Saturday 22 June 2013


From Yes Scotland

The Westminster government has today published a list of 200 public bodies it claims would have to be replicated in an independent Scotland. It is probably one of the poorest and most embarrassing contributions to the referendum debate so far.

The list only serves to highlight two very important problems that exist within the current system of government.

Scottish Portrait Gallery
First, it shows just how out of touch Westminster has become. There appears to be a genuine lack of understanding about what actually goes on in Scotland. The first version of the list missed out 90 Scottish public bodies: the Westminster government didn't seem to know they even existed.

And, this new attempt shows the lack of knowledge goes deeper.

    • they are so out of touch with Scotland, they don’t seem to realise we already have a national sports body SportScotland.

    • they say an independent Scotland will need an Information Commissioner, but we've already got one

    • they even suggest that an independent Scotland would need to replicate Public Health England - no, we won’t.
Scottish Food Standards Agency

The bizarre list goes on. There is the claim that an independent Scotland would need a Food Standards Agency.

We will have one. But at the moment the UK government is scrapping the Food Standard's agency for England.
National Library of Scotand

Scotland is clearly nowhere on the Westminster government's radar, to the extent that they believe an independent Scotland would have to replicate the British Library, forgetting we’ve already got the National Library of Scotland.

The second major problem they have, unwittingly, highlighted is the vast number of civil service functions that are carried out for Scotland, and paid for by Scottish taxpayers, but where the jobs and financial benefit go elsewhere.
Oh and look, we do sport too. And you thought all we did was go to the pub and the bookies!

The UK paper lists many bodies that perform a UK wide function but whose staff and offices are based wholly or almost totally in and around London. These include the Treasury and Foreign Office. Between them, these two departments have so few staff in Scotland you could count them on one hand. Your taxes are paying for these services, but the benefit of that investment is directed to the already dominant London economy.
...and we also even have our own royal palace

If these jobs were based in an independent Scotland, we'd still be paying for them through our taxes, but the benefit would be felt in the Scottish economy. The taxes they pay would go to the Scottish Exchequer. They would spend their wages in local shops boosting local jobs and local entrepreneurs. They would create career paths and new opportunities for graduates, for school leavers. Instead of feeding an already dominant London economy, the multi-million pound benefit would be felt right here in Scotland.

When you add all this to the laughable nonsense spoken by that fool (who is 'more Scottish than most Scotsmen'...according to him) Viscount Monckton last night, you start to wonder if anyone in UK politics actually has a clue what they are talking about when it comes to Scotland.

It might also have occurred to some of them that we actually own a part of all of the organisations which are based in England but serve the whole country... and that some of them are about as much use as an underwater hair dryer,  because their only reason for being set up was to reward some toady with a high paid non-job for "services rendered".


  1. I think Scotland own about 9ish % of the British Museum and the National Gallery. As to Buck House and all that pile of bricks, we already own , the people of Scotland, a fair few of them in oor dung heap.

    1. This is what they seem to forget. As you say, around 9% of all that there is...the nukes, the army, navy, air force, marines, embassies, DWP, FO, british Museum, HMCR, etc, etc, already belong to us.

      My real point is the amazing ignorance of the NO campaign organisers. Fancy not knowing that, but imagine telling us that we will have to set up a Scottish Library when the current setup has been in position since 1925, and prior to that a national library existed since the 1600s.

      Fancy then not knowing that there was already a body for Sport. Ity seems to me that the people organising the No campaign really have very little knowledge of Scotland and what goes on in it.

      I was also amused to hear that they warn us that we would have to set up our own Food Standards Agency (which we actually have), even although they are in the process of shutting theirs down.

    2. I make my starting point that they are totally absent of the actualite..

      I have yet to been disappointed.

      On another topic but still germaine;

      I stumbled into an Irish bar in my home town in France this midday.

      It was thronged with rugby fans watching the live transmission of the British and Irish Lions first test against the antipodean scum ( I love OZ and the Ozzies, especially their McLaren Vale reds and better still sp[arkling reds, oooooppps as well as my Ozzie cousin(e) high up in the Federal C Service in Canberra)

      Anyway, what the fuck is their Crest up to?

      A four Nations Crest of the English Rose, The Scottish Lion Rampart, the Irish Shamrock and the Welsh Trefoil (?)

      With the feckin Lion Couchant of Engerland imposed on top!

      We won and I got semi-blootered.

      Aff to ma pit!

    3. O la la, le rugby en France... C'est important, non?

      In answer, because England is the most important nation, and must therefore be represented twice, because all the rest are just hangers on?

      Just an idea, but pretty typical of the general attitude.

      Toute façon, on a gagné. C'est bien! Et maintenant tu es un peu rond, quoi ?... Dors bien!

  2. the yes campaign should really put this on a leaflet. It's not the first time I've heard this silly argument. It's as if these functions are currently funded by magic and not Scottish taxpayers. And the jobs for currently non Scotland based functions would be very welcome here.

    1. Yes PP. The ones that will have to be set up, and they are quite right about that, like for example, the armed forces and a Ministry for Foreign Affairs, etc, are already financed partly, by Scottish taxes.

      It's not like we were the Channel Islands and get all these things gratis.

      But because of the separate nature of our legal system, many of these things have existed for many years. They appear not to know this.

      A bit like the Liberals appeared not to know that the NO campaign would be campaigning at the Royal Highland Show (including a visit by Darling), when Tavish criticised Richard Lochhead for politicising the Show by making a speech there!

  3. because their only reason for being set up was to reward some toady with a high paid non-job for "services rendered".

    That sums up the British State.

    1. I think it does. The power of patronage is very strong. If they want to get someone on side they can always invent an inquiry over something or nothing, and give the person a title or a Companion of Honour and a nice little earner for a few years with loads of lunches on expenses.

      Over the years that has built up to hundreds of thousands of people with honours they did not deserve, doing jobs that do not require to be done.

  4. When I see things like this it makes me wonder who exactly is drawing up these "lists." After this latest "attempt" at scaremongering the Scots I'm now convinced they are produced by a 3 year old who has fallen out with the 3 year old next door! All this garbage from Westminster makes me think that they keep singing this song when they produce such garbage. :-)

  5. LOL Arbroath. It's not their party though. I'd forgotten that song... Nice.

    They seem to do no research.

    Time and time again they make these assertions that are easily disproved and hilariously satirised.

    I remember their 500 questions (which were actually 507 questions so there's the first mistake). Most of them had the same answer, and I recall that James Kelly did a hilarious piece at the time, pointing this out to them.

    The Rev has taken this one to pieces, as he did with with thousands of treaties that Willie Rennie said we would have to renegotiate including with countries no longer extant and princes long dead.

    What are they thinking of? What is it about them that they never consider... OK, so what could a clever person make of this? How would they be able to ridicule it?

    In the case of Willie, it might have been an idea to look at his treaties and throw out the ones like the agreement for the trade in spices and mirrors with the Sultan of Zanzibar...

    In the case of the 500 question the first thing I would have done was ensure that there were, in fact, 500 questions. That there were not was an invitation to treat!

    In the case of Tavish bleating about how Richard was politicising the Royal Highland, I think I'd have made sure that no one from the NO campaign wasn't going to do the same, before I made a fool of myself.

    And in this case, I'd have checked to see if any of these organisations actually existed, if they were necessary (apparently we have to have a Space Agency!!!!), and if England was on the verge of shutting any of them down (Food Standards). Then I'd have taken into consideration that it might royally piss people off to be told they can't have their share of the DWP, or the BBC...the ones they have been paying for for many years.

    But it seems that some work experience kid is making the decisions while playing computer games and doing his or her nails and catching up on sleep.

    Either that or the No campaign has taken advantage of the slave labour campaign being run by Iain Duncan Smith and are forcing some SNP teenagers to work for them.

    1. Trouble is Tris THEY do NOT do thinking. Thinking is NOT taught at Eton!

      Just like a load of agencies we already have they obviously are blind to the fact that we already have a space agency in Scotland. Alright it does NOT contain the word Scottish in the title but it's still Scottish....... Virgin Spaceflight! :-)

      Oh by the way I've just read this from that well thought of "Lord", a certain Mr Foulkes!

      "At Rural Better Together launch at RHS Alistair Darling says being negative is askingQuestions Salmond can't answer & already 500 of those"

    2. Well, again I'd point out that Mr ffoulkes can't count. There were 507 of them most which could be answered by one standard phrase.

      We will do what every other nation on Earth does, and apply from membership.

      I'm pretty cvertain that if i can answer questions like that, that Mr Salmond will be equally capable of answering them.

      Indeed, I don't think anything that Mr ffoulkes has ever asked in his like would be unanswerable by anyone over the age of 3... unless of course it was when he was in his cups, at which point probably even the professor of philosophy at Edinburgh Uni could answer it.

      ffoulkes is probably drunk.

  6. ...


    The quality of the debate nationally just keeps breaking through those floors to sink even further away from the issues which matter.


  7. The thing that is missing from the NO campaign is passion. There are no groups of youngsters working away, full of excitement about a possible future.
    All they have are dry lists and fearbombs, dreamed up by old white men sitting in a dreary office somewhere.

  8. Och, Jutie, and there was me thinking it was some of IDS's slave labour out to sabotage whatever they are doing.

    And in reality it's just a load of stupid white middle class men doing what they do best. Lunch.


    Actually you make a good point. There is no passion for the No side.

    They don't even pretend that it will be better, they just say that independence will be even worse. They really are a depressive lot.

    Maybe we should feed them anti-depressants?