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'Knives out' for SNP budget

Brian Taylor | 17:36 UK time, Thursday, 17 September 2009

There were cries of "shame". There was persistent loud applause. There was angry gesticulation. There were gory metaphors. There was precious little humour.

This is serious.

The cries of shame greeted the announcement that the Glasgow Airport Rail Link is to be scrapped as part of the search for savings.

Angry Labour MSPs accused the SNP of a bias against Scotland's largest city.

This was - equally angrily - denied by John Swinney, who pointed to the extent of public investment in Glasgow and promised that other transport projects would receive support.

The applause came, of course, from the SNP benches who welcomed Mr Swinney's now familiar chutzpah when delivering financial news, good or bad.

It was another powerful performance.

Justifying hyperbole

The gore dripped from Andy Kerr who depicted Mr Swinney wielding a knife over the corpse of Scottish public spending.

Instead of Swinney, he saw before him Sweeney, the demon barber.

He justified this hyperbole by arguing that it was Mr Swinney's decision to accelerate capital spending which had led to inevitable problems this year.

Steven Purcell, the leader of Glasgow city council, pursued this metaphor by arguing that the cancellation of the airport link was a "dagger in the heart" of his city.

In reply to such attacks, John Swinney is arguing that he has been left with no alternative.

In 2007, when they came to power, SNP ministers said the new spending round, which ends in 2011, was tighter than previously.

That was exacerbated, they argued, by £500m of cuts ordered by the Treasury.

Blame game

It was made still worse by the consequences of that capital acceleration: a change enforced, they argued, by the need to tackle the economic crisis.

Which leaves us where? With, in the short term, a blame game.

Labour says the SNP knew the consequences of bringing forward capital spending.

The SNP says the Treasury should help to spread the pain.

With, in the medium term, an attempt to persuade the Treasury to do just that. In other words, to allow further capital acceleration.

Even if that happens, the Glasgow Airport Rail Link has had it, the most high profile casualty on a day which saw health and police budgets relatively enhanced - while housing and enterprise suffered.

Further, in the medium term, MSPs will set aside the rhetoric, will stifle the anger - and get down to the job of hard bargaining to produce a composite Budget Bill which will pass parliament.

In the longer - but only slightly longer - term, politicians of all parties will face the necessity to process much more substantial cuts in public expenditure as the bills for the banking crisis come in.

When that happens, today's sound and fury will seem like a tame dress rehearsal.

Comments

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  • 1. At 6:10pm on 17 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    Yes, because Glasgow has been treated differently by the Scottish Government, compared to other parts of Scotland. If Scottish Labour and indeed the people of Glasgow along with their council feel they are being ripped off, then perhaps Glasgow will agree to a lower amount of money per head considering that the City of Aberdeen receives far less per head in comparison to Glasgow...

    I shall be as polite as possible. Be quiet, put up and your mouth firmly shut. Glasgow receives too much resources in comparison to the wealth generated by the 'Energy Capital of Europe'.

    Jeez, talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

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  • 2. At 6:15pm on 17 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    With the Edinburgh-Glasgow line improvements still to go by the Edinburgh Airport tram stop at Gogar, BAA will be wanting to sell Glasgow Airport now. But how ridiculous to be putting in a carbon efficient link to a major source of carbon emission anyway.

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  • 3. At 6:16pm on 17 Sep 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    Ha ha ha!

    Damned if he did, damned if he didn't! Glasgow gets more than it's fair share of investment. Aberdeen has been waiting nigh on 25 years for a bypass that has never and probably will never manifest itself.

    Swinney makes the hard decisions and labour grandstands regardless of what is cut. Had the police budget been cut he'd be accused of going back on a manifesto pledge, had he slashed the NHS and education budgets - he'd have been lambasted in not protecting key public services.

    The rhetoric from Kerr's sounding off leaves one with the distinct impression that the gutter is where Labour's brand of politcking comes from and ultimately belongs.

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  • 4. At 6:17pm on 17 Sep 2009, spinspamspun wrote:

    What a moaning lot the Glasgow MSP's are !
    Groan ! Moan !
    Can't remember what they slavered a few months ago !

    Mr 12% Gray (88% don't know him) talks about the
    Glasgow rail-link. He can take the trams,west,or
    would he want them for Haddington ?

    Get on with forming a decent opposition !

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  • 5. At 6:19pm on 17 Sep 2009, uk_abz_scot wrote:

    I wonder which bus company runs the slow coach from Glasgow Queen Street and Central to the Airport?

    I wonder how much extra CO2 will be pumped out by folk continuing to drive to Glasgow Airport instead of taking the train?

    A sad day for Scotland when slow coaches are the best the SNP can offer.

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  • 6. At 6:31pm on 17 Sep 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:


    "The Glasgow Airport Rail Link, which was due to open in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, was overwhelmingly backed by MSPs as a 'nationally significant project'.

    And can we expect to see any let-up in the pouring of scarce resources into the black hole that is the London 2012 Olympics?

    Don't hold your breath.

    Further illustration, if such were needed, of how vital front-line services in Scotland are viewed as an 'afterthought' in favour of bankrolling London's grossly expensive Games at any cost.

    A perversion of priorities which would doubtless enjoy Ian Gray's unquestioning loyalty.

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  • 7. At 6:37pm on 17 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    "The gore dripped from Andy Kerr who depicted Mr Swinney wielding a knife over the corpse of Scottish public spending.

    Instead of Swinney, he saw before him Sweeney, the demon barber.

    He justified this hyperbole by arguing that it was Mr Swinney's decision to accelerate capital spending which had led to inevitable problems this year."

    Brian! You are taking the mickey. Mind you taking the mickey out of a mockery is so tempting!

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  • 8. At 6:39pm on 17 Sep 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    much like times gone by the Highlands and Islands hardly get a look in , boo hoo Glasgow cant get a rail link , we havent got proper roads up here yet

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  • 9. At 6:48pm on 17 Sep 2009, albanach wrote:

    Brian, I'm surprised you made no mention of Labour's previous support for the acceleration of capital spending.

    Just two weeks ago Iain Grey actually claimned credit for the idea, saying "Accelerating capital investment this year was a good thing, of course—we suggested it".

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  • 10. At 7:02pm on 17 Sep 2009, Wicked_Witch_of_the_West_Coast wrote:

    [Jeez, talk about biting the hand that feeds you!]

    That'll be the hand that can still find money to waste on trams that by all accounts very few people in Edinburgh actually want, will it? The hand that always finds money for those areas where the SNP garner most of their support? What do you expect the people of Glasgow to do, sit quietly while we're put in our place once again? No chance! I think the SNP just lost any support they might have gained in this part of the world.

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  • 11. At 7:04pm on 17 Sep 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    #3. GAberdeen wrote:
    "Ha ha ha!

    Damned if he did, damned if he didn't! Glasgow gets more than it's fair share of investment. Aberdeen has been waiting nigh on 25 years for a bypass that has never and probably will never manifest itself."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I certainly hope that the bypass as "planned" by Tavish Scott will never manifest itself. It will probably cost 600-800million, will devastate a huge tract of the countryside, will do nothing significant to alleviate Aberdeen's traffic problems but will serve golfers coming from St Andrews to Donald's golfing oops, housing blight on Balmedie very well.

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  • 12. At 7:25pm on 17 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #5. At 6:19pm on 17 Sep 2009, uk_abz_scot wrote:

    I wonder which bus company runs the slow coach from Glasgow Queen Street and Central to the Airport?

    I wonder how much extra CO2 will be pumped out by folk continuing to drive to Glasgow Airport instead of taking the train?

    A sad day for Scotland when slow coaches are the best the SNP can offer.


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

    Haha! That is one of the funniest remarks I've seen in a long time. Whew. Nearly spit coffee on my monitor.

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  • 13. At 7:36pm on 17 Sep 2009, barbarian9 wrote:

    a finance minister can never win.

    i think shelving the airport link is a mistake, but of course something has to give. unfortunately, this will be played upon come the bye-election.


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  • 14. At 7:41pm on 17 Sep 2009, HootsMon wrote:

    Re #3 GAberdeen
    "Aberdeen has been waiting nigh on 25 years for a bypass that has never and probably will never manifest itself."

    I agree about the scandalous delay, and would argue that it is more than 30 years overdue - it should have been built when Aberdeen was propping-up the entire UK economy - as well as Thatcher's monetarist "experiment" back in the 1980's.

    But bear in mind, for us in the north-east this will be a "Bridge Too Far" if the SNP does not deliver this by-pass, because it is not actually "for" Aberdeen (although the city will benefit) but for every soul living north of the city (Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff, Buckie, Elgin etc, etc)where the only possible route south of the city for us is through the centre of that city.

    Aberdeen is the only major city in the UK, I would add, that does not have either a bypass or a motorway running through it. It takes a MINIMUM of one hour to get through it from north to south.

    Norwich, by comparison, got a bypass 15 years ago simply due to the oil traffic passing through it on its way to Yarmouth. (sounds familiar), but even though Peterhead handles 10 time the oil traffic Yarmouth ever did, every truck heading to the big oil port at Peterhead has to take an hour rumbling through Aberdeen before it is even out of the city.

    We represent Salmond, Stevenson, et al's home turf, and we may let them off with a lot of sins, but we would NEVER let them off with dropping this!

    I predict that if the SNP does not deliver the Aberdeen by-pass this autumn, Salmond and Stevenson will never be forgiven by the north-east, and they will have to kiss goodbye to their traditional loyal support up here as well as their political careers, because everyone in the north-east is waiting patiently for the announcement that we'll get it.

    Salmond at least, seems to have enough savvy to recognise this (I hope)

    After all, we've paid for it - many times over . . .



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  • 15. At 7:41pm on 17 Sep 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #5 uk_abz_scot - I don't know if this will upset you or not but the answer to your question in #5 is Arriva in conjunction with BAA .
    Fact is usually better than grubby insinuation for most of us but I
    suppose it depends on everyone's own standards!

    Sid

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  • 16. At 7:48pm on 17 Sep 2009, BlooToon wrote:

    @9

    LOL! Thought Swinney pointed out the all party agreement on the accelerated capial investment during the speech. As I have long suspected NuLab (North Britain branch) stopped listening a long time ago!

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  • 17. At 7:49pm on 17 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    The inevitable political slanging match over the budget has begun. It is all nice and fine for those parties in opposition to castigate the budget but what would they do? Let's hear how Labour supporters would have balanced the budget from the labour cuts imposed on us from Westminster.

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  • 18. At 7:50pm on 17 Sep 2009, HootsMon wrote:

    #11 X_Sticks

    "nothing significant to alleviate Aberdeen's traffic problems"

    Good Grief - what planet do you live on?

    Oh,yes - Planet NIMBY - where the by-pass is due to be built, right?

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  • 19. At 8:01pm on 17 Sep 2009, BlooToon wrote:

    @10

    Think you'll find that the SNP government opposed the teams 4 Embra' plan was the opposition that forced that one through. Heck that £400m might have allowed your linknto go ahead.

    For all the money tipped into Glasgow over the last half century very few (net) new jobs have been created and the poorest sections of the city continue to suffer extreme deprivation. Maybe you need to look a bit closer to home when you wonder why things don't improve. Labour have used the poor of Glasgow as a bargaining chip to feather their own nests for too long.

    Glasgow continues tobreceive a per head allocation shear of all other urban centres in the country and continuing additional subsidy through Scottish Enterprise and Government intervention. Time for your local politicians and organisations to deliver.

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  • 20. At 8:01pm on 17 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    GlasgowGooner:

    #10.

    "That'll be the hand that can still find money to waste on trams that by all accounts very few people in Edinburgh actually want, will it? The hand that always finds money for those areas where the SNP garner most of their support? What do you expect the people of Glasgow to do, sit quietly while we're put in our place once again? No chance! I think the SNP just lost any support they might have gained in this part of the world."

    The Scottish National Party recognised the unpopularity of the Edinburgh Trams and voted against the project. However the Scottish National Party, as Government had little choice but to go ahead with the project after loosing the vote.

    I expect the people of Glasgow to attempt to understand that money does not grow on tress, it all comes from somewhere and considering Glasgow already receives over 2000 per head in comparison to the people of Aberdeen who receives far less then 2000 per head, then your not loosing out! Your doing far better while generating far less wealth with the other parts of Scotland.

    You have nothing to stand on. You can't say your not receiving help when your already receiving more then other parts of the country, so keep quiet and expect cuts, it's not like the people of Glasgow could use the train since so many have never managed to actually get a job!

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  • 21. At 8:04pm on 17 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    jonah-jinx-hits-home-in-fife-and-downing-street

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  • 22. At 8:08pm on 17 Sep 2009, BlooToon wrote:

    anyone seen a mod?

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  • 23. At 8:09pm on 17 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    If Glaswegians come to truly believe that having Labour MSPs will cost their city Scottish Government investment, I don't much fancy the party's chances come 2011.

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  • 24. At 8:13pm on 17 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    #6

    Re the costs of the 2012 London Olympics.

    The sooner Scotland is independent, the sooner we can stop having to contribute (even indirectly) to the monstrous White Elephant.

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  • 25. At 8:15pm on 17 Sep 2009, Astonished wrote:

    GlasgowGooner@10 :Wasting money on Edinburgh trams was the fault of your beloved labour party - as you well know.

    If labour are so sure of Glasgow's votes - why the delay on the by-election ?

    And finally everyone in Scotland knows that the Scottish budget cuts were caused by the British Labour Party; and all the lies in the world wont change that.

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  • 26. At 8:17pm on 17 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    10. GlasgowGooner
    "That'll be the hand that can still find money to waste on trams that by all accounts very few people in Edinburgh actually want, will it?"

    It wasn't the SNP that wanted the trams - do try and keep up.

    The hand that always finds money for those areas where the SNP garner most of their support? What do you expect the people of Glasgow to do, sit quietly while we're put in our place once again? No chance! "

    They'll be voting for a party that will let us solve the problems. Its the Labour party that sat back and allowed Glasgow to be bypassed, not the SNP.
    It was the Labour Party that has presided over 60 years of neglect of our city, not the SNP.


    I think the SNP just lost any support they might have gained in this part of the world." Aye keep on wishing.

    By the way, what is a "Gooner"? I'm reasonably familiar with the patois of this city but I never met a "Gooner" before. If it means "Labour numpty" then I can understand.


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  • 27. At 8:20pm on 17 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    I wanted to mention that some of us in the US are sad today. I grew up listening to Mary Traver's music. Not sure that the mods will allow the link but I hope so.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwB2A9HHaCU

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  • 28. At 8:25pm on 17 Sep 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    "This is serious."

    Yes it is very serious that Labour and the LibDems seem to have forgotten about the state of the UK economy and believe that we can all go on spending as normal.

    It's also serious they seem to believe that a rail link to Glasgow airport will improve the economy. Rail links don't create new high value adding companies with export potential. What we need in Scotland is investment in the private sector and that's down to Labour pals in the financial services sector.

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  • 29. At 8:27pm on 17 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    Hate to burst the bubble on all this SNP bashing regarding the Glasgow airport link, but this comes as no surprise to those in my part of the world.

    That part being along the West rail link from Glasgow to Gourock real estate had been bought up, buildings demolished, all in preparation for the expected rail development (remember the Red Smiddy anyone?). Of particular interest was the intention to build a spur line from between St James's and Bishopton stations out towards Erskine, which has just one bus company services to cater for such a large population centre.

    The fact is this was all done years ago during previous Lab/Lib administrations, so it comes as no surprise that this project was not going to go ahead, as it had appeared nothing was moving forward after all the preparatory work for some significant time.

    #10 GlasgowGooner and various posts whinging about what Glasgow gets any other time compared to Aberdeen et al, please, all of you, don't take Kerr's bait.

    Walk away, just walk away :)

    As someone that lived in Erskine, with no reliable public transport link to the Airport which is 15 minutes down the road, all I can say is at least you've got a regular bus link! If I had to use public transport and not a taxi I would have to get an infrequent bus to Bishopton (again poor transport between the two) which is 5 minutes away, get the train to Gilmour Street and then another bus on to the airport, madness!

    Get the bus to town or to Gilmour Street for the train to Central, not that painful really, especially when there's more important services at stake during the recession.

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  • 30. At 8:29pm on 17 Sep 2009, John wrote:

    I don't live in Glasgow but I can see that the rail link would be beneficial to Scotland as a whole.

    How much is Mr. Swinney using to freeze council tax bills? Surely this robbing Peter to pay Paul cannot be fooling anyone?

    In addition, is the Treasury clawing back money because we Scots have decided to offer free prescriptions?

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  • 31. At 8:37pm on 17 Sep 2009, Green Soap wrote:

    Maybe the railway company should have paid the SNP half a Million quid like Souter did. That seemed to work wonders for him.

    The SNP. No friend of public transport. So far, it's all been car friendly policy, such as the scrapping of Bridge Tolls - 2% increase of road traffic on the Tay.

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  • 32. At 8:42pm on 17 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    "In the longer - but only slightly longer - term, politicians of all parties will face the necessity to process much more substantial cuts in public expenditure as the bills for the banking crisis come in.

    When that happens, today's sound and fury will seem like a tame dress rehearsal"

    Mr Taylor is speaking nothing but the truth and the pure truth here. Ne'mind any kerfluffle about who gets what. Capitalism hit one of its periodic busts and we're all messed up again. (Not to use stronger language on such a polite and well mannered blog.)

    How much longer can we live like this?

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  • 33. At 8:43pm on 17 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online_Ed Here

    Which paper will run with the 'Swinney Todd' headline then? - Maddox and Glenn must be champing at the bit to get in first.

    Angry Labour MSPs accused the SNP of a bias against Scotland's largest city.

    Yes, this co-ordinated campaign had already got underway as 'Scotland's largest Local Authority' [euphamism for the Labour council] attacking the SNP had appeared in the press. Is this Purcel staking his claim for leader of what will be left of the Labour group at Holyrood?

    It's all exactly what was expected from Labour and the media, no more no less. This 'he said, she said' simplistic nonsense from Brian Taylor educates no-one.

    Labour says the SNP knew the consequences of bringing forward capital spending.
    OK, Brian (don't mention Chisholm) seems to have forgotten that Labour also called for this acceleration of capital spending. Indeed everyone called for such an acceleration, the reason being that the UK was in the grip of a very serious economic downturn - the worst of any developed country, exacerbated by the inept stewardship of one Gordon Brown.

    How many people remember Labour moaning that such acceleration was necessary to help the ailing building industry? In other words, what would have been the consequences had the SNP not brought the funding forward.

    Remember one thing, the £500 million cut was being highlighted by Salmond (and ignored by the media) months before Labour confirmed it. If bringing capital spending forward has left a shortfall, then the shortfall has been compounded to the tune of £500 million.

    If Glasgow is in such a mess, I hardly think that two years of an SNP Government have caused it. Let's not rely on London handing us back some of our money, let's control our own assets and resources.

    It's really that simple.

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  • 34. At 8:43pm on 17 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #17 gedguy

    I suppose they would have been pathetically grateful we were allowed so much.

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  • 35. At 8:57pm on 17 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    Steven Purcell, the leader of Glasgow city council, pursued this metaphor...

    Strange that in a piece about the budget Brian manages to find time to insert an attack by the Glasgow Council Labour leader. I'm impressed with Brian's improved awareness, noticing an attack so far away from Holyrood. Two weeks ago Brian didn't notice Malcolm Chisholm attacking Iain Gray - and Chisholm was only yarda away.

    Has Brian been to Lourdes in the interim?

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  • 36. At 8:58pm on 17 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #10 GlasgowGooner

    Your nick predisposes me to like you :) but I honestly don't think this is the plan re the Nats. They did oppose the trams and they could not prevent that plan going ahead against the Parly will. I'm no Nat but they have no secret anti Glasgow agenda.

    True the Nats aren't going to be Glasgow's saviours or helpful when it doesn't serve. Neither are Labour unless they will gain votes. It's time we stopped looking to the establishment and started looking to ourselves.

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  • 37. At 8:59pm on 17 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #26 Sgt Furry

    Maybe he is an Arsenal fan ;)

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  • 38. At 9:00pm on 17 Sep 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    I look forward to the budget debate. What will the opposition do? Will they flag through the airport link as they did the Edinburgh trams. Dare they?

    It was nice to see Curran being put in her place again, but I don't think she is capable of feeling foolish.

    Kerr. He is past his sell by date. No credibilty. No charisma. No good.
    Why did the people of East Kilbride ever vote this man in. The snake oil salesman who sold us one hospital for the price of two. Still hanging on to PFI when even his own government in Westminster have ditched it.

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  • 39. At 9:01pm on 17 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    22. BlooToon
    "anyone seen a mod?"

    Not on a Vespa or a Lambreta for along time.

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  • 40. At 9:12pm on 17 Sep 2009, GRhino wrote:

    New Labour are getting what they deserve here. If they had actually formulated a proper rail-link rather than a take it or leave it plan, which involved rubbishing of anyone against the plan or with an alternative plan, this would have survived in its different form rather than the vanity project it was from the start.

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  • 41. At 9:29pm on 17 Sep 2009, LocheeLaddie wrote:

    "10. At 7:02pm on 17 Sep 2009, GlasgowGooner wrote:

    That'll be the hand that can still find money to waste on trams that by all accounts very few people in Edinburgh actually want, will it? The hand that always finds money for those areas where the SNP garner most of their support? What do you expect the people of Glasgow to do, sit quietly while we're put in our place once again? No chance! I think the SNP just lost any support they might have gained in this part of the world. "

    Come on...are you serious? The SNP voted against the trams for Edinburgh project but it was pushed through by Labour, despite all the reservations by the SNP.
    What I do expect (and hope!) is that the people of Glasgow will finally understand this and stop voting for any old monkey wearing a red rosette, just because their faithers and grandfaithers did.

    Time to wake up and see that New Labour is not the same as the one you daddy voted loyally for all these years ago, as the old saying goes....

    wake up and smell the roses!

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  • 42. At 9:30pm on 17 Sep 2009, barbarian9 wrote:

    oh dear, now its east vs west vs north-west vs north-east.

    a united scotland? at least they can't accuse us of being "unionist". :p

    now we have aberdeen vs edinburgh vs glasgow.


    seriously, if we need to make savings and save the environment, let us start with councils. how many unmanned council buildings do you see at night lit up like blackpool illuminations?

    not much of a saving but it helps.

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  • 43. At 9:31pm on 17 Sep 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #11 X_Sticks

    #14 cooleyn

    I'm sorry X_Sticks, I happen to agree with cooleyn that the bypass for Aberdeen is an absolute necessity for the population north of Aberdeen and Aberdeen itself. The only other way to drive south for Scot's living west of Banff or east of Inverness is via the A9 and no sane person would chose too given the amount of fatalities on that road - especially during the months we arn't graced with sun or shine.

    cooleym,

    I agree, the SNP need to deliver this bypass and then they need to focus on the A90 too. The energy industry is the ONLY reason that any development has taken place in Aberdeen and contrary to what some might think, that development hasn't come from government money or intervention. It's come from the energy industry.

    Your comparrison with Norwich is absolutely spot on. The lack of investment in Scotland during the arly day of North Sea hyrocarbons is evident. When the UK government were told of a large gas find off the norfolk coast in 1966 - a former colleague of mine who worked for NEL was asked to join the board of a steering group who's focus was to decide how much taxation to set to supply the gas to Scotland and Wales. When oil was discovered in Scottish waters 3 years later in 1969 - the steering group was immediately disbanded and the subject never brought up again. I wonder why?

    The UK has never been interested in developing an industry that would sustain jobs or economies. All it cares about is how much money they can squeeze out of it in tax. Aberdeen might be the energy capital of europe, but it's only through that fact it's amounted to anything at all.



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  • 44. At 9:36pm on 17 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #27 JRMacClure

    Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist before they're allowed to be free?
    Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head pretending he just doesn't see?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind

    or Puff the Magic Dragon

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  • 45. At 9:42pm on 17 Sep 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #29 scotinnotts- has some good points the first thing to remind the uninitiated is that Glasgow airport is in Renfrewshire probably another reason for Mr Purcell to get all agitated.
    #35 on line ed- would that be the one in mainland europe or the school in Glssgow??
    Sid

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  • 46. At 9:51pm on 17 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Trams - and why not?

    Trams - antisocial behaviour vehicles

    Coming to Edinburgh sometime in the future.

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  • 47. At 10:00pm on 17 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    Tomorrow's Scotsman contains a letter from one Benedict Birnberg, a former lawyer from London.

    The letter begins:
    The news that the maker of Harris Tweed has removed all hints of Scottish branding because of US reaction to Kenny MacAskill's decision to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi (your report, 14 September) indicates that the outcry provoked by the decision has now entered the realms of the irrational on both sides of the pond.

    It beggars belief that this newspaper would print a letter basically regurgitating a story already demonstrated to be false.

    Would this be the same Benedict Birnberg who once represented Iain Brady and who suggested that an injunction against Brady publishing a book was an "infringement on Brady's human rights".

    Honestly, I don't know whather to laugh or cry.

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  • 48. At 10:15pm on 17 Sep 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    #14 cooleyn

    I live NW of Aberdeen 30 miles up the A96 and regularly drive down to Edinburgh and Montrose.. In 25 years I have never ever taken an hour to get through Aberdeen via Anderson Drive.

    The bypass plan is too late... Oil traffic from Peterhead is much less than it used to be and the oil industry generally is in slow decline.

    Worse, because the UK Govt has failed miserably to invest in the R&D needed to develop a renewables industry there is little to replace it.

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  • 49. At 10:33pm on 17 Sep 2009, peteraberdeenshire wrote:

    Sorry wee scamp but as someone who spent 10 years doing jobbing work in Aberdeen you are wrong,I once took over an hour to get from Altens to the Bridge of Don, try getting through the Haudagin at peak times. Close one road in Aberdeen and the whole city comes to a standstill, Yes the bypass is required but its not a case of Aberdeen versus say Glasgow, its about helping the whole of Scotland prosper.

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  • 50. At 10:42pm on 17 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    universality-of-cheese

    "No doubt tomorrow's Hootsman will have a David Maddox story telling us how FMQ's today, saw Alex Salmond cowed by Iain Gray's magnificent oratory, how John Swinney swooned under the intense intellectual pressure from Angry Kerr and how Jim Mather swallowed a little bit of sick when Jackie the Hutt glared at him."

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  • 51. At 10:51pm on 17 Sep 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #48 Weescamp

    Worse, because the UK Govt has failed miserably to invest in the R&D needed to develop a renewables industry there is little to replace it.

    Hear hear! As per my #43

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  • 52. At 10:55pm on 17 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    One mean city that's just had the razor king slash it's future growth,
    a tale of two cities, by heck' it's only just begun.

    What the Dickens does the future hold Mr McArthur?.

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  • 53. At 10:55pm on 17 Sep 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #49 peteraberdeenshire

    Yes the bypass is required but its not a case of Aberdeen versus say Glasgow, its about helping the whole of Scotland prosper.

    ----

    I agree and as a side note - I never contributed to any ABZ vs GLW argument, I merely pointed out that Labours argument of an SNP concocted anti-glasgow agenda is a false one and therefore cited a relevant example of underinvestment in other areas of Scotland (due to other reasons granted, but no more or less important than a rail link for glasgow airport in the larger scheme of things)

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  • 54. At 11:02pm on 17 Sep 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    Anyone else feel Labour playing the Anti-Glasgow card on the SNP is a bit cheap when Glasgow NorthEast has gone without adequate political representation for almost 10 years (I don't include the 4 months they have to wait for a by-election either - that's merely salt in the wound)

    Labour are the disgrace to Glasgow and to Scotland.

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  • 55. At 11:06pm on 17 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    Wee-Scamp:

    #48.

    I lived 8 miles from the city centre and on some ocassions it took an hour to drive into the city, it's a hit or a miss!

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  • 56. At 11:06pm on 17 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    49. peteraberdeenshire

    Time of day makes a difference, the airport roundabout is annoying as aberdonian drivers ignore the highway code and its indicator rules as one doesn't know if they are going straight across or taking the third exit so caution slows up the flow. The one at the bottom of anderson drive can be a clutch dropping exercise or one takes a lunch break. Its far too late in the day for an effective bypass now as the proposed route is ill thought out and will not sort the problem it will just create other problems elsewhere.

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  • 57. At 11:07pm on 17 Sep 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    #14 cooleyn
    43. At 9:31pm on 17 Sep 2009, GAberdeen wrote:
    Yes, Cooleyn we are one of the many families that will have everything they've worked for wrecked by Tavish's plan. It isn't in our back yard, just 50ft outside our living room window. I begrudge having to lose out "for the greater good" for a plan that I definately don't agree with.If they want to build a road that close to our home then they should at least have the decency to offer us the option of getting out. They don't.
    I never said the road wasn't needed, but this is not a plan to alleviate Aberdeen's traffic problems. It is a plan to suit the property developers. That's why the local media are all for it. They are in the pockets of the like of Mr Milne and the Chamber of Commerce. They are feeding the people of Aberdeen a big spin on the story. Those of us who do appose the road are suffering as much bias from the local media as the SNP are from the "Scottish" media. If you actually bothered to look into the facts you might not think the route planned by Tavish was quite so wonderful.
    So you can go ahead and support a route that your grandchildren will still be paying for. I suppose you think that you'll be able to fly over Anderson Drive once the new road is in and you'll hardly see another car on the road because they'll all be on the AWPR. You won't. It won't change much of the traffic flow in Aberdeen.

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  • 58. At 11:09pm on 17 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    42. barbarian9
    "oh dear, now its east vs west vs north-west vs north-east."
    Yes, it's a bit disappointing.
    I think it's symptomatic of a lack of clarity between national infrastructure and local developments. I would expect national infrastructure to always be part of an integrated plan to clearly benefit the nation and be funded at the national level. Local schemes should be locally funded.
    I'm not clear why the Glasgow airport rail link is seen as deserving national funding, the benefits accrue primarily to Glasgow. The same is obviously true of the Edinburgh trams.
    It isn't just about the central belt receiving more funding than other areas, it's about being careful not support false economies in any location - local schemes should bring direct benefits to their locales, and should be self supporting at minimum.

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  • 59. At 11:19pm on 17 Sep 2009, el-news wrote:

    The knives are out!

    So many sentences.. every one a paragraph!

    Couldn't you suture them together!

    One fianl point, before I fall accused of the same, however. Perhaps the train would have remained if the tram hadn't happened - which in itself would have addresed the shortfall with change to spare!!

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  • 60. At 11:24pm on 17 Sep 2009, forthblue wrote:

    Well I think over the years Glasgow has had more than it's fair share of public investment, you cannot keep throwing money at the problem forever....

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  • 61. At 11:26pm on 17 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    I think at one point in the 1970's it was 38p in the pound on direct tax,so 29p in the pound may seem a tad light (........)

    Capitalism has failed, we have no real major output to sale, we have got to make inroads into our energy potential and it's got to be publically owned and hey! don't please dont sell off our water to the private sector.

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  • 62. At 11:31pm on 17 Sep 2009, barbarian9 wrote:

    no 58

    you are correct, it is disappointing. and it plays into the opposition's hands. if the new forth road bridge is given the go ahead, then that will simply add fuel to the fire and give the snp problems in the west coast. but cuts do need to be made somewhere.

    the scottish government are not being anti-glasgow, but it appears to some that they are.

    as for aberdeen, i was up there about two months ago. getting from the bridge of dee to hazlehead took 30 mins and that was not during rush hour. i know the city well and the bypass will not suddenly produce a miracle. norwich has a ring road in place yet the traffic is still very busy in the city.

    what is now required is the plans for public transport during the commonwealth games. that needs to be addressed without resorting to petty politics.

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  • 63. At 11:39pm on 17 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Labour cuts the budget, Labour complains that the budget has been cut?!

    How stupid do they think the Scottish public are?

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  • 64. At 11:45pm on 17 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    57. X_Sticks
    "They are in the pockets of the like of Mr Milne and the Chamber of Commerce."

    "Trump"

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  • 65. At 11:52pm on 17 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    61. derekbarker
    "Capitalism has failed, we have no real major output to sale, we have got to make inroads into our energy potential and it's got to be publically owned and hey! don't please dont sell off our water to the private sector."

    Endorsed.

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  • 66. At 11:54pm on 17 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    As we're all at daggers drawn, what about the Prime Minister's constituency with trains composed of carriages which were old in the 60s hauled by a freight engine for our prime time commuters into the Capital and Glasgow is complaining it doesn't get a mile of new line into the airport. Our line goes right by Edinburgh airport, if the pilot's a bit low we end up with tyre marks on the carriage roof, but its another wheen miles into the center of Ed. and then get a bus back and Glasgow complains. It's Glasgow MSPs that forced the trams on Edinburgh and now there's no money for their airport link and Glasgow complains.
    Quit greeting and join the real world, Glasgow.

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  • 67. At 11:58pm on 17 Sep 2009, Florence wrote:

    54- GAberdeen: Labour do "cheap" very well. In fact they excel at it.

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  • 68. At 00:02am on 18 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    37. fourstrikes
    "Maybe he is an Arsenal fan ;)"

    In that case, he has gone further down in my estimation.

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  • 69. At 00:02am on 18 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #63. At 11:39pm on 17 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Labour cuts the budget, Labour complains that the budget has been cut?!

    How stupid do they think the Scottish public are?

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

    A good point and an even better question.

    I hope the Scots at dagger point on the blog are not an indication that Scots are indeed that stupid. I didn't think so but today, I'm beginning to wonder. =/

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  • 70. At 00:04am on 18 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    65. cynicalHighlander
    "61. derekbarker
    "Capitalism has failed, we have no real major output to sale, we have got to make inroads into our energy potential and it's got to be publically owned and hey! don't please dont sell off our water to the private sector."

    Endorsed.
    "
    Further endorsed.

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  • 71. At 00:16am on 18 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    66. handclapping
    "It's Glasgow MSPs that forced the trams on Edinburgh and now there's no money for their airport link and Glasgow complains."
    Now you are talking utter mince. Are you trying to tell me no Edinburgh MSPs voted for the trams? No Fife MSPs either?
    However don't let that stop you getting in a dig about Glasgow.
    The city has been punished since 1919 for daring to stand up for itself. The party we chose to defend us has let us down for the past 60 years. Things are changing but do not for one instant try and say that the SNP is anti-Glasgow.

    We should have forgotten all about fancy buildings in Edinburgh and housed the Parliament in the debating chamber in the old Strathclyde Region HQ in India St.
    John MacLean was right, as in so many things, when he wanted the capital moved to Glasgow.

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  • 72. At 00:17am on 18 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    The libyans pay more for water than they do for fuel, so if the global climate does increase by 2' degrees or more over the next 5 to 10 years then Scotland will have a commodity far more wealthier than oil, Scotlands natural water levels are among the best in the world, there's no need to privatise our water but there is a need to utilise it and produce sustainable employment through it.An industrial Scotland can also manufacture the new technology needed to extract renewable energy and that type of technology will also be a major commodity in the years to come, lets just drop the private nonsense and get on with it now!.

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  • 73. At 00:20am on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    61. derekbarker
    "Capitalism has failed, we have no real major output to sale, we have got to make inroads into our energy potential and it's got to be publically owned and hey! don't please dont sell off our water to the private sector. "
    Agreed! I would go further and suggest that given the state of both our economic world and our natural world, anyone who believes that energy should be in the hands of profit-making private companies is oblivious to the way the world is turning.

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  • 74. At 00:38am on 18 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/17/scotland-carbon-budget-spending

    Guderian - or something like that: Scotland's groundbreaking carbon budget ...

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  • 75. At 00:44am on 18 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

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

  • 76. At 00:51am on 18 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #71 Sgt_Furry
    I make it they voted 11 to 6 to foist the trams on Edinburgh, have you so short a memory?
    Edinburgh was a capital when Glasgow was a fishing village and Edinburgh'll be a capital still when Glasgow is back to being a fishing village ... dust to dust.

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  • 77. At 01:09am on 18 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    76. handclapping
    "I make it they voted 11 to 6 to foist the trams on Edinburgh, have you so short a memory?"
    Not as short as yours, the question was "How did the Edinburgh and Fife MSPs vote on the trams?"
    Answer the question you are asked, not the one you'd like to answer.

    And if you are that keen on Little Surbiton-on-Forth, why don't you actually live there?

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  • 78. At 01:20am on 18 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #76 handclapping

    A tad exaggerated! but fundamentally true. The West coast developed in the 18th/19th centuries, not just for its natural resources, but because the focus of Scottish trade was with the empire. Prior to that, Scottish trade was primarily with Europe, hence the East Coast was dominant, and that is what we are returning to. Why would you want to locate a factory in Ayrshire instead of Fife?

    The new cry will clearly be "Go East, young man (or woman, or person of indeterminate sex)!"

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  • 79. At 01:24am on 18 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I do like the new derek barker, talking a lot of sense. Water is the new oil and Scotland was wise to keep it in public ownership. There is not one water company in the privatised English water industry that is British.

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  • 80. At 01:40am on 18 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    On my blogspot I commented on the SNP budget.

    A Labour commentator called "Peter" said:

    "This is and always has been caused by the tories"

    The arrogance is utterly and indisputably breathtaking.

    That is why Labour DESERVE to suffer a major defeat- both to the SNP in Glasgow North-East and everywhere else.

    Their £500 millions of cuts - but its no their fault gov!

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  • 81. At 01:41am on 18 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    To be honest I would hardly call the East coast expansion riviting, those vechiles will just keep on a tramping that free bridge till it falls, then WHAT?.

    The BarBer with the financial edge....O' or is it the Eastern Moses as he parts Scotland. Staff in hand!.

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  • 82. At 02:22am on 18 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    81. derekbarker
    No No Derek, It's the Magister who has Staff in hand.

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  • 83. At 02:29am on 18 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    "Labour and Tories not pulling their weight on devolution – Scott"

    http://news.scotsman.com/politics/Labour-and-Tories-not-pulling.5658851.jp

    So wee Tavish has discovered that the Tories and Labour weren't really wanting to give Scotland more powers! The Lib-Dems might have had some credibility if they hadn't jumped into bed with them before they found out whether thir motives were "honourable"! Political promiscuity can lead to AIDS (Avoid Intelligence, Downgrade Scotland).

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  • 84. At 02:29am on 18 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Guys! Guys! I don't think Glasgow has to go to dust for Edinburgh for flourish. How about Scotland doing well enough for both to flourish. Is that such a bad idea. When Scots fight, who wins? Hmmmm?

    That means getting through some bad times first without killing each other. (*firmly takes away the dirks and claymores*)

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  • 85. At 02:40am on 18 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #82 Sgt_Furry

    Magister did say that he employed people to do that kind of thing for him. The question is whether the appropriate hand is (like Baroness Scotland's) an illegal immigrant?

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  • 86. At 02:54am on 18 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    384 JRMacClure

    Now wait a cotton-pickin minute! (though from N Carolina, I should probably say tobacco-pickin minute) Are you trying to deny Scots their God-given right to descend into internecine warfare over such important issues such as the daughter of a leading Glasgow citizen being (very willingly) taken advantage of by an Edinburgh tinker 400 years ago?

    These things matter almost as much as the performance of football teams! :-)

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  • 87. At 02:54am on 18 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Oh, come on people that's not get delicate with the truth, drop the political screen and ask the question! has the peoples front to liberate Scotland become so blasphamous it's divided it's very own nation.

    Hey! no stone throwing now!.........LoL.

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  • 88. At 02:58am on 18 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #83. At 02:29am on 18 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    "Labour and Tories not pulling their weight on devolution – Scott"

    http://news.scotsman.com/politics/Labour-and-Tories-not-pulling.5658851.jp

    So wee Tavish has discovered that the Tories and Labour weren't really wanting to give Scotland more powers! The Lib-Dems might have had some credibility if they hadn't jumped into bed with them before they found out whether thir motives were "honourable"! Political promiscuity can lead to AIDS (Avoid Intelligence, Downgrade Scotland).

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

    Reading that, boy has he boxed himself into a corner. And he wouldn't want to be defending the status quo while facing Alex Salmond. *snorts*

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  • 89. At 03:51am on 18 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #86. At 02:54am on 18 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:


    Well, I remember a speech supposedly by the great Montrose (I suspect apocryphal) in which--outnumbered as usual--he suggested his highland troops all grab the largest rock they could find, each beat in the head of the nearest Covenanter and take their swords--then he was sure they'd know what to do.

    You do know how all that came out, right?

    Perhaps avoiding any repeat performances would be a wise thing. But I don't want to be on the receiving end of Scottish ire by denying the God-given right to internecine brawling. ;)

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  • 90. At 04:24am on 18 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #89 JRMacClure

    Watching the debate over health care here (though 'care" seems to be less important than profit), I think the terms of our debate over the critical constitutional status of our nation, is conducted in far more moderate terms than the Americans apocalyptic view of one aspect of social policy.

    I was especially impressed by the argument "keep the Government out of Medicaid" - when Medicaid is a Government programme! Scotish politics has a long way to go before it acieves the insanity of the USA. You must see us as a bunch of wimps, compared with the insane vitriol of US politics.

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  • 91. At 04:38am on 18 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #90 Oh, I don't know. You guys do pretty good vitriol.

    What we're better at is pure insanity.

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  • 92. At 04:41am on 18 Sep 2009, Donald_McNairn wrote:

    Labour tactics, divide and rule, place East against West, Highlander against Lowlander.

    The BBC headlines all so predictable.

    Is it too much to hope that the BBC and others will ever be even handed with the SNP?

    D McN

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  • 93. At 04:56am on 18 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #91 JRMacClure

    Maybe it's just because we have been using vitriol for so many more hundred yrars - and we don't take it seriously ant more.

    Plus we exported a number of our more insane citizens to you! why else do you have the KKK?

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  • 94. At 05:15am on 18 Sep 2009, redcliffe62 wrote:

    was the decision to cancel the edinburgh rail link anti edinburgh?
    was the decison to transfer lottery money from scotland to feed the olymic dream in london anti glasgow and edinburgh?
    was the decision in real terms to cut 500 mill from the scottish budget anti glasgow and edinburgh.
    was the decision to buy the banks out and put them under their mates' control anti edinburgh.
    is it me, or is the answer simple. labour's glasgow lackeys can get the 500 mill printed and used to pay for the glasgow rail link. after all with the defence cuts and the need to cut trident and the new carriers (albeit yet to be admittrd fully) they need to say something positive about glasgow.
    finally, glasgow gets more pro rata than other scottish cities. perhaps the big 4 cities should get the same per person and we shall see then how effective glasgow is in running its business,as anything other than a welfare basket case.
    clearly the bbc has an agenda. the decision to follow this press release line taken by purcell fools no-one. brian back to his disappointing best.
    and it should be noted that if purcell and his public purse mates had not voted for the trams then this could probably have been built.

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  • 95. At 05:21am on 18 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #93. At 04:56am on 18 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #91 JRMacClure

    Maybe it's just because we have been using vitriol for so many more hundred yrars - and we don't take it seriously ant more.

    Plus we exported a number of our more insane citizens to you! why else do you have the KKK?

    Aha! Now we can blame you for freeing al-Megrahi AND the KKK. *makes secret notes for the FBI*

    #92. Is it too much to hope that the BBC and others will ever be even handed with the SNP?

    Probably.

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  • 96. At 05:39am on 18 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    One good thing. Although it'll be a cold day in hell when there's even handed reporting, apparently Scots are used to it and write it off or NO SNP would have ever been elected in the first place.

    Besides there are all these other fun stories:

    UK Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw's call for the BBC's governing body to be scrapped.

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  • 97. At 05:43am on 18 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Now what would happen if Scotland went independent? Would they kick the BBC out on their well-padded rears?

    Any opinions on this interesting subject?

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  • 98. At 06:11am on 18 Sep 2009, neebour wrote:

    #5

    The fact is that travelling from Glasgow Airport to the city centre on one of the little shuttle buses takes 15 minutes - barring unforseen circumstances. It must be the easiest and quickest airport to city centre journey in Western Europe. Edinburgh and Aberdeen are not so lucky.

    The fact is that a lot of upgrading at the station and track improvements are and have been carried out. OK, the final part of the project cannot be completed before the Commonwealth games - all of 2-3 weeks of it - big deal. I'm sure it'll get finished sooner rather than later. Lets face it, labour had years to do it (in their own heartland) and the project didnt even get off the ground - thats what labour politicians really think about their own constituents.

    It is disappointing, but anyone that puts this secondary project in front of london labour imposed cuts to health, education etc etc needs to get their priorities sorted out.

    #6

    Hit the nail on the head there- thats what they think of us, and remember, just how much is Scotland having to cough up for the commonwealth games ? And london, just how much is it contributing to the total cost, I'd really like to know? Remember, the spiraling costs (well 10% of them)of the london olympics are coming out of our pockets.

    Nothing short of highway robbery !

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  • 99. At 06:26am on 18 Sep 2009, neebour wrote:

    #95, 96, 97

    Couldnt agree more, something really needs to be done. I remember years back when Gerry Adams was banned from talking on the telly and they had to use an actor to repeat what he was saying - what a joke - anyhow Glasgow University got funding to research how effective it was and what happened throughout the whole period, including how biased the media actually were.

    Is'nt it about time the BBC in Scotland were put under the same spotlight? Surely if money can be found to investigate how undemocratic the process against poor old Sinn Fein was, surely it can be found to investigate just how undemocratic and biased the Scottish people are being treated !

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  • 100. At 06:37am on 18 Sep 2009, neebour wrote:

    #97

    Why wait till then ?

    Personally I'd rather watch the character that Gregor Fisher plays as the dj for Hebrides FM or whatever it was called, at least we'd get a laugh, certainly not with this shower.

    Question: As journalists, in effect working for a state corporation, should not we, as the supposed stakeholders, have the right to know the political allegiances of each and every one of them ? And should they not have to make their particular persuasion quite clear when reporting ?

    Any ideas anyone ?

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  • 101. At 06:57am on 18 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Well, it seems to me the problem is more the state corporation itself having a political allegiance or political agenda such as being anti-independence. I've run into a number of rumors circulating about journalists actually being fired from newspapers when they "came out" as being pro-SNP, for example. I wouldn't be in the least surprised at that happening at BBC or at their refusing to hire people they view as having the "wrong" politics.

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  • 102. At 07:00am on 18 Sep 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    #97 Perhaps its precisely because they're afraid that if there's no Britain there'll be no BBC in Scotland, and that giving the SNP an even break will be like the proverbial turkeys voting for christmas

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  • 103. At 07:30am on 18 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #101 JRMacClure

    Could the universal broadcasting company be the brown shirted bovver bhoys, intent on narrow control?.

    Try looking through a kaleidoscope, thing may be a bit more colourful.

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  • 104. At 08:10am on 18 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    It doesn't take long for the Scots to be at each others throats, which is manna from heaven for a deflated UK labour party and a UK resurgent Tory party; and this is only the start of the bad news! You can expect, just prior to a GE, that there will be more savage cuts in employment for the Scots so that Labour can attack the SNP for their 'mismanagement' of the Scots' economy, backed by a unionist media to lay a smokescreen in the minds of the Scottish voters to show that it is all the fault of the SNP. If it still looks as if the SNP might gain too many seats in Westminster and then in Holyrood then expect the manufacturing and industrial base of Scotland to be decimated prior to Westminster letting us go after a referendum.
    Don't expect Westminster to release us go without them sticking the knife in and twisting it until we scream. Then, the money people in London will step in and buy up everything that is left over from their scorched Scottish earth policy. They have already started; look what's happened to our banks and building society. The sad thing about all this is that we can't blame it on the English (as is our want) as it has been done by our own kind. Remember that Westminster didn't get to own nearly one third of the earth by being nice. Hell hath no fury like Westminster being scorned; unless it is by the USA in which case it is acceptable.

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  • 105. At 08:18am on 18 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #103 Or I can just watch our own Fox News for a while for something that's more out a fantasy nightmare than anything real world.

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  • 106. At 08:20am on 18 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Glen Cambell on Radio Scotland ranting his head off ... he is a disgrace to fair journalism and also to Scotland. Does he realize how ridiculous he is. Credit to John Swinney for not telling him to STFU !

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  • 107. At 08:32am on 18 Sep 2009, HughEdinburgh wrote:

    Brian,

    Who voted for the Edinburgh Trams?

    The SNP voted against it, but the £600 million (and climbing) project was forced through by Labour and their chums.

    Edinburgh doesn't need trams, and yet Glasgow needs a rail link.

    So why oh why did Labour force through trams for Edinburgh that we didn't want, or didn't need, when they knew other projects were more urgent.

    And again, Labour project, Scottish parliament, estimate £40 million, actual cost over £400 million. Labour doesn't have a clue how to run their own pet projects, let alone a country.
    We can see that with the economic disaster zone that Britain has become under their watch.

    Then there's all the squandered money from Scottish oil.

    Then there are the wars which we've been dragged into.

    Just think what could have been achieved if all that money hadn't been wasted.

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  • 108. At 08:32am on 18 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    Still no explanation from the BBC as to why they have removed my registered account name and replaced it with the number you see above.

    Anyway ….

    Few quick points on the GARL decision:

    The BBC are throwing the 'anti-Glasgow' phrase around with gay abandon, so no surprise there. Sadly, The Herald is also doing the same.

    Have Labour committed yet another tactical blunder with their focus on Glasgow and their apparent ambivalence to the rest of Scotland?

    An astute interviewer might be tempted to ask if the £500 million cut imposed on Scotland by Labour is evidence of an anti-Scottish agenda. Or if the billions being spent on the London Olympics is evidence of a pro-London agenda.

    How will this claim play out when compared to the billions that are still being poured into the London Olympics?

    Indeed, the consqequential budget that Scotland should have received from the funding of this London project would have covered GARL funding.

    Labour MSP Derek Whitton was on radio this morning admitting that the anti-Glasgow phrase was "a bit strong", are we seeing some Labour MSP's backtracking from yet another knee jerk anti-SNP reaction from Labour in Scotland?

    Interestingly, both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems refused to endorse this anti-Glasgow Labour claim.

    Stephen Purcell has now been reduced to openly questioning the veracity of the £70 million preparation cost but refused to respond to the suggestion that the total construction cost estimate was now at £400 million.

    Purcell, recognising the vacuity of his arguments has fallen back on the now tiresome demand that everything be published. In effect, the only evidence that he has to support his claims is that he "doesn't believe the Scottish Government figures". Will Labour ne stupid enough to demand yet another public inquiry?

    I predict that this will begin to unravel for Labour, their focus on Glasgow to the exclusion of everywhere else will blow up in their faces then the media will quietly drop the whole issue to save them further embarassment.

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  • 109. At 08:34am on 18 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 101 JRMacClure

    You do know that MI5 is allowed to vet the personel files of those that work at the BBC? They have done so since the 'reds under the beds' scare in the 1950s and probably before that as well.

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  • 110. At 08:36am on 18 Sep 2009, HughEdinburgh wrote:

    Brian,

    Labour cannot have their cake and eat it you know.

    Having thrown money at their own pet projects, and not set any aside for a rainy day, then not having prepared for crunch times, how on earth do they expect everything to be funded when there is no money left in the pot.

    To add insult to injury, Labour control OUR purse strings, so manipulate things so that they can make it look as if Scotland can't manage our own affairs.

    Simple solution to all this nonsense.

    Everybody in Scotland knows it.

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  • 111. At 08:41am on 18 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #105

    Around the world in 80 seconds, what a foxy lady you are. LOL

    Is the liberal grip on the USA melting because the need to embrace new ways and new health care reforms.

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  • 112. At 08:46am on 18 Sep 2009, skint wrote:

    Everyone knew that cut had to come, and whilst disappointed that the GARL has been cancelled we still have significant investment in Glasgow transport throught the M74 link, and the upgrade to the A80 which will improve links from Stirling/Cumbernauld. There is also considerable investment in the Commonwealth Games for Glasgow which will see a lot of jobs generated in construction over the next few years. Let us be realistic, the Scottish Gvernment are not Anti Glasgow they are doing their best under difficult ecnomic circumstances and the opposition parties need to get over it.

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  • 113. At 08:54am on 18 Sep 2009, finbarthesage wrote:

    Now is the time to count the cost of all of the freebies such as tolls and social benefits which exceed the established UK levels. As usual the Scottish government leans towards paying people to stay out of work rather than developing the infrastructure. No doubt, in a few months time, when memory has dimmed, the SNP will be blaming Westminster for not providing funds for the rail link.

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  • 114. At 09:19am on 18 Sep 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    Amidst all the Labour Party hyperbole, its worth reading the final couple of paragraphs of the BBC's own report with the remarkable sane and sensible views from BAA and Renfrewshire Council

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  • 115. At 09:22am on 18 Sep 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    113 Would you like to back up that statement with some proof?
    Perhaps you should check out south of the border too?
    Just a thought.

    "No doubt, in a few months time, when memory has dimmed, the SNP will be blaming Westminster for not providing funds for the rail link."

    Ah! Clairvoyance is a wonderful gift!

    How about just blaming a flimsy tram for Edinburgh project forced through by the Lab/Lib/Cons - I remember that well enough and there is plenty of proof around to support my allegation.
    How about yours?

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  • 116. At 09:26am on 18 Sep 2009, uk_abz_scot wrote:

    #98 What's the SNP going to cancel next year? Anyone who thinks you can run a modern economy on poor transport links beggars belief. Schools and Hospitals have had Mr Brown spend extra billions on them. I find it hard to believe that there are not efficiencies that could be made in Education and Health.

    #15 So now there won't be spare buses (not needed if GARL was built) to compete with other bus companies! How convenient!

    I often wonder how much certain bus companies get from the public purse (central and local) each year. No wonder the OFT is looking into the bus "market".


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  • 117. At 09:28am on 18 Sep 2009, snowthistle wrote:

    I live near Glasgow and the rail link would have been nice, though it is difficult to get decent flights out of Glasgow anyway. I'm a bit disappointed but unlikely to lose any sleep over it and I certainly wont start complaining about the money allocated to other Scottish cities just because the Scottish media wants me to.

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  • 118. At 09:32am on 18 Sep 2009, dear_wendy wrote:

    Labour taking the voters as fools yet again.

    Cut the budget available to the SNP Scottish Government. Check.
    Cry "Foul Play" when the SNP announce what spending is cut as a result. Check.

    Approve accelarated spending by both UK and Scottish Govts . Check
    Blame budget shortfall on SNP accelarated spending. Check

    Vote for Edinburgh trams, against SNP wishes. Check
    Make out SNP is anti Glasgow prior to ridiculaously delayed Glasgow NE By-election. Check

    The sad thing is people continue to buy it!





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  • 119. At 09:39am on 18 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #116 uk_abz_scot -'Schools and Hospitals have had Mr Brown spend extra billions on them.' erm he hasnt spent billions ...they are mostly PFI projects which will cost our children a fortune when they growup. All GB has done is tried to make himself look super efficient when in actual fact he's no better than somebody with 10 credit card debts.

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  • 120. At 09:46am on 18 Sep 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    #64. cynicalHighlander wrote:
    57. X_Sticks
    "They are in the pockets of the like of Mr Milne and the Chamber of Commerce."

    "Trump"
    ----------------------------------------------------
    As I alluded to in #11 - Trump is part of the road plan.

    Tavish had to satisfy his infrastructure requirements for the Balmedie development. Hence the currently proposed route for the AWPR.
    It also meant that the route wouldn't cause any problems in Nicol Stephens seat.

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  • 121. At 09:49am on 18 Sep 2009, grimble wrote:

    God there's such a pile of pointless bickering here! The fact is that this is only the start of the pain we'll all have to take in spending cuts as the result of the recession caused by all of us bingeing on cheap credit. Yep the bankers offered us the sweets, but no-one forced us to take them!

    Of course it's in the SNP's interests to overstate cuts from the Treasury, and it's in Labour's interests to contradict that.... but that doesn't alter the financial state Scotland, the UK, and the world is in. It would be lovely to have a rail link to Glasgow Airport - and Edinburgh Airport as well (remember that, you "anti-Glasgow" faction?) but I think we can wait a few more years if it means protecting basic services.

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  • 122. At 09:52am on 18 Sep 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    #62. barbarian9 wrote:

    "as for aberdeen, i was up there about two months ago. getting from the bridge of dee to hazlehead took 30 mins and that was not during rush hour. i know the city well and the bypass will not suddenly produce a miracle."
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    I commute daily from 3 miles south of Aberdeen to Bridge of Don. It normally takes me about 30 minutes.
    The thing that really annoys me is that the wool is being pulled over the eyes of Aberdonians. They are being led to believe that when this wonderful new road is built all the traffic in Aberdeen will magically dissapear. It won't.

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  • 123. At 09:53am on 18 Sep 2009, kaybraes wrote:

    More cash thrown at the health service but no attempt to make it any better, however at least money is being saved on GARL which is not a desperately needed project. Lets also have the useless Newcraighall to Galashiels rail project scrapped before it costs the taxpayer any more. Good to see the enterprise board budgets cut, perhaps they would be better disbanded altogether, they are a waste of public money. Now we need a gross reduction in the size of state funded bodies and local government with a dramatic reduction in the number of people employed by the state.

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  • 124. At 10:07am on 18 Sep 2009, Jeff86_ wrote:

    This project should really be considered high priority by the Government, if anyone has been on the M8 Kingston bridge and onward any time recently, its obvious the route is screaming out on something to divert at least part of the traffic. There is absolutely no point in investing in buses when they get stuck on the bridge like every other road user!

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  • 125. At 10:11am on 18 Sep 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    #123 - Agreed - I thought we'd seen enough evidence in eastern Europe on the failure of state planned economies to stop harking back to nationalisation as a cure for the economy.

    The only effective arm of SE that I've ever seen is when they act as an arm of further education on business issues.

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  • 126. At 10:24am on 18 Sep 2009, misallot wrote:

    What's bad for Glasgow is good for Paisley. So little joined up thinking as usual. How can it be that Paisley, with an international airport, NOT Glasgow, a motorway (without the kinston bridge to worry about)and rail links, down south can be one of the most deprived towns in the whole country? Paisley has good transport (bus/taxi) links for the five minutes it takes to get from Gilmour Street to the airport....that link forces people to use local services and helps boost the economy in a little way. that benefit should increase now that the town is losing its 'oneway/don't come near the town centre' traffic system.

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  • 127. At 10:24am on 18 Sep 2009, Fionascot wrote:

    Isn't all this talk about this cut and that cut and who gets what a distraction from the real issue? That is why we are having to face the cuts in the first place. UK Plc has run out of money. The cause - maverick bankers and investment brokers gambling with massive amounts of other folk's money and losing spectacularly (while lining their own pockets). UK Gov has bailed them out and we are all having to pay. The poorest in society will, as usual, suffer the most. Is this acceptable? Who is now representing the ordinary punter?

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  • 128. At 10:43am on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    121. grimble22350
    "recession caused by all of us bingeing on cheap credit"
    The recession wasn't caused by us bingeing on cheap credit. The recession was caused because the banks, not content with abandoning principle by selling people products that they shouldn't have, then poisoned their own well by obfuscating the resultant products and selling them on to one another. This selling on is where the major money/debt is constructed. At the point at which it became unsustainable, the banks couldn't trust one another as lenders, and didn't know what possible losses they were exposed to. So, 'boo hoo!', they cry to the governments who bail them out with our money to save them from the notional cost of what they might lose if the debt does turn out to be all bad, so that they can continue to lend to those who need it (except they aren't doing too much of that). I'll not get into bonuses and the continuing failure to impose regulation.

    So yes, consumer credit is part of the picture, but it is not the cause.
    Also, the banks and the rest of the financial sector create their operating environment, they create the products available in it, and the protocols by which transactions are made. The public on the other hand, live under the consequences of the financial (and other) systems, their ability to change them is extremely limited, and on the whole we do what humans generally do, we operate on the basis of the affordances offered to us.

    I agree with some of what you say though, in a choice between protecting front line services and new infrastructure projects, front line services is the best choice. Given that, the bickering has a pretty clear origin.

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  • 129. At 10:46am on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    125. Aikenheed
    "I thought we'd seen enough evidence in eastern Europe on the failure of state planned economies to stop harking back to nationalisation as a cure for the economy."

    How does nationalism equal state planned economies?

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  • 130. At 10:48am on 18 Sep 2009, rolfrae wrote:

    Labour are cutting their cake and eating it. Westminster has the knives out, slashing away (so far in secret) at budgets that have to be cropped due to a financial crisis that they oversaw. Here at Holyrood they are against any kind of cut, trying to kid us on that there's more money now than there ever had been. BBC Radio Scotland (I can't recall the interviewer's name) asked Purcell this morning what he would cut instead of the airport link and he waltzed his way around the question. But that is the question - what would you cut instead? That is THE question Swinney and the government are putting to Parliament. This is the time for the opposition parties to put forward their proposals and stop whinging like brats who've just had their pocket money capped. It's bad enough listening to Glen Campbell gurning, as if the SNP have just killed his granny and sold his BMX to pay for their evil referendum - the daft wee lad was actually attacking Swinney this morning for NOT cutting the NHS budget.

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  • 131. At 10:54am on 18 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 46 Cynical

    What a ridiculous post. If you use that kind of logic you will just stay at home and never travel. All transport modes have accidents.

    I don't agree with the waste of money on Edinburgh's ridiculous tram system but at least use a sensible argument.

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  • 132. At 10:58am on 18 Sep 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    If the SNP is to make progress it has to increase its share of parliamentary seats and its stated policy is to be seen to be an efficient government. So the argument that they are favouring areas where they already hold seats seems to be a bit of a fallacy.

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  • 133. At 11:10am on 18 Sep 2009, grimble wrote:

    Ah Mrbfaethedee, I'm with you in your frustration at the bankers, their greed and incompetence, and the way they have effectively got away with it at our enormous expense. However just stop and think for a minute - if they hadn't managed to persuade the rest of us to borrow from them, they would have had nothing to trade with each other in those increasingly obscure ways.

    Of course most individual customers can no doubt justify their individual borrowing - but let's be honest, we all did it because we all want a better house/new car/plasma TV, and if we're offered relatively easy ways to do it, we all jump at the chance. The bankers took advantage of human nature, but I'm sorry, we still weren't forced to do it - we could have stood back and thought "hmm is this really a good idea in the medium term?". Again I say - if someone offers you a tray of sweets, you CAN refuse!

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  • 134. At 11:10am on 18 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Another masterly performance from John Swinney.
    It is important that the Council Tax Freeze is continued. There is no better way to stimulate a struggling economy than to make sure the population has a little more money to spend. What will become very evident as we go on is that john Swinney is quietly and efficiently squeezing out the huge waste in our natioanal and local government operations allowing more of the increasingly scarce cash they have been wasting to be used in more fruitful ways.
    There will of course be some pain involved but I believe the expert who stated that local government in Scotland in particular was overstaffed (at huge public expense) to the tune of about 30%.

    I suspect we will have to be independent before we can really set about providing the revolution we need in our transport operation and infrastructure.

    We must make sure that we do not go any further down the road of the ruinous PPP/PFI under which the previous Labour administation,claiming to build this and that, has left the next generation of Scots a huge unservicable burden of debt.
    We must only build what we can pay for out of current revenues until we get control of our own finances. At the moment we are continually at he mercy of mischief in this area from our unionist opponents but they are finding honest John Swinney a hard nut to crack.

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  • 135. At 11:18am on 18 Sep 2009, minceandmealie wrote:

    I don't think there has been enough attention paid to what a dodgy project the GARL was. The costs had been grossly understimated, and recent estimates had risen dramatically (eg moving the tank farm at the airport - from £5M to £30M). So, £400M and rising for what is basically a mile of new railway and a station....? Ouch.

    It would be altogether better to run a link via Renfrew and Braehead, where there is a painful lack of public transport and a very large number of potential passenegers.

    Admittedly, GARL was still more sensible than the crazy one billion pound Edinburgh airport rail link project already cancelled by the Scottish government. (I suppose the SNP must be biased against both Glasgow and Edinburgh then...?) Taking the £500M+ Edinburgh trams project into consideration (rather a lot to replace two bus routes, don't you think?) you get the impression that the previous Holyrood administration was a pretty easy sell.

    Those days are clearly over, both politically and economically.

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  • 136. At 11:32am on 18 Sep 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    113. finbarthesage

    The freebies as you talk of are very welcome. Over the years I have had to visit the local hospital on numerous occasions due to children with health conditions, visiting a sibling who was attacked and nearly died , visiting a father who had cancer and died, and the last thing you want to be worrying about is if you have a couple of quid to get out of the car park sometimes 4 times a day!

    The country as a whole benefits from the Toll free bridges and the reduced cost of ferries, evidence I have seen for myself working around the highlands and islands, the islands this year have been inundated with tourists, and they have to pass through other places before they get to the islands, so we all benefit.

    My business rates as a small business are nil this year, my costs for tolls and ferries are hugely reduced, resulting in me making more profit this year, and who benefits from more profit, the taxman in Westminster, so if you ask me Westminster wants to send a big thankyou to the SNP government for their policies , because whilst they may appear small things, added up they make a big change, and it a whole lot more than I have noticed in the 8 years of Labour run Scottish Government.

    I am not biased one way or the other, in fact I voted labour last time, but from all the parties in Scotland Labour wants to hang its head in shame for playing politics, for its dirty dealings, for the outright lies that are given as fact and spewed out verbatim by the press and the BBC, I encourage a credible opposition, but Labour in Scotland are a joke and they are relying on their old strangleholds and the union links of old to hang on to their seats, people that without thinking or due to and old sense of loyalty vote Labour because they think it is the right thing to do, and because the events are framed in the media and on the Beeb to make them thing this too.

    Jim Sillars on STV and the ex Conservative chap Michael hit the nail on the head, hard times are coming no matte.

    But don't make them think its all our fault, because its not. We pay our taxes, we voted these people in, and Westminster let the city off the leash to reek havoc on the economy through their greed, sure a few percent maybe over extended themselves, but don't forget that in real terms normal peoples wages have gone down in compared to inflation , so it was bound to end up with some folk spending what they didn't have, but those in the club made more money than ever.

    Bottom line is the UK is in hock in part due to Government rule changes over the years which in turn meant the city went on a money frenzy like a crack addict and even though they knew towards the end it could not last they still carried on, lending other peoples money to make more money for them and their bonuses.


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  • 137. At 11:36am on 18 Sep 2009, deadgoatsociety wrote:

    #132,

    I agree, it would be a cynical government indeed that pursued policies and spending priorities purely on what would gather them most votes, rather than what was in the National interest. One mark of a mature government is how well it handles the difficult and unpopular decisions.

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  • 138. At 12:07pm on 18 Sep 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    The failure of the Labour UK government to build up the public finances in the good times means that the crisis of Anglo-American capitalism has caused it to take measures to prevent an economic depression which have involved spending money that it did not have in order to save financial institutions and stimulate the economy.

    In other words, it is dangerously deeply in debt now. Right up to its neck in doo-doo, not to put too fine a point on it. This is a position which is unsustainable, as you don't need me to tell you if you have ever been up to your neck in doo-doo. Public debt needs to be reduced, and the process of reducing it cannot be put off for long, unfortunately for the Labour Party, which was evidently hoping to put it off until after the UK general election.

    Unfortunately, tax revenue, due to rising unemployment and other factors, is going down just at the time when it would have needed to go up to keep government expenditure cuts to a minimum. Taxes cannot be raised to make up the difference, because the UK economy is in far too fragile a condition to tolerate this without further damage to it which would make the exercise rather questionable. Therefore, there will have to be very substantial cuts in UK government expenditure, starting very soon, and the budget allocated to the Scottish Government cannot be expected to be exempted from this process, naturally, as Joe Blogs in Sidcup would have a seizure.

    Brian Taylor is right:

    "In the longer - but only slightly longer - term, politicians of all parties will face the necessity to process much more substantial cuts in public expenditure as the bills for the banking crisis come in.

    When that happens, today's sound and fury will seem like a tame dress rehearsal."

    The reality of the economic upheaval which the UK is undergoing is about to grip you by the throat and translate itself into a political upheaval. Which party is more likely to benefit from all of this in Scotland? The one that is reducing the Scottish budget or the one that is merely administering it?

    Clearly, Scottish Labour has every interest in confusing the electorate on the subject of where ultimate responsibility lies for cuts affecting what remains of its heartland, but it cannot seriously expect to conceal the fact that, under the present constitutional arrangements, the size of the Scottish budget is set in London. That budget is being reduced by the Labour Party and is soon going to be reduced very substantially, necessitating in due course further difficult prioritizing in Edinburgh.

    Time to face facts: government spending in the UK must go down alarmingly. The pips will squeak, and the pipsqueaks in Scottish Labour will squawk. Then will come the UK and Scottish general elections, and all hell will break loose. Have a nice day.

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  • 139. At 12:18pm on 18 Sep 2009, JayBee wrote:

    For me, Brian Taylor and Eddie Mair offer some of the best insights and comment on today's BBC news stories - national or international - for the non specialist listener/viewer. They are brief, consise and non-pretentious. Following in the footsteps of the great Chas Wheeler...?

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  • 140. At 12:22pm on 18 Sep 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    #129 Mrb
    It doesn't of course - I was merely echoing the view that lots of centralised governement is bad. It worries me that some think that a post independence Scotland will automatically return to the form of socialism which favours natinalisation

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  • 141. At 12:23pm on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    133. grimble22350
    Yes, we could have refused. We could all refuse all the products of our throwaway consumerist culture - it harms our societies, it harms our environment, it harms our future - yet we don't refuse. Why then would we refuse one part of it? It's systemic. It's worth noting also that the major source of sub-prime mortgage debt was from the USA, UK banks gambled on these derivatives. And it is from their exposure to those 'securitized' gambles that they came a cropper. I do agree though, the same kind of process was going on here in the UK, so the underlying human nature is the same. Remember too the role played by ratings agencies in classifying sub-prime debt as low-risk, and maintaining the AAA status of some of the most heavily exposed players amongst the financial institutions.

    In this instance yes, sub-prime mortgage debt was the poison at the heart of the financial shenanigans. It didn't just get passed around though, it got sold, and sold again, and so on - each time increasing the exposure of those who were gambling on that debt, each time hiding and distributing cause. Sweets were offered to the individual, but the sub-prime mortgages constituted a fraction of the US mortgage market (15% i think, I'll gladly be corrected), so clearly the offering and acceptance of these sweets doesn't constitute the actual substantive nature of the near collapse (so close, maybe next time) of the financial sector.

    Markets only work when they are open (in terms of relevant information), and where the models by which we understand them map on to the real world. So, where we have consumers jumping at easy credit, this is as you point out a perfectly rational assumption to model since it corresponds to reality, and the consumers buying easy credit obfuscate nothing. The other side of the equation is the market players who hide information from the market by hiding the debt, the riskiness of the debt and their exposure to it.

    I think we probably agree that the our motivations as a consumerist society are self-harming. I think we differ on how we avoid it. You're correct - people shouldn't financially overextend themselves, particularly not just to keep up with expectations on their entitlement, or to try and magically make money out of a never-ceasing property price escalator. People will though, particularly when it is the logical extension of everything our economic models, political establishment, and media express into society. People won't simply stop seeking to advance their own fortunes in the same way that, for example, businesses do.
    Systems need to be changed.

    Sorry for the length and jumbled nature of the post, I appreciated your response and felt obliged to reply but I'm squeezing it in at work.

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  • 142. At 12:26pm on 18 Sep 2009, LondonSteve wrote:

    I converted another dis-illusioned labour supporter to switch alliegence, didn't take much convincing at all. 40 years of voting labour and it's got him nothing. Critical mass is nearly here.

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  • 143. At 12:34pm on 18 Sep 2009, that wee C wrote:

    This is a draft budget , so will Mr Pucell and the Scottish Labour MSPs sink this budget and force an election????

    I don't think so. Scotland is deperate to have an election and it is not going to go the oppositions way.

    Most Scotas are sick of a Westminster driven Holyrood and a less than honest Calman.

    Scotland wants Fiscal Autonomy and Pro Scotland MSPs.

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  • 144. At 12:40pm on 18 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #134 sneckedagain - 'but they are finding honest John Swinney a hard nut to crack. '. I listened to the show on Radio Scotland and he came across quite well despite the rabid rantings thrown at him by Glen Cambell. I had to have a wee chuckle later on when nearly all the callers said it was the correct thing to do regarding the rail link. Either the SNP has a lot of loyal followers or Labour have totally misjudged this attack.


    #135 minceandmealie - 'The costs had been grossly understimated, and recent estimates had risen dramatically (eg moving the tank farm at the airport - from £5M to £30M). ' .. when the new cargo sheds were built up here they had the same dilemma and the fuel farm had to be moved. The extra cost came from the fact that the earth under the farm was so contaminated with fuel that the only place that could take it was in Birmingham !!

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  • 145. At 12:47pm on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    136. romeplebian
    Well said on the 'freebies'!

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  • 146. At 12:54pm on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    140. Aikenheed
    Fair enough.
    I'd rather we seek new models - i think rampant consumerist capitalism is clearly bust as a model now, the voodoo economics of trickle down theory discredited, and as you point out ideological centralised socialist models have failed too.
    Thinkers needed.

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  • 147. At 1:24pm on 18 Sep 2009, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    Listening to the coverage of the "debate" yesterday I was struck by how much Andy Kerr's tones and inflections sounded like Steven Hawking's Voice synth.

    (Don't beleive me - go back and listen)

    The difference being that Steven Hawking has a brain the size of a planet and is privy to the innermost workings of the Universe.

    Andy Kerr would be doing well if he could prove that he was privy to the innermost workings of a privy.

    Laughable !

    [Nice to see Aunty Bella and the boys and girls back on board the good ship Sensible however.]

    Glen Campbell on GMS this morning. I do hope that John Swinney wasn't in the same studio or he would have needed a glass sheet in front of him to avoid being covered in the acidic vitriol that Mr Campbell was gobbing forth. I'm happy to hear Aasmah Mir on my morning listening but Glen, away back to ..well....anywhere really.

    Let's hear what one Mr S.Purcell (Actual Leader NuLab Northern Britain Branch) has to say on the issue this afternoon on Brian's Debate. What's the guessing that he will make Mr Campbell look like the voice of sanity and reason ?

    Northern British NuLab - The party that loves Glasgow so much that they won't put their popularity to the vote in Springburn.

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  • 148. At 1:30pm on 18 Sep 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    #146 mrbfaethedee

    "Thinkers needed."

    Look no further than

    http://frankly.yolasite.com/

    where there are introductions and links to the latest expert analyses, diagnoses and prognoses of Drs Jorion, Attali and Roubini. A new edition of Paul Jorion's prescient opus The Crisis of American Capitalism is published by Fayard on October 15th.

    As you may know, both Jorion and Attali have well developed ideas on the subject of a global economic order to replace the present global economic anarchy from which we are suffering. There is no shortage of thinking or thinkers. What is lacking is political will to impose the needed remedies in a globally concerted manner.

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  • 149. At 1:38pm on 18 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Anti-Glasgow, Anti-SNP and Aunty Beeb

    Click Here

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  • 150. At 1:43pm on 18 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Al Megrahi appeal files on the web:

    Click Here

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  • 151. At 1:53pm on 18 Sep 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    #146 Thinkers needed indeed. Hannan & Carswell came up with a new blueprint for government for example is there an equivalent out there for business?I've come across the term Regulatory Capitalism but the little reading I have done on it makes me think it is based on historical models so it may be passe after recent events.

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  • 152. At 1:57pm on 18 Sep 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    #148 - wish I'd waited a bit before writing 151

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  • 153. At 2:17pm on 18 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 134 Snecked again

    I didn't expect anything else than undying love and devotion for Mr Swinney, but..

    Surely now is the time to rethink some of the policies.

    Reduction in Prescription charges is a good idea in times where funds are plentiful. However this provides benefit to families that don't need it.

    Free school meals, again a subsidy to middle classes that don't need it.

    Freeze Council tax, again a blunt instrument to redistribute wealth.

    Free universal personal care, a 50 percent increase in overseas aid, are these really spending priorities for Scotland now? No measures to increase taxation where they can. In short an abandonment of responsibility, just carry on with "blame Westminster" mantra.

    Balance that with what we know is now not going to happen...

    Glasgow rail link, enterprise funding (Highlands particularly singled out in this cut), transport investment, housebuilding, teacher training.

    Is that the correct balance to regenerate Scotland for the future?

    I travelled up the A9 from Glasgow yesterday,duelling this is a project that the SNP government have well and truly kicked into the long grass ( the only improvements they have made is to build a new section of single carriageway road north of Perth). It took absolutely ages, queues of traffic, frustration, time wasted as it always does. A huge problem for the Highlands. But then this would secure few SNP votes or further the cause for independence.

    I feel sorry for those in Glasgow who feel bias, but the real bias in Government is towards the central belt and definitely against the North. Look at the local government spend per head in Aberdeen v Glasgow, the Health spend shows the same picture. i could go on and on but what's the point.

    Swinney for me has proposed the wrong choices in part. But what this lacks beyond anything else is any vision for doing things differently. It is just look at the budget, cut it in a very partisan way, all for short term electoral benefit. Very Nu Lab.

    I would have liked to see some new ideas, some innovation. But from Holyrood that is probably expecting too much.

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  • 154. At 2:17pm on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    148. frankly_francophone
    "Look no further than

    http://frankly.yolasite.com/
    "

    Thanks francophone. I know a little of Nouriel Roubini, but other than your prior mentions I know nothing of Attali or Jorion. I'll certainly look over your site for an indication of where they stand. If they are mainstreaming their work french, then they'll be no good to me as I can't read the language. If you have any pointers to english explanations of their ideas please let me know, or post them up on your site.
    Perhaps they have answers, perhaps not - we still need thinkers ;)

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  • 155. At 2:24pm on 18 Sep 2009, davser wrote:

    wee scamp

    You try getting from Dyce to Bridge of Dee at 4.30 on a Friday in less than an hour.

    I'll give you my car if you do.

    As to the thread. What is Purcell whining on about. Aberdeen subsidises Glasgow through the Arbuthnott Formula and now teh Resource Allocation Formula.

    Glasgow gets more perhead than Dundee and it has been calculated that Aberdeen would get £100m a year more if it was funded to the extent Dundee is.

    Purcell should come up to Aberdeen and see what lack of funding is about.

    There isn't even dual carriageway between Inverness and anywhere.

    Perhaps if Glasgow got on top of its sickness benefit culutre (25% in some areas) it would start generating some revenues so that it stopped bleeding the rest of Scotland dry.

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  • 156. At 2:25pm on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    150. U14094468
    "Al Megrahi appeal files on the web:"
    Thanks.
    Given the discussion generated on recent comment threads, these ought to get well read.

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  • 157. At 2:31pm on 18 Sep 2009, davser wrote:

    "The bypass plan is too late... Oil traffic from Peterhead is much less than it used to be and the oil industry generally is in slow decline. "

    So what better way to throttle any future economic development than to ensure there are no decent transport links north of Aberdeen.


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  • 158. At 2:32pm on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    151. Aikenheed
    I think there definitely needs to be a reassertion of some principles requiring that any business activity is not harmful to the societies in which they operate.
    Taking away the abiity for them to fail when they get their business wrong is crazy - the recent bailout as a mechanism which saved failed businesses was, in my opinion, an act of monumental cowardice by our governemnts.

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  • 159. At 2:48pm on 18 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    If hardy Harriet Harman is HarHar, does that make Gordon Brown "Lippy The Lion"?

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  • 160. At 2:49pm on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    152. Aikenheed
    "#148 - wish I'd waited a bit before writing 151"
    Don't see why - the more people thinking about alternatives, the better.

    I took a wee look at what wikipedia had to say about Regulatory Capitialism, unless the phrase has been hijacked it looks to amount to much of what is wrong with the current capitalist model, being about how you use lobbying and lawyers to get the regulation (or lack of it) that you want.
    I also took a look at Social Capitalism, and I'm sure there are others I'll find (hopefully people will point me at some too). The problem I have with all the capitalist economic models I've seen, is that they always see themselves as the 'bottom line', the notion that a sub-optimal economy might be the best fit for a well balanced society doesn't seem to be an option.
    As for the obsession with growth...

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  • 161. At 2:52pm on 18 Sep 2009, Bradamante wrote:

    # 105 JRMacClure

    Fox News, my favourite. I particularly liked their recent segment on the NHS as a breeding ground for Islamic terrorists. I hadn't realised, and I work in the NHS...

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  • 162. At 2:54pm on 18 Sep 2009, fasteagle100 wrote:

    #104
    the money people in London will step in and buy up everything that is left over from their scorched Scottish earth policy. They have already started; look what's happened to our banks and building society.

    Exactly as I've said previously, we are all now witness to Asset Stripping of Scotland. Goes to show Westminster are preparing to lose a referendum and subsequently the UK

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  • 163. At 3:01pm on 18 Sep 2009, fasteagle100 wrote:

    #106 Re: Glen Campbells Rant
    I actually texted in whilst he was in mid rant to complain about BBC bias, dont know if it was read out as I was in the office by then, but for for love of.. this was shocking. emphasis in the voice when using the words Glasgow/Bias/any other anti SNP lingo! Not allowing a sentence to be finished before chuckin in the next one. Paxo would have loved it.

    By the way with the work done already between Central and Paisley nearly finished this is a shame, and I am not happy about it, but as someone has said previously cant put Choo-Choos before schools hospitals etc.

    Would be interesting to see a parallel view of economics if a Lab executive won the election, what would the settlement have been. Vastly different I think.

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  • 164. At 3:04pm on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    So, lots of us seem to be aggreived at how much parts of our country 'subsidises' other parts.
    Presumably what we want to do is come up with a principled way of making sure that the parts of our country which are most productive get to see the benefit of it, while at he same time making sure that the parts which are less productive can be asssisted back into productivity.
    Otherwise we'll just end up with the balkanisation of our country into patchwork of relative prosperity and poverty which simply shifts over time.

    by the way - where is everyone getting the per-head by city figures from?

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  • 165. At 3:19pm on 18 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 136 romeplebian

    Spot on about the banks. By the way, who was in charge of the economy when all this was going on?

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  • 166. At 3:24pm on 18 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    Iy's been worked out that by selling out water assets it would save Scotland 300 million per year, it would then help councils who have been cut to tup to 170 million pounds per year...

    That was said the other day by the Liberal Democrats. However private companies work for maximise profits, so individually water could cost Scots more while at the same time after we spend the 300 million pounds on services that 300 million pounds (it doesn't go directly to Holyrood, but lets assume Westminister gives us it all back)will disappear and we will no longer have available funds so cuts will then have to happen... again!

    Privatisation of a public asset as important as water is not a benefit! Especially when you intend to use those funds to beef up services which will eventually have to be cut anyway once the money from the water sale happens.

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  • 167. At 3:26pm on 18 Sep 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    153. northhighlander

    whilst I agree with the frustration about the A9, if you look back in the past articles of say the Inverness Courier you will see that upgrading the A9 to dual has been a long held promise by existing governments. The A96 is worse, it can now take me up to 3 and a quarter hours to get from Inverness to Aberdeen if you hit the tractor traffic, road works, rush hour traffic wrong.
    The A9 north is much improved at Berriedale and indeed I can now travel to Thurso in 2 hours comfortably, it used to take a lot longer going via Arday, Clashmore etc etc , but now the two bridges have been built and a good stretch of the twisties have been taken out north of Helmsdale its a good drive.

    They have only just finished building the last stretch of double lane road to Mallaig which until the start of the year was the only A road in the country to have single file traffic on it.

    The road to Ullapool is good, the road past Achnasheen to Gairloch is great, so it only really leaves the A9 and A96 to be done and the Road from Inverness to Fort William and onwards, but in a way part of the appeal of that route is the road, as most commercial and normal traffic could come up the A9 if dualled.

    With regards the prescriptions, I could be persuaded to cut that to allow those who need it to have it, but how much would be saved ? the same with the money for Africa but benefits could come from that in the future , it depends on what it is used for I guess as I'm not sure.

    With regards to funding, the highlands has always trailed that of the central belt, to the point where a lot of folk expect it. The HIE are really a useless bunch in my opinion, best to get folk who have walked the walk in there. The funding from Europe which the Labour government cocked up on (objective 1) was a boost for many infrastructure projects, and the rural and small filling stations have benefited from funding to upgrade their sites. although this has now been cut to joining a waiting list, but in fairness it has been available for 10 years now and those who were going to do something have done so already.

    I am willing to cut Swinney some slack as so far his budget he talked of yesterday was a proposal. I think it is important that all partied get together for the tough times ahead for the better of the country.
    It was encouraging to see the Lib Dems and Conservative reps make noises to that effect, it just leaves Labour to stop being politicians and help out or get out.

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  • 168. At 3:31pm on 18 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Apparently the moderators are more upset with me pointing out Mr Purcell's bare faced lies, than with him openly telling them!

    This BBC bias is shocking and endemic.

    Labour is anti-Scotland, now lets see Aunty run with that for a weekly news cycle?!

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  • 169. At 3:33pm on 18 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Was up at Springburn today. In the very environs of Barlinnie they a were out on the streets wailing.
    " Hey, Shoo-ie. That's us loast wur fast link tae the airpoart. Whit'll we dae noo? We'd better vote Labour again a' the by-election"
    "Whit by-election wis that, Josie"
    "The wan we're having goad knows when. Tae replace wur MP. The wan that's knocked if aff with the big pension and the knighthood."
    "Ah didny know we hidd an MP. Is this a new thing - like whit they goat at Glasgow East last year?"

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  • 170. At 3:53pm on 18 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    147. At 1:24pm on 18 Sep 2009, Chiefy1724 wrote:
    Listening to the coverage of the "debate" yesterday I was struck by how much Andy Kerr's tones and inflections sounded like Steven Hawking's Voice synth.
    ------------

    Did you see Kerr on Newsnight Scotland when Brewer said "carp all you like but what would you do in their place?" and Kerr responded by saying "i'm not telling you"

    Sorry...is this what un-Scottish Labour can pony up to the debate over the future of public spending? Honestly?

    At least Brownlee made more sense: offering up alternatives as he criticised:

    "Keeping Scottish water in public ownership costs nearly £200 millions a year. Abolishing the graduate endowment cost nearly £20 millions. And we simply cannot justify stripping £40 millions every year from health care budges so that people who can afford to pay prescriptions get them. Alex Salmond reject every one of these suggestions"


    Although I disagree with Brownlee over privatisation of water- he makes good points about grad endow and free prescriptions.

    ...off out for a drink in Stirlings (first ever) gay bar.

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  • 171. At 3:56pm on 18 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    Are you sure that the other guy wasn't Francie?

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  • 172. At 4:00pm on 18 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 170 deanthetory

    It's all nice and fine saying that we could save money by only giving those free prescriptions to the poor and the graduate endowment but you have neglected to include the cost of what the bureaucracy would cost us in implementing this.

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  • 173. At 4:13pm on 18 Sep 2009, Aikenheed wrote:

    #164 good point - I live in the Sout West and could have piled in with how we get £4 per head for futher education compared with £16 in Highlands, the state of the A75 Euroroute, A76 Trunk road etc etc etc. I'm not so naive as to expect independence to change things completely - cities are the wealth and vote generators - however there is a better balance between town and country in Scotland and decisions made closer to the people they affect must make things fairer (By the way rural areas are the source of renewable energy - Galloway the Wind Capital of Europe anybody?)

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  • 174. At 4:19pm on 18 Sep 2009, nedafo wrote:

    All of the Glasgow v Aberdeen stuff is interesting. As many have already mentioned, because Aberdeen is considered a rich city it attracts significantly less funding per head than Glasgow.

    Glasgow and the west coast as a whole have received a disproportionately higher level of funding than the rest of Scotland for a number of years. The justification for this is that this funding is required to repair the damage done to the city and its economy during the 1980s. However, given the current reports on the number of people in Glasgow who are unemployed or on disability benefit, this disprortionately higher level of funding does not appear to be working. The point Old Nat makes at 78 is correct. As someone once put it to me, Glasgow is in the perfect location..... if you want to import tobacco from Virginia. It's the same story with cities such as Liverpool, Bristol etc.

    I listened to Stephen Purcell on the radio this morning and he made the point that Glasgow has suffered badly in this current recession due to the problems suffered by the construction industry. No doubt the Rail Link would have been another big project which would help the construction industry in the area and boost employment but I have to ask - where is the new industry in Glasgow which has driven all of this development or the past few years? Or has it all been just new houses and publicly funded projects?

    I suppose I am wittering on a bit but the issue to me all seems to come back to the rather controversial statement made by Norman Tebbit about getting on your bike. Should extra investment continue to be made in areas such as Glasgow because of the high levels deprivation or is it better spent in other locations where it might achieve better results in creating employment (even if the areas are more affluent). People may have to move to I remember the storm caused when Tebbit mentioned this irst time round (from memory, it was in relation to pit villages whose pits were being closed down) and at the time, it seemed extremely harsh. However, the older I get and more I see, the less able I am to find fault with the principle behind it. We should not try to preserve the status quo. Cities, towns and communities naturally grow and decline. Aberdeen will suffer the same problems in future years as the oil industry declines.

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  • 175. At 4:28pm on 18 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #109. At 08:34am on 18 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 101 JRMacClure

    You do know that MI5 is allowed to vet the personel files of those that work at the BBC? They have done so since the 'reds under the beds' scare in the 1950s and probably before that as well.

    Good lord! No, I didn't know that. I shouldn't be surprised.

    That is very much something to ponder, isn't it?

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  • 176. At 4:30pm on 18 Sep 2009, nedafo wrote:

    # 164 - agree with what you have posted. In my last post, the point which I am trying to make is that there comes where you have may have stop assisting those parts of the country which are less productive if the assistance you are giving prove to be unsuccesful. There might be reasons for an area being less productive which cannot be remedied by money. It might be better to spend the resources elsewhere were you can get a better return by way of increased employment. There may have to be shifts in population. This has always happened historically. Some areas simply have a geographical advantage over the other.

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  • 177. At 4:44pm on 18 Sep 2009, minceandmealie wrote:

    The obvious question to all opposition parties, given that the Scottish government budget is externally fixed, is "what would you cut from this budget, and on what would you spend that money instead?"

    Gordon Brewer put in a pretty fair performance of asking this question last night, I thought. Kerr's answer: "Not telling, but they are wrong anyway". Tory answer: "We will need to think about it." Strngest of all were the LibDems, who made a call to punish students and the middle classes. And here was me thinking that was whrere the LibDems got their votes from....principled or plain daft, take your pick.

    Glenn Campbell, on the other hand, really needs to get himself under control. My primary school age daughter, with whom I don't generally discuss the concept of media political bias or government budget deficits (focusing instead on music lessons and converting fractions to decimals...), said to me unprompted this morning "They blame Alex Salmond for everything." "Who do?" I asked. "The radio", she replied.

    This is a true story. And if my daughter notices it, I reckon the adult voting and licence fee paying population of Scotland may be noticing it too....

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  • 178. At 4:46pm on 18 Sep 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    #157 davser

    "So what better way to throttle any future economic development than to ensure there are no decent transport links north of Aberdeen."

    Transport links north of Aberdeen are already more than adequate for the most likely level of economic development. Scotland suffers very badly from a lack of private sector investment and we have an extremely poor company birthrate. We failed to take full advantage of the oil and gas bonanza and we are already falling behind in the renewable energy industry. Unsupportive banks and a lack of risk equity capital stifles economies much more than inadequate transport links.

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  • 179. At 4:53pm on 18 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    176. nedafo
    I certainly wouldn't advocate spending where it demonstrably had insufficient effect, so I think we do agree on that - there are better uses for our resources.
    I think that as a nation we are failing in having coherent policies in place at both local and national levels for making the best of what we have, and how we measure that success; I think that makes it incredibly difficult to prove either that addional resources have helped, or that they have been squandered.
    Perhaps if we become masters of our own destiny we can pay much more heed to strategies for raising our game in all parts of the country.

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  • 180. At 5:33pm on 18 Sep 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    I really wish I could place sufficient emphasis on the fact that the energy industry in Aberdeen is neither waining or going to experience waining anytime soon.

    Scaremongering about the finite nature of hyrocarbons has been spouted for years and to this very day I still hear the argument that Labour and others make about;

    1. Oil production is subsiding and is too volatile a commodity for basing a budget on. (calman)

    2. In 20 years Aberdeen will have nothing to show after the oil goes (point in turn about Trumps golfing develoment)

    On the first point - if this is true - why does the exchequer base it's budget on it? Doesn't that work both ways? In fact - the statement is misleading.

    Production is falling - true - but that is CURRENT production from proven reserves that are currently contributing to the UK exchequer.

    It does NOT include the hundreds and thousands of large finds that have been made over the last 20 to 30 years yet haven't been developed.

    A primary example is in the TAQA takeover of former Shell installations in the north sea. Shell sold some of it's northern north sea installations to Taqa along with it's current production estimates. Tell me - why would a company do that?

    Sell a 30 year old platform that now produces 12,000 BBLS a day from a heyday high of 80,000 to a new investor in the UK?

    If it's true that North Sea oil is running out - why is this phenomenon happening all over the North Sea?

    The simple answer is because it isn't. Whats happening instead is very simple. The major players, Shell, BP and Marathon have decided not to invest in the North Sea so much anymore... can anyone guess why?

    For those of you in doubt, you should check the current rate of windfall tax applied to North Sea Oil & Gas profits compared with the 70's and 80's. The government is solely to blame for this apparent "ecline in production" they have made it harder for Companies like BP and Shell to invest in the North sea - when they can expect 10 x the profit ploughing the money into developments in West Africa or Asia.

    My point in all of this is that Aberdeen and Scotland have the real possibility of flourishing under the right ecomonic leadership - to the benefit of everyone in Scotland. Under the right economic leadership from the UK we to could have achieved great things, but instead consecutive Conservative & Labour governments alike used it to prop up thier disasterous policies to the detriment of all in the UK - not just Scotland.

    The UK had it's chance to transform the fortunes of the country like Norway did and blew it. It is not too late for Scotland to give it a try on her own and beleive me when I say that there is absolutely no reason we couldn't or shouldn't do just that.


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  • 181. At 5:55pm on 18 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 175 JRMacClure

    I'll try to find a link for you but it has been a while since I read that.

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  • 182. At 6:08pm on 18 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    172. At 4:00pm on 18 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:
    # 170 deanthetory

    It's all nice and fine saying that we could save money by only giving those free prescriptions to the poor and the graduate endowment but you have neglected to include the cost of what the bureaucracy would cost us in implementing this.

    ----

    fair point, and I don't have the numbers at hand about the cost projections- though I am certain someone will have done them.

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  • 183. At 6:09pm on 18 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 175 JRMacClure

    Try this for starters here. There are lots more and it might take me a while to sort of the wheat from the chaff. I'm sure that you must have something similar over there. It isn't so strange that a huge media organisation like the BBC shouldn't attract attention from the security services. It seems logical to me that such a huge media organisation should have some form of vetting going on. Seriously, we can't have 'reds under the beds' or 'terrorist' sympathisers in charge of programming, now can we? ;-)

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  • 184. At 6:26pm on 18 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #171
    No, it was definitely Shoo-ie. But it might have been Shoo-ie Francis right enough.

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  • 185. At 6:28pm on 18 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #178
    "Unsupportive banks and a lack of risk equity capital stifles economies...."
    and you might have added "no real control of your own economy and no real access to your own funds"

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  • 186. At 7:12pm on 18 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    131. northhighlander
    "What a ridiculous post. If you use that kind of logic you will just stay at home and never travel. All transport modes have accidents. "

    Putting a fixed line transport system into a usual multi flexible system is asking for trouble as they don't mix.

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  • 187. At 8:47pm on 18 Sep 2009, BoNG0_1 wrote:

    #20 Thomas Porter, your final comment about Glaswegian's not being able to get a job is un-called for. I am a Weegie and an SNP member. The SNP are working to make Glasgow (along with the rest of Scotland) a better place. Regional arguments perpetrated by the pathetic opposition party's along with their controlled media should be ignored for the dross that it is.

    The UK financial situation is what it is because of Labour and the Tory's before them being simply useless. The Scottish SNP government are trying to do what they can with what they are given. Maybe if we had full fiscal control over our future, then Holyrood could start to really achieve better things for the people of this wee country of ours?

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  • 188. At 10:06pm on 18 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    BoNG0_1:

    #187.

    Is it? It may have been put forward quite blunty but it's reality. I know there is historic reasons, especially surrounding industry which has contributed to the issues within Glasgow, but many may not realise that Glasgow does receive much resources in comparison to other parts of Scotland.

    Perhaps I feel strongly about the issue because much north of Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh and Stirling is ignored. Perhaps I am the future, I am sure many would agree that Glasgow might have needed extra funding but it's been so long that others might be asking or rethinking their positions.

    I will admitt that my pateince is running thin quite quickly, sooner or later I will start beleiving it will be better to simply cut our losses before investing more time, effort and money.

    I certainly will not allow GlasgowGooner to attempt to seek political advantage and pretend that Glasgow is actually hard done by, that simply adds fuel to the flames.

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  • 189. At 10:06pm on 18 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Worrying or what?

    Scottish newspaper groups discuss joint bid for STV news

    Johnston Press – owner of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday – the Herald & Times Group, which owns the Herald in Glasgow, and Dundee-based publisher DC Thomson, are discussing bidding for a three-year Scottish IFNC pilot, as proposed by media regulator Ofcom.

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  • 190. At 10:52pm on 18 Sep 2009, frankly_francophone wrote:

    #154 mrbfaethedee

    Some indication of Jorion's ideas can be found in The Crisis of Anglo-American Capitalism at

    http://frankly.yolasite.com/

    This item consists of an authorized translation of the accompanying video.

    What I can do for you additionally is to give you a link to Dr Jorion's English-language blog, which, although worth consulting to see where he is coming from, is not kept up-to-date in the way in which his French-language one is. The reason for that, as he has explained, is that, whereas the French-speaking world has responded with enthusiasm to his radical ideas, it is a different story in the English-speaking one.

    Essentially Jorion regards the current crisis not so much as an economic one as a crisis of civilization, in the course of which capitalism as we know it is dying, as it has become unsustainable. He advises the creation of a global economic constitution, arguing that global economic anarchy can now no more be tolerated than political anarchy.

    Jorion, who is an anthropologist as well as an economist, has published in English, in which he is extremely fluent. See

    http://www.pauljorion.com/

    His English-language blog is at

    http://www.pauljorion.com/blog_en/

    If you post a comment there, he might respond to it himself when he can find time.

    Nouriel Roubini (Dr Doom) operates in English from New York. He is more circumspect, but his blog is definitely worth consulting:

    http://www.rgemonitor.com/blog/roubini/

    He also broadcasts frequently, as indeed does Paul Jorion in France.

    As for Attali, he has a Franch-language blog that provides translations of his posts. The link to this is in my site's blogroll.

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  • 191. At 11:06pm on 18 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    One by one they fall. I had been persuaded that Stephen Purcell was a politician of some potential (then he comes up with this unacceptable and disgusting attempt to turn Scotland on itself for the benefit of London Labour.
    A sorry day indeed when the whole Labour Party in Scotland appears to consist of political pygmies. They won't even be footnotes in history but I would have thought that the smarter among them would have seen the way the wind was blowing by now and trimmed their courses accordingly. That they don't even have the wit to be efficient chancers tells you all you need to know about them.
    We are in the end game. The desperation of the unionists is increasing daily and no dirty trick, no lie is beyond them - especially as they know the tame media will faithfully print and distribute the lies without question. We will have to be strong.
    Every morning I get up and struggle to my computer and switch it on, access the media player and start up "Sich a Parcel of Rogues" (Barbara Dickson's spine tingling version) and that sets me up for the day.
    To be recommended.

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  • 192. At 11:08pm on 18 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #189

    Can't result in anything worse than the state of STV at the moment.

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  • 193. At 11:17pm on 18 Sep 2009, Robabody wrote:

    #189 online-ed

    you bet, with no papers supporting an independence line, what chance of an unbiased level platform? I mean we are lucky we have the beeb already providing that - aye right! Speaking of which, why haven't we heard anything from Aye Right recently?

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  • 194. At 00:22am on 19 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    It has to be said that the Dundee Courier, The Sunday Post and the P&J are mostly fair to the SNP. May explain why the SNP is stonger in their areas of distribution than in the Record, Herald, Scotsman areas

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  • 195. At 00:38am on 19 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    190. frankly_francophone
    Thanks francophone!
    Just catching up before logging off. I'll check these links out over the weekend.

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  • 196. At 01:51am on 19 Sep 2009, Clearpolitics wrote:

    The Scottish Government has to spend the money it receives from Westminster, (hand outs), which has been reduced in real terms.

    The Scottish Government is not free to raise its own finances.
    It should be.

    The Glasgow rail link to it's airport is not a priority, so sadly it is axed to provide funds for imperative funding.

    Taxi drivers are happy and life goes on as before.

    Big deal.

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  • 197. At 09:25am on 19 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Just listened to Glenn Campbell's interview with John Swinney and it was as expected. Campbell's aggression heightens quite markedly when interviewing SNP politicians.

    Nice to hear Swinney comrehensively destroying the anti-Glasgow claims.

    Interestingly, Campbell decided that the SNP were in fact anti-West of Scotland.

    However, one area caught my attention and it was when Campbell questioned Swinney on the increase to the health budget. Campbell stated that Fergus Ewing had previously said that all areas would experience cuts.

    Now, my recollection is that Ewing actually said that no areas were guaranteed to escape cuts and that every one would effectively have to argue their case.

    I may be wrong of course, but it is an important distinction.

    Campbell's now infamous gratuitous dig was there as well when he asked Swinney why anyone would believe them on anything now given that they had "broken their promise" to construct GARL for the Commonwealth Games.

    Feedback thus far on the anti-Glasgow claim - "ridiculous" seems to be the consensus, Purcell is making himself look a fool.

    Oh, I also saw Kerr's performance on Newsnight - PPP/PFI is apparently the way forward and his sign off of "Ahm no tellin ye" was wonderfull.

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  • 198. At 10:09am on 19 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 156

    These files should be disregarded, because there is only one place Megrahi can clear his name that is in a Scottish Court. He chose not do that. His release was not dependant on dropping his appeal, he decided to walk away form the only process that could clear his name.

    Putting documents on the internet is not the way to go. I tells only one side of the story, but for the less balanced amongst you that will probably suffice, but it is not justice.

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  • 199. At 10:40am on 19 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 167 romeplebian

    I have to correct you but the A9 has not been improved at Berriedale in the last 40 years. (Another Scheme the SNP deemed unworthy of Investment) I assume you are referring to the improvements at Helmsdale or the Ord of Caithness, none of which were done under the SNP government.

    This is the first time in over 25 years there has not been a scheme in either design or construction on the A9 north of Perth. The SNP just won't spend money on Transport in the Highlands. Look at the hassle the Highland Council are having trying to sort out the Wester Ross Postbus situation, they have asked for Government support and received... Nothing. (Note this is not necessarily Money) That is the last lifeline Postbus services left in the rural Highlands, the rest have already gone in the last two Financial years. However money was found for the SNP voting Western Isles for ferry Subsidy.

    Look at the cut to HIE. Okay you say they are useless, I find it hard to argue that they do a good job. However we should not mix up performance with the requirement to undertake the task. HIE are leading on Tidal Power development in the Pentland Firth, a supposed key project for Scotland to realise Alec's often trumpeted "Saudia Arabia of Renewables vision". This cut pushes the realisation of that dream further away. At precisely the time we should be investing in this area to secure our place in this market we are cutting investment. Crazy, absolutely crazy. Only a complete incompetent would consider this a good idea. A chance to be a world leader being thrown away for political expediency.

    Tourism regeneration is vital for the Highlands, HIE are leading on that as well, another cut that will adversely affect the Highlands. Visit Scotland who now market Scotland are based in....Edinburgh. How much effort do they put into the Highlands....Absolutely nothing.

    If the SNP don't believe the enterprise network is delivering, maybe that is due to their ham fisted reform that evidently doesn't work. It is up to them to fix it. But in the middle of a recession is it really sensible to reduce investment in creating new business?

    This is a budget proposal that shows political dogma is alive and flourishing, the SNP are no more able to change the world than the Labour party are. A budget of political fixes that takes no responsibility for re-building Scotland.

    Look at the housing debacle. Is it really more important that Banker Bill earning £70k a year gets free prescriptions, free school meals for his kid, saves a few extra quid on Council tax? Is that a more socially just cause than building houses for people who have none? giving a young family a decent start in life? Is that really what Scotland is about? I hope there at least a few decent SNP people who will be honest about this, I hope the likes of Jim Sillars or others are courageous enough to speak out.

    A budget plan of the wrong choices, no innovation or new thinking. Lets see what the opposition can do because lets be honest they have plenty to attack here.

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  • 200. At 10:48am on 19 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 197 Greenockboy

    Some areas of health are experiencing Cuts as a result of the new funding formula the SNP decided to endorse. The Highlands is one such area.

    Incidentally as a result of this formula Edinburgh and Glasgow both got extra money. However if you are poor and underprivileged in Aberdeen or Inverness tough, you don't matter.

    Nice that once the central belt start to fight with each other everyone is interested. But when they are united and shafting the rest of Scotland that's okay.

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  • 201. At 10:53am on 19 Sep 2009, MartinOfBothwell wrote:

    A couple of unrelated points.

    1. What bizarre comments from Elish Angiolini over Megrahi! What's that all about?

    2. Some dreadful BBC bias today in the story about Ahmedinejad and supposed "Holocaust denial". Weak, even by tumbling BBC standards.

    3. Does anyone know when the Herald site is going to start taking comments again?

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  • 202. At 5:19pm on 19 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Rail link 'not critical' to Games ... say Commonwealth Games Federation.

    As fast as the BBC pursue both Labour's and their own anti SNP agenda the evidence appears that comprehensively destroys it.

    Can anyone explain why the BBC were even running with the claim that GARL being cancelled had somehow upset the CGF?

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  • 203. At 6:02pm on 19 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #199
    To be honest they (the opposition) have virtually nothing to attack here which is why their efforts are laughable.

    The SNP governement has done more already for my area of Highland rural Scotland than was done in the last twenty years. Just check out Richards Lochhead's activities.

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  • 204. At 6:23pm on 19 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    202. U14094468
    "Can anyone explain why the BBC were even running with the claim that GARL being cancelled had somehow upset the CGF?"

    Labour party headquarters.

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  • 205. At 9:00pm on 19 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 203

    Inverurie ain't in the Highlands.

    The SNP have treated the Highlands abysmally, no better than labour. I note you provide no examples of their fine works in the highlands, wherever you think the Highlands are.

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  • 206. At 9:01pm on 19 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Labour Party HQ in West Regent Street in Glasgow doubles as the BBC Scotland Newsroom HQ. If you want to know what heads up the BBC Scottish news in advance just go to the Labour Party website

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  • 207. At 9:27pm on 19 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #205 Richard Lochhead is the MSP for Moray .. i would say thats the highlands !

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  • 208. At 10:05pm on 19 Sep 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    Northhighlander

    "Lets see what the opposition can do because lets be honest they have plenty to attack here."

    Evidently, either the unionist parties don't see it quite the way you do, or they are entirely incompetent in articulating their case - since cack-handed 'political expediency' of the shoddiest kind is about all they have managed of late, with Labour, as ever, leading the headless chicken stampede.

    Indeed, all the London parties (inclusive of their Holyrood outposts) currently appear far too wrapped up in the electioneering sound-bites being issued from their respective party conferences, and their self-preservation at the General Election, to engage constructively in everyday issues such as the ones you so eloquently raised.


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  • 209. At 10:27pm on 19 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #205

    What's the position of Inverurie got to do with anything we are talking about?

    Richard Lochhead MSP is a Cabinet Secretary and Minister for Rural Affairs.

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  • 210. At 10:58pm on 19 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    207. ubinworryinmasheep

    The Highlands is his neck of the woods thats why he supports a central belt football team rather than his local one. I think it was one of my geography teachers in the 60's who pointed out that the topography of Caithness had more similarities with the borders rather than the Highlands.

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  • 211. At 11:00pm on 19 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #208 Labour thought they had a good point in attacking Swinneys decision to stop that Glasgow railway jobbie but they obviously didnt think it through. I followed the story on Good Morning Scotland on the radio and after the attack most of the callers said it was the right decision. Are the media so far out of touch as even Brian Taylors blog is pretty much full of pro Independence (i wont say SNP) supporters that go against anything he posts. Will the Scottish mainstream press change or will they continue to loose readers. Even if all these callers to the radio were party activists, i find it strange that Labour/Lib Dems/Torys cant match it .... or are we winning the war !

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  • 212. At 07:17am on 20 Sep 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    nh, two years , fifty years - thats the difference twixt SNP governance and labour , labour /liberal governance .

    What an impatient chap you are.

    Tell me just what the labour /liberal mob did for you?
    Indeed , tell me what the Westminster Tory party did for you.
    Actually, don't bother , I've seen for myself.

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  • 213. At 09:08am on 20 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    John Swinney has reportedly asked the opposition at Holyrood to support his call for a further acceleration of capital expenditure from the UK treasury. This seems a reasonable enough suggestion given the acknowledged continued awfull state of the UK economy and the fact that the Scottish Government cannot borrow funds.

    Below is the phraseology being used by the media in Scotland to report this call:

    The Scotsman
    ... Demand for more money

    BBC link intro
    ... demand for more cash

    BBC web article
    ... demand for more Westminster funds

    I can find no mention of the story on The Herald site nor the Sunday Mail.

    Many years ago I was given a book written by Tony Benn. One of the sections of the book dealt with the media and how they subtlely altered words when reporting on industrial disputes.

    Unions were often described as having "demanded" or "refused" whilst companies were said to have "requested" or "declined".

    Below is Iain Gray's response to Swinney's appeal for support:
    "The SNP have no idea how to run a modern economy. Their incompetence affects us all and is holding Scotland back."

    It makes you wonder who Iain Gray’s target audience are?

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  • 214. At 11:29am on 20 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    re 210

    Out of interest, exactly what would my local SPL team be in your esteemed opinion?

    Anyway you will note that many people support football teams for many reasons. My reason is simple when I was a boy watching football the late Davy Cooper was gracing the turf at Ibrox. I was lucky enough to watch him play several times and he inspired a life long love of football in me. I have supported Rangers throughout my life.

    A visit to Glasgow to either Ibrox or Parkhead on match days will see clear evidence of support from throughout Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and from further afield. Football is and should be about enjoyment. I should also point out I do a lot to support local football, as a coach, I also support my Highland league team most Saturdays.

    However your advice on what would be an appropriate local SPL team would be welcome.


    Re-snecked again.

    My point perhaps not as eloquently made as it should have been, is that Richard is fae Dundee, used to be list MSP for Inveruruie so what does he really know about rural affairs?

    Anyway I would like to see examples of the good works in rural areas referred to in your earlier posts. Perhaps there are aspects of this government I am unaware of, so please enlighten me.

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  • 215. At 11:33am on 20 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 210

    I am unsure of what you feel the point about topography has to do with anything, but I can readily agree to some similarities between Caithness and the Borders, both areas are being shafted by this SNP government.

    However there are non so blind as those who do not want to see.

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  • 216. At 11:40am on 20 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 208 Dougie Dubh

    I agree this budget settlement is a real test of the opposition parties. This represents the first set of real choices the SNP have had to make.

    This is a time where we need to spend wisely and ensure we get hte best chance of accelerated recovery form the spending we have. I reckon the choices made fail abysmally in this area.

    This should be exposed an effective opposition would do this. I have no faith in Ian Gray, Tavish or Annabel. They are useless.

    This is an open goal, Gray is the Iwelumo of poilitics if he messes this opportunity.

    It is also disappointing that the posters on here have so few dissenting voices, undying devotion is fine but a little objective thinking wouldn't go amiss.

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  • 217. At 12:24pm on 20 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Not only to we have an ineffective opposition at Holyrood, hamstrung as they are in having to wait to be told what to say by London, we also have an inadequate branch of the state broadcaster here in Scotland that seems to consider the promulgating of a Labour smear (anti-Glasgow) in place of mature analysis of the proposed budget.

    The BBC have also decided to embelish the GARL cancellation by suggesting that the Commonwealth games will be harmed.

    How interesting it would be if the BBC decided to actually highlight those areas that Labour, Conservatives and the Lib Dems would themselves target.

    The debate therefore on political blogs in Scotland is now to an increasing extent dominated by how the state broadcaster is presenting and manipulating news.

    To use your football analogy, the BBC is the referee and some decisions are calling the inpartiality of the said ref into question. Indeed, when the opposition scored a clear own goal (Chisholm) the 'ref' it seems turned a blind eye and didn't acknowledge it.

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  • 218. At 1:14pm on 20 Sep 2009, Dougie MacDuibh wrote:

    #216 Northhighlander

    You make an interesting point or two.
    LOL re the Gray - Iwelumo comparison ... if Gray could be so easily substituted, eh? :-)

    As with his hapless predecessor, though, a lot of people, myself included, will be quite happy for Gray to stay in post!

    As you'd expect, I disagree that any part of the country is being 'shafted' by the SNP.

    Projects such as improved road infrastructure and flood defences, predominantly in our 'non-urban' areas, are demanding urgent funding just at a time when less funds are available, while the purse strings continue to be tightened by Westminster.

    The system by which the Scottish economy is funded is unsustainably limited, and surely cannot continue in its current form.
    Only when the Scottish Government can raise a financial surplus, under its own control, can we begin invest properly in the diverse fabric of our country, beyond the core essentials of protecting the economy and frontline services.

    To do so will require radical developments at least in our fiscal autonomy - which, of course, the Calman Commission was ostensibly initiated to develop.
    One wonders why Labour now appears to be holding the Calman proposals in limbo, insisting - against the Commission's recommendations - that they can only be implemented as a single, indivisible programme?

    Maybe Jim Murphy knows the real answer?

    Meanwhile, though the unionists purport to advocate the successful running of our devolved Parliament, claiming the SNP are 'opposed' to its success - the reality often shows itself to be the reverse.

    Labour in particular, being well aware of the SNP's strategy to progress towards independence through the delivery of good government, have frequently exposed themselves as using everything at their disposal to undermine that process - making a hash of every issue, to the detriment of all.

    Good opposition, of course, is about recognising a responsibility to unite in support of the (minority) government as necessary in the best interests of the country.

    In their zeal to oppose the SNP at every turn, Labour have lost sight of such responsibility. Neither have they the ability to deliver constructive opposition, which, after two years in the role, hass become increasingly obvious.

    The budget is one such issue, and Labour do neither themselves or the process any credit with this 'ant-Glasgow' nonsense.

    Indeed, it appears to be having the net effect of opening up Labour's internal fissures wider than ever.












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  • 219. At 3:02pm on 20 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    218 Dougie_Dubh wrote:

    Indeed, it appears to be having the net effect of opening up Labour's internal fissures wider than ever.

    Labour's Shadow Finance Spokesman David Whitton has already publicly criticised the anti-Glasgow phrase. In a BBC Radio Scotland interview he gave on Friday morning, Whitton said the accusation was "a bit strong".

    Alas, no journalist in Scotland was listening at that moment otherwise I'm sure we would have seen headlines highlighting the split.

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  • 220. At 6:50pm on 20 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Ian Grey "The SNP have no idea how to run a modern economy," he said, adding: "Their incompetence affects us all and is holding Scotland back." ... unlike Labour who let the banks destroy themselves so much they needed public money to keep them afloat .... or who let big business run everything and cost 2 /3 times as much as doing it with public funding. Nick Clegg is right that voting in the tories is going to be no different from Labour but unfortunatly for him here in Scotland we dont have to vote for the Lib Dems either (the Lib Dems support PFI as well).

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  • 221. At 10:07pm on 20 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #214
    As I knew Richard when he lived in rural Argyll I think you are a bit off the mark (as usual).

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  • 222. At 10:25pm on 20 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    We have an interesting development here. The media and the BBC's willingness to highlight even the most infantile and banal attack on the SNP Government by Labour in particular and the rest of the raggle taggle unionist opposition is having the unintended effect of hastening the destruction of them and not of the SNP.
    This is wonderful.
    Lets hope the media continue to suspend their critical faculties in this manner and in so doing continue to highlight the absolutely pathetic standard of the opposition.

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  • 223. At 6:49pm on 21 Sep 2009, rickyross wrote:

    I had to laugh at the comment in a newspaper over the weekend saying "The only option is to stump up 30 quid on a taxi to the airport". No it isn't Glasgow central has an excellent service to Paisley Gilmour Street (every 10 minutes) There is a bus right outside Gilmour Street which again runs every 10 minutes. Total cost 5 quid. Even if you did feel the need for a taxi from Gilmour Street that would cost you 4 quid.
    John Swinney was right to prospone this link and he certainly was not being antil-Glasgow. Well seen there is a by-election coming up and Labour are acting accordingly.

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  • 224. At 7:17pm on 21 Sep 2009, Wansanshoo wrote:

    I use the bus form Glasgow Airport weekly, it takes around 20 mins from the airport to Queen St Station. The cost is £4-20 single to Queen St station, it is direct, clean and runs every 10 mins or so, I have no complaints whatsoever with this service.

    I also use the rail link between (London) Liverpool St station and Stansted Airport every Friday, it costs £19-00 for the 45 min journey, it is not clean, nor is it direct, stopping twice on route.Those of you who think a train link will be more efficient or cost effective......think again.


    Wansanshoo.

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  • 225. At 8:23pm on 21 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    The ambassador's 'special' relationship

    Click Here

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  • 226. At 9:18pm on 21 Sep 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    well I see the dirty tactics are under way.

    Its about time the details of the shocking antics of a bunch of former and current MPS was put in the public domain.
    It is time that the BBC was taken to account for its biased reporting
    Its time for the truth to come out and for the political posturing to end.

    One thing I would like to see implemented instead of the Lib Dems missing the point mansion tax, would be for the rate of tax to be dropped to a level of say 10% for Directors, owners and investors in companies that produce something. The chap who puts his £1 million pound house on the line to build up a business should be encouraged not taxed to death.

    Companies who don't produce anything and employees who work for companies who don't produce anything should be taxed at the appropriate rate up to 50% dependent on earnings.
    just for starters

    oh and ban tax avoidance and tax avoidance specialists like Barclays and Lloyds




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  • 227. At 00:43am on 22 Sep 2009, pedroglasgow wrote:

    I often read the blogs on the BBC and wonder, well this time I'm gonna say it. For not ever beig an SNP supporter I have been really surprised by the things which have changed in Scotland since they came to power,
    we on loger have a goverment controlled by westminster and which has a mind of its own.

    Is the dropping of the rail link from Glasgow Airport to Glasgow an attack on Glasgow? No it's an inevitable act to make the poultry budget handed down from westminster work for Scotlad and our priorities, after all we have a scottish government which isn't Labour, if the tories were in power down south the story would be the same.

    Whoever the people of Scotland want to govern them if it opposite to the government Scotland will get budget cuts let's not be stupid, we can all work it out, surely?

    Please remember that the SNP also wanted to stop the tram system being developed in Edinburgh but the other parties wanted it, so it went ahead!! I add that I have yet to speak to someone on my frequent trips to Edinburgh who really wants the tram system and thinks it's not a waste of money.

    On a side point does anyone think that Scotland and Wales would have got devolution if both countries hadn't looked like guaranteeing labour some form of power over the past few decades?

    Good luck to the only truly independent government Scotland could have at the moment, from a non SNP supporter.




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  • 228. At 09:01am on 22 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 221 Snecked again

    Your post is missing something, the list of good works you quoted that your idol has done for rural Scotland.

    Come on, if there are so many lets have them?

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  • 229. At 3:42pm on 07 Oct 2009, davser wrote:

    wee scamp

    "Transport links north of Aberdeen are already more than adequate for the most likely level of economic development"

    You really have no idea. I know of many a company who cannot compete in the UK market place because the time it takes for them to get through Aberdeen means they aren't competitive. In fact a long standing firm where I used to live had to close because of exactly this as the co concerned couldn't deliver in accordance with the JIT schedule required due to Aberdeen traffic.

    Investing in infrastructure is a no brainer if you want to attract inward investment.

    Only you think otherwise it seems.

    You do realise that the biggest white fish port in Europe is located in Peterhead which is served by a single carriageway road?

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  • 230. At 1:42pm on 20 Jan 2010, George ONeill wrote:

    Glasgow Airport - Glasgow? There are other means of travel.

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