Saturday 20 September 2014

Norman Smith, BBC: Sources say new powers for Scottish parliament will be "an extension of existing responsibilities" - not Devo Max

 We'd have thought that having said that Bob, you'd have had
the sense to keep your gob shut.
One of the drawbacks about winning a referendum campaign in which you have made promises and signed pledges, is that it comes with some sort of obligations. 

Politicians don't perhaps realise this, because election after election they produce manifestos containing promises which are as swiftly broken as Katie Price's marriage vows.
Dave does a lot of pointing, doesn't he?
Maybe they teach it at posh schools
to save you having to remember plebs' names.
But as Cameron was quick to point out in a condescending speech to Scots a couple of weeks ago ("let's say F'ing; it will sound passionate, and I'm told the savages use it 3 times in every sentence, not that I speak to them as a rule"), this was not an election, and we can't boot the F'ing Brits out in 5 years.

Of course a great deal of the No's campaign was based on threats rather than promises. You won't use the pound; you won't be in the EU, you won't be in Nato; you won't have clout; you won't be able to visit your granny in Carlisle without a visa, food prices will spiral and you'll starve, mortgages will be unobtainable and you'll live in a tent, cyber attacks from space will knock out all your computers and you'll need to get an abacus, you'll lose your state pension, you'll be small insignificant and oil rich broke, etc, ad infinitum.

Most of the threats were demonstrably rubbish, and a decent and free press or state broadcaster would have pointed that out. But then we don't appear to have these, so that knocks that on the head.

Promises are, however, another kettle of fish.
Should have consulted him for the pledges and vows
Vague promises are best in these situations, and always peppered with words and phrases which will provide a strategic get out. "Consultations", "in conjunction with the countries of the UK", "in as far as is possible under legislation", "within a framework of regulations set by the European Union" make the job of unpicking what has REALLY been promised, and can be delivered, almost impossible.

The campaign started off with an absolute from Cameron. There will be no devo-max. It will not be on the ballot paper. His Scottish deputy, David son, went so far as to tell us that a line had been drawn in the sand. 

However, as the song goes, "la mer efface sur le sable, les pas des amis desunis"! and it wasn't long before the exigencies of the campaign meant that the line in the sand had followed the steps of the lovers and been wiped out, as vague indications of possible new powers were made.

Polling showed the campaign to be much closer than the final result, and so, with apparently not a trace of irony, a couple of weeks ago the two main UK parties joined with Nick Clegg... yes Nick Clegg, to sign a pledge... yes a pledge... to giving new powers to Scotland.  
Yep, Nick, we know poppet.
And then, with only 2 days to go with polls looking even more gloomy for unionists, a set of Vows were agreed to by the three English based parties, and published on the front page of one of Scotland's best selling downmarket organs, The Daily Record, (Scottish version of the Daily Mirror, and Labour's messenger to the Scottish working classes). Gordon Brown's fingerprints were all over this, but it was a promise from the two main UK parties and the Liberals

With immediate effect a process would be put in place, they swore. Better Together went further and actually annotated this process with date deadlines. This was a process that they would be obliged to leave to a Tory government with no electoral interest in Scotland, in a run up to a general election. 

Well duh! Saw ya comin', Brown.

The latest pledge, oh sorry, vow (has Nick Clegg signed a vow before?), promised that on the day after a no vote (ie the 19th September, 2014) a motion on more powers would be published in the London parliament. 
Missed the first deadline then?
It is now the 20th and flying in the face of the famous English tradition of Fair Play, no such motion has been published. 

In short they lied. 

Not the best of starts.

No one, in all this vowing and pledging, seems to have been aware that in other parts of the Uk all is constitutionally not well.
Gordon and the Mrs have grandma round for some advice
on how to grind the poor to dust.
Gordon Brown has the excuse of knowing nothing about this because he and his mrs spend most of their lives in 5 or 6 star hotel rooms, or travelling first class around the world on the back of their "charity". The Tories all went to Eton or Westminster or Harrow and "up to" Oxford, and are in their positions because of connections rather than brains, and that is their excuse for getting most things wrong. But surely there is someone somewhere who knew better?
Get rid of the 10p tax Gordon. The poor want to pay more.
Yes MA'AM.
No one seems to have thought that the English, who have always had the whip hand in this union of nations, provinces, principalities and little semi-detached islands, feel that they have been neglected since Blair's botched devolution.

Of course, they actually aren't that badly done by, but, compared with the total power they used to have it's not not quite good enough and they have been encouraged in the past by people like Boris, to feel resentment. 

It's a bit like the EU situation. If you blame as much as you can on an organisation or country, you shouldn't complain when the people turn against it. Governments and press have, for years, blamed all kinds of problems on EU regulations, to the point that a vast swathe of people loathe it and want out of it. 

Trouble is none of the political parties want that. Yes, they want you to hate it a lot so that you hate them a little less, but get out of it... Oh god no. 
Likewise, tell the English for decades that Scots are subsidy junkies, who get far more per head than good decent English taxpayers do. Encourage them to think it's their taxes that pay for our free education, and elderly care, prescriptions, etc, etc... and that most of us spend our lives staggering between the pub and the bookies and sticking pins in Englishmen... and then not wanting them to take umbrage when you appear to bribe the Jocks with more power and money lacks a certain level of perception. Duh, in fact.

Foresight isn't a quality with which the union politicians seem to be blessed. They must not teach it at Oxford on the PPP course.

So it looks like a complete constitutional rethink is going to be demanded and that's going to make mockery of BT's promises... especially with a UK election around the corner. We don't really care that you politicians have problems in England. You're problem. You promised us a real change, starting yesterday, and we want it.

Of course you have to feel for them. Well a bit. (Don't you?)
Once you start messing with the powers allotted in the London parliament, you open a whole new can of nasty poisonous worms. 

The most obvious of these are:

making Celtic MPs second class legislators; 

allowing English only MPs to vote on how much is spent on, for example, health or law and order, in the other nations, despite the other nations paying taxes;

and the most frightening and insurmountable of all, a possible situation where a potential Labour government of the day in the UK could find itself in a situation where it would not have a majority in a parliament which spends most of its working week on English only legislation.

Oh what interesting times we live in.
Ah. Unionist politicians and their past tenses.
Who could ask for more?
Who is he?
Apparently a minister in the NI government
who has... uhm..."went off" message
Munguin's Republic thinks there is going to be far too much fun and games in the coming months for it to take even a few days break.

I'm delighted to see that my friend James Kelly's Scot Goes Pop fund raiser is doing well, and I hope that he will raise the money to stay in the game  for at least the next 6 months. James' contribution to understanding polls and his quick wit and sense of humour make him an absolute must. 

I hope that other friends will stay on board too... too many to mention. You're all in the sidebar and I've appreciated all your contributions.

And especially (and I'm sure you other bloggers won't object to me singling him out)...

Stuart Campbell... I know you're tired. You've worked non stop with posts, broadcasts and wee blue books. You need a break. You deserve a holiday.

But please come back and help us fight. No one needs to tell you the dramatic effect you've had on the campaign. I don't mean to undervalue the efforts of anyone else, but you have made a phenomenal difference. 

Simply put. We need you. 

So have another fundraiser if you need to, but please don't go.
I've just read Stuart's latest post on the BBC and its lies.

About a month ago I decided that I'd had the BBC up to here. It had been a long time in the coming. 

I felt for a long time that whilst a national funding scheme was probably quite reasonable for a tv service that was the BBC and only the BBC in the 1960s, it was already redundant by the time there were 4 channels. 

By the time I could, in theory, choose from a hundred or so channels on my Freeview, it seemed ridiculous to be paying for the BBC at the outrageous cost of £145 per year.

I've never been a tv watcher and neither of my sets was used regularly, so much so that I was at one point unaware that my aerial had been tampered with, and on another occasion when a friend asked me if he could watch something on my lounge tv, I had to admit that I didn't know how it operated. (We eventually found a switch underneath to put it on.)

The stories about decades of depravity and sexual liberty taking, known by all including amazing Esther Rantzen but reported by no one, and then finally the coverage of the referendum campaign sorted it. 

I wrote to the licensing authority (it's not an authority, it's Crapita) and they won't get another cent from me. I've spent my refund.

Like Stuart, I am not advocating illegality. (The Wings article lays down clearly the conditions under which you can use a tv and what you can watch on computers, phones and whatever else you have without breaking the law and it points to the website so you can be sure that you are not inviting the police to investigate you.)

But I urge you to ask yourselves if support of this state broadcaster, which one Pole confessed to Craig Murray, reminded him of Pravda in the days of Poland's Solidarity movement, is something that you really want to engage with.


  1. As far as the TV licence is concerned, you have made a wise choice. I first gave up on TV several years ago because I was finding so few programmes that I wanted to watch, and watching too many programmes that afterwards I wished I had not bothered with. Initially I thought I might take a licence out in the winter, but a few of the nasty letters from Capita made me drop that idea. My advice is not to even open any letters from TV Licensing, and to remember that they do not have the right to come into your home without a search warrant.

    The BBC's appalling bias has just made me even more determined that they will never get any money from me again. Now, can anyone recommend a decent general news website to replace the BBC News as my browser homepage? Looking at it makes me feel dirty now.

    1. There's a hilarious page on Youtube about the BBC tv licence.

      People film the Capita staff coming to their doors and how to deal with them.

      It's the kind of job no one would want, to be fair to them, and they are nearly all older people who've probably lost their jobs and been made to go work there on starvation wages buy the McVile -Smith-Fraud team of lowlife cheats.

      However, no matter how sorry I feel for their staff there is no way any of their inspectors will ever get anywhere near inside my house.

  2. I watch TV all the time, and haven't had a license for years.
    Simply tell them to fuck off if they come to your door, They are only cold callers, like many others.

    1. LOL Jutie. That's the Dundee way!! :)

  3. "It is now the 20th and flying in the face of the famous English tradition of Fair Play, no such motion has been published.

    In short they lied."

    This means the referendum result is null and void. We need to protest about this, we shouldn't accept the result or their broken promises.

    1. I wish, but of course no one knows how many people were persuaded by Brown's Devo Max.

      But that doesn't mean we can't give them a hard time over it.

      What it seems to me is that we have caused such a stir in the Uk that it will never be the same again.

      The English want more power, the Welsh too, and it can't be long before there will be so many republicans in Ireland that they will leave this cesspit union and go be part of their own country.

      Imagine a stupid man like Cameron having to deal with all this.

      If Blair made a complete mess of it, and he was at least relatively brought (evil yes, but bright) can you imagine the thicko Eton Boy coming up with something?

      Ort he could hand it to Clegg and we could have another pledge or a vow or whatever he hasn't already cocked up.

  4. New version of Flower of Scotland

    1. We'll be a nation again within 10 years.

      The Uk is disintegrating.

      I now want independence for Wales, Cornwall and Engerland too

  5. The BBC, unionist thugs, lying Westminster politicians possible vote count fraud, and Scottish Labour/Tories and Lib/Dems working against the best interests of the Scottish people, we have a fight on our hands, but one we can win, sorry I mean't must win.

    1. We will. I just read from a friend that the SNP membership has increased by 5,000 over the last two days adn the Green party is getting new members all teh time.

      Labour don;t let on about their membership, but I bet it's dropping off.

      You can't sup with the Tories and then expect normal people to want to have anything to do with you.


      Welcome to NO Red Tories. We are busy preparing the website so please bare with us a few days whilst we get things in order.

    3. SNP membership up by 10,000 now.

      What have they done.

      SSP and Green membership rising too.

  6. Tris

    Not many of us will be surprised that virtually all of their vows will be broken. There will be no new powers just expensive responsibilities that will make us all poorer. I hope Wings keeps going and does some crowd funding to ensure it does, I don't have much but will give what I can as we need a news outlet to represent us and Stuart has shown that he is both an excellent advocate and journalist, it would be a real shame to lose his input, his skills and his passion. The msm are not going to do it so we will have to do it ourselves.

    Off topic but I stopped smoking yesterday to try and make sure I am around for the next referendum lol. I'll continue my poorly written blog, have just cancelled my GMB membership and will be re-joining the SNP. Time to stop moaning and start getting involved, esp to get rid of the red Tories, McGovern has to be the target in Dundee.


    1. Hear hear. I too will help fun Wings, as I have with SGP.

      We need class acts like them and many others. No doubt though that Stuart works more than full time on his blog, and needs to be paid. Likewise the research and analysis needed for SGP requires long hours which aren't possible with a full time job. I just rattle stuff off. It's entirely different.

      Your blog is NOT poorly written. Au contraire. It's you and your feelings... a bit like this one really.

      Congratulations on giving up smoking. The first weeks are the hardest (I've done it) but the rewards are fantastic, both financially and health wise.

      Was the GMB one of the unions that refused to have a ballot and simply backed the UK because it suited their pals in the Labour hierarchy?

      I think people need to think carefully about membership of a union which would take that kind of high handed approach. I'd definitely leave.

    2. On the subject of McGovern... yes, lets get shot of him.

      I saw him introduce murphy in Dundee. He actually (and I kid you not) opened his address with the word "Comrades".

      Comrades? Com bloody rades for bloated capitalist Murphy and his millions.

      They are like a parody of themselves; A monty python sketch

    3. Just read your post Bruce. Bloody brilliant!

    4. Was McGovern sober at the time?

    5. Hmmmm... your guess is as good as mine! :)

    6. McGovern sober? That's a shocking allegation, and I for one demand proof. Let's not get into the realms of fantasy.

    7. Well that would explain his love of Better Together with subsidized bars.

      The new salary, if he gets it, will buy a lot of booze!

      Be good if he didn't get it.

      Still if Mr Drunken Smith can live on £50 a week, I see no reason why a lesser being like McGovern couldn't manage.

      Oh wait, Mr Smith means £50 a breakfast, didn't he?

  7. SNP Press release:

    The Scottish National Party has seen a spike in membership of almost 5,000 following the referendum on Thursday.

    Commenting, SNP Business Convenor Derek McKay said:

    "Seeing our membership spike by nearly 5,000 is incredibly encouraging.

    "Some will no doubt be coming from Labour - whose traditional heartlands were voting Yes on Thursday - but many will be new to politics, and they will continue the legacy of the referendum, and the amazing level of engagement we saw."

    Note to Editor: SNP membership has gone from 25,642 on Thursday at 5pm up
    4,844 to 30,486 as of Saturday 3pm.

    1. It is now up by more than 10,000. Server cannot cope and a extra processing power will be online by Tuesday.

    2. Yes, I saw that on Twitter... and the Greens had an extra 2,00 in the first 24 hours. Don;t know where that's gone to by now.

      I'm not a member but I am thinking about it...

  8. Just seen a tweet for someone who said that from now on they will be giving their tv licence to the local foodbank.


  9. 45% voted for Scotland to be independent and if Westminster thinks for one minute that they are going to meekly accept a 55% majority thst was only obtained by Westminster and its media lackeys lying and cheating all the way through the campaign, then they had better think again.

    YES campaigners should now unite to form a political force even stronger than it was complete with streaming TV and Radio and online news to rival and even better the British media in every way to reach out with a message of truth to the people of Scotland that makes it the number one choice for viewing and listening to news and current affairs in Scotland.

    Then this new political force campaigns like never seen before to make Scotland’s Westminster MP’s unionist free. We’ve already done it to the Tories, the LibDems just need one last small push, and now the Westminster Labour party in Scotland are ripe for eradication too.

    Once Scotland returns every MP as one who wants full political and fiscal autonomy we have an unstoppable weapon to get exactly what we want.

    1. Bravo. Well said.

      I'm a democrat. If this had been fairly done I would accept that it was, despite the awful behaviour of the BNP types since the result.

      But it wasn't fairly done. They lied and cheated all the way through the campaign. It was always dangerous to take what Darling or Brown said as gospel. They are retired politicians who rarely go to Westminster and spend most of their time making huge amounts of money on our backs.

      Cameron hasn't invested anything in this. He let Labour do it so if it went wrong he could blame them and he can disown all the crap that Brown came up with, because at the end of the day he's a has been failed political opponent.

      I think people want a day or so to lick wounds, but already Twitter and FB are alive with people who are not accepting that it all be put in the box.

      Miliband now says that Scottish matters aren't his top priority (because he can depend on Scottish votes and he needs to keep in with the rich south east if he is ever to get his feet under the table at No 10.

      Cameron says that it's not devo max, but some extension of responsibilities that he was talking about.

      Clegg is a prat.

      I hope the Liberals are wiped out in Scotland next year and Labour are at least halved in number.

      I particularly hope that Vinegar Face, Spud and Alexander get booted out.

      Strangely the only possible survivor for the Dums will be Carmichael.

      I suppose that Muddle will survive.

      5000 new memebrs for the SNP is a good sign and I think the Greens are doing well too.

      Labour for Indy need to strike now, while the iron is hot, and register as a political party.

      Go speak to Jim Sillars and Dennis Canavan lads. Get sorted.

  10. Day three and it's looking to be a fine sunny day in North Britain!

    I'm looking forward to an Eaton and Oxford master-class in making fudge, growing long grass to kick things into and the delicate art of back-pedalling.

    But 55% of 85% of us North Britishers decided we were better together with the London based spivs, placemen, aristos and moneyed elite and that they were better placed to fritter our region's wealth on clout, nuclear weapons, English infrastructure projects and a neo-con privatisation bonanza. Its not like we didn't know they are a bunch of liars, they have a pretty clear track record on that.

    1. Just think. If we'd gone and voted for independence the Brits wouldn't have let us have a share in their sunshine, so it would have been cold and rainy.

  11. Yes folk marching in Dundee yesterday, Down but not out,

    1. Aye, it's not over til it's over, and it won't be over till we win.

      I very much hope we will reject the violence that there was in Northern Ireland but I hope that we are such a pain in the backside to Westminster that next time they tell the BBC to report the truth.

  12. I'll try again, please excuse shaky writing.

    According to Lord Ashcroft's post-referendum poll it appears that 25% of those who voted No did so on the strength of the Scottish Parliament being given significant extra powers. If only half of them had not been fooled by the son of the manse and the other deceitful bastards it would have had a significant effect on the final outcome.

    1. The ex-politician strikes again, doing down his own country so that he can continue to benefit from the British system. He saved the world then he saved Britain, again. What a colossus! or something.

      Already the Tories have backpedaled and Mili, with a largely English audience to please has said that there are more important things for Labour to worry about, like inequality (they they helped cause). Suddenly they seem to care about ordinary people. Well, at least for this weekend.

      No one gives a stuff what the Liberals think.

      But I expect the Ukip view (put the jocks back in their box) is of more interest.

      Anyway, the news that the independence parties' memberships are rising is encouraging.

      We fight on and we fight to win... only this time we mean win.

  13. Every time I see that picture of Lord Monckton, all I hear in my head is; " you've got to pick a pocket or two boys, you've got to pick a pocket or two... ".

    1. If the pattern of his colleagues in Ukip are anything to go b y, that is probably what he does.

  14. Replies
    1. Thanks...from one to two, o'clock.

  15. Closing my RBS account and my TV licence runs out end of this month. So given my only luxury is unlimited broadband and I got a NowTV box last Christmas that turns ordinary TV's into a Smart TV, that will be going too.

    I shop at Asda and Lidls so that's Lidls from now on. I never buy newspapers anyway.

    1. Yes, my RBS account will go too. I will have to try another branch of the TSB, as the local one is staffed by ill-mannered numpties.

      I stopped paying a tv licence a month ago and Aldi is my chop of choice.. I will only buy the Sunday Herald from now on.

      And if I ever find myself in a position of being able to do down the saviour of the world I shall take it with pleasure.

    2. I wish they would open one in Dundee.

  16. Sign this petition, to devolve broadcasting in Scotland.

  17. Stop funding the Orwellian state broadcaster, the BBC.