Friday, 23 April 2010


Thank you, Gordon Brown. Thank you very, very much indeed.

Scotland faces five years of real-terms cuts in public spending and may not get back to today’s levels until 2025.

According to a forecast made by the Scottish Government an incredible £35 billion of public spending could be lost over the next 15 years. That is more than the entire budget for a year.

The government’s chief economic advisor Dr Andrew Goudie estimated average cuts to expenditure will be 3% a year until 2014-15 and it could take between 12 and 15 years before spending returns to levels in the last financial year.

The Scottish Parliament officials are already preparing for 15% cuts over the next three years.

Of course no one wants to talk about that kind of cut before the election, do they? They’ll argue about all manner of other stuff but no one will tell us the truth about just how hard the axe will fall on May 7. But this time, I feel sure, we are going to really notice savage and swinging cuts. We will pay for the bankers’ greed, while their bonuses go up again.

The trouble with this kind of cut (for they can call it efficiency till they are blue in the face; it will remain a cut. Pigs and lipstick come to mind) is that it inevitably means vast numbers of redundancies, and that adds to already massive unemployment. A few more on the dole may not make too much difference, but large numbers on the dole and you have depressed areas. Shops close, pubs, sports and leisure facilities. That, in turn, causes more unemployment and it’s not hard to see the spiral of depression.

In this atmosphere Mr Brown says he is going to provide jobs for anyone who has been unemployed for a year. Yeah right. Let me tell you he hasn’t a hope in hell. It’s all talk. It won’t happen.

You can only make so many cuts to staff before the public starts to notice that the quality of service, not high at the moment, has become even worse. What will he do, replace all the sacked public sector workers with his new scheme workers on minimum wage and with attitude.

Cutting public services is all very well, but that means fewer libraries, fewer sports facilities for kids, just when old Tessa Jowell told us that we were going to benefit from the London Olympics with more sporting opportunities. It means longer waits for services already stretched and it means fewer things for kids to do; fewer facilities for pensioners.

The government report says, “While exact details of the size and composition of tightening in the UK are not yet known, it is clear that public spending will be subject to a period of significant constraint in the years ahead. Scottish Government expenditure will not be immune from these pressures.”

What a bloody future. An oil rich nation like no other. How they must laugh at us in Norway.


  1. Ah'm feart awready! Ah gaun tae have tae get ma knittin' needles oot again, nae mair Prada cardigans for me this comin' winter.

    Thank god ah've kept ma collection o' Wumin's Weekly patterns.

    Ye ken ah'm jestin' tho. Tae be serious fer a minute, d'ye no think there's this weird unreal feelin' tae the comin' economic catastrophe? It's a bit like that big cloud o' stoor comin' fae the Ayafayallayokul. Ye ken it's up there, hingin' aboon yer heid, but the sky's still clear an' blue, unless it's dreich like th'day.

    Wan day soon it's gaunnae descend oan oor heids, an' then we'll aw be chokin'.

  2. Yeah Sophia, it is a bit like that. And the thing is that so many people haven’t begun to feel the pinch yet and don't realise what is coming.

    I wouldn't want to be a banker when it starts hurting people. It might be safer to be a priest!

    The incredible thing was that Angus Robertson offered the opinion that we could pay back billions by scrapping the House of Lords, and Trident and son of Trident and ID cards, just for starters

    And Spud Murphy said that it would be better to reduce benefits.... presumably because the Tories are knocking on his door in his constituency and in his case they ARE the enemy.

    So there you have a Labour politician preferring to cut the benefits rather than lose the useless WMDs that the generals have said are no earthly good to anyone (except they buy the prime minister a seat at Obama’s right hand).

    So to hell with the pensioners, the sick, the chronically disabled, the people who require daily help just to get o0ut of bed and get dressed......let’s lob a pile off their benefits and buy a place for Gordon Brown and Obama’s table (Obama WILL be please. NOT)

    What a bloody Labour party.

    And as for the stupid notion that Gordon’s going to get everyone a job... ha, bloody ha. And the band played “believe it if you like”.

    I know a bit about employment and unemployment. I’ll do a post on it tomorrow. It will make a nice change. A post where I actually know what I’m talking about .... huh? :-)

  3. Well at least we're better off here in Scotland if the Tories or Labour win. Imagine the effect of Clegg getting into power and shipping immigrants to Scotland under his master plan of redistribution to quieter ( ie better)'parts of the UK. We'd end up like Bradford or Blackburn. Packed to the gunnels with people who would never work and never learn English and pack out our schools and hospitals and take all of our houses.
    Labour or Tory is the best worst option for the suckers in Scotland who vote for these traitors.

  4. .Rather a narrow view of immigrants there Anon, if I may be allowed to say so.

    It wasn't really like that in Bradford when I was there. The unemployed are the natives in most places; certainly the drunks were the natives. It sounds like you don't care much for people from other cultures. Your privilege

    As I recall both Labour and SNP first ministers wanting more people to settle here. We have a problem with too many old, too few young, too few skilled. A dangerous demographic. And as for English... have you heard what passes for English with the kids here?

    I don't have a problem with some people coming here.

    Labour and Tory are not the best option for Scots. The SNP is. In my humble opinion

  5. tris

    The SNP are probably worse than the Lib Dems. The SNP policy of open borders to everyone and a belief in man made global warming will finally push Scotland over the edge. We would never be a free country while stuck with the EU under the SNP. No independent say on defence, oil exploration rights, foreign affairs, elf n safety, human rights, employment rights, fishing policy, internet privacy and everything else that controls our lives basically.
    Please keep on supporting Alex while he rushes to hug the Maldives president who thinks global warming will swamp his little one party muslim autocracy island. But don't ask me to join in. Makes me feel sick.

  6. Naw Anon, it's swallaein' aw that bile that's makin' ye sick. Are you related tae the Anon at post #3? Ye seem tae share baith yer name and philosophy. Ah get awfy confused. Mibbe ye could change yer name tae make it easier.

    How aboot Onan? That wid suit ye better.

  7. These are the cuts that the SNP want to limit, but that Labour have already said will be deeper than Mrs Thatcher’s cuts that Scotland suffered under in the 1980s. Where all of Scotland’s heavy industry (all stuff that would be economically viable now) was forced out of business and we could all go and work in call centres.

    And the best thing that Gordon Brown can come up with in his constituency leaflet is a so called claim that the SNP will cut the concessionary travel scheme for the elderly. And why? Because SNP run Fife Council have stopped a 50p concessionary rail scheme for the elderly. What has that got to do with the Westminster cuts? Never mind the fact that the SNP have actually extended the concessionary bus pas scheme and have guaranteed again and again that it will not be cut by this SNP Government. (Something that the Tories only did for the English on Thursday night when David Cameron promised it live.) I’m wondering how many council tax payers in Fife are happy to be footing the bill for a concessionary rail scheme for folk who can get on a bus for free. I thought that part of the point of a concessionary scheme was that it encouraged people to use the least used and most cost effective mode of transport i.e. the busses, and left the train to take the strain of commuters to Dundee or Edinburgh (in Fife’s case). Never mind the fact that this is an issue that concerns folk in Fife only, it’s only their OAPs that benefit and it’s them that pay for it and if they don’t like the fact that the SNP have cut it and their OAP’s no longer have a choice of concessionary schemes they can troop to the ballot box in 2011 and dump the SNP on its Fanny Adams. That surely would be the appropriate time to bring this issue up and put it on your election material.

    Anyway that one cut pales into nothing at all when put beside the cuts that Labour will foist on all of Scotland (not just Fife) should they get back the keys to Number 10 with a working majority.

  8. Oh! Ah'm fair scunnered. Ah wis composin' a post, a guid yin mind, when ah hit wan o' ma buttons an' it aw vanished, like snaw oaf a dyke, or tae be current, like a volcanic ash cloud.

    Ah could greet. Ah'll hae tae compose masel'. Again.

  9. Right. Now ah ken ah wis gaun aff-topic, so ah'll be brief(er)

    In response tae Onan an' the like, wha worry ower gettin' tae'in' ower by incomers, here's a thought.

    Scotland, an' Embra in particular, led the Enlightenment a few years back. When we get roon' tae settin' up the Scottish Republic, could we aw please gie a thought tae havin' a Second Enlightenment an' make it a truly secular republic?

    Seems tae me a man's or a wummin's faith is between thersels an' their delusion, ca' it God, Allah, Baal, the Force, or whitever. It has nae place in the Public sphere o' oor country. Nae mair religion in schools, an' nae mair religious schools. Nae Chaplains skulkin' aboot hospitals, nae ringin' o' church bells an' nae prayer calls fae muezzins, nae wearin' o' religious symbols or clothin' at work, nae public prayers at Remembrance Day, nae mair dreary Songs o' Praise, in fact nae religion oan telly. Nae Bible-bashin' at doors or at Speaker's Corner, nae Orange Marches an' nae fiddlin' wi' oor weans.

    Many folk, no aye the brightest fireworks in oor box, are feart o' incomers comin' tae Scotland an turnin' the country tae Islam.

    Well we're no a kick in the arse oaf it sae long as we gie the christian churches the leg-up they've had for this past 1200 year. They're aw bonkers-daft, an' we should think rational for a change.

  10. Gettin' back tae yer theme tris, Scotland's gaunnae get hit hard wi' cuts right enough, we were hit hard in the 80's, back in the 30's, an' further back in the 20's. The 1820's that is, and yet further back in the 1720's.

    We're aye gettin' hit wi' the rough end o' the shitty stick o' cuts. Why?

    Because the Act o' Union wis, an' still is, a tool tae keep us bogged doon in the heather, tae keep us fae takin' oor place in the Community o' Nations, tae deny us oor voice in the world. We're a braw nation, wi' a bright future, if we could only see it.

    Gie us oor rightfu' independence, let us dump Trident, Identity papers, fightin' wars in Asia, an' aw the rest o' the baggage o' Union. Let us free oor minds an' oor purses.

    Let us invest in oor universities so that we can rebuild the reputation Scotland yince had for learnin' an' for rational thought. Let us build up oor New Energies industries, let us be the hothoose for researchin' how tae take energy fae the air an' the seas, withoot rapin' the planet in the process. Let us energise oor Silicon Glens, an' re-energise oor Real Glens. Wi' the advances tae be made in communications we could re-populate vast areas o' Scotland presently turned ower tae sheep.

    Scotland needs an Independence-bounce tae lift oor minds an' oor spirits fae the drudge o' Broon's Britain. A New Scotland wid get offers o' investment fae aw ower the world. We could be a nation wi' a huge profile.

    Ah dare say we could even win the Eurovision Song Contest if we put oor minds tae it. Sae long as we dinnae send Lulu, the wee tory bauchle she is.

  11. It is worth pointing out that the Tory shadow chancellor George Osborne has promised to protect the Scottish Holyrood budget for year 2010-2011.

    He said that he would not cut Holyrood budgets during that time, as the Scottish parliament had made its will known.

  12. And then what Dean? Please enlighten us. Will the Scottish budget be protected in 2012?

  13. Deano

    makes every one feel so much better knowing that.

    2012 English Axe smashes into Scottish Neck again..

  14. Are you tellin' us that English Axe wouldnae be wielded by a Labour Government? Or is yer name really Mr Myopic?

  15. Munguin: Well put. There will have to be cuts. No one would deny this. There is the madness of the government, bankers and financiers to pay for. (And yes I know it was global, but it was much much worse in the USA and in the UK. The smart arse, know it all countries that tell everyone else how to live their lives, but, it seems, were so busy doing that that they didn’t noticed that wee bitty problem at home.

    OK. So we have to make it better. Given that the people who should have seen, but didn’t see that you can’t take a pint out of a half pint pot, have pretty much enriched themselves over the last few years: parliamentary personnel stuffing large wodges of cash down their y-fronts or bras (aye Nadine), bankers and financiers flying off to their yachts in the Carribbean for the week-end with our money, and have absolutely no intention in suffering in any way, then the rest of us had better get used to it.

    The cuts to which Gordon refers are the removal of a subsidy on rail fares from Fife to Dundee or Edinburgh. As well as the free bus pass, where they can go anywhere in Scotland, paid for by the Scottish Government, the pensioners of Fife can go anywhere in Fife (a large county) by train for only 50p. So a person living in North Fife and get to Cupar free on the bus and take a train to Kirkcaldy for 50p. Until now pensioners could go to Edinburgh or Dundee.... ie out of Fife’s administrative area. This was paid for by Fife Council. It is these outside Fife journies which are being cut. We note that Gordon said SNP cuts. Gordon was being economical with the truth again. The council is, in fact an SNP/Liberal council. But then Gordon agrees with Nick, doesn’t he, or does he? Depends which day you get him on.

    In short, the cuts are tiny, but if everyone were to make small sacrifices... say for example MPs stopped having subsidised food and drink in the Commons, and Lords stopped telling us lies about there they lived; pensioners gave up the choice of cheap transport, bankers maybe gave us a few quid of their multimillion pound bonuses.... we could all pull together.

    You really would have expected more from the prime minister than this cheap nasty, second rate slur on his political opponents.... or wait a moment, wasn’t it the Tories that were their opponents....?

  16. Sophia: What a load of common sense. You wouldn’t care to be Prime Minister would you?

    Religion is important to some people, and I respect that. It gives comfort; it brings strength, sometimes foolish but more often sensible, calm and peaceful. I know people who derive great joy from their belief. I would never want to take that away.

    But it should not be part of government, or education or anything that is forced upon people.

    I have to say though...... I’d miss the bells!

    And I think Anon (I wish people would invent names if they don’t want to use their own. I tend to get Anon mixed up with another person of the same name), does seem like he’s about to explode with hatred. It’s a great shame.

  17. Dean: It's a great start, and it means that the Scottish government doesn't have to have another budget. But as Sophia says.... next year .....eeeeeeek

  18. Ye're right tris, a lot o' folk take great comfort fae religion. God knows, ma grannie wis one, till ma granda drapped doon deid while sayin' Grace afore their tea one night. Still, ah'm sure it gave him an express ride tae Heaven.

    Naw, ah'm only talkin' aboot the public spheres o' oor lives. Government, schools an' the like.

    Dinnae get me wrong, ah dae like the sound o' church bells, an' ah often find masel' singin' 'Abide wi' me' in the bath.

  19. So Niko. What is Labour going to do about cuts?

    In all the party political broadcasts, all we hear is that there will be cuts, but are you trying to tell me that Labour won't be bringing down the 2012 English Axe?

    The only way not to have an English axe on our necks is to be independent.

    Then any axe will be a Scottish one. And the Scottish one will be getting rid of all the crap we don't need. Lords, Trident, ID cards. If we didn't have to pay for all this rubbish, our ordinary taxes would sort the deficit out.

    Vote SNP for SNP champions.

  20. "Abide wi me in the bath"... that's a new one on me. How does it go?

  21. He he.... I'll be discrete then.

  22. It's funny, ah tried tae sing Abide wi' me just now, an' ended up singin' the Norwegian Eurovision song. This year's one that is. They'll dae weel again this year, Didrik looks a nice chap.

  23. Scotland could always put you forward for our entry, doing... Abide with me in the bath....

    That'd beat the hell out of wee Didrik...

  24. Classy comments, Tris and Sophia, nearly as humourous as Niko's unintentionally hilarious postings. This blog gets better and better.

    Apart from that, no wonder Anon wishes to remain anonymous.

  25. you keep it up Brownlie(you wish you could) and this is what is going to happen to you after we win the election


    is happy to have the overseers boot on his neck as long as its a Scottish one.... not my idea of 'FREEDOM'

  26. Thanks very much Brownlie. Its nice to get compliment and even nicer from an accomplished blogger like you.

    And Sophia's comments are just excellent. What a load of common sense in good Scots!

    Yes, I agree, if I were so full of hate, I'd be Anon as well....

  27. Good grief Niko, where do you find such stuff... Does Mrs Mixed Pickle know you look at stuff like that?

    I'd rather have a Scots overseer than one from Westminster.

  28. Dear all

    I think we should have a vote of whether Brownlie should be allowed to post on this blog(he is nothing more than a big and i mean big Bully)

    I can organise one if you like under the Glenrothes rules of course!

  29. Tris

    My wife doesn't know nothing about the secret life of a Blogger...........apart from the what do you keep tapping at comment.....

  30. Hmm... ah guess yer answer tae yer missus might be "Ah'm tappin' ma huge reservoir o' Neanderthal one-eyed sub-humourous self-loathin' bile, an' spillin' it aw ower the Internet. Now awa' an' make ma tea."

    Ah could be wrong tho.

  31. Niko,

    I told Mrs Niko not to mention that - she said if I was built in proportion I'd be eight feet tall!

    Can you ever honestly recall a political party which houses so many politicians guilty of terminological inexactudes as NewLabour. Its so "flipping" obvious they're a bunch of chancers - at our expense.

  32. should read inexactitudes but who cares!

  33. Ouch Sophia. I'm not sure Mrs Niko would like that. Lord knows she must be a tolerant woman, but there's limits you know.

  34. I saw that female chancer on teh telly just a wee while ago Brownlie, she was answering a question that she wished she'd been asked whilst diligently avoiding the one that she HAD been asked, and she startd off saying "Let me make it very clear... and then started blethering on in politicese, which I don't speak at all, and of which I can only understand the odd word.

    What a blethering old goat she is...

    Mind you, as I recall, she was one of the ones that didn't steal anything.... amazing

  35. Tris/Sophie/Mr whatever,

    You guys are right, it protects Scotland for the immediate future- yes.

    What then? It depends on your view no?

    I believe we need to protect Scots budgets this year because we have higher unemployement and weaker recovery- not because I do not believe Scotland should get to avoid cuts.

    Scotland has a role in cuts, and hardship- it was our financial centres that went belly up too. We should share the burden, but only when Scotland can afford to- that is why we ought to dely cuts for an extra year.

    Tris, you say eek- I say, about time we share our burden! Do I want reliance on London? NO! Scotland can handle its own share of the debt!

  36. Nah Niko. Brownlie's just wee.... but nah, no referendum....this is a republic, not a democracy.

    If it's any comfort though mate, someone asked the same thing about you last week, and I said no to them too.

    Not telling you who though....

  37. The SNP has suggested other ways Dean. Alex said very clearly he doesn't wish Scotland to be treated differently or preferentially. He just wants the axe to fall on stuff that we don't need