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Where the money’s coming from

Posted on April 28, 2014 by

Anyone involved in the independence debate for any length of time will probably already have lost count of how many times they’ve heard the plaintive we-cannae-dae-it wail of “But how will you pay for all of Alex Salmond’s milk and honey promises?”

iraq

So here’s a clue.

“Britain’s military operations since the end of the cold war have cost £34.7bn and a further £30bn may have to be spent on long-term veteran care, according to an authoritative study.

The bulk of the money has been spent on interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan judged to have been “strategic failures”, says the study, Wars in Peace, published by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).”

Scotland’s population share of the £65bn that’s been wasted on the UK strutting around “punching above our weight on the world stage” comes to just under £5.5bn. That’s over and above the £19.2bn of excess military spending attributed to Scotland over the same period by the UK government. (That is, £800m a year more than even the most hawkish conceivable rational estimate of Scotland’s actual defence needs.)

So in the last generation alone, that’s almost £25bn that Scotland could have spent on other things. £25bn of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, investment in services and industries and people. In a country of just five million people, that sort of money buys an awful lot of stuff.

Instead, all we have to show for it are piles of dead bodies and people who hate us:

RUSI says ‘there is no longer any serious disagreement’ over how the UK’s role in the Iraq war helped to increase the radicalisation of young Muslims in Britain. ‘Far from reducing international terrorism … the 2003 invasion [of Iraq] had the effect of promoting it,’ the study concludes.”

We think it’s fairly uncontentious to say that the Royal United Services Institute, founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington and currently presided over by HRH the Duke of Kent, isn’t some cybernat front organisation. It has no dog in the fight of Scottish independence and as far as we’re aware has expressed no opinion on it. The report quoted in the Guardian makes no comment on the subject.

The UK shows no sign of changing its fundamental foreign policy outlook. Money wasted in the past will be wasted in the future, trailing around after the USA in a futile attempt to act as the world’s policeman.

So the next time a Unionist asks you how Scotland could afford pensions or free prescriptions or university tuition, ask them what they would have done with the £25bn Scots have blown on killing brown people since we officially stopped having enemies.

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    1. 30 04 14 23:39

      Better Together When Standing Apart | A Wilderness of Peace

    96 to “Where the money’s coming from”

    1. Claire McNab says:

      The United Kingdom has been killing people around the globe for centuries. It has invaded 90% of the world’s countries.

    2. Croompenstein says:

      When did Alex Salmond ever make promises of milk and honey, he has set out his party’s vision of how Scotland can become a successful independent nation. He even acknowledges that mistakes may be made along the way which is more than you will ever hear from the imperialists.

      What they really care about is the seat on the UN security council not the betterment of the people of Scotland and the good old US of A don’t care too much for their poodle being neutered. Naysayers get it through your heads they don’t care about us

    3. Clootie says:

      That is the main point we have to get across. It is not just the wealth (income) of the nation it is also how you spend it (choices).

      Add the costs in the article above to Trident replacement / Astute class submarines / Aircraft carriers etc ALL force Projection weapon platforms designed to apply force far away from these shores – Why

    4. Pimbo says:

      Worth checking out the RUSI report ” a’ the blue bonnets”

      A fairly in depth report on the proposed SDF

    5. Giving Goose says:

      Rev, you are forgetting a basic fundamental argument in favour of Scotland remaining in the UK and thus justifying the spend on the military and these foreign adventures. It allows someone potentially Scottish, and probably from the Labour Party, to secure a Ministerial Jag while keeping their bum parked at the MOD hot seat in Whitehall. Personal careers in London for the Labour Party in Scotland are worth every drop of blood spilled.

    6. Dinnatouch says:

      An excellent summary of why Scotland can afford independence, and why Westminster can’t afford social care. Sadly, there are a lot of people with friends and relatives in the forces who refuse to listen to any criticism of military spend, even when it’s directed at the mandarins in Whitehall who send those relatives into danger.

    7. handclapping says:

      Question : Does brown people include assorted dis-Yugo Slavs?

    8. Les Wilson says:

      Yes a total waste of money which could have been used to make our lot better. However, the UK is with power, as a junkie is with heroin. It is totally hooked, and needs forced off it, it cannot do it itself. The screaming, lies, and manipulations right now are the same as any junkie does to coerce a fix. They need a dose of realism and brought back to the real world.

      It we, the Scots, who have to change our path, and in doing so will also change the path of rUK, away from wars and being a global power. Realization must sink in that the Empire has gone, and will not resurrect, much the same as the Roman Empire. It goes to the annuls of history, where it now belongs.

    9. MajorBloodnok says:

      @handclapping

      They become a bit brown after you kill them, so that counts.

    10. liz says:

      According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the UK is the 5th highest spender in the world on military projects.

      The establishment still think they run an empire, it’s pathetic.

    11. CameronB says:

      The Great Game continues and there is no sign of it coming to an end, short of WW3.

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

    12. joe kane says:

      Meanwhile, the UN and Amnesty International are investigating a UK Government department of state, the DWP, for human rights abuses at home.

      Maybe the UK Government could use all the wasted military spending abroad to intervene in its own economy and society and create full employment, then there would be no need to persecute the unemployed and treat them worse than convicted paedophiles and murderers out on parole.

      Reference –
      Amnesty International condemns coalition for assault on disabled
      http://www.leftfootforward.org/2013/04/amnesty-international-condemns-coalition-assault-on-disabled/

    13. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Worth checking out the RUSI report ” a’ the blue bonnets””

      It’s been in the Repository since the start.

    14. bookie from hell says:

      Rev –can you check this out,it’s a serious accusation by a prominent leader of Labour Party

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/business-leaders-muzzled-by-referendum-threat-1-3390128

    15. Arbroath 1320 says:

      liz says:

      According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the UK is the 5th highest spender in the world on military projects.

      The establishment still think they run an empire, it’s pathetic.

      Best we keep that between ourselves Liz. I mean Hammond and co love nothing more than telling anyone foolish enough to listen that the U.K. has the FOURTH largest defence spend. How on earth do you think this will go down in Whitehall when they discover that they have been lying to people? Mass suicides at dawn perhaps. Oh no wait a minute it’s Whitehall we’re talking about they’ll just ease into the fifth slot like that’s where they’ve always been and make US look like we misheard them.

    16. Luigi says:

      “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

      The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

      A Chance for Peace, [D Eisenhower 1953]

    17. The Man in the Jar says:

      Thanks Stu I have been making this point for some time and I have found it to be an effective argument. It is good to have the facts and figures verified and condensed into an article.

      By the way how is the wee (blue) book coming along?

    18. Muscleguy says:

      If anybody ever wonders why Germany and Italy industries did so well after WWII and how France managed the TGV network etc when our industry did not do well? The answer is that despite us getting more Marshall Plan money than they did we spent it on military spending mainly to try to keep hold of the Empire. Which turned out really well, didn’t it?

      So all this military spending etc is just standard stuff for the UK. Remember, we are better together, sorry deader together.

    19. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Particularly timely piece, given that Lord Reid has been reactivated.

    20. Dave says:

      I did a graphic that compares military spending and sovereign oil funds between Norway and UK here:

      http://www.newsnetforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=15&start=20

      Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see it and don’t let the Faslane fallout graphic scare you too much. It won’t be there for much longer.

    21. CameronB says:

      Brian Monteith has just suggested AS is conducting a strategy of “divide and rule”. I’m stumped for words.

    22. The Man in the Jar says:

      Worth remembering that after WWII the Allies set about rearming. Britain built the V bombers and Chieftain tanks amongst other mostly useless things.

      Two countries were banned from any kind of weapons development. They were of course Germany and Japan. They concentrated on building an economy based on consumer goods.

      Vorsprung durch Technik!

    23. Phil Robertson says:

      We should be wary of this “holier than the rUK” tone. Glasgow did well enough out of slavery and tobacco. The latter has killed far more in recent years that the British armed forces.

    24. Helena Brown says:

      A wee while ago I spent a futile ten minutes on the CBI website, oh I know, but I could not let the comment about all the people of Finland saying that they were worried about us not looking at the bread and butter issues. This person obviously a plant, in more ways than one was saying what the CBI wanted to hear. I wasn’t, I asked him to ask some Finns if they thought they might be better together with Mother Russia, who strangely enough the fought for their independence. No worries about Bread and Butter issues for them.

      Well I tried twice and twice I was moderated off, not a member you see, I expect and certainly not saying all the right things.

      Now to return to matters military, what a futile waste of money it has all been. The people of Iraq are in a worse state than ever and I expect we will be saying the same once we clear Afghanistan, who will return immediately to the situation they were in before.

    25. cearc says:

      Luigi,

      Thanks for that.

    26. CameronB says:

      Helena Brown
      I have had two comments removed by the CBI today.

    27. BuckieBraes says:

      Please can we just have an independent Scotland that makes friends, minds its own business most of the time and contributes in an appropriate, proportionate way to world affairs when the situation requires it?

      Like most normal countries do.

    28. Helena Brown says:

      @ Cameron B, well I bet that page isn’t growing as fast as this one. They certainly are unhappy that they have been found, like labour only playing to themselves.

    29. Bill McLean says:

      People can choose whether to use tobacco or not- Scots had no choice about their participation in Englands wars! Nobody has ever denied that we were involved in slavery or tobacco in necessarily small numbers – not doing it again is what independence is about! Remember also that Scots were sent into slavery after the last Jacobite rebellion. Who was the leader in all of these activities? ……. mother Westminster

    30. Jimsie says:

      Phil Robertson 11.49

      Absolutely correct that Scotland held on to John Bulls coat tails in exploiting the colonies. No denying our history,however in the modern world we have no need to be involved in illegal wars and possessing nuclear weapons.

    31. Breeks says:

      The interest on the UK’s national debt is already close to £50 billion a year. Call it a £1 billion a week give or take. That’s just interest, not reducing the debt. Somebody is earning £1 billion a week on the back of the UK’s borrowing, and that’s with interest rates at an all time low. This isn’t since the end of the cold war, this is annually. On ONS and OBR statistics, it is predicted the UK will be paying £68 billion a year by 2017-2018.

      Here is the link, fingers crossed I do it right… I clip off the htXX bit right?

      http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/uk-debt-interest-payments-total.png

      I want to know where all this money is physically going. Is there a retirement home for so many zero’s?

    32. CameronB says:

      Here is the UK latest ‘force projection’ weapon. Who needs a stealth drone, apart from those who are imperially minded?

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10619378/Successful-test-flight-for-Taranis-stealth-drone.html

    33. Capella says:

      Driving along a motorway in Switzerland, we pass a mountain with a jet parked inside (the hangar doors were open). When they want to take off, they close down that stretch of motorway and use it as the runway! Of course, being a small country and landlocked they don’t have expensive aircraft carriers. Their Defence really is defence.

    34. Jimsie says:

      Ian Brotherhood 11.45

      Lord Reid,the Baron of Cardowan himself. This character had 8 ministerial positions in a Labour government and was a failure in all 8. What credibility has he left.

    35. cearc says:

      It is truly absurd that a small, impoverished and heavily indebted country should be borrowing yet more money in order to pretend importance to itself.

      It’s tantamount to turning up at the dole office in Ferrari that you bought on hp. Ludicrous.

    36. Helena Brown says:

      @Cameron B, we both got one post through, just been back and annoyed said gentleman. We shall have to see if these go through. Usual drivel about having three Parliaments to vote in, not one word about having no voice in the EU. Somebody other than me needs to go and straighten this man out. Oh and we are over represented at Westminster, so 59 in a Parliament of 650 is over representation.

    37. McDuff says:

      Good article Stu, it makes me sick that our money is spent in killing innocent civilians by the “regime“ that is Westminster.

    38. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I’m not condoning the defence spend of this disunited kingdom in any way but excluded in these figures will be the costs accrued by the likes of (in)capability Brown through his financial incompetence. I’m talking about things like the Chinooks bought for the U.K.’s Special Forces. These helicopters required specific software in order to run their on board systems. Unfortunately for our Special Forces, Brown in his incompetent way refused to buy the software from Boeing claiming “we could write the software.”. Guess what folks, we couldn’t! This resulted in the Chinooks being grounded for around 10 years, I think. In the end Westminster had to go grovelling back to Boeing and buy their software which in the intervening period has almost doubled in price!

      We have also had the millions of pounds worth of equipment that has gone *ahem* missing that obviously needs replacing at additional and unnecessary increased cost. Not the sort of thing you like to hear about your defence forces.

      Also excluded in this figure will be part or all of the cost of our two lovely flat deck sailing ships. Yet another fantastic Brownism. Who in their right mind signs off on an agreement to buy TWO huge sailing ships with a clause that says cancelling one of the ships is MORE expensive than the cost of buying both ships…INSANE! I of course call them sailing ships cause let’s face it they can’t be used for much else, the aircraft for them are still over a decade away from arriving. Still they can hold their annual tug of war championships on them, plenty of room to pull a bit of rope.

      Another cost also excluded in these figures might be the cost of Brown’s version of F35B fighter aircraft and Cameron’s F35B or is F35C or is it F35B.

      You add up all these costs plus everyone’s favourite Trident £100 Bn and we start to see a really ugly figure arise.

      If you take our share of Trident plus the share of U.K. involved wars, legal or otherwise, and you will end up with a hefty little total. If my counting is right we are looking at something like £35 Bn that an independent Scotland could have used for the benefit of its citizens instead of going to war and buying useless bits of kit. Instead of which we are in a position where the jobless will have to sign on every day or lose their benefits or agree to do six months unpaid voluntary work. If the job seeker fails to meet any requirement they will be docked their benefit money. Meanwhile the REAL crooks are living it up in Central London!

      We need independence more than ever now to protect the weak and vulnerable. What we do NOT need are warmongering numbskulls in Westminster deciding which country they will invade next!

    39. Taysideterrier says:

      Good article again stu, but in my opinion theres little point in the “brown” people bit at the end.
      Think theres the possibility it could be taken the wrong way and twisted against you ?
      Could make the same point in other ways.
      Just thinking out loud.

    40. Rod MacKay says:

      Dave, your Newsnet link goes to a page declaring a ban, no graphic, sorry.

    41. Chic McGregor says:

      Nae mair will the bonnie callants

      Mairch tae war when oor braggarts crousely craw,

      Nor wee weans frae pit-heid and clachan

      Mourn the ships sailin doon the Broomielaw.

      Broken faimlies in lands we’ve herriet

      Will curse Scotland the Brave nae mair, nae mair;

      Black and white, ane til ither mairriet

      Mak the vile barracks o their maisters bare

    42. Dorothy Devine says:

      Afternoon all! The sun is shining here ,spoke to a surprised Ozzie in the street at 9 am she couldn’t believe that it was ” almost warm”.

      Having read many articles on line I make my last visit to friends – if it were’nt for Wings , Wee Ginger Dug , Bella , Newsnet and many more I would descend into a depressed fug.

      So my thanks to you all ,both above and below the line – you have my sanity in your tender care!

    43. Chic McGregor says:

      Aooga aooga!

    44. TheItalianJob says:

      Great article Stu and highlights how we as an Independent country can better spend money, rather on rUK big brother military and nuclear weapons which serve no useful purposes for us or anyone.

      @Arbroath 1320 at 12.28

      Great summary and fully agree with your analysis. Well done.

    45. Westie7 says:

      OT FYI just checked and my Postie knows bugger all about any CWU position on Indy

    46. Grouse Beater says:

      Westminster’s entire anti-independence attacks are based on their justified fear that they will have less money to squander on pretending to be a world leader in phony justice and pretendy democracy to protect “British” interests.

    47. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Thanks for that TIJ.

      Of course AFTER I put up my post I saw CameronB’s link. so we can of course the cost of this to the overall total, mind you in terms of the BILLIONS it will just be chicken feed. 😉

      One thing I found amusing, well I think amusing is the right word here there again I’m not so sure, is the comment from Phillip[ Dunne the defence equipment minister.

      Lessons learnt from the drone will one day help in producing a replacement for the Typhoon and F35 fighters, said Philip Dunne, the minister for defence equipment.

      Produce a replacement for the F35!

      Jeez they haven’t even got their FIRST F35, and will NOT receive their first F35 for at least 10 years and he is already talking about using this drone to help find a replacement for the F35. I’m not stupid, well at least that’s what I keep telling myself 😉 .

      I know that the design, testing, flight proving, systems testing etc of new aircraft takes a long time but surely to gawd you would at least wait until your latest aircraft is actually in SERVICE before you made any comments about the NEXT generation of aircraft. Don’t forget, Tornado in all of its various forms from the original GRV up to the latest GR4, I think, has been flying continuously for over 30 years. So in my Brownesque style of calculations the next generation of aircraft AFTER the F35 will not be needed for around 50 or so years!

    48. Les Wilson says:

      bookie from hell says:

      Hi, Do not let them get to you, remember Labour is the most deceitful party. They can say anything they want but their nemesis is here. Accusations not backed up by facts are their usual.They may find some to back up their accusations, but they will be sympathisers. Just let it go over your head.

    49. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      OT but well in the thread

      Here we have what is styled the embarassing video ever and it is by

      tarraaa

      Brian Donohoe

      http://archive.today/s7biG#selection-1784.0-1784.1

      Our favourite “Yer no fimun me, cause I don’t want it” Scottish Labour MP!

      Seems he should have taken his own advice on hos own blog.

      Labour, the gift that goes on giving.

    50. Aikenheed says:

      Arbroath 1320
      Don’t forget the billions spent on a British AWACS – cancelled and US kit bought, Nimrod MR scrapped and not replaced yet, boots, rifles, radios that don’t work etc etc

    51. Seasick Dave says:

      Yesterday a work colleague was telling me about an army friend of his who told him a ‘funny’ story about Fallujah in Iraq.

      Due to restrictions on the use of white phosphorous, there was some reclassification (not sure if this was formal or informal) to call it red phosphorous and, hey presto, business as usual!

      I despair.

    52. Ravelin says:

      O/T Just checked Oddschecker and I noticed that 32Red have Yes at 15/8 for the win in Sept. That’s the first time I’ve noticed anyone offering below 2/1.

    53. gerry parker says:

      @Chic McGregor, @ 12:29
      Thanks, always gives me goose bumps the words of that song.

    54. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Tayside Terrier

      I think Rev Stu was paying a wee homage to George Carlin

      Here is it on stage

      http://archive.today/s7biG#selection-1784.0-1784.1

    55. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Could make the same point in other ways.”

      It IS the point, though.

      http://www.theonion.com/articles/15000-brown-people-dead-somewhere,3751/

    56. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Wrong link

      Here it is

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDw-zFFhFgc

    57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “We should be wary of this “holier than the rUK” tone. Glasgow did well enough out of slavery and tobacco. The latter has killed far more in recent years that the British armed forces.”

      That’s a very weird argument. Tobacco MAKES money for the state, it doesn’t COST money.

    58. gerry parker says:

      @ bugger, that sent the tea spraying all over the monitor Jim.
      🙂

    59. galamcennalath says:

      bookie from hell says:
      can you check this out,it’s a serious accusation by a prominent leader of Labour Party

      … suggestions of businesses being intimidated by Yes supporters.

      Project Fear has failed, so what next? One tactic already discussed on Wings would be for try to tar Yes supporters as being threatening, nasty and violent. Perhaps this is part of that approach.

      Isn’t it soooo ironic that Unionist claim we are the violent ones when you consider their ‘defence’ spending and global activities!

    60. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Question : Does brown people include assorted dis-Yugo Slavs?”

      Yeah, they’re ethnically brown as far as the UK is concerned. Everyone south or east of Dover is.

    61. yerkitbreeks says:

      The much lauded ” Peace Dividend ” at the end of the cold war never materialised since it didn’t take long for the Bush(s) and their toadies to get us inveigled into the Middle east and beyond.

      Not that non-participation would have stopped the warmongering American establishment – anyone remember how they swooped into Grenada, a member of the Commonwealth, by the way.

    62. ronnie anderson says:

      @Dorothy Devine 12.31. Sorry Dorothy I need tae opt out

      of saving your sanity,ah hivney goat a grip on ma ain, but

      the rest of the Winger,s I,ll take good care of you,

      keep yer chin up, We’re WINNIN.

    63. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Aikenheed says:

      Arbroath 1320
      Don’t forget the billions spent on a British AWACS – cancelled and US kit bought, Nimrod MR scrapped and not replaced yet, boots, rifles, radios that don’t work etc etc

      Oh absolutely. THAT must have been the most ludicrous contract of all time, in my view. G.E.C. were laughing all the way to the bank with that contract. I mean who in their right mind, I know we’re talking about politicians here, would see ANY sense in signing off on a Cost Plus contract.

      This contract meant that G.E.C. designed, developed and built a basic Airborne Warning and Control System. (AWACS) However, once installed in the Nimrod Whitehall started down the one way street of saying they wanted the systems to do this, do that and do the other. Of course G.E.C. were never going to say no to any of these requests were they I mean it was a cost plus contract so any additional request to G.E.C. was going to add to the overall cost of the system…BONKERS!

      In fact the system reached the stage where it was obvious to everyone, except apparently Whitehall, that the Nimrod airframe was too small. In fact it got to such a crazy point that it was going to need a SECOND Nimrod aircraft to fly along behind the AWACS Nimrod just to carry the cooling systems for the AWACS aircraft!

      Don’t get me wrong I think the Nimrod airframe has done a sterling job as an A.S.W. aircraft but as an AWACS it just plane loopy!

    64. ronnie anderson says:

      @gerry parker 1.12, gerry ah know you,ve been aff line fur

      a week,you need to catch up on the site safety manual.

      Keyboard protector— CLING FILM

      also work,s for —Screens

      ( dont try an Iron oot the wrinkles efter its put on )

    65. Grouse Beater says:

      Stuart

      Any way of securing Salmond’s Bruges speech unedited?

    66. Breeks says:

      Cut the MOD a bit of slack mind. They did save some money on cap badges when they amalgamated our regiments. I think it saved about £27billion a month or so, but then again it might have been £27.50 I forget… Johann Lamont taught me my arithmetic and life is such a blur.

    67. Chic McGregor says:

      I wonder how much the intellectual resource in the British arms industry has been diminished by the more intelligent graduates leaving through pressure of conscience as the realisation dawned on them of the morality of what they were working on? I know of at least one example who left Marconi Space Defence for that reason.

    68. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Breeks says:

      Cut the MOD a bit of slack mind. They did save some money on cap badges when they amalgamated our regiments. I think it saved about £27billion a month or so, but then again it might have been £27.50 I forget… Johann Lamont taught me my arithmetic and life is such a blur.

      Well if it cost the MOD £27 Billion on cap badges Breeks there’s only one thing I can say…they was DONE!
      😛

    69. FlimFlamMan says:

      @Breeks

      This isn’t since the end of the cold war, this is annually. On ONS and OBR statistics, it is predicted the UK will be paying £68 billion a year by 2017-2018… I want to know where all this money is physically going. Is there a retirement home for so many zero’s?

      It goes into the economy, where ultimately, if it’s not taxed, it ends up as saving. Government deficits equal non-government saving.

      Since we live in a deeply unequal society, the amount of that saving, the financial wealth, that is in the hands of the top 1% is damaging our society in numerous ways. Not least in the corruption of our politics.

      Running those deficits is not a problem though; it is unavoidable for a country like the UK which has an external deficit and a private sector that wants to save. The problems are found in what that deficit spending funds, and in the UK obscene amounts are spent on militarism rather than providing decent health care, housing, education etc. for our own citizens.

      The problems are also found in the state of our laws and institutional structures, which allow the financial wealth, however it is initially spent, to be concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority.

      Scotland has an opportunity to actually do something about all this, but imagining that government deficits are intrinsically a part of the problem will only make the job harder.

    70. wingman 2020 says:

      Rev… If you were not an establishment ‘target’ before, you certainly will be now! Keep your heid down.

    71. gerry parker says:

      @ Ronnie, Aye, that week in Dunoon has made me a bit lax.

      🙂

    72. Breeks says:

      Selling 75 Harriers retired from service to the US Marine Corps for £116 million wasn’t one of the MOD bean counter’s finest hour either.

    73. Dorothy Devine says:

      Ach Ronnie , you’ve cheered me up anyway – I have your flower on the mantelpiece so it’s a permanent cheer up!

    74. msean says:

      That’s a lot of cash to spend on wars that we couldn’t afford. However,it’s a well known historical fact that when threatened internally,a state will tend to ‘find’ itself in a threat situation.

      A baddie has to be found to rattle the sabre at and unite the (one) nation against,you know,say Libya(that turned out well,not)Syria(that didn’t work)now we have Putin the bogeyman(weren’t they trying to get him onside recently?)flying bombers north of Shetland,like the Russians have always done. We best get out,before they find another one to spend blood and treasure on.

    75. Harry says:

      O/T

      This is carried over from the thread about the Weirs “This, that and the other”.

      I needed some help from fellow Wingers to answer my mate’s doubts on his police pension. He did seem like a likely yes but is now a probable No along with many of his colleagues. They are not getting any answers to their questions from the Scottish Government.

      I e-mailed him Donnie Smith’s detailed response below.

      @harry. When your friend joined the Police in 1992 he was under the impression that he would work for 30 years paying 11% pension contributions and receive a certain pension at the end of his service. The WM government changed the rules as from 01/04/12. Basically, as I understand it, because it appears very complicated, if he had less than 20 years service or was under 40 years of age on that date his pension will be very much less than he was promised and he will have to work longer to qualify for it, as well as his pension contributions increasing to about 15%. I believe that this was forced on the Scottish Government by Westminster and don’t think there is anything they can do about it. Because of your friends start date he may be affected by this legislation. The white paper was introduced after this came into force so it is right that current pension arrangements would be unaffected. Your friend may be concerned about something else I know nothing about so this post may be worthless to him. I do know that the Scottish government has refused to introduce some of WM recommendations that have made conditions for officers in England and Wales even worse.

      He replied

      Thanks for that but it is exactly what I knew. They are saying its terrible that Westminster is doing this to the pension but aren’t making a commitment to reverse it . Unfortunately I am still stuck with go with what I have or take a risk on a what if. No questions answered.

      I may try to tackle this head on and ask my local MSP Christina McKelvie because it’s a pretty poor show if the police are unsure if they will receive all of their pension.

      Any more input would be welcomed.

    76. Dave says:

      Rod MacKay says:
      Dave, your Newsnet link goes to a page declaring a ban, no graphic, sorry.

      Sorry Rod. If you google ‘interesting maps of scotland’ it appears as the 5th link under the title.

      Newsnet Forum • View topic – Interesting Maps of Scotland

      The Norway graphic is at the bottom of page 3 of the maps.

    77. Andy-B says:

      You’re spot on Rev, no wonder the UK is loathed around the world, as for Afghanistan,the UK learned absolutely nothing from Russia’s occupation of the country. The offical line was bringing democracy to Afghanistan, but Afghanistan is a mineral rich country, so it doesn’t take to much deliberating to work out, the real reason, for the USA and the UK’s, sortie, into Afghanistan.

      An independent Scotland,as you say would, have need of no such jaunts around the globe using the pretence of democracy,indeed when you look at the state of Iraq, after its so called democratic liberation, you can’t help wondering why on earth Scots allowed themselves to be dragged into such a, slaughter of the innocent.

    78. Chic McGregor says:

      Dave/Rod

      “Rod MacKay says:
      Dave, your Newsnet link goes to a page declaring a ban, no graphic, sorry.

      Sorry Rod. If you google ‘interesting maps of scotland’ it appears as the 5th link under the title.

      Newsnet Forum • View topic – Interesting Maps of Scotland

      The Norway graphic is at the bottom of page 3 of the maps.”

      I seem to be permanently banned from that forum as well. Think I only went to it once or twice and AFAICR only ever posted the medieval map of the North sea area???

    79. CameronB says:

      Dave
      I thought it was myself that was banned from NewsNet. 🙂

    80. David Smith says:

      MoD projects have been traditionally epic in their incompetent management. TSR2 was designed in the conceived in the 1950s and didn’t fly until 1964 whereupon the Wilson Government cancelled it after great expense, ordering F111s which were then cancelled at great expense then sold by the US makers to Australia. This order was replaced by US F4 Phantoms, redesigned at great expense to take Rolls-Royce engines which made the aircraft slower, heavier and more expensive than an off the shelf design. Ironically, in 1982, the RAF bought 15 second hand American engined F4s from the US Navy as the Tornado interceptors were delayed, over budget and they couldn’t get the radar to work!

      Simply the best – not!

    81. Chic McGregor says:

      Newsnet forum seems to be available again??

    82. geeo says:

      Was it not IDS saying the other day that military intervention was not ruled out against Putin ?

      Maybe his thinking is that when faslane and glasgow area are annihilated, the loss of tens of thousands of potential Yes voters might help the No campaign swing it their way ?

      No offence meant by that comment.

    83. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I certainly have not taken any offence by your comment geeo, I’ve just taken the gate instead. 😛

      I think you have summed up IDS brilliantly there.

    84. North chiel says:

      Ref.andy b comment Scots did not have much choice about getting “dragged
      In to Iraq etc That is precisely why we require Independence. Also
      Readers may wish to consider my observation that over the past
      Couple of years Scots based soldiers seem to have been “withdrawn”
      From their “usual” position “on the front line”.
      I wonder why ??

    85. Robert Peffers says:

      This military spending scam is but a drop in a very much bigger ocean. I can, without having to think too hard, come up with several other, “Creative Accounting”, and other scams. Not to mention the downright thieving of other, “Nice little earners”, that, “Westminster”, uses to milk Scotland dry.

      The £20+ per Kilowatt Grid Connection Charging of northern Scottish generating companies while subsidising southern generators by over £3.

      The entire sum of Scottish court fines and on-the-spot fines directly going into the Treasury.

      The Block Grant system, (amount decided by Westminster), and the negative Barnett Formula consequentials coming from English funding but with much of the higher cost London/English infrastructure being funded from sources, (like Government reserves), that carry no Barnett consequentials.

      The Scottish Crown Estates lumped in with the English Crown Estates and the joint profits going right to the treasury.

      The classing of the oil & gas revenues as being from, “Extra-Regio Territory”.

      The annexation of 6,000 sq Mls of Scotland’s territorial waters.

      The London Head Office Tax returns and the known under-spends on all things Scottish.

      There are probably many more such scams we wont know about until after we are independent.

    86. CameronB says:

      “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” ~ Lord Palmerston

    87. David Smith says:

      Aye, well let’s deprive them of their interests in our fair land, come September!

    88. Alex. Walker says:

      Perhaps contributors can illuminate?
      The Crown Estates own the seabed all around Scotland from the high-tide mark out to 12 nautical miles.
      Do electricity consumers pay rent to the Crown Estates when our electtricity is supplied by wind turbines ANCHORED to the seabed owned by the Crown Estates-And- do the Crown Estates take their cut of all the electricity produced because the sea-borne wind turbines are anchored to the Scottish seabed owned by the Crown Estates.??

    89. Alex. Walker says:

      When the Crown Estates Profit from renting the land they own on the mainland and profit from the electricity produced by land based wind turbine farms on their land, WHY would it be different for wind turbine farms ANCHORED to the seabed that we allow them to own.??
      The Crown Estates have a new motto in Scotland ;-
      “Eff the expense, get the cat a goldfish.”

    90. Alex. Walker says:

      To assist “the Moderator” with Verification re-my post about the £45 billion awarded to Dublin.
      POSTED-7:16 on April 28th.
      The figures that I supplied were published by the (tory)”Scottish Daily Express” in Jan.,April and July 2013..
      “Hansard” should also verify via Treasury and the “Public Accounts Commitee” of Westminster.

    91. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “To assist “the Moderator” with Verification re-my post about the £45 billion awarded to Dublin.
      POSTED-7:16 on April 28th.”

      It’s nothing to do with verifying your facts, Alex, it’s to do with the clearly-stated and -linked posting rules. Anything without paragraph breaks is likely to find itself filtered straight into the Trash.

    92. Alex. Walker says:

      For information purposes and for explanation :-
      my first ever electronic mail was accepted earlier today by wingsover after I recently bought a laptop.
      My letters to the “Scottish Daily Express” were not only heavily censored but were increasingly GUTTED of any sensible meaning.A situation that some of the wingsover contributors can verify versus the news media.

    93. Alex. Walker says:

      Last week due to incursion of Russian fighter jets into British air-space, it was widely reported that an intercept mission was launched from R.A.F. Leuchars in Fife.?
      Why were`nt the jets sent from R.A.F.Lossiemouth?
      Half the fighter jets at Lossiemouth are currently based on the E.U. Nation State of Cyprus, on which Britain Retains “Sovereign Territory”.More than 8,000 civilian Cypriots are employed by the Westminster M.O.D. to “Service” British Army bases (two) and a British R.A.F.Base. Salaries,Pensions, etc. are provided by British taxpayers to Cypriot service personnel plus pensions after retirement.Compare these numbers on Cyprus with the 650 Scots at Faslane and Coulport?
      After December 2014, after R.A.F.Leuchars has been closed, who will be left at R.A.F.Lossiemouth to protect Scotland`s interests, when, by Westminster Dictat, the jets that should be in Lossiemouth are based on the E.U.Nation state of Cyprus-next door to WAR-TORN SYRIA???
      Needless to say, for puerile personal self-interest, the E.U.Nation state of Cyprus opposes Independence for Scotland.
      In Scotland we pay tax to mug ourselves.

    94. Alex. Walker says:

      May I recommend the reference books ” Whitaker`s Almanac “, with particular reference to the 2013 edition ((Free at many public libraries) where there are numerous instances of ” British overseas Territories ” where we can compare the UNIONIST MANTRA of ” Better Together ” within the family of nations of the U.K. – Versus the reality in Scotland.??
      Ludicrously, the Scottish National Football Team has been drawn (home and away), in the European Nations Championship, versus the nation state of Gibraltar. ?
      When did the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar become a nation state when it has a total area of 6.25 square klms, but has equal status with Scotland whose taxpayers pay to protect and govern Gibraltar.
      How many British warships are currently protecting Gibraltar from the incursion of Spanish Fishing boats into Gibraltarrean waters.
      San Marino, another giant of football, is a real nation state sited in the heart of Italy, San Marino has a total area of 61.25 square klms.. Ten times the area of Gibraltar. Scots are paying tax to be defeated by Gibraltar – unlikely as that may seem.
      However, Gibraltar – with zero to lose on the football pitch that our taxes paid to supply for Forces personnel- is only a few miles across the Med. from a huge talent base of North African footballers, when Gibraltar may (??) become an entry port for legal immigration into Europe, sanctioned by Westminster. Perhaps Spain is seeing a bigger picture than Brussels and Westminster.
      In Scotland we pay tax to mug ourselves.
      This is not about football.
      We have allowed E.U.F.A., the ruling body over football, to establish Gibraltar as a nation state.
      My point being – is the new nation state – “IN or OUT” of Membership of the discriminatory E.U.Club that seeks to ensure the EXPULSION of Scotland after we vote for Independence in Sept.2014.???
      Someone should remind potential U.K.I.P. voters in Scotland that, in opposing Independence,U.K.I.P. AUTOMATICALLY OPPOSES THE EXPULSION OF SCOTLAND FROM THE E.U. – THIS YEAR.!!
      You couldn`t invent such lunacy, but the mainstream news media are in the process of hiding these salient facts from the Scottish electorate ? They are not confronting FARAGE about this contradiction in his political mandate, whereby he “trusts Cameron to supply his IN-OUT referendum in 2017” after stopping the expulsion of Scotland this year.??

    95. Alex. Walker says:

      The Billionaire of Belize (formerly- British Honduras) who helps to fund the Tory Party, was “Commissioned by Cameron to Review the British Army Bases(two) and the British R.A.F.Base”. on the foreign E.U. Nation State of Cyprus.It was kind of Cameron to reward Lord Ashcroft with taxpayers money to produce a review that has subsequently disappeared.
      However, Cyprus is only one so-called ” British Overseas Territory” among many where Scottish taxpayers fund, Govern,protect,spply warships,R.A.F Cover and supply
      “Governor`s General” etc., where we supply Policing, Security,Medicine, doctors, Governors Mansion “plus staff”,etc.to real TAX HAVENS like the Caymen Islands where zero “Bedroom Tax” is applied, but cannot be Plundered for the Trillions Hidden and protected by our taxes. After we allow an unelected Tory Govt. to plunder the Scottish Parliament Budget year on year?
      We cannot even trust a Scottish Prime Minister who spitefully used the 300th. Anniversary of the Act of Union of 1707. when, in 2007 Brown Shifted Passport Processing from Glasgow – to BELFAST.
      187 WORKERS MADE REDUNDANT in GLASGOW, Only one month after S.N.P. Won Minority Govt. at Holyrood in 2007..
      Did SCOTS – GET THE MESSAGE FROM BROWN?? (1707-2007).
      A Bleak reminder from a Scottish Prime Minister and from his Scottish minions(Labour M.P.`s) that Westminster OWNS all of Scotland`s Ancient Rights – and will Remove our Rights at Westminster Whim when we don`t behave the way the English want.
      LAUGHABLY, Brown now Fakes a ludicrous concern for Scotland`s FUTURE?
      Brown cannot make up his own mind whether he supports “Devo-Max.” or the ZERO being offered by Darling?
      Better Together are in a silly position where Darling and his cohorts are working night and day to supply – ZERO NEW??
      I would like a job that goes nowhere NEW.
      I would like a job as a Philosopher – because that`s a job with NAE HEAVY LIFTING.

    96. Alex. Walker says:

      Let`s link Ravenscraig with Aircraft Carriers.
      When Steel production was Nationalised, Labour Prime Minister- James Callaghan- using,SCOTTISH TAXES, built the LLAN WERN steel plant next door to his Welsh constituency.
      The steel industry collapsed and allowed Thatcher/Major Tory Govt. to choose between the ancient plant at Ravenscraig or the sparkling new plant at LLAN WERN in Wales.
      Every Scot knows the result because Ravenscraig was dismantled and shipped to India for “Tata Steel” in a deal brokered by the Hinduja Bros.
      The owners and the brokers were awarded British Citizenship by Blair and Brown.
      Guess where the Aircraft Carriers are being built.?
      Next door to GORDON BROWN`s constituency – repeating the callumny created by Callaghan.
      Blair once called Brown the best Chancellor ever in Britain – BEFORE everything went belly-up in 2007-2008.
      However, the original Aircraft Carrier Contract was set at £2.45 billion, afictional figure that has since ballooned to £6.2 billion. The carriers are built in steel units at apprximately 8,000 tons per unit. It is costing £one million per tow to float these units from the Clyde ( and English yards ) to Rosyth where the units are ” Faired and welded ” to form a carrier.
      Compare this process with the 1970`s Port Glasgow where they built a 100,000 Supertanker in only two-halves, “Faired and Welded ” in the water whilst AFLOAT.
      IN THE 1970`s One Clyde shipyard could build a tanker that was nearly double the size of these useless Aircraft Carriers concocted by those giants og financial incompetence – Brown and Darling, who now attempt to lecture fellow Scots that their figures for Scotland`s future are more reliable than some.??
      They show fake concern for shipyard jobs, long after they rewarded ” TATA STEEL ” and the brokers with British Citizenship.
      To show that all is not gloom and doom, let me float an idea shown on the B.B.C.`s ” Countryfile ” prog. in 2007-2008., when John Craven described the Hydro-Electric plant newly built for S.S.E as the Glendoe Hydro Elec. Scheme that Cost £140 Million, supplies safe elec. for 100 to 120 years to 500,000 homes and businesses.!!!
      Logic dictates that, if we build ELEVEN SIMILAR HYDRO.PLANTS – (and include Glendoe) – Scotland will have a non-nuclear safe supply in elec. for 100years at a total cost of £1.54 billion.
      Steel jobs- galore.



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