Tuesday, 19 November 2013

OVER TO YOU BT...WHY ARE WE BETTER TOGETHER?

In a reply to the video of Ian Brotherhood and his colleagues from the Scottish Socialist Party, Councillor Braveheart wrote the following:

“I was at that meeting. Aiden, the chap with the long blonde hair and the yellow jacket, asked a question claiming to be uncommitted and just looking for information to help his make up his mind.....

“Interesting.”

I started a reply, and got a bit carried away with it, and it rambled on until I realised that it was probably a post in itself, rather than a reply, so here it is.  I'm sorry it's long... and maybe a bit disjointed. 

Braveheart: In my experience, that's the only way BT will engage with people. There is no point  saying to them: “I'm committed YES voter, can you explain why you are a committed NO voter?”.


That was tried in Dundee at a stall BT had at Baxter Park fun day. There was a BT woman there sitting on her own, but obviously there were more people from BT in the background, because, when someone tried to argue with, her two big blokes arrived and made it clear that discussion wasn't on the agenda. Threats were made. And, allegedly, the word “off” preceded by some Anglo Saxon was heard from the lady herself…although to be fair she strongly denies this.

If you turn up at a NO meeting and put your cards on the table you will not be entertained. It is far better to pretend ambivalence and see it they have a decent argument. If they think they have a chance to persuade you, they are likely to make the effort. Intellectual argument is not on the agenda.

So far all I have ever heard is that we are too poor and couldn't afford it. Or that we wouldn't be on the Security Council, and people all over the world wouldn't respect or fear our prime minister. 
Mixing with Kings won't happen much for the Scottish head of government,
but Abdullah wants to buy weapons and we don't sell them
(As even members of his own party can't abide Cameron, I find it hard to believe than anyone anywhere in the world respects him. And despite the 4th largest military spend in the world no one fears him because, since Suez, no British prime minister would dare go to war without America's permission. So, it you want to be scared of someone, probably best make it Mr Obama! I noted the other day that Cameron had the president of Sri Lanka fair trembling in his boots, just like he did with the Chinese when he tried to lecture them. But then like all of his class and upbringing, he still thinks that what the British Prime Minister says carries weight.)

I'm still waiting for an argument from BT that adds up to more that “clout”.

Most Scots truly don't care about being a big shot in world affairs, actually I suspect most Brits don't care about that either...at least not while they queue, or watch people queuing for food bank, and sit in their mufflers in their own homes for 6 months of a cold Scottish winter.

We are realistic. Even Britain is a small and relatively insignificant country: a fur coat and no knickers affair if ever there was one. We have the fourth largest forces in the world but our railways are 3rd world (particularly in Scotland where there is no electricity north of Edinburgh), our roads, likewise (especially in Scotland where there is practically no REAL motorway, just freeway that pretends to be motorway). Clearly English hospitals are worse than those in the Central African Republic, as people appear to arrive there to be slaughtered in numbers, lying in their own waste or starving to death. Medics assure us that this in not because the staff don’t care; just that there isn't any money.
 
Yes, he actually said that. In English obviously as he is too thick to speak another language,
 and probably too thick to understand the significance of the phrase
Social security has become something akin to almshouses and soup kitchens under both Labour and this government of Eton boys.

Poverty is rife; folk are cold and hungry, stuck in run down towns denuded of hope since Mrs Thatcher concentrated the wealth in a square mile of her capital (doubtless on instructions from Denis, who had much to gain).

These towns have high streets of empty shops and pound stores selling the kind of tat that might just brighten up the inhabitants’ lives for a short time before falling to pieces.

There is no hope of work at anything even approaching a living wage. But people are persecuted by one of life’s big failures, who was lucky enough to bag himself an heiress; Iain Duncan Smith. 
Some live like this...
They beg for enough to top up the inadequate wage so that they can eat. Inflation for the poor is 10%, food, gas and electricity rise a pace while wages go down and benefits are static. And if you are unfortunate enough to need a dialysis machine in your house you are charged another £15 out of your benefits for the spare room it takes up.  Pensions have been decimated and the state pension is the lowest in Europe by wage comparison, and about half what is paid in the Channel Islands leave, OAPs living in a cold hungry misery. How the hell is that Better Together?
  
But goodness me are we feared and respected by…erm… someone, aren’t we?

Scotland knows it will not be important. It will be like Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Iceland, Ireland, Finland, Sweden… and so many other small countries. All of which are better off that we are, although no one knows who their presidents, prime ministers or kings are. And they certainly rarely appear next to Obama, Abdullah or Xi. But there will be no deaths from the cold in Iceland or Norway this year, because their politicians are more concerned with that, and less concerned with running Sri Lanka, or Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya or getting a photo opportunity with someone who really does matter, and basking in the reflected glory.

There won’t of course be a house of lords and £300 a day tax free for its freeloaders in Scotland. You’ll remember that Labour always swore they would get rid of this obscenity. Still, if you can’t beat them. ..
...and some like this
And the 'too poor' nonsense that the Tory think tanks pour out, always neglect to take into consideration that not every country, and not Scotland in particular, wants to follow the UK spending plan. OECD seems to think we will be somewhere about 6th richest country per capita in the world. Why do the Tories think that that equals too poor?

Not having a massive military spend will save a lot of money; not keeping the royals in 5 palaces in or around the capital (they will get one and like it), not taking part in every war that America tells us to (even when they don’t get involved themselves ...what suckers), not putting massive new sewers in London, or Cross Rail or HS2, none of which benefit us one tiny bit, will all make a difference, and yes, burden though Alistair says it is, oil hasn't exactly done Norway any harm..

Warning: Prices can go up as well as down. Yes they can, that’s true. But seriously, what is the trend over the past 40 years? Will it ever go back to 5$ a barrel?
  
Well of course it is better for those people who wish to pursue a career on the international political stage. Tony Blair, a not so proud Scot, would never have shared President Bush’s neo- confidences  down on the good ole ranch in Texas if he’d only be prime minister of Scotland. And Lord Foulkes would only be Mr Foukles if his career had been Scottish. 
...and some get as drunk as lords
I can understand Darling’s dilemma. There he is, working all these years in London and just as he gets old and is expecting ermine and “you rang my lord”, not to mention his £300 a day tax free, it is all snatched away from him. I’d be pissed off too.

I asked you, BH, some time ago to give me some reasons why we were better together. You declined as did everyone else on the blog, except Dean, for whom I have much respect because at least he tried, even if I didn’t agree with his argument.

The other BT supporters on here just walked away.


Perhaps I should start a blog that indicates that I am yet to be persuaded. Then I might get some engagement?

112 comments:

  1. Proud to be a country being fed by the Red Cross.

    It must really make Mr Cameron's heart swell.

    Charity feeding the poor instead of the social security system that they have paid for all their lives.

    Brilliant. And it will never change.

    From now we pay our social security tax for nothing, while we hope like mad that if we ever have the ill fortune to fall ill, or get old, there will be some Swiss charity to keep us alive.

    Job done, Cameron.

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  2. Tris surely you've not forgotten Niko, he's a unionist and often comes here.

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    1. PP... how could I forget Niko?

      But he didn't attempt a serious response to my question, why are we better together.

      I can't remember when it was, but I threw it open, and Dean, to his great credit made a stab at it.

      I mainly directed it that time at the good councillor Braveheart, who didn't rise to my challenge.

      I'm waiting to see if he will today.

      Not really expecting him to.

      Niko is more than welcome to have a bash at it though...

      Delete
  3. Great article Tris.
    I can't even watch the news these days, i'm so angry at the lies and dis/misinformation.
    Wake me up on voting day.

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    1. Cheers Jutie...

      I notice that Bruiser Carmichael was on the telly tonight defending what he called a highly respected organisation.

      That would be the right wing think tank that made its predictions on a series of false presumptions.

      As for a bruiser... hmmm. It's the first time I'd ever seen him actually say anything. (I'd never heard of him before he was promoted/demoted to Cabinet Secretary for Running Down Scotland, but he's hardly articulate. Actually he makes Moore look like a statesman. Even Muddle wouldn't look bad next to him.

      Nice though that the Liberals have moved so far to the right that they consider the IFS to be highly respected. And i thought the Liberals used to be left of centre.

      Anyway. I feel much the same about the lying hounds on teh radio and telly.

      I try to avoid it when I can.

      It will soon be over. And this time next year we will have our country back and hopefully start to put it together again.

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  4. tris

    In his usual unbiased way studys the arguments for the continuing Union
    ' WE ' are better together you and the other snp malcontents are welcome indeed hoped for to disappear up Alex Salmonds a@@e ole

    Social security or to use the well worn pejorative ' Welfare ' is just the poor
    who have little in the way of wealth pooling their limited amounts. Which
    the rich (Cameron etc) the share out amongst us.
    Meanwhile the very wealthy are completely air brushed out of any suggestion they should pay a fair share.
    Now will Salmonds snp change that apparently all the evidence and policies strongly suggest ' NO ' they will not not on your nelly.

    All your specious argument are predicated on the nation (small) state
    although this may give you a warm emotional feeling ( like a nice bowl of mums porridge ).
    it Is in todays world an anachronism whos time has long since passed.
    Westminster may be crap holyrood even more so.
    The European state is the next natural step we evolve forward not backward into blue painted savages showing our Eres to the English.

    You like most Nats see this as competition between competing sides
    piling up mountains of Gold in order to impress the natives to vote for them.

    And at the end you keep and Alex has sworn to do so the same economic system you get the same results and nothing changes.
    and to change the economic you need to replace the politics.
    what the snp offer is a smaller version of wesmonster.

    why bother ???



    Juteman ya see the BT strategy is working on you anyway
    when you wake up the day after, lol

    panda paws

    I am afraid to ' OUT THERE ' for tris

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    1. The BT strategy most certainly isn't working on me Niko. I'm ignoring the news, but working away quietly converting family, friends, and workmates. :-)

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    2. How was your we jolly with Anas in Pakistan Niko, and did you manage to abolish the bedroom tax there?

      Delete
    3. Niko, old mate...

      Why do you think the SNP wouldn't be likely to improve social security, seeing that on occasions where they were able to interfere with London policy (ie where it is administered by councils), they have done so, to the maximum allowed by UK law?

      Why do you assume an independent Scotland would have an SNP government.? You can't surely think that Labour are so completely useless that they wouldn't form a government in their homeland?

      I doubt very much that the EU will take over as a proper government. In fact the moves are all towards more states being independent, whilst pulling resources at an interstate level on those things which are most appropriate to that level of legislation.

      Even at that there is a wide number of edicts from Brussels which are optional rather than enforced.

      Great Britain will never subject itself to more interference from Europe, although strangely it seems to have little problem having its foreign and defence policy run by the USA.

      I don;t care about money, but I do care what is done with it. I object to money being poured into the City while my neighbour sits with his hat, scarf and coat on in the house because he is too poor to put the heating on.

      I have a problem with one family having 6 palaces with thousands of rooms, while some poor old couple who sleep badly and therefore use separate (tiny) bedrooms, and who, because they only have a derisory British old age pension to live on are obliged to rely on having to beg for a rent rebate, get it cut by a set of unprincipled bastards that charge us for their second homes and tv licences and broadband connection and £37 for a sodding breakfast!

      I'm not sure what other kind of economic situation you would envisage. Communism? That didn't work either.

      Delete
  5. Niko has a bash at it when he thinks of spook.

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    1. I'd rather have been unaware of that Conan...

      Delete
  6. Hang on - Niko and Westheadbanger on the DT.

    Separated at birth... or were they...?

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    1. He has nothing, or shouldn't have if he is a man of his word, to hang onto anymore.

      Delete
    2. Tell me more about Westheadbanger Conan...

      The Daily Telegraph isn't a place I go much since the evil twins from the tax haven got their grubby hands on it.

      It wasn't that great under the corrupt lord, but at least the crossword was OK, but now... pffff

      Delete
    3. Eh thanks Conan
      just when I'd got that incessant buzzing out of my head from Westheadbanger you just had to remind me why I stopped posting on the telegraph,
      and back come the tinnitus

      Delete
    4. tris
      "Tell me more about Westheadbanger Conan..."

      Seriously you'd rather hear about a severe fungal foot infection Tris
      let go of that one REALLY

      Delete
  7. Stasi Labour coming to place near you.

    They don't vote so they are no use to Labour and can be farmed for postal votes.

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    1. So up to 25, you have to earn or learn?

      OK... but learning costs £9,000 a year (England) and that's just now. What will it be in 4 or 5 years? £10,000, 12, 15?

      And there are people who just aren't academic enough do a bachelor degree of 3 years (in England) bringing them to 21, then a masters (making them 22 and still 3 years with no benfits) and then a DPhil or PhD... Yeah, they might then be around 25.

      And still there are no jobs.

      And what about those who can't manage to get a Standard Grade? How many courses can they do in 9 years?

      They really have to try to get some jobs...real jobs... at real wages before they start that crap. I'm all for harshness on benefits where people point blank refuse to work, and I've seen some of them in my work.

      But I've seen far more that have all manner of problems, from mental health issues to drink, drugs or criminal records who will never get a job.

      What do they do, because you can't count on the British government to have any compassion at all.

      Bravo Labour...looking out for the underdog.

      Why the hell if we need to pay back some money don't they just tax the rich. After all, that blokey today has just promised a million or so to Nigel Farage (that's a lot of beer money, mind you Nigel does appear to have a raging thirst).

      Why couldn't he just give it to the country he purports to love so much?

      Delete
  8. Heh, forgot about that cyn.

    http://mypseudepigrapha.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/hootsmon-headlines.html

    Och Tris, the evil twins of Simon Johnson and Alan Cochrane are a commenters delight.

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    1. H ha ha ha ha ha ha. I'd forgotten that.

      Is Niko only 84?

      Delete
    2. Some of us have looooong memories Conan especially when miixed up alphabet deliberately told lies rather than an honest error which we can all make.

      Delete
  9. Sorry, got caught up finding my old post.

    Westheadbanger is Niko translated to a Tory from Bristol; same non sequiturs, strange sex life, rabid loyalty to his party.

    Interests: Rugby, cider, sheep, more cider.

    And cider.

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    1. Ah right...and more sheep presumably.

      Maybe when we win and Niko wants to flee the country, before the barbed wire and turrets go up and the machine guns are focussed, he will find a home with Westheadbanger.

      I dunno if Niko's into Rugby, cider ,or indeed sheep, but I'm sure he could learn.

      I'll take Taz.

      Delete
    2. You forgot the smock and the straw between the teeth Conan,
      Dammit it that bleedin tinnitus is back

      Delete
    3. conan


      Cider is good wery good


      westheadbanger

      A lot of people think you are a failed actor
      A more plausible theory is a rent boy
      My own belief is you are. Flasher
      However, if you were a librarian you would have heard of Lord Groan

      he he he

      Delete
    4. hmmmm Niko.

      I don't think Westheadbanger is here... This is far from the Daily Telegraph...erm, about as far as you can get!

      Delete
  10. I'm not surprised your reaction to my response to your post was anger. Pretending that you are just a passing wayfairer trying to ascertain the facts when, in fact, you have a very rigid political position that you are unwilling to be swayed on is not right. Is it?

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    1. I don't know that it's not. If you are upfront and say: I am a yes supporter come to your better together meeting, you would almost certainly not be allowed in.

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    2. Braveheart

      I've written a wee response to your comment about me on the video in the previous article. I have to say you are mistaken about me because I really didn't pretend anything. I was the first member of the public in the hall that night and I was spotted straight away by a councillor from South Ayrshire who had been standing behind me at the East Ayrshire B.T Launch. She was a B.T person and she knew exactly where I was coming from. We chatted away about the difference between YES and NO and a range of other things, including the question I had put to Alistair Darling at the Kilmarnock event. She ended up agreeing with me that he kind of sort of must have spun his answer to me because... there really is no difference between the U.S Federal Reserve pouring 'liquidity' into British banks while at the same time buying up their toxic assets and bailing them out. She agreed he must have been calling the same things by different names and claiming they are different things. (Just for the record, A.D categorically denied that the Federal Reserve bailed out ANY British banks.)

      I didn't for one second pose as a passing wayfairer. I just wasn't at all hostile or combative or oppositional in my approach. I was friendly towards the people I met and respectful of the panel. I'm actually hoping that everyone will end up being honest and fair and looking into things a bit more deeply. Giving people the room to do so is, in my experience, the way to get the best out of people. I'm hoping that the people I speak to at such events are currently aligned with NO only because they are doubtful and perhaps even fearful about Independence; if their doubts and fears are dispelled, they might end up voting YES next year! So, in my mind, the people in that hall are not my enemies, they are my fellow Scots and I want the best for them.

      Delete
    3. Aiden
      I was in the seat in front of you and you said that you had been to a number of these meetings were trying to make up your mind and had a question on the economy. When the panel responded you came back with aIl the pre-rehearsed Yes "facts" confusing percentages with real pounds and so on. If you are saying you didn't ask it, then somebody did. They were in your seat and sounded exactly like you.

      In fact we had a chat about it after the meeting. Then Jackson Carlaw butted in and tried to persuade you and I went home.

      I didn't say the people in the hall were your enemies.

      Delete
    4. Thanks Aiden for explaining your side of the story.

      I think teh majority of people are, when face to face with others, genuinely trying to see each others' points of view.

      The impression that BH gace that you have insinuated your way into their meeting (what's the point of a public meeting if you don't allow all sides in. In the old days politicians could take a bit of stick from people).

      I'm afraid that, I have to agree with BH, though. If Jackson Carlaw came and tried to persuade me of anything I'd run a mile. Car salesmen aren't my thing!. Well done to you for staying the course. It seems you are genuinely prepared to hear anyone's point of view and I salute that.

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    5. tris

      No trouble at all. I have to say, though, that this has got under my skin a bit today. His claim about me appears at the top of this article and does rather amout to a slur on my character. If you don't mind, I'd like to carry on a bit further with Braveheart and fit in the rest of the story.

      When I went home after the meeting that night I wrote the whole thing up in two comments on an off-topic thread on Wings over Scotland. I've scooped them up from there and would like to post them both here, if I may, since it seems a fitting place for them to come to rest.

      Delete
    6. Braveheart:
      First of all, I didn't say you said the people in the hall were my enemies. I was simply giving my rationale for treating everyone as a human being first and foremost and giving everyone at the very least an OPPORTUNITY to be intellectually honest.

      You, however, are telling me and everyone else what I said that night and are implying that I presented myself as something I was not. I will assume you are not deliberately lying and are simply making an innocent mistake based on how YOU first pigeon-holed me in your own mind when I stood up to speak.

      I did not, at any point in that whole evening, say to anyone that I was undecided or 'trying to make up my mind'. Quite the reverse. The phrase you heard from my lips was 'trying to understand' so maybe that is what confused you. Perhaps you think if people come down on one side of an argument that they no longer want to comprehend the other side.

      It may have confused you further that I was not (and still am not) coming at the Referendum debate from a YES vs NO position but rather from a "let's find out the truth" position since that will help us to sort out whether we should be saying YES or NO. Expose each position to the other fairly and fully in the light of the truth and see which fares better. Given that this is an uncommon approach, maybe that's why you pegged my intellectual and emotional openness as a self-presenting Don't Know.

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    7. Braveheart:
      What follows is the first part of my story from that night, which first posted on Wings. Let me add that I had never met any of the other pro-Independence people who were either inside or outside the hall that night.

      "Aidan says:
      @Ian Brotherhood
      The North Ayrshire launch of Better Together this evening turned out to be a fun place for YES people to gather!

      Well, okay, it was still infuriating to have to listen to the sheer amount of nonsense that was spouted as the speakers on the panel veered quite inexpertly between degrees of ignorance and outright lies. And we had to have that ‘proud Scots voting NO’ video again… except I used the time to make some notes about their meet-and-greet campaign.

      After I met you outside and you guys had unfurled your banner, I went in and found only the set-up crew and frontline people ahead of me, blocking my path. As was done last week at the East Ayrshire launch, they asked me just to ‘sign in’. There were four of them and they wouldn’t let me into the hall before I did so.

      I said, as I had last week, “No, I’m only here for the information – those are petitions.” They said: no, no, it’s not a petition; it’s just in case the building burns down, so we know who’s in here. I pointed out that, on the contrary, it was INDEED a Better Together petition. Along with the B.T. logo, it said ”I believe that Scotland is stronger within the United Kingdom” in large, bold letters at the top of every sheet. They appeared flustered by my refusal. It was now obvious to them that a YES-cat was stalking among their pigeons.

      They said I had to sign something, they had to have my name. How about if I put my name on the BACK of one of the petitions? What could be wrong with that? I said, no, I really don’t want to put my name on a B.T petition, front or back. Well, what about a blank piece of paper, then? Would I put my name down on that? Under duress and wanting to get into the hall, I agreed to this, as long as I could put a statement with it. So they tore a wee sheet out of a notebook and I wrote:

      - Aidan Paisley, who does not believe that Scotland is stronger within the United Kingdom, but who has agreed to sign-in “in case there is a fire”

      In retrospect, I could have asked whether they wouldn’t let me in unless I signed. ”Don’t tell him, Pike!” is a phrase that springs to mind. But really, I wasn’t going there under false pretenses, so I had no real objection to giving them my name in a form of my choosing. But it doesn’t change the fact they’re cheating… CHEATING! Right at the door. “It’s not a petition, it’s just a sign-in sheet.” And, since it happened exactly the same way in East Ayrshire under the auspices of an entirely different B.T bunch, it appears that it is systematic. Get everyone to sign their petition, whether they agree, disagree, or don’t know.



      So, Braveheart, if you know the people who were at the table in front of the entrance that evening, ask them if they remember someone answering to my description and this encounter. I'm sure they will. Also, ask yourself whether I would write what I did on that piece of paper, then go on to be identified by a B.T South Ayrshire councillor as a pro-Indy questioner from last time, and THEN try to present myself as something other than I was?

      And, while you're asking yourself all that, ask yourself what your own position is on the fact that B.T are getting people to sign a petition under entirely false pretenses. Who is deceiving who?

      Delete
    8. Braveheart:
      Have to do the second part of the story in more parts:

      "As to the rest of the event, it just wasn’t as slick as the A.D. show last week. In fact, they didn’t even appear to have the goods at all. Their five-minute speeches were more or less exactly as you might imagine them to have been. Currency, Queen, NATO, Nats pretending nothing will change with a YES-vote (strange one!), and nobody knows, we just don’t know what will happen, nobody knows.

      Admittedly, it couldn’t have been easy for the speakers on the panel; they probably thought they would be speaking to THEIR people and that they would get a fairly easy ride tonight. Instead, out of an audience of 40 (Alison and I agreed on this exact figure afterwards), at least a quarter turned out to be people of Independent mind. Comprehensively well-informed and rock-solid on the case for YES.

      I don’t often get to say this but, North Ayrshire, I’m proud of you. Such incisive questions which all just got fumbled, turned around in circles until the audience were dizzy from the absence of an answer, or, in one particular case, a zinger of a question that tied Scotland’s £4.4bn giveaway last year (or is that get-taken-away?) with massive HS2-style, no-return-for-Scotland spending sprees, was just dropped and ignored right there in front of everyone."

      Delete
    9. Braveheart:
      Next part.

      "No-one asked a question straight away, so I went first. I was quite open about where I was coming from, that I had attended a couple of YES and a couple of NO events and that I wanted to understand what was really going on. That I thought the case for YES was really clear but I couldn’t get to grips with the case for the Union that Better Together were trying to make. I said I had come down on the side of YES but I hoped they didn’t mind me coming along to ask them a question. They smiled. I then referred them to the B.T leaflet I got last week – the first piece of information is Public Spend Per Head and it shows two stacks of gold coins side by side. The first wee stack says U.K. £10,600, the second, larger stack says Scotland £11,800. I told them I recognised these where these figures came from and that there should be a THIRD stack of coins showing us all how much is raised in Scotland. The third stack – Scotland’s own money – would be higher by another £500 per head (we know it’s more, but keep it simple). I mentioned that these were U.K Treasury figures.

      Ugh. The chair, ex-Provost Pat McPhee, asked me if my question for the panel was ‘how much money does Scotland raise?’ I said no, that figure is known, the question is ‘why are B.T not showing the truth about Scotland’s true economic position relative to the U.K?’ (I wonder)."

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    10. Braveheart:
      Last part.

      "Margaret McDougall, Labour MSP, began searching through her papers for the actual figures. Gordon Bain. Lib Dem B.T. activist looked taken aback and a bit embarrassed (as well he might). He first tried to say he didn’t think anyone really knew how much was raised in Scotland… oh, right, they do know. Then he said he didn’t think it should be about how much money was raised by who.

      Jackson Carlaw, Conservative, made a show about the big benefits from the U.K and all its international agreements, all the investments that flow to Scotland from this. Die-hard B.T. people around me were murmuring their approval at this. He plucked a big figure, seemingly from the air, to say how many billions better off we were as part of the Union (and later failed to direct me to the evidence for this figure when I asked for this in my follow-up). Carlaw then turned his answer into a diatribe against Alex Salmond and the Indy Scotland EU membership issue. Finally, my favourite bit; Margaret McDougall found the figures: ”Ah, here they are: Scotland raised 9.9% of the total tax for the U.K, with an 8.4% population share…” She trailed off, so I finished for her: “… and we get 9.3% back.” She agreed that that was the figure.

      After that, she seemed to be somewhat bitter in her answers and a little incoherent. Not a happy person. And my face must have bothered Jackson Carlaw for the rest of the evening (I couldn’t see it but I imagine my eyes were twinkling in amusement, widening in ever-so-slight amazement at the lies he knew that I knew were lies, a hint of a smile on my lips) because he just kept coming back to me repeatedly as he answered other questions: “this gentleman may sit here with that expression on his face and imagine that he has the answers to blah blah blah.” Of course, he didn’t let me give any of those answers he was worried I might have.

      I strongly recommend this approach. Be honest and up-front about your position; why shouldn’t a YES person come and ask them questions at such an event? I think we should be tolerant of them and even friendly towards them. And then, in a gentle, non-confrontational way, let them have it. I think trying to shout them down would be counter-productive, tempting though it is to make noises about their rubbish. They have the power in that situation, it’s their event; the more respectful we are of their position, the more devastating our simple little question becomes and the wider the ripples are going to spread. The undecideds are listening. I can’t tell you how beautiful it was to sit back and drink in their words with wide, fully-engaged eyes, letting them know that I knew that they knew that they were lying.

      It’s very clear to me now that they have got nothing. It should be fairly easy for the well-informed among us to go and sit in on these events and, in the nicest possible way, call them on it, thereby making that emptiness visible to all."

      Delete
    11. Braveheart
      And as for confusing percentages with pounds, Scotland pays 10% of the total cost to the UK (borrowing included) of giving us 9.3% of what it (the UK) spends.

      I remember you coming up to speak to me afterwards. Good to be able to put a pseudonym to a face. You did seem a perfectly reasonable man at the time. I hope you will understand why your words and their implication about me have had me riled today.

      Delete
    12. Aiden, I'm struggling to see the difference between "I'm trying to find information" and "I'm trying to understand" in the context of the meeting. But if that's what you remember saying, and if you say it's different from what I remember you saying, then I accept that.

      Delete
    13. Braveheart, the reason you're struggling to see a difference there is that there's little, if any, between those two things.

      On the other hand, there's a world of a difference between "CLAIMING to be uncommitted and just looking for information" or "PRETENDING that you are JUST a passing wayfarer" as you have said I did at that event, and me saying openly to all that I had come down on the side of YES but was trying to understand the case for the Union that B.T claim to be making.

      Are you claiming not to see this difference?

      Interesting.

      (See what I did there?)

      Delete
  11. "OVER TO YOU BT...WHY ARE WE BETTER TOGETHER? " actually, it's up to those who want to break us up to tell us why we are better "Not Together".

    An analogy. The ship is sailing through the ocean when the senior deckhand approaches the Skipper and says "We need to change ship" The Skipper, very naturally, says "Why?"

    Over to you, Yes Campaign.

    PS. Not really expecting a reply. Asked this Q a thousand times without getting a comprehensive answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The answer to that is long, and contains many different points. All have them have been rehearsed time and again on this blog, and on others like Wings, Scot Goes Pop, Fazzledown, Grumpy Scottish Man, Derek Bateman and many many others. They are economic, social, cultural, political and emotional answers. I have given them many times.

      You want them again I will try tomorrow morning (because it is after midnight) to encapsulate them in a brief answer.

      I note though that you haven’t given me much of an answer as to why we are better together. Your analogy is interesting; you indicate that the status quo is fine. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Why change ship when it’s sailing along ok?

      I’m not sure that people facing ordinary life under the right wing governance of Westminster, of Iain Duncan Smith, Osborne, May, and Clegg, Willie Hague and co, would agree. From where I’m standing it isn’t just broke, it completely and utterly ruined. Everything that the working classes fought for over the first 80 years of the last century has is being systematically stripped away.

      Let’s add that to you analogy. The ship is sinking; all the safety devices have been disabled by the captain save for one very plush lifeboat with a chiller and many bottles of champagne, and jars of caviar.

      The future is clear. The ship is taking on water because the drunken hooray henrys in the officers' corridor have neglected the repairs while buying artwork for their staterooms instead. They sold off the maintenance to one of their spiv mates and he’s been saving money on it, because his wife needs a new mink, his mistress and Ferrari, and the daughter wants a pony and two terms in Switzerland.

      We need to change ship, says the crew. Why, says the captain, knowing that whatever happens he will be safe and comfortable, and although he also knows that the lower orders will drown, he doesn't much care. He thinks them dirty and smelly and he has a couple of excellent up market servants to make sure his champagne is served chilled.

      Of course he can’t see any good reason to disturb himself. He would have to put his cigar out and he might spill the Veuve Cliquot. But the crew, or the ones who are bright enough, can see what their future is.

      I will give you your answer tomorrow. Perhaps you would like to tell me what it is that is so wonderful about the UK. Isn't it the 4th most unequal country in the developed world?

      Delete
    2. Another, better anology.
      The ship is sinking.
      The Bosun says" We need to change ship Cap'n"
      The Captain says" To bloody right. Let's go"

      Delete
    3. "An analogy. The ship is sailing through the ocean when the senior deckhand approaches the Skipper and says "We need to change ship" The Skipper, very naturally, says "Why?"


      The answer is simple,
      If this ship goes down (when not if) we'll sink like a stone with your bloody anchor on our back

      Delete
    4. Even if it's not sinking the ship and its status quo are just fine for the passengers in the first class saloon and the officers lording it about in gold buttons on the poop deck. But for the poor sods chained to the oars down below I'm sure the opportunity to jump ship would be more than welcome. How many slave ships do you think that the people locked up below were happy with the status quo and their lot in life.

      Rather than some pithy and somewhat ridiculous analogy that fails to answer the question put perhaps we can have an actual err reason why we are better together!

      Delete
    5. Tris, There are so many errors and inconsistencies in your reply that it would take a book to deal with them.

      Let’s just address a few;

      “Your analogy is interesting; you indicate that the status quo is fine. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Why change ship when it’s sailing along ok?”

      My approach is not “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” it’s more, “it’s not perfect, let’s improve it”. If the ship has problems, (and every ship has problems) let’s solve them. So. What IS the problem that “independence” is supposed to solve? I don’t see any clear definition of the problem that will go away if we “leave the ship”.

      In your definition the problem is the “ the right wing governance of Westminster, of Iain Duncan Smith, Osborne, May, and Clegg, Willie Hague and co...”, but I have to question that. Your party was campaigning for “independence” when Clem Attlee was building the Welfare State. So Westminster can be right/left/whatever, the Nats want “independence”. They may have the occasional excuse of a Maggie Thatcher or a David Cameron, but that’s what it is: an excuse.

      “From where I’m standing it isn’t just broke, it completely and utterly ruined.”

      That’s a bit extreme. We have a 300 year partnership which unites the peoples of a small island. We live peacefully with our neighbours under fairly benign rules. We haven’t been at war with the English or the Welsh for 270 years, a good thing IMO. If Scotland was 50 years under the Soviet-like yoke, like some small Eastern European countries, you might have a case. But it isn’t.

      “Everything that the working classes fought for over the first 80 years of the last century has is being systematically stripped away.”

      Tories threaten progress as we see it - what’s new about that? The answer is to stand and fight, not run away. In any case, will there be no Tories in an “independent” Scotland? What are you going to do: lock them up? In a Democracy you sometimes lose the vote and the other guy gets in..... I presume you are not advocating a one-party-state?

      “Let’s add that to you analogy. The ship is sinking; all the safety devices have been disabled by the captain save for one very plush lifeboat with a chiller and many bottles of champagne, and jars of caviar.

      The future is clear. The ship is taking on water because the drunken hooray henrys in the officers' corridor have neglected the repairs while buying artwork for their staterooms instead. They sold off the maintenance to one of their spiv mates and he’s been saving money on it, because his wife needs a new mink, his mistress and Ferrari, and the daughter wants a pony and two terms in Switzerland.”

      Nice image, but exaggeration I’m afraid. I don’t like the current poshocracy any more than you do, but they are the legitimate government of the country. And they won’t go away in an “independent” Scotland.

      “We need to change ship, says the crew”

      In a Democracy it’s “We need to change officers, says the crew”. And if they don’t we don’t. Harsh but true.

      “We need to change ship, says the crew”

      That’s also the $64,000 question. For the moment.

      Delete
    6. There are, as I said, BH, many reasons for wanting independence. Economic, social, emotional even, political. I suppose the first is that it is the natural state for a country. Is that emotional? Working in co-operation, and sharing with other countries of like mind, but ultimately independent. Scandinavia is a good example. Each works closely together with the other, there is a common travel area, most of the languages are close enough to be more or less understood by each other (except Finnish), but each with their own sovereign parliament and president or king or queen, their own tax regimes, their own social model.

      So for each person there is a different reason, or reasons, and for some, one is more important than another. I can’t speak for everyone. Some think perhaps of the bonnie hills and glens and warm wonderful people.

      Every country has lovely parts and its dumps, and they all have lovely people and complete bastards. So that doesn’t work for me. But it's only fair to admit that it affects the independence side as much as it does the Britnats with their Rule Britannia.

      Yes there were a few people (although not many) campaigning for an independent Scotland when the Atlee governments were in power. But you will remember that Atlee was not allowed to last. He had run the country during the war, brought in amazing reforms while keeping the place together. He then ran the country as prime minister from 45, and when the next election gave him only a small majority, he was persuaded by the King (and friend of Winston) to stand down so that another election could bring forth the PM the King wanted. …and that would be Winston, the man who said he didn’t care how many heathens were killed as long as the will of his majesty’s government was enforced (Iraq/Mesopotamia) so a big step back, brought about by the king. Even I would be prepared to live in a UK with a prime minister like Atlee. What I find hard to take is that that will never happen again.

      I don’t think it’s extreme to say that the system is in ruins, and of course I don’t advocate a one party state. In fact I’d like some proper democracy.

      I am very much aware that we would have been much worse off under the Soviets, although, I do remember that many in Labour were very close to them (but, then so would I have been and it’s easy to criticise with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. I always think that it is sad that we only thank the Americans for helping us win the war. Of course their money was invaluable and their troop numbers too, but without the Soviet Union and the Eastern front that killed so many Germans (and Soviets), would we have won?

      More...

      Delete
    7. You say ‘Tories threaten progress, what’s new’? Well nothing I suspect as far as the Tories are concerned. But that is the kind of government that the English want. And democracy says that they should get it. I have no issues with that, and nor should any of us. They vote Tory, they get a Tory government.

      Of course the whole system is a joke of democracy. An hereditary monarch who must be a Christian, from the Church of England (and who has real power), a chamber of unelected people from the aristocracy, political supporters (financial and otherwise) actors who have played Othello, any old politician (no longer the ex PM and FCS…it’s junior ministers at the Welsh Office and ministers for the environment that go upstairs now) and churchmen representing only one church, there by law?!.

      Yes, Labour tired to change it, and yes, the Liberals, on this one off venture into power tried to change it. But you don’t get rid of tradition in Britain that easily. Prince Charles is against it. The Tories are against it.

      Added to all this we have a FPTP system which elects MPs in multi party constituencies with well under 50% of the vote. 75% of these seats never ever change hands. If you live in certain places there is no point in voting anything but Labour, in others Tory. That’s not democracy and is possibly one of the reasons that people are off politics (although it doesn't help that politicians stuff their pockets with our money and demande 11% pay rises while the rest of us go to the dogs).

      You say, stay and fight it. And as a Labour man I respect that. That is what Labour did. The Whigs and Tories had it divvied up between them, and your people came in and changed all that.

      Until Thatcher. Up till then you made the kind of progress that changed our lives. Helped by wars which saw people’s servile attitudes change, the Labour party actually did things that made working people’s lives bearable. Hard to imagine where we would be were it not for them. Still doffing our caps and being referred to by our second names, while we replied “sir”. Health care, education for all, services run (not always excellently, I’d admit) for service and not for profit… we have your party to thank for. Fighting worked then.

      But after Thatcher (and I’d have to say some excesses in the 70s by the trade unions) that kind of Labour disappeared. The jobs went; investment went to London, and not London town, but London City.
      ...
      More

      Delete
    8. Since Thatcher everything that the likes of Atlee achieved has been frittered away to keep the rich happy.

      Mandelson said that to govern Britain you had to win in the South East of England. I suppose it was an obvious fact. Half the population of the country lives there, and although there IS poverty of the most grinding nature, overwhelmingly people are better off.

      You say you don’t like the London government any more than I do. You and most other Scots, seeing that we didn’t vote for them. Even if you allow that we did elect 11 Liberals, they have become Tories. We have a Tory government with ONE Tory MP. 47 of our 59 MPs are in opposition. That’s certainly not democracy.

      (I call it a Tory government because to all intents it is. The Liberals have managed to stop parliamentary reform, and did persuade Osborne to put the tax allowance up, which he agreed to because it helped the rich as well as the poor. But, they have voted for the most horrific social changes; the Bedroom tax over and over, originally when it was proposed, then when Plaid and the SNP acted against it and then when Labour did. That wouldn’t be so terrible if there were places into which people with houses too big could move. Houses too big? …rich coming from Cameron who has a council house in Downing Street and a whole council estate to himself with more bedrooms than he could ever visit and Osborne who rents out his own house in London while living in ours, for a cool £2,500 a week!)

      You suggest that we should change the government, but what would we change to. The truth is that as Mandelson said to win power in the Uk you have to win power in the SE of England, and it’s a different world from Clydebank and Paisley or Stowaway and Inverness.

      Labour has changed. Blair was no Atlee. He changed what Labour was about, he consorted with Bush the Neo-con, he went to war on a lie, he started the privatisation of the health service and fees for students, he didn’t reverse anything of the Thatcher years, he sold council houses, he left the railways in the complete mess they are in (bigger subsidy than when owned by the state, and the most expensive, not to say slowest in Western Europe). He allowed the City complete free reign and we all know where that led.

      Labour has now promised to reverse the bedroom tax, but will it? Will it reverse the bedroom tax on people in privately rented accommodation, given that there is a shortage of state owned accommodation? Will Labour stop the travesty of Atos telling people that they are fit for work the day before they die? Will they reinstate inflation rises for benefits? Will they tax the people who earn millions a year and still pay less tax than their servants

      Delete
    9. Even if they promise faithfully to do all these things and much more, what can Scottish tax payers do to ensure that we have a Labour government? Vote Labour? That’s what they do. Stay and fight? How? You’re obviously not proposing revolution, so how would you convince the southern Englanders to vote for Labour? The last time, it was by adopting Tory policies, Tory light perhaps, but Tory none the less. In 1997 the 25% of seats that do sometimes change, went red (after 18 years of Tory rule.) But you can see how it has reverted in this illustration for 2010.

      I want independence because I’m sick of living in a potentially rich country that spends all its money on running the world and buying weapons to kill people, while its own people live in squalor.

      I want a government closer to us. As Johann Lamont said, it’s harder to lie when they can look you in the face. I’ve met several first ministers, deputy first ministers, cabinet secretaries and ministers from Edinburgh and I’m not involved in politics in any way. But through m y work with unemployed people I met McConnell, McLeish, Salmond, Swinney, Curren (when she was here), Robison, Yousef, Sturgeon, Goldie, and Cunningham. I’ve never even met a junior minister from England, never mind a cabinet secretary or a prime minister. And I am talking about discussing with them, not meeting in a line-up.

      I want a government elected by a reasonable democratic system, FPTP unalloyed doesn’t begin to meet that requirement. I don’t want a house of aristocrats. I couldn’t believe it the other day when I read about some belted Earl telling the unemployed about looking for work! Why? What the hell does he know about looking for work? And who gave him permission to lecture people he wouldn’t look at in the street? I don’t want a house of Churchmen, bishops may have their place, but it is not in parliament. Saudi Arabia may like that, I don’t.

      Scottish government of all colours have been far from perfect but they have been more socially aware than the English/UK equivalent, which is why we have care for our elderly, education, dental care, and prescriptions. Imagine if that political philosophy were to reach our foreign policy and our war office, our taxation and our social security systems, which Westminster seem intent on calling welfare.

      I know oil won’t last forever, but it has transformed Norway in 40 years. So I wish people would stop being ashamed of its existence. The price can go up or down, I accept, but it’s on a generally upward trajection over the years. So far it was wasted on Thatcher’s mass unemployment, and then Blair’s wars and keeping up appearances to buy our seat on the UN Security Council.

      I’d like our taxes to be spent in Scotland. I’d like our businesses to have head offices here and pay their taxes here. I’d like the spend on military (which there has to be, I accept) to be in Scotland, not our taxes being used to pay for installations in England, and servicemen’s wages spent in England.

      Actual policies are for parties to put forward. I might well vote Labour in an independent Scotland. I’m not a member of the SNP, and I have little idea what the party would do in the aftermath of independence. And as Labour will not commit to even accepting that they may lose the referendum, none of us knows how they would govern. But, if we are honest, we would have to admit that both these parties, without the SE of England and the City to accommodate, would be more socially inclusive than the present UK government.

      This has already rambled for far too long, but if there are specifics that I haven’t answered, [please feel free to ask me to elaborate. I don’t pretend I have all the answers and I don’t imagine independence will pave the street with gold, but what is going on now (and what may happen after a NO vote) is too frightening to be contemplated.

      But you still haven't said what it is that is so wonderful about the union... Is there anything except might and the ability to wipe out a suburb of Moscow, if America gives them permission.

      Ends.

      Delete
    10. I'm loving the analogies guys! :)

      Delete
    11. Tris. First things first, you haven't answered my most important point: What IS the problem that “independence” is supposed to solve? I don’t see any clear definition of the problem that will go away if we “leave the ship”.

      Your point about Attlee is interesting. Did you know that in 1951 more Scots voted Tory and more English voted Labour, there was Tory Government. So the Scots stopped the English getting the Labour Government they voted for.

      In fact the whole stuff about the English frustrating Scots at elections is arguable. In fact since 1992 Scotland has twice voted with England to produce Labour governments, once voted for a Labour government that English voters did not want; and once stopped the Tories getting an overall majority. There's a lot more of interest here: http://www.labourhame.com/archives/3905

      Delete
    12. BH you just can't help yourself in telling lies can you.

      1997 418 seats

      2001 412 seats

      2005 355 seats giving a 66 seat majority.

      Scotlands Labour have only influenced the Westminster about twice in the whole of the last century if my memory serves me write. No and I am not wasting time to look for them.

      Delete
    13. Why Labour doesn't need Scotland

      But either way, the truth is that Labour doesn’t need Scottish MPs, and an independent Scotland would NOT give the Tories a permanent majority in the remnant UK. Those are the facts, and voters should be deeply mistrustful of anyone who tells them anything else.

      Which is why the voters are ditching Labour in Scotland because they see how you have misled them through a complicit MSM for decades.

      Delete
    14. Yes. I've tried to answer what you have asked. Independence will allow us to deal with Scotland's issues first and foremost.

      Opinion polls continue to show that the government is popular, and people genuinely believe that Salmond and his government put Scotland first.

      If we could get our hands on the powers to make changes, scotland could instead of being governed (quite rightly in a large state) for the bulk of the population ie the 12 million people who live in London and the ten million people who live close to London, but for the 5 million who live 600 miles away in what is after all a small northern province.

      I wouldn't expect Washington., DC to have Alaska or Hawaii at the centre of its concerns. I don't expect London to have Scotland there. And I have not been disabused of my expectations.

      Delete
    15. CH. You shouldn't call people liars. Here's a post from Peter Russell giving the facts on who voted and when since 1945.

      It shows that claims of Scots not getting the government they voted for are disingenuous, to say the least.

      pls read and digest.

      "Scots Myth 1: Scotland Always Gets The Government England Votes For.

      The truth is that since 1945 there have been 18 General Elections. The outcomes were as follows

      The truth is that since 1945 there have been 18 General Elections. The outcomes were as follows.[1]

      Unfortunately the Table doesn't format. See here for full table..

      http://www.labourhame.com/archives/3905

      The data shows:
      8 elections when the electorates of Scotland and England voted the same (1945, 1950, 1955, 1959, 1966, Oct 1974, 1997, 2001) and got the governments each wished (6 Labour and 2 Tory)

      5 elections when the Scottish electorate prevented the outcome that England had voted for:
      1 election when more people in England voted Labour but got a Tory government Scotland voted for (1951);
      3 elections when more people voted Tory in England but got the Labour government Scotland voted for ( 1964, Feb 1974, 2005); and

      1 election when Scotland prevented Tories from getting the overall majority which was voted for by the English electorate (in 2010).

      In the 5 remaining elections, English voters prevented the outcome that Scotland voted for: in 1970, 1979, 1983, 1987, and 1992. In all of these, Scotland voted Labour but gt the Tory government for which England had voted.

      In the 7 elections from 1945 to 1966, the Scottish voters always had the government which they voted for, including 2 (1951 and 1964) when these were not those for which the English electorate had voted.

      Other then 1970, all of the instances of Scotland voting Labour and getting the Tories were in the Thatcher and Major years.

      Since 1992, Scotland has twice voted with England to produce Labour governments, once voted for a Labour government that English voters did not want; and once stopped the Tories getting an overall majority.

      The current indications are that Labour could either win a small majority or will be the largest single party in the 2015 UK General Election, which means that Scots will again cast crucial votes to determine which party forms a government, either alone or in coalition.

      Whatever the case, it is clear that there is no truth in the assertion that Scottish votes have no influence on who forms the government at Westminster.


      Delete
    16. CH. You shouldn't call people liars. Why?

      Did you know that in 1951 more Scots voted Tory and more English voted Labour, there was Tory Government. So the Scots stopped the English getting the Labour Government they voted for.


      1951 Conservative govt (Churchill/Eden)

      Conservative majority: 17
      Without Scottish MPs: 16
      NO CHANGE

      Delete
  12. The boat is the Titanic. It has just left England on it's maiden voyage. Braveheart is in the orchestra. His sheet music is in front of him. He continues to play 'Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves' ad nauseum, until there is an enormous crash, bang wallop! (Some of the passengers view this as a blessed relief, but who cares about them?)

    "Oops!", says Braveheart as the ship sinks.

    Fortunately he gets on a lifeboat, but his soggy sheet music sinks to the bottom of the ocean, never to be seen or heard again.

    Isn't that nice?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Tris

    The better together lady is Cllr.Gergia Cruickshank, Labour Cllr for Pitkerro Road area and to be fair to her, while I would never agree with her politics, she is a decent person. She was my boss years ago when I was on placement from Uni and her heart is in the right place. She would be better in the SNP but believes passionately in Britaaaan.


    I have no real issue with the individual on the street who believes in Britaan but I wish they would provide a proper argument about why it is better. I hate that they are mouth pieces for the wealthy, we will keep the Royal Family ( supports the wealthy ), we will have protection if our banks fail (supports the wealthy) . you can't manage your own resources (supports the wealthy), you won't have a seat on the security council (supports the establishment and the wealthy), you won't have a seat at the top table in europe (supports the establishment and the wealthy), you won't be able to fight terrorism (supports the establishment), we must have a nuclear deterent (supports the establishment) , your family live in England they will be foriengners ( supports the establishment lies), there will be border guards ( to protect the establishment down south from jock terrorists), you won't have the pound (supports the welathy via the balance of payments), you won't have an NHS ( getting sold off down south), you won't have pensions (lie and they are worthless now with inflation and Gordon Browns raids on them). I could go on but the simple fact is none of their arguments are for the benefit of a couple with kids walking along the Overgate, or going into the job centre at the Wellgate. So if the people who believe in Britaan really believe in Britaan they better start coming up with some answers to the un-andswered questions becuase they are losing the argument and are going to wake up the day after the referendum . What will they do when the wealthy, the windsors, the bankers, IDS and Cameron, Miliband and Lament, Clegg and Rennie are not there to tell them what to do, shit they might not even get out of bed.

    Bruce

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    Replies
    1. I don't know the woman Bruce, but I wasn't having a go at her. I spoke to her, without giving myself away as a supporter, because I wanted to know what drove her to support the union. I didn't get any sensible ideas form her. Just the same crap that Cameron and Darling spout.

      You encapsulate it well. Everything about the UK is about the rich and the powerful. No one gives much of a toss about the poor. The minimum wage which is the standard in places like Dundee, is too little to live on, and yet people who have to apply for benefits are made to feel like scrounging scum.

      It is shaming, and I'm ashamed to be British when I'm with continental friends.

      Delete
  14. yep all the Nats want a ship the rest of us normal decent people
    would rather build a bridge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh...very clever Niko. But it was Braveheart who mentioned the ship, not I.

      Delete
    2. But he's right about the bridge....

      Delete
    3. I'm seeing absolutely no sign of it. We are too wee too poor and too stupid to manage without England. We would be broke, so the Tory think tanks say, so it must of course be right.

      Not that they'd ever lie to us to take our wealth and put it in their Swiss or BVI bank accounts and then cast us off when the wealth runs out, leaving us the only country in the world to have found oil and got poorer.

      Of course not. Tories are gentlemen and scholars with the best qualifications money can buy.

      Delete
  15. Niko

    The bridge you talk about was a draw bridge that was lowered in 1707, they took what they wanted and they raised it. It only ever gets lowered when they want something from us then they draw it up again. Of course when it gets lowered they allow a few of us nasty jocks down south to pretend that we are part of a union while they laugh behind our backs about how stupid we are. If unionists in Scotland can't see that they are like the unwanted person at the party, yeah everyone says hiya, while laughing behind your back and wishing you hadn't turned up and do their best to forget you're there. If that is what you want then I recommend when it gets lowered for the last time next september you remember to cross it as you are just not going to be happy here, wish you all the best, def want to stay pals, will help you out when it is in our mutual interest or when your economy collapses but don't let the bridge hit you on the arse on the way out.

    Bruce

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    Replies
    1. Oh well more threats from the snp supporters
      not so inclusive after a yes win.
      Bit of kneecapping before joining the disappeared eh?

      spose the snp will allow forty day and nights of
      pogroms upon the remaining Unionists/Labour/LibDem/
      conservative voters.


      A rich enemy excites their cupidity; a poor one, their lust for power. East and West alike have failed to satisfy them. They are the only people on earth to whose covetousness both riches and poverty are equally tempting. To robbery, butchery and rapine, they give the lying name of ' snp government'; they create a desolation and call it peace.....

      Meanwhile ............tris cheers his silly heid off at the prospect of vengeance
      on BT supporters

      Delete
    2. No Niko you'll be at the head of the depleted uranium collector uppers scattered over Scotland landscape by your friends in the MOD playing their invasion war games or can you dive as there a lot off the west coast.

      Delete
    3. Niko, I'm stunned by your comment here. Where are you getting this stuff from? I thought you were advocating bridge-building and normal decency earlier.

      Delete
    4. Niko.
      The quote you offer is from a truly great and very apposite speech. Everyone should read it.

      http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/imperialism/readings/agricola.html

      It's bizarre that you would describe our current government using a quotation from Tacitus/ Calgacus that would work better in application to the Pax Americana-Brittanica (aka USUK global foreign policy).

      You may be forgetting who got completely conquered by the Romans on these islands and who didn't. Given your grasp of these matters, wouldn't this be more your style: http://archive.is/MsqDR

      Delete
    5. Niko: Where is the cheers from Tris? Where is the desire for vengeance?

      Delete
    6. Hi Aiden... Nice to have a bit of culture:

      "Quotiens causas belli et necessitatem nostram respice loco mihi animus est hodiernum diem consensumque vestrum et , initium libertatis toti Britanniae fore . Servitus est omnibus nobis ignotum nullae ultra terrae ac ne mare quidem securum inminente nobis classe Romana . ita proelium atque arma , quae fortibus honesta , eadem etiam ignavis tutissima sunt. priores pugnae , quibus adversus Romanos varia fortuna certatum est , Romani , spem ac subsidium in nostris manibus habebant reliqui , quia nobilissimi totius Britanniae eoque in ipsis penetralibus regionibus atque a conspectu litoris victo esset, oculos quoque purum a contagio servitute. nobis qui habitant in extremis finibus terrae libertatis, hoc procul templum Britanniam gloria hactenus fuerunt ad defensionem . Sed nunc terminus Britanniae patet , atque omne ignotum pro magnifico . sed nulla iam ultra gens, nihil nisi fluctus et saxa, et infestiores Romani , quorum superbiam frustra per obsequium ac fuga vicit. Raptores orbis, postquam cuncta vastantibus defuere terrae, mare scrutantur . si locuples hostis est , avari, si pauper , ambitiosi, quos dominatur, quos non Oriens , non Occidens potuit eos satient . soli omnium opes atque inopiam pari adfectu concupiscunt . Auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi solitudinem faciunt , pacem appellant

      Delete
    7. Amo Amas Amat Amamus Amatis Amunt. Ubi est my diploma?

      Delete
    8. Tris: "These Romans are crazy!"

      Seriously, I'm really impressed with your site and the sheer amount of time and effort you put in, as well as your generosity of spirit. Where do you find the stamina for dealing with such misrepresentation and hatred on a daily basis?

      Maybe it's good that you let such outpourings stand instead of deleting them and barring the commenters. I suppose what they say and how they say it can be instructive in it's own way. It is a powerful counter-point to the fact that you are still visibly waiting for that elusive, positive case...

      Delete
    9. LOL @ Aiden!

      tu quaesisti diploma magna cum laude.

      I don't mind insults.

      I don't mind a bit of hatred (i've been hated in better places than this, let me tell you).

      I just hope that people like coming here, because normally it is all pretty good natured.

      Our resident unionists, Niko and Dean, are fine guys, and I'm working hard on persuading them of the wisdom of independence. As they are both Labour people, they are bound to see eventually that Cameron wants a return to Victorian Britain, where we tip our cap to his sort, and work for nothing.

      Maybe they will see that over the next 10 months...maybe not...but it won't be for the want of me trying!!

      Occasionally you get nob heads who think that putting up links to websites about Eck being a wanker, or whatever, is funny.

      I agree with them. They are funny. Hilarious!¬

      And people who want rid of us... lovely. They probably read the Daily Mail, and I can think of no worse insult than that.

      I get to "meet" a lot of nice people. And after 4 years of this, to be honest, some of them are like great mates.

      Although we never meet.

      Thanks for your kind words and I hope you'll stick around.

      Delete
  16. The reason Better Together need to explain to us why we are better together is that 40% (approx.) of the Scottish people don't think we are better together while a further 20% (approx.) are not sure we are better together. All you have to do is add those two up and you have all the reason you need.

    If the status quo were so bloody wonderful then why after a whole year of BT campaigning, and remember they fired the starting gun on this jolly not yes, have they not managed to persuade the 20% that we are indeed "better together"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is going the other way, because all they talk about is clout, which some people may think is a good thing to have, but not at the cost of their family members' lives, or the ability to feed and heat themselves.

      Delete
  17. Typing from work, Shh!
    Two ships were lashed together after one of them suffered in a storm; the larger one taking the smaller one in tow and both had a fine time pillaging the High Seas for 300 years, the larger one giving some of the plunder to the smaller.

    The years pass, cannon are replaced by nuclear weapons. The captain of the larger ship puts them all in the smaller takes everthing else of value out of it, and lengthens the tow rope to give it some leeway.

    The crew of the smaller ship look through the telescope enviously at the larger one splicing the mainbrace every day, using their rum to fuel the party whilst gnawing on weevil infested hardtack generously 'given' to them.

    Then they start sailing in the direction of the Middle East to plunder there for a while under the direction of a Yankee clipper.

    They mutiny and cut the tow rope...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shhhhh indeed.... but I'm glad you did.

      Very funny! :)

      Delete
  18. Seems to me, if we were to provide I digest of this thread and by extension, the indy debate - we have assertion about the future from both sides but, the indy's side are all fantasy while those coming from bt/westminster are fact.

    Meanwhile, the detail/answers to questions - the indy side answer time & time again while bt put there fingers in their ears and ask time & time again 'where are the answers'.

    Bt/unionists, if they're going to stick their heads above the parapets can't tell us its our place to say why we'd be better out of the union, that box is now well and truly open, they need to state their case as much as we do. The relentless negativity isn't cutting it and shows they're not interested in selling the union as a positive thing - telling stuff I think.

    300 years and improving? I think not, the union is 300 years old and now out of date, not fit for purpose and completely unwilling to accept it and reinvent itself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BT with only "clout" to brag about, seem to have made up most of the tuff, but with the English owned (and American owned) press on their side, they don't have to answer questions.

      Yesterday's Tory think tank being feted by that Carmichael bloke was just pathetic, especially when its whole premise was so fatally flawed.

      You're right. Because thatcher divided the country into North and London, we now live in two different worlds. They have no idea how we live, and we can only imagine their wealth.

      The 4th most socially divisive country in the developed world.

      Great.

      Delete
  19. Are we going to actually get an answer from Braveheart as to why we are “better together”? Getting sidelined by an analogy that BH set himself and then challenging Tris to explain himself within that analogy is a classic example of the politics of obfuscation. An awful lot to read but terribly little actually said and of that terribly little even less that is going to convince the floating 20% that we are better in this sainted Union that is the most successful anywhere in the Univers since God was a lad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The answer so far is that if it isn't broke don't fix it.

      That Labour will reverse the horrific divisions caused by this government of inhumane semi detatched toffs.

      Delete
  20. the sooner we in England can rid ourselves of you moaning grieving parasites the better it will be

    ReplyDelete
  21. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alex-Salmond-is-a-deluded-wanker-/133345880093748?hc_location=timeline

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your input. Anonymous. Have you another name or was that what your mother and father came up with?

      Delete
    2. This is bridge building?

      Delete
  22. Don't worry Anonymous, time will fly. it won't be long now. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the months are flying by.

      Soon Mr Anon will have his way. Imagine what they can do with all that money they wont have to use keeping us in drink...

      Delete
  23. Hi Tris, It is I, Conan. You can stop shushing now, I'm home from work...

    :¬)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Conan. Nice of you to drop in...

      So It was you was it.

      tut tut...

      I can only say I'm shocked. to the core...

      I'd never do that!

      Delete
  24. Vote snp and get Tory rule


    Scottish Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation secretary Gail Morrow said: "With the SNP just last week accosting the Labour party for 47 MPs missing the vote in the Commons, it is quite shameful that they voted with the Tories here in Scotland to kick out the Govan Law Centre petition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whilst, Niko, it is up to local authorities whether they evict, and SNP authorities will not, I don;t think that the Scottish government can pass a law saying that all councils must do this.

      It is Westminster law that the money not be paid. There is leeway becasue the law is enforced by Scottish councils, but at the end of the day, if Holyrood makes a law that contradicts Westminster law, then Westminster can overrule it and take the whole area back under its control.

      Westminster is a sovereign [parliament. It can do whatever it wants and no one can stop it. Edinburgh is, in Tony Blair's words, a parish council.

      Delete
  25. Tris: "There are, as I said, BH, many reasons for wanting independence. Economic... "

    There is no positive economic case for "independence". The IFS report only reiterated and expanded what countless GERS reports and independent economists have indicated over the years - a significant gap between income and expenditure in Scotland, likely to be made worse, not better, by "independence". The Cuthberts acknowledged this in 1992. They left the GERS Committee saying the gap was undeniable.

    And the Salmond/Swinney response of yesterday has done nothing to refute the IFS conclusionse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IFS is out of touch with the reality of an independent Scotland

      The IFS has used oil price projections from the UK Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) set up by Chancellor George Osborne and, although independently governed, like the IFS it is by no means neutral. It is staffed by London City trained and London centric top down, neo-classical, laissez-fare economists, many of them with similar heritage to the Treasury (HMT). The OBR and HMT have a reputation for forecasts that suit London’s short-term agenda, that over estimate UK growth to help the Westminster Government and, in particular, underestimate North Sea oil prices.

      We learnt recently from former UK Chancellor Denis Healey as to why they did that in the 1970s – to undercut moves towards Scottish independence. Indeed, they have been criticised for a lack of neutrality in the past by none other than Alistair Darling, Leader of the No Campaign, who said recently: “Right from the start the Tories used the OBR not just as part of the government but as part of the Conservative Party.”


      Check out the authors profile will show his creditability to write this rebuttal of that IFS report.

      Delete
    2. Not a lot to add to this. Liberals and Labour have been talking up these right wing think tanks like they were nevr wrong.

      To see that fool Carmichael say that IFS was respected made me howl with laughter.

      Jeez the' have been better to stick with Moore, dumpling though he was. At least he was a reasonably pleasant man and relatively articulate. unlike Carmichael.

      Delete
  26. So, the argument in support of the union consists of; Alex Salmond is a wanker, 'Scots' are parasites and the arrogant conceit that British Nationalists don't have to justify their points because they are correct by default.

    Good luck with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And we are too wee, too poor and clearly very very stupid as we can't make it work, and Norway can.

      It's nice to know what they think of us.

      I just wish they'd stop saying... Of course Scotland could make it on it's own... and then tell us that we couldn't.

      It's so patronising.

      Still, Nothing we dislike more than being patronised by pushy Tories and thier lapdogs.

      Delete
  27. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" - but it's more than just broke, it's fecked beyond economic repair. Independent Scotland first, then freedom for the Glorious People's Democratic Republic of Lochee!

    Eck fae Charleston

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Eck. How's Charleston.

      Yes. I'm still waiting for a list of things that are supposedly better when decided by London.

      I'm also interested to know how this utterly broke, totally debt ridden society, where every single household own £54,000, and the countries debt and borrowing goes up and up and up (becasue mrs Thatcher put all our eggs in one basket).

      I wait with interest to see when the lights go out, when pensions can't be paid, when people die of the cold... ok, that's happening already, when people die for want of benefit...ok that's happening already, and when the first earthquake happens or town is poisoned by frackers.

      Good old UK. Stiff upper lip, all you fellows, mustn't let old Brighty down, Big Society and all that... you just carry on, I'll be inside having a nice glass of port.

      Corner of a foreign filed what what...

      Delete
    2. Hey Tris, Charleston is still a shithole, but no matter what Maria Miller thinks, it's a cultured shithole. We get cultures growing here that you'll never see in any Petri dish.
      One of my neighbours was saying that he'll have to move because the arrears in his rent caused by the extra sixty quid a month he has to find to pay the bedroom tax were worrying him into ill health.
      He doesn't deserve this treatment. Nor does anyone else.
      None of the parties with a chance to form the next Westminster government are interested in repealing this scandalous law. They're afraid it would alienate voters in "that London", who might otherwise vote Ukip.
      Time for a government we vote for to look at our priorities.
      Keep fighting, mate-we're getting there.

      Eck

      Delete
    3. Yes, Eck...

      I gues we need to start to take the UKIP case seriously. Now that a Tory donor has given them piles of money, they will be able to mount a campaign in England (and here too if they want to waste their money).

      It#'s not that many of them will be elected; it's more that Labour and Tories alike as going to have to stick it to foreigners and the EU to keep UKIP where it belongs, in a shed at the bottom of the garden with the BNP and and the fascists.

      Prepare for a move to the right, especially after the Euro elections give them even more members.

      Delete
  28. Tris, this thread has fallen into the unionist trap.
    They have no positive case, so depend on folk replying to their comments to argue over.
    You should have started a thread asking for the positive case for the union, and said that only unionists were to post on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I do try Jutie

      I'm keeping on asking...

      WHAT IS The POSITIVE CASE FOR THE UNION?

      and no one is telling me.

      I'm damned if I can think of one, but... hey someone might...?

      Delete
  29. Councillor Gallagher

    Your question is disingenuous. It suggests that people think independence, in itself, solve our problems. However (and it has been so extensively discussed that you cannot possibly be ignorant of this fact) the arguments in favour of independence relate to the powers it offers us to change our lot. Our public policies, taxes, spending, social policy, foreign policy.

    You are technically correct that change to all these things could be made within the UK. The sad fact, however, is that there is no realistic prospect of this happening. Independence gives us that real chance.

    In summary, the question should not be "What problems will independence solve?", with its implication of unrealistic magic, but "Will independence give us the powers to address the problems?"

    Doug

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great point Doug.

      Independence simply gives us the possibility to make out government for us. Not for our neighbours.

      And importantly it will let us get these dangerous (and badly looked after) nuclear weapons away from our biggest city.

      Brilliantly put Doug. Thanks.

      Delete
  30. I see that in Oct 2010 Nick Clegg described the IFS report on the coalition spending review as "distorted and complete nonsense", but now Mr Carmichael thinks its "respected"....ah how things change so quickly for the Lib Dems.

    The IFS was set up in 1969 by four financiers one of whom was a Tory MP in response to Jim Callaghan (Chancellor) intention to shift the tax burden towards taxing capital and since then has been criticised as favouring the taxation of labour over capital ever since. Its hardly surprising considering the amount of capital ties up in the North Sea that they would rubbish Scottish independence, they like the BBC will always favour the status quo in the IFS's case a London centric approach that maximises rather than dilutes the influence of the City of London.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah Munguin. How quickly things change in the la la land of Libdumbs. Student fees of £3000 a disaster one minute and £9000 acceptable the next; electoral systems a disgrace one minute, and to be fought for the next.

      Why would it be a surprise that a nasty narrow minded Tory think tanks would be both distorted then respected within a short period of time.

      Exigency is the watchword as far as Liberals are concerned. Say what gets you a pat of the back from Dave the Climate Crap Changer, and a nice red box.

      Delete