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Regaining order in the Commons

Brian Taylor | 06:36 UK time, Wednesday, 20 May 2009

And so he's gone. Michael Martin has resigned as Speaker. He had to go: his handling of the expenses affair had been poor, weighted far too heavily towards secrecy and resistance to change.

But ask yourself this. Do you think the views of the voting public will have altered one jot as a consequence? Will they now regard MPs with trust rather than disdain?

Thought that might be your answer. There are bigger issues here than Speaker Martin. He is the fall guy, not the answer.

This evening the prime minister said, following cross-party talks, that there would now be collective efforts to clean up politics at Westminster, including an end to the practice of MPs determining their own pay package.

That might help, I suppose, if it is carried through, if it is delivered. However, I suspect it will take a long, long time before trust is regained to any significant extent.

That is because trust was already in short supply. The expenses abuse tends to confirm rather than counter the established views of the voters.

So what now? A by-election? Doesn't have to be one: Mr Martin could remain as an MP for his Glasgow constituency until the general election. Indeed, there was some speculation that he might pursue that route - but the firm expectation as of now is that a by-election there will be.

In July? Well, that worked really well for Labour when they appealed to the voters of Glasgow East in a swiftly held by-election last summer. Result: SNP gain.

Autumn? Perhaps, perhaps.

But then remember it's not entirely in Labour's gift to decide. This is not a Labour seat, it was won by Michael Martin as Speaker.

However, if and when it is held, the by-election will feel and operate like a Labour defence.

Not, all in all, the best time for the party of UK Government to be defending its record.

Comments

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  • 1. At 07:32am on 20 May 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    "This is not a Labour seat, it was won by Michael Martin as Speaker."

    As pointed out on the previous thread the MSP seat at Holyrood is, and has the largest Labour majority in Glasgow.

    "However, if and when it is held, the by-election will feel and operate like a Labour defence."

    That did work well for them in Glenrothes, presenting themselves as underdogs in a seat they hold with a comfortable majority.

    With any luck voters won't be conned into thinking that Labour are hard pressed when they know they've actually got it in the bag, with any luck people will let their feelings be known.

    Hopefully this won't just be a protest at the expenses issue or Mr Martins conduct on the issue, but rather a reflection on what attitudes prevail in Scottish politics today at a Scottish level.

    Mind you that could be wishful thinking if a terrier's up for election.

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  • 2. At 07:53am on 20 May 2009, Jake-the-S wrote:

    I think that we should be more concerned as to who will replace Mr. Martin as speaker rather than who will win the by election.
    My preference (although not a Tory voter)for speaker would be someone like Anne Widdecombe who I am sure could whip them into order. I hope they pick someone with a bit of backbone this time something I fear Mr.Martin sadly lacked.
    If and when a by election is held will anyone really feel like voting another leech into the system.

    "This evening the prime minister said, following cross-party talks, that there would now be collective efforts to clean up politics at Westminster, including an end to the practice of MPs determining their own pay package."

    The cleaning up of politics will take time a long, long time and when it is "cleaned up" will it really be deep cleaned or just on the surface?

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  • 3. At 08:36am on 20 May 2009, englishvineyardman wrote:

    Brian,

    The Scot Nat's must be rubbing their hands with glee if Martin causes a by-election. I wonder if a deal will be done to encourage him to stay until the general election with the promise of a move to the Lords? Or do you think Martin has decided that having failed as speaker he should go and not care about the damage to Labour? If he does go I can't see labour holding the seat as a protest vote would go the SNP's way.

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  • 4. At 08:45am on 20 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    Putting aside the party political stance, it is sad that Michael Martin had to go. He has been used as a scape goat in this crises. If he did not have his snout in the trough then I think he would still be the speaker, but he did and his defence of the corrupt rules of the house has only put the final nail in his political coffin.

    As to the great voting public, we all know that we are fickle and some new newsworthy crises will eventually rise to draw the voting public away from this crises. This is why I suspect that Brown will try to hold the by election as late as possible. I know that as a speaker it is not up to the government but I can't see David Cameron insisting the by election should be held a quick as possible, for the reasons that you mentioned above.

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  • 5. At 09:01am on 20 May 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    It's quite right that he went. He himself was implicated in the expenses' fiasco. Chauffeur-driven rides to watch Celtic play, first class air tickets between London and Glasgow generating air miles for family trips, taxi rides for his wife's shopping trips around London at the tax payers expense is a disgrace. And then he stubbornly and arrogantly did everything in his power to stop all this and other MPs' claims coming to light in a contemptible manner which again involved court cases at tax-payers expense. He gave all those who resented him on class gorounds an open goal and made himself a patsy for the rest of them. In essence he only has himself to blame.

    Westminster won't ever change from within. They are completely out of touch. They are insulated from the realities of modern Britain and only a revolution would sweep away the obsession with history and tradition and class based privilege that pervades the English ruling elites. Any changes will be cosmetic and it will be years before they're implemented anyway.

    Fortunately Scotland has a magnificent get out of jail card called independence. Lets use it.

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  • 6. At 09:02am on 20 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    morning , Mr Martin is indeed a scapegoat, but as such, is but the starter. I look forward to all the other courses still to be served.
    Glad to see the met coming out yesterday saying they will not be investigating the leaking of the information.
    last week the expenses problem was the BBC's fault.
    this week the expenses problem is the speakers fault.
    WHOSE FAULT WILL IT BE NEXT WEEK?
    Sid

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  • 7. At 09:07am on 20 May 2009, Bruce wrote:

    If there is an election, far from it for me to tell the voters how to vote for their MP, I hope that they will consider the fact that next year Scotland will have to face the reality of a Conservative Government in Westminster. I know that I will never forget growing up in the 80's and seeing grown men thrown on the scrapheap, my father included. I would just ask the voters to think ahead and who is best placed to not only represent them but to stand up for Scotland as a whole. My vote would be for the SNP, even with their flaws, labour I am sorry have now consigned themselves to possibly 20 years as the 2nd maybe 3rd party in the UK. This whole mess is sad, the system is flawed across the board and we will have the Conservatives back in power. This time we will need an effective party standing up for Scotland, as I saw the last time the Conservatives were in, that was not Labour.

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  • 8. At 09:46am on 20 May 2009, kaybraes wrote:

    A by election is not what is required, Martin's going is an irrelevance , he was an arrogant little man who allowed his self importance to cloud his judgement.What is required is a general election so that the people can remove this corrupt parliament from office and consign this grotesque parody of a government with it's incompetence and lack of accountability to the dustbin of history. After the disgraceful machinations of Labour , I suspect that the SNP administration will find it much easier to work with the Conservatives who will have no wish to drive the people of Scotland down the road to independence. This amiable alliance may not suit the SNP's long term objectives but I suspect it will benefit the people of Scotland.

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  • 9. At 09:51am on 20 May 2009, minuend wrote:

    Westminster has been BUSTED.

    Fraudulent practices, cronyism, sleaze and corruption amongst the political classes in London has destroyed what little reputation that this so called mother-all-parliaments had left. Now you can add to that list it's new found anti-Scottishness.

    The changes that will happen at Westminster over the next few years will have a profound impact on Scotland.

    1. The number of Scottish MPs will be drastically cut.

    2. There will never, ever, be another Scottish Prime Minister.

    3. Scottish policticians will be excluded from high office in Whitehall.

    I am sure that BBC Scotland will continue to wave the Union Jack from Glasgow, but an English Tory government will have no mandate to govern Scotland.

    PS How long did it take for BBC Scotland journalists to declare it's support for Labour in the forth coming by-election in Glasgow? Seeing and hearing Reporting Scotland last night and GMS on radio this morning - no time at all!

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  • 10. At 09:57am on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "The expenses abuse tends to confirm rather than counter the established views of the voters."

    Brian -

    The expenses abuse has simply confirmed that a vast number of MPs - perhaps even a majority - are dishonest.

    This isn't a "view of the voters". It's an undeniable reality.

    Yet you are STILL trying to peddle the ridiculous Unionist myth that MPs are basically honest. Amazing!

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  • 11. At 10:21am on 20 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #10 bighullabaloo; last weekend the labour party on one of their web-site's ran a blog telling us all who "the good guy's were" they listed 5 MP's at Westminster. don't know how many MP's Labour have in Westminster but they could only name 5 hence the blog dissapearing as fast as it appeared.
    even if the dishonest are not a majority,the rest are complicit . how many MP's do you know that don't like the sound of their own voice.
    they usually have an opinion on everything but they were surprisingly silent on this issue.
    look forward to seeing how they try to kick this in to the long grass
    sid

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  • 12. At 10:25am on 20 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    9. minuend: "The changes that will happen at Westminster over the next few years will have a profound impact on Scotland.

    1. The number of Scottish MPs will be drastically cut.

    2. There will never, ever, be another Scottish Prime Minister.

    3. Scottish policticians will be excluded from high office in Whitehall."


    Get a grip, lad. All of the above is nothing but shrill nonsense.

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  • 13. At 10:52am on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Whilst the Westminster crooks sink further into a stinking mire of their own making, here's a selection of what's happening in Scotland:

    1. Strong rise in Scots retail sales

    2. Europe's largest wind farm comes on stream

    3. Council approves Scottish isles wind farms

    4. The UK's largest renewable energy conference and exhibition opens in Aberdeen.

    5. NHS in Scotland hits national cancer target

    I could go on.

    Scotland shows steady improvements in its economy, its energy production, its health services - all the things people see as really important.

    It's easy to miss these positives. Such stories appear for a day at most on the BBC's "Scotland" page before disappearing forever.

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  • 14. At 10:54am on 20 May 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    Minuend, I think you are spot on with that assumption.
    There will not be a Scottish voice in the new cabinet!

    Not that I care any more what happens at Westminster , I consider it the past and look forward to a Scottish future.

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  • 15. At 11:03am on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #11 sidthesceptic

    Can you believe that they've decided to censor my #10?

    You read it. Can you honestly say there was anything in it other than the unvarnished truth?

    Apparently we are not now allowed to point out that MPs are dishonest!

    The BBC trying to sustain this myth that MPs are simply being "wrongly viewed by the voters" is a gross distortion of the truth.

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  • 16. At 11:03am on 20 May 2009, minceandmealie wrote:

    I read elsewhere that Labour plans to put up Paul Martin as their candidate for the constituency. This poses a couple of philosophical questions: why would you swop Holyrood for Westminster? (answer, there's less to do, and the money's better...) and how does it look for democracy if an MP shamed by expense padding, much of it used to benefit his family (taxis, air miles etc) resigns so he can be replaced by, er, his son?

    How did the Labour party come to this?

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  • 17. At 11:08am on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    In my censored #13 I merely listed five current news stories from the BBC website that reflected positive things happening today in Scotland.

    These included improvements in Scotland's retail sales, energy production, delivery of cancer treatment services, all currently featured on the BBC website itself.

    These the BBC have deemed worthy of censorship. Their own news stories about Scotland that show positive improvements!

    Truly sinister.

    The Unionists are in a worse state of advanced anxiety than ever before.

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  • 18. At 11:09am on 20 May 2009, freedjmac wrote:

    Brian,

    I don't think for a moment that MM will remain as an MP!

    His resignation speech was so short and to the point that it had the hand of the PM all over it - part of the deal to elevate him to the Lords, at £569 per day and a very fat pension to boot!

    There should be no excuses made for MM - he was found out to be an incompetent in his job and was ultimately ejected. In a company, he probably would have been exited immediately. He was, in effect, the CEO of a staff of 620 (MPs) and the public finally found out that the MPs had been running rings around him for years!

    What's now required is for the 'MP fraudsters' to be exited as well - those people who have gone on accepting mortgage cash subsidies for 6 or 18 months after the debt was paid off. That, too, is gross incompetence and these people should be asked to immediately resign their seats. If that extends to even 5 or 6 that, by itself, might be sufficient to trigger a general election.

    Not even the Tories with their snouts well in the troughs too, will necessarily be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect.

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  • 19. At 11:11am on 20 May 2009, Hamish wrote:

    #12 It might be shrill nonsense, but there's a lot of it going about. Just look at NR blog - there's a lot of blame towards the "scottish MP's, Scottish PM" and the "Tartan Mafia".

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  • 20. At 11:29am on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #19 Haminish

    We all know the Westminster expenses disaster will be blamed on Scots in the UK government.

    For goodness sake, even when England were knocked out of the 2006 World Cup it was the fault of the Scots!

    Here's just one example from the Scotsman at the time: "TONY Blair last night rebuked Scots who support any team playing against England at the World Cup and urged fans to rally behind their neighbours."

    Now that really is "shrill nonsense" - but it wasn't coming from us!

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  • 21. At 11:29am on 20 May 2009, mightychewster wrote:

    #19 Haminish

    I wouldn't pay too much heed to NR's blog at the moment, most people are just letting of steam and blaming anyone and everything for the current events

    Most English people don't feel like that in any way. People are angry at the moment but I don't think that there is any real malevolent feeling towards the Scots. Some of the points are valid and worth considering (ie Scottish MP's voting on England only bills and vice versa) as this was a tactic used by the labour administration to push through bills that nobody wanted - it's allowable but not really what parliament was intended to do

    As you know there are folk on both sides of the border who are intent on stirring up trouble between the two nations, best just to ignore them

    There will continue to be Scottis MP's in Westminster and I see no reason not to have another PM (as long as he's way better than the current one :-)

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  • 22. At 11:34am on 20 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Brian
    I appreciate your anxiety that our members are seen to be honourable, the whole rotten Westminster system depends on that fallacy. And if Westminster falls, what happens to a lifetime in political journalism? I am afraid you are Lot seeking for the good man in Sodom and Gommorrah, no disrespect to the wife mind you. However never fret, forget Norway you can get a trip to Oz out of this if you play your cards right. It's a documentary on "And After Westminster, What?" and you can look at politics in Australia, where the public mindset is that all politicians are crooks and the people have to be forced to vote. From there to Zimbabwe perhaps for another view of how your precious Westminster system can play out and maybe back to New Zealand to see how a little country can survive being too poor, too wee and too stupid even with a Westminster based system.
    But don't take too long over it or Scotland might be independent by the time you get back.

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  • 23. At 11:35am on 20 May 2009, Blind_Captain wrote:

    #19

    To continue on this theme; I would suggest that the other constituent parts of the UK, i.e. England, Wales and NI have been badly let down by the contributions of Scottish politicians. The English, Welsh and N Irish people simply deserve better. As do the Scots.

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  • 24. At 11:42am on 20 May 2009, Jake-the-S wrote:

    How on earth can Brown hang on to power in the current circumstances?
    I don't believe for a minute that Downing Street was unaware of the scandal that has been exposed. Do they think that getting rid of the speaker is going to con people into believing them again?
    Is there anyway that the public can force an election?
    Should we refuse to pay our taxes until we are sure that they are being used in a proper and honest manner for our benefit?
    And if we did would we be arrested for tax evasion unlike those thieves and embezzlers of Westminster?

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  • 25. At 11:44am on 20 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    19. And you have vast numbers of anti-UK/anti-English posts on here every single day.

    It's the nature of political blogs. People who regularly post on such usually have very strong, partisan opinions.

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  • 26. At 11:45am on 20 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    20. bighullabaloo: "For goodness sake, even when England were knocked out of the 2006 World Cup it was the fault of the Scots!

    Here's just one example from the Scotsman at the time: "TONY Blair last night rebuked Scots who support any team playing against England at the World Cup and urged fans to rally behind their neighbours."


    Just how does the second paragraph prove the first?

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  • 27. At 11:54am on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #24 Jake-the-saltire

    The word has clearly gone out to "crack down on those CyberNat chappies...they're having a field day!"

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  • 28. At 11:55am on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

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

  • 29. At 12:03pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #26 Reluctant-Cowpat

    First let's hear you explain why on earth Scots should be "rebuked" for not supporting the English football team!

    I'm not holding my breath. At best we'll see more of your usual anti-Scottish abuse.

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  • 30. At 12:15pm on 20 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

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

  • 31. At 12:23pm on 20 May 2009, IRN - Tax doesnt have to be taxing wrote:

    Yes, of course Michael Martin had to go. He has been made something of a scapegoat but nevertheless, for the sake of unity and for the sake of the impartiality of the speaker's office, it was right for him to stand down. Others should have went already and must go before any kind of public confidence in Westminster can be restored.

    Gordon Brown has stated that the expense claims made by Hazel Blears and Margaret Moran were 'totally unacceptable'. So why have they not been sacked from the Labour Party? Disgraced constituents are powerless to do anything until the election. The rest of the electorate (outwith disgraced MP's constituencies) are completely powerless - there is nothing we can do to prevent a disgraced MP from seeking re-election.

    It seems that the current system has very little sanctions available to take. Their parties won't discipline them, their constituency parties' won't deselect them, and the electorate outwith an individual MP's constituency is powerless. Even the police and HMRC seem very reluctant to take action. The whole system stinks.

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  • 32. At 12:28pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #26 Reluctant-Cowpat

    And there's the abuse, right on cue!

    And of course, not even any attempt at explaining why Scots should be "rebuked" for not supporting England!

    Gone all coy, cowpat?

    Oh, sorry, what was that? "PROVE IT" you said?

    You know I've never disappointed you on that score. It's easy to "prove it". This same "Scots are to blame for England getting knocked out" rubbish has been spouted for years.

    Here's a verbatim extract from BBC Scotland journalist Steve Brocklehurst's Friday, 21 June, 2002, website article: "England's coming home":

    "Congratulations to Scotland on knocking England out of the World Cup."

    That is about as clear and direct a statement of blaming Scots for England getting knocked out of the World Cup as it is possible to imagine.

    My, you do look foolish.....again.

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  • 33. At 12:32pm on 20 May 2009, Richard_the_Rogue wrote:

    Oh dear, R-E's thrown his toys out of the pram...

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  • 34. At 12:33pm on 20 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

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

  • 35. At 12:46pm on 20 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #30 R-E
    I was going to ask if you had looked in a mirror recently, but as you have more names on here than MP's have got brass neck's don't bother it might take you a wee while!
    THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK is probably a better one to go with!
    keep going big hullabaloo, we can look forward to much ,much more of the abuse as they run out completely of anything sensible to say.
    R-E if you don't have anything positive to say ,or something that would assist, then please hod yer weisht
    Sid

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  • 36. At 12:48pm on 20 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    Brian says that Glasgow North East is not a 'labour' seat. But does this very seat not contain Springburn (may b wrong), and if it does then surely it is a very labour seat?

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  • 37. At 12:52pm on 20 May 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #23 Blind_Captain

    This would be yours from NR's blog:

    "505. At 11:19am on 20 May 2009, Blind_Captain wrote:
    Re 293

    A typical example of the (non)quality of Scottish politicians.

    Just what positive contributions are these people making?
    We really should be examining the role of Scottish politicians in UK politics.
    In the forthcoming changes that will happen at Westminster over the next few years I would like to see the following;

    1. The number of Scottish MPs to be drastically cut.

    2. A block on there being another Scottish Prime Minister.

    3. Scottish policticians to be excluded from high office in Whitehall.

    The current crop have been responsible for running down the economy, corrupt decisions e.g. the Iraq war, and a general mismanagement of Government that has been breath taking in it's incompetence.

    I would like to see the Telegraph publish details of their expenses so that we can see exactly what these idiots are costing the taxpayer."

    Seem familiar, perhaps something like minuends #9 which RE then went on to rubbish.

    Fun and games.

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  • 38. At 12:57pm on 20 May 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    34# Reluctant-Expat

    From what I first read of your posts when I started reading Brian's Weblogs - I'd agree with that assertion.

    You are at best pro-unionist and at worst anti-scottish. I don't doubt you have your reasons though, so don't take it as a slight against you.

    Regarding the matter at hand, Westminster's position looks more untenable by the day. We have Cameron itching for a General election, The SNP itching for a General Election...

    Can anyone tell me if Vince Cable or Nick Clegg have stopped badmouthing the SNP long enough to state thier view on a fresh parliament?

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  • 39. At 1:03pm on 20 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    Reluctant Cowpat...oh very manure :)

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  • 40. At 1:05pm on 20 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    33. Spot on. That's exactly what has happened. Well done!

    How could anyone possibly consider nationalists on here as delusional, paranoid or desperate? The mere notion is utterly preposterous.

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  • 41. At 1:06pm on 20 May 2009, crazyislander wrote:

    I've just watched PMQs on BBC News channel. Good grief, it made me sick to see all that snivelling and grovelling to the Speaker about how, 'kind and generous' he was. Fact is, Michael Martin was an absolute disaster as Speaker. He lacked any kind of gravitas and his rhetorical skills were non-existent. He was and is, distinctly biased in favour of his cronies on the Government side of the house. He frequently looked out of touch with proceedings and as the nasty rant at Ms Hoey was unparliamentary in the extreme. He failed to stop the police from entering the House during the Damien Green fiasco and he has been reported as being less than, 'kind and caring' to his own staff.

    I wholeheartedly agree that the, 'Gorbals Mick' jibes were unfortunate but in politics you have to take the rough with the smooth and he did sound like some 70's shop-steward presiding over some little smoke-filled works committee.

    I watched Jim Sheridan rant and rave and go quite red in the face with Jon Sopel and distinguished pundit, Anthony Howard. Mr Sheridan seemed to think that the press and media had no right to call MPs to account. Who then would do it? Would he prefer to sit in seclusion in the hallowed halls without anyone raising a question as to his conduct? I bet he would.

    Michael Martin had to go. He was and is the wrong person for the job. What we need is someone who can exude moral authority and probity tempered with tact and common sense. All in all, the last few weeks have been bad for democracy and possibly fatal for the Westminster set up. I for one can't wait for the day when what goes on down there will provide nothing more than entertainment and the proceedings have nothing do do with us.

    Finally, 'Blinky' Blears has to go. Someone said yesterday that even if you pay for the goods you have stolen from a shop, you will still be done for shoplifting. No one has asked the question whether the Inland Revenue will accept her, 'gracious' cheque as after all, strictly speaking, she didn't incur the tax. We'll probably never hear about that.

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  • 42. At 1:09pm on 20 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Comment number 25:

    Containing this statement:
    "And you have vast numbers of anti-UK/anti-English posts on here every single day"

    Has been referred to the moderators.

    Why is this individual allowed to continually post such comments?
    Is there a limit, beyond which, a poster is simply banned?
    If not then why not?

    This individual persistently posts comments that contain personal attacks on other posters, actionable statements and lies. His regular modus operandi is to attack others rather than make any political point or advocate any political stance.

    I tend not to directly engage such individuals, other posters are of course free to differ in their own approach.

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  • 43. At 1:11pm on 20 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    37. Of course, it is absolutely fine for nationalists to repeatedly post anti-UK/anti-English comments (which makes up the vast majority of nationalist posts, may I add) but Heaven forbid someone who writes something anti-nationalist or anti-Scottish!

    How dare they!

    Grr! So angry right now!

    (Where's bigleapsintothebloo gone? He hasn't posted for ages.)

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  • 44. At 1:12pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #39 deanthetory

    Yes, but at least I'm not charging the taxpayer an arm and a leg for it like your Tory grandees!

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  • 45. At 1:13pm on 20 May 2009, Jake-the-S wrote:

    So now Hazel Blears has the support of Brown.
    This is the man who runs the country.
    We're doomed!!!!!!!!

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  • 46. At 1:19pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Cowpat's lost it! Just ignore it folks. He'll calm down after his tantrum and go back to his usual anti-Scottish vitriol. We're supposed to be too stupid to work out that he's just another sad little Englander.

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  • 47. At 1:23pm on 20 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #34 Nothing wrong with ferrets ;O)}

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  • 48. At 1:28pm on 20 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    43 has also been referred.

    Interesting rumour going around that suggests an election a few weeks after Michael Martin departs. The theory is that Brown will hope that by jettisoning a few 'trough snufflers' then the public will be appeased.

    A June/July general election perhaps?

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  • 49. At 1:28pm on 20 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    bighullabaloo I was making a satirical remark on your blatent childishness. Fight views you do not like with mature arguments, or simply stop posting.

    People like yourself lower the tone of this blog, with petty sqwabbles; if I wanted any of that I would go over to NR newslog.

    And Reluctant; yep I have noticed the level of anglophobia displayed by some SNP members and especially some cybernats. It is deeply unpalatable, and tasteless. They key is to stand above their racism, and argue for what is in the best interests of Scots, Welsh, English, Northern Irish peoples- that is continued union.

    I wouldnt get too worried about bighullabaloo- I would put money on him being s school pupil personally.

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  • 50. At 1:33pm on 20 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

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

  • 51. At 1:37pm on 20 May 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    Notably, the 'moral high ground' in the expenses scandal is being fought over by the leaders of the 3 main Westminster parties, while it is their own MPs who are responsible for the worst excesses of self-reward, not just in a few recent cases, but over the life of the entire corrupt Westminster system.

    Brown's reforms don't go nearly far enough; Clegg, like the others, should look to the long-term habits of his own members; and if Cameron thinks a change of governing party alone will stop a rot which lies at the very core of Westminster culture, who is he trying to kid?

    Do 'Honourable Members' seriously believe that the act of hounding and scapegoating the Speaker out of office will draw the heat off their own shameful actions - rather than heaping yet further shame upon the Palace of Westminster??

    With regard to those who would then turn their guns upon the "Scottish mafia" of UK politics - there are without doubt those long-standing Scottish MPs - Alistair Darling prominent among them, who regularly submit higher-than-average expenses, and/or who have been 'working the system' to their own personal advantage for quite some time.
    However, these offenders are, virtually without exception, Labour MPs representing the Central Belt, and even most of their excesses would barely hold a candle to those claims relating to expensive second homes within a stone's throw of Westminster.

    Scotland, by inescapable default, contains the most physically remote, physically large and geographically inaccessible constituencies in the entire UK. All of these are factors which would directly affect an MPs access to, from and within his own constituency, and as such may lead to legitemate claims for travel, accommodation or constituency-related business.

    By contrast, the most brazen, self-serving and routine abuses of the expenses system appear to be by members from constituencies within relatively easy reach of Westminster - but who evidently regard themselves as somehow 'above the common law'.

    That may be just a part of the key to the root of the culture of self-regulation and cloaked privilege which has characterised all aspects of Westminster for centuries, and is now badly exposed as being long overdue to be exploded and wholly replaced by an accountable and transparently democratic system fit for the 21st Century.

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  • 52. At 1:41pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

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

  • 53. At 1:41pm on 20 May 2009, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    Dear Reluctant-Expat # 50 -

    I'm still waiting for your detailed explanation of how Scotland couldn't possibly manage as an independent country because there'd be no way on earth that an independent Scotland could find enough money to pay MPs all the expenses they so obviously need to carry out the business of good (honest) government.

    Don't let your public down now! (Unlike 646 other 'honourable' people I could mention.)

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  • 54. At 1:44pm on 20 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    49. I think a bet that the majority of the nat posters are of school age would be a sure-fire win. It is very difficult to take them seriously.

    So I don't.

    I don't think the mods are taking greenockboy seriously either. Maybe he should complain about my awful posts again.

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  • 55. At 1:46pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Cowpat - keep going, you look more stupid every time you post.

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  • 56. At 1:57pm on 20 May 2009, mightychewster wrote:

    #51 Dougie

    You've hit the nail on the head there, most of the MP's in the further reaches of the UK have (relatively) modest in their claims and could be seen as reasonable in most people's eyes

    The worst of the lot have been those within easy reach of Westminster. Go figure!

    They have all been at it for years, only since FOI has the public found out what has been going on since time immemorium - the only difference is that we now know the depth of it

    It won't cause huge political change though i'm afraid

    Bighulla - you don't really help your cause by calling English people 'sad little Englanders' it only furthers the beliefs of said 'sad little Englanders' that Scots Nats are anti-English, of which most definately aren't

    There's a lot of support in England for your independance based on the fact that you should be able to vote for it fair and square, it won't help by turning everything into a slagging match between English & Scottish

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  • 57. At 2:00pm on 20 May 2009, Blind_Captain wrote:

    #37 ScotInNotts

    Well spotted!

    I was trying to get across the point that if I were an English or Welsh voter, I would be thoroughly cheesed off with the appalling contribution that certain Scottish politicians are making to the standard of government at Westminster.

    The English and Welsh deserve better than this.

    The whole issue of Michael Martin, expenses et al has opened up a can of worms that requires to be thoroughly explored and debated. And one that requires immediate debate is the role of Scottish MPs, from an English and Welsh perspective.

    It's not only Scots who need to be discussing the current Union and possible Independence; it's the other nations, particularly the English, as they are the ones that are being let down badly by the status quo.

    The sooner they wake up to that, the better for all.

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  • 58. At 2:00pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #54

    Cowpat - forgot to mention it also makes you look more English!

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  • 59. At 2:05pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #56 mightychewster

    Pointing out that someone is anti-Scottish doesn't make me anti-English.

    I'm not anti-English...just anti-idiots like Cowpat who give all English people a bad name.

    If there's a lot of English "support" for Scottish independence I wish they'd do more to make it happen faster because it definitey can't happen fast enough.

    Maybe the English should get off their knees and demand their own parliament?

    We can't do it all for them. They should stop whinging about Scots and start fighting for what they want like we do.

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  • 60. At 2:07pm on 20 May 2009, minuend wrote:

    Now the priests are having a go.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8059224.stm

    Sorry Mario Conti but you are utterly wrong in thinking that "Gorbals Mick" was an anti-catholic nickname invented by the London media. It's intent was clear, it was a class attack on Martin's Scottishness - his Glasgow background and the way he spoke.

    Mind the reward for failure as Speaker means Martin will pick up a peerage (+ expenses) and £80,000 a year as a pension (that's over £1500 per week).

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  • 61. At 2:15pm on 20 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    The posters here should ignore Reluctant-Expat. The discussions are changing from one about the recent annoucment by Michael Martin, to SNP supporters/supporters of independence being accused to be anti-English/anti-United Kingdom, which are from the cries of a desperate man, who clearly fears the very people who they criticise despite independence to be such a minority... (Doesnt add up or make sense does it?)

    Let us not forget the real story here.

    The Speaker of the House, who comes to retire traditinally stands down as an MP at the same time. This would bring forward a by-election, in a Labour-stronghold.

    This will be interesting. How much influence has Labour lost/gained? Have the SNP made gains in Labour heartlands at all, if so by how much? How will the anti-media react to what would be a strong SNP move to take the another seat from Labour? Have the SNP learned their lesson from the last by-election that they lost, sadly?

    It's also ashame that this drama may potentially allow some MP's to escape the expences era unscratched...

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  • 62. At 2:26pm on 20 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    DeanThetory:

    "They key is to stand above their racism, and argue for what is in the best interests of Scots, Welsh, English, Northern Irish peoples- that is continued union."

    I see someone must still be intoxicated from their antics the other day to write such nonesense, only joking ;-)

    It's important that you remain neutral between Bighullabaloo and Reluctant-Expat. Both posters can occasionally bring reasonable points into the discussions but both posters can dig themselves a hole and it does the rest of us, who want to tlak about what matters today when you decide to sit and agree with one side of both their ridiculous nonesense (your comment #49. for example).

    I'd also add here. The internet can be used by anyone, and even though they may claim to be something else they may be lying. Therefore you can not claim that SNP members did.... anything really.

    The views wee share here, despite what we claim to be our loyalties to other groups do not, and I will insist they do not represent the official party line for example or represent what the group stands for.

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  • 63. At 2:35pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #61 Thomas_Porter

    "The posters here should ignore Reluctant-Expat."

    Hear hear! Everyone should do precisely that starting from right now.

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  • 64. At 2:37pm on 20 May 2009, Jake-the-S wrote:

    60 minuend
    Please keep the church out of politics.
    Do they not have enough problems of their own?

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  • 65. At 2:57pm on 20 May 2009, timepassescarmichael wrote:

    I'm not so sure those of us who believe in independence should be all that certain of returning another political earthquake. There is a certain admirable, if perhaps misguided in my opinion, sense of loyalty that I have detected from those few people who have been interviewed thus far on the radio and television. I know, I know, it's in no way scientific but sometimes we don't need numbers and graphs to know which way the wind blows and I have a certain feeling that Labour will successfully turn the by-election into a sympathy vote for Martin. I can almost hear Labour now as they point out Martin's working-class background, his Scottishness, his thirty year service all brought to an end by big, bad Tories with moats and seven houses. Once again, of course, this doesn't stack up with the reality of the situation and nor does it correspond to any degree of logic but, hey, this is unionism we're dealing with, their arguments never have to concur with material reality.

    It's fairly clear that Labour will put this by-election off 'til September or October and by that time the rawness of their scandals will have been tempered by other happenings. In these conditions Labour could well begin handing out union jack tinted spectacles to people and all of a sudden sending another Labourite down there to preside over the constituency may begin to seem like a good idea, as well as the sympathy vote as above. Presumably, though, another Labour type to once again look over one of the most deprived constituencies, in one of the most deprived cities, from the comfort of the benches at Westminster, doing nothing but emphasising his/her working class credentials, his/her Scottishness, and his/her opposition to big, bad Tories, but that's beside the point. That has been, as far as I can see, Labour politics in Scotland since at least the mid-80s.

    Or, then again, it all may suit the SNP and Glasgow might just get a representative who seems to believe that a red rosette and a winning smirk are all it takes in Scottish politics ... Who knows, but fun and games are on their way to Glasgow North-East.

    The Euro-elections will be great, I think, with my prediction being SNP 3, Labour 2, and the Tories 1 (my goodness, 6 MEPs to represent the whole of Scotland in the EP, another union dividend presumably)

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  • 66. At 2:58pm on 20 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    The tribalism in the Labourite heartlands would make any attempt by the SNP to do 'take over' and replace Labour a tough ask. But if anyone can it will be Alex Salmonds SNP. But I would offer a warning- remember the Liberal lesson! They have (since 1997) steadily made moves into 'labour' seats- and now they are faced with an electoral catastrophe (in Scotland), with the threat of loosing important rural constituncies to the Scottish Conservatives, and facing a challenge from the SNP in the urban heartlands- in the fight ti replace the labour corruption.

    In short they over extended themselves, the SNP might; if they are not careful; risk the same. Because ultimately the only certain thing right now in Scottish politics is that we are at a crossroads, and goodness only knows which parties will be benfiting and which shall be loosing from the new (and thankfullym ore fickle) Scottish electors.

    (For what it's worth- I think that over the coming decades the SNP, and Scottish Tories will stand to benefit the most, SNP in urban seats, and Tories in rural constituencies)

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  • 67. At 2:58pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    I see the Westminster pigsty thinks they're going to get away with a load of sham "reforms" like giving themselves tax-free mortgage interest payments of £1,250 a month - out of the very same trough of public cash they've just finished telling us they are so sorry for snuffling!

    Time for this country to give the whole rotten crowd of crooks a good kicking at the polls.

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  • 68. At 3:03pm on 20 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #60, Aye and Catholicism hold the moral high ground... Not!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8059826.stm

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  • 69. At 3:04pm on 20 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    Thomas what utter nonsense! I never sided with anyone (what a trival thread you've initiated). All I remarked was that yes, some on this blog (note the useage of the word some!) have demonstrated time and again a level of anglophobia which I know that you too would find rather tasteless. Where on earth is the harm in saying that? Unless you feel that such observations expose a common value rife throught most modern Nationalists? Personally I believe most SNP people are good, respectable civic-nationalists- but please do not expect me to simply ignore, or turn the other cheak when people like bighullaballoo make ignorant remarks and observations.

    I for the record think they both need to think before they speak somewhat, just dont ask me to ignore unacceptable remarks- because people need to understand that the majority of Scots (including the vast majority of SNP members!) have nothing against English folk.

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  • 70. At 3:09pm on 20 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    RE's repeated claims that everyone is xenophobic apart from himself are getting rather passe. Wonder what Mr Foulkes is doing to fill the days now defending the corrupted, partisan Speaker is over?!

    In any case, the people of Glasgow North East would not be happy were the Speaker to merely resign and retain his post as an MP, judging from some of the comments already reported in the media.

    Brian is right to point out GNE is effectively a strong Labour seat, as it was the same Labour machine and appeal ("working class", Catholic, Glasgow and to a lesser extent his Scottish-ness: everything that made the High Tories hate him from the outset) which kept Mr Martin in place as an MP while he was supposedly the politically "neutral" Speaker.

    Labour is in its death throws - RE's desperate slurs do nothing but further confirm this fact - when it re-emerges after the next General Election it will be in a very different form. Can't see Labour electing another national "minority" candidate after the experience of Brown and Kinnock. Blair was an exceptional development, and had spent so much of his life "de-Scotifying" himself from Fettes on. As for the Tories ever electing a Scot as leader, that simply wont happen.

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  • 71. At 3:17pm on 20 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #49 Dean, you want to watch what your saying yourself ... associating Scotland's largest political party with racism is palpable nonsense, and invites the "English National Party" tag for the Tories.

    After all if you dig just a little under the surface the reasons for many Tory attacks on MIchael Martin comes down to nationality and religion, for the more neanderthal Tory Members of Parliament.

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  • 72. At 3:36pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

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

  • 73. At 3:52pm on 20 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    There are some people on here, for whatever reason, find it acceptable to cast anti-English sentiments or Anti-Scottish sentiments. I stand by deanthetory's remarks (phew, I'll have to take a break after that statement) and add that to the majority of the 'cybernats' that we are not against the English people, who are generally a fine lot, but against the English government.

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  • 74. At 3:54pm on 20 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    xenophobia ? i quite like most English folks i meet, but just like every other nation in the world including ourselves there are some ignorant/sad gits who let their country down time after time.
    my fight is with the English establishment and media, who are both ignorant & sad as above!
    they are so arrogant they could all hack it as MP's!
    election now
    Sid

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  • 75. At 4:11pm on 20 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    #12 No need to sound so pompous Reluctant Expat in your reply to minuend....it's not at all like you is it. Minuend may well have a point, if the Scottish people do decide to vote for independence then the below will indeed become true.

    "The changes that will happen at Westminster over the next few years will have a profound impact on Scotland.

    1. The number of Scottish MPs will be drastically cut.
    2. There will never, ever, be another Scottish Prime Minister.
    3. Scottish policticians will be excluded from high office in Whitehall.

    Get a grip, lad. All of the above is nothing but shrill nonsense."

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  • 76. At 4:11pm on 20 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

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

  • 77. At 4:12pm on 20 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Strange that a number of nats want Scotland to become the next political religious divide state?.I know the leader likes Ireland but hey! is this another "arc of copycating"

    Their all out to create this nationalist/unionist devide!

    SHAME ON YOU'S.

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  • 78. At 4:19pm on 20 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    #49 Goodness DeanTheTory! as if there are no racist cyber-unionists in the world. I think you'll find that racism belongs to the person, NOT the party (BNP excepted).

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  • 79. At 4:19pm on 20 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    DeanTheTory:

    #69.

    "Thomas what utter nonsense! I never sided with anyone (what a trival thread you've initiated). All I remarked was that yes, some on this blog (note the useage of the word some!) have demonstrated time and again a level of anglophobia which I know that you too would find rather tasteless."

    Fine, I will take back what I said about you siding with one side. However I will stress that by simply acknowledging the persons comment, and even agreeing partly with the comment. You risk annoying posters and potentially de-railing this entire blog into something about being anti-English/Anti-UK.

    If there is a problem with certain comments then please take it to the moderators who will correct the situation. However please do not take part in the tit-for-tat that others occasionally do (myself included).

    I may be the youngest poster but on some occasions I am shocked by the lack of common sense and maturity shown on these boards. Dean, last week you claimed to be a Nationalist for Scotland, a person who seeks to improve unpon Scottish lives through the Union.

    How does your post that agrees with Expat tackles todays issues, and that comment of yours will of course cause many here to reply in anger...

    If you all want to bicker amougst yourselves then so be it, but I will take the high ground.

    "Personally I believe most SNP people are good, respectable civic-nationalists- but please do not expect me to simply ignore, or turn the other cheak when people like bighullaballoo make ignorant remarks and observations."

    But then you ignore what I said earlier. This is the internet where everyone can be anyone. BH, does not, and I do repeat does not represent the SNP or her members in any shape or form. They may be a member in real life but that does not suggest they represent their polices.

    The best you can do in this case is to ignore the posts. It does nothing today for you, me or the members of public.

    "I for the record think they both need to think before they speak somewhat, just dont ask me to ignore unacceptable remarks- because people need to understand that the majority of Scots (including the vast majority of SNP members!) have nothing against English folk."

    The reason I ask for it to be ignored is that so the blog stays on topic, and if the comments were anti-English in someway then there are channels that can be used so the comments can be deleted and the account of the user could be banned.

    But why give those who do not deserve it the attention and your time that others would like to have?

    I'd like to know whether or not the Conservatives would stand if the Speaker resigns as MP, do you know?

    Do you believe the SNP have a chance of taking the seat, if so by how much?

    Do think the dislike of Labour will last till the next general elections, how'd you think this situation has effected Labour at the Euro elections?

    :-)

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  • 80. At 4:20pm on 20 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    #54, yes your posts are awful and we don't like you.

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  • 81. At 4:20pm on 20 May 2009, Sheneval wrote:

    Brian,

    I feel a lot more is required than getting rid of Mr Martin and a handful of other MPs to resurrect trust in politicians.

    I suggest we need a 'Written Constitution' containing certain aspirations common to us all or the vast majority, that every political party has a duty to subscribe to and action when in Government, and the have to achieve during their first 4 years in office:

    1) A 5% reduction in the gap between the rich and the poor
    2) A 10%-20% reduction of the rates of individual types of crimes.
    3) No paedophiles released from prison to be allowed to live within 10 miles of any school.
    4) All illegal immigrants and failed Asylum seekers to be returned to the last place they arrived from within weeks of their arrival.
    5) 5 Political correct laws to be rescinded.

    No meddling with the system to change the method of current measurement to be allowed.

    Changes in the law, proposed as part of their individual manifestos will be regarded as part of their plan for tackling these issues.

    Failure to achieve these targets will mean an election must be called within 3 months of the end of year 4.

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  • 82. At 4:21pm on 20 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    Four posts in a row......surely a record

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  • 83. At 4:21pm on 20 May 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    #45 re Blears - this is on Gudo Fawkes
    Has Hazel Blears successfully deceived us all?

    After watching her recent public cheque-waving gesture, where she stated she was paying the Inland Revenue £13,332 in Capital Gains Tax even though she was not liable I contacted my local HMRC Capital Gains Tax Specialist to ask how such a non-liable payment would be processed, if I made one.

    I was told after being queried why I would do such a thing that a payment made against a non-existent liability would simply be credited to my personal tax account, and be offset against any future tax liability.

    In other words Ms Blears £13,332 payment (and is there any evidence such a payment was actually made?) is simply an advance payment of her future income tax which she would have had to pay anyway and is not a Capital Gains Tax payment at all!

    Thus, the public will have been deceived into thinking SHE has paid the tax, and is £13,332 out of pocket, when in reality she will be no worse off and it is the public who have lost out!

    I think such a seeming deceit should be brought to the attention of the public.

    Reply
    145
    Rick the Roman says:
    May 20, 2009 at 9:23 am
    And, I think, the credit balance would attract interest at rates in excess of the pathetic ones on the High Street. I do this with my Corporation Tax - a good wheeze to get money out of the Government. A win-win for Hazel!!

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  • 84. At 4:23pm on 20 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    Now if Mr Martin does receive a peerage.......will he be wondering what the expense system for the House of Lords like?

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  • 85. At 4:31pm on 20 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Map of MP expenses

    Just to show the Government are quackers.



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  • 86. At 4:52pm on 20 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    I see that the moderators are allowing abusive and clearly false allegations to be published, despite the comments being referred.

    I have again referred comment number 43 and will take my complaints higher should they be ignored.

    The comment below this one will contain the exact text of my complaint and nothing more. I add this only to ensure readers of the blog are aware of the content of my comment as the last time I published the text of a complaint it was moderated.

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  • 87. At 4:53pm on 20 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    I believe this post is racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable for the following reason:

    This poster has stade that:
    "Of course, it is absolutely fine for nationalists to repeatedly post anti-UK/anti-English comments (which makes up the vast majority of nationalist posts, may I add) "

    This statement is offensive and absolutely untrue. I have referred this comment earlier today and no action has been taken.

    The vast majority of nationalist posts are no such thing. Unless this comment is removed within the hour then a complaint will be made both online and written.

    Falsely accusing the vast majority of posters to this blog of posting xenophobic material is against the blog rules.

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  • 88. At 5:00pm on 20 May 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    There are some sanctimonious little twerps on this thread right enough!
    Is there a word to cover anti Scottish like anglophobic?
    Old Nat will know.
    For the record, I am anti Westminster , anti Labour and anti Tory.
    I can't be bothered being anti Liberal or anti Green.

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  • 89. At 5:16pm on 20 May 2009, preciousGoatonaRope wrote:

    #73

    There is no such thing as 'The English Government', as anyone with an ounce of intelligence should be able to fathom.



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  • 90. At 5:36pm on 20 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    The BBC have informed me that this statement:

    And you have vast numbers of anti-UK/anti-English posts on here every single day.

    Does not contravene the house rules.

    There we have it, we are now allowed to post demonstrably false allegations against anyone on this blog.

    I can, if I so wish, accuse Reluctant-Expat and other Unionist posters of posting vast numbers of racist/xenophobic messages (anti Irish, anti Icelandic, anti French, anti German) - of course a quick read through the comments will show this to be untrue. Offensive and false though some of RE's posts are, they do not constitute a vast number of the blog.

    Some are offensive and false, indeed they may be described as politically sectarian - but they are not vast in number.

    Similarly, those comments from independence supporters may include offensive remarks, but they are by no means vast in number, nor are they anti-English.

    As I write, comment number 43 is again being looked at. However, using the criteria they used earlier, it would be surprising if the mods decided to act this time.

    My apologies for referring to RE's posts again, however, past experience suggests that when elections are imminent then mass media online forums can be targetted by people who are seeking to elicit less than civil responses from other posters - the threads deteriorate as a result.

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  • 91. At 5:54pm on 20 May 2009, Slaintmha wrote:

    Westminster has now proven to be well past its 'use by date'.

    With the Lisbon Treaty's de facto creation of EU regions as the means to deliver to EU Citizens, the sclerotic artery that is the House of Commons requires replacement and the varicose vein of the House of Lords removal.

    I suggest that Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland get an arterial bypass giving the 'Mother of all Parliaments' a chance to recover from its current severe stroke, heart failure and deal better with the world around it rather than the hallucinatory view that it is still a world player.

    Some older Doctors may still consider the current blood letting is adequate but I suggest only complete resection will do the job

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  • 92. At 6:07pm on 20 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Oliver James puts the House on the couch

    "Next"

    Ex-cabinet minister billed taxpayers instead of insurance

    "The Telegraph will also identify perhaps the most bizarre claim uncovered so far - a £1,600 pond accessory."

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  • 93. At 6:09pm on 20 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #88 Diabloandco

    "scotophobic" is the adjective from "scotophobin" which is -

    "A peptide isolated from the brain tissue of rats conditioned to fear darkness, alleged to induce a similar fear in untrained rats, thereby implying that a memory or a conditioned response can be chemically transferred."

    I'm tempted to make some inappropriate joke about Unionists - but that would be unfair. One of the reasons I post much less now is that there are too many personal attacks on other posters, and stereotyping of opposing points of view.

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  • 94. At 6:19pm on 20 May 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    The Unionists are cranking up the nastiness. They're getting more and more scared.

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  • 95. At 6:33pm on 20 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

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

  • 96. At 6:34pm on 20 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #88, the Scotophobic London mob mentality is on display for all to see again ... and has been well documented for hundreds of years. So I think "scotophobe" may be the term you are searching for.

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  • 97. At 6:39pm on 20 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #77, Derek - No idea what prompted that tirade first of all ... but I think you'll find that sectarian hatred in the island of Ireland is largely limited to the holdings of the United Kingdom, another Union dividend?

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  • 98. At 6:48pm on 20 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    The MP Expenses song

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  • 99. At 7:01pm on 20 May 2009, crazyislander wrote:

    Just heard Archbishop Conti's outburst over Speaker Martin's resignation. It's good of him to share his views with us all. One wonders whether he would have opened his mouth if Martin had not be Catholic.

    The good Archbishop would have been better to save his ire for the REAL injustice of the chldren abused by the Catholic Church in Ireland.

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  • 100. At 7:05pm on 20 May 2009, aye_write wrote:

    #10 bighullabaloo

    Yet you are STILL trying to peddle the ridiculous Unionist myth that MPs are basically honest. Amazing!

    And you are STILL trying to prove the view that nats are completely paranoid. Embarrassing!

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  • 101. At 7:06pm on 20 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 89 preciousGoatonaRope

    'There is no such thing as 'The English Government', as anyone with an ounce of intelligence should be able to fathom.'

    I've been through this before but for your benefit I will explain again.
    Even if all the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs had to vote together they would still be outnumbered by the English MPs by three to four times the amount. To my mind that is not a British parliament but an English parliament and therefore an English Government. I hope that clears that up for you.

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  • 102. At 7:21pm on 20 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #89 preciousGoatonaRope

    Why do you need to make this kind of personal attack?

    England has its own governance. It is perfectly valid to describe the UK Government as being the English government, when it is governing England. That England allows MPs from the rest of the UK to take part in that process is regrettable, but that is a matter for them to solve.

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  • 103. At 7:41pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

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

  • 104. At 7:47pm on 20 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #100 aye_write

    We all have our crosses to bear. The Unionists have RE, we have BigH.

    Fortunately, most other posters (on both sides) are normally reasonable and balanced.

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  • 105. At 7:52pm on 20 May 2009, aye_write wrote:

    #93 oldnat

    oldnat, encylopedic as ever (don't tell me there's a lesser known definition and I've just insulted you! ;-)

    I actually contacted PhobiaGone.com and asked them if there was a term for a phobia of Scots and/or Scotland.

    Their reply:

    "Thanks for your email. I have never hear of a name for this phobia and nor have my colleagues.

    Best Regards

    PhobiaGone.com
    "

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  • 106. At 8:02pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #100 aye_write

    No, I'm not paranoid. But I'm sure there are many people in the medical profession and people who are suffering from paranoia, a particularly distressing mental illness, who will feel deeply insulted and offended that you are using the word as a general term of abuse, just to try to score cheap points on a political blog. I know enough about you already not to expect any sort of contrition for such despicable behaviour, and that is truly embarrassing - for you.

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  • 107. At 8:07pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #100 aye-write

    Everyone can see that you have yet again initiated a totally unprovoked and unjustified personal attack on me, although nothing I have said or done here was directed at you.

    From this point on I will not respond to your posts or even read your posts. I find the personality that comes through in them to be of a particularly insufferable sanctimonious kind that I have no desire to be involved with.

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  • 108. At 8:13pm on 20 May 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    I was going to do a gag about the Labour MP Michael Connarty, but the Scotsman of all people beat me to it -

    "Scots MP given wake-up call over £250 alarm clock claim"

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  • 109. At 8:15pm on 20 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    IMF praise for UK recession plan this report stinks of manipulation somewhere along the line.

    In between the lines

    "P.S. Brown has a placeman in the IMF as we found out when he got it to pull its report saying the banking crisis would cost the UK £190bn. So who is it? I suspect well have to wait until his resignation honours to find out."

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  • 110. At 8:15pm on 20 May 2009, aye_write wrote:

    #106 bighullabaloo

    Denial is also a part of many illnesses ;-)

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  • 111. At 8:18pm on 20 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #106 bighullabaloo

    As an ex journalist, you should know better than to use language inaccurately.

    While paranoid can refer to those suffering from the mental condition of paranoia, it also has the meaning of someone experiencing "an intense distrust of others".

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  • 112. At 8:23pm on 20 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #110 aye_write

    Don't be unkind. He and RE have enough problems distrusting everyone "on the other side" (makes it sound like a seance - and just as likely to be real".

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  • 113. At 8:26pm on 20 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Surely that's unconstitutional

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  • 114. At 8:27pm on 20 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #94 oldnat
    As the Scots don't exist except as a football team and even that will go after our 2012 Olympics, you should be looking for "borealbritanophobia" or such similar term.
    Indefensibly Yours G.Brown, born Glasgow, N.Britain.

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  • 115. At 8:34pm on 20 May 2009, aye_write wrote:

    #104 oldnat

    Bearing anything concerning bighullabaloo? No thanks.
    "It's against my religion." ;-)

    I might vote for "freedom", but not that much freedom!

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  • 116. At 8:45pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #111 oldnat

    "As an ex journalist, you should know better than to use language inaccurately."

    I didn't use the word inaccurately, nor did I accuse her of using it in either its medical or more general sense.

    I said using the word on a political blog as a derogatory term of abuse is insulting to people who have it as a medical condition, regardless of what her intended meaning was.

    So you should know better than to fail to read and understand what I've said first before you respond inaccurately.

    Also, note that she shows no remorse for her insulting behaviour either, just as I predicted.

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  • 117. At 8:49pm on 20 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #114 handclapping

    Dear Gordon

    Thanks for your kind memo.

    You will remember the Harlem riots of 2008, when NYPD were accused of "racism and brown-phobia." I know that you are keen on the trans-atlantic alliance. I am impressed that you have managed to transfer that phobia to the UK.

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  • 118. At 8:51pm on 20 May 2009, aye_write wrote:

    #112 oldnat

    Is anybody "there"? Well not RE and bighulla! ;-)

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  • 119. At 8:53pm on 20 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    The arbitrator from "the other side" believes, that Bighullabaloo has lost the argument and should return to the clock.

    I never mentioned the cuckoo clock.

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  • 120. At 9:16pm on 20 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    57. At 2:00pm on 20 May 2009, Blind_Captain:

    What is the relevance that Gordon Brown being Scottish have to do with the fact he has messed up?

    I don't recall Jim Callaghan being Scottish.

    It is xenophobic nonsense by a minority of people who cause these blogs to descend into slanging matches.

    With the exception of football teams and healthy diets, Scots are rather successful.


    112. At 8:23pm on 20 May 2009, oldnat wrote:
    #110 aye_write

    Don't be unkind. He and RE have enough problems distrusting everyone "on the other side" (makes it sound like a seance - and just as likely to be real".


    This is why I would love to see a live debate with regular posters on this blog. Although the police may have to be present to keep control!!

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  • 121. At 9:17pm on 20 May 2009, raisethegame wrote:

    A very interesting piece tonight from Fraser Nelson in the Spectator:

    "You might think this impossible, but there is more chaos from the Michael Martin's office. They said yesterday that he was resigning as an MP as well as a Speaker - ergo by-election in the summer. I spoke to the SNP and to ministers about it: everyone was geared up. But now it transpires that Martin himself hasn't said anything. In fact, word is that he intends to canvass opinion from his constituency at the weekend - with the expectation that they will say "No, Mick, stay. You were wronged. Scapegoated. Don't put us on the political map, let us languish here as a rotten borough". I ask you."

    Surely not!



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  • 122. At 9:27pm on 20 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #119 derekbaker
    The problem with cuckoo clocks is they are so difficult to get to stay on your wrist. I managed once, trouble was I went to a cocktail party and I got my face slapped at 8 o'clock.
    Of course it's true, trust me I'm an MP!
    I can't remember the story but the punch line is "His Honour, rooted in dishonour stood, while Faith, unfaithful, kept him falsely true!". It is all a question of the Devil makes work for idle hands. Once there has been a GE and majority established, 430 of these "honourable" members don't have anything useful to do. I'd send them home; other suggestions welcome or indeed what the story to the punch line is.

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  • 123. At 9:52pm on 20 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #122 handclapping

    Not a story - a poem

    His honour rooted in dishonour stood,
    And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.
    Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) : Idylls of the King, Launcelot and Elaine

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  • 124. At 10:00pm on 20 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Bill Wiggin claimed £11,000 in phantom mortgage payments

    "This newspaper has now exposed claims made by more than 170 MPs from the main parties in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Although Gordon Brown has announced new rules to overhaul the system, there is still pressure on the Prime Minister and Mr Cameron to act against individual MPs found to have abused expenses."

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  • 125. At 10:03pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

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

  • 126. At 10:04pm on 20 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Martin confirms resignation as MP

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  • 127. At 10:06pm on 20 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #123 oldnat
    Thank you. Only, now I know, I'm sorry I asked!

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  • 128. At 10:17pm on 20 May 2009, Gergiev wrote:

    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."

    Now that's paranoia! Bighullababy. Let's hear you squeal!!

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  • 129. At 10:27pm on 20 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    I see derekbarker has registered yet another new username.

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  • 130. At 10:29pm on 20 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #120

    Bad diets maybe in some parts of Scotland but in football it is a different matter. Scotland punches well above its weight in soccer and had done so for a century. Problem is unrealistic expectation.

    There is no other nation in Europe as small as Scotland that has come anywhere near eight European finals (Celtic three times, Rangers three times, Aberdeen and Dundee United)and three European trophies (Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen).
    Little Scotland usually hovers around the top twenty in world rankings. sometimes in there and sometimes out of (when we appoint eejits like Bertie Vogts to manange) in a world of almost 200 national teams.

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  • 131. At 10:31pm on 20 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #127
    Tennyson's poem, published December 9, 1854 in The Examiner, praises the Brigade, "When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made!", while mourning the appalling futility of the charge: "Not tho' the soldier knew, someone had blunder'd Charging an army, while all the world wonder'd." According to his grandson Sir Charles Tennyson, Tennyson wrote the poem in only a few minutes after reading an account of the battle in The Times, . It immediately became hugely popular, even reaching the troops in the Crimean, where it was distributed in pamphlet form.

    Each stanza tells a different part of the story, and there is a delicate balance between nobility and brutality throughout. Although Tennyson's subject is the nobleness of supporting one's country, and the poem's tone and hoofbeat cadences are rousing, it pulls no punches about the horror of war: "cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, cannon in front of them, volley'd and thunder'd". With "into the valley of Death" Tennyson works in resonance with "the valley of the shadow of Death" from Psalm 23; then and now, it is often read at funerals. Tennyson's Crimea does not offer the abstract tranquil death of the psalm but is instead predatory and menacing: "into the jaws of Death" and "into the mouth of Hell". The alliterative "Storm'd at with shot and shell" echoes the whistling of ball as the cavalry charge through it. After the fury of the charge, the final notes are gentle, reflective and laden with sorrow: "Then they rode back, but not the six hundred".

    A handclapping eight times! then the fatal slap. tee hee hee.

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  • 132. At 10:36pm on 20 May 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    There are bigger issues here than Speaker Martin. He is the fall guy, not the answer.

    Michael Martin resigned because the MP's wanted him to go for much more than failing to control the expenses bonanza. MP's gleefully fell on this excuse to get rid of him and his downfall was certainly not due to one single mistake. Even the Labour side of the house refused to come out en masse and support him. He simply was neither liked nor respected by enough MP's in the House and they were happy to make him the fall guy for the greed of the flippers and scammers. Many MP's see Michael Martin's downfall as a double bonus. They get rid of him and they deflect the anger of the public from themselves in a double whammy.

    This evening the prime minister said, following cross-party talks, that there would now be collective efforts to clean up politics at Westminster...

    Isn't it wonderful now that a large number of MP's have been caught troughing that Brown is piously calling for reform of the expense system? A little late lad. Maybe it should have been done at the same time as the Government adverts calling for the general population to snitch on benefit cheats were being run on television.

    What should be done to regain trust is that all claims past and present should be made public now without going through the censorship that was proposed in order to obscure little facts like the address of second homes. Many of the claims will have been genuine. Travel to and from London from costs money if you live hundreds of miles away, MP's have to eat when travelling and if it is regarded as necessary for an MP to have accommodation in London a second home or a rented unfurnished flat have to be furnished.
    The general feeling among the public is that all claims are fraudulent but the genuine claims have to be sorted from those flippers, moaters, and those who forgot when their mortgage ended.

    So what now? A by-election? Doesn't have to be one:

    #121 raisethegame

    An interesting point. Michael Martin does not have to resign as an MP unless he wants to. He may want to hang on in Parliament with his salary till he gets his customary ex-speaker's elevation to the Lords. Brown could take advantage of this by refusing to elevate him till his outgoing honours list which would encourage him to stay on as an MP till the bitter end.

    I think Labour will want to delay a by-election as long as possible. Enough time for the scandals to fade and to try and get a sympathy vote in place for the candidate to replace Michael Martin along the unstated lines of, "Pay the English snobs back who kicked out a Springburn man, Vote Labour."

    I personally am of the view that ditching Westminster, the House of Lords and all the titles and expense accounts that go with them is the best way to clean up politics in Scotland.

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  • 133. At 11:27pm on 20 May 2009, Slaintmha wrote:

    For those looking for a collective noun to describe dislike or like of things Scottish I would propose Albaphobe / Albaphile!

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  • 134. At 00:07am on 21 May 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    I see that the BBC News is now giving a definite date of 21st June for the Speaker resigning as an MP.

    The Writ for a by-election is usually moved in Parliament within three months of a seat falling vacant but there is no set timetable. Once the writ is moved for a by-election the election has to be held within 15 to 19 Days.

    The writ could be moved in October when the Parliament comes back from its Summer Recess four months after the seat has fallen vacant for an October or November by-election but if Brown is going for an Autumn General election it could be left vacant until the General Election under the rules.

    I wonder what Brown will do. Go for a quick by-election in the Summer or hold off and hold it in the Autumn. He may even try an roll it into an Autumn General Electon.

    A difficult one for Brown. If he delays and tries to roll it into a General Election it means he has to make a decision on the date of the General Election now.

    I suspect in the usual Brown fashion decisions will be made at the last possible moment and the by-election will be delayed till the Autumn but the General Election won't come till the Spring.

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  • 135. At 00:14am on 21 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.2509450.0.Up_to_50_Labour_MPs_face_axe_over_expenses.php

    Then there are those the public will "deselect" too ...

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  • 136. At 00:31am on 21 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Nice piec on AYE WE CAN tonight remnding us of those who made the Labour Party and their values. Bears no resemblance to anything I can see today.

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  • 137. At 00:33am on 21 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Time for a bye-election methinks. Or will Gordon risk an general election?

    The expenses scandal is damaging the Tories as well, and is distracting attention from the economy. Might salvage some votes.

    The value of the pound is also rising. Not significantly but it is moving.

    A July election is possible, since many Scots are on holiday and they might risk the low turnout. Less well-off are less likely to go away on holiday, and there is potentially a stronger Labour vote, since they promise benefits and minimum wage. That I will expect form a large part of their "message".

    Probably safe to say that Labour will lose a few seats to the SNP, but a lot will also depend on the visibility of the SNP candidates. The sitting MSPs will need to be out there lending their support.






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  • 138. At 00:39am on 21 May 2009, englishvineyardman wrote:

    Brian,

    MM elevated to the Lords, is that what you should get for 30 years of being a constituency MP and 9 years as speaker the last 3 or so which have not been good for MM and for the country? If he was going to make him a Peer surely tell him to stay as an MP and quietly elevate him to a peerage as one of his final duties after losing the next election. A classic example of the westminster gentlemens club in full operation

    I can't see GB going to the country after removing a few unsavoury folks, he will hang on until the last possible moment hoping the economy recovers and the tories implode.

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  • 139. At 01:24am on 21 May 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    What a rare old English fortnight it has been. A right dark fortnight of the English soul, at the termination of which the English parliament - I beg its pardon, the UK parliament - appears from mainland Europe to be totally discredited as the UK sinks deeper into the mire of its own peculiar recessionary hell.

    For two whole weeks the UK media, warmly applauded by observers in France, have been divesting the UK parliament of what remained of its dignity, reputation and status. Fascinating indeed have been the accounts of what members of the lower chamber of the UK parliament have been charging the taxpayer for: the most improbable purely private expenditure, ranging from the most trivial personal shopping to moat cleaning, one gathers.

    Moat cleaning? No wonder a fellow passenger in the vehicle returning me from my recent sojourn in my remote Highland fastness was foaming at the mouth today. A simple soul and, it should be said, not entirely au fait with the ins and outs of the controversy, like many another UK elector, one dares say, she actually voiced the opinion, with feeling, that prison was too good for Honourable Members. The impression was conveyed, in fact, that what she really meant to say was that hanging was too good for them! As I gathered that she had approximately the same degree of admiration for bankers, I think it is safe to say that, on the assumption that her view is representative of the Great British public, there is an ugly mood abroad, and I do not think it is going away soon.

    "What a mess!" as the newspaper Le Monde has remarked uncharitably (in English) in an editorial! What an utter, total, thoroughgoing and incontrovertibly comprehensively disastrous constitutional calamity. The UK legislature, which was so proud and haughty, as only it knew how to be, loses its authority as the Speaker of the Commons loses his and is brought low and made a laughing stock. To cap it all, a pair of peers are merely slapped on the wrist for apparently taking money to influence legislation in favour of their private paymasters. Tut tut. Dearie me! How the mighty are fallen!

    And then there was your friend and mine, the eminently distinguishished Macwhirter, rubbing salt in the gaping wound of UK governance by making the point on television yesterday, with evident satisfaction and indeed glee, that the UK parliament was now setting about putting its house in order in a way in which the Scottish Parliament has already done, adding that the fact that the Scottish Parliament has established a satisfactory MSP expenses regime and is also operating in other respects as an exemplary 21st-century legislature is one reason why the antiquated UK parliamentary 'gentlemen's club' has been exposed to such scrutiny and vilification. Be that as it may, Scottish electors may now care to compare the two legislatures and ask themselves whether they need two and whether they might not do better to keep the good Scottish one and discard the rotten UK one, not least as the latter appears to have become the laughing stock of Europe.

    On the subject of Europe, the effective reduction in UK MPs' remuneration comes at a time when UK MEPs will be receiving a substantial salary increase. At present MEPs receive a salary commensurate with the salary (minus expenses claims) of the domestic parliamentarians of the state in which their euro-constituencies are located. This will apparently be changing next month after the euro-elections, when MEP salaries across the EU will be rounded up to the level of the highest-paid MEPs, the Italians. How will this go down in Middle England, one wonders, as it splutters apoplectically at the realization that some of the worst offenders in the Westmidden expenses farrago have been Tory MPs, to whom Middle England looked to save it from the EU before Lord Tebbit invited it to vote for UKIP.

    Now that UK MPs are to lose income from expenses claims, will they have the gall to ask for salary parity with their MEP counterparts from next month? The fat would really be in the fire then if they did that. Therefore, they will not do that, presumably. Or will they? At any rate, it is no wonder that Mr Cameron's euro-candidates have been promising to be virtuous in their euro-expenses claims if elected, as, with the fat salaries that they will be receiving, they can well afford to do so.

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  • 140. At 01:29am on 21 May 2009, StephenGash wrote:

    gedguy2 wrote:

    "I've been through this before but for your benefit I will explain again.
    Even if all the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs had to vote together they would still be outnumbered by the English MPs by three to four times the amount. To my mind that is not a British parliament but an English parliament and therefore an English Government. I hope that clears that up for you."

    1. Scottish and Welsh MPs are therefore redundant and should be scrapped. They have nothing to do for their constituents, but nevertheless claim the biggest expenses. £174,000 for Charles Kennedy for example. They wander around their huge constituencies saying 'wort cannae dooo?" They are a waste of money.

    2. Your point is irrelevent. Scottish and Welsh MPs have no electoral mandate in England and therefore should not be permitted to vote in what you call the English Parliament as English voters have no redress. Having unelected unrepresentative MPs making decisions affecting a nation is undemocratic, indeed verges on dictatorship. This is why Scotland had a referendum on a Scottish Parliament, which is what they ended up with despite a minority of the electorate voting for it. The situation was even worse in Wales, but they ended up with one.

    3. It is not for Scots to tell the English how to organise local government or devolved government in England. It is for the English electorate to decide. 78% voted 'no' to regional assemblies in counties Durham and Northumberland, and had one imposed. 76% of people in Sedefield voted 'no' to a unitary authority but had one imposed.

    Labour can run off to hell in a basket. Of course I can't suggest that they take Scotand with them, because that would provoke a howl of 'racist' accusations.

    Keep on sucking the Barnett dummy.

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  • 141. At 01:38am on 21 May 2009, IsThisPravda wrote:

    Laugh All Boobi,
    You and Tartan Cut Expel do this blog a dis-service. These are potentially momentous times in Scotlands history with extremely important issues to debate. However, no matter what the subject of the blog, you and RE resort to childish mud-slinging that lowers the tone of debate to almost irrelevance.
    I know CowPats manic utterances are daft, inaccurate and at times offensive but when you start to reply in kind, you weaken your own argument.
    As a fellow Nat, I agree with most of your substantive posts but this tit for tat taunting is even driving OldNat away! I and many others would post a lot more if it didn't feel like we were intruding on a private argument.
    We will win the arguments with reason and because we are right.....

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  • 142. At 01:39am on 21 May 2009, StephenGash wrote:

    @ bighullabaloo I've read your laughable comments. I liked the one suggesting 'the English should fight like the Scots'

    Once it had emptied its collective bowels while staring into the abyss of the Celt-led banking crisis, the SNP is now fighting for a Scottish entry in the Eurovision Song contest.

    The Scottish Parliament voted down the 2010 referendum with barely so much as a whimper from Salmond and only a nose-thumbing silence from the fighting Scots.

    When you get your Scottish Eurovision Song entry, you may as well use 'Scotland the Brave'. I'd vote for it, after I'd sown up my split sides.

    The funniest thing about Martin's resignation was even though it was met with as much silence as the Scottish Parliament's 'no to referendum' vote, he still said 'order'.

    He must have still been deaf from playing 'Flowers of the Forest' to lament his own demise.

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  • 143. At 01:48am on 21 May 2009, MathCampbell wrote:

    To those accusing (again) the SNP of "anti-english racism", I'd like to address a few pertinent words.

    I was born in England. I was brought up there, although I have very close links with South Wales (and family there too), I would be considered "English" by most.
    I don't identify with that, since I moved to Scotland when I was 18.
    I am a member of the SNP. I could be described as an "activist". I take part in party activities, I've even put myself up for selection in local Government elections. I've not been successful (yet), but I would be happy, nae proud to stand as an SNP candidate, and if elected as an SNP councillor. One day, I hope to be an MSP.

    I have *never* once detected any form of anti-englishness in any SNP member. I'm not denying there aren't any SNP members that hold such feelings, but if there are, I've never met them, and indeed the other night at a Branch meeting, we were discussing the fact Unionist supporters always seem to talk about this supposed "anti-englishness", and that no-one present had met anyone (and some of our Branch members have well-worn bus-passes) who had this supposedly common attribute.
    It is a pathetic lie that is often used against the SNP, in order to try and sully them into the same boat as the downright disgusting and evil BNP.
    There is however a goodly amount of "anti-Westminster" attitudes present. Probably because at virtually every opportunity, Westminster favours the South of England over Scotland.
    It's nothing ideological or patriotic for me. It's sheer practicality. Westminster will ALWAYS favour the South-East of England over Scotland, hands-down. Scotland is *not* the same country as England. it is a completely separate culture. It doesn't even really share a language, something I can attest since it took me a good 2-3 years to learn Scots (in particular Glaswegian dialect). Scotland has never, and can never be practically and well governed from London. It's just too far away and too different in both culture and needs.

    The parties in Holyrood NOT in favour of Independence are not Scottish parties. They're Westminster parties. They're predominately English parties. They answer to London, not to Scotland. And they're against Scotland, with all her mineral and natural resources going off on her own.
    But no, no bias there at all, is there? I'm sure they *really* have the best interests of Scotland and her people at heart, don't they.
    The question keeps coming up "Can Scotland afford independence?". I think the real question is "Can England afford Scotland to be independent?", and I think the answer from the London mob is "We don't know, so why risk it".
    Well tough.

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  • 144. At 01:58am on 21 May 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    Gash by name Gash by nature!

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  • 145. At 02:05am on 21 May 2009, Craig_Ellachie wrote:

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

  • 146. At 06:26am on 21 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 143 MathCampbell

    Well said.

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  • 147. At 06:35am on 21 May 2009, Wansanshoo wrote:

    StephenGash # 140

    Your comment: 'Keep On Sucking The Barnett Dummy'


    Nation or Region £ per head % deviation from UK average
    London 5,985 +28
    Northern Ireland 5,684 +21
    Scotland 5,676 +21
    Wales 5,050 +8
    North East 4,960 +6
    North West 4,927 +5
    UK 4,679 0
    England 4,523 -3
    Yorkshire & Humber 4,477 -4
    West Midlands 4,430 -5
    East Midlands 4,086 -13
    South West 3,947 -16
    South East 3,874 -17
    East of England 3,820 -18

    The city of London receives more from the Barnett formula than any other region,however don't allow this fact to get in the way of ignorance when posting.


    Wansanshoo.




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  • 148. At 06:51am on 21 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 140 StephenGash

    You are allowed your opinion the same as anyone else on this blog. The fact that I disagree with it is neither here nor there, which just about sums up your posting.

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  • 149. At 06:55am on 21 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #146 I'll second that.

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  • 150. At 07:53am on 21 May 2009, Craig_Ellachie wrote:

    #145

    The thought police dismisseth me. Sorry to offend.

    I would just like to second #144 and was wondering if anyone could tell me how a chap goes about getting his moat cleaned for free without being a member of the UK parliament. Not that it's a pressing problem for me. I just wondered.

    Sorry to offend.

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  • 151. At 08:06am on 21 May 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    #147 True enough - I travel throughout UK and many in Northy & SW England feel as anti Westminster as Scots do - they only want to hang on to Scotland for minerals & power generation plus the miltary bases to cover the Greenland Gap so they can strut their stuff in NATO as if UK was still a world player - and Engaaland becoming just plain England would make their seat on UN Security council shoogly -introdicung a dose of reality to the Establishment which they couldnt take.

    And another thing - what about 12 BBC Commissioners troughing £140k+ in expenses - Telly Tax Strike next??

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  • 152. At 08:21am on 21 May 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    #150 Its quite easy - you get some Ducks - they eat the weeds and you claim for the island and hut for them to live in

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  • 153. At 09:09am on 21 May 2009, Bruce wrote:

    19 Haminish

    I wouldn't pay too much heed to NR's blog at the moment, most people are just letting of steam and blaming anyone and everything for the current events

    Most English people don't feel like that in any way. People are angry at the moment but I don't think that there is any real malevolent feeling towards the Scots. Some of the points are valid and worth considering (ie Scottish MP's voting on England only bills and vice versa) as this was a tactic used by the labour administration to push through bills that nobody wanted - it's allowable but not really what parliament was intended to do

    I seem to recall 18 years of Conservatives voting on Scottish matters and no one in England complained about that anomily.

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  • 154. At 10:01am on 21 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Brian
    Bit worrying that, with Westminster in dis-array due to the urgent need for troughers to protect their backsides, the UK is going down the tubes. The credit rating agencies, the ones who said CDOs were all AAA and hunky dory, have put the UK on negative credit watch and there's Global wanting to borrow eye-watering amounts of cash to support his British lifestyle of Tridents, ID cards and a seat on the Security Council in the same ridiculous way as our MPs need our cash to house their ducks, clean their moats and add plastic timber beams to their council semis. We'll be paying the interest and the interest is just going to keep on going up.
    I'm sorry, Nicola, but Prozac seems the only answer while we're still in this wreck called the UK

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  • 155. At 10:21am on 21 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Brian
    I have read with amusement the posts of your contributors who believe the BBC is a conspiracy to put down the SNP as I felt they were a bit OTT. However when I can find nowhere on the BBC the news of the UK's credit rating downgrade, a fact that has moved the pound, the stock market and the gilts market down by full percentage points, I start to feel that the BBC's protection of the government from the wrath of the voters is getting to be an obstacle to democracy

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  • 156. At 10:50am on 21 May 2009, StephenGash wrote:

    @ #147. Wansanshoo
    Another misleading post.

    We are talking about England, N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Highlands receive different spending to Glasgow, which in turn receives different spending to the Shetlands (where all the oil is).

    Honest devolution would have seen Scotland bust up into at least three regions and Wales into two. The nations should have been subsumed into the UK. However, it is only England that is expected to be eradicated for the sake of the 'Union'.

    That is the main complaint from the English. Michael Martin is/was the Speaker for the UK Parliament that makes decisions only affecting England. Nobody in England voted for either him or England's de facto First Minister Gordon Brown.

    Michael Martin prevented a Justice for England march going past the Palace of Westminster on 1st May 2007. However, he has permitted Tamil Tiger supporters to protest outside Parliament for days. The Tamil Tigers is a terrorist organisation.

    It was very gratifying to see Martin hounded out of his job. It will be very gratifying when England achieves independence and we have no more unelected Scots deciding how we run our country.

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  • 157. At 10:51am on 21 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    pattymkirkwood Re 135

    This is just more Labour spin. If Brown was honest about this you would have had, Blears, Hoon, Darling and McNulty all being deselected by now.

    Two or three backbench MPs in ultra safe (if there are any left) Labour seats will be deselected, with new faces to fill the monkey in a red rosette role.

    Can anyone clarify, In the Glasgow by-election, is it correct that under Labour rules the new candidate for that seat must be a woman imposed by the national executive?

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  • 158. At 11:09am on 21 May 2009, StephenGash wrote:

    #143 MathCampbell "The parties in Holyrood NOT in favour of Independence are not Scottish parties. They're Westminster parties. They're predominately English parties. They answer to London, not to Scotland. And they're against Scotland, with all her mineral and natural resources going off on her own."
    Well you've been effectively brainwashed. They are far from being English. They are British and as Anglophobic as everything else that is British.

    The 'oor oil' claim is typical Scots nationalist dishonesty. Where would Scots nationalists be without the oil? What would they be saying if all the oil lay in English territory? Scots nationalists have always had the attitude 'what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine'.

    Scotland had nothing when it joined the Union. England had the North Sea oil of 1707, the colonies and the East India Company. It was already a world power. Glasgow was a muddy backwater, until the Union when its population exploded in a matters of a view years on the back of the well established slave and tobacco trades.

    Scotland would have no shipbuilding without the Union. England's navies would have no more bought ships from Scotland than from France.

    Now that Scotland reckons it has something, it doesn't want to share it. It isn't as if Scots haven't benefitted from the UK. It has had numerous Ministers of State, the latest being Martin and Brown.

    Some Scots bloke called Fergusson bragged in the Guardian not too long back that 'the Scots run everything' which mirrored Scottish attitude. When RBS took over Nat West, the theme from 'Braveheart' was played at the next AGM. Now that Scots are justifiably getting the blame for wrecking the economy the bleat 'oh, you racist, you'.

    Michael Martin was useless. Gordon Brown was the worst Chancellor there has ever been. Norman Lamont, another Scot took some beating, but Brown surpassed him with ease. Now he has overtaken Heath as the worst Prime Minister.

    MPs are praising Michael Martin for his 'kindness'. I don't know what Elizabeth Filkin and Jill Pay have to say about that, but the BBC should ask them.

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  • 159. At 11:10am on 21 May 2009, Jake-the-S wrote:

    At least Sir Peter Viggers used the money wisely.

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  • 160. At 11:13am on 21 May 2009, scottishrepublic wrote:

    MathCampbell...

    Thankyou very much for expressing the view of the average SNP supporter..I to have never actually encountered an SNP Supporter who wished any badness towards the average English Person...Yes there are many who actually despise the entire Westminster System....but that is not a personal attack on the voters who put the culprits into it...

    As for your English backround...lets be very honest....there are on average 5000 English People relocating to Scotland on an annual basis who are looking for a new lifestyle that has the same family values that the unfortunate English seem to be losing...As far as I am concerned being a Scot is more a state of mind rather than simply an accent...

    I welcome all Scots who happen to have been born in a different part of this world...providing they join the general Scottish Communities ambitions to continually improve the lot of all Scots through good education and the dream to be the best we can be as a Nation....

    PS I certainly wish you well in your dream to be an MSP in the Scottish Parliament...It would be a great honour for anyone to achieve....I dare say there will be a lot of applications the longer it continues to develop as Scotlands only Government..

    Saor Alba

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  • 161. At 11:20am on 21 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    143. Ah, enough. What nonsense. Just read the many anti-English posts on here. Also re-read what you posted and then try and claim again that you have no anti-English sentiments. Then wonder whether the SNP's campiagn/publicity stunt to 'repatriate' the Lewis Chessmen was not an attempt to stoke up anti-English resentment...Of course it was. It was the same with those other stunts regarding Berwick-upon-Tweed and with MQOS's remains. Than add Christine Grahame's cringing comments on Sky last St. George's Day when she claimed 'England had no culture other than Morris Dancing'. She was brought on for comedy value and she promptly delivered.

    And you actually say, "I have *never* once detected any form of anti-englishness in any SNP member."?

    147. London is a net tax contributor. You have been told and shown this several times, "however don't allow this fact to get in the way of ignorance when posting".

    155. Two problems with your post, handclapping:

    1. The UK's credit rating hasn't been downgraded, it is still AAA. Bizarrely, you say this yourself in #154.

    2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8061019.stm

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  • 162. At 12:05pm on 21 May 2009, Wansanshoo wrote:

    #156 & 161

    Are you suggesting the Institute For Fiscal Policy is incorrect ?


    Wansanshoo.

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  • 163. At 12:06pm on 21 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #161 Reluctant-Expat
    Try reading what I said rather what you think I said. Check the timings of your article and my post. I think something that moves markets to the extent of S&P deserves better than a sentence buried in an article on UK borrowings; see ft.com for their headline to see how important it is.
    As ever the problem with your posts is your tenuous grasp of reality.

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  • 164. At 12:08pm on 21 May 2009, scottish_solstice wrote:


    158 StephenaGash

    "The 'oor oil' claim is typical Scots nationalist dishonesty"

    I would like to point out that I am a Scots nationalist but I am in no way dishonest!

    How insulting!

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  • 165. At 12:10pm on 21 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    Reading most of the above comments makes me smile!

    The two things in life that we are told exist to make the world a better place are fast becoming the source of ruin ...... Politics & Religion.

    Politics = Democracy ..... youre having a laugh.

    The political system is broken, not just here but all around the world. No longer do politicians 'work' for their constituents.

    Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron the current predicament the MPs find themselves in wouldve happened regardless who was in power at the time!

    As for Religion, well thats another story

    And its a source of frustration for some that the younger generations take no interest in Politics and Religion dont worry their attitudes could well save the world :-)

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  • 166. At 12:13pm on 21 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #156

    You are adding nothing to any debate. I don't want to come on here to read uninformed rants and infantile political point scoring. I would like to read a variety of opinions, honestly held, and seek to persuade those who disagree with my position that I have the right of it and hopefully they will respond in the same manner. Abusive and insulting posts merely destroy an arguement and I think you will find that your recent posts are so puerile that they engender irritation and nothing else. As a matter of information Gordon Brown is PM because the Labour Party, whose representation in Parliament is in huge majority English, chose him to be so. I'm sure as a unionist, however, you wouldn't make such distinctions, would you?

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  • 167. At 12:15pm on 21 May 2009, mvan99 wrote:

    "Do you think the views of the voting public will have altered one jot as a consequence?"

    Not sure that the public trusted these clowns even before the last 2 weeks of scandals. The house had no confidence in the speaker with the result that he had to go but the public also have no confidence in any of the people running this country so the quicker they realise this and go the better for us all! The country is falling apart with little being done to fix it...

    The problem is that very few people actually bother to vote and in some areas of Scotland if Labour fielded a Monkey it would get elected..

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  • 168. At 12:16pm on 21 May 2009, scottish_solstice wrote:

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

  • 169. At 12:20pm on 21 May 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    #159

    More UK unparliamentary expenses revelations to come as the media shooting party aims to bag a few more foul nest-featherers before the hunting season comes to an end? Did somebody say "Duck"?

    By the way, I see that the S&P outlook for the UK economy has been downgraded to negative because of the current record public-sector net borrowing level, which the IMF has apparently advised the UK government to bring down. Will it be water off a duck's back, though? The UK, or Duck Island, as it may henceforward expect to be known, for a time at least, will apparently get deeper into debt in the months ahead even though MP expenses are being cut back. Or is this just a vicious rumour circulated by naughty independentists?

    Poor old Blighty! One feels almost sorry to see it in such distress. Still, it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of chappies.

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  • 170. At 12:28pm on 21 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #158 Stephen - thanks very much for your post . if we are such a waste of space and we are dragging down the rest of the UK (well actually Engerland) why is it we must keep the UK just as it is?
    in your view if it wasn't for the union, Scotland would be on par with a third world country .
    well it is time for some home truths- GB or the UK whatever you wish to call it is no longer a world leader , yes we have nuclear weapons that we pay for ,we maintain, but oh yes we are not allowed to fire.
    The UK are up to their necks in debt,the IMF are waiting in the wings.
    If we then add the worst personal debt figures in the world ,
    Full Fiscal Autonomy for Scotland- would be a disaster for England, there politicians and there journalist's as they would be left looking even more ridiculous than they already look .
    sorry to burst your bubble but you shouldn't believe everything you read in the papers or hear on the BBC.
    one last point if you ask every Scottish labour ,tory & lib-Dem MP in Westminster they will tell you they are British ,not Scottish
    when FFA comes, which it will, it is England that will be left looking as though it is they who are heading towards 3rd world country status
    Sid

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  • 171. At 12:29pm on 21 May 2009, Wansanshoo wrote:

    #156 & 161

    Here is a direct quote from the unionist apologist Sir Kenneth Calman:

    Describing changing the Barnett formula as "one of the big tasks", he said: "I think all the evidence we've had, and I speak mainly about the evidence coming in, suggests that needs to change."

    Asked if the formula was fair to British taxpayers, he said: "It's pretty good for Scotland - it depends if you think that's fair or not. But I don't think it reflects the needs.

    "It depends where you live in England. It's quite important you don't think about England as a single place - you can break down the regions quite nicely. If you look at London for example, you would see London does pretty well."

    'Pretty well' means:

    London 5,985 +28
    Northern Ireland 5,684 +21
    Scotland 5,676 +21
    Wales 5,050 +8
    North East 4,960 +6
    North West 4,927 +5
    UK 4,679 0
    England 4,523 -3
    Yorkshire & Humber 4,477 -4
    West Midlands 4,430 -5
    East Midlands 4,086 -13
    South West 3,947 -16
    South East 3,874 -17
    East of England 3,820 -18

    Wansanshoo

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  • 172. At 12:46pm on 21 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #161 Reluctant-Expat
    Notice how the BBC's coverage of the downgrade has perked up? They've even at 11:44 managed to rope in Peston. Amazing what happens when reality sinks in; it's another sign, like the expenses scandal, that our "leaders" are seriously out of touch. Darling's failure to Budget will turn out to be tantamount to treason, you couldn't create better conditions for the break-up of Britain than to bankrupt it.

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  • 173. At 1:08pm on 21 May 2009, Jake-the-S wrote:

    #165 The most sensible post I have read to date although you should have said ...........

    Politics = Religion

    Why??
    Well, politicians tell fairy stories and religion is based on books of fairy stories.

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  • 174. At 1:14pm on 21 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    Oh, change the record for crying out loud.

    167. "The problem is that very few people actually bother to vote and in some areas of Scotland if Labour fielded a Monkey it would get elected.."

    And everyone knows that if the SNP put up a lump of granite and said it supported independence, you'd all back it to the hilt without question.

    Enough of that tedious hypocrisy.

    No wonder so very few can be bothered with this blog anymore!

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  • 175. At 1:15pm on 21 May 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    #161 Expat

    MathCampbell summed up perfectly the outlook of the SNP, and that of the average supporter of Scottish Independence - an outlook built on decency and a determination to succeed through the democratic process.

    The list of aspirations that you cite, along with your predisposition to leap to the defence of England's greater interests at every turn, evidently speak volumes about your own sensibilities.

    In fact, none of the ambitions for repatriation of the items listed should be viewed as particularly unreasonable:
    All have their origins in Scotland, and therefore belong to Scotland in some way;
    A substantial percentage of Berwick's population have expressed a positive interest in the town's potential return to the fold of its historic homeland.

    I depart slightly from Ms Grahame on the point of morris dancing, however, since the offending practice is obviously founded on ancient Celtic traditions, and has little to do with any perceived "English culture", which remains an elusive myth.

    As for London - it very much depends what is included in the balance sheet as to whether it turns a tax surplus or not.
    Do we include or ignore the substantial Treasury input into the infrastructure of buildings and public jobs and organisations associated with the mechanisms of state, including Defence HQs, bases and installations??

    Do we include or ignore the upkeep costs of royal palaces, or the combined costs of keeping Westminster MPs in their accustommed manner???

    One thing is clear:
    Whichever way you analyse it, as London is of course devoid of natural resources, not least in regard to critical water supplies, the bigger picture clearly shows it to be irrevocably reliant on the wider UK for basic daily necessities.

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  • 176. At 1:18pm on 21 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    So the usual suspect is again trying to sugest anti-English sentiment on the blog - time to completely ignore this individual.

    Anyway
    Seems that Brown has yet again dug a hole for himself when he described Blears' avoidance of capital gains tax as unacceptable. It's been revealed that both Hoon and Purnell have behaved in the same manner !!

    Another story is emerging that has similarities with the David Marshall story. Labour MP Margaret Moran is accused of using parliamentary staff in order to carry out work for a private company who's listed address is the same as Moran's MP's office.

    Some here will be aware that David Marshall claimed for just such an office, which happened to be his own home. However, a little known fact is that Marshall's daughetr ran a consultancy company who's address turned out to be the same one !!

    The employee who Marshall had claimed for was either his daughter or his wife, they both had the same name.

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  • 177. At 1:30pm on 21 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Comment 167:

    If you watched the BBC Scotland late news last night you would have seen the Michael Connarty claim mentioned.

    However the unsavoury aspects of his claiming for furniture, selling the furniture to another Labour MP (who claimed the money again), then claiming money for more furniture and having items delivered to addresses in Scotland weren't covered.

    They instead commented only on the alarm clock he bought and tried to turn the revelation into a harmless joke.

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  • 178. At 1:58pm on 21 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    171. I'm bored with explaining it to you over and over again. You are clearly determined to take one snapshot statistic as representative of the overall funding picture and this either makes you extremely naive or just a simple liar. Either way, I now have too little interest in your opinion to make any more conversation worthwhile.

    That none of the other nats are correcting you says bundles too.

    You will undoubtedly take 'loss of interest' as some form of victory and I am happy to let you have that. You are in for a major disappointment on 1 Nov 2010, after all.

    Next pile of nationalist nonsense, please.

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  • 179. At 2:15pm on 21 May 2009, scottish_solstice wrote:



    So who referred me to the moderators then?

    I merely pointed out that Brown is closing a blind eye to Hoon & Purnel with regards to the expenses, yet Cameron is taking action.

    A long with a link to the Times newspaper.

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  • 180. At 2:15pm on 21 May 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    140 stephaniesgash

    "2. Your point is irrelevent. Scottish and Welsh MPs have no electoral mandate in England and therefore should not be permitted to vote in what you call the English Parliament as English voters have no redress. Having unelected unrepresentative MPs making decisions affecting a nation is undemocratic, indeed verges on dictatorship."

    !!!!

    Hahahaheh!

    Oh how right you are!
    Do you actually realise what you have said here??
    Something tells me you haven't a clue.

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  • 181. At 2:25pm on 21 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    172. Spot on yet again, handclapping. That the BBC have updated one of their reports is indeed "another sign, like the expenses scandal, that our "leaders" are seriously out of touch."

    I would like to thank you for bringing that to our attention.

    I assume we are ignoring similar credit warnings being issued about Australia, Spain, Japan and the USA? Also the downgrade of Italy's debt rating?

    Clearly we are also glossing over the actual credit downgrades given to those two cornerstones of Salmond's 2008 'Arc of Prosperity I'; Iceland and Ireland?

    We must all get together and pray that Our Great Leader will bless us with another pearl of economic wisdom in these dark days. Not only did he brilliantly direct us to gaze in envy and inspiration at Ireland and Iceland's economies months before they imploded, but as the banking meltdown was gathering pace, he also declared that Scotland should have "a light-touch regulation suitable to a Scottish financial sector with its outstanding reputation for probity, as opposed to one like that in the UK, which absorbs huge amounts of management time in 'gold-plated' regulation."

    Why, oh why, was this genius not given control of our economy?! Why?

    Will no-one think of the children!

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  • 182. At 2:28pm on 21 May 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    143. At 01:48am on 21 May 2009, MathCampbell

    Nice post, goodluck with your political aspirations.

    I was born there too. Didn't have the pleasure of staying quite as long as you and both my parents are scots. I have some dear English friends, south and north of the wall. Working along side many for the best part of the start of my career, politics and feelings of nationalism and pride never got in the way of scincere friendships.

    The anti english/racist slurr is going to become more common I think, it's about all they have left to throw at us. Why they feel the need to throw anything at us at all is a mystery to me?

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  • 183. At 2:41pm on 21 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #177 yes it was the same at 6:30 it's a wonder they didn't run it as their funny little "and finally" story. ho,ho,ho, what a weeze.
    see the telegraph now have a list of all the MP's that they have investigated and published on their web site.
    you need to do some amount of scrolling to get from top to bottom.
    they are including the ones who showed some decency/morality.
    not surprisingly they are heavily outnumbered by the crooks!
    Sid

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  • 184. At 2:46pm on 21 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    Perfect timing:

    176. greenockboy: "So the usual suspect is again trying to sugest anti-English sentiment on the blog"

    Yet just above this....

    175. dougie-dubh: "I depart slightly from Ms Grahame on the point of morris dancing, however, since the offending practice is obviously founded on ancient Celtic traditions, and has little to do with any perceived "English culture", which remains an elusive myth."

    It seems that the only people who don't realise Scottish nationalists are fervently anti-English.....are the Scottish nationalists. They genuinely can't stop themselves with one poster even denying knowing about any anti-English bigotry anywhere, before letting rip with a beauty of an example in the very same post.

    And they wonder why no-one takes them seriously. Go figure.

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  • 185. At 2:55pm on 21 May 2009, scottish_solstice wrote:


    Regaining order in the commons ... not Browns style!


    What's the difference between Hazel Blears & James Purnell??

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2009/may/21/blears-purnell-hoon-expenses

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  • 186. At 3:00pm on 21 May 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    177. yep watched that too. David Porter's haste to rattle through this piece of bad news for Labour meant he read it an undertone faster than Sian Philips does the weather. It could almost have been the affectionate end of programme funny with the wee joke about whether Connarty took the clock abroad with him.

    Still at least they didn't fill Eaglesham Moor with the expected Reporting Scotland busload of angry Labour voters. There seemed to be no-one on that blasted heath furious with the windfarm and the Scottish Government and confident if not indignant that "we can never go it alone".

    Where did they disappear to last night ?







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  • 187. At 3:02pm on 21 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    The BBC in Scotland have decided that a four day old story is the number one political item in Scotland today.

    Iain Gray used it in the usual weak attempt at attacking the SNP, so the BBC in Scotland as usual decide to headline it.

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  • 188. At 3:40pm on 21 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #184

    With the SNP sitting at 41% in the opinion polls, governing Scotland and the largest active party base in Scotland by some way plenty people take the nationalists seriously.
    Next silly point?

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  • 189. At 3:55pm on 21 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #171

    There is little point in arguing about the Barnett Formula. Scotland's geography and demography means that the needs are entirely differentfrom much of the rest of UK.
    The identifiable expenditure which is used in attacks on the Barnett Formula represents about 60 to 70% of Governement spending only and they very carefully identify the spending they want use. Vast areas of government expenditure like military procurement which is heavily concentrated in the S East are ignored and "national" expenditure on lots motorways and channel tunnels and so on don't figure as expenduture benefits to the South while relative contributions to the central pot are not tabulated.

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  • 190. At 4:22pm on 21 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    189. sneckedagain: "Vast areas of government expenditure like military procurement which is heavily concentrated in the S East..."

    And just how is military procurement heavily concentrated in the S East? There are very few, if any, military factories there. I assume we are ignoring the multi-billion military procurement contracts in Glasgow which include the two largest defence contracts in UK history?

    I thought so.

    You nats have never provided any proof to back up these endless claims. Never ever. Ever.

    And as demonstrated in the last (heavily recalculated) GERS, the SNP don't agree with you either.

    You're certainly onto another winner here, snecked.

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  • 191. At 4:23pm on 21 May 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    186. At 3:00pm on 21 May 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    "Still at least they didn't fill Eaglesham Moor with the expected Reporting Scotland busload of angry Labour voters. There seemed to be no-one on that blasted heath furious with the windfarm and the Scottish Government and confident if not indignant that "we can never go it alone"

    Not really sure what your point is about the Scottish Government but I can tell you this, if SNP really want to cheese off the bread and butter which built the independence movement, they will want to build more windfarms. Leave oor bluddy hills alone!

    Off topic, sorry, just commenting on a comment.

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  • 192. At 4:23pm on 21 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #189 sneckedagain
    OK, so you have a strong dislike for the "Barnett formula" so want fiscal
    response do you suppose Scotland would replace the "Barnett formula" with.

    Are you suggesting we dump the "Barnett formula" for "LIT"?

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  • 193. At 4:57pm on 21 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Bit of advice all:

    Don't be baited by the Unionist who is clearly being allowed onto the blog by the mods, despite repeatedly breaking house rules.

    Following on from the Michael Connarty story that was filtered by the BBC for viewers in Scotland last night was the report on Radio Scotland at around 16:20 covering Hoon and Purnell's avoidance of Capital Gains tax.

    The language used in the report was so confusing that it was almost impossible to ascertain exactly what the two were being accused of.

    To be clear, they had provided the Commons and the Inland revenue with DIFFERENT addresses when denoting their main residence. This is exactly what Blears did and resulted in Brown describing it as "unacceptable".

    Brown is now squirming as he seeks to make excuses for the latest tax avoiders.

    Oh, anyone spot the 'Tartan Terrorist' story that's been given prime coverage by the BBC?

    It's election time right enough:

    Any old medical files lying around anywhere - I'd get them locked up.

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  • 194. At 5:00pm on 21 May 2009, scottish_solstice wrote:


    I know understand what some of the long standing and much respected posters here mean when they talk about the media behavior in Scotland particularly on the run up to an election.

    My 168 at 12.16pm today.. reworded

    Mr Brown sits back as he dismisses claims of wrong doing by Mr Purnell & Mr Hoon over their mp expenses.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6333308.ece


    Mr Cameron either sacks MPs or they have to step down due mp expenses claims.

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  • 195. At 5:07pm on 21 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #169. frankly_francophone

    May I pluck my feather cap off to you sir. Duckbill Drake.

    MPs' expenses: how would you reform the system?

    Anthony Steen claims people just jealous of his large house

    ""What right does the public have to interfere with my private life? None."

    Tory World!

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  • 196. At 5:07pm on 21 May 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    I think Nick Robinson must be running scared of bloggers , he has closed his comment section again!
    I noted with some amusement a sarcastic welcome back to the blog to one derekbarker, sadly missed for some time apparently!
    ( Or at least not recognised by any of the multiples!)

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  • 197. At 5:07pm on 21 May 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    It may be of passing interest to those who having been following the discussion today that, according to Le Figaro, a respected conservative newspaper, the S&P announcement concerning its revised view of the outlook for the UK economy in light of the UK's crippling public-sector debt deserves to be taken very seriously, as does the warning issued by S&P that a failure on the part of the UK government to reduce this in the not very distant future could well lead to the withdrawal of its AAA credit rating, thus increasing the cost of servicing UK debt and causing a further deterioration in the UK budget deficit.

    Le Figaro considers that the S&P announcement constitutes direct pressure on the party expected to form the next UK government, having concluded that the present one will probably be allowed to limp along with its present credit rating until that election, after which serious and credible measures to reduce public-sector debt will be required if that rating is to be maintained. It is to be supposed, therefore, that there is some danger of considerable government spending cuts and tax rises at that point beyond what an incoming UK government would wish to impose, and it is worth noting that S&P states that it does not expect the UK economy to have recovered sufficiently by then to avoid either such painful measures or, if such measures are not forthcoming or are deemed to be insufficient, withdrawal of the AAA credit rating at that point.

    Le Figaro has no axe to grind here. It is merely dealing in plain reality, as is its wont, a reality which seems set fair to benefit the electoral chances of the SNP in the Scottish parliamentary elections of 2010 and in an independence referendum, if one is held. This being so, it is hardly surprising that the usual anglo-unionist suspects are getting to be more and more peevish.

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  • 198. At 5:18pm on 21 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #142 StephenGash

    "The funniest thing about Martin's resignation was even though it was met with as much silence as the Scottish Parliament's 'no to referendum' vote, he still said 'order'."

    Yes, it's been hilarious watching the fallout from the biggest sysetmatic fraud on the British taxpayer in recorded history.

    What fun to have our pockets emptied to fund the every whim of a shower of crooked UK MPs. I admire your sense of humour.

    By the way, can you send me £850? I need a new TV. Thanks!

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  • 199. At 5:23pm on 21 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    188. There is an inevitably cyclical nature to politics and I hope you're not foolish to believe otherwise (there are many democratic political parties who thought they were in power for ever but were usually gone within 8-12 years). I believe the SNP will win the next Holyrood elections but that will be it for them. There is a huge mood of protest against Labour but the SNP haven't exactly been delivering the goods to maintain a solid support base outside the independence-seekers.

    Let's face it, when your party's "Magnificent Seven" achievements include the removal of one pound tolls on two bridges, the removal of parking charges at some hospitals and making 8% of prescriptions slightly cheaper....well, not really racking up the achievements, are they. You just can't survive on populist policies alone for long.

    And going by Salmond's horrific economic statements so far, if he gets his hands on any more of the fiscal levers, they could well be out even sooner.

    Never mind, they can just wrap themselves in the Saltire again, shout that only they are "working for Scotland" again, and find something to feign anger with the UK Government/English again. Always good for rousing the masses, eh!

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  • 200. At 5:26pm on 21 May 2009, Wansanshoo wrote:

    #178

    ''I'm bored with explaining it to you over and over again. You are clearly determined to take one snapshot statistic as representative of the overall funding picture and this either makes you extremely naive or just a simple liar.''

    The discussion concerned the Barnett Formula, nothing else, it was you my unionist friend who tried create a bigger picture, due to the fact that the Institute for Fiscal Studies proved you wrong.

    And no I wont lower myself to name calling.


    Wansanshoo.

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  • 201. At 5:29pm on 21 May 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    191. my (apparently rather obscure!) point was that Reporting Scotland usually have a hefty cast of Labour voters ready to comment on any story regardless of content that appears to support or be supported by the SNP.

    I was expecting a queue of "wind farm haters" simply because Salmond was there opening it and that's what I've come to expect from the BBC.

    As to whether you're right that SNP supporters are "cheesed off " with wind farms, I've no idea. Myself, I rather like them.

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  • 202. At 5:32pm on 21 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

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

  • 203. At 5:37pm on 21 May 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    197 frankly

    Jeez, I am already of the oppinion that being governed by England is a nightmare I will hopefully wake up from very soon. grrrr!

    You describe a bleaker picture than that; That picture being pepetual agonising pain in eternal hell.

    Lets get rid of the people who dragged us down there PLEASE!

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  • 204. At 5:38pm on 21 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #181 Reluctant-Expat
    Oh dear, I met a three year old with tonsilitis today, I don't know which of the two of you was more comical. I'd better let you know that the BBC have even had to draft in Stephanie to try to spin this to "best advantage" but the trouble with spin is that reality eventually intrudes.
    Why, Oh Why was the man who saved the world ever given the finances of our United Kingdom to play with, not possibly, not in the future, not at the end of the arc of the rainbow but in 1997. He has ruined Scotland just as surely as the Darien scheme but has also managed to ruin England too. How he must be a hero to you, forget the bye-kill, "He's ruined Scotland! Nanananaha!". I'm really worried that, given the improvement in the content of your posts, you are never going to get your "O" level Economics.
    When you are so far out of your depth, don't bother us with inanities, save your breath for your swimming

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  • 205. At 5:42pm on 21 May 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    #184 Expat

    I was, of course, being ironic to express a point, evidently but not unpredictably lost on you.

    Your tirade being that pro-independence Scots have a one-way monopoly on ignorant disdain for our neighbours over the Border??
    I suggest you catch up on some of the ill-informed, blinkered, jingoistic anti-Scottish rants which frequently populate the wider UK media networks - and often even pass for journalistic copy in certain quarters of the press, or acceptable diatribe from self-important guests on "serious" national TV programmes.

    Wid some pow'r the giftie gie us
    Tae see oorsel's as ithers see us!!


    More seriously, whether or not the English do have a recognisable "culture", and whatever form that may take, is surely a matter for them themselves, and not something we should have to labour under.

    As a self-appointed defender of such things, though, maybe you could offer us a definitive example of such culture?

    Please note, Westminster expenses culture doesn't really count! ;-)

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  • 206. At 5:48pm on 21 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Hey up! Baloo's on, we are all about to be called "IDIOTS AND FOOL'S"
    by the master blaster. O' behave Dr ....

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  • 207. At 6:00pm on 21 May 2009, Economicallyliterate wrote:

    Post 156, 161 & 171 re the Barnett formula you might find the following link from UK statistics interesting as it tracks the regional gross value added over the last 10 years.

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_economy/NUTS1-2-3.pdf

    If the formula was rejigged with 2008 as a new base year and 100 being the UK average the rebased distribution figures for some regions would be as follows.

    Wales 137.5
    North East 130.4
    Northern Ireland 126.5
    Scotland 106.8
    UK Average 100.0
    South East 90.4
    London 67.3.

    So Wales would get GBP 137.50 compared to the UK average of GBP 100 with Scotland at GBP 106.80. The South east would get GBP 90.40 whilst London only GBP 67.30.

    The huge investment in the South East in the last 30 years and the huge growth in the UK services sector and decline in manufacturing explain the radical changes.

    Just a thought. rather than getting an effective subsidy from the rest o the UK London should be subsidising the rest of us.

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  • 208. At 6:18pm on 21 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    205. You know what, I could absolutely believe that there are nationalists who couldn't name a single example of English culture. There are repeated demonstrations of ignorance on so many other matters, after all!

    Come on, prove me wrong. Without resorting to Wiki or any other website, let's see how many examples you nats can muster, or even stomach to muster.....

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  • 209. At 6:35pm on 21 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #208 Reluctant-Expat
    Oswald Mosley?

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  • 210. At 6:37pm on 21 May 2009, timepassescarmichael wrote:

    Kickin' back with an afternoon of chess and '60s music is not a bad way to spend a short holiday afternoon and I've just found out we are absolutely going to get a by-election in Glasgow so happy times for now and ahead. It got me thinking, though, about the prospects of an early general election and, though I believe morally there should be a general election, I'm well aware of Brown's reasoning for hanging on, hoping with some hope that his numbers can pick up again, somehow. And why not? Brown has lived his entire essence to be Prime Minister for so darn long that no one cannot expect him to simply hand it over, and, you know, whisper it, in some small way, I do pity the guy, it has all went so horribly wrong. For Brown to call, voluntarily, for an early general election is the political equivalent of Henchard, in The Mayor of Casterbridge, walking off into the distance. Brown described himself as Heathcliff, but he belongs to Hardy, only Hardy could write a Gordon Brown.

    Thus, an early general election will only come about if Brown is deposed after a terrible Euro-election and English locals. Reading between the lines I do think Alan Johnson is being lined up even though it would be a very difficult process to get rid of Brown, but from what I've seen and heard, I think Johnson could be looking at a move. To be honest, if Johnson were to take-over after a disastrous elections then I think some of the anger directed toward Labour would dissipate just a little, giving Johnson some time to get Labour together for the early election he would be bound to call. Johnson is comfortable with people in a way Brown can only envy, he comes across well on the telly and radio, and he seems like a decent enough sort of chap. He could setady the ship, and I think there are more than a few in Labour who know the ship is sinking, and a steadying of that sinking ship would give them just enought time to save their own careers...

    ...But, then again, it's highly likely not a single soul at the top of Labour wants to touch the leadership with a long pole, preferring to let Brown lead them over-the-top in a year's time, allowing a few to scrap over what remains.

    I can't, though, envision any other possibility for an early general election. It's clear people are crying out for one, and I think the people deserve one after what we have learned of Westminster goings-on. If Labour get a sufficient enough beating in early June, then we might just, just get one. So just as we know what to do to try and get a victory for the people in Glasgow, people across Scotland and England need to know what to do to get a general election. Check? Check-mate?

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  • 211. At 6:40pm on 21 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    198. At 5:18pm on 21 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    By the way, can you send me 850? I need a new TV. Thanks!


    Ask Angus Robertson, he managed to get 750 quid cashback on his.......

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  • 212. At 6:42pm on 21 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    #201 grassy.

    Re the windfarm at Eaglesham. I live 5 miles away and it is a big eyesore.

    However, people accepted that it is beneficial to the environment etc. Fair enough. But no one told us before that they are about to double the size.

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  • 213. At 7:35pm on 21 May 2009, hadrianswall wrote:

    #193 Greenockboy.

    I clicked on the 'Tartan Terrorist' story and a picture of Alex Salmond came up. Very clever BBC.

    Freedom

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  • 214. At 7:45pm on 21 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #212 Neil ... dont worry you will get used to the sight of them... i have 23 up the hill from me and overall there are about 40 in the area. I dont see what the problem is as they are no worse than pylons and i see them as quite gracefull. Ok there is no wind this evening and the bu**ers are sitting idle but they serve a purpose . Maybe if they turned out the lights in Leicster Square England wouldnt need so much power stations !! The sea will be the future though regarding wind and tidal generators and only the SNP are interested in pursuing this option...ok maybe the Greens too but then they want us all to live in houses made of bales and take the bus everywhere.

    ps How much bile has RE got in him ...he needs to get a life ..or a crate of Rennies.

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  • 215. At 7:59pm on 21 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    214. At 7:45pm on 21 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep:

    To be fair, I can't see them from my house :) But anything that helps is useful, and it does create some jobs. I think there has been a major tidal project going in Ireland now for some time, testing large scale turbines, so hopefully that will progress.

    As for RE and others with bile, I now ignore them.


    Here's a novel idea: how about the staunch Unionist and staunch independent bloggers making one criticism about their respective political parties, and then making a positive contribution about their opponents?

    Then dive back into the usual debate!!

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  • 216. At 8:09pm on 21 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    #208...Take That

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  • 217. At 8:13pm on 21 May 2009, Economicallyliterate wrote:

    For those worried about the new windfarm near Glasgow, which is going to be extended by the way, you really shouldn't read the following

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8060969.stm

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  • 218. At 8:15pm on 21 May 2009, reaktor303 wrote:

    Not still on about the Barnett Formula?

    It accounts for *identified* spending only. Key. There's literally billions and billions of unidentified not being counted. You think it's all against Scotland? Eh, no! Let's add that on for a start.

    This unidentifiable spending includes, for example, the running of the justice system in England and Wales. Oddly the operation of the Scottish system is regarding as a Scottish expense, but the English justice system is regarded as a UK expense.

    There's just more Scottish stuff identified as it's not being hidden and fudged. Plus Trident being added to Scotland's figure. Something that the majority of Scotland are against.

    There are other anomalies in this. SNP claimed there was English-only spending being added to Scotland.

    Look - just give Scotland full control of oil, whisky, etc - our things after all - and stop the Barnett formula. Never going to happen is it. If not stop whining on about it.

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  • 219. At 8:30pm on 21 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    U.K. Lawmakers Reimbursed for Trips to Homes Far From Districts

    "Conservative Malcolm Rifkind got 3,066 pounds ($4,800) last year for flights to his home in Scotland -- though he represents a district three subway stops from the Parliament in London."

    Ian Gibson offers to stand down over his MPs' expenses claims for London flat

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  • 220. At 8:41pm on 21 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    79. Thomas_Porter

    Glasgow North East; I'd predict a Labour hold, with the SNP improving signifcantly on their previous second place finish (2005 it was 17.7%)

    My prediction is as follows:

    Labour: 48.3% (-5)
    SNP: 27% (+9.3)
    Con: 11.2% (+5.3)
    Liberals: 4.3% (nc)

    I am being optimistic on the Liberal vote, in all probability it will tumble. Just as in Glashow East, and Glenrothes.

    The Tory vote in 1997 (the last time they competed, before Martin became speaker) was 6%, and given the holding action, with pretty much a solid consistancy in the two aforementioned by-elections it certainly wont fall. But this is Glasgow so whether the seat would reflect the Scottish polling increase since 2005 is open to question, but for the sake of simplicity and speed all increases/decreases with the Liberal exception are the YouGov vote changes since 2005 (as per Electoral Calculus data).

    Sorry for the late reply, but I've been busy- just got my book back from OUP; they will publish it!!! Good news all round today.

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  • 221. At 8:42pm on 21 May 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    Re Ex Pat 190 Military Procurement
    Scotland has been given the relatively low valy tin bashing building the bathtub bit of the carriers - the real money is in the control systems, communications, weapons systems, the aircraft etc etc etc most of which are beased south of Oxford - I know cos I've visted them

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  • 222. At 8:57pm on 21 May 2009, MathCampbell wrote:

    Thanks to all those who liked my post...
    Some follow ups:
    1) Since I lived there for most of my early years before emigrating, I think I'd know if I were being "anti-English". I'm not. Just like anywhere, England has it's share of Genius and Imbecile. Just like Scotland.
    England also has a rich and long culture, a lot of it assimilated from many other cultures. Who can say the Tikka Masala is not an intrinsic English recipe? Or that football and cricket would not exist in their current form without the English?
    Scotland also has a rich culture; only one of the aforementioned imbecile's would dispute this.
    What they also choose to dispute is that over the years, particularly in the last 50, those in power in England have treated Scotland, Wales and Ireland with disdain. The word "British" was used synonymously with "English" until about the 1950's.
    The perception in many parts of Scotland (and I have to say I tend to agree) is that Scotland isn't ruled in a Union with the English, it is ruled *by* the English. I daresay the demand for devolution and independence would be noticeably less if the UK Parliament had 400 MP's, 100 from each country in it. But it does not (because we're a smaller country than England), thus no matter what is good for Scotland, democracy means that England will get the choice, and Scotland will get what it gets.
    To those raging about "democracy", and how can Parliament be democratic if there's a Scottish PM..
    In the 1980's, there was, for most of the decade only 1 MP in Government for Scotland. The rest were English. Yet nary so much as a murmur was raised. Even when Scotland was then used as a testbed for poll-tax and other "innovations".

    Westminster might be good for London, and the rest of England. But it's bad for Scotland and the People deserve a say-so.

    Why are the London parties so against letting the People decide?
    I think it's because they're afraid of what the People will say.

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  • 223. At 9:06pm on 21 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Peter Luff shopped till he swapped, then started again

    "Mr Luff denied he had flipped his designation, adding: I dont remember claiming for three loo seats, and if it is true it would be extraordinary. I cannot afford to maintain two homes out of one income and need to claim the full cost of every item in my second home."

    Tax Advice Network

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  • 224. At 9:53pm on 21 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #220

    Dean,I wonder if Tommy Sheridan would like a go at this seat rather than an MEP seat.

    There's no doubt the Tommy would raise his voice for the people of North East Glasgow, something a certain MP for the East end of Glasgow has failed to do.

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  • 225. At 10:38pm on 21 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    <RICHPOST>[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]Time for a Westminster revolution?"Indeed, so shaken has the political establishment been by the expenses scandal that they are suddenly contemplating all kinds of ideas they had previously rejected as unwise, unworkable or hopelessly idealistic."</EM> </RICHPOST>

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  • 226. At 10:40pm on 21 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #224 derekbarker

    Good point. If a single Socialist stood they would get a good vote. In 2005, the 2 Socialists polled approx 11% between them. However, I imagine, in line with their tradition, the Left will splinter and put up multiple candidates.

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  • 227. At 10:47pm on 21 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #224 derekbarker
    According to the rules of the old boys club, it's not the done thing to pinch voters from other seats. So MPs for the East of Glasgow are not allowed to raise their voices for the people of North East Glasgow.
    Sorry about that, but your points are getting better. You'll be overtaking Reluctant-Cowpat if you keep on doing as well as this.

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  • 228. At 10:57pm on 21 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #190
    Over the last 45 years less than 4% of miltary procurement has been done in Scotland.
    The two (now delayed )aircraft carriers we don't need don't make an appreciable difference to this long term figure.

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  • 229. At 11:17pm on 21 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #199
    Seem to have missed the frozen council tax, the cancellation of business rates for th majority of small businesses , the cutting of Government departments by 20%, the cutting of time to get from accident to emergency department by saving the A&E departments, the rising number of policemen on the beat,the funded plans to build 2000 council houses (Labour built six in four years)the 44,000 extra free school meals available to our poorest families, the extra money for free personal and nursing care, the inquiries granted into the Shirley Mckie case, the C diff outbreaks, the Hepetitis C blood scandal and I could go on and on..

    I took the following quote from the excellent Aye We Can blog.
    It describes how the Labour Party clawed its way to power to serve the neediiest and the communities of Scotland. It has no resemblance to what the Loyal British Union Jack money grubbing, right wing appeasing Labour Party is today. In the next five years the SNP will replace the Labour and Libdem parties in Scotland and lead Scotland into a future in which the centuries old community values of Scotland will flourish again

    Read and remember
    "They hustled the indifferent to the booths: they lent shawls and held babies: they carried the sick and dying to the polls on mattresses - and they won. May black shame fall upon the individual or the party, who, having the trust of these women, ever betrays it."


    Tom Johnston, reporting on voting day in Glasgow, General Election, 1922

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  • 230. At 11:22pm on 21 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    225 are the mods going around the twist?

    http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8060896.stm

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  • 231. At 11:27pm on 21 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #226

    I can understand why you may think it a good idea for a single socialist to run in the forthcoming Glasgow North East by-election.

    You may even consider any such event as a tactical positive voting solution.

    If parliament has to change, then more fringe parties must get air time and motion time to put their case forward and lets hope that old stiff upper lip of traditional speakers is modernised.

    Every single day, any MP that finds themselves representing a constituency
    that has a lower life expectancy than the Gaza Strip should be screaming for the house of commons to address that situation.

    More than anything I want our politicians to care, to act and to never tier of fighting for the rights of their people.

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  • 232. At 11:34pm on 21 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #227
    handclapping, what a wonderful idea! to flood the North East of Glasgow with as many Glaswegians as possible, all campaigning for the right to decency and investment and a strong voice in Westminster.

    You know what! make the change Glasgow! and deliver to Westminster a serious politicians, serious about the changes needed.

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  • 233. At 00:25am on 22 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #232 derek
    LOL. I like it; don't let AS know else he might try it!

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  • 234. At 01:14am on 22 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #233 handclapping

    What is the point in sending another Nationalist to Westminster?. why are they there in the first place if they don't believe in that process!
    (for the money?)What has Scotland gained from an SNP government, what does Scotland gain from having 5MP's in Westminster?.

    What Westminster needs to hear is someone telling it like it is! at every giving opportunity about the plight of the people in Glasgow.

    Handclapping, why has there been no details of an independent Scotland, apparently the SNP what to hold a referendum on independence in 1 years time, yet! they fail to release any information about what an independent Scotland would mean? why? many would say! that the SNP are not serious about independence.

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  • 235. At 02:08am on 22 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    Derek:

    #234.

    The Scottish National Party members of Parliaments are there to represent the SNP and the constiuents that they have been elected to represent. That's why they are there.

    I have a question that follows your logic. What has Scotland gained from having 59 (and shrinking) members of Parliment in a chamber of over 600 representatives?

    By using First Past the Post, the amount of voters who are forced to choose either Labour or Conservatives is shocking. Even in Scotland, the SNP are fighting an up-hill battle because by voting SNP instead of Labour, Labour risks loosing seats which then automatically will increase the chance the Conservatives have in forming Government.

    If we were to use PR you can bet that we would see a big difference to groups at Westminiset, perhaps even seeing more smaller parties involved.

    But how can one group control a country on less then 40 percent of the vote and still be classed as democracy is beyond me.



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  • 236. At 03:04am on 22 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #235 Thomas
    Some good points and some area's where I could really trip my self up?.

    Thomas, we can no longer argue that in every community there is a school or teaching of some methods and that every child has a right to secondary education.We can no longer argue that everyone has the right to health issues and hospitals.We can no longer argue the case of full employment and opportunity. Why? because all the above issue are failing those in certain area's of Scotland.

    Thomas for me it's not about FPTP or PR , it's about shaming the establishment into action.

    Thomas, the rich Victorians who built up the city of Glasgow, choose a burial site that over looked the city centre, they said they wanted to survey their lot when they passed over to the other side (so to speak)Thomas times haven't changed that much since those Victorian days, the rich mindset still over- looks the needy and poor from an advantage point many never reach.

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  • 237. At 03:12am on 22 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://www.theherald.co.uk/politics/news/display.var.2509653.0.Labour_split_over_timing_of_Glasgow_North_East_byelection.php

    "Brown is Bonkers" to steal a phrase, he wants the by-election in July apparently, while Glasgow Labour tell him "not to be so stupid", or similar.

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  • 238. At 04:05am on 22 May 2009, mmarsattacks wrote:

    #237

    It's high time that there be a standard period after the resignation or death of an MP for the by-election to take place. That the date can be shifted around for perceived political advantage is blatantly undemocratic. Whenever it happens and whatever the result this time, time is running out for Brown, Labour and indeed Westminster. Independence is coming sooner than many think.

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  • 239. At 07:02am on 22 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 224, 231, 232, 234, 236 derekbarker

    It is good to see a labour unionist attempting, in a fair and logical manner, to put over their point of view without resorting to insults and blatant misrepresentations of the facts (sometimes we are all guilty of that as we want to show our political viewpoint in the best possible light. Sometimes the links were quite funny, though.) I think that the SNP and the old Labour values are very similar in many ways, if you discount the independence versus unionist arguments. I think both are trying to do the best they can for the people of Scotland. I even believe that deanthetory and his unionist party (not conservative) feel the same way but choose to go about it in a different manner.
    At the end of the day, we all believe that we have the answer to the problems that beset the Scottish people but, alas, we are all falling into the same old trap of sticking to our own political party beliefs and policies. We are never going to convince one another over the unionist/independence disagreements. That argument is, eventually, in the hands of the voters and it does none of us any justice to keep batting this ball backwards and forwards between ourselves 'as Rome burns'. There are, probably, so many points that we agree on, but are more concerned about party point scoring, that we forget to discuss the greater issues that affect the Scottish people. It doesn't matter a 'hill of beans' whether one party has one view and another a different, putting aside the unionist/independence bit, what is important is the Scottish people. Let's stop the puerile arguments and get down to discussing the needs of the Scottish people/economy/culture etc. The Scottish people deserve this.

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  • 240. At 07:09am on 22 May 2009, Planejock wrote:

    sneckedagain # 228
    "Over the last 45 years less than 4% of miltary procurement has been done in Scotland."

    You were banging on about this last year, but despite being pressed, were unable to provide sources for your figure - just wondered if anything's now changed?

    Still, that makes a change from you banging on about how wonderful everything is in Ireland and how the Dail had judged everything perfectly. Funny though, you seem to have gone quiet on that one lately....

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  • 241. At 08:56am on 22 May 2009, regmitchell wrote:

    Dougie-Dubh - your 175
    "Whichever way you analyse it, as London is of course devoid of natural resources, not least in regard to critical water supplies, the bigger picture clearly shows it to be irrevocably reliant on the wider UK for basic daily necessities."

    Aaah, such rare incisiveness! And your point is what, exactly? Have you just discovered that NO city is self-sustaining? Pray tell us some cities which do NOT rely on sources outwith for basic daily necessities.


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  • 242. At 09:13am on 22 May 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    snecked again #228
    4% seems about right
    There are approximately 245 aersopace and defence companies in Scotland of which some don't get involved in defence contracts. Of the remainder a large proportion are in tin bashing, making uniforms,supplying rations etc which in the great scheme of things is relatively low added value.
    Of the big R&D and Capital Expenditure projects??
    Eurofughter and Joint Strike Fighter - BAE - England nearest is Preston I think
    Propulsion systems for Navy & Airforce Rolls Royce Bristol & Ansty
    Helicopters South West England
    Submarines - Cumbria with electronic systems coming from SW England
    Communications etc ? Mostly South East - Oxford and south
    Tanks - Newcastle
    Chobham Armour R&D spent in Surrey
    Armoured Vehicles GKN Shropshire and Supacat SW England
    Transport - Land Rover, Seddon Atkinson, Bedford etc all England
    Armament - Royal Ordnance Facttories in the Midlands
    And so it goes on and on

    The crucial factor is R&D high value jobs now & ensuring future manufacturing jobs

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  • 243. At 09:52am on 22 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #234 derekbarker
    So many questions!
    What is the point in sending another Nationalist to Westminster?. why are they there in the first place if they don't believe in that process! Two answers: In the days before the British Constitution decided it could have referenda, which breached Westminster's view of it's sovereignty, the only constitutional method of gaining independence was to have an SNP majority of the Scottish MPs. I suspect that this is still available to the SNP to argue if they should get there or close. So to the SNP every MP is a step towards independence. Also every SNP MP helps towards putting Scotlands needs first when looking at UK legislation, but 7 out of 645 cannot make a great deal of difference in that respect.
    (for the money?) Quite probably, all the moneys MPs get for researchers, offices, communications etc, which is about £150,000 each or £1,050,000 for the 7 of them, must make a huge difference to the SNP who could only afford under a million for the elections in 2007 from the donations they received from their members. Without the MP allowances the SNP would be even more a one man and his dog outfit.
    What has Scotland gained from an SNP government, I'm sure there are SNP people on this blog who can reel off lists of X number of council houses and tolls and A+E etc, etc ad nauseam but the really important thing is that it has had one and they haven't been any worse than the ones controlled in every detail from London.
    what does Scotland gain from having 5MP's in Westminster?. Not much with 5, though I think you mean 7, out of 645, but they vote for what they think best for Scotland on UK matters. They don't vote on English matters, which the MPs representing Scottish constituencies for other parties do and which voting is considered by some to be un-democratic.
    What Westminster needs to hear is someone telling it like it is! at every giving opportunity about the plight of the people in Glasgow. and Inverness, Stranraer and, of course, Kirkcaldy, but I haven't heard much from Global on that recently. Have you?
    Handclapping, why has there been no details of an independent Scotland, apparently the SNP what to hold a referendum on independence in 1 years time, yet! they fail to release any information about what an independent Scotland would mean? why? many would say! that the SNP are not serious about independence. When you were a kid did your parents tell you what your life was going to be? Did you say to yourself, I'm not going to grow up unless I'm assured that life is going to be better? No? But you grew up anyway. Its not just the SNP that have no idea what the future holds, think back to how bright it all looked in 1997 and all the promises that were given. Do you really want the SNP to be lying to you that it will be better? It may be better, I can't tell and you can't tell, only idiots like Reluctant-Cowpat can be definite.

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  • 244. At 09:57am on 22 May 2009, snowthistle wrote:

    Derekbarker said in #231
    " Every single day, any MP that finds themselves representing a constituency
    that has a lower life expectancy than the Gaza Strip should be screaming for the house of commons to address that situation."

    That's a really good point, well said.

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  • 245. At 09:57am on 22 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    PlaneJock:

    #240.

    I do not see evidence here that suggests sneckedagain could be wrong too.

    Despite the situation Ireland did get it correct. However due to bad management of the system, and the pure greed of their political leaders the country's services had to rely on a system that was unsustainable.

    This was seen in 2001, but for some reason their leaders wanted to instead appear popular rather then sort out this potentail mayhem.

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  • 246. At 10:01am on 22 May 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    #241 Reg

    My point being that whatever London's perceived 'superiorities' as an overheated financial hub, 'dividends' do not simply flow from it on some unilateral basis.

    London is often cited as having a greater GDP than some nations. While this may stand up in terms of raw financial statistics, it is clearly false to suggest it is in any way self-supporting, in the way that a solvent, independent nation should be.

    With an abundance of natural resources, potential, and a very favourable population size, Scotland has everything going for it to be a successful independent nation - in aspiring contrast to stagnating in perpetuity under London's economic and political dominance.

    Clearer?

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  • 247. At 10:06am on 22 May 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 239

    Excellent post. I agree entirely with the sentiment that you echo. The debate over independence has been voted on before without sucess, it will undoubedtly be voted on again. But the deeply entrenched views held by many are not going to be changed on this blog.

    It is always more comfortable for many to concentrate on division rather than on what we agree on. If the effort put into endlessly debating independence was put into sorting Scotland's problems then we would move forward at an astounding pace. Lets be honest for the foreseable future the major issues like health, education, crime willbe debated between two parties with very similar appraoches.

    The NHS is a good example, Nicola sturgeon is makning a good job of it, she has continued much of the good work that Andy Kerr had started. the results are due to a sustained period of one direction. Sure some tinkering has been done i am sure both can claim sucesses but the real point is we have a clear direction.

    I hope the disgusting debacle in Westminster leads to politics doing what it should do, sorting out the mess in a dignified and responsible manner. Holyrood is guilty of being smug in the last 2 weeks, they should remember that they only changed when forced to, no party can claim any moral high ground on this issue.

    The real issues affecting people are unemployment, fear of unemployment, poverty, crime and a fear for the kind of world their children will grow up in.

    We need some new vision post the recent major crisis in the economy and the expenses fiasco. None of our politicians have developed the new thinking and ideas we need to move on.





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  • 248. At 10:47am on 22 May 2009, regmitchell wrote:

    Dougie-Dubh - your 246
    Yes, much clearer thanks. I've got it now - you're comparing a city with a country. Truly a eureka moment. Apples and pears.

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  • 249. At 10:53am on 22 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    #239 & #247

    Good posts.

    If people were a bit more honest here we would get a better debate. There are benefits with independence and remaining within the union, just as there are issues which are the detriment to Scotland. Neither option is perfect.

    Holyrood could be far more effective if a few individuals were replaced (clue: 4 letters, dull colour). If things improve further, then the independence argument might be carried forward without charging into a referendum with a big slanging match in the media.

    If Holyrood can operate effectively with limited powers, then surely it could operate independently.

    The expense issue is probably the best thing that has happened to politics in this country. It has shown the sheer arrogance of some MPs and these people demean the office that they hold. I hope they are deselected.

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  • 250. At 11:30am on 22 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #236 derekbarker
    Thomas for me it's not about FPTP or PR , it's about shaming the establishment into action. Derek, you've seen the establishment in action, all over the Telegraph these last days. You'll get no action from them, there's only us. We are far more likely to get the things we want working in a community of 5 million than an assorted mob of 60 million. The establishment may want Trident for their 60 million, I'm pretty sure our 5 million don't. If you want something, you've got to do it yourself; "they" will never do anything about it.

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  • 251. At 11:31am on 22 May 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    Unionists always talk absurd rubbish IMO. They never ever outline a solid case for confronting Scotland's problems as part of Union. Never. When they do I'm all eyes.

    And yet have the amazing audacity to attack those of us who at the very least try to account for a better Scotland under independence.

    Many of Scotland's problems are precisely to do with Union. The appalling state of Scotland is all to do with Union because Unionists are the very ones who have controlled Scotland these last few hundred years. If our energies weren't dissipated by having to endure this ridiculous and damaging state of affairs we could get on with the job of fixing Scotland properly, of fixing the legacy of Unionism. The state of this country can't be contended with properly until we have the real means and powers to fix them and that means independence.

    And when were the Scottish people ever asked whether they wanted to have Union with England in the first place? No. They weren't.

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  • 252. At 11:34am on 22 May 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    #249
    Nail on the heed
    We have to keep the debate moving forward, not just on greater transparency on expenses and working time but on:-
    Less centralisation of power
    relationship between legislature and executive - more power to scrutinising sub committees as at Holyrood
    Elected prime Minister (and First Minister?)
    No party whips
    Changes in the relationship between electorate and representatives -if we all end up with ID cards - its a simple matter to have a referendum on important issues

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  • 253. At 11:35am on 22 May 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    #248 Reg

    The origin of such comparisons is invariably in the (failed) unionist mantra that we as a nation are either too small, too poor or too 'dependent' to succeed.

    Not only is that disproved by many a successful small nation - it is further self-evident that over-population and an absence of resources are clear disadvantages.

    Your rejection of any comparison between London and Scotland is refreshing - it was never mine in the first place, and my point was that the 'bigger picture' could turn any such comparison on its head.

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  • 254. At 12:09pm on 22 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #253 Dougie-Dubh
    In a larger picture one can point out that the Union appears to have been too wee, too poor and too stupid to succeed.
    Maybe there is something in the unionist's argument after all

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  • 255. At 12:10pm on 22 May 2009, Richard wrote:

    How an MP should conduct himself - an example to others:

    www.petewishartmp.com

    Pete Wishart's website

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  • 256. At 12:24pm on 22 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #250 handclapping

    You make many good points, Trident, the right of settlement and self determination but still the vacuum lacks content.

    Where would you employ the 11 thousands Faslane workers?

    Where is the evidence to suggest that a smaller country is a more prosperous choice?.

    Handclapping what ever will be will be! yes! most likely and the future isn't ours to see! but we can help shape it by content, intent and sheer determination.

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  • 257. At 12:55pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

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

  • 258. At 1:01pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Apparently any honest comment about Tory MP Anthony Steen is to be censored out of hand.

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  • 259. At 1:17pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    I see that Tory MP Anthony Steen has helpfully explained why the public are so angry at him: it's because the public is "jealous of his country home".

    How silly of me to think we're angry at him because successive governments have forcibly taken tax money from struggling families and, instead of using it to help pay for things they needed like better schools, hospitals and prisons, they secretly paid more than £87,000 of it tax-free straight into Anthony Steen's bank account where he then proceeded to spend it on whatever he saw fit, including among other things "trees in the grounds that needed lopping."

    No wonder those struggling famlies, who continued to have more and more tax money sucked out of them every year, were asking: "where is all this money we are paying actually going?" Their own eyes told them it wasn't being spent on the things they desperately needed. In fact, as we now know, it was being spent by Anthony Steen on maintaining his country house.

    At his point in my censored #257 I gave my honest opinion of what Anthony Steen's behaviour tells us about Anthony Steen. Because the BBC thought police don't want you knowing my opinion of Anthony Steen they immediately chose to censor my post. I must, therefore, leave it up to your own imaginations to decide what my opinion was. It isn't difficult.

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  • 260. At 1:47pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Good news!
    Apparently you don't all have to imagine what I think of Anthony Steen (see my #259) because his boss David Cameron is doing it for me:

    "Tory leader Mr Cameron told BBC Radio 4 it was "an appalling thing to say".

    He added: "One more squeak like that and he will have the whip withdrawn so fast his feet won't touch the ground."

    I wonder if BBC mods will also censor Cameron voicing my opinion of Steen?

    Oh, wait a minute, if they do they'll be censoring themselves. That's the BBC's quote from Cameron.

    But the way they've been over-reacting recently I wouldn't put it past them.

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  • 261. At 1:55pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    And there you have it folks.

    According to BBC mods:

    1. If David Cameron critcises Anthony Steen for saying "appalling" things that's okay.

    2. If I critcise Anthony Steen for saying "appalling" things that's not okay.

    What better proof is there that the BBC actively conspires to protect supporters of the Union from honest criticism?

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  • 262. At 2:10pm on 22 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    And yet another tired nat catchphrase gets another airing.

    253. douguiedubh: "The origin of such comparisons is invariably in the (failed) unionist mantra that we as a nation are either too small, too poor or too 'dependent' to succeed."

    How many times does it need to be explained that the anti-independence argument is NOT that "Scotland is too poor to be independent" but that there is little in the independence argument to suggest Scotland will be any better off.

    This has been pointed out countless times but it just doesn't sink into your collective conciousness.

    What don't you get?

    There is little in the independence argument to suggest Scotland will be any better off.

    Again?

    There is little in the independence argument to suggest Scotland will be any better off.

    One more time?

    There is little in the independence argument to suggest Scotland will be any better off.

    This really can't be made any clearer. Yet, this undoubtedly will need repeating even within the next few days.

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  • 263. At 2:50pm on 22 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #238,

    Couldn't agree with you more.

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  • 264. At 2:55pm on 22 May 2009, Jimmythepict wrote:

    262 - RE

    There is little in the Unionist arguement to suggest that Scotland is better off in the Union

    again

    There is little in the Unionist arguement to suggest that Scotland is better off in the Union

    again

    There is little in the Unionist arguement to suggest that Scotland is better off in the Union

    saying it thrice makes it true

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  • 265. At 3:02pm on 22 May 2009, skint wrote:

    Brian

    It is not only the party of the UK Government defending its record it is all MP's defending their expenses and letting us know how hard done to they all are. Just check out Nadine Dorries blog on ACA's.

    When will the majority of MP's actually get a grip on reality and work for the people rather than feathering their own nests. I checked out Pete Wisharts page as suggested and it would seem he has been more than fair in his expense claims.

    But as a nation we need to look at the bigger picture and not knee jerk our votes, trouble is no matter what policies we prefer will the relevant parties have members honourable enough to deliver? Will they have the resolve to support their constituents rather than the party line?

    in 239 gedguy wrote "I think both are trying to do the best they can for the people of Scotland", i cant agree with that statement after the scottish budget fiasco, Westminster will always come first for the unionist parties in terms of party politics. The sooner we do have true Scottish Opposition parties truly doing their best for the people of Scotland the better. However, that will only happen with independence, an option being debated much more seriously now than ever before, i for one am drawn to a Scotland where the parties do what is best for the people of Scotland, is the only way to get that to vote SNP? looks like it.




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  • 266. At 3:08pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #262 Reluctant-Cowpat

    Obviously after this latest ridiculous rant we're all waiting to hear what is there in the unionist argument to suggest Scotland will be any better off if it remains part of this morally and financially bankrupt UK?

    But we won't hear it from you because you repeatedly make (in your extrmely rude manner) this tedious claim that nationalists don't "get" your so-called "point".

    If people ask you to provide proof of your "point" you ignore them.

    Alternatively, you constantly demand that people prove their points whilst never yourself offering any evidence that disproves them.

    This is the hallmark of a truly infantile mind. You're like a naughty five year old who thinks no one can see what they're up to. It's really very sad.

    Luckily every point you make soon will be about a union that no longer exists and you will become even sadder than you already are.

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  • 267. At 3:30pm on 22 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Occasionally a Unionist poster makes such a fool of himself that the comment deserves to be left on the blog - highlighted even.

    Ladies and gentlemen I give you comment #262 from Reluctant-Expat.

    He says:
    How many times does it need to be explained that the anti-independence argument is NOT that "Scotland is too poor to be independent" but that there is little in the independence argument to suggest Scotland will be any better off.

    This has been pointed out countless times but it just doesn't sink into your collective conciousness.

    What don't you get?


    Poor 'Expat' seems to have been out of the country in the run up to the 2007 Holyrood election when Unionists were manufacturing ever increasing 'black holes' that apparently demonstrated, yes, that Scotland would be TOO POOR !! to support independence.

    He may also have missed the claim that every Scot would be liable for a 5000 pound tax increase on independence.

    One of the best posts from this individual for quite some time.

    Thanks RE !!

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  • 268. At 3:54pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

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

  • 269. At 3:55pm on 22 May 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re Greenock boy

    there are many ridiculous claims made at election times. the ones you highlight are quite rightly stupid and didn't change many voting intentions I would imagine.

    However there are a number of equally ridiculous claims made by nationalists. I know you will disagree but really the debate has become very sterile. Time to move on to issues more pertinent until Alex comes forward with his referendum bill.

    for those not bothered too much this is very boring. You and expat are as bad as each other. Bighullabaloo reverts immediately to name calling in his time honoured fashion.

    Certainly no new thinking here.

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  • 270. At 3:57pm on 22 May 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    greenockboy re 267

    Just a small point, I thought that the 5000 pounds tax increase for everyone in Scotland would happen if the SNP ever became the governing party at Holyrood after the 2007 election.

    Instead we have the 32000 pounds debt for everyone in the UK.

    P.S. Everyone, it is really unfair to expect reluctant to make a creditable case for Scotland remaining part of the bankrupt UK when no one else can. Have you heard Brown, Gray or Murphy from one conservative party, or Cameron or Goldie from the other conservative party make a positive case for the Onion (not a misprint, it stinks and it would make you cry)

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  • 271. At 3:58pm on 22 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #256 derekbarker
    Ah Jackie Baillie's 11,000 gets another outing. chanel4.com did a Fact Check on that an it scored 4/5 where 5/5 is there is absolutely no evidence that this has any basis in fact. They felt the best answer was Geoff Hoon's 966 Scottish jobs depend on Trident. It's sad that you can't trust anybody these days, even if they claim to be Labour, which in itself is a pretty dodgy claim. How do you think Keir Hardie would have taken to Tony Blair?

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  • 272. At 4:03pm on 22 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    #262 Jings crivvens help ma boab!!! you're like a stuck record ExPat, the same old rhetoric so rudely put time and time again on here. You can produce as much so called 'evidence' as you like in here ExPat it matters not since so few will read it, but quite frankly regarding the independence issue you are like a bluebottle trying to stop a juggernaut. Try not to get squished little one.

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  • 273. At 4:13pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #269 northhighlander

    "Bighullabaloo reverts immediately to name calling in his time honoured fashion."

    Do you mean "name calling" like calling another poster a "name caller"?

    You people really can't see how ridiculous you look claiming the moral high ground at the same time as you're doing the exact same thing you're accusing others of.

    No wonder you so admire Unionist MPs!

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  • 274. At 4:25pm on 22 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #271 handclapping
    I'm pretty sure you don't agree with Hoon's total?.

    Absolutely! trust in politicians is at an all time low.

    I'm glad you raised the Kier Hardie question and Blair, I think Kier Hardie would have booted Blair right down sauchiehall street.

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  • 275. At 4:28pm on 22 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Giving the recent failing's in the law system is Alex Salmond right to defend MacAskill?

    http://www.scotsman.com/scotland/Vote-against-MacAskill-and-I39ll.5293404.jp

    And is he right to keep on threatening to resign over issues?

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  • 276. At 4:28pm on 22 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #269 northhighlander
    You are right but it's hard to plan when all the indications are that the money available is going to be less but you've no idea how much less. Would you start an extension to your house now when you've no idea whether you'll have the money to complete it or even have enough to pay the present mortgage? That's pretty much the position I see AS and Co are in; if the IMF are to be believed, then the block grant will be cut such that either the NHS or local government are going to be cut, so you don't want to be starting anything new 'cause it will run out of funds.
    So out of your list the unemployment and the poverty are part of the Union Dividend and we can't do anything about them, crime, the SNP seem to be getting on with the thousand extra police and as for prisons, dont talk about class sizes of 20, you could have one to one teaching for a pupil for what it costs to keep a prisoner for a year. Which leaves what sort of a world will our children grow up in and that's where independence comes in again. It's and endlessly circular argument but untill it gets sorted I don't think we can move on; that's why I'm for getting independence and then getting things sorted. I don't think we'll ever get things sorted and then be able to have a debate about independence, it's got to be the other way about.

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  • 277. At 4:42pm on 22 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    To all those currently referring to RE as "Cowpat"

    You should note that bovine excreta performs a very valuable function. It not only provides a home for some nasty little creatures, but as it inevitably and visibly degrades it stimulates new shoots of growth which provides hope for the future.

    I have some specialist knowledge of this field, as I was once employed to collect samples of such material, and merge these samples in a blender for scientific analysis.

    As some of you may have suspected, I was once a professional s***-stirrer.

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  • 278. At 5:04pm on 22 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 265 skintybroko

    'in 239 gedguy wrote "I think both are trying to do the best they can for the people of Scotland", i cant agree with that statement after the scottish budget fiasco, Westminster will always come first for the unionist parties in terms of party politics.'

    I sincerely believe that the unionists are taking their point of view because they believe that they are right. I happen to disagree with them. I am long enough in the tooth to realise that the only thing that I am sure of is that I'm unsure about everything. There are posters on here who are adamant that they are correct and everybody else is wrong and we should listen to them and them only. This would apply, not only to unionists but nationalists as well.
    I am not castigating the unionists because I know that they are wrong; I am castigating them because I 'think' that they are wrong. I have no definitive proof that Scotland would be better off outwith the union. It is only a belief that I hold after watching decades of politics and experiencing the rigours of life. I am not trying to tell the unionists that they are wrong because I don't know. What I do know is that I 'think' that we would be better off if we were not ruled from London. It doesn't matter to me whether Scotland would be richer or poorer, both arguments on this blog are valid. What matters to me is that I believe my country should go its own way for better or worse. Let us make our own mistakes in our own way and let us be good neighbours with our southern cousins.
    It should also be pointed out that it isn't as if we are wanting to pull Scotland out of the union with England to park it on Mars. We will still be part of an even bigger union called the EU. We might not have a great deal of sway in the EU, being such a small amount of MEPs but, being an independent country we will have a say in the council, which is something that we don't have just now unless it is done through the westminster government.

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  • 279. At 5:22pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

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

  • 280. At 5:43pm on 22 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    To all the (predictable) nationalist responses to my response to 253, have you not asked yourselves why this "watertight" and "incontestable" independence argument has only ever managed to convince 1/3 of the population? A minority that has barely budged in the past year, 2 years, 3 years, 10 years....in many polls, it is actually shrinking! Seriously, how can that be?

    Are the rest of us too stupid, too lazy, too ignorant or too gullible to understand and comprehend, or is it another reason? Why can't we see this light guiding us to FREEEEEDOOOOM? Why? Are we sick? Will we be okay? Very scary.

    I'm being super-serious now. The Great and Flawless One has tried everything in the book to get us to loathe, despise, detest and resent everything south of the border and yet we just won't budge! Not some stunt over a foreign-made chess-set shipwrecked off our coast on the way to Ireland (just how did that plan to repatriate a 'Scottish cultural icon' fail?), not complaints over MQOS's remains, not endless claims that they have stolen our oil (although that's a pretty tough con to maintain when you then publish reports that prove otherwise...oops), not endless manipulated graphs and charts on the SG website and especially not the 24/7 efforts of a couple of dozen nats blitzing any and every Scottish-related website.

    How. Can. That. Be? [shakes fist at the sky]

    (greenockboy/bighullabaloo, feel free to complain to the mods as quick as your pale, grasping fingers can click. Go on, knock yourself out.)

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  • 281. At 5:43pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 282. At 5:46pm on 22 May 2009, skint wrote:

    #278

    I agree with your sentiments, no one really knows how Scotland would fair as an independent country and it will be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff (facts from damn lies and statistics) for those voters who have not yet made up their minds when the parties up the anti once the general election comes around. Certainly interesting times ahead.

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  • 283. At 5:47pm on 22 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Is this another rotten apple?.

    Is there a case of nepotism in politics?.


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5357406/SNP-Treasury-spokesman-claimed-160-for-scatter-cushions.html

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  • 284. At 5:59pm on 22 May 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    281. Change the record, bigleapsintothebloo. Just because you automatically reject the repeatedly posted arguments against independence, doesn't mean they haven't been repeatedly posted.

    You don't see people saying the nationalists have never explained what the benefits are of independence. You see disagreement but never claims that they don't exist.

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  • 285. At 6:03pm on 22 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #275 - "And is he right to keep on threatening to resign over issues?"

    It is becoming a bit of an over-played card but I don't think the Unionists will call his bluff at this moment in time. The Scottish government is certainly more popular than Westminster and the electorate do blame Labour & the tories far more than the SNP over the expenses scandal, despite the best efforts of the Hootsman and Glen Campbell & co.

    Technically, if Salmond resigned (along with his government), there wouldn't necessary need to be a general election. Labour and their lap dogs the lib dums could form a coalition, but that would depend on the support, either directly or indirectly, of the tories. Auntie Bella is still trying to restore the credibility of the Conservative party in Scotland, and after the sterling effort she's put in so far, I don't think she'd want to be tainted by supporting such a coalition.

    There is a real chance, therefore, that a GE would need to be called - and the gray man knows that the electorate are angry, they can't get to Gordon and he'd be an ideal proxy to take their frustrations out on.

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  • 286. At 6:19pm on 22 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #277 oldnat
    Perhaps the reluctance is because he doesn't even want to be as useful as to stimulate new shoots of growth which provides hope for the future. A case of a hopeless case?

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  • 287. At 6:21pm on 22 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Life under Labour: the worst of worlds

    "Overall, more than 3,000 new criminal offences have been created by Labour 1,000 of them punishable by imprisonment."

    Not bad for 12 years!

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  • 288. At 6:30pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    It was very revealing to see Question Time from Salisbury last night with so many people calling for an immediate general election.

    Yet when Dimbleby asked a man in the audience who he would vote for in a general election the answer came back: "There's nobody I'd cast a vote for at the moment." (at 32.33 into the programme)

    I think the Scottish public are realising that in the SNP we DO have a viable alternative to the morally bankrupt Unionist UK parties.

    I'm sure Scots will choose that alternative in vast numbers at the next general election.

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  • 289. At 6:43pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #284 Relcutant-Cowpat

    "You see disagreement but never claims that the [benefits of independence] don't exist."

    You mean like when YOU claimed they don't exist in your #262?

    "There is little in the independence argument to suggest Scotland will be any better off."

    Your already tenuous grasp on reality is getting ever shakier.

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  • 290. At 7:30pm on 22 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Is anyone else getting error 404 on links posted

    {http://avg.urlseek.vmn.net/search.php?tbn=avg&lg=us&type=404&q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.telegraph.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fnewstopics%2Fmps-expenses%2F536%253Cbr%2520%2F%253E9324%2FLife-under-Labour-the-worst-of-worlds.html}

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  • 291. At 7:36pm on 22 May 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #282 skintibroko , i agree, until the move is made no one really knows how Scotland would fair but even looking at the last month at Westminster it wouldn't take much beating would it?
    Sid

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  • 292. At 8:26pm on 22 May 2009, rog_rocks wrote:

    LoL :)
    I heard today that the Labour Party has changed its emblem from the red rose of England to a condom as it more accurately reflects its political stance. A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks and gives you a sense of security when you're actually being shafted. :)

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  • 293. At 9:05pm on 22 May 2009, Anaxim wrote:

    #278

    "It doesn't matter to me whether Scotland would be richer or poorer, both arguments on this blog are valid. What matters to me is that I believe my country should go its own way for better or worse. Let us make our own mistakes in our own way and let us be good neighbours with our southern cousins."

    Well, at least you're honest. Not so different from certain religions, is it?

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  • 294. At 9:11pm on 22 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    If Reluctant-Expat insists that Scotland would not be any better after independence, is this an admission that Scotland could leave the United Kingdom and still have the same standards as we do at the moment?

    or are we still going back to the too poor etc argument? If we are poor then is that a failure on the United Kingdoms behalf, or shall we all blame the SNP Government because it's the SNP afterall...

    or are you asking why Scotland should leave the United Kingdom when nothing would change? I expect much remarks regarding that Scotland and England both want the same things, and gaining independence would be expensive when nothing would change north and south of the border?

    If that's the case why can't Scotland and England look after her own finances and a new set up can be created that allows Scotland and England to do as they please but keeping military etc under one roof?

    If that's the case. Then why can't Scotland, as a country, be equal to England in influence when it comes to leading the United Kingdom? If afterall, Scotland is that important to the United Kingom then surely allowing Scotland and England to be of equal partners.

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  • 295. At 9:35pm on 22 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    #280 tou really should not take youreself so seriously Expat, because no one else reading your postings does. Only the Scottish electorate will decide one way or the other if independence is to be achieved, it is a simple as that, till then like a bad curry I'm sure you will continue to belch forth with your repetative postings and obnoxious manners.

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  • 296. At 9:48pm on 22 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Here's a little slogan that might help to soothe those MP's who are apparently suffering from stress as a result of The Telegraphs revelations.

    IF YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG THEN YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR !!

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  • 297. At 9:48pm on 22 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    Is this the sort of country we want to live in?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/whos_watching_you/8064333.stm

    Thanks to New Labour it appears to be the case.

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  • 298. At 9:59pm on 22 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    MPs' expenses whistleblower John Wick on why he set the scandal running

    "Weve reached a stage in society where they want to know everything about us I think were entitled to know about them."

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  • 299. At 10:02pm on 22 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Not sure if the Scottish media have covered this, but .....

    Whilst he was chancellor and in no need of a second home in London (he lived at 11 Downing Street) Gordon Brown claimed 9000 pounds to have the kitchen of his second home refurbished in 2005.

    When he was Chancellor, Mr Brown also made claims including 372 on subscription fees for satellite television; 723 for "cleaning services"; 650 on food; and 1,396 for painting and decorating.

    Kind of puts Hosie's claim of 160 pounds for cushions into perspective.

    Let's have a running total of Scottish Labour MP's claims against SNP MP's claims.

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  • 300. At 10:02pm on 22 May 2009, cruiskeen wrote:

    I agree with everything you say except your opinion regarding the "speaker" Michael Martin.

    The media have always portrayed Mr Martin as someone who comes from a humble background, someone who has worked hard to overcome numerous obstacles in order to reach his present lofty position as "Speaker". Well somewhere along the road the man has obviously forgotten that "humble" background and been seduced by the standards enjoyed by the political elite.

    This obnoxious man even had the audacity to use hundreds of thousands of £pounds, taxpayers money, in an attempt to keep us ordinary folk ignorant to the fact that we were getting fleeced. I say good riddance to him and all like him.

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  • 301. At 10:16pm on 22 May 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    When I think about it I would'nt mind MPs getting a bigger salary and no expense claims allowed, after all if some self congatulatory balloons at the BBC get grossly inflated salaries ,greater than the PM of this country why should'nt MPs?
    Then I realise that the MPs sent to Westminster are really only lobby fodder for their party and do hee haw else.
    At that point I think there should be a cull.
    Fewer MPs and higher salaries .

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  • 302. At 10:22pm on 22 May 2009, Dr_Greenhill wrote:

    #288 bighullabaloo

    "(...) the morally bankrupt Unionist UK parties" . . . of a morally bankrupt Union, or rather a bankrupt morally bankrupt Union.

    In the throes of a phenomenal recession that is revealing serious structural weaknesses in the UK economy, the UK parliament appears to be as broken as the society that is apparently rejecting it. When institutions of a state decline, the state is declining too. If that decline is not reversed, disintegration will occur.

    Only radical reform can save the UK parliament, which is what people are calling for while Mr Cameron calls unconvincingly for an immediate general election. Radical and rapid reform of the UK parliament so that it becomes fit for the 21st century is something of which the UK appears to be incapable, however. UK government drifts and muddles through. It prevaricates, as it gives way to vested interests. It proceeds in a way which suits its own convenience and the convenience of those within it, whether they be politicians or civil servants. This is not an easy habit to break out of. Now the people appear to have had enough and are angry, having lost faith in the institutions of the state and in the state itself.

    In view of the fact that UK electors are said to be politically apathetic, this should tell us something. It appears to be telling us that an historically fundamental change in attitudes is under way and that a revolt against the established order is gathering strength.

    What form will this take in England? Do we care very much? I think we know what form it is likely to take in Scotland.

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  • 303. At 10:27pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #296 greenockboy

    "IF YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG THEN YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR !!"

    One of the best points I've ever seen anyone make on this blog.

    These MPs telling us they're being driven to the brink of suicide because the spotlight's been turned FOR ONE WEEK on their expenses abuse are the same people who subject us to bagging; tagging; biometric passports; ID cards; iris scanning; speed traps; CCTV cameras that record conversations; spying wheelie bins; cameras that record car number plates; DNA data of innocent people on a database; random tax investigations where you're guilty until proven innocent; you name it, they have subjected us to it.

    They expect us to keep going despite this constant intrusion into our lives, day after day, year after year, demanding that we keep working to pay more taxes so they can buy their duck houses and claim interest on non-existent mortgages. If we were to threaten "suicide" as this bunch of pathetic whingeing weaklings is now doing they wouldn't bat an eyelid as they stepped over us to collect the money from their latest expenses claim, so why should we?

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  • 304. At 10:45pm on 22 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #278 gedguy2

    With (now one exception) posters on this blog are showing their normal reasonable stance. Yours is such a post.

    Anaxim is right. You are being honest. He should also equally praise the occasional British Nationalist of Scots origin (normally termed a Unionist) who says the same thing about staying in the Union. I agree with you that those (Scots and Brits) whose constitutional politics are determined by identity, the economic arguments are largely irrelevant.

    For many, of course, the economics are important. Some will opt for their country as being "UK" or "Scotland" dependent on which entity will be wealthier. Others won't be concerned with change as long as Scotland isn't poorer.

    The economic argument should be relatively easy to determine, but the data is controlled by the UK state. If Scotland in the UK is demonstrably richer than on it's own, then full (not partial) independently audited disclosure of the Scottish v UK data during both boom and bust times would effectively settle the issue.

    Seems strange that they haven't done that.

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  • 305. At 11:04pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #304 oldnat

    It's people like you constantly advocating a "normal reasonable stance" that's led us to the debacle we're now in.

    For years these MPs have walked all over us. Taking your "normal reasonable stance" approach simply taught them they could do what they liked and get away with it: there was "nothing the mugs can do".

    Many of us recognised this constant eroding of the public's influence on the political system and fought it tooth and nail - but the wimps and do-gooders bleated: "Oooh, there's nothing we can do. We've got to take a normal reasonable stance."

    The results of that forelock-tugging to the "honourable gentlemen" is now in front of our own eyes. At last the British public is saying "enough is enough" and getting genuinely angry about being ripped off in every imaginable way by so-called "public servants."

    It's not a "normal reasonable stance" that's needed. History taught us that lesson again and again. These people can't be trusted. Out with the lot of them. Start anew with an independent Scottish government.

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  • 306. At 11:11pm on 22 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #240
    I have never "banged on" about Ireland and how well the Dail has done. You must be confusing me with someone else.

    There is little doubt that he Irish economy has been seriously mismanaged since about 2001. They allowed huge personal credit to fund a debt driven consumer boom and actually encouraged a huge housing bubble. Sounds vaguely familiar!
    As was pointed out on a very interesting TV programm on the Irish economy a couple of days ago the seize of the economy was irrelevant. The management of it was the important thing.

    However Ireland entered this downturn 40% better off per head than the average Brit and will come out of it with the same advantage.
    The Irish are sensibly taking their pain now - with popular support - cutting wages and government spending.
    We are taking on more debt,trying to buy time for Gordon Brown's government.
    The Irish will be out of the recession long before the UK is.

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  • 307. At 11:17pm on 22 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #305 - The problem oldnat is highlighting, bighulla, is that Unionists love to dismiss independence supporters are raving loonies (it's no coincidence that they use the term cyber-ranter as interchangable with cybernat). Taking a normal reasonable stance makes it much more difficult for Unionists - who, let's face it, don't really have much of a positive argument to start with - to dismiss a positive argument for Scottish independence.

    I do take your point about the complacency of our leaders (it's been pointed out many times before that if this was France, many of our MPs would have found themselves swinging from lampposts at the end of a rope) but I do believe that a bloodless revolution is taking place and our MPs are genuinely shocked (and scared) by the reaction of the people.

    As to starting anew with an independence Scottish government, I can't argue with that. Ditching Westminster and its traditions would certainly be a definite step in wiping the slate clean.

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  • 308. At 11:26pm on 22 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    An absolute beauty from The Scotsman:

    MacAskill's fate 'lies in hands of dangerous, on-the-run criminal'

    By David Maddox
    THE ministerial career of justice secretary Kenny MacAskill is in the hands of a dangerous criminal, the convener of a Holyrood committee Bill Aitken) claimed last night.


    Hot on the heals of Brian's disastrous attempt at trying to convince us that Fiona Hyslop was under serious pressure comes The Scotsman's own campaign.

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  • 309. At 11:33pm on 22 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #256

    At least eight of the the top ten countries in terms of standard of living and provision of essential services to the population are small countries. This is always the case

    There are not 11,000 people employed on Trident. The actual number of people at the Coulport/Faslane complex employed on the nuclear submarine component is just over 900. Of that very many are naval personnel and not local at all. The vast majority of those working there are employed in the conventional naval base and the estimate of 11,000 jobs in the Scottish econpomy is, in fact, utter hogwash. It appears to have been invented by Jackie Baillie and like eveything about Jackie is a seriously on the big size. The vaunted £200 million that is allegedly spent on the nuclear submarines is money wasted as it provides virtually no economic impetus whatsoever. A awful lot of serious economic activity or provision of useful services could be bought for £200 million.
    My major concern is the reported high incidence of cancers around the bases which is exactly as we heard about around the Holy Loch when it was a base for nuclear submarines.
    The fact that such has been the regular leaking of highly toxic radioactive materials from these bases that SEPA would close them if it had the power tells you all you have to know about this issue.

    The STUC report on the employment implications of the nuclear submarine base is the definitive document on this. I suggest those deceived by the nonsense being bandied about by Tory,Labour and the local LibDem MP (but not his party)read this report.

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  • 310. At 00:06am on 23 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    309. At 11:33pm on 22 May 2009, sneckedagain:

    Crown properties have certain legal exemptions, which is why SEPA cannot do a thing.


    308. At 11:26pm on 22 May 2009, greenockboy:

    While I agree the headline is OTT, it is more of a genuine issue with McAskil that Hyslop. He should be holding an inquiry into the recent absconding prisoner, not so long after the dreadful incident which resulted in a rape.

    He is the man in charge, so he has to bear the responsibility. It is a serious breach and he needs to ensure this cannot happen ever again.


    303. At 10:27pm on 22 May 2009, bighullabaloo:

    I don't always agree with you but that is a very good post. We should try to get someone to raise it on the next QT. They've been caught with fingers in the till and now are trying everything to avoid it.
    The one with the "big house" we are all so supposed to be jealous about should have been kicked out of his party, not warned. This matter is not going to go away until they finally reform the expenses to follow the same as we all have to. I also see we now have 250 quid alarm clocks! What does it do? Give you a gentle head massage to wake you up gently? Maybe it does a full English breakfast....

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  • 311. At 00:12am on 23 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    285. At 6:03pm on 22 May 2009, ForteanJo:

    I don't think they will call a vote of confidence either, even though the recent issue (as I stated above) does have a basis to the argument that McAskil (spelling??) does have the responsibility.

    Gray might just try it, since he knows he is almost certainly going to get the boot once GB goes. I'm amazed at how many people have never heard of him! The leader of any party should be highly visible and known to the electorate.

    But I don't think the Tories would join in.

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  • 312. At 00:16am on 23 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    If you thought that the recent revelations involving Michael Connarty, Jim Devine amd Ian Gibson might just have set off some alarm bells within the Scottish media over Labour in Scotland then think again.

    Over at The Herald, Torchuil Crichton has penned a piece that seeks to suggest that Scottish (Labour) MP's have not been touched too much.

    Torchuil writes:
    As the expenses saga continues to bulldoze its way through the careers of some MPs at Westminster, Scottish MPs do not rate high on the Richter scale of scandal.

    He seems also to have developed amnesia regarding one David Marshall, as well as the more recent 'flipping' by Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling (four times !!).

    At the end of the article we have a take on the beneficiaries from all of these revelations and yet again, amazingly in a so called Scottish quality, the SNP have simply been ignored.

    These political journalists must live in a parallell universe where the SNP simply don't exist. It makes you wonder if they will actually report an SNP win or if they will simply headline the party who come second as winners?

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  • 313. At 00:30am on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    This suggest 11,000 jobs?.



    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/latestnews/Snub-for-SNP39s-antinuclear-line.5210837.jp

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  • 314. At 00:41am on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Apparently the ministry of defence also quote's 11,000 jobs.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/may/06/trident-faslane-nuclear-submarines

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  • 315. At 01:16am on 23 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Derek whos says its 11,000 jobs ...the Ministry of Defence does ... an unnamed source just like other newspapers ie ' a source close to Victoria Beckham said this yesterday "blah de blah blah" in other words a made up story cos they dont have the information. Besides as that story points out this decision will take the jobs away from the south of England so its clear this is a political stunt but of course it wont matter to GB as he will be off swaning around just like TB is now.

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  • 316. At 02:01am on 23 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Alf's desperation is showing, the dwindling band of Labourites really are panicking.

    http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/featuresopinon/display.var.2509622.0.Election_now_could_threaten_the_reform_we_urgently_need.php

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  • 317. At 02:43am on 23 May 2009, mmarsattacks wrote:

    Can any of you Brit Nats provide any credible (note the word CREDIBLE) evidence of the 11,000 jobs figure? You know, with sources and such? Given that military jobs are paid for out of government spending, what is to stop the monies saved from being used to pay for some USEFUL jobs elsewhere in the public sector? (Cue some right wing rant about Scotland spending too much on the public sector...)

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  • 318. At 07:21am on 23 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 293 Anaxim

    'Not so different from certain religions, is it?'

    I never noticed that. Fair point, but I would have to point out to you that I'm a 'God fearing' atheist, whereas 'God', who, obviously doesn't worship a 'God' himself, must be an atheist also. ;-)

    # 304 oldnat

    'For many, of course, the economics are important. Some will opt for their country as being "UK" or "Scotland" dependent on which entity will be wealthier. Others won't be concerned with change as long as Scotland isn't poorer.'

    In my point of view it is not of major importance whether Scotland is richer or poorer. I'd be proud to be a Scot in either situation. I have thought for decades that the system we have, belonging to a union with England, is not being fair or helpful to the Scots and this is why I am for independence. It has nothing to do with oil but with the perception that I believe that we would be better off without the Union.
    I accept that this is my personal opinion and to back up these claims I refer you to some of the postings that have been put onto Brian's blogs, in the past. I cannot, with hand on heart, tell anyone that I can produce the figures to show that Scots will be better off because the figures are not available to make a comparison. It is all very well showing excerpts from this or that document but all documents, from whichever government, should be taken with a healthy dose of salt. The truth of the matter is that neither the Unionists or the Nationalists know the real answer to whether Scotland will be better off. I also suspect that the Westminster Government may not know the true answer to that question, themselves, but I suspect that they have a good idea.

    As to the point about taking a reasonable stance then I fully support that point of view and would like to point out to # 305 bighullabaloo that your post was probably one of the main reasons why there is an SNP. Howver, that does not mean that we should allow our anger and discontent, at the way Scotland has been treated and/or protrayed, to be a basis for shedding the good manners of reasonableness. This is what the more avid Unionists want us to do. They want to provoke us to be 'cyber-ranters' so that they can point out to the undecided voting Scots: 'Is this what you want to be run by?' I, for one, don't want to fall into that particular trap. As always, you must do what you think is right.

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  • 319. At 07:23am on 23 May 2009, Jake-the-S wrote:

    287 cynicalhighlander

    "Overall, more than 3,000 new criminal offences have been created by Labour 1,000 of them punishable by imprisonment."

    Was one of these new criminal offences "Defrauding the taxpayer by a public servant"
    by any chance.
    I doubt it. The only way this sorry mess can be sorted out is through the courts unless of course they are also part of the problem.

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  • 320. At 07:46am on 23 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 316 pattymkirkwood

    I have just read that article and it has just occurred to me that there is another party in existence within the confines of the UK that the major parties and media are avoiding discussing. I'm not talking about the Nationalists but the Greens.
    If there were to be a protest vote against the major 3 parties (this applies mostly to England as there is no 'alternative' party such as we have in Scotland and Wales) then the only reasonable alternative is the Green Party. There seems to be a reluctance to even mention the Greens. I suspect that the Westminster lot are just as worried about the Greens as they are about the Nationalists. I think this is so because of the reasonable policies which the Greens have, nearly always, adhered to. If there were to be a hung parliament, and this might well be the case, then the Greens might just be able to force their own agenda and curtail the ambitions of the the major three.
    Interesting times ahead.
    As to the point put forward by the Herald and some MPs, of all parties, about there being a radical change to the structure of Westminster; I don't think that I'll live long enough to see that. I suspect that what will happen is that there will be a cosmetic change and this will be trumpeted by the major three as a wholesale root and branch restructuring of the political process in Westminster. Then they wil get down to running OUR parliament in the way that they see fit with the average MP still having no input into democracy within parliament apart from that spouted by their leaders. I may be a cynic but I can't see the MPs skipping happily into a new Westminster order where the party machine is finally subdued.

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  • 321. At 08:58am on 23 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    #320 gedguy

    The alternative in England will not be the Greens in some areas, but more radical parties.

    The Greens at present probably have the most fractured political leadership out of all the parties. Also, certain members have extreme views on certain subjects. Some want to hammer the motorist with massive taxes, regardless of the impact on the economy. Others want homeowners to be hammered as well with massive taxes on energy. They also showed how inflexible they were at Holyrood.

    While the Greens do have some good policies, the last thing anyone wants is them either in power or holding tht balance of power.


    #318 gedguy

    Richer or poorer is fine, but using that provides an attack for those against independence. The "poorer" aspect would be highlighted. If your average voter thinks he will be worse off financially, do you think indendence will be his first choice?

    Labour will use the argument that they provide x,y and z benefits. The other parties while vowing to crack down on the benefit culture, have not made any serious promises. (I'm not on benefits by the way!).

    Although to be fair prescription charges have been reduced with a view to elimination altogether.

    Using the "poorer" argument may be a unionist tactic, but it is a very effective one.

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  • 322. At 09:28am on 23 May 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    On the Alf Young article it's worth noting that he is basically repeating the London Labour line as far as an election is concerned.

    Alf writes:
    "Would holding a General Election now cleanse the Westminster stables?

    David Cameron and The Sun newspaper certainly think so. So do the leaders of the Liberal Democrats and the SNP."


    Alf conveniently fails to mention that two thirds of voters are also demanding an election.

    Alf plays the now familiar 'All parties' line, "some MPs, on all sides, have abused their system of allowance", the aim of course to imply that each is as bad as the other - a claim that is clearly untrue and deliberately disingenuous.

    He even has his customary little dig at the SNP "even the entire membership of the SNP would struggle to fill Tynecastle, the stadium of its leader's chosen football team, Hearts.". Why the need to mention that Alex Salmond is a Hearts fan? Obviously just a coincidence that one of the old firm will play Hearts in a game that might have repercussions in the SPL title race.

    Alf suggests that abstention may be the only 'honourable' alternative. Well, things are bad for Labour indeed when Alf Young can only suggest this as a protest. It has obviously escaped Alf's notice that support for the SNP is rising as people recoil from Westminster corruption.

    All parties may well have had expenses of one sort or another revealed, however to lump the very minor and arguably inappropriate claims from the SNP with those of the Labour party is simply incredible.

    What's also noticeable is that Alf has chosen to run with an article on Labour's reluctance to hold an election instead of one on the UK's financial plight and the likely downgrading of it's credit rating.

    Finally, these MP's who are facing de-selection, and possible charges, should not be allowed to continue until Global is forced into an election. These individuals should be resigning as MP's NOW and by-elections held.

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  • 323. At 09:54am on 23 May 2009, scot2010 wrote:

    Interesting times. Since the likely publication of the FOI request into MPs expenses has been known since July 2008, why the great panic amongst party leaders? One would have thought that Brown and Cameron, in particular, would have had people going through those claims and preparing answers for the questions that would be raised.

    An MP of my acquaintance says that the atmosphere in the Common's tearoom at 12 each day is electric, as the MPs wait for a letter from the Telegraph detailing their claims. They then have until close of play to answer them before publication the following day.

    It is pathetic to see MPs treated this way, but the Parliament and House of Commons authorities failed to supervise claims properly. That is why Michael Martin had to go. Not all his fault by any means, but he bears a deal of responsibility. A sacrificial lamb is supposed to appease the angry gods. Mr Martin's resignation has not appeased public anger and many more MPs will suffer before it is. More by-elections anybody?

    As for Glasgow North East, it wll be close. Glenrothes was a very different type of seat fought in very different times. Glasgow East was a more similar seat but the times are again different. The likely very low turnout will mean that whoever identifies their vote and gets them out will win this.

    As for the General Election, Brown should call it in the Autumn. The conference season will be bloody, an imminent election may calm this. It will also give Brown some more authority as a reformer. He won't do it though. His moral compass is spinning so fast he doesn't know where he is

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  • 324. At 10:40am on 23 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #318 gedguy2

    "I fully support that point of view and would like to point out to # 305 bighullabaloo that your post was probably one of the main reasons why there is an SNP."

    Yes, but I'll just point out that making sure "there is an SNP" isn't the reason for the existence of the SNP.

    The SNP has "taken a reasonable stance" for decades and it hasn't achieved their goal.

    You've become so accustomed to being shafted by Unionist MPs you're now believing it's enough to have an organisation that voices a desire for change. It isn't.

    If, when Hitler was hammering on our door we'd said: "Oh we mustn't shed our good manners. We must adopt a reasonable stance" you wouldn't even be free to publish your views today.

    Waken up and see that these UK MPs are emptying your pockets, your children's pockets, and their children's pockets, even as we speak!

    If you came home and found your house being burgled you wouldn't "refuse to shed your good manners". You wouldn't "take a reasonable stance".

    (It's okay. I already know you will ignore the last point and totally fail to counter it in any meaningful way because it so aptly illustrates the absurdity of your position. To properly address this point would be to admit there's something wrong with your thinking and we can't possibly have that can we!)

    Scotland is being burgled in exactly this fashion yet you are content to endlessly discuss whether they're making a good job of it or not. There is a time for taking a reasonable stance and a time for not taking a reasonable stance.

    It's now clear that "reasonableness" will not get the job done. Eventually everyone has to have the courage to stand up to the bully.

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  • 325. At 10:56am on 23 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 321 Neil_Small147

    'While the Greens do have some good policies, the last thing anyone wants is them either in power or holding tht balance of power.'

    Personally I have no problem with a lot of the Green policies. It may be a throwback to my old hippy days.

    'Richer or poorer is fine, but using that provides an attack for those against independence.'

    Indeed, I suspect that you are correct in that assessment but I did say:
    'In my point of view it is not of major importance whether Scotland is richer or poorer. I'd be proud to be a Scot in either situation.'
    It was meant as a point of being patriotic and not as an economic policy ;-)

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  • 326. At 11:22am on 23 May 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 324 bighullabaloo

    'The SNP has "taken a reasonable stance" for decades and it hasn't achieved their goal.'

    Rome wasn't built in a day. It takes time to overcome the union biasedness of the British media. You are not a stupid man, you know this. The difference between you and I (because I happen to agree with most of your postings) is a matter of how that argument is put. That is all.

    'Waken up and see that these UK MPs are emptying your pockets, your children's pockets, and their children's pockets, even as we speak!'

    I woke up years ago when I first voted for and was an activist for the SNP in the seventies.

    '(It's okay. I already know you will ignore the last point and totally fail to counter it in any meaningful way because it so aptly illustrates the absurdity of your position. To properly address this point would be to admit there's something wrong with your thinking and we can't possibly have that can we!)'

    I was going to answer your point before this statement but I won't bother as you seem to have had the common decency to have answered it for me. Just let me quote you something that I posted earlier because I think that you may have missed it:

    # 278 'I am long enough in the tooth to realise that the only thing that I am sure of is that I'm unsure about everything.'

    'Eventually everyone has to have the courage to stand up to the bully.'

    Never a truer word spoken.

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  • 327. At 11:36am on 23 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #314
    You're scraping the bottom of the barrel by quoting the Scotsman in support of anything. You will find as reliable facts and figures in that other fine Scottish publication, the Beano. Nobody takes the Scotsman seriously anymore and hardly anybody reads it. My bet is it will change hands shortly or close down.
    And the Ministry of Defence would say that, wouldn't they.
    Have you read the STUC report? The STUC has no axe to grind on this issue. It puts the figure at around 900 as did a Parliamentary answer. Those with a vested interest in saddling Scotland with a fleet of nuclear powered submarines due for decommissioning and submarines carrying nuclear weapons (not the same thing)continually and deliberately mix up the nuclear base and the very large conventional deep water base which is there which would be maintained by any government and certainly by an independent Scottish one.
    It is this sort of issue which is steadily separating Nulabour in government (but not in control)from its Scottish support.
    Significantly the only support Nulabour has on this issue is from the Tories.

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  • 328. At 12:18pm on 23 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #326 gedguy2

    "I was going to answer your point before this statement but I won't bother as you seem to have had the common decency to have answered it for me."

    No, I didn't answer the point for you as any rational person can see for themselves.

    I predicted you wouldn't answer it and I was right.

    Let's take your proud statement from #278: 'I am long enough in the tooth to realise that the only thing that I am sure of is that I'm unsure about everything.'

    Now, imagine you return home from a walk with your family and your house is being burgled. The burglars are literally walking out your front door carrying your children's favourite toys.

    You son says:"Dad! Aren't you going to stop them?!" and you answer: "I am long enough in the tooth to realise that the only thing that I am sure of is that I'm unsure about everything."

    Can you see what a ridiculously inadequate response that is?

    You cannot on the one hand agree "there is a time to stand up to a bully" and but when that time arrives, chicken out and vehemently try to convince everyone of the virtues of "manners and reasonableness."

    Let's look at the "reasonableness" of the people we are faced with in the UK parliament. Tory MP Anthony Steen: "What right does the public have to interfere with my private life? None."

    This is the core of the problem. These people take the view they are entitled to public cash but reject the view the public has the right to know what they spend it on. This is not "reasonableness".

    When you are dealing with unreasonable people who simply refuse to see reason, what options are you left to you? How can you get them to see reason?

    The reality of life is some people have to be FORCED to see reason. There IS such a thing as "reasonable force".

    A 600 pound gorilla escapes from its cage and rampages through the streets. Someone asks you how you're going to stop it and you answer: "I am long enough in the tooth to realise that the only thing that I am sure of is that I'm unsure about everything."?!!

    I don't think so. It is perfectly acceptable to use force to capture a rampaging gorilla. The greater good of protecting the public must be the first priority.

    The same applies to these out of control "600 pound gorillas" in the UK parliament. It is perfectly acceptable to force these people out for the greater good of the electorate. They are a blight on all our houses.

    To give you a concrete example of what I mean by someone who has the courage to stand up to the bullies, read this story which is today buried low on the news menus of the BBC Politics page:

    "A man has appeared in court to try to start a private prosecution against the home secretary over her expense claims."

    Here you see a man with GENUINE moral courage.

    This isn't some would-be armchair "Ghandi" whose only contribution is to rebuke others for not being "reasonable" then sit back and revel in how much "holier than thou" they are.

    The only achievement of these armchair "Ghandis" is to give themselves a smug, selfish little pat on the back for their "wisdom" of seeing the virtue of reasonableness.

    But it's not "wisdom" if you're incapable of seeing what actually needs to be done.

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  • 329. At 1:02pm on 23 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned the 'systematic humiliation' of MPs is a threat to Britain's democracy."

    Yes, and while we're at it, Jesus really was a bit hard on the money-lenders!

    What has the Archbishop to say about the "systematic humiliation" of the taxpayer?

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  • 330. At 1:03pm on 23 May 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    For the sake of the poster who suggested that the "bloodless revolution" which is apparently in progress in Blighty in the wake of the continuing MPs' expenses scandal, were it to have occurred in France, would not have been bloodless, I have taken a moment or two to assemble relevant information on the expenses regime which is currently in force for members of the French National Assembly. The primary conclusion which may be drawn will be found to be that a controversy of this type could not occur in the home of liberty, equality and fraternity, a fact which numerous posters in the francophone blogosphere have been lamenting, as they would like to have some fun too.

    Members of the National Assembly are not reimbursed on the basis of claims submitted or invoices. They receive a set monthly allowance of 6,300 euros to compensate them for expenses incurred in the discharge of their functions as elected representatives of the people. The sort of things covered by this are transport, clothing, food, rent and office expenses, etc. Nowhere have I been able to find any mention of provision for duck ponds or moat cleaning. Truly, honestly. Would I deceive you?

    I think it would be found that accommodation expenses of members of the National Assembly are mainly to do with the renting of an apartment somewhere in central Paris, ownership of residential accommodation in the capital not being the normal pattern that it is Blighty. At weekends the people's representatives tend to leave the capital for their main home in more restful surroundings in accordance with general custom and habit among better-off members of society. So no profitable second-home jiggery-pokery such as has recently been revealed in Blighty.

    Members of the National Assembly also have some benefits in kind: forty air trips a year between Paris and their constituencies, as well as free first-class rail travel; telephone costs of 4,700 euros for Parisian members, 6,600 euros for those from other parts of France except for members from overseas territories, for whom the figure is 10,000 euros; members used also to be granted two kinds of loans at preferential rates (cash limit of 18,000 euros), but this facility is due to be discontinued at the end of this year. Twenty members (the President of the National Assembly and others holding certain offices within the legislature) have the right to a chauffeur-driven car, and four of them (including the President of the National Assembly) are entitled to official accommodation.

    Clearly, as I indicated at the beginning, there would appear to be no scope for an embarrassing and damaging scandal such as is currently undermining the credibility and status of the UK parliament, as entitlements of members of the National Assembly are of a uniform and clearly-stated nature, and as the fact that the French system thus obviates any need for individual claims, whether for security gates or wisteria-clearing. As no one receives more than s/he is publicly stated to be entitled to, no one is doing anything with which fault can be found, how the standard allowance is spent being left to the discretion of members of the legislature. Reform of the rules occurs routinely.

    This may not seem to everyone to be a perfect system, but at least it seems to work better than the so-called system that has just destroyed public confidence in the UK parliament and is threatening to create a constitutional crisis. Things are indeed done differently in France, where the dignity of the institutions of the republic is faring considerably better than the dignity of the "mother of parliaments".

    Poor old Blighty. It just does not seem to be able to get anything right. Try a written constitution.

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  • 331. At 1:10pm on 23 May 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    *208* R exprat

    Oh clamp up man. Don't you get it? - we really couldn't care if there is any culture there or not, but happy for you/them if there is. One thing's for sure though it's completely different from ours and there is no crime in realising it! I think you should be a bit prouder of your own, if you really are a scot.

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  • 332. At 1:10pm on 23 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #330 frankly_francophone

    People didn't call it "Rip-off Britain" for nothing!

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  • 333. At 1:29pm on 23 May 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    *277* ONAT

    Magic!!! LOL!

    *278* gedgguy

    "I am long enough in the tooth to realise that the only thing that I am sure of is that I'm unsure about everything."

    Very similar to "All that I know is that I know nothing". Copyright breach? :0)

    From memory I think it was newton who coined that, but can't be r st looking it up on the infamous wiki.

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  • 334. At 1:45pm on 23 May 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    Back to my 331

    Just thought I'd contribute to REXPRATS request/challenge to nats for references to English culture.

    Thought I'd start a list of things I love from/in england.

    Dave Gilmour and many other musicians, Mustard, John Cleese, M Palin and many other comedians, Yorkshire pudding, St Albans, The lake district... come on nats, lets show him we are not burdened with his hatred, this is just the start of my list.

    And so to keep on topic, it's been one scandal after another with expenses and many other things over the years. We seem to be recating to this as if it has never happened before, as if at some point in time we have had honest politics from westminster. Maybe its because we have proof now in the form of FOI but we've known for a very long time. Its rotten to the core - come on giz a break?

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  • 335. At 1:46pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    EIS have had enough!
    http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Teachers-to-debate--action.5296795.jp

    but "HEY" is not about policy or improvements, it's just about identity
    and borders. Wow! classic.

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  • 336. At 2:00pm on 23 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #334 waitingformyman

    Actually, I think you'll find it more interesting to give genuine examples of English culture - that is how people in England do things and think differently than their neighbours. A list of your favourite comedians hardly defines what makes up English national identity.

    Reluctant-Cowpat, being English, found it impossible to name one thing, so to cover his embarrassment he opted for the clumsy diversionary tactic of "challenging" nationalist posters to do it instead. This is like challenging someone to prove leprechauns exist.

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  • 337. At 2:05pm on 23 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #314. derekbarker

    Renewing Trident will cost Scotland jobs

    "The report reveals that the Faslane base carries out a wide range of functions as well as supporting Trident. Using Government figures it calculates that 1536 jobs are sustained by Trident in Scotland."



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  • 338. At 2:28pm on 23 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #326 gedguy2

    If you want to see the same "holier than thou" stunt being attempted by a professional read the BBC story: "Archbishop voices democracy fears."

    Oddly, you're better at it then he is.

    His argument seems to be: "We must not be too hard on people who have stolen from us to feather their own morally corrupt nest - even when they show no contrition for it whatsover."

    I hate to have to point this out but there was (I'm told) a time when the Church concerned itself with the plight of the poor, the hungry and the downtrodden. I don't think they had Anthony Steen in mind when they stated that concern.

    If it's all the same to you, Oldnat, and the Archbishop, I think I'll decide for myself whether it's reasonable to criticise MPs and how severely they should be criticised. Thanks anyway.

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  • 339. At 2:36pm on 23 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    It's becoming quite stomach-turning to see what is becoming a flood of resignations from Labour and Tory MPs who, five minutes after the wheels fell off their gravy train, have now decided their much-repeated boast of "deep commitment to public service" matters not a jot.

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  • 340. At 2:54pm on 23 May 2009, crazyislander wrote:

    Nice to hear from the Archbish! This is a man who lives in a palace, is driven around in a chauffeured limousine, sits in the House of Lords and presumably collects his allowance for doing so. Does he not feel in any way emabarrassed that he has all that when Jesus had nothing?

    And what does he know of democracy? He is an appointed leader who is supposedly 'elected' by his 'brother' bishops. In actual fact, he is an appointee of the Government whose appointment is rubber-stamped by the Queen. How much does he earn? What does he get for expenses? what is retirement pension like? Has anyone ever seen a poor A of C or a poor ex one for that matter?

    What does this man know of real life? Does he know what it's like to be on the dole? Has he ever done a shift in a call-centre? Na, he's a pontificating cleric who should stick to spiritual matters and leave the rest of us mere mortals to get on with the job of kicking out and vilifying those MPs who have rooked us all.

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  • 341. At 2:59pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #337 cynicalHighlander

    We could chew the cud over numbers all day, Wiki has the numbers at about 7,000 in the 1980's 3,000, military, 4,000 civil.

    I glad you take an interest in employment. The CBI say that the failure of Scottish future trust scheme has cost 20,000 jobs in Scotland.

    Do you think that the trust scheme should be scrapped?.

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  • 342. At 3:43pm on 23 May 2009, timepassescarmichael wrote:

    I, like most folks, thoroughly enjoyed both Question Time and Have I Got News for You this week, finding that one has become as much the other, as one another. It's difficult to distinguish between the comedy and the serious scheduling, which tells us as much as we need to know about Westminster, almost as much as we have ever need to have known. Similarly, like most people, I found my laughter particularly reserved for that chap Sheen, who claims that all us simple plebs are jealous; after all, what right have we to interfere with Sheen's right to spend our money, yes, yes, what? What right, he asks. Interestingly the articulation of his 'high-class, low-functioning, but highly-bred line of reasoning seemed to sound remarkably like the sounds of the final nails in the coffin of the pretence that is Westminster. His hollow little meanderings were the secret farewell of all honourable gentlewomen/men, all constructions of authority were drowned out by his clear received pronouncings ...

    HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME

    The fact that Sheen managed to strike a comic note is much to his credit, indeed. And, I think, that I like most people naturally responded to his little simplicities with the equally simple response that, despite the limited successes and frequent failings, I have remained honest and truthful and, as such, would never think of swapping my position for his, no matter what his Balmoral-like little house and unmanaged little bit of land. No, I can look myself in the eye. I wonder of Sheen and his ilk can do the same and, you know, I have full belief that they can still ...

    HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME
    HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME

    And, the feeling I get toward Sheen and his attitude seems to chime with the feeling I get whenever some unionist chappie or other starts asking for deference. The underlying impression I get with Sheen, and linked into his line of unionist thought, is that I am being asked to kneel when I have known all my life that one must stand, and stand on one's own two feet. It's just a feeling, but it's there, and it always will be there.

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  • 343. At 3:46pm on 23 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #

    As you keep flip flopping as often as MPs change their second homes and didn't read and open the pdf file at the bottom of the link provided, pi**ing into the wind in other words.

    "The Conservative governments decision to replace Polaris by the Trident missile
    system encountered widespread opposition in Scotland. Those opposing included the
    Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Labour Party in Scotland, the SNP and the
    Convention of Scottish Local Authorities."


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  • 344. At 3:51pm on 23 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #341 derekbarker
    I'm surprised at you, what do you be wanting to quote a Tory organisation like that for? Is the word of the STUC on the jobs at Faslane not good enough for you? How would we have got the money to borrow for NuLabs expensive PFI with the credit crunch? A real stupid cod statistic from a Tory organisation s**t stirring on behalf of its fellow travelling NuLab party and you fell for it. Derek, you are an innocent abroad when it comes to figures, almost as bad as RE!

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  • 345. At 4:01pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #343 cynicalHighlander

    You seem a bit mixed up here and agitated, the point being made is not whether you support the idea of faslane nuclear base or not, it's about how you would replace the jobs if faslane was to close?.

    Now the STUC have said that Scotland's shared cost of faslane 153 million
    would create 1536, fair enough! but what about the other 9,000 and odd jobs?.

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  • 346. At 4:08pm on 23 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #345 derekbarker
    You poor man, you're having one of your off days. Don't worry about it, we understand. Now you'll have heard of "You shouldn't believe everything you read in the papers", well that's only part of it as its goes on "and nothing you read in the Scotsman.". So a word of advice, never quote or link to the Scotsman, it just makes you look simple.

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  • 347. At 4:25pm on 23 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #345 derekbarker
    How sweet of you to be worrying about the workers in Barrow, the submariners, the technicians in the States, it does you proud but they are hardly the worry of a blog on Scottish politics. Now I'm pretty sure that it the Scottish Government was to spend 153 million, putting Scotland first, they could probably create a lot more than 1536 jobs in Scotland. So really you should be complaining about Tony Blair's profligacy with our money so he could hang on to his seat on the Security Council, which doesn't benefit Scotland. We just have to pay for it.

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  • 348. At 4:29pm on 23 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Oops! My 346 was in response to derek's 335 not his 345

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  • 349. At 4:51pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #347 handclapping

    Yes! It's always a good idea to hope for more employment however if it's head teachers, GP, or just hospital doctors, there is a massive cost involved.

    Look, I'm not against people earning decent money and good employment conditions but the idea that someone like sir Fred, could earn nearly 100 times more than some of his past employees is beyond belief.

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  • 350. At 4:53pm on 23 May 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    336. At 2:00pm on 23 May 2009, bighullabaloo

    ach, az only havin a laff.

    What about my point that we are reacting to this expenses sham as if we had not known it was going on already? It will no doubt, like history repeating, be washed over and diluted down - after we are all sick to death of hearing about it that is - and we will all go about our daily business as before after they have conjured up yet another honset way of conning decent hardworking people.

    I have a good honest idea - halls of residence for MPs close to parliament, where they are given free board while having to work away from home. AYE RIGHT!

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  • 351. At 5:06pm on 23 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #345. derekbarker

    Its like an insurance policy to get reimbursement one has to show that you have lost something that you had in the first place, all recognized sources show that between 850 and 1536 are the maximum numbers involved not your nulab spin of 11,000. Marbles might be the only things that are missing!

    English vs. Scottish Press Freedom

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  • 352. At 5:28pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #351 cynicalHighlander

    I did hope we wouldn't get bogged down with numbers. If you take your link from post 337, The STUC say that if you keep faslane as a conventional naval base you will safe 3,000 jobs that along with the creation of 1536 jobs from the 153 million redirected costs gives a fig, of 4536 jobs. If you google WIKI they say around 7,000 jobs, if you look at HMNB Portsmouth they say 17200 jobs, the numbers just go on and on. Now that Mr Salmond accepts Scotland as the one and only nuclear sub, base in the UK, what type of employment numbers does he put on that?.

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  • 353. At 6:00pm on 23 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #352. derekbarker

    Then there was this Parliamentary Answer on 21 Feb 2005:

    Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate how many (a) direct and (b) indirect civilian jobs in (i) Scotland and (ii) the rest of the UK rely upon the Trident programme. [214416]
    Mr. Hoon: The number of civilian jobs which directly rely upon the Trident programme is estimated to be 936 in Scotland, with an additional 6,640 in the rest of the United Kingdom. The number of civilian jobs which indirectly rely upon the Trident programme is estimated to be 300 in Scotland and 5,700 for the rest of the UK.

    End of non story

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  • 354. At 6:01pm on 23 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #345 derekbarker

    Is there any kind of illegal and immoral activity that you wouldn't support if it involved jobs?

    The argument against WMD isn't an employment argument, it's the argument against imperialism, and endangering the planet.

    On the basis of your stance you would have supported the continuance of the Slave Trade, due to the number of jobs it created in Glasgow.

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  • 355. At 6:14pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #354 oldnat

    As a former history teacher I'm sure your modern studies ability will be up to date as well, so you probably do grasp the notion of a nuclear deterrent however on the issue? do I support the programme of WMD for jobs, absolutely not! I'd rather we were far more productive with industrial means rather than WMD.

    #353 cynicalHighlander

    Again you mix up your facts with the nuclear and the naval base and the 125 million face lift it got a couple of years ago, making faslane a mini town within it's self not to mention the near by towns that gain in capital from faslane. I think you have started a never ending story.

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  • 356. At 6:16pm on 23 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Andrew MacKay to stand down at next general election

    ""It has been both a privilege and huge fun to represent the people of Bracknell for 26 years."

    Is it time for a special debate on Capital Punishment to be reinstated for the fraud purported by of those in power, that might get them squealing it wisnae me.

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  • 357. At 6:46pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #354 oldnat


    "The argument against WMD isn't an employment argument, it's the argument against imperialism, and endangering the planet"

    I draw to your imperialism quote' again you try and make some assertion that Scotland is oppressed by the English and the WMD based at faslane is put there by English force.

    Is this another attempt to highlight your racial tension?.

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  • 358. At 6:56pm on 23 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #354 oldnat
    It has been brought to our attention that you have been using "moral" arguments. As you well know the use of moral has been reserved for use only in connection with our Global Leaders wonky compass and by ministers of religion. You have been reported to the thought police and the Board of Guardians of the NuTeaching.
    The correct response is that the Slave Trade not only gave employment in North Briton but increased the global GDP by turning these savage subsistence farmers into employment units in globally traded goods. The system was unfairly stopped by trade rivals on the Humber who needed seamen for their rapine of Icelandic cod. see NuTeachPedia on "Slavery"
    PS You should have used "Payments to Reichsbahn for shipments to Auschwitz"; much stronger

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  • 359. At 7:07pm on 23 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #354 oldnat

    "On the basis of your stance you would have supported the continuance of the Slave Trade, due to the number of jobs it created in Glasgow."

    You've obviously never worked in a Glasgow call centre.

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  • 360. At 7:12pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #358 handclapping

    A bit odd for the old-chappie to argue about his green credentials, especially when he flys to and from America at least 3-to- 4 times a year.

    O' my! what depth of knowledge the nats show about fascist and racial
    happenings.

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  • 361. At 7:25pm on 23 May 2009, myretoun wrote:

    From Tim Reid BBC Scotland Westminster reporter speaking to a Scottish Labour MP.

    I asked if she was thinking of quitting. But her answer was: "No, I can't. This is my livelihood."

    Two short sentences summarizes this MP's real reason for being in politics.

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  • 362. At 7:28pm on 23 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #360 derekbarker
    At least the nats, by your own admission, show a depth of knowledge about something, unlike some!
    PS Knowledge of fascism is very useful for interpreting the antics of NuLabour. If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear.

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  • 363. At 7:42pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #362 handclapping

    Well! Well! the mantra "if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear" was the pushing quote from the ID card bridgade.

    Do you support the need for ID cards?.

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  • 364. At 8:23pm on 23 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #359 bighullabaloo

    LOL!

    #358 handclapping

    Can I choose my companions when I'm sent to the gulag? Ms Lumley would be on my list!

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  • 365. At 8:29pm on 23 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    #363 ID cards is only the tip of the iceberg. Tell us Derek, since you asked the question it's only polite to provide your answer, do you support ID cards? Do you support the surveillance society Nu Labour has produced?

    Joe Stalin would be proud of Nu Labour for this one.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/whos_watching_you/8064333.stm

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  • 366. At 9:42pm on 23 May 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    #342 timepassescarmichael

    Eloquent.

    "(...) the final nails in the coffin of the pretence that is Westminster" accords with my impression that something has just died or is, at least, dying.

    According to observers on the European mainland, the UK unparliamentary expenses scandal sounds the death knell of what they refer to as the English model. As an ill wind blows across the UK, the sick man of Europe is gravely afflicted by bearing the brunt of the crisis of the casino capitalism which the Labour Party under Blair and Brown has, since 1997, both fostered and maintained.

    Because it is more permissively 'neo-liberal' and less egalitarian than the rest of Europe, the UK is considered to be more affected by the current economic crisis than other European economies, suffering as it does from what is regarded as utterly catastrophic household debt (with numerous cases of repossession of houses bought on credit), an alarmingly broken society, inadequate, ineffective and prohibitively expensive public services, with the outrageous "private-public partnerships" or PPP and the rest of the alphabet of iniquitous public-project funding arrangements which, with minimal return, are increasing public debt to levels which beggar belief and have rightly outraged UK public opinion. The frightening scale of rising popular anger at such incompetence and injustice undoubtedly owes something to the fact that the UK government, supported by its snouts-in-trough parliamentarians, has recently been vilifying those whom it has accused of being scroungers in the growing army of those who are dependent on state benefits, among whom the proportion of unemployed and unemployables increases relentlessly.

    On the one hand, the totemic beliefs of the British political system have been destroyed, one after another: the alleged superiority of an economy based on deregulation, flexibility and privatization of common property. Even the ultra-liberal publication The Economist has conceded that the states of mainland Europe are doing better than the UK now because they are more 'dirigiste' or prescriptive and egalitarian. On the other hand, the alleged moral superiority of a political class supposed to be "cleaner" than its European counterparts has been exposed as a myth.

    New Labour is perceived to be suffering from this major crisis more than other political parties, the reviled Speaker Martin embodying the decline into moral turpitude of a party which stands accused of having sold its soul to the powerful of this world. A working-class Glaswegian from the "Old Labour" old guard of the Labour Party, Martin's actions directed at preserving a system that benefited his "snout-in-trough" colleagues have not only discredited him but have apparently damaged irreparably that which he sought to protect.

    The Westminster expenses scandal, damaging though it is, is seen to be merely the last item in a long line of political fraud perpetrated by New Labour: the fraudulent Iraq war (a war totally manufactured to appeal to Bush); the fraud of a "thriving" economy, in which INEQUALITIES HAVE BEEN MORE MARKED THAN UNDER THATCHER; the fraud of a "Third Way" meant to be a model for the European Left (one followed by the Italian Left, which has consequently imploded); the spinning scam of Alastair Campbell's cynical and vulgar "Cool Britannia" media machine; the scam of the London G20 summit at which the arsonist Gordon Brown was introduced as the heroic fireman who supposedly extinguished the Anglo-American cowboy-capitalist fire which he had helped to cause.

    It is widely considered that the Westminster expenses scam was only possible because of a political climate created by New Labour, a climate in which the noble Lord Mandelson declares that he has nothing against people filling their pockets and in which the pocket-bulging Tony Blair regards the growing gap between rich and poor as something which is not a problem. For the Labour Party this was not a problem? Have they gone mad? To those who say that the Labour Party has lost its way the obvious response would seem to be that there is no great merit in stating the downright obvious! As for Gordon Brown, whose legendary ineptitude has not gone un-noticed in Europe, it is recalled that he was saying only eight months ago that UK household debt was not a problem, because the "success" of the UK economy was "based on consumption", which has since plummeted, as have his chances of remaining in 10 Downing Street for much longer.

    Strong populist anti-parliamentary winds of change can be seen to be sweeping across the UK today, to the astonishment of many, including the high priest of the Anglicans, who apparently perceives a threat to democracy in this. Some would say that these winds of change are overdue, however. Still, he may have a point, as the discredited Labour Party is considered to have annihilated the UK Left and to be facilitating an expected breakthrough by the unspeakably right-wing BNP and the right-wing anti-EU UKIP.

    On top of all of this there is the question of Scotland, of course, which, as always and inevitably, is different from England. As the crumbling edifices of the UK polity and the UK economy come tumbling down, will Scotland turn to the BNP and UKIP? Hardly likely, is it? Which leaves the Scottish National Party as a probable beneficiary in the last will and testament of Britannia, who, alas and lackaday, is apparently committing suicide. I thought something was dying. RIP Britannia.

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  • 367. At 9:46pm on 23 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Cash secrets of the politicians who keep it in the family

    "An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has established that many of the MPs more than 200 in total who employ relatives have been able to claim extra expenses as a result of the arrangement."

    Looks like Thomas will have to put on a blue beret shortly.

    Anyone bet that the number of MPs who haven't troughed it in one way or another are down into double figures.

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  • 368. At 9:58pm on 23 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/hereford/worcs/8063768.stm

    Home Secretary to be charged with Fraud.

    http://www.order-order.com/2009/05/mackay-going/

    Ongoing revelations hit Westmonster Parties.

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  • 369. At 10:24pm on 23 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Just read this in the Sunday Telegraph:

    "One MP was allowed to claim taxpayers money to run a 'constituency office' 330 miles from his constituency."

    Surely that has got to be the the final nail in the coffin of the pretence that is Westminster?

    The Scottish public cannot tolerate this widespread systematic fraud any longer.

    Our best option is get out of the UK and start afresh with an independent Scottish parliament.

    It makes no sense to remain part of this morally and financially bankrupt UK.

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  • 370. At 10:30pm on 23 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Listen to Mathew Parris on Nolan channel 5 Nolan

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  • 371. At 10:41pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #368 patty

    If minister and MP's start getting summoned to appear on fraud charges, well! it could really be a Charles the 1st moment.

    And it's over to you Oldnat!

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  • 372. At 10:57pm on 23 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    oldnat 354

    Good, good extremely good point. The greatest defence of the slave trade before Wilberforce was all about the employment of those of the great trading cities of liverpool, Glasgow etc. But to support your point oldnat; sometimes we need to accept Derek and others, we must do what is both what is fiscally right and morally right.

    Surely it is possible to have an ethical as much as profitable economy? Employment shall always be available for people in a stron economy, and it is surely worth a note that the most secure jobs are those that are sustainable (either fiscally or morally) in the long term.

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  • 373. At 11:01pm on 23 May 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    I have to draw attention to the rather degrading opportunism of some on this blog, to use such a dangerous crisis as the current one to promote a particular ideology is rather sad. Not honorable.

    Besides bighullaballoo I shall ask you to note that many of your independence heroes are as much implicated in the expenses scandle as those of the 'westmonster' parties (as you so 'maturely' called Parliament).
    We ought to contemn these MPs, and seek to create a stable UK wide democracy, otherwise we risk much of our demos, opportunism breeds the same attitudes as Robespierre (I speak of the 'you today, be tommorrow' logic of the revolution).

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  • 374. At 11:03pm on 23 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    371 derekbarker

    Charles I was ... self-righteous, stubborn, opinionated, determined and confrontational. Charles believed he had no need to compromise or even explain his rules and that he was only answerable to God. He famously said: "Kings are not bound to give an account of their actions but to God alone,"

    Sound like a Labour PM you supported?

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  • 375. At 11:28pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #374

    Tut, tut, and Cromwell was no better, a puritan that raged with religious anger, who also thought he had the hand of god on his side.

    I merely gave you a pointer to the allegedly court proceedings of Ministers and MP's and of course the most probable out-come to such an event would likely take the form of parliament being dissolved by the queen.


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  • 376. At 11:35pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #372

    Dean, don't appear on here with some mocking code kid! if you had a failure to agree with the Bishop, don't go all stroppy on here.

    Accept people like Derek' Wow! boy! 2nd year student telling people to accept others like some type of high messiah, Dean young tory in old ropes, eh.

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  • 377. At 11:37pm on 23 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #373 deanthetory

    "I shall ask you to note that many of your independence heroes are as much implicated in the expenses scandle as those of the 'westmonster' parties"

    When does 2 become 'many' both of which are £400ea. or is it that you're concerned that 100's of tory, labour and lib dems troughing £100,00's each showing how corrupt they instinctively are being shown in the media.

    Derek Conway claimed for office 270 miles from constituency

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  • 378. At 11:52pm on 23 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

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

  • 379. At 00:00am on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #373 deanthetory

    "Besides bighullaballoo I shall ask you to note that many of your independence heroes are as much implicated in the expenses scandle as those of the 'westmonster' parties (as you so 'maturely' called Parliament)."

    I've never used the word "westmonster".

    I shall ask to note that you must try to confine your high-handed zeal for criticising others to things they have actually written.

    I ask further ask you for a public apology immediately and if you don't provide an apology you will have shown yourself to be every bit the "dishonourable" person you accuse others of being.

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  • 380. At 00:26am on 24 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Dean, I've watched grown men accept hands out from the EU because they were on strike, I've stood in queue's with these men getting butter and cheese hand outs.I've watched my friend being driven to alcoholic's and witnessed several family break ups.Don't try and tell me that there is some kind of compassionate conservative, kid!.

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  • 381. At 00:35am on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://www.sundayherald.com/oped/opinion/display.var.2509970.0.how_can_we_rebuild_democracy_four_views.php

    How can we rebuild democracy?

    Ignore Muriel she actually has bought the Westminster snake-oil that MPs should be paid more poor dears ... the other three have some interesting ideas.

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  • 382. At 00:48am on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #371, Derek - the one thing we can all agree on is we are living in pretty extraordinary times ... some of the piggies are actually getting caught! Punishment as if they were ordinary members of the public may just be a step too far for the Westminster establishment, however.

    We have all chuckled with something approaching amusement, at Labour MPs claiming for mortgages that were paid off years ago or never existed, Tory MPs cleaning moats and creating duck islands in their country estates (and others too).

    Put these stories in the context of a third world nation, we would be condemning "corruption" and cutting off aid until the system is cleansed.

    Imagine these were ordinary people living in Britain today.

    Think, for example, of what happens to the single mother who is incorrectly paid additional benefit. There are no shrugs of the shoulders and clean slates available there. What follows is re-payment in a set schedule or failing that prosecution ... lets hope I am proven wrong and MPs are treated just as ordinary members of the public would be.

    How claiming on mortgages for houses long since bought, or for upgrades such as a duck island (with a nice little pagoda, apparently) can be considered anything other than criminal is simply beyond me.

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  • 383. At 00:53am on 24 May 2009, Lily_Hammer wrote:

    #373 deanthetory

    If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen, sonny.

    PS. I have to draw attention to the fact that your spellchecker isn't working.

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  • 384. At 00:56am on 24 May 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    And further more Dean the Bishop's friend! your reference to fatal purity
    was quite amusing but you missed the best line from any Marxist, quote

    "Freedom in a capitalist society
    always remains the about the same"

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  • 385. At 01:01am on 24 May 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    I agree bhb. Time for us to stop being so polite and restrained. I for one am sick and tired of being measured about those who have treated Scotland and indeed rumpUK disgustingly.

    Up the Scottish revolution!

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  • 386. At 01:12am on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    David Camerons closest advisor Andrew MacKay, is forced to go; then it emerges his wifes brother (she is also an MP, and they rotated their second homes) is staying rent-free in a taxpayer funded home.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1186829/Now-disgraced-Tory-MP-Andrew-MacKays-politician-wife-admits-brother-stays-taxpayer-funded-home.html

    If you can judge a leader by his friends and political allies then David Cameron has serious questions to answer.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/UKNews1/idUKTRE54M1HN20090523

    There is absolutely no doubt that the Tory and Labour Parties have committed the worst excesses relating to the expenses row. Yes, others are guilty too but there is a difference between a food bill, within the rules in that awful phrase; and claiming for wholly imaginary mortgages, or 16000 pound bookcases, or to have your moat cleaned!

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6350604.ece

    Research conducted by The Sunday Times and Professor Colin Rallings, director of the elections centre at Plymouth University, suggests that about 170 Labour MPs will not defend their seats while 55 Conservatives are also expected to retire.

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  • 387. At 01:15am on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Now we are not allowed to point out the difference in the way we treat actions of a criminal nature by MPs and the suffering of those "ordinary people" who fall foul of incompetent administration on the part of Govt. (e.g. excess benefit paid out).

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  • 388. At 01:51am on 24 May 2009, Tom wrote:

    DeanTheTory:

    #373.

    "I have to draw attention to the rather degrading opportunism of some on this blog, to use such a dangerous crisis as the current one to promote a particular ideology is rather sad. Not honorable."

    I have not witnessed another using the current crisis within our political system to promote an ideology, could you show me where exactly an ideology was promoted?

    I'd also point out that many believed our Westminister Parliament to be corrupt, unrepresentive and down right rotten for years. You may have noticed that many bloggers here have never supported the Westminister Parliament especially, opportunism? Mate, we've been banging the drums for years. It is not our fault that you have failed to listen, and now we see the face of our democracy.

    Now what will happen? Most MP's will walk away, many will get a slap on the wrist and the public will stomp their feet but quickly their voices will fall silence because we will still go out to vote for the same parties and individuals.

    If MP's make to to prison I would not expect things to be different. The individuals will still receive meals, TV's and able to enjoy sports and other activites that are on offer.

    But we still pay for it...

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  • 389. At 02:19am on 24 May 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    From a story about MPs questioning the Barnett Formula on the BBC website 'The committee also questioned the future of the post of Secretary of State for Scotland, which is currently held by East Renfrewshire MP Jim Murphy.

    'Social union'

    The report said: "Many have questioned whether it is justified for those parts of the United Kingdom which have devolved government, and only those parts, to have individual secretaries of state in the cabinet.

    "As relationships between the administrations mature, the role of Secretary of State for Scotland has clearly decreased, and the question of the continued separate existence of that office must be raised."

    Oh dear... mind you Murphy wouldnt have kept his job for much longer anyway and i would be surprised if the Tories have anyone to do the job after the GE in Scotland.

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  • 390. At 02:39am on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8065339.stm

    Further confirmation, as though it were needed, of the very dodgy people surrounding David Cameron and what is presumably his "government in waiting".

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  • 391. At 08:31am on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #373. deanthetory wrote:

    "I have to draw attention to the rather degrading opportunism of some on this blog, to use such a dangerous crisis as the current one to promote a particular ideology is rather sad. Not honorable.

    I have to draw attention to those who voted for an illegal war in Iraq where millions suffered at the hands of allied bombing that live in fear of their lives day in day out (for years) and the only trough that they have is to store water. Where's the honour in that?

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  • 392. At 08:42am on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Householders paying too much council tax due to Government errors

    "Last year, The Sunday Telegraph showed how ministers had tried to cover up the banding errors after they finally published a report of a key Whitehall meeting of the Council Tax Revaluation Board in November 2005, shortly after the decision to postpone a revaluation had been taken."

    Honour dean! (allegiance to moral principles)

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  • 393. At 08:59am on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Double dipping MPs in another dodgy deal

    I attended Andrew MacKay's meeting and I think his position is now untenable

    In any other business they would be sacked and forgo all benefits accrued rather than be allowed to stand down at the next general election.

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  • 394. At 09:14am on 24 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #389 - Mmmm, so there we have it,ubi. It looks like there will never be another Scot in the cabinet, or at least not one representing a Scottish constituency. We truely will be back to the days of being subservient to our colonial masters, with no representation at the highest offices in the country. Truely another Union dividend.

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  • 395. At 09:18am on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Scots MP claimed £2000 for electrical work carried out by phantom firm

    "However, a Sunday Herald investigation can reveal that there are serious doubts over whether Eastern Electrical Ltd has ever existed."

    Have they tried this co. "Devine's and Connarty enterprises"

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  • 396. At 09:42am on 24 May 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Well, the stories are putting even more shame onto Westminster.

    Only one way to clear things up:

    Westminster obtains an apartment block for all MPs. Furnish as you wish, but they can either stay there or choose elsewhere, but no claims.

    Every single MP - and I mean every single MP - who has made any claim which is either potentially illegal, "mistake", excessive or cannot be justified should be forced to resign as an MP at the next election and barred from political office.

    I don't care if they are the leader of a party, cabinet secretary or have made a relatively minor claim. These people are supposed to be setting an example. Did any of them stop to think?

    Mock Tudor beams, duck houses, moat clearing, dry rot, widescreen plasma tvs and expensive home entertainment systems, iPods, 250 quid alarm clocks, mortgages that don't exist, companies that don't exist, homes 330 miles away from Parliament and constituency, family members overpaid......

    Some are far more serious than others, but the principle remains the same.

    MPs should be beyond reproach. They are there to serve the country, not take advantage of an expenses system that appears to give the opportunities normally only afforded to third world dictatorships to use the taxpayers money for personal use, classing it as justifiable expenses in order to to their work effectively as an MP.

    And we should not have any sympathy for them, as asked by the Archbishop. If the MPs had not been in the trough in the first place we would not have had this situation.

    Once we clear up Westminster, then we can start on the European Parliament.

    Rant over....... :)



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  • 397. At 10:38am on 24 May 2009, snowthistle wrote:

    #396,
    If you put them all in an apartment block how much is that going to cost in security? I know that they are a parcel o rouges but I don't think we should make them a target for terrorists.

    Anyone seen the article in the Sunday Times entitled "MPs' call for end of cash flow to Scots" Sorry don't know how to post a link ...doh.

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  • 398. At 11:13am on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #397. snowthistle

    Copy/paste url

    MPs call for end of cash flow to Scots

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  • 399. At 11:18am on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #373 deanthetory

    I note you have failed to apologise for wrongly accusing me of using the word "westmonster".

    I have never, ever used this word.

    This proves that it's YOU who's "dishonourable" and "immature" - not me.

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  • 400. At 11:26am on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Fresh from the scandal of MPs billing the taxpayer for so-called "ghost mortgages" - where the public was meeting the cost of politicians' home loans that had already been paid off - this fresh invoice now raises the prospect of the country's elected representatives being reimbursed by the taxpayer for services provided by phantom firms."

    I know there's a specific legal term for this "phantom firms" ploy. I've seen lawyers and CID officers using it. It's on the tip oy my tongue. I think it's got five letters. Can someone please tell me? It's driving me crazy!

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  • 401. At 11:46am on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    I note that senior clergy - having tried and failed to make us sympathetic to political thieves and fraudsters - are now campaigning AGAINST a political party.

    From the BBC website: "The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have urged voters not to let anger over the expenses scandal drive them to vote for the BNP in next month's elections."

    This, of course, means they are effectively campaigning FOR other political parties.

    It is not the place of the clergy to try to influence voters on their choice of political party, regardless of how odious the clergy regards any one party in particular.

    It's clear that having seen the moral collapse of bankers and MPs, we are now witnessing the moral collapse of the clergy.

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  • 402. At 11:47am on 24 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #401 bighulla
    If it's what I think it is, your crazy has two of the letters right and in their right places. Was it not IBM that were accused of using FUD, fear, uncertainty, doubt, to promote buying IBM. Sounds like the Unionists to me.

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  • 403. At 11:57am on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #402 handclapping

    Thanks. That's a good start. So far we've got: _ R A _ _.

    Can anyone else come up with any of the missing letters?

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  • 404. At 11:59am on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Commons officials helped culture secretary beat tax

    "The Commons authorities instead agreed to bend their own rules, and added the windfall to his second home allowance, which is exempt from tax. The special deal meant he was able to claim more than £32,000 on his second home allowance for a single year - far beyond the maximum £21,643 then permitted under the Commons rules. It is believed to be the highest amount ever claimed."

    'This conversation may have cost me £160,000'... First MP to claim £1m admits he failed to pay capital gains tax on two homes

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  • 405. At 12:04pm on 24 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    My highlight of the past week waa a wee worthy woman from Springburn saying on the telly that "they've all had their noses in the snout". Priceless.
    Seriously though, can Jim Murphy survive a General Election vote? Bare polling figures alone say "no" and Nuclear Jim's vociferous support of Brown's call for a GB football team should surely finish him off.
    Then he will have to get a real job. If my memory serves me right he is straight from NUS to Parliament to Secretary of State without ever having worked anywhere.

    Bighullaballoo. Does it start with a "eff" and end with a "dee" by any chance?

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  • 406. At 12:13pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    It wisnae me so it must be "you" nulabs excuse.

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  • 407. At 12:13pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #404 cynicalHighlander

    From the same article you've just highlighted: "Asked what he would do if he was asked to repay the money, he said: 'Suck it and see.'"

    There's that mannerable, mature, reasonable attitude we've become so familiar with from Labour and Tory MPs over the last week or so.

    What a charming bunch they are, eh?!

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  • 408. At 12:13pm on 24 May 2009, Reluctant_Expat wrote:

    If I can just interrupt the wailing, I didn't notice anyone posting on this Populus poll from a few weeks back (only just seen it m'self and am for some reason motivated to bring it to your attention):

    "Support for Scottish independence remains low, at 21 percent. About 40 percent said the Scottish Parliament should have more power, 8 percent said it should have less and 25 percent say it has just enough"

    That's some "independence juggernaut".

    Right, back to m'weekend. Keep up the good work, all.

    (Neil at #396: you, me and approx 60,000,000 others are in agreement I believe.)

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  • 409. At 12:15pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    And on the same theme: "He later confessed to The Mail on Sunday: 'This conversation may have cost me £160,000. Have I shafted myself?'"

    Er, no, you've shafted the taxpayer.

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  • 410. At 12:23pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #407. bighullabaloo

    Hope you don't mind but corrected your obvious spelling mistake below!

    "There's that mannureable, immature, irresponsible attitude we've become so familiar with from Labour and Tory MPs over the last week or so."

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  • 411. At 12:25pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #408 Reluctant-Cowpat

    I see you have no idea whatsover of how pathetic and irrelevant your posts about sad little rigged anti-independence polls look in the face of the total moral collapse of your beloved unionist UK government.

    This denial of reality that has always been a feature of your posts but it is now reaching breathtaking proportions.

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  • 412. At 12:27pm on 24 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #400 - Oh, it's like the Wheel of Fortune bonus round,the category being "The act of charging the taxpayer for services provided by phantom firms"

    So far, we've got: "F" "R" "A" __ "D"

    I'd like to solve the puzzle...but I'm stumped! No matter what letter I put in there, I can't get "It was an honest mistake" or "It was all within the rules".

    Anybody else any ideas?

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  • 413. At 12:36pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #412 ForteanJo

    I just can't seem to put my finger on what the word is! Even the Sunday Herald "wordsmith" who wrote the news story could only manage: "the country's elected representatives being reimbursed by the taxpayer for services provided by phantom firms".

    I know it should be totally obvious but there seems to be a cloak of invisibility or something around the MP that's stopping the media being able to put a name to what he's done. How very odd!

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  • 414. At 12:45pm on 24 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #412 ForteanJo
    If U hadn't elected me I'd never have been in a position to defraud the taxpayer, except when signing for the dole, so it's got to be U.
    It's really not my fault, and, no I never signed that these were expenses wholly, necessarily and exclusively incurred in the execution of my duties as an MP.

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  • 415. At 12:45pm on 24 May 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    #401 bighullabaloo

    While it goes against the grain to express disapproval of any organization expressing disapproval of the BNP, I think that in the context of a discussion concerning the state of the UK parliament the privileged position which the UK constitution confers upon the Church of England in Westminster's upper house may justifiably come under scrutiny when reform of the Duck Island legislature is considered, not least when Anglicans are seen to be exploiting their dubious constitutional status to take up arms against a particular political party, no matter how odious one may consider that party to be.

    Bishops of the Church of England rising, fully robed in their ecclesiastical finery to participate in debates in the upper chamber of the UK parliament, as if they had some God-given right to influence the legislation and governance of a democracy by virtue of their ecclesiastical office, is one of the more peculiar and indeed offensive aspects of the UK parliament from the point of view of a citizen of a republic which keeps religion scrupulously separate from the state and its governance.

    Christian though I personally profess to be and anti-BNP though I also profess to be, I venture to suggest that the sooner the bishops are removed from the precincts of the Palace of Westminster the better. Ejecting them before they set about other political parties that 'the Tory Party at prayer' may be opposed to is obviously worth considering at a time when reform of the UK parliament is on the agenda. If Anglican bishops wish to speak out against a political party, they should be content to do so from their pulpits primarily and volunteer to give up their right to be listened to in the House of Lords.

    As for the House of Lords itself, what is democratic about a revising chamber none of whose members is elected? Answers on a post card to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace.

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  • 416. At 1:00pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #415 frankly_francophone

    In a nutshell you agree entirely with me (I think!).

    I have no problem with Bishops preferring a particular party, but I draw the line at them telling other people who to vote for, or who not vote for.

    The mistake in their thinking is that the electorate can't be trusted to make up their own mind.

    However, I've noticed religious types have a peculiar penchant for telling everyone else what to think.

    I suppose the next step is warning us we'll all "burn in hell" if we dare to vote for a party the Bishops don't like?

    But the way things are going in this country (thanks to corrupt bankers, MPs and clergy) hell is starting to look not such a bad option.

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  • 417. At 1:12pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #405 sneckedagain

    "My highlight of the past week waa a wee worthy woman from Springburn saying on the telly that "they've all had their noses in the snout". Priceless."

    To be fair, she was very close. She just got the wrong end of the pig.

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  • 418. At 1:15pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #405 sneckedagain

    "Bighullaballoo. Does it start with a "eff" and end with a "dee" by any chance?"

    I think you're mistaking it for another word that describes the current situation of Unionist MPs: "F _ _ _ _ D"

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  • 419. At 1:21pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #418 sneckedagain

    Obviously my #418 suggestion is: "FilibustereD"!

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  • 420. At 1:30pm on 24 May 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    http://spectator.org/archives/2009/05/20/westminster-implodes
    Excellent article if anyone is looking at a fairly gloomy sky and has nothing better to do!

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  • 421. At 1:38pm on 24 May 2009, Reluctant_Expat wrote:

    411. Oh, good Lord, bighullabaloo! I don't know where to begin!

    "rigged anti-independence polls", "denial of reality....reaching breathtaking proportions"...Gah! Overload! Too many options!

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  • 422. At 1:40pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #420 Diabloandco

    From the Spectator article you've highlighted: "Members of Parliament are being deluged with hate mail, one MP's office has been stoned, and others' homes are under police guard."

    Oddly the BBC seems to have forgotten to mention any of this?

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  • 423. At 1:42pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #418. bighullabaloo

    Coat of Arms

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  • 424. At 1:43pm on 24 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #408 Reluctant-Expat
    There's a very good reason that no-one has commented and that is that Populus haven't published the details of this survey in Scotland. The English detail yes. Very odd that a member of the British Polling Council should make claims without publishing the data, so people have ignored it as the non-publication makes it suspect. Shame really, we are very short of political polls with a significant number of Scots respondents.
    For a self-confessed Rugby playing Tory boy to be spending a holiday weekend trawling round political polls just to make a post on a blog "infested" with posters unable to enjoy the good weather by reason of age or infirmity is very, very sad. Get a life before it is too late, Cowpat, get a life!

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  • 425. At 1:44pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #421 Reluctant-Cowpat

    If you're claiming polls from that firm aren't rigged then you seem to have missed this one published by the very same pollster last weekend: "The new Populus poll for The Times, done over the weekend, will make grim reading in Downing Street. It is scant comfort that the Tories are also down. At 26 per cent, Labour is at its lowest level since last June, only just above its lowest rating in a Populus poll."

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  • 426. At 1:51pm on 24 May 2009, inmykip wrote:

    #408 hmmmmm......you're still a bluebottle Expat.

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  • 427. At 2:27pm on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://www.snp.org/node/15321

    Firstly 60% of Scots want an immediate General Election,

    Westminster polling (excluding wont vote which is larger than Labour vote, but smaller than SNP),

    SNP 43%
    Labour 27%
    LD 11%
    Con 11%

    When translated in to seats,

    SNP 48
    Labour 8 (-33)
    Lib Dem 3 (-9)
    Con 0 (-1).

    *Scottish Opinion is not a member of the British polling council and its results tend to swing from heavily SNP to heavily Labour as a result.

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  • 428. At 2:44pm on 24 May 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    #416 bighullabaloo

    I agree that church and state should be separate.

    What priests should say from the pulpit is not something that I would care to pontificate on.

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  • 429. At 2:53pm on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8065583.stm

    I don't like the BNP any more than anyone else; but is anyone else getting uncomfortable with all these activist bishops thinking it is their job to "protect democracy"? CoE too now!

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  • 430. At 3:21pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #428 frankly_francophone

    "I agree that church and state should be separate."

    Yes, but apparently the Bishops don't agree with you or me.

    Perhaps you can clarify for me, if the church is intent on sticking its snout into the trough that is Westminster politics, who then is acting as the moral-guardian of the nation?

    At least when the church kept their snouts out of politics they could claim to be the upkeepers of moral virtue.

    If they are going to insist on aligning themselves with political thieves and fraudsters they will surely end up being tarred with the same brush.

    "He who lives by the sword dies by the sword". Right?

    Don't they listen to their own sermons?

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  • 431. At 3:46pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    English media discovers Scotland again

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  • 432. At 4:37pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #427 pattymkirkwood

    An SNP landslide on that scale would give the Nationalist argument for independence a major boost, threatening a constitutional crisis for the UK.

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  • 433. At 5:13pm on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

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

  • 434. At 5:27pm on 24 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #427 pmk
    That result effectively means Global and 7 others. Glabal would hold Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath on a sympathy vote but, if he bottles out, or steps down for a bye-election, without him, it's an SNP possible. Shades of Willie Gallacher!

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  • 435. At 5:32pm on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #433

    I post a link making sure everyone has read a story on the BBC website, adding no comment of my own - and the moderators find it has broken the house rules!

    That is just absurd; especially considering the vitriol certain contributors are regularly allowed to spew on this board.

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  • 436. At 5:41pm on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #434,

    It depends which model you use ... some of them have local considerations and history as a major influence ... taking that in to account I have seen a projection of "only" 36 SNP MPs on those figures.

    Don't know which one would be closer to the truth on those figures. Just to clarify.

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  • 437. At 5:42pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    English devolution question is 'unfinished business

    "It predicted that Parliament will come under increasing pressure to resolve the so-called "English question", but warned that there were problems with all the proposed solutions, such as an English Parliament, regional assemblies or English votes for English laws."

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  • 438. At 5:44pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #435 pattymkirkwood

    The other day I repeated a few headlines clearly identified as being from the BBC website. My post was immediately censored.

    The problem seemed to be that the headlines showed the SNP in a favourable light.

    It's disgusting that the so-called "impartial" BBC is indulges in that sort of politically-motivated manipulation of comments on a public message board.

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  • 439. At 6:08pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Funding formula for Scotland 'lacks any basis in equity or logic

    Our southern neighbours are beginning to wake up take notice.

    "The report added: "There is controversy in England that the Barnett formula allows for higher levels of public spending in Scotland from the UK Exchequer and does not deal with different needs in different parts of England." excluding London and N.Ireland.

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  • 440. At 6:17pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #439 cynicalHIghlander

    Why are the English tying themselves in knots over how much Scotland gets under the Barnett formula?

    If they don't want to pay what is really only our own tax money back again then the solution is simple: demand English independence.

    I don't see why they have a chip on both shoulders over Scotland's share of hte British tax pot.

    If they'd stop whingeing about it for two minutes and get their finger out they could start working on getting their own parliament and we could have ours. What's their problem?

    And yet, what we see is them fighting tooth and claw to keep Scotland and England tied together!

    What they really want is to keep Scotland in the Union to continue ransacking the wealth from our natural resources, but cut the amount of money the Scots get out of it.

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  • 441. At 6:27pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Recognise anyone dean? Who is Tory Bear?

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  • 442. At 6:38pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #440. bighullabaloo

    Jealousy, an unelected Scottish PM, a decline in wealth promoted by misguided capitalist policies and greedy politicians on there own would be an irritation but together well...........

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  • 443. At 6:39pm on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #438, bhb - there was no conceivable party political aspect to the link I tried to post ... it related to the news that a Scottish MP is in hospital with a suspected brain haemorrhage. I added no text or comment whatever.

    How the moderating on this site operates is most politely described as: "bizarre".

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  • 444. At 7:01pm on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Kirkbride (wife to MacKay) falls foul of expenses row

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8065511.stm

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  • 445. At 7:05pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #443 pattymkirkwood

    Don't know if it's a possible explanation for your post being censored but I notice that clicking on the link for that story returns a "404 page not found" error.

    They seem to regularly have this problem where people post stories but don't double check if it's actually accessible by the public.

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  • 446. At 7:07pm on 24 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #437 cynicalHighlander

    RE mentioned the Populus poll earlier. I'd missed it too, as I've been involved with something even more important than politics recently.

    Populus only give the detailed results for their England and Wales polling. We don't even know how many Scots were asked.

    The England and Wales data is interesting.

    Scottish devolution has overall been good or bad for Scotland?
    Good, 70%
    Bad, 7%
    Don't know, 23%

    Scottish devolution has overall been good or bad for the rest of Britain?
    Good, 42%
    Bad, 37%
    Don't know, 21%

    Scotland gets ??? Money from the rest of the UK (NB the phraseology!!!)
    Too much, 31%
    Too little, 4%
    Fair share, 49%
    Don't know, 16%

    Relations between England and Scotland are
    Better, 8%
    Worse, 14%
    The same, 73%
    Don't know, 5%

    Your own relationship towards the Scottish is
    Closer, 9%
    More distant, 5%
    The same, 83%
    Don't know, 3%

    Support an English Parliament?
    Support, 41%
    Oppose, 15%
    Don't know, 44%

    Only English MPs to vote on English issues?
    Support, 52%
    Oppose, 16%
    Don't know, 32%

    How do you hope the Scots will vote in a referendum?
    Support, 15%
    Oppose, 49%
    Don't mind, 36%

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  • 447. At 7:08pm on 24 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #446 pmk
    The Beeb has withdrawn the story so yours was a broken link which breaks the House Rules!

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  • 448. At 7:27pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #446 oldnat

    Two thoughts:

    1. "Scotland gets ??? Money from the rest of the UK"

    This is an example of slanting a question to make it sound as if Scotland gets money from England and other countries in the Union without actually putting anything in, like some sort of benefit cheat! Utterly pathetic.

    2. 49% of England and Wales hope Scots oppose independence in a referendum.

    The truth as I highlighted in my #440 is: "What they really want is to keep Scotland in the Union to continue ransacking the wealth from our natural resources, but cut the amount of money the Scots get out of it."

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  • 449. At 7:28pm on 24 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #443 pattymkirkwood

    Anne Moffat is currently 'recovering in hospital from what she has described as "a small brain haemorrhage".'

    If true, we would all be sympathetic, but she has some form in this area, so I wouldn't be surprised if this were another Labour MP not standing at the next election on "health grounds".

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  • 450. At 7:46pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #447 handclapping

    The link aok with me, sometimes look for "/br" in url or virus program as AVG toolbar which caused me probs.

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  • 451. At 7:56pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #446. oldnat

    Its only since the economy and expense scandal have come to the fore that they realise that we actually exist rather than just happen to be here as part of their empire. I believe that there is an increase in England independence but at the moment it is fragmented over a number of different parties and until they talk to each other it will stay that way.

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  • 452. At 8:09pm on 24 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #440 - "I don't see why they have a chip on both shoulders over Scotland's share of hte British tax pot."

    It's obvious, bighulla, that you just don't get the mentality of the more vocal part of the English electorate. Many of them actually buy into the perpostrous myth perputated by the likes of Kelvin MacKenzie and actually believe that Scotland is subsidised to the tune of 30 billion per year. The fact that would mean that not a penny of revenue is raised in Scotland either completely passes them by or they believe that England is some colonial power and the rest of the UK only survives by their grace.


    After all, why is there all this talk of English parliaments when Westminster is the English parliament and Scots are intruders in places far above their station?

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  • 453. At 8:18pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #452 ForteanJo

    Good point.

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  • 454. At 8:55pm on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #447, nope - link is still there (on the second slot of the Scottish Politics section) ... course I could be viewing something different from outside. But I seriously doubt it.

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  • 455. At 9:02pm on 24 May 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    Whilst the Populus poll shows that all in well in Devolution land (if we ignore the fact that we pesky Scots want a say in the democratic governance of the UK), I wonder if anyone can provide the figures from any similar poll in the last 10 years. Has anything changed post devolution or is everything much a muchness? Do our Southern neighbours think that the relationship between Scotland and England has improved or worsened? Has English support for Scottish independence increased or decreased?

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  • 456. At 9:06pm on 24 May 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #454 pattymkirkwood

    The Beeb seems unwilling even to accept even a text reference to the Hounourable Member for East Lothian.

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  • 457. At 9:30pm on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #456, it would seem so. As I said earlier, nothing was added to the link itself. Just wanted people to be aware of developments (via the beeb's own reporting).

    The mods inconsistency needs to be dealt with somehow ... considering some of the recent examples of what has been allowed.

    (We shall see if this one makes it).

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  • 458. At 9:32pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #456. oldnat

    Definitely not dining on curds and whey.

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  • 459. At 9:32pm on 24 May 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #454 pmk
    We get a link news bbc co uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/8066182 stm (.... taken out) giving us a page 404 error

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  • 460. At 9:41pm on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #459, OK, well its still working for me. Is this a first hand example of censorship for the BBC Jockland audience?! ;-)

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  • 461. At 9:42pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    #459. handclapping

    Its a problem with beeb somewhere as it keeps varying!

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 462. At 10:11pm on 24 May 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    The story said: "A Scottish Labour MP is recovering in hospital from what she describes as "a small brain haemorrhage". Anne Moffat was admitted to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary...

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  • 463. At 10:21pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    461 no doubt I will find out what I posted in the next 24hrs that broke the rules or are the mods on piece work allowing them to claim more on their expenses. I was just showing the broken link that came up generated by their own software problems/inadequateness's, judge and jury same as MPs expense allowances.

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  • 464. At 10:23pm on 24 May 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #463 - I have never received any such explanation ... so good luck with that.

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  • 465. At 10:30pm on 24 May 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Jobs vacant advert for a tax literate/chancellor as the UK government is adly lacking in these skills all job seekers apply to MP Jim Murphy who is wishing to instruct the devolved government in all matters fiscal. Alistair Darling's claim for help with his tax return

    "A tax expert described the claims as scandalous, especially as the expenses are tax-free"

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  • 466. At 12:07pm on 25 May 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I'm surprised that flipping Alistair Darling is getting so little attention.

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  • 467. At 1:26pm on 25 May 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    #466 sneckedagain

    A highly pertinent point.

    One may well ask, when similar such offenders are being forced to relinquish their duties in disgrace, and the media at large have gone to such great lengths to "expose" and vilify the expense details of (Scottish) MPs who have nothing whatsoever to hide, have the likes of Darling, and several other MPs, notably of the 'main' Westminster parties, gone virtually unscathed??

    Combine that with the persistent, monotonous blanket condemnation of 'all parties' by BBC Scotland - they are undoubtedly not alone in that regard, but the fact that they so zealously seek to condemn all Scottish MPs for the sins of the few carries its own significance - then it begins to feel like a deliberate campaign to 'smokescreen' the public as to who the worst offenders actually are, and thereby 'claw back lost ground' on behalf of the Westminster system.

    No-one should stand to gain from the expenses fallout, and indeed some MPs from all four main Scottish parties have submitted questionnable claims to contrasting and varying degrees.

    However, to wilfully portray all parties, or individuals, as being as 'guilty' as each other is a gross dis-service to the truth, and - at a time when the public faith in our political process is at a particularly low ebb - is also a gross dis-service to democracy.

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