Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Questions to which the answer is "don't ask questions with your mouth full, you obnoxious child"

It's strategy, Jim, but not as we know it. The No campaign seem to have convinced themselves that the masterstroke that will win this referendum is the revival of Labour Hame's highly-successful (ahem) Questions to Which the Answer is 'Er...' series.

I thought I'd take the liberty of replying to some of the more straightforward of the latest batch of '500 questions' - it'll free up our finest minds to deal with the questions that are cunning enough to require more than three seconds to answer. A word of warning - it's just possible you may spot a couple of recurring themes here.

Q. How would Scotland be better represented in the international community after independence if it was no longer a member of the G7, G8 or G20 as it currently is within the UK?

A. Because we are currently "represented in the international community" by David Cameron and William Hague.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the Food and Agriculture Organisation?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the International Atomic Energy Agency?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the International Civil Aviation Organisation?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the International Labour Organisation?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of UNESCO?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the World Food Programme?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the World Health Organisation?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the World Meterological Organisation?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the World Tourism Organisation?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the Commonwealth?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the OECD?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the International Olympic Committee?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of Interpol?

A. Apply.

Q. What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the International Maritime Organisation?

A. Apply.

Q. What changes would an independent Scotland make to personal taxation bands?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. Rest assured that an independent Scotland will not be a one-party state, and that multi-party elections will be held. As three of the five main parties that will contest those elections are currently part of the No campaign, in many ways you guys are slightly better placed to answer this question than we are. (Unless you're not very optimistic about getting elected. But it can't be that.)

Q. Would an independent Scotland introduce a 10p tax rate?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. Would a Local Income Tax be introduced in a separate Scotland? If so, when?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. What would be an independent Scotland’s approach to fiscal policy, and what would be the implications for taxation of business?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. What will be the tax allowance on business mileage?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. What will be the rates for Company Car taxation?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. What will be the exemptions applied for Company Car taxation?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. What will be the Capital allowances for Ultra Low emission vehicles?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. What will be the Capital allowances for energy saving machinery and equipment?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. What will be the Capital allowances for railway assets and ships?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. What will be the Capital Allowances for mineral extraction?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. Will Air Passenger Duty continue to be collected in a separate Scotland?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. What will be the Air Passenger Duty Rate for differing types of flights i.e. long/short haul?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. Will Highland/Island airports be exempted from Air Passenger Duty?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. Will there be differential rates of Air Passenger Duty within Scotland?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. What will be Air Passenger Duty/taxation regime for private planes?

A. The answer to this question depends very much on which party wins the Scottish general election. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state.

Q. Will all income tax levels in a separate Scotland remain the same as other parts of the United Kingdom?

A. The short answer to this question is "you are a moron". The longer answer is that it depends very much on which parties win the various Scottish general elections that will take place between now and infinity, and it also depends very much on which parties win the various UK general elections that will take place between now and infinity. I refer you to the earlier reassurance that an independent Scotland will be a multi-party democracy and not a one-party state, and I would also add at this point that the remainder of the UK is also unlikely to abolish democracy, although you never know I suppose.

Q. What happens if the Scottish Parliament has a different view on the line of succession for the Monarchy?

A. Jupiter explodes and millions die. Alternatively, see my answer to this question the last time it was asked (in almost word-for-word identical fashion) by Gordon Brown. And don't jump to conclusions - I'm sure not all of the 'real Scots' who spontaneously submitted these 507 questions are former Prime Ministers of the UK.

Now, having got through that little lot, I wonder if someone from the No campaign would be prepared to answer a question - just one solitary question - of my own.

If Scotland votes No and remains part of the United Kingdom, what will be the basic rate of income tax that decent, law-abiding, hard-working Scottish families have to pay in the year 2033?

Don't you DARE ask for our votes before giving us the number.

4 comments:

tris said...

Utterly brilliant. I'm sore laughing.

Marcia said...

James, I like the way you have applied simple logic to these questions. The thread on the questions over at Wings over Scotland yesterday was a hoot.

Anonymous said...

James, you may want to remove these spam messages above.

pa_broon74 said...

If this referendum debate was about who could most effectively insult the intelligence of the electorate, BT would be winning hands down.

At what point do they think voters in Scotland would throw in the towel? Who thought having 507 but not 505 unanswered questions would tip the balance for current yes voters to change their minds and vote no?

Did someone make a spreadsheet?