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A delicate quadrille

Brian Taylor | 13:50 UK time, Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Don't expect you remember the BBC comedy series, ITMA. Dating from the 1940s, it is, in truth, a little before my time too.

However, as well as entertaining Britain during troubled times, ITMA (or "It's That Man Again") generated a few lasting catchphrases.

There was Colonel Chinstrap who would inevitably turn every discussion round to the subject of drink by muttering "I don't mind if I do".

There was the standard valediction: "TTFN". Standing for Ta Ta For Now.

Then the ineffably polite pair of gents, each reluctant to oust the other from the limelight.

"After you, Claude". "No, after you, Cecil". "No, after you...." Well, you get the concept.

I wonder whether the spirits of Claude and Cecil may be hanging over the talks today between Alex Salmond and Jim Murphy.

What's occurring? Mr Murphy is meeting the members of Alex Salmond's Cabinet in advance of the regular weekly meeting of the Holyrood top team.

Team Salmond have held several such events - although, of course, this one has added piquancy in that they are meeting a declared political rival.

And why the reminiscences about ITMA? Because Claude Salmond and Cecil Murphy are both eager to insist that, if there is any discord, it won't come from them.

More in sorrow than anger, Mr Murphy tells GMS radio listeners that he's only too eager to co-operate - if only Mr Salmond, the brute, would stop complaining about forthcoming cuts in public spending. Which don't, you understand, exist. Over to you, Claude.

Meanwhile, Team Salmond stresses that - while they might mention spending cuts and the Calman Commission in passing - their real objective is to brief Mr Murphy on the Scottish Government's urgent economic programme which, of course, is only needed because You Know Whose government has made a mess of things. Your call, Cecil.

It's a delicate dance. An elegant political quadrille. Knife your opponent while hiding the blade and protesting, mildly, that your only objective is to stay in close step.

Come and trip it as you go, on the light fantastic toe.


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  • 1. At 2:05pm on 23 Jun 2009, I'm not Paranoid, they ARE all out to get me!!! wrote:

    Any politician worth his/her mettle uses 'friends' to say what he/she is thinking (but is nevertheless 'unthinkable') - if 'twere otherwise, many in the (especially print) media would serve little purpose indeed.

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  • 2. At 2:07pm on 23 Jun 2009, I'm not Paranoid, they ARE all out to get me!!! wrote:

    As when I learned that Sir Alan Beith was in the running for Speaker, ITMSA!

    (Is That Man Still Alive...?)

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  • 3. At 2:12pm on 23 Jun 2009, I'm not Paranoid, they ARE all out to get me!!! wrote:

    Perhaps saying more about my background, but when I saw the word "quadrille," I wondered why the antagonists would be on horseback.

    Of course, the dressage 'routine' derives its name from the dance.

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  • 4. At 2:26pm on 23 Jun 2009, Blind_Captain wrote:

    To take the 1940s theme a bit further, if I were Mr Salmond, I would point out to Mr Murphy that one of the attractions of the Labour party in the 1945 election was that they had a "Big idea."

    Then I would contrast that period with today and point out that only one party has a "Big idea" and that it is the SNP.

    So, to all the critics of the SNP who feature on this blog, here's my pitch for today, as the sun is shining (at least it is on the Black Isle) and I'm feeling positive.

    The "Big idea" is independence and the chance to build and remodel a society fit and fair for all. And you know what? The other constituent parts of the current UK can do the same and follow our lead. Now isn't that a goal to aspire to.

    Mr Murphy and various other shades of Brits, beat that for an idea!

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  • 5. At 2:56pm on 23 Jun 2009, ScaraBraeSingleMalt wrote:

    I whole heartedly agree with your comment but await the unionists telling you that without Westminster, Scotland would be nothing and when oil runs out ... I would say that England would quickly become nothing at the point of drying up.

    I think that it is high time Scotland takes the initiative and realises that sponging will soon come to nothing once the Brent Oilfiled finally gives up the ghost (if it hasn't already done so) and its last barrel along with all the other oil fields in Scottish water. Yep, once the pride of the world and giving the world the liquid gold standard, even Westminster will have to succumb to the fact that even they will have no oil.

    Unionists, please don't bleat on about the army saving Scotland, read about Japan destroying the British army - just referring to a previous discussion. And don't tell me about Brown saving the world. He just did what everyone expected would happen in a sorry situation.

    I also often think politics acts out very much like a wrestling match; often pre-written with pre-planned moves, questions and discussions and all too often predictable argument from various people.

    I think the SNP, however, must share the blame with the LibLabs over the debacle of the teaching situation. Adopting LibLab standards and taking on more teachers when the system has passed satuaration point such the only people being employed are the inductees into the profession, each year. Teachers now have to work abroad. This sounds nice until the reality of moving away takes hold. A bit like this union,I suppose. The thought of breaking up or moving apart is a bit scary but once done, it is exciting and fresh and the completely much needed new start. I wonder what bill and ben the labour men of Scotland and England would say (take your pick as to whom is which of the other?
    "Flubba dubba blubba bub?"
    "Wubba wubba flubba dub!"
    "Dub dub!"

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  • 6. At 3:20pm on 23 Jun 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    What's occurring? Mr Murphy is meeting the members of Alex Salmond's Cabinet in advance of the regular weekly meeting of the Holyrood top team.

    I'll tell you what's occurring Brian. Murphy is about to face questions that you and the rest of the compliant media in Scotland fail to ask him.

    It's just a pity that he will be grilled in private.

    Murphy is allowed to claim that the Scottish government requesting contingency funding for swine flu vaccinations is 'playing politics' and not one of your lot will ask him to explain this remark or indeed justify it.

    The Welsh and Northern Irish are making the same requests, so are they playing politics as well?

    I also note that Murphy's use of taxpayers money to hire a private accountant three years running is ignored as is his fondness for the petty cash system. This is a man that, by his own admission, spends most of his time in Scotland yet is trousering thousands of pounds without producing one receipt !!

    His food claims are greater than Ales Salmond's and include dates when he wasn't anywhere near Westminster.

    Added to this are his ridiculously high telephone bills (regularly over 600 pounds) and his house flipping and we have the ingredients for quite a story.

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  • 7. At 3:22pm on 23 Jun 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Of course, we all know which character will be accused of "picking fights", "playing politics" etc ... by the BBC machine.

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  • 8. At 3:28pm on 23 Jun 2009, jwm007 wrote:

    I could suggest that Jim Murphy is attempting to save his London seat. Alex doesn't need to put the knife into him since the electors of East Renfrewshire will. It is absurd to believe that the man from London has anything on offer for the Government of Scotland. 11 months and counting......

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  • 9. At 4:06pm on 23 Jun 2009, Mika-Matti wrote:

    I get the impression Brian, that you cringed as much as I did when listening to Murphy's comments on GMS this morning. Murphy must not be able to believe his luck when he makes such ludicrous comments without any pertinent questioning in response from the BBC interviewer.

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  • 10. At 4:24pm on 23 Jun 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    Mmm. Contingency procedures are usually put in place to cope with something that can't normally be expected to occur. Now, since Jim (Dead Man Walking) Murphy states that this global pandemic should be handled under the normal day to day business and the contingency procedures aren't appropriate, does this mean that Westminster and the Treasury had predicted that such a pandemic would occur?

    After all, Sturgeon could only have been playing politics if she knew her request would be refused. If the request had even been partly granted, it would have been a non-story. But then, how would the ever compliant BBC hit the SNP government over the head with if Murphy actually stood up for Scotland?

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  • 11. At 4:24pm on 23 Jun 2009, oldmack wrote:

    it looks like you have been trawling through the archives at the BBC, good for you. While you were there did you look for the 1950s and the election when Mr Stratchey stood in Dundee West?
    Now there was a man, who just likes the present incumbents, only look out for themselves (expenses and allowances).
    You see history does have a habit of repeating its self and with the population now having access to that great big filing cabinet the internet, we the electorate of this country do no longer swallow everything that any politician espouses.

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  • 12. At 4:26pm on 23 Jun 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    No mention yet as to whether the Welsh Secretary has yet unreasonably denied funding to the joint Labour-Plaid Executive there. Will any even bother reporting if there is a response?!

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  • 13. At 4:28pm on 23 Jun 2009, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    It is actually quite simple.
    One represents Scotland and is arguing what he believes is best in our interest.
    One represents the UK state, 90% made up of a neighbouring country and will argue what is best for their interests.

    The difference is that while both were elected to represent their constituencies, only one is here to push the agenda of another country and this happens in very few democracies. I gues thats what is special about the Union. A dividend for some, a dead end for others.

    Nota bene: It is a shame that Brian didn't look to contemporary history for parallels, namely the 2007 DEFRA released foot and mouth outbreak.
    Surely you remember Brian? You know the one where the UK government paid out compensation to farmers for DEFRAs negligence?

    Maybe you even remember how such compensation was refused to Scottish and Welsh hill farmers, despite that they were the worst effected? Strange also that while animal welfare is devolved, disease control as part of DEFRA responsibility, is not. IE. It is a reserved matter - with compensation reserved to England it seems.

    I certainly remember how much the DEFRA uncompensated Scottish and Welsh farmers suffered antil their devolved Govs kindly stepped in. Meaning us taxpayers here paid twice! Another Union dividend.

    The official report following the outbreak would seem to come to similar conclusions:
    "During the later phase of the disease that support waned. Scottish and
    Welsh sheep farmers in particular began to suffer significant economic
    hardship as a result of the ban on movements especially at the time when sheep are taken down from the hills to market. There were major animal welfare concerns. Policy was perceived to be driven by English interests....

    Restrictions on animal movements were lifted progressively throughout
    October and the Secretary of State announced a package of welfare
    and farmers support arrangements for England on 8 October"

    Something also of note that the Government and Calman seems to have ignored:
    "We recommend that devolution issues concerning animal health
    be urgently addressed".

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  • 14. At 4:35pm on 23 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #6 greenockboy

    Well said, especially re Murphy's playing politics over swine 'flu for lack of a "proper" job.

    Had he any shame, he would save us all the cost of his own salary, allowances and expenses plus a lot more by abolishing the entire Scotland Office along with the Wales Office and the Northern Ireland Office together with himself and their respective Secretaries of State and simply suggest Duff Gordon invites the three FMs to attend cabinet instead. That could be done even before Calman's ill thought-out proposals are implemented [whether unilaterally or by democratic consent] and would likely save more each year than is being asked for in total as a one-off contingency by the three devolved administrations put together.

    Scotland Questions as well as their Welsh and Northern Irish equivalents in the House of Cards could also be fielded by the respective FMs. Duff Gordon might even attend to get some tips on technique for PMQs!

    In any event, as I pointed out in my #469 on the previous thread, it's Tessa Jowell's job to rubbish requests for use of the UK contingency fund, not Murphy's.

    Why not put that to him, Brian, and inform us of his reaction?

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

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  • 15. At 4:38pm on 23 Jun 2009, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    (With apologies to Mary Howitt)

    " Will you walk into my Parly ?" said Big Eck to the Murph,
    'Tis the Bestest Wee-est Parly that ever graced The North
    The way into Oor Parly is up a winding stair,
    And weve a many curious things to shew when you are there."
    Oh no, no no," said little Murph, "to ask me is in vain,
    For who goes up your winding stair will ne'er come down again."

    "I'm sure you must be weary, Murph, in Cabinet so High;
    Will you rest upon this little seat?" said Big Eck, being so fly
    "There are pretty boaties drawn around; the roof is fine and thin,
    And if you like to rest awhile, then well snugly do you in !"
    Oh no, no no," said little Murph, "for I've often heard it said,
    They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

    Said cunning Eck unto The Murph, " Dear friend, What can we do,
    To prove the Warm affection that Scotland feels for you?
    We have within Oor Parly, good store of all that's nice;
    Be sure you're very welcome -- will you please to take a slice?"
    "Oh no, no no," said little Murph, "kind Eck, that cannot be,
    The Truth is in your Parly, and I do not wish to see!"

    "Sweet creature!" said Big Eck, "you're witty and you're wise,
    How handsome is yer browned nose, how brilliant are yer eyes!
    I've a little mirror up in my Parly Roof,
    If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
    "I thank you, gentle Eck," Murph said, "for what you 're pleased to say,
    And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."

    Big Eck he turned round about, and went into his den,
    For well he knew the silly Murph would soon come back again:
    So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner ,
    And set his table ready, to feast upon New Labour.
    Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
    "Come hither, hither, pretty Murph, and dance to our Heilan Fling;
    Your majority is under risk -- there's a Grey Man at your back;
    Your Leaders looking knackered , and youre in the deepest cack!"

    Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Murph,
    Hearing Eck's wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting North;
    With buzzing heid he hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
    Thinking only of The Union, of the Red and White and Blue --
    Thinking only of Prof Calman -- poor foolish little thing! At last,
    Up jumped the cunning Eck, and fiercely held him fast.
    Eck dragged him up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
    Within the little Parly -- but he ne'er came out again!

    And now dear little children, who may this story read,
    To words 302 years old, I pray you ne'er give heed:
    Unto Foulkes the devils counsellor, close ear and eye and heart,
    And take a lesson from this tale, of Big Eck and The Murph.

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  • 16. At 4:40pm on 23 Jun 2009, HughEdinburgh wrote:


    Murphy just isn't up to the job.

    I had never heard of him before his blank grinning face appeared on our screens to inflict anonomous pain on Scotland for not voting Labour.

    He is not running Scotland, despite what he might think, and he and the rest of his political lightweight cronies down at Westminster have no mandate to "run" Scotland, or indeed "run Scotland down", and the lot of these sorry souls will surely be flushed away at the next election.

    It's very sad when a nobody like this can play politics with Scotlands future, and the health and well-being of Scotlands population.

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  • 17. At 5:05pm on 23 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #15 Chiefy1724

    Weel din, ma loon!

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  • 18. At 6:37pm on 23 Jun 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #16 - "It's very sad when a nobody like this can play politics with Scotlands future, and the health and well-being of Scotlands population."

    What makes it sadder is that all it takes is the compliant and cowed media Scotland is inflicted with. How can the true agenda of Murphy ever be revealed if the likes of our very own BT simply refuses to ask the hard questions?

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  • 19. At 7:33pm on 23 Jun 2009, enneffess wrote:

    The UK government SHOULD be paying for the swine flu issues. This is, after all, an exceptional event and should treated as such.

    This is not a Forth Bridge crossing - peoples' lives are potentially at risk over the dispute of what is essentially a minimal amount of cash in respect og national budgets.

    I cannot side with Mr Murphy at all here.

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  • 20. At 8:25pm on 23 Jun 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #16 Hugh, Edinburgh... quote; "Murphy just isn't up to the job."

    ... sorry to disagree with your general jist Hugh but, "The Job just isn't up to the job."

    That is to say, the appointment of some Westminster unionist 'self-serving' position simply to keep us Nats in ckeck, is a position which degrades and dis-respects the Scottish people.

    Do we really need told from down-under how to run our Scottish Parliament... seems to me, we make a better job of running our affairs than Westminster do of running theirs!

    It doesn't matter who the unionists get to fill this defunct post... it is the concept that is wrong, not the person, regardless of how pathetic and self-serving that wee skeletal nyaff might appear.

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  • 21. At 8:28pm on 23 Jun 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

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

  • 22. At 8:33pm on 23 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    A Scot wins a match at Wimbledon - so will win the Championship! Scotland will sweep to independence, then world domination!!!!

    Oh! I'm so sorry, I had a 1970's moment there, when Scotland (like the current UK) defined itself through sporting success.

    I'm also one of the few here who do remember ITMA! (though only just).

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  • 23. At 8:38pm on 23 Jun 2009, greenRiordan wrote:

    Coming out of retirement because I'm absolutely livid about Murphy and the lack of any challenge to his statement by Taylor and the rest of the Labour media in Scotland.
    Let's make an assumption that England makes the same medical decision as Scotland, Wales and NI, and decides to vaccinate all of the people in England.
    If 5 million people in Scotland will cost £100 million, then 50 million plus in England will cost £1 billion plus. So Brown is going to tell his Health Secretary to take the money out of the existing English NHS budget. That will be shining bright! There will be pauchling from the UK contingency fund which will not be revealed until 30 years from now, and Scotland will struggle to find the money and Labour MSPs and MPS will rage about SNP cuts to the NHS and elsewhere.
    Voters in Glasgow North East PLEASE PLEASE do not vote Labour in the by-elction--losing the seat is the only thing that they might understand.

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  • 24. At 8:42pm on 23 Jun 2009, vikingfreedom wrote:

    Re 4&5

    What you both fail to recognise is that Alec's big idea is to create a wee version of Westminster in Edinburgh, where the remote and rural parts of Scotland are under represented. We will just be dictated to by Edinburgh in the same way we are from Westminster.

    It would be great if he really had a "big idea" but it is really a rehash of what we have. We need real decentralisation of power to the people so that decisions are made by those most affected, not in Edinburgh. If that were included the independence movement would gain unstoppable momentum.

    I want real freedom not a con-trick

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  • 25. At 9:07pm on 23 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #24 vikingfreedom

    I wouldn't disagree with your ambition for decentralisation in Scotland. The Swiss model is well worth considering.

    At the same time, There is a political reality to consider. We have to overturn a system which has progressively centralised power since the 1880's. Scots are used to power being centrally delivered, and it's going to take time to move away from local government structures imposed on Scotland by successive Labour/Tory governments based on their models derived from English structures and ideology.

    The Lib-Dems deserve credit for having forced Labour to accept PR for Local Government, and deconstruct the one-party states that FPTP had created.

    The SNP deserve credit for having established the Concordat with COSLA to decentralise decision making. They should have taken that much further, in my view, but that might have been difficult to achieve while so many Scots were influenced by Labour's top down model of decision-making, and expected "national" government to solve every problem.

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  • 26. At 9:09pm on 23 Jun 2009, An_English_Voice wrote:

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

  • 27. At 10:19pm on 23 Jun 2009, greenRiordan wrote:

    My post at 23 has been moderated--why I don't know.

    The gist was that if vaccinations in Scotland will cost £100 million, and if England makes the same medical decision, then that will cost £1 billion pounds in England--to be taken from this year's English NHS budget! I don't think so.....

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  • 28. At 10:52pm on 23 Jun 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    And your evidence for such a sweeping statement............?

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  • 29. At 10:53pm on 23 Jun 2009, vikingfreedom wrote:


    Freedom is not an incremental thing. We either have it or we don't. What the SNP currently offer lacks serious vision. It is almost Independence lite.

    Surely with the current global mess we need a new vision, new ideas. We don't need more of the same.

    We want and need real change. That is also a political reality. When 75% of voters don't vote in the Euro elections, we need different ideas, a different direction. I believe there comes a time when you have to seize the moment. that is now, we need bold imaginative leadership to take our nation forward.

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  • 30. At 10:55pm on 23 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #3 Pretentious, moi?

    Only because I'm distinctly bored with the quality of "debate" of those I disagree with here, on NR, or MM, I looked up "quadrille" on wiki. Turns out you were wrong in assuming that the dressage term stems from the dance.

    "The term quadrille came to exist in the 17th Century, within military parades, where 4 horsemen and their horses performed special square shaped formations or figures."

    If I'm bored, I don't see why I shouldn't inflict that on you lot as well!

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  • 31. At 11:08pm on 23 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #29 vikingfreedom

    "Freedom is not an incremental thing."

    On the contrary. It is exactly that! I would have total freedom if I could kill you for making such a statement (though that would be a bit of an over-reaction!). Freedom is the result of a complex balancing of the rights of individuals, communities, and the various levels of government. If any of these has untrammelled freedom then there is no freedom at all.

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  • 32. At 11:08pm on 23 Jun 2009, enneffess wrote:

    25. At 9:07pm on 23 Jun 2009, oldnat:

    There are issues with decentralisation.

    Look at Aberdeen City Council for starters. Edinburgh is also worth looking at, basing a fair percentage of their budget on the housing market, only to see it fall.

    Likewise, many councils make horrendeous planning decisions, and this requires intervention by central government.

    No perfect solution, and a difficult one to resolve.

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  • 33. At 11:12pm on 23 Jun 2009, MartinOfBothwell wrote:

    Crikey, didn't know Jim had a blog!

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  • 34. At 11:43pm on 23 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #32 Neil_Small147

    "There are issues with decentralisation."

    There are indeed! The same issues apply to centralisation as well!

    You seem to want some "big brother" to stop subsidiary democracies from making mistakes (of course, that would stop them having successes as well.) Where do you want to stop centralisation? Edinburgh? London? Brussels? New York?

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  • 35. At 11:49pm on 23 Jun 2009, vikingfreedom wrote:


    It is very establishment to make such a pedantic point. The UK establishment doesn't allow us freedom in Scotland, my argument is the current independence offerings don't guarantee some of us any more freedoms.

    You make the point about balancing freedoms with responsibilities. If that balance is skewed against sections of our nation then in my view that is not freedom.

    We need to grab this moment or it will be gone and the best chance of freedom since the union will be lost due to a lack of courage and vision.

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  • 36. At 00:00am on 24 Jun 2009, vikingfreedom wrote:


    You must live in a privileged part of Scotland if you don't see the need for radical change. Our nation is struggling, independence will not rid us of the debt we have, we need some new thinking for post independence.

    Also when so many don't vote we shouldn't be arguing that because we got more of a smaller cake than before is a success. It must be seen for what it is, a set back, a failure to make a breakthrough. Scotland did not embrace our cause, we should be arguing that we need to get people to believe in a new Scotland where all live in freedom and are treated with respect. Real respect, where we value each others views, heritage, culture and right to live in peace. Where we ensure all get equal chances in life and equal access to public services that are the right ones for them, not services defined and controlled in Edinburgh, intended for the central belt and ignoring the rest of Scotland's needs.

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  • 37. At 00:01am on 24 Jun 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:


    This post is meaningless verbiage. The structure of communities automatically enforces conditions,controls and constraints on the behaviour of all but the criminal or the insane.

    All the anarchists I know rely on bus timetables to get to their demonstrations.

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  • 38. At 00:04am on 24 Jun 2009, vikingfreedom wrote:


    the issues around these areas are due to the lack of decentralisation. If Aberdeen had to raise the money they spent locally then they would have managed their services much better. government Interference is the problem.

    We need to cut local people free and let them make their own decisions onn what services they need, on the bsis of a fair distribution of te resources from the centre topped with a real local tax set in each area in a form that locals want.

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  • 39. At 00:22am on 24 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #35 vikingfreedom

    As a matter of blog protocol it helps to reference the post you are referring to. I can be establishment and pedantic on any number of posts! :-)

    I have previously argued that Scotland doesn't need the top-down determined versions of "local" government that Labour and Tory UK administrations have imposed, and that the communities of Scotland need to determine the appropriate sub-national structures appropriate for their area. What you want for your part of this nation might not suit another.

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  • 40. At 00:34am on 24 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #32 Neil_Small147

    A further point. If you want subsidiary administrations to be controlled, then we could end up with the new policy being imposed on English schools by their "UK" Ministry - spelling rules no longer to be taught!

    Fancy your kids being taught in that way?

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  • 41. At 00:40am on 24 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #38 vikingfreedom

    How do you deal with the problem of equity of provision within a country? We have some very deprived areas within this (as all other) country and some very wealthy ones. If taxation is to be primarily raised locally, then the most deprived areas will have the least revenue. How do you intend that any balancing factors will be implemented?

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  • 42. At 01:38am on 24 Jun 2009, CassiusClaymore wrote:

    At the risk of returning to the point, I noted with interest that Eck rather elegantly snubbed the oleaginous SoS by sending him out to meet his fans (sorry, I meant the Scottish political media) with Swinney rather than accompanying him personally. Amusing. No sign of Grey either, despite his gaffer being up from London.

    Salmond has Murphy on toast on two key points:-

    1. Why not implement the agreed bits of Calman immediately? After all, everyone agrees on them.
    2. If you say that the people want more devolution rather than independence, why not test that proposition in a referendum?

    The former point was dealt with on Newsnicht, and Pauline McNeill didn't handle it well at all - she just kept repeating an obvious spin-doctor buzzphrase about "the SNP being outside the consensus" (despite the 'consensus' not actually being a consensus). Look out for all manner of Labour jokers spouting this one going forwards (they're pathetically predictable now).

    Michael Russell outmatched McNeill generally tonight and this flags up another issue for Labour - she just isn't up to opposing Russell, who is much smarter than her. If she's the best Labour can do, and she may well be, they're in trouble here....


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  • 43. At 01:40am on 24 Jun 2009, Slaintmha wrote:

    Brian - wrong radio program.

    The Labour Party are currently more like the 'Goons' with Brown as 'Gryptypethinne', Murphy as 'Moriarty', Darling as 'Blue Bottle' and Gray is clearly 'Eccles' the monosynaptic man.

    Over at the Conservative Party we have 'Call me Dave' in the role of Bloodknock, Osbourne as Henry Crun and the delectable Annabelle as Spotty Minibanister, the darling of Roper's Light Horse.

    The Liberal's provide 'Willum' - that's real wood that is mate - in the form of Tavish.

    Wee Eck is clearly a tartanised, Neddy MacSeagoon who inevitably comes up trumps.

    Now we wait to see how 'The Batter Pudding Hurler of Glasgow University' (aka Calman) fares; is his gas on a peep, will he end up throwing a cold batter pudding, just who is he actually trying to hit, will it all end up a just another nasty mess for Gryptypethinne?

    Tune into Brian's Family Favourites to find out!

    (Next week - The Navy Lark in 'Just what is Captain Brown going to do about Trident?')

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  • 44. At 07:11am on 24 Jun 2009, vikingfreedom wrote:

    OLDNAT 39,41

    I suppose there are some privileges that come with age and the right to be pedantic is probably one of them!

    Inside a country the majority of taxation will come from income tax, set nationally, or corporation tax vat etc, levied nationally and divided out equitably amongst the localities. This should take account of circumstance to provide equality of opportunity across Scotland. But localities should be free to tailor services to local circumstances. For example the class size debate is irrelevant in large parts of rural Scotland, it is a composite class debate that is more important. In health travelling 15 to 20 minutes to an A&E would be a magnificent result for rural Scotland, yet is unacceptable in Glasgow.

    But there must be an element of local taxation set locally. For example the good people of aberdeen might set a local super car tax given the amount of Porsche, ferarri@s etc in the Granite City.

    But the main point is that the best people to solve local problems ar ehte peoplle with the problems, not Edinburgh. If we can attain this it would be real change and real freedom. them moment is here, we are at a crosroads and might lose the change by not being bold enough.

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  • 45. At 07:41am on 24 Jun 2009, Tom wrote:


    You talk about the Granite City, but what's going on there at the moment? The city council has created such debts and has been forced to do major cuts in services. The problem with handing power to local areas is that the Government of the day has little control, and whatever happens next is up to the councils. It does not matter where Parliament is, but the Government of the day must hold some sort of veto in order to have control over councils. It's about a balancing act of power.

    "But there must be an element of local taxation set locally. For example the good people of aberdeen might set a local super car tax given the amount of Porsche, ferarri@s etc in the Granite City."

    No, no, no, no... How many councils would accept more money if it were offered? How many speed camaras has your council created since 2007? Aberdeen, as I mentioned earlier, is clearly in the toilet at this moment of time. It's also unrealistic, would this be similar to the London taxes? Pay it while you drive through the city? How many drive through several different local authorities, constinuencies etc to reach work for the day... or shall we have to fill out a form and admitt to owning one of those types of cars?

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  • 46. At 08:00am on 24 Jun 2009, coineach watson wrote:

    The first meeting of the Secretary of State for Scotland with the Scottish First Minister since the start of Devolution (i.e. 10 YEARS !!!) does that not tell you what the Westminster Govermnet thinks of Devolution and Scotland in general?
    On Newsnight Scotland last night Pauline McNeill showed her self to be as "switched on" as the dumpty who (allegedly) leads the Scottish Labour Party and the rest of his motley crew. She single handedly gave a resounding reason for independance. Maybe an MSP who should think of spending more time with her family.

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  • 47. At 08:16am on 24 Jun 2009, googlehoo wrote:

    Re #38 Vikingfreedom

    'If Aberdeen had to raise the money they spent locally then they would have managed their services much better'

    This is based upon what evidence?

    Your argument seems to be that the same people who couldn't figure out the impact of overspending a set annual budget would be magically transformed into a fiscally responsible group by giving them more power.

    I think they are more likely to just raise taxes the next year to pay for their follies.

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  • 48. At 08:33am on 24 Jun 2009, googlehoo wrote:


    The quadrille only exists because Murphy is desparately trying to lay some blame for the financial position in Scotland at the feet of the SNP, and to stop people asking the obvious questions like, how come the UK Government can afford the London Olympics and the Crossrail project but not a new Forth Road Bridge?

    Of course, all this is only possible because Mr Murphy seem to be immune to interogation by the media.

    He has obviously developed stealth technology, so that he is invisible to the media radar until he drops a bomb on the SNP, then hey presto, back to invisibility ....

    A stealth SoS..... we live in amazing times :-)

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  • 49. At 08:33am on 24 Jun 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    # 46 Coineach
    The first meeting of the Secretary of State for Scotland with the Scottish First Minister since the start of Devolution (i.e. 10 YEARS !!!) does that not tell you what the Westminster Govermnet thinks of Devolution and Scotland in general?
    I think it tells us more about how relevant the SoS is to Scotland

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  • 50. At 08:46am on 24 Jun 2009, HughEdinburgh wrote:


    The smurf needs to leave decisions like national vaccinations to the medical experts, as he clearly does not have any clue whatsoever about these matters.

    What is the point in vaccinating everybody in England, when the other UK nations won't be able to afford it.

    Therefore, the vaccinations in England last for a wee while, then the virus will have been moving around so much in the other nations that it gets the chance to mutate, then we all find that the vaccinations are no longer of any use.

    What a mess that would be.

    He clearly does not see the bigger picture, and he is clearly prepared to play politics with peoples lives.

    Anyway, I suppose any contingency funds would have been swallowed up by the olympics a long time ago.

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  • 51. At 09:46am on 24 Jun 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    I am still really, really, really REALLY angry about expenses, I must admit, I can't get rid of that one. Considering the UK as a whole must be feeling this anger, how do we go about satisfying its desire for justice in a healthy way? We can't can we? We just have to swallow it, but it will linger, on and on and on and on...with the best we can do to manage it is maybe use a tactical and futile vote. But I can imagine the UK as a whole must be feeling like going out to the barn and picking up their pitch forks! Heads MUST roll! And I am not talking about the obligitory scapegoat, and the "line" must be defragmented so that it can't protect itself!

    I felt really sorry for prince charles yesterday, his personal income rose by only 1%

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  • 52. At 09:47am on 24 Jun 2009, coineach watson wrote:

    On a completely different subject: I was somewhat surprised when I read that employees of the National Library of Scotland are not now allowed to show anything "Scottish" on their desks.

    Maybe the head of the NLS should visit The Alamo in San Antonio in Texas. In the chapel there are flags of all the nationalities who fought for the freedom of Texas against the tyrany of Mexico are set out in order of importance. The first flag is, of course, the flag of Texas. The second flag is The Union Flag of the USA. The third is, believe it or not, is the Saltire of Scotland.

    It would appear that the Texans give more honour to Scotland than the head of our national library.

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  • 53. At 10:10am on 24 Jun 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    I writed (thot I'd better keep it simple)

    "And I am not talking about the obligitory scapegoat, and the "line" must be defragmented so that it can't protect itself!"

    It should have been...And I am not talking about the obligitory scapegoat, and the "line" must be fragmented so that it can't protect itself!

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  • 54. At 10:27am on 24 Jun 2009, Ian_the_chopper wrote:

    Perhaps a more contemporary BBC programme analogy would be more appropriate with them as the Chuckle Brothers passing problems "from me to you" "from you to me".

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  • 55. At 10:40am on 24 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #44 vikingfreedom

    So we both want the same thing then. I would differ from you only on details - eg your assumption that only income tax is suitable for raising in our communities (which are not the same as our current structures of local government).

    Local Government and its financing have been discussed many times on these blogs, and I'm not going to repeat my arguments here.

    Suffice it to say that our devolved Parliament turns out not to have the powers over reorganising LG, that we all assumed, as Westminster kept to itself important funding streams such as Council Tax Benefit, which will penalise Scotland if it dares to deviate from the English model.

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  • 56. At 11:05am on 24 Jun 2009, minuend wrote:

    The only people left to fly the Union Jack at Wimbledon are TWO SCOTS.

    It is a pity they are not allowed to fly the SALTIRE because that is now deemed by Unionists as being racist.

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  • 57. At 12:01pm on 24 Jun 2009, spartans11 wrote:

    44. At 07:11am on 24 Jun 2009, vikingfreedom wrote:

    "But the main point is that the best people to solve local problems ar ehte peoplle with the problems, not Edinburgh"

    And the flip side of the coin is? The best people to create local problems are also local people, with their narrow minded agendas and interests. What's deemed good for one region may not suit all parts of that region. Central government is a necessary evil, but should be minimised. Better government is less government, obviously this doesn't suit politicians, especially the control freaks. They appeal to mainly urbanites who think government should be in charge of and accept responsibility(blame) for all aspects of modern life.

    Back on topic, how does Cecil Murphy manage to get away with insisting there are no cuts planned Brian? Due to the recession, bail outs, etc we have a massive shortfall in public funds, which has been covered by greater public borrowing. Exactly how is this situation going to be remedied without cuts in public spending? At least Claude appears to know the score, Cecil it appears lives in cloud cuckoo land and is allowed to continue merrily talking rubbish because our Scottish broadcasters will not ask him any relevant questions. Of course he only has to maintain the charade for another 10 months then it's somebody elses problem and he can go back to spouting dogma and grand ideas about how well the "people" will do under Labour while he fills in his expenses claim. No wonder he thinks there's no recession, he's very well insulated. Maybe a better analogy would be Dads Army with Capt Jim(Murphy) Mainwaring ably assisted by Private Iain(Gray) Pike and Private Cathy(We're all doomed Jamieson) Frazer. Poor old Sgt Alex Wilson has to deal with the mess and save the day. Bungler could play the air raid warden to throw the spanner in the works.

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  • 58. At 12:13pm on 24 Jun 2009, forfar-loon wrote:

    Of late there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the subject of standards in Scottish journalism. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present you with a new nadir...

    From the Beeb's report: Meeting of minds at government HQ.

    The Scottish secretary was dropped off at the bottom of the street, before being seen striding towards the Scottish Government headquarters, suit jacket slung over the shoulder, like a catwalk model.

    This only begs the question: a model for what?

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  • 59. At 12:24pm on 24 Jun 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    If anybody in any office in Scotland finds the Saltire unacceptable or "racist" then I suggest the problem is entirely with them.

    The largest national grouping at the Alamo were Scots and they had their piper with them (a MacGregor, I think) so it is entirely appropriate that the Saltire flies in the symbolic birthplace of America's most Scottish state.

    I think we should initiate a "FLY A SALTIRE IN YOUR WORKPLACE DAY" and flush out the anti-Scots among us.
    As has been pointed out on so many occasions our enemy is not the English - it is the Scot born among us without pride,imagination and ambition.

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  • 60. At 12:56pm on 24 Jun 2009, Tom wrote:

    I was shocked to read the issue concerning the Saltire at the library. Their concern was it may intimidate non-Scottish workers, but I ask how? It's the national flag of Scotland, it represents the people of this country. The Saltire brings people from all walks of life together, how could it intimidate non-Scottish workers?

    It is ridiculous, I could agree that if it were overwhelming the work space then perhaps the person could put some away, but to go far and say tha tartan on this person's chair is inappropriate is inappropriate in itself! It's simply a design what's wrong with that?

    I am suprised that the managers go on to say, "They are not going to ban staff for using the Saltire." and decided to cover their backs by saying it was simply asking one member of staff to remove what they called 'excessive' amounts, but the point that they went as far to comment on the tartan on ones chairs shows the extent that these managers were prepared to go.

    This is not England, in Scotland we are proud of our culture, history and the differences we have to others around the world. There's is nothing nationalistic on promoting these differences and enjoying all things Scottish.

    If I were that staff member I would return to work wearing a kilt and see what my superiors say then, would they ask me to go home I wonder?

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  • 61. At 1:17pm on 24 Jun 2009, CassiusClaymore wrote:

    no.58, the Herald is also trying to talk up Murphy as soon sort of 'down with the kids' trendsetter - "listening to Glasvegas on his iPod"

    A catwalk model indeed - it would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

    Still, his day of reckoning grows ever nearer....

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  • 62. At 1:30pm on 24 Jun 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    This is how The Herald headlines the attendance of Jim Murphy at a Scottish Government meeting.
    Outnumbered, not outgunned: Murphy holds his own with SNP
    The headline is actually a direct lift of a statement from the Scottish office, i.e. Labour.

    Here is how The Herald portrayed the request from Nicola Sturgeon that swine flu vaccinations should be financed from the UK's contingency fund.
    Sturgeon denies 'whipping out begging bowl' for vaccine

    The phrase 'whipping out begging bowl' joins 'playing politics' as descriptions of the Scottish government's sensible request. The Scotsman just calls it a 'row'.

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  • 63. At 1:35pm on 24 Jun 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Did anyone catch the news that 100 million pounds has gone missing from the London Olympics Development Agency and that two people have been suspended?

    Coincidently the same amount that would be needed to vaccinate every person in Scotland from Swine flu.

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  • 64. At 1:43pm on 24 Jun 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    I wonder if this 'news' will covered by our intrepid Scottish media.

    From The Telegraph:
    Taxpayers charged £7,000 to refurbish Alex Salmond's house

    No, it isn't actually Salmond's house, it is Bute house. Bute house is Scotland's equivalent to 10 Downing Street.

    No headlines on Murphy yet, do I detect the suppression of a story?

    3700 leaflets distributed at taxpayers expense, private accountant paid for at taxpayers expense, Christmas cards bought with taxpayers money.

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  • 65. At 2:23pm on 24 Jun 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    #62 Greenockboy
    At least we have the choice not to buy the Hootsmon or the Exceedingly Parochial Herald - not so with Alja Beeb - I thought impartiality was a legal obligation - is there a body one can present a collation of these BBC "Omissions" to?

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  • 66. At 2:33pm on 24 Jun 2009, Richard_the_Rogue wrote:

    #58 forfar-loon,

    I saw it and it gave me the dry boak.

    Surely, surely somebody is taking the proverbial here. Please tell me they are!

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  • 67. At 2:39pm on 24 Jun 2009, Ian_the_chopper wrote:

    Post 59 & 60 as an Englishman I don't care a fig about the flying of flags at the library but if it is in Scotland I cannot see any reason why the saltire should not fly with the Union Flag if there are two flag poles.

    If there aren't two put up another one it is as simple as that. It is OK to be Scottish and proud of it as well as being British and proud of it.

    I consider myself an englishman who is also British. We have the same stupid arguments against flying the flag of St George from municipal buildings in England.

    Until people get over an irrational fear of displaying local pride we all remain weaker for it.

    Post 56 re the two survivors at Wimbledon being Scottish sadly young Mr Murray rather dug himself into a hole over the World Cup in 2006 and his support for anyone but England.

    South of the border we have no problem with people being proud of being Scottish and displaying it sadly some seem to think that part of being proud of Scotland requires a denigration of the English.

    Welcome one and all to the mad world of political correctness and the irrational fear of pride in your nation. We have had it in England for years welcome to our world,

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  • 68. At 2:43pm on 24 Jun 2009, minuend wrote:

    The one question that clearly needs answering in the debate between Unionists and Nationalists;

    Is the Saltire now a racist symbol?

    We need to hear the politicians views on this.

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  • 69. At 2:46pm on 24 Jun 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    19. At 7:33pm on 23 Jun 2009, Neil_Small147 wrote:

    I cannot side with Mr Murphy at all here."

    Oh me, me, well I never, you can't side with someone!

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  • 70. At 2:51pm on 24 Jun 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    30. At 10:55pm on 23 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:
    #3 Pretentious, moi?

    If I'm bored, I don't see why I shouldn't inflict that on you lot as well!"

    Well, you're certainly good at it.

    Aye neil, you've found a wee pal noo. I think he'll be defecting soon! Just have patience.

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  • 71. At 2:57pm on 24 Jun 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    An interesting point of view. Thanks.

    And before anyone starts, for me expressing admiration for a proud Englishmans post,

    no, I'm not DerekBarking!

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  • 72. At 3:13pm on 24 Jun 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    68. At 2:43pm on 24 Jun 2009, minuend wrote:
    The one question that clearly needs answering in the debate between Unionists and Nationalists;

    Is the Saltire now a racist symbol?

    We need to hear the politicians views on this"

    Hmm, minu, its a question that as a nationlist, I don't think I'd be brave enough to ask. I'd be too afraid of my response if it was for even one second remotely considered to be racist.

    I'll stop there before I say something too simplistic and TO THE POINT!!

    I have a very healthy inerest in who is goeverning us and how/why, but politics is far from my speciality. That is why it just bores me to death reading the death rattling posts with reams and reams of stats and polls, oppinions about this oppinions about that. I know the integral part of our history and I am not blind to what goes on around me, no point in bandying about useless.....things.

    But I don't think politicians, least of all from the weak unionists parties, would dare suggest it was racist.

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  • 73. At 9:55pm on 24 Jun 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:


    And full £400 food allowance every month and twice on one month EVEN when Parliament wasn't sitting,even when he was in China,even when he is in Scotland (which, according to his own testament, is now most of the time which justified him "flipping" his house allowance)
    Of course the story is being suppressed.

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  • 74. At 00:54am on 25 Jun 2009, mmarsattacks wrote:

    Some people are racist, others are not. Flags are neither. Lets not get distracted from the issues here. I won't dignify the ludicrous proposition RE. the Saltire further.

    Why as contributors to UK general taxation are we not entitled to a share of UK contingency funds for what is clearly an unforeseen occurrence, namely the swine flu outbreak? Politics _are_ being played on this issue, but not by Nicola Sturgeon.

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  • 75. At 1:18pm on 25 Jun 2009, salmondella wrote:

    #56 Minesanarrowmind - what absolute nonsense.

    And why oh why would you think it is a good idea to repeat it at #68?!

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  • 76. At 1:35pm on 25 Jun 2009, salmondella wrote:

    #74 mmarsattacks

    "Politics _are_ being played on this issue, but not by Nicola Sturgeon."

    Whit?! are you having a laugh - who used the media to escalate this issue!! And which party uses the media constantly to create artificial spats with Westminister! And which party uses the media to deflect attention from their own inadequacies by creating artificial spats with Westminister! And which group of activists get very, very annoyed when the media gets wise to this nonsense and decides instead to print the truth.

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  • 77. At 8:21pm on 25 Jun 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #76 - "who used the media to escalate this issue!! And which party uses the media constantly to create artificial spats with Westminister! And which party uses the media to deflect attention from their own inadequacies by creating artificial spats with Westminister! And which group of activists get very, very annoyed when the media gets wise to this nonsense and decides instead to print the truth."

    The Labour Party. If Murphy & co had simply said "yes, the unforseen flu pandemic falls under the contingency arrangements, here's some additional cash to handle it", this would have been a non-story. Except, how else were the media going to bash Sturgeon's handling of the fle pandemic?

    As has been pointed out before, Sturgeon could only have been playing politics if she new the treasury would say no. I just hope the people of Renfrew remember Murphy is willing to risk the life of their children simply to make the SNP look bad.

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  • 78. At 1:01pm on 26 Jun 2009, salmondella wrote:

    #77 ForteanJo

    Appreciate your effort there but unfortunately your answer is wrong, no gold star I'm afraid. Really, deary me, I thought the question was so so easy - how could you be so wide of the mark? Maybe you just need to take your time and think aboot it a wee bit more afore ye answer ;-)

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  • 79. At 1:45pm on 26 Jun 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #78 - "Maybe you just need to take your time and think aboot it a wee bit more afore ye answer ;-) "

    Mayube if you take your head out of Skeletor's backside for a wee second, you'll see that my answer is actually correct. How can you tell? The Scottish media claim Labour are the innocent party in this affair. Proves their guilt beyond all reasonable doubt.

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  • 80. At 2:33pm on 26 Jun 2009, salmondella wrote:


    "The Scottish media claim Labour are the innocent party in this affair. Proves their guilt beyond all reasonable doubt."

    Well that certainly is an interesting take on reality - alas, there may be no hope for you!!

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  • 81. At 6:13pm on 26 Jun 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #80 - Okay, answer this one:

    Now that swine flu cases are "soaring" in England, it's been revealed that Westminster has contracts with two manufacturers to provide 132 million doses of vacinne, with the first batches expected in August. These contracts are being paid for via UK spend.

    Now, since the population of England & Wales will be vaccinated at a cost to the UK as a whole, shouldn't the populace of Scotland also be vaccinated at a cost to the UK? Or do you believe, like Skeletor, that Scots are second class and don't deserve the expenditure, or, at the very least, risking their health is a price worth paying if it lets the SoS against Scotland bash the nats (via the ever compliant BBC & press of course)?

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  • 82. At 5:56pm on 27 Jun 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    81. At 6:13pm on 26 Jun 2009, ForteanJo wrote:
    #80 - Okay, answer this one:"

    I'm still waiting for the response you requested, Jo.

    By the way who's skeletor, forgive my ignorrance, is it that Starkey balloon? Does he not kindle something primatively scary that guy?

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  • 83. At 11:20pm on 27 Jun 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #82 - "By the way who's skeletor"

    It is, of course, that Skull-on-a-Stick, Spud Murphy, SOS against Scotland.

    To be honest, I didn't expect a response. The likes of Derek, Ex-pat & Salmondella all seem to work from the same script and have no response when the hard facts are pointed out to them. Pity we can't rely on BT & co do to the same when interviewing Unionist politicians.

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  • 84. At 12:01pm on 28 Jun 2009, Leftie wrote:

    The chatterers in Edinburgh and the media are busy arguing about the presently unknowable: when will tax revenues recover to a normal level? Because the drop in tax revenues is why most of our current deficits have grown. That lack of tax income is because of the debt write-offs at British Banks, especially those in Edinburgh. Nobody knows how soon British Banks - especially the Scottish Banks - will start paying taxes again, nor how quickly other businesses will get back to normal commercial health, employment and tax-paying. That's because each of those events depends upon resumption of normal levels of both shopping and business investment throughout Britain. Which both depend upon the effectiveness of British Government actions to rescue those spendings as fast as could be achieved.

    The biggest bank debt on our entire planet is in the Royal Bank of Scotland. Where those gamblers of Edinburgh have caused the biggest hole in our public finances. Vastly ahead of the debts incurred by the world's largest Bank: Citibank of New York. It's All British Taxpayers who're having to pick up the tab for those casino debts. Along with the Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh's gambling bankers have a lot to answer for. It was those Scottish professionals in the largest of Edinburgh's Banks that have punched an enourmous hole in every taxpayer's pocket in Britain. Not forgetting the much smaller - but equally reckless - gamblers at the Dunfermline Building Society.

    We should be grateful for the generosity of ALL British taxpayers in bailing out our Edinburgh Gamblers. Just imagine if Scotland were paying for these gambling debts from Scottish taxpayers alone? As Icelandic taxpayers are trying to pay for their bank's debts? Or as Irelands taxpayers are having to suffer their nemesis as part of the Arc of Prosperity?

    It was similar reckless gambles by Edinburgh professionals that caused Scotland's Parliament to seek amalgamation with the Westminster Parliament just 300 years ago. The gambles then and now were too big for us poor Scots to pay for. Next time Murphy meets Salmond he should ask the SNP to levy an extra tax on those Edinburgh gamblers to help pay for the vast casino debts they've run up.

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  • 85. At 3:11pm on 28 Jun 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    Go away and hoe your neeps.

    They haven't been scottish banks for years and years!

    They've been owned and controlled, gambled with and exploited from doon sooth for years and years.

    Tak your reams of bumf and... This ones been dead in the water for months after having been shot down in flames here many times.

    Scottish Banks indeed!

    God you lot are really scraping the barrel again.

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  • 86. At 4:03pm on 28 Jun 2009, waitingformyman wrote:


    It was similar reckless gambles by Edinburgh professionals that caused Scotland's Parliament to seek amalgamation with the Westminster Parliament just 300 years ago."

    What utter P! This was scullduggery at it best, it was held in utter contempt by the common people, while MPs were bribed for their vote, they had to be, they were scared for their lives most of them, at the hands of their constituents. I think one or two of them alledgedly had a concience too, but the gold won over in the end. It was orchastrated from london!

    Oh aye, please lets amalgamate and completely dominate every aspect of our lives from now on, please, please, pretty please.



    Common you accademics, get this torn to shreds?

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  • 87. At 1:25pm on 29 Jun 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:


    Just as Andy Murray is hailed as being "British" as long as he remains far and away Britain's best hope for a Wimbledon win - here is another chunk of crass political propaganda as to how these "British" Banks, trading on the LSE, against Bank of England reserves, as part of the UK economy under "Prudence" Brown (a man who has presumably never "gambled" in his life??!!) - suddenly revert to being "Scottish" the moment the UK economy caves in.

    Was it Edinburgh - as opposed to London - that was most responsible for the sharp trading practises and economic policies that brought about the crash in the first place?

    Are you suggesting, moreover, that the Scottish taxpayer was somehow morally responsible for the rescue and recovery of the fall-out of these institutions - 90% of whose business, workforce and investments were unconnected to Scotland - simply because they were nominally HQ'd in Edinburgh??

    Have these banks been bailed out by we the taxpayer, to preserve them as going concerns - or were they purchased as London's magnanimous gift to the Scottish people you seek to denigrate??

    Incidentally, the Darien project you so snidely refer to was a bona-fide attempt to invest for an economic future in a treacherous world, led by the very man who founded the Bank of England - and systematically betrayed by the then English government in order to secure the advent of this ill-sought union.

    No mention of the '30 pieces of silver' paid to the signatories of that Act, either??

    Clearly you have little or no idea how the 'Too Wee, Too Poor' argument is being received in Scotland these days!

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