Monday, 7 March 2016


The Vow
We have wondered a lot about this promise of Gordon Brown's and the Vow, proposing the next best thing to a federal system and the greatest devolution known to man.

Just by chance we were engaged in some study on Greenland this evening, and this is what we read.
Downtown Nuuk
As a consequence of political complications in relation to Denmark's entry into the European Common Market in 1972, a further desire to establish the legality of Greenland's status formed in Denmark, resulting in the Home Rule Act of 1979, which gave Greenland limited autonomy with its own legislature taking control of some internal policies, while the Parliament of Denmark maintained full control of external policies, security, and natural resources.

The law came into effect on 1 May 1979.

The Queen of DenmarkMargrethe II, remained Greenland's Head of state.

In 1985, Greenland left the European Economic Community (EEC) upon achieving self-rule, in view of the EEC's commercial fishing regulations and an EEC ban on seal skin products.[47] 

referendum on greater autonomy was approved on 25 November 2008.[48][49]
On 21 June 2009, Greenland gained self-rule with provisions for assuming responsibility for self-government of judicial affairs, policing, and natural resources. Also, Greenlanders were recognized as a separate people under international law.[50] 

Denmark maintains control of foreign affairs and defence matters. Denmark upholds the annual block grant of 3.2 billion Danish kroner, but as Greenland begins to collect revenues of its natural resources, the grant will gradually be diminished. It is considered by some to be a step toward eventual full independence from Denmark.[51] Greenlandic became the sole official language of Greenland at the historic ceremony.

So devo max, by anyone's standards?

It might be worth noting that Greenland is the largest island in the world. It has a total population of around 65,000 people. Its capital city, Nuuk, has about 16,500 people. Scotland's population is 5.3 million and its capital city, Edinburgh, has a population of around half a million.

Why is Scotland lumbered with a lesser deal? Too wee, too poor or too thick? 


  1. Every time the "most devolved administration in the world" lies are spouted, Greenland should be brought up and they should be asked to compare the "devolved" powers.

    Jean Urquhart did a nice job of slapping down Hands when he came up with it at the Scottish Parliament.

    1. I'm going on to read about the Faroes too, Gerry. They have a better deal than we do, along the same lines as Greenland.

      Somehow you can't imagine the Danish government controlling what Greenlanders watch on tv every day.

  2. I've commented similar to this on another blog (on some blogs I post as lanark). When we point out the powers that other nations or regions have, the unionists tell us basically that we aren't as good as them. Then when we persist, they suddenly get all superior and tell us why do you want to be like so and so? They're shit, we (the British) are far better than them!

    It is a very strange view of the world.

    Closer to home we have the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

    1. PS I usually appear here as Provost Sludden but for some reason it won't let me today!

    2. True. Channel Islands in particular seem to have freedom to do everything, except change their constitution, go to war or have foreign relations...although they do have foreign relations with some countries, notably France.
      Capital: Saint Peter Port
      Area: 78 km²
      Dialing code: +44
      ISO code: GGY
      Population: 65,849 (2014)
      Currencies: Guernsey pound, Pound sterling

      Capital: Saint Helier
      Area: 119.5 km²
      Dialing code: +44
      Population: 99,500 (2014)
      Chief minister: Ian Gorst
      Currencies: Pound sterling, Jersey pound

      It does strike me that you are right about them telling us that we are not as good as... the Icelanders, Danes, etc, and they justify it by putting these countries down.

      Macintosh on the subject of Icelandic tv was a corker. And to think that he once thought himself material for First Minister???

    3. Ah Provost S, the vagaries of Blogger. Sorry about that

    4. I've just seen this: Sark: Population 600 (Makes Greenland look busy)

      Sark is fiscally autonomous from Guernsey, and consequently has control over how it raises taxes. There are no taxes on income, capital gains or inheritances. There is also no VAT charged on goods and services, but import duties (Impôts) are charged on some goods brought onto the island at around 70-75% of Guernsey rates. However, the island does levy a Personal Capital Tax, a Property Tax, a Poll Tax ("Landing Tax") on visitors coming to the island, and a Property Transfer Tax (PTT) on residential properties when they are sold.

      The island has its own tax assessor (in 2016, this remained Simon de Carteret),[48] who collects the Property Tax, PTT, and the Personal Capital Tax (direct tax).[49] Currently, the Personal Capital Tax ranges from a minimum of £320, to a maximum of £5,760 or 1% per annum (whichever is the lower). In 2014, there were 5 taxpayers who paid the maximum amount of £6,400 (PCT and Property Tax combined), and 6 who paid zero tax. Residents over the age of 69 do not pay the PCT. If a resident chooses not to declare the value of their personal assets, they can elect to pay a flat-rate under the Forfait method.

      In 2006, Property Transfer Tax replaced the feudal Treizième.[50] This used to be calculated by dividing the purchase price of any of the 30 tenements or 40 freehold properties on Sark by 13. The proceeds from doing this were then paid directly to the Seigneur. When the Treizième was abolished, the Chief Pleas introduced an indexed-linked pension of £28,000 per year, payable to the Seigneur.

      An individual is considered to be a resident for tax purposes if they have remained on the island for at least 91 days in any tax year.[51]

  3. The Westminster establishment don't care what our elected politicians think so long as they can control the message being put out by the media.
    I am getting sick and tired of hearing Cameron bleating about this that and the next thing being "stronger" under their control.
    They used their "strength" to mismanage our oil and gas revenues and blow it on a neoliberal party (in both the social and political contexts) with nothing to show for it except a vast amount of debt.
    Scots must realise that Westminster continues to collect most of our income,despite the B/S about how much we get back from them in the form of a "grant".
    They use their strength (parliamentary dominance) to override Scottish wishes for what happens in Scotland.
    Only when we collect all of our income and agree a settlement with Westminster for shared services,can we consider Holyrood to be a truly devolved administration.

    1. Strength is a much overvalued word.

      For Cameron it's all about Britain's place in the world; and his place in Britain (and therefore, in the world).

      It's not about that for most of the rest of us, although I know there are people who get a thrill out of Britain always being in the forefront (right behind the USA).

      I accept that it is not all killing people or selling them weapons. There is some good done. Some foreign aid is well targeted and effective.

      But it seems he, and his mates, are never happier than when they are parading around on the world stage, playing the big I AM.

      Their first job is supposed to be running the country.

      I totally agree with the last paragraph.

      Power over some income tax is useless. We need power over everything, and pay a certain amount for joint services, like Prince William's holidays.

  4. You asked why Scotland gets the lesser deal, well it would appear that our imperial masters like control and that means they like control over what they see as the lesser parts of the British Isles. Like it or not they think they bought Scotland circa 1707 and they conquered Wales in the 13th Century. They never let the facts get in the way. Now had the Danes or Norway taken over Scotland, we would be independent by now, but Westminster is made of ahem, tougher stuff.
    Anyway why would you let someone run your foreign affairs and defence, Westminster are rude to everyone not them and heaven help us go to war at the drop of a hat. Helena p.s. my problem logging on to you is my inability to remember passwords and I hate windows 10.

    1. Ah yes to have been a part of Scandinavia, now that appeals to me anyway and they would have let us gain independence. The English upper class have always been uneasy about not controlling the whole island, a "back door" for some continental scoundrels is how we were viewed. Churchill was quick to threaten De Valera's Ireland with invasion in WW2. It didn't happen for many reasons, had we been independent and neutral, we wouldn't have been so fortunate.

    2. I think we are far more like Scandinavians than we are like the English.

      We seem to do everything differently from them, or maybe it's just me, because I'd jump at the chance of being part of Scandinavia. They may not be perfect. but they always seem to be at the top of lists of happiness/wealth.

      I hope when we are independent that we will be able to work closely with the Norden group of countries...the Arctic alliance. We'd be more at home with them than trying to run the world and killing middle eastern people that don't have royal dictators

    3. We seem to do everything differently from them, or maybe it's just me, because I'd jump at the chance of being part of Scandinavia. They may not be perfect. but they always seem to be at the top of lists of happiness/wealth.

      Me too.

    4. LOL See ya there then Douglas. Reykjavik?

  5. Ah the "Vow", the proverbial pig in a poke; lies, damned lies and no statistics, to back it up.
    So much for the purda, they should have put devo-super-max on the ballot paper, I wish they had; for Wings highlighted a poll showing that independence would have won the day, which is most likely why it (devo-whatever-you-promise) was not included on the ballot.

    1. He took a risk, and with a load of lies and fearmongering (just like he's doing now) he won.

      I wish he would tell us the good points of being in the EU instead of the dire consequences of leaving.

      It seems that he thinks that whatever we have at the moment is GREAT.

      Maybe it is for him, but the rest of us really want something better.

    2. probably "too thick" - because Scotland actually believed the UK would "play fair" - have none of you bothered to read the history of the British Empire?

    3. Hello fw.

      I never believed it for a second. I was telling people on the doorsteps that they would pull back from most of it once they had them trapped in the UK and had a place to park their nuclear penis extensions.

      Some people seemed to think that a personal guarantee from an ex PM was enough. Huh!

  6. tris......and other bad losers

    you all LOST big time not because of too poor too wee or to thick
    no on the contrary the Scottish people....believed they would be
    better off in a larger united kingdom and they weren't STUPID..

    Not sure how you snpBADDERS explain how the Scots were morons to
    vote NO but now the snpBAD is momentarily are at their apotheosis:
    the morons as you snpBAD say are voting for the snp ( but not independence )

    oh i forgot they were hypnotized by the unionist msm..

    watch this snpBADDERS its your song

    1. Niko

      Better together with the Tory's 'austerity' aided and abetted by Labour? You have to ask yourself who is most adversely affected by 'austerity' - is it a) the very rich or b) the very poor? You then have to ask yourself who caused the need for this 'austerity'? Again is it a) the very rich or b) the very poor? After that you have to ask yourself who is better together - the very rich or the very poor? Are you one of the very rich and therefore, better together?

    2. Brownlie

      Well one things for sure Austerity ain't affecting the new snpBAD elite they are
      Coining in a fortune seems to me they could teach new Labour a lesson on how
      To rook the Scottish people.....

    3. Well, yes.

      Who wins by being better together? Is the the bloke on the dole, the girl working part time at B & M? Is it the sick person whose just had his money cut by £30 a week?

      Nope. Neither Labour nor the SNP would have done that in Scotland. But the Tories think that taking £30 a week from someone with cancer will encourage them to get to work, to stay alive.

      And what is this austerity doing to help the country? Have they paid off any debt? Nope. In fact with austerity they have doubled the debt.

      And, what have they done about democracy in this Better Together la la land? Well, there's still a queen, the house of lords is bigger, they are about to gerrymander the seats in the FPTP commons to which they were elected with 38% of the vote. They use these special instrument to get things through when they think they might lose. Now that the lords are being stroppy about some things they are cutting their power and bypassing them. They have introduced EVEL making it more difficult for Labour ever to be able to run the UK, because it's unlikely they will get a majority in England.

      Oh yeah, and despite being told that the only way we can stay in Europe is to stay with the UK, it looks like we may come out. Ship yard orders have been reduced, tax office work is being centralised in Croydon, passport offices are being closed down, green energy subsidies shut down to pay for Hinckley Point nuclear power station (maybe...if EDF don't go broke) and, before they even have a vote on it they have spent billions on new nukes.

      That's off the top of my head.

      Seriously, Better Together?

      You're having a laugh, matey.

  7. My father has been a member of the Labour Party his whole adult life and is a staunch Unionist but at least he is honest, if we ever discuss politics (which is rarely) he will state that we are indeed too wee and too stupid to govern ourselves.

    1. Serious question here. What does he think of Iceland or Denmark, Ireland , Luxembourg or Malta PS?

      Are they just infinitely cleverer than dumbass Scots?

    2. tris

      that would be tris version of nationalist reductionism it all reduces all the complexity
      Within the community down to the nation state ....thus far but no further like all nationalists
      I throughout their violent bloody history....

    3. You are going to ahve to explain that in plain Scots there Niko. Not sure I understand.

      I'm an internationalist. I just don;t like being ruled by Tories whose aim is to enrich themselves off the backs of cancer patients, old folk, and the unemployed and basic wage earners.

      How else do you suggest I avoid this, given I've never seen a left wing UK government in my life?

    4. Like Ken Macintosh, he believes they are better than us. A favourite line of his is " Can you imagine the state we would be in if Alex bloody Salmomd wss running the place? We would be bankrupt in 5 minutes!" I point out Nordic countries and he reply "Aye but they're totally different fae us" (Does he mean better?)

      Ireland can be a tricky subject as the old man is of a brightly coloured persuasion. He wasn't pleased when he found out that I had gone to the cinema to see Michael Collins in the 90s. It is down to him that I developed an interest of the Emerald Isle, just not in the way he intended!

      He had many a disagreement with some of his associates who were Conservative voters and who felt that Labour was a "fenian" party. Ah happy days.....

    5. Sorry a few typos there! I am an internationalist too. A world government is a nice idea but I think it is easier to have every people self governing (if they wish), whether they be Kurds, Uighurs, Moldovans or us Scots. And we all desire the bloodless path to independence as set by Norway and Iceland, Niko.

    6. Fair enough. Presumably he thinks the English are better too. It's interesting that he thinks that Salmond would have bankrupted us. Does he think that Brown and Gidiot haven't? Doubling the debt to £1,6 trillion doesn;t seem like prudence to me!

      LOL. We'll leave the Irish out of it. Don't want to upset yer da!

      We have world government with the UN, and of course bits of the world like Europe, and then there is NATO.

      I just think when you have such an obvious divide as we have between the quite reasonable desires of the bulk of the English to have a right wing, world ruling, warlike, important making kind of government, and the bulk of the Scots who are less concerned about being in charge of the world and more concerned that people with cancer get treated, and don't get their money taken away, it doesn't make any kind of sense to stay together.

      It's like a marriage between an alcoholic and a TT; a socialite and a hermit; a person who loves kids and one who detests them.

      It's not a happy mix. And it's doomed, (doomed I tell ye) to misery in the short term and failure in the long term.

  8. Niko,

    Nice attempt at deflection. When in doubt shout about the SNP. If they are 'coining it in' you have to ask yourself who set the rules and conditions that enable them to do so. As for the SNP elite you are aware where the leaders of the previous Lab/Libdem government are enjoying enormous expenses for very little effort and God knows what they did to earn these privileges..

    1. If Niko was talking about the salaries that SNP ministers get, isn't it the UK government that sets these things?

      Wasn't the scale of payments agreed by Donald Dewar and Tony Blair (in a brief moment when he wasn't off to the crusades with DuBya.)

    2. brownlie

      Um Westminster set the rules for thieves and so we (the snp ) steal just like the rest
      And it's all westminsters fault .


      A internationalist ......course you are ?????