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Rebutting robustly

Brian Taylor | 13:08 UK time, Thursday, 7 October 2010

At Holyrood today, the presiding officer noted wryly that he was chairing "first minister's questions", not "first minister's answers".

This was aimed at Mike Rumbles, of the Lib Dems, who was voicing disquiet from a sedentary position at the content of the replies from Alex Salmond.

But I thought there was substance in the FM's words, for those who cared to listen.

There was a pretty clear hint from Mr Salmond that the current structure of eight distinct police forces in Scotland may not last.

But not, I think, signage towards a single Scotland-wide force.

The background is upcoming spending cuts - on which the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have now voiced shared concerns that the pace and depth is too excessive.

This unanimous approach was foreshadowed by talks at Stormont in which ministers from the three governments agreed to pursue a common course.

Local roots

However, in parallel with protest, there is preparation. Detailed work offstage to get ready for the cuts to come.

Hence the talk about policing. Mr Salmond was being pressed at question time by Tavish Scott, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Mr Scott warned that a single police force would lack local roots and accountability.

Under questioning, Mr Salmond offered two broad responses. One, that the public are more concerned with front-line policing than back-room organisational structures.

Two, that, under the present set-up, some twenty five per cent of the policing budget goes on headquarters functions.

Now, much of that HQ spending is vital: it could not be entirely excised, even with a single force. But perhaps, the FM appeared to be hinting, it could be reduced.

The issue is currently under scrutiny by the Scottish government, local authorities and police chiefs.

Single force

They have to balance community and regional concerns with effectiveness and, of course, cost.

I see no particular sign that the FM is intuitively attracted by the concept of a single force for the whole of Scotland.

Equally, however, he is not ruling out mergers. His line is that the public are interested in bobbies, not borders.

As an alternative, there could be sharing of back-room functions, with the retention of distinct police boards. Or combinations thereof.

Also at question time, Labour's Iain Gray attacked proposed changes to nursing employment conditions in Grampian.

Mr Salmond rebutted robustly.

More to come. Much more.

Comments

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  • 1. At 1:35pm on 07 Oct 2010, soosider wrote:

    Have not watched FMQ yet, but will, interesting that Mr Gray hardly rates a mention.
    As regards the number of Police Forces in Scotland, I think there is an argument for looking at the matter, but any changes must be based firstly on effective Policing and be shown to be better than what is presently in place, to my mind the real issue for some of the Police Forces is the difficulty in maintaining some of the highly specialised units.

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  • 2. At 1:45pm on 07 Oct 2010, Ecksfreelunch wrote:

    Usual pointless wittering from Grey and co. Much more to come. Too right, after the SNP conference next week, the cuts become reality, not something that we can turn back at the border. There are increasing signs that the Scottish Government, thank goodness are grappling with the reality of the scale of cuts, and equally the scale of the opportunity presented by "getting more from less". The opposition parties are going to have to come up with their own creative injections to this debate and with the exception of Derek Brownlee, few of them have bothered to understand the basics of the block grant gravy train being derailed. The problem remains, politicians want more, not less.

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  • 3. At 1:48pm on 07 Oct 2010, spagan wrote:

    A national force in a wee country like ours makes sense - particularly for serious and organised crime. Also for Police Training and for Inspection regimes.
    Does a crofter at Craighouse on Jura feel that they are well served by a Force HQ'd in sunny Glasgow - and dominated by New Labour's finest expenses wizards?
    How much less local would they feel their community Bobby to be - if they were managed from Stirling instead of Glasgow?
    We don't need 8 Chiefs - each trying to outcompete for salary, perks, flash car etc etc.
    In the first instance, each Council could simply have a Public Safety Committee that oversees police, fire (no need for distinct fire services)etc.
    Perhaps it could be widened further and take in the NHS - a "Health and Safety Committe" - and that's the Health Boards gone as well!
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 4. At 1:54pm on 07 Oct 2010, rog_rocks wrote:

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

  • 5. At 2:17pm on 07 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    "There was a pretty clear hint from Mr Salmond that the current structure of eight distinct police forces in Scotland may not last.

    But not, I think, signage towards a single Scotland-wide force."

    Will it matter? Isn't that idiot Cameron proposing to take over Scotland's policing as well as our justice system?

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  • 6. At 2:28pm on 07 Oct 2010, sid_ts63 wrote:

    afternoon all , we must remember we are but a small country with around 5 million of a population. remembering that fact we must surely sit down and decide whether we can honestly afford to have the following:
    32 district councils
    8 police forces
    8 fire &rescue forces
    14 health boards
    9 special health boards & 4 overseeing & representative boards
    and then of course we have all the quango's and all the commissions and any other body I have missed out.

    we learned today 25% of the police budget goes on headquarters functions ,is it the same for all the organisations listed above?

    unfortunately most of the spend on our public services goes to the top end of the organisation,all the chief exec's, the hingers on,the non jobs and of course the army of "managers"

    to use Mr Grey's favourite phrase of the moment we do indeed "need to get a grip"

    now is the time to sort this out -labour created the problem (as usual) it needs fixed now.
    we require staff on the front line to deliver the services we all use.

    We do not require endless levels of management that deliver he-haw and get paid handsomely for doing so
    Sid

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  • 7. At 3:06pm on 07 Oct 2010, it_wizny_me wrote:

    Iain Gray is attending my student union on Monday, for an event celebrating Donald Dewar.

    The comments from Labour supporting students went along the lines 'He'll probably be the next first minister; but a wholly uninspiring one.'

    With all the troubles and tribulations to come in Scotland, we could do and deserve a lot better.

    P.S. any tips on what to ask the Gray man about?

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  • 8. At 3:11pm on 07 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    2. Ecksfreelunch
    "...the block grant gravy train..."

    A reasonable post that suddenly descended into this foolishness.

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  • 9. At 4:00pm on 07 Oct 2010, euan0709 wrote:

    When I joined the Glasgow Polis in 1965 we had more police forces in Scotland than I care to remember. It seemed that every burgh had its own force.
    The forces then amalgamated (I think it was in the Late Sixties) into City and County Forces then in 1975/76 ? into eight Regional Forces. This reflected the Local Authority set up at that time.
    As for the present time-- I would favour one single force , citing cost and more importantly efficiency. The problem of local accountability could be addressed by ensuring Divisional Commanders (Chief Superintendents) could be responsible to Local Police Committees comprising of Comm Leaders , Councillors etc and at national Level to a Dedicated National Police Parliamentry Committee or some such body.
    In the late sixties and mid seventies, I dont recall any local politicians or community leaders complaining about lack of accountability at the time.

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  • 10. At 4:01pm on 07 Oct 2010, spagan wrote:

    Sid
    Some good points - But local issues should be dealt with and controlled and influenced and reviewed etc etc - as locally as possible.
    We have hundreds of Community Councils - that should be properly built in as the foundation of our democracy.
    At the moment they are toothless and moneyless - but there are functions that they could manage.
    Does a school cleaner really need professional line management all the way to City HQ - where "The Chief Cleaner" earns much more than a Headteacher?
    Many small Councils work (and worked) well.
    Many large Councils are dysfunctional and remote from the local communities that they purport to serve.
    The crofter on Jura has policeman whose chief resides in Glasgow and whose District Nurse's boss resides in Inverness and whose Headteacher's boss resides in Lochgilpead.
    Sounds as if our wee Country is simultaneously overgoverned and undergoverned!
    Its not the size of the organisation that matters - its the layers and complexities of management.
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 11. At 4:27pm on 07 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Once again I suspect the central belt of Scotland will suck the resources from the areas outside the central belt.

    I may be old-fashioned but I was brought up with the idea that you get what you deserve. How can we create a single force that will be fairer to all and not specifically benefit one part of Scotland?

    Yes, I sometimes kick up a fuss when it comes to funding in parts of Scotland but if you leave wounds untended it can lead to infection and infection can kill you.

    So, please if someone can describe a plan that can be created without the central bias then it would be appreciated otherwise the central bias will eventually kill Scotland.

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  • 12. At 4:31pm on 07 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    9. euan0709
    "As for the present time-- I would favour one single force , citing cost and more importantly efficiency."

    The case would have to be made that larger organisations are more cost-effective. It certainly cannot simply be assumed that this is necessarily so. The is considerable evidence to the contrary in both the public and private sectors. Although the private sector does have more scope for covering up its inefficiencies and so, to the unwitting, can appear more efficient.

    And even if this case could be made we would still have to be assured that the proposed mechanisms for ensuring local accountability would work in practice and be protected from outside interference.

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  • 13. At 4:32pm on 07 Oct 2010, Gaavster wrote:

    7 it_wizny_me

    You could start by asking him why he entered politics in the first place?

    You could also ask him what benefits he perceives Scotland accrues directly from being in the union?

    (If he starts on the banks just ask him where all the billions of pounds accrued between 1707 and 2007 from corporation tax found its way to? Tell him that the banks were simply huge multi-national corporations and the only thing Scottish about them was that they had Scotland in the name. Tell him it is disingenious to 'speculate' about what may or may not have happened to the banks in an oil and energy rich, independent Scotland)

    Alternatively, you could ask him why an economic policy designed to benefit those living and working in the SE of England, could possibly enhance or improve the lives of peoples living in Scotland?

    Why is he so against enhanced fiscal policies, levers and controls for Scotland to allow us to design a Scottish solution to the existing Scottish 'problems'?

    Does he not trust Scottish politicians to come up with Scottish answers to Scottish problems?

    Question his ambition to see Scotland grow

    I am going to stop now, because i have realised that I have an endless list of 'questions' that are never asked of him or his ilk...

    PS you could always ask him where the famous 'documented evidence' mentioned a while back on this blog has disappeared to as well



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  • 14. At 4:34pm on 07 Oct 2010, WelshSion wrote:

    I shall continue to follow the interesting developments in your nation as a hopefully fairly impartial observer and outsider, and also learn more about how the political wind is blowing.

    Having been warmly welcomed in the previous thread, I seem already to have acquired the authentic badge of identity here and have a post removed. I believe all I said was that I did not care for my home English language blog because it was peopled by some who were quite vocal (usually covering up their lack of knowledge) and that I had also signed up - so as to increase my knowledge of Scottish affairs with another site, one it seems I am gagged from revealing its name here.

    I am no yob, but I think I understand the mentality of some now who 'wear an ASBO with pride.'

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  • 15. At 4:36pm on 07 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    I see the SNP have found another bandwagon to jump on:

    http://tinyurl.com/29292g9

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  • 16. At 4:36pm on 07 Oct 2010, WelshSion wrote:

    53. From previous thread. Thanks Duncansdaddie, although I guess you were lucky enough to see my comment till the gremlins saw it...

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  • 17. At 4:42pm on 07 Oct 2010, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    #6

    I agree but you need to add to your list some 13 or 14 universities whereas realistically we should probably have less than half that number.

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  • 18. At 4:56pm on 07 Oct 2010, pandatank wrote:

    #10 Spagan,

    at least it'll only be one Chief Cleaner rather than the 10 currently earning more than the headmaster

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  • 19. At 4:59pm on 07 Oct 2010, Anagach wrote:

    15. At 4:36pm on 07 Oct 2010, Reluctant-Expat wrote:

    I see the SNP have found another bandwagon to jump on:


    You probably did not notice but the SNP and the Scottish Government
    attitude to immigration and also the treatment of children of illegal
    immigrants is very different from that espoused at Westminster by the
    other parties.

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  • 20. At 5:02pm on 07 Oct 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #7. it_wizny_me wrote:

    "P.S. any tips on what to ask the Gray man about?"

    Well there are a couple of easy ones. After all you might not get a long time to ask questions and easy ones would be the best to try to get an answer.

    Firstly, "Do you want a cup of coffee?" would indicate whether he is serious about the policy of banning caffeine drinks.

    Secondly, "Are you going to resign?" This seems to be the 2nd most popular question in the Scottish parialament after "What are the First Ministers plans for today?" He may have a suitable reply and show the appropriate leadership qualities required to be Head of Really Awfly New Labour, Northern Sub-Committee and FM of our grand nation.

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  • 21. At 5:02pm on 07 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    15. Reluctant-Expat
    "I see the SNP have found another bandwagon to jump on:"

    If this is a "bandwagon" then Gordon Banks, British Labour Party MP for Ochil and South Perthshire was on it some time before Fiona Hyslop. While we would take it for granted that an SNP politician would seek to help somebody in this situation it is more unusual to find a BLP place-man making the effort.

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  • 22. At 5:03pm on 07 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Reluctant-Expat:

    #15.

    The SNP are sticking to their policies actually. They are a pro-immigrant party afterall.

    Personally I am against the idea considering the deal for the visa in the first place was between the Border Agency and her mother, so the mother can attend university.

    I see nothing that said anything about staying afterwards or for allowing her daughter to stay either. We kept up our end of the deal so should she.


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  • 23. At 5:09pm on 07 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    Further to my #21, I should also have credited Keith Brown MSP for his efforts to help this family. Not to mention the 250,000+ people who have joined the campaign to overturn the UKBA decision. These are the kind of talented, hard-working people Scotland needs. Compare and contrast with the likes of Gray, Foulkes and Murphy.

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  • 24. At 5:20pm on 07 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    I see it now Electric Hermit, we will have showers of immigrants singing and dancing through customs and picking up paperwork that entitles then the right to live and work in the UK at the door, on the way out of the airport.

    Is Scotland and the United Kingdom that untalented that we require immigrants to entertain us?

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  • 25. At 5:35pm on 07 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    24. Tom
    "Is Scotland and the United Kingdom that untalented that we require immigrants to entertain us?"

    Those of us not blinded by xenophobic bigotry are able to see that immigrants can, and very often do, add to and enrich our culture and society.

    PS - I may have inadvertently exaggerated the support for the campaign to overturn the UKBA decision. I recall reading that figure somewhere, but cannot now find the source. No matter! The justice of this family's case remains.

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  • 26. At 5:43pm on 07 Oct 2010, Addicted to Joob-Joobs wrote:


    Re the composition of our infrastructure in terms of district authorities, police forces, health boards, etc, it may provide food for thought that Switzerland comprises 26 'cantons' forming a federal structure in a country half the geographical area of Scotland, with a population of under 8 million.

    We need to develop an optimum infrastructure for our local authorities and services best suited to modern Scotland, not least in terms of value for money.

    The fixation with reducing areas such as policing to a unitary organisation, however, is not necessarily appropriate, especially in view of Scotland's physical and demographic diversities.

    As has been noted, a move to a single police force would not necessarily save significant costs, while, in any case, a combined force would still require to comprise the manageable local sub-divisions which are organised under the existing forces at present.

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  • 27. At 5:55pm on 07 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Electric Hermit:

    #25.

    The case you brought up was actually asking for the person in question to be reinstated in the X-Factor. I do not believe it was concerning her immigration status. I could be wrong of course.

    However, I have not questioned the value of immigrants in general. I have, however, questioning this particular case. Would our immigration policy be too easy to by-pass by allowing talanted singers the right to live and work indefinitely, or is this because this young lady was on TV and you perhaps liked her performance?

    I would add that I am motivated to think beyond my life time and I am worried about what we will leave mankind. In current world affairs overpopulation is leading to many problems and I want to protect Scotland, or at least not leave the younger generation disadvantaged because of my idealism beliefs. I therefore must question who we allow and disallow to live and work in Scotland. That's perfectly reasonable especially if your as young as I am and expecting to live for another 70-odd years.

    The young lady, although talented, I do not believe represents the type of talent I would expect to be harvesting for Scotland.

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  • 28. At 6:05pm on 07 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #15 Reluctant-Expat

    Shock horror… Here is another case!

    The case has drawn the support of First Minister Alex Salmond, Roman Catholic Church leader Cardinal Keith O'Brien and Kirk leader Rt Rev John Christie who want Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene in the matter.

    RE….. Get Real…. Grow Up.

    One question RE… Do you have to work hard at being uncaring or does it come automatically?

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  • 29. At 6:24pm on 07 Oct 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    I strongly suggest going over the the Scotland news site which we are forbidden to mention here on penalty of being cast forever into the outer darkness to read an article.

    The Lockerbie Trial - Dr Jim Swire questions the guilty verdict

    As usual, Dr. Swire is intelligent and reasoned and brings up good reasons to doubt the verdict in the Lockerbie trial. It is shameful that your government and mine has been determined to see that justice is not done in this case.

    A search on the title would bring up the site for anyone (there might be someone) who is unaware of the site Scotland news site I'm talking about and the attempt by BBC to keep people from finding out about it.


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  • 30. At 6:36pm on 07 Oct 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    At 1:48pm on 07 Oct 2010, spagan wrote:
    A national force in a wee country like ours makes sense;
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    it sure does. when you see the amount of senior officers there are in headquarters dept shuffling paper about, if they could save millions alone in weeding them out. not to mention the procurement budget which would or at least should be reduced with the increased buying power, reducing admin and HR costs and reducing control rooms will all reduce costs. Tavish Scott simply does not get the local policing thing. Its local beat cops which police locally not admin departments or Chief Constables.

    Cops on the street would also rise up against any political interference. Scottish police fiercely protect their independence. Did you know for instance unlike the English police they do not swear allegiance to the queen but Scottish law.


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  • 31. At 6:43pm on 07 Oct 2010, PatsyFagin wrote:

    I see you lead with " Rebutting robustly" Is it right that the Presiding Officer should have "noted wryly" anything an MSP has to say? Surely it is his job to preside and to keep the opposition rabble in order as did previous Presiding Officers thus enabling the electorate to make a fair decision in next year's May elections.

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  • 32. At 6:45pm on 07 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    27. Tom
    "However, I have not questioned the value of immigrants in general. I have, however, questioning this particular case. Would our immigration policy be too easy to by-pass by allowing talanted singers the right to live and work indefinitely, or is this because this young lady was on TV and you perhaps liked her performance?"

    It is nothing to do with her performance on a TV programme I have never seen. All the comments I have seen from people who know the family testifies to the fact that they are decent, respectable, hard-working people who contribute to the community. In short, they are just the kind of people we need. Not everybody can be a doctor or an engineer. (The mother is a qualified nurse.) We need diversity of talents.

    The problem here, as in so many other areas, is an immigration policy which is informed by the priorities of the bottom right-hand corner of England and which is not in any sense appropriate for underpopulated Scotland. Our population has recently started to recover - partly through "natural" increase and partly through immigration. It is obviously a situation which needs to be carefully managed. But the trend is in the right direction. Let's not go backwards.

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  • 33. At 6:49pm on 07 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    28. Roll_On_2011
    "Shock horror… Here is another case!
    "

    There have been a number of such cases in the last year or two. All of which attracted massive support from people who are not only sympathetic to other human beings but also aware of the fact that Scotland needs an influx of young people. It is in our own long-term interests to have these people stay.

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  • 34. At 6:50pm on 07 Oct 2010, cwh wrote:

    Reducing the number of forces may save money IF properly handled.

    The Scottish Police Services Authority was brought into being in 2007 as the result of a 2006 Act of the Scottish Parliament. It was meant to make economies of scale by centralising some common services and purchasing. It got off to a rocky start because someone forgot to arrange for VAT exemption. The result - a possible £5 million VAT bill which is the subject of ongoing discussions with the Tax people. Bang go the savings.

    So, given this 'straw in the wind', how much faith should we have in the police chiefs and others to handle any reduction in the number of police forces to maximise efficiencies and make savings?

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  • 35. At 7:03pm on 07 Oct 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    27. Tom

    If you actually read the article you would notice that the family has lived in Scotland on legal visas and that the attorneys contend it was nothing more than an administrative error that their current application "timed out".

    If you think such things don't happen, I suggest you are mistaken.

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  • 36. At 7:04pm on 07 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    30. patchbruce

    Police in England and Wales:

    "I . . . . . of . . . . . do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people; and that I will, to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people and property; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will, to the best of my skill and knowledge, discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law." [Police Reform Act 2002]

    Police in Scotland:

    "I hereby do solemnly and sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of constable" [Police (Scotland) Regulations 2004]

    Police in Northern Ireland since September 2001:

    "I...hereby do solemnly and sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of constable, and that in so doing I will act with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, uphold fundamental human rights and accord equal respect to all individuals and to their traditions and beliefs." [Police (Northern Ireland)Act 2000 s.38]

    The NI pledge seems the best.

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  • 37. At 7:05pm on 07 Oct 2010, heraldnomore wrote:

    Brian is all this a sign that the sands are shifting? Dour Iain warrants not a mention from you, or is that you find it difficult to be critical of yet another abject performance and dire dialogue that it is easier just to air brush him out? Nothing to say on his untrue allegations re nurses pay, or does that just get buried beside the dodgy dosier of old on SDS, or the Balmoral paths fiasco?

    Or should we hold faith that you might just be beginning to remove the red rosette?

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  • 38. At 7:06pm on 07 Oct 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    29. JRMacClure
    "the attempt by BBC to keep people from finding out about it."

    What is amusing in a way (other than the fact that I consider the BBC attempt unconscionable) is that curiosity over this probably sends more people over there than links would. Good thinking BBC! ;-)

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  • 39. At 7:06pm on 07 Oct 2010, Sheneval wrote:

    14. At 4:34pm on 07 Oct 2010, WelshSion wrote:
    "I am no yob, but I think I understand the mentality of some now who 'wear an ASBO with pride."

    Don't confuse the moderation on here with the legal procedures with issuing an ASBO. You need to be extremely stupid and thuggish to get an ASBO up here and it can be a long drawn out procedure in which your victim/s can suffer many months, if not years, of abuse and pain before action is taken.

    Getting a post blocked on this blog is relatively easy - all you have to do is break the rules and if you do this persistently, then you can/will eventually get banned. As to whether the rules are fair that is a matter of opinion and, as the only opinion that matters is that of the moderator/s, it is probably best to obey them if you want to keep posting.

    No doubt there is a complaints procedure but since that will probably only cover whether or not you have broken the rules, as opposed to whether the rules are fair, it is probably a waste of time.

    It is a great pity that it is the legal system and not the moderator/s who issue the ASBOs.

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  • 40. At 7:07pm on 07 Oct 2010, andrew craik wrote:

    I have almost given up watching 1st Ministers Qs
    I emailed the main protagonists re their comments about the bear-pit at Holyrood and how we deserve something a bit better.
    I have seen better behaviour at a pub quiz, and evidence of intelligence.
    So far I have received only one reply from the MSPs that more or less sums it up for me.
    Very disappointed I am.

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  • 41. At 7:08pm on 07 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    32. Electric Hermit
    "the bottom right-hand corner of England"

    Looking from here, isn't it the bottom left hand corner of England? :-)

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  • 42. At 7:08pm on 07 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    30. patchbruce
    "Cops on the street would also rise up against any political interference. Scottish police fiercely protect their independence. Did you know for instance unlike the English police they do not swear allegiance to the queen but Scottish law"

    All of which will change, of course, when Cameron abolishes such Scottish distinctiveness as he has intimated he is minded to do.

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  • 43. At 7:13pm on 07 Oct 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    I also suggest reading this (which I believe I may safely link to, thank you BBC):

    Compassionate Release in Scotland, the Actual Policy and the Law

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  • 44. At 7:18pm on 07 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #29 JRMacClure

    Small World.. I was reading another of Dr Swires blogs on this site earlier today.

    By the way JR, Welcome back!

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  • 45. At 7:48pm on 07 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    41. reincarnation
    ""the bottom right-hand corner of England"

    Looking from here, isn't it the bottom left hand corner of England? :-)
    "

    You're right - in your own way. But I was looking at a map as that is the view common even to those not fortunate enough to be in Scotland.

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  • 46. At 7:54pm on 07 Oct 2010, clammylegg wrote:

    39. Sheneval
    "Getting a post blocked on this blog is relatively easy - all you have to do is break the rules and if you do this persistently, then you can/will eventually get banned."

    Since radio Scotland dont allow one to catch the news in a net in Scotland how is that democratic in any any shape or form its more akin to dictatorship which needs to be addressed.

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  • 47. At 8:17pm on 07 Oct 2010, WelshSion wrote:

    39. The reference to the ASBO was only a playful jest - moderators moderate, I know that ... I've passed a course to become one on a university website. The only intention was to draw attention to the fact that I, a relative newbie to your site, seem already to have attracted the wrath of the powers that be, something that other posters here have suffered, and continue to suffer as a result of what they deem legitimate freedom of speech and pointing out other sources where information can be obtained.

    For those who behave offensively, impolitely, crudely, in a racist and dishonest manner, whether in real life or on these boards, I have not the time of day. I deplore what most right thinking people would call anti-social behaviour and never seek to antagonise. It seems clear to me though that a whisper of anything critical of Aunty Beeb lead to the individual who utters them being sent to the naughty step. I think that I am in good company therefore when such a diktat is issued against me and fellow posters.

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  • 48. At 8:18pm on 07 Oct 2010, Sheneval wrote:

    46. At 7:54pm on 07 Oct 2010, clammylegg wrote:
    "Since radio Scotland dont allow one to catch the news in a net in Scotland how is that democratic in any any shape or form its more akin to dictatorship which needs to be addressed."

    If you read my post you will see that I made no judgement on whether or not the system is democratic or otherwise. I was merely explaining to WelshSion why he should not make a comparison between ASBOs & Moderation.

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  • 49. At 8:33pm on 07 Oct 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    44. Roll_On_2011
    "Small World.. I was reading another of Dr Swires blogs on this site earlier today.

    By the way JR, Welcome back!
    "

    Great link!

    Thanks for the welcome. I had missed annoying R-E which is one of my favorite sports. ;-)

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  • 50. At 8:43pm on 07 Oct 2010, rog_rocks wrote:

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

  • 51. At 8:46pm on 07 Oct 2010, clammylegg wrote:

    48. Sheneval
    "If you read my post you will see that I made no judgement on whether or not the system is democratic or otherwise. I was merely explaining to WelshSion why he should not make a comparison between ASBOs & Moderation."

    But moderation used by the BBC is used as an ASBO making them one and the same in their interpretation allowing a heavy handed abuse of ones democratic right of freedom of speech.

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  • 52. At 8:52pm on 07 Oct 2010, GlennOutrage wrote:

    I watched FMQ's today which Brian presented on BBC2. The question I would like to ask is why did Brian interview Dave Lee Travis at the end of the programme?

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  • 53. At 9:29pm on 07 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #47 WelshSion

    Aye, the Guildford 4?

    The judge at their trial said ‘If the death penalty was still available it would be a sentence I would have no difficulty in passing’.

    Funny how some people have such short memories.

    One of the most notorious murderers to enter Britain was General Augustas Pinochet from Chile.

    It was the UK Government’s decision that Pinochet should never face murder charges because of his supposedly poor health and was released to return home from Britain in March 2000 on medical grounds by the, then, Home Secretary Jack Straw without facing trial.


    Released because of Poor Health - Pinochet died almost 7 years after his release on 10th December 2006.

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  • 54. At 9:36pm on 07 Oct 2010, kered wrote:

    52 GlennOutrage

    Becauses Cochrane's in da bunker!

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  • 55. At 9:38pm on 07 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:


    The Carrier saga, rumbles on!

    Cancelling one of the aircraft carriers under construction would cost more than building both, the BBC has learned.

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  • 56. At 9:48pm on 07 Oct 2010, kered wrote:

    55 Roll-On-2011

    We know the French are having problems trying to implement their pension age requirement but today Sarkozy has announced a 3.4Bn injection into their pension plan?

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  • 57. At 9:56pm on 07 Oct 2010, Sheneval wrote:

    51. At 8:46pm on 07 Oct 2010, clammylegg wrote:
    "But moderation used by the BBC is used as an ASBO making them one and the same in their interpretation allowing a heavy handed abuse of ones democratic right of freedom of speech."

    Where we differ is that I see ASBOs as perfectly legitimate to control the unruly and sometimes even the violent, but in all cases those who are a waste of space and make other people's life miserable.

    I see no relation between them and moderation designed to allow exchange of communication between posters and for such moderation to ensure that the laws of slander/libel are not infringed.

    As far as moderation on this blog, and I can only speak for this blog as I don't use any others, is mainly fair according to the rules laid down as I understand them; if anything it is very tolerant.

    I have seen many personally abusive posts allowed to pass and I have seen many posts critical of BT & the BBC allowed to pass, which if the moderation on the blog was as bad as seems to be th feeling would have been automatically deleted.

    Moderation of political opinion is another matter as I have no experience of it myself except once when I made criticism, which I thought valid and reasonable, about a labour MSP and this was deletered after objection by whoever. I still think my point was valid but I can see that others might genuinely put a different interpretation on it.

    If however you are suggesting there should be no moderation on this blog then I cannot agree as I think it would very quickly degenerate into one abusive post after another.

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  • 58. At 10:06pm on 07 Oct 2010, kered wrote:

    57 Sheneval

    But where do you draw the line on humor? or are you suggesting that humor is a form of abuse?

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  • 59. At 10:39pm on 07 Oct 2010, sid_ts63 wrote:

    evening, kered,hope you are well,I find humour to be a very helpful tool to get me thru the day but some peoples humour can be seen by others as not so funny.
    everyone is different kirk the moderator may even have a different sense of humour to the rest of his colleagues.but while we discuss sense of humour does any one else agree with Ms Goldie that Scotland is still living in the 70's socialist state that was Scotland? or did she not say that either???
    Sid

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  • 60. At 10:52pm on 07 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    47. WelshSion

    If you are still around - I note that the new Labour Shadow Cabinet doesn't have a single MP from Wales elected to it.

    That should prove interesting for Milliband having to have someone in the Welsh job, with your referendum on legislative powers coming up.

    You might get Murphy, Alexander, or McKechin on the basis that none of them represent an English constituency, and Celts are Celts. :-)

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  • 61. At 10:56pm on 07 Oct 2010, Sheneval wrote:

    58. At 10:06pm on 07 Oct 2010, kered wrote:
    "57 Sheneval
    But where do you draw the line on humor? or are you suggesting that humor is a form of abuse?"

    That would depend on whether the 'humour' was actually funny or just bitter sarcasm which was not intended to be funny but just to wound.

    And of course the justification for such bitter humour would depend on whether the poster's comment actually deserves such a put down because it is so stupid, but that of course is dependent on the perception of the individual reader, or in the case of this blog, on the repondent's political persuasion :-) - one man's meat etc.

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  • 62. At 11:31pm on 07 Oct 2010, govanite wrote:

    #7

    You should ask him, stiffle your laughter or your fear, but ask him if in his quiet moments he ever dreams of being Prime Minister of Scotland.

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  • 63. At 00:09am on 08 Oct 2010, kered wrote:

    59
    Thanks sid-ts63

    61 Sheneval

    Ist thou a puritan convictionist?

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  • 64. At 00:26am on 08 Oct 2010, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    #55

    Perhaps but building them would be incredibly embarrassing given how limited they would be. Do you realise that apart from helicopters they can't even land on aircraft from any of our NATO allies because of the lack of an angled deck and arrestor gear.

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  • 65. At 01:03am on 08 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    64. Wee-Scamp
    "building them would be incredibly embarrassing given how limited they would be."

    Like Trident and the rest of the UK's military policy - it's nothing to do with effective military performance, but with posturing on the world stage.

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  • 66. At 01:26am on 08 Oct 2010, Scotus wrote:

    Wee-Scamp 64

    I couldn't resist :0)

    "Do you realise that apart from helicopters they can't even land on aircraft "

    Carriers landing on aircraft? And helicopters can?

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  • 67. At 06:06am on 08 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:


    By the way Brian it also appears that Elmer Fudds Toy, the GARL ACT, has fallen of the table.

    It also appears that ‘Wee Wendy’ is terribly upset.

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  • 68. At 07:19am on 08 Oct 2010, soosider wrote:

    See that Steve Purcell is allegedly considering a return to politics, mind you the source is the Scotsman.
    Also that the BBC has pulled out of the discussions about coverage of the 2014 commonwealth games, which if true is a curious position having covered Manchester and Delhi, one assumes it will not effect the coverage of London Olympics 2012, but cites financial position for Glasgow 2014.
    That will be another of those Union dividends I suppose.

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  • 69. At 08:22am on 08 Oct 2010, spagan wrote:

    60 Reincarnation
    Just heard from New Labour Central!
    They are astonished with the results from the MPs electing their Shadowy Cabinet!
    Apparently all the prospective candidates were listed alphabetically - those with surnames beginning "A" to "M" on one side - and those with surnames beginning "N" to "Z" on the other side.
    Unfortunately, most New Labour MPs didn't realise that the sheet had 2 sides - and didn't turn the sheet over.
    They just ticked the boxes "A" through to "M" - meaning that everybody else - like Shaun Woodward - didn't have a look-in!
    Lucky Jim Murphy - if his name had been "Nurphy" or "O'Murphy" or "Qurphy" - then he'd have fallen out of the Cabinet as well!
    Slainte Mhor :)

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  • 70. At 09:15am on 08 Oct 2010, Addicted to Joob-Joobs wrote:


    Imagine the unsavoury spectre:

    Iain Gray as First Minister! ...

    Even his most loyal supporters have little to cheer about, as the inevitable gloom takes its grip on the nation.

    Gray looks more than a little edgy in the role ... the substantial sums spent on public speaking lessons have had little impact, and the sickening realisation that the job actually entails standing up for Scotland begins to dawn ...

    There are awkward questions ... even ones he's never rehearsed answering ... then, cruelly, the odd crisis begins to hit ... nothing as major as a foot-and-mouth outbreak, an offshore disaster, or an attempted terrorist attack ... yet still, the new FM is confused as to which way to turn - and, worse, there is a realisation that the public know it ...

    The phone lines to London have been red-hot for so long that they've stopped taking his calls, while Sewell motion after Sewell motion continues to be hastily forced through ...

    Be careful what you wish for, Mr Gray.

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  • 71. At 09:41am on 08 Oct 2010, DougtheDug wrote:

    #7. At 3:06pm on 07 Oct 2010, it_wizny_me wrote:

    "P.S. any tips on what to ask the Gray man about?"

    You can ask him a very simple yes/no question.

    Does he prefer a Tory Government in Westminster to independence?

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  • 72. At 09:44am on 08 Oct 2010, Shoogly Peg wrote:

    Yup, Gray is highly embarrasing.

    BTW - slightly off topic I know but where is the news report on how the BBC are pulling out of the commonwealth games in Glasgow?

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  • 73. At 10:00am on 08 Oct 2010, govanite wrote:

    #71

    Ah yes, it has hidden quietly in the darkness for thirteen years but it never goes away. The one that they dread.

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  • 74. At 10:44am on 08 Oct 2010, Colkitto wrote:

    I think it's an utter disgrace the BBC Scotland coverage of FMQ's only lasts 30 minutes. The programme isn't long enough to cover the entire FMQ's and have comments from political commentators at the end.
    Contast to the coverage of PMQ's by BBC London, and their programme lasts 90 MINUTES! Scots inferior again eh?

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  • 75. At 11:05am on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    72. Shoogly Peg
    "BTW - slightly off topic I know but where is the news report on how the BBC are pulling out of the commonwealth games in Glasgow?"

    Blow as BBC pulls plug on 2014 Games deal - Scotsman.com News

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  • 76. At 11:39am on 08 Oct 2010, Wansanshoo wrote:

    The BBC & the games 2014.

    David Starkey,Ruth Deech and the BBC should be thanked for continuing to be the SNP's greatest recruitment tools.

    Common & Wealth are no longer suitable, any suggestions ?

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  • 77. At 12:05pm on 08 Oct 2010, deadgoatsociety wrote:

    #76,

    Should an independent Scotland even be part of the commonwealth?

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  • 78. At 12:10pm on 08 Oct 2010, nat_of_sorts wrote:

    All those millions of our licence money the BBC squandered on Jonathan Ross in the last few years would have provided most of the money needed to be host broadcaster for the Games.

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  • 79. At 12:48pm on 08 Oct 2010, redrobb wrote:

    Where will the AXE be wielded? Certainly all public bodies management levels are indeed well overdue for a few slashes! I laughed the other day when I found out the job title of a senior type on the west coast gravy train, DIRECTOR OF WALKING.............well one hopes she'll be on her BIKE afore long!

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  • 80. At 12:53pm on 08 Oct 2010, Shoogly Peg wrote:

    Electric Hermit @75

    Thank you for that but I was meaning where is the BBC report on the BBC pulling out of the games?

    I've kinda gone off the Scotsman of late.

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  • 81. At 12:54pm on 08 Oct 2010, universality of cheese wrote:

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

  • 82. At 1:12pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    80. Shoogly Peg
    "Thank you for that but I was meaning where is the BBC report on the BBC pulling out of the games?

    I've kinda gone off the Scotsman of late.

    "

    I can quite understand why you've "gone off" the Scotsman. Appalling rag! But the BBC doesn't seem to have a report on this story. It is not for me to speculate on why this might be.

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  • 83. At 1:31pm on 08 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    64. Wee-Scamp: "Perhaps but building them would be incredibly embarrassing given how limited they would be. Do you realise that apart from helicopters they can't even land on aircraft from any of our NATO allies because of the lack of an angled deck and arrestor gear."

    Seriously?

    Right.

    1. Four NATO countries have carriers: UK, USA, France and Italy.
    2. RN carriers can and will be able to land US Harriers, JSF's (which are slowly replacing USN's F-18s and will also be in service with the RN) and all helicopters.
    3. Our carriers can and will land all Italian naval aircraft; fighters and helicopters.
    4. The next French carrier is the same design as the UK carriers.
    5. You don't even need an angled deck to land aircraft. The point of the angled deck is to be able to land and launch aircraft simultaneously.
    6. In an emergency, RN carriers will be able to land other jets. NATO regularly conduct exercises for this.

    Apart from that, you're spot on, Wee-Scamp.

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  • 84. At 1:45pm on 08 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    While I'm here, a little reminder for all on the SNP's real achievements:

    The SNP have not built a single school. The SNP haven't even started one solitary school building project. Every school that has been completed in the past three years was started under Labour, the SNP have just taken full credit for it.

    The SNP have not built a single road. Every road scheme finished in the past three years was started under Labour, the SNP have just taken full credit for it.

    The SNP have not built a single hospital. Every hospital finished in the past three years was started under Labour, the SNP have just taken full credit for it.

    The SNP have not built a single prison. Every prison finished in the past three years was started under Labour, the SNP have just taken full credit for it.

    Not one renewable energy scheme in the past three years is because of the SNP. All were commissioned under Labour, the SNP have just taken full credit for it.

    The SNP's much publicised 'Curriculum for Excellence' was created by Labour in 2002. The SNP have, once again, just taken full credit for it.

    However, there is one major building project that the SNP very proudly gave us. You can see it being built on what was once one of fifty remaining nature reserves:

    http://tinyurl.com/354zoqy

    http://www.trumpgolfscotland.com/

    Congratulations, Salmond. Excellent work.

    Roll on May 2011.

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  • 85. At 1:49pm on 08 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

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

  • 86. At 1:54pm on 08 Oct 2010, WelshSion wrote:

    60. Reincarnation

    Thanks for the reciprocal interest. Turns out, as you will know by now, we've got that South African Welsh guy as the Shadow Secretary of State... At least he has a constituency in the homeland, I guess...

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  • 87. At 1:59pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    84. Reluctant-Expat

    You are silly! Any new administration would be in exactly the same position of picking up the reins from the previous administration - particularly in relation to major construction projects which might span several parliamentary terms. Only you imagine this to be something unique to the SNP. This is the kind of daftness that people come out with when their intellect is crippled by blind prejudice.

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  • 88. At 2:00pm on 08 Oct 2010, spagan wrote:

    84 Patricia (Ex or current)
    Trump is developing a length of sand-dune - you would probably have stopped St Andrews Old Course from being built.
    The people across the North East welcome Trump's diversification of the local economy.
    Jobs before Brown Rice n Sandals!
    Every single party in Scotland is behind this development - apart from the cabbage-looking one.
    You really like minority causes apparently.
    Not a single, solitary demonstrator at RGU.
    BTW - I see that we have Ann McKechen - as the Shadowy Secretary of State Against Scotland.
    Bring it on!
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 89. At 2:01pm on 08 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:


    Hootsmon Thick Scots.

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  • 90. At 2:03pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    85. Reluctant-Expat
    "81. Full of the usual anti-English hatred, I see."

    As ever, you see only what you want to see. I challenge you to provide a single example of "anti-English hatred" from the blog - which I suspect you didn't even read.

    Is knee-jerking your main form of exercise?

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  • 91. At 2:10pm on 08 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #83 Reluctant-Expat

    You forgot one major point.

    To reduce costs those NuLabour Numpties designed out any side armour for the two carriers.

    When they do go out they will be stuck out like two accidents waiting to happen.

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  • 92. At 2:15pm on 08 Oct 2010, deadgoatsociety wrote:

    #88 spagan,

    Have you ever visited the dunes?? I have, and they are truly spectacular, one of the most amazing places in Scotland to visit. If you haven't, I strongly recommend you do before this act of environmental thuggery ruins them forever.

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  • 93. At 2:15pm on 08 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    87. I do apologise. It clearly is incomplete.

    Please inform me of all the schools, roads, hospitals, prisons, railways etc. that the SNP have actually started.

    Ah, correction! We already know that the SNP haven't started a single school scheme of their own, having only announced the start of their own building programme just four months ago.

    So, while the SNP are trying to convince anyone who will listen that they've finished "300 school building projects", these were all actually started by Labour and the first true SNP scheme won't be completed until mid-2012 at the very earliest.

    I don't think the SNP have started a single hospital, road, railway programme of their own yet.....have they?

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  • 94. At 2:18pm on 08 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    87. And are you now finally conceding and admitting that the SNP have not completed a single, solitary investment programme of their own but just taken full credit and publicity for Labour's work?

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  • 95. At 2:22pm on 08 Oct 2010, nat_of_sorts wrote:

    85 Relectant-Expat
    "Full of the usual anti-English hatred,I see."

    Full of the usual unspecified accusations of anti-English hatred,I see.

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  • 96. At 2:30pm on 08 Oct 2010, handclapping wrote:

    #84 RE
    If all these schemes were started under Labour, the the banks have taken all the credit for them. And we will be paying, not so long for me, but for my children's lifetime and most of the grandchildren. We'll be like Germany paying off the reparations for World War I this year and paying off the cost of Mr Brown's Bankrupt Britain for 90 years as well.

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  • 97. At 2:30pm on 08 Oct 2010, soosider wrote:

    Please could we just ignore RE we know from experience that he is far from a reliable source of information. His claims get wilder and wilder, please lets just ignore him.

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  • 98. At 2:33pm on 08 Oct 2010, john wrote:

    #84 R-E
    Have you ever heard of the phrase "planning process". Large projects generally take longer than 3 years to plan.

    "The SNP have not built a single school. The SNP haven't even started one solitary school building project. Every school that has been completed in the past three years was started under Labour, the SNP have just taken full credit for it."

    However... The SNP have concentrated on refurbishing existing schools, without having to morgage the future of our country to private enterprise and loan sharks. The school estate is now in a better condition than ever.

    "The SNP have not built a single road. Every road scheme finished in the past three years was started under Labour, the SNP have just taken full credit for it."

    Unfortunately the money for upgrading the A9 was allocated for use in the edinburgh trams. This was forced onto the SNP government by short sighted unionist parties trying to score political points. Very mature.

    "The SNP have not built a single hospital. Every hospital finished in the past three years was started under Labour, the SNP have just taken full credit for it."

    several saved from closure though. Hospital infections finally falling (by 40% roughtly for the two major ones this year). At least the SNP have not condemned the health budget to being paid to private contractors for the next 20-30 years. How much does it cost to change a door handle in a PFI hospital? ans. £500.

    "The SNP have not built a single prison. Every prison finished in the past three years was started under Labour, the SNP have just taken full credit for it."

    Maybe the SNP are trying to pursue a different policy. Short term prison sentances are less effective than other measures. It's called joined up thinking, not just chucking money at a problem.

    "Not one renewable energy scheme in the past three years is because of the SNP. All were commissioned under Labour, the SNP have just taken full credit for it."

    I have dealt with this before. Renewable energy schemes take a minimum of 3 years to get underway. There are now GWs worth of wind, offshore and pump storage in the pipeline. That is what the SNP administration are rightly proud of.

    "The SNP's much publicised 'Curriculum for Excellence' was created by Labour in 2002. The SNP have, once again, just taken full credit for it."

    If you had been listening, the talk is of the SNP implementing the CFE. That has happened over the last 3 -4 years. Noone (who knows) does not say that it was introduced by the previous administration.

    So once again you are spouting a load of drivel.

    John

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  • 99. At 2:36pm on 08 Oct 2010, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    #83 RE
    Deary Me RE, if you are going to put yourself up for it...

    1: FIVE NATO Nations have carriers. UK, France, US, Italy and Spain (Principe de Asturias Class)

    2: Anything with a flat deck, including Most RFAs, Albion, Bulwark, Ocean and Argus can land a Harrier, Osprey, AV8 or a Helicopter. In fact, I think that back when the UK had a Navy that somebody flew a Harrier off the back of a Type 12 but that may just be the memory playing tricks. Certainly, it is a matter of record that Early RAF Harriers were flown off the back of a lot of ships, some of them “quite small”, before the full development of the Sea Harrier.

    The variant of the JSF that our friends across the water are planning on deploying is the "Full" version and not the V/STOL version that the UK will buy. Therefore, arrester gear will be required to land a US JSF on a UK carrier.

    3: Hmm. So our carriers can land All Italian Naval Aircraft ? I’ld like to see you try that with an Atlantique, either on their own “Cavour” or even the “Nimitz” or the “Ronnie Reagan”. You certainly wouldn’t manage that on a through-deck ASW Cruiser.

    4: Do the French know that their next carrier is the same design as the QE class ? Where are they going to put the reactor, the steam cats and the arrester gear ?

    5: Your one correct point. Bravo. In the immortal and beloved words of the Queen Mum, (Gawd Bless Er) “Splice The Mainbrace.”

    6: Yes, if they are Harriers, AV-8Bs, Ospreys or V/STOL Variants of the JSF.

    One ticket to the raffle for the car at the next SNP conference for any proof that a fixed wing non-V/STOL aircraft such as an F-18, F-14, A-6, S-3 or EC-2, Rafale, or Super-Etendard has landed on HMS Invincible (R05), HMS Illustrious (R06), HMS Ark Royal (R07), HMS Ocean (L12), HMS Albion (L14), HMS Bulwark (L15) or RFA Argus (A135)

    Other than that, jolly good points old boy.

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  • 100. At 2:37pm on 08 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:


    Jack Straw: a third of new shadow cabinet is ‘incapable’

    Personally I would have pitched it higher, far higher, than that.

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  • 101. At 2:39pm on 08 Oct 2010, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    @81, Great post about the BBC Mark which appears to have annoyed our resident troll as well, an added bonus.

    As the BBC management might themselves say "Doubles all round".

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  • 102. At 2:46pm on 08 Oct 2010, john wrote:

    #93 R-E

    "So, while the SNP are trying to convince anyone who will listen that they've finished "300 school building projects", these were all actually started by Labour and the first true SNP scheme won't be completed until mid-2012 at the very earliest."

    Do you not even know the difference between a school building and a school building project. Brand new school buildings may have been started under labour, but the program of refurbishment of the existing estate has very definately been carried out by the SNP as a much better value for money option. A recent report on this site has the school estaet in its best ever condition.

    John

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  • 103. At 2:46pm on 08 Oct 2010, DougtheDug wrote:

    #83. At 1:31pm on 08 Oct 2010, Reluctant-Expat wrote:

    Seriously?

    The problem with the new carriers is that they are designed for a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VSTOL) aircraft, namely the F-35B version of the JSF. They don't have catapults because they don't need them with VSTOL aircraft.

    They have been designed with the ability to retrofit a catapult but that brings up a further problem. They are not propelled by steam but by a gas turbine/electric drive system so they don't have steam to drive a conventional catapult. They can either go with an electrically driven catapult, but no-one's built a working model yet, or they can retrofit a bulky steam generator and water supply so they can use a standard steam catapult which will cause its own problems. In their present configuration they will only be able to fly harriers if the F35-B is cancelled and that's a big problem because the harrier is being phased out.

    1. Four NATO countries have carriers: UK, USA, France and Italy.
    Yes.

    2. RN carriers can and will be able to land US Harriers, JSF's (which are slowly replacing USN's F-18s and will also be in service with the RN) and all helicopters.
    They will be able to land JSF's but only launch the F-35B VSTOL variant. The F-35C conventional carrier variant can't launch without a catapult. The F-35B is not replacement for the F-18, that's being replaced by the JSF F-35A and F-35C which are not VSTOL.

    3. Our carriers can and will land all Italian naval aircraft; fighters and helicopters.
    That's because the Italian naval air arm use Harrier AV8's.

    4. The next French carrier is the same design as the UK carriers.
    There are doubts the French will use this design now but if they do they are going to build a steam catapult in from the start so they are not restricted to VSTOL aircraft.

    5. You don't even need an angled deck to land aircraft. The point of the angled deck is to be able to land and launch aircraft simultaneously.
    True.

    6. In an emergency, RN carriers will be able to land other jets. NATO regularly conduct exercises for this.
    They might be able to land them but unless the are Harriers or some other VSTOL they won't get off again as they need a catapult to launch.

    The new carriers have been designed to launch the F-35B and that's a problem because the F-35B is not as good an aircraft as the F-35C conventional carrier variant and if the F-35B is not purchased or cancelled there are no alternative VSTOL aircraft around to replace it, unlike the choice of conventional carrier launched aircraft.

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  • 104. At 2:48pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    94. Reluctant-Expat
    "87. And are you now finally conceding and admitting that the SNP have not completed a single, solitary investment programme of their own but just taken full credit and publicity for Labour's work?

    "

    You are the one playing infantile games. I'm merely trying - apparently in vain - to get it through to you that no new administration starts from scratch. I'm quite happy for both the SNP and the British Labour Party in Scotland to be judged by the electorate on their respective records and their current policies. You just have to learn that the British labour Party can no longer take Scotland's voters for granted.

    Roll on 2011, indeed. Although it is a bit of an unfair contest given the handicaps the BLP is lumbered with. Nationalists will be hoping Iain Gray gets plenty of exposure.

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  • 105. At 2:50pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    97. soosider
    "Please could we just ignore RE we know from experience that he is far from a reliable source of information. His claims get wilder and wilder, please lets just ignore him."

    But taunting him is so much fun!

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  • 106. At 2:54pm on 08 Oct 2010, spagan wrote:

    92 DeadGoatSoc
    I lived over on the East Coast for a few years and walked a number of the beaches North and South of Granite City.
    Can't recall anything more spectacular than I've seen at St Cyrus or Thurso or Uist or Harris or Colonsay or Nairn or Brora or - almost ad infinitum.
    In South Uist you can play golf on the dunes or walk the course or participate in the Highland Games - and listen to corncrakes. In Dornoch you can play golf or walk the course and watch dolphins.
    In Reay you can play golf on the dunes and watch Dounreay being dismantled.
    Or in South Harris - you can see one of its million hills - that couldn't be quarried - and visit the local community that has no jobs and no children under the age of 8 - and a school about to be closed.
    Scotland needs jobs and development.
    Trump is not proposing to recycle nuclear waste for goodness sake!
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 107. At 3:18pm on 08 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    91. Roll_on_2011: "To reduce costs those NuLabour Numpties designed out any side armour for the two carriers."

    Modern warships aren't 'armoured' as making the ship sufficiently resistant to all types of attack (impact torpedo, pressure-bubble torpedo, sea-skimming missile, top-attack missile....then there's the nuclear tipped missiles) would make the vessel too expensive, too heavy, less agile and too slow. Side armour offers no protection from torpedo or top-attack missiles and little protection from future supersonic or hypersonic missiles.

    'Dynamic armour', which disrupts impact shock-waves similar to Chobham armour on tanks, is fitted around vital areas.

    The Belgrano was armoured and was sunk by two small torpedoes. One single torpedo crippled the even more heavily armoured Bismarck.

    The best defence for a carrier from any attack is it's sensor system coupled with it's own anti-air weaponry and the carrier escort group. The RN escort group for each carrier will be similar to a USN group; two anti-submarine frigates, a nuclear attack sub and 1-2 T-45 destroyers (the most advanced warship afloat and only rivalled by the US's proposed 'Arleigh Burke III' and 'Zumwalt' destroyers, currently due for construction from 2016 and 2020 respectively). By the way, the prime contractor on the Arleigh Burke III project is the UK's BAE Systems.

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  • 108. At 3:47pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    102. john
    "A recent report on this site has the school estaet in its best ever condition."

    I recall posting a link to this report. I think it is among the documents available at - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/09/28130403/0

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  • 109. At 3:55pm on 08 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    99. Chiefy1724. See 103 for someone else who clearly knows a bit more than you. Your post is ridiculous, even by the standards of this board. Of course you can't land a large passenger aircraft on a carrier and I also suspect the French noticed the CVF is not nuclear powered....LOL!

    102. John, once again: All refurbishments were also started by Labour and the SNP's school-building scheme was only launched four months ago with nothing yet started.
    "A recent report on this site has the school estate in its best ever condition." = Music to Labour's ears and an instant quote for their manifesto, no doubt!

    103. Dougthedug. So we both agree that Wee-Scamp doesn't know what he's talking about. And if, in the highly unlikely event that the JSF is cancelled (there has been minimal mention of such a scenario and an evaluation squadron is being formed next year), the CVF's can also obviously be fitted out for conventional aircraft. Electromagnetic catapults will be fitted instead of the old steam version on such turbine-powered ships. A maritime version of the Typhoon is an obvious candidate for a conventional alternative.

    104. Electric Hermit, still waiting for details on the status of any road, rail, school or hospital scheme started by the SNP.....

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  • 110. At 4:07pm on 08 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    Missed this one in the fun:

    98. Thank you for finally conceding and admitting that I was right in saying that the SNP have not built a single school, road, railway, hospital or prison or designed the 'Curriculum for Excellence'....

    ...but instead, have just taken full credit for Labour's work.

    Well done. Welcome to Reality.

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  • 111. At 4:26pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    110. Reluctant-Expat
    "Thank you for finally conceding and admitting that I was right..."

    Dishonesty or delusion? I leave it to others to decide for themselves.

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  • 112. At 4:28pm on 08 Oct 2010, john wrote:

    #110 R-E

    If you actually read my post, I never admitted any such thing.

    If that is how you interpret my post, then no wonder you come up with so many bizarre statements. You have just confirmed my long held belief that you cannot parse a simple english statement.

    John

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  • 113. At 4:28pm on 08 Oct 2010, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    #109 RE

    As we are on the subject of rebuttal, which one if any of my points was factually incorrect ?

    Are there four or five NATO nations that Operate Carriers ?

    Is the Atlantique (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) operated or not operated by the Naval Air Arm of the Italian Navy and does or does not qualify as a Naval Aircraft ?

    Is it or is it not stated French Policy that any future carrier will be nuclear powered and is therefore unlikely to be the CVF design ?

    Can you offer proof or citation that any fixed-wing NATO non-VSTOL aircraft have landed on the deck of a current UK Naval Vessel.

    As to the standard of posting, we can only look to your very good self to show us the way.

    4.30 Must be Time for Make and Mend.

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  • 114. At 4:38pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    When the British Labour Party were kicked out by Scotland's voters they had plans for 250 school building/refurbishment projects. The present government has completed 303 such projects.

    Scotland's school estate has been massively improved. Most people would celebrate this fact. But not the British Labour Party's amateur propagandists.

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  • 115. At 4:45pm on 08 Oct 2010, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    #109

    Thanks for the laugh now.



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  • 116. At 4:50pm on 08 Oct 2010, DougtheDug wrote:

    #109. At 3:55pm on 08 Oct 2010, Reluctant-Expat wrote:

    "So we both agree that Wee-Scamp doesn't know what he's talking about."

    Well, I would agree with wee-scamp that the carriers are limited but I'd say the main problem is not that they can't land other NATO carrier aircraft it's that they can't launch them again which is pretty much the same thing unless you're just collecting them for storage.

    The JSF won't be cancelled but the carriers are not involved with the main JSF progam just with the problematic VSTOL F-35B variant and if they are cancelled or the Government decides that they are just too expensive then the carriers will be floating helicopter platforms.

    No-one's managed to build an electric launch catapult yet and a "navalised" version of the Typhoon has never been on the cards.

    In May 2001 Sir Robert Walmsley, Head of the Defence Procurement Agency, when asked about the possibility of a navalised Eurofighter if JSF was cancelled said: "It is not currently designed so that it could use a carrier. We could change the design but we would be faced with a huge piece of work. The materials would probably have to be changed in order to avoid corrosion; the weight of the undercarriage would have to be doubled to support carrier landing which would eat into the payload margin; and the wing roots would have to be strengthened in order to take the full inertia forces on landing. That sounds to me like a very substantial redesign. It is always possible, but it would cost a huge amount of money and it would certainly add very considerably to the cost of the aircraft".

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  • 117. At 4:59pm on 08 Oct 2010, Addicted to Joob-Joobs wrote:


    #Expat: - various rants:

    As ever, in your blind frenzy to misrepresent the SNP, you have everything backwards.

    As a self-confessed Tory, you are hardly in good company when it comes to having a grip on matters Scottish.
    As has been reliably reported, the Tories are in virtual disarray over negative and inappropriate comments made by several of their would-be politicians against the very society they seek to represent - something for which they, and you, have a decidedly nasty reputation - while your esteemed leader seeks to impose his (and your) right-wing doctrines upon us by the "authority" of their one MP and handful of MSPs.

    For such a Tory, you are increasingly desperate for Labour to take false credit for everything achieved by the SNP since 2007, and to resume their disgraceful misgovernance of our country from next May.

    Had Labour been remotely as constructive or effective as you persistently claim, they would have achieved a far sight more in 8 years than they actually did, and would probably have retained a measure of credibility - as opposed to which, they governed with scant enthusiasm, making systematic and excessive use of the mechanism for Sewell motions, achieving extremely little over the first two full terms of devolution apart from the sum total of the smoking ban, crippling ongoing bills for the funding of ill-conceived PFI projects, and a legacy of wholesale and historic disillusionment.

    So, far from Labour being the dynamic administration you would have us believe, there was of course, no Scottish Government, either in name or substance, prior to 2007, but simply a lame institution run by and answerable to London Labour, intended to appease what they saw as a token desire for an illusion of home rule.

    The SNP swept all that aside to become the first real government Scotland has seen in 300 years, despite the slenderest of democratic margins and the obstacle of crass unionist opposition to a range of radical new measures.

    Every school and hospital built or refurbished, indeed every new building project since 2007, has been achieved under the SNP's distinct approach and programme for government - a radical and cost effective alternative to the expensive black hole of PFI - and should be recognised as such.

    Expat, you have exposed yourself through misrepresentation so frequently and so often that your twisted little game is just about up.

    Should you disagree, of course I will simply follow your own lead, and resort to repeated postings of identical text, in bold, shouting type.

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  • 118. At 5:24pm on 08 Oct 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    ok so today wee Jim get the defence job (shadow)
    today exP talks about defence

    mmmm is it me or is that just spooky?

    anyone seen them together at the same time?
    very spooky.


    Anyway. defence today then.
    So. the scenareo is - DC wants to reduce the carriers by one/two (delete as appropriate)

    DC wants to reduce the bases in Moray by one/two (delete as appropriate)

    What does Jim argue?

    Oh no, you can't do that. That would be bad for Scotland? OR
    Of course you can, if you don't it would look like a win for AS.

    Place your bets now.
    Tory policy or help Scotland/SNP/AS (delete as appropriate)

    Anyway
    Schools
    ExP. With your wealth of knowledge about all realms of political life, can you look up how much Labour spent on the 5 or 6 new schools in Highland. Could you break it down into material costs, labour and company profit. Cheers. If it is also possible to estimate when the bill will be finally paid that would be good too. Can you also find out what happens to the buildings at the end. Do the council take ownership or have to pay to buy them, or can the owners/developers just turn them into warehouses if they want. Successes like these building programmes should be celebrated (preferrably annually) but to do the celebrations justice, it would be good to know exactly what we are getting excited/drunk (delete as appropriate - but no added caffeine please) for.

    Cheers

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  • 119. At 5:29pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    117. Addicted to Joob-Joobs
    "The SNP swept all that aside to become the first real government Scotland has seen in 300 years..."

    Well said! It should never be forgotten that neither the British Labour Party nor its Tory allies ever intended that Scotland should have a real government. And to this day they do everything in their power to impede our government. When people vote in the Scottish elections next year they have to ask themselves if they really want to turn back the clock and abolish their own government. Because that, in effect, is what a BLP victory would mean.

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  • 120. At 5:42pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    117. Addicted to Joob-Joobs
    "As a self-confessed Tory..."

    And yet Reluctant-Expat is indistinguishable from the British Labour Party's equally vitriolic and dishonest amateur propagandists. If any doubt that the BLP and Tories are in cahoots at Holyrood then perhaps this will give them pause for thought.

    And it is worth repeating that it is not just the SNP that this Tory/BLP alliance conspires against. It is the entire concept of meaningful Scottish self-government.

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  • 121. At 6:05pm on 08 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    114. Electric Hermit: "The present government has completed 303 such projects."

    That was a lie before. It is a lie now.

    Again:

    All school builds and refurbishments were initiated by Labour, not the SNP. The SNP have only taken the credit for this work.

    The SNP have not even started one project, let alone "completed 303"!

    Believe me, I am very happy to repeat this again and again if you are going to persist on repeating such blatant nationalist lies.

    And you have still failed to come up with one update on one SNP-initiated construction project. Not one. I wonder why.

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  • 122. At 6:17pm on 08 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    And here we have another nationalist peddling the same very desperate lie:

    117. Addicted to Joob-joobs: "Every school and hospital built or refurbished, indeed every new building project since 2007, has been achieved under the SNP's distinct approach and programme for government - a radical and cost effective alternative to the expensive black hole of PFI - and should be recognised as such."

    With no exaggeration, your unconditional and absolute devotion to the SNP and your constant refusal to challenge anything they say or do, has left you struggling to maintain any logical grasp of reality.

    How can every (or any) build or refurbishment be credited to the SNP, when all were started before the SNP came to power and nothing started since?

    As with the vast majority of the nationalist argument, that makes zero sense.

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  • 123. At 6:23pm on 08 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    Electric Hermit:

    STILL waiting for an update of one construction project that was genuinely started by the SNP.

    Have the SNP paid for/laid one solitary brick or one inch of tarmac or one inch of railway line anywhere?

    Is there a single building in all the land that is the result of the SNP's own effort?

    (And don't bother again trying to claim some school rebuild as SNP. The SNP have done absolutely nothing for the national school estate. Nothing.)

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  • 124. At 6:24pm on 08 Oct 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    Nearly fell off my seat laughing when i heard "patriot (mc)Murphy " got shadow defence spokesman. At least he will be found out for the non entity that he is. It shows how devoid of talent labour is. The reason for this crazy move of course is to keep the Clyde ship builders happy for a few months, spouting his garbage brain- washing them in to thinking labour is working for them when all they really want is their vote. Then after may they wilol dump them this will be the same time as red ed is disclosed as a pink millie or even a s blue as the tories. Cameron Clegg Milliband they are all out of the same box after all.

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  • 125. At 6:25pm on 08 Oct 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    117. Addicted to Joob-Joobs
    "The SNP swept all that aside to become the first real government Scotland has seen in 300 years, despite the slenderest of democratic margins and the obstacle of crass unionist opposition to a range of radical new measures.

    Every school and hospital built or refurbished, indeed every new building project since 2007, has been achieved under the SNP's distinct approach and programme for government - a radical and cost effective alternative to the expensive black hole of PFI - and should be recognised as such.

    Expat, you have exposed yourself through misrepresentation so frequently and so often that your twisted little game is just about up.

    Should you disagree, of course I will simply follow your own lead, and resort to repeated postings of identical text, in bold, shouting type.

    "

    Haha! Too funny that he promptly proves you right.

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  • 126. At 6:26pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    121. Reluctant-Expat
    "114. Electric Hermit: "The present government has completed 303 such projects."

    That was a lie before. It is a lie now.
    "

    Statistics Publication Notice - Education Series: School Estate Statistics 2010

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  • 127. At 6:28pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    121. Reluctant-Expat
    "The SNP have not even started one project..."

    Ground-breaking start for new school - Edinburgh Evening News

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  • 128. At 6:31pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    121. Reluctant-Expat
    "And you have still failed to come up with one update on one SNP-initiated construction project."

    The Scottish Government is not a construction company.

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  • 129. At 6:35pm on 08 Oct 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    114. Electric Hermit
    "When the British Labour Party were kicked out by Scotland's voters they had plans for 250 school building/refurbishment projects. The present government has completed 303 such projects.

    Scotland's school estate has been massively improved. Most people would celebrate this fact. But not the British Labour Party's amateur propagandists.

    "

    I have to agree with whoever said that it may be time to ignore R-E.

    He is on the 2,726th verse of "It was done by the SNP during their administration but Labour should get credit" and anyone who hasn't seen through it by now isn't going to.

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  • 130. At 6:43pm on 08 Oct 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    more bad news for RE

    thecourier.co.uk/.../...

    This understated story appeared in today's copy of the Dundee courier today. People in Scotland are as yet pretty much unaware of how a big deal this could be. If successful this technology could power Scotland power stations for decades.

    update here is another link regarding this, its an even bigger deal than i thought it could power the UK for 100 years.
    www.britishcoalgasification.co.uk/.../

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  • 131. At 6:46pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    122. Reluctant-Expat
    "How can every (or any) build or refurbishment be credited to the SNP, when all were started before the SNP came to power and nothing started since?"

    The contracts for the M74 were signed in February 2008.

    But being a terminally shallow-minded individual, you are obsessed with raw numbers and totally incapable of looking any deeper. But as more intellectually acute persons will readily acknowledge, it is not just a matter of bricks piled atop one another. Nowhere is this more true than in relation to the schools estate where the present Scottish Government has overseen a massive improvement in the standard of facilities. This after decades of the British Labour Party having no regard whatever for the environment in which our children learn

    Cost too is an issue. And I don't mean the appalling short-termism favoured by the British Labour Party and their Tory allies. For example, where the BLP wanted to allow prisons-for-private-profit, the real Scottish Government is keeping such projects as the new Low Moss Prison in the public sector where they belong - and saving taxpayers money in the process.

    If it were true that the SNP government is doing less then I, for one, would be happy to forgive them this so long as they keep on doing it better.

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  • 132. At 6:47pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    123. Reluctant-Expat
    "Have the SNP paid for/laid one solitary brick or one inch of tarmac or one inch of railway line anywhere?"

    Silly boy! The SNP is a political party. It doesn't build roads and railways. Duh!

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  • 133. At 6:58pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Imagine the unsavoury spectre:

    Iain Gray as First Minister! ...

    Ah but he would be first minister only in name and being worked from behind by Ed the Duck. Poor Iain would have to run everything past London, it would be a case of "is this ok", "can I do that", "no aw well.... what do you suggest?". Vote Labour Vote London running the Scottish Parliament.

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  • 134. At 6:58pm on 08 Oct 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    suspiciously my links seem not to have worked at my last post, ill try them again.
    http://www.thecourier.co.uk/News/Fife/article/6099/progress-in-move-to-tap-coal-under-firth-of-forth.html
    http://www.britishcoalgasification.co.uk/ThortonNewEnergyUCGJVwithRiversideEnergy.html

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  • 135. At 7:03pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Oh dear is that Reluctant-Scot looking stupid again!

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  • 136. At 7:07pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Reluctant-Scot is like primitive man believing the Sun revolves around the Earth. You reveal his argument to be a bit silly, present evidence to the contrary and he still can't see it.

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  • 137. At 8:32pm on 08 Oct 2010, universality of cheese wrote:

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

  • 138. At 8:55pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Reluctant-Scot (Unionist Man) works for the BBC doesn't he?

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  • 139. At 9:07pm on 08 Oct 2010, universality of cheese wrote:

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

  • 140. At 9:10pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    How were you able to obtain his IP address from BBC servers?

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  • 141. At 9:15pm on 08 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:


    The following links detail NuLabours PFI legacy for Scotland:

    The total unitary payments for all existing PFI and PPP contracts from 2010-2011 onwards are approximately £27.7 billion. That figure is inclusive of Scottish Government PFI/PPP funding contributions

    The following table showing the annual costs is here.

    You will note that the table shows repayments up to the financial year 2041 - 2042.

    John Wilson MSP requested an estimate for each local authority in 2010-2011 and 2011-12: this table was supplied by John Swinney.

    Thankfully the SNP have moved away from matching NuLabour building program of PFI brick by PFI brick.

    By the way RE I will give the credit were it is due…. NuLabour are the ones who dunnit!

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  • 142. At 9:17pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    The only people able to do an IP address search for the BBC website are the BBC IT. They would be able to trawl the IP addresses logged on and who posted comments and back track. So do you work for the BBC?

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  • 143. At 9:18pm on 08 Oct 2010, universality of cheese wrote:

    I didn't, he visited my blog. Then dismissed the blog post here as 'anti-English', which it's not. A quick IP trawl brought up his location...

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  • 144. At 9:33pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    141. I like the fact the Scottish Government website administrators still refer to the Scottish Government as the Scottish Executive in your link. I used to complain that the IT administrators kept refering to the Scottish Executive but no one ever bothered taking up my complaint. It's interesting to see after 4 years of the SNP the IT admin still pepper the Scottish Government website with Scottish Executive references.

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  • 145. At 9:37pm on 08 Oct 2010, universality of cheese wrote:

    Rather tragically it's still referred to as the 'Scottish Executive' by ALL members during Parliamentary business, something that can't be changed without approval of all members...

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  • 146. At 9:41pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Can the Scottish Government reducate the people that work for it the name has changed from the Scottish Executive to the Scottish Government? It looks ridiculous that the employees still call it the Scottish Executive. Unless it's politically motivated?

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  • 147. At 9:44pm on 08 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    143. universality of cheese

    On behalf of RE, I protest. Everyone knows that in order to arrive at an accurate ISP, you need to add the Scottish ISP to our share of the UK ISP!

    (Did I get that right RE?)

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  • 148. At 10:06pm on 08 Oct 2010, universality of cheese wrote:

    #147 Arf.

    #146 Chances are it is politically motivated, but all parliamentary proceedings use the title 'executive'. Look at the standing orders for confirmation. I dare say it needs a majority of members to agree to it before the title is changed...

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  • 149. At 10:06pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    "Rather tragically it's still referred to as the 'Scottish Executive' by ALL members during Parliamentary business, something that can't be changed without approval of all members...

    Is that correct wouldn't it take a change to the Scotland Act? Though if all the parties agree it would be easily secured.

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  • 150. At 10:09pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    The fact the pro-London parties want it to be called th Scottish Executive betrays their limited ambitions or slavish traits?

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  • 151. At 10:11pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    "Rather tragically it's still referred to as the 'Scottish Executive' by ALL members during Parliamentary business, something that can't be changed without approval of all members..."

    Where is this laid down cheese?

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  • 152. At 10:19pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    143. universality of cheese
    "I didn't, he visited my blog. Then dismissed the blog post here as 'anti-English', which it's not. A quick IP trawl brought up his location... "

    You may think yourself the great detective but, regardless of how such information is obtained it is seriously improper to be making any of it public. I certainly won't be visiting your blog. You are very evidently not to be trusted.

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  • 153. At 10:24pm on 08 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    149. Vakov2000
    "Is that correct wouldn't it take a change to the Scotland Act?"

    The Scotland Act does not stipulate that the term "Executive" must be used. This was a convention introduced by the unionist cabal as a way of belittling the institution. Remember! They never intended that it should be a real government. It took the SNP election victory to bring that about.

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  • 154. At 10:28pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Ethics! How far do you go in a cause? What is right and what is wrong and to who? Or can ethics be manipulated to encourage you to be more of a model citizen? How far would you go to cause change?

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  • 155. At 10:32pm on 08 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    153. Thanks I didn't know the protocol! So it is just the pro-London parties selling us out?

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  • 156. At 11:57pm on 08 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    141. Roll_On_2011

    That was an interesting table of PFI commitments by local authority. I looked at the 2011-12 costs per head of population, and the results were not what I expected.

    Argyll and Bute £224.19
    Falkirk £185.12
    Clackmannanshire £162.35
    Stirling £160.48
    Dumfries and Galloway £147.4
    Midlothian £133.9
    Highland £123.73
    East Renfrewshire £123.3
    Perth and Kinross £122.63
    East Dunbartonshire £119.76
    West Dunbartonshire £117.6
    South Lanarkshire £105.83
    Angus £103.58
    City of Edinburgh £97.37
    South Ayrshire £96.53
    East Lothian £93.41
    Inverclyde £91.12
    West Lothian £87.24
    Dundee City £83.92
    Renfrewshire £81.93
    Scottish Borders £81.67
    Glasgow City £77.26
    North Ayrshire £74.81
    East Ayrshire £67.03
    Aberdeen City £60.95
    North Lanarkshire £56.31
    Aberdeenshire £46.95
    Fife £44.7
    Moray £0

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  • 157. At 00:11am on 09 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    Alan Johnston on TV praising Ed Milliband's strategy of "not opposing for the sake of opposition".

    Will Iain Gray get smacky fingers for having pursued such a policy?

    I doubt it.

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  • 158. At 00:26am on 09 Oct 2010, Ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    reincarnation ... if I pay my 46.95 does that mean I 'own' a bit of the hospital for a year :P ?

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  • 159. At 01:15am on 09 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    158. Ubinworryinmasheep

    Dream on! You pay, but own nowt (as our more northerly, southern cousins would say).

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  • 160. At 01:23am on 09 Oct 2010, Ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #159 ...Damn :o( I would have looked after the mortuary for a wee while !

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  • 161. At 01:34am on 09 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    160. Ubinworryinmasheep
    "I would have looked after the mortuary for a wee while"

    You want to tend the Unionists?

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  • 162. At 01:43am on 09 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    Interesting use of words by Sky News (and other news sources based in the South of England) - Alan Johnson is from "humble origins". Uriah Heep he isn't!

    I realised the totally different understanding of "social class" and why England thought of Thatcher as being "lower class", only when I was in SE England in the 80s. Some of you may remember her being described as a "grocer's daughter" - thus proving to them that she came from a subordinate social group. In Scotland that meant that she was "middle-class".

    There is a fundamental gulf between class structures and social attitudes between the Home Counties and Scotland. We don't speak the same political language.

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  • 163. At 01:55am on 09 Oct 2010, Ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Interestingly for the Shadow Chancellors job, Johnson has no economic degree or anything I can see to help him with his job. Stacking shelves for Tescoss and being a postie just doesn't instil confidence in running the countries finances. Mind you Osborne..a data entry clerk and worked for Selfridges (more upper class than Tescos I suppose) with a degree in Modern history isnt much better. Even being a maths teacher might count for something in an economical post !

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  • 164. At 02:50am on 09 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    163. Ubinworryinmasheep

    It really doesn't matter. The decisions are made by the Civil Servants - all the Minister has to do is to repeat the script s/he is given. The shadow Minister simply mouthes the words of the party's researchers.

    Just occasionally, a Minister has a mind of his/her own - I have Nicola in mind with that statement.

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  • 165. At 03:05am on 09 Oct 2010, Ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Tony Blair warned Ed Milliband not to take the Labour party off its New Labour path by veering way left the other day. I was just wondering how a simple spelling mistake can be so apt .... Tory Blair (aye i know somebody has probably beat me to that one at some point)

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  • 166. At 03:06am on 09 Oct 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    Dr Swire, in addition to his excellent article at a certain News Net website we are forbidden to mention by name, is backing a petition for the Scottish government to “open an independent inquiry into the 2001 Kamp van Zeist conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi”.

    In the interest of justice (long delayed because of the interference of both the US and UK governments) I urge signing this petition.

    http://epetitions.scottish.parliament.uk/view_petition.asp?PetitionID=417

    While I have doubts that, in the face of the refusal of our governments to provide the evidence they continue to hide, that justice will ever truly be done, I also think that we have to TRY to bring the truth out. If the truth had been told, they wouldn't be so intransigently hiding evidence.

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  • 167. At 03:09am on 09 Oct 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    143. universality of cheese
    "I didn't, he visited my blog. Then dismissed the blog post here as 'anti-English', which it's not. A quick IP trawl brought up his location... "

    Interesting, UoC. One might mildly wonder exactly what kind of expatriate that really makes him.

    Or not. Really not worth wondering about. =)

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  • 168. At 03:46am on 09 Oct 2010, Ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    #164 reincarnation ... 'The decisions are made by the Civil Servants'

    Aye the worst culprits would have been DEFRA during the foot n mouth disaster. We can vote in or out MPs/MSPs but the faceless cretins seem to be untouchable.

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  • 169. At 09:31am on 09 Oct 2010, universality of cheese wrote:

    @156 Reincarnation. That's every single year until 2041-42 and is based on the entire population including kids, pensioners and those on council tax benefits. In reality as the number of earners is much lower, the price per head per council tax paying person will be considerably higher. Based on the entire population, the figure for D&G works out at £4694 per head, given that probably two thirds of the population are in receipt of a council tax benefit, it means the real council tax payers face a bill of circa £14,000 each. To further muddy the waters if you extract the public service jobs from the equation...

    @152 Electric Hermit. I'm no great detective and don't think of myself as such, it's all supposition. IP tracking is an option open to everyone with a blog. The vast majority of posters cover their IP's, particularly the more vehement, bitter types. All I'm saying is that in the ten minute period before Reluctant Expat posted his comment here about having visited the blog, the only non UK IP address in that same period, came from a UN address in Den Hague, where one might expect an expat to live, this presumes that those Unionist Scots living in London don't consider themselves expats but merely Brits. Sharing that particular piece of supposition with other users on this board is hardly a question of trust. PS If you'd like to visit the blog I can find that PIN number you lost ;)

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  • 170. At 10:14am on 09 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    127. You mean this report, EH?

    "Published Date: 01 October 2010
    THE ground for the new Pumpherston and Uphall Station Community Primary School has been broken by Skills Minister Keith Brown.
    The school, near Livingston, is the first of those funded through the £1.25 billion Scotland's Schools for the Future programme to get under way."

    Doesn't sound like number 304 to me.

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  • 171. At 10:16am on 09 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    169. universality of cheese
    "I'm no great detective and don't think of myself as such, it's all supposition. IP tracking is an option open to everyone with a blog."

    Don't presume to lecture me, sonny. I have been building and managing websites far too long to be impressed by that kind of presumption. The fact remains that ALL of the information relating to visitors to a website and available to the administrator(s) of that website is held in confidence. You have demonstrated that you are prepared to breach that trust for no more noble reason than showing off your supposed prowess at obtaining the information. I will not be visiting your website and I would strongly advise others to avoid it like the plague.

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  • 172. At 10:22am on 09 Oct 2010, U14625883 wrote:

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

  • 173. At 10:53am on 09 Oct 2010, universality of cheese wrote:

    @171 Lecture? Sonny? Jings old man Hermit, what got your knickers in such a fankle? If only I'd known you were such a genius with things interwebular I'd never have dared to respond to you, I bow to your unacknowledged mastery of all things web based.

    I look forward to reading your own blog, given your level of discourse you're guaranteed to be a sure fire hit and have gazillions of hits and comments...

    Incidentally, life's too short to trawl through the hundreds of users that visited yesterday, however, when staunch unionists visit it's always nice to know a little bit more about them...

    PS I'm 84 you know.

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  • 174. At 10:56am on 09 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Statistics Publication Notice - Education Series: School Estate Statistics 2010

    Stupid Boy

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  • 175. At 11:03am on 09 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    173. universality of cheese
    "PS I'm 84 you know.

    "

    Then it's time you grew up.

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  • 176. At 11:06am on 09 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    170. Reluctant-Expat
    "Doesn't sound like number 304 to me."

    Of course it doesn't. Nothing would. Even if they were building the new school on top of you, you'd deny it's existence. Such is the nature of your condition.

    But it's of no consequence. Neither I nor reality is affected in the slightest.

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  • 177. At 11:17am on 09 Oct 2010, universality of cheese wrote:

    @175 is that it?

    I was expecting some torrent of Wildean abuse. Hermit old bean, you disappoint me. An elderly man of your undeniable internet experience, a veteran of flame wars, a renowned God of the forum world should be more than capable of coming up with a put down far more intricate and amusing than the equivalent of 'your mum smells'.


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  • 178. At 11:21am on 09 Oct 2010, Sheneval wrote:

    63. At 00:09am on 08 Oct 2010, kered wrote:
    "61 Sheneval
    Ist thou a puritan convictionist?"

    Sorry to disapoint but I am a follower of Puddinghead Wilson :-).

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  • 179. At 11:23am on 09 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #156 reincarnation

    As universality of cheese points out in his post at #169, the table you have published are pretty meaningless taken in isolation.

    Another point is, if you stack your table (for fiscal year 2011/2012) up against the annual payments shown in the previous table in my post at #141. I have replicated the link here. Then you will note that each successive annual payment increases until it starts to fall in the fiscal year 2024/2025 were it peaks at a payment of £1,097M.

    If you take the repayments for just the next 4/5/6 years you will note that they are increasing at a time when cuts worse than Thatcher are coming down the line, and Scotland’s pocket money will be getting less and less. Under these circumstances the only question that Councils will be asking is - What services do we cut to meet the PFI/PPI repayments?

    In fact the above was aptly illustrated by Alex at the last but one FMQ’s in an answer he gave in response to Elmer Fudd’s question with regards to falling teacher numbers:

    NuLabour in Glasgow accounted for 25% of the number of teacher posts lost and further more that NuLabour controlled/partially controlled Councils accounted for 33% in the reduction of teacher numbers. He used PFI/PPI repayments for the reason for this. If I remember correctly, he quoted the figure £60M.

    One question:

    Whats the use of new schools if we don’t have the teachers in them to educate our youngsters? The new schools are just empty shells and damned expensive ones using the above as a backdrop.

    There are alternatives…. watch this space!

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  • 180. At 11:35am on 09 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #179 Roll_On_2011

    Correction:

    NuLabour controlled/partially controlled Councils accounted for 33% in

    Should have been 66%


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  • 181. At 12:24pm on 09 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    So the BBC will cover the Commonwealth Games in India all major british sporting events and cover the Olympic Games in London. They are telling us they are not going to cover the Commonwealth Games when it is in Scotland. What a major insult to Scotland by London. Scotland has already lost over 50 million in lottery funding to the London Olympics. Do you get the feeling remote control from London isn't working for us?

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  • 182. At 12:25pm on 09 Oct 2010, Addicted to Joob-Joobs wrote:


    Further to the annihilation of Reluctant-Ex-Scot:

    As mentioned, the Last Labour Executive must have been infinitely more dynamic and industrious on Scotland's behalf than they let on, if we are remotely to believe that the programme of schools, hospitals and roads constructed since they left office are somehow part of a glittering Labour legacy.

    Contrast that outrageous claim with the very real and grim legacy they have left the UK: Economic catastrophe, and a sick-note saying "Sorry, no money left" - and you are a good deal closer to Labour reality.

    Of course, the SNP's approach to Government has been in marked contrast, placing the public interest and the protection public services at the forefront of priorities, and devising an entirely new approach to public building projects to protect us from the future consequences of PFI.

    Under such a radically different programme for government, built on an political philosophy light-years apart, what supposed credit would the SNP need to claim from the failure of its insipid predecessors??!!

    Again, the SNP have had 3 years in government to date. Labour had 8 years!!!

    The great, palpable fear for Expat, and all such desperate anglo-unionists, is that the radical reforms of the SNP's distict governmental approach will be seen to bear fruit, and the public will welcome the positive results.

    That is why their ilk will stop at nothing to prevent such an outcome.

    As we speak, however, even that spurious unionist ploy is expiring before our eyes as an increasing number of publicly-controlled projects, planned entirely under the new Scottish Government, begin to come onstream.

    One more plank of unionist negativity will be exploded forever.

    Already, the shape of our new, progressive and forward-looking Scotland is beginning to evolve, and we begin to see glimpses of how our country may be transformed for good and for ever when the effects of real SNP government have a chance to take root and blossom.

    Care to take bets against that one, Expat??

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  • 183. At 12:29pm on 09 Oct 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    176. You do realise you have just backed up my claim that the SNP have not "built/refurbished 303 schools" as they repeatedly claim, but have in fact only just started their first (and which isn't due for completion until mid-2012, five years after they first came to power).

    You see, all 303 schemes that are being claimed by the SNP as their's, were actually all planned, approved and commissioned pre-2007 by Labour.

    And going back to the M74 issue; That all started in 2002 under Labour, not 2008 under the SNP as you claim.
    You have to be a little naive to think that a major road scheme, cutting through a major city, can be be planned, approved, appealed, approved, compulsory purchases completed and the road finally constructed (which is what happened with this scheme) all within just three years.

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  • 184. At 12:32pm on 09 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    # Statistics Publication Notice - Education Series: School Estate Statistics 2010

    Stupid Boy

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  • 185. At 12:49pm on 09 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    <RICHPOST>Brian, It appears that those nasty nats are involved in another <a h[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]<BR /><BR /><i>Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) will be used to fund a new cruise liner terminal, lock gates, esplanade and link road in Edinburgh's waterfront. It is estimated the project could eventually attract £660 million of business investment and 4,900 jobs. <BR /><BR />TIF, which has been used in the US, will see the council borrow the initial amount and pay it back through income from increased business rates generated by the development.<BR /><BR />It is being trialled in this country following work by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), a quango set up by SNP ministers aimed at cutting the cost of funding major infrastructure projects.<BR /><BR />The Treasury has been sceptical about permitting it, but Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, last week announced councils would be able to use the technique.</i><BR /><BR />Pretty progressive thinking.<BR /><BR />By the way Brian do you remember the SFT they are the body that recently saved the public purse £111 million in its first year of operation in Scotland.<BR /><BR />Meanwhile back at the NuLabour funny farm Elmer Fudd’s party are still committed to PFI. You know the scheme were you buy one and your kids and their kids pay it back over the next 35 - 40 years.<BR /><BR /> </RICHPOST>

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  • 186. At 12:53pm on 09 Oct 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    83. At 12:29pm on 09 Oct 2010, Reluctant-Expat wrote:
    176. You do realise you have just backed up my claim that the SNP have not "built/refurbished 303 schools" as they repeatedly claim, but have in fact only just started their first
    ----------------------------------------
    EP

    what you are really saying is unlike labour, rather than rush in and whimsically spend 100's of millions of public money they did not have ,on schools and the like, the SNP government first and foremost wanted to put in place, a workable method of paying for them. I'm sure you would agree that this is a good old economic sense. Or would the tories disagree with this stance.
    ------------------------------------------------
    BBC/ Glasgow Comonwealth games.

    Bluff and bluster by the BBC who want to do the job for nothing, thinking they can bully the organisers in to doing things their way. I hope the organisers CALL THEIR BLUFF and expose the BBC as being the most anti Scottish organisation in Scotland.

    Other things to consider.

    £50 million plus stolen from sport in Scotland to support the English Olympic games.
    Not a penny so far from Westminster towards the Glasgow games.
    no barnet consequencials against the spending on London.

    Scotland ripped off at every turn in every sphere. And yet people still vote for unionist parties which enable Westminster's nuclear weapons to be stored here, the theft of tax and duty revenues, the starvation of investment and reduction of services. Come on Scotland WAKE UP to what is going on all around you.






    -

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  • 187. At 12:56pm on 09 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:


    Brian I saw this on another web blog and thought it worthwhile repeating here:

    NuLabour, the party that re-invented the wheel (the roulette wheel) and if they had stayed in power any longer they could have cracked perpetual motion (endless spin).

    NuLabour the party of the many and not the few - roughly translated as follows:

    Never has so much of value been trashed by so few to the disadvantage of so many.

    Roll_On_2011

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  • 188. At 1:10pm on 09 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    183. Reluctant-Expat
    "You do realise you have just backed up my claim..."

    But you would assert this no matter what I or anybody else said. So it doesn't mean anything at all.

    I'm beginning to agree with those that say you should be ignored. The entertainment value of poking fun at your various idiocies begins to pall.

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  • 189. At 1:22pm on 09 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    All the great double acts need a clown. Anyway he's good practice he is typical of the mentality of the Labour sheep in Scotland. He is typical of what you are up against slavish with blind allegiance to London, putting down Scotland at every opportunity, lies, deceit and ignorance.

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  • 190. At 8:18pm on 09 Oct 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    Christine Graham MSP is hosting a meeting at the SNP Conference in Perth Next Friday evening at 6 oclock at which several experts will try to start the ball rolling in producing a widespread demand for an inquiry into the deliberately wrongful conviction of Al Megrahi and the part the US and UK governments played in the most heinous miscarriage of justice in history.

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  • 191. At 9:12pm on 09 Oct 2010, Ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    I see the UK government is discussing finding a way to lower the price of petrol in our far away parts of Scotland. As far as I'm aware petrol is on average 10 pence a litre more expensive so I cant see that 'up to 5 pence' a litre is going to make much of a difference. Considering the amount of tax on petrol anyway and the vat rise coming in January its not much cop.

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  • 192. At 10:45pm on 09 Oct 2010, Antispindoctor wrote:

    I believe Ex-Pat is right about a lot of the schools. The SNP are mearly following on from the previous administration. Most of the contracts would have been signed sealed and delivered by the time they came to power. PPP contracts are just typical of Labour committing to something that they don't have the cash to pay for. Besides i have commissioned loads of equipment in a lot of new schools recently. I have noticed a lot of poor build quality to. One school i went to had several letters missing from it's name above the entrance as they had fallen off. It was still to open.It's going to cost a fortune to honour the PPP contracts. The SNP have to come up with a better way of financing future builds.

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  • 193. At 11:11pm on 09 Oct 2010, U14643095 wrote:

    Number 190:

    Yes indeed, and timely too.

    On that very subject Dr Jim Swire has, with others, launched a petition demanding a full inquiry into the Lockerbie Trial verdict.

    Petition calls for Inquiry into Lockerbie Trial Verdict
    Google it

    Strange that the BBC in Scotland haven't deemed it important enough to report. Then again, Dr Swire is only the relative of a victim and not a US Politician on the make.

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  • 194. At 11:29pm on 09 Oct 2010, universality of cheese wrote:

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

  • 195. At 00:05am on 10 Oct 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Antispindoctor what sort of job entails "commissioned loads of equipment in a lot of new schools recently." Enlighten us it sounds fascinating and ambiguous.

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  • 196. At 00:33am on 10 Oct 2010, RandomScot wrote:

    Re Schools
    from Scotland.gov.uk - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Education/Facts

    "Q How many school buildings have been commissioned by the Scottish Government since May 2007?

    "Local authorities commission new schools, not central Government. What we are doing is providing financial support towards these projects. We have signed off funding for 10 local authority projects involving 56 schools since May 2007 and another hybrid school project is in the pipeline. Combined, these 11 projects have a capital value of around £1 billion, investment which is being supported by decisions of this Government. Local authorities themselves are also investing directly in the school estate - their capital expenditure on schools increased from £397m in 2006-07 to £453m in 2008-09, an increase of 14 per cent.

    "In total, the Scottish Government will support average investment of around £700m a year on schools during the lifetime of this Parliament, compared to £531m a year during the previous eight years. This is supporting building at an average rate of 1.58 schools per week compared to 0.79 schools prior to spring 2007."

    As it says, Local Authorities are supposed to build schools, just as they are supposed to do lots of things under the umbrella of a national policy.

    "Q What is happening with the school building programme

    "In addition to the ongoing school building work taking place across Scotland for the past four years, we have also announced support for a further 35 school projects (14 secondary; 20 primary & one special) from the new £1.25 billion school building programme, Scotland's Schools for the Future, which will lift a further 35,000 pupils out of poor condition schools. The sod-cutting ceremony for the first school to be started under this programme, Pumpherson & Uphall Station in West Lothian, was held on 30 September 2010."

    RE, in his usual mendacious fashion, is criticisng the Scottish Government for not meeting targets they never set for themselves,

    I think RE should be campagning for a strong SNP return to power in 2011, with an overall majority, because he can then have a go at criticising them when they do have the votes to get their budgets and policies of their own, rather than what they can do with the dog in the manger tactics of the opposition and lunacy like Wendy's Wee Edinburgh Tram

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  • 197. At 00:40am on 10 Oct 2010, RandomScot wrote:

    Also a refreshing attitude from the previous Education Secretary

    "One reason why Labour was voted out in 2007 is that people wanted to see an end to the one-party state and the semi-feudal, Labour fiefdom approach to government. They no longer wanted a party that claimed schools as Labour schools. They are not Labour schools; they are not Liberal Democrat or even SNP schools, either—they are Scotland's schools, which have been paid for by the taxpayers of Scotland."

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  • 198. At 00:54am on 10 Oct 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    183. Reluctant-Expat
    "You have to be a little naive to think that a major road scheme, cutting through a major city, can be be planned, approved, appealed, approved, compulsory purchases completed and the road finally constructed (which is what happened with this scheme) all within just three years."

    You are right and the same with building schools which is why your comments are so naive.

    The SNP has done a very good job of completing already planned projects--an extremely good job.

    The three years they have formed the minority government has not been long enough for them to have done what you demand time after time that they should have done. But we know that you are not, in fact, being naive but trying to denigrate the excellent job that they have done. Under their auspices more than 300 school projects have been completed. The fact that for most of these the planning was started before they took office is irrelevant. They finished the planning and saw that the work was done while dealing with the horrendous knee-jerk opposition from people like you.

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  • 199. At 01:23am on 10 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    Many of you will, no doubt, have seen this already, but as the election battle looms, the Beeb has a link to "Prof David Denver's boundary changes study in full" on this page.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-11229792

    A useful reference for psephological geeks!

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  • 200. At 01:53am on 10 Oct 2010, reincarnation wrote:

    199. reincarnation

    Though Will Patterson has criticisms of Denver's methodology

    http://pattersonnotebook.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/the-boundaries-are-a-changin-another-perspective/

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  • 201. At 09:58am on 10 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    192. Antispindoctor
    "The SNP are mearly following on from the previous administration."

    Of course they are! How could it be otherwise? What makes Reluctant-Expat's inane ranting so comical is that he imagines nobody else realises this and thinks he has uncovered some great conspiracy to deceive the public. Proof, if such were needed, that blind prejudice has a crippling effect on the intellect.

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  • 202. At 09:59am on 10 Oct 2010, peteraberdeenshire wrote:

    On the Labour and PFI debate I read this morning in Private Eye about the true cost of this idiotic way of financing. The South London healthcare trust is virtually bankrupt thanks to its £245 million PFI debts, a brabd new PFI hospital in Pontefract and Wakefield which is reported as costing in total £1.187bn is having problems along with another in Birmingham which cost £627m is diverting patients because it cannot cope.
    Add to that the fact that several PFI projects in this area mainly school buildings are already unabel to cope with an expansion of school roles then you can see the true cost of the Labour madness.

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  • 203. At 10:04am on 10 Oct 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    199. reincarnation
    "A useful reference for psephological geeks!

    "

    I know that oldnat would have loved that.

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  • 204. At 10:35am on 10 Oct 2010, Roll_On_2011 wrote:

    #203 Electric Hermit

    199. reincarnation
    "A useful reference for psephological geeks!

    "
    I know that oldnat would have loved that.



    Aye so do I. It was the first thing I thought of when I read it.

    It’s as though you could have imagined him writing that line or something very similar.

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