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Why beggars will be losers

Posted on February 06, 2016 by

Scottish Labour’s announcement that it wants to increase tax for everyone earning over £20k (and therefore anyone on under that who fancies making a little bit more, or might do a wee bit of extra overtime), reflects its acceptance both that the far left is in charge now and that this year’s Holyrood race is virtually over already.


SNP party folk will “take nothing for granted”, of course, and some aficionados might find it fun to see which candidates slink into list seats after they’ve lost the votes which count, but I’m really much more interested in what will come after that.

Before 2011, I used to think that the true primary objective of the SNP was to win and hold a Scottish administration with ever-increasing powers. David Cairns, one of the best men ever, used to argue with me that on the contrary the instinct for clear-cut independence was in the blood of the SNP and true independence was what then-leader Alex Salmond woke up every day thinking about.

David died days after the 2011 elections, but of course he was right. I think I was too influenced by the fact that the SNP dream had, for my whole life, seemed so impossibilistic that the real agenda of believers nevertheless pragmatic enough to engage in everyday politics had to lie somewhere else. Well, it certainly doesn’t lie somewhere else now.

The next independence referendum seems likely to come after 2021, following an election win by the incumbent UK prime minister, George Osborne, and a fourth successive win in Scotland by an SNP which has included the referendum commitment in its manifesto. I think the 45% will still be solid then; the 55% less so. In that battle for the “undecided”, begging will be the No camp’s primary hazard.

If you watch unionist politicians in Wales, where independence is thoroughly off the agenda, its all about proving they can screw more out of the UK Treasury than Plaid Cymru. They don’t sound like they give half a toss about the rest of the UK – all they want is more for the Welsh and less for the rest, regardless of where true need lies. It’s manifestly ignoble and no basis for an argument for the union, but then they don’t need to have one.

Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met, and he was in a very tight spot trying to make a virtue of necessity at the time, but when he hypothecated a tax for Londoners to pay for nurses in Scotland a lot of very-much-not-millionaires in London and Scotland thought he’d come dangerously close to begging with menaces (“gimme your f****** money or the union gets it”).

Scotland’s far from the poorest nation/region of the UK after all, and most Scots appreciate that. Jim was doing his best in a hopeless situation, but his begging helped firm up opinion against Labour in Scotland as much as in England.

In Scotland, the SNP holds the whole centre ground where most people are, both left and right. Sturgeon and Swinney, Glasgow leftie and Perthshire sensible, if you like. Labour’s more than welcome to the nutty-left. And however frustrating it is for the SNP’s opponents, for now the Nats don’t truly have to tax-and-spend and thereby flag a consistent place on either side of that centre ground.

From the perspective of a second referendum, therefore, the SNP is evolving beyond a simplistic (and as the oil price has exposed, weak) argument about tax receipts and into a place which simply and honestly says to people who might not actually vote SNP that an affluent, independent Scotland is perfectly viable and Scots don’t need to beg anyone for charity.

They say sometimes things might be tougher, but they’re prepared to be tough in reply – as they are now. It’s up to proud Scots to do it for themselves. All of this of course seems perfectly credible and true to most people – one reason why Labour’s silly new tax plans in reply to Swinney’s budget make it look, harshly, about as marginal as the SSP looked when it still had a seat or two.

It’s also why, if Scottish unionists can’t come up with something better than they have in Wales – begging for more like McOliver and asking Scots to give up their foolish pride – then the outcome of the second referendum is, justifiably, already inevitable.


Eric Joyce is the former Labour MP for Falkirk. His website is here.

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    1. 06 02 16 16:43

      Why beggars will be losers | Speymouth

    324 to “Why beggars will be losers”

    1. Mark Coburn says:

      Bang the drum a bit louder Eric. Some of those on the No side might just begin to hear it.

    2. galamcennalath says:

      Eric highlights the reality that many people do wonder about the purpose and true mission of the SNP. Certainly down south there have been many who don’t believe Scotland wants independence and it’s all a big rouse to get more money out of WM. Many probably still think like that and perhaps the fiscal framework negotiations are perceived by some in this way.

      The existence of the mindset that ‘we aren’t serious’ does explain some of the reaction from London.

      I have never had doubts that the SNP want to move forward to full Indy, and I would say, so far so good.

    3. dakk says:

      Has the penny finally dropped for cringing Scottish unionists ?

      Have they any self respect or respect for the country they live in ?

      I can only live in hope 🙂

    4. frogesque says:

      The tinkling sound of pennies dropping.

      We can do it on our own. No begging, no screwing the poor for jollies at the top table.

      Hard work for sure but we will reap our own rewards, Labour in general and SLAB in particular irrelevant to Scotland and her aspirations.

      SNP Constituency /SNP Regional Party. As someone or other once said, “Bring it on!”

    5. Gareth says:

      Interesting how labour people always refer to that outlier poll on Welsh independence and ignore the other outlier that proceeded it and had independence support at over 20%. Support for independence in Wales is just under 10% as it has been for a while – not bad considering 25% of people in Wales are actually from England.

    6. Capella says:

      It’s hard to believe the current UK mess can last until 2021. But you’re spot on about the SNP holding the centre ground and they have every intention of holding on to it.
      Good to hear a well thought out argument from left of centre.

    7. Bandages_for_Konjic says:

      The fiscal framework negotiations are very much viewed down South – not just by the man in the street but by the UK Chief Secretary of the Treasury in charge of conducting negotiations for the British Government – as Nat brinksmanship and an attempt to gouge more money out of the treasury. They assume Swinney is bluffing and that he will cave when 12 February arrives. They’re wrong. Swinney doesn’t have to accede to a fiscal settlement that will cost billions. The SNP are perfectly capable of making May’s election a referendum on the UK Government’s failure to deliver the promises of Smith and the Vow.

    8. ClanDonald says:

      Yeah, only we’re not actually beggars, are we? The unionists in Scotland just pretend we are then insist it’s our destiny.

      They achieve this by perpetuating a system that forces us to hold out a begging bowl to get back what is rightfully ours.

      They have no self respect.

    9. Bob Mack says:

      It is more than pride at stake. It is justice, decency and a positive future for the young folk being born today. It is hope over despair, and the knowledge that we can create something better. Something that can take root and grow and thrive long after I have gone. It is not just about me,but rather we.

      Tories shall rule this land for many years to come.That is stark reality. We have seen and endured the meagre menu of care they dispense to ordinary people throughout these islands. Do we want to sup at this table any longer than necessary.? I hope not.

      There in lies the stark choice.Govern ourselves to put in place our shared values,or be governed to accept what scraps are dropped from Westminster table. You decide.

    10. handclapping says:

      Now there’s interesting. The view from the other side is not what you expect. I never could understand why the ‘if you can stand on your own two feet you should’ conservatives never took to independence. So they thought the SNP was nothing but a whinge and that the referendum was a SNP thing. IMO quite possible.

      If its true and the SNP win in May and that is still an if not a when, all they have to do is avoid ‘events’ for 5 years, then say “You can do it if you want it.” and we’ll be free. Yeay 😀

      PS SNP x 2

    11. MJack says:

      Most people here could have given British Labour in Scotland useful advice on how to move forward in Scotland such as separating from British Labour, supporting home rule, against trident, not disagreeing with SNP policy for the sake of it and actually listening to voters not the PLP at the top but they wouldn’t listen so they are where they are.

      Good luck Kez, mind your back!

    12. Macart says:

      Interesting read Mr Joyce and many thanks. I’d only pick one or two issues from it.

      Firstly the timing of a second indyref. That’ll be dictated by events and need and there is a possibility that something may occur sooner than 2021, though I agree the mere thought of Osborne as PM may well be one of the deciding factors. I’d say 2021 would be on the upper limit of a timescale with the current speed of events. A perfect storm of circumstances is already brewing, but yes its not outwith the bounds.

      Secondly your description of Mr Murphy as ‘one of the best all round politicians you’ve ever met’. Thereby hangs the problem. Politics as it is practiced and accepted in the UK. In such a theatre Mr Murphy may well be deemed a good ‘all rounder’, to ordinary folks living outside of the political bubble and looking in? That’s not such a compliment these days. We simply see a deceitful, disingenuous, careerist individual who places party before people every time. His actions throughout the referendum campaign, his willingness to demonise and denigrate, most folks find all too common amongst the breed of ‘pragmatic politicians’.

      As for the oil issue? Well certainly we were well aware that its economy doesn’t exist in a bubble. Its price goes up, it goes down, both can be good for the economy in different ways. It was BT and HMG who chose to make that particular resource an issue. I can assure you that round most of the discussions over that period we argued till we were hoarse that Scotland would be economically viable with or without the resource. We considered it a bonus. It still is.

      Anyroads,thanks again for an interesting contribution.

    13. muttley79 says:

      Interesting article Eric, although I strongly suspect that the idea that Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians you have met is not going to find much agreement on Wings…The likes of Salmond, Sturgeon, Angus Robertson, Donald Dewar, Robin Cook and Gordon Brown etc are miles ahead of Murphy as a politician.

    14. James Hunter says:

      “Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met” ..enough said, next!

    15. Brian Powell says:

      I remember the FM of Wales, during the Referendum, begging Osborne to give Wales more money to show that devolution worked. it was embarrassing to hear that from the solidly Labour voting Wales.

      That is what Slab want for Scotland, to be Wales.

    16. AFewHomeTruths says:

      I think the Referendum will have persuaded many who had eyes to see that a substantial number of Scots are deadly serious about Independence. Its the gullibility of Scots who aren’t that sustains the alternative narrative.

      It was interesting that Boris Johnson’s instinctive reaction on General Election night was ‘to make the Scots a federal offer’. The anti-austerity campaign muddied the waters but made it easier for traditional voters to jump ship. In hindsight we may well have got a majority of seats but not votes on an Independence manifesto. On the other hand it may have undermined the nationwide feeling that people were changing sides as a block.

      Nonetheless it is interesting that at the Welsh stage of development of the debate the object is to maximise funding to demonstrate the system works. At our stage they need to cut funding by contrast to show a system not working and pin the blame. I think the move in Wales to campaign as Yes, as if they are already in the next stage, is shrewd. If they can make the defining issue constitutional the only way is up.

    17. Ken500 says:

      Wales is underfunded £1Billion. Doesn’t have Scotland resources. Wales benefit from proximity to London. People can live in Wales and work in London. The Union costs Scotland £10Billion a year, which could be better spent.

      Scotland raises £54Billion and spends £54Billion. Spends £4Billion on debt repayments Scotland doesn’t borrow or spend. £Billions on Trident/Illegal wars, banking fraud and tax evasion. Oil sector is taxed at 60%. The price has fallen 75%. Costing thousands of jobs.

      NI raises £28Billion in taxes and gets £14Billion = £42Billion.

      Will a new US President/administration support Trident?

    18. scottieDog says:

      The truth is Eric that gap between tax receipts and govt spending is only critical when the country denominates it’s debt in a foreign currency.

      The uk will always honour it’s debt no matter the deficit because it’s debt is denominated in £ and it’s the sole issuer of the £.

      Scotland issuing it’s own fiat money with its own central bank will only be limited by its resources not the amount of electronic currency

    19. bobajock says:

      Its the hangover is it not? The extreme period of change from maybe 30-35% saying yes, to 45% .. to 56/59 … to?

      I have never been happier than now with politics, I will cry with joy when Scotland leaves, knowing we will never let the poor down for the sake of some politicians mates new yacht.

      Its still an extreme period though, now of desperation by the unionists to ‘show’, just running around in the nuddy hoping people will look.

    20. winifred mccartney says:

      Jim Murphy- ‘best all round politician’ – he did anything for publicity – he championed the ‘project fear’ and he tried to goad the scottish man in the street with his irn brew crate – his cross dressing friend and his egg throwing friends and was prepared to do anything and say anything to win for UK labour and the union. NOTHING about him was best.

    21. HandandShrimp says:

      I think to be fair to Murphy, in the rough and tumble of New Labour he probably was effective and good at the politics thing…it was after all his life long interest and career.

      However, I think his spell as Scottish Labour leader where he attempted to turn back the tide was a desperate time for him. Handed the poison chalice he had no option but to drink deeply of it. He also seemed hopelessly out of touch with the zeitgeist in Scotland and one wonders if he really believed the stuff he was coming out with or whether he viewed it as desperate measures for desperate times.

      Some of this will be for documentaries in 15 to 20 years when candid discussions are had.

      I do agree that a Tory win in 2020 will rattle more than a few of the 55%. Who knows, by then Labour may be pro-independence too.

    22. Proud Cybernat says:

      Independence will allow Scotland and rUK to build a new relationship as respected equals. That isn’t happening in this Union so there’s little point in Scotland being in it. They only ever ‘respect’ us when we’re about to walk out the door. And as soon as we turn back and give the Union one more chance – more disrespect. Funny that.

      Jim Murphy!? He’d sell his granny if it would help him into office.

      SNP x 2 = IndyRef 2

    23. Craig Murray says:

      For the next 80 minutes, I suspend my detestation of unionists.

    24. delboy says:

      Off subject, I know, but can’t help noticing that the British Broadcasting Corporation’s commentary/pundits team for the Scotland v England rugby match is predominantly English. The UK – four equal nations. Aye right! The BBC – England’s cheerleaders.

    25. Robert McDonald says:

      “impossibilistic” a perfectly cromulent word.

    26. Sterling is a fiat currency. It is backed not by gold or indeed any “hard”, tangible assets but by a printing press in Wales.

      Of course, the belief by creditors that the sovereign debt they purchase will be honoured unconditionally by the British government regardless of the state of the economic cycle is all that holds this paper charade together.

      But eventually, as the debt mountain continues to soar & the public liabilities such as state pensions & healthcare also soar, that belief starts to evaporate.

      And as it does so, the Bank of England can do only one thing in response; raise interest rates. Consequently, the cost of mortgage debt will suddenly jump, putting a brake on the only sector of the economy that has enjoyed any substantial growth since 2008.

      But this only serves to speed up the rate of increases in total net public sector debt. This is unsustainable. So further massive reductions in public sector spending are required.

      Soon, “Great” Britain will find itself in a place that Greece found itself in; massive public sector unemployment, pensions not worth the paper they are written on & low or negative growth for years.

      Sadly, Britain can’t rely on its productivity to dig its way out. With rates 22% behind the EU average, 30% behind France & Germany & some 40% behind the USA, it will struggle to find markets for its goods because its unit costs are simply too high.

      The only option left then is to massively devalue the Pound Sterling, in an attempt to make exports attractive & attract significant foreign investment at home. But that will spell the end of cheap holidays in Spain & further reduce the value of any pension assets, making old age in Britain a truly gruesome experience.

      Scotland may only have 5 to 10 years left to get out of this mess otherwise, it will find itself seemingly permanently impoverished as its last remaining assets are stripped clean in a frantic attempt to save the British Empire from sinking into the abyss.

    27. ronnie anderson says:

      Ah bit of Crystal Baw clanging there Mr Joyce,any good at reading Tea Leaves,hud oan tae ah empty ma mug.

    28. Croompenstein says:

      Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met

      Eric there’s a wee wummin ootside Bella Mani’s in Ayr still waiting for an answer from that skeletor cringing wankbag do you fancy going and telling her how great Jim is… FFS

    29. Iain More says:

      A penny for Trident Mister!

    30. Gary45% says:

      Like everyone else,
      FUD “One of the best all -round politicians!?!?”
      I suppose the quality the northern and southern branch offices have just now, he maybe correct, but then again maybe not.
      SLab bring back the FUD and give us a laugh.

    31. Lollysmum says:

      Thanks for this post Eric-your name came up on my twitter timeline early this morning & that nudged my memory about the last post you out up on Wings. That post was clearly a well thought out piece as is this one albeit with some errors which previous commenters have mentioned.

      Jim Murphy-best politician-sorry that has to be the laugh of the day. Yes he had an impossible task but he also made SLab a laughing stock with his fake ‘egging’ & his fake photo ops with 4 or 5 avid listeners but made to look like far more. His idiocy throughout the campaign just brought SLab into disrepute & voters switched off to them.

      Go back & look at some of Wings posts from around the time of his appointment-we knew back then that he was a gift to us & that’s exactly what he turned out to be.

      I think your summary of Wales position is pretty much bang on the money. Wales also doesn’t understand the Barnett formula & how it’s worked out i.e. on the basis of which functions are devolved to the devolved administrations/ population in each country Some of the Welsh politicians comments in the run up to GE15 demonstrated that. But then I expect Scotland was in the same position not so long ago.

      That’s the whole point of WM- keep the information from seeping out to people who might just get ideas about making their own decisions in their own country’s interests. The Scots are pretty much politically aware & have educated themselves to be able to understand the issues.

      People like Stuart Campbell with his Wee Blue Book has done a lot to start people thinking about issues that they’d never questioned before-they just accepted that this was how it is.

      See how those acorns have grown over the last few years into what are now mighty oaks that just keep on growing & getting stronger. This is why Independence is inevitable for Scotland but I wouldn’t be surprised if Wales went through the same process & found themselves in the same position in 20-30 years. I hope they do-the Welsh are a proud nation & deserve better than WM will ever be willing to offer.

    32. thomaspotter2014 says:

      Who is Jim Murphy?

      Brilliant politician or dirty lying two faced self promotting careerist bastard?

      I know which one I’m on.

      And we’ve still got his pet poodle Dippity Dugsbreath running British Labour in Scotland underground cos it’s already about as low as it can go.

      Next up is the fact that no union lackie will decide to put Scotland’s next referendum on the 2021 back burner,that’s just a desperate ploy to make it all go away till British Slab are back in their rightful place running Jockland.

      Apart from that stuff you didn’t do too bad.

      Not as bad as SNP BAAAAAD anyway.

      And by the way Eric what do you think of the incestuous BBC Pravda in Scotland being the only real opposition to Scotland’s self determination?

      Pumping out Labour political broadcasts willy nilly.

      Do you think that’s all a-ok?

      Cos I sure as fuck don’t.

    33. Brian McHugh says:

      Not only is a 2nd Referendum inevitable, but Scottish independence is inevitable… The No/unionist side needs to win forever… Yes only needs to win once.

      Ps Stu. Dandies joint top. 😀

    34. Robert Peffers says:

      @Eric Joyce:

      Eric, I probably have a deal more respect for you than most, but there are indeed a few weaknesses in your post.

      Not least the claims regarding Jim Murphy. Never, in any reasonable person’s mind, could he be considered anything other than a self-seeking, greed driven, bare faced liar.

      He could never be regarded as any kind of socialist. As Macart says, “We simply see a deceitful, disingenuous, careerist individual who places party before people every time”.

      Macart is far too generous to Mr Murphy for it is obvious to most people that Murphy’s first, second and probably also third priority is Murphy.

      As to the Welsh – Welsh Labour may certainly hold the views you describe here but I hold that Plaid Cymru are true Welsh Nationalists but rather ignorant of the real facts and figures of their own case.

      For example their claim that Wales is entitled to the same per-capita funding as Scotland in the Welsh Block Grant shows they do not grasp how the system works. If they did they would claim parity with N.I. as N.I. has the highest per-capita funding.

      Their real failure is in NOT understanding that the per-capita funding differs due to the different degree of devolved function and funding from the UK ministries to the three devolved administrations.

      Furthermore, the real problem is that the United Kingdom is exactly what its title describes it as – a UNITED KINGDOM formed by the marriage of the only two, equally sovereign, kingdoms that existed in 1706/7.

      It is not now, and never has been, a country. It is not now, and never has been, directly a marriage of four countries, (but it certainly contains four countries). It is not now, and never has been, Britain, but is indeed British. No more British, though, than the two, non-UK Bailiwicks of Jersey, and Guernsey, non-UK Man nor the only British Republic.

      Thus the Westminster Parliament’s splitting up of the UK along the lines of devolved countries, rather than its components kingdoms, was the trigger that has sealed the end of the marriage. All made all the more clear and certain by the idiotic claims made by Westminster, (as stated by that utter idiot Mundell), as, “The Treaty of Union extinguished the Kingdom of Scotland and renamed the Kingdom of England as the United Kingdom”.

      It clearly did not and the proof of that is all documented in the Treaty of Union itself.

    35. Bob Mack says:

      When you consider Unionist politicians ,I suppose Mr Joyce has a point about Jim Murphy being one of the best.

      To my mind they are deceivers ,liars, greedy, self serving, duplicious, and think nothing of the rights of the people they are supposed to serve.

      If that is how to gauge a politician ,then yes, Jim Murphy is indeed one of the best.

    36. Duncan McTaggart says:

      dakk wrote:

      ‘ Has the penny finally dropped for cringing Scottish unionists ? Have they any self respect or respect for the country they live in ? ‘

      Yes and no, some people:

      1. Who can’t see beyond the lies they have been told by unionist parties, media and state broadcaster, they don’t investigate or validate and are happy to sail on in bliss.

      2. Who can see they may or have been lied to, but are not 100% sure, they feel some shame, but are swithering on the Yes / No line (biggest group in no voters included those wedded to labour). Winning this group over is key, they are a soft unionist vote, but to win them over these folk have to admit to themselves they have been conned.

      3. Aristocracy, public school educated and loyalist buffoons, a diminishing rump, if allowed to speak, they bolster the nationalist cause.

      4. English migrants, living in England some English people look upon Scotland as possession (look at any uk national online paper blog) and that loosing Scotland is loosing face (majority of English, there are however honourable exceptions).

      5. Billionaire bully

      Many categories of folk to win over, as Eric alludes to, unionists are dying off and nationalist are entering the electorate, Westminster lies, the press and state broadcaster can’t keep the tide back for much longer.

    37. Clootie says:


      Those at the Empires centre have always considered themselves the generous benefactor of the countries they drained. The wealth of many nations was drawn (taken) by London. This “Modern Rome” then bestowed a fraction on the robbed nations and demanded gratitude. The figures for the wealth of Scotland taken every year “in support of the Empire” remains on the public record in Edinburgh until stopped in the 40s to keep the truth hidden.

      Oh dear…Why did you drop in the line “Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met” and take a hit on your credibility. I expect few here would consider such an obvious self focused ,manipulating, provocative individual could even be considered a politician.

    38. Albaman says:

      Watching the rugby, as an ex rugby player, I find Scotland’s performance absolutely woeful, in fact too embarrassing to watch.

    39. K1 says:

      I think Mr Joyce that if you in all honesty consider Jim Murphy as some kinda ‘best all-round politician’, then I have to seriously question your character assessment skills…or at the least your general grasp of what constitutes ‘all-round’, whatever the profession. As this conjures up a rather sensible and balanced character.

      Have you met eggs murphy the running irn bru swirling demented shouting at the public shamelessly self promoting arrogant scotland teamshirt wearing fitba dancin oan the end of ma foot a wish a could ladle a pint at the match bring back old fashioned west coast man tae the labour fold by any and all means possible cause the snp are fundimundilly baaad.

      This Mr Jim Murphy? Have you met him? ‘All-round’ Aye right…

    40. Croompenstein says:

      Eric, who will speak for England? 😀

    41. R-type Grunt says:

      @ Brian Powell

      Au contraire. What SLab want for Scotland is for it to be like Northern Ireland. The clue’s in the name.

    42. call me dave says:

      Alex Rowley to lead Labour’s Holyrood elections campaign

    43. R-type Grunt says:

      Labour in Scotland used to boast about being for the working man/woman but that man/woman has moved on. Labour can either move with us or, my preference, fuck off. Either/or.

    44. Cherry says:

      Mr. Joyce I read your posting and fair play to you it was on the whole quite interesting.

      Then you really had me ROFLMAO with your wee joke about Jim Murphy being a politician, that was so funny…oh you were serious….ROTFLMFAO !!!!!

    45. Bob Mack says:



      Agree completely. They seem to be going to ground even before they are tackled. Weak scrum as well.

    46. R-type Grunt says:

      Jim Murphy is quite a good politician. His failing is in being a total arse of a man. We noticed.

    47. Clootie says:

      call me dave says:
      6 February, 2016 at 6:25 pm
      Alex Rowley to lead Labour’s Holyrood elections campaign

      Alex helped by Gordon Brown…now that must be worth a few percentage points in favour of the SNP!
      I wonder how long this thrashing, decaying body can last (…Labour that is, not Gordon Brown…mmm perhaps both on reflection)

    48. Croompenstein says:

      Best bit of that rugby was the play out music by Eddie and the Hotrods….:)

    49. Grouse Beater says:

      There were times Murphy began every sentence he spoke with the first person singular.

      The genuinely politically ambitious enter the profession because they want to serve people, not themselves.

    50. Croompenstein says:

      Alex Rowley says “when the trawler follows the seagulls then the tax we impose will be the high end of the inheritance figure of the lower end of the payscale for higher earners who earn more than eleven moonrings and they will be deserving of a rebate which we will work out by the figures of the real terms gain or else”

      Thanks for clearing that up Alex vote Slab… 🙂

    51. Andy Ellis says:

      “Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met”

      Sorry…i couldn’t read any further through the tears of laughter. Proof in itself why Slab is doomed.

    52. dakk says:

      Graham Harris Graham. 4.49

      ‘Scotland may only have 5 to 10 years left to get out of this mess otherwise, it will find itself seemingly permanently impoverished as its last remaining assets are stripped clean in a frantic attempt to save the British Empire from sinking into the abyss.’


      No matter if half the population of Scotland end up living in cardboard boxes,our loving political and media saviours will declare that so long as we have Trident to protect us from Putin Boots,then everything under the sun/rain is UKOK thanks be.

      Create an imaginary threat,and a timid malleable public will thank their blessings for having such stoic benefactors in control of them.

      Or will they ?

    53. Glamaig says:

      “Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met”

      maybe he seemed good while protected inside his wee Westminster Blairite bubble but he couldn’t survive in Scottish politics. That’s the real test of whether a politician is good or not, we can see right through them 🙂

    54. Dr Jim says:

      Westminster will never give us what’s rightfully ours the only outstretched hand from Scotland should be to TAKE what’s ours with a slap ready in the other hand, unfortunately in the modern world that means by negotiation, blackmail, or in other words politics

      As regards to what folk south or north of the border think about Scotland if they’re NO voters or Scottish cringers or Yoon Bullies
      Personally they couldn’t imagine how much I don’t care about these people, they’re not worth spit and it’s really none of their business anyway

      I may be wrong but I feel most folk have made their minds up to YES or NO and it’s all going to be down to what Westminster does and how much blame can be shifted on to the SNP by the Yoons for their cause to keep Scotland as Englands wee holiday camp and of course their gateway to the North sea and beyond for strategic reasons

      All the Yoons have left now is Blame they never wanted to implement the Smith Commission fairly it’s not in their lying DNA and never will be, you can’t trust them and in 300 years of lying have we learned nothing ( No powers SNP fault)
      (More poverty SNP fault) anything to get a Yoon Party re-elected they don’t even care which one it is as long as it’s not the SNP

      Ye kin tell Ah get a wee tad miffed at huvin tae listen tae Yoon shite when every other normal country who’s Independent is doing OK and wouldnae rejoin the wee England Club if ye held a big Fukcin gun tae their heids, and as fur they American Bastirts wae thur “We want a strong UK”
      Piss off
      Yous didnae say that when YOU telt the English where tae go
      So consider yourselves telt America
      EU Ah couldnae give a toss, might be good might be bad, so what, we’ll deal wae it like everybody else does

      Yoons, can’t stick them, bullies liars and thugs the lot of them and if they’re that proud of themselves for being “Great British” how come we’re in the financial shit we’re in, does that not mean you’re crap at governing or, it’s true you’re a bunch of thieving parasites living off every country you’ve ever conquered or conned

      I’ve just watched Anas Sarwar and his loser pals all congratulating themselves on the next 5 years free money from Holyrood knowing that nobody needs to vote for them and they still get in, are they laughing or what, smiles all round and thanks a lot Scottish media for the publicity

      SNPx2 Lets politic the Bastirts tae death

    55. David Anderson says:

      You know Eric just put that Smurph line in for a wind up ;-)…

      As for the ‘nutty left’ aren’t they all ours or at least so say the opining Unionists in the meedga. Especially if they do or say somethig that can be used to attack SNP or Indy arguement

      The timing may be just right. After indy in 14, Gen election in 15, Scot election in 16, Cooncil in 17. We then have a wee breather to get to 2020 elections, to develop arguements and demonstrate further ability to govern effectively (and hopefully get a strong economic case to put at ease those a bit feart due to scaremongering). Tories in again and a commitment to indyref 2 if the winds are still behind the sails throughout the intervening period. I’ll but that for a Scottish dollar/Euro/Groat etc etc

    56. mike cassidy says:

      “One of the best all-round politicians I’ve met.”

      Glad I don’t drink!

    57. heedtracker says:

      I think a majority of Scots would pay a penny more taxes, if their pay was higher with better job security. Progressive taxation isn’t rocket science but most of us have learned the hard way how Westminster can piss away our taxes.

      Also, there is clearly a chronic #SNP bad, vote SLabour you morons bias blasted at Scotland and led by the BBC. I don’t think Scots approve and it reflects really badly on all of them, from Pacific Quay, SLab, Dugdale and this farce union.

      We’re nae that feel.

    58. yesindyref2 says:

      Interesting problem in Wales, if you’re not Welsh (I have some Welsh blood – a true mongrel).

      You have the best roads (arguably the only non-tourist roads) going West to East. Large numbers of people work in London or the South-East and commute daily or weekly. Others in Liverpool and Manchester (daily). Not so many Independence supporters amongst them. I have found pockets of others in my travel, but they’re quite rare, and people who you’d think would be staunch Indy supporters surprise you.

      Perhaps it’s the absence of roads north to south that keeps the Indy demand low.

    59. dakk says:

      Glamaig says:
      6 February, 2016 at 7:52 pm
      “Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met”

      I would posit that Eric penned that section during an extended session in Strangers Bar in the company of ol’ pterodactyl heid himself.

      Cut him some slack maybe,since he now seems quite open minded as unionists go.

    60. yesindyref2 says:

      Good article, and illustrates why it isn’t “us” and “them” any more on the Indy question.

      When it comes to issues rather than saber-rattling, it’s amazing how much each “side” has in common.

      That’t the real hope for Indy Ref 2, is to strengthen those similarities, and make the big difference – Independence v Union – a small almost insignificant one.

      But it needs a hell of a lot of patience 🙁

    61. Macnakamura says:

      “Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met”
      And, I mean that most fundilly mundilly,folks.

    62. yesindyref2 says:

      OT – very
      From google: “Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. Though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis, it can be calculated on a quarterly basis as well.”

      It’s an output, it’s the total of outputs. It doesn’t include Income Tax, NI, Corporation tax, Barnett, the annual beneficent donation from the man in the moon, it’s a total of the outputs of a country.

      Just quote the google definition if anyone tries to argue otherwise.

    63. Craig MachAonghais says:

      “Jim Murphy is one of the best all round politicians I’ve met”

      Aye right Eric. I suppose it takes one to know one eh? If by best “all round politician” you mean a self-serving duplicitous backstabbing amoral shit happy to support the warmongering bastards in your party and more than happy to extract every last penny in spurious expenses from the public purse, then yes Murphy was one of the best..stagger on Eric!

    64. Croompenstein says:

      Something is wrong in the space/time continuum..

      Caught a report on EBC South East about a zebra crossing outside a school in Hastings.. A local councilor came on and explained that “cuts are biting, council being run on a shoestring…” but he never blamed the SNP?? or call on the local electorate to pay more tax to mitigate the cuts!!! WTF is going on….

      starts at 1:15 councilor appears at 2:35…

    65. Andrew Haddow says:

      “Jim Murphy is [fundilymundily] one of the best all round politicians I’ve met”

    66. Jeff says:

      “…Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met, and he was in a very tight spot trying to make a virtue of necessity at the time”… – you mean Jim Murphy, the arsewipe?

    67. Valerie says:

      ‘Jim Murphy, one of the best all round politicians I’ve met’

      And a cry of ‘pish’ rang out from the crowd…

      C’mon, Eric, whitaboot Iain ‘killing fields’ Gray, JaBa, Jojo Lamont, the pool of talent is shallow, granted, but gies peace with Smurph.

      Anyhoo, glad you have woken up to the fact we are financially self sufficient.

    68. Valerie says:

      And it would just be in poor taste for me to mention Murphy’s expenses scandals, or his membership of the Jackson Society, or the time he screamed ‘fuck off’ 3 times in succession, because Pete Wishart was doing a head count.

      Please consider the eggs, they are innocents..

    69. heedtracker says:

      – you mean Jim Murphy, the arsewipe?

      Slab and the BBC out campaigning. Whatisface Cooke’s hyperbole coverage is out there somewhere, like him, mincing round the States for a while.

      and Daily Heil reprobates really loved Murphy

      ‘It was an SNP set-up!’ Labour claims ugly ambush on leader Jim Murphy by Scots nationalist thugs was staged after tip-off from Nicola’s party
      Mob of nationalist supporters confronted the Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy campaigning with Eddie Izzard
      One young girl was left in tears by the aggressive scenes which also saw activists caught up in a violent scrum

      etc UKOK toryboy etc

    70. heedtracker says:

      Here we go! “Absolute chaos” says a high paid liar, or is it just his opinion, what he thinks is absolute chaos. Good bye Jim. Tick tock BBC vote SLab Scotland.

      Will the Scottish elections be plagued by same shysters?

    71. Thepnr says:

      Oh dear Eric, please tell us that your Jim Murphy comment was just your little joke in order to provoke a response. A response you have certainly got.

      Are you still walking around with your eyes wide shut? i truely doubt that you are, but Jim Murphy who led Slab into oblivion last May being decribed as a great politician is simply woeful.

      If you were reading Wings at the time of his anointment as labour in Scotlands leader you would surely have saw the celebrations from those of an Independent mind who pegged Murphy exactly as to his “political skills”.

      That man epitomised everything that former Labour supporters hate, a self serving, right wing career trougher. The very type of politician that we in Scotland now want shot of.

      Open your eyes Eric, your views are not without merit but don’t let personal associations you may have had cloud your judgement. You won’t cloud ours, our eyes ears and mouths are fully open.

    72. Rock says:

      “Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met”

      I thought the Rev. Stuart Campbell had gone made when I read that.

      Eric Joyce has corrupt Labour blood and alcohol in his veins. Don’t trust him on anything.

    73. liz g says:

      Dave McEuan Hill @ 10pm
      I am afraid there is a 2014 date on that report Dave

    74. louis.b.argyll says:

      Please Sir,

      Can I have some war.

    75. The Isolator says:

      Jim Murphy… You see that’s all that is wrong with the British Labour Party right there.

      SNP x 2


    76. Robert Peffers says:

      @yesindyref2 says: 6 February, 2016 at 8:42 pm:

      ” From google: “Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period”

      Well not quite, yesindyref2.

      GDP can be applied to any given area, be it county, country, Kingdom or even a town.

      To quote it correctly in relation to, for example taxation, it should be quoted as, “Per-Capita GDP” or even Adult per-capita GDP.

      What you defined is best termed GNP – Gross National Product.

      Here’s my notes from when I tried to make head or tail of what they were attempting to confuse us mere voters with by using lots of mnemonics:-

      Gross Domestic Product
      The value of all goods and services created within an economy in a given year, equal to total consumer and government spending, and investment plus the value of exports, minus the value of imports.

      It equals gross national product minus income from abroad. In most countries GDP figures are released quarterly. The figures can be in nominal or real, inflation adjusted, terms.

    77. Mr Joyce

      Your whole polemic is blown out the water by,

      `Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met,`

      you do know that Murphy is a member of the noeliberalist right wing think tank The Henry Jackson Society?

      and that through the HJS he is very much a pawn of US secret services,

      to say you admire such a despicable human being is an affront to everyone that supports a free Scotland.

    78. yesindyref2 says:

      @Robert Peffers
      Definitions can vary a bit, but when arguing with Unionists I like to keep it simple, otherwise they can escape admitting being wrong.

      Here’s the one eurostats uses which is a bit different from the google one, and yours, and they have another one as well:

    79. Almannysbunnet says:

      If Jim Murphy is one of the best Politicians he’s ever met then he has been keeping some pretty poor company. I mean seriously?

    80. Big Jock says:

      Yeh the Murphy thing is just bizarre. He is perhaps the most odious machine politician ever.

      He invented smug and does false sincerity without blinking. A real arsehole of a man. Would sell his granny for a few votes.

      Suffers from cognitive dissonance.

    81. yesindyref2 says:

      @Robert Peffers
      The truth is we’d never be able to find an absolutely correct and definitive definition of GDP which everyone universally accepts, not just because there isn’t one, but because I guess nobody wants one to exist, except totally impartial statisticians. Governments probably want different methods to allow them to justify different policies.

      It’s the same as company accounts. Using different methods, all legal, arithmetically correct, and all aceptable, even I can produce different sets of accounts. Big companies use that to get the result they want. Perhaps they want to keep the shareholders happy so they show a healthy profit.

      Or they decide they want to lay people off, close plants, cut down their operations, so they show unhealthy ones so nobody (e.g. unions) object. We’ve seen some of that in the Oil sector I expect, as others have commented!

    82. Molly says:

      Reading your article Eric, I wonder was the constitution ever really discussed by Labour after Donald Dewar or was it just accepted that devolution would be enough?

      It’s just and I might be reading this wrongly but you sound genuinely surprised that its not about destroying GB or ‘ screwing more money out of W/Minster , it really is about your own country being able to make its own decisions- independently .

    83. CameronB Brodie says:

      We have plenty of evidence of Eric Joyce’s sleekit dishonesty but when will we observe evidence of his moral probity?

      Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met, and he was in a very tight spot trying to make a virtue of necessity at the time ……

      High praise indeed, coming from such an accomplished lowlife.

    84. call me dave says:

      I can’t explain (not the rolling stones) says ‘Scottish’ labour in this article + a bit of SNP bad for balance.

      He was too busy watching the rugby…Aye right!

    85. mealer says:

      Hi Eric,
      I reckon the best people to run a country are the people who live there.What do you think?

      Bottom line is,You’re a Brit ,I’m a Scot.

      Fuck Off Brit Boy.

    86. Chic McGregor says:

      I think Eric is referring to Murphy’s ability to dodge, weave and manipulate.

      After all, if you can go through c 10 years of studentship and come out with no degree yet at the same time be elected student president, contrive a situation where the student’s union supports grant elimination and tuition fees, get a seat in what should be a Tory area, get yourself on to a major US based right wing think tank, become Secretary of State for Scotland, become a government minister and finally become Labour leader in Scotland, despite having suicidal policies like trident, bring back drink for football marches, do away with anti-sectarian legislation, then he must have something.

    87. Thepnr says:

      @Chic McGregor

      “then he must have something.”

      He has something alright, me first, fuck the rest of you. A most typical Slab trait.

    88. Patrician says:

      An interesting article Eric, thanks Rev for posting it up. It is always good to read a different viewpoint.

      For what it is worth, I think 2020 will be the year but 2021 is my second bet for the next referendum. Although, I will be happy to be proved wrong with an even earlier referendum.

      Is your viewpoint, that Labour will lose the 2020 election widely held in the Labour party? Or are you just reading the tea leaves on this one?

      As for Mr Murphy being “one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met”, is this not damning him with faint praise? Not the best Labour or left-wing politician? However, I would agree that Mr Murphy is indeed a consummate politician. Not all of the best politicians are nice people and some of the most effective are thoroughly nasty pieces of work. His back stabbing of Johann Lamont in the run up to the referendum was a masterpiece in political maneuvering and strategy. Unfortunately, no matter what happens in the future I don’t think we have seen the last of this odious person, like the monster in some cheap horror film he will reappear to haunt us.

    89. Onwards says:


      That attitude isn’t going to convince many No voters to vote Yes though, is it?
      If enough dual-identity voters felt comfortable remaining both Scottish and British after independence, it would be far easier to get there.

      Andy Murray doesn’t have a problem with being both, and he supported independence. A part-British identity doesn’t need to include being ruled from London.

    90. Onwards says:

      “They say sometimes things might be tougher, but they’re prepared to be tough in reply – as they are now. It’s up to proud Scots to do it for themselves.”

      I think there is a good argument for independence even if we were to be slightly worse off for the first few years if oil prices stay low.
      As that will be compensated by the potential for higher growth rates with more control over our own economy. And of course the usual arguments for increased democracy and increased self-respect as a nation. Independence is always going to be the best medium to long term outcome.

      That’s the difference with the current Scotland Bill situation, where Tories are expecting the SNP to agree to a larger fall in Barnett money, increasing over time, but with little extra powers to make up for it.
      If a deal is done, it will have to be seen as a first step only.

      There is a danger in getting trapped in a situation where it looks like we are dependent on an annual ‘subsidy’. Even if that subsidy is effectively a type of sweetener for staying under London rule and not competing.

    91. neil bruce says:


      I went to school with Eric.

      He is one of the good guys, he just does not
      know it yet.

      But he will.

      It is only a matter of time.

    92. yesindyref2 says:

      Unfortunately I think oil is a bit of a red herring, and always was. It made the initial figures look good, but was never really needed. Revenues should have just all been allocated to a 2 stage oil fund, and then there could have been little argument. At worst it’s zero.

      Scotland has been able to fully support itself economically since at least the mid-70s when I did a fly and quick and dirty economic model (Fortran of all things) from a huge amount of data – data without oil factored in. I needed the model to test out the detailed statistics integrity, but that’s another story and another lifetime. Beer was good and so was the music.

    93. Petra says:

      Eric thanks so very much for posting on here and yes I agree with much of what you have to say.

      Jim Murphy? It would seem that Jim has managed to dupe you as so many narcissists can do …. on record for having the ability to dupe the most prestigious psychiatrists and psychologists the World over. For greater insight check out narcissistic traits online Eric.

      @ Chic at 12:59am …. Jim Murphy

      Chic you’ve just summed up Jim Murphy SO SO well however you forgot to mention his bullying at University leading to castigation in the Commons and his massive expense claims.

      More than anything I don’t trust (or like) a man who can’t find the time to brush his teeth. How many times have we been subjected to this man grinning through filthy yellow caked molars? Too many for my liking and very telling indeed. Turned my stomach in fact.

      He, Labour man, managed to scr*w millions from the tax-payers, you and I. Claimed much more in a year for grub alone (for him, wife and kids) than a job seeker claims to survive overall in a year, but forgot to buy a toothbrush … or was just too lazy to use it.

      Filthy, disgusting teeth or not he was just another wee Glesga fly man in my opinion (Glasgow my beloved prior home city). A wee fly man that found himself in a position (God knows how he got there – but check out scary theories online) whereby the powers that be USED him to the absolute detriment of Scotland.

      I’ve read that he was despised and shunned at Westminster such as by Milliband for one. I can well believe it. Jim the ignoramus … the totally destructive numptie here and south of the border.

      Jim Murphys name now on the roll list of prior / current Rogues of a Nation ….. and NEVER to be forgotten.

    94. call me dave says:

      McAveety makes threat of legal action after compliant about leadership

    95. jdman says:

      I was in the middle of writing a “rebuke” to Eric, when I stopped and decided to read a few comments, I m glad I did, because Macart @ 3.38pm had it covered
      just to pick out a few words (I would have used)

      “We simply see a deceitful, disingenuous, careerist individual who places party before people every time. His actions throughout the referendum campaign, his willingness to demonise and denigrate, most folks find all too common amongst the breed of ‘pragmatic politicians’.”

      I’ve never been SO revolted by what was an OBVIOUS (to me anyway) attempt to attract a violent response than the day he got egged in Kirkcaldy, I was close enough to him to get a bit of shell on my shoulder,

      The egging was coincidental, his thinly veiled attempt to stir up the yes campaigners was quite disgusting and had he been an ordinary member of the public he would DEFINITELY have been arrested for breach of the peace.

    96. jdman says:

      Reading backwards up the post I can see Macart opened the floodgates, and THATS what WE think of YOUR hero MR Joyce!

    97. MJT says:

      The poet ee cummings said, a politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man. Going by that definition Jim Murphy, the politician is all kinds of awesome.

      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convinving people he doesn’t exist and the second greatest was fooling folk into thinking a country with a relatively small population and a wealth of natural resources could be poor if it became independent.

      It’ll take a while to uncook the books, but dodgy accounting is neither proof nor evidence of wealth and/or abundance. As Chuck D says; don’t pay attention to the puppet, keep your eyes on the puppet master.

      The sound of a semi flaccid male reproductive organ being slapped against a sallow stubbled cheek, that’s Jim Murphy. It’s my dream, it’s my nightmare…the horror, the horror.

    98. Socrates MacSporran says:

      call me dave raised the subect of Frank McAveety.

      His archived link led me to the Herald.

      The piece included the following quote:“The late Lord Atkin summarised defamatory material as that which would “tend to lower the plaintiff in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally”.

      That’s Frankie Boy’s tea oot; can he sink any lower in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally?

      McAveety being handed back the levers of power in Glasgow’s City Chambers was nothing more than a harbinger of the final version of the SLAB List for the Holyrood Election.

      Same-old, same-old; if that’s the best SLAB has got, Private Fraser was the Eternal Optimist.

    99. Ghillie says:


      I remember Fortran! Put me off computers. If you didn’t put a slash through the O if it was an o and not really a zero (or was it the other the round?) it mucked up everything!

      I also argued for Scottish Independence, aged 14, mid ’70s, that Scotland was self-sufficient and any exports (oil was a pipe dream then [no pun intended!]) were icing on the cake.

      I stand by that today.

      Mr Joyce, thank you for joining us today!

      But, if Jim Murphy is your idea of one of the best all round politicians you have ever met then you really need to get out more. Chat to folk at bus stops, in the pub, shop ques, public loos, ANYWHERE, and you will assuredly meet folk with much much more political accumen than your Jim. And they’ll be decent to boot. (That’s just a turn of phrase of mind)

    100. scotspine says:

      Jim Murphy? Carpetbagger snake oil salesman.

    101. jdman says:

      “Eric there’s a wee wummin ootside Bella Mani’s in Ayr still waiting for an answer from that skeletor cringing wankbag”

      Hahahaha I remember that,
      she was as sharp as a tack!

    102. Conan the Librarian™ says:

      “Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met”

      Get tae fuck Eric. That’s an ‘above the line’ opinion which was soundly rebutted by us ‘BTL’.

      With our votes.

    103. Grouse Beater says:

      “A better society” – what does that mean?

    104. Brian McHugh says:

      Just saw this… “12 Hour A&E Waiting times in England”

      Sorry if it has already been posted.

    105. CameronB Brodie says:

      Grouse Beater
      I’ve not looked at your latest yet but you reminded me of something I said to Will, re. a more “Erosic” society. No doubt utilitarianism has assisted progress, of a sort, but what price love? How does one hope to foster virtues, when compulsion is the only tool available? So on and so forth. 😉

    106. Iain says:

      The look on Murphy’s face at Williamwood high school was one of the highlights of my life. I was one of the army of people that worked to kick him out of east Renfrew. He represented the troughing face of the Labour party. Happy memories!

    107. Hugh Kirk says:

      You gotta be shitting me! “Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met.”
      I had to reread that several times. I therefore must assume that there are more reprehensible politicians that you have met….That’s more than a bit of a stretch.

    108. CameronB Brodie says:

      Perhaps a more “philiatic” society would have been correct, rather than Erosic. I’m no wordsmith. Still, I knew what I was talking about and was a bit surprised Will didn’t get my drift. 😉

    109. Grouse Beater says:

      Cameron: How to foster virtues, when compulsion is the only tool available?

      Will have a read over my morning coffee. Thanks, Cameron.

    110. Scott says:

      O/T quote from Murray.

      Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary, Ian Murray MP, said: “Instead of waiting until after the talks conclude there should be full transparency now on what is happening behind closed doors in the Scottish and UK Governments, as Labour has been calling for since September.

      McCrone report comes to mind.

    111. Breeks says:

      I always try my best to figure out the context of someones comments, especially comments I strongly disagree with. I want to assure myself that I am justified to disagree, and /or whether I can respect an opinion which is different from my own.
      But comments which flatter Murphy, and indeed talk up the credentials of any Labour leadership in recent years, are simply hard to take seriously.
      It’s not just that the opinion is so far removed from my own, but that it flies in the face of reasonable objectivity and strikes me as delusional. Not only is Murphy a million miles from anything I would consider a good politician, but I struggle to list any redeeming qualities at all. To me, the fact Murphy, Dugdale, Lamont etc can make it to the top at all is a biting indictment of the caliber of Labour members.
      It goes further. The fact the BBC and media lap up this horseshit becomes a confirmation for me that the BBC is setting its own objectivity to one side in order to shore up this pretty threadbare delusion. They must be. No proper journalism could ignore such a suspension of reality… surely?
      I find myself asking myself whether that can be true. Is it perhaps me who lacks grasp of the situation? Is it me? Where would I have to stand to be “ok” with that opinion?
      I find nothing there. It is beyond me. I have thought about it, too much perhaps, but I just cannot reconcile such comments with any sound judgement. Scottish Labour, whatever that title refers to, has been believing its own pish for much too long, and it is now them who suffer from a dangerous lack perspective. Not me.

    112. CameronB Brodie says:

      A short essay on what I understood as “erosic”. It all boils down to values, see. 😉

      In Greek, the word eros means “to bind together.” So, we have the archetype of Eros, who valued freedom above all else, following his destiny “to bind together.”

      From his father’s side, he got his clever, inventive mind. From his mother, he inherited the condition of a poverty-stricken beggar.

      He was seeking freedom in the reconciliation between Poverty and Wealth.

    113. Robert Peffers says:

      @yesindyref2 says: 6 February, 2016 at 11:52 pm:

      “Definitions can vary a bit, but when arguing with Unionists I like to keep it simple, otherwise they can escape admitting being wrong.”

      Yes, Inndyref2,was my point but my reasoning for posting the definition from my own notes was that it highlights something very, very important from the point of view of the Scottish financial reality. See my emphasis below:

      The value of all goods and services created within an economy in a given year, equal to total consumer and government spending, and investment plus the value of exports, minus the value of imports.

      It equals gross national product minus income from abroad. In most countries GDP figures are released quarterly. The figures can be in nominal or real, inflation adjusted, terms.

      The reality the Establishment is glossing over is that while Scotland is a net exporter of food, power and fuel England/remainder UK are net importers of all three commodities.

      Not only that but by classing Scottish products exported from non-Scottish ports/airports as exports from the exit point they disguise that Scotland’s economy is much healthier of the rest of the UK.

      In other words by using the wrong definitions of Per capita GDP they are actually hiding the fact they are stealing from Scotland.

    114. Good piece Eric but the link to the EBC article about Wales shows they have fooled you too.

      St David’s Day is coming up so I’m expecting another one of these polls to be conducted soon. Here’s what they do, they don’t ask if Wales should be independent they ask what powers Wales should have.

      They then give you seven possible answers. Independence, more powers, same, fewer powers, abolish devolution, don’t know and none of these.

      It’s my contention that only a moron would vote for independence when posed with seven answers like that and that the best answer to give is more powers. If you guys had devo max on the ballot form in your referendum then I’m sure that would have been the sensible, quick win option.

      If they EBC wanted to gauge peoples attitudes to independence here in Wales then all they have to do is ask them a straight YES / NO question. This is not what they have done as it doesn’t fit in to their style of propaganda.

    115. Almannysbunnet says:

      A bit OT but on the theme of Chris Cairn’s cartoon on Kezia shooting herself in the foot. In their bid to “bring the country together”, by adding a wee butchers apron to the driving licence, Westminster has gone and awoken the Welsh dragon. The wee flag has had the opposite effect.
      The DVLA responded “To provide a choice of national symbols would be extremely expensive and complex. It would also result in a large number of different variations of GB driving licences. This could lead to difficulties driving in Europe if law enforcement agencies do not recognise the variants.”
      Well there’s bollocks for you. A company has found a real cheap way of doing it. Anyone know where to get wee Saltire stickers?

    116. Dorothy Devine says:

      Breeks , you are not alone!

    117. Nana says:


      Stickers on ebay, just type in saltire stickers.

      I think the bonny badge co sells them as well.

    118. CameronB Brodie says:

      P.S. It also boils down to inclusiveness and measures to foster it’s social attractiveness.

    119. Chic McGregor says:

      Thanks for that read Cameron. We covered agapic ethics and Fletcher’s situation ethics in the course I did at uni but need to get back up to speed with that approach to ethics, Surprised couldn’t find ‘Fletcher’ in your link.

      I have tended more towards the rationalist side e.g. Spinoza. In particular to the influence and interchange between the individual and his/her cultural moral benchmarks.

      A kind of group theory for morality.

    120. Robert Peffers says:

      @Onwards says: 7 February, 2016 at 1:39 am:

      ” … Andy Murray doesn’t have a problem with being both, and he supported independence. A part-British identity doesn’t need to include being ruled from London.”

      Perhaps that may be because Andy isn’t fooled by the Establishment’s propaganda that so many independence supporters are happily beavering away doing the Establishments job for them.

      When are you going to wake up to the quite obvious fact that the Establishments millennium long propaganda campaign that Britain, Great Britain, The United Kingdom and England are all synonymous terms for the Establishment is a lie?

      Andy is right for even if the Union ended at midnight tonight he would still be Scottish AND British at midnight plus one second.

      Please! Please! Please! Get it right and stop doing the UK Establishment’s work for them.

      The UK is NOT Britain – read the words – it is, “The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland”, and that does not include all the parts of Britain.

      Cameron is not what he so often claims to be, (“The Prime Minister of Britain”). He is just the Prime minister of the UK. He has no right to tell the rest of Britain they are not British.
      Make him seem the poorly educated numptie he is – correct his basic schoolboy errors and make him look a fool.

    121. CameronB Brodie says:

      Chic McGregor
      Cheers Chic, though I’ve kind of reached the outer limits of my understanding. I’d be on a much higher pay scale if I could figure out how to foster a social desire for cooperation. 🙂

    122. Fergus Green says:

      @Almannysbunnet 9.53 – buy your stickers here:

    123. Fred says:

      @ CallmeDave, “Said Simple Simon to the Pieman”, Lord have Murphy on us all!

    124. Almannysbunnet says:

      Thanks for the links to bonny badges but I’ve searched that site, but unless I’m being really really dense I cannot find stickers for covering the DVLA flag. Ditto for Ebay, loads of stickers but way too big for the licence. I’ll keep searching. If all else fails I might get in touch with the Welsh publisher Ylolfa and see it they’ll do a run of Saltires. I think they’s clean up in Scotland 🙂

    125. Dorothy Devine says:

      Almannysbunnet, me too , but then I am dense.

      I will be 70 in August and therefore will have the plastic photo ,union flag bedecked driving licence foisted upon me and would dearly like to be prepared with a wee sticker

    126. Marcia says:


      Here is a link to the sticker I fund on it’s twitter account.

    127. Anne Bruce says:


      I got stickers to cover union flag on my driving licence from the Bonny Badge Co. Look at their Facebook page and order from there.

      There are 80 stickers on a sheet for about £1.50. They are the right size to cover it – about 16mm x 10 mm.

    128. Undeadshaun says:

      Robert Peffers says:
      7 February, 2016 at 10:20 am
      @Onwards says: 7 February, 2016 at 1:39 am:

      I agree, British is akin to being Scandinavian, which consists of citizens of Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

    129. Capella says:

      @ Nana – excellent link to G A Ponsonby’s post on the fraud that is Labour’s tax plan. Designed to show the SNP as “shoulder to shoulder” with the Tories and never a serious attempt at policy.
      BBC pick up the ball and dutifully run with it.

    130. Undeadshaun says:

      Oops I missed a country, Iceland.

    131. DerekM says:

      good article Eric thanks but Jim really? have you been having a wee sniff at his glue poke.

      @ Welsh not British (@welshnotbritish)

      mate devo max is a lie havnt we proved that,we deliberately kept it off the referendum because we knew that given the option most would want to take the slow route to independence and that means devo max,we had to debunk that its what the establishment always uses to keep control not devolve.

      It does not matter what your idea of devo max is because westminsters idea will not be the same,and so it has come to pass in Scotland with the historic vow fraud and trap that is the Scotland bill,they do not know the meaning of fair or do they give a damn what the electorate think as long as London is okay the rest of us can go to hell.

    132. Capella says:

      Bonny badges duly ordered. Thanks to all above for link.

    133. Fergus Green says:

      Apologies for wrong link above. Try the Bonny Badge Company Facebook page instead. I’m sure I got mine there.

    134. Valerie says:

      Blundell coming up Sunday Politics, prepare for;

      the most powerful devolved gov’t in the world;

      the fiscal framework is a fantastic opportunity;

      they should stop campaigning, and get on and govern.


    135. Papadox says:

      Mundell AKA “Wee sleekit cowrin timorous beesty” a rat by any other name!

    136. HandandShrimp says:

      I see John McDonnell is comparing Nicola to Thatcher…I suppose we should be thankful he didn’t go the whole hog and opt for Pol Pot


    137. Indigo says:

      It’s the last day of the crowdfunder for the campaign against son of fluffy – ie Joan McAlpine’s fundraiser – seeing Mundell slither his way through that Sunday politics interview has prompted me to chuck a few more ££ in the pot

    138. Andrew Haddow says:

      @ Undeadshaun

      Finland is not in Scandinavia.

    139. Is Mr. Joyce still on the grog?

      Jim Murphy made Labour’s North British Accounting Unit almost entirely unelectable at the last British general election.

      Maybe when the alcohol has worn off, you might recognise the hyperbole in your assertion: “Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met.”

    140. Jack Murphy says:

      Capella at 11:02am said :-“BBC pick up the ball and dutifully run with it.”

      The Ponsonby Post concludes thus:-
      “Don’t be surprised if pundits turn up this weekend echoing the same politically motivated guff as the clips above. The agenda is clear. Link the Scottish National Party to the Tories.

      The tax-hike proposed by Labour is unworkable fantasy never designed to be implemented. It’s a poor con that’s conning the poor.”

      A super artice with great insight into the Labour Branch Office in Scotland and the BBC at Plantation Quay.
      A 5 minute read plus video clips.

    141. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      DerekM at 11.09
      Exactly. All the devos are impediments on the road to independence.
      They are desperate concessions meant to halt our progress, not steps on the road.
      The choice is independence or the status quo (which includes all the various shades of devolution).

      Independence is the logical and completely uncomplicated position.

    142. heedtracker says:

      A certain yoon Tom Harris pleasantly fluffed by the Brewster there from Pacific Quay, says all new, exciting and fresh SLab candidates will be great because there will be fewer of them in May. The power of positive thinking. Nice relaxed display of Scottish media/politics UKOK establishment too. If only we would vote for them.

    143. John Young says:

      Indigo saysat 11:59 am
      It’s the last day of the crowdfunder for the campaign against son of fluffy – ie Joan McAlpine’s fundraiser – seeing Mundell slither his way through that Sunday politics interview has prompted me to chuck a few more ££ in the pot

      And here is the link

    144. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I rather wonder if the placing of Anas Sarwar at the top of the Glasgpw list (followed by an unappealing MS Lamont)is not in fact a disaster for Labour and a big open door for Solidarity and RISE (or one of them in the unlikely event of them coming to an agreement).

      I can glimpse an opportunity here.

      Second Question. How long will it be before the Herald sets off on the “Ruth for second place” campaign? Has it already started?

      The Herald’s position has not necessarily been support for Labour but support for the union which it believed was best served by support for Labour. Watching with interest.

    145. galamcennalath says:

      Dave McEwan Hill says:

      “They are desperate concessions meant to halt our progress, not steps on the road.”

      Yes. It’s the rock and hard place the more savvy Unionists were always aware of.

      I have never believed many Unionists were actually pro devo. It was just a tactic to either slow or stall us. Or, even reverse direction. I am sure in the first couple of Holyrood parliaments many actually believed they had thwarted Indy for a long time.

      However, things changed and suddenly all hardcore Unionists realise Devo is a threat to their Union. Thus Unionists dominating Smith, Smith-Lite Bill, and Bill turfed out.

      Onwards and upwards. SNP+SNP

    146. Molly says:

      id put John Mcdonnells knowledge of Scotland on a par with Nick Cleggs ( remember him, talked in sound bites about Scotland) but his ego on a par with Vince Cable .

      The little I’ve heard McDonnell talk on Scotland has been purile at best .

      Is this going to be London Labours contribution to the Scottish branch of Labour for May ?

      Attack Nicola Sturgeon , forget policies?

    147. Helena Brown says:

      Well reading many of the comments here, not many agree with you Mr Joyce. The only bits which gelled with me was the fact that Wales in the hands of Labour is seen as a basket case always trying to pick England’s purse and we are seen as the same. I certainly felt that throughout our referendum that we were not taken seriously, just squeezing out a bit more milk from the teat of Mother England, well they know that at least 45% of this country are deadly serious and like to bring more in to the gang.
      I have family in Wales, Port Talbot, Aberavon, I wonder how they are feeling about being stuck with England now. I was 21 when last there and have lost track of my cousin, but when there I was a wee rabid Nationalist and they were so timid about their status, which I could not understand. Since then I have become more aware of the struggle they have, we have our own colonists, they have many many more than we have. Also Wales have been subjugated for much longer. Imagine how hard it would be for us had Edward the first of England won.

    148. HandandShrimp says:


      McDonnell’s knowledge of Scottish politics could be written on the back of a postage stamp. His area of expertise is in Union politics and workers rights. Nothing wrong with that but his interventions in Scottish politics are gauche and weird.

      Labour’s strategy is however obvious. Suggest a tax increase across the board with a clumsy and administratively burdensome carrot in a years time for the low paid (who would pay the tax for the full year whether they could afford it or not) knowing full well that it has zero chance of going through. Even if elected in May they would miss the April kick off and would not have to put it through themselves. Having set up a straw man of an argument they then want to accuse the SNP of being Thatcher.

      Desperate times call for desperate measures and none are more desperate than Labour. It may even be that their goal is simply to avoid coming third. To not even be the official opposition would be a disaster. That said I would prefer Labour to come second. I don’t want the Tories to have so much as a glimmer of hope.

    149. heedtracker says:

      The little I’ve heard McDonnell talk on Scotland has been purile at best .

      Molly I was working in England in the last week before 18th Sept and McDonnell’s UKOK stuff directly reflects the general attitude towards Scottish independence among English men in and around his age group. Anger, condescension, exasperation, then anger again, it was all there and still is probably.

      A lot of it’s financial, or personal finance. A lot of English people have giant mortgages because houses prices are so high in England. Any change in interest rates would have a big impact on peoples standards of living in England and clearly losing control of Scotland could mean interest rates rising.

      Middle England is extremely sensitive to this kind of democratic change in Scotland, so McDonnell is reaching out to them. Say a married couple of public sector managers in Leeds, earning a combined hundred grand a year, in their fifties. They can deal with their kids paying their own uni and college fees, they can happily live with a slave wage economy, as long as the NHS still functions. They probably would vote Lab again but they have huge monthly costs paying for mortgages over half a million to triple that.

      And who votes most in England? Ofcourse Labour goonshow can call Sturgeon Thatcher.

    150. Macart says:


      For devolution see ‘bribe’. The more pragmatic unionist establishment have seen the end game (independence) coming from a long way off and by long way off, I mean decades.

      IMO the establishment are almost equally divided into two camps a. Retain at cost b. Delay the inevitable and milk it for all its worth

      If you are of the former then independence is given a fast track as people balk at hard line intransigence. A popular mood of them and us is given ‘wings’ and the dividing line is clear.

      If you are of the latter camp then a machinery is required to blur the lines and allow people the perception/deception of self government – devolution. A mechanism whereby established parties can bribe people with their OWN rights and powers as a means of extended political manipulation/control.

      The devolution journey was never a journey, it was always merely a means of delaying arrival at an inevitable destination. The longer it takes to reach this destination, the more the electorate are robbed blind. IMO, it’s up to the electorate to hurry things along in their own best interest. 😉

    151. call me dave says:

      Mr Joyce my cereal bowl runneth over… enough is enough!

      Ruth Davidson ‘ready to be opposition leader’ as Tories bid to be Scotland’s second party

      Salmond: Tory win in 2020 with minimal presence in Scotland could spark second indy poll.

    152. Robert Peffers says:

      @Undeadshaun says: 7 February, 2016 at 11:03 am:

      Oops I missed a country, Iceland.

      Not to worry, at least you knew you had missed it.

      In the case of the UK establishment they are ignoring the fact that there are around 5.6 million Britons who are not part of their union and another, roughly 3 million, that want to leave ASP.

    153. velofello says:

      Murphy: would you re-employ? The Acid Test.

      O/T Rugby. England worked to their strategy, keep it tight in the forwards.There prop Cole said before the match, “I’ll be happy if the backs never get the ball”.

      In musical terms like an orchestra playing with drums and symbols only. Would you go and pay to listen such a performance? Would you want to play in such an orchestra?

      Would want to spend 80 minutes of your life scrabbling along the grass to gain a few yards, leading with your head,with your mates pushing you from behind? Then the opposition all pile on top of you, then the referee decides to award a penalty, usually because some player tried to get hold of the ball – with his hands, from you, who is holding the ball – in your hands!

    154. Onwards says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill.

      I agree that independence is the best logical uncomplicated outcome.
      But significant devolution does takes us toward that.

      Why do you think the Tories are trying so hard to backtrack on the Scotland bill?

      Once income tax is devolved the dam is burst. The principle of personal taxes going to Scotland gets people used to that reality.
      Why stop there?

    155. Gary45% says:

      For any unionist party followers who troll this site.
      Why not start your propaganda campaigns with
      ” Once upon a time”
      it will sound more credible.

    156. Capella says:

      @ Onwards
      AFAIK from what little has leaked out of the discussions, Income Tax will not really be devolved. HMRC will still collect it then “credit” the Scottish Budget with what HMRC says was collected. The block grant will then be reduced by that amount.

      The Tax office in East Kilbride is to be closed and Scottish Tax will be administered in England.

      In what sense this will be a “devolved” new “power” is a semantic riddle wrapped in an enigma.

    157. Proud Cybernat says:

      As G.A. Ponsonby notes on his web site – Labour’s 1p tax hike is nothing but a ruse that the Unionists and the BBC in Scotland can use to paint the SNP and the Blue Tories as the same.

      Do these idiots think we have forgotten that it was the Red Tories in the Labour Party that supported virtually every policy the London Blue Tories proposed, including Austerity?

      Do these idiots think we have forgotten that the Red & Blue Tories in London support Trident? (And yes – you do too, Kez, despite your protestations at being a separate ‘accounting unit’. You WILL HAVE TO toe your UK Red Tory Party line when the crunch comes and you damn well know it).

      Do these idiots think we have forgotten that the Red & Blue Tories in London supported bombing Syria?

      Do these idiots think we have forgotten that it is Red & Blue Tory austerity cuts from London that have cut Scotland’s Block Grant which, in turn, has caused council budgets and services to be cut? The SG is not the problem as they are not the SOURCE of the cuts. Is that too difficult a notion for the Red & Blue Tories to comprehend?

      Do these idiots think we have forgotten that it was the Red & Blue Tories that voted down every single amendement to the Scotland Bill?

      Do these idiots think we will ever forget how the Labour Red Tories stood shoulder to shoulder with the Blue Tories to deny Scotland its right to govern itself and have the governments the people of Scotland actually vote for?

      You can spin all you like BBC and UKOKers (that includes your snide little “shouder to shoulder” comment, Murdo Fraser), trying to paint the SNP & Tories as standing ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with your lot. It’s bollox and YOU DAMN well know it’s bollox. And guess what – the 45%+ (what is it now – 50%? 53%?) ALSO know it’s bollox.

      Your cobbled-better-together “shouoder-to-shoulder” little ruse WON’T WORK. And you know why? THE INTERNET!! We, the people, are way too well informed now. When will you ever get it into your thick BBC/UKOK skulls that if you want this pish-spinning ever to wash again in Scotland, you’ll have to switch of the bloody internet?

      The BBC is Haw-Haw but we don’t give a Hee-Haw! We’ve stopped trusting and we’ve stopped listening to that slanted, swivel-eyed UKOK mouthpiece.

      SNP x 2 = IndyRef 2 (shoulder or nae shoulder).

    158. Molly says:


      Having came across a tweet with J McDonnell involved, where it appeared it was stating Scotlands economy was dependent on Barnett, it’s made me pay more attention to what he says.

      Last night there was a few tweets where SOS appeared to be pushing ‘the shadow sec states Sturgeon worse than Thatcher’ and just wondered if this is Labour Londons PR guys approach to help the Scottish branch.

      I read somewhere, Labour London intend sending ‘ a representative ‘ to Scotland each month until the election.

      It comes back I suppose to having more faces than the town clock , one for England , one for Wales, one for Scotland.

      I have two sort of friends who you describe exactly ( minus the kids). Both proud Scots but have cannily ‘ managed their way’ through jobs and properties down south . Both would have voted No having not lived in Scotland for about 15 years.

      They are happy to tell you the ridiculous amount they pay for a mortgage , omitting the fact they have made enough on property to buy property in Scotland

      They don’t seem to have any problem with the way the NHS is being contracted out as you say , as long as they can pay their mortgage.

      In fact , contracts, privatisation ” is the way of the world ” isn’t it, well I think it is in theirs and if you let it. I wondered if this is how they can vote Labour ( baggage from their Scottish roots) without blushing

    159. Inverclyder says:


      Call Me Dave may call a snap General Election after the EU vote.

    160. The Rough Bounds says:

      Proud Cybernat.


    161. Thepnr says:

      @Proud Cybernat

      Very well put, my thoughts exactly. Ta 🙂

    162. call me dave says:

      Councils back down in budget feud with Swinney

    163. AuldGranny says:

      The question is Eric, given what has happened since the Referendum, do you now support an independent Scotland?

    164. ronnie anderson says:

      @ call me dave. they shot they’re bolt with the Penny Tax & Scottish Public did,nt buy it. We go for the Councils & nip COSLA,s arse Nae SLAB nae COSLA.

    165. Robert Louis says:

      You know, it is with each passing day, that people from my generation, who used to vote Labour, look on at the way the Labour party behaves in Scotland, and just shake our heads in disbelief.

      You would think that following their epic lack of success in Scotland since 2007 (seems so long ago now) they might change their approach, but no.

      Since I have been a wee boy, Labour have been screaming ‘tartan tories’ about the SNP, and yet here we are in 2016, with the Labour party having just suffered their largest electoral defeat, with record breaking swings from them to the SNP, and still they carry on. ‘Tartan tories’, is not only pretty insulting to Scots, depending as it does upon a certain kind of parochial Scottish stereotype, but, and I’ll spell this out here, IT JUST DOESN’T WORK, AND IS STUPID.

      Worse than that, for those of us who remember that evil witch Thatcher in the 80’s very, very well, and the feeble fifty Labour MP’s, who soaked up (in some cases literally – foulkes) their Westminster expenses, while completely failing to stand up for Scotland, calling Sturgeon ‘Thatcher’, is just daft. Nobody takes such comments seriously, it is the political equivalent of a primary school playground taunt. Labour tried it in 2011, just after they lost their second Scottish parliamentary election, and it didn’t work then. It doesn’t work now.

      Labour should be standing literally shoulder to shoulder with the SNP regarding more powers for the Scots parliament, and yet they do the exact opposite. They bleat about cuts, yet either abstain or worse, vote against, devolving welfare control and other powers to Scotland.

      Labour, and it’s sleazy cabal of brazen liars, who everyday pretend to be socialists, are the lowest of the low. They do not stand up for Scotland, instead choosing to do the opposite, then cry crocodile tears for the poor in Scotland.

      Scotland’s greatest block to progress, and the REAL enemy of Scots is not the Tory party, it is the Labour party in Scotland. They are the enemy within. They serve their London masters and do not speak for Scotland. They are a disgrace.

    166. Marie Clark says:

      @ Proud Cybernat 2.42pm.

      Very, very well said. I could feel the blood pressure rising with all of this guff. G.A.Ponsonby is bang on with his analysis and then I read your contribution. Fairly made me calm doon.

      You said it all and much better than I could, especially when I’m jist aboot spittin feathers.So for that thank you kindly.

    167. galamcennalath says:

      Inverclyder says:

      ” a snap General Election after the EU vote.”

      Wow! Holyrood, Eu ref, WM GE, councils, Indyref2 … it’s gonna be busy!

      The problem with another GE is that residual Labour supporters are going to hold out hope of a Lab government at WM.

      The opportunity will be if the Tories were returned under Osborne or Johnson, then that would assist all round with Indyref2! Especially if it is all prompted by EngExit.

    168. Marie Clark says:

      @ Robert Louis 3.42.

      Oh well said sir. Nail, hammer, heid. Wallop!

    169. Vronsky says:

      An honest and thoughtful piece of writing, Eric. But then you blow it away with:

      “Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met”

      Please reassure us your that tongue was in your cheek when you said that (you must have seen the comments above).

      And as for “the far left is in charge now”. In Labour? All that’s happening is that your traditional paymasters on the far right want you to make some radical(ish) noises, and try to stop this rather vexing leftward slippage in Scotland. The political left (far or near) has absolutely no overlap with the Labour Party. Certainly never in my lifetime, and I’m an old man.

    170. Sassenach says:

      @Inverclyder at 3.03

      With fixed term parliaments, Cameron no longer has the power to just £call a snap election”, surely?

    171. Onwards says:

      @Capella, Yes, another union benefit there for the HMRC workers in Scotland.

      But regardless of the implementation, it’s the impression that is important. People’s income taxes will be going to Scotland to pay for Scottish services. That is where Scots loyalty will lie in any future tax and funding issues.

      It’s an important psychological step, where the Scottish Parliament takes on added importance. And the limitations of income tax alone will soon become clear.

      In any case, if Swinney accepts a Scotland Bill which includes a future ‘review’ on the ‘no-detriment’ clause, then it likely won’t be possible to adjust income tax anyway. Because to do so would allow the Tories to claim that tax change had caused any future shortfall in Scotland’s budget, not a flawed fiscal framework, which could then be sorted out after proof exists.

    172. yesindyref2 says:

      Thanks for that link about SoS from JOHN McGURK.

      Sad, actually. Even during the Referendum SoS was streets better than the Scotsman, it had more balance to it.

      Scotsman itself was always a London rag, but SoS did manage to be more Edinburgh and Scotland. I don’t think Cochrane was as bad in those days either! He went down and Londonified downhill. Kind of an Eddie Eagle of the media world.

    173. Lollysmum says:

      Proud Cybernat

      Don’t forget it was Jan 2014 when 41 SLab MP’s voted to support the coalitions £75bn cuts in HoC. And they dare to call SNP working with tories. On yer bikes the lot of you.

      Oh yes & 3 of those despicable ex-MP’s are gonna come crawling back in on the list.

    174. yesindyref2 says:

      @Robert Peffers
      Got you (about the exports). Yes, thanks, I’ll take the amended GDP as the “standard” definition from now on.

      That’s a fair difference wtih exports included. Not sure if the figures the Scottish Government quote below include the exports, perhaps they do which is why they’re different from what the dreaded Scotland-bashers quote.

      Some time I’ll do a bit of reading to see if those highligt percentages from the SG include comparative exports, or do they do the Westminster GDP game as well.

    175. galamcennalath says:

      Robert Louis says

      “Scotland’s greatest block to progress, and the REAL enemy of Scots is not the Tory party, it is the Labour party in Scotland. They are the enemy within.”

      Yes. The Tories wanted to maintain their Union, but it was Labour they got to do their dirty work. And very dirty it was too. Scaring the gullible then making deceitful promises with the Vow.

      It might have been Cameron’s pig in a poke, but it was Labour who sold it complete with Broon’s worthless guarantees.

      No SLab politician or supporter should ever complain about Tory rule … that was what Labour actively worked to do to Scotland. They are paying for their crimes, though. There is some justice in that.

    176. Not Convinced says:

      Sassenach says @ 3:56 pm
      @Inverclyder at 3.03

      With fixed term parliaments, Cameron no longer has the power to just £call a snap election”, surely?

      According to WikiPedia, a snap general election can be called If the House of Commons, with the support of two-thirds of its total membership (including vacant seats), resolves “That there shall be an early parliamentary general election”. (Quoting Wikipedia.) So the Tories could always try to pass such a resolution, and dare both the Labour Party and the SNP to keep the Tories in power?

    177. Andy.D says:

      Good read Eric now vote SNPx2 and VOTE LEAVE.

    178. Papadox says:

      SLAB Have been the establishments fifth column in Scotland for many many years, and they have been well rewarded for it. Blood money may I suggest, and seats in the old retainers hoose all expenses paid. Red Tories, doesn’t come close.

    179. schrodingerscat says:

      good article eric

      reading a unionist who doesnt descend into yaboo name calling makes a refreshing change

      question though, it was devolution in 1997 which saved the union then, it was the promise of devo max which saved the union in the ref, it is only devo max, ffa that will save the union now. why arent slab calling for this? i know london labour are opposed but if slab are to have more autonomy, surely this policy is what slab should pursue.
      if they dont, the yaboo politics of who pays who and for what will continue.

    180. Dr Jim says:

      “Project smear” this time, so dreary

      Nicola Sturgeon ate my Hamster and so on… Oh my..It isnae us it’s hur she’s Evil and Baad and she needs a balcony outside Holyrood coz she thinks she’s Ava Peron

      Tom Harris said this morning “The SNP have been planning this for a long time” is that not what you’re supposed to do… Plan Ahead
      Labour were so arrogant they thought they were entitled


    181. Orri says:

      Genuinely thought that this was going to be about the insistence on voting in the 1% tax rise with a vaue promise of rebates. No evidence of Holyrood having the ability to dole out cash that way or how it works. If it means you have to put your pride to one side and apply then it’d certainly seem like begging.

      In addition, it’s certainly true that in general you’ll pay more tax the more you earn given the way NI cuts out it’s not exactly true. That’s not the impact that both Labour and the SNP want to avoid though. It’s the small amount those on lower wages might not have after the bills are all paid.

    182. Sassenach says:

      @Not Convinced at 4.17pm

      My point was that, as I said, Cameron cannot just ‘call’ a snap election – he needs two thirds of the House to agree!

      Depending on circumstances pertaining at the time, I’m not convinced either Labour or the SNP would necessarily grant him his wish.

      The Tories would probably be in a shambles by then, be interesting to see what they would do.

    183. ronnie anderson says:

      Aw fer fuck sake Bbc pushing the Austerity line on River City (no that am watchin it)sinking lower they canny dae.

    184. The Rough Bounds says:

      Every time Dugdale or any of her poodles calls the SNP ‘Tartan Tories’, or tries to suggest in any way that the SNP is allied with the Tories, Nicola should just tell them to belt up and remind them in no uncertain terms that Scottish Labour were the creeps who sided with the Tories to defeat Scotland’s independence vote in 2014.

      Aside from that, who the heck cares what Eric Joyce says? Why are that unionist’s musings being quoted on here if he hasn’t got anything worth saying? ”Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met” just doesn’t qualify.

      You weren’t on Scotland’s side Mr. Joyce; it looks to me like you are still not. Get lost!

    185. Bob Mack says:

      I agree with the posters who have noted the concerted Unionist effort to associate the SNP with the Tories. I think it is the latest tactic. They know the Tories are toxic,but suddenly the old Tartan tory mantra resurfaces from Labour almost in tandem with the likes of Murdo Fraser offering to stand shoulder to shoulder with the SNP.

      What they really mean is that Tories and Labour in order to preserve the UNION,must put aside their differences and work together in a programme to discredit Nicola and her Party. We know both of them detest the SNP.

      Are they really too stupid to realise this is no longer about Party politics?. It is much more than that. It is about choice and freedom to govern.It is not about Labour,Tory Lib Dem or any other party. The SNP have gained my support as the Party offering that which I seek. They will have my vote till that is achieved.

    186. thomaspotter2014 says:


      Proud Cybernat@2.42

      Robert Louis@3.42

      These comments are outstanding with no disrepect to all the others.

      That’s why these pages of Wings make my heart soar like a hawk.

      Rev pops up a decisive point,this time from Eric Joyce, and the whole subject is put through the mincer by a razor sharp chorus of debate from all and every angle until the gist of it is thrashed out within a matter of hours.

      Simply brilliant.

      We’re on the way folks and the Bitter Thigither crew are bricking it.LOL

      The Independence OLIVER isnae asking ‘Please can I have some more?’ he’s gonna be taking what’s due very soon.

      Thank you all you SUPERSTARS.

      Fair cheered me up ,so it did!

    187. Robert Peffers says:

      @yesindyref2 says: 7 February, 2016 at 4:08 pm:

      “Got you (about the exports). Yes, thanks, I’ll take the amended GDP as the “standard” definition from now on.”

      It soon becomes clear when it is pointed out and you think about it. I cannot remember if I figured it out or had somone point it out to me but I’ve known about that wee scam for a very long time.

      That wee scam is just a drop in the Ocean of how they have hidden their theiving in the statistics since ever there was a union. Things like the extra Connection Charges for connecting to the Electricity Grid the further you get from London is another. That one too is compounded by also paying the southern generators a subsidy for what they add to the grid.

      I’m not a business person but I always thought those with a surplus commodity selling in a scarce marketplace got to charge a little more profit and if there was a glut of the commodity then they got less.

      … Not sure if the figures the Scottish Government quote below include the exports, perhaps they do which is why they’re different from what the dreaded Scotland-bashers quote.

      They certainly hint at it but I believe they are tied to using the GERS figures, official Treasury or ONS stats.

      I think the oft quoted SG oil figure they give quote the official per capita Treasury figures but then say on a geographic basis Scotland would have a massive surplus.

      Mind you, since the SNP gained office, the GERS figures have been ammended to show a better figure but they still are not a true statement of the Scottish economy.

      There are so many Westminster scams it is hard to get a clear picture at any time.

      It is a fact that the very first cross border line of the national grid, just post WWII, carried Scottish power, mainly from the old Portobello Power Station, over the Border.

      Scotland has been exporting power to the rest of the UK ever since. There is even an undersea link to N.I. that is never mentioned.

    188. Robert Peffers says:

      @Molly says: 7 February, 2016 at 2:43 pm:

      ” … I read somewhere, Labour London intend sending ‘ a representative ‘ to Scotland each month until the election.”

      Aye! Molly, and I bet they will all be purring just like the Queen of England.

    189. yesindyref2 says:

      @Robert Peffers
      Completely agree, and yes with the SNP in Government GERS has been improved bit by bit with a constant battle, but there’s still a long way to go. The Treasury’s answer is “shrug, it’s the UK, who cares, it’s too difficult and will cost too much to break down into rgeions”. Well, we have devolution now, do your job Treasury.

      I know about the port of departure thing as a business, though I’m not absolutely certain. I’ve sent the odd order to the US, very nice too, though very small in the scheme of things. Perhaps £4,000 a time, or less, once a year. But it all adds up and there’s a lot of small businesses that also export, small orders. Ecen big bulky ones it’s cheaper to ship on freight forwarder lorry to Southanpton and container for there – I once got a huge export enquiry which got nowhere sadly.

      I used Fedex for the USA orders, and their base is at Stanstead so port of departure is Stanstead. Which is England. Almost certainly counted as an export from England not Scotland, but I can’t be sure as it does have my business address on the waybills so it could be attributed to Scotland for all I know. I always put Country of Origin as Scotland, not UK. Stuff UK.

      Fedex of course used to be based at Prestwick but after a dispute with the UK Government moved out of Prestwick and down to Stanstead instead. Thanks for that, UK Government, we’re definitely “Better Together”, I don’t think. Perhaps once APD is devolved, the Scottish Government will do some sales patter with Fedex, I hope so.

    190. yesindyref2 says:

      @Robert Peffers
      Forgot to say, meanwhile the spanners are able to get away with rubbish like “Scotland’s relative deficit to the UK is £7.6 billion”. They’ve pushed that up to £8 billion.

      With the cheats from the UK Government there’s little we can do to defend that, because that’s what GERS might show, though I’ve not checked it out recently.

      Stuffed by the dishonesty of Westminster – and the spanners own dishonesty.

      You might notice a little anger there …

    191. ClanDonald says:

      Off topic, folks: SNP MSP Joan McAlpine’s crowdfunder finishes today, she needs all the donations she can get as she’s up against Tory Oliver Mundell, (David Mundell’s son) in Dumfriesshire and they are putting massive resources into his campaign.

      The most recent Britain Elects polling analysis says Mundell will win the seat! Don’t let it happen, send a few quid to Joan to make sure Fluffy Junior doesn’t expand the Mundell political dynasty.

      Crowdfund is here, please be generous:

    192. Robert Peffers says:

      @Orri says: 7 February, 2016 at 5:24 pm:

      … It’s the small amount those on lower wages might not have after the bills are all paid.”

      That was what I was on qbout, Orri, just the other day. It is the difference between direct and indirect taxation and it was Labour who made that move. It is well known that any form of indirect taxation shifts the main burden of taxation from the most rivh onto the most poor.

      The way it should work is that a tax allowance is given to everyone and is worked out to provides a reasonable basic living.

      If you don’t reach that basic level then the state pays you a National Insurance benefit. This is all set as the basic needs of life. Tax is then levied upon the earnings and wealth people have above that basic tax allowance band.

      This insures that all tax is only levied on wealth or earnings above, “Disposable Income”. That is the sum left after paying statutory NHS, Council Tax and the basic level for living.

      Labour brought in VAT, Road Fuel Duty and duty on such as alcohol, betting, tobacco and so on. So everyone, regardless of their disposable income, now pays the main burden of taxation and that is why the most rich have more than doubled their wealth while everyone else has been syffereing austerity to pay for it.

      Indirect taxation is evil and designed to make the poor poorer.

      If a poor person has to borrow to get through the week then that person should NOT be getting taxed either by direct or indirect taxation for they obviously, “Have no disposable income”.

      If they have to spent every penny just to survive the week then they have no disposable income either.

      Think about it – the Government are often paying benefits to the poor and then the poor are indirectly taxed by the government to take the benefits back from them.

      Yet the government have to pay Civil Servants to pay out the benefits and pay others to take them back from the poor.

    193. davidb says:

      There’s every likelihood the Tories would win a new election. Labour hate each other, and the press will have a field day with Mr Corbyn. The Libdems are not going to have a revival any time soon. Will UKIP take all those votes next time?

      The SNP could stand on a straight “Thatcherite” ticket. A simple majority of Scottish MP’s is a mandate for independence.

      You’ve got to ask yourself one question, do I feel lucky?

    194. Sandy says:

      “Eric” Joyce?

      HAW, HAW,

    195. K1 says:

      As Joan McAlpine pointed out during the budget debate on the 3rd February, as Labour’s attempts to stir up some faux outrage about council budget cuts:

      ‘When we look in detail at the budget, we can see that it is absolutely despicable that Labour councils around the country are threatening to sack workers. We are talking about a 12.5 per cent cut to this Government’s budget under the Tories. Councils here have been relatively protected, as Mr Swinney has said, compared with councils in England.’

      She goes on:

      ‘The package represents a 1 per cent cut. If the Labour bosses of councils do not have the imagination and the ability to manage that in the same way as Mr Swinney has managed the budget of the country, they are doing a disservice to the workers they claim to represent.’

      Willie Rennie interjects during John Swinney’s closing statements during the debate:

      ‘I cannot understand Mr Swinney’s position on the issue. If the deal for local government is so great, why has he had to impose the triple lock or triple whammy on councils, with fines of £408 million? How can that make sense if the deal is so appealing?’

      John Swinney responds:

      ‘I am applying that approach simply because I want to make sure that the three things that matter happen. Those are the integration of health and social care, including the payment of the living wage to care workers; the protection of teacher numbers; and the delivery of the council tax freeze. I just want to make sure that those things happen, because I think that they are very important.’

      John Swinney, then went on to explain and debunk the rhetoric about the ‘catastrophic’ cuts to councils, which was what most of them and especially Jackie Bailey’s entire raison d’etre against the budget, was based on:

      ‘Although the local government resource budget is falling by £350 million, we are injecting £250 million into the integration of health and social care, in which local authorities are key participants. That £250 million will be able to pay for more care packages that currently cannot be provided. Therefore, that directly addresses the financial pressures on local government. Also, as I explained in my letter to the president of COSLA, which was issued to all local authority leaders, that money enables local authorities to find the financial support to pay the living wage for social care workers, which we have talked about, and to address pressures in the delivery of existing social care services.

      The reduction of £350 million in the local authority budget is tempered by the injection of £250 million. The difference between those is less than 1 per cent of the total expenditure of local government. Therefore, some of the rhetoric that we have heard about a catastrophic fall in local authority expenditure is utterly misplaced. We have invested heavily to afford our priorities on behalf of the people of Scotland.’

      He then finished his comments on the issue of Labour’s proposal to raise SRIT:

      ‘We have decided not to increase tax on low-income households in Scotland—that is the choice that we have made. The Labour Party says that it has a rebate mechanism, but we have had two hours and 20 minutes of debate this afternoon and not one single piece of detail has been offered as to how the rebate could be paid to members of the public.

      If Labour members had wanted some clues about the difficulty of the issue, they need only have gone to the Official Report of the Finance Committee meeting of 13 January 2016. I can share with Parliament that, on that occasion, Jackie Baillie was present for the Finance Committee debate—she was there and she was an active participant in the discussion. I set out the reasons why increasing tax for low-income households but tempering that with a rebate or some mechanism targeted at those individuals cannot be delivered within the powers of the Parliament.

      Those arguments were set out clearly—in the Official Report and in a damn sight more detail than the arguments that we have had from the Labour Party on why a rebate can be done—to inform Parliament about why I came to the conclusion that I came to. That conclusion is that the right thing to do at this time is to protect the incomes of low-income households, to invest in the integration of health and social care and to freeze the council tax…’

      So compare and contrast on how this has actually been contorted by the Herald. This latest inflammatory article headlined: ‘Councils back down in budget feud with Swinney’ from today’s Herald. This is just jumped up spin from Michael Cook, Vice President of COSLA. The article sets its stall out wi this and the rest is just Cook ranting gibberish:

      ‘After some councils floated breaking the council tax freeze to raise extra funds, Swinney threatened to impose multiple sanctions on any authority that defied him.’

      No he did not threaten them if they defied him, he did it to protect the monies to ensure they went to the correctly allocated departments. Because he’s attempting to bring about a transformation in accountability and transparency at local government level.

      Heaven forfend the ‘cabals’ having to actually use the money for its allocated purpose!

      Never trust the reporting in Scotland’s corpmedia. They have one agenda: To portray the SNP as autocratic dictators who don’t really care about the social wellbeing of Scotland’s citizens. This is a lie.

      It is they and their long held position of influence within Scottish society and with it their livelihoods that are under threat. They cannot stand the new politics. It’s no longer about Them keeping Us in our place, it is about Us instructing Them of their new place:

      They serve Us.

    196. sinky says:

      Nana@7.04 the Cuthberts article should be forwarded to every SNP MSP as Scottish Parliament has final say on fiscal framework proposals

    197. yesindyref2 says:

      Sheesh, that’s set me off. “Scotch Whisky is one of the United Kingdom’s top ten export earners, and accounts for around 25% of UK food and drink exports.”

      “Whisky may be described as Scotch Whisky only if it has been wholly distilled and matured in Scotland.”

      From 2012, single malt whisky must also be bottled in Scotland, but whisky for blending can be exported (e.g. to England) in an inert container – still under bond.

      I don’t know if, even with labelling, bottled single malt can be moved out of Scotland under bond.

      Gin however is a huge market from Scotland, and that can be moved to bonded warehouses in England.

      The point of that is that spirit duty would then be paid when released from bond, and would come under England’s revenues, not Scotland’s.

      “Duty is the charge made by HM Customs & Excise based on the percentage of pure alcohol. The current rate in the UK is £28.22 per litre of pure alcohol (valid at 25/03/13). This is £109.04 per case of 12 bottles (70cl) at 46% alc. vol”

      Similar duty for gin, it’s a lot of money not to be attributed to Scotland that is distilled in Scotland, but unbonded in England or Wales etc.

      But I’ve never had time to put together a full definitive posting or article on this, so have to grin toothlessly whgen Unionist make their usual inaccurate claims. Drive me mad. They can get away with vague mutterings about “VAT”, because the rules for that are totally EU rules, and apart from private casks, at point of sale of the retail bottle.

    198. Nana says:


      Absolutely, I am forwarding it to my mp Paul Monaghan.

    199. Sandy says:

      Can somebody clear up this conundrum.
      If Scottish exports are done thru’ English airports/seaports, are these goods classed as exports to England in the first place?
      Is it another of the sleekid moves by Wastemidden to falsify stastics.
      Do they have a” ministry of sleekid statistics”, albeit under a different name?

    200. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, scotlandvotes has the conservatives down to win that xonsatituency seat, one other in the south of scotland and one in the west (Eastwood). Ayr is also a possibility for the Tories. I have the Tories also likely to get 2 list seats in South of Scotland, SNP one. SNP also 1 in West of Scotland, Conservatives 2.

    201. yesindyref2 says:

      (typing in semi-dark with cold fingers, as oft times before

    202. Proud Cybernat says:

      @ K1

      Absolute belter. Thanks for that.

      Read and learn yoonyoonists.

    203. yesindyref2 says:

      They’re probably classed as sales to the rUK which is part of the reason that figure is so high – a figure the Unionists use as a reason not to “leave the UK”. England probably gets the export credits rather than Scotland, but it’s not certain, as I put in my posting above.

      I’ve no figures, but a lot of Scotland’s exports are through English ports such as Southampton, because it’s cheaper to go by road and be shipped on big containers from Southampton. Economies of scale for the freight forwarders.

      That would take time to change in iScotland though, the likes of Greenock and Leith would need to be built up, and Prestwick Airport for Air Freight.

      Big opportunity though for a super-container ship hub e.g. at Hunterson. Southampton and the Channel are very busy, over-loaded in fact.

    204. Bob Mack says:


      Exports are allocated against the point of export,which is usually English ports.

      Tax revenues for Scottish produce can ,and indeed are ,often also be allocated to a Head office down South.

    205. heedtracker says:

      Jim Murphy is one of the best all-round politicians I’ve met,

      That probably sounds completely bonkers to any leftie in Scotland but the fact is, like Crash and the Flipper, Bomber Blair etc, Murphy’s a toryboy to the core. Its probably why he did have a great political career, and why he bombed in their Scotland region.

      By chance in the summer 2014, we were up biking along the Buchan coast and stopped in Nairn for a drink. On Nairn High street, there was Murphy, roaring his BetterTogether head off, surrounded by bored stiff, slow eyed tv camera crews.

      At the end his show, high point shouting Bettertogether at mum’s pushing stroller etc, Murphy was immediately mobbed by tall gangly upper class blokes in corduroys breeks, tweed jackets with elbow pads and checked shirts, Murphy completely delighted to meet and greet the local gentry. It was a red and blue toryboy love in festival of British power and glory, right beside the house that the Butcher Cumberland billeted the before and after Culloden. He’d have been very proud of red tory Murphy.

    206. boris says:

      For the record Murphy held Eastwood due to his close association with Israel and other right wing USA based organisations. The largest jewish community in Scotland is located in the Eastwood constituency.

    207. Macart says:

      K1 @7.15

      Nice one. 🙂

    208. Inverclyder says:

      yesindyref2 @ 7:37pm

      Super-container ship hub at Greenock would probably be the best option.

      But then I am a bit biased!

      Wherever it would be there would need to be new and improved rail and road links built.

    209. Clootie says:


      Thanks for piecing together such a well structured post/report on the debate

    210. roughian says:

      Any product subject to “duty” which includes VAT can be moved between bonds without paying anything to HMRC.
      You don’t need a separate warehouse you just need to segregate the stock areas to bond and non bond. If HMRC make a spot check your stocks just need to be accurate.

      I used to import timber products subject to EU duties & VAT. We could store them and only pay duty when taken from bond for sale or release into general stock. The goods were imported through English ports but sold in Scotland. 20% VAT and 15% EU duty = 35% if paid at time of sale rather than import makes a huge difference to cash flow!!.

      A small freight service was launched from Greenock importing East Coast North American lumber and exporting whisky as return cargo. It didn’t last long East Coast lumber is not the best material and home grown timber is getting better.

      When exporting the port of despatch was the one shown on export docs and if by road to Europe usually Hull, Newcastle, Felixstowe or further south. Rosyth RORO now closed I think.

      You don’t need a super hub, there are I think daily coastal container freighters between Grangemouth and Tilbury/Felixstowe. You could do the same with Greenock and Liverpool. Scotland would be the point of export the English port would just be a transit point. We could then get some accurate figures for Scottish exports!

    211. liz says:

      @yesindyref2 Thanks for that the usual Scot bashers always use the low oil price to ‘prove’ that an indy Scotland would fall down a black hole never to return

    212. yesindyref2 says:

      Me too (biased).

      But Hunterston is a deepwater terminal, so more suitable. I think the idea though was (this was mooted a few years ago), that Hunterston would take the super container ships (20,000 probably up to 25,0000 or even 30,000 TEU, gross tonange 250,000), and containers would be moved to smaller ships and go from there. Greenock would then be a major port for containers, for the whole of Scotland basically.

      Yes, it would need better road and rail links, possibly specially from Greenock. I’d think like M8 right into the heart past Port Glasgow. And a severe upgrade to the rail.

    213. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, VAT can be delayed, and also avoided completely for onward supply if imported and then re-exported.

      It’s not VAT though, it’s the Excise Duty, which is larger than VAT, and taken off before VAT as well (VAT is on top of Duty).

      Yes containers can be shipped but that adds to the cost and dealy which is why it’s often (usually) cheaper and faster to have it lorried to Southampton and loaded up there.

      The advantage of a hub is they could go sraight on to the super-container ships, or just a short distance down the Clyde from Greenock – and it would get business from the rUK.

    214. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Dundee has a mothballed RoRo terminal at Eastern Wharf, which is just sitting there. It can be seen on this map:-

      Another outlet to the east…

    215. yesindyref2 says:

      They have their uses. Surely the undecided and soft noes would look at them and get sick of the way these (&*^(&* run down Scotland all the time? I hope so.

      Thanks for that, relayed into the Herald forum. Seems to me there is a trap, but I don’t think McWhirter and Cuthbert have read this right at all. I’m reasonably sure the SNP finance lot have been aware of all this since at the latest before Smith began (as I was), so I’m waiting with interest. It might be time to brush the dust off all the Indy Ref 1 material and put a 2 on top of the 1.

    216. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Having established himself as a regular contributor to WOS, when will Eric Joyce provide an interesting article on his role in banging the drum (heartily and consistently) for the invasion of Iraq?

      It could be even more ‘interesting’ if he co-authored it with George Foulkes and Prof Jim Wylie, with whom he was shoulder-to-shoulder on many occasions when BBC North Britain couldn’t find any other advocates of the ‘war’. (If in any doubt about that, ask Lesley Riddoch, who had to endure their presence on many an afternoon show post-9/11.)

      Then again, to be fair, if even the President of the United States was unable to square the diabolical circle which we now know as ‘Abu Ghraib’ perhaps we shouldn’t harbour such lofty expectations of Oor Eric?

      In any event, I’m not the only WOS reader who does not welcome Eric Joyce as a contributing author in this place.

      ‘Just sayin”, as they say, eh?

    217. yesindyref2 says:

      That would be good, I’d love to see that, so would my son.

      @Ian Brotherhood
      Well, personally I like a fresh point of view – and Eric Joyce has proven himself to be “fresh” in the past!

    218. handclapping says:

      @Ian Brotherhood
      If the sayer is saying something interesting in the context of the moment it should not matter if it was Ghengis Khan or Mother Theresa. Who they are is not important if what they say is. It is only their other life that should make you more or less questioning of what they say.

      I look forward to an interesting piece from JKR on Wings 🙂

    219. schrodingerscat says:

      re labour list msp
      no real surprises or blood baths anywhere here, both list and con msps get a place in holyrood in all regions except


      Paul Martin, Hanzala Malik, Drew Smith are out on their ears
      as is McTaggart, she was criticised for her Parliamentary expenses used to purchase books shortly after her election, including Public Speaking for Dummies, says it all

      Anas Sarwar, Pauline McNeill,Bill Butler are the new big beasts

      pentland is a no mark who will be pissed off
      Michael McMahon employed his wife and his daughter but mcmahon and his daughter, Siobhan, are out on their ears
      Richard Leonard, Monica Lennon, Craig Martin are the new big beasts

      thing is, it looks like it isnt london labour driving the selection process, this was made in holyrood. only 2 ex-mps getting a look in,

      london slab really is extinct

    220. Thepnr says:

      I’m quite open to a contributing article from Eric Joyce, it gives the readers or Wings the opportunity to respond and agree or disagree.

      I think Eric Joyce surely got the message that the vast majority of those that read Wings disagree with his assertion about the political abilities of Jim Murphy.

      Say for example John McTernan submitted an article for Wings (haha) would that not stir debate?

      Put it this way, you don’t in any way need to agree but those that want can tell them why, to an extent this has been done very well here by the Wingers contributions without any cybernattery whatsoever.

      I guess we should be grown up enough to hear our opponents and discuss their views in contrast with ours.

      Duncan Hothersall next 🙂

    221. yesindyref2 says:

      I’d prefer an article by Harry Potter. That would be much more interesting.

    222. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Thepnr 9.31 Duncan Hothersall em a bridge to far,put they tinny,s doon lol.

    223. cynicalHighlander says:

      @Ian Brotherhood

      Disagree about having Eric as an author on here as his take on things out with the tight control of the Labour Party shows that he is human after all.

    224. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      schrodingerscat at 9.29

      I take particular delight at the eclipse of Paul Martin and even more on that of Michael McMahon (and his almost anonymous daughter).
      McMahon is part of the the dying Labour breed that played the divisions on our communities for political gain and suggested or implied that the SNP was anti-Catholic.
      That community has seen through his ilk and realise how the were used for years

    225. heedtracker says:

      Good example of BBC attack propaganda. If polls do hold, Scotland has to get rid of this crew. Another five years of being told how shite we are, by very highly paid BBC propagandists is way too much. Just clear the top out and bring in foreign management, a UN media luvie fest, German, French, US etc. They must know all about BBC Scotland madasfcuk UKOK bias just from going to the Edinburgh festival every summer. If polls hold mind. Fcuk knows UKOK hackdom’s determined to get shot of the SNP by May.

    226. ronnie anderson says:

      I believe Mr Joyce did,nt get a good reception the last time he wrote a article for WoS & he,s got the same reaction this time. A Unionist for all time is Mr Joyce.

    227. Patrician says:

      @heedtracker, those working for the BBC are closer to being Political Commissars (as used by the USSR) than they are journalists.

    228. Chic McGregor says:

      I suppose with the surname Joyce, Eric is inevitably going to be prone to the Lord Haw Haw jibe.

      However perhaps the infamous unintelligibility of his other namesake might be more appropriate in this instance given his seeming inexplicable support for Mr Murphy.

    229. Anagach says:

      I am happy to hear from Mr Joyce.

      For all his troubles he writes well and its interesting material.

    230. clochoderic says:


      From Wings’ Twitter feed:

      GA Ponsonby nails BBC Radio Scotland for their latest lies.

      “BBC Scotland owes all of us an apology after its think-tank charade”

    231. Onwards says:

      Nana says:
      7 February, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Jim Cuthbert writes…

      I am sure John Swinney will be considering all the angles.
      He is a politician..looking at more than just the pure economics.
      From his point of view, he will surely be influenced by what is more likely to lead to independence. To reject a poor deal entirely, accept it with conditions, or on a short term basis as a first step..

      It will be interesting to see how ‘Scottish’ Labour and Tories react to a flawed deal that could harm Scotland. Will they back Swinney?

    232. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, it’s a good analysis of BBC and “independent think-tank”, as it used and all media used to try to bludgeon Independence to death and beyond.

      But here’s an interesting resource to keep a watchful reserved eye on:

      Off-shoot of IPPR, I read a lot of stuff from the North-East England based one during the Ref, and it seemed to be largely fair. Left-wing a bit, probably Labour origins, but not Labour tub-thumping. Probably goes more back to the days when Labour were – Labour.

      There’s two recent articles up by Russell Gunson. I have absolutely no idea where he would stand on Independence, or even FFA. Which is as it should be, I guess.

    233. yesindyref2 says:

      Just saw Hosie being shown for a very short clip on the TV (BBC1 Reporting Scotland).

      At last the SNP spokespeople are learning to have a short message, keep it clear, and stick to just taht so they can’t be deliberately misquoted. You could see him being very careful, very precise.

      Every single SNP spokesperson needs to learn that technique – stay on message, and keep it short and precise.

    234. Bob Mack says:

      @Chic Mcgregor,

      Just as a point of interest Chic,did you know that Goebells got the idea for HAW HAW and “Germany calling, Germany calling” from the BBC?

      When the BBC set up one of its first broadcast points it was in Daventry,and they went on air with the phrase “Daventry calling,Daventry calling”

      Goebells loved this idea,and kept note of it for future use.

      Propoganda experts for sure.

    235. Rock says:


      “Andy Murray doesn’t have a problem with being both, and he supported independence.”

      Andy Murray opportunistically supported independence at a late stage when it appeared that Yes was going to win.

      He has kept one foot on each side.

      I am no fan of his.

    236. Cadogan Enright says:


      Another forensic post by Ponsonby- we are lucky to have him

      Junior doctors on BBC today attacking Tory Boys on for spinning and ‘lying’ against them – even Cameron’s own right wingers saying the same over Europe.

      Despite hugely favourable media, Tories reputation for lying through their teeth becoming commonly acknowledged.

      However the commentariat in London seems to believe that lying and spinning is a sign of ‘the best all-round politicians’ and sees no issue with any of this. Prob why they thought Murphy was so good.

      When have we last heard “well Minister, that’s not true is it?”

      Unless they are blagarding the SNP as usual

    237. snode1965 says:

      Dave McEwan Hill. I worked with Michael McMahon, back in the day, when he was a welder. P.I.R.A. activist and fundraiser and black berry bond member. Aye…an old school sectarian bigot, turned trade unionist and Labour MSP. I guess most people have no clue who they’re electing when they tick for Labour.

    238. Chic McGregor says:

      Didn’t know that Bob. Thanks.

    239. K1 says:

      I don’t have FB but I do send to those who do, usually wi a short description of whatever I send. Feel free to copy and paste:

      BBC Scotland presenting totally biased one sided reporting on Scottish Labour’s 1p tax proposals on Friday the 5th of February from the ‘Resolution Foundation’. Stating that this was an ‘independent’ think tank, when in fact there was no report on record, just a blog written by one of the directors of the foundation, by a fella named Torsten Bell. Who in fact had formally worked for Alistair Darling as member of the Council of Economic Advisers. Later he was Ed Milliband’s policy director and was appointed as Director to the Resolution Foundation in September 2015.

      As GA Ponsoby asks in his article: ‘How could a former head of policy for Ed Miliband be presented as independent by BBC Scotland? His links to the Labour party were as clear as day for anyone doing even a basic background check. Despite the obvious conflict of interest, BBC Scotland had omitted to highlight Mr Bell’s connections to the Labour party.’

      As he also states: ‘The portrayal of a blog by a former advisor to Ed Miliband as an ‘independent report’ was misleading by BBC Scotland. The choreographed charade fuelled a full day of pro-Labour news bulletins on BBC Scotland TV, Radio and online.’

      Quite rightly he concludes: ‘What we witnessed on Friday, February 5th was political propaganda dressed up as impartial news. BBC Scotland chiefs owe the public an apology. But don’t hold your breath.’

    240. yesindyref2 says:

      You’re not a fan of anyone that supports Independence, including the National.

    241. North chiel says:

      As regards early posts from “Nana/Onwards”.As I see it ,it is entirely up to the London treasurey to GUARANTEE and PROVE to John Swinney and ultimately the Edinburgh parliament that there will be “NO DETRIMENT “to the Scottish budget going forward.ANYTHING OTHER than an ABSOLUTE GUARANTEE on this , should not even be considered by JS .NO NEGOTIATION on this is necessary , as MUNDELL and the London “paymasters” should be told simply “NO DETRIMENT or NO DEAL”

    242. Rock says:


      You’re not a fan of anyone that supports Independence, including the National.”

      I am no fan of phoney supporters of independence.

      The National will do its best to split the SNP vote by heavily promoting RISE as it has already been doing.

      Vote SNP+SNP for independence.

    243. heedtracker says:

      Patrician says:
      7 February, 2016 at 10:27 pm
      @heedtracker, those working for the BBC are closer to being Political Commissars (as used by the USSR) than they are journalists.

      It is insane in that half billion quid’s worth of whatever the hell they think they’re up to at Pacific Quay.

      Clear out the current creep show and bring in neutral UN style managers that makes them present balanced politics, Sturgeon says this, Dugdale says that etc. Just plain olde worlde balance. That’s what they fart out across the planet, buy the BBC best public broadcaster ever, entirely neutral, honest through and through.

      Perhaps the whole BBC Vote SLab Scotland crew can fcuk off around the world telling them how shite they are, without England running them. Half of them are over in the US right now, pretending to be professional and grown up.

      Channel 4 is just as mad. They have a nice tvad for themselves just now, how great they and how they are reflecting Britain but as per, they hardly ever mention Scotland or UK’s third largest party, except to tell us how shite they are.


      Alex Thomson, Channel 4 news, being as big a UKOK bullshitter as the best of them at BBC You’re Shite Scotland region. And this was only the last UK GE, not the referendum.

      What will UKOK hackdom lay on for us in their vote anyone but SNP, we beg you May campaign? Bet they really miss Alex Salmond to monster.

    244. DerekM says:

      Och Eic is just suffering from a wee bout of yon Labouritis dont worry Eric it gets better just ask the 2 million of us ex Labour voters.

      Got to give him some credit he is prepared to share his thoughts and talk to us,that takes a bit of courage as we are not known for holding back lol

      Stick around Eric you might learn something about the Scottish electorate thats us by the way 🙂

    245. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, I see what you mean abut National and RISE, it’s got articles by or about those well-known RISE people WGD, Mhairi Black, Sturgeon …

    246. Fireproofjim says:

      Rock @10.51
      Unlike you or me, who have little to lose personally, Andy Murray put his popularity on the line when he came out for independence. It was a risk for him as it took years to gain the support of the tennis crowd.
      He could have kept quiet but had the courage of his convictions, and spoke up for his belief in Independence. He comes over as an honest and open character.
      He is an example of Scottish determination to be proud of and probably our best ever sportsman.
      Try once in a while to be positive about something Scottish instead of your continual grousing.
      Many have commented that you are a troll. That could explain a lot of your negativity.

    247. Capella says:

      @ K1
      Spot on. We have to take notice of the tsunami of propaganda which is roaring our way. It can only get worse. Good that G A Ponsonby is on the case.

    248. Onwards says:

      Rock, I didn’t expect you would be a fan.
      And I don’t see it that way. YES had slipped back in the polls in the final week after an ICM poll had showed them in front. The No side took a 5% lead after all the last minute scare stories of banks pulling out, together with the Vow.,_2014

      I think Murray always supported self-government for Scotland, and hoped his support could give it a last minute push over the line – despite knowing it could do some damage to his career/sponsorships in British Tennis. Remember how he was never forgiven by some for the ABE joke when he was younger, despite it being obviously banter and despite having an English wife and living in Surrey!

      I also think he genuinely sees no problem with being Scottish and British as a cultural identity and doesn’t see independence in these terms. If some Scots want to keep a part-British identity after independence, why does that matter to you? Who cares? We are still independent.
      Why alienate those we need to convince?

      Would you rather that no Scot-Brits vote YES at Indyref 2 ?
      And would you rather the only indy supporting newspaper didn’t exist and we only had newstands full of ‘SNP-BAD’ headlines?

    249. K1 says:

      Thanks proud cybernat, macart, clootie fur yer kind comments re budget debate earlier…we have to keep highlighting the ‘actual’ with the ‘fake’ reporting that is going on, just as you say Capella…it can only get worse…Sheilds Up! 😉

    250. John from Fife says:

      As previously posted Scotland’s books including all receipts and payments needs to be compiled as proof that the country is solvent,

    251. Socrates MacSporran says:

      O/T This is about sport

      Hmm! Carolina challenge a call, and lose it, yet TV pictures prove they were right, it was a catch.

      And still the referee goes with the team, whose colours are red, white and blue – with a wee bit of orange.

      Is he Willie Collum’s American cousin?

    252. Onwards says:

      @roughian, @yesindyref2

      Interesting comments on the port potential.
      The new Liverpool superport is seen as providing huge benefits for the area:

      Do you think a Hunterston or Greenock port could compete for UK business given its location, or would it be mostly for Scottish import/exports.. Regarding the transport costs for ships approaching from the North and West unloading at Hunterston, compared to unloading at Liverpool and having closer access to the English motorway network ?

      I’m just looking at google maps, and assuming that an extra 6 or 7 hours at sea for Liverpool may be compensated by lower haulage costs. Or do the individual port charges themselves have more of an influence, especially if English ports are overcrowded ?

    253. Thepnr says:

      Kezia and Labour are running out of squibs with only 3 months to the Holyrood election. Kezia quotes:

      Damp squib number 1.

      “It’s easy to rail against austerity, to pose as a socialist when no one ever asks you how you will pay for the fairer future you claim to believe in,” Dugdale is due to tell delegates in her main conference address on Saturday.

      “The political posturing has to end with the new powerful Scottish parliament and the power for change. A fairer Scotland isn’t one where everyone pays more tax. In fact, we want hundreds of thousands of working Scots to pay less tax.”


      Damp squib number 2.

      Dugdale will claim the £440million Tory raid on working families can be offset – without imposing any new taxes.
      Instead, the Scottish Labour leader wants to reverse the SNP ’s promised cut to air passenger duty.


      Damp squib number 3.

      “Given the choice between using our powers or making cuts to our children’s future, our nation’s future, we chose to use our powers.”

      A teacher earning £29,000 a year would pay £188 more in income tax while Ms Sturgeon, who has a salary of £144,687, would have to contribute an additional £1,447, Ms Dugdale said.

      She stressed more than one in four workers (810,000) “won’t lose a penny”


      When I was a wean you got 5 bangers in a box, one of them might have been a dud. So far Labour under Kezias leadership have found 3 duds.

      Assuming only 2 left to set off, both probably damp also as the first three must be a clue as to the quality of the whole package. It’s probable her next announcements will be damp as well.

      Who knows? Maybe she has a fresh box of squibs to dip into, not holding my breath as I suspect she bought all her fireworks from a right dodgy Londoner.

      Shame. She should have bought Scottish.

    254. yesindyref2 says:

      I followed the idea a bit when it was mooted. Searching “Hunterston container terminal” gets a few papers, here’s a short couple, fine for different reasons:

      The Canadians are also looking to take advanage of ice melting and opening what they call the North-West Passage, the end of which comes out near the UK, could swing round the UK through the crowded Channel, but perhaps could swing around Scotland, maybe the Pentland Firth. Or stop at Hunterston and trans-ship!

    255. yesindyref2 says:

      Ah, here’s a paper from 2004:

      You have to ask yourself, whatever happened to the imagination that Labour used to have?

      It could be that it was looked at and found to be unviable, at the time. But it should at least be dusted off and reviewed for not just now, but in view of the melting ice and other countries plans for that. Including Russia!

    256. crazycat says:

      @ yesindyref2

      Lateral North had some interesting ideas on this (not sure if they mentioned Hunterston) in their Atlas of Productivity, which sold out but I saw mention recently of another print run:

    257. yesindyref2 says:

      Good grief, another posting.

      Just thinking that Prestwick could do very well with such a hub at Hunterston. It’d need direct trains rather than changing at Kilwinning, though there is a line the coal and ore trains take, It’s also need doubling the track from Saltcoats to Hunterston, probably through to Fairlie and Largs. The road south dualled, Seamill a problem, I don’t think there’s ever even been a bypass plan. Maybe around West Kilbride could be a route.

      Must admit I was surprised during the Ref the SNP never caught on to the idea as a vision of what iScotland could do. Maybe it just isn’t viable after all!

    258. Thepnr says:

      Hey yesindyref2 we met once, where was it? My minds a sponge.

    259. yesindyref2 says:

      Inside / outside the YES bar in Glasgow after the big SNP Conference. Me and my boy disappeared into the Horseshoe after I had my smoke.

      There were a lot of great new enthusiastic ideas floating around during the long ref campaign. I hope they resurface for Indy Ref 2.

    260. yesindyref2 says:

      @Thepnr, not conference, Nicola’s roadshow. 2014 after ref.

    261. Thepnr says:

      Thanks for the reminder, I remember also your son.

      I value your input and all others. Mind and leave a space for the others.

    262. yesindyref2 says:

      That’s me, no half measures, specially after about 100 posts in a thread. They can be scrolled past, and Rev’s is a very fast website.

    263. Onwards says:

      8 February, 2016 at 1:15 am

      Thanks for the links. Will take a look though them tomorrow.
      It looks like nothing much progressed since the initial proposals 10-15 years ago. Which seems like a lost opportunity when you see how Liverpool has cashed in now.

      Must admit I was surprised during the Ref the SNP never caught on to the idea as a vision of what iScotland could do..

      Yeah me too, I kept waiting for a few big ideas or proposals that never came. I suppose the focus was on the big picture rather than specific ideas which could be individual party proposals.

      Talking of which, I see the SNP now has an area on their website where SNP members can directly submit policy ideas for consideration.
      Although I would open this up to any good ideas from anyone.

    264. Re Hunterston. I seem to remember lateral north’s suggestion was a sea freight interchange port somewhere in the northern isles or pentland firth. It would be a nice halfway point between Europe and Asia if the northwest passage becomes navigable year round.

      BUT let’s pray the NWP doesn’t become navigable any time soon. What that means for our climate doesn’t bear thinking about. We’d either have rampant tropical disease or 10 month winters, depending on how much the gulf stream moves.

    265. yesindyref2 says:

      Thanks 🙂 Yes, the policy area is a good idea though I haven’t looked yet. I did reply back to Hosie’s email suggesting a strategy forum, but perhaps that would be better in some sort of tree / cell structure, small groups up to small groups to filter good ideas to the “top”. Could be a member of more than one cell.

      I’m not convinced the SNP is taking full advantage of having 90,000 new members, fresh with enthusiasm from the Ref campaign, they’re still a bit political partyish! I’d say many new members were non-aligned. I did think Angela Constance might have been more into setting up that sort of thing, and drawing on the wider YES.

      That would be good too, even closer to both passages, but poor mainland access. Still, transhipped smaller container ships would do that. It needs brownland for the port side though.

      I agree about the passages, but it is happening anyway. *Shakes head*

    266. willie says:

      The comment about Jim Murphy made me smile.

      To me Murphy was the stereotypical careerist waste of space Labour politico imaginable. And with the voters thinking so too, he is I believe still unemployed.

      Anyway his remaining chums will be out on their ears soon and I suspect events will move much quicker than we think. Europe, more austerity, never ending war, Trident, unworkable Scotland Bill, Evel, and rcontinuing Tory rule will guarantee it.

    267. K1 says:

      Literally same pish same day from the Herald, within a 24 hour period, more screaming headlines, listen to this mouthful:

      ‘SNP ‘hypocritical’ over Westminster gripes whilst hitting local government with draconian diktats and sanctions, says councils leader’

      So it’s now the ‘President’ of COSLA echoing his Vice President’s gibberish from yesterday’s headline titled:

      ‘Councils back down in budget feud with Swinney’

      The thing is in yesterday’s article the headline indicated a ‘backdown’ by the councils, over the budget but in this ‘new’ article the COSLA President, David O’Neil is indicating that there is doubt that the budget can be accepted.

      In yesterday’s article this: from the Scottish government spokeswoman:

      “We have been committed to ensuring a positive, collaborative relationship with Cosla and engaged in open discussions on what is a challenging but fair settlement for local government in Scotland, indeed extending the deadline for response in order to allow local authorities to fully examine the proposal.

      “We recognise the pressures on budgets across the whole of the public sector, and in households throughout Scotland, which is why it is important to maintain the Council Tax freeze while we consider ways to replace it – as well as reimbursing local authorities to ensure they can continue to provide essential services.”

      In today’s article this: from the Scottish government spokeswoman:

      “We have been committed to ensuring a positive, collaborative relationship with Cosla and have engaged in open discussions on what is a challenging but fair settlement for local government.

      “We recognise the pressures on budgets across the whole of the public sector, and in households throughout Scotland, which is why it is important to maintain the Council Tax freeze while we consider ways to replace it – as well as reimbursing local authorities to ensure they can continue to provide essential services.”

      Can you spot the difference? Yes, just one part of the first paragraph is missing from the exact same statement from yesterday’s article:

      ‘…in Scotland, indeed extending the deadline for response in order to allow local authorities to fully examine the proposal.’

      Yet more screaming from COSLA with spadefuls of SNP baad…a simple cut ‘n paste job within a 24 hour period as the Herald enables the spitting fury of a few councillors to vent all over it’s newspaper.

      Without providing any detail to the reasoning and degree of detail that Mr Swinney has gone in to, in explaining exactly why he has put forward this budget for the councils.

      And by removing that sentence from today’s story the impression is given that this is ‘all news’ to COSLA, the reality is they have had plenty of time to get to grips with it.

      This is classic click bait from the Herald wi this. There is no story here. Makes you think they didnae get enough ‘clicks’ on yesterday’s pish.

      How’d y’ like your urine sir? Stale and unstirred, ta.

    268. HaggisHunter says:

      Interesting read Eric, thanks, but I strongly disagree with your take on Jim Murphy, he was voted out for a reason and most people could see he was a lying, hate filled, self serving, sectarian promoting, out of touch nutter.

    269. snode1965 says:

      Jeezo….the Racid front page today is a real shocker. “Get the Pakis out”, attributed to a SNP councillor. …according to a “colleague”.?

    270. Grouse Beater says:

      “Humans are social beings, and the kind of creatures we become depends crucially on the social, cultural, and institutional circumstances of our lives.

      We are led to inquire into the social arrangements that are conducive to the rights and welfare of people, to fulfilling their just aspirations— in brief, the common good.”

      — Noam Chomsky

    271. Nana says:

      o/T links

      Glasgow City Council could claw back thousands of pounds already awarded to city charities

      Tory lectures about poverty caused by Tory…

      New industry strategy responds to low oil price

    272. Cuilean says:

      A new Shetland gas plant opened today (from Laggan & Tormuir gas fields) which will supply 2 million homes. There are 2.4 million households in Scotland so that’s over 80% od Scottish households.

      The BBC reporter states this morning, “this as 8% of UK gas demand, which is enough to power over 2 million homes It is a very significant development for the UK”.

      So Scotland can supply over 80% of its home with gas but we cannot be a viable independent country.

      Project Fear kept this quiet, didn’t they? Sickening.

    273. Ghillie says:

      Twisted reporting on so many fronts.

      ‘then they fight you…’

      Seems like we are well back into that phase again.
      I see the Unionists panicing on all fronts…

      = )

    274. Arabs for Independence says:

      Cuilean @08:36

      Yes indeed they kept that extremely quiet. No Scottish Government spokesperson interviewed and only discussed in relation to either UK or Shetland. So nothing to do with Scotland and not a bonus for independence.

      I hope the SNP shout loud about this. Totally sickening how we are being manipulated.

    275. call me dave says:


      Aye heard it as I was eating my cereal it caused much merriment in the studio when the BBC farted out the question.

      “Is this the last gasp or a second wind for the North Sea Douglas”?
      “Weeell… kinda” he replies…

      Discovered 30 years ago and now brought on line.

    276. Almannysbunnet says:

      Biggest construction project since the London Olympics just completed in Shetlands. Well that was kept quiet.
      Aye, Scotland’s oil and gas is finished, my arse!

    277. Valerie says:

      @Cuilean, they managed to get through the whole report without mentioning Scotland, only eventually saying Shetland.

      Disgusting subterfuge.

    278. call me dave says:

      Hark the Herald:
      Production begins at new £3.5bn offshore gas plant in Shetland

      Torrance and the imperial SNP.

      There was almost something brutally impressive about the swiftness with which the SNP, still in its Imperial phase, strangled Labour’s tax policy at birth. It was also deeply, bitterly tribal, demonstrating a kneejerk hostility towards anything Kezia Dugdale says or does; it almost requires a new twitter hashtag: #labourbad.

      And no matter how low Scottish Labour slips in the polls, the SNP just can’t help kicking the auld enemy when it’s down. For weeks my inbox has been filling up with press releases accusing them of wanting to punish working Scots while siding with the “Tories” (a noun that must always be spat out rather than spoken) over the anti-Scottish fiscal framework, of which more anon.
      SNP bad really… full article

    279. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Is it just me, or, is call me dave @ 9.27 am growing increasingly shrill, hectoring and desperate?

    280. Socrates MacSporran says:

      That’s it, The Herald has lost it completely.

      When reactions to a supposed Twitter storm, following Martin O’Neill’s short appearance as a pundit on last night’s Superbowl 50 coverage is the top story on their website, then the lunatics really have taken over the asylum.

      There no longer is a credible, sensible MSM in Scotland. The Herald is now, just another comic.

    281. Al Dossary says:

      Laggan / Tormore on stream – maybe, but at a significant delay and cost. Some 18 months behind schedule.

      Petrofac took a hit of some £275 Million loss on the project. Most of the modules were built in Kuwait or Sharjah – an absolute pile of crap acording to my mate who spentered a month in Kuwait identifying construction issues.

      Cheap labour to design and build and a lot of the construction the work in the Shetland was done by Mercury group (Irish company) using their standard Irish labour after none of the UK Major companies were interested (punitive delay clauses).

      So a job that could have provided a lot of revenue stream to Scotland saw a lot of the money cross the Irish Sea.

    282. Fred says:

      Saturday’s Roosh V demo in the Square apparently saw Solidarity supporters intimidated & seeking police protection, this coupled with Patrick Harvie’s call for no “subsidy” for the North Sea oil industry from government, when the “subsidy” has been the other way for half a century, points up why it has to be SNP2.

    283. Dr Jim says:

      Nice to see David Torrance is upset again, I believe he’s re-titled that article again, poor wee soul, maybe a new story will come to him once he’s had a good read at some other people’s stories

      Just change the words round David, it’s what everybody else does (But you know that)

    284. Dr Jim says:

      Anybody noticed Patrick Harvie’s turning into Nick Clegg

      Eyes on the prize eh Patrick, what an ambition, to leap frog the Lib Dums

    285. kininvie says:

      Torrance is at it again in the Herald article linked to above:

      “….even though the Smith Commission clearly meant it [no detriment] to apply only at the point of the powers being transferred…”

      Torrance knows as well as I do what the Smith Commission said (Fiscal framework proposal 4)

      “Where either the UK or the Scottish Governments makes policy decisions that affect the tax receipts or expenditure of the other, the decision-making
      government will either reimburse the other if there is an additional cost, or receive a transfer from the other if there is a saving. There should be a shared
      understanding of the evidence to support any adjustments.”

      Yet he happily ignores this in order to promote the usual SNPbad line. If you don’t like the facts, just pretend they don’t exist.

    286. woosie says:

      Torrance is a wordy clown, paid to desperately try to justify slabour’s ( indeed any unionist party’s ) existence in Scotland.

      He really should let his conscience drive him, a la Speirs, and admit that slab are doing badly not just because the SNP are proving excellent in power, but all the rest have nothing to offer in return for a cushy job.

      Verbosity, a red jumper and Thunderbird specs don’t deflect from the fact that he’s sprinting up a political cul-de-sac. When the inevitable does happen, where will he be?

    287. marydoll says:

      Why is the Scottish Affairs committee not getting Lord Smith of Kelvinside in to ask him about his report and what he thinks it meant.

      Anyone who thinks Jim Murphy was a good MP is clearly misguided mainly because he no longer is an MP

    288. heedtracker says:

      Coffee time with BBC news 24 synergy of UKOK stuff, Shetland and west of Shetland has a lots of British gas, Scots oil rigs scrapped very soon, Scottish oil v bad, British gas v good or just another UKOK day.

      Vox pop BBC Shetland says Shetland’s been poor for a thousand years, rich for 40, with an oil fund worth hundreds of millions.

      So, Britain’s gas good, Scots oil bad, or Scotland doesn’t exist.

    289. Dan Huil says:

      The bbc loves obedient little unionists like Torrance.

    290. jockmcx says:

      Scotland does not have an oil fund,but it does have an
      independence fund,unfortunately nobody seems to want to
      use it.

      £1 a week by direct debit,i wonder how many independence
      supporters would pay that if it was going to support proj-
      ects by independence supporting film makers,artists,bloggers

      If an overweight aussie business man can make a massive hit film about carrots,then why is there not a proper film or
      docu film about the yes movement,wings,the slab story in scot
      land,WGD,the snp,etc etc.

      How much does a horseshoe nail cost?=£1(who’s in).

      Or sumfink like dat……soorry i am fed up waiting.

    291. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “£1 a week by direct debit,i wonder how many independence
      supporters would pay that if it was going to support proj-
      ects by independence supporting film makers,artists,bloggers

      Going by the standard fundraiser response – not just to independence stuff, but anything – around 1 in 100.

    292. Andrew McLean says:

      Jesus, I had to read that 4 times to get a feeling for what’s eating Erik Joyce, Jealousy perhaps! Thinking the SNP has stolen Labour policies, a well repeated and completely false claim by British labour in Scotland.
      He states he thought that independence was a pipe dream, and wondered what the hidden motive was of independently minded people?

      Erick, a political education is what you need!

      So let’s start, wanting the best for your nation is not a new idea, all peoples have the right to self-determination. You don’t need a hidden motive. It’s a fundamental human condition. And believing this you have polices that enact this desire for your nation and all its peoples to prosper.

      Read the American declaration of independence, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government.

      This is a later ideal which has its counterpart in the Declaration of Arbroath, as this regards laws and customs of Scotland governed by the consent and assent of all the people, however divert from the peoples will Scot’s reserve the right to change the government and King to maintain Scotland’s liberty.

      The United Nations Declaration says “By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”

      The SNP are the latest manifestation of the desire for Scotland to continue its rightful place as one of the world’s free and independent nations.

      The problem you and British Labour in Scotland is that you must always pursue a policy of supporting the union of nations as formulated in the act of union, now that’s where a hidden motive exists, “ the servile Scots, to chain”.

      Now you mention Jim Murphy, and I am glad you did, for he is the ideal candidate to explain where labour failed. Where you once we had John MacLean a man prepared to go to prison to stop a war, you now have John Reid a man prepared to take a Barony and sit in the House of Lords, where one shortened his life and died in poverty for his beliefs, his last act giving his coat, while at the point of death to a destitute immigrant, to one who financially benefits from private militias in Iraq a war incidentally that was presented on a dodgy dossier sold by his very group of mates New Labour.

      It may seem to be unfair picking out Mr Reid, after all there is so many worthwhile candatets in the British Labours Scottish office, but I do so to make another point, the insidious way both tried to drop religion into the referendum campaign, and did themselves and their party serious harm in the very section of Scottish society they tried to enlist.

      But British Labour in Scotland will never learn, recently we had the unedifying spectacle as Gordon Brown tried to wear Keir Hardie’s clothes? Brown a solid middle class boy, and Keir working in a coal mine from the age of 10? Politically as different as, well, Brown and Hardie!

    293. Nana says:

      No punitive damages awarded to Carmichael. Each side to pay own expenses.

    294. TD says:

      Orkney 4 will not have to pay liar Carmichael’s costs.

      Incorrectly referred to as the Carmichael punitive damages case, (the concept of punitive damages does not exist in Scots Law) the court decided that no costs should be paid in either direction. Given that the heroic Orkney 4 lost the substantive case and that the loser usually pays, this is a significant victory for the good guys and is a further slap in the face for Carmichael.

    295. Ken500 says:

      Carmichael should not get costs awarded. He lied

    296. Macart says:

      @Nana 12.03

      Good news Nana. 🙂

    297. galamcennalath says:

      Carmichael case costs. Does this mean Carmichael still has a substantial bill to pay? Does this mean Orkney 4 have their costs covered?

    298. jockmcx says:

      “Going by the standard fundraiser response – not just to independence stuff, but anything – around 1 in 100.”

      Then how about a non standard fundraiser?

    299. Nana says:


      Thank goodness, some sense at last.
      Carmichael should go and quickly.


      I think Gavin will livestream this evening once he sorts out the notes. Hopefully the Orkney4 will only have the lawyers fees to pay and nothing else. I’m sure that in itself will be a hefty bill.

    300. TD says:

      Galamcennalath at 12:12 pm

      Carmichael will certainly have a substantial bill to pay. Each side has to pay its own costs. I think, but I’m not sure, that the £200K raised by the Orkney 4 will cover their costs but would not have covered Carmichael’s costs if the court had supported his application.

      So it a good outcome – the Orkney 4 get to keep their houses and Carmichael has to pay tens of thousands to his lawyers. In going against the convention that the winning side in the substantive case (Carmichael) gets its costs paid by the losers, the court is saying in effect that Carmichael brought this upon himself.

    301. EphemeralDeception says:

      I wonder if Sir Carmichael, Duke of NotDoneLying is still as ‘delighted’ as he was 🙂 mMwaaahaaahaaa

    302. Macart says:


      No he’ll not do that Nana. The man has no redeeming features and most certainly not honour.

      I reckon he sees his five year tenure as his retirement from politics fund. He’ll milk it for all its worth IMO.

      Nature of the beast.

      How and ever his actions have done us all a favour in that from their support of this creature, the Lib dems have shown themselves to be what they always were – disingenuous enablers. You can’t support the man and the position he held without supporting exactly the same style of politics and political system. A system of politics that is fundamentally dishonest in its practice.

      They wouldn’t be told. (shrugs)

    303. Nana says:

      I fear you are right Sam, that man has no honour.

      ‘Disingenuous enablers’ is a good description.

    304. Valerie says:

      Good outcome for the Orkney 4. So pleased nothing was given to the liar.

    305. K1 says:

      Well done Orkney 4, this is a great result, if you need more to make up any difference to clear the final bill, just send out the emails…we’ll be there 🙂

    306. Fred says:

      The Shetland lairdling Tavish Scott’s face will be tripping him, which is excellent news. Any comment from Willie (never slow off the blocks) Rennie?

    307. Scott says:

      I don’t think this is finished what’s the bet the liar will not appeal to higher courts and the eu??

    308. Gary45% says:

      Totally agree.
      Whats a Wullie Rennie?????

    309. stephen says:

      Rev stuart Campbell at 11.47 am
      There was a Facebook page called Freedom for a day .An attempt to raise funds for a independence movie.However failed to reach crowd funding target (indiegogo),only raised a few thousand.

    310. Alastair says:

      Liar Carmichael .

      Not only has he cost the taxpayer a reported £1M+ for the Cabinet Office enquiry into the leak of the memo.

      The Standards Commissioner’s enquiry started on the 2nd June 2015, has been running for 252 days with no update availabe and no indication when she will reach a determination.

      A full pre trail and trial in front of two Law Lords is completed quicker than an internal HoC enquiry.

      Will be interesting to learn how much an internal enquiry of 252 days and counting is costing.

      So Cab Off £1M +,O4 Crowdfunding which could have gone to foodbanks and Standards enquiry costs

      All tax payer and public money.

      Orkney and Shetland – you have a very expensive MP

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