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Untangling the knots

Posted on September 07, 2013 by

We’re still trying to pick through the half-dozen or so completely contradictory statements various senior Labour figures – including Ed Miliband, Liam Byrne, Johann Lamont and Anas Sarwar – have made about the bedroom tax this week. This quote from an article in the Herald illustrates the problem:

“Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne told Good Morning Scotland that, before Labour could make a manifesto commitment they had to prove that the policy costs more than it saves.

During the STV debate, Mr Sarwar said: “If we were in government tomorrow, we would abolish the bedroom tax.””

So, let’s just go over that again – Labour can’t commit to repealing the bedroom tax if elected in 2015 because they don’t know if it costs more than it saves. BUT, if they were somehow to be elected tomorrow, they’d just go ahead and make the decision to abolish it without that (suddenly apparently no longer important) information?

Can anyone walk us through the logic of that one? It’s got us beaten.

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168 to “Untangling the knots”

  1. Atypical_Scot says:

    because they don’t know if it costs more than it saves
    WTF has that got to do with the right and wrongs of the bedroom tax Anas and Nicola were debating about? I thought it was the affect on the people targeted by it? A deliberate twist out of the real problem of the point in hand.

  2. Doug Daniel says:

    Also interesting that being cruel isn’t enough to have something abolished – it has to make a saving. Pretty strange thinking for the party of “social justice” – by that logic, surely we just privatise everything and then just put poor people into camps to work for free? 
    Oh wait, that’s kind of how we ARE going, isn’t it?

  3. Tinyzeitgeist says:

    Ah, its the cost is it, nothing to do with morality or social justice. The labour party are the new tories on the block. Their motto should be – we know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

  4. dinnatouch says:

    Can anyone walk us through the logic of that one? It’s got us beaten.
    Yes, it’s called making up any old s**t in the hope that no one notices they don’t have a clue what they’re doing

  5. CameronB says:

    English Socialism (Ingsoc) = Neo-conservatism

  6. Delia says:

    The trouble is that it will save money. They acknowledge that if it were to succeed in its intention of re-housing people in more appropriately sized accommodation, then it would not save money, but as someone affected by this tax as a private tenant, I can assure you that it will cost us more to move than just to pay the deficit out of our income. So we’ll pay it. (That’s if there was even appropriate accommodation for us to move to)

  7. Davy says:

    Its easy, Sarwar was barefaced lying because he thought he would look good on live TV, and none of the rest of the labour heedchiels will give a straight answer as they are desperate for the middle england vote and a get-rid of the bedroom tax does suit them.
    The people of Scotland does’nt matter, only Westminster matters and getting that middle england vote, by hook or by crook.
    Alba Gu snooker loopy!

  8. Jeannie says:

    Sorry, O/T but I’ll be going out shortly – a wee reminder that this weekend is the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden – a battle that had a decisive and shaping effect on our nation.  They have all sorts of events going on down there to mark the occasion, including a 3 hour guided battlefield tour on Monday afternoon.  Also events in Coldstream and surrounding areas. 
    Just thought I’d let people know in case they want to go to one of this weekend’s events. 

  9. Midgehunter says:

    “If we were in government tomorrow, we would abolish the bedroom tax.”
    You were in government yesterday and you introduced the bedroom tax.
    The tories tightend the screw.

  10. Delia says:

    I’m never sure how many people understand what the bedroom tax means in personal terms. Up until now we have had ourselves and three kids in a two bedroom with boxroom flat. Now that the 17 year old is going to university in Aberdeen the 4 year old and the 18 month old will share the smaller bedroom while a fold down bed will be put into the boxroom for the uni holidays. We’ll have to find £85 per month out of the money we get for the kids to make up the rental shortfall. It will be six years until we are eligible for the 3 bedroom housing benefit rate. If we did find a 2 bed property, either private or council/housing association, we would not be able to have our daughter staying during her holidays at all.

  11. Tris says:

    I was going to suggest that Sarwar blundered into this because he didn’t think it through, and in the heat of the moment, he thought he would knock the wind out of Nicola’s sails, but it’s almost impossible to imagine that this question was not foreseen and an answer prepared.
    Unless of course, it was and, like his boss, he finds reading from the script a tad above his pay grade sometimes
    Couldn’t he see that a climb down later would not only undo the boost that Labour would get for saying that that they would repeal it, but make them look incompetent too?
    And as Doug says…why does cost have to be the only consideration in this. People deserve better than this coalition’s penny pinching when it comes to the poor, so much at odds with its lavish spending on the those that count.

  12. Dcanmore says:

    Labour are trying desperately not make a decision before the UKGE2015. They need votes in the SE England to put them in power and they won’t commit themselves to any policy decision  that might drive Tory votes away from them. Anwar lied through his teeth over the bedroom tax as the rest of the Labour Party are trying to perfect ‘saying something but nothing’ over just about every policy going. 

  13. Davy says:

                Thank you for that perfect example of how the bedroom tax operates, but I must be brutaly honest, its not the understanding that is the problem, its the not giving a shite that is the problem.

    Our Westminster controlled parties frankly do not care about the problems caused by the bedroom tax, they must have had loads of their own constituents exspecially labour MPs contacting them about this tax, and still they do not  do anything about it. They are more concerned about following the Westminster line and not rocking the boat than they are about ridding this country of that abominable tax.
    But their is still one certain way we can get rid of the bedroom tax, and thats you and me and all the rest of the citzens of our country VOTE yes on Sep 18th 2014 and stick our fingers up at those Westminster swine who would rather feather their own beds than stand up for an honest and just society for the people of this country.
    And thats why I will VOTE YES, its a vote for Scotland.
    Hail Alba.   

  14. G. Campbell says:

    O/T, as usual.

    Well-known Unionist still a Unionist.

    Scottish press thrilled at exciting not news.

    Must report exciting not news.

    But how to report thrilling not news.

    Must pretend amazing not news is new news.

    Scottish independence: Duncan Bannatyne backs Union

    07 September 2013

    DRAGON’S Den star Duncan Bannatyne has backed Britain staying together.

    In coming out against Scottish independence, the Clydebank-born tycoon yesterday claimed he had been attacked over his support by “racists”.

    He tweeted: “We might be a small island but we are a great country made up of Scotland, England Wales & NI that should stick together as 1 & not separate (sic).”

    Bannatyne’s fears for Scotland

    February 1, 2009

    ONE of Scotland’s leading millionaire businessmen has delivered a blow to Alex Salmond’s independence dream by warning many companies would fold during a split from the UK.

    Dragon’s Den tycoon Duncan Bannatyne insisted small businesses would be ten times worse off and said he believes Scotland must remain part of the Union to beat the recession.

    “I don’t believe we should separate, there is no benefit in it and there would be a huge cost to it. We will all suffer.

    Next week’s not news: Fatal blow to balloon-faced dictator Salmond as Michelle Mone comes out for Britain

  15. jake says:

    This is a clever move by the Sarwar. He knows that Milleband is going to announce doing away the bedroom tax at their next conference, so this makes the Sarwar look not only as though he’s in tune with public opinion but has the inside track on Labour policy initiatives. He’s positioning himself for a new job…..or is being positioned for one.

    In other news, I see Johann Lamont has broken cover and gave an interview on the Beeb. Has she been ill? Does this explain her absence from front-line politics recently. It was all very quiet and understated, nostalgic even.

  16. balgayboy says:

    Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party[edit source | editbeta]
    In December 2011 he was elected Scottish Labour deputy leader in 2011 receiving 51.10% of the vote.[12]
    As the new deputy leader, he unveiled a four point plan to change and end factionalism within the party.[13]
    Anas will co-ordinate the Scottish Labour Party‘s Referendum Campaign. [14]
    On 5th Sept 2013 during a live TV debate with Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP on “Scotland Tonight”, Anas Sarwar astounded the nation when he committed the Labour Party to remove the ‘Bedroom Tax’. This pledge came days after his Party leader Ed Miliband had refused to make the commitment in Westminster and on the same night his Scottish Labour boss Johann Lamont refused to commit to it on an interview with BBC Newsnight Scotland.
    Says it all for me!!

  17. DanTDog says:

    We all know it’s unfair…we all know it’s unworkable…and we all know they’ll carry on with it anyway.
    Little wonder ordinary folk feel totally adrift from the political mindset and decide their voice is never heeded…so why bother …?? It’s shameful that all the major Westminster parties have allowed this situation to arise over the years, and all the more essential that Scotland shows the way forward to a fairer society where social justice actually is meaningful…and natural.
    “So mote it be…”

  18. Juteman says:

    I think Jake, above, is on to something.
    Next year, Labour will announce loads of positive news. Bedroom tax removed, free beer for everyone, and an all expenses paid holiday of your choice, if they win the election. This will be proof that things will be great if we stay in the union.
    Of course, if we are stupid enough to vote No, then Labour will say they meant the 2053 election.

  19. Hetty says:

    Not even jam tomorrow, labour have condoned and colluded with the perpetrators of this disgraceful, immoral, and counter productive attack on the vulnerable and the poor, no one believes a word they say much as they pretend they do to keep their nice jobs and nice big houses with plenty of spare rooms thank you very much. Take a hike labour.

  20. It’s a new variation on the old aphorism: Labour don’t know the cost of anything or the value of anything either.

  21. ron17 says:

    O/T The females in my family, are saying JO-LA has had a Facelift.And this is the reason she has been in the bunker,has anyone got before and after bunker shots.

  22. Atypical_Scot says:

    O/T Cameron calls the British Isles England at the G20. 

  23. david says:

    cmon ron, not even a facelift can help some people. if you look like an aggresive wee nedette. gonna take more than facelifts

  24. McHaggis says:

    I see Panelbase have now been attacked for having an ‘organised sign up up of pro-yes supporters’…
    Is it sensible to use them again? you already know any poll you use them for will be immediately discredited.

  25. balgayboy says:

    ron17 says:@ 1.55
    Kind of got that impression myself! unfortunately her brain had been avoided in the makeover…result…same person..same shite, slightly different look. Sorry nothing else!

  26. jim mitchell says:

    I still think it was Mr Sarwar making yet another mistake in an attempt to look good to his main audience, namely those voters in his own constituency who he needs to re-elect him, anything goes, Mr Sarwar is just not very clever when it comes to party politics and debates, anyone who doubts this should just have another look at the debate.

  27. jim mitchell says:

    McHaggis, just seen your post, We cannot allow the unionists to dictate who YES supporters join or what we say, we cannot allow them to set the rules or they will keep on doing it!
    We engage with the public and have to trust them to trust us!

  28. gordoz says:

    McHaggis says:
    7 September, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I see Panelbase have now been attacked for having an ‘organised sign up up of pro-yes supporters’…
    Is it sensible to use them again? you already know any poll you use them for will be immediately discredited.
    Errr I think now we can take it that any poll that does not show some sort of resounding lead for NO will be discredited by MSM, BBC, STV Prof John Curtice, the wee woman in the newsagent and the’ jakies ‘at the bus stop. Anything other than this will be.
    Idiotic / Irresponsible / Fantastical / Questionable / Demonic / Satanic / Unconstitutional / Racist / Bigotted / Homophobic / Very dangerous  oh and  Wrong …. Clearly wrong (dont forget biassed / flawed /illegal ?
    Im sure others can add to this …..

  29. annie says:

    Ron 17 – Just watched Newsnight on  iplayer same thing occurred to me or maybe the BBC cameraman had her on soft focus or something – she’s definitely had her hair dyed. Anyway entire programme was a Labour/BBC love-in right down to Simon Pia and David Whitton. Not worthy of Raymond Buchanan’s last programme.

  30. Angus says:

    mchaggis: “Is it sensible to use them again? you already know any poll you use them for will be immediately discredited.”
    Not as if ‘any’ poll is discredited because it doesn’t give the ‘correct’ answer (no vote winning by miles pish)………..After all the yougov poll heralded by the media the other week had an enormous lading preamble to it to elicit a ‘no’ response……didn’t you read professor curtice referring to the leading way the yougov question was asked?
    Look it up.

  31. gordoz says:

    Sorry, I think it is very worthy of worthy of Raymond Buchanan’s last programme.
      Oiche mhaith Mr Buchanan (trying too hard at BBC: Gaelic was wasted on him no great loss ???)

  32. Andy-B says:

    I think Nicola Sturgeon put Mr Sarwar under so much pressure about the bedroom tax, that he had a brain melt moment and blurted out, if we’re elected we’ll scrap the bderoom tax.
    In the small inset picture of Mr Sarwar, that was shown when Mr Ponnseby spoke, Mr Sarwars face,had a look upon it as if too say oh! God! what have I just said.

  33. proudscot says:

    ron17, your family females think wee Johann has had a facelift? With a face that size, they must have used a forklift! It certanly didn’t improve either her manners or her ability to read a script.

  34. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Vacuous Truth: Any statement that holds that all members of an empty set have a certain property; e.g.,
    all  members of a Labour government tomorrow will support “blah, blah, blah”. Given that there will be no such government tomorrow, you can substitute anything for “blah, blah, blah” and you are saying something true! But is is vacuous, that is without sematic content
    Sarwar was playing the Vacuous-Truth game when he prefaced his bedroom tax claim with the clause “if we were in Governement tomorrow”. To the man in the street, that sounds like a committment, which is the deceptive intent of this formulation, but he is stating a vacuous truth; therefore, not a lie under the law, but certaintly deceptive and exceptionally disingenous.
    All Vacuous Truths are true, but have no semantic content. That is why snake-oil salesman politicians use them all the time. Nicola Sturgeon noted this during the exchange, and that is why she introduced the question “Will the Labour governement give a commitment to repeal the bedroom tax? Yes or No?” That formulation specifically circumvents any dissembling on Sarwar’s part; one notes that he did not respond, since he knew full well the game he was playing; stating vacuous truths, and hoping the punters mostly don’t notice.

  35. creigs1707repeal says:

    Why is it that the Bannantyne’s, Mones, Spiteri’s of this world – those who have done very well out of the Union thank you very much – can’t see beyond their own bank balance and their pals in the ‘union’? Do they ever think beyond themselves? Do they even see what these Labour/Tory policies are doing to the impoverished of this country? Do they care? Well Sharleen – I am one who won’t be buying any more of your albums.
    YES Scotland.

  36. The Man in the Jar says:

    Could it be that they (Labour) are saying one thing in public and another thing in private?

    That rings a bell!

  37. Andy-B says:

    I see George Galloway, is hosting an evening in Dundee’s Whitehall Theatre Dundee, on Saturday 9th of Novemebr called “JUST SAY NAW”, Galloway a comitted unionists, who’s never done berating the Imperial British Empire,and is often heard saying the quote “The sun never sets on the British Empire”, in a dark and dastardly way.
    Galloway who couldnt buy a seat at Holyrood, wants you to vote NAW! this coming from an England based MP.
    Oh! and Gorgeous George will charge you the sum of £12.00 to listen to him telling you to say NAW! to independence.
    I admire Mr Galloways stance on Palastine, but not on much else.

  38. Morag says:

    There’s an audio clip somewhere of him filleting Frank Duggan, the lying liar who heads up the US relatives of Pan Am 103 group.  (Duggan himself is not a relative of a Lockerbie victim, he’s a US official who has got the job of keeping everyone on-message.)
    It’s a competent job which ends with the furious Duggan slamming the phone down on George.  (It’s mostly notable for the fact that Duggan is factually wrong in virtually every statement he makes, and it’s obvious he doesn’t expect to be called on his lies.)  I suppose even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  39. I’m surprised anyone gives 2 hoots what Bannatyne thinks of the indyref. Cameron’s “This England” rebuttal in Russia, however, shows psychopathic delusions of grandeur.

  40. creigs1707repeal says:

    George Galloway – the man who supports freedom and liberty for every country in the world except the country of his birth. ‘Nuff said.
    YES Scotland.

  41. Gillie says:

    Labour now believes that the provision of welfare is a cost driven exercise, just as the Victorians believed. A 19th century attitude to the poor updated for the 21st century.

  42. david says:

    george galloway. ex labour, says it all for me

  43. david says:

    gg. the exploiter of the exploited

  44. david says:

    lord galloway

  45. scottish_skier says:

    O/T Cameron calls the British Isles England at the G20. 
    Freudian slip or maybe he ken’s the game’s over…

  46. orkers says:

    When my better half was being trained as an SNP candidate many moons ago one of the most basic things was that you must always follow Party policy. You could not deviate and make up policy ‘on the hoof’ ………….it was a very strict no no.
    What does it say about the Labour Party that contradictory statements are coming from different strands within the organization? To me this gives the appearance of a Party about to disintegrate.

  47. Delia says:

    I agree with you entirely, although the point I was trying to make was more that the bedroom tax will save the government money, so therefore Labour will be able to justify keeping it. After all, they were the ones that brought in the version that affects my family. Council tenants may be able to refuse to pay the arrears without the threat of eviction if they are in an SNP council area, but private tenants will simply have no alternative but to pay. I was also alluding to those people who seem to think its all about people having ‘spare’ rooms, when that’s not my experience at all. 

    I absolutely feel that there is only one thing we can do. Vote Yes next September.

  48. HandandShrimp says:

    Labour want to beat the Conservatives up over the Bedroom Tax but they are terrified of seeming too pro-welfare in an increasingly polarised political environment in England. If they lose the middle England voter they will get gubbed at the next election. So they have to seem anti the Bedroom Tax and say the Tories are nasty but also sound tough on scroungers, undeserving poor and immigrants.
    Is it any wonder the messages are mixed?

  49. gordoz says:

    Found some really good march clothing on this website;  for anybody anybody interested

  50. velofello says:

    Several intertwining topics here, all interesting. Doug Daniel expresses labour’s policy on the bedroom tax well Cruel but needs to be TESTED for costs before Labour can address the cruelty consequence of the Bedroom tax.. Tested being Labourspeak for -what’s in it for us?
    George Galloway? A wasted talent. He has exceptional eloquence but his ego seems to dominate him.
    Vacuous Truth, vacuous from the Latin vacuous – empty. Can also be taken to mean unintelligent, which brings me to Cameron’s speech defending his England. I’ve referred before on WOS of England’s greatest talent – assimilation. And there we have Cameron in full flow claiming all on behalf of England.This guy is arguably the most powerful man in the UK and he witters on about sport and language AND he can decide to WHIP the UK parliament into a war! Please God, if you truly are there watching over us, deliver a Yes vote so we can detach ourselves from these egomaniac nutters.

  51. muttley79 says:

    @Doug Daniel
    Also interesting that being cruel isn’t enough to have something abolished – it has to make a saving. Pretty strange thinking for the party of “social justice” – by that logic, surely we just privatise everything and then just put poor people into camps to work for free? 

    We all know that is just SLAB’s brand name for themselves.  The reality is that they have been moving in ever increasing speed towards the right wing of the political spectrum over the last 20 to 30 years.  Their inability to make clear whether or not they would scrap the Bedroom Tax, and also Lamont’s “Something for Nothing” speech, which apes the language of the most right wing Tories, shows all too clearly their direction of political travel.
    @G. Campbell
      He tweeted: “We might be a small island but we are a great country made up of Scotland, England Wales & NI that should stick together as 1 & not separate (sic).”
    So, once again a Scottish Unionist basically denies that Scotland is a country or a nation.
    ONE of Scotland’s leading millionaire businessmen has delivered a blow to Alex Salmond’s independence dream by warning many companies would fold during a split from the UK.

    Dragon’s Den tycoon Duncan Bannatyne insisted small businesses would be ten times worse off and said he believes Scotland must remain part of the Union to beat the recession.

    “I don’t believe we should separate, there is no benefit in it and there would be a huge cost to it. We will all suffer.

    There we have it, Scotland is too wee, too poor, and too stupid to be independent.  Who said the Scottish Cringe was dead?  This guy believes, or purports to believe, that independence would bring no benefits at all.  Unbelievable. 
    Bannatyne also manages to get in Project Fears core beliefs: 1)  Deny Scotland is a country or nation whenever possible, by talking about Britain being a country.  2)  Say Scotland is too wee, too poor, and too stupid to be independent.  3)  Be as abusive as possible about independence supporters, call them “racists”, “fascists”, or some other nice thing.      

  52. HandandShrimp says:

    Dragon’s Den tycoon Duncan Bannatyne insisted small businesses would be ten times worse off and said he believes Scotland must remain part of the Union to beat the recession.

    TV personality believes own hype and talks pish
    Now there is something new..not.

  53. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I am coming to believe the Better Together campaign in general and the Labour Party in it in particular have absolutely no idea how inept they are. They operate with a false confidence because of the generous and supportive media and they believe their own spin. This is good. 
    I was approached today by a chap today who has never broached any political subject with me before. The conversation went like this. “I’m a Labour man but I’ve never paid a lot of attention to the arguments but with this referendum coming up I thought I’d listen to that debate. Where the f*** did they get that guy? He’s a f***ing idiot”
    I suspect that’s probably a very widely held opinion in the Labour party now

  54. Albert Herring says:

    you already know any poll you use them for will be immediately discredited.
    I look forward to many more discredited polls over the coming year.

  55. magnus barelegs says:

    You notice the ones who kick up the most noise are the ones with most too lose. Ignore the hollow words and blatant distortions of the self serving cringers Scotland and lets get our country back.
    Empty vessels like Bannatyne make the most noise.

  56. CameronB says:

    I’m aware that it was fantasy TV land, but Bannatyne’s Dragon’s Den appearances were enough for me to consider him a self-serving character.

  57. muttley79 says:

    An interesting article by Ian Bell on the BBC:

    On Thursday night, dutifully, I watched Newsnight Scotland. Broadly, that’s part of my job. They had an interview with Labour’s Scottish parliamentary leader, Johann Lamont. I was fascinated to hear what she had been up to lately. I still don’t know, of course, but never mind. A discussion followed.
    Simon Pia is a lovely bloke with an impeccable taste in football clubs. Simon is also no-one’s fool. But, as a former “media adviser” to a former Scottish Labour leader, he is probably not first up, in most minds, as the sole contributor to a chat about the performance of a Scottish Labour leader. That’s what we got, however.
    In Scotland, indeed, the BBC has a serious problem, one that will not disappear just because the fact is not reported on the BBC. A large proportion of an electorate inclined to vote against the British state and its institutions no longer has faith in vaunted ideas of impartiality. They see and hear state broadcasting.
    No other kind is on offer, of course. An independent Scotland could never give you the BBC, EastEnders and all. What would you then lose? A London corporation run by people squabbling over who handed out the million-pound pensions? A token 20 minutes for Simon to pass judgment on Johann? Another news bulletin in which someone remembers to add “in England and Wales” with a weary sigh?’

  58. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Just watching ‘Meet the monkeys’ on BBC2 and my thoughts are irretrievably drawn to comparing this programme with an alternate version, ‘Meet the unionists.’ 😆
    Here we have Eddie, he is a bit of a loner by sorts whilst at tyhe same time spreading the word that he wants to be a leader of the world.

    Next up we are witnessing the re-emergence  of one of the females of this very interesting group called Johann. Now her story is a very interesting one of being a substitute leader of her sub group of Labourites for a number of years before being thrust headlong into becoming a leader. Many observers of this small group often consider her position as leader as being one of confusion within the lower order of Labourites within this sub group.

    The next member of this group to emerge from the jungle of Westminster is Anas. He is a youngster in political terms, following on from his father who himself has now abandoned Britain to return to Pakistan and has thus renounced his UK citizenship. To most casual observers this youngster is someone who is so desperate to climb the tree of power that he has been heard to say things and make promises that no high ranking member of the Labourite gang would ever be heard to say. Many observers might be mistaken for wondering if young Anas is actually working his way out of this Labourite gang and into favour with his father’s new gang in Pakistan.

  59. HandandShrimp says:

    George Galloway has talent. Brilliant clear and eloquent speaker. Old style soap box, tub thumper. The down side is his ability to piss off the very people he works with be it Labour and now various people in Respect.
    I appreciate George would say it is hard to be humble when you are perfect in every way but he should at least make a stab at it. He is a good old fashion Imperial British Unionist. He will not say a word in favour of Scottish independence even if the resultant Scotland was the most successful socialist country in Europe.
    That is just the way it is.

  60. scottish_skier says:

     “I’m a Labour man but I’ve never paid a lot of attention to the arguments but with this referendum coming up I thought I’d listen to that debate. Where the f*** did they get that guy? He’s a f***ing idiot”
    Guy in the office is similar. Was default for the union, although did say he’d never really thought about it and wanted to make an informed decision before the day. We’ve been chatting. He’s been paying attention and clearly now changing his mind / giving yes due consideration. Yesterday, he turns to me and says ‘Did you watch Newsnight last night? What on earth are Labour on about. Anas was terrible..’ 🙂
    Point is, he’s changing his mind alone now that he’s looking into it. I merely got him looking into things and let him take it from there. I’ve never had to persuade anyone to turn to Yes, just give them a few wee pointers towards persuading themselves…

  61. Iain says:

    On the subject of polls the current flood continues. Lord Ashcroft has tweeted that he’s releasing a Scottish one on Monday, and that it’ll ‘ruffle a few feathers’. Hopefully they’ll be complacent, Unionist chickenhawk feathers.

  62. velofello says:

    Bannatyne   Esteemed for his contribution to humanity? Or to science? technological advances? Or his self-earneed wealth, by means of?
    Essential WOS stays with Panelbase.

  63. scottish_skier says:

    Lord Ashcroft has tweeted that he’s releasing a Scottish one on Monday, and that it’ll ‘ruffle a few feathers’. 
    If it’s Yougov (as he’s used before), they stop weighting it to 2010 GE results and instead the most recent GE (May 2011 SGE) – as standard in the polling industry where past election weighting is applied – it would certainly ruffle feathers.
    Alternative is he’s used the populus online panel (again which he’s used for other UK-wide polls) which also could prove interesting.

  64. gordoz says:

    D  Bannatyne  … been away too long syndrome.
    As with many absent Scots; bright lights, big city, wealth,  changes the man …
    Duncan’s national flag         = Union Jack (UK)
    Duncan’s Capital City          = London (UK)
    Duncan’s Political Leader  =  Prime Minister (UK)
    Duncan’s native culture    = British (UK)
    Duncan’s Moral values      = British (UK)
    Question – why is the man bothering to comment on this as a proud Scot ???
    My own family lived abroad for many years (US); my father was a (Poorhouse Tory); Picture of the queen on the wall & hung out with the Brits. That all gradually changed however, when we returned home in the 70’s having done well overseas, to a land bereft of status and wallowing in poverty.  Scotland had not done well while we were away and Great Britain was a myth. First to go was the Queen Picture then voting Tory followed all that was left was supporting Rangers (well you can’t have everything & some contradiction is good for being taken seriously). Hard work & community remains the family ethic to this day even with such skeletons in the closet. Pride in an inclusive Scottish Government, is the view of our future today and hope for the referendum, to put things finally right for our people.  Shame a similar story can’t be said of Mr Bannatyne!

    Galloways a lost cause (Self promoter always)
    Gorgeous George …Aye indeed

  65. turnip_ghost says:

    I am enjoying the varying threads in the comments section and want to share a new tact I’m taking with people I’m engaging with about the Indy Ref. I ask them if they like the Scottish Parliament (Which they obviously do) and if they are going to vote I ask them this..

    Let’s say we vote no. How would you feel if the Tories or UKIP put in their manifesto that they would close down the devolved governments if re-elected…And then they win…They have the “UK wide” mandate to do it…Do you agree with it?

    Every time so far the answer has been “No, that wouldn’t be right”, but I just point out…that’s how the UK works…

  66. Morag says:

    “Away too long”?  Er, remember where you are!

  67. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ SS – I’m a bit of a dinosaur having my first PC experiences with DOS and Windows 3.1. Now look where we are. My question is this do Poll companies use spreadsheets previously setup with formulaes for the I/O. Or do they use bespoke programmes that some IT Techie has set up for them? Its just a general interest question.

  68. gordoz says:

    Morag says:
    7 September, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    “Away too long”?  Er, remember where you are! ???

  69. scottish_skier says:

    Now look where we are. My question is this do Poll companies use spreadsheets previously setup with formulaes for the I/O.
    Tabulated spreadsheets is all you need. They’ll use their own software to the collect the data (responses to questions) most probably and it will export to a spreadsheet where they weight according to pre-set formulas. They change these from time to time to try and improve accuracy. These tables are the ones published. I’ve had excel tabled results from a number of pollsters (rather than the pdfs issued) although they’ve removed the formulae just leaving the calculated values.
    I remember 3.1 but more 95 generation (33 MHz pentium!)

  70. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Sorry for going O/T here but might I be permitted to suggest this song as the theme song for the pro independence campaign?

    I know it is the theme tune to Star Trek Enterprise but I do think there is a lot in common with the words of the song and what we are fighting for. 😆

  71. Morag says:

    “Away too long”?  Er, remember where you are! ???
    And who your host is?

  72. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Morag – I am lost here? Can you expand your post at 6:21pm? Thanks 🙂

  73. gordoz says:

    Ahh … right get it now  Morag (Rev Stu excepted below previously on other thread)

    Was trying to get to grips with the Bannatyne, Mone,  Spitierri, Gillespie ‘brit/scot’ poor wee hopeless clueless Scotland affect. I just dont get how, if you’ve done well away from home you can’t support the folks at home in a serious attempt to improve things. (Im alright Jack ?) 
    Had this on thread last night. (My 2nd part was not having a right go genuinely just fail to understand the mindset of the guys above //is this their story – I left cause Scotland was hard & rubbish and I did well, but dont change things cause you’ll ruin Scotland (my twee memory) and make it more rubbish??)

    O/T Rev a serious question (from your perspective).
    Duncan Bannatyne : Rubbish you are not interested in a serious point, you are hellbent in destroying Scotland”

    “Why is it some leave their homeland to head south and from afar, see the folly of a sleepwalking ‘Zombie Scotland’ drifting, bewitched in the wake of SS Britannic, yet others such as Mr Bannatyne no longer sense the value of where they came from or  the benefit in the greatest of all investment; ones people and the idea of nationhood ?”

  74. annie says:

    O/T – just read on BBC Bill Walker has resigned his seat in Scottish Parliament – blamed media witch hunt for making it impossible to carry on.

  75. Morag says:

    Good riddance.
    And as a small consolation prize, that will see the number of SNP MSPs increase by one.

  76. Morag says:

    @ Morag – I am lost here? Can you expand your post at 6:21pm? Thanks
    This started with a post by Gordoz suggesting that Scots who move to England and stay too long become identified with the UK state, British nationality, and the Union flag.  I thought that was a wee bit thoughtless considering we have a Scot who has lived in England for many years to thank for this excellent web site we’re all finding so useful.

    For the record, I lived in the Home Counties (if Sussex counts) for almost 25 years.  I spent that time longing for an independent Scotland.

  77. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Morag – Ok thanks for that.

  78. Morag says:

    When I lived in Sussex I was a member of London Branch SNP.  Others on the committee of the branch at that time included Alyn Smith and Duncan Ross.  We got a lot of new members coming in because they realised for the first time how much the UK was run for the benefit of the south-east of England, and how little anyone in England knew or cared about Scotland.

  79. Marcia says:

    Dunfermline was the seat that no one expected the SNP to win in 2011. If Dougie Chapman or Les Woods had stood we wouldn’t be having a by-election. Another dose of opposition negative campaigning coming up.

  80. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Morag – And as I noticed on a previous thread that was back in the 90’s so you have lots and lots of memories and passion over the past, present and future [21st Sept] for our Scotland. I am sure there are many Scots folk all over the world wishing they could be here to take part in activities and then vote.
    Hope we can meet at the Rally and would love to hear how a London SNP branch was setup and flourished.

  81. dee says:

    O/T Just to spoil our Saturday night viewing on the telly I just noticed Susan Calman presenting proms in the park. BBC Scotland never fail to impress.

  82. Arbroath 1320 says:

    With this by-election coming up in Dunfermline it will be tough however there is one thing that might be going in our favour for another SNP win and that is all the anti bedroom tax furore that has been going on for some time.
    Despite most people apparently, and quite rightly, being opposed to this disgusting attack on the poor, we have heard next to nothing from Labour about removing it. This should play straight into the SNP’s hands. SNP is the only party that has stood up and fought this tax to the best it can within the bounds of Westminster oversight. As we all know the SNP has been the people’s party of choice in Scotland for Holyrood since 2007 and I do not think this by-election will change this view much. 
    What I think will happen is that we’ll see a low turn out which, in my view, always seems to skew the results and no matter what the result we will have an outpouring on BBC and MSM that the result is a bad result for the SNP no matter what the result even if SNP hold onto the seat!

  83. Marcia says:

    The London Branch is one of the oldest branch of the SNP. In my time there in the 1980’s Gerry Fisher was the Chair. The late John Innes from Glenrothes was the vice-Chair.  Some of the old guard from the 1940’s were still alive then, Eoin Grant and Tom Maxwell. They used to tell us about the plants from MI5 who became a bit obvious after a while and how they were spied on during the coronation in 1953.  Gerry Fisher did ask some when they came along for the first time in joking way, ‘Are you from Scotland or Special Branch?’.

  84. scottish_skier says:

    Probability is an SNP hold for Dunfermline. They took if from the Libs who are down even further in polls than 2011. Lower turnout could just counterbalance this gain meaning holding by a similar margin.

  85. HandandShrimp says:

    I think Willie is desperate to win the seat back. While everyone wanted Walker to step down there was something odd about Willie’s enthusiasm. It was just a wee bit too political.
    I sincerely hope the SNP find a good candidate and hold the seat if for no other reason than to put Willie’s nose out of joint. His lot are still in office in Westminster and are party to some shocking moves towards the least able to survive the recession.

  86. call me dave says:

    A CONTROVERSIAL councillor is embroiled in a new row over an unpaid bill – which officials tried to write off.Glasgow councillor Sohan Singh’s Lorne Hotel in Finnieston owed almost £1400 to the council-owned Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.Despite repeated requests, the bill was not paid. And after four months, officials at the agency recommended to their board – which includes council leader Gordon Matheson – that the debt be written off.But it was pointed out there could be a conflict of interest because the debtor was a councillor. A source said: “Gordon Matheson looked horrified when he realised whose business it was.”…/…

  87. Dcanmore says:

    Bannatyne is a Labour voter and contributor for 20 years, before that he was Tory. He’s made his wealth in England, where he settled, and got his bauble from the Queen. His idea of Scotland is of a tourist destination seen through rose-tinted specs and nothing more. When he says he’s a proud Scot he talking from an historical sense, his roots and all that. His media career is mostly through the BBC and his books sell well from this fame. He is British establishment and that’s exactly where he wants to be, a working-class Scot who done well and wants to be ‘accepted’. When he talks about independence ‘destroying’ Scotland he needs to be challenged on that comment… what exactly will be destroyed Duncan?
    No, Bannatyne gets his Scottish ‘news’ through the right-wing media in England which is bolstered by the equally ill-informed company he keeps, he’s alright Jock and he wants to keep it that way even if it means keeping Scotland on a shortbread tin and nothing more. Bannatyne has no ambitions for Scotland as long as the current set up line his pockets. Once a Tory always a Tory even if his rosette is red these days.

  88. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Marcia – Thats really interesting, so even then the Westminster establishment was actively infiltrating any party that had Nationalist on their banners or were purporting to upset the Union.

  89. Marcia says:

    Yes, some files held at the UK National Archives give a flavour of some of their infiltration/worry.

  90. HandandShrimp says:

    So Mr Bannatyne will not actually be voting in this referendum then?
    It is remarkable just how many people on various forums, Facebook and in the press are keen to tell us how to vote but have no actual say in the matter. How much of Better Together’s funding comes from people who can vote in this referendum?

  91. Morag says:

    Tom Maxwell was still active in London Branch in my day.  I organised a dinner for his 90th birthday, and, sadly, attended his funeral.  I’m still in touch with his widow Rita.
    He had amazing stories of being a conscientious objector during the war, because he wouldn’t fight for the British state.  And I remember a very strange new member in the 1990s who seemed only interested in how many members we had.  When he found out, he vanished and was never seen again.  (I always remember taking his original inquiry call on my mobile at an SF convention at a Heathrow hotel while in full costume as Delenn from Babylon 5.  Thank goodness there were no such things as video phones.  At my end, the sight of Delenn being massively, diplomatically evasive in an attempt to avoid answering the question “how many members does the branch have?” was met with some bemusement.)

  92. Morag says:

    Hey wait a minute, Walker was a constituency MSP?  I thought he was an unexpected list winner.  How did that happen?  (I thought the next SNP bod on the list would just step in.  My bad.  Now I see why some people were so keen for him to go.)

  93. Famous15 says:

    Willie Rennie might be stupid but he’s no daft,as my granny used to say.I watched him and his cohort in Dunfermline a few years back and I was goBsmacked. The fought on local authority issues in a parliamentary election and won. The losers then were Labour and I actually felt sorry for them . Watch Rennie and his libdems closely as they are neither liberal or democratic in outlook!

  94. BeamMeUpScotty says:

    Haven’t met a union supporter yet who isn’t motivated by self interest.
    That includes Galloway who is petrified of being viewed as  a. foreigner in his new adopted country.

  95. muttley79 says:

    Just had a look at WoS Twitter, and I am afraid to say that Ian Smart has yet another nasty twit against the SNP.  This time it is about child abuse…. How much lower can this guy get, baring in mind we still have a year to go to the referendum?

  96. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Morag – Delenn costume, Heathrow Hotel, Special Branch infiltrators. Love it and thanks for your memories.
    @ Marcia – Will try to take a plunge into the National Archives however I was thinking there may be some books of those early years. Any ideas?

  97. ianbrotherhood says:

    This one’s for non-Tweeters/Twitterers:
    We all know the Rev’s a mild-mannered sort, not given to name-calling etc. So, who do you think he’s just called ‘a tragic arsehole’?
    Honest guesses please – nae Buster-Keaton e.g. peeking at the WoS Twitter feed.

  98. muttley79 says:

    That should be Tweet instead of twit!

  99. Morag says:

    I was thinking there may be some books of those early years. Any ideas?
    Tom Maxwell wrote his memoirs, though I don’t know who published them.  SI?

  100. TJenny says:

    SH Pol Ed has tweeted that ‘I understand Willie Rennie has ruled out resigning and standing as LD candidate in Dunfermline cf MSPs in Moray and Abdn Donside’
    Orders from WM and both too scared he wouldn’t get elected?

  101. The Man in the Jar says:

    Delenn? You surprise me yet again.
    I am a dead ringer for Tyr Anasazi by the way!
    I wish! 🙂

  102. Elizabeth says:

    From National Collective
    “Anas Sarwar Buys a pint of milk”

  103. TJenny says:

    The last line in my comment above viz ‘Orders from WM and both too scared he wouldn’t get elected?’ was my addition by the way and not SH Pol Ed’s.

  104. ianbrotherhood says:

    Hope someone sends it to the man himself.

  105. eva says:

    @ianbrotherhood and @muttley 79
    Ian Smart has no limit to the depths to which he will stoop but I would suggest that his latest is an indication of his fear that none of the other scare stories from Project Fear are having the desired effect.

  106. KOF says:

    @The Man in the Jar (9:59pm)
    I thought you’d look like Ambassador Kosh, being a “man” in a “jar”. 🙂
    I’ll get me coat.

  107. ianbrotherhood says:

    “Independence is not an economic decision, it concerns self-respect. How many countries do we know in the world where the people need a debate about whether or not they should determine their own existence. Ultimately it concerns survival. For whatever value our culture has it is ours, and like Sorely MacLean once said about the Gaelic language, even if it was a poor thing, it would still be loved, and those who used it would still have the desire to see it flourish. We may distinguish between country and culture: I favour ‘culture’. It may be the point where a clear separation occurs between nationalists and others.”
    James Kelman

    see more at:

  108. Morag says:

    It was all my own hair too.  I bought it in Selfridges.

  109. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Sorry for going O/T here but just seen this over on Twitter.
    Methinks there are going to be a lot of legal cases coming up in the years ahead. Either that or this is Cameron’s alternative to raising manning levels for his armed services that he has cut into the bone.


  110. The Man in the Jar says:

    I was going to make a smart arsed comment about The Face of Boe but I don’t want to upset Rev Bem`s thread with a load of SF nonsense.
    I had visualised you with half of a big clamshell superglued to the back of your napper! Or should that be knapper?
    That’s what I want post independence a “Scots” spellchecker!
    Oh well! Back to fighting the Empire.

  111. TJenny says:

    Arbroath 1320 – re the National Service Bill you linked to above I note at the end that it says ‘extends to England and Wales’. No mention of Scotland or did I miss it or are they preparing to lose Scots in forces?

  112. Fairliered says:

    I’m not sure what i’m looking forward to most about a Yes vote – the benefits to 99% of Scots or the shock, horror and disbelief on the faces of Ian Smart, Anas Sarwar, Lard Foulkes, iain Davidson and …. who was that woman who used to be the leader of scottish lsbour – Joan Lament? Joanne La Mutt? Johann Lamentable? , anyway the woman wi nae teeth that misteriously disappeared in Summer 2013 somewhere over Falkirk.

  113. Dramfineday says:

    Ahh Morag,  Babylon 5: perceived as an outright war story, but a love story on a great many levels.
    As leader of the army of the light – I salute you.
    Kind regards Lorien
    PS, was it the best sci-fi series ever?

  114. Arbroath 1320 says:

    To be honest TJ I’m not sure. At the moment the whole of the defence of UK is Westminster controlled, therefore I assumed the bill would be applied across the whole of UK. The fact that it only applies to England and Wales would in my view imply one of two things are likely to happen.
    1) Westminster intend bringing out a second paper covering Scotland. Somehow I don’t see this one happening
    2) they hope Holyrood will bring out a similar bill, although why that would happen is beyond me as Holyrood has no control over anything defence related.
    Perhaps Westminster is raising this bill in preparation for an Independence win and they know the current manning shortages will be even more short after 2014.

  115. TJenny says:

    Arbroath 1320 – I think it may be as you suggest in your last para as Scot Gov doesn’t have any defence powers that I’m aware of – if we did we wouldn’t have Trident. Also I read this bill last week re link on Twitter but haven’t heard anything on the News about it (surprised Not!)
    I do think though that this Bill along with the major welfare cuts are not just idealogical but are a lot to do with the fUK population not missing our financial input as much when we leave thereby allowing the population to continue to believe that Scots were subsidised – if you get my drift?
    ps – apols (esp to Morag I can’t get my comma button to work;-(

  116. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’ve just had a squint at this National Service Bill and think the second para is quite telling.
    an element of public service, comprising one or more of the following 
    to be chosen by the individual:-
    i) Charitable work
    ii) Social action
    iii) Care for the elderly or disabled
    iv) Overseas development activity
    v) work connected with the National Health Service, the emergency services or the Armed Forces.
    Not only that but those participating in this National Service, which almost no one can avoid, will be paid the national minimum wage. Now I don’t know about anyone else but this stinks of slave labour to me. Not only does it smell of slave labour but slave labour on the cheap!

  117. Morag says:

    I had visualised you with half of a big clamshell superglued to the back of your napper!
    Easy.  An ordinary hairband will sit in that position just as easily as it sits in the usual position.  Make the shape of the head-bone in cardboard, to keep it light, and sew it to the hairband.  Get the texture in with a minimal amount of plasticine.  Paint with grey paint with bits of straw or something in it (tip from the local handcrafts shop).  Use two or three other colours of modelling paint to get a deeper 3-D effect.  The result can just be put on and taken off like a hairband.

    Mira Furlan had to spend hours in make-up.  I could do it in ten minutes.
    PS, was it the best sci-fi series ever?

  118. TJenny says:

    Arbroath 1320 – it also states that the minimum adult wage is as stipulated at section 2 of the ’98 Act but can’t find that to see what it says. Plus after they have completed one year as a conscript, (Ah – comma button now working) they will get a certificate which entitles them to a ‘lifetime’ higher tax free allowance of 10%! Does that apply to normal forces’ personnel and if not – I foresee law suits aplenty from serving staff unless there wont be any by time Bill’s passed;-$

  119. Morag says:
    Bloody hell!  They’re not really going to do that, are they?  And what’s with Scotland being exempt?  Are they intending a matching Scotland-only bill?  I can’t quite believe I’m reading that.  Have I woken up in some alternate reality?

  120. X_Sticks says:

    Apologies if someone has already raised this, but it may be of interest. I’ve just copied this post by “From the Suburbs” over on Newsnet – FTS beat me to it:
    From The Suburbs 2013-09-07 12:27
    O/t – the BBC Newswatch programme is holding a ‘special’ edition next weekend from Glasgow on the BBC coverage of the Referendum vote. contact details,
    You can send us your views on the coverage of events by BBC News, in the following ways:
    By email

    On Twitter

    By telephone
    0370 010 6676 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0370 010 6676 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting
    By post
    W1 NBH 03D
    BBC Broadcasting House
    London W1A 1AA

  121. Arbroath 1320 says:

     ‘lifetime’ higher tax free allowance of 10% will almost certainly not apply to our ‘normal’ forces TJ. As it stands at present these forces are used, abused and then discarded by Westminster without so much as a by your leave. You only have to look at how the injured service men and women are treated at the moment to see that nothing will change in the future.

  122. TJenny says:

    And in the Sunday Times ‘Govt to axe BBC Trust’ and put it under Ofcom – a bit late but better late than never – maybe?
    Slightly O/T – Shirley-Anne Sommerville’s name being bandied about as SNP candidate for Walker’s replacement. If it wasn’t for our slightly bonkers voting system of redistribution of losing votes she would have won Ed North + Leith in 2011 and should have.

  123. The Man in the Jar says:

    I shall bear your instructions in mind next time that I get “doled up” for going out.
    B5was good till after the Shadow Wars went right down the pan thereafter IMO. I prefer a good “shoot em up” like Andromeda although series 5 was a bummer. I once watched all 110 episodes over three weeks. In my defence I was off sick with a broken thumb after doing a Superman impression over the handlebars of my motorbike in George Street.

  124. Erchie says:

    Delenn you say.
    I dresed as a Ranger at a convention back when there was only one and we weren’t sure if it was just what Marcus wore or a uniform. Making the badge was fun.
    “Only one human captain has ever survived battle with a Minbari Fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else!”

  125. TJenny says:

    Again re Nat Service Bill – when Bill’s passed for Eng + Wales can WM just add a wee amendment to include Scotland too? And – what about NI?? Can’t see this a as being accepted by all over there or will NI escape as I think they already have control of Wefare/Benefits and this seems to be a work not benefits prog.

  126. Erchie says:

    The Man in the Jar

    I watched a few episodes of Andromeda until I twigged it was that same series Rodenberry did a pilot for twice in the seventies.
    The Shadow War ended as it did, the other races telling the Elder Races “We’re not too poor, too wee nor too stupid to go it alone, so bugger aff”

    B5 suffered from Hollywood Accounting (JMS said a Warner set could go on fire in Africa and he’d find it marked against B5 costs” and them talling JMS to end it at the 4th series so he had to concertina it all together, then they got a fith with them having used all the main plot in the fourth

  127. The Man in the Jar says:

    Much more of this and we will have to move it over to quarantine before we anoraks upset any anoraks or we will have the “Anorak Wars”
    Or is it just the usual Saturday night Twilight Zone stuff?

  128. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I have just posted over on Munguin’s TJ that I reckon a NO vote in 2014 will see an amendment to this bill to include Scotland being very quickly passed by Westminster. This is another fine example of why we’re better together, en masse slave labour and nothing anyone can do to stop it except vote YES in 2014!

  129. The Man in the Jar says:

    Looks like Saturday night twilight zone again!
    I think Andromeda benefited by being Canadian produced with a mostly Canadian cast which removed the Hollywood influence / bullshit and freed things up creatively.
    Best move this to quarantine if you want to continue.

  130. TJenny says:

    Arbroath 1320 – I agree wholeheartedly we sooo need a YES vote next year. However re Nat Conscription Bill, will/would it be supported by Slab/Labour? We need to know, as this could be more grist to our mill.

  131. The Man in the Jar says:

    Speaking with my “old soldier bunnet” on I hope this national service dose not effect the armed forces.
    I get very annoyed with the “Bring back national service” lot. Why should the forces be lumbered with the government’s detritus?

  132. HandandShrimp says:

    I was more of a Lexx fan myself

  133. TJenny says:

    TMitJ – why because maybe the intention is to retire most of the serving lower rank personell by the time the bill passes and only retain the training/higher grades. It’s yet another indication that the ConDems see us all us just cogs in the wheel that has to be oiled the cheapest way possible. Poundland indeed.
    BTW are the SNP aware of this Bill do we know? Another way to show the so called benefits of the union if we say NO. Eeek and heaven forfend:-(

  134. Paula Rose says:

    This ‘National Service Bill’ is a private members bill? Calm down dears, these things don’t happen!

  135. The Man in the Jar says:

    I don’t imagine for a moment that retiring the lower ranks would work, as it is the lower ranks that have the experience of running the day to day things. The upper ranks are mostly public schoolboys and spend far too much time just being toffs.
    I think that the UK armed forces are going downhill rapidly. The idea that you can replace regulars with the TA is laughable. It would be like replacing all the policemen and women with “Special Constables”. How do you think that would that work out? There is a place for the TA but it is not in the front line.
    Old regular army gag!
    Q. What is the difference between the TA and the Cadets?
    A. The Cadets have got adults in charge!

  136. Chic McGregor says:

    Before I ever knew Bannatyne, Mone or Spiteri’s political allegiance and despite their obvious success my assessment of them could be summed up in one word  –  “thick”.

  137. Chic McGregor says:

    Now that Lamont is  ‘back in the real world’ I wonder if she has noticed yet the distinct whiff of coffee ?

  138. National Service Bill
    This is a private members bill but says a lot about the thinking of some at Westminster. 
    By an extraordinary co-incidence such a scenario is envisaged in a newly published political satire IN THE WAKE OF THE COUP by Dorothy Bruce

  139. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Paula Rose
    Is it! TBH I couldn’t be bothered to look.
    I should have known a Tory Private Members bill for England and Wales. They simply forgot that Scotland exists.

  140. TJenny says:

    TMitJ – or are they simply testing the water to see public reaction?
    Paula Rose – are Private Members’ Bills never approved?

  141. Paula Rose says:

    Actually – I, having been unable to get work, would love to get the minimum wage rather than JSA in order to smarten up my community – at the moment I do it for free and then have to justify to the job centre how I have been looking for work!

  142. Morag says:

    I thought it had to be a Private Members Bill.  It’s basically bonkers insane.  Are they seriously telling medical students that they have to take a year out of their lives to work emptying bedpans for a year on the minimum wage?  I mean, it’s all completely unworkable drivel.

    It certainly shows how some of these “honourable members” elected by our dear cousins in the Home Counties think, though.

  143. Morag says:

    In fact, it’s so bonkers insane we’d actually be far better employed debating the relative merits of various 1990s TV SF shows.

    I had an Ivanova costume as well.  Two, actually.  And a Psi Corps badge, which is sort of instant costume, like sticking an H on your forehead.

  144. Paula Rose says:

    (btw lassies and lads looks like our roll call is wondrous)

  145. Patrician says:

    Morag, as a Babylon5 fan you have just gone up a million points in my estimation, and another million on top of that for wearing a Delenn costume.  Did you go to Comicon in Glasgow today to meet Mira Furlan?

  146. TJenny says:

    Don’t know about it being bonkers – other countries e.g. Israel and South Africa have been doing it for years. Not sure if they both still do. In the 90s in SA you could opt for 1 year in the armed forces or 2 years in the police – the longer time to serve in police reflecting that you wouldn’t be sent to war zones in i.e. Angola.
    I can see this playing very well down south as seen to be instilling a bit of ‘British Backbone and Stiff Upper Lip into the so called skivers. 

  147. Paula Rose says:

    @TJenny – There is so much that needs to be done to make our land great, the economic benefit to all makes the paying of folk to be an active part of their community a sensible option.

  148. jammach says:

    Another huge B5 fan here. Oops just outed myself. I would say to Scotland … “Jump! Jump now!” Although I’m sure she’ll be around for years after …!

  149. redcliffe62 says:

    Update from Oz on dodgy election….
    Oz senate system in chaos.

    The voting system in the senate in Oz is not optional. 98% vote “1” above the line instead of numbering all the boxes below the line. As about 100 boxes to fill in, in some states it makes sense.

    There is confusion with the Liberal Democrats standing in Oz, as non anoraks assumed they were the Liberals, but they are a gun toting group with limited support. They did not advertise, relying on confusion.
    Sadly in NSW they got the first spot on the ticket, the premium position for donkey vote and those with no knowledge, so almost 9% voted for them instead of Liberals thinking they were voting liberal. they got elected!

    Almost as bad, parties with no support got elected on preferences. the Motoring enthusiasts party, with just 0.52% of the vote, picked up a seat after preferences from 30 plus parties to them. Newly formed before election, they hold balance of power, and main policy is to be able to drive 4wd’s through national parks.

    In Perth, WA, a sporting party got all the preferences and amazingly got a seat, they stand for everyone doing exercise.
    The main parties who had all the votes were not preferenced by each other and lost out.

    The balance of power is held by people who nobody voted for.
    So a change to the system is needed at some stage, not that the newbies in the Senate will vote for change as it would remove them next time!
    The real liberals just scraped a seat after preferences against them in NSW and ACT, with no Liberal Democrat votes these would have been a formality.

    Had those 2 seats not been won then Greens/Labour would have controlled senate and stopped the governments new legislation!

    Democracy in action, but copying the Oz system where everyone is forced to vote and the position on a ballot is crucial is not to be recommended.

  150. Alex Taylor says:

    @ Ianbrotherhood
    I’ve tried and tried and tried, but I don’t get James Kelman. Can he write? Or am I uniquely unable to understand his genius?

  151. Vincent McDee says:
    Aust election public sick of public sector workers and phony welfare scroungers sucking life out of economy.Others nations to follow in time
    With 70% of the Aussie media in his control, is anybody surprised Labour won?

  152. DonDeefLugs says:

    O/t Archie:
    And the Land Lay Still by James Robertson is an excellent book which gives an insight into how the ‘security services’ gathered information/infiltrated anything that went against the status quo in Scotland. Well worth a read.

  153. Edward Barbour says:

    Vincent McDee
    Actually Labour lost, it was the  Liberal-National coalition  that won defeating Labour, and a lurch to the right?

  154. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ dondeeflugs – Thanks for that

  155. Thistle says:

    Maybe you can help me with something… I have just setup a youtube and google+ account to allow streaming events and we will hopefully be streaming the RIC Question Time event on Oct 2nd from Gladcafe in Glasgow (Panelists include Gordon from Business for Scotland, Lynda from Newsnet Scotland and more).  if you can get 100 people to subscribe to your youtube channel you get an extra feature that allows you to stream directly from youtube without using google+
    1) If you have a YouTube account, or maybe you could set one up, could you go to:
    and click “subscribe” button.
    2) We will be recording the event as well as streaming, however the two cameras we will be using to record do not have a facility to connect directly to a computer to allow us to use for streaming. Do you know anybody that would have such a camera and let us borrow it, or they could come along to event and help out with camera?

  156. Gillie says:

    Under the Labour governments of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, British companies sold chemical components to Syria that are used to manufacture Sarin gas. This period was from 2004 to 2010.
    As a member of the Labour cabinet Ed Miliband would have been aware of export licences being granted because such contentious matters are regularly discussed and decided upon in cabinet.
    Ed Miliband had conclusive proof all along he just forgot to recall his own time in the Labour cabinet.

  157. Roll_On_2014 says:

    @G Campbell
    Next week’s not news: Fatal blow to balloon-faced dictator Salmond as Michelle Mone comes out for Britain.

    I recently read that michelle mone’s underwear and bra Company went tits-up (excuse the pun) and lost somewhere in the region of £500,000

  158. Baheid says:

    Done, not much use to you with other requests

  159. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Query: What is RIC Question Time?

  160. Boorach says:

    Radio Scotland about to destroy the case for independence on the business prog. Just starting…. stand by for 30 minutes of CBI propoganda.

  161. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Alex Taylor –
    I’ve tried and tried and tried, but I don’t get James Kelman. Can he write? Or am I uniquely unable to understand his genius?
    Have you read ‘Kieron Smith, boy‘? If not, I’ll spare you my witterings, but these reviews may be of interest. Cheers.

  162. dee says:

    @Boorach, I only listen to Douglas Frazer for as long as it takes me to find the remote control to change the channel. He is SO anti-Scottish, partnered with that doom-laden voice, that he gets about 2 seconds worth of airtime in my house.

  163. gordoz says:

    Morag says:
    7 September, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    @ Morag – I am lost here? Can you expand your post at 6:21pm? Thanks
    This started with a post by Gordoz suggesting that Scots who move to England and stay too long become identified with the UK state, British nationality, and the Union flag.  I thought that was a wee bit thoughtless considering we have a Scot who has lived in England for many years to thank for this excellent web site we’re all finding so useful.

    Morag I notice you like to police quite a lot on the site. So just to keep the facts straight – I stand by the post relating to D Bannatyne and didn’t mention England at all. (Not my style) So again sorry don’t know where this aspect has come from. Was this confused with another post ?


  164. Thistle says:

    An event setup by Radical Independence Campaign Southside, Glasgow on Oct 2nd.
    FB event here :
    Not sure which way you’re voting in next year’s independence referendum? Bored of the same old debate? Not sure what’s true and what’s not in the media?
    On Wednesday 2nd October, the RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CAMPIAGN SOUTHIDE group will be hosting our very own independence Question Time at the Glad Café, Shawlands. 
    We’ll have a panel of experts, from comedians to campaigners to people from the business community, who can answer any questions around the Scottish independence debate that you might have. 
    Panellists confirmed so far include Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, an economist from Business for Scotland, and Lynda Williamson from Newsnet Scotland, with more to come!
    The evening will be separated into three parts; “Too Wee”, “Too Poor”, “Too Daft”. Is Scotland too small to survive alone? Are we too poor a country to make it work without Westminster? Are we simply getting ahead of ourselves? You may think so, but our panellists can break down exactly why we’re none of those things.
    RADICAL INDEPENDENCE QUESTION TIME will be a lively, humorous debate between our panel and you, the audience. 
    So come along, bring your friends and your families, and join in with the debate on Scotland’s future.

  165. Morag says:

    Did you go to Comicon in Glasgow today to meet Mira Furlan?
    No – I didn’t know it was on, or that she was here.  I’ve met her several times at conventions in England – somewhere I have a photo taken with her, with me in the Delenn costume.

  166. Alan Gerrish says:

    Arbroath 1320 
    See no-one’s responded to your suggestion for 
     a campaign theme song, and all I can say is what a load a philistines there must be out there.  Pure dead brilliant, Arbroath – great suggestion!
    Also, re the bedroom tax and Dunfermline bye election,  why on earth does the SNP not shout from the roof-tops at every opportunity that the tax was introduced by a Labour government, so why should we ever expect a Labour government to axe it?  OK, it was applied to the private housing sector under Labour, but the impact on  tenants was in many cases as bad as is now being felt those in social housing.  Expose the Labour purveyors of spin for what they are in claiming they would never have brought in such an iniquitous tax.

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