with England.
      Brittany,coerced/threatened into joining France.

      Jewel in the British state, London.
      Jewel in the French state, Paris.

      UK Nuclear weapons situated in a people expendable area far away from London in Faslane, Scotland.(Nuclear subs)

      French Nuclear weapons situated in a people expendable area far away from Paris in Brest, Brittany.(Nuclear subs)

      Both Imperial Countries,still with world status as an important part of their Government needs. Both want to protect their “jewel in the crown” and do not care where they site their Nuclear weapons, as long as their “jewels” are safe. Go figure!!

      Local population has no say in the matter in either case.

    275. Tackety Beets says:

      Remember we had the “Turd” v Murphy on FB see who gets more likes ?

      LOL , the latest on FB is a Scottish Leanne Wood site racking up likes , and hopping for more likes than Murphy !

      Excuse me , but these folk have me in stitches .

    276. woosie says:

      Can someone clear up the tax issue for me? Last week Nicola was telling us that scots raised £400 more per person than the uk average in tax; this morning some buffoon from a bbc closet said we raised over £200 less than uk.
      WTF?

    277. Sunniva says:

      There’s a report that ex-MP Jim McGovern who only recently decided he wasn’t standing was involved in a fracas in a pub last night in Dundee, the Counting House. I thought he was supposed to be ill? (I suppose he still could be…) Somebody insulted his wife, a local councillor, who retalliated ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ when the staff refused to boot the man out. The McGoverns called the police but when they arrived the man had gone and the police escorted the McGoverns out.

    278. Tattie-bogle says:

      What share of the Gatwick oil will be pooled up in Scotland? answers on the corner of a postage stamp.

    279. Malcontent says:

      OT
      Just been the the Daily Redcoat “Find my constituency” sight. (Yes, I know, sorry).

      NE Fife SNP is in line to win by all predictions, like almost every other seat in Scotland.
      BUT- The DR dont mention the SNP at all. They only show graphics for the swing needed for a Slab or Con win.
      Absolutely amazing.

    280. Malcontent says:

      “Site” even. Autocorrect moment.

    281. Macart says:

      I’ve seen it mooted on thread that if we’re not getting independence and we’re not getting FFA just what good is sending down forty or fifty SNP MPs?

      Well just for starters, try forming any harmful legislation in a country where your parliament has no overly supportive legislators. Oh and all those Scotland committees which have been made up of pro union Scottish MPs? Who sits on them if there are no pro union MPs left in Scotland? Then of course there are those other issues such as the day to day running of the UK. Forming voting blocks on those pieces of legislation that will affect Scotland directly or indirectly. This is where any real concessions can be won in the meantime.

      Last, but by no means least there is an accounting to be had. FFA has to be revealed for the blind it always was. The idea of home rule as planted by Brown and Labour along with media needs exposed. People need to see this and hear it from the fuckers own mouths.

      The Lords have already started the ball rolling, the establishment parties will finish the job and all of the Scottish people will be left in no doubt as to what was done to them. No not even their own delusional believers will be able to spin their way out of what’s coming and that is the real threat of the SNP at Westminster, the very thing that scares the shit out them… EXPOSURE.

    282. Mealer says:

      Robert Peffers 12.12
      Thanks for the link.Mr Aslans work is greatly appreciated by myself and many others.It should be compulsory reading for everyone on here.

    283. Tam Jardine says:

      john king

      MMR 😉

      (Minxit me ridere)

    284. Mealer says:

      When we compare Scotland with many other similair sized countries we can see that London has made an arse of running Scotland for many years.

    285. Capella says:

      As well as Coulport and Trident, there was also Gruinard and the contamination with anthrax. It was rumoured that Willie McRae knew the people who dumped samples of contaminated earth from Gruinard at Porton Down as a protest. That forced Westminster to clean up Gruinard.

      I was surprised to find that Dr David Kelly was the scientist involved in the clean up. The youtube video Dr Kelly’s Last Interview: youtu.be/hneIATZZAcE
      refers. I’ve removed the https:// bit in case it embeds.

    286. Naina Tal says:

      Non Illegitimae Carborundum
      Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

    287. bookie from hell says:

      Twitter

      smiling vulture

      @jimmurphymp Jim Murphy would tell you he trained a kestrel falcon when in reality it was a budgie balancing one leg in a cage

    288. Jim Morris says:

      The Smith Commission REPORT was just that: a report. It was not a white paper, it was not a green paper; it was not a firm proposal for legislation committed to by any of the five parties. Whoever forms the government after May 7th may or may not include some of the proposals in their Queen’s Speech, and it may or may not be amended or even voted down in the subsequent debate.
      FFA includes by definition all taxes earned and raised in Scotland. Not just PAYE, but also oil and gas, VAT, Corporation, income from Crown Properties, Forestry, excise duties and many other etceteras.

    289. scottieDog says:

      Gosh. Labour going with the snp scrap barnett manoeuvre now.. what next.
      When their own mps are calling for it.

    290. Louis B Argyll says:

      Ken500.
      He is not the only one…but
      PESTON IS A PROFFESSIONAL LIAR..HIS RAMBLING DEFENDING OF THE POOR BANKERS BEING AT THE MERCY OF THE SYSTEM JUSTIFIED TO MIDDLE ENGLAND THE PRE-AUSTERITY POSTURING..

      BBC now lead the msm, not fleet st. They took wind out of anti austerity movement, middle England shifted to the right.

      The liars have their champions, self serving fudge masters, they talk rings around the news anchors, expecting the viewers to be impressed by their flowing simplified summaries.

      Even while writing this…other BBC sofa types implying…don’t worry Scotland has time to change poll wise…manifestos still to be sent out etc…they seem incredulous that Scotland asserts its democratic mind shift.

      Expect sinister levels of “cosying up” to all things Scottish.

    291. gus1940 says:

      Today’s Daily Record has an article which purports to tell us what FFA is.

      It contains the monstrous lie that The Vow promised that the Barnett Formula would be retained. At the same time they promised us Devo Max which is the same as FFA (as explained by Jackie Bird with Alastair Darling nodding in agreement alongside hger).

      Perhaps Mr Foote could explain how the Barnett Formula and FFA/Devo Max could co-exist in Scotland.

    292. Capella says:

      Wikipedia has a good if brief life of Keir Hardie. September will mark the 100th anniversary of his death (to coincide with the death of his beloved Labour Party).
      They call him a Scottish georgist which means he supported a Land Value Tax which sounds interesting. The Liberals tried to introduce it but the HoL blocked it (surprise). So perhaps LVT should be added to the revenues in a FFA Scotland?
      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keir_Hardie

    293. Robert Louis says:

      Macart at 0838am,

      Well said. The exposure of the anti Scottish behaviour of Westminster, is EXACTLY what the red and blue tories are feart of.

    294. Nana Smith says:

      Stewart Hosie delivers the truth

      https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153327789968816

    295. Tam Jardine says:

      I suppose one response to the ‘£7.6 billion black hole’ line is to ask, every time is how big the current UK black hole is and how big the supermassive black hole is that black hole feeds into (the national debt). Get them to admit to the UK position.

      One thing that puzzles me- how much corp tax and APD for example is currently taken from activity in Scotland? And by making our tax regime more competitive for business would we not be able make Scotland a more competitive environment to do business would we not be able to grow our economy post FFA?

      I thought competition, fiscal responsibility and creating a dynamic, enterprising economy would be bread and butter for conservative thinkers. Why is taking responsibility for our country’s economy looked on as being so irresponsible?

      I suspect as many others on this site do that our financial strength is being hidden in a veil of dodgy figures, lies and subterfuge however even if this were not the case it is not time we get our finances in order? And start growing our economy to benefit all?

      Its a little early to be coming over all right wing but I like the idea of Scotland being a good place to do business. Much to fear in FFA for Westminster- and plenty scope for SNP to highlight what we could do differently given the levers of power.

      They are using this as a stick to beat us with but there arguments are predicated on Scotland continuing business as usual- and I agree there would be no point in gaining control of our economy and not changing it.

    296. Louis B Argyll says:

      Les Wilson ..you mention France..

      The only reason the French ( you know, the revolutionary population ) don’t react to damaging capitalists errors of morality, is that they hold PUBLIC SERVICE AS A SACRED GIFT, ENTRUSTING IT TO CURRENT EXPERTS TO KEEP THE COUNTRY TRUE TO ITS ORIGINS.

      UK system seems to have given this sacred right a tradable value, which can only ever be trumped by priveliged class infighting or merchants fearmongering.

      These used to be cloak n dagger techniques.. The trick has been played out in full view of the country but over a very very long time…so long that we have/had forgotten what was supposed to be sacred in the first place..

      They got lies so big they don’t make a noise…

    297. john king says:

      @ Capella
      Coetus iustum melior viris opulentis bonis et divites .

    298. Free Scotland says:

      @Nana Smith at 9:20

      Spread the link. This MUST go viral.

    299. JimmyThePict says:

      Anyone else notice the blip on electoral calculus this morning. 6:28 update had snp on 1.3% with 7 MPs and labour short of majority by 17 or 18 IiIRC. 9:31 update and SNP back up to 48 MPs

    300. Caroline Corfield says:

      Tam Jardine at 08.01am

      BP or more correctly British Persia has always been a private company, what you mean to say is that my Margaret Thatcher let BP buy Britoil the state oil company of the UK of GB and NI with the proviso of a remaining ‘golden share’ in public hands.

      Like most of the Britoil employees taken on by BP I think that ‘share’ has quietly disappeared.

      BP kept Britoil employees on an identifiable set of payroll numbers and every chance they got made them redundant because they had better terms and conditions to their own. Then they turned on their own and subcontracted them (or else) till few people actually work directly for BP. The Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is what happens when you behave this way as a company.

    301. Caroline Corfield says:

      Not my Margaret at all, bloddy autocorrect

    302. Capella says:

      @ john king
      Eh?
      Even googulus can’t find that one!

    303. Dorothy Devine says:

      Thanks Nana ,and well done to Stewart Hosie!

      May the machinations of the lying media prove their demise in Scotland – and England, think Wee Wales kens fine what’s going on and Northern Ireland doesn’t really give a damn.

    304. Dorothy Devine says:

      I just got a ” duplicate ” message and I’m sure that I hadn’t sent – maybe my fumbling fingers did send .

      Anyway , thanks Nana and well done Stewart Hosie!

      May the Media rot in a miasma of their own making.

    305. Les Wilson says:

      We should always point out that Scotland get charged for debt taken on by Westminster, not withstanding a very big part is to fund projects in London and the South East of England.

      Scotland does not need nor want these, and sees no benefit from them at all.
      But to service Scotland’s share costs us £4billion per annum. Without having to service Westminster oriented debt we would be in a much better place.

    306. Louis B Argyll says:

      There’s no real stick to beat us with.

      There is a cloak, but no real dagger.

      There is a box to choose then tick,

      And do the SHOUTING after.

    307. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      They are basically talking about the pooling and sharing of the UK’s enormous, crippling debt.
      Stewart Hosie is on the right track.
      These figures have nothing to do with the economic position of an independent Scotland.

      What Westminster is doing is akin to begging us to stay aboard the sinking Titanic rather than risk the lifeboat

    308. Patrick Roden says:

      @ Boris,

      Thank you my friend 🙂 just been a tweeting with this info.

    309. Capella says:

      Good video Nana. Stewart Hosie was excellent. But oh dear the sound quality and production values are woeful as ever (even given it was filmed using an iphone or similar). Does BBC Scotland buy their kit at car boot sales?
      And why the three second time lag? That was introduced for live events some time ago to prevent people saying things the BBC didn’t like live on air. We’ll soon be into actors speaking the SNP politicians words!

    310. Les Wilson says:

      The BBC must be the worst propaganda entity in the world.
      Every news non stop smears and fears,the elites are scared as is the BBC.
      They have the back of an every virulent MSM, the Scottish elements of these I am utterly ashamed of and would love judgement day to arrive in form of Indy.

      We gotta get out of this place, we will make mistakes as every nation does, but we will be able to hold our heads high and learn from them. That is something to really look forward for, to get our pride back. Roll on the day.

    311. One_Scot says:

      Just watched the Stewart Hosie BBC News video. OMG, it was basically like a child trying to interview an adult.

      I thought she was going to start crying for her mummy at one point.

    312. john king says:

      @Capella
      The company of just and righteous men is better than wealth and a rich estate.
      Euripides

    313. fred blogger says:

      one-scot
      yeah, it was really like that, terrible, she seemed close to throwing a tantrum to me.

    314. Big Jock says:

      Listening to Shareen on BBC Scot. Gavin Pearson saying there was an audible groan when Sturgeon mentioned a 2nd referendum. Yep that would be your biased handpicked audience BBC. No groans from the majority of Scots.

    315. Tam Jardine says:

      Caroline Corfield

      Interesting – will need to read up on Britoil. what do you make of the account of the sale of BP shares by Thatcher on the wikipedia page. My recollation of that period is pretty hazy as I was mostly playing in my back garden.

      I wonder if anyone has put a figure on the amount of dough gained by the UK treasury during the thatcher/Major years through sale/privatisation of UK assets and stocks

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP

    316. Alastair says:

      Project fear.
      How can Miliband, Balls and Murphy get away with scaring our pensioners.
      If pensions are devolved to the Scottish Government then SG and SG alone will determine the level of pensions in Scotland. The three stooges and the other Westminster charlatans will have no say whatsoever.
      So chut up and leave our pensioners alone.

    317. Capella says:

      @ john king
      Ah. Agreed I wonder if he was referring to the excellent contributors to this blog?

    318. orri says:

      Are they really asking us how an SNP administration could clear the deficit in a single year given both Labour and Conservatives have 5 year plans?

      If the report in the Daily Record is to be believed then 3.4% put more powers as their primary reason for voting No. That means that there must have been other reasons and at least some of them must have had their resolve hardened by the thought of Devo-Max.

      We had a multi-fronted assault on independence which involved more than simply economic arguments. We has patriotism, border controls, not being seen as foreigners and currency. Put all of those to the side and you have a much simpler question. Can Scotland stand on it’s own two feet? If Sterling is a god amongst currencies surely the answer must be yes. The only arguments are going to be how much of an input a semi-autonomous Scotland is going to have into decisions regarding defense spending and foreign relations.

      Basically FFA is a step towards independence without the currency issue on top of it. If we can sort out our finances in a way that suits us without needing the rUK then it reduces the arguments against full independence.

      Remember Labour will have researched this and unless they’re bright enough for a “Tar Baby” attack they’re bricking it.

      At the same time the only clip I can find of Sturgeon commenting on independence being a once in a lifetime or generational thing she is careful to use the word “probably”. Not pressed on it at the time though.

    319. Les Wilson says:

      Was listening to Call Kay yesterday morning when they were on about Trident.They had some “Scottish” expert on their panel.
      We need Trident, the state of the world, the jobs etc etc.

      These kind of people make me sick, these are 30 miles from Glasgow, and make us a first strike target, no other country in the world would allow these to be sited near such a large population. Yes guys like this seem proud of it WTF.

      Scotland is a dumping ground, in order to keep these weapons well away from England. Yet we have Nuclear weapons trundling through the center of Glasgow in the middle of the night. So that is ok?

      Also Machrihanish has many old Nuclear bombs stored there, yet never spoken about. Many places are radioactive yet nothing gets cleaned up, it wisna me, you can hear them say.
      Yet, these Scots are proud to have them,shameful. They risk the lives of hundreds of thousands of Scots yet do not care.

      For me, if the UK wants to retain these weapons send them to Portsmouth, as was once mooted.Just get them out of our backyard, and clean up their mess here.

      I want my grandchildren safe, not under threat of a Nuclear strike. The English can make their own decisions on their own soil.

    320. Capella says:

      @ Alistair
      Pensions were covered some time ago in a Wings post. See Reference section tab above.

      Basically, everyone who has paid into the National pension scheme gets a pension, wherever in the world they may be. You can emigrate to Spain or Canada and still receive your entitlement to pension. Scottish devolution, independence, FFA etc doesn’t alter that.
      So the Labour threat is pure fear mongering.

    321. Valerie says:

      Thanks for the clip of Hosie, Nana. I always smile watching him because he is so composed, it’s great he has more of a stage now.

      I really hope no one wobbled due to the smear of the black hole, as we know by now if SLab said it was raining, we would look out the window.

      Also, saw a quick interview by a chap called Blackett? From business community calling for FFA, because Scotland wants to start growing.

      Sky running with their fancy graphics thingy, showing Labour only getting over the majority line, if they got support from 49 SNP seats

    322. Valerie says:

      @Les Wilson, well said.

      I think the Scottish govt should issue nuclear strike survival info to everyone, as well as a last resort pill. Might wake some folk up as to what WMD actually means.

      It is part of a public service after all.

    323. James Caldwell says:

      Lollysmum says:
      10 April, 2015 at 6:35 pm
      Labour & Tory top brass told to stay away from marginal constituencies. Graun today

      https://archive.today/ZOz2w

      Check out the last two paragraphs in the Guardian article. Hampstead and Kiburn Conservative candidate is campaigning against Trident, the bedroom tax and the HS2 Londan to Birmingham project. Should he be in the SNP?

    324. Les Wilson says:

      Valerie says:
      Ha, you might well have a point there!

    325. Capella says:

      James Kelly has posted the Yougov findings on the percentage who want DevoMax – 61%. So Labour are flogging a dead horse there.
      http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/61-of-voters-in-scotland-want-snp-to.html

    326. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Anent the Hose/Hill clip which Nana Smith posted.

      You could almost hear Jane Hill waiting for instructions in her ear-piece. Mr Hosie was putting forward ideas about which she had no previous notion or even notice.

      This wasn’t part of the pre-prepared BBC script, she was floundering.

      Appropriately, given Mr Hosie was in Dundee – you could almost hear her saying: “Jings crivvens help ma Boab”.

    327. Sunniva says:

      One policy change we could make to plug the black hole, which the SG under its current powers could still make, is to control private sector rents. A substantial amount of money is paid to private landlords either via working tax credit or in housing benefit. This is pegged at ‘market rents’ rather than ‘fair rents’. Landlords getting inflated rents adds to the welfare bill. But if we had FFA we could get rid of the bedroom tax (currently costing SG £35 million to offset) plus we could institute the living wage, thus reducing the need for working tax credit. These are just some examples of policy changes we could make to reduce the cost of living in Scotland and thus the welfare bill. And that’s before making tax changes. Or policies that would grow our economy, getting more people into work, thus reducing welfare costs, or improving health inequalities, again leading to reductions in NHS costs.

    328. Kenny says:

      Scotland is basically Norway with benefits.

      These benefits over Norway are the internationally recognised drink of whisky, loved the world over, especially in Asia (you could even add our own fizzy drink, which is massive in Russia), more beautiful scenery including lochs filled with tourist attractions (Nessie, Morag…), more wind and tide power, an English-speaking population, famous universities, an internationally recognised culture, less dependency on the oil and gas industry, milder climate, net exporter of food, drink and electricity, and an enormous market of 60 million people directly to the south.

      The argument is: why on earth would Scotland not want independence? And why remain tied to an economic basket-case like rUK (debt, current account deficits, austerity = nado growth)?

      O/T I saw the BBC referring to the branch manager of the Red Pawns as “Scottish Jim Murphy” at the bottom of the screen yesterday. Is this some bizarre attempt to get the Red Tories somehow associated in the minds of the hard-of-thinking with the SNP, you know, the party heading the pollls and currently in govt? Will we also see now “Scottish Margrit Curran” and “Scottish Wee Duggie Alexander”? So people read the SNP manifesto and then vote for Curran or Murphy?!?

    329. Tam Jardine says:

      Re Stewart Hosie vid – anyone got a non facebook link?

    330. fred blogger says:

      anyone who’d care to look @ how uk pensions have already changed and nosed dived since 2012, due to various changes in the eligibility notions and amounts payable will be shocked.
      pensioner poverty will soar under current regime legislation.

    331. Kevin1 says:

      Milliband lost any credibility he may have had, forgetting the UK is saddled up with debt to its neck
      Assuming he can find the billions to fund the empty promises MrMcJumpy made re enfing the Austerity they made, foodbanks were in existence throughout Blairs reign.
      All is lost when they turn back time to gang up on Scots pre referendum style. The Rag their favourite mouthpiece will no doubt quote out of context any response to counteract their claims.
      Goodbye Milliband I put a sticker on my door not a Labour household dont put a single leaflet through my door.

    332. Onwards says:

      @orri says:
      11 April, 2015 at 10:38 am

      ..Basically FFA is a step towards independence without the currency issue on top of it. If we can sort out our finances in a way that suits us without needing the rUK then it reduces the arguments against full independence.

      Yes, that’s exactly why they resist it.
      If the SNP end up in a good position, I think the best way would be to table an amendment to any Smith commission act, to also devolve Corporation Tax and Capital Gains Tax.

      Do it one stage at a time.
      Leave any demands for FULL fiscal autonomy until the oil price recovers.

      As Northern Ireland is in line for corporation tax, this is a hard one to refuse and unlike income tax powers, it would actually be useful.

    333. Fiona says:

      Although I recognise we are not going to get it, anything less than FFA will hamper progress to a fairer society, for that is not the plan

      I don’t know how many of you have read the OBR Dec 14 forecast, which this whole row about the “black hole” is based on. If you haven’t I suggest you do. It is long, and it is boring, but it is essential reading if you find the idea that the IFS is “independent” attractive; or if you have any lingering suspicion that there is anything of substance in it. It can be read here.

      http://cdn.budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/December_2014_EFO-web513.pdf

      The OBR have not been very good at forecasting at any time since it was established. But more than that you need to be aware that they found on unexamined assumptions which demonstrate the ideological nature of the content; and apply those assumptions only to the policy plans of the current government. There is no intention to compare those projections with any alternative policy decisions which would have different outcomes. To that extent they are of no help whatsoever in comparing what might happen under a different regime: though that is not the impression you would get from the MSM.

      The policies which this government (and the last one) have adopted are agreed by most economists to have hampered economic recovery. It is not unreasonable to assume that this will continue if those policies are continued after the election, as these forecasts assume. I am perpetually astonished that the tories are allowed to get away with their claim that their economic plan is working: it is perfectly clear that it is not, and could not. The “recovery” is the slowest on record, as a direct result of their policies: and the slight improvement (by certain measures) are a direct result of the decision to change direction towards more public spending which they smuggled in in 2011, while denying that change.

      The OBR is mystic meg: the IFS is the gullible punter. That is all there is to this. Nothing independent about it. You cannot make independent forecasts on the basis of information which is exclusively based on political decisions and with no comparison at all of other possibilities

      Stewart Hosie is precisely right that this is made up.

      Tell me again why “think tanks” are held up as people we should respect? Tell me why the title confers credibility?

    334. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Tam Jardine.

      You should be able to see the video without the need to log into Facebook. I saw it ok. It appears to be a “public” page.

    335. Louis B Argyll says:

      Fiona.
      Spot on there..
      The only true think tank is the nations conscience.

    336. Nodrog says:

      Let us take time out folks to understand the pain and suffering that our good neighbors in the South of England are about to experience. The massive negative financial implications and economic black holes that will come as a direct result of finding out that they are sitting on massive reserves of oil and gas. Oh what a terrible burden to fall on them! We should shed a tear for them and offer to help them out by taking 8/10% of it off their hands. They will be grateful of having such good friends and neighbors. No doubt Robert Peston explain all of this to them. AYE RIGHT

    337. Connor McEwen says:

      Just sent E-Mail to Help The Aged UK asking if they are happy to see scaring and lying by Westminster to Scottish pensioners.

    338. Does a black hole of £7.6 billion, in a resource rich country, not suggest a modicum of mis-management?



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