Sunday, August 23, 2015

Military to Corbyn : Don't apologise, it'll mean we did something wrong

Colonel Richard Kemp is turning purple at the thought of the next Labour leader issuing a formal apology for the party taking Britain into the illegal and disastrous Iraq War -

"[Corbyn] would not only be telling those troops and their families their sacrifice was for nothing but also their actions were illegal, immoral and dishonourable."

Rubbish.  The troops were bravely doing their duty and following instructions, which ultimately came from a government run by the Labour party. Indeed, one of the groups Corbyn will presumably be apologising to is the families of British soldiers killed during the invasion, who were every bit as much victims of Blair's illegal actions as the Iraqi dead were.

"Or will Mr Corbyn be apologising for the deaths of perhaps 219,000 Iraqi civilians killed following the 2003 invasion?  Maybe he is unaware that these tragic people were not killed by British or US forces..."

Woah, woah, woah.  Is the colonel really saying that NONE of those civilians were killed by British or US forces?  I think he might find that claim rather difficult to sustain.  And of course the more pertinent point is this : regardless of who killed each individual, how many of those civilians would still be alive now if Iraq had never been illegally invaded in the first place?

I'd suggest that the colonel start to reconcile himself to an apology.  It's been several years since Nick Clegg denounced the invasion as illegal while speaking on behalf of the government at Prime Minister's Questions.  At around the same time, the incumbent Labour leader publicly admitted the war was "wrong".  Corbyn will now go a step further and apologise.  He'll probably never do so as the occupant of 10 Downing Street, but the direction of travel is unmistakable - a government apology for Iraq is as inevitable as the Bloody Sunday apology was.  Let's just hope it doesn't take quite as long.

*  *  *

Our old friend "TSE of PB" -

"After a decade of ‘austerity’ perhaps the country will want to try something different, particularly if it is felt that austerity contributed to a future recession. If you’re a Scottish Nationalist, you might want to skip the next paragraph."

Not at all, old chap, it's just more of the standard "too wee, too poor, too stupid" fare, and we've got fairly strong constitutions after the nonsense that was chucked at us last year.  But there again, TSE, you might want to skip this link.  You might also want to resist the temptation to re-read your embarrassing pre-election piece about how Labour needed to steer clear of any deal with the SNP, because the SNP slate of candidates were of such "low quality".  That assessment seemed to be mostly based on sniffy articles in the Telegraph about Mhairi Black being twenty years old and working-class, and Chris Law having a ponytail.  Oooh, the horror!


  1. Even though I'm not part of the Corbyn fan club, I don't think an apology for the decable would be a bad thing. Politically, I don't think it will win too many voters over, given that Iraq wasn't much of an issue in the last election (And will be even more distant in the next one). That said, it could be a good opportunity for Labour to move on and distance itself from such disastrous and unpopular foreign interventions.

    1. " Politically, I don't think it will win too many voters over, given that Iraq wasn't much of an issue in the last election"

      Trust will always be an issue and a crucial one in any election.

      Aside from comedy Pouters, the nasty party, NeoCon twats and the Westminster bubble - it is accepted that Iraq was a catastrophe and a defining point for Blairism.

      "Never trust a Blairite" was a phrase that gained most of it's potency from the incompetent and numerous lies told to the public by Blair and his idiot cheerleaders in their futile and dishonest attempts to justify the Iraq invasion.

      Labour will not magically get that trust back through words alone though Corbyn is at least bright enough to realise they sure as fuck won't get it back by pretending Iraq was anything other than a disaster. So to even start getting that trust back they have to face up to their culpability on it.

      (Incidently, It's also the reason the lib dems don't have a chance in hell of regaining trust with words alone. Particularly while they continue with the lunacy of Clegg remaining as an MP and show zero sign of dismantling Clegg's ostrich faction from key decision making positions and jobs in the lib dem heirarchy. Farron and the lid dems are dooming themselves to irrelevance for a decade or so by still relying on the same imbeciles/'master strategists' who thought radio chat shows would rehabilitate the utterly toxic Clegg.)

      Nor is Iraq simply an historic issue as the current chaos in Iraq and the middle east can all be traced directly to the NeoCon dumbasses and their willing poodle Blair who thought invading Iraq was a splendid idea. To further clarify, the inept fop Cameron has sought and received backing from Labour and the lib dems to keep attacking Iraq. (because, as we all know, dropping tons of bombs into a bloody civil war couldn't possibly be a bad idea!)

      So Corbyn will absolutely have to go further than mere words when it comes to foreign policy as we shall see with Trident too. (That would be the Trident which are ACTUAL Weapons of Mass Destructon kept close to the somewhat populous City of Glasgow, instead of the fictional WMD which existed in Tony Blair and George W Bush's imagination and dodgy dossiers)

      "That said, it could be a good opportunity for Labour to move on and distance itself"

      Not a chance.

      Blair has no intention of moving on as his increasingly boggle-eyed and counterproductive 'interventions' into politics prove.

      Chilcott is one of the most damning indictments of Iraq ever seen just by dint of the staggering length of time the Westminster establishment and Blair's willing lackeys have managed to delay it. If Chilcott didn't print a word on Iraq and remained forever delayed it would still confirm all that the public believes about the complete untrustworthiness of Blair and the establishment toadies who support him. The longer the Chilcott face goes on the less what it says will matter but the issue will be alive as long as Blair, Bush and idiotic NeoCon foreign policies continue.

  2. The actions of British troops were illegal, immoral and dishonourable. "I was only following orders" is not a defence.

    1. In all fairness to the British troops, they were deposing a tyrant, not gassing Jews.

    2. Oh well that's ok then. Bombing women and children into small pieces is of course morally acceptable as long as some politicians provide you a "justification", ie make stuff up.

    3. Page 1 of Queen's regulations states that is is your duty to disobey an illegal order.
      If your CO orders you to shoot a bus full of Iraqi schoolchildren then you are duty bound to refuse and also your CO if they carry on trying to make you commit War Crimes.

      There was no excuse for any members of the British Armed Forces. They knew it was "the supreme crime from which all others stem". But trained killers were so keen to start killing people that they just didn't care.

    4. An interesting point about armies...

      In times of war you have conscription so the army represents the general younger male population as a whole fairly well.

      Outside of conscription - which has been the case since WWII - it is made up essentially of, well, mercenaries; they have chosen to kill as a career.

      It's why for example you don't tend to get war poets unless there is conscription.

      Certainly, the men we e.g. commemorate who died storming the beaches of Normandy are not the same as those who stormed Baghdad.

      Hence 'Veterans day' - i.e. when remembering / paying respect to those who defended the country - is very different from' Armed Forces Day' which has replaced it under the increasingly militaristic UK.

    5. The involvement of British and US troops in the torture and murder of Iraqi civilians is well-documented.

    6. I think you are all missing something important here.

      The invasion of Iraq wasn't illegal. Saddam was in breach of multiple UN resolutions and, most gravely, had breached the peace terms arrived at during the end of the first gulf war - a conflict that did have UN blessing.

      Domestically, the British government's legal advisers said it was legal and parliament voted for it.

      So, the idea that British troops have committed a crime is complete nonsense. Not only that - it's offensive nonsense coming from a bunch of internet warriors who would fill their pants at the sight of their own shadow.

    7. Yes, the invasion of Iraq was illegal. Breaching UN resolutions does not in itself justify a war to remove an offending government. No UN approval was given to the second Iraq war as you well know, and Kofi Annan said that from the point of view of the UN, it was illegal.

      Apart from that of course, separate to the question of the legality of the invasion is the legality of what British troops did when they got there. Torture, killing of civilians and other war crimes are also always illegal.

    8. Hilarious watching the low I.Q. Daily Mail 'views' of a Pouter fuckwit like Dildo parroting Blair's pitiful propaganda. No doubt Dildo was dumb and gullible enough to think the 'WMD 45 mins from use' were real when the Mail dutifuly reprinted Blair bullshit from the dodgy dossier.

      It's also vastly amusing that Dildo doesn't seem to understand that he's the furious wee NeoCon Chickenhawk frantically beating the drums for war from the safety of his keyboard while it's the rest of us laughing at him and pointing out the obvious bullshit and propaganda that idiots like him fell for and somehow still believe.

      But then we already knew that Pouters like him are laughably out of touch with the real world. Since many of us have family and friends in the forces it's not as if we're about take the 'views' an ignorant wee shite like Dildo seriously since he would piss himself in fear at the sight of an angry voter, never mind the wars he squeaks about in childish jingoistic terms. :0)

    9. Hello, Mick. How are you today? :0)


    10. I'm no champion of the Iraq war. I think the whole thing was mightily stupid, poorly executed and some of the motivations for it probably rather selfish / immoral.

      But that doesn't mean the Iraq war was illegal. It doesn't mean our troops are now morally equivalent to the Wehrmacht. And it doesn't mean that the Iraqis weren't given a chance at building a better society post Saddam and blew it.

      Some posters around here can't understand nuanced arguments. I'm no supporter of Blair.


    11. Possibly morally equivalent to the Wehrmacht but not to the SS.
      The accusation is that it was a war of aggression. I think that it's hard to justify the Iraq invasion but I'm uncomfortable with the idea that it is illegal. For example I doubt that the war in Sierra Leone or Kosovo was strictly legal but I support those wars.

      As it is, the culpability of a war of aggression is not that of the soldiers but those who conceive and plan it.
      At a minimum Blair was guilty of treason against the British people under British law for his conniving with a foreign power to deceive the public.

    12. Blair is guilty of treason for a number of reasons - the main one in my mind being the creation of a Scottish parliament that would eventually go on to become a nationalist echo chamber.

      I'm not overly concerned about Blair. But our brave British servicemen and women are sacrosanct.


    13. Even the ones that tortured Iraqi civilians?

  3. In deposing Saddam Hussein and ridding Iraq of the Ba'athist regime and party, we offered them an opportunity to build something new and better. They chose sectarian division and civil war over democracy and peace.

    We've learned an important lesson from Iraq - which is that Arab countries function best when led by secular dictators prepared to use brutal collective punishments to keep their populations in check.

    It's a lesson we should not have needed to learn the hard way.

    1. Wow, how to be a gullible fool. If you think those were the motivations for George Bush and Tony Blair I suggest you go through to your bathroom, look in the mirror and slap yourself repeatedly until common sense dawns on you.

    2. It was all about oil Aldo. You're not much of a Tory if you don't know that! :-)

    3. Aldo i think I preferred you as a troll. Now wheesht with that nonsense. If you're going to hang around here, you could at least start to seriously reconsider some different viewpoints or drop the msm line for a while until you do. Otherwise, best get back to the Britnat sites and contemplate your red, white and blue navel. Michael.

    4. "we offered them an opportunity to build something new and better"

      Aw man Aldo thats your best one so far. A beauty. And for someone who posts so many times on here its like there are six of you doing shifts.

      Its bad enough you coming on here with your "acceptable in the 80s" Thatcherite nonsense. Now youre digging up foreign policy concepts from 100 years ago.

      Acceptable in the 1880s maybe.

      Seriously, what are you smoking?

    5. Did we or did we not free them from one of the worst dictators since Jo Stalin?

      And did they - or did they not - take that opportunity we gave them and screw it up royally?

      I think there were several motivations for the Iraq war. One of them was the idea that planting a 'seed' of democracy in the middle east would eventually revolutionise - and, ultimately, westernise - the whole region. That didn't pan out so well.

      But, as we saw with the yes campaign, man likes to dream.

    6. I recall the plan was more to 'Force democracy' on them through 'shock and awe' = bombing the shit out of them basically. Then for British and US oil companies to get a hold of Iraq's assets.

      When's Chilcot out?

    7. Chilcot will be published around the time of the next Scottish independence referendum, lol - probably sometime around 2078 :0)

      Forcing democracy on countries only works if democracy is a viable prospect. We now know that, in most of the middle east, it isn't.


  4. I wish that TSE guy would learn how to use commas and full stops properly. His inability to do so makes his articles quite awkward to read.

  5. To those of us who were around at the time,it was clear that Bush was going to bash Iraq in retaliation for 9/11 because it was vaguely plausible but more importantly because it was an easy target.
    No one was surprised when the British establishment fell in line,that is what they do but the gyrations of Blair and Straw trying to legitimise their position was absolutely pathetic.
    It probably wouldn't have mattered who was in charge in London at the time,the response would have been the same....anything you say Uncle Sam.

  6. The (debt-fuelled) tight oil fracking bubble temporarily turned the US's interest away from Middle Eastern Oil. As that bubble has burst - very expensive tight shale oil was never going to provide the US with energy independence - so they are back over there talking to Iran and trying to work out how they can, erm, bomb Iraq back into stability again.

  7. Corbyn thinks Scotland should be governed from London,England.That makes him a wanker.

  8. Rubbish. The troops were bravely doing their duty and following instructions, which ultimately came from a government run by the Labour party. Indeed, one of the groups Corbyn will presumably be apologising to is the families of British soldiers killed during the invasion, who were every bit as much victims of Blair's illegal actions as the Iraqi dead were.

    Disagree James. Those who serve(d) in the armed forces know that they could be involved in an illegal war such as Iraq. I agree that it was the fault of the Labour government, but I don't agree with you saying that the army suffered as much as the Iraqi civilians did. That is wrong imo. I don't have a problem with any politician apologising to the families of armed forced members killed in Iraq. However, it is disingenuous to group them in the same category as with the Iraqi civilians killed. To say combatants killed are every bit victims as civilians killed in most conflicts is wrong imo.

  9. If Corbyn thinks an apology will help, fair enough. I'd be better impressed though if and when he throws those responsible out of the Labour party.

  10. "Not at all, old chap, it's just more of the standard "too wee, too poor, too stupid" fare, and we've got fairly strong constitutions after the nonsense that was chucked at us last year."

    Citing "too wee, too poor, too stupid" is basically a mechanism people use to avoid having to think about an argument. If anyone points at the GERS figures, the fact oil has just hit $43 a barrel, the hole in our finances or any other completely legitimate argument as to why independence might not be a great idea economically it can all be safely ignored with a nice easy line. We can pretend it's a problem with the person talking about the figures, rather than, you know, the figures themselves being a problem.

    Which is of course why independence campaigners made the line popular in the first place. They don't want people to think about the subject, they want people to get angry and start shouting down anyone who raises an objection.

    1. Out of touch Pouters like yourself and the BritNat parties were shrieking about the oil price all the way through the westminster election

      How did that turn out for you?

      #More Pandas than tory MPs
      #More Pandas than Labour MPs
      #More Pandas than Lib Dem MPs

      Clearly a winner. :o)

      While we won 56 out of 59 MPs. Oh dear!

      And since you are obviously from Stornfront Lite/PB, are you proud of TSE, the nasty party moderator/editor often in charge of that comedy westminster bubble site?

      You know, the TSE who lied about his own child dying to try and welch on a bet?


      It's a complete mystery why many tory voters were too ashamed to admit to pollsters they were voting for the nasty party, isn't it?

      Sick,Barbaric & Evil Tory Policies drives disabled man from his home

    2. Still on about economics eh.

      As I said before, economics will not decide the matter. If it was an economic argument, then Scottish (born) people wouldn't have voted Yes in majority while rUK (born) people didn't. 'Scottish' people (in terms of birthplace national identity) support independence, 'English/British' people don't. If it was largely an economics matter, levels of support would be independent of national identity.

      Likewise people under 65 support independence in majority, but people over 65 don't. If it was an economic matter, there shouldn't be a sudden generational disconnect like there is; in this case because the over 65's simply more strongly identify as British as they come from the post-war consensus period where Britishness peaked in Scotland.

      You can waffle all you like, but independence is never decided on economics. No country has ever voted for independence based largely on finances. A minor factor at most. People may respond that it is a big reason for them, but all too often it is because they are using it as an excuse, not a reason, having based their decision on more fundamental factors such as national identity and the belief that their country should be self-governing.

      Certainly, if you are going to look at economics, picking out a single year to focus on just makes you look silly. You need to look at the long term picture; say the past few decades, although even that is no guide to the future. You also need to take out the costs to Scotland of being in the UK which it wouldn't need to pay if independent. Having two parliaments is an unnecessary cost for a start, yet that's included in Scottish spending in GERS.

      Ultimately though, the economics of an independent Scotland can only be known if you have independence. They will depend on the how well the economy is managed versus a plethora of outside factors. It would be hard for Scotland to be governed more poorly than the UK has been with its large deficit and enormous debts with zero oil fund.

      You quoting the low oil price also makes you look particularly foolish; you should really be using a long term average, not the spot price. I mean if the price rockets - which it will do in a year or two due to major cut backs in field developments - will you be on here arguing for immediate independence? Working in the industry, this is my third oil downturn. Just sitting and waiting for the eventual price climb again. The companies with money are busy buying up assets ready for the medium term return to realistic prices; the days of cheap oil are long, long gone. That’s why folk went after very expensive tight oil; not because we suddenly developed the tech, but because prices were so high.
      Nope, it’s not economics; you support the union because you are British. There's nothing wrong with that, but in the end that is what determines whether people can be persuaded to independence. It is not really ‘logical’ (national identity is in the end an emotional thing) at all, but that's humans for you. Same applies for people who identify as Scottish; they will make up all sorts of reasons for supporting independence, but that's not what is ultimately governing their decision, not deep down.

      As noted 'Scottish' people support independence majority, 'British/English' do not. It's that simple. As the number of Scottish identifying people is increasing while the number of British identifying is reducing, the union is unlikely to survive much longer.

      The Tories are helping all this along, by persuading more people to support independence. What happens to Labour is also a key factor and probably the biggest one to watch right now; if there’s no left revolution then the UK will be screwed even quicker.

    3. Aye Mick, it's stuff like the fact the Tories are killing people that will decide the matter, not GERS figures from good or bad years.

      Benefits cuts and low pay are killing people, warns NHS Scotland

    4. @Mick

      That's an excellent demonstration of precisely what I'm talking about - you've written a very large comment there that amounts to little more than a personal attack: I'm from some other website, I'm a Britnat, I'm this that and the next thing.

      The first instinct always seems to be to shout people down rather than address the argument they're actually making.

    5. "Pragmatist" (ahem) : You are a Brit Nat - that's not an insult, it's a statement of fact. You do seem to have been trying to conceal that in your first post here (for reasons that only you can explain), but thankfully you've now dropped the pretence. Similarly, being from another website can be either true or untrue, but it's hardly an "insult".

      I'm afraid you're going to have to resolve your hang-ups for yourself, rather than blame others for them.

    6. Your reheated GERs pish has been dealt with dozens of times before and scottish_skier did so again. It is desperate, desperate stuff that amounts to nothing more than the terrible "burden" of oil revenues! LOL

      The westminster election results for Scotland tells us all we need to know about the potency of Daily Mail style Pouter attacks like yours.

      But then, we already knew it would never suffice since the omnipanic from the BritNats at the last minute during IndyRef1 did not focus on childish financial scaremongering but giving more powers.

      Rest assured, we know precisely why that was.

      You, clearly, do not.

      That's why you are out of touch and still trapped inside the westminster bubble of Stornfront Lite/PB. You will learn nothing of value there when it comes to scottish politics or indeed politics in general. Be certain of that.

    7. @SS "If it was largely an economics matter, levels of support would be independent of national identity."

      Clearly both factors have an impact on support. Those with a strong Scottish identity are more likely to support independence, but the polling (the £500 question; the Ashcroft poll on why people voted the way they did) shows the economic impact is hugely important as well. In fact if it were a referendum on identity then "Scottishness" would win by a mile, yet the No side still won the referendum on independence.

      In any case how people vote is a completely different issue to the normative case for and against independence, which is what we're actually discussing.


      "Certainly, if you are going to look at economics, picking out a single year to focus on just makes you look silly. You need to look at the long term picture."

      That's entirely correct, which is why most reasonable people cite the last 16 years of GERS reports (given that's how long you can go back using the current method). In 12 of those years Scotland would have been worse off in a fiscal sense if it were independent, ignoring any other cost. To find a sustained period in which independence did make sense fiscally you have to go back much further than that.

      If anyone is guilty of using one year to make a long-term point about our finances it's the Yes side given they based almost all of their campaigning on the 2011-12 report (which was one of those 16 years in which Scotland would have been better off fiscally due to a temporary upturn in oil revenues). But I don't particularly care about which campaign is more economical with the truth. What I care about is whether there's any reason to think independence is actually going to benefit the people who live here. There's no case for that in any of the figures that I can see.


      "You quoting the low oil price also makes you look particularly foolish; you should really be using a long term average, not the spot price."

      Clearly it's "foolish" to mention something that would have a huge impact on our economy - and intelligent, by implication, to ignore it...

      Of course the oil price fluctuates. It fluctuated a great deal in the last 16 years when the figures above were calculated. The argument has never been that we should avoid independence solely because of a temporary fall in the oil price, but that doesn't make the oil price irrelevant.

      Oil revenue isn't a bonus, it would be a vital part of being able to maintain current levels of public spending. Even with a consistent high oil price we'd struggle to do that. In the 2013-14 GERS report the average oil price was over $100 a barrel and we were still in a position in which there was a shortfall of around £4 billion in our finances. In practice to prevent instability we'd also have to take a certain percentage of our revenue every year and hold it in reserve to compensate for fluctuations in the oil price, which is another cost to independence in the short-term.

      All of which is to say that claiming the oil price is irrelevant, when the capacity of an independent Scottish economy to maintain current levels of spending is entirely dependent on it, is a frankly bizarre perspective. But to answer your question, would I change my view on independence if we were consistently getting figures showing it would benefit our economy? Absolutely, that's what being pragmatic is about. Can you claim the same level of pragmatism or are you simply intent on independence at all costs?

    8. Scottish Skier, economics has decided the matter. The referendum is over, "No" won - primarily over economic concerns - and the SNP doesn't even want to discuss indy at their autumn conference.


    9. @Mick "That's why you are out of touch and still trapped inside the westminster bubble of Stornfront Lite/PB. You will learn nothing of value there when it comes to scottish politics or indeed politics in general. Be certain of that."

      I'm used to this odd delusion that anyone who voted No is a diehard "Britnat" - do we seriously think there are over 2 million "Britnats" in Scotland? You seem to have taken that one step further, though, and now evidently think anyone who argues a point on here is some kind of quasi-spy from "Stornfront Lite" (presumably that's supposed to mean Political Betting), which is about as bizarre as it gets.

      What I would say is that a lot of those who are passionate about this subject on both sides seem to have a complete inability to accept that people can simply weigh up the pros and cons and come to a different viewpoint. I don't begrudge Yes voters their right to come to a different opinion. There are many ways to look at it beyond economics even if that to me is the most important element. If you can't bring yourself to show other people the same level of respect then that's really your issue, not mine.

    10. "The argument has never been that we should avoid independence solely because of a temporary fall in the oil price"

      Might be a touch more convincing if that wasn't precisely your goto 'argument' every singe time you spam this site with the exact same tired shrieking about GERS under a variety of different names. Which you have done for months and usually when we are laughing at the bigots and racists over on TSE's Stormfront Lite/PB, somewhat tellingly. ;o)

      "the fact oil has just hit $43 a barrel, the hole in our finances or any other completely legitimate argument as to why independence might not be a great idea"

      Run along son. Stormfront Lite/PB clearly has need of out Westminster bubble Pouters like yourself to parrot childish economic scaremongering you read in the Mail or Torygraph.

    11. Sorry, Yes won. 'Scottish' people voted Yes, 'British/English' people voted No. Sure added together the result was a narrow No, but that doesn't change the underlying reality.

      The number of British people Scotland is declining; has been since peak in those born in 1944. Those who were turning of voting age in the 2011 census - the children of Devolution - are comfortably over 70% 'Scottish Only'; the least British of any generation alive. Their support for the SNP and indy is a result of this in the end. Unionism is dying, slowly.

      That's the problem the union faces and how, ultimately, we've gone from a peak of unionism in the 1950's to where we are now.

      The No sides's economic arguments failed to convenience 'Scottish' people; in majority they voted Yes. They failed to convince English / British people too; these people voted largely based on their national identity.

      Kid yourself all you like; it won't change anything.

      I'm patient, but I give the union 5 years at most. If we get a UK left revolution and devo max, then that would likely put something of a break on things.

      Meanwhile, the Tories continue to help along what is happening naturally.

    12. "do we seriously think there are over 2 million "Britnats" in Scotland?


      Completely oblivious to irony. Not a huge surprise, to say the least.

      One of the more amusing of the Stormfront Lite herd of bubble people, that's for sure! ;-)

    13. @Mick

      You win an argument with evidence, not adjectives. Have a deep breath and try and come up with something respectful and intelligent to say instead of getting into a rage at the mere fact someone might have a different opinion. I'm perfectly happy to engage you in a normal argument if you're capable of that; I'm not going to have a bizarre conversation in which you rant and rave about trolls from other websites.

    14. @Scottish_Skier

      It's probably not even 'Aldo' you are replying to since it never takes long for the spamming Pouters to drop/change their names once they have made a complete twat of themselves yet again.

      Could be Jeffrey you're replying to? Or SayNoToYesMen? LOL :o)

    15. The referendum was of all of those resident in Scotland, Scottish Skier. The possibility that English people and other minorities may have swung the vote (can't be proved - all you have is a couple of polls), is irrelevant when it is CIVIC nationalism that is supposedly being pursued.

      The SNP certainly seem to believe the matter is settled and has gagged its supporters from even discussing it at conference.


    16. You've been away for a while Mick. Did they let you out? Did your treatment go well?


    17. @Pragamawhateverthefucknameyouarepretendingtobethistime

      Get over yourself son.

      I'm hardly going to be taking any 'lessons' or 'demands' from the likes of you seriously.

      If you're getting upset and angry that your spamming is indeed nothing more than witless Pouter scaremongering (and the usual anonotroll shrieking you've used many, many times before) then that would be tough shit for you. Get over it or go back to the nasty party herd on Stormfront Lite.

      I know I certainly couldn't care less if some westminster bubble twit from Stormfront Lite/PB isn't used to being laughed at for the paucity of his arguments and the fact that they are nothing more than reheated Torygraph/Daily Mail scare stories.

      After working flat out since before January to help elect one of the 56 out of 59 MPs we won in Scotland - I think my "evidence" to know which argument holds more sway with the Scottish public might be just a touch stronger than your amusing westminster bubble shrieking.

    18. "But to answer your question, would I change my view on independence if we were consistently getting figures showing it would benefit our economy? Absolutely, that's what being pragmatic is about."

      There's also a large component of trust.

      Do you trust these guys to prioritise your interests?

      Who cares how well the economy is doing if the benefit is disproportionately rewarding the opposite end of the country?

    19. Statistically, in every workplace in Scotland, a majority support independence. In high school common rooms, a majority support independence. In student unions, a majority support independence. In sports halls, bars, cafes etc, probability is a majority support independence. To find the unionism of the past, you need to visit bowling clubs and old people’s homes. That is the reality. The future support independence; unionism is a thing of the past. September 2014 was just a little early. An aperitif if you like.

      To save Britain in the long term, you need to give Britain purpose. Once that was empire, then it was post war consensus social solidarity. Now? Even the British Royal Mail is no more; there is nothing 'British' left in Scotland any more. All shut down or flogged off.

      What remains is the BBC and a tattered flag. That and memories of past glories.

      A new rUK social democratic revolution + devo max might have traction, but that’s one hell of a long shot in naturally Tory England.

    20. Mick, this is borderline lunacy now. This might come as a shock to you, but I'm pretty sure there's more than one person on the internet who disagrees with your view on independence. This is a fairly active blog comment section and if you think everybody you're arguing with is the same person then you have some serious problems.

    21. Any idea why the SNP have ruled out discussions and motions on independence / further referenda at their conference in October?

      The silence is deafening on this issue.

      They said that the timing of future referenda would be a matter for the Scottish people to decide. Fair enough. But it has to be in the manifesto of the major nationalist party, realistically, for that to happen.

      I can honestly now envisage a situation where we go into the election next year with only a fringe socialist group offering an unconditional referendum on independence. SNP and Greens will probably make it conditional on EU exit where there is not a majority in Scotland in support.

      In other words, they will have essentially ruled it out for the duration of the next parliament.

      You know what that means don't you? It means that for the next 5 years anyone who is hard line pro-indy will be more or less politically irrelevant.

      All eyes on Sturgeon - and on Jim Sillars too (he may need medical attention when the Scottish government's decision is announced).


    22. "Mick, this is borderline lunacy now."

      Please don't be abusive, Pragmatist.

    23. "Do you trust these guys to prioritise your interests? Who cares how well the economy is doing if the benefit is disproportionately rewarding the opposite end of the country?"

      There are two sides to that. First, do I trust Westminster politicians? Not at all, but I don't have any great amount of faith in Scottish politicians in Holyrood either. I accept that there is more to the argument than the simple economics of it, but for me that's still the biggest factor.

      Second, Scotland already has the ability to decide how some (not all) of our own budget is spent, but I support more devolution as I think broadly it's a better thing for spending decisions to be made closer to the people that they affect. What I have trouble supporting is something that, if the current figures are even remotely accurate, would necessitate cutting our overall budget for spending as I don't see how that's going to be in our interest, regardless of who is making the decision on how it's spent.

      As I say though, if the figures change (and they might) I'll happily change my opinion.

    24. "but I support more devolution as I think broadly it's a better thing for spending decisions to be made closer to the people that they affect."

      My goodness! That's big of you. LOL

      You seriously don't get it, do you?

      And you seriously wonder why you get mocked for your westminster bubble thinking and Daily Mail style economic scaremongering.

    25. Only three lines of incoherent ranting that time Mick. At least it seems like you might be tiring yourself out.

    26. So, Scotland has a budget deficit. The level of that deficit is disputable given the GERS figures are so basic and can’t be used to gauge what the deficit would be under independence; that would depend on the spending and economic policies of an independent Scotland.

      So how is this ‘black hole’ filled right now? Not by the generous English; they have a big deficit that George is trying to cut. They can’t spare any money of their own to help out poor wee Scotland. So, Scotland’s budget deficit is covered by borrowing. Shockeroonie!

      So what is the difference between Holyrood borrowing to cover Scotland’s deficit (independence) and Westminster borrowing to cover Scotland’s deficit (union)? Nothing really; apart from in the former case, the Scottish Government would have the powers it needs to grow Scotland’s economy, adjust taxes etc, so that it could aim to reduce the deficit. At the moment, that is in the hands of a Government with no incentive to try and reduce Scotland’s deficit. Hell, if George worked an economic miracle in Scotland and eliminated its deficit, he’d destroy the unionist argument against independence; that Scotland has a deficit!

    27. By all means 'Pragmatist', tell us MORE of this DEVOLUTION you support. What is this strange sounding policy you speak of?? You sound so Scottish embracing the 'controversial' policy that is DEVOLUTION. Not like a westminster bubble twit at all.


      Comedy Gold! :-D

    28. "So what is the difference between Holyrood borrowing to cover Scotland’s deficit (independence) and Westminster borrowing to cover Scotland’s deficit (union)?"

      Two things. First, we'd have to borrow a very large amount of money just to spend the same amount we're spending now if the current figures are any indication. The fact that we're already in deficit is true, but it doesn't make the principle of borrowing more to stand still any more appealing.

      You've stated that the GERS figures "can't be used to gauge what the deficit would be under independence". That isn't accurate: the only reasonable way to assess what our economic position would be under independence is to use existing figures on our revenue and spending. No estimate will ever be perfect (that goes for any economic projection) but that doesn't mean we can't do it in the first place. Any estimate would simply have some level of expected error attached.

      In this case the error would have to be extremely large and all going in one direction to get to a point where we'd actually benefit fiscally from independence. The present gap is roughly the size of the entire education budget. It's just not credible to claim that these figures aren't relevant to a conversation about the impact of independence on the economy and even if you want to ignore GERS what's the alternative body of data to use instead?

      At best you're making an argument for the idea that independence is a complete shot in the dark - it could make us richer or it could destroy our economy and turn us into Greece overnight. If you have no way of making an economic projection at all (what you're arguing) then you can't rule out any option and that, in fact, is a pretty good reason not to do it in the first place. Fortunately we *can* make projections which give us some indication of what our economy would look like and at this exact moment in time that would suggest in pure fiscal terms it would be a negative development.

      Second, there could indeed be a very significant difference between Holyrood borrowing money and Westminster borrowing money: the amount we'll have to pay to access credit on the bond markets. There are some pretty sound reasons for thinking that cost might increase under independence if we don't adequately sort out the currency situation. We'd need a lender of last resort: either the Bank of England through a currency union (i.e. the rest of the UK agreeing to guarantee our borrowing for us, which is unlikely) or through an independent Scottish central bank.

      The latter is only really credible if we have an independent currency, which has other issues attached to it that Salmond was probably right to use to reject the concept. The best option would probably be to join the euro and benefit from the ECB guaranteeing our borrowing, but then that isn't going to be popular either and couldn't be done overnight as we don't meet the criteria. Either way that question has to be answered otherwise we could face the same kind of bond market speculation that hit some members of the Eurozone (which is precisely because prior to 2012 there was no effective lender of last resort - it only changed when the ECB announced OMTs).

    29. Scottish skier, the idea that it's only "the old" who support the union is a tad simplistic. If you want to refer to polls, what about the yougov poll that showed support for the union in all age ranges apart from 25-39?

      And none of this considers that peoples' opinions change as they get older. Today's bright eyed, 18 year old socialists with blue paint plastered on their face will, in about 50 years, be old grumpy, cantankerous, and conservative - and the only thing getting plastered on their face will be oil of olay.


    30. @Mick

      There's a solid case people can make for independence, so you clogging up the comment section with block capitals and LOLZ every three seconds is doing a disservice to the very thing you're trying to argue for. At least SS seems to be able to argue a point properly.

      Probably the best thing you could do for "your side" is post nothing. A bit like the Sunday league footballer who's rubbish and conveniently forgets his football boots on the day of the big game so the others don't feel obliged to let him play. Take one for the team and go cheer on the sidelines: it's not about you, remember, it's about Scotland.

    31. I agree that our own currency / central bank is the best idea.

      If we use the £, we continue to be party responsible for UK debt. If we exit the £, then we have no debt; obviously you can only pay sterling debt if you are able to print sterling. This was the reason the SNP proposed remaining in the £-zone; so as not to harm the rUK / saddle them with all the debt. However, as we know, the rUK will not share currency, hence that leaves an iScotland debt free.

      As for the deficit. If we have a deficit now of X and that deficit is the same upon independence, then the borrowing is the same; doesn't matter if it is the UK borrowing for us, or Holyrood borrowing directly. Sure interest rates might be a bit higher to begin with, but that would be offset by the savings of not paying for Westminster...huge UK defence costs..and the fact we'd have no debt.

      And I'm amazed you can predict Scotland's economic future within the union with such surety to be able to weigh that up against indy. When did you predict the 2008 financial crisis? What will Scotland's deficit be in the union in the future? Will it get better so we can go independent or worse meaning independence is vital for economic recovery?

      Anyway, all this matters little. The independence of nations is never ultimately decided by such things. That's just not how it works. That might be frustrating for unionists, but there's not much that can be done.

      Here is how the 'economic case for the union' worked in 2014.

      Consistently cost them support. What a great lead the No side started with; lost the arguments though on every front. That's why they didn't win, just didn't loose. To really win, you'd have wanted the trends the other way around, you know, equal with yes or maybe behind, with a consistent move to No during the campaign. That and Labour returned by Scotland in May's GE.

      Anyway, you need better economic arguments because Yes has grown since September. I have it 49/51 now.

    32. "As for the deficit. If we have a deficit now of X and that deficit is the same upon independence, then the borrowing is the same; doesn't matter if it is the UK borrowing for us, or Holyrood borrowing directly."

      It won't be the same, though, which is the problem. In 2013-14 the UK's deficit was 5.6 per cent. That's effectively what sets our borrowing because we aren't an independent country and can be assumed to receive a per capita share of the debt on becoming independent. Yet if our finances were independent the size of our deficit would have been 8.1 per cent. So we have to borrow more to stand still in that scenario.

      As for just foregoing all of the debt unilaterally, we need rUK's support to make a stable transition to an independent country and there is zero prospect of them accepting the principle that we can take a per capita share of reserves, a geographic share of oil and yet leave all of our debt for them to pay. You can make as many legal arguments as you like for that concept, it's just not going to happen in reality. You can't go into a negotiation offering nothing, demanding everything and expect to come out of it without compromising.

    33. @Pragmatwit

      We can all see you're a wee bit 'dolly dimple' so we've been more than patient and enjoyed your witless tabloid level burblings for the out of touch comedy it so clearly is.

      However, the fact is James twigged on to your repeat spamming immediately as did I.

      We know you're the same clueless westminster bubble twit from Stormfront Lite/PB who runs on to this site shrieking about GERS whenever we laugh at nasty party twits like TSE. (maybe have a long hard think about the data and IP info James gets automatically before digging any deeper? Eh, old chap.)

      It might also improve your case to be taken more seriously than the usual swivel-eyed Pouters if you told us why we should listen to you instead of people who live and breath Scottish politics and do actually know how to win elections and win them by record-breaking amounts.

      So no, I won't taking your hilariously bumptious 'advice' not to post.

      Instead, how about you fuck off back to Stormfront Lite with the other racists and anti-Scottish bigots? Or does putting it bluntly for effect still not make you realise that you have no high-horse to fall off of?

      It crystal clear who it is that lives inside the westminster bubble regurgitating Torygraph and Daily Mail nostrums while grovelling and scraping to an 'allmighty' Westminster establishment. (almost all of whom couldn't find their own arse with a flashlight)

      It is also abundantly clear who it is has decades of experience dealing with voters on the streets and on the doorsteps.

      So before you petulantly demand someone else stop posting and make a complete twat of yourself again, perhaps you should take a look where you are posting.

      For some bizarre reason you seem to be under the illusion that your westminster bubble views cannot possibly be challenged, gainsayed or indeed just laughed at for the flimsy 'Oil is a terrible burden' crap they are.

      I can only reiterate, you're not on PB so get the fuck over it and stop demanding everyone treat your Daily Mail level arguments with 'respect'. They deserve none.

      They are just another tedious Pouter variation of "too poor, too wee and too stupid" as James pointed out long ago. So the fact is all the prevaricating and posturing in the world on your part will not stop them being so.

    34. The Scots don't want their own currency. Nor do they particularly fancy the euro - Greece and other Southern European economies having suffered due to their membership of it. They want to keep the pound and they want to continue to use it on the terms they do at the moment.

      Salmond is politically astute enough to know this. That's why the non Sterling options were never talked about by him in public. He insisted we would keep the pound and pretended, for the benefit of the ignorant and poorly educated, that there is no difference between a sterling currency union and sterlingisation. "We'll keep ra poond! It's oor poond, no jist the English - and we'll be keeping it!" Salmond allowed this childlike interpretation of currency matters to continue and even encouraged it, because it suited his agenda.

      The best way to keep the pound however was to stay in the UK - which is ultimately what the people chose.

    35. This is a polling site, Scottish_Skier covered the polling evidence thoroughly and we all know full well that the last minute BritNat omnipanic was focused on more powers not the pound.

      The facts just aren't on your side old bean and time certainly isn't.

      Good day to warn the jocks about the terrible risk of financial instability outside the 'safety' of the westminster bubble, wasn't it?


    36. Yes, most countries run a deficit. But Scotland's deficit is around 10% of GDP -the same as Britain's was in 2010. Remember the sense of panic then about the public finances and the very real danger that we would lose control of them? It's what brought in the tory government and a national programme of austerity, which continues to this day - as it must.

      So on day 1 of an independent Scotland, you have this huge deficit - which you have to borrow to cover. But you suddenly find that borrowing rates have shot up. You're not in the UK any more. You are a new nation, to all intents and purposes. In other words, you represent a risk. More risk = higher interest rates on sovereign debt.

      And just when the government is getting its head around all this, the banks up and leave - taking their revenue contribution with them, to London, where they can continue to enjoy BoE protection. This reduces the tax base and increases the deficit further. Please bear in mind that the troubles in the oil industry have already taken a heavy toll on our likely tax take over the coming years.

      The next potential tsunami of financial devastation comes from the EU. If we are excluded from the single market - as seems likely - there will be an exodus of businesses heading south, costing thousands of jobs and further reducing the tax base - and, by extension - increasing the deficit even more.

      Businesses will leave anyway, to escape the higher taxes an indy Scottish government is likely to impose.

      And we haven't even factored in startup costs yet!

      Conclusion - we need 65 bn pounds a year to keep our public services and welfare system operational. There is no possible way for an independent Scotland to meet these costs on its own. Therefore, swingeing cuts will have to be enacted soon after independence - the very thing that Yes voters would be trying to escape from in the first place.

    37. Westminster bubble BritNat twit reduced to a barking mad self-parody of comedy scaremongering. My job is done. :o)

    38. Is it scaremongering Mick?

      We told you oil was volatile. 5 mins after the indyref it suffered an historic plunge in value. That is an example of something we said that you lot called "scaremongering", that actually happened.

      Westminster bubble? I've been to London but once in my life!

      Britnat? We are all Britnats - including yourself (British nationals). Better get used to it.

    39. I'll ask this again as maybe my earlier query got lost in the lengthy exchanges between Mick and Pragmatist:

      What do you make of the SNP keeping indy off the agenda this October? What do you think it tells us about their strategy for 2016 and, if the SNP effectively abandons indy for a parliament, will you be content with that?

      Or will you vote for a more hardline party that offers a more direct, immediate approach?

  11. While we're also on the subject of Corbyn it might be useful to outline precisely why he won't be able to govern the Labour party and why the PLP would want to throw him out/force him to quit. (I know, it should be bleeding obvious that is the case from the astonishing spectacle of the Labour purge, but still)

    Corbyn got into this leadership contest by dint of a Public Relations sop to the left. Westminster establishment Labour never dreamed he would ever be in serious contention. Indeed some of those who put his name forward have recanted and now say they regret it precisely because they were fine with Corbyn being a patronising pat on the head to outdated left wing baggage like "principles".

    So if even among those who put Corbyn forward regret it, you can easily surmise that in the PLP he is most assuredly NOT what they want and runs counter to everything they believe Labour politics should be about.

    It's also a question of structures. For over 15 years the Labour hierarchy and it's press arm has been filled by the type of new Labour careerists who implicitly believe that triangulation, focus grouping and the relentless focus on a handful of middle/South of England marginal is all that matters. There are tensions with the unions yes, but in the end those with the power to organise the PLP, in charge of Labour finances, Conferences, selection processes and the minutia of day to day party management are all very, VERY far from being Corbyn supporters.

    So those who do not support Corbyn in Labour hold all the levers of power while Corbyn does not. In fact, Corbyn just doesn't have enough supporters in the PLP to even fill out those roles even if he wanted to. He has no choice but to rely on the ABCs (AnyoneButCorbyns) even down to basic stuff like a shadow cabinet.

    Theoretically Corbyn could try to overturn at least a few of the most powerful of the ABCs from their positions of power but new Labour has ensured the rules for getting rid of their careerists in place will not favour such challenges.

    What it boils down to is the anti-Corbyns in Labour will have to move fairly fast and undermine him at every turn by using all of the levers of power against him to either force him into changing his views and policies or simply cutting him off at the knees and ensuring his policy changes are fought at every turn.

    Corbyn could have succeeded if he had rose gradually and taken the PLP and the Labour heirarchy with him. As it is, no matter how the grassroots may adore him he will be in charge of MPs who will almost all do everything in their power to return to the status quo and get their careers back on track.

    You can already see some of them proclaiming in public that they don't think Corbyn would be so bad while they brief against him behind his back and are scouring Hansard and his entire backhistory for every dirty trick and smear they can deploy to undermine him.

    Nor will this be anything particularly novel for New Labour since the Brownites and Blairites did it constantly to each other. (Yes wee Dougie and Smurph, that does mean you! :-D ) What they haven't done is worked together to smear and undermine someone in Labour. However, as Corbyn is going to find out, they won't have the slightest problem doing that to protect their careers and ensure the election is fought their way or else it and Corbyn will be sabotaged completely from the inside.

  12. Incidently, it can't just be me who is vastly amused by the westminster bubble twits speaking darkly of who Corbyn counts as "friends". The point isn't that Corbyn will find himself having to so some explaining because he will and the smears have already started.

    The point is that Blairites talking darkly about dodgy friends is almost as hilarious as the nasty party doing so.

    Blair is hardly short of photos of him receiving massive wodges of cash from various blood soaked dictators and bankers.

    While Corbyn, as far as I know, hasn't actually employed a close friend of his as his personal PR man who ended up in Prison.

    Yeah, it will hardly be Cameron complaining about dodgy friends unless he's lost the plot completely. ;-)

  13. As far as I am concerned the whole Armed Forces/Help For Heroes stuff. Is a celebration of Union Flags and Britishness. It's become tacky and jingoistic. Just because you join the army does not make you a hero. A doctor who saves lives is more of a hero. Modern warfare is about mechanical decimation of life not preserving it.

    Invading Iraq and most recent invasions and task forces have not been anything to do with defending the country. The country was never under threat. They are not defending my liberty or keeping invaders from my country.

    Most people are afraid to say what I have said above. If we criticise the military in this country we are seen us unpatriotic or even traitors.

    1. Doctors who save lives are heroes - absolutely. But when the chips are down you need people who can save lives and people who are prepared to take life - and risk theirs in the process.

      The freedom we enjoy today was bought in blood over centuries and more will almost certainly have to be spilled before we enjoy permanent security - if, indeed, such a thing can ever possibly exist.

      Our troops are getting a hard time here because they participated in an action that many perceive to be immoral or even illegal (although a court will decide that one - not internet perry masons). But this is, again, as happens so often on here, missing the point. When you join the armed forces you give yourself up as a tool - a weapon for your country to use. It is not your place to question your government. If armies are allowed to refuse to obey orders based on personal misgivings or what the media says, then our country - indeed, civilisation itself - is fucked.

      When the call comes through, you act. No questions, no procrastination - you get the job done. Simple as that.

  14. Aldo your points are noted.

    However joining the army does not qualify a person as a hero. It's an overused term. When was the last generation of soldiers in the UK to actively use combat to protect our borders.


    You are correct that individuals in the army are above politics. They follow orders. However again following orders and firing a gun does not constitute a hero.

    1. In my opinion, anyone who is prepared to risk their life to protect their country is a hero. We live in an age when things like duty, loyalty, self sacrifice and genuine courage are considered old fashioned. But regardless of how they are perceived they will always be vital qualities in people. We need austere, stern and tough people to make the decadent life that everyone else is caught up in possible.

      And the defence of a nation extends far beyond its borders. "Let me know when they're sailing up the Clyde!", my friend once said, dismissively, to an army recruiter.

      By that point, of course, it'll be too late.

  15. "You are correct that individuals in the army are above politics. They follow orders."

    That wasn't a defence of My Lai, and it shouldn't be a defence of Abu Ghraib or Fallujah.

  16. Wrong Aldo simply wrong.

    You have to do something courageous. Joining the army is not an act of courage for most young people. It's a way of getting out of poverty or in some cases steering a rudderless ship.

    Simply being in the forces is not heroic. Take off your red white and blue glasses. Let me ask you something. Was Bobby Sands not a hero of Ireland?

    1. I don't think he achieved anything - he just starved himself to death, didn't he?

      If you're in the forces these days you can expect a tour of duty somewhere dangerous. I think men who sign up and actually go are heroic. In all honesty, I don't know if I could do it. I guess I'm one of those "let me know when they're coming up the Clyde" types. But you can't be insular. You need to identify threats early and squash them - long before they reach your borders.

  17. I enjoyed the dig at TSE.