Sunday 24 November 2013


The Herald’s editorial takes a pleasingly balanced and sensible line on the White Paper on Independence.

The thing that most caught my eye from this one time strong Labour supporting paper was their obvious distaste for the unionist parties’ negativity and, frankly, lying.

It seems that BT the coalition always start by saying that a) they are proud Scots, and b) that they know, of course, that Scotland could make it alone...and then having been seen to deal with all this Scottishness stuff, they get down to some serious Scotland bashing. Perhaps the Herald has started to see through this ploy.

At FMQ on Thursday, the only time in the week that she is let out on her own,  Ms Lamont read from a script, presumably written in London, about how the highly respected Tory think tank foresaw doom and gloom for Scotland. 

While pointing out that the First Minister habitually quoted from reports selectively, she proceeded to do the exact same thing. Our aging population would mean that we would need to put up taxes and reduce public spending. She neglected to say that this was exactly what the UK was being forced to do. That in fact the same report said that the Uk was facing 50 years of austerity. That’s something for us all to look forward to. Perhaps precious few of us will ever know anything BUT austerity if we stay with the UK.
The Herald has apparently seen through their debater of the year, and her colleagues. The moral of the story appears to be that your supporters will follow you so far, but when you start to insult their intelligence with the kind of fear bombing for fools that has been so obvious of late, there is a fair chance that they, in an effort to retain some intellectual integrity and dignity, will say...enough! Far too far!

The tone of the editorial suggest that that time has come for the Herald.

Here is the piece for those who can't get behind the paywall. Thanks to Cynical for pointing it in our direction.

While on the subject of Lamont’s lamentable performance at FMQs yet again, can I point you in the direction of an excellent piece of reporting and analysis here.

Keep an open mind on White Paper
Sunday 24 November 2013

The one thing that can be said with certainty about the Scottish Government's long-awaited Independence White Paper, which is published in Glasgow on Tuesday, is that it will be dismissed by its critics as a feeble document that fails to answer the many questions about an independent Scotland.

There is also indignation at the audacity of Alex Salmond for even producing it.
From Lord Wallace of Tankerness, the Advocate General, to the Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, the cry has gone out: how dare you? How dare the Scottish Government assume that it can use the pound after independence, or that Scotland can remain a member of the European Union? The Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has even suggested Scotland could be prevented from using sterling, despite it being a convertible currency used all over the world.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies suggests Scotland's ageing population could plunge the country into penury and that there will be cuts to public expenditure. Meanwhile, MPs on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee have demanded guarantees on successful negotiations over independence, even though the UK Government has refused to negotiate anything in case it lends credence to the Nationalist cause.

The Scottish people are yet to be convinced of the relevance of independence to Scotland's problems. However, we approach this White Paper with an open mind and we urge others to do so too. We applaud the Scottish Government for at least attempting to present an alternative future to the dismal prospectus offered by the unionist parties.

They seem to revel in negativity, dismissing Scotland's ability to run its own affairs and suggesting we can only survive as a nation on the basis of subsidies from England. They have yet to argue how remaining in the UK can offer a better future than regional irrelevance.

The geriatric forecasts of the IFS are surely a vision of Scotland if it stays in the UK. Without a new immigration policy and economic policies that keep skilled Scots families in Scotland, how can Scotland avoid an ageing population?

Carwyn Jones has also joined the clamour for the Barnett Formula on Scottish public spending to be cut.

The message is clear: within the union Scotland faces a future of public spending constraints, falling population and economic decline. Scottish representation in Westminster will likely be cut under the McKay Commission into the consequences of devolution.

The Scottish Parliament will have to pay its way by raising taxes in Scotland, without having access to oil revenues or the ability to legislate for growth. Scotland may be dragged out of Europe if it remains in the UK.

This is the off-the-peg future offered by the unionists. They'd better have a care: Scots might actually start listening to what they say.


  1. James 2:14-26

    What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

    1. I don't know if you're a BritNat or a ScotNat or neither but I love the post.

    2. I'm a Scot Nat Stevie...not a patriotic kind at all, just want a better future and the future with the UK looks bleak, so very very bleak.

      And thank you. :)

    3. I'm a Nick Knack Paddy Whack.

    4. Congratulations Marvin... that's quite a lot to be ... all at one go!


  2. Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but this verse certainly isn't cheering for 'Better together'.

    The 'Yes' campaign promises to create 'works' for Scotland's population and the 'No' campaign promises 50 years of jobless austerity.

    Read the Bible fellow Scots!

    1. David

      Er! no its saying ' Faith alone is not enough its more like lying '
      Alex Salmond style

    2. Ah... Eck was in the Bible, Niko?

      Was th debater of the year there too?

      Alistair Darling, I'm sure was the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

      Jeez, don't tell me Lamont was Eve?

    3. Nikostratos ............the Bible is indeed all things to all men.

      The pro Unionists are telling us to have faith in David Cameron and his kind and they aren't providing 'works' for young Scots.

      I prefer my interpretation.

    4. " Faith alone is not enough"

      That sounds like a pretty strong condemnation of today's church there.

  3. In the past the Glasgow Herald was a staunch supporter for the Unionist Party (Tories name in Scotland until 1965 when they merged with the Conservatives - their downfall ) then is moved away from them during the Thatcher years. The Sunday Herald should not be confused with the weekday Herald as they have different editorial staff. This can plainly be seen as to the different reporting of the Referendum debate. Today's editorial was a bold statement but all the others should be worried at their plummeting circulations, alienating a lot of your readers is a bad business move.

    1. Thanks for that info Marcia. I didn't realise they were so separate.

      I agree that when you are belittling the beliefs of maybe 40% of the population, you are cutting your possible readership by a fair percentage.

      At a time when virtually all newspapers regardless of their politics are losing circulation at a frightening speed, and with it advertising revenue, you'd have thought that management would not have gone out of their way to alienate potentially 40% of the potential customers.

      I think though that some of the crap BT are now talking is beginning to insult the journalists who are tasked to report it.

      Saying that you will demand that the UK doesn't allow Scotland to use sterling, when clearly you don't have any power to do such a thing, even if you are the Finance Minister, and expecting journos to print it, is insulting.

      There has to come a time when people say. No... I'm not writing these lies.

      I suspect that it is going to get more difficult as the Yes side provide more and more facts, and No becomes more and more outlandish in its insults.

    2. "I didn't realise they were so separate."

      Tris you mean independent don't you? Or are you saying that they are better together?

      Your blog is getting very popular comments wise these days. Usually somebody has said what I want to before I get there.

    3. ha ha PP... a good point.

      They might be better together if the Sunday one... ie the smaller of the two, were in charge.

      But certainly not if the daily, or bigger one, set the tone.

      Yeah, seems recently we've had a few interesting new commenters. I'm glad of that. The comments are what make the blog... not the rubbish I wrote! :)

      You're going to have to get up at 6 o'clock in the morning and get your comments in first :)

  4. Better a dead Unionist news paper than a lying trickster evil nasty destructive Nationalist newspaper.

    ' war is peace freedom is slavery ignorance is strength. '

    is our creed, we will see off the snp come March 24th
    our Glorious Union will go on and on and on.
    and Dr who will reign in our hearts forever

    .for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under private ITV Broadcasting . It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for watching Dr who – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.


    (outlandish insults.)
    yer getting fat as the proverbial (French ) pig
    and thats only just starting

    1. Well Niko, given that the function of a newspaper is to make money, a dead one is pretty...erm useless. You know. You only have to look at the Scotsman.

      I must admit it. You have found a soft spot in my argument.

      If the Daleks (not the stupid doctor and all this regeneration stuff) are not to be seen in Scotland after independence, then I'm voting no.

      There are somethings that are just too important.

      Still. I see where BT are getting their slogans from. It sounds like one of the debater of the years arguments...'war is peace'. But surely 'freedom is slavery' belongs to Mr Iain Duncan-Smith.

      After all, isn't he setting people free by sending them to work in Tesco for nothing?

      And as for your insults my old mate... Water off a French frog's back. I'm a fit lad...

  5. Once Scotland has gone England has a serious problem. How the hell do we get rid of the Westminster mafia?
    Scotland could have been the engine to help free us all, then we could split into three countries to the benefit of all. Whist Westminster is in existence non of us will serve any but bankers and back pockets.

    1. Well Anon, I was thinking that you might like to do some reading on this.

      You see, I gave it some consideration. First I thought you could vote Labour, and then I realised that that would make no difference at all. Then I thought Liber.., and I realised before I got to the end of the word that that was a total waste of time.

      So, I thought, that leaves... Ah... yeah, I see your dilemma.

      It was at that point that Bonfire Night came to mind.

      Not that I'm plotting treason or anything I should say, as doubtless the NSA are reading this seconds before I type it and passing it tout de suite to Mr Damien Grieve, who probably thinks my home town is Islamabad.

      Not at all.

      It is just that, as an honest answer to your heartfelt plea, I was stumped for an alternative.

      I have to say that, with Scotland on side, all of us together haven't managed to do anything about the den of corruption that is London. Indeed it's only got worse and worse...

      Maybe that tells us something in itself.

      I think you need to start a party that offers a real alternative of a decent, caring country concerned with the welfare of its people and with no ambition to rule the world attached to the arse of Washington.


      Sorry I couldn't be more help. But I can tell you there is a sleazy little spiv who hawks weapons and explosives all around the world without enquiring too much, or at all, what the buyer is going to do with them. You might like to contact him. The name is Cameron. You can't miss him he's the one with the Botox face and the snappy clothes (there's a lot of money in killing people).

      Bonne chance...


  6. Niko,

    "...a lying trickster evil nasty destructive..." An apt description of a Labour Prime Minister. Can you guess which one?

    1. Nope, I can't ...sounds like all of them to me... Tory as well!

  7. I wish the cartoonist could spell ......"your just too stupid"....pot calling kettle black etc ;)

    1. Well, it's coming out of the mouth of Cameron, and despite all the money that daddy Cameron poured into his education, he's still as thick as shit.

      Anyway, one doesn't bother with grammar and stuff like that at Eton. They know that the dons will write their essays for them at Oxford and all they have to do is drink and wreck restaurants. You don't have to be able to do much except open your mouth and throw a chair for that. Grammar doesn't come into it.

      And as their class has ensured that education in the UK is so appalling that the lower orders won't recognise a your for a you're or a there from a they're, why7 bother.

      It's only foreigners that will notice, and as we know from Mr Grieve, they are (or they're or indeed there or their) all corrupt, and as such only fit to be placed in the House of Lords.


  8. Niko,

    Glorious union?

    Taz, get a grip of Niko especially if there is a full moon!!

    1. I've called the nurse,again, for Niko and asked her to up the dose so she is bringing the 2lb lump hammer this time.

    2. Ha ha... better tell her to bring two!

  9. I remain as undecided as ever on indyref. This sucks. I hate not knowing what I think :(

    1. You have to free yourself, Dean, from what you are being told and listen to what you know. Analyse and conclude.

      You can do it. You did it once before having been a Tory for a long time, since you were kid, I think you once told me. Then you realised that the Tories no longer represented what you felt inside, so you moved to Labour which appeared to do so.

      If you try to repeat the process you used a couple of years ago, you may find that you come down on the side of independence (like quite a few other Labour supporters), or you may find that you have cleared your mind and want to stay with, and change labour for the better (ie rid it of yes men like Lamont and Baillie and replace them with socialists).

      Whichever way it turns out for you, only you can make that decision.

      You need to look at the Scotland you want, and work out who , or what, is most likely to deliver that.

      Good luck.

    2. The thing that has really got me thinking was what Braco pointed out to me about the likelihood of getting fiscal freedom within the UK... given that BetterTogether are saying about the impossibility of separating fiscal and monetary authority...

      Its really got me rethinking those 'percentages'

    3. Dean,
      I came across your reply to my reply to your reply etc.. just recently over on 'A statement from Charles Gray'. Thanks.

      Just in case you missed it, I left an answer. Maybe it will help you make up your mind on where to position yourself for the European best on Indy Ref, or maybe it won't. (wink)

      Sorry for the delay, but I am just slow like that and always seem to find myself hanging around at the fag end of threads, talking to myself. That's why I like The Republic, Tris always seems to be there to listen (either a saint or a natural barman!) .


    4. Deano

      Best you get of that fence your are sitting on its one or t'other,
      the Union or Independence all that crap you spout about fiscal autonomy is just Independence.
      So why dont you just join the stinky nats and lump it ???
      or are you still daydreaming about meeting that new boy friend???

      just remember this in the larger Union you have the opportunity of meeting many good looking boys from many nations. In an Independent Scotland it will be all inbreeding like wot they do in the Highlands.

    5. You may have a point there Niko, but I wouldn't squeeze it too hard!


    6. "or are you still daydreaming about meeting that new boy friend???"

      Is that a proposition Niko dearest? :P

    7. Hmmm... Niko seems to think that in an independent Scotland we won't get any foreign visitors, Dean.

      What I'm wondering is, does that mean Petula Clark won't be allowed to tour here... If so (added to the daleks) I have to say Yes is losing me...

      Natural barman, Braco... hmmm.... I did that when I was at college. Never went home sober!!

      More seriously Dean. I simply don't believe the "more power" thing.

      They are devolving a little bit of tax raising already... but without the full range of taxes to juggle this is as much use as an underwater hairdryer.

      You can balance your economy in various ways using tax, but the ability to vary income tax alone (with a consequent drop in Barnet) is a total waste. Labour didn't use it; the SNP didn't use it. Unless you can drop or raise VAT to make up, why would you do it?

      They will NEVER agree to oil revenue being handed over. They will never agree to taxes from Scottish parts of companies being handed over.

      At the moment I buy stuff in Morrisons. Morrisons declare their profits in London. London takes the tax from the profit as if it were English income. We get nothing. My tax goes to England.

      None of that will change.

      For me it was always simple though.

      I couldn't see the kind of policies that I wanted (which have been delivered in Holyrood by both parties... and this is good) being extended to those things that are reserved to London.

      Social security is catastrophic; defence ridiculous, foreign policy bombastic, cross border transport pathetic and taxation unfair and unprincipled... Council tax is regressive people earning around £10,000 pay no income tax but maybe £1,000 + in council tax. How can that be right?

      We need these powers to make things right for us... not for the City of London.

      Well, that's how I see it.

  10. tris

    I see Gideon has stood on his head for all to see
    yet still claims everybody else is upside down.

    He said: "The Conservative philosophy is that you want markets that work for people, and people who believe in the free market, like myself, want that free market properly regulated."

    so free markets need regulating umm,but then does not then make
    them not free but controlled by necessary regulations as they can not be
    trusted to be let free to do as they please.

    1. Munguin and I are rolling about on the floor Niko. You got that in a oner. Brilliantly put.

      A free market controlled by Gideon, so that he makes all the money and we can sod off.

      If I had my way the bugger wouldn't have a head to stand on!

    2. Nice catch Nikostratos!


    3. Did it bring a lump in your throat?

      The markets have been manipulated for decades by the financial industry for decades aided and abetted by governments impotence and collusion.

    4. I heard that too live on Radio 4

      I wonder if his digestive system is reversed too, because what comes out of his mouth comes out of everbodies' derriers

  11. Tris

    Lets hope the herald is starting to wake up a little and have decided that they have looked stupid for long enough, like the rest of the msm, but I am yet to be convinced. However, as we have all noted the last month or so the tide is turning. You wouldn't know it from the msm in the main but from talking to people you start to get the idea that previous no's are now don't knows and previous don't knows are now yes. I said in my blog a while that BT had better start to change their tune if they were smart but given they are not things will just get better for yes. When you get Carmichael takling about them and it as if he wasn't Scottish or representing a Scottish seat then you know you are doing well as he just looks stupid. bring it on I say and if the media are starting to wake up, or one paper it's a start and it piles more and more pressure on BT.

    As Derek Bateman says, more people might say ' Fuck It ' and vote YES.


    1. Well, we do have to take into consideration Marcia says, the Sunday Herald and the Herlad are different keetles of fish, but I think there is a change coming.

      The campaign will hot up this week as many of the "unanswered questions" will be answered and the naysayers will have to find new ways of putting people down.

      I was amazed at the Secretary of State for the Union with Marr as reported on Wings today.

      We got the same rubbish. He lied about Carwyn Jones and Ed Balls. He rabbited on again about having clout and he insultingly and amazingly said that we couldnt possibly have been proud of Mo Farrow if we had been foreigners.

      I was just thinking of the number of times I've cheered iceland or France or San Marino in football matches or winter sports and thinking what a narrow minded little twit he is.

      Jeez, they got rid of Moore, for this ass?

  12. Replies
    1. Ghastly. I've put up a comment, but of course it has to be moderated so I don't know if it will end up on the page.

      Heaven help him when he debates with Nicola if this is the standard of his discourse. International Law that doesn't exist, third person referral to Scotland, lies and obfuscations...

    2. I've left two now both in mod no doubt until working hours tomorrow. My last one.

      As all of our MSM in Scotland is against independence and all that is portrayed is the negative spin emanating from your office and Westminster both of which have a heavy bias to the continuation of the union is not good for democracy anywhere within these isles.

      Let's take the EU which you and others question Scotland's continuation of our membership'


      It's just a pity that we don't have an MSM that we can have any trust in at all anymore in Scotland.

    3. Good one CH.

  13. Just left my second comment on Alistairs blog.
    It refers to 'how well' he coped with the debate against

    1. I've put one on too, Patrick.

      Almost can't believe that he blogged he was looking for answers... given that Nicola asked him FOUR questions and he answered not a single one.

      I wonder how his colleague Alistair Darling responded to his reply that the coalition were having to do these dreadful things to people because of the complete mes left by the previous government, in the person of the chancellor of the exchequer... one Alistair Darling?

      Better Together at each others' necks!

      I commented too, but I'm not holding my breath!