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BS: Scotland does not exist

Jim McLean 25 Feb 13 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,Manuel 24 Feb 13 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,gutcher 24 Feb 13 - 04:18 PM
Jim McLean 24 Feb 13 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Manuel 24 Feb 13 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,gutcher 24 Feb 13 - 11:51 AM
Jim McLean 23 Feb 13 - 12:58 PM
Allan Conn 22 Feb 13 - 12:50 PM
Allan Conn 22 Feb 13 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,gutcher 22 Feb 13 - 06:14 AM
Jim McLean 22 Feb 13 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Van 22 Feb 13 - 03:36 AM
Allan Conn 22 Feb 13 - 02:53 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 22 Feb 13 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,Van 21 Feb 13 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,gutcher 21 Feb 13 - 05:41 PM
Rumncoke 21 Feb 13 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 21 Feb 13 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 21 Feb 13 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 21 Feb 13 - 02:09 PM
Jim McLean 21 Feb 13 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 21 Feb 13 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,Raggytash 21 Feb 13 - 01:37 PM
Jim McLean 21 Feb 13 - 12:29 PM
Allan Conn 21 Feb 13 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 21 Feb 13 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Peter 21 Feb 13 - 11:50 AM
GUEST 21 Feb 13 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,gutcher 21 Feb 13 - 08:40 AM
Jim McLean 21 Feb 13 - 07:15 AM
Allan Conn 21 Feb 13 - 06:49 AM
Allan Conn 21 Feb 13 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 21 Feb 13 - 06:35 AM
Jim McLean 21 Feb 13 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,van 20 Feb 13 - 07:30 PM
Jim McLean 20 Feb 13 - 01:22 PM
Allan Conn 20 Feb 13 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Dazbo at work 20 Feb 13 - 11:44 AM
Jim McLean 20 Feb 13 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,gutcher 20 Feb 13 - 08:41 AM
Allan Conn 20 Feb 13 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Peter 20 Feb 13 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Dazbo at work 20 Feb 13 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 20 Feb 13 - 06:31 AM
Jim McLean 19 Feb 13 - 02:32 PM
Jim McLean 19 Feb 13 - 01:24 PM
Allan Conn 19 Feb 13 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 19 Feb 13 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,Dazbo at work 19 Feb 13 - 08:09 AM
Allan Conn 16 Feb 13 - 04:05 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 25 Feb 13 - 05:40 AM

I have just read today that the Westmister government will argue for Scotland to retain the Pound Sterling in the event of Independence! Usual scary caveats, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Manuel
Date: 24 Feb 13 - 06:31 PM

Thanks, Jim. I've read them carefully. What a coincidence! You all have this historic referendum coming up in 2014 and we here have our own potentially far-reaching one which is set for October of this year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,gutcher
Date: 24 Feb 13 - 04:18 PM

The job loss quoted should of course read 19,000.
Note--- must remember to put the comma in in future


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Feb 13 - 01:27 PM

Guest Manuel, I also studied at Edinburg Uni ... see my posts above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Manuel
Date: 24 Feb 13 - 12:39 PM

Eliza, having pursued studies at Edinburgh U,your view on this topic would be of interest to me,half a world away, and no doubt to others as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,gutcher
Date: 24 Feb 13 - 11:51 AM

Scare stories--Scotland will have to apply to become members of the EU
Cameron in almost the next breath promises a referendum on the UK leaving /remaining a member of the EU.
Scotland would lose the coveted AAA rating with disasterous consequences.   The UK have just been downgraded from AAA status.
Removal of the nuclear weapons of mass destruction from the Clyde would result in the loss of 190000 jobs--claim in Westminster debate.
MOD figures in 2012 state 520 people are directly employed in the WMD programme in Scotland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Feb 13 - 12:58 PM

Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland .... all countries with a triple AAA rating.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Allan Conn
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 12:50 PM

"The difference being they started as small countries and work on that basis"

Norway has only been completely independent since 1904. Prior to that it was in a union with Sweden and prior to that with Denmark


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Allan Conn
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 12:36 PM

"Of course the EU have no difficulties with Edinburgh. It deals with Westminster"

What is being referred to is that in his opinion the EU in general doesn't worry so much about a potential gvt in Edinburgh that is likely to be more pro-European than the present gvt in London is. It worries more about the gvt in London's own attitude. I think there will be exceptions of course. For instance Spain! Not that it has anything against Scottish independence it just doesn't like the precedence. Especially when the current polls in Catalonia show a much higher support for independence there than they do here in Scotland, and that said part of Spain is being flatly denied a referendum by the gvt in Madrid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,gutcher
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 06:14 AM

Before jumping in with a snide remark check out the facts for yourself. Nice to see I have touched a raw nerve, more and wider distribution of the true state of the union dividend should be made compulsory reading for all.
Will your next post claim I have nazi leanings because I mention the word compulsory?. That would of course be the lazy mans way.
Facts are chiels that winna ding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 03:48 AM

Van, I have no idea what you are talking about re my supposed insult. I f I have hurt your feelings then I apologise but your skin must be exceedingly thin and, by the way, I don't play the guitar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 03:36 AM

Of course the EU have no difficulties with Edinburgh. It deals with Westminster


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Allan Conn
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 02:53 AM

Rumncoke. The problem is it is a precedent so it will be tested. Jose Manuel Barroso refused to comment on Scotland specifically but claimed that a new state would negotiate from outside of the EU. It is not his choice to make but is his opinion. However that has been refuted from various quarters. The UK govt's own report commissioned from Prof James Crawford confirmed that Scotland would renegotiate terms but that it would be done from within the EU as we are existing members and that though it wasn't an automatic shoe in it should be straightforward and completed within an 18 mth time scale. Closer to the SNP's claims than it is to the UK gvt's claims or to Borroso's view. Prof David Edward a former judge on the European Court of Justice stated that "Scotland's continued membership of the EU is beyond question". whilst just today in the Scotsman Lord Malloch Brown the former deputy secretary general of the UN and senior Foreign Office diplomat under Brown writes that an independent Scotland would be welcomed at the EU table and that Europe sees its difficulties not with Edinburgh but with London.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 02:20 AM

If Scottish people knew the facts they'd vote yes?

Clearly it isn't me here who treats the Scottish electorate with contempt. ..


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 08:04 PM

Jim
I thought better of you. If argument is failing - don't result to insult. I spent a long time helping to establish a parliament in Edinburgh while you were strumming your guitar - oh phone your granny, she wants advice on how to suck eggs


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,gutcher
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 05:41 PM

Three points are usually raised against Scots who have the temerity to stand up for themselves:--[1]They are petty small minded nationalists
[2]They are mean and come of a mean spirited race.                  [3]They live on the bounty of their more prosperous neighbours.
Points [1] and[2] are usually made by people who use them to cover their own leanings in these directions:-- point [1] has been refuted by Allan Conn, point [2] can be refuted by reference to any national money raising effort for charity where the Scots consistantly donate two and a half to three and a half times more per head than their southern neighbours.
Point [3]:-- see an article by James Maxwell in the New Statesman for 6/11/11, also G.E.R.S. Scotland, if these details were widely disseminated to the Scottish public there would be a landslide yes vote in the coming referendum. Unfortunately the mainstream media do not give coverage to facts that would damage the better together campaign.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Rumncoke
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 03:58 PM

There was a slight hitch to the remaining in the EU plan - someone in the EU pointed out that if Scotland became a separate country they would no longer be in the EU and would have to apply to join and negotiate the terms of their joining.

There was then a 'No - we are in the EU already' 'Yes - but if you leave then you aren't' sort of argument, after which various people got rather thoughtful.

I have no idea if it went any further, but it did rather surprise and bewilder some people who assumed that Great Britain could divide and still be regarded as the same in the eyes of the EU,


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 02:33 PM

The SNP have no wish to segregate Scotland. They want to remain in the EU and work with all their neighbours excepting that they want Scotland to have its own seat at the table. You seem to be suggesting that we would be incapable of working for the common good unless we are ruled from Westminster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 02:25 PM

"If I, with a distance Scottish ancestor, wished to relocate" As mentioned earlier in the thread the SNP's position is that on independence should they be in govt everyone legally living in Scotland at that time would automatically be offered citizenship regardless of place of birth, nationality, colour or religion. Should they decline citizenship it would not affect their right to abode etc. In a hypothetical future as Scotland intends to remain in the EU then there would be the same free movement of people as there is at the moment. For non-EU citizens it would of course be different but saying that the govt has already said it would like the tools to attract more incomers than there are coming at the moment. No doubt there would be rules and restrictions just as there are at the moment and just as every country has. There is no reason to believe it would be harder to gain entry than it is at the moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 02:09 PM

The difference being they started as small countries and work on that basis.   An excellent health and social care system for people with dementia shouldn't lead to people wanting to lose their marbles in order to buy in.

I'm not name calling. I simply have a view that self determination gets less attractive economy wise the smaller you get.   You keep saying you are European in outlook yet the ethos of The EU is integration for common good not segregation to satisfy historians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 02:08 PM

Raggytash, your nationality is immaterial. If you are on the Scottish electoral roll/register you will treated like William Wallace himself ... prepare to be hung, drawn and quartered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 02:04 PM

Well you'd have to shave your legs.....no one looks good in a kilt otherwise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 01:37 PM

A question:

If I, with a distance Scottish ancestor, wished to relocate to a newly devolved and vibrant Scotland and take advantage of the economic benefits of that "new" independent country, how would I stand?


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 12:29 PM

Musket, have a Google on the Nordic Council to find out how small countries can work together and still retain their independence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Allan Conn
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 12:19 PM

"small minded nationalists" Just wondered who the small minded are? The debate in Scotland is generally pretty civilised. Both arguments have their merits. Why someone who is a Scottish nationailst should be described as small minded whilst British nationalism is ok still passes me by. As I've said previously the SNP are more pro-European than most mainstream British parties; they are more in favour of immigration than most mainstream parties; and the regard everyone legally living in Scotland as Scots. There is nothing small minded about wanting to have more, or as much as possible, control over how your own country is run. You may not agree with it but there is no need for name calling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 12:10 PM

Gutcher. Yes I can.

Technology information and global business means The UK is about as small as it gets.
I'm not speaking as an English bloke addressing a Scottish bloke. Unlike Scottish nationalists I don't recognise an us and them. I speak as a we. So if Scotland is a net drain or a net asset it makes no difference. Taxes paid by the Big houses in the nice village where I live help the large town down the road. If I were to use Scottish logic we'd let the town starve as we're alright Jack. Whether Scotland is financially viable is irrelevant. The size of the public sector in feeding the domestic economy is a concern that accountants in distilleries won't be able to disguise with fancy spreadsheets though. My sincere concern awsy from teasing small minded nationalists is that there are too many contrasting forecasts around for any sane person to be sure of their conviction that their choice is the best outcome.

I sincerely hope I'm not that petty. The polls suggest neither are most Scots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 11:50 AM

Peter, Scotland will not have to join the Shengen area. Ireland opted out and is party of the Common Land Area with the UK hence no passports required. If Scotland becomes independent then the rest of the UK will also have to renegotiate certain terms. The UK IS Scotland and England so no Scotland means no UK.

Jim, I don't think you really grasped the meaning of the word "IF" in my post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 11:42 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,gutcher
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 08:40 AM

If Scotland be such a drain on Big Brothers resourses can Musket and others please explain to us simple peasants why the Westminster regime is so keen to hold on to us come hell or high water, Could it have something to do with the facts laid out in the McCrone report, supressed for near thirty years by our caring sharing masters, which showed that had it not been for the oil in Scottish territorial waters, England would be in the same position today as Ireland is. But of course I am forgetting, Scotland, in the eyes of those who cannot see past their own noses, does not exist, or if acknowledged has its uses as a milch cow with those who believe what they read in the unionist press and hear and see in the heavily biassed BBC being starved of the correct facts on most subjects pertaining to the debate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 07:15 AM

I agree, Allan. Interestingly she votes for the Green Party, underlining that Independence is not just an SNP driven policy but a multi party aim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Allan Conn
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 06:49 AM

http://reidfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Whisky-and-the-Scottish-Economy-BiGGAR-Economics-Nov12.pdf


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

Sorry I forgot to include the link in the last post. Incidentally did anyone read Karine Polwart's piece in Scotland on Sunday? Thought it was quite interesting. She is not so much interested in whether we will be a wee bit better or worse off - but more interested in what the values of a new Scotland will be and what kind of society we aim to build. Her main point was that she thinks the SNP are making a tactical error in going along the line of things aren't going to be so different. She feels that a more positive we are going to make things different and better would be the way to go. Thought it was interesting anyway


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Allan Conn
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 06:42 AM

Turnover in the whisky industry alone in Scotland is estimated at £5,048million and it has been booming in the last decade. Consumption the UK is falling but worldwide it is going through the roof. It is massive but the amount reinvested in Scotland is small by comparison. The argument is that Scottish govt control over the industry could greatly increase benefits to Scotland. Theoretically they could already do that. Under the 2012 Scotland Act the devolved gvt supposedly has the power to raise new tax. This publication gives an example of a tax of say 20p being paid by the producers on every bottle produced. It would give revenue to the Scottish govt of 270million. The estimated loss to the UK revenue through reduced corporation tax due to the hit on profits would be £62million. Even if the devolved gvt reimbursed Westminster for the loss Holyrood would still be £208million per annum better off. Just tinkering but how much more could they make the industry benefit Scotland directly if they were independent. Of course oil and gas are the real big earners for UK or for an independent Scotland. Suggesting there is no economy is just silly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 06:35 AM

If there are no Scottish / English economics experts in England, what makes you think there are any north of the border? Err.. Broon?, err... badger features?

Just out of interest, if Scotland did bugger off, treaties etc that The UK are part of still stand. One kid running off with his ball does not mean the game of football has to end. The status of The UK is not part of the referendum . If it were, the grown ups would have a say, silly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 06:06 AM

Old, scare stories, Van. I read your pal Nigel Farage of UKIP in today's Glasgow Herald and is totally in agreement with you. Sad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,van
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 07:30 PM

Scotland does not have an economy. The oil thing relies on international treaties, the whisky industry is largely owned by foreign companies who pay little tax here or elsewhere, the public sector part relies on civil service jobs which were removed from England and would return there, and the guy at the head of all this seems to have bankrupted a bank. WOW go for it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 01:22 PM

Good on you, Dazbo, I might do the same. The Barnet formula will be irrelevant, of course, after Scotland becomes independent. With revenue from oil and gas, whisky, no massive bills for Trident and many more advantages coming with independence The inhabitants of Scotland will be much better off, both financially and culturally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Allan Conn
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 12:33 PM

Barnett is the means as to how funding is adjusted and is based on population. The Nats don't like Barnett because in the long term it erodes spending in Scotland. Again as I say the general move is towards at the very least much more devolution with more fiscal autonomy. The Uk govt refused to allow that option on the forthcoming referendum, promising that their proposals will be put forward after the vote though in scotland we've heard that before from a Tory govt, whilst the Nats were content to have the devomax option included. That would be a move towards money being raised and spent in Scotland without going in and back out of the Westminster coffers - then with devomax Scotland would pay directly for its share of joint spending like defense etc. It is the UK govt and the Tories in Scotland who are most against changing the status-quo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Dazbo at work
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 11:44 AM

Apparently the Barnett formula (not so much a formula as a stick a finger in the air and pull out a number) is based on the population size and not their needs. Therefore, the richer the Scottish economy becomes and the better off the population becomes under the Barnett formula they still get more money.

Go figure!

Anyway, I'm going to move to Scotland and vote for full independence


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 09:59 AM

Peter, Scotland will not have to join the Shengen area. Ireland opted out and is party of the Common Land Area with the UK hence no passports required. If Scotland becomes independent then the rest of the UK will also have to renegotiate certain terms. The UK IS Scotland and England so no Scotland means no UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,gutcher
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 08:41 AM

As I remember it the difference in spending per head of the population is accounted for by the density of the population in each part of the UK. This should be self evident to any thinking person.

I am at present digging out the figures which show that the MOD spend a much smaller part of its budget in Scotland than is warrented by an equitable share of their overall spending.

The same applies to the BBC who also dayly pump out information with a unionist slant, this is considered by some a breach of their charter which requires them to be impartial in handling these matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Allan Conn
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 08:40 AM

"I'm wondering why Scotland has so much public money spent on it by the UK government"

Again spending throughout the UK is not primarily based on per head of population. It is based on the cost of providing services. There are a whole range of factors which affect the said cost. This is how it works throughout the UK including within England itself. By the UK govt's own criteria Scottish spending should be higher than spending in England because of the said range of factors. Actual spending is even higher than it should be but still doesn't amount to a subsidy as Scotland over the years has paid its way. The lastest figures did show a deficit but again it is better than the deficit for the rest of the UK. The point being that if the official figures are all to be believed then the rest of the UK would be in a worse financial position without Scotland.

The whole discussion going down this route is fruitless anyway. Scots who want independence don't want their taxes going through Westminster prior to coming back to Scotland. Likewise the most popular option in Scotland is for devomax which is basically moving towards fiscal autonomy within the UK. That is money being raised in and spent in Scotland with Scotland then paying the UK directly for things like defence etc. Ardent unionists or anti-devolutionists should be asked to defend the present financial system - not people who want to see an end to it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 08:40 AM

The fun will start if an independent Scotland decides to become part of the Schengen Area. The UKBF will want a new Hadrian's Wall along the border.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Dazbo at work
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 07:46 AM

Now whilst I very happy to hear that Scotland has a budget surplus I'm wondering why Scotland has so much public money spent on it by the UK government. Jim quotes that Scotland is so many billions in surplus but the UK is in so many (more) billions of deficit yet the UK government spends per person

England          8,491
Scotland         10,088
Wales             9,740
Northern Ireland 10,620 (from the House of Commons Library for 2012)

Now I don't know where this money comes from but it looks to me (again in my economic ignorance) that not only does Scotland have a surplus but gets more than the areas of the UK that are in deficit.

If I read it correctly Wikipedia says that due to the Barnett formula it doesn't matter how much money Scotland "earns" and keeps for itself they'll still get more money from the UK government than anyone in England.

If looks like a subsidy, smells like a subsidy, walks like a subsidy it's still not a subsidy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 06:31 AM

This is a bit of a bugger, I've only just found out that my Great, Great Grandfather was probably born in Half Morton, Dumfreisshire, circa 1830. I was going to use that "gem" when my Scottish mates start rabbiting on ad nauseam about things Caledonian.

Foiled again !


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 19 Feb 13 - 02:32 PM

I should add that when the film Braveheart came out, every English person I met (I live in London) were experts on Scottish 13th century history. Now they all seem to be experts on Scottish/English economy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Jim McLean
Date: 19 Feb 13 - 01:24 PM

My original posting was to show the Westminster Government's belief that Scotland was extinguished and joined a greater England under a new name, I.e. the UK. However please find below some answers as the financial position of Scotland.


Surplus finance fourth year in a row
23/06/2010

Scotland's public finances are in a healthy position, with the country generating more income than it spends even in a period of recession, official statistics published today show. This is the fourth year in a row that Scotland has generated a current budget surplus, compared to a UK-wide deficit over the same period.

The latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report for 2008-09 includes a share of the UK Government's Financial Sector Interventions to support the banking sector.

Even with that spending factored in, Scotland's financial position in 2008-09 was a current budget surplus of £1.3 billion, or 0.9 per cent of GDP, including a geographical share of North Sea revenues. At the same time, the UK was in current budget deficit of £48.9 billion, or 3.4 per cent of GDP, including 100 per cent of North Sea revenues.

GERS also estimates Scotland's net fiscal balance - which factors in capital and infrastructure investment for the nation's long term benefit. On this measure Scotland had a deficit of £3.8 billion or 2.6 per cent of GDP. In comparison, the UK's deficit was substantially greater, standing at £96.1 billion or 6.7 per cent of GDP.

Across the OECD as a whole, the average net fiscal balance was 3.3 per cent of GDP in 2008. In other words, GERS shows Scotland in a stronger fiscal position than the average of the major developed economies, as well as the United Kingdom.

The cumulative value of Scotland's current budget surplus over the four year period from 2005-06 to 2008-09 now stands at some £3.5 billion. Over this same period, the UK built up a deficit of £72.3 billion.

Welcoming the report, Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

"This is an extremely positive report - demonstrating beyond any doubt that Scotland is in a far stronger financial position than the UK as a whole, as well as the OECD average.

"In 2008-09, Scotland generated a current budget surplus of £1.3 billion, or 0.9 per cent of GDP, compared to a deficit for the UK of £48.9 billion, or 3.4 per cent of GDP.

"This is the fourth year in a row to record a Scottish current budget surplus - even as the UK moved into recession - and the cumulative value of Scotland's surplus since 2005-06 now stands at some £3.5 billion, compared to a UK deficit over the same period of £72.3 billion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Allan Conn
Date: 19 Feb 13 - 12:52 PM

"how can England not be subsidising Scotland"

Different points really. Scotland does have higher spending per head than England does. It naturally would as spending throughout the UK depends and is worked out on the supposed cost of services to a particular area. That applies within England too. Scottish spending is over and above what it should be even on that basis. However that isn't the same as being subsidised by the rest of the UK. Whether we are subsidised or not depends on how much Scotland contributes compared with how much we take out and not on how much is spent per head!


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 19 Feb 13 - 12:36 PM

Speaking as someone embroiled in such debate for a living these days, Scotland gets a lower outcome from investment in The NHS. Life expectancy and general morbidity demonstrate this. England has clusters of health inequality but sadly Scotland is a cluster.

Tax revenues are largely from public sector jobs too, so whilst applauding lack of tuition fees or elements of free nursing cate, I wonder if either are sustainable till the day of the vote without fancy accounting? Scotland has issues same as everywhere else and has used its parliament to decide priorities. Priorities based on present funding streams. Mmmm....


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: GUEST,Dazbo at work
Date: 19 Feb 13 - 08:09 AM

Now I may be a simpleton when it comes to economics but if the money for student fees, free prescriptions, care of the elderly etc comes out of the Scottish Budget then, assuming they get proportionally the same money as in England per head, the money spent on that must come out of other budgets. From this it must follow (in my mind) that to make up this shortfall in other budgets the Scots must have to pay for something that the English don't have to pay for. What do I get for free that the Scots have to pay for?

If the answer is nothing then how can England not be subsidising Scotland either directly or by Scotland not paying its way in the Union?


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Subject: RE: BS: Scotland does not exist
From: Allan Conn
Date: 16 Feb 13 - 04:05 AM

"If we didn't charge Scottish students for their fees"

typo alert should read if wh charged Scottish students etc


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