Farage Boost to Yes

by craig on April 27, 2014 12:08 pm in Uncategorized

I have maintained ever since the independence referendum date was announced, that the EU election results would boost Yes support into the lead.  I am very confident that will prove a good prediction.

Today’s Sunday Times opinion poll on European election voting intentions gives:

UKIP 31

New Lab 28

Cons 19

Ldem 9

Green 8

A win for UKIP will not only remind Scots that England remains in thrall to very right wing politics tinged with racism.  It will also make plain to Scots that the only way to be sure to stay in the EU is to be part of an independent Scotland.  No professional career diplomat seriously believes the EU would expel Scotland, even though a tiny minority of European politicians occasionally like to threaten it would, for their own domestic purposes.

A massively greater risk is the crazed Little Englanders dragging the UK into leaving the EU.  UKIP are rampant.  The Tories are terrified of them, and have a risible position that after the next election they will renegotiate Britain’s membership, then have an in-out referendum.  In fact there really is no chance that all the other member states will unanimously agree to Cameron’s demand for changes in treaties that were excruciatingly difficult to gain unanimity for in the first place.  In several instances EU states would be unable to agree without a referendum, a can of worms nobody wants to open.  Cameron’s renegotiated settlement can never happen, so the Tories’ European figleaf only has a couple more years to go before expiry date.  Then the English will want to leave.  A majority of English voters already do want to leave.

The difference between English and Scottish voters on the EU is not a myth.  Lord Ashcroft regularly commissions polling data for the Conservative party on a much greater scale than anything the newspapers do.  Newspaper samples are typically around 1,000.  Ashcroft’s are around 20,000. His first quarter survey in 2014

All things considered, do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union? (Sample 20,058)  (excluding don’t knows etc)

Wales England Northern Ireland (WENI)

Yes 49

No 51

Scotland

Yes 60

No 40

That is a huge difference, and shows one clear reason why Scotland needs to be an independent state with its own foreign policy.

I trace this strong popular support for the EU in Scotland back to the early 1980′s.  Thatcherism was devastating the economy, there was negative public investment from Westminster, and the only available jobs were on EU regional development funded projects like the A9 upgrade and Dundee City airport.  I remember the big blue EU hoardings at those sites, and it was like a breath of sanity amidst the English Conservative wreaked havoc.

Scottish EU support is also part of our open, internationalist outlook.  We have no desire to rebuild barriers between ourselves and the vast European cultural social and economic space.  We are not fearful or resentful of those foreigners.  We want the EU itself to be more outward looking and porous too.

New Labour are not going to win the next UK general election.  In the last six UK general elections, the governing party has gained an average of 6.5 percentage points in the twelve months preceding the general election.  New Labour are at their polling zenith – which is not at all high – and about to decline.  The Tory/Clegg disaster is coming back to the UK in 2015.

Though when New Labour are committed to cut benefits more than the Tories, and given their record on bank bailouts, NHS privatization, academy schools, PFI, university tuition fees and the numerous other disasters New Labour visited upon us – not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan and extraordinary rendition - I cannot understand the brainless tribal loyalty that makes anybody believe New Labour would be any better anyway.

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93 Comments

  1. “New Labour are going to win the next UK general election.”

    I think you’re missing a ‘not’ in here.

  2. Thanks, corrected!

  3. Full poll results are here:

    http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/pjvdg1r9fz/YG-Archive-Pol-Sunday-Times-results-140525.pdf

    The results for UKIP across the UK in answer tothe question:
    “The European elections are held under a proportional voting system which gives smaller parties a better chance of winning seats than in general elections.
    If there were an election to the European Parliament held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?”

    Are:
    London, Rest of South, Midlands / Wales, North, Scotland
    23, 35, 32, , 35, 18

  4. “The Tory/Clegg disaster is coming back to the UK in 2015″.

    Or worse, a Try/UKIP cataclysm. Although there is a good chance UKIP will implode long before then.

  5. I agree with you that the Tories’ proposed renegotiation is a no-hoper but where I disagree is the place of an independent Scotland within the EU. I don’t think EU leaders have any grounds to rule out future Scottish membership in the EU, that would be political discrimination. But what I do understand is that membership of the EU for a new country, Scotland will not be automatic. There will have to be a negotiation from scratch as the EU will be dealing with a different legal entity in an independent Scotland. The problem with a new negotiation is that the EU bureaucrats with their ultra-integrationist ideology will demand in those negotiations that Scotland adopts the Euro like all new EU member states from Eastern Europe eg. Croatia, possibly Turkey in the future etc, all have to do. An independent Scotland will be made to adopt the Euro which I believe is quite unpopular and that is why Salmond is campaigning that Scotland will keep the pound instead. An independent Scotland if it joins the EU will not have the advantage that the UK has in its relationship with Europe, although fraught, at lest the UK gets to benefit from the Single Market without Euro adoption due to the fact that the Single Market predates the Euro and so the UK already being a member of the EU had the choice of opting out of the Euro. For Scotland there will be no such choice because the rules have changed for future EU membership applicants. If Salmond wants an independent Scotland in the EU, the full thrust of federalist integrationist policies will be hammered down on Scotland as all the ex-communist Eastern European countries have suffered. Is that something pro-independent Scots are willing to concede?

  6. OEM

    Scotland will not be a new country starting from scratch. It will be inherit the treaty obligations of the UK, which it entered when it was part of a union. Czech and Slovak model on treaty membership. Personally I would be delighted if Scotland adopted the Euro. The Euro is a much broader based currency than the pound. It is more acceptable in international transactions, and we wouldn’t have currency charges in transactions with the rest of the EU.

  7. GutterTheQuantifier

    27 Apr, 2014 - 1:48 pm

    EU-philia versus EU-phobia isn’t the cartoonish left/right thing that Craig and all the mainstream media like to portray it as.

    Now that Bob Crow is usefully out of the way we never get to hear the progressive, internationalist case for leaving the undemocratic, neoliberal, and increasingly proto-fascist empire that is the EU.

    Take a look at No2EU.com.

  8. Not sure why that didn’t appear as a link. Trying again.
    http://www.No2EU.com.

  9. Tory/Clegg disaster returning in 2015. God help us all in that case.

    I see nobody to vote for in any election whether for MEPs or MPs.

    The turnout for the EU elections will be low. With less than a month to go, no candidates’ names have been reported, no election material received, no debate of any kind but I have had a polling card.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_East_England_(European_Parliament_constituency)

    I have written to all 10 of thpse MEPs over the last years, mainly about the EU giving support to Israel and this legislation known as ACAA – ‘Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the EC and Israel on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (CAA) Subject: vote: request for referral to committee’. It is now enacted as far as I know but the EU websites are impenetrable if you want to know how the votes went. Like wading through porridge.

    Some never answered, two or three gave a Zionist supporting type response including an LD. This did come from an LD about EU funding Israeli settlement building.

    ‘Many thanks for contacting me regarding the guidelines published by the European Commission on the eligibility of Israeli bodies for financial support. Announced in July, the new EU guidelines should bar it from awarding grants to Israeli projects in the territory occupied since 1967 and exclude Israeli businesses and institutions that operate in the West Bank from receiving EU loans.

    Some of my Liberal Democrat Euro MP colleagues including Fiona Hall wrote last month a joint letter to the European Commission urging them to implement these guidelines in full.

    This cross-party letter stated:
    “We call on you to implement the guidelines in full as we oppose the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which are illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the Israeli government’s policy of establishing settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have been condemned on numerous occasions by the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice.

    Allowing Israeli entities established in the settlements or having activities there to benefit from financial assistance from the EU would mean de facto recognition of the legality of Israel’s illegal and immoral settlement policy. These guidelines are therefore in full conformity with international law, which the EU is bound to respect in accordance with Articles 3(5) and 21(1) of the Treaty of the European Union.”
    The letter also confirmed that the MEPs “feel strongly that Israeli settlements should not benefit from European taxpayers’ money”.

    I understand that there is much pressure on the EU to repeal the new guidelines but I sincerely hope the European Commission will listen to our voices in the European Parliament and implement them in full. I will continue to monitor the progress of these guidelines through the EU Institutions.

  10. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    27 Apr, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    “It will be inherit the treaty obligations of the UK, which it entered when it was part of a union.”
    ___________________

    There are jurists (UK as well as EU) who wouldn’t agree with you on that; their position is that only WENI inherits the treaty obligations of today’s UK.

    Furthermore you’re playing with words when you say “No professional career diplomat seriously believes the EU would expel Scotland”? Scotland would have expelled itself. You should have written something like “….seriously believes that the EU would not agree a re-admission of an independent Scotland into the EU (because, as you’ve pointed out yourself in the past, the acquis commautaire already applies in Scotland and will not disappear with Scottish independence ubkless the Scottish govt were so to will).

    OEM is also correct with his remarks about the Euro. I also happen to agree with you that the Euro is a fine currency, but that’s only part of the point – the Euro appears to be unpopular everywhere in the UK, including Scotland, but Salmond says he wants to retain the GBP (but won’t be able to when Scotland rejoins).

  11. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    27 Apr, 2014 - 2:23 pm

    (but won’t be able to when Scotland rejoins)

    should have read

    (but won’t be able ton à terme, when after Scotland rejoins)

  12. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    27 Apr, 2014 - 2:24 pm

    Fuck it, THIRD TRY :)

    “(but won’t be able to, à terme, after Scotland rejoins)”

  13. Gissa job!

    Scottish independence: CBI Scotland director to step down
    The CBI said Mr McMillan had signalled his intention to retire two years ago

    Scotland’s Future
    What’s going on in Scotland?
    Do I get a vote in the referendum?
    The referendum in 60 secs Watch
    BBC’s referendum library

    The business lobby group, the CBI, has confirmed that its Scottish director is to step down towards the end of the year.

    The announcement that Iain McMillan is to retire comes two days after a bid by the CBI to reverse its position as a registered campaigner against Scottish independence.

    The CBI denied any link between the referendum issue and his retirement.

    ~~
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-27178295

  14. “Little Englander” – if readers would kindly look up the origin of this phrase, there would be more LEs, since it was used to label those who opposed empire-building and colonialism.

    I am not a racist. Besides, there are and have been racists in the Labour and Conservative parties also; as to Liberals, I don’t know, though they have to contend with other historic shames, as we now see.

    Nor would I describe myself as remotely “right wing”.

    I am in favour of an EU referendum on democratic grounds. So were Margaret Thatcher, Douglas Jay, Tony Benn and Lord Blake; so was Lord Rees-Mogg, who challenged the legality of Maastricht in the courts. Ask Dennis Skinner what he thinks of the EU, though with his heart condition it would be better not to.

    A little nuancing in your thoughts re UKIP would be most welcome. If Prof Alan Sked’s New Deal Party gathered momentum I’d certainly be prepared to consider; until then, when the three largest parties in the UK have agreed a stitch-up on EU membership, which appears to be more in the interests of big business, bureaucracy and careerist politicians like Tony Blair who want to sell their contact book for millions after public office, don’t be surprised by the popularity of an underfunded and heavily top-directed newbie like UKIP. Among the ruins of democracy in Britain, si monumentum requiris, circumspice.

  15. Heh. Many ‘warning shots’ being fired.

    http://bbc.scotlandshire.co.uk/index.php/city-news/709-highland-power-cut-was-a-warning-strike-from-space-claims-mod.html

    “A massive power outage which affected over 250,000 properties across the Highlands & Islands was the result of a warning shot from space aliens, claims the Ministry of Defence.”

  16. @ Ben (3.12 pm): someone has clearly put a lot of time – and, dare I suggest, money – into that site. Has professional trolling gone up to a new level?

    For what it’s worth, I think a well-run UK would be best; but a well-run independent Scotland would be better than to be part of an ill-run, democratically deficient UK.

    Will Scotland be well-run in future, and how?

  17. “Will Scotland be well-run in future, and how?”

    Sackerson; Being American I don’t really have a dog in this fight, except that I wish Scots a wee bit of peace and freedom.

    I think the attempts to create animosity between various ethnic and political groups will continue even if independence wins out.

    Maverick governments get a lot of outside interference when real reforms are attempted.

  18. foolish speculation

    27 Apr, 2014 - 4:00 pm

    It will be interesting which way the Liberals go before and after the election whether they will flip flop to labour or stay with the Tories. They are trying to look more radical and signal that they would be going to the left and if labour have the most seats and liberals do badly I would suspect that they will have a leadership battle and join labour arguing that they must support the party which has won the most seats. If UKIP actually win seats then the Tories and UKIP are going to have to engage.

    I know you don’t agree but I can’t help but take the Peter Hitchens line that deep down the Tories are not all opposed to Scottish independence. Not only 1) will it keep them in power in the rest of the UK, but it will also 2)take away the responsibility for paying for public sector workers in Scotland.

    I have no insight whether the EU will keep Scotland in – you may be right, but there will be a negotiation to be had, and the EU are not going to want to subsidise Scotland, and will that mean that Scotland will have to join the Euro?

    There is a third reason why some parts of the establishment might appreciate an independent Scotland and that is because perhaps one part of the UK (as it currently is) will remain in and another will exit: providing Scotland and Wales & England are still talking there could be an advantage in that.

    Who will leave? All the bets would be that it would be England, but perhaps Cameron will renegotiate and in so doing turn England into the EU’s in house off shore base (rather like HK is to China – One state two systems).

    I know I post with a keep Scotland in the UK bias here, but I don’t have a vote and I have actually not made my mind up. If I were Scottish I would find it very hard to vote against independence even if I thought it meant trouble ahead.

  19. ‘No professional career diplomat seriously believes the EU would expel Scotland’

    That isn’t really the point, as several commenters have noted. However the EU will undoubtedly play hard ball on the terms for the re-admission to the EU of an independent Scotland, as Barroso himself hinted at a few months ago- the point being to discourage secessionists in Catalonia & Flanders.

    Salmond himself seems to understand this, judging from the leaked summary of a speech he’s due to deliver in Bruges tomorrow-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-27178205

    I assume he’ll be delivering this soothing message standing up at a rostrum; perhaps instead he should try it reclining on a leopardskin sofa, legs spread wide, whispering ‘Take me!, I’m yours!’

    He seems to think that trumpeting the fact that 12 other EU nations hoover up the bulk of Scotland’s fish stocks will play well to his target audience. His reference to Scotland holding 60% of EU oil reserves is also a pretty blatant come-on; hey, let me in and these too could become a ‘common EU resource’! Why else mention this statistic in this context?

  20. @ Old Mark (4.18 pm): Abundant fish and oil – all the more reason to stay out, wouldn’t you say? Maybe the answer will depend on Salmond’s altruism.

  21. As Mark Felt said; “Follow the Money”

  22. Donald Carthlan

    27 Apr, 2014 - 4:47 pm

    @Foolishspeculation

    An independent Scotland can in no way be “forced” into joining the Euro as one of the key conditions is that a member state must have been part part of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) for a minimum of two years. Joining ERM II is entirely optional giving Sweden a de-facto opt out and is why Sweden has never joined the Euro despite being obligated to in it’s accession treaty.

    Indeed the EU has accepted that Sweden is staying outside the eurozone for the foreeseable on its own decision. Olli Rehn, the EU commissioner for economic affairs has said that it is up to Swedish people to decide.

    As for the reason Salmond brings up the oil well I direct your attention to the McCrone Report which states:

    “North Sea oil could have far-reaching consequences for Scottish membership of EEC (now EU) because of the tremendously increased political power it would confer. Without oil other members might pay little enough regard to Scotland; her voting power would not be large and it might indeed be argued that she could exert more leverage on the Community as part of the United Kingdom. As the major producer of oil in Western Europe, however, Scotland would be in a key position and other countries would be extremely foolish if they did not seek to do all they could to accommodate Scottish interests.”

  23. We have no desire to rebuild barriers between ourselves and the vast European cultural social and economic space.

    Just a barrier between us and that seething mass-immigration melting pot of England, while we suck up what remains of the fast diminishing supply of oil.

    After that, we will demand reopening of the fine high road that leads to England, where we can join Craig Murray and millions of others of his “compatriots” already comfortably settled there, if not actually born there, among all those horrible right wing racist English.

  24. Little Englanders, waythism…. yawn. Give us some arguments.

    Europhiles simply love to push the idea that those of us who want out are little narrow-minded jingoists who can’t stand foreigners. Truth is we love Europe, want to trade with Europe, but don’t want to be part of an ever-expanding, undemocratic and unaccountable political union.

    “That is a huge difference, and shows one clear reason why Scotland needs to be an independent state with its own foreign policy.”

    Ha. By joining the EU?

    “The Tories are terrified of [UKIP], and have a risible position that after the next election they will renegotiate Britain’s membership, then have an in-out referendum.”

    They’ll do no such thing. ‘Cast Iron’ Dave is committed to keeping this country in. He is a proven liar on the EU.

    “Personally I would be delighted if Scotland adopted the Euro.”

    Just when most of Europe has learned to rue the day they joined it, Craig wants Scotland in! I don’t know why you call this a vote on independence when you want to sell your country out entirely.

  25. What do you think the effects of a Scottish “Yes” vote would be on the next general election?

  26. I’m hoping that an independent Scotland offers a path to repatriation for those of us whose ancestors were forcibly removed from their land during the Clearances.

  27. James Cranch Cameron would not be in the equation apparently. I put this comment up yesterday.

    ‘Matthew Parris thinks that if there is a Yes vote, Cameron will resign and call an election. If the union is broken, his badge of honour is broken. Anyway, jolly good if he pushes off.

    If it’s a ‘yes’, they’ll be after Cameron’s head
    Matthew Parris
    April 26 2014

    He agreed to the Scottish referendum, after all; but it was a brave decision and the question has to be settled

    Imagine. It’s the second day after Scotland votes to leave the union. The first day has of course been about the shock of the result; but now we’ve had 24 hours to think further.

    What will be on the front page of this newspaper? No, let me put it in Daily Mail terms: “How dare he carry on? Cameron faces calls to resign.”

    You may not be thinking about this yet. But count on it:David Cameron must be.’……….

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article4073257.ece paywall

    I think we will be seeing and hearing a lot of the Boris Bluster. Coming soon. What’s that saying about getting rid of nurse? Woe is us whichever way.

  28. foolish speculation

    27 Apr, 2014 - 6:42 pm

    Donald,

    Thank you for the clarification; I hope you are right and that Scotland would not be required to join the Euro (and that it doesn’t).

    With regard to the oil well solution I again hope you are right, but I remain slightly sceptical simply because over time one notes a disconnect between energy profit projections and reality (I don’t mean in Scotland but more generally). I am cynical also as to why would the UK establishment allow this to be going forward if there was real value left and unless it did not somehow play to their benefit; I admit that would require something of a conspiracy because it would mean that the conservative (unionist)party would in effect be implementing or perhaps just acquiescing in something which on the face of it they are opposed to.

  29. Boris is being promoted strongly by the Barclay brothers’ Torygraph.

    Boris Johnson must act fast if he wants the glittering prize
    It’s a wonderful dilemma for an ambitious politician: does he go for a third term as London Mayor, or fulfil his destiny in the greatest job of all? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/london-mayor-election/mayor-of-london/10789463/Boris-Johnson-must-act-fast-if-he-wants-the-glittering-prize.html

    I see it’s destiny!

  30. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    27 Apr, 2014 - 6:57 pm

    “I have written to all 10 of thpse MEPs over the last years, mainly about the EU giving support to Israel and this legislation known as ACAA –…etc, etc….”

    ___________________

    Here we go again: a mere 2 hours in and already an attempt by Mary to divert Craig’s post to her pet theme pet theme of Israel….

    Truly a one-trick pony!

  31. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    27 Apr, 2014 - 7:25 pm

    Donald Carthlan

    Your post does not describe entirely accurately the case of Sweden and the euro(there are too many short cuts), but before continuing I should like you to source the following

    “Indeed the EU has accepted that Sweden is staying outside the eurozone for the foreeseable on its own decision. Olli Rehn, the EU commissioner for economic affairs has said that it is up to Swedish people to decide.”

    Can you provide more info (preferably by direct reference and/or quotation) on those two assertions?

  32. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    27 Apr, 2014 - 8:03 pm

    Donald Carthlan

    No need to respond to my post of half an hour ago – I overlooked your words “de facto” (but Sweden does not have exempted status, ie an opt-out, like Denmark and the UK; it is formally a “Member State with a derogation”.)

  33. That post which I put up at lunchtime has only just gone up as it was in moderation and already it is being analysed and criticized.

    Anyone want a stalker? I know of one going spare.

  34. “I know of one going spare.”

    It’s more like an ankle-biting Border Collie Mary. Habbabreak makes for cryptic comments.

    I find it easier to just step over the droppings on the pavement, or kick them to the curb; whichever is more convenient.

  35. To extend the tabloidesque insinuation the 40% north of the border who do not hold EU aspirations are “little Scotlanders” who are “tinged with racism”.

  36. We need to stop seeing the EU as a left/right issue. There are perfectly sensible reasons why the left, or anyone interested in democracy, should be wary of it. Have a look here for some summary views.

    http://www.scottishleftreview.org/article/views-of-europe/

  37. I had a border collie Ben and he never bit any ankles! Robbie had been a working sheepdog in Yorkshire and after being put out to stud, was advertised for rescue. When I first saw him at the farm, he was living in the boot of a Volvo estate. He was the dearest dog I have ever had and I loved him to bits as the saying goes. He’s in the garden now under a tree.

    Excuse the diversion Mods.

  38. A win for UKIP will not only remind Scots that England remains in thrall to very right wing politics tinged with racism.

    Curiously, about twice as many immigrants, proportional to the population, choose to settle in England rather than Scotland.

  39. Sackerson

    I met Alan Sked – spoke with him in a debate a few years ago somewhere. Seemed a perfectly decent person and very bright. You would be quite wrong in thinking I despise or dislike people who have different opinions to myself. I don’t at all.

  40. “I’m hoping that an independent Scotland offers a path to repatriation for those of us whose ancestors were forcibly removed from their land during the Clearances.”

    I haven’t seen any barbed wire keeping people out. Come on any time you want, there’s nothing stopping you. We’ve plenty of room.

    Though I speak to people all over the world, Canada, New Zealand, Africa, Americas. Nobody has ever told me they wanted to come back. Hell some of them have ranches bigger than Scotland now.

  41. Michael McIntyre

    27 Apr, 2014 - 11:53 pm

    A win for UKIP will (…) make plain to Scots that the only way to be sure to stay in the EU is to be part of an independent Scotland.

    The only way to be sure? Your rationality is going out of the window. You sound as if you’re writing an election leaflet.

    Which may be why we get the following fallacious argument from authority, written without your usual care:

    No professional career diplomat seriously believes the EU would expel Scotland

    No organisation can expel a non-member. That’s the only sense in which you’re right.

    You can accuse me of pedantry, but your use of the word “expel” is twisty and suggests an assumption of what you mean to show.

    Nor do you know what all professional career diplomats believe, whether seriously or otherwise. Maybe some of the PCDs of your acquaintance switch off whenever conversation goes tartan?

    The decision as to whether Scotland will become an EU member state wouldn’t be taken by career diplomats. In the period between referendum day and independence day, diplomats from Britain in particular would exert little influence. Anybody who thinks EU governments would recognise the inexorable logic and unshakeable legal basis of the Scottish case is deluding themselves. There wouldn’t be protracted legal proceedings on the issue. The decision would be political.

    The Scottish government can stamp its foot and blame the English (a stage villian appearing in such guises as ‘Westminster’ or the ‘London media’). Such rubbish plays very well in the home market, where chips on shoulders are a Scottish nationalist requirement.

    In Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Brussels, Washington DC? Nobody would be interested.

  42. According the the Scotsman last week, UKIP were on 10% in Scotland, which was just one point behind the Tories. It looks to me as if they will grab the Tory seat.

    One of the reasons is the sheer hysteria that is being built up around them and the people that it is coming from. Frankly, it’s everyone that a lot of people just loath and UKIP is riding high on that.

  43. Those immensely democratic origins of the EU project sketched:

    Link text

    Counting the US-approved Nazis within the early bureaucracy:

    Link text

  44. Rhisiart Gwilym

    28 Apr, 2014 - 8:11 am

    Couple of small points Craig: To be accurate, Fromage’s Funtime Follies should be called EKIP. That’s how a write it always, just to make the reality clear. UKIP is simply inaccurate, and delusional. Remember the hot reception he got when naively trying it on in Edinburgh.

    Also, for an educated Scot like you, who also speaks English English fluently, to use the illiterate Amercanism ‘wreaked’ when you really mean ‘wrought’ must have been a momentary lapse of attention, I’d have thinked. :) Cheers Craig!

  45. Agent Cameron has another rebellion to deal with today.

    Fresh questions over HS2 benefits as PM faces rebellion
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27184269

    Miliband is supporting it.

  46. Sofia Kibo Noh

    28 Apr, 2014 - 9:09 am

    Before Scots adopt the Euro take a look at what it has meant for their Irish neighbours.

    http://www.capitalismwithoutfailure.com/2012/05/david-mcwilliams-powerful-series-on.html

    Also consider the deep democratic deficit and rampant corruption of the EU and it’s unelected commission. Remember when the Irish voted No to the Lisbon treaty they were told the had voted wrong and millions of euro were spent scaring them into voting Yes on a second try. A canary in the democratic mine?

    The skeptics in Englandland might be right in this issue for the wrong reasons. Maybe the Norwegians could share some of their experience regarding sovereignty, resources, democracy and currency.

  47. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    28 Apr, 2014 - 9:36 am

    From everyone I’ve spoken to (in England), voting UKIP is going to be (a) a desperate protest vote, against the indistinguishable policies, obvious incompetence and bland indifference to public opinion of all the alternatives and (b) an indication of objection to untrammelled immigration, with all that is perceived to bring in the way of changing the culture of the country. I am not yet getting any clear intention to vote UKIP in UK parliamentary elections, but if this lot don’t get their act together, and that eftsoons or right speedily, we could well be seeing a lot more of Farage’s grinning mug.

    For the moment, though, the feeling seems to be that it doesn’t matter much who represents us in Europe…and, candidly, I’d rather have people who are critical of what goes on there representing me in that flaccid, corrupt and manager-swamped forum.

  48. ‘A political superstructure imposed on EFTA’, as one commenter has called it.

  49. “From everyone I’ve spoken to (in England), voting UKIP is going to be (a) a desperate protest vote, against the indistinguishable policies, obvious incompetence and bland indifference to public opinion of all the alternatives”

    You have to allow for the large role cognitive dissonance plays in these matters.

    I’d bet a large proportion of those made the decision first and thought of the reason later.

  50. “very right wing politics tinged with racism”! at least UKIP would’nt have attacked,or supported the attacks of:Afghanistan,Iraq,Libya,Syria nor would it be fomenting war in the Ukraine.

  51. ““very right wing politics tinged with racism”! at least UKIP would’nt have attacked,or supported the attacks of:Afghanistan,Iraq,Libya,Syria nor would it be fomenting war in the Ukraine.”

    Of course they would.

  52. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    28 Apr, 2014 - 10:18 am

    I’d bet a large proportion of those made the decision first and thought of the reason later.

    I wouldn’t. The perception that we are being governed by shambling incompetents serving an agenda which has nothing to do with the bulk of the population is surprisingly widespread – if not in the Belgrave Arms* itself. Where you’ll be hearing very little about UKIP as they have been jeered back across the border when attempting to establish a presence in Scotland. Might be a little cognitive dissonance there as well. I’ve heard deep red Labour union men coming very reluctantly to the conclusion, correctly, that New Labour is a pile of crap, the Greens have lost their way, and that the system needs some radical surgery…before voicing the dread initials UKIP.

    Farage’s trick is simple – he looks as if he’s listening. The others don’t even bother with the appearance of listening. What’s worse, Murdoch is not unsympathetic. Win or lose, UKIP is going to make politics a good deal less predictable.
    Though if they were to achieve any electoral edge in the long term, I think we can safely assume that UKIP’d guzzle as heartily as the pigs already at the trough.

    * or wherever your boat floats

  53. “I wouldn’t. ”

    I didn’t think you would.

    I don’t remember a government people actually liked. Governing the country has always been a compromise, there have always been people ready to jump on the negative and shout it loud. Would you want another Thatcher, a Callaghan maybe? Maybe you’d rather have the Greek government? That’s how radical extremist parties always campaign.

    But if you discount the negative campaigning and look at what UKIP is actually offering different`it all revolves around that damned Johny Foreigner.

  54. Ex Medialens from the excellent John Hilley

    The CBI has killed the BBC stone dead
    Posted by John Hilley on April 28, 2014, 10:00 am

    ‘This is the end of the road for the BBC in Scotland. Whatever happens at the meeting in Pacific Quay is totally irrelevant. You are watching end game.

    Why was the BBC a secret member of the CBI at all? Why in the name of goodness does a body that is allowed to legally extort payment from householders, require to be a member of a right wing lobbying group which has links to the Conservative party?

    For several years the CBI, or more precisely the CBI in Scotland, has had access to BBC Scotland’s substantial media platform in which to promote its ideological opposition to independence and it has used this to good effect.’

    http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/9109-the-cbi-has-killed-the-bbc-stone-dead

  55. ‘Украина и печеньки Евросоюза’ or ‘Ukraine and the EU cookies’.

    There does not seem to be an equivalent cartoon for Nuland cookies.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo7cT0lLlkk

  56. Daniel Buckley

    28 Apr, 2014 - 11:14 am

    Scotland may vote for independence, but if it ties itself to either the Pound sterling or the Euro,it cannot be a Sovereign independent country.
    It will still be a debt slave to the English or Euro system.
    A free Sovereign country, that issues and controls its own currency,can use this currency to create full employment and be really free with control of its economy.
    The proviso is that this currency is used to create productive employment and generate REAL wealth and NOT invested in the predatory FINANCE, INSURANCE AND REAL ESTATE SECTORS.
    The wealth of a nation is in the ingenuity and industry of its population, to use its natural resources to good effect for the prosperity of the nation.
    This means directing investment to the wealth creating agricultural.fisheries, mining and manufacturing sectors,etc.
    A sovereign country can never be short of money for investment, It does not have to go to the so-called bond markets for this money.It can create this money from thin air. The money is cancelled on receipt of taxes from corporate and income payers. Surplus from this wealth creation is used for the social support of the population.
    Money is a token, a means of exchange and a necessary tool in modern society. In itself it is not wealth.
    97% of the money in circulation today in the British economy has been created by the private banking system from thin air. This money is created when a bank approves a loan and charges interest on this loan.It is debt based money.
    It is estimated that the private banking cartel extract between 30-40% from the economy using loan facilities.
    Creation of money by the financial sector has created our present worldwide crisis. Digital funny money without asset backing created by the financial casino,does not create wealth or improve the welfare of the citizen. Rather it creates unemployment and poverty and subverts our democracy by suborning our politicians and civil servant, via the revolving door to City of London banking sinecures.

  57. In the event of further success for UKIP,the Scots would have to consider whether they prefer government from Brussels or London.
    Would the Scots really prefer Brussels? (I suppose,at least they would have lots of new roads and airports).
    Moreover,if Scotland votes Yes it increases the probablity of it being Brussels not London,as UKIPs share of the vote is low in Scotland.

  58. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    28 Apr, 2014 - 11:20 am

    But if you discount the negative campaigning and look at what UKIP is actually offering different`it all revolves around that damned Johny Foreigner.

    Well, yes. Face it, keeping JF out, or as many as possible of him, has through most of our history been official policy. I think the debate is legitimate, and I am all for UKIP having it out in the open. Too long, this has been a topic which PC has forbidden, without ever being able to demonstrate why.

    For myself, I don’t see the logic in importing workers when we have high real unemployment. That is to evade the real issue: why are our workers uncompetitive? I don’t see the point of surrendering part of our legislative capacity to gain the small trade advantage that the EU purports to offer; I don’t see why we are paying our farmers, via the EU, to produce stuff we don’t get to eat, I don’t see why the maritime EU has prime access to our dangerously depleted fish stocks, and I certainly don’t see the point of our complying with EU directives with a scrupulousness which the French don’t even try to match.

    UKIP claims – and I’ll be the first to concede, it probably can’t and won’t deliver – that the UK could potentially act in its own interest far better than the EU allows it to. You may not agree with me, indeed you usually don’t, but you can’t pretend these views don’t have considerable weight with a lot of people.

    And btw, independence from the US would also be nice. We’ve lost all pride in ourselves…

  59. Sofia Kibo Noh

    28 Apr, 2014 - 11:33 am

    Daniel. 11 14am

    The wealth of a nation is in the ingenuity and industry of its population, to use its natural resources to good effect for the prosperity of the nation.

    Your thoughts on Iceland’s new Auroracoin?
    http://auroracoin.org/

    Mary. Great cartoon!

  60. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    28 Apr, 2014 - 11:50 am

    “““very right wing politics tinged with racism”! at least UKIP would’nt have attacked,or supported the attacks of:Afghanistan,Iraq,Libya,Syria nor would it be fomenting war in the Ukraine.”

    Of course they would.”
    ______________

    I agree with Fred. It’s too easy, after the event, for UKIP to say that they are/were against – especially since they had no MPs at Westminster whose voting records could be scrutinized.

  61. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    28 Apr, 2014 - 12:00 pm

    Daniel Buckley

    “A sovereign country can never be short of money for investment…it can create this money from thin air.”

    BUT later on

    “Digital funny money without asset backing created by the financial casino,does not create wealth…”

    What is the difference between money created from thin air and digtal funny money?

  62. Sofia Did you know that the Pope has given an audience to the acting PM of Ukraine, unelected just like Ashton herself? Why him, we ask?

    I sent this to the Vatican press office yesterday but it was returned as undeliverable.

    Dear Friends in the Press Office at the Vatican,

    It disturbs me and many of my friends that neither you or His Holiness have acknowledged the sad death by murder in Homs of this fine human, Father Frans, or his life’s work for people of all faiths in Syria. There is no mention of him on your website.

    Frans van der Lugt: A Dutch priest in Homs
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27155474

    This article on the BBC website describes him and his work. It is a terrible shame.

    Yours sincerely
    ….

    ~~~

    Father Frans was a catholic priest. I liked the photo of him on the BBC link in the flowery meadow with the slow learners. ‘Consider the lilies of the field.’ etc.

    btw I am not a Catholic and have no religion.

  63. UKIP would have no interest in interfering with other countries when its whole raison d’etre is not being interefered with.
    I agree with me.

  64. 97& of money is digital money ,credit cards, bank cheques, bank drafts.You do not see the physical paper/coin. It is created on a computer by the private banks.

    How money is created by private banks is a simple mathematical/accountancy system.

    +1 add -1 =0.

    The borrower when repaying the loan cancels out the banks liability. The interest charged is the banks profit. The loaned out money is the new money entering the system.
    So simple that the creation of money has been disguised for centuries to prevent riots by the population at the confidence trick wrought on them.
    For FURTHER proof check the Bank of England website,yes it is mind boggling in its simplicity.

  65. @ Sofia k n
    The central banking system and Govt are concerned by the rise in popularity of crypo-currencies. They can not be regulated and are issued debt free ,avoiding Govt taxes and bank charges in peer to peer transactions.
    Crypto currencies have weaknesses, they are initially purchased at Exchanges,which is a choke point with Govt access to regulation and there have been well publicised breakdowns in their use.It is early days and these faults will be corrected in time.
    The present world monetary system is dysfunctional. A little history lesson is required to explain.
    Towards the end of the 2nd World war in 1945, the Western countries came together to agree on a framework for world trade. The Gold standard was agreed upon with an oz of gold set at 35 US $/oZ. This was the Bretton Woods agreement. A country could only issue as much currency as it had gold in its vault.
    WESTERN countries traded and paid in gold, their national currencies being fixed against the US $.
    In 1971 the US was haemmoraging gold from Fort Knox due to the cost of the Vietnam war and a large trade deficit with their Western trading partners. Nixon decided to close the gold window and the US exited the Bretton Woods agreement.
    This enabled the private banking system to issue as much loans/credit as they wished.This led to inflation and labour disputes at the rising costs of living.
    In 1973, the US agreed /coerced the oil exporting middle East counties to price their oil in dollars.Thus the petro dollar was created. The higher the price of oil the more dollars flowed to the US treasury. The US basically owns the worlds oil and its society is financed by its trading partners depositing their excess dollars in US Treasury bonds.Dollar hegemony was born.
    The downside for the US is that it has lost it manufacturing base, as it is cheaper to run the dollar printing machine than to manufacture home products. ( see Detroit)
    Today 80% of world trade is in US dollars. Countries must export their wealth to gain US dollars to engage in world trade, and thus starve their home economies of sovereign investment.
    The US enforces this hegemony by means of its mighty military machine. Any country which deviates from dollar trading is demonised and subjected to military force and destabilised. Thus we have had the Iraq wars, Libya ,Syria and now Russia via Ukraine. Nothing must interfere with US dollar and power hegemony. Those who may be a threat, present or future are crushed by military or financial power means.
    All this is disguised under the umbrella of spreading democracy and human rights, the Hollywood spin machine is in overdrive and is the 3rd leg of the assault on the world economies. All wealth must flow to the Washington tollbooth.
    Should the US lose its dollar hegemony, it will be revealed as an Emperor without clothes, as its economy has been scavenged from within by its financial pirates.

  66. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    28 Apr, 2014 - 3:03 pm

    Meanwhile in Maastricht -

    http://www.eudebate2014.eu/

    For the shambolic and only nominally democratic setup which surrounds the presidency of the European Commission, as well as the European Council, see here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_European_Commission

    Not exactly illuminating, is it?

  67. @ Habbakuk

    The money created by the Bank of England under the 1844 Act is paper and coin money.It is supplied to the private banking system for circulation. The private banks are charged for this. The charge is called SEIGNORAGE. This physical money accounts for only 3& of the money in circulation. The remaining 97% money is created by the private banks when they issue loans, by the creation of digits on a computer.
    In 1844 there obviously were no computers and the 1844 Act was not updated to account for this digital creation.
    Your credit card is digital money,created by the banks on your good credit rating,to the limit of that rating.

  68. And which one of the bastards had his eye on the job? Why BLiar of course. We signed petitions and rose up as one to protest. He took the hint. He took the hint and slid off on his trail of slime.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/6509505/Lord-Mandelson-mounts-final-offensive-to-save-Tony-Blairs-EU-presidency-campaign.html

    Brown put the hitherto unknown NuLabour placewoman in though.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/19/lady-cathy-ashton

    She proceeded to set up her own bureaucracy at vast cost.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_External_Action_Service
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Affairs_Council

    Quite an achievement for such a nonentity. She is now seen at many meetings with the gangsters-in-charge.

  69. Apologies if someone has already posted this. I’m in a bit of a rush:

    “Like STV, the BBC had been paying membership fees to an organisation that the BBC itself had recently began to acknowledge was against Scottish independence.

    “But there was more. The news that the BBC was a CBI member was not accompanied as one might have expected, with an announcement by the state broadcaster that it was quitting the CBI forthwith, but rather the BBC let it be known it was considering its position.

    “Why? was my own immediate thought. At that precise moment in time the BBC was an implicit supporter of Better Together. Licence payer’s cash was being funnelled into an organisation which had formally declared itself to be a campaigner against a Yes vote. Yet the BBC prevaricated.

    “I can still hardly believe it. But there was worse to come.

    “Compounding the situation, the BBC eventually announced that it would continue its CBI membership up until May 30th, which is the formal beginning of the period within which strict rules governing the referendum must be adhered to.

    “As you read this, the situation remains unchanged and your licence fee is now funding the Better Together campaign. That the CBI is trying to get the toothpaste back into the tube and reverse its registration is irrelevant, as things stand it is part of the No campaign.”

    Full text:

    http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/9109-the-cbi-has-killed-the-bbc-stone-dead

  70. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    28 Apr, 2014 - 9:38 pm

    Salford Lad

    “A country could only issue as much currency as it had gold in its vault.”
    ________________

    That statement is pure nonsense.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “In 1973, the US agreed /coerced the oil exporting middle East counties to price their oil in dollars.”
    ___________________

    Please indicate in which currency oil was priced pre-1973.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As far as the rest of your long post is concerned, I’ll limit myself to observing that you appear to be to monetary policy and history what Mr Goss is to politics and history on general.

  71. Petrodollar was born after Nixon took US off gold-standard.

    http://ftmdaily.com/ftm-financial-news-update/americas-petrodollar-system-a-timeline-of-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-us-dollar/

    “1971… After several nations begin redeeming their paper U.S. dollars for the safety of gold, President Richard M. Nixon closes the gold window. In this year, the world enters the first completely fiat monetary system.

    1972-1973… Without gold backing, Washington is concerned that global demand for the U.S. “paper” dollar could subside.

    1973-1974… To maintain global dollar demand, Washington creates the petrodollar system. The first to enter this arrangement is Saudi Arabia. The Saudis agree to price all of their oil in U.S. dollars and even to invest some of their profits into U.S. Treasury securities. In exchange, the U.S. provides weapons to the Saudis, along with U.S. military bases to “protect” the Saudi oil fields.

  72. “The 2 per cent rise and fall flexibility allowed by the central bank has made the yuan the fastest growing trade currency in the world.

    According to data released by Swift, which monitors global currency trade, the yuan is the second most used currency after the greenback in Europe.”

    http://thebricspost.com/yuan-gains-against-the-dollar-set-for-global-growth/#.U17JUCgcWFI

  73. Appreciate the back-up with links Ben, time and space restraints did not allow for an in-depth information package for such a large topic.
    For further reading on World finance ,I recommend for starters, Prof Michael Hudson and Henry CK Liu on their websites.
    Habakok ,I choose to ignore, as the resident troll on this site.
    Never educate the fools, but learn from their mistakes.
    Economics as taught in our Institutes is deliberately obfuscated to obscure the real thieving that is our modern financial industry.
    Economic teaching does not even include banking or money in their models.They are largely irrelevant in todays economies and Economists are largely proven to be discredited by our present economic and financial chaos.
    Paul Krugman, Nobel prize winner for economics, was recently dissected by Prof Steve Keen for not being aware that money was created by banks from thin air when they make a loan.

  74. fuck ukip
    fuck the eu
    vote no2eu

  75. Hi Craig, o/t question from California: There was a link in Naked Capitalism Links today to a story sourced to Xinhua (Xinhua?) about about Edward Snowden taking up post of student rector of University of Glasgow (http://www.canindia.com/2014/04/snowden-takes-up-post-of-glasgow-university-rector/#), and I came here wondering what you would be saying. But I find — nothing? And I did a search at the Guardian and find — nothing? Xinhua, whoever they are, scoops y’all?

    (Though I do like this past story title from January at the Guardian: “We want Edward Snowden as our rector because he stands for democracy”)

    Anyway, hello and best wishes everyone, thinking of you.

    me in us

  76. George Galloway (pbuh) spoke about that Glasgow University rector thing on his Sputnik show on RT at the weekend. But I gather that’s only broadcast in the UK.

  77. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 8:05 am

    Salford Lad

    The general tone and even style of your post at 00h31 speak for themselves and give a pointer as to how seriously we should take your “history lesson” as you called it.

    I note that you dispense with a reply to my two points through the simple but not very intelligent device of saying

    “Habakok ,I choose to ignore, as the resident troll on this site.”

    _______________

    PS – I note your claim that Paul Krugman was recently “dissected” by Professor Keen, who exposed the former’s ignorance. I must say that if I were Professor Krugman I would not be overly concerned.

  78. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 8:09 am

    Ben

    “The Saudis agree to price all of their oil in U.S. dollars and even to invest some of their profits …”

    __________________

    In the absence of a reply by Salford Lad, perhaps you could tell me in which currency/ies the Saudis priced their oil pre-1973?

  79. Faced with popular nutters, or the same as it ever was party political crooks who are demanding attention from us for this oh so important EU election,(so why give only a mere month of campaigning to these important issues? BBC at it again with their party political bias) I shall not vote in these EU elections for the first time.

    Rupert read, the Green party lead candidate, a philosophy lecturer at UEA, was also their candidate in the Norwich North byelection that saw Chloe Smith being elected. He ignored Craig and agreed to a BBC education debate at the Mile Cross community centre shutting out this fellow UCLU member and then rector of Dundee University.

    Rupert is ignorant and self centred, a typical blinkered academic who sees nothing wrong with round robin letters to GP members being send out, garnering support to oust a fellow mentally challenged member from their party. I heard a similar letter was written to oust myself from being their Norfolk press officer for 16 years of thankless work, but it was rejected by many and I never seen it.

    There will be no truly Independent candidates afaik in the Eastern region just the pre chewed options.

  80. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 1:24 pm

    Keith Taylor, Green Party member of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, said:

    “MEPs have voted today to introduce EU measures which will make cyclists more visible to lorry drivers….”

    (Rupert Read’s blog)

    Another reason for not voting Green. Lorries are the natural predators of bicyclists, and keep their numbers in check. Without lorries, the roads would be packed with sweaty people with unpleasant legs inadequately covered by damp lycra, swerving unpredictably and swearing at each other. Each one of which emits as much CO2 in a day as half an average car (FACT – the less said about methane the better). And, with the rising price of food, inhabitants of rural areas are increasingly dependent on roadkill cyclists for their protein (and water bottles). A bas les verts. Vote for me.

  81. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    Ba’al Zevul

    “Another reason for not voting Green. Lorries are the natural predators of bicyclists, and keep their numbers in check. Without lorries, the roads would be packed with sweaty people with unpleasant legs inadequately covered by damp lycra, swerving unpredictably and swearing at each other.”
    _______________

    And let’s not forget either that Mary doesn’t approve of cyclists (at least, not going past her place in leafy Surrey)!

    Une raison de plus! :)

  82. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 6:18 pm

    Ben

    “The Saudis agree to price all of their oil in U.S. dollars and even to invest some of their profits …”

    __________________

    In the absence of a reply by Salford Lad, perhaps you could tell me in which currency/ies the Saudis priced their oil pre-1973?
    _________________

    Wake up there, Ben, I’m still waiting for your answer. Was the question so difficult?

  83. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 6:21 pm

    “A country could only issue as much currency as it had gold in its vault.”

    From his silence, I conclude that Salford Lad is not disputing my observation that

    “That statement is pure nonsense.”

    Thanks (and no apology necessary)!

  84. Nigel Farage is not standing in the Newark by-election.

  85. Unbelievable, the man has no idea of politics and the mistake he’s making, byelections are more important than GE’s because you are in focus for all to see and you policies are discussed.

    Hmmm maybe they have no policies…. or he’s ancious not to fail. Maybe he expects to be hit by his financial ‘mistakes’ in the coming month.

  86. Salford Lad

    1 May, 2014 - 3:20 am

    for your elucidation ,erudition ,information,education and conversation.

    https://www.positivemoney.org/modernising-money/?mc_cid=eea141e381&mc_eid=5cb491a786

  87. The question is, Fred, who called for this meeting? Did he just go along to amuse Rupert, or was he the one who rang the bell and for what reason?

  88. The question is Nevermind, why was the meeting kept secret from the people of Scotland?

  89. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 11:58 am

    The question is Nevermind, why was the meeting kept secret from the people of Scotland?

    Bigger priorities? I see Labour is leading this particular attack. Two words:
    Blair. Murdoch.

    Some history:
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/spotlight-on-blairs-close-link-to-murdoch-as-hacking-inquiry-resumes-20110905-1ju98.html

    Took a while for that to emerge, too

    Two more words:
    Pot. Kettle.

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