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skifreak

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  1. They are not Scottish Government figures. They are HM Treasury and HMRC figures - that they are published as being by Scottish Ministers is a mere historical accident on the way the Scottish Office was split between the Scottish Government and Scotland Office in 1999. It should always be kept in mind that GERS (in the modern creation - not the original series that was ended in the 1920s because it was highly embarrassing to HM Government) was created by a Tory government for Tory purposes to show that Scotland was a basket case and not a viable country, thus was dependent on the UK to survive. While the truth was HM Government was jaffa cakesing the wealth of Scotland up the wall at the time, using Scottish revenues to fund mass unemployment, build massive infrastructure improvements in and around London, while pursuing economic policies that were intentionally runions to Scotland. That is a very good summary of what was going on - direct rule ended in 1999, Scottish Ministers for the first time were directly accountable to the Scottish electorate - compared to 1979 to 1997 where at each Election Scotland rejected English Conservatism by ever increasing margins, but the Scottish Ministers remained Conservative and Unionist.
  2. The point being made above is probably related to the news that the 2014 oil figure was undercounted by £10billion!
  3. The issue isn't that it is so much 'revenge' attacks - though that is another tool in the toolbox of hate used by the instigators. It is that the wars the US led coalition have waged in Muslim majority countries has created vacums that has allowed terrorism to flourish. There was no al qaeda in Iraq when Saddam was in power! The problem is going to continue to spread and get worse until the root source is isolated and orchestrated from the international community - Saudi Arabia, trouble is the West is too dependent on their oil, has huge military corporations getting filthy rich selling arms to arguably the most despotic and regressive regime in the world. Which in turn uses the wealth from oil to spread it's poisonous warped Wahhabism around the world, funding extremist Madrassas around the globe. It was a version of Islam created to further the interests of the Saudi Royal Family, they argue they are fighting terrorism, yet it's their extremist intolerant creed that is the fuel that feeds the Islamist fire. The overwhelming majority of Muslims in the world want no part in it, they certainly don't want to be subjected to rule by Wahhabisim interpretation of the Koran. How many people in the UK, even those who consider themselves Christian, would want to be living in a strict theocracy where the rules of the land were laid down and overseen by the FP Church? So when is the West going to stop funding and arming the Saudi Kingdom, helping ensure its subjects are indefinitely denied the freedoms and liberties we take for granted?
  4. I didn't know Trump was President of Europe now!
  5. I notice you missed the one from a few days ago in the USA, I wonder why?
  6. So this morning the BBC headline was unemployment up 3000 in Scotland. Now it's Scottish unemployment falls 12,000!
  7. I'm actually surprised that the UK Government's Brexit Paper or the Irish Border didn't suggest the solution was for Ireland to leave the EU! Are these papers really being written by departments with Brexiters who want Brexit to happen at the helm? Either these are absolute bumbling buffoons at the helm of Brexit or its being set up to show Brexit can't be delivered? Certainly if you actually give a fig about the integrity of the UK and well being of all the home nations you could not back Brexit. English Nationalism does not equal Unionism. A wee tale about this: A Scotsman, an Englishman, Irishman and Welshman were hillwalking on a remote Highland mountain when a strange sound and light appeared out of the mist (and nae it wasn't a cloud of midges). A fairy appeared above the burn and asked all four to make one wish. The four agreed the Scotsman go first as this good fortune had happened in Scotland. Scotsman: "I wish that this stream and all the others in this land run with the purest malt whisky". Fairy: "Your wish is granted" At which point the Scotsman (and the Irishman) fall into the burn and start lapping up the smoothest most beautiful malt whisky ever tasted. So the Fairy turns to the Welshman and asks 'Tell me your wish and it will be true'. The Welshman replies "I want a 200 metre tall wall between England and Wales to keep the English out". Fairy "and the wall is there, nothing gets through". Initially raging the Englishman pauses for thought, then asks the fairy "Nothing gets through this wall you say?". The fairy confirms that. Englishman: "My wish is that this wall extends all the way around the whole of England, to protect it's green and pleasant land and keep the foreigners and immigrants out". Fairy: "Your wish is my command. England is now walled by a 200m impenetrable wall to protect it's green and pleasant land". At which point the Irish man staggers up the stream bank: 'Hic'... "my dear fairy, you say nothing in or out, impenetrable?" "Yes" replies the fairy, "and your wish my Irish friend?" Irishman after a pause for thought: "Just fill the bloody wall with water".
  8. Clearly their grasp of arithmetic it lacking! Say Labour unseat 20 SNP MPs and elect 20 more Labour MPs. Yes there would be 282 Labour MPs, but the Tories would still have 318 MPs, the number of opposition MPs would not have changed. If Labour want to form a government they need to unseat government MPs not opposition MPs.
  9. Interesting, so the confidence in the Scottish economy going forward took a hit and fell back after the no vote. Who'd have thought that eh? Anyone told Better Together?
  10. Can the UK really afford to be an independent country?
  11. The UK is a quasi-unitary state, but it is not a unitary nation state, it is legally and constitutionally a union of separate and independent legal jurisdictions. When Westminster passes a law for all four home nations, it does not create British Law or UK Law because there is no such thing. The Treaty of Union is as close to a written constitution as the UK has and it is absolutely explicit on that. In 1707 Scotland did NOT sent MPs to an expanded English House of Commons, it sent MPs under Scots Law to a completely new entity. English constitutional conventions such as the absolute sovereignty of the Crown in Parliament are just that - English. They have no constitutional meaning in Scotland and do not displace Scots Law. HM Government has had 310 years to try and prove otherwise in the Court of Session, it's not as if there has never been cause, but it's vital for HM Government to avoid the Court of Session bringing down a huge constitutional fudge that UK governments have relied on. A genuine unitary state has: A single unitary legal system - FAIL Scots Law and the roll of the Court of Session and High Court of Justiciary protected for all time coming by Treaty of union. To try and revoke this ends the Union. A single government executive - FAIL The Scottish Ministers didn't come about in 1999, devolution and the Scottish Parliament merely made the Scottish Ministers directly accountable to the Scottish electorate for the first time, removing a major part of the 'democratic deficit'. A common Education System - FAIL Again this has always been so from day 1 of the UK in 1707, there has never been a unified common education system. State Religion - FAIL The Church of England is 'Established' in England only, there is not established church in Scotland in the manor of the Church of England. It is argued that the Westminster Parliament can unilaterally abolish the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament, it has that power in English Law, but it's Scots Law that maters in Scotland and an attempt to unilaterally abolish the Scottish Parliament would be the greatest test of the constitutional fudge that the UK has operated on. The fundamental constitutional concept in Scotland is why the Monarch is Queen of Scots, not Queen of Scotland. The parliament was created on the back of a democratic mandate with 3/4s of the vote in favour of it's creation, that is not just politically difficult to overturn without an abolition referendum it is in Scots Law potentially legally difficult. When HM Government attempted to reorganise Scottish Local Government in the 1970s, they hit problems, they found could not just abolish the Royal Burghs and County Councils unliateraly, they had to ask the Counties to vote themselves out of existence. Fife council survives today with it historic boundaries because Fife County Council did not vote itself out of existence and HM Government backed down on challenging it's existence in the Court of Session. Even if Westminster succeeded in removing the Scottish Government and Parliament, there would still be Scottish Ministers and nor could they get rid of the Scottish Law Officers (who are also Scottish Minsters) - the Lord Advocate and Solicitor General. These can't be removed without annulling the Treaty of Union, without which there is no UK. If Westminster had absolute sovereignty throughout the UK, it could abolish Scotland, it could make the UK a genuine unitary state, but it can not do so, because the UK is separate countries and legal jurisdictions in union under treaty. Westminster's authority is derived from and limited by the Treaty of Union. Scottish Westminster MPs can withdraw Scotland from the Union at any time - that often expressly reconfirmed by unionist politicians during the 80s and 90s. The rise of the SNP is in a way returning Scotland to what was the historical norm, that Scottish political parties and not UK ones dominate. It's why much has been mis-read into the Tory revival in NE Scotland, there are many who have long considered themselves Tory in these areas, but are about as far removed from the English Conservative Party as it gets. Keep in mind the SNP came about from a splintering of the Unionist Party and the modern day UK Conservative and Unionist Party only came into being in 1965 - and Scotland rejected English Conservatism by ever increasing margins until wipeout was achieved in 1997.
  12. Interestingly the video of Mary Pitcaithly the Chief Returning Officer of Scotland declaring the no vote in 2014 is still on the BBC News website, but the video of her Declaring that 'Scotland has voted to remain in the European Union' appears to have gone missing....
  13. I find it hard to understand why EU citizens ordinarily resident here and who'd be impacted the most by Brexit were refused the vote. That one rule is acceptable for a fundamentally English referendum and such a rule would be deemed wholly unacceptable for a Scottish referendum has more than a hint of an attitude of English supremacy about it. The EU is a Citizenship and the UK is not one country, not one legal jurisdiction. EU citizens have the vote in every election in Scotland except for Westminster . Meanwhile English voters in England having denied EU citizens the vote in the EU referendum believe they have the right to force their English Nationalist Brexit agenda on Scotland and NI against their democratically expressed wishes. HM Government doesn't respect the Scottish and NI remain votes, so don't expect the Scottish Parliament or Scottish Government to respect the Brexit process or HM Government. Anything and everything constitutionally, legally and politically to disrupt, stall, delay or derail Brexit is legitimate now.
  14. If that had held for the EU referendum with the same franchise as the Scottish Independence referendum we wouldn't be in this mess of a plan free Brexit because there would be no Brexit.
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