Comments for en-gb 30 Fri 04 Sep 2015 05:24:27 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at greatpatch8 As a member of HBOS staff caught upn in this circus I wish that someone would actually come out and tell the truth. We are being told one thing by our employers and another by the media. At the end of the day, there are ordinary peoples lives going to be affected, no matter what the decision is!! Well done to Peter and George for trying to put some key facts straight, lets hope the shareholders make the right decision for everyone! Mon 10 Nov 2008 21:57:31 GMT+1 Anglophone ad nauseum"Those whom the gods would destroy they first teach statistics"181 excellentcatbloggerNice piece but I'm sure that Lloyds bank has been around a lot longer than 25 years...I could see it from my pram. That aside, speaking as a victim of the banks' "let's recoup our losses in the 3rd World via usery and penal bank charges" during the 1980s I clearly recall the banks' previous approach to negative profit.It was Lloyds who really took a bath at this time and who, as a result, became significantly more cautious in their lending policies. As recently as 6 months ago they were still being reviled by commentators for their fuddy-duddy conservatism and their share price suffered accordingly at the hands of the get-rich-quick people.Who's laughing now? As much as it pains me, I think that they are an example of a bank that learned its lesson. Let's hope that others do as well once they've recouped their losses by bleeding the little man dry! Thu 06 Nov 2008 14:34:09 GMT+1 pattymkirkwood You have a cheek you offer nothing but insults no logic, no argument, no ability to debate.You are so blinded by your hatred of the idea of Scotland being able to 'stand alone' i.e. be a normal country that refuse to even consider the arguments.I see you have no intention of answering any of the points raised by your opponents as usual! Now that is pathetic. Thu 30 Oct 2008 19:39:37 GMT+1 ScotInNotts #193Whats that RE? Is that what passes for you admitting you made a mistake by confusing the UK's GDP as Scotland's?Oh..wait...forget that, how do we compare against Wales, NI etc.?That wasn't your original question now was it?Smoke and mirrors my friend, smoke and mirrors. You've been learning from GB haven't you."That says it all about the total non-existence of any sensible argument for independence."Maybe in your mind, fortunately others may have another opinion. Thu 30 Oct 2008 19:38:41 GMT+1 Dunroamin 192. And how does Scotland fare against Wales, NI and N England? The UK figure will be heavily slanted by the strong growth of London, the SE and the E.And how has Scotland become the 3rd richest region of the UK if we lag so far behind everyone else?Hardly one to whinge and moan about selective quoting, are you? Eh?Found any countries that had stronger growth than the UK in the last few decades? The UK has even topped Germany, France, Italy and Japan. Did you know that? It's all there on the OECD website.You are so desperate for independence at any cost, that you just produce one pile of nonsense after another.That says it all about the total non-existence of any sensible argument for independence.Tell you what, this is all clearly too difficult for you. Just stick to pathetic insults, nationalist. That's all you're good for.Next. Thu 30 Oct 2008 19:03:16 GMT+1 pattymkirkwood Table 1.Expat more bizarre claims from you, backed up by no stats and no evidence ...Financial illiteracy is painful to behold!Incidentally, keep up spilling your bile on this blog - it is nice (and very useful) for people to see the real face of Labour's 'Little Scotland/we canny dae it' mob. Thu 30 Oct 2008 18:22:54 GMT+1 ScotInNotts #189 RESill playing all those wee nations are rubbish compared to the mighty UK?Again you mention the UK's economic growth, what about Scotlands? Did you not read the government statistics links I posted in #174?I don't think you're a liar expat, and you have made sensible comments regarding local government, but you sure can twist and manipulate statistics to fit your own agenda sometimes, as can everyone else. Have you thought about why you attract so much negativity on these blogs? Are we all snarling drooling nationalists, or is that you refuse to listen or engage in any sensible or meaningful debate? There's an element of sticking your head in the sand and hoping this will go away. I guess we'll both find out soon enough just how popular independence is at the moment when the Glenrothes results are counted.What are your plans if Scotland does become independent, would you come back to live here, or would you exile yourself out of spite? Thu 30 Oct 2008 17:43:23 GMT+1 Dunroamin 188. So the OECD have got it completely wrong and you have got it right?Or did you just pluck that claim out of your fevered imagination?(Are you and Minuend the same person?) Thu 30 Oct 2008 17:39:02 GMT+1 Dunroamin 188. Oh dear. Not a shrill pile of nonsense at all, this one. "Scotland lagged behind every small Western European nation", did it?I quoted figures from the OECD (as opposed to your use of your imagination) on comparative growth in #180 which clearly state the opposite of what you have just posted.There is not one small European country (other than tiny Luxembourg) whose economy has grown more since 1990 than the UK, unless they were heavily subsidised by aid or oil. The UK economy grew even faster in the 80s (ask someone over 40 about the '80s boom') which blasts your "last 30 years" claim right out of the water! Bit of an "oops!" moment for you there.So, I think we both know who the liar is here, don't we. Mmm? Yes. Thu 30 Oct 2008 16:56:45 GMT+1 pattymkirkwood More dishonesty and lies from expat.If you want to talk comparative growth - look at GDP growth over the last 30 years, Scotland (held back by the Union) as against: Ireland, any Scandanavian nation or any other 'small' West European nation. There you will see Scotland lagging behind by between 1.5-0.8% per year.That adds up over the decades as any fair analysis shows. Thu 30 Oct 2008 16:28:22 GMT+1 salmondella #179 OlnatThe Calman Commission is the outcome of a vote of the democractic Scottish Parliament?That is totally different to a SG that is cynically abusing its power and our taxes for their own political independence agenda and against the wishes of the vast majority of the Scottish people.I have told you what I am in favour of so there is no need for me to elaborate and be drawn into the petty Nat Twilight Zone. Thu 30 Oct 2008 15:28:11 GMT+1 Dunroamin 175. It does perfectly. Much appreciated!To be honest, this bit of fun has turned out to be one hell of an eye-opener.I'm looking forward to the SNP putting that weathermap on their site, next to that local radio journo and the world's worst banker. Thu 30 Oct 2008 15:16:25 GMT+1 oldnat #183 pattymkirkwoodSince it's happened again, I prefer to think that there is a deep conspiracy at work !!!Oh, I'm so sorry - I'm turning into another nat conspiracist. Thu 30 Oct 2008 15:15:15 GMT+1 Fit Like #165Can't comment about Belgium but since the Netherlands' population is considerably larger than ours (c16.5m), it's hardly a valid basis for comparison. Thu 30 Oct 2008 15:11:11 GMT+1 pattymkirkwood #177 - pass, on that question. Just started happening a couple of topics ago. Thu 30 Oct 2008 15:09:42 GMT+1 Fit Like #156Why not make that, 'Read through before submitting, then don't bother'? Thu 30 Oct 2008 15:07:49 GMT+1 excellentcatblogger Regarding the HBOS takeover by Lloyds TSB, at the time one of Brown and Darling said that LTSB was sound and well capitalised as an attempt in justifying the move (other than any overt political advantage of curse).A bit of history. 25 years ago newly created Lloyds bank (used to be bank of London and South America) along with a consortium of other banks (mostly UK and US that I recollect) had lent billions of US Dollars to both Argentina and Brazil. There was a huge default, by both countries mostly through lending too much which in turn meant huge repayments.In Argentina's case their economy was inherently weak after years of Peron public spending largesse. In Brazil's case not enough research was done by the bankers to see if the capital could be repaid. At a superficial level it all made a lot of sense - shades of the bankers seeing the $signs on the bottom line. The Itaipu dam was then the largest hydroelectric power station in the world, and the power was earmarked for the industrial centres in Sao Paulo. However, the electric grid could not cope, so for 18 months only 1 turbine worked to export electricity to Paraguay. So Brazil did not get an immediate return and this was when interest rates were high - think large capital loan and compound interest...The upshot with the loan default was that the banks got a metaphorical kicking, and in the mid 1980's bank charges in the UK domestic market were raised. This is the reason that Lloyds are better capitalised, not due to long term prudent management as Downing Street would want you to believe, but because of past indiscretions. You could say that banks never learn, I could not disagree with that. Thu 30 Oct 2008 14:52:35 GMT+1 Dunroamin 177. Yet another nat who prefers favourable forecasts to fact and record.Yet another nat that will happily accept these forecasts, even though they were made by the very same people who failed to see the crunch coming.Meanwhile, I still await the name of some countries whose economy has grown more than the UK's over the past 20 years, is not propped up by oil or aid and is not bankrupt or already deep in recession. In other words; Evidence to support claims that the UK has held us back and also a precedent to show us that Scotland could grow stronger outside the UK.Suggestions so far...Arc of Prosperity I: Iceland (bankrupt, bailed out by IMF, interest rates at 18%, suddenly considered "too small" by Salmond)Ireland (rapid growth but heavily subsidised, the first and still the only European nation to go into full recession)Norway (running consecutive non-oil deficits averaging 5% of GDP for the past 20 years, heavily propped up by oil)Arc of Prosperity II:Norway (see above)Finland, Sweden, Denmark (none of these economies have matched UK growth in past 20 years).Others:Netherlands (lower growth)Belgium (ditto)Portugal (ditto)Austria (ditto)Switzerland (ditto)Spain (grown slightly faster but subsidised 8-9bn euros each year)All other small Euro nations (also heavily subsidised by the EU)I only know of one.Luxembourg (matches all criteria, similar population to Iceland but seemingly still acceptable to the SNP) Thu 30 Oct 2008 14:33:17 GMT+1 oldnat #170 salmondella"#95 Oldnat - but the constitutional settlement is what is in place now. There is no remit or mandate for this SG to pursue an independence agenda so I believe they should stop wasting taxes employing our civil servants to do so."There is no remit or mandate for this opposition to pursue a revision of the current settlement so should they stop wasting taxes employing the Calman Commission to do so?Even you can't have it both ways!To repeat my question -Did you support the decision of the 3 Unionist parties to set up the Calman Commission? Thu 30 Oct 2008 14:29:23 GMT+1 oldnat #177 pattymkirkwoodHave you bribed the mods?How come you got posted straight away, when the 7 above you didn't?Something stinks in the state of Denmark! - though less in their economy than ours. Thu 30 Oct 2008 14:23:04 GMT+1 pattymkirkwood how badly hit, the biggest economies are compared to their smaller neighbours.Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Russia all have a bleak outlook for sometime. Although, it is worth noting that the UK is the only large country on the map they are confident enough to predict negative growth for over the course of next year (as a whole). Thank you Gordon Brown! Whereas their smaller neighbours are generally faring better. What would we not do for the stability of a Scandanavian nation or the one of the Low Countries or Switzerland, Austria, The Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia etc ... etc ...Instead we are stuck with Broon's long-term, structural Bust.In addition, it is worth noting how the economist map predicts that smaller countries such as Ireland and Denmark (who, in its analysis, took a fairly substantial hit - like the UK) are expected to recover far quicker than their larger neighbours. Indeed, Denmark will substantially outgrow the UK in the next 2 years. As will the rest of Scandanavia - despite the throwing of diplomatic slurs by Murphy the Scottish Secretary. Thu 30 Oct 2008 14:14:58 GMT+1 oldnat #165 Reluctant-ExpatWhen doing our calculations on this - whose national deficit do you want us to add to theirs? Thu 30 Oct 2008 14:10:41 GMT+1 excellentcatblogger #162 reluctant-expatSmall countries currently doing well, not propped by oil or aid and not in recession or financial crisis:How about Vatican, Monaco, Gibraltar, San Marino.Another thing they have in common - income lower tax rates. Oh, and Gibraltar used to be run as a British colony, I suspect that they were not as prosperous then.Source: Jane's Information Services as at March 2008, Top 50 prosperous countries. Will that do? Thu 30 Oct 2008 14:06:35 GMT+1 ScotInNotts #165 REYou having trouble reading again, like you had with your own post before?Hang on and I'll hold your hand while we walk through the scary numbers.The link produced was for actual GDP growth of Scotland, not UK, against GDP growth of a selection of small EU countries. You can exclude any country you wish according to your own criteria, it still does not alter the facts.Scotland's economy has grown slower relative to these countries. Where's the union dividend?Note the date and the fact Iceland was not included before the banking collapse.Here's the comparison of Scotland's actual GDP growth with the UK's for the same period 1994 Q4 to 2008 Q1 the stats for 2008 Q1, Scotland's economy lags behind. More of the union dividend? And you claim we're better off economically in the UK, shame on you."How about we avoid convenient clustering of preferred countries by the SNP, and stick to one-to-one comparisons?"Knock yourself out, find the stats and we will compare country to country."Right, ScotInNotts hasn't found any solution to #78 either. The hunt continues."For what, an answer to your warped criteria? Ireland works fine as an example as its growth until the crisis far outstripped that of Scotland and the UK. The funding by the EU has been discussed before, yes they are in recession now, but what do you think we in Scotland and the UK are in?Don't trust the stats because they're from the Scottish government? The same source for all your exhibits regarding GERS that you posted daily for goodness knows how many days. You couldn't read those properly either. Thu 30 Oct 2008 13:58:50 GMT+1 oldnat Punters or Pundits to get Glenrothes right?Guido has an interesting take on this. Thu 30 Oct 2008 13:55:38 GMT+1 mr_ripvanwinkle if only glenrothes voters, would do scotland a favour, and vote for any party other than nulab.that would get the message home to brown that his handling of the economy and the HBOS crisis is not good enough. Thu 30 Oct 2008 13:47:27 GMT+1 mr_ripvanwinkle brian, where is your story on the lib dems efforts to save HBOS from the merger with LLOYDS TSB.and why are nulab in scotland keeping quiet about the fact that it appears that brown and darling are not giving HBOS the same support as they gave to RBS, and are only pushing the one solution, when eaverbody knows that their is two lab in scotland you are a disgrace and the sooner all your msps are voted out, the better, no matter which party takes your place.brian, why do you not state the obvious that the HBOS merger is political. Thu 30 Oct 2008 13:33:00 GMT+1 salmondella #97 - I detect the smell of fear and desperation in that blog and, dare I say, a hint of jealousy. #128 - blast, just lost the 'momentous name change' sweepstake - I drew out brownwithenvy#95 Oldnat - but the constitutional settlement is what is in place now. There is no remit or mandate for this SG to pursue an independence agenda so I believe they should stop wasting taxes employing our civil servants to do so.#84 BrianSHhhhhhhhhhhh please!! ps I don't work for the cooncil?? I guess you are probably not of working age? Thu 30 Oct 2008 13:31:09 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #151 BrianSHThanks for the tip. Guido is always interesting reading and today's Glenrothes: Punters V Pundits, Round II is better than most. I particularly liked the: "The pundits are as fickle as teenage girls, the punters are more calculating." Thu 30 Oct 2008 13:18:48 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #152, #162, #163, #165 Reluctant-ExpatYet again you studiously and repeatedly ignore oldnat's request in #89 to put your ghee-whizz graph in context by providing a link to the page which contains it. Only the file name "29726336NOR_FIG1_2_E.gif" gives any indication that the graph might be something to do with Norway and the end date of 2004 suggests it's a few years old.I couldn't find it in the OECD's otherwise interesting Economic Survey of Norway 2005, which paints a pretty encouraging picture to me or do you dislike Norway as much as you seem to dislike Scotland? Thu 30 Oct 2008 13:10:10 GMT+1 BrianSH #165 Reluctant-expatOnce again you reveal the fact your brain doesn't function. Either that or you are a compulsive liar. Both mayhaps.Look at the link provided in #159 and tell us that Scotland has performed better as part of the union or not.The answer is '23.3% of the time 'Yes'''76.6% of the time 'No''.With enemies like these, do us nationalists need friends? Thu 30 Oct 2008 13:05:14 GMT+1 Alasdair_McGray Bungler Broon has moved on, HBOS, financial crisis, what crisis.Bungler is now more concerned with Ross and Brand, than Scottish people loosing their houses, jobs and savings.The return of Mendleson and Campbell has temporary lifted Bungler's spirits and fortunes, but, ladies and gentlemen, we all know Peter will be discovered doing something innaproriate that requires his dismisal.Labours fortunes are build on sand and dept. Thu 30 Oct 2008 12:41:57 GMT+1 Dunroamin 159. And if you take heavily-EU subsidised Ireland out of the equation.....And perhaps tiny Luxembourg too (so Iceland is "too small to be compared to Scotland" but Luxembourg is okay?!)....Why aren't the Netherlands and Belgium included in this SNP comparison? (Their economies grew slower than the UK, is that perhaps relevant?)I wonder what the graph would look like now? How about we avoid convenient clustering of preferred countries by the SNP, and stick to one-to-one comparisons?(It really doesn't take much effort to dismantle nationalist claims, does it.)Right, ScotInNotts hasn't found any solution to #78 either. The hunt continues. Thu 30 Oct 2008 12:34:05 GMT+1 oldnat #161 The_ForfarianI can imagine all kinds of circumstances in which there would be "gratitude" for "gratification".However, enough of my fantasies:-) Thu 30 Oct 2008 12:23:53 GMT+1 Dunroamin 155. InMyKip fails too. Thu 30 Oct 2008 12:17:26 GMT+1 Dunroamin 154. Okay, so BrianSH can't think of a small economy that has had stronger growth than the UK, is not propped up by oil or aid, and is not currently bankrupt/deep in recession.Anyone else?Come on, there must be some that Salmond could use for his third 'arc of prosperity'? Some countries that categorically prove that Scotland might possibly do better outside the UK? They don't even have to be European....*His economic masterplan collapses at the first crisis.*Support in the polls is down.*Support for independence is down.*His financial credibility (his strongest point, allegedly) is down.*The National Conversation now down to one post every two days.*Nobel Prize Winners backing Brown in international newspapers....while Salmond has only got a local radio journo and the man that ruined RBS in his corner.*His first 'arc of prosperity' lasted a month before it fell apart. *His second arc was clearly nonsense as soon as he said it.He's clearly struggling so let's give the man some assistance, eh? Thu 30 Oct 2008 12:15:10 GMT+1 Older than the Pyramids #146, bluelawAlthough my etymological prowess is severely limited, I don't see the connection between 'gratification' and 'gratitude'. Thu 30 Oct 2008 12:12:20 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #147 Reluctant-Expat"Other than me, I wonder how many other people read all your efforts?"How constructive you are. Do keep it up. I hope that everyone reads your negative contributions, dodgy comparisons and notes the non-answers to awkward questions.If any "undecideds" do stumble upon these pages, I am certain that your contributions do more to further the cause of home rule than any others."And for a 'confederalist', you really are bizarrely pro-independence."And if you seriously believe that bizarre assertion, perhaps you would for once show a little courtesy and list a few examples of that change? Thu 30 Oct 2008 12:08:37 GMT+1 ScotInNotts REregarding your praised growth of the UK economy, how about you read this section from the Scottish government: 'small' countries actual GDP growth compared to Scotlands from Q4 1994 to Q1 2008.Can't think the situation will have improved somehow, do you?Union dividend shines through once again. Thu 30 Oct 2008 12:07:22 GMT+1 oldnat #139 ScotInNottsThat discussion on Justin Webb's blog was probably the most erudite on the blogosphere! Thu 30 Oct 2008 12:00:48 GMT+1 Robin__Banks Apropos of the most recent Scottish Questions session in the House of Commons and for those who may have wondered why a politician from Norway might, according to claims made, have seen fit to have a stab at counteracting in some small way UK "division" represented by the demand for Scottish independence, it may be apposite to allude to the fact that Norway is a close ally of the UK state and has been since the great Union Crisis which culminated in the splitting of the Swedish kingdom into the two separate and independent kingdoms of Norway and Sweden in 1905. For a full and contemporary account of the events leading to Norwegian independence you could do worse than turn to The Swedish-Norwegian Union Crisis by Karl Nordlund (Stockholm and Upsala, 1905).How did the UK come to be involved in that affair? Actually, one should rather ask how it might have been that the UK would not have been in some way involved in view of the tensions which were building up in Europe at the time. Although one might guess that the UK would have been in favour of the survival of the Swedish Union, that was in point of fact not so. The UK supported Norway's demand for independence and was instrumental in guaranteeing it against the potent threat of German intervention in favour of the kingdom of Sweden. One should bear in mind, therefore, that Norway can be said actually to owe its independence to the UK, perplexing though this may at first sight appear to those who might have assumed that British unionists would have sought to support Swedish unionists by virtue of being unionists.As for more recent history, there is the small matter of UK endeavours to support Norway in its misfortunes of the Second World War. As for the present day, better the devil that you know than the one you don't know, presumably. Norwegians may speculate that an independent Scottish Government might conceivably adopt an approach to the various resources of the Scottish sector of the North Sea that might be judged to be have the potential to be less beneficial to Norway than the status quo. Thu 30 Oct 2008 11:47:43 GMT+1 Dunroamin 152. Ahem. Make that:"The Weeble hasn't managed with his first two attempts, could anyone else oblige?"(Read through before submitting, RE, read through before submitting.) Thu 30 Oct 2008 11:46:18 GMT+1 inmykip #152 more "guff" form the guff meister. Thu 30 Oct 2008 11:40:55 GMT+1 BrianSH #152 Im glad you think that these countries are such a failure however, they are independent, and thus accept responsibility for themselves, do they not?So why are you against an independence referendum other than the fact that people might say....'Yes'? Thu 30 Oct 2008 11:31:31 GMT+1 Dunroamin 150. Feel free to produce the polls that show support for independence increasing, sneckedagain.You say there are more reporting this than are showing support is falling? I look forward to reading them all. Thu 30 Oct 2008 11:22:59 GMT+1 Dunroamin In my post 78, I produced an OECD graph on Norway's non-oil public finances which clearly indicated that the Norwegian economy (the only one that is in both of Weeble's first two 'arcs of prosperity') has been running an average 5% of GDP deficit for decades, while being heavily propped up by the oil income. Quite why Weeble thinks such an economy is worth emulating is beyond me.I have recently also reported OECD figures showing the UK economy has performed better than the rest of the second 'arc' since 1990.I then asked for any small economy out there that has had stronger growth than the UK, is not propped up by oil or aid, and is not currently bankrupt/deep in recession? The Weeble has managed with his first two attempts, could anyone else oblige?So far; nada, zilch and zero. Not even from the Nationalist Self-Support Group's night shift........... Thu 30 Oct 2008 11:14:47 GMT+1 BrianSH I see that Guido Fawkes has called SNP marginal on Glenrothes.It really does get interesting when even English tory voters through and through admit that the SNP is the party of choice for Scottish voters. Thu 30 Oct 2008 10:59:09 GMT+1 Dave McEwan Hill Isn't it really amazing? All the unionist posters rabbit on about the support for independence falling (routinely ignoring all the polls which don't support this opinion while promoting the few polls which might do so do) but they are frightened to allow us a referendum. Right,guys.Give us a serious and democratically legitimate reason why we shouldn't be allowed a referendum (apart from the fact that "Independence" might win) PS. We'll have one whether you allow us or not. What fun we'll have if you try to block it! Thu 30 Oct 2008 10:54:31 GMT+1 handclapping #147. Reluctant-ExpatI am glad to see you acknowledge that you are an "other person"! Thu 30 Oct 2008 10:49:13 GMT+1 inmykip #147, dearie me expat you still at it, what are you like eh! Personally I've no idea how other people will vote come 2010, that will be upto them, but I know how I will vote and for me that's all that matters, I certainly will not base my vote on any of the 'guff' that's passed for facts in here (and that particuarly includes the 'guff' you post expat). I do find it amusing however that you belittle the postings of others whilst completely failing to recognise that your own attempts are at best amateurish and quite frankly without any credibility........ y'know it's almost as if you do this political thingy for a living you're that bad at it. Be seeing you. Thu 30 Oct 2008 10:44:41 GMT+1 Dunroamin Let's take a quick peek at what the nationalists are basing their beliefs on today:115. The usual "What if...?" from Brownedov. Why bother with actual fact and record when vague, future, potential possibles are so plentiful. How's that 'giant batteries on container ships will make us all rich' scenario developing?Something for you to think about: As Cameron is almost certain to win the next GE....why is support for independence continuing to fall?I remember similar polls saying many people would support independence if Labour stayed in.....yet support STILL continues to fall. What is that all about?Whatever future, possible, potential scenario you consider, support for independence continues to fall.How does that fit into the 'Scotland will vote for independence in 2010' model?And for a 'confederalist', you really are bizarrely pro-independence. 116. And another "What if...?" from oldnat. This time a pretty map with some economic forecasts. What were these 'forecasts' saying before the crisis hit? Does it matter that the same people who drew up that map predicted continued global growth a few years back? Probably not when their latest efforts suit nationalist beliefs.And the rest of the Nationalist Support Group's efforts are the usual bland and predictable rhetoric.Anyway, good to see so many of you (well, three of you anyway) putting in the hours on this blog for the cause. Other than me, I wonder how many other people read all your efforts? Thu 30 Oct 2008 09:44:44 GMT+1 bluelaw I don't see why I should be grateful to Darling for wearing a Scottish poppy. What a nonsense. He should as a Scot and as a matter of course be wearing a Scottish Poppy. Beyond that though what has he really done for Scotland. Very little except parroting the same defeatist Unionist nonsense, poisonous attacks on an SNP elected by the Scottish people and refusing to budge on issues surrounding Scottish money held by the Treasury. If he's a Scottish patriot I would hate to see what an enemy of Scotland would look like. Thu 30 Oct 2008 09:43:28 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #140 Anaxim"More likely is not the same as 'will'."Spot on. That's why I said "you should probably also consider ...""The number has probably shrunk a bit since that poll was taken."You're certainly entitled to guess that whilst I would guess the opposite, since the polling was completed before the week-end when counter arguments started to be heard. Either way, it's far too early to predict what the situation will be in two years time.What's much more important is what comes out of Calman and whether it prompts the LibDems or even the Tories (given Cameron's recent showing of some sense) to go for multi-choice including full fiscal autonomy, which I personally anticipate will be a necessary stage even if complete independence is chosen. Thu 30 Oct 2008 09:42:00 GMT+1 BrianSH I see now that one of the Bank of England advisors has went public with the 'big interest rates cut' message.One moment while we hear that the Unionists cry that Alex Salmond didn't call it a month ago.That Alex Salmond didn't ask for direct interevention to banking capital before Darling and Brown established their rescue package.And Alex Salmond didn't ask for medium length lending investments to sort the economy before Darling and Brown established their rescue package.Eck didn't take his cabinet 'on tour' before Brown.Eck didn't create a council tax freeze (for the benefit of tax payers and to help the economy) in Scotland before the Tories started calling for the same in England.With enemies like these, does the SNP need friends? Monkey see, monkey do. Thu 30 Oct 2008 09:11:45 GMT+1 BrianSH #141 BramblebikesIndeed, unionist or nationalist I'm sure we can all agree with that! Thu 30 Oct 2008 08:46:17 GMT+1 Older than the Pyramids I was gratified to see Alistair Darling on BBC Breakfast this morning wearing a Scottish poppy.Good for him. Thu 30 Oct 2008 08:26:34 GMT+1 Bramblebikes Off topic I know.Brian can you blog on the Scottish Questions at Westminster. I watched it last night. I thought this could be an opportunity to perhaps learn something.Boy was I wrong. I never heard a positive statement for Scotland in the whole show, I was under the impression that these 'characters' were supposed to be looking out for Scotland. Instead it was a pre-rehearsed show of stupidity on just about everyones part, with the exception of the Speaker i suppose who tried to keep things moving. The highlight I suppose was Blundell on his nose picking party. As a male I would like to appologise to Anabell who must have been hiding behind her sofa. I would also like to comiserate with almost all of the MSP's , the thought that the MP's and not the MSP's are the cream of Scottish Politics must make them sick.Thankfully this horror story was after the watershed. But perhaps we should be letting Scotland see what they are doing in our name by showing it at 6:30There must be a better way forward in Westminster Hollyrood communication. Remove these MP's from Westminster and allow Hollyrood to represent Scottish interests is my favourate. (Big money saver). Thu 30 Oct 2008 08:24:17 GMT+1 Anaxim Brownedov #115"If you're referring to the numbers in R-E's #57, then you should probably also consider the 39.3% more likely to back independence if Cameron wins the next general election, a statistic R-E chose not to mention."More likely is not the same as 'will'. The number has probably shrunk a bit since that poll was taken. Thu 30 Oct 2008 08:21:01 GMT+1 ScotInNotts #136Mince is nourishing food, for squirrels? Thu 30 Oct 2008 07:22:32 GMT+1 ScotInNotts #116 oldnatnice link. May have originally been posted nine days ago, but it has been updated about a day and a half ago since.Interesting reading the new estimated %GDP growth of the 'big' nations compared to those of the 'small' nations for the rest of 2008 and for 2009.#78 REExcellent, gymn shower politics at its best!No-one ever tell you it's not the size that matters, it's how you use it that counts? Thu 30 Oct 2008 07:20:11 GMT+1 mr_ripvanwinkle 134. At 00:19am on 30 Oct 2008, oldnat.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsnorezzzzzsnorezzzhas that bad bad mr expat emigrated whilst i wazzz napping for 300 awake now. "FREEDOM" Thu 30 Oct 2008 01:37:05 GMT+1 oldnat #133 Neil_Small147"Or I might be talking mince!"While that might be true, you wouldn't be any different from anyone else who posts on a blog (actually less likely from you than others I can think of).Anyway mince is nourishing food! Thu 30 Oct 2008 01:34:41 GMT+1 bluelaw Having just watched the deplorable Scottish Questions I have to ask how can anyone who considers themselves Scottish tolerate the mountain of lies and Unionist scaremongering we have to endure. The affairs of Scotland are dealt with in the most pathetic almost childish of ways. It's embarrassing.How can anyone look at Scotland and say we're better off in the UK than Norway, Iceland, Denmark, ROI, Finland and Sweden are as independents. Unionists must hope Scottish people ignorantly never travel to any of these countries. Of coure they aren't perfect. Of course Scotland would have work to do but who in their right mind wants Scotland to remain in a moribund redundant London-centric Union as this one. Shame on those who damn us all by supporting this insidious, deceitful and destructive sham. Thu 30 Oct 2008 00:21:03 GMT+1 oldnat #128 mr_ripvanwinkleGlad you're awake now. Things may have changed a bit while you were asleep.America will have a Democrat or Republican President next week.The UK has a Labour Government which is indistinguishable from the Tories.There is a financial crisis.Celtic beat Kilmarnock tonightOn second thoughts ........... Thu 30 Oct 2008 00:19:43 GMT+1 enneffess If the Lib Dems every get near power again I will definitely emigrate. I can accept almsot any other party, but not them.Perhaps someone should point out just why they have been out of power for decades.What gets me with Labour, is if they used their head they cannot lose with LIT.If they let the SNP (in other word vote with them) implement LIT, then if it fails they know the voters would crucify the SNP come the next election. And even the most hardened nationalist mist accept that could happen.But if LIT actually works - which I have my doubts, then they can implement it in England and perhaps keep everyone happy. But time is not on their side, hence I think that may be one reason why they are objecting.Or I might be talking mince! Thu 30 Oct 2008 00:08:29 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #127 oldnatPoints taken. The only "excuse" I can think of for the LibDems is that just maybe they don't want to risk too big a confrontation with NuLab or the Tories in case there's a hung Westmidden parliament next time, and so coming up with a package they expect to be defeated in Holyrood would make fewest waves "in the other place". Wed 29 Oct 2008 23:54:36 GMT+1 handclapping BrianAs Adam Smith seems to find favour with you, would you care to expound on - If any of the provinces of the British empire cannot be made to contribute towards the support of the whole empire, it is surely time that Great Britain should free herself from the expense of defending those provinces in time of war, and of supporting any part of their civil or military establishments in time of peace, and endeavour to accommodate her future views and designs to the real mediocrity of her circumstances. - ? Wed 29 Oct 2008 23:35:13 GMT+1 handclapping #126. U13282939You don't suppose they sent it to the "real" holder of your previous name (Who he?). It is the B-bc remember; as I said before - None of them could organise a drinks party in a brewery - that is the only good reason for the SNP, at least it would be our own mistakes and not second hand ones. Wed 29 Oct 2008 22:59:54 GMT+1 oldnat #126 U13282939If you have a spam filter operating, then the BBC email may be languishing in your Spam folder (Firefox - or its equivalent in Internet Explorer)."wicked sense of humour" - I'm deeply,deeply hurt! All I do is ask gentle questions of the likes of expat, but they just sulk and refuse to answer. Wed 29 Oct 2008 22:45:47 GMT+1 mr_ripvanwinkle 125. At 9:56pm on 29 Oct 2008, oldnat.tried it again with a new registration and lo and behold it worked today.henceforth i am now me. Wed 29 Oct 2008 22:34:58 GMT+1 oldnat #124 Brownedov"Even NuLab drafters might not go that far"I don't think it's a matter for the drafters, but the political application.If the Lib-Dems had been the largest party, then I think Labour would still have opposed Scottish LIT because they don't want the matter raised south of the border.I noted Skip_NC's comment.Isn't it strange that the SNP are accused by the Lib_Dems (among others) of picking fights with Westminster, yet the SNP LIT proposal is clearly within the Scotland Act, yet the Lib_Dem's demands for changes to the Government's proposal actually increases the confrontation with Westminster. Wed 29 Oct 2008 22:19:02 GMT+1 U13282939 125. At 9:56pm on 29 Oct 2008, oldnat.yes, i know you have a wicked sense of humour which i enjoy.i tried to register a new user name but they keep on saying that i have to reply to their email, which they don't send me. Wed 29 Oct 2008 22:18:58 GMT+1 oldnat #123 U13282939I do wish you would register a new name!The Lib-Dems are serious politicians (OK I made that bit up), so I thought they could read. Wed 29 Oct 2008 21:56:00 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #121 oldnat"If I read your post correctly, then the Lib-Dem proposal on LIT might not have been allowable under the Scotland Act."That's certainly the way I read the act, but I am no lawyer. It talks about rate of variation singular and taxpayers collective. If I'm wrong then there is nothing in that part of the act to stop one individual being given a discount rate and another being surcharged.Even NuLab drafters might not go that far, but be unable to "think outside the box" re sensible variations.Do read Skip_NC's #133 near the end of the previous thread also. Together, I think it explains why the SNP seemingly want to go for a "vanilla" initial solution to get it started. Wed 29 Oct 2008 21:50:45 GMT+1 U13282939 121. At 9:09pm on 29 Oct 2008, oldnat.i would not like the lib dems to be blamed for not understanding the scotland act in respect to was nulab that wrote up the scotland act ( dewar / smith / wendy ) i believe. Wed 29 Oct 2008 21:42:27 GMT+1 handclapping #121 oldnatblogs are not audible; how come you sound surprised?"the end of boom and bust"; Actually I was expecting him to have gone by the time that chicken came home to roost.None of them could organise a drinks party in a brewery and yet they feel impelled to micro-manage our lives. Wed 29 Oct 2008 21:40:51 GMT+1 oldnat #114 BrownedovIf I read your post correctly, then the Lib-Dem proposal on LIT might not have been allowable under the Scotland Act.It seems that neither Labour nor the Lib-Dems understand the legislation that they originally created. Wed 29 Oct 2008 21:09:45 GMT+1 Richard_the_Rogue #79 brigadier,Well said indeed, but not everyone blaming Brown was supping at the trough of excess or cheering him on. I have no shares, I rent, I don't consume excessively (I spend less than 60 percent of my income annually), I have never had a foreign holiday at my own expense and certainly never on credit, I don't have decking and certainly haven't overstretched myself.I chose to live this way deliberately. Why? Precisely because I saw what was coming, though I freely admit I didn't predict exactly when or how. People thought I was bonkers but I thought otherwise.Why should I thank Brown for attempting to undo what he himself played no small part in creating?The whole of our financial system is a house of cards. One of the bottom cards fell out and Brown propped it back up, but it's shoogly.And it's still a house of cards. Wed 29 Oct 2008 21:08:53 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #105 brigadierjohnAlthough, as a Liberal I would personally prefer the LibDem approach of individual councils setting their own requirements, I have actually read these pages over the past few days and as a result looked at the Scotland Act in some detail.Unfortunately, the LibDem proposals and "unearned" income provisions seem to be outwith the act as it stands. As a result, I feel that the SNP plan is probably the leastworst option for now as being the most progressive that can be obtained under the NuLab UK government.It would also have the merit of being within the Scotland Act provisions and so precisely what the UK government, HM Treasury and the Inland Revenue / HMRC (should?) have been planning for over the last decade. Wed 29 Oct 2008 21:08:13 GMT+1 oldnat #114 BrownedovGood bit of research. Wed 29 Oct 2008 21:04:25 GMT+1 enneffess 112. At 8:13pm on 29 Oct 2008, oldnat wrote:Given the number of roundabouts in Glenrothes, their GPS systems could have them going round in circles!------------If you think that's bad, come to where I live in East Kilbride. They reproduce! Wed 29 Oct 2008 21:03:20 GMT+1 oldnat Expat was asking about the prospects for small countries in the current economic turmoil.While the Financial Times economic weather map is 9 days old, it's worth a look - especially for those who prefer visual images to tables of numbers.Funny that a lot of the bigger countries don't have wonderful prospects either, but some people always want to claim that size matters. Wed 29 Oct 2008 21:01:22 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #100 Anaxim"at the moment, independence is dead"If you're referring to the numbers in R-E's #57, then you should probably also consider the 39.3% more likely to back independence if Cameron wins the next general election, a statistic R-E chose not to mention.Convalescent might describe the current situation better, and it may be more realistic to consider a multi-choice referendum once Calman has published. Wed 29 Oct 2008 20:47:47 GMT+1 Barbazenzero Skip_NC's #133 on the previous thread is well worth a read if regarding LIT.Also, Capt. Darling's remark about 32 different rates is misleading. Under the existing Scotland Act 1998, only 13 different possibilities are allowed, including the existing 0%, because the variations may only be by whole or half percentages. Even any local variations at all may need a further amendment to the act, since it only refers to Scottish taxpayers collectively - not a model of clarity.It's not easy to envisage such amendments being nodded through by the NuLab UK government just now. Wed 29 Oct 2008 20:35:36 GMT+1 cynicalHighlander Interesting the football pundits don't like politicians interfering in their domain. Will the ref call foul and issue a red card or rosette.'Sir Alex Ferguson helps Labour in Glenrothes by-election campaign' 'In a leaflet being delivered to all 40,000 households in the constituency, the Manchester United manager argued the Prime Minister "deserves support" while he deals with the current economic turmoil.' Wed 29 Oct 2008 20:27:54 GMT+1 oldnat To balance the brig's mention of the Norwegian Foreign Minister story in the Daily Mail(which no one else seems to have picked up yet, and the Mail don't bother to put their Scottish edition stories online), here's another Mail story suggesting that "The Labour operation is said to be short of footsoldiers so there is a big push on to get MPs and folk from CLPs up north [Glenrothes]this weekend"Given the number of roundabouts in Glenrothes, their GPS systems could have them going round in circles! Wed 29 Oct 2008 20:13:38 GMT+1 BrianSH BrigadeerjohnReluctantexpatderekbarkersalmondellaStill bitter from losing that election in 2007?'We wuz robbed!' the Labour party councillors cry! Wed 29 Oct 2008 20:00:38 GMT+1 ScotInNotts #100 Anaxim"Lloyds TSB are a sensible company, they can read the opinion polls as easily as anyone else, and at the moment, independence is dead."Have you been reading using R-E's glasses again? Wed 29 Oct 2008 19:49:51 GMT+1 Tom #100.Anaxim.The Independence movement died in 1999 when the Scottish Parliament was created. Oh wait, that did not stick either. Infact several years later we have the Scottish National Party governing Scotland who also have their party membership increasing...If you close your eyes, hold your hands over your ears then repeat the line 'Independence is dead' it may one day come true. For now the Scottish National Party appear to be here to last and unless they run into major problems I believe they are expected to be our next government at the Scottish Parliament. Wed 29 Oct 2008 19:45:51 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #95 oldnatI know that the LibDems have been behaving a little oddly lately, but they are still officially Federalist. I think it's a little harsh of you to lump them together with archly unionist NuLab and the officially unionist Tories. Wed 29 Oct 2008 19:21:03 GMT+1 oldnat #96 InMyKipI don't think that there are many "beautiful snow-capped mountains just down the road" from the House of Commons!btw Did you see Brian Donohoe being slapped down by the Speaker at Scottish Questions for inappropriate language?Not that I'm suggesting that there's any connection between Expat and Donohoe you understand! Wed 29 Oct 2008 19:19:10 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #90 oldnatA slow news day. It certainly bodes the question of why he didn't stop his motorcade to get out in Glenrothes and buy one, doing a little "campaigning" at the same time? It also makes one wonder if he actually buys his own, charging it to expenses like Sky Sports, on the basis that it's "uniform" for the Cenotaph? Wed 29 Oct 2008 19:13:38 GMT+1 brigadierjohn Thanks to all who replied, or should that be who retaliated!Scottishrepublic and U132etc: Nothing is going to persuade you guys that anyone who questions the SNP position is other than a liar, a unionist traitor or, please not me, a Labourite. So why should I bother? To be kind, however, let me offer the humble opinion that your rants, bordering on the incoherent, damage the cause of Nationalism with their simplistic, blank denial of the most basic counter-arguments.Thomas #85: How are you? I don't think our Norwegian friend was worried about Scottish Independence. He was just making the point that they are not like us, and don't welcome comparisons.As for the Taxman, you know the bother civil servants encounter by making political statements. This was just a top tax professional giving a practical answer to a technical question.Brownedov #80: I didn't see The Times, so can't comment. I will choose which end of the telescope to view from! But I still don't see how you can equate an agreed principle on income tax variation with the convoluted, open-ended, local-cum-national nonsense put forward by the SNP.Anyway, I've had a few days off and the Magic Roundabout continued to spin in its chaotic way without me. Ah but..., yes but..., no but... Or is that another comedy show?I'm going to leave Mr Salmond to his troubles for a while. Most of them are on this blog! Wed 29 Oct 2008 19:07:49 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #87 U13282939LOL - succinctly put. Wed 29 Oct 2008 19:04:43 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #85 Thomas_Porter"If LIT is all bad then why attempt to stop your political rivals from making the mistakes?"Apart from the competence issues I raise in my #80, I strongly suspect that a working LIT would have both England and Wales clamouring for it, too, to replace the inordinately complex system of the Council Tax with nearly 400 variations in England alone before taking Parish Precepts into account or considering its regressive nature.If it were insisted upon by the English electorate, just consider how many town hall jobs would be saved - most of them union members and NuLab contributors. Opposition to it might be part of the secret funding deal reached between NuLab and the unions at Warwick. Wed 29 Oct 2008 19:00:56 GMT+1 Barbazenzero #81 Reluctant-ExpatThank you for your idea, from which I can only conclude that you must be paid for making your own "contributions". So long as your posts distort the facts, I will do my best to correct them whenever I am in a position to do so."instead of trying to spin it as '5% of the gap'!"You seem to forget that the key relevant numbers (Lab 37.9%, SNP 29.4%) are for UK elections under the 1872 plurality system, where - as the immortal Irving Mills would have said - It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing). The gap (or so-called majority) is exactly double the swing needed to displace the incumbent. Nationally, the SNP need a swing of 4.25% to displace NuLab not the 4.5% your post suggests. In that context, a change of more than 5% is statistically significant.I do not for a moment dispute the Brown 42%, Salmond 23% in your #57 although I would have put Cameron's 7.6% in too, for transparency. What I do object to is your Brown (+16%), Salmond (-13%) which related to a different question with different options. Wed 29 Oct 2008 18:48:13 GMT+1 Older than the Pyramids #90, oldnatTrivialising the kind of poppy worn is inappropriate, and the matter significant, if it means that Gordon Brown only contributed to the Royal British Legion poppy appeal (which specifically excludes activities in Scotland) and not to the the corresponding appeal of Royal British Legion Scotland.I have always found it disgusting, disgraceful and an insult to all who fought - whether killed, injured, or neither - in the name of the United Kingdom that there is this monstrous division necessitated because of separate legal jurisdictions, etc.Hence, despite the fact that I have not visited England (or, indeed, set foot outside Scotland) for something over 19 years, I offer a donation to the non-Scottish appeal as well as wearing my Scottish poppy with pride.I wonder if GB et al would be more inclined to wear the Scottish poppy if it didn't look so unimpressive - we don't get a bit of leaf, but this has been the norm south of the border for many years, and the latter looks more like a quality item.Of course, it shouldn't matter what it looks like but Scots appearing on 'national' BBC programmes look like poor relations, and I am sure some English think it is because the mean Scots have saved and re-used their poppy for all the years since the English design changed away from that which persists here. Wed 29 Oct 2008 18:27:26 GMT+1 Anaxim I assume Salmond will offer low corporate taxes to Lloyds when independence comes. That's been his standard pitch up to now.Or he may decide not to bother with this angle. Lloyds TSB are a sensible company, they can read the opinion polls as easily as anyone else, and at the moment, independence is dead.Either way, he's in a very weak debating position. A third option would be to pay lip service to his ideal, whilst discarding it in frank discussion. That's a tightrope he can walk for only so long. Wed 29 Oct 2008 18:19:29 GMT+1 ScotInNotts #88"Is it not clear what I am for? I am for a devolved Scottish Government that sticks to its remit"Does that include not having fiscal autonomy for Scotland?I take it by that statement your quite happy with the current political set up, regarding a devolved parliament in Scotland, devolved assemblys in Wales and Northern Ireland and a UK parliament?Its become clear that the status quo does not work, particularly as England does not have its own legislature solely concerned with English affiars, and Scotland cannot exercise control over its own economy and resources to meet its populations needs.Whether you are for or against independence in Scotland, a devolved Scottish government that sticks to its remit without having fiscal autonomy cannot sufficiently address issues that affect Scottish citizens lives. Something has to change. Wed 29 Oct 2008 18:15:09 GMT+1 Tom #89.Oldnat.Those who back the Union are terrible with their arguements. The same arguements could be used to support the European Union.How can Britain influence the world stage? The European Union has greater economic influence.How can Britain fund her military? A European Military could defend Europe and base troops abroad. The military budget would be greater and the capabilities would increase because of the amount of people involved.Britain is unfit to run her own affairs... several banks nationalised, sinking in debt. Britain can not be Independent... Wed 29 Oct 2008 18:15:07 GMT+1