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All must have prizes

Brian Taylor | 16:25 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

Just back from the Big Debate.

No, not that one. My very own Big Debate on the wireless, this week a constituency hustings from Kelso.

It was lively with an excellent audience who applauded and jeered with defiant abandon.

And that was only in response to the introduction. So what did you make of the other gig in Manchester? Most commentators and snap polls called it for Nick Clegg.

For myself, I thought it was a decent watch despite the party-imposed constraints such as the ban on applause.

Devolved territories

We know Alex Salmond's perspective upon the debate.

He billed it as "three machine politicians with nothing to say to three countries", referring to the devolved territories.

Now Labour reckons this was a "gaffe" by A. Salmond because his comments "suggest that he watched" the debate. (He had previously dismissed it as irrelevant.)
For pity's sake, of course he watched the debate.

Yes, his public comments have veered from demanding participation to playing down the relevance of the process.

As previously noted here, the Salmond strategy - born of necessity - is to suggest that the SNP campaign is somehow a different creature, distinct from customary, flawed politics.

But this was a substantive element of an election campaign in which the party he leads was participating. So he tuned in. There may well be gaffes galore in this election. That was not one of them.

Serious times

As to the participating parties, the LibDems are understandably chuffed at the apparent response to their man.

David Cameron acknowledged that Mr Clegg had a good showing but insisted that "a plague on both your houses" was a relatively easy message to sell.

The Tories said their man showed he was ready to govern, with ideas aplenty.

Team Brown reckoned the night indicated that their contender had the serious agenda for serious times.

All have won and all must have prizes.

PS: My BBC Radio Scotland debate is in Stornoway next Friday for another constituency hustings. If you want to take part, email brian@bbc.co.uk

Comments

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  • 1. At 4:39pm on 16 Apr 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    All debates are equal - but some debates are more equal than others it seems.

    Newsnet Scotland

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  • 2. At 4:43pm on 16 Apr 2010, sheena Wright wrote:

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

  • 3. At 4:58pm on 16 Apr 2010, minuend wrote:

    http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=117:leaders-debate-democracy-turns-to-ashes-as-irrelevants-not-welcome&catid=4:speakers&Itemid=3

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  • 4. At 5:05pm on 16 Apr 2010, cwh wrote:

    Mr Taylor wrote: "Now Labour reckons this was a "gaffe" by A. Salmond because his comments "suggest that he watched" the debate."

    This is Labour's gaffe - Mr Salmond broadcast his comments BEFORE the debates e.g Channel 4 at 7.55 and on other channels too.

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  • 5. At 5:08pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    May I once again remind everyone of the need to submit a formal complaint to Ofcom regarding last night's rigged Party Election Broadcast. Contact details can be found here.

    You may also find the following useful -

    Ofcom rules on Party Political and Referendum Broadcasts

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  • 6. At 5:13pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

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

  • 7. At 5:14pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:

    Hmm... I felt David Cameron lacked real substance, or at least showed it more so compared to Clegg and Brown. I feel Brown made improvements with the more happy and generally more relaxed Brown, who was able to make several jokes. However I feel this can come over as bullying so I suspect many may have been put off. Nick Clegg came off better from Cameron and Brown but certainly not morally better, the Liberal Democrats want to offer the right to settle in the UK to all current illegal settlers. It's usually reffered to as amnesty but the word never left Cleggs mouth despite being a major policy since we're talking many, many thousands of people. It was dishonest and dangerous.

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  • 8. At 5:17pm on 16 Apr 2010, Colin Taylor wrote:

    Scotland will have separate debates. But wait, they are not separate at all, they are IN ADDITION TO the main debates!

    Only in Scotland can we proclaim democracy and yet let the opposition appear in more debates than the party of government.

    Basic maths, and also shameful.

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  • 9. At 5:19pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    "We know Alex Salmond's perspective upon the debate."

    Indeed we do. I wonder what reaction there has been to Salmond's broadcast yesterday evening. Nothing from the Tory/BLP alliance, of course, as they are still desperately trying to pretend that the SNP doesn't exist. Any comment in the press?

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  • 10. At 5:45pm on 16 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    As far as I can see the only real winners are the independence parties who were excluded from the leaders debate. So what if Clegg has a little booster? It will probably be short lived but, if not, it will draw from both English Labour and from English Tory. However, the excluded parties will probably pick up votes due to people not being keen to have their parties or countries slighted. What I find strange is that the English MPs seemed pleased enough to be slighted. The election is to elect them - not who will be PM. They are the ones who will elect the PM.

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  • 11. At 5:59pm on 16 Apr 2010, ScotInNotts wrote:

    #6 EH

    lunch 'gate', megrahi, cochrane (i.e Hootsman articles), Starkey and anything uttered by Murphy are other good places to look for candidates to enter your hall of shame.

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  • 12. At 6:03pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    7. Tom
    "It's usually reffered to as amnesty but the word never left Cleggs mouth despite being a major policy since we're talking many, many thousands of people."

    A perfectly sensible policy. You can spend hundreds of thousands of pounds finding and deporting those who are in the UK illegally, or you have an amnesty and bring these people into the mainstream where they will be working legally and paying tax.

    Of course, it depends on having an effective immigration management system in place first.

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  • 13. At 6:07pm on 16 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    5. Electric Hermit

    Thanks for the reminder. I have submitted the following

    "This broadcast breached the guidelines for Scottish elections, since only 3 of the 4 parties listed as main parties in Scotland were represented.

    In my constituency (North Ayrshire & Arran) I will have the opportunity to vote for the candidates of all 4 of these main parties, yet STV wilfully, deliberately and maliciously chose to broadcast 90 minutes of electoral material from the leaders of only 3 of them.

    That the 4th party will be involved in an additional Scottish debate does not provide fairness and balance as the other 3 parties will also be represented there.

    STV have breached the rules of fairness and balance with regard to the UK Parliamentary election in North Ayrshire & Arran."

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  • 14. At 6:07pm on 16 Apr 2010, Grahame wrote:

    Just saw Eddie Izzards Party Election Broadcast on the Beeb.

    I mean what??


    I'm sitting there thinking. Has Labour actually told me what they stand for?? or are they just attacking the Tories. They really haven't learnt much have they.

    How much did they pay Eddie Izzard for that. And what was that whole "subliminal message" rubbish he was doing.

    A poor poor party political broadcast compared to the one last night by our own champion of champions - Alex Salmond

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  • 15. At 6:11pm on 16 Apr 2010, Jim Stevens wrote:

    You are correct regarding the SNP's need to present themselves in a campaign "that is somehow a different creature, distinct from customary, flawed politics." Indeed we saw complete mastery of this approach demonstrated last night by Nick Clegg. The Scottish Parliamentary leader 'tuning in' is almost by definition, 'no gaffe'.

    What I believe in a gaffe is the notion promoted by Stewart Hosie that's it's Labour/Tory London Cuts vs No cuts with the SNP. This is preposterous deceit. There are going to be deep cuts in public spending whoever wins in on May 6th. These may focus more on reserved matters but the Barnett consequentials will be grim. Whoever emerges as the administration after next year's Scottish Parliamentary elections will spend much of their tenure downsizing the Scottish public sector.

    No-one really knows how bad things are going to be. There are too many imponderables, too much uncertainty. Alistair Darling has put up NI for both employees and is planning retrenchment but it is genuinely difficult to plan ahead at the moment. Things will become progressively clearer but all this leaves Labour vulnerable to the charge that they are simply not telling the public the whole truth. A cheap shot? Yes, but not as cynical as pretending there's some way for Scotland to escape.

    No doubt at next year's election, the SNP will be moaning about London cuts. This year they are setting the scene. I don't think the policy of taking our share of the debt and going it alone will attract very many adherents for many years to come.

    This will all rumble on through the 2011 election and in the meantime there is a Scottish Budget. Without apportioning blame, I hope people's jobs and livlihoods are not going to be determined in the sort of pantomine we've witnessed in recent years. Publicly horsetrading policies and programes in the Hootsmon and on Newsnicht whilst behaving like chimpanzees arguing over a banana will simply not be forgiven. The politics of a declining real budget demand a real degree consensus at Holyrood which won't emerge easily but emerge it must. Our MSP's really will need to find a new politics instead of pretending they have.

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  • 16. At 6:19pm on 16 Apr 2010, andrew craik wrote:

    I watched A Salmond last night then "Have I got news for you instead of the debate" an absolute scream.

    Here is a thought for A Salmond and all SNP supporters.
    I think Ghandi said

    "First they ignore you
    then they ridicule you
    then they fight you
    Then you win"

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  • 17. At 6:36pm on 16 Apr 2010, Grahame wrote:

    BBC Scotland just participating in some SNP bashing... shame on you SNP!

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  • 18. At 7:01pm on 16 Apr 2010, bmc875 wrote:

    #13 Thanks Oldnat. Was able to use it verbatim (In Ayrshire and Arran).

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  • 19. At 7:08pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    11. ScotInNotts
    "lunch 'gate', megrahi, cochrane (i.e Hootsman articles), Starkey and anything uttered by Murphy are other good places to look for candidates to enter your hall of shame."

    You're right. There is no shortage of material out there. It is just a case of finding time to trace it all. That's why I was hoping to get some help from you lot.

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  • 20. At 7:10pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    13. oldnat

    Hopefully there will be a few thousand like this.

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  • 21. At 7:12pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    15. Jim Stevens
    "...the notion promoted by Stewart Hosie that's it's Labour/Tory London Cuts vs No cuts with the SNP."

    How about providing a link to some published material that supports this rather silly assertion.

    I won't hold my breath.

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  • 22. At 7:13pm on 16 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    15. Jim Stevens
    "I don't think the policy of taking our share of the debt and going it alone will attract very many adherents for many years to come. "

    This is obviously the party line that posters of the Unionist persuasion have been told to take.

    As I said to your pal edinchris

    Selective statements are always a mistake. There are so many other people around to fill in your deliberate omissions.

    Of course, we take our share of the debts - but we also take our share of the assets!

    Even apart from our 96% share of the ex-Regio assets, the value of UK Government properties in London alone vastly exceeds the value of all Government properties in Scotland.

    As a simple like for like comparison - try putting a value on the National Art Galleries (and their contents) in London and Edinburgh. No need, of course, for the paintings to be transferred north, or for us to sell off our share of the Tate Modern to a property developer! The asset share that we are owed gets set against the debt liability.

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  • 23. At 7:14pm on 16 Apr 2010, Grahame wrote:

    Re 17 : must have been typing faster thn thinking. I meant bbc

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  • 24. At 7:16pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    15. Jim Stevens
    "Whoever emerges as the administration after next year's Scottish Parliamentary elections will spend much of their tenure downsizing the Scottish public sector."

    The difference is in the priorities that are applied. The Tory/BLP alliance would rather spend money on weapons of mass destruction than care for the sick and elderly.

    Scotland can do better,

    Holyrood’s prudence can show example to public bodies

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  • 25. At 7:18pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    15. Jim Stevens
    "Publicly horsetrading policies and programes in the Hootsmon and on Newsnicht whilst behaving like chimpanzees arguing over a banana will simply not be forgiven."

    And the SNP can only benefit from the atrocious behaviour of the Tory/BLP alliance.

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  • 26. At 7:20pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    15. Jim Stevens
    "Our MSP's really will need to find a new politics instead of pretending they have."

    Our SNP MSPs have already found a "new politics". We are still waiting on the British Labour Party catching up

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  • 27. At 7:22pm on 16 Apr 2010, eye_write wrote:

    15. Jim Stevens

    You miss the point stunningly. It is not 'the cuts' that are the real issue but who wields them. At the moment London controls the purse strings, we don't, so our only option is to try to stop them from giving us less. Perhaps an unflatteringly simple approach, but we are in that position of having no power under Barnett over the amount of money we are given - quite an unflattering position. Yes, it would be better to judge our own purse, but we are not at that stage even yet - yes, silly. But really, sad. Does your mumsie still control how much money you spend?

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  • 28. At 7:23pm on 16 Apr 2010, Mystery Poster wrote:

    Of course, last night saw "three machine politicians with nothing to say to three countries" - because as far as 'home affairs' are concerned, Westminster has no direct input.

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  • 29. At 7:25pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:

    Electric Hermit:

    #12.

    "A perfectly sensible policy. You can spend hundreds of thousands of pounds finding and deporting those who are in the UK illegally, or you have an amnesty and bring these people into the mainstream where they will be working legally and paying tax."

    I have not started discussing the pro's and con's of the policy. I brought up what was a purpose diversion because many, many people I expect would be against a policy.

    However, considering the constant flow of illegal immigration into the United Kingdom, I doubt an anmesty would help at all. It would become yet another incentive to come to the United Kingdom. If an employer chooses to hire illegal workers then those same employer's may choose to fire the same immigrants who might have recently been awarded the right to live, stay and work in the United Kingdom.

    If you believe the cost to deportations to be too much, perhaps we can find a cheaper, cost effective solution. I would prefer executions, the price of rope is peanuts.

    However, illegal immigration undermines our apparently multi-cultural society. The illegal immigrants are unskilled, can't speak English and have little financial backing to set up in the UK without some type of government backing.

    It turns communities against one another and is one reason the rise of the right is happening in typically lower class areas in the United Kingdom, and Europe for that matter.


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  • 30. At 7:32pm on 16 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #15. At 6:11pm on 16 Apr 2010, Jim Stevens:
    Oh! I Don't know about problems with, "Barnett consequentials". There would be no ,"Barnett consequentials", in an independent Scotland. If we return enough SNP candidates, as Westminster Members, to withdraw from the Union Parliament, we won't need to bother with, “Barnett consequentials", now would we?
    All we will need, consequently, is to balance the books with North Sea Revenues, The Crown Estates incomes, the £3.1 billion from Scotch Whisky and our own VAT, TV licence, Road Tax and the various other tax that at present is paid through London Head Offices. I'm sure Mr Swinney would balance the books just fine without any Barnett influence whatsoever.

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  • 31. At 7:35pm on 16 Apr 2010, Grahame wrote:

    Anyone formulating a complaint to the bbc trust re impartiality
    of BBC coverage in scotland ?

    On another note it is good to see Brian tackling the debates.

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  • 32. At 7:42pm on 16 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    Just popped in to get a balanced perspective on The Debate! I better explain to the literalists first that I didn't really mean that. Anyway, it was not as bad as I feared, and no real harm done to anyone. Brown has the advantage that the final debate is on the economy. You think not? Much as I despise him, Brown will fillet Clegg and Cameron and hang them out to dry.
    This is sad. Because, putting all party bias aside for a moment, can anyone here envisage Cameron as PM, with little Osborne peeping out behind his coat tails? Or Clegg, propped up by old Vince, tryng to be liberal amid a financial crisis?
    Please don't bother to attack me for this, it depresses me also, but Brown is the only party leader remotely capable of doing the job, on the grounds that he has the experience of taking hard decisions in tough circumstances, of taking the flak, of seeing the international picture. And is the only one with a shred of credibility beyond our shores. Bluster away if you will, but that won't change the facts.
    The Salmond dimension? Probably he was well out of it. It would have come across as "Tom, Dick, Harry... and What's-he-got-to-do-with-it at the end of the row. It has probably reached the stage where the SNP will do better if Alex comes out of his huff and keeps quiet.

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  • 33. At 7:49pm on 16 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

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

  • 34. At 7:54pm on 16 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #28. At 7:23pm on 16 Apr 2010, Miss Terri Poster wrote:"Of course, last night saw "three machine politicians with nothing to say to three countries" - because as far as 'home affairs' are concerned, Westminster has no direct input".
    What last night saw was three party leaders who not only would preside over a United Kingdom Parliament but an English, "Domestic", Parliament too. The fact that the ruling parties in the other three, "Domestic", Parliaments were excluded from the, "Main Party Leader's Debates", shows these debates were only about an English, "Domestic", Parliament.
    Just in case you doubted that I used the term, "Domestic", in error, here is the Concise Oxford Dictionary Definition:-
    domestic - adj. & n.
    adj.
    1 of the home, household, or family affairs.
    2 a of one's own country, not foreign or international. b home-grown or home-made.
    3 (of an animal) kept by or living with humans.
    4 fond of home life.
    n. a household servant.
    So Definition Number 2 describes it correctly.
    Home Rule for ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!

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  • 35. At 7:57pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    29. Tom
    "The illegal immigrants are unskilled, can't speak English and have little financial backing to set up in the UK without some type of government backing."

    You have the advantage over me. I don't know enough illegal immigrants to be able to make such judgements.

    I shall leave you to your lynch-mob fantasies.

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  • 36. At 7:57pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:

    Brigadier John

    #32.

    I trust Cameron with the economy more so then I do with Brown. Brown promised to protect the NHS, police service and education from cuts. That's mad! Brown should at least explain what services are going to be cut, I expect UK services such as the UK Border Agency (service for all the UK) will be cut to help keep the English services going.

    In fact Brown got us into the mess in the first place and we have yet to feel the real pain about the choices Brown made. It's unfair to suggest if Brown will be better untill we really experience the worst of the recession, which will come after the election.

    The Conservatives at least will have the benefit of blaming Labour for years to come but Labour will never except full responsibility for the problems brought to this country under their administation.

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  • 37. At 7:59pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    31. Grahame
    "Anyone formulating a complaint to the bbc trust re impartiality
    of BBC coverage in scotland ?
    "

    Complaints would have to be about a specific broadcast. Likewise with complaints to Ofcom. General complaints of bias will not get anywhere.

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  • 38. At 8:01pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    32. brigadierjohn

    The view from atop the village dung-heap.

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  • 39. At 8:02pm on 16 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #15 Jim Stevens
    "I don't think the policy of taking our share of the debt and going it alone will attract very many adherents for many years to come."

    Others have pointed out that "taking our share of the" assets goes hand in hand with that, but just supposing you're correct re the lack of support for "going it alone", is this not the perfect time for you to persuade your Scotlandshire Labour colleagues that now is the moment to support a three-way referendum between the status quo, fiscal autonomy and full independence? If the power of your argument is so strong, why are your chums so reluctant to let the electorate decide? Wouldn't it be better to hold it sooner rather than later if you're so convinced that the nasty nats can't win now?

    On topic, the debates can only have helped to confirm in the minds of the denizens of the three UK nations outwith England that the big three London parties as well as the kingdom-wide broadcasters regard them as second class citizens. Better still, from the viewpoint of anyone is a democrat, the fact that these were English debates was brought home, albeit almost subliminally to the electorate in England, who also strangely feel a grievance because the word England was never uttered and some of whose denizens are also oddly attracted to the prospect of home rule.

    All in all, it opened a very large can of worms which the unionist Tweedles may yet live to regret.

    PS: Just listened to today's Big Debate and must concede that it was less biased than the one I saw last night.

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  • 40. At 8:06pm on 16 Apr 2010, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    #29: Tom -

    "It turns communities against one another and is one reason the rise of the right is happening in typically lower class areas in the United Kingdom."

    Actually, the main reason for the 'rise' of the right in the United Kingdom is the lies and disinformation peddled by people like you.

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  • 41. At 8:08pm on 16 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #38 EH: Come on up - you can see the whole picture from here. But if you don't have the stomach for it.....

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  • 42. At 8:11pm on 16 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #29. At 7:25pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom:
    It is quite difficult to find these illegal immigrants. After all they look just like the rest of the UK population in every way. In fact some of them look even more English than such typical English people as Lewis Hamilton, Dame Kelly Holmes or Ashley Cole. Many Eastern Europeans look very much like every other European too. Just how would you identify the illegals from the legals?

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  • 43. At 8:18pm on 16 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #36 Tom: You are absolutely right. The worst is yet to come. I do wish, like you, that all of them would tell the truth. At leaat the Big Three are not pretending that there's an easy way out. And Tom, it's too late for blame. We're in it up to our necks. A bit of honesty about what Scots - just like the rest of the UK - are facing would not go amiss.

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  • 44. At 8:20pm on 16 Apr 2010, tullibardine wrote:

    BT asks: “Any winners in the big debate?”
    I don’t know about that but if last night’s farrago is a true indication of how politics in Britain is going to be decided, the losers will be large swathes of the electorate.

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  • 45. At 8:25pm on 16 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #32. At 7:42pm on 16 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:""Tom, Dick, Harry... and What's-he-got-to-do-with-it at the end of the row. It has probably reached the stage where the SNP will do better if Alex comes out of his huff and keeps quiet".
    Now you know, as I do, that the so called, "Party Leaders Debate", was nothing of the sort. The fact is each Westminster MP represents their constituency for UK matters but will also do duty as an English Domestic Matters Member. Thus these debates, by barring the leaders from the three domestic parliaments, were nothing more than debates about English Domestic elections.
    HOME RULE FOIR ENGLAND.

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  • 46. At 8:33pm on 16 Apr 2010, hbob wrote:

    #44
    Agreed!

    http://scottsrepublic.wordpress.com

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  • 47. At 8:48pm on 16 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    32. brigadierjohn
    "Just popped in to get a balanced perspective on The Debate!"

    If thats what you would call a debate it does'nt say a lot about yourself. That was no more a debate than party political broadcasts for the 3 main parties organised by the media. We know that you leave things to 'the experts' personally I have heard or met one anywhere on this planet can you please direct us poor ignorant people to these messiahs.

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  • 48. At 8:50pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    43. brigadierjohn
    "A bit of honesty about what Scots - just like the rest of the UK - are facing would not go amiss."

    So far, only the SNP has shown any willingness to face the reality. The others witter on about how terrible it is going to be if you don't vote for them. Alex Salmond has spoken of £30 billion cut from the Scottish budget over the next five years. That may be a high figure, but it is best to assume and plan for the worst.

    But at least Salmond is being realistic about the prospects. All the Tory/BLP alliance can do is flap their hands and accuse him of "scaremongering". Well! If Salmond's figures are so wide of the mark why not spell out what cuts are actually being planned and show him to be wrong? Because they can't!

    None of the establishment parties are prepared to be honest about the situation. They lie! They prevaricate! They dissemble!

    And they sicken me!

    One straight-talking Salmond or Swinney is worth an entire parcel of such rogues.

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  • 49. At 8:54pm on 16 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    I watched the "high" lights and read the analysis. To be honest I felt it is insulting to Scotland and seems to highlight the perception the media is extremely bias towards Scotland. On a positive note it feels a bit like we're getting what we want it does feel like your watching a foreign TV debate which has nothing to do with us!

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  • 50. At 8:54pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    48. Electric Hermit
    "Alex Salmond has spoken of £30 billion cut from the Scottish budget over the next five years."

    CORRECTION: That should be fifteen years, not five.

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  • 51. At 8:55pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:

    Electric Hermit:

    #35.

    "You have the advantage over me. I don't know enough illegal immigrants to be able to make such judgements.

    I shall leave you to your lynch-mob fantasies."

    Well, a wealthy person or somebody highly skilled person from abroad do not have to get into the UK illegally. The process welcomes the wealthy and the skilled. The process does not accept the poor or the unskilled.

    Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    #40.

    "Actually, the main reason for the 'rise' of the right in the United Kingdom is the lies and disinformation peddled by people like you."

    It's started, 'people like me', I see. The 'us and them' mentality has started but I am not ashamed for recognising the difference between legal and illegal migrants. Do you? You see, certain individuals choose not to recognise the difference between an illegal and legal worker. So, what are the lies I have told, what errors have I made. I am all ears.

    Auld Bob:

    #42.

    "Just how would you identify the illegals from the legals?"

    By identification. You either have records to show your right to live in the UK (birth records) or you have a place at a college/university, who can back up your right to be here or you will have the papers showing you were given permission by the Home Office to work.

    Thesedays individuals entering the UK to work/for education have their finger prints taken by the Home Office and the Border Agency simply uses these machines at places of work where illegal immigrants are expected to be working.

    I am not out to get people for looking different. I am not against difference, but I do understand and believe integration takes decades and in order to build up trust and understanding between communities who appear different shouldn't be undermined by individuals here illegally, unchecked and undermining the settled community. I believe the rise of the right is a reflection of the overwhelming feeling and powerless feeling by the lower classes in this country. Who are most effected by immigration.

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  • 52. At 9:01pm on 16 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #47 cynicalHighlander: Just about every poster has referred to "the debate." Why pick on me? I didn't invent the name. Remind me why you think I leave things to the experts. Was it in some previous, unconnected post? I'm baffled. Your sentence doesn't make sense. I'm sad to learn, however, that you're poor and ignorant.

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  • 53. At 9:04pm on 16 Apr 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Nick Clegg Of course was the winner. As the Ross County of the contest he had absolutely nothing to lose and the other two everything, and it showed.

    I suspect other big winners might have been UKIP and the BNP and anymore of this turgid, soporific fare will futher increase the alienation of the public from the political process. This is politics reduced to appearances, body language and sound bites.
    The fact that Nick Clegg is a comfortable communicator says nothing whatsoever about the qualities of the LibDem candidate in Argyll or anywhere else and the fact that Gordon Brown is a leaden pedestrian in the same stakes says nothing at all about the abilities of any Labour candidate anywhere else (or, in fact, nothing at all about Brown’s abilities – or lack of them – as Prime Minister). The twentieth centuries most successful UK PM, Clement Atlee, couldn’t have won a debate in a social club far less a TV studio and Tony Blair is surely the absolute epitome of vacuous style winning out over real political substance.
    I suspect UK politics are entering a phase of increased fragmentation and confusion and the long term prospects of the union diminish steadily as a result.
    The fact remains, whether some of For Argyll’s contributors like it or not, that the only vote that will make any significant difference to Scotland is a huge vote for the SNP.

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  • 54. At 9:14pm on 16 Apr 2010, handclapping wrote:

    #38 ElectricHermit

    Brian has declared that all must have prizes. I nominate the brigadier for your BILE award for the person who has done most to bring the Scottish MSM to its present pitch of perfection in Bias, Inuendo, Lies and Excoriation on the basis that representing him(her)self as a retired senior journalist whose professional life was entirely spent in Scotland, the present practitioners like His Glencampbelliness, the Madaxeman and Ms Catupatree are the products of being told to look to the example s/he set. 8-)

    #32 Dear John

    You must be thinking of a different Brown. Our one boasted to the bankers that he had abolished boom and bust and they promptly bet the house, not their house, our house, against him. Our man didn't want to be seen signing the Lisbon Treaty as he had promised a referendum on it so had to sneak in like a theif in the dark to put his scrawl to it. Our one is such an economic wizard that he has had to agree that he failed to regulate the banks. Our Brown is so well considered abroad that he can have conferences in a cleaning cupboard when he's not being photo'd with Barack. Your Brown must be a different one entirely.

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  • 55. At 9:26pm on 16 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #48 EH: Frankly, I don't know the figures. Nobody does, I think. Is 30 billion the cut in Government expenditure on projects, does it cover our share of the banking debts, and does it include our share of UK unemployment benefit payout due to inevitable mass job losses? And all the social costs that follow? Indeed, is it what the SNP would term a "Westminster cut" or is it their own estimate of what needs to be done?
    I would hesitate to brand Salmond as more or less honest than anyone else. He's a politician, not a saint. But you are stating the obvious about the prevarication of the main parties on where the axe must fall. They see it as a vote loser. And they are right. Please do not confuse me with a promoter or defender of any of them.
    Actually, my gut feeling is that 30 billion over 15 years is hardly "scaremongering." We'll be lucky to get away with twice that figure. But I don't have the grasp of macro-economics to build a factual case for that instinct.

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  • 56. At 9:26pm on 16 Apr 2010, ambi wrote:

    #38. At 8:01pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    "32. brigadierjohn

    The view from atop the village dung-heap."

    ..and when it's mostly one's own dung!

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  • 57. At 9:30pm on 16 Apr 2010, Mystery Poster wrote:

    What the debate did was reinforce the view that the LibDem leader must never - NEVER- be allowed anywhere near power.

    A Labour-Conservative alliance - led by NEITHER of the current leaders (and with all of the two parties' MPs allowed a secret ballot upon whom among their number should be PM) - would be the only workable outcome in the event of a hung parliament.

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  • 58. At 9:34pm on 16 Apr 2010, Mystery Poster wrote:

    "All must have prizes"

    Ah, a Munn & Dunning acolyte.

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  • 59. At 9:35pm on 16 Apr 2010, Grahame wrote:

    53. At 9:04pm on 16 Apr 2010, sneckedagain wrote “thee only vote that will make any significant difference to Scotland is a huge vote for the SNP

    The only way that will happen is if we all help get the message out anyway we can“

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  • 60. At 9:39pm on 16 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    29. Tom
    "I would prefer executions"

    You would be my first candidate for such a procedure - if I didn't think that it was the response only of the bigoted and stupid.

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  • 61. At 9:45pm on 16 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    52. brigadierjohn
    "Remind me why you think I leave things to the experts."

    Over the economy you reffered that those in charge where the experts as if they knew what they were talking about. An expert is only someone who knows (definately) more than the layman on a particular subject otherwise it is just an opinion unless it can be backed up with factual/reasonable points. Your use of written English is greater than mine so to me you are an expert in that discipline but I question your take on most other things to date.

    Gordon Brown in Hastings today.

    ""Over the next 15 years the world economy will double in size so there'll be twice as many businesses, twice as many opportunities for jobs, twice as many opportunities to sell products or services to every part of the world...there's going to be a huge number of new opportunities around the world for everybody and I want Britain and I want you to get the advantage of that.""

    Is GB an Expert on the economy of the World or politicising for points at home?

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  • 62. At 9:47pm on 16 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    51. Tom

    You haven't said who you are supporting in the election. I'd guess BNP or UKIP - but you might well be Tory or Labour.

    Care to enlighten us?

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  • 63. At 9:47pm on 16 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #54 handclapping: As my post made clear, I am not defending Brown or excusing any of his many flaws. I don't like the man. I was simply saying that, of the three candidates, he is - warts and all - the only possible PM. I feel your own perfectly valid perspective may be slightly skewed by the fact that he leads the party involved in a bare-knuckle fight with the SNP. That's fine with me.
    Re my career in newspapers: it's now 48 years since I started and six since I retired.
    Think about it. In 1962 a majority of Scots/British would have claimed to: believe in God; respect the royal family; trust the government; and would have staked their lives on the word of a bank manager, lawyer or doctor.
    How much of that still stands? And why do you think journalism uniquely should escape the general decline in standards? It saddens me greatly that the meticulous standards that were hammered into me exist today only in vestige. But I don't accept personal responsibility for the ills of the world. :-)

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  • 64. At 9:47pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:

    oldnat:

    #60.

    I would volunteer if I believed to have failed to serve the interests of the state. Untill that day comes, I will work in the best interests of the state and that includes ensuring the most cost effective solution when dealing with individuals who shouldn't be here in the first place. It does cost many of thousands of pounds to remove the illegal immigrants and we must show that the UK is not the soft touch of Europe.

    Nobody should be rewarded for breaking the law.

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  • 65. At 9:48pm on 16 Apr 2010, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    #51: Tom -

    "It's started, 'people like me', I see."

    Ain't it weird how quickly 'people like you' start squealing about bias and being singled out, in response
    to complaints about your bias, bigotry and desire to single people out.

    "The 'us and them' mentality has started"

    Point to note #1 - There's no 'us and them' here. There's us and there's you. There's no imaginary crowd of sycophatic sympathisers for you to hide behind.

    " I am not ashamed for recognising the difference between legal and illegal migrants. Do you?"

    Why would you be? The difference between 'legal' and 'illegal' is a matter of law, not of opinion and belief. Of course, you'd have to agree that laws are often made for political reasons not humane ones. If you want to make moral or value judgments; tell me, what is the difference between an 'illegal immigrant' and a Rwandan woman fleeing rape and murder in her home land?

    "So what are the lies I have told, what errors have I made. I am all ears."

    The bit about being "all ears" is, I suspect, a lie, for starters. However, let me try, just once, to get through to you.

    You're peddling your UKIP pedagogy in the wrong place. This is a blog on Scottish not English Home Counties politics. Scotland's demographics mean that this country needs to be a net importer of
    population. We need immigrants to drive economic recovery and build prosperity for
    all. Immigrants are an asset and a net contributor to the Scottish economy.

    On top of that - the Scottish diaspora has emigrated around the world, fetched up, made friends and put down roots in some of the unlikeliest of places. This exporting of our people and our culture is one of the reasons why a Scot
    can usually expect to be welcome wherever he/she travels. Another reason is our historic tradition of hospitality, of making strangers welcome. I believe, as many do, the Scotland belongs to all those who would belong to her.

    You would change this, no doubt. You would have Scotland 'owned', chained and shackled by your in-bred notions of 'identity'.

    Answer me this, what does a polyglot country which has, over centuries, preserved three identifiably distinct 'native' dialects got to fear from people who speak a different language? What does a country whose population is declining have to fear from the injection of a little new blood? And what does English, dog-whistle propaganda have to do with informed, intelligent political debate.

    The last idiot to try playing the immigration card in Scotland was Jim Murphy. Given that you and he seem to be of like mind, you may find his fate on 6th May instructive.

    Scotland needs to be a net importer of people. It could do with being a net exporter of bigots as well.

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  • 66. At 9:50pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    55. brigadierjohn
    "Please do not confuse me with a promoter or defender of any of them."

    Won't wash. Your ludicrous lauding of Brown in the face of even his own confession of failure combined with your expressed hope that Alex Salmond would desist from pointing out how the British Labour party is in anti-democratic league with the Tories all marks you as an old-style BLP hack.

    This is not a compliment.

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  • 67. At 10:04pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    64. Tom
    "...we must show that the UK is not the soft touch of Europe."

    Contrary to the UKIP/BNP propaganda that appears to be your main source of information, the UK is well down the list of European destinations favoured by migrants.

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  • 68. At 10:09pm on 16 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    64. Tom
    "I would volunteer if I believed to have failed to serve the interests of the state"

    Good for you. My father fought against those who simply served the "interests of the state" - especially those who defined that on ethnicity. You may not see yourself as a Fascist - but you do use their language, and we are entitled to draw our conclusions from that.

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  • 69. At 10:10pm on 16 Apr 2010, Edzell_Blue wrote:

    55. brigadierjohn
    In today's Courier they are reporting that the SG are planning on a 15% reduction in their budget in the next three years. I think 15% is a bit more than the 5.2 million pounds quoted in the report.
    http://www.thecourier.co.uk/output/2010/04/16/newsstory14888122t0.asp
    Labour MSP's are furious that this has been disclosed in the middle of the GE campaign.

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  • 70. At 10:13pm on 16 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #66 EH: I don't mind whether you wash or not. If it's "lauding" someone to call them best of that bunch....
    I have no hopes for Salmond. He can say what he pleases. I merely suggested that in his present huff it would be best for the party if he stayed quiet. Just an opinion.
    I've a full set now. I have been called a Tory so-and-so, and, amusingly, was once accused of having an SNP candidate as my protege. But I like yours best.

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  • 71. At 10:31pm on 16 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #51. At 8:55pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom:
    You really do take the proverbial biscuit!
    Just what do you think would have happened in every country in the United Kingdom if all the countries that our illegal immigrants invaded, took over, and now call their own, were sent home together with their progeny?
    What if every World nation sent home their UK immigrants?

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  • 72. At 10:39pm on 16 Apr 2010, JohnConstable wrote:

    If this Englishman was in Wee 'Eck's shoes, I'd be pretty tee'd off too.

    It is bad enough that the SNP has to put up candidates for the Westmonster elections in the first place but some of us English are pretty keen on regaining political control of our own England, so fight the Lab/Lib/Cons as hard as you can.

    I just wonder, when Scotland is a proud and independent nation once again, what are you going to do with the 'usual suspects' i.e. Brown, Darling, Gove, Alexander and the other Scottish politicians who willingly chose to ply their trade in London rather than at home in Scotland and worse, actively impeded Scotlands path to independence.

    Och, disnae bare thinkin aboot (not sure if that is quite right).

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  • 73. At 10:40pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:

    Oldnat:

    #62.

    "You haven't said who you are supporting in the election. I'd guess BNP or UKIP - but you might well be Tory or Labour.

    Care to enlighten us?"

    I am undecided for the moment, I feel the BNP are too focused on race and I disagree highly of their deportation of settled migrants policy. UKIP, well I have been slowly becoming eurosceptic. I predicted one Europe, one government and one military that could rule the world for another 100 years. This has not happened and without real economic and military powers, I really don't see the purpose of the European Union although I remain supportive of the idea on free trade.

    I may vote SNP but I do remain quite an old fashioned Conservative and the SNP do not really share the same values as I do.

    #68.

    "Good for you. My father fought against those who simply served the "interests of the state" - especially those who defined that on ethnicity. You may not see yourself as a Fascist - but you do use their language, and we are entitled to draw our conclusions from that."

    I also believe in reincarnation. Once you have supported the state and mankind to your best of your ability and no longer can continue your work, reincarnation should be considered. Death is not the end of you but an end of a chapter and we have many more.

    I don't deny nor accept the description of fascist. I tend to beleive I hold many beleifs from a wide range of ideology. Just because something falls under Fascism or Communism shouldn't automatically suggest the ideas are flawed or shouldn't be considered at all.

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  • 74. At 10:45pm on 16 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #61 cynicalHighlander
    "Is GB an Expert on the economy of the World or politicising for points at home?"

    GB strikes me a demonstrable proof that my Dad was right in teaching me the definition of "expert" developed in the Royal Ordnance Factories during WW2:
    X is an unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure.

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  • 75. At 11:01pm on 16 Apr 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    Can anyone shed any light on a claim in The Daily Record that Labour have a 19% lead over the SNP?

    They say YouGov conducted a survey of 878 Scots voters between April 7 and 14.

    I can find no mention of such a poll.

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  • 76. At 11:01pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:

    Bandages_For_Konjic:

    #65.

    "Why would you be? The difference between 'legal' and 'illegal' is a matter of law, not of opinion and belief. Of course, you'd have to agree that laws are often made for political reasons not humane ones. If you want to make moral or value judgments; tell me, what is the difference between an 'illegal immigrant' and a Rwandan woman fleeing rape and murder in her home land?"

    The difference between legal and illegal is not only a matter of law but also about the service of the person in question. The legal migrant is somebody who we support in our society. They offer us skills and expertise that we simply do not have. The illegal immigrant needed to enter the country illegally, so although I shouldn't assume all illegal immigrants do not offer any level of skills that we need, for arguements sake I will and the main reason, or the sole reason the person entered illegally is because their services wouldn't be required and legal means of entry would have been refused.

    The illegal immigrant entered the country illegally, the woman on the otherhand should have claimed asylum at the Embassy and would have been allow in the UK. I personally don't believe granting asylum out of fear for your life should be granted but the UK should be supporting countries where individuals are in fear of their life. Allowing the young woman the right to stay does not answer the real problem, does it?

    "Scotland's demographics mean that this country needs to be a net importer of
    population. We need immigrants to drive economic recovery and build prosperity for
    all. Immigrants are an asset and a net contributor to the Scottish economy."

    I agree and I am fully behind you 100 percent on the matter. I support the Liberal Democrats proposal of limiting where immigrants can go in the country, how'd you feel about that? However, in times of limited resources I would still be careful of population rises. Constant growth may come back to haunt us in 30-50 years time.

    "This exporting of our people and our culture is one of the reasons why a Scot
    can usually expect to be welcome wherever he/she travels. Another reason is our historic tradition of hospitality, of making strangers welcome. I believe, as many do, the Scotland belongs to all those who would belong to her."

    Is it not possible to have a strict immigration policy and still be friendly to all?

    I would be interested on having exchange programmes of pupils between countries from around the world etc I don't want to stop individuals settling or leaving the country.

    "You would change this, no doubt. You would have Scotland 'owned', chained and shackled by your in-bred notions of 'identity'."

    You've not asked for my meaning of identity... so thats a cheap shot.

    "Answer me this, what does a polyglot country which has, over centuries, preserved three identifiably distinct 'native' dialects got to fear from people who speak a different language?"

    It depends. I don't want to the a USA situation where schools and communities are divided by language. There are hundreds of languages in the UK and we can't expect people to learn them all so we should expect all to know at least English. Isn't that fair?

    "What does a country whose population is declining have to fear from the injection of a little new blood?"

    It's not the new blood I am worried about. It's the resources and I feel that constant growth will only add pressure when/if we begin struggling for resources such as water and energy. However, I would prefer a detail plan on how we will continue to provide basics to individuals are the population grows.

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  • 77. At 11:03pm on 16 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #65. At 9:48pm on 16 Apr 2010, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:"Scotland needs to be a net importer of people. It could do with being a net exporter of bigots as well".
    Bravo! Just to add to that - here is an example of the difference between English and Scottish attitudes from history -
    In 1290 Edward banished the Jews outright. He issued writs to the sheriffs of all English counties ordering them to enforce his Edict of Expulsion, a decree which required all Jews to be expelled from the country by All Saints' Day that year. Many Jews from England came north and there have been Jewish families in Scottish towns ever since. Just look at any Scottish town or village and you will see at least one Italian Chippie, Ice Cream Parlour or Garage. These families have been here for so long they are now long established Scots.

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  • 78. At 11:08pm on 16 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #70. At 10:13pm on 16 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:"I have been called a Tory so-and-so, and, amusingly, was once accused of having an SNP candidate as my protege. But I like yours best".
    Oh! All right then! ... ... ... You are really just anti-SNP then. Will that be all right by you?

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  • 79. At 11:09pm on 16 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    74. Brownedov
    "X is an unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure."

    Thanks I was hoping you would would bring the correct wording.

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  • 80. At 11:11pm on 16 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Scottish Politics gets 'punchy' (rated 12A)

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  • 81. At 11:15pm on 16 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    72. JohnConstable
    "Och, disnae bare thinkin aboot"

    Good try, John!

    When our nations finally decide on independence, I trust that every individual's choice will be honoured, and that we don't have citizenship based on Tony Hancock's assumptions in the Blood Donor!

    Since, unless you guys decide to be separatists, we'll all have European passports anyway. it's hardly a big deal.

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  • 82. At 11:15pm on 16 Apr 2010, fairliered wrote:

    Tonights YouGov /Sun poll:

    Conservative: 33%
    Labour: 28%
    Liberal Democrat: 30%
    Others: 9%

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  • 83. At 11:23pm on 16 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #72. At 10:39pm on 16 Apr 2010, JohnConstable wrote:"I just wonder, when Scotland is a proud and independent nation once again, what are you going to do with the 'usual suspects' i.e. Brown, Darling, Gove, Alexander and the other Scottish politicians who willingly chose to ply their trade in London rather than at home in Scotland and worse, actively impeded Scotlands path to independence.
    I can only tell you the official SNP matra on how we should deal with ANYONE in Scotland. They never refer to the Scots but to, "The People of Scotland", and that is anyone, of any creed, political party, colour or race who resides in Scotland.
    As to your attempt at wir ain leid, (our own language), "Och, disnae bare thinkin aboot", "not too bad but might I suggest, "It wad gar ye wunner", (it would make you wonder),might be a little more pithy. Just to increase your vocabulary the expression, "It wad gar ye Grue", (It would make you sick), is a very handy Scots phrase.(Chuckle).

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  • 84. At 11:25pm on 16 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    73. Tom

    OK You have made your beliefs clear. I consider your views abhorrent but at least you have stated them. Reincarnation, however, does not imply that you have been resurrected into a single organism. Part of your previous persona may now be that frog in my pool. Another part may be the Tory Candidate in North Ayrshire & Arran.

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  • 85. At 11:26pm on 16 Apr 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Shock horror. The new editor of the Herald is presently deputy editor of the Daily Record!

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  • 86. At 11:27pm on 16 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    75. Online Ed

    It's a combination poll that was published in the Sun. It's on their website.

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  • 87. At 11:30pm on 16 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Cons 33%, Lib Dems 30%, Lab 28% – YouGov

    Interesting times if this continues.

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  • 88. At 11:31pm on 16 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #75 Online Ed
    "They say YouGov conducted a survey of 878 Scots voters between April 7 and 14."

    It's an accumulation of the Scottish "scraps" from the daily GB "Sun" polls, recalculated for the "Scottish" Sun and available here.

    Toplines are Lab 39%, SNP 22%, L-D 18%, Con 16%, Other 5%

    Aggregate sample size is only 878 and even the revised Scottish weightings are questionable: weighting 131 Sun/Star readers to 132 but 119 Mirror/Record readers to 176 when we know who's winning the tabloid war, for example.

    Apologies if oldnat scooped me!

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  • 89. At 11:32pm on 16 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #74. At 10:45pm on 16 Apr 2010, Brownedov wrote:"X is an unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure".
    I go with my old Dad's, (no mean football player),description of a Football Pundit, "These are the ones who tell you, before the match, who will win the game - and tell you why they didn't when they have lost it".

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  • 90. At 11:42pm on 16 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    76. Tom

    Others can see your concerns but not your solutions as the picture goes far beyond your horizons in how we deal with problems which have a knock on effect somewhere else kicking us in the backside when we don't expect it.

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  • 91. At 11:47pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    69. Edzell_Blue
    "In today's Courier they are reporting that the SG are planning on a 15% reduction in their budget in the next three years."

    Not the Scottish government. The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB).

    And the Tories have decided to take this as their guideline figure. Which kinda suggests they didn't have one of their own.

    Conservatives call for £5.1bn cut in Scotland - Scotsman.com News

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  • 92. At 11:50pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:

    Oldnat:

    #84.

    "OK You have made your beliefs clear. I consider your views abhorrent but at least you have stated them. Reincarnation, however, does not imply that you have been resurrected into a single organism. Part of your previous persona may now be that frog in my pool. Another part may be the Tory Candidate in North Ayrshire & Arran."

    I am not suprised. The views I shared earlier are not exactly liberal. However, I believe you and I would get on fine when it comes to protecting ones rights and democracy, or at least the rights and democracy in our own country. Please do not confuse the solutions I mentioned as my prefered solutions. I would love the to help the world and help others better themselves but the reality, as I see it, is very different. You can only help so many and sometimes there are simply too many in need of help that sometimes I feel it's wrong to open the door for one person but close it for another.

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  • 93. At 11:54pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:

    CynicalHighlander:

    #90.

    "Others can see your concerns but not your solutions as the picture goes far beyond your horizons in how we deal with problems which have a knock on effect somewhere else kicking us in the backside when we don't expect it."

    Course, but I can be paranoid too. I try to picture the world in 50 years time and it does not help when governments around the world release their predictions on what the needs of the country/region should be especially when the predictions are gloomy.

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  • 94. At 11:54pm on 16 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    70. brigadierjohn
    "He can say what he pleases. I merely suggested that in his present huff it would be best for the party if he stayed quiet."

    You try to come across all detached and dispassionate. But the pejorative language every time you have to mention the First Minister is a dead give-away. You just can't help yourself. Like the rest of the BLP old-guard, you still haven't come to terms with being kicked out by the electorate you took for granted for half a century.

    I am enjoying your discomfort almost as much as the man you imagine is in a "huff". Truth is, he is struggling to control the urge to laugh.

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  • 95. At 11:55pm on 16 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #76. At 11:01pm on 16 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:"It depends. I don't want to the a USA situation where schools and communities are divided by language. There are hundreds of languages in the UK and we can't expect people to learn them all so we should expect all to know at least English. Isn't that fair"?
    In the first place why should that language be, "English"? Are you aware people, even younger than I were, "Lochgellied", (belted with the tawse), if they spoke even one Lowland Scots or Scots Gaelic word in class? Do you know when this policy ended was only in the 1990s? And you talk about Fairness! Sheeesh! Scotland has managed just fine with her several dialects of Lowland Scots, Scots Gaelic and English since before the Union and she will manage just fine after a return to independence.

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  • 96. At 00:01am on 17 Apr 2010, cwh wrote:

    Anyone know the viewing figures for the debate?

    I heard it was 6 million any advance on that?

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  • 97. At 00:03am on 17 Apr 2010, handclapping wrote:

    #63 Dear John
    Actually a goat could do quite well in the pre-Roman desert, if somewhat lacking in the companionship of the opposite sex, but I do agree that, when an editor of the Herald thinks that editing the Beano is a step up in his/her career, standards have slipped. 8-)

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  • 98. At 00:12am on 17 Apr 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    61. cynicalHighlander

    Don't have proper definition of an expert but we used to say a "consultant" was a person with a briefcase from out of town. I think they are related somehow.

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  • 99. At 00:19am on 17 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    96. cwh
    "Anyone know the viewing figures for the debate?

    I heard it was 6 million any advance on that?
    "

    10 million watched historic election debate - Times Online

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  • 100. At 00:25am on 17 Apr 2010, frankly francophone wrote:

    "We know Alex Salmond's perspective upon the debate.

    He billed it as 'three machine politicians with nothing to say to three countries', referring to the devolved territories." (Brian Taylor)

    The televised Leaders' Debate may prove to have been even worse than that, in fact, and significantly so, at least according to Vernon Bogdanor, Professor of Government at Oxford University and author of The New British Constitution, who states in an article in The Times ('The era of two tribes is over, whoever wins') that opinion polls suggest that at present around one eighth of UK voters will support parties other than the big three:

    "That one eighth was not represented in yesterday’s leaders’ debate, and is unlikely to be effectively represented in the House of Commons unless there is a hung Parliament."

    The cardinal error which consists in the exclusion of the governing party of Scotland from what is now apparently to be a major and possibly crucial forum of the UK general-election process is particularly interesting, as it arguably lends strong support to Professor Bogdanor's contention that this UK general election "puts into the melting pot not only the first-past-the-post electoral system, with its natural accompanying single-party majority government, but also the unity of the United Kingdom itself."

    A can of worms has been opened, in other words:

    "All in all, it opened a very large can of worms which the unionist Tweedles may yet live to regret." (#39 Brownedov)

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  • 101. At 00:25am on 17 Apr 2010, JohnConstable wrote:

    83. Auld Bob


    Thank you for informing me of the official SNP mantra regarding 'the people of Scotland' etc. and I should have realised that because I am careful to state in my own posts 'the people living in England' because creed, political party, colour or race does not define your national identity.

    If you think of yourself as English or Scottish then that is all you need to qualify and as oldnat
    pointed out, we're Europeans anyway (in the sense that a Texan is an American although we are a long way from that supra-national identity here in Europe just now).

    Regarding my sad attempt at the native langauage (thanks oldnat, you are too kind), I fell into the same trap last year when in Scotland on business. I sat on a bench and memorised a poem that I saw was carved into stone, 'Three craws sat upon a wa' etc. and then I went back to meet some locals and proudly recited it; I could see from their faces that they were deeply unimpressed and then I realised that Burns spoken in 'cockney' (I was born in London) does not sound quite right or even at all right.

    At least I got out alive.

    Ps. We English had to put up with your own Tony Blair who tortured us with his 'mockney' for years.

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  • 102. At 00:34am on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #96. At 00:01am on 17 Apr 2010, cwh wrote:"Anyone know the viewing figures for the debate? I heard it was 6 million any advance on that"?
    Nah! I watched the actual, so called, debate and was not impressed by any of them. However, the bloody Hoo! Ha! that has been spewed out about it, wall to wall coverage and every two bit pundit they could lay their hands on is, as I mentioned in another post, "Enouch tae gar ye grue". Just be chance the lady on BBC News24 just said, "Now you may not have seen the actuall debate but you most certainly will have heard or seen the reactions to it", or as I put it myself, "It wad gar ye grue",(Isn't Scots a remarkable descriptive language)?

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  • 103. At 00:35am on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    96. cwh
    "I heard it was 6 million any advance on that?"

    9.9million from what has been reported.

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  • 104. At 00:42am on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    93. Tom
    "Course, but I can be paranoid too. I try to picture the world in 50 years time and it does not help when governments around the world release their predictions on what the needs of the country/region should be especially when the predictions are gloomy."

    Paranoia No. Reality Yes.

    The Future of Capitalism - Profits and Growth

    We (Homo sapiens) may be lucky enough that after the SHTF due to mismanagement of the economic energy budget, there may be a spark of rationality and wisdom available and recognized that we can turn to in our despair. Unfortunately even this possibility is highly problematic. More likely mankind will be subjected to a mean and uncaring dictatorial hand, a person or persons not eusapient, but harsh and vindictive. After all, the stock from which to choose potential candidates for leadership is composed largely of minimally sapient beings to begin with. Evolution help us. my bold.

    If you know where we are going one can plan otherwise we all (unless you have a bigger gun) end up as slaves to the system. I know what I would rather be.

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  • 105. At 00:49am on 17 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    101. JohnConstable
    "Ps. We English had to put up with your own Tony Blair who tortured us with his 'mockney' for years."

    Tony Blair's claim to being Scottish is almost as dubious as his claim to be honest.

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  • 106. At 01:30am on 17 Apr 2010, romeplebian wrote:

    On one of the online forums I frequent they had this poll ,another one after the 3 stooges debate is under way and shows favourable movement to the Lib Dems in what I would class as a mostly English based forum if that makes sense the figures are of of a poll of 720 between the 11th and the 16th, you could not change your vote and the question was who would you vote for in the General Election from the Parties listed

    * Labour Party 100 13.89%

    * Conservative Party 158 21.94%

    * Liberal Democrats Party 93 12.92%

    * UK Independence Party (UKIP) 40 5.56%

    * Green Party 5 0.69%

    * Plaid Cymru Party 7 0.97%

    * Other Political Party 4 0.56%

    * NONE OF THE ABOVE 32 4.44%

    * Don't Know : Floating Voter 65 9.03%

    * Scottish National Party (SNP) 12 1.67%

    * Scottish Socialist Party 2 0.28%

    * Scottish Green Party 1 0.14%

    * Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 4 0.56%

    * Sinn Féin Party 5 0.69%

    * Ulster Unionist Party 1 0.14%

    * Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 0 0%

    * Alliance Party 0 0%

    * Will Not Vote 133 18.47%

    * The British National Party (BNP) 58 8.06%

    Voters: 720. This poll is closed


    the current poll under way after the itv programme just showing the parties who were represented that night

    Labour Party 15 11.45%
    Conservative Party 19 14.50%
    Liberal Democrats Party 42 32.06%

    this is from 131 replies so far

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  • 107. At 08:38am on 17 Apr 2010, k_kitten wrote:

    Re Hall of shame Add Newsweek Scotland's coninuing use of Angus
    McLeod who never misses an opportunit to deride Alex Salmond and the SNP

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  • 108. At 08:44am on 17 Apr 2010, Grahame wrote:

    RE:" 96. At 00:01am on 17 Apr 2010, cwh wrote:

    Anyone know the viewing figures for the debate? "

    I know the Scotland figures from the BBCScotElection twitter site.

    "# The average audience in Scotland for last night's #leadersdebate was 742,000 viewers, with the audience peaking at 789,000 #ukelection about 22 hours ago via TweetDeck "

    AND uk WIDE

    "Leaders' debate TV ratings: 9.4m viewers make clash day's biggest show"

    hope this doesn't overlap onanyone else...

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  • 109. At 08:55am on 17 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    #16.andrew craik wrote:

    I watched A Salmond last night then "Have I got news for you instead of the debate" an absolute scream.

    Here is a thought for A Salmond and all SNP supporters.
    I think Ghandi said

    "First they ignore you
    then they ridicule you
    then they fight you
    Then you win"

    He did indeed say that. And the outcome is certain however long it takes.

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  • 110. At 09:10am on 17 Apr 2010, Mystery Poster wrote:

    #109, GrannieAnne wrote:

    "And the outcome is certain however long it takes."

    Indeed; we're a long time dead...

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  • 111. At 09:51am on 17 Apr 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    88. Brownedov and 86 oldnat:

    Thanks for the replies - Newsnet Scotland have emailed YouGov with some questions in order to clarify exactly how these figures are arrived at.

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  • 112. At 10:01am on 17 Apr 2010, coineach watson wrote:

    Just remember that most of the Labour MPs are membersof the Labour Israeli group, 80% of Conservative MPs are members of the Conservativce Israeli Group and a goodly number of Liberal Democrats are members of the Liberal Democrat Israeli Group ALL or which support the Zionist State of Israel in their WAR CRIMES, ETHINC CLEANSING, GENOCIDE, TERRORISM, ASSASSINATIONS, PEOPLE TRAFFICING, AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. They also want to allow WAR CRIMINALS and TERRORISTS into our country for safe refuge. We wust ascertain where money given to these parties is coming from to support the sformentioned activities.
    This is NOT anti-semetic as the majority of Jews living in this country are law abiding citizens, it is the ZIONIST TERRORISTS and their supporters that we must get rid off and this includes such MPs who are supporting such activities.
    Intersting to relate some interesting facts: the shoe bomber left from Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, the underwear bomber left from Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, the London attacks on the underground and busses in London on 7th July 2005, the attack on Glasgow Airport ALL had MOSSAD connections. Security at Charles de Gaulle airport and Schiphol Airport and Security cameras on all London Transport are undertaken by an ISRAELI company with known links to MOSSAD. Security at Glasgow Airport is reported be be undertaken my a similar company. Also what about the mysterious death of Dr Kelly and the 7th July 2005 attacks on London - evidence being hidden away for 70 and 100 years respectively by the Labour Government - WHY????????
    There appears to be a lot of evidence connecting the 9/11 attacks in New York with MOSSAD as a "False Flag" operaions in order to start the "War on Terror" and invasion of Iraq, simlar to the attack on the USS Liberty and USS Cole in Aden.
    We require FULL, ON OATH investigations of these occurences and we can guarantee none of these 3 political parties will allow that - for obvious reasons. TREASON, WAR CRIMES, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY all spring to mind. Turkeys will never vote for Christmas, but THE PEOPLE can.

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  • 113. At 10:04am on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #100 frankly__francophone
    "Vernon Bogdanor, Professor of Government at Oxford University and author of The New British Constitution ... states in an article in The Times ('The era of two tribes is over, whoever wins') that opinion polls suggest that at present around one eighth of UK voters will support parties other than the big three"

    Thanks for the tip-off to the Prof's excellent article, which I missed yesterday. Well worth a read, but two more snippets are well worth repeating here...

    Re the "official" unionists: "To keep Scotland within the Union will require exceptional reserves of sensitivity towards Scottish matters, a sensitivity not always shown by the Conservative governments of the 1980s and 1990s".

    Re electoral reform: "it would be difficult to deny that our system faces a threat to its legitimacy, because the mandates of successive governments have become so perilously narrow".

    Masterly understatement, albeit a pity that the Prof didn't mention the debates which IMO can only help increase disillusion.

    And thanks for the can of worms hat-tip.

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  • 114. At 10:10am on 17 Apr 2010, coineach watson wrote:

    Re: Scottish Labour Party, Scottish Conservative Party, Liberal Democrat Party in Scotland - Robert Burns wrote a poem about them:

    Fareweel to a' our Scottish fame,
    Fareweel our ancient glory!
    Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish name.
    Sae famed in martial story!
    Now Sark rins over Salway sands,
    An' Tweed rins to the ocean,
    To mark where England's province stands --
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

    What force or guile could not subdue
    Thro' many warlike ages
    Is wrought now by a coward few
    For hireling traitor's wages.
    The English steel we could disdain,
    Secure in valour's station;
    But English gold has been our bane --
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

    O, would, or I had seen the day
    That Treason thus could sell us,
    My auld grey head had lien in clay
    Wi' Bruce and loyal Wallace!
    But pith and power, till my last hour
    I'll mak this declaration :-
    'We're bought and sold for English gold'--
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation

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  • 115. At 11:04am on 17 Apr 2010, eye_write wrote:

    33. brigadierjohn

    Cool! Quirky is up there with Newsnet. Ta Brig! You can join you know :-)

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  • 116. At 11:30am on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #100 frankly__francophone &
    PS to my #113 re Prof. Vernon Bogdanor

    Looks like the Prof's article didn't meet with Murdochian approval, so Thunderer hackette Camilla Cavendish seems to have been tasked with rubbishing it in her Voting Lib Dem would be a vote for chaos today, trying virtually all the old scare tactics in a way with which the brig. will no doubt be familiar.

    Unsurprisingly, she makes no mention of the success or otherwise of minority, coalition or power-sharing administrations in faraway home nations of which she seems to know nothing.

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  • 117. At 11:46am on 17 Apr 2010, edinchris wrote:

    I must admit, I find it incredible how many people are sill "blogging" at 4am! It is hard for me to get enough time to write responses to all the comments my last post stirred up!

    OK, where was I? What have Labour done for Scotland in the last 13 years?

    1) Devolution - There is no doubt this was long overdue, and it wouldn't have happened without Labour
    2) Increase in public spending - The Scottish budget had large real terms increases from 1999 - 2008 (until the current financial crisis.) This has allowed Holyrood (whoever has been in power) to introduce a whole range of measures such as free care or the elderly, scrapping tuition fees, introducing bursaries for students, and lots of other projects that have benefitted Scotland
    3) Coupled with this has been a sustained period of economic growth between 1997 and 2008 with low unemployment and rising living standards for the vast majority of Scots.

    The last two years have not been great, but we have at least had lower unemployment than in previous recessions.

    What about the benefits to Scotland of staying part of the UK?

    The UK may have lost some of its influence, but it is still a major player in the world - The UN security Council, NATO, a member of the G8, a key player in the Commonwealth and the EU. Yes, sometimes we have got it wrong, but we have still used our influence to help other countries around the world - Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Bosnia to give a few examples.

    Even today in Afghanistan, Scottish troops are involved in fighting to help bring a better government to one of the poorest countries in the world that has been ignored for decades by the rest of the world. What would happen if we left? A country run by a goup of people who think women have no rights, and men get flogged for the terrible crime of shaving off a beard!

    Within the EU, the UK has a large influence on decision making. With the Lisbon Treaty, more power will go to the EU Parliament where the larger your country, the more seats you have. Scottish Ministers and officials form part of the UK delegation that has far more influence than delegations from smaller countries.

    I also strongly believe that were it not for the UK Treasury, the Scottish banking system would have collapsed in 2008.

    Fundamentally, the UK is not perfect, but I think Scotland has far more in common with the rest of the UK than we do with any other country, and it is in our interests to work together.

    What about the alternative, independence? As I explained earlier I don't see how this would benefit Scotland. Some people have argued that we would get our share of assets as well as debt. That is true, but it immediately raises other questions. How, for instance do you divide up an aircrat carrier? How do you divide up colonies eg Bermuda, Gibraltar and the Falklands (especially in the latter's case if there is oil involved?) The only outcome I can see is that there would be years of wrangling and arguments (a bit like a very messy divorce) and at the end of it all, I can't see any way that we would be better off.

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  • 118. At 11:57am on 17 Apr 2010, FatherMacKenzie wrote:

    76.

    The illegal immigrant needed to enter the country illegally,

    Not necessarily, the only "illegal" I know, came here to do a post-grad in microbiology and decided she preferred Stirlingshire to New Mexico and never left.

    I would imagine that the majority of "illegals" would be people who entered the country legally on student/tourist visas and overstayed rather than swimming over from France.

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  • 119. At 12:02pm on 17 Apr 2010, heraldnomore wrote:

    Another cracking question from the BBC, again on the Have Your Say blog.

    Is the election still a three horse race?

    Go on boys, have your say!

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  • 120. At 12:09pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    108. Grahame

    Not a huge difference but, on those figures, the broadcast was watched by 15% of the UK population and 14% of the Scots.

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  • 121. At 12:14pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    Populus has published the first post debate poll including Scots numbers.

    figures in brackets are the changes since 6 April

    Con 21% (nc) : Lab 19% (-23) : LD 13% (-1) : SNP 41% (+23)

    Unfortunately, this is an unweighted sample of 63 so totally meaningless!

    Nice dream though!

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  • 122. At 12:16pm on 17 Apr 2010, frankly francophone wrote:

    #113 Brownedov

    Interesting and authoritative though Bogdanor's article may seem to us to be, one cannot help wondering if anyone in England, apart from JohnConstable, of course, who mentioned it in the NR blog, will take it seriously. After all, Dicey warned about the wider constitutional implications of Irish home rule in two centuries until he was blue in the face and seems by 1919 to have become, unsurprisingly, quite sanguine about the intransigence and indeed ignorance, frankly, with which constitutional experts in England appear to be faced:

    "'It is amazing,' said Johnson in 1769, 'what ignorance of' certain points one sometimes finds in men of eminence. A wit about 'town, who wrote Latin bawdy verses, asked me how it happened that' England and Scotland, which were once two kingdoms, were now 'one' (Boswell, Life of Johnson, iii. 92, Croker's ed., 1859). If the Act of Union passed in 1707 was forgotten in 1769, no wonder it is not remembered in 1919." (AV Dicey, Thoughts on the Union between England & Scotland,1920)

    Little wonder, therefore, that the constitution of the United Kingdom is so baffling in "our England" in 2010 and that the exclusion of the governing party of Scotland from the Leaders' Debates seems perfectly acceptable and unproblematic there. No wonder Mr Salmond is grinning. He has plenty to grin about.

    #116

    I have just seen your reference to the Camilla Cavendish article:

    "Unsurprisingly, she makes no mention of the success or otherwise of minority, coalition or power-sharing administrations in faraway home nations of which she seems to know nothing."

    Unsurprising, indeed.

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  • 123. At 12:17pm on 17 Apr 2010, coineach watson wrote:

    RE: 117. from edinchris:
    WHAT A LOAD OF DRIVLE HE WRITES:

    Devolution was created by the Labour Government because they were scared of the rise of Scottish Nationalism.
    Don't remember the Labour Government actually promoting employment in Scotland - apart from in the Labour Controlled seats and what about the rumour of sleeze and cronieism in Glasgow City Council. A certain Speaker of the House of Commons got well caught up in sleeze over expenses - I bet he is laughing all the way to the bank with his 6 figure pension and golden handshake, also got himsle a "nice little earner" sitting in teh House of lords - what about the unemployed and the low paid people of Springburn (one of teh most deprived areas of the UK) who (stupidly) voted for him - did they share in the payout?? I bet not.
    What about all the shenanigans in Labour Controlled areas - we were never allowed enquiries into them - same as the death of Dr kelly and the 7th July 2005 "attack" on London - one wonders WHY??? Who is being protected???
    As for Iraq and Afghanistan: Iraq was invaded to steal the oil and allow a pipeling to be built to provide Israel with oil. In 1967 the US agreed to sell oil at the World price to Israel because none of the Arab nations would trade with Isreal. The pipeling guaranteed Israel with oil direct from Iraq and saved the expensive transportation charges from the US.
    Afgahistan was to permit the construction of a pipeline to steal the oil and gas from the Caspian Region, unfortunately for the US and UK the Russians forward bought all the gas from Turkmenistan (the Russians offerd a higher price than the US was offering) and built a pipeline into Iran from where the oil and gas flows to the sea through Iran. Also drug production (opium (i.e. heroin) and hashish) has increased at least 50 fold since the "invasion" in 2001. Prime Minister Putin has complained that the US CIA are distributing drugs in Russia. the larget production area (according to the UN) is Helman Province.
    Maybe edinchris should read a bit more and get his facts right before he spews any more garbage from beteen his upper and lower mandables.

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  • 124. At 12:23pm on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #117 edinchris

    "I also strongly believe that were it not for the UK Treasury, the Scottish banking system would have collapsed in 2008."
    Some of your other points have the faintest glimmer of truth in that the "official" unionists could, would or might have been even worse. This one, however, has been so extensively rubbished that I'm surprised anyone still suggests it's plausible.

    First, there is no such thing as a Scottish bank, but merely UK banks operating within the UK regulatory system, disastrously modified by none other than Duff Gordon soon after coming to power and which even the Tories opposed. Yes, the UK system collapsed, but to suggest that the arsonist should remain in charge of the fire service beggars belief, especially when the pathetic "corrective" actions to date have merely continued to pay obscene bonuses to the bankers except that now it's from the public purse.

    Re Afghanistan and your "What would happen if we left? A country run by a goup of people who think women have no rights, and men get flogged for the terrible crime of shaving off a beard!"
    Have you forgotten that it was cold war politics which prompted the UK government to support Reagan's policy of putting exactly that "goup of people" in power by supplying them with the arms and money to defeat the Russian-backed government that, for all its faults, gave women education and political rights as well as limited religious freedom. That, of course, was in the days of Thatcherism, but I recall few Labour "modernisers" complaining at the time, and I don't recall a word of regret for such actions by the former vicar of St. Albions or his parish clerk.

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  • 125. At 12:43pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    117. edinchris
    "we would get our share of assets as well as debt. That is true, but it immediately raises other questions. How, for instance do you divide up an aircrat carrier? How do you divide up colonies eg Bermuda, Gibraltar and the Falklands (especially in the latter's case if there is oil involved?) The only outcome I can see is that there would be years of wrangling and arguments (a bit like a very messy divorce) and at the end of it all, I can't see any way that we would be better off. "

    Difficult isn't it, when people bring up things you hadn't thought of?

    There is, of course, a recent example of a Velvet Divorce - Slovakia and Czechia - between countries of similar size to Scotland and England (the main part of rump UK).

    It worked perfectly well because, of course, they divided the value of the assets, and applied those values to determine the proportion of debt owed by each country.

    As to the "colonies", that is a term that has been redundant since 1981. What you are referring to are the British Overseas Territories. If you have a look at their constitutional status, you will see that they are not the "property" of the UK Government, any more than the Crown Dependencies of Man and the Channel Islands are.

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  • 126. At 12:45pm on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #122 frankly__francophone

    "Interesting and authoritative though Bogdanor's article may seem to us to be, one cannot help wondering if anyone in England ... will take it seriously"
    Fair comment, although interesting to see the overwhelmingly negative responses - without mentioning the E word, of course - to the Camilla Cavendish article. At least a few worms seem to be turning, and Clegg's relatively clean bill of expenses health may yet prove decisive if the collective attention span remembers the MP expenses issue in the polling booth.

    "No wonder Mr Salmond is grinning. He has plenty to grin about."
    Quite so, and he too should consider reminding the nation of the "Scottish" Legg averages:
     Party, Repaid, Owing
      Con, £1300.00, £0.00
      Lab, £1299.21, £437.09
      L-D, £502.47, £40.07
      SNP, £480.28, £0.00

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  • 127. At 12:56pm on 17 Apr 2010, Grahame wrote:

    120. oldnat :

    I'm willing to best most of those viewers in Scotland were merely watching for gaffes, or were wanting to see if they mentioned Scotland.. I never heard anything relevant mentioned once.

    It was a pretty unimpressive debate if you ask me, not like any Election Hustings / Hecklings I attended when I was a student at university of St Andrews

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  • 128. At 1:02pm on 17 Apr 2010, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    It is important to remember that when last week Gordon Brown finally and grudgingly admitted he was responsible for the credit crunch because he gave in to the demands of the financial services sector for lighter regulation, he was therefore responsible for the failure of both RBS and HBOS.

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  • 129. At 1:02pm on 17 Apr 2010, Slaintmha wrote:

    Now here's the thing... over at the Times Matthew Parris has woken up to the realisation that the electorate is not 'apathetic' but very angry and looking at the 'big two' to decide which one deserves the bigger kicking and the best way to do it.

    In England it is increasingly the Libdems / UKIP, in Scotland the ever increasing vote share of the SNP, since 2005, is a bit of an indicator as is the sudden dearth of Scotland only opinion polls after the most recent for the Daily Mail indicated the SNP had a 7% lead over Labour in Scotland. A poll that was pulled and only came to light courtesy of the Holyrood Magazine.

    It is time for Scotland's impartial broadcaster to start representing the electorate's increasing anger at the mess, that is Westminster, rather than colluding with the 'business as usual' approach of the 'big two' or face the inevitable consequences.

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  • 130. At 1:04pm on 17 Apr 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    In a detailed research paper, the Scottish professors Andrew Hughes Hallett and Drew Scott show that the Calman proposals are unworkable, that significantly more fiscal powers need to be transferred to Scotland and propose that a Scottish Treasury be set up.

    Read more at Newsnet Scotland

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  • 131. At 1:17pm on 17 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    117. edinchris
    "As I explained earlier I don't see how this would benefit Scotland."

    So you lack vision. There is no reason why this should limit others' aspirations..

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  • 132. At 1:22pm on 17 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    The London media actually painted it as a good quality when Brown admitted to bungling the economy and banking regulation. He said ok I was responsible for the credit crunch in the UK when I had the opportunity to stop it and regulate against it and I was responsible for the UK being the worst affected by the credit cruch. The media said how good and humble he was for admitting this! DOH!

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  • 133. At 1:26pm on 17 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Mr Moderator we appreciate you coming in this weekend to work as your colleagues on the day shift on Friday suck. It took then hours to moderate! You are doing a good job keep it up I know you have to have lunch but 30 mins should do?

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  • 134. At 1:29pm on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    BBC Newsweek Scotland [sic] discuss the debate about 11m in to the programme for about 15m here, with an "Election panel" consisting of Angus Macleod of the Thunderer, Dr Peter Lynch of Stirling University and James Cusack of the Herald covering [or perhaps smothering?] the events in faraway Englandshire. Balanced it was not, but worth a listen on the "know thine enemy" principle.

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  • 135. At 1:30pm on 17 Apr 2010, edinchris wrote:

    Brownedov - As RBS was domiciled in Scotland, had Scotland been independent, the Scottish Trasury would have had to rescue it.

    Could the regulation have been better? Of course it could, but I can't remember once hearing the SNP say this in the years up to 2008 (in fact they were holding up Iceland as a model for Scotland's banking system)

    OldNat - The Velvet Divorce you speak of bear little resemblance to Scotland leaving the UK.

    Czechoslovakia had been cobbled together in 1918, and existed as a country for all of 20 years until first the Nazis, then the USSR ruled it for 61 years. If you count the period 1989-93, then they had a total of 24 years as an independent country.

    By contrast, the UK has been around for 300 years, longer than Germany, Italy, USA and most of the countries in the developing world, which is why taking Scotland out will be no simple matter!

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  • 136. At 1:39pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    Daniel Hannan in the Telegraph

    "I texted a friend in Iceland just now. “Won’t you chaps stop at anything to get even with Gordon Brown?” - a reference the abominable way in which the PM invoked anti-terrorist legislation to expropriate a friendly country.

    His reply was instant: “He said he wanted our cash, but there is no ‘c’ in the Icelandic language, so we’ve sent him our ash.”

    (and to save you checking, there is no "c" in the Icelandic alphabet).

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  • 137. At 1:40pm on 17 Apr 2010, Choosedayschild wrote:

    #130 Delighted to see that you managed to find time to feature the report by Prof Andrew Hughes-Hallett and Prof Drew Scot on Newsnet Scotland. This is an authoritative document that effectively demolishes the Calman proposals and your coverage ensures that it will reach a wider audience.

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  • 138. At 1:58pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    101. At 00:25am on 17 Apr 2010, JohnConstable:
    Och! Your Scots was fine. I was only giving you a slightly different version. The thing about the Scottish Lowland language is that, like all other languages, it has several dialects. In addition there is a further division. I generally speak Lallans, (Lowlands), Scots but there is also what is known as, "Scots Standard English", this is really just English spoken with a Scottish accent but with lots of real Scottish words and phrases thrown in for good measure. It is quite interesting, if you are aware of these differences, to pay attention to Scots conversations. They tailor their language depending upon who they are speaking to. If the person is a stranger they usually start using English together but soon change according to their grasp of the Scots language. They are not even aware that they do so. It is quite funny if they are conversing in broad Scots and a phone rings - whoever answers will answer in their, "Telephone voice", but if it is a known Scots speaker calling immediately lapse back into Scots.

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  • 139. At 2:00pm on 17 Apr 2010, wilddog wrote:

    Electric Hermit
    Go and have a listen to the programme Dateline with Esler a few snide remarks there Scotland subsidised by England for one.

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  • 140. At 2:00pm on 17 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    edinchris isn't actually from Scotland why don't you introduce yourself properly?

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  • 141. At 2:08pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    135. edinchris
    "then the USSR ruled it for 61 years"

    You have little grasp of history! You are confusing them with the Baltic states.

    Your inclusion of the number of years of Union is, of course, wholly irrelevant. It was being explained to you that the process of asset division to component parts of a single state is relatively simple. The basic principles are outlined in Article 18 of the Vienna Convention of 1983 on Succession of States.

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  • 142. At 2:21pm on 17 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    135. edinchris
    "As RBS was domiciled in Scotland, had Scotland been independent, the Scottish Trasury would have had to rescue it."

    Rubbish! Nobody had to bail out the banks. There were other options. The Scottish government could, for example, have chosen to nationalise all the banks' operations in Scotland. Or they could simply have set up a state bank and left the private sector to the whims of the free market. Which, after all, is what they always said they wanted.

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  • 143. At 2:23pm on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #135 edinchris
    "As RBS was domiciled in Scotland, had Scotland been independent, the Scottish Trasury would have had to rescue it. Could the regulation have been better? Of course it could, but I can't remember once hearing the SNP say this in the years up to 2008 (in fact they were holding up Iceland as a model for Scotland's banking system)"

    Who can say what the regulatory regime would have been had Scotland become independent rather than devolved in 1999? At this distance, we can only confirm that the removal of controls was on Duff Gordon's watch. However, in the case of RBS we can add the warnings given in October 2007 of the extraordinary nature of the ABN Amro takeover and the blind eye turned to it both by HM Treasury, the FSA and Lord Mandy. The FT's In depth > ABN Amro takeover battle has some useful references, and I especially recommend your reading Lina Saigol's Making the ABN numbers work will be tricky which includes: "There are no comparable banking deals where such a premium has been paid. Even more worrying is that Sir Fred et al are willing to pay 70 per cent for a new and untested model: the complex break-up of a bank across several countries."

    And perhaps you would explain why "the Scottish Trasury would have had to rescue it" in quite the same way that Duff Gordon and Capn. Darling did rather than, say, following St. Vince's suggestions?

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  • 144. At 2:27pm on 17 Apr 2010, gedguy2 wrote:

    Again we have certain posters warning us of the perils of leaving the Union. Surely one of them can come up with a good positive reason why we should stay in the Union? This question has been asked of the Unionists several times by myself and others and we have never had a reply. If the Union is so good for the people of Scotland then why can't the Unionists come forward with a list of benefits that we have by remaining in the Union?
    I suspect that the truth behind the Unionists fear of refusing to indulge with the Nationalists in this type of discussion is that the Nationalists will rip their argument to pieces. Where are the 'benefits' of remaining in the Union? Surely there must be some?

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  • 145. At 2:38pm on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    117. edinchris
    "1) Devolution - There is no doubt this was long overdue, and it wouldn't have happened without Labour"

    The Path to Devolution

    Could I suggest rather than reiterating what you read in the mainstream media who only copy and paste articles and do some proper research to find the true facts of your opinions.

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  • 146. At 2:38pm on 17 Apr 2010, govanite wrote:

    #135 EdinChris

    Again the old unionist deception about the banks. So 2 things:

    1) An independent Scotland would have a responsibility only to Scottish account holders and taxpayers. That would be the extent of regulation. We are talking about a private company, not some state enterprise. If RBS operates in foreign countries then those countries will regulate as they see fit and RBS would operate there under local laws.

    2) The credit for RBS's global growth was taken by the unionists who claimed to provide the light regulation, market access and a platform in London for RBS expansion. Then it all went bang ! Now we are supposed to forget that it was the UK which 'empowered' RBS and we are supposed to blame something which does not exist - an Independent Scotland.

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  • 147. At 2:42pm on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    117. edinchris
    "3) Coupled with this has been a sustained period of economic growth between 1997 and 2008 with low unemployment and rising living standards for the vast majority of Scots."

    Do you call borrowing more and more to inflate an economy real growth? Smoke and mirrors.

    The Economy didn't crash by itself.

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  • 148. At 2:53pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    Just a Yougov sample, but the change between the pre and post debate samples in Scotland are interesting for all that.

    Con -7 : Lab -1 : LD & SNP both +3

    We really need a proper Scottish poll!

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  • 149. At 2:54pm on 17 Apr 2010, Jim Kerr wrote:

    So what if King Eck the first did not get to debate with the other wind bags who promise the earth but will give us the ordinary punter nothing.
    What I want is a big reduction in fuel tax.

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  • 150. At 2:59pm on 17 Apr 2010, Ron wrote:

    I thought Gordon Brown did well in the debate. He tried to be himself. Unfortunately as a dour Scots son of the manse his real image does not go down well in this age of X factor politics. David Cameron came over as shallow and the PR man he is. Nick Clegg who had nothing to loose played his cards well. However, I don't know how well his ideas of pro Europe and anti Trident will go down with the little Englanders of the south east.

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  • 151. At 3:04pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #117. At 11:46am on 17 Apr 2010, edinchris:
    Just how often are we to correct your misinformed and misleading drivel before you twig that it's not going to work on this blog?
    1) Devolution - Would have happened with or without Labour. It was the will of the people, not the will of Labour, that forced it upon the Westminster Establishment.
    2) Increase in public spending - As proven by the discredited GERS, (General Expendexpenditure Revenue Scotland), figures, originally a Tory wheeze to fool the Scots, The Scottish economy actually subsidises the United Kingdom. Incidentally GERS used the very same prestidigitation you have used in your present post. It is just SOME of our own money we get back.
    3) That period of lower unemployment was not mirrored in, say, the London Boroughs where there are more unemployed people than the rest of the UK put together - just who do you think was subsidising them?
    4 - "What about the benefits to Scotland of staying part of the UK"?
    There are none whatsoever.
    "The UK may have lost some of its influence". - Not may have, very much has done. If you think for a moment that the four home countries would NOT form a unit within such as the EU, NATO, and the UN then you are a fool. Whatever happens the four home countries have many common bonds, common views and common asperations. After the Union disolves we will have four times the representation within those international institutions.
    There is no such thing as Scottish Troops - the armed forces are United Kingdom troops.
    "I also strongly believe that were it not for the UK Treasury, the Scottish banking system would have collapsed in 2008". Rubbish! There is no such thing as the Scottish banking system - any more than there is an English, Welsh of Northern Irish banking system. Those banks were no more Scottish than The Bank of England is English - all are part of the UK financial sector.
    "Fundamentally, the UK is not perfect". That's the only true thing you have said. "I think Scotland has far more in common with the rest of the UK than we do with any other country, and it is in our interests to work together", - And we could well work together as four independent countries rather than being dictated to by 533 English MPs in a common parliament that means none of the other three UK countries can ever have a real say in how the present set up is run.

    You don't divide up aircraft carriers, you either share them in a common defence force or you have one each. As to British colonies - Britain has none - We now have, "British Overseas Territory", (this was introduced by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002). The Act replaced,"British Dependent Territory",that name was introduced by, "The British Nationality Act 1981". It was before 1981 that we had, "Colonies or Crown colonies". Quite simply we give them their independence as there will be no unified parliament of Great Britain after independence.

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  • 152. At 3:05pm on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    136. oldnat

    Nice one.

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  • 153. At 3:32pm on 17 Apr 2010, yourkidding wrote:

    Hi, according to Betsan (BBC Wales ) the viewing figures for Scotland and Wales was 34 % for the debate .England 38 and N.Ireland 26%. Interestingly there is also discussion in Wales regarding a " peoples bank"

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  • 154. At 3:42pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #135. At 1:30pm on 17 Apr 2010, edinchris: As RBS was domiciled in Scotland, had Scotland been independent, the Scottish Trasury would have had to rescue it.
    Oh! Come now! If Scotland had been independent, If RBS had remained domiciled in Scotland, then things, lots of them, would have been differen. First of all the relaxed regulation allowed BY WESTMINSTER would not have applied to RBS and IF Scotland had been independent then the Scottish Government would have had responsibility - but they weren't and they hadn't.
    Care to quote a source for the SNP holding up Iceland Banking as a model for Scottish Banking?
    Where do you get the idea that Scotland will be leaving behind a Parliament of the United Kingdom? There were only two countries that signed the Treaty of Union. When Scotland tears up that treaty there will no longer be a joint parliament of the United Kingdom. Thus any agreements made within that treaty will no longer exist. No problem whatsoever - anything the two parties cannot agree upon will be taken to the international courts. THERE IS NO RUMP parliament of the United Kingdom - it dies - but the Kingdoms will still be united, (unless they bump off QEII), - only the joint parliament will die. Just like any other divorce, we share out the joint property, and go our several ways alone. We do keep good relations - for the sake of the children, though.

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  • 155. At 3:44pm on 17 Apr 2010, frankly francophone wrote:

    #142 Electric Hermit

    Quite so. The bailing out of private-sector financial institutions, and in the manner in which it was done, was a policy choice, which is regarded, at least in some quarters, as a mistake, as it is leading to further problems of a highly serious nature.

    The UK government, which had not provided itself with sufficient reserves with which to implement such a policy without massive and unsustainable borrowing, is now faced with the problem of how to continue to support economic recovery at a time when it is expected by credit-rating agencies to start paying down its unprecedented mountain of public debt, the level of which is actually comparable to that of Greece. It should be borne in mind that Greece is considered to be in danger of defaulting on its debt at some point, despite the support which it is receiving, after which a domino effect is anticipated, in which the UK may well be caught up.

    As the Scottish Government and Scottish local authorities are apparently acutely aware, the Labour UK government's transformation of a private-sector crisis into a public-sector one is going to present the new UK government with a need to make deep cuts in public spending at a time when to do so will in all probability cause economic damage and produce constitutionally significant political consequences, particularly in Scotland.

    Thus the private sector has been enabled to threaten the scope of the public sector by virtue of being saved by it. What a stroke of genius from a supposedly left-of-centre party! This is Brown saving the world? Maybe he should just go home and do something else instead. Collecting postage stamps, perhaps.

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  • 156. At 3:44pm on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #148 oldnat
    "We really need a proper Scottish poll!"

    Absolutely, but who would commission one? Not any of the MSM, I fear, and now the Murdoch media seem to be getting cold feet about the "third way" they have fostered with their pro-debate spin I'm not even sure that YouGov will be continuing their daily "Sun" polls, let alone the weekly "aggregations" for the "Scottish" Sun. Looking on the bright side, it will at least be some consolation that at least Murdoch will be disappointed if the officials don't win.

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  • 157. At 3:51pm on 17 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

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

  • 158. At 3:52pm on 17 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Er sorry and you had a valid political point....

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  • 159. At 4:15pm on 17 Apr 2010, Patrick Kirkwood wrote:

    Brian, why report the latest spin from the Labour lie machine?!

    As has already been pointed out by a number of posters above, Salmond's comments were before the debate, and any truthful Labour supporter (I know, thats a stretch!) must know that 90% of the debate on 'domestic' affairs will not impact Scotland thanks to devolution.

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  • 160. At 4:21pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    149. At 2:54pm on 17 Apr 2010, Jim Kerr wrote:
    So what if King Eck the first did not get to debate with the other wind bags who promise the earth but will give us the ordinary punter nothing.
    What I want is a big reduction in fuel tax.
    What are you blethering about? The last King of Scots, Alexander III, died on 19 March 1286, after falling off a cliff at Kinghorn. As to that fuel tax thingy, you will see no great reduction in fuel, or any other, tax until we Scots elect enough SNP MPs to withdraw from the Westminster Pasrliament and we get our own real, independent, Scottish Parliament - You should listen to Alex Salmond or wee Ms Sturgeon if you want to get better fuel prices.

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  • 161. At 4:27pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    159. Patrick Kirkwood
    "Brian, why report the latest spin from the Labour lie machine?!"

    Read it again. Brian reported it, but then rubbished it. This is great progress from the Beeb!

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  • 162. At 4:35pm on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #155 frankly__francophone
    "This is Brown saving the world? Maybe he should just go home and do something else instead. Collecting postage stamps, perhaps."

    Quite so. No doubt while singing along to his favourite Song Of Patriotic Prejudice.

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  • 163. At 5:33pm on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Mike Smithson (an avowed English L-D) on politicalbetting.com links to UK Newsnight's Floating voters evaluate leaders from September 2008, which perhaps helps explain why Clegg did so well. I recall watching it at the time and being unimpressed, but I have to admit that I seem to be being proved wrong, especially with the new ComRes GB poll showing Con 31% L-D 29% and Lab 27%. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 164. At 5:49pm on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Odd that my #163 ends with "[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]" when the Newsnight link was the only one I included and has not been removed. Some mistake, surely?

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  • 165. At 5:53pm on 17 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    110. Mystery Poster
    "110. At 09:10am on 17 Apr 2010, Mystery Poster wrote:

    #109, GrannieAnne wrote:

    "And the outcome is certain however long it takes."

    Indeed; we're a long time dead...
    "

    You, sir, may be dead. I am not, nor are my hopes for my nation to "reap our own harvest and ring our own till."

    Perhaps the unjust and undemocratic nature of those debates will finally wake the Scottish people up to our true status in this "union".

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  • 166. At 5:59pm on 17 Apr 2010, cj8652 wrote:

    What is really sad is that the Glasgow centric BBC Scotland Staff rolled over and allowed these debates to exclude Scotland without a whimper.

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  • 167. At 6:13pm on 17 Apr 2010, Patrick Kirkwood wrote:

    #166, absolutely.

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  • 168. At 6:21pm on 17 Apr 2010, hamish42 wrote:

    #6.Electric Hermit
    "Probably should have thought of this earlier. But better late than never. I have started a Scottish Media Hall of Shame and would appreciate examples of anti-Scottish government and/or anti-SNP bias."

    What annoys me somewhat is the continuous stream of anti-SNP, pro-Labour bias from the Daily Record. Particularly the paragraph at the end of each editorial given in bold type, which either condemns SNP policy or Praises Gordon Brown. There has been at least one per day for some time now.

    I wondered if a compilation of these anecdotes would show up the Record for what it is - anti-Scottish in spite of its claim to be Scotland's Newspaper.

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  • 169. At 6:56pm on 17 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    160. Auld Bob
    "The last King of Scots, Alexander III, died on 19 March 1286, after falling off a cliff at Kinghorn. "

    What are you rubbishing on about? If you discount the great Robert I, King of the Scots by the "due consent and assent" of the Community of the Realm of Scotland, by law and custom, and by his own force of arms, I assure you that not everyone does.

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  • 170. At 7:03pm on 17 Apr 2010, cj8652 wrote:

    I note some comments about fuel prices. I have just had to give up a perfectly good job 30 miles away in Perth and take on a less well paid job locally as I can no longer afford to travel to work due to the greedy oil companies who are owned by the rich backers of the conservative AND Labour parties, filling their pockets like pigs feeding at a trough. Is it not at the stage that we should, as a nation gather together and doing something about this complete rip off? which will only be perpetuated by the three Westminster parties in the form of fuel duty. The only way Scotland Can look after its self is to be in a position to set its own fuel duty rates. If you are in the west of Scotland please stop looking towards the Labour party for salvation, they are only interested in your vote so they can swan off to Westminster, fill their own pockets and holiday in the Bahamas. Please please realize that we nationalists will not dress you in kilts make you eat shortbread or stop you being Cosmopolitan. We are all Scottish and together we can make this one of the most affluent nations in Europe. We have been ripped off and drained of resources for the last 300 years. Now is the time to be proud to be Scottish. That does not mean hating the English but believing in your own nation, and believing we can actually look after ourselves. All that is holding Scotland Back is the Labour vote in Glasgow. That vote is born out of the misconception that Labour is for the working man, has the last 13 years of labour MP's filling there wallets not shown this to be a complete farce.

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  • 171. At 7:04pm on 17 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    I would advise not reading or buying the Daily Record. I personally stopped buying the Scotsman and Herald out of principle for the same reasons. They did a study once and the grammar of the daily record was that of an 8 year old.

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  • 172. At 7:13pm on 17 Apr 2010, coineach watson wrote:

    Was it not Willie Hamilton (Labour MP) who once said "You could put a red (Labour) Rosette on a Collie Dog and they (the Labour voters) would vote for it"

    Says a lot about the IQ of the average Labour voter, doesn't it.

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  • 173. At 7:14pm on 17 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    I'd make everyone wear kilts.

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  • 174. At 7:21pm on 17 Apr 2010, Phil_Anthropponent wrote:

    117 edinchris wrote:
    "Even today in Afghanistan, Scottish troops are involved in fighting to help bring a better government to one of the poorest countries in the world that has been ignored for decades by the rest of the world. What would happen if we left? A country run by a goup of people who think women have no rights, and men get flogged for the terrible crime of shaving off a beard!"

    Now this is shameful. Apart from your entire post looking like a crafted template of utterly orchastrated lies, this is disgraceful.

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  • 175. At 7:28pm on 17 Apr 2010, hamish42 wrote:

    #171 Vadkov2000

    You may not like the Record, neither do I, but the problem is, lots of people (voters) do and are being brainwashed by the 'paper.

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  • 176. At 7:31pm on 17 Apr 2010, cj8652 wrote:

    LOL i would be happy to wear a kilt too as it drives the wife "mad with desire" lol!

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  • 177. At 7:32pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    I've often thought that Scottish Independence will actually be secured by politics in England, as they struggle to come to terms with their post-imperial position.

    If the LD surge in GB/England continues, then that may actually force a situation in which English politicians navel gaze their way to constitutional changes which are anathema here.

    We do live in interesting times!

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  • 178. At 7:38pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #169. At 6:56pm on 17 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:"What are you rubbishing on about?" -
    Nah! Aiblins Ah wisna clear - When I wrote,"The last King of Scots, Alexander III, died on 19 March 1286, after falling off a cliff at Kinghorn". It was the last "Alexander" , who was king of Scots. Not the last King of Scots with any other name.
    I should have typed it as, "The last Alexander who was King of Scots was Alexander III who fell aff a cliff in 1286. Afu sorry aboot that.

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  • 179. At 7:39pm on 17 Apr 2010, RandomScot wrote:

    At last the BBC give equal prominence to the SNP in a vroadcast with the Labour, Tories, Libs and I assume Plaid

    Pity it was in Dalek form

    But it's a start

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  • 180. At 7:56pm on 17 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    #178. Auld Bob

    "When I wrote,"The last King of Scots, Alexander III, died on 19 March 1286, after falling off a cliff at Kinghorn". It was the last "Alexander" , who was king of Scots. Not the last King of Scots with any other name."

    Ah, you were correct then. He was indeed the last King of Scots of that name and of that line.

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  • 181. At 7:57pm on 17 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #171 Vakov:
    Vakov2000 wrote: "I would advise not reading or buying the Daily Record. I personally stopped buying the Scotsman and Herald out of principle for the same reasons. They did a study once and the grammar of the daily record was that of an 8 year old."

    I think you mean you would advise against reading...
    I personally... the word "personally" is redundant in that context.
    the same reasons... you haven't given any reasons.
    They did a study... who are they?
    That of an 8-year-old.... what, malt whisky?

    Stick with the Daily Record - your literacy may imoprove! The eight-year-old is above you in the class, I'm afraid.



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  • 182. At 8:00pm on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    179. RandomScot

    Och-sterminate

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  • 183. At 8:01pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #172. At 7:13pm on 17 Apr 2010, coineach watson wrote:"Was it not Willie Hamilton (Labour MP) who once said "You could put a red (Labour) Rosette on a Collie Dog and they (the Labour voters) would vote for it".
    It was indeed Willie Hamilton and I will tell you a true story about that. Willie had a public meeting in my adopted home village in Fife. Back in those days there were very few non-Labour voters in Fife Mining villages but I was one. I was at that Willie Hamilton meeting and asked Willie, "Are you not worried by the rise in support for the Nationalists". Willie replied, "Why would I worry? You could put a Labour Rosette on a collie dog's collar and the the Fifers would vote for it". Quick as the proverbial flash I said, "Aye Willie, Ah ken ... ... ... an Ah'm lookin richt at it". I was swiftly removed from the meeting and deposited on the footpath outside the hall by two large heavies, (mind you they were in kinks of laughter and quite gentle with me".

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  • 184. At 8:03pm on 17 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #172 and 175: I'm sure Labour voters and Record readers are delighted to learn that nationalist posters consider them to be of low IQ and subject to brainwashing. If you listen carefully, you'll hear them stampeding to join the SNP. Insult the voters, sweep to power - it's right up there with Free by '93.

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  • 185. At 8:07pm on 17 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    hamish42 Even worse they read the SCUM er SUN!

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  • 186. At 8:10pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #173. At 7:14pm on 17 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:"I'd make everyone wear kilts".
    Yeah but!
    I'm well into my seventies, been an SNP supporter since the 1940s, never voted for anyone else but, not being a Highlander, I've never worn a kilt in my life. What is more there are many more non-Highlanders in Scotland than there are Highlanders yet every one of us is as Scottish as the others. As Bill McLaren said, "There is nowhere more Scottish than the Scottish Borders". In fact there is not another border in Europe where the change on either side is quite so marked as the Scottish/English Border. However, when push comes to shove, the SNP stand for the People of Scotland - no matter what their ethnic origins.

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  • 187. At 8:10pm on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    181. brigadierjohn
    "Stick with the Daily Record - your literacy may imoprove!"

    Em! copy/paste you can always blaim the author fot their spelling mistakes.

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  • 188. At 8:21pm on 17 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Frigadearjohn is a Daily Record Reeder.

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  • 189. At 8:24pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #180. At 7:56pm on 17 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:"Ah, you were correct then. He was indeed the last King of Scots of that name and of that line".
    Now I don't know if the following will pass the MODS but -
    Aiblins it maun bi scrievin in a elenge leid, lik Inglis, whit maks it defeeckwalt.
    (Owersettin intil the Inglis:Translating into English):
    Perhaps it may be writing in a foreign language, like English, that makes it difficult.
    I kid you not - I was born and brought up on a farm and never actually heard English spoken until I went to school. I actually think in Lowland Scots.

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  • 190. At 8:28pm on 17 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #187: Spelling excellent, typing rubbish. Touche!

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  • 191. At 8:33pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    Worth having a look at the latest YouGov which has a list of Scottish questions in it - now why should the Unionists be so keen to include Scottish questions?

    http://www.today.yougov.co.uk/politics/voting-intention-17-april-c-33-l-30-ld-29

    The inanity of the oil question is mind boggling! The questions are wholly unrelated to the stimulus statement!

    Once the tables come out, the Scottish sample (unweighted though it is) will be interesting. We'll have to take on trust the YouGov haven't skewed the Scottish sample. (I'm so trusting of UK pollsters pandering to UK media). :-)

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  • 192. At 8:38pm on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Don't Panic!: the trouble with Colonel Clegg

    The continuing story.......

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  • 193. At 8:38pm on 17 Apr 2010, govanite wrote:

    183. At 8:01pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob

    I'll tell you one of my stories. Years back during the Garscadden by-election some of us canvassed the massive tower-blocks of that part of town. Working our way down the floors, who did we pass working their way up but some of the People's Party reps lead by the blessed Donald himself and a collie dug with a red rosette.

    [I lied about the dug - collies are smarter than yer average labour voter]

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  • 194. At 8:48pm on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    190. brigadierjohn

    My spelling is atrocious as is my typing but 2 negatives make a positive and 1 + and a - = ?

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  • 195. At 8:50pm on 17 Apr 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Well we do know YouGov are an impartial balanced pollster. Except when there filling in the blanks for Labour/Daily Record people!

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  • 196. At 8:55pm on 17 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    #181. brigadierjohn said: "Stick with the Daily Record - your literacy may imoprove!"

    One might suspect this gentleman has a history as a member of the press the way he attacks the person instead of the issue. He issues not a word to dispute The Record's bias--only a personal attack on the poster (whilst proving his own lack of competence).

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  • 197. At 9:02pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #184. At 8:03pm on 17 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:"I'm sure Labour voters and Record readers are delighted to learn that nationalist posters consider them to be of low IQ and subject to brainwashing. If you listen carefully, you'll hear them stampeding to join the SNP. Insult the voters, sweep to power - it's right up there with Free by '93".
    Oh! Dear! Here we have more typical literary prestidigitation from, "brigadierjohn". We have the assumption, that as one SNP supporter has made a certain statement, it is, by association, the belief and mantra of all SNP supporters. Perhaps he even implies that it is party policy. The spirit of Paul Joseph Goebbels is alive and well and posting to, "Blether With Brian"

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  • 198. At 9:03pm on 17 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #194 cynicalHighlanderL You've lost me. Either you're too clever, or your typing is truly atrocious.

    I may look tomorrow to discover whether or not there is a clever explanation of your cryptic question. Bye.

    #195 Vakov: Oh, Vakov! Is that what your teacher said?

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  • 199. At 9:06pm on 17 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    David Cameron talking in Gloucester
    "A hung parliament would be a bunch of politicians haggling, not deciding.

    "They would be fighting for their own interests, not fighting for your interests. They would not be making long-term decisions for the country's future, they would be making short-term decisions for their own future."


    Interesting in you consider that this could describe the Tories position in Edinburgh. And I thought Auntie had done quite well this year in her efforts to be grown up about their position and managed to negotiate some of her own wants in tirn for support.

    Ah well, now we know.

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  • 200. At 9:07pm on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    191. oldnat
    "The inanity of the oil question is mind boggling! The questions are wholly unrelated to the stimulus statement!"

    This question is blatantly wrong.

    "Do you think it was right or wrong for UK taxpayers to rescue Scottish banks with billions of pounds of public money?"

    and this one is dubious since we are classed as a region as are all other regions.

    "Scotland currently receives around 20% more public spending per head of population than England. Do you think Scotland gets ..."

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  • 201. At 9:16pm on 17 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    181. brigadierjohn
    "Stick with the Daily Record - your literacy may imoprove!"

    Hoist!

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  • 202. At 9:29pm on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #191 oldnat
    "The inanity of the oil question is mind boggling!"

    Thanks for the link, and that's putting it mildly! 70% agreeing with "It is British, not Scottish, oil..." would be truly mind-blowing if I thought as many as 70% of the population of England knew where the oil reserves are or could even name which body of water they're in.

    I think I'm beginning to understand what you meant by neither side wishing to end Czechoslovakia but neither being prepared to compromise enough to hold it together. How's the research on that going?

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  • 203. At 9:33pm on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    The Sky News Wales Debate

    They’ll be facing questions from a live audience made up of Sky Viewers in Wales and party supporters. This audience is allowed to clap and make its views felt.

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  • 204. At 9:35pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #191. At 8:33pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:"Worth having a look at the latest YouGov which has a list of Scottish questions in it - now why should the Unionists be so keen to include Scottish questions"?
    I've never given much credence to opinion polls and after looking at that one I know why. They are propagating propaganda under the guise of legitimate questions.
    Where do they get their set figure of Scots being overpaid on a per Capita basis? As England has no block grant there are no such official figures so when these estimates are made they do not include for the English all the equivalent items paid from the Scottish Block grant. For example the London Crossrail's forecast cost of up to £15.9bn is probably not included. Are the grants made to London Transport in addition to the English funding that comes under UK funding for transport included? After all if the Government figures are given for UK transport they will not include those for Scotland, Wales or N.I. as these are met from within their block Grants. What of UK education that is also only English funding as the others must pay theirs from their block grants. Thus the commonly propagated myth that Scots get a bigger per-capita funding is just that - a myth.

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  • 205. At 9:42pm on 17 Apr 2010, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    "So what did you make of the other gig in Manchester?" -

    What gig was that then?

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  • 206. At 9:46pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #194. At 8:48pm on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander:
    My USAsian friend once said to me, "I ain't never done nuthin to no one no how"! It did make me blink a bit and I'm still trying to work that one out.

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  • 207. At 9:56pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    202. Brownedov
    "How's the research on that going?"

    On hold till after the election. In the meantime, I'm more concerned with doing what gardening I can before I get a date for my hernia operation. Seemed appropriate to leave the research on a split in a body politic, until the surgeon has fixed the split in mine. :-)

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  • 208. At 9:59pm on 17 Apr 2010, RandomScot wrote:

    Language is not algebra, a double negative is a valid emphasis, just as "Aye Right" is a negative

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  • 209. At 10:10pm on 17 Apr 2010, paul Hunter wrote:

    I really hope the numpty voters are bored to sleep and the decent voters of Scotland march us towards dumping nuclear weapons from the Clyde and onto an independent Scotland. I'm voting SNP not because 'I've always voted for them duh!' but because the Westminster Government has no hold on me and I have a brain!

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  • 210. At 10:19pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #208. At 9:59pm on 17 Apr 2010, RandomScot wrote:
    Language is not algebra, a double negative is a valid emphasis, just as "Aye Right" is a negative.
    Eh?
    Aye! Right!, (or Aye! Richt!).
    Is literally translated into English as. Yes! Correct!
    The negative bit comes only because it is ironic - not literal.
    The speaker, or writer, is ironically agreeing.

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  • 211. At 10:43pm on 17 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    186. Auld Bob
    "However, when push comes to shove, the SNP stand for the People of Scotland - no matter what their ethnic origins."

    Hear! Hear!

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  • 212. At 10:50pm on 17 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    191. oldnat
    "The inanity of the oil question is mind boggling!"

    Inanity seems such a small word for such idiocy. Entitlement to oil revenues is not a matter of opinion - it is a matter of law.

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  • 213. At 10:54pm on 17 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    200. cynicalHighlander
    ""Do you think it was right or wrong for UK taxpayers to rescue Scottish banks with billions of pounds of public money?"

    and this one is dubious since we are classed as a region as are all other regions.

    "Scotland currently receives around 20% more public spending per head of population than England. Do you think Scotland gets ..."
    "

    This is not polling. It is propagandising.

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  • 214. At 10:56pm on 17 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #209. At 10:10pm on 17 Apr 2010, paul Hunter wrote:"I'm voting SNP not because 'I've always voted for them duh!' but because the Westminster Government has no hold on me and I have a brain"!
    Well I have never voted anything else but SNP and I'm pushing on towards 80 now. My reasons are somewhat different, though. I also have a brian, and an enquiring mind. I always had the ability to see through flim flam and get the truth. I quickly see the flaws in the establishment propaganda and see them telling, easily detected, lies to the Scottish people. I worked out the Governments con trick of "GERS", (General Expenditure & Revenue for Scotland). Long before Niall Aslen did his article and published it. I saw the flaws in the Establishments claim to Scottish Oil by use of the term, "Extra Regio Territories" without anyone explaining it to me. Plainly Scottish Waters ARE identifiable. Even more so when you discover the policing & legal jurisdiction over them is paid for ONLY with the Council Tax money taken from the people living in the Scottish North East. So the Revenues go to the Treasury while the cost of administering them comes ONLY from the Scottish mainland adjacent to the Oil Bearing area of the North Sea. So identifiable for deductions but not identifiable for the profits. Just how cynical can you get? I kid you not - follow the links and see for yourselves.

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  • 215. At 11:06pm on 17 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #207 oldnat
    "I'm more concerned with doing what gardening I can before I get a date for my hernia operation."

    Hope they can fit you in on 10 May and that your recovery is speedy and complete. Some gentle academic research should be an ideal activity during your convalescence, or at least a very good excuse for use with Mrs nat.

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  • 216. At 11:06pm on 17 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    212. Electric Hermit
    "Entitlement to oil revenues is not a matter of opinion - it is a matter of law."

    Precisely. Those who vote for the constitutional status quo or some kind of Calman amendment of it are voting for ex Regio resources to be part of UK income. Those that vote for independence or real fiscal autonomy vote for them to be part of Scottish income.

    With regard to the last option, I always liked that the UK Government redrew the border between English and Scottish waters to match what would be the international boundary. They did us a favour. Makes the allocation of all Scottish resources to the Scottish economy much easier.

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  • 217. At 11:28pm on 17 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

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

  • 218. At 11:31pm on 17 Apr 2010, govanite wrote:

    And on my comment at #193, before someone accuses me of arrogance or prejudice, I have been a Labour voter in my time but at some point it becomes clear that Labour MPs love a tory government more than a Labour one. Under the tories, life is easy for the average Labour MP. Nothing to do all day but blame the tories and pocket the expenses.

    Where would Labour be if they actually got rid of poverty ? Out of a job, most of them.

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  • 219. At 11:39pm on 17 Apr 2010, paul Hunter wrote:

    Auld Bob, I have voted SNP all my life because just like you I saw through all the tripe poured out onto the voters for years. The icing on the cake was the other night's political debate (English debate). I couldn't tell which party was selling what and if it all comes down to winning an election because of a good shift on a debates programme then God help us all!It's time to shed this old skin of Westminster gimmicks for the London parties are imploding, and if we don't break away now, we as a country will not just exist as a colony but as a broken back colony and we'll drift all our days.

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  • 220. At 11:56pm on 17 Apr 2010, Robabody wrote:

    From the BBC - "The Herald & Times newspaper group has named Jonathan Russell as its new editor-in-chief of news operations and editor of The Herald.

    The 40-year-old journalist is currently assistant editor of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail".


    Oh Dear.................something else to realy look forward to! I wonder if he's a card carrying member of the Glasgow First (Friday sessions) club?

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  • 221. At 00:01am on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    218. govanite
    "And on my comment at #193, before someone accuses me of arrogance or prejudice"

    I wouldn't say that your post indicated arrogance or prejudice only someone who showed some honesty in reporting what you saw at a particular point in time nothing more or nothing less a pity some others didn't have the same integrity no matter who they supported.

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  • 222. At 00:03am on 18 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    218. govanite
    "Where would Labour be if they actually got rid of poverty ? Out of a job, most of them."

    The tragedy is that the "real" Labour Party (now long defunct) fought hard to end poverty. Most of their voters still think that voting for Labour will help to bring that about.

    The sad reality is that keeping people dependent on hand-outs instead of encouraging their pride and economic independence has resulted in electoral success for the Labour "machine". You only need to look at the reality of Labour in Glasgow to see the disconnect between their supposed aims and the self-seeking reality.

    "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it" (Pitt the Elder)

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  • 223. At 00:12am on 18 Apr 2010, Grahame wrote:

    If reading the bbc politic microsite is anything to go by. This must be an election in England only ? ;-)

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  • 224. At 00:17am on 18 Apr 2010, frankly francophone wrote:

    #162 Brownedov

    Thanks for the ditty but not my cup of tea. On the subject of the saviour of the world, what, one is beginning to wonder, is Flash Gordon proposing to do about all this here volcanic ash that is starting to rain down?

    What contingency plans are being drawn up by the Brown government to cope with the economic consequences of a failure of the ash cloud to dissipate before such consequences begin to set in? Or has Mr Brown made no provision for bailing out airlines after accommodating the banks so generously? Other businesses may begin to feel the pinch quite soon, in circumstances in which cash flow may already be a problem for them. How will the banks respond?

    If further substantial public borrowing is opted for to preserve Labour's electioneering spending promises, God help poor old Blighty, over-extended and over-exposed as it is. At the moment the ash cloud is apparently still over the UK as well as covering about 90 per cent of metropolitan France and heading for the Mediterranean. What if Eyjafjöll wakes up Ketla and the scenario takes on an even more apocalyptic appearance? What is our hero's position on that, pray? Apart from praying. I thought none of this was supposed to happen until 2012.

    Isn't nature wonderful? No sooner has one finished clearing away several wintersworth of snow than along comes fire and brimstone and a great shadow falls across the land. Am away to consult the Old Testament to see what happens next. Nighty night.

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  • 225. At 00:18am on 18 Apr 2010, paul Hunter wrote:

    I heard they found a daily record on Mars, a week later there were Labour flags all over the planet and it's now known as planet Brown. And just to make sure Labour moved the border line incase there's any water/oil. Jim Murphy says they'll bring 20,000 new jobs next time they're up. Alistair Darling nodded his head in approval. Sound familiar?

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  • 226. At 00:43am on 18 Apr 2010, kered wrote:

    #222 oldnat

    Labour is expanding the idea of the co-operative system, where every worker becomes a share holder, rather than just a few.

    It's an exciting labour idea that gives the ordinary worker more reward, responsibility and care in their work-place.

    Glasgow city council has pathed the way for such an undertaking, in both the private and public sector.

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  • 227. At 01:30am on 18 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    226. kered
    "It's an exciting labour idea"

    I think the John Lewis Partnership (founded in the 1920s) would dispute your idea that this is a Labour idea. If anything it's much more related to Syndicalism rather than Socialism.

    That Labour rejected Socialism many years ago is common knowledge. If you are trying to suggest to us that it has now embraced Syndicalism, then you should have persuaded the authors of Labour's Manifesto to include that.

    Specifically, however, with regard to Glasgow's ALEOs - please provide details of the employee share holding structure in any of them. Since Glasgow is the only council where ALEO board members are paid thousands extra each year for their part- time positions, you'll understand that I want details of how a real employee of an ALEO is a share holder, rather than how councillors are troughing it through them.

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  • 228. At 02:04am on 18 Apr 2010, dbbaye wrote:

    I wonder how many will switch their vote after this debate, it was like watching CNN or the Fox channel with Scotland excluded, even they don't treat Scotland with the contempt ITV did. I switched to another channel, I will also be switching my vote because of it, something I thought I would never do

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  • 229. At 02:18am on 18 Apr 2010, InfrequentAllele2 wrote:

    181. Brigadierjohn

    Ah... do I hear the mating cry of the often-spotted linguistic pedant? It makes my wee heart go all pitter patter so it does. I don't object to linguistic pedantry. I just object to inaccurate linguistic pedantry.

    I think you mean you would advise against reading...
    The use of advise followed by a negated verbal participle is a common Scots construction. He spelled advise (verb) correctly. It's often written wrongly "advice", which is the noun. He deserves brownie points for that. I've seen it spelled wrongly in the Daily Record.

    I personally... the word "personally" is redundant in that context.
    It's not redundant if it's being used as an intensiviser. Which it is here. The use of "personally" in this context is a relatively recent usage. The reflexive "myself" is often used the same way nowadays. English requires pronominal intensivisers because in English grammar pronouns are obligatory with verbs which do not have an overtly expressed noun phrase as subject. Because pronouns are obligatory we need some means of making them more emphatic, especially in writing. Gaelic has a special suffix to add to pronouns to make them emphatic or constrastive, but in English there are merely stressed and unstressed variants. In speaking it's easy to make the distinction, I is pronounced "uh" when unstressed and "aye" when it's stressed, emphatic or contrastive. However there is no commonly accepted way to distinguish in writing between the two pronunciations of English subject pronouns. Pronominal intensivisers fill the gap. So now you know.

    "Those two pedants go on endlessly" marks the category of plurality four times. (Plural those, two is intrinsically plural, plural -s on pedant, and go takes the plural form of the verb.) Next time remind me to explain to you why redundancy is a universal feature of human language.

    the same reasons... you haven't given any reasons.
    He means the reasons given by the poster at 168. to whom he's obviously replying. He's flattering your intelligence by not explicitly pointing this out for you.

    They did a study... who are they?
    "They" in this context is the impersonal "they". English grammar demands that verbs have an overt subject, in many other languages this is not necessary. Other languages have a special impersonal verb ending. Gaelic is an example. In English the pronoun "they" is widely used as an impersonal, especially in contexts where the speaker wishes to exclude the addressee. "You" is used as an impersonal pronoun in contexts where the speaker includes the addressee. Shakespeare used impersonal they. If it's good enough for Shakespeare it's good enough for the bleedin' Daily Record.

    That of an 8-year-old.... what, malt whisky?
    Naaa. An 8 year old mentality. The meaning is clear from the context. Unless you have the mentality of an 8 year old I suppose. Which is what it takes to criticise a person's use of grammar.

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  • 230. At 02:40am on 18 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    229. InfrequentAllele2

    I do love your contributions!

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  • 231. At 06:41am on 18 Apr 2010, ForteanJo wrote:

    Credit where credit is due, both this and Brian's last blog are still open for comment. In the current climate, this is setting a bit of a record (hope I haven't spoke too soon).

    Anyways, did anyone see "How to win a Debate" last night? Refreshing to see so many politicians speaking frankly and admitting that they would never do a televised debate if they were ahead in the polls, so perhaps we aren't witnessing the shape of things to come with these 3 debates, especially if the last debate is blocked in Scotland.

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  • 232. At 07:30am on 18 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    231. ForteanJo
    "...especially if the last debate is blocked in Scotland."

    You're thinking what I'm thinking? I was disappointed that the SNP didn't seek an interim interdict against the broadcast in Scotland of the first rigged "debate". Then it occurred to me that the case against the public service broadcaster would be very much stronger.

    We await developments.

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  • 233. At 07:58am on 18 Apr 2010, govanite wrote:

    #231,#232

    Considering how glaringly lacking in relevance the content was for Scots voters, not interdicting STV may have been a wise move. Add that to the mess Dave and Broon made of things and it looks not too bad in retrospect.

    The BBC however is a different case, they are funded by our money and have a duty to provide balanced coverage. They have a duty to allow their patrons [us] access to be informed accurately, rather than engaging in deception.
    The unionists are already being given a higher proportion of air-time than their case merits. Giving the unionists a further bite at the cherry in the guise of their 'Scottish' party leaders is one thing, actively excluding the SNP is quite another.

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  • 234. At 08:12am on 18 Apr 2010, ScotInNotts wrote:

    Pet hate:

    incorrectly reffered to as the union jack (as in flying from a jack staff) or more usually correctly as the union flag (when not being flown from a jack staff)!

    Why do people insist on using the incorrect terminology?

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  • 235. At 08:20am on 18 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #222. At 00:03am on 18 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:"The sad reality is that keeping people dependent on hand-outs instead of encouraging their pride and economic independence has resulted in electoral success for the Labour "machine"."
    Labour have been on the way out since they started cutting their socialist links with both the Unions and the Co-op movement, and why either body should still support them is beyond me. As to the big leap in the polls by the LDs the only conclusion is that the real reason the Westminster parties backed the bar on the SNP in face to face TV debates is they are terrified of what such debates would do for Salmond & the SNP.

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  • 236. At 08:30am on 18 Apr 2010, ForteanJo wrote:

    #235 - "Labour have been on the way out since they started cutting their socialist links with both the Unions and the Co-op movement, and why either body should still support them is beyond me."

    The average union leader is paid upwards of £80k. They can hardly sympathise with the plight of the common working man but since unions do play follow the leader really well, it is these leaders Labour must court to keep the payroll supporting Labour.

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  • 237. At 08:41am on 18 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #224 frankly__francophone

    "Thanks for the ditty but not my cup of tea."
    Nor my glass of the stuff. The link was for the philatelic audio-visuals not the sentiment,

    "No sooner has one finished clearing away several wintersworth of snow than along comes fire and brimstone and a great shadow falls across the land. Am away to consult the Old Testament to see what happens next."
    Worrying, certainly, but even I don't blame Duff Gordon for those.

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  • 238. At 08:56am on 18 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    226. At 00:43am on 18 Apr 2010, kered wrote:"Labour is expanding the idea of the co-operative system".
    The Labour Party was the fruit of the Co-Operative and trade Union movements. The bad old days of the Company Towns had poorly paid workers housed in company hovels, shopping in company stores and even drinking in company bars. This gave birth to both the Trade Unions and the Co-operative movement, Co-operative Banks and much more. The International Gothenburg Society provided pubs, clubs, libraries and Opera houses. All these movements furthered the interests of the workers, fostered and funded the Labour Party. So how come the modern Labour Party candidates are fresh faced, ex-University youngsters who have always had a life of privilege and plenty?

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  • 239. At 08:57am on 18 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #229 InfrequentAllele2

    Peerless!

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  • 240. At 08:57am on 18 Apr 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    I wonder what journalistic qualities at the Herald attracted the former assistant editor of The Daily Record and Sunday Mail.

    Could it be this?

    Over at Newsnet Scotland the plight of Scotland's forgotten is covered with this.

    I'll let the readers decide which of the two articles has more merit.

    Oh - InfrequentAllele2 at 229 - Ouch!!

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  • 241. At 08:59am on 18 Apr 2010, tullibardine wrote:

    The Sunday Times:

    'Clegg is almost as popular as Churchill.
    Sunday Times poll shows that the Liberal Democrat leader is now the most popular party leader since Winston Churchill.’

    I think it’s about time to resign from the human race.

    #229 InfrequentAllele2
    Excellent!

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  • 242. At 09:03am on 18 Apr 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    The SNP website is down at the moment !!

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  • 243. At 09:15am on 18 Apr 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    Now back up.

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  • 244. At 09:30am on 18 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #234. At 08:12am on 18 Apr 2010, ScotInNotts wrote:"incorrectly reffered to as the union jack (as in flying from a jack staff) or more usually correctly as the union flag (when not being flown from a jack staff)"!
    For those who dont know, "a jack", is a ship's flag. It is usually, (but not always), a smaller version of the ship's national identifying country flag. The, "jackstaff", is that wee stick on the bow of the ship that has the, "jack", flying from it. The "Ensign", flies from the wee stick on the stern and identifies whether the ship is Navy, Merchantman, Fleet Auxiliary, and so on. There is a whole language of different flags and pennants used on ships. By the way, when you see a line of flags from stem to stern this is known as, "Dressing the ship".

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  • 245. At 09:30am on 18 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    240. Online Ed
    "I wonder what journalistic qualities at the Herald attracted the former assistant editor of The Daily Record and Sunday Mail.

    Could it be this?
    "

    First thing I noticed was the distorted photograph of Alex Salmond. Please don't try to tell me that was accidental.

    As to the "story", I had to scroll back to the top of the page to check what paper I was reading because this slanted, anti-Scottish drivel is so typical of The Scotsman.

    Definitely one for the Scottish Media Hall of Shame.

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  • 246. At 09:32am on 18 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    229. InfrequentAllele2

    Excellent post!

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  • 247. At 09:40am on 18 Apr 2010, coineach watson wrote:

    Re: 244 by Auld Bob.

    Sorry Auld Bob, but you forgot to add that the "Union Jack" (i.e. Union Flag flying on a Royal Navy Ship from the Jack Staff) is only flown on TWO occassions:
    1. When the ship is at anchor and
    2. When the ship is tied up alongside a jetty.

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  • 248. At 09:43am on 18 Apr 2010, solway wrote:

    I dont normally read the Scottish politics websites but in light of the uproar about the SNP /PC being excluded I thought I'd have a look see and just want to make the following points:

    Firstly I am from Carlisle and though I am proudly English (just like the rest of our City ) I have no problem with most Scots at all
    (although we told Willie Wallace and the Bruce man where to get off when they tried to attack us!)
    I agree with the statement that the Banks were not Scottish but UK and so when they collapsed it was a sign of the weakness of the British banking system rather than just the Scottish system. However for all the SNP supporters- you can't have it both ways. If the banks weren't Scottish but British then the oil also is not Scottish but British.That is both fair and logical.
    Proud of being English and British - thank heavens this is not 1940-Hitler would have had a very easy time invading 2 squabbling and divided nations instead of the united and committed UK




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  • 249. At 09:48am on 18 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #245. At 09:30am on 18 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit:
    Frankly I cannot really blame the several dead tree media outlets for such distortions. The real problem is the readerships who actually believe such slanted reports. Let's face it, if the SNP were to hold a modest dinner for starving child surveyors of an earthquake smitten country, some anti-SNP rag would slant it as some kind of wrongdoing. Sadly, there would be wee pointy heads all over the country, nodding in agreement, as they read it while eating their ample fry-up breakfasts in their cosy Scottish kitchens.

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  • 250. At 09:49am on 18 Apr 2010, Grahame wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/scotland/8626261.stm

    - Erm. Fair and balanced reporting from the BBC?

    once again participating in some SNP bashing, and also allowing David McLetchie MSP to muddy the water by discussing devolved issues.

    "David McLetchie MSP, the Scottish Conservative campaign manager for the election, focused on the future of the NHS during a visit to Edinburgh South West, a key target seat for the party.

    Mr McLetchie said the Scottish Conservatives wanted to increase the budget for the NHS in real terms, and also wanted to see funds re-directed to frontline services, rather than being spent on huge numbers of administrators.

    He said: "Last year, under this SNP government, administrators were recruited at four-times the rate of nurses, and eight-times the rate of doctors.

    "We are committed to the NHS, and a Conservative government at Westminster will increase NHS funding - in real terms - every year."


    see, David McCletchie, nice chap though he is, doesn't have a clue.

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  • 251. At 10:00am on 18 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    248. solway
    "That is both fair and logical."

    It is neither. The banks are UK banks because they operate in a UK context. The oil is Scotland's because it is in Scottish territory.

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  • 252. At 10:02am on 18 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    249. Auld Bob
    "Frankly I cannot really blame the several dead tree media outlets for such distortions."

    Why not? It's not as if they don't have a choice.

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  • 253. At 10:03am on 18 Apr 2010, bmc875 wrote:

    #250. Grahame. Whilst I agree with your overall sentiment, couple of points of I may.
    1. BBC only reporting what David McCletchie said (I hate to agree with the BBC but..)
    2. I do not agree with him but David McCletchie knows what he is doing - he recognises that many Scots are 'confused' as to the details of Devolution in terms of reserved and devolved.

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  • 254. At 10:05am on 18 Apr 2010, Grahame wrote:

    248. At 09:43am on 18 Apr 2010, solway :

    Hi Solway, thanks for the input,

    As for squabbling? i'm sure you would be outraged if your democratically elected political party was deliberately excluded from political debate.

    Outside of this blog in the real world there are a lot of unhappy Scots out on the streets. The talk up here isn't about Nick Clegg and how well he did, it tends to be about how biased the debate was.. the big 3 parites really have shot themselves in the foot on that one, and i'm pretty sure in 2 weeks time it's going to come back and bite them on the bottom. lots of Safe Labour & Tory seats are going to be changing colour

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  • 255. At 10:09am on 18 Apr 2010, govanite wrote:

    #248 Solway

    Nice try, but there is a core difference between the banks and oil.
    Banks are private companies, artificial creations owned by shareholders.
    The oil however is part of Scotland's natural environment just like the wind and waves, lochs and mountains. It is for the nation of Scotland to decide how to harness it.

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  • 256. At 10:09am on 18 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #247. At 09:40am on 18 Apr 2010, coineach watson wrote:"forgot to add that the "Union Jack" (i.e. Union Flag flying on a Royal Navy Ship from the Jack Staff) is only flown on TWO occassions:
    Oh! I didn't forget - I just didn't mention it. However, the subject of flags and pennents brings up a little problem for the Saltire after independence. The Saltire is like, "The Blue Peter", (Letter, "P", for signal flags). There is the further problem that the, "Blue Peter", is flown on ships in port to signal, "I am about to leave Port". It is also flown at other times to signal, "I have a Doctor on board". This could cause lots of problems after independence. I wonder if that nice Mr Salmond has considered these potential problems? I wonder if Scotland could sue the BBC for using the Saltire for a Children's Programme?

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  • 257. At 10:09am on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    248. solway
    "If the banks weren't Scottish but British then the oil also is not Scottish but British.That is both fair and logical."

    Welcome but your logic has me scratching my head how on earth is that logical as one is in a natural fixed position and the other is man made and could be built anywhere.

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  • 258. At 10:11am on 18 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    250. Grahame

    It's a bit risky for the Tory/BLP alliance to be attacking the Scottish government on the NHS. Quite apart from the fact that this is a devolved area and nothing to do with the UK general election, Nicola Sturgeon's stewardship of the health service is widely acknowledged to have been one of the governments major success stories.

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  • 259. At 10:13am on 18 Apr 2010, Grahame wrote:

    253. bmc875

    Points happily taken, and agreed.


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  • 260. At 10:19am on 18 Apr 2010, bmc875 wrote:

    #259. Thanks Grahame. I think it is despicable that this 'misrepresentation' happens. Elmer, Spud and Paw Broon are past masters at it.

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  • 261. At 11:20am on 18 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #248. At 09:43am on 18 Apr 2010, solway wrote:"However for all the SNP supporters- you can't have it both ways. If the banks weren't Scottish but British then the oil also is not Scottish but British.That is both fair and logical".
    You really have got it quite wrong. If Scotland became independent tommorow the tax paid by the private banking companies would be paid to the country in which they were earned. Scotland and England would thus be entitled to the tax on profits earned in their respective countries. As to the North Sea revenues - 98% comes from internationally recognized Scottish territory over which Scottish law has jurisdiction. That is why the installations are policed by Scottish police forces, any crimes committed are processed in Scottish courts, as was the Piper Alpha problem and why oil spills are prosecuted in Scottish courts. I might add that the people who pay for this North Sea police action are ONLY those from the adjacent Scottish Council Tax payers in the Scottish North East. So you see it is not a matter of, "This and that are British, so as much ours as they are yours". They are a matter of international law. The UK Government got round that little problem by declaring the North Sea, "An Extra-Regio territory", of the United Kingdom. That means they created a new counbtry called Extra-Regio and claimed its income for the UK. They have done much the same with Crown Estates Rentals, Revenues and Incomes. The Crown Estates own the entire shoreline if England Wales & Northern Ireland but not that of Scotland. Now, by international law, those shorelines extend out to the 12 mile limits. They also cover Crown lands and holdings. The earnings for these Crown estates run to yearly billions of pounds. As mentioned Scots law is different and the Crown does not own the Scottish shorelines or Estates but it is the Crown Estates that administers them and those profits also go into the UK treasury. Both the North Sea and Crown estate incomes from Scottish territory legally belong to Scotland. Private companies are quite a different matter. Can you see the French, Germans or others allowing the UK to gain the tax earned in their countries by international companies? So why would you expect such as "HALIFAX" Bank of Scotland, to pay tax earned in an independent Scotland to an independent English tax gatherer?

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  • 262. At 11:35am on 18 Apr 2010, frankly francophone wrote:

    #229 InfrequentAllele2

    "If it's good enough for Shakespeare it's good enough for the bleedin' Daily Record."

    I shall personally treasure this sentence, always.


    #237 Brownedov

    "Worrying, certainly, but even I don't blame Duff Gordon for those."

    Pleased to hear it. Blaming a chap for circumstances beyond his control is not my cup of tea either.

    One may, however, I feel, reproach a chap ever so slightly for not being prudent enough to make sure that his government has adequate reserves to draw on in exceptional circumstances not of his creation. Whatever happened to Prudence?

    PS. I appreciated the stamps. Very nice.

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  • 263. At 11:42am on 18 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #252. At 10:02am on 18 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:"Why not? It's not as if they don't have a choice.".
    They really do not have a choice. They are private companies and they do as they are told by the owners who have their own political loyalties. Not so the, so called, "National", Broadcasters of the BBC who are funded by public monies paid for by every licence holder in the four home countries. The BBC have a charter and by broadcasting biased matters they break that charter and should be held to answer for doing so. In olden times, "When I were a lad", you knew what particular party the newspaper supported. Furthermore these publications honestly reported the news, any interference by an editor, or owner, was fiersly fought by the NUJ, (National Union of Journalists). There was little political bias in news reports. The bias came only from columnists, who declared their leanings, and from the Editorial. Thus the reader knew what to read and how to interpret it. Not so now. Press Regulation is a farce now - soon we will vote and citizens will decide who should run the country and base their judgments about politicians they do not trust on newspapers they do not believe. Would you actually believe it?

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  • 264. At 11:44am on 18 Apr 2010, sid_ts63 wrote:

    #248 solway. afternoon, you are of course correct Scotland can't have it both ways BUT nor can England. interesting how when the "Scottish " banks issue is raised by politicians on both sides of the border all the glory years of boom which equalled record profits and therefore record tax take from the banking sector for the exchequer are conveniently forgotten about! the "Scottish banks" scenario of course is used by the unionist party's TOO WEE , TOO STUPID campaign when in fact England cannot afford to allow Scotland limited fiscal autonomy.
    Sid

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  • 265. At 11:48am on 18 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    263. Auld Bob
    "They really do not have a choice."

    I now understand that you meant the journalists. Certainly, they have less choice.

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  • 266. At 12:10pm on 18 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    I'm watching, "The Big Question", on BBC1 just now, and I've never heard such uninformed, misinformed and lying rubbish in all my life. One question is about England having her own parliament. If those views are common among The English then God Help England and the sooner she goes her own way the better for everyone else who are British but not English.

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  • 267. At 12:12pm on 18 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #262 frankly__francophone
    "Whatever happened to Prudence?"

    Being seduced behind the Westmidden bike shed by young Nick while St. Vince was lampooning the Supreme Leader, I suspect.

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  • 268. At 12:27pm on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Interesting! This thread had its closed sign up about 10 mins ago and now its reopened.

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  • 269. At 12:40pm on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    YouGov/Murdoch Distort Poll To Stop Lib Dem Momentum

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  • 270. At 1:20pm on 18 Apr 2010, CassiusClaymore wrote:

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

  • 271. At 1:36pm on 18 Apr 2010, impeachblair wrote:

    Was out on the stump yesterday: lots of waves and goodwill from passers-by, and only a few opponents, though even these were good-natured generally.

    Several people commented unprompted on how appalling the news coverage was, particularly citing the disproportionate cover given to Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems on the main news channels.
    An issue exacerbated by the endless repeating of extracts from the infernal Debate, which unaccountably were also shown on the Scottish news.
    Can anyone explain the logic of that given that it was covered ad infinitum on the UK news and only a small proportion of the Debate related to Scotland?

    This might end up playing to the SNP’s advantage, but it needs the sense of fair play to be more widely felt.

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  • 272. At 1:45pm on 18 Apr 2010, cj8652 wrote:

    I really really hope that Cameron wins The english general election as sponsored by the english Broadcasting Corporation. This will surely serve to expose the complete lack of interest in Scotland by the conservatives (other than stealing our natural resources, and their ownership of their tax offsetting highland estates which they deliberately keep bereft of investment to ensure no one locally gets ideas above there station). It will expose their hypocrisy of complaining about control from Europe, then denying US Scots the right to govern ourselves. Cant wait for a Tory victory and the beginning of the end of the past it UK.

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  • 273. At 1:47pm on 18 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #269 cynicalHighlander
    "YouGov/Murdoch Distort Poll To Stop Lib Dem Momentum"

    Truly shocking, and if proven potentially disastrous for YougGov and pretty unsettling for all of the Murdoch media.

    YouGov sold for Murdoch's gold? Now, what does that remind me of?

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  • 274. At 1:47pm on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Calls for Alex Salmond to run England!

    However I just caught a bit of the BBC programme "The Big Questions". An English woman in the audience talked about how annoyed it made her when she read about all of these things that we have in Scotland but they can't get in England.

    "But" she said "my solution to that is that we get the Scottish Government to run the rest of us".

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  • 275. At 1:52pm on 18 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    269. cynicalHighlander

    It is increasingly becoming clear that YouGov is now just a partisan campaigning tool for the Murdoch Press.

    We all knew that the entire Westminster system is corrupt. It now appears that it has degenerated to the point that Murdoch is so powerful that he can openly set out to buy the election.

    The encouraging aspect is that the SNP continues to gain votes despite the MSM conspiracy (a word that I don't think I've ever used before).

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  • 276. At 1:52pm on 18 Apr 2010, eye_write wrote:

    248. solway

    One is business, and by it's nature can change, it can be based anywhere. The other is a natural resource and therefore by definition has a fixed location.

    The majority of the oil is, and always was, and will always be in Scottish waters. This is confirmed by international law. (And is why Westminster changed the sea border boundary between our nations in 1997, to make more oil be in English waters.)

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  • 277. At 2:31pm on 18 Apr 2010, raisethegame wrote:

    Love Conon's latest Hootsmon front page:))))

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  • 278. At 2:50pm on 18 Apr 2010, solway wrote:

    Well- I take on board what all the Scots are saying here and I suppose at the end of the day there is not right or wrong answer.Just as a British person, I see the British banks/ economy as a British problem and the British Oil in the North Sea as a British Asset.If Scots doent agree with this then let them all vote SNP at the election.If the vast majority of Scots (60% or higher) vote SNP (& thus independence) then Westminster would have no choice but to discuss a referendum on independence-I don't think English people want to keep Scotland in a Union against their will.But the majority of Scots have NEVER voted for independence so until they can be bothered to do so ,they'll just have to live with the Status Quo with all the pro's and cons attached.

    One other point- I fully understand the anger on the debates- especially with the BBC one as all UK people pay the license fee. But there is no case to answer with Sky- this is a private subscription channel .As for ITV- most of you have not realised that Scotland has never been covered geographically by a single ITV (scottish) company. Dumfries /Galloway and the Borders have always received their ITV coverage from England-Border TV from Carlisle ,now Newcastle!.If Salmond does as some here suggest and get court injuctions to stop the broadcasts from being shown in Scotland, this would mean that Cumbria & Northumbria would miss out on the ITV ones in the future just to keep the SNP happy which is totally unfair.

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  • 279. At 3:10pm on 18 Apr 2010, eye_write wrote:

    278. solway

    You demonstrate very well the problems with 'Britishness', and why it is mince ;-)

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  • 280. At 3:13pm on 18 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    278. solway
    "If Salmond does as some here suggest and get court injuctions to stop the broadcasts from being shown in Scotland, this would mean that Cumbria & Northumbria would miss out on the ITV ones in the future just to keep the SNP happy which is totally unfair."

    That would be interdicts, not injunctions.

    And you seem to imagine this is all about Alex Salmond and the SNP. It is not. The Tory/BLP alliance is seeking to marginalise all alternative parties. It just happens that the SNP has the strongest case and the resources to pursue that case in court.

    You should also realise that the SNP itself has no powers to prevent these Party Election Broadcasts being aired in Scotland. Only the court can do that. And only if there are grounds for doing so.

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  • 281. At 3:21pm on 18 Apr 2010, bmc875 wrote:

    #279 Beauriful. I could not have put it better myself eye_write. I suspect Solway may need to be advised that being referred to as 'mince' is not necessarily a nice thing!

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  • 282. At 3:26pm on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    273. Brownedov
    275. oldnat

    You guys and others have always suspected YouGov and there polling numbers and it certainly shows how corrupted the UK has become over time. Time to leave pronto before the thought police arrive.

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  • 283. At 3:27pm on 18 Apr 2010, Perfidious_Alban wrote:

    John Constable wrote:
    Ps. We English had to put up with your own Tony Blair . . .

    Oh no, not that one . . . puleeeze !

    http://www.ian-stewart.eu/irs_notscot.php

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  • 284. At 3:28pm on 18 Apr 2010, coineach watson wrote:

    Re:256 from Auld Bob:

    Sorry Auld Bob - WRONG AGAIN!!!
    "However, the subject of flags and pennents brings up a little problem for the Saltire after independence. The Saltire is like, "The Blue Peter", (Letter, "P", for signal flags). There is the further problem that the, "Blue Peter", is flown on ships in port to signal, "I am about to leave Port". It is also flown at other times to signal, "I have a Doctor on board". This could cause lots of problems after independence. I wonder if that nice Mr Salmond has considered these potential problems? I wonder if Scotland could sue the BBC for using the Saltire for a Children's Programme?"
    Actually the Saltire is similar to the letter "M" and NOTHING like the "Blue Peter" which, like all signal flags, is a square blue flag with a white square in the centre.
    The letter "M" flag (which is again SQUARE and therefore different from the Saltire - being RECTANGULAR) actually means "I am stopped". Cound be construed as "I am stopped (by Westminster from self determination)".

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  • 285. At 3:31pm on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    278. solway

    Logical Fallacies

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  • 286. At 3:32pm on 18 Apr 2010, govanite wrote:

    #278 Solway

    Having watched today's 'Big Question' on BBC1 I can see just how angry, confused, ill-informed and divided the people of England are about their constitutional position.

    Your comment re Border television is just a simple example of how the UK just does not function properly with its one-size-fits-all approach combined with a long list of exceptions. Time for an independent Scotland and time to let England find its soul.

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  • 287. At 3:36pm on 18 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #278 solway
    "As for ITV- most of you have not realised that Scotland has never been covered geographically by a single ITV (scottish) company. Dumfries /Galloway and the Borders have always received their ITV coverage from England-Border TV from Carlisle ,now Newcastle!.If Salmond does as some here suggest and get court injuctions to stop the broadcasts from being shown in Scotland, this would mean that Cumbria & Northumbria would miss out on the ITV ones in the future just to keep the SNP happy which is totally unfair."

    But that is exactly what did happen in 1995 when Labour and the L-Ds persuaded the Court of Session to insist that the BBC did not broadcast a BBC Panorama with the same David Dimbleby interviewing John Major in Scotland during the local elections campaign. Some BBC transmitters in Northern Ireland and Northern England did not transmit that edition of Panorama for fear that the signal could be received in Scotland.

    The verdict will almost certainly be repeated if the BBC continue to play silly bs over the entirely valid SNP/PC appeal to the trustees. The only "problem" for the SNP and Plaid is that they do, of course, want Duff Gordon to make a fool of himself on prime-time TV and are thus seemingly prepared to settle for less than their rights.

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  • 288. At 3:40pm on 18 Apr 2010, tinyzeitgeist wrote:

    Amid all this fury over the extent of cuts to be surgically applied to the public sector that is extolled by the three unionist parties, the causes of this tragedy seem to have been quietly forgotton other than limp references to increased banking regulation (too little, too late) or some minor increases in income taxes that would be applied to those who profit. I have long suspected that there may have been criminal activity (serious organised crime) involved in the banking collapse and the evidence is mounting;
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/18/goldman-sachs-regulators-civil-charges
    This should be the real story, people should be angry and demanding action from our so-called political leaders to bring these criminals to book, but no, we are all held in thrall over a pointless manipulated debate that debases what is left of our democracy as the looters leave the building.

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  • 289. At 3:46pm on 18 Apr 2010, hamish42 wrote:

    The spinoff from the Leaders' debate, an unexpected side effect, is that it gives the BBC an excuse to talk about nothing else giving, the main parties even more air time and disenfranchising the smaller parties and their supporters even further.

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  • 290. At 3:55pm on 18 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    248. solway
    "Proud of being English and British - thank heavens this is not 1940-Hitler would have had a very easy time invading 2 squabbling and divided nations instead of the united and committed UK"

    "Sit down and shut up or the monster will get you", no longer works.

    As for squabbling, we have no particular desire after independence to squabble with your country. If England holds a grudge and continues to squabble, I suggest you look to your own politicians.


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  • 291. At 4:05pm on 18 Apr 2010, solway wrote:



    #287 Brownedov
    But that is exactly what did happen in 1995 when Labour and the L-Ds persuaded the Court of Session to insist that the BBC did not broadcast a BBC Panorama with the same David Dimbleby interviewing John Major in Scotland during the local elections campaign. Some BBC transmitters in Northern Ireland and Northern England did not transmit that edition of Panorama for fear that the signal could be received in Scotland.

    As you so rightly say that did happen. As I said before, I fully understand the complaints towards the BBC one. However on the ITV side , there is a problem as Border /Tyne Tees covers both England & Scotland.I would have no problem with STV not showing them but I fully expect ITV Border to shown them even though certain areas will not be relevant to people in Dumfries /Kelso etc. It would not be right for a scottish court to ban me & others from watching in Carlisle/Newcastle
    Anyway thanks for having me on the blog- Off back to BBC Cumbria!

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  • 292. At 4:07pm on 18 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    #274. cynicalHighlander said: ""But" she said "my solution to that is that we get the Scottish Government to run the rest of us"."

    That reminded me of this: Salmond stands up for England


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  • 293. At 4:20pm on 18 Apr 2010, edinchris wrote:

    Not had a chance to reply to my post until now.

    Auld Bob - Your arguments are the strangest I have ever read! You seem to have totally missed what I was saying. The reason the UK is in the G8 and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is because we are a United Kingdom. If you were to split it up into its smaller parts then we would no longer be on either of these groups. Within the EU, the UK delegation has far more negotiating power than if we were 4 separate entities. I find your comment on the armed forces incredible! How on earth could you have a common defence force controlled by 4 different parliaments?!

    A few other people made comments about the banks. I can see that we will just have to agree to disagree on what the SNP's position is/was on this, but another factor that hasn't been mentioned is the thousands of Scottish jobs that would have been lost had RBS gone under. Surely they needed to be rescued for that reason alone?

    Overall, nearly 11 years on I think the system of devolution within the UK is the best option for us. It is not perfect, it needs some adjustment but it provides the best balance between finding Scottih solutions to Scottish problems and still having a role to play on the world and European stage.

    Solving the problems within the UK by going for independence is a bit like solving the problem of a cut on your finger by chopping your hand off. The old problems will seem trivial compared to the host of new ones we'll be faced with. Joni Mitchell once sang "you don't know what you've got 'til its gone!" And I think that will be true for Scotland if we ever go down the road to independence.

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  • 294. At 4:24pm on 18 Apr 2010, tinyzeitgeist wrote:

    Despite the MSM attempting to make as much of Clegg's debate as they can in order to try and inject some interest into an otherwise sterile, stage managed event, it is worth considering what was not touched upon by any of the BIG three - war, and specifically Afghanistan. It seems to have escaped Brown, Cameron and the now famous Clegg that our troops are dying on foreign soil in support of a corrupt president (Karzai) and on the basis of highly suspect justification that it keeps our streets free from the big bad taleban/terrorists/islamofascists etc etc etc.
    This is I think a subject area that the SNP should begin to exploit. Our troops should be removed from Afghanistan asap and put an end to this state terrorism that is being prosecuted in our name. Iraq is now 'unmentionable'. How long will it be, and how many more soldiers and innocent Afghan civilians killed and maimed before Afghanistan too, becomes unmentionable, not to be discussed in public?

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  • 295. At 4:25pm on 18 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #229 InfrequentAllele2: It is true that lazy colloquialisms and ungrammatical constructions have been absorbed into our language as it evolves. As a journalist I often pleaded "common usage" as as excuse when upbraided. However, the latter day invention by linguistic poseurs of nonsense like "pronominal intensivisers" is a blot on the progress of evolution. It's a bit like saying "If you can't beat 'em, give 'em a fancy name and join them." So, "me, masel' personally, like," is not gutter language, but an expression of my pronominal intensivising? Aye right!
    If you spent less time on the self-indulgent overuse of flowery language, and sharpened your ideas with the discipline of precise expression, your posts might have some point.
    Another point, Vakov's post was not, despite your assertion, referenced to any other post. Look again.
    Your final two points explain why you could never hope to teach the English language. So please don't come on here patronising people by pretending to be a linguistic authority. You are not.

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  • 296. At 5:06pm on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    MP Frank Field accuses Gordon Brown of destroying economy

    ‘We’ve printed money to buy our own debt. It’s real Alice In Wonderland politics.

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  • 297. At 5:16pm on 18 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #293 edinchris
    "The reason the UK is in the G8 and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is because we are a United Kingdom."

    And what advantages do those memberships bring to any of the nations of the UK? Perhaps you would provide cost-benefit analysis of both? Removing Trident from the Clyde might remove the UNSC seat but would certainly save billions of pounds for a start.

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  • 298. At 5:30pm on 18 Apr 2010, cj8652 wrote:

    293 edinchris

    I take it you are either english, or a candidate who wants to go to Westminster and fill his boots, or like many of your persuasion use your worn out arguments, to protect the failing union because you simply do not have the nerve,or backbone to be separated from "mother England" I've been made redundant in the past, i've had to beg from my church for a little extra to get through the week, but still i'd rather live like that and live in a nation that can determine its own tax spend, than live in a subservient colony of Westminster come on man/woman get a back bone and stop looking to hold on to englands coat tails, what ever the perceived and wholly exaggerated cost to the economy peddled by the westminster crooks.

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  • 299. At 5:31pm on 18 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    295. brigadierjohn
    "So please don't come on here patronising people by pretending to be a linguistic authority. You are not."

    Taught you a wee lesson though.

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  • 300. At 5:45pm on 18 Apr 2010, raisethegame wrote:

    11:17 GMT, Sunday, 18 April 2010 12:17 UK SNP and Plaid set for BBC hearing

    The SNP and Plaid Cymru are preparing for a potential appeal against the BBC's decision to exclude them from the prime ministerial debates.

    The Welsh and Scottish nationalists wanted their leaders to be included in the live TV clashes between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

    The BBC Trust has now written to them, asking them to prepare for a possible oral hearing between 22 and 27 April.

    The trust says it will first consider whether the appeal is admissible.

    Three prime ministerial debates are being staged by the BBC, ITV1 and Sky in the run-up to the election on 6 May.

    The first one, with a themed section on domestic policy, was held on ITV1 on Thursday. Nick Clegg was widely perceived to have done well, with a subsequent surge for the Lib Dems in the polls attributed to his showing.

    The second will be broadcast by Sky on Thursday 22 April: its theme will be international affairs.

    The third debate will be on BBC One on Thursday 29 April, with the themed section spotlighting the economy.

    But Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones and the SNP's Alex Salmond are not involved in any of the debates.

    'Excluded from discussions'

    They say the debates exclude three of the four countries which make up the UK, and parties of government in Wales and Scotland.

    They complain that viewers are being misled in the two countries, where domestic issues such as health and education are devolved.



    "We believe it is a clear breach of the BBC's obligation of impartiality"


    Gwenllian Lansdown, Plaid Cymru chief executive

    Welsh deputy first minister Mr Jones took part in a Welsh leaders' debate on Sky News on Sunday, when he locked horns with Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, shadow Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan and Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams.

    Plaid chief executive Gwenllian Lansdown said: "We are ready to meet the BBC Trust at any time to discuss our appeal.

    "The exclusion of Plaid and the SNP, parties of government in both Wales and Scotland, from the election leaders' debates is fundamentally undemocratic.

    "We believe it is a clear breach of the BBC's obligation of impartiality."

    SNP chief executive Peter Murrell added: "We also believe that the BBC executive has failed in its duties by excluding the SNP and Plaid Cymru from the negotiations which were held with the other parties over what was clearly a prolonged period.

    "Those discussions effectively allowed the UK parties to dictate the format of the leaders' debates to the broadcasters."

    Ad hoc committee

    The BBC has argued that it has clearly set out how impartiality will be achieved.

    A BBC Trust spokesperson said on Sunday: "We can confirm that we have written to Plaid Cymru and the SNP to inform them that their appeal to the trust will be considered by an ad hoc committee of the trust.

    "As with all appeals, this committee will first consider if the appeal is admissible. If it is, the committee will consider whether an oral hearing is necessary.

    "If it is not necessary, the committee will then hear the admissible parts of the appeal at the same meeting.

    "If the committee considers that an oral hearing is necessary, the committee will reconvene at a later date to allow for this.

    "As with all appeals, the trust will publish the outcome of its decision."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk_politics/election_2010/8628018.stm

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  • 301. At 5:53pm on 18 Apr 2010, macmeldrew wrote:

    After all the fuss from Labour about Alex. Salmond being 'ineligible' to take part in the TV debate, I was bemused to see that our Labour candidate for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East in the coming UK election has boldly shown on the front of his election literature the label 'Scottish Labour'. Is this a case of having it both ways or is possibly to cover the embarrassment of having to parachute in a candidate who lives and works in Oxford?

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  • 302. At 5:58pm on 18 Apr 2010, impeachblair wrote:

    293. At 4:20pm on 18 Apr 2010, edinchris wrote:
    Not had a chance to reply to my post until now.
    A more considered response. So I will try to reply in kind.

    The reason it is in Scotland’s national interest to be independent as soon as practically possible is because, on just about every topic you can name, Scotland has a different political agenda to England:
    Immigration (England does feel crowded, Scotland does not);
    Food Product and Agriculture (Scotland is a net exporter, and England is a substantial consumer);
    Fishery.
    Power generation (England probably does need Nuclear, but Scotland has the potential to be 100% renewable, as Norway is);
    Water (southern England is counted as a region under serious water strain);
    Defence particularly nuclear defence. (Scotland needs to have a defence force consistent with protecting its vital assets, not with an ability to project power around the globe, and so does England, and the sooner they realise this the better);
    Culture and media identity (as a London centric delivery is palpably inadequate);
    Engineering and Industry (particularly Oil/Gas, Sub-sea, Pumps, Pipes etc);
    Tourism (an underutilised force, which is best marketed as distinctly Scottish);
    Housing and the housing Market (Scotland’s Housing market is very different to that in England, and it in our interest to make even less inflationary).
    etc

    Added to which you apparently hold great store in the UK being in the G8 and the UN Security Council.
    Well, with the growth rates of some other large nations the IFS predict the UK’s GDP will be overtaken by Brazil, Russia, India, and Canada to name but four by 2015.
    So it will no longer be in the G8 and its place at the UN top table will look increasingly anachronistic.


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  • 303. At 6:00pm on 18 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    293. edinchris
    "Joni Mitchell once sang "you don't know what you've got 'til its gone!" And I think that will be true for Scotland if we ever go down the road to independence. "

    Indeed we did NOT know what we had and how valuable is was until after we had lost it. Now it has taken us more than 300 years to even begin to regain it. So far they've thrown us a few scraps in the shape of a parliament with its hands tied behind its back.

    As for the contention that SCOTLAND has a voice in the EU or the UN, please show me even one instance of how. Protecting our fishing? No. Addressing our concern about nuclear weapons in the Clyde? No. Representing what Scotland has done in negotiations at Cohenhagen? No. Keeping our soldiers out of illegal wars? No.

    Thank you, but I want Scotland's concerns represented. They are not. They have not been.

    Scotland has more in common with many other small nations with which we could ally in a block than we do with the English although in principle if we have concerns in common, I have no disagreement with voting in concert with England as a block in either organization--having made up our OWN minds on the matters involved.

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  • 304. At 6:02pm on 18 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:

    Edin Chris:

    #293.

    "Within the EU, the UK delegation has far more negotiating power than if we were 4 separate entities. I find your comment on the armed forces incredible! How on earth could you have a common defence force controlled by 4 different parliaments?!"

    It's not important the strength of the negotiating power but what is exactly negotiated on behalf of Scotland. Do you believe that every single policy has been created to benefit Scotland? I personally see it as impossible to represent the minority all the time and accepting the consequences for policies that aren't in Scotlands favour is illogical and unpatriotic, just to simply remain Great Britain.

    Have you heard of a confederacy. In stead of power devolved, power is handed over (usually foreign policy and defence) to one entity. You can either elect members for their purpose or the governments can appoint representatives on our behalf.

    "I can see that we will just have to agree to disagree on what the SNP's position is/was on this, but another factor that hasn't been mentioned is the thousands of Scottish jobs that would have been lost had RBS gone under. Surely they needed to be rescued for that reason alone?"

    It does not matter the SNP position on the matter. It's about the reality of the situation. The banks, although based in Scotland was suppose to be regulated by British instituations. Those British instituations failed. Do you believe in the free market? I do, that means I would be prepared to watch private industry fail. What's different? How many people have lost their jobs because of the recession, I doubt they all have been bailed out or propped up by government money.

    "It is not perfect, it needs some adjustment but it provides the best balance between finding Scottih solutions to Scottish problems and still having a role to play on the world and European stage."

    Ridiculous. You've not bothered to mention the direct benefits of remaining apart of Great Britain on the world stage. What direct benefits have been brought to Scotland?

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  • 305. At 6:06pm on 18 Apr 2010, ForteanJo wrote:

    #293 - "Within the EU, the UK delegation has far more negotiating power than if we were 4 separate entities."

    At the moment, Scotland has zero negotiating power in the EU and on numerous occasions, especially with the likes of fishing, Scotland's interests have been sacrified so other parts of the UK could benefit. Yet you think that's a good union dividend? When countries smaller than Scotland, with less of population and no coastal waters have more say on OUR fishing than we do?

    ----
    "but another factor that hasn't been mentioned is the thousands of Scottish jobs that would have been lost had RBS gone under. Surely they needed to be rescued for that reason alone?"

    It has been mentioned, numerous times. An alternative solution would have been to privatise. Yes, the shareholders would still have lost out but most jobs would have been protected and the country wouldn't be lumbered with a debt our grandchildren will be paying off.

    ----
    "Solving the problems within the UK by going for independence is a bit like solving the problem of a cut on your finger by chopping your hand off."

    No, it's more akin to dealing with your overflowing toilet by taking the bins out. It just doesn't get to the nub of the problem and what we're left standing in still stinks.

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  • 306. At 6:08pm on 18 Apr 2010, ForteanJo wrote:

    #295 - "You are not."

    I take it you are, then?

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  • 307. At 6:12pm on 18 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    #293. edinchris
    "Solving the problems within the UK by going for independence is a bit like solving the problem of a cut on your finger by chopping your hand off. The old problems will seem trivial compared to the host of new ones we'll be faced with. Joni Mitchell once sang "you don't know what you've got 'til its gone!" And I think that will be true for Scotland if we ever go down the road to independence. "

    First, it is correctly described as once more returning to the road of independence, however, it's nice that you so love the UK.

    What you have to understand is that for many of us the UK is not a "cut on the finger". It is a cancer in the body politic which must be excised. I will miss a regime with a history of the oppression of native peoples and unjust wars around the world for its own profit, up to and including Iraq and Afghanistan?

    No, sir. I will not.

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  • 308. At 6:18pm on 18 Apr 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #269

    Why the surprise?
    YouGov have been manipulating and distorting polls to order for months. It can no longer be taken seriously as a polling organisation.
    I hope someone is storing the nonsense it is coming out with for use after the election to strip it of any credibility.

    Its latest nonsense (reported in a surprisingly low key in SOS) is in fantasy land. I have been canvassing all around this constituency for several months. The most common reaction we meet is "Labour? Never again!" Yet YouGov have Labour more popular in Scotland than it has been in the last ten years. Utter rubbish - but I think they are trying to proceed to a Tory overtaking SNP scenario. Watch this space.

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  • 309. At 6:36pm on 18 Apr 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Duncan Hamilton makes an eminmently sensible suggestion in SOS about debates. He suggests there should have been four - one in England, one in Wales,one in N Ireland and one in Scotland with the significant parties in these areas represented alongside the big three leaders. I would have gone for five - South of England and North of England and the other three and there is certainly an arguement for UKIP appearing in the English ones.

    I bet the Tories and Labour are wondering why they did this now - but with Brown slipping to third place in most polls Labour have much more to regret(if you can believe these polls).
    I think this has probably removed the last very slim chance of Labour winning or having the highest number of seats and probably means that the LibDems will take votes proportionately more from Labour than from Tory. Perhaps this is all going to plan.
    All guns will now be on Nick Clegg.
    This is democracy reduced to farce. We need out of this pantomime.

    Whether some people like it or not the only vote that will have any significant effect in Scotland is a big vote for the SNP.

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  • 310. At 6:53pm on 18 Apr 2010, ForteanJo wrote:

    It appears the tories still don't get devolution:

    http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scotland/General-Election-2010-Tories-to.6235064.jp

    Non-negotiable demands when it comes to discussing Scotland's budget with Swinney? So if the Scottish government has other ideas, does that mean they get less money to spend?

    So the idea of respect has went out the window already, and they're not even in power yet!

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  • 311. At 7:17pm on 18 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #299 EH: No, he didn't teach me anything. All his points were fallacious twaddle. I wondered how long it would take you to squeak up - no doubt InfrequentAllele will be thrilled to have you as an advocate. Not! Don't you think he can, by himself even, concoct some mazy meanderings that just might have a rebuttal hidden amidst the misplaced exuberance?
    Still think I'm a Labourite hack? I still have no doubt that you are the unlamented and unloved Bighullabaloo under false colours.

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  • 312. At 7:26pm on 18 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #306 ForteanJo: I know Wayne Rooney isn't a brain surgeon. Does that make me one? If only life was as simple as you are, eh?

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  • 313. At 7:53pm on 18 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    311. brigadierjohn
    "Not!"

    That is a nice Americanism. It's hardly grammatical though.

    We thought you were claiming to be the professor--in spite of claiming a background in journalism where grammar tends to be, as pointed out, on the 8 year-old-level. This, let us make it clear, is the fault of journalists and editors, not of readers.

    Perhaps you might want to decide you had nothing to do with journalism after all if you are going to claim such expertise in grammar.

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  • 314. At 8:05pm on 18 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    I'd sit back and wait for the dust to settle. Having seen more than one American presidential debate, I can tell you that the first one in a series isn't the end of the story.

    I do want to point out that all the scare tactics over a hung parliament are pure mince (I'd use a stronger term but the mods might object). Most Scots know that, but do take a look at how Canada with almost exactly the same political system as you have (including FPTP, MPs, Parliament and PM) are doing better than the UK. The Canadian$ has overtaken the US$. Their unemployment has fallen. On all indicators they are doing well. The UK can hardly say the same.

    Canada has had a minority government for more than two years.

    As with fair debates (the last ones in Canada had 5 party leaders) I have to ask about a hung parliament/minority/coalition government, why are the Tories and Labour saying that the UK is incapable of managing such a thing?

    Are these by any chance self-serving lies?

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  • 315. At 8:13pm on 18 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #290. At 3:55pm on 18 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:
    Perhaps, "solway", while being, "Proud of being English and British", might reflect upon several things. In the first place the SNP is not founded upon hate for the English, or anyone else for that matter. Their whole raison d'être is based upon sound political and economic grounds. In fact any member advocating and form of violent action or hate of England is expelled from the party. As were, "Siol nan Gaidheal",(Seed of the Gael). Furthermore the party are very careful to speak & write, "The People of Scotland", rather than, "The Scots". If you reside in Scotland they speak for you. The SNP seek independence from THE UNITED KINGDOM, and last time I looked there were four countries in that and NOT JUST ENGLAND. Now the things solway should reflect upon - For most of my life, (I'm over 70), the English were unable to differentiate between English and British. Witness the years of home internationals where English supporters waved the Union Flag and sang God Save the Queen to support England. How about the well loved English TV Show, "Dad's Army". "Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler, if you think old England's done". "The Queen of England", The English Parliament, What about that classic, "England stood alone against the might of The Third Reich", for God's Sake the entire UK & British Empire stood against the Germans. Now we have, "solway", claiming that Scottish Territory is British as long as it's income goes to England. The Scottish Banks, though, are Scottish since they went bust but were British while making massive profits. Then we have Crown Estate rents but the Crown Estates do not actually own the Scottish shoreline or 12 mile limits - they just grab their profits. As they do with the TV license funds, VAT, Road Tax and quite a few other revenues and taxes. The gauling thing is that they then turn round, add all those Scottish things, and share of things, to the UK treasury and claim they are English and that England is subsidising Scotland. Well Sorry, "solway", bujt we rumbled you years ago and we know the truth. Pity the general body of the English people do not.

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  • 316. At 8:21pm on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    292. GrannieAnne
    "That reminded me of this: Salmond stands up for England"

    Thanks for that link.

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  • 317. At 8:23pm on 18 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    #313 GrannieAnnie: Did I claim expertise? Indeed, did I defend the grammatical incompetence of some journalists? Please don't invent stuff and attribute it to me, eh? This began when I pointed out to a poster that his condemnation of a newspaper on the grounds of poor grammar would have been more valid had it not been riddled with errors. I made a typing error in my reply. Ouch!
    What is so frightening to you that you need to jump on a single word in a post, and use it as a stick to beat the author? It's hardly an intellectual response to the substance of the post, is it?
    Incidentally, who is/are the "we" who thought I was claiming to be the professor? Do you speak for many?
    If you were a granny, you would know from the kids that "Not!" is very much "now." However, I feel that my ungrammatical outbursts get a better (ie more irate) response that reasoned argument, so I hereby abandon any attempt at reasoned debate with cyberNats, on the grounds that it is too one-sided. Poking fun is so much better.

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  • 318. At 8:29pm on 18 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #293. At 4:20pm on 18 Apr 2010, edinchris:
    You are talking rubbish. To answer your question, "How could we run a common defence force". Quite simple really - first off - I'm talking about defence - not offence. Secondly - how do we manage NATO, the UN? How did we manage WWI And WWII? The very same can be said of any matters common to the four home countries. We sit down like adults and decide on a common policy, (on an item by item basis). Note that the UK and USA seem well able to manage joint forces in Iraq & Afghanistan. Scotland is a country and, as such, has the right to dictate how Scotland is run. As have Wales, Northern Ireland and even The Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and even England.

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  • 319. At 8:35pm on 18 Apr 2010, brigadierjohn wrote:

    Off for the night.

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  • 320. At 8:37pm on 18 Apr 2010, Mike wrote:

    165 GrannieAnne
    “Perhaps the unjust and undemocratic nature of those debates will finally wake the Scottish people up to our true status in this ‘union‘.”
    Here’s something never knew.
    "British constitution states that future king and queen must get married in England."
    http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/world-news/kate-middletons-dashed-scotland-wedding-dreams_100346300.html
    KiwiMike

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  • 321. At 8:42pm on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    England's backlash against the Scots

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  • 322. At 8:53pm on 18 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #300 raisethegame &
    #309 sneckedagain

    Re the debates and the appeal to the BBC Trust, what an unalloyed comfort it is to know that Jeremy Peat, Trustee for Scotland confides that it's "good to observe more attention to the interests of the nations and regions, both in the targets for making programmes outside London (including the new centres in Glasgow, close to my heart as Trustee for Scotland) and in improving coverage of national and regional issues". His bio reminds us he's a Herald Columnist and clearly a safe pair of hands.

    It does seem a little odd, though, that he doesn't seem to have reminded his BBC colleagues of the spot of bother which Labour and the L-Ds caused the BBC in the Court of Session, admirably reported by his Herald colleagues in their Judges with the Midas TV touch of 5 April 1995 telling us that:
    "Politicians, other than Conservatives of course, have been queuing up to pat them on the back for restating the independence of the Scottish judicial system and for protecting the fairness of tomorrow's local government elections from southern interference."

    Could the problem nowadays lie more with BBC Scotland? Perhaps they no longer have someone like John McCormick (now Electoral Commissioner for Scotland), who was willing to admit, in the Indy's `Panorama'with Major was a mistake, says BBC Scotland chief of 9 April 1995. This tells us that:
    "Mr McCormick said some BBC managers in London were "insensitive types whose minds do not extend beyond the M25". He confirmed that Tony Hall, the BBC's managing director of news and current affairs, and John Birt, the corporation's director general, failed to consult BBC Scotland over the scheduling decision, even though they knew they could face accusations of bias in the run-up to the elections."

    How times change.

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  • 323. At 9:08pm on 18 Apr 2010, InfrequentAllele2 wrote:

    Brigadierjohn

    Being patronising was ever so slightly the point of the exercise. And it really wasn't difficult to manage.

    You don't appear to know what linguistics is for or what it aims to do. Linguistics is a science which objectively describes and explains human linguistic behaviour in all its variety. It uses some very ugly jargon to do so. It is not the job of a linguist to make irrational value judgements based upon personal preferences, stereotypes and prejudice. That's the job of a tabloid newspaper hack.

    If it helps you can think of language as a vehicle for human thought. Great writers and communicators are like Formula 1 racing drivers. Linguists are like the mechanics and engineers who understand how the vehicle is built and how it works. They don't actually have to be great drivers themselves.

    To extend the analogy further we could say that tabloid newspaper journalists are the milk float drivers of language. They have a very limited range, they're stuck to a set route, and they deliver something predictable which quickly turns sour.

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  • 324. At 9:13pm on 18 Apr 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    I've seen it broadcast by BBC Scotland (smiling Catriona) and read about it here but for the life of me I cannot locate the latest Yougov poll that has Labour on an unbelievable 40% and the SNP on 20%.

    One question for the resident poll experts:
    How did you manage to work out that The Sun poll was a compilation (scraps) of other polls?

    The PDF as far as I can tell on their site gives no indication of this.

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  • 325. At 9:18pm on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    323. InfrequentAllele2

    Past its sell by date

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  • 326. At 9:21pm on 18 Apr 2010, Wee Folding Bike wrote:

    Hey now Infrequent,

    A milk float is a quiet, inoffensive vehicle which is well adapted to its job. Milk is a pleasant nutritious and useful substance.

    I'm a science teacher but my dad taught languages and I enjoyed your piece on the nuts and bolts of language.

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  • 327. At 9:23pm on 18 Apr 2010, Graves2002 wrote:

    Why is it that on Political Betting when you click on an extrenal link and then press the back button you return to the same point on the thread but on the multi-billion pound BBBC website you get sent back to the top again?

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  • 328. At 9:29pm on 18 Apr 2010, Mike wrote:

    235. Auld Bob wrote:
    “…..As to the big leap in the polls by the Lds….
    This is to be expected, as leader’s debates are more important to small parties?
    An extract from a previous post re televised debate.
    After the 2002 leaders debate in New Zealand, comprising of Helen Clark, (Labour), Bill English, (NZ National Party), Jeanette Fitzsimons, (Greens), Winston Peters, (NZ First), Richard Prebble, (ACT), Jim Anderton, (Progressive Party), Laila Harre, (Alliance). and Peter Dunne, (United Future).
    (How would UK TV channels handle that?)

    United Future New Zealand, a very small party, primarily due to the performance of leader Peter Dunne, [in the televised debate] surged unexpectedly in support, winning 6.69% of the nationwide party vote. It shot from having one seat to having eight seats.
    Most of United Future's 2002 MPs were elected in an astonishing last-week election turn-around, popularly attributed to that one televised debate, that saw votes lost by both the Labour and the Green parties, who were engaged in a public squabble over genetic engineering.
    Debates giving all party leaders a chance to espouse their views to a population obviously jaded and now suspicious of main party MPs is necessary in a true democracy.
    Put another way both Labour and Conservatives have had years (and years) to get their worn-out message across. They represent the worst of adversarial First Past the Post politics. Everyone in the UK should hear what the inspirations of other parties are and let them defend their views against Brown and Cameron.
    KiwiMike

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  • 329. At 9:30pm on 18 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #324 Online Ed
    "How did you manage to work out that The Sun poll was a compilation (scraps) of other polls?"

    Primarily because YouGov "fieldwork" is normally done over 1, 2 or at most 3 days but the PDF on the latest (878 sample) one has "Fieldwork: 7th - 14th April 2010" - i.e. 8 days.

    However, Anthony Wells on UKPR was asked and confirmed that this was the case.

    I believe the concerns over YouGov's GB polls may be a tad overstated, but this use of more than a week's "sweepings" coupled with weightings which are still questionable can only harm their reputation. Prof. Curtice seems to lap them up, but even he has some standards as he showed over his questioning of their first, sub-600, "sweepings" poll, which I strongly believe to have been "reverse-engineered".

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  • 330. At 9:33pm on 18 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    324. Online Ed
    "I cannot locate the latest Yougov poll that has Labour on an unbelievable 40% and the SNP on 20%."

    It's today's YouGov for SoS - not on line yet.

    FWIW, the figures are

    Westminster Lab 40% : SNP 20% : LD 19% : Con 16%

    Holyrood Constituency Lab 34% : SNP 30% : LD 16% : Con 14%

    Holyrood List Lab 31% : SNP 27% : LD 17% : Con 15% ; Green 5% : SSP 3%

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  • 331. At 9:36pm on 18 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    324. Online Ed
    "How did you manage to work out that The Sun poll was a compilation (scraps) of other polls?"

    If it's a compilation poll the field work is conducted over a week, rather than a couple of days for a poll like the SoS one.

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  • 332. At 9:44pm on 18 Apr 2010, handclapping wrote:

    Details of the YouGov poll for the Sunday Times are up on the YouGov Archives site. The main point of Scottish political interest is that only 50% of the 130 people in Scotland polled said they would be unhappy if Scotland became independent. Make of that what you will but remember 130 is totally inadequate to be in with a shout of being even a fair representation of opinion.

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  • 333. At 9:48pm on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

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

  • 334. At 9:55pm on 18 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    UK Prime Minister Cites "Moral Bankruptcy" Requests Special Investigation of Goldman; Germany Reviews Fraud Case; SEC's Case Hinges on Single Point

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  • 335. At 10:01pm on 18 Apr 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #324

    That YouGov poll is carried in SOS. It's 40 to 22. It's fantasy.

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  • 336. At 10:03pm on 18 Apr 2010, raisethegame wrote:

    Bernard Ponsonby interviews Jim Murphy at 10.40 tonight on STV

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  • 337. At 11:11pm on 18 Apr 2010, raisethegame wrote:

    Mr Murphy did not enjoy that one wee bit:)) Bernard kicked him up and down the studio particularly on his lack of coherent answers on Labour's 'carry a knife and you go to jail' policy.

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  • 338. At 11:14pm on 18 Apr 2010, paul Hunter wrote:

    I think Jim Murphy's brain's battered and bruised. 3 times he mentioned this phrase.It's amazing how this lot always blames it on something else other than their own party failures. I hope to see him on the dole line in a few weeks.

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  • 339. At 11:45pm on 18 Apr 2010, cwh wrote:

    Re debates: Interesting article by Iain McWhirter in Sunday Herald - last two paragraphs:
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/iain-macwhirter/a-crowning-moment-for-the-man-who-would-be-kingmaker-1.1021350

    Also an interesting article in Caledonian Mercury: http://politics.caledonianmercury.com/2010/04/18/opinion-presidential-beauty-contests-dont-work-for-british-politics/comment-page-1/#comment-6916

    Re earlier posts about fuel costs - I know it was some time ago but I tried to post earlier today and blog was closed.

    Anyway, fuel costs. While fuel duty has increased a bit the real reason for the increase in the price of petrol this time, as opposed to 2008 when it was, as now, £1.20 or more per litre, is the weaknes of the pound which has decreased in value by 30 per cent and may fall further. In 2008 oil was about 140 dollars per barrel now it is about 80 dollars so high cost is mainly down to weakness of the pound.

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  • 340. At 11:57pm on 18 Apr 2010, cwh wrote:

    Obviously put out by the 'good press' the SNP got for the recent figures showing improvement in hospital infections for MRSA and C. difficile Labour has now got figures for Norovirus infections via a FOI request so lookout for screaming headlines re hospital infections and 'failing' SNP health policy.

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  • 341. At 00:16am on 19 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    RBS value

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/markets-economy/rbs-shares-soar-by-9-as-return-to-profit-predicted-1.1021290

    Worth noting that the original investment by the Government is now 96.3% matched by the share value - still expected to rise.

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  • 342. At 00:27am on 19 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    311. brigadierjohn
    "No, he didn't teach me anything."

    That's a missed opportunity for you, then.

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  • 343. At 00:34am on 19 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    323. InfrequentAllele2
    "To extend the analogy further we could say that tabloid newspaper journalists are the milk float drivers of language. They have a very limited range, they're stuck to a set route, and they deliver something predictable which quickly turns sour."

    Excellent!

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  • 344. At 00:37am on 19 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    #317. brigadierjohn said: "I hereby abandon any attempt at reasoned debate..."

    Since you have never shown any hint of reasoned debate, abandoning that attempt will be easy for you.

    Be gentle with the poor 'Bridadier' who was trying to achieve reasoned debate and failing and then trying to be 'now' with the weans and failing again.

    I assure you, "Brigadier", by the time grannies and grandas know such phrases, they're aeons past being 'now'.

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  • 345. At 01:08am on 19 Apr 2010, InfrequentAllele2 wrote:

    326. Wee Folding Bike

    You're quite right. I unreservedly apologise to milk floats everywhere.

    ******

    What was that Jim Murphy was saying about it being a two horse race? It's not even a two horse race in England now. The polling news is gobsmacking. The Lib-Dems in first place in England, and a widespread feeling that it's time to give the Labservatives a well deserved kicking.

    Can anyone tell me what's happening on the ground in Scotland? Will the Lib-Dem success benefit or hinder the SNP? If there's a groundswell of public support for punishing the big two establishment parties, the SNP could make serious gains in voting share.

    Are there any proper Scottish polls due? And have they sorted out their methodological problems?

    Just a week ago this election seemed cut and dried, now it's all up in the air.

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  • 346. At 01:36am on 19 Apr 2010, alankennedy wrote:

    I thought the election debate went well, not sure about all the complaints are about, after all who would represent the SNP as leader, since alex salmond is not running as he is in charge in the scottish parliament not westminster.

    Incidently do people think that Green party,Plaid Cyrmu, UKIP or BNP leaders should have been in the debate as well

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  • 347. At 01:37am on 19 Apr 2010, alankennedy wrote:

    Also incidently, i thought that gordon brown did not too badly in the debate and nick clegg gave a good showing too. Now considering a lib dem vote but shall see

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  • 348. At 01:43am on 19 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    346. alankennedy
    "after all who would represent the SNP as leader, since alex salmond is not running"

    Alex Salmond is party leader.

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  • 349. At 01:46am on 19 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    346. alankennedy
    "Incidently do people think that Green party,Plaid Cyrmu, UKIP or BNP leaders should have been in the debate as well"

    That depends what criteria are used to determine entitlement to participation. Part of the problem is that no clear criteria were used. The establishment parties simply decreed arbitrarily that it would be them and nobody else.

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  • 350. At 02:06am on 19 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    346. alankennedy

    Welcome to the site. However, there isn't time to repeat all the arguments about the debate.

    Firstly, there is the entire question as to whether Presidential debates are at all appropriate in a Parliamentary system. For a non-partisan consideration of this have a look at

    http://politics.caledonianmercury.com/2010/04/18/opinion-presidential-beauty-contests-dont-work-for-british-politics/

    However, other Parliamentary democracies do have leader debates - they are simply fairer and more balanced. For example New Zealand (see #328 above) or Canada (see #314 above).

    Since you appear not to know the legal position, the Electoral Commission defines 4 "main" parties in Scotland, Wales, and NI, but only 3 for the UK (omitting 6 of the main parties outwith England). Even on existing rules, therefore, the 3 broadcasters/3 UK parties agreement breaches the requirement for fair and balanced coverage.

    You reasonably raise the question of the Greens (both the Scottish and E&W parties), UKIP, BNP. You could also have included the SSP.

    Personally, I dislike the classification of parties into "main" and other. A much better system would be to work on the basis of the number of candidates in each of the legal jurisdictions. Above a certain number of candidates all parties should be treated equally.

    That you are considering voting LD on the basis of Nick Clegg's pronouncements on mainly English domestic issues suggests that you haven't thought out the implications of your vote.

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  • 351. At 03:48am on 19 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    346. alankennedy
    "I thought the election debate went well, not sure about all the complaints are about, after all who would represent the SNP as leader, since alex salmond is not running as he is in charge in the scottish parliament not westminster.

    Incidently do people think that Green party,Plaid Cyrmu, UKIP or BNP leaders should have been in the debate as well

    "

    Alex Salmond is not only "in charge of the Scottish parliament". He is the leader of a political party. The debate was, as you seem to be unaware, between leaders of parties not between MPs. To be perfectly accurate, there are at the moment NO members of parliament. Parliament has been dissolved.

    When parliament resumes, you may be fairly certain that parties other than the three on that stage, because of the nature of a minority/coalition government, will affect the course of the nation. You won't know what their policies or opinions are, will you? YOU have denied that right.

    Why are you NOT complaining?

    Your question about the other parties seems to imply you think those other parties should not have been included. I'm sorry to say the question itself shows ignorance or you would know that the SNP and the Plaid Cymru are allied in their fight against this assault on democracy.

    Now let's look at the question of who should have been included. There are countries that have great respect for democracy as well as the parliamentary system and go to some lengths to protect it. I list Canada as one of those countries.

    The criteria there is very simple. Any political party which has one or more MP has the right to take part. When there was an attempt to exclude the Green Party because of a technicality, there was a huge outcry in Canada from the Canadian people most of whom did not support the Green Party. But they would not put up with this exclusion and forced the larger parties to back down. (Comparisons are in order)

    So by the Canadian criteria, which seem to me to be a reasonable one, the Labour Party, Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats, Democratic Unionist Party, Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Féin, Social Democratic and Respect – The Unity Coalition should be invited to take part in party leader debates.

    Some of those parties might decline, of course. I'm not sure if the Sinn Féin would want to take part because of its abstentionist policy at Westminster.

    It would certainly have made a more lively evening than the stage managed non-debate of last Thursday AND the people of the UK would have understood a great deal more about their own politics and political parties.

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  • 352. At 04:19am on 19 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    345. InfrequentAllele2
    "Can anyone tell me what's happening on the ground in Scotland? Will the Lib-Dem success benefit or hinder the SNP? If there's a groundswell of public support for punishing the big two establishment parties, the SNP could make serious gains in voting share.
    "

    I haven't seen poll results from Scotland. And trust YouGov not at all in spite of Brownedov's defense of them. (Perhaps they aren't quite Satan's minions but they work for Murdoch so...) Looking at some of their question wording and admitted order on top of existing weighting problems makes me feel that (at least as far as Scotland is concerned) one might as well dismiss anything they say.

    I've seen rumors of a slip in SNP support in some poll but the only one I've seen is that one from the 7th to the 14th which besides other problems is prior to the debate anyway.

    Yeah, the whole LibDem thing just floors me. Clegg seemed to do all right, but I really suspect that the motivation is a desire to give both the Tories and Labour a kicking they will never forget. I am not at all sure that will transfer to Scotland. The Tory rise in the polls previously didn't after all.

    Darn if I know. It is frustrating that Ipsos-Mori hasn't done any more Scotland polls and that the methodology and weighting in YouGov is so (imo) suspect.

    I am interested in the outcome of the BBC appeal as well. If they fail at the BBC trust will they (do they have time to) take it to the courts? Many, many imponderables. From what I've seen, I don't think this will hurt them much in Scotland. And if it does, I think it would be worth it for the long game. They can't let this basic injustice become entrenched in the election system.

    Fascinating election.

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  • 353. At 08:01am on 19 Apr 2010, bmc875 wrote:

    #336 http://player.stv.tv/programmes/election-face-to-face/2010-04-18-2240/

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  • 354. At 08:05am on 19 Apr 2010, spagan wrote:

    Good morning Brian et al
    Any idea exactly how many Parliamentary Candidates are currently being investigated by the police?
    Apart from the various New Labour ones - and the list appears to be growing like topsy, are there any others?
    Slainte Mhor

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