Comments for en-gb 30 Sun 28 Dec 2014 01:13:06 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at The-Pottter My personal opinion on this is that the almost petty war between the English and the Scottish needs to be put to bed (it won't be). The point is Scotland need a more efficient system in place - ultimately, they shouldn't need to rely upon England to continually bail them out. The SNP wouldn't be a bad thing ...Newcastle Upon Tyne Jobs Mon 31 Aug 2009 09:32:58 GMT+1 Shaun Harvey Sorry I forgot to offer up the locations of the North sea oil fields in comparison to the above map showing scottish waters. Thu 06 Nov 2008 09:17:51 GMT+1 Shaun Harvey 141The South East has repeatedly been proven to offer more to the UK than any other 'region' of the UK outside of London. That being said there is no overwhelming economic argument against Scottish independence. The amount Scotland would gain/lose is minimal when compared to the amount generated by the Scottish economy. An independent Scotland would also be better able to balance the budget in a way that takes into account the fact it is largely rural compared with England which is largely urbanised. It should not be forgotton that this thread is occuring largely between English and Scottish nationalists and as such is biased beyond recognition from the actual state of affairs. The argument over the treaty of copenhagen is a useful case in point as that treaty was largely regarded as inadequate at the time and resulted in hostilities that brought down Swedish hegemony within the region, hence the treaty of Nystad (1721). All that is utterly irrelevant however, as 'Scottish Waters' are laid out in 'The Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999'As shown here: Wed 05 Nov 2008 17:41:20 GMT+1 salamsm These are black role models and not mixed race. In America they use African American to avoid using racial division. Wed 05 Nov 2008 16:52:54 GMT+1 nizzy92 visit the above website and it will probably shock you because it shows how it is us Scots that are subsidizing England mainly the south east. Scotland gives £41,345,600 11.6% to the UK and receives £12,200,000 3.4% and you don't think we deserve our benefits? We deserve more!! Look how much we give, we give more than we receive so please don't complain about Scotland. I am turning 18 just in time for the referendum and i will be voting independence so my children can hopefully receive the benefits that they deserve and this country deserves! So you know I'm not an Anglophobe I'm just sick of English saying we are sponging off them. No wonder they kept the treasury a secret! Tue 21 Oct 2008 11:30:56 GMT+1 visualmapper As an ex patriot Scot living in Canada, I am amazed at the futile arguments that persist regarding the Scottish identity, potential independence and economical prudence.The Scot's to this day, regardless of their geographical location in the world, are likened to our Irish brethren. We have been Anglicized, dispersed by force and choice, and we still cling proudly to our ancient heritage.Thank God we have an ancient heritage that's way older than England. Now not to be insulting to our friends in England; I certainly feel their pain of being forced into multiculturalism. I have many dear relatives in England and they are indeed at a quandary regarding their Englishness.The United Kingdom deserves to be preserved yet, it does seem to be dissolving. One post alludes to English independence, WOW; it does seemed to have come to this reality.Take note of the Norwegian historical quest for independence; they did it and there's no reason why Scotland can't follow the same proud model.As a nation, the Scots have a diversity that allows for independence with close ties to England too. Tue 21 Oct 2008 05:01:24 GMT+1 veritablemonster It still beggars belief that people posting here believe that the revenues raised from companies in the UK and paid to HMRC are all english and that the only tax paid in Scotland is that of the workers.Many many companies who have Scottish operations pay their tax through the offices of HMRC outside Scotland. This is not included in the tax revenue figures attributed for Scotland and yet the tax is earned there.Still, let's look at it this way. 300 years of denigrating the Scots is eventually going to lead to independence whether you like it or not. Then the English will likely have to rely on the bulk of their frontline troops from Wales and NI instead. And much of Britains wealth is built on the adventures, exploits and hard work of Scots explorers, inventors and businessmen. Mon 20 Oct 2008 18:10:19 GMT+1 delminister one of my posts has been removed becouse it may well of offended some readers and for that i am very sorry.the bbc were well within there rights to censer my comments and remove any damaging this country has no freedom of speach act and therefore honest views and replies to others who seem to be able to give there opinions can be removed it tells me i should no longer bother to comment. Mon 20 Oct 2008 15:10:03 GMT+1 OrthosDoxa Sodball, #134 and others ... you need to realise that Scots dependence on payouts from the English taxpayer is a myth. See my post #105. The GERS deficit can be offset by allowing Scotland a proportionate share of the UK deficit, credit for revenues raised on whisky, and credit for not getting a proportionate share of 'unidentifiable expenditure' (most of which is spent in the SE). On top of that, Scotland does not get capital infrastructure projects like Crossrail, the Olympics and channel tunnel related work. So ... without touching 1 litre of oil, Scotland is at least breaking even. With oil, at say $100/barrel, Scotland has a surplus of £10-15bn/year ... or £2000-£3000 per head of population. That's the opportunity cost of Scotland remaining within the union.In spite of that ... and in spite of some of the bile that has been spouted on this thread (from both sides), I still don't support Scottish independence ... as long as people realise that far from scrounging from the rest of the UK table, Scotland is doing its bit in providing for it. England is Scotland's biggest market ... we've got 300 years of shared heritage ... and as I said earlier, the oil wont last forever. Wind and water might though ... ;-) Mon 20 Oct 2008 11:47:43 GMT+1 Tom #134.Soddball."I appreciate that you may not like facts, but facts they are."I see no evidence to support your opinion. Therefore your comment is pointless. Could you show your evidence that "Every other year since 1976, the English taxpayer has been bailing Scotland out."Besides Scotland has no choice. The vast majority of Scots believe we should have more powers (indicated by all polls). To vary certain taxes, raise and spend our own taxes also etc. It is Labour and the English Tory Party who are preventing Scotland from going further. How does that feel? The most dominant English Party suddenly supporting Scotland as we are at your expence (according to your opinion)? A five year old could clearly point out what Labour and the Tories see, Scotland is worth having but your simple mind can not possibly search for facts when you are anti-Scottish. Sun 19 Oct 2008 20:11:18 GMT+1 John Ellis The difference between the Tories and the SNP?The Tories actually have the cash to spend. ;-)no they dont they have the tax payers cash to spend.. on each other *( Sun 19 Oct 2008 19:56:24 GMT+1 Soddball "GAberdeen wrote:You shower of Racists!In total, this would account for appromimately ?26,280,000,000 in oil revenue taxation alone for a standard production year - the bulk of which comes from the North Sea.I'm pretty sure England doesn't pay back that ludicrious sum back to the Scottish people for depletion of thier natural resources, neither is this figure worthy of being calculated openly and honestly by the UK treasury"Based upon an oil price calculation of $150 a barrel, you might be right. The current price is 95$ a barrel. The only time that 'Scottish' oil paid for Scottish social services was in 2007, due to high oil prices. Every other year since 1976, the English taxpayer has been bailing Scotland out. I appreciate that you may not like facts, but facts they are.Are you really willing to be dependent on the capricious whims of OPEC and the oil market for your country's success? If you are, then good - fund your socialist paradise and get your ghastly MPs out of Westminster. Spare us all the misery of another cabinet stuffed with Scots.Well done on the name calling, though. Oh, and Scots aren't a 'race'. Sun 19 Oct 2008 17:50:53 GMT+1 SuperJulianR WhiteEnglishProud @44For the English at least, the UK's democratic system has been deeply flawed since devolution.I am English, and would love to have the opportunity to vote on either independence for Scotland (which I favour) or at least, the establishment of an English Parliament to deal with English matters, along with a proper federal system for the UK as a whole.We have been denied it and, shamefully, no major political party has offered it. Anglophone @91Supporting independence is not bigoted in any way. Many English supporters of Scottish independence - myself included -have the highest regard for Scotland and the Scottish, but we are two separate countries who have a right to self-determination.Put it this way, we may have the highest regard for the Netherlands and the Dutch people, but no-one is suggesting that they should form part of the UK.The unpleasant comments directed one way and the other will only increase, because we are increasingly like a couple who ought to divorce but neither party is quite brave enough to make the first move - at least not yet.Independence within the EU is the only sensible long term solution. Sun 19 Oct 2008 16:14:26 GMT+1 D Dortman "Scotland would never vote in the Tories for a start. 14 Oct 2008, washingtonwhips"The difference between the Tories and the SNP?The Tories actually have the cash to spend. ;-) Sun 19 Oct 2008 14:23:21 GMT+1 Gary Hay You shower of Racists!Earlier this year - the forties pipeline shut down - causing widespread panic and "fuel shortages" north of the border. The BBC asked the question - " how much money is the UK treasury losing" the answer from the treasury was £1 Million an hour.The forties pipeline provides 1/3rd of the UK throughput of Crude oil - the other approximate 2/3rds coming through the Sullom Voe Terminal in Shetland and Flotta in Orkney.In total, this would account for appromimately £26,280,000,000 in oil revenue taxation alone for a standard production year - the bulk of which comes from the North Sea.I'm pretty sure England doesn't pay back that ludicrious sum back to the Scottish people for depletion of thier natural resources, neither is this figure worthy of being calculated openly and honestly by the UK treasury.Mark - if your going to represent your ideas to the public, make sure your even handed in your approach - because to me, you've done little more than pander to the whims of racist, nescient morons who'd look for any excuse to decry the Scots as anything other than human.One could construe you of being a racist yourself. Sun 19 Oct 2008 13:08:58 GMT+1 John Ellis Oh how far we have come the indervidual. the indervidual country, were the creation of the indervidual identity is more important then the social identites that once was G.B. We cant even unite in crissis because we have indervidualised ourselves.Villages of the mind :) Sun 19 Oct 2008 11:27:12 GMT+1 veritablemonster Suazanazz, You're perfectly right. They're all Scottish, but do NOT want to lose the little fish in a big pond option of staying in the Union.Alex Salmond does want to gain self determination for Scots. Sun 19 Oct 2008 11:18:29 GMT+1 butterflyyoga I must admit to being a little surprised at the shock horror reation of many English posters about the idea of the SNP government in Edinburgh demanding funds from Westminster. Obviously the last 50 years of Labour in charge in Scotland has led many of you to believe that the Scots should simply provide money to the south east in the form of our natural resources etc but require nothing back in return. This can easily be seen in the awful condition of many urban areas of Scotland which have received little or no central government money for decades. Now as a few of you have alluded to there is a simple solution - INDEPENDENCE for bothe Scotland and England. YYYes as soon as Scotland is no longer the LAST colony of the defunked empire we can possibly start living like good neighbours again. This of course would take our countries back to before the time of Edward 1 who really messed up our cordial relationship for 7 centuries with his war mongering ways. I hope this will indeed be the way of things to come. Sun 19 Oct 2008 10:26:32 GMT+1 archoptimist #82If I thought all Scots think as you and Salmond do, I would say - give them a £billion or two and wish them luck in whatever 'arc of prosperity' the decide to apply for. Fortunately, they don't so the Scottish parliament and Westminster need to get together and agree on some more constructive ways to tackle specific problems faced by Scotland and other parts of the UK. Sun 19 Oct 2008 08:57:23 GMT+1 Susanzzz #115 - veritablemonster "If you want naked ambition look to the poodle who wanted to mark his place in history by entering into as many foriegn conflicts as he could - Blair."Blair - who also happens to be a Scot; just like Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Des Browne, John Reid, Douglas Alexander, ..... The main decision makers in the UK Government are all Scots, it is them who should hang their heads in shame. Sat 18 Oct 2008 22:57:28 GMT+1 Susanzzz Until recently, I didn't realise that England has its own English National Party. I'm proud to say, I am now a Sat 18 Oct 2008 22:46:18 GMT+1 bushmill_1608 There is a party in N Ireland who continually bleat on not about independence, independence, independence but Brits Out, Out. OutThe leader of that Party also holds a dual mandate and feeds from 2 money pots.He is rapidly losing the plot as well.As in N Ireland it looks like your Scottish devolved parliament is good at "spinning a good talk" spending other peoples money rashly and protecting the gold plated pensions of the Parliament members. In the meantime if this blog is anything to go by not much mention or consideration for those caught out by the credit crunch losing jobs houses and savings and worse possibly hope. The Banks have been saved temporarily but billions of support for a problem measured in trillions probably means more problems ahead. Banks and insurers will fall.That being the case it would be worth the politicians bearing in mind that ultimately the people's voice will rise up against the voice of cronyism self-interest and corruptionand the guilty ones will be held to account.So lets get real think of our fellow citizens from whichever part of this wonderful land they hail and remember if the people talk with one voice the politicians will heed their words or fall...!Now that that's of my chest I'll get back to another glass of the triple stilled nectar distilled in these parts since 1608. Cheers and God Bless. Sat 18 Oct 2008 21:52:21 GMT+1 Lady Karen Roper For all their constant talk about independence, independence, independence the reality is that the SNP and their supporters are really not interested in independence, independence, independence - what they want is to get out of the UK but at the very same time they're more than happy to stay in the EU.It's the English and the Union with England they don't like but union with Europe is very welcome. How independent is that? Sat 18 Oct 2008 20:19:24 GMT+1 iamaus I thought Scotland wanted devaloution, to part from England, now they want our help? Sat 18 Oct 2008 17:02:50 GMT+1 jon112uk 115. veritablemonster"This isn't about Salmonds ambition, but about the right to full determination of the citizens of Scotland in running their country"I'm sure those few people left in scotland would like their 'full determination' in running that country - good luck to them, I hope they can have it soon.There are people down here in England who would also like to be able to run our own country, free of domination by people elected only in scotland. My prime minister was elected by 26,000 people in a tiny constituency in scotland. How many people in England had a vote when your 'first minister' was elected?It's time for England to declare it's independence from scottish rule. Sat 18 Oct 2008 15:45:11 GMT+1 Afallach Let Scotland show it's independence now. Sat 18 Oct 2008 15:34:41 GMT+1 roybus #11885% of Westminster MPs, yes, but 0% of those in the Scottish Parliament. As there is no English Parliament, Assembly or whatever, I consider the system works unfairly against England.Let's not forget that MSPs decided to abolish tuition fees for Scottish students. The majority of English MPs voted to abolish tuition fees for English sutdents in Westminster and it was the votes of MPs representing Scottish constituencies which saw to it that tuition fees remained. The Scottish MPs did so safe in the knowledge that, no matter how unpopular their stance was, it had no effect on the people who might be voting for them at the next election. Sat 18 Oct 2008 12:40:53 GMT+1 Globaltraveller #117 truearmchairsupporterI must have missed the referendum that decided that!? You shouldn't equate abstention as support for the status quo. That isn't democracy.Besides a minority of Scots support the Union in normal circumstances, if you believe the long term trend of polls conducted over time. A large portion of people neither support the retention of the Union, or being rid of the Union#116 roybusThat would indeed be a plus, but you do realise that the overwhelming majority of MPs (85%) of the British Parliament are elected by the people of England?Those same representatives (unaccountable) to me, determine the budget that the government of my own country get to spend, and have huge influence over devolved and reserved policy that affects Scotland?Did you realise that before devolution those 85% of UK elected representative dictated what happened in the domestic affairs of Scotland? In other words they had a complete veto that Scottish elected representatives could not overcome. Fri 17 Oct 2008 21:17:50 GMT+1 SFA - Scotlands Flawed Approach Quote ~ The Daily Telegraph predicts the "Scots dream of independence may lie in ruins". ~ QuoteActually, a minority of Scots dream...Do your homework before writing a piece. Fri 17 Oct 2008 19:59:24 GMT+1 roybus I am not bothered whether we in England would be better or worse off financially if we gained independence. For me, the big benefit would be that only policitians elected in, and representing parts of, England could could decide the policies by which we in England are governed. Fri 17 Oct 2008 19:26:58 GMT+1 veritablemonster # 113. In all the diatribe I hear about Scottish Independance it is never mentioned that there only approx. 5 million people there.More I think in Lancashire.I think it is more about Alec Salmond's ambition than Wconomic viabilityHumbug!Regards RonWhere have you been for the last 300 years or portion of it?This isn't about Salmonds ambition, but about the right to full determination of the citizens of Scotland in running their country. It's just more and more ignorance from illinformed posters that demonstrates that their education system like so many other aspects of Westminster controlled life that are failing them.If you want naked ambition look to the poodle who wanted to mark his place in history by entering into as many foriegn conflicts as he could - Blair. Fri 17 Oct 2008 13:29:24 GMT+1 AngusChiel #49 wrote "One recent calculation estimates that just 163,000 Scottish taxpayers, from a population of 5m make any net contribution to the British exchequer."There are 2.4m people working in Scotland, around 600,000 in the public sector and 1.8m in the private sector. I find it very hard to believe that a mere 6% of these workers are making a net contribution give that the average salary in Scotland is probably around £20,000.The link takes me to an article by Tim Luckhurst which contains some obvious factual errors so perhaps this is another of them Fri 17 Oct 2008 10:36:01 GMT+1 bigronnie In all the diatribe I hear about Scottish Independance it is never mentioned that there only approx. 5 million people there.More I think in Lancashire.I think it is more about Alec Salmond's ambition than Wconomic viabilityHumbug!Regards Ron Fri 17 Oct 2008 10:01:56 GMT+1 NoToNWO Well, £1 billion pounds divided by 5 million people in Scotland is £200 pounds each. Considering the money made from Whiskey, Tourism and tax paid by the Scots it is a small amount. There are lies, damn lies and Statistics. Example: Say the Goverment gives £10 million to improve child care over 5 years for children under 5, and there is 1 million children it covers. That works out at £2 per child per year. Do not be fooled by big numbers. Just ask the right questions. Here is a good one, that leaves £36 billion in the package for England and Wales at say 55 million good people, this works out each will get £654.54. The people of England and Wales are over 3 times better off. And the call the Scots whingers !!!!!!! Thu 16 Oct 2008 20:44:39 GMT+1 relana Good point 110, but i'd argue that all the nations of the uk would become members of the EU, and may well become beneficaries rather than contributors too the EU fund. Thu 16 Oct 2008 20:40:17 GMT+1 whateverpol they´ve always wanted independence,now that they´re being exposed to real world,they want mammy to hold their about wanting it would be interesting to see how many would vote for independence,if they had to fund it entirely within their own resources! Thu 16 Oct 2008 20:16:57 GMT+1 Globaltraveller I would like to know why my post at #106 was removed, as it didn't break any rules. If it has to be removed I'd like its contents emailed back to me please. Thu 16 Oct 2008 19:52:59 GMT+1 relana Lets be honest, the union was and is about power. From its UN seat down, it gets us seen and heard around the world.Personnally i'm sick of it and would gladly trade it in for a quiet life as part of the EU. Lets stop projecting, and try some me time. Thu 16 Oct 2008 18:58:47 GMT+1 Globaltraveller #99 doccer, I appreciate your passion on this issue and I agree, in many ways, Scotland, England and Wales and Northern Ireland are "family". At its core, we share a language and many cultural customs. But that doesn't mean we need to share a political system to still have a lot in common.I'm very close to my father, mother, sister and so on. But I don't live with them, I don't pay my income to them and I don't let my family take my decisions for me. When I moved out, got a job and took control of my income and finances that didn't mean that because of that I "hate" them, am "jealous" of them or am "trying to stir up trouble". Similarly it doesn't mean I don't still admire them, or think of them any less as part of my family.I can still work together with my family to achieve things.85 CarrotsneedaQUANGO2I've been thinking about some of your "benefits" that Scotland gets, and it might be good to put them into context:...Free University feesThis will cost the Scottish Government £119m over 3 years: Personal care for the elderlyCost the Scottish Government £225m in the 2006/07 fiscal year. central heating installation for pensionersThere's a similar package of measures for pensioners in England. It is called the "Warm Front Scheme". school meals for some Scottish children between the ages of four and seven-with plans to extend to children of all ages.Cost approximately £40m per year readily available specialist drugs for many serious illnesses, such as cancer, sometimes freeYes sometimes free, and sometimes not available in Scotland either. Liposuction for teenagers is available free in England, but not in Scotland....Free prescription charges for all by 2011This will cost a grand total of £97m over three years dental check-ups and eye testsIt is difficult to get current data for this (as it is all aggregated into Scottish health spending) but in 2003 it was estimated at £37m Hospital car parking and bridge tolls.Free hospital car parking comes with no "subsidy" from the government. Health boards in Scotland will have to manage without the revenue.Abolishing bridge tolls will cost about £11.8m in lost revenue to the Scottish Government: lets put that in context with many of the big pork barrel projects not taking place in Scotland.London Crossrail: Cost estimate £16bn Olympics: Cost estimate at least £9.35bn Tunnel rail link: cost £5.2bn three pork barrel projects in SE England cost a great deal more than all the "benefits" Scotland gets under devolution, but you don't hear many Scots complaining about them do you? Scotland has a fixed budget. On money that has already been committed, we don't have many huge pork barrel infrastructure projects on the go in Scotland. Certainly not on the scale of some of the above. Generally our transport system isn't great. We don't have a dual carriageway connecting the Highlands to the central Belt. Many of our remotest communities have single track roads. Our rail system is 5 to 10 years behind its English counterpart. It is congested, overcrowded and not fit for purpose. Thu 16 Oct 2008 18:57:45 GMT+1 Globaltraveller This post has been Removed Thu 16 Oct 2008 18:12:24 GMT+1 OrthosDoxa Ok ... hard to resist wading in on this one.1. Post #2 oriteroppo ... on The Treaty of Copenhagen ... and linear extension of borders into the ocean. Even if this was legal ... and it's currently not, the only oil field that would be English is Montrose, which accounts for around 10% of all UK production.2. Post#85 Carrotsneedaquango2 ... The GERS deficit of £11bn ... does not take into account Scotland's share of the UK deficit which was (per capita) £4bn. Secondly, it does not account for revenue raised from whisky which was £2bn. Finally, Scotland gets less of a share of 'unidentifiable expenditure' spent IN Scotland. Of the £90bn spent, per capita ~£8bn should be spent in Scotland, but in actual fact, only around £3bn is spent North of the border ... leaving Scotland with a shortfall of £5bn in comparison with the rest of the UK. £4bn +£2bn+£5bn equals ... you guessed it, £11bn. Hey presto ... NO DEFICIT, other than the same relative deficit that the UK as a whole was running.3. Remember the fuss about Grangemouth shutting down for a couple of days? What was the cost? £25m/day? Thats almost £10bn a year ... for just ONE refinery ... and there are 6 in the UK ... Ok Grangemouth is big but still it's fair to say that at least £9bn/year of that is Scottish.Err ... so Mr Salmond's request for a rebate is £8bn light ... A YEAR. Or put another way ... £2k per head per year of Scotland's population.Now for the sting in the tail ... I STILL DON'T SUPPORT the concept of an independent Scotland. Most of Scotland's trade is with England, the oil wont last forever, we have 300 years of shared history, and few of us are purely English or Scottish anyway. So please, times are hard enough without squabbling. As a nation, we're at our best when things are at their worst ... and it's fairly clear that short of war, things don't get much worse than this.Finally, a variety of unrelated points:1. It's clear to anyone walking down Bishopsgate in London that RBS ceased to be Scottish quite some time ago.2. The West Lothian question ... most Scots support the calls for an English Parliament ... so no need to be anti Scottish Carrots [Post #85] ... 3. For the Londoners out there ... the South of England gets a 75% share of 'unidentifiable expenditure' spent in their regions, yet they only have 25% of the population. 4. What is the most subsidised part of mainland Britain at almost £9k/head? You guessed it. London. Thu 16 Oct 2008 17:03:17 GMT+1 AllyOops #96. CarrotsneedaQUANGO2Cant remember what I said at 89.Don't know why it was sensored.The Jist was; Express News paper way too right wing. The data appears to be a bit skewed. I would recommend you read #34 link. Also refer to #94.What Scotland does with Scotlands money is up to Scottish Government. Yes, we get all the benifits you mention, which appears to be the crux of most English comments and ire. I would be pretty peed of as well given the flip side of the coin.However, this is up to those that control the purse strings on how English money is dolled out. Anger should bve directed to your elected representative, not Scotland wrt to this issue.I think the benfits that Scotland gets should be applied UK wide.Also, UK is now a very weak world force. It's voice will get weaker as time passes and as emerging countries take their rightful place at the top tablet. The UK voice becomes significantly weaker without the Union, no doubt about that but the UK will just become part of the European voice. (No, I do not advocate European policy).As #91 says we have come full circle with all the arguments. We all have a right to our views. The next step to separation is tax raising powers for Scotland government (this does not necessarily mean SNP ran Scottish government). Revenue generated in Scotland will then stay in Scotland. From there it is just a hop and a skip to separation if the Scottish people desire this route.Signing off.Regards. Thu 16 Oct 2008 16:52:43 GMT+1 veritablemonster And by the way. If you want to know who are the most subsidised people in the UK a quick look over the water and the Cesspit on Thames will demonstrate that residents of England aren't even treated equally. Thu 16 Oct 2008 16:38:42 GMT+1 Trimm Trab Another miss-informed report - actually incompetant!And another thread with a lot of irrational miss-informed rubbish in it.The Uk will have broken up before the English and some Scots realise it was probably a mistake.Scotland is not subsidised by England.Some parts of the UK are subsidised by others but its a lot more varied.I happen to work in the region - Highland Region with the highests employment in Britain - 80% odd.London on the other hand has the lowest rates at 60% odd.The right wing press in England have an agenda but im not sure what it is.If the UK does break up Britains position of power on various seats will vanish and England will be out in the cold. Maybe the agenda is foriegn....... Thu 16 Oct 2008 16:37:19 GMT+1 veritablemonster Isn't it pure ignorance of the facts that generates a lot of the bile on here. One comment about the PM (first minister in Holyrood) never being an Englishman is utterly wrong. There is no bar on anyone from within the UK who has a right to stand for MSP in Scotland becoming First Minister, English people included. It's pure nonsense to say so and ignorant to think it.The Barnett Formula was implemented many many years ago, before oil came on the scene. Yes as a result the average amount for Scottish residents is higher, but a great deal of that money is spent ensuring the defence of the UK can be maintained by having serviceable roads to Faslane, Rosyth etc. That services to ensure the flow of oil through Aberdeen continues uninterrupted. Being a country with a reasonable large land area within the UK and a small and sparsely populated country to boot adds a little to the mix. It is worth noting though that the UK has benefitted massively from the income from Scotlands financial industry, including the theft by the Westminster government of TSB Bank. And of course lets not forget the huge amount of money contributed by Oil from Scottish territorial waters into Westminsters coffers.The picture is far from simple and most of the posters who bang on about 'paying' for Scotland should perhaps go and study their history in a lot more depth. Scotland has been coveted by England for nearly 1000 years, and yet we're the burden? The Darien fiasco was hastened by the English government who actively disrupted the expedition at every turn and refused assistance despite their being a monarch in common.Scotland is simply asking for £1billion. There has been a yearly budget with-hold for Scotland which was highlighted over two years ago by Alex Salmond and yet the Westminster govt has not coughed up the money it is supposed to.If you want Scotland to go, then have back your nuclear subs. Park them up in London and see how it is to live with the risk of Nuclear accidents. Thu 16 Oct 2008 16:36:52 GMT+1 delminister bring out the trumpets!!!!bring out the trunpets !!!trumpetstrumpetsbring out the trumpets !!! Thu 16 Oct 2008 16:27:47 GMT+1 doccer I get sick to death of the petty and pathetic little Scotlanders and Englanders pouring their bile on each other.You don't speak for the majority of either country.I come from an Irish family - but I'd die fighting for Scotland, England, Wales or N. Ireland.Why? Because as far as I'm concerned the people of those countries are my family.If the Scots need money to help their financial centres then fine take the cash - I wouldn't turn my brother away.I'd want to and do want to help them - because they are my family.If the English want to hold the Olympics in London - good, I'm proud the UK is [part of it.Ditto the Commonwealth Games in Scotland - fantastic and I hope they both are a great sucess.But please stop the childish whingeing and whining on: "My country is better than yours...naw naw na naw naw."I pay more than you do." etc etc.Its like listening to spoilt children... Thu 16 Oct 2008 16:20:34 GMT+1 Have your say Rejected TheRealHypnoToad wrote:#66 bansis"i read stories "'Yes, and I bet they have lots of pictures in them'ur as canny as alex salmond at twisting the truth, but u shouldn't judge other people by ur own standards. btw don't u look at picture books not read, surely a master of words and grammar like yourself would be aware of the difference? Thu 16 Oct 2008 14:32:33 GMT+1 Gordon I'm surprised that Mark Easton has made the same mistake as the majority of posters here when he says "English Taxpayers". Sorry but what you actually mean is taxpayers who live in England, i am Scottish and have lived in England for14 years. Just as wrong is to assume that only Scottish people live in Scotland, many English, and other nationals, have made the move north of the border.I get very annoyed with this and if people in England are fed up with free this and that in Scotland then try to change it rather than whinge, whinge, whinge. Don't you realise that these anti Scottish comments are also directed at your fellow countrymen? Thu 16 Oct 2008 13:36:56 GMT+1 CarrotsneedaQUANGO2 90. AlisterKentAgreed on one thing then, cant be bad.Me I dont care about the Union one way or the other, I live in London, it really doesnt register here one way or the other, neither does the subsidy.Perhaps you might reword 89 and try and get it through. Thu 16 Oct 2008 13:30:27 GMT+1 CarrotsneedaQUANGO2 91. Anglophone....Nobody has ever, to my mind, convincingly proved who subsidises whomOk so how are the benefits exclusive to Scotland funded?How come the same benefits are unaffordable in England?A union is fine but it must be based on equality. This one isnt. Thu 16 Oct 2008 13:26:37 GMT+1 Globaltraveller #85 CarrotsneedaQUANGO2Thanks for getting to the data that I posted above, but I'm not sure where you are getting some of your figures from.As I posited above:With respect to the pork barrel myth peddled above by #32, it is interesting to note that public spending in Scotland forms only 39% of Scotland's GDP when a geographical based share of North sea revenues are taken in to account (Box 3.2):'s total GDP in 2006/07 was ?127bn: public spending was ?49bn.The corresponding debt/GDP figure for the UK as a whole is in the region of 43%. That's all pretty clear from Box 3.2, - (Scotland £127bn GDP, £49bn public spending etc in the above link). Kinda knocks your Scandinavian levels of spending and American levels of taxation myth on its head, I'm afraid.As for public spending and taxation revenue bit, again, this is pretty clear. For current taxation revenue, it seems to me to be £49,915bn from Box 4.1 from this link: it is the bold figure at the bottom of the table - the bottom line if you like)For current Public spending check this link: 6.7 is quite clear here too. The specific line is Total current expenditure (including capital consumption and accounting adjustments) and in the latest fiscal year in for which data is available was £49,079bnHope that clears things upCheers Thu 16 Oct 2008 13:25:25 GMT+1 TheRealHypnoToad #66 bansis"i read stories "Yes, and I bet they have lots of pictures in them Thu 16 Oct 2008 13:22:09 GMT+1 all_english How typicalSalmond bangs the drum for independance but come some trouble he wants money from the despised englishThey could of course abolish the free university fees, the long term care the free prescriptions but I guess they take it for granted that the Englsh will pay This will reinforce the stereotype down here of Scotland as a sort of stroppy teenager, telling his parents how its unfair and how he hates them but still expecting Mum & Dad to pick up the bills Hes always on about wanting to be independant Well id like to do him a favour His cause im sure will be strengthened by a flat English refusal to cough up but unfortunately i cant see Darling or Brown saying no to their own country to whom their first loyalties lie But Salmond also knows that special treatment for Scotland will be resented in England who will not want to bail out the already pampered Scots at this time Thu 16 Oct 2008 12:48:16 GMT+1 Anglophone How interesting to see this circular debate escaping its normal home "Blether with Brian" where I normally line up with the few unionists against the multi-aliases SNP bloggers who try to create the feeling of a popular groundswell.Embarrasingly, but not surprisingly, this thread has revealed that there are just as many ill-informed bigots in England as there are in Scotland.Nobody has ever, to my mind, convincingly proved who subsidises whom. The SNP activists draw selectively on figures in years when oil prices are relatively high whilst the unionists tend to use longer term figures which are of debateable significance to the contemporary debate.I think that this misses the real point. The benefit of the Union lies in the political stability that it has produced over the past 300 years in which Britain has escaped relatively unscathed from the periodic political turmoil on the Continent and elsewhere. Without this political stability, the country would never have developed its economic base, there would have been no industrial revolution, we would have fallen prey to religious conflict (particularly in Scotland) and would not have transitioned from oligarchy to liberal democracy in such a relatively smooth manner.The very fact that these "ancient" banking institutions are in London and Edinburgh in the first place stems from political stability. The fact that generations of talented people have chosen to make their lives here stems from freedom and stability. The thing about dullness is that you miss it when it's gone!The nationalists (whether you want to create a drizzly version of Cuba North of the border or some uber-Thatcherite outpost to the South) on both sides of the debate had better think long and hard about tearing up the succesful political accomodation that we call the Union. On close examination, most of the supposed injustices on both sides of the argument are little more than baloney, stirred up by those who would profit from schism...either 3rd tier politicians trying to make a name or, worse still, those who would promote regionalism as a means of "managing" democracy (if I was an unelected technocrat I know what I would favour). In the meantime I propose that we all put this debate onto the backburner, knuckle down to saving our money, paying down debt and working our way out of the present crisis. There's no other way in the immediate term. Thu 16 Oct 2008 09:54:31 GMT+1 AllyOops Sorry forgot to add;#85.Believe it or not we do agree quite strongly on something. The bit about Labour afraid to lose Scotlands MP's. This is obviously an important issue for Gordo. Of course he is petrified of losing to the ground to the SNP. He will have to deal, no doubt. Taxing raising powers for Scotland perhaps? Our £1Bn notes please if you don't mind. I do not really expect Gordo to be fighting the next election but stranger things have happened. We could well be cosying up to the Conservatives (the new new labour). Do'nt mind what 'out of work' ex-labour mp's do. You can have them in England if you want.The last paragraph bangs on about Britishness. It all sound very anti-British to me. Are you sure you know what you really want? There are a load of mixed messages here. Are we in fact not on the same side....Scotland out of the UK and England out of the UK. Well, bless my cotton socks ....we are. I knew we would find common ground eventually. Thu 16 Oct 2008 09:49:47 GMT+1 AllyOops This post has been Removed Thu 16 Oct 2008 09:13:34 GMT+1 trevtr6 This post has been Removed Thu 16 Oct 2008 05:28:56 GMT+1 U13636615 #64 farawaflunkey.Perhaps it would be easier for you to continue blowing smoke up your 'friends' behinds if you relocated beside them and did us all a gratuity. If anyone is peddling lies it's you. By the way as a Scot i'd like to make my apologies to many countries around the world for the wrongs done in our name as part of the union but I wouldn't know where to start as the list is so long and increases rapidly!!! People like yourself make me laugh!!You are a funny chimp indeed!!Alba go brath. Wed 15 Oct 2008 20:51:52 GMT+1 CarrotsneedaQUANGO2 56. AlisterKentJust out of interest how would Scotland leaving the Union affect Englands position on the world stage.Youre 5 million people The night time population of London has more people in it.Plus youll be broke when the dosh stops flowing North and all the public sector jobs that get pulled south. Wed 15 Oct 2008 20:42:16 GMT+1 CarrotsneedaQUANGO2 82. AlisterKentYoure making the assumption that Im English on the fellow countryman bit. Wouldn’t do that, but the argument stands no matter.Didn’t really think I needed to fire in the facts, thought they were pretty obvious.The latest figures from the annual Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland (GERS) report illustrate the problem. Public spending in Scotland in 2004-05 was £47.7bn, while total revenues were estimated at £36.4bn, equivalent to 8.1% of all UK revenues. The deficit was thus more than £11bn, or 12% of Scottish GDP - three times the percentage deficit of the UK as a whole.Public spending is currently more than 50% of GDP and tax revenues about 40%, with the balance made up by other UK taxpayers. Ireland's public spending is only 35% of GDP (Britain's is 46%). Scotland currently enjoys Scandinavian levels of spending and American tax levels.Health CarePublic expenditureBenefits exclusive to Scotland include:..Free University fees ..Free Personal care for the elderly ..Free central heating installation for pensioners..Free school meals for some Scottish children between the ages of four and seven-with plans to extend to children of all ages. ..More readily available specialist drugs for many serious illnesses, such as cancer, sometimes free ..Free prescription charges for all by 2011..Free dental check-ups and eye tests..Free Hospital car parking and bridge tolls.Labour is desperate not to lose Scotland, because it would lose 37 of Scotland's 59 MPs. Bang would go its working majority at Westminster and the jobs, salaries and perks of the Scottish Raj that rules England. Last year Darling boasted that Scotland has the highest income per head of anywhere outside London and the South-East. He said that in 2010 Scots would have £30 billion a year to spend as they wished, thanks to Labour's generosity. He said that Scotland wins more than its share, given its population, of university research funding for example. If all this is true - and we know how ministers bend statistics - then the porkometer is off the scale.Now lets do democracy:Mr Brown, in his squalid and anti-democratic way, has since the first devolved parliament opened in 1999 firmly resisted any suggestion that the West Lothian question needs an answer. He sees no reason why Scottish MPs (and indeed Welsh ones) at Westminster should not be allowed to continue to vote on matters that affect only the English. Since the Welsh Assembly has recently received a new tranche of powers, expanding its areas of competence, this means that at Westminster Labour can technically deploy 60 or so MPs to vote on questions that do not affect their constituents one jot, but which can change the course of law in England. This is the last thing Mr Brown and the rest of the Raj want. Because of Scottish separatism they are already illegitimate in the eyes of many English, which is why they bang on with such dishonesty and vulgarity about "Britishness". If Scotland became independent, Labour's chances of ever again ruling the key country of the Union - England - would vanish. Mr Brown and his fellow nabobs would either have to take English citizenship, and find English seats, if they wished to have a political career in a big, serious country, or they would have to settle for running Scotland. Oddly enough, they have hitherto shown a remarkable lack of keenness to do thatWowSo tiresome little colony thats proving rather expensive to keep still stands. Wed 15 Oct 2008 20:33:24 GMT+1 U13636615 #82Well said Alister. Having read all of the comments on this post it is encouraging to see that someone has a genuine grasp on the truth. Probably the best comments yet.And you are right, some o these jesters aremanic!!Alba go brath. Wed 15 Oct 2008 20:27:12 GMT+1 U13636615 #65 AKA Darwin & the monkies!!Seems to me mr chimp that you weren't the only primate to escape when your cage door was sprung by a sympathetic bystander, as some of the comments being bandied around are similar to your foray into stupidity (no pun intended). Fact of the matter is that your doric spelling is terrible for a start. Secondly it seems to me you've been watching a certain t.v programme about the border reivers (Armstrongs ring a bell no?) and decided to regurgitate the words of a priest carved in a certain stone. Thirdly if many scots feel like you then it certainly does not show. Who is the first minister again??Bananna's indeed!!Alba go brath. Wed 15 Oct 2008 19:35:56 GMT+1 AllyOops #79.Please read the previous comment about the funding of various parts of the UK and the revenue generation. I have yet to read one fact in this whole discussion from an English perspective that holds water. The comments from the Scots are backed up with solid data.When all is said and done all you can fall back on is...'cos me mookers fink the same as me then it is a fact. Your making your side look absolutely pathetic. At least some of your fellow country men had a half decent attempts at an argument. No contest here.#81Sorry you don't like Eck. Too bad buddy. It is called a democracy. He was elected by Scots for Scots. I'm sure Eck won't lose much sleep about your opinion.Next. Eck is not going cap-in-hand asking for the 1-billiion, he is demanding this to make up the shortfall in money rightfully due to Scotland. Demanding - not asking. IT IS NOT A REQUEST.The day we dof our cap and say - oh please can you give us a few quid guvner.…will never come. Again read the previous correspondence. Why should Scotland pay for Londons (not even Englands) Olympics.Your comment......As a strong believer in the UK...... what a pile of dung. What you really mean is long as the Scots tow the line, sk nicely for money and then let you English mull it over then you might give it your blessing. No way. Again this will never happen. Is it that you think some are more equal than others in the Union? This is the typical English psyche. This is why we need to dump the English.Next comment: you say........If Scots want to stay part of the UK, they need to get rid of this man.......... What an absolutely unbelievable comment. Surely the whole point of Eck and his politics is to breakaway from the UK. I guess we had better run off and arrange another election to get rid of Eck. Heaven forbid, he is upsetting the English.You guys are a hoot. Wed 15 Oct 2008 19:34:40 GMT+1 archoptimist As a strong believer in the United Kingdom....if Scotland needs a hand, here it is. I just wish the Scots would put a gag on their First Minister. Only Alec Salmond could ask for help and be belligerent at the same time turning a request into a demand. It is sad to see Scotland's famous banks hit the buffers but only Salmond could make Scots resent the help given by the rest of the UK. If Scots want to stay part of the UK, they need to get rid of this man. Wed 15 Oct 2008 18:26:20 GMT+1 scotleag Bandying around treaties from over 300 years ago? Scots and English arguing about boundaries? Alex Salmond must be laughing his head off. Because most Scots refuse to accept his political fantasies he tries to rile the English into matching his own ugly nationalism thinking if Scots won't vote for independence maybe the rest of the Uk will throw us out.While most politicians try and find a way out of this GLOBAL mess, Salmond, true to form, can only blame Westminster while at the same time run to the same government he so despises with a begging bowl in his hand.News for Salmond. We are all in this TOGETHER. Every step of the way Salmond has tried to portray the UK as having it in for Scotland. First he claimed HBOS & RBS were sound institutions. When that was proved wrong he got his crony Alex Neil to talk up a fantasy 'Scottish' buy-out of the "Scottish" part of HBOS. When that failed to get off the ground he got the begging bowl out for "Scotland's money" conjuring up more fantasy figures to suit his ends.The one thing Salmond hasn't done is come up with any sort of plan to combat the crisis. Yet he'd have us believe everyone's out of step except Oor Eck.He used to praise Iceland to the rafters. If Salmond had his way and Scotland were independent then we'd be in the same situation as Iceland now with collapsed banks and a bankrupt country.Thank goodness we're part of a union with the full strength of the British state behind it. Wed 15 Oct 2008 17:51:17 GMT+1 CarrotsneedaQUANGO2 The English dont hate the Scottish.They re just viewed as a tiresome little colony thats proving rather expensive to keep.The English, well all the ones that I know, object to paying for perks for the Scottish that they dont have. Too many to list now with free school meals about to be added.Interestingly, an English student studying in Scotland has to pay tuition fees, where as Scotland offers free tuition to other EEC countries. bet they feel just thrilled about that.Time for independence, stop whining and get on with it. Wed 15 Oct 2008 17:01:29 GMT+1 delminister 71 scots bashing is the only sport the english can play without loosing as there are never any winners. Wed 15 Oct 2008 16:57:27 GMT+1 delminister 74 if england is so good then why are you an expat is it tax evasion or you needed the cheaper living abroad?only to live in the mire is what counts and i have lived under english oppression all my life and so to break free or freely speak of freedom should never be stopped wether welsh, scots, cornish or irish.any oppression should be stamped out along with those that agree. Wed 15 Oct 2008 16:55:44 GMT+1 lordJohnHunt Come on guys, get a grip. Where are you putting most of the wind farms. Has anyone considered that Scotland is a net exporter of electricity, we don't need the wind farms, you do. Where does the military do most of the biggest military exercises and live fire training, Scotland of course. Where are the biggest Nuclear submarine bases, Scotland. I could go on. If Scotland sent England the full bill for what Scotland provides the rest of the UK, it would come to a fair bit more than what is spent by central government.My point is, we should not let these side shows get in the way of the real issues that face us. If anyone has the hump over free prescriptions, I'll gladly swap an average Scottish wage for an English one and I'll happily pay for prescriptions. Its a double edged sword.The real issues to focus on, is the ensuing deep recession which is just as likely to become a depression. Don't believe me, just watch it all unfold.Bickering amongst ourselves about such Scotland/England trivia takes our eye off the ball. It really is insignificant. We should ALL focus on UK economics and politics. Free Scottish prescriptions and the like, will not lose you your job or you home. A failed economy North and South will. That is very, very, likely.Thanks for reading. Wed 15 Oct 2008 16:54:47 GMT+1 MoreBolleaux no72, no was actually from the english daily mail, in October last year. Wed 15 Oct 2008 15:01:18 GMT+1 Dunroamin 72. You embarrassing yourself and my country.Treat yourself and take a day off from being a complete you-know-what. Wed 15 Oct 2008 14:58:19 GMT+1 Dunroamin 71. Hate to burst a fellow Scot's bubble.......but isn't all of that from an SNP 'analysis' of one report from one economic think-tank?This report is considered as gospel by nationalists, yet there is no corroboration to be seen anywhere.It also contradicts Holyrood's latest official accounts too (which was produced by the SNP). Wed 15 Oct 2008 14:40:13 GMT+1 delminister This post has been Removed Wed 15 Oct 2008 14:24:05 GMT+1 MoreBolleaux Scotland - Tax Paid £9593, spending £9631, gain +£38.South East - Tax Paid £9397, spending £7544, loss -£1853.South West - Tax Paid £7373, spending £8351, gain +£978.North West - Tax Paid £6913, spending £8969, gain +£1732.Wales - Tax Paid £5979, spending £8969, gain +£2990.Northern Ireland - Tax Paid £6059, spending £10271, gain +£, can everybody take note of these figures and stop the scot bashing. Wed 15 Oct 2008 14:07:17 GMT+1 JockMcCool All this talk about finance is irrelevant.With the south of England sinking into the sea and sea levels rising I would expect there will be a rush of sassenachs crossing the border into scotland.Anyway water is more important than oil in the long term. Wed 15 Oct 2008 13:46:59 GMT+1 merryfulhamboy Calling all Sour Little Englanders: GET A GRIP!!!! Wed 15 Oct 2008 13:11:13 GMT+1 WhiteEnglishProud BTW It's the Welsh who are the real scroungers lets pick on them for a bit!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wed 15 Oct 2008 12:04:28 GMT+1 zebulonII #49"..One recent calculation estimates that just 163,000 Scottish taxpayers, from a population of 5m, make any net contribution to the British exchequer. The rest receive more than they pay out in reliefs, subsidies and benefits..."Weasely statistics if ever I saw them, but that was an opinion article after all!It is wrong for two resons (three if you count the fact that it is presented without reference):1. It does not say how much those 163 000 contribute. Earnings (and thus tax) are not symmetrically distributed (because there is a lower cap but not an upper one). As such it well known that only a very few people pay the majority of personal tax and thus mean spending per head is higher than modal income (by quite a long way). That statistic does not demonstrate what you think it does!2. It only counts personal tax (at least I presume from the wording that it does). Naturally, government income (and thus spending) derrives from more than just personal income. As such, why would you even expect taxpayers to make net contributions?Do you question nothing that you read? Why don't you seem interested in the corresponding figure for England? Wed 15 Oct 2008 11:28:24 GMT+1 Have your say Rejected To my learned friend, TheRealHypnoToad. As far as i'm aware this is an internet 'comments' site not A-Level English, personal attacks have no place on public forum!! U judge me even tho u have never met me? a racist u say just because i say the 800,000 odd scots (who knows how many of scottish descendancy) should all move back home too scotland if independence is what u want, say a husband and wife split do u expect them too carry on living in the same house i wouldn't, i dont believe that is racist i say u are just 'trolling' playing the race card. 'Perhaps you have not read comment #15 (or indeed a newspaper), but the only subsidy involved flows from Scotland to England.' u say perhaps i dont take other peoples opinions and subjective newspaper reports as fact i read stories about the government spending £11.3 billion more on scotland than it raised there, and again flaming me, because again u make judgments on my intelligence just shows ur level of maturity, it's about time the english and scottish put aside petty childish squabbles and dealt with the issue like adult, saying that the rest of the world must laugh at us all, we arnt like a Yugoslavia, we are 1 tiny island, a single parent family with 3 children bickering over who sits in the front seat of the car, i am english and proud of that, but in all honesty i wouldn't like too see the end of the union, what ever bad blood has past there is so much more to be proud of as british, the largest and richest empire ever, the advancements and discoveries made by all 4 nations of GB that have shaped this very world we live in, and continue too do so. the break up of the union isn't a question for the scottish alone it's some thing all the UK should be involved in i say Wed 15 Oct 2008 11:14:51 GMT+1 darwinsmonkey #58Alba go brath. Indeed!Bet you don't understand a word of Gaelic but obviously you believe your own myth. Here's some Scots which sums up the feeling of many of us about the SNP:I curse their heid and all the haris of thair heid; I curse thair face, thair ene, thair mouth, thair neise, thair tongue, thair teeth, thair crag, thair shoulderis, thair breist, thair hert, thair stomok, thair bak, thair wame, thair armes, thais leggis, thair handis, thair feit, and everilk part of thair body, frae the top of their heid to the soill of thair feet, befoir and behind, within and without. Wed 15 Oct 2008 11:07:11 GMT+1 darwinsmonkey Salmond is an extreme embarrassment to many of us Scots. Of course, we are proud of our country and our culture but the narrow-minded vision of Scotland peddled by Salmond and his ilk appeals principally to sentiment and is not based on rational premises. Any economic argument for independence has been reduced to rubble over the last few weeks and yet the 'true believers' continue to promulgate this lie to the Sottish people. The lie is partly based on a false sense of grievance (Scotland is treated less fairly than the rest of the UK) or greed (it's our oil we want all of it). Salmond by training is an economist with banking experience but what has been most surprising recently is his inviability to make sense of the present crisis (c.f. that other economist Vince Cable). Hopefully very soon the Scottish people will see though the delusion of independence and vote this demagogue out of office. I wholeheartedly apologize to all my friends in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the selfish and childish behavior of our First Minister. He does not represent the views of all Scots. Wed 15 Oct 2008 10:51:57 GMT+1 kevinmcgarrigle I find this current situation that affetcs everyone around the Globe is being turned into a Brownie point plunder session. Now that banks across the UK have been given a lifleine after years of Brown policises failing he is turning it into a Unionist issue. He is now saying The Uk has bailied out two Scottish banks and that this would only happen being part of the union. Cheep tactics for misinformed people.Of course we are reliant on The traeury bailout because all of the cash flow from Scotland flows to an English treasury.This is party point scoring and is a disgrace.Now you may say how much of this is coming from the Scottish taxpayer. Let me remind you we are dealing with the public purse being dragged into private companies.It is amazing that so much money has been ploughed into financial institutions and not were it is needed in buliding up the infrastructure of the country. Everyone should start think about having less debt to their name for a start Wed 15 Oct 2008 09:05:02 GMT+1 Trebor This is a bit like two petulant brothers both wanting to have the football and run away with it. Come on, play the game together it is much more fun! Wed 15 Oct 2008 07:38:19 GMT+1 jon112uk Reading the above I see a lot of English dislike for the Scots. I see a lot of Scottish dislike for the English.Given the above - isn't it now time England declared it's independence from Scottish rule? Wed 15 Oct 2008 07:11:16 GMT+1 grumblerog Why is it only the Scots get to vote on devolution, can't the English vote to devolve them out of our pockets and our politics? Don't get me wrong I like the Scots, I just think they will be happier getting back to what they do best ... fighting amongst themselves. As for the divorce settlement... ? How much is never having another Labour government worth? £1bn sounds a bargain provided it was a one off payment, but what are the chances of that? Tue 14 Oct 2008 23:02:29 GMT+1 AllyOops Comment # 19.Are you mad man.Two squaddies one English one Scottish were forever slagging each other off re- similar arguments as per above. There was plenty of venom in the arguments and more than a few punches thrown at times.Whilst on leave in Edinburgh, the squaddies went on the lash (as squaddies do). The English squaddie got into bother with a few of the locals arguing the pro's and cons re- again much as per the comments printed above. When all hell broke loose the Jock soldier had kicked the living daylights out of a few of the local lads for messing with his English mate. The moral. We take some pleasure out of slagging each other off, no matter how hard and serious it all seems but when push comes to shove (terrorist blow up parts of England or Scotland or another Alqueda attempt to spread their vile craft) then we all suddenly turn British and, generally, speak with a united voice and common outrage. But it's not long before we're having a side swipe at each other again.This is a discussion forum. Some of it does border close to being 'racist' (from both sides of the argument) and is always to be frowned upon. The argument is a serious one. Blood boils and some dumb comments are made, again on both sides of the argument. Hard as it may be to believe, the English do not have a monopoly on stupidity or ignorance. We also can’t help it if the English Nationalist won’t fight their own battles. There are those that genuinely want a break up of the union and those that just like stirring up the argument. Whatever, it’s our argument. It’s just that the English are always wrong.For you to slag anybody off after turning your back on your home country (I’m sure you had your reasons for leaving) is a bit rich. There is nobody more Scottish than a ex-pat abroad. So, if you don't mind we will continue with our discussion. We welcome your comment. We do however reserve the right to ignore them which, with reference to your previous comment #19, we will now do. Tue 14 Oct 2008 22:44:10 GMT+1 U13636615 Fellow nationalists lets forget that floundering buffoon Gordon Browns vain attempt to score some much needed points and attack our dear first minister. Let's face it we all know the extent to which westminster can lie and put their customary spin on things for the general public. Fact of the matter is as alex pointed out that these problems were born of union and not of independance. How can we ever possibly protect ourselves from these clowns when we find ourselves continually shackled to them. It's a marriage with only one willing partner. They make the mistakes then ask us to thank them for trying to fix them. Maybe we could spend some of the money they are wasting on their unjust wars on foreign soil to help the economic situation!! And save lives at the same time!!! Anyway keep the faith my friends and always keep your country in your heart and remember that country is SCOTLAND no matter what they try to tell you different!!! Soon it will be time!! P.s any donations for propping up the london 2012 building projects can be sent directly to Gordon Clown if you can afford it!!!!Alba go brath. Tue 14 Oct 2008 22:30:01 GMT+1 DiMarco's Mum "But in Scotland the banks have been the real economy for nearly 300 years."With that one sentence, you devalue anything else you have to say. What ignorance.P.S. Just saw your video report on the 10pm news, where you refer to Scots as "they". So the BBC speaks *about* us but not *to* us? So why do we have to pay for it? Tue 14 Oct 2008 22:02:34 GMT+1 AllyOops Comment #2. What utter tripe. I bet you also think England are going to win the World Cup next time out on the back of a couple of wins.There is actually more undeveloped oil fields in the north Atlantic than currently already removed from the North Sea. It is a bit difficult to get at with current technology but get it we will, especially with the predicted (sustained) rise in oil prices over the next decade. (Or will this oil belong to England as well)?Just listen to the whinging English nationalists in previous comments. I think you folk should push harder for English separation. Why leave all your hard work for the Scottish nationalists. If you were also to let the Scots vote in any English Separation ballot it will help boost the 'YES' Please vote. In fact, why don't each of the Nationalist movements get together with this aim in mind.So, please oh please put up or shut up. We Scots will continue with our slow but steady move towards separation and on our terms.For the record, Scottish natural resources extend to more than just an estimated useful reserve of 15-20-years of the black stuff. The next major area of conflict around the world will be the supply of fresh water, which, as we all know, is in plentiful supply up here. Water is set to become the new liquid gold.I wonder how long it will be before we're piping this southwards in ever greater quantities, not that we would grudge anybody a drink.Something else that appears to have escaped the English Nationalist notice is that the UK is only as strong as its constituent parts. Come the separation, does Northern Ireland and Wales become part of England? Does what's left become The United (except for Scotland) Kingdom.The Union kinda works OK for the moment but lets face it, separation is on the cards in the longer term.I am sure that we will all survive quite nicely as separate states but it truly will be the end of any (significant) influence that the former UK has on world affairs. Tue 14 Oct 2008 21:09:13 GMT+1 skempes Brian 12:07, talking of imprudence, ever heard of Northern Rock?? Tue 14 Oct 2008 19:02:41 GMT+1 delminister lest we forget the english has needed scotland as part of the whole more so than scotland needs england.this island has suffered for years under poor english rulers who centralised the union in london, english prime ministers have for years squandered the income from the north sea but not put anything back in reality.this island should have a good seagoing fleet trading with the world but under recent governments shipbuilding and repair has been reduced to a minor player thus we have to rely on overseas builders etc, this government headed by a scot by the way, thus any celtic part of these islands deserve independence from the anglo saxon centre, and the required sums paid to them Tue 14 Oct 2008 18:36:09 GMT+1 lguerreiro English fury is unjustified.For more than 300 years, England has benefitted hugely at the expense of Scottish produce high taxation - such as whiskey - and oil/gas production. Much of this has been merrily landing on Westminster's coffers.This is not to say Scotland should become independent or the Union abolished in any way.Mr Salmond cleverly speaks of independence, but does not insofar clarify what sort of political regime or system would be adopted, and this is a huge question mark.One thing is for certain however. If Mr Salmond believes that bringing independence to Scotland together with a Republic, he is plainly and simply wrong. Presidential legitimacy is often a power of opposition competing with Parliament, as Portugal, Italy, Greece and most other European republics demonstrate; a constant political turmoil at the expense of really bad economic development.Abolishing the Union has severe drawbacks, as separately the 3 countries will find it harder to mark points in the international arena, for example.A solution however needs to be found. With just 5.5 million inhabitants, Scotland is fully exposed to the dangers of economic collapse, far and beyond more than England, a stronghold of tens of millions of inhabitants and much higher GDP by comparison.At the moment and for the foreseable future, there is no way Scotland could be independent in conditions of safety and security.Too dangerous! Too soon! And now... Too late as well! Tue 14 Oct 2008 17:28:46 GMT+1 StroszekBassist A lot of people seem to have a hard time understanding the point of devolution. The reason Scotland has things like free university education and is moving towards completely free prescriptions is because our Government has decided that these would be the best uses of the pocket money Westminster gives us. We don't come up with new ideas and then demand extra funding for them.Also, when people deride the Scottish banking industry, it's worth remembering which part of HBOS is to blame for their frivolous mortgage lending (clue: BOS is not really a mortgage lender). If nationality really has anything to do with things, Andy Hornby - the architect of HBOS's downfall - did not come from Scotland. Tue 14 Oct 2008 16:47:19 GMT+1 sweetsmellofsuccess Rather than worry about where Berwick-upon-Tweed would be if it was 200 miles out at sea, a more relevant question is the outrageous sums spent for the benefit of Londoners, under the guise of 'national spending'. This is missing from this analyis entirely.Crossrail, the Channel Tunnel link, the Olympics, the Dome, Wembley, the Metrolink fiasco - all billions spent for Londoners, but conveniently called 'national investment'. As an example, the Metropolitan Police serve 10% of the population, but receive nearly a third of the national policing budget.We should all be directing our concern at this, as the smug cementing of London's position as the centre of economic, political, financial, cultural and (importantly) media life enriches London at the cost of every region of the UK. Tue 14 Oct 2008 16:38:41 GMT+1 Cynicalgit First of all, I am a Scot and lived in the Borders or East Lothian for the majority of my 54 years. It does not come as a surprise that our economy is in freefall. I have seen most of our traditional industries disapear over the years to be replaced by low value electonic jobs or the equivelant. As for our financial services. Least said the better where HBOS is concerned. Arrogance after the merger was quickly replaced by a combination complacancy and incompatancy. Going to a B of S branch is like stepping into drop in centre. The staff function at the lowest common denominator and really don't care. I left 4 years ago and went to RBS. Excellant ground level staff but again took on too much. Any fool can make money in a bull market Fred. Our biggest export is people. It is now time for Scots to realise we need to be a part of the UK. The last few weeks have shown we are incapable of running our own affairs.If you are in any doubt, nip up to our beautiful, on budget Parliament and listen to the quality of debate. Tue 14 Oct 2008 16:23:40 GMT+1 Trebor 41 says "but we also contribute more per capita in terms of Scotland's contribution to UK coffers"Can you send a link on this because I have found otherwise. See this:One recent calculation estimates that just 163,000 Scottish taxpayers, from a population of 5m, make any net contribution to the British exchequer. The rest receive more than they pay out in reliefs, subsidies and benefits. Tue 14 Oct 2008 16:20:20 GMT+1 reaktor303 # 02 pay for prescriptions#14 free prescriptionsScotland does NOT get free prescriptions! If you cannot get this very simple fact correct, how much other rubbish are you all actually absorbing? Scotland spends its allocation how it sees fit. Analysis by Oxford Economics showed the tax take from Scotland is only outranked by London.Bear in mind the Barnett formula adds costs of Trident etc to Scotland's expenditure! Don't hear about that? There's £90 per second profit earned on scotch whisky not even counted as a Scots contribution! Even the last figures in the "London" papers showed it was nearly all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland that had the highest subsidy - Scotland was nowhere even near. Tue 14 Oct 2008 15:58:39 GMT+1 youngelevation Hang on a minute who said this bank bailout was all Gordon Browns idea ?Didnt he take his cue from Warren Buffetwho came out with the very same idea a good two weeks before Brown when Buffett proposed the very same thing for an American bank.As usual (Brown) the glory hunter wants us to believe its was all his doing and this coming from the same man who only a few years ealier sold off half the countrys gold reserves at a knockdown price of $240 odd dollars per ounce.Once again It beggars Belief ! Tue 14 Oct 2008 15:53:17 GMT+1 anita jones We have a half-baked situation where Scotland and Wales make their own rules but England funds them. Either they fund their own free prescriptions, uni fees etc with their own taxes or they or they accept Westminster rules (and funds). If you force the English taxpayer to pay for other people's freebies when he doesn't get any himself it is bound to cause resentment. If you want government independence you have to accept financial independence too. Tue 14 Oct 2008 15:40:05 GMT+1