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Feeding frenzy

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Nick Robinson | 18:03 UK time, Tuesday, 3 October 2006

BOURNEMOUTH: There have been many surreal moments at this conference, but none quite as surreal as this. I am standing with roughly 60 of journalism's finest, awaiting a rumoured appearance by the unofficial star of today's Tory conference.

I speak, of course, of Boris.

The media, denied what they regard as a proper story, latched on to comments made by the Tory higher education spokesman at a fringe meeting at which he stood up for mums shoving pies through school railings. This is a little unfortunate given that Jamie Oliver is the sole example of "social responsibility in action" cited by the Tory leader in his opening speech. He also said that the problem with Gordon Brown ever being prime minister was that he is Scottish.

Boris has already apologised to the people of Liverpool, and to the nation of Papua New Guinea. We await what he will say this time.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 06:39 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Tom Belton wrote:

Just when (some) people were starting to beleive Cameron's speechs, a real tory starts talking the same old rubbish.. . "don't interfer too much with people's lives." When will they see sometimes its needed !!!

As a Scot myself, I have to agree with Boris (there's a sentence I never etc, etc). That's presuming he means the problem is that Brown represets a Scottish constituency.

With devolution, it does seem unfair that an MP representing a Scottish constituency could be Prime Minister and make decisions on English education, health or whatever. S'nae right.

In the old days, before Blair, we had this thing called Cabinet government and that might have made it more acceptable. If the Education Secretary, for example, was actually allowed the room to make decisions, rather than simply having to follow the PM's orders, that would help. The Scottish PM could appoint MPs from English constituencies to the relevant departments. Not perfect but probably workable.

But if Brown intends to run govt from the top like King Tony before him (I expect he does) then it is a problem.

  • 3.
  • At 07:10 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Nick Biggs wrote:

Nick

I am not sure if Boris Johnson has so far had a career of apologies or an apology of a career. I suspect the latter.

  • 4.
  • At 07:49 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Paul Dockree wrote:

I have posted it before but would suggest Boris Johnson only "plays" the foot in mouth buffoon. The "Have I Got news for You" programme has helped in this guise.

There is a first class mind behind all that bluster but it seems to suit his purposes to be seen as someone who doesn't put his brain in gear before he opens his gob.

That makes him less of a clown and more of a smiling gormless assassin.

Like that character in "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid" he wants to be seen as "colourful". The character Strother Martin played in that film got himself shot just after that remark. Let us hope that Boris doesn't suffer a similar fate for this latest "gaff".

I smiled at that person who Emailed the FiveLive radio station a few weeks ago suggesting that the whole of New Guinea should have Boris Johnson "around for dinner!" I myself would find him and his views rather indigestible - like his viws on what is good grub for kids - they say not many edible things in nature are a deep blue colour. I would agree. Pass the ketchup!

  • 5.
  • At 07:51 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • ken from Gloucester wrote:

Good for Boris! Everybody should be allowed to speak their mind. Let us put to one side school dinners and look at his comments on Gordon Brown. Scots M.P,s voting on purely English matters. The Barnett Formulae giving £1800 per head MORE of tax payers money to each Scot.

Top up fees for the English but not Scotland? Care of the elderly free in Scotland and about £20,000 per year if you are English so you can watch the value of your house disappear!! No it is not fair and at last the English have begun to notice this!

I can promise you that any Scot as Prime Minister under the present arrangements is going to have a very rough ride.

Why do you think T.B is trying his best to stop G.B?

  • 6.
  • At 08:32 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Neil Cahill wrote:

Nick, concerning your comment that that Boris Johnson's support for these take-away mums is 'a little unfortunate', I find myself wondering what is more unfortunate, that a party member speaks his mind or that the majority don't?

When the "New Tories" file in behind their leader for the sake of appearance, when politicians are so power-hungry that they lose their respect of being honest or truthful, for me this is most unfortunate.

Boris is an example for others to follow. Perhaps some of his comments have been out of place, but at least they are his own. If only more politicians would take a page from his book, perhaps more people would care to vote.

  • 7.
  • At 08:52 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Craig McGill wrote:

The thing that annoys me over this comment about Scots not being allowed to vote on English matters...where were all the people outraged about this during the 18 years that the Conservatives imposed their will on Scotland with a minority of MPs? It's sickening.

  • 8.
  • At 09:10 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • anon wrote:

Jamie Oliver is the one who should apologise, for his anti-freedom crusade against personal responsibility in choosing what to eat. This sort of thing should have went out with Nazism and Communism.

  • 9.
  • At 09:15 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Brian Tomkinson, Bolton,UK wrote:

I have never understood why Boris is regarded as a serious front bench politician. He is certainly a character of sorts with a bumbling type of appeal but does anyone really take his comments seriously?


  • 10.
  • At 09:22 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • brian wrote:

As usual Boris is right but phrases it badly. The state has no business telling parents what to feed their children, although it is right for the state to make suggestions and give guidance. If parents and children in the school in question have not got the message about healthy eating then THEY obviously don't care.

The whole business of "nannyism" is when I know better than someone else what is good for THEM and then force them to do it for THEIR good, regardless of how they feel.

The govt. and Jamie Oliver have done their bit. They have highlighted the problem and created a solution, but people don't have to use it.

It is a free world. If parents and children want to eat their way an early grave then we have no business stopping them.

  • 11.
  • At 09:23 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Willstead Ash wrote:

But then Tony Blair is Scottish too.

  • 12.
  • At 09:24 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Howard (Manchester) wrote:

Perhaps Boris is intended as the Tory sacrificial lamb, designed to act as a buffer (buffoon rather) between the Tory leading lights on the one hand and the massed ranks of the press on the other, poised, as ever, to devour anyone in polotics who puts so much as a foot wrong.

What happens though after he does eventually resign? that's what I'd like to know - I'll keep an eye on this column to find out.

  • 13.
  • At 09:37 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Richard Marriott wrote:

Give the poor guy a break - he is the Tory's court jester - we need characters like him in politics. He means no harm and just wants to stand up for the poor, ordinary people of this country, increasingly pushed around by the bossy, humourless, PC nanny state ushered in by Labour.

Boris is slightly off the mark when he says the problem with Gordon Brown is that he's Scottish.

The problem is that Gordon Brown is elected to a Scottish constituency. Were he English and elected to a Scottish constituency he would still be unsuitable as a Prime Minister.

Gordon Brown was elected on a very narrow range of policies. There are very few areas affecting Scotland that haven't been devolved and his constituents elected him on his manifesto regarding those issues. They didn't elect him based on his policies on the NHS, education, environment, etc. because their MSP deals with all that.

It is unthinkable that an MP with a constituency outside of England should be allowed to spend around 80% of his time making policy decisions that only affect England when nobody in England can hold him accountable at an election. To then allow that same MP to become Prime Minister with such a tenous mandate is simply morally and democratically wrong.

If England had a devolved government like the rest of the UK has which dealt solely with English affairs, the Prime Minister's constituency wouldn't be an issue but whilst England is run by Scottish politicians representing a party that the English didn't elect, the only acceptable candidate for Prime Minister would have an English constituency.

Boris for Prime Minister!

Dear Nick, Your report on the Ten O’clock News left me disgusted. Rather than give the Conservatives the fair coverage they deserve, you seek a 'no' story concerning Boris Johnson. Its almost as if the BBC are actively seeking division at this years conference. Your coverage of Norman Tebbit, and now Boris Johnson just sums up the bias of the BBC. You've spent more time talking about them over the last two nights than anything else. Anything to put the Conservatives in negative light hey Nick? What 'gems' have we got lined up for tomorrow? People trust you to be fair. What you say at 10 O'clock has serious resonance, because for many it’s probably the only news they sit down and listen to all day. Live up to your responsibilities, and be fair. That’s all we ask.

  • 16.
  • At 10:26 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Stefan wrote:

I'm sorry, but I just don't understand what the problem is. The other two 'apologies' were for statements that could have been genuinely offensive to many people. I fail to see how this is offensive, unless it is somehow no longer allowed to express one's opinion of something that is already ridiculously sensationalised in the media anyway.

I'm the first to berate the Tory Old Etonian mafia, not least because there's 15 of them in the Shadow Cabinet. But if it's a choice between Jamie Oliver and the tory toffs, give me the toffs every time.

  • 18.
  • At 10:31 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Davie wrote:

So Brown can`t be PM because he's Scottish? So is it OK for Cameron to be PM because he's second generation jock?

Bluntly if the Tories want english only MPs voting on exclusive English issues then they better start campaigning for English Independence, or at very least firm devolution for England.

As if Boris and his ilk want Eng for Eng only then they need to be able to define what is an 'english-only issue', which is pretty difficult in a UK legislature.

Personally the sooner Scotland gets Indepednece the better for Scotland, and for the current English political identity crisis that the likes of Boris seem to be suffering.

  • 19.
  • At 10:43 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Sword wrote:

We want Boris, We want Boris!

Its just so refreshing to find a politician that is willing to speak his mind.

Of course, he's larely out of it - but he should stay around and in a very prominent position too!

He "keeps it real".

  • 20.
  • At 11:00 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Andrew Webb wrote:

Lay off Boris.
He is a very funny person and the only one that makes the Tories different from Labour and the Lib Dems.
Surely he should speak his mind but only if it does not land him into trouble in which a few occasions.
But if offends someone, he shouldn't apologise unless it was really offensive like the article he wrote which offended the city of Liverpool.
But overall, a top guy and him and Hague's witty sillyness surely make the Tories a bearable party to run the Country then Labour with the annoying 'who's running the country' and 'who wanst to be a labour leader/Prime Minister' story which is starting to bore me!.

'The Barnett Formulae giving £1800 per head MORE of tax payers money to each Scot.

Top up fees for the English but not Scotland?' - Ken from Gloucester

You are of course aware that Scotland contributes billions of pounds more in tax revenue (from the oil off our coast etc.) than it receives in return? Even taking your figure of £1800 per head more as correct, that means that it is Scotland which is subsidising England.

Secondly, the reason that the English have top up fees and Scotland doesn't is because the Scottish Parliament decided not to have them. I'm not sure why that offends you in some way, but Scotland decided to increase the proportion of its tax revenue that it spent on university education. In other words, Scotland's decision not to have top up fees did not affect tax levels in England in any way.

I have the perfect answer to the West Lothian question - Scottish independence. Since so many English people seem to dislike having Scotland as part of the UK (and having Scottish MPs in the UK Parliament), and plenty of people in Scotland aren't too fond of being part of the UK either, Scottish independence would keep all of us happy!

  • 22.
  • At 11:20 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • David wrote:

The only thing of note in this story is that the same old journalists are harangueing the same old issues. Boris Johnson made a comment, so what? With no disrespect to him, it's irrelevant. Except in the small-minded imagination of a bunch of journalists who can't be bothered to concentrate on serious issues. Grow up.

  • 23.
  • At 11:32 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • denzil wrote:

BBC are at it again!

boris takes a swipe at jamie oliver.. he didnt even mention his name in his speech according to the report linked here.

its all the political editor's opinion, because someone somewhere earlier in the week made reference to jamie oliver's prgress.

hardly a story is it! i used to be a big fan of yours nick, but since moving to the bbc, your reports are going downhill a bit.

tell them all to shove it Boris, you keep speaking your mind, stuff the lot of them, freedom of speech and all that jazz.

shame the bbc dont go after the other straight talker in politics.... john prescott, god knows there's enough story there to fill the bbc website for months!

  • 24.
  • At 11:41 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • UK get sorted wrote:

Nick Robinson has hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately Boris minces his words sometimes and is forced to retreat. He really needs to learn to like "lean mince" - not all that fatty junk!

  • 25.
  • At 11:41 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • jonty wrote:

SambaSam (comment 15) -

I missed the ten o'clock news tonight but I was watching William Hague's speech on Foreign Policy on BBC2 this afternoon. An interesting subject and one of the better speakers was interrupted by the BBC in order that Andrew Neil could ask fatuous questions of Michael Howard. This was followed by comments from two interviewees who were blatant in their contempt for the Conservative party. No balance there.

  • 26.
  • At 11:53 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Steve Riseborough wrote:

It's a great shame that politicians in this country are not allowed to have personalities. No wonder the electorate is disinterested and political parties are increasingly populated by message-spewing clones when our cynical yet oddly puritanical media attempts to destroy any public figure who shows the slightest hint of humanity. I've never voted Conservative in my life but I'm growing to like Boris Johnson. We need more like him.

  • 27.
  • At 11:54 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Steve Ellwood wrote:

Davie said "...if Boris and his ilk want Eng for Eng only then they need to be able to define what is an 'english-only issue', which is pretty difficult in a UK legislature".

Not really.
As an Englishman domiciled in Scotland, I can think of at least health and education reserved to my *MSP* - no English MP has a say in that. Why should my *MP* have a say in English education?

  • 28.
  • At 12:05 AM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Gwyn wrote:

I stand firmly for the principle that Boris (And I) should be permitted the basic right of speaking his mind without it turning into a circus spectatular.

I don't care whether he is right or wrong. The fact that he dares to say it is everything.

I would stand by any politician that can speak the truth as he sees it and not the highly polished party line that the all hide behind,I want to know who is representing me.

The main obstacle to this is the press, for God's sake stop wringing your hands about the fact that he said it and ask WHY he said it.

  • 29.
  • At 12:21 AM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Chris Long wrote:

Freedom of speech and expression anyone? Mr Johnson was speaking at a meeting to people with whom he has a close relation ship and he expressed an opinion. Is the fact that it is not universally agreeable a reason to critise him? If he made a speech to the conference critising Mr Oliver (which he in fact did not directly do - saying something is "a bit much" is hardly scathing critisism) and Mr Brown, then that would be another matter, but this is an example of firstly the media looking for a story where there is not one, and secondly another encroachment on freedom of speech. We need polititians who will put forward and debate their views.

  • 30.
  • At 01:08 AM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Yeliu Chuzai wrote:

I guess most people who take a passing interest in Boris, have seen through him by now. He's basically a deeply unpleasant guy with a genius for manipulation.
But why should this stop the press pack ! Boris and Norman Tebbit have given them what they expect from a Tory conference, so no need for further effort.

Davie, some of us (English) are campaining for English independence and the desire for it grows every day.

One of the problems is that the media, especially the BBC hate the idea and refuse to mention it. Look at NR's take on the Boris story; focussing on the celebrity chef angle and misrepresenting Boris' comments on the West Lothian Question. That's pretty typical.

Organisations like the BBC and the British government rightly feel a chill of fear when the English start to speak - they see their own doom.

Bring it on - home rule for England.

  • 32.
  • At 09:32 AM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • George Dutton wrote:

I think Boris Johnson is one of the most cleverists people in the world.He has made an art form and a lot of money out of being a clown.I have to think this as if he really is like that then all is truly lost.

  • 33.
  • At 10:39 AM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Joseph wrote:

Come now. Boris' role is to disagree with Mr Cameron just to the required extent. What's the point of 'taking the party to centre ground' if you don't leave someone on the right? Boris is smarter than you think.

  • 34.
  • At 10:42 AM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

Nick,

A little history, when I was at school some ** years ago I, and many of my peers, sneaked out at lunchtime to visit the local chip shop. School meals were, at that time, pretty awful. My peers and I were not fat or obese. My point being, Jamie Oliver may be correct in his assertion that changing school meals will solve this weighty problem, but at present it seems that changing our eating habits is the only solution that can be advanced. Surely what we are looking at is a problem that has many contributary factors.

I am no expert, but what I see is people who lead sedentary lives becoming fatter whilst those who are more active remain thinner. It may be that all the thin people in the world eat balanced meals, but I have my doubts. From my own experience, as a child I was quite active - playing football virtually every lunchtime and out and about after school.

God forbid that the government might read these comments, we would probably end up with a blanket ban on video games and find kids being at home in front of the TV becoming an ASBO offence. Of course a smart government might see that investing some of the tax take in encouraging kids to take a more active life would help with this obesity problem and also with removing the current blight of kids hanging around and getting into/causing trouble.

Boris may be a disaster waiting to happen, but simply dismissing him as a bumbling jester is a mistake. In his eccentric way he makes a point that has some validity, enforcing a menu on kids and banning the sale of fast foods may not be the best or only solution.

Maybe we should question the policy rather than pillory those who may not be 100% on board with it.

  • 35.
  • At 11:33 AM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Gary Elsby wrote:

I think it is grossly unfair of the BBC to give so little time to something as important as this.

Dave speaks of the NHS (as though he cares)

Willie gives a monumentous speech on Europe (an apology to its supporters)

Georgy gives a thunderous oratory of tax policies (none whatsoever)

And poor old Boris, poor, poor old Boris, who wants to stuff pies into the mouths of the obese under-fed working classes throught he school fence only gets a mere 5 minutes of air time.

Shame on the BBC.

This has been a great, great week for the Conservative party and all you have chosen to broadcast is those within its hierarchy that said, and want to do, absolutely nothing.

Boris at least wants to feed the poor.

Rejoice.


Gary

Ah, North Sea oil - that old chestnut.

Do the maths - last year Scotland received a subsidy of £11.3bn from the Treasury. North Sea oil revenues totalled £7.3bn. Assuming Scotland hasn't invented its own numbering system, that's a net subsidy of £4.3bn.

As for Scotland's claim to North Sea oil, lets just remember that the English weren't asked before the maritime border was moved and any divorce settlement should see the maritime put back to its correct position per international convention and English North Sea oil returned back to England.

  • 37.
  • At 12:51 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • CaptainWej wrote:

Lol! Top marks to Boris for being, well, Boris. As per the genius behind that facade of a clowning buffoon, only a Tory govt in power would tell. But, I did stumble across this - a bit of substance behind the madness, perchance...?

https://www.fenews.co.uk/newsview.asp?n=1854.

Who knows?

  • 38.
  • At 12:58 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • David Rogers wrote:

This country belongs to the people, not the government. The government has no business spending OUR money telling us what it believes is good for us. This govt is expanding gambling laws, allowing us to imbide in toxic substances such as alcohol and tobacco and then spends vast amount of funds telling our kids not to eat twizzlers. Mind your own business!

  • 39.
  • At 02:31 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

Some balance from Nick Robinson in his reports would be nice. Most people are not interested in what you think Nick, they just want to be told about the days events.

  • 40.
  • At 02:34 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • craig McGill wrote:

Re: Steve Ellwood:

"Why should my *MP* have a say in English education?"

Why did the Tories (who did not have the majority of the vote in Scotland) for 18 years get to dictate not only on Scottish education policy, but also legal policy - matters which were purely Scottish. Why did they get a say in it Steve?

I don't recall people caring about this issue then - in fact Scots were just told that to lump it because that was how democracy worked.

If England wants to go it alone fine, let's get a referendum done once and for all - countries alone or a united kingdom with limited home rules.

  • 41.
  • At 02:59 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Anne Wotana Kaye wrote:

If the tories really want to win the next election they should be led by Boris Johnson. Boris is a true blue and a good old fashioned English eccentric. I can see him developing into a Churchillian figure, both in character and physical appearance, and he is, without doubt the man to lead the conservatives. We do not need candidates who have "something of the night" about them, nor do we need immature chameleons. WE WANT BORIS!!!!


  • 42.
  • At 03:16 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Malcolm wrote:

David Russell wonders why the English having top up fees when the Scots don't offends the English? I can tell him why: because the measure was only passed at Westminster by using the votes of MP's sitting for Scottish constituencies - that's why! It is a constitutional and democratic outage that devolution has been implemented in such a way. Every issue that is devolved to Hollyrood, should also be devolved to England, and the cheapest way would be to prevent MP's for Scottish seats having any say (it's not rocket science Davie).

As for the old canard about the oil, much of it is in "English" waters (check the international maritime boundary laws) and ALL of it was developed by money from the UK taxpayer (not the Scots alone), so I'd say we all have claim to it. If so many Scots really want independance (personally, as a half-Scot, I think they are way too canny) then go ahead, but once their share of the oil has gone, to whom will they turn? I suppose they always live off the chips on their shoulders!

Vote for Boris!

  • 43.
  • At 06:32 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Russell Long wrote:

I absolutely disagree with Yeliu Chuzai's (post 30) analysis of Boris Johnson as a 'deeply unpleasant guy with a genius for manipulation'. He is genuinely likeable, enormously talented and whilst he may suffer from non-PC foot-in-mouth syndrome he is a remarkable character, and character is something sorely lacking in our lacquered modern politicians.

David Russell's (post 21) diatribe against the English and his claim that Scotland subsidises England is quite wrong. He has presumably read the SNP's "Scotland in Surplus" manifesto for economic independence for Scotland and is basing his analysis on that. Well sadly, "Scotland in Surplus" makes a number of enormous assumptions, not the least of which is that the National Debt will be accepted - in its entirety - by England, and that Scotland will walk away with 0 debt and no debt repayments upon independence. So the idea that Scotland will be able to support itself is a fantasy.

  • 44.
  • At 08:46 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Herbert G. wrote:

I agree with Boris, and would go further. Who is this unelected Jamie Oliver person that he tries to tell us how to feed our kids? And there are many problems with Brown, even if he is not, strictly speaking autistic, which make him unsuitable ever to be PM. Ask Cherie Blair!

  • 45.
  • At 09:38 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • David wrote:

So Nick,

Why didn't you display my post criticising you petty-minded journalists for getting distracted from more relevant issues...again? Come on, Nick, stop the BBC censorship!

  • 46.
  • At 09:40 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • pam skelding wrote:

Boris Johnson, the term 'upper class twit' comes to mind.

  • 47.
  • At 11:52 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • tel2star wrote:

Boris for Prime Minister. What a refreshing change.

  • 48.
  • At 03:16 AM on 05 Oct 2006,
  • Paul L wrote:

Truly disgusting bias has been shown by the BBC over the past few days. Cutting William Hagues live speach a few minutes in just to speak to Michael Howard about Tory party funding. Each question was replied to with the complete contempt it desevered as Mr Howard was absolutely baffled to why WH's speach was interrupted.

Then the pointless attempts to drag out some right wing views from Tebbit, Redwood et al. Are they in the shadow cabinet? Do they really matter in the big scheme of things?

On the Boris issue, again just another pointless attempt by the BBC to spice up what has been a conference without hitch for the Tories.

My respect for the BBC and 'political' editor Nick Robinson is at an all time low. If you want to see proper news reporting then watch Channel 4.

  • 49.
  • At 01:25 PM on 05 Oct 2006,
  • Doug Read wrote:

Craig McGill makes the point that there were Boris and his ilk were silent on the subject of MPs from one area making policy for another where they had no mandate when Mrs T was in power. Indeed where were they?
The issue of University fees is discussed in the wrong terms. Those universities that charge fees up-front may be located in England and Wales - but many of the students come from Scotland (like my son did) and they still have to pay the fees so the policy affects the whole of UK and is thus NOT an England-only issue. Scottish Universities do charge fees - they just collect them later.
If Westminster is the UK parliament then it should not make any difference where the PM hails from - as long as he or she is British.
The obvious solution is a federal system with an English Parliament with the same powers as the Scots.

  • 50.
  • At 04:25 PM on 05 Oct 2006,
  • Steve Ellwood wrote:

Craig McGill fairly asks, "Why did the Tories (who did not have the majority of the vote in Scotland) for 18 years get to dictate not only on Scottish education policy, but also legal policy - matters which were purely Scottish."

Well, that was *before* there was a *Scottish* parliament, which had powers reserved to it. Things are different now, in case that had escaped anyone's attention.

The West Lothian question remains - and, of course, we benefit from the Barnett formula.

I *chose* to live in Scotland because of the law, the systems, and the people. I'll remain here if and when the Scottish Parliament invoke their tax raisng powers.

I support the SNP's principled stand in not voting on purely English affairs. Why everyone doesn't is beyond me.

  • 51.
  • At 10:28 PM on 05 Oct 2006,
  • John Izard wrote:

So now we have a Conservative Party leader who is in favour of gay marriage. I find it hard to believe that this will be good news to the Tories' geriatric members in palaces like Tunbridge Wells.

  • 52.
  • At 02:30 PM on 13 Oct 2006,
  • Paul Stewart wrote:

We Scots could not care less if our MPS voted on English matters. It was not us that brought the situation about. It was the Westminster Government. Go moan at them.

As for "Scots being able to support themselves a fantasy." The master race speaks again! That's the kind of condescending, pig-ignorant, attitude that stirs up anti English feeling in any Scot.

The Scots are one of the most pioneering, innovative, educated races in the history of modern civilisation. Our country teems with natural resources. But no how could we possibly manage without the English? From what i know about the history of the British (sorry English) Empire its you who would have struggled without us.

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