You have to love Scottish Labour

The gift that just keeps giving and giving and giving. 

Something Different: The Trump and May Top Ten

As a special tribute to Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, and Theresa May, Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, getting it on this weekend I wondered what they are listening to and came up with what I would play for them below.

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes to Hollywood
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXWVpcypf0w

War – Bruce Springsteen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn91L9goKfQ

19 – Paul Hardcastle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3LdMAqUMnM

My Way – Sid Vicious
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD0eb0tDjIk

Run to the Hills – Iron Maiden
https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=86URGgqONvA

Fortunate Son – Creednace Clearwater Revival
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec0XKhAHR5I

Land of Hope and Glory
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tW0QqiT2LU

We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHcunREYzNY

Relax – Frankie Goes to Hollywood
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCpz3LAjxek

Club Tropicana – Wham
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYX0sjP6Za8

Who gets to vote in Indy2?

In the first independence referendum 16 and 17 year olds were allowed to take part, as were EU/Others living in Scotland and anyone eligible to vote from Wales, England and Northern Ireland and living in Scotland. It was assumed by some that many 16 to 17 year olds would vote yes but also the Scottish Government wanted to be as inclusive as they could in the debate on Scotland’s constitutional future.

On September 18th 2014 52.7% of people born in Scotland and eligible to vote voted YES to Scottish Independence. There were around 420,000 eligible voters from the rest of the United Kingdom and 72.1% of those voted no, while voters from outside the UK eligible to vote resulted in 57.1% voting no. 37.5% of 16 to 19 year olds also voted no in the referendum.

The difference in the result between no 2,001,926 and yes 1,617,989 was 383,937 votes cast. It is estimated that around 177,000 EU citizens took part in the Scottish Independence Referendum with the majority of them making up the 57.1% who voted no.

Now the Scottish Government would never get away with stopping English, Welsh and Northern Ireland voters living in Scotland voting in the next Indy Referendum, nor should they, but I was wondering if all of those who were allowed to vote in Indy1 would be allowed to vote in Indy2 and came across this.

There is currently a petition on the UK Government and Parliament website asking for a debate on the subject of EU citizens to not be allowed to vote in any future Scottish independence referendum, not many signatures so unlikely to make it to the panel who decides what gets debated on the floor of Westminster but interesting all the same.

I was thinking that I would not put it past Westminster to try to make sure that 16 and 17 year olds and EU citizens are not allowed to vote in the next Independence Referendum. Is this something that we will have to be on our guard against the next time given the current decision for the United Kingdom to come out of the EU and the majority of young people very much being pro EU.

Who do you trust!

We’re all English Now

Many of us yesterday were not surprised by the decision of the Supreme Court in London regarding the triggering of the United Kingdoms exit from the EU but I found myself feeling increasingly frustrated and angry as the day went on. Not angry at the comments being made on the BBC Scotland website regarding the decision, but angry at the response of Unionist politicians like Adam Tompkins of the Conservative Party, Willie Rennie of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Barry Gardiner Labour MP for Brent North who all appeared on television last night and who were all very dismissive of Scotland’s opinion.

Willie Rennie in his delusion seems to think that the decision will lead to a referendum on any Brexit deal, what planet is he on. Adam Tomkins (with a smile) said the Supreme Court decision was a “comprehensive defeat” for the Scottish Government. Barry Gardiner in justifying the decision and trying to shut down the argument that Holyrood should have a say noted that “first and foremost I am a democrat” and it was a UK vote. Well we all are democrats, the bloody problem is that England has a built in majority in Westminster with 85% of MPs. It does not matter what Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland wants, even if they all join together, because if English MPs don’t want the same thing it is just not going to happen, that is not democracy that is Colonial Britain. While the yoons scream we must respect the referendum result in 2014, they have broken every promise they made and it turns out the Sewel Convention is just another big lie that too many bought into and that too many don’t care about.

David Mundell, Scotland’s only Conservative MP and Secretary of State for Scotland, recently admitted that he does not represent Scotland in Cabinet, when asked if whether his cabinet role was to represent Scotland Mundell replied “No” to the question. Maybe his title should be changed to Governor-General of Scotland as that is as much as our voice matters, we are one of the last colonies left of the British Empire and how they are going to fight tooth and nail to keep it and far too many people in Scotland are happy for that to continue, being a subject sits so well with so many.

I found all of this so depressing and started to think to myself that we are all English now. When so called Scots delight in the democratically elected parliament in Scotland being denied a say in the constitutional future of the country that we are told we are partners in you know all you need to know. Your vote, my vote, just do not matter as far as Westminster and the Courts are concerned.

Yesterday we didn’t just get slapped, we got punched, kicked, spat on and dragged along the ground by our hair as the Scottish Unionists like Adam Tompkins, Willie Rennie, David Mundell and the cyber yoons smiled and celebrated, is that what you want to be a part of! I don’t, I never did. This got me thinking that when indy 2 comes along, which it surely will, it will be do or die. If Scots vote no again then it’s over, we will be telling the world that we are not a country, we are not Scottish, our voice doesn’t matter and we don’t care.

Should that day come, God forbid, then I will join the 30%+ of people in Scotland who don’t vote in any elections. When your vote means nothing, then why bother to vote at all, and I won’t bother. I will not care if devolution is repealed, if Holyrood is turned into expensive flats for the good and worthy, what England wants England gets so we might as well just let English voters make all our decisions for us because yesterdays decision, and any no vote in the future, is exactly that, a continuation of colonial rule disguised as democracy in a system designed to keep Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland out, unless by some quirk of faith English voters just happen to vote for a party that Scottish voters do also. What a sad state of affairs.

This is not an anti- English blog post before anyone starts to jump all over me. I have many friends and family in England, this blog post is about the political make up of the United Kingdom and the lies we have been fed and the contempt that we are held in by the political establishment in this country. Some of you will argue that England is not Westminster but it is as long as England has a built in majority that allows it to ignore the will, the views and the wishes of the other so called nations in this so called political union.

It is decision time now, you are either happy for us all to be English now or you can look at your children and promise them the chance of something better, it won’t be easy but it will be better. Westminster does not want your opinion, it wants your taxes, wants to place its nuclear weapons on your doorstep and it wants you to shut up and get back in your box. Are you happy with that!

If you are then you can go do one in your victory, me I will get on with my life, do the best that I can for my family and mourn a country that used to be called Scotland but that no longer exists as we are all English now as far as Westminster and the Yoonionist Politicians are concerned.

1280px-flag_of_england_svg

BBC Scotland and the Yoons

BBC Scotland Regional Office very rarely open up comments on any political story unless it is pretty much a guaranteed yoon fest, and an SNP/Nicola Sturgeon hate fest by the good and glorious of the union.

Today is such a day, the Supreme Court (as expected) ruled against the devolved administrations having a say over Brexit and this has now laid open the fact that Holyrood, the majority of voters in Scotland, and this so called political union means nothing. What England wants England gets, simples.

There will be a million words written today and I won’t be able to reach the level of analysis that many others will, but todays judgement surely shows the wavering no voter where Scotland stands in the grand scheme of things in the UK. Of course the Britnats will be having wet dreams tonight getting another opportunity to trash Scotland, the country they don’t recognise nor care a jot for.

So being a brave wee soul I went and had a look at the comments being written and below is a wee sample, I feel sorry for the many yoons trapped into that mindset, being so hateful for people who were born in the same Scotland you were must be so tiring, whatever happens today is another expected but sad day in our so called United Kingdom.

Indy2 can’t come soon enough.

• 9. Posted by JamieFree
on 3 hours ago
Dare you to have another vote – if you’d get behind the fact that the rest of the UK subsidises you, you’d stop trying to commit economic suicide by banging on about independence. Britain would be greater if we act as a whole, but every English tax payer would have more of their hard earned tax money spent on services for them if you left us. I’d like you to stay if Sturgeon would just keep quiet

• Posted by Tom

Going to enjoy watching Nicola Sturgeon screaming like a toddler about this later on today

• Wennigsen

The ruling on Scotland is just. Nieder-Sachsen doesn’t make German foreign policy, nor California, American, nor Yorkshire, British. Scotland is not an independent nation,. no armed forces, no foreign minister,no central bank and relying for centuries on subsidies from the UK taxpayer

• Posted by D Dortman

• 11. Beavo- “Does Sturgeon actually do anything for Scotland? Or does she just complain and throw a tantrum every time something doesn’t go her way?”

She does something…

She runs up an eye-watering decficit (worse than Greece’s)
She sacrifices 4-17 year old education to keep “free” Uni places
She widens the wealth gap in Scotland

Posted by Paul

The Poisoned Dwarf has delusions of grandeur above her station. At the last election the SNP’s 1.4 million votes secured it 56 MPs. Meanwhile, the Green Party won almost as many votes as the SNP but only one MP. Ukip also ended up with one MP despite receiving nearly three times as many votes as the SNP. County Councils get more votes than the SNP.
She builds up a social and NHS deficit that will bite soon

• Posted by ExIFA

So the Scots achieve independence & we assume they will no longer be subsidized by rUK under the Barnett Formula & no doubt will then have to pay some kind of membership fee to join the EU followed by going cap in hand with a begging bowl to the EU. Where is the ‘independence’ in all this? Sure they will be independent from the UK only to become dependent on the EU? Better the devil you know..!

• Posted by Andy

As a proud Scot, I am delighted by this decision.

The vile nationalist agenda of the SNP is nothing to do with Brexit and Sturgeon and her daft pals should keep out of it.

MacK50

She still remains the egoist who wants to take Scotland out of the UK like her puppeteer Salmond who is still pulling her strings. Scotland is and always will be dependent on being part of the UK and incapable of being an independent EU country.

No News is Good News

Is it just me or was it a bit quiet this weekend?

We did learn that the Royal Navy Test Fired a Trident Nuclear Missile at the West Coast of Africa, however the missile headed for Florida. No a nuclear missile is no laughing matter, esp given the bloody things are stored in Scotland because they pose too big a risk to be stored in England, the country that actually wants the ability to murder millions of people, but I did wonder if the Gods were looking down on the stupid UK. I would also be a bit pissed off if I was a citizen of the African continent that the UK saw fit to test fire a nuclear missile in my direction. We also have the politicians scrambling around trying to prove that Theresa May knew about it but refuses to answer, of course she bloody knew and of course they won’t admit it as it’s a pure minter.

zlqporb

Keven McKenna writing in the Sunday Herald wants us all to be nice to journalists and stop calling them bad names, this would be the same journalists who made the Scottish Flag into a swastika during the referendum.

thumbnail_fullsizerenderklan-alba

I can’t pretend to speak for anyone else who is a YES supporter but I am not planning on being nice to any lying, scaremongering, yoon journalist in the vague hope that they might actually follow the journalistic code of ethics and give both sides a fair hearing during the next campaign, they can go do one.

I learned that Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, really likes Theresa May when he said “In a really peculiar way I felt slightly proud of her when she became prime minister”, in an interview with the political betting website, who would have guessed that a Tory would be proud of a Tory.

I learned and wondered why so many British people are expressing opinions on Donald Trump. Emma Thomson thinks it’s terrifying, Stephen Hawking said ” was a demagogue who appealed to the lowest common denominator”, we have the Tories ffs. I also love the image below of oor Kezia, the curse of Democratic Presidential Elections, with a Clinton cardboard cut out.

2-29122565

Symantics

Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSP, again said today on Good Morning Scotland that Scotland had not faced budget cuts but it had increased in real terms. While Derek MacKay, SNP Finance Secretary, argues it had fallen by 9.2% in real terms, don’t you just hate the f language used, real terms!

scottish-budget

The Fraser of Allan Institute has tried to explain who is telling the truth and who isn’t, and it is bloody confusing whichever way you look at it as the politicians, as always, pick the stats they like and obviously discard the ones they don’t.

Scotland’s budget is made of TME ( Total Managed Expenditure ) which is then split up into two areas, DEL (Department Expenditure Limit) and AME (Annually Managed Expenditure). You then have differing elements within DEL.

Fiscal Revenue DEL has decreased by 6% (1.7 Billion) since 2010/11.

Non-cash DEL has increased by around 300 million since 2010/11.

Capital DEL has decreased by 16%, around 600 million, since 2010/11 however the Scottish Government can now borrow more money but obviously this then gets paid back with interest.

The AME budget is £6.5bn in 2017/18 and this has increased by 27% in real terms since 2010/11. This money is mostly taken up by pensions and the Scottish Government have no discretion over this budget at all as it’s administered via the Westminster Government.

NDRI (Non-domestic rates) is another part of AME and has increased by 14% since 2010/11. This is basically the tax we receive from businesses.

But what does all this actually mean?

According to FAI the amount of money the Scottish Government has to spend (the budget) on services has decreased by 5% since 2010/11. Non cash DEL has decreased by 7.4% since 2010/11. TME has basically increased by 0.4% and of course all of this is in real f terms.

So basically depending on what figures you want to use Murdo Fraser is telling some of the truth but not a lot and Derek MacKay is telling some of the truth but a bit more than Murdo Fraser. What a shambles.

But whichever way the politicians want to play games with the statistics they use, or the semantics of their analysis, you cannot hide the fact that there have been cuts, huge cuts. Just look at the approximate figures below for my own local authority:

Dundee City Council Cuts
2011/12 – 14.5 million.
2012/13 – 10 million.
2013/14 – 10 million.
2014/15 – 3.3 million
2016/18 – 28 million.

These ‘real term’ savings have had a real impact on how many staff are employed within Dundee City Council and how services are delivered, not much of it good depending on your point of view. However, I wish politicians on all sides would stop playing f games with the figurers, we are talking about all of our lives here, it’s not a f game.

I don’t really want independence

I was thinking about something the other day and I wondered if it’s really independence that we are after. Now I might be being a little pedantic with this post but sometimes when I think about independence now I tend to think that here in Scotland the word independence has become a more divisive word.

The Unionist media and unionist voters, in my opinion, have been able to take the word independence and turn it into a word that some people get anxious about, in some ways it has become a scary word and one that some people don’t want to be associated with.

The EU referendum showed us, irrespective of how we voted, a narrow-minded and insular England and parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We saw the level of racism and xenophobia on social media and in certain parts of the mainstream media, in some quarters it unleashed something that had been hidden deep inside some people and was allowed to escape, a sort of endorsement to hate for some.

The EU Referendum really got me thinking about Scotland, what we are and our place in the world and it got me to revisit the whole notion of Scotland even being a country. I have often questioned if we are, legally and as a people, do we feel that way. I came to the conclusion, and I think most of us would agree, that Scotland is a country.

The Herald in November 2013 noted that “The Treaty of Union embodied the union  of the parliaments of two countries, England and Scotland, not of the  two countries. The Union of the Crowns did not unite the countries. It  placed the crowns of the two countries onto one head.  The two kingdoms  are  still distinct.”  You don’t get more Yoon than The Herald right.

The Act of Union in 1707 joined the two parliaments and the two crowns, like the EU a political union irrespective of what some yoons might say and think. The Scottish Parliament at the time, and against the wishes of most of the population if history is correct, signed the Act of Union. Therefore I started to think that what we seek is not our independence, we never signed that away, but our sovereignty.

act-of-union

Now I suppose the Scottish Government, elected by the Scottish people, could repeal the Act of Union but many feel this would be unwise and no doubt some would argue it is not within their powers even though I would tend to disagree with that. The Scottish Parliament of 1707 signed the Act and the Scottish Parliament 2017 can repeal it in my mind.

However, that would be very very unpopular in many ways I guess so the way forward is another referendum. The question I have going into a future referendum is should the question be

Should Scotland be an independent country? Or
Do you agree that Scotland should repeal the Act of Union?

I’m starting to think that the debate is not about our independence but about our sovereignty and the Act of Union. The campaign is maybe about taking back our sovereignty and the argument should be put in those terms, the yoons won’t agree, many of those on the yes side may not agree but it’s a thought and I would love to know what you think.

I know I might be being pedantic but it’s not independence I am after, we live in an inter-dependent world, it’s a return of sovereignty to the Scottish Parliament.

How Times Fly (but some things never change)

We all remember the headlines starting in 2013, and still going strong last year around the tax avoidance controversies of various wealthy people and very wealthy companies. I blogged about tax avoidance at the time when the story broke about Apple in Ireland Tax.

apple-taxcameron-taxfacebook-taxtimes-taxtax-cheatspanama-papers

Various politicians spoke about this issue at the time, Theresa May said in a speech during the race to become Prime Minister:

“If there’s evidence that the big utility firms and the retail banks are abusing their roles in highly consolidated markets we shouldn’t just complain about it, we shouldn’t say it’s too difficult; we should do something about it.”

She also promised a crackdown on corporate and personal tax avoidance.

“We also understand that tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society. No individual or no business, however rich, has succeeded all on their own,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re Amazon, Google or Starbucks, you have a duty to put something back, you have a debt to fellow citizens and you have a responsibility to pay your taxes.”

David Cameron called tax avoidance “ frankly and morally wrong “, and that “.” Those who want to evade taxes have nowhere to hide. Tim Farron MP and Leader of the Liberal Democrats said “ time to stop tax avoidance “ and Jeremy Corbyn said “The Government needs to stop pussyfooting around on tax dodging. There cannot be one set of tax rules for the wealthy elite and another for the rest of us. This unfairness and abuse must stop. No more lip service. The richest must pay their way.”

It’s just all bullshit.

We know that the UK Government blocked the EU from imposing a high tariff on Chinese Steel when they were deliberately selling it cheap, even though it threatened British jobs (in the north so who cared). The Tories say one thing and do the exact opposite and today the Chancellor fired the first gun in what could become a trade war with the EU when he said in an interview with a German Magazine that in the event of no deal with the EU:

“We could be forced to change our economic model, and we will have to change our model to regain competitiveness. And you can be sure we will do whatever we have to do. “The British people are not going to lie down and say ‘too bad, we’ve been wounded’. We will change our model and we will come back, and we will be competitively engaged.”

What he really means is that for the Tories turning Britain into a living vibrant Panama Papers model is a dream come true, the Tories I believe want a hard Brexit so the UK becomes a low wage, low tax paradise for those at the top. What this means, according to HW Fisher City Accountants, is that the Tories will promote the steady reduction in corporation tax as part of a long-term rebalancing of the tax burden from companies to individuals.

Time flies but somethings never change, we get shafted big time as usual.

Its Not Even April 1st Yet

Irony – a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.

Taking the piss – taking the piss out of, which is an expression meaning to mock, tease, ridicule, or scoff.

The Guardian ran a story on Thursday that I came across yesterday and could not help wonder if it was April fools day already, in respect of the BBC I thought it was. You can decide, is it irony or plain old taking the piss?

guardian-bbc-fake

It appears the BBC are to put together a team to fact check and debunk deliberately misleading and false stories masquerading as real news. Can I suggest they start with BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay, BBC News Chief James Harding was quoted saying “Where we see deliberately misleading stories masquerading as news, we’ll publish a Reality Check that says so. “And we want Reality Check to be more than a public service”. I had a real laugh at this, the Scottish and EU Referendums, any story about the SNP and about Jeremy Corbyn, social security and the impact of sanctions, Russia and Trump, the list is long as many of us know. Where will they find the time and will this ginormous extra work result in a hike in the TV tax.

This has come about as Ministers called media bosses in for talks on “accuracy” in journalism amid growing concern over the rise of fake news. Matt Hancock, the minister of state for digital and culture policy, has asked the UK newspaper industry to join round-table discussions about the issue.

This makes me think that the Tories are not happy that what they call fake news is of a high enough standard, I mean 45% of people in Scotland didn’t fall for their shit during the Indy Ref and 62% in the EU Referendum, they must be really worried that the BBC is just not doing a good enough job so they will have a chat with everyone, set up a new unit, say it’s going to check fake news when what they really mean is to demand the fake news is of a high enough standard of shit and propaganda.

You just could not make it up.