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Alex Salmond's gig

Brian Taylor | 15:19 UK time, Thursday, 14 April 2011

Even the most assured performers welcome a good warm-up.

Such was on hand today for Alex Salmond's gig at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

Eager young party aides rushed around dispening croissants, fruit and party policies in roughly equal numbers.

The large audience looked determinedly enthusiastic (the party activists) and grumpily sceptical (the wicked media.)

Booming out was the SNP sound track anthem "Let's Work Together".

One or two of the more energetic candidates appeared sufficiently moved as to be moving, more or less in time to the beat.

Then the mandatory warm-up videos - closing, mischievously, with a shortlist of those backing Alex Salmond for first minister.

Brian Cox. Midge Ure. John Farquhar Munro . . . Cue knowing, rascally laughter.

You could see the assembled activists thinking: it doesn't get any better than this.

'Good performance'

You could see the wicked media thinking: is there still time to nip out for a coffee?

Finally, on stage came the one who would be FM for a second shottie. Lest we missed the point, the word "Re-elect" was displayed behind him in a huge font.

For the manifesto launch itself, a good performance by Mr Salmond.

He's been party leader - twice - over a prolonged period. He's been the boss of devolved Scotland for four years.

But he still seemed energised, enthusiastic.

On the subject of renewable energy and the low-carbon economy, he was positively evangelical, positing the reindustralisation of Scotland.

The big announcement - (as forecast by me for those of you sensible enough to be listening to Good Morning Scotland on the wireless) - was an extension of the council tax freeze.

Not another two years - but five more, for the duration of the next (extended) Holyrood Parliament.

Trumping strategy

I inquired gently whether this policy had been changed late in the day in order to outpace those rival parties which had moved to match the previous two year deal.

Not so, I was assured. Like a good bridge player, the party had apparently anticipated their rivals' move - and had prepared a strategy to trump them.

And how to pay for this?

A pay freeze for those earning more than £21k in the public sector together with
enforced efficiency savings, starting at 3%.

Other offers? Protect health spending, keep 1,000 extra police, decline to use the Tartan Tax, enhance apprenticeships.

You see therein an inherent challenge for incumbents seeking re-election.

Do they trumpet what they have done - regretting the gaps and offering to build on existing foundations?

Or do they seek entirely new policy areas - leaving the voters wondering why they hadn't pursued such issues while in power?

'Competent government'

The SNP answer to this conundrum is to link the past four years with the next five in a continuum.

Much done, more to do.

"The best is yet to come", as the manifesto argues at one point.

Basically, their belief is that the public reckon they have done all right in office.

That they have been, as Mr Salmond said in his opening remarks, a "competent" government.

That they can be trusted with another go.

As the activists departed, presumably in search of more croissants, I asked Mr Salmond whether he would be returned as first minister.

With commendable brevity, he replied: "Yes."

Rivals, naturally, dissent. As ever, a larger audience than those assembled at the RSAMD will decide.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    I'm sure you must have found it a very enjoyable meeting So professional,uplifting,and with a positive outlook for our country It is a mark of the party that their objectives are set out so clearly and costed what a difference from those who came before Costings worked out on the back of a fag packet That's the difference that is made when the people in charge have the knowledge the ability and the desire to work and make life better for all the people of Scotland without reference to their London masters

  • Comment number 2.

    Sounds good to me! Five more years of Scotland-friendly policies from Alex and the team sounds so much better than anything the others have to offer.

  • Comment number 3.

    "FIVE YEAR COUNCIL TAX FREEZE"

    How those words stick in Brian's craw.

  • Comment number 4.

    Barnstorming performance by Alex Salmond. He is truly a First Minister already (I just thought I'd get it in before Colin).

  • Comment number 5.

    Sounds good , positive and optimistic to me .
    Let's have no damning witth faint praise.
    Now perhaps the BBBC Scotland website will mention the ruling party in Holyrood along with the " main" parties - they do seem to have overlooked the SNP, an error I'm sure .
    The wording looks quite iffy ,surely it isn't a brat on work experience again?

  • Comment number 6.

    As Scotland has learnt to its cost, an SNP manifesto isn't worth the paper it's written on. The last one promised to write off student debt, provide a £2000 grant to all first time house buyers, maintain teacher numbers and match the previous Executive's school bulding programme amongst other things. Why should anyone believe the SNP this time?

  • Comment number 7.

    SNP SHOCK MANAFESTO PLEDGE – A New National Conversation and £1 million million of freebies for everyone (and we’ll hide Local Income Tax until some other time).

    I presume the small companies left out of pocket by the free canapés provided as part of the Gathering will now be reimbursed.

    And what a surprise the anti-cuts rent a mob was led by none other than an SNP activist and council candidate– you can’t get more stage managed than that – absolutely shocking behaviour from the SNP.

    SCOTTISH LABOUR – Half the waiting time to see a specialist for cancer treatment - now that's a policy worth waiting for.

  • Comment number 8.

    Can someone remind me, did labour say they were freezing Council Tax for 2 years or 5 years.

    Can't quite remember.

  • Comment number 9.

  • Comment number 10.

    Does anyone have ant Tipex ian grey could borrow?

  • Comment number 11.

    Bandages_For_Konjic - yes yes - you beat me to it - well done!
    However, AS isn't and won't be :)

    Nice to see the SNP working with the Tories and Murdoch though. Something you must be proud of.

  • Comment number 12.

    #7
    When Labour were last in charge of Scotland's NHS they promised to bring in a 62-day cancer treatment waiting time - but failed to do so in their entire time in office from 1999 to 2007. Nicola Sturgeon met the 62 day target within a year of taking office. Then she went further, by bringing more patients into the target category. She then set a 31 day target which the NHS met a year ahead of schedule. She is now working towards the two week figure......



  • Comment number 13.

    #7 Colin

    Cancer Waiting Times?

    Last time they were in office, Labour had a 62 day cancer waiting time target. They didn't meet it. The SNP did, and reduced it to a 31 day target - which they met a year early.

    Labour's current target isn't for treatment, just to speed up getting the results. Of course, that will mean the NHS labs are going to have to slow down all the other results, because you have no plans to increase their resources.

  • Comment number 14.

    Meanwhile,in a land far,far away, the Great Leader of our national Flip-Flop relay team extolls us all to the exorcise yard .A gentle jog to the nearest sandwitch bar will bring its own reward of long life away from the noisy clamour of the hectoring mob. Not so much "read my lips" as "watch my buttocks". The message is there!

  • Comment number 15.

    I see the Labourites are clutching at straws again. Give me another SNP government any time, considering how well they have done for the past four years.
    Council tax frozen for four years
    Phasing out of prescription charges, thus helping the poorer people in our society.
    Ending the Forth Road Bridge Charges. Again helping the working class/others who have to travel to Edinburgh for their jobs, from the Fife and beyond side.
    Abolition of the graduate endownment.
    Completion of 300 schools.
    Introduction of the Small Business Bonus.
    1000 more police on the streets.
    Crime at a 32 year low.
    A guarantee for free bus travel for the elderly and disabled.
    BTW the article in the Herald is doing Labour no favours.
    SNP for me.

  • Comment number 16.

    14#
    Always thought that was where he spoke through Thanks for confirming it

  • Comment number 17.

    http://news.stv.tv/scotland/243521-snp-launch-manifesto-with-50m-fund-for-young-scots/

    Q. Any reason why you waited so long Alex to launch the manifesto ?

    Alex: "You've seen the rest... Now's the best!" :)



    Here Here Alex :)

  • Comment number 18.

    Why would anyone want to stand for election to councils if they cannot enact policies to better their communities?

    If I, and the rest of the people within my local authority area, choose to elect councillors with a spend, spend, spend agenda, that should be a matter between the councillors and we their constituents. We would hold the councillors to account at the following election.

    I want my councillors to represent me, not to represent Holyrood and to act as a functionary thereof.

    ---

    High time councils were abolished, anyway.

  • Comment number 19.

    And in 2003 in their manifesto Labour promised the completion of GARL in "one term of the Scottish Parliament" and they got knocked out in 2007 having lifted not one brick on the project. (They had abandoned because it was a turkey for which no sensible economic case could be made - but I see it's back on their risible manifesto again).

    Ho Ho Ho

  • Comment number 20.


    "However, AS isn't and won't be"

    Erm, he IS. Scottish Ministers remain Ministers during the campaign - i.e. until the electorate decide otherwise. Says something for your state of denial that you don't even recognise this simple fact.

    "Nice to see the SNP working with the Tories"

    Didn't we have this during FMQs, not that long ago - when it was shown that LABOUR had voted with the Tories more often than the SNP, in the course of the last Parliament.

    As for Murdoch, a Labour lackey accusing another party of climbing into bed with Murdoch? Puh - lease! You're only jealous the Digger's not interested in you anymore.

  • Comment number 21.

    real term pay cuts for public servants to fund a tax freeze promised by others elsewhere, that's a lot of votes disappeared off the table - if I was a nat I would be cheesed-off at that own goal !!

  • Comment number 22.

    My comment on the previous blog was innocous, yet it is still "awaitingfurther consideration".

    I would appreciate a full and frank explanation.

  • Comment number 23.

    Will the sNP manifesto be well recieved? Well as straw polls go the one i witnessed last night was pretty random but it might show the mood of at least the north of the country.

    My local co op had run out of every type of bread, except the brand which has chosen to wrap its produce in a union flag for the English Royal wedding, no one was touching it with a barge poll, i saw people walking to other shops to buy bread, just to avoid having to touch anything with a union flag thereon. I believe only Glasgow wants to remain as a region of England!

  • Comment number 24.

    Labour appear to be doing very,very badly - anyone at the BBC have any ideas ?

  • Comment number 25.

    7. Colin "And what a surprise the anti-cuts rent a mob was led by none other than an SNP activist and council candidate..."

    You mean a grey-haired gaffer who used to be a member of the SNP and a few old grannies. Calling members of the public a "mob" is a bad idea--seems to be typical of Labour, but still a bad idea.

    Funny but Auntie Bella didn't find it necessary to dive quivering with fear into the nearest doorway and dash off in a taxi. Or are you also going to claim they were Tories?

    Sensible man that he is, Mr. Salmond said to come talk to him and sat down for a chat. Interesting comparison while your hero compared them to the killing fields of Rwanda. A handful (BARELY a handful) of placard waving oldsters.

    Brave man that Iain Gray.

  • Comment number 26.

    21. At 18:25pm 14th Apr 2011, salmondella wrote:

    if I was a nat I would be cheesed-off at that own goal !!

    Better than salmonella.

  • Comment number 27.

    21. At 18:25pm 14th Apr 2011, salmondella wrote:
    real term pay cuts for public servants to fund a tax freeze promised by others elsewhere
    --------------------------
    here we go the collaborators are out with their scare stories tonight,

    were too wee too poor and too stupid will be the next post!

  • Comment number 28.

    The promise of a further 5 year freeze of coucil tax is a joke. Anyone using council services will know that the increases in the cost to users of services far outweigh the benefit of council tax freezes. For example, I live in South Lanarkshire, which in the last year has levied a £180 charge for childrens' in school music lessons, more than doubled the cost to local junior football clubs for pitch hire and increased the monthly cost of sports club membership by 25%. What's the point of freezing the council tax when you are getting less and less for it every year?
    Yet more 'smoke and mirrors' from politicians.

  • Comment number 29.

    There is a notable trend on this site, that those with an anti SNP message all have a single boys name as their monogram, Colin, gavin, Michael. To my mind shows a lack of imagination.
    Talking of which the SNP manifesto seems not only a very well presented launch but full of positive policies. The one catching the headline is the Council Tax Freeze, clearly it is part of a medium term strategy to completely remove it. Even the Daily Record gave it a positive article

  • Comment number 30.

    Elmer and his claim that he will stand up to the Tories, we have already seen him run from a few protesters but far worse than that is his failure to even stand up to his own London masters! Balls, Darling, yes I know dear, and all the rest trying to make this a Scottish election into a referendum on the Westminster coalition. Why does Elmer not send them south with a flea in their ear, let them know that as the fictional leaderof the fictional Scottish Labour party that he is in charge?

  • Comment number 31.

    #21 - Salmondella:

    "Real term pay cuts for public servants to fund a tax freeze promised by others elsewhere."

    Uh-huh. Presumably you'd prefer some of those public servants to LOSE their jobs entirely. Nice. Take a look at what's happening South of the border sometime, 1000's of public sector job losses. That's what would be happening here if we didn't have a competent, responsible finance Minister able to balance the books, strike a credible deal with the unions and ensure no compulsory redundancies.

  • Comment number 32.

    #28 Michael, evening, the problem you have in South Lanarkshire is what party runs the council?
    what party cannot afford to get rid of all the wee placemen in all the wee non jobs that they have spent decades filling in all our local councils. needless levels of so called management positions filling needless numbers of councils. who decided to split all the original counties into east west north south ??
    splitting Lanarkshire into north and south for example doubled the number of "council headquarters " and doubled the number of real jobs and non jobs , doubled the chief executives and head of depts required sorry but that is the joke!
    Sid

  • Comment number 33.

    #28 Michael, South Lanarkshire Council is 'Labour run'... that should make you think.

    Note the Council is not funded directly from your Council Tax... your Tax goes direct to central Government, who in turn fund the councils. This is done by agreement and during the last 4 years, the councils got a real time increase in funding of an average of 3% per year.

    The SNP freezing the Council Tax over the last 3 years was certainly not smoke & mirrors, I have my bills filed away to prove it.

    Think of this, were services any better during Labours 60% increase in the tax during their time in power?... I certainly don't remember that as the case at all and I am a council employee (non-political employee by the way!)

  • Comment number 34.

    #29. At 19:11pm 14th Apr 2011, soosider wrote:
    "There is a notable trend on this site, that those with an anti SNP message all have a single boys name as their monogram, Colin, gavin, Michael. To my mind shows a lack of imagination."

    Yep, much like these cold-callers from the African or Indian sub-continent called 'John Smith' - and about as authentic

  • Comment number 35.

    #21, Don't conflate the Council Tax Freeze with Public sector funding, The Council Tax only funds a part of the Public Sector Services. There is more than one way to skin a cat (ie. Control the finances) and the SNP have demonstrated competence and ingenuity in developing policies that are working.

    The Risk (and worry) for Public Sector workers like me lies with a Labour majority in Holyrood over the next 5 years. We have been safe and doing well with the SNP, why should we risk a novice and unproven Labour Government?

  • Comment number 36.

    Maybe you would be interested to know why the protesters confronted Iain Gray and it says more about him and the Labour party than it does about them

    Grace Harrigan, whose son attends the Accord centre, said: “We were being ignored by our Labour councillors, then our Labour MP and MSP stopped returning our calls, so that is why we took it further up the chain to Iain Gray last week.

    “It speaks well of Alex Salmond that he was prepared to listen to us

    I would have thought someone so dedicated as he professes to be could have responded to them thereby avoiding a confortation They obviously felt they had no other option Care to respond?

  • Comment number 37.

    When will the Scottish people realise the English Conn of Labour, Cons and Libs
    calling themselves Scottish when they are nothing but UK

    Why does Alex Salmon not push the fact or does he feel he would be wasting his
    time because we do not have our own Electoral Commission

  • Comment number 38.

    Soosider wrote:
    There is a notable trend on this site, that those with an anti SNP message all have a single boys name as their monogram, Colin, gavin, Michael. To my mind shows a lack of imagination.
    ==============================================================

    Much more imaginative to promise the earth and deliver little, I suppose (please refer to SNP Manifesto for 2007).

  • Comment number 39.

    "7. At 16:51pm 14th Apr 2011, Colin wrote:

    SCOTTISH LABOUR – Half the waiting time to see a specialist for cancer treatment - now that's a policy worth waiting for. "

    Oh colin, are you sure your not an aide to Ian the Grey.

    SCOTTISH LABOUR – Half the waiting time PROMISED.

    SNP – Half the waiting time DELIVERED.

    Any more own goals this blog ?.

  • Comment number 40.

    SOUTH LANARKSHIRE COUNCIL DIRECTORS REMUNERATIONS:


    tiny.cc/dxbtd

  • Comment number 41.

    Just listend to Alex talk about energy. What an inspirational talker he is.
    This is how the leader of the Scottish Government should sound. Will he be able to deliver what he say's? You know what...I think he can.
    Alex, you have my vote!

    Oh, and "GO ON ANDY MURRAY!!"

  • Comment number 42.

    28. At 18:53pm 14th Apr 2011, Michael wrote:
    "The promise of a further 5 year freeze of coucil tax is a joke. Anyone using council services will know that the increases in the cost to users of services far outweigh the benefit of council tax freezes. What's the point of freezing the council tax when you are getting less and less for it every year?

    I live in South Ayrshire and whilst I disagree with some of the decisions made locally by the Conservative, SNP & Indpendent Alliance, as one of the many being ripped of by Council tax, I fully support the freeze and the eventual replacement 100%.

    For the 40 years I voted Labour I never objected to increases in National Taxation, but Council Tax is a disreputable method of taxation aimed at protecting the better off and Labour's failure to recognise this is a disgrace. They should hang their heads in shame and I suspect they may well lose this election as people like myself will be voting SNP.


  • Comment number 43.

    My name is also Colin, I just have a different view:

    Unemployment Falling. Crime at a 32 year low. Student Tuition Fee's Abolished. Prescription Charges Abolished. 1000 extra Police Officers on the streets. NHS spending protected. Bridge Tolls Abolished. Council Tax Frozen. Water Rates Frozen for next two years. Scottish Water will remain publicly owned. No New Nuclear Power Stations under SNP. The SNP deserve a second term!

  • Comment number 44.

    #38 no we just don't feel the need, like cybernats, to hide behind pseudonyms.

  • Comment number 45.

    17. At 17:31pm 14th Apr 2011, Alba4eva wrote:
    http://news.stv.tv/scotland/243521-snp-launch-manifesto-with-50m-fund-for-young-scots/

    "Q. Any reason why you waited so long Alex to launch the manifesto ?

    Alex: "You've seen the rest... Now's the best!" :)"


    A great performance by Alex Salmond - If I hadn't already decided to vote SNP that would have convinced me.

  • Comment number 46.

    brian, they must have put something in your croissant at the snp alex salmond gig.
    its the first time you have come over as slightly warm as you were describing the
    events at the gig, as if you had been whisked away and caught in an atmosphere
    that transends politics.

  • Comment number 47.

    I had the strange experience of seeing the Labour party political broadcast tonight.

    In it, Iain Gray said that the SNP had cut 4000 NHS jobs in Scotland. But the NHS tells us that numbers have increased while the SNP were in government, by between 4000 - 6000 (depending on which figures you use).

    Seems like Labour have made another 'mistake' with their sums.

    Perhaps the BBC will investigate?

  • Comment number 48.

    AMJHAJ :- Then again it is much more likely that perhaps they won't.

  • Comment number 49.

    44. At 20:41pm 14th Apr 2011, Colin wrote:

    #38 no we just don't feel the need, like cybernats, to hide behind pseudonyms.

    Like Mr. Mxyzptlk or Braveheart or..............

  • Comment number 50.

    As someone who has been watching the various blogs, debates and interviews over the last few weeks, i have to say that the only vote i will be casting is for the SNP. Their record in office is admirable under our current constraints and their ambition for this country is inspirational, in complete contrast to labour, who are in all honesty, feeble in comparison. I am looking forward to the next few weeks and to a result for Scotland come the day.

  • Comment number 51.

    Part of the Labour party Scottish branch's 8 page booklet for H&I.

    Rhoda: What about the coastguard in Shetland or Stornoway facing the axe?

    Iain: The Lib Dem and Tory plan is deeply flawed and may prove tragic. The only thing more dangerous than closing stations is the SNP plan to break up the coastguard completely.

    News to me anyone help.

  • Comment number 52.

    #35 your glorious leader said the freeze was being funded by what is real term public service pay cuts and your glorious number cruncher confirmed that the real term pay cuts are likely to continue beyond next year. Surely, as a public servant, you have taken a big enough hit for saving the Scottish banks without having to contribute to council tax freezes on their big Edinburgh mansions.

  • Comment number 53.

    No 23 Patchbruce sums up the SNP - Institutionally racist- Why after 10 years of devolution do they still need to blame the English for everything? The country if left to them (SNP) will be covered in Windmills, American Golf Courses and in darkness and the only thing to watch on the TV ( when the powers on) will be River City and some substandard STV documentry about anything as long as it's Scottish and cheap to make.

  • Comment number 54.

    #18 tears4souvenirs
    "If I, and the rest of the people within my local authority area, choose to elect councillors with a spend, spend, spend agenda, that should be a matter between the councillors and we their constituents. We would hold the councillors to account at the following election."

    As a localist, I agree entirely, but given the difficulty Westminster seem to have in "devolving" any meaningful or usable fiscal powers to Scotland, how long do you think it will be before they grant fiscal autonomy to ABC council, let alone XYZ Community council? The L-D's LIT policy would have been a huge step forward had it not been outwith the Scotland Act 1998.

    Until fairer ways of raising revenue can be agreed by each locality, can you please explain how it does not make sense to minimise the unfair and regressive council tax?

    In the meantime, may I presume that you will be campaigning hard for full fiscal autonomy for Scotland as a precursor to the possibility of giving councils autonomy over how they raise the funds to cover their expenditures?

  • Comment number 55.

    #28 Michael
    "The promise of a further 5 year freeze of coucil tax is a joke. Anyone using council services will know that the increases in the cost to users of services far outweigh the benefit of council tax freezes."

    Welcome to BBC blogging.

    You make not a bad point there, except of course for the young, the elderly and all those entitled to "concessions".

    But with the rest of the "big 4" parties promising a freeze for at least two years, who would you suggest voting for instead?

    In any event, which parties do you think will work for the fiscal autonomy which is clearly essential to carry out a proper reform of local taxation, given that Westminster show no sign of reforming the "interim" replacement for the poll tax some two decades on?

  • Comment number 56.

    53. At 21:42pm 14th Apr 2011, letzbucher

    Yes it is really a German Royal wedding thanks for correcting the historical misprint but no matter as it is still has nothing to do with Scotland.

  • Comment number 57.

    And the top item on BBC Scotland Reporting Cats up a Tree?

    Rangers.

  • Comment number 58.

    Re 53. letzbucher

    The SNP's record stands for itself. It has achieved more in 4 years than Labour could have dreamed of. You must have missed all the positives over the last few years - i would refer you to posts 15 and 43 for a few. There is no justification for this type of negative nonsense. Scotland will be leading the renewable energy sector - Its not all windmills, but you obviously have not been keeping up to date with the technology. Best do some research first

  • Comment number 59.

    I'm glad people on the blog feel they elected a government or council. The brand of democracy we have in the UK is an illusion.
    Politicians really don't care what the electorate think until the 4 weeks before a poll. Candidates don't get to stand unless they're attached to some party machine or other. Manifesto commitments (be they SNP, the current coalition in London or their Labour predecessors) don't mean much any more and in too many constituencies the result is determined well before the polling stations open because enough people believe that voting anything other than one party is a bretrayal to their class.
    Most people outside the political elite are too busy trying to earn a living to bother -and when they do give their view, they are accused of lacking imagination when they dare to use their own name; or being aligned to anther party (so their view is biased and doesn't count).
    All the politicians should be thankful that a ballot paper never has the option 'None of the Above'.

  • Comment number 60.

    #38 Michael
    "Much more imaginative to promise the earth and deliver little, I suppose (please refer to SNP Manifesto for 2007)."

    Clearly one could argue that no minority government can hope to deliver all of its manifesto commitments, but you're patently convinced that any shortfall in delivery was voluntary.

    Fortunately, there's a very simple solution available to you. Merely help ensure that the SNP get an absolute majority of Holyrood seats and then you will be fully entitled to moan about every manifesto commitment not met come 2016.

    As a matter of interest, do you have detailed statistics of the manifesto commitments met vs not met by the Labour and L-D parties in the 2003/7 parliament?

    Early publication of independently audited detailed comparisons would clearly be in the public interest ASAP.

  • Comment number 61.

    #18 - "If I, and the rest of the people within my local authority area, choose to elect councillors with a spend, spend, spend agenda, that should be a matter between the councillors and we their constituents. We would hold the councillors to account at the following election."

    Isn't that what effectively happens in Glasgow? Far from holding these councillors to account (and why would they?), Glasgow swallows up more and more of Scotland's block grant. People outside Glasgow are effectively contributing to GCC's largese.

  • Comment number 62.

    #53 - "the only thing to watch on the TV ( when the powers on) will be River City and some substandard STV documentry about anything as long as it's Scottish and cheap to make. "

    You complain about constitutional racism (and everybody who is dreading the royal wedding must be racist, eh?) and then make a cheap jibe that Scotland is too poor, too wee, too parochial, too stupid, the exact same arguments that unionists used to quash things like the Scottish 6 o'clock news. But I suppose unionists don't do irony (or hypocrisy)

  • Comment number 63.

    #53 "letzbutcher" sounds , like a bover, boy.

    sorry cant rise to the bait "still" in ecstasy at bryans, blog!

  • Comment number 64.

    why is it, given that this is a Scottish election, to a Scottish parliament, that Scottish
    labour, Scottish conservatives, and Scottish lib-dems , seems to find it necessary to
    have M.P.'s from "Wasteminster" to bolster their campaign,are these ministers invited up, or do they just parachute themselves up into the campaign?,
    surely the Scottish candidates should stand or fall on their own policies.
    I personally feel that these M.P.s from all party's at "Wasteminster" should not be allowed to interfere in what is a solely Scottish airfare.
    Scottish labour, conservatives,and lib-dems, will not be taken really seriously until
    they uncouple themselves from "you know where, and from whom".

  • Comment number 65.

    #53. letzbucher wrote:

    "Patchbruce sums up the SNP - Institutionally racist- Why after 10 years of devolution do they still need to blame the English for everything? The country if left to them (SNP) will be covered in Windmills, American Golf Courses and in darkness and the only thing to watch on the TV ( when the powers on) will be River City and some substandard STV documentry about anything as long as it's Scottish and cheap to make."

    Speaking of racist, saying Scots are "institutionally" incapable of running the simplest of national services is exactly that: Racist.

    Now I have an important question for you, letzbucher. Are you a Scot?

    If you are, I suggest you get some treatment for that serious case of self-hatred and "Scottish cringe" you have going on. If you aren't, I suggest treatment for hatred of another peoples.

    Either are very harmful and yours is both obvious and rampant.

  • Comment number 66.

    62 The country (Scotland) has got a smaller population than the county of Yorkshire!...You might want to live in a country like Iceland or Norway but I don't and I've been to both!. And as for the Scottish 6 - BBC Scotland struggle to fill 15 minutes of Newsnight Scotland with a worthwhile story - If the "Unionists" did quash it, they did us all a favour

  • Comment number 67.

    #66 - Thankfully most of us have a damn sight more optimism and self confidence that you do (I bet you're the life and soul of parties).

  • Comment number 68.

    #67 - I am....just not Scottish National ones!......anyway I bet deep down, you think River City is cringe TV too!

  • Comment number 69.

    Have to say that (Question Time) was one of Alex Salmond's finest performances. Peter Hain's face, when Alex challenged him on prescription charges, was an absolute delight.

  • Comment number 70.

    #68 - "anyway I bet deep down, you think River City is cringe TV too!"

    Is any soap that features regional accents not cringeworthy for people of that region, or do you think Corrie and East Enders are the height of sophistication with their local accents (as long as they're not Scottish ones)?

  • Comment number 71.

    #53

    The question you have to ask yourself is why are you living in Scotland, if you have such a loathing and low opinion of the place?

    And if your not Scottish, why are you wasting your time on the comments section of a BBC Scotland blog, displaying a very base form of xenophobia?

    Either way, the only thing your really achieving is embarrassing yourself.

    I mean, why bother? You just sound a bit dim, to be honest.

  • Comment number 72.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 73.

    #7 Colin wrote
    "SCOTTISH LABOUR – Half the waiting time to see a specialist for cancer treatment - now that's a policy worth waiting for."
    Didn't you mean VOTING for?
    What was the Labour/LibDem's waiting time?
    What's the present Government's waiting time?

    #29 Anti SNP have only one name? And your's is "soosider"? So you're anti SNP then, you said it!

  • Comment number 74.

    #71 Just because you're not a Nat (this blog is 99% Nats - unlike the country) doesn't make you loath Scotland or being Scottish. I see no difference between a Scottish Nationalist and and English one. I've no time for either
    You can be both Scottish and British - you can't deny the culture you were brought up in. We didn't all grow up in some Scottish bubble only reading the Broons and eating haggis. My culture is as much British as it is Scottish.
    I use TV simply to illustrate that not everything Scottish is of the highest quality. Our TV like our Football, like the debate in our Parliment is 2nd Division. And before you call me dim. Learn how to spell "You're"

  • Comment number 75.

    #73AlastairGordon
    wrote "#29 Anti SNP have only one name? And your's is "soosider"? So you're anti SNP then, you said it!"
    Really it took you all that time for a comeback and even then you misquote, what I wrote was "those with an anti SNP message all have a single boys name as their monogram"
    Not only do they not have much imagination, but I suspect it is way past your bedtime, with such a juvenile retort.
    ps just because you join two boys names together is not really much of a disguise, not too bright either it would seem

  • Comment number 76.

    #71
    as you say brian today, has not only given us a purely scottish blog but one

    dedicated, to a scotish nationalist party manifesto launch,

    the main thing that seperates SNP along with their beter thought out fiscal policy
    is the choice of a reforendum on independance.in the next parliament that we can

    accept or reject the choice is ours. so with our southern partners in chaos the banks,
    the sleaze anarchy riots. goverments we never vote for .possesion back of our own

    resources no westminster beging bowl, {the diminishing block grant} no house of lords or paying for duck houses for the ritch. no trident a green renewable energy

    investments from all over the world yes stop trailing our knuckels scotland has the
    option of a brighter future!

  • Comment number 77.

    Ref #74 (letzbuthcher)


    There is a BIG difference between a Scottish Nationalist (SNP) and an English Nationalist (BNP)

    Indeed in the whole of Europe the only 'Nationalist' party that is left-of-centre is the SNP.
    I am not a member of the SNP (as I've said before, often) but that comment of yours was (at least) inappropriate and possibly actually xenophobic.

    Would you like to withdraw (or at least alter) your comment

  • Comment number 78.

    100% renewable by 2020.

    Nonsense. Let us remind ourselves that on the coldest day of 2010, our wind turbines were consuming power, not generating it.

  • Comment number 79.

    My name is Alastair Gordon.

    Thatr's not two boys names, its one mans name!

    You don't seem to be able to divulge your name, are you ashamed of your name, or just too ashamed to attach your name to your opinions?

  • Comment number 80.

    #74 First off, you have no idea whether I'm an SNP supporter or not. I was merely commenting on your moronic scrawling at #53.

    Secondly, going by your comments at #53, you DO have serious issues with Scotland, which could be construed as having an element of loathing in them.

    My guess is you aren't Scottish, and are just posting xenophobic rubbish on the internet for a reaction. I dunno, maybe it's because your life is largely unfulfilled?

    But If you are Scottish, and you believe the stuff you posted at #53, then you really have got issues. Whether you're anti-SNP or not.

    And since your not dim, and so hung up on grammar/spelling, your last sentence from #74 makes no sense. Mainly because it's actually two sentences.

    This is what you wrote -

    And before you call me dim. Learn how to spell "You're"

    This should be one sentence, with a comma after 'dim' and no capital letters on 'Learn' & 'You're'.

    Also, your use of double quotation marks around 'you're' is questionable in British English, but I'll let that one slide. You also forgot the full stop at the end of the sentence.

    Here's what you should've written -

    And before you call me dim, learn how to spell 'you're'.

    You might not be the sharpest tool in the box, but you do a good side in irony.


  • Comment number 81.


    Brian I noted that the SNP released their manifesto with a warning:


    Beware of counterfeit copies!!!

  • Comment number 82.

    #74. letzbucher wrote:

    #71 Just because you're not a Nat (this blog is 99% Nats - unlike the country) doesn't make you loath Scotland or being Scottish. I see no difference between a Scottish Nationalist and and English one. I've no time for either
    You can be both Scottish and British - you can't deny the culture you were brought up in. We didn't all grow up in some Scottish bubble only reading the Broons and eating haggis. My culture is as much British as it is Scottish.
    I use TV simply to illustrate that not everything Scottish is of the highest quality. Our TV like our Football, like the debate in our Parliment is 2nd Division. And before you call me dim. Learn how to spell "You're"
    -------------------

    Then the problem is with your vision and not with the SNP. The two parties have no policies in common, and the SNP has the party of government in Scotland for four years, while the BNP has never been the party of government for anything. That is known as scaremongering and is the lowest of political tricks.

    As for your attempt to defend your sneers and smears, comments such as "Our TV like our Football, like the debate in our Parliment is 2nd Division" and sneers that being Scottish is nothing more than eating haggis attack everything Scottish.

    This is either self-hatred or xenophobia. Which is it?

    That is the problem with most unionists. The only way they know to defend their "Britishness" is to attack Scotland. This makes them sad people indeed.

  • Comment number 83.

    Brian, we have now had all the main parties manifestos. Having read the NuLabour Party in Scotland’s I am somewhat dismayed, but not surprised, by their lack of policy costing.

    I say I am not surprised about the lack of costing because I believe Jimmy Brown left his treasury calculator to Andy Kerr when he quit.

  • Comment number 84.

    #66. letzbucher wrote: "The country (Scotland) has got a smaller population than the county of Yorkshire!...You might want to live in a country like Iceland or Norway but I don't and I've been to both!"

    Norway:

    Population:
    2011 estimate 4,951,800
    GDP(PPP) 2010 estimate - Total $259.054 billion
    Per capita $52,964.280

    United Kingdom
    Population -
    2010 estimate 62,041,708
    GDP (PPP) 2009 estimate - Total $2.139 trillion
    Per capita $35,082

    Oh, those poor Norwegians! Why their Per Capital GDP is only $17,882 more than the British. They must be suffering dreadfully!

    Do stop it. This is too much fun!

  • Comment number 85.

    Now that all the manifestos are published will the BBBC give us another ICM poll?
    (with much fanfare and tarraraboomdeya)

  • Comment number 86.

    #74 - "You can be both Scottish and British - you can't deny the culture you were brought up in. We didn't all grow up in some Scottish bubble only reading the Broons and eating haggis. My culture is as much British as it is Scottish."

    I take it, then, you believe we're little more than the 51st state and should be ruled from the Whitehouse by the good ol' USA?

  • Comment number 87.

    They all move this money around akin to the Monopoly Game........only problem is the game of spin they are playing is more akin to the one currently being carried out in burger chain McDonalds.....more losers than winners! Certainly those truly in charge will let them have their little games....Just when they think the've won, some nasty little scandle will rock collective boats....the UK state apparatus never sleeps!

  • Comment number 88.

    #74 - "You can be both Scottish and British - you can't deny the culture you were brought up in.

    Well you can feel disassociated from it, when Royal Weddings dont excite, when
    being refered to as 'the provinces' seems insulting not an affirmation of our shared
    London culture, when school books refer to the country as England and not
    the UK, the assumption you did A levels, when BBC history presenters interchange
    England and Britain, and historically incorrectly.....oh yes you can feel British, but as a guest, a stranger in what is supposed to be your 'own culture'.

    And not an honoured guest but someone just above 'johnny foreigner' in the list
    of 'British' class coloured negative sterotypes.

    I like a great deal that has come out of the UK but not the political and
    social culture that emanates from London.

    I am happy just to be Scottish.

  • Comment number 89.

    Re: #84 JRMacClure's comments about #66. letzbucher

    If Norway's GDP Per capita is $52,964.280, mainly due to its Oil Industry, just thing how much Scotland's GDP per capita would be if we got rig of the thieving English. Maggie (The Snatcher) Thatcher refused to publish "That Letter" which Alex Salmond managed to publish a few years ago which showed that Scotland could have been one of the wealthiest countries in THE WORLD had be had control over our own resources.
    We can still do it and have a chance to stop Westminster's thieving of Scotland's resources on 5th May 2011.

  • Comment number 90.

    i am dismayed at the interest of the post,s to reply letzbucher.knowing their posts would not have past the mod.s for saying much less, is it .english bias.

    where,as my post #76 on a scottish refurendum invokes no response wories me to the extent we have been englified !

  • Comment number 91.

    Should Scottish Labour supporters (that is, Labour supporters who are Scottish) laugh or cry to read that the Man I[ai]n Gray needsDeadhead Ed to come to the aid of the party?

  • Comment number 92.

    Can anyone explain to me where these 300 schools are that the SNP claim to have built, considering they havnt given financial close to a single building project in Scotland since 2007?

    All schools completed since then were either authorised by the previous adminsitration, or funded entirely by local authorities.

  • Comment number 93.

    #82
    "That is the problem with most unionists. The only way they know to defend their "Britishness" is to attack Scotland. This makes them sad people indeed."

    Whereas it seems most nationalists defend their party by attacking the people who vote for other parties....who happen to be Scottish.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    They'll need to get the cooncil tax sorted eventually.

    People on pensions of 6000 a year and low income people on 8000p.a. handing over their money to people on 10,000 20,000 and 30,000 a year has got to be one of the dumbest systems ever.

    I just had a look at a Stirling council "help with your cooncil tax" leaflet and was seriously confused, but I'm only a qualified Merchant Navy Navigator and passed all the ACCA exams so I'm probably not intelligent enough for these things.

  • Comment number 96.

    If that's the real Ian Gray yer boss is up here today spreading the word, so be good.

    The best thing you labour guys can get out of this election, and the next 4+ years is to learn from this SNP administration that actually doing stuff to help people will always win out against those who only say that your going to help people.

    And that half a billion quid wasted on the Edinburgh tram farce was nothing short of criminal as far as I am concerned.
    To say that you folk do not deserve to be custodians for my society would be putting it politely.

    And stay away from our water. It's owned by the public, that's me, and I don't want it sold. Scotland/England, same language, different culture.
    I'd vote against independence at the moment, but it's a floating vote(boom boom).

  • Comment number 97.

    Re #95,
    Yes we need to get the Cooncil Tax sorted oot, also the old Age Pension. The Government pays a OAP couple £6,000 per annum whereas an Asylum Seeking couple recieve £29,900 per annum - THIS IS ACTUAL GOVERNMENT FIGURES!!!!!!

    £29,900 (Note no tax payable on this) is equivalent to about £45,000 per annum if tax was paid. £45,000 per annum is equal to TWICE the average wage in the UK.

    The OAPs have paid tax and NHS all their working lives the Asylum seekers have paid NOTHING!!!!! No wonder we attract all the no-good layabouts into our country. Kick them ALL out!!!! If they don't work, we don't want them.

    Our wonderful Conservative and Labour administrations over the years have allowed this - NO-ONE ELSE and still their MPs steal from the Tax Payers - we should kick them all out too.

  • Comment number 98.

    As SNP and Labour slog it out to win LibDems seats (and maybe even some Tory ones?) I've a sneaking feeling that the Apathy party might come through and win again. Turnout stats of 58%, 50% and 52% respectively for 1999, 2003 and 2007 are a shocker and dont help to provide any mandate to whatever minority or coalition government emerges.

    As always however the parties are busy negative campaigning against each other, no doubt turning off more voters by the day. Read the crappy leaflets that come through the doors, embarrasingly childish in content, pandering to the lowest common denominator of politics - "dont vote for them cos they're really bad by the way".

    I'll vote on 5th May and I'll be trying to persuade as many of the people I know to do the same (even if I dont always agree with their views), but I'll look at the turnout stats between my fingers on 6th May, no doubt feeling embarrased again.

    Still hope the LibDems get a total shoein....

  • Comment number 99.

    #96
    The only party which say they will sell Scottish Water is the tories.

  • Comment number 100.


    We are all Doomed - BBC headlines "Grey leads the National field".

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/horse_racing/13093317.stm

 

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