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We could do these all day

Posted on July 31, 2013 by


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    49 to “We could do these all day”

    1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      How much of this “higher per head spending in Scotland” is due to central funds allocated as a nominal contribution to UK general expenses; like London infrastructure, Olympics etc?

    2. Macart says:

      I was set to vote YES just by Alexander telling us it was only going to cost us a pound per skull. 🙂

    3. Yes, I’d be interested in seeing a breakdown of the ‘public spending in Scotland’ too. Does anyone know where I can find one?

    4. mato21 says:

      A pound per skull Macart How will the two headed beasts be able to afford the extra?

    5. Tony Little says:

      Rev.  Without putting even more pressure on you, are you sharing these ideas directly with YES or not?  One thing that I think the YES campaign will need to do early next year is a series of poster campaigns that could easily be based on this idea of yours: What BT tells you; What BT leaves out
      The MSM will not move.  (Although I am getting mixed messages from the Herald nowadays, so maybe a “late convert”?) and posters are also a subliminal message medium. 
      In any case, I would hope that YES is keeping an eye on ALL the online Independence sites and I would also like to think that they will be contacting the likes of yourself, Bella, Newsnet etc. closer to the REAL campaign start in November with the White paper.
      I will be back in UK August/September and would love to meet some of you.  Where can I find out about YES plans?
      Thanks to all

    6. Turnbull Drier says:

      Keep it up Rev. and my Facebook will collapse under the weight of all these shares.. 🙂

    7. Macart says:

      LOL 😀
      Expenses of course. Mind you for the rest of us we’ll have to save up oor sweetie money, but it’ll be worth it.

    8. Vronsky says:

      Can I say I like this ‘what we tell you/what we left out’ format, Rev.  It’s very visual and succinct, easy to re-post the image around Facebook, etc.  More please.

    9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      How much of this “higher per head spending in Scotland” is due to central funds allocated as a nominal contribution to UK general expenses; like London infrastructure, Olympics etc?”

      Indeed, but that’s much too complicated to try to get across in simple graphics like these, so they just focus on debunking the main claim.

    10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Without putting even more pressure on you, are you sharing these ideas directly with YES or not?”

      They know we’re here. Blair Jenkins and others follow us on Twitter. If you want them sent directly, why not post them on the Yes page yourself? I’m kinda busy.

    11. Vronsky says:

      Can I say I like this ‘what we tell you/what we left out’ format, Rev.  It’s very visual and succinct, easy to re-post the image around Facebook, etc.  More please.


    12. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I’ll be back in Glasgow at the end of August, arrive morning 22nd and depart the afternoon 28th.
      Up for a pint if anyone else is.

    13. tartanfever says:

      Yeah, I get what you mean Rev about the overall effectiveness of the graphic but Mac’s got a point in his post.

      I’ve always wondered about housing benefit – in London it is worth more than £2000 a year more than the Scottish award – and clearly thats needed because rents are so high – but are these figures included ? 

      Even if they are, what they do demonstrate is that Westminster are willing to recognise a regional variation and adjust accordingly, but not in Scotland. Here we have a public water system and we have large swathes of rural communities all of which add greatly to our public spend because of the nature of getting services and provisions to these places. 
      I think when debunking the ‘subsidy junkie’ myth it’s good to have a little more than the simple contribution figures, although they do work a treat.

    14. Marcia says:

      The longer the campaign goes on it seems that time is not on the No side. Very surprised to find out that one of my friends who for years was a committed No voter in any referendum is now starting to think of voting Yes. Once the information for voting Yes is actually read it will shift the vote. The Rev Stu’s posters would be ideal on billboards.
      I think David Cameron might rue the day he started the whole referendum process in early January 2012. It forced the Yes side into action much earlier than they had planned. So thank you Dave for shifting one of my friends to thinking of voting Yes instead of being an automatic No.

    15. Neil McAdam says:

      When I hear this “Scotland gets more public per head” argument, it makes my blood boil.
      The fact is, due to simply demographics, any public spending project will benefit less people is Scotland than if the same project is undertaken in England.
      For example, if you build a road in Scotland, and it cost’s £5 million, then the cost per head is £1 if you use the Scottish population figures.
      If you build the SAME road in England, the cost per head is £5 million divided by the population of England, (sorry my calculator’s broken!)

    16. Simon says:

      Yes this is a very catchy and effective kind of graphic. Doing them all day would be a good use of time and effort I would say!

    17. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Rev Stu @ 9:57
      Factor that in and I would guess that the London / SE would have a much higher spend per capita than any other region of the UK. Remember that all sales tax, VAT and exports from companies registered in London is recorded as a tax receipt from London and not where the product is made (Scotch Whisky and BAE destroyers etc) or the service is delivered ( insurance, legal advice, tax advice etc)
      The disgrace about pay-in charges to the National Grid (effectively a hidden tax on electric generation in Scotland) is one of, I am sure, many other tax subsidies off books.
      I believe that the much vaunted tax take in the SE is well out of line with the reality of the reduction in the casino banking activities in the last few years though there are indications that the barstewards are ramping up their funny money schemes again.
      The SE is the region with the greatest subsidy.

    18. Calum Craig says:

      O/T I’m afraid… When I saw links on Twitter last night to today’s Sun front cover I thought it was a piss take (I don’t mean the “Scottish” Sun). But, right enough, it’s there.

      Pretty much encapsulates every reason why Scotland should be independent (and why I feel ever less British all the time).

    19. CameronB says:

      They would make ideal postcards, with the massage front and back. How many of us  though, read any of the ‘junk mail’ we are constantly bombarded with? Billboards, bus shelter posters, building wraps are the sort of mass communication that is needed in the absence of a balanced MSM, IMO. I would assume that Yes will have this covered and appropriately booked the best locations already. I hope so anyway.

    20. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Yeah, I get what you mean Rev about the overall effectiveness of the graphic but Mac’s got a point in his post.”

      I know he does, and we address it in all sorts of longer posts on this site. These figures, for example, also assume that an independent Scotland would have the same spending commitments it does as part of the UK, which is plainly bollocks – the biggest elephant in the room being the huge saving we’d make on the defence budget.

      But these graphics aren’t about that. A place for everything and everything in its place.

    21. Doug Daniel says:

      I think the title of this post should be “We WILL do these all day”!
      These last two infographics are brilliant. They’re simple to understand, catchy, and get across the message that Better Together only tell you half the facts. It’d be great if you do one for every one of their “the facts you need” series.

    22. Tony Little says:

      @Rev – OK, I feel duly reprimanded!  I will do this!

    23. Murray McCallum says:

      Basically no better together want Scotland to continue to be kept in the dark and shafted.  Their stuff really pisses me off.

    24. Albalha says:

      Good idea, I’m not a member of the official YES campaign but doubt anything can be taken for granted as to the extent of their advertising strategy, in any case duplication is preferable to nothing.
      Maybe the NC folks could run some up as they probably, as artists, have easy access to digital printers.

    25. EphemeralDeception says:

      The best fictional accounts we have are GERS:
      16% of all expenditure that is assigned to Scotland is made whether it occurred here or not or partially (and even that 16% is a poor estimate)
      UK identifiable expenditure covered 83.9% of UK total public expenditure. The remaining spending cannot be attributed to individual locations, for example, because it is spent for the benefit of the UK as a whole. A proportion of such UK non-identifiable expenditure is allocated to the public sector for Scotland
      If spending is not significant (less than £20 million on capital or current) and/or relevant data for allocating this to regions are not available, departments may use some statistical proxy instead.
      This is usually done using per capital share across the UK.
      Also our tax revenue is often artificially lower than it should be. An example in GERS is the EU revenue share and VAT and rebate (Box 5.2 EU Transactions)

    26. Indy_Scot says:

      I would not be surprised if the Yes campaign is not head hunting you soon.

    27. southernscot says:

      I hear the Better Together are also head hunting Rev. But not in the same way. (smiley)

    28. Tris says:

      I agree with Doug.
      A series of these posters repudiating their ridiculous claims (and on billboards all over the country) could be game changers. 
      They are brilliant.

    29. Kendomacaroonbar says:

      I am up for contributing to a WOS billboard fund.  Even if its 1 board located in Waverley or central station   Need to think how best to do this 

    30. Roll_On_2014 says:

      “Scottish Labour’s leadership looks more like the clumsiest approximation of Michael Foot (without the brains), with communications skills courtesy of Charles Saatchi in divorce mode. “

      I wish I could lay claim to the quote but I can’t….. it’s Eric Joyce’s over on LabourHame…

      My interpretation of Labour in Scotland is that they are using the ‘Gerald Ratner’ approach and as a consequence they will go the same way he did.

    31. Rosco_v1 says:

      Keep these going if you have the time Rev, they’re great and an excellent tool for showing some undecided voters the pile of nonsense they’re fed daily by BT.

    32. Nick Durie says:

      Then do.  They are very valuable.

    33. HenBroon says:

      Here’s one I did earlier:
      Regarding public spending.
      David Cameron said in a speech in Glasgow a couple of years ago:

      “There’s one aspect of Scottish-English relations that I want to address.

      It may seem trivial to some but I happen to believe that it’s almost more damaging to the Union than institutional or economic difficulties.

      It’s a question of attitudes.

      And, in particular, the ignorance of English people about Scots and Scotland.

      All too often Scots switch on their televisions to be greeted with ignorant and inaccurate stereotypes.

      Even as an Englishman, I find it a bit embarrassing.

      Another aspect of English cultural insensitivity that rears its head in the media is the vexed question of sporting identity.

      Why is that Scottish sportsmen and women who win are habitually claimed by English media commentators as ‘British’ only to be promptly redesignated as ‘Scottish’ the moment they lose?

      Instead of deriding Scots as chippy or difficult, isn’t it time that English people of good will educated themselves?

      Part of the problem is that some English commentators don’t seem to know what to think of Scotland – when they can be bothered to think at all.

      They appear seriously confused.

      One moment they deride Scots as hopeless drunks and beggars.

      The next they complain that England is run by something called the Scottish Raj, a race of superhumans led by John Reid and Kirsty Wark.”

      Brown’s £2bn Tube bail out…THE SOUTH FEAST…….

      The Government is having to pay £2billion to clear the debts of failed Tube contractor Metronet, it was revealed today.

      The Department for Transport must hand over the money after Metronet’s backers called in their loans. It marks a major humiliation for Gordon Brown who as Chancellor was the chief architect of the private public partnership deal behind the debacle.

      Metronet had originally raised the cash to cover the cost of its contracts to maintain and upgrade seven London Underground lines. But it went into administration last year with the debt outstanding.

      Conservative transport spokesman Stephen Hammond said: “This is an extraordinary sum of money. The contracts should have been more tightly written. We,the taxpayer, are now underwriting the cost of Gordon Brown’s failed PPP.”

      Under the arrangement, pushed through by Mr Brown in the face of fierce opposition, Metronet’s backers are entitled to have all their debts repaid exactly six months after the company went into administration.

      The Government has been forced to pick up the bill on behalf of Transport for London which is seeking to take over Metronet. “Metronet raised this money and should have invested it effectively, it failed,” said a TfL insider.

      The complex financial arrangement sees the Government hand over £2 billion to TFL which will in turn pay the money to Metronet’s lenders.

      TfL said the failure would not cost the London farepayer any more money. But it was unclear exactly how much the taxpayer would be out of pocket.

      Insiders said that until TfL got its hands on Metronet’s books it was impossible to tell how much work they had done and at what cost.

      London Underground managing director Tim O’Toole said: “Our priority remains the removal of Metronet from PPP administration as quickly as possible. A great deal of progress has already been made. Tube services continue to operate safely and reliably for passengers, as they have done throughout the period of PPP administration.”

      Today’s arrangement was triggered by the banks whichwere entitled to call in their debts – a process known as the Put option – from Metronet exactly six months after the company went into administration.

      A Department of Transport aide said the deal was equivalent of someone having to pay off their mortgage early.

      In a statement a spokesman said: “The settlement gives London Underground the resources needed to manage Metronet’s administration and move toward a more stable long-term footing and continue the work to maintain, renew and upgrade the Underground.

      “This will have limited net impact on public finances since Metronet’s borrowing was already part of the Government’s balance sheet.”

      Metronet, the largest of the two private firms upgrading the Tube, collapsed after running out of cash. Despite receiving around £70 million a month of government money to upgrade nine of the 12 Tube lines – all but the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly – it forecast a £2 billion black hole.

      This put it in dispute with the Mayor, who frequently condemned the firm as incompetent and called for its directors to be “hung, drawn and quartered”.

      This condemnation, combined with delays in its work, caused its share price to crash. When it applied for an extra £550 million to keep it going but received only £121 million, the company was put into administration. Despite the collapse, TfL performed a miracle and kept services running – though many of the station upgrades have been put on ice.

      THE SOUTH FEAST.Our collective pensions pay a lot of bonuses in the city of London. Scottish money is spent on educating a lot of people who go and live and pay tax in London.

      Bureacrats who administer Scotland work and play in London.

      Our soldiers go off and fight in Iraq and pay their taxes centrally.

      We shop in shops who report profits centrally. We buy things made by companies who report profits centrally. We pay for media based in London….. When you dig down and add on the cash that is not included in the per capita amounts, you find that the SOUTH EAST U.K. is cushioned by billions of taxpayers money which pours into London from Scotland and the rest of the U.K.Scotland’s budget administers a geographic area covering one third of the UK landmass.

      The present figures per head are. N.I. £9385. Scotland. £8623. Wales. £8139. England. £7121.These figures only take account of identifiable spending. ie. Money collated to the London account is monies that are spent specifically for the benefit of London.

      The figures do not account for, thousands of Civil service jobs stuffed into London because it is “The Capital,”

      The Foreign Office-

      The MOD-

      Dept.of Health-Culture and Sport-

      The Treasury-

      The Home Office-



      Westminster including The Lords, do not count towards the London per capita account as they are regarded as for the common good of the U.K. as a whole.

      A massive public subsidy pouring into London that does not show up on the books. These agencies by their very existence create in their wake thousands of spin of industries businesses and job’s to service them. As Scotland is finding out.

      Professor James Mitchell of Strathclyde University say’s , there are billions spent on London that are never added to the account’s thousands and thousands of jobs centred in London simply because it is the capital of the U.K.

      These jobs are counted as part of the shared U.K. total, never added to the London spend. It doesn’t matter if it part of the common U.K. effort, you can’t pretend that all the investment in London is doing any good in Aberdeen or Devon.

      The Millennium Dome, cost £789 million, almost twice as much as Holyrood, for what a white tent?

      Money plundered from the Lottery at the expense of the U.K..The Olympics are already at £5bn. And will plunder the Lottery again, starving Scottish athletes of funds for development, and with Scotland forced into a U.K. team many Scottish athletes will never see Olympic fame as they would otherwise in a Scottish team.

      The Jubilee rail link at £3.5bn. 3.5 times the estimate for a Forth crossing.Scotland’s entire transport “allowance,” is £2.3bn. The new Euro Star London to Paris line has just cost us the thick end of £6bn. Great benefit to us here in Scotland.

      The BBCs budget is £4bn. Half of the Scottish “allowance,” for health.

      According to the BBCs annual report, 44,234 hours of TV were produced in London, compared to 2,495 in Scotland. They spent a tiny £106 million in Scotland out of a £505 million outside London. Leaving £3.5 billion INSIDE London, no wonder BBC Scotland is so utterly dire and pathetic.

      Institutions classed as “National Resources,” do not count towards London Government spending.

      The National Gallery gets £26 million.

      National History Museum gets £45 million.

      The British Museum gets £45 million.

      The National Museum of Scotland is classed as “just for Scotland,” and gets £15 million per annum.

      Most of the UKs citizens will never visit these “national assets,” in London, as it is to expensive to travel and stay there.The London Centric Scotlandphobic Union is a giant con and propaganda machine.

      And then there is GERS which was compiled by Dr. Goudie was ordered by the Tory’s primarily to undermine the truth put forward by the SNP and many financial experts that Scotland was economically viable as an independent country.

      Dr. Goudie has urged politicians to treat GERS with caution as the figures used are pure mythology and propaganda, and have easily been discredited by many experts and the SNP.

      The top secret McCrone report said:
      It is not possible to compare these figures with an accurate estimate of Scotland’s present balance of payments position. From the state of Scotland’s economy one would expect a balance of payments deficit on current account and a rough comparison of income and expenditure estimates for GDP suggest that this could be of the order of £300m. a year in 1970/71.

      Plainly this is a most unreliable figure and it will vary from year to year, but it is probably sufficient to suggest the orders of magnitude. What is quite clear is that the balance of payments gain from North Sea oil would easily swamp the existing deficit whatever its size and transform Scotland into a country with a substantial and chronic surplus.

      No wonder then that the Westminster/ UK/ English parliament, (same thing) lies and contorts itself so badly to keep Scotland where they want her. Who wants a partner who you have to subsidise?

      Micheal Lynch – Scotland; A new History – points out the the Scottish economy prior to the treaty was growing at around 2.5% per annum based on data from custom duties income.
      Post Union there was a collapse of the Scottish economy as it was flooded with cheap imports from England causing major job losses in the burghs which ‘free trade’ with ‘English colonies’ did little to offset.

      85% of of Scotland’s trade prior to 1707 was with Scandanavia, Baltic, Hanseatic League and the Low Countries.

      The Scottish economy did not recover to pre Treaty state until the late 1750’s as its normal trading partners were blocked by England’s European Wars in defence of Hanoverian possessions.

      By 1713 the negative nature of the Union on the Scottish economy had been realised and was the main driver behind the Earl of Selkirk’s attempt to have the treaty dissolved.

      Given the natural resources in Scotland there is no evidence that Scotland gained any economic benefit from the Union during the Industrial revolution and given the many innovative engineering solutions invented by Scots – not the least vital among them being Nielson’s Blast Furnace, Watt’s Steam engine – the rest of the UK (aka England) would have been chasing an independent Scottish economy.

      There is no historical evidence at any level that Scotland has ever had any economic benefit from the Union that it would not have accrued as an independent nation. According to Michael Lynch it would be a brave historian that would return to such ‘Olympian pronouncements’ on the economic benefit to Scotland of the Union Treaty.

      Micheal Forsyth, an ex-Scottish (Tory) Secretary, in his book on the Union Treaty comes to the same conclusion and argues that the Union Treaty no longer has any great benefit to either party and should be revoked.

      Meanwhile, the first GERS (Government Expenditure and Revenues Statistics) left North Sea oil revenues out from the Scottish account but Oil companies corporation tax is credited to London. And it puts the entire cost of Trident IN the Scottish account.
      They are lying and the know it.

      The McCrone report in the 1970’s indicates that the Scottish economy would have had rapid and strong growth as an independent nation versus the reality of stagnation under the last 302 years of Union hegemony.

    34. Roll_On_2014 says:

      @Calum Craig
      Well bless their little cotton socks… at least they have got Nessie in it.

    35. Arajag says:

      Total tax revenue in Scotland was estimated to be £56.9 billion in 2011-12
      For 2011-12, the latest year for which detailed statistics are available, total public spending for Scotland by all parts of the public sector (Scottish Government, UK Government and local authorities) was estimated to be £64.5 billion

    36. Vronsky says:

      Anyone ever noticed the resemblance between shy, retiring Johann and Rosa Klebb?  Twins separated at birth?

    37. pa_broon74 says:

      Off topic somewhat.
      The award for this year’s best mixed metaphor goes to the ever risible George Laird in his ‘blog’ on pensions.
      “We are now finding out the further we get into this campaign that because nothing has been done by the SNP we are staring a black hole in the face, the prospect of higher taxes and massive cuts to services.”
      Well done George.
      I won’t bother with a link…

    38. Vronsky says:

      The billboard idea has mileage.  Suggestion:

    39. HenBroon says:

      Willie Bain rears his little head on GMS

    40. Ivan McKee says:

      This is correct, Scotland runs a deficit of £7.6bn (which is 5% of Scottish GDP, or about £1400 per person).
      The UK runs a deficit of £121bn (which is 7.9% of UK GDP, or about £1900 per person).
      At 5% the Scottish deficit is lower than the average of the industrialised countries, which is about 6%. The UKs on the other hand is quite a bit worse.

    41. Davy says:

      On ‘Call Kaye this morning was an item about free personnel care and its costs, well good old Kaye was definately trying to bang the drum about Labour saying it was unsustainable, these figures show otherwise. But the best bit was the number of callers who battered the hell out of what labour was saying and what they thought of them. and their was nothing she could do to stop them, it really shocked her.
      And Blair Jenkins also scored well this morning on the radio with his final comment, ” Scotland has free personnel care and Westminster has the bedroom tax, and that should tell you where your vote should go “.
      Totally brillant. 
      Vote YES, Vote Scotland.

    42. Ivan McKee says:

      @Bugger (the Panda)
      84% of Scottish expenditure is for stuff spent in Scotland (Health, Education, Social Protection, Police, Roads etc).
      The other 16% (about £9bn) is central UK spending which is then allocated to Scotland on a pro-rata population basis. (This is called ‘non-identifiable’ expenditure in the GERS tables).
      The biggest 2 items in this allocation are £4.1bn for Scotland’s share of the annual UK debt interest payments (a bit of a piss take as Scotland has a lower deficit than the UK in % terms, and over the past 30 years there are figures to show that we didn’t actually generate any of the debt)
      The other big allocated  item is defence at £3.3bn. But only £1.9bn of that is spent in Scotland and the SG costed defence budget for after Indy is £2.5bn (which is the same as Denmark’s and a lot more than Irelands).
      The full data is in GERS
      Tables 5.9 and 5.12 give you the complete breakdown for each department for the last 5 years.


    43. Davy says:

       Your poster is brilliant, please use it Rev.
      Hail Alba.

    44. Dal Riata says:

      It would be terrific to see posters such as the above on strategic billboards throughout Scotland.
      *However*, and not wishing to put a downer on things, or say it’s not feasible, for those advocating a billboard campaign, be aware that billboard prices are *high*, and not cheap at all.
      And, obviously, the more ‘eyes’ a sight potentially has, the more prices rise.

    45. Albalha says:

      This is getting spooky …..I’ve been looking into costs for something else so will share here.
      I’m getting a full rate card sent but given the need to secure votes in the most populous part of Scotland the rate for the Glasgow subway may be of interest they are ……
      One card per carriage, there are 41 carriages, for a two week campaign costs £900.
      You can have more than one card so basically double up as you go.
      Lots of other options obviously.

    46. Albalha says:

      Just received other rates, these in Glasgow and probably elsewhere in Scotland
      Billboards – £350 plus set up for 2 weeks, 48 sheet
      High Street boards – 6 sheet – £250 plus set up – 2 weeks – of course bulk buying blocks would reduce the cost

    47. Dal Riata says:

      “This is getting spooky…” 
      Indeed. This, perhaps?:
      Same Thought Syndrome – “A condition seen when two people experience similar thoughts as a result of having the same thought processes.”

    48. Albalha says:

      Out of curiosity, are you one of, like me, the few women, on here?
      And then there’s Jung’s collective unconscious, if only we could expand our reach to the whole electorate in Scotland ahead of September.
      Btw, I was pleasantly surprised by the advertising rates, personally I think it’s worth doing and there seem plenty of people on here with graphic design capabilities.

    49. megsmaw06 says:

      When I shared this on my facebook wall, some acquaintance commented that it was “stupid to compare the two because it’s public spending” or some such crap. I had run out of fucks to give about trying to argue the point with a stubborn No sheep.
      Suffice to say my migraine didn’t help with my mood that day and said acquaintance was forever blocked. Well it wasn’t the first time he’d made such comments on the indy factoids I share, and I am past caring what others think. I feel better now.

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