Sunday, 18 November 2012


Apology has been very much on the mind of the political parties and press in Scotland over the last few days.

The unionist media has made much of Alex Salmond coming to parliament to apologise for an error he had made in further education figures. Headlines like "Salmond apologises for misleading MSPs at Holyrood", and "Salmond says sorry for misleading MSPs again" have had unionists rubbing their hands together and prophesying the end of independence hopes.

It appears that Salmond had said that the budget for further education had risen by 0.18%, whereas the truth is that it had been reduced by 1.7%.

Right let's get it out of the way. It was a bad mistake for the first minister to make. And someone who provided that figure will now be wishing most heartily that he'd checked again, just to be sure.

It's particularly bad for the FM, because of the number of times he has had to correct the mistakes on figures provided by Lamont, Gray and Alexander, who all seemed to have come to the chamber armed with incorrect statistics. Now it appears he has fallen victim to the same error.

There will be those who think that he deliberately lied to make the situation look better than it is, but that seems unlikely to me. Who would invent an increase of 0.18%? It seems far too small to be impressive, and if you are going to lie, and risk being caught out, you might as well do it for something a little more impressive than 0.18%. More likely that a civil servant provided the FM with false figures.

To my mind, the important thing was that the FM came to parliament and apologised.
However, someone else has also been giving false figures this week. Yes that's right, it's you... Stand up Maggie Curren.

I quote from Newsnet: "This week Margaret Curran used a speech to the STUC women’s conference to launch an attack on the way in which receipts from the 4G radio spectrum auction will be spent in Scotland and demanded that the Scottish Government to make clear how it will spend its ‘windfall’."

The trouble is that Scotland has absolutely no receipts whatsoever from the G4 Auction. That is to say no windfall, which means that they can't spend it on anything at all.

All monies from that go directly to George Osborne's Treasury and stay there. I'm not saying that some of the money will not be spent in Scotland, but if it is, it will be spent by Michael Moore, not Alex Salmond.

Several questions have been asked in the London parliament about this question and it has been made clear by Danny Alexander that there will be no Barnet Consequential for this money.

So, did Mrs Curren know this? 

If she didn't, then why didn't she? She is supposed to be the Shadow Secretary of State. She should know how the Barnet system works in general terms, and in this particular one she should be aware of questions being asked on the subject... and of the answers given.

If she did know then why did she mislead the STUC conference? Is she so blinded by hatred of the SNP and the Scottish government that she doesn't care what the Tories do with the money as long as she can take a pop at the SNP.

Mrs Curren should be aware (although maybe she is not) that the Scottish government has done much to help people worst hit by the inhumane policies emanating from London. Maybe she should make it her business to check exactly how John Swinney is finding money to help the poor.

When she has done that, she might like to emulate the First Minister and apologise for her error.

Or not. 


I thought it might be helpful to you to share with you one of the Pippatips that may be seen in Her Royal Highness's best seller "Celebrate". (Now less than half price on

: Save time by doing things more quickly
I was surprised to read that actually, I would have though HRH's answer to the time problem would be simply to employ more servants. Well, you live and learn.
What an excellent gift this book wouldn't make for Christmas.


  1. Independence never Union forever

    so goes catalonia so goes Scotland in 2014

    And business is not keen on independence for two reasons: it does not like destabilising change and, in general, business likes things to get bigger, not smaller.

    The boss of Planeta, Spain's biggest publisher, has already said he would move his headquarters out of Barcelona were Catalonia to become independent. The Spanish publishing industry is worth €2.8bn and 40% of it is headquartered in Catalonia, so this is not to be sniffed at.

    "One major reason for multinationals to locate in Barcelona is access to the Spanish market and being in the European Union," says Xavier Mendoza of ESADE Business School in Madrid. "Investors are not going to want to invest in Catalonia in a period of transition and instability. I think independence is a lose-lose proposition for both Spain and Catalonia." Catalonia accounts for 19% of Spain's GDP.

    Money may indeed triumph over sentiment, money and the fear of being ejected from the EU.

    magaret curran MP she spoke to the STUC a non parliamentary body NOT COVERED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY CODE.

    Alex Salmond First minister
    spoke in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament under the auspices of the code.

    Whom he admitted to misleading but only after his statement was proven wrong. He repeatedly claimed he was correct in the chamber.

    saying aggressively. That is about as exact an answer as anybody has ever given in any parliament,”

    and only after being confronted with the TRUTH did he return reluctantly to correct his misleading statement.

    tris you do yourself no favors defending the snp right or wrong
    all you do is undermine any credibility the snp may have.

    he was wrong and the opposition got him for it which is their job.
    law of averages Alex is gonna get hit....
    And now the punches are landing pow ! pow!

    every politician has a shelf life and Alexs is just starting to come to the end

  2. 4G could be interesting in Ireland!

    The reviews of Pippa's book seem more interesting than the hard cover contents.

  3. Ern Niko, I didn't defend him. He was wrong. I doubt he did it on purpose not because he's SNP, but because it would be an easily verifiable figure, and FE experts should have been able to quote it immediately, so it would have been really silly to lie over it... and secondly it was such a small amount it wouldn't be worth lying over.

    I'm drawing attnetion on teh blog to his failing. His researcher provided him with the wrong ionfor (or he deliberately told a very stupid lie) and I am pointing it out.

    He then came to the chamber and he apologised.

    I praise him for that.

    Now Mags has either just been ignorant of something that she should have known, or she chose to tell people who wanted to hear it, that the SNP don't care about poor people. They would rather spend the money on vanity projects, I think she said.

    So the nuclear weapons that have been quoted at around £70 billion (which of course will cost FAR more, and if other defence contracts are to be believed, they won't even work). It seems to me that that is the biggest vanity project of all. Once again I would point out that the military chiefs say that they are no use to they must be a vanity project.

    Anyway, apology from ms Curren still awaited with baited breath...

  4. Ooops... Whata mistaika to maika...CH

  5. PS, Niko: As Catalonia is the richest part of Spain, it may be that the companies will return pretty fast.

    Likewise anyone silly enough to pull out of an Independent Scotland will probably be back pretty soon after, as England with its daft Tory government goes down the tubes, riots, revolutions against the ruling classes.

  6. Maggrit Curran is a throbber, she's a harpy with big hair.

    I have no idea why she even got voted in to parliament, if ever proof was needed that in some areas you can stick a red rose in a donkey's arse and see it in parliament after election day is required, she is it.

  7. So, let me get this right. If you say something to Parliament that is a bit inaccurate, you are a LIAR!

    If you talk misleading bullshit, that you know is bullshit to the STUC, you are not lying.

    I am not talking to Parliament so, Niko -

    You are a [edit, edit, edit]

  8. Hmm, I'm confused. The F.M. quotes the wrong figures in parliament, something he returns within an hour or two to correct and he is accused of lying. As Tris says if he was intent on lying then his quote of 0.18% would most certainly have been a hell of a lot higher than the 0.18%. Jeez, he quotes 0.18% rise instead of 1.7% fall and you'd think the whole damned world had fallen in!

    Now if we want to talk about liars then how about these liars for starters.

    Margaret Curran for her lies to the STUC women's conference. Immaterial whether she made the reference inside or outside of Westminster the fact is unmistakable she LIED! A question about 4G finances coming to Scotland was asked in the HoC last year and again YESTERDAY before she made her false claims. Therefore there is absolutely NO way she could NOT have known about the 4G financial situation in Scotland.

    Next lets try Ken Macintosh. He recently lied in Holyrood about financial costings. He quoted part from the GERS report 2011 and part from GERS 2004. Now surely any one worth their salt would surely ensure that their argument was backed up from the ONE GERS report. Oops I forgot if Macintosh did that then he would not actually have any argument.

    Well how about Jackie Baillie, she's always good for a lie or two. Well let's just take one shall we, her lie in Holyrood about patients lying in hospital beds without any sheets. Gosh that really was a story to make the headlines of the MSM, only it didn't. I wonder why? Oh that's right because she had LIED in Holyrood. How do we know this, simples! She admitted to the Herald that she had LIED in parliament.

    Any one up for any more?
    Well how about everyone's favourite Labour leader, the one the only Johann Lamont. Yes folks even she has been caught with her fingers in the lying tin. Shortly after she "won" the Labour leadership "contest" she proceeded to ask the F.M. about what the Scottish government were doing about rape in Scotland. Quite an intelligent question you might think, except that she used a wholly fabricated rape case to bolster her question. It turns out that the unfortunate victim was not, as Lamont claimed, raped in 2010 but in 2006! Now just remind again, who was in power in 2006, I wonder now, oh that's right LABOUR! So not only did she lie about a non rape in 2010 but she also aided in bringing unnecessary memories back to the victim of the rape from 2006.

    So folks here we have four members of the Labour party, all of whom have lied, quite spectacularly, all within the last 8 months and how many apologies have from either them or Labour have we had? Hmm! I'll get back to you on that one!

    P.S. Sorry I'm O/T Tris but thought you'd enjoy this advert on E Bay.

  9. So why do the SNP not ask Ken Macintosh,Jackie Baillie and Johann Lamont to explain their lies to Scottish Parliament and also ask Margaret Curran why she blatently, knowingly lied to the STUC women's conference ?
    We all know but the General Public do not.
    We have NO Newspaper in Scotland that will print the truth. We have No TV or Radio that will screen or broadcast the truth.
    If the SNP do not fight back then this Referendum is dead in the water.
    The NO Campaign has a highly top down orchestrated, organised rolling, stream of hate going on.
    We have a few volunteers.
    The blue and red Tory's will not stop.
    p.s Please get that niko troll thing off your blog.

  10. Pa Broon

    That is an unacceptable slur on cuddies' erses

  11. Tris

    I am genuinely not sure but, think that Euskadi, the Basque Land, is also very strong, economically speaking with major banks, energy companies, agriculture and heavy industry

  12. Apparently the her royal bottomness’s book is quite informative on how to make ice and that Turkeys are quite large and good for feeding lots of people at Christmas and for us Scotch (or north britishers) she informs us that haggis is good to serve on Burns night. What a revelation! I won’t be piping in the beef Wellington any more, thanks Pip!

  13. Putting aside Alex and his inability to tell the truth
    Just listened to Evan on the wireless crush the snp spkesman
    Spend the oil money save the oil money save the oil money
    Spend the oil money. ...

    'twas very. Funny

    Dewhatever. Your not a nice person at all

  14. Niko,

    As a dear friend, I'd like to thank you for your invaluable contribution to Scottish independence. Between yourself and Salmond victory is almost certainly assured.

  15. The fact of the matter is mistakes happen. It’s how you handle them thereafter that counts. Alex and the SNP have so far moved quickly to apologise, withdraw the party whip or whatever. Labour seem incapable of thinking they can make a mistake and certainly never seem to apologise for misleading people. And I am not going to distinguish between parliament and anyone else, a lie if told deliberately by those elected to represent us, with the intention of misleading is unforgivable whoever you tell it to. By not apologising as soon as possible it makes it look like Curran, Lamont etc were lying with the deliberate intention of misleading us. The fact that they have a tame media simply means a huge fuss is not made out of their lies for equally unappealing reasons. While the obvious glee that they all get when the SNP or even better Alex himself err is quite revolting.

  16. You don't like her much then,Pa?

  17. When you think about it, the number of years it takes for a government to slide into the gutter is usually double figures. The tories took about 15 years then Labour, sorry, New Labour got in. They were in for 13 years(?) and eventually got turfed out (although not very convincingly) for being 'a bit' crap.

    Seems like the press and opposition are going for single figures with this SNP government. Sure enough, they're not prefect but by god (if you believe in that sort of thing,) they're lightyears ahead of the rest.

    I apologise Lupus I, I'll change it to: "Stick a red rose in a cats arse which seems to have grown teeth." Because I think you'll agree, it is what Mags Curran looks like in the picture above.

  18. No Barney, listen carefully,I shall say this only once.

    If you are SNP and you lie or make a mistake you will be headline material. If, on the other hand, you are Labour, you can say whatever you want, no matter how false, as long as it hurts independence, and no one will say anything about it. Pretty much the same goes for the Tories.

    As wee Willie would say, whit can ye dae?

  19. Pretty much that's how it is, Arbroath. That's a good list of lies, and I'm sure there are more.

    The BBC interviewed a economist guy this morning who said that Scotland could de better off after independence, depending how much of the oil we were allowed to have, but when the oil ran out there would either have to be tax increases or the standard of living would decline.

    Now first of all, that is only true if no one does anything about finding alternative income generating jobs, and only a completely moronic government would allow that to happen. As it is this government and the Labour Executives in the past have been investing in other energy sources, and developing other industry.

    Secondly, and no one picked the guy up on this, the oil, when it runs out, won't choose to run out only if Scotland is independent. If it remains part of the UK, the oil will run out, oil in Scottish waters and oil in English waters will run out.

    So the whole UK will get poorer and either have to increase taxes, or if the Tories are in, presumably they will just burn poor people to keep rich people warm.

    My point is that no one at the BBC pointed that out. You don't have to lie to mislead, you can do it by not pointing out an obvious flaw in an argument and thereby letting someone get away with creating an impression that as an independent country we shall be poor, but as part of greater England things will be rosy ... John Humphries did that this morning.

  20. Deewal: Yes, I agree. Sometimes I think that the SNP are too soft on them. Call a spade a spade and a liar, a liar.

    I think that in parliament they do. I've watched ministers lay waste to them in parliament.

    The trouble is that the press just don't cover the bas stories about unionists and jump ravenously on the slightest nasty thing about the independence parties, and most specifically the SNP which they seem to hate.

    As for Niko... nahhhh, we couldn't put him down. He's our pet unionist. We feed him and take him for walks and he amuses us by making funny faces....

  21. PS Arbroath. Love the Q and A on the advert!!!!

  22. Probably is Wolfie. Santander is in that area is it not? I have a friend from there. It seems to be a rich area.

  23. I'm glad you found that useful, Munguin. Perhaps the readers will have a whip round to buy you a copy for Christmas...seeing as how it's so cheap!

  24. Niko: There is so much money it is possibble to save and spend it.

    Look at Norway. It had less oil than we did and yet, instead of fighting wars, running the world as America's bag boy and forking out for nuclear weapons that America count as being their own, it spend wisely, creating jobs and a top rate infrastructure.

    It also managed to save an astounding amount for its oil fund, which will mean that it will be very rich when the oil runs out.

  25. Pa: It is astounding that after 6 years the Scottish government is as popular as it is.

    I read statistics which showed that 54% of the population was satisfied with the government; 39% dissatisfied; and 7% didn't know whether they were or were not satisfied. Total +15

    On the other hand the 2.5 year old Conservative (Liberal) government in London has: satisfied 27%, dissatisfied 67%. total -40

    Like you, I don't think that they are perfect, but when I see what the London government does on things like Health, Education, Transport, etc, I'm glad we have them and that Cameron's malign influence is limited.

  26. As far as the IFS is concerned I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them. I believe they reckon we would become a struggling economy after about 20 years when our oil starts to run out. Well perhaps they haven't heard the news yet but we are still going to be pumping oil for the next 50 years at least.

    Oh I wouldn't take anything Darling has to say about this IFS report trying to put the scuppers on Scottish Independence, after all he was not really enthralled by the IFS himself in 2010.

    P.S. glad you liked the ad Tris. I thought the Q & A section was the killer part of the ad myself.

    Here's the background to some of the item description material.


  27. Think of me as Maggie, says Ed Miliband

    Ed Miliband has likened himself to Margaret Thatcher

    I wonder how Edwina Lamont feels now that she has demoted.

  28. Well, I don't trust any of these organisations, Arbroath. They seem to make predictions and change them within weeks, because the situation has they didn't know it would.

    So figure, including out own government's figures are often rubbish... and opinions are only opinions.

    And it's laughable how politicians put down an organisation when it disagrees with their assessment, and praise and quote from the same people (who got it so wrong before), when their assessment is in accord with the said politician's.

  29. That is Sooooo going to go down singing hymns in Scotland.

    Lamont thinks we are a bunch of something for nothing scroungers, and Ed thinks he's Maggie Hilda...

    Geez, way to make yourselves electable guys...

    It might work in the home counties, it's a total lemon here.

  30. CH:

    Thanks for that. He's a patronising bast..... idiot.

    Of course it could but I wouldn't get a seat in the House of Lords and a silly title.

    That's all they are worried about.

  31. Out of interest has Maggie apologised yet?

    Sorry but I though it was getting a bit serious here and that we could all do with a laugh!

  32. LOL LOL LOL Anon... Good joke!