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Scottish Independence ...

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"Why is he so keen to hold onto Scotland if it is such a drain on resources?"

Excellent question.

And consulting Putin in the matter is like asking Mickey Rooney to help save your marriage. No fewer than 15 states have rid themselves of Soviet hegemony since WW2.

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"Why is he so keen to hold onto Scotland if it is such a drain on resources?"

Excellent question.

And consulting Putin in the matter is like asking Mickey Rooney to help save your marriage. No fewer than 15 states have rid themselves of Soviet hegemony since WW2.

Doesn't look like a smart move. It'll be interesting to see what the response is. Maybe they'll have a discussion bare-chested on horseback. :lol:

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Don't know that I'm grasping it all but looks as though UK Dept would go up and Scotland's would have lower dept per GPD ratio.

Dr Andrew Armstrong seems to have a good grasp of the issue. He indicates that Scotland would be paying a higher interest rate and be starting off with a huge debt.(Newsnight)

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He guesses Scotland would be paying a higher interest rate; he fails miserably to understand that the debt that would transfer already has a ticket price. Future debt Interest rates are set by risk. Scotland would have a lower GDP to debt ratio (less risky). Scotland would not have a recent standalone debt repayment history (more risky). Scotland has significant carbon reserves and a regualar cash stream from those reserves (less risky).

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So what does all that add up to, samsc?

I hear that Nicola has 50 questions that she wants answered.

Any replies from Putin? :)

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A lot of good points and agree that Westminster is thoroughly discredited.

But wouldn't it be nice if it was still like this? 'It’s a long time ago now, but back then politics seemed a simple, straightforward affair. Labour was left wing, the Tories were right wing and you knew on which side of the barricade you stood. Public ownership, a strong welfare state and supporting the most vulnerable – or rampant capitalism, greed and let the poorest take care of themselves.'

So few people are actually engaged with the political parties because they don't respect and don't trust politicians.

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A lot of good points and agree that Westminster is thoroughly discredited.

But wouldn't it be nice if it was still like this? 'It’s a long time ago now, but back then politics seemed a simple, straightforward affair. Labour was left wing, the Tories were right wing and you knew on which side of the barricade you stood. Public ownership, a strong welfare state and supporting the most vulnerable – or rampant capitalism, greed and let the poorest take care of themselves.'

So few people are actually engaged with the political parties because they don't respect and don't trust politicians.

and the 2 main UK parties being that close together politically these days doesnt help

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I don't think they are as close as they were, tig, but old Labour definitely is no more.

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Yes, she did well. I thought it was going to be Margo MacDonald.

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Danny Alexander and William Haig reckon that entry into the EU would be a costly business for an independent Scotland. Of course, the UK may no longer be members?

Foreign Secretary William Hague and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said it was inconceivable an ­independent Scotland would secure an EU budget rebate, as currently enjoyed by the UK.

They dismissed SNP claims an independent Scotland could join the EU seamlessly, and on improved terms, as they unveiled Whitehall's latest Scotland ­Analysis paper on the consequences of a Yes vote in September's referendum.

The 120-page study suggested EU membership could cost Scots households up to the equivalent of £210 per year if the country left the UK. Figures suggested an ­independent Scotland would have to pay between £1.9 billion and £3.8bn over and above its present share of UK contributions, over the 2014 to 2020 EU budget period.

The £1.9bn figure - equivalent to £750 per household - was based on a "most optimistic" case, the paper said, accepting Scottish Government claims an independent Scotland would secure an extra £850 million in agricultural subsidies. The £3.8bn - equivalent to £1470 per household - was a worst-case scenario, under which farm payments would fall by just over £1bn.

Mr Alexander told an invited audience of business leaders in Glasgow: "What this means for Scottish families is that over the next seven years continuing as part of the United Kingdom will save them at least £750 per household, possibly climbing to £1470 per household.

"So, as part of the UK we Scots pay less, and we get more out of our EU membership."

http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/yes-vote-will-cost-families-in-scotland-750-each.23205155?utm_source=headlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email%2Balert

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It's neither here nor there if UK are pulling out of EU. I wonder if Putin will attach some homophobic conditions?

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Latest opinion poll (The Scotsman) showing a 5% swing to YES and a corresponding 5% drop in support for NO.

Look out for Better Together getting shriller and throwing more smelly stuff at the wall in the hope of keeping people scared

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Just watched the Greenock debate and once again was irritated by the inclusion of a token "celebrity." Sanjeev Kohli and Eddie Reader might be intelligent people, but they have no specialised knowledge of the issues and serve only to irritate. I could have done without that pompous wee p---k Alex Massie annaw. Nice to hear Fiona Hyslop quasi-quoting Burns, but the level of respect for the Bard was sadly low in the audience.

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Patrick Harvie is sensible and eloquent. Eddi already blotted her copybook on Question Time so I'm surprised she was invited back.

I wish Owen Jones could sway politics in Scotland. I love his nine point manifesto for hope:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/owen-joness-agenda-for-hope-we-want-a-fairer-society--and-heres-how-we-can-achieve-it-9086440.html

Agenda for hope: Owen Jones’s nine-point manifesto

1) A statutory living wage, with immediate effect, for large businesses and the public sector, and phased in for small and medium businesses over a five-year Parliament. This would save billions spent on social security each year by reducing subsidies to low-paying bosses, as well as stimulating the economy, creating jobs because of higher demand, stopping pay being undercut by cheap labour, and tackling the scandal of most of Britain’s poor being in work. An honest days’ pay for an honest days’ work would finally be enshrined in law.

2) Resolve the housing crisis by regulating private rents and lifting the cap on councils to let them build hundreds of thousands of houses and in doing so, create jobs, bring in rent revenues, stimulate the economy and reduce taxpayers’ subsidies to landlords.

3) A 50 per cent tax on all earnings above £100,000 – or the top 2 per cent of earners – to fund an emergency jobs and training programme for young unemployed people, including the creation of a national scheme to insulate homes and businesses across Britain, dragging millions of out of fuel poverty, reducing fuel bills, and helping to save the environment. All such jobs will be paid the living wage, supported with paid apprenticeships rather than unpaid “workfare” schemes.

4) An all-out campaign to recoup the £25bn worth of tax avoided by the wealthiest each year, clamping down on all possible loopholes with a General Anti-Tax Avoidance Bill, as well as booting out the accountancy firms from the Treasury who help draw up tax laws, then advise their clients on how to get around them.

5) Publicly run, accountable local banks. Transform the bailed-out banks into regional public investment banks, with elected taxpayers’ representatives sitting on boards to ensure they are accountable. Give the banks a specific mandate to help small businesses and encourage the green industries of the future in each region.

6) An industrial strategy to create the “green jobs” and renewable energy industries of the future. It would be focused on regions that have been damaged by deindustrialisation, creating secure, skilled, dignified jobs, and reducing unemployment and social security spending, based on an active state that intervenes in the economy, learning from the experiences of countries such as Germany.

7) Publicly owned rail and energy, democratically run by consumers and workers. As each rail franchise expires, bring them back into the public sector, with elected representatives of passengers and workers to sit on the new management boards, ending our fragmented, inefficient, expensive railway system. Build a publicly owned energy network by swapping shares in privately run companies for bonds, and again put elected consumers’ representatives on the boards. Democratic public ownership instead of privatisation could be a model for public services like the NHS, too.

8) A new charter of workers’ rights fit for the 21st century. End all zero-hour contracts, with new provisions for flexible working to help workers. Allow all unions access to workplaces so they can organise, levelling the playing field and giving them a chance to improve wages and living standards. Increase turnout and improve democratic legitimacy in union ballots by allowing workplace-based balloting and online voting.

9) A universal childcare system that would pay for itself as parents who are unable to work are able to do so, and which would take on the inequalities between richer and poorer children that begin from day one.

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Of course the ordinary members didn’t….it was the payroll and the unions – Labour’s institutions – that wanted her in place. What must they all think now? As time rolls on to the next Holyrood elections how is Labour faring now that we are in year seven of SNP administration?

The opinion polls are grisly. By rights, with the No side in the ascendancy and the public surely tiring of Salmond and his mob, the main opposition have every right to think that, like Labour in London, they should be ahead. Perhaps not by much but commanding the agenda, pushing the government’s nose in it and picking up the support. Instead they are further behind than ever, part of a collective failed opposition at Holyrood that can’t even count on its combined support to match the SNP in voting intentions.

Clearly Labour has pockets of support – note the Fife by election – but there is no sense of a pan-Scotland advance. It’s hard with Johann to work out if she’s doing badly because she has no profile or because she is so poor when she does appear.

I think the Grangemouth business was bad news for her. Labour’s overall behaviour over Ineos and Unite was poor and trade unionists across Scotland would normally look to a Labour leader to exercise steely resolve through a commanding presence and judicious intervention. Instead she was invisible and was eventually forced into the light and sounded defensive. As a masterclass in leadership it got nul points. How would a real leader like Dewar have reacted? For a start the whole media would have been briefed in detail how furious he was, that collars had been grabbed in private. He would have appeared on site grim-faced and stony and brought a sense that his very presence was the catalyst for a resolution. People of all affiliations listened to Dewar, at times of crisis he transcended the debate and held the ear of all sections of society. A reluctant voter, asked by him to back devolution in 1999, remained stoically doubtful but said: If you say it’s alright, I’ll vote Yes for you because you tell me to. That kind of reverence hasn’t been in the gift of Labour politicians since he died.

Then yesterday the dreaded First Minister’s Questions, where at times Johann has made her point convincingly, turned out to be another occasion when the shortcomings of the Labour leadership were exposed. It isn’t that Salmond is any kind of expert at this questioning business. I think he’s more comfortable asking rather than answering but Johann managed – Kinnock-like – to mangle her opportunity. Behind in the polls, losing a by election and then, according to the Unionist narrative, losing the currency argument with the governor, Salmond was a quivering plate of potted meat awaiting a fork. And not only did Johann miss, she created what has become a campaign tool for the other side. “Wee things” like ending the bedroom tax and ditching Trident is a campaigner’s delight to rank alongside “the something for nothing society”. Within the hour her people said it was a slip of the tongue, just as something-for-nothing was wiped from the website.

It’s too late now but Johann isn’t working. It doesn’t matter how much they vilify Salmond and remember her personalised attacks on Sturgeon? Despite everything, it is she and Labour who are sinking. She must say to herself: Thank God for the referendum…it’s the only thing holding it all together.

To illustrate how farcical things get at Holyrood, I read a piece on today’s papers how Labour was making an official complaint that the SNP was using government money to create a Wee Things hashtag and to fund stickers displaying it. How much is that then? £3.50p? The party that said getting rid of nuclear weapons was a “wee thing” is complaining about sweetie shop expenses in the SPADs office. Labour should be known as the Poor Wee Things from now on.

Ian Lang, millionaire landowner and Lloyd’s name, now Lord Monkton, defender of the poll tax and responsible for gerrymandering local government, joins the ranks of the true Britnats with his silly and hurtful suggestion that a free people choosing their own democracy, sullied the name of the war dead. He demonstrated how it is the British state he loves, not Scotland. And as I watched this parade of grotesques from the elephant’s graveyard, every one a Unionist clown, it occurred to me that this does nothing but good for the independence cause. It reminds us that Tories who profess to care about Scotland are really dedicated to Britain and that Labour people claiming to be socialists are self-aggrandising opportunists and that we will better off without any of them.

http://derekbateman1.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/poor-wee-things/

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She made a bit of a mistake with the Wee Things.

They all love to put a spin on things and sometimes it spins back on them and knocks them over. Good to have Norway providing clarification. Are The Vikings joining forces? Wait till Spain hears about this. :)

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