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When two and two make anything you like

Posted on November 07, 2015 by

When it comes to Scottish Labour’s great brainwave about “restoring” Tory tax-credit cuts, the madness just won’t stop. Here’s Magnus Gardham, formerly political editor of Scotland’s staunchest Labour paper the Daily Record, in the Herald today:


Read that one over a few times.

Let’s strip it down a bit.

“Labour’s plan… would not actually generate any revenue. However, it would give Scottish Labour a bigger pot of cash, making top-ups easier to afford.”

So you can create a “bigger pot of cash” and make things “easier to afford” without having generated any revenue? How does that work, exactly, Magnus?

Straining our generosity sinews to the maximum just for the mental exercise, the best sense we can possibly make out of that is that Gardham means “a bigger pot of money than the SNP would have, because they’d have cut APD”.

But that’s obviously a total nonsense, because it’s money that doesn’t actually exist. It’s relative money, being compared to a hypothetical scenario where the SNP are in power. (Which is by definition irrelevant, because if the SNP are in power then clearly it doesn’t matter a toss what Labour’s plans are.)

You can’t spend relative money. You can’t buy a TV by strolling nonchalantly into Currys and saying “I’ve got more money than someone else who comes in here would have if they’d spent their money on a new fridge, so give me the TV for nothing”.

You’ve still got to actually have the money for the telly. And Labour still have to find the money for tax credits from somewhere. (Incidentally, we don’t know if the SNP are planning to adopt the new tax thresholds, so as things stand Labour don’t even have relative money there.) And we know they haven’t got a clue where would be.

Magnus Gardham can spin the story to bash the Nats and try to make Labour look good all he likes. That’s his job, at least as he sees it. But at the end of the day he can’t magic half a billion pounds out of nowhere any better than Jackie Baillie can. He might have a big pot, but – and we’ll keep this clean – he’s got nothing to put in it.

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    1. Ray Lupton says:

      I’m sure Scottish Labour could find five hundred million easily by cutting back on Jackie Ballies budget for pies, pastries and cakes.

    2. Neil Cook says:

      The Daily Rangers doesn’t have financial experts!! They said Craig Whyte was a multi millionaire !! The Ranger should be renamed as Newspaper for dummies !!

    3. Bob Mack says:

      Magic money tree of course .You forgot about that Rev.

    4. Donald MacKenzie says:

      As I was reading it, I thought it was the script for the latest Labour party political broadcast. A truly amazing piece of … you can’t really call it journalism.

    5. Albaman says:

      Well done Rev ,
      Now where is The National ?, this is the type of article they should be printing, or do all Glasgow area based reporters visit the same “watering hole”?, and therefore is a comfy family type gathering.

    6. mealer says:

      Marcus Gardham is a haver.

    7. Democracy Reborn says:

      “The lowest form of popular culture – lack of information, misinformation, disinformation, and a contempt for the truth or reality of most people’s lives – has overrun real journalism. Today, ordinary Americans are being stuffed with garbage.”

      (Carl Bernstein, journalist, of Watergate fame)

      In Scotland as well, Carl, in Scotland as well.

    8. FalkirkBairn says:

      Why doesn’t this work?

      Very simple budget

      Now – Spend £100 (NHS 50, Education 25, Social Services 25) Revenue £100

      After APD removal or Tax cut – Revenue is £94 so Spend will be cut to £94 (NHS 48 Education 23 Social Service 23)

      Without either, Labour can match SNP and Tory spending (48/23/23) and still have an extra 6 to fritter away.

      Don’t Labour just have to commit to matching SNP or Tory plans to ‘magic’ the extra cash?

    9. Free Scotland says:

      Gardham, Baillie, Dugdale etc. are indeed better together: that way their collective stupidity can be exposed more effectively.

    10. Bob Mack says:

      Why not go the whole hog? Cut income from all revenues and we could be worth zillions to give to needy causes.

    11. Itchybiscuit says:

      Now you’re just mocking the afflicted.

      Carry On!

    12. Ken says:

      To be fair Labour also proposes increasing the top rate of tax to 50%, but that would still leave a shortfall. Sooner or later the party will have to bite the bullet and talk about ending the council tax freeze, biting deeper into the middle class on income tax or both.

    13. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Couple of typos, last sentence, penultimate para. ” where would be.” Word missing maybe, doesnt read right.

      second, in the roll over caption “rest of me media” Should that be “the”? Or MS media…?

    14. John Fern says:

      If at first you don’t succeed, lie lie, and lie again

    15. Albaman says:

      Well done Rev ,
      Now where is The National ?, this is the type of investigative journalism they should be doing, going head to head when a story is obviously skewed to give a different view from the real situation ,
      Or is it the case that the reporters from the Glasgow catchment area, all visit the same “watering hole”, and as such has become a comfy wee club with never a cross word.

    16. Bob Mack says:


      You are aware that if Labour increase the top tax to 50p they also have to increase the lowest rate by the same amount ,further hurting the poorly paid.?
      What do you think is fair ,as you say ,in that ?

    17. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Ken, if they increase tp rate to 50%, they have to increase all the other bands by the same amount. Thats how the income tax “powers” are structured. To be a trap.

    18. Albaman says:

      Magnus, and The Record are right,
      Way can’t you all see “the Kings clothes “!!!!!!!!!!!.
      (You must admit , it’s a novel way to hoodwink the public)

    19. Thepnr says:

      We are missing the point and especially so are the media in the guise of Magnus Gardham. Let’s get the first thing straight, it is the Tories who are cutting tax credits.

      Less money in WORKING peoples pockets, can’t get a credit if your not paying tax FFS.

      Now though Labour want to fight the tax credits in Scotland by wishful thinking when the reality is that other budgets would have to be cut in order to pay for Tory policies taking money out of WORKING peoples pockets?

      Who is it that zips up the back oh the heid? me or them?

      I do try and remain calm, after three years of shite being thrown at me I’m finding that difficult.

      A wee word of advice to Labour in Scotland and their leader. You should ask yourself the question “Why is nobody listening?”

      Maybe it’s because you keep doing the Tories job for them. SAD.

    20. thomaspotter2014 says:

      The role of the 3 Stoogies parties-let’s call them by their real names;

      British Labour

      British Conservatives

      British Libdems

      is to take any concievable data and skew it into SNP BAD,then roll it out through the corrupt CORPMEDIA and hey presto,Shit Smearing headline good to go.

      Hold the vision for a free Scotland and let’s put these callous bastards out of their misery and out of our lives-for good.

      Not long now

      Keep the faith.

    21. Patrick Roden says:

      Hold the front Page, I think I’ve found the source of ‘Baileynomics’

      Banks in the UK, that were given the green light by Gordon Brown to practice any system of banking they wished, so they happily began to follow American banking practices, that were completely dishonest, yet worked for a while.

      It went something like this…

      Brown allowed a system to be created in which banks did not have to have the cash in their coffers to cover any credit/debt, but instead they could take any money deposited and multiply this by 10 and loan this amount out..

      So if Joe Bloggs put say £1,000 in the bank, the bank could loan out £10,000 to another customer/business.

      But that wasn’t the beauty of the scheme, the real beauty was that if the bank loaned out that £11,000 to another customer who then bought a car or put down a deposit on a mortgage, that customer would then hand over that money to the car-sales or mortgage company, who would deposit the money into a bank who could then legally loan out over £100,000 and so on and so on.

      So from no money the bank took one thousand and was able to turn it into £10,000 and then £100,000 etc.

      As all the banks got into the act, they all benefited from the scheme and this is why they all crashed when the American Banks went down.

      Can it be that this is what Baileynomics is all about?

      Labour created a system in which financial people could create money from thin air, so why not do it again?

      yes we know about the banking crash and we all know about austerity, but does anyone think Labour care about that?

      Baileynomics, creates money from thin air, just like the banks.

    22. frogesque says:

      Following the White Rabbit down to Wonderland. The tax band differentials will initially be fixed. One pays more, everyone pays more.

      How difficult is it to grasp the concept?

    23. Inverclyder says:

      Labour Branch Office. Proof that there sound in a vacuum.

    24. ClanDonald says:

      Hope they keep on pretending that their alternative-dimension arithmetic hasn’t been rumbled. The longer they persist the dafter they look.

      Is there a word for this media phenomenon where they just pretend things aren’t the case, even though we know it is, and they know that we know it is?

      Remember when they pretended for ages that Scotland couldn’t keep the pound even though everyone knew that they couldn’t stop us using it? It wasn’t until Alistair Darling admitted out loud in a debate that of course we could keep it that the media dropped the charade because they just couldn’t get away with the deception any more.

      And then there was Jim Murphy’s claim about the biggest party wins the election? Even my dog knew how the sums worked with that one. Yet the media let him away with it for months. Or what about David Cameron’s #piggate? That never happened at all according to the silence from the BBC.

      It’s almost like social media is some kind of fictional movie world where events don’t take on any qualities of reality until the BBC decides to acknowledges their existence. It’s only at that point that events have reality bestowed upon them. If the MSM doesn’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist.

      Is it truthiness? Is that the word? Where their version somehow SEEMS to have the ring of truth about it even they know that it doesn’t? They’ve been caught truthynessing again.

    25. North chiel says:

      You can “fool some of the people some of the time”
      But you can’t “fool all of the people all of the time ”
      Kezia the “propaganda channel ” and Corp. media’s
      new Hollywood , sorry Holyrood “pin up girl”

    26. yesindyref2 says:

      Prof Kay article in the Herald, and a poster claiming RBS employed 300,000 people implying that’s in Scotland, whereas the total figure for the financial services sector in the article is 96,000 made me do a very small bit of research.

      (2012-13) “UK – 2.1m people now work in finance and related professional services” From the graph there’s 150,400 in Scotland” = 7.1% of the UK figure compared to 8.4% of the population, i.e. less.

      Since then Scotland has lost jobs in the financial sector, including legal jobs, to London, according to the article. Seems to me the sector jobs was hyped up by BT during the Ref, and is even less the now.

    27. Ken says:

      Alan Mackintosh: That is true at the moment, but will not be true when the new Scotland Bill becomes law. Then control of income tax bands and rates will pass to Holyrood.

    28. Marcia says:

      Sunday Herald front age is quite interesting. I am not able to post a link from this tablet I am using. 🙁

    29. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Patrick Roden, close but not quite. What you are alluding to is fractional reserve banking. Banks are not allowed to lend out depositors money. They issue credit by creating money out of thin air, a keystroke on the computer creates the funds in your account. If you take out a loan, you sign a loan agreement, which in essence is an IOU. A promissory note. (which is all bank notes are, hence the ” I promise to pay the bearer on demand…” ) Your signature creates the money. The loan agreement, a promise to pay, then has a value. Under Frac Res banking, they can lend up to 90% of the banks “book” so on the basis of your £1K laon they can lend £900 to someone else, who will sign an agreement which becomes an asset and the bank can lend 90% of that £900 and so on.

      It is important that people begin to understand that there is no real “money” in a FIAT currency system. It is all based on debt.

    30. yesindyref2 says:

      Poor Magnus is getting desperate.

    31. Tam Jardine says:

      This post reminded me of a wee email sent to the chief propagandist at the Herald in May last year. Needless to say I waited in vain for a reply! A wee bit of rage nostalgia:

      Dear Mr Gardham

      I write this email without malice or spite- simply out of a desire to know the reasoning behind your editorial stance.

      Up until recently I have been a regular Herald reader. I bought the paper for about 15 years.
      I have stopped buying your newspaper 6 days a week because the constant anti-Independence editorial bias has become more and more pronounced over time. It is now impossible to call it journalism. It is propaganda, pure and simple.

      You mislead the public with your headline and subsequent lines:

      “Salmond sets immigration target of 24,000 per year

      AN INDEPENDENT Scotland would need to attract an extra 24,000 people per year to meet the Scottish Government’s economic targets, Alex Salmond has confirmed”

      It is only later in the article that Alex Salmond merely asserts “plays down” this figure as a small increase on the current average figure, NOT an extra 24K immigrants at all. You know the “extra” figure is closer to 2K yet you pretend it is 24K.

      And only those who have read this far and are minded to the tricks and chicanery of the unionist press would fail to be misinformed. Is misinformation really what you set out to do when you started out as a journalist?

      I am fed up of just sitting back, reading these distortions of the truth and becoming more and more incensed by it, so I wanted to just ask, once and for all, what reason could there be that you have shed all journalistic probitity and integrity to pursue the No camp’s agenda?

      And can you really justify pandering to the kind of anti immigration fear that plagues all countries, even one as accepting, as tolerant and as welcoming as Scotland. How do you even begin to get over that philosophical hurdle? Its breath-taking hypocrisy is it not?

      There is no shame in believing in the Union but can you really look back on this period in your life and say “That was a job I am proud of- I applied journalistic rigour to the Independence debate and I am happy that I tried to get at the truth”.

      If there is some other great dark motivation behind all this then fair enough- don’t tell, but I would be curious to know your take on it. God knows, we’ve all got to live together after this referendum is over. And live with ourselves.

      Kind regards

      Thomas Jardine

    32. Jimbo says:

      London Labour’s Scottish branch gets crazier and crazier by the day. They’re not going to generate any extra money and by not generating extra money that will give them extra money to spend? Aye, right!

      Then there’s the Trident fiasco. Scotland is host to a bomb which is capable of wiping out the whole country, but London Labour’s Jackie Baillie thinks it should be kept here because it generates employment – even though Trident’s replacement will cost the taxpayer over £15 million for every job.

      Thankfully, Sierra Leone has been declared free of Ebola. If there had been a similar outbreak in Scotland Labour’s Jackie Baillie would no doubt be demanding it should not be eradicated here because of the jobs the disease generates.

    33. tamson says:

      When the Herald employed Gardham, they signed their own death warrant as a newspaper.

      Gardham could prosper at the Record where the political analysis borders on the comical. However, the Herald’s readers expect a brain cell or two from their politics editor, and even those of a Unionist persuasion have undoubtedly found his output poor.

    34. cearc says:


      Yes, it’s a good one.

    35. crazycat says:

      Osborne’s tax credit cuts are going to apply from the start of the next tax year, aren’t they?

      All the proposed “mitigation” methods are unavailable till at least 2017 (unless they did put up all rates of income tax in parallel).

      So how would SLab mitigate in the interim?

      (I eventually abandoned thinking about how they might update the 2015 baseline to calculate losses in 2018, for instance; too many known unknowns.)

    36. chic thomson says:

      This sounds to me to be an exact re-run of jim murphy’s tactic re ‘the party with the most seats get to form the government’.
      Just keep saying it over and over and over and over and hope it sticks.

      Can’t remember how that worked out for jumpin jim right enough!

    37. wee folding bike says:

      Kezia isn’t playing this game to win. All she needs to do is prevent the SNP getting a majority.

      If enough low information voters believe the Kezanomics in May then the Union is preserved and her work is done.

    38. IAN MASSIE says:

      I can see Slab being in the wilderness for a long,long time.
      They are fixated with trying to make the SNP look bad.
      Not realising,or not believing, that the real “enemy” is based in London.
      Every time that they talk down ,education,police,nhs,fire,ect,ect SNP bad
      It’s the people of Scotland that they are slagging.
      In my job i come into contact with a variety of customers
      from all walks of life and all political opinions.
      From what i listen to being said the people of Scotland
      are NOT hearing SNP bad
      All they hear is the sound of a spoilt jealous child trying to be friends with them
      but just not quite up to date and definitely not in the groove
      R.I.P the branch office Slab

    39. McDuff says:

      The National`s front page today, “Nursery challenge to gender stereotyping“.
      Hard hitting pro independence stuff.

    40. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, it’s a good one, and apparently Pete Wishart tells us what we already know, that Scottish Questions is an excuse to bash the SNP.

      But it will need repeated weeks like this before I’ll trust the SH again.

    41. Auld Rock says:

      Dearie, dearie me. Me thinks that poor Magnus has been on the poteen and he is under the guidance of a drunken Leprechaun pointing him to his ‘crock of gold’ at the bottom of the Kez’s fabled rainbow or could it be ‘El Dorado’??????

      Auld Rock

    42. Thepnr says:

      @Tam Jardine

      Well done you. I believe we ALL need to do more. Just talking is enough for most. Going that wee bit further is even better.


    43. caz-m says:

      ALL Unionists have been told to fall in behind this half baked idea about Tax Credits. Their aim is to make Scottish Labour look electable.

      Why are the enemy dragging the SNP into this. It’s Scottish Labour’s policy, if they are voted in as the next Scottish Government in May, then they can implement it.

      But please stop involving the SNP, Kezia.

    44. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Ken, thats a surprise to me. AFAIUI, that was the outcome of the Smith Comm, that income tax rates can be varied, but only “all up” or “all down”. Hence the trap. I’m not convinced but if it is as you say, then a source please to confirm.

    45. Training Day says:

      ‘Give Scotland the power’ says the Sunday Herald. Scotland as a supplicant again. Why do we not take the power?

      I thought there had been an enlightenment last week about the level of cynicism involved in the production of the Sunday Herald?

    46. HandandShrimp says:

      If the SNP had come up with gibberish like this the papers would have been all over them and experts employed to state what a load of pish it was.

      Labour come up with it and they are falling over themselves to try and make it sound sane.

      They clearly think the Scottish population are thick. Come the election Kezia and her numbers are going to come under the spotlight and found wanting.

    47. Free Scotland says:

      Could this explain “Scottish” labour’s reluctance to be described as an “accounting unit?”

    48. G. Campbell says:


      Jackie Baillie has set out SLab’s tax credit plans in the pictorial form of tattoos on the arses of Scotland’s most respected journalists, but Iain MacWhirter, Kenny Farquharson and Magnus Gardham are masons who think mirrors steal your soul and thus cannot see their own arses, and they’re not too keen on looking at other journo’s arses either, so they must take Jackie at her word.

      SNP ninja Mhairi Hunter is on a secret mission to photograph the arses in question.

    49. Alan North says:

      Unsubscribed from The Herald online this week mainly because of this buffoon. The equivalent cash will be making its way to Wings, Pop et al in due course.

    50. Capella says:

      Well I’ve read it over a few times and I still don’t understand it. But then I don’t understand quantum physics either. This must be an “event horizon”.
      “Light emitted from inside the event horizon can never reach the outside observer.”
      Indeed, things become spaghettified. What we’re seeing here is the “noodle effect” of super dense matter stretching credulity to the maximum.

      For example, the assertion that SLAB is well to the left of the SNP is spaghettification, formerly called mince, or Bolognese.

      Poor Magnus.

    51. Thepnr says:

      Never forget that when Labour Lords could have voted against AND defeated the Tory Osbournes Tax credits, they could have.

      Instead they choose to abstain, instead, knowing they would win agreed that the cuts should be “postponed”.


      Let’s see if they can “postpone” the death of Labour in Scotland?

    52. caz-m says:

      Even Kevin McKenna(The Tractor), while being interviewed on Scotland 2015 during the week, was asked,

      “Do you think the SNP are on the back foot because of Scottish Labour’s tax credit policy?”

      And the big Unionist sympathiser replied, “Yes”.

      You’re havin a fracking laugh Kevin!

    53. Big Jock says:

      Caz I remember him saying that. He is turning into an oaf. Even if je doth protest too much.

      Again Kevin being led by BBC instead of seeing it for what it is. Vacuous mumbo jumbo dressed up as economics.

    54. Papadox says:

      @wee folding bike 10:57 pm


      All the United unionists Westminster mob just want to damage the SNP and try and breath life back into the SLAB CADAVAR. Or the game is over for the unionist! FREEDOM.

      EBC, MSM in fool propaganda mode, by order HMG.

    55. James Anderson says:

      It’s actually becoming an embarrassment. It’s one thing Baillie sounding like a simpleton trying to be clever, but the Political Editor of Scotland’s oldest surviving national daily?! It’s like some bizarre collective ideological will-to-power moment SLAB sympathisers are indulging in…”this is it boys, the one we’ve waited for, now close your eyes and repeat 10 times in the mirror SLAB Good, Nats Baaad”; we’ll check the facts laters.

    56. Finnz says:

      I find it somewhat unwholesome and a touch sinister to see such obvious dishonesty being mooted by Labour and the Unionist press over this matter.

      They have obviously gone for a lie of such proportions that nobody could ever believe they would be so brazen.

      All it would take is for a proper accounting of this by an outlet such as the BBC for the entire House of Cards to collapse completely…but is that likely, I think not…

    57. Vambomarbeleye says:

      The Labour Party with their magic beans.

    58. Chic McGregor says:

      A Magnum Opus or a Magnus Opium? You decide.

    59. Karmanaut says:

      I’m starting to think this isn’t political propaganda any more.
      It’s starting to look like they genuinely just don’t understand.

      Thank Christ none of these numpties has a chance in hell of being in charge of anything important.

    60. caz-m says:

      Big Jock,

      And McKenna wasn’t the only Unioinst glorifying this piece of nonsense from Scottish Labour.

      Unionist Central Command have spoken.

      Whatever Scottish Labour come out with between now and May, will be regarded as the best thing since sliced breed.

    61. Bob Mack says:

      I stand to be corrected, but is Labour not mooting a Ponzi scheme ? Which by the way is illegal.

    62. Free Scotland says:

      Dugdale and Baillie both attended the Big Rock Candy Mountain School of Economics. And, following a FOI request, it has been established that they worked jointly to produce the following lyrics as part of an end-of-term assessment:-

      On a summer day in the month of May
      A burly bum came hiking
      Down a shady lane through the sugar cane
      He was looking for his liking
      As he strolled along he sang a song
      Of a land of milk and honey
      Where a bum can stay for many a day
      And he won’t need any money.

      Oh the buzzing of the bees and the cigarette trees
      And the soda water fountain
      Where the lemonade springs and the bluebird sings
      In the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

      In the Big Rock Candy Mountain
      The cops have wooden legs
      The bulldogs all have rubber teeth
      And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
      The farmers trees are full of fruit
      And the barns are full of hay
      I want to go where there ain’t no snow
      Where the sleet don’t fall and the winds don’t blow
      In the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

      Oh the buzzing of the bees and the cigarette trees
      And the soda water fountain
      Where the lemonade springs and the bluebird sings
      In the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

    63. David Agnew says:

      this is yet again the Scottish MSM polishing the colossal jobbie on a stick that is Scottish labour.

      They should be holding it to account. They should be ripping labour to shreds. But no – they are left desperately trying to convince us, that labour can do the impossible. The impossible being to make money out of nothing.

      There is no scenario between now and 2018 when the Scotland bill becomes the new Scotland Act, that will see extra money being available. Even then, it would still take time to put in place, the complex & costly administrative infrastructure to make it work. That would put the date that labour could put its bold plan in to effect, being around 2020 to 2021 at the latest.

      It would of course require labour to win in 2016. Which if it did would make what the SNP planned meaningless. If it does not win in 2016 then frankly what the labour party planned would not concern the SNP.

      In the end its all rather pointless. Westminster still holds the purse strings. As long as it does and implements one cut after another, Scotland will increasingly be forced into taking from a multitude of peters to try and mitigate the pain of an army of Pauls.

      Imho I think this farce is nothing more than a truly despicable attempt to score points against the SNP, and then try to bully it into doing something it simply cannot implement in the long term and could not afford to do indefinitely.

      One day, someone will write this history of this collection of room meat and call it “Scottish Labour: The party that died of shame”. If it is written, there should be a chapter devoted to the Scottish media and its part in its downfall.

    64. Tackety Beets says:

      On Twitter ……. Jim Corbynator. @jegteg

      I’m no use on Twitter with this iPad , but the above tweeter did a good table setting out SLAB crap.

      It would be good if anyone can post a link

      I’ll give this try

      Sorry Stuart if the link causes a prob. I mean well .

    65. sunniva says:

      If Labour are saying that they would raise the upper rates of tax, then surely that would make it easier for the SNP to do – should they wish – because Labour could hardly complain if the SNP implemented their policy.

      But it’s uncertain how much that would yield, as folk in that bracket are well able to avoid increased tax liability.

      All they would have to do is get an address in Berwick and claim they are not Scottish tax payers.

    66. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Earlier today I asked if anyone had any ideas on what, if anything, can be done about George Foulkes’s behaviour last night.

      ‘No answer’, came the reply.

      Fair enough.

      Don’t know about anyone else, but last night, when that appalling tweet surfaced, it was a mighty strain not to send him the kind of message which would’ve had the cops at my door first thing this morning.

      Many of us are not SNP members, but we acknowledge that the prospect of independence has only become feasible thanks to the efforts of the SNP over many decades. That’s a given, and no-one reasonable would dispute that.

      What’s driving some of us up the proverbial wall is the preternatural tolerance of SNP high-heid-yins in trying to maintain some kind of ‘moral’ high ground when they’re dealing with the likes of Foulkes, Baillie, Smart, Cochrane, Kelly, and other prominent Nawbaggers who manufacture reasons to Nat-bash.

      Foulkes’s comment last night is not ‘surprising’ (because it was made by Foulkes!) but it is still shocking and unacceptable to anyone – regardless of their political leanings – who wants to see the democratic transition to independence as trouble-free as possible.

      That’s why the SNP cannot continue to ignore such behaviour. Characters such as Foulkes – an unremarkable man nearing the end of his life who knows that he will have no influence in an independent Scotland – cannot and should not be allowed to issue such vile statements with impunity.

      How the Scottish government can best do it? I don’t know. But something has to be done – Foulkes and his ilk are spewing hate-speech. Isn’t that a form of ‘free speech’? Aye, but such bile must be at least contested by those representing the people he’s traducing.

    67. Capella says:

      @ Tackety Beets
      Table link works fine. However, I don’t see how Labour can “gain” £125 m simply by not cuttung APD. As Stu points out, that just leaves the budget the same as before, so no gain.

    68. Ken says:

      Alan Mackintosh: Scotland already has the power to vary income tax by 10p, but with all bands in unison.The Smith Commission advocated: “…the Scottish Parliament will have the power to set the rates of Income Tax and the thresholds at which these are paid…” in paragraph 76 of the report, which can downloaded at:

      That the matter is now going through parliament and is on its third reading is pretty well known. By typing “tax powers Scotland” into Google I found this amusing piece which suggests that in September most people were not aware of just how extensive the new powers are:

      I am sorry that I cannot create clickable links, but WoS is set up not to allow them.

    69. prj says:

      With the new powers of borrowing coming to the Scottish government, would Labour not use this to pay for there spending plans. Then they would be creating spending from nothing or it would appear so.

    70. Ken says:

      Correction: the links I gave out are clickable, but I cannot embed them in text. Sorry for any confusion.

    71. Legerwood says:

      The Herald on-line has a story about the benefits that could acrue to the Scottish economy from a cut in APD. The report from Edinburgh Airport on the benefits of reducing APD is quoted in the article.

      It will be interesting to see if the story makes it into the paper edition of the Sunday Herald

      Another story in the on-line Herald says that Jim Murphy has got some sort of post as a conflict resolution/mediation person in the Caucasus!!!

    72. Dave McEwan Hill says:


      For tomorrow

      Makes me cry every time.
      You can stick your poppies
      Whenever did we accept our masters’ judgement that charity was an adequate reward for young men and boys, many of them marching to awful oblivion.
      I avoided National Service by months. I might have been shooting Malayans in Malaya if I hadn’t been so lucky

    73. Tackety Beets says:


      Yes I appreciate the APD in Jim’s table is wrong . All wingers should have grasped it by now.

      That aside it clearly shows via time line the total stupidity of SLab policy. It’s a huge shortfall.

      Just make it worse , I’ll. Try this link from Mr GA Ponsonby where Baillie is up against Stewart Maxwell on GMS , it’s not for the weak hearted .

    74. Dr Jim says:

      I’m definitely sensing the Yoons don’t like us but do we think they don’t know we know

      BTW “Angling Club” full up

    75. Democracy Reborn says:

      Should the headline not be “Labour’s £500 million tax credit black hole”?

      Alternatively, “Labour Plan Higher Income Tax”? (You could probably throw in higher Council Tax as well)

      Or “Higher Taxes the Price for Scots Voting No”?

      I think Stu should ask (nicely) Britnat economics blogger extraordinaire Kevin Hague to do one of his famous Excel spreadsheets on SLAB’s plans.

    76. Grouse Beater says:

      Tackety Beets: Try this link from Mr GA Ponsonby

      Got to hand it to Ponsonby – doing a sterling job spotting BBC’s piss-poor journalism that amounts to propaganda.

      Saw Ruth using petrol pump (too much detail!) on the other side of my terminal. Stolid, solid, chunky lady. Never budged an inch while she filled up. Got to writing this about Tory party:

    77. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill –

      Thanks for posting that.

      Is this how we get sane? By witnessing insanity?

      If so, it’s right there.

      I’ve spent the last seventeen years making sure my weans are okay. The idea that they could be sent off to die, and end-up as part of a field in France, is beyond my limited imagination. The idea that anyone could allow such a fate for their own weans, and then ‘justify’ it?

      Remembrance Day?


      But we will have our own, in due course, and perform it as we see fit.

    78. Grouse Beater says:

      “Scotland is entering an exciting phase in its development” says Baillie.

      Development? Over a 1,000 years of history, and we are ‘in development’. What a balloon. Born in Hong Kong. Aye, and China is entering an exciting phase in its development.

    79. Chic McGregor says:


      I have donated (Erskine this year) and on 11/11, in place of a poppy will be wearing a small card which reads:

      In my opinion the poppy has become politicised therefore I have donated directly to a Scottish veteran’s charity instead.

    80. mogabee says:

      I’m beginning to think that I’m the economic illiterate!

      Listening to JB as she tries to patronise Stewart Maxwell and “explain” how SLabour can reach into the top hat and pull out a bunny is excruciating!

      Is SLabour being hypnotised?

    81. Tackety Beets says:

      Dave MH @12.26am

      Thank for the link Dave. I find these old Pictures from 100 years ago give me an odd feeling, especially those in kilts dead or alive .

      I say this as I think they could be my granda or either of his 7 Brothers or their dad.

      It’s hard to contemplate my Greatgrandmother at home knowing her husband ( my G granda ) and her 8 sons were in the middle of that midden. At least one brother had emigrated to Canada and at 24 signed up to the Toronto Highlanders never to return. Another was in the RAF ! Can you imagine signing up to do a job very few survive, hard for me to grasp.

      We will never understand the commitment , bravery , pain and suffering of that generation.

      “It will be all over by Xmas” maybe did have an impact .

    82. Sandy Henderson says:

      £165b to renew Trident. If it hasn’t been used & having cost so much in the first case that it would have been washed & polished every weekend, why change it? Was it not fit for purpose in the first place.
      I notice that one of Ecurie Ecosse’s Jaguar D Type (built 1956) car is up for sale this week at an estimated sale price of £3.25m & it has been used.
      Hmm! Worth putting in a bid? For Trident, I mean.

    83. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Why doesn’t this work?”

      I cannot. Keep. Explaining. This. Over. And. Over.

      I can’t dumb it down any further. I give up. Anyone who still hasn’t got it, you’re on your own.

    84. Grouse Beater says:

      Mogabee: Listening to JB as she tries to patronise Stewart Maxwell…

      Her insistence in pronouncing the vowel ‘o’ as if trying to get accepted for a genteel ladies finishing school is seriously annoying.

    85. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      But she went to a genteel ladies finishing school.
      Sadly it didn’t finish her

    86. Richardinho says:

      An insanity seems to have taken hold of the Scottish unionist establishment whereby they no longer care, nor need to care, if what they say and believe has any foundation in reality.

      It’s really rather disturbing actually.

    87. Chic McGregor says:

      Baillie is now saying SLAB have clearly designated where the Tory cuts compensation is to come from. If it is so clear then she should be able to easily state where but seems unable or unwilling to do so.

      Notwithstanding, of course, the rather pertinent fact that there is no definite statement from Osborne, as yet, as to how much those cuts will eventually be and therefore how much compensation would be required is actually still unknown.

      If APD reduction does yield an overall net increase in revenue, as hoped for, then that could cover some or all of that, but since SLAB have stated that they will not be doing so if they get in, then they will have to fund all of the compensation from other government spending.

      Unless, of course, some new freeing up of revenue, like say the cancellation of Trident, occurs.

      And as Baillie and Dugdale and most ELAB MPs are in favour of Trident renewal rather than removal that does not seem a realistic proposition.

    88. Dr Jim says:

      These are the exact tactics Mrs Dr Jim uses on me to buy something we can’t afford

      If I don’t spend money on X then that’s money saved that I can spend on Y
      (me) How can we spend it when we never had it?

      And the final answer is…..Jist Coz we kin, noo shut up and let me get on wae it

      Result… Less money and a puzzled look on my face
      And a wee smirk on Mrs Dr Jims face coz she’s no as daft as Jackie Ballie

    89. Marko says:

      They seem to be on a big push to paint Labour as “more left wing” than the SNP, seemingly oblivious to the fact that we can all make our own judgements based on policy, performance and parliamentary voting records. “The idiots say they want a left wing government, keep telling them we’re left wing!”

    90. Lesley-Anne says:

      Has Magnus Gardham been taking the same hallucinogenic drugs as Jackie Baillie? 2+2=43!!! 😀

    91. Petra says:

      Not complicated at all. I’m sure Mr Gardham can count if not some of his ‘economist / financial expert’ friends at the end of his phone can. I’m not going to give him the benefit of doubt. He knows the score full well just as we know the score and can see right through him.

      Magnus Gardham is just another wee, manipulative Labour supporting anti-Independence liar: one of many using his position to brainwash the Scots; in this case the Heralds readers.

      If they want Labour to win the battle, if they want Labour to run the country the tactic they should start using is bl**dy-well straightforward and very simple indeed. Start telling the TRUTH. The Scots, most Scots, aren’t so easily duped anymore Magnus. Reports like this are driving more and more people away from the Labour Party. Wake up and see the light. More than anything stop making a fool of yourself.

    92. Lesley-Anne says:

      Oh I’ve just had a wee thought here.

      Could all this shouting from the roof tops by Baillie, Gardham et al about Labour using the money saved 😉 by the S.N.P. when they (Labour) got into power 😀 explain why the branch office is around £170,000 in DEBT and one of their Edinburgh constituencies has *ahem* lost £10,000? 😀

    93. Sandy Henderson says:

      Let’s face it, the Herald’s sales are, no great, but I would like to think that the vast majority of readers of the said are more than capable of making up their own minds & not led by the nose.
      It’s the red top weegie times that has to be targeted & in an easily understood manner, like “blatant lies”.

    94. Marco McGinty says:

      For heaven’s sake, would people stop sniping at SLAB, and cut out this despicable cybernattery. It’s quite possible that someone gave Kezia a Monopoly set for her birthday, and she’s going to use the money from there.

    95. donald anderson says:

      Is the Sunday Herald beginning to rat on Independence, with Hutcheon and Gard the ham??

    96. Sandy Henderson says:

      Wheest, Marco, it was me using Jackie’s toytown credit card.
      Don’t tell a soul.

    97. Sandy Henderson says:

      Just read wikipedia re Jackie Baillie. Discovered she’s “Shadow Secretary” for finance. S**t, wish I’d never sent that monopoly set. I only did it for a joke, honest.
      Have I inadvertently opened a can of worms?

    98. yesindyref2 says:

      Very poor article from I McW in the SH. It looks like a few people have told him in no uncertain terms (correctly in substance) that he’s wrong, and he’s thrown his toys out the pram. He should have gone to Twittersavers.

      What he should have done before writing inaccuracies is read the BBC from 4th November:

      “Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser asked Mr Neil during a Holyrood debate on the issue to confirm that the amendment to the Scotland Bill would give the Scottish Parliament the power to replace in full any reduction in the tax credit.

      Mr Neil responded: “The amendments tabled today should give the Scottish Parliament those powers, but until today none of the amendments tabled would have given us that power.

      We will properly address the needs of people affected by cuts in tax credits.””

      Also look up the meaning of the words “reverse”, “mitigate” and “compensate”.

      There’s a lot more wrong in his article as well. Not his best effort.

    99. yesindyref2 says:

      I don’t use Twitter but googled about 6 MSM journos. Curiously the best for keeping a cool head, professional outlook in his tweets, was Severin Carrell.

      Help me!

    100. Ghillie says:

      Kezia Dugdale’s policies knock what is left of Labour somewhere beyond outfield of sanity and highlights the gulf between one brain cell and the next(presuming there are at least two available at the last count)

    101. bjsalba says:

      @donald anderson

      I don’t think the Sunday Herald was ever truly pro Independence. Certainly Paul Hucheon is not and never was.

      I no longer buy it.

    102. Schrodingers cat says:

      Don’t like the sh front page

      It implies we need permission from Cameron to hold a referendum

      We don’t, no one does

    103. caz-m says:

      Believe it or not, BBC Scotland GMS news bulletin still telling us this morning that Scottish Labour’s tax credit policy is better than the SNP’s air passenger duty policy.

      This is the kind of brick wall that we are up against every day.

      Keep hammering away, we will bring this wall down.

    104. Tam Jardine says:

      I’ve figured it out for Scottish Labour- along with not cancelling APD they can not cut the council tax. It won’t mean increasing the council tax but by freezing it the Scottish Government are, in real terms cutting it year on year.

      So by simply not carrying out the SNP’s cut to APD £250 million will magically appear with no adverse effects.

      Council tax receipts were £1942 million for 2013/2014 – had they remained at the same level as inflation (without an actual increase) this would generate another £560 million (using RPI inflation from 2007 of 29.2%).

      So actually by keeping everything the same and just not continuing with SNP policies tax cuts for the rich £810 million would appear in the bank. They could protect tax credits from their evil unionist friends, the tories AND fund the policies Kezia wants to pursue to fix education as she promised.

      Voila! Your welcome Scottish labour, your welcome. Greatness as ever, beckons.

    105. Ruby says:

      ‘Labour’s plan to implement neither the Conservatives’ proposed income tax cuts for higher earners nor the SNP’s planned air passenger duty cut would not actually generate any revenue to pay for tax credit top-ups.

      However, it would give a Scottish Labour administration a bigger pot of cash, making top-ups easier to afford.’

      Magnus Gardham is just another ‘UKOK Better Together Hate Preaching Manipulative Con Artist Scumbag’

      I do hope the people who are worried about tax credit cuts can see through this con.

      Seeing what ‘journalists’ say about this issue will be a true test of their worth.

      Gordon Brewer passed the test however he gets points deducted for being slow off the mark.

    106. gus1940 says:

      This morning we are being treated to an article by an alleged journalist calling himself Euan McColm writing in an alleged newspaper calling itself Scotland On Sunday in which readers are invited to believe that on the subject of Tax Credits Labour’s more autonomouser North British Accounting Unit brilliantly led by a Max Wall impersonator has got The SNP on the run.

      Incredible as it may seem there would appear to be quite a number of poor souls who inhabit the letters and comments sections of that comic and its sister comics who are sufficiently deficient in the marbles department to actually believe such pathetic rubbish.

    107. Another Union Dividend says:

      Iain Macwhirter’s article in Sunday Herald omits to mention that in Holyrood on 4th November Labour MSPs voted against a motion calling for tax credits, employment rights and the minimum wage to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

    108. Tam Jardine says:

      … further to my last post, I had missed out the modest increase to the top rate of tax from 45% to 50%. That will generate up to £100 million so if we add that on, we get a figure of £910 million.

      The press can increase this by simple rounding to a cool £1 billion.

      At this rate we won’t need hard working Scots to pay anything towards the new generation of nuclear attack subs JaBa is so keen on- we just need a little imaginative accountancy, some rounding here, a little press magnification there, Danny’s magical calculator and the Will to Act and the figures (or numbers, or sums as they are sometimes known) take care of themselves.

      The only problem with this plan is that even with the devoted support of 99% of the MSM the Scots are starting to question the fodder they are being fed.

    109. Ruby says:

      ‘she wasn’t entirely clear how this would be paid for since not cutting Air Passenger Duty (APD) and not increasing tax thresholds does not of itself raise any new money. The cash still has to be found from somewhere.

      But since the Scottish Government had evidently carved out a pot of cash to meet the cost of reducing APD it was not unreasonable of Dugdale to suggest that it could be used to help defray the £400m or so required to compensate the 250,000 families who lose out.’ Iain MacWhirter

      Iain MacWhirter – FAILED

      Iain MacWhirter seems to have joined the ‘Twitter Victims Brigade’ along with JK Rowling, Susan Calman & Michelle Mone.

      Labour spent three years along with their best pals the Tories telling us we would be Better Together. How does having to mitigate tax credit cuts make us Better Together?

    110. TheItalianJob says:

      Another piece of pro unionist press painting another message from reality again corrected by the Rev.

      Unfortunately this is standard form as even the right wing supporting rags in Scotland are pushing up Labour as they know they can’t support the Tories as they are persona non grata in Scotland.

      Whereas in the old Scotland the right wing press would be bashing labour as they do in the rest of the U.K. the new enemy is the SNP. Two faced or what?

      As an old politician (can’t remember who) said after the GE in May such a large number of elected SNP MPs would in the past been a Declaration of Independence by the Scottish people in its own right.

      People in Scotland have been awakened. However I see an issue here. Are the Scots voting for the SNP because they want Independence or because they realise not only are Labour in bed with Tory policies in the main and that they know that a strong SNP will always work best at managing and standing up for Scotland.

      I suspect the latter. They are getting a good SG in Scotland who is running the country with good policies on such things as health, education etc. For example a lot of No voters have the benefit of free higher education for their children and have to accept this is beacause of the SG (SNP) but don’t recognise (or don’t want to) that being Independence would bring so much greater things to them and Scotland.

      If this means that the majority feels this position is better than full independence then we have an issue by convincing these people that independence is far better than what we have with Westminster rule.

    111. Capella says:

      @ Tackety Beets
      I saved the Ponsonby clip for morning, not wishing to have nightmares. You’re right. It’s excruciating. I noted JB thinks we are at an exciting phase of our “development”. Is this a 3rd world country now?
      Also, she believes the SNP lack political will. Clearly the goal of Independence is less ambitious than mitigating Tory tax and benefit cuts from Westminster – with no visible means.

    112. mealer says:

      Rev Stu 1.14am

      It’s hard going,isn’t it? You’ve made an excellent job of exposing this Labour con.Some people on our side,wanting to see the con exposed,just can’t see the con exposed.Its a good con.It’s very easy for Labour to deliver the offer in one simple sentence.Its very difficult to destroy it in days and pages of reasoned argument in the eyes of an awful lot of people.Add in a supportive media to deliver the Labour message without criticism or even scrutiny and you have,in a nutshell,all that stands between us and independence.A con.We just keep chipping away.

    113. Robert Louis says:

      I honestly do now think, that the reason Labour people keep persisting with this nonsense, is because they genuinely are not intelligent enough to follow the logical reasoning. Some people really do have problems with that kind of thinking – which of course begs the question, should they really have running the Scottish Government as a career ambition, if that is the case.

      That aside, there is of course much more to this issue. As rightly pointed out by Rev STU, to mitigate tax credit cuts, is possibly one of the most complex and administratively expensive things for ANY Scottish Government to attempt. So, if in reality such a policy were ever to be pursued, would it really offer the right kind of help, and most importantly, could it ever be made to work?

      There is one final matter, which you might sort of call the elephant in the room, and that is this, NO tax credit cuts have been legislated as of today. Looking at political editorial coming from England’s capital city, Londinium, and the murmurings from within the Tory party, the question is, will tax credit cuts ACTUALLY happen now?

    114. Thepnr says:

      As the Rev highlights above.

      Gardham: “Labour’s plan… would not actually generate any revenue. However, it would give Scottish Labour a bigger pot of cash, making top-ups easier to afford.”

      Courtesy of Ruby.

      McWhirter: “…does not of itself raise any new money. The cash still has to be found from somewhere.
      But since the Scottish Government had evidently carved out a pot of cash…”

      Who is pulling the journalists strings? Both saying exactly the same thing. Yeah, so there is no new money, just a big “pot of cash” from which the SG can dip into as and when in order to compensate for Tory cuts.

      Like the snake in the jungle book singing to Mowgli “trust in me” they are trying to make the public fall asleep so they can eat us!

    115. Angra Mainyu says:

      The last two weeks were crazy? I predict the next two will knock your socks off.

      We are probably heading into a constitutional crisis this week and next. It may get very heated.

      There’s a lot of chatter eh…..

      But not about the things that matter.

    116. Robert Louis says:

      Thepnr at 0910 am, says,

      “Like the snake in the jungle book singing to Mowgli “trust in me” they are trying to make the public fall asleep so they can eat us!”

      Would it be unfair to say, that in the case of Jackie Baillie, this might indeed be quite literally.

    117. Petra says:

      ‘Kezia Dugdale’s tax credits policy puts Labour firmly to the left of SNP …..’

      Kezia Dugdale can say what she likes ….. she’ll do this that and the next thing ……. promise the World ……. in the full knowledge that she’ll never be in a position to do anything at all. She basically just spouts what she thinks the largest majority of voters want to hear and changes her mind at the drop of a hat for example on Trident.

      Strange for the Herald to link ‘Kezia Dugdale’ to the word ‘left’ when we all know that she’s a right wing Blairite who voted for Yvette Cooper, not Corbyn, to be leader of Labour Party. Stranger still that the Herald haven’t tried to pin her down and ask her to outline exactly how much money will be required to cover tax credits, where the money is coming from and if she’s made up her mind yet if the ‘unsubstantiated’ sum of money will be spent on tax credits or education.

    118. farnorthdavie says:

      What can be done? The biased broadcasting cooperative ran this story on the 8:00am radio Scotland news today without any comment on it, simply a headline read out as fact.

    119. Clootie says:

      Be warned – Kezia Logic is applied below.

      A rich old Arab has three sons. When he died, he willed his 17 camels to the sons, to be divided as follows: First Son to get 1/2 of the camels. Second Son to get 1/3rd of the camels. Third Son to get 1/9th of the camels.
      The sons are sitting there trying to figure out how this can possibly be done, when a very old wise man goes riding by. They stop him and ask him to help them solve their problem. Without hesitation the wise man adds his camel to their herd making 18.
      Then First Son gets 1/2 of them, or 9.
      Second Son gets 1/3 of them, or 6.
      Third Son gets 1/9 of them, or 2.

      That makes 17 camels, with one left over; the wise man takes his camel back.

    120. Ruby says:

      ‘This led to one of the most astonishing outpourings of offensive paranoia that I have experienced on social media.

      I was denounced as a bought-and-sold apologist for the Labour Party, and called many unpleasant names including “("Tractor" - Ed)”. I now know how Jim Murphy felt.’ Iain MacWhirter

      Prima Dona ‘journalist’ has hissy fit!

      Iain MacWhirter seems to have joined JK Rowling, Susan Calman Michelle Mone etc in ‘The Prima Donas Twitter Victims Brigade’

      The man is pathetic!

    121. Tam Jardine says:

      Tackety Beets

      Incredible stuff- we have seen and heard how slab politicians fall apart when questioned on TV or radio on the substance of what they are proposing- fortunately for them it doesn’t happen too often.

      Surely the logical conclusion if slab can magically generate £250 million by not cutting APD would be for the SNP to promise to cancel APD in full rather than reduce it (which after all is the intention in the longer term).

      If Scottish labour then don’t cancel APD in full they will then have released £500 million needed to protect in full the tax credits.

      Or (get this) they could reduce the APD by 50% instead of the revised SNP proposal of cancelling APD in full. Scottish labour would then have reduced APD and thus boosted the Scottish economy AND freed up the £250 million to go towards protecting hard working families from the tory cuts.

    122. heedtracker says:

      How much of The Vow delivery included economic growth stuff?

      Important interventionist Gordon Brown explaining how anything at all in the Smith Commission shyste is actual not going to be used to damage Scotland? Its probably their biggest UKOK faud possible, alongside their EVEL travesty of lies.

      Far right blue tory unionist Vow author explains how it UKOK works from now on, Devo-Max, federal UK Scotland Sep 2014 is now, Scottish NHS is deadly shite, your police failed, your schools failed, you lost 140 thousand college places, your taxes are getting hiked for benefit scroungers, vote red and blue UKOK tory, the union is saved for ever and ever-

      “If the Scottish health service is still in the mess in 2021 that it is in now, it will be no-one but the SNP’s fault. Moreover, well before 2021 the new tax and welfare powers agreed by the Smith Commission and currently being legislated for in the Scotland Bill will be fully in force. Mr Swinney made a complete hash of the first tax devolved to him (stamp duty) and, when he takes charge of income tax in Scotland, which he soon will, his job will get a whole lot harder.”

      What a difference a year makes.

    123. Giving Goose says:

      Re TheItalianJob

      You make some interesting points.
      You infer that there is a Left Wing Press in Scotland; actually there is no Left Wing Press.
      There is only a Right Wing Press and people like Gardham are, at their core, Tories.
      Labour have been a Right Wing Party from the moment Blair became leader and were moving in that direction prior to Blair. Their supporters in the MSM were and are completely aware of this fact.

      Politics in Scotland is now polarised into;

      1 Independence and support of this goal.

      2 Extreme British Nationalism, narrow in focus, backward looking, elitist, xenophobic, socially unjust.

      The MSM support the latter. Talk of Tax Credits and anything else is all fluff designed to prevent change, any change and especially Scottish centric change.

    124. Ken500 says:

      The increased revenues the cut in APT will generate (£1Billion?) will cover the loss of the tax and the tax credits being cut by Westminster.

    125. Nana says:


      Does anyone else find that Herald front page odd. According to them, the snp are ‘asking’ for the power to hold a second referendum. What happened to “the people of Scotland are sovereign & they will say when its time to call indy2” Are the snp now saying we need permission from westminster liars and thieves.

      I’m a member of the snp and I have not heard anything about this call, anyone?

      Tomkins shouting the odds last night, saying “Oh, and no chance, btw. The constitution and the Union are reserved, and the Smith Cm agreed they should stay so”

      While we wait quietly Gove is about to bring in a new law about westminster being sovereign, long to reign over us.

      Tweet I spotted last night

      @NeilMackay SNP members not aware of this “call”. Surprising, just as Gove is about to put parliamentary sovereignty of WM into new law.

      Which makes me wonder if the Sunday herald are not what they pretend to be.

    126. Ken500 says:

      The ‘Press’ is owned by tax evading Non Doms or print Westminster/Unionist propaganda. Leaflets and Goverment documents. Newquest (Herald) is a US company that prints literature for private education, worldwide.

    127. Grouse Beater says:

      Ruby: I now know how Jim Murphy felt.’ Iain MacWhirter

      Like telling a friend the colour he chose for his car is dire, telling independence supporters there’s a different way, or the SNP has failed in some manner, releases insecurities. Journalists have to be very careful when discussing alternatives to Scotland’s autonomy.

      I had this discussion hours ago with somebody on Twitter who was certain Macwhirter was a diehard independence supporter. He never was. He believes in a federal state, and has gone to great lengths to explain his belief.

      Some while back he realised independence should be welcomed. He did that for two reasons: he sees it as inevitable, and he thinks it’s not a bad thing.

      He thinks its not a bad thing because it delivers all the powers he feels Scotland does not have, including a better broadcasting service. But that only means he does not oppose independence, though he still prefers federalism.

      Now, it’s easy to verify all that.

      Twitter allows people to write to a journalist. It’s the ‘Annie Hall’ moment come true – nowadays you can pull the author out of the air on Twitter and ask him if the facts are true or not and get an instant reply. That’s better than condemning him for saying what he has always said.

      I start from the premise not a single journalist working in Scotland has ever supported independence, or does now. They all harbour reservations, or as so fixed to the doctrines of the Union they simply are unable to see the light.

    128. Colin Dunn says:

      @Tam Jardine
      “further to my last post, I had missed out the modest increase to the top rate of tax from 45% to 50%. That will generate up to £100 million . . ”

      Not according to Institute of Fiscal Studies – only about £8m

    129. Tam Jardine says:


      “Gove is about to put parliamentary sovereignty of WM into new law.”

      Can you expand on this Nana- what does this mean? Is it time to man the barricades?

    130. Ken500 says:

      Scotland was equal and sovereign under the terms of the Act of Union. Scotland’s church, education and legal system are different under the Terms of the Act of Union. Forever. The same (impartial) Protestant monarch.

    131. Tam Jardine says:

      Colin Dunn

      You’ve missed my point- the 2 posts I wrote were the kind of fantasy bullshit economics Scottish labour is espousing to generate cash out of thin air- Kezia said the increase (or not the decrease) in the top rate would generate up to £100 million so that, in the magical labour money machine translates to £100 million of hard cash in the bank.

    132. Capella says:

      @ Nana
      the Guardian had an article saying Pete Wishart had called for Westminster to devolve power over referendums to Holyrood. That’s probably where the idea came from.
      sorry, no link.

    133. Nana says:

      @Tam Jardine

      I’m trying to find out exactly what is being planned. I know there are changes coming regarding Human rights laws for Britain within the EU which Gove and the tories are fiddling around with.

      As the permanency of the Scottish parliament has not been ‘given’ I worry what is going on.

      There is a of of stuff information online but not being a lawyer I find it hard going trying to get some answers.

    134. ronnie anderson says:

      Above is Jackie Baillies Chritmas present minus the instructions,she can work oot the coloured beads fur herself.

    135. Nana says:


      I never read that rag so would not have seen the article.
      Do you know what particular referendums he stated, whether or not he specifically mentioned indy2?

      Am getting very suspicious in my old age!

    136. Nana says:

      @Tam Jardine

      My reply to you disappeared. Trying to find out what changes Gove is making is like trying to find the old needle in a haystack.

      To be honest some of the publications are so damn boring I gave up reading.

    137. Capella says:

      @ Nana
      I don’t read it either but in the side bar of the Guardian Severin Carrell article Stu linked to on Scottish education (5th November), there was a link to an article on Pete Wishart calling for power over referendums to be devolved.

      I’ve searched but can’t now find that article.

    138. Stoker says:

      Alan North wrote:
      “Unsubscribed from The Herald online this week mainly because of this buffoon. The equivalent cash will be making its way to Wings”

      Well done, Alan, and others on this thread who have expressed similar discontent and commitment. There are many of us on WOS who are not fully convinced of that stables motives.

      At best they seem to be tepid in their support of independence one minute and then they’re pumping out misleading unionist style headlines the next, today’s headline the perfect example.

      They also stated that The Herald would review/change its stance should The Vow/Smith Commission not be delivered in full. Well, we all know how that went, eh!

      I’ve asked this before and never got any form of reasonable response so i’ll throw it out there again – If that stable was fully committed and serious about its support for Scottish independence then why did they create The National?

      It would have been far easier to announce the full commitment of both the Herald and its Sunday sister to the cause. Two very well established papers in the market. The Herald is leaking readership numbers faster than water through a sieve due to its constant unionist lies and tripe it promotes.

      Had both papers took up the Claymore for the cause they would both be flourishing by now and there would be no need to start another rag, The National, from scratch.

      And they can’t say they are trying to provide for both sides of the market because their unionist tripe Herald is falling faster than a lead balloon.

      The days of the printed press are numbered Alan and the future is online, you did the best thing possible and redirected your financial support away from these rags who’s owners have absolutely no interest in Scotland becoming independent.

      Their interests lay squarely within the British establishment.

    139. Chic McGregor says:

      “”But since the Scottish Government had evidently carved out a pot of cash to meet the cost of reducing APD it was not unreasonable of Dugdale to suggest that it could be used to help defray the £400m or so required to compensate the 250,000 families who lose out.’ Iain MacWhirter””

      At least that is a reasonable mistake to make based, as it is, on only one false premise. That premise being “evidently carved out a pot of cash to meet the cost of reducing APD”.

      As I understood things, this not the case. The APD policy was to be implemented on a ‘suck it and see’ basis in anticipation that sufficient identifiable additional revenue would be generated to pay for itself and more.

      Of course JS, being the ever cautious chap he is, which is exactly what you want in a finance secretary, is very sensibly testing the water by phasing it in rather than the Gung-ho modus operandi characteristic of SLAB.

      I have no doubt that cheaper air flights would lead to a significant increase in Scotland’s GDP through increased tourism and other benefits. How much exactly and how much of that results in increased SG revenue through the existing tax net and whether it would fully compensate the direct loss is still somewhat of an unknown, hence the caution, if a reasonable expectation and definitely something well worth trying.

    140. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Nana at 10.20

      No. That is exactly what the SNP should do – and dare Westminster to refuse.

      It actually doesn’t matter who organises or permits a referendum. As long as the procedure is demonstrably honest,properly supervised and open a majority verdict will be definitive.
      The UN Charter is unambiguous. We don’t have to ask anybody else for permission to rule ourselves or to establish if this is what we want.
      Cameron’s position is bluff.
      And anyway if we want to be sure to win a referendum let Westminster try to hinder it.

      It would of course be in everybody’s interest for the process and the parting to be amicable

      This represents another step to another referendum.

      Sunday Herald is good again this week. Maybe the editor was away or asleep and the bad boys (who are Herald staff writers)got away with unionist mischief last week.
      Or maybe the howls of protest last Sunday gave it the kick up the arse that was required.
      Watching brief

    141. Macart says:

      Mmmm. so not even the meeja can find Labour’s missing half a bil.

      Who knew? 😮

    142. Nana says:


      Thanks. I wonder why this is being stressed right now, and if the snp are ‘asking’ for permission.

      I don’t trust any corpmedia rag or tv station so I will wait for the snp to tell me what is actually going on.

    143. Petra says:

      This is JOAN MCALPINE’S take on INDYREF2. Published in the Daily Record a few weeks ago.

      ”MY VIEW on a second independence referendum is very firm. I don’t want one to take place… until we are sure of Yes winning it.

      What should be in no doubt is our right to decide. That’s why David Cameron made a huge political error this week when he said he would not allow one to take place. He said the vote had to be “legitimate”.

      What he means is his government would consider a referendum called and organised by the Scottish Parliament to be illegitimate. He would refuse to recognise its legality.

      He insists that only the Westminster parliament dominated by English MPs, many of them Tory, can legally “allow” Scotland a vote on her own future. His high-handed dismissal exposes the unfairness at the heart of the British state.

      He talks about English votes for English laws . But when it comes to an issue like the future government of Scotland, English MPs will use the superior numbers at Westminster to deny us the right just to have a referendum.

      The last referendum went ahead because Cameron reached an agreement with Alex Salmond. The Tory PM never expected the vote to be so close. A majority of people under the age of 55 voted Yes.

      Cameron’s comments to journalists this week are clearly designed to frighten the Scottish Parliament and put it in its place. But Cameron has just served to further alienate Scots – including no voters.

      The SNP should go into next year’s Scottish election with a manifesto clause underlining the moral right of the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum at a time of its choosing.

      To paraphrase the great Irish parliamentarian of the 19th century, Charles Stewart Parnell, no man has the right to fix the boundary of a nation ….. to say “Thus far shalt thou go and no further”.

      And if you prefer hard legal facts to poetry, the UN have several declarations we can turn to.

      The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) both say: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

      David Cameron has acknowledged Scotland as a nation – so he can hardly turn round and deny us the right to self-determination as defined by the UN.

      In terms of the practicalities, they are all in place. The Scottish Parliament has the power to administer elections and gained plenty of experience of doing so with the first independence referendum.

      We could invite UN and EU observers to demonstrate our commitment to fairness.

      David Cameron can declare it illegal if he wants – but would he dare?

      A manifesto commitment would mean any future SNP government have a mandate from the people that recognised Holyrood’s right to call a vote. That doesn’t mean they should or would. The time must be right.

      Alex Salmond has suggested that time could come sooner than anyone thought. As he observed, the unionist parties promised Scotland “devo max” but have given us “austerity max” instead.

      But it’s a matter for the people. Yes supporters, however disappointed they might feel at last year’s vote, shouldn’t push for indyref2 simply on the basis of wishful thinking.”

    144. Nana says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill

      I’m looking for assurance that’s all. As I said above I worry about the machinations behind the new laws and what might be slipped in under the radar.

    145. Bill McLean says:

      SH a bit better today although I am concerned about Mr McWhirter. In recent years he has seemed unable to be himself. I don’t mind him being a Unionist – he is a very good journalist – but he does seem to have problems proferring a clear message. Today’s article was wrong in so many ways it was embarrassing. I don’t believe he was deliberately misleading but I sometimes wonder if his loss of clarity is down to the illness he had a few years ago.

    146. chrisdarroch says:

      Of course you can walk into that shop and say “since I am the one in charge of the money, I won’t be spending the money that would/could have been spent on the fridge and spend it on the telly” !!

    147. Wuffing Dug says:

      Labour and people like Gardham are like the thick colleague you have who steals intelligent ideas from others but does not have the wit or skill to implement them.

      What they then do is drone on and on about the particular issue without ever doing anything constructive, they completely lack the intellectual capacity to implement or even understand the concept.

      Let’s get down to brass tacks, you could say with some confidence that scottish labour as a whole and the editors and ‘journalists’ of the record and herald are essentially just thick.

    148. Wuffing Dug says:

      @Nana @12.17

      I think the time for asking the British government for anything has long since passed.

      As you say, let’s see what the SNP says.

    149. Fred says:

      Even if Gardham was sacked I would never buy it again. Shite!

    150. Wuffing Dug says:

      Got a feeling it’s going to be a busy week next week for the unionist corporate media, the next Kez revelation must be imminent.

      No rest for our esteemed ‘journalists’ and ‘broadcasters’, so many knees to bend, spittles to lick, boots to polish.

    151. thomaspotter2014 says:

      The permission to have an Independence Referendum or for that matter Independence itself NEVER required David Cameron’s or Elizabeth Saxe-Coburg’s say so.

      The forces of Establishment are peeing their pants again.



    152. Petra says:

      @ Stoker says at 11:19 am

      Alan North wrote:“Unsubscribed from The Herald online this week mainly because of this buffoon. The equivalent cash will be making its way to Wings”

      ”Well done, Alan, and others on this thread who have expressed similar discontent and commitment. There are many of us on WOS who are not fully convinced of that stables motives.

      At best they seem to be tepid in their support of independence one minute and then they’re pumping out misleading unionist style headlines the next, today’s headline the perfect example.

      They also stated that The Herald would review/change its stance should The Vow/Smith Commission not be delivered in full. Well, we all know how that went, eh!

      I’ve asked this before and never got any form of reasonable response so i’ll throw it out there again – If that stable was fully committed and serious about its support for Scottish independence then why did they create The National?

      It would have been far easier to announce the full commitment of both the Herald and its Sunday sister to the cause ………”

      Stoker I thought that the Heralds political stance was as follows (from Wikipedia):

      ‘The newspaper backed a ‘No’ vote in the referendum on Scottish independence. The accompanying headline stated, “The Herald’s view: we back staying within UK, but only if there’s more far-reaching further devolution”.

      They were honest about that and well let’s face it we still don’t know what powers we are going to get as the Scotland Bill hasn’t been fully / finally dealt with and of course may ultimately be rejected by the Scottish Government. Quite a way to go yet I would imagine.

      The Sunday Herald however was the only newspaper fully supporting us through the Referendum. I was extremely grateful for that at the time so will definitely continue to buy it to monitor how things are going, especially as they have a change of editor now with Richard Walker taking voluntary redundancy recently.

      As we all know Richard Walker launched the National which was built around a staff of casuals and freelancers. He’s now a consultancy editor to the National.

      I reckoned that the National was established to provide Monday to Saturday sales to augment the Sunday (Herald) newspaper which was totally pro-Independence.

      Maybe things will take time to settle down at the Sunday Herald. I don’t know but I’m not ready to pull out yet. We can say what we like about the S Herald but it’s probably the last Scottish newspaper I’d want to see go down the stank and that could happen if we abandon it now. What would we be left with then?

    153. Macart says:


      The ‘stable’ or publishers at best only care about profit and at worst are agin’ independence. The profit motif would be their driving force for the creation of the National and an argument used to great effect, I’m sure, by the founding editor. Those folks have boards to answer to and targets to meet. All credit to the fella he put a much needed counterpoint to the orthodox narrative on the street.

      Its a good read with good contributors, its very presence welcome on the news stands. Having said that, the real threat to corporate media is the new technologies which independence support has stolen a march on. The media and establishment parties can’t control the flow of information on social media or the internet and that is a problem for them. Personal and interpersonal communication is 24/7 and near instant. Its the very reason they are in the straights they find themselves right now. For every shock horror they throw out there, as per memogate, they are finding the story debunked and binned almost before it hits the presses.

      The days of unchallenged media propaganda are pretty much coming to a close.

    154. FalkirkBairn says:

      Right – only one response and that’s from the Rev. And I absolutely get that he’s sick of explaining.

      But I still don’t see it – so can someone else reply?

      If SNP cuts APD, it has less revenue than now.
      If Lab do not cut APD, they have more revenue than the SNP would and the same revenue as now.

      Why can’t the party with more revenue spend more? The expected revenue different is absolute. One side has more cash.

      Happy to take everyone else’s word that I’m missing something – but what is it?

    155. Stoker says:

      Petra wrote:
      ““The Herald’s view: we back staying within UK, but only if there’s more far-reaching further devolution”.

      Yes, i’m very aware of that quote and i’m also very aware of the tripe they stated after the suspect ‘No’ vote, the one i referred to in my previous post, i archive linked to it at the time on another WOS thread.

      We’ll just have to agree to disagree Petra. That rag is as rancid as the others and i stand by my position against it and the questions i’ve asked of that stable.

      The people to blame for the survival of these trumpet rags are people such as you who financially back them. And i don’t mean that in a nasty way at you Petra but it’s quite hard, for me anyway, to portray a normal face-to-face type chat via typing.

      That rag, no-matter how certain folk want to spin it, played a major part in deflecting possible votes away from ‘Yes’ by leading people to believe there was a better alternative on offer when there was no such thing.

      We all know, no-matter how long they spin this out, that we are going to get nowhere near what everyone was led to believe we would get. Even the Smiff Pish was designed specifically to make us all feel a part of something important.

      And it’s been nothing but deflection tactics ever since.
      The Herald has contributed massively to that state of affairs.
      They helped to create confusion and mislead some of the electorate.

      And i bet when the crumbs from the masters table are finally displayed across the floor The Herald, along with all the other unionist rags, will be positively orgasmic in their efforts to convince us all how great a deal it is and they’ll continue in their previous unionist role forever more.

      Job done, Jocks fooled once again!

    156. yesindyref2 says:

      The SH article on the SNP call for Scotland to have the referendum power is from amendments tabled to the Scotland Act, and is legit, and I support it.

      Angus Robertson
      Stewart Hosie
      Dr Eilidh Whiteford
      Pete Wishart
      Alex Salmond
      Joanna Cherry


      To move the following Clause—

      “Scottish independence referendum
      (1) Paragraph 5A in Part 1 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998 (general
      reservations) is amended as follows.
      (2) In sub-paragraph (1), leave out “if the following requirements are met”.
      (3) Leave out sub-paragraphs (2) to (4).”
      Member’s explanatory statement
      This New Cause would permit the Scottish Parliament to decide whether and when to hold a referendum on Scottish independence.

    157. K1 says:

      I think it’s good that these amendments are being put forward by the SNP, to my mind it no longer matters what the ‘headlines’ say in the rags.

      It’s the documented official record of our SNP MP’s attempts in every conceivable way to get the best for Scotland. It shows up the archaic ‘colonial’ mentality that we are under the auspices of.

      It all helps to back up the truth, and that is, that Scotland is viewed as a ‘region’ not a country. And being held back by Westminster as a matter of ‘record’ helps our cause…

      Independence is coming sooner than ‘they’ know.

      They are quite literally playing into our hands. I have absolutely no doubt that every move that the SNP make, has detailed strategy behind it.

      We have Statespeople for politicians. Not cooncilurs.

    158. yesindyref2 says:

      It doesn’t work because if Labour got in to Government in 2016 to implement their plans, the SNP wouldn’t have got into Government in 2016 to implement their plans, so APD wouldn’t have been cut, the other cuts wouldn’t have happened.

      Labour can not use money from the proposed SNP budget, they would need to have their own budget with actual figures. There is no pot of “extra cash”, only the block grant, which can only be spent once, whichever party is in power.

    159. FalkirkBairn says:

      Thanks yesindyref2 – I appreciate the reply as I’m clearly not getting something and I do want to get this.

      First paragraph – get that. But Labour could implement the same cuts – presumably they will know what they are. Back to my example, they could agree to spend 94 just as the SNP would.

      I think the bit I’m missing is in the second para though. Are you saying that irrespective of whether APD is levied in Scotland or not, the revenue for any Scottish government is the same.

      Once you’ve got the same level of frustration as the Rev, there’s no need to reply! I am conscious that everyone else on this page agrees with the analysis.

      If you’ve the patience, can you give me an example back with numbers? Removing APD (to me) reduces the amount available to spend.

    160. Petra says:

      @ Stoker at 2:46pm ”That rag is as rancid as the others and i stand by my position against it and the questions i’ve asked of that stable.

      The people to blame for the survival of these trumpet rags are people such as you who financially back them. And i don’t mean that in a nasty way at you Petra but it’s quite hard, for me anyway, to portray a normal face-to-face type chat via typing.

      That rag, no-matter how certain folk want to spin it, played a major part in deflecting possible votes away from ‘Yes’ by leading people to believe there was a better alternative on offer when there was no such thing.

      We all know, no-matter how long they spin this out, that we are going to get nowhere near what everyone was led to believe we would get. Even the Smiff Pish was designed specifically to make us all feel a part of something important.

      And it’s been nothing but deflection tactics ever since.The Herald has contributed massively to that state of affairs. They helped to create confusion and mislead some of the electorate.

      And i bet when the crumbs from the masters table are finally displayed across the floor The Herald, along with all the other unionist rags, will be positively orgasmic in their efforts to convince us all how great a deal it is and they’ll continue in their previous unionist role forever more. Job done, Jocks fooled once again!”

      Stoker I don’t buy / read the Herald … never have done. However I do buy the Sunday Herald and the National every day.

      Are you referring to the Sunday Herald? …. ”That rag, no-matter how certain folk want to spin it, played a major part in deflecting possible votes away from ‘Yes’ by leading people to believe there was a better alternative on offer when there was no such thing.”

      I found it to be very supportive leading up to / during the Referendum. I’ve had my doubts about it more recently but reckoned I’d carry on and see how it’s going to pan out.

    161. Karmanaut says:


      The idea is that cutting APD boosts the economy by increasing tourism, business etc, so it pays for itself. You lose £250m and then get the money back in other areas. But they need to try it out to see if it works as the experts predict (hence the initial half cut).

      So cutting APD keeps the overall pot the same.
      Just as not cutting APD keeps the overall pot the same.

      It’s like you have a nightclub that charges £10 admission. But the other nightclubs are cheaper and visit than yours.
      You decide to make your place free admission, figuring that what you lose on the door, you will now than make up for on the increased bar take because more people come in.

      What labour want to do is to take that door money you are no longer getting and spend it on something else. It makes no sense.

    162. Karmanaut says:

      Excuse the predictive text errors on my last post. It’s barely readable.

    163. yesindyref2 says:

      When the Scotland Act 2015 receives Royal Assent sometime in 2016, it still won’t be implemented until say 2017, because the revenue services will have to implement the computer system and other changes. The principle of the new powers and revenues is that there will be no loss to the UK, nor to Scotland at the point of transfer of powers and revenues.

      So as far as APD is concerned, roughly £250 million, Scotland will receive the ability to collect that revenue, and the block grant will be reduced by the same amount, £250 million. So the total “pot of cash” any Scottish Government will have to spend will be exactly the same – at that point in time. Whatever policies they implement afterwards can then change it, up, or down.

      After May 2016 the block grant whichever party gets to be the Government will be the same, say £30 billion for a round figure.

      Which means if it’s the SNP it will be £30 billion, or if the Labour it wull be £30 billion – the amount doesn’t change because it’s a different party in power!

      Only after that can policies change the revenue up or down. As far as exact figures, no I can’t come up with them, the SNP haven’t and can’t publish their proposed budget until the amendments have passed or been defeated, and until after Osborne’s autumn budget which will likely decrease the total block grant, nor can Labour. And even then until the final Scotland Act is voted on and passed, and goes for Royal Assent – and accepted by the Scottish Parlaiment (not the Scottish Government), any budget figures will be provisional.

    164. yesindyref2 says:

      To make it easier, if the block grant is £30 billion, the SNP can spend £30 billion, or Labour can spend £30 billion, they can only spend that £30 billion once, and they can’t spend the other party’s £30 billion! I wish they could 🙂

    165. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes,but the important thing to point out as well is that the SNP propose to cut APD by 50% at first and see how it goes, so that’s £125 million, not £250 million.

    166. crazycat says:

      @ FalkirkBairn

      My understanding is this:

      The Scotland Bill includes the condition that any change to what is devolved must be revenue-neutral at the time of devolution. So giving the SG power over APD will be accompanied by a reduction in the block grant. The total budget will remain the same.

      Out of that budget, a number of things will have to be paid for. If you reduce your income, you have to cut something. So, until and unless the reduction in APD pays for itself, there would have to be a reduction in spending.

      If you also add an extra expense (mitigating tax credit cuts), the cuts have to be deeper.

      If you don’t cut APD, but you do take on the extra expenditure, you still have to make cuts, but they would be shallower.

      John Swinney’s plan to phase out APD aims to minimize any revenue shortfall by timing it to fit in with the extra growth he thinks it will stimulate; so he also would only have the shallow cuts to make to mitigate tax credit cuts.

      SLab seem to be making out that they wouldn’t have to make cuts at all, because they would have the uncut APD as “extra”. They wouldn’t; their budget would be exactly what it is now, and extra expenditure would require cuts (or increased taxes, which even at Kezia’s most optimistic projection, would not be enough – given that she admitted tax rises might not generate any extra revenue at all, she could face an even bigger shortfall).

      This is further complicated by the timing: it is now not clear when the tax credit cuts would start, because the House of Lords has demanded a delay. Nevertheless, the powers to change the top rate of tax (while leaving lower rates the same) and to alter APD are not yet available and may not be available when the tax credit cuts start. Mitigation at that point definitely requires cuts elsewhere.

    167. Stoker says:

      @ Petra (4.08pm).

      No, Petra, the majority of my points are against The Herald and the particular stable where it bides.

      Nobody can give me a convincing explanation as to why they chose to create, from scratch, a new title when the simplest thing in the world would have been to change The Heralds political stance, in favour of independence, and save a well established failing “Scottish” title into the bargain.

      I’m not a newspaper buyer or reader nor do i subscribe to any online media with any connection to the unionist cause.

      Last year i was a little better off financially and was able to donate to WOS, NN and Bella, with WOS getting the largest cut. With circumstances and finances greatly reduced it will be WOS only from now on.

      Even if i could afford it i would never contribute one thin dime, as someone once famously said, to any unionist outlet, whether they had any pro indy titles or not in that same stable.

      In my view they are either fully with us or they’re against us.I have absolutely no desire to help prop up failing unionist rags. Purchasing The National or Sunday Herald does exactly that, it helps sustain the lifespan of the unionist Herald.

      The sooner people break their lifestyle habits regarding their choice of reading materials for news etc the sooner we send out a very important message – meddle in our right to self govern and you will pay the ultimate price, failure of your business!

      The day that full stable becomes pro-indy is the day my scepticism may fade. Until then i’m looking out the oxygen tanks.

    168. Thepnr says:


      That almost makes sense 🙂


      It is simple, ALL the money the Scottish Government are able to spend comes to them from the Westminster Government via the Scottish taxpayer and AFTER they have deducted their fair share for all the stuff not devolved, including any amount the UK government deems necessary to pay for, you know, money to be spent in England on HS2, Crossrail, Olympics, London sewers ect. You know, these UK things that are for the benefit of the UK.

      The money a Scottish Government then has is the “big pot of cash” that has to pay for everything they are responsible for. There is but one pot of cash and if you want to compensate the losers due to Tory tax credit cuts then quite simply you need to reduce other budgets by the exact same amount.

      £400m million to battle the Tory cuts from the “big cash pot” is exactly equal to £400m less spent currently in other areas. You know, like health and education?

      Not that difficult to grasp. Is it?

    169. Ruby says:

      What Labour need to do to be fair to people like Falkirk Bairn (aka Grahamski Yes/No?)
      is to forget what the SNP are doing and to write their own budget.

      As it stands John Swinney could say we are going to cut the education budget in order to pay for APD and Labour would have to agree to that because they are relying on John Swinney to find the money for them to cover paying tax credits.

      The daughter of two teachers who claims her top priority is education would have to agree to cuts in the education budget and would have to go into the Holyrood election stating the education budget would be cut to mitigate the tax credits cuts.

    170. Ruby says:

      The important question for me is why there needs to be £400million of tax credit cuts.

      Can Kezia who campaigned with her pals the Tories to keep us in the Union really claim that having £400million of tax credit cuts is being ‘Better Together”

    171. Robert Peffers says:

      @Albaman says: 7 November, 2015 at 10:21 pm:

      ” … (You must admit , it’s a novel way to hoodwink the public)”

      Aye! Albaman, and the novel they copied it from was, “Through the Looking Glass,(and what Alice saw there)”

    172. Petra says:

      @ Stoker at 6:36pm ”Nobody can give me a convincing explanation as to why they chose to create, from scratch, a new title when the simplest thing in the world would have been to change The Heralds political stance, in favour of independence, and save a well established failing “Scottish” title into the bargain.”

      Stoker I would imagine, such as in real life in Scotland, their editors / journalists were split down the middle … pro / anti Independence. A decision was then made for the pro- Independence Editor Richard Walker to launch the totally pro-Independence National with support from his pro-Independence staff. I might be wrong. It’s just my view.

      @ Macart at 1:53pm ……..

      Sorry Macart I’ve just realised that I didn’t respond to your post earlier but can say that I agree with you 100%.

      Profit is the name of the game hence so many journalists losing their jobs over the last few months or so …. 20 in the last few weeks from the Herald / Times Group alone.

      This situation will exacerbate as fewer and fewer people buy newspapers (mostly elderly who can’t access the Internet) until we reach the point of newspapers being as practically extinct as the dodo.

      Meanwhile I continue to look forward to reading the National every day as it does have a number of fabulous contributors and supporting it because it’s the only daily pro-Independence ‘voice’ we have on the news stands at present.

    173. Ruby says:

      The following is an answer I got to my simple question:
      Why if Scotland is such a economic basket case are people in the RUK so keen to keep Scotland in the Union, why fight with every fibre of their being to keep a country in need of subsidy in the Union?

      ‘Colin Rippey says:
      6 November, 2015 at 10:38 pm
      I’m not sure what question you want answered. I’m guessing you’re separatist mindset had rendered you incapable of understanding the simple notion that the people of the rUK just don’t want to see the nation they are citizens of broken apart.’

      This led to to thinking about the implications for the RUK of Scotland being Independent.

      What would this ‘breaking apart’ mean for people in the RUK?

      What would be different for the people in the RUK?

      Perhaps when Colin Rippey comes back he might answer this question.

      Note that he started his post by saying he wasn’t sure what question I wanted answered.

    174. Robert Peffers says:

      @Ian Brotherhood says: 8 November, 2015 at 12:12 am

      “Earlier today I asked if anyone had any ideas on what, if anything, can be done about George Foulkes’s behaviour last night. … ‘No answer’, came the reply.”

      Ach! Ian, I know it is hard to bear but those of us that have been facing this battle, some of us for wearing on for a century, have learned the hard lessons of Establishment political propaganda.

      Remember that, “The Establishment”, is a Hydra like beast with many, many heads.

      It encompasses far more than the Unionist political parties. In fact those Unionist parties are but the visible fronts for the main body of the Establishment.

      Those less visible parts of the body are the Royals, The Old Aristocracy, the Churches, (that now also include the CofS and perhaps even the Wee Frees), the English Education System, the English, (and perhaps lots of the Scottish), Legal System, The Media, the Civil Service, The Armed Forces, The Security Services. The most influential, perhaps, are Big Business, The Banks and Financial Sector.

      It is these that see the creation of wars as a good thing for the rich and influential. This very day when these hypocrites are, “Remembering the Dead”, that they are primarily responsible for sending to their early deaths.

      The plain facts are that the SNP and the whole YES movement are winning this political war by NOT adopting the same tactics and by claiming the moral high ground.

      We must, at all costs, not lower our standards to that of the enemy. It is that high moral standard that is winning the electorate over to the independence side.

      We must, of course, take great care after we win our independence that history does not repeat itself and lets the enemies of Scotland regain power in our land ever again. History shows that is exactly how they won Scotland to the Union for the first time after centuries of trying to do so by might of arms.

      When you’re winning you do not adopt the losing tactics that are losing your enemy the war.

    175. FalkirkBairn says:

      Thanks to those replying – I have read all the replies as saying something different – which is why it’s not so simple for me.

      Crazycat’s explanation makes perfect sense – Labour are pretending that they wouldn’t need to cut anything, and clearly they will need to make some cuts.

      Yesindyref2 and ThePnr has confused me more unless APD can never be devolved. Is that the bit I’m missing? Any change in APD at any point in time will be counterbalanced by a block grant.

      The APD reduction might benefit the economy by a number but that benefit can’t be spent by the SG so that can’t be a mitigant.

      I’m not the person ThePnr has asked about and am not a troll here – if the whole problem is that Labour are claiming to use the APD revenue to pay for tax credit topups and magically not need to cut anything else, then we’re all done here. I do get that…

      Thanks again to those replying – it is appreciated.

    176. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Robert Peffers.

      You typed,

      “Remember that, “The Establishment”, is a Hydra like beast with many, many heads.”

      Like this?

    177. Sandy Henderson says:

      Block grant provides many jobs. Jobs create income tax. Tax goes back to Westminster as does 20% VAT, excise duty, etc.

    178. Fred says:

      I don’t think the English establishment care if Scotland is an economiic basket-case, they just want it. England would look paltry on the map without it. It’s intentional anyhow!

    179. K.A.Mylchreest says:

      Well it seems Kez has found an intellectual partner down in Wales, see here (the key quote is given in English under Kezia’s charming visage) :

      The blogger finishes by asking, “I wonder is there any other country so unfortunate as to be run by such a clueless rabble?”

      Amid all our troubles and disappointments isn’t it comforting to know that there’s somewhere even worse off. Labour are running Wales, poor sods.

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