Eastenders Threat to Scots 50

I am sitting now in Andalucia watching Andrew Neill on the Daily Politics. To do this will apparently be impossible in an independent Scotland.

The Guardian has just published its eighth article in three days pushing Gordon Brown’s views on independence. This one warns Scots they would not be able to watch the BBC after independence. Just as presumably I can’t be watching it in Andalucia, but am suffering some delusion. Apparently we won’t be allowed to read Harry Potter either.

This nonsense gives me the excuse I craved to link to this absolutely superb article from my friend Robin McAlpine of the Reid Foundation. I republish the start but do read it all through here.

Gordon Brown exists only in an intensive care unit manufactured for him by certain sections of the Scottish media. They keep him politically alive through regular injections of myth.

For example, a myth such as that he had a firm grip of the UK economy and knew what he was doing. Can we once and for all put this idea to bed? The UK economy was substantially weaker after Brown was finished than when he began. The decline in manufacturing (as a proportion of the overall economy) was actually three times faster under Brown than under Thatcher. It was this shift from skilled labour to a low-skill ‘post industrial’ labour market which caused the UK to end up as the second lowest paid economy among advanced economies. Brown was not a visionary but someone who adopted the opinions of whomever was the most powerful lobby (in his case the financial and equity industries – which did most to strip away the manufacturing economy). When there was a global economic shock (the US sub-prime mortgage fiasco) it affected countries in proportion to how robust their economy was. In Europe, Britain was in a gang with Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland (though none of those came out of the crisis anything like as heavily indebted as did the UK). We should have been in the gang of Nordic and Germanic economies which were only mildly affected – or even in a middle category with France and Holland that suffered a bit but not catastrophically.

The profile of the UK economy was less balanced, less productive, lower-paid and much less resilient when Brown was finished than when he began. That is on him


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50 thoughts on “Eastenders Threat to Scots

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  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Mr Scorgie

    “Jemand (the resident racist)…”

    I don’t like to say this, Doug, but I do feel that you – as a Jew-hater and Israel denier – are singularly ill placed to call anyone a racist

    You call the New English Review a “Zionist hasbara publication”.

    Do you have any links and sources to back up that assertion of yours, Doug?


    “I’m getting a better picture now of your mind-set Jemand.”

    I’m sure Jemand’s trembling.


    Dump reals, rubles, rupees and remnimbis , buy pounds, dollars, euros and shekels!
    You know it makes sense.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Anne Hilditch (IF that’s your real name..)

    “As a lifetime Labour supporter, until the Iraq war, I’ll never forget the landslide majority in the 1997 general election. I was euphoric, not just with the result, but with the scale of the victory.”

    More fool you, then – you must have been very politically unsophisticated.

    I bet you were one of the saps who rushed out and bought Brian Cathcart’s “Were you still up for Portillo?” (Penguin Books, London, 1997). LOL.


    La vita è bella, life is good!


    “fill yer boots troll.”

    What’s the difference between cowboy boots and troll boots?

    Cowboy boots have shit on the outside.

  • Clydebuilt

    I’ve read Robin MacAlpine’s article on Bellacaledonia, and it’s to his usual very high standards.

    What got me about Brown was he relied on The City of London to provide the Tax take. Whilst letting manufacturing right across the UK dwindle away. He was supposed to have been steeped in socialism all his political life. The Labour party provided the ladder to power, and at the end of the day he made life worse for the working man.

    Robin’s spot on “Gordon Brown exists only in an intensive care unit manufactured for him by certain sections of the Scottish media.”
    When Brown got into No. 10 most Scots (my self included) felt some pride. Generally we believed the hype, that he was a brilliant man. Maybe the special attention reserved for Brown in the Scottish media didn’t extend to England.

    Brown’s Failure and Blairs lies have been an education for the general public and have inpart led to the coming vote for Scotland in September.

  • Tom

    “I think you are wrong, and that a free Scotland will almost certainly have a better news channel than the BBC – and hopefully some very good homemade drama etc. While we will still be able to watch the BBC’s horrible output if we wish.”

    Why hasn’t anyone set up some Scottish TV channels then? I’m not aware you need to be an independent country to set up television stations.

  • anne hilditch

    I remember when Gordon Brown introduced the Child Tax Credit.My son qualified and I received an envelope which sounded like the Yellow Pages being dropped through the letter box. The application form was huge, complicated and repetitive. It needed an army of civil servants to administer and it. The whole system was dogged by overpayments, errors and fraud, and of course the ones least able to cope with this was the poorest in society, the very ones that Gordon was trying to help. Hardly a brilliant mind!

  • Geoffrey

    No more boom and bust!!!
    Just boom,boom,boom….financed by government and private debt.
    Every sleight of hand imaginable to fiddle the figures.
    He encouraged the bankers to lend irresponsibly. Reduced regulation etc….
    In fact he did all the things that a Tory freemarket,bucanneering,gogetter,devil take the hindmost, could only have dreamed about.
    Then left somebody else po clear up the mess.

  • Jon

    Thought folks would be interested in this here: a Yes campaigner has alleged MI5 are mounting a dirty tricks campaign to discredit the independence movement.

    I wonder if Craig might be able to post more on this – anything that can discourage the spooks from monkeying around with a referendum can only be a good thing, regardless of what side you’re on.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “Thought folks would be interested in this here: a Yes campaigner has alleged MI5 are mounting a dirty tricks campaign to discredit the independence movement.”

    Yes, MI5 – I was expecting this one to pop up sooner or latter.

    Alibi N° 5 for when the NOES carry the day.

  • Mary

    Hi Jon. Good to see you here. Hope you are well and not missing the modding one bit. As you see little here has changed.

  • Tony M

    The cyber-nat hype is of course a mirror image of the true situation. The latest one is a media-contrived non-story, a stage-managed stitch up with one or another faction of the Westminster Forever Front, with a Labour Party functionary, posing as a (wo)man in the street, an ordinary voter, who’d absent-mindedly overlooked their long association and involvement with NuLab’s PR posturing, or was unwittingly duped herself by Labour’s exploitative machinations, though her subsequent protestations indicate quite the contrary.

    Certainly online cyber attacks on Independence supporters and on the SNP have reached a crescendo, as they crave an audience for their bile, even Gaydar has been swamped with offensive pro-Union trolls with escorts of sock-puppets in attendance encouraging them in disrupting chatroom channels with divisive pro-Union drivel.

    After initial bemused curiosity at these patent fakes, then a shrug of indifference, there has been a counter-productive effect (for the Unionists) at the resented intrusion and the malevolent tone of the unstoppable co-ordinated influx, despite repeated whack-a-mole banning of the more foul-mouthed and combative Unionist misery merchants, to whom banning predictably is a badge of honour, as they taunt the unseen light touch moderators on their return, again and again, degrading what were usually light-hearted channels, by typically amplifying the mainstream media scares or smears of the week, thematically attuned to the BBC, and with ceaseless repetitive infantile character assassinations of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, their goal is for people to disengage and abstain.

    Strangely there is constant denigration of the people of Wales from the same operatives, so I expect there is some establishment stratagem at play there, though how that fits in and will pan out is anybodies’ guess, be prepared, boys and girls for the coming Welsh angle from the nasty NOsies, if they’re slated to have US-controlled Trident nuclear missiles, decaying duds, leaky nuclear subs or steaming piles of waste dumped on them, it’ll be Westminster’s doing entirely and not Scotland’s desire or fault, nuclear cleanup and decommisioning, not continued imponderably high stakes risk taking is the only way ahead, for all the world’s people.

    In their lust for control of oil Westminster colluded with the US and Israel to murder two million Iraqis and displaced six million fleeing the strife, and the final toll there is still mounting. An invigorating high turnout, six million determined Scots, four million voters, democracy revived, apathy banished and a strong majority for Yes, might not stay the slavering Downing Street and City plutocrats from their insatiable greed.

    Few recall now, it went down the memory hole, that two million Scots, almost three-quarters of the entire eligible electorate out of a then population of five million signed Scotland’s National Convention of 1949, they dare not dismiss us again this time, as then.

  • Jon

    Hi Mary, I’m doing well thanks. Good to see the blog and the comments sections carrying on in earnest!

    On topic: there’s plenty of expressions of cynicism about security services involvement, but since independence affects the viability of the austerity project in England and the location of American nuclear weapons (to name just two issues) I suspect it would be naive to believe the spooks are sitting on their hands. Of course, there’s plenty of (fairly illiterate) expressions of faux outrage and mirth from unionists on that article, absolutely determined to dismiss it as a silly conspiracy theory (whether they are grass-roots unionists or sock puppets from London is another matter).

    I wonder though: after high profile secret state involvement in the miners’ strikes, Hillsborough, Iraq and the Lockerbie case (etc ad nauseum) I suspect the majority won’t be so blase about the possibility.

    Herbie, I don’t think the Pope has come out as a no. This pro-indy article by a Spanish speaker contains an accurate translation and analysis.

  • Julian


    Your comments on 1997 were exactly how I feel. It now looks like a monumental missed opportunity to create a better society in the UK.

  • Tony M

    Great article over at Bella Caledonia.


    The deep and historic local paradox of the “Independence Question” is that the ruling class in Scotland have always actually been in favour of independence from UK control- from 1707 to the present day. They think they’ve already got it. This, it may seem strange to say, is why they’re so overwhelmingly against our voting for it now. […]

    Thus evolved a succession of unelected and anti-nationalist national hegemonies within an unsupervised outpost of a British state that granted functional independence to this succession of Scottish elites, who remained aloof from democratic oversight both from Westminster, which didn’t care that much, and, more importantly, from an electorate in Scotland which didn’t count for anything.

    As a matter of the exercise of practical power, then, the Scottish Ruling Class are already “independent.” They are independent of an indifferent London, but also, crucially, they are independent of us. This is why, for them, political Independence is unnecessary. They already have “independence.”

    That’s how they know so well it is far too good for the rest of us.

    Scotland has been governed since the Union in 1707 by a series of locally unaccountable local elites each with their power derived from subservience to the bigger, wider, British elite of which they form the cadet branch, deriving satisfaction from being effective servants of that wider unaccountable interest. […]

    It is also why the anti-nationalist Scottish National Establishment is so steadfastly and paradoxically running away from power and responsibility. They are used to power without responsibility, is the explanation. They’ve come to prefer it that way. It is not power they fear, or even nationalism they oppose, ultimately. It is effective democratic oversight. It is democracy itself they’re afraid of. […]

    This is why from the Scottish Law Society to the BBC and CBI as well as Labour dominated local government, the powers that be in Scotland are in the No camp. Devolution has already exposed them and made them vulnerable and scrutinized in way they’re not used to, and they fear that independence might finish them.

    Yes. Indeed.

    Anything I could add would be superfluous.

  • Tony M

    Andrew Neil is a riddle wrapped in an enigma, with a proprietary scouring product on top.

    His on-screen persona is that of a cloying ultra-establishment lackey, a tickling-stick operated by Rupert Murdoch behind the curtain, making the ridiculous cases for wrong-headed, knee-jerk bumbling destructive Tory policies better than they ever could themselves, and seems as keen to do the same job, as the policies only vary minimally for any of the Tory-Labour-Lib-Dem triangle. Reportedly though he made an astonishing and honest speech at a charity dinner in 2013 at the Accord Hospice in Paisley (Hawkhead Rd, not far from where a stray bomb landed during the war on a Seedhill Road tenement, and just a wee bit away from Neil’s old high school Paisley Grammar, on Glasgow Rd.) he reportedly told the audience:

    “Devolution, the Calman Commission, the Scotland Bill, the Edinburgh Agreement, all of this and more you have, is because Westminster parties are scared of the SNP. If you vote NO you massively change the balance of power and they will not only give you nothing, but will probably take powers away from the Scottish Parliament”.

    I expect he has since been suitably chastised and hastily re-programmed.

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