Monday, 8 October 2012


I was astounded to hear Ruth Davidson claim that only 12% of Scottish households make a overall contribution to the country's finances.

Of course the BBC made it sound like 88% were scroungers, which of course nicely fits the imagine that some like to portray of us in England, picking up our benefit and staggering between the pub and the bookies!

Still it shouldn't have come as any great surprise that Davidson was singing from the Mrs Lamont songsheet in The Something for Nothing Show. They seem to have morphed into the same person.

Anyway, now we know what the regional foremen of the two main British political parties (and therefore their bosses), think of us, it begs the question, why don't they encourage us to leave. After all if most of us are scrounging from the poor English taxpayer wouldn't they be so much better off without us.

Of course Ruth's figures, without any comparison from any other country, or "region", of the UK are pretty  valueless. We simply haven't a clue how this compares with anywhere else, within or outwith the UK. Maybe the Irish are scroungers too; maybe the Welsh, or heavens, maybe most of the English apart from the ones that live in the sainted land of the home counties.

And that is before we even query the veracity of the figures she used. The Guardian's article on this story points out: 

"..... All the information sources cited are out of date. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures from the Effects of Taxes and Benefits on Household Income publication are drawn from the 2009/10 release; strange because the 2010/11 data have been available since June this year. 

"Similarly, data from the joint Scottish government/ONS publication, Public Sector Employment in Scotland is taken from the Q1 2012 publication and not the Q2 data published a month ago. This explains why the figures for public sector employment used in the calculation are wrong; currently 22.2% (23.5% if RBS and HBOS workers are included) of all Scottish workers are employed in the public sector, not 23.8%.

"Davidson's calculation also references the ONS data on income for all households. In doing so, she commits the Romney-esque error of failing to account for retired people. This is either lazy or deliberately misleading because the ONS provides such a breakdown in the very document she cites." 
One of the reasons that our economy in Scotland is heavily dependent on the public sector is that after Mrs Thatcher had whirled her evil way across our country shutting anything that looked as if it might be unionised, it occurred to her Scottish Secretary that they would have to try to find alternatives forms of work to keep us from spending our entire lives in the pub. But then Ruth didn't think that Mrs Thatcher was important.  After all Ruth wasn't born when Mrs Thatcher was wrecking Scotland.

One of the things that they came up with was relocating unimportant government offices in Scotland.

Add to that the fact that with very little time anywhere but the public sector, Davidson has rather a hard neck to be talking about this. She is currently an MSP and paid by taxes; prior to this she worked  for the BBC and was paid from the licence fee. Her primary, secondary and tertiary education account for most of the rest of her time on this planet.

All in all a dismal performance from Davidson at her first proper English Tory conference.

Why are these Scots so determined to talk down our, and their, country? Do they want potential investors to shake their heads at the idea of a "something for nothing" culture in a people almost all of whom are dependent upon the state? 

Oh yeah, silly me, it's the only way they can make Osborne's prediction that no one will invest in Scotland if it is intent on breaking up the union, come true.

Davidson also attacked free prescription policy in Scotland stating that people were dying as a result of it. [She seems to be less concerned about the people who are dying as a result of the policy that her boss has in England of getting 88% (a favourite number of the Tories, it seems) off Incapacity Benefit and...erm on to JSA, or into a coffin, whichever comes faster].

Prescription charges were always incredibly unfair. The were waived in the case of ALL people over the age of 60, regardless of whether they were working, retired, or the Duke of Atholl. They were waived for people with certain illnesses, again regardless of their financial situation. They were NOT waived for people on Jobseeker's Allowance, or (amazingly) Incapacity Benefit, but they were waived for people on Income Support. None of these had anything to do with level of income. Thus at one stage I had a friend with diabetes, who earned a more than reasonable salary and got all his prescriptions (not just his insulin) for nothing. At the same time I had another friend who was long term off work, sick, and getting somewhere in the region of £65 a week, who was paying for his prescriptions.


  1. Great analysis Tris. Let's hope Eck gives some of this back on Thursday

  2. Yet these same people squeal if you dare to accuse them of being anti-Scottish!
    What a strange world some folk live in.

  3. Long may Davidson spout her Tory shite and long may Lamont parrot it.

    To paraphrase a latter day Lord Snooty

    They are all in this together;"this" being keich of their own making.

    Send in the speedboats

  4. Fourfolksache. Thanks. I have no doubt Eck will blow them out of the water, if past experience is anything to go by.

    The first minister saves the country on cleaning bills in the parliament as he wipes the floor with opposition leaders on a weekly basis.

    It's not hard to do if they insist on reversing what their party has always stood for (Labour), and using out-of-date figures to make a point (Tories).

    I have CH to thank for the story of Davidson's life and her level of dependence on the state.

  5. Jim. On radio 4 asked Cameron. Seeing as the torus. Have reams of plans to target people on
    N benefits perhaps he could give examples on how he was going to make the rich pay more as Gideon had said

    Cameron ....err! Ah! Um!

    Good plan to make rich pay more

  6. Yes Juteman. It has become another of these "must not dos". It's politically incorrect.

    However, in my opinion, if you falsify your figures to make a point that shows that Scotland could not exist on its own, because it is so dependent on the state. And if you do this in England to a crowd of largely English people, that is anti Scottish by definition.

    If what you are saying is true, then perhaps not, but if what you are saying is incorrect, and you know it (and if you don't you shouldn't be leading a political party...clearly the Guardian journalists could find more up-to-date statistics) then that is being anti-Scottish.

    For the doubters, if I say Scotland has a really serious drink problem and that that is a threat to the wellbeing of our economy, then that is a fact that few would dispute and it's not anti-Scottish.

    But if I make up a series of figures to prove a negative point about Scotland, then it is anti-Scottish because I am lying to put Scotland down.

    OK Niko?

  7. Yes Wolfie. I completely agree. Davidson was talking to a largely English audience (not that there were that many there). But she was looking for a headline that would get her mentioned on TV and in the papers, alongside far more important people like Osborne who were speaking on the same day.

    Well she got the headline. '88% of Scots are state dependents'. '12% of Scots actually contribute to the economy'.


    The Yes campaign couldn't wish for more.

    And Johann... just how well did calling Scots people who live in a something for nothing culture, go down?

    Pleased the Tories, but was it popular on the estates in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee...?

    I doubt it.

    She may have thought she was being brave, but what she was painting was a picture of a Scotland in the UK. A Scotland that has to share its resources with other countries, and has to share the cost of the UK playing above its league in the world...

    A Scotland outside the UK would be in an entirely different situation.

    They are silly, but they are fun.

  8. I couldn't stand to listen to Eton Boy's smarmy voice, Anon, so the minute Nauchtie said "Good Morning, Prime Minister", I switched off.

    But I was struck yesterday by the fact that although Osborne said that they would be hitting the rich, he washed out the one tax that was on the cards (Mansion), said no to raising the 45p rate, and didn't mention any others. He then went on to describe how, out of the £16 billion he has to save, £10 billion would come from the poor, because it was good for them. It's character building, I imagine!!!

    Good for Jim asking him about that. That's what journalists are supposed to do: ask the questions you or I would ask with we could get them in front of us..

    'er ahh ummm...'. Yes, that's what I'd expect from Camertoff. Don't ever ask him hard questions.

  9. Saw Ruth on telly last night.

    She's nuts.

    I think Scottish unionist politicians have been gripped by a mutually shared madness, they say what they think will please English voters at the expense of Scottish voters.

    I understand why the tories might do that, they've got little to lose by writing Scotland off, but Labour?

    I can only assume they're aligning themselves with English voting trends in a desperate attempt to appeal south of the border come independence and they get chucked out of Scotland.

    As for Ruth, she's a pygmy, an amateur no-mark. She'll get the boot soon enough and never be seen again. I think, if someone made up a chart (Tris?) of politicians by dislike, she'd be top five easily.

  10. I have read that this speech was delivered to a side show of the conference and not on the main stage. Can anyone confirm this?

  11. Some one else is saying the BBC on reporting it, cut and pasted a bigger audience into the auditorium.

    And not even from the same room at that.

    What a loser.

  12. KBW: Looking at a part of her speech in the clip that CH put up from Newsnight, it is clear that she is speaking in another room. Not the hall.

    Maybe it was in the linen cupboard!?!

  13. Hmmm Pa. That's it. They reckon there may be places from them in the England/Wales if they talk Tory not matter which party they are in.

    OK... I'll do a post tomorrow that will include an invitation to submit least favourite politicians, which I will then collate. :)

    The things I do for you guys....

  14. Yes, another room CH.

  15. I've not heard that Pa, but the way that the BBC creep to the government of the day, so that they don't sell them off and deal with half the deficit, is quite sickening, so I guess anything is possible.

  16. least favourite politician

    Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Alex Salmond

    & Margaret Hilda Thatcher, ( whom Alex Salmond admires saying 'We didn't mind the economic side so much'.

  17. O?T but I read this, and now I am weeping because I am not Norwegian.

    Oct 8 (Reuters) - The Norwegian government plans to spend more of its oil revenues in 2013 than it has earmarked for this year, when it expects the economy to grow faster than earlier thought, a budget draft showed on Monday.
    It also plans to nearly double its carbon taxes on the oil industry in 2013 and raise cash to help developing nations protect tropical forests as part of measures to combat climate change, the draft showed.

    High oil prices and low interest rates have fuelled a boom in Norway, the world's eighth-largest oil exporter and a star European economic performer. Investment in its oil sector is expected to jump in coming years thanks to new oil discoveries off the country's long coastline.

    Norway has no national debt, and its oil wealth allows it to run structural budget deficits and still use only a fraction of its oil revenue for budget purposes.
    "Despite the challenging global economic environment, the Norwegian economy continues to perform well, and capacity utilisation is now higher than foreseen at the presentation of the Revised National Budget last May," said Finance Minister Sigbjoern Johnsen.
    Some economists had expected the Labour-led government to announce even higher spending plans to sweeten up voters ahead of next year's elections, with opinion polls pointing to a shift in power in favour of a right-wing government.

    "If anything the budget is probably a bit tighter than most had expected, but probably not enough to have any impact on the market," said Erik Bruce, chief analyst at Nordea.

    The crown was largely stable against the euro at 7.40 crowns on Monday, as the budget was also seen to have no clear implications for the central bank.

    "This will not affect Norges Bank's rate path at all," said Knut Anton Mork, chief analyst at Handelsbanken.

    The central bank left interest rates on hold at 1.5 percent in August and signalled no change until late 2012 at the earliest.
    Underlining its stellar economic performance, the government raised its forecast for 2012 mainland gross domestic product growth to 3.7 percent from its May forecast of 2.7 percent, and said it saw next year's growth at 2.9 percent.
    Its economy expanded an annualised 5 percent in the second quarter, the fastest growth in Europe.
    The structural budget deficit - the shortfall before the country's massive oil revenue is accounted for - is expected at 3.3 percent of the oil fund next year, or 125.3 billion Norwegian crowns ($22 billion), up from 116.2 billion crowns seen this year.
    Still, in a normal year, up to 4 percent of the $660 billion oil fund can be used to plug the budget gap.

    The structural deficit is seen at 5.3 percent of the mainland gross domestic product trend, making the budget slightly more expansive than the 5.2 percent seen for 2012.
    "Measured by its overall impact on mainland GDP, the 2013 budget implies an approximately neutral fiscal stance," the finance ministry said.

  18. Thank you Niko.

    I thought you didn't like Nicola either, and what about Mr Andrew Pleb-Mitchell, or George Osborne. What about Nick Clegg or David laws?

    Only Alex x 21 and Margaret (a great friend of Gordon Brown I seem to recall. How many times did he and Sara have her to lunch or tea or dinner at Downing Street or Chequers?

  19. tris

    support for the union at 53 per cent, with 28 per cent favouring a split.

    The result suggests the yes campaign would be unable to bridge the 25 per cent gap even if it could persuade the doubters to back independence

    Oh! fecking hell what are you lot gonna do..........

    perhaps you best call for Boris to help you out

  20. tris

    yeah but its like in a hierarchy of least favourite politician

    wid Alex right on the pinnacle which is only right and proper for any good unionist

  21. OK Niko.

    How many of that 53% want more devolution?

  22. Poor Niko still in La La Land and he doesn't know whether Johann Davidson or Ruth Lamont is his Scottish branch leader. I thought it was the cloakroom tris not the line cupboard that Ruth was in but Niko should be able to confirm.

  23. Ohhhhh that's why he's been so quiet, is it? He's been in Birmingham to hear Ruthie


  24. How many of that 53% want more devolution?

    Dunno best you lot find out asap
    although its a one night only for Alex and his snp...

    no wooden spoon devo max as consolation prize

    still on a more serious note


  25. the deal is done

    One question to rule them all,
    One question to find them,
    One question to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
    In the Land of England where the Shadows lie.

    The "40%" rule

    Britannia waves the rules

  26. And 16 year old voters included Niko also no Devo Max which 60+% want oh dear!

  27. Maybe it's you, Niko, who should find out how all the devo max people are going to vote.

    As CH says, recent opinion polls said over 60% of people wanted that option.

    I doubt many of them will trust Mr Cameron's promise (or anything else about mr Cameron, even if they are the part for everyone) of jam tomorrow. Scots remember another Eton Boy's promise of that.

  28. Is it just me or does Davidson look a lot like Jackie Bailey?

  29. Tris

    When you read the speeches and look at the announcements you kinda think that Labour/Liberals/Torries are playing into the SNP hands but I am not so sure. The attacks on the poor and vulnerable are I believe mostly ideology but something doesn't feel right. The plan to give 16 year olds the vote in the referendum is maybe a little clue. Being a youth worker my experience to date is that most young people are not engaging in the debate by either following it or considering the implications of either yes or no. But when you say to them either way what will you vote if you have to and the answer I would say is very high percentage no. I think the NO parties are aware of that. I also fear that the attacks on benefits are also about creating fear, there is no positive case for the status quo so one of the two things they have is fear and hope if that makes sense. It is a risky strategy I accept that but they have an amazing propaganda arm in the BBC and using other state functions to spread the fear. The other part is the hope of an upturn in the economy which will allow the divide to be driven wider between people who do vote and those who we know who tend not to.

    The Tories I don't think really care that much at grass root level what the result in the referendum will be. The Liberals and labour however are shifting to the right in the hope that fear will win the day and they attract middle England for obvious reasons.

    I fear that the NO campaign, who after all have 400 years of practice, are playing a subtle game in some ways and we need to be very aware of it. I would also love to know who their backers are but I bet we don't get that info.

  30. You guys hear that even Michael Forsyth has called Ruth Davidson's remarks "unfortunate"?

    She has succeeded ... in uniting even the Thatcherites with the rest of Scotland in objecting.

  31. Bruce

    Do you think that if the No camp were sure of their position that they would spend so much time debating things like this?

    Lords debates alternatives to UK devolution

    Personally I think they realise that they are on a shoogly peg and are exploring all avenues to maintain their position on the world stage which is their biggest fear.

  32. Well Bruce, you could well be right.

    I've always thought that the majority of 16-18 year olds would be utterly unmoved by the debate, and those who do get politically motivated at school with talks on the subject may well be influenced by their teachers' viewpoints.

    I'm sure that most teachers won't overtly try to influence the way kids vote, but you can't help but talk with fire about something that really inspires you... and so a unionist-supporting teacher will doubtless have more passion about that philosophy, and a nationalist-supporting teacher likewise.

    It's as well to remember that for them Thatcher and the greatest evil to visit Scotland since the Highland clearances, is all a thing of history books. And if they ever see her, it is as a small, shrivelled, rather pathetic old soak, rather than the ruthless, unfeeling bitch that wielded the sword over our country, with virtually no opposition.

    Whatever, we have a big job to engage people and to show them the two alternative futures that they might expect in their lives

    Whatever the parties are up to, I wouldn't trust them to be straight with us. They won't be, and I have no doubt that are dirty tricks campaigns going on as we write.

    If any nationalist 'personality' is up to anything untoward you can guarantee that the secret service will be looking for it, and if they find anything, it won't come to light until just before the referendum.

    Of course William and Kate Middleton are bound to announce either the conception of the birth of a child, and it's likely that Clarence House will also be announcing that the marriage has been arranged of prince Harry to anyone in order that union flags can be waived.

    As for the funding... I wonder. In reality we should know who is funding it; in practice we know what they want us to know.

    I think the only things that would bother the Tories is the loss of revenue and the personal shame that the union split on their watch, giving Labour something to beat them with for ever more.

    As you say, Labour has a lot to Scotland a lot of livelihoods, and the England an even chance of forming a government, and being (self) important.

    The Liberals... who knows. They have more or less blown it anyway.

  33. Aye Dean. I wonder who the hell thought THAT was a good idea.

    I bet she is dreading tomorrow. I hope Eck is gentle with her, but this far into the job, I doubt if he will be.

  34. Well CH... they'll get a nice balanced debate in the House of Lords which has no nationalists.

  35. I think they are on holiday this week tris looking at this.

  36. LOL I have no idea what they do about holidays, CH.

    I expect the Commons are still on holiday because of the party conferences.

    I don't pay a lot of attention to the lards. They always seem to be on holiday.

    But I suppose they have to be at conferences as well, so they may be.

    I wonder if they get paid expenses for going to party conferences?