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

Legislative programme

Brian Taylor | 11:18 UK time, Thursday, 3 September 2009

The smile is back, palpably back.

Indeed, at one point, Alex Salmond had to promise the Presiding Officer - with a drolll grin - that he would try to avoid stimulating the chamber too much with his rhetoric.
(Alex Fergusson in the chair had requested no interruptions to Mr Salmond's statement. The interruptions consisted of lively applause from the SNP benches and sedentary growls elsewhere. Mr Salmond's offer merited a wry smile in return from the PO.)

The statement was substantive: thirteen bills ranging from action on alcohol abuse to measures to protect wildlife.

Controversy? Plenty. That alcohol bill with its plans for minimum pricing; crofting reform where consensus is absent; the future of children's hearings, ditto; debt provision, seeking balance between the rights of creditors and consumers; a shake-up for our legal firms; tenancies and limiting the right to buy; the new Forth crossing.

Then there's the Budget Bill, this year against the background of looming cuts in public expenditure.

Enough, in truth, for substantive debate and argument. But there's more.

One more issue.

Paving legislation which could lead, ultimately, to the Act of Union (Abolition) Bill.

This is, of course, deeply serious - not least for the SNP for whom it is a founding principle.

So why the passing smiles from the First Minister as he opened his remarks, leading to that conclusion?

Because, alongside the deeply held long-term desire of Alex Salmond to secure Scottish independence, there is a short to medium term strategy.

Mr Salmond acknowledged that he serves in, as he put it, a parliament of minorities.

He knows he cannot push through his Bill for a referendum on independence next year without support from other parties.

He knows that support is not presently forthcoming.

Labour, for example, has staggered through its "bring it on" phase - and now rejects a referendum on the professed grounds that it is an unwarranted distraction during economic crisis. Tories and LibDems ditto.

So, again, why the smile?

Because Mr Salmond calculates that, setting aside views on independence per se, the intrinsic notion of a plebiscite tends to be rather popular with the people due to be consulted.

He calculates, further, that those same people will tend to resent or, at least, question those who would seek to frustrate an exercise in popular democracy.

He anticipates that those same people might, if prompted, tend to express their discontent at a forthcoming election by bolstering the SNP at the expense of the other parties.

To enhance that prospect, Mr Salmond explicitly suggested that there might be a multi-option referendum: broadly pitting the status quo against Calman-style devolution max and independence.

The Scottish Government insists its preference is for a straight yes or no on independence.

But, ever keen to help, it is offering to include the option of the reforms drafted by the Calman Commission (copyright: Labour, Tories, LibDems.)

This is deliberately sufficiently flexible to make it an offer which is, strategically, difficult to refuse.

Again, dual approach.

Mr Salmond wants independence. He wants a referendum.

He argues that Scotland can only thrive with the full powers of an independent nation

This is not purely tactical.

However, there is a substantial tactical element: he wants to invite voters to infer that his opponents are curmudgeons who dislike giving the people a say.

As I have written before, this is a tricky one for the SNP's opponents.

They have to find language which suggests that the particular Referendum Bill is unwanted without in any way giving the impression that they are hostile to popular choice.

On today's evidence, they will seek to suggest that the referendum is a selfish move on the part of the SNP, placing partisan advantage ahead of Scotland's pressing needs, particularly in difficult economic times.

Should be a fascinating debate. Bring it on, as someone once said.


Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 12:03pm on 03 Sep 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    Indeed, Brian,

    After yesterdays shameful Unionist vote;

    BRING IT ON!

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 12:06pm on 03 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

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

  • 3. At 12:12pm on 03 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    I see Brian Taylor has returned to some sort of objective position - however the damage, in my opinion, has already been done to his and others reputation.

    I have posted the online poll above this post only because more information has now made it into the public domain and of course there may well be new visitors to the blog who will have been more informed than they were around a week ago - I hope they will take the few seconds needed to register their opinion.

    It remains to be seen if the moderators will still allow the poll to be displayed.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 12:23pm on 03 Sep 2009, U13235548 wrote:

    If thats os what he wants let him have it. That is after all his long term goal. I'd be glad to see the back of Salmond - begging and moaning at the same time - not an edifying sight

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 12:24pm on 03 Sep 2009, angus scot wrote:

    We are being faced with a dire settlement, a weak justice minister who cannot be sacked after the Megrahi shambles, massive holes in John Swinney's budget, a childrens hearings bill which has been widely condemned, an education secretary who is going to tell councils which schools are going to be refurbished so at a stroke is abandoning local democracy and local decision making, and the central piece of the SNP legislation is an independence bill.

    Is this another example of Eck's wish to body swerve the real issues in Scotland. I cannot understand why the jounalists do not see through him as under his leadership the SNP have done u turn after u turn on their manifesto.

    They dropped the local income tax bill since there was not support in parliament, yet the same fate will befall the independence bill. There is no logic nor consistency in their thinking

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 12:29pm on 03 Sep 2009, Well here we are wrote:

    Fine, have a referendum, but:

    1. The question has to be worded in such a way to make sure that everyone understands it.

    2. There must be a minimum turn out, otherwise it will not necessarily be the will of the people.

    The other parties are possibly in a no win position. If they vote against the referendum they will be accused of not allowing the voice of the people of Scotland to be heard. If they vote to back a referendum they will be accused of going against the will of members of their party.

    We'll have to wait and see.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 12:37pm on 03 Sep 2009, redrobb wrote:

    Well let's see if Referendum Bill gets passed first, then when the public have their say in a vote, understanding they were not consulted when a former prisoner was let off Scots Free so to speak. But I wonder if public opinion has been affected. Or do the SNP hope that what has went on over the last few weeks, will be water under the bridge so to speak!

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 12:38pm on 03 Sep 2009, Richieclyde wrote:

    It's amazing Brian. The likes of the Tories and Labour have sent out our lads to Afghanistan and Iraq to bring "Democracy" to those countries. But they're blocking Democracy in this country by blocking us, the Scottish people, our right to decide our future in a democratic vote.

    Labour and Tories in particular are an absolute shambles. The vote in Government yesterday was a joke, if they're that big and full of themselves, give the SNP the vote of no-confidence now and lets get back to the polls... The reason they won't? They know the SNP will be back in bigger numbers!

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 12:39pm on 03 Sep 2009, Lazarus wrote:

    Don't count your chickens regarding the referendum just yet. I seem to recall being promised a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and I'm still waiting.

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 12:44pm on 03 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    I'll try again with the poll having double checked the url to ensure it is working.

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 12:45pm on 03 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    <RICHPOST><b>The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has terminal cancer and is estimated to have just three months to live.<BR /><BR />Under Scots law, the Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill showed mercy to Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and granted his release on compassionate grounds. <BR /><BR />Was this the correct decision?</b><BR /><BR /><a href="[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]">Click Here To Vote </RICHPOST>

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 12:47pm on 03 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Hopefully, seeing as the blog has attracted some brand new posters ;o) the poll will be alloed to stand.

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 12:58pm on 03 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    #6, Kareninscotland wrote:

    "2. There must be a minimum turn out, otherwise it will not necessarily be the will of the people."

    As someone who vividly remembers the shambles of the 1979 referendum, with its threshold, I would strenuously oppose any minimum participation: people who WROTE the word 'No' in the box beside the word 'NO' being counted as votes in favour (because they were saying no to no!), etc.

    Everyone will be [made] well aware of the date of the referendum, and anyone who can't be bothered to vote, or to remember to vote, should NOT be counted as a vote against but as an abstention (as in every other circumstance).

    The only thing worse would be a George Robertson system of having the referendum vote and then, if in favour of independence, holding a second vote a few weeks later to see if we REALLY meant what we said in the first vote!

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 1:05pm on 03 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Oh well, the poll now seems to have upset someone at the BBC.

    That's a pity.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 1:11pm on 03 Sep 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #6 Kareninscotland

    Minimum turnout?

    So we have the farcical outcome whereby those who don't care about thier governance (apathetics) invariably vote for the status quo?

    Not again - not after the debacle of the late 70's when Scotland's voters said YES to devolution but the UK wormed it's way out of honouring it by insisting apathy (or laziness) was a vote for the union.

    I will not wait another 30 years to see my country independent.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 1:18pm on 03 Sep 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    Independence? Read this http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8235763.stm then see if you think you still want to be part of the union.

    This isn't about whether you can still visit your granny in Kent but economic survival. Unless Scotland can get out from under the malevolent influence of the UK Treasury and its chums in the City then we will go nowhere.

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 1:20pm on 03 Sep 2009, jimmer69 wrote:

    I don't see what the problem with a referendum is?

    If the unionist parties genuinely feel that it is a pointless exersise they have nothing to loose. If they are scared that the people vote for independance then they are deliberately blocking our democratic rights.

    Also debate the Megraghi issue now? Whatever people think it has all passed now. Do people expect that he will be taken back to Scotland if the complain enough? What a waste of time.

    Lets get back to some real politics and fix Scotland's problems

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 1:22pm on 03 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    I still think they would have been putting Scotland First by resigning, but I suppose that to have all the juicy toys of bills to introduce and political noses to tweak was irresistable. Unfortunate, it makes the SNP no better than any other political party just when they were doing so well on the release of al-Megrahi.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 1:22pm on 03 Sep 2009, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    "Labour, for example, has staggered through its "bring it on" phase - and now rejects a referendum on the professed grounds that it is an unwarranted distraction during economic crisis."

    Since we're going to be struggling our way out of this crisis for at least the next 25 years by the time all the debt's been repaid, and it's Labour's fault, those are rather weak grounds for denying Scottish people a voice on an issue of such massive and fundamental importance for our future.

    What's particularly unseemly is Labour's insistence on dragging Scotland down with England when the latter votes in a Tory government next year that will last for decades. The unfortunate English (and I, who live among them) have no way of escaping the Tories. Scotland does, but Labour spitefully insists that the Scots must suffer too. How proud all their socialist supporters must feel.

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 1:25pm on 03 Sep 2009, nine2ninetysix wrote:

    # 6

    If there needs to be a minimum turnout for democratic will to be served how many previous local, Holyrood, Westminster and European results would you like declared null and void?

    Our system as it stands may not be perfect but it does generally work.

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 1:28pm on 03 Sep 2009, LondonSteve wrote:

    Come on unionist parties, have a little faith in your followers that they will vote it down if given the chance. No back bone for it? Now there's a shock.
    Wont give us a referendum
    Too scared to pass a vote of no confidence
    Why on earth would anyone in their right mind want any of you running our affairs. No bottle for anything.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 1:35pm on 03 Sep 2009, dennykillie wrote:

    So, Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray said the SNP's priorities should be the economy and crime.

    This is rich coming from the man and a party, who over the past 2-3 weeks have continued to try to gain political capital from a decision to let a dying man, whose conviction is considered to be a possible miscarriage of justice, go home to die with his family!

    Where is HIS priority on the economy & crime?

    A referendum, with a YES vote, would be the most significant contribution to the economy of Scotland since 1707. Scots would at last be able to stand tall with other Nations within the EC and beyond.

    As his predecessor Wendy Alexander said "Bring it on!"

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 1:43pm on 03 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #16 Wee-Scamp
    I think this must be propaganda by the BBC. Were we not assured that we were "best" placed going into this downturn? And now Darling is warning of a double dip and the budget said we'd be straight in and out. They've taken a massive gamble with our money on the basis of in and out, and, if its not going to happen that way, well, we'll be looking at paying for treatment on the NHS, no legal aid and kids having to take money to school for lessons, 1909 not 2009.

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 1:47pm on 03 Sep 2009, Astonished wrote:

    On-Line Ed - The Kirsty Wark comments on Mr Megrahi were on Newsnight last week, Sorry can't be certain of the date. She was speaking to an American who wanted Megrahi to die in prison and a retired UK diplomat who was appalled at her cavalier attitude to Mr Megrahi's final days.


    Regarding the Referendum : Fear is the key, labour/lib/tories are terrified that they will lose the vote. Any other excuse is just "lying for labour".

    P.S. Did Brian ask the question of Mr Gray ? Thought not.


    PPS : I have been banned from the Scotsman site as I pointed out their reporting was losing money and readers. I doubt I will re-incarnate as the Scotsman's days appear numbered. I do hope those at BBC Labour see the connection.All we want is honest questioning of all polticians.

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 1:55pm on 03 Sep 2009, hadrianswall wrote:

    #6 Kareninscotland.

    No lets not have a minimum turnout. People who do not vote have no say in the running of their country.
    Why should people who do not vote (they may be dead) be counted as a no?
    If you want to persist with such an idea then may I suggest that non-voters count as a yes.

    Freedom

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 2:01pm on 03 Sep 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

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

  • 27. At 2:04pm on 03 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    #6, Kareninscotland:

    "There must be a minimum turn out, otherwise it will not necessarily be the will of the people."

    #15, GAberdeen:

    "So we have the farcical outcome whereby those who don't care about thier governance (apathetics) invariably vote for the status quo?"


    I know that Labour supporters are diminishing in number and will soon be about as rare as dinosaurs, but we would also need to ensure that the current system avoided the 1979 referendum anomaly that corpses (i.e. those who had died since that year's Electoral Register had been drawn up) were considered certain to have supported the status quo.


    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 2:09pm on 03 Sep 2009, Slaintmha wrote:

    If the General Election votes in 2010 goes the way every one thinks - a Conservative majority in Westminster - the elephant in the room is the indication that 25% of current Unionist party voters in Scotland will switch their vote to the SNP.

    The clear issue to put to the people of Scotland is exactly what have the Unionist Parties in Scotland done to promote the implementation of the Calman recommendations? That surely is the Unionists only positive defence - to be seen implementing the major recommendations of the report that cost £500,000 of Scottish Taxpayer's money.

    The current reality? Nothing, just another round of 'jam tomorrow' from the current Scottish Office Viceroy at Westminster and excuses based on the Westminster Parties failure to control the 'City' while bending over backwards to pump tax payers' money in to the same financial organisations to cover up their malfeasance.

    Why not let the Scottish people decide through this referendum? It is only the Senior Unionist politicians at Westminster that are too wee, too daft, too small and too scared of giving the Scots a voice.

    Maybe if they trusted us Scots' voters rather than insulted our intelligence they would get a pleasant surprise.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 2:10pm on 03 Sep 2009, englishvineyardman wrote:

    angusscott very well put, lets get back to the real issues facing Scotland as part of the United Kingdom.

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 2:20pm on 03 Sep 2009, Douglas Daniel wrote:

    #6 Kareninscotland

    A minimum turnout, eh? The ultimate escape clause, especially when less than 40% bother themselves to vote in general elections - any referendum is doomed to failure when it's far from definite that there will even be a 51% turnout, never mind 51% absolute majority either way. There is only one situation in which I would agree to non-voters counting as NO votes, and that is if the question was presented thus:

    "Do you mind if Scotland breaks free from the United Kingdom?"

    That way we'd really get to see if there is a true majority for the status quo.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 2:23pm on 03 Sep 2009, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    @26 "Oh please, please let it be so!
    Please let Scotland rid itself of England!
    ..."

    I love it when UKIP voters turn up and try to make out that we're as racist as they are.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 2:43pm on 03 Sep 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #29 englishvineyardman

    "angusscott very well put, lets get back to the real issues facing Scotland as part of the United Kingdom."

    We would have less issues if we weren't part of the United Kingdom ie Iraq, Afganistan, Westminster expenses, nuclear weapons, immigration, BNP - do I need to say more

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 2:46pm on 03 Sep 2009, luibeg wrote:

    I was impressed that Mr Gray immediately reached for the button marked "fear" as he raised the usual spectres of how Scotland couldn't cope alone. - Has he not caught up with events of the last 2wks.

    Whatever you think of the Lockerbie case, the landscape has changed in Scotand, and the population has shifted it's position on other topics, perhaps polarised & divided more than before. - It's a task now for parties to re-evaluate their electoral strengths & weaknesses.

    I had never voted for SNP before 2007, and I asked myself this week, what has changed since I voted for Eck? - You'll have your own views, I know:-

    - Scottish Govt default position is no longer that of Westminster Puppet.
    - A First Minister who is articulate, and forces others to raise their level if they want to beat him.
    - Proportional Representation actually seen to work by forcing a Minority Govt to win it's case on legislation.

    Perhaps most importantly, the SNP has put the Scottish Govt on the radar as a by-product of recent events. They achieved a distinctly different position from the UK Govt, whether you like it or not.

    Things are different now, and no other party would have effected this change. - The populous may not agree on all actions by this Govt, but I bet they don't want Scotland to return to puppet leaders again.

    Grey has tried to make a virtue of his apparent "difference" of stance from London...but I don't think he "gets it". - Talking the Scots down will not work for his party any longer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 2:47pm on 03 Sep 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #6 Kareninscotland

    "There must be a minimum turn out, otherwise it will not necessarily be the will of the people."

    Aye ye can stick that - I was there in 79 when we were cheated, its not gonna happen again.

    Your not related to Thatcher or Dalyell are you?

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 2:53pm on 03 Sep 2009, Eric wrote:

    It's the wrong way round.

    England should have a referendum to leave the UK, so the tree Celtic nations could look after themselves without us.

    And I suspect there'd be no problem about getting a massive English majority for independence.

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 2:55pm on 03 Sep 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Rev_S_Cambell and #312.

    "..ukip voters.."
    Are you some sort of reverend believing himself in-touch with the other-side or something!?

    True, I do not want England in the EU: Err, I have never, and will never vote for UKIP. It really is baffling how you could deduce anything of the sort from my Comments, e.g. "..the tartan hordes get their longed for and rightly deserved freedom.."?

    "..pretend not racist.."

    Sorry, you'll have to explain that one!?

    Ture, I am pleased if Scotland gains full independence: Err, my references to all the issues that I believe will arise from Scottish independence for the Scottish and the English leads you to accuse me of 'racism', e.g. "...Scotland removes itself from the perceived yoke of 4-nation UK.."?

    In the vernacular of your fair northern realm's lowland braid Scots you are quite simply 'out of all scotch and notch'!

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 2:56pm on 03 Sep 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #7 Redrobb

    An amusing if somewhat surreal anecdote.

    The truth of the matter is that the SNP will survive thier decision to release the lockerbie bomber. In a a few years time it may even be remembered as one of only a few acts of compassion the west has committed amid the flurry of oil and gas releated military expeditions.

    It is Labour and the incumbent westminster government who sought to profit from a former terrorist state that will feel the pain of all this. The Tory's appear indignant now - but history tells us that the Conservatives are more than wiling to forgoe ethics to secure lucrative contracts - such as the now infamous Al Yamamah arms deal.

    On your point about giving the people of Scotland a say in releasing al-Megrahi - The decison to release the bomber was quasi-judicial (I even heard Brown utter the phrase) .That surely means that giving the people any influence whatsoever on releasing him would have been political interference - regardless of how popular you think it may have been with the electorate. Political interference is something Labour are finding extremely difficult to shake off at the moment - buckling under pressure from the Saudi's during an SFO investigation into Al Yamamah is a fine example.

    Unless you find signed and dated documents showing that Macaskill made his decision for personal or political gain - the SNP will continue to trounce the unionist parties in the polls and Labour will continue to go down in the estimations of Scottish Voters.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 2:56pm on 03 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    All votes are equal.

    But some votes are more equal than others.


    Bring it on, Liebour.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 3:02pm on 03 Sep 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #9 djlazarus

    Technically - we were promised a vote on the European constitution - not the Lisbon Treaty.

    Like you - I treat them both the same and want my say (a resounding no) on any future tier of european governance.

    The sad fact is that we have very little power to make political parties fulfil thier promises - short of voting for someone else the next time round. I'm not 100% on call me Dave giving us a vote either so it'll be SNP until Scotland is free from the UK - and after that I'll weigh up who serves our needs best.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 3:03pm on 03 Sep 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #34 fifebirder

    lol@

    "Aye ye can stick that - I was there in 79 when we were cheated, its not gonna happen again.

    Your not related to Thatcher or Dalyell are you?"

    I was going to ask that very question.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 3:05pm on 03 Sep 2009, Ian_the_chopper wrote:

    This will upset a few people I am sure but maybe the time has come to split the Union.

    There are growing grievances on both side of the England Scotland border.

    In England over services that are free or available at minimal costs in Scotland but are not available in England. There is a growing annoyance, perhaps not yet open anger, in England over this perceived inequality as well as Scottish MP's ability to vote on thisngs that only affect England and Wales but not vice versa.

    In Scotland of growing powers yet still limitations in many key areas.

    For example would a Scottish government that has very few if any jobs in the motor manufacturing industry have supported the car scrappage scheme?

    Would a Scottish parliament that had power over foreign policy have voted to send troops to Iraq or Afghanistan as part of a UN or NATO army?

    I would suggest three votes as follows.

    1) In Scotland a single vote on the following question.

    Do you wish Scotland to become a nation state independent of the balance of the United Kingdom within the European Union?

    2) In England a single vote on the following question.

    Do you wish England to secede from the United Kingdom to become an independent nation state within the European Union?

    3) In Wales the same question could be asked as in England.

    Prior to this referendum a period of debate of up to one year shall take place where an independent body can independently of the UK government investigate the financial implications of independence to all and so that an informed decision could be made.

    People seem to believe that in Scotland a vote would go as a yes but if that meant additional costs, taxes and other issues such as defence, news such as the BBC, payments to the EU & IMF for example and other costs of statehood were accurately measured the debate would no doubt be lively and hopefully well informed.

    Also a no vote would kill off this question for at least a decade if not a generation.

    Perhaps the Scots are being a little naiive in asking for only one tenth of the UK population to have a say on a matter that affects the whole of the UK population.

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 3:12pm on 03 Sep 2009, HughEdinburgh wrote:

    Scotland is already an independent nation, it's just that Westminster has control of our finances and natural resources.

    I reckon there should also be some limit on the referendum such that you can only vote if you have lived in Scotland for more than 10 years, or you main home is in Scotland. Something like that.

    This would prevent a mass influx to take over the referendum and pull down the For vote.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 3:14pm on 03 Sep 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    I must draw your attention , ladies and gentlemen to the Nick Robinson blog.
    He has'nt actually written it, he has left that to an erstwhile Scotsman journalist who spent his time prior to the Scottish election telling us much the same as the Sun did should Scotland have the temerity to vote SNP.
    He said he would have to leave the country if the SNP won , while knowing fullwell that he was doing just that to take up a post as Prof of journalism in Kent, where he will no doubt teach the young to peddle innuendo , half truth and spin.

    Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Tim Luckhurst, the man who did his damndest to prevent the SNP taking Scotland from Labour.
    I do not believe that anyone in the media has the right to manipulate and lie on behalf of any party.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 3:16pm on 03 Sep 2009, Saltire1000 wrote:

    26....
    We will happily make your wishes come true...

    But..there is a price to pay

    1. All Oil Revenues will come to Scotland - Not England. These Companies will have to deal with us - not you.
    2. You forget that there is Oil in the Atlantic - whoops...you won't be getting access to that one
    3. With that Oil...the EU will chapping on our door...not yours.
    4. You'll need water. We will sell you some - at a high premium price
    5. Whoops...no place to put those nuclear weapons. Shame, you'll have to get rid of them, as our natural deep sea ports will not be available to you, and you have no natural ones in England.
    6. Oh dear...there goes your seat on the UN Security Council. If we're out - you're out. Remember - Great Britian is Scotland and England. Not England and Wales.
    7. Whoops...there goes a third of the British Army - third of it is Scots
    8. Whoops...there goes the SAS - 70% of it is Scots
    9. Guess we won't need Nuclear Power...we'll just build more Hydro Stations. What are you going to use...with England's flat lands
    10. And PRAY...that the Ice Caps never melt...because you will be 20 feet under water. But that's OK, because it will kill Point 4 !!

    Doesn't look so good now...does it...No. 26

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 3:17pm on 03 Sep 2009, jimmer69 wrote:

    #31 and 32

    Brilliant comments!

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 3:20pm on 03 Sep 2009, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    Any referendum vote will not have a minimal turn out requirement. This has already been established.

    Anyone suggesting so is clearly undemocratic. If they think it is not biased then it is easy to call their bluff by negating the question:
    Should Scotland remain in the union? The 'Nos' would then easily win, because it is biased towards a No vote.


    The unionist party line that it is the wrong time for a referendum is so weak it is just not serious.
    They themselves advocate certain constitutional change via Calman. We never voted for this process yet had to pay for it anyway (a bit like the BBC). It won't be easy for the cabal to justify just ignoring it?

    Except public demand for constitutional change cannot be ignored for long. The unionists can use force of numbers but this is a short term game and may well hurt them badly in the long term. Yesterdays vote for example could very well prove to be a pyrrhic victory.

    It is Labour and Lib dems who have the tricky position here.
    SNP and its support are aligned on large constitutional change - be it all in one or gradualist.
    Tory party and support are essentially Pro union come what may.
    However the Labour party is now very pro union but its support is split. It is easy for the Tories to kick Calman into the long grass but not for Labour.

    Therefore if labour are going to erect roadblocks to constitutional change they are playing a very dangerous game. This far and no further is completely out of step with the public. Yet any constitutional change demands a referendum. We have precedent given the previous Scottish referendums.

    The other element is that neither Labour nor the tories can seriously back a referendum in Scotland but not offer a UK one on the EU. Showing once again that Scottish interests are always subservient to UK meddling or interest. Which is partly why we need constitutional change in the first place.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 3:32pm on 03 Sep 2009, georgeldn wrote:

    It is time scotland votes on what it wants to do, and if you wish to leave the rest of the UK you will be missed, but please remember to take gordon brown with you when you leave. as we dont require his services any more.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 3:37pm on 03 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    14. Online_Ed
    Can you put up the link to just the blog, not the poll?

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 3:46pm on 03 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    1an_the_chooper:

    "This will upset a few people I am sure but maybe the time has come to split the Union."

    Doesn't upset me.

    Not one bit.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 3:46pm on 03 Sep 2009, Saltire1000 wrote:

    No 26 & 35

    And as for holes in our budget. Well, that's all right.
    Once we're independent, we won't be sending troops to Iraq or Afghanistan...so we'll save at least £20 million a day on that.

    And No 35. Make no bones about it. I really do want England to have it's own Parliament. Most Scots don't want to interfere with local items in England.

    Just for as long as we get rid of that lying, filthy, deceitful, twisted, conniving, bitter Parliament that sits on the Thames.

    In fact...and this is the truth...you'll probably find that both Scotland and England will get like a house on fire once we're both independent. We can work together in Europe with not 1 vote, but 2.

    Believe me...there are benefits !!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 4:23pm on 03 Sep 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Saltire1000 and #44 and #50.

    Yet another 'independent-minded' Scot who just cannot stop theirself having a go at the English when the Comments made by me in #26 only set out how things look from an English perspective!

    WHY are you Scots so sensitive you cannot even read a Comment from the English without the assumption it is against you!?
    How many planks in each eye have you lot actually got north of the border?

    Re, your ".. there will be a price to pay.."

    Well, actually that was I thought I had written about, but evidently, you being blinded by Scottish mist read things into it that I never intended.

    E.g.:
    'Oil Revenues' - I never claimed they would belong to England.
    'Water need' - Why would you sell your 'water' to the English at a high price when it rains regularly in England? Besides which your beloved EU has certain regulations about prices etc. - - oooh, but you didn't know cos it was always the fault of the English when stuff was wrong, aye!?
    'Nuclear weapons' - Well, that's what I pointed out - - did you not read it all - - it is an issue, re Faslane etc., but if you think SNP-led Scotland will just send the Subs south you are even more deluded than most up your way! The whole Armed Forces/Foreign Policy is a really difficult scenario - - and again, your beloved EU has rules and regulations about its European Defence Force which as an independent new member of the EU you will have to sign-up to (oooh, is that something else you hadna grasped!?) and the EDF is 'pro-Nuclear' (it has to be as the French 'force de frappe' controls it)... again, do you have any real idea about the issues!?
    "70% Scots SAS" - hmm, that's odd, you knowing the personnel strength of the UK's elite fighting force! Infact, I think maybe you had better not say anymore on the subject - - you are obviously in a high post of some strategic importance, so, even the SNP will not take kindly to you breching the Defence of the Realm Act (the Scots have their own version - - did you know that!?).

    So, in your opinion no Scottish Armed Forces personnel in Afghanistan (by the time of independence Iraq will be a non-issue for UK Forces) - - that is an interesting viewpoint and doubtless when your Scotland has withdrawn from NATO etc. and explained its neutrality to the USA and UNO the Islamic Fundamentalist terror groups will all recognise Scots people around the world and they will all be safe!


    Have you any perspective on the world that is not coloured by a jaundiced view of the English? Do you really believe Mr Salmond's Scotland is going to be free of the international situation and all responsibility? Just how naive are you?

    Look, I could go on exposing your lack of credibility but I leave it to other Scots who must read your stuff and feel more than a little embarrassed.

    At least in the #50 you manage to concede Scotland and England will 'get on': However, you ruin even that by reference to some sort of naive political ploy of 2 votes instead of 1 making a difference amongst 28+ EU Member states - - have you not woken uyp to the fact your beloved EU will reduce the number of Scottish MEPs the moment you become independent!?

    I could go on exposing your lack of credibility but I leave it to other Scots etc. no doubt embarrassed by a perspective wholly out of line with what Scottish independence is all about - - in case you have not worked it out - - that is not 'anti' the English, but, 'pro' the Scottish!

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 4:25pm on 03 Sep 2009, dear_wendy wrote:

    Unionists, I'm told, are not against giving the people their say on constitutional matters. It is simply a matter of timing apparently....

    Not now - we're in a recession - we surely need to focus on that?
    Not 20?? - we're just coming out of recession- we need to focus on that?
    Not 20?? - good times are rolling again - why rock the boat?

    ad nauseam.

    It won't go away you know.
    Denying democracy will only strengthen and broaden resolve.
    This is all about those in power clinging on to it for all they are worth.

    Long term, the Unionists need to do more than deny democratic principle. They need to convince people of the merit of their argument and show it as progressive. Something they appear to have given up on in favour of just clinging on, delaying, provaricating and slinging mud.

    Current Unionist strategy guarantees the eventual outcome will go against them.

    Change is inevitable.

    "Progression" v. "Defending Status Quo" - History tells us there is always only one winner.

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 4:27pm on 03 Sep 2009, albamac wrote:

    35. EricJT

    The level of ignorance is astounding!

    Only two 'nations' were party to the Treaty of Union - Scotland and England.

    Of those, only one could be described as a "Celtic nation".

    The composition of the UK is as follows:

    England (Kingdom)
    Scotland (Kingdom)
    Wales (Principality) - How's Charlie faring as defender of the Welsh?
    Northern Ireland (Province) - There is an Irish nation but this isn't it!

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 4:33pm on 03 Sep 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    Just heard Iain Gray pontificating on the topic and saying the main priority of the Scottish Govt should be the economy.

    I've news for him.... Independence is all about the economy. It's about not being under the malevolent influence of the City and the Treasury and having to put up with 3rd world levels of investment in areas such as clean energy technology. The UK invests 30% of what the German Govt invests, about 10% of what France invests and 1% of what the USA invests.

    It's the same in all other sectors.. It's classic UK short termism and that infects the entire supply chain. We're not starting enough new high value adding companies and when we do we never put in enough funding. We get excited when a German company (BMW) says it's going to build a new Mini in the UK....... Nobody asks why we don't have a BMW of our own anymore because we've been conditioned by decades of the Treasury and the City telling us we can't do that sort of thing...

    We need out ....... NOW!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 4:40pm on 03 Sep 2009, albamac wrote:

    36. ikamaskeip

    "4-nation UK"

    Another dimwitted footsoldier blows off his toes!

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 4:45pm on 03 Sep 2009, Saltire1000 wrote:

    No 26.

    Yir having a laugh !!

    'I' didn't start this....your opening line did

    'Oh please, please let it be so!'

    You want to be condescending, then so can I !!!

    As to your other points...
    'Oil Revenues' - I never claimed they would belong to England.
    - But you will try to lay claims to them...you watch !!

    'Water need' - Why would you sell your 'water' to the English at a high price when it rains regularly in England? Besides which your beloved EU has certain regulations about prices etc. - - oooh, but you didn't know cos it was always the fault of the English when stuff was wrong, aye!?
    - Err..water shortages are going to happen !! - and as the decades go by, and demand goes up...so does the price. I can see that you did well in Economics

    'Nuclear weapons' - Well, that's what I pointed out - - did you not read it all - - it is an issue, re Faslane etc., but if you think SNP-led Scotland will just send the Subs south you are even more deluded than most up your way! The whole Armed Forces/Foreign Policy is a really difficult scenario - - and again, your beloved EU has rules and regulations about its European Defence Force which as an independent new member of the EU you will have to sign-up to (oooh, is that something else you hadna grasped!?) and the EDF is 'pro-Nuclear' (it has to be as the French 'force de frappe' controls it)... again, do you have any real idea about the issues!?
    - That's fine mate...maybe we will hold onto the nukes. Since you don't want them (and have no place to put them). We'll be the worlds smallest superpower !!
    - And as to an EU force - fine by me. At least, we won't be dragged into illegal wars by that lying mickey mouse Parliament on the banks of the Thames.
    - By the way, mate. What are you going to do, once you pull out of the EU. You realise that your world will be over. Every nation in Europe is slowly joining - England is the only one wanting out. Empire's over mate. Get over it !!

    "70% Scots SAS" - hmm, that's odd, you knowing the personnel strength of the UK's elite fighting force! Infact, I think maybe you had better not say anymore on the subject - - you are obviously in a high post of some strategic importance, so, even the SNP will not take kindly to you breching the Defence of the Realm Act (the Scots have their own version - - did you know that!?).
    - Mate...are YOU up-to-date. 70% has been confirmed by Eddie Stone. Ex-SAS and a Scot to boot. Try to keep up !!!

    If that is your answer to my points, then so be it. While we'll get on fine with the EU (most Scots are Pro EU), I wish you good luck in the Independent State of England...
    - No EU
    - No Nuclear Weapons
    - No Allies
    - No Oil
    - No Empire
    - and thankfully for you....No SCOTS !!!



    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 4:48pm on 03 Sep 2009, DKAlbion wrote:

    I can certainly understand the opposition parties being against independence. But I cannot understand how they can defend a stance of refusing the Scottish people a say on the matter in a referendum, coming as this does from MSPs whose livelihoods and professional careers are founded on a supposed support for the democratic process in a supposed democracy. Surely illogical! I do not, myself, believe that currently the SNP would get a yes vote, but it is clear that the opposition parties are running scared of just that eventuality. How can they claim to be democratic representatives of the people if they are fixing the result and denying the people's possible will? This smacks of good old "We know better than you what you want and you can't be trusted to choose for yourself..." paternalistic nonsense.

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 4:49pm on 03 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    I particularly enjoyed this line Brian: "crofting reform where consensus is absent". You are entirely correct.


    The consultation has not been as vigerous as might be hoped. However despite my misgivings there is scope for optimism upon closer inspection of the proposed SNP bill. (Misgivings which are very numerous, suspicious as I am of urbanite do-gooders interfering in rural issues of which they understand nothing)

    For example: the consultation paper:

    "2.1.4 The CoIoC recommended that the Crofters Commission should be wound up and that the regulation and enforcement function should be discharged in future by a new Federation of Crofting Boards, a single organisation consisting of 7-10 elected Local Crofting Boards and an executive supplying staffing support, finance and other central services to these Boards."

    This does seem desirable, moving power into the hands of elected local Crofting boards. This on the face of it ought to be welcomed. Especially if they really are handed the powers over local enforcement of regulations.

    However this Federal Board consisting of 7-10 local boards does raise a point of issue! Just how local can these 'local' crofting boards be if there is to be just between 7-10 of them! Not local enough for my taste!

    So although this bill does shift power back to locality, power back to the rural rather than urban- it is to be broadly welcomed. But it does not go far enough! Not nearly so.

    And doing the wrong thing is worse than doing nothing, so is this bill really appropriate- given that it only tinkers where radical reform is called for? Small shifts back to localities isnt enough, the process demands wholesale localism.

    I oppose this compromise bill for the insult I hold it to be.

    - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/05/11145108/5

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 4:50pm on 03 Sep 2009, DKAlbion wrote:

    Also...what extreme arrogance from the likes of Annabel Goldie to declare that this is a minority view and that only Salmond is interested in having a referendum. Unless she can claim to have actually asked everyone in Scotland for their opinion, to decide that she knows what we all think is unbelievable hubris.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 4:55pm on 03 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    Further on the SNP proposals, now that I've had my little say over the Crofting Bill-

    1. The referendum on Independence,
    Let us call for a multi-optioned referendum as soon as possible. Let there be a mutually respecting campaign. I shall campaign for the union.

    2. Minimum Pricing,

    Although the intent is laudable, it is sorely misguided. Binging youths dont purchase wisky. And preventing everyone from purchasing alchohol in Supermarkets except for 'designated times and zones' insults the rest of us who are capable of drinking responsibly.
    The SNP need to do better, this is well intentioned, but ultimately wide of the mark.

    ....

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 5:01pm on 03 Sep 2009, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    @36 "True, I do not want England in the EU: Err, I have never, and will never vote for UKIP. It really is baffling how you could deduce anything of the sort from my Comments"

    Well, I correctly deduced that you didn't want England in the EU, which rather rules out you voting Labour, Lib Dem, Tory (since I don't recall the UK withdrawing from the EU any time between 1979 and 1997) or Green. So unless you're BNP, English Democrat or Monster Raving Loony, that only really leaves one party for you, my dear.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 5:05pm on 03 Sep 2009, sharpski wrote:

    Agree with 54 Wee Scamp. Ian Gray is trying to confuse the issue by feebly trying to separate the economy from independence. Why does he think we want out? Because we are sick of subsidising England. Up until recently the only part of the union more economically productive was london, but now the "invisibles" are gone there is no economic arguement for staying in the UK. admittedly there is a social element, such as encouraging immigration (and distancing ourselves from the growing support for official racism in England), getting rid of the nuclear sites we are forced to hold on to for the English etc etc. But this is about economics. This is about Scotland being able to recover from the recession, not to be used as a tool to help Cameron bail London out of it.

    And it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that the unionists are giving it the Scotland is too weak, poor and stupid arguement, the only thing i can't work out is are they dumbe enough to genuinely believe it or are they like the politicians who just say it because the alternative is catastrophic for the rest of the union?

    As for the english referendum, first thing the English need is a democratic voice in the north. They are in the exact same position as scotland (ie second to London's interests) and its no surprise that the feeling of disenfrancisement is providing a breeding ground for the BNP and UKIP.

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 5:10pm on 03 Sep 2009, Saltire1000 wrote:

    36. ikamaskeip

    Not being funny here...but do YOU understand the UK / GB setup

    Scotland is a Kingdom, as is England. Neither is officially independent, as they both make up the 'Union of 2 Parliaments', hence Great Britain.
    Yet, both are Nations, as they are both Kingdoms.
    Wales is a Pricipality
    Northern Ireland, or Ulster is 1 or 4 Provinces that make up 'Greater Ireland'.

    Scotland isn't subservile to England. Remember...we are 'equals' with England. What has slowly aggravated the Scots over the last 30 years is
    - the way that the Poll Tax was used on us first, not together, but us first. As Guinea Pigs !!
    - How Thatcher went out of her way to trash Scotland at every opportunity - and England stood by and did nothing to speak out about this.
    - How London gets everything - and we in Scotland are also having to chip in and pay for it.
    - How it is frowned up when these 'Northern Britons' should moan. Always Northern Britons....we never hear the term 'Southern Britons'.

    I don't blame England, or her peoples. I have nothing against the English. But I do have serious issues with the Parliament on the banks of the Thames.


    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 5:15pm on 03 Sep 2009, skint wrote:


    #60 Dean

    Admirable respnse in 1, but where is your guidance on 2? Or dont you have any alternatives to offer? As you say the intent is laudable and I for one have no problem with it if, and it is a big if, it reduces binge drinking and violence and makes streets safer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 5:17pm on 03 Sep 2009, sharpski wrote:

    Quoting 51. that is an interesting viewpoint and doubtless when your Scotland has withdrawn from NATO etc. and explained its neutrality to the USA and UNO the Islamic Fundamentalist terror groups will all recognise Scots people around the world and they will all be safe!

    You seem confused by this, yet France, Holland, Scandinavia et al are all free of terrorism because they didn't join Bushs' millenium crusade. Whereas we have had an (admittedly failed) attack on Glasgow airport.

    You also seem to forget that England is the only developed nation on earth that can have massive flooding and a hosepipe ban within a hundred miles of each other.

    As for the SAS thing you are quite right that it is impossible to know the exact make up of the current special forces. Yet it is true that in the 1980's (Iranian embassy time) the force was "60-70% Scots" according to former SAS sergeant Eddie Stone. Chris Ryan and Andy McNabb also mention scottish, welsh and irish people disproportionately often in their memoirs (late 80's to mid 90's), mostly as lower ranks and NCO's.

    But, then again, if the facts mattered to you then you wouldn't be a unionist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 5:24pm on 03 Sep 2009, Michael Docherty wrote:

    After the shameful partisan vote of the Unionist parties yesterday the sooner we vote for complete independence the better .Only two opposition msp`s showed any principles and thought for themselves.

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 5:26pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    "They have to find language which suggests that the particular Referendum Bill is unwanted without in any way giving the impression that they are hostile to popular choice."

    But isn't it the case that they are hostile to popular choice? Why not just admit it straight-up and say it's something that should not be put to popular choice as the Act of Union wasn't in the first place. That seems to be their true thinking on the thing.

    If the economy were better would Iain Gray suddenly be supporting a referendum?

    Surly not.

    Oh well, I suppose dishonesty pays.

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 5:28pm on 03 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #60 deanthetory

    "2. Minimum Pricing,

    Although the intent is laudable, it is sorely misguided. Binging youths dont purchase wisky. And preventing everyone from purchasing alchohol in Supermarkets except for 'designated times and zones' insults the rest of us who are capable of drinking responsibly.
    The SNP need to do better, this is well intentioned, but ultimately wide of the mark."

    Your easily insulted today, that's twice in two posts.

    Have you ever seen an alcoholic or his drinking habits? I welcome the measure of only being able to buy alcohol during certain times, has it ever bothered people before when they couldn't but their bevvy on a Sunday morning at the shops? Responsible drinkers will still be able to buy their alcohol. Minimum pricing is also a good idea in trying to change the underlying culture in this country regarding drink. You're quite right younger drinkers don't binge on expensive whisky, but a bottle of cider coming in cheaper than the equivalent volume of water should surely set alarm bells ringing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 5:30pm on 03 Sep 2009, zivania wrote:

    According to Brown when he was Chancellor, he had abolished boom and bust so why are the labour party saying the economic circumstances are not appropriate for a referendum? When will the circumstances be right I wonder. Wendy Alexander wanted to "bring it on ", the unionist parties are now saying "bring us another excuse to delay a referendum"

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 5:30pm on 03 Sep 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    afternoon #6 Karen , interesting that the tried and trusted excuses are being dusted down but there is a slight problem with your suggestions.
    some of the party's have found a better way.
    roll out the postal votes and then loose the paperwork. It takes the worry out of the whole thing.
    #7 redrobb, I don't think the proposed bill will be past in Parliament either. that just shows how much of a corner the unionist parties have managed to box THEMSELVES into.
    as too the damage done to political parties over the past 2 weeks - that really depends on which opinion polls you believe and which ones you don't ,you are obviously a BBC poll man whilst I am not.

    just a point for Brian - what Calman suggested is nothing like FULL FISCAL AUTONOMY and for an expert like yourself to even consider saying so is laughable.
    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 5:30pm on 03 Sep 2009, Saltire1000 wrote:

    #60

    What Salmond said was that he wants to put in minimum pricing (to stop Supermarkets from selling dirt-cheap drink to youngsters, while WANTING to protect the Whisky industry.
    We in Scotland don't see youngsters with Whisky bottles (theres no way they would spend £30 on Whisky), but its the Alco-pops.
    Personally speaking. I would have Booze out of Corner Shops and Supermarkets, and get it into a Government Licenced Shops. You could have 1 or 2 of these Shops in every average sized town, or village.
    You then have Security Boys on the door, and you need proof of age, as well as identification to prove who you are if your buying. you could still have it cheap, but for the kids, it's literally impossible to get.

    And before you say impossible - they do it in Germany !!

    Binge drinking on the streets would be gone overnight if we did it this way !!

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 5:41pm on 03 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Democracy, the Worst Form of Government Ever Tried

    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!

    Benjamin Franklin, leader of the American Revolution

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 5:55pm on 03 Sep 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    JR MCclure- afternoon, first of all, apologies for my rant this morning on the other thread.
    but to #67- exactly- they are running scared and they don't have a clue how to control the run away train.
    Any old excuse will suit Mr Gray the scarier the better!
    "oh well I suppose dishonesty pays" - is it not the same in politics all over the world?

    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 6:01pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #72. At 5:41pm on 03 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Democracy, the Worst Form of Government Ever Tried

    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!

    Benjamin Franklin, leader of the American Revolution

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

    However, much I may disagree with you, highlander, I like your honesty.

    Of course, you understand that the United States as originally formed denied the vote to most for the people who lived within it's borders. Mr. Franklin's comments were perhaps a bit self-serving.

    Nonetheless, you are right. He and all the framers of our both our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were deeply opposed to democracy and believed that the Athenians had proven that it did not work.

    Whether we in the modern world should take that as the last word on the matter is very much open to debate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 6:03pm on 03 Sep 2009, freedjmac wrote:

    Oh Brian, Brian,

    What a wicked web these unionists (and the Beeb colluders!) weave!!

    I have watched the debates yesterday and today and I remain so saddened at the abysmal level of debate in the Scottish Parliament where positions seem so entrenched and the opposition are mired in 'politicking'

    The issue with Megrahi seems to dominate, yet his time is running out (like mine, sharing the same condition) yet we have the Richard clowns (Simpson and Baker) with their political clockwatches on telling everyone when their opinion determines when a human shall demise!!

    Their entire claim to any compassion is totally undermined by their spoken words (and by the way should the Baby Baker not be in school during these hours?)

    Then there is the 'Greypersonalitybypassedweeman'who it seems has seven different hairdressers trying to comb his hair at the same time meanwhile contributing nothing to the forward progress of our country. And behind him sit the Nodding Donkeys (that's Rona Brankin and Motormouth Curran et al)while we note that weebendybringiton has been rightly relegated to the back benches. Yesterday I watched Andy Kerr sitting behind the 'Greypersonalitybypassweeman' shuffling piles of papers around, never concentrating on one and never answering the question as to why he was expecting to be so bored with the 'weegreyman's speech that he brought all these papers into the debating chamber in the first place!!!???

    Then there was the Tavish'TheBeak'Scott. Enough said, picking at his notes all the time and unable to make one telling point!

    Now I used to think well of the Golden Girl herself - that's our own Dowager Duchess - Auntie Anna but, oh dear, she has not done well here, giving room to Bill 'Hand 'em High'Aitken.

    Meanwhile the Eckmeister strides magisterially across his domain, completely unchallenged, repeating and repeating in his performance how dreadfully and utterly awful are the opposition parties in this parliament. That does not make him a great leader - it just serves to demonstrate the upper emptiness of the opposition! mhfmmhf demonstrates the

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 6:06pm on 03 Sep 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    60. deanthetory
    "Although the intent is laudable, it is sorely misguided. Binging youths dont purchase wisky. And preventing everyone from purchasing alchohol in Supermarkets except for 'designated times and zones' insults the rest of us who are capable of drinking responsibly.
    The SNP need to do better, this is well intentioned, but ultimately wide of the mark.
    "

    I would rather be insulted , than assaulted by drunk people on Weekend stroll through town. I would rather be insulted than watch someone cost a lot of money, not to mention harm to themselves through over drinking, I would rather be insulted and have one life saved on the roads due to a drink driver.

    There are a multitude of rules and regulations we live by nowadays, so making booze dearer is the least of my worries.

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 6:10pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    73. At 5:55pm on 03 Sep 2009, sidthesceptic wrote:

    JR MCclure- afternoon, first of all, apologies for my rant this morning on the other thread.

    Oh, dear. Did I offend you somehow? If so, I apologize. I think I may have posted when I was less than sober, but I assure you I was not binge drinking. =)

    I seem to recall posting something that I was thoroughly surprised got past the mods that was... not terribly nice.

    I haven't yet gone back and read the posts. It's still early in my part of the world. Again, I apologize if I offended you.

    #72. I just wanted to point further point out to cynicalHighlander that one might not want to take Mr. Franklin's word on governance since the form they preferred did deny all rights to women, blacks and all indigenous peoples. I have to say, I would prefer something grown beyond that. It denied even the vote to non-property owners.

    This may be cynicalHighlander's preference in governance but it is quite definitely not my own and I think he would be hard pressed to prove it was the best.

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 6:11pm on 03 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    64. skintybroko
    68. ScotInNotts
    71. Saltire1000

    Firstly, thanks for yur kind words in regards to my comments on Crofting Reform skintybroko.

    And as for minimum pricing- Saltire1000 you raise an interesting example in Germany. One which I had not considered until now.
    I find the suggestion very attractive indeed- government shops for selling alchohol. Yet another lesson which the UK could learn from our EU friends? It does sound good.

    But what of the potential for black market dealing Saltire1000? Would this not act to drive up consumption from less reliable sources? Afterall, youngsters intent upon drinking underage will find a way surely....but as I say it does sound interesting.

    Oh and ScotInNotts, your right, its been a bad day at my end so far. I am a little grouchy perhaps. :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 6:12pm on 03 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    64. At 5:15pm on 03 Sep 2009, skintybroko

    Sorry, point one! I understand what you mean now, sorry.

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 6:18pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #73. Oooo. It was your comment I was responding to. I assure you I was no apology is required. I was afraid my response had offended you. I think what I said was not terrifically polite. =)

    You see I'm not a large woman and an extra glass of whisky will do that to me.

    I think we are totally agreed on the bad behavior of my government so it's hard for me to take offense even though I did feel impelled to point out the grovelling behavior of certain Scottish and British politicians.

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 6:19pm on 03 Sep 2009, Robabody wrote:

    #63 Saltire1000

    Having worked (and lived) in England for a great many of years I generally found that English people were very decent folk and actually were not the problem. Like you I came to the conclusion that the problem was with the UK Parliament. For example look how much time was set aside for Scottish business - so there NEVER was a parliament of equals.

    The problem Scotland has (as I see it) in this unequal set up is twofold: 1)The weary willies that have and do represent us (Buggins turn comes to mind). 2) The amount of toadying the self-same weary willies did and do to get gongs etc., to the detriment of our nation.

    Just think about what happened regarding the oil revenues debate and who was leading the charge to ensure Scotland didn't get any off it. Ditto the 1979 referendum. All good true Scottish men and women who could not do enough to Scotland to ensure that their membership of the best club in London was well and truly assured.

    The English people have better friends to Scotland than perhaps a lot of Scots people would allow for but I'm grown up now and want to see my country doing the same. But we'll never do it while we are so poorly served by the bunch of fearties that purport to represent us today. Keeping us handcuffed together is bad for us and England

    As Bendy said "bring it on"

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 6:21pm on 03 Sep 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    I happen to think we should just have this Independence referendum. Get it over and done with so that we can get back to real politics. The SNP won't, in fairness can't, drop this subject. Their goal isn't running the country as well as possible, it's securing independence. I'm not criticising them for this, that's why their party exists, but so long as Independence is a live issue they're not going to drop it. Moreover until the independence issue has been dealt with, the SNP will continue to try and govern in a way designed to persuade the public of their one policy. Like it or not the way they've tried to do that is by being populist, by causing trouble with Westminster and by making short term promises which they can't keep long term. Again, this isn't an attack upon them for this (it's smart politics) but I think our interests will be much better served when the SNPs biggest priority is getting re-elected to run the Scottish Parliament rather than trying to persuade us of their case to break up the country.

    Calman commission stuff shouldn't have any involvement, as it blurrs the markers of who is on what side. Moreover I feel there would be a large number of people who would vote for the 'compromise' option without sufficient consideration.

    I reject as absurd, and hope a number of nationalists on here will join me, the suggestion I've often heard on here that it could be a 3 way referendum in which the choice with most votes wins (such that you could get a 35-33-32 split in an ind-calm-status quo vote and independence would win). This would in my view be an outrageous policy, although if the parliament does allow the referendum then I'm sure such ideas will be avoided.




    I would like to make one point however with regards this "Democratic right to a vote". By the argument being made I have a democratic right to a vote on everything. If my MSP goes to the Parliament and stands up and says "I wan't an independent state of our constituency" are the people of that constituency really being screwed over by not being offered a referendum on a nonsense issue? We don't have an automatic NEED for a referendum in all circumstances. We have a right in all circumstances, but don't exercise it, why?

    I have two arguments here:

    1. We elect representative politicians to take decisions for us as we can't have referenda on everything. In cases, like in Quebec or Catalin before their referendums there was a majority nationalist party voted into office. In Scotland there has not been, there is no evidence that the Scottish people have asked for this referendum, as they've elected people who opposed it.

    2. There should be at least some evidence of a popular demand for change before you demand the exercising of the above "right" to a referendum. More people voted for Unionist parties than Nationalist, every opinion poll ever (and there's been hundreds by now) has shown consistent opposition to breaking up the UK. Where is the compelling reason to have this referendum?



    I think it's a good idea as it will let us sweep it under the carpet and move on. Get the issue dealt with one way or the other and start governing properly. I don't think it's "denying the people their right to a say" because, as I pointed out, I'm currently being denied my right on several hundred things. I'm being denied my right as a citizen of the EU to vote on a referendum creating an EU super state, i'm being denied my right as a resident of the west coast to create an independent state of strathclyde. I'm being denied my right in a lot of areas, it's not about rights, it's about need. Why do I need to have a say on this matter?

    If someone has a response to that question I'll be very interested to hear it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 6:27pm on 03 Sep 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    As a separate question.

    Most of the people on here that support the break up of the country regularly chastise the quality of Politicians which we have in Scotland. It's probably fair to say that there are only 3 or 4 reasonably capable MSPs in the SNP at the moment (hence why Salmond halfed the size of the cabinet and gave John Swinney every dept under the sun - to make sure none of the masses had a chance to embarass them). There's arguably even fewer in Lab/LD/Tories combined.

    Given that you think so little of the abilities of Scottish politicians, why is it you want to grant them more power?

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 6:29pm on 03 Sep 2009, freedjmac wrote:

    Post 75 should be in the name of 'freedjmac'

    The BBC software gas run amok!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 6:30pm on 03 Sep 2009, scorpioRicardo wrote:

    limiting right to buy is OK if you've already bought your house or don't need to use the facility. If we have a referendum, it will only mean anything if more than 50% of the VOTING POPULATION say one thing or the other.

    Every missing vote should be treated as a NO vote as we need a positive opt out if we're going to become independent, nothing less will do.

    We simply must not have a result based on those who can be bothered to vote. After all this is how the minority party got to run Holyrood and look at what a fiasco that has been.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 6:34pm on 03 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    #78, deanthetory wrote:

    "I find the suggestion very attractive indeed- government shops for selling alchohol."

    And I find utterly repugnant the implication that, when the next credit crunch looms, we will have our Government urging us to buy more booze in order to swell the coffers of HM Treasury by way of duty.

    ... only to wonder why, some months later, the NHS collapses under the weight of the sozzled 'patriots' who have done more than their share in this regard.

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 6:40pm on 03 Sep 2009, freedjmac wrote:

    Freedjmac = you??!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 6:41pm on 03 Sep 2009, scorpioRicardo wrote:

    Saltire1000

    71 brilliantly simple absolutely love it. Excellent point very well made.

    Same logic applies to fine wines (most wines in practice) and we already pay more than our European cousins for these. I also reckon we must be the only country where our national drink costs more at home than it does abroad.

    I can never understand why whisky bought in Islay in a distillery shop costs less after its travelled to Spain?

    Minimum pricing isn't about controlling binge drinking, its about raising revenue to fund the other SNP initiatives.

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 6:44pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #78. At 6:11pm on 03 Sep 2009, deanthetory wrote:

    64. skintybroko
    68. ScotInNotts
    71. Saltire1000

    Firstly, thanks for yur kind words in regards to my comments on Crofting Reform skintybroko.

    And as for minimum pricing- Saltire1000 you raise an interesting example in Germany. One which I had not considered until now.
    I find the suggestion very attractive indeed- government shops for selling alchohol. Yet another lesson which the UK could learn from our EU friends? It does sound good.

    But what of the potential for black market dealing Saltire1000? Would this not act to drive up consumption from less reliable sources? Afterall, youngsters intent upon drinking underage will find a way surely....but as I say it does sound interesting.

    Oh and ScotInNotts, your right, its been a bad day at my end so far. I am a little grouchy perhaps. :)

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

    Unfortunately, in the US we have a very similar problem. One concern, of course, is the ease with which minors can simply have others buy liquor for them.

    I have to suggest that merely showing an ID and then walking down the street to hand the liquor to the person they bought it for doesn't much solve the problem. I've seen it tried over here in similar schemes. In Oregon where I live all "hard liquors" (that is everything except wine) including "pop" liquors is only sold in state stores and I'm afraid it has not solved the problem.

    No there aren't police at the door but a license check is required to buy and there are quite stiff penalties for selling to minors.

    Now there may be ways around this part of the problem. I'm not saying I've seen the last word on attempts and the Germans may do it better. But raising the price may be a better solution than trying to control access through limiting who sells it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 6:48pm on 03 Sep 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    After their performance (very am dram) yesterday and the astonishing but entirely justified mauling they got in both today's Scotsman and in the Herald, I think the opposition parties' biggest problem isn't finding a suitable form of words to argue why we ordinar chiels shouldn't have a say, but their total lack of any credibility at all.

    While the government has shown itself fit to govern, the rest appear to be trying to live up (down?) to the "parish council" jibe

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 6:56pm on 03 Sep 2009, LockerJocker wrote:

    As an ex-tory who now votes SNP I can only sit, watch and applaud the Labour Party in Scotland, and more generally Britain. They have still not learnt the lesson from the last election, the one they lost. Everything they do is from a negative standpoint, everything they say is a run 'em down criticism. They practice only the politics of destruction, I have never heard a constructive comment from McConnel, Wendy or Gray regarding the Scottish parliament and it's processes. They always seem desperate to jump back into bed with their betters (not ours) in Westminster.

    As long as they continue to do this I will applaud them, and as long as they continue to do this they will haemorrhage votes to the SNP, and yes, I will continue to applaud them.

    Come the next election the people will have to decide who to vote for. The SNP will be a party that campaigns on the positive aspects of self governance and a nation that can stand up to America and take serious decisions under immense pressure. Labour will whine and moan and slander (with complicit media outlets) and the people will again, as they did the last time, give them the bums rush.

    But this time I expect the SNP to take a far bigger share of the vote.

    The Megrahi issue? In all honesty, being brutally frank, I don't think the majority of people in Scotland (media induced frenzy aside) gave a s&^t.

    That's the bottom line.

    When people are worried about jobs and their houses, the threat of losing both hanging over them, then they aren't going to want to hear the Labour party (who are rapidly looking like a sort of Scottish Vichy regime) whining about this that and everything, including Megrahi. Let's be honest, Grey is never going to cut it on the hustings. Salmond, McCaskill and Sturgeon will make mince of them.

    Also, one thing that shouldn't be over estimated, Grey's non appeal to the west coast voters. They won't like him, he's too smarmy and too hysterical. They'll lose votes over him, without a doubt.

    As Wendy said, and it's about the only good thing she did say - Bring it on!

    LJ

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 7:06pm on 03 Sep 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Saltire1000 and #63.

    The "Poll Tax", "Thatcher", "London gets everything"!

    Oh please! You are making all us English cry for your hardship!

    Hello! This is 2009, not 1979 - 89!

    There's a Scotsman in No.10 and Blair was a nearly Scot: Have you understood the UK over the last 2 decades - - Scotland ousted the Tories, Scotland got devolution, Scotland got an SNP Government, Scotland got Tax-raising powers and now Scotland is more than likely going to get full independence, and, still you whinge on about England and the English.

    As for "did nothing about it": So, the year long Miner's strike across the whole UK wasn't anti-Thatcher, the Poll Tax riots in England did for Community Charge (where were the Scots in that Civil uprising of Citizens?) everywhere, the 3 million manufacturing jobs 'lost' in England and Wales during the Thatcher era alongside those in Scotland and N.Ire with all the misery and strikes was of course not so bad on the 'soft' Southerners... and so it goes on... my goodness the planks on the vision are wide where you are concerned!

    Let us get this clear: Everyone knows the Union was biased towards England; it would have been a very strange political-economic-social set-up that emerged from UK's foundation had it seen the huge majority population anything but in overall control - - even so, the 'Irish question' did for many a London Government and occasionally, as now, its Scots MPs holding it up beside the Thames - - they call it Democracy though you and I know better! Despite your claim to the contrary You are not against the UK, you are against anything England and English represent.
    In fact you are the epitome of what I referred to in my first Comment and exactly why I wrote "joy, joy, thrice" over for England that Scotland and the Scottish should finally be free of us.
    When you find yourself abed with Brussels some 4 to 5 years from now and Scotland gets shafted you'll no doubt blame Brussels when as history demonstrates all along, it is the Scot who made the bed they ly in.

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 7:29pm on 03 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #85 scorpiricardo

    "limiting right to buy is OK if you've already bought your house or don't need to use the facility. "

    So you don't limit the right to buy, how would you comabt the lack of social housing? Build more I hear you say, how exactly? By contracting private companies to do so, which is what has been tried already. Fact is these companies aren't in it for the social good but for profit, hence no affordable housing is ever built. Limiting the right to buy at least reduces the haemorrhaging of social housing available in the system at present until stocks can be replenished through a better method than has been tried previously.

    "If we have a referendum, it will only mean anything if more than 50% of the VOTING POPULATION say one thing or the other.

    Every missing vote should be treated as a NO vote as we need a positive opt out if we're going to become independent, nothing less will do.

    We simply must not have a result based on those who can be bothered to vote. After all this is how the minority party got to run Holyrood and look at what a fiasco that has been."

    Please list any or all UK elections where a greater than 90% turn-out has been achieved. Exactly, your assertion that only if 50% of the electoral role vote for independence should this course be taken is completely ludicrous.

    I think you fundamentally misunderstand democracy, one man one vote. If you don't vote then that's your choice through apathy or laziness. Those that have actually voted have an opinion one way or the other and have expressed it, those that don't bother to vote lose their say in the matter, that's how it works.

    I suggest if you don't like the idea of independence that you campaign for peoples votes and vote yourself accordingly, no good changing the rules when you don't want to play the game anymore or scared you'll lose.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 7:29pm on 03 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    #85, scorpioRicardo:

    "50% of the VOTING POPULATION"

    Well, since something around (or less than) three-fifths of those eligible choose to vote, that would mean that 30% voting in favour would suffice?

    "Every missing vote should be treated as a NO vote"

    So, if 100% of those ACTUALLY voting were in favour, but fell short of one-half of the electorate by a single vote, that wouldn't be enough for you?

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 7:30pm on 03 Sep 2009, Robabody wrote:

    NCA999

    #83 anent your question Given that you think so little of the abilities of Scottish politicians, why is it you want to grant them more power?

    I would answer that the additional power (and responsibilities) of having to run your own country will help develop our politicians as they will no longer be able to “hide” behind the Westminster. Yes I’ll accept that they will make mistakes and bodge things up – they will be our mistakes and bodges - but the skills will come and gradually a better calibre of politician will appear – people who want Scotland to succeed, not people who want to join the party and waltz off to the great club in London and do just enough to get by.


    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 7:35pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #82. At 6:21pm on 03 Sep 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    I happen to think we should just have this Independence referendum. Get it over and done with so that we can get back to real politics.
    -------------------------
    Well, ignoring the stuff about "real politics" since this seems very much real, here you see the real problem with the opposition's position. Even some, perhaps many, people who are strongly opposed to independence feel there should be a referendum with the recognition that this issue will not go away until it is put to such.

    To the further issue of whether and when referendums are a good idea, that's a tough one. In this country (and I'm not recommending our practice, just making a comparison) we tend to have them and probably a tad too often when our written constitutions are considered to need amendment. Since many of the constitutions on the state level are frankly not terrifically well written (Imagine that! And in the US) this ends up leading to a string of referendums every year and they frequently end up in huge court battles. Witness the embarrassing anti-gay referendum in California.

    On the other hand, referendums are a tool that people prize for dealing with often unresponsive governments. It's a difficult issue and I wish I knew the answer. I am convinced that referendums are essential but how to prevent them from getting out of hand? I take it (I'm running into my own ignorance here) that a referendum has to be proposed by the parliament in your part of the world.

    But since it is the parliament that referendums tend to act against--that would seem to be a problem in itself if the people feel that the parliament is acting against the people's best interest.

    Ok, I've run out of ways to say I really don't know what should be done about referendums except that we daren't get rid of them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 7:39pm on 03 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #88 scorpioricardo

    I think you may have misunderstood saltire1000 post, I'm sure he'll respond to you in good time.

    "Minimum pricing isn't about controlling binge drinking, its about raising revenue to fund the other SNP initiatives."

    The revenue from alcohol goes to.....the UK treasury department and not Holyrood directly. The SNP will have a hell of a job getting that extra revenue back from Westminster methinks. As for alcohol being cheaper overseas than here it may have something to do with tax, again see Westminster on that one.

    Are you against independence and the SNP for the sake of it or do you have a genuine problem with one/all of the SNP's policies as well as the notion of independence?

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 7:39pm on 03 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    74. JRMacClure

    I wasn't advocating anything other than trying to point out that the Democracy as we know it will eventually fail as the disparity in peoples incomes get ever wider because our governence is ruled by banks and large corporations not the populace. I think!

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 7:41pm on 03 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    87. freedjmac

    We know "you" is "you", its just telling freedjmac that they are signed in.

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 7:44pm on 03 Sep 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    sharpskiSOFBTRC and #65

    Re, "..confusion.." and "..all free of terrorism.."

    Tell that to France - - especially the relatives of the troops killed in Afghanistan, the residents of Paris and Marseilles' suburbs under virtual police siege every night to quash Islamic Brotherhood activities, the French-Jewish cemetery upkeepers who patrol day and night to prevent vandalism etc.!
    Tell that to Holland - - especially the relatives of the murdered politicians and film-makers and those in hiding due to death-threats etc.!
    Tell that to Denmark - - the Danish Cartoonist under armed police supervision, the Danish Newspaper editors whose offices have been ransacked, burnt, the Danish lawyers who cannot publish their addresses as they represented the right to publish etc.!
    Tell that to Sweden - - which only last week detained a group of fundamentalists accused of plotting civil disorder etc.!


    Re, "SAS" membership: So some ex-SAS mention various nationalities - - well, as all SAS (that's 22 Regiment plus the 2 Territorial Units) are covered by the Official Secrets Act I think we can safely discount factualness - - the likelihood of their accounts being deliberately set to mislead is a safer appreciation of their worthy tomes.

    Re, "..Bush's millennium crusade..": Do tell, where was that exactly? You cannot mean Afghanistan as that campaign was endorsed by the full UNO Security Council membership inc. Syria. So, that leaves us with Iraq - - such a sweet man, Saddam Hussein, I'm sure were he still in power you would be congratulating him (al la Gaddafi) for his longterm successful rule - - and of course that campaign had the majority of MPs votes inc. quite a number of Scots, but, not the Scots you support which of course is your right, however, it does not make them wrong only differing in view from you.

    Now, next time you want to bandy "fact" with me kindly include in your comment something you can substantiate and not just your own perspective of what is right or wrong.

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 8:02pm on 03 Sep 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    My Comment at #26 has been removed by the Moderators.

    Apparently I infringed the House Rules by suggesting Scotland being free of England was very good news for the English as well as the Scits.

    Saltire1000 and others: I am assuming as you engaged with me in fair debate on my Comment #26 that you did not complain to the Moderator and have it removed.

    For your intellectual and free-speech qualities I thank you: However, I'm not one to stay where I'm not wanted (inc. jibes at Scotland!), so, I am withdrawing from this debate.

    It is a pity the BBC Moderators cannot assume a more gown-up stance on these very tense issues: They stifle debate, impinge on personal libeerty, and all the time BBC takes mine and you Money by compulsion! That this publicly owned body deserves every bric-bat SKY's James Murdoch recently flung at it is beyond question in my opinion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 8:09pm on 03 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    92. At 7:06pm on 03 Sep 2009, ikamaskeip

    Thatchers' legacy under scruitiny again I see.

    Well all I say is an economy with 3 million unemployed is hardly a strong, vibrant- successful!

    This is true then and now. Apparently no-one has ever learned this, we seem to repeat the same mistakes.

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 8:27pm on 03 Sep 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    I'm repeating the question I asked earlier since I haven't had a response on it yet and would like to hear an SNP supporters take on the subject

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

    I would like to make one point however with regards this "Democratic right to a vote". By the argument being made I have a democratic right to a vote on everything. If my MSP goes to the Parliament and stands up and says "I wan't an independent state of our constituency" are the people of that constituency really being screwed over by not being offered a referendum on a nonsense issue? We don't have an automatic NEED for a referendum in all circumstances. We have a right in all circumstances, but don't exercise it, why?

    I have two arguments here:

    1. We elect representative politicians to take decisions for us as we can't have referenda on everything. In cases, like in Quebec or Catalin before their referendums there was a majority nationalist party voted into office. In Scotland there has not been, there is no evidence that the Scottish people have asked for this referendum, as they've elected people who opposed it.

    2. There should be at least some evidence of a popular demand for change before you demand the exercising of the above "right" to a referendum. More people voted for Unionist parties than Nationalist, every opinion poll ever (and there's been hundreds by now) has shown consistent opposition to breaking up the UK. Where is the compelling reason to have this referendum?



    I think it's a good idea as it will let us sweep it under the carpet and move on. Get the issue dealt with one way or the other and start governing properly. I don't think it's "denying the people their right to a say" because, as I pointed out, I'm currently being denied my right on several hundred things. I'm being denied my right as a citizen of the EU to vote on a referendum creating an EU super state, i'm being denied my right as a resident of the west coast to create an independent state of strathclyde. I'm being denied my right in a lot of areas, it's not about rights, it's about need. Why do I need to have a say on this matter?

    If someone has a response to that question I'll be very interested to hear it.


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






    On another subject there was a very intersting point raised by someone above that we should set a requirement that 50% would have to vote yes in order for it to be valid. The only response that went back at that was to say "it's virtually impossible that we'll ever get such a large vote" which was completely ignoring the principled point being made.

    I do think it's a requirement that the subject has to be in a yes/no question, there can't be a third option where the most voted for out of three wins (that would be a disgrace). That said it's a fair point that voter turnout is low that putting large requirements like the above might not ensure the voters views are represented.

    I'm undecided on the subject personally but there are two factors I think need to be considered and would be interested in others views on these.

    1. A referendum is calling a desire for change to the status quo. It's a positive action, as such the opinions of the voters are by default considered to lie with the status quo unless we're informed otherwise by a referendum. As such it would require 50% of the voting popn to vote in order to legitimately claim that the majority of people want to leave.

    2. Most organisations when changing their constitution require greater than 66% of the vote. The reason for this is that such a change is a serious long term thing, that affects all future generations. If we break up the country now (on arguments from alex salmond that it might be financially beneficial to us today) then the next generation has no power to put humty back together again. As such there needs to be a check to ensure that a serious decision has been taken. Obviously a 2/3 majority is a bit too much, but the point is that setting a requirement that 50% must vote yes could serve this function as well.

    I'm interested in what peoples thoughts are. I'm unsure on the subject personally. Whilst I'm confident most people on here will take the attitude which they reckon gives their "side" the most chance of winning it would be good to hear some sensible views on the matter.

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 8:30pm on 03 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    re 58 Dean

    You are entirely right over crofting reform. The whole point is that they just don't understand the issue or the reason for crofting. They don't understand and worse still don't want to understand. You will note from my comment that have not named a party, because it wouldn't really matter which one was having a go they just don't listen.

    I freely admit the SNP effort is marginally better than the LIbLAB one but only very marginally better.

    The problems are complex and require an understanding of crofters, the ties they have to the land, the communities they live in and the effect that reform will have. A reform bill needs to have a clear objective, this must be to build sustainable rural communities. But alas this is too complex for the central belt to understand.

    This is my main problem with holyrood. With the exception of the labour plan to decentralise departments to more rural areas, which has now been scrapped, Holyrood has adopted policies to concentrate economic activity in the the central belt.

    They are committing the same mistakes as Westminster did by concentrating on the South of England. Holyrood does not represent inclusive government for the northern half of Scotland.

    Croting is another example, it requires first an understanding of the issues before deciding on solutions.

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 8:35pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #98. At 7:39pm on 03 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    74. JRMacClure

    I wasn't advocating anything other than trying to point out that the Democracy as we know it will eventually fail as the disparity in peoples incomes get ever wider because our governence is ruled by banks and large corporations not the populace. I think!

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

    I think you have an excellent point that the huge and growing disparity in incomes is a serious problem. However, I am not sure that somehow getting rid of democracy, such as it is, will get rid of governance ruled by banks and large corporations. I fear it might put the governance even more in those hands.

    Democracy as it now exists serves us less well than many people prefer to believe; there I agree with you. My own belief that we have been in general ill-served by having governance further and further from the people.

    What would serve us better and how to reach it--I suspect you and I might respectfully disagree but I do think we have similar views in our dissatisfaction with the current situation.

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 8:40pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #103. 2. Most organisations when changing their constitution require greater than 66% of the vote.

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

    Sorry, Dean, but I want to see evidence of this besides your assertion.

    Referendums changing constitutions are VERY common in the US and never require more than a normal majority.

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 8:43pm on 03 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    103. NCA999

    I am sure someone will but by the time I've got to the bottom of your posts it's time start again....

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 8:53pm on 03 Sep 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    Actually I'm not Dean.

    But since you were interested in examples. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_amendment

    I think actually a 3/4 majority is required in the US Senate to change the constitution. A 2/3 majority is the norm for most things where it's not 50%+1 as far as I understand. I was actually referring to organisations rather than countries (charities, companies etc) but the point wasn't to cite precedence it was about the principal.

    As in all of the examples in that article we require a more stringent check when taking serious decisions than just a 50%+1 vote. That's what I was asking peoples thoughts on. As usual however the only responses gotten are nit picking about individual particulars.


    Is it too much to ask for a little bit of intellectual debate on what is a really serious issue?

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 9:01pm on 03 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    105. JRMacClure
    "What would serve us better and how to reach it--I suspect you and I might respectfully disagree but I do think we have similar views in our dissatisfaction with the current situation."

    Depends on how one lists their priorities for a successful and fulfilling life in this World, because unless peoples priorities are running in a similar way then the eventual (long or short term) outcome will lead to confrontation. e.g. (SNP)Holyrood/Westminster

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 9:03pm on 03 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    NCA999
    The Scottish peoples sovereignty was hardly a referendum way back in 1707, when a parcel of rogues decided to surrender it.The people of Palestine are denied the right to self determination because an adjoining nation says so? why should Scotland be denied the right to be competitive and lay it's own principles in a world full of Independent nations?

    NCA999 I understand your oppressed position, for to long you have been the subservient student who knows no other way than the drip fed Britnat system.

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 9:03pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #108. At 8:53pm on 03 Sep 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    Actually I'm not Dean.

    But since you were interested in examples. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_amendment

    I think actually a 3/4 majority is required in the US Senate to change the constitution. A 2/3 majority is the norm for most things where it's not 50%+1 as far as I understand. I was actually referring to organisations rather than countries (charities, companies etc) but the point wasn't to cite precedence it was about the principal.

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

    What you are talking about as NOT a referendum. Here ya go of an explanation of a typical REFERENDUM process.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_ballot_proposition

    "If more than 50% of the voters approve the referendum then the constitutional amendment is approved and goes into effect."

    For anyone who wants to question, as a former resident of California and a current resendent of Oregon which also has referendums, this IS correct. They require only a simple majority of voters.

    If you want to argue against the principle of how a government referendum is done, that's fine. But please don't state it is the norm to require more than a majority.

    It is not.

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 9:07pm on 03 Sep 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

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

  • 113. At 9:10pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #108. At 8:53pm on 03 Sep 2009, NCA999 wrote:


    Is it too much to ask for a little bit of intellectual debate on what is a really serious issue?

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

    You bring up issues and then complain when they are responded to that it is nit picking and then continually complain that people don't address your issues.

    A hint that you don't want to hear it?

    This years ballot referendum in the state of Oregon:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Want more examples of REFERENDUM? I can supply them-

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/History_of_Initiative_&_Referendum_in_Oregon

    This measure enabled Oregon citizens to directly initiate amendments to the Oregon state constitution, as well as enact new state statutes.

    I can understand not liking how referendum are usually run, but that IS the norm.

    If you don't want the issue brought discussed then don't bring it up. I'll do all the nit picking I want to when you make incorrect statements.

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 9:12pm on 03 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    NCA999
    Your not giving an intellectual debate NCA, your merely just playing with numbers like some obsessed bookie.

    G.E. don't even go above the 60% mark, however, it is a major issue and proposed change, so why don't we invite the sixteen year olds and above a say and a vote.

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 9:14pm on 03 Sep 2009, deryjm wrote:

    With the latest declaration of intent to seek possible independence for Scotland it is surely appropriate for all 59 Scottish MPs sitting in the House of Commons to remove themselves since a clear conflict of interest now exists with regard to their allegiance to their electorate vs the wider interests of those countries that will remain governed by the British Parliament?

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 9:14pm on 03 Sep 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    At the CBI dinner in Glasgow tonight Alistair Darling said "Given all that has happened this year, I find it strange that today some seem to think the priority is a referendum on the constitutional make-up of the UK."

    He obviously doesn't understand that it's precisely because of what has happened this year (to the economy) that independence for Scotland is now so important.

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 9:18pm on 03 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    NCA999:

    #103.

    "In Scotland there has not been, there is no evidence that the Scottish people have asked for this referendum, as they've elected people who opposed it."

    There has been multiple polls taken, besides elections are not suppose to be over one issue and I am slightly offended by the very idea that because I support independence then I MUST vote for the Scottish National Party. It's time for a reality check, nationalists are not going to be the individuals who bring independence to Scotland, it will be everyone from the postman to the doctors, from all political backgrounds.

    "Where is the compelling reason to have this referendum?"

    First of all there has never been a referendum, surely for expressing our democracy we should be encouraging these types of large debates and discussions instead of leaving it to the MP's/MSP's. I believe we leave too much to our political leaders and maybe with more opportunity then more would actually show interest on what happens in this country.

    There has also been polls (your keen to point out polls showing support against independence), so surely we should have a referendum as the people demand? Your on a dangerous path NCA999, If you say no, then do you actually support democracy, what's your perfect democracy?



    I also do not believe we should have a requirement. The people have the right to vote, but the people have the right not to vote and by assuming that by not voting that we are voting 'no' for example is certainly unfair and undefendable.

    I'd prefer a much larger voting options. It's not simply about independence, it's about how we, as a people, are governed, and I will never, ever accept the Calman Commission. It's one of those things that will happen, 'over my dead body'. We can have multiple options with the clear favourites then being involved in the final referendum, or transferable vote (would that actually work?) something where the people can express a clear opinion what they actually want, which would be independence, full fiscal autonomy, federalism, Calman or to scrap devolution altogether.

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 9:31pm on 03 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    deryjm:

    #115.

    You said it, the British Parliament. The Scottish MP's are British, and entitled to be at the British Parliament because Scotland has not became independent yet, do you have a problem with the Scottish nationalists also being at Westminster?

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 9:37pm on 03 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    NO referendum ever decides ANYTHING - it simply allows the Government of the day to 'take the [political] temperature' with respect to a given issue, and informs Parliamentary scrutiny of a particular issue.

    A referendum on the Lisbon Treaty (as opposed to the putative European Constitution) would achieve NOTHING, because the Government (and all MPs) could ignore the result with impunity.

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 9:44pm on 03 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #119 Y O Y O Y
    So why are we waiting for the Lisbon Treaty? Could it be that the Irish disagreed in a referendum?

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 9:46pm on 03 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    106. JRMacClure

    I am not NCA999.

    104. northhighlander

    "Holyrood has adopted policies to concentrate economic activity in the the central belt.
    They are committing the same mistakes as Westminster"

    I think we are seeing an Edinburgh pull, just like England suffered the London pull. The consequences of this will impact on more than just Crofting for northern Scotland.

    Investment, as you say, is being; and will be- pulled down to the south, into Edinburgh. The rural north will suffer as a result, the only solution must be greater localisation in enforcement of regulation, and perhaps greater localisation in democracy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 9:48pm on 03 Sep 2009, TLJ wrote:

    Tavish Scott "We will put Scotland before the SNP."

    Aye, well put the people of Scotland before the LibDems and let them have the referendum !

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 9:57pm on 03 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    117. Thomas_Porter

    Your correct, there should be a referendum, multi-choice.

    I would vote for full fiscal autonomy for Scotland, or fiscal federalism for Scotland-England if that would be on the agenda.

    But for anyone to argue that we can't have a referendum because 51%+ of voters didn't vote SNP is farsical. Scotland is today a 4 party democracy, we will perminently see coalition government at Holyrood, or minority rule. The era of Westminster style ati-democratic democracy is over. And I for one am glad of it. PR presents the system with a greater focus on bartering, negotiation between parties and it helps end tribalist politics due to neccessity.

    Lets have the referendum, lets have it clean and fair- multi-choice....and lets hope Scots choose fiscal federalism/autonomy for a Scottish peoples within the Union.

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 10:00pm on 03 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    Been away from the computer all day so I have a lot to catch up on.
    For now though....
    ikamaskeip -- if you are still lurking -- I don't agree with much of what you said but please don't throw the toys out of the pram, almost everyone falls foul of the Mods from time to time, it's practically a badge of honour:-) I hope you will come back and join in the debate again.

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 10:03pm on 03 Sep 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    Thomas

    Thanks for responding, as a pose to dereks "because it is" arguments.

    You've given two reasons why we should have this vote.
    "there has never been a referendum, surely for expressing our democracy we should be encouraging these types of large debates and discussions"

    Well we've never had a debate on becoming the 51st state of the USA, should we have a referendum on that in the interests of democracy. We've never had a debate on an Independent state of Strathclyde, should we have a referendum on that in the interests of democracy?

    You have to draw the line somewhere surely. That somewhere is when you see some pressing desire on the part of the population to have that change. Do you agree with me up to here Thomas?

    Your second point then that there "has been polls", I assume that sentence was meant to finish "which show support for independence. I confess I've never heard of a poll conducted that showed 50%+ support for an independent scotland but I welcome you bringing one to my attention.
    I would however argue that there isn't any real evidence of widespread demand for leaving the UK. Your point about SNP vote not corresponding to independence support might be valid but it's likely to be the case that they have more of the vote than independence support rather than less. Nobody who seriously cares about the issue will vote for a non-nationalist party but clearly the SNP got a lot of votes from labour on the back of all the SNPs promises (council tax, ending student loans, hiring 1000 police, first time homeowner grants, class sizes etc).

    I don't know but I would like to see some evidence of demand for independence before I see a NEED for a referendum. As I said I would call one personally, I just don't think our "democratic rights" are really being infringed until someone proves that need.





    As for the multi option referendum. I'm glad that you agree we can't have the initial proposal that it's just the largest vote which wins (there must be at least a majority).
    Do you acknowledge that there will be parties who support more than one option so there won't be clear debate on all options?
    Moreover what's a serious possibility is that many people will be equally persuaded by both sides of the debate, and so opt for the middle ground option (devolution plus) without actually considering it on its merits.

    The Calman commission was an evaluation of how well the Scottish Parliament is working/what could be better. Its a debate in the context of the, overwhelmingly like reality, that we're not going to break up the country anytime soon. It's discussion would have to be post any independence referendum though rather than a part of it because it's a different issue.

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 10:08pm on 03 Sep 2009, jack69hoops wrote:

    I'm disgusted!

    And perplexed.

    First Labour break their promise to afford the British public a referendum on the EU constitution, then their Scottish marionettes attempt a similar dismissal of democratic rights.

    From the Tories I would have expected no better anyway, and the Liberal 'Democrats' can't even exercise the latter part of their name (senior members were reported as refusing to open a debate amongst the party to decide what their offical stance on the matter of an Independence referendum should be).

    I can see the bill being rejected and the SNP dissolving parliament, forcing an election. Given general public feeling toward the Labour and Conservative parties, I have little doubt the SNP would be re-elected in greater numbers and be in a better position to fulfill their policies.

    We already suspect that the opposition parties fear going toe to toe in an election and they must realise they are courting further public alienation with their arrogant opposition to a bill which would allow the Scottish people the opportunity to have their say on the most important issue of them all... the future of our country.

    If they continue to deny us our voice and an election is forced, where will that leave them?

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 10:09pm on 03 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 122

    Alas in this part of Scotland no matter how bad the Libdems are they get voted in. Don't ask me why i don't know.

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 10:11pm on 03 Sep 2009, deryjm wrote:

    118. Thomas_Porter

    If they no longer wish to remain British then they should openly declare there position and remove themselves from Parliament if they consider a conflict of interest exists. If they wish to hold a referendum from within the British democratic process then that referendum should be open to all the British electorate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 10:14pm on 03 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    #120, handclapping

    Noting the distinction regarding what might be called a referendum but is really a plebiscite, it is nevertheless the case that the UK Parliament is "sovereign" and is bound neither by public referenda nor by its own previous decisions.

    European law can override this, but internally within the UK, Westminster can make up its own rules and do as it pleases (or, rather, what the MPs collectively please).

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 10:22pm on 03 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    #125, NCA999

    "We've never had a debate on an Independent state of Strathclyde"

    Well, of course, Strathclyde (the Kingdom of) WAS independent and is one of the pillars upon which early Scotland was erected - not entirely of its own volition, or that of its rulers.

    Maybe we should return to the state of affairs (with respect to kingdoms, etc.) which prevailed at the beginning of the second millennium AD - before either England or Scotland existed in their accepted forms.

    As someone from the north, the idea of East and West Coast rivals knocking seven bells out of each other is not without some appeal.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 10:23pm on 03 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    NCA999
    Ah, the superficial response it is because you say?.

    Nothing of the kind NCA, look the majority of opinion in Scotland is opposed to nuclear weapons and faslane, does that stop the British government from dumping it's entire nuclear submarine fleet in Scotland?.

    Can you show me evidence of wide spread support to continue with the UK?.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 10:23pm on 03 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    NCA999:

    #125.

    "Well we've never had a debate on becoming the 51st state of the USA, should we have a referendum on that in the interests of democracy. We've never had a debate on an Independent state of Strathclyde, should we have a referendum on that in the interests of democracy?

    You have to draw the line somewhere surely. That somewhere is when you see some pressing desire on the part of the population to have that change. Do you agree with me up to here Thomas?"

    Course, but Scotland and England are country's too. It's a simple decision concerning the Acts of Union, we would be simply reversing a bill, it's quite a difference compared to breaking up parts of Scotland or becoming the 51st state of America.

    "Your second point then that there "has been polls", I assume that sentence was meant to finish "which show support for independence."

    No, I was making the point that polls have indicated support the a referendum.

    "Do you acknowledge that there will be parties who support more than one option so there won't be clear debate on all options?"

    Yes, but all decisions must be considered, and the favourites can go head-to-head. There is a chance full devolution and full fiscal autonomy would win, as a stepping stone to independence or because they believe Scotland deserves more power within the United Kingdom, but you will never end the independence debate, in ten years time a new generation will arrive on the scene, who knows what they have in store for us?

    But presidents have run-off votes if they fail to win 50 percent of the votes cast, so I do not see why we can not have something similar to help Scots decide what would be the method.

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 10:26pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #125. At 10:03pm on 03 Sep 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    I don't know but I would like to see some evidence of demand for independence before I see a NEED for a referendum.

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

    So a very widely expressed desire for the referendum itself doesn't count? I've seen polls putting it over 70%. Maybe the people of Scotland merely want the chance to decide for themselves. That hardly seems unreasonable to me seeing that they have never had such chance.

    And by the way, I apologize for calling you Dean earlier.

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 10:27pm on 03 Sep 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #120 handclapping

    "So why are we waiting for the Lisbon Treaty? Could it be that the Irish disagreed in a referendum?"

    At least the Irish are independent and can decide for themselves.

    #121 deanthetory

    "I think we are seeing an Edinburgh pull, just like England suffered the London pull. The consequences of this will impact on more than just Crofting for northern Scotland.

    Investment, as you say, is being; and will be- pulled down to the south, into Edinburgh. The rural north will suffer as a result, the only solution must be greater localisation in enforcement of regulation, and perhaps greater localisation in democracy."

    So you agree that Scotland is not best served by Westminster. If England suffered the London pull surely you can see the effect was worse on Scotland. An independent Scotland would create local solutions for local problems. Anyway since Holyrood came into being some government institutions ie SNH have moved north from Edinburgh to Inverness. I'm sure an independent Scottish government would locate government institutions such as a Scottish DVLC, Pensions, Inland Revenue around the country to create employment. Surely the first step to greater localisation in democracy is SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE.

    And I'll repeat it again, you can all forget riggging the referendum as happened in 79 - there's enough of us left alive from then to kick up a fuss if that was ever seriously suggested. It not gonna happen. If you're to lazy to get off your a**e to vote then you have no say in what happens. And we're not having the recently deceased being counted as no's again either. The only way you could have a >50% of the electorate decides, is if voting becomes compulsory - but then you'll all greet about your right not to vote then wouldn't you. Ye canny have it both ways.

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 10:37pm on 03 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    DeryJm

    #128.

    "If they no longer wish to remain British then they should openly declare there position and remove themselves from Parliament if they consider a conflict of interest exists. If they wish to hold a referendum from within the British democratic process then that referendum should be open to all the British electorate."

    If they believe in Scotland, independence then why can they not represent those ideas at the British Parliament? Parliament is suppose to represent the people, correct?

    Technically there will always be a conflict of interest. MP's are suppose to represent their constinuents, so they should all be arguing for things in their favour.

    Your final point is ridiculous, what do you propose happens if Scotland votes Yes and England votes No? Keep Scotland in the United Kingdom forever, despite the population being against the idea?

    It's about reversing the Acts of Union, Scots may disagree with the idea and is perfectly capable to decide that themselves without the English having the same opportunity.

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 10:38pm on 03 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    I am assuming that this story does nothing more than embarrass Gordon Brown a bit more than he has been lately:

    Aide quits over Afghan strategy
    Mr Joyce has previously been loyal to the government
    A former army major has resigned as a parliamentary aide to Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, criticising the government's strategy in Afghanistan.

    Am I correct?

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 10:39pm on 03 Sep 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    #128

    I don't see your point about why English or Welsh should participate in a vote about whether Scotland should declare their independence. I hardly think that is in the benefit of giving the people what they want.

    I'd cite the case of Algeria. The Algerian independence referendum was conducted as a French vote, because Algerians were equal French citizens to those living in France. As such they and the french had a vote. Algerians voted 60-40 to stay part of France but the French votep pushed them over. As such these people were forced into a country they did not wish to be a part of. That's not a good thing.

    That said though a very serious question is about Scottish ex-pats living in the rest of the UK. My job may very well have me living in the South East of England by next year. I, like I believe millions of Scots (although I don't know the numbers), will be reaping one of the benefits from being in a larger country. That of working in a national organisation and getting the best job in the best place. Surely those scots who are reaping the benefits of being part of the Union should get a say in whether we stay in the Union.

    Also, as a side, why do people keep calling the Lib Dems undemocratic for not championing this referendum? They ran on a policy of opposing it. They were democratically elected on that basis. It would be anti-democratic to go against what they promised their voters. Furthermore I've still not had an answer about why it's undemocratic to oppose a vote on scottish independence but why it's not undemocratic of them t not have a referendum on joining the US, or merging with Nigeria, or any one of the 10 billion other possibilities there are.

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 10:46pm on 03 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    Im so sick of this Scotland should have a say on independance we deserve it
    Good on the SNP the other parties are just mad because they are not in power
    well if you think about it they done nothing when they were in power
    i say as follows

    The conservatives

    they sook up to anyone that is ritch and anyone who will provide them with money to geather their nests they actually hope we have forgot the thatcher years

    they have not chaiged

    Well Labour

    they dragged all of us in to a war we did not want i can hazzard a guess no 1 actually wanted this war
    they had power in scotland for so long and did nothing to better the country besides boasting they were in power

    ok if you look at this ... i remember when the papers and everyone wanted independance
    this was when Labour put us forward for a Scottish parelement everyone was craying independance

    Labour got us the parelement and everyone wanted them in and loved them

    they fooled you all the Scottish parelement was not meant to be anything more than to quietin down the scots wanting independance

    Labour used this to shut us up about this matter and thought this would keep us quiet

    cant you all see the parelement was to take us away from the thought of independance

    we bought it hook line and sinker

    now its back in the idea of mind they want to shut us up again

    this smells of party politics

    this is not to help Scotland Labour in Scotland are mostly a puppet party who dance to London on their tune

    Conservatives mmm they will never be in power here lets face it they blew it in Scotland and they know it

    We should have a say on this matter the fact the other parties want to shut the SNP up tells me we are doing the rite thing

    Labour will do anything to hook in to power no matter where they are

    Tories well they are the party for the ritch and the want to be snobs

    it is in my oppinion time everyone had a say if this is defeted then so be it but we should at least have a chance to have a say on what we actually want

    I will say though all parties should start to work together and stop this stupid fighting thats always been the Scottish way in the days of old it was the nobels that sucked up to the English

    and caused us all to fight together

    stop this and become 1

    and we will be stronger as a nation again

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 10:48pm on 03 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    NCA999:

    #137.

    "That of working in a national organisation and getting the best job in the best place. Surely those scots who are reaping the benefits of being part of the Union should get a say in whether we stay in the Union."

    I disagree, I believe that it was the individual who has worked hard that managed to get fantastic careers elsewhere, despite being a British citizen, but I believe that those in Scotland should decide our fate. I say it simply because if we allow every Scots a right to vote, why not those who claim to be Scottish abroad in South Africa, America and Austraila? It can get out of hand and yet, these people will not live with the consequences.

    Algeria was forced into a position it never wanted, now you present almost a similar situation of outsiders influencing an internal affair and potentially voting to remain apart of the Union, which would be a very close contest I believe.

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 10:53pm on 03 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    103. NCA999

    If you keep ignoring the answers, you can claim nobody is answering forever.

    in response to a similar post by you from an earlier thread -
    "102. NCA999
    "people holding the view that the Scottish people do on the future of the union then the SNP would win the majority of the vote in something. Yet they never have, ever."

    1st March 1979"

    I'll even link it for you this time, and say it again - 1st March 1979 !

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 10:53pm on 03 Sep 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #137 NCA999

    "That said though a very serious question is about Scottish ex-pats living in the rest of the UK. My job may very well have me living in the South East of England by next year. I, like I believe millions of Scots (although I don't know the numbers), will be reaping one of the benefits from being in a larger country. That of working in a national organisation and getting the best job in the best place. Surely those scots who are reaping the benefits of being part of the Union should get a say in whether we stay in the Union"

    EU citizens can work in any part of the EU so you go down to the SE of England and enjoy yourself. You can always come back when you want to.

    "Furthermore I've still not had an answer about why it's undemocratic to oppose a vote on scottish independence but why it's not undemocratic of them t not have a referendum on joining the US, or merging with Nigeria, or any one of the 10 billion other possibilities there are."

    You haven't had an answer because it's a stupid question but however I'll put you out your misery. There is no political party / pressure groups camaigning for these options and they're non-starters anyway. Despite your blindness/deafness there is a substantial part of the Scottish population who want a referendum. (Apologies to deaf/blind people)


    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 10:56pm on 03 Sep 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    Derek

    You asked for evidence that the Scottish people don't appear to support independence.

    1. Virtually every opinion poll ever conducted on the matter

    2. The fact that more people voted for unionist parties than nationalist parties.

    3. The fact that even Alex Salmond didn't believe there was support for independence, hence the reason he's having it in 2010 rather than last year (to give him a chance to "prove themselves").



    Thomas, and someone else, on your point about support for a referendum. That's actually a fair enough point, one I hadn't considered. I think it's highly likely that most people support the idea of a referendum to get rid of the issue, why else would unionists want a referendum, and so I don't think that's a reason for claiming that we're roadblocking democracy by not having one. I still think in order for there to be some democratic need for a referendum there needs to be some evidence of support for the cause in question which there is not. I think your argument is a fair and valid point though (just not my own view).


    I'm really interested in peoples thoughts on my question about Scottish ex-pats. If I'm dispatched to work in Newcastle for 2 years over the time of this referendum, should I not still get a vote, seeing as the reason I am away is because of one of the benefits of the Union???

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 10:57pm on 03 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    127. At 10:09pm on 03 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 122

    Alas in this part of Scotland no matter how bad the Libdems are they get voted in. Don't ask me why i don't know.


    Why don't you know?

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 10:58pm on 03 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    103. NCA999
    "1. A referendum is calling a desire for change to the status quo. It's a positive action, as such the opinions of the voters are by default considered to lie with the status quo unless we're informed otherwise by a referendum. As such it would require 50% of the voting popn to vote in order to legitimately claim that the majority of people want to leave."

    That's just one way of looking at it.
    Here's another - people don't vote through apathy or dissaffection. Come to think of it, when was the last time you heard even a politician claim that low voter turnout is due to the utter satisfaction of large chunks of the electorate?
    NEVER!
    Why? Because it is an idiotic assertion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 10:59pm on 03 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    138. At 10:46pm on 03 Sep 2009, jammaboy

    "The conservatives

    they sook up to anyone that is ritch and anyone who will provide them with money to geather their nests they actually hope we have forgot the thatcher years"

    Firstly, I am a Scottish Conservative and I do not approve of Thatchers' actions in office.
    Secondly, I am hardly rich, and the majority of Scottish Conservative voters today are farmers, which is why we poll well in the borders for example. I utterly reject the accusation we merely serve the 'ritch'.

    Why don't you drop that bigotry, its offensive- how dare you blame me and my generation of one nationist Scottish Conservatives for the actions of a bunch of old thatcherites from before I was born!

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 11:00pm on 03 Sep 2009, deryjm wrote:

    135. At 10:37pm on 03 Sep 2009, Thomas_Porter wrote:

    And when exactly do the English get a say in anything then?

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 11:03pm on 03 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    103. NCA999
    "I'm interested in what peoples thoughts are. I'm unsure on the subject personally. Whilst I'm confident most people on here will take the attitude which they reckon gives their "side" the most chance of winning it would be good to hear some sensible views on the matter."

    My thoughts are that ludicrous arguments that all none voters should count as votes for the union is indicative of the fact that some unionists are scared witless of an honest referendum, where people who are prepared to stand up for the union will pit their votes against people who are prepared to stand up for independence.

    Thankfully not all unionists seem be willing to stoop so low, just the ones doing their bit for the trouser economy :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 11:06pm on 03 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    134. At 10:27pm on 03 Sep 2009, fifebirder

    "So you agree that Scotland is not best served by Westminster. If England suffered the London pull surely you can see the effect was worse on Scotland"

    The thatcherite regimes of 1979-2010 have damaged and undermined the purpose of the union. Under this period we have seen the Union become increasingly more strained. Why? Because when the manufacturing industry was destroyed by the thatcherites, the factories of northern england, Scotland never were replaced with anything. And all the new jobs arrived in London.

    The economic balance across the Union was severely damaged, with economic focus dominated post 1990 by 'Greater London'.

    It has been a travesty. But I will not give up on the greater ideal of a union of equals, with a greater pot of resources to spread around. With reform, radical but persistant these problems can be overcome. I simply am too young and romantic asto the opportunities to be seized by reform to surrender 'project union' as it where.

    Independence when I believe it is the best interests of Scots will have my support- but only when I am conviced the Union, reform and its purpose is lost shall I abandon it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 11:06pm on 03 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    NCA999

    The vast majority of the UK public believe the current unconstitutional arrangement of the UK is unsustainable and nobody is that keen on Westminster and it's self-serving expenses grabbing MP's.

    If fact, your in the minority if you want to continue with that lot.

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 11:14pm on 03 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    58. deanthetory
    (and northhighlander)

    I have to confess to being largely ignorant of crofting as it sits in our current politics.
    What are the major issues that politicians are debating, what are they failing in? Remember - i know little about it, so don't be affraid to spell it out.
    Also, in your 104 northhighlander, you refer to the fact that - they don't understand the reason for crofting. Can you spell the reason/s out for my benefit.
    Thanks.

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 11:18pm on 03 Sep 2009, scorpioRicardo wrote:

    ScotinNotts 93 and Y O Y O Y 94

    thanks for your stimulating responses, at least I got someone's attention!

    The point I was trying to make was that something so fundamentally, life-changeingly important, is so radical and irreversible that we simply cannot meander into a decision on the basis of a minority voting for the idea.

    Even assuming that we got the magic 50% (and why shouldn't we with the right approach and appropriate advertising?) I agree it will still not represent the entire population. My point was that it would sure be better than having a result based on lets say 20% of the population, representing 60% of those who turned up, dictating our collective futures?

    Its a philosophical debate but the SNP won 32.9% of all of Scotland's vote. Yet here we are with them in power. Extrapolating that further, 32.9% of the 54% who actually voted means that only 17.76% of the voting population actually said they wanted the SNP in power, therefore 82.24% didn't say they did. We surely are not advocating that such a meagre proportion of voters be allowed to influence the future of our great nation, it's just plain bonkers.

    Y O Y O Y - you're correct in your assumptions re voter numbers but as this referendum is about changing what currently exists we need a convincing number of "yes's" to make this stick.

    If you include the 76,000 spoilt ballot papers in the last election the results could have been radically different either reinforcing the vote for the SNP or removing them from power. Let's face it, it was a complete dogs breakfast of a result. We are likely to get only one go at this, anything less than a proper result simply will not do. If 51% of all voters isn't the right proportion, what is?

    I'm not anti independence at all, I am all for the option, I just worry that if we blunder into the future on the basis of a dodgy vote we'll all live to regret it. Neither am I anti SNP, having enjoyed many of the benefits we have already received under this government. I just get the faintest whiff of this sounding a little like a Presidential election and find it difficult to accept.

    On that basis shouldn't he could set an example of independence by being independent from London and relinquishing his seat in Westminster, it would be a great start?

    Lets just keep a cool head here and think this through properly, Its not rocket science. We need a clear question and a clear majority of Scots to make a decision.

    Interesting comment re minimum pricing. Agreed that CURRENT excise duty goes to the treasury but this completely new income hasn't even been mentioned by the treasury hence the logic that it will be a local income to Scotland, I simply cannot accept that we will be paying more for drinks in Scotland than they will in England yet the extra funds will flow South - its totally illogical. We keep Scottish council tax in Scotland, so why not this extra unexpected revenue?

    On a plus point, if this ill though out idea actually does come in, going to Carlisle on a booze run may become a worthwhile alternative to France. Do you suppose we'll be getting a customs post on the M6?



    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 11:31pm on 03 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #146 deryjm

    "And when exactly do the English get a say in anything then?"

    Last time I checked England had the majority of MP's at Westminster, the UK legislature therefore you must have had some say at least, unless said system denies the views of opposition parties to be taken into account such as happens at Westminster.

    Perhaps you could convince them to a) Change the undemocratic system that exists at Westminster or; b)try to get them to implement an English assembly, as you have been left out of the devolution settlements as it stands, the only constituent country within the UK not to have it's own legislature.

    I truly sympathise with the position the English people have been left in, and the longer it goes on more situations arise to highlight the farcical nature of the current UK constitutional set up.

    Perhaps instead of complaining about what Scots are doing about it north of the border people in England could lobby for a solution of their own, as after all it is a matter for them alone to resolve.

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 11:31pm on 03 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    98. cynicalHighlander
    "I wasn't advocating anything other than trying to point out that the Democracy as we know it will eventually fail as the disparity in peoples incomes get ever wider because our governence is ruled by banks and large corporations not the populace. I think!"

    I'm with you cynicalHighlander.
    That's why independence should be the start of change, not the end.

    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 11:31pm on 03 Sep 2009, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    @125 "Your second point then that there "has been polls", I assume that sentence was meant to finish "which show support for independence."

    No, it was supposed to end "showing a desire to have a referendum". There have been COUNTLESS polls in the last few years conducted about whether there should be a referendum, and the average in favour is somewhere around the 80-85% mark. A great many people who would vote "No" to independence still want the referendum to happen, presumably so that they can (in their eyes) put the subject to bed once and for all. The polls detailed that the referendum is supported by a clear and substantial majority of SNP, Labour and Lib Dem voters, with the Tories more evenly split.

    The people of Scotland, on both sides of the debate, absolutely unquestionably want there to be a referendum. The Unionist parties are refusing to acknowledge the wishes of their OWN voters as well as those of the SNP. Apparently you think that's "democracy". Most of us respectfully choose to disagree.

    Your comical idea that a Tory voter implacably opposed to most of what the SNP stands for, including independence, but who wanted a referendum in order to say "No" should vote SNP just to get the referendum is farcical. (For one thing, if everyone in favour of a referendum voted SNP to get it, the SNP would have an absolute majority and could plausibly argue that that represented a clear mandate for independence and negated the need for there to be a referendum at all.)

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 11:33pm on 03 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    NCA999:

    #142.

    "If I'm dispatched to work in Newcastle for 2 years over the time of this referendum, should I not still get a vote, seeing as the reason I am away is because of one of the benefits of the Union???"

    The European Union provides you with the same rights of movement and employment, to focus on the current political union as the sole reason you are able to work in Newcastle is not fair and misleading.

    To be honest I believe it's going to be about where you reside or own a house, because I see no otherway in which we could fairly allow everyone vote without letting too much outside influence effect the outcome.


    DeryJM wrote:

    #146.

    "And when exactly do the English get a say in anything then?"

    England (not everyone in England is English) will decide the path in which England shall go. I'd like to see England as an independent country too, but I am not English so it's none of my business what you decide to do.

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 11:36pm on 03 Sep 2009, complicatedJamesie wrote:

    scorpioRicardo wrote:151

    Even assuming that we got the magic 50% (and why shouldn't we with the right approach and appropriate advertising?)

    Surely if enough of the electorate are stimulated enough by the debate and appropraite advertising a simple majority will do?

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 11:38pm on 03 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    NCA999
    Although devolution has been talked about for some decades, it was only through the last tory goverment that it became a real contender.You see the vast majority of Scotland voted against a tory government consistently through out the conservative rule, so the people of Scotland wanted their opinion better represented and hence the now! Scottish parliament.

    10 years ago when the parliament reconvened,many said that it was an event and would end the will of Independence, well here we are some ten years later and the process of a Scottish parliament has historically delivered the first ever SNP government.

    Do you NCA believe the parliament to be an event or a process?

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 11:38pm on 03 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    108. NCA999
    Why is the principle applied only to organisations and not the population?
    Because it isn't viable the other way, you can't get the turnout required!

    That's why the examples of 'organisations' you cite are in fact more specifically legislatures! Bodies which exist to pass legislation - by voting! It's their job.

    No nit-picking, but no doubt it's short of the 'intellectual' debate you're looking for.

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 11:39pm on 03 Sep 2009, scorpioRicardo wrote:

    123. At 9:57pm on 03 Sep 2009, deanthetory wrote:

    But for anyone to argue that we can't have a referendum because 51%+ of voters didn't vote SNP is farsical.

    Nobody said that, I said 51% of the voters needed to say "yes" to independence, otherwise the vote would be worthless.

    The other point worth repeating has been made by several others today - who says Scotland wants independence anyway?

    Remember we only have a Parliament because Westminster said it was OK. Despite the government being full of Scots, we don't really run our country its all an illusion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 11:44pm on 03 Sep 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #137 & 142 NCA999

    How many job offers have you got - "SE of England" "Newcastle" or are you just crap at geography or are you just making this up.

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 11:44pm on 03 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    "Its a philosophical debate but the SNP won 32.9% of all of Scotland's vote. Yet here we are with them in power. Extrapolating that further, 32.9% of the 54% who actually voted means that only 17.76% of the voting population actually said they wanted the SNP in power, therefore 82.24% didn't say they did. We surely are not advocating that such a meagre proportion of voters be allowed to influence the future of our great nation, it's just plain bonkers."

    That's a rather simplistic and unrealistic appraoch to the figures. As I said before, if you don't vote then you don't have a say, that's how the democratic system works. If the other 46% that didn't vote in the last election had a view then they should have expressed it through voting, that they chose not to avail themselves of the process affords them no say in the consequences thereafter. The same goes for any referendum to be held on independence. If you have a view, express this by voting appropriately, if not don't complain about the result, quite frankly you had your chance.

    Also I would argue all votes hold life changing, irreversible consequences as governments make the laws and systems we live by. Again, if you aren't interested enough to have your say by voting in such a process then you can't complain about the consequences thereafter.

    A majority decision, either way, of those that vote holds the day.

    "Interesting comment re minimum pricing. Agreed that CURRENT excise duty goes to the treasury but this completely new income hasn't even been mentioned by the treasury hence the logic that it will be a local income to Scotland, I simply cannot accept that we will be paying more for drinks in Scotland than they will in England yet the extra funds will flow South - its totally illogical. We keep Scottish council tax in Scotland, so why not this extra unexpected revenue?"

    As you know Scotland is currently funded by a block grant from Westmisnter (our own wee pocket money system!), therefore there's nothing to say any extra revenue will automatically be allocated to this block grant, in fact I'm pretty sure it will do no such thing. Your quite correct that we should reap the benefits of any extra revenue gained, but then you'd have to vote for independence or full fiscal autonomy in the upcoming referendum :-)

    "On a plus point, if this ill though out idea actually does come in, going to Carlisle on a booze run may become a worthwhile alternative to France. Do you suppose we'll be getting a customs post on the M6?"

    By the time you've driven there the price of the petrol would've wiped out any extra you might've had to pay for your booze the way things look regarding petrol prices at the moment.

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 11:46pm on 03 Sep 2009, Wee Archie Gemmill wrote:

    @148 "It has been a travesty. But I will not give up"

    You don't think 302 years is enough of a trial period? You think that maybe 305 will be enough to get everything just right?

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 11:46pm on 03 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    142. NCA999
    "I'm really interested in peoples thoughts on my question about Scottish ex-pats."

    Whats the chance of you answering the rebuttals that have been put back to your numerous other questions. I'd really like to see that otherwise one can assume that you are a clone GB as that is how he conducts himself, impressive eh.

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 11:53pm on 03 Sep 2009, complicatedJamesie wrote:

    I for one look forward to the debate but sadly as an earlier poster pointed out we have a lack of quality people especially on the Unionist side.
    Donald Deawar must look down at the members on the Labour benches and become quite animated about their sad demise!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 11:53pm on 03 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #159 scorpioricardo

    "The other point worth repeating has been made by several others today - who says Scotland wants independence anyway?"

    Hence the referendum to find out....or am I missing something :-)

    Quite correct that we have a parliament through an act passed at Westminster, although they graciuosly followed the will of the people after we expressed our desire for one through a referendum (again! 1979). Could you imagine the consequences had Westminster ignored the result of the referendum, more politically damaging to the union than granting the request I would've imagined.

    Similarly we only have the UK through an act of parliament, difference between then and now is that the people will be listened to on the matter this time and not ignored as before.

    Complain about this comment

  • 166. At 00:03am on 04 Sep 2009, red deer champ wrote:

    I don't think the economic issues are relevant; the question should be one of fairness, democracy and the right to self-determination. And anyway, it's absurd to suggest that any of the British nations would collapse economically if the Union dissolved.
    Because devolution was introduced without any reform of English local and regional government it has created anomalies that are indefensible; it is simply wrong that Scots and Welsh MPs can determine legislation that affects England but not their own constituents.
    The Union has had its day: as an Englishman, I hope that the Scots get their referendum and vote for independence and that the Welsh and Northern Irish follow suit. We can then construct a new relationship based on cooperation, good neighbourliness and equality of the sort that the Scandinavian and Benelux nations enjoy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 00:05am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    I'm wondering how long the mods are going to sit on my comment #113. All I did was link to some further information about government referendums (it's really referenda but that just looks too twee for words)

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 00:15am on 04 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    150. At 11:14pm on 03 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:
    58. deanthetory
    (and northhighlander)

    "What are the major issues that politicians are debating, what are they failing in?"

    Well, in regards to Crofting and the SNPs' proposed Bill absenteeism is a problem for Crofting; one which to be fair the consultation paper does address. It states for example:

    "6.1.4 In order to facilitate more effective action on addressing absenteeism and neglect, the Government also stated that it would consider giving greater powers to the regulator to divide crofts so that crofts that are not being worked can be detached from croft houses that are being used as main residences in order to increase the availability of crofts for new entrants and young people."

    This is positive, it would increase crofting availability- and cut down on inactive crofting land. It could be seen as a positive step against absenteeism.
    But the problem as I outlined above (somewhere) was that the regulator is hardly local. The idea of 7-10 crofting councils (elected), then an overall Federal Crofting Council is a good step. But this simply isn't local enough. If we are to coherently address; for example; absenteeism surely it makes more sense to make the decisions to 'break up' the inactive land more local? It is in the best interests of crofting that the authority to execute such laws and regulation is placed as locally a possible.
    7-10 'local' councils for the whole of the Highlands, and Islands is not nearly local enough to see this process properly carried out.

    There are other aspects of Crofting being discussed too. For example- the rights of owner-occupier / tenant crofters. Afterall there have been reforms already since devolution happened- and with yet another series of minor reforming set now; do crofting communities actually know their rights any longer?

    Again the consulation document does outline an attempt to address this, but the document itself accepts that this is one aspect where 'potential risks' arise because of this reform:

    "6.3.3 Potential Risks
    6.3.3.1 Potential risks associated with these proposals include:

    Confusion over the rights of owner-occupiers and tenant crofters under the new legislation
    High increase in enforcement work for the Crofting Commission following implementation of changes
    Increased level of complaints following more effective action by Commission to address absenteeism or working the land issues"

    So, to avoid going on at length- crofters rights, are becoming confused because of perpetual minor reforms (which either go in the wrong direction, or are not radical enough, but positive).
    Also the new responsiblities for enforcement of new laws always falls on the Crofting Commission (to be phased out, replaced with the new federal crofting council; and the 7-10 'local' ones)- but the resources available to carry out this function are not given the attention deserved.

    In short, there are numerous aspects of Crofting being discussed, but the SNP bill doesnt go far enough in many areas. But it does propose make some important reforms, small as they are.

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 00:22am on 04 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    166. JonathanBW
    Fine sentiments well put. I look forward to the future you describe.

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 00:23am on 04 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #167 JRMacClure

    You sure do have a wide range of debating skill's sir, are you indeed a senator?.

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 00:26am on 04 Sep 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Was Iain Gray's 'Sid james' remark expected to stick to Alex Salmond like Vince Cable's 'Mr Bean' has irremoveably stuck to Gordon Brown. Did Gray realise he was just drawing attention to the latter? Anyway it didn't even raise a titter from his own side. The proverbial lead balloon. Gray unstuck!


    It is reassuring to see that in the Herald Letters, at least, there is complete condemnation of the oppositions tactics in the debate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 00:27am on 04 Sep 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Brian:

    I am hopeful and glad, for the excellent legislative programme that is being set-up for this upcoming Legislative Session in Scotland Parliament....


    =Dennis Junior=

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 00:29am on 04 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    I would like to know what England would have without Scotland in it
    the UK i mean

    we have been at the for front of some of the most revolutionary inventions we all know most of them and we all use theas things o a daily basis

    we have an abundance of oil which proceeds go to England
    we have an abundance of Water as our grand parents built Dams in Scotland
    our Tax goes to England
    and we get a hand out back

    if England never had Scotland they would just be a Small part of the Big picture

    they cant have this they need to be a player if the union goes the way i think personally it will 1 day to the dogs

    they will have nothing and just be England thats it

    they will not be able to control the whole of the UK

    i feel sorry for them because i think once Scotland is actually Independant we will have more cards to play than them

    we actually will have the balance of power

    this i think makes the English parelement Scard and hence they do not want this to happen

    I will also add i have nothing agaist English people what so ever i just want to be free to decide my own future as a country

    i have a grevence with this stupid UK marrage as i said in a past post no 1 asked me if i want to be part of this Union

    infact its taken as red that we are happy in this WE ARE NOT and i hazzard to guess English people are not eather

    English people should decide for them selves Scotland should decide for its self

    even if we dont actually get independance we should get to run our own affers

    after all whats the point in a parelement if you only have some powers is this not a contradiction in terms

    i personally think we will do well as a nation

    and i have every confidence that we will be a big player

    we may even get on better with England if we done it for our selves

    Im sure im not the only one that thinks so

    im very very proud to be Scottish

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 00:30am on 04 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #125 NCA999

    You make a reasonable point that we don't NEED a referendum on Independence. However, referendums can be of two types, consultative or mandatory.

    Polling is never anything but indicative, and polls have regularly suggested that while a significant minority of Scots support full independence, a clear majority want more powers exercised at Holyrood rather than at Westminster.

    Elections are rightly about more than one issue and not every SNP voter supports full independence, while even higher percentages of voters for "Unionist" parties do support it.

    What was regrettable was the Unionists combining to create the Calman Commission, as if there was only one position between the status quo and independence.

    What I think is needed is a consultatative referendum on Scotland's constitutional settlement within the UK.

    It does not seem reasonable to me that our choices should be restricted to the propoals made by political parties - that gives them way too much power. I see no reason why Scots shouldn't vote on which of the current reserved powers a majority want to be exercised in Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 00:37am on 04 Sep 2009, Florence wrote:

    59 DKALBION: Big disappointment, Auntie Bella. She's starting to sound more and more like Iain Gray.

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 00:39am on 04 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    Independance will also mean we do not get dragged in to a war that most of us do not want

    it will mean we get to have the say on our own affairs

    it will mean we get a welth of money from oil

    as its in Scotland

    we will have more overall when we are free


    yes its this old age question FREEDOME

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 00:55am on 04 Sep 2009, jack69hoops wrote:

    There's a simple, and very democratic, reason for not imposing a minimum turnout clause:

    If you believe in independence, you will turn up and vote YES.

    If you believe we should stay in the Union, you will turn up and vote NO.

    If you don't bother your backside to turn up, then you really don't care either way so your vote is nul anyway.

    It works for all other democratic electorate processes so why not this proposed referendum?

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 00:56am on 04 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    168. deanthetory
    Thanks for your intro deanthetory, i may just take look into it and perhaps stick my oar into any discussions it ;)

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 01:04am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #170. At 00:23am on 04 Sep 2009, derekbarker wrote:

    #167 JRMacClure

    You sure do have a wide range of debating skill's sir, are you indeed a senator?.
    ----------------

    Being neither a senator nor a sir, you have me completely at a loss how to respond.

    I'm trying to decide if calling me a senator was intended as an insult. *chuckles*


    Complain about this comment

  • 180. At 01:05am on 04 Sep 2009, Florence wrote:

    I saw Mrs. J. Sillars giving her tuppence worth during the debate. She's treated at Holyrood as Vince Cable is at Westminster. Do they both walk on water?

    Complain about this comment

  • 181. At 01:15am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    176. At 00:39am on 04 Sep 2009, jammaboy wrote:

    Be careful. You'll have me quoting Johne Barbour in a moment which I am fully capable of doing. "A noble hart may haiff nane ese..." and so forth. =)

    You surely don't want that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 182. At 02:32am on 04 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #181 Another night of Corries records and whiskey ?

    #177 jack69hoops i agree with what your saying in that if you dont bother voting then you cant complain about the result but.... I would say that in this instance its a bit more important than just swapping over who runs the country. A large proportion of the people at my work who dont vote all think that politicians are all the same so dont bother voting. I would really hope that there is a large turnout for this one ..preferably for the yes vote of course ;O)}

    Complain about this comment

  • 183. At 02:39am on 04 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #131 Derek .. im confused with your posts .. did you find Jesus ? Did oldnat use his superpowers to convert you or did you just loose faith yourself ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 184. At 02:41am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #181 Not really. It's early here and I'm trying (not too successfully) to get some work done. Whisky was last night. A dram too much to tell you the truth. Which explains my last comment or two of the night. ;-)

    I'm still chuckling over someone asking if I was a senator was a mortal insult.

    Complain about this comment

  • 185. At 02:50am on 04 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Oh that was Derek ... with a name like that though i would have guessed an oil baron :O)}

    Complain about this comment

  • 186. At 02:50am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    So you think Derek asking if I was a senator might not have been intended as a stab to the heart? =)

    Complain about this comment

  • 187. At 03:03am on 04 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    186 'So you think Derek asking if I was a senator might not have been intended as a stab to the heart? =)' no .. Derek has mellowed lately ..he was probably being mischievous thats all .. the Ritalin must have kicked in. Perhaps you can tell me if Scotland has made enemies in the USA or does the majority not even care ? I have spoken to a lady in Texas and she was pretty much 'kill the sucker' till i pointed out the possible miscarriage of justice.

    Complain about this comment

  • 188. At 03:03am on 04 Sep 2009, Jock-Wallace wrote:

    It's funny how we have troops fighting in Afghanistan for a democracy that allows a man to starve his wife if she refuses to have sex with him. This war is backed by Labour and the Tories.

    Perhaps the reason for their stance on refusing a referendum is, they think we might want to have sex with them afterwards.

    Complain about this comment

  • 189. At 03:13am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #187. At 03:03am on 04 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    186 'So you think Derek asking if I was a senator might not have been intended as a stab to the heart? =)' no .. Derek has mellowed lately ..he was probably being mischievous thats all .. the Ritalin must have kicked in. Perhaps you can tell me if Scotland has made enemies in the USA or does the majority not even care ? I have spoken to a lady in Texas and she was pretty much 'kill the sucker' till i pointed out the possible miscarriage of justice.

    ---------------------------
    Truthfully, I haven't talked to a single person who really cared. A lot of people if you bring the subject up, which I have, will give a knee-jerk reaction that freeing a "terrorist" is a terrible thing to do. I looked on Google News today and the story and related stories have already disappeared. I'm sure there are a few people who are upset, but very few. And there are a few who, like me, are on totally the opposite side of the spectrum who you see posting on our own news forums. I think in a week's time (if it takes that long) it will be totally forgotten.

    #188. At 03:03am on 04 Sep 2009, Jock-Wallace wrote:

    It's funny how we have troops fighting in Afghanistan for a democracy that allows a man to starve his wife if she refuses to have sex with him. This war is backed by Labour and the Tories.

    Perhaps the reason for their stance on refusing a referendum is, they think we might want to have sex with them afterwards.

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

    Good thing I'm NOT drinking tonight or I would have wasted perfect good whisky that make me laugh so hard. But now I'm shuddering--sex with Gordon Brown.

    By the way, if Scotland gets independence do you suppose he could be deported. If he was indeed, as the Bard put it, "bought and sold for English gold" don't THEY own him now?

    Just a thought.

    Complain about this comment

  • 190. At 03:15am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Well--Texas. Even over on this side of the pond they have a bit of a reputation. I think they may execute for shoplifting.

    Complain about this comment

  • 191. At 03:30am on 04 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #188 Its a war that will never be won im afraid. Being that its a tribal society they wont do what they are told. The leaders might behave for a wee while but it wont be long before its back to normal.

    "It's funny how we have troops fighting in Afghanistan for a democracy that allows a man to starve his wife if she refuses to have sex with him. This war is backed by Labour and the Tories" .. how does that work ? The women are usually the ones who shop and cook so i cant see how you can starve your wife ... no sex no food ..well fair enough no food me not cook me not wash your dirty pants.. women run the planet whether you want it or not.

    #190 'I think they may execute for shoplifting.' sorry i misread that the first time .. i thought you said shopfitting and thought that a bit harsh lol

    Complain about this comment

  • 192. At 03:32am on 04 Sep 2009, Jock-Wallace wrote:

    At 03:13am on 04 Sep 2009, JRMacClure wrote:

    Good thing I'm NOT drinking tonight or I would have wasted perfect good whisky that make me laugh so hard. But now I'm shuddering--sex with Gordon Brown.

    By the way, if Scotland gets independence do you suppose he could be deported. If he was indeed, as the Bard put it, "bought and sold for English gold" don't THEY own him now?

    Just a thought.

    Glad you enjoyed the laugh and NO whisky was wasted.

    To answer your question on Gordie coming back to Scotland, last I heard he wanted to settle in Afghanistan, but, his wife is against that idea.

    Complain about this comment

  • 193. At 03:56am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    You do realize that we Americans have memories as long as...

    What was it we were talking about again?

    Complain about this comment

  • 194. At 03:57am on 04 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #192 Jock-Wallace

    I do enjoy your posts! I hadn't thought of Eric Joyce's resignation over Afghanistan as having any sexual implications.

    Complain about this comment

  • 195. At 04:10am on 04 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    I'm listening to the al-Megrahi debate. I'm not sure why the Scottish cringe suggests that the quality of debate was poor. Of course, there were some poor party hack speeches (on all sides) - but I see the same thing at Westminster, and have observed similar poor speeches in the Australian Parliament and the US Congress (yes, I am one of those political geeks who actually watches these things!)

    Malcolm Chisholm's contribution was of the highest order. If Labour can't see his talent as being worthy of front bench status, then their demise is inevitable.

    Complain about this comment

  • 196. At 04:20am on 04 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #195 oldnat ..'Malcolm Chisholm's contribution was of the highest order. If Labour can't see his talent as being worthy of front bench status, then their demise is inevitable' front bench ! They could do no wrong by putting him in charge then they might get somewhere.

    Complain about this comment

  • 197. At 04:28am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #195 I somehow have trouble seeing that, party loyalty being much more important that honesty, conscience or talent. But it is always possible to be surprised, one supposes.

    By the way, I do get tired of the whole cringe thing. Why is there this seemingly deep-seated belief in Scottish inferiority?

    Honestly, Holyrood is not worse than our Senate. I PROMISE. In fact, I'd stack Salmond up at his best moments against almost politician in the world and even the hacks are just -- typical. You must have seen some of our cringe-makers over here. We have Rick Santorum, for God's sake.

    Complain about this comment

  • 198. At 04:38am on 04 Sep 2009, Jock-Wallace wrote:

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

  • 199. At 04:46am on 04 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #196 ubinworryinmasheep

    "They could do no wrong by putting him in charge then they might get somewhere."

    They would never do that! The old Labour Party that once had derekbarker's support might have done that, but the current neutered version of a once important party would never tolerate a leader in Scotland whose priority wasn't enhancing Labour's ability to govern England.

    Complain about this comment

  • 200. At 04:57am on 04 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #197 JRMacClure

    "Why is there this seemingly deep-seated belief in Scottish inferiority?"

    It's not accidental! The Brits have had a strong interest in creating that feelimg. You have a similar pattern in the USA. The reconstruction of the post Civil War South trapped them into feelings of inferiority that still resonate in North Carolina today.

    Complain about this comment

  • 201. At 05:04am on 04 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #199 No i suppose your right .. instead we have a ventriloquist (spellings probably wrong but its not a word i use much) and his dummy (Grey) and we know where Gordons/Murphys hand must be.

    Interesting news item on the BBC news website about Darling critisizing the SNPs push for a referendum whilst he was meeting business leaders. I like the way he told them about the billions that would be recovered from tax avoiders due to new powers available to HMRC. Funny thing is i read in private eye that these new powers are next to useless so seems its just more spin. When will they ever learn

    Complain about this comment

  • 202. At 05:05am on 04 Sep 2009, Jock-Wallace wrote:

    At 03:57am on 04 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:
    #192 Jock-Wallace

    I do enjoy your posts! I hadn't thought of Eric Joyce's resignation over Afghanistan as having any sexual implications.

    Sorry oldnat, cant give you a comeback on that one see #198

    Moving on, I have to agree with you regards Malcolm Chisholm he is indeed a good orator and stood by his convictions rather than party politics over the release of Mr Megrahi. A man of integrity

    Complain about this comment

  • 203. At 05:17am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Ha! I wondered about #198. We'll use our imaginations. Which reminds me over my bafflement that my final comment last night was not moderated.

    Ummm Do these mods not speak Scots?


    Complain about this comment

  • 204. At 05:35am on 04 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

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

  • 205. At 05:56am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    You know I don't think I would describe being brought home in a body bag as being "repatriated". *ponders*

    So does anyone really think that an army in Afghanistan will keep terrorists off the streets of London or Glasgow?

    Out of curiosity.

    Complain about this comment

  • 206. At 05:59am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    I'm filled with curiosity about #204.

    Complain about this comment

  • 207. At 06:43am on 04 Sep 2009, eye_write wrote:

    Ah, Brian at last you're strapping them on :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 208. At 07:36am on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Back to an old subject but I found it interesting and pretty much what I expected.

    http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.2529074.0.45_of_Scots_back_MacAskills_decision_on_Megrahi.php

    Complain about this comment

  • 209. At 07:51am on 04 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Yip oldnat the NEC and the PLP are gone, my best hopes and aspirations lay with an Independent Scotland that wants to embrace the full political spectrum, where an element of socialist are present in a Scottish parliament holding office to account on the issues of fair taxation, education, health, employment and general current and foreign interest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 210. At 07:53am on 04 Sep 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #137 - "Surely those scots who are reaping the benefits of being part of the Union should get a say in whether we stay in the Union."

    NCA999, you would have an argument if Scotland gaining independence would have a negative effect on these Scots. It would not. Scots living and working in England have no more advantage than, say, Germans living and working in England (it's actually illegal to treat Germans in England any different from Scots - or, indeeed the English - in England). This is also true of the French, the Spanish, etc.

    Complain about this comment

  • 211. At 07:59am on 04 Sep 2009, eye_write wrote:

    Re yesterday's reaction to the government's plans:

    Gray: we must not waste time (!!) on wee matters of constitutional importance but get on with tackling the problems faced by the economic climate....
    As usual, he gloriously misses the point: you cannot operate the economic "machine" if you cannot press all the buttons - Scotland is on the internet with the parental controls on! We are only too small, too wee and too pretendy if you make us that way, Mr Gray.

    Ms Goldie: We need a government that will tackle the big issues...
    Like the question of releasing al Megrahi? Or is that only allowed when you are in power??

    Ms Goldie: ...not focusing on "constitutional vandalism"...
    Again she spectacularly misses the point, the "constitutional vandalism" occurred long ago, when it was organised that two nations have only one parliament. It was to operate by combined vote - as if there were no longer two nations.

    Mr Scott: we will not support the government when the SNP's internal party politics are more important than the country.
    Hilarious! If he feels the country is so important, why is he content with it being internationally invisible? (Don't fly the Scottish flag!) By contrast, the SNP only exist because Scotland is important....

    The opposition parties don't even have Scottish Conservative/Labour/LibDem parties, just bits dangling off the bottom of the Westminster ones - is it because Scotland's not important enough?

    Scotland....is a NATION
    (not a region)

    Britain....is a NOT a nation, it's SEVERAL...but is pretending it is one country
    Scotland (and England, and Wales...) are already "separate"

    Complain about this comment

  • 212. At 08:11am on 04 Sep 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #166 - "it is simply wrong that Scots and Welsh MPs can determine legislation that affects England but not their own constituents."

    Yes, and pre-devolution it was equally wrong that English MPs could determine legislation that affected Scotland but not their own consituents. The Union was always billed as one of two equal partners. In practice, it has never been so. So what is the solution?

    You assert that the Union has had its day. Many here would agree. Rather than being the move of a seperatist, I, like youself, see independence as the opportunity to create the sort of relationship between England and Scotland that the Union was always billed to be.

    Complain about this comment

  • 213. At 08:24am on 04 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    Hey! maybe senator MacClure can sugar coat capital hill with all things Scottish, now where is the declaration of intent?.

    Complain about this comment

  • 214. At 08:32am on 04 Sep 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    Interesting news story on BBC Breakfast. Enniskillen, in Northern Ireland, is seeing an economic boom with being from the South travelling there to shop. Tax revenue alone is estiminated to be in the region of £100 million. This trade is mainly due to cheaper prices caused by the weak Sterling against the Euro.

    Darling goes on that Scotland's trade with the rest of the UK is worth £36 billion. Yet every penny of that tax revenue from that trade goes to Westminster.

    Perhaps the real fear here is that if Scotland were independent and had joined the Euro, and assumming Sterling recovers to previous levels against the Euro, this £36 billion trade would perhaps double, or even triple. Of course, the danger exists that Sterling drops even more (surely not, we have Darling's assurance that we're on the road to recovery).

    Complain about this comment

  • 215. At 08:47am on 04 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #213 Derek now what you have to go and do that for ... i told him you were not evil but just mischievous and then you twist the knife.

    Complain about this comment

  • 216. At 09:00am on 04 Sep 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    It seems that STV are about as biased as the Beeb when it comes to the SNP and politics. Dorothy Grace Elder is brought in and described as presenting the the SNP view of the world when even she says she is not a member of the SNP and everyone knows that she fell out with the SNP and there is no love lost between them.

    Reresentation last night on Politics Now? One tory supporter, one ex-Labour minister and one aggrieved ex-SNP columnist. Then to cap it all we have a TV presenter with a giant ego.

    I don't know where Margo and Jim Sillars are coming from. Do they want independence for Scotland or not? It certainly doesn't appear so. Shouldn't they all be pulling together?



    Complain about this comment

  • 217. At 09:07am on 04 Sep 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #214 forteanjo - Morning , spent a couple of weeks in Ireland this "summer" the supermarkets in Newry are also coining it in for exactly the same reason . we found that the prices in the north were higher than Scotland but we were not prepared for the prices in the south. even if the exchange rate improved it would still be worth the trip over the border.

    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 218. At 09:40am on 04 Sep 2009, deadgoatsociety wrote:

    #97 & #151,

    Re Minimum Pricing for alcohol. My understanding (however I may be wrong) is that the Scottish Govt has no powers to vary the duty on alcohol. And the UK govt will not impose regional variations in levels of duty. Therefore, any extra revenue from Minimum Pricing goes straight into the coffers of the retailers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 219. At 09:43am on 04 Sep 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    Since the moderators didn't like the simple descripition of what Annabel Goldie is accusing Alex Salmond of in my deleted post Here is what she said from the Official Report 3 September 2009 of the Scottish Parliament
    Annabel Goldie: I am afraid that there are suspicions—and facts. Fact: the First Minister is seeking money for his Scottish Futures Trust from Arab states. Fact: on 11 June 2009, he met the Qatari Government and discussed trade and Mr al-Megrahi's release at the same time. Fact: on 17 July 2009, the Qatari Government wrote to the Scottish Government, supporting compassionate release. Fact: one week later, Mr al-Megrahi applied for compassionate release. That does not look good.

    It's a very serious accusation. She is implying corruption at the highest levels of the Scottish Government. That the Scottish Government released a convicted terrorist not for judicial reasons but for financial reasons. I hope she's got evidence to back it up otherwise the onetime "Auntie" Annabel is just another Tavish.

    It's also on BBC iPlayer at 12 minutes 10 seconds in.

    Complain about this comment

  • 220. At 11:02am on 04 Sep 2009, Blind_Captain wrote:

    #219

    The Times expands on this, or attempts to; it's worth a read as it is an example of a story portrayed as an example of SNP skullduggery but actually it turns out to be a non story, as there is nothing to report. No substance to it.

    In addition, (don't know if it's been mentioned already) but there is a letter from Lord Lester of Herne Hill, a member of the House of Lords, in the Times. He thinks there has been a miscarriage of justice. He was on the team for Mr Megrahi. I wonder if the beeb will pick up on this letter.

    Complain about this comment

  • 221. At 11:21am on 04 Sep 2009, GregorAddison wrote:

    A referendum on Independence gives us a decision on our future that we can and should make for ourselves. Often one reads comments of the sort - "if the Scots want independence why don't they just go for it" - but of course, in order to do so a referendum is required. Frequently, decisions on Scotland's future are taken furth of Scotland or, like the Calman Commission, without asking the wider public for their views. Micro-managing devolution is only likely to urge more people on to independence.

    I feel strongly that the decision be made in Scotland. After all, if Scotland were to vote NO and England YES, or vice versa, where would the Union stand then? Also, if Britain were to have a referendum on joining the Euro would it be reasonable to expect that the right to decide Britain's position be extended to all of Europe? I suspect not. If, as many believe, we are to be a mature nation taking our own decisions, then this would be the place to start.

    Complain about this comment

  • 222. At 11:23am on 04 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    derekbarker re your 209

    I am interested in what type of Labour party you think would emerge in an independent Scotland.

    Would the party of Keir Hardie with the likes of Malcolm Chisholm at the helm, take over, or has the soul of the party been sold to the Blairites and lightweights,as the Bakers for example?

    I realize Malcolm would be to old by the time independence comes to be active in politics but I can think of no other with his views and more importantly his stature in the current Labour MSPs.

    My own preference as a party post independence, would be for the SNP to continue as a center left party. Why let Labour or the Lib Dems back in? to ruin Scotland once again.

    Complain about this comment

  • 223. At 11:25am on 04 Sep 2009, that wee C wrote:

    If we do not have a referendum we will never get a definition of the oppositions proposals for Scotland. What do the Libdems, Tories and SLAB propose for Scotlands financial powers?
    Full Fiscal Autonomy? Calman? Status quo? or What? If it is Calman or Status quo then I will support Independence. Time to put up or shut up!
    Scotland has been declining with the current UK set up for the last 50 years so we need to control our own Finances or I will become a reuctant Nationalist.
    Where are the Scottish Unions on this topic? are they happy with the return Scottish workers are getting for their support??

    Complain about this comment

  • 224. At 11:28am on 04 Sep 2009, scorpioRicardo wrote:

    161 ScotinNotts

    I guess we're splitting hairs over the life changing bit, but unlike less major legislation, don't you feel that independence really would be a one-way movement?

    Laws do get repealed, tax rates frequently change, we're even discussing restricting/limiting the right-to-buy legislation. But Independence really would be an end game.

    Point taken about not using your vote, but this needs to be so clear cut, we cannot afford to have any party bleating afterwards, otherwise the fallout could run for years afterwards. The really important point here is that this is about change. People shouldn't need to vote "no" for things to stay the same, but they do need to say "yes" to effect that change. If this isn't the case, you're making an assumption that people do want a change if they don't vote. For this to be credible, the question needs to be phrased to reflect this - eg "we are going for independence unless you tell us you don't want this" which clearly makes no sense.

    Looking into the demographics of the most recent election to the Scottish Parliament, its interesting to note that as turnout falls, the ratio of spoiled ballots increases. In areas of high voter engagement far fewer spoiled papers were seen, whereas less politically aware areas had significantly more.

    Amongst the reasons offered to explain this, confusing ballot lists and the need to make too many decisions at once were most often cited.

    Mostly, Scottish people vote along party lines and as the SNP are in the forefront of the independence debate, it seems logical to suggest that a vote for the SNP is a YES vote, and and a YES vote by inference is a vote for the SNP.

    This is a potentially dangerous situation as due to my own contrariness I am for independence, but not for the SNP. This may seem to be a contradiction to some people, but I still believe that it is possible to admire a politician for their personal traits and habits and yet not always agree with their party's political stance. At risk of stirring up another hornets nest, as an example, I admire Kenny MacAskill's bravery and personal attributes, but I'm not a fan of his party. Just thinking about it, my own personal favourite politicians were both Labour down to their socks. Michael Foot and Dennis Skinner. Fabulous orators and never afraid to speak their own mind. Foot was more the party man, but the "Beast of Bolsover" continues working extremely hard for his constituents and has one of the highest attendance records in Westminster, without the correspondingly high expenses claims. In our own parliament, Malcolm Chisholm is a stand out orator, proving that they do exist up here too. Mr Gray is a total numptie by comparison and his ill-formed and badly executed attempt at cross examinations recently have been risible. What a lightweight!

    In British politics, we are faced with this dilemma at each election, where we vote for an individual yet get a party. Perhaps the only true democracy is for everyone to stand as independents? That way new policies and laws would need to be fought for instead of being carried because "it was the party line".

    If the referendum vote actually happens we need a straightforward set of questions - like Q1 - "Are you in favour of Independence (Yes or No)?" Q2 If you voted yes to Q1 - "Should this include full fiscal autonomy (Yes or No)?"

    So - for the sake of clarity, I am pro independence, don't vote for the SNP and still remain to be convinced that the referendum will be valid unless we get sufficiently high turnout. I'll leave it to the academics to ponder what constitutes a reasonable percentage, but 17% of the voters cannot be enough!

    Having enjoyed this debate, we need to keep a focus on the fact that we won't get independence unless Westminster says so and they have no reason whatsoever to give away their cash cow.

    I'm sure you realised that the booze cruise was a joke? With the kind of traffic we get on the M8, young wine would have time to age on the drive back! In any case, we can fly to France from Prestwick courtesy of Mr O'Leary in half the time it takes to drive to Carlisle.



    Complain about this comment

  • 225. At 11:45am on 04 Sep 2009, scorpioRicardo wrote:

    218. At 09:40am on 04 Sep 2009, deadgoatsociety wrote:
    #97 & #151,

    Re Minimum Pricing for alcohol. My understanding (however I may be wrong) is that the Scottish Govt has no powers to vary the duty on alcohol. And the UK govt will not impose regional variations in levels of duty. Therefore, any extra revenue from Minimum Pricing goes straight into the coffers of the retailers.

    That's the point I was clumsily trying to make. I guess ScotinNotts has a point as duty is added at a fixed rate rather than a percentage of price, but VAT is directly related to selling price and flows into the Treasury. So a higher price = more VAT. The difference does, of course, go to the seller. It does rather fly in the face of a free market economy though. If retailers band together to set minimum prices that's called "price fixing" and is illegal. If its done by a government its "socially responsible" - curious!

    Complain about this comment

  • 226. At 11:45am on 04 Sep 2009, AGnomeCalledJimmy wrote:

    I would more than happily support Scottish Indipendence, if not for the fact that the glass ceiling Mr Salmond refers to is of our own making.

    The Clyde yards are closed, our coal mining has all but ceased, what else do we offer to the world of economics? Whisky, Carling, Tourism? Accounttancy perhaps, ship insurance...?

    We need a solid industrial basis on which to live when we become indipendant, otherwise our entire country is just going to fall apart and revert to the dark ages.

    If we can reignite the passion of the Scottish people - that passion that drove us to rebel, to work the long walk in the ship yards or mine the coal, THEN we can become indipendant and regain our status and culture.

    Complain about this comment

  • 227. At 12:21pm on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #213. At 08:24am on 04 Sep 2009, derekbarker wrote:

    Hey! maybe senator MacClure can sugar coat capital hill with all things Scottish, now where is the declaration of intent?.

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

    Derek, if you're going to make personal attacks on me, would you please at least make it something that makes sense? I have no idea even what you mean but feel free to dislike me all you want. For being an American it sounds like? Fair enough. I can deal with that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 228. At 12:40pm on 04 Sep 2009, that wee C wrote:

    I still want to know want to know what the Oppposition proposals are as the alternatives to Independnece.

    What will we have if we do not vote for Independence

    Status quo? Calman? Full fiscal Autonomy? WHAT?

    The press are very poor at asking the real questions. Satus Quo is not an option

    Complain about this comment

  • 229. At 12:43pm on 04 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 211

    You miss a couple of points that don't fit your solution. At present the Scottish Government as responsibility for Scottish enterprise and the local enterprise companies. The funding for this activity has been cutsome responsibilities passed to councils without a clear view of how the system will work. In short it is a bit of a mess.

    Encouraging enterprise and new business is already a devolved power that we are doing precious little to use at present. There will be no more power after any independence. No more money either.

    Look at the recent sale of Tennents lager, a strong Scottish brand, bought by an Irish Cider maker that may move some of the work to Ireland now. Why is there not a Scottish entrepreneur buying Magners instead? Look at the Whisky arguments in Kilmarnock, our whisky industry is owned by foreigners. We just are not developing new business ideas into successful businesses in anything like sufficient numbers.

    That is a responsibility of the government to create an environment to allow ideas to flourish, they simply aren't doing it. More power would not improve this.

    You may say that having hands on the economic levers will allow a more entrepreneurial environment that hte government cannot produce at present, but if that is the case where is the argument? What would change? What obstacles would be created by independence?

    This is our biggest challenge, independent or not, is how we grow the Scottish economy and produce new industries and companies that are Scottish and Scottish based. I see little evidence that this will be any easier post independence. I fond it just as easy to argue ways in which it will be more difficult.

    This challenge coupled together with how we deliver better public services for less are huge as we enter the post recession phase. They require new thinking, new ideas. What independence will do to help is at best unclear to me.

    Complain about this comment

  • 230. At 12:44pm on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #226. At 11:45am on 04 Sep 2009, AGnomeCalledJimmy wrote:

    I apologize but to me this sounds like more of this Scottish cringe one hears and unfortunately sees rather a lot of--the "Scotland is so pitiful and so inferior" factor.

    All of the UK has lost manufacturing I believe. (Automobiles? Didn't the British used to build a lot of them? Some rather good ones? Have I missed that they still are?) I believe that is a fact. In what way is the loss of manufacturing unique to Scotland?

    However, if you're right and if for some reason having lost manufacturing shows that Scotland has somehow become something inferior that without England would lapse into the dark ages, then it seems to me there are two necessary questions that should be asked with or without independence.

    1. What has CAUSED this?

    2. What will SOLVE this?

    I don't know that AGnomeCalledJimmy is correct that there is something fundamentally inferior about Scotland but it seems to me if there is, Scots need to decide so and decide what to do about it. If there is nothing at all wrong with Scotland except Scots THINKING they are inferior, then maybe Scots need to think about THAT and solve THAT somehow. Independent or not, surely Scotland should not continue either thinking it is or being inferior to the rest of this island.

    I'm not saying which is the case and have no idea what is the solution, just pointing out some ramifications of what the gentleman is saying.

    A view from an outsider and let derek make what he likes of it. *shrugs*

    Complain about this comment

  • 231. At 1:09pm on 04 Sep 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    # 219. At 09:43am on 04 Sep 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    Since the moderators didn't like the simple descripition of what Annabel Goldie is accusing Alex Salmond of in my deleted post Here is what she said from the Official Report 3 September 2009 of the Scottish Parliament
    Annabel Goldie: I am afraid that there are suspicions—and facts. Fact: the First Minister is seeking money for his Scottish Futures Trust from Arab states. Fact: on 11 June 2009, he met the Qatari Government and discussed trade and Mr al-Megrahi's release at the same time. Fact: on 17 July 2009, the Qatari Government wrote to the Scottish Government, supporting compassionate release. Fact: one week later, Mr al-Megrahi applied for compassionate release. That does not look good.

    It's a very serious accusation. She is implying corruption at the highest levels of the Scottish Government. That the Scottish Government released a convicted terrorist not for judicial reasons but for financial reasons. I hope she's got evidence to back it up otherwise the onetime "Auntie" Annabel is just another Tavish.

    It's also on BBC iPlayer at 12 minutes 10 seconds in.

    Complain about this comment
    # 220. At 11:02am on 04 Sep 2009, Blind_Captain wrote:

    #219

    The Times expands on this, or attempts to; it's worth a read as it is an example of a story portrayed as an example of SNP skullduggery but actually it turns out to be a non story, as there is nothing to report. No substance to it."

    The Scotsman's take on the story is interesting: Faced with the evidence, ie; the actual correspondence released on Tuesday, in which it was made clear to Qatar that the decision was a legal matter for the Justice Department, she fell back on "How do we know there wasn't any unrecorded nudge-nudge wink wink." The Scotsman also went on to editorialise that while it's certainly the opposition's job to hold the government to account, "smears" (I quote) are unacceptable. How long it will last I don't know but there certainly seems to have been a bit of a shift in editorial policy.

    As for Ms Goldie, after her sickening performance in the debate my opinion of her dropped considerably, now...

    Complain about this comment

  • 232. At 1:41pm on 04 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #206 JRMacClure

    Google quirkynats and look for the appropriate topic among General Discussions.

    Complain about this comment

  • 233. At 2:00pm on 04 Sep 2009, Colonel Kurtz wrote:

    226. At 11:45am on 04 Sep 2009, AGnomeCalledJimmy wrote:
    The Clyde yards are closed, our coal mining has all but ceased, what else do we offer to the world of economics? Whisky, Carling, Tourism? Accounttancy perhaps, ship insurance...?

    Lin Sondek, design, manufacture of specialist hifis exported all over the world.
    Caldervale Forge who make tools.

    I know of at least one company local to me that does fabrication & specialist engineering to shopping malls throughout Europe.

    Use google and you can see what we know make.

    Whilst some of these companies are small and specialist we can invest in them to make them bigger

    Complain about this comment

  • 234. At 2:06pm on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    232. Can't access that forum -- get some kind of weird error message about 'no node available' and not being any kind of techie I have no idea what that means.

    Complain about this comment

  • 235. At 2:14pm on 04 Sep 2009, InfrequentAllele wrote:

    197. JRMacClure

    The Scottish cultural cringe is, alas, deeply rooted in the Scottish psyche. It has many causes, but the major one is common to all nations and nationalities which lack full autonomy and self-determination. Americans have the confidence that comes from knowing that whatever happens, the American people will collectively decide on what action to take. You will stand or fall by that decision, but the decision is yours to take. Scots lack that confidence, because it's not Scots who have the final say on what happens in our country.

    It's best explained on a personal level. When an individual is not in control of his or her own destiny, they feel powerless. It has a negative impact on self-esteem. When that is combined with a prevailing attitude that the individual is not important to others, and the attributes of the individual are widely depreciated and marginalised, the person ends up with depression.

    When this process is applied to an entire country, the result is cultural cringe. Catalans call it "minoritització" or minoritisation. For a depressed individual, the cure is in therapy. For a nation suffering cultural cringe, the cure is independence.

    Complain about this comment

  • 236. At 2:21pm on 04 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    234. JRMacClure
    "232. Can't access that forum -- get some kind of weird error message about 'no node available' and not being any kind of techie I have no idea what that means."

    Connection is sometimes a bit iffy but under no circumstance lose one's temper or their wrath will prevail. I have just looked and it appears ok from this end.

    Complain about this comment

  • 237. At 2:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    232. At 1:41pm on 04 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #206 JRMacClure

    Google quirkynats and look for the appropriate topic among General Discussions.

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

    Haha. I got what you're saying now. Took a bit to manage to get onto that forum. I was quite bemused by being allowed to say what I did as I think you picked up. Mind you, I might have mis-spelled it. I've only heard it said by one or two of my less socially acceptable friends. ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 238. At 2:25pm on 04 Sep 2009, that wee C wrote:

    Guys try this Google

    SNP accused

    and have a look at the obvious Media bias, it is hilarious but scary.

    Independence is not necessary but a free press is.

    Complain about this comment

  • 239. At 2:28pm on 04 Sep 2009, skint wrote:

    #235

    Eloquently put, the sooner we have independence the sooner we can get over our inferiority complex - I like it!

    Complain about this comment

  • 240. At 2:29pm on 04 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    229. northhighlander
    "This is our biggest challenge, independent or not, is how we grow the Scottish economy and produce new industries and companies that are Scottish and Scottish based. I see little evidence that this will be any easier post independence. I fond it just as easy to argue ways in which it will be more difficult.

    This challenge coupled together with how we deliver better public services for less are huge as we enter the post recession phase. They require new thinking, new ideas. What independence will do to help is at best unclear to me.
    "

    Independence will be an almighty kick up the [mods insert acceptable benign phrase here] to ALL sections of Scottish society.

    We are not stupid, we just need to have a different way of looking at things. The freedom (in a distinctly non-Braveheart way) to look at things in a fresh way will produce new ideas, new thinking, new products, new procedures. Not all will be brilliant, some will be downright daft perhaps but what is important is that they will be OUR ideas, set in a context of our needs, our desires, our values - not that of a foreign government/establishment.

    There seems little disagreement that we will need less expenditure on defence, foreign wars. That will release funds.
    In the short-term the rent we will charge until the rump of the UK move their WMD to their own backyard will come in handy, thank you very much.
    Oil prices may fluctuate, but the inexorable trend is up and we will husband what is left and charge appropriately for new licenses to explore W of Shetland. BP last week announced huge new finds in the Gulf of Mexico at previously unheard of depths. If the oil is there, we will find it and exploit it for the long term needs of OUR society, not the short-termism of Westminster.

    Lets use some of these funds to rebuild our country and have the courage to take somewhat longer-term views than the immediate gratification/quick fix that seems to pervade thinking from London.

    Oh and while we are at it - a root and branch review of EVERY civil service and local government position in this country and lets get rid of the under-employed, over-compensated seat warmers.

    AGnomeCalledJimmy : get up off your knees, stop cringing and then perhaps you will have the guts to name yourself, ANormalPersonCalledJimmy

    Complain about this comment

  • 241. At 2:54pm on 04 Sep 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    We are promised that Scotland would get a major share of the renewables industry (undersea turbines) but Scotland has already lost the manufacture of wind turbines to Denmark. How are they going to ensure this doesn't happen again? It's like taking sweeties off a wean.

    Complain about this comment

  • 242. At 3:19pm on 04 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    240. At 2:29pm on 04 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry

    "Oil prices may fluctuate, but the inexorable trend is up"

    This is true, but aysemmetric shocks caused to small open economies due to oil price variation can be seriously detrimental. But this will only a major problem if an independent Scotland actively relied upon oil to suppliment government expenditure on a large public sector.

    However there is doubt if an independent Scotland would ever require the oil revenues to suppliment such government expenditure, so long as there is a major boost in domestic Scottish private sector size/strength.
    So this problem, much cited, can be overcome by an independent Scotland if certain serious but reasonable economic ajustments are taken.

    Its not such a big economic argument opposing independence under the correct circumstances.

    Complain about this comment

  • 243. At 3:24pm on 04 Sep 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    Re DougtheDug@219, Blind Captain@220, Caledonian 54@231 I watched Annabel Goldie making these rather unsavoury claims yesterday which basically amounted to accusing the Scottish Government of taking a bribe.
    When asked about it by Brian afterwards even Angus ( there's nats under the bed ) MacLeod was backing away from the idea with some haste.

    Dean, anybody , what has gotten into the woman formerly fondly known as Aunty Annabel or Maw Broon?

    She seems to have lost her political antennae and is on a self destruct path as regards credibility steeper than the one Global is hurtling down.

    What on earth was she thinking about making such a serious allegation without evidence to back it up?

    I assume she hoped some mud would stick whether it had any basis in truth or not.

    I've lost all respect for her and her judgement after this.

    Complain about this comment

  • 244. At 3:25pm on 04 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #226 AGnomeCalledJimmy

    "The Clyde yards are closed"

    Really! I'd better tell my relatives they've been going to work when none existed? Please get your facts straight, Govan and Yarrows are still alive and kicking and will be for a long while yet.


    #229 northhighlander
    "Encouraging enterprise and new business is already a devolved power that we are doing precious little to use at present. There will be no more power after any independence. No more money either."

    You cite the recent buyout of Tennents by an Irish company. What is the difference between the government of Ireland's powers and Scotland's? Business tax policies create attractive environments for businesses to both start and grow, to attract foriegn investment. It is disingenuous to suggest we have all the tools at present to achieve all we can pre-independence.

    I share your valid concerns regarding the harsh financial climate at present, you're correct it doesn't make it any easier, however it's the same playing field for everyone.

    Both of you raise the same point about creating new industries in Scotland. It is true that for centuries our best and brightest have either had to go to London or abroad for funding for new innovations or the highest paid jobs. This can change post-independence and we can stop the brain drain from our country. Science and engineering are still the cornerstones of the new industries and Scots have those skills, alas at present there are precious few opportunities to use those in Scotland under the current UK set up.

    Scotland has to position itself competitively to attract businesses that would otherwise be drawn to the south east or abroad, to encourage start up companies in all sectors (in my opinion particularly biomedical and renewable energy sectors), whilst encouraging spin out companies from our Universities world class research. This in turn will allow us as a nation to retain our educated graduates and lure back some of those that have had to leave in previous years to pursue such careers.

    It has never made much sense to me to have a world class university system, educate our populace to a high standard, and then watch that talent and skills leave the country to go abroad or to the south east. It is imperative that we retain such people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 245. At 3:27pm on 04 Sep 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    "By George, they've got it! The Tories, that is. They have utterly absorbed the concept of minority government - and how to work the system."

    They may have had it but over the last few days they have most definitely lost it, and gone down in my estimation with a thump and a half.

    Complain about this comment

  • 246. At 3:43pm on 04 Sep 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Why is 'Brian's Big Debate' not available on IPLAYER, even although it says it is?

    Complain about this comment

  • 247. At 3:52pm on 04 Sep 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    In these days of a 24 Hour society with a World-Wide internet coverage, we are still having an internal Political arguement as to whether or not Scotland should be self-goverened as an Independent Country.

    It has been the Case that now for many a Year that the British [English] Government at Westminster have given back Self-Rule to other Countries that once made up the British Empire, as once previously Controlled by the Westminster Seat of the Crown in London. England.

    Therefore, you would think by now what with all these Scottish M.P.s' and a Prime Minister as returned to Westminster, that they at lease they would be the amongst the first to state any Claims that Scotland too should be fully returned to being fully Self-Governed under Home - Rule from Holyrood.

    The mockery that now currently exist today is that the Scottish Executive has less real Powers of Control over Scottish internal Affairs then doe's the Self - Governing British Crown dependency of the Isle of Man [ Manx. Ellan Vannin ] Tynwald Parliament.

    The Labour Party, Conservatives, and Lib-Dem's in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood should all hang their Heads in shame, by repeatingly refusing to except that Scotland doe's not only have all rights to be Self-Governed, but should also demand the full Rights to be returned once more a Self-Governing Country, if only to catch up with the expectations already being enjoyed in the rest of what was once the former Countries that made up the British Empire.

    Complain about this comment

  • 248. At 3:57pm on 04 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    Brian
    Would you tell us why there is no Bill to make it law that the Justice Minister must announce each exercise of compassionate release to the Parliament and for procedures to do this when the Parliament is not in session?
    Or have I just misconstrued the result of the Liberal Democrat's amendment?

    Complain about this comment

  • 249. At 4:05pm on 04 Sep 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    # 244. ScotInNotts.....

    One of the biggest problems we have in Scotland is the lack of availability of risk equity capital that can go into start-ups or or spin-outs. So whilst I support your view that we need to create more high value adding companies the chances of doing that at the scale we really need is zilch.... Sad to say the financial institutions aren't interested in the same way as they are in other countries and now of course that Gordon broke the banks they're even less inclined than they were to get involved in this sort of thing.

    It's one of the best arguments for independence I know.

    Complain about this comment

  • 250. At 4:11pm on 04 Sep 2009, westlothianvoice wrote:

    I must admit that up until now I have never really taken that great an interest in the matter of constitutional settlement however I do now for a number of reasons.

    The arguments made a against a referendum in Parliament yesterday were at best arrogant and at worst , emblematic of how politicians view themselves not as servants to the people but as superiors to the people. Our democracy has become rotten and corrupt. We saw this in the way that the politicians at Westminster fiddled their expenses and weaseled their way out of a promised vote on the EU constitution. This infection has spread to Holyrood as those who view themselves as a new form of feudal superior now state "This is our country , it has nothing to do with the plebs."

    The question over whether to have a referendum or not boils down to this - Who owns Scotland , the politicians or the people ?

    It is a serious argument and it is one that we , the people , must win.

    I believe that it is the people and not the politicians to whom this nation belongs and all who take the same view should join the campaign in favour af a referendum.

    Complain about this comment

  • 251. At 4:16pm on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #247. At 3:52pm on 04 Sep 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    The mockery that now currently exist today is that the Scottish Executive has less real Powers of Control over Scottish internal Affairs then doe's the Self - Governing British Crown dependency of the Isle of Man [ Manx. Ellan Vannin ] Tynwald Parliament.

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

    I find this comment fascinating. Could someone expand on if and how this is the case? And perhaps how it came about?

    I think were I a Scot this would tick me off mightily (assuming it is true).

    Complain about this comment

  • 252. At 4:17pm on 04 Sep 2009, freedjmac wrote:

    And in all of this stooshie, has anyone seen or heard from yon 'weesleekitmurphybeastie'??

    Complain about this comment

  • 253. At 4:27pm on 04 Sep 2009, Fit Like wrote:

    #247 LondonHarris

    Very good point, extremely well put...

    Complain about this comment

  • 254. At 4:39pm on 04 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #103 et seq NCA999
    So if you have a Labour Government at the General Election and there is a 60% turnout and 80% vote Tory we'd carry on with a Labour Government because they had 52% (20% of 60% + the non voting 40%) of your "votes" as opposed to the Tory 48% (80% of 60%) because the 40% who didn't vote are in favour of the status quo?
    Ah, but ... A referendum is changing the constitution ... so voting Labour and getting the ECHR written into the "constitution is not a change? taking it upon ourselves to interfere in another country's affairs to bring about regime change by invading it is not a change? doing away with cabinet government in favour of sofa government is not a change? Sorry, doesn't wash with me. Referendums (NB for JRMacClure this is proper English usage, referenda only if you are writing Latin) have no special status as compared to a General Election so the same rules should apply.
    As to the NEED for a referendum, as there is no constitutional process for some or any part of the electorate to require one or for the authorities to make available the voters rolls with which to run one, the only determinant of that need is the Parliament.

    Complain about this comment

  • 255. At 4:53pm on 04 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #249 Wee-Scamp

    I agree with you that that is the case as things stand hence our problems, I was merely suggesting that we could create such an environment post-independence to encourage such investment.

    Complain about this comment

  • 256. At 4:54pm on 04 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    252. freedjmac
    "And in all of this stooshie, has anyone seen or heard from yon 'weesleekitmurphybeastie'??"

    Keeping out of the central belt media circus Scotland Office

    Complain about this comment

  • 257. At 4:57pm on 04 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    247. LondonHarris
    "It has been the Case that now for many a Year that the British [English] Government at Westminster have given back Self-Rule to other Countries that once made up the British Empire, as once previously Controlled by the Westminster Seat of the Crown in London. England."

    Wrong skin colour.

    Complain about this comment

  • 258. At 5:28pm on 04 Sep 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    I think the root cause of Auntie Annabel's losing it so spectacularly yesterday is in large part down to this Scottish cringe business. As has been noted here and more importantly in other places right around the globe the decision to release Mr Megrahi (whether right or wrong) has woken up the international community to the fact that Scotland has a government of its own, which makes decisions of its own. Hence the bawling and squalling from the opposition/unionist parties at the government's temerity in doing so and proving that they themselves are talking mince.

    I also can't help wondering if this might also be behind the apparent change in policy at the Scotsman and Herald, ie; that because the government has taken serious decisions and is conducting itself seriously (in marked contrast to the childish rabble on the other side), they are beginning to take it seriously

    Complain about this comment

  • 259. At 5:29pm on 04 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 178 Mrbefaethedee

    It is sad that a Scot knows so little about crofting, but it is good that at least you show some interest, whatever your motive.

    The reason for crofting is clear, it is the best way to farm the type of ground that makes up the crofting areas of Scotland. Crofts are typically small holdings made of arable and grazing ground. The economic activity generated by crofting is vital to the local economies, unworked crofts are real problem. For many this is a way of life, handed through the generations and is part of our cultural identity.

    Equally there are many new entrants and they are to be positively encouraged and welcomed whatever their background. As we require to shift production of food to the point where we as a nation can feed ourselves, crofting has an important part to play.

    Crofting also protects the local communities existence. Often a local crofter will take a part time job, for example the postie, the shop keeper, a bit of finishing, part time game keeper, hotel work etc.. The type of job that wouldn't be a full time job in a rural area or maybe seasonal. So many services and businesses benefit from the availability of crofters. The whole fabric of the rural community is very fragile and relies on a lot of interdependencies.

    Some of the proposals are okay, everyone agrees with the need to tackle absenteeism. I agree with Deans argument, local in crofting needs to be local. However the underlying issues are not properly understood. For example the proposal to untie a croft house from the croft is a good idea. But equally a planning guide has been produced that councils are supposed to implement which presumes against single dwellings in rural areas. Meaning that someone entering a Croft would find planning difficult if not impossible and wouldn't be able to live on the croft.

    I could go on and on, but the real point is that to reform crofting you have to understand the inter - dependencies in fragile rural communities.

    Also taxation policy is completely stacked against rural communities, transport costs in remote areas mean that rural people pay a far far greater percentage of their income in taxation. Public transport is poor and realistically will not be an alternative to the car in remote and rural communities. the French have dealt with this issue by varying tax levels in rural areas, something that would benefit rural communities.

    So in reality reform needs to understand all the factors and present a joined up approach to be effective.

    Complain about this comment

  • 260. At 5:31pm on 04 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    SNP Tactical Voting

    Even split on al-Megraphi

    Right - 45%
    Wrong - 45%
    Undecided - 10%

    Sample size - 1,556

    Complain about this comment

  • 261. At 5:38pm on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #254. At 4:39pm on 04 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    (NB for JRMacClure this is proper English usage, referenda only if you are writing Latin)

    Ah, well, I was taught at some point in my misspent youth that referenda was correct.

    You motivated me to look it up in my handy Merriam-Webster Dictionary (standard on this side of the pond) and it gives referenda as the preferred plural but referendums as also correct. Oddly enough, over here we are sometimes more conservative about such things. Obviously, my own preference matches yours so I'll start saying referenda is used only by snooty elitists. Works for me. :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 262. At 5:48pm on 04 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #224 scorpioRicardo

    "I guess we're splitting hairs over the life changing bit, but unlike less major legislation, don't you feel that independence really would be a one-way movement?"

    "Point taken about not using your vote, but this needs to be so clear cut, we cannot afford to have any party bleating afterwards, otherwise the fallout could run for years afterwards."

    Independence would indeed be an irreversible move, however there will always be those that disagree with the decision. Again, majority rules in a democracy, how else do we get things done? I'm very uneasy about making special arrangements in certain cases, does this mean our usual system is flawed in this respect?

    "The really important point here is that this is about change. People shouldn't need to vote "no" for things to stay the same, but they do need to say "yes" to effect that change. If this isn't the case, you're making an assumption that people do want a change if they don't vote. For this to be credible, the question needs to be phrased to reflect this - eg "we are going for independence unless you tell us you don't want this" which clearly makes no sense."

    Your presuming we will get a straight yes/no question. However, even if that where the case the same principle stands, if you feel that strongly one way or another, as lets face it we would all have a vested interest in the decision, then you should vote accordingly. It's not making an assumption that those who didn't express a view want a change.

    As you yourself put it, for a decision of such importance and not to express a view one way or the other results in you losing your voice on the matter. Those that do not vote couldn't be bothered either way and therefore they lose the right for those views to be taken into consideration. You must vote to have a bearing on the result, it's as simple as that.

    I would expect a large turnout for such a referendum in the first instance. In any case, a simple majority of voters carries the day.

    "Mostly, Scottish people vote along party lines and as the SNP are in the forefront of the independence debate, it seems logical to suggest that a vote for the SNP is a YES vote, and and a YES vote by inference is a vote for the SNP."

    The referendum would not be a vote for a particular party but for or against a certain outcome, conflating the campaign by such parties for whatever outcome they choose to support should not be an issue.

    "Having enjoyed this debate, we need to keep a focus on the fact that we won't get independence unless Westminster says so and they have no reason whatsoever to give away their cash cow."

    Yes you are right that an act would have to passed at Westminster, however to ignore the democratic will of the people is a non-starter for them as to do so would lose any credibilty internationally. Could you see them having any friends left in the world trying to simultaneous defend attempts to introduce democracy to other parts of the world whilst ignoring the will of the people in a domestic issue? It simply wouldn't happen. A yes vote for independence would be all that is required, which leaves the horse trading to begin on the settlement thereafter.

    "I'm sure you realised that the booze cruise was a joke? With the kind of traffic we get on the M8, young wine would have time to age on the drive back! In any case, we can fly to France from Prestwick courtesy of Mr O'Leary in half the time it takes to drive to Carlisle."

    Too true, although will this mean youngsters in Dumfries & Galloway and the Borders will now be making the trip themselves for cheaper booze? Bit of a trek back afterwards mind you!

    Complain about this comment

  • 263. At 5:49pm on 04 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #258. At 5:28pm on 04 Sep 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    I think the root cause of Auntie Annabel's losing it so spectacularly yesterday is in large part down to this Scottish cringe business. As has been noted here and more importantly in other places right around the globe the decision to release Mr Megrahi (whether right or wrong) has woken up the international community to the fact that Scotland has a government of its own, which makes decisions of its own. Hence the bawling and squalling from the opposition/unionist parties at the government's temerity in doing so and proving that they themselves are talking mince.

    I also can't help wondering if this might also be behind the apparent change in policy at the Scotsman and Herald, ie; that because the government has taken serious decisions and is conducting itself seriously (in marked contrast to the childish rabble on the other side), they are beginning to take it seriously.

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

    Interesting point, Caledonian. The change in policies at both the Scotsman and Herald have been so marked as to be breathtaking to me at any rate. It was almost as though they secretly changed management. Since that obviously did not happen, I have been at a loss to explain it. While more balance in reporting has to be a welcome change, I had to wonder what might explain it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 264. At 6:17pm on 04 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #263 JRMacClure

    "While more balance in reporting has to be a welcome change, I had to wonder what might explain it."

    Furry animals leaving a sinking ship per chance?

    Complain about this comment

  • 265. At 6:37pm on 04 Sep 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Re; 251 JRMacClure.
    #247. At 3:52pm on 04 Sep 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    The mockery that now currently exist today is that the Scottish Executive has less real Powers of Control over Scottish internal Affairs then doe's the Self - Governing British Crown dependency of the Isle of Man [ Manx. Ellan Vannin ] Tynwald Parliament.

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

    I find this comment fascinating. Could someone expand on if and how this is the case? And perhaps how it came about?

    I think were I a Scot this would tick me off mightily (assuming it is true).

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

    Under British Law the Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom, but however the U.K. doe's have Control over the Island's External and Defence Affair's.

    The I.O.M's Parliament was founded in 979 and is the oldest continuous Parliament anywhere in the World.

    Some 80 Thousand People living on the Isle of Man enjoy more freedoms to pass their own Laws, than doe's by contrast a settled population of over 5 Million people both living and working in Scotland do, where for some reason many that make up the numbers of ineffective MSPs' at Holyrood are afraid to Vote for and face up too Self-Government by Voting for Full-Independence freeing-up Scotland for an fully International voice outside of the United Kingdom.

    And Yes, this would, and doe's ticks me off as well.

    Complain about this comment

  • 266. At 6:45pm on 04 Sep 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    # 263

    Or to put it another way, the government were seen to make a difficult and unpopular decision and then justify it with dignity, while the others simply made a spectacle of themselves and demonstrated that they are quite unfit to govern anything.

    Complain about this comment

  • 267. At 7:16pm on 04 Sep 2009, InfrequentAllele wrote:

    Referenda isn't the Latin plural of referendum because in Latin referendum isn't a noun, it's a gerund. Latin gerunds don't have plurals. Referenda in Latin is a back-formation, it's what the plural WOULD be, if referendum were a neuter noun - but since it's not a neuter noun referenda is an artificial invention.

    The only reason a plural is required is because of the demands of English grammar, not Latin grammar. So the plural of referendum is referendums.

    Do I win the prize for pedant of the thread?

    Complain about this comment

  • 268. At 7:27pm on 04 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #267 InfrequentA
    Over to you!

    Complain about this comment

  • 269. At 7:30pm on 04 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8237041.stm

    Joyce, the worst piggie at the trough in Scotland, resigns in cynical attempt to save his own skin at the next election.

    Complain about this comment

  • 270. At 7:41pm on 04 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    259. At 5:29pm on 04 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:
    Re 178 Mrbefaethedee

    "Also taxation policy is completely stacked against rural communities, transport costs in remote areas mean that rural people pay a far far greater percentage of their income in taxation. Public transport is poor and realistically will not be an alternative to the car in remote and rural communities. the French have dealt with this issue by varying tax levels in rural areas, something that would benefit rural communities"

    Well said. However to reform the tax levels etc for rural vs. urban Scotland; we require Westminster. Am I correct in thinking this?

    This is also a reason why Scotland NEEDS fiscal federal rights within the Union, as such overlaps in authority tends to prevent the wholesale reforms needed to iad rural communities.
    Never thought I'd hear myself saying this- but the French model as you outlined is preferable.

    243. At 3:24pm on 04 Sep 2009, GrassyKnollington

    "Dean, anybody , what has gotten into the woman formerly fondly known as Aunty Annabel or Maw Broon?"

    I would bet that she needed to take a tough, anti-SNP stance (even at the expense of dignity) in order to secure her place as leader.
    Many ultra-unionist backwoodsmen were deeply upset at her moves to welcome further devolution. These elements within the backbenches see it as appeasement of Scottish nationalism.
    Naturally I do not share their attitudes about the slippery slope etc, nor does Annabel Goldie I'd bet.

    But her judgement did seem strange, and it is certainly a peace offering to more ultra-unionist backbenchers thinking of her removal.
    In my opinion she has begun to lose the great asset that I loved her for, that is her moderate socio-economic positions on issues.

    If she feels a need to cave into idiotic 'forsyths' of the party, what use is she?
    But I stand by my leader- out of loyalty, and a hope she removes herself from the present company that seems to be changing her.

    Complain about this comment

  • 271. At 8:13pm on 04 Sep 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Still no access to Brian's Big Debate. Are they cutting and pasting it? Was somethng said that shouldn't be heard again? In the parts that I did hear on the live broadcast Johann was strugging with her case.

    Complain about this comment

  • 272. At 8:36pm on 04 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    259. northhighlander
    Firstly, and most importantly, thanks for the information, i genuinely appreciate it.
    Second - I could have done without your first sentence; i can't see how I could possibly have phrased my request for info in a more honest and open way. I'm not sure why you are so defensive about my request that you feel the need to call my motives into question in the very first sentence of your response.
    I'm happy to put it down to a dodgy start on both our parts if you are - i've no desire to have a poor relationship with someone I haven't had any direct interaction with, I'm sure you feel the same.

    I'm not sure why you think everyone in Scotland should already know all about crofting. There is none over here where I live. Maybe you're right and I should, but maybe not.

    I like the idea that the crofters fill the gaps in their work by filling the gas in the community's work needs. A great benefit of more granularity in people's working life - and a possible lesson to be taken from a slice of rural life with an eye to working life in general. I'd still like to find out a bit more, perhaps the sorts of things that can be done with crofting can be diversified - perhaps even offsetting some of the other issues you mention, like transportation etc...

    thanks again for the info.

    Complain about this comment

  • 273. At 8:42pm on 04 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    263. JRMacClure
    "While more balance in reporting has to be a welcome change, I had to wonder what might explain it."
    More balanced reporting is a refreshing idea. I just hope they're not just swinging the pendulum one way so they can look more credible when they swing it back hard during the independence debate that is now back on the agenda.

    Complain about this comment

  • 274. At 8:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    270. deanthetory
    "I would bet that she needed to take a tough, anti-SNP stance (even at the expense of dignity) in order to secure her place as leader.
    Many ultra-unionist backwoodsmen were deeply upset at her moves to welcome further devolution. These elements within the backbenches see it as appeasement of Scottish nationalism.
    Naturally I do not share their attitudes about the slippery slope etc, nor does Annabel Goldie I'd bet.
    "

    A shame then that it simply looks to the world like exactly the the sort of Tory that Scotland remembers all too well showing their true colours.

    Complain about this comment

  • 275. At 8:57pm on 04 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #230 JRMacClure,

    I actually don't believe in the "Scottish cringe" per se. Is it not rather a natural reaction to the unknown?

    Scots now have a SNP Government and the prospect of a referendum (and, awaiting afar, the prospect of independence) but maybe we're a wee bit confused, this is all new to us, we're trying to work out where the country is going wrong and where right...are we holding ourselves back? is something else? how will the economics work? what are we doing? Being thrust onto the world stage with the issue of Mr al Megrahi has probably brought these concerns more to the surface. But it is probably healthy right now that we should do some self examination, no?

    On a related issue, and please do not take this as a personal swipe, over the al Megrahi release decision I was intrigued to see so much Obama blaming among some of your US commentators. But...but...we're America! If Obama had been Bush he would have told the uppity Scots where to get off! It's only the weakness of this administration which stopped us using our power (which we have a God given right to use)!

    I would honestly prefer a small nation doubting and questioning and finding its way forward than that kind of full on nationalistic mindset (and I know many decent and honest Americans don't share it.)

    Complain about this comment

  • 276. At 8:57pm on 04 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    274. At 8:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee

    "A shame then that it simply looks to the world like exactly the the sort of Tory that Scotland remembers all too well showing their true colours."

    I would agree with you on this to be fair. I didn't approve at all. But the caesar knives are sharp in my party (as someone put it on here, I forget who).

    I hope that Annabel Goldie returns to her senses, she is a natural moderate, it simply isn't like her to be so...well....underhand?

    But loyalty to Goldie is vital, afterall who would replace her? Aitken-awh nae, or Murdo Fraser? Too young, besides he's bogged down in Perthshire politics presently.

    Complain about this comment

  • 277. At 9:09pm on 04 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #240 (perhaps) SgtFurry (great nick, btw)

    You said: "Oh and while we are at it - a root and branch review of EVERY civil service and local government position in this country and lets get rid of the under-employed, over-compensated seat warmers."

    I humbly disagree. (I'm having to set aside the fact I'm a commie here and play by the Bumper Book of a Sort Of Democracy Like Thing, Except Not). An independent Scottish Gov't would at first require a massive hike in bureaucrats.

    The ways of the civil service are complex and Byzantine, and it would be necessary to untangle a lot of services and functions from the UK. This is not a job for the layman. A revolutionary position would slice the knot, but I don't see how that could possibly work in a ballots not bullets situation. There would be many committees, much legal advice, new staff taken on to deal with the changes/process forms/spin stuff/etc. So there would be a rise in the number of civil servants before there was a decrease.

    As for over compensated, at the higher echelons they are doing themselves proud but at the lower you get admin staff on a long way below £20k. An independent Scotland of any nature would have to address that.


    Complain about this comment

  • 278. At 9:15pm on 04 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #209 derek

    This seems to be a flaw in the presently constituted Parly. We don't have enough of a tilt to the Left. Course, this is our own fault as socialists for reasons I won't get into here (you will no doubt have issues within your own Party I'm not privy to anyway). The SNP does have Left backbenchers but they aren't in Cabinet...it shows a distinct Right leaning (I was very amused to see Kenny MacAskill described in an American paper as "hard Left"!)

    Complain about this comment

  • 279. At 9:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #203 JRMacClure,

    To be fair to the mods (who I think are generally excellent and do their bit to get the posts up on time) they have to knock anything on the head which can't be understood by yer average UK man in the street, or who knows what it might say?

    Beeb boards are amongst the most strictly monitored simply because it is the Beeb. To be honest I normally swear a lot more online and off than I do when posting here. I check my posts over to be sure I haven't done my usual and littered them with expletives...even when I'm talking about the Tories! (Sorry, Dean.)

    Complain about this comment

  • 280. At 9:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    276. deanthetory
    Although it was meant is the dig it appeared (sorry), i thought the tories had been doing quite well in their 'rehabilitation program'. I'll never trust the tories, but I can see how many floaters might find appeal in their well delivered reasonableness of the past few years.
    Even assuming they can actually get back on track now, I think there's some image issues in there now that may burn on a slow fuse and bite them later.
    As for who could replace her - who knows. Aitken would be a disaster (pick him!). I take it Brownlee's stock isn't sufficiently high, he always seemed able to handle himself on the box?

    Complain about this comment

  • 281. At 9:36pm on 04 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    280. At 9:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, mrbfaethedee

    "Even assuming they can actually get back on track now, I think there's some image issues in there now that may burn on a slow fuse and bite them later"

    The irony is that our pollign figures have been overwhelmingly positive during August. The last YouGov poll placed us on 20% again, seemingly over the slump to 17% seen in YouGov figures during expenses chaos.

    Never trust the 'tories'? I am saddned, because not all of us are thatchers kids. We have a strong coalition of moderates, a coalition which will only grow stronger with the recaptures of marginal seats.

    "but I can see how many floaters might find appeal in their well delivered reasonableness of the past few years."

    We are reasonable on so many areas! I fail to understand why people hold my generation of tories responsible for the actions of yesterdays' men! It is patently childish. Scotland needs to move on, we all cannot live in the 1980's, with all the justified grievences forever!!!!

    As for Brownlee, he isn;t high profile enough. Bill 'robocop' Aitken is hardly moderate. As I say Goldie is a natural interim leader- the problem is we have no one better in Holyrood who has outgrown the 'you turk' description.

    Complain about this comment

  • 282. At 9:36pm on 04 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #278

    Yes, fourstrikes, I don't think anyone would forget that Thatcher did indeed adopt most of her economic stuuf from Enoch Powell and a way forward without the left would be very dangerous.

    I some times find it very odd for Americans to comment on external issues, when they have so many internal wrongs to deal with.

    Anyway I ;m about exhausted on this site and most probably ignored.

    If you dont mind comrade give me a good reason to continue.

    Complain about this comment

  • 283. At 9:42pm on 04 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    282. At 9:36pm on 04 Sep 2009, derekbarker

    "Anyway I ;m about exhausted on this site and most probably ignored."

    Your not wasted! Your insight is valuable.

    Complain about this comment

  • 284. At 9:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    280. mrbfaethedee
    "As for who could replace her - who knows. Aitken would be a disaster (pick him!). I take it Brownlee's stock isn't sufficiently high, he always seemed able to handle himself on the box?"

    Is there no way back for McLetchie?
    Not that I want in any way shape or form to see a Tory party that could get into power (I still have bunting in a box and a wee carry out stacked beneath the pasting table - One never knows when the word of Mrs T's demise will be on the news and I'd hate to be without the wherewithal for the street party) but they are nice to have around to give the appearance of democracy.
    TBH I always had a bit of respect for McLetchie, probably more so than for Aunty Bella.

    Complain about this comment

  • 285. At 9:53pm on 04 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    284. At 9:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry

    "One never knows when the word of Mrs T's demise will be on the news"

    Despite being against much much much of her economic reforms (and social reforms0 myself; I find such cheerfullness at the prospect of someones death utterly filty.

    My opinion of you has fallen.

    Complain about this comment

  • 286. At 9:54pm on 04 Sep 2009, Jock-Wallace wrote:

    After a lot of painstaking study and looking at all the evidence, I can now finally reveal why Mr Ali al-Megrahi was freed. Never mind dirty deals over oil etc. It was over independence.

    Think about it, wee Alex knew he could never get the necessary legislation through the assembly, so he says to Kenny, let Ali al-Megrahi go, sit back and watch independence being forced on us.

    The Yanks outraged at the decision get all riled up at Scotland and call her part of the axis of evil as well as few other vile well inflamed names. This whips up the American people who want revenge and justice. Meanwhile Westminster distances itself from the issue, saying it was purely a Scottish one, in fact they fall over themselves backward to point out that the decision had nothing to do with them

    The Yanks determined to make the world a safer place, free from those who would show compassion to terrorists, invade our wee land. They occupy it for a few years, hold democratic elections, set up a government and retire leaving behind an independent sovereign state.

    Unfortunately some wee numptey in the FO told the Libyans, that Gordie and Jack didn't want Ali al-Megrahi to die in jail. Now as much as the Yanks wanted to invade Scotland they balked at the prospect of invading England, I can see their point, I mean would you want to go to England unless you really really really had to.

    None of the above information came from anyone in the executive and that's a promise

    Complain about this comment

  • 287. At 9:55pm on 04 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #282 derek
    I don't know why you feel that. I always enjoy your posts even if I try to make out that you're daft. You're not and you know it and I know it and so do many other regulars on this blog. It's your choice.

    Complain about this comment

  • 288. At 9:58pm on 04 Sep 2009, U11769947 wrote:

    #283
    Deanthetory, I thank you!

    My exhausted state is a locking of the horns, a strike mode if you like
    all things become "attrition" and debate is nonsensical.

    Thanks: good luck

    Complain about this comment

  • 289. At 9:59pm on 04 Sep 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    Brian, there have now been four polls done of Scottish opinion on Al-Megrahi's release.

    Reuters/Ipso MORI 20-26 August 2009
    Against: 47% For: 40% Difference: 7%

    YouGov/DailyMail 24th - 26th August 2009
    Against: 51% For: 43% Difference: 8%

    BBC/ICM 26 - 27 August 2009
    Against: 60% For: 32% Difference: 28%

    SNP/YouGov 01 - 02 September 2009
    Against: 45% For: 45% Difference: 0%

    Three out of the four agree closely, but the BBC poll is way off. Strangely enough I haven't heard the YouGov poll mentioned a lot on the BBC by the fragrant Sally Magnusson as she did with the BBC poll. I must have missed it.

    I strongly urge you to get your money back from ICM Brian.

    Complain about this comment

  • 290. At 10:09pm on 04 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    277. fourstrikes
    "So there would be a rise in the number of civil servants before there was a decrease."
    Yes, unfortunately in the short term this is inevitable, however any new temporary staff should be just that, without standard Civil Service featherbedded pensions and perks.

    "The ways of the civil service are complex and Byzantine,"
    All the more reason to simplify and streamline away from the Westminster/Civil Service attitude and knee-jerk reactions.

    "As for over compensated, at the higher echelons they are doing themselves proud but at the lower you get admin staff on a long way below £20k. An independent Scotland of any nature would have to address that. "

    They may well be on a lot below £20k but as someone who comes into contact with them both in front of and behind the desk, I find most of them not worth even that amount. The idea of hard work and "going the extra mile" is complete anathema and I'm afraid to say in my fairly considerable experience of them, well over 75% are simply passing time until retirement. They may not take home an awful lot but few of them would last more than a month or two in the private sector.
    I say this with a fair degree of sadness as I am an ex shop-steward myself but no enterprise/organisation can compensate its workers properly in a sustainable fashion unless the workers are doing a decent job and are properly managed. To a somewhat lesser extent, the same goes for local government as well.

    I say again, a root and branch review of procedures and staffing levels will be essential. It WILL mean redundancies but we cannot continue with the waste and inefficiency throughout our public sector.
    As for the higher ranks, immediate 50% cuts in head-count and salaries and pensions. If they don't like it, let them compete for their management positions on the open market.

    Complain about this comment

  • 291. At 10:20pm on 04 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #282 derek

    You're not serious! We need all the lefties we can get on Mr Taylor's blog.

    Your writing style bemuses some but I like it personally, kind of a wee bit poetic. C'mon cde stick around, we must persuade the Nats of the glories of socialism, and they are fond of you in their own way.

    Complain about this comment

  • 292. At 10:23pm on 04 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    deanthetory

    The problem that you have is that the nastiness of Thatcher and her yes men is something that you have read about in a book.

    For the people of my generation we had to live through the worst years of the nasty party, and boy were they nasty. While I would not agree with Sgt_Furry about the street parties, I know a lot of people who would totally agree with him and join him.

    Some of us though that some of the Scottish Torys had the brains to realize just how toxic they were to many Scots, not having asked them all I cannot say most Scots, and it looked like Anabel Goldie was trying to soften the image.

    That has been shattered in the last few weeks, and the toxic torys are returning to type. The petty posturing and nit picking over the Lockerbie bomber is nauseating, and the torys are no better than Labour or the pygmy party of Tavis.

    At least we will not be fooled again, once a toxic tory, always a toxic tory.

    Complain about this comment

  • 293. At 10:24pm on 04 Sep 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    Dean@270, thanks for responding. I think you may be right to an extent. The early days of the cross floor banter between Annabel and Eck were very welcome especially when compared to the seething animosity from Labour who one always felt suffered from a total absence of any sense of humour.

    Obviously there was and is an element of "my enemy's enemy is my friend" in that they both hate Labour. I think the problem post Calman and more especially post Megrahi, is that the unionist parties are increasingly seen as one indivisible bloc. Them against the SNP.

    Previously unlikely bedfellows, in Scotland the opposition parties can now be viewed by the voters as one big group with a common aim of opposing the SNP and preserving the UK regardless. Annabel could have made hay if she'd said she disagreed with the decision but respected that MacAskill was upholding Scots law and followed due process. Now ( especially after the Qatar accusation) she seems no better than Iain Gray.

    Complain about this comment

  • 294. At 10:39pm on 04 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    285. deanthetory
    "285. At 9:53pm on 04 Sep 2009, deanthetory wrote:

    284. At 9:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry

    "One never knows when the word of Mrs T's demise will be on the news"

    Despite being against much much much of her economic reforms (and social reforms0 myself; I find such cheerfullness at the prospect of someones death utterly filty.

    My opinion of you has fallen.
    "


    Dean, Thatcher destroyed my life and marriage as a direct result of being made redundant not once but four times between 1980 and 85. I saw many of my ex-colleagues give up entirely and take to drink and drugs at the sheer helplessness of their situation. Several were treated, not always successfully, for mental illness as a direct result of her policies. I was one of the lucky ones, I managed to pick myself up and retrain eventually and make a reasonable living (with NO thanks to any Govt dept), many many others were not so lucky.
    My street party will be not so much to celebrate her passing but in sheer joy at the anguish it will cause the Daily Mail readers and those others who doted on her.
    I will enjoy her state funeral. I know I will be far from alone.

    Actually i hope she survives past independence, a) because it will annoy her so much and b) I don't want my taxes used for the funeral.

    Complain about this comment

  • 295. At 10:46pm on 04 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    286. Jock-Wallace
    "Respond!"
    Jock,
    You are a sand-dune short of a training session!
    but I like you !

    Complain about this comment

  • 296. At 11:15pm on 04 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    292. At 10:23pm on 04 Sep 2009, dubbieside

    "At least we will not be fooled again, once a toxic tory, always a toxic tory"

    So I am a 'toxic tory' by your logic? That is surely unfair!

    293. At 10:24pm on 04 Sep 2009, GrassyKnollington

    Goldie has made an error on that one, I don't know what she's after right now.

    294. At 10:39pm on 04 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry

    I am sorry about your marriage.

    But your right, I have to admit the sheer misery on the mail reading classes faces will be entertaining!

    But then we are both opposed to the thatcherite mentality.

    Complain about this comment

  • 297. At 11:30pm on 04 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    deanthetory

    If you want to know just how toxic all torys are ask one of the Thatcher generation about the idiot who sang "I have a little list" at a tory party conference. Even better see if you can find a video, then come back and tell me not all torys are toxic. What do you think of the part "and they will not be missed" What do you think he meant.

    In the 80s in the industrial areas if you saw a thin woman and you asked if she was ill she would tell you no, but Im on the Thatcher diet. That meant she went hungry so her kids had enough to eat.

    Toxic is maybe too kind to them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 298. At 11:37pm on 04 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #290 Sgt Furry

    You said: "They may well be on a lot below £20k but as someone who comes into contact with them both in front of and behind the desk, I find most of them not worth even that amount. The idea of hard work and "going the extra mile" is complete anathema and I'm afraid to say in my fairly considerable experience of them, well over 75% are simply passing time until retirement. They may not take home an awful lot but few of them would last more than a month or two in the private sector.

    I'm intrigued by that statement, having dealt with a heck of a lot of bored, uninterested, hostile staff in the private sector on similar wages. I suspect the common factor in both cases is that they are paid very little for taking a lot of hassle.

    Anyone who lionises the private sector as a place where staff are hardworking cheery angels on earth ought to try and get their bank account sorted with staff of "a certain bank" or their modem replaced by staff from " a certain Internet company". I know that's not what you're saying...that the private sector are saints whereas the public sector are well off sinners. But it's what a lot of people are saying without knowledge of the facts.

    I have a friend who's a civil servant in a call centre. He takes dog's abuse every single day he works, and he works ten hour days. He earns way below £20K. And he can't slam the phone down when someone upsets him or is blatantly rude, either.

    Complain about this comment

  • 299. At 11:37pm on 04 Sep 2009, InfrequentAllele wrote:

    294. I spent the Thatcher years living in Easterhouse. It wisnae fun. So I can sympathise.

    Elvis Costello wrote a song about dancing on Thatcher's grave. It's called Tramp the Dirt Down. It's the most poignant musical hate letter I've ever heard. Search for it on Youtube if you've never heard it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 300. At 11:43pm on 04 Sep 2009, Jock-Wallace wrote:

    295. At 10:46pm on 04 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:
    286. Jock-Wallace
    "Respond!"
    Jock,
    You are a sand-dune short of a training session!
    but I like you !

    That's because I'm a lovable conspiracy theorist, who can not take politics seriously.

    Complain about this comment

  • 301. At 11:43pm on 04 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #294 Sgt Furry

    You said: "My street party will be not so much to celebrate her passing but in sheer joy at the anguish it will cause the Daily Mail readers and those others who doted on her.
    I will enjoy her state funeral. I know I will be far from alone."

    I agree wholeheartedly. It's not so much Thatcher herself, as you point out. It's the use of her as a banner and a "gosh the wonderful days when the underclass knew their place and we were making big bucks" attitude of some (and I can't say much more without swearing).

    The Daily Mail is a cause of much wrong in society.

    Complain about this comment

  • 302. At 11:55pm on 04 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #301 'The Daily Mail is a cause of much wrong in society' ..boy dont get me started on The Daily Mail. As soon as i see the words 'a tax on the middle classes' i usually rip the thing to bits. I for one am a 'have not' and i dont care.

    Complain about this comment

  • 303. At 11:57pm on 04 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    297. At 11:30pm on 04 Sep 2009, dubbieside

    "If you want to know just how toxic all torys are ask one of the Thatcher generation about the idiot who sang "I have a little list" at a tory party conference"

    Again, you are saying all tories (which therefore includes me, and those moderates like me) are toxic because of that one generation of thatcherites. This is unfair on subsequent generations of tories.

    I mean I agree with you, like Heath I utterly reject 'that womans' philosphy of government. Unemployment is NEVER a price worth paying.

    Lord Forsyth is odious, Mr Burns-like I totally agree!!!

    And that lot were toxic, vile- true. But not 'all tories' are members of 'that lot'.

    Complain about this comment

  • 304. At 11:58pm on 04 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    301. fourstrikes
    "I agree wholeheartedly. It's not so much Thatcher herself, as you point out. It's the use of her as a banner and a "gosh the wonderful days when the underclass knew their place and we were making big bucks" attitude of some (and I can't say much more without swearing)."

    Spot on.

    Complain about this comment

  • 305. At 11:58pm on 04 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    301. At 11:43pm on 04 Sep 2009, fourstrikes

    "The Daily Mail is a cause of much wrong in society."

    Damn straight. Well said. Isn't that the 'newspaper' (i use that descriptive loosely) the one that had Pierce Morgan as editior?

    What more needs to be said?

    Complain about this comment

  • 306. At 11:59pm on 04 Sep 2009, barbarian9 wrote:

    244. At 3:25pm on 04 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    (in my opinion particularly biomedical and renewable energy sectors),


    does that include the ones that make contact lenses?

    Complain about this comment

  • 307. At 00:04am on 05 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #279. At 9:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #203 JRMacClure,

    To be fair to the mods (who I think are generally excellent and do their bit to get the posts up on time) they have to knock anything on the head which can't be understood by yer average UK man in the street, or who knows what it might say?

    Beeb boards are amongst the most strictly monitored simply because it is the Beeb. To be honest I normally swear a lot more online and off than I do when posting here. I check my posts over to be sure I haven't done my usual and littered them with expletives...even when I'm talking about the Tories! (Sorry, Dean.)

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

    You misunderstand my point or perhaps I didn't make it clear. I don't have a problem with the moderating.

    My comment was they did NOT moderate a term in one of my own posts that clearly SHOULD have been. Any Scot who wasn't dozing would have recognized it as an obscenity.

    I expected it to be, and commented my surprise that they didn't. (I won't explain more clearly than that so that this comment won't be moderated. lol) I had to wonder if all the moderators were from London. Then they picked a similar term up from Oldnat's post and DID moderate that one.

    It was all just amusing and bemusing. Blogs need to be moderated and I'm not complaining about that at all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 308. At 00:15am on 05 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #302, ubin

    The Daily Express used to have a campaign (do you remember it?) called "War on the Middle Classes". They branded everything they even slightly disagreed with as "war on the middle classes".

    I always meant to resurrect this slogan. I want a Tshirt Heineken styke which said "War on the Middle Classes. Probably the best war in the world."

    Complain about this comment

  • 309. At 00:22am on 05 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #306. At 11:59pm on 04 Sep 2009, barbarian9 wrote:

    244. At 3:25pm on 04 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    (in my opinion particularly biomedical and renewable energy sectors),


    does that include the ones that make contact lenses?

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

    So an employer moves their jobs and Scotland should give up?

    I hope not. It isn't like large corporations all over the world aren't doing this kind of thing.

    An emphasis on smaller and more local companies is one way to go. I don't know about over there but in the US a huge amount of our employment is in companies with fewer than 100 employees.

    Complain about this comment

  • 310. At 00:24am on 05 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #305 'Damn straight. Well said. Isn't that the 'newspaper' (i use that descriptive loosely) the one that had Pierce Morgan as editior?' LOL ...Dean Piers worked for Red Top papers like the News of The World and The Sun. Somehow i dont think he would have been welcome at The Mail. He is well known for the 'City slickers ' scandal which he escaped unscathed by paying back the money he made i believe.

    'In 2000, he was the subject of an investigation after Suzy Jagger wrote a story in The Daily Telegraph revealing that he had bought £20,000 worth of shares in the computer company Viglen soon before the Mirror 's 'City Slickers' column tipped Viglen as a good buy.[6] Morgan was found by the Press Complaints Commission to have breached the Code of Conduct on financial journalism, but kept his job. The 'City Slickers' columnists, Anil Bhoyrul and James Hipwell, were both found to have committed further breaches of the Code, and were sacked before the inquiry. In 2004, further enquiry by the Department of Trade and Industry cleared Morgan from any charges.[7] On 7 December 2005 Bhoyrul and Hipwell were convicted of conspiracy to breach the Financial Services Act. During the trial it emerged that Morgan had bought £67,000 worth of Viglen shares, emptying his bank account and investing under his wife's name too'

    He is also famous for being photographed in a bath with a leggy brunette straddling the bath above him ..needless to say the photo didnt appear in The Mail.

    Complain about this comment

  • 311. At 00:26am on 05 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    # 305 dean

    AFAIK the Daily Mail never had that dubious "privilege" ;)

    I'm very uninterested in paper news though now...what do you think? Do you prefer to read news online or in paper format?

    Complain about this comment

  • 312. At 00:30am on 05 Sep 2009, ForteanJo wrote:

    #303 - "Unemployment is NEVER a price worth paying."

    What made this particular Thatcherite policy doubly painful was that she argued there was no such thing as society, so everyone had to stand on their own two feet, whilst at the same time she had no qualms of sacrificing some for the benefit of others. It just so happened that it was the north she felt was okay to sacrifice and you don't get much more north than Scotland. She created the situation where many were thrown on the scrapheap and then blamed these people for her failures.

    The problem with the tories today, Dean, is that they aren't doing that much to show they've changed. A few weeks ago, Call-Me-Dave was talking about mutial respect between Westminster and Holyrood. He'd respect the rights of Holyrood to make decisions in its baliwick and he'd expect similar in return for Westminster. But then, true to form, he double deals. He claims Megrahi would never have been released if he were prime minister despite the fact he'd have no powers to prevent the release. So much for mutual respect. Goldie's been hobbled and all here good work is undone. The tories have been shown in their true form and it's still ugly for Scotland. Call-Me-Dave will take the keys of number 10 next year and Scotland has every reason to be afraid because he just can't help himself.

    Complain about this comment

  • 313. At 00:30am on 05 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #308 Aye the T shirt sounds like a plan but no i dont remember that Express campaign. You better watch out in case your idea is stolen by The Daily Star and lots of lovely semi naked lassies in your T shirts suddenly appear on its pages.

    Complain about this comment

  • 314. At 00:38am on 05 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    311. At 00:26am on 05 Sep 2009, fourstrikes

    "I'm very uninterested in paper news though now...what do you think? Do you prefer to read news online or in paper format?"

    I prefer online news, but I still regularly buy a newspaper, it depends on my mood to be fair, some days its the Guardian, somedays its the telegraph---depends on my mood as I say.

    But online for up to the minute news, information etc.

    Complain about this comment

  • 315. At 00:49am on 05 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    308. fourstrikes
    "I want a Tshirt Heineken styke which said "War on the Middle Classes. Probably the best war in the world.""
    Can I have one in XXXL?

    Complain about this comment

  • 316. At 00:55am on 05 Sep 2009, barbarian9 wrote:

    no309

    I just dont want the idiots of the Labour party using it as an excuse to attack independence. But we need to make sure we have a range of industries to support, and the political will to get companies in here.

    Complain about this comment

  • 317. At 01:03am on 05 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    For the political geeks - the demographics from the latest YouGov poll

    Question, Male, Female, 18-34, 35-54, 55+, ABC1, C2DE

    McAskill decision
    Right, 47%, 42% 39%, 39%, 55%,49%,41%
    Wrong, 44%, 46%, 49%, 49%, 38%, 43%, 47%

    Decision should be made in
    UK, 22%, 23%, 20%, 23%, 23%, 23%, 22%
    Scotland, 68%, 53%, 61%, 56%, 64%, 63%, 58%

    International reputation
    Enhanced, 53%, 45%, 47%, 41%, 57%, 55%, 43%
    Damaged, 25%, 26%, 25%, 28%, 23%, 24%, 27%

    Clearly older middle class men take the considered view, and everyone else should be disenfranchised! :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 318. At 01:10am on 05 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    299. InfrequentAllele
    "Elvis Costello wrote a song about dancing on Thatcher's grave. It's called Tramp the Dirt Down. It's the most poignant musical hate letter I've ever heard. Search for it on Youtube if you've never heard it.

    "
    I found it - excellent - Then I wasted the best part of an hour surfing through YouTube listening to old stuff instead of responding about poor put-upon sub20k civil servants who can't answer back.

    Why can't he? Its not as if he'll get sacked, will he?
    Actually I know you CAN get sacked from the Civil Service, I know a guy who managed it twice.... But it is too difficult. And I'm NOT advocating Fourstrike's mate should get sacked if he responds to abuse.
    However, a bit less of the job-for-life mentality is needed throughout the Civil Service and local Govt. Some halfway competent managers would help too.
    In MY version of the Universe, the cull in the civil service would be starting at the top. Proper leadership can do wonders. I'll leave it at that for tonight
    You raise some interesting points, Fourstrikes, but its late and Im too tired to explore them as I should.
    Dean, ForteanJo has said it all for me. You sound like a nice guy, time to find another party, son. I have no suggestions for you on which party that may be. A long time ago some of us tried to change the labour party from within. That failed. I suspect something similar in the Tory Party would be likewise doomed to failure. In a few years the political landscape will be opening up, perhaps you will find what you are looking for then, but for now... You are far too nice to be a Tory.

    Derekbarker, if you are still lurking, please come back.

    Night night

    Complain about this comment

  • 319. At 01:15am on 05 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    One more thing - anent the T-shirts
    Remember John Macleans cry from the dock when they had him up for supposed sedition during WWI

    "The only War worth fighting is the Class War!"
    Can we get that on the back of the shirts? Simple white on black will do.

    Complain about this comment

  • 320. At 01:39am on 05 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    318. At 01:10am on 05 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry

    "but for now... You are far too nice to be a Tory"

    I hear what you are saying, and why.

    I have read Harold MacMillans' 'The Middle Way', read how he and his generation of One Nationist Tories were moved by unemployment, by the poverty gap. They represent a pure, unsullied form of Scottish Conservative values, asperations and ideals.

    It is out there in my party, it slumbers inside the 'Tory Reform Group', waiting for the chance to reasert itself over the lunatic Thatcherites.

    Cameron is weak, he feels the need to be popular, therefore he will not radically change my party back to what it once was under MacMillan, Douglas-Holme and Heath. But changes have happened already, a committment to above inflation increases in NHS budgets, and a committment to the comprehensive education system, while preserving and investing in Grammar schooling.

    There is too much hope, opportunities for me to abandon my One Nation principals. We, One Nationists are the heirs of Disraeli, and I will save my parties soul from Thatcher and her Gladstonian ancestors.

    Complain about this comment

  • 321. At 01:46am on 05 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #288 derekbarker

    I think I understand you. I also think I've been around this blog too long.

    If I think I have something new to say, I may well post agsin.

    However, in the meantime, thanks to you all for the stimulating arguments and information.

    Of course, look for me if a new poll appears! Thanks guys.

    Complain about this comment

  • 322. At 01:49am on 05 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #320 Thats a fair speech Dean .. didnt understand much of it but there you go.

    Complain about this comment

  • 323. At 02:25am on 05 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    can someone tell me i have a wee question

    if you are a labour or conservative voter in the UK i dont mention Lib dems cos they just simply dont matter

    if you are one of those two partied or should i say a voter who votes for one of theas two parties

    and u support Independance you also support Scotlands decission to reliese the bomer
    and you are in faviour of all things Scottish

    BUT
    you vote tories or Labour does this mean that Labour or the tories dont actually listen to you

    so to sum up u vote labour but agree in independance should this party then act on what the voter wants after all its us that pay their wages

    dont forget they actually work for us i think they forget that sometimes


    its a serious point i know people who vote Labour but agree with independance

    this means that Labour in fact all the other parties dont avtually Listen to what we actually want they do what they think is best

    my point is who should set the rules to what our MP's actually do and say and the Laws they bring in

    do they actually work on their own intrests or a party line or do they work for us listen to what we want and act on behalf of us

    can someone tell me this because i think someone actually needs to police the MP'S and look to what they say and want to do

    I REPET THEY WORK FOR US not on theyr own intrests

    i personally think its time Democrasy in this country was taken to pieces and exammined and put back together

    people in this country are becoming so sick and i mean so so sick od MP'S and Lies and scandals and doubble deeling

    if this is not addressed i can garintee that democrasy in this country is doomed to fail

    it will u know

    mp's should do what we say as its us that put them in

    they should neel and bow to the publick as its us that pay them

    I HAVE ANOTHER POINT i personally think MP'S get paid too much can someone tell me how much this actually is?

    i can gari ntee its too much

    their wages should be halfed

    if this was done we would not have to pay as much TAX

    does anyone agree with this point

    CUT MP'S WAGES

    CUT THEIR EXPENSES

    IN FACT THEY SHOULD DO IT FOR THE LOVE OF THE JOB DONT PAY THEM ATALL

    WELL thats a wee tad extream but they should get same as everyone else

    I will also say i seen it on the news that apparently the average wage in the UK is £30,000.00 or more this is suppose to be average in the UK

    can someone tell me where they get this average from

    because i probably will never reach £16,000.00 that is the highest i will ever get where does this come from


    i think they make things up as they go along

    the average wage in UK is less than £20,000.00 i think


    can someone corect this i appoligise if im wrong but we need facts not what the politicians want us to think or the BBC implay is corect

    ask us dont make it up

    sorry about the rant

    Complain about this comment

  • 324. At 03:05am on 05 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    320. One Nation, huh?

    Didn't that have something to do with Martin Webster and John Tyndell and the BNP? Not sure what that has to do with the heirs of Disraeli though.

    Come to think of it, I'm not sure what the "heirs of Disraeli" are. They want to make Elizabeth II "Empress of India"?

    Very confused. Very confused but Americans can never keep up with your multiplicity of political parties. =)

    Complain about this comment

  • 325. At 03:23am on 05 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #323 jammaboy the reason the average is so high is cos there are people making way over that 30,000 ..what they do who knows.... I know one thing .. i cant afford a car that costs 60,000 but i see plenty of them driving around up here.

    Complain about this comment

  • 326. At 03:35am on 05 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    I will also say this as someone that is now unemployed i get £60 odd a week to live on there is no jobs to be had and im forced to live on this id like to see MP'S live on this a week i dont think they could cope with this

    the benefits in the UK is like a 3RD world country

    and i have no kids liveing with me i feel sorry for single parents and familys that have to endure this whyle bosses take take take

    i mean a foot baller Gets something like £funny money a month

    a banker gets bonuses

    and people in poverty get £ 60 something a week

    how can they spend all this money on them selves

    it is sheer GREED

    the more they get the more they want

    I say the way people are paid in every sector should be looked at

    Nurses dont get enough

    Firemen get very little for what they do

    and MP'S get too much

    My dad was a fireman and his pay was sooo bad

    we realy need to evaluate where our prioritys lie in the UK

    I am very able to work but no jobs ill keep trying but im sorry to moan this is no life for anyone on benefits

    i thought the UK was suppose to be one of the ritchest countrys in the world

    sorry it actually feels like a 3RD world country

    and pinstriped suits are all paid too much with 5 or 6 cars

    and i do think this country is an all pals act if you know someone you get and if you get u want more

    its sheer GREED

    for someone to get four million or more a year is too much never mind foot ballers wages for MP'S

    THIS COUNTRY IS FOUNDED ON GREED

    AND COROUPTION

    Complain about this comment

  • 327. At 03:58am on 05 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    mmm they all have the cars on tik thats how

    i still agree with slashing wages in this country dar too many people get too much for what they do and far too many that deserve more dont get it

    MP'S

    more like lining their own wee feathered nests

    everyone should get the same no matter what u do and this country would not have people starving in it

    yes starving cos i actually know people that cant even afford to get electricity or gas and have to sit in the dark yes i do know people like that

    is this not a shame in this proud country that people actually starve

    whyle footballers and MP'S GET LOADS

    THINGS NEED TO CHAINGE AND U KNOW WHAT I SEE CHAINGE COMMING

    Complain about this comment

  • 328. At 04:00am on 05 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #326 jammaboy whilst i agree with a lot your saying its not easy for me either and i made 27,000 last year. 1 I have bought my house so i have to pay the mortgage not get my rent paid for me. 2 I have to pay full council tax instead of a rebate from council tax. 3 i have to pay my kids school dinners as opposed to free to low earners. 4 I live in country and pay full council tax despite having no pavements or streetlights ... in fact we dont even get a speed limit for our money !!. So if you think your having it hard with no money try living on my wage im driving an old L reg car cos my money dont go very far either.

    Complain about this comment

  • 329. At 04:03am on 05 Sep 2009, JacobiteBarbarian wrote:

    I think people need to remember where us scots came from: a strong, wild and free peoples, not living off english money and english politics, we need to remember how many scots gave their lives for a free, independent scotland.

    I want to see what an independent scotland can do for itself, not watch my children and grandchildren grow up in a vassal state, looked after by corrupt london and three parties that could care less about us strong folk.

    Complain about this comment

  • 330. At 04:05am on 05 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    JR ... why hes going on about One Nation is beyond me ... after 2011 it will be Two nations hopefully. The torys running Britain will not be good for the country and its all thanks to the way Labour changed for the worst. All we can hope for is more people swing to the SNP (by swing i dont mean where you put your car keys in a bowl) :o)}

    Complain about this comment

  • 331. At 04:12am on 05 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    you think about it when u have a choice do u buy a loaf of bread
    or put that extra £5 to power

    i see people liveing in big houses with sommany rooms and going on holiday 4 times a year

    could they survive on benefits

    na they could not

    Complain about this comment

  • 332. At 04:31am on 05 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    I do appoligise for my rant by the way but surely i cant be the only one thats thinking money means more than people

    this downturn in the econemy is created by bankers and people with money it seems as though they dont care what happens to us as long as they get their bonus

    and big fat pay cheque

    god help us if i was in power but id make people matter and not money

    Complain about this comment

  • 333. At 04:40am on 05 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    ubinworryinmasheep

    i agree with u i had a job up till 2 months ago i was on £15,000.00 a year well i came out with £1000,00 after tax

    i paid £120.00 council tax

    and household bills i never had a car but ill say this council tax made me bankrupt well sequestrated

    i ended up comming out a month after working all month and after all bills i had £ 20.00 to have for my self


    yes i dont have kids but i totally agree with you people that work get hit hard especially when you are on a low wage

    there is no reward for working in the UK

    I AM AND I FEEL SAD TO SAY THIS I AM BETTER OFF ON BENEFITS

    is that not a sad state of affairs

    when u are better off not working

    that is why i say we need to look at this country if someone is better off on benefits and gets more in his or her pocket on benefits than they do working
    that is a shame
    and a total waste

    i want to work i will do everything i can to work

    but i will be worce off just as u are

    council tax is too high

    for a start and people are paying too much out

    whyle MP'S get the benefits

    or put our good earned tax to WAR

    think of what that oney could do for this country

    the money they put to war could drag us out of ressesion

    and the money they gave to bankers for causing this resession could a paid a nurse or two

    Complain about this comment

  • 334. At 04:47am on 05 Sep 2009, ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #332 hey dont worry about it .. its not much fun being skint. I agree with your animosity to the banks tho. Ive been charged a lot over the last 10 years and banks doing this generally cause real financial hardship for a lot of people. Mind you if you dont have kids you could turn your heating off in summer .. there are too much softies nowadays with central heating. I have a coal fire and have to go get my fuel (wood from sawmill) so its not so easy to burn money.. you are consious of what you are burning.

    Complain about this comment

  • 335. At 06:05am on 05 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    One of the thing no one wants to admit is how the billions and billions they spent helped get us all into this mess. That and letting not only the banks but the big corporations go nuts not only with bonuses and ridiculous salaries. Also with letting corporations borrow billions leveraged that they KNEW they couldn't pay back. We are STILL having bank failures over here in the US our banks have been so mismanaged.

    I don't blame anyone who gets mad about it. And there are darn few politicians anywhere I'm not mad at--a couple in Scotland are about the only ones I wouldn't vote out of office if I got a chance. There's not one over here (including our president I'm afraid) that I'm happy with.

    Complain about this comment

  • 336. At 08:58am on 05 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Breajing away from my work to post a bit of news from The Telegraph:

    Jack Straw admits Lockerbie bomber's release was linked to oil
    Jack Straw has reignited the row over the release of the Lockerbie bomber by admitting for the first time that trade and oil were an essential part of the Government’s decision to include him in a prisoner transfer deal with Libya.

    Everyone will notice that MacAskill's decision has again been conflated with Labour's completely separate Prisoner Transfer Agreement [in the headline anyway].

    However, what is clear is that Straw has now admitted that the Prisoner Transfer Agreement drawn up by London was reliant on oil deals.

    In a confused piece in The Telegraph, the conflating of the separate issues is aimed more at Brown than MacAskill.

    Straw also suggested that:

    ... Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister, released the terminally-ill bomber on compassionate grounds earlier than the British Government would have done.

    Read It Here

    Complain about this comment

  • 337. At 09:54am on 05 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    336, Online_Ed quoted:

    Straw also suggested that:

    ... Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister, released the terminally-ill bomber on compassionate grounds earlier than the British Government would have done.


    Journalism really is going to the dogs, when such an esteemed newspaper can peddle such blatant misreporting.

    The 'British Government' (THERE IS NO SUCH THING, BUT i'LL LET IT PASS) didn't have the authority to release al-Megrahi.

    Complain about this comment

  • 338. At 09:59am on 05 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    #331, JAMMABOY WROTE:

    "you think about it when u have a choice do u buy a loaf of bread
    or put that extra £5 to power "



    I don't know where you're buying your bread, but you're being ripped off!

    Complain about this comment

  • 339. At 10:04am on 05 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    #335, JRMacClure wrote:

    "That and letting not only the banks but the big corporations go nuts not only with bonuses and ridiculous salaries."

    The 'ridiculous salaries' I can live with, even if they are overinflated, but people should be paid for the work they do not the revenue they generate.

    Bonuses for individuals will always encourage risk and/or deceit/fraud.

    The only justifiable bonus culture is where EVERYONE in an organisation gets the same 'top-up' based upon the organisation's profitability and where it is deferred for at least 12 months (to allow chickens time to come home to roost).

    Complain about this comment

  • 340. At 10:11am on 05 Sep 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    How much earlier would Straw have released Megrahi? A week, a fortnight? If Mergrahi's life was ending in three months what point would there be in holding him any longer. A farcicle proposition from Straw and an attempt to divert more ire on the SNP and to persuade the ignornant masses to take it on board, aided and a betted by the prejudice of the press who will try to inflate it. For him to say that Brown new nothing is ridiculous. Brown is a control freak who has already been criticised for having a finger in every pie.

    Complain about this comment

  • 341. At 10:41am on 05 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #319 Sgt Furry

    I've got a John Maclean tshirt, him being a wee bit of a hero of mine. Says on the front "I am not here then as the accused but as the accuser of capitalism dripping with blood from head to foot."

    The new shirts will come in a wide variety of sizes, so as to encompass the larger person among us and also ubin's lovely semi naked lasses. I'm not keen on the Daily Star aspect but who could deny they would be excellent ambassadors for socialism? :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 342. At 10:57am on 05 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    re240 sgtfurry

    Your "new" vision for Scotland is somewhat lacking in originality. Basically it can be summed up as this, get the rest of the UK to pay an extortionate rent for Faslane, Lossiemouth etc, and screw the oil companies a bit harder, reduce public sector employment.

    Hardly new thinking is it?

    The rental income is unlikely to pay for the cost of unemployment in the areas affected by the loss of defence jobs, not by a long way. Remember there will be no more navy ships built on the Clyde, which will in reality end ship building on the Clyde.

    Most Oil on the west of Scotland is along way off of producing income for the exchequer. The price would need to consistently over $100 for along time to make this viable. Anyway an economy based on oil, even initially is not a stable one as we have seen over the last year.

    But in reality where is the new thinking? Where are the post independence ideas? what will change that cannot change just now? I for one need something more than just a "we will feel better" argument.

    The longer we go without even a glimpse of the new thinking the more I feel that the independence movement hasn't given much thought to what happens post independence, what it will cost and what we will do with our new found freedom. I feel we are being bounced into this referendum on the basis that it is better than what we have, without any real debate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 343. At 11:01am on 05 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #333 jammaboy

    You're not wrong. Last time I was signing on I got offered a job it would actually cost me money to take (it was so far away from where I lived that the transport costs would have been more than the salary, especially as it was only eight hours a week). They were very embarrassed when I pointed this out.

    It's ridiculous to say someone living on very little should be prepared to take a further cut in income just so "they're working" and the rest of society can feel better. There's no honour in that, it's being taken for a sucker. Then people say "The rate of benefits must be too high if people prefer remaining on benefits to working." No, it's just that the pay for many jobs is far too low!

    Once you're working, no matter how low your pay is, you're cut out from most forms of support. Can be working shift work, don't know how much you're going to be required week by week, but you're not eligible for anything much. Sink or swim.

    I'll not rant but it does make me laugh when people make out a life on benefits is a life of luxury.

    Complain about this comment

  • 344. At 11:04am on 05 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #307 JRMacClure

    Ah, sorry about that. I didn't see your moderated post before the mods got to chewing on it, so I got hold of the wrong end of the stick!

    Complain about this comment

  • 345. At 11:18am on 05 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I'm sorry that I've missed most of the debate so far.
    To those who believe that there should be a majority of the potential Scottish voters then I would have to agree with the posters who say:' If you can't be bothered to vote then you have no say'. Simple. Then those that can be bothered to vote a simple majority would suffice; be it for independence or against. This is democracy in action.
    To the poster who mentioned not being resident in Scotland at the time of the referendum; hard luck. The referendum should only be open to those residing in Scotland at the time the referendum is taken and legally entitled to vote in a general election. This would, naturally, count me out as I am resident in England and have been for nearly 30 years. Even if the Scots vote for independence I would still remain resident in England as my child and grandchildren are English and are resident here, even though I am a supporter of independence and not a member of the SNP.
    PS I was in the 70s when I was resident in Scotland at that time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 346. At 11:22am on 05 Sep 2009, fourstrikes wrote:

    #318 Sgt Furry

    I don't disagree with much in your post. You're right about failures in management though we might not be in perfect harmony on what the failings are. Cull starting at the top, I'm with that.

    As for being sacked from the civil service, granted it's more difficult (but that's partly because of strong unions who will take on a case! I'd hate to see a US style system where one can be sacked "without cause".)I don't mind at all people feeling they have a job for life, surely that's better than the alternative?

    Complain about this comment

  • 347. At 11:22am on 05 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 272 mrbefaethedee
    Relax, I question your motives only as most who want to look at this issue try to do so without making the effort to understand the wider picture. As to diversification, there are loads of examples of crofting diversifying, however ground that is out of production can't diversify in anyway.

    The wider taxation issue is really problematic, not just in rural Scotland but Wales and Cornwall as well to name a few. I have three kids and for them to take part in any extra curricular activity requires a round trip of 50 miles. There is no public transport. That is a huge premium in taxation to pay for living in the country. Just to do the basic things in life i have a fuel bill of around £300-350 per month. If I moved to the town that would disappear. given £230 of that goes in taxation, over all I reckon I pay an extra 20% of my income in taxation. It makes council tax pale into insignificance.

    This makes rural life difficult, along with the high cost of housing this has caused rural depopulation on a large scale over the last 15 years or so. We now have communities of ever increasing elderly retired people. Not sustainable. In most school classes only around 20% go on to remain in their native community, mainly due to the cost of living. there fuel tax rebate schemes that could be implemented to make this just a little fairer.

    I know this only affects a small number but honestly it backs up my feeling that Holyrood treats us no differently to Westminster. One is pretty much as ignorant as the other on rural issues.

    So feel free to research, any positive input to the debate is welcomed. i certainly offer no ill will.

    Complain about this comment

  • 348. At 11:26am on 05 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    ForteanJo re your 312

    Your reply summed up what my reply to dean the tory would have been.

    Dean tell me the difference between Thacher and call me Dave, because I cannot see one.

    Some of the posts on here will give you a flavor of what many of my generation think of the torys.

    It may give you an idea of why the last opinion poll that asked the question "would you change your vote on independence if the torys were in power at Westminster" Twenty five percent of people asked this said they would change their vote from no to yes.

    That is the elephant in the room, everyone and his dog knows that Cameron will be in N0 10 next year. Everyone knows his Thatcherite policies will start the day he gets the keys. Labour and the Lib Dems are prepared to see Scotland suffer again under "compassionate conservatism" for their own ends.

    There was an old joke in the 80s. How do you know a tory has a glass eye? if you see a glint of kindness or compassion you know its false.

    Complain about this comment

  • 349. At 11:27am on 05 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 321 OLDNAT

    If you give up this blog you in effect turn it over to the ultra nats unmoderated. There are many on here who do your cause great disservice.

    I have enjoyed our debates, I pick and choose who to debate with on the basis that i detest extremists of any kind.

    You regularly moderate some of the worst offenders.

    Over time you have caused me to think seriously about many points in particular the independence question. You offer good well though out arguments.

    So I would urge you to reconsider before this blog looses all reasoned debate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 350. At 11:53am on 05 Sep 2009, commandlinegamer wrote:

    #348

    Er, Thatcherism is still with us; we've had now 30 years of these policies.

    Complain about this comment

  • 351. At 11:53am on 05 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I presume by "extremists" Northhighlander means those who pose him questions he finds difficult to answer.
    Problem with those "who pick and chose" who they wish to debate with is that they tend to pick and chose those who do not tax their debating skills.
    Gordon Brown is the prime example of this tendency.

    Complain about this comment

  • 352. At 11:53am on 05 Sep 2009, govanite wrote:

    I was pleased to see the front page of today's Daily Record. Ah, the union dividend.

    Complain about this comment

  • 353. At 12:04pm on 05 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    commandlinegamer re 350

    Very true. However as it says New Labour on the tin it must be socialist mustn't it?

    govanite re 352

    Will the Scottish Secretary of State step in? Will the butchers apron stop flying at Ibrox?

    Complain about this comment

  • 354. At 12:08pm on 05 Sep 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    349. northhighlander wrote

    "If you give up this blog you in effect turn it over to the ultra nats unmoderated. There are many on here who do your cause great disservice."

    somebody , quickly, save poor northhighlander from the ultra nats unmoderated.

    But wait, it's not the nats coming over the hill to engulf him like a barbarian horde it's a wee raggedy crowd laughing and asking who's that pompous harsh ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 355. At 12:12pm on 05 Sep 2009, govanite wrote:

    North Highlander @ #342

    You reiterate the same old stories that we've been told for decades. To be fair to you, perhaps you believe them to be honestly true. However for an ex-labour voter like me they are just lies. Plain and simple.

    The reason I am an ex-labour voter is that experience has taught me:

    1) Since the empire collapsed and the cake got smaller, Scotland has been pushed right to the bottom of the priority list. Perhaps others have too but Scotland, my country (others choose their own), has a way out. I think we should take it.

    2) Labour have consistently misled us for 40 years, on oil revenues, on being able to oust Thatcher, on what the Feeble Fifty could do. Experience tells me it was all lies. And now, 12 years on from 97 the end is nigh for Labour. They have done little for the people who suffered to support them for so many long Tory years. The disappointment is palpable (to use one of Brian's favourite words).

    Truth is that the UK has had a tory government for 30 years, with more to come. The Labour vote in Scotland is not a unionist vote. Mine never was, I was misled by what I thought they believed. But not anymore.

    Complain about this comment

  • 356. At 12:13pm on 05 Sep 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Re: 323 Jammaboy:

    In reply to the overall question in your blog "Do our Politicians work in the best interest of all its People".

    Again,in short the Answer is mainly No, simply because it would be a total impossibility to do so all of the time, so therefore there has to be some Winners and Losers.

    However, the reason as to why we continue to complain about the Actions and Re-actions of all our Politicians be it: M.P.s' at Westminister, or MSPs' at Holyrood is that when they decide to allowcate funds out to the various Regions of the U.K., it always appears that some places and sections of our Society at Large are always favoured over others.

    If this cutting of the Cake was fair, then given that we have a Scottish Prime Minister in Gordon Brown as in Tony Blair before him along with the large number of Scottish M.P.s' that have in the past, and still do hold senior positions at Westminister, then just why is it that Scotland is treated in such a shamefull way by its own Born and Bred?

    Also, if it was a simple thing to say that England was doing so well at the expense of Scotland, then you would have a huge time trying to convince many People who live in the North East of England around the Newcastle areas and beyond, where they maintain that their share of Funding from central Government is still continuing in going to the preferred favoured part of the Southern England.

    Complain about this comment

  • 357. At 12:54pm on 05 Sep 2009, Rockycoast wrote:

    Complain about this comment

  • 358. At 12:54pm on 05 Sep 2009, barbarian9 wrote:

    354. At 12:08pm on 05 Sep 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:


    But wait, it's not the nats coming over the hill to engulf him like a barbarian horde it's a wee raggedy crowd laughing and asking who's that pompous harsh ?



    I don't have much of a horde. Now where did I put my woad.......

    Complain about this comment

  • 359. At 1:01pm on 05 Sep 2009, Diabloandco wrote:

    I see there is another ICM poll in the Guardian telling us all how much we love the BBBC.
    I can find no reference to questions posed but would assume that the Guardian /BBBC partnership had them stitched up like a kipper - if anyone can tell me where "stitched up like a kipper" came from I would be almost grateful.
    The ungrateful bloggers on the Guardian, Guido and Biased BBC are giving it the treatment, if not analysis!

    Complain about this comment

  • 360. At 1:02pm on 05 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    Barbarians should always be hoarded!

    Complain about this comment

  • 361. At 1:02pm on 05 Sep 2009, Rockycoast wrote:

    OLDNAT 321
    northhighlander 349
    OLDNAT,I agree with northhighlander, not something that happens often.
    I enjoy your contributions both here & elsewhere. So I hope that you
    will reconsider your decision to give up.
    Maybe you'll feel differently after a wee break.

    Complain about this comment

  • 362. At 1:15pm on 05 Sep 2009, romeplebian wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8239572.stm

    "Straw admits Lockerbie trade link "

    "On Wednesday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown insisted there was "no conspiracy, no cover-up, no double dealing, no deal on oil" over the bomber's release."

    "In January 2008, just weeks after the PTA was sealed, Libya ratified a £550m oil deal with BP.

    The oil company acknowledged on Friday that it had urged the government to sign the prisoner transfer deal, but insisted it had not singled out Megrahi as part of the discussion. "

    Jack Straw was also quoted as saying

    " a deal which was being sought by BP at the time and said: "I'm unapologetic about that."

    Complain about this comment

  • 363. At 1:23pm on 05 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    348. At 11:26am on 05 Sep 2009, dubbieside

    "Dean tell me the difference between Thacher and call me Dave, because I cannot see one."

    A committment to ring fence NHS spending, so that it WILL NOT suffer cuts during the life-time of the next Cameron government.

    Hardly Thatcherite.

    A committment to Comprehensive education, something Thatcher and her cohorts aren't really remembered for!

    There are more differences than anyone may suspect, just do not let Camerons' sometimes-smug face put you off, he has genuine beliefs and values, some contrary to traditional thatcherite thinking.

    "There was an old joke in the 80s. How do you know a tory has a glass eye? if you see a glint of kindness or compassion you know its false"

    That was funny I am sure, but the humour is lost on me.

    "Everyone knows his Thatcherite policies will start the day he gets the keys. Labour and the Lib Dems are prepared to see Scotland suffer again under "compassionate conservatism" for their own ends."

    What about the Scottish Conservatives achievement for town centres? Is it cold, and compassionless to win £60 million for towncentre regeneration in the most in need locations?
    Town centres have been neglected for 30 years, and the fresh face of new Conservatives want to put this problem right. 6O million isn't nearly enough, but it is a start- and the benefits will be felt in the likes of Stirling, East Kilbride etc where this money will do the most good.

    Hardly, cold Thatcherite policies!

    Complain about this comment

  • 364. At 1:49pm on 05 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Dean

    Do you mean the £60 million that the SNP government has given for town centre development that the Tories in Scotland sensibly agreed with?

    I have to say as a regular peruser and indeed contributor on the Conservative Home Page I can find little evidence of the other Tory Party you seek to convince us exists. It has steadily become more extreme in the year or so I have beem reading it and the views expressed on it on a range of issues, and particularly on us whinging, begging Scots, are verging on rancid much of the time.
    It is a useful educational exercise to sign into it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 365. At 1:50pm on 05 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    deanthetory re 363

    No Dean that is what he says he will do. As ForteanJo pointed out in the earlier post it did not take him long to show his true colors. I have re posted the salient part here.

    The problem with the tories today, Dean, is that they aren't doing that much to show they've changed. A few weeks ago, Call-Me-Dave was talking about mutial respect between Westminster and Holyrood. He'd respect the rights of Holyrood to make decisions in its baliwick and he'd expect similar in return for Westminster. But then, true to form, he double deals. He claims Megrahi would never have been released if he were prime minister despite the fact he'd have no powers to prevent the release. So much for mutual respect. Goldie's been hobbled and all here good work is undone. The tories have been shown in their true form and it's still ugly for Scotland. Call-Me-Dave will take the keys of number 10 next year and Scotland has every reason to be afraid because he just can't help himself.

    As our American friends say, same old, same old.

    As for town center regeneration of course I welcome that, but as I pointed out in an earlier post this was obviously the torys trying to soften their image. Bella has reverted to type over the last two weeks and it is not a pretty sight.

    Complain about this comment

  • 366. At 1:58pm on 05 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    #363, deanthetory wrote:

    "A committment to ring fence NHS spending, so that it WILL NOT suffer cuts during the life-time of the next Cameron government."

    Ringfencing works both ways, though, and could prevent augmentation (e.g. to cope with a pandemic somewhat more deadly than Swine Flu).

    By the way, I take it you do know that the so-called National Health Service exists ONLY in England.

    However they may be commonly regarded, Scotland has NHS Scotland; Wales has NHS Wales; and, in Northern Ireland, Health and Care NI. These three are legally distinct entities.

    So Call Me Dave's promise protects the interests only of ENGLISH patients.



    Complain about this comment

  • 367. At 2:05pm on 05 Sep 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Re:363 deanthetory.

    Let's face it Thatcher started to develope her "Plolicies" skills while Minister for Education in the Heath administration, when she infamously was crowned as Mrs Thatcher - Milk Snatcher.

    Of course, once becoming Prime Minister, she also managed to smash the National Union of Mineworkers reducing the level of Blue Collar workers back to Cap - Pullers, of Victorian Day's with: Yes Sir - No Sir, three bags full.

    Maggie also had a great sense of falling - out with all Leaders of other Nations, other than of course Cowboy Ragan, and Oh' Boy were we all glad that they decided to ride off together into the Sunset.

    Of course, how delighted Maggie was when "New" Labour won the General Election in 1997, beating the Conservative Party that had not long before conspired to remove her from Power.

    Yes, Cameron will find the remaking of the Thatcher and Nu Labour Years a hard Act to follow, for he had better watch his back if is thinks he is ever going to carry the mantle onwards from Maggies Last Stand.

    Complain about this comment

  • 368. At 2:11pm on 05 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    342. northhighlander
    "
    Your "new" vision for Scotland is somewhat lacking in originality. Basically it can be summed up as this, get the rest of the UK to pay an extortionate rent for Faslane, Lossiemouth etc, and screw the oil companies a bit harder, reduce public sector employment.

    Hardly new thinking is it?
    "
    1) That is merely a few aspects of what we can do. This is a blog and comments hence the need for (relative) brevity, not "War and Peace" which is what I'd need to spell it all out for you. But you knew that and chose to make a weak attack anyway - are you Iain Gray in disguise?
    2) Who claimed originality? These truths have been evident for decades.
    "
    The rental income is unlikely to pay for the cost of unemployment in the areas affected by the loss of defence jobs, not by a long way. Remember there will be no more navy ships built on the Clyde, which will in reality end ship building on the Clyde.
    "
    Indeed and we are going to have to face that anyway in the next couple of years, independence or not. The aircraft carriers will not be built, UK PLC is skint, broke, insolvent and anyone promising long term employment at Yarrows is cruelly mis-leading the workforce. Get used to it cos that is the stark economic truth.
    "
    Most Oil on the west of Scotland is along way off of producing income for the exchequer. The price would need to consistently over $100 for along time to make this viable. Anyway an economy based on oil, even initially is not a stable one as we have seen over the last year.
    "

    Yep and the longer it sits under the sea, the greater the benefit will be. At present UK production is equivalent to Quatar _ I think a nation of 5 million can get by with that meantime while we get ready to exploit the rest. Remember the future extraction will be based on what WE need, not what the bankrupt UK has to pump.
    And where do you get this figure of $100/bbl btw? Are you an oil economist? Its a strangely round figure. Any chance of sharing the details that caused you to quote that figure? The economy will not be based on oil, oil is the "cream" but again you knew that, you simply chose to try to attack on it - Failed again

    " But in reality where is the new thinking? Where are the post independence ideas? what will change that cannot change just now? I for one need something more than just a "we will feel better" argument."
    The post-independence ideas will come post-independence - I thought that was obvious- thats why I used the words "post-independence. What part of that are you choosing not to understand? Plenty will change that cannot change just now. Some of that will be directly due to independence some will be dependent of fresh approaches to innovation that are sadly needed.
    Commercial confidence prevents me from revealing much but a major new product will hit the market before Xmas. Developed entirely in Scotland, a decision was taken several years back that there would be no approach to the SDA or whatever they want to call themselves this month, no joint-ventures with universities, no requests for seed capital form UK based institutions, because all that had been tried and had caused us nothing but grief beforehand. Instead the idea was developed on a shoestring with Irish and Canadian help and marketed to Far East conglomerates. Production will take place in Wexford and near Shanghai. Royalties will come to Scottish, Irish and Canadian bank accounts. We would far rather production took place in Dunfermline or Livingston and real sustainable jobs created in Scotland and lets not be too altruistic here, we'd far rather ALL the royalties came to the Scottish bank accounts but we knew from bitter experience that the eventual result would be zilch.
    Who is to blame for this? The Civil Service and the UK banks. We can't wait for independence to do this the way we would want to.
    There is no shortage of ideas. There is a shortage of a framework to let these ideas flourish.

    Complain about this comment

  • 369. At 2:14pm on 05 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    364. At 1:49pm on 05 Sep 2009, sneckedagain

    "Do you mean the £60 million that the SNP government has given for town centre development that the Tories in Scotland sensibly agreed with?"

    No I mean the Scottish Conservative manifesto committment that we got the SNP executive to introduce in return for our support for their budget

    " have to say as a regular peruser and indeed contributor on the Conservative Home Page I can find little evidence of the other Tory Party you seek to convince us exists."

    ConservativeHome is not run by the party, it is an independent Tory supporting blog.
    It fails to represent anyone in my party who doesnt subscribe to its narrow views of thatcherism.
    For a moderate face to the Conservatives check out tory reform groups website! Sir Malcolm Rifkin, a great man, fluent in speach and having met him, and listened to a speech by him at Stirling Uni I was deeply moved by the man.

    365. At 1:50pm on 05 Sep 2009, dubbieside

    "As for town center regeneration of course I welcome that"

    You wanted evidence that there are actively One Nationist Tories out there in the party, of he Disraeli tradition- there is a fair piece of inacted legislation of ours proving just that!

    366. At 1:58pm on 05 Sep 2009, I Ate All The Pies

    "Ringfencing works both ways,"

    You might have been correct, where it not for the fact that Cameron has pledged to ring fence health to protect it from cuts, but also promised real term increases above inflation. So further investment shall continue.

    "So Call Me Dave's promise protects the interests only of ENGLISH patients"

    Whats your point? Would you rather NHS Scotland is incorporated into the English NHS? What point are you seeking to make- are you unhappy with such devolution of responsibilities? I for one am perfectly happy with NHS freedoms in Wales Scotland etc.

    Complain about this comment

  • 370. At 2:22pm on 05 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    I'm afraid we cannot possibly have the referendum now guys, Wee Ally Darling - yes the man who has overseen this country falling in to the biggest economic hole since the Great Depression - suggests it might be bad for the economy!

    Dutifully reported by British Broadcasting Corporation (Brit-Nat Propaganda: Division North),

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/south_of_scotland/8237140.stm

    Complain about this comment

  • 371. At 2:50pm on 05 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    deanthetory re 369

    Where is your reply to the fact that the first time Cameron was tested on his relationship with the Scottish Government he reverted to tory type.

    Try telling the people of Rosyth that Rifkin is a great man. He is the tory who ran down HMS Dockyard Rosyth and moved most of its work Devenport and Portsmouth, even though he was an Edinburgh MP. Yet another tory union benefit. How many more of these benefits will Dave and the rest of Thatchers children have in store for Scotland?

    Complain about this comment

  • 372. At 2:57pm on 05 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #368 Sgt Furry

    "Indeed and we are going to have to face that anyway in the next couple of years, independence or not. The aircraft carriers will not be built, UK PLC is skint, broke, insolvent and anyone promising long term employment at Yarrows is cruelly mis-leading the workforce. Get used to it cos that is the stark economic truth."

    I'm afraid to say that they will be built (good for enoguh work to last the next decade), they're in too deep now that to cancel would be just as, if not more expensive. Whoever has promised ship builders on the Clyde long term work prospects before? They've always had the here and now contract and been left on tender hooks to see if they win another after that, nothing new, it's been the same for decades and they're still here because they do the job well.

    What the future holds for the ship building industry post independence is another matter.

    Complain about this comment

  • 373. At 3:05pm on 05 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    Dean, trying to tell us the difference between Rifkind and Forsyth is like trying to explain to Polish civilians the difference between Wehrmacht and SS.
    The end result was the same, its simply one mob were a little more idealogically driven than the others.

    We hate them all, they did Thatcher's work for her. End of story.

    Complain about this comment

  • 374. At 3:10pm on 05 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    It is somewhat ironic that this afternoon's football match sees a nation whose people wish to assert independence and free themselves from a yoke of oppression (Scotland) taking on an independent nation (Macedonia, as in The Former Yugoslav Republic of) whose people want to be united with their brethren in the Greek region of Macedonia (and, to a certain extent, vice versa), but are being prevented from their ambition by an overbearing Athens administration.

    Who does Costas Karamanlis (PM of Greece) think he is? Gordon Brown?#

    Let the Macedonians (of both nationalities') decide their own futures!

    Complain about this comment

  • 375. At 3:10pm on 05 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    My 373

    Please delete "hate" substitute "despise" Its a bit more accurate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 376. At 3:22pm on 05 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    "We hate them all, they did Thatcher's work for her. End of story."

    I strongly disagree, Sir Malcolm Rifkind did not 'do' thatchers work for her. That flies in the face of historical fact. Please keep your revisionism away from me;

    Sir Malcolm resigned from Thstchers' Shadow Cabinet over her decision to whip the party vote against a Scottish Assembly. This is the man who voted for Heath over Thatcher in the original leadership contest.

    Tell, me how does any of this FACT allow anyone to read him as one of Thatchers' men?

    Sir Malcolm was central to the passage of Tenants Rights (Scotland) bill in parliament.

    This is the man who was renounded for his falling outs with Thatcher during his time as Sec. of State for Scotland, known for his moderate stance of social and economic issues.

    His record speaks for itself, and it speaks volumes to his personal credit.

    You hate all you like and I will join you in hating the right people, like the real guilty- thatcher, Howe, Lawson- Major- not Sir Malcolm, or Kenneth Clarke.

    "Dean, trying to tell us the difference between Rifkind and Forsyth is like trying to explain to Polish civilians the difference between Wehrmacht and SS."

    This is offensive on many many levels, and it does you absolutely no credit in attempting to draw comparisons like this. Discraceful. Shameful.

    371. At 2:50pm on 05 Sep 2009, dubbieside

    "Where is your reply to the fact that the first time Cameron was tested on his relationship with the Scottish Government he reverted to tory type."

    David Cameron outlined his personal opinion that the release of the Lockerbie bomber was a wrong decision, he is entitled to state his personal opinion without it being turned into policy, or policy intent by you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 377. At 3:22pm on 05 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    375. At 3:10pm on 05 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry

    A Fraudian slip?

    Complain about this comment

  • 378. At 3:27pm on 05 Sep 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    #368 Sgt_Furry

    You're correct, at present the UK production is equivalent to Qatar which means that Scottish production is equivalent to Qatar.

    In 2008 the UK produced 1544 Thousand Barrels a day, Qatar 1378 Thousand barrels a day.

    The figures from this BP Page. You'll find the link to the relevant pdf in the right hand side Download section on the link " Oil production table - barrels per day (pdf, 60KB)"

    One of the unintended consequences of the attack by Annabel Goldie on Alex Salmond where she linked his visit to Qatar to try and drum up money for the Scottish Futures Trust (which is planned to replace PFI) with the release of Al-Megrahi was to highlight that very visit and reason for it.

    It's a very telling story about the current state of Scotland. One oil producer has to go to another comparable oil producer to beg for money to fund basic infrastructure projects. It must be the Union benefit.

    Complain about this comment

  • 379. At 3:40pm on 05 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    377. deanthetory
    "A Fraudian slip?"
    I suspect you meant "Freudian" but it gave me a chuckle as I regard all Tories as "frauds"

    I don't really care whether Rifkind fell out with Thatcher or not. He "wore the uniform" and carried out orders that impacted adversely on Scots in general and working-class Scots in particular. For that reason he is every bit as much my enemy as Forsyth.

    I stand by my analogy. This was war.

    Complain about this comment

  • 380. At 3:46pm on 05 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #376 deanthetory

    "David Cameron outlined his personal opinion that the release of the Lockerbie bomber was a wrong decision, he is entitled to state his personal opinion without it being turned into policy, or policy intent by you."

    Come on Dean, he said more than that! He's on record as saying if he was at No.10 he wouldn't have allowed the Megrahi decision, how would he have done that without interfering in the Scottish legal system or due process do you think? He may have shown his true colours with regards to how his relationship with Holyrood will shape if/when in power.

    CMD fell back on a typical Tory response to appeal to as many like minded people as possible. You'd best get the Blair hand book off him soon before he spins out.

    Complain about this comment

  • 381. At 4:10pm on 05 Sep 2009, InfrequentAllele wrote:

    I'd be very sad to see Oldnat and DerekBarker stop posting. Scotland is in the midst of fundamental change, we need your perspectives here. And Northhighlander needs you to hold his hand. The wee lamb seems to think that we can't discuss independence until every single policy decision has been decided in advance.

    Deanthetory

    I understand what you are saying about One Nation Conservatism. But the pro-European socially responsible variety of Toryism is no longer the Conservative mainstream and it's not about to have a resurgence in popularity within the party. Quite the reverse, a Conservative victory at the next election will provide an immense boost to the so-called Libertarian and anti-European wing. The views of Conservative candidates for Westminster overwhelmingly lean towards this miserabilist ideology. You'll have 250-plus Dan Hannon wannabes with their contempt for the NHS and their willingness to destroy the remaining institutions which still maintain a British identity and the British state, all in the name of private property. If your own party doesn't respect the institutions of Britishness, why should it expect Scots to do so?

    At best this branch of the Conservative party has no interest in, and no sympathy for, Scottish particularism. At worst they hold Scotland in utter contempt. I have given up reading mainstream "British" political websites because I can no longer bring myself to wade through the bile, ignorance and outright racism which come to the fore whenever a Scottish issue is discussed.

    The strength of some previous comments here must tell you that many Scots are deeply afraid and suspicious of a future Conservative government. Just as the appalling anti-Scottish racism of a minority of English Conservatives is a sympton of a more widespread feeling that Scotland should put up and shut up, so the extreme comparison of the Conservatives to fascists by some Scots is a symptom of widespread fear and suspicion. The wounds of the 80s still cut deep within Scottish society.

    However the prevailing attitude amongst English Conservatives will not permit Cameron much leeway in placating Scottish sensitivies. When Cameron is forced to choose between pandering to widespread English Conservative perceptions, and the Scottish national interest, he's not going to support Scotland. He will do what he did during the Al-Megrahi affair when he announced that if he were PM Al-Megrahi would not have been released. He made this statement despite having no legal right to prevent the Scottish Justice Secretary releasing Al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds. Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the release, the independence of Scots law is a fundamental plank of the Union. Cameron has proven he would ride roughshod over it.

    Cameron can get away with this sort of behaviour in opposition when there is a Labour government which has most Scottish seats at Westminster. But when he is PM and his party has at most a handful of Scottish seats, and what's left of the Labour party is tearing itself apart in the aftermath of their defeat, the resultant political storm may well bring about the final destruction of the Scottish Tories along with the Union. Both the Union and the Scottish Conservatives are already on very thin ice. Many of us will not weep for their demise.

    Complain about this comment

  • 382. At 4:15pm on 05 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    372. ScotInNotts
    "#368 Sgt Furry

    "Indeed and we are going to have to face that anyway in the next couple of years, independence or not. The aircraft carriers will not be built, UK PLC is skint, broke, insolvent and anyone promising long term employment at Yarrows is cruelly mis-leading the workforce. Get used to it cos that is the stark economic truth."

    I'm afraid to say that they will be built (good for enoguh work to last the next decade), they're in too deep now that to cancel would be just as, if not more expensive. Whoever has promised ship builders on the Clyde long term work prospects before? They've always had the here and now contract and been left on tender hooks to see if they win another after that, nothing new, it's been the same for decades and they're still here because they do the job well.
    "

    If that is in fact the case, then I rejoice for the workers but the fact remains UK PLC is skint, broke, insolvent and these will be the last such vessels ever constructed for the RN.

    "What the future holds for the ship building industry post independence is another matter."

    Whether a future Scottish Defence Force (Naval Command) will need anything from these yards is doubtful. Naval architecture is not one of my strong subjects. I suspect the destroyer(s) we will get as our share of the RN may be sufficient for our local defence needs with upgraded weapons systems or we will want fast patrol boats for fisheries and rig protection. Either way the long term future for the yards looks bleak and punting the carrier work as "Union Dividend" is bogus as we all know they will be the last, if in fact they are completed. If what you say is true, and its seems credible when I think about it, then I can see the modules being built and towed round to Rosyth and never finally assembled or fitted out. Let's make sure the yards get paid up front for the work that IS committed.

    By the way (and totally off-topic) seeing you know about these things, whatever happened to that boat they built for the Sultan of Brunei, that he decided he didn't want. You know the one they couldn't sell to anyone else cos it was built for sailors with an average height of 5ft6"?

    Complain about this comment

  • 383. At 4:22pm on 05 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I am so sorry to see that Oldnat has decided to refrain from posting on this blog. He has been an inspiration to me and, often, a brake on my more conspiratorial postings. I hope that we have not seen the end of his balanced views and judgements.

    Complain about this comment

  • 384. At 5:01pm on 05 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #383. At 4:22pm on 05 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I am so sorry to see that Oldnat has decided to refrain from posting on this blog. He has been an inspiration to me and, often, a brake on my more conspiratorial postings. I hope that we have not seen the end of his balanced views and judgements.

    Gedguy2, I may be mistaken, but I think oldnat was responding to DerkeBarker saying that *he* was going to stop posting, rather than saying that himself. You know oldnat tends to take things in stride. I doubt that he is leaving. I hope not because I very much enjoy his posts.

    Complain about this comment

  • 385. At 5:38pm on 05 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    381. At 4:10pm on 05 Sep 2009, InfrequentAllele

    "understand what you are saying about One Nation Conservatism. But the pro-European socially responsible variety of Toryism is no longer the Conservative mainstream and it's not about to have a resurgence in popularity within the party"

    That is no reason for me to give up on the cause. A storng European Union, with reformed Fishery policies, reformed CAP (or abolished)- it matters. Pro-EU One Nationist Torism cannot be allowed to die, it is too important, its principles stand for a stronger Scotland, a nation, not divided between the rich and poor (as in the Sybil).

    I will not let Maggie have her spawn destroy Disraelis legacy, or Heaths legacy (i like the man, for all his faults). The framed posters on my wall is MacMillan rousing the party faithful, and Edward Heath at the doors to Number 10 in 1970- not not not 1979, or 1982, or 1987, or 1992, 1997. I know where I stand, it although it may be far from popular now, people still believe in a pro-eu one nationist tory and all we ever need is the people.

    "the resultant political storm may well bring about the final destruction of the Scottish Tories along with the Union. Both the Union and the Scottish Conservatives are already on very thin ice. Many of us will not weep for their demise. "

    Cameron has more sense than this. He have faith that he will stand up for Scotland, especially against the bigotry of anti-Scottish Southern England.
    He believe him when he says he wants to be PM of the whole of the UK- however I accept my 'faith' may be similar to Labour 'faith' in Blair. All I can say on this point is I earnestly hope not. I trust Cameron, and if he betrays this trust, I will NEVER trust a politician again, and a whole generation of Scottish tories my age are in the same vulnerable stage.

    And there is a new generation- like myself, in the womb so to speak. The last August YouGov poll showed 21% support for Scot Tories among 18-35 year olds, ahead of SNP, secondly only to Labour.
    If I can see these stats, so can Cameron, and I cannot believe he'd sacrafice a generation of Scottish Conservatves to pander to anti-European phobias of the Home Counties.

    On my website I investigated just this, have a read if you wish- (i have a chart, the LibDems will be green with envy): http://new-right.blogspot.com/2009/08/future-is-bright.html

    You'll spot my reference to 'SuperMac'.

    Complain about this comment

  • 386. At 5:43pm on 05 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    Oh and well done Scotland for (finally!) scoring against Macedonia....it was a good game the second half.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 387. At 6:23pm on 05 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #If I can see these stats, so can Cameron, and I cannot believe he'd sacrafice a generation of Scottish Conservatves to pander to anti-European phobias of the Home Counties.

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

    Numerically, where do the Scottish Conservatives stand against the Home Counties. Which does he get more out of when he goes into sacrificing mode--one against the other as seems likely to happen?

    And what do you make of his statement that had he been PM al-Megrahi would not have been released? How would he have stopped it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 388. At 7:03pm on 05 Sep 2009, BlooToon wrote:

    @385

    Oops Dean you forgot to mention it was a Daily Mail poll!

    Complain about this comment

  • 389. At 7:16pm on 05 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://order-order.com/2009/09/05/icm-poll-says-we-love-the-bbc/

    Congratulations to the BBC on another successfully rigged poll.

    Complain about this comment

  • 390. At 7:30pm on 05 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    Dean, its nearly Saturday night, what's a young blade like you doing posting on here at his time? Do you not have a wig to powder before going out and enjoying yourself? What's wrong, do all these resurgent Young Conservatives not have balls anymore?

    No seriously son, give it a rest and go out and have fun. Celebrate the Massacre of the Macedonians before the Disappointment of the Dutch.
    We already have oldnat and derekbarker suffering from burnout, we don't need you doing similar.

    Complain about this comment

  • 391. At 7:33pm on 05 Sep 2009, hadrianswall wrote:

    Oldnat, don't leave us. You are a voice of reason.

    I don't know who has annoyed you but if we had a poll the bloggers on here would vote overwhelmingly for you to stay.

    Other bloggers please; please post your desire for oldnat to stay when you blog.

    Freedom

    Complain about this comment

  • 392. At 7:38pm on 05 Sep 2009, hadrianswall wrote:

    #329 JacobiteBarbarian.

    Welcome and well said. We are a different people and should live our lives as an independent nation accordingly.

    Freedom

    Complain about this comment

  • 393. At 8:48pm on 05 Sep 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    369

    With all due respect, Dean, Conservative "manifesto committments" are meaningless in the Scottish Parliamentary context. However I have no doubt that a number of sensible things have been done in the Scottish Parliament by the SNP Government with Tory support.

    Sir Malcolm Rifkind is indeed an impressive and persuasive political figure and has always held a very reasonable view of devolution, unlike many of his comrades. He did sell out Rosyth, however, and that is unlikely to ever be forgotten. It may be the major reason why he now represents an English seat.

    Complain about this comment

  • 394. At 9:02pm on 05 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    320. deanthetory
    "There is too much hope, opportunities for me to abandon my One Nation principals. We, One Nationists are the heirs of Disraeli, and I will save my parties soul from Thatcher and her Gladstonian ancestors."

    Tories are capitalists from birth to grave, its in their genes.

    Simple question where does money come from?

    After you have asked whoever to get an answer then read this and tell us/me if the world economy can keep on growing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 395. At 9:03pm on 05 Sep 2009, InfrequentAllele wrote:

    Deanthetory

    When MacMillan roused the Scottish party faithful, he had a truly national Scottish party to rouse. The Conservatives regularly polled over 45% in Scotland during the period, and in one notable election in the 1950s the party actually won an absolute majority of the popular vote, a feat never attained by any other party. The party took a large share of the vote in all regions of Scotland and amongst all social classes. Yet these days if the Scottish Conservatives manage to poll over 20% it is hailed as a great success, and if the party manages to increase its representation from one Scottish MP to three or four it will be considered an electoral breakthrough. Oh how the mighty are fallen.

    Incidentally, it wasn't Thatcher who caused the long term decline of the Scottish Conservatives, that was already happening due to other more complex structural reasons. Thatcherism just finished the Scottish Conservatives off as one of Scotland's main parties. But that's by the by.

    Polling a mere 21% amongst younger people, or even the giddy heights of 23%, is hardly an impressive recovery which brings the Scottish Conservatives back to the middle of the mainstream of Scottish opinion. You've merely arrested the long term decline, you haven't reversed it. It is a fragile recovery which is confined to a fairly narrow section of the Scottish population. The Scottish Conservatives have all but abandoned any pretence that they are going to attract a significant share of the vote amongst the working class population of the post-industrial towns and cities. Demographically this part of the population makes up a larger percentage in Scotland than the equivalent in England. In order for any party to command enough support in Scotland to claim the mandate to form a government, it must attract a large share of the vote from this part of the population. That was the lesson the Eckmeister taught the SNP.

    JRMacClure is correct. Cameron gains no political advantage by siding with Scottish Conservatives in defence of a Scottish particularism which is opposed by mainstream English Conservatives. That's simple electoral arthimetic. Yet it is only by adopting policies which are antithetical to the most widespread opinions amongst southern English Conservatives, and so appealing to the post-industrial working classes of the Scottish Central Belt, that the Scottish Conservatives have any chance at all of making a real and significant recovery in their electoral fortunes. The Scottish Conservatives are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Within the Union there's no way out.

    When there is a Conservative government at Westminster, then like Labour supporters over the past 12 years you will increasingly find yourself defending the indefensible. But unlike the Labour party, the Conservatives lack a popular mandate within Scotland. When Labour came to power in 1997, Scotland breathed a collective sigh of relief, the Tories will come to power in a fearful and suspicious Scotland which will not be disposed to show tolerance, patience or goodwill to the boys from the Bullingdon Club.

    There's a storm coming Dean, you'd better batten down the hatches.

    Complain about this comment

  • 396. At 9:22pm on 05 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Economic crash in Oregon boomtown we have been warned keep in with a totally bankrupt UK plc or shed the yoke and pick up the pieces.

    Complain about this comment

  • 397. At 9:49pm on 05 Sep 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    ~various deanthetory

    Dean you had too live through the Thatcher years to understand why Scotland (and other working class areas in England) despise all things tory. Rifkind was as bad as any of them - I used to feel ill when Forsyth or him appeared on tv. AS offensive as #373 St_Furry comment may seem to you it happens to be true. Thatcher will never be seen in a good light or given any respect even when she dies. As in the words of Frankie Boyle "When Thatcher dies buy everyone in Scotland a shovel and we'll dig ah ole deep enough to habd her over to the devil ourselves". I'd say that would sum it up accurately.

    On another note its dissapointing to read th Oldnat and Derek are giving up the blog. Oldnay is a voice of reason with great analysis of situations and polls. Derek while being a bit strange at times, seemed to have seen the light recently and I've only just began to understand him. Derek, I too was a true socialist but that was in the 70's when I was frequently told you can't be a left-wing shop steward and support the SNP/Independence. I had seen the light much quicker than you but it's been a frustrating 30 years or so for my hope for an independent Scotland with a socialist conscience. Hope both of you change you minds re the blog

    Complain about this comment

  • 398. At 10:07pm on 05 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    I have a question can someone answere this

    if Scotland was Independant would we be dragged in to this WAR
    that the UK government has decided to drag all of us in to

    I have nothing against Religion and other peoples religion

    im not religious my self but i am in the mind set that if 1 man in the militry of any country dies for a war then this is a total wast of a life no matter what the cose is
    I think that people on this small plannet should get along and stop all the in fighting and killing on this tiny plannet
    we are all the same no matter what coulour and race i personally think a life taken through WAR is a life wasted
    why o why do we keep killing each other through religion and politics this is soooo not rite we will never ever progress on as a species if we keep this up
    if Scotland was independant would we have agreed to go in to this stupid WAR
    I also am of the opinion that religion is for the days of the 16th and 17th centuary
    to kill for this is just plain stupid
    the money spent on war and makeing things to kill more and more people could be better spent on helping people and helping this small human race because lets face it as a species we are small in comparisin to the rest of the universe we are just too agressive

    i care for people and not just in words i actually care about people i have seen on TV in Israel and Pakistan and afghanistan
    people being killed for a beliefe that we should get rid of the eniemy before they kill us

    sorry im not in faviour of killing people its a total wast i dont think Scotland has a nature of killing people in war or at any time does anyone agree with me

    ill stand corected if im wrong but would we have taken part in this war would we agree to kill people because of what they believe
    no we would not
    and i dont think we would have agreed to go in to this war instead goive the money they put to tanks and guns to nurses and firemen
    sorry to bang on about nurses but they do not get paid enough and nor do the firemen they put lives on line to heal and save lifes

    what do the army do

    put their lifes on line to kill others and protect us mmm why kill to protect

    am i rite or wrong just a thought

    Complain about this comment

  • 399. At 10:26pm on 05 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #398. At 10:07pm on 05 Sep 2009, jammaboy wrote:

    I have a question can someone answere this

    if Scotland was Independant would we be dragged in to this WAR
    that the UK government has decided to drag all of us in to

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

    Correct me if I'm wrong--but if you were independent, that would be up to Scotland and the Scottish government, right?

    It would probably depend on whether you joined NATO stayed out of it and took a non-aligned stance as Ireland consistently has. Now that looks like a darn good idea to me (but I usually oppose my own country's foreign policy--so take that as biased) and it hasn't kept American investment and tourism out.

    Does the SNP have a stance on this? Not one of my loaded questions. *grin* I really don't know and am too lazy to research it at the moment.

    Complain about this comment

  • 400. At 10:35pm on 05 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    395. At 9:03pm on 05 Sep 2009, InfrequentAllele

    "When MacMillan roused the Scottish party faithful, he had a truly national Scottish party to rouse"
    "The Scottish Conservatives have all but abandoned any pretence that they are going to attract a significant share of the vote amongst the working class population of the post-industrial towns and cities."

    The Scottish Conservative commttment to our towncentre regeneration fund is a clear attempt by the party to get back on record. To start focusing on the needs of the urban inner cities, the central belt etc.
    I accept that Cameron, and the Conservative Party nationally will never again pay attention to Scottish particularism as was once the case. But to be frank, they don't need to- that is if they give us fiscal autonomy to match devolutionary Holyrood!

    This is why Goldie, myself and all other moderates desire further devolution, as it is the one way to free ourselves from this problem.
    Devolution, and ts further expansion will be my party salvation!

    The more autonomy we gather around our team at Holyrood, the more policies like towncentre regeneration we can push for! Let Cameron be 'PM for the whole UK' if he wants, so long as he gives Scotland more devolutionary powers, and in so doing- more autonomy for the Scottish Conservative party to act in our own best interests; free of him, and English torism.

    But you are right, currently we are ending the haemorrage of support from Scottis Conservativism. It has been a long decline, through the 1960's, 70's, and gathering pace in the 1980's.
    Now that is over, and further devolution is inevitable, and will be welcomed by my party.

    It is ironic indeed that ever greater Scottish independence from UK Westminster decision making will prove to be Scottish Conservative & Unionist party salvation.

    Dean.

    Complain about this comment

  • 401. At 10:39pm on 05 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    397. At 9:49pm on 05 Sep 2009, fifebirder

    "you had too live through the Thatcher years to understand why Scotland (and other working class areas in England) despise all things tory"

    Ok, first hand experience is superior to the books I have.

    "Thatcher will never be seen in a good light or given any respect even when she dies."

    I too strongly disagree with her policies, and condemn her for the social harm inflicted on Scottish industry. Her complacency, her arrogant denounciation of all things manufactured, has led to the lopsided economic base that has led us into deep recession.

    She has crimes to answer for. And she will.

    But I wouldn't wish death on anyone, being against capital punishment as I am it isn't in my character to seek this ultimate price. But I respect that those suffering during the 1980's will hope for this penalty to come soon.

    Complain about this comment

  • 402. At 10:45pm on 05 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    342. northhighlander
    "The longer we go without even a glimpse of the new thinking the more I feel that the independence movement hasn't given much thought to what happens post independence, what it will cost and what we will do with our new found freedom. I feel we are being bounced into this referendum on the basis that it is better than what we have, without any real debate."

    Youv'e asked this many times before its like asking how long is piece of string, know one can give definitive answer. One has to ask oneself "Where is the UK going and what are its long term prospects?" and then weigh up can we do better going it alone. Until you ask yourself the first question only then will you see how in an Independent country you can see what is achievable. e.g. UK is an autocratic system where a PM can and does dictate policy because it was set up by the ruling classes to suit them not the general public, and that will never change in a month of sundays no matter what an MP will tell you to get your vote. We are at a crossroads were we the people have the chance to change that so that we set the agenda and Holyrood does our bidding in a much more equal way.

    Complain about this comment

  • 403. At 10:48pm on 05 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    398. jammaboy
    "I have a question can someone answere this

    if Scotland was Independant would we be dragged in to this WAR
    that the UK government has decided to drag all of us in to
    "

    Not in my name.

    Complain about this comment

  • 404. At 10:55pm on 05 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    and if this war was to free the afhanistanians or iriakies sorry about spelling its not good but if it was to free them from a dictator and stop the mass killing of any wee man who wants to kill hundreds of people why havent we taken mogabe on and all the other wee leaders that want to comit geniside

    ooo they dont have oil i forgot

    we cant claim we went in to save the people when we only go to war with countries that have oil

    and sit back and watch other countries do mass killing and sit and claim its for the people of the country and want democrasy

    this is roubbish its for oil plain and simple oil

    the war was about oil as we all know

    so why claim it was for to save the people in their countries and get rid of a dictator who the British put in power in the first place

    mmm im confused save iriakies and sit and watch other countries do worce

    this is why i think people dont want to vote any more they are sick of doubble standards

    and lies

    no 1 wants to vote any more because we do not get heard any more we sorry to say have to pik up a gun and become to be heard

    democracy does not work people dont listen

    if we actually talked and talked there would be no no need to kill people

    again sorry for the rant just my wee opinion

    Complain about this comment

  • 405. At 11:02pm on 05 Sep 2009, jamie wrote:

    if this was not in people name then why are we in it

    this is the question if most of Scotland disagreed with the war no i hzzard a guess most of UK disagreed with it why are we in it

    i refer to a previous comment i made politicians do not listen to the majority of people

    why do we let this happen

    lets face it we will fail in this war that is for sure not cos we want to or cos we didnt put up a good fight its plain and simple because we the people do not want to be there

    just as the people want to be free again they dont listen

    Complain about this comment

  • 406. At 11:14pm on 05 Sep 2009, ScotInNotts wrote:

    Why on earth did we have to see Muttering Murphy's mug on the Scotland match report just shown on the ten o'clock news?

    Complain about this comment

  • 407. At 11:15pm on 05 Sep 2009, InfrequentAllele wrote:

    Town centre regeneration, a worthy cause though it may be, will not create flocks of new Tory voters in the Airdries and Methils of Scotland. It's a bit like putting on a sticking plaster and expecting to regrow an amputated leg.

    But you're missing the real point, which is that a Westminster Conservative government will be taking decisions without the support of the great majority of Scots. It's a government which is going to have to make cuts in public expenditure, and this comes against the background of a widespread perception in England that England subsidises Scotland. Scotland is way up near the top of the southern Conservative cuts wish-list. The Scottish Conservatives are the ones who will take the electoral hit for cuts in Westminster expenditure on Scotland, not Conservatives in Kent or Norfolk. The fragile little Scottish Tory revival will evaporate away, along with the Union.

    Complain about this comment

  • 408. At 11:41pm on 05 Sep 2009, barbarian9 wrote:

    No 402;

    the man has a point though. many people will need to be persuaded that independence will be good for them. the income from oil should give the government the money to invest in industries that can give alternative jobs to those that will be lost. lots of civil service jobs will go, and some private sectors will be affected as well due to knock on effect. some uk civil service stuff will go, such as MoD, quangos etc. the people who work there will have to be given assurances they will be able to get work in a similar field with at least a similar salary, if not pension.

    there is a lot of talent in the civil service, especially within IT and other areas. do we want to lose these people to other countries?

    i think the approach has to be positive and what will be there for peope. self-determination is great, but we need to show that there is more to independence than this.

    Complain about this comment

  • 409. At 11:55pm on 05 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    Jammaboy:

    I'd point out for your sake, Afganistan does not have oil resources.

    Last but not least I doubt the public would support more wars, especially considering the financial situation and resources we have available for our forces.

    I don't mind the rants but a little realism would not hurt.

    "democracy does not work people dont listen"

    Do people not listen because your ideas are not shared? The problem with democracy is that your ideas will not always be supported, but do we have to look at country's where democracy does not exist? The most infamous are Stalin and Hitler, need I say anymore?

    Complain about this comment

  • 410. At 00:01am on 06 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    404. jammaboy
    "again sorry for the rant just my wee opinion"

    Not a problem everyone has something to say but could I suggest that you take your time and use your spell checker if you are unsure, I have to use it constantly.

    Complain about this comment

  • 411. At 00:02am on 06 Sep 2009, Florence wrote:

    308 FOURSTRIKES: The middle class is the backbone of society. If it weren't for the "middle classes" the country would be bankrupt. Oops, it is, but in normal times, I'm talking about.

    Complain about this comment

  • 412. At 00:04am on 06 Sep 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Brian:

    The statement was substantive: thirteen bills ranging from action on alcohol abuse to measures to protect wildlife.

    Controversy? Plenty.


    Yes, all types of legislative business are controversial since, they don't want to tread on the feet...

    =Dennis Junior=

    Complain about this comment

  • 413. At 00:04am on 06 Sep 2009, Florence wrote:

    310: Piers Morgan was editor of The Mirror. Nuff said!

    Complain about this comment

  • 414. At 00:07am on 06 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    401. deanthetory

    Remember Thatcher's sell off of the countries assets well "Surprise Surprise". It must be in the genes!

    Complain about this comment

  • 415. At 00:21am on 06 Sep 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Re: 399 JRMacClure.
    #398. At 10:07pm on 05 Sep 2009, jammaboy wrote:

    I have a question can someone answere this

    if Scotland was Independant would we be dragged in to this WAR
    that the UK government has decided to drag all of us in to

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

    Correct me if I'm wrong--but if you were independent, that would be up to Scotland and the Scottish government, right?

    It would probably depend on whether you joined NATO stayed out of it and took a non-aligned stance as Ireland consistently has. Now that looks like a darn good idea to me (but I usually oppose my own country's foreign policy--so take that as biased) and it hasn't kept American investment and tourism out.

    Does the SNP have a stance on this? Not one of my loaded questions. *grin* I really don't know and am too lazy to research it at the moment.

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

    This is rather an interesting blog considering that whatever anyone including myself might suggest as an answer is nothing more than as you say, guess-work in itself given the fact that it would at this point in time, it is totally impossible to say what might happen in the future, since that part of Scotlands History of future Political decision making has yet too be written, and with this in mind, I too would also pass over in commenting by being also too lazy to peer into a Crystal - Ball in some vain attempt of trying to Second-Guess any predicted outcomes, or Research History that has yet to be written.

    I know it is somewhat difficult for many to refrain from wanting to know just what might be the future outcomes to many Questions, ie: as to what might or should happen if, or after Scotland should attain full Independence, but then again if the majority of the Scottish People took the time to Vote for change, then just perhap at that point it would then be the right time to reiterate this same question too then any future fully Independent SNP Government.


    Complain about this comment

  • 416. At 00:22am on 06 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Oops.

    Complain about this comment

  • 417. At 00:38am on 06 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    408. barbarian9
    "there is a lot of talent in the civil service, especially within IT and other areas. do we want to lose these people to other countries?"

    It must be incredibly well-hidden talent then.
    Why has there never been a Civil Service IT project that has come in anywhere near budget or timetable?
    Do you work for EDS?

    " some uk civil service stuff will go, such as MoD, quangos etc. the people who work there will have to be given assurances they will be able to get work in a similar field with at least a similar salary, if not pension. "
    Why? The rest of us have seen our pensions disappear, why should the civil servants be any different?

    Complain about this comment

  • 418. At 00:58am on 06 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    408. barbarian9
    "the income from oil should give the government the money to invest in industries that can give alternative jobs to those that will be lost."

    No what that oil money is used for is basic long lasting infrastructure which benefits this and future generations and not short term industry, this generation shouldn't be the only beneficiaries of a limited natural resource.

    Who knows what jobs are going to be left after this recession stops other than essential services, at the moment we are constrained by Westminsters purse strings and so no business plan can be programed as it can be scuppered for political reasons by that parliament.

    Complain about this comment

  • 419. At 01:17am on 06 Sep 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Re:407 InfrequentAllele.

    Scotland is way up near the top of the southern Conservative cuts wish-list. The Scottish Conservatives are the ones who will take the electoral hit for cuts in Westminster expenditure on Scotland, not Conservatives in Kent or Norfolk.

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

    While I totally agree with you that any future Conservative Government will completely, and totally under-value Scotland in the same way as did the last Labour Administration, we need to try and understand that in the eyes of those living in Southern and Eastern England, once known as Rose-Land [ Rest of the South East ], where they wrongly believe perhap selfishly that today due to the current Recession that they are the most hard-by.

    Why is this, you might ask, well during the Boom Years property prices when ever upwards to eye-watering levels, only today to see these investment crash in a short period of time, with many accommodations both in Private properties along with Buy to Let sector properties with a Mortgage that are un-repayable, also add along into this mix Employment, and Job places that have now completely vanished.

    While this has been the same Story throughout the U.K. including Scotland, the largest movement of downwards pressure in property valuations have been in Kent and East Anglia, which along with their Ports at: Dover, and Harwich respectively being the Gate-Ways for any future Exports drives into Europe.

    Therefore, for future Export reasons if nothing else, any future either New Labour or Conservative Governments after the next General Election will focus their attention in trying too attract new business to these Areas first, for it is simply because these Areas are closest to the European Market place both by Road and Rail.

    You could say and you would be right, that at this Rate in any future listings Scotland waiting on Westminster to cut the mustard will once again take forever, and will once more never happen for the Scottish local business sectors, other than in meaningless hand-outs.

    But, don't worry for the North of England also has been going through the very same under-investments for years, as has Scotland with the North and South divide, including a widening of the gap between the Rich and Poor.

    Keep Scotland attached to Westminster purse-strings at your peril, so when will you ever learn?

    Complain about this comment

  • 420. At 02:02am on 06 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Dean, you ever think when you are constantly posting, having to defend the 'moderates' from association with the 'nutters' (I paraphrase) in your own party ... perhaps you are in the wrong party?

    Some of the stuff coming from the Tory High Command recently has been really nasty garbage. Nevermind Bella's unforgivable antics in the Scottish Parly ... what happened to those Tory MSPs with a conscience?

    I am sure I remember at least one speaking out in favour of Megrahi's release beforehand, but obviously he voted with the rest of the bovine crew. It is a sad day, Tories lowering themselves morally to the standards of what Brownedov correctly characterizes as the UNLib, UNDems!

    Explanatory note: (Labour - Chisholm aside, credit where it is due! - are amoral, rather than immoral), the concept is wholly foreign to them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 421. At 02:12am on 06 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    420. At 02:02am on 06 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood

    "Dean, you ever think when you are constantly posting, having to defend the 'moderates' from association with the 'nutters' (I paraphrase) in your own party ... perhaps you are in the wrong party?"

    There are moderates and 'nutters' in every party.

    As was dramatised on 'In the Thick of It', we moderates on all parties must defend our principals and values lest we see the rise of the nutters.
    I find it exhausting- but those nutters are in the wrong party, not me.

    Complain about this comment

  • 422. At 02:17am on 06 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    An interesting CNN report:
    UK minister: Oil deal considered in Lockerbie release

    'It means Britain -- not Scotland -- gave in to Libya's demands that al Megrahi be eligible for transfer, even while insisting that the actual decision about whether to transfer him would be Scotland's.'

    Complain about this comment

  • 423. At 02:18am on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #416. At 00:22am on 06 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Oops.

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

    Sometimes I wonder about that man. Does he have a death wish for his political party? Maybe he's severely depressed?

    Or is some of this less bizarre than it seems to me? I'll be happy to admit I'm likely to miss many underlying issues.

    Complain about this comment

  • 424. At 02:40am on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    I know this is off-topic but I can't help mentioning it as I pop a bottle of bubbly. This is a day some of us have prayed for in American. Some of the Bush administration MAY be held accountable for at least a few of their crimes against the citizens of this country at least.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/04/AR2009090403567.html?hpid=topnews

    It infuriates me that our Justice department under our current president is still defending these criminals, but at least a few of them may be held culpable for some of the damage they did. Not enough of them though--not enough.

    Complain about this comment

  • 425. At 02:42am on 06 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 423 JRMacClure

    'Maybe he's severely depressed'

    Whether he is or not; I don't know, but I do know that under his leadership and chancellorship he has left a huge slice of the UK totally depressed with his failed policies and backing of illegal wars. I hope he remains in power until the next GE as Scotland needs a dominant Tory party to take over so that we can move the independence debate forward apace. I hope that the voters in Scotland will remember the Labour MPs with their 'snouts in the trough' and maybe the SNP will get their majority in Holyrood come the Scottish elections.
    I suspect that, when the Tories take charge in Westminster after the GE, they, the Tories, will have to bring the budget deficit under control, which means severe cutbacks. This means that Scotland will see their Barnett 'pocket money' slashed too; just long enough in time for the Scottish elections and the Scottish voters to see how better it would be for us to relieve ourselves of the UK burden.

    Complain about this comment

  • 426. At 02:45am on 06 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Wrong party or not Dean, I have to say they look like a majority in the Tory fold to me, south of the border anyway.

    Complain about this comment

  • 427. At 02:57am on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #425. Sometimes I'd swear he has a political death wish. I'm not given to psychoanalyzing these people though--

    But then I have enough problems with my OWN politicians--not that I love claiming them. I USED to support Hillary Clinton. *bangs head on keyboard*

    Complain about this comment

  • 428. At 02:58am on 06 Sep 2009, foreignmac wrote:

    Hi, I like to read this blog sometimes. It reflects (to me) different views on the Scottish perspective. I spent quite a few years in Scotland, loved it, but will probably never go back (because I love where I am now). I would like to ask you bloggers one question if that's OK?
    Can you tell me please, why no-one is absolutely outraged by the statement made by Jack Straw?
    Is it now acceptable in the UK/Scotland that your politicians can blandly make deals trading convicted terrorists for oil/trade.
    Is this now morally acceptable? Is there no outrage? Has a new political line been drawn here?
    And one more question if I may. Where lies the moral ground now in the UK?
    Hopefully at least McAskill was a man of integrity. Otherwise all is lost. No?
    And no... I'm not American.

    Complain about this comment

  • 429. At 03:11am on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    428. I hope Americans are still allowed to comment. Otherwise I'm in trouble.

    Although obviously WE would never negotiate with terrorists. Or shelter them. *ducks incoming brickbats*

    I suspect if you're assuming a unified "UK/Scottish" opinion or moral ground, you may be making an invalid assumption.

    But that suspicion DOES come from an American, even if one who is frequently in Scotland and definitely WILL be going back, so you can dismiss it if you like. I'm sure the Scots on this blog can answer for themselves, but seeing as how it's 3am there--you may not get a lot of answers for a while.

    Complain about this comment

  • 430. At 03:36am on 06 Sep 2009, foreignmac wrote:

    JRM,
    When I say I probably won't go back, I meant to live there :-)
    Like yourself (I suspect) I love the place and the people (my wife is Scottish). I'm just astonished that, because there is no great protestation against this stance by Straw, that the people there accept this as reasonable. Can I ask you what you think?

    Complain about this comment

  • 431. At 03:40am on 06 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://www.snptacticalvoting.com/

    New Poll for Holyrood, much the same as before really.

    Complain about this comment

  • 432. At 03:41am on 06 Sep 2009, oldnat wrote:

    JRMacClure

    From the Washington Post article you linked to -

    "The Supreme Court in May rejected a case by another detainee, Javaid Iqbal, who was part of a large-scale roundup of Muslim men on immigration charges throughout the United States after the Sept. 11. attacks"

    I must admit I never knew of that, Clearly your government had learned nothing after the internment of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbour.

    To those of you who wanted me to keep posting - thanks. I'm not disappearing, simply that I need to be less obsessive about posting here. I'll continue to keep an eye on you guys :-) and if I think I can add something new, I'll do so.

    Complain about this comment

  • 433. At 03:50am on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #432. Oldnat! People were sure you said you weren't coming back, and I was hoping they were misinterpreting your comments. :-)

    #430. It's probably better for the Scots to answer. Frankly, I dispise the entire Labour government for kissing up to Americans while at the same time sneaking around doing this and that behind the backs of their own constituents. I rather suspect they'll get smacked down so hard in the next GE they'll bounce. I think that may be why you're seeing less comment than you might. They are almost written off.

    But--as I say, I have enough problems with the US government. I don't feel I can be too judgemental about someone else's either.

    Complain about this comment

  • 434. At 03:58am on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #432. What can I say? The government has learned nothing and continues to learn nothing. There was a time when I honestly thought that a change in administration or some political change in the US would make a difference. I was young and foolish and unbearably over-optimistic.

    I have given up on my own government in despair. From a life-long political activist...

    I understand about being obsessive. I'm severely procrastinating on an important project and need to stop myself. I need to start rationing my political posts. I'm glad you aren't disappearing and I know most other people feel the same.

    Complain about this comment

  • 435. At 04:17am on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #431. At 03:40am on 06 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    http://www.snptacticalvoting.com/

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

    There are several things to consider in that, it seems to me. One is that you have to look at the previous poll and see a trend and not a happy trend for the LibDems. I just wonder as well, has the SNP gone up because of the attacks on MacAskill or in spite of them?

    Other questions: Is it a trend that will continue? There are important issues raised in this parliament. How will they play out and affect the next election?

    Darling implying that the poor stupid Scots are incapable of considering more than one issue at a time is the kind of thing that does NOT make friends in Scotland (personal opinion, obviously).

    Fascinating possibilities. I'll be watching with intent interest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 436. At 08:32am on 06 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    The Sunday Herald contains a piece by Iain Mcwhirter that oozes desperation. It appears to heve been prepared some time ago when the expectation was that the SNP would be badly damaged if Megrahi were to be released.

    Macwirter's article contains the following statement in it's first paragraph:
    Well, Nationalism has seen better days. Megrahi's triumphant return to Libya outraged many Scots and, for the first time, a credibility gulf has opened up between Alex Salmond and the Scottish voters, many of whom refuse to believe that economic motives did not play a part in the Lockerbie bomber's compassionate release.[My Highlighting]

    The article is poor by Macwhirter's usual high standards with smears [Qatar], innuendo and conflation in place of actual fact and informed analysis. It does however provide an insight into how Unionists believe the Megrahi affair is now being played out.

    It also contains the now infamous 'defining moment' phrase - A phrase that Glenn Campbell probably now regrets due to it's unintentional accuracy.

    Click Here To Read

    Complain about this comment

  • 437. At 10:15am on 06 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Online_Ed re 436

    Like you I was surprised to read this article. I read it at about 10.00pm last night and at first I thought that it had been written last week and I had missed it.

    It goes against his last few articles, and as you say now has the appearance of this reporters wishful thinking rather than objective journalism.

    Do you think the Scottish journalists eg Macwhirters realize the game is up for the union and are now reporting what they would like to be the case rather than the actuality.

    P.S. I wonder if he had seen the latest YouGov poll before he wrote this?

    Complain about this comment

  • 438. At 10:17am on 06 Sep 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    #436 Online_Ed:

    The article is poor by Macwhirter's usual high standards

    Now that's where I'd disagree with you Online_Ed. I've never regarded MacWhirter's opinions, judgment or articles as high standard.

    I remember his cheerleading of Brown at the start of his premiership when even to casual observers of the political scene all the signs were that Brown couldn't handle bad news or difficult decisions or operate under pressure.

    Even before Brown became Prime Minister his nickname was "MacAvity" in the blogosphere because of his tendency to disappear when the going got rough and I've yet to see any Scottish political commentator refer to, far less explain, his week long disappearance after the SNP became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament in May 2007.

    MacWhirter is no friend to the SNP and his comments on the Megrahi affair have borne that out.

    If you want to read a really foaming anti-SNP rant which even outrants Jenny Hjul of the Times go and read Muriel Gray's article in the Sunday Herald. The poor standard of the A82 north beside Loch Lomond, the partial dualling of the A9 and the disaster of the Edinburgh trams are all "Eck's" fault. It's quite sad really. I used to quite admire her.

    Complain about this comment

  • 439. At 10:20am on 06 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 436 Online_Ed

    I agree with your assessment of this piece but there is a nice little nugget near the end which should bring heart to any independence waiverers:

    'Will the SNP win in 2011? Yes, I think they probably will. With a Conservative government in Westminster pushing through deep public-spending cuts, the SNP will be in a strong position to go into the 2011 election campaign defending Scottish jobs and services, especially if Labour is in disarray following a serious electoral defeat.'

    So, it's not all bad.

    Complain about this comment

  • 440. At 10:28am on 06 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 428 foreignmac

    'Is it now acceptable in the UK/Scotland that your politicians can blandly make deals trading convicted terrorists for oil/trade.'

    The deals were done by the UK government and not the Scottish government. Read any of the broadsheets and they will tell you the same thing. Also follow the link on my # 422.

    'Where lies the moral ground now in the UK?'

    Scotland in the form of Kenny MacAskill.

    Complain about this comment

  • 441. At 10:33am on 06 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Urgent message for Dean the Tory.

    In this "article" in the Scotsman there is a section about Cameron installing Wee Metal Micky, yes Scotlands friend Micheal Forsyth as Scottish Secretary.

    http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/opinion/The-road-to-the-ayes.5621612.jp

    Just in case you miss it Dean here is the wonderful news.

    "The Forysth plan is fascinating, particularly with rumours swirling around the Scottish Tory Party – admittedly mostly among Forsyth's friends – that the former Stirling MP could be chosen as Cameron's first Scottish secretary"

    If this is true, and yes Dean you will tell me it is only a rumour at the moment, this will cost the torys their only seat in the next general election.

    The man who destroyed the torys in Scotland brought back as a none elected Scottish Secretary of State, you could not make it up.

    Complain about this comment

  • 442. At 10:45am on 06 Sep 2009, gordon mccaskill wrote:

    It has been asked what Prime Minister Cameron could have done about the al-Megrahi release. Well, he could have prevented him leaving the country and had him re-arrested under the Defence of the Realm Act as in facthe could arrest the entire SNP administration under the same act for releasing him in the first place.

    Or, if Megrahi was successful in taking off, he could order the RAF to 'splash' the plane which I sure you would agree has a certain ironic symmetry.

    Complain about this comment

  • 443. At 10:56am on 06 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 441 dubbieside

    An interesting piece. If the Tories do bring in a referendum bill to out manoeuvre the SNP (you can be sure that the questions will be loaded) then AS will have a hard time, politically, fighting against it. AS will look, to the unimformed voting Scots, as if he is against a 'fair' say for the people of Scotland.
    Interesting times ahead.

    Complain about this comment

  • 444. At 11:17am on 06 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    I don't know if anyone has seen this statement by Al-Megrahi but it has been published on Al-Jazeerah:
    Al-Megrahi statement in full

    Complain about this comment

  • 445. At 11:25am on 06 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    gedguy2 re 443

    We know form the last (possibly the only) poll to ask the question about how you would vote in a referendum if the torys were in power in Westminster, that 25% would change their no vote to yes.

    Possibly the question that should be asked is "how would having Micheal Forsyth imposed on Scotland as Secretary of State change your vote in a referendum?"

    Picture the senario, none or very few tory MPs, and Wee Micheal looking after our "interests" Would you like to vote for independence or are you happy with eight to twelve years of "compassionate conservatism"

    Really tough choice.

    Bring it on, as someone once said.

    Complain about this comment

  • 446. At 11:33am on 06 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    The Conservatives, the most unpopular party in Scotland, the same party that many do not openly support, where their shadow cabinet minister for Scotland clearly believes that his assistant, 'Does not actually need information concerning Scotland' (his words for an advertisement) may undermine an SNP pledge for clear political advantage.

    How can the unionists assume the people of Scotland do not seek independence, they'll present every poll under the sun but they are refusing to accept the timing, wording etc of the referendum that the SNP promised, is it actually going to make a difference?

    I would love to see a dominant English party, which was against the creation of the Scottish Parliament leading the unionist force to prevent independence for the people of Scotland - interesting times indeed!

    I wonder if Cameron will promote Britishness too or shall they copy Labour's approach of insisting you can be Scottish and apart of the United Kingdom at the same time?

    Complain about this comment

  • 447. At 11:40am on 06 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Holyrood fury over FBI chief’s demands

    "THE FBI phoned a Scots police force in the middle of the night and demanded Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s address after he freed the Lockerbie bomber.

    The Lothian and Borders force was told at 2 am an official from the US Embassy wanted to deliver a letter from FBI Director Robert Mueller."


    Lockerbie Fallout: A (Fake) American Backlash

    Complain about this comment

  • 448. At 11:48am on 06 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Questions for Jack McConnell, Scotland’s former First Minister?

    Complain about this comment

  • 449. At 11:55am on 06 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

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

  • 450. At 12:03pm on 06 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 445 dubbieside

    Surely David Cameron can't be that stupid? It would make more sense to try and placate the Scots instead of the failed Labour policy of attacking the democratically elected of Scotland at every turn.
    I suspect he may give the Scots all they ask for short of full fiscal control and keep hold of Defence and foreign affairs. That might just be enough to keep the rebellious Scots in check.

    Complain about this comment

  • 451. At 12:16pm on 06 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 447 cynicalHighlander

    I have no reason to doubt the 'Sunday Post's' story but I find it incredible that the FBI would not, through their own agencies, be able to find out Kenny MacAskill's address without resorting to phoning up a police sergeant. Something doesn't ring true here. It sounds more like someone wants to stir things up.
    However, if this was the case then the US government has a lot to answer for if they think that we (Scots) are going to bend over because they (FBI) are angry at a judicial judgement in a foreign country who are historical friends of the USA. I wonder what the US Scots think of their FBI treating us in that manner?

    Complain about this comment

  • 452. At 12:29pm on 06 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    423. JRMacClure

    google notbornyesterday a direct link has not been approved.

    Complain about this comment

  • 453. At 12:30pm on 06 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    gedguy2 re 450

    Surely David Cameron can't be that stupid? As a well known footballer once said, maybe aye, maybe no.

    I doubt that his home counties base would let him do what you suggest, and I would suggest that keeping the home counties on side would be more important to him than any "rebellious Scots"

    Maybe it is contingency planning for having no Scottish MPs.

    Complain about this comment

  • 454. At 12:34pm on 06 Sep 2009, barbarian9 wrote:

    417. At 00:38am on 06 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:
    408. barbarian9
    "there is a lot of talent in the civil service, especially within IT and other areas. do we want to lose these people to other countries?"

    It must be incredibly well-hidden talent then.
    Why has there never been a Civil Service IT project that has come in anywhere near budget or timetable?
    Do you work for EDS?

    " some uk civil service stuff will go, such as MoD, quangos etc. the people who work there will have to be given assurances they will be able to get work in a similar field with at least a similar salary, if not pension. "
    Why? The rest of us have seen our pensions disappear, why should the civil servants be any different?

    ------

    wish I did work for EDS! Loadsamoney for little work. seriously though the problems with govt IT projects comes from poor project management stuctures and demands for the impossible. plus companies on govt contracts tend to stitch up the govt.

    i used to work for the civil service as a business analyst, and currently work in the private sector (not govt contracts mind!).

    there ARE talented individuals in the civil service. it is unfair to paint them all with the same brush.

    we need to get the support of a majority for independence, and that means attracting those who feel their livelihood is perhaps threatened. no doubt the "Grey Man" will spin fear into the masses. that has to be countered.

    but please don't start the "civil service are lazy incompetents" arguments. civil servants include police, fire, ambulance, nurses, doctors, binmen, street cleaners. how would we cope without them?

    once independence is achieved, then the cull can begin and we keep the efficient staff. the rules can be changed, but not yet. so things must be kept positive.

    Complain about this comment

  • 455. At 1:23pm on 06 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 453 dubbieside

    I have always believed that the majority of the Tories want to keep the union as it is. I have mentioned this before on this blog and I can't see David Cameron being stupid enough to agitate an already shakey political situation in Scotland. This is why I believe that he will say one thing to his 'Nutters' (as put by Dean) but do a deal with the Scots. To do a deal with an SNP government (assuming that the SNP gain a majority in Holyrood) it will have to be close to some form of Federalist system. I don't envy David Cameron's dilemma; which is that he might be the last PM in charge of the UK as Scotland leaves the Union.

    Complain about this comment

  • 456. At 1:36pm on 06 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    dubbieside 441.

    "The Forsyth plan"

    This I predict will not come about. It is clearly a plan B, for if there is no Mundel, or any othe Scottish Conservative MP. But this will not happen, Forsyth will not return. No worries.

    "Lamont, Lyburn, Dalrymple- these Scottish Conservative candidates SHALL all be elected, alongside Mr Mundel.

    No worries as I said.

    Besides, Cameron has more sense, this is merely an SNP pipedream I suspect.

    Thomas_Porter 446.

    "The Conservatives, the most unpopular party in Scotland"

    Just saying it doesnt make it true Thomas. To be honest I am surprised at you, and disapointed. I always counted on you as being fair.

    But this statement is totally untrue in the face of all emprirical evidence. For example, in polling averages, in regular poll findings we are always ahead of LibDems, and are a clear third.

    Infact, 21% of 18-35 year olds say they support the Scottish Conservatives, 20% nationally. Hardly "the most unpoplular". Is a party moving up in the polls 'more unpopular' in your judgement? Extraordinary.

    "the same party many do not openly support"

    Erm..I take it you are unfamiliar with the 20% YouGov poll in August? Or indeed all the polling data recorded on Electoral Calculus?
    It seems to me a lot of Scots are quite happy to publically support SCOTLANDS PARTY.

    But to be fair, there may be a shy tory factor, so perhaps we are on 22% or 23% in reality?

    Complain about this comment

  • 457. At 2:14pm on 06 Sep 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #456 deanthetory
    Just for your info I have been trying to back transform the SNP's YouGov figures for the Constituency and Regional figures on their website and get a Westminster "poll" of 20:30:16:28:6 for C:L:D:S:O. I don't think there is evidence for the "shy tory" effect, if anything the Tory vote is only marginally better than the LibDem's in its propensity to stray. The people with the "best" core vote are Labour.

    The really odd thing about the polls is that they are all showing that the LibDem vote is nearly halved since 2005 and nobody is commenting on it. They do have 12 Westminster seats, that's more than the SNP and Torys put together. As northhighlander said - up here they all vote liberal and I dont know why - what happens when this stops?

    Complain about this comment

  • 458. At 2:22pm on 06 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    DeanTheTory:

    "Just saying it doesnt make it true Thomas. To be honest I am surprised at you, and disapointed. I always counted on you as being fair."

    I am talking about as an overview of the Westminister make-up. It's not a secret that the Conservative struggle, especially in Scotland.

    "Infact, 21% of 18-35 year olds say they support the Scottish Conservatives, 20% nationally. Hardly "the most unpoplular". Is a party moving up in the polls 'more unpopular' in your judgement? Extraordinary."

    Again, I was talking about Westminister, individuals vote differently according to Westminister elections, so Scottish Conservatives would be irrelevent as David Cameron would be the Tory image, a British image. Although I would expect David Cameron to be in Scotland a few times to show support, but we shall see.

    "Erm..I take it you are unfamiliar with the 20% YouGov poll in August? Or indeed all the polling data recorded on Electoral Calculus?
    It seems to me a lot of Scots are quite happy to publically support SCOTLANDS PARTY."

    Your words, saying it does not make it true. It's astonishing that the Conservatives and UNIONISTS to claim to be one nations party, I can understand that the Scottish Conservatives claim to be Scotlands party but lets not fool ourselves as they are a wing to the main Conservative group.

    Besides what about Britain and Britishness? Is there no longer a common identity that binds the people of these islands together, isn't the Conservatives suppose to represent that bond? I am confused thesedays, has the British became extinct? Labour have banged on about being Scottish while apart of the union, your suggesting people represent the Scottish Conservatives (ignoring the 'unionist' part).

    Complain about this comment

  • 459. At 2:50pm on 06 Sep 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    deanthetory re 456

    I have no worries about Forsyth, I would look forward to it.

    It does not matter if it will happen or not, the very threat of it gives us good ammunition on the doorsteps, and before you start jumping up and down, remember Bella with her Abu Dhabi tale where a meeting with them in June turned into another Lockerbie story.

    At best you may need a tandem for your MPs, a mini no chance.

    Complain about this comment

  • 460. At 3:00pm on 06 Sep 2009, U14125311 wrote:

    deanthetory:

    Any idea when the Tories will make themselves electable once again, by dumping the unpalatable Call Me Dave in favour of Mekon-lookalike William Hague?

    Complain about this comment

  • 461. At 4:03pm on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #442. At 10:45am on 06 Sep 2009, MagisterIlluminatus wrote:

    It has been asked what Prime Minister Cameron could have done about the al-Megrahi release. Well, he could have prevented him leaving the country and had him re-arrested under the Defence of the Realm Act as in facthe could arrest the entire SNP administration under the same act for releasing him in the first place.
    --------------------------

    Oh, arresting the Scottish government would have made a pretty scandle. That would have gone over WELL with the voters in Scotland.

    That, my friend, is one of the prettiest scenarios I could possibly imagine. Oh, my. But then rumor has it that Mr. Cameron cares naught for Scotland anyway, so perhaps he would arrest the Scottish government.

    The mind boggles. What boggles even mor is that you consider this, as far as I can tell, an attractive scenario. It would certainly have guaranteed an SNP controlled Holyrood--unless it also involved dissolving that body.

    *chuckles* Despotism is always attractive to some people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 462. At 4:11pm on 06 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

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

  • 463. At 4:21pm on 06 Sep 2009, InfrequentAllele wrote:

    Dear God. Michael Forsyth as Scottish Secretary of State... back from the grave. It would be like living in one of those George Romero zombie movies. I tend to agree with Deanthetory and think it will never happen - surely they can't be that insensitive to Scottish feelings? But then I remind myself we are dealing with a political party which still worships Attila the Handbag and which thought that Cameron's "tough stance" on Megrahi would cause Scots who disagreed with MacAskill's decision to flock en masse to the Tory party. They don't inhabit the same mental universe as the rest of us.

    A large majority of Scottish Conservatives want to preserve the Union. But English Conservatives are far less concerned to maintain the Union than their Scottish counterparts. The average English Conservative doesn't care, is not interested, and resents it deeply when Scotland forces its way to the top of the political agenda. As far as they are concerned we are essentially a bunch scroungers who should be grateful for what we're given. They sincerely believe that Scotland is only in the Union out of the essential goodness of the English heart. They are convinced we get special treatment and extra lollipops. They just want Scotland to shut up. If "shutting up" means "shut up and go away" they can live with that. The Tories will be prepared to transfer all sorts of powers to Holyrood in return for our nominal and limited representation at Westminster, as long as we agree to behave like picturesque peasants who provide a dash of colour to the tapestry of Britishness.

    What they won't be prepared to do is to stop most Scottish revenues flowing to Westminster. They'll allow us control of Income Tax, perhaps of VAT and National Insurance too, they won't allow us direct control of oil revenues. After all, someone's got to pay for the Olympics, London Crossrail, and a high speed railway to Birmingham. They won't agree to us telling them where to stick Trident missiles. They won't agree to Scottish control of immigration policy. They certainly won't allow us to negotiate separately with the EU on matters like fisheries. It will be a typically Blair/Cameron sort of deal - all style but no substance, a cack-handed tinkering in the typical British constitutional tradition. And it will all end in tears - for the Tories and the Union at any rate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 464. At 4:23pm on 06 Sep 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    I have read that the Question posed by some is: Can David Camerom be that Stupid?
    Well, given that he is the Leader of the Conservative Party at Westminster, then by this default he must be, and as for some vain ideas that the Tory's will be bringing back once more Michael Forsyth in some Ground breaking event.

    Then indeed, let the Ground break from under Forsyth, and let he be swallowed. This should give Camerom someone to hold onto.

    Complain about this comment

  • 465. At 4:42pm on 06 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    461. At 4:03pm on 06 Sep 2009, JRMacClure

    "But then rumor has it that Mr. Cameron cares naught for Scotland anyway, so perhaps he would arrest the Scottish government."

    You would do well not to listen to everything you hear!

    Complain about this comment

  • 466. At 5:23pm on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #456 An interesting and articulate comment as usual, Deanthetory, but as is so often the case with politics as you lot play them, you left me a bit confused.

    Is not the conservative party properly known as the Conservative & Unionist Party?

    *scratches head* Doesn't that actually make it the BRITISH PARTY. Surely for a unionist party that is something to brag about and not pretend otherwise. You are a unionist are you not? It's not like there is anything wrong with that. Why pretend otherwise then?

    What was the voting record of the members of the Conservative & Unionist Party on devolution?

    Complain about this comment

  • 467. At 5:40pm on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #465. At 4:42pm on 06 Sep 2009, deanthetory wrote:

    461. At 4:03pm on 06 Sep 2009, JRMacClure

    "But then rumor has it that Mr. Cameron cares naught for Scotland anyway, so perhaps he would arrest the Scottish government."

    You would do well not to listen to everything you hear!

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

    You might re-read friend Magister's comments. I didn't see you saying that was a terrible thing to impute to the Conservative & Unionist Party.

    How else would he stop Mr. MacAskill from freeing Mr. al-Megrahi as he said he would have? Actually, isn't dissolving Holyrood within the powers of Whitehall? That would seem more effective than arresting the government after the fact--assuming Mr. Cameron was telling the truth that he would have stopped it. And I am inclined to believe him. Perhaps you're saying that I am wrongly taking him at his word?

    As for his caring naught for Scotland, I consider him a political pragmatist. He gets little or nothing from Scotland except what must be, to him, headaches is an analysis I've seen of the situation. I paraphrased the opinions I've seen rather baldly, but what political reason does he have to appease Scots or give them what they want especially in view of the fact that this is likely to displease the Home Counties?

    Complain about this comment

  • 468. At 5:41pm on 06 Sep 2009, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 463 InfrequentAllele

    'Attila the Handbag'

    Lol

    Complain about this comment

  • 469. At 5:46pm on 06 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

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

  • 470. At 5:48pm on 06 Sep 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:

    Has anybody seen this little snippet in The Scotland on Sunday:

    Fury as Diageo scoops $2bn in US taxes to move plant.

    I saw the headline I nearly fell over, but it is not about what the headline suggests.

    Complain about this comment

  • 471. At 6:59pm on 06 Sep 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #466 JRMacClure

    I'm with you on that one JR. Its always puzzled me how there is the "Scottish Conservatives", "Scottish Labour", "Scottish LibDems". If these parties don't think we should be independent and stay part of the UK then why is there separate "Scottish" factions within their set-ups. They should just be called Conservatives, Labour and LibDems with no Scottish leader and hierachy. Why do they need it if they are all British. They can add Scottish to their names after independence if they want but until then.... Double standards I think. No they can't be Scottish if they don't think we should be independent - they are Brits and don't any of you try to deny it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 472. At 8:01pm on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #471. I don't understand why they would try to deny it. Isn't being British supposed to be a good thing (well, to the unionists anyway)? Aren't they proud of being unionists? It's even part of the party name.

    I have friends who are unionists as well as friends who are nationalists. I don't fault either opinion, hardly my right anyway, but it does seem to me that some politicians may be trying to play both sides of the street.

    It's a tactic as old as politics. Say one thing to one group and another to a different group.

    Complain about this comment

  • 473. At 8:11pm on 06 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    454. barbarian9
    "wish I did work for EDS! Loadsamoney for little work. seriously though the problems with govt IT projects comes from poor project management stuctures and demands for the impossible. plus companies on govt contracts tend to stitch up the govt."

    And I would respond that it is a Civil Service failure (at whatever level) not to allow such stitch-ups and to ensure that the project management structures are robust and realistic. I don't work for EDS either btw. I was briefly sub-contracted to them once, though.
    There should be a new offence of "Economic Crimes against the State" EDS management would be worried.

    "there ARE talented individuals in the civil service. it is unfair to paint them all with the same brush."
    That was unfair of me and I was perhaps painting with too broad a brush, The mods didn't like what I had to say here and the security failures are well-documented.
    If I have any choice at all these days, I will refuse work with the Civil Service.
    "we need to get the support of a majority for independence, and that means attracting those who feel their livelihood is perhaps threatened. no doubt the "Grey Man" will spin fear into the masses. that has to be countered."
    Indeed, however reality is going to have to be faced sooner or later.

    "but please don't start the "civil service are lazy incompetents" arguments. civil servants include police, fire, ambulance, nurses, doctors, binmen, street cleaners. how would we cope without them?"
    I refer mostly to the chair-bound penpushers of the DWP, DTI, MOD etc etc , yes police, fire, ambulance, nurses, doctors, binmen, street cleaners are civil servants but not Civil Service if you take my meaning.
    Having said that we could do with a bit more efficiency from the police. For all the shouting and bawling about 1000 extra police officers, we could have got the same result by making sure that the police themselves work harder and smarter. The no off on sick-leave is a disgrace for one thing. Many of those on sickleave are perfectly able to carry on with their part-time jobs. I was told by a senior officer that at any one time, he only has 1 in 13 of his staff actually on the beat or in a car. If that was the private sector, the enterprise would have collapsed a long while ago. As Kenny McAskill himself commented, Strathclyde are whining about their budget again whilst paying £50k for another press officer. Just what do the police need a press officer(aka official liar) for anyway? Their job is to keep the peace, not manipulate the news. The Chief Constable, in addition to his ~£150k salary, is getting £65k in bonuses this year. Why? On £150k his bonus should be not getting sacked. Or charged with "Economic Crimes against the State" :-)


    However you are correct, let's not scare the civil servants, my rant was being counter-productive.

    Complain about this comment

  • 474. At 8:19pm on 06 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    471. At 6:59pm on 06 Sep 2009, fifebirder
    472. At 8:01pm on 06 Sep 2009, JRMacClure

    Are you two seriously saying that a political party is only Scottish if it believes in independence? This is narrow minded in the extreme.

    Fifebirder when you say "They can add Scottish to their names after independence if they want but until then.... Double standards I think. No they can't be Scottish if they don't think we should be independent" you are actually articulating a view that I am not Scottish because I believe that the best way to directly aid our peoples quality of life is through Union rather than disunion.

    How dare you, and any of your allies tell me I am un-Scottish because I do not agree with your narrow-minded attitudes of what constitutes Scottish. I am Scottish, and I will ALWAYS put the best interests of the Scottish people first, before ideology; and yes that includes the ideology of independence no matter the cost.

    My opinion of you fifebirder, and you JRMacClure is non-existant, the blind offensiveness of telling me I am not Scottish because of my political stance in regards to independence is perhaps the true face of modern Scots, Nationalism.

    Complain about this comment

  • 475. At 8:35pm on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #474. Hmmmm If you can show where I made ANY personal comment about you, then I'll apologize, Deanthetory because I do not believe that I did.

    I do have to question why you would consider being called British an insult. Isn't that what the union was supposed to bring about? Everyone being British, above and beyond any regional identification?

    Since when is being called British a deadly insult to unionists? I really thought that was the point of the whole thing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 476. At 8:48pm on 06 Sep 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    474 deanthetory:
    471 fifebirder:
    472 JRMacClure:

    There is the Conservative Party, the Labour Party and the Liberal-Democrat Party.

    You will find all these registered within the Electoral Commission Register.

    What you will not find in the register are the "Scottish Conservatives", "Scottish Labour Party" or the "Scottish Liberal-Democrats" as registered and distinct parties.

    However, "Scottish Conservatives" is a registered Party Description for the Conservative Party, "Scottish Labour Party" is a registered Party Description for the Labour Party and "Scottish Liberal Democrats" is a registered Party Description for the Liberal Democrats.

    In the last Euro elections registered Party Descriptions were not allowed, only genuine party names could go on the ballot paper and the "Scottish Conservatives", "Scottish Labour Party" and the "Scottish Liberal-Democrats" disappeared from the ballot paper to be replace by the correct party names, "The Conservative Party", the "Labour Party" and the "Liberal-Democrats".

    To put it in a nutshell, the "Scottish Conservatives", "Scottish Labour Party" and the "Scottish Liberal-Democrats" are marketing labels only. They are not real parties and are not recognised as such by the Electoral Commission and were not allowed on the last Euro ballot paper nor will they appear on future ballot papers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 477. At 8:50pm on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #474 Let me say, further, that I do not believe in personal attacks over politics. People can and do have widely divergent opinions over politics and be perfectly nice people on all sides.

    I DO know people who were born in Scotland who consider themselves British first and put Britain before Scotland at least on a national level. If you are saying that makes them bad people for some reason, Deanthetory, I will strongly disagree with you.

    My comments were limited to some politicians and political parties which seem to say one thing in Scotland and a different thing somewhere else. If you take your politics so personally that you would take that as a personal insult, I really can't help with that. In fact, I have no opinion whatsoever about you personally.

    Complain about this comment

  • 478. At 8:52pm on 06 Sep 2009, barbarian9 wrote:

    473. At 8:11pm on 06 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry:

    mice idea on the EDS!

    the police thing is slightly worrying. we have the extra ones as promised (thankfully). but a teeny weeny bit worried from rumour control. it seems that police training has been changed or reduced to ensure the extra numbers are there. don't know the truth but we need it cleared up one way or the other.

    as for the press office......senior officers are trained to deal with the press. so why not give them extra training with only one main press officer who is a journalist?

    not been here long, but wondering why someone thinks the tories have a chance up here. i like annabel but she needs to get something done about cameron down south. if only boris was in charge :) i dont vote for him but he's better than most.


    Complain about this comment

  • 479. At 8:54pm on 06 Sep 2009, northhighlander wrote:

    Re 381

    I don't expect every detail, but at least maybe some thinking on how we would use the new powers, how it would make a difference because at present I see it costing a whole lot of money and politicians going into overdrive reorganising everything adding to the debt pile and doing very little on the issues that they should be dealing with. I don't want more holyroods.

    You don't have to stretch your imagination far to visualise that. Even for someone with a narrow view of the world this should be easily recognised.

    So no I don't want a lot of detail, but if you are unable to articulate any detail it tells me there is little substance behind your verbosity.

    To be honest this blog is boring when it discusses independence because it lacks any debate, opinions are too entrenched. Look at the treatment of Dean, typical if you are not pro independence you are a traitor. A regular feature of the debate on these pages unfortunately, the unpleasant side of nationalism, but in reality the true underbelly of nationalism. Debate is only possible with those prepared to at least accept the validity of another opinion.

    Anyway in truth ultra nats only want one thing and honestly I believe are blinded to the reality of the situation. So In all honesty you are not worth the bother. Excuse me I have got some paint to watch drying.

    Complain about this comment

  • 480. At 8:55pm on 06 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    Dean, Dean, old chap... Cool the beans my boy..
    We are not saying YOU are not Scottish, The point is that the parties have no right to call themselves Scotish. They are simply adjuncts of larger UK organisations. And as a result they CANNOT "ALWAYS put the best interests of the Scottish people first, before ideology"

    So the "Scottish Conservative Party" is a non-sequiter. It can only be described as the Scottish Region of the Conservative Party. And similary for Labour and the LDs.

    No-one is impugning YOU, though we do have doubts about your choice of political vehicle.

    Complain about this comment

  • 481. At 8:56pm on 06 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    475. JRMacClure

    I think its called identity crisis as they actually don't really understand were there loyalty/power lies the state or their country.

    Complain about this comment

  • 482. At 9:02pm on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    #476. At 8:48pm on 06 Sep 2009, DougtheDug wrote:

    474 deanthetory:
    471 fifebirder:
    472 JRMacClure:

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

    Some very interesting and well-taken points, Doug.

    Let me point out that I didn't go into whether there was a Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party. My point was solely that being Unionist is part of the party label and I wondered why someone would act as though that's something to be ashamed of.

    Like most Americans, you folks confuse me no end. I really make a serious effort to understand your politics but they make look American politics look like play time at kindergarten for complexity. (I think parliamentary systems are by nature more complex)

    Seriously, no insult was intended. I was NOT saying Deanthetory was a bad person--or un-Scottish for that matter. I certainly have no idea how Scottish he may or may not be.

    Complain about this comment

  • 483. At 9:14pm on 06 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    479. northhighlander
    Is it puce?

    When I think of you , the colour puce springs to mind. That and second-hand pakora sauce.

    Complain about this comment

  • 484. At 9:22pm on 06 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    479. northhighlander
    "Anyway in truth ultra nats only want one thing and honestly I believe are blinded to the reality of the situation. So In all honesty you are not worth the bother. Excuse me I have got some paint to watch drying."

    Excuse me people in the past have answered your queries and you have been given sympathetic replies (admittedly not by myself) and then you regurgitate these same complaints further down the line as if they have not been logically rebutted.

    You have complained that central government is not offering help in your local economy, my rebuttal to that would be are ALL the locals in your area sourcing their individual needs from that area before looking elsewhere. Because if not why should the rest of the country subsidise yourselves so that you can have everything as cheaply as possible. We buy as much local produce as possible to keep the wealth within the area and only outsource items unavailable otherwise.

    Complain about this comment

  • 485. At 9:27pm on 06 Sep 2009, InfrequentAllele wrote:

    479.

    Funny how anyone who disagrees with you is an "ultranat" with a restricted world view. I don't need to prove my cosmopolitan credentials to you or anyone else. I am not a nationalist of any hue and am no great fan of the SNP. However it's precisely because I am NOT a nationalist that I want Scottish independence. I've seen no evidence that your powers of reasoning are advanced enough to process that concept.

    So yes, discussing anything much with you is most likely to prove futile. But that would be down to your shortcomings, not mine.

    Complain about this comment

  • 486. At 9:55pm on 06 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    485. InfrequentAllele
    Beautifully put.

    482 JR MacClure

    Dean The Tory is a nice guy, far too nice to be a Tory and would appear to have as much right to call himself a Scot as any on here. A somewhat misguided nice guy, nonetheless.
    On the other hand, Northhighlander is just a serial moaner who has been found out as intellectually wanting and is now throwing his toys out of the pram. As such he resorts to telling us all how bored he is with us and runs away. Somewhat reminiscent of the Magister, in fact but without quite the same degree of superciliousness.
    He'll be back, of that I have little doubt.
    I would far rather derekbarker returned.

    Complain about this comment

  • 487. At 10:02pm on 06 Sep 2009, Tom wrote:

    NorthHighlander:

    #479.

    "A regular feature of the debate on these pages unfortunately, the unpleasant side of nationalism, but in reality the true underbelly of nationalism."

    This comment is one of the most cheeky, I've seen in a long time! NorthHighlander has used the treatment of Dean as a fine example, one person said something that offended Dean and NorthHighlander is using it as a point, as to why nationalism is apparently unpleasant by sweeping us all with one brush!

    I could say unionists are narrow minded and full of nothing else apart from ignorance, however I am not going to go to your level because I know people like you with those ways of thinkings are a small minority.

    Do you understand the word minority? It's when one person or group does not represent the majority of individuals. So I would appreciate it that you do not use one person as an example of Scottish nationalism.


    However I believe I made an interesting point in #458, lets forget that the Scottish parts of the British parties are simple wings of the British party but should the Conservatives not be British considering the groups called Conservative and Unionist party?

    Complain about this comment

  • 488. At 10:05pm on 06 Sep 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    northhighlander wrote:
    Look at the treatment of Dean, typical if you are not pro independence you are a traitor...

    OK, which one of you 'ultra's' called nice Mr northlighlander a traitor?

    Anyway, the reason I've logged in again is to ask if anyone can confirm a comment from a few days ago that suggested Elaine C Smith had been replaced at the Sunday Mail by Jackie Bird due to her views on Megrahi.

    Smith's last column was Aug 2nd whilst Bird's first was Aug 16th. The suggestion was that it had something to do with the Megrahi release but the dates don't add up as he wasn't released until the 20th.

    Complain about this comment

  • 489. At 10:07pm on 06 Sep 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #474 deanthetory
    #476 DougtheDug

    Doug thanks for the info.

    Dean, I never said you weren't Scottish, I only question why the Conservatives, Labour and LibDems have separate Scottish leaders and hierachy if they don't believe that Scotland is a different country. Surely it can all be run from their central offices in London just like they want us to continue to be run from Westminster.
    You and all the Unionists are British and if you feel that is an insult then you should be questioning your own party allegiance. I would take offence at being called British as I'm Scottish and desperate to belong to an independent nation.
    My personal view is that if you are Scottish then you should want to determine your own country's future and not be controlled by Westminster. Its as if you are saying that you don't have the confidence in Scotlands abilities so surely you can't be proud to be solely Scottish or is it that you need some 'grown-up Westminster' politician to take your hand and think for you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 490. At 10:24pm on 06 Sep 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Well, perhaps it's that I am accustomed to a more federalist setup which I realize the UK is not, but it would seem to me that anyone who is a unionist would have their first loyalty to the union.

    That doesn't mean they might not consider themselves Scottish on a secondary level. But at some point inevitably the needs of the union and the needs of Scotland are going to diverge.

    An issue like that might be Tridents in Scotland. This might well be good for the UK and bad for Scotland. (I don't know the issues in depth well enough to say for sure but it seems possible) This is a pretty important issue. And I think someone who is British (NOT an insult for heaven's sake) would have to put the good of the entire nation over the good of a single region.

    Why this would make them bad people, I don't understand. It simply has to do with which is their primary loyalty. If their primary loyalty is not to the UNITED Kingdom, then -- why are they unionists?

    I have never said or implied that this made someone a bad person or even un-Scottish. I know quite a number of Scots who look at it that way; they think of themselves as British first. Nothing wrong with that.

    But it does seem to me that there is a problem with political parties that claim to put the needs of Scotland first when they're north of the border and say otherwise when they're south. This is entirely an issue of political honesty. As is often the case the term 'political honesty' is an oxymoron.

    Complain about this comment

  • 491. At 10:51pm on 06 Sep 2009, RandomScot wrote:

    @417 Sgt_Furry

    May I respectfully suggest that you are not completely informed on the this topic. I understand that in part this is because civil Servants are not allowed to respond.

    Contracts to the likes of EDS, Cap Gemini, Logica etc are not the start and end of IT in the Government. There is an awful lot of IT workers in Public Sector employ, creating networks, applications and proviging support sometimes even with success.

    The cult of the outside contractor/firm came in with the Tories, who believed that there is nothing in like that private endeavours could not do better than state organisations ([cough] banks) and has continued the same under New Labour.

    Complain about this comment

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

    #409
    Thomas_Porter
    Afghanistan does not have oil, but its got huge reserves of natural gas I have been told

    However the Central Asian Republics have vast amounts of oil and with Russia on one side and China on the other the only way for the West to guarantee access to Central Asian Oil is through Afghanistan!
    That's the name of the game.

    Complain about this comment

  • 493. At 11:13pm on 06 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    Moon should be made of chocolate, says Labour.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/8239783.stm

    Complain about this comment

  • 494. At 11:20pm on 06 Sep 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    The Tories are the most unpopular party in Scotland (even in these days of Labour incompetence at 'G'B level), if you were able to vote for one party and specifically against another they were garner most votes in the second poll ... now there is an idea dean: actually coming first for once! ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 495. At 11:28pm on 06 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    489. At 10:07pm on 06 Sep 2009, fifebirder

    "Dean, I never said you weren't Scottish, I only question why the Conservatives, Labour and LibDems have separate Scottish leaders and hierachy if they don't believe that Scotland is a different country."

    Very well, I shall take you at your word that no offence was intended, as I believe you to be a nice guy.

    Why have 'Scottish' Conservative leaders? Or even the 'Scottish' part at all? Well, we were once an independent party, which agreed to take the Conservative whip, but we merged, and took the operating title of Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party up here. It is important to highlight our seperate party history, traditions, and more importantly, different party instincts on many issues.

    It is naturally also convienient as a 'marketing' theme when we compete in elections up here; but this is and always shall be a secondary concern.

    "My personal view is that if you are Scottish then you should want to determine your own country's future and not be controlled by Westminster"

    It's about pragmatism- what best answers this question "what will make the Scottish people better off", and for me the answer remains continued Union.
    It is not a statement on if Scotland can handle things on its own, of course it can- and did pre-union. But in order raise standards of living, to improve public services etc- it makes sense to gain access to English resources too, and Welsh , and Northern Irish. The same applies to them, the pot of resources to spend, coordinate etc is inhanced for the Scottish peoples needs by remaining in the Union.

    It is not a comment on grown-up politics or the like, its a choice based on my own interpretation of the facts.

    Complain about this comment

  • 496. At 11:33pm on 06 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    480 Sgt_Furry
    476 DougtheDug
    477 JRMacClure

    Very well, your all nice guys and I will take your word that no offence was intended.

    But the "i have no opinon about you whatsoever" is suspiciously insultish, but I will put it down to levity? ;)

    Oh and I enjoyed returning to read "Dean The Tory is a nice guy, far too nice to be a Tory and would appear to have as much right to call himself a Scot as any on here. A somewhat misguided nice guy, nonetheless."

    A mix of compliment and insult, but a good mix nonetheless. Thanks?

    Complain about this comment

  • 497. At 11:41pm on 06 Sep 2009, portcharlotte wrote:

    Anyone like to comment on the Economist's article 'A dream fades' refering to independence and the fall out from the Megrahi affair see

    http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14376528

    These articles usually have more sense that the average broadsheet but what do you think this time.


    Complain about this comment

  • 498. At 11:50pm on 06 Sep 2009, Sgt_Furry wrote:

    491. RandomScot
    I can only speak as I find and it appears to me that if there is great IT talent within the Civil Service, its light is hidden under a very bushy bushel indeed.
    At project level, they seem to be unable to stop EDS etc walking all over them. They procure the latest kit and software when in many cases all that is needed is a terminal session, basic email and browser. Very often that kit is delivered and sits for months before it is deployed. At one large office in Dundee, 600 desktops were replaced and brand new CRT monitors installed. 6 weeks later, we were back, swapping the monitors for flat screens. The now second-hand CRTs could not be given away, they were now effectively worthless. THe same scenario occurred at several other DWP offices all over the UK. At implementation, the local offices are frequently unprepared when moves and changes occur leading to expensive delays. Back when I was working deskside, I and my team often had to explain the simplest concepts to the staff as they complained they had no-one to give them basic support.
    Perhaps I have just been unlucky in not meeting the right IT Civil Servants, but it's been a remarkably consistent run of bad luck.

    Yes you are totally correct about the cult of the outside contractor but thats as much the fault of the Civil Service for not doing something about it. Its not as if they haven't got the purchasing power.

    Complain about this comment

  • 499. At 11:54pm on 06 Sep 2009, Dean MacKinnon-Thomson wrote:

    497. At 11:41pm on 06 Sep 2009, portcharlotte

    I am familiar with the polls mentioned in the article; and I think the YouGov sample size was in the region of 1,070 more or less. So it can be regarded as representative, within the usual 3%+- naturally.

    But to say the "dream is dead" is a little premature of the Economist I fear.
    The SNP are on 26% according the the YouGov poll from late August, however this is still up on the previous 25% recorded right after the Megrahi decision was announced. I am sure that the SNP will continue to rebuilt strength upto 27-29% by October.
    The Economist makes conclusions without perhaps considering the long term SNP trend, and it should be cause for optimism for Scottish Nationalist supporters, as there is no way they will remain on 26%, and Labour on 30% nationally (to Scotland).

    Yet the article is correct when it says that the announcement of the independence referendum bill was overshadowed, but this was inevitable. But in every situation there is cause for optimism again for the SNP, for Margo MacDonalds condemnation of the proposed holding of the referendum was overshadowed too.

    Complain about this comment

  • 500. At 00:02am on 07 Sep 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    497. portcharlotte
    "These articles usually have more sense that the average broadsheet but what do you think this time."

    Not a lot as they appear to be trying to muddy the waters.

    PB

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

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

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