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The Blair-Brown effect

Brian Taylor | 11:14 UK time, Wednesday, 1 September 2010

David Cairns MP, we salute you. That was a noble performance on the wireless this morning, discussing Tony Blair's memoirs.

According to Mr Cairns, the real interest in the Blair apologia should lie in his prescription for the future of the Labour Party. Aye, as they would say in Mr Cairns constituency, right.

Of course, the thoughtful Mr Cairns knows perfectly well that the Blair memoirs carry weight in direct proportion to their analysis of the author's own past years in government; not future political prospects.

In particular, they are fascinating in their confirmation - if one were needed - that relations were less than cordial between Blair and Brown. The former Chancellor, according to the former PM, could be "maddening".

Right back at you, G Brown might say in his own forthcoming book. Or perhaps not. The word from some is that the Brown tome is an intense dissertation on the economic crisis and his part in tackling it.

Then we have the Third Man, Lord Mandelson. I was in the audience at the Edinburgh Book Festival as he gently dissected those who had exasperated him down the years. Diverting from the true New Labour path, he said, would be to enter a cul de sac.

The best question came right at the end from an audience member who asked him to define the adjective "Mandelsonian". Subtle, he essayed, before adding a few other epithets and ending with "loyal". Loyal, one wondered, to whom.

Two further elements from the Mandelson performance. One, he offered a robust defence of his party's performance in government, citing key policy issues.

Two, he suggested that previous governments - post-war Attlee, Wilson, Major - had similarly featured clashes in personality at the very top.

That is undoubtedly true. But were those contests not largely about policy or raw power? There appears to be an added psychological tension in the emerging stories about the Blair/Brown period.

Does any of this have a continuing impact, other than to market rival books? I believe it does. It has a potential impact upon Labour's performance and upon the leadership contest.

Peter Mandelson, in particular, is inviting the contenders to define themselves at least partly in relation to what has gone before, to the Blairite agenda which, he notes, won three elections.

They have to choose whether to take up that invitation - or whether to seek to shape a new narrative of their own.

Either way, I suspect the contenders and the party in Scotland, facing elections next year, would welcome a pause in these exercises in exculpation. Nae luck, as they might also say down David Cairns' way.


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  • 1. At 11:44am on 01 Sep 2010, Wansanshoo wrote:

    Brian Taylor:

    "Either way, I suspect the contenders and the party in Scotland, facing elections next year, would welcome a pause in these exercises in exculpation. Nae luck, as they might also say down David Cairns' way."

    Nae Luck at all,it seems, here's what the Scottish Left Review August 2010 think of those in Labour claiming to represent our country.

    "We have a Labour ‘movement’ in Scotland which deserve a rapid death. There can never have been a point in time when the Labour Party in Scotland was quite as dreadfully, pathetically pitiful. It has a leader that everyone knows is there on the basis of the ability to take instructions. Its loudest voice appears to have been given to a young careerist by the name of Richard Baker who has decided that self-righteous drivel about ‘knife crime’ and ‘soft on crime’ is how it is going to win in Scotland. It has a ‘health’ policy which would oppose Aspirin if the SNP supported it. This party has become a juvenile, reactionary, third-rate, witless and talentless sack of nonentities with no vision, no principles and nothing to say worth listening to. There are those who think that a decent leader would be all they need to ensure a win in the 2011 election. The fact that there is not a single candidate in the entire Parliamentary Party is telling. That the main choice of the ‘commentators’ was until recently Jim Murphy MP shows just how dislocated from reality the whole scene has become – when he was put head-to-head with someone other than the Daily Record and actual people (not the Daily Record version of ‘actual people’) were asked to rate him, only five per cent thought he was any good. And that’s their best hope? There are still good people in Labour, but they’ve largely given up."

    Bang on the money !

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  • 2. At 11:59am on 01 Sep 2010, frankly francophone wrote:

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

  • 3. At 12:28pm on 01 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    2. frankly francophone

    And going from strength to strength by telling the truth.
    Total Page Views – 2 Million
    Average daily page views – 21,000
    Total unique visitors – 70,000
    Site Hits – 12 Million

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  • 4. At 12:28pm on 01 Sep 2010, rog_rocks wrote:

    "David Cairns MP, we salute you."

    Well you would, however I feel that I was fortunate enough to miss that one, phew!

    To my mind it is objectionable how the rejected and failed labourites get sooo much air time.

    Don't you think it's time for them to be consigned to the back of the cupboard or even taken to the dump?

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  • 5. At 12:31pm on 01 Sep 2010, redrobb wrote:

    I'm sure whatever guilt is felt from his period in high office will be truly assuaged when so-called profits are funnelled via the British Legion any other lingering doubts perhaps via whatever confessional he may wander. Certainly had my own personal doubts in 1997, summed up with the words 'Power at any cost' as soon as maggie was again permitted across the # 10 threshold and budding up to Georgie boy across the water then it starting ticking some other boxes! Fooled and fooled again aka UK public, and I expect we'll continue to fooled time & time again......Justice for past mis-givings always seem to escape those at the top

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  • 6. At 1:05pm on 01 Sep 2010, LondonSteve wrote:


    Not bad at all for a site that was described on here as a two bit joke of a website.

    Long may it continue

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  • 7. At 1:23pm on 01 Sep 2010, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    3 points

    #1 Gaius Julius Caesar is reputed to have written a poem call "Iter" - The Journey.

    It was said to have told a tale of his journey during the Roman Civil War.

    Caesar ended up being stabbed in the forum by those who were amongst his truest adherents.

    History repeats itself.

    #2 Has Blair's largesse extended to the "Worldwide" (tr. US) rights to his book or is it just the cash from UK sales ?

    Blair has also now made it impossible for Brown to "profit" from any memoirs that he produces without seeming quite churlish.


    With regard to the Website that dare Not Speak Its Name (apparently being profane) I wonder if the BBC could supply us with comparable "viewing" figures for, say, either BwB itself , Scotland (Politics) or Scotland (News). Surely this is the sort of information that should be Freely available ?

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  • 8. At 1:59pm on 01 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    It is reassuring that the man who had the corage to lead his country and its young soldiers into glorious battle, didn't have the courage to tell his Chancellor or the UK public what he actually thought of him.
    I still think that Blair will return to Westminster politics when a bankrupt and independent England wants a "strong leader" to negotiate with the wee Country to the West of England that has turned off the water supply to the Midlands.
    Blair - scary guy...............
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 9. At 2:05pm on 01 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    3 Cynical Highlander
    Are you referring to the David Cairn's or the Daily Record's or News net Scotland's website?
    Slainte Mhor :)

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  • 10. At 2:28pm on 01 Sep 2010, sid_ts63 wrote:

    #3 cynical highlander , afternoon, 12 million site hits , not bad at all when it doesn't get any publicity from any other media outlet in fact you are not even allowed to mention it's name on this blog!!!
    one wonders what the BBC are scared of?

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  • 11. At 3:57pm on 01 Sep 2010, Paul McDonald wrote:

    "Either way, I suspect the contenders and the party in Scotland, facing elections next year, would welcome a pause in these exercises in exculpation. Nae luck, as they might also say down David Cairns' way."
    We all know that the "Scottish Labour Party" have absolutely no influence on the mother party. Of course, a good portion of Scots will continue to vote for them nonetheless, mores the pitty.

    I've recently heard Gordon Brown's name being mentioned in the context of the Scottish Labour Party leadership. They could do worse (they're already doing worse), and the more distance put between Blair and Brown the better Brown would no doubt be received (the term "better" is relative of course).

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  • 12. At 4:08pm on 01 Sep 2010, Graham Paterson wrote:

    re #10
    They are afraid of being considered out of touch and no longer needed

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  • 13. At 4:22pm on 01 Sep 2010, frankly francophone wrote:


    For anyone who may be wondering I should perhaps explain that my #2, which, remarkably, has been referred, is merely a reference to an insightful article by Kenneth Roy on Tory Blair. #3 gives some indication of where to find it.

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  • 14. At 4:49pm on 01 Sep 2010, Diabloandco wrote:

    Wansanshoo, thanks for that , brilliant piece!
    "It has a ‘health’ policy which would oppose Aspirin if the SNP supported it."

    Just about covers the Labour opposition and the BBBC.
    Oops! thats one and the same thing ain't it?

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  • 15. At 5:01pm on 01 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Wakey wakey BBC Scotland

    MSP in data protection probe

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  • 16. At 5:05pm on 01 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    A journey with Tony Blair

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  • 17. At 5:07pm on 01 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    10. sid_ts63
    "one wonders what the BBC are scared of?"

    Having to tell the TRUTH. its written into the Labour parties manifesto.

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  • 18. At 5:10pm on 01 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    How to save the BBC

    It has not got a lot better. Instead of the MacTaggart platform being given to a genuinely creative person – there are still a few around in television – it is customarily hijacked by some 'executive' for points-scoring, empire-building, or reputation-management purposes. Last weekend we had the king of the designer stubble, Mark Thompson, who is paid £834,000 a year to be director-general of the BBC, and his apologia for the current unhappy state of John Reith's inheritance.

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  • 19. At 6:36pm on 01 Sep 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    6. I do honestly enjoy how you nationalists complain endlessly that the BBC is somehow pro-Labour (do you even read this site?!) yet see nothing wrong with the highly partisan articles in what is blatantly an SNP love-in.

    Not one article that is critical of SNP or nationalism has ever been seen on that site.

    Also, anyone who has posted the slightest of anti-nationalist comments has seen those comments swiftly deleted and their account suspended.

    Any nationalist that posts even the silliest of lies and nonsense goes uncorrected.

    And there's the selective 'analysis' where any news that matches nationalist myth is immediately and unconditionally accepted and quoted as hard, indisputable fact...whereas anything that disputes nationalist belief is set upon with endless groundless criticism and unanimously touted as rubbish.

    In summary, that 'news site' is a two-bit joke and only worthy of mockery.

    To suggest "the BBC is scared of it" suggests highly unhealthy levels of psychosis.

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  • 20. At 6:58pm on 01 Sep 2010, ForteanJo wrote:

    #19 - "And there's the selective 'analysis' where any news that matches nationalist myth is immediately and unconditionally accepted and quoted as hard, indisputable fact..."

    Substitute "nationalist" for "unionist" and we're into the realms of Ian Gray's claims about having a piece of paper that supported his claim aboute SDS - a claim that BT accepted unconditionally without seeing the paper himself and quoted as hard, indisputable fact on this website. Does that make this "news site" a two-bit joke and only worthy of mockery too then?

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  • 21. At 7:07pm on 01 Sep 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Oops sorry I thought I was logged into the Scottish Politics forum. However it's discussing Tony Blair, Mandelson, Broon and the Tories. My mistake.

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  • 22. At 7:10pm on 01 Sep 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Oh it is the Scottish Politics website! There's Reluctant-Scot wittering on about nothing in particular. It is him though because he mentions "nonsense" and his "psychosis" and talks about nothing in between.

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  • 23. At 7:38pm on 01 Sep 2010, Wansanshoo wrote:

    David Cairns MP, we salute you.

    David Cairns spoke in the House Of Commons in May, he asked the the Government to consider the financial aid given to countries who practice homophobia and discrimination.

    Can you imagine the irony if say Mr Cairns was a former priest who's church practiced homophobia and discrimination ?

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  • 24. At 7:39pm on 01 Sep 2010, NorthernSole wrote:

    Who cares about Brown and Blair? Not going to solve our problems, we have already established that.

    Nice to see though that blatent electioneering is starting. The row over Ferries today is as blatant a piece of election briberey as I have ever seen.

    I find it extremely distasteful that the Scottish government have decided to penalise the Northern isles in favour of the Western isles. There can be no other reason for this other than the Western isles voted SNP, where the Northern Isles vote LibDem.

    To offer increased subisdy to the Western Isles while cutting the services to the Norhtern Isles is an awful decision.

    This shows a complete diregard for vulnerable communities. I also note that John Swinney came to inverness today and is exposing the virtues of a new campus for the UHI project. The whole point of this original project was to create an institution to serve the Highlands across all of the Highlands utilsiing the institutions already in place. Not centralising everything in Inverness and creating another institution in the image of the nations other universities.

    This Government understands rural Scotland no better than the tories in Westminster. I really despair!

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  • 25. At 7:51pm on 01 Sep 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Sorry to go off topic and discuss Scottish Politics. I see Labour's north britain contingency huge policy initiative on alcohol is to limit caffeine! Introduce minimum pricing with a different name!? Though I like the fact the have recognised themselves for the incompetant clowns they are and decided to hand control of the policy to London!!??? So we have a choice between the SNP minimum pricing with Scots in Scotland deciding and implementing policy for Scotland. Or Labour deciding London should tell Scotland what to do on minimum pricing!

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  • 26. At 8:01pm on 01 Sep 2010, Calum McKay wrote:

    The Middle East peace talks are taking place, every ounce of support should be mobilised to ensure success, including good the will and wishes of Scots!

    Question - Where is Europe's Middle East Peace representative?

    Answer - he is shamelessly plugging a new book on our TVs thousands of mile from where he should be!

    Sums labour up, rotten to the core, self serving and a party that has given up on the poor of the world.

    Jack McConnell, now a lord, I bet the folk of Malawi were upmost in his mind when he was getting fitting out for his Ermine robes?

    The health of Scots, was this utmost in labour's mind when they cobbled together their alcohol policy or was it a snipe and gripe at the SNP?

    In the past nationalists' ire has been aimed at the tories, I hope going forward they realise the tories are a side show, removing the dead hand of labour from Scotland should be our goal!

    C McK

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  • 27. At 8:13pm on 01 Sep 2010, cwh wrote:

    I am not exactly sure how to comment on this article. There does not appear to be much meat in it and, apart from the fact that today is the publication day of TB's memoirs, not much relevance to anything going on in Scotland today such as the report, independently audited, into the Scottish Futures Trust and its success in several areas not least in saving money and progressing various infrastructure projects.
    There is an article on it in the Daily Telegraph though [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 28. At 8:19pm on 01 Sep 2010, inmykip wrote:

    #19 ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz.......... how tedious when the self-righetous bleat on about the self-righetous, reminds me of Blair n Brown.

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  • 29. At 8:19pm on 01 Sep 2010, frankly francophone wrote:

    If one is really keen on discussing a not very retiring former UK PM and his undoubtedly memorable memoirs, there is always the Nick Robinson blog, where, as one might expect, daggers are drawn today and fists are flying. Still, it is Brian Taylor's prerogative to foist Mr Blair on us, even though it is apparent that there is no great enthusiasm for discussing him here. Here goes, though.

    As is well enough known, no matter what Tory Blair says in his little book, Blighty is showing fairly noticeable signs of having well and truly lost faith in New Labour. Is it any wonder? The Iraq war of 2003 is widely considered to be a stain on the already blood-spattered escutcheon of the UK, and New Labour pandered to the casino capitalists in the City. As the illegal invasion of Iraq, not to mention the current fool's errand in Afghanistan, appears to have increased the threat of terrorism, and as deregulation in the financial-services sector, following the hardly respectable example of the US of A, brought about a Great Recession than which only the Great Depression of the 1930s has been in some respects worse, this is not a record of which an avowedly left-of-centre party can credibly claim to have reason to be enormously proud, I venture to suggest.

    One gathers that in the much pored-over publication in question the multi-millionaire former UK PM reiterates his belief that Labour must not be allowed to swing to the left (oh dearie me, no), appearing to defend the damagingly swingeing cuts that the ConDem regime is implementing at the speed of light, and encourages Western leaders to wage war against Iran, which is something which the Russian Federation for one would have something to say about. And it would not be "Go ahead; be my guest." Does not Russia matter? I am afraid that it does, Iran being one of its more important next-door neighbours. Surely Mr Blair understands this. Surely? But then, like after-dinner drinkies, that war-mongering compulsion can get a grip on you, or so it would appear.

    As leader of the Labour Party, Prime Minister Blair could have taken the side of millions of working people against the greed and corruption of the bankers and speculators but chose instead to side with the rich. It would appear that his legacy will always be of a war-monger whose instincts are to follow the trail of cash. That being so, it is hardly surprising that Mr Blair appears to be as reluctant to apologize for the Iraq war as his transatlantic chums are to apologize for the nuking of Hiroshima, as, were he to do so, he would undoubtedly upset those bellicose kick-ass types who flock to buy the not inexpensive tickets for his public speeches on the remunerative US lecture circuit. One can hardly expect the poor chap to kill his cash cow, can one? After all, we all have to live . . . except, of course, for those who have to die in illegal wars launched upon a false premise. May they rest in peace.

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  • 30. At 8:21pm on 01 Sep 2010, inmykip wrote:

    "David Cairns MP, we salute you."

    is that with one finger or two Brian?

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  • 31. At 8:21pm on 01 Sep 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Hey Blair is an excellent middle east envoy. He's not too close to America and Israel. Doesn't hold religious views which may cloud his judgement and how partisan he will be. He has always been a friend to arab countries never upsetting them or causing wars. He didn't head a government that was overly bias in favour of Israel..... Oh wait a minute


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  • 32. At 8:46pm on 01 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    27. cwh

    Scottish Futures Trust saves £111 million

    Barry White, its chief executive and a former construction industry chief, said it has advised councils on how to build five schools using the same budget that previously provided four.

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  • 33. At 8:49pm on 01 Sep 2010, Skip_NC wrote:

    InMyKip, I believe the current BBC protocol is one finger. However, that may just be for the weather forecasters. I'm sure it's covered in a BBC manual somewhere.

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  • 34. At 9:02pm on 01 Sep 2010, cwh wrote:

    Thank you cynical highlander that is the one. Do not know what happened to my link. Must do better!

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  • 35. At 9:23pm on 01 Sep 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Who cares about what Tony Blair, Gordon Brown or Peter Mandelson think.
    History will judge the Blair and Brownyears as the end of Labour as a significant political movement. It is fitting that as the once powerful UK sinks towards failed state status under its debt which will take 50 years to pay off the political pygmies who led Labour are replaced by political pygmies leading the Tories.

    The only question any sensible scot should be asking is why so many Scots still seem determined to cling to the sinking ship.

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  • 36. At 9:29pm on 01 Sep 2010, peteraberdeenshire wrote:

    All we hear about is the Brown faction says...., the Blairites say..., or Labour needs to change to reconnect etc. All Labour really care about is Labour and how to con the people into voting for them.
    When is someone going to challenge Ian Grey over his lies about SNP cuts when everyone knows that the cuts are due to Labour being financially incompetent, the state of the party finances as mentioned by that hypocrite Lord Prescott proves this.
    No comment on the Radio 4 programme with it's anti Scottish content? No just another Labour party bulletin brought to you by the BBC funded by us the por taxpayer under threat of prosecution.

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  • 37. At 9:33pm on 01 Sep 2010, janesmcbrearty wrote:

    maybe the shared a room to save £50

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  • 38. At 10:10pm on 01 Sep 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    Blair.... HISTORY, Brown......... HISTORY, Labour..........History................ The Act of Union ...........HISTROY soon

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  • 39. At 10:26pm on 01 Sep 2010, inmykip wrote:

    #28 oooo eeeeer missus pardon my spelling, I did of course mean righteous and not righetous.

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  • 40. At 10:31pm on 01 Sep 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #24. NorthernSole wrote:
    "Nice to see though that blatent electioneering is starting. The row over Ferries today is as blatant a piece of election briberey as I have ever seen.

    I find it extremely distasteful that the Scottish government have decided to penalise the Northern isles in favour of the Western isles. There can be no other reason for this other than the Western isles voted SNP, where the Northern Isles vote LibDem.

    To offer increased subisdy to the Western Isles while cutting the services to the Norhtern Isles is an awful decision."

    Aye well yes, no, well maybe!

    The costs of travelling to the northern isles was already a lot less than the Western Isles ones before the SNP came to power.
    When RTE was put in place as a trial the same complaint was made by the same MSP's until it was pointed out that costs to the Northern Isles were so low compaired to the equivalent RTE that if RTE was applied it would INCREASE the cost of getting the ferry.
    I notice the Lib Dems are now raising this question again.
    The comment is along the lines of your own. Party political reasons, unfair, should consider position, resign, etc.
    Does this mean that because the Northern Isles had such a good deal before when the Libs and Labs were pally that the same should apply.
    Should the Northern Isles MSP's consider there position also or is it a one way complaint.
    How much more are you willing to pay to go to RTE payments? Or is this a situation where certain MSP's are trying to 'electioneer' to get a rise in transport costs so that they can blame the SNP administration for raising the costs?

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  • 41. At 10:32pm on 01 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    34. cwh

    Did you receive an email yet?

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  • 42. At 11:04pm on 01 Sep 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #24. NorthernSole wrote:

    I also note that John Swinney came to inverness today and is exposing the virtues of a new campus for the UHI project. The whole point of this original project was to create an institution to serve the Highlands across all of the Highlands utilsiing the institutions already in place. Not centralising everything in Inverness and creating another institution in the image of the nations other universities.

    This Government understands rural Scotland no better than the tories in Westminster. I really despair!"

    You obviously didn't do much research or listen to the report on RScot tonight.

    The UHI campus is anything but centralised - it ranges from Argyle to Shetland and Lewis to Elgin, so it is hardly postage stamp sized.

    Surely with two very old buildings at present in Inverness as its headquarters and set up as a techology college, it is entitled to try to improve itself in the hope of attracting students and financial support and contributions for its research and degree courses. A centralised single building as the focus with modern up to the minute research facilities and a centre of excellence for new technologies would give it a chance of winning research grants that may have gone to other colleges and universities. In turn this could lead to more diversity and a better standard of learning for the students. You surely can't be against that can you?

    Just in case you need to know where the colleges are here is the list from their web page:

    Argyle College UHI
    Scottish Association for Marine science UHI
    Perth College UHI
    Lochaber College UHI
    Sabhal Mor Ostaig UHI
    Inverness College UHI
    Moray College UHI
    Highland Theology UHI
    Lews Castle College UHI
    North Highland College UHI
    Orkney College UHI
    Shetland College UHI
    NAFC Marine College UHI

    With that area of coverage of the Highlands and Islands it must be second only to the OU in areas that it is available to. As to the point of understanding rural Scotland - why do you think that most of the courses are going to be distance learning with video conferencing and on line teaching materials?

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  • 43. At 11:22pm on 01 Sep 2010, cwh wrote:

    Re: 41 Cynicalhighlander.

    Yes I got the e-mail at 8.28 pm - just checked after I saw your post. Apparently I broke the Editorial guidelines by including the link.
    "Comments on the BBC blogs will be removed if they contain links to other websites which break our Editorial Guidelines. The URL(s) which failed were: ...."

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  • 44. At 11:34pm on 01 Sep 2010, uk_abz_scot wrote:

    I was retuning various Freeview boxes (due to Digital Switch Over at Durris) this morning and missed Mr Cairns on the Radio. (An evil London media conspiracy?)

    People read previous leaders books for history.

    Whoever the next UK Labour leader is needs to get some heavy weights in to the Scottish Party to get some real policies (poster #1 has some great quotes about Knives and Aspirins) and then get some decent presentation.

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  • 45. At 11:50pm on 01 Sep 2010, NorthernSole wrote:

    40. highlandarab

    You miss the point. At the same time as the government offer an extension to the RET scheme, the proposal is to significantly cut the service to the northern isles.

    That is blatently unfair. Also the level of subsidy is clear on the northern isles routes, it is impossible to determine with Calmac such is the murky mess that is their support.

    I do not disagree with reducing ferry costs, but the basis of what ferry service should serve island communities should be serving those communities and allowing them to prosper. Cutting one and helping the other is just plain wrong.

    Also I am very well aware of the UHI project. I live and work in the Highlands. My point is the campus proposed will centralise further the project in Inverness, which will suck more of hte people of the highlands to Inverness and undermine the rural communities. It has been happening for years.

    The project was meant to provide access in these communities, the new plan has halls of residence, etc. It will centralise the project further in Inverness and reduce the importance of the other parts. A simple truth.

    You need to remove the blinkers.

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  • 46. At 11:53pm on 01 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    43. cwh

    So did I. interesting.

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  • 47. At 00:24am on 02 Sep 2010, Harry Stottle wrote:

    Blair was stuffing his trousers with millions of pounds at the same time as sending scores of young men and women needlessly to their death.

    Why is the BBC plugging this wretches memoirs relentlessly?

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  • 48. At 00:54am on 02 Sep 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    45. NorthernSole

    The row recently about the diversion of the Orkney ferry diverted to pick up the starnded air passengers is nothing to the loss of the Barra and Uist ferry for the last few weeks. Surely you don't see this as a better service than given to the Northern Isles.

    The extension of the service to Lewis was for Sunday ferries. Is this not something that the Northern Isles have so the folk from the Western Isles would only be catching up with their service.

    The RTE scheme is still likely to raise the cost of going to Orkney and Shetland rather than lowering it. As a customer I would wonder what political point my local MP was trying to make in asking for a raising of the charges on my behalf.

    The new college planned is a replacement for the two that are old and not now fit for purpose. How does that 'suck in' people to Inverness. The other campuss' of the UHI are still there still with the same capacity. The college may run 'summer schools' as the OU do, but having attended a few of these in Norwich, Brighton, Nottingham, etc. I can't say that I knew a lot of the students who went to these courses and then moved to that area after the week long course to be closer to it. In the UHI case you might find that the direction of flow of students might be the opposite and people studying in Inverness might move to one of the other campuss' for summer school and would be expected to go to Fort William or similar. Failure to replace the buildings with a more modern purpose built building might actually restrict the number of students applying who would go to colleges where the facilities are better and more likely to be modern.

    The alternative to the UHI is depopulation as students go mostly to Glasgow and Edinburgh for college and then stay there for employment. I would have thought that getting facilities into each of the local locations would help to keep people in the area.

    Why would the population of Inverness get any larger because of the college? There has been no decisions as far as I have heard to close any of the 12 campuss' out of Inverness and transfer the courses elsewhere. Currently a lot of schools are making use of the existing college facilities in each of these campuss areas to send pupils to courses in life skills such as bricklaying, plumbing, hair and fashion, etc. Without the campuss' in each area this would not be able to be done and another facility would be lost. It doesn't seem like a very good idea to loose these facilities as you are suggesting might happen.

    A lot of the new courses are planned to be web based or conference based so why would you need to be close to the lecturer. It would be much better if the steam driven broadband connections of the Highlands were replaced with something that occasionally burst into a slight jog in speed. A lot of the courses planned are for mature students as well as school leavers and they are unlikely to sell houses and uproot families to be closer to a new college. If that was to happen here I would hope that it was for a much more important reasons than this.

    I think my blinkers are well and trully removed and I would be more confident about the proposed facilities for the whole of the Highland and Island area than you seem to be yourself.

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  • 49. At 02:09am on 02 Sep 2010, rog_rocks wrote:

    Perhaps the third man used his third leg to prevent diversion and hence entry into the cul de sac but I have to say I think the elements from his performances for which he will be most remembered are;

    1) "As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!"

    and don't forget;

    2) "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side.
    Something, Something, Something, Complete!"

    Sorry :) I know it's all getting a bit old hat but I'm sure there are those who will reminisce for a long time to come yet.

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  • 50. At 02:35am on 02 Sep 2010, oldnat wrote:

    32. cynicalHighlander

    There my be a problem with your link to the Scottish Futures Trust story. The Telegraph has it here

    The LD response is fascinating. In the UK Government they are bent on savage cuts in public spending. In opposition in Scotland they want to encourage wasting public spending. What a strange party/parties it/they are.

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  • 51. At 07:21am on 02 Sep 2010, Diabloandco wrote:

    There is a song in there somewhere Oldnat.

    "What a swellegant,elegant party this is"

    Too early in the morning for me to start though - I'm sure you'll all be glad to hear!

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  • 52. At 08:11am on 02 Sep 2010, NorthernSole wrote:


    As I previously said I have no objection to lowering the cost of ferries to vulnerable communities. However continuing subsidy to one service that votes SNP and reducing subsidy to another is simply wrong.

    AS for the UHI project, the new campus will dwarf all the other components. Courses will inevitably centre around Inverness. Students from the rest of the Highlands will go to Uni in Inverness. Acomodation will not be built for a few summer schools, it will be used all the year round. So instead of staying in their community and studying with UHI, they will be encouraged to go to Inverness.

    Many of us in the outlying areas have noted that sinc council re-organisation all the best paid local government jobs are now located in Inverness. The same will happen with the UHI.

    Not good for the rest of the highlands. Another central belt solution for a Highland problem, much like the crofting reform, which is also a imposition on a community the parliament didn't understand.

    As I said previously, no better than Westminster would have done.

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  • 53. At 08:26am on 02 Sep 2010, Calum McKay wrote:

    ~ 24 "I also note that John Swinney came to Inverness today and is exposing the virtues of a new campus for the UHI project. The whole point of this original project was to create an institution to serve the Highlands across all of the Highlands utilsiing the institutions already in place. Not centralising everything in Inverness and creating another institution in the image of the nations other universities."

    Graham Hills' vision, was it ever achievable? Probably not in its entirety, but successive governments, and as a nationalist I include labour in this respect, have tried. The SNP have continued this commitment to the Highlands.

    The academics, administrators and politicians have wrestled the problem of de-centralisation Vs central campus serving all of the peripheral campuses. It’s taken them 14 years to come to conclusion that a degree of central control is required. The road to this conclusion has not been smooth and many feathers have been ruffled.

    What's the alternative, the whole project to fail, the colleges to return to techie college status?

    Two things UHI teaches us are that the young and brightest will always leave the highlands, getting them to return before they are 35 is key. If I were young and bright and leaving school, what possible interest is there in me going to university in Shetland, Nairn or Benbecula? None! Young folk need to leave, see what’s out there and then return wiser and with potential to earn a decent professional wage.

    Secondly, people with the needed qualifications will not move to remote locations in sufficient numbers. Caley Thistle syndrome, players from central belt will not relocate. SNH’s move to Inverness.

    We don’t have our oil money to lavish on our peripheral towns and communities like Norway does, we give ours off to another country to spend on Trident and illegal wars.

    Our Government in Scotland has to work within limits dictated by another parliament, if we wish to be able to treat our peripheral regions more favourably we need to have control over own resources. The only way that will happen is independence!

    But, sadly, folk like you would rather see London blow our legacy away on foreign follies or WMD rather than invest in Shetland!

    C McK

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  • 54. At 09:25am on 02 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    52 Northern Sole
    (BTW - is your middle name Rupert perchance?)
    The ferry subsidy is a pilot scheme - to be reviewed.
    The review period has been extended by 12 months rather than have a reversion to ferry prices per mile at the highest rate in the world.
    The pilot is not just in the SNP 'controlled' Western Isles.
    The Shetland Route would be more expensive if the RET pilot had been extended there.
    The subsidy to the Northern Isles routes has increased year on year.
    Westminster Labour and Westminster Liberals have both promised RET for more than 25 years.
    They had power in Westminster and shared power in Holyrood for 13 years and 8 years. In 21 years of "governance" they did nothing for the people outwith the Home Counties.
    I understand that the Highland Council - with a LibDumb Council leader from the "edge" of Highland welcomes the creation of a Campus in Inverness.
    Like many others, they believe that the impact across the whole of the H&I area will be positive.
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 55. At 11:02am on 02 Sep 2010, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    Its All very interesting, Brian, but how about

    i/ The alleged disclosure of personal data from 21 primary schools throughout the constituency of Airdrie & Shotts MSP Karen Whitefield.

    ii/ The extension of the highly successful RET trial and how if it had been extended to the Northern Isles, the ferry costs would have increased.

    iii/ The BBC Radio 4 broadcast that heard commentators describe Scots as living off of benefits provided by the English and describe the Scottish parliament as a “charade of a building” inhabited by MSPs who “crawl out of the darkness”.

    iv/ The ongoing "issues" within Glasgow Council with respect to the "ruling" party therein

    v/ The hiring of "disgraced" former Labour Candidate Stuart McLennan by a prominent Opposition MSP

    vi/ A major study that has concluded that the Scottish renewable energy sector has the potential to become a bigger employer than the oil and gas industry.

    vii/ That the Scottish Government is helping deliver more low cost homes than at any time since the early 1980's.

    Instead, why were we treated to another chapter in the BBC's endless multi-media fawning to Tony Blair ?

    These and many more relevant stories to Today's Political Scene can possibily be found where the News is always of Net interest to Scotland.

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  • 56. At 11:44am on 02 Sep 2010, frankly francophone wrote:

    It is occasionally tempting to be tempted. Admit it. It is. Every now and then out of the corner of one's eye the path which one is not treading may just possibly, if only for an instant, but probably for a wee while longer than that, arouse one's curiosity.

    I hasten to add at this point that this is not leading up to tittle tattle about a certain Conservative politician on the subject of whom tittle tattle has been the focus of what might be considered to be an indignified degree of BBC news coverage of late at the expense of matters of greater import . . . such as the cricket, whatever that may be, and how Tory Blair managed to get to Washington so quickly after all those self-aggrandising media engagements in London to relaunch himself in Blighty. Private jet? Well, he can afford it.

    But there I go cocking a snook again, though I am not really at heart a cock-snooking sort of chap, as you know, truthfully. No, it is forced upon one, as many of you can testify who do not find it within yourselves to swallow the received anglo-unionist wisdom of Blighty and all its works. Alas and lackaday, unless one adopts a certain perspective, as you may not need me to tell you, one is unavoidably confronted with a carnival of antics which cannot but lead one to conclude that the inmates have taken over the asylum and are force-feeding their saner captives on copious quantities of diazepam and I know not what else to prevent them from regaining control.

    Hence the cook snocking. Sorry, snock cooking . . . cock snicking. Am afraid it's got away from me. One can get lost in the the English language - God bless her and all who sail in her - for days after tripping over an improbable verbal confection, and nobody comes to help you, whereas on the southern side of the Anglo-Gallic Channel, of course, the grass may not be greener (or it may), but at least there is always someone there to tell you where you are going wrong in case in doing so you might irreparably damage the language of reason. And where would we all be then? Snock kicking in the vernacular of John Bull or, worse, Uncle Sam.

    Anyway, getting back to exploring paths along which one has not chosen to travel: wondering what it might be like to view the world from an anglo-unionist perspective, I found to my dismay and indeed angst that an indecently unseemly propensity for sneering would almost certainly be involved. Tried it. Didn't like it. Couldn't get the hang of it. Didn't want to. Thought it would warp my charming personality. So back to the cook snacking. Have a nice day.

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  • 57. At 11:57am on 02 Sep 2010, bingowings87 wrote:

    #10 sid_ts63,

    steady on sid, 8600 comments from 800 registered members makes it less than half the size of the St mirren website, and we're hardly world beaters, are we?

    The site is no more than an SNP activists group, a group who clearly don't see the irony of crying "bias" in the MSM whilst simultaneously bigging up a site which takes bias to new dimensions. Two wrongs don't make a right.

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  • 58. At 12:20pm on 02 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    Blair Backs Cameron Plan, Slams `Strange' Brown for Failings.

    Tony Blair, Britain’s longest- serving Labour prime minister, endorsed Conservative David Cameron’s economic policy and slammed Gordon Brown, his partner in power for a decade, for political incompetence.

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  • 59. At 12:38pm on 02 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    The BBC say that a Councillor in Aberdeen has resigned due to an ongoing investigation by the local constabulary.
    The BBC don't say what political party the Councillor belongs to?
    Any reason why?
    It could be an SNP Councillor - but I'd guess the BBC would impartially put that in the headline of the story?
    Personally, if I was a BBC political web editor then I would head it as "Yet another Unionist politician caught by the police."
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 60. At 1:29pm on 02 Sep 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    53. Calum McKay: "We don’t have our oil money to lavish on our peripheral towns and communities like Norway does, we give ours off to another country to spend on Trident and illegal wars."

    Any nationalist going to correct this utter bilge?



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  • 61. At 1:47pm on 02 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #59 spagan

    I could be wrong, but the following article may shed some light in the darkness:

    Aberdeen councillor and wife accused of embezzling money .

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  • 62. At 2:40pm on 02 Sep 2010, Calum McKay wrote:

    #60 - "We don’t have our oil money to lavish on our peripheral towns and communities like Norway does, we give ours off to another country to spend on Trident and illegal wars."

    What is factually incorrect about the above statement?

    Trust hurts eh - shocking - party you support wastes Scotland's natural resources on weapons you can not use and wars in distant lands.

    Were ever it so!

    C McK

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  • 63. At 3:16pm on 02 Sep 2010, john wrote:

    #60 R-E
    you always come up with the same tired rubbish. If we had our oil money, we would be over £1bn in surplus, yet we have to take our share of a £45bn deficit. What part of that don't you understand.


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  • 64. At 3:19pm on 02 Sep 2010, Addicted to Joob-Joobs wrote:


    Not much evidence of 'unionists' (or however it is you style yourselves) rushing to endorse your own peculiar little rants for that matter.

    With the basic credibility of UK-led politics now in free-fall, you might expect at least a few of its sometime adherents to be bashing out some kind of defence, albeit in frantic desperation, of the so-called merits of the British "union" - instead of which there is largely an increasingly vacuuous void.

    Could it be that 'British unionism' and 'coherent argument' are simply mutually exclusive concepts?? :-)

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  • 65. At 3:20pm on 02 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    61 Roll On
    Thanks for that information.
    I'm confident that the BBC will update their website.
    It is quite amazing how many Liberal and New Labour MPs and MSPs and Councillors appear to be "helping the police with their enquiries".
    Apparently there are a few Conservatives in the same boat.
    I've decided to take a big breath and wait until the BBC exposes such Unionist misdemeanours.
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 66. At 3:54pm on 02 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    50. oldnat

    It did work initially and think the Torygraph must of reedited it a couple of times hence cwh and my links going awol. Thanks for redoing link.

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  • 67. At 3:57pm on 02 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    59. spagan
    61. Roll_On_2011

    City council calls in police to probe Cassie allegations

    Read more:

    Liberal Democrat deputy group leader Scott Cassie now faces being quizzed by officers from the Grampian force and suspended from his party group because of the inquiry.

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  • 68. At 4:04pm on 02 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    60. Reluctant-Expat
    "Any nationalist going to correct this utter bilge?



    Can you without reverting to your usual nonsense?

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  • 69. At 4:08pm on 02 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    Another NuLabour Luvvy in the news:

    Councillor John Holden faces benefits charges.

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  • 70. At 4:08pm on 02 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    Hot off the BBC website:
    "A Highland councillor has been accused of illegally claiming almost £45,000 in benefits."
    I wonder if the article specifies which Party this guy represents?
    Oops - silly me. He is of course New Labour.
    Shhh! Keep it quiet - Yet another Unionist politician caught by the police.
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 71. At 4:18pm on 02 Sep 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    62. Seriously?

    I'm guessing you only read nationalist 'literature' then.

    Scotland receives ALL it's share of NS oil revenues. Even the SNP grudgingly acknowledge that nowadays.

    Really? You didn't know that? Maybe you shouldn't automatically believe everything other nationalists tell you. Then you wouldn't embarrass yourself on the interwebs.

    A good rule of thumb is: If a nationalist says something is a 'fact', it's more likely it's a lie. Always stood me in good stead that.

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  • 72. At 4:34pm on 02 Sep 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    63. And there you go with the same old tired (and predictable) 'surplus' rubbish again.

    As you well know, but are dogmatically refusing to acknowledge (as do most nationalists), is that there isn't a surplus. When you count all the money, and not just some of it as you are doing, Scotland has actually run a multi-billion deficit every year for many years (source: GERS and SNP website).

    And that's before you add in the trifling matter of the small amount of £470bn that was needed to rescue a certain few Scottish establishments (source: Scottish Parliament).

    Did you know that's seven times the bailout needed in Ireland and the equivalent of four times the amount that bankrupted Iceland and killed off their international financial sector?

    Ah, tell you what. You put your head back in the sand and carry on pretending that never happened. All is well. All is well.

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  • 73. At 4:58pm on 02 Sep 2010, Gaavster wrote:


    I invite you, on this public forum, to select a single article from 'the news site that is profane' and attempt to challenge it's content from a factual perpsective...

    The problem you, and your unionist cyberchums are facing, is that it is a breath of fresh air, it has the potential to let sheeple in this country see a completely different, dare i say 'positive' perspective of the world, and of their Scotland, from the one that they have been constantly drip fed by the media for many years...

    When the penny drops for these people... it drops forever

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  • 74. At 5:12pm on 02 Sep 2010, hadrianswall wrote:

    Two unionists caught with their pants down in one day! Both stealing public funds.
    Is anyone keeping a running total? You really could write a book on these people and Glenrothes.


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  • 75. At 5:14pm on 02 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    71 Reluctant-ET
    Does your term "nationalist" encompass all Canadians, Kiwis, Aussies, Yanks, Indians, Pakistanis etc etc - who have decided over the years that what benefits Westminster, the City of London and the Home Counties - may not be best for the rest?
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 76. At 5:16pm on 02 Sep 2010, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    60. Reluctant expat

    I have to agree with you the statement is factually incorrect but calling it bilge is rather child like of you.

    The statement could be improved factually.
    Scotland does not 'give' its revenues away as Calum suggests since they are directly allocated as extra-regio and never enter into Scottish hands to 'give' in the first place. Our oil revenues are simply and financially, taken from us.

    The same is true in other areas eg Crown estate revenues and profits.

    Clearly, lareg amounts of public money IS spent on Trident. What should be made clearer is that the Scottish public, civic Scotland, the Scottish parliament and the majority of Scottish MPs, many including Labour are against trident. This obscenity is forced on us by the representatives in Westminster of the people of another country. The position is very similar with both the Iraq war and New Nuclear(The Scottish parliament under LABOUR voted against it and that vote still stands).

    We all realise Westiminster legislates or makes policy based on an overall UK majority - fair enough. However it uses its dominant English block vote to dictate:
    Weapons of mass destruction in another country against our will.
    Try to force New Nuclear against our will.
    Involvement in foreign conflict with Scottish regiments and soldiers, against our will.

    The wishes of the people of Scotland are demonstrably and factually of no consequence to Westminster. If it were only issues such as Overall defense budget etc then OK. But these are issues of Weapons and War.

    History repeats. Westminster and the British political establishment sees and uses Scotland as a pool of resources for exploitation. It will hang onto that pool by any means possible. Taking what it can and in parallel forcing upon us what we do not want.

    This is the Union dividend - The wholesale exploitation of our resources and the privelege of having Trident, war, poll tax or anything else Westminster decides to force upon us via its block vote.

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  • 77. At 5:19pm on 02 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    Council bosses pay-off tops £13m

    More than 2,600 employees enjoy working for GCC so much they have elected to leave!

    What is amazing is that they have not been able to work the SNP into the equation - yet….. Give them time!

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  • 78. At 5:56pm on 02 Sep 2010, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    So, expat insists Scotland gets its share of North sea revenues back again.

    In that case why is it necessary for westminster to take it all, churn through and administration machine and then give our share back.

    Surely it is much simpler, easier, less administration and would eliminate any doubt over the share given back.....

    Since expat and others are convinced we and therefore everyone else get their share I am sure expat cannot but agree to this much simpler process. Indeed I am surprised that expat did not recommend this to Calman at the time.

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  • 79. At 6:02pm on 02 Sep 2010, Taldor83 wrote:

    I am a regular visitor/commentator (Is that a word?) on the website that cannot be named, however I have to say that the fact the BBC does not cover a fair number of the stories there is a concern to me personally. No site is perfect. NO site is unbiased (despite claims to the contrary.) There are some valid points to stories not being followed up i.e SDS and if there was any truth to it (which as later document/articles show, weren'.)

    As for thsi article in particular by Mr Taylor, I fail to see how the Blair-Brown relationship is of any way relevant to the Scottish political blog section. Mr Robinson's blog, by all means, but isn't there plenty going on in Scottish politics (i.e a Highlander counciller...Sorry..Highland Labour counciller being charged with fraud?)


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  • 80. At 6:08pm on 02 Sep 2010, Wansanshoo wrote:

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

  • 81. At 6:19pm on 02 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    72. Reluctant-Expat

    Round and round the rugged rock
    The reluctant expat goes
    If you can tell us what planet your at
    We might excuse your lies.

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  • 82. At 6:21pm on 02 Sep 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    73. Gaavster: "When the penny drops for these people... it drops forever"

    By your logic, support for independence should be forever rising.


    For crying out loud, independence has become such a non-issue, no-one is even bothering to poll on the subject any more.

    Not even the SNP, who are instead having to resort to commissioning highly selective polls (ie. 'constituency' where they are 1-3% behind Labour, but not 'regional list' nor 'Westminster' where they are 9-11% behind) so they can spin the bizarre line that they are somehow "neck and neck with Labour".

    When, of course, they are nothing of the sort.

    What totally puzzles me is that, with the party languishing in the polls and this term's central independence issue losing interest and support, instead of overhauling their electoral strategy in an attempt to turn support around, Salmond has declared that "independence will be the keystone of the re-election campaign", thereby continuing doggedly along the path that is going to take the party out of office next spring.

    Well, Mr Salmond. Go for it.

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  • 83. At 6:31pm on 02 Sep 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    57. 800 registered members?

    Really? Is that all?

    I wonder how many times they have clicked 'Refresh' to get the number of 'average daily views' up to 21,000? (Actually, I make it 26 'F5's a day which is about right for the type who would frequent such a site).

    And 70,000 people have viewed the website, yet only 1.1% of those have bothered to sign up.

    You see, when you don't take things at face-value, it all looks very, very different indeed.

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  • 84. At 6:50pm on 02 Sep 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    57. Seriously, 800 registered users?

    Let's compare. The football club message board that I use (and it's one of many for the club, which is languishing in the lower leagues and lumbered with a dilapidated 19,000 seater ground) has over 1,400 registered users.

    "...a total of 8,600 posts"? That's over the past three months, yes?

    Well, 5,123 posts have been submitted on that football site today alone (and the after-work shift hasn't started yet), with 42,000 posts entered just in the past week.

    It's not even close, is it.

    And this lot believe this pro-SNP pro-independence site is a major player??

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  • 85. At 7:21pm on 02 Sep 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    Reluctant (aye right) expat.

    please please please explain to us all why you hate your (if you do come from Scotland) country so much as to want to have it ruled (which it is) by a foreign power. Please tell me one proper supportable reason why we should surrender our sovereignty. It cant be the bank fiasco, that was failure of Westminster regulation and greedy US and London bankers. (RBS and Halifax BOS are as Scottish as I am Greek), It cant be Fiscal sustainability as we have plenty of cash raising opportunities and natural resources lying around. We have 5 million plus citizens, more than enough. We produce more food than we consume, we have a vibrant tourism industry. Tell the truth Ex pat, its because your beloved Labour party will never get in to westminster again without the help of the forty labour seats provided by the brainwashed electorate in the central belt and you are so desperate to hold on to that your party will cover up corruption with in its ranks ,rubbish well conceived and almost universally applauded health policies brought forward by government and generally act like a spoiled child who did not get what he wanted. going back to the Greek thing i take it you proudly associate your character with Ephialtes!

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  • 86. At 7:25pm on 02 Sep 2010, Taldor83 wrote:

    I don't think it's a major player BUT it is a new site. How many of the millions of people that visit the BBC website are registered (dag namit...I registered...I'm a statistic!) and comment/refresh pages?

    A website should be judged on content. And thus far the content I've read has been factual on "the site that cannot be mentioned". Not to mention it's a volunteer run site, not paid for by the public purse.There may be journalists lurking on the site but it seems to me, personally, that the people there make much more of an effort to investigate stories than some others. The people there are committed. Not encouraged to run the site out of financial gain.

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  • 87. At 8:10pm on 02 Sep 2010, snowthistle wrote:

    When Reluctant talks about our "share" of oil revenues does he mean split on a per capita basis or a geographical basis?
    If it is geographic, is this calculated using the new territorial boundaries or the old ones?

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  • 88. At 8:34pm on 02 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Council executives each receive £128,000 payoff

    The council decided to fund the deal from property sales but the recession depressed the market.
    An arms-length company, City Property, was formed and borrowed the money from Barclays. It will pay back the funds over the next three years by selling property over the next three years in the hope that prices recover.

    To become rich join the Labour party become a councilor and the taxpayer will foot the bill as they have a bottomless pit.

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  • 89. At 8:34pm on 02 Sep 2010, Gaavster wrote:

    82. R E

    Just the two points in response....

    1. Can you answer the question regarding the factual content please?

    2. How do you explain the intransigence and the, dare i say it, RELUCTANCE, by all the London parties to allow the people of this country their say in an independence referendum?

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  • 90. At 10:20pm on 02 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

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

  • 91. At 10:21pm on 02 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

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

  • 92. At 10:27pm on 02 Sep 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

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

  • 93. At 01:18am on 03 Sep 2010, frankly francophone wrote:

    #86 Taldor83

    Your impressions of the site in question are much the same as my own.

    Whatever one's political orientation and whichever constitutional route map one prefers, one cannot but be aware, I venture to suggest, that the UK media are not what they were and that the BBC simply is not dear old Auntie any more. I concede that, although I personally never wholly trusted her, there used to be more of an excuse for doing so. Look at the old girl now, though. Let me tell tell you a story. Are you sitting comfortably?

    Yesterday I took my 'national and international news' from the Iberian peninsula. Well, why not? Not from Madrid. From Barcelona, which, as you may well not need me to tell you, is the capital of a sub-state nation with its own devolved government and parliament and even, so one gathers, its own legal system passed down from when it was independent, its independence era having been brought to an abrupt end in the eighteenth century. Detectable similarities with bonnie Scotland should be leaping at you from the screen by now. Dissimilarities: it gets terribly hot there in the summer, and the sun shines far too much; additionally it has its Scottish Six, as it were. Well, rather more than that, actually.

    In the Catalan TV news yesterday they did not lead with a catalogue of Catalan misdoings or intractable problems such as one might associate with an Indian reservation in the Wild West of the century before last, or a recitation of improbably depressing inadequacies, general uselessness and hopelessness. Nor did they ever get to any stories about moggies stuck up trees or chappies from Bury St Edmunds stuck up mountains, requiring other chaps to follow them up there and get them back down again. Nor did the weather map show Catalonia to be substantially smaller than one knows it to be. Catalans simply would not allow that under any pretext, naturally.

    No, they started off with the main story that possibly every respectable news broadcast led with yesterday: the Middle East peace process in Washington, from where their own correspondent reported live in Catalan. Then there followed an assortment of serious Catalan, Spanish and European and other stories of a distinctly analytical and positive nature, the Catalan ones involving questions of livelihood, education and culture. No dwelling on or even mention of tittle-tattle about politicians' alleged straying from the straight and narrow in their personal lives; no fawning over celebrities; no moggies stuck up trees and no chaps stuck up mountains. And all of it with a Catalan rather then a Spanish frame of reference and from an identifiably Catalan rather than Spanish perspective.

    Parochial? Not a bit of it. Far from it. A picture emerged, even in just the one broadcast, of a thrusting modern society, confident in itself and its own identity and moving forward swiftly as an integral component of Europe and the wider world in its own right: everything, in other words, that the BBC and the other UK media almost without exception constantly and inveterately deny to Scotland to the resounding approval of anglo-unionists and the growing disapproval of independentists. The contrast was revealingly immense.

    Let us face facts. The BBC is out of step with present-day Scotland. The new Scottish network to which one apparently refers at one's own risk here is not. It exists because it is needed. What Scotland absolutely does not need is a broadcasting system and other media which do not respect it and do not allow it to respect itself. Treating Scotland like a terminally useless lump of peripheral nowheresville, as if it were a drag on the UK and could never amount to anything, is just not cricket, and it is just not on, I venture to suggest.

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  • 94. At 07:22am on 03 Sep 2010, Anagach wrote:

    72. At 4:34pm on 02 Sep 2010, Reluctant-Expat wrote: His Usual Stuff.

    Welcome back and thank you for selling the nationalist case. It may
    have escaped your attention but pushing the view that Scotland is in
    a terrible state just draws attention to the arguement thats its been
    badly managed its been for the last 100 years, a key arguement for
    the nationalist cause.

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  • 95. At 07:30am on 03 Sep 2010, Anagach wrote:

    84. At 6:50pm on 02 Sep 2010, Reluctant-Expat wrote: Football.

    If you were making the point that people prefer to talk football rather
    than politics you have a good case. But if your are trying to
    denigrating political or current affairs sites it would be best to compare, well political or current affairs sites.

    It might explain a lot of your posts if you actually do think
    that Labour, Liberals, SNP and Tories are football teams.

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  • 96. At 08:20am on 03 Sep 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    2. At 4:34pm on 02 Sep 2010, Reluctant-Expat wrote:
    63. And there you go with the same old tired (and predictable) 'surplus' rubbish again.

    As you well know, but are dogmatically refusing to acknowledge (as do most nationalists), is that there isn't a surplus.


    Besides your arguments being complete nonsense...... It does not matter whether at present whether we have a surplus of anything. Other than the will and determination to run our own country successfully. But of course this needs the strength and character that is missing in the typical unionist.

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  • 97. At 09:27am on 03 Sep 2010, john wrote:

    #72 R-E

    OK, let's look at a few of your points:
    "And that's before you add in the trifling matter of the small amount of £470bn that was needed to rescue a certain few Scottish establishments (source: Scottish Parliament)"

    How much of that £470bn was actual spend?
    answer ~£100bn (the rest was made up of securities)

    How much of that spend will the UK givernment get back?
    answer: over £100bn in the next 3 years as the shares are sold back, and in dividends.

    Which bank absorbed the largest share of the spend?
    answer: Northern rock (not scottish, but then newcastle is almost in scotland if you are looking from london)

    How scottish are the other banks bailed out?
    answer: RBS is headquartered in scotland, but also incorporates Natwest and ABN AMro, neither of which are Scottish. Most of the bad debt came from Natwest.
    HBOS: The H is a bit of a clue. Halifax took over BOS. Last time I looked, Halifax is not in Scotland. BOS only included in the name as BOS is the oldest clearing bank in the world. Most headquarter facilities in Halifax.

    Honestly R-E how many misleading statements can you get into a single sentance?

    "Scotland has actually run a multi-billion deficit every year for many years "

    Scotland has run a surplus in each of the last 4 years (source GERS)

    "Ah, tell you what. You put your head back in the sand and carry on pretending that never happened. All is well. All is well"

    All is not well. Spending on vital services (police, teachers) and projects (forth crossing, A9 upgrade, GARL) has been reduced or cancelled, despite our economy running a surplus. What is "well" with that? The fact is that you are the one ignoring the facts. You are the one with your head in the sand saying all is well. The fact that you deliberately misquote figures (I can only assume it is deliberate, as even the most basic intellect knows that you are spouting guff) leads me to believe that you have a desire to protect the union as you are personally gaining from it (or think you are), and to hell with the rest of the people of Scotland.


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  • 98. At 09:53am on 03 Sep 2010, soosider wrote:

    #82 Reluctant-Expat
    oh for heavens sake go and do a basic bit of research before quoting polls.
    There have been three polls publishd on Scottish voting intentions in the last month, one commisioned by the SNP and conducted by Yougov, I tend to ignore polls commissioned by any political party for two reasons, the tables are rarely published and there has to be questions about the wording of the poll. The second was done by You Gov and only reported on voting intentions on the constituency vote for Holyrood, this one did indeed show a lead for Labour over the SNP of some 12%. However Yougov do not differentiate between those who will vote and those who will not, this tends to increase the overall vote for Labour, I would also be critical as the poll did not reflect any votes for parties outwith the big 4, at Scottish elections there is usually at least 4% of the vote at Constituency level and 12% at regional level goes to other parties. The poll did show SNP support holding up at almost 2007 levels.
    The latest poll is from Ipsos Mori and published on the 20th August, it reflect both votes for Holyrood and only shows details for those who are certain to vote, it has an additional advantage in that it has conducted the same polls several times over the last few years, this allows for the identification of trends. In this poll the gap between Labour and SNP is much smaller 3% on first vote and 9% on the second, far from being a collapse in SNP voting intentions it shows there vote holding up, looking at the trend it could be that what Labour are showing is a huge boost from the UK general election as there is a huge increase in there vote from that time, it is only when the next poll is published towards the end of the year that we might be able to judge if this polling for Labour is a real change or only a temporary blip.
    Here is a link to the ipsos mori poll tables, I would suggest a read of them as it makes very interesting reading

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  • 99. At 10:18am on 03 Sep 2010, Wansanshoo wrote:

    Ex Pat.

    Here are the UK Government figures.

    Scotland : Budget surplus 1-3 billion 0.9 % of GDP this includes a geographical share of NS oil revenue.

    UK : Budget deficit 48.9 billion 3.4 % of GDP this includes 100% of NS oil revenue.

    GERS net fiscal balance

    Scotland : Deficit 3.8 billion 2.6 % of GDP

    UK : Deficit 96.1 billion 6.7 % of GDP

    Across the OECD the average net fiscal balance was 3.3 per cent of GDP, In other words, GERS shows Scotland in a far stronger fiscal position than the average of the major developed economies, including the United Kingdom.

    Are you suggesting these Westminster figures are incorrect ?

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  • 100. At 10:33am on 03 Sep 2010, NorthernSole wrote:

    Re 53 CMck.

    I really disagree with much of what you say.

    The development of sustainable rural communities requires these communities to have at least a fighting chance of keeping its younger generations.

    Education plays a vital part in that strategy. Hence why it is much more damaging for a rural community to lose a school than an urban community. I personally benefitted form one of the pilot UHI schemes and obtained a degree while staying in full time employment and supporting my family. this allowed me to obtain a job in the Highlands that would have otherwise have most likely gone to someone form outside the Highlands. To do the same course now I would have to go to Inverness.

    The UHI ideal, founding principle was to provide degree education in these communities relating to courses that could result in business start ups in these communities. Difficult I know, but far from impossible. A lot of hard work has gone into this and there are some sucesses. For example, through difficult times, we still have a large freezer factory producing and exporting to the world in the far north. We are also trying hard to capitalise on the renewable energy sector, with some sucess despite the efforts of the government.

    We should be maximising this opportunity in the communities closest to the sites. However we are not. there are a few fledgling businesses trying hard and receiving little assitance from HIE, which appears to render itself more of an irrelevance every day. I fully understand the Western Isles report published yesterday. Their sentiment is shared by many in the Highlands.

    It is essential that the current trend towards centralisation is not accelerated. The highlands has suffered from the growth in Inverness over the last 20 years, this new campus will just accelerate the process. Why would we want to turn Inverness into another Edinburgh or Glasgow?

    Much of the new innovative thinking (note irony here) on how to deal with the financial crisis is to make larger more centralised service providers in Health, police, etc. The fallacy of larger is more efficient has been tried before. It doesn't work.

    If we are to move forward we need to devolve power to local levels, that is when good decisions will be made.

    My point is that by pushing this new campus the process of rural depopulation will be accelerated, the vision of the UHI will be indeterminably weakened and we will get just another university in years to come.

    When this is coupled to the useless crofting reform bill then the feeling in many rural communities is that Holyrood is just as distant as Westminster. Sad really because we need a government that governs for all of Scotland.

    Holyrood made a reasonable start, land reform helped communities, not without its problems, but was well thought out and listened to the needs of communities.

    This government seems to have lost the ability to connect with rural Scotland.

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  • 101. At 12:35pm on 03 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    Back to Mr Blair ......
    Apparently the man warned the people's princess diana about her relationship with the young Dodi.
    Except he appears to have warned her - Before the said princess had even met the Dodi.
    What a guy! I presume it was the same kind of "celestial" advice that Bush used to get from above?
    The Tony also managed to "predict" the death of John Smith - some kind of premontiony visiony thingy .......
    Now if he could only let us know who is going to win the 2.30 at Ayr .....
    Crazy recollections from a honest kind of a guy .......
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 102. At 1:33pm on 03 Sep 2010, Westie wrote:

    I see Brians Big Debate was replaced today by Glens Big Hiding.
    at about 1225, Listen again may or may not be available, Glen asked the audience for a show of hands as to who supported min pricing at 45p per unit, just a pity it was radio as you could hear the stunned response followed by " oh thats nearly everybody". and then swiftly on to RET.

    almost every punter said the opposition should not be opposing for the sake of it and just let it be trialled.

    When is the BBC going to get this message, When are Lab/Lib/Con etc going to get this message. We are not stupid

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  • 103. At 2:17pm on 03 Sep 2010, sid_ts63 wrote:

    #102 fasteagle100, Afternoon , yes it is on the I player it's the first question so you don't need to go hunting.
    BBC Scotland has this ongoing problem , no matter where they go, whatever programme,whether it is on the telly or the radio they just cannot ever find the silent majority that they crave.!!
    one wonders when they will finally get the message. you might think you can still get away with treating your audience or listener's as complete idiots who don't think for themselves or they fully trust the BBC to tell the truth.
    "Those days are past now and in the past they must remain"!!


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  • 104. At 2:28pm on 03 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    102 Fast Beagle
    Didn't hear Glenn's programme.
    I'll see if its available later - but probably not if it was anything other than partisan and anti-Scotland.
    I know that the minimum pricing isn't popular with everyone - but anyone except the Unionist Taleban - backs it and believes measures such as this appropriate - and worth piloting.
    Before the election we need to have a range of other pragmatic proposals in place for a "Better Fairer Scotland" Manifesto.
    Public sector salaries capped at 90% of the First Minister's salary would be a start?
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 105. At 3:07pm on 03 Sep 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    please please please explain to us all why you hate your (if you do come from Scotland) country so much as to want to have it ruled (which it is) by a foreign power.
    Bruce why are you still doing this self-hater nonsense..surprised you didn't have to remind the poster that the glens are still weeping..

    And where is Grannie Spammie these days!?!

    Pope's visit coming up Bruce..think any nats are going to do the sectarian bile this time round!? Willie Wolff eh! Scotland's shame!

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  • 106. At 4:07pm on 03 Sep 2010, ambi wrote:

    #105. At 3:07pm on 03 Sep 2010, Rob04 wrote:
    "Pope's visit coming up Bruce..think any nats are going to do the sectarian bile this time round!? Willie Wolff eh! Scotland's shame!"

    I think we'll be okay, all the sectarians support NuLabour for the moment (when they're not being bussed to EDL marches).

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  • 107. At 5:09pm on 03 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    I think I can remember the Orangey Log coming out in favour of New Labour last year?
    Some very scary individuals in New Labour ............
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 108. At 6:15pm on 03 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #105 Rob04

    Naw, I think you will find that Spud Murphy, the NuLabour religious pundit has already been there!

    Quite sickening really the lows that some politicians will stoop to.

    But hey desperate times for NuLabour require desperate measures.

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  • 109. At 6:16pm on 03 Sep 2010, Rob04 wrote:


    Well that is just super that you think 'Scotland Shame's' is now ONLY associated with easier target would have been the Tories who engineered sectarianism very well in their day..

    ..because you wouldn't want as a party to do all that anti-pope stuff again, or welcoming a war with 'papist Argentina' (over the Falklands), or even that really insulting stuff you used to from the Nats about how the 'Irish' (that's people like me!) were assimilated. Alienated voters you see but Salmond is far too clever for that unlike Willie Wolff who held some deeply unpleasant views.

    ..and even when ALL the parties did that whole parliament opening thing in Edinburgh, singing 'A man's a man for a' that', didn't see any Catholic schools and children represented that, not..because you see sectarianism (aside from the tories) isn't just associated with the voters of one political party is it now?

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  • 110. At 6:30pm on 03 Sep 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    105. At 3:07pm on 03 Sep 2010, Rob04 wrote: Pope's visit coming up Bruce..think any nats are going to do the sectarian bile this time round!
    LOL i think if you have a look around all the bile comes from the UNION FLAG waving bunch down Lanarkshire way, you know where labour North Britain has all its seats. (heard that eleven of them got the jail in Manchester today)

    I personally wish all who follow the Roman Catholic Faith a safe journey to see the leader of their church and that they enjoy the experience.

    I take it you also want us to be cosmopolitan hippy metrosexuals with no concept of history or national pride.

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  • 111. At 7:08pm on 03 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    Interesting article from the Daily Wreckord:

    Lord Prescott sounds bankruptcy warning over Labour.

    I especially liked these pearls of wisdom:

    Prescott said: "The treasurer has got to say to the central body, in this case Number 10, you cannot keep on spending, we damn well haven't got it.

    Unfortunately it’s a tad to late for UK PLC.

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  • 112. At 7:15pm on 03 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    110. patchbruce

    "I personally wish all who follow the Roman Catholic Faith a safe journey to see the leader of their church and that they enjoy the experience. "

    May I echo those sentiments!

    I am not a Catholic, but saw the Pope at Heaton Park in Manchester many years ago, followed by U2. Both events were memorable and enjoyed by thousands of people.

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  • 113. At 7:47pm on 03 Sep 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Gordon Brown doesn't run there finances does he? It sounds like it if the "iron" chancellor's running things bankruptcy is on the cards!

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  • 114. At 8:16pm on 03 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #113 Vakov2000

    Ha - the well known Brown touch.

    Obama tried to escape from him but alas he failed. This is the consequence.

    In my opinion this was what was behind the Libya, BP hoorah. Approval ratings and politics.

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  • 115. At 8:18pm on 03 Sep 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    Bruce I just can't see you as a hippy metrosexual at all..

    ..and its certainly a better time to be bringing up my young kids and knowing that they won't get the same type of exclusion from labour markets and universities that was dished out to their parents and especially grandparents as a matter of routine..

    And you can have as much national pride and sense of history as you like Bruce just as long as it recognises many cultures and isn't the narrow nationalism of Wolff and the 80's.

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  • 116. At 8:34pm on 03 Sep 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Robber04 says "..and its certainly a better time to be bringing up my young kids and knowing that they won't get the same type of exclusion from labour markets and universities that was dished out to their parents and especially grandparents as a matter of routine.."

    You're right thanks to Labour wrecking the economy it's a different type of exclusion.. We're all excluded and broke there are no jobs or university places or anyone able to afford university. At least Labour has brought equality we're all equally fecked!

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  • 117. At 8:45pm on 03 Sep 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Must say I'm surprised about Labour finances they have more "sideline" businesses than the mafia.

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  • 118. At 9:07pm on 03 Sep 2010, clammylegg wrote:

    'The move will prompt claims that the broadcaster is trying to curry favour with an increasingly hostile Coalition Government to preserve its generous licence fee funding.'

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  • 119. At 9:48pm on 03 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    Sorry - I thought that Mosley was the first New labour apparatchik?

    "Mosley then made a bold bid for political advancement within the Labour Party. He was close to Ramsay and hoped for one of the great offices of state, but when Labour won the 1929 general election he was appointed only to the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster "

    Mosley and Mandelson - just SO wronggggggggggg!

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  • 120. At 11:06pm on 03 Sep 2010, spagan wrote:

    BBC News - "If only we had played like that in South Africa .............. We would have won the world cup ........."
    Good to see that our national, impartial broadcaster learned a valuable lesson a couple of months ago .....
    "They think its all over .........."
    PLEASE let it be over ..........

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  • 121. At 11:45pm on 03 Sep 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I am appalled by some of the absolute rubbish being spouted by half-wits on this thread. Willie Wolfe, a good and generous man, was married to a Catholic and attended morning mass in Hamilton several times a week with her up to his death.
    He tried to make the point that the protocol of last Papal visit to Scotland should have been arranged through an approach and an appeal to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and not through London or the Church of England and had this completely distorted into some kind of anti Catholic bias by mainly Labour politicians whose support base in central Scotland is strongly Catholic

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  • 122. At 02:19am on 04 Sep 2010, oldnat wrote:

    109. Rob04
    "didn't see any Catholic schools and children represented that day"

    You couldn't have bothered to look at the list of schools who sent pupils. If you weren't aware of it, the children who were there were selected by the local authorities. St Andrew's Academy pupils were there representing North Ayrshire. North Ayrshire was then (as it is now) Labour run. In those days, most Scottish LAs were Labour controlled.

    Your inaccurate comment is actually a slur upon Labour in Scotland. You are suggesting that they were discriminating against Catholics. Not that I have any love for the Labour Party, but I will defend them against your accusation.

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  • 123. At 03:38am on 04 Sep 2010, rog_rocks wrote:

    I just can't say that I have ever been all that impressed by the gods, they just never seem to have much fun!

    Santa Claus is much more of a happy guy,

    He likes Whisky & drinks lots of it too.

    I remember he always tanned that really big whisky left on the hearth for his visit; every year without fail.
    Not just that; he also drank all of my friends whisky, absolute proof of his love of our liquor, I dunno how he ever did his job; a bit of a miracle I guess.

    Do you think it could be possible that Santa has Scottish ancestry?

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  • 124. At 09:25am on 04 Sep 2010, euan0709 wrote:

    I know its completly off topic....But did you read that "Top Polis" Graeme Pearson one of the contributers( and appeared on Reporting Scotland to discuss it) to the Labour Partys "Independent Report " on Drink and Minimum Pricing, published on Thursday has now annouced that he wants to stand in Lord Jacks seat in North Lanarkshire !!
    Could I suggest that if successful he should start by investigating the Labour Party in the West of Scotland.

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  • 125. At 09:43am on 04 Sep 2010, sid_ts63 wrote:

    #118 clammylegg just read the mail article what a laugh ,a labour mp complaining of bias , the tory's complaining of bias and the BBC saying that they must keep their integrity .
    almost as funny as some of the comments attached to the article.
    they all forget he who pays the piper names the tune.
    very interesting however to watch the BBC do different things in different parts of the uk.

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  • 126. At 10:59am on 04 Sep 2010, frankly francophone wrote:


    As a Catholic myself (lapsed, unrepentant, irredeemable and indeed irretrievable but benignly disposed towards all persons of faith and principle), I cannot but confess that I have complete confidence in the non-exclusive character of the Scottish National Party, a confidence which I did not lack in the 1980s.

    Was once accosted in the Labour heartland in the dim and distant past by some Neanderthal or other urgently demanding to know whether I was Proddie or Papist. To which I replied: "Which would you prefer?" To which he responded: "What kind of answer is that?" To which I replied: "What kind of answer would you like it to be?" To which he responded: "That's not an answer. That's a question." To which I replied: "All life is a question. Hence religion and indeed religious differences." To which he responded: "You're nuts." To which I replied: "As you please. Pax vobiscum . . ."

    By this time, however, the moment had passed. The anger, wherever it had come from, had seeped away, and we parted company. If you can't beat them (up), engage them in dialogue, as I'm always saying. Indeed, even if you can beat them up, engage them in dialogue. It does no harm to talk things over, even with a Neanderthal.

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  • 127. At 5:31pm on 04 Sep 2010, paul Hunter wrote:

    This is exactly what Westminster dreams of...Scots fighting about religion and taking their eyes off the ball (independence debate). How many times have we done it in the past and will always be used against us as we fall for it every time hook, line and sinker. Keep the protestant and catholic issue for the bigots and If I had my way... all our Scots children would go to the same school!

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  • 128. At 10:23am on 05 Sep 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    I see OFCOM think it is ok to be racist against the Scots if the racists themselves have a Scottish ancestor.

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  • 129. At 10:40am on 05 Sep 2010, frankly francophone wrote:


    There is nothing like stating the obvious. 'Divide et impera' is, of course, the age-old cry of the dominant power, although, as most of us have forgotten our Latin, that had better be translated to 'divide and rule'. It is, naturally, to be expected that the anglo-unionists in possession of the Labour-heartland bulwark against independentism will seek to exploit divisions which characterize the subculture of that strategically important zone and which constitute an abidingly central feature of its chronic malaise. That is no doubt why the question of sectarianism was raised in this thread, even though it has nothing to do with it.

    The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland has apparently decreed that, far from it being the case that sectarianism is one of the greatest problems that Scottish society faces, as even the previous unlamented Labour/Lib-Dem Scottish executive asserted, the Scottish Home Rule movement is the problem, and the Orange Order is the mother of all bastions against what it considers to be the threat posed by the popularity of what is now the governing party of Scotland, the Scottish National Party.

    The Grand Master was reported some time ago to be calling on members of his notorious anglo-unionist secret society, which aims to protect the anachronistically privileged constitutional position of Protestantism in the UK, to vote for any party other than the SNP, the principal defender of Scotland’s interests, so that England may hold on to its northern province for a little longer. He has done this before, of course: notably at the last Scottish general election, to no avail, and in an announcement a couple of years ago, when he was quoted as stating, just a wee bit menacingly, that it was time for the Orange Order ”to replace rhetoric with action if we are truly to be worthy of our inheritance and defend the things we believe in.” It should perhaps be noted in this connection that the Orange Order in Scotland is reported to have threatened to transform itself into a Protestant paramilitary organization if the SNP wins a mandate for Scottish independence, as did the Orange Order in Ireland in response to substantial electoral progress made by the Home Rule movement there in the early years of the last century.

    Dividing a nation against itself in order to keep it in subservience to its neighbour is nothing new. Anglo-unionists in both Ireland and Scotland are past masters at this, and there appear to be no lengths to which they will not go to keep Scotland in the UK. Definitely nothing new in that; yet support for the SNP continues to be substantial. Quite a problem for anglo-unionists. When the genie gets out of the bottle, how do you get it to go back in? It can’t be done, chaps. Give up. As First Minister Salmond has declared, "Scotland is now in an irreversible process of independence (...) It won’t be long now – be patient, it is our country."

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  • 130. At 10:53am on 05 Sep 2010, It wisnae me wrote:

    #123, rog_rocks wrote:

    "I just can't say that I have ever been all that impressed by the gods, they just never seem to have much fun!"

    I presume that the pluralisation is a reference to God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Spirit......

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  • 131. At 1:41pm on 05 Sep 2010, Sheneval wrote:

    129. At 10:40am on 05 Sep 2010, frankly francophone wrote:
    "As First Minister Salmond has declared, "Scotland is now in an irreversible process of independence (...) It won’t be long now – be patient, it is our country.""

    Wonder who the 'our' are in this statement?

    Reminds me a bit of the God's on 'our' side statements that eminate from those who believe they are always right.

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  • 132. At 2:51pm on 05 Sep 2010, rog_rocks wrote:

    #130 gods = all gods

    Even more plural than you can think, they do however, like the fishy ones to which you refer seem to be mainly astrologically based.

    My point is that what Santa is for a child, a god is for an adult; with a low IQ.

    What we used to do before we had a better understanding before education before enlightenment, you know, before such things as evidence and common sense. In the days of Myth.

    I suppose I'd better be off before I am struck down, the dead bull must be rollin in his grave.

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  • 133. At 4:23pm on 05 Sep 2010, frankly francophone wrote:


    The "our" in Mr Salmond's declaration refers, I would surmise - would not you? - to the people of Scotland, on behalf of whose rights he appears to have some claim as First Minister to speak. Whether the people exercise their sovereignty by choosing independence remains to be seen. If Mr Salmond is confident that they will do so, why should he not say so?

    One is, of course, aware that from an anglo-unionist perspective the concept of Scotland belonging to its population is problematic, but there would seem to be no reason for Mr Salmond to find it so, as the Scottish National Party can hardly be expected not to take the view that the people of Scotland are sovereign, whether it suits anglo-unionists or not, or whether it pleases God or not.

    Article III of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 states that sovereignty resides in the nation. To contend that the Scots are not sovereign you would have to repudiate that claim or deny that the Scots are a nation.

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  • 134. At 4:33pm on 05 Sep 2010, wilddog wrote:

    # 128

    Yes its ok for people to slag of Scotland and the Parliament and nothing wrong but mention a certain News... Scotland on here and it is classed as profane and breaking the rules,no one at BBC has explained the reason for Banning comments.

    Where is the document Gray had Brian,have you lost it.

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  • 135. At 5:17pm on 05 Sep 2010, Sheneval wrote:

    133. At 4:23pm on 05 Sep 2010, frankly francophone wrote
    "The "our" in Mr Salmond's declaration refers, I would surmise - would not you? - to the people of Scotland, on behalf of whose rights he appears to have some claim as First Minister to speak."

    I thought this is what he was doing. I don't think Mr. Salmond can honestly claim to speak on behalf of the people of Scotland on this issue until they have voted for independence. He can of course speak on behalf of the SNP diehards but not even the like of myself who voted for him because of other issues.

    "Whether the people exercise their sovereignty by choosing independence remains to be seen. If Mr Salmond is confident that they will do so, why should he not say so?"

    He has every eight to say he is confident or describe any other way he deels - I don't think that was what he said nor what he meant. I think he was grandstanding to rally his diehard supporters.

    "One is, of course, aware that from an anglo-unionist perspective the concept of Scotland belonging to its population is problematic, but there would seem to be no reason for Mr Salmond to find it so, as the Scottish National Party can hardly be expected not to take the view that the people of Scotland are sovereign, whether it suits anglo-unionists or not, or whether it pleases God or not."

    I agree that the Government of Britain or the UK does not consider that Britain or anty part thereof belongs to 'the people'

    However, If Mr Salmond and the SNP truly believed that the people were sovereign, a view which I wholheartedly support, then SNP policies would be based on what the people want, which in many instances they are most clearly not.

    I see little difference between a Government based in London dictating how we live and one based in Edinburgh doing the same thing. Of course individual policies may in either case conform to the majority of people's wishes but I suspect most do not.

    I think Crime and Punishment and Political Correctness are two cases in point but I could add alcohol pricing and I am sure there will be many others after the next election whichever Party gets power.

    I don't suppose God if he exists would be too bothered whether Mr Salmond was interested in his views as he can't vote.

    Article III of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 states that sovereignty resides in the nation. To contend that the Scots are not sovereign you would have to repudiate that claim or deny that the Scots are a nation.

    I am not suggesting that the Scots are not sovereign in that they have the right to run their own country if they decide to do so. That has nothing to do with Mr Salmond's statement which asks his supporters to have patience.

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  • 136. At 9:29pm on 05 Sep 2010, oldnat wrote:

    127. paul Hunter
    "all our Scots children would go to the same school!"

    It would have to be a very big school! Just where in Scotland should it be built?:-)

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  • 137. At 10:03pm on 05 Sep 2010, sid_ts63 wrote:

    #127 paul Hunter ,evening,If it looks like you are being beaten in a debate in Scotland fling in religion. it always works and whoever you are debating with always falls for it you are correct . all it shows me is the unionists are scraping what was already a very empty barrel.

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  • 138. At 10:29pm on 05 Sep 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:


    It is however "our" country, which is exactly what Alex Salmond said, and I have no idea what point you are trying to make with your long winded rhetoric

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  • 139. At 10:30pm on 05 Sep 2010, paul Hunter wrote:

    And it came to pass a magnificent structure 20 miles high was completed in 7 days and called 'Scotland School.' The said children entered two by two, chucking their obcene green and blue scarves to the fishes. With exception a partick Thistle scarf was smuggled in but the Leader pronounced that humour was needed by all accounts. High above the children viewed the masses below marching through the streets... flutes blowing hard and photographs of the Queen of England and the Papal Pontiff were sacraficed as symbols of hatred and of times gone by. This was a new time, a new era and all the children were the same. No matter what colour or religion they were...they were Scots together and secterianism was no longer...

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  • 140. At 10:47pm on 05 Sep 2010, oldnat wrote:

    139. paul Hunter

    Loved the response! :-)

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  • 141. At 10:52pm on 05 Sep 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    I see tonight that the church has come out with protestations over the BBC's anti Christian status. All we need now is for people to realise their political bias too.

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  • 142. At 11:07pm on 05 Sep 2010, kered wrote:

    And so it came to pass, that from the "big society" there would come a "Big School" and the "big school" would banish all historical facts!

    And the new dawn would usher in those collective thoughts, all individualism is dead! long live the collective dronians of Scotland.

    LoL! when is the referendum on Independence?

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  • 143. At 11:56pm on 05 Sep 2010, oldnat wrote:

    142. kered

    Hi Derek. Good to hear from you again.

    I think you have forgotten that collectivism was the basis of the Labour Party. Oh no. That was the old Labour Party that I was in. You are one of the bright young things of New Labour - a child of Thatcher for whom individualism is everything. Didn't you just love Blair's memoirs and his explanation that "Labour" lost the UK election because it wasn't his Tory party?

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  • 144. At 00:39am on 06 Sep 2010, paul Hunter wrote:

    From deep below came gnashing of teeth and bed wetting in multitudes. The beast raised it's ugly head preaching...Let's form a new party of the Labour and keep a partition in Scotland. The Lords of Minster of the West cheered and unleashed the wicked 'Band.' Many of the Scots will be fooled by this false preacher and sell their souls as councillors, bringing forth misery and poverty, darkening the land of Alba once more.
    But where be the saviour in these troubled days...?

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  • 145. At 00:55am on 06 Sep 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    From Alex Salmond this evening

    "In the next few days the Cabinet will be considering a plan to put more powers for the Scottish Parliament and Scottish independence at the heart of the 2011 Holyrood campaign.

    It is clear from press reports today that we will now have to appeal over their heads of the unionist MSPs to the people of Scotland next May.

    The London parties have said that they will vote down the right of the people to decide, despite the ludicrous position of the Tories and Lib Dems in wanting a referendum on an AV voting system that no-one supports on Scottish polling day, and the Labour Party pursuing a referendum next spring on more powers for Wales, while denying a referendum for Scotland. The hypocrisy of all the London parties will be well and truly exposed, as will their lack of any coherent policy to generate new wealth to offset public spending cuts.

    Our strategy for the election ahead therefore is to make the essential link between constitutional progress for Scotland, and the economic and financial powers we need for the Scottish Parliament to grow the economy and increase revenues to invest in vital public services.

    In the circumstances we now face, our plan is to make the right of the people to have their say on independence, and the absolute requirement for economic and financial powers for Scotland's Parliament, the transcending issue of the election campaign.

    Tactically, we are deciding whether to introduce a Bill to allow the unionist parties to vote it down or rather to publish the Bill and concentrate on canvassing public support.

    A new re-elected SNP government will be in a powerful position to secure passage of the referendum, having successfully mobilised the people over the blocking tactics of the unionist parties.

    I trust this update is useful".



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  • 146. At 01:04am on 06 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    Brian, I don’t know about Crash Gordon but it appears that Teflon Tony has gone into the Egg and Shoe trade.

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  • 147. At 01:07am on 06 Sep 2010, frankly francophone wrote:


    Regrettably, I didn't see #135 earlier, but I notice that there is a commendably succinct response to it at #138, which at this late hour I am prepared to settle for endorsing, although I would have minced my words more.

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  • 148. At 01:17am on 06 Sep 2010, kered wrote:

    143 oldnat

    LoL! oldnat, i'm still trying too workout what exactly happened, when Blair went too Paris with John Smith and how he woke up one morning on that said trip, one month before John Smith's death, with a vision that the leadership and the hand of history was coming his way. SPOOKY!

    I'm no neon-liberal-conservative and i'm totally shocked by the lack of anger and resentment from the public.

    Alternatively, i might even have a fair argument why Scotland's block grant is rapidly fallen below it's true value?

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  • 149. At 01:34am on 06 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #145 sneckedagain

    Aye I read that earlier in the Herald, and to say that I was totally perplexed would be an understatement.

    I guess this will ruffle a few feathers and even give the opposition the excuse they need to further bash the SNP, even though they cant the referendum through Holyrood. But what ever happens I believe that the SNP are the ones that can best plan the tactics against the ‘bigger picture backdrop’. I can only hope that whatever they decide it will turn out for the best.

    It will certainly give the likes of RE the excuse to RANT even more than they do currently.

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  • 150. At 01:39am on 06 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #148 kered

    Hi Derek, I notice you have not been on the NR blog recently. Have you given it up as a lost cause?

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  • 151. At 01:50am on 06 Sep 2010, oldnat wrote:

    148. kered
    "I'm no neo-liberal-conservative"

    While I didn't seriously think you were!!!, I continue to be amazed that you continue to support a party which is (presumably because it still uses the name "Labour").

    What I find difficult to understand is why you still want to cling to the current constitutional structure of the UK, when your party in England follows policies that you despise, while the present Scottish Government (while you [and I] will disagree with particular policies) is closer to your beliefs than either of the Millipedes.

    Scotland on Sunday had a main story that the English Tories had abandoned all links with their party in Scotland. The same will soon be true of Labour (once the new leader has secured all the Scottish votes s/he can. Why do you cling to a party that has rejected everything you believe in?

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  • 152. At 01:52am on 06 Sep 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #143 oldnat

    Aye I read an article by Simon Jenkins in the Guardian last week:

    Blair's job was done by 1997: to numb Labour, and to enshrine Thatcherism.

    The article about summed up my thoughts on Teflon Tony but didn’t go far enough, in my opinion,

    I won’t elucidate… may get banned from this site!

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  • 153. At 09:45am on 06 Sep 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    Curious. There's nothing on NatNet about the latest YouGov poll:

    Constituency: CON 19%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, SNP 29%.
    Regional: CON 15%, LAB 36%, LDEM 12%, SNP 26%

    Very curious.

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  • 154. At 10:06am on 06 Sep 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    Remind me, didn't YouGov get the General Election spot on?

    It's just that I realise the nationalists will jump on this with the usual, "But this doesn't take into account 'likelihood to vote'!" response. But even considering that, YouGov got the result on the nail.

    What was most amusing about that was the clamour from the nationalists that their polls had an inherent bias against the SNP....clearly not as the 'uncorrected' results were more accurate than the 'corrected'.

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  • 155. At 10:24am on 06 Sep 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    Ex pat, i take it you either live in labour headquarters or somewhere so far away from Scotland that you fail to see the writing on the wall. Where I live things have changed markedly over the last 3 or four years. Locally everyone openly talks of their support for independence and or their contempt for the labour and tory parties. Saltires fly from gargen and business flag poles only the boys brigade and the very rare fervent tory fly union flags. I guess you are completely out of touch with Scotland.

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  • 156. At 10:33am on 06 Sep 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    155. Patchbruce: "Locally everyone openly talks of their support for independence and or their contempt for the labour and tory parties."

    Strange how your perspective bears zero resemblance to any poll or election.

    Just how 'local' are you talking about? Does it even include anywhere outside your bedroom door?

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  • 157. At 10:38am on 06 Sep 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    ha ha your sooo funny, the problem is of course the polsters rarely get out of glasgow far less the central belt!

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  • 158. At 10:47am on 06 Sep 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    ex pat. I would also be willing at any time to take you on a drive around Scotland to show you the country and see the untapped or wasted wealth. I might even convince you that Scotland would be prosperous on it own and that we have a country to be proud off.

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  • 159. At 12:13pm on 06 Sep 2010, paul Hunter wrote:

    It seems the biggest fear in Scotland is the fear of change.Labour have got utilising this tool down to a tee.They use this fear as a holding down of a nation.By years of negativity they have installed an attitude of we can't do this...we can't do that... or we'll fall off the end of the end of the world, change will destroy's better we stick to what we know.Underneath their beds hiding from thunder are Labour voters gullible or what?

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  • 160. At 12:41pm on 06 Sep 2010, Ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #158 patchbruce ...regarding RE you are wasting your time trying to argue with him. He has such a big chip on his shoulder about the SNP he fails to see the stupedness of voting for the other parties. Not all of us vote for the SNP purely for independence. I also vote for them because the last 20 years if you either vote Labour or Tory you get much and such the same...even more so since Labour are pretty much Red Tories now and it will only get worse when David Milliband gets in. Voting for the Lib Dems you may as well vote for the other two cos they dont have the backbone to do anything constructive... weak they are just a waste of space.

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  • 161. At 1:59pm on 06 Sep 2010, sid_ts63 wrote:

    #159 Paul hunter, afternoon, one of the most important if not one of the best posts on this blog for a long time .
    the biggest fear is indeed change or the unknown
    lets not kid ourselves labour have used and abused the vulnerable 2 year olds , the pensioners, the disabled and the working class for decades.
    how many decades have Labour promised to erraticate poverty ?

    who could forget labour in Scotland at the last Scottish Parliament elections warning us how much it would cost each and every family in Scotland if they had the audacity to vote for the SNP!
    can anyone remember the last time labour in Scotland actually had any new ideas or policy's apart from scare the crap out of the natives?

    Has anyone tallied up how much the last Labour government in Westminster cost each and every family in the country?
    stealth taxes anyone? the 10 p tax rate fiasco? PPP or PFI anyone?

    interesting to see lab lib &tory all celebrating their "victory" today.
    so the people of Scotland are refused a referendum on their future governance by a group of self serving politicians who think they know best whilst conveniently forgetting that it is us the Scottish people who are sovereign not some jumped up career politicians who are not fit to lace other peoples boots!

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