Thursday 21 November 2013


I understand that Cameron's man in Scotland, Alistair Carmichael, has asked Facebook to take down a page which ridicules Alex Salmond.

I suspect that it may be the page that was referred to by an angry unionist who posted it anonymously on this blog. 

I wonder why.

What has it got to do with him?

I suppose he thinks it makes him look statesman like. It doesn't. It makes him look like an interfering old busybody. 

Firstly, I'm sure that the First Minister is capable of dealing with Facebook himself, if he wishes to. 

And secondly,except where we are talking illegal pornography, terrorism or crime, politicians should keep their noses out of what people wish to discuss, down the pub, at the water cooler, in the canteen and on line. Even then it's a police matter, not political.

There is nothing illegal in calling Alex Salmond a deluded wanker. Sticks and stones, etc. 

And there are no brownie points in trying to look like you care when you don't. We still have freedom of speech in the UK, or certainly in Scotland, or did i miss something overnight?
I see that Carwyn Jones was paid by London to come to Edinburgh and do the Tory government's bidding in selling his fellow Celts down the river. He wants more power for Wales (devo max which Scotland was denied) and less from Scotland, however, he may find that if he persuades Scots to vote no to independence, the courting of the Celtic nations may well stop, and he will find himself with a good deal less. 
Barnett, which he wants rid of,  may favour Scotland because of its size and the need to provide Scots with the services that their taxes pay for in more populous parts of the UK, but with the Tory (and Labour) fixation for making sure that London wins in every matter, if the really powerful Celtic tiger, Scotland, is slain, and independence put back in its box, Wales may find that Barnett will be replaced with something that will do the Welsh no favours at all.

The Tories don't have much to lose in the Celtic fringe; the memory of Thatcher just won't go away. And Labour takes us for granted. 

It's only when we look as if we may leave them to stew in their own juice that they take any notice of us.


  1. Carwyn Jones is Welsh, and he is Labour. I think I can guess which of these is more important to him.


    1. Lemme see... oh yeah.

      Sod Wales

  2. AC is nothing but another sneering MP and will bring absolutely nothing new to the debate. Trying to get that page removed is to try and make his side whiter than white especially when he goes down the Calman route of imaginary smears on himself.

    Third official suspended in 'financial irregularities' probe

    Part of the inquiry is examining allegations that DRS officers were hiring themselves as freelance business consultants to firms they had assisted. Another officer, sacked earlier this year for hiring his daughter as a consultant, is also being investigated.
    It is understood the alleged irregularities were unearthed by new blood within the department.

    1. From Kelvinside. Working for the cooncil must pay well, what?

  3. tris

    Didnt realise how much interest is shown in yer blog by the Unionists
    big wigs that there comment wuz only there yesterday.
    Best watch yer back or youse may end up padlocked in a duffel bag
    which they will say you dun to yerself.

    almost public/Unionist enemy number one

    1. LOL LOL Niko. Thanks for the warning... wink wink, say no more...

      Why am I "almost" no 1?

  4. tris

    Alex is no 1 you after his spot then ?

    1. KK. I don't mind being second to Eck...


  5. Well there you have it the Scots are better together by the princely sum of £1,364 for each and every real old money.

    and now what will the Nats offer for our votes, It better be a wery big pile of dosh

  6. Umm from another Unionist rag

    The average Scot now enjoys £1,623 more in state spending than their neighbours south of the Border

    Err ! bloody hell get yer act together ya together lot at least tell the same lies together ya made look a right nob in front of the Nats.

    1. And how much more tax do we pay?

  7. Replies
    1. Ho ho ho.

      Aren't they a credit to the unionist movement.

      Oh and BTW Prince Charles takes over £20 million a year from Cornwall and the taxpayer..Never mind how much the rest of them cost.

  8. Niko, why are the loyalists always fixated by the money?
    Whatever happened to principles, and damn the money!
    I live in Scotland, and I want my country to be (I was about to say governed) administrated by my fellow citizens.
    What is wrong with that?

    1. The UK is , since Mrs Thatcher, only motivated by greed and money.

      That woman ruined the people.

    2. That's hilarious CH!

  9. "He wants more power for Wales...and less from Scotland, however, he may find that if he persuades Scots to vote no to independence, the courting of the Celtic nations may well stop, and he will find himself with a good deal less."

    Tris, what people like Carwyn Jones want is the preservation of the British State and the British Establishment and his party's place in it and in that he's just like the unionists in Scotland.

    Their primary aim is to retain the UK as a unitary state and everything else is way down the priority list whatever they say. Even if a No vote in Scotland results in Wales or Scotland not gaining anymore powers or losing funding the mistake is to think that this will be a blow to Mr. Jones or to the unionists in Scotland.

    If there's a No vote and Scotland and Wales suffer as funding dries up and devolved powers are returned to Westminster pointing the finger at unionist politicians will just result in blank looks as they already understand the consequences of a No vote and don't care about it as long as the main prize of the Union is preserved.

    1. And their place in the House of Lords...

      Yes, I suppose so Doug.

      They are a dreary load of self serving toe raqs.

  10. "but with the Tory (and Labour) fixation for making sure that London wins in every matter"

    And what evidence do you have for this?

    Last time I checked Ed Miliband has been talking about reining in excessive capitalism. And he is entirely correct in doing so. When Ed Miliband talks about the importance of restoring corporate ethics (i.e. his discussion about 'good corporate behaviour' and 'bad corporate behaviour) I hardly think he is doing it to make friends in Londons financial centre!

    Equally when Labour condemned the Tory reduction in the corporate tax rates, I hardly think they did it to make sure 'London always wins'; which is your contention.

    When Labour increase the top rate of tax to 50p in the pound, and condemned the coalition reduction of this upper rate; it was hardly to make sure the mega rich in London 'always win'.

    I read your claim, and I can't see how it in any way reflects the reality of Labour policy.

    Then there is Labour commitment to devolution. When we introduced devolution, ensuring that Scotland had its own parliament in a campaign the SNP OPPOSED (lets not forget their recent history!) - it was hardly to make sure London always got its centralising way was it?

    Sorry Tris, but these are all valid points I've made that give lie to your false claim that my party always acts only in the interests of London.

    Labour acts in the interests of the poor, the squeezed middle all across the country. Unlike the SNP, our commitment to social justice doesn't end at the 'border'.

    1. Dean matey, Labour reduced Corporation tax twice and Gordon Brown promised to do it a third time as soon as there was enough money. And that was after the crash….

      The London super rich didn't pay 50p tax, and don't pay 45p tax.

      Really Dean, they don't pay any tax at all most of them, and those that do pay it at any rate pay it through their companies as some sort of fiddle. Even the people who work for massive salaries at the BBC manage to do that. They set up a company, let’s say “Jackie Magnusson Limited” and have their salary paid into that. It is paid as a fee to a company for letting them have the privilege of the services of their "star". I don’t know if they have a “star” called Jackie Magnusson. That is a made up name in case any second rate hack was thinking of suing me.

      If they pay tax, it is corporation tax. At 23%.

      Labour was forced into devolution by the Council of Europe. Tony Blair set up a system which he believed would work for Labour always to be in control, presumably with the Liberals as pet dogs (although the Liberals in Scotland had a bit more in the way of guts than the wet wastes of Oxygen in London: the demanded free education, free care for the elderly).

      Tony Blair kept as tight a reign on them as possible, sending lance Price up ‘en capuchoner ‘ so that he could keep Donald Dewar on the Blair straight and narrow.

      Gordon Brown was so angry when the SNP won the election in 2007 that when asked about it by reporters he stormed off in a rage refusing to answer.

      Scotland not voting Labour was not supposed to happen. But as Tonty Blair aped Thatcher’s policies Scots couldn’t go on voting for them to be doing in Scotland what they were doing to England.

      Has Miliband said he will sack all these enterprise companies that run everything? Atos and Serco and G4S? They cheat the taxpayer at every turn; they are completely hopeless at their jobs and the work that some of them carry out is beyond cruel.

      Everything is being privatised in England.

      The shadow health secretary said he wanted one healthcare service across the Uk.
      Run doubtless by Atos, your caring sharing murders.

    2. Dean, a quick search on income tax rates shows that the 50% top tax rate only came into effect for the tax year 2010/2011. New Labour hardly rushed to increase it when they came to power; they waited until the economic situation more or less forced them to try to raise a bit more tax.

      When there was a motion in the Commons against the Tories' reduction of the top tax rate to 45% (still 5% above what it had been for most of New Labour's rule), Labour abstained, because the motion had been proposed by the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

      There is often a significant difference between Labour's rhetoric and the actions.


    3. Dean, as Scaraben says, there is a world of difference between promising you will do something and doing it (especially in politics).

      So we can only go by 'your' parties recent past record in office. That, I am afraid, more than backs up Tris's analysis.

    4. That was me, braco, by the way.

    5. The most appalling thing is that Labour actually abstain on a vote to overturn the 45% tax because Plaid and SNP propose it. Just like they abstained over Bedroom Tax.

      At least over the bedroom tax they wasted probably millions by having another debate on it, one this time proposed by them and not their enemies.. No problem... we have billions to waste in parliament.

      But on the tax, they didn't bother.

      Of course, as I said, the rich in the City don't pay 45% or 50%. They pay 23% or less, by registering as companies, sometimes in Luxembourg or Jersey, Guernsey, British Virgin Island, Gibraltar...

      Hello Braco... :) Yeah, the record in office was poor. Tony Blair was son of Thatcher and David Camoron is son of Blair.

      Ye pays yer money; you takes yer choice... Nothing much in it.

  11. From Dr Who to Losing the pound. they keep piling on the scares and the lies one after another. I have to have my intelligence insulted on an almost daily basis, hearing the dreary defence of union couched in doom laden terms. Fear, terror, panic, divisive hate filled spewings being passed off as Positive reasons for the union to continue.

    And yet it seems to me that Unionists hate the union too - they must do, as they turn a blind eye to food banks, workfare, ATOS, labour MPs running scared over debating bedroom tax. The selling off of the royal mail. The national blood transfusion service sold off to venture capitalists. Communities torn asunder, one group of poor set against another.
    They allow this to happen and with an airy wave of the hand, say UK...OK. that's the limit of their imagination. We're OK. No need to change, nothing to see here. Austerity works, Workfare works, ATOS works. The status quo...whats so wrong with that?

    Not one hopeful statement, not one vision of the future. Just scares and threats and a lot of hate for anyone questioning the right of Westminster to rule Scotland.

    If they win and by god I am terrified at the prospect. It won't be because we're better together, it will because too many Scots were scared shitless or felt threatened by what the UK would do next if spurned. Call it whatever you want after that, but never, ever call it a Union.

    In my honest opinion the Union is already finished. yes or no, the Union loses.

    1. "In my honest opinion the Union is already finished. yes or no, the Union loses."

      You may be correct in this statement.

      If there is a 'Yes' vote, the union is obviously over.

      If we get a 'No' vote, and Scottish aspirations remain unmet for another decade or two, Independence for devo maxers like myself will become inevitable.

      Personally I see the UK a bit like the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its a heterogeneous state united on an outdated royal/imperial basis. The unifying concept of 'Britishness' like 'Habsburgism' has long since dissolved in the face of resurgent nationalism.

      Interestingly, I think in this one statement you may in fact be correct. For better or ill.

    2. Well if it's a no vote; the Barnet formula goes, they want to privatise stuff in Scotland, so they cut the amount we are allowed to spend on health, education, police (which remember is being privatised in England; bids for G4S), probation, etc etc...

      Everything that makes life in Scotland that little less unbearable compared to life in England will go.

      I don't think Scots will wait for 10 years before they want out of it.

      The union is over.

      There may be some people who still like it, but they won't.

      When the crunch starts coming.

      Remember Osborne hasn't done more than about 40% of his cuts yet, and austerity is here to stay ....for ordinary people of course.

    3. Dean, while devo max is a superficially attractive compromise, in my view it is not a realistic option. Remember that Cameron insisted on there being no question on devo max in the referendum - not a victory for him as i do not think Alex Salmond wanted a second question. I believe it is not just that the Cameron et al do not want devo max; they know that they probably could not deliver it. Devo max, if it is to have any chance of being a stable, workable arrangement that will not fall apart within a few years, could not be simply grafted on to the existing constitutional arrangements for the UK, as is the case with the current devolution settlement. Much more more profound changes would be need, some of which would directly affect England and therefore require approval from English voters in a referendum; I think there is almost no chance of this approval being given. The situation where Scotland votes for devo max (a near certainty in the case of a two question referendum if the opinion polls are to be believed), but devo max is then blocked by English voters, is a scary one.


    4. Scaraben:

      I'm quite convinced that Alex didn't want Devo Max on the ballot paper. Because all the opinion polls showed that it was the most popular choice he said that he would de prepared to put it as a option.

      That I guess is democracy. Like today’s announcement that the Cabinet Secretary for Education will delay the new Highers after having talked to teachers. Listening to the people is what governments are supposed to do.

      Cameron played right into Salmond’s hands. The Scottish people said they wanted devo max. Alex Salmond said that he would be prepared to put it on the ballot paper and David Cameron said no.

      Salmond has made it his life’s work to make Scotland independent. He’s now over 60. This is almost undoubtedly his last chance as a leader to make it happen. He doesn’t want his country taken to war by America; he doesn’t want this foreign policy run by a government which lives in the 1880s, pretending it’s an imperial power.

      Nor do I. But what Salmond wants and what I want is irrelevant. Although devo max would undoubtedly lead to independence within 20 years at the most, it’s not fast enough for me, and certainly not fast enough for Alex. Devo max would see Scots money being wasted on nuclear weapons and on the 4th largest military in the world. Why would a wee country like Scotland want that? And why would we want embassies in almost every capital in the world at HUGE expense?

      It makes no sense for a country of 5 million.

      Cameron was, as usual outwitted by Salmond into being the one who would refuse the Scots what they wanted.

      Just like he did with electoral reform. You can have two unsatisfactory choices both of which will give the same uneven result as now. You cannot have the choice that would actually revolutionise parliament and give a more representative government.

    5. Cameron is not a democrat. He is an old Tory plutocrat.

      And as I think everyone has agreed, you cannot have further changes to devolution in Scotland without altering the 1707 act.

      This would involve the approval of any changes by the UK parliament. The English MPs already think that we get far too much money in Scotland. There is no chance of them approving a better deal for Scotland. They can’t afford to let us have the oil money.

      All they can do, maybe, is hand us the right to set a couple of taxes. This is almost no use at all, because you have to balance taxes.

      You may reduce VAT, but put up income tax; you may reduce corporation tax, but put up VAT…

      That’s how it works. If you have control over only one tax, you are stuck in a situation where you can never use the power.

      The Barnet Formula will go. Farage, who hates Scotland, will be shouting for that, and many powers to be taken back.

      Don’t forget that, before he was told that law was, and always had been different in Scotland he was demanding that the Scottish parliament be disbanded and Scots MPs use it a couple of days a week as a chamber for Scottish matter, to be approved by London.

    6. Devo-max isn't really an option at all.
      This from todays telegraph -

      Once again the hoary old bromide of England pays Scotland's way in the world is used in a pro-unionist article asking for more honesty. It is quite ridiculous that this nonsense still has currency, but then when you have a tory party that needed a reason to explain why Scotland rejected them, the "Scottish Scrounger" story was born. Read the responses - feel the love the average telegraph reader has for Scotland and the union.

      Win or lose the union loses I said: And this is the sort of thing I meant. The proponents of Union, if they win, will do something quite idiotic. They will act and legislate against Scotland. They will trigger the same constitutional crisis that saw devolution return. Win or Lose the union ends. It also seems clear to me, that the rUK will then attempt to ensure Scotland fails whether it votes yes or no.

      Don't say you weren't warned.

    7. My James. Isn't the Telegraph so even handed...

      Not just in that article but in all the articles it links to.

      I suppose that given its sales in Scotland are tiny, it shouldn't be of any concern to us.

      I believe that if we say no, the Barnett Formula will end, with no compensation. The Tories will be happy with that because they will save money for England; Labour want it to finish. Ms Lamont says money should be allocated according to need. So, who will decide that need? The London parliament clearly, with an overwhelming number of English MPs.

      Scotland will get poorer. We will be foreced to seel off schools and health like teh English ahve; we will be forced to stop free prescriptions, and care for elderly.

      We are facing a lifetime of austerity so that the people at the top can carry on stealing from us and pretending to be important with their weapons of mass destruction.

      I'm for emigration to a country with realistic expectations of its own importance.

      I don';t care about being rich, I'm just damned if I see why I should be poorer so that some half arsed jerk like Cameron can play at being a world statesman when all he's good for is making tea.

      And as I don't have a patriotic bone in my body, it won't worry me if I never see "this sceptred isle; this england" again in my life.

  12. Dean, I agree with your analysis. (shock horror).

    The thing I would say is that the current defenders of the Union have been screaming about how a currency union between Scotland and England simply could not work.

    If this is their truly held belief, then how could Devomax ever be delivered to a devolved Scotland? Surely control over tax and spend of all the resources of Scotland, set within the framework of a United Kingdom (and the £) that only looks after foreign policy and defense, is just the same (economically speaking) as what is being proposed at the moment as a currency Union?

    As you are a defender of the Union yourself, I assume you believe that your leadership are being honest and earnest about their view on the unworkability of a currency union. Given that fact, how do you see them ever advancing Devomax as a further devolution package after a NO vote is achieved?

    I am very interested in your answer, especially after your earlier analysis of the future of the Union after the referendum, win or lose.

    To follow your logic in your previous post (which I agreed with), it appears to me that if we surmise devomax/monetary union is truly viewed by unionists to be unworkable (and therefor will never be offered), then independence becomes inevitable in the fairly short term.

    That being the case, does it not make sense to get on with a mutually agreeable return of sovereignty ASAP, before the inevitable break up gets the chance to become truly septic?


    1. Excellent analysis. I hadn't though about the currency thing from that point of view.

      I'll be interested in Dean's answer too.

    2. "As you are a defender of the Union yourself, I assume you believe that your leadership are being honest and earnest about their view on the unworkability of a currency union."

      While I consider their position honest and heartfelt, their analysis is wrong.

      They argue that a currency union without the fiscal union is destined to fail, and cite the current eurozone setup. However this ignores the hugely pertinent fact that its an optimal currency zone (the British Isles I mean), so their hesitancy is misplaced.

      "To follow your logic in your previous post (which I agreed with), it appears to me that if we surmise devomax/monetary union is truly viewed by unionists to be unworkable (and therefor will never be offered), then independence becomes inevitable in the fairly short term."

      As a devo-max supporter, my great irritation with the 'Better Together' campaign is that it is inherently status quo. This ignores the good third of unionists like myself who want radical autonomy/devo max (effectively devolution of all except defence and foreign policy, held together via currency union - you may call this indie light?)

      So its another reason I feel the union, if we get a no vote is still heading for the rocks. Unless leaders of unionist parties accept views like mine, that currency union and radical devolution is an acceptable & indeed desirable unionism... they won't win the long game.

      I hope that answers the questions... and good questions these were too. They have helped me clarify precisely what I think.

    3. I think it's more than a third Dean.

      It's a long time since we had a poll done on Yes, No, Devo Max. Since just after Cameron ruled it out, it has probably seemed like a complete waste of time.

      It won't happen.

      But when they did do them, I seem to recall that the overwhelming majority was for that. Second was independence and third was status quo.

      Trust Cameron to offer the two less favourites and deny the favourite.

      I think I said at the time that leaving defence in teh hands of the Uk would be a disaster, as we would be dragged down by their ongoing desire to have "clout"... put some stick about, as it were. And that doesn't come cheap.

      I also think that we overdo the foreign office expenditure. Embassies in every capital bar about 10, is just ridiculous when charing could easily be done.

      It's the "just not the done thing old chap" attitude that drives me mad.

      We could probably afford cancer drugs if we didn't waste all that money of embassies, residences and cocktail parties.

      But then, what would Lamont find to complain about :)

    4. Dean, thanks for the considered reply.

      I can see where you are coming from, up to a point. It's my final questions that come to the nub of the point though.

      I understand your position and beliefs visa vi the workability of a currency union within a fully devolved UK. In fact I agree and see it as essential to the short/medium term survival of Sterling, with or without a YES vote.

      However my question was to you KNOWING the overwhelming view of the entire current unionist leadership.

      Can you show me anybody in a leadership role that is championing the feasibility of, and preference for, a currency union/devomax system to solve the current UK's constitutional and economic problems?

      Tris has quoted the coalitions position and I have quoted the future Labour Chancellor's position. Add to that the loudly heralded voice of the Welsh First Minister yesterday and today, and I think we can see that the BetterNO campaign is simply following the views held by those in Westminster that will actually decide on such matters.

      So, given all this evidence, what makes you believe that the return of a NO vote in September will suddenly change the unanimously stated UK leadership belief (regardless of Party) that currency union/devomax is simply unworkable, never mind undesirable?

      I would argue that the opposite would be the obvious result of a NO vote. With the threat of Independence off the table 'for a generation' and Westminster viewing such a victory as a democratic renewal of the UK mandate to rule, why on earth would they reverse the position they so carefully and purposely set out prior to the referendum?

      My point here Dean, is that if you really want devomax/currency union within a remodeled federal type UK, then I honestly believe your only realistic route to achieve it is by voting YES and arguing strongly for the development of that relationship with the rUK following 'Independence'.

      After all, it's within the Scottish electoral polling that just such a position seems to be the majority view and as you say, (and I agree), currency union is the best short/medium term solution to the UK's economic/constitutional problems.

      Unfortunately we on the YES side are the only folk seem to be willing to countenance such a prospect (sorry I forgot, you are on the other side aren't you).

      braco (wink)

  13. Have they taken any advice? Do they know what they are saying? Why is Carmichael crawling up Osborne's arse?

    THE Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has warned that independence would see Scotland expelled from Sterling.

    In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Carmichael effectively ruled out Alex Salmond’s plans for a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

    In his most outspoken contribution to the currency debate so far, the Scottish Secretary warned Holyrood not to assume it would be let back into the currency should there be a ‘Yes’ vote next year.

    “George Osborne has is highly unlikely,” Mr Carmichael said. “Most people in Whitehall understand that if George Osborne says something is highly unlikely, it is not going to happen.”

    Asked if he shared the view that an independent Scotland would be excluded from Sterling, Mr Carmichael answered: “Yes”.

    1. Tris, just as importantly for Dean, I think Edd Balls has actually been categorical in his opposition to a currency union.

      Labour's next chancellor Dean?


    2. Yes, I knew that he had said that, braco.

      In fact it seems to be getting round to everyone now that is saying it.

      But taking the advice of so many people who think that it would be catastrophic for England/Wales and NI, I can't see why they have boxed themselves into that corner.

      It won't be that difficult for Scotland to set up its own currency.

      It will be difficult for rUK to maintain the pound, interest rates, balance of payments and inflation without Scotland.

      Bravado or what!

    3. Tris,
      as I have said to Dean, I think they will only countenance such a solution/compromise after they 'lose'.

      Their view being if we win, brilliant no need for change. If we lose, a quick reverse ferret and the reasonable solution that actually suits everyone's requirements, will still be there on the table to be retrieved.

      It's cynical, but then that's the mindset and attitude that successfully built empires (in the past, of course that is).


    4. Yes Braco... and tout de suite as well!

    5. That's why Stuart is so good...

      He gets these things out, like the proper investigative journalist he is...

      ... Thank goodness for the internet.