BBC BLOGS - Blether with Brian
« Previous | Main | Next »

Calman speaks

Brian Taylor | 12:46 UK time, Monday, 15 June 2009

Reaction matters in politics - and it matters substantially with regard to the Calman Commission, which has published its report on devolution.

When the commission's interim report was published, one political leader, Tavish Scott of the LibDems, was notably sniffy.

His exceptionally brief statement indicated to all the world that up with this he would not put. He wanted detail - radical detail.

Mr Scott was smiling this morning post the launch at the Dynamic Earth.

Devolved control of four taxes - and substantial devolved involvement in setting income tax.

Now the actual power contained in the income tax proposal may be somewhat less than meets the instant eye.

For one thing, Scotland could not vary the tax balance. Could not, for example, choose, politically, to heap added taxation upon the well-heeled.

Making choices

The differential between standard and upper rates would remain set.

Plus, Scotland might simply leave well alone - choosing to reinstate the 10p tax removed at outset by the Treasury.

But there's that word choice. Scotland's politicians would have to make their choice and declare the outcome of that decision.

That's why Mr Scott was smiling. Labour also looked notably content. They believe they have justified their decision to follow Wendy Alexander's initial suggestion that devolution needed substantial review.

As to others, I believe the business sector may well need convincing as to why Holyrood should have more influence on tax.

However, those with business experience on the commission believe they got the balance right, given the pressure.

Which leaves me to comment upon the SNP and the Tories - each of which is notably intriguing.

The Tories hope and, frankly, expect to form the next UK Government.

Listening and understanding

They have taken Calman exceptionally seriously. More, David Cameron has taken a direct personal interest.

Why? If he is to be PM, David Cameron knows that he will require to govern with only, at best, a handful of MPs from Scotland.

He needs a framework which enables him to say that he has listened, he understands, he responds.

He needed a think tank, while in opposition, to draft detailed plans. Calman supplies just that.

Idologically, the Tories support the concept of taxation allied to representation. As a party, they could argue, if they chose, for lower taxation in Scotland.

And the SNP? They argue the real benefit for Scotland lies in fiscal autonomy and independence.

They point out that a Scotland with charge of oil resources over the decades could have matched Norway in setting up an investment fund.

The Calman Commission is decidedly delphic on the topic of oil.

Joy of speculation

There is minimal reference to it in the executive summary. On Page 96, we learn it might be "attractive to speculate" how such oil revenues could have been added to the Scottish budget.

Being wicked, I invited Sir Kenneth Calman to add to the joy of such speculation when he launched the report. He declined.

Instead, the commission's point is that both the costs and benefits of oil have been shared down the decades - and that oil is now a declining and volatile asset upon which it would have be unwise to found a devolved budget.

Not surprisingly, the SNP jib at this. However, it is intriguing to note the SNP's response is, on balance, notably more measured.

They fielded the wit and wisdom of Michael Russell at the launch itself. He duly excoriated the lack of oil wealth and the absence of fiscal autonomy.

However, he went on to say the Nationalists welcomed anything which added to Scotland's powers - and assisted the people of Scotland.

Against that background, they were willing to look seriously at Calman.

Does that mean consensus? Not for a second.

As I have written repeatedly, you do not solve a fundamental difference over the future of the union by a group hug and a few quiet words.

But it means just perhaps that Sir Kenneth's report will do more than moulder on a shelf in two parliaments, simultaneously.

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 1:02pm on 15 Jun 2009, confidemus wrote:

    I think that it is good to debate where we go from here. But the fact that one particular option was not considered is disappointing. I wish the unionist parties would allow us the opportunity, as a nation, to decide on ALL the issues by having them discussed thoroughly.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 1:13pm on 15 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Brian,

    Your link to the full report on 'Radical' Holyrood powers urged suggests the PDF download is only 28 Kb. In fact the mind-numbing 269 pages is 2.62 Mb.

    Still worth reading on the know your enemy principle, though.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 1:15pm on 15 Jun 2009, NConway wrote:

    Another damp sqib from the Unionist parties roll on the election and of course the independence referendum..

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 1:27pm on 15 Jun 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Another BBC Labour Party propaganda piece trying to make it look as if Unionist Scott is "smiling" and Unionist Labour are "notably content".

    Anyone reading this article might think this Calman rubbish is some sort of "victory" for the Union. In reality nothing at all has changed.

    NOTABLY the people of Scotland have not had a say on all this, but their day is coming.

    Meanwhile the deluded Unionists go on merrily convincing themselves that their precious Union is somehow safer from all those nasty "separatists".

    Good luck with that, guys. You're going to need it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 1:28pm on 15 Jun 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    ..... substantial devolved involvement in setting income tax.

    ..... But there's that word choice. Scotland's politicians would have to make their choice and declare the outcome of that decision.

    That's why Mr Scott was smiling. Labour also looked notably content.


    Goodness me, they remove 10p and we re-instate it and explain that we re-instated it because to do otherwise would reduce Scotland's 'grant' - and you call that 'substantial' Brian, what, were you too embarassed to say 'radical'?

    Don't be so ridiculous man.

    Also, it has already been noted that Unionists and yourselves in the media were constantly tellingnus that different tax rates was not possible, well that is when it was being proposed for LIT.

    We were also being told that Scottish taxpayers could not be easily identified, that too was when it was proposed for LIT.

    So, where have these arguments gone?

    Are they sitting alongside the Glenrothes register on the same shelves that Jim Devine claimed for?

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 1:36pm on 15 Jun 2009, Jimmythepict wrote:

    Well buried in the Calman report (page 265 of 269 to be precise) is this statement

    'In making these recommendations, we feel it necessary to draw attention to the possible availability of credit in the current economic climate. The economic down turn, along with the bail out of major financial institutions has meant that the UK is facing levels of debt greater than seen for a number of years. When combined with the possible impact of transferring a number of debts associated with PFI sourced assets to the balance sheet, the scope for additional public borrowing by any UK body is likely to be constrained for the foreseeable future'

    How can anyone decide on the viability of the proposals in this report when we have no idea of the liability to be apportioned to Scotland of the off sheet PFI debt?

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 1:40pm on 15 Jun 2009, Tom wrote:

    I deteste what has been suggested by the Calman Commission.

    Scotland will have control of income tax, but in reality Scotland will be allowed to levy income tax by 10p in the pound? Yes, I see it now. These are radical changes in the way we operate!

    It appears that the Calman Commission has offer as less as they possibly could. I am interested on the other areas which Westminister will be given responsibility for, is there more or is food labelling the only 'power' being returned to Westminister?

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 1:44pm on 15 Jun 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Just heard former tennis player Rod Laver of Australia explaining that whether Andy Murray has a chance of winning Wimbledon is "up to the press in England". Okay Rod, thanks for letting us know.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 1:47pm on 15 Jun 2009, confidemus wrote:

    Section 4.75 is pretty enlightening. It highlights what many people have known anecdotally for years - Westminster ministers do not always have the interests of Scotland as an "equal partner" in the union foremost in their minds whilst lobbying in Europe.

    For example: "This approach was reported to have worked well, unlike those instances reported to us of UK Government Ministers having difficulty distinguishing between speaking on behalf of the UK and on behalf of England. The Commission heard that this practice appeared to be determined by UK Government Ministers preferences".

    So much for Scotland being better represented in Europe as a member of a larger cooperative (the UK)!

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 1:48pm on 15 Jun 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    The stated aim of these proposals is to "secure Scotland's future in the union".

    Should those who would enact such measures to "cement" Scotland into the union not, at the very least, demonstrate a sense of democratic balance, and support the right of the people to indicate their constitutional preference through a referendum on independence - before "cementing" us any further into the union without the clear consent of the people??

    Is the latest Westminster move to suppress Scotland's sovereignty about to be enacted through the device of an unelected commission overriding the will of the elected Scottish Government?

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 1:49pm on 15 Jun 2009, neovantage wrote:

    The threat of higher taxation with these proposals would be ever present and detrimental. Given the SNP's stated desire for local income tax combined with Calman's proposals that will likely raise stamp duty on 'expensive' homes and even more power to vary income tax nobody in their right mind would move to and invest in Scotland. of course the clever thing to do would be to have a benign tax regime to stimulate investment and growth to lift Scotland out of the doldrums but I would eat my hat if that ever came to pass. After all I did say clever!

    Perhaps the last higher rate tax payer in Scotland could turn off the light when he/she deserts the sinking ship?

    PS Why does Calman float from one committee to another casusing havoc and then moving on before the pigeos come home to roost? The medical profession is still having to endure the aftermath of his last 'reforms'!

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 2:00pm on 15 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Unreferenced on Brian's main link, the whole UK [plus a few of us crafty expats] was able to see more than usual of Scottish politics today on the Daily Politics. If you missed it, you can see the 7 minute Calman section on this website's Handing more power to Holyrood.

    First, there's an excellent quote from Mike Russell: "If Wendy Alexander thought this was a 'pocket money' parliament, I think we're now moving on to a parliament that's allowed a Saturday job."

    Then, a wider than usual audience was treated to the presentational skills of "the leader of the Scottish Labour Party" Iain Gray. This may help to explain to many outwith Scotland why NuLab are in such disarray in that nation.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 2:00pm on 15 Jun 2009, MacDonaldWoods wrote:

    It is galling from all perspectives that the full effect of oil revenue has been dismissed by this exercise and only received a cursory mention. What an opportunity missed for us all! There is nothing 'wicked' about holding him to account on this Brian, it is the right thing to do and should have been done more robustly. Costs and benefits of oil should not have been shared as such in my view, this is Scotland's resource and therefore those living in Scotland should have received the benefit whilst of course meeting the costs. Going forward, for him to say that it is a declining and volatile asset and therefore shouldn't be considered is just exasperating. It is a very real and still highly desired and useful asset and should obviously be utilised to our benefit. Give us the facts to back up these wishy washy claims Calman and for goodness sake Brian will you hold him to account on this - for everyone's sake!

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 2:04pm on 15 Jun 2009, mmarsattacks wrote:

    Wait a minute, how much did this commission cost to stage again? Call it mince, or call it tripe, it's cheaper at the butchers. How exactly do these proposals benefit Scotland? Over to you, Brits...

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 2:08pm on 15 Jun 2009, themightyshed wrote:

    So, the Calman Commission suggests that we Scots just might be deemed sensible enough to determine our own land fill taxes, air passenger taxes, and stamp duty??

    Hold me back. The excitement is almost too much.

    This report is the perfect illustration of why devolution is an illogical half-way house. Contradictory, compromised, and unsustainable.

    Either Scots are capable of running our own affairs or we're not. There's no rational argument why we should be allowed some, but not all, of our income tax, or North Sea Oil revenues. There's no rational argument why we ARE capable of running the health service, but NOT our benefits services. Or why we ARE capable of legislating on Climate Change, but NOT capable of having our own foreign policy.

    So this commission's own political background becomes obvious. It was set up - quite explicitly - to keep the Union together. Its recommendations are therefore not based on what's best for Scotland, they're based on what's manageable within the Union.

    What a missed opportunity.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 2:13pm on 15 Jun 2009, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    A brief summary of the Report:
    Some tax varying powers.Half the revenue of selected taxes. Some gun control powers. Half a measure here and other half somewhere else.

    Half proposals are from half wits. Who do these unelected people think they are kidding? All the support from a compliant press dressing up Calmans mutton as lamb is not going to cut it either.

    Please remember conman...sorry Calman, is quoted as saying that Full fiscal autonomy was not in their remit. He does not say full fiscal autonomy is not better for Scotland: A) He ignored it because in his opinion its too near to independence. B) Full accountability and openness is anathema to unionist politics in Scotland.

    Half measures, obfuscation and lunacy reign over Scotlands fiscal position in the UK. Unionists only propose these hair brained schemes because they are desperate the avoid any obvious course.

    Calman proposes very little but what he is proposing is replacing 1 flawed system for pocket money Scotland by 2 flawed systems and 2 separate administrations paid for by the taxpayer. Truth is indeed stranger then fiction.

    Lastly, this commission excluded any consideration of independence or full fiscal control. It is utterly amazing that they can get off with ostracising the viewpoint of the elected government and their voters and pretend it is democratic. Such is the state of UK constitutional commissions.

    And no the SNP did not refuse to participate. The SNP were elected on policies including the conversation. The unionists did not have anu such policy and also lost the election. The UK government then created their Cabal to scupper open debate and refused the participation of both the SNP and the Greens. A complete disgrace.

    These con artists and their half baked proposals will be brushed aside by people who actually consider what is best for Scotland as opposed to what is best for Westminster, Westminster control and their union lackeys gravy train.

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 2:15pm on 15 Jun 2009, U11655018 wrote:

    Brian, it might be interesting to ask Prof Anton Muscatelli about the 'self-denying ordinance' in place prohibiting Sir Ken's Independent Expert Group from speaking individually on the recommendations until close of play on the 19th of June, when press interest will apparently have subsided...

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 2:20pm on 15 Jun 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    Reposted from Douglas Frasers Blog as it seems to be a topic your both covering now - despite Douglas's Business remit;

    I've just finished reading through the Calman report and I feel dirty afterwards.

    How can people who supposedly represent us get the very aspect of devolution this wrong?

    I couldn't find a single positive thing to say about that entire report quite frankly - the ambitions for Scotland expressed by the incumbent Scottish government dwarf these pitiful meanderings and leave the entire Calman process looking like the sorry unionist PR exercise it was.

    In my heart of hearts I knew this would be a complete waste of time and money - in fact - the Calman report looks like it's been manufactured with the express intent to trip up the SNP government on it's spending choices while paying lip service those who want Scotland to be better than it is.

    It is pathetic, unionist drivel and it will not satisfy the needs or wants of Scotland or her people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 2:25pm on 15 Jun 2009, portcharlotte wrote:

    Well after all Calman's consultations he recognises the need for some limited tax raising powers, with lots of strings, to be offset by reduction in the block grant. Some will say that it doesn't amount to much but another step to fiscal autonomy ( ie independence) is an important step. Calman is saying his Lab, Lib, Con masters have recognised the need for some fiscal responsiblities surely a platform for the more politically skilled to build on. Instead of heading off independence Calman seems to be encouraging it by promising only a wee bit but then surely won't the people want more. Perhaps Calman himself is more clever than the political parties that appointed him. Perhaps he is a closet nationalist recognising the inevitablity of independencce and giving it a wee nudge by getting the Unionist parties to talk about more fiscal devolution.

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 2:29pm on 15 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    The unLib unDems often claim to have inherited the mantra of the home ruling old Liberals, but Tavish Scott's statement on this website's 'Radical' Holyrood powers urged is further proof that the SDP wing of his party have taken over entirely. His assertion that "Calman's recommendations take us towards a real home rule settlement" could hardly be further from the truth.

    Both Scott and Calman see this as devolving power from Westmidden instead of claiming the sovereignty of the people which even Duff Gordon supported a couple of decades ago. When they want even to reserve some existing powers of Holyrood and do not see fiscal autonomy as crucial to home rule, it is clear that any LibDem suggestions of federalism were a sham [at least from the leadership's point of view] and I admit that I was totally wrong in ever thinking that they should be considered as other than apostates like Chamberlain's unionists in the "official" sense of the word.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 2:34pm on 15 Jun 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    I agree with Thomas porter. this commission was ,and is, about delivering as little as possible or as little as they thought they might get away with whilst making it look like the best thing since sliced bread .the smoke and mirrors are working overtime . they could not even manage full fiscal autonomy as they are that scared.
    the BBC -Brown's broadcasting Cronies- did their best this morning on GMS. Gary Robertson would have been as well letting Calman read out a statement instead of kidding on he was interviewing him at all.
    Mr Calman should be careful when he is speaking in public I noticed at least 2 errors in the claims he made in his so called interview.
    has anyone spotted anything about planning law ? everyone must remember when Labour started out on this Farce they wanted to return powers from the Scottish Parliament to Westminster specifically planning!
    I would like to say I'am dissapointed but I'am not surprised in the slightest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 2:34pm on 15 Jun 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    REPEAT

    Oh, how "radical" the last unionist ditch is! "Look at the shiny penny, ignore federalism or independence." They cannot say that of course: the "i" word is banned anywhere near their precious commission, as whatever imagined "solution" they come up with needs protected in a walled garden away from its true competitor.

    Also, I note as well that we are now allowed to talk about the "Honourable" Member from Livingston again - now the story can be safely hidden behind all the BBC agit-prop about how great the Calman farce is.

    Now faux surprise from beeb presenters when Gordon Brown backs Calman ... he wrote it after all.

    Honestly Brian, a huge post like that when the whole Calman enterprise can be summed up accurately as merely: "a taxpayer funded sham".

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 2:35pm on 15 Jun 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    "(...) the commission's point is that both the costs and benefits of oil have been shared down the decades - and that oil is now a declining and volatile asset upon which it would have been unwise to found a devolved budget."

    In the course of a recent French radio report on the subject of increasing oil-extraction activity in "the Scottish sector" of the North Sea, Jean-Marie Chevallier, director of the Geopolitical Centre for Energy and Primary Resources at Paris Dauphine, stressed three points in commenting upon the importance of the Elgin field (to the east of Aberdeen) to the Total oil company:

    1. The relative convenience of oil extraction in the North Sea in comparison with the difficulties currently involved in opening up new oil fields in other parts of the world makes it very attractive and indeed profitable at a time when crude prices are high and worth continuing with when they fall.

    2. Currently available technology is effectively expanding the exploitable North Sea reserves by making it possible to open up areas for exploitation which formerly would not have been considered on commercial grounds.

    3. North Sea oil extraction has a long future ahead of it.

    In addition, it should be borne in mind that last month the UK government submitted a claim to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf with a view to reserving to itself a large area of the Hatton-Rockall Basin in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Scotland for the purpose of oil and gas extraction there, as the Hatton-Rockall Basin is considered to contain substantial reserves of oil and gas.

    Revenue rights from oil and gas extraction off the coasts of Scotland is, therefore, not a minor issue, a former issue or a negligible one to be cast aside. On the contrary, ask the Foreign Office to give up the UK claim concerning the Hatton-Rockall Basin, and see what response you get. The UK government requires Scotland's oil for itself just as much now as ever it did, as its currency and its debt-laden and delicate, unbalanced economy needs to be propped up by something. An important part of that something is Scotland's oil, which is why anglo-unionists wish you to think that it is not important.

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 2:38pm on 15 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #5 greenockboy
    "Are they sitting alongside the Glenrothes register on the same shelves that Jim Devine claimed for?"

    LOL and sad but probably true.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 2:39pm on 15 Jun 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    No need to get too excited. The report fails the "So What Test?" as things have moved on so much since it was commissioned to keep a lid on nationalism. It's barely a squeak compared to the cataclysm that's coming due to troughing MPs, having an English Tory Government, a mainly unelected cabinet and PM (whether El Gordo or Mandy, the impetus that SNP already have etc etc.

    I've always thought independence would be an incremental process due to the political interest vested in the Union - just give the wee milestone a nod on the way by.

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 2:44pm on 15 Jun 2009, Fit Like wrote:

    As mentioned on the previous thread, I'm trying to work out what the effect on pension tax-relief would be. Would the relief only be given on the Westminster half or would the overall combined income tax be elligible? If the latter, would relief on the Scottish part have to be paid for from the Scottish half?

    Whilst potentially lower taxes in Scotland may be welcomed by many, the unitended effect that it would have on pensions needs to be addressed or we end up with Scotland having to have a different personal pension regime from the rest of the UK and the existing regime is complicated enough.

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 2:45pm on 15 Jun 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    And More;

    In essence - this report seeks to stifle Scottish Governance than anything else.

    I completely agree with the premise of the electorate holding the Scottish government to account for it's spending and borrowing - but not when the financial arrangement of the taxation and borrowing is dictated by another government - one that just so happens to be hostile towards the current administrations aspirations of independence.

    Would you sign up to a financiers agreement riddled with things they say you can't do? Will the UK treasury stump up the true figures relating to the Domestic output of Scotland? Figures that even sitting Lords like the Lady Saltoun of Abernethy has asked for but never been privvy to?

    Alex Salmond says that if Scotland were independent, she would be one of the richest small countries in the worldI think he said that she would be richer than Luxembourg. I do not believe that, but neither do I believe that she would be as dirt poor as Labour and the Conservatives say. Probably the truth lies somewhere in between. As no one has access to all the figures, I do not see how anyone can know. A great deal would depend on what kind of settlement was made between England and Scotland, particularly in regard to oil and where the boundaries were drawn in the North Sea. As things are, there is room for endless bitterness and acrimony on both sides, which could endure for generations and even, should we happen to have another trigger-happy Prime Minister, lead to war, which was almost the normal state of relations before the Union. Equally, there is room for the generosity and understanding which would result in a long-lasting friendship and prosperity for both. I can only implore politicians on all sides to think very seriously about this, because I am afraid that I believe independence will come sooner or laterand sooner, if we go on as we are.

    - Lady Saltoun of Abernethy Monday, 12 November 2007

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 2:47pm on 15 Jun 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Is it just me or is there a lack of unionists rushing to post on here just how wonderful this rubbish is.

    I wonder why.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 2:49pm on 15 Jun 2009, Blind_Captain wrote:

    It is interesting to look at Sir Kenneth Calman's previous experience.
    At one stage in his career he was Consultant Physician with an interest in palliative care at Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow.


    Palliative care can be explained thus: "Everyone facing life-threatening illness will need some degree of supportive care in addition to treatment for their condition"

    Considering the lamentable state of the Union and the Labour Party, they've got the right guy for the job then!

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 2:53pm on 15 Jun 2009, Topher Allan wrote:

    I'm not convinced that Calman's maths skills. I've still to work out why the first recommendation made by the report is numbered 2.1, and then there's this corker:

    "Scotland now has two Parliaments the Scottish Parliament as well as the UK Parliament. And of course it has the European Parliament too."

    That makes three, then?

    And this man is making recommendations on Scotland's financial future.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 2:55pm on 15 Jun 2009, bovrilheid wrote:

    It is disappointing to say the least that the unionist parties have asked Calman to look at all the options apart from breaking the union. We are heading that way, every time they offer a little step we move closer to it. If I were them the sooner the sooner a referendum was offered the better. Because the SNP doing a good job gives the nation more confidence, the demand from more power increases and finally the Scots just don't want a Tory government. When that happens I hope the speed towards separation will increase. That is my hope I just wonder if I will ever see an independent Scotland in my lifetime.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 2:57pm on 15 Jun 2009, rog_rocks wrote:

    This policy is only put before us in an attempt to thwart our SNP's main policy on Independence for Scotland.

    The gang of three will combine themselves in an unholy alliance in Scotland to force this upon us, use it as a fudge to do away with or confuse the referendum. It really proves who is in bed with the Tories. What was it Labour said last week after all the parties combined in an attempt to oust the dirty Labour party from Westmidden.

    This is another example of the collaboration of the occupying foreign parties as they foist policy upon us and allow the government of a foreign land to continue to steal our resources and wealth.

    It only highlights the need for our referendum.


    IXI
    I

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 3:03pm on 15 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Still looking at Calman in some detail, but they make great play of the need for the "social union" provision to be continued at UK level. I wonder why they didn't look at the situation of the Isle of Man? Thet have an independent parliament and government, yet their pensions, health and social security arrangements seem remarkably similar to the UK.

    http://www.gov.im/dhss/security/

    Either their arrangements are simply different from the UK because they want it that way, or they are better than the UK which seems inappropriate on the basis of Calman's position and the UK should be siezing control of the IoM, or they are poorer than the UK, and the Manx people should be clamouring for admission to the UK.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 3:03pm on 15 Jun 2009, tory_bliar wrote:

    Brian

    If there is to be further devolution to Scotland it becomes even more unfair that Scotish MPs vote on purely English/Welsh issues. Has Calman even considered the West Lothian question?

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 3:19pm on 15 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Thanks to the BBC's IP apartheid, the live Hansard Society Speakers' Hustings is currently being streamed for UK viewers only. The Hansard Society will no doubt be affronted but still give BBC the rights they so frequently abuse.

    I suppose that with Calman, at least the UK public is being treated to an economy of the truth in exactly the same way as the rest of the world.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 3:33pm on 15 Jun 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    The curious thing about these Calman "proposals" is that they're not achieving what the Unionists thought - they're just making the "elephant in the room" even more glaringly obvious! They can write as many "reports" as they want that ignore the actual reality of what's happening in Scottish politics but what they can't do is make that reality go away.

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 3:39pm on 15 Jun 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    Gaining control over "Scotland's oil" has been a key SNP policy since the 70s - but Calman warned of the reliability of North Sea revenue because of volatile world oil prices, and said value was likely to decline in future. - BBC Today


    Really? Oil will DECLINE in value in the future?

    Kind of flies in the face of every economists outlook - including the BEEBS

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7255447.stm

    Oh! Look at that! Oil at $100 a barrel! Even if we got 5 years of $100 - a canny government could whittle away a fair old chunk of it in case the global economy took a nosedive again - then we could sit back and ride out a recession like the Norwegians are doing.

    It amazes me how stupid the BBC are when they have a dual mandate to both inform and decieve.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 3:41pm on 15 Jun 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

    How uplifting it is to see so many unfamiliar faces expressing the same resonating oppinion.

    I'm not a politician but I think the SNP should officially dismiss this calman keech out of hand in its entirety, on point of principal and not to pick and choose bits here and there. They'd be accused of all sorts if they did that. Stand tee yir neeps! It is blatant strangulation.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 3:44pm on 15 Jun 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Where's the beef? I would say if it is accepted then it's another step on the road. If it's rejected, then we are being treated with contempt and the SNP go up another 10% in the polls. Half a million is not a lot to pay for another rung on the independence ladder. Roll on June 19th, when we find out what the accademics really think.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 3:50pm on 15 Jun 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Keeping a close eye on the news to see if we are about to witness the end of an immoral discredited maliciously anti-Scottish Tory political ideology that inflicted such untold damage on the fabric of Scottish society that even today we are still picking up the pieces. (Another nail in the coffin so to speak.)

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 4:01pm on 15 Jun 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    28. I suspect, like me, others are enjoying the fun from the sidelines. You nats really believe and talk a load of utter drivel, don't you!

    Anyway, carry on.

    (Right, I'm off to get some popcorn. Anyone else want some?)

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 4:02pm on 15 Jun 2009, sharpski wrote:

    The calman commission is just another attempt by the unholy alliance to confuse and scare voters. England needs Scotland or it will go bust. But the axis of lies can't admit that (hence no real reference to oil in the conman's report). So we have 1979 all over again.

    Lies and slander, all of it.

    Bring on the referendum, give us the chance to prove hope and truth will triumph over lies and fear.

    Eck, give us a hollyrood election, smash the unionist alliance, crush labour(unless the trades descriptions act has got hold of them first) and use the majority gained to call our referendum and end this once and for all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 4:02pm on 15 Jun 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Time to leave for today as the blog is about to be dragged back into the gutter.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 4:06pm on 15 Jun 2009, IsThisPravda wrote:

    Re #12 Brownedov
    Thanks for the link. Russell excellent as usual, Gray as inspiring as usual!
    As to the whitewash perpetrating as a serious constitutional review, what a lot of bullshit (just testing consistency of mods!).
    If we are to be given control of certain taxes then give us control!
    Don't have Westmidden controlling the only parts that in all probability might be tinkered with leaving our finance sec (from whatever party) to stand up and say after Westminster budget, "what they said"!. What sort of buffoon would increase the general rate of taxation north of teh border relative to England?
    We would not reduce it either as we have budget cuts to deal with and going forward less money overall to play with, given the furore that surrounds Barnett etc.
    The SNP would be wise to put together communication against the mis-information seaping out from the Unionist media, including Brian and Glenn's mouths, highlighting just how bad this "radical" report really is!
    I wasn't expecting much but even I am amazed at the lack of substance, pathetic.

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 4:08pm on 15 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #34 tory_bliar

    To be fair to Calman, he does consider the West Lothian question, but it is outside his remit. That is a matter for the English to determine for themselves. Hopefully, they will decide to take back control over their own affairs. Very few here would do other than applaud the English for so doing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 4:10pm on 15 Jun 2009, jaramapasaran wrote:

    As my father said always beware Greeks bearing gifts.Being able to vary only the standard rate of income tax which presently was available anyway to Holyrood with no control over thresholds and levels is pointless.Seems more that with impending public service cuts looming better to let the Scots beat themselves up rather than Westminster taking the rap.With no control over interest rates or significant enterprise funds or real borrowing power which would seems will be borne solely by the tax payer at the lower level this proposal is a punitive measure.True saying power devolved is power retained if you box clever.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 4:28pm on 15 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #34 tory_bliar
    "Has Calman even considered the West Lothian question?"

    One para on p.60 of the final report says it all, really:
    "Comparisons are often drawn between Scotland's place in the United Kingdom and the place of a state or province in a federal structure. Indeed, we have received some submissions from people who would aspire to a federal system for the UK. Since any move to a federal system for Scotland as part of the United Kingdom would necessarily affect the constitutional position of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, consideration of such a system for the UK as a whole falls outside the Commission's remit. Nevertheless useful lessons can be drawn from such systems but to do so it is very important to understand clearly what the similarities and differences are."

    This is entirely at variance with Calman's remit, which p.3 of the final report reminds us was:
    "To review the provisions of the Scotland Act 1998 in the light of experience and to recommend any changes to the present constitutional arrangements that would enable the Scottish Parliament to serve the people of Scotland better, improve the financial accountability of the Scottish Parliament, and continue to secure the position of Scotland within the United Kingdom."

    I have emboldened the present constitutional arrangements from the remit because they are in no way consistent with p.60's "Since any move to a federal system for Scotland as part of the United Kingdom would necessarily affect the constitutional position of...".

    Had the remit been changed to include the words "the present Scottish constitutional arrangements", he'd have had more of a point.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 5:02pm on 15 Jun 2009, Canonmills wrote:


    Calman speaks ...

    There is a saying in Spanish: The cow spoke - she said 'Moo'!

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 5:03pm on 15 Jun 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    1. The amount of publicity the SNP gives to one of their proposals/achievements/statements is directly proportional to the support they hope it will gather in favour of independence.

    2. The scale of change proposed by Calman is directly proportional to the chances of there being a majority in favour of independence in next year's referendum.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 5:12pm on 15 Jun 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

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

  • 51. At 5:29pm on 15 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Having now finished my first pass of the full 269 page report, I am astonished that although there is one reference to The Claim of Right and a few references to democracy and democratic mandate as well as a reminder of previous referenda, there seems to be no suggestion whatsoever that the report needs any democratic confirmation by the Scottish people.

    One can only presume that despite his remit "to recommend any changes to the present constitutional arrangements", Calman regards a few words from Duff Gordon to Murphy ordering him to get the "lobby fodder" to pass it into UK law is an adequate expression of democracy. Or, as p.9 of the report puts it, "Implementation will have to be very carefully managed".

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 5:29pm on 15 Jun 2009, johnblogon wrote:

    Nothing to say on oil. Nothing to say on independence. A non event?

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 5:32pm on 15 Jun 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Re: the Calman report, my considered opinion: Instead of having Professor Calman and a load of Unionist cronies taking two years (and no doubt a lot of very nice taxpayer-funded lunches in posh hotels) deciding what's "better" for Scotland let the Scottish people decide what's better for Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 5:34pm on 15 Jun 2009, The_Concept_Of_Mind wrote:

    Sufferers of my earlier postings (on other threads) will hopefully recognise that I speak with no hint of bias towards any outcome of the (political settlement for Scotland) debate, restricting my concerns to the philosophical, intellectual and political arguments that (should) inform the nature of these ramblings ...

    So I want to ask, firstly, what are we trying to achieve with either Independence OR Union, and for whom ??? ... Can anyone make a list of Objectives upon which we might agree, such that a structured approach to finding the best Strategy might be formed, leading ultimately to specific Plans that deliver that Strategy to meet those Objectives ??? ... (sufferers beware; there's more where that came from ...) ...

    My Starter-for-Ten list of Objectives, with apologies for combining here and there, is: -

    1. A safe, clean Environment in which our people can work, rest and play without fear of intimidation, violence or abuse ...

    2. A properous indigenous Industrial, Commercial and Manufacturing base that delivers high levels of quality employment opportunities for all ...

    3. A diverse and tolerant Society in which Freedom of Worship is sacrosanct ...

    4. A strongly Academic Education System in which our Children are encouraged to maximise their talents to contribute to Society and to our prosperity ...

    5. A determination to remove the scourge of crimes and anti-Social behaviour related to Drug and Alcohol abuse (which might be Point 1 in disguise) ...

    For me, this list (or a variant of it) must be common to whatever Political arrangement we live under, because it is a statement of Political Philosophy (with one or two bits missing; mostly about freedom of speech, data protection, civil rights etc. ...) ... If that's so, then we can get round to asking about how best we can achieve these (and what metrics might apply to test progress against that) ...

    Clearly there are (Politically Philosophical) implications behind such a list; for example, agreeing that we want a 'Safe, clean' Environment begs discussion around Nuclear versus Natural (well, you know what I mean) Energy, and asking for/demanding an 'indigenous' economic base suggests we 'grow our own' - today this might seem infeasible, given the Global dominance of US, German and Japanese Technology, Products and Consumer Goods - but what is the real alternative ??? ... Inward investment is pure spin; grossly importing is ultimately bad Business, and the destruction of our indigenous Manufacturing base remains one of the real scandals of the last 30 + years ...

    My somewhat blunt point is that, when we are conidering the type of Government we want, we should be asking not what they think about our relationship with our geographically close neighbours but what the H*ll they are going to do to deliver the above Objectives ...

    Is it too much to ask that we put aside petty point-scoring and name-calling, and instead talk about these very real issues that today face an unacceptable proportion of our people ??? ... In the UK the history of all Governments of all flavours is not good in the fight against poverty, underachievement and (Drug/Alcohol related) crime, the very stuff that blights lives, and it is our fault for letting them get away with it ...

    All this crap about whether or not we would have the Euro, or about how many Cod we can catch in a bucket, or about the likeability or presentation skills of our tawdry politicos, is pure sideshow schtick; the First Minister can string two words together in the right order - that doesn't make him Benjamin Franklin ... Viewers of Question Time know well how easy it is to convince an audience of the correctness of an argument, even if obviously abhorent; simply say it well and with conviction (this is most stark when the previous, equally articulate speaker has just made the exact opposite point) ...

    We really do need Men of Substance, who have principles founded on a belief in Human Rights, Democracy and Freedom of Thought (to pick the three highest political ideals, Democracy aside - see Churchill's comments on why ...) ... The grim bunch that today inhabits the Corridors of Power should be tested against the very highest ideals of Public Service and commitment to Doing Good, and they should be trained in the subjects in which they have chosen, albeit often unknowingly, to specialise - Philosophy, History and Politics ... We need less Party - line rhetoric and grandstanding and more thinking, analysis, communication and agreement ... Is now not the time to rise above such grubby playground antics ??? ... We've surely had enough of Politics as Show Business (albeit for the ugly); don't we now just need them to quietly get on with the job ??? ...

    Too many suffer every day while second - rate intellects debate (literally and all too publicly) the price of fish ...

    (Told you there was more suffering ...) ...

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 5:42pm on 15 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #44 IsThisPravda
    "Thanks for the link. Russell excellent as usual, Gray as inspiring as usual!
    .....
    I wasn't expecting much but even I am amazed at the lack of substance, pathetic.
    "

    You're welcome - our views on Mr Gray's charisma seem concurrent. Had there been any substance on show, I suspect a more able salesperson for the union would have appeared.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 5:43pm on 15 Jun 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Westminster isn't working. Used to be you could buy a house and know your great-grandchildren would be living in it still; now we get the biggest constitutional change since the 1920s and 10 years later even the Unionists are having to come up with, what's the word, "radical" changes. The quality of the work that our MPs are producing is abysmal and yet they feel they should get better pay. I think a taste of the "standards" and "targets" set by them on the rest of the public service should be applied to them, no increases without better performance and annual performance reviews too. Who'd buy a house from this lot of jerry-builders?

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 5:47pm on 15 Jun 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #49 Reluctant-Expat
    Total agreement.

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 6:17pm on 15 Jun 2009, Bruce wrote:

    I would firstly like to thank everyone who has commented on the report so far on the blog. I haven't had the chance to read the report as of yet but will make the time at some point. I must admit from looking at the posts I am fearful of wasting my time. I always felt that building up to this day that whatever the report said would not be enough for myself given that I feel that we need to be Independent. I suppose I am more cut and dried on the topic of our future, I actually think that we should go it alone or not at all including devolution. The fact that this report was not allowed to consider the independence argument make if flawed, that is not Calmans fault but the fault of the three main parties who fear the result. I think the way forward would be for everyone to vote for parties other than the Labour, Conservative and Liberal to get the point across next year that we won't stand for any more of this process of not allowing a proper debate, it is time for a proper grown up debate about our future and including all of us, leading on to a referendum on the future of Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 6:56pm on 15 Jun 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Can anyone tell me the Scottish Green partys oppinion of independence for Scotland or are they tied in with the UK Greens too much. Just curious for when the next Scottish election comes round and the need to give someone that second vote.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 7:12pm on 15 Jun 2009, Slaintmha wrote:

    Where is the surprise, where is the radical reform?

    This is yet another Unionist 'Jack and Jill went up the hill' scenario.

    All this report appears to be is the vinegar and brown paper trying to repair Gordon's crown.

    Probably this report's better analogy is with the 'Grand Old Duke of York':

    "....and when they were up they were up, and when they were down they were down, and when they were only half way up, they were neither up nor down" !

    So why, if this Calman tax share will work, won't LIT?

    They both require the IRS to do the same calculations or is the reality that these amazing powers are simply the Barnet Formula version 2?

    But of course LIT was an SNP idea.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 7:24pm on 15 Jun 2009, lambrettaforever wrote:

    This is not the levels of powers of the parliament that I was asked to vote on in the referendum.

    Can I expect a fresh one now the reserved matters are being altered? Aye right.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 7:42pm on 15 Jun 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #59 ubinworryinmasheep

    I do believe the greens are pro independence - as were the Scottish Socialists.

    Indeed, In the 2007 Greens manifesto it says

    "The only way to determine Scotland's constitutional future is by referendum, because only a referendum allows a clear choice on a constitutional matter that often crosses party divides. In any referendum the Scottish Green party will campaign for The Scottish Parliament to have the same powers as any other memberstate in an increasingly interdependent European Union."

    So yes, your vote for the greens will be a vote for a referendum if not independence.

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 7:49pm on 15 Jun 2009, Colkitto wrote:

    When will the unionist parties consult the people of Scotland ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 7:57pm on 15 Jun 2009, spartans11 wrote:

    This is the sort of compromise a parent will come up with to control a rebellious teen, who they believe is too immature at the moment to be given his/her head. This rarely works and when it does the teen is soon back demamnding more control and going it alone or becoming increasingly resentful. The problem here is neither the Tories or the Torylites have governed the UK well over the last 30 years and have performed even worse in Scotland. If Donald Dewar was still alive, this may have been a moot issue, however I don't see anyone in the 3 main unionist parties of the same calibre capable of being anything other than Westminsters poodle. The Calman Commission is little more than a delaying tactic which if implemented, will lead to Independence in the future.

    I would like to see all possibilities considered, allowing us to make the best choice, not this mish mash which will inevitably force us into Independence

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 8:04pm on 15 Jun 2009, enneffess wrote:


    59. At 6:56pm on 15 Jun 2009, ubinworryinmasheep:

    The Green party probably have the most divisive leadership of all political parties. There is constant infighting. The party has very extreme views in some areas and to be honest, would be exceptionally problematic should they ever gain the balance of power. Just look at the recent budget issues with the Greens going off in a sulk.

    I chose them in 1997 as a second choice - never, ever again. Where's the Monster Raving Looney Party when you need them??

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 8:05pm on 15 Jun 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    You know it's really pathetic the way that the four or five SNP members that spam this blog go on about everything as if it's a conspiracy against them and their little cause.

    The SNP are the only party that advocate an Independence Referendum, all of the other parties want nothing to do with it. If your independence referendum really is a majority supported thing, then the public will vote in enough SNP MSPs to win a vote on it in Parliament. More likely I think is that the SNP will continue in their 25-35% level of support and not get their policy through, owing to the fact that they haven't been elected with such a mandate.

    Dealing with the current reality that the SNP aren't getting/likely to get their way discussion should therefore be had about how best to make the current situation work.


    My first point is this, it's pitiful for the SNP to chastise the Calman Commission for not discussing Independence as an option when everyone knows fine well that the point behind the laughably discredited, and now amusingly forgotten about, National Conversation only had one agenda. They knew fine well that only people who supported their cause would take the time to participate in it's vehicle, that was the whole point of it. Accusing someone of a crime in which you are equally guilty is a little bit daft.

    More importantly however, and please read this point guys because this is my main argument, discussing the future constitutional situation of Scotland, in which your minority view regarding independence would be a part, was not what the Calman Commission was about. It was about saying what is the best way for devolution to work in the future. If it was about what position Scotland did or did not sit in then it would have been looking at the merits of No Devolution/Scaled down Devolution/Status Quo/Massively more powers/Independence. This debate is a matter of opinion. What the Calman commission was doing was looking at how well the Scottish Parliament fulfills it's current, rough, remit and which areas of responsibility should be changed in order to make it better at doing it's job.

    I'll accept that the reason it was brought in now by lab/lib/con was for political reasons, but the point is that it was doing a completely different job from what these posters seem to attack it for. It's job wasn't to "cement the union" or to "attack the SNP" but to say, this is the situation, how do we make it better.

    People like Bruce say that the report wasn't allowed to consider independence out of "fear of the result". Lots of you are saying this but it's the stupidest thing I've ever read. What result do you seriously expect would have occurred if the Calman commission had "considered independence". It blatantly wouldn't have reccomended it. Apart from the fact that the committee would have been made up of members proportional to how the Scottish People voted in the last Scottish elections, thus more unionists than nationalists, any report on the future of the Scottish Parliament that reccomended the break-up of our country would require pretty overwhelming justifications for doing so. I'm quite sure most of you would acknowledge that the subject really is at best a matter of opinion. On a balance of the evidence in the way it would be carried out by such a commission a completely revolutionary proposal like that would never be reccomended as the best option.






    A quick point on LIT. LIT would have required the introduction of a completely new system, that would have to be regulated by an authority that does not currently regulate it. Raising or lowering income tax would simply mean collecting more or less than is currently done and would be a very simple thing to do. This one isn't my opinion but that of a friend who works at my local tax office.
    I would actually point out before the conspiracy theorist SNP ranters attack me here that I am not actually against the LIT, or at least not a proper local tax as advocated by the Lib Dems. I think there are a lot of problems with it and so I don't support it currently but I am definitely open to persuasion. Claiming however that the problems which would be encountered with a LIT would also be encountered with income tax varying powers is, well, wrong. Sorry.


    I think a lot of the suggestions in this report are good ones. Moving to a more federalised system would be a good idea in my opinion and would allow us all of the benefits that, for example, states in the US have of both autonomy and collective power. We need more, properly delineated, powers for Scotland. We also need clear and consistent lines, such that the Welsh, Northern Irish and inevitable English regional Assemblies are similarly empowered and structured.

    Put an end to your pathetic little conspiracy theory posting and start talking about the actual issues. It's really annoying.

    If people want an independence referendum, they'll vote the SNP into a majority, until then we're in the situation that we're in. Working out the best way to make that current, popularly supported, situation work is therefore a very good idea.

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 8:06pm on 15 Jun 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    The question that the Liberals and Labour have to ask themselves is, would they be satisfied with these arrangements if they were in government?

    It is just a short term measure to stifle any move towards independence and, in the long term, it will not be beneficial to Scotland's interests.

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 8:25pm on 15 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Been through Calman now. Interesting to see the research that I've helped to pay for, that the Unionists can now use to develop their policies.

    On its own, the report is meaningless. The only impact will be to see how the Tories (presumably) want to use it when they form the next UK Government. A minor impact might be that if all 3 Unionist parties adopt the same policy re Scotland, it will simply demonstrate more forcefully that Scots have a constitutional choice between the SNP, Greens and Socialists on one hand, or the Con/Lab/Lib alliance on the other.

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 8:40pm on 15 Jun 2009, R campbell wrote:

    Radio interview with Jim Murphy today on the Calman Conmission:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zWpS0ebms0

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 8:46pm on 15 Jun 2009, alpha kenny buddy wrote:

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

  • 71. At 9:27pm on 15 Jun 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    If you go through the Calman Commission recommendations of
    Part 4: Strengthening cooperation
    Part 5: Strengthening the devolution settlement
    and
    Part 6: Strengthening the Scottish Parliament
    They are really just waffle though I'm sure there are a few landmines in there if you look hard enough.
    However, Part 3: Strengthening accountability in finance, is not waffle but excels itself by being a dog's breakfast.

    What the Calman Commission recommends is that the Scottish Parliament should collect a portion of its income via the direct collection of some taxes with the rest made up from a block grant to match what it would get via the Barnett Formula anyway. A dog's breakfast of a solution, but the attempt to overlay a provincial system of government created by devolution with a federal taxation system was always going to be doomed to failure.

    I assume that the UK Government will look at the previous year's tax revenues and assign a block grant accordingly to match what the Barnett Formula would have given in the current year. So in a lean year Scotland suffers as its collected tax revenues fall but it should make it up in a good year as the block grant will be calculated on the last bad year's tax receipts. What a mess. It reminds me of the waffle the Steel Commission came out with but that's probably not a coincidence. Both reports were concerned with keeping Scotland as part of the Union while tinkering with Scottish funding methods in order to try and stave off the SNP. It's not surprising that both are similar dog's breakfasts.

    In simple terms, Scotland gets the same money as block grant but in a good tax year it goes up a bit till the block grant is reduced the next year due to the good tax receipts in the previous year in order to match the Barnett formula funding and in bad years it goes down till the block grant is upped the next year to compensate for the bad tax receipts in the previous year in order to match the Barnett formula funding.

    I wonder how many times the phrase "Financial Accountability" will be parroted excitedly by the lib-lab-con crew before the week is out.

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 9:29pm on 15 Jun 2009, enneffess wrote:

    68. At 8:25pm on 15 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:
    Been through Calman now. Interesting to see the research that I've helped to pay for, that the Unionists can now use to develop their policies.

    On its own, the report is meaningless. The only impact will be to see how the Tories (presumably) want to use it when they form the next UK Government. A minor impact might be that if all 3 Unionist parties adopt the same policy re Scotland, it will simply demonstrate more forcefully that Scots have a constitutional choice between the SNP, Greens and Socialists on one hand, or the Con/Lab/Lib alliance on the other.

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

    I have a problem with both the Greens and (I;m assuming) the SSP. Both parties want to tax the hell out of everyone and his dog.

    The Greens advocate massive increases in fuel duty, without looking at the impact on the ecomony. How can we transport goods when it becomes prohibitively expensive to do so?

    The SSP advocate a huge increase in the minimum wage, whilst having massive levels of tax on the business owners. Perhaps they do not realise that most small businesses are built by people putting the houses on the line. Where is the incentive to do business on Scotland?

    The last thing we need is a government dependent on minority parties, especially those with radical agendas. Fine if you want a socialist state.

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 9:30pm on 15 Jun 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

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

  • 74. At 9:31pm on 15 Jun 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    The quite frankly puerile and convoluted reasoning that supports Calman's remarks on the oil resource renders the whole report invalid and I suggest we don't give this exercise in trying to distract the people of Scotland any credibilty by further discussing it.
    Next topic please, Brian

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 9:31pm on 15 Jun 2009, U14036408 wrote:

    In the coming weeks a new online news publication will be available called 'Newsnet Scotland'.

    'Newsnet Scotland' will contain news and current affairs from around Scotland. It will feature local and national items of interest, providing a different perspective from that provided by the mainstream media.

    The stories carried by 'Newsnet Scotland' will not be driven by traditional mainstream news outlets or their press agents, instead they will be driven by it's readership who it is hoped will contribute a significant part of the content.

    Although this publication will be entirely online it will not be a web page, instead it will be delivered as webmail straight to the email address of the reader.

    In order to receive the publication it will be necessary to subscribe by sending an email to the following address;

    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

    No message will be necessary, simply sending the email will suffice.

    Email addresses will not be distributed to any third parties and will be securely stored. For anyone who may be concerned then we will accept web addresses such as hotmail, yahoo or googlemail.

    For anyone wishing to contribute to 'Newsnet Scotland' or indeed find out more then please send your query to:

    newsnetgeneral@googlemail.com

    Remember, it is entirely free and unlike most mass media outlets, it will actually reflect and publish the views of the Scottish people.

    Yours
    Newsnet Scotland

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 9:56pm on 15 Jun 2009, hadrianswall wrote:

    #71Dougthedug. That's right. What is the point of the tax raising powers if it leaves us in a neutral position.
    Even if we reduced the basic rate by say 5%, we would also have to reduce the higher rate by 5%. Likewise if we want to raise the higher rate by say 5% we would also need to raise the basic rate by 5%. What a joke.
    There's only one answer: -

    Freedom

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 9:59pm on 15 Jun 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #69 clan campbell73 - thanks for the link, was this on the BBC? if so where? as i would like to hear the whole programme.
    if you haven't followed the link yet you should as it is very ,very informative and also shows the skeletor at his condescending best. he even manages to get in the usual the people of Scotland are too thick to understand what calman is proposing line.he also has a new line - full fiscal autonomy is actually independence and labour won't stand for it!
    as i say if you get the chance follow the link at comment #69
    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 10:04pm on 15 Jun 2009, parisfrance wrote:

    #66

    You are wrong to assume that the majority of Scots favour the union. Indeed, unionists constantly comfort themselves with this spurious assumption without seeming to realise that it is spurious.

    The latest poll, by TNS-BMRB, formerly System Three, puts the figures at:

    36% of Scots in favour of independence
    25% undecided
    39% opposed to independence.

    Only 40% of Scots appear to support the union while 60% of Scots are opposed to the union by varying degrees or, at least, are not supportive enough of the union to declare support for it.

    I understand that it is convenient for unionists to peddle the misconception that a majority of Scots support the union. But polls repeatedly put the figure of those who support the union at below 50%, which is less than half the people of Scotland.

    This makes sense, given that the SNP are the biggest mainstream political party in Scotland by a considerable margin.

    So, to conclude, your post is founded on a false premise and, I'm sorry to say, wasn't really worth the bother of its enormous length.

    To return to the thread, the Calman project was/is simply an exercise in unionist propaganda. If that wasn't clear before, it certainly is now.

    However, it may have its uses. The unionists have bricked themselves into a corner with this one. They have forced themselves into a position where they must be seen to give something additional to the existing devolution settlement. The could never have gotten away with depriving Scotland of power or simply saying more of the same. They've blown it, in fact.

    For all the little extra that Scotland will get because of the Calman project, it is nevertheless more. And the more we get, the more we like it, and the more we like it, the more we'll want, and the more we want the more we'll get.

    Independence, verily, is nigh.

    Good night all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 10:21pm on 15 Jun 2009, MartinOfBothwell wrote:

    Hi everyone. Can anyone shed any light on what Douglas Fraser's current blog is about?

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 10:29pm on 15 Jun 2009, HughEdinburgh wrote:

    Brian,

    Calman may "speak", but it does not speak for Scotland.

    Labour, Gordon Brown, and especially the "unintentional" law breaker Wendy Alexander have no mandate to rule anywhere, let alone Scotland.

    Time to sweep away 300 wasted years, and to grow our own future, rather than being drip fed Westminsters vision of a dying empire.

    Bring it on, indeed.

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 10:30pm on 15 Jun 2009, hadrianswall wrote:

    Just read the first part containing the recommendations. There is a lot there including changes to how the Scottish parliament works and changes to how the UK government and the Scottish should work together. What strikes me is that this report has been commissioned by the unionists and they are putting forward all these proposals. Are we to expect that Brown will give the go ahead without the agreement of the SNP government or the Scottish people. No matter your view on these proposals this treatment of Scotland is diabolical. I have seen a few mentions that this is akin to how you would treat children. Bring on the referendum.

    Freedom

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 10:38pm on 15 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #72 Neil_Small147

    I think you missed the word "constitutional" in my post.

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 10:39pm on 15 Jun 2009, Tom wrote:

    NCA999:

    #66,.

    "The SNP are the only party that advocate an Independence Referendum, all of the other parties want nothing to do with it. If your independence referendum really is a majority supported thing, then the public will vote in enough SNP MSPs to win a vote on it in Parliament. More likely I think is that the SNP will continue in their 25-35% level of support and not get their policy through, owing to the fact that they haven't been elected with such a mandate."

    The Scottish National Party are not a one policy group. The idea of independence stretches beyond politcal groups. The people of this country deserve the right to choose her own future, but what would the other parties prefer? Liberal Democrats and a federal solution? The Conservatives would prefer to abolish the Scottish Parliament and Labour brought about develution to stay in power in Scotland forever and to 'kill nationalism dead'.No group has a majority in Parliament so a referendum is the only way forward.

    2My first point is this, it's pitiful for the SNP to chastise the Calman Commission for not discussing Independence as an option when everyone knows fine well that the point behind the laughably discredited, and now amusingly forgotten about, National Conversation only had one agenda. They knew fine well that only people who supported their cause would take the time to participate in it's vehicle, that was the whole point of it. Accusing someone of a crime in which you are equally guilty is a little bit daft."

    The National Conversation at least allowed unionists to have their opinion heard. It was an option, and open option that many could have taken part, the Calman commission was set up to ensure Scotland's place in the Union. It does not say for the best interest of the Scottish people, but to only ensure our place in the Union! That is one of the vital differences to the SNP approach where we are willing to debate and discuss our future in the open with anyone.

    "This debate is a matter of opinion. What the Calman commission was doing was looking at how well the Scottish Parliament fulfills it's current, rough, remit and which areas of responsibility should be changed in order to make it better at doing it's job."

    This is your main argument? If you were looking at how the Scottish Parliament could better fullfill her role then you would look at everything, no if's, no but's. The Calman commission has presented Scotland with half baked plans, do you believe these suggestions to be good for Scotland and the people? It's amusing that you are keen to mention that independence is in the minority, what have you got to loose in a referendum?

    "It's job wasn't to "cement the union" or to "attack the SNP" but to say, this is the situation, how do we make it better."

    Ridiculous. This was done by not looking into independence or by loking into handing full financial control to Scotland? It is clear that Calman has produced as little as possible and we still have a Parliament with one hand tied behind her back.

    "I think a lot of the suggestions in this report are good ones. Moving to a more federalised system would be a good idea in my opinion and would allow us all of the benefits that, for example, states in the US have of both autonomy and collective power. We need more, properly delineated, powers for Scotland. We also need clear and consistent lines, such that the Welsh, Northern Irish and inevitable English regional Assemblies are similarly empowered and structured."

    The United States of America and the United Kingdom are different situations. Scotland is a country and the states and well, states. What suggestions do you feel are good? The control of income tax but not full control just over varying it by 10p? The power over speed limits? Pathetic. You have no drive, no will and a lack of vision for what can be achieved. You may say I am deluded, but I would rather go tomorro knowing I never rested on creating a better country then accepting the Calman commission which clearly lacks in real ideas for this country. Scotland deserves full control over finances at least which will actually give the Parliament real influence on how we develop further. It's time to grow some back bone and stop living from the scraps that is thrown at you, you would not accept 2nd best for you and your family, so stop allowing Scotland to be treated as some sort of 3rd classed state. If you can't accept that the Calman commission has created much issues which will cause problems in future then you are as mad as a hatter!

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 10:48pm on 15 Jun 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    #76 hadrianswall

    "What is the point of the tax raising powers if it leaves us in a neutral position."

    Quite right. The funding method that Calman proposes is that the top up grant is calculated on how much tax was raised the previous year or an average of several previous years in order to give Scotland the same amount as the current Barnett Formula. That is, (Reduced Block Grant) + (Tax Revenues) = (Barnett Funding). The worked "Base Case" is on page 113 of the report.

    What this means is that it is pointless for any Scottish Government to try and increase its spending power by a natural increase in tax revenues through higher incomes or a better economy. Any natural increase in tax revenues due to a well managed economy will be clawed back in a reduced grant at the next review of the block grant component of the Scottish Parliament funding. It also means that any fall in tax revenues will also be compensated by an increase in the block grant at the next review for a Scottish government which doesn't have an economic clue. A nice safety net for the Lib-Labs but "Financial Accountability" it ain't.

    Any Scottish Government can increase its spending power by upping the tax in Scotland but that would be electoral suicide unless the tax was specifically earmarked for some very, very special voter approved project.

    Deliberately reducing tax would mean either reduced services or very good efficiency savings but as Scottish costs are usually higher due to the low population density in some areas it is unlikely that it could be more efficient than services in England and it therefore would mean a reduction in services. Again electoral suicide.

    It's a very, very complicated and probably more expensive method which gives us the same value of block grant as we have now.

    I remember posting about assigned taxes coupled with a block grant component about a year ago somewhere and saying, "They'll never do that, that's mad", but as usual I underestimated their inabilities.

    Independence, it's the only sensible funding method.

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 11:02pm on 15 Jun 2009, MartinOfBothwell wrote:

    Glenn Campbell fawning all over Kenneth Calman on Newsnight. Absolutely dreadful.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 11:13pm on 15 Jun 2009, enneffess wrote:

    While there is a lot of bouncing about at present on the merits or otherwise of independence, one thing is certain, 2010 is fast approaching.

    Two questions will most likely be of interest to most people:

    "What will change for me directly under independence?"

    "What are the benefits to me directly remaining in the UK?"

    Talk about "self determination" under independence is not going to attract the masses. You have to sell the idea of self-determination and how it directly benefits a person.

    People will want to know how they fare financially. There is no way of avoiding that. Tax levels have not been discussed, nor have benefits for those who need them. You cannot go into a referendum without giving substantial guarantees. The argument of "we will see once we get there" is fine for Westminster governments - not for independence.

    That is the argument that will win the day for most people.

    Nor can you use the argument that Scotland is somehow suppressed by Westminster. How do you convince your average voter that they are somehow restricted in their activities? Scotland is no different to other parts of the UK.


    As for remaining in the Union, the argument is again financial. PFI is dead weight for all taxpayers. Those in favour of the Union have to convince voters that going independent will somehow make the debt worse.

    A main issue to win over is the representation of Scotland in Westminster. Major contribution from oil but what is returned? Scotland does not receive the most subsidies in the UK.


    There are more arguments that also need discussed, and no doubt will be. But again the financial argument is the decisive one. Bottom line is that most voters want more money in their pocket at the end of the day.


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

    #82 oldnat

    Sorry! Speed reading again.

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 11:31pm on 15 Jun 2009, Slaintmha wrote:

    I still think the Calman Report is a dog's breakfast masquerading as a sow's ear.

    It is Humpty Dumpty, 'Through the Looking Glass' speak and will mean just what ever 'Numpty Dumpty' in 10 Downing Street says it means.

    It should be renamed: The McCrone Report 1970 part 2.

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 11:37pm on 15 Jun 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #62 thanks for that ... i will just have to give them the second vote then in the absence of an alternative.
    #65 Neil i think that was maybe a mistake on their part, regarding the budget vote but since they too were not invited to the Calman commision like the SNP, must reflect on their views to either a referendum or independence. The Monster Raving loony party would probably get my vote tho since one of their policys to reduce class sizes was to sit the kids closer together lol ... btw Boris is in the wrong party ...he is wasted in the torys.

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 11:38pm on 15 Jun 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Doesn't matter how you dress the report up! what it clearly does (very well might I add) is put a real barrier between the Independence argument.

    What you have is the public winning choice of a progressive parliament.A process as opposed to an Independent event.

    Looks as though the little bright wizard Wendy will have the last laugh!

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 11:46pm on 15 Jun 2009, bluelaw wrote:

    I refuse to dignify this risible anti-Scottish nonsense with a response other than to reiterate that the oil issue exemplifies just how little they think of Scotland and the Scots and how this is all about control of our country and securing our resources for Westminster's benefit. Next topic please Brian.

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 11:47pm on 15 Jun 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

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

  • 92. At 11:47pm on 15 Jun 2009, Truth Teller wrote:

    To combat the credit crunch Westminster intends to increase Scotland's North Sea Oil production by 20% adding another £2.6 Billion onto revenues that London takes away from Scotland, which was £13 Billion in 2007.

    Therefore the plundering of Scotland's VAST Oil and Gas Revenues will increase to over £15 Billion. Nearly 50% of Scotland Current Budget

    As the number of tax payers has and is going to fall due to Labours disgraceful management of the Credit Crunch.

    The Unionist's intend cutting £5 Billion from the Scottish Budget and expect the Scottish Government to make it up from Scottish tax payers who can manage to hold on to their jobs.

    When Westminster impose the Billions to be cut from the Scottish Budget in the years to come, it will mean the loss of NHS and Government jobs. Making it even harder for the Scottish Government to make up the £5 Billion slashed from the Scottish budget.

    This £5 Billion figure is based on the current working population, not the working population after the full effects of the credit crunch and government spending cuts announced by Jim Murphy come into place.

    The solution is simply vote for SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE a budget of in excess of £45 Billion not the Unionist's slap in the face reduced £25 Billion budget.

    http:/www.oilofscotland.org for more facts and figures

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 11:48pm on 15 Jun 2009, Tom wrote:

    Derek:

    #89.

    "Doesn't matter how you dress the report up! what it clearly does (very well might I add) is put a real barrier between the Independence argument."

    How does the Calman commission place a barrier between the independence argument?

    "What you have is the public winning choice of a progressive parliament.A process as opposed to an Independent event."

    This is a ridiculous claim. The people of Scotland have had little say in the Calman commission, and those who do support Calman are unwilling to put it to the people in a referendum. It does not make sense. The people of Scotland had a referendum on having a Scottish Parlaiment or not, and whether or not that Parliament should have tax raising powers. Here we have the Calman comission taking away powers that we voted for (although I do not suspect these to be major powers, I do ask why they should be returned in the first place) and handing us more powers over taxation without a referendum.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 11:52pm on 15 Jun 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #89 - I think you're on the wrong blog, Mr Barking, we're discussing the Calman report published today. A link is here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8099634.stm

    To claim this report somehow puts up a real barrier against the Independence argument is simply nonsense. To claim it does so very well is laughable.

    Of course, your preference for fantasy is common knowledge, and your Harry Potter fantasies of Wendy as House Seeker merely illustrates this.

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 00:02am on 16 Jun 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #93
    Thomas I think you've been really consistent on this issue and yes! you ask the question many will ask in terms of a referendum on tax powers.

    Thomas direct income tax base at twenty pence per pound goes to Westminster, what Calman suggest! is that Scotland keeps ten pence of that said twenty, filling the short fall of about one sixth of the budget, giving Scotland tax powers and more of a direct sense of responsibility towards the government of Scotland.

    In short it's exactly what the nationalists want, only, it's being offered in stages as opposed to a one off event.

    The gas and oil argument will roll on Thomas however the Calman finding on building a parliament on such volatile commodities is about right.

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 00:03am on 16 Jun 2009, Truth Teller wrote:

    Post again without the diamonds

    UNIONST - CALMAN COMMISSION URGE THAT HOLYROOD SHOULD TAKE CHARGE OF HALF THE INCOME TAX RAISED IN SCOTLAND.

    As the number of tax payers has and is going to fall due to Labours disgraceful management of the Credit Crunch.

    The Unionist's intend cutting £5 Billion from the Scottish Budget and expect the Scottish Government to make it up from Scottish tax payers who can manage to hold on to their jobs.

    When Westminster impose the Billions to be cut from the Scottish Budget in the years to come, it will mean the loss of NHS and Government jobs. Making it even harder for the Scottish Government to make up the £5 Billion slashed from the Scottish budget.

    This £5 Billion figure is based on the current working population, not the working population after the full effects of the credit crunch and government spending cuts announced on the 23rd of April 2009 by Jim Murphy come into place.

    On the same day, Westminster announce credit crunch plans to increase Scotland's North Sea Oil production by 20% adding another £2.6 Billion onto revenues that London takes away from Scotland, which was £13 Billion in 2007.

    Therefore the plundering of Scotland's VAST Oil and Gas Revenues will increase to over £15 Billion. Nearly 50% of Scotland Current Budget

    The solution is simply vote for SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE a budget of in excess of £45 Billion not the Unionist's slap in the face reduced £25 Billion budget.

    Tell everyone you know about http://www.oilofscotland.org and stop Scotland being ripped off by the Unionists.

    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 00:10am on 16 Jun 2009, YerketBreeks wrote:

    New Blogger, Brian,
    Long before we get to The Commission's conclusions,have you anything to say about the constitution of the august body, including that of the Chaiman who was a very effective CMO in England ( and Scotland )? It seems to me they may have been chosen for taking the King's Shilling ( or Queen's ) in the form of the OBE, MBE, CBE, Sir, Lord,etc. It seems only three haven't had a Westminster gong !

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 00:16am on 16 Jun 2009, Tom wrote:

    Derek:

    #95.

    "Thomas direct income tax base at twenty pence per pound goes to Westminster, what Calman suggest! is that Scotland keeps ten pence of that said twenty, filling the short fall of about one sixth of the budget, giving Scotland tax powers and more of a direct sense of responsibility towards the government of Scotland."

    The Calman commission has suggested that Scotland be given control of varying income tax by 10p, that's ridiculous. It's similar to the current tax powers the Scotland Parliament has and a power that has never been used! You either raise it and become unpopular or lower and become unpopular. There is little reason to change the rates of income tax without some politcal backlash and I feel that this is another half baked idea that will only cause problems.

    "The gas and oil argument will roll on Thomas however the Calman finding on building a parliament on such volatile commodities is about right."


    It's a ridiculous stance. Many country's around the world rely upon natural resources or other individuals around the world to buy their products for income. If Scotland is sensible she would underestimate the income of oil and gas then we would not be as effected and may have a surplus from oil and gas by the end of the year.

    Infact the Calman comission has suggested we control income tax that is effected by the amount of individuals we have in employment. This tax will be effected and has been effected due to the economic down turn. What's the difference between the oil and gas issue and income tax being effected by other matters outwith our control?

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 00:27am on 16 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #88 ubinworryinmasheep

    There's nothing to stop you voting SNP for the constituency candidate and the List MSP as well!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 00:29am on 16 Jun 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    Nothing has made me laugh as much in the last few days as the person claiming that 36% for Independence and 39% against is a sign of support for the SNPs views!

    I'll make my very obvious point once more just on the off chance one of you might listen. If the SNP want to pass their policy of an Independence Referendum, which nobody else supports, then they need to win a majority in the Parliament, rather than 30%. If they can persuade 70% of the population to stop voting for unionist parties then maybe they'll have a chance, but until then support for SNP policies is in the minority and they'll have to gain support from the other parties. Given that the other parties are elected on a policy of opposing such discussions this isn't likely to happen.

    To cite numbers which show more people against your case than for it is, well, making me laugh, and then laugh a little more, and then just for good measure, laugh at you again.

    If the SNP win a majority they get to pass their bills, until then the majority of MSPs do. Ergo, stop complaining!



    The people have chosen to elect more anti-independence MSPs than pro ones and as such there is no overwhelming case to have a referendum. You have a referendum on such an issue when there is a reason to detect large support for it, like the SNP winning a majority. Perhaps they will do so at the next election, and then they'll get their referendum. Until then it's a non-issue.

    As such we need to practically discuss what the best way forward is with the situation that the people in Scotland have voted for. Thats what the Calman commission does.



    One small other point. The fact that people who advocate independence think that oil is an issue is one of the most depressing things that I can think of. To say that my country should be defined on whether we have oil wealth strikes of nothing short of greed. All you are basically saying is that you've found some gold in your garden and so now want to claim that bit of garden for yourself without sharing it with the rest of your family.

    If you really believe Scotland should be independent then it shouldn't be for this reason. If your cause was true Scotland should have been independent 300 years ago, and should be in 300 years time. 300 years ago we definitely would not have been in a financially strong position. If you would argue that we should have been independent then, then you are arguing that we should be independent regardless of whether it would be financiall beneficial. As such the financial element is not a relevant argument. The fact that I never hear anyone on here making the actual arguments for independence is very depressing. The fact that I hear the existence of Scotland, my home, linked to oil by you lot as if somehow my countries "right" to existence is premised on the ability to sell a natural resource is offensive and upsetting.

    PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS SOMEONE AND THEN STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS NON-ISSUE.

    To base your economy on a resource that fluctuates in value, which will run out and which the world is trying to stop using (see global warming etc., something amusingly advocated by the SNP) is quite stupid yes. But even if it were true, your arguments should not be about this, but about why Scotland should be an independent country generally and all the time.

    Since nobody successfully makes these arguments, the SNP never get more than 50% of the vote and as such, never get to push any of their policies through.

    Again therefore I point out that faced with this reality, a serious and factual discussion about the most practical way of operating the status quo financially, as voted for at the last election, is a sensible thing and therefore the Calman commission was good news for Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 00:46am on 16 Jun 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #99 Cheers i will do that instead then. Incidently todays Scottish Daily Mail has an editorial that says the Calman report is handing independence to the Scots. So it looks like its a win win for us ;O)}

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 00:51am on 16 Jun 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #100 Hey times are a changing fella. Lets see the polls in another 2 years time then see what you have to say. The Scottish parliament is a joke in that whatever the opposition come up with is shot down by AS. Unless something drastic happens withing the SNP they can only get stronger. Labour are going to be minority next year and by the looks of it the Lib Dems no better off. Take it easy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 00:54am on 16 Jun 2009, Tom wrote:

    NCA999:

    #100.

    The polls shows neither independence or continuence in the union to have a majority, and that the undecided will clearly decide the future of Scotland. In this example it does not matter the amount of MSPs supporting independence or the union. It is clear that the country is divided on the issue and a referendum should be held to ensure that one or the options have a majority.

    Again you are insisting that the SNP must gain over half the amount of seats at the Scottish Parliament. How ridiculous can you become? It's well known that not everyone who supports the SNP would also support independence, and vice versa for the voters who support union leaning parties. You even recently copy and pasted a poll that shows support for independence and the union to be almost the same amount! This contradicts your claim that the majority in this country supports the inion when the independence supporters are 3 percent behind which does not reflect the current set up of the Scots Parlaiment. In otherwords the Scots Parlaiment does not exactly represent public opinion over the question of independence!

    "If your cause was true Scotland should have been independent 300 years ago, and should be in 300 years time. 300 years ago we definitely would not have been in a financially strong position. If you would argue that we should have been independent then, then you are arguing that we should be independent regardless of whether it would be financiall beneficial. As such the financial element is not a relevant argument. The fact that I never hear anyone on here making the actual arguments for independence is very depressing. The fact that I hear the existence of Scotland, my home, linked to oil by you lot as if somehow my countries "right" to existence is premised on the ability to sell a natural resource is offensive and upsetting."

    The Scots Parliament 300 years ago brought forward the Acts of Union without public consent and I suspect that there is more evidence that could support public dislike of the Acts of Union then for the Acts of Union. I also would suggest that the unionists themselves have spouted for years that Scotland is too poor, incapable and inferior and could never be a successful independent country! How dare you blame nationalists for showing that we have nothing to fear economically when this country has had its confidence shot to peices over the years by pro union groups... How dare you... the cheek of it! I love this country and believe that Scotland, as a country in her own right should be capable of making decisions that effect how we develop because I do not believe in Britian, Britishness or the purpose of the United Kingdom when the European Union provides similar services.

    "Again therefore I point out that faced with this reality, a serious and factual discussion about the most practical way of operating the status quo financially, as voted for at the last election, is a sensible thing and therefore the Calman commission was good news for Scotland."

    You've clearly demonstrated that you have no idea what you are talking about. The last election brought forward the Calman commission, something which has never been voted for by the public and something which has had little public involvment during its era! You are practically deciding the fate of this country and lack the confidence to even bring forward a referendum on the matter despite Scotland being asked to vote in a referendum for the Scots Parlaiment and taxation powers. The unionists are all over the place and have no idea whats best for Scotland and they even are unwilling to prove this and take what they propose to the people. The fact you also accept clearly half baked ideas which will cause problems shows you lack will, lack drive and I do not believe that you have a vision for Scotland at all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 00:59am on 16 Jun 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #103 young Thomas well said .

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 01:20am on 16 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #100 NCA999

    What a happy little bunny you are! Probably comes from seeing the world through a distorting mirror. I used to find these funny when I was a child too.

    Of course, the problem comes when you imagine that your distortions are real.

    "the other parties are elected on a policy of opposing such discussions this isn't likely to happen." So you don't like democracy! Discussing the options for the future is the democratic way.

    "You have a referendum on such an issue when there is a reason to detect large support for it" True. But a majority of MSPs in favour is not the only evidence of such support. Those of us on the side of Independence are quite happy to put the issue to the vote of the people, and given the polling evidence, a large support has been detected. Why are you so scared of the people's voice? Some people who vote SNP would vote against independence, Some who vote for Unionist parties would vote for independence. Why do you distrust the people so much?

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 01:30am on 16 Jun 2009, parisfrance wrote:

    #100

    "Nothing has made me laugh as much in the last few days as the person claiming that 36% for Independence and 39% against is a sign of support for the SNPs views!"


    Er, it's not a sign of support for the SNP's views. It's a sign of a lack of support for the union, less than half the peolpe of Scotland, .

    It is also a sign of less than half of the people of Scotland supporting independence. But it is equally and resoundingly a sign of a distinct lack of support for the union.

    Like the support for independence, support for the union consists of a sizeable minority of peopl in Scotland.

    We are in a state of limbo in this country. What is clear, though, is that more and more people are shifting away from "support for the union" to undecided while the pro-independence percentage remains very steady at between 35 to 40%.

    It's the pro-union percentage that's wilting and you will soon find, perhaps within a year or so, that the pro-independence people will outnumber the pro-union and that both may even be outnumbered by the undecided.

    My guess is that the Calman changes will simply edge Scotland closer towards independence. Well, of course it does. But what we will find is that, like devolution itself (which was intended by the unionist cabal to kill off the desire for independence), the Calman changes will continue to inspire the shift us towards full independence.

    It doesn't take much to work that one out. It's a trend and the trend has been taken a stage further by the unionists without them seeming to realise that they are undoing the union with more aplomb than the SNP are doing.

    You do realise, by the way, that the unionist politicians couldn't give two hoots about the union as a thing in itself, do you? They are only interested in one thing - their big time ego jobs at Westminster.

    Independence, when not if it comes, will be a good thing on a number of levels.

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 01:31am on 16 Jun 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #105oldnat

    Not a hare by a long shot oldnat!(laugh) Look oldnat NCA999 has zoomed past you and you've not even noticed.

    There's nothing Democratic about Independence and closing the doors of democracy.You might like the idea of a closed state like North Korea however real democrats like the comfort of open politics and internationalism, not nationalism?.

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 02:16am on 16 Jun 2009, Tom wrote:

    Derek:

    #107.

    "There's nothing Democratic about Independence and closing the doors of democracy.You might like the idea of a closed state like North Korea however real democrats like the comfort of open politics and internationalism, not nationalism?."

    This must be the qoute of the day, "There's nothing democractic about independence." It's worrying because you honestly believe what you have wrote. How have you came to the conclusion that Scotland would become undemocratic come independence?

    I am also suprised you brought up North Korea. North Korea has nothing to do with nationalism, but ideologic political ideas. Infact communism is simply socialism that you have peddled since taking part in these blogs. I suspect you hope for the day that Scotland, or the United Kingdom becomes some type of 'North Korea' where the state runs business and controls our lives. Your ideology is the problem, its has nothing to do with nationalism.

    It's not an argument. It's fact, that the SNP are the most willing group in the Scottish Parliament who are not afraid of the peoples verdict and I hope Labour, those 'socialists' who promised to back the SNP will keep their promise.

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 02:22am on 16 Jun 2009, Lily_Hammer wrote:

    #107 derekbarker

    "There's nothing Democratic about Independence (...)"

    Tell that to the Americans, who seem to think they are both democratic and independent as a result of having thrown off British rule.

    Give your brain cell a rest. Nighty night.

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 02:25am on 16 Jun 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

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

  • 111. At 02:42am on 16 Jun 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    hey Derek how can independence be undemocratic ... its a referendum we want nae a military coup ..and thats nae a heffer with a machine gun ;o)}

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 03:07am on 16 Jun 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    There is one solution to sort out all of the above, a fair referendum
    and for all to abide by the outcome, and for any party to use untruths as part of their campaign should be sued , keeps it fair for everyone. Have UN inspectors watch over the referendum , because the Government of the UK or the opposition parties can not as has been proven by their actions, not trusted.
    This should be kept apart from the national election that is to take place by next June so as to keep the issue simple and clear.

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 06:52am on 16 Jun 2009, mmarsattacks wrote:

    If independence is undemocratic, when can we expect Westminster to surrender sovereignty to (I assume) the UN in the name of 'power to the people'? These nonsensical arguments really do illustrate how little some contributors understand the concept of logic when applied to debate. I'll put it again in plainer language for the hard of thinking: If an independent Scotland would be undemocratic by virtue of its independence, how can an independent United Kingdom be democratic as it too is an independent state?

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 07:22am on 16 Jun 2009, englishvineyardman wrote:

    Brian, surely this is modern politics at its "best", a report that on paper gives a lot and the main parties with the exception of the SNP can point to greater autonomy and freedom for the devolved government. In reality this is posturing as no politician wants to be controversial prior to the election. The true value of the report will be seen in the weeks and months post general election. My prediction is that a much watered down version will move certain powers to the north but nothing else. Result grumpy SNP, happy other parties and the issue gets put on the back burner until MSP election time. Long term prediction more freedom but no independence.

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 07:34am on 16 Jun 2009, R campbell wrote:

    77. At 9:59pm on 15 Jun 2009, sidthesceptic wrote:
    #69 clan campbell73 - thanks for the link, was this on the BBC? if so where? as i would like to hear the whole programme.
    if you haven't followed the link yet you should as it is very ,very informative and also shows the skeletor at his condescending best. he even manages to get in the usual the people of Scotland are too thick to understand what calman is proposing line.he also has a new line - full fiscal autonomy is actually independence and labour won't stand for it!
    as i say if you get the chance follow the link at comment #69
    Sid
    _______________________________________________________________________

    Hi Sid,

    The whole prgramme is on this link:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00kwn9l/World_at_One_15_06_2009/

    Calman starts about half way through the programme.

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 07:44am on 16 Jun 2009, R campbell wrote:

    Also, in response to 100.

    Support for the Scottish Parliament taking full control is on the rapid increase. Even hard line unionists like Alan Cochrane at the Telegraph is admiting it.

    Also check out:

    http://comments.theherald.co.uk/heraldtalk/2009/02/scotland-on-a-knife-edge.php

    http://news.scotsman.com/politics/Nationalists-seize-control-in-.5104968.jp

    http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.1300498.0.0.php
    An old article - but shows how far back the sea change in Scotland was starting.



    41% of Scots back the break-up of the union
    By Paul Hutcheon, Scottish Political Editor in the Sunday Herald 13 th April 2008
    INDEPENDENCE HAS taken a dramatic lead in a new opinion poll on Scotland's constitutional future.

    An exclusive TNS System Three poll has found that 41% of Scots want the SNP government to negotiate an independence settlement, compared to 40% who are opposed to breaking up the UK.


    Just a few items to show how confidence is winning and fear is starting to drain away.

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 08:08am on 16 Jun 2009, R campbell wrote:

    Wendy Alexander called the SP a "pocket money parliament" and Mike Russell said - yes and now under Calman the parliament has a Saturday job.

    How can the Scottish Parliament be charged with the responsibility of the nations health, education and law and yet be told - you are not capable of handling all the taxes raised in the country.

    Also, how come HMRC can handle these dogs breakfast proposals yet we were told they would not be able to handle LIT?

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 08:34am on 16 Jun 2009, googlehoo wrote:

    Re #66 NCA999

    'What result do you seriously expect would have occurred if the Calman commission had "considered independence". It blatantly wouldn't have reccomended it'

    Wow, you really had to dance there didn't you? It wasn't in the remit because there would only ever be one result? so why are you and other unionsts so petrified of it?

    You and all the other control freak unionsts don't want to allow anyone to discuss or god forbid, vote on independence as you may not get the result you want - nice democracy you've got there.

    Don't know why they had the commission, they should have just asked you what they would have concluded and saved the taxpayer a load of cash.

    What's that you say? the pre-determined outcome needed credibility? oh well, it was money well spend then eh?

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 08:45am on 16 Jun 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    The BBC took their clear political partisan news agenda to new depths on this mornings Good Morning Scotland.

    Every weekday at around 07:20, Good Morning Scotland broadcasts a 5 minute item called 'Thought for the day'. This item is religious in nature and comprises a cleric, minister, priest or similar reading out a gentle thought provoking 'sermon' on some uncontroversial subject.

    This mornings offering had me listening in almost shocked disbelief, for what was broadcast wasnt the usual gentle religious based thought but what can only be described as a politically motivated propaganda piece based around teacher numbers in Scotland. The item contained little by way of religious references and instead focussed almost entirely on figures ans statistics that could have fallen straight off of the pages of The Scotsman newspaper, the item was delivered haltingly by Rev Ian Galloway, I believe he is the convener of the Church of Scotland.

    Now, what are we to make of this 'hijacking' of an unremarkable and traditionally gently prodding religious corner of the BBC in Scotland? Well, for me it is a calculated editorial decision to allow a politically motivated broadcast of this nature to go ahead, especially as one of the lead items on the news that morning concerned the legal loophole that exists over class sizes.

    The leader of the Church of Scotland has forums in existence from which he can air his political views, he should not be afforded a platform by the BBC in which to do this. The nature of the Thought for the day is such that the individual is allowed free reign and is not challenged.

    If the BBC this week offer to redress this imbalance by giving over the slot to someone who will defend and explain the actions of the current SNP government in this area then all well and good. However, my suspicion is that this will not happen and that this rather unseemly decision is just more confirmation that the Union is seen to be under threat and that the BBC are engaged in a not so subtle attempt at stemming both the moves towards support for the SNP and of course independence.

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 09:08am on 16 Jun 2009, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    NCA999.... 'It's job wasn't to "cement the union"...'

    Annabel Goldie yesterday.... "It is our duty to cement Scotland's place in the Union" (from herald)


    NCA999 your pronouncements fly in the face of logic and simple facts.

    The cringe factor is palpable in your posts as well as delusion. All manifestations of denial. However there is hope as your psychosis has well established stages:
    Shock, Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Guilt, Depression, Recovery, Hope, Acceptance.

    You are in the denial/bargaining stage and need to move on.

    Get well soon.

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 09:19am on 16 Jun 2009, supasamsun wrote:

    Just as predicated, the Nats never participated and by the comments on this blog aren't happy with the outcome. But then they never would be. By the amount of noise being generated here it seems the commission HAVE struck the right balance, its always seemed that the small percentage (20%?) of Scots that are hardcore nationalists make the most noise, but what they have not figured is the 40% that voted SNP did it not because they desire independence but because they could no longer stomach Labour. I know because I am one of them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 09:27am on 16 Jun 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I've read the report and had great difficulty in understanding it as I had to check up on all the other reports that the Commission was referring to. On the whole it is just as the majority of the posters on here are saying; it is a whitewash, or, a Union wash. The report of the Commission was not a reflection of how the Scottish people think, as the Scottish people had no say in it. So, the UK government will continue to keep all the revenues from the oil and gas that lands in Scotland and, in return, they will allow us to legislate on air guns. Wow, thanks. Having been shot in the backside as a kid from an air gun I can understand the importance of this transfer of power.
    They will give us the oportunity of fiddling around with 10p income tax but no power to decide what the basic or upper rate of tax is to be. The tax money that is to be collected from the Scottish taxpayers is to be done by the (UK) Inland Revenue and we would have to accept their figures for that. Now, that in itself is OK but what is the point of having to have an extra layer of Governmental interference in the block grant? Instead of Scotland receiving the Block Grant it is going to have the Block Grant minus what the Inland Revenue have decided that they have collected from the Scottish Taxpayers and this difference is then added back on to arrive at the original Block Grant (via the Barnett formula)in the first place. If this was said to me by a financial advisor then I would be very suspicious of it unless he could show to me that, if I did this then, I would be paying less tax in some way or an other. This just doesn't make sense. We have had the oportunity to adjust the rate of tax by 3p in the pound for some time now and have never used this political bombshell, for obvious reasons. So, why would we want to have the ability to adjust it further by 10p in the pound?
    It seems to me that they are just fiddling around with the edges while Rome burns.

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 09:29am on 16 Jun 2009, jwm007 wrote:

    We shouldn't take this report seriously and I expect the SNP to reject it. Who is Calman? Who elected him? Unionists can continue to dream but they are a busted flush. Consider this only the BBC - London or is it Salford calling - treats the LD and Tories as major parties in Scotland. Any attempt to resist the will of the Scottish people history tells us will end up in abject failure. Roll on the referendum and Independence!

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 09:35am on 16 Jun 2009, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Here's my "Thought for the Day"

    "Susan Boyle sang during matinee and evening shows in Sheffield on Saturday. In the later concerts she appeared to stumble over the words to Memory and received a mixed reaction from the audience."

    Having learned nothing at all from their cynical and self-centred judging of Susan Boyle's physical appearance, amazingly there are still "people" ou there - and I use the word loosely - intent on judging her on how well she's coping with worldwide fame.

    Meanwhile some of the more rabid members of our equally unenlightened tabloid press continue to try to crucify Susan with smear stories ominously questioning her mental health.

    The irony of all this is that those judging Susan Boyle simply don't see how their actions and attitudes expose their own modern-day mental sicknesses of envy, mindless gawking voyeurism, and taking perverted pleasure in the misfortune of others.

    In these people we see the true face of evil in our society.

    It's no accident that such people choose as their target an unassuming woman whose sole "crime" is wanting to share with the world her joyous gift for singing. May God have mercy on their souls.

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 10:15am on 16 Jun 2009, Tom wrote:

    supasamsun:

    #121.

    "Just as predicated, the Nats never participated and by the comments on this blog aren't happy with the outcome. But then they never would be. By the amount of noise being generated here it seems the commission HAVE struck the right balance, its always seemed that the small percentage (20%?) of Scots that are hardcore nationalists make the most noise, but what they have not figured is the 40% that voted SNP did it not because they desire independence but because they could no longer stomach Labour. I know because I am one of them."

    I see the claws are out and you are ready to swip the nationalists. First of all, the nationalists never participated because independence and full fiscal autonomy were ruled out at the beginning. The Calman commission was suppose to study devolution and create ways of improving the current system and you certainly can not do that by ruling out issues before even bothering to look into them.

    Your being silly. Just because supporters of independence are displeased with the suggestions, we are apparently barred from sharing our opinion on matters that will effect us personally? Have you looked at the suggestions at all? If you had a clue then you may have noticed that the powers are either petty (national speed limit?) or the radical taxation power are almost useless, why would we change income tax? Then of course for some reason we are not allowed control of our oil finances due to the price of oil can change radically, but we are allowed to control tax based on the amount of people in employment which is dropping due to the recession and proves to change as bad as oil...

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 10:17am on 16 Jun 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    You know he is getting worried when Reluctant/Derek/AM2 rolls another of his Scotsman names out to this blog to back up his opinions. NCA999.

    Oldnat you must have missed the bit in a past blog when Derek not only told you when reluctant would be posting but what he would be posting about.

    Watch out for another of his Scotsman names SM735 popping up soon.

    Reluctant Ulster Unionist must be getting very worried, Dublin is getting closer for Northern Ireland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 10:39am on 16 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    And now to the views of real Scots instead of the musings of a selected group of Unionists. YouGov Scottish poll details are now out -

    Election, SNP, Lab, Con, LD
    SP Constituency, 39%, 26%, 14%, 14%
    SP List, 34%, 26%, 14%, 13%
    Westminster, 31%, 28%, 17%, 16%

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 10:54am on 16 Jun 2009, Ben_Lomond wrote:

    As regular posters will be well aware, the newly published Holyrood voting intentions from the Sunday Times YouGov poll published at the weekend show that the SNP has doubled its poll lead over Labour in the Scottish Parliament constituency vote since the previous YouGov poll in April and puts the parties and MSPs who support Scottish independence within touching distance of an absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament: just five seats short. The poll figures are now published on the YouGov website.

    The poll puts the SNP on 39 per cent of the constituency vote to 26 per cent for Labour, a 13 point lead, up from 7 points in April. The Weber Shandwick seats projector analysis shows that at least 60 MSPs who support independence would be elected on this poll: comprising 52 SNP MSPs, 7 Greens, and the likelihood that Margo MacDonald would be one of the two 'Other' MSPs elected.

    The poll projection shows the SNP winning 52 seats (up five) to Labour's 36 (down 10). The SNP would win 49 of the 73 constituency seats (up 28), and three list seats. The Tories would fall one seat from 2007 to 16, and the Liberals would also win 16 seats (no change).

    On the day after the Calman Commission published its report, it may be worth reflecting that these figures would put the pro-independence parties and MSPs within touching distance of achieving an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament, including 52 SNP MSPs and seven Greens.

    The Calman parties are behind the independence parties in elections and polls. The opportunities that we have and challenges we face as a nation require full financial powers, so that we can take the big economic decisions that Scotland needs to succeed. A Scottish parliament with powers over all of Scotland's resources and the capacity to establish a fair income-tax system together with a competitive corporate-tax regime to give Scotland a competitive advantage is what is needed and wanted by the people of Scotland, not the exercise in smoke and mirrors that the Calman Commission has produced.

    Will disappointment with the Calman recommendations push support for independence parties up sufficiently to give them an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament next year? Not inconceivably, one might suppose, in view of the fact that a parliament with real economic stimulus powers is being shown to be desperately needed in light, not least, of today's reported statements on the recession in the UK by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and David Blanchflower, the Bank of England official who correctly forecast the recession.

    According to the CIPD's chief economist, John Philpott, the recession will bring "a bloodbath in the public finances" which will force employers to slash their workforces. At the same time Mr Blanchflower is reported to be predicting that the number of unemployed in the UK is going to rise by hundreds of thousands a month, more than double recent monthly rises. He is also predicting that UK unemployment will reach a figure in excess of 3 million, up from about 2.2 million at present.

    In this context one struggles to regard the Calman exercise as relevant, useful or beneficial as anything other than a cosmetic exercise carried out in the hope that it may mitigate electoral damage to unionist parties on the assumption that the people are insufficiently discerning to know when they are having the wool pulled over their eyes. Fortunately for the Scottish people, they have an SNP government, which will, presumably, now spare no effort to point out the disadvantages of the Calman proposals as it pursues its objective of holding a referendum on independence as the culmination of its National Conversation on substantial constitutional reform as opposed to mere window dressing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 10:57am on 16 Jun 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Further to the YouGov poll, it's interesting to note that for the first time the SNP now leads in all age groups on the Scottish constituency vote

    Age, 18-34, 35-54, 55+
    SNP, 30%, 36%, 47%
    Lab, 29%, 33%, 19%
    LD, 17%, 12%, 14%

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 10:59am on 16 Jun 2009, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    Within the Not so good, the bad and the Ugly of the Calman report there is certainly cause for concern for Scottish interests.

    This one is particularly disturbing (and there are many more of this ilk):

    - Recommendation 4.21:
    The responsibility for appointing, or approving appointments of, senior civil servants to senior posts in the Scottish Government should be delegated by the Prime Minister to the Head of the Home Civil Service, acting on the advice of the UK Civil Service Commissioners.


    Crown estate shenanigans:
    - Recommendation 5.8: The Secretary of State for Scotland should, in consultation with Scottish Ministers, more actively exercise his powers of direction under the Crown Estate Act 1961 and, having consulted Scottish Ministers, should give consideration to whether such direction is required immediately.
    - Recommendation 5.9: The appointment of a Scottish Crown Estate Commissioner should be made following formal consultation with Scottish Ministers.

    These recommendations are mischievous and focus on protecting the interests of the Crown Estate. The Crown estates revenues go to London and their main interests lie in selling off of leases and rights on Scotlands sea bed for marine energy and other coastal developments.

    As a layman I find these recommendations ominous, no doubt there are many more trojan horses within the report.

    Labour is looking to fast track through many of the recommendations. It is easy to criticise or dismiss the report but we need to be vigilant on what Labour is going to try to push through and the consequences thereof. IMO The tri-party Cabal making up the pretendy commission are like the witches in MacBeth pouring over a cauldron of toil and trouble, which they have been brewing for a considerable time. There is certainly a good smattering of eye of newt and toe of frog between the rambling lines and the devil as they say is in the detail.

    P.S. am I right in thinking that the news that labour wants to push this through pre election could mean Brown will try to hold until the latest possible date?

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 11:02am on 16 Jun 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    122. "So, the UK government will continue to keep all the revenues from the oil and gas that lands in Scotland..."

    This ridiculous nationalist lie has been discredited on numerous occasions including by the SNP themselves.

    To continue to spread this rubbish just shows how infinitely dishonest and untrustworthy nationalists and their 'case for independence' is.

    Let's get this referendum out the way, banish this regressive and embarrassing nationalist cringe to the box from whence it came and drag Scotland from the 13th Century into the 21st.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 11:13am on 16 Jun 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I will make no comment on thre details of the Calman report. As I have already pointed out as it had a predetermined outcome and its substance was fashioned to meet this outcome its conclusions are invalid.

    It is already sinking.

    Were it to be energetically paddled as a huge benefit to Scotland what many Scots would determine is that the more we vote SNP the more Scotland gets.

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 11:19am on 16 Jun 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    124. Baddreamsinvolvingglue as insane as always!

    Yep, people who were unhappy by a singer's poor performance (which included forgetting the words!) are, according to this warped individual, "the true face of evil in our society".

    Scottish nationalism at its finest!

    Now, where are those other nationalists who were calling the anti-BNP protest groups 'fascists'?

    And those who are convinced they are personally under MI5 surveillance?

    How about those who are convinced there was a 'unionist plot' to kidnap a dangerous prisoner on day-release just to embarrass Salmond in Parliament?

    How about those who desperately cling onto a belief that continued drops in support for independence actually translates to increasing support for independence?

    Or those who are convinced that the BBC are part of a unionist plot to silence them?

    Such a fine bunch of individuals, these nationalists.

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 11:26am on 16 Jun 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    126. Ah, dubbieside. Another class nationalist act.

    The individual who just cannot accept that there is a sizeable portion (aka 'the majority') of the population that is anti-nationalist and anti-independence, and is convinced that all the non-nationalist posters on here are really just one individual with multiple names.

    And it's so unlike our little nationalists to suffer from 'delusional fantasy'.

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 11:49am on 16 Jun 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    127. Ah, oldnat. One of the 'under surveillance by MI5' crowd (phone being tapped, wasn't it?)

    So you're saying anyone who is against independence is not a 'real Scot'?

    Best of luck saying that to a real person's face in the real world, nationalist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 12:00pm on 16 Jun 2009, Maxanim wrote:

    #54

    If for the sake of argument one were to accept your list for the purposes which you recommend, I think that one might find it beneficial to focus upon no. 2 primarily, while not wishing to underestimate the importance of the other points.

    "A prosperous indigenous Industrial, Commercial and Manufacturing base that delivers high levels of quality employment opportunities for all ..." is more or less what may be said to exist in the area that I live in (although, admittedly, the full range of desirable enterprises is not present). What consequences seem to derive from this relatively blessed state of affairs, aside from the fact that I do not anticipate leaving this area unless dragged from it kicking and screaming?

    Well, your point no. 1 is satisfied ("A safe, clean Environment in which our people can work, rest and play without fear of intimidation, violence or abuse ..."), because, or so it seems to me, the community of the area is rendered healthy largely as a result of the provision of what is listed in point no. 2.

    Your point no. 5 is dealt with too, as there is not much crime and the community spirit means that people feel responsible for one another, and an atmosphere of harmony prevails, which in turn enhances the quality of life resulting from the prosperity and self-respect associated with livelihood derived from local industry.

    As for your point no. 3, there is a degree of developing social diversity, which appears to be working out rather well. Prosperity and associated self-respect seem to dispose people to be tolerant and generous-spirited on the whole. No religious friction is detectable.

    As for your point no. 4, the availability of employment opportunities obviously provides incentive for people to acquire qualifications which may be expected to maximise their chances of taking advantage of these. Academic education, however, may be safely conceived of as a one-way ticket out of the area for most who are capable of benefiting from it. These are liable to end up in England in many cases, or, at least, so it would appear, in view of the gravity pull of the South-east, against which Scotland appears currently to have few effective defences.

    So, if one accepts that the key to the creation of a Scotland-wide demi-paradise such as I have described is your point no. 2, which constitutional framework may best be expected to be most conducive to providing the necessary "prosperous indigenous Industrial, Commercial and Manufacturing base that delivers high levels of quality employment opportunities for all"?

    Frankly, I think this is the point at which most of us who are particularly interested in the constitutional debate have already arrived. I may be mistaken, of course, but my impression is that most of us have concluded that the necessary constitutional framework is independence. Why might that be? What is it about our situation which might require such radical constitutional change?

    If one postulates, for the sake of argument, that the creation and retention of a sufficient "indigenous Industrial, Commercial and Manufacturing base that delivers high levels of quality employment opportunities for all" is militated against and undermined by the gravity pull of the south-east of England, which tends to draw away from Scotland our most able and enterprising people, then it would seem to make sense to put in place some mechanism which might reasonably be expected to be capable of successfully counteracting this trend on a continuing basis.

    If one then asks whether the powers of devolved government, whether as currently existing or as Calman proposes that they be amended, are suitable for this task, and if one concludes that they are not, it would seem to follow that one should consider whether the powers of an independent government are required.

    So, what can an independent government do that a dependent or devolved government cannot do? It can, among other things, establish a taxation regime designed to create a competitive advantage so as to encourage investment that may be expected to result, with suitable care and attention, in the creation of a "prosperous indigenous Industrial, Commercial and Manufacturing base that delivers high levels of quality employment opportunities for all", from which numerous blessings may flow such as have been alluded to.

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 12:21pm on 16 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Thanks for the info on the full YouGov details, now available here.

    I commented earlier on the Westmidden seat predictions - not quite enough for the SNP to gain more MPs than NuLab thanks to the gerrymandering of boundaries and the vagaries of the plurality voting system, but I hadn't seen the Holyrood predictions before - perhaps I didn't notice them or perhaps the Sunday Times Scotland article didn't think they were worthy of comment.

    Plugging the numbers into the Scotland Votes Predictor gives the next Holyrood as looking something like:
    SNP 52 (+5), Lab 39 (-7), Con 17 (NC), LibDem 16 (NC), Other 5 (+2)

    As R-E/NCA999/whatever will be quick to point out, that's still a unionist majority if the unLib unDem leadership continues to prevail, but there's obviously still all to play for and the fieldwork for the poll itself finished on Euro polling day, which I hardly think was NuLab's perigee.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 12:39pm on 16 Jun 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    I think that the most interesting thing about Calman is the fact that it highlights the English resentment about the Barnet formula. Just a quick look at the comments in the English papers will give some indication.

    Is it not therefore ironic that the only party who are trying to overcome the English electorate distaste for Barnet, is the SNP who would scrap it completely with full fiscal autonomy.

    All Calman has come up with is yet another Barnet fudge which will not go down well on either side of the border.

    P.S. How will the inland revenue identify Scottish taxpayers, since it said that this was not possible when the SNP proposed a Local Income Tax?

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 12:46pm on 16 Jun 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Reluctant/Derek/AM2/NCA999

    126. Ah, dubbieside. Another class nationalist act.

    About the only sensible comment you have ever made on this blog.

    Since you were laughed off the Scotsman site your Ulster Unionist stance is getting more desperate by the day.

    If you keep repeating the majority against independence line you hope it may come true. You are only kidding yourself. Look at the polls, and if you do not like polls there were Euro elections, there is one party moving forward and that is the SNP.

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 12:55pm on 16 Jun 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Why do the nationalists always oppose what the majority want.
    The SNP first opposed the Scottish parliament, now they quite like it!
    The SNP have opposed the Calman report, when it clearly suggest that Scotland could adopt more powers from Westminster. Maybe the SNP are just scared about more powers, after all they are certainly struggling with the powers as they are.

    The wetnats! sponge like people! as soon as someone applies pressure they spill their load.

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 1:00pm on 16 Jun 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    I'd like to thank the very many posters who have taken the time to read through the Calman report and make others aware of some of it's more worrying content.

    I had the opportunity to listen to the Radio Scotland phone in for the last ten minutes this morning and if it was an indication of what had already been broadcast then the feeling amongst Scots is clear, they have had enough and are beginning to show signs of frustration.

    The comment on these online forums serves as a reminder of the failings of our so called media here in Scotland. There are two or three journalists who can be relied upon to at least try to educate and inform (Dinwoodie, Hutcheon and MacWhirter). However the rest, led by every political journalist employed by the BBC, are being derelict in their duty.

    Give Brian Taylor his pension now and let him toddle off. He provides practically nothing of note when 'reporting' on Scottish politics. I challenge anyone on this forum to point to any article, broadcast or interview when Taylor shed any light whatsoever on the underbelly of Scottish politics.

    His one and only highlight came in the 2007 election, when very early on in the precedings he accurately called the election handling a 'fiasco'.

    Westminster and Labour in particular are offering up a virtual gourmet of 'dishes' for a decent political reporter or pundit in Scotland. The Macrone report, Marshall, Wendy's emails, Douglas's election mishandling, Darling's flipping, Devine's fraud, Glenrothes register, Trident Subs, Jim Murphy's 'inaccurate' statements, etc, etc.

    Like shooting fish in a barrell there is a virtually limitless supply of stories that journalists from any other Western democracy would give their right arm for.

    Cover these stories in the manner that they deserve and the Union disintegrates overnight, yes that's right, it will completely and utterly disintegrate.

    Whilst these journalists serve their own interests and those interests of the Union, they are complicit in the continual misleading of the people of Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 1:05pm on 16 Jun 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    Someone is again posting abuse aimed at other posters and making generalised insults.

    Please ignore such comment or refer it to the mods if it offends.

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 1:13pm on 16 Jun 2009, greenockboy wrote:

    A virtual avalanche of articles on Calman, none critical and all trying to outdo others in the dramatic descriptions of the proposals.

    Here's Prof John Curtice:
    THE publication of the report of the Calman Commission is the most significant event in the debate about Scotland's constitutional future since the 1997 devolution referendum.

    Completely forgetting the election of an SNP government in 2007, the event that led to Calman's commission being cobbled together.

    On Devine:
    The story has now lasted a full 24 hours on the political page and is still there. I wait eagerly to see how the BBC will report it should he be allowed to remain as an MP until the next election.

    'MP forced to step down' perhaps.

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 1:23pm on 16 Jun 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    R-E, your figures in your ramblings this morning are now out of date. one of your favourite sons ,the Scottish secretary has declared that "full fiscal autonomy is indeed Independence"
    so all your %age's will need to be re-calculated as whether you like it or not the status quo has been laughed off the Scottish political stage and full fiscal autonomy or Independence are the only 2 games in town , neither of which you and your colleague's like ,hence the bizarre report/commission yesterday. you have managed to box yourselves into a corner and don't have a clue how to get out of it. your political leaders go around telling anyone stupid enough to listen that the bulk of Scottish people are thick? pot calling kettle black I think
    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 1:24pm on 16 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #135 Reluctant-Expat

    How measured. 1,036 surviving posts on from your debut rant on Brian's aptly named Making new friends thread, I see that you have yet to make a positive argument for the unequal union you love.

    Keep up the good work, as every one of your posts is a compelling argument for home rule. Murphy must be proud of you.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 1:46pm on 16 Jun 2009, post_meridiem wrote:

    In his Ledger (Forbes' Corporate Clan Gathering) Douglas Fraser remarks that Mr Salmond was delighted to have the idea of independence described to him at the gathering of corporate bosses at Geneagles as "neat" yesterday by Steve Forbes of Forbes business magazine:

    "On the day the Calman Commission delivered plans for future tax powers at Holyrood, Forbes pointed out that it was the tax issue led to American independence, so why not Scotland?"

    Good point.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 1:55pm on 16 Jun 2009, skint wrote:

    Having taken time to read the Report I can seen none of the recommendations having any real merit in advancing economic prosperity in Scotland, the tax raising option is purely a fudge. No Scottish Government of whichever political persuasion would commit political suicide by playing with the tax revenues.

    One small positive is the Air Rifle legislation which has been campaigned for long and hard and should not be dismissed out of hand.

    The report does point out that devolution has been successful, how much more successful can we be as an independent nation? Scots are a resourcesful intelligent nation whose sons and daughters have shaped the world making significant strides in Sciences, Economics, Engineering, Politics - to note just a few. Why then do the unionists on this blog constantly put down us Scots as being incapable of managing our own affairs?

    I would welcome the opportunity to see an Independent Scottish Government in which all parties are looking to do the best for Scotland and her people and not having the split of MP's north and south of the border.

    Long has Scotland had a tradition of producing Politicians (Lab/Lib/Con) who take up Cabinet posts at Westminster, what more could they do by concentrating on Scottish issues alone?

    Could Gordy and co have done a better job in an independent Scotland?









    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 2:07pm on 16 Jun 2009, IsThisPravda wrote:

    124 Backward Outcast
    Given the slow moderation, I'm sure that someone has taken you to task already but I have to ask, what are you smoking??!
    Now I'm sure you are at the wind-up and I don't have the time or the inclination to take you to task over every point but your point about increasing/decreasing support for independence is daft/disingenuous at best. The point was made several times that it was the decline in opposition to freedom that was being heralded. Support for independence has been pretty consistent between 32-40%.
    Last point, if you are so desperate to end this debate and put us in our place, just give us a bloody referendum!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 2:20pm on 16 Jun 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    139. dubbieside/oldnat/master_porter/slaintemha/baddreamsinvolvingglue/greenockboy (and I actually think I'm onto something here!)...

    I've just re-checked the polls, as you suggested, and support for independence is STILL dropping. Why you'd think that would be different since last week is a little strange.

    Did you know that TNS (the SNP's favourite pollster as it brings in pro-independence figures far higher than anyone else) showed 46% in favour of independence in 2005....but only 38% now?

    But congratulations to the unstoppable SNP by polling a whopping and historic 3% more than an imploding Labour party. An outstanding achievement. Kudos. To show a gigantinormous 31% of the vote when the only popular alternative is working hard to make itself totally unelectable, is biblically groundbreaking in its history-making-ness. (Writing in SNP-speak is fun.)

    Another score saying that I'm now from NI and I used to post on the Scotsman site. Well done. You're absolutely right, how can any Scot NOT take you nationalists seriously?!

    FREEEEEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOOM!

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 2:24pm on 16 Jun 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Wetnat! the real Scots?. Do you mean the teenage mutate nationalists!

    Anyone for some-more popcorn! the mutant nationalists take 5.

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 2:39pm on 16 Jun 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #149 Reluctant-Expat

    It's true! oldnat and the raiders of the lost "arc of prosperity"

    Staring the Lewis chessman piece and Mary queen of Scots shoulder bone.

    Somewhere over the nationalists rainbow!

    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 2:48pm on 16 Jun 2009, Fit Like wrote:

    #150 derekbarker

    "Anyone for some-more popcorn!"

    Poor punctuation aside, if you're offering, why not. Better make it salted though, otherwise it'll be as unpalatable as the majority of the comments you make...

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 2:49pm on 16 Jun 2009, waitingformyman wrote:

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

  • 154. At 2:52pm on 16 Jun 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Reluctant-Expat re your rather hysterical 149

    I have only ever posted on here as Dubbieside, I was Aberhillboy on The Herald blog until the American idea of free speech was to close it down.

    You however cannot come on this blog and in all honesty claim you are only reluctant Ulster Unionist.

    Derekbarker re your 140

    Maybe the SNP are just scared of more powers? That is not worth a reply. There is one thing that the SNP will never be scared off however, that is asking the people of Scotland for their opinion. Care to contrast that against the parties that are petrified of a referendum.

    The unionist excuse making machine gets more desperate by the day.

    No time to have a referendum vote during a recession. Weeks late there must be a general election!

    No oil revenue, the price is volatile. That is so laughable, but unfortunately that is not going to go away. That comment may come up and bit the unionists at the next general election.

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 2:59pm on 16 Jun 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    if we were to simply accept everything that the BBC (Browns Broadcasting Cronies) north British division told us without question there would indeed be "dancing in the streets of raith" such would be the joy in the country at the calman commission's findings.

    but most of us can see it for what it is ,a shambles, a fudge ,simply an act of desperation by a group of desperate politicians who cannot accept that the games up and they have been found out and caught out. we the Scottish public are moving forward at a far greater speed than they can cope with.

    if they were to give in to the call for full fiscal autonomy their would indeed be a high risk that a nation would crash & burn ,but it wouldn't be Scotland.
    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 3:00pm on 16 Jun 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    More nationalist posts and more nonsense to dispel.

    144. sidthesceptic: "full fiscal autonomy or Independence are the only 2 games in town."

    Clearly not. Read your own post and then what EVERYONE ELSE is talking about. For crying out loud!

    148. IsThisPravda: "Support for independence has been pretty consistent between 32-40%."

    See my #149 and also there's the Populus poll from last month which had independence support at 21%.

    So. You were saying?

    Y'see, this is why no-one can take the nationalist posters on this blog seriously anymore and all you get from the non-nationalist element is mockery.

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 3:04pm on 16 Jun 2009, salmondella wrote:

    Greenockboy, I feel your desperation man.

    Keep up the good fight

    FEARDOMMMMMM!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 3:10pm on 16 Jun 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    Derek,

    Seriously, check your comments before you post!

    LOL!

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 3:11pm on 16 Jun 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #154 dubious

    Your a pure "DRAMA QUEEN" a Fagin approach to pick a poll or two.

    Look! the challenge still remains some 2years later'"BRING IT ON"

    There's no way although, Mr Salmond will not sanction a referendum as long as there is no support for his Independence.

    It's just a matter of time now! to hear the SNP climb down on their referendum.

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 3:15pm on 16 Jun 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    I see that "Expat" is still allowed to wander on spread his "half-truths" and casually abuse (there is no other word for this vitriol) every poster who disagrees with him with impunity while the mods are still striking down the occasional post by others for no apparent reason! No doubt he will report this post, if it somehow sneaks past the mods.

    If the unionists on this site are so convinced that those favouring independence are a tiny minority (as they hysterically claim - in the face of all the evidence) then I suggest they work within whichever party they are members (or they merely support) to call for a referendum!

    Truth is they wont even dare put the Calman stitch-up to the people. It must be a strong proposition that needs explicitly defended from its main rival from the outset!

    No one takes the nationalists seriously Expat? That would be why they are consistently beating all-comers in elections and in the polls then? That is why you have nothing left to throw but insults.

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 3:21pm on 16 Jun 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    derekbarker Re 150 and 151

    Intelligent and articulate posts Derek.

    How can we compete with such vision? such intelligence?

    You forgot your really adult sign off, Tee Hee Hee.

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 3:44pm on 16 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    For once, the BBC earns some credit for making the Referendum 'could look at powers' article top of the list on the "Scotland politics" page and even linking to it from the main "UK Politics" page.

    The FM's suggestion of putting Calman's proposals as an option in the main referendum is surely going to be very hard to answer, unless Duff Gordon can push it through Westmidden PDQ. Even then, NuLab are as likely to benefit from ignoring calls for this referendum just as much as they [and the unLib unDems] already have from their U-turn over the EU "constitutional treaty" referendum they promised.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 3:57pm on 16 Jun 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #161 dubbieside

    OK dubbieside, I'm more than happy just to talk shop and keep it clean.
    Your quite right, it serves no purpose to punch below the belt.

    So let us stick to the subject, the Calman report and it's recommendation for more Scottish legislation and responsible government.

    Why are you so opposed to a process of better government?.

    Do you believe that the SNP will still go through with their referendum if public opinion is against Independence?.

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 4:14pm on 16 Jun 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    I have googled [Personal details removed by Moderator] and have to ask , what has the Herald to do with Scottish web based news?Or at least Scottish ACCURATE web based news?
    Another once "quality" newspaper which has gone the way of all flesh.

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 4:18pm on 16 Jun 2009, skint wrote:

    163 - How can you say public opinion is against independence when the public havent been able to vote on it?

    Polls are wholly dependant on the people questioned and the majority only question a small percentage of the voting population and are never fully reliable.

    The fact that the SNP Government are prepared to allow a referendum on the issues raised in Calman along with independence should fill your heart with boundless joy as clearly everyone is going to vote Calman and no to independence - or as many suggest on this and other blogs the unionists are terrified of any referendum, as the BBC article states - "Scotland's main opposition parties - Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats - said the first minister's Calman pledge was a red herring" - cowards

    Complain about this comment

  • 166. At 4:20pm on 16 Jun 2009, enneffess wrote:

    Look, some of the postings on here are downright hostile and in some cases bordering on aggression.

    Debates are about trying to find a consensus - not a "oh yes we are oh no you're not" slanging match.

    I thought most people on here are after what is best for Scotland, regardless of their views on independence. People have to work together.

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 4:22pm on 16 Jun 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #162 Brownedov

    Interesting and maybe a good idea to finally put both question to the Scottish electorate.

    If the Tories do win the next general election, it is very important that Scotland's is represented by the will of Scotland's people and a referendum on a process or an event could well be a win, win situation for Scotland before the next GE.

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 4:29pm on 16 Jun 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    derekbarker re 163

    Why are you so opposed to a process of better government?.

    Now that really is a tough question. I like better government, that is why I am an enthusiastic supporter of the SNP Scottish Goverment. I still remember like many other Scots just how bad the previous 8 years of Lab/Lib Dems was. (apart from a smoking ban)

    I am however at a loss as to how Calman could be described as better government. Any help would be most welcome.

    As I see it Calmans tax proposal is taking with one hand and giving back the same with the other.

    I think the pocket money scenario was the closest. At present we get our pocket money, we are now post Calman allowed to get a Saturday job, any money we earn from our pocket money gets deducted from our pocket money.

    I think the most worrying thing is that Calman and the spinners think they can sell this as "a good deal"

    I like most Scots have seen our country deteriorate over the last twenty years or so. Under the present union regime I can see the same rate of deterioration over the next twenty years. This is not the legacy I want for my grandchildren, which is why I am a enthusiastic supporter of Independence and home rule.

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 4:32pm on 16 Jun 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    Well, for what it's worth, I for one don't believe derekbarker and Repugnant BritNat can be the same poster.

    One is clearly a part of the withering, semi-literate rump of Labour dead-wood, while the other is a withering wannabe-English-Tory.

    Both these crass political doctrines have had a long term damaging hegemony over the lives of the Scottish people - as they did similtaneously throughout the 90's.
    Now both must pay the just price for their manifest deceit, and neither have a political future worth a candle in Scotland.

    No longer are we the least surprised at how often, and how eager, these two self-proclaimed political 'adversaries' are to jump into bed with each other - in direct parallel with the behaviour of their Labour-Con masters, so belovedly conjoined in their machinations to circumvent Scottish democracy, our elected government, and indeed anything that remotely 'threatens' to lift Scotland above the dead grip of Westminster overlords.

    Little wonder, faced with the formidable popularity of the SNP and their commitment to entrust and empower Scotland's people with the future of our nation, that the Lab-Con rump have no-one but themselves to cling to - and little recourse but to the anti-democratic "cementing of the union" imposed over the heads of the Scottish electorate, and in the face of our elected and serving government.

    Little wonder they have so little mandate, and so little popular support, save for such bluster and bile as characterises these two little bloggers.

    Well might pity their desperate state of delusion as they and their London masters run ever more scared of an increasingly self-confident Scotland, and of the democratic willl of the people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 4:33pm on 16 Jun 2009, skint wrote:

    167 Apologies DB, you are prepared to allow a referendum on independance and Calman - didnt see that one coming.

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 4:47pm on 16 Jun 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Re 168

    Excuse my typo, should read.

    I think the pocket money scenario was the closest. At present we get our pocket money, we are now post Calman allowed to get a Saturday job, any money we earn from our Saturday job gets deducted from our pocket money.

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 4:49pm on 16 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #167 derekbarker
    See below

    #170 skintybroko
    "Apologies DB, you are prepared to allow a referendum on independance and Calman - didnt see that one coming."
    Seconded - neither did I, but better late than never.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 4:50pm on 16 Jun 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #168dubbieside

    I thought we were going to keep it clean?.

    Dubbieside, I think I'm right to suggest that you want a Scotland that controls it's own destiny, a Scotland that legislate for it's people and by it's people so to speak.

    Dubbieside after a spell of 300 years the parliament has reconvened and over the last ten years the parliament has sought to make a better Scotland by intent.

    Clearly the process of gaining more powers is clearly an intent of delivering a better Scotland, although the road ahead is never straight, the intent and purpose to make Scotland a better place to live is always the path that most people intend to follow.

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 4:58pm on 16 Jun 2009, skint wrote:

    Who has hijacked DB's posts

    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 4:58pm on 16 Jun 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    It looks as if Alex Salmond has wrong footed the unionist opposition once again on Calman.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6512703.ece

    A look at the comments from the three unionist parties tell you all you need to know about their views of democracy in Scotland.

    They can run away petrified of a referendum, but they will have to face the voters by June 2010.

    What will a unionist politician say to me when I ask them "why should I give you my vote now when you said in the referendum debate that I and my fellow Scots were no worth consulting, and not worth a vote"

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 5:32pm on 16 Jun 2009, sharpski wrote:

    re 66

    the four or five SNP voters who spam this board.

    Typical unthinking unionist arrogance without reference to the facts.

    SNP voters on here make up almost as much as the rest of the unholy alliances henchmen, much like the real situation in scotland. Do you really think your unionist pupper-masters in London would fear a referendum if there was really only 5 of us?

    But far be it for me to drag you from your delusional world, where Gordon Brown is the rightful elected leader and Tony Blair was the messiah returned.

    So i've decided to help you with some delusional unionist ravings, it must be tricky coming up with them with such a tiny, bitter mind

    1) There are only 5 SNP voters. Me, Big Eck, Nicky Sturgeon, Sean Connery and the Queen of Sheba. We have been perpertrating an incredibly complex vote fraud for years now to make it appear that the SNP are Scotlands most popular party.

    2) likewise for the conferences, although Sir Sean finds it tricky to make each one, so we drape some tartan around a hatstand and sturgeon does the voice. The rest is done with mirrors.

    3) An independent Scotland would set taxes at one million percent of income and re-introduce serfdom, causing an economic black hole so deep even light couldn't escape from it.

    4) The world would shun an independent Scotland, unable to understand why any country would want to break away from the apex of world society. France, Italy, Germany, The USA and Japan will fight tooth and nail to take scotlands place in the union, desperate to send billions and billions of ponds to prop up London.

    5) The calman commission was worth the time and effort, and is further proof that Labour,the Conservatives and the Lib Dems actually care about Scotland and its people (oh wait, thats too far fetched)

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 5:40pm on 16 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    More woe for NuLab in this website's Union threat to cut Labour funds, with a particularly apposite quote from Unison's General Secretary Dave Prentis saying Unison was "tired of feeding the hand that bites it".

    I wonder if the Scottish electorate will feel much the same over NuLab's "Calman does not need a referendum. It is an extension of the devolution process" - direct quote from the Times article linked to in dubbieside's #175.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 5:46pm on 16 Jun 2009, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Time to move on, I think, folks - new thread on Calman, referenda et al.

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 6:48pm on 16 Jun 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I see that Labour are now about to tax the ordinary citizen for having a landline. What else are they going to tax the ordinary person on the street for to fill the massive black hole in public spending because of their gigantic borrowing. Oh wait, they won't have to because the Tories will be in power after the general election. Well, that's a relief for the Labour Party. Now they can lay the blame on the Tories for the massive cuts that they themselves would have had to implement.

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.