Thursday 7 March 2013


After listening to Alistair Darling today, I was just thinking that he may have a much better are we together?

After all, I pondered, who'd want to break away from a society that, instead of tackling the tiny amount of fraud that there is in the social security system, takes a sledge hammer and cracks everyone who is not strong enough to fight for themselves. It's cheaper, saves more money, and the only people it hurts are poor and uninfluential, so what's not to like?

Who wouldn't be happy to be a part of a state that, as the result of the policy of unfettering rents, (most recently by Labour), from which people have made a fortune, the housing benefit bill has soared to an unsustainable level, and thinks that the best way to deal with this is not to cap rents at a reasonable level, and not to build affordable rental houses of the size that people need, but to reduce the amount of money available for benefit? 

In theory, people should simply have to downgrade... but in fact they are not able to do this because of there's no available housing, and as a result of the most recent policies, even the most awful of houses in the most terrible of areas can command the same rent as the nicest property of the same size in a pleasant suburb.

Who'd not be delighted to live in a society where there is no money to expand the economy regardless of how many times the government is told that it must try to kick start some activity, because all the money that has been created by QE over the past few years by both the red and blue/yellow parties has gone straight into the banks... The same banks whose greed played an enormous part in getting us into our current situation... and the same banks that the government refuses point blank to penalise, and goes so far as to fight against the rest of the EU to try to ensure that no one can interfere with their bonuses?

Who'd not be charmed to live in a country where the government wants to play at world statesmanship, take on foreign wars; cut the troops on the ground and the facilities available to them, but insists that it must have a nuclear capability because without it the seat at the top table would no longer be theirs...? Think of the loss of prestige (and put out of your heads the suffering of the troops left to fight more and more with less and less).

Why, surely you'd have to be mad to want to break away from all that.

Who'd not want to see wage and benefit increases at 1% and gas and electricity prices rising at 10-20% with forecasts of worse to come? Surely that's a joy. 

Even devolution, it seems to me, has been a step too far. If we had just stayed as a county in the north of England, we too could have enjoyed Serco stealing from our National Health Service just as they are in England  and have the head of that service admit his part in the cover up of the most horrific neglect and death of patients in order to reach targets, and yet stay in his job.

No. Surely Alistair and his friends David and Nick, Ed and Johann and Ruth and that funny wee bloke are right.

This is the life.
Update: I'm indebted to Marcia for bringing this Scottish Sun editorial to my attention.

Who scares?

Just once, just for a change, let’s hear something positive about why Scotland would be better staying part of the United Kingdom.

Because frankly, the scare stories are wearing a bit thin.

The latest is over a leaked SNP document that’s cue for a doom-laden warning about slashing pensions, cutting defence spending and shedding public sector jobs
Strip away the hysteria and what you actually have is a sensible Government prepared to make sensible decisions about spending.

A Government aware they are operating in a tough economic climate where there is no bottomless pit of money. And that’s whether you’re an independent country or part of the UK.

Is there a single household in Scotland that doesn’t have similar conversations about what they can and can’t afford?

It would be a shambolic Government that didn’t behave in the same responsible way.

Bear in mind, too, this document was written a year ago in different economic circumstances and that oil prices and revenues have risen.

The net effect and the hard fact is that the finances of Scots are £863-a-head healthier than the rest of the UK
Or isn’t that scary enough to tell folk?

Read more:


  1. tris

    This is the life but not as I know it


  2. Is there a single household in Scotland that doesn’t have similar conversations about what they can and can’t afford?

    Well probably not but If they then go out and lie to their neighbours that everything is all fine and dandy and then attempt to influence them to make a decision at variance to what is being in private .
    well we call that being plain dishonest.
    Anyway;s its out in the public domain now and the people can make of it what they will.

    But in general the people dont put a lot of trust in Politicians saying one thing in public and something contradictory in private.

    I can just imagine the furore if like Gordy they spoke without realising a microphone was on and their chat was being broadcast to the Nation.

    Seems to me Alex Salmond and the snp have got into the banana skin syndrome and they keep slipping and sliding all over the place.
    Once that starts its a devil to stop let alone get control off.


    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

    1. And when I sleep I hope to dream
      Of a bright blue sky and fields of green
      Of children happy and aye well fed
      Beneath a roof where they lay their head
      You promise much I hear you mutter
      We reach for the stars or stay in the gutter
      I offer to you an open hand
      To help build up our dear Scotland
      It's not above the wit of man
      Some say we cann't, I know we can

    2. Beautiful...

    3. Niko

      I'll assume you are talking about the leaked financial document released by BT so I would encourage you and everyone to read the article at the link below.


  3. Nah, Niko. It only seems like that because the BBC and the unionist press make it seem like that. I'm just turning to on it's head here.

    I'm still waiting for one thing that is positive about the union; one thing that would make me want to stay, and I never hear it.

    The positives is that:

    Britain has a triple A status (it doesn't);

    it could blow up Moscow (big deal, and just how does that affect Joe Average?);

    it has embassies and consulates across the world (which actually wasn't quite true), but in any case, who cares;

    that it has influence in the EU (no it doesn't. In fact it was told that it should stop whinging or leave, by the president only last night);

    that it has influence with America, yeah right it does. That's why Brown had to ask 7 times if Mr Obama would be seen in public with him;

    that it has a seat on the security council (so what? You can't eat that).

    If you can think of any that ordinary people care about, feel free to chi8me in with them.

    Every single thing about teh economy that faces Scotland, faces the UK too...

    Can we trust Scotland with our pensions? Can we trust Mr Cameron, or Mr Miliband?

    Can we trust Scotland with our health? Can we trust England?

    Can we trust Scotland with our economy? Well damn me. London is making a fine mess of it, so I doubt Edinburgh could do any worse.

    Nothing is certain in an independent Scotland. It is in the UK? We weren't supposed to be losing our Triple A; the whole strategy was to keep that at all costs... We didn't think we'd have to evict people and kill off the sick to save money. We didn't think that people would be dying in their own waste products in health service hospitals' corridors. We didn't think that our old folks' care homes would nearly be shut down because of privatisation and incompetent management of the finances, where people came third and money making came first and second. We didn't think our airports would be run into the ground because the people who own them can make more money speculating on the markets...

    Just a few thoughts.

    But as you say...

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  4. This is worth a read...

  5. tris

    some times or most times even all times in a Capitalist society there are no true positives
    only less negatives........
    And as John swinney admits in private and in the dark whispering silently to his fellow extremist nationalist Capitalist roadsters it will be the same in an Independent Scotland
    correction.............separate Scotland

    Capitalism increases wealth for a very few at the expense of immiseration for the majority . of US.

    what was you said once the acceptable face of capitalism........did make me laugh cynically .

    Nicola is now saying 'CHILD poverty would end “for good” in an independent Scotland,'
    very laudable and reducing it would be a good first step but end for good now come on.
    this just using the Tiny Tim strategy to garner a few votes knowing all along you not going to do what you claim.

    Now Sturgeon poverty alongside Salmond poverty absolutely will be eliminated in a separate Scotland I mean they have each got themselves a tidy sum already in a devolved Scotland.

  6. Well I admit that saying that child poverty will end for good was a little OTT. You can't guarantee that. You could say that there will be enough money...probably... to do that, but whether governments in the future will use the money to that end.. and indeed whether parents, the people who will use the money, will actually spend it on the children, or not, is a point of some conjecture.

    It's a bit like saying that you have brought an end to boom and bust.

    I don't think that the first minister and deputy are overly well rewarded for the jobs they do, by comparison with other political figures in the UK.

    They've certainly not taken pay rises in a long time. In my opinion all politicians are paid too much, but that's just my opinion.

  7. I think criticising politicians or civil servants for doing their jobs (weighing up the options and exploring what-if scenarios) is stupid.

    I also think criticising John Swinney for using an OBR forecast (something which he has nothing to do with and all UK administrations use) which turned out to be 20% under the money (oil per barrel price) in hindsight is an entirely disingenuous exercise in political point scoring.

    Finally, I think better together should start practicing what they preach and stop with their own invented 'implications' of independence and start with with some facts about the union after 2014, if it still exists, which it is my most fervent hope it does not.

    All this has done is further highlight how biased the press is, did any one at better together not think that if you take a dodgy photocopy of an out-of-date report (its not a fucking dossier, look that up in the dictionary too,) stick a comedy top secret stamp on it and some MS Word 98 clip art post-it notes with obviously skewed implications, extrapolations and interpretations that people would actually swallow it?

    They accuse us of playing to the gallery on blogs like this, that we're not turning new people onto independence, (they said it before May 2011 too, look what happened there...) With crap like this coming from the BT rabble, they're doing our job for us.

  8. As "The Sun" says, Pa... OK, I never thought I'd write these words, but in this case they are only echoing what we have been saying for months now... tell us something good about the union (something that isn't us being proud of how many people we can kill).

    BT is lucky. It has most of the press on its side. It has the BBC quite unashamedly and openly on its side. (The BBC, the one that we pay for through what is as good as a tax, says that it will not take a balanced approach to the referendum until we are in the official campaign period, which I imagine will be 3 weeks before the day.) (newsnat Scotland eh, Mr Davidson?)

    The press and the BBC seem happy to trot out the lies BT invents.

    EU (they are still on about that with the Foreign Ministries of Luxembourg and France being the latest to have apparently made comments. Luxembourg has complained about being misrepresented and in France they chose someone who used to work for new Labour, perhaps the only Frenchwoman in the world to have done that?).

    Then there was the B of E story. Embassies (that apparently bring in masses of business and save thousands of people from distress in places like Ulan Bator and Kathmandu).

    The Scotland office issue figures that show various things to back up their argument, using up to date figures for England and figures that are ten years out of date for Scotland...

    A new one every week, and the press gladly trumpet it and then when it is disproved they mention it on page 17 under the advert for incontinence pants.

    So, back to what the Sun... and the rest of us... have been asking for.

    Can anyone tell us something positive about being in the UK?

    And here's the real challenge. IT HAS TO BE TRUE.


    Here's another excellent piece from Craig.