Skintland: The Economist spells out the wages of Scottish Independence

Robert Henderson

Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish Numpty Party (SNP),  has been at full impotent froth over an article in the Economist which describes Scotland as Skintland and carries a map of Scotland with puns on place names such as Glasgone”, “Edinborrow”, the “Loanlands” and the “Shutland Islands”  and a  headline “It’ll Cost You” (http://www.economist.com/node/21552572).  The article concluded that an independent Scotland would be  “one of Europe’s vulnerable, marginal economies”.  Salmond  vowed the Economist will “rue the day” they engaged in such honesty ..er.. impertinence,  although like Lear he was rather short on actual ideas for the ruing*.

The Economist  pointed out many of the weaknesses of the Scottish economy:  the over-dependence on oil – in 2010/11 18% of the Scottish GDP was derived from  offshore activity; the uncertainty of the oil revenues – in 2009/10 oil tax revenues were around £12 billion: in 2010/11 they dropped to about £6  billion; the fact that oil is a declining  asset; the heavy costs of decommissioning oil platforms in Scottish waters;  the recklessness in pinning high hopes on “green” energy  which is heavily dependent on (English) taxpayer subsidies; the likelihood of firms relocating from Scotland if independence arrived  and the  declining fortunes of the  Scottish financial sector :  “ Since 2007 Edinburgh has slipped from 15th to 37th on the closely-watched Z/Yen ranking of global financial centres, behind Guernsey, Stockholm and Wellington, in New Zealand.”

Then there are the  problems for an independent  Scotland of using the Pound . The Economist pointed out  the disagreeable fact  that  an independent Scotland using the Pound would have no control of over the decisions made which affected the currency or any hope of  money being transferred from the rest of the UK to Scotland if the country ran into the type of economic trouble being experienced by the likes of Greece and Spain in the Eurozone.

To these problems the Economist added  the question of the debt Scotland would inherit as their share of the financial  liabilities the UK  at the point of  independence.  The UK national debt is projected to be £1.4 trillion by 2015 which would be  the date for independence envisaged by the SNP. A share proportionate  to Scotland’s part of  the  total UK population would be £115 billion (8.2% of £1.4 trillion).  That is without allocating any portion of the hundreds of billions which have been pumped into the Scottish banks RBS and HBOs (via the Lloyds Banking Group).   Even  if  that sum was split between Scotland and the rest of the UK on the same basis as the national debt, Scotland’s share would probably push her starting national debt towards £200 billion, an absurd amount for a country of 5 million.

To whatever vast sum the Scottish national debt  started from, these costs would have to be added: the costs of oil installation decommissioning (the Economist estimates these at £30 billion by 2040 as things stand,  but it could be more if fresh installations are made);  the decommissioning of nuclear power stations in Scotland – the Economist gives a figure of £4 billion for this; the cost of servicing all public sector pensions in Scotland and  the funding of public spending  generally which is, according to the Economist  13% per head greater than in the rest of the Uk.

An independent Scotland would have to fund all that from a national GDP of around £145 billion (assuming it does not shrink from its present size after independence).  Nor has the Economist covered all of the  additional costs  involved with independence.  There would be the cost of establishing administrations for all the public service functions now undertaken by the UK on Scotland’s behalf such as foreign affairs and defence;  the loss of the lucrative UK government contracts which are currently pushed Scotland’s way and  the repatriation of the public sector jobs  in Scotland not servicing Scotland , for example, much of England’s social security administration,  to the UK.

There is also the other side of the public finances equation: tax revenue. Scotland would lose the  comfort of  the assured  Westminster Treasury  payment she presently receives which  provides most of the money that the Scottish Parliament spends.   (Because of the higher per capita figure Scotland receives compared to England, this gives Scotland around £8 billion pa more than she would get if the Scottish figure was set at the English per capita figure).  The SNP would argue that the tax revenues from oil would more than offset this loss.  Sadly, as with so many things the SNP claim, it is simply wrong both historically and projected into the future.  A 2009 Scottish Office paper shows that even allocating all of the tax Revenue from the North Sea to Scotland (that is, none to England) since 1980 shows Scotland cumulatively gaining  £20 billion more from the higher per capita Treasury payment than was taken in tax from the oil (see page 1 –http://www.scotlandoffice.gov.uk/scotlandoffice/files/Scotland%20and%20Oil%20-%20Background%20paper.pdf).  As  a significant proportion of the North Sea oil was not in Scottish waters so the actual gain was even greater.

As for collecting tax generally, a distinction has to be made between tax collected from public servants and those employed by companies which derive all or a large part of their revenue stream from public contracts and tax collected from private institutions which receive no money from the taxpayer.   The tax and national insurance collected from public servants’ wages and the tax and national insurance taken from those employed by private companies who pay wages from the money they receive from public contracts is not new money, but simply the regaining  by government of tax  which they have paid out. In short , obtaining  tax from these sources  is merely a book-keeping exercise.  The taxpayer gives out the money with one hand and  collects it with the other. The only tax which counts as new tax revenue  is that derived from  companies and other employers who do not receive any taxpayers’ money.

Scotland has a larger public sector  than England – (25% as against 20% of jobs in England  (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/the-wages-of-scottish-independence-public-sector-employment/) with more than 60% of Scottish GDP being derived from public spending (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/4217793/Scotlands-dependence-on-state-increasing.html). This means that an independent Scotland would have to fund all its public expenditure from less than 40% of the economic activity in the country.

It is worth adding that notional tax takes and tax actually collected are very different things. At present the Scottish  government has an assured income stream because they know that Westminster will pay over what is due each year under the Barnett Formula.  This means the Scottish government can plan. Once they have to collect the tax themselves they move into the realm of uncertainty. An analogy would be between  a publicly funded body and a private company deriving its revenue purely from what it can make in the market. The Scottish government at present is like a publicly funded body:  after independence it would be like a private company.

I have been pointing out  these problems (and others)  arising from  Scottish independence for yonks  – see my http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/the-complete-wages-of-scottish-independence/ .  Because of these difficulties there is a strong probability that an independent Scotland would be churchmouse poor  and dangerously reliant on a few industries and publicly funded employment (the proportion of Scottish GDP dependent on public money is heading towards 70%) .

The English reader might shrug their shoulders and say so what, they made their bed let them lie on it. If only it were that simple. There is a very real danger that England would be left picking up many of the debts Scotland could not pay if Scotland became independent and got into a financial mess which was beyond her economic  strength to repair.

The clean way  for Scotland to divorce  from the Union would be for her to  raise  money by issuing bonds sufficient to pay the rest of the UK what Scotland owed as her share of the UK national debt and the debts arising from the RBS and HBOS bailouts.  (The other  liabilities mentioned above  would automatically rest with Scotland).  Once the bonds were sold,  the proceeds of their sale would be given to the Westminster government who would reduce their borrowing accordingly.   That would  make a clean break with the  risk that the bonds were not serviced resting entirely  on the Scottish government’s ability and willing to pay the interest and ultimately for the redemption of the bonds.

The problem is a newly independent country the size of Scotland would not be able to come close to  raise the money to cover her proportionate share of even  the national debt, let alone the payout resulting from RBS and HBOS bailouts. This would mean that the debt would remain with the rest of the UK, (effectively with England ) with Scotland paying so much a year to  Westminster. If Scotland was unwilling or unable to meet her payments to Westminster the English would end up paying because the debts would legally still be the  UKs.

But practical financial liabilities for England do not stop there.   An independent Scotland which ran into serious financial trouble would, at best,  present England with the same problem that the Republic of Ireland (RoI) presented when the Eurozone ran into problems. It is probable that any likely Westminster government would feel obliged to bail them out just as they bailed out the RoI.  If Scotland continue to use the Pound the position would be much worse,  because any Scottish financial crisis would have a damaging  effect on the  currency as a whole.  It would place the remainder of the UK in the same position as Germany is in with the Erurozone,  a currency union without political union, with all that entails.

What should the Coalition do?  A little ridicule does no harm, especially when dealing with preternaturally thin-skinned creatures such as Salmon because it makes them behave in outlandish ways.  But the prime tool in unscrewing the SNP platform is not to pander to them  or  to Scottish sensibilities generally, but to demolish  the SNP’s claims of Scottish self-sufficiency  by a straightforward description of  what independence for Scotland will mean.   Tell them that they will not have the Pound. Make it clear they must take on the debts of the UK at the time of independence. Spell out the facts about jobs which will be removed from Scotland.  Veto the DevoMax option. Make it clear that independence will mean independence.  Faced with that dire reality, few  Scots would vote for independence.

*”I will have such revenges on you both

That all the world shall—I will do such things—

What they are yet I know not”

“but they shall be

The terrors of the earth.

King Lear Act 2, Scene 4.

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96 Responses to Skintland: The Economist spells out the wages of Scottish Independence

  1. Charlie says:

    Quite right, it’s not for Scotland to pick and choose what they want from England. No to using our pound sterling and their share of the debt should not be based on population but the Barnet formula. I would love to get rid of Scotland but they will never vote for it.

    • Actually, it IS for Scotland to pick and choose what part of what THEY paid for they want to take with them when they leave. They paid for part of all of it. They get to take their share with them or you can’t demand they take part of that huge debt you’ve managed to run up.

  2. JamesS says:

    Thought the English Nazis would jump on this. :)

    The inaccurate drivel of that article is so old hat now it’s laughable. All its foretelling of doom and gloom have been dealt with many times over. A little research will soon have those of fair mind not only questioning the validity of the article but the motives behind it.

    It really is ironic that it’s the English who put forward such playground diatribe when they themselves are the most indebted nation per capita in the world. A nation forced into the madness of printing money to solve a debt crisis. A nation dependent on the wealth of other nations to meet its bills, asking them for c.£10,000,000,000 a month just to stay afloat. A nation reliant on others for its energy, its fuel, its food, its water and increasingly it’s employable workforce.

    Oh yes, England has the right to suggest other countries will be “Skintland”! Robert, sometimes I think you are actually a comedian on the piss take.

    • JFen says:

      “English Nazis”
      I swear James each time I see you comment it gets a little more discriminatory and emotional. I would like to see you challenge the validity, as I, along with anyone else of sane mind, is quick to question anything from any media source or government.

      “A nation forced into the madness of printing money to solve a debt crisis. A nation dependent on the wealth of other nations to meet its bills, asking them for c.£10,000,000,000 a month just to stay afloat. A nation reliant on others for its energy, its fuel, its food, its water and increasingly it’s employable workforce”

      So the entirety of the keynesian west then?

    • TH43 says:

      ”Thought the English Nazis would jump on this. “
      …bleated a Scottish Nazi

      ”It really is ironic that it’s the English … are the most indebted nation per capita in the world.
      Even more ironic when one considers it was caused by a Scottish Chancellor

      A nation forced into the madness of printing money to solve a debt crisis.
      …by a Scottish Chancellor

      ”A nation dependent on the wealth of other nations to meet its bills”
      Completely unlike Scotland who’ve never had to rely upon the generosity of another nation for 300 years

      Buy hey, I don’t want to persuade anyone up there to vote no in 2014. Go for it, please!

  3. R Louis says:

    Of course silly articles like that above and the Remarkably childish ‘Economist’ never bother to consult facts, instead relying on pejorative phraseology and hubris, masquerading as journalism.

    Consider;
    1. Overall Wealth: An independent Scotland would be ranked 6th in the OECD in terms of GDP per head, compared to the UK’s sixteenth place (in 2010).

    2. Oil: There is up to 24 billion barrels remaining in the North Sea. Such a figure equates to a wholesale value of some £1.5 trillion in today’s prices.

    3. Renewables: Scotland has around 25 percent of Europe’s potential offshore wind and tidal energy, and a tenth of Europe’s wave power potential.

    4. Food & Drink: The latest food and drink export figures show exports are at an all time high of £5.4 billion, and growing.

    5. Public Finances: In terms of our public finances, Scotland is better off than the UK as a whole to the tune of £510 for every man, women and child in Scotland in the most recent year (2010/11).

    6. Education: Scotland has five of the top 200 universities in the world.

    7. Inward Investment: Scottish Development International are an award winning agency, with major companies continuing to locate in Scotland.

    Source;

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/04/seveneconomicstrengths15042012

    http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Statistics/source/renewables/et6_1.xls

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/Energy-sources/traditional-fuels/oilandgas

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-16532440

    You and your ilk would do well to read it.

  4. james s says:

    Don’t worry Jfen, I’m not going to be stooping to the level of the more aggressive anglophiles on here. It was just a tongue in cheek dig at those who write and comment to the detriment of any who are not perfect, pristine, white southern English people. You’ll have seen a few articles and many comments like I have that are motivated by more than just the will to celebrate all things English on here. Particularly by those who don’t even have the courtesy to be polite to those not from their area of our little island.

    The paragraph you quoted is a brief and crude summary of the present status of England at present but it is accurate. The debt figures are astronomical and if you look at total debt figures, including debts held by corporations and personal debts, not just the “public” debt, England is the most indebted nation on Earth per head (with or without Scotland as partner in the union). The debt stands at just under 10 trillion dollars and when state pensions, public sector pensions and PFI payable are factored in England (UK) faces a debt to repay of ten times it’s entire GDP.

    The realities of Scottish independence go much further. Had Scotland ended the UK on 5th April 2010, England’s balance of payments deficit would have been double due to the loss of revenue from Scottish territory. This chronic deficit that saps England of enormous amounts of wealth every year would require monumental restructuring and government active investment to address. It is for this reason that since the late 70s, we in the UK have nose-dived in the wealth rankings. Currently, the IMF has us at 22nd, the World bank at 20th and the CIA World Factbook has us at 25th. We’re not even Premier League anymore, but in the old second division. Indeed, some commentators are concluding that if we remove what we’ve borrowed, our real wealth (allowing for inflation) is more or less where we were in the 70s. The growth between then and now has effectively been a debt-driven illusion which sadly our kids and grandkids will somehow have to pay the bill for. Indeed, if the Chancellor has his way, there will be many generations of English who will have to foot the bill for this monumental incompetence with his 100 year and/or indefinite bonds. To pass on our iabilities and screw ups to the children of parents who themselves have not even been born yet seems morally incomprehensible to me.

    When you take into account the chronic trade and balance of payments deficits (which will double if Scotland ends the Union), the fact 25% of corporation tax receipts came from Scottish territory last year, the effective subsidy Scotland gives to London and the South East each year (like the other regions of England do also) which pays for “government” while boosting London’s economic output at the same time, there will be serious holes that somehow the chancellor would have to fill in Scotland’s absence. Year on year, government official figures show Scotland is a net contributor to the UK so despite the stereotypical portrayal of the benefit junkie “Jock” that many believe (like the Economist’s London-based journalists, Kelvin McKenzie etc), England will be worse off as a result of Scottish Independence at a time when they are facing terrible economic realities. Have none of you ever wondered why ALL of the mainstream parties are desperate to hang onto Scotland? Never questioned why on one-hand they’ve been downplaying the merits of the Scottish economy with insults, stereotypes and frankly damn right lies yet use every trick in the book to hang onto it?

    As I mentioned before, England is reliant on imports for it’s fuel, energy, food, increasingly water and in many areas it’s workforce. I doubt therefore that the trade deficit will change any time soon with that reality, These are the factors that will define the strong and the weak in the next century. England has a tough ask to meet the eye-watering levels of debt repayments with an economy so structurally imbalanced. Through sheer luck, Scotland has an abundance of nearly all of these core essentials so perhaps the eyes of those who snear and direct ridicule at their cousins north of the border should instead be directed at their own little country. They might not like what they see. “Skintland”? Who are we really referring to here?

    The sad thing is that the media are creating tensions and resentment where there need not be any with their trashing of all things Scottish. This map of Scotland is just one example of it. Robert and his cronies on here also do a great job at generating hate . I am a Scot and although I believe the Union is long past its sell buy date it would never occur to me to wish for hard times for my friends and relatives down here in England or anyone else for that matter. What’s disappointing from those who produced this article and it’s front page and many others like it is not that there is a possibility Scotland could go down the pan so to speak, but that it’s clear they actually wish for it to be so. I hope and believe both countries would be better off in the long run and have a more settled relationship with one another. Scotland leaving would almost certainly spark the voices of reform in England which may eventually give the voters the confidence to end the stalemate of Westminster in favour of more progressive thinking to the benefit of the whole of England and not just the southeast. And by god does it need it.

    Regards.

    James S

    • charlie says:

      Perhaps you could explain why Scotland receives money through the Barnet formula. Can you imagine the uproar if English people received more money per head than Scottish people. Fat bastard Salmond would be the first to complain.Perhaps you would agree this is is unfair. England does have huge debts which were greatly added to by Scottish bank bail outs. Scotland could never have afforded these on her own. Also England does not import any water at all. The taps are not going to run dry we just have just stop watering the lawn. Hardly a great hardship.

      • homeruleforengland says:

        Well said Charlie. I can’t wait for 2014. If the Scottish bottle it and vote NO to independence I wonder who the nationalists will blame? Probably us English. I hope they vote YES and go.

      • james s says:

        Q: “Perhaps you could explain why Scotland receives money through the Barnet formula”?

        A; Erm, because the Scots hand over all their money to the London excequor and need some of it back to function. I would have thought most people understood that. The Scots handed over 63.8 billion in 2010/2011 and the Scots Govt received 38.1 billions back in a block grant, the remaining being retained by Westminster to cover “costs” that we have no control over.

        Q: “Can you imagine the uproar if English people received more money per head than Scottish people. Fat bastard Salmond would be the first to complain.”

        A: That would be an issue if the Scot’s didn’t contribute far more in the first place. In 2010/2011, Scots contributed 9.6% of total UK revenues from what represents just 8.4% of the UK’s population. In reality, the Scots contribute more than anyone else, according to official kite marked ONS statistics used by Westminster. See GERS 2010/2011. The public sector costs you mention simply reflect the fact that costs are higher in sparsely populated areas compared with densely populated areas. A similar story is told in many areas in England outside the South. Even with this consequence of a small population in a large country taken into account, Scotland received just 9.3% in funding in 10/11, 3% less than what she contributed.

        Q: England does have huge debts which were greatly added to by Scottish bank bail outs. Scotland could never have afforded these on her own.

        A: Firstly, there were no “Scottish Banks bailouts”, there were only British bank bailouts. Northern Rock and the Halifax were most defintely English if we use your crude rationale. The two “Scottish Banks” as you would like us to believe were regulated in London and conducted 90% of their “risk” business from there. The liability even if Scotland had been independent would at the most have been 10% as the liabilty with international banks lies in the countries that regulate them and from which they conduct the business that created the liability. This means England would have been responsible for the remaining 90% as 90% of the fraudulent trading occurred in London. The fact that the UK Govt fully expects to at least break even from their share ownership in these banks renders the point largely moot anyway don’t you think?

        Secondly, since the Union in 1707, all profits from these “Scottish Banks” have been paid into the English exchequor. The tens of billions these banks have directly and indirectly generated for the UK Treasury over the past 300 years have benefitted the entire UK population, of which 90% or so were English, so don’t you think it’s a bit unfair to suggest the Scots who’ve only received c.10% of the proceeds should meet 100% of any potential liabilty anyway?

        A little thought goes a long way.

      • Since Scotland receives back LESS than it puts in the pot… but that’s a rather inconvenient point you prefer to ignore, isn’t it.

  5. uKn_Leo says:

    Yay, independence for Scotland. Can’t wait. Re-patriation of tens of thousands of civil service jobs boosting the English economy rather than falsely boosting Scotlands. Re-patriation of all the Scottish politicians who have deliberately done so much damage to England, her finances and culture which allows Scottish commentors to proudly boast how failed England has become.

    Imagine, an English parliament, full of English MP’s acting solely on behalf of their English constituents. Rather than always, always having to put the interests of our putrid, selfish, loud-mouthed, aggressive wee faux ‘celtic’ neighbours first.

    Imagine my English friends FREEDOM. Freedom from Scottish tyranny and sheer incompetence. Freedom to restore England in all her glory. And the freedom to export to Scotland all the unwanted 3rd world immigrants and Muslims that Scottish ministers have foist on England to try and destroy us. You can have our Zionists too, and any other enemies of England or her people. Because to refuse to take them would be racist yes?.

    Yay, independence for Scotland. NOW.

    • Geoff, England (not Britain or 'United' KIngdom) says:

      Even if there were an English parliament tomorrow, it would be full of LibLabCon filth, mostly. They wouldn’t care any more about their constituents than they do now, but the idea of clearing out all the MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is something I hope will become reality at some point, and I hope it won’t be too many years away

  6. uKn_Leo says:

    (By the way james s. I didn’t, and won’t, read one word of your epic tome. I have no interest whatsoever in what the Scots have to say about this subject anymore. You are to a man delusional deceivers, twisters of the truth, blinded by sheer hatred and bigotry. Be gone.)

  7. james s says:

    UKn Leo,

    Despite your unwillingness to read my post above, I sadly read yours. If you’re an example of the type of person who’ll attempt to return England to all her “glory” then your country truly is doomed little man. Ironic, I’m chastised above for jokingly referring to “English Nazis” and yet, with your contribution, we have a classic example of it.

    So, you want rid of any Jews, Scots, Welsh, Irish, Cornish, Africans, Indians, Carribeans, Arabs,from your little country?

    What of those who are interbred with the English, they’ll be close to their non-English relatives. Do they have to go too?

    What of the English who’ve made an arse of things? Margaret Thatcher and John Major presided over two bad recessions, high inflation, crippling interest rates, boom and bust, the ERM disaster, inventing mass unemployment along the way. They were the first to accept balance of trade deficits, the first to accept chronic debt on a massive scale and the first to run the economy consistently in the red, a practise sadly continued by New Labour who basically should be renamed “Tory-Lite”. The Tories sold off the country’s assets, totally squandered the proceeds, in the name of competition that’s now given us crippling utility bills and our infrastructure at the whim of the needs of shareholders.

    The Tory program of de-industrialisation, de-regulation, centralisation, debtonomics and the false belief in the City of London as the country’s golden goose led to the pathetic situation we are in today. These were ideas conceived by English politicians, voted on by an overwhelming majority of English MPs so what do you say of their monumental screw ups? Their legacy will rape the pockets of YOUR grandkids at the very least.

    You talk of the Scots ruining it all. Laughable really as they could do diddly squat without a majority from the votes of 600 ENGLISH MPs in every piece of legislation they ever passed. Away back to the Daily Mail blogs or the Sun blogs where you come from you simple little man.

    JamesS

  8. uKn_Leo says:

    Ahh, the response, to be expected of course, full of bitter ‘celtic’ racism, insults and bile. And of course anyone showing the merest hint of English patriotism is automatically branded a nazi and a Daily Mail and Sun reader.

    Unfortunately for you Mr james s, I have a thorough, deep understanding of who my nations’ enemies are, and yes they are enemies, including our homegrown traiterous political class. I would suggest that my hand picked wish list of potential candidates for kicking across the border demonstrates that conclusively.

    Funny how Scottish, Welsh, Irish or anyone else for that matters’ sense of patriotism and national pride is to be lauded and encouraged. But English pride, history and the English people themselves are to be erased from history. Cheered on by the likes of the heroic cyber warrior, Mr james s, who arrives on the scene, wailing like a banshee once he thinks he’s sniffed a target.

    Carry on by all means mighty cyberclansmen Mr james s. Knock yourself out as they say. There is nothing, NOTHING you can do or say that will diminish my pride in my much maligned country or her people. Just hurry along with your ‘independence’, there’s a good boy. You and your sorry countrymen are growing increasingly tiresome.

    • Richard G says:

      A lot of English pride in people was neutered by aggressive political correctness promoted by white, middle class, atheist middle management in the public sector from successive neo-Liberal Tory and NuLabour regimes. I worked for three years in a inner London Borough Council and saw a blatant disregard of anything uniquely English (St George’s Day for instance). Flags flying at the Town Hall were the EU flag and a Gay Pride flag. Self inflicted hate.

  9. uKn_Leo says:

    (and expensive).

  10. Richard G says:

    If the Scots are so bad as the Daily Fail, Daily Distress and the Torygraph like to point out on an almost daily basis, being a drain on English taxpayers, subsidy junkies and, no-doubt, taking the food from the mouths of hard working English families, then why don’t the English rise up and start campaigning for an independent English Parliament in 2014. You all say “if there was a vote tomorrow in England, then …. “, then do it, empower yourselves while there is still time. Why do you kick Scotland down for it’s perceived failures, blame blame blame, then sneer at Alex Salmond and the independence movement. Surely he is on your side!

    England needs to be represented, Campaign for an English Parliament 2014. Just do it!

  11. james s says:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of your country within reason. However, when it blinds you to the f**k-ups perpetrated by your own countrymen and you lay the blame at the door of everyone else, that is both dangerous and delusional.

    You conveniently ignore my questions to you on Thatcher’s and subsequently Blair’s Debtonomics, the culmination of which is the train-wreck we see today. Thatcher’s legacy may last 50 years or more such is the depth of the shit we’re in and I didn’t hear one single twang of a Scottish accent. Blair genetically is half English, half Irish although he was born and lived in Edinburgh for a few years so he must’ve been tainted while a child with scottish ineptitude eh?

    You can’t blame it all on labour either as one of the reasons the Tories were booted out was the fact their second hard recession left us with a debt of 57% of GDP! The shit was already hitting the fan back then but naively Westminster chose to ignore it and continued to allow public, personal and corporate debt to go out of control as it was providing the illusion of economic growth. You know Westminster dont you? That place located in England, filled by a vast majority of English people, respresenting a vast majority of English voters who sanctioned their jobs? No?

    In my village in Yorkshire, I know of 6 Scots all of whom are 40% tax payers of which I am one of them. Shall we have them booted back to Scotland then? When they do more for the English economy than most of the English do?

    Grow up man.

  12. james s says:

    p.s. I know it must grate you that even if the Scots vote for independence, the most common boys name in England will STILL be Mohammed. That makes me laugh, at your expense.

    • TH43 says:

      It’s good to see you hate all English people, regardless of colour. That makes you a liberal bigot, congratulations

  13. uKn_Leo says:

    @james s

    ‘p.s. I know it must grate you that even if the Scots vote for independence, the most common boys name in England will STILL be Mohammed. That makes me laugh, at your expense’.

    Ethnic genocide makes you titter does it Mr james s?. Why does that not surprise me. And you so arrogantly inform me that I need to grow up.

    As already indicated I am fully aware of everything you have mentioned regarding the economic, cultural, political and philosophical background to Englands plight. I am also fully aware of who is responsible, be they native English or otherwise. I’m not here to debate with you. I’ve made it clear I have no interest in a Scotsmans opinion on the future of these isles.

    My concern is for England.

    In that regard my mind boggles as to why you’re here Mr james s?. This website is solely focussed on issues of import to England. Are you bored Mr james s?. Nothing of interest to troll in the Hootsmon this evening?. I’m sure it’s both highly amusing and productive to spend ones valuable leisure time pointing out that the country you claim to live in yourself is currently being overrun with Muslim immigrants. What a joy filled life you must lead.

    But do you think those same immigrants will recognise or stop at the Scottish border once they’ve finished devouring England Mr james s?. Or do you instead suspect they might complete the job and wipe the smug Scots off the map too?. I for one doubt that a nation of five million whose men have a penchant for wearing skirts will hold much fear for the Nation of Islam, one billion Mohammeds strong.

    Sleep tight Mr james s. Whilst you are still able.

  14. james s says:

    Anders Breivik?

    You posting from prison?

  15. TH43 says:

    James S said somewhere…
    ”A: Firstly, there were no “Scottish Banks bailouts”, there were only British bank bailouts”

    Why is it that if something is seen to be good, it is Scottish, but when something Scottish is seen to be bad, it’s British?

    Wee Eck once said “RBS is the jewel in the crown of Scottish industry” but now it’s obviously British since the Scottish Chancellor decided they were capable of playing in the Premier League, despite having the skills of a Sunday morning pub side.

    • charlie says:

      Yes exactly right, this is what the SNP do every time. I remember when Scottish unemployment was slightly lower then the rest of the UK and fat bastard Salmond was on the Jeremy Vine show saying this was plan mcB, infrastructure investment was creating jobs bla bla bla. Now Scottish unemployment is higher than the rest of the UK he is blaming Westminster cuts. Utterley pathetic.

      • John Meek says:

        Don’t ever forget that you have Alex Salmond to thank for sending Scottish Police Units south when your cities were burning.

      • JamesS says:

        Is it pathetic? The biggest losses in jobs have come from the public and related sectors which he has little or no control over. The cuts from london have hit the respective budgets hard.

        Yes the unemployment rate is now slightly above the UK average but ironically so is the employment rate and the financial activity rates. So there are more people working and being financially active in Scotland than the rest of the UK. Take from those statistics what you will.

        At the end of the day, without the economic leavers he is totally at the whim of Osbourne’s 2nd class history degree intellect. And boy is that intellect working wonders!

    • JamesS says:

      RBS was hailed as the most successful British bank for decades as it was. Successive Tory and Labour Chancellors licked it’s arse with inpunity. It is a London regulated, British bank that originated a few hundred years ago in Scotland. 90% of it’s activity that created it’s downfall was conducted in London, where incidently the bulk of the fraudulent banking activity took place that eventually undermined the entire global banking system. What Salmond said in one of his chest beating speeches is neither here nor there.

      Another wee point to make is that ultimately it was the purchase of ABN Amro that caused its collapse. Are we to ignore the fact that they beat an “English” bank to the same deal at the 11th hour? Barclays was desperately trying to clinch the same deal but let’s brush that mere detail under the carpet eh? To blame the Scottish people for a London disaster is hardly fair don’t you think?

      And come on! How many times when a Scot wins something on the BBC he’s British yet they’re scots when they fail? “Scotland’s Andy murray failed to clinch his first major title today”; “Britain’s Andy murray wins the Queens Tournament” etc etc.

      The fact is they were all British banks before the crash. I never heard the term “Scottish Banks” until after the meltdown and I’ve worked in the Finance sector for many years. The less well-informed Engs created that term when they needed someone to blame, irrespective of the fact Northern Rock and the Halifax, which was the achilles heel of HBos, were both English!

      • Charlie says:

        I’m quite incredulous. They were called Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland. Yes no suggestion they were scottish then! They both had their headquarters in Scotland. Rbs had a Scottish chief exec. Barclays didn’t buy out abn amro because they didn’t want to over pay. There was no fraudulent activity, no one has been charged, they just lent and borrowed money unwisely.

        Northern rock was tiny and bank of Scotland bought out Halifax, they were responsible for its management. You really are stupid.

      • TH43 says:

        The Royal Bank of SCOTLAND, a SCOTTISH company registered in SCOTLAND (No 90312) with a SCOTTISH CEO and predominantly SCOTTISH BoD, based at their registered address Edinburgh SCOTLAND, who played the Braveheart theme at their AGM in 2007

        … according to you they weren’t SCOTTISH??? Are you being serious?

        How about Halifax Bank of SCOTLAND plc? Registered in SCOTLAND No. SC218813 in Edinburgh

        …this wasn’t a Scottish bank either?

        Both were considered minnows, neither was feted by any Chancellor before Gormless Gordon came on the scene and both were exposed for the amateurs they were. Both were then encouraged to take over other banks by that great clown and the results were disastrous. They almost brought down another English bank (Lloyds) after Gormless paved the way for a takeover.

        BTW they didn’t beat Barclays to the punch over ABN Amro, Barclays wisely backed off and let the fools run in where angels feared.

        (PS Murray is never referred to being anything other than Scottish)

  16. JamesS says:

    “Don’t ever forget that you have Alex Salmond to thank for sending Scottish Police Units south when your cities were burning.”

    Yeah, what a “Fat Bastard” eh?

  17. uKn_Leo says:

    You’ve been utterly trounced Mr james s. You are a thoroughly dishonest man and a disgrace to these isles, even by Scottish standards.

  18. uKn_Leo says:

    I’m curious to know why you’re here and why you seem so determined that your erroneous, racist, one-sided, discriminatory and deceptive thoughts and opinions MUST have the last word. Truly ‘celtic’ arrogance and obfuscation knows no bounds.

    • JamesS says:

      I’m racist and discriminatory? My god.

      Your comments from above:

      “putrid, selfish, loud-mouthed, aggressive wee faux ‘celtic’ neighbours”

      “export to Scotland all the unwanted 3rd world immigrants and Muslims”.

      “You can have our Zionists too”

      Why are you so full of hate? So willing to blame others for your own country’s failings. Silly little man.

      I see your type all along. Brave behind the keyboard. Cowards in the real world.

      You’re dismissed.

      • TH43 says:

        Leo, just because James says “the most common boys name in England will STILL be Mohammed. That makes me laugh, at your expense.” doesn’t mean he thinks there’s anything wrong or negative with people who are called Mohammed.

        It simply means he is, er… hold on … finding the letter construction of the word amusing. If James was racist or discriminatory, he’d mean it as a compliment when he called us all Nazis, wouldn’t he?

  19. JamesS says:

    My god, the ignorance here is incredible.

    RBS were minnows? In 2008, Forbes Global 2000 confirmed them as the world’s biggest company with assets approaching 4 trillion dollars in value. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/18/biz_2000global08_The-Global-2000_Assets.html. Even today, their assets total just under 2 trillion which still could hardly be described as minnows.

    Where the banks are headquartered is utterly meaningless in this argument. It is the jurisdiction within which their activities that created the potential liability lay that matters. 90% of the toxic transactions that caused their downfall were carried out in their subsidiary offices in London! The retail banking side was not at fault for their demise it was the investment banking side BASED IN LONDON, REGULATED BY LONDON, THE SAME PLACE THAT ALSO ACCEPTED THEIR TENS OF BILLIONS IN CORPORATION TAX REVENUES AND SPIN OFF REVENUES TIL THE BUBBLE BURST!

    The Scottish people and the traditional and highly successful retail bank had f’all to do with the wrecklessness of it’s London-based investment arm. Wrecklessness that was conducted by nearly all the UK banks and facilitated by 30 years of govt. deregulation that allowed mindless re-hypothecation of debts by both UK and Non-UK banks with offices in London. These practices were outlawed in many other countries like the US so they all set up spin-off companies in London to trade paper with each other to generate commissions and fake profits risking unimaginable amounts of other peoples’ money.

    It was London and to a lesser extent New York that were responsible for the calamity that befell the capital markets for which we all are paying. If any of you do not think fraud was committed you should just leave the argument alone as you clearly have no clue about the subject. No-one has been held to account for this except the Scapegoats of Goodwin and RBS because the people who are in the position to do somethning about it (i.e. Cameron and his govt.) rely on the handouts of the very same people they’d have to attack. Open your eyes ffs.

    The fact RBS and BoSc had their head offices in Edinburgh is of no consequence as they are multinational companies with subsidiary companies in London and all over the world. Halifax was HBos’s achilles heel and RBS’s London-based investment arm was theirs!

    I suppose the fact London’s police headquarters are housed in Scotland Yard the dimmer Engs among you will blame the London riots on the Scots too?

    Get real.

    • Charlie says:

      Where were the management based, Edinburgh. They control the business strategy, risk etc. The English bankers in London were not a separate entity. If anything the management were at fault, did they not know what the risks were and if they didn’t they should have. In most organisations the management take responsibility not say oh it’s not my fault because I was 400 miles away from the city of London.

    • TH43 says:

      James, please read a post carefully before you comment, otherwise you’ll look a complete fool and your arguments will collapse faster than a Scottish bank!

      I said RBS and HBoS were minnows until Gordon Brown came along. In 1997 RBOS couldn’t afford offices in the City, they had to HQ in Islington. By 2007 they were running around the financial markets like a five year old who’d found a hand grenade!

      A bank’s HQ has EVERYTHING to do with a bank’s failure, that’s where the buck stops, that’s where the leadership team are based, they’re the ones who’re supposed to be running things. You obviously don’t understand corporate life (even if you’ve worked in one for decades).

      As for deregulation, it was Gormless’s tampering with a system that worked that caused the Scottish catastrophe. He took power from the BoE and gave some of it to his newly invented FSA and some to a Govt department. The consequences were as devastating as the decision to let a couple of provincial banks think they could operate on the world stage with the big boys.

      Gormless and Darling had a closed door meeting with Lloyds and as a result, on page one of the takeover document was a commitment to save “Scottish jobs”. As a thank you to the English taxpayer, who was asked to bear the greatest burden in the bail out, their jobs were sacrificed. (and some wonder why Scottish independence is more popular in England than it is in Scotland)

      For the record, I do not blame Scots for the London riots, but I do blame them for the majority of tramps wanting 50p for a cup of “tea”. (but we prefer them to the more expensive Scottish bankers)

      • JamesS says:

        If I were to look a fool then perhaps it would at least be consistent with most of the other posts on this thread. However, some basic points to educate you:

        1) RBS was a private company previously owned by shareholders from all over the globe. The Scottish people nor any people have any responsibility for private companies, only their shareholders and board do.

        2) RBS paid ALL of its tens of billions of taxes over the few hundred years of its existence into ENGLAND, with only c.10% of it being distributed back to Scotland through the normal distribution of govt revenues. So despite having received just c.10% of it’s profit and related taxes, with c.90% going to ENGLISH PEOPLE, you suggest the Scottish taxpayer should have met 100% of the liability? OK, we will, just give us back the tens of billions the ENGLISH have creamed off the “Scottish” banks, uplifted for inflation of course. Get real.

        3) Again, RBS (and HBos) are termed “Minnows”. Forbes ranked RBS as the world’s biggest company and you are suggesting they “couldn’t afford” premises in London? Truly incredible.

        4) Almost every bank in Europe was technically insolvent after the largely LONDON-DRIVEN debt fraud caused the eventual collapse of the money supply. The cause of this collapse had absolutely NOTHING to do with any “de-regulation” imposed by Labour or Conservative Govts. It was the irresponsible selling of high risk debt and the mindless gearing of it through the use of derivatives.

        Derivatives and the nature of debt was never specifically regulated. The Tories, most of whom are ENGLISH, were all for further deregulation of the banking sector when in Govt and in opposition. It was their idea, a totally free market. Thatcher’s Golden Goose that keeps on laying. What have they done since returning to power? Have they stopped the selling of these same high risk investments? Have they forced the banks to compensate us all for their misdemeanors (the banking levy is a joke!). How could they, their former school chums fund their party!

        The deregulation you mention was the relaxing of the rules which allowed the banks to effectively risk their assets on the retail side of their business against their high risk Investment operations. This deregulation occurred in most of the major financial centres around the world, not just the UK. It is why banks have had to be bailed out in nearly every major country. This all happened on Brown’s watch granted, but your English tories and their friends in the city welcomed it wholeheartedly and even voted for it! To suggest this has something to do with nationality is pathetic. Sad really.

        Ironically, it was Gordon Brown in his first meeting with G20 finance ministers after he became chancellor who suggested stronger banking regulation due to the risks associated with the globalisation of the market. Naturally, his voice wasn’t heard as the banks were creaming it in for their respective govts. Obviously, you can’t just unilaterally tighten regulation on your own banks in a global market as the money will just waltz off elsewhere. The heads were buried in the sand and the rest is history so to speak.

        5) We know from point 2 above that as the UK collectively accepted the tens of billions in taxes from the “Scottish” and “English” banks, it collectively has to meet any liabilties also. Therefore, Scotland’s share of those liabilities is 8.4%

        Had Scotland been independent, RBS etc would have had to create an English subsidiary bank to operate from England. The proceeds from this bank over the years would have been paid into the coffers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland only and as such, any liability would have fallen upon their taxpayers should their govt. have decided it was in their best interests to save the bank.

        Scottish taxpayers would naturally have footed the bill for any liabilty arising from RBS operations within their jurisdiction. As 90% of RBS activity is from the south, Scotland’s bill would have been more or less as it is now being part of the UK.

        Next?

      • TH43 says:

        1 RBS was a Scottish Company, with a Scottish board and a Scottish CEO.

        2 RBS paid taxes into the UK coffers and Scotland received more back than she put in until very recently (and only then due to high oil prices). As they were a Sunday League bank before Brown started meddling, the amount they paid into the coffers didn’t nearly cover the cost of bailing them out

        3 RBS were minnows before Brown. Their London HQ was in the Angel, not the City. After they recklessly borrowed billions, they took over Nat West and nearly did the same with ABN Amro, but the charade was over by then

        4 Every bank in the world is ALWAYS insolvent and always has been. This is on page 1 of the Ladybird Book of Banks. However, the Scottish banks were spectacularly amateurish, whilst the main English banks were largely unscathed (until Gormless introduced Lloyds to his mates in Edinburgh).

        The deregulation of the 80s did not cause the Scottish Bank catastrophe. It was not Gormless’s deregulation that caused problems, it was his tinkering with the compliance mechanism, ie the creation of three guardians (BoE, FSA & Govt ministry)

        5) We know from point 2 above that as the UK collectively accepted the tens of billions in taxes from the “English” banks (and much lower sums from “Scottish” banks) but it didn’t have to meet any liabilties. If the Govt had taken over the banks, sold the good business, guaranteed funds of savers and then made them insolvent, it would have cost us a lot less.

        He didn’t because they were Scottish banks and he’d just lost an election to the SNP in Glasgow East. It was politics and it was a politician who had sworn an oath to hold Scotland’s interests “paramount”.

        Nationality had everything to do with it.

        Had Scotland been independent, RBS etc would have had to create an English subsidiary bank to operate from England. The proceeds from this bank over the years would have been repatriated to Scotland, just as profits from overseas are always funneled back to the homeland. If Scotland alone had tried to save RBS, Scotland would now be begging Greece for money.

      • JFen says:

        To James,

        TH43 is more or less right with his analysis of the fact it was governments fault for the bubble, not the banks, the banks were merely reacting to government actions.

        recommend – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgMclXX5msc&feature=related

        For more info on how it was exactly the regulations and bailout out bad companies which got us into the mess

    • Bob says:

      James
      Looking from the outside, you have come to a duel of wits, but your adversaries are unarmed.

      You waste you breath with these mindless racists. They are the result of a very poor
      educational system. You are right, if they were that intent on winning their own independence they would have a referendum themselves, but they wont because they are lazy and want someone else to do it for them. The racist is always a jealous, bully, do nothing, poor excuse for a man or women.

      .

      • TH43 says:

        I think you should stop “looking from the outside” and keep your bigotted, racist views to yourself Bob.
        If you’d like to contribute to the debate, please do, otherwise, leave it to the grown ups.

      • Jfen says:

        Scottish is not a race

  20. JamesS says:

    Charlie, you wrote: “”(PS Murray is never referred to being anything other than Scottish)””

    HaHa, there is actually a website dedicated to this subject that uses public votes and references in the press to determine whether he’s British or Scottish. Although it is a bit tongue in cheek the pattern is clear. When he’s doing well, he’s British. Once he loses, he tends to be scottish again.

    Here’s the 2010 season as an example: http://andymurrayometer.com/stats10.htm. Currently he is 73% british but he has had a decent start to the season. No doubt when he has a slump he’ll be Scottish again. :)

    • Charlie says:

      I never said that. If you look at the bbc website today it mentions Murrays win and calls him a Scot as well as the British number one. Wrong again. Ps he will never win a grand slam because he is a bottler.

  21. uKn_Leo says:

    And he’s back again. The fount of all knowledge Mr james s. Because of course only a superior Scottish intellect could have any insight into the intricacies of finance capital or the complex vaguaries of international derivatives markets.

    This is old news Mr james s. You impress nobody, except maybe yourself. You certainly seem to have a truly vast, arrogant ego to stoke.

    Nothing in the Hootsmon to troll for a second evening?. My how we are truly blessed by your magnificent presence on this English, English biased, Anglocentric forum. I still have absolutely no idea why you’re here. Are we supposed to feel honoured by the attentions of such a fine, polite, mild-mannered patriotic Scotsman?. Who clearly feels the need to spend every waking, watchful moment, scouring the internet for any hint of the truth emerging in the ongoing ‘celtic’ war to destroy all things English. Because I assure you we don’t.

    Are you being paid for this service to Scotland Mr james s?. Bank rolled by ol’ fat ass lying fool, big Jowly eck?. If not, what exactly do you think you gain from being here?. Because apart from staggering tedium, and the occasional chuckle at the thought of you sat at your over-used keyboard, flame haired, kilted, saltire festooned underpants, steaming oot’ the ears and frothing at the mouth at the thought of any free English expression over any subject related to Scotland.

    No, apart from that, we gain absolutely nothing by your presence here.

    • JamesS says:

      Your last sentence is very revealing. It says alot about you. You learn little from talking but alot from listening sir. You should try it.

      I may not agree with everything that’s posted on this site but I agree with some of it and on occasion I learn something new. To just visit forums where like-minded people simply regurgitate what they already accept as a given is largely pointless. You learn little.

      My reason for visiting this site and others like it is to get as broad a view as possible on the implications of a nationalist govt in Holyrood and of Scotland terminating the UK. When I first visited I could still have been described as a Unionist, believing the “We’re stronger together” nonsense. 11 months of research later and with the benefit of the ideas and logic of countless learned people from all over the country my stance has changed.

      I agree with you, I think in the long run England, like Scotland, will be better off on its own but not for the xenophobic and frankly hateful reasons you stipulate. Being friendly, helpful, neighbours with the freedom to do their own thing is a far better situation than where we are now: lodgers in a Westminster bedsit where the habits of the other lodgers are increasingly getting on our nipple ends. :)

    • William Gruff says:

      He’s here because the Scotch cannot bear the thought of English people expressing themselves. Not too many years ago a half Scotch colleague of Mrs Gruff related a story about her English father. He owned a timeshare in Spain that he’d bought while living in Sc*tland, which meant that his neighbours were Scotch. One day he was reclining by the pool with a group of Scots. On the other side of a wall dividing the Scotch timeshare from another property was a group of English people obviously having fun (the Jocks were lying about proclaiming their superiority and tut, tut tutting at everything and anything while the single Englishman amongst them got on quietly with whatever it was he felt inclined to do). Eventually one of the Jocks could contain himself no longer and, attempting vainly to peer over the wall, asked with all too evident irritation, ‘hwat air thoose Ainglesh pipple dooeeng?’

      They’re obsessed with us, and the knowledge that we notice them only when they bother us to the extent that we must do something about them infuriates them.

  22. JamesS says:

    Charlie wrote:

    “Yes exactly right, this is what the SNP do every time. I remember when Scottish unemployment was slightly lower then the rest of the UK and fat bastard Salmond was on the Jeremy Vine show saying this was plan mcB, infrastructure investment was creating jobs bla bla bla. Now Scottish unemployment is higher than the rest of the UK he is blaming Westminster cuts. Utterley pathetic.”

    Today’s Unemployment figures from the ONS

    Scotland – 8.1%
    UK – 8.3%

    Seems it was a blip then. Indeed, Employment Rates and Economic Activity Rates are still higher in Scotland. Good news.

    What’s interesting though is that a third of the UK’s new jobs were created in Scotland.

    Yep, benefit junkies! ;)

    • TH43 says:

      What’s interesting though is that a third of Scottish jobs are in the public sector (not counting the banks)

      Yep, benefit junkies!

      • jamess says:

        Incorrect (again).

        ONS reported that as at the end of Q4, 2011, public sector employment was 586,600 or 23.6% of the workforce. Not even one quarter and certainly far from the third you dishonestly claim.

        Indeed, the UK figure was 23%, so a 0.6% difference is negligible considering water and sewerage wasn’t privatised and scotland has vast areas of low population which more expensive to administer.

        Next lie?

      • TH43 says:

        Not a lie, the claim was made after reading this article in a Scottish newspaper…

        http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/one-third-of-scots-work-in-public-sector-1.1003448

        Your figures seem to be more recent and I’ll accept them if you can provide a link.

  23. uKn_Leo says:

    Yes as you’ve correctly identified James, I don’t do political correctness. I call things as I see them and will forever continue to do so, bravely and without fear.

    I have a heart of pure gold by nature. Unfortunately stark reality has jaded the edges somewhat over the years as daily I see my beloved homeland and kinsmen assailed from all sides by those who wish us harm, if not complete obliteration. Forgive me if I appear a little, vexated, by this fact.

    I believe Mr Henderson has without question blown your economic arguments out of the water. I have followed this debate for a long time now, reading thousands of comments from Scots in the process, including now, unfortunately, your own.

    I have yet to see one single Scot address the issue of Scottish economic reliance on the public sector. Nor on the effects of having most, if not all, of that data skewing assistance withdrawn overnight. I have only ever seen completely misguided arrogance and pride in the economic statistics this support produces.

    Nor have I ever seen one single Scot, not one!, address absolutely justifiable English concern over such democratic anomalies as the West Lothian question along with any of the other one-sided benefits the Scots gain from this sick ‘union’.

    Every Scot knows full well that the English are held captive, with any hint of nationalist self-determination immediately discredited and destroyed by our utterly corrupt media and political establishment. Anyone who chooses to lay blame for the plight of England on the peoples inability to secure support for our own nationalist parties or parliament is either staggeringly naive or staggeringly dishonest.

    It is partly from here that my mistrust of Englands ‘celtic’ neighbours lies MrJameS. The Scots have it seems one interest, and one interest only. That being what solely benefits themselves. Are these the actions of a friendly neighbour?.

    As previously mentioned, England has been thoroughly overrun, and is being consumed, by a plethora of greedy, selfish, arrogant and loud minority interests, including those that are homegrown. I would urge my English compatriots to draw a long overdue line in the sand, proudly proclaiming ‘here, and no further’. As we have every right to do.

    • William Gruff says:

      The Scotch have made common cause with every enemy of England and have never been anything better than a burden to the English. They have never been the ‘good neighbours’ they want us to believe they wish to be and have usually been the neighbours from hell we wish we could remove.

      When we have an English Parliament filled with English, not British, MPs I will vote for the dissolution of the 1707 Act of Union. Until then I will oppose any and all attempts by my British MP, a Scot, to sell my English descendants into slavery for the future of Sc*tland.

      There is a line in the sand and the Scotch crossed it a thousand years ago.

      • JamesS says:

        My god!

        Excuse me but every one of the many peoples that conquered the indigenous “English” also attempted to conquer Scotland. The Scots were attacked often annually from the South when the good weather arrived. Do you think it is surprising that Scotland formed alliances to protect themselves from your masters, who treated the people of “England” often horrifically?

        The Normans, for example,before and after kicking your sorry arses were chronic aggressors. Their lineage in England attacked Scotland over 100 times. Do you seriously expect a people not to do all that they can to protect themselves, even if it meant supporting the French-based Normans against their aggressive English-based cousins?

        You say the “Scotch crossed [the line] a thousand years ago”. Ooooooh, we’re scared! FFS. What line? “England” has been many things due to foreigners taking over your country. Was that line Roman, Saxon, Angle, Jute, Norman, or even Scandinavian? It’s hard to tell such is the ease with which your forebearers capitulated. Your very name comes from Northern Germany! Where’s the roll-eyes smiley when you need one?

        So please explain to me why you think we did wrong defending ourselves against aggression from your many masters from the South?

        Sigh.

  24. JamesS says:

    TH43,

    There is no reply button below your last post so I have to post it here.

    If you want a quick rundown, the Scottish Govt summarises the ONS figures here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/03/2045.

    It is a summary of the latest Office of National Statistics figures for the UK for the end of Q4, 2011. If you’ve nothing else to do on a Saturday, the entire data set can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/pse/public-sector-employment/q4-2011/stb-pse-q4-2011.html. :)

    The article you quote was from 2010 covering the period from 1999-2007. It adds in “para-state” jobs, private sector jobs that rely in some way on assisting the state sector. Adding “Para-state” jobs to the UK’s ONS figures would produce a similar result obviously.

    Interestingly, the same article you cite states: “Scotland’s public sector expenditure as a share of Gross Domestic Product, is lower than that in the rest of the UK – 40% in Scotland compared to 41% UK-wide.” This was echoed in the latest GERS 10/11 figures, showing that as a percentage of what it earns, Scotland spends less on the public sector than the UK does as a whole. Interesting.

    Whatever we argue back and forth, both Scotland and England would appear to spend too much on public services. England has 50 million people crammed into a small country so you’d expect public services to be cheaper to run in such circumstances however. I doubt that will change over time but it’s hardly fair to claim the Scots are subsidy junkies on what amounts to a scrotum-hair of a difference.

    The Scandinavian countries do have an actual public-sector employment rate of one-third and they are coping far better with the global recession/stagnation than we are. Not only are they far richer than us, far higher in the Health and Well-being charts, but they are not in the throws of crisis to crisis govt. that we seem to be. Interesting article from the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2009/aug/05/scandinavia-recession-welfare-state

    Can we lose the subsidy-junky myth yet and the childish jibes and be more constructive?

  25. JamesS says:

    TH, Charlie, Leo,

    With reference to your claims it was only Scottish banks and Scots that were the problem and that “English banks were largely unscathed”,

    Here is the list of the banks that required re-financing during 2007-2009 to stop them going bust (I have also listed the decision makers in the companies in the run up to the credit crunch and their nationality)

    Northern Rock – ENGLISH -
    CEO Adam Applegarth ENGLISH – Chairman Matt Ridley ENGLISH

    HBOS SCOTTISH/ENGLISH -
    CEO (until 2006) James Crosby ENGLISH, CEO (2006 -) Andy Hornby ENGLISH – Chairman Henry Stevenson SCOTTISH

    Bradford and Bingley ENGLISH -
    CEO Steven Crawshaw ENGLISH – Chairman Rod Kent ENGLISH

    Barclays ENGLISH* -
    CEO (1999-2004) Mathew Barrett IRISH – CEO ( 2004 -) John Varley ENGLISH – Chairman Sir Peter Middleton ENGLISH

    RBS SCOTTISH
    CEO Fred Goodwin SCOTTISH – Chairman Tom McKillpo SCOTTISH

    Lloyds TSB ENGLISH**
    CEO John Daniels USA – Chairman Victor Blank ENGLISH

    * Barclays refused a UK funded bailout to retain it’s independence in favour of a Quatari funded bailout, which cost them 1/3 of their shares. Barclays also benefitted from $8.5 billion of US Govt bailout money due to their relationship with AIG.

    ** The FSA has confirmed that (contrary to popular belief) Lloyds would have been required to take MORE UK additional capital from the government if it had not taken-over HBOS.

    So, in summary therefore:

    1) 4 of the 6 bailed out banks were ENGLISH!!! (assuming you ignore the fact the bulk of the high risk debt carried by HBOS emanated from it’s purchase of the ENGLISH Halifax).

    2) Of the CEOs and Chairmen of these failed banks in the decade before 2009, 9 were ENGLISH!!!, 3 were SCOTTISH,1 was IRISH and 1 was AMERICAN.

    I am sure you will agree with me, the failure of our banks was a very BRITISH affair?

    • William Gruff says:

      In England we English have a saying: never count your chickens before they are hatched. The which means, my little McJock, don’t be sure of anything. Britishness now means nothing and therefore cannot describe a bank failure rate of one Scotch bank to two English banks, when the relative population proportions are one to ten, which suggests a Scotch bank failure rate five times greater than the ten times more numerous English. Four banks in a population of fifty million, governed overwhelmingly by ‘British’ (when it suits them) Scots, compared to two banks in a population of five million, half a million of whom are English, possibly comprising the bulk of the fewer than two hundred thousand nett tax payers in Sc*tland, suggests a less than British affair, as ‘I am sure you will agree with me’.

      We can all use statistics crudely.

      There’s a bit more to the failure of ‘British’ banks under a British government dominated by Scots than you Scotch seem prepared to admit, certainly more than can be covered in a blog comment. When English history is taught to English children without British interference the truth may come out.

  26. JamesS says:

    Statistics? What are you on about?

    9 of the decision makers in the 6 failed banks were Englsih compared to just three who were Scots. That’s a fact. Go and look it up! Both CEOs of HBOS for instance in the 10 years leading up to the crash were ENGLISH! Only RBS could be described as Scottish-run. That leaves 5 of the 6 failed banks that were at least in part or fully run by the ENGLISH!

    You conclude that since Scotland has 1/10th the population of England, the part played by the three Scots in the collapse of the British banks should effectively be multiplied by ten. Yet the overwhelmingly English contribution to it all should be dismissed? Have you listened to yourself man?

    Jeez, there’s near parity in football matches between Scotland and England, by your logic that means the average Scot is ten times better than the average Eng!

    You need to get a grip.

    These fact remain: the majority of the banks that failed were English; the vast majority of the decision makers involved were English and the business that brought the banking sector down was conducted in London under London-based regulation. To suggest the banking failure was somehow a Scottish-only phenomenon is absurd and shows how thick your rose-tinted goggles are little man.

    • TH43 says:

      Sorry James, but your stats are as dependable as a Scottish bank…

      Only four banks were bailed out, Royal Bank of Scotland, Halifax Bank of Scotland and Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley. Two were Scottish and two were English.

      This would have been bad (considering Scotland comprise only 10% of the population) but the true picture only comes to light when one considers the money involved.

      RBS, that most Scottish of banks, not only dwarfed the sums needed for the other three, but it even dwarfed the sums needed to bail out the US banks.

      It was a very Scottish affair. A perfect storm where a Scottish PM, Scottish Chancellor and a backwater Scottish bank (with ambitions waaay beyond its abilities) came together at once and nearly sunk the whole country.

      • JamesS says:

        Simply making a dismissive step back is utterly meaningless TH. If you think I am wrong, PROVE IT!

        The top decision makers in each of the SIX major banks that needed re-financing were English to the order of THREE TO ONE! I have given you names and dates. If they’re wrong, PROVE IT!

        You list off the 4 banks that hit the headlines in 07-08 and ignore what the FSA has confirmed as the final bailouts, how much and to whom. 6 banks needed refinancing as I have listed above. 5 were refinanced by the UK, govt, 1 was refinanced by the Quatari ( and US govt) as it wanted to retain its independence from the UK Govt. Who could blame them!

        The Scots have always been at the forefront of financial services. They were good at it and it’s why we have this silly reputation of being tight, the exact opposite of what we are as a people. The Bank of England was the brainchild of a Scot (I am ashamed to say as it has caused terrible harm since it’s inception both here and abroad). Scotland has 1% of the population of the EU yet has the fifth largest financial centre in Edinburgh. A proud history in economic and financial acumen sadly tainted by the excesses of the few, as has England’s albeit lesser reputation.

        In terms of actual cost, RBS benefits from one-third of the bail-out monies, two-thirds going to the predominantly English-run banks. Of the £123.93bn the govt ACTUALLY PAID OUT (as at March 2011), the Royal Bank of Scotland received £45.80bn, Lloyds £20.54bn, Northern Rock a total of £22.99bn, Bradford and Bingley £8.55bn and a further £26.05bn went on “loans to support deposits.

        You may like to enlighten the reader that shares bought with this money can and will be sold, with most commentators expecting the govt to make a profit when they dispose of them. The loans to the banks are being repaid with interest and are on course for full settlement in each of the nationalised banks. These loans are a government asset as they’re making them money!

        You may also like to enlighten us what the nationality was of the people who presided over Black Wednesday. You know that debacle where an ENGLISH chancellor and an ENGLISH Prime Minister cost us 27 billion of our reserves in one day! I have seen estimates suggesting the total cost of that cock up to be neartly 60 billion. That wasn’t greedy bankers or rogue traders. That was the result of purely ENGLISH incompetence. But of course there’s no mileage in such a revelation on a site such as this is there?

        Or in the 30 years that I can recall we have had three recessions presided over by an ENGLISH PM and an ENGLISH chancellor. Two, and now arguably three, Tory-led Employment disasters where we have the terrible consequencies of mass unemployment and the resulting unemployable generations that result. Chronic trade and balance of payments deficits since 1979 which literally saps the country of its wealth, the majority of which was on the watch of purely ENGLISH politicians, unless the disaster of Thatcher was somehow a secret Scottish plot to undermine the UK!!!

        Oh yes, when the English were running things, it was all roses.

        Get real. Nationality has nothing to do with it. For if it did, you lot are worse than the sweaties!

  27. uKn_Leo says:

    @JamesS

    “rose-tinted goggles”

    Hahahahaha, that, from a CyberNat, llLLooOOoollLLllzzzeesss!!!!

    You are quite amusing Mr JamesS. However, as it seems a disproportionate number of your ‘celtic’ countrymen are also, you are thoroughly delusional, dishonest and deceptive.

    Mr Henderson is a unionist. I am not. I want you and, your lot, gone. So as we are free to declare economic war on you and grind you into the dust. This will be no less than you and your putrid, vile, thieving little ‘country’ deserves.

    Waes Hael Angelcynn!!!

    • jamess says:

      “Wage economic war on us? Ha ha. How brave of you, to hide behind accountants!!! Pathetic.

      Sorry but as you’re the “mongrel race”, how are you going to get rid of us? The Scots and English have been interbreeding for centuries. Indeed, like the founder of this site, you’re likely to be part-Scot/Irish/Welsh/Cornish etc.

      Why are you quoting a 5th century German language at me? If so many different foreigners had come over and shafted my ancestors I certainly wouldn’t be crowing about it.

      Anyway, your racist drivel is making me fart.

      Heil Hitler!

  28. uKn_Leo says:

    It really gets to you doesn’t it mighty Mr jamess, the thought that the English could have this one tiny little slither of space to talk freely amongst themselves.

    Does that thought keep you awake at night heroic internet trawling braveheart Mr jamess?.

    Your vicious Anglophobia has been laid bare here for all to see. Along with your arrogance, delusions of grandeur, pettyness and dishonesty. In short I suppose, your Scottishness.

    And you are a milder, more reasonable Scotch too.

    You are a troll. You add nothing to this debate. You are merely here to disrupt, destroy and spread disinformation.

    Get a life, perhaps?. How about one like mine?. For example I workout Mr jamess. A lot. It takes considerable effort to maintain this 6’4″ muscle bound frame in peak physical condition, trained and ready to smash big mouthed jock skull at a moments notice. Not that my beautiful blonde haired blue eyed English rose of a wife seems to mind. In fact she rather enjoys the results, and is pleased I am able to defend our wonderful English children from harm.

    I would recommend that you spend some time outside of your grandmothers basement, giving it the large one to random strangers online. Yes, go outside and get active Mr braveheart jamess. Lose some of that Scotch podge, then maybe, despite of the skirt and flowing ginger locks, perhaps even an angry little man like yourself may attract a female and not have to spend so much time at his keyboard disrupting the fee speech of others.

    • Bob says:

      I like the modern English culture, Jersey Shore, The typical big fat useless English family the Chawners, and the exceptional “The only way is Essex” crowd. Riots and Racism. What a wonderful world you live in, full of real English culture, vote for English independence so you can have that all to your self.. Hahaha

      • TH43 says:

        whereas you’re so enlightened in Scotland. Just look at your inclusive tolerant rant below. Lovely
        I know you won’t vote yes in 2014, because turkeys rarely do vote for Christmas, but please try your collective best and put us out of your misery

    • Bob says:

      Oh I work out too Mr tosser twat. But I unlike you I don’t ogle the male form like you and many other poofs in the Gym do, shower and play volleyball together as well do you. Come out of the closet and admit you love looking at naked men you chinless Knob Jocky. You are the typical English big mouth bully who when fronted by someone your own size you run away like a little girl.

      What a typical arrogant English tosser!!!!!!

  29. JamesS says:

    “It takes considerable effort to maintain this 6’4″ muscle bound frame in peak physical condition, trained and ready to smash big mouthed jock skull at a moments notice”

    I am sorry you have had to resort to such efforts to get your 6’4″ frame sufficiently proportioned. Alot of us tall guys suffer from the bean-pole problem. I’m lucky I suppose, not having to train to get a proportioned physique. I have the opposite problem to to you though, I keep having to keep the weight off as every doc I talk to tells me I’m supposed to be 14.5 stones! Last time I was that was when i was 15. Seems we’ll be in for a bucket-load of back and knee problems if we don’t. Ho hum.

    Be aware though, don’t assume because we are tall we can crack skulls (Scottish or otherwise) with aplomb. The hardest guys I’ve ever met were about 6′, 14 stones and fast as buggery. Although we have a good few stones on them, our brains are as frail as theirs and if they beat us to the punches they’re perfectly capable of sitting us on our arses.

    I’d temper the chest beating a bit. You’re not going to win an argument of ideas by making physical threats. It just belittles you and the point you’re trying to make. You distance yourself from the very people you are trying to win over.

    I agree with you on the virtues of the “English Rose”. I’ve bred many a bonnie English Rose. Easy to breed (probably due to the accent) but harder to keep. I find English women grateful at first but very high maintenance thereafter. I suppose it’s like anything else, there’s pluses and minuses in everything in life.

    Thankyou for the negative Scottish stereotype you project in my direction. I suppose I’m duty-bound to think of you as a bowler-hat wearing, skinny, weak, weasely mouthed English stereotype, who’s weekend fun involved dressing up in a dress with little bells on banging sticks together and dancing about like a bunch of Jessies. I won’t though as I have actually tried to debate the points raised in the “Skintland” topic and indeed used actual facts, government data and reasonable argument to critique the article and comments. Many reasonable posters have responded which is good, often educational and what a blog like this is supposed to be about.

    Your hatred of all things non-English is pitiful in my opinion. Your anger at those not pearly-white Engs and the labels you give them, thus far seems logically unsound based on the arguments you present. You claim I present “disinformation”. Fine, show me why. Show me which of the facts and ONS figures I have used represent “disinformation”. These are matters of public record and government kite-marked data.

    I do hope you engage positively in this debating forum rather than the pathetic knuckle-dragging you demonstrated above. It can be rewarding and you do learn alot.

    So, make a note to yourself: MUST TRY HARDER.

    Your Scottish cousin and friend, James S

  30. uKn_Leo says:

    ‘In 2009/10 – the last year for which there are official Scottish government figures for public expenditure in Scotland : Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland ( GERS) – Scottish tax revenues were £42,201 billion excluding North Sea oil and £48,132 billion with what are coyly called “an illustrative geographical share “ of North Sea oil revenues with expenditure for the year of £62.086 billion (http://www.scotland….1/06/21144516/1). Even with the Oil revenues included there was a shortfall of £14 billion in tax revenue’. Robert Henderson

    You see there is no debate to be had here Mr james.

    Even your great self is unable to refute the broader allegations. And this is why you obsess over minor points, mixed in with childish, taunts and jibes, wrapped in up in the standard Scotch veneer consisting of smug, arrogant delusions of intellectual and moral superiority.

    On the one hand you accuse me of knuckle dragging, then with the other boast of your numerous sexual conquests over English females.

    It just doesn’t wash does it now Mr james. You are all the things you accuse others in this thread of being. You are a pathetic, sorry specimen. A sad, lonely individual whose only joy in life appears to be attempting to assert his alpha dominance in an online forum, by way of compensating for his true beta existence.

    I call you out for what you clearly are, with this thread as my evidence. In my country you are what is known quite simply as, a prick.

    • JamesS says:

      Ah, at last. An attempt by your good self to have a more meaningful debate. I will ignore your insults at the end and leave it to others to conclude who’s the “prick”.

      Robert somewhat naughtily quoted the net fiscal balance figures which include capital spending which can paint an inaccurate figure as money held back for capital projects is not always spent equally year on year. However, I’ll go with it (from the same report)

      2009/2010:
      Scotland -13.9 billions or, -10.6% of GDP;
      UK -156.5 billions or -11.1% of GDP

      So, Scotland outperforms the UK, despite the total oil income being added to the UK total which it obviously wouldn’t be upon independence.

      Or last year:
      Scotland: -10.7 billion or -7.4% of GDP;
      UK: -136.1 billion or 9.2% of GDP

      Same story, Scotland outperforms the UK again, even though the UK gets credited with all the oil, inflating their figures.

      The headline figures year on year though are the “Current Budget Balance” Figures as they give a truer picture of the actual income and expenditure year on year. Robert omitted them as they don’t paint a dark enough picture for his audience. In these figures however it’s the same story, Scotland outperforms the UK, contributing more than the other regions of the UK.

      An interesting chart that Robert didn’t mention from the same report he quotes from, is that Scotland has only been in deficit last year and the year before, being in surplus in the years before the credit crunch. England and the rest of the UK has been in deficit in every year this century with the sole exception of 2001.

      The devil is in the detail Leo. And the devil is telling us you and your countrymen are parasites on the Scots.

      Thanks though for bringing it up.

  31. Al Wilson says:

    JamesS

    When comparing deficits as percentages of GDP, shouldn’t Scots do the decent and fair thing and subtract Scotland’s Net Fiscal Balance Deficit from that of the UK — which is made up of all the Net Fiscal Deficits of the so-called ‘nations and regions’, including Scotland?

    Thus for 2009-10, subtracting Scotland’s deficit of £20.109bn from the UK’s deficit of £156.398bn leaves £136.289bn — which as a percentage of UK GDP for 2009-10 is -9.7pc (not -11.1pc). The figure you use for Scotland includes an illustrative geographical share of North Sea revenue, rising to -17.9pc without it.

    For 2010-11, after the adjustment has been made, the figure for UK Net Fiscal Balance Deficit reduces to -7.95pc (not -9.2pc). Again, the figure for Scotland, -7.4pc, includes an illustrative geographical share of North Sea revenue (excl. NS revenue = -15.6pc).

    I note that GERS now includes the UK figures in the tables for Current Budget Balance and Net Fiscal Balance, for the convenience of fabricators of dodgy stats. And of course, GDP is particularly useful since Scotland’s GDP rises dramatically when an illustrative geographical share of North Sea Revenue is added.

    From GERS, I note that in 2010-11, adding a geographical share of North Sea revenue boosted Scotland’s GDP by a whopping 21.55pc — from £119.149bn to an illustrative £144.820bn.

    • JamesS says:

      Al,

      If you remove Scotland’s deficit from the UK’s deficit,you have to also remove Scotland’s contribution to UK GDP to get the true % figure. You can’t take one without the other.

      Quoting figures net of oil for Scotland is like quoting figures for England net of subsidised London. Meaningless. London is part of England and the oil resevoirs are to the tune of 94%+/- in Scottish territory and are part of the Scottish economy.

      Either way, England, Wales and NI are in a worse position than Scotland. No matter which figures you use, current budget balance or net fiscal balance, that is the case.

      • Al Wilson says:

        JamesS

        Yes, I had taken that into consideration, in which case the figures are
        -10.53pc for 2009-10 and
        -8.65pc for 2010-11
        (since the use of an illustrated geographical share is confined to Scotland).

        But if we are to dig deeper, we could take into account the effect of public spending and public sector jobs transferred to Scotland from the UK (specifically England).

    • JamesS says:

      Al,

      With all due respect, you need to just take more time thinking about these figures.

      It is a mathematical impossibility for a set of figures which have a lower deficit to gdp ratio (Scotland’s) when extracted from a set of figures which have a higher deficit to gdp ratio (former UK, or FUK for short) to improve the debt to gdp ratio! It CAN ONLY MAKE IT WORSE!

      You are clearly getting mixed up a bit with the figures here. For instance, you say “Thus for 2009-10, subtracting Scotland’s deficit of £20.109bn from the UK’s deficit”. Scotland’s net fiscal deficit was 13.9 billion mate (see above). You are mixing up non-oil figures with oil-included figures and comparing them against UK figures which have all the oil inluded on behalf of the UK.

      The ONS data is conclusive, this year, last year and many years before since this was documented, that Scotland is a net contributor to the UK. Indeed, a more meaningful comparison would be Scotland’s figures with it’s share of oil against the UK’s without Scotland’s oil as the position will be even worse and maybe you and your politicians may heed the increasing tide of warnings of the implications for FUK, should Scotland vote to end the UK.

      Leo may jump on your arguments like a fly to shit as he never checks information, just hoping others will feed his need for pro-masterrace info, but you’ll need to get your facts absolutely right if you want to convince me your argument has merit.

      Regards.

  32. Al Wilson says:

    I recall a table published by Oxford Economics for 2009/10 which showed London as the only region in surplus — so I feel the recent comments by Austin Mitchell (fellow Leeds Loiner) should be heeded.

    • JamesS says:

      Al,

      The ONS Gross Value Added (GVA) regional figures for 2009/2010, the ones you relate to immediately above when stating London was the only region showing a “surplus”, which is actually a positive not a surplus, are as follows (ONS figures):

      UK – 20,849 per person (including 100% of the oil)

      Regions ranked in order:

      London – 35,026
      SE – 21,924
      Scotland – 20,220 (No Oil accounted for)
      SW – 18,669
      EM – 18,090
      NW – 17,381
      WM – 17,060
      Y&H – 16,917
      NE – 15,744
      NIre – 15,651
      Wal – 15,145

      Some interesting info here, especially if you remove London from the regional equations as all the regions and the nations of the UK divert at least a fifth of their GDP into London which gives it it’s unrepresentative figures:

      1) Scotland is ranked third in the UK without oil. So if it’s a basket case, what about the rest of England?

      2) With it’s share of the oil, the figure in 2009/2010 was 24,331 – Scotland was ranked second.

      3) England, with London, is 20,974 per person.

      4) England without London is £18,097!

      What grinds me in figures such as these is there is no accounting for the fact that London is heavily subsidised by the other regions, including the English regions, to the tunes of 100s of billions of pounds. Scotland alone left 27.6 billion in London last year, with the remainder being sent back to pay for the Scottish Govt. Add in all the other regions you’ll quickly realise that the London figure is a fallacy.

      For the London figure to be true, no civil servant can pay tax, no govt official can pay tax, no MOD staff can pay tax, none of the tens of thousands that work directly or indirectly with the running of the country in London can pay tax, nor can they spend money as it applies VAT, nor buy fuel, pay their car tax etc etc etc.

      You can see without oil, Scotland fares well compared to most of England. With oil, only London beats it, which it should as we all bloody pay for it. We cannot quantify if London would still be number 1 without the subsidies as the govt won’t release those figures.

      For those reasons however, it is also laughable that you and Leo claim Scotland receives a disproportionate amount of government workers who’ll return to England in their swathes upon independence. Have you any idea of how many people work for the Govt in London and the S.E.? All the thousands of depts for this that and whatever? If you’re going to peddle another myth, at least show the good grace to produce figures.

      Scotland left 27.6 billion NET in London last year. I am sure that one-fifth of it’s entire GDP remaining in Scotland and spent in Scotland would not be a handicap!

  33. uKn_Leo says:

    @AJ Wilson

    “But if we are to dig deeper, we could take into account the effect of public spending and public sector jobs transferred to Scotland from the UK”

    Good luck getting an honest answer to that Mr Wilson.

    One suspects that part of the reason the unionist political class are so keen to avoid Scottish independence is that they’re apprehensive (and rightly so) about the English reaction once it becomes clear how many well paid, secure public sector jobs the Scottish Raj managed to ensconce across the border in recent times.

    Just one of the many inequities about this friendly ‘union’ they’d rather keep hidden from the English taxpayer.

    Invariably this is the end result once a nation allows a fifth column, sworn to uphold it’s own peoples interests (Scottish Claim of Rights 1989) first and foremost, into its midst.

    There’ll be a new film role available for Mel Gibson soon if he has room in his schedule.

    • Al Wilson says:

      Although it would be at England’s expense, I’m still amused by a gem of an episode which took place in the House of Lords on 15 April 2012.

      Calling upon all his piscatorial skills, Lord Forsyth eventually drew forth from the Treasury’s Lord Sassoon — whose stiff upper lip remained frozen throughout — an item identified as ‘The No Detriment Principle’, a.k.a. ‘The Holtham Approach’ (the same, but different), a.k.a. ‘Ripping off the English Taxpayer’.

      Had Lord Forsyth not persisted, despite all the umming, erring and erming from Lord Sassoon, this particular not-so-little ‘earner’ could have floated by under the radar of both Houses (just a few in the know, of course).

      It seems things haven’t been the same for England ever since a tall Scots ghillie got into the unter-hosen of a short German monarch. [Born, I believe, at Kensington Palace, she was the last of the Hanoverians].

  34. Al Wilson says:

    My apologies.

    The date of the House of Lords debate was 15 March 2012, not April.

    • JamesS says:

      Ah, the “huge” public spending myth.

      We visited this above and although I conceded the figures in Scotland are higher, we are talking fractions of here, based on actual ONS figures. Considering the vast expanse 5 million Scots (and English) are spread around up there it’s hardly a surprise running a public service will be slightly more expensive.

      A quick summary from above (ONS data):

      “”ONS reported that as at the end of Q4, 2011, public sector employment was 586,600 or 23.6% of the workforce in Scotland.

      The UK figure was 23%, so a 0.6% difference is negligible considering water and sewerage is still in the public sector thankfully.””

      Even independent, Scotland will compare less favourably in those terms with the South, where the population is crammed into a small area. It’s simple geography.

      Thankfully, our geography provides considerable wealth also.

      Regards.

      • Al Wilson says:

        JamesS

        To avoid any misreading of my motive for referring to London as the only region in surplus, a report of Austin Mitchell’s speech may help and is linked below:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9243256/London-sucks-the-life-out-of-Britain-Northern-MP-in-astonishing-rant-against-capital.html

        You may know or not know that Oxford Economics, whose table it was, allocates North Sea Revenue to Scotland. They did not do so to begin with, but someone may have had a word. By the way, in some tables a ~negative~ number indicates a surplus.

        Something else, I am not what you might call a ‘Unionist’. I am in favour of Scottish independence and have said as much elsewhere on the net.

        I note your persistence on this deficit-to-GDP percentage. You are using the -7.4% figure, which is for an ~illustrative~ geographical share, illustrative of what could be the case, but at present isn’t, nor should it be while oil is a reserved matter in this United Kingdom.

        Throughout the text of GERS, the term ‘illustrative geographical share’ is used, but ‘illustrative’ is omitted in all relevant tables.

        Thus, though it pains you, the appropriate deficit-to-GDP figure for 2010-11 would be as shown, -15.6%.

        We know how important North Sea oil and gas reserves are for the Scottish people — will they take the steps needed to start negotiations on the revenue share-out?

        Regarding the Gross Value Added (GVA) regional figures for 2009/2010 — if Scotland were not at the top of the table, I think we would be entitled to ask ‘why?’ since Scotland enjoys advantages not available to the English ‘regions’, to secure top grade, high salaried jobs in science and technology. To list a few:

        ::There is no English regional equivalent of the Scottish Office, an entire department dedicated to the interests of Scotland at the heart of Government — and still going.
        ::There is no English regional equivalent of Scotland’s permanent representative at the Cabinet table, whose primary purpose is to promote and protect Scotland’s interests.
        ::No English region (except London) has received the level of funding enjoyed by Scotland — and this arrangement goes back a long way, before Barnett and before the discovery of North Sea oil. As far back as 1931, Scotland received 13.43% more than England and Wales, rising to 18.07% by 1951. The full table of figures for the Goschen Formula or Grant is available at the following link — at the bottom of the page shown, in Table 1.

        http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldconst/147/147we08.htm

        ::There are other items such as the disproportionate number of Scottish MPs for many years, also a Scottish parliamentary questions — and no doubt there are some I know not of.

        As Frank Field MP put it during the 3rd Reading of the Scotland Bill on 21 June 2011: “We don’t have the information we require, that we should have, to argue these points.”

        On the matter of the transfer of public sector workers to Scotland and the likely consequences following secession, you may, if you are not already aware, be interested in an extract taken from comments by Baroness Helen Liddell, in the House of Lords on 28 March 2012:

        “In the 1970s, a very effective campaign was run in Scotland led by the Scottish TUC, the CBI and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry for the dispersal of Civil Service jobs. A few weeks ago I tabled a Question for Written Answer asking how many Civil Service jobs in Scotland relate to reserved departments – in other words United Kingdom departments as distinct from Scottish departments. There are 31,000 jobs in reserved departments. There is no question that these jobs will disappear. No sovereign state offshores significant Civil Service jobs. We do not have any British Civil Service jobs in the Republic of Ireland, in Jersey or in any of the other realms and areas close to our shores. It is inconceivable that we would have a situation where these Civil Service jobs would remain in Scotland.

        “If I was a Member of Parliament for a place like the north or the south-west of England and I saw the prospect of these Civil Service jobs becoming available, I would be crying out for them. There are jobs at every level, from limited skill at entry level to real leadership jobs with real salaries. Even on a random guesstimate of the multiplier of these jobs, on a multiplier of three,
        in the wider economy we are talking about something approaching 100,000 jobs directly consequential on the secession of Scotland from the United Kingdom.

        “Some jobs will carry a higher multiplier because they are, for example, in science and technology; in the Ministry of Defence, both uniform and civilian; or have a long supply chain in Scotland. We need to know what the outcome of that is likely to be for the Scottish economy. Like other noble Lords, I do not expect the noble and learned Lord to accept that this amendment should go in the Bill, but I hope that there is already within government at least a Cabinet committee looking at these issues. The economic issue is perhaps the simplest. Once we go on to welfare matters, we are into a degree of complexity that will give us sore heads for a long time.”

        A couple of points remain:
        I have never said Scotland is ‘a basket case’.
        Finally, James, would you back up your claim that ‘Scotland left 27.6 billion NET in London last year’?

        Regards

  35. Art says:

    Will journalists please stop giving the Scots reasons to stay in GB. Just get rid. They have an unatural obsession with the English, amply demonstrated by a Scot I was talking to last week, who emigrated here. How do you find it, I asked. I can’t believe it, he replied. Nobody gives a toss about Scotland or ever mentions the place, do you know, he continued, you lot consume our very lives up there. What was it the leader of the SNP said? We must learn to stop blaming the English for the weather. Just about sums them up. Please please GO.

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