The Disappearing Prime Minister 878


UPDATE

I was delighted by Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement today, both the content and the manner of her making it.

I am unsure why she put the window for the referendum as far back as autumn 2018 to spring 2019. Autumn 2018 is fine but spring 2019 is late – Nicola Sturgeon spoke of Scotland needing to declare its choice for independence before the UK actually leaves the EU or very shortly thereafter. But very shortly thereafter is too late. In diplomatic terms, a miss is a good as a mile here and in diplomatic terms at the EU, negotiating to get back in will be much harder than negotiating to remain a part of the EU.

My suspicion is Sturgeon is giving May a ladder to climb down on agreeing the referendum by making it potentially post-Brexit. I see no need to have been so accommodating to May. I am frankly puzzled.

But my major observation is that Nicola’s performance was excellent, the decision sound. Yet what struck me most was the lengthy question and answer suggestion. The mainstream media lackeys laughingly called journalists were not really putting questions. They were emitting deep-seated cries of unionist belief, wild anti-Independence assertions, with the lightest disguise as questions. It is a fair warning of what we have coming.

Even Gordon Brown had a honeymoon period. The temporary popularity of a new Prime Minister evaporates as a morning mist searched out by strong sunlight. The budget tax increases, combined with fierce pre-planned benefit cuts, are evaporating May’s popularity before our eyes. The reality of Brexit debacle will shortly hit very hard, and people will start to notice she is not actually very good.

I have been listening out to determine the extent to which May’s Thatcher voice is a deliberate impersonation, and in consequence have been most forcefully struck by how little we hear her voice. Those packaging her, together with a compliant media, seek to present her as much as possible through silent images. She is repeatedly on television entering places and greeting people, but remarkably seldom is her voice heard. She does not give nearly as many media interviews as David Cameron, because she is not good at them.

Prime Minister’s Question Time has almost vanished from our screens. When David Cameron was causing animal guffaws of genuine delight from Tory MPs roused by his facile debating skills, no week went past in which the BBC News did not show a substantial clip of Prime Minister’s Questions, edited for maximum effect in making Cameron look dominant and Corbyn look out of his depth. I do not believe any reader in the UK can honestly say such an image is not seared on to their mind. But now Prime Minister’s Questions almost never make the news bulletins for more than a very few seconds, because May is hopeless at them and is arguably bested by Corbyn fairly regularly. She has no ability for repartee, no timing and wins mechanical guffaws purely by reading out pre-prepared attacks on Labour and SNP that do not pretend to relate to the questions asked.

How do the broadcast media respond? Prime Minister’s Questions are suddenly no longer newsworthy. Unless you happen to be free to watch live – which rules out almost the entire working population – you would very seldom see May flounder. Indeed, the entire plan for retaining her popularity appears to be based on the public hearing her as little as possible. Personally, I have no doubt her recent Glasgow speech attacking not just Scottish independence but the very notion of devolution, was extremely helpful to the Independence cause. I can understand why the establishment try to avoid us actually hearing her.

Jeremy Corbyn should not now be abandoned. I was saddened to see Owen Jones stab him in the back. Jones appears sadly set on the trajectory typically caused by the salary of a Guardian columnist. He will now increasingly retreat into identity politics rather than the cause of universal social justice. I give it eight years before he spends his entire time attacking the left as having “lost their way”.

I could not disagree more strongly with Jeremy on Scottish Independence or on his approach to Brexit. Nobody would claim quick repartee or even set piece oratory were his strongest suits. He interviews fairly well but is of course handicapped by the extraordinary stream of scepticism and deliberate misrepresentation with which journalists approach him. But the honesty and integrity of his beliefs are why he was elected, and those remain at the core of his leadership. For the English and Welsh voter to be given a real choice, rather than just Blue or Red Tories, has horrified the entire neo-con establishment.

It is most improbable that Corbyn will be able to deliver a Labour Westminster victory in 2020, but it is not impossible. The alt-right spasm gripping England and Wales will diminish by then and Brexit enthusiasm will meet the cold real world. I can assure you the Tories are already considering how to avoid having Leaders’ Debates on television for the next general election. For Corbyn to be able to put a radical message directly to the public, and May’s deficiencies in debate to be so directly exposed, is something they will not want at all. May should be seen and not heard, is their motto.

The European Union has put a fault line through the Tory and Labour parties. The chips have fallen in a way that leaves both parties with leaderships that were more sympathetic to Brexit than they revealed during the campaign, and certainly have no interest in trying to stop it. The 48% who voted Remain are therefore practically unrepresented in England and Wales. As I suspect that 48% will increase – and there is a curious lack of opinion polls – this will become an increasingly acute problem as the body politic recovers from shock.

The Lib Dems would be the obvious beneficiaries, but they will not so soon recover from popular revulsion at the alacrity with which they abandoned all pretence at restraining the Tories, in return for ministerial limousines. They also have the least able and least charismatic leader in that party’s long history. Indeed, possibly in any party’s history, anywhere. The never appealing Brezhnev was more charismatic than Tim Farron even when he was being wheeled out to parades propped up and effectively dead.

The Labour Party is in the abject position that its pro-Europeans are very largely the totally discredited Blairites. That the delusional Blair sees the EU issue as his chance of a political comeback, is only evidence of what a terrible state the pro-EU camp is in. There are plenty of pro-EU Tories but they too are more concerned with personal careers, except the Clarkes and Heseltines whose course is already run.

It is difficult to believe this situation is sustainable. On the biggest issue of the day, which will have a huge impact on future living standards, 48% of the population, the best educated and most politically active 48% of the population, have no effective representation. Only in Scotland have we a coherent pro-EU political force, but circumstances are such this cannot help England.

The democracy of the UK has become severely dysfunctional. I firmly believe that a crisis is coming, and that Scottish Independence will be a trigger for the resolution of that crisis. Not only will it remove Scotland from the subjugation that has sapped its energies for centuries, it will give a profound and much needed jolt to the political kaleidoscope in England and Wales and lead to new and more relevant political alignments. It may also finally break the obsession with being a world power that so damaged British people for so long.


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878 thoughts on “The Disappearing Prime Minister

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  • michael norton

    The Fightback starts here

    Petition to block Scottish leader Sturgeon calling new independence referendum passes 50,000
    https://www.rt.com/uk/380723-scotland-independence-referendum-petition/

    Sturgeon announced on Monday she will be calling for a second independence referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019 as she claims Westminster’s plan to go for a ‘hard Brexit’ will “damage the economy and change the very nature of our society and country.”

    • branches

      If unionists are so confident of winning another independence ref why are you bothering with a petition to try and stop it?

      • branches

        Well if unionists wanted to stop a second indyref why didn’t the Tories just win the 2016 Scottish election instead of getting 22% of the vote?

          • JOML

            The SNP said they would abolish the Council Tax in their manifesto when they were elected in to their first minority Govt. The opposition voted against their proposals and it was dropped. Abolishing the Council Tax has not been in any subsequent manifesto. Therefore, you are wrong.

          • Deepgreenpuddock

            The SNP election manifesto stated very clearly that if there was a material change-there may be another referendum. Stop peddling your toxic sub-redtop tripe.

          • fred

            If Theresa May farted at PMQT the SNP would claim it was reason for another referendum.

            They lied, once in a lifetime they said and they lied. They said they would honour the result of the referendum and they lied.

            What the fuck point is there in another referendum when the lying bastards just ignore the result if they don’t like it.

          • fred

            The British government said they would honour the result of the EU referendum and they are going to honour it. They aren’t going to make the people keep voting till they get it right.

      • JOML

        Lets hope it gets to the 100,000 target – Teresa will be mightily pissed off having to debate an issue she wants to avoid – there’s been a big push in the ‘yes’ forums to get the numbers up on this.

        • branches

          Theresa wouldn’t lead the debate. She’d quickly organise another trip to friend Trump in Washington and let David Davis or someone do it.

          Theresa May’s public speaking skills are comparable to those of Mr. Brooke of Tipton in George Eliot’s Middlemarch.

          • D-Majestic

            Love this erudite put-down.Too true. Still-she looks good in brown trousers. Lol.

    • Laguerre

      Your Telegraph article, Fred, doesn’t actually support its headline. It is really about not very high poll support for a new referendum. What abandonment?

    • michael norton

      I am sure that all the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union,
      the questions are when and under what conditions.
      Ms. Nicola Sturgeon has taken down her Scottish colours to nail them to the mast of
      The European Union.

      I think she is being too hasty.
      She should have waited five years to see how it plays out.
      Today there are elections in The Netherlands, later this year there are elections in France, Germany and likely Italy.
      The E.U. could look, very different in three years time, it might be less appealing for Scottish voters.
      What is the rush?

  • RobG

    Tomorrow, the the 15th of March, is when the $20 trillion US debt hits the ceiling. There’s all kind of things being predicted about this, but the essence is that the USA spends $75 billion every month (three quarters of which goes to the military), so the collapse will happen sometime around mid to late June this year.

    But no, it’s all normal, everything’s normal.

    Cue the Frankenstein trolls…

      • Zed

        According to some American sites, you’re totally doomed Ben. Radiation from Fukoshima, Muslims coming to take over, fish oozing puss: enenews.com/fish-found-leaking-pus-covered-in-lesions-deformed-along-us-west-coast-fisherman-nearly-all-fish-caught-affected-ive-never-seen-this-some-had-pus-all-over-their-body-official-wit

        I feel your concern Ben. Honest!

        • Ben

          This is what I don’t understand..

          How is it Europe and Minions somehow think they are light years away from the danger of Trump.

          Truly the most profound Isolationistic zeitgeist in History..

          • Ben

            You and Trump make beautiful.music so why shall I interfere with your duet?

            Stop pretending to care..then we’ll talk.

    • Zed

      So Sturgeon’s next plan will probably be for Scotland to ditch the Pound and adopt the Dollar? That woman just can’t stop losing.

      • AnonScot

        Why would we ditch the pound?
        There are 3 banks in Scotland creating Scottish bank-notes, RBS, BOS and the Clydesdale.
        We already have our own currency and always have.

        • fred

          No the Scottish banks can only issue a note if they keep a Bank of England note in their vaults to cover it. They are effectively tokens representing a Bank of England note not currency themselves. To issue our own currency Scotland would need a central bank and huge reserves.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          It really doesn’t matter who prints the money if it isn’t backed by anything. Note: this is a universal problem, not just Scotland’s. See next crash for details.

    • Soothmoother

      I didn’t think there was a ceiling. Just print more money. More likely to run out of paper before they run out of money. I can’t wait for their crash though, as I’m worth nothing.

  • RobG

    Mods, I’m not sure why you’ve taken out my post about why it’s all going to collapse over the coming months?

    Many, many of us now think that the only outcomes are either total economic collapse or WW3.

    Censor all thought.

    That’s the way to go.

    • glenn_uk

      Maybe it’s down to what’s sadly become your familiar litany of threats, accusation, absurd declarations , denouncements of people (like myself) as agents of the state (where’s my paycheque from them??), and threatening people with being shot all the time.

      Get a grip, RobG – you used to be a reasonable poster.

      • Habbabkuk

        I don’t recall him ever being reasonable. But never mind – he will be dealt with in due course. For the moment there are more important things to be done.

  • giyane

    To all who have Donald Trump on 90 days’ probation please read this remarkable piece:

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article195614.html

    ” As soon as the new Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis, had been nominated, President Donald Trump asked him to prepare plans which would enable him not simply to displace the jihadists here or there, or to rely on some and not on others, but to eliminate them all.

    During his speech before Congress, on 28 February, he confirmed that his objective was to put an end to «radical Islamic terrorism». In order to avoid errors of interpretation, he pointed out that both Muslims and Christians were victims of this form of terrorism. His position is therefore not aimed against Islam itself, but against the political ideology which uses Muslim references.” Thierry Meyssan voltairenet.org English

    Also :

    http://www.muslimcentral.com/?powerpress_pinw=104672-podcast

    Please would anyone who’s interested in the rules of Islam on War, in relation to USUKIS proxies Al Qaida and Daesh in Syria and Iraq, listen to an extract from this lecture by Zimbabwean Mufti Ishmael Menk.
    The relevant section is from 19.40 to 23.15. Thanks

  • Anon1

    BREAKING

    Official question for #indyref2 announced:

    “Whose taxes do you want paying for your Buckfast and your deep fried Mars bars?”

    A) English
    B) German

  • Sharp Ears

    Support for Scottish independence has risen but has fallen for the EU.

    Scottish independence support ‘at highest ever level’
    5 hours ago

    Support for Scottish independence is at its highest-ever level, according to an academic study.

    But the Scottish Social Attitudes survey also suggested the popularity of the European Union has fallen.

    The researchers said this suggested focusing on EU membership may not be the best way to swing more voters towards independence.

    The survey has asked the same question about how Scotland should be governed every year since 1999.’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-39265997

    • fred

      BBC bias. I don’t know how they hope to get away with such blatant Nationalist bias. The latest Yougov poll shows support for independence at it’s lowest.

      I don’t know how you can be taken in by a Nationalist propaganda machine.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I’m getting the distinct impression that HMG would really like Scotland to piss off this time. It might be convenient for negotiations with the EU for this to happen, or for it to look like it will happen. Sturgeon would very much like May to arrange things nicely for Scotland so it can leave with the minimum of hard work to do itself, but May seems to be putting UK, or rUK interests first, as seems only right.

      • branches

        fred

        So five or so recent opinion polls give better results for Yes than Yougov.

        Therefore fred thinks these five must be outliers and Yougov has to be accurate.

  • Anon1

    So Donald Trump paid $38 million tax on $150 income. The only revelation here is that Trump desperately needs to find a new accountant.

    But well done Rachel Maddow for exposing Trump’s tax return as a substantially higher percentage of his income than socialist Bernie’s.

    Spectacular fail.

    • michael norton

      Prof Curtice said the pro-independence campaign had never been stronger electorally in Scotland.

      It is almost up to 46%

      Brilliant Nicola, just as the Scottish economic case is crashing through the decks.
      URASTAR

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      My understanding from the reporting is that the 150 million attracted the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) which is intended to regulate/ provide some kind of tax equity targeted at the mega wealthy.
      the real point is that Trump has already declared that he wants to abolish this tax.
      More and more it looks as if the presidency has been delivered into the hands of someone fully devoted to his, and his family’s, personal enrichment. That is a rather squalid basis for a democratic process.

        • Deepgreenpuddock

          “Its the style, stupid’ (sorry don’t mean you-just paraphrasing Clinton)
          Yes I was aware of the very fundamental point that it is not a new phenomenon, but the Clintons went through some kind of obscuring process-some sleight of hand.
          The Trumps are just brazenly obvious. I suppose one could argue that it as the Clintons who cleared the way/provided the leg up/ ‘fertilised'(as in pissing all over) the political soil, for the Trumps.

        • Anon1

          Trump is rich from his business interests. The Clinton crime family have enriched themselves from their political careers. That’s the difference.

    • Fence

      Anon1,

      By ”Spectacular fail” are you referring to your own ability to not understand the ramifications of this leak?

      Trump will now be hawkishly watched for any changes to that particular law. Is he there to ‘drain the swamp’ or line the pockets of his Billionaire backers? Tough one, I know…………..

      The fact that you need this spelled out to you speaks volumes.

      • Anon1

        No, I am referring to Rachel Maddow’s “investigation” in which it was revealed (…drumroll…) that Trump had paid his taxes. It was suspected that Trump had paid no tax. The left pinned a lot of hopes on it being discovered that Trump never pays any tax. It blew up in their faces.

        Now we know that Trump paid the same tax rate as the average American, while Obama, Bernie, the Clinton crime family and, yes, MSNBC, paid substantially less.

        Thank you, Rachel Maddow.

        I guess they’ll have to go back to the Putin hysteria now.

  • Dave

    Except the SNP are offering devolution in EU rather than UK, not independence that involves control of borders and own currency. So she wants another not-independence, open borders and join the euro-currency referendum, without actually saying so, as she thinks an anti-English/Tory message is enough, and yet they audaciously condemn the Brexit campaign as dishonest!

    • fred

      The SNP couldn’t survive without someone to blame, if they left Britain they couldn’t blame Westminster so they would need to be in Europe so they can blame Brussels for their incompetence.

      • JOML

        I suspect you would struggle to survive, Fred, without the SNP to blame. You are too obsessed to be objective and this often leads to you posting inaccuracies e.g. your post yesterday about the Council Tax.

        • fred

          I post about the SNP government.

          You keep posting about me, you attack the person not the message.

          We seem to have acquired a few cybernat bullies here to intimidate anyone who speaks against the SNP lately.

          From the SNP 2011 manifesto page 3:

          Over the period of the next Parliament we will consult with others to produce a fairer system based on ability to pay
          to replace the Council Tax and we will put this to the people at the next election, by which time Scotland will have more powers over income tax.

          • Deepgreenpuddock

            We get the point about Council tax but even you must understand that it is a very difficult political matter to deliver on.
            I do not have a problem in agreeing that the Council Tax was badly fudged and implemented by a Tory government in utter disarray on the question (i.e. the poll tax demonstrations and dissent ) and requires some kind of replacement or radical re-design. I also don’t have a problem in accepting that politics is also about practicalities, and even about democratic processes, and that these can hinder or obstruct reforms.
            Political parties are frequently forced to accept compromises or backtrack on declared principles. The Council Tax is both unsatisfactory and very difficult to reform, partly because the costs of reforming are off putting and partly because all the possibilities have adverse, or negative, if different, effects.
            Your furious denouncement of the SNP is looking distinctly irrational. I think (by the way) that there is SOME degree of avoidance on the issue. I personally think it is very unsatisfactory but in all the time , through numerous governments there has not been much attempt to reform it. Not by Labour, Tory, or Lib Dems. You cannot single out the SNP for such a universal political failure.

          • fred

            We had a referendum, a once in a lifetime referendum.

            It isn’t me that is irrational, it’s the people who think there should be another once in a lifetime referendum that are irrational.

  • michael norton

    *BREAKING*
    from The Ministry of Truth

    “The EU will NOT BE INTIMIDATED by threats about The United Kingdom
    leaving with no deal, Donald Tusk has said.

    He said suggestions the U.K. would be better off leaving with no deal, rather than with a bad deal, “increasingly take the form of a threat”.

    I am glad they understand, that it is indeed a threat.

    • Shatnersrug

      You are clearly unwell the pound is at $1.23 – that is fucking awful. It’s costing British manufacturing a fortune to import parts

  • Anon1

    Worryingly there are now 110,000 signatures on the petition to stop a second referendum on Scottish independence. And rising fast.

    Please don’t sign it. We all desperately want Scotland to go.

  • Habbabkuk

    If there is a second Scottish independence referendum, logic – and more importantly, honesty – dictate that it should be held neither while the Brexit negotiations are still going on nor immediately after the outcome of those negotiatiions. It should be held a couple of years (say 2-3) after the UK has exited. Only in this way will the Scottish electorate be able to decide, on the basis of facts and experience, whether the consequences of Brexit are sufficient to justify a vote in favour of Scottish independence.

    The apparent wish of some to have the vote held before the UK has exited and the real consequences are known reveals a deeply dishonest approach to the question of the timing of the next independence referendum and indeed to Scottish ondependence itself.

    But that should not surprise, because the SNP and various others – including our blog host – can be as dishonest as the next man when it suits them…….

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Having said all of which, it is entirely possible to make out a good political, economic and social case for Scotland and Northern Ireland leaving the Union in the interests of England and Wales, provided of course that future relations between England/Wales and Scotland/Northern Ireland were no different (and especially no more favorable) from those which would obtain between England/Wales and any other EU Member State.

    • fred

      I agree. As it has been made clear that Scotland would not be able to retain EU membership and would have to reapply as when they got independence there is absolutely no reason to hold a referendum before the Brexit negotiations and transition are completed and indeed it would be harmful to both Britain and Scotland to do so.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Can’t disagree with much of that. But politics is a dirty game, and neither side’s running a laundry. Or indeed basing its policy on a rational calculation.

  • Dave

    Cameron gave Salmond the question and the timing for the not-independence referendum. I don’t think May will make the same mistake. The question was “should Scotland be an independent country” a dishonest question as independence wasn’t on offer, but appealed to Scottish patriotism and allowed the SNP side a positive Yes response. Next time the question should be “should Scotland Remain or Leave the UK”, like the EU referendum.

    • MJ

      It would be amusing if the new question was: should Scotland remain part of the UK? It seems only fair that the remainers should have the benefit of the positive ‘yes’ response this time round.

    • Windy Miller

      I feel that the rush for an Indie Ref2 is more down to who will get in the History books. If Nicola Sturgeon waits a few years after The UK has left the EU there might be someone else leading the SNP who will then get the honor of forever being the leader that lead Scotland to independence.

      You can smell the desperation on her speeches to rush to the polls. It’s even a little embarrassing.

      • fred

        That isn’t desperation that’s fear.

        She unleashed the pack of Nationalist dogs to see off any opposition now she’s worried they might turn on her. That’s the thing with nationalist emotions, easy to incite but difficult to control.

        • Deepgreenpuddock

          Freddie! Nationalist dogs? Are they barking in you head? An auditory halucinations See a doctor. Group therapy might just work for you and Windy(uppy).

      • Republicofscotland

        “You can smell the desperation on her speeches to rush to the polls. It’s even a little embarrassing.”

        _________

        Windy Miller.

        Erm… no, it’s more like confidence, in the fact that she (Sturgeon) was elected on a 44% vote. May however, isn’t even elected by the public, she’s a stand-by, a substitute, a gap filler at best, and by god it shows.

        • Windy Miller

          I’m not saying that there isn’t a case for another Scottish ref. But I can’t understand the rush. SNP have a total grip on Scottish politics and have a real say in Westminster, if they wish.

          SNP surely do not need to hurry through a vote that they may not win so why the lack of patience. With all the changes coming through with the UK as a whole asking Scottish voters to take an even further step into the dark is a huge ask.

  • Loony

    Scottish Nationalists would be well advised to sign up for some basic numeracy classes.

    In the last referendum some 1.6 million people voted in favor of Scottish independence – about 25% of these people also voted to leave the EU. It is a racing certainty that the vast bulk of pro independence anti EU voters will now vote to remain in the UK simply to ensure that the EU is put to the sword.

    All evidence shows that post the EU referendum support to leave the EU continues to grow. Note how the slavish devotees of the EU row back from the idea of any further votes simply because they know they would lose by a much greater margin than last time. This trend also exists in Scotland.

    It is probable that pro EU forces have coalesced around Scottish Nationalists in order to defend their position – all they will do is wreak the destruction of Scottish Nationalists. Anti EU forces are now unstoppable and all obstacles will be crushed – including the SNP who have so crassly miscalculated.

    The clarion call for freedom has sounded and its call has been heard by millions and they will not be diverted by the false siren of the SNP.

    • Dave

      “Independence in Europe” was Jim Sellars idea as a way to grow the SNP by promoting the idea of Scotland leaving the UK without being isolated! And it worked, but I believe it was a tactic rather than a principle at a time when support for SNP was low and when they thought a more social democratic rather than nationalist message would expand their support in ‘green’ areas by changing their image as Tartan Tories.

      But the leadership have now embraced that tactic to gain office as a principle and confuse devolution in EU with independence that will be their factional undoing. Evidenced by the large number of SNP voters who voted to Leave the EU and Jim Sellars recent comment that he wouldn’t want Scotland to apply to join EU!

  • Sharp Ears

    It’s a ROTFLMAO moment.

    Treeza has cancelled her friend Phillipa Hammond’s NI rise for the self employed.

    There has been ‘discussion with colleagues’.

    She is toast and will be on way back to Maidenhead in due course.

    Mr Liam Fox of Atlantic Bridge infamy wants employment legislation ‘deregulated’.
    This is in a country where workers on zero hours and the minimum wage never know what their weekly income will be. How much more ‘deregulated’ can the nasty party go?

    • Habbabkuk

      “Treeza has cancelled her friend Phillipa Hammond’s NI rise for the self employed.

      There has been ‘discussion with colleagues’.

      She is toast and will be on way back to Maidenhead in due course.”
      __________________

      You never cease demonstrating your dishonest silliness, do you?

      Had the PM not cancelled the proposed rise in National Insurance, you would be castigating the govt about the proposed increase.

      Now that she has, you use that to attack her (“toast”).

      I would respectfully suggest that it is you who ate toast as far as this blog is concerned.

      When you are not cutting-and-pasting you are just silly.

      Toast off!

    • Sharp Ears

      The question remains about a replacement for the £2bn funding for social care which Hammond’s NI rise was intended to provide.

      After you Treeza.

      • Habbabkuk

        Well, perhaps the 2 billion won’t get provided. Blame the selfishness of the British self-employed working man. Or; alternatively, that of the denizens of the leafier parts of this Realm who vote against any party which proposes tax increases… 🙂

        • nevermind

          Pure infantility, the NI backlash came from the Conservatives and much nudging of Tory newspaper proprietors, always needed for their filth campaigns, absolutely nothing to do with the hard working self employed.
          Hammond is devoid of ideas and he keeps holding on to the tax overshoot to sweeten the next election amongst his ilk, only, so lets not expect him to charge British protectorates a 3% levy on all transfers, to and fro., as well as an annual charge for ‘protecting’ these sums that so magically bypassed the exchequer, poor soul…

  • Habbabkuk

    “Next time the question should be “should Scotland Remain or Leave the UK”, like the EU referendum.”
    _____________________

    That is probably more or less correct.

    One would also hope that the Leave side (ie, essentially the SNP) would set out as succinctly as possible consistent with reasonable detail – its policy for an independent Scotland in a number of important broad areas. In particular:

    ** Constitutionally:

    – would a written constitution be drafted (incl. by whom) and how would the approval (or disapproval) process run?

    – the Head of State question

    – voting age in the future?

    – EU membership or not (would it be sought)?

    – NATO membership (and defence arrangements i- if any – in general)?

    – criteria for citizenship (incl. the right to vote)?

    ** Economically:

    – would future emphasis be on direct or indirect taxation?

    – how much importance would be given in budgetary policy to govt borrowing, debt reduction and “balancing the books”?

    – the currency question (which : pound sterling, Euro, own separate currency with Central Bank)?

    ** Socially:

    – income equality/inequality and linked questions?

    – policy on national health and education.

    It is also to be hoped that the Leave side would set out these and other aspects of future policy unprompted (rather than having them dragged out of it) in order to demonstrate openness and a desire to have the people vote in an informed fashion.

    It would also be entirely reasonable for the Westminster govt to set out clearly, where necessary and appropriate, what the govt of a future independent Scotland could expect from the rUK.

    • Habbabkuk

      BTW, “answers” from the likes of Republicofscotland and similar not really required – and certainly not wanted. Because they are not serious and don’t know anyway.

      Just succinct, truthful information at the appropriate juncture in the future from the political leadership of the Scottish independentists, please.

      The future voters will expect nothing less and the political parties concerned will surely oblige in an open and honest manner. 🙂

      • branches

        Have you forgotten the 670 page White Paper the Scottish Government published well before indyref1?

        Of course if you want succinctness – or succinctitude as George W Bush would say – you should be happy since the word is the one for indyref2 will be shorter.

        • Habbabkuk

          I have not forgotten that 670 page document and nor have the voters, large numbers of whom spent every waking hour perusing it with keen interest.

          No, seriously – I knew someone would come up with that argument, which is so silly it deserves inky the following two comments:

          1/. Had the Remain camp come out with anything similar, your lot would have been the first to accuse it of wilfully obscuring the issues by producing such long document;

          and more importantly,

          2/. How many of the questions in my post did that 670-page document answer clearly and unambiguously?

  • Doug Scorgie

    fred
    March 15, 2017 at 09:15

    “If Theresa May farted at PMQT…”
    …………………………………………………..

    Well that’s one way of emptying the chamber.

  • Fence

    A couple of questions folk on here you might shed light on.

    1. If after 300 years of ‘successful’ union the Scottish economy is left in such a weak, underdeveloped position reliant solely on English charity and good will, is it not time to try something different?

    2. What would be wrong in joining the euro – the 2nd largest currency reserve in the world and growing, as apposed to sterling – the 7th/8th and continuously shrinking reserve (speculation it will not be a reserve currency status in a few years time at current rates)?

  • Doug Scorgie

    Anon1
    March 15, 2017 at 10:38

    “Trump is rich from his business interests. The Clinton crime family have enriched themselves from their political careers.”
    …………………………………………………….

    As the Bible states: the rich shall inherit the government.

  • bevin

    There is something very “British’ and establishment about the way that this has turned into a discussion among members of the political caste regarding the relative merits of Unionism and EUnionism. With the prize being not only the plain people of Scotland but the Anglophone franchise in Brussels.

  • Republicofscotland

    What a absolute embarrassment the Tory government has become. Forced to do a complete and utter U-turn, only seven days later, on NI increases for the self-employed. May and Hammond have no credibility left whatsoever.

    Indeed May for all whining, and winging, isn’t even democratically elected by the people. Yet she has the audacity to try and tell Nicola Sturgeon, (who was elected by a percentage of the vote that May can only dream about) when she ought to hold another referendum.

    No thanks, we (the people of Scotland) will decide when for ourselves. I must say I’m rather enjoying this new aggressive stance by the SNP and the FM, which was sorely lacking back in 2014.

  • Sharp Ears

    You are a laughing stock on here. Very similar to the low esteem in which the Tories are held. I have been watching PMQs and now Hammond is holding forth. By rights, they should crawl away into a hole.

      • Republicofscotland

        Sharp Ears.

        I know it’s okay.

        Theresa May should not be taken seriously, she’s not democratically elected by the people. Yet here she is leading the Charge of the Dim Brigade into the valley of Brussels. If won’t end well.

        The incompetence of the Tories, has left a £2 billion blackhole on social care in England. Money that will be stealthly taken from here and there without the public knowing to plug the blackhole.

        It’s a absolute disgrace, is it any wonder then, that Scots seek independence.

        • michael norton

          Sharp ears, you had me fooled,
          I was convinced you meant RoS

          I thought how apt.

          Theresa says Scotland is coming with England, we are all leaving the E.U. together.

  • Republicofscotland

    Staying on the shambles that is the British government. One wonders what fool will lead the next Better Together charge, towards a ermine cloak, as a reward.

    Whoever it may be, maybe Labour will prostrate themselves again to the Tories, who knows. Anyway, one wonders what on earth their line of attack will be on the defence of a united Britain. For no one actually knows economically yet how bad Brexit will get, but we all know it will be a economic disaster, somewhere near 10 on the Richter scale.

    So what could they possibly say to persuade Scots to remain on HMS Brexitania? Well, they could point out that, So what we’re leaving the largest trading bloc on earth, but we’ll get our empire back…hmm.. not very persuasive.

    Or they could say, well get rid of all those pesky EU workers who like Frogs legs and gather at street corner to have a conversation. Still not convincing enough.

    Or they might add, we should remain on the decks of Brexitania, because we deeply value your beautiful country, especially the bit around Coulport…erm nope, not good enough.

    But seriously whoever sticks their head above the parapet, won’t even know where Britain stands on its future outside the EU. So how could they possibly hope to convince anyone to remain.

    Lets make our future, one we choose, not one made at Westminster.

  • Doug Scorgie

    fred
    March 15, 2017 at 10:19

    “We had a referendum, a once in a lifetime referendum.”

    ………………………………………………………………

    Fred, it was Alex Salmond who said (of the referendum) it was “a once in a generation opportunity.”

    You have changed that to “once in a lifetime referendum.” There is a subtle difference.

    What Salmond said was his opinion and not an SNP official declaration.

    What you have to remember Fred is that referenda in the UK are non-binding and I strongly suspect that, had the independence referendum returned a YES vote, it would have been rejected.

    • Republicofscotland

      Doug.

      The opportunity for a second indref, WAS written into the SNP’s manifesto, it explicity explains that if any major changes occur (and Brexit is a huge uncertainty) then a second indyref could be called, it has and it will.

      • fred

        The SNP didn’t get a majority so that doesn’t give them a mandate.

        They must stick to the commitments they made at the time of the referendum.

        • Republicofscotland

          The support of the Greens will ensure it goes through Holyrood. Whilst all the screaming and wailing unionist branch managers, such as Dugdale, Rennie and Davidson, will oppose it.

          • branches

            fred

            The SNP has 63 MSPs.

            The Scottish Green Party has 6 MSPs.

            Combined that is 69 MSPs, which gives a majority in the Scottish Parliament.

            The SNP had a commitment in their manifesto saying they would seek a second referendum if there was a material change in circumstances. They specifically gave the example of Scotland being taken out the EU Against our will.

            The Scottish Green 2016 manifesto included the sentence:

            “In a second referendum the Scottish Greens will campaign for independence”.

          • Republicofscotland

            “We absolutely, unequivocally have a mandate to pursue this if we consider it in Scotland’s best interests. To deny that mandate is to deny reality.”

            https://stv.tv/news/politics/1381569-snp-has-no-mandate-for-indyref2/

            However, if the circumstances were not so extraordinary it might be different.

            Add in that Theresa May isn’t even elected by the people yet, she, wants to dictate the timing of the indyref.

          • fred

            The Scottish Green 2016 manifesto included the sentence:

            “In a second referendum the Scottish Greens will campaign for independence”.

            Which doesn’t say they would support calling another referendum, only what they would do if there was one.

            No mandate.

          • branches

            fred

            So you reckon the Scottish Greens wanted the voters to think they would campaign for Yes but wouldn’t support having another referendum in order for the party to campaign for Yes?

    • fred

      The White Paper said:

      “It is the view of the current Scottish Government that a referendum is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. “

      That isn’t personal opinion that is official government declaration.

      Generation or lifetime they said both but it makes no difference, it doesn’t mean 3 years either way.

    • RobG

      Sorry, Republicofscotland, I got here too late to watch your video link (which no longer plays for me). I’ve linked below to today’s PMQs for anyone interested.

  • RobG

    For those who might have missed today’s PMQs…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYBxfm_wOTw

    … it was an absolute classic. Corbyn, as usual, wiped the floor with a prime minister whom inbetween chanelling Margaret Thatcher is a nonentity mouthpiece for large corporations (just like Cameron was).

    Angus Robertson comes in at the 14 minute mark, and as usual makes some good points.

    • branches

      A lot of clearly orchestrated and very loud chatter from Tory and Labour MPs while Angus Robertson was trying to ask his questions.

      So what does John Bercow do about it?

      He has a go at the SNPs Pete Wishart.

      Thereby pretending to have done something about the din whilst Roberston was speaking but in reality giving it his tacit approval.

      A duplicitous little man.

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