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Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Sadly i dislike Murdoch's interference whether it be pro or against, i dream of the day when we will have a truly unbiased press.

    Are the SNP close in that seat?

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    And that ignorant, offensive, rant sums up exactly why the YES campaign failed  

    Good god. What a load of boarish spiteful bile from bad losers has been posted during the night. I actually dread to think how Scotland would be run if this is representative of how the yes vote behav

    I'm disappointed in the lack of grace shown by some across the net in accepting this No vote. A complete lack of any empathy and understanding as to why fellow Scots didn't vote Yes.   I personally

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Sadly i dislike Murdoch's interference whether it be pro or against, i dream of the day when we will have a truly unbiased press.

    Are the SNP close in that seat?

    I dream of the day when we have an unbiased forum. Dream on,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Sadly i dislike Murdoch's interference whether it be pro or against, i dream of the day when we will have a truly unbiased press.

    Are the SNP close in that seat?

    Rupert is a full on neo-liberal is he not. He suggested Scotland and the rUK should part ways and 'compete' which would be 'better for everyone'. I'd have thought such sentiments would be right up your street SB! http://cdn.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.png

    When the whole NoW scandal broke, at the request of opposition parties, the SNP released details of all meetings with the press and correspondence with NI dating back to 2007 when they took office. The most scandalous thing the BBC (Scotland, Labour) could dig up was that AS had started a few of the letters by 'Dear Rupert' when asking if, e.g. he might wish to give some TV coverage to events such as Scotland's homecoming and golf championships. SNP rupertgate lasted around 4 hrs before the BBC relegated the story to the back pages because there wasn't any story.

    We Scots are still patiently waiting for the Tories, Labour and the Libs to provide the same details as the SNP; they have not and seem strangely reluctant to do so.

    Mr Murdoch has learned he has little influence up here and none over the SNP. His 2007 'vote SNP and you put Scotland's head in a noose' which kicked off its outright opposition to them succeeded in (1) not preventing the SNP winning a minority and forming the Scottish government and (2) caused sales of the Sun to start plummeting just like all the other titles when it previously had been holding up well, even growing in readership (see below). After 4 years of falling Sun sales, Rupert realised he needed to stop attacking the SNP and finally supported them when it became obvious they were going to win in 2011.

    As you can see in the graph, newspaper sales are plummeting at twice the rate in Scotland compared to the rUK. This is because of their anti-snp/independence stance, or at least there seems no other credible explanation.

    I too would love to seen non-biased reporting and have a scottish paper take a least an even stance in the independence debate. Only the sunday herald seems to be leaning this way a little. However, if the Sun wants to go down this route, who am I to complain. If Westminster can't buy the SNP like they can Scots unionists (wee cabinet positions, ermine coats etc) then Rupert has no hope (I think this could be why he's impressed with AS/the SNP). The SNP don't need him and have got to where they are without the support of any major media outlet which is very impressive. However, I doubt they'll complain if the Sun starts flying the saltire!

    As for Falkirk - the local party are now calling for a by-election even though London HQ is resisting.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...litics-17176703

    "Falkirk CLP do not condone such alleged conduct and welcome the prompt suspension by the Labour Party of Mr Joyce.

    "Falkirk expects and deserves the best representation and highest standards of behaviour from its elected representatives. If the recent alleged events are proven then we expect Mr Joyce to do the right thing."

    The same swing seen in the May elections and the inverclyde by-election would secure the seat for the SNP. Falkirk East fell to the SNP by 50.8% (+13.4) compared to Labour 38.2% (-5.2%) in May 11. Falkirk West was held with a massive increase in SNP support at 55.3% (+13.5) compared to 35% for Labour (-4.2%). Labour will lose a by-election as the SNP are min 14% ahead of them in GE voting intention polls with Labour support continuing to decline steadily. This is why London HQ does not want a by-election.

    Incidentaly, it is clear that Labour making Johann Lamont the 'Boss' of Scottish Labour was a crock of s**t. She's said nothing about the Glasgow council disaster, nothing about the Stirling council debacle and zip on Mr Joyce. London pulls the strings and just wheels her out at FMQ's once a week armed with a speech that was written for her. Labour are dying a painful death and May 12 may well be the final nail in the coffin.

    EDIT. And here is Mr Joyce; the face of Scottish Labour, in action. He's clearly not well mentally and while I sympathise, even without the bar brawling he's really not fit to be an MP.

    http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV4tETNcHJQ

    post-9421-0-58704500-1330335133_thumb.pn

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    For someone like myself who doesn't know too much about the breakdown of the Scottish economy there was an interesting graphic attached to this article in the Times today. It's a bit awkward to upload as the PDF is too large and after conversion to a manageable JPEG size I'm not sure it will be readable. Soon see.

    High oil price ‘vital’ for Scottish independence

    Dave Robertson, Sam Fleming.

    The battle for control of the North Sea and the price of oil will be central to Scotland’s ambitions for political and economic independence, leading analysts have said.

    As negotiations get under way between Westminster and Holyrood on the terms of a referendum to be held in 2013 or 2014, forecasters have demonstrated how crucial it will be for Scotland to gain the lion’s share of North Sea revenue.

    The viability of an independent Scotland will also depend on oil prices remaining high in the foreseeable future. The price of Brent hit $124 (£78) a barrel last week, and if that level was maintained economists believe that Scotland could adequately support its high levels of public spending.

    Ray Barrell, a lecturer at Brunel University, said: “It is a perfectly viable economy as long as they don’t hit a financial disaster and the price of oil doesn’t collapse.â€

    Tax and licensing revenues from North Sea oil currently go to the Exchequer in London, and were worth £6.5 billion in 2009-10. Scotland claims 91 per cent of North Sea revenues, worth £5.9 billion.

    This would have reduced an independent Scotland’s deficit to £13.9 billion, equivalent to 10.6 per cent of GDP. Michael Saunders, an economist at Citi, said that after factoring in North Sea revenue, its fiscal situation was “no worse than the rest of the UKâ€.

    Control of the North Sea would, however, be a contentious issue if Scotland were to divorce from Britain. The maritime boundary is disputed by many Scots after it was changed in 1999 to favour England, while the sovereignty of the Shetland and Orkney islands would not necessarily remain with Scotland.

    Doug McWilliams, chief executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: “It matters for Scotland because the onshore economy is not doing great, but the offshore economy is booming.†According to Mr Saunders, an independent Scotland would have an economy roughly the same size as New Zealand.

    On top of its energy sector, it would also be reliant on historically important export industries such as whisky, which contributed £2.7 billion in gross value added (a measure similar to GDP) to Scotland’s economy. The Scottish government wants to increase exports by 50 per cent over the next five years in sectors such as food, drink, creative industries and engineering.

    The influence of financial services on the Scottish economy has declined since 2008, when Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland imploded and had to be bailed out by British taxpayers. However, financial and business services still add £17 billion in GVA to the Scottish economy.

    A further point of contention between Holyrood and Westminster would be how to split the costs of bailing out the banks and how to protect them from future crises.

    Graphic: Scotland's economy

    Edited by weather ship
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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    For someone like myself who doesn't know too much about the breakdown of the Scottish economy there was an interesting graphic attached to this article in the Times today. It's a bit awkward to upload as the PDF is too large and after conversion to a manageable JPEG size I'm not sure it will be readable. Soon see.

    Graphic: Scotland's economy

    Oh oh = 'National Westminster / Halifax bailout.' Article credibility damaged. Why on earth would the Scottish government have bailed out banks it did not own with only a small percentage of assets in Scotland? Would Scotland really have been required to bail out England and the city of London? I rather suspect a joint deal covering assets would have been the case.

    Anyway, interesting if misleading. Have they done one for the rUK?

    I wonder why they picked 2009-2010 data; the peak of the recession. I guess to be conservative? 09-10 was the only year since records began with GERS when Scotland was not in modest profit because a short lived drop in the oil price. Thus they forgot to add in what we would have the in the oil fund from the high price years to balance the books; as par for the course for sensible oil-producing nations (i.e. UK not included). Interestingly, this seems to be the year favoured by lots of people (unionists in particular) when trying to assess Scotland's economic future. One would have thought it might be best to look at a number of years.

    EDIT. The Kuwaitis remember the old 'oil' chestnut arguments from London. When they were after independence (achieved in 1961), Britain told them the oil would only last a few years and price volatility meant they could not survive alone as a country. Funny that. :D

    Sorry chaps: this made me laugh. Please take this with humour intended!

    LOL. I have to admit there is some truth to that! Although there is only one real test for a true Scotsman and it involves skirts.... http://cdn.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.png

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-17182913

    So we have Devo plus to add to Full Independence, Devo Max, Cameron's unspecified offering and the Status Quo. At this rate we'll need till 2024 to sort it out.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...litics-17182913

    So we have Devo plus to add to Full Independence, Devo Max, Cameron's unspecified offering and the Status Quo. At this rate we'll need till 2024 to sort it out.

    Devo plus is an interesting addition. SNP have already said if it is popular/agreed by UK government, they would be happy to look at adding it to the ballot; which has now got the unionists panicked as that's a horrendous idea for them.....

    http://www.devoplus....t-is-devo-plus/

    Here hold on....

    What are Reform Scotland (incidentally more inclinded to the centre-right economically - yes we do have them up here, but they are not by default unionist). The SNP's 'independence' is now indy light for all to see? LOL, that's is very interesting.

    As I've said before, independence = devo max 'excel' (as it is quietly, but increasingly being sold as due to 70% support for Devo Maxx). Reform Scotland are playing wee tricks methinks and now officially christening it; SNP's independence now 'independence lite'...... Ha ha. They are supposedly neither for nor against particularly.....

    The pipes are being played and everyone is dancing to the tune.

    Anyhow, Devo + looks like too much control over oil and gas (all revenues from Scottish waters, corporation tax to attract companies to put their HQs in Scotland) so Devo + will very unlikely to be on the cards. Why?

    Well, this of course - Scotland's poisoned chalice.....

    Hansard 25 Jan 2012 : Column 377

    [Relevant document: Oral and written evidence taken by the Energy and Climate Change Committee, on Implications for the North Sea Oil and Gas Industry of the Budget 2011, HC 1018-i and -ii.]

    Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Michael Fabricant.)

    5.27 pm

    Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex) (Con):

    The taxes forecast to be raised from the industry in 2011-12 include some £6 billion in income tax, national insurance contributions and corporation tax paid by the supply chain companies, with an additional £11 billion from taxes on production itself. That amounts to 25% of all the corporation tax received by the Exchequer. The production of indigenous oil and gas improved the balance of payments by £35 billion in 2011, thus halving the trade deficit, and the supply chain added another £5 billion to £6 billion with exports of oilfield goods and services. Incidentally, that is an aspect of the industry that is doing extremely well here and overseas, and it is flying the flag for Britain effectively.

    And the whisky, electricity, water, timber, food...

    Anything involving Scotland looking after its own resources/income/outgoings to any significant extent is not going to be agreed by Westminster. However, I'll thank our real 'Scottish Tories' for chucking this spanner in the unionist works.

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    Posted
  • Location: @scotlandwx
  • Weather Preferences: Crystal Clear High Pressure & Blue Skies
  • Location: @scotlandwx

    LOL. I have to admit there is some truth to that! Although there is only one real test for a true Scotsman and it involves skirts.... http://cdn.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.png

    post-7292-0-54380800-1330559101_thumb.jp

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    First post on this subject.

    I have been reading the posts on this subject for some time and feel I should contribute from an Englishman perspective.

    Scotland has a right to an independence referendum and be independent if the people of Scotland chose. Likewise Wales and Northern Ireland.

    What is the most worrying thing about the whole independence episode is the UK political parties are really behaving like spoilt children from rich families, who want to maintain their narrow perspective on the whole of society; to get rich quick....we love our corrupt and inept banking system, are status in the world arena....top dogs b****** and finally, their snobbish attitude.... we are better than you, I can buy my knighthood.

    What the politicians don't want you to know, is that if Scotland becomes independent, the RofUK are in the onions as we are relying on Scottish oil to pay back debts. This evitable leads onto propaganda, the Government PR machine is working overtime especially with the UK papers and the BBC to make up scare stories to frighten the Scots into thinking they are too small and cannot afford to go it alone etc. Thankfully we have the internet today which can easily dismiss the scare tactics.

    Please see link below on an example of what I mean:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...siness-17211264

    If I was the Scotish Government (SNP) I introduce a new communication bill for an independent broadcasting act for Scotland i.e. SBC, (as Ofcom are too unionist), so impartial and independent information is being broadcast.

    What I would like to see from the British Government in the meantime; is an English parliament, fully elected House of Lords, MPs not to have second jobs, it should be an honour to serve your country. Raise Income Tax threshold to 15.000 per annum, as currently you get it back with tax credits....bizarre!! I can go on and on...

    Finally, I am a firm believer in justice for all, equality and dignity, we current lack most of that in this country.

    Edited by mark4
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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    First post on this subject.

    ...............

    Finally, I am a firm believer in justice for all, equality and dignity, we current lack most of that in this country.

    Hi M4

    I agree with everything you say and yes what is happening in Scotland (been going on for 60 odd years of course, just reaching climax) is driven strongly by unhappiness with the UK political structure and democratic deficit in Scotland in addition to the deep sense of nationhood and pride felt by Scots about their country. It may be small, windy, wet, remote and stuck out into the North Atlantic but it’s ours and we love it.

    While many would like to paint independence supporters as ‘anti-English’ (as I imagine you have come across in the MSM along with lots of scare stories about the ‘nasty separatist’ SNP and myths about Scotland) this is as far from the truth as possible. Independence supporters are anti-‘British establishment’, i.e. the political elite that the UK parliamentary system serves all too well while not serving the people. We who support Scottish independence also support and hope for better democracy across the rest of the UK; we wish England, Wales and NI to do well economically and socially as we are all friends, neighbours and often family on these isles.

    I strongly support representative democracy. I have always been a strong supporter of the SNP and when a PR type system was introduced for Holyrood I was happy that it was, even though I knew that it would make it very difficult for those parties supporting Scottish self determination (SNP, Greens, independents, Scottish Socialists etc) to get a majority. I trusted that if I was patient in time people would like such a system for its fairness/transparency (Holyrood is extremely transparent in all its workings) and realise that it could deliver if parties worked together, that it would make for stronger government as legislation would often have to be agreed by majority consensus. Mostly I hoped they would become proud of it and trust it, realising that they could use it to control the destiny of their country. Thankfully, it did not take too long for this to come to fruition, well, just 12 years anyway!

    There are in fact many in Scotland who hope somehow that somehow the ‘Union’ can go on in a new modern form, e.g. with Devo Maxx/FFA for all the nations in looser federation, working together on shared interests such as defence and international relations; this is something I would support strongly. Unfortunately, it does not look like happening; we will hear lots of ‘jam tomorrow’ but as we all know with Westminster, the jam never comes. You point out the economic reasons why Westminster does not like this idea (don’t worry, while the loss of Scotland will dent Westminster’s purse somewhat, it is hardly going to cause collapse!) but it is more than that, it is about absolute control of everything possible; that way power is kept for the privileged few. Hell, even if you do so much wrong (affairs, expenses scandals, criminal charges, nepotism and corruption) you become unelectable, if you have kissed the right asses, they’ll make you a lord. It’s nuts.

    Of course no country is immune to self serving political elites and should Scotland go its own way, which I feel is inevitable, we shall have to watch that our own politicians don’t head down the slippery slope too (there are plenty of candidates among our unionist parties!). Well, at least if they do, we would have voted for them!

    I do hope that what is happening in Scotland - essentially a modernisation of politics to make a fairer system representative of and supported by the people - can help drive the same in the rest of the UK, wrenching it out of its elitist empirical hangover. I feel so lucky to have this opportunity before us in Scotland and do sympathise with those across the UK who want the same. We Scots are too few to have any influence by voting, but maybe we can lead by example as our FM has recently alluded to.

    And let me finish by saying your attitudes on the matter are admirable. You should pop into the serious discussion more often and are certainly most welcome on this thread.

    Cheers, SS.

    -------------------------------------------

    On an unrelated matter – well actually quite related in terms of British Unionist party political standards - Mr Joyce, Labour MP for Falkirk, increasingly in all sorts of bother. Expenses scandals, criminal conviction for failing to provide a breath sample, criminal charges for assault while drunk at ‘work’, now in a bit of bother for, well, read on and make your own mind up…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...litics-17218910

    I believe a Falkirk by-election looks all but inevitable now. Not what Labour wants at all as they will very likely lose it. Only one seat, but the ramifications are much bigger than that.

    -----------------

    EDIT.

    FMQ's had me laughing today.

    In response to Johann questioning Rupert M having a meeting today with AS re NI operations in Scotland etc, the response was...

    1208:

    On the press he [AS] reads an attendance list to Thursday's News International "summer party" including the prime minister and Labour's UK leader Ed Milliband "eating oysters" and drinking champagne. All you get at Mr Salmond's official residence is "a cup of tea and a caramel wafer", he [AS] says.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...litics-17217583

    Quality LOL.

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Labour conference in Dundee fair drawing the crowds.

    http://wingsland.pod...gth-through-joy

    Posted Image

    Upstairs seating probably closed off for technical reasons

    Posted Image

    Shot likely taken during short toilet break.

    Hello Scotchland!

    Posted Image

    Must have been the traffic or something.

    -------------------------------

    WoS running a series on genocidal dictators that Scotland’s First Minister has been compared to.

    http://wingsland.pod...mparison-bingo/

    Here’s what they have so far:

    1. Slobodan Milosevic? YES. (Denis MacShane, Labour MP)

    2. Benito Mussolini? YES. (Lord Foulkes, Labour peer)

    3. Adolf Hitler? YES. (Tom Harris, Labour MP)

    4. Adolf Hitler (again)? YES. (Ann Moffat, Labour MP)

    5. Joseph Stalin? YES. (Alan Cochrane, the Telegraph)

    6. Robert Mugabe? YES. (Lord Cormack, Conservative peer)

    7. Robert Mugabe (again)? YES. (Jeremy Paxman, BBC)

    8. Kim Jong-Il? YES. (Lord Forsyth, Conservative peer)

    9. Caligula? YES. (John Macleod, the Times)

    10. Nicolae Ceausescu? YES. (Neil Collins, the Financial Times)

    11. Genghis Khan? YES. (Kevin McKenna, the Observer)

    12. Nero? YES. (Annabel Goldie, Conservative MSP)

    As you can see from below, we're still missing some so if can help cross off a few more get in touch!

    Posted Image

    ----------------------------

    And of course Joyce will not stand down until the 2015 election. How stupid of me to think we'd get a by-election; this is British politics after all!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...litics-17237879

    ---------------

    IPSOS-MORI Devo Maxx/FFA results…..

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/2928/Scots-back-inclusion-of-Devolution-Max-question-in-referendum.aspx

    Heard of Devo Maxx?

    Y = 65%

    N = 35%

    Should it be on the Ballot certain to vote (all in brackets)?

    Y = 55% (59%)

    N = 41% (37%)

    U = 3% (4%)

    Should Scotland have Devo Maxx certain to vote (all in brackets)?

    Y = 71% (71%)

    N = 25% (24%)

    U = 5% (5%)

    90% of Independence supporters support Devo Maxx as alternative

    ~60% of Lab and Lib voters support Devo Maxx. Even just shy of 40% of Tory voters support it.

    Economics Q's as part of the same survey. Been somewhat misrepresented in the media:

    Effect of independence on…

    Personal finances:

    Stay the same or get better = 57%

    Get worse 36%

    Job security:

    Stay the same or get better = 69%

    Get worse 26%

    Economic conditions:

    Stay the same or get better = 47%

    Get worse 45%

    Scotland’s world standing:

    Stay the same or get better = 63%

    Get worse 33%

    So a majority are consistently content (stay same) or positive (get better) about an independent Scotland economically.

    Averages (excluding don’t knows):

    Stay the same or get better = 63%

    Get worse 37%

    There's that 62.5% (YES) again. Pops up all over the place.

    --------------------------------------------------

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL

    Good post again SS.

    As a Dundonian it's has certainly amazed me how the City has turned away from Labour. It used to be as left wing as some West of Scotland seats and would have returned a Labour MP no matter who it was. To now be the most Nationalist city in Scotland certainly warms the heart. Even my mum votes SNP now and she was on the Timex and Poll Tax marches.

    An absolute disgrace that Joyce won't stand down, however if he is convicted of criminal charges I believe that will trigger a by-election in any case?

    Edited by mountain shadow
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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    An absolute disgrace that Joyce won't stand down, however if he is convicted of criminal charges I believe that will trigger a by-election in any case?

    As I understand it, current rules mean you have to be sentenced to more than a year before you are turfed out automatically. One of the perks of the job – criminal convictions are no big deal.

    I suspect he’s just going along with Labour party advice. Initially, while they suspended him, there was no talk from them of him standing down. Then the new allegations about his relationship with a rather young lady forced them to ‘call’ for him to stand down, but behind closed doors they’ve probably told him to do no such thing.

    Labour are still trying to pretend that Scots ‘want Labour in Westminster and just like the SNP for Holyrood’

    They got away with it in Inverclyde as it was such a safe seat for them even the same swing seen in May 11 to the SNP was not enough for Labour to lose it. Falkirk is very different; already became completely SNP at Holyrood level in May 11, and would easily fall at MP level now. To quote Oliver Brown following Winnie Ewing’s Hamilton by-election win this would “cause a shiver to run along the Scottish Labour benches looking for a spine to run up".

    An SNP win would essentially confirm the inverclyde result and polls that the May 11 election results have now fully transferred to Westminster intention, something Labour are terrified of.

    EDIT. Here's the current quality of Scottish Labour:

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    One for the Scots amongst us, here

    Very good article. Absentee landlords have long been a problem in the Highlands.

    Where I grew up (Dulnain Valley) it was the Seafield Family that put signs up everywhere saying ‘private land’. Aye right, we just walked on it/played on it anyway. The Land Reform Act Scotland (2003) cleared up the old question of whether there was actually any law of trespass in Scotland (was never clear), meaning you can walk/cycle anywhere you want now as long as you don’t do any harm or invade privacy.

    http://en.wikipedia....o_roam#Scotland

    I shall return there when I’m old and grey! Dalnahatnich, Sluggan Bridge – oases of tranquillity and perfect for a picnic + dip in the river.

    Posted Image

    The Scottish Government have big reforestation plans...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...slands-16764494

    Potentially up to 25% of Scotland could be returned to its original forested state, helping the economy by developing sustainable timber production, tourism etc. Making the best of a natural asset while boosting wildlife.

    The deer can be impressive when you find yourself watching an entire herd crossing the road in front of you – they are as good as ‘wild’ and wander the hills themselves. However, they are a major problem for forest regeneration as they love to chomp on young trees; hence all the high deer fences you find around plantations. If you want to help out, buy some venison – makes a lovely hotpot!

    As for the Landed gentry on shoots; I did grouse beating as a teenager once. You wouldn’t believe the plonkers that go on these shoots. Probably the most rude and obnoxious people you’ll ever meet. Your article certainly hits the nail on the head in terms of what a waste they make of Scotland’s land.

    -------------------------------------------------

    EDIT. Interesting article in the Herald today on the Lib Dem conference.

    http://www.heraldsco...volt.1330916648

    LibDems see off grassroots revolt

    Folk within their own party - traditionally supposed to be federalist - shouted down by orders from London HQ for, well, suggesting some sort of federalism. Ye canny make it up.

    Also, according to the Lib Dems, Scotland would be up there with South Sudan, South Ossetia and Kashmir if it went independent. Jeez these guys know how to win votes - insult your electorate and their intelligence as much as possible.

    And of course you can't do a good conference without likening our first minster to some genocidal dictator. Stalin again (Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid); they obviously did not read my earlier post as we've had that one already. We're still looking to cross of Saddam Hussien, Chairman Mao and Darth Vader among others.

    I wonder how the people of, say Finland might take to their Prime Minister being regularly compared to genocidal dictators by the UK press and government ministers/parties. Would likely make the UK rather unpopular I would have thought. They'd probably want to reduce diplomatic ties etc, even if they were not voters of the current PM. After all, it would be their nation being insulted.

    I mean, if there was some evidence of mass graves in the Banff and Buchan area and AS had come to power after a night of the long knives then ok, there might be some justification, but....

    AS has 60% satisfied at the mo. I guess the unionist parties really do want Scotland to be independent. Otherwise, I'm at a loss with this.

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: Maddiston , Falkirk, Scotland 390ft above sea level
  • Location: Maddiston , Falkirk, Scotland 390ft above sea level
    Here is Ed Milliband's contribution to the constitutional debate: " A pensioner in Bethnal green has the same concerns for keeping warm and paying bills as a pensioner in Glasgow" My God Ed if that is the best reason you have for retaining the union then you may as well just leave the debate now! So if a pensioner in Paris has the same problems as a pensioner in London should England not join with France in a united Europe. Honestly I had the same argument with a woman in the Metro who said that her sons supported Man Utd so that was the reason for the UK. I like American music so should we join with them. These inept people should just not open their mouths if this is the level we are at. People all around the world in every country have similar problems to others but that is the case whether they are independent countries or in political unions. The debate should be about identity and culture in the broadest terms. We cannot make someone feel British just as we cannot make someone feel Scottish. It is what is in peoples hearts that is important. If people born,living or working in Scotland feel sufficiently Scottish rather than British then this will decide the outcome. The phony economic war of words and political gerrymandering really does not mean a thing. Scotland will decide!
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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Here is Ed Milliband's contribution to the constitutional debate: " A pensioner in Bethnal green has the same concerns for keeping warm and paying bills as a pensioner in Glasgow"

    My mother in law is a French pensioner living in Le Harve. My wife is French and my daughter half French.

    We've all discussed it at length and concluded that this should not mean a political Union of Scotland and France is necessary.

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  • Location: Maddiston , Falkirk, Scotland 390ft above sea level
  • Location: Maddiston , Falkirk, Scotland 390ft above sea level

    The other one that I heard this morning from a work colleague: "Too many big companies will pull out of Scotland if we get independence" . We really are up against the mass information machine that is the Scottish media. How do we explain to these people that 80% of consumer goods bought in Scotland that originate from the UK are made in England. That is the union. By buying British we are keeping the English in jobs it does not provide jobs for us. Multinational companies do not set up in Scotland because they have one base in each country and in the UK that means England. Heinz,Coca-Cola,Peugeot,Pepsi,Craft....the list goes on. Do people not realise that in Ireland all of these companies have an Irish base in order to trade which provides jobs to the Irish. But in Scotland they don't because England is their UK base.

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  • Location: Lochgelly - Highest town in Fife at 150m ASL.
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and cold. Enjoy all extremes though.
  • Location: Lochgelly - Highest town in Fife at 150m ASL.

    Please excuse my lack of knowledge with this question but IF Scotland voted yes and gained full independence ,( and I have searched but can't seem to find an answer) are they likely to join the Euro? I was listening to an interview a couple of weeks ago and I am sure this question was asked and the politician concerned (can't remember who) would not discount it?

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    The other one that I heard this morning from a work colleague: "Too many big companies will pull out of Scotland if we get independence" .

    In my industry, most companies (Total, BP etc) have a technical base in Aberdeen and a corporate base in London. The majority will move the latter to Edinburgh should Scotland become independent as that is where 90% of operations would be.

    Some companies may move south (e.g. Banks), some companies will come north (e.g. Oil and gas, renewable enegy)....

    Scotland would be expected to gain some benefit when the rUK would not lose out for the instances you say, e.g. Coca-Cola UK Ltd splits into rUK ltd and Scotland Ltd.

    International companies are used to this. Since the war, a new state has come into being on average every two years. Hardly something unusual.

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Please excuse my lack of knowledge with this question but IF Scotland voted yes and gained full independence ,( and I have searched but can't seem to find an answer) are they likely to join the Euro? I was listening to an interview a couple of weeks ago and I am sure this question was asked and the politician concerned (can't remember who) would not discount it?

    The SNP say if they are the government of an independent Scotland, Scotland will retain its own currency, the Scots £ until such time as the Euro actually might be worth joining. That would be subject to a referendum. The need for ERM etc means any such move would be at min a decade away.

    I have no idea what the Libs, Tories and Labour would do if they were elected post independence. I've asked them and they have no manifestos for an independent Scotland. That does not fill me with confidence about ever voting for them.

    EDIT. Note once the May elections are over, the YES campaign will kick off. Things will start appearing through doors etc. PPBs on the telly and whatnot.

    In the meantime:

    http://www.scotlandforward.net/

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: Maddiston , Falkirk, Scotland 390ft above sea level
  • Location: Maddiston , Falkirk, Scotland 390ft above sea level

    In my industry, most companies (Total, BP etc) have a technical base in Aberdeen and a corporate base in London. The majority will move the latter to Edinburgh should Scotland become independent as that is where 90% of operations would now

    Some companies may move south (e.g. Banks), some companies will come north (e.g. Oil and gas, renewable enegy)....

    Scotland would be expected to gain some benefit when the rUK would not lose out for the instances you say, e.g. Coca-Cola UK Ltd splits into rUK ltd and Scotland Ltd.

    International companies are used to this. Since the war, a new state has come into being on average every two years. Hardly something unusual.

    I know when you explain this to some people they just don't get it. I am talking about intelligent people here! The power of brainwashing is quite incredible and most of it comes from fellow Scots! What really bugs me is that folk such as you and I have spent probably a lifetime studying the principles of independence. Yet someone with not even the a basic grasp of the facts can just glibly say :"Aye we couldnae survive on our own" Now I don't even bother disagreeing with them I just laugh and say "did you read that in the Sun". It's the same thing I have listened to since I was sixteen!...actually just becomes white noise after a while. No interest in arguing with these types. Edited by November13
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  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    The SNP say if they are the government of an independent Scotland, Scotland will retain its own currency, the Scots £ until such time as the Euro actually might be worth joining. That would be subject to a referendum. The need for ERM etc means any such move would be at min a decade away.

    I have no idea what the Libs, Tories and Labour would do if they were elected post independence. I've asked them and they have no manifestos for an independent Scotland. That does not fill me with confidence about ever voting for them.

    EDIT. Note once the May elections are over, the YES campaign will kick off. Things will start appearing through doors etc. PPBs on the telly and whatnot.

    In the meantime:

    http://www.scotlandforward.net/

    Not what the SNP finance minister told the daily politics expressly (a clear answer as well, no attempt to avoid the question).

    He stated that until a Euro referendum they would maintain monetary union with the UK (BOE deciding interest rates and money supply) and keep sterling.

    Essentially like now you would use both English and Scottish notes, especially since there will still be free movement of people and for that reason i am not so sure that we will see many companies moving bases or splitting into two divisions because there is simply no need.

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  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL

    Scottish Skier I know one of the reasons that you support Scottish indepependance is because you see Scotland as being overwhelmingly left wing and that the tories are only really voted for by English voters (predominantly southeatern/country ones). However to me that doesn't really constitute a good reason for breaking up the UK. After all the tories won't be in power forever and it is common for different parts of countries to have differnt voting tendancies (just look at America). It seems to me Scottish independance is more about heart than mind and supporters of it seem to think it will create some sort of utopia. As far as i'm concerned people in these islands should get out of this medieval kingdom mentality and forget about English, Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish/Ulster identity (as far as i'm concerned i'm British not English) and except that we lve on a Atlantic archipelago that is already a nation state (excepting the ROI) and there is no need to change that. As for fixing the state of UK politics you don't need secession/indepependance to try and change that. What makes you think that an independant Scotland is going to be any different?

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