Wednesday, August 19, 2015

As one door opens for the Daily Record, another door slams shut

You can see why the Daily Record editorial team probably reckon their unexpected declaration of support for Jeremy Corbyn is a masterstroke. It reaffirms their traditional loyalty to Labour and to the British nationalist cause, while neatly distancing themselves from the toxic part of Labour that campaigned so enthusiastically alongside the Tories during the referendum. It allows them to nail their colours to the mast of what at least some Yes voters in former Labour heartlands are still prepared to see as the acceptable face of left-wing unionism.

There is, however, a snag. It's not so much what happens if Corbyn fails to win (which now looks unlikely), because they can always say "this has been an open and democratic process, we expressed our view but we accept the result". But what if Corbyn wins and is then deposed before the 2020 election? Anything that remains of the Record's credibility will be shot to pieces if they don't buy into the narrative of betrayal this time (especially having failed to do so after the unravelling of their own "Vow"). And by that point, it's logically very hard to see where they go with their political support other than the SNP, if not independence itself.

If, on the other hand, they attempt to maintain their allegiance to Labour with an "Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia" manoeuvre, they'd better bloody hope their coverage of sport and celebrity cellulite becomes considerably more compelling than it currently is.


  1. Seemingly, they say it would "benefit our nation" (singular) without saying what that nation is - and why the other nations would suffer.

  2. It wasn't so long ago they were full on for Milliband and Brown, and of course Dugdale.
    They are chained to that old Labour and sink with it.

  3. How could he be deposed?

    Once he's in then that's it until either death, resignation, or another open leadership vote?
    Unless the National Executive Council is going to rewrite the rules and kick him out, which would just disintegrate the party.

    Besides that, we're in the same situation as the Republicans were at the last U.S. election. None of their heavy hitters wanted to run against Obama, they all waited until this time around.
    Labour have a massive deficit in 2020, they need a bigger swing than Blair vs Major got in 1997, and on top of that they won't get Scotland back any time soon. So I think anybody with serious Prime Ministerial ambitions is standing to one side and looking at 2025.

    I hope he stays. Firstly it's good to give the electorate a genuine choice. If we really have this swathe of non-voting left wing citizens then they deserve a proper chance to express that vote at the ballot box. Personally I think he's going to get hammered, but democracy should offer more than just Tory vs Diet Tory.

    And secondly, a Boris/Jeremy 2020 election campaign sounds like it'll be the most entertaining one in years.

    1. There's a clear mechanism for deposing a sitting leader in the Labour rule-book, but it's more likely that he would be forced to resign after a build-up of pressure.

    2. That pressure could be the failure to win SE2016, what do you think?

    3. Nah, Labour are basically hosed next year and they know it. You could reanimate the corpses of John Smith and Robin Cook and they'd still get thumped, and I think everyone knows that. It would be a churlish person who blamed JC for that given that ScotLab's numbers were in the gutter before he even put his name forward.

      I can see two ways he ends up falling on his sword. Firstly, a suicide pact where a massive rump of New Labour MPs say they'll split the party if he doesn't stand down. In which case he may go rather than destroy the party he loves.

      Secondly, if he turns out to be an awful party leader. Which I could see, to be honest. He's a nice, principled, decent guy but there's no indication he has the skillset to run Labour and run it effectively. Let alone a Labour where half the party are going to be undercutting him at every turn.

      I could see him standing aside if he felt he wasn't carrying the party forward. His policies aren't really mine (public ownership and immigration aside), but I have no doubts about his integrity. I'm more worried about some of his supporters to be honest, even Galloway is starting to creep out of the woodwork now.

    4. Yes but they (rival Labour politicians) could try and use it as a legitimate excuse to rid of him, is what I'm saying? This politicians we are talking about here they aren't exactly the most understanding of people.

    5. Yes, I see what you're getting at. I think that might be a route for a leadership challenge through the 'normal' route of the annual conference.

      If he struggles (and there's a portion of the party that will fan those flames), it may encourage a second challenge. But they'd need to discredit his leadership at least in part, otherwise he simply wins a second vote.

      It's certainly going to be interesting to watch how this develops.

    6. Yes but they (rival Labour politicians) could try and use it as a legitimate excuse to rid of him, is what I'm saying? This politicians we are talking about here they aren't exactly the most understanding of people.

      I think an extremely bad defeat at Holyrood, like being beaten by the Tories, would probably do for him unless he did better than expected in Wales and the English locals.

      "If we can't make progress in Scotland, where can he?" the Tristrams and Chukas would shriek, and they'd probably have a point.

    7. @AnonymousAugust 19, 2015 at 2:03 PM

      Galloway is starting to creep out of the woodwork now.

      Galloway is a nonentity and anything he says/does is for his ego alone and nothing else.

  4. So the Record shouldn't back Corbyn because if Labour split or he was removed (which likely won't happen anyway) they'd be obliged to attack the Labour mainstream and then, bafflingly, back a party they're completely opposed to (the SNP) simply because there isn't anyone else left to support.

    I've heard some pretty convoluted reasons for people not to support Corbyn over the last few months but that's up there with the worst of them. If the SNP were to descend into two camps of infighting would The National give up on independence and back Labour? It makes about as much sense as what you're trying to argue.

    1. If you'd actually calm down and read the thing properly, you might be less confused. First of all, I'm not saying that the Record shouldn't back Corbyn, I've no idea where you're getting that from. I'm simply pointing out the consequences of that decision IF he's elected and then deposed. They would still have a choice - but if they maintained support for Labour after such an appalling betrayal they would lose all credibility.

      If, on the other hand, they maintain consistency by withdrawing support for Labour, where do YOU think that support would go to, if not the SNP? The Greens? Tommy Sheridan?

  5. The Daily Record is a joke. Corbyn has been cursed.

  6. Holy Hell. If the Record started selling their support (there's no such thing as a free truss) to the SNP, the party membership would be fleein' oot the doors. Same effect the Record support of Labour had on THEIR membership.

    Corbyn is probably doomed now.

  7. I'm not sure if labour have a practical mechanism for removing their leaders - in contrast with the tories, who knife their leaders for sport.

    You imply the Record could, in the situation you've outlined, support the SNP in political elections but stop short of supporting independence. This isn't a consistent position. The SNP desire independence above all else and will set policy to make independence more likely. So if you support the SNP you are either pro independence or playing a very dangerous game - gambling the union in hope of achieving more left wing government locally.

    The Record will continue to support labour on the grounds that if you are centre-left and pro UK, it is the party that best represents your interests.

    1. Unless things have changed then Labour technically have to re-elect their leaders at each annual conference. Usually a formality, but it does (or did) open up the possibility of a leadership challenge at that time.

      But the rules have been altered in recent years, so I don't know if that is current.

    2. I just checked, it's current :

      B. Nomination
      i. In the case of a vacancy for leader or deputy leader, each
      nomination must be supported by 15 per cent of the Commons
      members of the PLP. Nominations not attaining this threshold
      shall be null and void.
      ii. Where there is no vacancy, nominations may be sought by
      potential challengers each year prior to the annual session of Party
      conference. In this case any nomination must be supported by 20
      per cent of the Commons members of the PLP. Nominations not
      attaining this threshold shall be null and void.

    3. I can think of precisely zero cases of labour party regicide in their entire century+ long history. They kind of 'constructively dismissed' Tony Blair, lol - but it bloody took a while!

      Maybe the Labour Party's sense of social justice means they refrain from hurting the feelings of their leaders - even the terrible ones.

  8. "So if you support the SNP you are either pro independence or playing a very dangerous game - gambling the union in hope of achieving more left wing government locally."

    I think you're over simplifying. Voters and tabloids alike could conceivably back the SNP as a means for pushing for more powers for Scotland, ie, home rule or devo max.

    The empty benches during the Scotland Bill carry-on showed us all that none of the other main parties are interested.

    1. Using the SNP as leverage in dealings with the UK government, in the hope of securing more powers and funding from the UK government whilst remaining inside of the UK state is a strategy that has reached the end of its usefulness. To proceed further means endangering the union and all that comes with it. So if you don't want independence now is the time to start rowing back - not throw your lot in with the SNP.

    2. Not really. It's pretty much inconceivable that independence could be achieved without a referendum, so a Unionist can vote SNP as much as they like, safe in the knowledge they can always just vote No.

    3. @AldoAugust 19, 2015 at 6:33 PM

      No what it shows is that Westminster rules no matter what colour of rosette MPs wear from Scotland so just do as you are told or else, wake up to the reality of the situation.

    4. Keaton, the longer the SNP remains in power, creating division, issuing spin, and holding independence referenda, the greater the chance of a "yes" vote being achieved eventually. The savvy unionists of a left political persuasion may think they can dance with the devil and simply refuse to be seduced by him at the end of the evening - but there is simply no accounting for other people (the easily led, the naive and the plain stupid). Should these people take the SNP over the line in a future indyref, the unionist double dealers will have opened the door to it and wont just have egg on their faces - they'll be practically bathing in egg.

      Cynical Highlander, yes, Westminster rules no matter what - just as the USA is ruled from Washington DC, Russia from the Kremlin, Germany from the Reichstag (although its probably not called that anymore).

      It's the people who we collectively as a nation choose to send there who decide the quality of the government. And Scotland often gets the government it wants. We had the government we voted for, with Scottish cabinet ministers and two Scottish Prime Ministers, during the 13 years up until 2010. And, get this - in 1992, Major's majority was dependent on Scottish Tory MPs.

      So, yes, we do have a say and we do often get what we want. Not always - but that's democracy for you.

      The all conquering SNP government in Edinburgh was elected on 45% of the vote, on a turnout of 50%. Scotland didn't vote for them either - not really. But we sure got them!

    5. Given that we have a multi-party system, what would you actually accept as a mandate for any party?

    6. Interesting that Trolldo uses Usa and germany as examples of how capital cities rule over their regions. Unfortunately for him, most independence supporters are fully aware that regions (federal states) of Germany and the states of the USA have levels of autonomy which have been denied to Scotland.

      The irony is a federal UK would probably kill the independence movement. Westminster cant help themselves sadly, their kneejerk reluctance to share power with Scotland means more and more Scots see independence as their only remaining option.

  9. Well with only 15 of the Parliamentary Labour Party voting for him allegedly, he will be lucky to last the year let alone until 2020. I don't suppose the Daily Rectum reported that alleged statistic though. Being cynical about it, I give it a month before they raise questions about the old man's health and mental capacity.

    Whatever I don't buy into the Corbyn mania. He is and will always be a Brit Nat to me. He will be heading up a Party that is owned by Corporate fascist interests in the City of London. The Rectum shouldn't be supporting any Brit Nat Party at all, they might as well endorse UKIP and Farage as the Brit Labour Party.

    1. I'm sure Corbyn would say that Scottish independence is "unsocialist" and he is trying to change the labour party from within.

      What is obvious to conservative minded people like me is that the Labour - SNP battle has split the left along geographical rather than ideological boundaries and cleared the field for the tories to lead the most lengthy and revolutionary right wing government since Thatcher. In about ten years the left will come to its senses. There may even be a Labour-SNP merger. But by then the 'damage' will have been done.

      For 'damage' read renewal of Trident and the shrinking of the state and welfare system to sensible and managable levels.

    2. What's not ideological about an independent socialist Scotland? The counter arguement to that approach from Corbyn, would be to say that you could lock the Tories out of an independent Scotland (through voting intentions). We could invite the left over the border ;-) Also, let's not forget, his party voted against locking the financial management of Tories out of the Scotland Act.

    3. Could you really lock the tories out of an independent Scotland or would they increase in number the minute the taxes were put up to achieve 'socialism'?

      And I'm not quite sure how socialism is supposed to work when you have a comparatively low tax regime an hour or two's drive away from about 90% of the Scottish population. You can move. You can commute. You can hop back and forth over the border. This is my plan, should the SNP actually ever get their way (which I consider to be highly unlikely - Scottish nationalism is a passing fad. Other concerns will overtake it, eventually).

    4. You can hop back and forth over the border

      That's some commute. Takes about 2 hours from Edinburgh or Glasgow to reach just the most northern of English cities. It's why Scotland and England remain unconnected largely. Scotland operates independently already geographically.

      Like this; two countries 'disconnected'.

      What telephone calls can reveal about a country’s true geography

      IF PHONE calls do not lie, Scotland could secede from the rest of Britain without causing much inconvenience. This is one of the main results of a study by a team of American and British researchers published on December 8th.


      Another reason why Dave's 'One nation - one united Kingdom' stuff makes international leaders giggle. That and the recent election results. He's the butt of so many jokes when I'm with Mrs SS's French family in France; the English PM that tries to pretend he represents 'Britain' when everyone knows its not the case.

    5. If a commute is a hassle then you simply move to England, get a job there, live there, and come back on occasion to visit friends and family. You can traverse the length of Great Britain in less than a day. If you fly, you can do it in about an hour.

      The most effective and final vote doesn't involve a pen and a cross on a piece of paper - it involves your feet.

    6. "get a job there, live there, and come back on occasion to visit friends and family"

      Well assuming you need a Scottish address to vote in Indyref 2, then I'll happily pay a few extra pence in the pound in tax all day long.

      Money-chasing No voters can benefit by moving to the gold-paved streets of England (where they will of course end up spending all that money they saved on tax bills - and then some - to pay for their kids education, their parent's care home bills and overpriced housing) and Scotland can benefit from a fairer society. Oh yeah, and less No voters.

      Sounds like a win-win all round.

    7. I dispute the viability of that 'fairer society' anon.

      And I was talking about moving after a 'yes' vote.


    8. You do realise we won't need a yes vote to put taxes up, don't you?

      Either way, an individual who feels such affinity to a place that they'd leave at the drop of a hat to embark on a pointless tax avoidance mission any country would be well rid of.

      Send us a postcard.

    9. True, the Scottish government will soon have the option to increase taxes (actually, they've had it all along - the existing powers will simply be extended). But how likely is it that they will be made use of? And if they are implemented, what's the chance of them being effective?

      If I ever leave Scotland, escaping higher taxes wont be my primary motivation. In the event that Scottish independence should ever happen, I refuse to live in that system for a number of reasons - the main one being that I don't want to live in a country where ignorance and shouty slogans triumph over calm logic and reason - bestowing supreme power on a political party that couldn't run a bath.

      That's probably the main reason!

    10. There would be no reason to vote SNP after independence.

      So your main reason to leave Scotland is to escape from the power of a party which would have already stepped aside for a new government to be elected?

    11. What new government would that be? Conservatives persona non grata since about nineteen canteen in Scotland. Lib dems more hated than Jimmy Saville. Labour hounded and villified and reduced to rump support.

      Who the hell is going to take over from the SNP? And why would the SNP simply bow out and leave the stage? They would hold all the cards in that sutuation - their political enemies smashed. They will consider that their 80+ years of hard work has led to the achievement of independence and why should they step aside for the people who stood in their way or for some Johnny come lately?

      If you're not resident in this country though, it's all a moot point.

    12. The SNP's supporters are not politically aligned.

      Support would split across parties across the spectrum, without the historical baggage.

  10. 40% of C2DE voted No. Dave's now attacking these people directly with his shrinking of the welfare state to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. Union will last 5 years at the very most.

    1. Looking at the latest survation... Just need about half the DE still sticking with the union (those on the lowest of incomes) to join the majority of that group and Dave will have succeed in ending the union. Just 36 people out of 1000...

      Thing is, him and IDS can't help themselves. Oh the irony that the most unionist of parties shall bring about its end.

    2. Meanwhile, back on earth....

      You still need to convince people that the prospective independent Scotland would be better than tory Britain. When all indicators are that you will lose your currency, EU membership and a large slice of your annual budget for public spending and welfare - meaning additional austerity, not less - then it is highly likely that enough working class people will continue to vote no to secure Scotland's place in the UK.

    3. Seem's I've touched a nerve.

    4. I note the 'You'. Explains a lot, i.e. the Scotland hating posts and general total lack of understanding of what's going on in that mysterious place to the very, very, very, very far north of England.

      I never understood why the English government hates its own people so vindictively. After all, 10% of the Scots population are English yet Westminster wants to shit on them apparently what with the whole currency and border posts thing etc. Really odd place England; I just don't get it.

      Still explains why the most popular party for English people in Scotland is the SNP (latest panelbase). Scottish government looks after its English citizens while the English government wants to hurt them.

    5. You didn't address my point. And all I was attempting to do was demonstrate the depth of the challenge facing you. It's not about looking at polls and hoping that, if this happens and that happens and that happens, and these few percentage points move over to this column then 'bingo!' Cameron may piss off some people. But unless you can demonstrate a firm and reliable offer of a better life to these people, in an independent Scotland, then you wont win them over.

      Swinney's leaked memo screamed 'austerity!' - and that was before the oil value more than halved.

      The C2DEs will have nothing to look forward to - except tax rises and spending cuts.

    6. I don't have to do anything. I'm just someone posting on a polling blog site.

      Personally, I'm more worried about England. Growth lower than Scotland, unemployment rising while it falls in Scotland. Employment lower than Scotland...?

      You need to get your own house in order.

      The lack of aspiration of Tories - the dependency party - is the reason I'd never vote for them. It's why they do so badly in Scotland; don't believe in standing on your own two feet etc.

    7. @AldoAugust 19, 2015 at 9:33 PM

      You just can't help yourselves you unionists over alleged 'Leaked documents' ever contemplated that it might be called good governance to pre-plan for possible eventualities. No I thought not.

    8. Yet public spending in Scotland is higher per head than in England - and Scotland's deficit is higher than the UK's as a whole. This subsidy, at the expense of rUK taxpayers, is what keeps Scotland ticking over. If we outperform them on some measures its at their expense - a sutuation that would come to an abrupt end upon independence.

      And I'm not English, by the way. I'm just not one of the sheep. I have a sense of fair play and I know when someone is attempting to sell me a pack of lies, spin and half truths.

      12 billion. That should be the figure that sticks in your mind. It's the amount of money we get back from the British government over and above what we put in.

      What was that you were saying about the English not looking after their people in Scotland? :0)

    9. Cynical Highlander, I applaud any attempt by the SNP to genuinely and fully cost independence. Then, at least, we can have a full and frank and enjoyable debate other than just shouting slogans. The SNP would probably lose 70-30 but it would be an honorable defeat and deserving of a shake of the hand and a pint, at the very least. But they lied through their teeth - and the one official document that hinted at the true cost of independence had to be leaked to the public in Scotland. They didn't willingly give it up.

      Btw, going off topic a bit I know but did anyone see the thing about the SNP MP who was on the affairs website that got hacked? It was on news at ten about 5 mins ago :0)))))

    10. @Aldo

      Have you seen any independently audited accounts from the treasury?

      I suspect, in fact I can guarantee, no because they don't do them yet you have blind faith in their (biased see Macpherson to save the union) numbers and GERS a political stitch up by Ian Laing see hansard. The only fact stopping independence is London based media control and a complicit public willing to accept their drivel.

    11. CynicalHighlander, practically every think tank, every economist, every business of note, every expert of note - as well as governments and supranational organisations whom we do business with, virtually every media outlet - all of them opposed to independence.

      If you find yourself in a position where you believe yourself to be right whilst everyone else is wrong then you are either a visionary of almost supernatural talents - or you're just an arrogant prig.

      In all honesty, what category do you think the SNP would be most appropriately placed in?

      Their international backers included Kim Jong Un and the government of the notional state of Kurdistan and Russia under that lovely chap Vladimir Putin. No - no hidden agenda there at all eh?

      Domestically their backers included hopelessly obvious front organisations, a somewhat strange and short tempered blogger (English based), and the Proclaimers.

      I think I rest my case - for this evening, at least. Goodnight!

    12. I love the way right-wing unionists contort and contract themselves on this issue.

      “We think it essential that public spending / the size of the state be reduced!”

      “We believe Scotland is heavily subsidised and independence / devo max would require public spending / the size of the state to be reduced. We are totally against it as a result!”

      And the Tories wonder why they've been 'In decline since '59'.

    13. It isn't really a contradiction. There are different extents to which the state can be shrunk. How much are you willing to sacrifice?

      The real contradiction comes from your own side - selling independence as a way out of austerity when actually it would worsen as a result.


    14. No, it's a glaring contradiction. Tories say they support 'standing on your own two feet', 'taking responsibility for yourself', 'small government' etc when in practice they advocate the opposite.

      They support Scotland handing its taxes to its neighbour and getting some pocket money back instead of taking responsibility for itself in the form of FFA or independence. Likewise, the Tories support big nanny state governance (someone else making decisions for Scotland - in this case English MPs) with two levels of government; Holyrood and Westminster when only one is needed.

      As I said, total contradiction and why the Tories have been in decline since 1959, hitting a new record low in May.

      Do you really think only 15% of Scotland is somewhere to the right of centre? Nope, Scotland has a very good right-left balance and is neither strongly right, nor strongly left on global scale:

      There are plenty of moderate right voters in Scotland; they just won't vote for a party that talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk.

    15. I think the emphasis is on personal responsibility and self sufficiency - hence the recent benefit cuts / minimum wage rise (which the SNP voted against).

      Your way of shrinking the state would mean gutting the NHS, education, police, armed forces. There's a difference between pruning a tree and cutting it down.

      And people aren't voting SNP / Yes to make Scotland more right wing. Do you really think that? They're aiming for the land of milk and honey and been told they'll get it. The reality would be somewhat different.


    16. Sorry, you only end up on 15% of the vote if you are a failure of a party which contradicts itself, one of wasteful profligacy (where are all the oil revenues?), economically inept, and advocate dependency.

      I remember the last time the Tories were in power; economic disaster with unemployment hitting 12%. Went on for 2 decades, with employment levels only recovering to pre-79 levels when Labour were back post 1997. How you could manage that in an oil boom is beyond me. My 7 year old could manage finances better.

      I see things are already on a downwards spiral in England. Unemployment rises reported twice in a row now the Tories have a majority. Standard for when the Tories are in full control.

    17. In UK terms, they are not on 15% - they are on 37%. The political right, taken together, have an overall majority of the UK popular vote.

      So, far from down and out - in a UK context - and I suspect their Scottish figures will undergo something of a recovery once Holyrood begins tinkering with tax rates.

      The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world. We are among the richest in per capita wealth and quality of life indicators as well as having one of the most effective healthcare systems in the world. In the world's richest trading bloc - the European Union - we are the second richest nation after Germany and just ahead of France.

      All this despite, since 1979, having been governed by a largely Thatcherite consensus, with the conservatives in power for most of that time.

      Failure? Really??


    18. This is a Scottish site (clue is in the name). The continuation of the union depends on the success of unionist parties in Scotland. So, 14.9% is the number. 15.5% if you want to add UKIP.

      In this respect the Tories / right are an abject failure and it is entirely their own fault / down to their own ineptness.

      In terms of GDP per capita , the UK is 24-30th place. Hardly something to shout about.

      It is also one of the most difficult countries to 'get on in life' (to coin the Tory phrase) thanks to right-wing politics.

      The most socially immobile country in the western world:

      If people have any aspirations, the Tories / New Labour are not parties to vote for. Better going for social democratic parties; the more social democratic countries having the highest social mobility.

      Sorry, but the first step to recovery for the Tories is admitting their own failure.

    19. @Aldo

      "quality of life indicators"

      Sustainable society index 2014.

      Economic Wellbeing:
      Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Luxembourg, Australia, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovenia.

      Human Wellbeing:
      Finland, Iceland, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Hungary, Ireland.

      Unsurprisingly, the UK is way down the list in both.

      How do these guys all manage without their London handout?

      *furious sarcastic head scratching*

    20. Scottish skier, this is a UK site as demonstrated by the .uk in the web url (sorry, couldn't resist! :0)

      We are part of something bigger - we are a mere 5 millions out of 64 million people living in the UK. The tories may have failed in this small part of the country however they have a majority across the entire UK which we have elected to remain a part of. That makes them relevant and I know this fills you with disgust but it also gives them a mandate to govern Scotland.

      Social mobility in this country was at its peak during the mid 20th century when working class children had access to grammar schools. The left agitated to have them all closed and replaced them with comps. If you want to restore the social ladder, open a grammar school in every district. A future SNP policy perhaps? Lol - that'll be the day!

      Anon, I've been doing some digging around and it seems Britain is in the top 15% of all countries in the world for human development. We can always do better - but breaking up the country is obviously no solution. If Scotland were to go it alone, its deficit and shrinking tax base would condemn it to further austerity. We'd slide down the tables instead of climbing up.

    21. Scottish skier, this is a UK site as demonstrated by the .uk in the web url

      Not so. The Blogger URL depends on the location of the reader - if you were in France you'd be directed to .fr, and so on.

    22. In addition, we may be in the top 15% of nations for quality of life but in terms of percentage of the entire human population of the world, probably the top 1 or 2%.

      Some people just like to whine. I thank my lucky stars every day that I'm British. When I see the Calais immigrants clamouring to get into the country, I think "thank goodness I'm here and have right to this place by birth - rather than the shoe being on the other foot".

      This isn't a uniquely Scottish problem. Most people like to moan like feck about their lives. But we really do need to get a grip and get some perspective - fast.

    23. But Scotland is in the UK James ergo Scot Goes Pop is a UK site.

      There really is no way round it, I'm afraid.

    24. What, you mean like there's no way around the fact that you yourself are Scottish, even though it brings you out in a rash?

  11. I thought it was, supposedly, the wealthier people who voted no? If so, they have no need of welfare.

    Keep in mind that the minimum wage rise will offset the vast majority of the effects of withdrawing / reducing working tax credits.

    The state needs to be reduced in size. It's not healthy to engage in the sort of welfare largesse we saw in this country during the Blair / Brown years. It absolves people of responsibility and perpetuates squalor. Someone desperately needs to write a book; "the humanitarian argument for reducing welfare". It should then be sent out free to everyone in Britain.

    The union will endure. In five years Nicola will be on the way out, having failed at pretty much everything and having failed to deliver a second indy vote.

    You heard it here first! :0)

  12. What a dilemma: If Corbyn wins it's a victory (albeit temporary) for the Daily Wreckord. If he loses it's a victory for Team McTernan. I'll puke either way.

  13. Isn't Murdoch doing as he did before? He does like to show his power and have one of his papers back the winning horse, and it does look as if Corbyn will win the leadership.

    “The Sun backs Blair”
    “It's The Sun Wot Won It.”?

    Think of what a perfect position this puts Murdoch in.
    Cameron will need to be suitably greatful that he is keeping the spotlight on Labour.
    The Blairites will need to court him to avoid their oust Corbyn machinations being revealed.
    Corbyn can be courted with “You need our support – especially against the Blairites”
    It is against SNP and might help the Labour vote in Scotland a little.
    It stuffs it to the Blairites in the BBC

    What's not to like?

    Don't think it will do the DR circulation much good in the long run, but then what will?


    Christian Allard is simultaneously challenging for selection in 2 SNP seats at once, while already being a list MSP.

    Looks like he doesn't believe the SNP are going to get many list seats in his area.

    1. I don't think the SNP are going to get "many" list seats anywhere. Should get one in each region though, if their list vote holds up. More than one in a single region would only happen if a constituency was lost, I think.

    2. I was looking at the 2011 results last night and was shocked that about 7 to 8% of the regional vote went to parties other than lib/lab/con/snp/green. It was split between myriad smaller parties and independents. Had these people been a single unified political force, they could have won about half a dozen seats. As it was, they got nothing.

      But if fringe parties and groups perform as well as they did back then - or perhaps even a little better - then it effectively caps SNP/Green/SSP support at 45% (assuming support for con / lab / lib remains unchanged from the 2015 GE).

      Dangerous territory for the SNP.


  15. Brent crude is down to a new low of $46 a barrel today - it's only been around that level once in the last decade (six years ago). Anyone who thinks the SNP should be pushing for another referendum immediately may as well be asking them to sign their own death warrant. The oil price will change, but until it does the economic case for independence is non-existent. We had a £4 billion shortfall before the price drop far less now.

    1. Hear hear!

      And I think the shortfall was about 12 billion, before the slump.


    2. Don't be silly, chaps. Oil is just an amazing bonus. The idea that a country can't be economically viable without oil is self-evidently ludicrous.

    3. No one's arguing economic viability James. I never have. A man in a cave is 'viable' - I've seen hermits.

      The real argument here is one of cost vs benefit. With oil in decline and without the protection of the UK state, the cost of independence would far outweigh the benefits. You'd be paying more in and getting less out than you do today - all so you can paint your face blue and shout freedom.


    4. Rest assured, Aldo, that just because I haven't got the time or energy to argue with you at the moment doesn't mean that you're not hopelessly, stupidly, offensively wrong.

    5. Oh come on James! We are in deficit. Oil is a large part of our economy and its in free fall. Now, Scotland can survive as an independent country. But do we want to survive or prosper? Do we want to leave the UK when it would put us in a worse position?

      These are all serious questions. I don't see enhancing my "Scottishness" as being worth higher taxes, lower spending and reduced cross border cooperation.


    6. Since not all the figures are available to the Scottish Government, and any from the UK are subject to the creative talents of Westminster, I wouldn't assume that we are I deficit.

    7. @James

      The £4 billion mentioned above is the relative difference between what our revenue is with a geographic share of the North Sea and our spending in the 2013-14 figures. If you were to remove the North Sea entirely (i.e. if it were treated as a bonus) then the gap would double to £8 billion. In other words on top of the existing shortfall we'd need to make up another £4 billion.

      In a literal sense we can survive without oil revenue, but that doesn't make it a bonus when removing it would necessitate a tax rise of around £800 per person or cutting our spending by 6% overnight (which is what those figures imply).

    8. Bjsalba, the Scottish government's own figures prove we are in deficit. Scotland's deficit is about double the UK deficit, as a percentage of GDP.

    9. Its not a real deficit. To use an mechanics analogy, its not a "closed" system.

      We have a high GDP and we spend what we are given to spend. But this talk of needing to raise taxes "survive" and fiscal "black holes" is simply unionist hyperbole repeated so often it becomes accepted as fact without it actually meaning anything.

      Its like saying if one year my wife puts £4000 into the joint account, simply because we agreed she can spend £4500, we have magically generated a situation where I can prove she cant afford to leave me.

      If we were given more, the deficit would suddenly be huge, and if were given less it would be smaller. Meaningless. Just a fiscal corollary of Parkinsons law.

      Particulary when we are talking about a few percent difference. Not a bloody black hole.

    10. So, just making the assumption you are correct pragmatist / Aldo and the Tories are hugely generous to those that reject them at the ballot box, what you are saying is that you are both content subsidy junkies, happy to live off the backs of others?

    11. If we raise 53 bn per annum and get back 65 bn per annum, then we are subsidised to the tune of 12 billion pounds by the British government. If we ever left the UK and wanted to continue to spend 65 bn pounds a year, we would need to raise taxes. Provided an austerity ratio of 100% tax increases to 0% cuts proved successful (highly unlikely), then we'd be paying 23% more in taxes, simply to keep our standard of public services and welfare on a par with what it is presently.

      Only a fool looks at two identical products and buys the one costing 1 pound 23p instead of 1 pound.

      In the real world, a generalised tax burden increase of 23% simply wont fly. People will leave. They will flee to England and beyond, taking their wealth and talent out of Scotland.

      So that leaves us facing the prospect of spending cuts - and quite large ones (far larger than the tories would inflict). Can you imagine the crazy socialists who currently make up a fair sized chunk of the SNP support achieving their 'dream' only to discover it's really a nightmare?

      By that point, I hope to be well away because Scotland will surely slip into violence.

    12. Only England does riots.

      Hasn't been on in Scotland since what, the early 1900s. Well, not until the British rioted in George Square after the iref.

    13. Scottish skier, I am perfectly content with the idea of wealthy parts of a country subsidising the poorer parts. Even in an independent Scotland if it were ever to happen I'm sure the richer parts of Edinburgh and Aberdeen would subsidise the poorer parts of Glasgow and Dundee.

      It's called living in a civilised society. You don't really understand toryism if you think it's about survival of the fittest. At the extreme end of right wing economics, yes, you do get some people like that. At the extreme end of left wing economics you have Stalin and Chairman Mao. I wouldn't try to compare you to them.

      The hospitals and schools need to stay open. The police need to continue to keep the streets safe. If these things require subsidy, so be it. What I really object to is our continued funding of lazy slobs who choose not to work.

    14. Scottish Skier obviously hasn't seen footage of the 1980 Scottish Cup Final.

    15. Oh I get Toryism - see my post below.

      Current Tories would make Thatcher and her best mate Pinochet blush.

    16. And at Rangers and Celtic matches I see British Flags and Irish Flags. Not Scottish ones.

    17. At the old firm games you are more likely to see the flags of Israel and the PLO than you are a Saltire.

      The people who wave the Irish and PLO flags - they vote yes.

      Scotland - what a bonkers place. I think we need the stabilising influence of 59 million fellow Brits, who stopped caring about whether you're a Catholic or a Proddy oh.....about 300 years ago?

    18. Note, as a just left of centre social democrat, I could vote for a moderate centre-right party if I felt things were moving too far left. I like balance; hence social democrat.

      The English Tories are extreme right. More economically so than UKIP. No chance I'd vote for them; I don't like extreme politics of any form.

      That's why they can't get votes in Scotland. I would normally be a prime Tory target. Postgraduate degree educated, professional career, home owner, part owner of an SME. I am 'awright' jack generally. I want to pay more tax. Will help pay down the debt and provide better public services / welfare for those less lucky in life.

    19. "Scotland - what a bonkers place"

    20. Can the Queen be Catholic?

      It's only the Brits (in terms of national identity) that seem to worry about this issue. Not met a Scot that does.

    21. "Its like saying if one year my wife puts £4000 into the joint account, simply because we agreed she can spend £4500, we have magically generated a situation where I can prove she cant afford to leave me. If we were given more, the deficit would suddenly be huge, and if were given less it would be smaller. Meaningless. Just a fiscal corollary of Parkinsons law. Particulary when we are talking about a few percent difference. Not a bloody black hole."

      You've called the figures "meaningless" and a "few percent of difference" when we're talking about flicking a switch and suddenly having to find an extra £7-8 billion (2015-16 estimate) in extra tax/cuts overnight. That isn't a few percent, it's roughly the size of the entire Scottish education budget - or a tax rise of £1,600 per person just to spend exactly the same level of spending as we do already. If this is all meaningless then perhaps you could give a quick summary of the spending you'd cut to get to this level (and before you say defence, you could cut the entire defence budget without even generating half of the revenue required).

      Nobody is saying we can't do this, despite that particular straw man taking a kicking whenever anyone cites the figures in a discussion. The question is why should we do it over, say, waiting it out for 5-10 years and seeing if the figures improve? I'm pragmatic, hence the name: if the figures change I'll change my opinion. There's nothing pragmatic however about throwing ourselves off a cliff simply because we lack the patience to wait for better circumstances.

    22. "You've called the figures "meaningless" and a "few percent of difference" when we're talking about flicking a switch and suddenly having to find an extra £7-8 billion (2015-16 estimate) in extra tax/cuts overnight."

      No one "has to find" a deficit overnight. Thats scaremongering. Every country runs a deficit. Scotlands average Deficit/GDP is not that much worse than UK. It fluctuates wildly year to year, but we're probably sitting at about 7.5% compared to 5% for UK. So thats 3%, THATS what we'd have to find early on. Not the whole deficit.

      You addressed my few % difference point, but you didnt address "meaningless". Scotland has NO CONTROL over the grant, it has to spend it, it can't carry excess over, so it simply spends what it is given. Hence scrapping bridge tolls, free prescriptions, free check ups, cheap tuition fees, generous infratructure investment, etc etc. Much of which benefits people who can well afford to be paying towards these things. Scot gov spends it because it has to. As I said, if the block grant was increased overnight, Scotlands GERS deficit/GDP would increase overnight, and that "cliff" you talk about suddenly gets higher, and your wait for "better circumstances" gets longer. Convenient. But does that make the FFA/Indy scenario less sustainable? No, not in the slightest.

      The SNP, or any Scot Gov for that matter, are kept in a cage by the Devo arrangements, its a Catch 22 situation. If they don't spend the money, they lose it. If the do spend it they are accused of running an unsustainable deficit.

      How about simply demonstrating how the books could be balanced? Again, its the same Catch22. ....oh, and the fact Scotland doesn't have any books. Which pretty much kills the argument. Again, convenient.

      Its a stand-off. Neither side in the debate can benefit by standing up and saying "here is how Scotland could cut spending overnight by 3%". So the two sides just throw half-truths at each other.

    23. "No one "has to find" a deficit overnight. Thats scaremongering. Every country runs a deficit. Scotlands average Deficit/GDP is not that much worse than UK. It fluctuates wildly year to year, but we're probably sitting at about 7.5% compared to 5% for UK. So thats 3%, THATS what we'd have to find early on. Not the whole deficit."

      You've completely misunderstood the situation. The £7-8 billion gap isn't what we need to get rid of the deficit, it's the gap that needs to be plugged simply to stand still - i.e. to maintain the same deficit we effectively have now as part of the UK. If we wanted to eradicate the entire deficit overnight the figure would be infinitely higher. At no point anywhere has it been suggested that we should be getting rid of the entire deficit so quite why you've taken it upon yourself to "debunk" something nobody is saying in the first place is beyond me.


      "Hence scrapping bridge tolls, free prescriptions, free check ups, cheap tuition fees, generous infratructure investment, etc etc. Much of which benefits people who can well afford to be paying towards these things. Scot gov spends it because it has to."

      Essentially what you're trying to argue here is that Westminster is so generous in its apportionment of funding to Scotland that we effectively spend large quantities of money on things we don't need and could easily do away with overnight. That's the exact opposite of what independence campaigners have been arguing for the last two years: namely that we're consistently exploited, have our resources pilfered by London to fund expensive train networks and whatever else.

      You're certainly more right than they are, but the idea we can sacrifice spending on that level without it affecting people's lives meaningfully is pretty far-fetched and still leaves us with the question of why we should be doing this in the first place. There are some pretty good reasons why spending is higher in Scotland, such as the rural nature of the country - which makes public service delivery more difficult/expensive. It's not all populist universal benefits to give the SNP a boost in the opinion polls.

      If you want to make that argument however then do so honestly. Go out onto the streets, claim that much of what we fund today (free prescriptions, free tuition fees included) is unnecessary, and ask people if they want to sacrifice all of that spending as the cost for being an independent country (rather than live under the tyranny of an overly generous Westminster system that gives us more money than we need). I'm pretty sure the answer won't be a resounding vote in favour of independence, but at least we'll be getting an honest case for the concept for once and I'd wish you well on that basis.

    24. No country has ever voted for independence based on economics. Sorry pragmatist; it's not how it works.

      They vote for independence because they no longer wish to be ruled by the other country that is currently governing them. That's it. Economics can play a part, but if it does, independence will happen when a country is doing badly economically, not well. If it was doing really well, it will be generally happy with current governance. Ironically therefore, your long posts about how Scotland economically would face a tough time if it went independent actually lends support to Yes; if Scotland is doing badly as part of the union, it should leave, and quickly.

      The single biggest reason people stated for voting Yes was governance. It was actually the only reason really, but people can be funny about saying things like that (why? do you hate the English?) so they might state 'Oh, because I thought Scotland would be richer' etc.

      Yes didn't win because enough people figured that UK governance wasn't that bad still and well, some more autonomy would probably be forthcoming surely (would Westminster really risk the union by not following through here?)...

      People will vote Yes when and only when enough have decided that UK governance is just no longer palatable.

      The two things to watch here are the Tory majority and of course what happens to Labour. GERS figures - which are a completely useless measure of an independent Scotland's finances as they are for Scotland in the UK and so include all the UK costs that come with that - won't make a blind bit of difference (I never so a poll change even the slightest smidgen in response to good or bad GERS figures).

      A independent Scotland will not be a land of milk and honey. No country is like that, not even the wealthiest. An iScotland will even have 'Tories' in government from time to time, just like other countries. The difference will be it won't be someone else's Tories and that's the key.

      Anyway, a Labour collapse due to Corbyn is the most immediate final straw on the horizon.

    25. Most countries that vote for independence do so due to reasons of war, persecution, rejecting colonial status or otherwise some other reason such as difference of religion, race, culture or language.

      None of this applies to Scotland. Therefore the overriding concern is in relation to economics and, so far, that particular argument strongly favours the unionists. How could it not? We are 8% of the population of an island nation - a nation that has punched above its weight for centuries and become one of the most powerful and richest on the planet.

      Scottish nationalists have nothing to offer - except a vague socialistic appeal to the heart over the head.

    26. "one of the most powerful and richest on the planet."

      What power? What riches? We have one of greatest power and wealth inequalities in the developed world. And worse still, the inequality is ridiculously geographical. All the power and wealth are in one corner of the island.

      Scotland could have been one of the richest countries on the planet. Instead we are reduced to accepting hand outs to make ends meet.

      Scotland is poorer for being in the Union. That is indisputable.

      "Scottish nationalists have nothing to offer - except a vague socialistic appeal to the heart over the head."

      Hope for a more sensible and efficient distribution of wealth and opportunities than is currently in place in our embarrassingly lopsided arrangement is hope that comes from the head. England has proved over and over they are not interested in a fair society. Even their working class vote Tory.

    27. And they presumably do so because they abhor statism and believe that they should keep the vast majority of their hard earned money. There's nothing wrong with that - there are different routes that can be pursued to a fairer, better, more just society and empowering individuals to change their own lives and communities is one of them.

      If the UK is such a terrible place, why is half the world trying to get here?

      It boggles the mind that while the world's poorest and most downtrodden are headed to these shores, a sizeable minority in one of the UK's constituent countries wants to leave the UK, because they believe they are poor and downtrodden!

      No one in Britain - and I do stress NO ONE - has ever had to endure absolute poverty. We've been wrapped in cotton wool since the day and hour we were born. But now some people are taking this wonderful status for granted, selfishly demanding more and more, and biting the very hand that feeds. They are nothing more than spoiled brats.


  16. Suicide rates falling in Scotland:

    Rising in England due to the Tories:

    Last time the Tories were in power they killed ~35,000 by this method:

    Overall, they say, the figures suggest that 35,000 people would not have died had the Conservatives not been in power, equivalent to one suicide for every day of the 20th century or two for every day that the Conservatives ruled.

    My worry is that the trend in Scotland will be reversed. The Tories already have the DWP intentionally sanctioning people to make them ill, even though they shouldn’t be sanctioned. This is a happening in at least 50% of cases.

    1. Maybe the English are topping themselves because the SNP keep slagging them off?

      Or, more likely, random fluctuation....

  17. I find this idea of Scottish exceptionalism really intruiging. 'The Scottish don't riot - that's what the English do', 'Scotland cares about people - England doesn't'.

    I can accept that Russians living in and around Siberia are probably culturally different to Russians who live in Eastern Europe. I can accept that the culture in areas of China bordering on the middle east will be different to the culture prevalent in Beijing.

    But these people live thousands of miles apart. Ethnicity, religion, race and global politics all come into play.

    Britain, on the other hand, is an island 700 miles long - and unless you think the schism between Presbyterians and Episcopalians is still significant in 21st century Britain, then there is no significant cultural difference between the Scots and the English.

    I also think it's irresponsible to say things like "well WE would never do that - no - that kind of business is for that rotten lot, over there".

    All human beings have the potential to do awful things, if the circumstances are right.

    1. Scottish are not exceptional. Only unionists talk about that idea. I was just responding to you to show that the English are not that different from the Scots each time you tried to label Scots as heathen barbarians in some form. Each country has its different good and bad points.

      Same for the French which make up half my extended friends and family. I find the French closer to Scots, at least in terms of left-right position.

      Main difference is that Scots live in Scotland, English in England, French in France.

      All the same. Just a little different and mainly just because we live in different countries.

      Of course Dave things the British are exceptional:

      Britain was "still greatest country on Earth" claimed the prime minister

      Likewise Tony:

      "The British are special - the world knows it, in our innermost thoughts we know it. This is the greatest nation on earth."

      Also thatcher thought the English marvellous:

      because we English who are a marvellous people are really very generous to Scotland and very generous to Wales

      Thatcher of course not being a British PM, but an English one; hence shitting on Scotland.

    2. Here's the main difference:

      Not something you can change really. Not without huge effort.

      Was Labour that managed briefly with post war consensus socialism.

  18. 2016 - SNP 1ST / GREEN 2ND It's the only way forward

    1. Could turn the SNP into a minority grouping in parliament, with Greens holding balance of power. You would be naive to think the unionist bloc wont make some kind of pitch towards the Greens to get them onside.

      From the perspective of achieving independence, 2016 may well prove to be irrelevant. If it isn't in the manifestos of any of the major parties, it's game over for indy before a single vote has even been cast.