Monday, October 22, 2007

Part of the Union?

UPDATE Tue 11am: I cannot believe some of the ridiculous comments people have made about this video. Funny that no one has disputed any of the facts in it. It's not being anti Scottish, it's about being pro English and alerting people to the disgraceful amount of money being filtered out of England and given to Scotland. This is a legitimate political debate and the reaction in the comments demonstrate that there are many people afraid of having it. I wonder why that would be then?


Old BE said...

And yet the independence debate is almost exclusively discussed by the Scots not the English...

Anonymous said...

Couldn't you give us a hint, Iain? I don't want to watch Brown's floppy face and sloppy mouth unless there's a laugh in it.

No one's going to tune in unless you tell us why it's worth it.

John Trenchard said...

more like End of the Union as that's the way it's heading.

John Trenchard said...

if the union is to be based on "fairness, justice and respect" then the oil revenue from the North Sea should therefore go to Scotland. Fair enough? Then, we can dismantle the Barnet formula.

I also note how the video leaves out how much England has benefited from the revenues generated by Scottish coal and oil.

I'm all for just ending this argument once and for all - let Scotland be independent, and let England get on with its own affairs. It's the "union" itself that has caused this caustic relationship.

Anonymous said...

Powerful stuff: deserves a wide audience.

Mr Eugenides said...

Aren't you in favour of lower public spending, Iain? I know I am.

So a video which lists all the great things England could do with all that extra government money... well, isn't it just a bit contradictory?

Anonymous said...

I only made it half way through this nasty, yes nasty racist fantasy drivel before stopping it.
I live in Scotland and one of my children went through primary school in a class of 33, yes that right, a class of 33 under a Labour government in Westminster and a devolved Labour administration in Holyrood.
An elderly relative was put on a 2 year waiting list for her cataract operation, her pensioner siblings clubbed together out of their savings to allow her to go private.
This was only a couple of years ago.
My father was left lying in a hospital bed with a broken hip for 2 days before he had it operated on because of shortages, that was 2 years ago in a Scottish hospital.
60 children in one secondary school went a year without a teacher allocated for science because there was no teacher to teach them.
Oh, and here is the killer point, a local council in Scotland has managed to screw up its entire Education budget and will have to make savings of up to 20 million.
Nobody is talking about classes of 18 or cheap school meals in that council area, they are all waiting to hear how many teachers will be culled to pay for the deficit.
Whole sale free care for the elderly - MYTH - but if you bothered to read Scottish papers you would know that!
If Goldie and Co were in charge and adhering to their manifesto promises you would be complaining about the better police budget or drug rehabilitation centres, but without mentioning the cuts to other services they would be making to finance these election promises.
Iain, you have one blind spot and that is your little Englander mentality when it comes to Scotland. We have a bunch of second rate politicians running Holyrood, they have just been given a bigger budget than they had when they ran their local councils. But what we don't have is an unfair playing field, or the Scots benefiting at the expense of England.
All we have is devolved power, and therefore the right to allocate our slice of the cake different from those down South!!!!

Anonymous said...

Very a 'how did we ever let them get away with it' type of way..... no wonder Labour have so many MPs voted in by so few in Scotland (how over represented are the Scots again? ahh, that timely West Lothian question....)

Anonymous said...

I am on a roll here, when you start harping on about free tuition fees in Scotland, please be kind enough to point out the disparity between public money spent per student head in Scotland as opposed to England in Colleges and Universities.
It is quite a considerable amount, in fact I was gobsmacked when it was pointed out in the SCOTTISH PRESS. But to be fair, it was also made clear that it was the price we had to pay for not having tuition fees.
We have oil, gas and a wide expanse of land which will in time be used to provide renewable energy to power the almost insatiable demand.
We also have thriving export industries like whiskey which continue to make Gordon Brown happy.
The day that I see you or many other bloggers sit down and have a fair and balanced debate about what Scotland contributes to UKplc vs what we receive from Westminster I will then realise that the Union is worth saving. As it is, I am a Scottish Tory who is beginning to realise that only independence will make you realise what you have lost.
But by then you will have moved on to complaining about the disparity about spending in the North of England as compared to Tunbridge Wells!

Anonymous said...

Excellent. "We'll draw a line under that shall we." Groodon.

Anonymous said...

England should be independent now! It's a disgrace how the Celts are blood-sucking away English money. The Labour government promotes "Britishness" in England to keep the English in a British state of mind to stop them from developing an English nationality so they can use England as a cash cow. The English must rebel against this oppression.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you Iain for rehashing a You Tube propaganda clip that Goebbels would have been proud of.

There are lies, damn lies and Nulab statistics (and dodgy dossiers).

But as chatterbox alludes to, even if Scotland became Independent do you really think that would solve all of England's problems? You would still be wasting money on stupid NHS IT systems, pointless wars, Trident replacement, PFI, vanity projects like the London Olympics, and meanwhile your infrastucture will be struggling to cope with hordes of migrants.


PS I think a suitable site for the Trident submarines and facilities would be somewhere on the Kent coast.

Anonymous said...

"We have oil, gas and a wide expanse of land which will in time be used to provide renewable energy to power the almost insatiable demand."

Almost correct. Your land will in time be used to house hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of immigrants from less developed societies. You voted for it. Live with it.

Anonymous said...

That video is nasty bollocks. Absolutely unfit to be on your blog.

Iain, it is shameful that you've run such tawdry racist propaganda.


The 'facts' in that film are at best half-truths, at worst downright lies.

It's propaganda that Goebbels would be proud of. The whole thing is dressed up as being about justice and equality - but it's nothing but anti-Scots bollocks, as if the Scots and Scotland are to blame for a Labour government - a Labour government that was elected in England with a majority in England of 43 MPs (and don't bother mentioning the extra handful of votes the Conservatives got over Labour in England - they don't matter a damn unless you want to have proportional representation henceforth).

Scotland is a net contributor to the Union - why on earth do you think the SNP and many others in Scotland would be quite happy to keep and spend Scottish tax revenues in Scotland - it's not because they'd be worse off.

If you want to look at injustices in spending try breaking down the 50 million people in England into averages per area - then you'd see that, on average, London is by far the biggest recipient per head of public spending - bigger than Scotland. Let's have independence from London too (but then London is also a net contributor to the country).

Why do you run this unthinking, nasty crap?

Do you have a blind spot about anti-Scots bigotry? It sure seems you do. Such a shame.

It's this sort of nonsense that makes decent Brits up and down our land who consider themselves to be other than English (as is perfectly reasonable in a land where we are very intermixed and our parents and grandparents fought shoulder to shoulder for our liberty) feel like paraphrasing George Galloway (elected by his adoring English constituents) when it comes to the rest of the UK: "Off you go - fuck off, fuck off the lot of you", but then that would be as unthinking and as moronic as this video you've posted.

Extremely hurtful on a personal level and extremely unhelpful on a national level.

Please pull this video.

Failing that, go through each 'fact' line by line and prove it, complete with feedback from those who can tell the difference between truth and evil propaganda.

And never, ever forget: England has the Labour governmenr that England voted for.

(i.e. it's not the Scots fault - it's losers like you in North Norfolk and everyone in England who voted Labour or stayed at home that are to blame before anyone else for the current government of England and the UK).

Anonymous said...

Try fighting the arch-fiend of the Union, the Scottish Nationalist Party First Minister of Scotland: Alex Salmond, instead of fighting Gordon Brown in this matter,

Alex Salmond is, unfortunately proving, that he is an able yet wily, cunning fellow. Who can take him on ... now and stop him in his tracks?! Not once it's too late.


Anonymous said...

I will use Statistics to reduce the anger.

* If the money were spread 'evenly' then english people would get an extra 130ish pounds each.

* This would be a bit unfair on Scots, since they are more spread out, and they'd probably go independent so they could use oil revenues to return to the previous spending levels.

Anonymous said...

re chatterbox 's quote "this nasty, yes nasty racist fantasy"

It's nothing of the sort. The video points out institutional differences between England and Scotland from the point of view of England. It doesn't denigrate the Scottish people at all. I've noticed that some people (including those in New Labour) try to drown out debate on the Barnett Formula and the West Lothian question by branding those who question it as "racist" or "Little Englanders". This, in my opinion, is disgraceful.

Darkersideofbridgetjones said...

To me Scotland is already operating as a separate entity. Their Education system is different. Their legal system is different.

If Scotland were to gain independence I would have dual nationality. I was born in Bradford, but my folks are from Perth and this is where they have retired to.

From speaking to many Scots, they don't want to see Scotland given independence. I think they are mostly happy with the way things are at the moment.

Anonymous said...

They get our Barnett money, we get their oil - this is a facile argument - just get over it !!!

Anonymous said...

If the Barnett formula is so blatantly unfair, then how is the South East of England the richest area in Britain, and the South West of Wales, er, the poorest.

This is BNP inspired bollox of the first degree..

If you really think England is getting such a bad deal, is that making you think of moving to Scotland or Wales ? Thought not..

Anonymous said...

Well said, Chatterbox !! In fact, I am looking forward to the day when these greed merchants in the South East have their city bonuses hoovered up in an EU version of the Barnett formula, to help the poor economies of Poland, Hungary and Romania make the adjustment to living under global capitalism, after years when they were looked after under the family of the iron curtain countries, instead of having their brightest children hoovered up by the rapacious capitalists living in England !!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to enter the statistics argument because I don't know enough to sensibly comment.

My heart tells me I don't want the Union to break up, my head tells me Scottish Independence may be the only way left.

BUT, and it's a big BUT, to say that negative comments about the Scottish system amounts to racism is flagrant nonsense, and a gross abuse of the word.

Anonymous said...

Home Rule for England!

Anonymous said...

The English are currently living under the yoke of an unelected Scottish dictator. In the unlikely event that we are ever allowed to vote for anything again, and given a choice between James Gordon Brown and Alex Salmond, I'd prefer the country to be run by the relatively sane Alex Salmond. If the capital of the UK was moved to Edinburgh London would get rid of the pollution and the international parasites and freeloaders.

Anonymous said...

True Brit asks "why do you run this unthinking, nasty crap?"

Good question.

This is the latest in a recent series of woeful posts, in which Dale gets just about everything wrong. Yet each time he comes bouncing back with the next one as though nothing had happened.

This time he manages to get himself compared with Goebbels, but Goebbels knew what he was doing.

Perhaps, resentful that the Tories won't let him make a mess of another target seat, he has now appointed himself unofficial spinmeister for the BNP.

Anonymous said...

The antipathy towards this post suggests that this is another subject on the long and growing list of things we are discouraged from discussing in public. I expect it'll be made illegal soon.

Anonymous said...


You mean no one is allowed to disagree with you.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question which has been asked before and never answered.

Why is it that when the Scots run their own affairs that is "spreading democracy" and when the English want to do the same that is "breaking up the Union"?

Why is asking sensible questions about the fair allocation of public money "racist"? This is the classic method of trying to shut down debate, and does no credit to the people using it.

If we have a "National" Health Service, it is supposed to refer to the United Kingdom - not just one bit of it. So why are innumerable life and sight saving drugs available in Scotland and not England? If it is that the Scots are better at managing their budgets, perhaps that kind of budgeting ought to apply in England. On the other hand, if it's down to the Scots having far more cash per head than England - that ought to be addressed.

Pandora's box was opened with devolution, can't be shut now by pretending it's still closed.

Anonymous said...

I notice that some posters still regard "Little Englander" as an insult.

It's not an insult, it's a compliment of the highest order.

"British" is an insult as far as I'm concerned.

Wake up - the union is dying, not fast enough - but it IS dying. And all the kings horses and all the kings men... etc.

Anonymous said...

If the English taxpayers want real value for their money then Westminster will have to devolve full fiscal autonomy (including control of VAT and most other taxes) to Wales and Scotland. Until then England will always be subsidising its Celtic neighbours.

Currently both the SNP and Plaid Cymru want the Barnett Formula to be replaced with a needs-based subsidy. As things stand with the Barnett Formula, a drop in spending in England (say in the NHS) means a consequent drop in allocated money to the Welsh and Scottish NHS.

Anonymous said...

The union is dead. When are you over 35's going to get your heads around it? The Scotch have one aim: to destroy England and the English. They have hated us ever since our ancestors came from Germany and Scandanavia and conquered this country and pushed them to the hinterlands. They have alwys wanted revege and now they are getting it. It won't stop here. What do you think the mass immigration in England is all about? Think about it. Anyone been to Edinburgh lately? I'll give you ten pounds for evry ethnic minority you see. How may New Labour MP's are of Iriosh or Scotch descent? I and evryone i know wants a capitalist fre trade England with a massive powerful economy that gives the fruits of our labour to the English. The union is dead. The union is dead. The union is dead.

Anonymous said...

Hello, englandism calling.

Cracking video find Iain and some peculiar responses. Those comparing you with the usual discussion cop out 'nazi' may enjoy Max Hasting's piece in the Daily Mail today:

Or yesterday's piece in the Telegraph:

Come along everyone, it is about justice and equity and a total failure to understand the inevitable consequences of 1998 and all that.

Anonymous said...

Far from being complete scroungers Scotland is the 5th largest regional contributor to GDP at £86bn (behind London £181bn, South-East £166bn, North West £106bn, East England £104bn) and the 4th largest based on GDP per person. I find it difficult to believe that Scotland does scrounge from the rest of the UK when we outperform the South-West, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber, Northern Ireland, North East and Wales. Of course the issue is confused and will always remain so because the Treasury are not interested resolving the issue one way or the other.

Also note that unemployment in Scotland is 3.2% and the UK average is 5.5%, so we are below average in terms of unemployment benefit claimants.

I think it is also important to make the point that most of England and Great Britain is by and large subsidised by the South-East's massive economy. Though Brown talks about the historical number of uninterrupted quarters of growth in the UK it is also important to note that the Scottish economy has gone into recession for 3 quarters during Brown's term. It is clear to me that the UK economy is primarily run for the benefit of the South-East of England and I sometimes wish that English folk in the regions would realise that they are also ignored by the London centric economic policies of the government. But there is a chicken and egg situation because London, the capital, is a powerful place and it draws people and business toward it. This has led to the historically better investment in infrastructure than elsewhere in the country. As such the government is stuck in a quandary as to spreading the wealth of the South-East throughout the country but also maintaining South-East's economic power.

It is also important to remind Englanders that thee money collected from English taxpayers doesn't amount to anywhere near the total money spent in England. The facts are that the whole country relies on borrowing to meet the governments spending.

Using the previous government's own assumptions for tax revenue and spending, but including Scotland's share of North Sea oil receipts, between 1978-79 and 1994-95 Scotland had a cumulative surplus of £27.6 bn , or £34 bn in today's prices. At the same time the rest of the UK had a deficit of more than... hold it... £357 bn.

Recent oil revenues to the Treasury are averaging between £9-12bn a year in comparison to Scotland's block grant of £25bn. It is unclear how taxes such as VAT, business rates and others would make up the gap. But I would expect that an independent Scotland's spending would need to be cut. However an independent Scotland would have a debate about what governments should spend money on. There are many areas of UK government spending that an independent Scotland would not want to spend money on.

I don't like how some of this issue is driven by outright racism on both sides. Some Scots use childish historical insults against the English but some English people are also insulting by stating that Scotland is completely worthless to England's ambitions.

I generally like devolution. Historically I feel that devolution was simply fulfilling the Treaty of Union which accepted Scotland's rights over its own education, legal system and church. The treaty itself I feel is often unfairly portrayed as English imposing their system on us but nothing is farther from the truth.

There is clearly a democratic gap in English politics inadvertently caused by devolution and I place the blame for this at the feet of New Labour 100%. The West Lothian question is divisive and must be solved ASAP. And yet before devolution the possibility of English MPs voting on Scottish issues was a problem that did not exist because of a simple solution. In the past the Speaker of the House would 'reserve' certain votes as Scottish MPs only so that any English MPs had the right to debate an issue but not to vote on it. However because of New Labour's reliance on its Scottish core to pass its agenda this has led to their unwillingness to solve the West Lothian question. The Speaker (a Labour MP) has chosen not to reserve certain votes to English MPs only, which I'm sure he understands would lead to many defeats for the government. This situation can't go on and is one of the biggest reasons for English sentiments toward the independence issue.

Anonymous said...

When has ever been the intention of government to evenly spread spending across the population? Never. Governments have always sought to target money at those who most need it. However looking at GDP per person Scotland is given more money than other more deserving areas, especially Wales and northern English areas.

Don't just look at the difference between Scotland and England in terms of drug availability look at the Primary Care Trusts in England which show equally diverse levels of availability. Do you want a centrally run health service (from London) or do you want Trusts to have the flexibility to target money at diseases that effect them?

However devolution is supposed to create inequalities because people in different areas have different priorities. In Scotland they spend approx. 6% more than average on education and 12% more on health BUT in Scotland they spend 18% LESS on law and order.

Manfarang said...

Independence for Wessex?

Manfarang said...

HBO is showing 'V for Vendetta'
Amazing! Gordon and Guido in a movie.

Anonymous said...

As a Scottish nationalist i am always amused at the way you manage to do our work for us. Even Kelvin McKenzie in his wee diatribe on Qustion Time helped us.

All the papers up here are against Independence and tell us that we can't afford to be Independent. Kelvin slags us off and amazingly they tell us that Scotland only receives £38 per head more than we pay in tax (and this does include our oil which we send to the Treasuary). Compare this to the North of England where that figure is approx £4,000.

So sorry guys you don't subsidise us.

As for Scottish MPs dictating what you do as has been pointed out Labour still have a majority even when you only count English MPs. Yes the Tories got more votes but that is a totally different argument that you seem to have no interest in fighting.

Anonymous said...

What makes some of you think that you'll keep the oil when the union dissolves? I'm sure the remains of the UK will keep some little island and justify its ownership of the oil.

Also, what makes you think that England will let you into the EU after you've left the union? It's easy to veto.

Anonymous said...

Ah! Nothing like an indignant Scot with his snout buried deeply in the English trough.

Anonymous said...

You getting really pathetic now you’re pandering to this lot. Its sad to see really.

Things it misses though Iain are – Life expectancy is about 10 years lower, health and education standards are lower, poverty is higher, (money should go to people who need treatment should it!!) we take oil and the MOD about 5000sqk of land. Its good they crow-barred in Tony Blair quote as this is nothing but an attack on brown being Scottish, it would not have been release under Blair as PM because that’s not the point of it.

Keep discussing this Iain coz it shows the Tories for the xenophobes that they are! Go move up there if they get such a good deal!

Anonymous said...

The racism cosh is New Labours favourite weapon, it was even used against NO campaigners against a North East regional assembly in 2004. Although New Labour sanctioned the Yes Campaigners to
use anti southern English bigotry to try and win a yes vote.
When are people going to wake up that these people who are pushing britishness, hate the English.

Anonymous said...

The Office for National Statistics is always willing to muddy the waters when the government wants to favour one region over an other. They have compared death rates in the poorest part of Glasgow with the wealthiest part of London and come to the dishonest conclusion that therefore all Glasgow needs more cash and all London needs less. Whereas if they'd compared like with like they'd find there wasn't much difference.
Today they are trying the same trick in order to justify an increase in funds for Manchester. Either the Office for National Statistics now exists solely to provide excuses for government profligacy or the people working there are terminally thick.

Richard Thomson said...

Iain - the 'facts' in this film are few and far between. As someone said elsewhere, Goebbels would have been proud.

Spending per head: Yes, it's higher in Scotland than in England overall, but that's not the whole picture.

Since the Barnett Formula only allocates to Scotland an ever decreasing percentage of those monies spent in England, the gap is shrinking all the time. Additionally, the figure in the film deals only with identifiable spending, and ignores over £50bn of non-identifiable spending which takes place mainly in London and the South.

Table 9.2 of PESA 2007 (1st figure is for 05/06 outturn, 2nd is planned identifiable spending for 06/07)

North East £7,814 £8,177
North West £7,481 £7,798
Yorkshire and Humberside £6,949 £7,188
East Midlands £6,205 £6,491
West Midlands £6,757 £7,065
Eastern £5,928 £6,144
London £8,164 £8,404
South East £5,960 £6,304
South West £6,398 £6,677

England £6,835 £7,121
Scotland £8,179 £8,623
Wales £7,784 £8,139
Northern Ireland £8,713 £9,385

These figures are themselves subject to Treasury review just now, since categories of expenditure deemed 'identifiable' in Scotland (such as on courts, tourism etc), are still classed as unidentifiable in England. This makes English spending look a fair bit lower than it actually is in Treasury figures, since it then gets classed as expediture designed to benefit the whole of the UK, rather than just England or her regions.

But in any case, these only show spending figures - not the revenues raised to cover them. Scotland is a (modest) net contributor to the UK pot, along with London, the South East and the East. Most of the rest are either just getting by or are in receipt of transfers.

It's very easy to hide behind an 'English' figure to justify special pleading, but as these numbers show, the picture is much more complex than Scotland vs England. Even if you did reduce Scotland's spending to the present UK average, it wouldn't do anything to bring the East Midlands or South West up to the levels of spending to be found in London or the North East (ironically enough, the two most voluble regions against perceived Scottish advantage, so far as I can judge!)

Uni fees? Well, blame the EU for English students not getting free tuition in Scotland. But please tell me: why should I pay the tuition fees of English students in Scotland, when no-one in England will pay the fees of Scots studying in the south?

£2bn lopped off English NHS spending by Brown? Indeed it was - and thanks to the Barnett Formula, Scotland promptly lost a proportionate amount from its baseline expenditure as a direct result of this.

All those drugs available in Scotland but not England? Well, that's what happens when you have 2 seperate bodies (NICE in England; the SMC in Scotland) charged with licencing treatments and responding to 2 different sets of ministers responding to 2 different sets of priorities.

Incidentally, many of the drugs mentioned are not prescribed routinely, or are only made available as a last resort. In any case, it works both ways - in England, you can be prescribed Sutent for kidney cancer; Elaprase for Hunter Syndrome; sundry other enzyme therapies; enjoy a strategy for dealing with COPD and can get liposuction for overweight kids. That's except for viewers in Scotland, though, but do you hear us complaining? No, because we realise that's the deal - we deliver on our priorities and you deliver on yours.

There's a huge democratic deficit in England. But it ain't going to be solved by whinging at sweaty socks like me and shrouding a pervasive general ignorance of present economic and constitutional arrangements with a cloak of wounded unionist ardour.

Complain about the public spending shareout by all means, but I think you'll find that the answers to present English inequalities lie solely within England :-)

Anonymous said...

great film Iain. I'm a unionist from south of Carlisle but the facts are indisputible. What a shame the separatists can't see what a benefit English taxpayers provide them with...

Anonymous said...

I don't really get the comments about racism... I live in Scotland, and I have seen the SMP campaigns, and they seem to be the same, just the other way round...basically claiming that Scotland would be better off as independent, due to economics and cultural reasons...and yet I have never heard them being called racist. The video makes many claims, who knows if they are true...but it’s certainly not racist. What is clear is that the Scottish "government" uses its allocation of money in a different way to that of the Westminster government in England. Which is understandable, as what would be the point of devolved government if everything was done the same. I don't know enough about the figures for funding to say if Scotland gains from the Union financially or not, it seems both sides twist the figures to suit their arguments. What I do know is that it is against the ideal of democracy to have Scottish MPs voting on matters which do not affect their constituents. Obviously Brown sees that he would lose a lot of votes without his Scottish MPs, but morally, no one can defend it! Brown talks about wanting to have a debate about things, but it means nothing in reality.

To often debates discussing nationalities are labelled as racist. Hushing up this debate will simply cause more of a problem. I say well done for putting up the video... anything which causes a debate on this issue is a good thing in my view.

Anonymous said...

This was a "crisis" manufactured by the slimy tony blair and his white slug minions. The purpose is to break the UK into bite sized chunks to make it more easily digestible for Brussels.

I know this sounds far fetched, but in addition to the above, the socialists - as deeply ignorant and viperish as ever - have never liked the "Great" in Great Britain. They don't understand - at least the ones who went to the local comprehensive so never got an education, even about their own country - that Great means Grande in French. Big Britain to distinguish it from their own Department of Brittany. The names of the two entities are Brittany: Bretagne. The UK: Grande Bretagne.


Vienna Woods said...

I happen to believe that this whole nonsense would never had arisen if Laurel and Hardy, Dopey & Dickhead, or whatever you believe suits Blair & Brown best, had not made devolution possible without properly thinking it through. The situation should never have arisen that Scottish parliamentarians (or Welsh and Irish)are able to vote on domestic English issues. It makes no sense whatsoever, unless of course there was always yet another hidden agenda of the Brown stuff!

Unsworth said...

Roll on full independence for the Scots and the Welsh. The sooner there are proper border controls and international barriers the better.

And repatriation would be an extremely good follow up.

I'm quite happy to have to show a passport at Hadrians Wall or Offas Dyke, just as long as it works both ways.

Mr Eugenides said...

As Alan Cochrane - a staunch Unionist of many years' standing - notes in today's Telegraph, public spending in the North of England is also much higher than the south of the country.

London's per capita public spend is far higher than the rest of the South East, and almost exactly the same as Scotland's.

I suspect not many commenters here get hot under the collar about the subsidy to London residents, do they?

Full fiscal autonomy. Let Scottish politicians who want to raise public spending go cap in hand to the Scottish public.

It's the only way to save the Union, because this anti-Scottish sentiment - which by the way is as ugly as anything that pours out of the mouths of the most extreme Scottish nationalists in the other direction - is going to destroy this country before too much longer.

Anonymous said...

Clearly the Union cannot go on much longer in this way despite the self imposed vow of omerta by the British political class on the discrimination against England - including those 529 MP's for English seats in the British parliament , damn them .

The Barnett Rules are , as Lord Barnett has repeatedly said whenever he has a chance , unfair , out of date , divisive and sheer poison .

The real problem is that in 1998 there was a Scotland Act but no balancing England Act and this has created a deteriorating situation of constitutional imbalance and injustice which will only get worse .

The video is just a video so prepare for many more in the same vein . What it says it says in punchy video form . It is all correct and really only nibbles at the problem . Voices calling for it to be banned etc are the same voices which wish to retain the present injustice .
Such people over the ages in may countries and many civilsations have always been impervious to argument and always insist , usually until well past the end of any sustainable evidence , on trying to ignore and supress the truth , usually accompanied by threats .

I think there is element of manipulation by Salmond et al who is fully aware of the inflammatory injustice of it all and wants to use it to end the Union .

He doesn't really need to . The refusal of the Scottish dominated Labour government to allow an equivalent parliament to the English and the attempt to eradicate England into regions emanates mainly , not entirely , from Scottish Labour minds

This is a clearcut and historic act of racist and nationalist discrimination which will be much discussed in the history books and which bring about the end of the present union .
At present we are simply going through the noisy stage before the end .

Anonymous said...

The real problem here is that Dale is doing what the BBC is planning - killing the amount of time and money he is spending on factual journalism.

He is media tarting and being a gadabout lunching and dining all over town [which is, of course, his privilege and prerogative].

But then he shouldn't come crying to us when we notice that his blog is turning to shite, and standards are dropping faster than a whore's drawers...

Anonymous said...

I have friends living on the Border and I know just how incensed they are.

Let the Scots have their independence and run themselves -and before I get accused of racism -my husband is far more scottish than many of the politicians in SNP - and has the papers to prove it. Furthermore my daughter-in-law is from the far East so racism isn't in our thinking but justice and fairness is.

Jane Tomlinson, one of the bravest women one could have know, died earlier than she might because she didn't get the drug -had she lived in Scotland she would have done.

Why should Scots politicians rule in England -if Scotland is so great why don't they go back.

Can it possible be that they prefer life in Westminster -Never surely! Since this country is so awful why don't they leave it and give us all some pleasure.

Justin said...

This is a legitimate political debate

Indeed it is, why not engage in it in a proper fashion instead of posting propaganda videos with no clarifying narrative, and then crying foul when people call you on it?

Iain Dale said...

Justin, when I want your advice on how to run a successful blog I will ask for it. I'm not crying foul at all. I just think it is illustrative that despite ranting about "BNP propaganda" people do not actually dispute any of the facts in the video. After all the negative comments I watched it again, wondering if I had missed something. I was pleased to see that I hadn't.The video makes an excellent case. Just because you disagree with it is no reason for some people to rant on about BNP propaganda. It is nothing of the sort.If anything, it is quite understated in its approach. It is also NOT anti Scottish. It points out how Scotland is benefitting from the largesse of the English taxpayer. What on earth is wrong with that? It's fact!

Anonymous said...

ordinary housewife:: "Jane Tomlinson, one of the bravest women one could have know, died earlier than she might because she didn't get the drug -had she lived in Scotland she would have done."

Can you provide a link to an authoritative source to back up your astonishing claim please?

Iain, don't give us that "no one's disputed any of the facts" line - lots of people have disputed all of the facts - it's utter bollocks - including the idea that Scotland is subsidised by England. It's not.

See the well respected Evan Davis for an honest appraisal of the relative levels of spending and tax revenue in language that even the most ignorant bigot should be able to follow.

If you think you can justufy these so-called facts then go ahead and type up a transcript with sources for each of the claims that you stand by - then we'll see how long it takes to come up with examples to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

Well said Iain ,unfortunately this is a debate no-one wants to have , the tories could make hay with this issue in England but they seem reluctant to do so.As for me the sooner there's an English parliament the better for us all.

Scary Biscuits said...

There seems to be an assumption amongst (presumably) Scotch voters in this blog that the oil (what's left of it) belongs to Scotland.

Who says?

Also look around the world and ask yourself if oil is really the boon you think? Venezuala anybody? Saudi Arabia perhaps? Iran or Iraq? Indonesia? Nigeria Russia?

And even these countries must be grateful the don't produce diamonds.

Free money corrupts anybody who receives it. It is generally a curse not a blessing.

That applies to aristocrats as much as lottery winners, to oil revenue as much as regional subsidies.

Britons have done well historically because we have had to live on our wits.

This is the one natural resource that really is infinite. Better still such activity generally helps the environment. Rather than the zero sum game or selling commodities or arguing about subsidy, invention is what made Britain great. And it is to invention that the north of Britain must return if it does not want to get left behind by the rest of the world.

beaubodor said...

Wonderful that you post The Strawbs Union Man song on your site.
Something I never thought you'd do.

Don't think much of the video though, or the xenophobia it attempts to (as do you) capitalise on, whatever the facts or the omitted facts about other nations' contributions to British wealth, prosperity AND defence.

Please remember that London's supposed wealth (and therefore England's) is, in part, created by a host of potentially transient pencil/button pushers who process the combined wealth of many countries, including Scotland and that of many English regions.

I look forward to 2013 when London's Olympic swimming facilities are converted to host England's nuclear deterrent.

Anonymous said...


After several posters give you evidence that the figures quoted are wrong, you continue to defend the video.

Where are YOUR facts (remembering that the figures only count IDENTIFIABLE expenditure) and not the large wad that goes to the London area).

Anonymous said...

ian, why is it not racism if every other ethnic group speaks up for its way of life and its 'rights'

but racism if the English do it?

Can it possibly be that some people feel that they are having rather boring lives and don't like themselves very much so they employ this self-righteous new labour tool to beat everyone with?
and why the spiteful vindictive rhetoric?

Can it be that this new labour education has rendered them so lacking in vocabulary that they need to resort to it?

Surely not

Is it better to think that the modern diet as well as making everyone obese is also causing dyspepsia?

pxcentric said...

This is anti-Scottish drivel.

The unspoken message is that the Scots should be relieved of some of their money, so that it can be given to the more deserving English.

By publishing this video without comment you endorse it and the views it puts forward.

I know you will continue to insist it is not anti-Scottish, but that is clearly the tone of the whole piece.

And that is why posters are justified in linking your style to that of Goebbels or the BNP.

Richard Thomson said...

It points out how Scotland is benefitting from the largesse of the English taxpayer. What on earth is wrong with that? It's fact!

What's wrong with it is that it's complete rubbish. If you want to make that case, you need to show 2 things:

1. that expenditure is higher in Scotland than it is in England (pass, though the picture is far more complex, as the Torygraph, Mr E and myself point out) 2. that the revenues raised in Scotland are insufficient to support that spending (fail - the video does nothing of the sort).

The claim that Engish taxpayers are subsidising Scotland is both unsustainable and wrong. Please, Iain, either put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

by the way I agree - if we have to have an unelected scots PM, then please can we have Alex Salmond,

He runs rings round any new labour politician and is more pleasing to listen to.

Anonymous said...

The more i read, the more i watch the video the more it becomes apparent that the Tories, for they are the worst sinners, are cynically trying to spin this to win them votes.

Scotland is one of the least subsidised areas of britain. The North west and the North East of England are SUBSTANIALLY more subsidised than Scotland - 118 times approx.

It seems no matter how many times you point this out the usual suspects ignore it. No matter how many times you point out that Labour has a MAJORITY when you only count English MPs it is ignored.

I do not disagree that Scottish MPS shouldn't vote in solely English matters but the reality is that since devolution you can count on the fingers of one hand the amount of votes where the votes of the Scottish MPs changed the result.

The real issue is why Conservatives won more votes but less seats.

Anonymous said...

True Brit - from someone who knew her and is dying of cancer - probably in the next few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Per person, per year from central government:

Northern Ireland £7,945
Scotland £7,346
Wales £6,901
England £5,940

Why is an English life worth so much less than our Celtic friends?

United Kingdom? The figures don't add up.

Anonymous said...

true brit

unlike some of our politicians I admit when I am wrong and I re-checked the letter. So I apoligise for a misleading comment.

it wasn't that she couldn't get it, she was offered it and insisted on taking her place in the queue

the queue for life or death

rather reminds me of the concentration camps and that's what made me so furious

but then I am old enough to have known people who endured them

It rather colours your perspective on life and experiments in social engineering,
and education,
and medical facilities!

Anonymous said...

"It is also NOT anti Scottish. It points out how Scotland is benefitting from the largesse of the English taxpayer. What on earth is wrong with that? It's fact!"

Iain, that video is anti Scottish drivel designed to perpetuate the myth that the Scots are scrounging of the rest of the UK, it is certainly not fact!
I have watched you and others within own MY party try and push this argument that somehow Scotland is some utopian paradise cum socialist ghetto that sits back with its hand out while the rest of the UK pays for it, and suffers disproportionally as a result.
Every time I see a screaming headline perpetuating this myth about the latest *extra* that the Scots get while the rest of the UK is *denied*, I look in vain for the caveat which explains simply and clearly that Scottish politicians have decided to fund different priorities from those of their counterparts down South.
This type of video propaganda leaves a bad taste in my mouth and is narrow minded and short on facts.
I have never, not once, seen you grasp what benefits or contributions Scotland makes to the UK. You never seem to argue the point about why we choose to have different priorities for public spending, nor do you ever look past the headline to check the facts. Bit like what happened with the Independent last week on the EU, but then you wanted to those facts to be proved wrong.
Until you start putting forward a balanced and fair argument which takes all the facts into account, I will continue to put this kind of anti Scottish rant in the sin bin it deserves.

William Gruff said...

Iain: To a Scot being pro English is being anti Scotch.

Scipio said...

Great video Iain, but then I am NO LONGER a unionist!

Why should I be, the Scots feel they have some right for me to subsidise their feckless spending of my money to make their life better and more comfortable than my own - and then seem to offer zero gratitude for it, instead rehearsing 300 yerar old grumbles about the clearences and William Longshanks conducted by people to whom I am not related. Jeez, like the Scots were models of restraint in war - try telling that to the Catholics of Ireland!

How long does it take for a nation to 'get over it'?

If we had a vote tomorrow, and I was allowed to vote, I'd vote for an independent Scotland.

Anonymous said...

throughout these comments there are many that dispute the facts and you have chosen (thus far) to ignore these people. Richard Thomson has posted two excellent comments questioning your facts and inviting you to prove them or withdraw them and you have decided to ignore this in favour of spin. Your blog is poorer for this kind of behaviour.

Scipio said...

I believe that Scottish oil/gas revenues have only exceeded the amount that Scotland recieved via the BF once since then came on stream, and now they are running out.......

Anonymous said...

I was born in Wales and I'm proud of my identity. However, I am disheartened to know how much Wales relies on Westminster cash. If the Assembly could perhaps aid a reversal of situation I would be more supportive of it. Plaid and Labour didn't get my vote.

Anonymous said...

I think the payslips of all English taxpayers should clearly state how much of the money we have earned is being taken out of our paypackets and given to a) Scotland and b) Wales (over and above the fair allocation based on population size).

Then we'll see whether people think it is a 'small price to pay' or not.

Anonymous said...

Now I'm a English wo/man
Amazed at what I am
I say what I think
That the EU stinks!
Yes I'm an English wo/man.

When we meet in the local hall
"Independence!" is the call
With a hell of a shout
Gordon's out
And the English have a ball.

Gord, you don't get me I'm part of England
You don't get me I'm part of England
You don't get me I'm part of England
Till the day I die, till the day I die.

As an English wo/man I'm wise
To Broon's spin and lies
And I don't get fooled
By the EU's rules
'Cause I always read between the lines.

And we English will get our way
We'll have our freedom back one day
No ID cards
No CCTV guards
This what I say.

Gord, you don't get me I'm part of England
You don't get me I'm part of the England
You don't get me I'm part of the England
Till the day I die, till the day I die.

Since EU and Gord appeared
We're a surveillance state, I fear
But we've got the power
To make England ours
Every day of the year.

So though I'm a working wo/man
I can ruin the government's plan
Iain Dale's mag
And the sight of our flag
Makes me some kind of superwo/man.

Gord, you don't get me I'm part of England
You don't get me I'm part of the England
You don't get me I'm part of England
Till the day I die, till the day I die

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Iain, you say the facts in the video are all correct... this is not the case. It may be policy e.g. to have class sizes around 20, but in reality this is definitely not the case, similarly free elderly care and other things that people have mentioned in previous comments. Instead of taking the videos word for it, do some research of your own - and as someone said, maybe try the Scottish press.

Alfie said...

Oh dear - it appears some people are a bit upset with the video. Chatterbox for instance - gives us a few paras of his/her experiences.

My advice is, don't even go there Chatterbox - If you want to cross swords with what you get and what we get, I am happy to oblige.
But I do hope you have broad band - it's a hell of a list.

All the video says is - if we live in a United Kingdom then all the benefits should be shared fairly amongst the members of that union. The whole emphasis of the video
contrasts the rhetoric of a spinned out politician - Tony Blair and the reality of what is actually happening within the union today, doesn't it?

Vision and reality.
Spin and lies.
Haves and have nots.
(and if Brown gets his way, never wills)

Blair said the Barnet Formula was a price worth paying. That's probably because he and his family would never pay the price, would they?
It's a facile proposition - and an insulting thing to say to those people who are suffering in England - right now. Cancer victims, students, old people... well, you get the idea, I'm sure.

It is just amazing how defensive the Scots get when the English demand parity - parity as an equal and integral member of the union. How easily they crow 'racist propaganda' at the very mention of equal rights for the English. How easily they rise at the very mention that England should be awarded anything? Far better we should be grateful for what Gordon and his 'English Lite Government' see fit to chuck at us.

National empowerment? National identity? National Parliament for the country that originated the modern 2 tiered model of democracy,
a system that has been copied throughout the world?
Not on your bloody nellie, mate.

No, not for England, far too 'complex' and 'big', apparently. Unlike Scotland or Wales, obviously.

Scotland has 2 languages, radically distinctive areas of habitation and industries that span the technology gap between crofting, heavy engineering and silicone glen - but amazingly, Scotland is deemed 'not too complex to have her own executive'
How convenient.

Devolution was not instigated as a great democratic act - it was purely political - a tactic to try and spike the nationalistic guns of the Welsh and the Scots. England was left in a vacuum - the arrogance of Blair and his great devolution architects in parking us in a democracy free lay-by and expecting us to accept it just takes the breathe away. If devolving power to the masses was the 1998 'must have' then it should have been considered in the round - a 360 degree solution involving everyone as equal partners. If we ended up with a federal Britain, then fine. Far better that than the 3 legged camel we have now.

The union cannot continue in its current form - England has been entirely left out of the devolution process. We can no longer be denied a national voice - and if that upsets some of your readers, Iain - too bad.

How readily they forget that England has no First Minister, has no national parliament, has no national executive, has little cultural identity, has no national anthem, has no one to champion OUR needs and requirements. But, apparently, that's just fine and dandy - just as long as everyone else has their devolved apparatus, their First Ministers, their
national parliaments, their national executive, their culture celebrated, their anthem sung, their needs and rights being routinely championed, directly elected and responsible to their electorate.

But that's OK, then.

OK for England to be broken up into faux regional bits. OK for England to end up (if Prescott got his way) with 9 regional no-power assemblies fighting for scraps - and unable to resist the will of their UK Westminster honchos.

And to be honest, I am really fed up of the 'It's ooor oil' bleating.
Isn;t the union supposed to be a sort of co-operative? Everyone pools their resources for the greater good? Yeah, well that's the watery eyed vision - but it is not reality is it?
Back to oil -
It's funny how they never actually recognise the internationally recognised maritime north sea border - you know, the border that runs in a north east direction from Berwick. That border runs straight through the oil fields, thereby rendering some of those oil fields to be an English resource (around 40%)... but you guys don't want to know about that do you? Far better to continue with the accusations of 'oil-filching' and ne'r do oil wellery.
And if someone cries 'foul'? Great, use the racism card and the
frankly absurd comparisons with Goebells propaganda machine and the 'nasty racist fantasy drivel'
accusations from some of your more hyper contributors. Far better to believe that the union is the union - apart from the oil, which is all Scotland's obviously.

Honestly, hysteria breaks out on Dale's comment box because someone disagrees with the current constitutional status quo. Well, we are really sorry if your feelings have been hurt - but all we are asking is equality, fairness and respect. And if that is deemed as being somehow 3 requests too far by the sensitive brigade then we plead 'guilty' as charged.

What I find more amazing is that your supposed intellectual readership should find the video so, so shocking (apparently, one of your commentors couldn't actually finish watching it - so offended was he)- but they don't seem to have a problem with England's current democratic and fiscal deficits. They don't seem to have a problem with taking the money and getting their local MPs to shove their noses into English
health, education, planning and transport issues - issues that are devolved to their own executives....

But then again, they wouldn't would they?

Enterprising Mongbat said...

1. @ Alfie: Well said *applauds*

2. Going to raise a few small points to think about regarding the statements that everything is run by and for London and the south-east of England:
a) Where are the Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells hospitals that have been doing such a good job of killing us?
b) Which area of the country gets most of the immigration with the resultant pressures on infrastructure? (And our council tax bills *mutters*)
c) Why do parts of London figure on the list of what are reckoned to be the worst places to live?

3. There are claims and counter-claims on both sides. Claiming anti-Scottish racism is pointless, since it isn't. Iain’s video is based on government figures and statements and intentions. You in Scotland don’t get everything the government claims, any more than we in England do. Remember, you’ve been ruled by Labour for a long time, same as us. You’ve got the same lies and spin, the same incompetence and waste and bloated bureaucracy. The difference is, you’re now able to make changes and do something about it because Scotland has its own established government and a vigorous national party. We, at the moment, have no power and no chance of altering anything via a regional assembly/national parliament. We’re disenfranchised, ignored, belittled, despised, and blamed for everything which is wrong. And English people are, at long last, getting angry about it.

4. Rather than wasting time sniping at each other, shouldn’t we rather be working together to get rid of Labour once and for all? And working towards a state where all 4 nations which form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland can actually have equal treatment, accept equal responsibility, and receive equal rights and recognition?

Vienna Woods said...

richard thomson wrote,

Uni fees? Well, blame the EU for English students not getting free tuition in Scotland. But please tell me: why should I pay the tuition fees of English students in Scotland, when no-one in England will pay the fees of Scots studying in the south?

I don't know if I'm understanding this correctly, but there has been a similar problem between Germany and Austria over university places and grants. As I understand it, the host country must provide the same conditions for other EU students as its domestic intake.

There has been, and still is, quite a serious problem here with German students exercising their right to study where they like within the EU. Austria is forced to accept students on a first come, first served basis, and many Austrian students have been elbowed out of the way, by thousands of Germans coming here. The fact that Austria has a population the size of London and the Germans 10 times that amount is hardly a fair situation. There are moves afoot to stop the crazy cross border rights of EU members and being quite frank, I'll be glad to see that happen asap.

Anonymous said...

oh alfie, what an anti Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish diatribe!
It is an international principal that the line for International waters runs parallel to the lines of latititude at the point the border between two countries meets the sea. It is our oil and we want our complete share.
I'm in favour of England having its own parliament and the easiest way to achieve that is give independence to Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland and then Westminster will represent the needs of only English people. England will be independent!
Until that is achieved then yes there should be parity in the union when it comes to public spending. As long as that parity takes account of the fact that London and the South East receives more public spending per head than any other part of the UK. We Scots want parity with London's level of public spending.
And Iain Dale this video is full of errors. We Scots get our block grant from Westminster (not more than or equivalent to the total revenues raised in Scotland) and we spend it wisely and aspire (smaller class sizes, free personal care for the elderly, free prescriptions etc) to spend it more wisely in the future. Your Tories help Tony Blair's government win the vote on Trident - an unneccessary increase in nuclear capability. Stop bleating about unfair subsidies (they exist throughout the union and the worst excesses are where you live) and start supporting wiser public spending.

Anonymous said...

well just stand up and be counted and get yer ain parley then!

Chris Paul said...

Jerry Macleod is quite right, this video is a very poor piece of work. Much as Iain is right that regional funding needs a proper debate with the departed heads of London centrics displayed on poles to encourage parity - REAL parity according to what things cost, not some kind of year three long division.

There is an anti-Scottishness permeating the Anglo-Tory blogosphere despite the mcclannishness of the likes of Dale, MacKenzie, and Cameron. Wee Dougie this, McCavity that, McBroon here, "part of the union" there.

If you want a serious debate stick up something serious. This is a joke.

If you want to lose before you start refer to the "Abortion Industry" or post some half-arsed anti-Union vid.

On the other hand the Oil-Scotland question is also being simplified beyond reason is it not?

Chris Paul said...

"The video makes an excellent case" says mein host. If it does so (big pause for critical thought ... nah) but if it does it does so with errors and omissions aplenty. These English separatists are pulling our puddings and if you cannot see that then you must be going blind.

Even reading the wiki on the formula would give you enough food for thought to banish the white pudding from your brain for ever.

Anonymous said...

The comments are more interesting than the video - which like all political videos is simplistic probably to the point of innacuracy.

Complex calculations result in complex answers - and to those who say that 'it is Scotland's oil', I suggest that you actually have a look at the international treaties relating to so-called 'national' waters - Evan Davis assumed in his calculations that 95% of the oil fields would fall into Scottish waters, I have seen other academic papers (some time ago, it is true) that suggest that the correct answer will lie somewhere between 60 to 75%. Whatever the truth, the argument about oil is just 'so much guff' - the reserves are running out and the revenues are starting to fall.

To those of you who say that Scotland 'gets' what England doesn't - if one looks at the results of Scottish policies rather than the political aspirations, the truth lies somewhere between the myth and the reality.

Yes, devolution does throw up consitutional questions about how we are governed ... the West Lothian question (and its equivalent in Wales) will need to be answered; and it seems to me that an English Grand Committee and constitutional convetion would be the simplest and cheapest way to provide those answers.

In devolution, and in giving power to communities, we will all have to accept that there will be differences in the way in which the 'cake' is sliced depending on where you live. This is derided as a 'post-code' lottery; but it is an inevitable result of devolving real power to communities, whether at regional, national or truly local level.

As to funding; there will be a need to ensure that local politicians are truly accountable for the decisions that they make - and so link the true additional cost of certain commitments to the people who make the decisions regarding those commitments. Having said that, there will always be a real need for 'transfer' payments - payments between affluent to less affluent parts of the UK. Otherwise we will end up with deserted cities and even more massive migration ...

The Union is worth defending ... unlike Scots Nats or Welsh Nats or Irish Nats, I believe very strongly that the Union is more than the sum of its parts. We benefit in terms of culture, in terms of influence and in terms of economics. There are those that will try to use devolution as a means to achieve separation ... but the cost of separation will be vast - and in my view it is a cost that I am not prepared to pay!

Gareth said...

This thread is a joy to read. The Scots don't like it up 'em do they?

Rabid nationalists almost to a man for years, but when the English show any sign of sticking up for themselves it's suddenly racist propoganda.

Great video, pathetic Scottish belly-aching.

Anonymous said...

Mr Dale, keep speaking up for England!, i commend you sir!.

Now if only the Conservatives would commit to an English Parliament and a referendum on EUSSR MEMBERSHIP!.

Contrast this to McLabours message:

Don't break up the "Union" (although they already have for their bosses in Brussels).

Break up England instead!

Anonymous said...

The funny thing here is that you English Tories cannot stand to think that the Scots are getting better treatment thyan our southern neighbours yet you wont let us leave the union. And you're right toque we rabid nationalists don't like it up us and neither do you whinging unionists which is why you came on here to rant. We get less than our fair share and we want what is rightfully ours and we can achieve that by keeping all the revenues raised in Scotland for spending in Scotland.
Now what do you want? The status quo is what leaves us contributing to this blog yet you wont give up the union. Why is that, what makes Scotland so valuable to you? Especially as you think that you are subsidising us!! Stop ranting and start the process of ending the union you can keep all your public spending and we'll keep ours then we'll see who spends it wisely!

Terry Heath said...

Gerry you’re wrong, a clear majority of the rank and file in England want Scotland to leave the union, see here…

The problem is, Scottish independence goes against Labour’s vested interests, so you’re not allowed to leave (bit like that hotel in California) while they’re in power.

Plenty of you voted SNP but the PR system meant no overall control, so you didn’t get the promised vote for independence. Brown reacted by turning the gushing tap down a little (it’s still gushing though) just to show you who’s the boss. I believe it was because of Scotland that the Brown Bottler chickened out of an early election.

Keep your resolve and vote SNP in the next GE because that uses FPTP and it’ll make all the difference. In the meantime, take it easy with the cheque writing pen please.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't see anything that was factually incorrect in the video. Online searches will reveal the sources and the statements are based on published articles. If it's in the public domain via the media then don't attack the video producer or Iain.
Accusations of "racism" are beneath contempt. This accusation is bandied about so much these days that nobody takes any notice. For such an accusation to come from Scots is pathetic. Anti-English bigotry has been the Scottish national sport for 300 years or more. A search for "act of union 1707" will show the anti-English and anti-union prejudice ingrained in the Scottish collective psyche.
The attacks levelled at iain just show that the Scots can dish it out but certainly can't take it.
The so-called "Union" has had its day. How anyone can actually believe the United Kingdom will survive without an English Parliament beggars belief.

Anonymous said...

OK there are lies damn lies and statistics, so lets look to an independant source for a judgement, and I quote from the Economist May 2006 "The English are now subsidising each Scot by about £1000 per year, and they are beginning to notice it". Regarding the oil revenue situation, all the carbon fuel revenue comes to the UK treasury because of the gas/oil fields that are in UK waters, if the maritime border follows the land border (as it should under International Maritime Law but Britian has not signed up to it) then some 30-35% of the fields would be in English waters, but under the Scottish Maritme act of 1999 the border now runs parallel to the 35 degree putting some 85-90% in Scottish waters, and who were the parties in negotiation to this act? the British Govt and the Scottish Parliament, so the Scots led British Govt gave 20% of the fields to Scotland, this is just another reason why England needs her own parliament because the British one will always give in to Scots demands. Barry (The Elder)

Anonymous said...

Hi anon (the last one).

'under International Maritime Law but Britian has not signed up to it) then some 30-35% of the fields would be in English waters, but under the Scottish Maritme act of 1999 the border now runs parallel to the 35 degree putting some 85-90% in Scottish waters, and who were the parties in negotiation to this act? the British Govt and the Scottish Parliament,'

I have being trying to track down this data. Can you point me in the right direction?

It blows the argument out of the water, literally.


Anonymous said...

Englandism - I am Barry (The Elder) from the CEP, I researched this about 18 months ago, we have someone in the CEP (ex Navy) currently looking into this. I have lost all documentation but you can start by searching 'scotland act 1999', but when I get some free time ( heavy workload at this time) I will look it up, you can contact me via the CEP website.