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Back to the future

Brian Taylor | 19:17 UK time, Thursday, 14 May 2009

It's back to the future at the Conservative conference in Perth.

There's a fair old degree of optimism. They can detect the stench emanating from Westminster.

But, within that, the Tories can scent victory too.

However, to borrow Annabel Goldie's phrase, there are "echoes of the past" too.

Forgive me if I focus upon those echoes - or rather upon Miss Goldie's efforts to quench them.

Future Tory prospects rest entirely with the voters who can make up their own minds when the UK general election is called.

So just what did Bella mean?

What did she mean when she said that "for many people, voting Conservative in Scotland is a big ask"? When she urged voters to ignore those echoes and consider the contemporary Tory Party.

I think she meant that the Conservatives had contrived, down the years, to make themselves seem like an alien force in Scotland: not necessarily anti-Scotland, although some felt that, but perhaps "other than" Scottish.

And when did this sentiment manifest itself, when did it grow? When Margaret Thatcher was in power. Rightly or wrongly, many Scots took against her.

She was seen here in Scotland, according to Malcolm Rifkind, as a "bossy, English woman".

Sir Malcolm reckons the Scots could have tolerated one or maybe two of those characteristics. Not all three.

But of course talk like this, especially from Tories, is seen by some other Tories as tantamount to treason.

They don't appreciate delphic utterances about setting aside the past from their leader.

Those who adhere to that perspective would have been attracted by the fringe meeting here in Perth called to commemorate Margaret Thatcher's legacy. Couldn't attend myself owing to pressure of work - but bet it was fun.

The keynote speaker at the fringe was Murdo Fraser, Miss Goldie's deputy.

In search of innocent merriment, I asked Mr Fraser whether his attendance was inclined - or even designed - to stir up the "echoes of the past" disowned by his boss.

Not at all, he assured me with a grin which, I think, recognised exactly what I was up to.

To each of my mischievous inquiries, he said that he was concerned to draw comparisons between the 1970s and today when, according to Murdo, a strong Tory leader had had to replace a failing and discredited Labour government, while rescuing a wrecked economy.

Enough, Brian, enough. Back to the future. Back to considering the Tory pitch for the next UK election and, subsequently, for Holyrood.

But still it can be entertaining to reflect upon varying views of history too.

Comments

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  • 1. At 7:30pm on 14 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Auntie Annabel wants us all to volunteer to be Cameron's new poll tax guinea pigs. Not in a million years.

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  • 2. At 7:32pm on 14 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    A poor, partial, partisan piece.

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  • 3. At 7:39pm on 14 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Brian
    As this is one of your more delphic posts, I'm not sure but that you are encouraging our Scottish Conservatives to impose LIT on us or is it that we must take rotting nuclear sub on the Clyde if CMD says so. Or maybe I've got it horribly wrong and this is a dream from which I'll wake.

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  • 4. At 7:46pm on 14 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    No mathematical question?

    The "Back" is when we were independent nation which is were we are going in the not too distant "Future"

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  • 5. At 7:47pm on 14 May 2009, soapydish13 wrote:

    RANVIR SINGH N.W TONIGHTS RESIDENT TERRIER
    I would like to big up Ranvir Singh , I did'nt know the girl had it in her . I'm talking about her interview with Hazel Blears the other day on Northwest Tonight . She got a bite of the vote chasers coat tails and would'nt let go . At the end off the interview Ranvir asked if Hazel was embaressed yet H.B wouldn't answer her . We all saw and heard it . Give the Terrier ( Ranvir Singh ) more badduns to bite into . She asked and spoke as we would have liked to have done and she did'nt kiss butt or take prisoners .X

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  • 6. At 8:13pm on 14 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    The Scots Tories need to face up to and apologise for their past vandalism ... not merely tell everyone to forget about it and give them a second chance.

    Judging from the hang 'em, flog 'em philosophy on display, they don't deserve that chance, at least not yet.

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  • 7. At 8:15pm on 14 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    I watched part of the Conference and was disappointed, but not at all suprised.

    The 'Scottish Conservatives' have no new ideas for Scotland, and clearly have shown little respect to the wishes of the people of Scotland. Their use of scaremongering was very funny, Europe over run? By who, what and when? It's apprently why we need weapons that are capable of destroying entire cities full of innocent men, woman and children. Is this is what being Scottish is all about? Darn, I am proud of being Scottish. Jeez these political leaders are useless, why, why would I care about retaliating against the enemy after Scotland, and the rest Britain has been destroyed by a nuclear attack...?

    Yet, we are told, that Cameron will respect the peoples will. Is there respect between country's when one side tells the other to butt out, keep quite or else? That's the impression I from the Conservatives. We will respect the moves you make at the Scottish Parliament, so long as you keep your nose out of reserved matters...

    I guess that rules out co-operation between the London Parliament and the Scottish Parliament then. Do the Conservatives expect Members of the Scottish Parliament to carry out policies that are unpopular with the public?

    The English, quite rightly so, do not believe that Scottish MP's should have a say on matters that does not concern them. Then, can we, as Scot's agree that a political party, that has so little in terms of MP's in Scotland that we should not be forced into carry out policies that have been brought here by a minority, a very small minority since the Conservatives would never get that large amount of votes here anyway.

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  • 8. At 8:27pm on 14 May 2009, timepassescarmichael wrote:

    The most surprising thing is that we're being ask, quite frankly, to give a darn, when the furthest thing from the realities of Scottish politics is a Conservative party in a position to exert influence.

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

    Ach, wait a minute, that's right, people in Scotland haven't voted to be independent yet, and so we're about to have the Tories voted into power. Oh well, such is life. I'm sure Cameron is a thoroughly good egg, thoroughly nice sort of bloke and all that. Who am I to judge? I'm just a member of the Scottish electorate, I could vote for the Monster Raving Looning Party for all it'll matter, and I might just do that, I quite fancy free chocolate roof-tiles for all. You know, why don't we ring up Ireland and ask them to be subject to the upcoming Westminster vote, or what about Denmark, or France, or any other country for that matter. Just tell them that Cameron's a good egg, and before you know it, we'll all be part of the union dividend.

    You know, I was under the impression that Scotland was a democracy, but once again, I'm proven wrong. To power again come the Tories, and hoop hoop hooray! ... I remember the days, I remember Thatcher ... hoop hoop hooray! ... no such thing as society? Just ask the Labour party ... Thank goodness for the SNP ... the Calman Comission recommends what? ... Nuclear weapons, yes please, privatisation, more please! More anti-Europe posturing, if there's more left then why not! We're only Scotland after all, we don't elect our government ... Oh, just ask the Labour party, they'll get back to you when they feel like it ...

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  • 9. At 8:49pm on 14 May 2009, alistair mackinnon wrote:

    Unfortunately for auntie bella - setting aside the thatcher and major years during which scottish identity, institutions and industry were placed under a destructive seige - and judging the tory party on present form is not a good option. The laughable caricature of tory mp's claiming for their moat to be cleared, their wisteria to be cut back, and moles to killed on their land - suggests that the tory 'big beasts' have not changed - they are toffs, out of touch and in politics for themselves. The suggested tory remedy - to pay back what has been overclaimed - rubs salt in the wounds of people who have lost their job or are in lowly paid occupatios and who cannot find the odd £20 to £30k in their bank a/c to make a grand gesture.

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  • 10. At 9:14pm on 14 May 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    Debating politics with Conservative supporters on NR's blog, that are convinced the 'Scottish mafia' is to blame for all ills (no mention of political affiliation or Labour) and that we are a basket case with a huge public sector, failed banking institutions, failing oil industry and no hope if we become independent, ever, doesn't inspire much hope if the party itself remotely holds such ideas. Deanthetory has shown to be quite reasonable at times,much like Aunty A has as well, trouble is (and even he will agree) not every Tory supporter is like that.

    To most Tories Scotland (and Wales for that matter) is a lost cause as they reckon (and are probably correct, wonder why!) that the electorate haven't forgiven them for past ills, real or perceived, and that they'll remain Labour heartlands. We've seen ourselves that this is no longer the case, that the SNP (and to a certain extent Plaid) look set to attract disillusioned Labour voters. They reckon they can sew up the GE without those votes (and their probably right), which leaves the UK and Westminster in a strained position.

    Will that result in a slash and burn policy in order to enforce te union? I hope not, the sooner the referendum is held the better, however it is nice to see Aunty A denying us our right to choose in this matter, whilst witholding a submission to Calman. A vote for the Tories is not a vote for change, it's a vote for the revolving door politics of Westminster, which many Scots have already shown their revulsion for. It's interesting to see the number of posters calling for constitutional reform increase (within a UK and Westminster setting) in the light of the MP's expense furore. Unfortunately that system will never change from within, and the bulk of the electorate will never vote outside of the three main parties (even if another party stood on a platform of reform). Short of revolution, Westminster and the UK are doomed to repeat the same cycle again, and again, and again....

    I wonder how the Scottish electorate would feel being portrayed as the draining North British province, with the Scottish Tory MP's seen as the poor relation at Westminster. Democracy in action, I think not!

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  • 11. At 9:19pm on 14 May 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    Anyone know why NR has shut down all comment facilities on his blog threads?

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  • 12. At 9:25pm on 14 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    "Forgive me if I focus upon those echoes" writes Brian, and he duly does.

    What follwes is insipid drivel, this could have been written without even going to the conference.

    Maybe Brian will ask the hard questions later, I saw his interview with Salmond where he asked every question that a Unionist would hope for - and quite right too.

    Let's see if he asks Goldie the same questions that independence supporters hope for. A novel idea would be for every question asked to be put by the opposition parties.

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  • 13. At 9:30pm on 14 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Yes, let's all vote Tory!
    I really have this burning desire to go on paying for cleaning out their moats for the next 20 years.

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  • 14. At 9:44pm on 14 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Nick Robinson writes:
    "Tories are complaining to me about what one calls "summary mob justice" in which all are judged guilty so that the good are punished while the real bad guys escape lightly."

    We are witnessing this in Scotland where perfectly legitimate, both morally and legally, claims are being headlines as though they were imappropriate.

    There is a concerted effort by some to conflate all claims with the really shocking ones. Cameron has indeed handled the matter better than Brown who appears leaden footed and unsure. His decision to let George Foulkes loose was bad judgement as it gave the impression that Labour were blaming the media.

    There's only one way to kill this story once and for all - a general election. I would not be at all surprised if there are currently goings on behind the scenes in an attempt at removing Brown and speaker Martin.

    Nods and winks will ensure the really rotten wood are prevented from standing again and guarantees will be made that no charges will be brought.

    The country is currently without a government and the Commons itself is in danger of forfeiting it's moral mandate to govern.

    I may be way out with this, but my feeling is that something is about to happen !!

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  • 15. At 9:45pm on 14 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Here's the latest "honest mistake":

    "Former Labour Cabinet minister Clare Short was paid more than £8,000 of taxpayers' money to which she was not entitled, the Daily Telegraph has said. She is said to have been paid the full cost of a mortgage for two and a half years despite being entitled to charge only for the interest on it."

    As you do. Naturally, being so devoted to public service and all, it completely escapes one's notice that you're on to a nice little earner.

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  • 16. At 9:57pm on 14 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Can someone explain to me why in god's name is the taxpayer paying all these mortgages/mortgage interest payments for MPs's properties?

    The last time I looked any normal person with a job had to pay their own mortgage or mortgage interest.

    I think greenockboy is right: if this goes on for another day they will have to call an election before the country descends into complete and utter chaos.

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  • 17. At 10:09pm on 14 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Mr Hogg maintained he had not claimed the money but agreed it had not been "positively excluded" from paperwork submitted to the Commons fees office."

    We "mugs" are STILL not being told clearly whether Hogg claimed the cost of cleaning his moat or whether he didn't claim the cost of cleaning his moat.

    Either he claimed the cost or he didn't. He's trying to have it both ways: he didn't claim it but he's paying it back!

    Is it possible for them to come up with a bigger way of insulting our intelligence than this garbage?!!

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  • 18. At 10:25pm on 14 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    The ones I find really disgusting are those MPs who used public money to pay fines on council tax bills they failed to pay.

    Does anyone remember how they put an elderly woman in jail for measly amounts of unpaid council tax?

    I hope people will remember that when they go to vote.

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  • 19. At 10:29pm on 14 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Reported on BBC news that polls out tomorrow suggest that Labour are languishing on 22% - even lower for the Euro elections where they are as low as 19%.

    What are the numbers in Scotland?

    Well, in making a few calls to friends in Greenock today two felt compelled to tell me that Labour are now so low in their opinion that they would consider voting TORY if there was no other alternative, fortunately though there is indeed an alternative, no, not the Lib Dems.

    The existence of the system that allowed this Westminster scandal to come to pass is the reason why Labour in Scotland attracted the kind of individual it did. Individuals of this type are probably the very people you least want to see holding the reigns of power.

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  • 20. At 10:39pm on 14 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Regarding the expenses fiasco.. since the European elections are looming how long before there is a scandal regarding that parliament. Theres already stuff floating around about how MEPs sign in and b****r off for the rest of the day but what else is looming ?

    As for the torys in Scotland forgetit. Maggie inflicting the poll tax on Scotland first and also her known hatred of us Scots does nothing for the tory cause up here. David Cameron is no different. Public school educated that says it all for me im afraid. Boris for prime minister i say. How much worse can he be !

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  • 21. At 11:01pm on 14 May 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #14 Greenockboy

    There's only one way to kill this story once and for all - a general election. I would not be at all surprised if there are currently goings on behind the scenes in an attempt at removing Brown and speaker Martin

    -------

    Seconded, indeed I touched on this in Brian's "Away with the Honourable Member" blog yesterday

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  • 22. At 11:19pm on 14 May 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #20 ubinworryinmasheep

    Boris for PM, I like it! Perhaps he could do a double act with the Duke of Edinburgh on foreign visits?

    Just imagine the scenes we would've had if it had been Boris and Bush.

    Now all we need is for George Galloway to become a Tory member and he can be foreign secretary.

    Any other suggestions for comedy cabinet 2010?

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  • 23. At 11:29pm on 14 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    All very well MPs 'offering' to pay back, but what about the benefits they gained as a result.

    They should be required to "account for [the] profit" they made as a result, or at least pay interest (at, say, 10% per year for each year that they have had the money).

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  • 24. At 11:31pm on 14 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    I thought there was supposed to be a Standards Commissioner for those holding public office.

    There is surely time, before the next General Election, for him/her to determine that MANY of those currently sitting are unfit persons and for them to be excluded (and barred from standing at the GE).

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  • 25. At 11:33pm on 14 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    Margaret Thatcher will surely go down as one of the greatest figures in Scottish political history.

    Singlehandedly, she created the environment which will surely lead to Scottish independence.

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  • 26. At 11:37pm on 14 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    Does anyone know the truth of the suggestion that David Cameron proposes to appoint Annabel Goldie as Secretary of State for Scotland following the next GE - notwithstanding the fact that she is not an MP - and elevate her to the House of Lords so that she can take Scottish Questions there whilst remaining an MSP?

    Given the affinity between her and Alex Salmond, I think Scotland (and Scots) would be winners as a result....

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  • 27. At 11:41pm on 14 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    This new blog system - "You cannot post for another 20 seconds" - is infuriating, indeed, and disingenuously worded.

    If the statement was accurate, then the "Post Comment" button would be greyed-oput for the 20 seconds; instead, the textbox for 'Your Comment' is non-functioning.

    Why?

    It MIGHT make sense if posts were reactively-moderated, because the 20 seconds could be spent checking the post has appeared correctly.

    As it is, all it achieves is growing indignation on the part of contributors.

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  • 28. At 11:45pm on 14 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    I was surprised to hear that sitting MEPs continue to hold office - and to be eligible for (financial and other) perks - until three weeks AFTER the election of the members of the following parliament.

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  • 29. At 00:02am on 15 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Justice Minister caught now !! Claiming 66,000 over 3 years for his second home even though his main home was rented out.Mr Malik denied breaking any rules, saying the expenses system was flawed ... so that couple who whats the difference between the couple that got thousands from a hole in the wall cash machine and MPs. You know what you are doing is morally wrong but still you do it. Difference is that the couple got jailed.

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  • 30. At 00:26am on 15 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #19 Greenockboy - I think this is what you are referring to,

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2430063.ece

    Labour tied with UKIP at 19% in Euro polls.
    Tories receiving only 29% UK wide.

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  • 31. At 00:59am on 15 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #22 It speaks volumes that the torys picked him for the London Mayor job anyway but then maybe they thought if they picked another grey bloke they would loose. It also says a lot that the people of London choose him too. Maybe they suddenly became comedians and thought it would be funny having him run the place. I like Boris though as he doesnt take it too serious..that and he's on the side of cyclists.

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  • 32. At 01:59am on 15 May 2009, NightimePost wrote:

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

  • 33. At 02:01am on 15 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

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

  • 34. At 02:14am on 15 May 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #32 NightimePost

    Did I miss something, when did Alex Salmond, or the SNP for that matter, call off the referendum?

    Did you miss the Lib Dem motion stipulating that they and all other unionist parties wished the referendum to be postponed until the nex parliament?

    Did you miss that as a minority administration cross party support would be required in order to allow a referendum to be held, something patently denied by the unionist parties at Holyrood.

    If you are going to mock most of the posts on the blog then at least try to be reasoned in the points your trying to make.

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  • 35. At 02:15am on 15 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #16 Bighullabaloo, The good thing is that the whole of Scotland might just vote SNP instead of Liebour...

    ...the downside is that the whole of England might vote BNP *:Oo

    There could be worrying times ahead.

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  • 36. At 02:20am on 15 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #32, nightimepost...

    you have no idea how your post grabs the 'desparate unionist' moment perfectly. Genious!

    LOL *;o)

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  • 37. At 02:51am on 15 May 2009, Tim wrote:

    It would appear to be open season on the Conservatives on this blog site - with most of the vitriol dripping from the jaws of the Uber Nats who seem to believe that is is their way (or the 'Great Salmonds' way!) or no way at all.
    Conveniently they forget that there own have been caught with their fingers in the biscuit tin too! Let's face it ALL parties have been caught up in this and there is no one party above reproach. Although, I do believe that those breaking the law should be hit with the full force of a criminal prosecution - although if tried in Scotland under Mr. McAskills soft touch crime fighting, no one would do any gaol time!
    For every Labour member overclaiming and subletting, and for the tory gardeners, there is the SNP with their overly expensive TV's and take aways!
    Anyway, back to the main point - why all the Tory bashing? Many voters today have not the faintest idea of whom Mrs. Thatcher was, and if they do, they would recognise that much of her policy was sound sense and helped turn this nation around (That's the UK, including Scotland, for those that need a clue!) As for that old red herring of the 'Poll Tax guinea pigs' - oh come on change the record! Scots were crying out for a new way of paying for council services as the rates revaluation due that year would have sent rates spiralling to an unacceptable degree, and thus something had to be done. (English and Scottish rates revaluations came at different times, due to differences in Scottish and English law) So the Community Charge was born, and, when you see which way the Council Tax has gone, what was wrong with the principle that every user of services should pay a share of it? The way I see it, that is a fair policy! Yes there were problems - not enough rebates/exemptions etc,- but any new system would have teething problems let alone one of this magnitude.
    In Scotland we have turned into whinging subsidy junkies, and it really is time to have the Conservatives back, if for no other reason, than to repair the huge mismanagement of the Labour years, and to have a sensible debate with the SNP to prevent them screwing up the Scottish economy any further.

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  • 38. At 02:56am on 15 May 2009, Tim wrote:

    The benefits of a wealth creating economy are blindingly self evident. Yet Scots slumber on blissfully unaware of the dangers posed by Alex Salmond and his motley band of Socialists. A man who claims to represent 2 constituencies in 2 parliaments, as well as being a first Minister. One of these constituencies is being let down badly by this man - indeed I suspect both the people of Gordon AND Banff and Buchan are being short changed by the man with no conscience.

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  • 39. At 03:19am on 15 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #32 I agree that people are entitled to a good education to but my point is that when you think of a high up tory you find they went to public schools. This is the sort of stuff the Daily Mail loves .. any excuse to speak about the middle classes or worse. Oh and by the way i haven't been unemployed in the last 22 years and currently earn over 9 quid an hour so i'm hardly holding back Scotlands recovery.

    #37 Its open season on all three partys Cons, Labs and Libs so dont feel your being picked on.
    #38 Jeepers you have no idea how popular he is up here .. i hope yer fishing boat mannie fae Banff disna fall overboard afore the next election. Can you not see why things have changed in Scotland. Its because people are bored with the Labour/Tory/Labour/Tory scenario and wanted something else.They also realised that its the people who will have the final say on Independence, not the polititians so all the scaremongering is all for nothing.

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  • 40. At 05:01am on 15 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Rarely have I seen such a self-righteous, ignorant and frankly absurd post as #32. Wholly contradictory, in need of a time out and at least one proof-reader! Please, if I wanted to read such pointless self-serving garbage ... I would have bought today's Scotsman.

    #36, couldn't agree with you more.

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  • 41. At 07:57am on 15 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 37 donstim

    'what was wrong with the principle that every user of services should pay a share of it? The way I see it, that is a fair policy!'

    I agree that the poll tax was a more fairer tax than one based on the size of your house and I would have been happy to support it but when 'Maggie' foisted it upon the Scots first I, along with many others, refused to pay it as a matter of principle. I also agree that the country (UK) was in a mess until 'Maggie' came on the scene and sorted it out. Sadly, instead of forcing the extreme left wing out of the positions of control that they had seized, she threw the baby out with the bathwater and left us with no viable manufacturing industry. Neil Kinnock saw this when he was party leader and tried to do the same within the labour party.

    'In Scotland we have turned into whinging subsidy junkies'

    I wonder if you are referring to the amount of monies that the parliament in Westminster deems to be a satisfactory amount for the people of Scotland. If that be the case, (and I'm sure this is not what you meant, but it will suffice for the point that I am making) let the Scots be independent and we won't need to be 'whinging subsidy junkies'.

    'The benefits of a wealth creating economy are blindingly self evident.'

    I think that is why the Scots are coming around to believe that independence is the best way forward for Scotland and we can create our own wealth in our own way, instead of being 'subsidy junkies'.

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  • 42. At 08:16am on 15 May 2009, U13791988 wrote:

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

  • 43. At 08:25am on 15 May 2009, HughEdinburgh wrote:

    Brain,

    The pressure at work wouldn't be Labour pressure on you not to go to a Tory conference, would it, just in case there's a slim chance that you might be converted?

    You never know.

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  • 44. At 09:41am on 15 May 2009, kaybraes wrote:

    All the parties seem to be mired in a culture of help thyself to the taxpayers' cash. The exceptions are few and far between, and nothing will change as long as the politicians have the power to set their own standards and their own wages. Setting up enquiries chaired by the great and good is no more than an exercise in deceit, these people in the main are also in the business of robbing the taxpayer. There is now a new aristocracy in this country, made up of media ,politicians and the judiciary ; apart from the media figures, the rest are the same trough snufflers that Cromwell put to the sword. Another spell of sword chopping could do no harm.

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  • 45. At 10:04am on 15 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #27 Older than the Pyramids

    "If the statement was accurate, then the "Post Comment" button would be greyed-oput for the 20 seconds; instead, the textbox for 'Your Comment' is non-functioning.

    Why?"

    They'll try anything to try to shut up the people who come on here every day and highlight the truths they are trying to bury.

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  • 46. At 10:06am on 15 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    Oliver Cromwell to the House of Commons (April 1653):

    It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

    Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the ommonwealth?

    Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!


    For emphasis, consider only the opening and closing to this incredibly apposite declamation:

    It is high time [...] to put an end to your sitting in this place...
    In the name of God, go!

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  • 47. At 10:11am on 15 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    #37 donstim -

    "For every Labour member overclaiming and subletting, and for the tory gardeners, there is the SNP with their overly expensive TV's and take aways!"

    Except that there are 350 Labour Members in the Westminster Parliament and 7 members belonging to the Scottish National Party.

    Can you work out the ratio - 350 divided by 7? I know, it's tricky isn't it?

    So, in point of fact, for every 50 Labour members 'flipping' their second home designations, buying glittery black toilet seats and paying off their council tax fines (That one really rankles, by the way, really, really infuriates me) there is a single, solitary overpriced SNP television.

    Kind've puts in perspective doesn't it?

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  • 48. At 10:33am on 15 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Mr Malik said his claims were all made 'a million per cent' within the rules."

    Malik betrays the fact he's a graduate of the Brian Taylor School of Mathematical Excellence.

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  • 49. At 10:50am on 15 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    I see justice minister allegedly claimed for a summons to a poll tax hearing in court! Erm, do they not jail pensioners for non-payment?

    The whole think stinks: from the outrageous claims to trying to turn things upon news presenters as if to justify themselves.

    Here's a suggestion - Gordon Brown wants an independent body to oversee expenses. Why does he not use those MPs who did not make any claims, or only made minimal ones? They come from all parties and have always behaved in a excellent manner with regards to expenses.

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  • 50. At 10:59am on 15 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #37 donstim

    "what was wrong with the principle that every user of services should pay a share of it?"

    Well, for starters, the fact that Scots had it forced upon them ONE YEAR BEFORE THE REST OF THE UK!

    Never again.

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  • 51. At 11:17am on 15 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #49 Neil_Small147

    "I see justice minister allegedly claimed for a summons to a poll tax hearing in court! Erm, do they not jail pensioners for non-payment?"

    As I wrote above (#18): "The ones I find really disgusting are those MPs who used public money to pay fines on council tax bills they failed to pay. Does anyone remember how they put an elderly woman in jail for measly amounts of unpaid council tax?"

    Here we see the irrefutable evidence of a corrupt political elite who put themselves above the law and keep themselves there using public cash to avoid prosecution. Absolutely disgusting.

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  • 52. At 11:26am on 15 May 2009, Richard_the_Rogue wrote:

    Leopards don't change their spots. They can say what they like, but I shall never, ever vote Conservative. I have read a book or two lately written by tories and it only confirms my suspicion- scratch the surface and they are just the same underneath as they ever were.

    As for Westminster, I no longer recognise their authority over me and consider the Scottish Government to be the legitimate government of this country.

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  • 53. At 11:34am on 15 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #37

    Breathtaking stuff. Trying to equate a tiddly home cinema set with abuses like the £170,000 second homes rip off by one of Mr Cameron's aides which I would think qualifies as criminal conspiracy.
    The lengths some people will go to try to implicate the SNP in these scandals is laughable. They even pretend to get agitated by Alex Salmond claiming one third of his food allowance.
    Alex Salmond announced he would see out his term as Westminster MP and stand down at the election. This enraged the good voters of the North East so much that they greatly increased his majority!
    As is now becoming apparent not only did Margaret Thatcher destroy Scotland's economic base but her "reforms" (destroying UK's manufacuring base and replacing it with money juggling rather than fixing our manufacturing base) set in a train of events which have destroyed the British economy. The present economic crisis is the final and inevitable result of Thatcherism. The Poll Tax has been described in the House of Lords as the "greatest failure in taxation in our lifetime". Indeed.

    Go away!

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  • 54. At 12:05pm on 15 May 2009, newsjock wrote:

    Ach, Brian, you make politics sound like fun !

    If our future well-being, or lack of it, were not tied up in choosing who governed us, it would be.

    A century ago Scotland was principally Liberal and Labour. As the Liberals lost ground, Labour increased their voter share.

    Poor old blue Goldilocks. It's not her fault if there is little Tory support. Still let her have her dreams.

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  • 55. At 12:09pm on 15 May 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    A meaningless article. You're a Tory sympathiser as well Brian I see.

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  • 56. At 12:17pm on 15 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    #37 donstim -

    "Many voters today have not the faintest idea of whom Mrs. Thatcher was, and if they do, they would recognise that much of her policy was sound sense and helped turn this nation around."

    So; as you've spelt out so clearly yourself, the minority - i.e. not the "many voters" who don't recognise Mrs Thatcher at all but only the few who do - recognise that her policy was sound sense and helped turn this nation around.

    Hardly surprising - ignorant and deluded opinions tend to be held by freak-interest groups in the minority.

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  • 57. At 12:42pm on 15 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #37, Donstim. I have to laugh at your posts. I can only assume that you are too young to remember how Thatcher devastated Scotland... either that or you have some expenses claims you wish to hide *;o)

    I fully agree with sneckedagain (#53), Salmond is extremely popular up in the North East. Look at the Golf Development he was instrumental in preventing the Unionist Liberals and Labour from screwing up the much needed inward investment. The SNP are also the only ones who fight for specifically Scottish interests for the Fishing industry which is extremely important for the North East.

    The Tory's dont have too much to be optimistic about, they may take a couple of percent off Liebour, but we all know where the rest of the vote swing is going and it ain't to the Liberals.

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  • 58. At 1:39pm on 15 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    If the nationalists on here can pull themselves away from today's ranting for just a few minutes, have a go at this:

    http://www.votematch.co.uk/

    It helps you identify which party matches your personal priorities the closest in the upcoming EU elections. Obviously, the point is to be honest about YOUR requirements and NOT to merely answer how you'd think the SNP would vote.

    For me, the Greens came top of my list with UKIP at the bottom.

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  • 59. At 1:55pm on 15 May 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8051476.stm

    Oh heck...A small independent country with only a modest economic contraction and still showing a surplus... They mustn't keep doing this. It upsets the unionists.

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  • 60. At 2:01pm on 15 May 2009, minuend wrote:

    The Scottish Tories will have no future until they apologise for Thatcherism and the damage done to Scotland during the 80s and 90s.

    No apology, no votes and no right to govern Scotland.

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  • 61. At 2:03pm on 15 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    #58 Reluctant-Expat -

    It's taking an age for the Moderators to make your post visible and, personally, I can't wait. Presumably; it'll be another faux-bored lecture on how tired you are of having to explain to us yet again how an independent Scotland couldn't possibly afford to pay MPs all the expenses they're currently claiming and so only a fool or a nincompoop could conceivably think that independence will lead to anything other than inevitable financial disaster, ruin and the enforced drowning of every kitten in Ayrshire (By order of the SNP)

    Hurry up mods! Reluctant-Expat's latest ruminations will be just the thing to brighten up my rainy Friday afternoon.

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  • 62. At 2:15pm on 15 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    Re: my #61 -

    Whoops! Looks like I was well off the mark there. Past performance is clearly no indicator as to the future - which, presumably, is good news in terms of the "Democratic dividend" we can expect from our Westmidden MPS, given that their past performance has been so woeful.

    I won't be holding my breath though. . .

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  • 63. At 2:23pm on 15 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    #58, Reluctant-Expat

    What a horrid and horrible link.

    I feel dirty.

    Vote LibDem?

    I'd sooner go to Mexico....

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  • 64. At 2:23pm on 15 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    Presumably Shahid Malik's calls for the "bloodfest" to step should haave been read as "Stop this bloodfest before it costs me my job"

    Whoops! It's a little too late for that.

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  • 65. At 2:32pm on 15 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    On a slightly tangential - but related note - obviously these MPs are hoping we won't notice that when they're "Stepping down" from their 'perk' jobs - Justice Minister, Call Me Dave's Parliamentary Adviser etc - they're sitting tight as MPs. (Possibly because their piggy behinds are wedged so tightly onto the benches that they can't get up)

    How stupid do they think we are? If Shahid Malik feels that the allegations against him are sufficiently serious to require him to resign his Ministerial Post while he clears his name then they're obviously sufficiently serious to require him to resign his seat as well.

    If he's exonerated; presumably he'll be re-elected. Or is there something about being made subject to the democratic will of his consituents that he finds threatening.

    I wonder what that could be?

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  • 66. At 2:36pm on 15 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    Thatcher, Thatcher, Thatcher....

    It was [nearly] 20 years ago!

    Move on...

    In her defence, the Iron Lady's premiership helped to get us from one form of society to another (and, yes, there is such a thing), and life was (and is) much better than could ever have been the case is the Britain of the 1970s had persisted - particularly militant trade unionism.

    (Not the argument of the day, but I will say that trades unions - i.e. collectives focussed upon the individual trades of their members - are good things but the 'super-unions' of today which attempt to cover all of the labourforce are grotesque indeed and should be banned from calling themselves TUs.)

    Maggie's greatest achievement (although it went too far) was to force Labour to examine its subservience to the TU movement: notwithstanding the financial ties which continue, never again will General Secretary of the TUC be able to formulate national policy and threaten to bring the country to a standstill if it is not implemented.

    Like most great leaders, Mrs T will be respected more in the future than in the present - she was adored at the time, reviled in the aftermath, and will surely be respected (if not feted) in the future.

    I hope she will be given a front-row seat at the 'inauguration' of the first leader of an independent Scotland - something which she will have helped to bring about, because we may not unite behind thre SNP but we are surely all united in wanting Scottish politics for Scotland.

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  • 67. At 2:47pm on 15 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    (Slightly) more on topic - there's an illuminating article on Tory attitudes here

    My favourite bit is this exchange -

    [Senior Tory:] 'Are you a wealthy man, Davies?'

    [Davies]: 'No I'm not.'

    [Senior Tory:] 'Didn't make any money in the City?'

    [Davies]: 'No I didn't. I haven't really got any wealth of that sort at all.'

    Presumably the next question was something along the lines of -

    [Senior Tory:] 'Then what are you doing in the Tory party?'

    Auntie Bella (God bless her) can bang on all she likes about our not "judging them on the past" but there's no real evidence to suggest the Tories have changed - they're still the party for the privileged few.

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  • 68. At 2:50pm on 15 May 2009, boabycat wrote:

    Not everyone in Scotland defines themselves by how badly Maggie alledgedly treated them. Look at the state of the country now Labour have been running it for last 12 years (the last 2 by a weak SNP government). Give Aunty Annie her dues, she has at least made the most of her minority position in the present government setup by get more police on the streets etc. I will make my vote for who will make my future better, not by looking over my shoulder at the past. I work for a UK company but am based in Scotland and for me independence would be a huge costly, unnecessary mistake.
    Time for change.

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  • 69. At 2:56pm on 15 May 2009, Robabody wrote:

    Post 46 Great

    will the next Oliver Cromwell please step forward? How can you vote for any of them, irrespective of party? The greedy oinkers are so far into the trough that only their curly little tails are sticking up!

    Kick them all out, preferably with some going to jail.

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  • 70. At 3:13pm on 15 May 2009, boabycat wrote:

    And besides, only 20% of Scotland are in favour of independence, go figure.
    The SNP might get a fairer hearing if they proved to the people that they can make the most of the current settlement instead of blaming all scotland's ills on Westminster. I say to Salmond et al, show me you are capable of running the country with the powers you have already before you ask me to vote for you to have more!
    Put all your energy into using those powers available to you instead of whining about the powers you don't have.

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  • 71. At 3:33pm on 15 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #70 boabycat
    And just where have I seen Auntie Annabel showing that she is capable of running the country with the powers that she has?
    Oh, aye, she set up the Calman and then never spoke to them; what a waste of our money that was. And of course endeared herself to everyone in Edinburgh by voting for the Trams just so that anyone coming to the Year of Homecoming can see our capital at its best.
    Glasgow Council have more powers to run the country than our petendy wee!

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  • 72. At 3:36pm on 15 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #65 Bandages_For_Konjic

    "On a slightly tangential - but related note - obviously these MPs are hoping we won't notice that when they're "Stepping down" from their 'perk' jobs - Justice Minister, Call Me Dave's Parliamentary Adviser etc - they're sitting tight as MPs."

    Er, I'm afraid I noticed in my #264 on the previous thread: "some of these crooks are now resigning their party 'jobs'. Naturally they are not resigning as MPs because that would mean taking their grubby mits off the pots of free cash."

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  • 73. At 3:40pm on 15 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    #70 boabycat -

    "I say to Salmond et al, show me you are capable of running the country with the powers you have already before you ask me to vote for you to have more!"

    boabycat on Nick Robinson's blog 11th May -

    "How can the Great British public trust their politicans to run the country in a thrifty manner (which is long overdue) if they can't even spend and claim on expenses in a thrifty manner. Why should we be surprised that billions have been wasted over the last number of years when they are so profilgate with our money for their expenses?

    So rather than an SNP minority administration that (Most impartial observers would agree) has been making a pretty decent fist of consensus government - you'd rather we stuck with the Westmidden piggies who - in your own words have "wasted [billions] over the last number of years when they are so profilgate [sic] with our money for their expenses?

    Down with honest government and long live the dishonest one, in other words!

    Truly, you Unionists are a strange, deluded breed if you expect us to go along with that.

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  • 74. At 3:41pm on 15 May 2009, Anglophone wrote:

    Back for one night only....I was never a slavish fan of the Iron Lady, especially after she went mad, but right now I would give a lot to trade "Bossy, English, Female" for "Incompetent, Scottish, Lameduck!

    Ithengyewverymuchh!

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  • 75. At 3:52pm on 15 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #74 Whatareyoudoingbackhereagain
    A supporter of Julie Kirkbride, I take it.

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  • 76. At 3:53pm on 15 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    #74 Anglophone -

    "Right now I would give a lot to trade "Bossy, English, Female" for "Incompetent, Scottish, Lameduck!"

    Ann Widdecombe's pussy for PM, then?

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  • 77. At 3:56pm on 15 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Conservative MP David Davies said he believed many MPs are considering quitting"

    Five minutes after their gravy train has been exposed and suddenly all their high sounding ideals about "public service" no longer matter and they want to quit!

    Is there a more venal bunch of self-serving hypocrites to be found anywhere?

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  • 78. At 4:10pm on 15 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    Reluctant-Expat:

    #58.

    The SNP came out on top for me, but the UK independence party also came in at the bottom.

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  • 79. At 4:20pm on 15 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Further to my #77

    If course I know none of them actually will quit because although they are total dummies when it comes to keeping track of simple expenses they aren't nearly stupid enough to give up their cushy, well-paid "job" and go start living in the real world where, frankly, only an idiot would employ them.

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  • 80. At 4:22pm on 15 May 2009, boabycat wrote:

    Handclapping @ 71, the trams are a step forward. Perhaps starting it during the homecoming initiative was a tad self defeating but the city needs more public transport which will increase the productivity and appeal of the city in the longer term.

    BFK @ 73, you missed my point. Consensus govt has indeed been good for the nation in its areas of non-reserved matters. Money has been spent on Scotland's priorities (mostly) and the polices put in place have had to win the arguments in parliament to get inmplemented. All I want is for the SNP executive to prove itself capable over more than a couple of years before I will trust it with more powers.

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  • 81. At 4:22pm on 15 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #77 bighulla
    Are you trying to say that when the going gets tough, the trough get going?

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  • 82. At 4:48pm on 15 May 2009, hadrianswall wrote:

    Tremendous poll result for the SNP in the Sun/Yougov poll for the Scottish sample.

    SNP 38%
    Lab 27%
    Con 15%
    Lib 14%

    Freedom

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  • 83. At 5:51pm on 15 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #81 handclapping

    "Are you trying to say that when the going gets tough, the trough get going?"

    No, I'm more saying that when the trough gets going the tough also get going.

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  • 84. At 6:22pm on 15 May 2009, scot2010 wrote:

    Back to the Future Brian? To continue with the 80's theme, the tories are as about as appealing as shoulder pads to the Scottish electorate. Don't think they can emulate the retro success of Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet etc. One thing listening to popular tunes of the era, another to forget the damage they did to Scotland.
    Bella maybe the acceptable face of the tories, but even her broad shoulders cannot hide their crimes

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  • 85. At 6:38pm on 15 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    #74 Anglophone said,

    "Right now I would give a lot to trade "Bossy, English, Female" for "Incompetent, Scottish, Lameduck!"

    Well if you must then vote for David Cameron.

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  • 86. At 6:59pm on 15 May 2009, Slaintmha wrote:

    70# Blobbycat: why do you Unionists still spin the old 20% for independence when even in May 2007 it was 23% and rising?

    The latest polls are showing the for / against with a difference of 5% either way. A recent Populus poll in the Herald put the figure at 42% for independence and 40% against; based on 1200 Scottish voters. The swing to pro independence thinking is around 15% on average since May 2007 - just wouldn't you Scottish Tories like a 15% swing in your direction rather than the decades long 20% vote share that has been your lot in Scotland.

    The results of the Herald survey have had little air time from BBC Scotland, unlike the recent hybrid survey for the Times which has been mugged up to look like the independence question is not important. Worse for Aunty Bella is the same Herald poll indicated that 35% of those currently saying 'no' to independence will say yes with a Tory Government at Westminster which must be bad news for the Unionist camp.

    The majority of people of Scotland rather like what Wee Eck (50% approval rating, Bella second on 20%) and the SNP have achieved in two years of minority government. If the Scottish Meeja think Ms Hyslop is the SNP's weakest link, they need go no further than Tavish or Elmer Fudd on the Unionist side and apart from Aunty Bella who else do the Scottish Tories have?

    I have a soft spot for Aunty Bella, she is playing a blinder at Holyrood with what is a rather weak hand and I suggest the reason for her personal approval has more to do with her clear and genuine belief in her cause, what is best for Scotland, and little to do with the Scottish Tories perse. Alex Fergusson is my constituency MSP and, while I did not vote for him, I have found him to be a fair and decent man who works hard for all his constituents and their general benefit. So I can hardly be one of those ranting Nats you Unionists love to say are the problem on these blogs. Especially when I know that the SNP list MSP and Alex Fergusson often work together for the benefit of Galloway.

    Yet two swallows do not a summer make for the Scottish Tories.

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  • 87. At 7:12pm on 15 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    You've got to feel sorry for Michael Martin.

    As the song puts it, "clowns to the left of [him], jokers to the right."

    What hope did he have of running the asylum, when the lunatics were the ones with the keys?

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  • 88. At 7:18pm on 15 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    There is a petition set up by Craig Murray to ask the Queen to dissolve parliament, google.

    This is the lady who thinks that trident is NOT a WMD! Tory MP Nadine Dorries admits she only spends weekends and holidays in her 'main home'

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  • 89. At 7:28pm on 15 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #82 hadrianswall
    Running those figures through Electoral Calculus gives a Scottish Westminster seats result:-
    Con 2
    Lab 16
    Lib 9
    SNP 32
    tot 59
    I wonder when we'll start to hear again about the old SNP war cry of "Independence when we get a majority of Scottish seats at a General Election".

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  • 90. At 7:28pm on 15 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #87

    I was talking last week to Ian Campbell who played bass guitar on that very recording ( "Stuck in the Middle" - Stealers Wheel - Gerry Rafferty's band) and he has given up a lifetime's support of Labour.

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  • 91. At 7:43pm on 15 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Just watched the SNP Euro Party Political Broadcast.

    Not bad, but not very inspiring at the same time. It didn't have any glitz, which I am glad to see, and it focused more on their vision rather than Alex, which again is a good play.

    But it was missing a little something.

    But to be fair the Euro elections will not be their highest priority.

    Be interesting to see what Labour will come up with......

    eg

    I want to be a Euro MP because the expenses are so much better.
    I get an attendance allowance, so once registration is finished I can dog off for the rest of the day.
    I can probably get that plasma TV cheaper but claim higher expenses.....

    And no doubt some reference will be made to Alex's eating habits. By the way some of the stories are dragging on you'd think he was eating five meals a day.



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  • 92. At 7:48pm on 15 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    #91, Neil_Small147:

    "By the way some of the stories are dragging on you'd think [Alex Salmond] was eating five meals a day."

    Oh, is he on a diet, then?

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  • 93. At 8:00pm on 15 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #92 OttP
    I wondered what the picture of the pie was doing in the news.

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  • 94. At 8:17pm on 15 May 2009, Slaintmha wrote:

    Re Stealers Wheel: Anyone else remember what Quentin Tarrantino used the song 'Stuck in the middle' to back in 'Reservoir Dogs'?

    It was just about as messy as the situation Gorbal's Mick finds himself in. :-)

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  • 95. At 8:29pm on 15 May 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    Thatcher was reviled at the time and there's huge amounts wrong with this country than can fairly be laid at her ideological and policy doorstep.

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  • 96. At 10:00pm on 15 May 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    Why on earth has the BBC implemented a 'during office hours' commenting policy on NR's blog?

    Both today and yesterday the threads have been closed to comments, with the last comments on each day having been posted at 5:30pm.

    Expenses scandal, Euro elections, or simply some of the night shift Mods are off sick for a couple of days?

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  • 97. At 10:02pm on 15 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Phantom postal votes, phantom £13,000 mortgage and phantom PM or is he having to do his own cleaning.

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  • 98. At 10:45pm on 15 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    #96, ScotInNotts

    I hope they don't impose an "office hours only" timeframe upon Blether with Brian.

    What would I do of an evening?

    I might have to turn to the demon drink, to fill the time.

    So, a failure to moderate (postings) might give rise to immoderate beverage consumption.

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  • 99. At 11:08pm on 15 May 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    #91 Neil

    Agree entirely with your recent comments and assessments, re the expenses row and political broadcasts.

    On the expenses debacle, can it be coincidental that many those MPs with the most audacious claims habits are those closest to the 'inner sanctums' of Westminster power , representing compact, accessible constituencies with direct links to London - as opposed to those from far-flung or geographically challenging constituencies, whom the system was supposedy intended to reimburse?

    Any system of privilege to open to such abuse is a total affront to democracy, and I disagree entirely with those who claim it is a handful of individuals who are wrong, and not the corrupt system itself.

    While one wonders how many more ways certain unionists can spin the rightly questionnable issue of Angus Robertson's TV into an issue supposedly on a par with the inherent culture of avarice amongst whole swathes of Labour and Tory MPs, I for one would like to see SNP MPs take the lead in adopting a self-disciplined system of accountable expenses along Holyrood lines.

    There are those who apparently believe - or did so until recently - that Westminster MPs are 'sovereign' unto themselves.
    The sooner the entire Palace of Westminster accepts, or is compelled to accept, the rule of a transparent and diligently-policed expenses system, the better all round in the interests of financial and democratic accountability.

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  • 100. At 11:16pm on 15 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Cameron in the Fair City

    I heard some of his speech and his tone came across with arrogance as I like you but I will be in charge.

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  • 101. At 11:16pm on 15 May 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #98 Older than the Pyramids

    It's not like everyone is able to comment during the day, so I hope it's only temproary.

    As far as the drink goes there's nothing wrong with a tipple, but you wouldn't want to be another statistic now would you?

    Just so I'm clear, would the BBC or the SNP be responsible for you fall from grace?

    I see there's another Fiona Hyslop themed story on this site. Apparently 11% of teachers from the union EIS were not consulted, yet they still support the CfE. Now we here the SSTA will vote on strike action if the CfE is not funded properly.

    That and Blair mark II had a dig at AS, the SNP and this daft idea of independence over union.

    Apparently a vote for the SNP 'puts our union at risk'. Well I'm glad he told me, otherwise I wouldn't have realised what the SNP's core principle was.

    We've been given our first guidline/command by the soon to be glorious leader. 'And don't do that, because remember what it's done for us'.

    We remember Dave, we remember.

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  • 102. At 11:49pm on 15 May 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    While past SNP broadcasts include a back catalogue of some professionally slick, imaginative and entertaining productions, in recent times we've again become used to the more tried, tested and 'reliable' variety. However - and I respect that there are also those of open mind who remain to be convinced --- how many of us would have believed those few short years back that the SNP would celebrate their 75th anniversary and the Parliament's 10th anniversary in administration of the Scottish Government??!

    Contrast the cumulative achievements of the Home Rule movement over these many years with the desperation of the Tory message which, not for the first time, pleads "forget all you know of our past actions, judge us instead on a projected notion of what we'd like you to believe, and blindly surrender your vote" - whilst simultaneously exposing their thin charade through the chronic inability and refusal to get past the legacy of Thatcher, and a hopeless worship of her values.

    Indeed, both the main Westminster parties are now reduced, as never before, to pleading to the Scottish electorate not to vote for these nasty SNP people, sensing as they do that the public is minded, and faced with the perfect opportunity, to give both of them a 'right good kicking'.

    Of course, politicians exist to serve, and at all times be accountable to us, the people.
    Yet, for all those who believe that Scotland's future is an aspirational prize to be fought for and won, these are 'heady days'.

    And on a light but highly relevant note, the 'Stone of Destiny' film, now on DVD, can be thoroughly commended as a superb and faithful account of that single act of determined vision back in 1950, which did so much to ignite and propel us along the unfolding road to our national destiny.

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  • 103. At 11:53pm on 15 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Teaching union backs action vote

    So the BBC headline goes; Well, it's news isn't it?

    I mean, if this union had cried wolf prior then the BBC in Scotland would have noticed, wouldn't it?

    Well no, - not quite ... This from 2008:
    "A teachers' strike in Scotland for the first time in 20 years moved closer last night after the country's teachers voted unanimously to ballot on industrial action."

    Yes, that's right, the very same union that threatened similar action a year ago are at it again.

    Beware of survey's, reports and union threats - the Unionist media in Scotland will embrace them at the moment, and we all know why.

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  • 104. At 11:58pm on 15 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    "Labour backbencher is the second MP to be named as having made illegitimate mortgage claims. The MP for Bury North said that he had made an unforgivable error."

    Well that's good, he won't be surprised when no-on forgives him then.

    The SNP's preferred date of 2010 for the independence referendum is looking like a masterstroke.

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  • 105. At 00:38am on 16 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #104 - I see Tam Dalyell, the nay sayer that loved to remind Scots they were subsidy junkies and too poor, too wee, too stupid to stand on their own two feet, tried to claim £18000 for bookcases. Eventually, he had to compromise and settle for a mere £7800 towards the cost of the bookcases.

    Yet it was us Scots he decried as subsidy junkies. Perhaps now we know why he was so resolute in his defence of the Union.

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  • 106. At 00:43am on 16 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    I wonder if the upper tax rate was increased to 50 percent, so extra moats,plasma screen tv's,massage arm chairs etc could be purchased.

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  • 107. At 01:06am on 16 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Mmmm it seems that the masses are not just miffed with the MPs and their extravagant expenses claims, but are also miffed that the government gave billions to save the banks whilst businesses go under due to the recession caused by those same banks !!! Interesting times .. perhaps the General election will happen sooner rather than later especially if a few MPs have to quit and by elections start happening.

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  • 108. At 01:31am on 16 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #107 ubin
    What's this MPs have to quit nonsense. They're MPs, dontcha no, and so above the law they make it and they'll have your last chocolate eclair as well. Why should they quit? The longer they stay, the more money they'll trouser. You'll only get them out kicking and squealing; ever been to a working abbatoir?

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  • 109. At 01:35am on 16 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    99. At 11:08pm on 15 May 2009, Dougie-Dubh:

    I mentioned Angus Robertson to show that even the SNP had a slight fly in the ointment. Certainly not a major claim but as you said a highly questionable one. But having read that Tam Dayell claimed for a bookcase shatters his socialist credentials. Perhaps it was a mock Tudor bookcase.......

    Watched the party broadcast again, and the smart thing I noticed this time is that independence was not the main issue. And there was not a sign of "Arc of Prosperity" or "Westminster won't give us money". So someone had SNP HQ is thinking smart. The message appears to be "trust us, we're showing what we are capable of. Give us another opportunity to develop this." No whining, no complaining. A more positive message.

    That is how you promote independence. One step at a time. Do something right then build on that and move on.


    I think the expenses issue might actually help Labour in a perverse way, since the Tories are also at it. They are more damaged obviously since they are the sitting Government.

    Makes me wonder if GB is going to go for an early election. But stupid question time......can an election be called at any time of the year?

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  • 110. At 02:04am on 16 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #108 ... Westminster chainsaw massacre anyone ?

    #109 ... Well i'd imagine Xmas day and Hogmany would be a bad idea for an election !

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  • 111. At 02:11am on 16 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #109 Neil
    Yes anytime, but usually not in winter as there will be a better turnout if the weather is fine. Of course with postal voting you can vote even when you're dead so what's with a bit of bad weather!

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  • 112. At 07:00am on 16 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #111 - There is a lot of Labour supporters in the local cemetery so who knows? Gordie might win the next general election yet!

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  • 113. At 07:12am on 16 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    109 - "I think the expenses issue might actually help Labour in a perverse way, since the Tories are also at it. They are more damaged obviously since they are the sitting Government."

    You could be right, Neil. I think in a few weeks, when the media's moved on to the next "big scandal", people will conclude that they're all as bad as each other and every party will take a hit (after all, not a single main party is entirely squeaky clean over this). The beeb interviewed people in the speaker's constituency and the general consensus (leaving aside any natural bias from the interviewer) seems to be that regardless of how he performs as a speaker, he is a decent MP who works hard for his constituents.

    Gordie's legendary hand wrangling and inaction, something we've all come to expect and live with, means that, barring any police intervention, the honourable members will get off largely scot-free in all of this and the whole thing will simply fizzle out.

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  • 114. At 08:55am on 16 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    The BBC in Scotland continues with it's blatant partisan broadcasting.

    The Derek Bateman show, not surprisingly, discussed the expenses scandal this morning. The panel, uncluding arch anti SNP journalist Angus Macleod of The Times, unanimously declared that the Westminster parties would be hit hard over this with Labour being hit hardest.

    The discussion then turned to the parties most likely to benefit from this - this is radio Scotland remember !!

    It was decided that the BNP would benefit, but not to the extent that many might fear - OK, any other party?

    Yes, UKIP are expected to make significant gains - they are currently polling around the same 19% level as Labour - OK, any other party?

    Well no, apparently neither the Radio presenter nor anyone else are aware that the SNP are making significant gains in Scotland, they are simply airbrushed out of this particular discussion.

    There then followed a review of the papers by none other than Angus MacLeod again in which he this time DID mention the SNP - twice !!

    This mention revolved around a sensational revelation that MP Angus McNeil claimed for a toblerone - honest. MacLeod also felt it necessary to remind listeners that this was an SNP MP "Let me remind you that this is the SNP" thunders Macleod who goes on to explain that the same MP had some expense claims refused.

    Yes, that's right, the SNP are being criticised for expenses that they DIDN'T actually receive.

    The next item on the programme is a piece on Lindsay Roy, he of the 'miracle of Glenrothes' by-election result, I'm sensing a theme now.

    Mr Roy goes on to explain how decent and hardworking many MP's are, blah, blah, blah.

    The next item is a piece on the SNP suggestion that there ought to be some sort of council set up in order to address inconsistencies in sentencing. The QC brought into the programme to give his views is one Gordon Jackson - former Labour MSP who was ousted as a result of refusing to give up his practice whilst a serving MSP (despite promising to do so).

    Not surprisingly Mr Jackson is less than keen on the SNP idea.

    So, there we have it - a thouroughly one sided programme presenting a not surprisingly one sided view of Scottish and UK politics.

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  • 115. At 09:08am on 16 May 2009, Angusblogg wrote:

    #114

    Good post!

    Hope it's not retrospectively moderated for being a bit one-sided - I couldn't see anything in your post praising Labour, the union dividend, or BBC Scotland's political impartiality!

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  • 116. At 09:13am on 16 May 2009, Angusblogg wrote:

    #105 ForteanJo and #109 Neil

    You have to smile at the cheek of Tam Dalyell.

    A 'new' West Lothian Question springs to mind!

    "Pssst.....I'm retiring in 2 months, any chance of 18,000GBP for a nice wee bookcase. Put it down to the 'union dividend', the taxpayers will never find out that they're paying for it, will they?"

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  • 117. At 09:28am on 16 May 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    tam dalyell like so many upper-crust "socialists" was an imperialist to the core.

    Agree completely greenockboy. So many of those who comment on Scotland's affairs seem to be living in a different non-SNP reality. It's right across the board and absurd proving that's it's not just Nulab who can't accept the SNP are in gov't.

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  • 118. At 09:32am on 16 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Just watched David Cameron's political broadcast. Very good and a smart decison to change it in favour of an expenses one. Won't do anything for him in Scotland, but he's taken the initiative away from Labour.

    Labour suspended a couple of MPs.....David Cameron comes straight out with what he will do. No waffle, just straight fact.

    So, two good party broadcasts, one SNP and one Conservative.

    Really looking forward to watch GB's. Picture things for a minute if you will....

    We drive along heading towards a nice house, all of a sudden the picture "flips" and we are approaching another......and the picture "flips", and we are appraoching another.......and the picture "flips"........

    After five or six "flips", we finally come to the threshold of the house. A mock Tudor doorway greets us. We enter and there are some expensive bookcases in the hall. Into the lounge, the 200 inch plasma flatscreen TV and three grand home entertainment system (essential equipment to watch the news, and human biology programmes) sit at one end.

    Five grand of furniture fills the room. A wobbly table leg is supported by expense receipts.

    The kitchen (ten grand of course) is filled with rather nice utensils. The triple fridge freezer has sufficient food to feed the five thousand (just in case Alex Salmond is invited to dinner, we hear he has an appetite).

    Moving up to the bedrooms (one for the sister who owns the property) we notice the lavish furnishings which are essential for constituency business, albeit three miles away. But hey, public transport is terrible in the city, with the evil Tory mayor in charge.

    The bathroom is nice, with interchangeable toilet seats.

    All too soon it is time to leave. All we need to ask ourselves is, "who lives in a house like this? Over to you, David."

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  • 119. At 09:48am on 16 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    MPs hit by angry public backlash

    "Diane Abbott, the Labour MP, raised fears over public anger. "Saying sorry isn't enough. Giving money isn't enough. The public ... want to see dead MPs hanging from lamp-posts," she said."

    These people are some of the highest earners in the UK and they are not worth it.

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  • 120. At 10:10am on 16 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    114# greenock boy, morning , i listened to radio Scotland this morning and was not surprised in the slightest. but i do have another point to raise ,did you hang about to here the report from India with regard to their election? was it just me or did the expert from India just sound awfully like the said Angus Macleod. it is bad enough having an Angus Macleod in Scotland .please tell me it is not a franchise!or worse a cloning experiment that went wrong!

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  • 121. At 10:28am on 16 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    "According to the Daily Telegraph, Bury North MP David Chaytor received nearly £13,000 for a flat in Westminster that had been paid off in 2004.

    The MP is said to have admitted he made an "unforgivable error" and to have pledged to repay the money immediately. " ...wow if he can repay that amount of money immediately he cant be to hard up i guess.

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  • 122. At 10:34am on 16 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Comment 20:

    No, I didn't catch the remainder of the programme. I sometimes wonder though if a case can be made against the BBC in Scotland for indirectly breaking the conditions of their charter.

    The pundits used by Radio Scotland and indeed it's TV counterpart are almost always Unionist in persuasion. Iain Macwhirter, Angus MacLeod, Alan Cochrane, Lorraine Davidson, John Curtis, Arthur Midwinter.

    This 'loading' will surely have an effect on the content of political opinions given and broadcast. The programme I mentioned above was shockingly biased and one sided.

    It simply beggars belief that anyone could justify what almost amounts to institutionalised censorship. Compounding this was the platform allowed to a well known and openly anti SNP journalist who then used it in order to broadcast political propaganda.

    This misuse of public funds in order to promote a political ideology contravenes the BBC's charter.

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  • 123. At 10:44am on 16 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #121 ubin
    Well if you've got a million pound pad, no mortgage, paid for by us little people, to pledge to the bank, you can raise £13,000 in one quick visit. (If you are an MP reading this, just remember to take the title deeds with you.)

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  • 124. At 10:51am on 16 May 2009, U13791988 wrote:

    Tam - I know best for Scotland - Dalyell.

    Mr Dalyell, a couple of weeks out from leaving a job, submits a claim for £16 000 for a book case. Ends up with £8 000, I believe colloquial expression is gor blimey, you ave ad a bit of a result there guv - .

    This is not a case in isolation, Labour are up to their arm pits in sleaze. Lets not forget the two lords banned from the lords or the dodgy vote dealings in local constituency parties as in Erith for a lords daughter to secure a safe seat.

    Is that what Labour has become, a means for the rich to progress the careers of their sons and daughters?

    Can a Labour supporting person please defend Mr Dayell, whilst you are at it, defend Mr Morley and Ms Blears.

    Oh how the mighty have their snouts in the trough.

    P.S. was 42 withdrawn because I said I had genuine pity for Mr Brown?

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  • 125. At 11:04am on 16 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #123 I assume these people are buying the second homes 'interest payment' only since we are paying for the mortgage interest. The fact that they then sell them on and make a profit is bad in my eyes ... should they not repay the money they claimed from the taxpayer to help earn this profit. If the house makes a loss (hardly likely) then they would pay nothing.

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  • 126. At 11:21am on 16 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Anthony Steen claimed £87,000 on country mansion with 500 trees

    Sack the lot of them now.

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  • 127. At 11:27am on 16 May 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    Can anyone tell me what happened to the Questions for Annabelle ?
    I was looking forward to a googly maths question being flung at her.
    I did ask where she stood on leaky WMDs on the Clyde and environmental protection but I doubt it will be asked since it appears to be trivial in the eyes of BBC Scotland.
    I note that the lovely Dave is happy for us to have free prescriptions but he insists that we be happy enough to keep nuclear rust buckets on the Clyde nearest to the largest population in Scotland.
    Gives new meaning to " fair exchange is no robbery " does it not?

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  • 128. At 11:43am on 16 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Mugabe keen to implement UK government expenses policy

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  • 129. At 11:43am on 16 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    how many people have suddenly changed their mind about Guy Fawkes and what he attempted to do?
    A thought on expenses. At least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask!!!
    122# Greenock boy IF a case can be made for breaking the conditions of their charter ?
    not IF but WHEN
    the BBC in Scotland are being used exclusively as a mouthpiece of the UK establishment.they are no longer a public service broadcaster in Scotland , they have become the preferred state sponsored broadcaster for the UK government and don't have the guts or the wherefore all to stand up to their masters.
    Sid

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  • 130. At 11:51am on 16 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Some now expecting us to believe they "forgot" they'd paid off their mortgages.

    Utterly ridiculous.

    They are the first people in recorded history who forgot they'd paid off their mortgages!

    Sack the lot of them now and jail the biggest of the crooks.

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  • 131. At 12:00pm on 16 May 2009, Older than the Pyramids wrote:

    #129, sidthesceptic

    Remember, it's the Government which decides how much money the BBC will have - in the form of the lience fee - so you can't expect the Corporation to bite the hand that feeds it...

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  • 132. At 12:23pm on 16 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

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

  • 133. At 12:27pm on 16 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    An indication of how acceptable the words and phrases (being defended by Donald Findlay) actually are can be guaged by the fact that this sites profanity filter wouldn't allow them.

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  • 134. At 12:33pm on 16 May 2009, DonsDoddsy wrote:

    The real reason Scots didn't take to her was not because she was a "bossy, english, woman". It was because of her policies, and her philosophy.

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  • 135. At 12:34pm on 16 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #131 older than the pyramids; i take your point but I am old enough to remember the tory years when the BBC led the charge against them. I wonder what the difference is these days???

    Sid

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  • 136. At 12:36pm on 16 May 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    114 Greenockboy, spot on as usual.

    I didn't catch that programme but for those of us who like a tearful snigger at the BBCs famed impartiality I did catch Lesley Riddoch's Hansard debate on devolution on Fri 15 May.

    I give you the panel chaired of course by Ms Riddoch. Tam Dalyell, Iain Gray, Joyce McMillan and ( Shurely some mistake?) Bruce Crawford of the SNP.

    The giggleometer was further primed by the fact that the questions from the invited studio audience seemed to be mainly comprised of prof John Curtice shouting from the floor that Wendy Alexander had been woefully treated!


    I kid you not. Pity it was on the radio really as an ideal denouement would have been for Rioddoch to stand up , cover Bruce Crawford in raw mince and then have Glen Campbell arrive unexpectedly with a tiger.

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  • 137. At 12:49pm on 16 May 2009, Slaintmha wrote:

    Is the flip side of the West Lothian Question - why should Scotland be used as a dumping ground for clapped out RN nuclear submarines; or maybe, why are power companies in Scotland charged more to shift power around in Scotland for Scottish consumption than exporting same power to England and Northern Ireland both of which are supposed Union benefits?

    Does 'Call me Dave' know that Scottish power plants, indirectly, keep the computers running in Oxford or the trains at London Bridge by making up for the North of England/ Northern Ireland power generation shortage?

    The answer is simple - yes, he does and along with the loss of 'extra territorial' income from gas and oil he knows that England will become energy subsidy junkies in the next decade if Scotland becomes independent. With out Scottish re-useables the UK (aka England) is miles off reaching EU / Kyoto targets where as nearly 25% of Scotland's power generation now comes from these sources.

    So why the surprise that BBC Scotland (Unionist) sets up programs in Scotland that are consistently negative, run Scotland and the Scots down. Curtis and Midwinter are now the Waldorf and Stadler of BBC Scotland's Political Muppet show, Derek Bateman is clearly a manic Kermit, Brian is turning more and more into Fozzy Bear and Kirsty Wark has long been Miss Piggy.

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  • 138. At 12:50pm on 16 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    Just back from Perth, David Cameron was utterly brilliant. My companion to conference said she'd happily have his ofspring.

    He was direct, said it like it is- that any Tory MP found wanting shall be expelled, resign or get fired. Damn straight. Lets get ride of the dead wood D.C.

    Annabel was damn fine, when she said "I am going to take one on the chin I know voting tory is a big ask..." I had tears in my eyes. It honestly is time for the new generation of tories to place aside those "echoes" and forge a more compasionate, and socially justifiable Torism. Stirling, West Aberdeenshire, the borders and Edinburgh- watch out, we are back in town!

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  • 139. At 12:55pm on 16 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    I shall admit, we must apologise for the 1980's worst excesses, but not through words, they are cheap- but through progressive action, let my party prove ourselves worthy again through action and not words.

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  • 140. At 1:03pm on 16 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    It is getting worse by the day.

    All this "I forgot" or "it's within the rules" is total, utter nonsense.

    A police investigation as announced needs to be total transparent and thorough. If I tried to get a loan from a bank for a mortgage that did not exist, I would be prosecuted.

    If I make an expense claim at work that is considered outside reasonable expense, I get sacked.

    If I get a court summons for non-payment of council tax, my employer does not refund my costs.

    If I failed to declare capital gains and avoided the tax, I would get prosecuted.

    By the way - an oversight does not constitute a defence in law.

    We need resignations as MPs now. Honour needs to be restored. How can those who have been highlighted possibly represent the UK in the international community after such revelations? All parties have been affected in some manner, from relatively minor cases to full blown scandal.

    Ms Abbott stated that the public want to see MPs hanging from lampposts. Total nonsense. We want MPs, regardless of politics, who are honest, honourable and put the needs of their constituents and the country first.

    I would like to see (however unlikely) every single MP justify their expenses. Every single one.

    Then we can see who really are the best.

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  • 141. At 1:24pm on 16 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #138. deanthetory

    Dream on! I'm telling you now

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  • 142. At 1:30pm on 16 May 2009, U13791988 wrote:

    "and forge a more compasionate, and socially justifiable Torism".

    Once elected we can then revert to our true kind and place workers against the police, white against black, employed against unemployed, rich against poor, wrong against right and Scot against Anglo.

    Once in power watch the Tories embrace Trident, ID Cards, wars on foreign soil and increased secrecy, all to the smack of firm Government.

    TDBs

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  • 143. At 1:51pm on 16 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #138 Dean when your taking a girl out for the weekend you romance her and wine and dine her ... you dont take her to a party political conference .... jeez man you wont get your hole that way !!!! besides a good speech to the party faithful wont change the attitudes of the common people.

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  • 144. At 1:57pm on 16 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    ha, quite possibly ubinworryinmasheep.

    The_B_Dogs, you feel cynical because of what a previous generation did- that was more than 20 years ago. My generation (20-30 year olds) ask for a chance to present our conservativism.

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  • 145. At 2:08pm on 16 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #142 I cant really see the problem with id cards per se .. but i do think the way the idiots in power are trying to implement them are wrong. We have the usual rubbish i.t contractors bidding to take on the task and as usual we have blind Labour handing out contracts that nearly always cost more than the bid price... of course the torys will just do the same ... Labour + Tory = same sh*t different day.

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  • 146. At 2:09pm on 16 May 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    I quite like the mental picture created by Ms Abbot, and I'm sure I'm not alone!

    Delighted that you and your companion had such a lovely , emotional time Dean.
    Forgive me if I feel less than enthused by the whole affair.
    I too, am old enough to remember the Tory reign and unlike many here I recognise that there was some harsh medecine necessary to re-float HMS UK.
    But the unforgiveable plunder of Scotland I could not forgive and I will fight to stop it happening again.
    And I will fight to keep a new generation of nuclear weapons and their leaks away from my country.
    I expect the young to fight alongside me because I expect the young to have ideals.

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  • 147. At 2:54pm on 16 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Chris Bryant changed second home twice to claim £20,000

    "In 2004, he attempted to claim £58,000 to overhaul his second home in Porth, Wales, after allegedly complaining that most properties in his constituency were "terrace or mine owners' houses"."

    The only house these folk should be living in is the workhouse on bread and water.

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  • 148. At 2:58pm on 16 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    Sorry, DeanThetory still reminds me of...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeLSNzEorbI

    ...every time I read his posts!

    LOL *;o)

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  • 149. At 3:31pm on 16 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    An interesting article in the Scotsman on Camerons take on the expenses issue.

    There is one table in the article about the Scottish MPs who claimed the whole second house allowance in 2007-8.

    MAXIMUM CLAIMS

    SCOTTISH MPs who claimed maximum second homes allowance in 2007-8 (£23,083)

    Danny Alexander (Lib Dem, Inverness)

    Gordon Banks (Lab, Ochil)

    John Barrett (Lib Dem, Edinburgh West)

    Malcolm Bruce (Lib Dem, Gordon)

    Alistair Carmichael (Lib Dem, Orkney and Shetland)

    Michael Connarty (Lab, Linlithgow)

    Ian Davidson (Lab, Glasgow South West)

    Brian Donohoe (Lab, Central Ayrshire)

    Tom Harris (Lab, Glasgow South)

    Adam Ingram (Lab, East Kilbride)

    Anne Moffat (Lab, East Lothian)

    John Reid (Lab, Airdrie)

    Jim Sheridan (Lab, Paisley)

    Jo Swinson (Lib Dem, East Dunbartonshire)

    There would appear to be two parties missing here. One is the tories, I am waiting for the BBC to report the other party that has not maxed out this claim. Oh I forgot they claimed a corkscrew, better mention that as often as possible.

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  • 150. At 4:33pm on 16 May 2009, U13791988 wrote:

    Dean, Scotland decided some time ago that Tories were nasty, greedy, uncaring, selfish, sly and most importantly of all, Un-Scottish.

    You face a thankless task on door steps. Middle class Scotland and well off Scots, turned their backs on the Tories forever in the 1980s. No going back, never, ever!

    This did not happen in England, there is not the same political dynamic. There has been a gradual flow of fortunes back from Labour to Tory since 2003 in England, accelerated into a torrent by arrival of Brown and longstanding Labour activists giving up politics.

    In Scotland, the SNP are the benefactors of Labour woes. It is up to the SNP to grasp this opportunity on Scotlands behalf and take us forward into a referendum next year and then freedom.

    Now that Labour has fouled up completely on the economy, are up to their arm pits in sleaze and have no policies, the English electorate will go blue. Labour are in for absolute annihilation in June elections.

    Do you think it time you were asking yourself, do I want to support a nationalist party with a philosophy alien to my own country, or do I wish to get real and try to improve Scotland with out relying on external belief systems imported?

    TDBs

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  • 151. At 4:35pm on 16 May 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    Dubbieside , you forgot that £400 home cinema! And the food for a month!
    I had forgotten the corkscrew!

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  • 152. At 4:39pm on 16 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #149 dubbieside - I would refer you to the second half of my post #129
    and i am more than surprised my own MP ain't on the list but then again he was too busy decorating his house.
    Sid

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  • 153. At 4:48pm on 16 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    OK very small sample size again (174 I believe), but look at this,

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Westminster:

    SNP - 38%
    Lab - 27%
    Tory - 15%
    LD - 14%

    European:

    SNP - 40%
    Lab - 21%
    Tory - 13%
    LD - 14%
    Green - 4%
    UKIP - 4%

    Suggests those Parties most associated with Westminster (Labour and Tories) are suffering disproportionately Lib Dems too seem relatively unaffected (still hardly large strides).

    If results were genuinely to be as bad as that for Labour at the Euro election (and local elections in England - which will be a bloodbath anyway), Gordon's leadership could be back under serious threat again.

    In any case, it seems the constant media repetition in relation to the notorious corkscrew is not working.

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  • 154. At 5:02pm on 16 May 2009, peteraberdeenshire wrote:

    Dean it would appear thatI am not much above the age bracket you mentioned and unlike many people on these boards I am not anti Tory,and have no time for the Labour oft repeated remark of vote for us as we are better than the Tories. In fact my preference would be SNP everytime, then Conservative but only in an independent Scotland, and if pushed Lib Dem though with a struggle but never at any time Labour, not even in an independent Scotland. Too much history of corruption nepotism and cronyism.

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  • 155. At 5:09pm on 16 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    pattymkirkwood writes:
    In any case, it seems the constant media repetition in relation to the notorious corkscrew is not working.

    Don't forget Angus McNeil's claim for a toblerone, see comment #114.

    It reminds me of the old joke:

    Q - Why is a toblerone shaped the way it is?
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    A - To ensure it fits in the box

    If anyone is wondering what my moderated comment contained at #132 it contained quotes from Donald Findlay QC from an article in The Daily Record (I know).

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  • 156. At 5:20pm on 16 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/william_rees_mogg/article6261263.ece

    Last Ever Labour Govt ... some over at the Times are getting rather excited.

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  • 157. At 5:28pm on 16 May 2009, rochcarlie wrote:

    Diabloando repeats the commonly accepted myth of a Thatcher administration economic transformation (re-float hms uk).In fact the average annual economic growth rate for her 11 years was less than that of the preceding 11 years modest figure, and she had the advantage of North Sea Oil. New Labour are an offshoot of Thatcherism, pursuing the same Neo-Liberal economic policies which have brought us to where we are today, with a deregulated, privatised, demutualised, deindustrialised, borrowing and shopping economy, the consequences of which are now just beginning to come home.

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  • 158. At 6:39pm on 16 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    I was glad to see wee Micky Forsyth resurfaced at the tory party conference in Perth.

    I hope the torys roll him out more. It will remind everyone of the nasty party at its nastiest. Not only were they nasty, but also totally undemocratic, with little or no mandate in Scotland.

    Did that stop them the last time, NO, will it stop them this time, NO.

    Once all the warm words are finished, and they are elected in England, just watch the colonial governors dictate to Scotland.

    I would echo the only sensible thing Kinnock ever said "I warn you not to be poor, I warn you not to be sick, I warn you not to be old" the torys will make you suffer.

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  • 159. At 6:41pm on 16 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    pattymkirkwood re your 156

    He may be right in England, lets hope it is followed in 2010 with the last every Westminster government ruling Scotland.

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  • 160. At 7:18pm on 16 May 2009, Anaxim wrote:

    "But still it can be entertaining to reflect upon varying views of history too."

    Oh, don't be so coy, Brian. Thatcher's legacy is one of the reliable stand-ins for actual political debate in Scotland. Slow news day?

    I would go so far as to say that all the Thatcher's legacy stuff has done almost as much damage to Scotland as Mrs T herself.

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  • 161. At 7:30pm on 16 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #159, you have a point there dubbieside; however, I don't think thats what was on his mind when he wrote it!

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  • 162. At 9:03pm on 16 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Public interest or public curiosity?

    "Britain trades on a mythical reputation of democracy. The more you dig into the reality, the less you believe that myth."

    Fraser Kemp: 'Mistakes' over sheets and DVDs on MP's expenses

    "Mr Kemp, 50, spoke in support of David Macleans Bill in 2007 to exempt Parliament from the Freedom of Information Act a move which would have ensured that his expenses details remained secret."

    Murphy, Rt Hon Jim LAB Renfrewshire East 22,801

    Missing! believed to be skulking in the shadows of dover house.

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  • 163. At 9:33pm on 16 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Here's yet another example of trying to implicate in this expenses scandal.

    Even our own first minister. Yes, he's also terribly cross because it's the great Satan of Westminster's system that made him eat all the pies, when parliament wasn't sitting, and charge us for them.

    This is truly desperate stuff from Muriel Gray who's clearly uncomfortable with the fact that the worst excesses are ALL from Unionist parties.

    Is there anything worse than former radical Socialists who, when faced with the reality of a Labour party riddled with corruption, still cannot bring themselves to admit that the Union mightn't be the best constitutional arrangement for Scots.

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  • 164. At 9:44pm on 16 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    No need to add to this:

    A BPIX poll for the Mail on Sunday has Labour's standing at 20% the lowest ever rating. Meanwhile in a ComRes survey for the Independent on Sunday, Labour is on 21%, 19 points behind the Conservatives.

    In Scotland the BBC can reveal that .........

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  • 165. At 9:52pm on 16 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #163 - It's worth pointing out, greenockboy, that Muriel's allegations might be actionable as she clearly alleges that Salmond claimed expenses for food he consumed whilst parliament wasn't sitting, rather than the closer to truth fact that he consumed the food whilst parliament was sitting and then submitted his expenses claim during a recess.

    I wonder if the SNP lawyers will take that forward?

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  • 166. At 10:06pm on 16 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    cynicalHighlander re 162

    I bet Fraser Kemp is sitting at home tonight thinking "thank goodness I did not claim for a Toblerone" I would really be in trouble.

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  • 167. At 10:08pm on 16 May 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    Dean

    If the Tories are so keen to make amends why don't they give Scotland a rebate on oil revenues expropriated these last thirty years and compensate Scotland for the wanton destruction of her industrial base in the 1980s. I think that would prove to many of us that your contrition is sincere and meaningful. You agree don't you?

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  • 168. At 10:24pm on 16 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    165. At 9:52pm on 16 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:
    #163 - It's worth pointing out, greenockboy, that Muriel's allegations might be actionable as she clearly alleges that Salmond claimed expenses for food he consumed whilst parliament wasn't sitting, rather than the closer to truth fact that he consumed the food whilst parliament was sitting and then submitted his expenses claim during a recess.

    I wonder if the SNP lawyers will take that forward?

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

    I don't think they will. It might be that the media are trying to provoke such an action. Taking a libel action out is very, very tricky, and can also end up being hideously expensive.

    But I think the main reason for not taking such an action is political. The media would swarm over such an action, and libel cases can be turned on their head. Unless it was a clear cut libel case, the SNP would be in danger of losing a case. I don't need to describe what the headlines would then be.

    And if the media lost they would pursue Alex Salmond even more vigorously.

    But even if the claims are true, they pale into insignificance compared to bookcases, mock Tudor toilet seats and dredging out plasma widescreen moats.

    Anyway, if Alex is eating all the pies then he is helping the food industry :p

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  • 169. At 10:25pm on 16 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #165 ForteanJo

    "It's worth pointing out, greenockboy, that Muriel's allegations might be actionable"

    As I pointed out to some Unionist posters on the previous thread, their insistence on spreading this malicious lie is quite definitely actionable in a court of law.

    Salmond has said: "In terms of 2005-06 and the summer recess, MPs still go to London during the recess, and in any case bills incurred during the parliamentary session often fall during that period, for example for Commons dining facilities."

    Thus Salmond has made it crystal clear: the claims submitted during the recess related to "bills incurred during the parliamentary session."

    I hope the SNP's lawyers do take this forward.

    The repeated publication of this falsehood could certainly have a detrimental effect on Salmond's reputation = defamation.

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  • 170. At 10:28pm on 16 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I am in a state of shock. Several of my posts have been referred over the past few weeks on what I consider to be the flimsiest of grounds yet 143 with its very coarse reference to conference coitus (or not as is more generally the disappointing case) sails through.

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  • 171. At 10:34pm on 16 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    There appears to besome misconception that MPs don't work when parliament is in recess. This very often is a very busy time for MPS and SNP MPs don't do holidays. The food allowance is not determined by whether Parliament is sitting or not. You will find Westminster full of decent MPs working during the recesses.

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  • 172. At 10:34pm on 16 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Maybe a little unfair but dean what have the conservatives said about the corruption in the upper house and are they going to address the issue or say nothing to do with us guv.

    Baroness Uddin has a marble mansion in Bangladesh and Lord Ryder says former stable is his main home obviously missed an opportunity of sucking the taxpayer by supplying an MP his supply of dung. What a cosy club the land of the powerful live in.

    This crisis has revealed what is really wrong with Britain

    "This obsessive culture of compliance was there in the Baby P case: everyone involved could point to boxes that had been ticked, to show they had followed the rules. The City was hardly under-regulated when the 2,500 staff of the Financial Services Authority spent their time forcing banks to fill out forms.

    In both cases, the problem was not an absence of rules. It was that there were so many rules that they crowded out any space for judgment or the exercise of individual morality. Free individuals encouraged to act ethically are more likely to arrive at the right answers than an over-mighty bureaucracy."


    Neither the conservatives, Labour or the Liberals will recognise this which means that Scotland has to go its own way to get out of an endless cycle of corruption for richer or poorer but more content with itself which is worth more than lots of money in a bank somewhere.

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  • 173. At 10:35pm on 16 May 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    #163

    Sounds like she's swallowed a bunch of stale porkies herself!

    Sad thing is, she used to be noted for her feisty Scottish defiance.
    Who'd have thought that as Labour finally lost their age-old stranglehold on Scotland, Muriel Gray would be amongst their dwindling ranks of apologists??

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  • 174. At 10:45pm on 16 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    Here is one reason why I will not vote Scottish Labour, Scottish Conservative or Scottish Liberal Democrat, they are all pseudo 'Scottish' parties, since in truth all these parties take their orders from Westminster and dance to the tune of their English national party.

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  • 175. At 11:00pm on 16 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    cash secrets of MPs who tried to stop you seeing their expenses

    Anyone recognise top left Napolean Solo

    Lawmakers judge and jurors all rolled into one sucking the gullible dry.

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  • 176. At 11:04pm on 16 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #168 Neil_Small147

    Your post betrays what I think is a growing realisation and anxiety amongst some posters here that this repeating of malicious lies about Salmond is not something that has to be tolerated indefinitely without challenge.

    I don't believe you have any genuine idea whether a libel action would succeed or not.

    I do have an idea because I worked in the media for many years.

    I know reporters who lost their jobs for less than what we've seen repeated on these boards in the last few days.

    Libel actions are not at all "tricky" for lawyers who specialise in precisely that area of the law. The SNP can afford to hire them.

    I think some Unionist posters here who rashly repeat allegations from newspapers would be wise to think carefully about what they're writing.

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  • 177. At 11:10pm on 16 May 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    Och poor Muriel. It must be hard being a millionaire socalist. Maybe Gordie's cabinet could give her some advice on the conflicting pressures of being filthy rich whilst remaining "Wan o' the peepull".

    It can't be easy.













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  • 178. At 11:11pm on 16 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #166. dubbieside

    Was there not an advert on the last one, or was that for something else!

    What galls me is that they can't see that they haven't done anything wrong as if life is free for them at everyone else's expense no wonder the country is in such a mess.

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  • 179. At 11:18pm on 16 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Well i doubt any of you would have been watching the Eurovision song contest but should Scotland have been inedependant from the UK we might have won the competition since 'The Arc of Prosperity' was in evidence tonight lol ...with Norway coming first and Iceland second !!!!

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  • 180. At 11:29pm on 16 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.2508651.0.0.php

    Looks like Tavish may have some questions to answer to Nick Clegg-Over and the Taxman.

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  • 181. At 00:14am on 17 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #180. pattymkirkwood

    Is this a "Some mothers do have them" moment where's Betty.

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  • 182. At 00:29am on 17 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    176. At 11:04pm on 16 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:
    #168 Neil_Small147

    Your post betrays what I think is a growing realisation and anxiety amongst some posters here that this repeating of malicious lies about Salmond is not something that has to be tolerated indefinitely without challenge.

    I don't believe you have any genuine idea whether a libel action would succeed or not.

    I do have an idea because I worked in the media for many years.

    I know reporters who lost their jobs for less than what we've seen repeated on these boards in the last few days.

    Libel actions are not at all "tricky" for lawyers who specialise in precisely that area of the law. The SNP can afford to hire them.

    I think some Unionist posters here who rashly repeat allegations from newspapers would be wise to think carefully about what they're writing.

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

    I'm not anxious. If there is one thing I cannot stand it is dishonesty.

    I accept what you say about libel. With regards to journalists and presenters, it is probably a clear cut issue.

    Not so with blogs.The blogs here are public, and as we have already seen it is possible to have multiple usernames.

    To track someone requires being able to trace their location. It can be done, but in the case of a libel action against an individual would you not require proof that the person was the one who posted it? If done from an Internet cafe or place of work then it gets harder to identify them. Not impossible, but a lot more investigation.

    I don't know enough about the law with regards to the BBC's responsibilities. Probably have to read through the T&Cs.

    I personally don't think Salmond has done anything wrong, and as I stated earlier even IF there was a case regarding food, it's insignificant compared to the excesses alleged for others.

    They are targetting Salmond as he is the biggest asset to the SNP, which also makes him the greatest threat to Labour. There seems to be a relentless campaign to denounce him. If you are going to get someone, you wait until you have a real story or event to use. Crying wolf every time he breaks wind gets boring after a while.

    Who knows if the SNP will take action. I still think it is a tricky decision. Public support will likely stay the same or even increase if they do, but there is a danger that some people may think it trivial - most people read headlines remember, they don't check the facts.

    I think the subtle approach is better. The media will tire of the story eventually. The "divide by zero" issue has gone all quiet, most people won't remember it.

    The party political broadcast was subtle and effective. Perhaps they will apply the same when dealing with this issue.

    I still think certain parts of the media are hoping for a reaction. They can afford a libel case.

    But the SNP are basically undamaged by the expenses issue. Labour have been crucified. Watching the news today from Bury, the Labour Party activists were livid with what has happened. I think a few deselections at local level are in the pipeline. MPs have more to fear from their local party than Westminster.


    #179

    Erm, Ireland didn't make the final! No doubt that will be in the papers next!



    164. At 9:44pm on 16 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:
    No need to add to this:

    A BPIX poll for the Mail on Sunday has Labour's standing at 20% the lowest ever rating. Meanwhile in a ComRes survey for the Independent on Sunday, Labour is on 21%, 19 points behind the Conservatives.

    In Scotland the BBC can reveal that .........


    ----


    Do we get to fill in the rest?

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  • 183. At 00:50am on 17 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    DeanTheTory:

    Dean, Dean, Dean... I was expecting you here sooner to defend the Conservative party, but I would be hiding myself if I were responsible for... upseting hundreds of thousands of individuals over the years ;-)

    The Conservatives painted a worrying and extreme picture. Europe, overrun? Is the man who said those words clearly in touch with reality? How many people have extreme views or are adopting fears against Islam for example, and we have a main political group suggesting we are fighting some sort of war that we could eventually loose.

    I am not wanting to cause trouble, but when I here that type of language I do immediatly believe it is coming from the British National Party...

    Perhaps you could shed some light on the matter, who are the enemy that we fear of being overrun by? Do you believe it was sensible to create an 'enemy' for political purposes?

    If the Conservatives believe we need nuclear weapons incase of Europe being overrun, are we talking about enemies as in what the Conservatives regard as their enemies or something else?

    I may have got it wrong, but maybe the Conservatives were talking about the ideological battles that we shed blood for, but why should a democracy fear change, especailly when change can only be brought about by the people themselves?

    You see, I am rather puzzled.

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  • 184. At 00:52am on 17 May 2009, Florence wrote:

    105 ForteanJo: What a giggle. Dalyell was on the Lesley Riddoch show on Friday and she introduced him as "Sir Tam Dalyell, never a man to claim for clearing his moats". Egg on face, I think!

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  • 185. At 01:09am on 17 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #182 - Whilst, as bighulla has pointed out, your knowledge of libel law is probably on par with mine (i.e. lacking), I do take your point about weighing the gains against the potential damage, especially if the the rest of the Scottish media rallies round "one of their own", or at the very least attempts to make sure they themselves aren't next in the dock for the "smears" they printed.

    It's a common accusation that some people on these blogs are perhaps too sensitive to criticism of Salmond and co, and whilst I would never give credence to the reluctant postman's description of cybernats, there is some truth in these accusations. So it's difficult to use these blogs as a gauge as to whether things should be just left to fizzle out or whether the lawyers should be going in guns blazing.

    Something I'm sure SNP headquarters will factor in to any decision is how this whole affair turns out. In people's zeal to see MPs brought down and brought to heel, if any backlash threatens Salmond, directly or indirectly, I'm sure steps will be taken to protect him. If that means the likes of our Muriel's next appearence is at a court near you, so be it.

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  • 186. At 02:08am on 17 May 2009, Tim wrote:

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

  • 187. At 08:50am on 17 May 2009, Slaintmha wrote:

    Re libel: Scots Law is very convoluted on what constitutes libel and is no where as clear cut as the equivalent English Law, this is why the English Courts are full of libel accusations while the same action is as rare as a hen's tooth in Scotland.

    Before those of us who wish for independence get on our high horse to defend Wee Eck we need to remember that 'flyteing' (the personal and often inaccurate attack on a fellow politician by use of a pamphlet) has a long tradition in Scotland in Scottish Politics. Burn's poem about Westminster elections from Kirkcudbrightshire and Dumfries is a classic example and is far more scurrilous than even Miss Grey's piece of vitriol.

    So embrace it, its part of our culture and let Wee Eck sort the bunch of 'Wailing Wullies' out in his own good time, at his own pleasure as his handling of Elmer Fudd and Tavish oft shows. The more they squeal, the more they are worried - and the Westminster piggies are squealing plenty.

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  • 188. At 09:13am on 17 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Latest opinion poll - Labour 17%.

    Anyone remember when Lord Sutch got more votes than the SDP?
    ----------

    187. At 08:50am on 17 May 2009, slaintemha:

    I think you are right. Unless something really outrageous is alleged, Alex can handle himself quite well.

    As for Muriel Gray, she should stick to her Munro bagging.

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  • 189. At 09:38am on 17 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I have mentioned on this blog site, on a number of occasions, that there were going to be various 'black ops'/'black propaganda' (whatever you want to call it) against the SNP, especially leading up to the referendum. Normally, this would just be a natural process of political infighting between the various unionist parties, what makes the Nationalist parties different (SNP, Plaid Cymru, and to an even greater extent; Sinn Fein) is that they are seen by the establishment as a 'danger' to the integrity of the UK. They would, of course be correct in this assumption. However, the former two parties have only advocated democratic means to achieve their goals.
    So, don't be surprised that the Scottish media is going to be biased against the SNP as it will, quite happily, do all in its power to denigrate those in the SNP, even if that means twisting the truth out of all proportion to reality, or even trying to demean those in the SNP with 'trick questions' or accusations of 'conspiracy'.
    We can all see what is happening in the media, and it is going to get worse. So, to try and bring libel or slander charges against the accusers in the media is just walking into their traps because they would have a field day against the SNP. Just let their accusations wash over us and get on with the job of politically fighting the Unionist parties (in a democratic way) on the street and in the press.
    Even though many of us may not like the overt biasedness of the BBC against the SNP and might not warm to Brian's handling of Scottish politics; they still allow us to post our views on their sites; for that I am grateful and still have hope that BBC Scotland may come good in the end, but I'm not holding my breath.

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  • 190. At 09:44am on 17 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 187 slaintemha

    'So embrace it, its part of our culture and let Wee Eck sort the bunch of 'Wailing Wullies' out in his own good time, at his own pleasure as his handling of Elmer Fudd and Tavish oft shows. The more they squeal, the more they are worried - and the Westminster piggies are squealing plenty.'

    I agree wholeheartedly with this post.

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  • 191. At 10:54am on 17 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    BH mentioned that some posts on here are potentially actionable, something I agree with.

    But for the SNP to take action, and for people to refer such posts to the SNP, is potentially a minefield.

    How many regular posters on here have had posts referred? Everyone.

    Some are referred for the most dubious of reasons, but some could certainly by considered libellous. The BBC has removed them where a complaint has been made, but the content will be held by the BBC. Any libel action would almsot certainly demand the details of these posts. So demanding action against certain posters on here could possibly backfire, and could end up with blogs such as these ceasing.

    Better to stick to political arguments.

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  • 192. At 11:29am on 17 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    slaintemha 187

    gedguy2 190

    I totally agree with both your posts. It is a sign of the unionist parties ever increasing desperation as they continue to loose ground to the SNP.


    One thing that highlights this more than anything else is the clinging to the "only one fifth of voters want independence" they think if they keep repeating that it may just sometime come true.

    The only way we will counter that is getting round the doors with our leaflets.

    P.S. Has any one seen Murphy? is he doing a Macavity?

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  • 193. At 11:38am on 17 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Nice little story in The Sunday Express.

    It is a very small sample, taken from the national poll. It has however about the same numbers as a poll Labour highlighted which showed them in a slight lead. They cannot have it both ways.

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/101585/Poll-predicts-SNP-landslide-of-MPs

    Lets not get tied up over suing, get out on the doorsteps.

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  • 194. At 11:42am on 17 May 2009, Gaelstorm wrote:

    Reading Iain Macwhirter's comments in the SH today reminds me of my own feelings in 1997. Although an SNP supporter, I too welcomed Bliar & felt betrayed subsequently. The tories are the reverse of the same coin.
    According to Macwhirter, the situation's hopeless with the current MPs & it's difficult to see a solution.
    I can only see one, & it would also be an incredible policy shift from Broon. He could use the crisis to leverage a PR bill for Westminster. Passing this would give him the following benefits:
    1 Immediately divert attention from both the Expenses debacle, & the Credit Crunch
    2 Put the opposition on the back foot
    3 Inevitably hugely change the MP base
    4 Improve his leadership ratings & status
    5 Provide him with a legacy
    6 He might have a remote chance of actually ending up as PM after the next election-something that is not going to happen the way things are.

    Where is the downside?

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  • 195. At 11:56am on 17 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 194 Gaelstorm

    I cannot see the MPs of Westminster allowing THEIR parliament to radically changed by a Scotsman. The English MPs are already complaining about the 'West Lothian' question as it is. Therefore, allowing a Scot to further degrade THEIR parliament, will be the last straw for many of them...actually it might be a good idea :-)

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  • 196. At 12:50pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #194 Gaelstorm

    "According to Macwhirter, the situation's hopeless with the current MPs & it's difficult to see a solution."

    I suppose admitting their guilt, starting to do an honest day's work for fair pay, and not stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from the taxpayer is out of the question then?!!

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  • 197. At 1:09pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Dr Patrick Dixon, in his 1996 book "The Truth About Westminster" described in complete detail "How MPs fiddle their expenses" (pp. 67-68).

    He exposed everything we now see before us, from fiddled tax returns to ridiculously inflated second home expenses to phantom mortgages.

    This proves to me the excuse currently being widely peddled by the media that "nobody knew what was really going on" is patent nonsense.

    If no one else, then Patrick Dixon knew what was going on, as did the anonymous MPS he interviewed.

    Why has the BBC not interviewed Dr Dixon to show that MPs have known for decades the system was rotten to the core?

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  • 198. At 1:31pm on 17 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 196 bighullabaloo

    'I suppose admitting their guilt, starting to do an honest day's work for fair pay, and not stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from the taxpayer is out of the question then?!!'

    Heaven forbid that the MPs actually stand by their title of being 'honourable'. You are asking far too much of them.

    # 197 bighullabaloo

    'Why has the BBC not interviewed Dr Dixon to show that MPs have known for decades the system was rotten to the core?'

    For the BBC not to put over a prime time programme exposing this atrocious behaviour of our honourable MPs in the midst of the 'mother of all parliaments' (apologies to Saddam Hussain) would seem that you are pointing to the BBC's complicity in all of this. We all know that the BBC would never take such a dishonourable course in its, well known, unbiased reporting.

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  • 199. At 1:41pm on 17 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Anyone care to explain why my #191 has been referred to the moderators?

    It doesn't break the rules, it doesn't slander anyone, it doesn't contain profanity or unacceptable language.

    Either the moderators do not like criticism of their lack of consistency in moderation, or someone is being extremely petty.

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  • 200. At 1:47pm on 17 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #197. bighullabaloo

    Its online The Truth about Westminster

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  • 201. At 1:49pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #198 gedguy2

    "You are asking far too much of them."

    Yes, how silly of me to ask of MPs no more than what they impose under the threat of financial penalty or jail on all of us.

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  • 202. At 1:54pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #199 Neil_Small147

    It's possible someone is being extremely petty. You shouldn't rule out the possibility that it's the moderators themselves.

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  • 203. At 2:02pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Did anyone see Michael Portillo on "This Week" cautioning us all that if parliament stopped MPs doing outside jobs "you'd be asking people to live on £63,000 a year".

    The assorted guests and host Andrew Neil visibly gulped at the thought of how horrible life would be if one was forced to scrape by on such a paltry sum.

    I had to pinch myself to see if I was actually seeing it or whether I was having a credit crunch bad dream.

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  • 204. At 2:07pm on 17 May 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    I don't agree that we should be "grateful" to BBC Scotland or BT or anyone for expressing our views. We pay for this service and that's the end of it. Just remember that this is the same corporation that used to preclude Scots from employment for being "too Scottish" and which still enjoys a 9% Scottish revenue over 3% Scottish spend and which has had to be dragged screaming and kicking to reflect Scottish life and culture in any thing like a satisfactory manner - none of which have been resolvd in a satisfactory manner IMO.

    Furthermore, I am surprised at some recent contributions of people who appear to support independence. We don't need to be aggressive or shrill I agree as things are definitely moving in favour of the SNP and independence. But we don't need to be overly concerned about voicing our opinions either. That 'feartieness' is one aspect of the Unionist culture I can't wait to see the back of.

    Glenn Campbell was his usual disgraceful self on the Politics Show but John Mason should have been better briefed about Salmond and the expenses claim.

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  • 205. At 2:10pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #200 cynicalHighlander

    Thanks for posting the link.

    Everybody can read it for themselves. The relevant section is in Chapter 3.

    Here's a taste: "Obviously the cost of a London flat will vary according to size and location, while those who have been MPs for years may have small or non-existent second mortgages, and large capital gains from a second property in London when they leave Parliament."

    Patrick Dixon writes: "MPs may have small or NON-EXISTENT second mortgages". I mean how spooky is that?!!!

    I see he's also mentioned the "large capital gains from a second property in London when they leave Parliament" - another MP scam highlighted by The Telegraph last week.

    Dixon interviewed anonymous MPs before 1996 for this book and they told him everyhting then what we see being exposed now.

    They've been sitting on the rotting pile of dung that is Westmintser for at least 10 years and for goodness knows how long before that.

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  • 206. At 2:27pm on 17 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 204 bluelaw

    'I don't agree that we should be "grateful" to BBC Scotland or BT or anyone for expressing our views.'

    I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. I'm sure you'll get used to where I'm being sarcastic.

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  • 207. At 2:30pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #204 bluelaw

    "That 'feartieness' is one aspect of the Unionist culture I can't wait to see the back of."

    Yes, I really must try to control my "feartieness". LOL

    p.s. please tell me Campbell wasn't dredging up Salmond's "recess" expenses claim that Salmond himself has said was for expenses incurred during the parliamentary session?!!!

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  • 208. At 3:50pm on 17 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

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

  • 209. At 4:17pm on 17 May 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    Ok. Lost in translation.

    Glenn Campbell did indeed hector John Mason on Salmond's expenses a couple of times.

    The reason Scotland isn't already independent is because of fear.

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  • 210. At 4:44pm on 17 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Criminal investigations into MPs' expenses 'will take years'

    I see we've a 'job's worth' mod on duty!

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  • 211. At 4:57pm on 17 May 2009, cmcg1234 wrote:

    The Tories will never have a big part to play in Scottish politics. There's no place for pure greed in Scotland and there never will be.

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  • 212. At 5:30pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #210 cynicalHighlander

    So they are going to waste another mountain of our money on so-called "investigations" that we all know before they even start will not result in even a single prosecution.

    Even if there are, by some miracle, one or two prosecutions we know the guilty parties will spend at most one fifth of their "sentence" before being allowed out for no valid reason. What's the point?

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  • 213. At 6:22pm on 17 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 210 cynicalHighlander

    Just read the link, thanks. Any MP who is being investigated for the theft of our money should immediately step down as an MP. I wonder how many will do so? I liked the statement by the Chief Constable of North Wales, Richard Brunstrom who said:
    'We cannot forgive the banality of people who steal from the public purse and then have the gall to believe that if they hand it back, then that makes it all right. They have no respect for the process and these revelations, I believe, warrant criminal investigation.'
    Now I hope that Chief Constables in Scotland take a leaf from his book and investigate their own MPs, who have been named by the Telegraph, to see if there has been any illegal activity.
    The comment by Anne Widdecombe is fantastic:
    'I'm afraid where there has been deliberate fraud, and I choose my words carefully, where there has been deliberate fraud, I would say some of these cases must surely amount to that.'

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  • 214. At 6:37pm on 17 May 2009, uk_abz_scot wrote:

    Brian - regarding "the stench from Westminster" ( given that at the Scottish Parliament folk have had to resign for very modest amounts of money ) - I would have thought this ought to play into the hands of the SNP. The Euro election results will be interesting.

    Incidentally was it not said in 1707 that the old Scots parliament was sold for a few pieces of silver from the Westminster expenses system?

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  • 215. At 7:19pm on 17 May 2009, scottish_solstice wrote:



    SNP claim the UK government blocked his appointment from the committee on MP expenses...

    http://news.stv.tv/scotland/96770-snp-shut-out-from-expenses-reform-panel/

    Unbelievable!

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  • 216. At 7:50pm on 17 May 2009, scottish_solstice wrote:


    Labour leader Iain Gray abusing his expenses......


    http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scotland/Gray-under-fire-over-rent.5274732.jp

    Browns expenses, so just so we don't forget...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/gordon-brown/4840117/Gordon-Brown-apologises-over-rent-expenses.html

    Don't they know the rules, the rest of the country do!

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  • 217. At 8:00pm on 17 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #212. bighullabaloo

    I understand your skepticism, like mind, but we have to have some investigation and the police rather than some crony committee will be the best judge as a lot of their members are taxpayers as well.

    #213. gedguy2

    Fingers crossed rather than funny handshakes!

    Ian McCartney claimed for champagne flutes and £700 table and chairs

    "Mr McCartney said he had claimed for a dinner set and champagne flutes because, when he was a senior minister, he had to hold meetings at his home. He said: I had to feed people."

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  • 218. At 8:38pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Just in case anybody might miss it, Glenn Campbell had two goes at Alex Salmond on Politics Scotland over the an alleged claim for food during the parliamentary recess.

    In the first Campbell suggested: "Perhaps (Salmond should) offer to pay back some of the food money he was claiming when parliament was shut?"

    In the second Campbell said: "Shouldn't Alex Salmond pay back the 800 quid he claimed one summer for food that clearly he couldn't have eaten at Westminster?"

    Note the very sneaky twist here of suggesting the food had to be eaten "at Westminster" as if it was impossible for an MP working on parliamentary business to eat food anywhere but Westminster!

    These not-very-subtle digs are all very well except for the fact Salmond has made it crystal clear the expenses WERE INCURRED DURING THE PARLIAMENTARY SESSION: "In terms of 2005-06 and the summer recess, MPs still go to London during the recess, and in any case bills incurred during the parliamentary session often fall during that period, for example for Commons dining facilities."

    Is the this the last time BBC Scotland are going to attempt to stuff this malicious lie about Salmond down our throats or are they going to keep doing it until some people actually swallow it?

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  • 219. At 9:02pm on 17 May 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    Once the MPs are sorted out , I hope the people of the UK take on the
    " impartiality" of the BBC and check out just how they spend our money.

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  • 220. At 9:15pm on 17 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #143 ubinworryinmasheep

    I don't think you can have been at a party conference (of any party)!

    Dean's strategy might well work!

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  • 221. At 9:36pm on 17 May 2009, Tim wrote:

    OK so maybe Mr. Salmond did claim the food allowance within the Parliamentary session - but it does seem to be for quite a lot of food!
    However, I'm somewhat more concerned about Mr. Angus Robertsons penchant for expensive telly's and cinema systems 'to watch pre recorded political TV programmes' I beg pardon - surely a bog standard TV/DVD recorder would do for that - it doesn't exactly need to be in HD! - if indeed that it is what it was for! Over £2k for a telly. Just goes to show that the gravy train is for everyone!

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  • 222. At 10:03pm on 17 May 2009, Craig Comerfrod wrote:

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

  • 223. At 10:13pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #221 donstim

    "OK so maybe Mr. Salmond did claim the food allowance within the Parliamentary session - but it does seem to be for quite a lot of food!"

    Anyone who's seen Salmond knows he probably ate a lot of it himself!

    But it looks like you're assuming in a pretty breathtakingly petty fashion that Salmond spent all of the money on himself!

    It's never occurred to you, then, that some of the money may have been spent on meals as part of courtesy Salmond showed to people he entertained at the House of Commons?

    Can I take it you've never actually worked for a company that paid allowances for entertainment in the course of business?

    Or maybe you think Salmond should invite people for lunch then say: "Sorry, you'll have to pick up your own tab because Her Majesty's Government don't stretch to yours!!"

    Just how ridiculously petty can you SNP haters get?!!

    And before you come back with the classic: "How do you know it was for shared meals?" let me ask you:"How do YOU know it wasn't?!!!"

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  • 224. At 10:18pm on 17 May 2009, timepassescarmichael wrote:

    Ten remarkable years behind us and I find it all seems so very much still ahead of us. The idea of 'new politics' was a non-starter, but, big deal, that was all just Labour talk, anyhow. 'Scottish solutions to Scottish problems', more Labour talk: just ask about Scottish solutions to the recession, and watch those little pretendy red rosettes spin in the air as those earnest wee Labour types turn their heels and flee. I like the idea of a pretendy parliament: it's good to talk.

    It got me a-wondering what other countries this model of union these Labour types advocate as '-ish solutions to -ish problems'. Perhaps these red rosettes would like to travel to Portugal and lecture the Portuguese people about their terrible affliction of independence: devolution, that's what the Portuguese need. In fact, let us all start a fund to send these red rosettes all across Europe on a lecture tour to advocate devolution for all. Lets see how far they'd get. I would suggest thoroughly short shrift would be the order of the day for the most part. And then, back they would come thoroughly dejected, and start lecturing people in Scotland again about the terribleness of independence.

    Short shrift; red rosettes, Tories, managed democracy, devolution, ten years. And wars, and WMD, and lies and lectures, and now Westminster grubbing expenses (at least there's some nice bookcases on which to rest the WLQ). I bet you're wondering what all this is called, all this nonsense, for nonsense it is. It is anomie, and there's no getting away from it, it was ushered in by Labour, and Labour will see it out.

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  • 225. At 10:22pm on 17 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

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

  • 226. At 10:22pm on 17 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    donstim

    I know you would not like to get your facts wrong here. re over 2k for a telly.

    Angus Robertsons claim for the TV was for 1175 pounds, this was turned down and he was paid 750 pounds, still a lot of money but does not compare to claims for mortgages that have been paid off or mortgages that never were.

    I believe one was for 13000 pounds and one was for 14000 pounds.

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  • 227. At 10:28pm on 17 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #221 - "OK so maybe Mr. Salmond did claim the food allowance within the Parliamentary session - but it does seem to be for quite a lot of food!"

    Well, it has to be seen in the context of Westminster allowances. If we keep in mind that Salmond could have claimed 3 times as much for food, and some MPs (yes, we're looking at you, Mr Speaker) actually did, it perhaps doesn't seem as much.

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  • 228. At 10:29pm on 17 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Another Labour MP with a mortgage payment.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5340293/MPs-expenses-Officials-colluded-over-mortgage-claims.html

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  • 229. At 10:45pm on 17 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    It get's worse for Labour and Martin.

    Click here

    I haven't seen The Politics show but will view it later to see Campbell's performance.

    I'm sure this guy is going to make a major error on air at some point.

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  • 230. At 10:55pm on 17 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Re my post 228

    My post 228 was the link to the same article in the Telegraph that greenockboy posted at 229.

    Do different mods do different posts?

    Strange that one is allowed and the same link is moderated.

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  • 231. At 10:58pm on 17 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Note that we are now entering legal legitimacy now with a number of claims.

    The attempt by the BBC in Scotland to conflate a ridiculous claim for food with these more serious transgressions is quite pathetic.

    Remember that The Telegraph have only reviewed around 15% of the receipts thus far. It makes you wonder what else lies in wait.

    Don't be surprised if the Unionist establishment decide that Holyrood's reputation has to be sullied in order to somehow 'taint' it. They simply cannot do anything about the sleaze emanating from Westminster and this could have serious implications for the Union.

    Bringing our institution down may well be their only option, otherwise Scots may well look to it as an alternative !!

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  • 232. At 11:34pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    I've just been reading about the latest batch of MP's dodgy property deals at our expense and the whole thing now is now becoming truly sickening: more and more, bigger and bigger, greedier and greedier every day.

    These "people" - and I use the word loosely - are the "world-saving super heroes" who were "leading us all out of recession"!

    This systematic large-scale fraud on the taxpayer - that's the only way to describe it - is now challenging the recent US Ponzi scams for its sheer, contemptible venality.

    I was one of those people who'd said virtually all their life that MPs were "all in it to line their own pockets" and virtually all my life I was shouted down as being "cynical" and "negative".

    I'd reply there was a difference between being "cynical" and calling things as I saw them. I never could see why I should doubt my own opinion based on what my common sense was telling me about what I saw with my own eyes.

    NO ONE is saying to me now that I'm "cynical" or "negative". They're too busy picking their jaws up off the floor.

    The problem is that what I'm seeing now is far beyond what even I thought was probably the extent of the rottenness of the Westminster dung heap. This is corruption on a mind-blowing, indefensible and almost incomprehensible scale!!

    We now know the real reason why politicians always sound so totally detached from the reality of our own everyday lives and struggles.

    It's because they created for themselves this cossetted, protected little world of financial security based on a supply of unlimited free cash from the "mugs" - US!

    Theirs is a fabulous unreal world where you can literally get anything you want or need for free, without having to spend any of your "hard-earned" salary to get it!

    What a wonderful world that must be, eh?

    No wonder MPs are the only ones who still believe it's possible to work hard and get on in this country... and not what it is for us: an exhausting lifelong struggle up a greasy pole followed by a life of near-penury in retirement (unless of course, your name happens to be Goodwin!)

    No wonder MPs stand there and can tell us without smirking: "You've never had it so good!" It always seemed as if they actually believed it - and lo and behold - they DID actually believe it - because FOR THEM IT WAS TRUE!

    In their fantasy world "WORK" still made sense. At the end of each day their own life was better than it had been the day before.

    But for the rest of us, still living in reality, the days when working hard, saving hard, sacrificing everything for your family, AND having something to show for it at the end of it, were a long distant memory.

    Never again will someone call me "cynical" about MPs. For that alone, I am grateful, even if it's a victory tinged with real sadness at the pig sty they have created for us.

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  • 233. At 11:54pm on 17 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realise that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."

    Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 June 5, 2004)

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  • 234. At 00:07am on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    I can't get the thought out of my head: these "MPs" have spent years setting up the system so that they were the only ones who could make any meaningful financial progress in their lives - whilst the rest of us were taxed to the very breaking point of what we could afford.

    Tax on this, tax on that, tax on the taxes in some cases! Taxed for watching TV for goodness sake! People in other countries have laughed at me in disbelief when I've told them that!

    Anyone who said MPs had created a system designed simply to milk the masses were dismissed as "nutjobs" and "conspiracy theorists".

    This "crazy" idea that the system was set up so MPs could line their own pockets was the stuff of adolescent fantasy, we were told.

    Well, open your eyes!!!

    The "fantasy" is now horribly real.

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  • 235. At 00:21am on 18 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/8054532.stm

    No mention whatever of the fact Labour has dipped under 20% in the Euro polls and is polling consistently in second place in Scotland for Holyrood and now Westminster ... come on BBC give the people some "news"!

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  • 236. At 00:32am on 18 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Brian
    Was there any mention of CMD's "policy" of reducing the number of MPs by 10%? I can't believe it is for real, yes there are less snouts in the trough but it is also adding on a Cowdenbeath to every remaining constituency. It'll be the voters who miss out, down from 1 in 73000 to 1 in 81000. It's got to be a soundbite, showing I'm doing something when Global isn't.
    I still think my suggestion that we send 430 of the troughers back to their constituencies without a salary has got legs. Afterall, 121 members in a Parliament of 215 is no better or worse than 363 in a House of 645 and the added "whip" of being sent salary-less back to your constituency strengthens the party leader no end. The big problem is to get turkeys to vote for Christmas, but I'd be happy to have all the other faults pointed out as well.
    Open season, how can you refuse!

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  • 237. At 00:49am on 18 May 2009, Tim wrote:

    Bighullabaloo,
    Just to set the record straight: No i've never worked for a company with a an entertainment budget. I'm a public servant too in the NHS.
    I'm not an SNP hater, I just think there are better options. Indeed I get on very well with Angus and have debated policy with him on a number of occasions!
    For my part, Angus knows my views well too, and while at times they may converge, we do agree to disagree on other things!

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  • 238. At 01:59am on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #237 donstim

    The "record" doesn't need "setting straight".
    I got your number right first time: you haven't got the slightest clue how things work in government or the private sector.

    And don't bother waving your "public servant" badge of honour at me. I've had enough of that this week to last me a lifetime.

    I for one wouldn't want my MP - especially if he was the First Minister of Scotland - to tell people they'll have to pay for their own lunch tab - which is the logical conclusion of your ridiculous post.

    I've got more pride in my own country than that.

    I notice though you didn't even bother to address the possibility that the bill wasn't entirely spent on food for Salmond alone. You've never experienced that type of thing before therefore it doesn't exist!

    In fact you are only interested in jumping on the "Salmond's excessive food bill " bandwagon. In order to do that you have to conveniently ignore the fact his claims were little more than a third of what they could have been.

    You're "not an SNP hater"?!! We can definitely "agree to disagree" on that.

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  • 239. At 02:49am on 18 May 2009, Tim wrote:

    Hullabaloo,
    You obviously seem to wish to offend - for whatever narrow reason, that is your right. I mentioned it once inthe post and you take it like it is the big sandwich! I very much have the perception that you are too quick to attack all that with which you do not agree with. Again, that is your right - but your party's MP's certainly seem to present themselves in a more civilised debating light, rather than pouring ordure over a comment/s that you - as a Nationalist deem unacceptable.
    However, winning arguments certainly doesn't depend on how much scorn you pour on the opposition, or mocking them because they disagree with your view. As far as SNP hater - I suggest you ask some of your parliamentarians - they would obviously know me better than you assume to!

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  • 240. At 04:27am on 18 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #239, "You obviously seem to wish to offend - for whatever narrow reason, that is your right."

    Careful, if you put out statements like that people may just point to excesses of your own, #37 is full of them for instance.

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  • 241. At 04:41am on 18 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

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

  • 242. At 06:26am on 18 May 2009, Tim wrote:

    #240
    In post 37 - imerely pointed out the fact that it appears to be open season on the tories, and noted that ALL parties have been caught out - to a greater or lesser extent. Following that with an explanation as to why the community charge was introduced in Scotland prior to to England. In addition I had a go about the SNP justice (!) policy. At no time did I - or would I - cast slurs on the occupations or otherwise of bloggers to the site!

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  • 243. At 08:25am on 18 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 217 cynicalHighlander

    'Fingers crossed rather than funny handshakes!'

    Funny handshakes in Scotland! Surely not.
    Seriously, though, I suspect that you may correct in your assumption. Not that I have anything against the organisation of 'old boys' network as such; more the people who abuse it. I'd be very surprised if there were any investigations, in Scotland, which resulted in convictions and not just because of that. It is going to be difficult to convict them of breaking the rules that they themselves have set up. I'm not holding my breath on that one as I suspect the corruption of these expenses may run even deeper.

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  • 244. At 08:53am on 18 May 2009, The_Oncoming_Storm wrote:

    Just heard James Sheridan being interviewed by John Humphries this morning on the issue of Martin and the latest revelations about Ben Chapman's mortgage. Sheridan came out with this cracker, "How is the Speaker meant to know what is going on in the Fees Office?!" Because as the senior official of the house he is responsible for them! I nearly went into a ditch because I was laughing so much! No wonder the Scottish sub-sample of the weekend's ComRes poll had Labour on 19%, 11 points behind the SNP and 7 behind the Tories!

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  • 245. At 08:57am on 18 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    #221 donstim
    Why do people keep rabbiting on about Alex Salmond's food bill? What do you think he has done, bought a year's supply of caviar? It's a non-event.


    #226 dubbieside
    The tv claim is minor in respect to other claims, but that does not justify the cost.


    Had a trawl through various political parties' websites at the weekend. Labour does not have a single item about the expenses. Obviously it never happened.......

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  • 246. At 09:06am on 18 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 245 Neil_Small147

    Don't mention caviar, we'll have the Scottish media reporting that he stole the eggs from the poor sturgeon.

    'The tv claim is minor in respect to other claims, but that does not justify the cost.'

    Fair point.

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  • 247. At 09:33am on 18 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    Donstim:

    It's difficult to see what actually supports your claim, that you are not anti-SNP.

    In your #38. you have a dig at Salmond. This is despite Salmond being open about his intentions for the Scottish Parliament and to become First Minister. If the public still voted Salmond after that, then what business is it of yours that they are an MP and MSP too?

    In your #221, you then appear to bitterly accept that perhaps Salmond did purchase the food during Parliament and made the claims during recess. You then decide to have a dig and suggest it appears to be alot of food! You can't let go and accept you were wrong, especailly when we have others claiming for their Castles to have extra towers built and a new draw bridge over their moat (Just jesting, but you know what I am on about).

    Then you quickly decide to pick on another SNP MP, despite others claiming ridiculous amounts of money for non-essential items, others claiming money for homes that are paid for already (fraud) and well others choosing to purchase a house rather then take the hour train ride to Parliament.

    You had an opportunity to bring a balanced point into the discussions. However you have choosen to continue to pick on the SNP when they clearly were the least worst offenders. I am not happy with Angus either, but there is no way you have shown a balanced opinion and you have repeatedly attacked one party - the Scottish National Party.

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  • 248. At 09:36am on 18 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #245 Neil, good morning, labour home .org were fighting back on Sunday they had a blog entitled "the good guys -decent labour MP's "
    they listed the grand sum of 5 yes 5 labour MP's (none Scots or Scottish constituency by the way)
    5 out of around 350 what a result!!
    not surprisingly it ain't there today. but you can still view it via Guido Fawkes blog on the right hand side under SEEN ELSEWHERE.

    Glad to see radio Scotland are still doing their bit as they had lord haw -haw on again this morning , he wasn't very happy with Glenn Campbell's line of questioning and told him so , wonder if Glenn will ever recover , what a laugh
    Sid

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  • 249. At 10:13am on 18 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #246, quote:"Don't mention caviar, we'll have the Scottish media reporting that he stole the eggs from the poor sturgeon."

    ... I hope your not referring to Nicola! LOL *;o)

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  • 250. At 10:20am on 18 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 249 BoNG0_1

    Shame on me. I'd forgotten about that angle. I nearly had a heart attack laughing. I still can't get the picture out of my head.

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  • 251. At 10:41am on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "I very much have the perception that you are too quick to attack all that with which you do not agree with."

    My "attacks" as you put it aren't based on what I agree with or don't agree with.

    They are based only on whether people are deliberately spreading malicious lies and smears about anyone - whether it's Salmond or not.

    Such people - including you - insist on doing this even when the actual facts are put right in front of their face here on this blog.

    If you'd written "Salmond could do with losing a bit of weight" that would be an undeniable fact - I imagine he'd agree with it himself!

    But that's not what you wrote. You insist on stating - as if it were an undeniable fact - that Salmond's expenses claim "does seem to be for quite a lot of food!"

    This statement is intended purely to bolster the false impression that Salmond has claimed more money than he should have. The truth is he barely claimed a third of what he could have.

    You then insult my intelligence by claiming you're not taking an anti-SNP stance - and expecting me to believe it! I see others here are not swallowing that any more than I am.

    If I claimed Gordon Brown or David Cameron had wrongly claimed £50,000 for a mortgage that didn't exist I'd be shouted down here by people angrily telling me I was spreading a malicious lie.

    I see people here spreading exactly such lies but apparently I'm not entitled to point it out, and if I do I'm accused of "narrowly seeking to insult and give offence."

    YOU are the one giving offence.

    Your so-called "harmless" little dig at Salmond's truly unremarkable expenses claim offends my respect for the truth and I'll continue to say so whether you like it or not.

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  • 252. At 11:26am on 18 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    I see the BBC are covering the launch of a brand new political party.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8054532.stm

    Scottish Labour! never heard of them, when were they launched?

    Some mistake surely,they must mean London Labour North Briton branch. Or do they think that this will distance themselves from their pals in Westminster?

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  • 253. At 11:47am on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #252 dubbieside

    "Working Together for a Better Future"?

    Ugh!

    Who writes "Scottish Labour's" campaign slogans? The "Lame Duck Advertising Agency"? It would be hard to pick a less inspiring, less motivational and utterly flat message.

    I'd suggest: "SCOTTISH LABOUR: Got to Pick A Pocket Or Two!"

    Or how about: "SCOTTISH LABOUR: Shurely shum mishtake?"

    Oh, hold on, they might have a problem finding the right actor to voice the second one!

    Maybe others would like to make a few suggestions?

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  • 254. At 12:02pm on 18 May 2009, Richard_the_Rogue wrote:

    #253, bighullabaloo

    How about

    "SCOTTISH LABOUR: We don't actually exist!"

    to go along with

    "NEW LABOUR: Soon, we won't exist either!"

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  • 255. At 12:07pm on 18 May 2009, bobbishop wrote:

    #253

    "Scottish Labour" - it wisna us, it was them doon Sooth tae.

    Best wishes.

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  • 256. At 12:16pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #254 Richard_the_Rogue

    Excellent!

    Here's another one to get people's juices going:

    "SCOTTISH LABOUR: Never knowingly defrauded the taxpayer!"

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  • 257. At 12:18pm on 18 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    bighullabaloo

    Working together to make our future better.

    We will take what you've got.

    Expenses, bring it on.

    Never knowingly under claimed.

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  • 258. At 12:19pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #254 Richard

    An sincere attempt to enhance your superb first effort:

    "SCOTTISH LABOUR: We don't actually exist - and neither do our mortgages!"

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  • 259. At 12:24pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #255 bobbieshop

    Brilliant! It reminded me of Bendy's wee stunner (you remember the one, the campaign she spent all the money on even though she was the only candidate):

    "SCOTTISH LABOUR: A big boy did it and ran away!"

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  • 260. At 12:43pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Gordon Brown has just told the audience at the launch of the bid to bring the World Cup to England: "It'll be the greatest sporting event our country has ever seen!"

    Says it all really. Might be Gordon's country but it certainly isn't mine.

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  • 261. At 12:46pm on 18 May 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #252

    Keep them comming, what about

    SCOTTISH LABOUR - Simply the best, ask the BBC

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  • 262. At 12:49pm on 18 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Comment 252:

    Yes, I had a look at the article before reading your post and the there is a clear overuse of the words 'Scottish' and 'Scotland'.

    It is very clear that the article has been worded in order to diminish the UK aspect of the Labour party and try (falsely) to suggest that there exists an autonomous entity here in Scotland.

    There is one word for such factual manipulation and subliminal suggestion.

    PROPAGANDA.

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  • 263. At 12:59pm on 18 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8054532.stm

    "The party's six Scottish candidates will launch their campaign manifesto - Working Together for a Better Future - at an event in Glasgow.

    They will be joined by Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy and Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray."

    ...So there will be 8 of them at the Launch then! Not a bad turn out for Liebour all things considered. *;o)

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  • 264. At 1:04pm on 18 May 2009, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    I was a bit concerned this weekend to get a leaflet drop from UKIP, the BNP and "South of Scotland Labour" all at once on Sunday morning.

    Apart from telling me that they don't have the activists and are having to pay somebody to drop their election literature, I'd be quite concerned to have my leaflet pushed through the door folder along with the BNP and UKIP.

    But this new political party, Scottish Labour, claim that

    "There is no division of responsibility for getting out of recession".

    Can we maybe start with Allocation of responsibility for getting INTO recession ?

    I also note with interest that "Scottish Labour (is)....always prepared to work internationally to solve the great problems of the world".

    Presumably, by sending the Member for Wishaw in his solar topee off to Malawi ?

    My contribution to the Sloganeering.....

    "SCOTTISH LABOUR: When we win, we're British, when we lose, we're Scottish".

    or, looking at the picture in the article

    "SCOTTISH LABOUR: Closing down sale. Every seat must go".

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  • 265. At 1:08pm on 18 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    Questions in the House of Commons this afternoon have been brought forwad - 2.30pm rather than 3.30pm - which I'm told is unusual. It's been suggested on NR's blog that this is so that the Speaker can give his statement to a (virtually) empty Chamber.

    Which, presumably, someone's advised him that what he's about to say won't be terribly popular - i.e. it won't include the words "I hereby tender my resignation."

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  • 266. At 1:12pm on 18 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Jim Murphy's back and making ridiculous utterances again:

    "The UK Government's 'cash for bangers' scrappage scheme will boost the motor trade in Scotland, a senior politician said today.

    Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy said the initiative would help by "kick-starting" demanded for new cars."


    This scheme is falling apart already, as reported yesterday there is a funding row between the Treasury and car manufacturers - who have threatened not to participate in the scheme.

    Doesn't Murphy question anything at all before he reads the script? Do Scottish journalists realise the damage they do to their own reputations by compliantly printing this stuff?

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  • 267. At 1:14pm on 18 May 2009, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    #263,

    Oh, there'll be more than 8 of them there.

    I wouldn't fancy anyone's chances of getting through to the BBC Northern Britain Newsroom at PQ this afternoon......What betting for blanket coverage and an interview or seven on Reporting Northern Britian tonight ?

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  • 268. At 1:14pm on 18 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    SCOTTISH LABOUR - You Elect... We Collect!

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  • 269. At 1:18pm on 18 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    Quote from Labour:

    'That is what defines the Scottish Labour Party - passionate about Scotland, determined to help middle income and modest income families, and always prepared to work internationally to solve the great problems of the world.'

    This is what it should be:

    'That is what defines the Scottish Labour Party - passionate about expenses, determined to help themselves, and always prepared to work internationally to have our snouts in a bigger trough.'

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  • 270. At 1:22pm on 18 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    comment 262 - yep it is propaganda , but they can't even do that very well . i agree with the picture that accompanies the piece.
    CLOSING DOWN posters all over the window

    Scottish Labour - as believable as there expenses, as believable as their claims to care.
    2 out of the 3 don't exist & the 3rd is made up.
    answers on a postcard.
    Sid

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  • 271. At 1:27pm on 18 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    All
    I'm afraid there is such a thing as the Scottish Labour Party and it files accounts with the Electoral Commission. ( Income £1,000,000 )

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  • 272. At 1:28pm on 18 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Labour will try to keep Martin in position until the worst of this is over, then he will be ousted. Labour will try to suggest that this is the end of the matter and hope that the public will be satisifed.

    The Tory's and Lib Dems will want him ousted now.

    The SNP are wise to keep out of this unionist civil war, they will reap thebenefits no matter what.

    The Scottish media do not know what to do because they do not know what revelations will be forthcoming next. With Wendy Alexander they very quickly tried to present the scandal as some sort of SNP witch hunt with Wendy Alexander being 'hounded' from office.

    They don't have this card here and the fear is that there are damaging revelations to come from Scottish Labour MP's.

    The attempt at implicating the SNP with the food/cork screw and toblerone nonsense hasn't worked. For once we are witnessing a Scottish media with absolutely no control over news headlines - and look at what is happening !!

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  • 273. At 1:44pm on 18 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    "Scottish Labour - the independent voice of Scotland! Don't listen to the wicked SNP, the party of the Union. They need the Union to survive! How else will Alex eat all of Sturgeons eggs!"

    It wouldn't aurpise me if Scottish Labour tried to accuse the SNP of unionism.......anything is possible.......

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  • 274. At 1:56pm on 18 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #273, Not a bad idea... The SNP would more than likely do Unionism better than the Unionists. LOL

    We just swap the parliaments around, make Holyrood the UK authority and give Westminster some non-tax raising devolved powers for England. *;o)

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  • 275. At 2:05pm on 18 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 273 Neil_Small147

    'How else will Alex eat all of Sturgeons eggs!'

    Now that is a picture I definitely don't want to have in my head. I think Nicola may be a bit shocked too.

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  • 276. At 2:05pm on 18 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    BoNG0_1 re 268

    SCOTTISH LABOUR - You Elect... We Collect!

    The best yet will Labour use it on their election leaflets?

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  • 277. At 2:12pm on 18 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    They are getting their excuses in early. We would have won but that nasty English media have told people about us.

    http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.2508907.0.Expenses_row_Labour_in_Scotland_admits_parties_face_snub_at_polls.php

    See Murphy still has to follow the English line, the BNP will benefit, not in Scotland they wont. In England you can take your pick of three conservative parties, in Scotland we have a real choice.

    Notice to the BBC, Herald, Scotsman, your headline after euro vote "this is a short term protest vote our supporters will return at the next general election"

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  • 278. At 2:23pm on 18 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 274 BoNG0_1

    We can even site the nuclear subs in Canary Wharf in London. I wonder how long a government would be in office if they did that?

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  • 279. At 2:31pm on 18 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 277 dubbieside

    Quote from Labour, Jim Murphy:

    'We all understand people's frustration but a vote for the BNP is a vote for the politics of hate and racism and holocaust denial.'

    I think it is a touch disgraceful that Jim Murphy should use the holocaust as a political point to further the cause of the Labour Party in Europe. Shame on him!

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  • 280. At 2:42pm on 18 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    "Scottish Labour" shouldn't be allowed to use that as their "name", especially considering they never bothered registering it with the electoral commission.

    Notice how the BBC just automatically accepts it, as opposed to them struggling alongside Labour when those nasty SNP people had the audacity to create something called "The Scottish Government"!

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  • 281. At 2:42pm on 18 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #278, Gedguy, no worries, we just tell the English that the Nuclear deterrant is not a devolved issue for Westminster, but is under the remit of Holyrood *;o)

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  • 282. At 2:45pm on 18 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #242 aye right! #37

    "most of the vitriol dripping from the jaws of the Uber Nats who seem to believe that is is their way (or the 'Great Salmonds' way!) or no way at all."

    and

    "In Scotland we have turned into whinging subsidy junkies, and it really is time to have the Conservatives back, if for no other reason, than to repair the huge mismanagement of the Labour years, and to have a sensible debate with the SNP to prevent them screwing up the Scottish economy any further."

    Those are both slurs, and there are plenty other examples in your other posts. No amount of carping about supposed "facts" can hide that.

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  • 283. At 3:05pm on 18 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #279, the only Holocaust Jim murphy should be concerning himself about is the impending annihilation of the Labour Party at the coming Euro Elections!

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  • 284. At 3:06pm on 18 May 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    Chortling at the excellent logos for Labour North British Region.

    Mine would be (and for them sadly actually is) SCOTTISH LABOUR : NO THISTLE FOR US, WE PREFER THE ENGLISH ROSE.


    I noticed that in all the party political broadcasts for the Euro elections the wee North British regional manager was secondary to the real boss based at Westminster i.e Cameron, Brown or Clegg.

    Incidentally the next hurdle to be overcome will be countering attempts by the media to conflate the feared protest votes for the BNP in England with votes for the SNP in Scotland. It may even have started already.


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  • 285. At 4:04pm on 18 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    According to the Times Online (3:48pm this afternoon) -

    "It's all over. The business of the House moves on. The MPs file out, appearing very disgruntled after their procedural defeat. Mr Martin has delivered an apology but has not made any indication as to his own future."

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  • 286. At 4:07pm on 18 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    Further to my #285 - the link for anyone who wants it.

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  • 287. At 4:37pm on 18 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    It never fails does it? The speed at which certain members will take any issue; no matter how grave and serious; and turn it effectively into another division to promote a rather discredited seperatist agenda.

    Oh, and as I continue to look down the list, it really doesnt stop to bemuse me that we always seem to end up talking about independence (which the majority of Scots do not want).

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  • 288. At 4:38pm on 18 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    I'm off to get drunk and hope the queen dissolves parliament (before the damn army start getting any ideas again...chuckle)

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  • 289. At 5:08pm on 18 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I watched the Speaker's apology in the house today and was fairly impressed by his handling of the points of order. He seemed sincere enough but I wonder if he will be able to last.
    David Cameron is calling for an early general election; surprise, surprise. He's got as much hope as the Arabs beating the Gers; if only. I can't see Gordon Brown admitting defeat and going to the electorate before his time is up. I suspect that he will try to hold on for as long as possible hoping that this nasty expenses row will fade into the background as the media find something else more interesting to write about. I can just imagine a whole horde of reporters are going to be dined by the labour faithful to show them in a more favourable light. I wonder how they are going to claim those expenses. I will expect Labour to get a 'gubbing' at the Euros and I also expect the Conservatives to do well in England; probably not in Scotland, though. They have left too many bad memories here to do that well.

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  • 290. At 5:09pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #280 pattymkirkwood

    "Notice how the BBC just automatically accepts "Scottish Labour", as opposed to them struggling alongside Labour when those nasty SNP people had the audacity to create something called "The Scottish Government"!"

    Whatever can you mean?!! Everyone knows the BBC is impeccably impartial on all political matters!

    Oh yeah....and my head buttons up the back.

    Or, at least, it would have to in order to believe the bilge the BBC comes out with.

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  • 291. At 5:15pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "David Martin told the Scottish Labour launch at the Glasgow Science Centre : "We think we have a good message."

    The message is (TA_DA!): "Working together for a better future".

    (Sound of giggles being stifled behind hands, pens dropping and sudden coughing fits)

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  • 292. At 5:17pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Labour leader Iain Gray said: "There is no division of responsibility"

    Yes, Iain, but the real question is: what do you get when you divide responsibility by zero?

    Answer: Labour's chances at the Euro elections.

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  • 293. At 5:21pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #277 dubbieside

    "See Murphy still has to follow the English line, the BNP will benefit"

    Maybe I picked Murphy up wrong? I could have sworn he said: "the SNP will benefit".

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  • 294. At 5:22pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Someone just remind me again, how many British National Party MEPS did Scotland vote in at the last Euro elections?

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  • 295. At 5:33pm on 18 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    What... last post which has been moderated is #284 @ 3:06pm... it is now 5:33pm!

    I guess the Mods are being told to stifle all this 'wholly un-acceptable' Nu-Liebour bashing?

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  • 296. At 5:39pm on 18 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    One of the 'balancer' stories that used to be used by the Scottish media whenever they were looking to deflect from Labour bad news was a Trump story. However, over time this grew less and less until the only outlet that would occassionally drag it up was The Scotsman.

    That the BBC in Scotland has desperately resorted to this old and discredited tactic says all you need to know about Labour's current malaise.

    Newsdrive on Radio Scotland this evening provided yet another example of what I believe to be bias within the BBC in Scotland.

    Professor John Curtice (yes, him again) was yet again informing the listeners that the beneficiaries of the Westminster 'troughgate' scandal is UKIP, the SNP were again completely airbrushed out of the picture with no mention whatsoever.

    As my irritation grew it then dawned on me what the BBC in Scotland are doing:

    In the knowledge that Labour are in freefall over these revelations and the Lib Dems and Tories aren't going up in the polls either, the BBC up here are very subtely PROMOTING UKIP.

    Think about it for a moment, every one knows that the SNP are benefitting in Scotland, there is simply no other credible alternative to Labour. Extrapolation of UK poll numbers indicates a significant swing in both Euro and Westminster elections.

    Now, the Scottish media are basically powerless to prevent the crescendo of sleaze stories reaching Scotland and the resultant harm to Labour. So, what they do is to try (however pathetically) to implicate the SNP in the mess. They also at the same time 'push' a relatively benign party as the 'repository' of 'protest' votes.

    By completely ignoring the polls in Scotland the BBC are effectively acting as agents for UKIP.

    When Scottish news items, anchored by politically aware presenters and pundits, persistantly overlook the party of government in Scotland who have, by all accounts barely been scratched by these revelations, then questions as to motive must be asked.

    It is one of four reasons:

    1. The presenters and pundits are genuinely ignorant of the increase in support for the SNP and truly believe that in Scotland ony one party will benefit - UKIP.

    2. The presenters and pundits are aware that the SNP are seeing an increase in support but they are being prevented (by guidelines) from saying so on air.

    3. The presenters and pundits are aware of the increase in support but have decided themselves that they will not report it.

    4. The SNP are showing no indication of increased support at all.

    I believe reason number one is unlikely given the knowledge and experience of Scottish political presenters and pundits.

    The fourth reason can be dismissed by extrapolating UK polling results that do indeed indicate a significant movement to the SNP from Labour.

    This leaves either reason's two or three ....

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  • 297. At 5:44pm on 18 May 2009, rickyross wrote:

    If we are in Europe and unfortunately we are. Why is Scotland so poorly represented? 6 MEP's with a population of 5 million. Denmark and Finland get 13 with the same population. Luxembourg with only 500,000 gets em the same as Scotland 6. Who works this out? Or is it a case that England grabs some of ours?

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  • 298. At 6:13pm on 18 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #287 - "it really doesnt stop to bemuse me that we always seem to end up talking about independence (which the majority of Scots do not want)."

    And, if course Dean, it's always worth mentioning in the same breath that the majority of Scots are not against it, either.

    As for Labour Slogans - "It's all within the rules (just don't mention we made the rules!)"



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  • 299. At 6:16pm on 18 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    After Martin's apology today, it seems the earlier predictions are coming true. Gordie will be his usual dynamically inactive self and Martin will ride out the storm.

    Och well, just another 10 months of this shower, then.

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  • 300. At 6:19pm on 18 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Electoral Commission and Wiki

    Can they legally use SCOTTISH LABOUR on any election leaflet as they don't appear to be a registered party and it could be argued as to be misleading, not that they would!

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  • 301. At 6:24pm on 18 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #288. deanthetory

    Don't get too drunk as you might wake up in a foreign land. slainthe

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  • 302. At 6:38pm on 18 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Broon abandons "Gorbals Mick" to his fate

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8055614.stm

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  • 303. At 6:41pm on 18 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    DeanTheTory:

    #287.

    "It never fails does it? The speed at which certain members will take any issue; no matter how grave and serious; and turn it effectively into another division to promote a rather discredited seperatist agenda."

    It never fails to amaze me that unionists will continue to nit-pick their words carefully in order to effect public opinion.

    Seperatism is usually associated with something wrong, but why have you decided to use a word that describes a region seperating from another or country, when the UK situation is different because the Union is based on Law, a Law between two country's?

    Is this your high opinion of Scotland, that you seek to belittle our nation?

    It also reasonable and should be expected that this situation would be a boast of independence. This is Westminister, the Parliament or all Parliaments, the bread and butter to our lives that has destroyed public trust.

    If you feel that this situation should/would not effect the independence issue then you are clearly loopy. The people of Scotland, espcially the majority of the undeciders, they see this and wonder is this the best thing for Scotland?

    Oh, and as I continue to look down the list, it really doesnt stop to bemuse me that we always seem to end up talking about independence (which the majority of Scots do not want).


    Besides what are you basing your claim on that the majority of Scots do not want independence? Ah, polls? The same polls that only do represent a small amount of Scots and never, ever 100 percent accurate (Ireland Referendum for example).

    I have an idea Dean, let's ditch democracy. We can base this country's future on polls, because apparently they do represent the public better then all these elections.

    Also did you read what I had to say on the Tory Conference?

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  • 304. At 6:45pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #296 greenockboy

    My money's on theory no. 1, but only this part: "The presenters and pundits are genuinely ignorant".

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  • 305. At 6:51pm on 18 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #297 rickyross3359

    I think this is one of the benefits they call the Union Dividend.

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  • 306. At 6:55pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #296 greenockboy

    "every one knows that the SNP are benefitting in Scotland, there is simply no other credible alternative to Labour."

    Which is why the BBC looks so ridiculously biased every time they refuse to acknowledge that the SNP - and indeed the whole idea of an independent Scottish government - is benefitting from the now total collapse of trust in the Westminster pigsty.

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  • 307. At 7:11pm on 18 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    bighullabaloo re 293

    Murphy will never say the dreaded letters SNP unless it is to smear.

    He knows and everyone in Scotland knows that the SNP will benefit massively at the Euro vote from the Westminster expenses scandal. They cannot bring themselves to say it and are hoping that if they and the BBC ignore it , it may not come true.

    deanthetory re 287

    If you keep repeating "the majority of Scots do not want it" mantra about independence do you think it will come true.

    Last opinion poll I saw was, for 42%, against 40% with the rest undecided. The telling part of the poll was of the undecided, 35% of them would vote yes to independence if there was a tory government at Westminster.

    I do not have a link to that poll but I am sure some like greenockboy will have one, that is if you dont already.

    Keep wheeling out Forsyth, lest we forget just how nasty the nasty party always have been and always will be.

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  • 308. At 7:18pm on 18 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #296 GreenockBoy, I just watched...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00klch7/The_Politics_Show_Scotland_17_05_2009/

    You can always tell who is speaking honestly in a debate (rather than sound-bites) and I think Mr John Mason came away looking the most believable (although the Liberal guy did ok).

    I think the Labour guy might wish he never said half that stuff when the speaker of the house is booted. *;o)

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  • 309. At 7:21pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #300 cynicalHighlander

    The BBC has doctored the blog software so any links in posts lead to error pages.

    They don't want people ruining all their propanganda efforts by posting links to websites where people will discover the BBC isn't telling them the truth.

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  • 310. At 8:11pm on 18 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #300 pmk
    Not only does Scottish Labour exist as an accountable party but also the words Scottish Labour are a permitted designation for candidates from the Labour Party. Legally they exist, whether they are Scottish in any more than name and registered office at John Smith House, I really couldn't comment!

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  • 311. At 8:31pm on 18 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    John Austin claims £35,000 for flats 11 miles from home

    "They also highlight the fact that MPs just outside London can claim as much as those in the Scottish highlands, despite being able to commute to Parliament in under an hour."

    All unemployed should press for training into how to become an MP as there are going to be an awful lot redundancies in that department.

    Telegraph circulation up by 100,000 and still have 80% of receipts to look at.

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  • 312. At 8:36pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Looks like I'm not allowed to point out the BBC has fixed the site so people can't go to links that disprove their propaganda!

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  • 313. At 8:51pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #307 dubbieside

    These Unionists have long arrogantly relied on the knowledge that the status quo is always hard to shift.

    What they're in denial about is that the status quo collapsed last week.

    Now reality is going to jump up and give them the first of many bites on their smug backsides.

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  • 314. At 8:57pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    And here's the reason why the Unionists are rightly worried: "The first four days of revelations about MPs' expenses published in the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph boosted net circulation of the two titles by around 220,000 copies, with the sales bounce expected to continue across this week as further revelations about contentious claims were unveiled."

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  • 315. At 9:10pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "In the past year Labour MP John Austin has claimed for a £250 'illuminated mirrored cabinet' from John Lewis."

    Why on earth is an "illuminated mirrored cabinet" necessary for an MP do his job?

    It really is utterly ridiculous.

    I hope every Scot gets out there and shows Labour and the Tories what they think of them at these Euro elections.

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  • 316. At 9:21pm on 18 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 287 deanthetory

    'It never fails does it? The speed at which certain members will take any issue; no matter how grave and serious; and turn it effectively into another division to promote a rather discredited seperatist agenda.'

    It never fails does it? The speed at which a Unionist will totally disregard the expenses row when it affects their own party. Where is the moral indignation that the Tories are famous at spouting, while looking down their noses at the majority of people whom they see as under them.
    What has happened to their humble pie, unless, of course, they are using that to fill in their moats as they can no longer claim expenses to have it cleaned. Instead we have the usual unionist attitude; attack the Nationalists. Maybe people would have a bit more respect for their party line if they took the same attitude as their leader who stood up and faced the electorate with immediate plans to stop this expenses scam. Instead, they run off to get drunk.
    I hope that they aren't going to claim the drinks bill on their own expense account.

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  • 317. At 10:08pm on 18 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    A whirlpool bath and a week away for whips

    We house them, feed them, provide them with luxuries and even holidays welcome to the Westminster holiday camp all inclusive no tax.

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  • 318. At 10:37pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #317 cynicalHighlander

    Yes, that's what we do for them.

    I think at some point the question has to be asked: what do they do for us?

    I mean, apart from bringing the economy to its knees and spending billions on illegal wars nobody in their right mind wanted?

    I once invited people on this blog to give an example - just one simple example - of anything any MP had ever done for them that had a direct beneficial effect on their personal circumstances.

    There wasn't a single reply.

    When it comes right down to it MPs don't do a single useful thing for anyone other than themselves.

    Getting rid of these vermin will be a struggle of centuries - a battle for those who come long after we're gone.

    But I would like to see Scotland cut itself free from this stinking Westminster cesspit of greed in my lifetime.

    That at least would be a first step in the right direction.

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  • 319. At 10:44pm on 18 May 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    #310 handclapping
    #300 cynicalHighlander

    There is no such thing as the Scottish Labour Party. If you look in the Electoral Commission's Register of Parties you won't find it.

    However the British Labour Party has registered "Scottish Labour Party" as a "Party Description" with the Electoral Commission which legally allows the term to be used on Labour election literature.

    The SNP did something similar and registered "Alex Salmond For First Minister" for use on election literature in the last Scottish elections.

    The British Labour Party can legally use the following on their election literature:
    Labour Party Candidate
    Labour Party Candidate/Ymgeisydd Plaid Lafur
    Scottish Labour Party
    Scottish Labour Party Candidate
    The Labour Party Candidate
    Y Blaid Lafur

    The term "Scottish Labour Party" is just a legally registered alternative description for the British Labour Party. The same applies to the "Scottish Lib-Dems" and the "Scottish Conservatives" which are also just registered party descriptions for the British Lib-Dems and the British Conservative Party. You won't find any of the big three "Scottish" variety of parties in the electoral commission register as distinct and genuine parties.

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  • 320. At 11:08pm on 18 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #319 DougtheDug
    If you look in the Electoral Commission's copies of the accounts of political parties, you will find the accounts of the Scottish Labour Party of John Smith House, Glasgow, audited and all, with income and expenditure. It exists as a separate entity. How separate is another matter, on which I have no information.

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  • 321. At 11:13pm on 18 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #319. DougtheDug

    Thanks for clearing that up. I heard Foulkes still peddling his story that the people aren't that angry with MPs, must of been in his private club.

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  • 322. At 11:43pm on 18 May 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    Interesting views Greenockboy. I'm not sure they are intelligent enough to be that cynical and for the UKIP thing to be planned. They're all so stupidly in awe of London that they take all their leads from there. I think they're flattering them simply by impersonating them.

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  • 323. At 11:59pm on 18 May 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    #320 handclapping
    If you look at the [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]on the Electoral Commission site you will find that the "Scottish Labour Party" does indeed return accounts but it does so as an accounting unit of the Labour party. It has the same status as the Romford and Sevenoaks accounting units of the Labour party which respectively lie above and below it in the Electoral Commission list. When you open the PDF click on the "Labour" link at the top of the page to jump directly to a list of their accounting units.

    Accounting Unit returns mean nothing. If you're not on the Register of Parties held by the Electoral Commission you're not a party.

    This however does not mean that a party cannot organise regionally within its internal structure.

    The Conservatives work in a similar pattern to devolution where there is a supreme British Parliament and subsidary and subservient regional parliaments.

    The British Conservative Party has a main British leader and subsidary and subservient Scottish and Welsh regional organisations and leaders.

    The Lib-Dems despite their protestations of federalism work to the same principles. There is a British Party and and subsidary and subservient Scottish and Welsh regional organisations and leaders. For any Lib-Dems out there, bonus points if you can supply a link to the English Lib-Dems website and the name of their leader.

    The Labour Party is the odd one out. It doesn't believe in devolution at all and has no regional structure or leaders. Those who take an interest in Scottish politics will know that Wendy Alexander's and now Iain Gray's lack of clout outside Holyrood is due to the fact that neither had or has anything approaching the regional leader status that Tavish and Annabel have.

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  • 324. At 00:18am on 19 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    318. At 10:37pm on 18 May 2009, bighullabaloo:

    Well, my local Labour MP did sort out problems with the council about 10 years ago. Linda Fabiani didn't even respond!


    I think what Labour has done (doesn't affect me!) is the minimum wage. Combined with the benefits, Labour are likely to use this as a weapon against the Conservatives at the next general election. It can be a surprisingly effective one. But is probably the only one they can really wield effectively.

    Will they use it in Scotland? Perhaps, but the SNP could easily bounce that one back more effectively than the Tories could.

    But the expenses issue I feel is going to cause a lot of deselection of MPs, and soon. Labour activists are livid with the behaviour of their MPs.


    #296 greenockboy

    How the BBC thinks the UKIP has any chance up here is beyond me. But in England the focus will be on the BNP. Labour are already putting out the fear that the BNP will have their first MEP. But it is a definite probablity - look at Barking & Dagenham, they are the official opposition with about 12 seats.

    But I don't think the EU elections carry the same significance as a general election. Most people do not have a clue or are not interested who their MEP is or what party they represent.


    Any views on the Speaker? I think he is going to get ditched, simply because he is making things worse for Labour.

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  • 325. At 00:18am on 19 May 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    re 318

    The fact you got no reply is much more likely to be a reflection of yourself than of any of the rubbish you spout.

    You should be careful of your call to rid Scotland of vermin, you might get what you wish for.

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  • 326. At 00:56am on 19 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #287

    The latest polls (our tomorrow) show a substantial drop in support for the Tories though Labour is still suffering the most. The latest Scottish opinion poll (System Three ,published in the Sunday Herald a fortnight ago) showed 42% of Scots in favour of independence and 40% opposed.
    Sweeping statement that most Scots don't want independence made by those who are blockig democratic moves to ask them don't cut any ice with me.

    The most lasting effect of present troubles will be the dissolution of the union. A reasonable and honest Parliament respected around the world and an economically vibrant UK are the stuff of the union. They're both deid.

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  • 327. At 01:06am on 19 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #324

    Neil Small has been on about this before. Linda Fabiani is a list MSP. The protocol is that any matter she has put in front of her by a constituent is sent on first to that constituent's constituency MSP. his has nothing to do with parties. A list MSP will only intervene if the constituency MSP fails to act. The existence of list MSPs acts to guarantee that the local MSP WILL act.

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  • 328. At 01:48am on 19 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #324, Neil - arguably the minimum wage has had more of a negative than a positive impact as it is pulling down wages, and so many are now working for the statutory minimum than was the case on introduction.

    Don't know what it would take to save Labour's bacon now - meteor strike perhaps?

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  • 329. At 10:18am on 19 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #328, nothing less than a miracle LOL *;o)

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  • 330. At 10:28am on 19 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #325 northhighlander

    "You should be careful of your call to rid Scotland of vermin"

    Oh, yes, I forgot, I should have said we also need to get rid of people who are prone to issuing aggressive threats - even though it does reveal their bully-boy mentality.

    I'm afraid your puffed-up, frightened bully-boy tactics don't scare me. Not even a tiny bit.

    But it's always nice to see it, because it means I've hit a nerve.

    I know you don't like it when the truth is out on the table for everyone to see.

    I also notice you haven't offered even one example of an MP doing anything practical to help anyone.

    Which is just further proof if any was needed that what I wrote was correct.

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  • 331. At 10:30am on 19 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    The Labour sleaze keeps on comming.

    http://www.scotsman.com/politics/Expenses-row--MP-traded.5279929.jp

    If I have got this right, one Labour MP sold his flat and some furnishings to another Labour MP. He claimed 4000 pounds for the second hand furnishings. The first Labour MP then bought new stuff for his new flat, and claimed that on expenses.

    Now I am wondering, did we the taxpayer pay for this second hand furniture when it was first bought? You could not make this up.

    Will the neutral un biased BBC cover this, or does wee Glen only jump up and down about food expenses and a bar of Toblerone?

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  • 332. At 10:34am on 19 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #324 Neil_Small147

    "Problems with the council"?

    I can safely take it your council is SNP run and you had some politically-motivated complaint then?

    That's not what I meant and you know it. I'm talking about a single non-political act that helped an individual's personal circumtances.

    I know you have probably never seen such an act in your lifetime but that's no excuse.

    In the past they were called altruistic acts. You know, things that an MP claiming to be "serving the people" might do.

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  • 333. At 11:09am on 19 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 332 bighullabaloo

    I have to admit that I have used my local MP, Justine Greening, to send a letter to a well known mobile phone company when I complained at the illegal charges they were foisting upon us. Both of them sent a letter to the concerned company who immediately refunded monies and promised to stop allowing their network to send unsolicited and expensive texts. This was after I had spent time and money trying to do the same.

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  • 334. At 11:28am on 19 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #333 gedguy2

    So, in return for countless billions of pounds of our tax money spent over several hundreds of years to feather the nests of nearly seven hundred blood-sucking parasites, one of them managed to get you a 20 quid refund from your mobile phone company?

    I stand corrected. LOL

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  • 335. At 11:41am on 19 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #333 gedguy2

    Just out of interest who are the "both" you refer to in your post?

    I assume you weren't referring to Justine Greening as "both of them"?

    Who was the other one?

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  • 336. At 12:07pm on 19 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 335 bighullabaloo

    Sorry, I should have put it in the singular. However, the other letter was from my solicitor. Hope that clears it up.

    PS. It was 60 quid but I sympathise with your point.

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  • 337. At 12:34pm on 19 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #336 gedguy2

    Yes, it does clear it up, thanks.

    The fact of the matter is Justine didn't manage the 60 quid refund on her own and nobody can say for certain whether it was the leverage of her letter or your solicitor's that led to the refund, although it was almost certainly the latter.

    So the best we've got so far is a "joint effort" of an MP and a solicitor as an example of an MP doing something that actually benefitted an individual.

    In which case, I do not stand corrected. My original point remains perfectly valid.

    Got an example of something an MP did ON THEIR OWN that actually benefitted you, or is that it?

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  • 338. At 12:50pm on 19 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 337 bighullabaloo

    To be fair, keeping in mind that I do sympathise with your postings on this matter, the company concerned did phone me and asked me not to keep sending letters to my MP and, the solicitor did say to me that it was a 'grey area' but he would send the letter anyway. By the way, the solicitor's letter cost more than the refund but there was a matter of principle at stake so I was 'happy' to pay it.
    So, I cannot say with certainty that is was solely my MP's letter which did the trick.

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  • 339. At 1:35pm on 19 May 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    The customary self-serving froth and spin was predictably showcased at "Scottish" Labour's European campaign launch this week - actually talking up the "threat" of a far-right party which poses no electoral threat whatsoever, whilst deliberately talking down their strongest opponents in the hope that the public will tar them with the same soiled brush as themselves over the Westminster expenses scandal.

    In truth,, Labour would be delighted to see a large protest vote for British Nationalism - however unsavoury, for whatever misconceived or twisted reason, and however unlikely that may be in Scotland - if it meant that their real nemesis, the SNP, was denied, however unjustly, the opportunity to gain the largest share of the Scottish vote.

    While Labour's current election soundbites sound remarkably similar, as ever, to what we've heard from them at every past election - devoid of any meaningfully positive message, and full of doom-and-gloom negativity about the fabricated "dangers" of an SNP win - both they and the Tories are reduced, as never before to pleading, "don't judge us by our actions [which speak most loudly] - vote for us on the basis of our [latest] words [designed to conveniently distance us from past and ongoing betrayals of trust] ..."

    Meanwhile, the desperate campaigning by MPs to oust the Speaker - who, at worst, was merely a part of a systemmatic scandal in which they themselves were entirely complicit - is a brazen case of individual scapegoating which only further illustrates the capacity of Westminster members for breathtaking, manipulative hypocrisy in the interests of self-preservation.

    Despite this, there are indications (certain sections of) the unionist media, having milked the relatively minor expense claims of SNP MPs for all they are worth, are gearing up to 'dish the dirt' on the wholly legitemate, registered and transparent expenses of SNP MSPs, in a concerted anti-SNP witchhunt between now and June 4th's critical vote.

    With the 2007 Holyrood elections and the poisoned attacks of the gutter press on the eve of the vote - a stain on our supposed democracy and on any notion of 'balanced journalism', still infamous in recent memory - no gratuitous repeat of such desperate behaviour should come as a surprise.

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  • 340. At 1:58pm on 19 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 339 Dougie-Dubh

    Did you expect anything less from them?

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  • 341. At 2:08pm on 19 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #338 gedguy2

    "I cannot say with certainty that is was solely my MP's letter which did the trick."

    That is exactly my point.

    You can't say with any certainty that her letter actually helped you. So she can hardly be described as an example of an MP that helped you.

    I didn't suggest it was solely the solictor's letter that "did the trick". I merely said it was a combination of two letters and there is no way of knowing for sure which resulted in the refund.

    My common sense is telling me they weren't shaking in their shoes when they got the MP's letter.

    It was most likely only the involvement of your legal representative and the fear of setting a precedent other customers could use to create a large number of similar claims that bothered them at all.

    I note you haven't given any other examples of an MP doing something ON THEIR OWN that benefitted you, so as far as I'm concerned my original statement stands.

    No one has so far offered a single example where an MP helped them personally.


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  • 342. At 4:47pm on 19 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 341 bighullabaloo

    'the fear of setting a precedent other customers could use to create a large number of similar claims that bothered them at all.'

    I suspect that you are closer to the truth on that point.

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  • 343. At 02:52am on 24 May 2009, rog_rocks wrote:

    It was ok, but I am a bit fed up seeing it time and again, and am not overly fond of the main actor!
    ?
    I found Mars Attacks more entertaining :)

    IXI
    l

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