What Did You Expect? 693

I have no sympathy at all for anybody who voted No on the grounds of the pledges by Brown, Miliband, Cameron and Clegg about constitutional change, and is now whingeing about the blatant dishonour of those pledges. I cannot understand how anybody could be so stupid as to have believed them, and yet have a brain capable of sparking respiration.

Labour is interested in losing no influence of Scottish Labour MPs on any UK or English matters. It wants greater powers to English metropolitan councils which are controlled by Labour – because that will give Labour careerists more jobs and access to contracts. Those are Labours “constitutional reform” goals. The Conservatives “constitutional reform” goals are to keep Scotland’s tax on oil revenues and tax on whisky coming to Westminster, while loading greater responsibilities but no more money on the Scottish parliament, and stopping Scottish MPs voting on English matters thus guaranteeing conservative apparatchiks continued jobs and access to contracts.

Both Tories and Labour want to keep the appalling corrupt and undemocratic House of Lords for its jobs for apparatchiks, access to contracts etc.

Nobody cares what the Lib Dems think anyway.

I ask again – what did you expect?

This is the collective wisdom of Andy Myles and myself, over an excellent mackerel breakfast at Nom De Plume.

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693 thoughts on “What Did You Expect?

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  • Mochyn69

    I just posted this on the previous thread:

    The really odd thing about the referendum result is that the YES constituencies recorded a substantially lower percentage turnout, in the 70s, way below the national average.

    What can we deduce from that? Anybody??

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    “If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected .”

    ― Sun Tzu,

  • fred

    ” Little can be done by the police in regards to any such claim of widespread vote rigging, as this – if substantiated – would go to a much higher level than that which police would be qualified to look into and is a matter would take outside, impartial investigation.”

    No, the police are the people to go to. They are at the moment investigating ten reports of voter fraud in Glasgow. It happens, no system is perfect, if there have been any offences committed they will be prosecuted and if any offences arose which could affect the outcome there would be a recount.

    Our system is built on democracy, undermine that and you undermine our civilisation, the process is more important than any outcome.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    “What can we deduce from that? Anybody??

    This is why polls often fail. People don’t always tell the truth about their position.

  • fred

    “What can we deduce from that? Anybody??”

    In 79 there was a minimum percentage of the electorate required, not voting was effectively the same thing as voting No.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    “There will be NO bedroom tax”

    G. Brown.

    “I am not a crook”


  • Abe Rene

    @Anon1 “I voted NO and I have to admit I feel thoroughly ashamed..”

    You shouldn’t be, for you did the right thing in trying to keep your country from falling apart. I congratulate you, and all the No voters of Scotland. The secessionists lost – end of story.

    As for criticism, a famous sufi said that anyone thinks that s/he can escape criticism and vituperation is non compos mentis. So stand by your convictions and don’t worry about it.

  • Tim

    Ben – yes people lie. It is one of the few things that can actually be proved about opinion polls. But so long as their lies are relatively consistent the pollsters can aim off. That’s how they can be more accurate generally than the sample size would indicated for a random base. But this time they had no past lies to base themselves on

  • Ishmael

    “Our system is built on democracy, undermine that and you undermine our Our system is built on democracy,

    “undermine that and you undermine our civilisation. ”

    Isn’t reality that our system undermines democratic process at every turn?

    I did not notice we had civilisation yet. Isn’t is all about brutality, nationalism, minaral + land grabs for the elite. Isn’t that the process your really talking about.

    Seems to me this ‘process’ is the greatest threat to civilised people everywhere. And they should take action. That would be a far more legitimate democratic process than we have. It’s what got freedoms we won, to the extent there is some left.

    “Our system is built on democracy”

    Doublethink. Are you trying to convince me or you?

  • Alistair M

    I think the core problem lies in the fundamental confusion about what Westminster represents. Is it the English Parliament, or the British Parliament? It should be the latter – but as a consequence of devolution it effectively is the de facto English Parliament as well as the British Parliament.

    “You can’t have your devolution unless you stop meddling in our affairs” – I completely agree that it’s ridiculous to have Scottish MP’s voting on legislation that doesn’t directly impact their constituents – but the Scot’s MPs can’t have zero say in helping set the budget that goes to Holyrood by discussing matters that set the budget in the rest of the country, and in a Two-Day-A-Week_English_Parliament the Scots wouldn’t even be involved in discussions, even if they can’t vote. Nor can we have a system that makes it practically impossible for Scots MPs from attaining leadership positions (Can we have a PM that can only vote on certain issues, without impinging upon his or her authority to lead?) I’d love to know if there are other solutions, but I can’t see anything other than a devolved English Parliament to settle this issue.

    We’re moving into an era of very interesting politics!

  • Fedup

    Our system is built on democracy, undermine that and you undermine our civilisation, the process is more important than any outcome.

    Fred this bureaucratic outlook evidently mandates the same bunch of neardowels to rule the roost for eternity!

    Police are pretty impotent when it comes to electoral fraud.

    When was the last successful prosecution of any rotten borough in the history of UK? Other than a few Asians being paraded before the courts and losing their “majority”, and getting stripped off of their ranks and losing their position on some council?

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    ” I completely agree that it’s ridiculous to have Scottish MP’s voting on legislation that doesn’t directly impact their constituents”

    Except as a ‘negotiation’, but that often leads to the same back-room deals that corrupt the good hearts that are turned after they are elected.

    Having such power over Scotland’s constituencies never bothered Westminster, did it?

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    I’ll suggest again that some enterprising person should have buttons made.

    “Don’t blame me. I voted YES”

  • fred

    “Doublethink. Are you trying to convince me or you?”

    So look back in history, look around the world, you see a better system?

    As I’ve said before I’ve lived a long time and never had to go to war, never had war come to me, never had famine, never had plague. How many more people in time or space can say that? I’m one of the luckiest people ever lived.

    My grandfather wasn’t so lucky, he lived through two wars. He used to tell a tale about when he was in the trenches. There was a group of soldiers trapped out in no man’s land, they had no other option but to take shelter in a bomb crater and wait for night time then try to get back under cover of darkness. They crouched there in silence except for one soldier who did nothing but complain, complained about the rain, about being up to his waist in mud, about his hands and feet being frozen and about the bullets and shells flying overhead. One of the soldiers eventually had enough and took the young man by the scruff of the neck and dragged him up to the edge of the crater then said “take a look around you son, if you can find a better hole go crawl into it”.

    So take a look around. Do you see any better holes?

  • Mary

    cached version
    http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/sep/miliband-hypocrisy-exposed-lord-winston-love slow to load

    Miliband hypocrisy exposed at Lord Winston love in
    Thu, 11/09/2014 – 17:30

    The SNP has today called out the Labour Party leadership after Ed Miliband was caught on live television in Glasgow standing shoulder to shoulder with the No campaign’s Lord Winston – who wants to see patients charged £200 to visit their GP so they ‘learn to appreciate the NHS’.

    Commenting, Michael Matheson said:

    “This blunder by Ed Miliband sums up the shameless hypocrisy of the No camp and the leadership the Labour party’s double standards.

    “Lord Winston might come across on the television as an eccentric but sadly this Labour peer wants to tax the sick – and yet Ed Miliband is happy to campaign with him in Glasgow.

    “The Westminster Tories – seemingly with backing from Labour peers like Lord Winston – are privatising the NHS in England.

    “Under the Westminster system, cuts to spending in England automatically trigger cuts in Scotland. So if private money replaces public funding in England, a No vote leaves the money we get back from the treasury at the mercy of being slashed no matter what we want or need.

    “No wonder more and more Labour voters are waking up to the gains that a Yes vote will bring. With independence we will have control of both our tax system and the budget for public services, so we can protect the NHS and other vital public services from Westminster privatisation.”


    See Pic attached:

    Notes: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2716381/Pay-200-doctor-value-NHS-Labour-peer-Lord-Robert-Winston-claims-patients-charged-treatment-stop-taking-health-service-granted.htm


    Both Miliband and Winston love Zionist Israel, more so the latter probably. You should see some of the stuff he has sent back to my Palestinian supporting friends yet he comes over as this avuncular type.

  • Partisan Grandson

    I wish I could gloat…but truth is – I can’t.
    Because of all your anti-Russian posts (me being an Orthodox Slav supporting Russia and their fight against ‘the Empire’) I should enjoy and gloat over the Scottish referendum failure, but I can’t! I feel sorry for you Scots. You have failed! You had the opportunity, you were so close! I think that you lot…you’ve gotten used to the injustice, and that’s truly sad. Fact is – you SHOULD BE RUN BY THE ENGLISH! You deserve nothing less. And what better proof does one need than you yourself Craig?! You still push ‘the Empire’s’ line on Russia, seems you deserve to be a subject of the Empire. Enjoy it mate. Aye – you’re no Braveheart…you’re merely an ex-Ambassador of Her Majesty’s Government to Central Asia. A subject, a servant.
    Still feel sorry for you..and all Scots…
    If you just had the courage…

  • Courtenay Barnett


    Having watched this video of General Wesley Clarke – I now ask myself – what is IS – or – ISIL – and how did it emerge?
    Clarke’s observations/confirmation suggest to me that the US is seeking global hegemony – perpetual war as envisioned by General Eisenhower:-
    If I am correct then ISIL seems to follow the same formula and has produced much the same results as did the Mujahadin in Afghanistan ( i.e. CIA funded “Charlie Wilson’s war”):-
    Basically, the US funded the fighters to operate as a force against the then occupying Soviet army in Afghanistan. Well, years later the fighters turned their weapons against the US – and what really has been accomplished in Afghanistan after over a decade of US occupation?
    The template seems then to be the same with the funding, training and use of ISIL. US funds, with Qatar’s and Saudi Arabia’s and Jordan’s participation and Turkish complicity, either training and/or funding or harbouring of these Jihadi fighters who call themselves “ISIL”.
    It seems to me logical that Iran and Syria would be good partners in the fight against ISIL – since both countries are opposed to ISIL and the occupation of a part of Syria by ISIL does not serve anyone’s best interest. It cannot be in the interest of the US to have intolerant fundamentalists control a large centre in the Middle East. It cannot be in Syria’s interest to lose a large section of sovereign territory. It cannot be in Iran’s interest to have an extreme fundamentalist group existing on its border while harbouring ideas of an expansion of the caliphate. Yet, Obama is in a bind and his thinking now seems confused:-
    1. He plans to, as he is doing in Iraq ( with the Iraqi government’s approval), bomb the areas that ISIL controls.
    2. He does not want to seek the same co-operation with Syria, for then politically he would seem stupid for participating with Assad who he had hoped would have been toppled by way of the very ISIL/Jihadi fighters who Assad has basically defeated after 3 years of fighting.
    3. Obama now wants to fund what he calls the “moderates” so that they can resume and expand the fight against Assad. But, if one is a Jihadi – how does one sensibly distinguish between the moderate and the extreme ones – when the goals and objectives of the Jihadis, by definition, are one and the same?
    4. As with the horrible and tragic results in Iraq and Libya, US policy promoted war, that removed central political control, introduced warring divisions within those countries, and destabilised what formerly were functioning political entities at peace ( even with having dictators at the helm). But, with friends like the Saudis ( chopping off hands and heads on a daily basis as a practice of judicial authority) and no Western style democracies in existence amongst the vast numbers of Middle Eastern countries – what really is America’s objectives in the Middle East at this stage? I wonder.
    Do you have any answers?

  • Mary

    ‘As I’ve said before I’ve lived a long time and never had to go to war, never had war come to me, never had famine, never had plague. How many more people in time or space can say that? I’m one of the luckiest people ever lived.’

    You are lucky. Tell that to the victims of our offensive illegal wars on the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and to the relatives of thoser killed extra judicially in Somalia, Yemen, North Waziristan and other places.

  • Ishmael

    Grrr, that conformist thaterite, shamelss selfish materialist, Irvine.

    I’d sooner read Eddie Barzoon.

  • Mochyn69

    From Irvine Welsh’s excellent article in the Guardian linked to by
    GeneralGiap 20 Sep, 2014 – 4:04 pm:

    “Back in Scotland, many (including quite a few in the no camp) have become disenchanted by the negative, desperate campaign orchestrated from Westminster, and the establishment in general, particularly the way business and media interests have been nakedly shown to collude against democracy. If the yes campaign excited Scots to the possibilities of people power, the opposition one showed the political classes, their establishment masters and metropolitan groupies in the most cynical, opportunistic light. From the empty, manipulative celebrity “love-bombing” to the crass threats and smears issued by the press, around half of Scotland might now feel as if it has been classified as the “enemy within”, that stock designation for all those who resist the dictates of the elites’ centralised power.

    The yes movement hit such heights because the UK state was seen as failed; antiquated, hierarchical, centralist, discriminatory, out of touch and acting against the people. This election will have done nothing to diminish that impression. Against this shabbiness the Scots struck a blow for democracy, with an unprecedented 97% voter registration for an election the establishment wearily declared nobody wanted. It turns out that it was the only one people wanted. Whether this Scottish assertiveness kickstarts an unlikely UK-wide reform (unwanted in most of the English regions); or wearies southerners and precipitates a reaction to get rid of them; or the Scots, through the ballot box at general elections, decide to go the whole hog of their own accord; the old imperialist-based union is bust.

    The Scots, so often a regarded as a thrawn tribe with their best years behind them, have shown the western world that the corporate-led, neo-liberal model for the development of this planet, through G7 ‘sphere of influence’ states on bloated military budgets, has a limited appeal.

    This country, when it was ever known on the global stage under the union, was associated with tragedy, in terrible events like Lockerbie and Dunblane; it’s now synonymous with real people power. Forget Bannockburn or the Scottish Enlightenment, the Scots have just reinvented and re-established the idea of true democracy. This – one more – glorious failure might also, paradoxically, be their finest hour.”



  • Mary

    O/T You would think that the BBC would know Paterson got the boot and was replaced by Eustace.

    ‘Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson, will decide whether to approve the proposed route in the light of representations or objections from affected land owners.’

    20 September 2014
    Camber to Folkestone coast path to divert for firing ranges

    How many firing ranges are there in the UK? I can think of a few. Lulworth, Lydd, Otterburn, Dartmoor, Salisbury, etc but there must be hundreds.

    Why do they still exist? The state’s killing is done by missiles from drones now.

    Lists by area here. 240,000 hectares are owned by the MoD.

    This is an interesting record.

  • Ishmael

    “So look back in history, look around the world, you see a better system?”

    Most seem better atm, less undemocratic and oppressive domestically and abroad than our ‘run away with the US’ state.

    But then I imagine I have quite different values to you. Who seem to be living in a different time. No doubt to justify brutality like it’s for freedom. It was not really the truth even back then. As our banks helped fund the nazi war machine.

    Maybe it’s not my history that needs looking at.

    The reality now is I live in a brutal country with growing racism and gangs of thugs, who i’v been assaulted by more than once recently. And i’m not even Asian or Arab decent.

    I’m quite well travelled btw.

    I hope for a return to a more civilised country, not that it’s ever been very free or fair, but it’s not happening here. I try to stay for my family, don’t know that i’ll last much longer though. There is no future in an esablishment such as this. In a country such as this.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “Of course MPs sitting for Scottish constituencies should not be voting on questions which only affect England.”


    So just to be clear – you also feel that the West Lothian question (problem) needs to be dealt with(eliminated).

    Whereas I myself feel that it should have been dealt with some good while ago, do we also agree that it should be dealt with (eliminated) in tandem with the granting of greater devolved powers to the Scottish Parliament?

    If so, I find the following part of your lead-in post otiose:

    “stopping Scottish MPs voting on English matters thus guaranteeing conservative apparatchiks continued jobs and access to contracts.”


    On a slightly different theme, you write:

    “…while loading greater responsibilities but no more money on the Scottish parliament…

    I was under the impression that the further devolved posers to the Scottish Parliament would include greater tax raising powers? Perhaps I’m mistaken, but if that is the case then I don’t understand why you seem to be suggesting that more money should flow to Scotland from the Treasury (by whatever method). If, for example, the Scottish govt wishes to offer certain social security benefits to residents of Scotland over and above what is available for English residents, should it not use those extra revenue raising powers (taxation)?

  • Rory Winter

    How fair was the referendum? The uniformly high turnout leads me to ask if this was genuine or no different to similar electoral turnouts in more ostensibly totalitarian states. That the Establishment had so much to lose from a YES vote leads me to harbour a strong suspicion that the referendum was a fix

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    Actually, I do feel that you should forgive Craig his debt. Times are hard for everyone. Furthermore, it could be argued by some – for perversity on here is without limit – that giving the money to Palestinian charity would just be to subsidise Israel indirectly.

    Be generous and a gentleman!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “Yeah, the instant reneging of the ‘vow’ has been amusingly conflated with the West Lothian question, repeated on these boards of course.”

    Well, I think that the idea is neither particularly “amusing” and nor is it really a “conflation”. I should describe removing the Wrst Lothian question from the table as something which is long overdue and it would seem logical to do so together with the granting of greater devolved powers to the Scottish Parliament.


    Aren’t you the chappie to whom I explained what the West Lothian question was the other day? If so, happy to see you understood my explanation (unless your question was just a tease, of course, you young devil!) 🙂

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