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Glow or gloom

Brian Taylor | 12:56 UK time, Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The contest in Glenrothes moves on apace, with nominations due to close today (Tuesday).

Time, perhaps, to cast another glance at the prospects.

I took the chance to chat with sundry SNP strategists during the party's conference in Perth over the weekend.

While decidedly hopeful of victory, they are aware of an impetus pulling the other way.

Firstly, Glenrothes is not Glasgow East - where the SNP secured victory.

Yes, the swing to take is smaller in the Fife contest but canvassers say they detect less of the visceral anger that was present in the Glasgow battle.

Glenrothes displays more in the way of community spirit than was evident in the socially and economically fractured east end of Glasgow.

In fact, that is multiple community spirit: the new town itself plus, quite separately, Methil and the former mining villages in the west end of the seat.

Nationalists say that folk in Glenrothes itself are perhaps more amenable to their arguments than they are in the smaller villages where a habit of voting Labour or indeed, in bygone days, Communist is ingrained.

Secondly, Gordon Brown's image has changed.

It is glib to say that he has gone from loser to superman, from zero to hero.

But there is an understanding of the efforts he has made to rescue the economy, building upon the respect which he attracts as a Fife MP.

Labour knows that and so is expected to field the PM's wife to campaign in the constituency, presumably as a prelude to the man himself: broadly, the role she played at the Labour conference in Manchester where she introduced her husband onto the stage.

Thirdly, Labour tacticians are frankly hoping that the Liberal Democrats in Glenrothes manage to avoid a squeeze of Glasgow East proportions.

The LibDems have a presence in Fife more generally and need to avoid humiliation here.

If their support holds up, that could split the anti-Labour vote.

The plus side for the SNP?

They won the comparable Holyrood seat, they are in joint control of the council, they believe Alex Salmond performed powerfully at their conference - and they believe the perception of Gordon Brown will change.

They believe the glow of the rescue will give way to the gloom of the consequences for jobs and mortages.

Labour privately acknowledges that prospect but calculates that the glow may survive until 6 November, polling day.

As ever, it's up to the voters to decide.

Comments

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  • 1. At 1:52pm on 21 Oct 2008, enneffess wrote:

    All the parties, perhaps with the exception of the onservatives, are under pressure here.

    The Lib Dems must make a showing here, but I think this is unlikely given that many people recognise that they have little influence in politics at this moment in time.

    Labour obviously do not want to lose it, but I think they are prepared to accept the loss in a by-election, with the hope it would be reclaimed in a general election.

    Much pressure is on the SNP. A by-election is normally an easier prospect for a party of opposition - which the SNP are in Westminister - than during a general election. While it may be considered acceptable for them to lose in a general election, failure to take this seat following their stunning success in Glasgow would be a setback. Smaller majority etc.

    Obviously, since the SNP are in Government in Scotland, they have this to demostrate to the voters.

    On the other hand, the cynic in me wonders if Labour are secretly hoping to lose the seat (narrowly of course), then come the general election win it back.

    A lot at stake.

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  • 2. At 1:53pm on 21 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Sadly they don't provide much in the way of detail, but the Grauniad today demolishes the idea of a "bounce" with their Brown's dreams and reality: a poll apart.

    It will certainly be interesting to see if Scotland bucks those trends but until we get at least a Scottish poll we won't know for sure until the Glenrothes count.

    As an expat, can I please make a plea to the BBC to make any TV coverage of the by-election available outwith the UK - as STV did for Glasgow East but the BBC did not.

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  • 3. At 1:53pm on 21 Oct 2008, ronreagan wrote:

    ANY party defending a majority of this size at Glenrothes and who can call on the saviour of the world banking system - according to some idiots - can NEVER lose - can they??????????????f

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  • 4. At 1:58pm on 21 Oct 2008, kaybraes wrote:

    Looks like a 50/50 ; the Labour spin machine has gone into overdrive; it will do or say anything to take the voters' attention away from the state Brown has got the country into, (irrespective of the world effect). Sending his wife up to " knock on doors " is typical of the man. Not too proud to hide behind a woman' skirt when the going gets tough. I suspect he himself will be much too busy with world affairs ( over which he has no influence ) to come to Glenrothes himself unless he thinks they're going to win. If losing is on the cards, he won't appear, he doesn't have the bottle to risk a bloody nose. Whether nationalism or independence is the right way I don't know, but Labour is definitely the wrong way as has been proved without question over the last few weeks ,or should that be last 10 years. The Tories obviously can't win and Labour must be praying that the Lib/Dems get enough votes to split the SNP vote as Brian suggest; god forbid.

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  • 5. At 2:01pm on 21 Oct 2008, gedguy2 wrote:

    First time that I've agreed with Brian Taylor's summing up.
    It's all up to the voters now and which party can demonise the other parties the most. It should make for an interesting by-election.

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  • 6. At 2:08pm on 21 Oct 2008, Anaxetogrind wrote:

    "They believe the glow of the rescue will give way to the gloom of the consequences for jobs and mortgages."

    Quite so. In the constituency of Glenrothes the proportion of the working-age population considered to be economically active was 83.3 per cent in 2007. This means that a very substantial proportion of this electorate has reason to be directly concerned about the economic impact of the Anglo-American financial crisis.

    By November 6th, if they have not done so already, they may come to take the view that Scotland has been crushed into a hoped-for submission by the UK again. Our economy robbed of much of what we need to thrive here, we shall, many of us, those of us who need to earn a living here in order to be able to remain here, have to turn to the high road and the airways to leave for other lands once more, lands that we have contributed to substantially in previous waves of economically forced migration.

    As John Muir contemplated with justified pride his companionship with President Theodore Roosevelt in the western wilderness that his distinguished efforts were to transform into US national parks a century ago and as a fresh fall of snow awoke them in their tent in the morning to contemplate the wonders of nature in the sequoia-covered mountains and valleys that were to be preserved and conserved for future generations instead of being suffered to fall into the grasping hands of cowboy capitalists and other devastators of true wealth and human happiness, thoughts of the old country that he was taken from as a boy may have visited him, as they did in autobiographical recollection shortly before his death:

    "One night, when David and I were at grandfather's fireside solemnly learning our lessons as usual, my father came in with news, the most wonderful, most glorious, that wild boys ever heard. "Bairns," he said, "you needna learn your lessons the nicht, for we're gan to America the morn!" No more grammar, but boundless woods full of mysterious good things; trees full of sugar, growing in ground full of gold; hawks, eagles, pigeons, filling the sky; millions of birds' nests, and no gamekeepers to stop us in all the wild, happy land. We were utterly, blindly glorious. After father left the room, grandfather gave David and me a gold coin apiece for a keepsake, and looked very serious, for he was about to be deserted in his lonely old age. And when we in fullness of young joy spoke of what we were going to do, of the wonderful birds and their nests that we should find, the sugar and gold, etc., and promised to send him a big box full of that tree sugar packed in gold from the glorious paradise over the sea, poor lonely grandfather, about to be forsaken, looked with downcast eyes on the floor and said in a low, trembling, troubled voice, "Ah, poor laddies, poor laddies, you'll find something else ower the sea forbye gold and sugar, birds' nests and freedom fra lessons and schools. You'll find plenty hard, hard work." And so we did. But nothing he could say could cloud our joy or abate the fire of youthful, hopeful, fearless adventure. Nor could we in the midst of such measureless excitement see or feel the shadows and sorrows of his darkening old age. To my schoolmates, met that night on the street, I shouted the glorious news, "I'm gan to Amaraka the morn!" None could believe it. I said, "Weel, just you see if I am at the skule the morn!"" (John Muir, The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, 1913)

    Many will leave Scotland again in the midst of the economic decline that is taking hold of Scotland now in the wake of the financial disaster brought about by the excesses of Anglo-American cowboy capitalism and the southern seizure of the jewels in the crown of our economy. In old age we may return to the scenes of our childhood and youth, as John Muir returned to Dunbar in his old age, to see for ouselves who is living in the house where we were brought up and to hear the accents of the replacement population, which will descend upon Scotland from the south and take over what we have left behind.

    Alternatively, we could resist this and plough on to independence despite the obstacles that have been placed in our way. The government of an independent country can restore that which has been knocked down and create the means to keep its population economically active in their own land. The electorate of Glenrothes will no doubt be reminded in the course of the SNP campaign that the choice is still ours to make. The SNP will no doubt wish to point out that it has become more urgent than ever that the electorate elect to take control of this country, Scotland, before we lose control of it for ever.

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  • 7. At 2:43pm on 21 Oct 2008, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Its official, a vote for the Liberals is a vote for Gordon.

    Wonder what else Brown will throw at the by-election to try and turn things round/ create a 'warm afterglow' to carry him past the 6th of November?

    We shall see - I still suspect Labour are in for a shock. The people are smart enough to know this is a two-horse race.

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  • 8. At 2:43pm on 21 Oct 2008, Hugo of Garven wrote:

    "The LibDems have a presence in Fife more generally and need to avoid humiliation here.

    If their support holds up, that could split the anti-Labour vote. "

    This completely ignores the ex-Labour voters who come to their senses.

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  • 9. At 2:50pm on 21 Oct 2008, freedjmac wrote:

    Brian,

    I think this by-election is pretty hard to call and I would not be at all surprised to find a splitting of the potential swing vote, so that Labour manage to hang on.

    Against that, though, is the question of just how long the 'dead cat bounce' will last for Brown/Labour. I suspect not much longer as more and more commentators are now rounding on his record as the now 'less than Iron Chancellor'. This is still where the Labour Party are completely vulnerable and I expect they will be on the defensive throughout the campaign on this matter.

    And if we had any hope that the blatant cynicism of the Labour Party might be jettisoned for this election at least (in the light of Wendy and the WAGs and Maggie Curran double-timing the voters of Glasgow East) along comes the story that Sarah Brown will now front things for her husband in this election!!

    Is there no end to the depths that NuLab will sink to?? All the fine early principles of sheltering his family from the dirty world of politics again jettisoned in the interests of retaining the seat.

    I hope the voters of Glenrothes see through this sham and soundly reject NuLab. Maybe not enough to let the SNP in so that the FibDems could just sneak this one.

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  • 10. At 2:52pm on 21 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    I'm really glad that I no longer live in Glenrothes! I like getting information from the parties occasionally, but those poor folk will be inundated.

    Polling will give some information, but most posters have said all along that this one looks too close to call.

    Perhaps the person to feel really sorry for is whoever gets elected - must be a really dire job being a backbench Scottish MP in Westminster!

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  • 11. At 3:02pm on 21 Oct 2008, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    #7, pattymkirkwood:

    "...Labour are in for a shock."


    What?

    Do you think Labour might WIN?

    That would be a shock...

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  • 12. At 3:11pm on 21 Oct 2008, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    My feeling is that the "saviour of the world" reputation has already melted and that Labour is burning again. The most recent polls published in the last 24 hours seem to indicate that the Brown revival has been short lived and that the impetus is now away from Labour. The ICM poll in the Guardian puts the Tory lead back to 12% again. While there are very particular factors on this Scottish by-election that wouldn't have impacted on the ICM poll much of the hope Labour holds out for in Glenrothes is predicated on the electorate being stupid and forgetting who has monumentally mismanaged the UK economy...and I mean monumentally.
    This will increasingly become the political coinage over the next two weeks - not least because it is absolutely true.
    I think a corner has been turned and what political momentum there is at Glenrothes is now running back to the SNP
    Still a huge ask however.

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  • 13. At 3:11pm on 21 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    Can't see this by-election being anything more than a point-scoring exercise for the parties.

    As everyone seems to agree, it's not going to change anything, whoever wins.

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  • 14. At 3:22pm on 21 Oct 2008, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    I think everyone suspecting the SNP are level (50/50 as someone put it) with Labour should remember that this is a 10,500 majority 'SAFE' labour seat!!!

    If Labour win it with a small majority then I would certainly still consider this to be an SNP success... However, If the SNP were to win it, then surely Labour have no mandate to rule in Scotland (not that they do at present) and should call a general election?

    Here's hoping the SNP can win.

    Saor Alba.

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  • 15. At 3:32pm on 21 Oct 2008, angus scot wrote:

    If the tv performance by the candidates is anything to go by, the SNP though originally favourites to win, must have concerns as there candidate was less than convincing.

    It is not surprising that the Lib Dems have a strong presence in Fife as both them and the Labour candidate were well ahead of the others in the tv debate.

    Perhaps Eck's bubble is beginning to burst as he has done u turns on several manifesto commitments as well as his position on HBOS, and both Labour and the Lib Dems now have leaders in Scotland that are now very credible.

    Furthermore, apart from the diehard nationalists who really believes an independent Scotland could have had any real effect in this global economic crisis

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  • 16. At 3:33pm on 21 Oct 2008, BrianSH wrote:

    #13 Reluctant-expat

    Correct, just like every election ever!

    I did find it quite promising that Sarkozy is calling for a European sovereign wealth fund.

    Perhaps Scotland/the UK should take the lead?

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  • 17. At 3:44pm on 21 Oct 2008, Eoin_og wrote:

    #6 - an interesting post, although it strikes me as something a speechwriter for Connery might create and use. I don't think there will be an enforced tide of clearances from Scotland again in the wake of this; I am pro-independence, but would actively discourage the use (however poetic and eloquent) of what can be reduced to a fear tactic.

    Regarding the iss ue at hand - Does anyone think the SNP will resort to a tactic of 'a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for Labour/a wasted vote' in this coming by-election? I would hope not.

    Personally, and some way in the future, I appreciate, I would predict a Labour win. A combination of the lack of anger which was almost palpable in Glasgow East plus the re-emergence of some kind of hope for the Labour faithful will be enough to slash the SNP protest vote and keep Labour in, though with a much-reduced majority.

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  • 18. At 3:46pm on 21 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    14. Mandates obviously last from the last general election.

    The SNP are in power with 17% of the electorate's support.....still want to talk about 'mandates'?

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  • 19. At 3:50pm on 21 Oct 2008, HughEdinburgh wrote:

    I think the Labour party slowly smouldering on the bonfire of their broken promises and untruths, with Gordon Browns political career on top as the "Guy", should keep burning nicely to create a warm glow on November 6th.

    Remember, Remember the 6th of November.

    Don't forget the marshmallows, everybody.

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  • 20. At 4:04pm on 21 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    16. So Sarkozy wants to start a mass EU-wide nationalisation effort and also create a EU body that will have control over the UK's financial system.

    Well, the UK have taken the lead on the part-nationalisation part (with some banks, I hear) but it will be cold dark day in Hell before the Brussels bureaucratic colossus gets any control of our vast financial industry.

    One of the reasons that the UK finance industry is 1st/2nd largest in the world (almost certainly 1st from now), is greatly due to light regulation - although Salmond may/may not disagree, does he even know?.

    People may scream and wail about the sums being put handed over now but that is all dwarfed by the tax revenues the sector has been bringing in for centuries.

    For instance, the UK financial industry contributed approx 60bn in tax revenues last year alone.

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  • 21. At 4:07pm on 21 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #18 Reluctant-Expat

    Unless you are proposing to follow Australia and make voting compulsory, there's not much point in quoting % of the electoral roll.

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  • 22. At 4:09pm on 21 Oct 2008, JoeMiddleton wrote:

    When I was campaigning in Glasgow East I didn't see any visceral dislike of the Government, most people were apathetic about politics as they usually are!

    However there was definitely a general feeling that things could be better. While the SNP are positive about Scotland, Labour are relentlessly negative and it is simply unattractive. Scotland is not uniquely incapable of independence and those who claim we are are not representative of the public at large.

    Brown is not as popular as he imagines he is, or that Brian seems to hope he is. He's no super hero in fact as chancellor he presided over the market conditions which have contributed to the credit crisis. In fact he remains firmly behind the Tories in the UK polls and the economy is going to get a lot worse.

    In those circumstances and given the fact the UK is withholding funds from Scotland's Government and pushing through an unnecessary merger of HBOS and Lloyds TSB Fifers might well think that sending another SNP MP down to Westminster would be a smart idea.

    Allowing Brown to think he can smugly lie about Scotland's independent prospects, undermine the Scottish economy (with the unnecessary merger) and get away with it would be a definite mistake.

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  • 23. At 4:16pm on 21 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #18 Reluctant-Expat

    British Bankers Association Chief Executive Angela Knight said:

    "Financial services are the powerhouse of the UK economy: a massive contributor to the Exchequer through tax, an employer of more than a million people directly and one of the UK’s last acknowledged world–leading industries."

    "Financial companies directly pay 12 billion in tax, their employees pay 15 billion in income tax"
    Where do you get the figure of 60 billion from?

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  • 24. At 4:26pm on 21 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    19. Did you say “broken promises”?:

    *1,000 extra police promise - broken by the SNP but then forced back onto the agenda by the Tories. May 08 figures show there were 45 FEWER police officers than in May 07
    *Class sizes promise – broken
    *First-time buyer support promise - broken
    *Student debt promise - broken
    *Nursery School provision promise - broken
    *Matching Labour's school-building programme "brick for brick" promise - broken. Not one brick for one school was laid last year!
    *Grants for cultural projects promise – broken

    Did you say “Untruths”?:

    Exhibit A: In 2006, Salmond said Labour's GERS reporting a 6bn deficit was wrong, and it was really a 3bn surplus.

    In 2007, the SNP's own GERS reported a 3bn deficit even though the economy had grown and the oil prices had shot up.

    Exhibit B: In the same 2007 GERS, Salmond claimed there was a 800m surplus (still bizarrely less than the previous year).....he didn't say that surplus only exists if you ignore 4bn in spending, a fact hidden in the depths of the report.

    Exhibit C: In 2006, Labour's GERS reported a non-oil deficit of 11bn.

    In 2007, Salmond regularly accused Labour of providing calculations that were "incomplete and flawed" and "both underestimated revenue and overestimated expenditure". In 2008, he ordered 3,000 entries to be recalculated and checked.

    In the subsequent 'corrected' SNP GERS, the non-oil deficit was.....10.8bn, a 1.8% variation that mirrored the economic growth of that period.

    The only significantly different entries between the 'flawed' 2006 GERS and the 'correct' 2007 GERS were down to increased oil prices and revenues.

    Exhibit D: Prior to 2007, Salmond repeatedly claimed that Scotland's North Sea oil revenues were not being spent in Scotland and were, in fact, being 'stolen' by Westminster.

    In the SNP's same much-checked and recalculated GERS, it was reported that ALL of Scotland's oil revenues were returned and included in the Holyrood budget, as had been reported in ALL previous GERS.

    Salmond has stopped accusing the UK of ‘stealing Scotland’s oil’ since then.

    And then there's....

    "We are pledging a light-touch regulation suitable to a Scottish financial sector with its outstanding reputation for probity, as opposed to one like that in the UK, which absorbs huge amounts of management time in 'gold-plated' regulation."

    Alex Salmond - Apr 2007

    "Where did this age of irresponsibility come from? Who broke down the barriers in the financial sector? Who presided over the inflation of asset values? Who allowed the spivs and speculators of the ?40 TRILLION derivatives markets - the financial weapons of mass destruction - to be totally unregulated? It might just have had something to do with the occupant of 10 and 11 Downing Street over these last eleven years."

    Alex Salmond - Oct 2008




    A nationalist accusing Labour of broken promises and untruths?

    Be serious!

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  • 25. At 4:34pm on 21 Oct 2008, minuend wrote:

    "Secondly, Gordon Brown's image has changed. " - Brian Taylor

    The recent polls clearly show that there is no Brown Bounce. So what you have said is untrue.

    Voters opinions of Gordon Brown have not changed - he is still considered to be a loser, big time.

    Also, lets not forget one important point in this by-election:

    BBC Scotland are the propaganda wing of the Labour party in Scotland.

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  • 26. At 4:51pm on 21 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Why was Lindsay Roy given an interview by Lorna Gordon on BBC News 24 just now, with no rebuttal from any other candidate?

    Has the Beeb made up its own rules?

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  • 27. At 4:57pm on 21 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    J Arthur McNumpty has an interesting take on why the SNP might be advised not to attack the Lib-Dems too much.

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  • 28. At 5:06pm on 21 Oct 2008, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    #24 I hope you're being paid for parroting empty Labour propaganda lies. It'd be a bit sad if you were doing it off your own bat.

    It's particularly odd given your claim on this same page that "As everyone seems to agree, it's not going to change anything, whoever wins."

    Quite aside from not being sure who this "everyone" is, if it makes no difference then why are you so full of hatred for the SNP and spending so much time rubbishing them while having no similar words of condemnation for any of the other parties?

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  • 29. At 5:06pm on 21 Oct 2008, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    #26 I was wondering the very same thing myself when I saw it.

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  • 30. At 5:06pm on 21 Oct 2008, minceandmealie wrote:

    Goerge W Bush made a mighty muckup of being president of the USA in his first term by invading Iraq. He then campaigned as the man to lead the country in their new difficult circumstances, and rather surprisingly to most people in Scotland (and indeed in the whole of Britain) got re-elected. The Americans regret it now, right enough, but we all knew four years ago (if not eight).

    Gordon Brown appears to be trying the same stunt as George W Bush. As chancellor of the exchequer, "No more boom and bust" Brown was at the forefront of the regulatory changes and political actions that led to the current financial crisis. Well, he was happy enough to take the credit when all was going well...but now it has all gone pear-shaped he is the man to save us!

    Shameful.

    I didn't think W's brass-neck electoral stunt would have worked here, and I will be surprised if Gordon Brown has any greater success.

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  • 31. At 5:43pm on 21 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    28. At 5:06pm on 21 Oct 2008, Rev_S_Campbell.

    the hatred is based on the fact that new labour see the SNP as the threat to the union and new labours scottish power base.

    unfortunatly for new labour, the scottish electorate are waking up to the fact that new labour are not the same party as the old labour party.

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  • 32. At 5:48pm on 21 Oct 2008, Jeremiad wrote:

    I would agree that the Glenrothes bye-election is too close to call and this being so campaigning is likely to descend into bile, venom and recrimination between Labour and the SNP much of which is evidenced repeatedly on this blog.

    I can only hope that the voters of Fife see this for themselves and visit a plague on both your houses.

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  • 33. At 5:48pm on 21 Oct 2008, darwinsmonkey wrote:


    #22
    "Scotland is not uniquely incapable of independence and those who claim we are are not representative of the public at large"

    No one doubts that Scotland could run its own affairs. This is not the central issue. The question you need to answer is; "What sort of country would an independent Scotland be?".

    If the parochialism of Holyrood and the culturally narrow view of Scotalnd espoused by the SNP are harbingers of things to come, then count me out thanks very much. Scots deserve better than this!

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  • 34. At 5:54pm on 21 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #31 vote_nat

    Shhh. Don't tell Derek, but but Mandelson and Osbourne are buddies

    It's nice to know that the good folk of Glenrothes are being invited by Labour and Tory to vote for their lot to be the Government - because they "feel our pain" while they dine with billionaires.

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  • 35. At 5:56pm on 21 Oct 2008, darwinsmonkey wrote:

    #28

    Come off it! The boot is usually on the other foot. Some of the most hateful comments I've seen have emanated from from the mouths of no doubt a small but, vocal minority, of SNP supporters. As a man of God are you prepared to defend bigotry, racism and even sexism from your own kind? I agree with you that condemnation of such views should be universal, but put your own house in order in the process.

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  • 36. At 6:08pm on 21 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    #34 Aye good to see Labour and the Tories up to their old tricks.... what amazes me is that if your loaded your not gonna give money to a political party and not expect anything back. But hey they accept this money all the time from various people/companies.

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  • 37. At 6:11pm on 21 Oct 2008, smartscribbler wrote:

    Looking in from the outside at the Glenrothes `battleground', I cannot see beyond an SNP victory - albeit a narrow one.

    I suspect that most of us from south of the border are finding it hard to get exercised about this by-election; though from a personal perspective I detect a gathering groundswell of support within the tartan electorate for Mr Salmond and his party.

    Were I in Fife I should cast my vote for the SNP - it's time for change, just as it is my London neck of the woods and the rest of England.

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  • 38. At 6:37pm on 21 Oct 2008, Jeremiad wrote:

    #34 oldnat

    Strong possibility that Mr. Deripaska is no longer a billionaire. According to today's Daily Telegraph he took a 16bn. hit as a result of the credit crunch. Roman Abramavovich has apparently taken a 20bn. hit and they and other oligarchs are looking for the Russian Govet. to bail them out.

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  • 39. At 6:50pm on 21 Oct 2008, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #33 darwinsmonkey

    "No one doubts that Scotland could run its own affairs. This is not the central issue. The question you need to answer is; "What sort of country would an independent Scotland be?"

    Far better than the last 300 years of being fed pocket money coming out of Westminster.

    "If the parochialism of Holyrood and the culturally narrow view of Scotalnd espoused by the SNP are harbingers of things to come, then count me out thanks very much. Scots deserve better than this!"

    Like what?

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  • 40. At 6:57pm on 21 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:

    35. At 5:56pm on 21 Oct 2008, darwinsmonkey wrote:
    #28

    Come off it! The boot is usually on the other foot. Some of the most hateful comments I've seen have emanated from from the mouths of no doubt a small but, vocal minority, of SNP supporters. As a man of God are you prepared to defend bigotry, racism and even sexism from your own kind? I agree with you that condemnation of such views should be universal, but put your own house in order in the process.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Scotland in economic strife
    65. At 12:07pm on 15 Oct 2008, darwinsmonkey wrote:

    Here's some Scots which sums up the feeling of many of us about the SNP:

    I curse their heid and all the haris of thair heid; I curse thair face, thair ene, thair mouth, thair neise, thair tongue, thair teeth, thair crag, thair shoulderis, thair breist, thair hert, thair stomok, thair bak, thair wame, thair armes, thais leggis, thair handis, thair feit, and everilk part of thair body, frae the top of their heid to the soill of thair feet, befoir and behind, within and without.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    the hatred is real and further more darwinsmonkey keeps on bringing up racism ect.

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  • 41. At 6:57pm on 21 Oct 2008, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #24 - 'an end to boom and bust' and the eagerly sought weapons of mass destruction, to name only 2, never mind sundry other Labour lies (with a huge majority to force whatever they want through parliament)!

    Also, as I said in the last thread 17%, is higher than 16.9% and it is most definitely higher than the 0% endorsement of Gordon Brown's 'Government' ...

    Let have that snap election about now shall we? When Gordon Brown has the guts to call a general election, then we can compare mandates ... until then he simply doesn't have one. Of course, he wont afterwards either as the public have recognised his incompetence and he will surely lose.

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  • 42. At 7:12pm on 21 Oct 2008, gedguy2 wrote:

    I've just read Robert Peston's blog 'Rothschild "Won't back down", on the BBC. The whole country is going to the dogs and all the BBC business reporter can come up with is that a Tory is breaking the rules on party donations. Where is the unbiased reporting that the BBC was once famous for? This is the worst financial mess that the country has been in for decades and all the BBC wants to report about is a Tory breaking the rules trying to get a few pennies for his party. This Prime Minister has broken the country! Any unbiased reporter would be having a field day ripping the government to pieces, and quite rightly so.
    I believe that the Americans call this 'Black Ops'. Distract the public from the real issue by concentrating on something else. Magicians call it 'sleight of hand'.
    I wonder how many of those reporters are still going to have their job when labour is eventually kicked out of office?

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  • 43. At 7:14pm on 21 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    36. At 6:08pm on 21 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo.

    having read the article im not to sure if this is a Financier Nathaniel Rothschild set up to assist his friend peter mandleson.

    but the one part that is interesting was that mandleson was investigated for conflict of interest, and lo and behold he returns just after this to be in brown's cabinet as business minister ( unelected by british voters ).

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  • 44. At 7:41pm on 21 Oct 2008, MrCynical wrote:

    Given how badly Labour were doing in Glenrothes until one of the founder members of the Arc of Prosperity resigned its membership, could a defeat for the SNP be the event that finally punctures the political bubble they've been riding since the election last year?

    To be honest even as an SNP supporter I'm surprised that a relative 'honeymoon' period has lasted as long as it has, but my optimism about a referendum in 2010 has vanished overnight. I don't agree with the assessment that Iceland's collapse means independence would be economically unsustainable, but it is at least a logical and credible argument that goes beyond "BUT THE UNION IS 300 YEARS OLD!!!!!" which was the mainstay of Labour's 2007 campaign.

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  • 45. At 7:45pm on 21 Oct 2008, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    Is it my imagination but are these blogs always written from a Labour view point.

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  • 46. At 7:45pm on 21 Oct 2008, irnbru_addict wrote:

    Words of wisdom from Gordon Brown:

    "I will not allow house prices to get out of control and put at risk the sustainability of the recovery."
    Gordon Brown's 1997 Budget Statement

    "Under this Government, Britain will not return to the boom and bust of the past."
    Pre-Budget Report, 9th November 1999

    "Britain does not want a return to boom and bust."
    Budget Statement, 21 March 2000

    "So our approach is to reject the old vicious circle of the...the old boom and bust."
    Pre-Budget Report, 8 November 2000

    "Mr Deputy Speaker we will not return to boom and bust."
    Budget Statement, 7 March 2001

    "As I have said before Mr Deputy Speaker: No return to boom and bust."
    Budget Statement, 22 March 2006

    "And we will never return to the old boom and bust."
    Budget Statement, 21 March 2007


    'nuff said...

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  • 47. At 8:40pm on 21 Oct 2008, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I have no idea why my last post has been referred to the moderator.

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  • 48. At 8:47pm on 21 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Even the Tories don't seem to think the Shadow Cabinet should be allowed out alone. Why do they think people should vote for them?

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  • 49. At 8:50pm on 21 Oct 2008, mildanarchy wrote:

    If Brown continues to do things which make it look like he's on top of the problem and if he also manages not to go over to the usual patronising anti-Scots rhetoric, Labour may hang on here. These are big ifs but Salmond's government is no longer new and the consequences of some of their financial decisions are starting to be felt.
    If Salmond is serious, he should be laying out detailed ideas of how a Scottish economy, welfare state and tax system would work. Let people see exactly what life in independent Scotland would be like for them and their families. Yes, I know that involves a bit of crystal ball work but take the current figures for the economy and say how they would translate into independence if that happened tomorrow. Labour's normal tactic is fear and doom; if the SNP want this one, they should counter with vision and an concrete alternative.

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  • 50. At 8:55pm on 21 Oct 2008, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    #35 "Come off it! The boot is usually on the other foot. Some of the most hateful comments I've seen have emanated from from the mouths of no doubt a small but, vocal minority, of SNP supporters. As a man of God are you prepared to defend bigotry, racism and even sexism from your own kind?"

    Of course I'm not, but then I've never seen any of those things. Kindly post some links to the comments in question.

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  • 51. At 9:05pm on 21 Oct 2008, Tom wrote:

    vote_nat:

    Have you noticed Darwinsmonkeyis fantastic use of words, "As a man of God are you prepared to defend bigotry, racism and even sexism from your own kind?" The Scottish National Party appears to be some type of new race...

    I see it now...

    Whites, Blacks, Asians, SNP supporters...

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  • 52. At 9:54pm on 21 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    50. At 8:55pm on 21 Oct 2008, Rev_S_Campbell.

    click on darwinsmonkey user sign and read through his previous postings.

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  • 53. At 10:08pm on 21 Oct 2008, HughEdinburgh wrote:

    #24 Expat
    Wow, I really got you there.

    You need a reality check!!!

    Labour, 11 years in Westminster, 30 years in Scotland, and a complete waste of time, resources squandered on wars and pet projects, the economy destroyed, Scotland either sold off or closed down.

    The Union, over 300 years, done nothing positive for Scotland. Scotland has been subsidising Westminster for too long.

    SNP, minority government in Scotland, budget squeeze imposed by Labour in Westminster, 18 months in power, still another 2 and a half years to go to meet all the manifesto pledges that the waste of space opposition will allow them to meet.

    Just think what Scotland will be able to do when we take all our powers of self-determination back from Westminster.

    We'll still let you post on our Scottish blogs, expat. Can't wait to see you acknowledge reality.

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  • 54. At 11:23pm on 21 Oct 2008, frankly_francophone wrote:

    "They believe the glow of the rescue will give way to the gloom of the consequences for jobs and mortgages."

    As the current President of the European Union, Nicolas Sarkozy, stated today in an address to the European Parliament, it is no use forecasting that an economic crisis will arrive in the wake of the Anglo-American financial one, as it has already arrived. The Anglo-Americans, who have made themselves so indebted to the rest of the world due to the thorough mess that they have made and because of the phenomenal government borrowing which they (but not the French, inter alia) have required to recapitalize their stricken banks and to fund enormously increasing government spending for the foreseeable future, cannot now expect not to heed the demands that the EU and others will be making at the international conference called for by the EU concerning reform of global financial regulation.

    As we are being made aware, the UK is already extremely badly affected by the economic impact of the financial crisis for which its financial-services regime and its central bank and central government bear such a heavy burden of responsibility. We observe that people in the UK have been encouraged to live so far beyond their means through the pressure exerted on them to take out mortgages and other loans that they could not afford and on top of them loans to help them pay off the original loans and then loans to help them cope with the loans taken out to help them cope with the financial mess that they had got themselves into in the first place that there is currently an incidence of one case of personal insolvency every 5 minutes in there. We note with alarm that financial hardship and exploitative heating costs are already driving vulnerable members of society in the UK to shiver in inadequately heated homes, that inflation is rising more widely and that unemployment is racing so fast towards the 2-million mark that recruitment to the armed forces, even in a period of such exposure to danger for UK military personnel, has been boosted significantly by youths now unable to find less desperately dangerous employment elsewhere.

    Although the UK media are apparently presenting these grim indicators of rapid decline in such a way as to cause as little alarm as possible and the impression is being given that the UK is somehow leading Europe out of the crisis, "the gloom of the consequences for jobs and mortgages" can hardly be expected to fail to register with the electorate of Glenrothes for very long. Soon the Glenrothes constitutency together with the entire territory subject to the policies of the Labour UK government will be sunk so deep in the slough of despond that it will be impossible to ignore it and to be persuaded that the UK government deserves a round of applause for all that it has done to the Scottish economy.

    If the electorate of Glenrothes expresses satisfaction with the Labour UK government by returning a Labour MP to Westminster on November 6th, it will soon have cause to regret it bitterly.

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  • 55. At 11:29pm on 21 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Glenrothes report in the Herald

    3 parties saying what they had done/would do for families. 1 party attacking another - guess which one?

    Thomas_Porter

    I see the Lib-Dems must have been following our discussion on an earlier thread about tracking booze back to the retailer!

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  • 56. At 11:39pm on 21 Oct 2008, enneffess wrote:

    53. At 10:08pm on 21 Oct 2008, HughEdinburgh

    I think you are at the opposite end of the spectrum from Expat. You need a reality check as well.

    Have you actually looked at WHY Scotland joined the Union 300 years ago?

    I'm not debating the fact that Labour has not achieved much in the past few years, but your post makes out that Scotland has had oil since 1700!

    The SNP have made some achievements, but they have also failed to deliver on some promises. And some of these will never be met. That applies to all parties in any Government in the world.

    The uber-nats and uber-unionists will simply not listen to any debate. Any questionning of their party's politics is instantly shot down in flames.

    Labour and the Conservatives have not failed Scotland completely. Neither have they done as much as they could have. To say that an independent Scotland - under any administration - would suddenly be vastly rich is a bit of an exaggeration.

    We need more autonomy, but in my view in a federalist state.

    And what parts of Scotland "sold off" are you referring to? The Conservatives privatised the energy companies. The Conservatives knackered the coal and steel industry. But the Labour-supporting unions didn't exactly help matters either. And it appears from earlier posts that Alex Salmond last year did not see the need for much regulation in the financial industry, the view held by post polticians until recently.

    No party is perfect. The SNP need more time to prove what they can do to be fair. But people like you seem to want independence right now, without considering the sheer logistics of such an event, never mind the potential consequences.

    Have a look at post 44, MrCynical. An SNP supporter who makes a far more coherent comment.

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  • 57. At 11:45pm on 21 Oct 2008, enneffess wrote:

    Apologies for a quick second post, but I thought to split the two.

    Re 42 and 43:

    I read NR's piece on this and it is so blatantly obvious that this is Labour spin I am quite frankly, shocked.

    The BBC is a publicly funded organisation which MUST remain politically neutral. This is bias at it's worst.

    Why will the BBC not give a balanced debate in this matter?

    Brian manages this, why can't Nick?

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  • 58. At 11:52pm on 21 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    I was actually quite impressed with the stance that both Salmond and Murphy took today, with both giving a little towards each nother, and no silly attacks.

    Pity that Yvette Cooper had to stick her nose in.

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  • 59. At 11:58pm on 21 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Nice to see evidence of really controls the Tory Party!

    All this for breaking the "public school code"!

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  • 60. At 00:15am on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    If news breaks about a former Building Society getting a massive fine from the FSA, I'll tell you guys about a phone call I overheard on the train back to Glasgow last week!

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  • 61. At 01:56am on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    Yvette Cooper, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury claimed that an independent Scotland could not have rescued the Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland.

    does she mean that if an independent scottish goverment gave the same guarentee as the irish government gave, there would not have been the run on the banks, it worked for ireland.

    or does she mean that an independent scotland could not borrow the money to save the banks the same as westminster did.

    or does she mean that if scotland was independent then the remainder of the uk goverment would have used the same act that they used against iceland to seize the banks assets.


    Yvette Cooper is conveniently forgeting that alex salmond had at the start of the crisis stating that if scotland was independent he would put liquid funds into HBOS, which is what westminster eventual did, though it took them a couple of weeks longer to get round to it.

    brown and darling ditherred until the crisis was at its peak, then officials at the treasuary suggested the swedish rescue plan.

    what intrigues me is why the HBOS chairman did not approach the central bank for a loan to see them over the crisis as its been reported that alister darling stated that HBOS did not request a loan which was availiable from the bank of england.

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  • 62. At 06:55am on 22 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    #43 It looks like this goes both ways tho... all these people are courting money from rich folks and trying to hide it by the sound of things. Its funny tho Oldnat posted a link at 59 about the Rothchild family (i cant read it in full here the pc shuts down the page somehow) but is it not a member of the Rothchild family thats saying all these things about Osbourne. If mandy is behind this then it just shows what kind of folk Labour are ..... after all he was at that party to ... so what was he up to ???

    55 Oldnat i dont see what the point of this is
    'Mr Wills said: "The SNP have missed the point. If 18-21 year olds are banned from off-sales, a 22-year-old will simply buy it for them. We need to target the rogue retailers first, and then provide more for young people to do."
    How fair to shops is that if adults buy the booze then its given to underagers ... thats hardly the shops fault. Id have said it was better for the police to lift underage drinkers or just confiscate their booze (but not for the police to drink lol . Mind you if they were allowed to keep it for their xmas party then that would be a good incentive). Shops are getting blamed for too much in this case.

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  • 63. At 07:56am on 22 Oct 2008, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #24 RE: "In the SNP's same much-checked and recalculated GERS, it was reported that ALL of Scotland's oil revenues were returned and included in the Holyrood budget, as had been reported in ALL previous GERS."

    Am I correct that your saying the SNP reported that all oil proceeds had been returned to the Scottish budget, defeating their own arguement that in fact Scotland was receivng less than their share of oil revenue?

    In response to these comments, repeated in the previous thread, I posted this reply.

    I'll call it Exhibit E:

    "It worries me when there are claims that all of the proceeds that Scotland would receive from North Sea oil (95% being in Scottish territiorial waters) have apparently already been spent, while there are still howls of derision over the Barnett formula on how English tax payers are subsidising us poor Scots.

    By that reasoning not only do we not have a surplus from North Sea oil but we need extrea cash from the rest of Britain to make up the deficit?

    If this is the case, and us Scots are just sponging off the rest of the UK, why would you fight tooth and nail to keep the union? If this is the perception of financial affairs within the UK Scotland may get its independence by default, not through Scottish votes, but from irrate Enlgish tax payers fed up subsidising Scotland.

    If only it where true, maybe most of us would be happier."

    Would you care to comment on whether you believe this to be true or an 'untruth'?

    Oil or no oil, before its completely gone other industries have to be created/reinvigorated to take up the slack.

    As has been the case for centuries, instead of having some of our best and brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs having to leave Scotland, and at times the UK, to find capital for their ventures or employment why not encourage greater efforts to retain more of these people.

    There's a new 'industrial revolution' looming and Scotland has the intellectual capital to benefit from it.

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  • 64. At 08:21am on 22 Oct 2008, SCFNL29 wrote:

    As an SNP supporter, I sadly think Labour are pretty safe here for the by election. I think they'll narrowly win then milk it for all its worth.

    Saying that I said the exact same thing here about Glasgow East so who knows!

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  • 65. At 08:54am on 22 Oct 2008, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    #52 "click on darwinsmonkey user sign and read through his previous postings."

    I'm not doing your research for you, laddie. Either quote me some racist comments or stop groundlessly attacking and generalising.

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  • 66. At 08:56am on 22 Oct 2008, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    #52 Whoops, my profoundest apologies for muddling you up with our racist Unionist friend. Not fully awake yet...

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  • 67. At 10:00am on 22 Oct 2008, minuend wrote:

    Scots should not be surprised at the special treatment of Labour candidate Lindsay Roy by the BBC in it's broadcasts.

    After all, BBC Scotland are the propaganda wing on the Labour party.

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  • 68. At 10:05am on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    36. "what amazes me is that if your loaded your not gonna give money to a political party and not expect anything back."

    [cough]Brian Souter[cough]

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  • 69. At 10:06am on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 70. At 10:07am on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 71. At 10:08am on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    For crying out loud, stupid system kept telling me my post was rejected due to 'bad HTML'.....Now I've posted it three times!

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  • 72. At 10:20am on 22 Oct 2008, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #18 Reluctant Expat, I don't know where you get 17% from?

    [Unsuitable URL - PDF download removed by Moderator]

    I make it about 30%'ish between constituency and Regional list votes.

    Anyway, the Scottish parliament has a degree of proportional representation so get used to it.

    Labour do not represent the wishes of the people of the UK as is bourne out from by-election result after by-election result and poll after poll. they are simply hanging on to power for their own jobs, they will lose the next elections in both Scotland and the UK general election.

    Expat, I would add that it is not like a unionist to fudge figures eh?

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  • 73. At 10:50am on 22 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    #69,69,70 and there was me thinkin you were tryin to monopolise the posts.
    Brian Souter .... aye but he lives in Britain and pays taxes and besides its not the SNP's fault hes made so much money off of somebody elses policys.

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  • 74. At 10:53am on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    Reluctant-Expat.

    would you like to talk about

    1/ CASH FOR HONOURS
    2/ BERNIE ECCLESTONE's 1 million donation
    3/WENDY ALEXANDER.s jersey donation

    yes, and a lot more beside.

    are you upset because he gave it to the SNP and not the new labour party.

    i suspect that brian soutar gave the donation to the SNP because of the put downs that he received from the new labour party previously, or do you conveniently forget what the new labour party said about him because he did not support their view on the scrapping of the act.



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  • 75. At 11:00am on 22 Oct 2008, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I still have no explanation why my post (12) has been referred to the moderator

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  • 76. At 11:04am on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #71 Reluctant-Expat

    "rejected due to 'bad HTML'"

    When you are in attack mode, I think the software message translates as "Hard To Minimise Laughter"

    Though on your substantive point, you may well be right. Unfortunately, this problem affects every single party, and it seems not to be in the interests of any of them to stop it.

    One of the many reasons why I'll support the party nearest to my beliefs, but no longer join any of them.

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  • 77. At 11:30am on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #71 Reluctant-Expat

    Once you have received an error message, even if you correct it, any subsequent postings have a tendency to repreat the message - seemingly a minor flaw in the new parser, whichi is in most other respects a real improvement on its predecessor. The only safe way to remove it is to open the main link thread (with no comment entry) in a new tab or window and close the existing one. That seems to clear the error, at least in MSIE 6 & 7.

    And there's nothing to stop you "shopping" yourself for "accidental SPAM" before somebody else does.

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  • 78. At 11:40am on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    so the bbc is playing funny games in that they have changed my user name for no reason.

    my user name vote_nat did not break the rules so why have they done so.

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  • 79. At 11:52am on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    This Tory commentator may well be right to think that the recent revelations about yachts and oligarchs may well play with voters down south.

    Aunty Annabel should maybe think about reverting to the independent status of the "Scottish Unionists" of the 1950's.

    You can't really see her doing much worse than accepting a free cup of tea on the Arran Ferry!

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  • 80. At 12:08pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #78 U13282939

    I don't know the answer to the removal of your user name, but it might be that there is an election campaign under way, and it was explicitly advising people to vote for a particular party.

    At 4.45 yesterday afternoon, we saw that the Beeb is scrupulous in its impartiality. Clearly the Rev and I were hallucinating when we thought we saw Lindsay Roy being given a solo campaigning spot on BBC 24.

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  • 81. At 12:28pm on 22 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    #80 Oldnat , id be even more concerned if the people on Eastenders started wearing red rosettes ;o)}

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  • 82. At 12:40pm on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    oldnat, yes it could be the reason, and the BBCs impartiality has been skewed towards new labour ever since the weapons of mass destructon row and the new labour threat to stop the BBCs funding.

    how to gain control of the media by new labour.

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  • 83. At 12:44pm on 22 Oct 2008, Anaxim wrote:

    ScotinNotts states:

    "There's a new 'industrial revolution' looming and Scotland has the intellectual capital to benefit from it."

    I don't think the nationalists have got what it takes to pull it off.

    For example, it's quite likely an independent Scotland would outlaw currently allowed stem cell research. Scottish people aren't any more religious than the English, but it's a common pretence that they are, and nationalists love to play up differences.

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  • 84. At 12:48pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #80 oldnat

    At least Brian seems to be more "old" Labour than the "new" variety. Compare Brian's text above with recent the current NR text fanning the flames re Osborne's discussions over a possible donation and you'd have to say the mild bias here is less awful.

    Yet when it comes to proven NuLab untruths like the Bliar / Ecclestone affair we're fortunate to get as much as this website's Speaker 'to probe' Blair F1 claim, which itself could be accused of being economical with the truth.

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  • 85. At 1:07pm on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    83. At 12:44pm on 22 Oct 2008, Anaxim

    and where do you think dolly the sheep came from.

    BAA BAA

    you are very presumptious to say that it's quite likely an independent Scotland would outlaw currently allowed stem cell research, do you have any proof that this was quite likely.

    the SNPs mantra is can do, the new labour mantra is no can do or maybe can do.

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  • 86. At 1:14pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    Will AS and the snp regret, the statemant AS
    made, when he clearly said that Scotland didn't mind the thatcher economics?

    It may have been a very folly act indeed!

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  • 87. At 1:19pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #84 Brownedov

    I'm a firm believer in cock-up (mods - this is a military not a sexual reference) than conspiracy.

    The decision on vote-nats username was most likely taken by a low-grade jobsworth, who thought "nat" was the name of a political party.

    The BBC News 24 broadcast was probably the result of one of their editors making the usual assumption that they were broadcasting to "England and the rest of the world". S/he's probably had a gentle reminder about "these touchy Scots".

    I doubt that Brian has any influence over middle-management in BBC Scotland (given what I'm told of the structures in their News Department), much less London based branches.

    re Ecclestone/Souter, I've referred before to Reich's book "Supercapitalism". He has a good explanation of how finance has corrupted democracy in the US - and by extension here.

    Final point. It must be difficult for the mods to concentrate when they're sitting on an oligarch's yacht off Corfu, sipping cocktails while surrounded by bikini clad models.

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  • 88. At 1:19pm on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    84. At 12:48pm on 22 Oct 2008, Brownedov.

    possibly mandleson was there as well to offer a lordship.

    but the whole affair lets the public know exactly who new labour ministers and the tory wannabe's mix with.

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  • 89. At 1:25pm on 22 Oct 2008, makinghistory wrote:

    Critics of SNP 'broken promises' are failing to mention two rather obvious points.

    i) Party manifestoes set out their ambitions for a full term in office. You cannot expect everything to be achieved within eighteen months.

    ii) The SNP form a minority government and are therefore not at liberty to pass all the legislation they would like. Opposition parties can and do block measures that are brought forward.

    Despite these constraints the SNP record in office demonstrates far more dynamism than eight years of Lib-Lab mediocrity.

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  • 90. At 1:26pm on 22 Oct 2008, Bramblebikes wrote:

    Off topic I know.

    Have we yust seen how Mandy bought his peerage? He is going to try to save Labour by undermining the Tory leaders with his grubby roumour milling venom.

    Osbourne was silly to ever trust someone like Mandy, he is a creature of the Golumn variety, cant be trusted.

    In the end Osbourne took no money so there is nothing there. Broon is bouncing on board to try to make something o nothing also.

    It all stinks of a party with nothing to offer taking the softer option of 'if we cant do it lets make them look bad' The last tactic available to the playground bully.

    Call the election get this poison out of the way and let the country move forward.

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  • 91. At 1:49pm on 22 Oct 2008, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 84 browne dov

    I think the Osbourne affair does raise some serious questions. Why were the two of them there in the first place if not to gain some advantage?

    But the real loser here again is the public standing of politicians. We really don't need more of this tyhpe of story.

    However it also raises the question in voters minds, how different is the new cameron tory party? Obviously Labours odious spin doctors want this effect, but Osbourne must at least be guilty of a serious error of judgement in this case.

    I imagine more of this type of gutter story is likely to emerge from both sides in the run up to the next general election. Rather than debate policy it will become a mud slinging contest betweeen two equally undeserving parties who are in effect both bankrupt of original fresh thinking.

    It almost makes independance worth thinking about should someone bother to frame the debate in a positive manner.

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  • 92. At 2:12pm on 22 Oct 2008, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #85 U13282939 formerly known as V_N

    Well said in reply to #83 Anaxim , Dolly was the example I was going to cite.

    Moreover there is a lot of work concerning artificial organs and treatment of genetic diseases already involving stem cells in Scotland (as there also is in the rest of the UK).

    I too would like to know where this view on religion in Scotland/England 'stems' from? A completely unfounded and non-sensical comment from what I can make out.

    Also, expat still waiting to here your views on #63.

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  • 93. At 2:38pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    Is there something in the DNA nature of tory minded people.

    Osborne and the Russian Billionaire
    Salmond and the American Billionaire (D.Trump)

    Hmmmmm.............cash for favours?

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  • 94. At 2:40pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Expat - also waiting for your source that the finance industry paid 60 billion in taxes?

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  • 95. At 2:40pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #87 oldnat
    Until very recently I would have agreed with you 100% and have posted before now that auntie has taken the establishment line since the days of Reith, hence a slight pro-government bias is only to be expcted when a government has been in power for a decade.

    Brian occasionally shows glimmers of realising that things have changed somewhat in North Britain whereas Nick R seems a little too wedded to the NuLab establishment.

    #88 U13282939
    True. A small bidding war would not have surprised me.

    #90 Bramblebikes
    That's pretty much my take on it, but it did surprise me just a little that NR & Co. seem to have "bought" the Mandy line so completely.

    #91 northhighlander
    I agree that Osbourne must be pretty dumb to have put himself in the position he has, especially with Mandy nearby. As he took no money but was, at worst, "exploring" whether money might be donated it's pretty small beer.

    The whole question of party funding is certainly unpleasant, but it's hard to imagine any of them will agree to stop corporate donations.

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  • 96. At 2:49pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    While the nats, "SAY" a vote for the lb/dems
    is a vote for labour,

    The people of Glenrothes are aware that a vote for the "NATS" is a vote for the conservatives and conservatives economics of the thatcher "ERA"

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  • 97. At 2:53pm on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    91. At 1:49pm on 22 Oct 2008, northhighlander.

    if you read through a lot of what is being said in the papers you may find that its not as simple as we are lead to believe.

    two weeks prior to the Osbourne story breaking, peter mandleson vowed revenge on Osbourne for not denying that he was the source of the reports that mandleson had poured out the venom on gordon brown.

    lo and behold Financier Nathaniel Rothschild breaks the story on osborne and the elite network closes ranks because osborne told the press about details of what was said at a private party.

    i am no friend of the tories but this whole story has the black arts of mandleson written all over it.

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  • 98. At 3:00pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Channel 4 has a new YouGov poll

    Have to say I'm surprised by the (tiny) Scottish sample at 26% Con; 32% Lab; 6% Lib; 37% Other (not differentiated).

    Conventional wisdom is that when UK issues dominate the agenda, Con/Lab votes go up.

    This may be a sign that MrCynical is being overly concerned.

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  • 99. At 3:08pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    92. You are repeating the much-used (and always very strange) question asking why the English don't offload us if we are drain on UK resources.

    Every set of accounts shows that Holyrood has been in deficit more often than not for decades, both 'recalculated and checked' versions and otherwise. As far as England goes, Holyrood is regularly in deficit.

    Yet there are no mass petitions, no protest marches, no shrill websites full of nonsensical fabrications and exaggerations, no national conversations, no calls from English MPs etc. etc. etc. calling for Scotland to be removed from the UK.

    Go figure.

    Maybe they have a stronger social belief in wealth distribution than Scottish nationalists.

    Who knows.

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  • 100. At 3:10pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #93 derekbarker

    Mandelson and the Russian Billionaire
    Blair and Ecclestone

    Don't try to pretend your lot are not also involved.

    They're all at it because our political system means that votes can be "bought" through publicity and advertising.

    As long as it works, they'll all try to outdo each other.

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  • 101. At 3:11pm on 22 Oct 2008, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    #80 I've written to the BBC regarding this matter, and will post their response in an appropriate thread when I get it.

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  • 102. At 3:13pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    94. ???

    Can't remember. Red Book? Any particular reason why you are still going on about something I said yesterday?

    Anyway, I'm still waiting for any serious response from any nat about Salmond's sudden u-turn on too much/too little banking regulation, Salmond's lies about the state of Scotland's finances, Salmond's lies about 'stolen' oil revenues, the flaws in Salmond's belief that we can safely rely on volatile oil prices.....

    Frustrating, isn't it.

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  • 103. At 3:17pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    85. Curious.

    Dolly the sheep came from a Labour financed project in a Labour-financed university operating under a Labour Govt's research policy.

    No evidence of any SNP involvement here.

    As fro SNP attitudes to stem cell research:

    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/20080725/labour-loses-glasgow-east-amid-embryos-controversy/

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  • 104. At 3:26pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    I wonder if Brownedov and Oldnat use the
    imperial measurements ( ounce, inches)

    Or do they use the metric system(kilo's, metres)

    Straight Bananas anyone.................?

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  • 105. At 3:28pm on 22 Oct 2008, Anaxim wrote:

    To ScotinNotts and the poster formerly known as vote_nat:

    The SNP's primary donor, Brian Soutar, is a fierce opponent of stem cell research, as is their friend Cardinal Keith O'Brien. Both led the charge against the UK stem cell bill. They'll be very disappointed if independence doesn't deliver.

    Regarding Scotland's alleged high level of religiousness, one obvious case would be the common allegation of rampant sectarianism.

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  • 106. At 3:28pm on 22 Oct 2008, Richard_the_Rogue wrote:

    #90 Bramblebikes,

    That was exactly my first thought too, only I don't reckon this has bought Mandy's peerage, I think it is probably just the first down-payment.

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  • 107. At 3:28pm on 22 Oct 2008, Wicked_Witch_of_the_West_Coast wrote:

    #89 - I think the point is that they didn't even try to get most of those measures they promised passed before they were saying they couldn't keep their promises?

    As for GERS, they had legions of civil servants sweating blood trying to come up with the figures they *wanted* and it couldn't be done!

    I still say I don't want to live in the tartan-swathed proto-Brigadoon type society they seem to base their ideas on, so well illustrated by #6 and it's invocations of clearances etc. Means nothing to me and millions of Scots like me. They have to come up with something better before we're persuaded.

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  • 108. At 3:37pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    Yes Brian, the glom worm is good bait for the surblind nats.

    (" De la misere a' la richesse...Sarkozy)

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  • 109. At 3:51pm on 22 Oct 2008, BrianSH wrote:

    I'm glad to see the Prime Minister is busy calling for an enquiry on how George Osborne spends his weekends.

    What a great use of public money during these trying times!

    I recommend we combine this inquiry with one on Peter Mandlesons adventures on a certain Microsoft yacht...

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  • 110. At 3:52pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    Speaking after the economic summit, Mr Murphy said: "I thought it was a very constructive, sensible meeting and carried out in excellent spirit. We put aside what is often the petty disagreements in Scottish politics and vowed to work together and that's very positive."

    However....

    Mr Salmond said: "On some areas that we talked about there's an indication of flexibility, for example on police and fire pensions. Other things I think we'll just have to take forward to the Treasury."

    Seems like Salmond didn't have the best of times.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7680894.stm

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  • 111. At 4:04pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    My feeling is that the "saviour of the world" reputation has already melted and that Labour is burning again. The most recent polls published in the last 24 hours seem to indicate that the Brown revival has been short lived and that the impetus is now away from Labour. The ICM poll in the Guardian puts the Tory lead back to 12% again. While there are very particular factors on this Scottish by-election that wouldn't have impacted on the ICM poll much of the hope Labour holds out for in Glenrothes is predicated on the electorate being stupid and forgetting who has monumentally mismanaged the UK economy...and I mean monumentally.
    This will increasingly become the political coinage over the next two weeks - not least because it is absolutely true.
    I think a corner has been turned and what political momentum there is at Glenrothes is now running back to the SNP
    Still a huge ask however.

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  • 112. At 4:06pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #98 oldnat

    Many thanks for the link - YouGov seems to be slowing down the speed with which they put results up on their websites.

    While fully recognising that the sample is way too small to be meaningful, in a piece of Snow-like fun I've put them through my model, on the assumption that the "other" figures are 95% for the SNP inline with the October "scraps" polls we've had. I'm also assuming a 48% turnout in line with the last 3 by-elections.

    If the new YouGov figures approximate the change in Glenrothes opinion since the 2005 general election, the SNP would win with a majority of just over 1,000.

    If they approximate the change in Glenrothes opinion since the 2007 SP election, the SNP would win with a majority of just under 1,500.

    In both cases, the Tories would save their deposit and the LibDems would lose theirs.

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  • 113. At 4:20pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #102 Reluctant-Expat

    "Can't remember. Red Book? Any particular reason why you are still going on about something I said yesterday?"

    In a debate, any assertions made need to be supported or withdrawn when challenged.

    I think it has now been established that any statistics you give should be discounted, unless you source them accurately.

    #103 Reluctant-Expat

    "Dolly the sheep came from a Labour financed project in a Labour-financed university"

    God! No wonder the Labour Party is strapped for cash - theyve been supporting public institutions from party funds instead of from taxpayer cash (unless they confuse the two).

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  • 114. At 4:23pm on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    99. At 3:08pm on 22 Oct 2008, Reluctant-Expat wrote:
    You are repeating the much-used (and always very strange) question asking why the English don't offload us if we are drain on UK resources.

    Every set of accounts shows that Holyrood has been in deficit more often than not for decades, both 'recalculated and checked' versions and otherwise. As far as England goes, Holyrood is regularly in deficit.

    Yet there are no mass petitions, no protest marches, no shrill websites full of nonsensical fabrications and exaggerations, no national conversations, no calls from English MPs etc. etc. etc. calling for Scotland to be removed from the UK.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    if what you say is true, then does it not show that the union has failed scotland in that it has to get handouts from westminster.

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  • 115. At 4:38pm on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    103. At 3:17pm on 22 Oct 2008, Reluctant-Expat wrote:
    85. Curious.

    Dolly the sheep came from a Labour financed project in a Labour-financed university operating under a Labour Govt's research policy.

    No evidence of any SNP involvement here.

    As fro SNP attitudes to stem cell research:

    --------------------------------------------------------

    does that mean that it was not carried out in a scottish research centre at roslin.

    i must have missed the SNP closing all the scottish research establishments in scotland, it just goes to show that its hard to keep up with all the fast forward moving ideas of the SNP.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    the difference between new labour and snp, is that the snp do not suppress individuals views.

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  • 116. At 4:51pm on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    105. At 3:28pm on 22 Oct 2008, Anaxim wrote:

    The SNP's primary donor, Brian Soutar, is a fierce opponent of stem cell research, as is their friend Cardinal Keith O'Brien. Both led the charge against the UK stem cell bill.

    ---------------

    and i thought that 300,000 voted for the snp, and you are saying that the view of 2 of them reflect the scottish attitude to stem cell research.

    get a life.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    105. At 3:28pm on 22 Oct 2008, Anaxim wrote:

    Regarding Scotland's alleged high level of religiousness, one obvious case would be the common allegation of rampant sectarianism.

    ----------------

    you are the probably the best example of a unionist poster trying to bring religion into these bloggs for no other reason than to stir up religious intollerance with your sweeping statement.

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  • 117. At 5:03pm on 22 Oct 2008, goodingm wrote:

    102. You are a real sad person, forever on here spouting absolute rubbish. Time you were off the social and got yourself a job, cut sponging off other peoples taxes.

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  • 118. At 5:14pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #113 oldnat

    LOL but somehow I think the rants will continue.

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  • 119. At 5:16pm on 22 Oct 2008, scot2010 wrote:

    This by-election is far too close to call. Brian lays out a fair analysis of the various parties prospects. It says something about the state of politics in Scotland when labour tacticians (wasn't aware they had any) are hoping for any positive glow around Brown to last a mere 2 weeks to save them. This in a safe seat!

    The SNP has, and will continue to, fight hard for this seat. The parallel with the US election of "change or more of the same" I'm sure will resonate with the electorate.

    And to all those ex-communists in the ex-mining villages, is Labour the place for your vote? After all it is the party of privatisation of the NHS, allowed the excess in the City and took dodgy, underhand donations from wealthy men. Compare it to the SNP Govt's record of pushing back privatisation in th NHS, freezing the unfair Council Tax, abolishing that other tax, prescripion charges, rolling out free school meals et al. I think the choice is clear

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  • 120. At 5:21pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    Wow! John Mason MP, giving a very rudimentary speech on the embryo debate in the house of commons.

    You got to listen too this response,Wow! the nats and the clones.

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  • 121. At 5:26pm on 22 Oct 2008, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    #102 "Anyway, I'm still waiting for any serious response from any nat about Salmond's sudden u-turn on too much/too little banking regulation, Salmond's lies about the state of Scotland's finances, Salmond's lies about 'stolen' oil revenues, the flaws in Salmond's belief that we can safely rely on volatile oil prices....."


    Unfortunately, you can't expect a "grown-up response" when you refuse to support these slurs with evidence. Stalling all day then saying "Oh, that was yesterday, are you still going on about it?" doesn't really cut it in the world of grown-up debate.

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  • 122. At 5:39pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #117 goodingm

    While Expat is clearly "economical with the truth", it's much better to expose the distortions and lies than to sink to (probably) his level of simply hurling abuse.

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  • 123. At 5:41pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    So there we have it, the nats have given up on their policies, AS, tells the people of Glenrothes to, vote against labour and get a reduction in your energy bills! if labour loss the Glenrothes election according to AS,
    westminster will be forced to cut energy bills.

    The weeble is on the wobble again!

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  • 124. At 5:46pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #99 Reluctant-Expat

    I must have been having too much fun with the new YouGov figures to have noticed your #99 before.

    You may be right to say that"[a]s far as England goes, Holyrood is regularly in deficit." But that ignores the fact discussed and not refuted on previous threads that the "books" of HM Treasury are not open to scrutiny by any party and not independently and externally audited. There are enough caveats in the GERS both current and Lib/Lab passim to demonstrate that much of what HM Treasury says has to be accepted on trust, if at all. To be fair, that probably applies to most Treasury ministers too unless any of them have trained as auditors.

    Regarding "shrill websites full of nonsensical fabrications and exaggerations", I suggest you need look no further than many posts on Nick Robinson's Newslog to see more than a smattering of English posters peddling the same patronising viewpoint that you do yourself while bleating about the unfairness of Barnett, and many more who want English independence and an end to the union's subsidy of Scotland & Wales. None of it is official BluLab Tory policy yet, but definitely growng.

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  • 125. At 5:54pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #110 Reluctant-Expat
    "Seems like Salmond didn't have the best of times."

    No surprise there, then, but I'm sure he wasn't expecting to with a junior official like Murphy. I would find it hard to believe that Murphy has access to the accounting systems within HM Treasury, let alone the power to offer Salmond transparent access to them.

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  • 126. At 6:02pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #119 scot2010

    I rather agree, and my #112 is certainly nothing more than a bit of fun. It will be very interesting to see if anyone mounts a serious opinion poll in Glenrothes in the two weeks remaining before polling day.

    I somehow can't see any of the unionist media commissioning one for fear of it not showing what they want to hear, and even if the SNP commissioned one, any "plus" would immediately be translated to "cockiness" in 99% of the media. I'm sure plenty of "private" polls will be going on, and fairly sure that serious attempts will be made to keep the results confidential.

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  • 127. At 6:03pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    113. And I will likewise demand sources for every claim you make.

    And all the nats for that matter.

    Right, let's see.......

    I would like a nat to prove that Scotland does not receive its full share of oil revenues.

    I would like a nat to prove that Holyrood has not been running multi-billion deficits.

    I would like a nat to prove that Scotland subsidises UK/England/London.

    I would like a nat to substantiate the following conspiracy claims:
    1. Oil production reports are rigged by any or all of the UK, EU, oil companies, oil markets, OPEC etc.
    2. The HBOS takeover was a Govt conspiracy to crush Scottish nationalism
    3. There is an ongoing US/UK conspiracy to crush Scottish nationalism as seen in a recent report by a US think-tank.
    4. The 2006/07 GERS report, as with all previous accounts are badly flawed.
    5. Gordon Brown sold of British Energy to EDF as his bother once worked there

    Finally, I would like a nat to prove that independence is inevit.......oh no, I think they all admit that's not true anymore.

    And I think I'll keep repeating this posts until I get an answer.

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  • 128. At 6:08pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    The Rt Rev green plays a very cheap game of plagiarism.

    Your either not been reading the tabloids
    or you just ignore anything that rings true about the failures of AS.

    Kindergarden Rev-s-campbell...Mr Elude--O'o

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  • 129. At 6:12pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Brownedov

    Apparently the Channel 4 YouGov poll wasn't just a marginals poll but - according to the Lib-Dems - "mainly focused on Lab-Con marginals (with a couple of Lib-Cons and three way marginals thrown into the mix)", it's not surprising that it's not much use for Scotland!

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  • 130. At 6:16pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    121. I've posted these soooo many times but am always happy to repeat them:

    Salmond's u-turn on banking regulation

    "We are pledging a light-touch regulation suitable to a Scottish financial sector with its outstanding reputation for probity, as opposed to one like that in the UK, which absorbs huge amounts of management time in 'gold-plated' regulation."

    Alex Salmond - Apr 2007

    "Where did this age of irresponsibility come from? Who broke down the barriers in the financial sector? Who presided over the inflation of asset values? Who allowed the spivs and speculators of the ?40 TRILLION derivatives markets - the financial weapons of mass destruction - to be totally unregulated? It might just have had something to do with the occupant of 10 and 11 Downing Street over these last eleven years."

    Alex Salmond - Oct 2008

    Salmond's lies about the state of Scotland's finances

    Exhibit A: In 2006, he said Labour's GERS reporting a 6bn deficit was wrong, and it was really a 3bn surplus.

    In 2007, the SNP's own GERS then reported a 3bn deficit even though the economy had grown and the oil prices had shot up.

    Exhibit B: In the same 2007 GERS, Salmond claimed there was a 800m surplus.....he didn't say that surplus only exists if you ignore 4bn in spending.

    Exhibit C: In 2006, Labour's GERS reported a non-oil deficit of 11bn.

    In 2007, Salmond regularly complained that the GERS calculations were "incomplete and flawed" and "both underestimated revenue and overestimated expenditure". Therefore, 3,000 entries were being recalculated and checked.

    In the subsequent 'corrected' SNP GERS, the non-oil deficit was.....10.8bn, a 1.8% variation that mirrored the economic growth of that period.

    The only significantly different entries between the 'flawed' 2006 GERS and the 'correct' 2007 GERS were down to increased oil prices and revenues.

    Exhibit D: Prior to 2007, Salmond repeatedly claimed that Scotland's North Sea oil revenues were not being spent in Scotland and were, in fact, being 'stolen' by Westminster.

    In the SNP's same much-checked and recalculated GERS, it was reported that ALL of Scotland's oil revenues were returned and included in the Holyrood budget, as had been reported in ALL previous GERS.

    Anything else?

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  • 131. At 6:22pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    122. And where have I been economical with the truth?

    Because I haven't sourced a claim that the financial industry contributes 60bn/9% of UK tax revenues? Is that your entire case that shows I have no credibility?

    Interesting.

    Any comments on #130 yet?

    What do all those say about Salmond's credibility?

    What do they say about the credibility of those who support him?

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  • 132. At 6:32pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    124. Let me get this straight.

    You are saying, "the UK Treasury accounts are not reliable as they haven't been externally audited"?

    Are any government accounts, with all those classified items, externally audited? Will the SNP be allowing their government accounts to be externally audited?

    That these same accounts are accepted by the various financial markets, the EU and the various international organisations is not enough for you?

    Do you think they daren't have them audited as devastating secrets, that would blow the United Kingdom wide open, might be revealed?



    And there are others who believe Scottish nationalists talk utter tosh? No! Really?

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  • 133. At 6:35pm on 22 Oct 2008, stagapple wrote:

    HI great Scotish Blog.. but anyone know when the BBC will have an English Blog???

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  • 134. At 6:50pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    #133

    We are as one my friend, feel free to induce the atrificial non believers, who do not "DRAPE" to the call of collective views.

    Be easy on the old one's, they are a generation apart (oldnat, Brownedov)

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  • 135. At 6:53pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #127 Reluctant-Expat
    "I would like a nat to prove that Scotland does not receive its full share of oil revenues ... I would like a nat to prove that Holyrood has not been running multi-billion deficits ... I would like a nat to prove that Scotland subsidises UK/England/London."

    As you seem to regard home rulers as nationalists, let me repeat the blindingly obvious in the hope that you will eventually understand the truth.

    The "books" of HM Treasury are not open to scrutiny by any party and are not independently and externally audited.

    So long as that remains the case, nobody can prove or disprove those contentions.

    "And I think I'll keep repeating this posts until I get an answer."

    I hope you're not serious as that will break the house rules re spamming and result in more of your posts being removed.

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  • 136. At 6:54pm on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    127. At 6:03pm on 22 Oct 2008, Reluctant-Expat wrote:

    I would like a nat to prove that Holyrood has not been running multi-billion deficits.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    holyrood is not allowed to run any deficit.

    do you not know the rules of the devolution settlement.

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  • 137. At 7:02pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    133. Hey there, English.

    You're welcome to stay and join in the pigeon shoot of the Scottish nationalists on this blog, if you want.

    Apparently, Salmond has told them that we will all be very, very rich once we cover our mountains with wind turbines, flood our valleys with hydro-dams and our coastlines with tidal generators.

    There's no-one to actually sell all that renewable energy to but that doesn't matter as Salmond seemingly has a secret pan....Something about 'giant batteries'.

    There are also countless international conspiracies around, all dedicated to crushing nationalism in Scotland.

    Stick around and you may learn something that will blow your mind!

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  • 138. At 7:04pm on 22 Oct 2008, BrianSH wrote:

    #133 stagapple

    Completely correct. Disparity. Us Scottish Nationalists respect the right of the English to their own self-determination and opinions.

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  • 139. At 7:08pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    135. So if there is no evidence available whatsoever to back up your claims.....

    What do you base your beliefs on??


    136. Yet Holyrood has been running deficits. I quote:

    In 2006-07, the estimated net fiscal balance in Scotland, that is the estimated current budget balance plus estimated net capital investment, was a deficit of £2.7 billion including an estimated geographical share of North Sea revenue.

    But if deficits aren't allowed, where has the extra money come from?

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  • 140. At 7:12pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    A question put to Salmond on the Glenrothes trail, "WHY AREN'T THERE ANY POLICE ON THE STREETS"

    To which Salmond replied] sometime in the future we would like to have an extra 1,000 police.

    -45 police officer since the nats took power

    I thought he (AS) could have at least said
    1,045 new police officers.

    The truth......Eh.....

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  • 141. At 7:16pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #130 Reluctant-Expat
    "Anything else?"

    Well for starters, you ignore the caveats in the GERS concerning the inadequacy of data I pointed out in my #63 on the Rebuilding the arc thread.

    Until and unless you understand the difference between statistics and accounts your assertions will expose your own inadequacies rather than those of anyone else.

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  • 142. At 7:16pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    Pigeon shoot......Brilliant......Pull

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  • 143. At 7:18pm on 22 Oct 2008, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #133,

    I think you can take it as read that the rest of the BBC blogs are overwhelming English. Nick Robinson's certainly is. Although, it is a fair point and needs to be raised. Perhaps when England gets a Parliament all of its own, there will be a reaction by the BBC - until there is some institutional development; it is tough for the beeb to create a POLITICAL all-English blog, as what would it exclusively cover?

    Even all-English matters at Westminster have all the Unionist Party MPs from Scotland and Wales, including Gordon Brown (with no mandate on those issues), voting on them. Not to mention people like the DUP trying to force profoundly anti-democratic legislation through in return for a concession here and concession there.

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  • 144. At 7:24pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    141. Just how inaccurate do you think the GERS accounts are?

    Bearing in mind, the massive bureaucracy that the public sector has when it comes to expenditure and accounting (something you will be most familiar with in the UN), how much estimating, as a %, do you think there is in these reports?

    Is it listed in the accounts?

    At what % would you consider the reports to inaccurate to be of any use?

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  • 145. At 7:27pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    127 Reluctant-Expat wrote:

    "And I will likewise demand sources for every claim you make."

    Let me explain, since you clearly don't understand how debating works.

    If I make a statement of "fact" with which you don't agree, feel free to challenge it with a sourced refutation. I'll then respond with justification, or accept that I can't provide evidence to support it.

    It's not for you to post a list of claims, which you have created, and demand that I "prove" statements I haven't made.

    Everyone is free to express opinions, but not to invent numbers to "support" these opinions.

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  • 146. At 7:33pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    Oldnat

    Do you agree that AS has no more credibility
    from his GERS reports to his flip/flop attitude on HBOS, not to mention his manifesto collapse.

    Com' on no need to lie, is there?

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  • 147. At 7:39pm on 22 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    #143

    pattymkirkwood

    Would that be divided institutions,
    Now that Salmond has changed his mind again on HBOS, what part of the national deficit will he be prepared to pick up if there is Independence?

    THINK ABOUT IT?

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  • 148. At 7:50pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #146 derekbarker

    No.

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  • 149. At 7:58pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Just as a matter of information the latest GERS report established there was no significant Scottish deficit so can we stick to the facts please.

    This about turn has happened because of an SNP government's ability and intention to properly scrutinise the GERS figures and the sterling work of ex government economic statisticians Jim and Margaret Cuthbert who blew the previous fiddled one to bits within 24 hours of its publication.

    The fact is that the UK budget deficit is now at record levels and the worst in the world by a long way.
    Just another little inconvenient fact.

    Just because a lie is repeated often enough it doesn't become true.

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  • 150. At 8:07pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #132 Reluctant-Expat

    What you fundamentally misunderstand is the purpose of independently audited accounts. They have use in merger and like situations but are usually supplemented by special audits and reports. Their main use is for the membership of the organisation to have some assurance of their validity. In this case the membership can be viewed either as the nations of the UK or, if you regard it as a unitary state, as the entire UK electorate. In a constitutional democracy such as the US, the separation of powers and constitutional safeguards replace this need to some extent. Sadly, the UK has no meaningful constitutional safeguards whatsoever. Brown can declare himself PM for life tomorrow if he can maintain an absolute majority in the House of Commons and simply create sufficient Peers to extend Parliament indefinitely.

    "You are saying, "the UK Treasury accounts are not reliable as they haven't been externally audited"?"
    Yes, but that is only to be expected of any government not holding out a begging bowl to the IMF. What's of most concern is that there are no "formal intra-UK fiscal accounts" as pointed out in the link in my #141 above. So long as the UK exists, I would expect those to be audited by a joint independent body appointed by the devolved nations and the central governments. In the absence of such arrangements there is indeed an element of "wee pretendy parliament" about the assemblies of all three devolved nations.

    "Are any government accounts, with all those classified items, externally audited? Will the SNP be allowing their government accounts to be externally audited?"
    Of course not, unless a confederal UK is reached, and in any event the SNP are unlikely to rule an independent Scotland in perpetuity.

    "That these same accounts are accepted by the various financial markets, the EU and the various international organisations is not enough for you?"
    Of course not. The external cash flow figures can be verified via the markets, which is enough for most commercial purposes and the international organisations have no power to compel their membership to provide such data. The EU is slightly more demanding but have enough of their own skeletons not to be too picky about detail. Eurostat regularly bemoans a number of members for providing inadequate regional detail, but that's about as far as it goes.

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  • 151. At 8:44pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #139 Reluctant-Expat

    "What do you base your beliefs on??"
    Well, obviously not on visceral hatred of the truth and an unwillingness to listen as you seem to.

    "Yet Holyrood has been running deficits"
    NO. As you confirm in the very next sentence when you refer to an "estimated net fiscal balance" which is explained very clearly in the GERS preface: "Unlike many other countries, the UK fiscal framework does not provide separate detailed intra-country or intra-regional fiscal accounts. GERS therefore provides estimates of public sector fiscal accounts for Scotland."

    As so often, you try to compare apples and pears. The GERS are not accounts but heavily caveated statistical estimates of what the accounts might have been if Scotland had had fiscal autonomy.

    As I have advised before, until you understand the difference between accounts and statistics or the meaning of a caveat there really is no point in trying to debate them with you except to hope that the odd reader will be unbiased enough to distinguish between fact and propaganda.

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  • 152. At 9:04pm on 22 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 153. At 9:11pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Brownedov

    Well done, sir!

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  • 154. At 9:11pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #144 Reluctant-Expat

    "Just how inaccurate do you think the GERS accounts are?"
    Whatever they are, the GERS are not accounts, and the "description" right at the beginning gives us all a reasonable clue: "This report is the fourteenth in the series of official published estimates of expenditure and revenue balances of the public sector in Scotland."

    The word "estimate" appears on every single page where a number is provided. That said, they're probably the best guesstimates the compilers can make from the information made available to them.

    "how much estimating, as a %, do you think there is in these reports?"
    A very great deal, as the preface clarifies. HM Treasury officials probably provide something very close to the the truth on those figures which can be checked, but there are many which cannot and are, for the time being, conjecture.

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  • 155. At 9:18pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #149 sneckedagain
    "Just as a matter of information the latest GERS report established there was no significant Scottish deficit so can we stick to the facts please.
    ....
    Just because a lie is repeated often enough it doesn't become true.
    "

    Very true.

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  • 156. At 9:32pm on 22 Oct 2008, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Another little fact.

    The GERS fugures are merely an estimate of Scotland's relative position vis the UK position under present constitutional arrngements.
    By definition they do not tell you anything at all significant about the wide range of Scotland's potential economic situation under independence.

    There appears to be a peculiar notion among unionists posters in general that the SNP want to make Scotland independent SO THEY CAN RUN IT THE SAME WAY IT IS BEING RUN AT THE MOMENT.
    What would be the point?

    It's like someone buying a bankrupt business and being surprised when it goes bankrupt again because they managed the same way as before.
    Can we please have a more intelligent level of debate on this issue if at all possible.

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  • 157. At 9:35pm on 22 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    151. At 8:44pm on 22 Oct 2008, Brownedov.

    you know that you are a very patient person when replying to ex-pat who does not want to understand or its not in prepared to listen.

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  • 158. At 9:35pm on 22 Oct 2008, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    TO ALL

    http://rampagingpms.blogspot.com/2006/04/case-study-in-troll-behavior.html

    "So I now think of all trolls as Rogelio, the crazy man who threw a hissy fit because some people didn't agree with his beliefs, and the tantrum changed nothing. All he got for his trouble was marginalized, to protect everyone from him. Including himself."

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  • 159. At 10:06pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #153 oldnat

    Thanks, and I'm aware I'm starting to rant. I fully accept that I'm an amateur when it comes to History, Engineering or Politics and many other subjects, but I'm grateful that the UK state assisted me to acquire a good university education in Economics, Statistics and Accounting before I had to go out into the big, bad world and scrape a living for 30-odd years practising them.

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  • 160. At 10:26pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    All those of us who recorded our nationality as Scots should be OK but the Brits are going to be in real trouble paying this 31 trillion GBP claim.

    :-)

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  • 161. At 10:27pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #159 Brownedov

    Not a rant. Calm, measured - and very effective.

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  • 162. At 10:31pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #158 cynicalHighlander

    Great post!

    But there's no one here who's Rogelio.

    :-)

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  • 163. At 10:32pm on 22 Oct 2008, enneffess wrote:

    14. At 3:22pm on 21 Oct 2008, BoNG0_1 wrote:
    If the SNP were to win it, then surely Labour have no mandate to rule in Scotland ......

    --------

    Can we stop with this "no mandate" nonsense. It was first raised when Brown became Prime Minister. People vote for a PARTY, the Prime Minister is chosen by his own party, and is normally the leader. A general election does not vote for the Prime Minister. This is not a presedential election.

    The same argument could have been applied when the Conservatives were in power. They had no seats in Scotland, but under constitutional law they still were governing the UK.

    The same argument can again be applied to the SNP after last year's election, since they were a minority government.

    There are many flaws in our voting systems. The Westminister "first past the post" system allows a majority Government, even if the overall count of votes is lower than the other parties combined.

    Proportional representation is not flawless either, albeit it is a bit fairer. You are more likely to get a minority Government.

    I'd be in favour or PR for Westminster, except that it would allow the Lib Dems far more MPs than they deserve.



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  • 164. At 10:36pm on 22 Oct 2008, enneffess wrote:

    160. At 10:26pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:
    All those of us who recorded our nationality as Scots should be OK but the Brits are going to be in real trouble paying this 31 trillion GBP claim.


    Oldnat, I hope you are not being serious. I had a quick look at this website and talk about cloud cuckoo land. If they are being serious, then I would like some compensation from Rome, after all they built a wall to keep us in. Then we have the Vikings, so Denmark owes us a bit as well.

    If this ever took off then Britain, Holland, Germany, France, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal.........in fact it is probably easier listing the countries who are NOT in trouble :)

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  • 165. At 10:42pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #157 U13282939
    Yes, and I know I shouldn't but some itches you just have to scratch.

    #158 cynicalHighlander
    Thanks - now bookmarked.

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  • 166. At 10:43pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #163 Neil_Small147

    "except that it would allow the Lib Dems far more MPs than they deserve"

    An odd comment! Under PR (though one can argue about different systems) parties get exactly what "they deserve".

    #164 Neil_Small147

    You did notice the smiley?

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  • 167. At 10:54pm on 22 Oct 2008, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #137 RE:

    See - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7465840.stm

    "The primary objective is to estimate a set of fiscal accounts for Scotland through a detailed analysis of official UK and Scottish Government financial statistics."

    Estimate...not fact. Statistics...not accounts?

    "GERS is the authoratative publication of public sector expenditure and revenue in Scotland."

    Why? As it is not possible to have fatual accounts of the Scottish budget since:

    The Basic Principles Underpinning the Methodology

    The headline estimates of Scottish public sector expenditure and revenue in GERS embrace two key principles:

    1. Public sector revenue is estimated for taxes where a financial burden is imposed on residents and enterprises in Scotland

    2. Public sector expenditure is estimated on the basis of spending incurred for the benefit of residents and enterprises in Scotland

    Again there's that word...estimated

    See [Unsuitable URL - PDF download removed by Moderator]for revenue (excluding oil) and [Unsuitable URL - PDF download removed by Moderator] for expenditure, where you have to distinguish between clearly allocated spending in Scotland an "estimates" of expenditure which cannot fully be attributed to a particular country or region.

    Regarding the economic crisis and property reposessions:
    "The paper argues that the principal driver of demand behind recent price growth has been a one-off structural reduction in interest rates resulting from Bank of England operational independence and improved global inflationary management. Recent rate increases are now acting to dampen the market and correct some market ‘overshoot,’ but a significant house price correction remains unlikely in the absence of a widespread economic downturn." Sounded good didn't. Guess where it came from RE.

    For oil revenue you should look at "http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Economy/17858/ScotShareNorthSeaRevenue", particularly [Unsuitable URL - PDF download removed by Moderator]".

    Again..estimates, but they make a mockery of your figures and exhibits RE.

    It will always be impossible to calculate our share of oil and the revenues accrued as the royalties and taxes are paid directly to the treasury, no-one but they know the true figures. This is not conspiracy, this is fact.

    The GERS deficit mentioned (£6bn) occurs for Scotlands share of oil revenue which it would receive per capita in line with the rest of the UK. If you discount oil revenues completely then its (£6.7bn). However there would be a £800m surplus if Scotland received its geographical share of oil revenues (estimated to be 93-94%, source GERS!)

    As I have said already, Scotlands future lies elswhere economically with our Engineers, Scientists and Entrepreneurs.

    Also, no-one to sell the energy to?!?!? Think the rest of Western Europe wouldn't mind buying their energy from our renewable sources in the future instead of oil rich countries , we'd have plenty to sell.

    Will you come back if Scotland becomes independent, or will you become permanent expat?

    Still didn't get a definitive answer whether you personally believe that Scotland does receive all the oil revenues due but still has a deficit, for which the Barnett formula fills in the gap, meaning the rest of UK taxpaers have to subsidise Scotland, to the tune of £6.7bn according to your exhibits?!

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  • 168. At 11:29pm on 22 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Newsnicht was odd tonight - almost totally devoted to Sarah Brown's visit to Cardenden, but with a negative tone.

    It was almost as if they were compensating for BBC News 24's booboo yesterday.

    If so they were over-compensating.

    Obviously, I want to see the SNP win in Glenrothes, but so far the Beeb's performance has lacked impartiality in both directions and is not serving democracy.

    We need even-handedness on every occasion from the service we pay for, and we are not getting it.

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  • 169. At 11:29pm on 22 Oct 2008, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Listened to Scotland at Ten on radio re - Mrs B protected by 6 - 8 armed guards, no reporters allowed near and she was taken to a street (forget where) with various party posters in their windows. 64 dollar question which ones did she enter? No prizes your all correct. (assumption)

    163. Neil_Small147

    "I'd be in favour or PR for Westminster, except that it would allow the Lib Dems far more MPs than they deserve."

    Not very democratic of you.

    I have tried to find a true definition of Democracy 'set in stone' but to no avail as there are a lot of different interpretations. As things stand the UK at Westminster likes to think that it is the oldest true democracy in the World. There is nothing worse than those who think that they are the best.

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  • 170. At 11:31pm on 22 Oct 2008, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #147 - The world must really be a very scary place for you!

    The people like Alex Salmond and the policies implemented by the SNP, not all of the people, but a majority certainly do. Deal with it.

    In contrast, Gordon Brown cannot even be trusted to keep his word on his own family: "I would never use my family politically" at the Labour Party Conference - within weeks he has the poor wife out chapping doors in the real world, where he is still too scared to venture!

    Your pathetic attempts to 'trash' the overwhelming economic case for Scottish independence is playing to no-one.

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  • 171. At 11:40pm on 22 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #160 oldnat

    #163 Neil_Small147
    "People vote for a PARTY, the Prime Minister is chosen by his own party, and is normally the leader."

    Strictly speaking, under the 1872 plurality system, people don't vote for a party but for a representative to act on their behalf in Parliament. I know that for the past few decades candidates have been allowed to show a party allegiance next to their name on the ballot paper, but it is by no means compulsory. In fact, it's that representative nature that is the only vestigial justification for the 1872 system.

    But you're correct that, insofar as any recent government has had a mandate, NuLab have one. In living memory only the 1900 Tory and 1931 National governments actually had majorities of the popular vote.

    Where Brown has no democratic legitimacy is within the Labour Party, where he and his chum Bliar gerrymandered the electoral system to require 70 MPs to nominate candidates and used the whips to ensure no challenge to Brown was possible, so ensuring his "coronation" in a process Mugabe must have thought undemocratic.

    "I'd be in favour or PR for Westminster, except that it would allow the Lib Dems far more MPs than they deserve."
    Yet you're happy that both NuLab and the Tories have far more MPs than they earned?

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  • 172. At 00:04am on 23 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    #170

    The wind that shakes the barley!

    Where is this overwhelming case for an economically sound Scotland.

    In the wind, the trumpet you blow is off note and rustic.

    The parochial voice has no more patiences,
    your whole political mish-mash has gone with the wind.

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  • 173. At 00:39am on 23 Oct 2008, frankly_francophone wrote:

    Sadly, the United Kingdom of Insolvency appears to be about to announce, on Friday, a reduction in its GDP for the third quarter of this year after zero growth in the second quarter. Sliding ineluctably into a serious recession, the UK administration is ministering to its citizens by applying a strong dose of Keynesian economics. To that end stimulation of the economy is to be encouraged through the intermediary of the recently nationalized banks: Northern Rock, Bradford and Bingley, HBOS, Lloyd's TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland. What a lot of banks the UK state now owns. This is looking pretty convincingly like a failure of deregulated capitalism, one may safely say. How embarrassing.

    The nationalized banks, it appears, are to be required by the state to refrain from repossessing homes of defaulting mortgage holders to an extent which may offend against commercial prudence but serves the interests of the Labour UK government, which does not want vast numbers of people to be seen to be ejected from their homes by institutions now controlled by the state while the Labour Party is striving to improve its electoral prospects. Nonetheless, a distressingly sharp increase in home repossessions is already being witnessed by the electors of Glenrothes, who may be pleased to see the UK prime minister's wife being conducted about the streets of the constituency, but this agreeable little diversion is surely not going to blind them totally to the reality of what is happening in the background.

    In France the thoughts of every citizen were upon another lady today, to whom the President of the Republic and his immediate predecessor as well as numerous other serving and former members of the government paid tribute at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The woman to whom our thoughts have been turned this week was a poor old lady to whom presidents and prime ministers listened attentively when she telephoned them to tell them what she wanted them to do. Even a former president of the European Commission, who had unfailingly accepted her calls, was there to pay his last respects. It is, perhaps, unfortunate, that the late Sister Emmanuelle, renowned for her charitable work in three continents, had not got into the habit of telephoning members of the UK administration to give them the benefit of her advice. Judging by the unholy mess that the UK is now in, they certainly could have been doing with advice from someone, not least from a woman known far and wide for nothing so much as her very distinguished moral compass.

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  • 174. At 01:24am on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    Lots of nationalist backslapping over a fight considered 'won', albeit in an empty room, and the inevitable huff and bluster from the nationalists in response to my posts 130 and 139.

    All in all, well worth popping back on.....

    150, 151 & 154. Brownedov, you still don't say what you base all your pro-independence beliefs on when you claim there is no 'reliable evidence' to examine. (Actually there is, you just refuse to accept it as such as it heavily contradicts those mysterious beliefs of yours. Big difference.)

    I'll ask again: What do you base your pro-independence beliefs on?

    Also, what do you think the real state of finances is between Scotland and the rest of the UK? Obviously, you now have to link your source.

    And as for this little beauty: "Well, obviously not on visceral hatred of the truth and an unwillingness to listen as you seem to."

    I'm one of the realistic ones here, basing my beliefs on fact NOT Salmond's rhetoric, NOT SNP spin, NOT unsubstantiated claims (cue oldnat) by the skipload and especially NOT on pie-in-the-sky daydreams involving future technologies to supply a market that probably will not exist.

    Maybe you could elaborate which examples of truth I have this 'hatred' of?

    And now the EU apparently doesn't challenge Treasury figures as they "have enough of their own skeletons not to be too picky about detail." Fantastic. Another convenient conspiracy.

    I wonder, is the entire pro-independence argument based solely on wild conspiracy theories and baseless beliefs?

    As that is all I ever see from the nats on here.




    170. There it is again:

    "Your pathetic attempts to 'trash' the overwhelming economic case for Scottish independence is playing to no-one."

    What is this much-claimed "overwhelming economic case for independence"?

    How many times does this have to be asked before any nationalist provides an answer?

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  • 175. At 01:27am on 23 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Poor Sarah.

    For those who haven't seen the Herald and The Scotsman reports, they are worth reading.

    I especially like this from the Scotsman

    Journalists who then found themselves walking beside Mrs Brown struggled to avoid being tripped up as party members muscled in, trying to form a protective phalanx.

    Then came the most extraordinary piece of control freakery of the day. "I want you guys on the green," said the man from the Labour Party. "There will be six or seven guys with guns who will keep you away from her. You may be shot and then it won't be my problem."

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  • 176. At 01:28am on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    149. As I have already quoted, the latest GERS report showed a 2.7bn deficit, close to 10% of Holyrood's budget.

    And you call that 'insignificant'?

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  • 177. At 01:36am on 23 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    And then, of course, we have the Times (whose reporter did seem to have an invite, unlike the Scots media) committing the unpardonable sin of describing harling as "pebble-dash" because they don't understand that it's a sensible protection for brickwork in the Scottish climate.

    Are these people trying to annoy the Scots?

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  • 178. At 01:38am on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    So, according to the nationalists, the GERS reports are full of so many estimates they are of no use to anyone.

    This still applies even if the SNP themselves ordered 3,000 items to be checked and recalculated and the results still came out almost exactly the same.

    And this is wholly unrelated to the fact that they show consecutive multi-billion deficits for Holyrood and, therefore, multi-billion Westminster-funded subsidies.

    Furthermore, the Treasury's main reports are also highly flawed (and certainly not because they also show the same consecutive multi-billion deficits) but the EU will not inspect them closely for fear their own financial shortcomings will be revealed.....scratching each other's backs etc.

    Yep, nationalist beliefs are always to be respected and certainly NOT ridiculed.

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  • 179. At 02:00am on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    A journo described harling as 'pebble-dash'?!

    Independence now!

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  • 180. At 02:06am on 23 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #176 Reluctant-Expat

    You don't learn do you? The percentage of the monies given to Holyrood by Westminster are not relevant. The actual quote from GERS is "a deficit of £2.7 billion (2.1 per cent of GDP)"

    This was lower than the UK government deficit.

    "General government net borrowing in 2007/8 was equivalent to 2.7 per
    cent of gross domestic product, compared with 2.6 per cent in 2006/7.
    The reference value for ‘excessive deficit’ is three per cent ...General government net
    borrowing is referred to as "government
    deficit" in the Maastricht Treaty"
    (Source - Office for National Statistics 30 September 2008)


    Once again, your distortion of statistics is demonstrated.

    I'm sure that there are valid arguments for continuing the Union, but you prefer a tactic which demeans your stance- and that of those who share it.

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  • 181. At 07:51am on 23 Oct 2008, scot2010 wrote:

    Reluctant exPat ad-nauseam

    You ask what is the case for independence. oldnat and Brownedov have already taken the time for your (futile) education on economics, so I will make a more general case, probably equally as futile, but I'll give it a go anyway.
    I want Scottish independence within the EU for a few simple reasons.

    - Our economy has underperformed for decades. This is due to a chronic lack of self-confidence. due in no small part to the Labour party, and a series of economic policies designed to serve the City.

    - This underperformance has led to mass migration of much of our best talent. Which, of course, leads to a worsening of the economy in a vicious circle.

    - A poor economy combined with the right wing policies of all UK govts in the last 40plus years has led to endemic poverty, which is the main cause for our poor health record. It is not just money that makes the difference between the health records of poor and wealthy areas, it is a lack of hope that engenders the nihilistic attitude of "lets get blootered" prevalent in many poor areas.

    I believe that an independent Scotland can :
    - design economic policies suitable for the Scottish economy

    - Provide social policies that help people out of poverty, not blame them for it

    - Help people to feel proud of their country, without resorting to the boast and bluster which is far too common

    - take part in the community of nations and work with others to make the world a more civilised place

    Not to mention not taking part in illegal wars!

    I know that you won't understand this, the shear negativity you display in your posts probably blinds you to the bleedin' obvious

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  • 182. At 09:06am on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    scot2010 mmmmm you have no links or proof of what you say ...... somehow i think your wasting your time with RE

    Sarah Brown canvassing ... whats that all about. To me it looks like its all just to try and get public sympathy. Maybe she suggested it all herself but since it was all stage managed it just looked daft. In the end it was all just for the media.

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  • 183. At 09:07am on 23 Oct 2008, DisgustedDorothy wrote:

    Scot 2010, thanks for that!

    I was beginning to lose the will to live with the poster who was exiled to a strange land, from whence he has much to say.

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  • 184. At 09:18am on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    IAIN GREY SAYS :- "Since I became leader I have shown I am prepared to take on Alex Salmond on what he thinks is his territory on banking and the economy.

    "I think in our exchanges he has come out second best. Our election united the party and we are seeing the benefits of that in this campaign."

    --------------------------------------------------------

    in his dreams, but not in reality.

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  • 185. At 09:35am on 23 Oct 2008, Jimmythepict wrote:

    182 rabbiehippo

    Don't forget that Sarah Brown's previous career was as a PR Consultant.

    This move was carefully planned.

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  • 186. At 10:37am on 23 Oct 2008, minuend wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 187. At 10:42am on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    180. Ok, I'll try another tact.

    Under current taxation and spending, an independent Scotland would need to use all taxation, oil and non-oil, plus borrow more, just to meet current spending.

    There is no surplus for Salmond's claimed oil fund and with oil production steadily decreasing, there is little hope of one in the future. Unless:

    a) he cuts services and spending,
    b) he cuts spending without any corresponding tax cuts,
    c) he raises taxes just to fund existing services,
    d) he borrows still more, all at interest rates equal or greater than the returns from the oil fund or
    e) a combination of the above.

    And you can call it "defeatist" or "negative" as much as you like. Anyone else will call it realistic.

    The world is not a perfect place and never will be. Living in a dream world of conjecture and speculation, instead of accepting that stark fact and dealing with it, is ultimately pointless.

    181. So your reason is also merely a wholly emotional belief that it might be better, no reliance on any concrete economic case.

    While I think it is folly to rely on volatile oil prices and a dwindling oil supply for a major chunk of our economy, as Salmond believes.

    I also believe that we shouldn't base our economic future on a wholly speculative strategy that we can become a "Saudi Arabia of renewable energy" when our nearest neighbour and largest energy market could become self-sufficient just by building a barrage across either the Severn, the Thames or the Wash.

    I believe our best economic future is staying within one of the strongest and largest economies in Europe and the world, enjoying the benefits of a lead position in world political and economic planning through our memberships of the UN Security Council and the G8 (and not just another observer with almost no voice), where we don't have to rely on a constant gamble on a dwindling and volatile commodity for a major
    portion of our economy, where we won't have to rely on a foreign country or group of countries for our key economic policies (where we will be a very low priority) and where we maturely take responsibility for our own shortcomings and not simply blame it all someone else.

    I know you won't accept this, as your argument (as with almost all other nationalists) is heavily based on a perception that you live in some oppressed society and a baseless (and often illogical) dream of an almost totally impossible future.

    Anyway, thank you for being honest.

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  • 188. At 10:52am on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    184. I think you may be wrong again about Salmond's supremacy:

    Speaking after the meeting, Mr Murphy said: "I thought it was a very constructive, sensible meeting and carried out in excellent spirit. We put aside what is often the petty disagreements in Scottish politics and vowed to work together and that's very positive."

    However...

    Mr Salmond said: "On some areas that we talked about there's an indication of flexibility, for example on police and fire pensions. Other things I think we'll just have to take forward to the Treasury"

    That looks very much to me that Murphy got far more of what he wanted out of the meeting than Salmond did.

    I really do think this absolute messianic devotion you have towards Salmond is very bizarre. Ever since this financial crisis broke, Salmond has been a shadow of his former self.

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  • 189. At 10:52am on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    187 Aye it probably was but visiting only safe Labour voters will reflect badly. Fair enough shes would be a target for terrorists or nuts so a general walkabout would not happen but still it looks like nothing more than a PA stunt. I think people will see this so it wont make any difference to the majority of voters.

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  • 190. At 10:54am on 23 Oct 2008, Wyrdtimes wrote:

    I really can't believe that Scots would be so stupid as to think Labour have handled this financial crisis well.

    10 years with Brown as Chancellor! His fingerprints are all over the crisis happening in the first place.

    Dear Scotland do yourselves and your old pals in England a favour and vote SNP.

    Unless you hate the English after all (which I don't believe) - in which case vote Labour.

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  • 191. At 11:02am on 23 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #174, #176, #178 Reluctant-Expat

    "Brownedov, you still don't say what you base all your pro-independence beliefs on when you claim there is no 'reliable evidence' to examine. (Actually there is, you just refuse to accept it as such as it heavily contradicts those mysterious beliefs of yours. Big difference.)"
    Your claim to have access to reliable evidence supporting your view will be more credible when you present some rather than blustering over your misunderstanding of the useful but far from definitive estimates the GERS provide.

    "I'll ask again: What do you base your pro-independence beliefs on?"
    And I'll tell you again as you clearly do not read the posts of others carefully. I am not pro-independence, or at least I wasn't when this exchange began, but have long been a firm believer in home rule. To reach that stage, full fiscal autonomy is a pre-requisite, and in an ideal world I would prefer a confederal UK in which all 4 "home" nations reach that stage. If it can be reached, it may be sufficient but as an even firmer believer in democracy I would then expect a referendum to decide whether full independence is preferable and respect the views of the majority.

    "Also, what do you think the real state of finances is between Scotland and the rest of the UK? Obviously, you now have to link your source."
    Quite frankly, I don't know. I am unaware of reliable sources on this and regard the GERS as the leastworst statistics available. That does not mean they are better than a rough guide to the current situation and as sneckedagain's astute #156 points out: "There appears to be a peculiar notion among unionists posters in general that the SNP want to make Scotland independent SO THEY CAN RUN IT THE SAME WAY IT IS BEING RUN AT THE MOMENT. What would be the point?"

    "I'm one of the realistic ones here, basing my beliefs on fact NOT Salmond's rhetoric, NOT SNP spin, NOT unsubstantiated claims (cue oldnat) by the skipload and especially NOT on pie-in-the-sky daydreams involving future technologies to supply a market that probably will not exist."
    Let others judge based on the quality of your posted facts and opinions rather than suggesting others should substantiate claims they have never made. In particular, a little consistency would help convince us.

    You now seem to be claiming that the Scottish government is proven to be doing a poor job based on the information in the GERS and thus is unworthy of being given fiscal control. That isn't a view I share, but you are prefectly entitled to hold it. However, your #233 of 21 Oct 2008 on the Confident performance, but don't mention Iceland thread advocates bottom-up fiscal autonomy on a model similar to the Swiss system with: "Start government at council level, with broad fiscal powers and maximum autonomy over local services. No permission to be needed or funding to be sought from higher government; be it Holyrood, Westminster or even Brussels."

    I don't disagree with a word of that, nor with most of your #27 of 01 Oct 2008 where you say: "I disagree that there would be an imbalance in a federal UK as all domestic issues will be separated so England/Wales/NI will have little involvement in Scottish issues and vice versa."

    On energy, your #278 of 22 Oct 2008 on the Confident performance, but don't mention Iceland thread says: "The Severn Barrage (and the Thames and Wash schemes) are all based on current technology and only environmental concerns block their way. Strategic economic need will soon overrule the need to protect salt marshes ... And once they are built, our primary energy market is gone."

    Yet only a few weeks ago, your #45 of 25 Sep 2008 on the Nuclear exchange thread said: "Like most people, I'm in favour of a mixed supply. Nuclear is cheap, plentiful and waste-storage, is well under control (contrary to the picture painted by some)."

    Anyone who has read many of your posts over recent months will find it hard to detect much consistency in your views except visceral hatred of Salmond (too many accusations of lies to enumerate) in particular and the SNP in general. This rather mirrors my own distate of the Bliar/Brown axis in particular and NuLab in general, which is perhaps why we seek different solutions having started from viewpoints with a measure of consensus.

    "And now the EU apparently doesn't challenge Treasury figures as they "have enough of their own skeletons not to be too picky about detail." Fantastic. Another convenient conspiracy."
    No conspiracy - it's almost invariably you who mention them. You ignore the fact that the EU's own accounts have long been unsigned as the European Parliament disputes aspects of them. You also ignore the fact that the EU, rather like Topsy, just grew from the ECSC via the EEC and EC, and that as it did so its existing membership were not subject to the "good governance" provisions which the newest and all candidate members are. Finally, you don't consider the fact that if your cheque doesn't bounce when you pay your subscription to a club, it's most unlikely that the club will demand a detailed audit of you to examine your personal financial circumstances. In an imperfect way, the EU is a club owned by its members, delegating small amounts of power upwards for the common weal.

    "As I have already quoted, the latest GERS report showed a 2.7bn deficit, close to 10% of Holyrood's budget. And you call that 'insignificant'?"
    It's hard to be specific, but that's probably close to the margin of error given the conditions under which the estimates were produced.

    "So, according to the nationalists, the GERS reports are full of so many estimates they are of no use to anyone ... This still applies even if the SNP themselves ordered 3,000 items to be checked and recalculated and the results still came out almost exactly the same."
    No. It is useful, as I have said, but cannot be accurate because there is no basis of agreement on intra-UK fiscal matters and such data as exists is under HM Treasury control.

    However you try to wrap it up, the problem stems from the "sovereignty of parliament" concept within the "peculiar institution" that is the British non-constitution. That means that Holyrood's powers have been delegated down from a Westmidden most reluctant to clean up its own act, and to suggest that any unionist government there would transparently open its books to its "inferiors" frankly beggars belief. If we had bottom-up democracy, which I favour and you recently claimed to, the problem wouldn't arise since I would delegate some of my power to a council, some to Holyrood, Belfast, Cardiff or wherever and some to Westminster, with each lower level having a collective audit role over the next higher.

    I'm working this afternoon but will look back in later.

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  • 192. At 11:12am on 23 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #188 Reluctant-Expat
    "Mr Salmond said: 'On some areas that we talked about there's an indication of flexibility, for example on police and fire pensions. Other things I think we'll just have to take forward to the Treasury'

    That looks very much to me that Murphy got far more of what he wanted out of the meeting than Salmond did.
    "

    You're entitled to that view but to me it looks as I said in my #125: "I would find it hard to believe that Murphy has access to the accounting systems within HM Treasury, let alone the power to offer Salmond transparent access to them."

    Murphy has not recently had a Treasury role and would be most unlikely to have had fiscal powers delegated to him except on very specific issues.

    TTFN

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  • 193. At 11:12am on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:

    187. At 10:42am on 23 Oct 2008, Reluctant-Expat wrote:

    where we don't have to rely on a constant gamble on a dwindling and volatile commodity for a major
    portion of our economy.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    does that not mean that the union has failed the scotish population that it would have to rely on the volatile commodity for a major portion of its economy.

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  • 194. At 11:14am on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    190 Englandrise ... you fellows do the right thing and vote for the Lib Dems and give them a chance ;o)}

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  • 195. At 11:14am on 23 Oct 2008, HughEdinburgh wrote:

    Expat,

    If the union is so wonderful, let's roll it out across the planet.

    All governments of the world are to hand over their sovereignty to Westminster, because obviously nobody is capable of running an independent country, except Westminster.

    So, countries of the world, so farewell to recession and budget deficit, because G.Brown will fix it, and say goodbye to your industries and banks, because A.Darling amd P.Mandelson will fix that.

    All in all a good deal for the world.

    You no longer have to worry about running your country, just let Westminster do it.

    And, you no longer have to worry about money or resources, because Westminster will take all of that, and then make sure they give you just enough back to survive on.

    The world will be remained Planet UK, and all countries flags will be replaced by a Planet UK flag.

    There will be just one team at the Olympics, Team Planet UK, funded by everybody on the planet, which will be totally successful as they will win all the medals, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

    Seems like an ideal solution.

    Bring it on.

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  • 196. At 11:25am on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    187. At 10:42am on 23 Oct 2008, Reluctant-Expat wrote:

    I also believe that we shouldn't base our economic future on a wholly speculative strategy that we can become a "Saudi Arabia of renewable energy" when our nearest neighbour and largest energy market could become self-sufficient just by building a barrage across either the Severn, the Thames or the Wash.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    HMMMM - a barrage across the severn has been reported as having a potential of 5% of the UKs energy requirements.

    now the UKs at this time requires 400TWH per annum, so if a severn barrage would produce approx. 20 TWH per annum then the UK would be according to re-pat self sufficient.

    yes, according to ex-pat, 1 x 20 = 400 .

    wow, i wish i was as good at maths as ex-pat.

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  • 197. At 11:37am on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    191. More of the same. All huff and bluster without a sign of an answer to anything.

    Although you do finally admit that you have no basis for your own beliefs.

    We're getting there.

    (By the way, I'm still in favour of a mixed energy supply; nuclear, renewable, conventional. My reliable evidence still includes the detailed government accounts - good enough for the markets, the EU and the IOs, so good enough for me - No reliance on any rumour, myth, theory or future scenarios that are far from guaranteed.)

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  • 198. At 11:38am on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    193. No.

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  • 199. At 11:43am on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    192. Your posts continue to be presumption and little else.

    Any chance of you ever basing a post or belief on substantive fact?

    195. Go show that to your mum.

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  • 200. At 11:51am on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:

    187. At 10:42am on 23 Oct 2008, Reluctant-Expat.

    in case you want to check the sources used for the severn barrage.

    news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/7202413.stm

    -----------------------

    source used for UK energy.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    this is the scottish requirements so you will have to x10 it for the rough UK requirements.

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  • 201. At 11:52am on 23 Oct 2008, Wyrdtimes wrote:

    194. "190 Englandrise ... you fellows do the right thing and vote for the Lib Dems and give them a chance ;o)}"

    Lib dems? You must be joking - at one time they supported the idea of an English Parliament and a referendum on the Lisbon treaty - both issues have disappeared off their agenda.

    The Lib Dems hate England as much as Labour and the Tories.

    Ironic that the best friends of England are actually the SNP but that's the way it looks to me. Scottish freedom = English freedom.

    Bring that on!

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  • 202. At 11:53am on 23 Oct 2008, HughEdinburgh wrote:

    Expat,

    You have not provided any proof that all the independent countries of the world are better off under independence than they would be under Westminster rule.

    Does that mean that they should therefore be ruled by Westminster?

    Of course not.

    The same common sense applies to Scotland.

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  • 203. At 11:55am on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    A little amusing that people (including at least one accountant) actually believe that any government, or any organisation for that matter, can function with only a vague understanding of its own finances.

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  • 204. At 11:55am on 23 Oct 2008, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    176

    Holyrood's budget is only a proportion of expenditure in Scotland so your comparison is meaningless.

    The £2.7 deficit you talk of is disputed and, even if accurate, represents a much lower per capita deficit that that of the UK - so what is your point?

    As I pointed out in an earlier post the latest GERS report found "no significant deficit" in Scotland's economic performance.

    There is however little point in throwing about these carefully chosen distortions of Scotland's economic position under a constitutional situation which is responsible for it and which most sensible and forward looking Scots want to get rid of.
    And there is in my opinion no point in any other than blinkered unionists engaging in discussion of current economic performance (or lack of it) as any underperformance must by definition be largely a result of the union.
    Much more interesting to discuss what we can do in an independent Scotland to improve economic performance.

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  • 205. At 12:28pm on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    #203 Come on now im sure Labour are a bit better than that .... what about all the consultants !

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  • 206. At 12:31pm on 23 Oct 2008, salmondella wrote:

    #204 smackedagain

    "blinkered", suits you sir!

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  • 207. At 12:34pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    202. That is just desperate and ridiculous. Have you shown that last post to your mum yet?

    Why has no-one tried to dismantle my pr-union argument:

    I think it is folly to rely on volatile oil prices and a dwindling oil supply for a major chunk of our economy, as Salmond believes.

    I also believe that we shouldn't base our economic future on a wholly speculative strategy that we can become a "Saudi Arabia of renewable energy" when our nearest neighbour and largest energy market could become self-sufficient just by building a barrage across either the Severn, the Thames or the Wash.

    I believe our best economic future is staying within one of the strongest and largest economies in Europe and the world (growth in 23 out of the last 24 years)....


    pause for new info: Between 1990-2006, the UK economy grew ~50%, more than (deep breath) Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland [source: IMF] (note the inclusion of 3/4 of Salmond's new 'arc of prosperity'). Pause over.

    .....enjoying the benefits of a principal role in world political and economic planning through our memberships of the UN Security Council and the G8 (and not just another observer with almost no voice), where we won't have to rely on a foreign country or group of countries for our key economic policies (where we will be a very low priority) and where we maturely take responsibility for our own shortcomings and not simply blame it all someone else.

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  • 208. At 12:35pm on 23 Oct 2008, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    Absolutely #204, the unionists look at problems in Scotland within the union and rather than equate them with the performance of the economy within the union, they twist this into this is how Scotland would perform with independence.

    Scotland would infact perform much better with independence, as political and economic policy would be tailored to suit the needs and aspirations of this great country.

    As far as the oil goes, anyone who understands Peak Oil and considers what the economic realities are going to be 20 years into the future, knows that Scotland must do all she can to preserve a right to the remaining remnants of her dwindling natural fosil fuels.

    My own opinion is that the rich bankers in London can go take a hike. They all made their billions based totally on oil. Money has no real worth, it is merely a promise to pay and is created through the provision of loans. These loans are provided in the understanding that they will be paid back with interest however, with oil demand increasing exponentially in relation to supply, economic growth becomes economic decline... loans cannot be guaranteed to be invested, grow and pay interest. Hence, money loses value.

    The only reason England need Scotland is for the oil... it always has been and always will be... until the oil runs out... then... England will simply throw Scotland on the rubbish tip.

    When the 'Scottish' unionists wake up, I just hope it isn't already too late.

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  • 209. At 12:36pm on 23 Oct 2008, handclapping wrote:

    #203. Reluctant-Expat

    Quote - A little amusing that people (including at least one accountant) actually believe that any government, or any organisation for that matter, can function with only a vague understanding of its own finances. - Endquote

    I am glad that three bankrupt banks, two bankrupt building societies, countless pensioners and people with credit cards and in fact the whole of Britain staring recession in the face amuse you. You are a very nice gentleman to believe Gordon Brown got us into this knowing what he was doing.

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  • 210. At 12:40pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    204. "a constitutional situation....which most sensible and forward looking Scots want to get rid of."

    Another nationalist claim that has no basis in reality.

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  • 211. At 12:42pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    Can any nationalist go one solitary day without resorting to baseless spin, partisan rhetoric and unsubstantiated claim?

    No-one who has posted today has managed to do so.

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  • 212. At 12:52pm on 23 Oct 2008, Bramblebikes wrote:

    What a shame for Sarah Brown. She would almost get my vote in Sympathy. However the bigger picture of a trashed economy by her husband reminds me not to be fooled by this lame bambi approach.

    Does anyone remember the BBC posted a Personal Inflation Calculator. I tried it out and found that with the same circumstances I had the lowest Inflation in Scotland. So we must be doing something right I think. Lets face it in the end the majority will follow their pockets. So thumbs up for Holyrood and the enlightened ones.....

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  • 213. At 1:11pm on 23 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #195 HughEdinburgh
    LOL - but I suspect that #199 is a denial.

    #205 rabbiehippo
    You're intruding on private grief, I fear.

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  • 214. At 1:12pm on 23 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #197, #199, #203 Reluctant-Expat

    "More of the same. All huff and bluster without a sign of an answer to anything."
    An accurate description of many of your posts.

    "My reliable evidence still includes the detailed government accounts - good enough for the markets, the EU and the IOs..."
    I must have missed your link to "detailed government accounts". Please post it again as I'd love to look at them. Re the EU and the International Organisations, have you ever actually belonged to a club? You display little understanding of the way that they work.

    "Any chance of you ever basing a post or belief on substantive fact?"
    Clearly not, in your blinkered view, but I'll leave it for others to judge.

    "A little amusing that people ... actually believe that any government ... can function with only a vague understanding of its own finances."
    I am certain that HM Treasury contains some officials who understand their own systems and methodologies. Perhaps a few politicians really do also, but I have yet to meet one. That you apparently believe that the Westminster-based civil service is anything but fiercely unionist is not amusing but sad.

    On my way to a meeting now, but back later.

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  • 215. At 1:23pm on 23 Oct 2008, handclapping wrote:

    211. Reluctant-Expat

    Can any (insert name of choice) go one solitary day without resorting to baseless spin, partisan rhetoric and unsubstantiated claim?

    No-one who has posted today has managed to do so.
    ______________________________
    My vote for name of choice is Reluctant-Expat. I had high hopes for you getting stuck into the nats; now you are just an embarassment.


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  • 216. At 1:33pm on 23 Oct 2008, HughEdinburgh wrote:

    Expat,

    I suspect you are an SNP plant intent on stirring up a greater demand for independence.

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  • 217. At 1:37pm on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    207. At 12:34pm on 23 Oct 2008, Reluctant-Expat wrote:
    202. That is just desperate and ridiculous. Have you shown that last post to your mum yet?

    Why has no-one tried to dismantle my pr-union argument:

    --------------------------------------------------------

    187. At 10:42am on 23 Oct 2008, Reluctant-Expat wrote:

    I also believe that we shouldn't base our economic future on a wholly speculative strategy that we can become a "Saudi Arabia of renewable energy" when our nearest neighbour and largest energy market could become self-sufficient just by building a barrage across either the Severn, the Thames or the Wash.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    HMMMM - a barrage across the severn has been reported as having a potential of 5% of the UKs energy requirements.

    now the UKs at this time requires 400TWH per annum, so if a severn barrage would produce approx. 20 TWH per annum then the UK would be according to re-pat self sufficient.

    yes, according to ex-pat, 1 x 20 = 400 .

    wow, i wish i was as good at maths as ex-pat.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    did my post at 196. At 11:25am on 23 Oct 2008, not answer part of your question.

    you definitely seem to have got the hang of economics, so there is no point in me going any further, as going by your calculations scotland will not be able to sell its surplus energy to the rest of the UK as the severn barrage will supply all of the UKs energy needs.

    now if the Uk according to your posting, puts the thames barrage up as well, then westminster may be able to supply all of europes energy, more money for westminsters coffin.

    then westminster could put up the wash barrage as well, then westminster may be able to supply all of the worlds energy, more money for westminsters coffin.

    now let me see, i better use the re-pat calculator,
    1 x 20 + 1 x 20 + 1 x 20 = 2.5 million.

    HMMM - not quite right, i must have spellled a word wrong or something.



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  • 218. At 1:52pm on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    if sarah brown was accompanied in carcarden by six or seven armed men, can we then expect that if gordon brown shows the guts to come out of his bunker and campains in glenrothes, that he will be guarded by tanks, troops and the illinois national guard.

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  • 219. At 2:00pm on 23 Oct 2008, enneffess wrote:

    #212 Bramble bikes.

    I liked your comment about Sarah Brown.

    Then you spoilt with with your analysis of Scotland's finances based on a BBC inflation calculator.

    Come on, even Reluct-Ex uses figures that are published.

    Can you imagine Alex Salmond making an announcement:

    "I can provide evidence that Scotland is financially sound enough for independence. I logged onto the BBC News webite and they have this great inflation calculator........"

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  • 220. At 2:20pm on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    the bbc are really getting paranoid now that the by-election is comming near , see my post 200 in which they say that the web address for the power of scotland energy web site is unsuitable/broken.

    as i have posted the same web site about a month ago, how can it now be unsuitable/broken.

    do the moderators think that it referred to the SNP.

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  • 221. At 2:33pm on 23 Oct 2008, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Expat and barker - you must be a great solace to each other, assuming your are not one and the same person. Nobody is buying your unionist lies. Prove the value of the Union. You simply can't as so many of the key economic indicators for Scotland are either openly hidden, or manipulated (i.e. GERs reports tax in Scotland/'spending on behalf').

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  • 222. At 2:48pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    214. Again with the unsubstantiated (as always) claims that the EU and IOs are, for some reason, unwilling to double-check UK Govt reports.

    What do you base all this on?

    Where is your proof?

    What about the markets? Are they in on it too?

    One more time: All detailed HM Treasury reports are available on the HM Treasury website.

    Now, please amaze us with a selection of the substantive/quantifiable facts that you base your beliefs on. Remember to link to your sources now.

    (The nationalists are all quite mad, you know. Quite, quite mad.)

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  • 223. At 2:51pm on 23 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #187 Reluctant-Expat

    You could even try another tack (but tact would be nice).

    Since the GERS estimated government deficit is LESS than the Government deficit of the UK then -

    If what you say is true, then it is even more true for the UK.

    On your argument, the UK could not remain an independent country.

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  • 224. At 2:57pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    217. And what about all the other power stations south of the border?

    You bizarrely seem to have forgotten to include them in your 'calculations'.

    Or are you trying to claim that there are no power stations south of the border?

    Jeez, if this is our future, Scotland is truly donald ducked.

    Unbelievable.

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  • 225. At 3:58pm on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    224 If Scotland is truly donald ducked you may as well stay down there and leave us all in peace....

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  • 226. At 4:01pm on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    222 oh and the only person who seems to be mad is yourself ... both mentally and in an angry sort of way .... i dont think its just us nats that are bored with all the rubbish .

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  • 227. At 4:04pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    221. See #207.

    But you will no doubt reject that as it suits your version of reality better if you continue to believe (for reasons unknown) "many of the key economic indicators for Scotland are either openly hidden, or manipulated".

    Again, I ask: If there is little evidence available, what do you then base your pro-independence beliefs on?

    Personally, I base my pro-union beliefs on the vast array of statistics and accounts that are openly available on the internet.

    The same statistics and accounts that are accepted and used by multinational corporations, the markets, the EU and the World Bank/IMF/WTO agencies....and if they are good enough for them, they are certainly good enough for me.

    Only Scottish nationalists consider these very same sources, "unionist lies".

    No doubt part of that non-stop, all-encompassing operation involving the UK Government, the corporations, markets and international organisations, solely to crush the Scottish independence movement.

    No delusion or paranoia there. At all.

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  • 228. At 4:13pm on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    187. At 10:42am on 23 Oct 2008, Reluctant-Expat wrote:

    as the severn barrage will supply all of the UKs energy needs.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    224. At 2:57pm on 23 Oct 2008, Reluctant-Expat wrote:
    217. And what about all the other power stations south of the border?

    You bizarrely seem to have forgotten to include them in your 'calculations'.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    i must have used the ex-pat calculator again.

    severn barrage minus all the power stations in england = power utopia.

    woops, i didnt need to, as ex-pat in his post 187 stated that the severn barrage would supply all of the UKs needs, so we do not need any other power stations.

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  • 229. At 4:13pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    223. No, it quite clearly doesn't.

    An important point that no nat seems to have grasped:

    Scotland has a share in the UK deficit too.

    Otherwise, Scotland is contributing its full share towards debt repayment, defence, welfare, foreign affairs etc. while the rest of the UK has to borrow to pay theirs.

    Which is obviously nonsense.

    If everyone is putting the same amount into the pot to pay UK-wide bills, but the pot isn't enough so some has to be borrowed, clearly that borrowing debt is shared among everyone.

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  • 230. At 4:21pm on 23 Oct 2008, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    An interesting turn of honesty from DC.

    http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/Glenrothes-byelection-Cameron-defends-Union.4624424.jp

    "CONSERVATIVE leader David Cameron admitted today that Scotland could "stand alone" – but pledged to fight for the survival of the Union."

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  • 231. At 4:29pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    And around we go again.

    223. There is no economic reason why Scotland could not be independent.

    But there is also no argument whatsoever to show that Scotland can be any better off, if independent.

    25% of our public spending budget depends on volatile and diminishing oil. At best, we will run a small surplus for a little while. At worst, a major proportion of our tax revenue could disappear should prices collapse (again), the production starts to decrease even faster than it is now, an incident cuts off a major pipeline for months, another oil rig disaster......

    Only the Scottish nationalists believe this is a tenable economic policy.

    Not "defeatist" or "negative".....realistic.

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  • 232. At 4:44pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    226. Before you nats started to flood this blog earlier this year, it used to be home to a decent, mature and informed debate.

    Now its endless, tedious bickering, silly rumours, childish exaggerations and pathetic conspiracy theories.

    Why don't you all do everyone a favour and just stick to the Herald/Scotsman sites.

    Even better, just create your own pro-independence blog and all [beep] off there.

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  • 233. At 4:52pm on 23 Oct 2008, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Seems Dave Cameron thinks Scotland could 'stand alone'.

    Since this is now the official line of the Conservative and UNIONIST Party, perhaps Gordon Brown will now have the guts to take back his most infamous lie?

    Maybe he will send the wife to do it instead!

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  • 234. At 4:53pm on 23 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #229 Reluctant-Expat

    "An important point that no nat seems to have grasped:

    Scotland has a share in the UK deficit too"

    Good Lord I didn't realise your ignorance ran that deep.

    All Scotland's deficit is included in the UK deficit!

    No wonder you were confused.

    You were adding the Scottish and UK deficits together!

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  • 235. At 5:13pm on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    #232 LOL ;o)}

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  • 236. At 5:16pm on 23 Oct 2008, handclapping wrote:

    re #232

    Look, Pa, look; they're all out of step bar our Johnny. (Punch, I think)

    Three-pil'd Hyperboles, spruce affectation, Figures pedanticall. (Love's Labour Lost)

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  • 237. At 5:20pm on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    231. At 4:29pm on 23 Oct 2008, Reluctant-Expat wrote:

    25% of our public spending budget depends on volatile and diminishing oil. At best, we will run a small surplus for a little while. At worst, a major proportion of our tax revenue could disappear should prices collapse (again), the production starts to decrease even faster than it is now, an incident cuts off a major pipeline for months, another oil rig disaster......

    --------------------------------------------------------

    does that mean that the union has failed the scottish population in that they have to depend on there being no incident cutting off a major pipeline for months, or another oil rig disaster for 25% of their public service expenditure.

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  • 238. At 5:20pm on 23 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Expat's first posting here was in May.

    Somehow it seems much longer :-)

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  • 239. At 5:27pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    234. Look again.

    Scotland pays an equal share into the pot for UK-wide matters. That pot is currently insufficient to pay the bills and the rest is borrowed.

    Look at the GERS and only the repayment of existing debt is included.

    This year's UK deficit will be added to the national debt and our share will appear in next year's GERS.

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  • 240. At 5:30pm on 23 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    Well oldnat you really have lost the plot altogether now.

    I hope you feel proud that the conservatives are now openly in the nat camp, Wow! you have not got a clue to what this means to the good people of Scotland, the gun-powder plot has not a patch on your ignorance, you and your likes have really put Scotland behind the black ball now.

    So, do the con-nats and an Independent Scotland do away with the uk national health services?jezz, theres so much to ask?
    Wow! Wow! Wow!

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  • 241. At 5:32pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    For some reason, I've started receiving campaign emails from the US Republican Party. Gawd knows what mailing list they got my address from!

    However, this shrill wail of a comment tickled me. Does it seem familiar?

    It's hard enough when our Republican nominee, John McCain, has to run against a smooth talker who gets by with spouting off quips about "hope" and "change" and never has to get specific about his programs for the country. But, when that candidate, Barack Obama, is given a free pass by the media, it's as if McCain were running against two opponents at once.

    The media has always tilted more to the left. A poll taken shortly after the 2000 election showed reporters overwhelmingly favored Al Gore. However, things are much worse, and the media have become a blatant advocacy group and, in the process, have thrown their integrity and professionalism in the garbage.


    LOL!

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  • 242. At 5:32pm on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    Tant tant taaaaa heres our Derek to the rescue ....

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  • 243. At 5:38pm on 23 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    Expat

    Re my #234

    Are you going to admit that you misunderstood the entire government deficit issue?

    Do you now accept that you were adding together Scotland's deficit and our share of the UK deficit?

    Are you going to promise never to post a statistic again unless you understand it?

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  • 244. At 5:38pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    237. I think the post that confirmed that you are completely clueless was your #217 where it is revealed that you didn't know there were already dozens of power stations in England, and that I apparently thought just one tidal barrage would supply all of England's electricity needs.

    Ouch.

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  • 245. At 5:43pm on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    I suspect RE is one of the MODs because he's churning out posts like a machine gun. Now theres a conspiracy.

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  • 246. At 5:53pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    243. In your own time.

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  • 247. At 5:56pm on 23 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    I think the nats are only flag waving if they think Scotland can just drop out of the UK without having to share the Uk'S NATIONAL DEFICIT?

    Just what exactly were Cameron and Salmond up to in all those secretive meetings?

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  • 248. At 6:04pm on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    240. At 5:30pm on 23 Oct 2008, derekbarker.

    so you've got an ex-pat calculator as well.

    sample :- 2 + 2 = 9

    my one seems to be malfunctioning as it showing conservatives + new labour = the conservative new labour party.

    its all right now as i've dropped it, and its working fine, and is now showing new labour + conservatives = the new scottish conservative labour party.

    :-)

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  • 249. At 6:23pm on 23 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #247 derekbarker

    For Heaven's Sake Derek. Don't you read any posts?

    Expat is an idiot who thinks he was scoring a point.

    Even the more extreme Nationalists accept that we will need to take a share of the UK Debt.

    There will be an argument over the amount, as the best estimate is that our deficit is less than that of the UK as a whole - so if based on population share, we'll be paying more than our "fair share" from one perspective : and "tough, you were part of the UK at the time" on the other.

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  • 250. At 6:23pm on 23 Oct 2008, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    When are the men in white coats coming with a fresh supply of terry towels!

    245. rabbiehippo

    RE when I was at school meant religous education a subject I had no interest in and glad that I still haven't.

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  • 251. At 6:36pm on 23 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    #248

    Oh dear, the first ever opposition leader
    suggests that Scotland could become an
    Independent state and your calculator comes up with a very odd reverse meaning?

    The tartan tories and the conservative are on the same path of distructions.

    You cant hide from the truth, vote conservative get nationalist policies.

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  • 252. At 6:40pm on 23 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #227 Reluctant-Expat
    "The same statistics and accounts that are accepted and used by multinational corporations, the markets, the EU and the World Bank/IMF/WTO agencies....and if they are good enough for them, they are certainly good enough for me."

    Are you really so stupid as not to understand that the statistics you are talking about are no better or worse for the UK as a whole than most other developed countries? And what accounts? The 2008 Budget announced that UK WGA will be published for the first time for the 2009-10 financial year.

    As such, they are sufficient in the aggregate but lack agreed regional detail becuase of the unitary nature of the UK government. Because the GERS are 100% dependent on those regional details and those details are either NOT provided or NOT agreed as explained in the preface, they are imperfect as statistics and simply are NOT accounts. I'll post a reply to your #222 later as there are quite a few links to double-check.

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  • 253. At 6:53pm on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    245. At 5:43pm on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    I suspect RE is one of the MODs because he's churning out posts like a machine gun. Now theres a conspiracy.

    ===============================


    i think you are correct with that statment.

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  • 254. At 7:00pm on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    rabbiehippo.

    he's definitly a MOD.

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  • 255. At 7:29pm on 23 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #222 Reluctant-Expat

    "Again with the unsubstantiated (as always) claims ..."
    And yet again an unsubstantiated retort with no facts to report your original claims. There would be no purpose in my attempting to respond point by point since it is plain to all that you stopped listening long ago and have nothing to refute the points I made above re the GERS.

    However, for the benefit of anyone with an open mind, I will point you at a few gems from the "divide and rule" school of government accounting in Westminster.

    First, you may have been puzzled by my complaint that UK accounts are not independently and externally audited because you have heard of the National Audit Office. It does indeed exist, but judge for yourselves whether it is independent or external.

    HM Treasury's National Audit Office Assumptions tells us that: "The Comptroller and Auditor General, Sir John Bourn, is an Officer of the House of Commons. He, and the National Audit Office, are totally independent of Government."

    Sounds good so far, you might think, but the UK National Audit Office disagrees, saying that: "The role of the National Audit Office (NAO) is to audit the financial statements of all government departments and agencies, and many other public bodies. The NAO is headed by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Tim Burr. This website is under development and will be re-launched in the Autumn of 2008."

    Well, new bloke, you might think, so you try Parliament and find Hansard for 23 January 2008. Well, not so new and when we read the text what do we find but: "The Prime Minister (Mr. Gordon Brown): I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will appoint Timothy John Burr to the Office of Comptroller and Auditor General. The National Audit Act 1983 prescribes that the Comptroller and Auditor General should be appointed by the Queen on a motion by the Prime Minister with the agreement of the Chair of the Select Committee on Public Accounts..."

    Independent? Appointed by 'request' of the PM in a chamber where he has an absolute majority?

    When we actually look at their work on the NAO website, we find such gems as the 64 page (PDF) Audit Report of HMRC 2006-07 Accounts which states: "This Report is published alongside the 2006-07 Accounts of HM Revenue & Customs" but of course gives no information of where to find its butty. The word Scotland does not, of course, appear in the report and the one hit on "region" refers only to the 12 regional databases maintained by HMRC.

    For the rest of the HM Treasury site, you'll find plenty of government accounts but not aggregated. The one glimmer of hope is their Whole of Government Accounts page which explains: "(WGA) are full accruals based accounts covering the whole public sector to be audited by the National Audit Office. WGA will consolidate the accounts of about 1300 bodies from within the central government, health service, local government and public corporation sectors. Budget 2008 announced the Government's intention that WGA will be published for the first time for the 2009-10 financial year."

    Certainly out too late for a 2010 general election but possibly just in time for the 2011 "regional" elections.

    Yes, there's a lot of audited accounts data available, but as yet none of it is aggregated, none of it is regionalised on a basis agreed with Holyrood and none of it is independently and externally audited.

    At the risk of repeating myself, please judge for yourselves who substantiates their posts.

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  • 256. At 7:41pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    Right, all too slow. Off to enjoy life.

    I'll leave our resident troupe of raging nationalists (all six of them) to continue their frenzied agreements into the early hours.

    Maybe, they will try and find something realistic, substantive, quantitative and possibly even genuine on which to base their beliefs, instead of simple emotion mixed with a splash of conspiracies and possible scenarios.

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  • 257. At 7:46pm on 23 Oct 2008, ScotInNotts wrote:

    RE see my #169, now that it has past moderation (probably cause they were checking out IP issues methinks).

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  • 258. At 7:49pm on 23 Oct 2008, ScotInNotts wrote:

    Apologies, actually my post is #167, not #169

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  • 259. At 8:15pm on 23 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #238 oldnat

    Yes, and how appropriate that it was on the Making new friends thread. What a success that's been!

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  • 260. At 8:15pm on 23 Oct 2008, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #207 re

    In your big huff and puff breath you didn't mention Ireland, wonder why? What was their percentage economic growth from 96 - 06?

    Oh, and it looks like we probably will join them in recession, perhaps the UK's economic model is, how did you put it again, fragile?

    Its comforting to know you still have/had faith in how the UK economy has been handled despite current conditions.

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  • 261. At 8:19pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    252. I wouldn't bother. Seriously.

    You have started to bore me, you ridiculous little man.

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  • 262. At 8:30pm on 23 Oct 2008, scot2010 wrote:

    #182 rabbiehippo

    I knew I was wasting my time, don't really need links for general observations. However futiile explaining things to the likes of reluctant scot is, it does have some advantages:-

    1. It may annoy him/her
    2. It is good to inject some straightforward ideas into the morass of statistics
    3. I enjoy it!

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  • 263. At 8:33pm on 23 Oct 2008, Dunroamin wrote:

    Missed this beauty:

    "Are you really so stupid as not to understand that the statistics you are talking about are no better or worse for the UK as a whole than most other developed countries?"

    Silly little insult aside.......so what?

    I love how brave these nationalists are hidden anonymously behind their computers.

    Do you ever go to Pickwicks or Brasseurs, Brownedov? Ever thought of going down there and perhaps making some friends in the real world?

    I'll post a reply to your #222 later as there are quite a few links to double-check.

    Strewth. LOL!

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  • 264. At 8:34pm on 23 Oct 2008, scot2010 wrote:

    #183 DisgustedDorothy
    No problem, don't lose the will to live. After all we're winning the argument every day with those that matter, the people of Scotland.

    Anyway, off to Glenrothes on Saturday to carry on the fight..

    slainte mhath

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  • 265. At 9:17pm on 23 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #256, #261 Reluctant-Expat
    "You have started to bore me, you ridiculous little man."

    Thank you. I'll happily settle for childish name calling if you'll stop making unsubstantiated claims.

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  • 266. At 9:23pm on 23 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    rabbiehippo.

    its to do with the wording of postings that are being changed long after they have been posted.

    i first noticed it a couple of weeks ago when it happened to some ones post.

    and i see it happening again today.

    it could only be changed by a mod.

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  • 267. At 9:29pm on 23 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    #249

    Oldnat, I think you miss the point.

    I'm sure that AS will be fuming with Camerons outburst, it clearly puts the nats in to the conservative camp, no matter how you dress it up.

    You ask me to read the post ( I do)
    I think RE has made the case several times
    why Independence is such a folly act.

    Deficit debt, GERS reports, Bail-outs,
    17% is hardly a mandate for separation (is it)

    Good god the bubble has burst.
    The honeymoon is over and the nats switch in to flag waving mode.

    It is no time for a novice economist
    who has hardly set the heather on fire when it comes to regulated means?

    Just how damaging will the 2% efficiency programme be to local services know?

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  • 268. At 9:33pm on 23 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #263 Reluctant-Expat
    "Strewth. LOL!"

    Glad to be of service, especially as your #222 ended with "Remember to link to your sources now."

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  • 269. At 9:35pm on 23 Oct 2008, scot2010 wrote:

    #263 Ludicrous expat

    Try repatriating yourself and you'll find out how brave we really are in person. I for one will be waiting to welcome you

    Good luck if you do

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  • 270. At 9:36pm on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    #262 Aye wind him up .... i called him a numpty and now he ignores anything i say .... but i think hes been rumbled ... hes either a mod, a reporter , or a labour activist either way hes losing the plot ...and calling people who prove him wrong names... how he has the time to post so many blogs is beyond me?

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  • 271. At 10:02pm on 23 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    266 mmm very interesting.....

    267 Derek do you think the current Westminster government are doing a good job and do you think its right that big bean counting firms are seconding staff to various civil service departments when these same firms have interests in government contracts. Anybody with half a brain can see that both Labour and the Tories love big business as per the latest russian billionaire (maybe not any more) scandal. How can you trust them. Also i pointed out in a previous post (that got removed) how someone high up in the FSA had dinner on a few occasions with hedge fund leaders. The way it looks to me is .....well i wont be an MP/MSP or PM for ever so id better feather my nest now while i can.

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  • 272. At 10:19pm on 23 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #267 derekbarker

    To any neutral readers of this blog (who are the only important ones).

    Please note that derek justifies his claim that Scotland is too poor for independence because "RE has made the case several times".

    The judgment is yours - especially if you live in Glenrothes!

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  • 273. At 11:17pm on 23 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    #271

    Rabbie do you seriously believe that small business on a massive scale is the answer to all of todays problems?

    Do you think that a return to lords and vassals has a part to play in a modern society?

    Be careful what you wish for Rabbie

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  • 274. At 11:38pm on 23 Oct 2008, ScotInNotts wrote:

    RE Still waiting for a reply to #167 ?

    Care to use the GERS to rubbish SNP claims/back-up Labour claims again?

    Can you tell me where I can publicly access accounts for the UK budget by region so I can substantiate my claims with fact?

    No? So its all down to estimates, an ineresting article the BBC ran in June regarding Oil revenues has some of these estimates.

    I sincerely hope for your own sake you don't run your own personal finances on statistics instead of accounts.

    Other regions in the UK have the same problem as Scotland. Namely that the best and brightest, as well as the corporations and industry, naturally go where the money is or want to be close to it. As a result the economy naturally becomes London centralised, leaving the rest of the UK bereft of major contributors to the local economy. Policy then tends to be dominated by this fact, influenced by 'funders' which have this areas interests in mind.

    My own personal view is thatan independent (or at worst a fiscally independent) Scotland has a better opportunity to make the specific changes necessary to stimulate and reinvigorate the Scottish economy, where it can take measures and make decisions to the benefit of the nation, capitaliing on its populations skills and the countries natural resources (not just oil) for the benefit of the nation. This, instead of having to abide by policies which may not be advantageous or even detrimental to the Scottish economy. Many other regions in the UK have been affected similarly by policies made in Westminster which may not have their interests at heart.

    Ireland, may have been the first EU country to officially go into recession, but so now, I'm sure it will transpire tomorrow, is the UK. However the Irish economy was more prosperous than ours before the crisis. Their approach to business tax has been a major factor in the genearation of this prosperity, to the exent that McCain mentioned Irelands business tax rates in the final televised presidential debate as an example that the US should follow.

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  • 275. At 11:41pm on 23 Oct 2008, ScotInNotts wrote:

    "If you don't want to be accused of trying to solicit a donation from a russian oligarch on his yacht try and make sure you don't take your fund-raiser with you next time!"

    Classic

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  • 276. At 11:49pm on 23 Oct 2008, U11769947 wrote:

    #272
    oldnat

    Where on earth does that claim come from.

    I'm a peoples person, I believe in the right to employment, to a home, to an education, to health care, I believe in the right of representation in the work place.

    I'm not a nationalist, I,m an internationalist
    I believe in the truth, I believe that the good peoploe of Glenrothes are served better by a labour government that commits
    to the public service, not a nationalist view that wants to cut tax and the public services.

    The nats offer the people a promised land today but the reality is, it would be a soweto tomorrow.

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  • 277. At 01:02am on 24 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #273 derekbarker

    Are you suggesting mass manufacturing?

    If so, what industries are you suggesting should be created in Scotland?

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  • 278. At 01:13am on 24 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #276 derekbarker

    "Where on earth does that claim come from"

    Your words.

    "I'm not a nationalist, I,m an internationalist"

    I'm both.

    "it would be a soweto tomorrow."

    Neutrals - please note a Labour activists assessment of your prospects.

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  • 279. At 06:45am on 24 Oct 2008, rabbiehippo wrote:

    #276 Dear dear Derek ... you believe that the people of Glenrothes are best served by a Labour government that commits to the public service.... what the same government that wants to replace as much publice services with private companies. I though being in government was about running the place .. not handing control over to private companies for big bucks therefore relieving yourselves of any work. Your trouble is you follow the party line to much ... i think you must be an activist too. I am not an SNP member yet but sometimes even i wonder if things are done the right way so i dont agree with everything that the SNP propose but saying that so far they are not doing to bad considering.

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  • 280. At 11:56am on 24 Oct 2008, U13282939 wrote:


    derekbarker.

    whereas i can understand you supporting the old labour party.

    its your support for the new labour party that i cannot understand.

    they are entirely two different parties.

    new labour are on many occasions more right wing than the tories.

    even the tories would be hard pressed to come up with the 10p tax fiasco in which the poorer members of society have to pay extra taxes so that the rich could be given more.

    those that are being paid the minimum wage are paying approx. 100 pounds a year more in tax due to the 10p tax fiasco, and those that are earning 35,000 pounds and above a year are receiving an extra 570 pounds a year.

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  • 281. At 1:05pm on 24 Oct 2008, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #276 derekbarker

    #279 rabbiehippo and #280 U13282939 are absolutely right. If you're a socialist and think the SNP are too right-wing for you, you should either persuade your NuLab chums to mend their ways or, given that they're probably past salvation, consider lending your support to the Scottish Socialists or Solidarity.

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