Cameron’s Prime Aberdeen Angus Bullshit

by craig on February 24, 2014 1:25 pm in Uncategorized

David Cameron is peddling bullshit of the premium Aberdeen Angus kind today.  At today’s oil prices, recoverable North Sea oil is worth a minimum of 1.2 trillion and a maximum of 2.4 trillion dollars.   Cameron is claiming that potential will not be released without government subsidy of 24 billion dollars, and that only the UK government’s “broad shoulders” can raise this.

It is nauseous to dive into such bulllshit to analyse it.  To knock a few noughts off, Cameron is saying that it is impossible to raise £10 investment if you have a guaranteed return of £5,000 and possibly £10,000.  Salmond’s counter that Norway manages these things is perfectly valid.

Am I the only one who wonders why the taxpayer, under Cameron’s plan, the taxpayer – ie you and me – should fund $20 billion to decommission oil platforms when the oil companies made, at today’s values, over $400 billion in straight profit from those platforms?  That payment to the oil companies constitutes 83% of the money from the UK which Cameron claims an independent Scotland would miss out on.  The money would not actually go to Scotland at all – it would go to British Gas, BP, Shell, Exxon and other such needy people, to compensate them for polluting us (sic!).

Finally, the taxation revenue to Scotland from the oil and gas after independence will be a minimum of $240 billion and a maximum of $500 billion more to the Scottish taxpayer if Scotland were independent, than the share Scotland will get within the UK.  Purely in terms of government revenue, Scotland will still be at least US 216 billion better off in taxes even if it pays the precious 24 billion Cameron is harping on about today.

Finally, the Cabinet is in Aberdeen and discussing vital revenue and investment questions, but where are they hiding George Osborne?  Have they hidden him behind a curtain with a bucket on his head?  Come on, we want George! Bring out your Family Trust Fund Public Schoolboys!!

 

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158 Comments

  1. George didn’t go to Eton.

  2. Thank you Fule. Amended appropriately.

  3. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 2:06 pm

    Possibly like yourself, I was under the impression that production licenses were granted on the basis that the company would be responsible for the cost of decommissioning when the well ran dry. Anyone know? However, our fiscally aware and (some-) taxpayer – friendly government introduced tax breaks for decommissioning and a Brown Field Allowance for companies redeveloping existing prospects.
    I’m not sure where Cameron gets his £24Bn figure: the industry spent ~£10Bn in 2013 alone on decommissioning, and if Cameron’s generous promise is amortised over the expected life of the N.Sea fields, it’s quite a small annual proportion of the cost – one which the companies could be expected to bear themselves.

  4. Hi Craig, what would your position be should Orkney and Shetland seek independence from an independent Scotland?

  5. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 2:12 pm

    Oh, and as to the location of the Cabinet’s expert on towel folding, George is probably at or on his way back from Sydney, where he has been at the G20, promising more money he insists we haven’t got to Ukraine.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2566305/We-open-chequebook-rebuild-Ukraine-says-Osborne-Chancellor-offers-millions-new-government.html

    Just for laughs.

  6. “The money would not actually go to Scotland at all – it would go to British Gas, BP, Shell, Exxon and other such needy people, to compensate them for polluting us (sic!).”

    That would also be the case if Scotland votes YES for independence!!!.

  7. Craig wrote:

    At today’s oil prices, recoverable North Sea oil is worth a minimum of 1.2 trillion and a maximum of 2.4 trillion dollars

    That’s at today’s prices. But oil will continue to become more expensive as other reserves become depleted.

    Scotland, escape Westminster’s sweaty grip while you can. You won’t get another chance. You can always bargain later, from a position of strength, if you have self-determination.

  8. Someone 2:16 pm:
    blockquote>That would also be the case if Scotland votes YES for independence!!!.

    Not necessarily. With the power in Scotland’s own hands, the oil could be left in the ground (or extracted more slowly) where it would be a highly valuable appreciating investment.

    It’s the rate of extraction that affect global warming. That oil is not going to fall in value. Slower extraction is the better long-term strategy, in terms of both money-value and humanity’s future.

  9. Anon

    That is an ancient unionist canard. My position would be that Orkney and Shetland were entitled to a democratic choice on the matter. But there has in fact been no evidence of a serious desire by the people of Orkney and Shetland to leave Scotland.

  10. Incidentally an independent Scotland minus Orkney and Shetland would still have a great deal more oil revenue than it gets within the UK.

  11. Clark 24 Feb, 2014 – 2:23 pm

    Wake up!, if Scotland votes for independence it will hold an election, I think I am on safe ground by saying that election will be won by NuLabour or the SNP….Both are (far right)right wing parties!.

  12. Someone, 2:36 pm; I’m awake, thank you. I spoke to people all over Scotland, and an electorally significant proportion of them are supporting the SNP to gain independence, but intend vote otherwise in post-referendum elections. Remember that Scotland has a proportional representation system.

  13. Craig, there has been no serious desire to leave the UK. Leaving Scotland is an entirely different matter, and there are noises that the proud people of those Islands might wish to free themselves from the oppressive yoke of the Glasgow Raj and take all that lovely Kraken oil with them!

  14. Like Craig I’m not Scottish and couldn’t give two hoots wich way the Scots vote, but I can see two possible outcomes:

    The Scots vote No and the Nat Socs blame the English.

    The Scots vote Yes and the Nat Socs blame the subsequent disaster on the English.

  15. Well put Craig, essential reading as ever.

    Once Scotland has seen the light and voted overwhelmingly to self-govern, there will be an opening for an experienced operator in the new Scottish Foreign Office.
    Hardeep Singh Kohli has already agreed to be Secretary for England.
    We can’t promise a huge expenses budget, numerous letterhead chairmanships or ermine but you will make history come alive for our children, fancy it?

  16. Clark 24 Feb, 2014 – 2:42 pm

    If Scotland votes for independence we will ALL find out. Reminds me of all who had such high hopes in Barack Obama when he was elected, you would find that if Scotland votes for independence it will only be VERY slightly better off.

  17. There certainly is a “significant desire” for independence. My conversations across Scotland split roughly equally three ways; Yes, No, and Still Thinking Hard. There wasn’t a single “don’t care”.

  18. Clark, the threats, abuse and intimidation directed against “no” campaigners have been appalling. I listened to a Scottish “no” campaigner on the radio earlier who had to close down his Facebook account because of the abuse he was receiving – from his ‘friends’. The Nat Socs do come across as a nasty and unpleasant bunch (see Farage in Edinburgh). It’s such a pity to see many on this blog support blood and soil nationalism when we should all be living happily together in the EU, in a world with no borders, and with all the oil left in the ground because of global warming.

  19. Yes, Cameron is certainly a tit.

    I am really not a separatist (but then neither is Salmond, eh?) seeing the setting up of bits and bobs of parliaments across the country as depressingly petty and parochial. But then I’m one of the poor sods who has to fund the expense accounts and the paper-clip budget.

    Nevertheless, with friends like Cameron and Osbourne, who needs enemies.

    Is it possible that these two clowns actually want to provoke separatism (or at least Salmond’s model of European Federalism) in the hope that it will guarantee them a Con Majority south of the border? Just a thought.

  20. Someone, your posts have been spot on. This dream of a little progressive utopia in Scotland will receive a rough awakening if Scotland votes yes. My prediction is a lurch to the right as the realities of separation from the English teet begin to kick in.

  21. Anon, speaking with my posh, plummy English accent (thanks, Mum) all across Scotland, I encountered no anti-English racism whatsoever. I was warmly welcomed everywhere.

    Yes, a world without borders is also my hope for the more distant future. Escaping Westminster’s clutches would be a great step on the path into a bigger world for Scotland.

  22. Anon, 2:47 pm

    “I’m not Scottish and couldn’t give two hoots wich way the Scots vote”

    For someone who claims not to care, you post a lot of anti-independence comments on this thread.

  23. Clark 24 Feb, 2014 – 2:54 pm

    I hear that some in the “those who rule us” are talking about having a scottish coronation of the scottish monarch, if that doesn’t tell you that the (so called) new Scotland will be just as diseased as the system that went before then nothing will!.

  24. Anon, 3:13 pm

    “My prediction is a lurch to the right as the realities of separation from the English teet begin to kick in”

    The conversations I had indicate the exact opposite. It was the Conservative supporters who opposed independence. Those who supported independence were looking to escape the Rightward bias of Westminster. Socialist outlook is strong in Scotland.

    “Teet”? And you claim not to care? You seem exactly the sort of person Scots want to free themselves from.

  25. Clark

    “all across Scotland, I encountered no anti-English racism whatsoever. I was warmly welcomed everywhere.”

    “Racism” is a bit of a strong word here but you will note I was talking about abuse towards Scottish “no” campaigners and a visiting party leader, not the English.

    “Yes, a world without borders is also my hope for the more distant future. Escaping Westminster’s clutches would be a great step on the path into a bigger world for Scotland.”

    That’s beautiful, but the reality is globalization and Scotland as a minor province of the EU.

  26. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 3:29 pm

    The entire rest of the UK acts as a one-way-valve for money heading to the Home Counties and London. The argument doesn’t stop with Scotland. If successive Westminster governments had been more savvy, the SNP would still be a fringe party. As it is, rampant social inequality is doing Salmond’s work splendidly, and Yorkshire may be next….

    And Clark – ditto on anti-English sentiment. Lived in Scotland for 30 years – not a peep. Was in the SNP for a bit, too.

  27. Dear friend; I am Kitshe Ombul, heir to 24 million dollars, but the bureaucracy of Nigeria insists I employ a trustee from outside my country to close the estate matter. Such trustee would pay the fee through my auspices in amount of $2500. If you agree to act in this capacity, you would recieve commission of 5 percent. Please wire money to…………

  28. Clark wrote:

    “That’s at today’s prices. But oil will continue to become more expensive as other reserves become depleted.

    Scotland, escape Westminster’s sweaty grip while you can. You won’t get another chance. You can always bargain later, from a position of strength, if you have self-determination.”

    Not if the UK signs up to TPP (or its equivalent) beforehand. These fast track treaties effectively guarantee corporate right to profit, amongst other things. Any corporation that thinks it is deleteriously affected by any government can sue said government in a special court. Said court is populated by corporate lawyers, so a government win would be about as likely as an honest politician. Once other joy about the treaty – once signed up to by any country, that country can only leave if all other countries decide to leave. Which is about as likely as …. It is also the end of self-determination.

    Perhaps Mr Murray could use his experience as a diplomat to go over the TPP (and its equivalents) and its implications?

  29. Clark, it doesn’t bother me either way which way Scotland votes and it’s a matter for Scots to decide. I do, however, have the right to make observations.

    “The conversations I had indicate the exact opposite. It was the Conservative supporters who opposed independence. Those who supported independence were looking to escape the Rightward bias of Westminster. Socialist outlook is strong in Scotland.”

    You know why Scotland has a strong socialist outlook? Because of the availability of other people’s money. Do you not see how the economic realities of independence will change that? And if it doesn’t change it, can you forsee what Scotland will look like in a few decades’ time?

  30. News just in: Aberdeen polling 65% “No”, just 17% “Yes”. And that’s in the Oil Capital of Europe.

  31. An aside.

    Gideon still has a bucket on his head as he is not sure that his new ‘Caesar’ hairstyle suits him.

    Q. Does he spend as much on his hair as Agent Cameron?
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/how-much-do-mps-really-spend-on-their-hair-david-camerons-coiffeur-v-the-commons-9052500.html

    Q. Will Gideon’s hairdresser also get a gong?http://www.theguardian.com/politics/shortcuts/2014/jan/07/david-camerons-hair-honours-mbe-lino-carbosiero

  32. The $1.2 to $2.4 trillion is the wholesale value and does not take into consideration the costs of extraction which will steadily increase as the the reserves diminish over time (currently 4-5% per year). What happens with declining oil fields is that as profits fall the big companies with high overheads pull out and smaller outfits take over. Shell has already announced the sale of some of it’s North Sea assets and others will follow.

    Due to an international agreement on decommissioning drawn up after the Brent Spar fiasco North Sea production platforms have to be removed in their entirety and the wells plugged 3m below the seabed. It’s a hugely complex, expensive and dangerous operation which the smaller operators would struggle to finance. The choice is to subsidise decommissioning or see an earlier end to oil and gas production in the North Sea.

    Perhaps an independent Scotland would be better off not relying on a polluting industry for it’s prosperity anyway.

  33. It wouldn’t surprise me if Cameron was talking bullshit, doubt he would know the truth if it jumped up and bit him.

    I’d be surprised if Salmond wasn’t talking bullshit, he seldom does anything else.

    Abdalla Salem el-Badri doesn’t have an axe to grind either way and he’s not optomistic.

  34. “Am I the only one who wonders why the taxpayer, under Cameron’s plan, the taxpayer – ie you and me – should fund $20 billion to decommission oil platform(s)…

    Likewise Cameron’s plan for hydraulic fracturing does not cost-in decommissioning of wells and protection of groudwater from migrating contaminates leaking through fractures caused by explosives, hydraulic pressure and natural cracks, fissures and interconnecting pore spaces.

    Clearly, unlike the US where landowners benefit financially from fracturing projects, in the UK much fewer or no local people have any vested interest in the success of fracking. Financial benefit goes to board members, banks and kick-backs to politicians with vested interests.

    Given the West’s desperation for something – anything – to rescue us from our economic malaise, even the most determined environmentalists won’t stop the shale juggernaut until evidence emerges of very serious damage indeed to human health and welfare.

    Research:

    http://www.co-operative.coop/Corporate/Fracking/Shale%20gas%20update%20-%20full%20report.pdf

  35. Question is, who will Scotland expect to defend it, when the Americans start bombing Scotland to get its oil?

  36. “Who has a right to claim North Sea oil?”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-20042070

  37. Harold Ramis, the other ‘Ghostbuster’ dead at 69. RIP

  38. “David Cameron is peddling bullshit of the premium Aberdeen Angus kind today”

    “If You Can’t Dazzle Them With Brilliance, Baffle Them With Bull.”

    WC Fields

  39. “In the first interview, John le Carré, the foremost spywriter of our times, discusses the endemic practice of money laundering among some of the world’s biggest banks (the juicy part begins about nine minutes in), and the vital role that money laundered drug money played in propping up the global financial system during the post-Lehman period.”

    http://ragingbullshit.com/2014/02/24/two-must-watch-interviews-on-money-laundering-and-tax-havens/

  40. @Someone
    I am a republican but I think that the next monarch should come up here for a coronation. I also think it should be in the open at Boot Hill regardless of the weather. Since we have no established church and Sectarianism is such a problem I think he should be crowned by the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament since the people are sovereign here in Scotland.

    I’m not sure such will be acceptable and the outrage Doon Sooth at our treatment of our ane monarch will together do good for the Scottish Republican cause. Politics is the art of the possible. A referendum on the monarchy immediately post Independence would likely be lost, we need to be canny and play a slightly longer game.

    I also hope Charlie is the next monarch. He will rub us Scots up the wrong way while thinking he is being ‘with us’. It’ll be wonderful.

  41. Speaking as an Englishman (more or less) I hope the Scots do vote for independence, as I believe they will. This is for five reasons.

    1)I value courage as the human virtue without which the other virtues are ineffectual. The no campaign seems to appeal mainly to fear and lack of confidence in Scots capacity to survive as an independent country.

    2)Having two states on one island will create a sort of controlled experiment, or as near as one can get to that in politics/economics. If Scotland, as seems likely, maintains a somewhat different version of capitalism, with much more government direction of industry and finance, we will be able to compare the results, which I think will be in Scotland’s favour. A more prosperous, recession-proof Scotland will offer an example to England of how much better things could be.

    3) Contrary to a previous poster, the SNP are not at all a “blood and soil” racial nationalist movement. There are many varieties of Nationalism just as their are many varieties of Socialism, from the Green Party to Josef Stalin. An independent Scotland will demonstrate that Nationalist government is entirely compatible with a peaceful and tolerant society. In fact, I would say that confidence in one’s own national culture is necessary before a generous appreciation of other cultures can be achieved.

    4) In fact, division into seperate states and cultures is the best safeguard against Imperial tyranny, and thus facilitates progress by allowing dissident opinions to survive and flourish. For example, if Europe had been one country in the 16th Century, the Roman Church would have retained its stranglehold on the human mind and the 18th Century Enlightenment, the Industrial and Agricultural Revolutions, and all subsequent developments would not have happened.

    5) This one’s a long shot, but losing their loyal regiments of Scots Labour MPs may possibly force the UK Labour Party to a complete reappraisal of their policies and attitudes, possibly emerging as a genuinely progressive party and shedding all trace of the disastrous NuLab experiment.

  42. Cameron visits BP oil rig.

    https://twitter.com/David_Cameron/status/437907119942402048/photo/1

    No Deepwater Horizon for him.

    Did he help BP as they requested?

    16 May 2013
    BP to seek Cameron’s help as oil spill costs escalate
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22549710

  43. The BBC were reporting Osborne as being in Singapore this morning. Of course Singapore is a small country that separated from its larger neighbour. It has no natural resources to speak of but is now one of the richest countries in the world. An interesting parallel perhaps?

  44. One thing is certain – we will be deliberately and comprehensively lied to. Both sides will claim anything which helps their cause and which they believe can’t be disproved until after the referendum.

    Since the “NO” campaign controls most of the media, their lies will be bigger, louder and sustained longer. Their campaign strategy will be to mislead and scare regardless of the truth. As the referendum date approaches, the lies will be come more outrageous. The only limiting factor will be whether a lie can be sustained till after the vote. It doesn’t matter if the deception becomes obvious afterwards.

    The “YES” campaign would like to do this too, but they don’t have the means so they will have to rely more on reasoned argument.

    Most people in Scotland will make their decision based upon false information. Most of that false information will have come from the “NO” side. If you are still undecided when the time comes, logic dictates you should vote “YES”.

  45. “And Clark – ditto on anti-English sentiment. Lived in Scotland for 30 years – not a peep. Was in the SNP for a bit, too.”

    Yes, Scotland is famous for being the only country in the world where every single inhabitant hasn’t a bigoted bone in their body.

    They’re so tolerant you can walk into any pub in Glasgow and start singing The Sash My Father Wore.

  46. Craig always the best information and here you enter “elephant in room” territory. On R2, Jeremy Vine’s was amazed that Scotland could actually have a claim to North Sea oil and debated with a correspondent that this must be wrong.
    Can I briefly mention how informative your last blog was and Mary’s link to Democracynow. Finally as an observation on BBC journalism unless someone can find otherwise re individual privacy and the significant Apple SSL Gotofail story broken by Reuters I could find no mention on the BBC website. Staggering omission affecting the internet safety for any who still rely on the BBC around the world.

  47. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 6:38 pm

    “Is it possible that these two clowns actually want to provoke separatism (or at least Salmond’s model of European Federalism) in the hope that it will guarantee them a Con Majority south of the border? Just a thought.”
    ____________________

    Spot on, Richard. I do hope so. I would just replace the words “in the hope that” by “because” – there has been a substantial Conservative majority in England in every election since (I think) 1966.

    Also agree with the tenor of Someone’s observations – anyone who thinks that Scottish politicians and the characteristics of future political life in Scotland will be of a different order to UK ones is deluding himself, I fear.

  48. “Also agree with the tenor of Someone’s observations – anyone who thinks that Scottish politicians and the characteristics of future political life in Scotland will be of a different order to UK ones is deluding himself, I fear.”

    Looks a lot like business as normal to me too.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/apr/25/alex-salmond-rupert-murdoch-ties

  49. “There certainly is a “significant desire” for independence. My conversations across Scotland split roughly equally three ways; Yes, No, and Still Thinking Hard. There wasn’t a single “don’t care”.

    having successfully answered the math captcha, I shall repeat my question to all knowing Independent campaigners here. What does this ‘desire’ encapsulate?
    I question the understanding of voters who as yet have not much raised the question of citizens rights or what it will mean for them to be and Independent citizen of Scotland.

    The debate is swooning round the issues of money, oil( more money) RBS and their lack of money (except for bonuses, and the stale issue over the monarchy, its Scopttish land holdings,( will these lands be seized) and given to the Scottish people, or will their leaders make a deal with Trump Trumpington, Lord of all wind turbines and Golf clubs.

    Buying the Queen out when the land was taken in the first place? would that be a nominal £1/2 Euro’s option?

  50. Looking at Freds link, it very much looks like Scotland, in perpetum, loves party politics, it is wedded to it just as the Brits and the love for these unpopular and unprincipled rogues with their off shore ban accounts is far greater than their love for Independence and a new start.

    Predictability has stumped excitement.

  51. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 7:12 pm

    Fred

    “Looks a lot like business as normal to me too.”
    __________________

    And perhaps even more than normal, Fred. Richard suggested a parallel with Singapore a few posts back – and we all know what a liberal, open-minded and tolerant state Singapore is, don’t we….

  52. Good to hear from you again Craig,

    I must say I am disappointed at some of the comments above about the forthcoming Scottish Independance referendum.

    Perhaps to help with breaking the triple lock of print, TV and Radio being waged against the Yes campaign , the SNP and Alex Salmond in particular, here are some useful websites:

    http://www.scottishindependencereferendum.info/index.html

    wingsoverscotland

    Best wishes,

    CraigE

  53. “News just in: Aberdeen polling 65% “No”, just 17% “Yes”. And that’s in the Oil Capital of Europe.”

    So why so worried when there’s nothing to worry about?

  54. Vronsky,

    I think you’ll find that poll was over the whole of the North and North East, not just Aberdeen. Besides, it was a poll of 500 people so the veracity of the stats is open to question.

  55. “Perhaps to help with breaking the triple lock of print, TV and Radio being waged against the Yes campaign , the SNP and Alex Salmond in particular, here are some useful websites:”

    Ah now it’s clearer.

    Seems anything even remotely negative said about independence is down to media bias, scaremongering and those lying bastards in the No campaign and you can’t believe a word of it.

    Everything said by Alex Salmond is the gospel truth a more honest man has never walked this earth.

    How reassuring.

  56. 4 December 2013

    “Scottish National Party issues independence blueprint”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/12/04/salm-d04.html

  57. Fred says sarcastically:
    “Seems anything even remotely negative said about independence is down to media bias, scaremongering and those lying bastards in the No campaign and you can’t believe a word of it”

    Would you agree that the majority of the media is biased in favour of the NO campaign?

  58. “Would you agree that the majority of the media is biased in favour of the NO campaign?”

    No. I think people who don’t see the media saying what they want them to say decide they must be biassed on both sides.

    http://www.scottishtimes.com/scottish_independence_bbc_news_nat_scotland_rammy_escalates

  59. Really? Oil profits? That’s the stuff. You hav’nay heard of climate change in wee bonny Norfolk? We’re all doomed.

  60. “No. I think people who don’t see the media saying what they want them to say decide they must be biassed on both sides.”

    Do you think any of our media is biassed, either way, on the subject of Scottish Independence?

  61. “Do you think any of our media is biassed, either way, on the subject of Scottish Independence?”

    Fred MacAulay is a bit one sided.

  62. gerry parker

    24 Feb, 2014 - 9:33 pm

    Been to a couple of events in medium sized central belt towns. Yes campaigners seem to be more numerous and more enthusiastic about their cause. I’ve a feeling that this will be won by talking to people on the streets and on doorsteps, the MSM and their scare stories are getting treated with contempt by the voters I’ve been in contact with.

  63. half the fules can sleep

    24 Feb, 2014 - 9:34 pm

    It would be nice to know more about:

    1) revenue
    2) expenditure
    3) maritime borders
    4) share of UK debt (if any)
    5) currency
    6) whether Scotland could be outside the UK yet share the pound
    7) whether Scotland could be outside the EU yet share the Euro and how other nations such as Monaco get to do this
    8) political idealism in Scotland
    9) whether there might be a revival of business for border reivers, and
    10) whether there might be a section of the conservative party which might not be quite as unionist as it appears.

    Oh and what do Jardine Matheson think about the referendum?

  64. OT.

    “Russian Ships Carrying Soldiers Said To Be En Route To Sevastopol”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-24/russian-ships-carrying-soldiers-said-be-en-route-sevastopol

  65. “Fred MacAulay is a bit one sided.”

    That was wasted on me – I don’t listen to Radio Scotland and I don’t know which side he’s on. I’ve spent half an hour trying to Google the answer. Had I succeeded, I had a two-Fred joke ready for either eventuality. I failed. Now I feel sad and superficial. Life has turned sour. I don’t want to continue this conversation. Sorry.

  66. GutterTheQuantifier

    24 Feb, 2014 - 10:43 pm

    For goodness sake. How can you tossers get so worked up about this trivia at a time when a fascist coup d’etat is underway in the biggest country in Europe?

  67. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/12/04/salm-d04.html

    “They must seek instead to overthrow the British capitalist class and its governments in London, Edinburgh and Brussels, as part of a struggle for a workers’ government within the United Socialist States of Europe.”

    Sounds like a plan.
    Why can’t the capitalist class and the workers unite to create and build for the future
    What about the Levellers- show me what to do, as long as the conditions are favourable it can be done.

    Tax havens hey that’s the first step. Make them pay. If we can’t do that there’s no hope.
    If they won’t get that in parliament then it’s gotta change.

    Hey Salmond, what about tax havens?

  68. OT.

    “Office of Inspector General”

    “Inquiry into Allegations of Undue Political Interference with Federal Reserve Officials Related to the 1972 Watergate Burglary and Iraq Weapons Purchases during the 1980s”

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/oig/files/special_inquiry_final_report_3_30_12.pdf

  69. “How can you tossers get so worked up about this trivia at a time when a fascist coup d’etat is underway in the biggest country in Europe?”

    Never fear, purely out of the kindness of his heart that nice Mr Putin is about to send several Russian armoured divisions over the border to protect Ukraine’s liberty and guarantee the freedom of it’s people.

  70. BrianFujisan

    25 Feb, 2014 - 1:07 am

    With Regards Racism in Scotland….

    i have lived in Scotland all my life..and in 50 years only once have i encountered real racism ( or possibly more likely – Manufactured by the MSM – racism )

    it was in a pub in Gourock…the Heavy rock, and Goth crew were out in force… my friends were smiling and then said ” looks like you have pulled “… i turned round to check out who they were yapping on about… to find this cretin ( dressed in Normal every day Garb – important to note) looking at me… first thing she says is… ” have you got cancer ” No… ” are you looking for attention ” Eh wtf No ” well if you go outside dressed like that you’ll get yir head kicked in ” you fkn think so… one of my friends felt compelled to take the bitch aside to tell her this would be a Bad idea…. and How was i dressed – Amid all the Leather, tatoos, piercings, – i had a dessert Scarf around my head, and hanging down my back.

    Re Ukraine…

    In western Ukraine the only organized and armed force is the ultra-nationalist Right Sector. From the way this group’s leaders speak, they assume that they are in charge.

    One of the group’s leaders, Aleksandr Muzychko, has pledged to fight against “Jews and Russians until I die.” Asserting the Right Sector’s authority over the situation, Muzychko declared that now that the democratically elected government has been overthrown, “there will be order and discipline” or “Right Sector squads will shoot the bastards on the spot.”

    The bastards are any protesters who dare to protest the Right Sector’s control.

    Dr. Paul Craig Roberts over @

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/democracy-murdered-by-protest-ukraine-falls-to-intrigue-and-violence/5370317

  71. I am in two minds. There are serious questions regarding how Scottish Independence might work. However, that idiot David Cameron isn’t the man to pose those questions, because he a dolt, and a tit.

    Myself, I live in Oz, and this may possibly be permanent. I’m not so bothered about independence, and remain of the view that the devolved parliament is recognition enough of our unique status. I’m generally way about nationalism, which is always great fodder for the far right. I also think there are bigger issues in the world than our independence, so remain basically indifferent to the referendum.

    Basically, I’ve no stake in this game. However, it has been interesting how hard the establishment is fighting. One wonders, truly, if they are worried about potential lost revenues. If so, will they will admit that Scotland has always subsidised the rest of the UK? They’ve always claimed the opposite. So, the routine warnings, dishonesty, threats, and bullshit are, for me, somewhat revealing, if accidentally.

    Anyway, I have rather formed the view that if the vote is a close call, the result will be rigged. 1.2 trillion is a big incentive, isn’t it? So I suspect the discussion will be rendered moot.

  72. noodge fusiliers

    25 Feb, 2014 - 4:19 am

    from the triumphs of Bletchley Park to plucking at your sleeves with stupid questions, HM government has degenerated past the point of no return.

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-24/conspiracy-theory-true-agents-infiltrate-websites-intending-manipulate-deceive-and-d

  73. Agent Cameron fresh from Aberdeen will host the British Winter Olympics team at Downing Street today. He follows Blair’s style so closely but fails to convince like the psychopath Blair.

    His Aberdeen adventure went down like a lead balloon in the media.

  74. Germany’s atonement for WW11 continues.

    Germany to represent Israel in Islamic countries
    24 February 2014

    The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet will visit Israel on Monday for two days.

    Germany and Israel are today due to sign an agreement allowing Germany to represent Israel’s diplomatic and consular relations in countries where Israel has no embassy especially in Muslim countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia; German Der Spiegel newspaper reported.

    The newspaper quoted a statement by the Israeli Embassy in Berlin saying the agreement promotes relations between the two sides and allows Germany to represent Israel’s consular affairs in countries where Israel has no embassy. Der Spiegel also quoted the Israeli ambassador in Berlin Yakov Hadas-Handelsman as saying the German offer represents a special message from Germany and reflects its global status.

    The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet will visit Israel on Monday for two days. The delegation will participate in the annual German-Israeli joint cabinet session which started in 2008 to develop strategic partnerships between the two sides on various fields; mainly youth exchange projects and scientific cooperation.

    The meetings boost relations between the two sides and make Israel on par with France, Spain, Italy and Russia, which hold joint cabinet meetings with Germany.

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/europe/9933-germany-to-represent-israel-in-islamic-countries

    ~~~

    Someone should tell her that she is overdoing it. The Dolfin submarines were sufficient.

    She comes to London next and will get the full red carpet treatment unlike Hollande who only got a pub lunch with Agent CameraOn.

    CameraOn has a plan.
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/columnists/politics/9142072/only-angela-merkel-can-save-cameron-now/

  75. ” If so, will they will admit that Scotland has always subsidised the rest of the UK?”

    How do you work that one out then?

  76. Isn’t Faslane the real reason for the PTB making their stand?

    Also will Queenie and co need passports to visit Holyrood Palace and stay at Balmoral, Castle of Mey etc etc?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_royal_residences
    A staggeringly long list.

  77. doug scorgie

    25 Feb, 2014 - 9:48 am

    Anon
    24 Feb, 2014 – 4:04 pm

    “News just in: Aberdeen polling 65% “No”, just 17% “Yes”. And that’s in the Oil Capital of Europe.”

    Anon why don’t you reference your claims?

    According to the Independent the poll: No 49% Yes 37%

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/scottish-independence-warnings-over-pound-swaying-undecided-voters-as-poll-shows-strong-lead-for-no-vote-9147790.html

    Where did you get your figures from?

  78. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    25 Feb, 2014 - 10:00 am

    ‘They’re so tolerant you can walk into any Unionist pub in Glasgow and have to start singing The Sash My Father Wore.’

    FIFY.

    You just need to know the right songs for the occasion.

    (Nobody likes me. I don’t care)

  79. Mark
    ‘Likewise Cameron’s plan for hydraulic fracturing does not cost-in decommissioning of wells and protection of groudwater from migrating contaminates leaking through fractures caused by explosives, hydraulic pressure and natural cracks, fissures and interconnecting pore spaces.’

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/993757.stm

    No conceivable risk.

  80. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    25 Feb, 2014 - 10:21 am

    Noodge Fusiliers – excellent catch, and good to see more interest in JTRIG. Also very depressing, but there is one ray of brightness: the organisation seems to have been thoroughly infiltrated by management bollocks, so its chief target may well be Dilbert. Only if the seedy agents have not had to sit through hours of that sort of PP presentation will they be remotely effective. If they have, they’ve probably decided Al-Qaeda is right about Western civilisation, and joined.

    And see:

    http://www.powerpointninja.com/for-fun/dilbert-on-powerpoint-presentations/

  81. “According to the Independent the poll: No 49% Yes 37%”

    Not according to the Press and Journal it isn’t.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-north-east-voters-back-no-1-3317718

  82. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    25 Feb, 2014 - 10:34 am

    ‘Where did you get your figures from?’ (Doug)

    Possibly here, six months ago –

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-24142502

  83. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    25 Feb, 2014 - 10:37 am

    P&J poll: 500 people in its (mostly rural) circulation area. Pmsl.

    Latest:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/latest-polls-yes-37-no-47-49.1393152509

  84. “P&J poll: 500 people in its (mostly rural) circulation area. Pmsl.”

    So the opinions of rural people don’t matter to the Nationalists then.

  85. “Am I the only one who wonders why the taxpayer, under Cameron’s plan, the taxpayer – ie you and me – should fund $20 billion to decommission oil platforms when the oil companies made, at today’s values, over $400 billion in straight profit from those platforms? ”

    The money the oil companies pay in taxes is not the only consideration. There is also the money they pay in wages to the oil workers. As well as paying tax on their wages the workers spend their money in the shops and hostelries thus providing an income for many more people. They buy houses they otherwise couldn’t afford providing work for the building industry then they pay council tax on them.

    With the decline of the fishing industry the oil industry has provided work for a lot of people in rural Scotland who otherwise would be on benefits or forced to move elsewhere.

    Too much of the Nationalist argument is about avarice and not enough about people.

  86. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    25 Feb, 2014 - 11:15 am

    ‘So the opinions of rural people don’t matter to the Nationalists then.’

    No. The opinions of the rural North of Scotland are not necessarily those of Scotland as a whole, is all. Also, the survey population is too small to be meaningful, and we have no information on the – hopefully random – distribution of the sample. Which should include representation from both the SNP heartland around the Moray Firth and Liberal and Labour centres like Argyll and Fort William respectively. The ICM polls are much more likely to be realistic.

    Sorry to spoil your cheap shot, but let’s get it straight.

  87. “No. The opinions of the rural North of Scotland are not necessarily those of Scotland as a whole, is all.”

    By Scotland as a whole I take it you mean Edinburgh and Glasgow not the 94% of Scotland which is rural.

  88. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    25 Feb, 2014 - 11:33 am

    ‘By Scotland as a whole I take it you mean Edinburgh and Glasgow not the 94% of Scotland which is rural.’

    I don’t believe heather moorland has a vote, much as Better together would like it to. Just 18% of the human population lives in rural areas.

    Inform yourself here –
    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/09/29133747/2

    These figures do not include rabbits and deer.

  89. 80% of those polled by P & J stated their preference had not changed in the past 6 months. Clearly a rigged poll or did they accidentally fall over these no voters?

  90. “I don’t believe heather moorland has a vote, much as Better together would like it to. Just 18% of the human population lives in rural areas. ”

    That heather and moorland is Scotland.

    I’ll tell you what, take the Borders and declare your independence, leave the rest of us alone. We can manage without you better than you can manage without us.

  91. “80% of those polled by P & J stated their preference had not changed in the past 6 months. Clearly a rigged poll or did they accidentally fall over these no voters?”

    Well of course it was rigged, every poll that wasn’t in favour of the Nationalists has been rigged and every poll that was wasn’t.

    Hadn’t you noticed?

  92. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    25 Feb, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    1. ‘That heather and moorland is Scotland.’ (Fred)

    2. ‘So the opinions of rural people don’t matter to the Nationalists Unionists then.'(Fred, almost)

    You need an archivist and a proofreader.

  93. “If further evidence of the Scottish Government’s non-commitment to social justice is necessary, then one only need look today at the Annual Budget meeting of Glasgow City Council.”

    http://www.firmmagazine.com/council-tax-freeze-failing-poor/

  94. “The SNP group on the council are afraid of the power of my message. In what is the biggest constitutional debate in more than 300 years, the future of Scotland, this miserable little council are displaying the worst of Scottish small-mindedness.”

    http://www.georgegalloway.net/2014/01/council-say-no-to-just-say-naw.html

  95. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    25 Feb, 2014 - 2:00 pm

    Someone’s link says –

    ‘The Council Tax freeze is represented by the Scottish Government as a socially progressive policy which protects hard up families. However, there is now a growing body of evidence to show that’s what the Council Tax freeze is not doing.

    Citizen Advice Scotland is reporting that although overall levels of personal debt are now falling, Council Tax arrears along with payday loans are increasing.’

    and then argues that Council Tax should be increased.

    I don’t follow that. And neither does the author. He thinks that CT should be increased because council services are being cut. Which is defensible. But does he think arrears would fall as a result? I don’t. Conclusion: the poverty issue is irrelevant to his argument, and is introduced as an emotive lever.

    Actually what is needed is secure employment in profitable manufacturing industries, as Salmond has said.

  96. “A new policing operation in six London boroughs will treat homeless people like criminals with arrests, harassment and even destruction of personal property to be inflicted on those who cannot afford a home.”

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/homes-not-jails-sleeping-rough-is-not-a-crime-protest-tomorrow-26th-february/

  97. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    25 Feb, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    Galloway: lately MP, in turn, for Bethnal Green and Bow, and Bradford West (5 Bradford Respect councillors resigned in protest at George in 2013). Also contested Poplar. Not likely to find a Scottish Labour seat -independent or not-, having been kicked out of Glasgow Hillhead. And lost his deposit at the sole Scottish Parliamentary election ever contested by Respect. His only hopes lie in England, in substantially Asian communities. So he’s not going to say ‘yes’, is he?

    Despite his prior advocacy of devolution-max, he now finds himself aligned with the usual suspects on the devolution-haha front.

    Poor George.

  98. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    25 Feb, 2014 - 2:44 pm

    Re. sleeping rough…wouldn’t it be nice if the police gave rough sleepers a lift to one of the hundreds of unoccupied properties in London which were bought by rich folks as an investment?

    http://labourwestminster.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/voter-shortage-in-westminster-empty-property-crisis/

  99. “Poor George.”

    If you can’t argue with the facts just attack the person.

  100. These vested interests of the powers-that-be enter the equation of course loading the No vote.

    Tenanted land and minority interests
    http://www.andywightman.com/?cat=8

    not forgetting CameraOn’s pa in law.

    David Cameron, William Astor and the Bahamas
    http://www.andywightman.com/?p=3040

  101. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    25 Feb, 2014 - 3:54 pm

    ‘“Poor George.”

    If you can’t argue with the facts just attack the person.’

    What facts? GG is for ‘No’ That’s the only fact you’ve presented. And I’m not arguing with it. Just pointing out which side GG’s bread is buttered, and the company he would, left to himself, probably prefer not to keep.

    Personally, I’d be glad he’s ‘no’ if I were ‘yes’. His credibility in Scotland isn’t exactly great. He’s about the last person I’d cite if I were ‘no’. As it is, I’m ‘Let the people decide, and let’s keep the debate factual’.

    I am sure you will indicate your approval by ceasing to regard all nationalists everywhere as the spawn of Satan, and conscientiously linking to factual evidence. Won’t you?

  102. None of this matters as Salmold is going to keep the pound. Idiot.

  103. “What facts?”

    Well the article was about a local council refusing to hire a hall because it would be used to promote the No campaign.

    I don’t see that your character assassinations have any relevance to the legality or the ethics of the council’s decision.

  104. Copied in case you are not registered. More pressure for a No vote from the retailers and supermarkets. There is a ganging up.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b8f05d3c-8cfa-11e3-ad57-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2uM8c2k7e
    February 4, 2014 3:50 pm

    Retailers review Scottish pricing ahead of independence vote
    By Elizabeth Rigby and Andrea Felsted

    When supermarket bosses last year warned of rising prices in Scotland in the event of a “yes” vote in this year’s independence referendum, many in the Scottish National party denounced the comments as scaremongering, with some even urging shoppers to boycott Wm Morrison and Asda stores.

    But the threat is real. For decades, a nation of 5.2m Scots have paid the same prices for supermarket groceries as the wider 64m-strong UK market, despite many being in locations that are more expensive to reach.

    That could change in the event of independence, argue retail executives and competition experts, who warn that without the protection of national pricing policies, the Scots will end up paying more for all fast-moving consumer goods including clothing, medicines, toiletries, stationery and hardware.

    “Scotland is very sparsely populated and retailers carry that extra distribution cost out of the centre,” says John Fingleton, former chair of the Irish Competition Authority and chief executive of the UK’s Office of Fair Trading. “If those costs are isolated to Scotland only, it will just push up the prices in Scotland and lower prices in England. All of the retail sectors where in-time distribution matters [will be looking at this].”

    Supermarket bosses have publicly spoken about the added distribution costs and regulatory pressure of doing business in Scotland as they eye the September plebiscite.

    “Once it is a separate country, we and other retailers will take a view of what the cost structure is of that industry, and of course the revenue structure too,” says Justin King, the outgoing chief executive of J Sainsbury. “If you were to strike that today, there is no doubt Scotland is a more costly country [in which] to run a grocery retail business.”

    Andy Clarke, chief executive of Asda, the second-biggest UK chain, has previously said a yes vote “could result in Scotland being a less attractive investment proposition for business, and put further pressure on our costs”.

    Dalton Philips, chief executive of Wm Morrison, has admitted any extra burden on cost structure would “potentially have to be passed through to consumer pricing”, adding: “Why should the English and Welsh consumer subsidise this increased cost of doing business in Scotland?”

    The cost impact is also a concern for the wider retail sector, and some companies are already considering how to adjust their pricing strategies.

    “Does it really matter if you get a bit of differential pricing if you get up to Peterhead?,” asks an executive of a leading UK clothing retailer. Stating that pricing for the borders and big cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh would probably stay the same as English cities, he adds: “I think there would be a real issue with more expensive pricing for the remoter parts. So there would be arbitrage.”

    Mr Fingleton disputes the possibility of retailers engaging in a price war to win over Scottish shoppers, arguing that in a smaller nation, there will naturally be less competition. “If you don’t have a big enough market, you get weaker rivalry,” he says.

    The Irish retail market also has lessons for an independent Scotland. Tesco operates on both sides of the Irish border, but its businesses are run as separate entities in the north and south, operating in different currencies with separate management teams, tax regimes and buying structures.

    This inevitably causes pricing differences – though Tesco will not be drawn on whether its Northern Irish customers enjoy cheaper prices by being under the umbrella of the retailer’s UK-wide pricing structure.

    One industry expert believes the Northern Irish customer “absolutely” gets a better deal than their southern counterparts, which helps explain why consumers in the border area migrate to the north when they buy in bulk.

    “People tend to go and do their big shop in the north. You wouldn’t drive from Dublin to go to the north, but anyone who lived in Donegal, Monaghan, Cavan or Louth, if it was a 20-mile journey, you’d go across the border to do your shopping.”

    Does it really matter if you get a bit of differential pricing if you get up to Peterhead?
    – Executive of a leading UK clothing retailer

    Large retailers in Scotland have already had to deal with higher taxes under the SNP, and unanimously cite regulatory risk as a top concern if Scotland does vote for independence. But there could yet be benefits for smaller retailers.

    In Scotland, the SNP-led administration slapped a £95m “public health levy” on big supermarkets selling alcohol and cigarettes, but delighted the industry last month when it decided the levy would not be renewed.

    In Ireland, the government pushed through a similar ban on below-cost selling through its Groceries Order – “in effect a ban on competitive pricing by larger supermarkets against smaller shops”, says Mr Fingleton.

    “In a smaller economy, in my experience, having run competition agencies in both, smaller retailers are much more powerful.”

    Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, chief executive of Business for Scotland, rebuffs all the arguments from the retailers.

    He told the FT that a reformed Scottish tax system could mean lower prices for shoppers. He also said while distribution costs might be higher, land and labour costs are lower in Scotland. “There are opportunities for retailers to maintain or cut costs and maintain profitability.”

    Mr MacIntyre-Kemp added that Scotland would still be a competitive market if the Scots did vote for independence.

    “Scotland has a full range of retailers and full competition. Most of Scotland’s population lives in the central belt and up the east coast, which are very highly populated areas and those areas such as the Highlands and Islands are not well served by national retail chains as it is.

    “So the competition is here and the vast bulk of the Scottish population are as cost effective to distribute to as anywhere in the rest of the UK.”

  105. so no citizen rights then, ah well, lets hope human rights conventions will be adopted, or…..?

  106. My tuppenceworth.

    Orkney/Shetland were part of Scotland prior to the 1603 Union of Crowns. Britain has a history of partitioning countries – divide and rule. Its part of their contemptuous attrition against us that they whisper such tosh. What next, are we to see the Black and Tans at Parkhead? Will they try to poison the relative religious peace we are at last seeing between the Christian denominations? Those islands have been Scotland since before the Scots nobility sold their birthright.

    The EU. Like a Readers Digest Sub,or a stay at the Hotel California. They can accept East Germany overnight, but existing members of 40 years standing will be chucked out to reapply? Maybe they will have us vote 3 times til we get the right answer.

    I have yet to read in any Daily Mail or Telegraph article, news of any former member of the Empire petitioning Westminster to come back into the fold. Yet some are considerably worse off economically than they were when the map was shaded pink. Could it be that richer or poorer they still want the people who make decisions in their counties to actually come from their homelands? I couldn’t care if I was 5 millions richer or bankrupted. My country is worth more than money. In this struggle nobody is shooting at us. We are choosing in a democratic vote how our country will be governed and by whom. I sure as hell wont be bought or sold for English gold. Will any of you?

    Scotland should be governed by Scots. Our kin have died in shitholes the world over to defend other tribes right to self determination. We have a right to be free too.

    I have found a great deal of both ignorance and confused self interest in talking to people about this vote. A woman the other day was under the impression that Eck set the tax rates here in Scotland. Some of the business people think only about the rates of tax, not about the economic opportunities that will arise. Am I alone in hating having to pay English “agents” a fee to buy some thing made in another country which I know the Irish can buy from the factory direct? Its not Alex Salmond you are voting for, its Scotland yes or no. Not Eck yes or no. I do strongly feel that the issue is not being openly talked about because it is divisive, and people fear losing business if they nail their colours to the mast. I don’t recall any other issue being off limits. So this is not just wishful thinking, but I don’t trust any opinion poll about this. I don’t think more educated people are keen to declare. Fred Mac live stays as impartial as its possible to be. I think he too is in the best not say camp.

    England is up to its arse in debt. No country has ever been that much in debt and got out of it. Maybe it will be just like that no more boom and bust mirage, and George will sail into a bright new debt free world. They need the exports of oil and hooch to fill their treasury and pay for the BMW’s. And our blood comes in handy as cannon fodder at times too. We really need to just get the divorce over with.

    YES Scotland.

  107. So Ukraine will be let into the EU along with a great black deep hole for an economy and Scotland will be excluded with oceans of lucrative black gold to back it. Does that sound sensible or likely? If independence goes ahead and Scotland employs some steady and innovative heads at the helm, then it could well be a financial power-house to rival Norway or Switzerland, both not in the EU, have colossal reserves and their own currencies.

    There is also the threat to the City of London having it’s financial services sector decimated, the only industry worth saving it seems in the UK Government’s reckoning.

    Change is what scares the Westminster Establishment most, the mask falls and the truth abounds that much of the UK serves London and the home counties and without Scotland and it’s wealth, the wheels fall off the wagon. Then a wind of change will erupt making the recent winter storms seem like a storm in a tea-cup. No wonder the Lib-Lab-Con pact are panicking.

  108. Dabs, 9:44 pm:

    “England is up to its arse in debt”

    Nah, deeper than that. Breathing through a tube.

    “And our blood comes in handy as cannon fodder at times too”

    Yes, we certainly don’t want to have to move our nukes to our Green and Pleasant Land. We’d rather make a target of places further north.

    Go for it Scotland.

  109. “Orkney/Shetland were part of Scotland prior to the 1603 Union of Crowns.”

    Well only just. Orkney and Shetland are culturally, genetically and historically Norwegian. They weren’t annexed by Scotland till 1472.

  110. “So Ukraine will be let into the EU along with a great black deep hole for an economy and Scotland will be excluded with oceans of lucrative black gold to back it.”

    No, they will have to go through the process of meeting all the criteria then applying and going through the acceptance process like every other country which wants to join. East Germany, which was mentioned earlier, unified with West Germany so in effect didn’t exist any more, it became Germany which was already a member. The situation with Scotland, should they gain independence, would be the exact opposite.

  111. Mary’s comment, 5:32 pm: isn’t there a (fairly) simple solution? With independence, Scotland could:

    (1) Limit oil extraction. This would put the actual cost of fuel (and hence fuel profits) up, but improve compliance with CO2 emission restriction commitments.

    (2) Reduce the tax on fuel more than the increase caused by (1), thus reducing transport costs and thus the cost of everything else. This would reduce fuel tax revenue collected (but it’s going to Westminster at present anyway), but stimulate the economy.

    I’m a tech, so I explore first-order effects first; I expect that economists could argue ad infinitum about my above suggestion, and I’d fail to understand a word of it.

    Using high tax rates to reduce CO2 has no effect at the global level in any case:

    http://www.monbiot.com/2007/12/11/rigged/

  112. Of course Scotland would have to go through the EU application and acceptance process. Drawing attention to this is merely distraction.

    The real question is whether Scotland would seriously have any trouble being accepted. I don’t think so.

  113. “The real question is whether Scotland would seriously have any trouble being accepted. I don’t think so.”

    I think that would depend on how things go. That English debt mentioned earlier is actually British debt and any attempts to renegue on their share by Scotland would probably put them in jeopardy.

    Britain was blocked from EEC membership for 20 years just for sinking the French navy. Best not making any enemies.

    Those nuclear submarines you mentioned are a bit of a sticking point too, if Scotland intends joining NATO as they say they will then they will have to stay.

  114. “I have found a great deal of both ignorance and confused self interest in talking to people about this vote. A woman the other day was under the impression that Eck set the tax rates here in Scotland.”

    In effect he does, he sets it the same as the rest of the UK. He has the power to vary it by 3p either way if he wants to. An act passed in 2012 gives Scotland total control over tax rates but it hasn’t come into force yet.

  115. It may well be that Scotland would be better off without being tied to the EU and rather than go grovelling to be let in, wait till they come to you with their begging bowl. The entrants into the EU now are the economic basket cases such as Greece which should never have been let in in the first place. Presently we have the former communist countries wanting in which are a big load on the wealthier countries. Who in their right mind ever thought any of this could work?
    It will be interesting that if after the next General Election and Cameron does by some miracle get back in power and does as he promised have a referendum on continued EU membership (all very unlikely I realise) and he loses, then where does that leave the UK and an independent Scotland? I would suggest in a far better position than at present.

  116. ‘character assassinations’

    That is, -is it not? – an implied attack on me. Your criteria for your own comments here do not appear to match the standards you demand of others.

    In any event, most of what I said about GG was instantly verifiable as hard fact. The rest was clearly intended as a personal opinion derived from that. I wish I could say the same about your outbursts re. Scottish aspirations to independence. (That, too, is my personal opinion.)

    Galloway’s public persona is that of an old-school Socialist, and nothing wrong with that in itself. As a Socialist he is presumably wedded to the idea of universal brotherhood and the breaking-down of national distinctions. He aims to accomplish this by splitting off his own personal political fiefdom from the broad Left, selectively and uncritically wooing the British Muslim vote, and giving aid and comfort to a variety of unsavoury regimes, including no-longer-Communist Russia. Maybe this is symbolic of his world citizenship, but I can’t help seeing it as at best naive; and more so in that he is apparently prepared to ally himself with some extremely fat cats in decrying the Yes campaign.

    Maybe he has realised that global capitalism is in a much better position to achieve the brotherhood of man – albeit dismissably poor and exploited man – than Marx ever envisaged?

    Yes he has good points. He loathes Blair like poison, and he is supportive of the Palestinian cause. Which involves….wait for it….independence for the Arabs in Palestine! Who are by your measure, or any other, Nationalists. Good. Noted.

  117. ‘character assassinations’

    Yes and you’re still at it and still haven’t commented on the legality or ethics of a council refusing to rent a hall because it would be used by the No campaign.

    BTW I find your comparison of Scotland with Palestine repulsive and an insult to all Palestinians.

  118. ‘character assassinations’….cont’d

    Once again, you intentionally missed the point. I wasn’t comparing Scotland with Palestine, was I? I was simply pointing out that the Palestinian desire for independence was necessarily nationalist. And you have repeatedly stated that you abhor nationalism. Everywhere. That’s the trouble with a rigid and dogmatic mindset.

    Legality or ethics… I don’t have sufficient knowledge of Scots law as it applies to council property to comment one way or the other on that. Ethically…want me to dig up some equal and opposite shenanigans by the No campaign? Possibly unlike you, I’ve worked for a political party during an election campaign. I know how dirty it can get, even in a nice area. On all sides, without distinction of class or political creed. Your instance is not exceptional. There, you have my comment.

  119. “Old Etonian Tories don’t care about the north admit other Conservatives”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/old-etonian-tories-dont-care-3180349

  120. doug scorgie

    26 Feb, 2014 - 9:59 am

    Breaking News

    “Police in England are searching for an Irish teenager who is said to have slapped a shop worker across the face with a large fish.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-26345264

  121. Old Etonian Tories lie through their teeth.

    CanmeraOn in Wellies Money no object for the flooded out citizenry.

    Paterson (Radley College not Eton but similar) followed with some talk of Environment Agency expenditure on flood defences never having been higher.

    Collapse of both stout parties by the chair of the UK Statistics Authority.

    Flood defence cash cut by £250m despite PM’s claim
    Sir Andrew Dilnot, head of the UK Statistics Authority, says that it is in the “public interest” for official figures on flood defences to be published http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10661814/Flood-defence-cash-cut-by-250m-despite-PMs-claim.html

  122. ” Possibly unlike you, I’ve worked for a political party during an election campaign. ”

    I’d figures you must have learnt the underhand tactics somewhere.

  123. “CanmeraOn in Wellies Money no object for the flooded out citizenry.”

    He’s just trying to woo the floating voters.

  124. ‘I’d figures you must have learnt the underhand tactics somewhere.’

    What underhand tactics? WTF are you talking about?

  125. Less countries will be invaded in my name if we vote YES.

  126. A Node

    Not if you continue to belong to EU and or NATO.

  127. Iraq was a UK/US war, not EU or NATO.

    With independence, Scotland would have more freedom to leave NATO later.

  128. I will no longer have to be ashamed of William Hague if we vote YES

  129. BBC bias and the Scots referendum – new report
    Dr John Robertson from University of West Scotland has just published research on bias and fairness in news reporting on the issue of the Scottish referendum, covering both ITV (STV) and BBC. Here’s what he found.

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/john-robertson/bbc-bias-and-scots-referendum-new-report

  130. Lots of comments suggest that people think of Scottish independence as some kind of end-point, as if Scotland would become frozen in time, unchanging from the moment of independence onwards; the SNP would be the dominant party forever more, if Scotland were in NATO it’d stay in NATO, etc..

    Rather, independence would be more of a beginning. With independence, Scotland could continue following Westminster policies as much as it might wish, but it would have greater options for diverging from that policies.

    It is the Westminster system that is stuck in the past, with an electoral system that inhibits change and concentrates power mostly in two major and one minor party, and an apparently unmoveable weight of traditionalism. An independent Scotland would have trouble remaining so undynamic.

  131. Took a mossy in to put up the link that Mary put up @ 12;22pm….bbc bias

    Cheers Mary….

    But I’m with A Node @ 11;57 Enough of Illegal wars in oor name.

  132. I will no longer live in a ‘democracy’ governed by a party with the fewest votes if we vote YES.

  133. “BBC bias and the Scots referendum – new report
    Dr John Robertson from University of West Scotland has just published research on bias and fairness in news reporting on the issue of the Scottish referendum, covering both ITV (STV) and BBC. Here’s what he found. ”

    And he is still refusing to hand over the raw data the report is based on so it can be checked.

    Alex Salmond said that an independent Scotland would have monetary union with Britain. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says they won’t.

    Alex Salmond said that an independent Scotland would have automatic membership of the EU, the President of the EU says they won’t.

    Alex Salmond said that an independent Scotland would remove trident and join NATO, NATO says they won’t.

    Nationalists might see that as biassed but it’s true and the voters should know about it.

  134. LOL. Now the Unionists are getting desperate.

    Should the Scots vote for independence, they may lose the BBC!!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2568306/If-Scots-vote-leave-UK-voting-lose-BBC-minister-warns.html

  135. “LOL. Now the Unionists are getting desperate.

    Should the Scots vote for independence, they may lose the BBC!!”

    I think the problem is that Salmond is telling the voters that should Scotland become independent he will be calling the shots, he will be dictating his terms to the rest of the world.

    The irony is that when the various organisations say “no”, “you won’t be telling us what to do” he always accuses them of bullying.

  136. One of the weakest and most useless Culture secretaries and formerly ministers in a long line, Hunt, Jowell, etc

    Maria Miller says independent Scotland would lose the BBC
    Culture secretary says yes victory in referendum will be a vote for leaving institutions of the UK, which include the BBC
    • Click here to read the full text of Maria Miller’s speech

    John Plunkett
    Wednesday 26 February 2014
    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/feb/26/maria-miller-independent-scotland-lose-bbc

  137. Fred, shouldn’t you declare your own interest?

  138. “Fred, shouldn’t you declare your own interest?”

    What interest? Living in Scotland? Thought everybody knew that already.

  139. Mr Fred

    Seeing that you’ve been like a dug wi a bone over WLC’s “snub” of Gorgeous’ roadshow, have a read of this article. Pay attention to the 2nd last paragraph.

    http://m.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/george-galloway-asks-donald-findlay-over-rally-snub-1-3265992

  140. “Seeing that you’ve been like a dug wi a bone over WLC’s “snub” of Gorgeous’ roadshow, have a read of this article. Pay attention to the 2nd last paragraph.”

    I’m sorry, you’ve completely lost me there, what is you point?

  141. Obfuscate all you like.
    There’s a good boy…

  142. “Obfuscate all you like.
    There’s a good boy…”

    Look just tell me what point you were trying to make or sod off ok?

    I can’t answer you if I haven’t a clue what you are trying to say.

  143. Airdrieonian

    27 Feb, 2014 - 7:54 am

    Mr Fred
    Why are you getting annoyed? Telling me to sod off!
    Can’t you work it out for yourself?
    Look back at your own posts for a wee clue.

  144. They are like the animals coming in two by two.

    Now it’s Standard Life.

    Standard Life could quit Scotland
    Standard Life is the first major business to warn it could leave Scotland if it votes for independence
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26362321

    Is there some orchestration at work?

  145. Where are Fred the Shred and co lurking these days? A reminder. Incredible that the ‘goodwill of the British taxpayer’, as Cleggover describes the permanent bailing out, is keeping this afloat.

    February 27, 2014
    RBS saga has played out on a grand scale
    By Martin Arnold, Banking Editor

    The £8.2bn pre-tax operating loss announced by Royal Bank of Scotland on Thursday is the sixth consecutive time the lender has slumped into the red, taking its total cumulative deficit since 2008 to about £50bn.

    Such big numbers are nothing new for RBS. At its peak in 2008, the lender had more than £2.4tn of assets on its balance sheet – far more than the gross domestic product of the UK – making it the biggest bank in the world.

    RBS slides to £8.2bn loss
    RBS bonus plan puts Osborne in spotlight
    In depth Bank bonuses
    Project Cook chops RBS down to size
    RBS to piggyback on to Post Office branches

    Having bought NatWest, one of the UK’s big four clearing banks, for £21bn in 2000, RBS was brimming with confidence. It built a £335m new headquarters in Gogarburn on the outskirts of Edinburgh, which housed 3,000 staff and was opened in 2005 by the Queen in a ceremony that included a fly-past of four Tornado jets.

    But the bank’s rapid expansion under Fred Goodwin into a global empire with 40m customers in 53 countries ended in disaster after its ill-judged €71bn hostile break-up bid for the Dutch bank ABN Amro in 2007.

    That deal, beating a rival offer from Barclays, was designed to propel RBS into the big league of global lenders – but it left the bank painfully short of capital when the financial crisis struck a few months later.

    Its balance sheet was so stretched by the ABN Amro takeover that its core tier one ratio – a key indicator of financial strength – fell below the regulatory minimum of 4 per cent. That meant the bank had less than £4 of capital to cover every £100 of risk-adjusted exposure it had on its balance sheet.

    As a result RBS was forced to launch a £12bn rights issue – at the time, the biggest in Europe – only to admit a few months later that it still needed tens of billions of pounds more capital. Over a weekend in October 2008, as creditors withdrew their money from RBS in droves, regulators realised the bank could not open for business the following Monday unless drastic steps were taken.

    The bank was bailed out at a cost of £45bn to the British taxpayer in 2008 and Mr Goodwin resigned and was later stripped of his knighthood. Since then, the assets on its balance sheet have more than halved to £1tn and its staff numbers are set to fall almost two-thirds from their peak of more than 225,000 in 2007.

    The £27.5bn loss that RBS reported for 2008 was the biggest British corporate loss in history – larger than the market capitalisations of many FTSE 100 companies.

    RBS shares remain about a third below the price that the government paid to bail out the bank, making it highly unlikely that taxpayers will recoup any of their money before next year’s general election.

    Political pressure has dogged the bank since its bailout. Stephen Hester, who replaced Mr Goodwin in 2008, was repeatedly forced to waive his bonus during his five years in charge. His refusal to bow to pressure for an exit from the politically unpopular investment banking business ultimately cost him his job last year.

    His replacement Ross McEwan seems more willing to retrench and has a reputation as a cost-killer, having implemented a ruthless efficiency drive as the head of retail at Commonwealth Bank of Australia before joining RBS in 2012.

    But the 56-year-old New Zealander has already been forced to waive his bonus along with his entire executive board in anticipation of the steep losses announced on Thursday.

    The UK government has started selling its stake in Lloyds Banking Group, the other big bailed-out British lender, which has seen its shares soar in recent years and is expected to make a net profit and restart dividend payments this year.

    Many of the big numbers at RBS are shrinking – employees, assets, costs – but the most important number to determine whether Mr McEwan is a success will be the RBS share price, which he badly needs to start going up.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/357bde8a-9f7f-11e3-b6c7-00144feab7de.html

  146. “Standard Life could quit Scotland
    Standard Life is the first major business to warn it could leave Scotland if it votes for independence”

    I read the article and the reasons Standard Life gave make sound economic sense. It would be extremely difficult and risky for them to be in a different country with a different currency than the majority of their customers.

  147. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    27 Feb, 2014 - 9:02 am

    Fred was insistent on the legal basis for the council’s failure to indulge George – thanks for the link, Airdrieonian –
    ‘A West Lothian Council spokesman said: “We are unable to accept bookings for political events on council premises, as doing so would breach section 2 (3) of the 1986 Local Government Act.”’

    Here ya go, Fred –

    (Section 2) Prohibition of political publicity.

    (1)A local authority shall not publish any material which, in whole or in part, appears to be designed to affect public support for a political party.

    [F1(2)In determining whether material falls within the prohibition regard shall be had to the content and style of the material, the time and other circumstances of publication and the likely effect on those to whom it is directed and, in particular, to the following matters—

    (a)whether the material refers to a political party or to persons identified with a political party or promotes or opposes a point of view on a question of political controversy which is identifiable as the view of one political party and not of another;

    (b)where the material is part of a campaign, the effect which the campaign appears to be designed to achieve.]

    (3)A local authority shall not give financial or other assistance to a person for the publication of material which the authority are prohibited by this section from publishing themselves.

    No, don’t thank me for using my internet skills on your behalf, Fred. All part of the service.

  148. “But the bank’s rapid expansion under Fred Goodwin into a global empire with 40m customers in 53 countries ended in disaster after its ill-judged €71bn hostile break-up bid for the Dutch bank ABN Amro in 2007. ”

    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/58239000/jpg/_58239878_fredletter464.jpg

  149. @Ba’al Zevul (Etc)

    Yes I had already read that, it was at the end of the link posted by Someone.

    The question is whether matters concerning independence would count as party politics and if hiring out a hall would count as publishing material. Personally I’m not much interested in your opinion knowing that will just argue your party line. My point was that you should have read the article and commented on the contents rather than launching a personal attack on George Galloway.

  150. @fred

    Note the second last paragraph that Airdrieonian links to:

    “A minority Labour administration currently runs the council.”

    @mary
    “Is there some orchestration at work?”
    Yes of course, let’s not be naive. There will be a steady planned release of similar announcements, increasing in intensity as we near the referendum date.

  151. Vronsky. Yes my question was ironic, or at least meant to be.

  152. “A minority Labour administration currently runs the council.”

    Yes but how would that affect the legality or the morality of the issue?

  153. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    27 Feb, 2014 - 12:50 pm

    ‘Personally I’m not much interested in your opinion knowing that will just argue your party line.’

    I KNOW, Fred. It’s completely obvious because you never actually read what I say. You want me to be an evil Nazi Nationalist, so you can just assume that’s where I’m coming from, and pump out the stuff you’d hear in a Rangers pub if you ever, ever went for a drink and relaxed.

    What party line? I haven’t been a member of any party for around -bloody hell, twenty years. My last vote was for the Greens…but better assume I’m a claymore-swinging stalwart of Siol nan Gaedhael, intent on looting and pillaging the crofts of honest English settlers, eh?

    Why did you go to Scotland, Fred? You seem to resent its being Scottish – just asking.

    Oh, and what underhand tactics? Still waiting. Can’t be attacking GG’s integrity*…you started attacking mine long before that, so that’s got to be permissible, no?

    *Have trouble seeing it, to be honest.

  154. doug scorgie

    27 Feb, 2014 - 1:49 pm

    Fred
    27 Feb, 2014 – 9:00 am
    “Standard Life could quit Scotland
    “I read the article and the reasons Standard Life gave make sound economic sense. It would be extremely difficult and risky for them to be in a different country with a different currency than the majority of their customers.”

    I have read the article too Fred and it is pure bullshit. This is political blackmail as with other interventions from BP and Jose Barroso of the EU Commission.

    [Standard Life’s] Gerry Grimstone, says Scotland has been a great base for the company but that, “if anything were to threaten this, we will take whatever action we consider necessary – including transferring parts of our operations from Scotland.

    Who is the democratically elected government of Scotland Fred the SNP or Mr Grimstone?

    What this man is saying is “you do what we want or we leave”; a bit like the anti-democratic City financiers say to Westminster.

    Standard Life’s chief executive, David Nish, insisted Standard Life has “a long-standing policy of strict political neutrality and at no time will we advise people on how they should vote.”

    But they just have.

    Abdalla Salem el-Badri said Scotland would be best off remaining in the United Kingdom.
    [because] most of its North Sea oil reserves are “depleted.”

    What does he mean by depleted? The way the word is used gives the impression he means nearly empty; which of course would be a lie.

    Any finite resource like oil becomes “depleted” (ie reduced) as soon as you start exploiting it.

    “Badri admitted that the Scottish referendum had “nothing to do with OPEC”
    So why is he interfering Fred?

    “BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley has warned that major companies may divest billions in future investment away from Scotland because of the uncertainties the country’s independence would mean for business.”

    “That’s not a company view, that’s from me”

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/scottish-independence-bp-boss-bob-dudley-warns-industry-costs-investment-withdrawal-1435153

    “European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said it would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” for an independent Scotland to join the European Union.”

    “Mr Barroso made clear that it was up to the people of Scotland to decide their future, and he said he did not want to interfere in that process.” But he just did.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26215963

    Can’t you see a pattern Fred?

  155. “Can’t you see a pattern Fred?”

    Yes I see the pattern, anyone who tells it how it is about independence must be biassed, bullying, interfering. Salmond can lie through his teeth all day long yet the sun shines out of his arsehole.

    That’s the pattern I’m seeing.

  156. More BS from our resident govewrnm,ent of mastiffs. here we have the son of New Labour’s Blackburn emperor J.Straw making his point about Europe.
    Off course most of it is written by his dad one presume’s, who is preparing his son to take over from him in the Blackburn manipulation stakes.

    This to start it is a quote from W. Churchill 1946 on the dangers of a future Germany

    “He formulated his conclusions drawn from the lessons of history in his famous
    ‘Speech to the academic youth’ held at the University of Zurich in 1946: “There is
    a remedy which … would in a few years make all Europe … free and … happy.
    It is to re-create the European family, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it
    with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom.
    We must build a kind of United States of Europe.”

    and here is Will’s Friend of Europe article for der Spiegel.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/will-straw-essay-on-the-role-of-britain-in-the-european-union-a-956230.html

  157. Nothing new about corporate welfare. The biggest get bailed out while the little guys get hung out to dry.

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