2007 - 2021

Dear John (and Tom)


Dear John

I understand from your letter to Tom Harris MP that you are planning to vote SNP in the general election. As your SNP candidate in Glasgow South I’m obviously pleased to hear this.

In your letter to Mr Harris you wrote that the SNP will “work towards improving the lives of the poor, vulnerable and ordinary working people.” You are absolutely right.

The Scottish National Party is ensuring that an alternative agenda is on offer to the Scottish people – and arguably the people of the whole United Kingdom – from that which is on offer at the moment. We believe that the choice of further austerity being imposed by either Mr Miliband or Mr Cameron is a false choice, and fails to recognise the needs and aspirations of the Scottish people.

You may have noticed that, just last week, Nicola Sturgeon outlined that the SNP wants a very modest increase of 0.5% in public spending across the UK – which would free up £180bn to invest in infrastructure, jobs and services – and still see a reduction in the country’s deficit to a stable average. This is the sort of policy which many would traditionally expect Labour to advocate, rather than snub and stick to the Westminster consensus on austerity.

Mr Harris states in his letter that the SNP is opposed to the reintroduction of the 50p rate of tax for high earners. This is false. The Scottish Government has made it clear that if it had the power to do so right now (which it doesn’t) then it would be minded to reintroduce the 50p rate. It’s worth noting, however, that when a vote on this was called in the House of Commons in 2012, Labour MPs did not turn up to vote against the abolition of the 50p rate. 

I would also like to touch on the point that Mr Harris makes about Labour’s proposed mansion tax on properties worth over £2m. This would have almost no effect in Scotland, as there aren’t many properties which would qualify for paying the additional tax, making it almost meaningless in a Scottish context. However, what Mr Harris failed to point out was that the SNP government have introduced a much more progressive Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). This means that homes in Scotland worth over £1m will now pay £78,300 in tax, as opposed to the previous £50,000, and homes at £400,000 will pay £17,000 rather than £12,000 in tax. This is a progressive system which is designed to suit the housing market in Scotland, and ensures that those with the broadest shoulders contribute more to the tax take here in Scotland. This is markedly better than Labour’s mansion tax, which is designed to apply to London and the South East.

Mr Harris makes reference to the SNP’s position on banker’s bonuses – something that our group in the European Parliament have been working hard on and with some success – and he’s right to suggest that a tax on banker’s bonuses can be used to help people into work. However there are two observations that I would make at this stage. The bonus culture which has corrupted our banking system was allowed to happen unwatched by Labour when they were in office. In fact, the man who Labour wish to install into the treasury – Ed Balls – was Labour’s City Minister when corporate greed was running riot. It would perhaps be unwise to take Labour’s outrage on this at face value.

My second observation is on helping young people in to work. The SNP in government have, only last week, announced that they are well on track to deliver their commitment to 25,000 new apprenticeship places – in fields ranging from life sciences, tourism and engineering – with 78% of that target already met. More than half of the 19,517 new apprentices are aged between 16 and 19. Astonishingly, Labour voted against this policy in the Scottish Parliament at every turn.

I realise that Mr Harris is not a member of the Scottish Parliament, and so he might not be quite up to speed on what his colleagues in Holyrood are up to. However it’s clear that Labour have reduced themselves to opposing SNP arguments for the sake of it, rather than putting forward serious and costed policy options. Labour claim to have the answer with bus regulation, but they have failed to identify where the money would come from to implement a policy which would undoubtedly put strain on public finances elsewhere. Instead, the SNP Government invest around a quarter of a billion pounds in Scotland’s bus infrastructure.

The perfect example of opposition politics for the sake of it would be Labour’s response to the new rail franchise. The Scottish Parliament does not have the power to nationalise the railways, and Labour didn’t make any moves to give us that power when they set the parliament up or when they were in power. So it is the responsibility of the Scottish Government to get the best deal possible for Scottish tax-payers and rail users.

The new rail franchise includes clauses on cheaper fares between cities; reduced fares for those out of work; wifi on all trains; an increase in carriage numbers; no compulsory redundancies for Scotrail staff; a living wage guarantee for all staff and sub-contractors; the protection of pensions and travel rights for staff; 100 new apprenticeship places and trade union representation at board meetings. This is the kind of rail franchise that Labour ought to be welcoming. Written all over it is the sign of a government that puts people – rail users and staff – at the heart of public procurement. By contrast Labour has opted for opposition for the sake of it. This is not serious politics.

The SNP are indeed focused on “improving the lives of the poor, vulnerable and ordinary working people.” I make no apology for that and I’m proud to stand in this election on the back of a strong record in government over these past eight years.

I do not have, as Mr Harris asserts in his letter, a hatred of the Labour Party. Suggesting this only goes to show that he does not understand where Scottish politics has moved on to.

It’s no wonder that so many people are viewing the general election in a totally new light and, like you, are planning to vote SNP. No longer are people in Scotland just thinking about who they want to form the next Westminster government; because who forms that government in Westminster is becoming increasingly irrelevant. What people in Scotland want is to make sure that Scotland’s voice is heard at Westminster. So as well as offering voters an alternative to the consensus on austerity, we offer something that Labour can’t: We will always speak up for, and act in the interest of, the people of Scotland.

I appreciate your support, John. And I hope to get the support of many more people in your community so that, together, we can change British politics forever.


Stewart McDonald

SNP Candidate for Glasgow South


Comments (106)

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  1. Darien says:

    “to make sure that Scotland’s voice is heard at Westminster”

    Be realistic, what will the voice of 40+ SNP MP’s achieve against 500 red and blue tories?

    You are standing for Scotland’s independence party – be ready to declare it.

    1. a j mills says:

      Depends on the arithmetic Darien. 30-40 could very well be what I was taught to call a ‘significant figure’ when it comes to brokering a workable deal in a hung parliament. That many SNP MPs would indisputably speak for Scotland more sincerely, articulately, and effectively than ten times as many red tories. Also, even well in advance of the election, the very prospect of the rising tide of SN, Green, and Plaid has caused panic and confusion in the Westminster Establishment. Just watch what happens when the barbarians aren’t just at the gate, but within the very sentinel.

      1. Baffled by Hyperbole says:

        You are in a world of your own here.

        Green Party: will still have one MP

        Plaid Cymru: will have the same number of MPs (possibly one or two less).

        (And between them and Labour, ‘devolution’ in Wales has been a disaster; in education, health and other areas they’ve gone backwards. And all the money has been sucked into the southern capital, Cardiff. sounds familiar …. )

        So no-one cares about either of them.

        Liberal Democrats: will still have 18 – 20 seats

        Labour: sinking

        Conservatives: on the up.

        The next UK government will be another Conservative / Lib Dem coalition.

        And then we can all have a good laugh at your SNP MPs ranting, impotently, from the sidelines.

    2. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

      You really are a chap of one idea, aren’t you?

      1. Darien says:

        It may be one idea, but its the one you and other anti-Scots dislike the most.

      2. IAB says:

        Darien, who are the anti-Scots?

      3. Darien says:

        “who are the anti-Scots?”

        ‘Anti-Scots’ are those who oppose and seek to prevent Scotland’s nationhood, its culture/language development, unhindered access to its own resources etc. Essentially anyone who wishes Scotland to remain a colony of the British state could be described as anti-Scots.

      4. Baffled by Hyperbole says:

        “those who oppose Scotland’s culture and language development”.

        Who on earth are these people? I can’t think of a single instance of anyone wanting to or seeking to oppose cultural (Scotland’s ‘culture’ isn’t homogenous, of course) or language development in Scotland. What are you on about?

        “anyone who wishes Scotland to remain a colony of the British state could be described as anti-Scots”.

        Wow, that’s a big group – over two million people at the last count. Just as well its not a club – where would they hold their AGM?

        I’m going to make the wild assumption that you consider yourself ‘Pro-Scots”, and therefore live in a country where you perceive you have over two million enemies, all out to actively persecute you.

        How sad.

    3. AllanSutherland says:

      Even a comparatively small voice against the Tories, Blue, Red, Yellow, Purple et al in better than no opposition at all. Labour only oppose one party in the whole of the UK and it is in Scotland, at Westminster they agree on everything that their buddies in the Blue corner throw at us and offer nothing to replace it and in certain circumstances would cut deeper than even the Blue Tories have done.

      Your joke of a party leader has vowed to govern like Thatcher, I don’t remember a Labour Leader called Thatcher so we can only assume he means Margaret the Hatchet Thatcher, she of the closing down of coal, steel, shipbuilding industries and one of the most hated Blue Tories to have allegedly drawn breath.

      We do want independence and we want it to break away from the culture of greedy grasping Tories of every colour but for some strange reason your lot do not want to let us go.

      1. Baffled by Hyperbole says:

        “Thatcher” did not ‘close down’ your industries.

        This is just a cop-out for your inability to respond to global forces, and your own failings.

        Those industries were affected because they were no longer competitive – partly down to Globalisation, though the demands and behaviour of your Unions did not help.

        The UK is still the 6th-ish largest manufacturer in the world. That more of that manufacturing is not based in Scotland is your fault.

        There is an argument for the Government not having taking enough of a pro-active role around the transition to alternatives for people.

        (However, in a Globalised world where labour and capital are highly mobile, there remains a onus on the individual to be similarly flexible and mobile)

        Stop blaming other people entirely for changes in the weather that you were unable to respond to, and your own failings.

        I grew up on a council estate in a town in central Scotland in the late 1970s / 80s – and you won’t see me moaning about and blaming ‘Thatcher’ for every problem, in Scotland or in the rest of the UK – thirty years on.

        (I’m not a Conservative voter / I’ve never voted Conservative btw, so David Cameron is not “my” party leader, as you put it)

        “we want independence … but for some strange reason your lot do not want to let us go”.

        What? You had a democratic referendum based on accepted majority rules (51%) and 55% of voters voted against independence.

        “Your lot” (whoever they are) had nothing to do with it.

        The Scottish people (based on the rules of the referendum) said they didn’t want to ‘go’ – and if you’re unhappy about the result of the referendum, tough.

        And spare me your next predictable rant about how the referendum was ‘sabotaged’ by ‘the right wing media’.

        Voters had access to information and the case for and against from all sides was freely available to anyone who cared to look (we enjoy living in the age of the internet).

        “We do want independence”.

        Who is ‘we’ – ? It’s not the Scottish people – it’s your sub group of the Scottish people.

        the Scottish people are of course free to have another referendum at some point in the future, and again the Scottish people will decide.

        But not you.

    4. Baffled by Hyperbole says:

      At least 2 million Scottish voters who were under the impression they were living in some kind of democracy might ‘dislike’ your personal demand. And many more, while they might agree with your sentiment, would also dislike your methods.

      Of course, you and your personal demands are more important than what millions of other people say they want.

      Though of course, if you had your way, all those people would be made to accept what you want by force, and any dissent would be silenced.

      (Which is what the ‘State Guardians’ programme is really about, but that’s another story).

      1. Iain Arnott says:

        What I am detecting from both this contributor, and increasingly throughout UK political scene, is a complete unwillingness to believe or accept that the political parties which together formed the YES campaign have not done the decent thing and simply dissolved themselves or crawled away to die under a hedge somewhere. This might be hard to swallow -and all sorts of preposterous self-righteous hysteria is emerging – but get one thing straight: we do indeed live in a democracy and therefore we can vote as we please (as your 2 million supposedly did) – that the outcome of a first-past-the-post system may not on THIS occasion, and at this point in time, be looking like it’s going your way is your problem. This is not something I, or I suspect anybody else in the SNP is going to make any apologies for.

      2. Billy Strand says:

        Baffled with soulless robots. Certain types of dysfunctional morons are beyond hope, there is a lack about you.

    5. Baffled by Hyperbole says:

      Not at all; you are free to go at any time.

      1. bowanarrow says:

        Please sir, would you mind if we go now? thank god for democracy.

  2. Monty says:

    Not sure whether It is irrelevant to Scotland who forms the next Westminster government or is this a tweak in the SNP narrative of Labour as the largest party with the SNP pulling them left and getting a better deal for Scotland? With support for the Tories growing and the possibility a bit more likely that they might become the largest party after the election saying it is irrelevant in the hope that this might absolve the SNP from any backlash in the event of a Tory govt post May is understandable but will it work? The SNP might think a bit of suffering and an EU referendum might speed the way to independence but what would be the consequences for Scotland in the next five years?

    1. Baffled by Hyperbole says:

      Labour are sinking. They are not going to secure a majority. I’m going to stick my neck out and say they might not even be the largest party. Enough people who aren’t sufficiently tribal and / or are making choices for other reasons are going to get to the polling booth, think about Millibean and Balls, and realise the insanity of what they were about to do.

      In the event, the Conservatives get first go at forming a government (another coalition with the Lib Dems)

      Serious question:

      Why are you worried about ‘the consequences for Scotland’ over the next five years? You are getting more ‘federal’ powers than most other federal arrangements in existence. Try them out. And anyway, I keep hearing about how Scottish people are the most tenacious, ingenious, resourceful (and egalitarian) people on the planet. You’ll all help each other out, you’ll all be fine, you and the financiers of Edinburgh, the oilmen of Aberdeen, the developers of Glasgow, all the people who send their kids to private schools …. it’ll be a social democratic paradise.

      Why are you fixated on an EU referendum. Support for the EU is only slightly higher in Scotland (45%ish) than in England (40%ish). The difference in Scotland is there is more undecideds / don’t cares (20%ish) than in England (10% ish).

      The in / out of the EU issue is as much of a Scottish issue as an English / UK issue.

      I hope you’re not trying to portray Scotland as some kind of country of Europhiles – because you’re not.

      This is your problem too – no one will be ‘forcing’ you out of the EU. If that happens, on the face of the current opinion polling, Scotland will be a willing partner in leaving the EU.

      1. fermerfaefife says:

        “In the event, the Conservatives get first go at forming a government (another coalition with the Lib Dems) ”
        In that event it doesn’t matter a damn whether the tories are largest party – it matters who commands a majority.
        So even if the tories are largest party and get together with lib dems , they may not have as big a majority as labour+snp+plaid . ie at the 1st vote the tories would be voted down and couldn’t form the government.

        The other point to make is that if labour (or indeed either red or blue tories) decide not to deal with SNP there is nothing to stop SNP voting against both parties when they try to form a government – in other words it would force them to deal or face another election.

      2. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        Fermer (when I was growing up they were fayrmers … though that wasn’t in Fife)

        Thanks for replying.

        Yes, you’re right. The evil Torygraph swingometer includes the outcome ‘Nat Choice’


        I’m sure the idea gives plenty of people a woody, but Labour-SNP-Plaid would be a disaster, and I’d give it six months, tops.

  3. Monty says:

    this reads like an SNP press release

    1. Hortense says:

      That’ll be because he’s quoting SNP policy? Imagine that. Shocking.

  4. June Stewart says:

    Good letter, it always helps to clarify one’s position and correct inaccuracies. According to many accounts 40+ (hopefully more) SNP MP’s will make a very large difference to the political landscape in Scotland.

    1. Darien says:

      “40+ (hopefully more) SNP MP’s will make a very large difference to the political landscape in Scotland.”

      That may be so, but what do 40+ do against 500+? What difference will it make when it comes to voting in Westminster?

      1. Kenny says:

        If neither Labour nor Tories are able to command a meaningful proportion of the Scottish vote, it makes Scotland ungovernable by either of those parties. It would be a pretty clear sign that our current constitutional set-up is no longer fit for purpose. It would more or less have to be taken as a sign that Scotland wants the devolution we were promised and that the SNP is now fighting for. That statement would be hard for the Westminster parties to ignore. What’s more, with a sizeable bloc of Plaid, Green and SNP MPs, it becomes possible to steer the conversation of the nation in a different direction. If the Lib Dems were a “major party” and had to be treated as such by the broadcasters, then the SNP/Plaid/Green group will have to be given similar prominence in the British media, highlighting important alternative analyses of our political and economic circumstances.

        Also, if people want SNP MPs, they should have SNP MPs. The argument that “it’s pointless to vote for a party you support so vote for the monolithic party you hate the least because at least they’re not the ones you hate the most” is one of the most crushingly awful ideas I’ve ever heard. It’s the antithesis of democracy.

      2. Darien says:

        “it makes Scotland ungovernable by either of those parties”

        As if the UK parties care. The UK establishment view the UK as a unitary state and Scotland as a region. They will govern us with the same arrogance whether with one tory or no tory in Scotland.

        “Scotland wants the devolution we were promised”

        I don’t want devolution, I want independence, as do now over 50% of Scots voters. You are aware that only colonies are offered home rule?

        “a sizeable bloc of Plaid, Green …”

        You mean maybe another 6, or 7 MP’s. That will also make little difference to 500+ red/blue tories.

        Personally I find your analysis and the analysis of others on this matter naïve. The British state will make no ‘concessions’ to Scotland when an overwhelming unionist majority prevails. Have Scots learned nothing from the Better Together propaganda campaign?

        I will vote SNP on May 07 in the full expectation that when Westminster again sticks two fingers up at as (for daring to ask for devo-crumbs), we the people declare what the elected party in Scotland and its candidates stand for – independence.

  5. June Stewart says:

    Good letter, is important to clarify one’s position and correct inaccuracies. In my research to date, having 40+ (hopefully more) SNP MP’s in Westminster will make a big difference to the political landscape in Scotland.

  6. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

    “the SNP will “work towards improving the lives of the poor, vulnerable and ordinary working people.” You are absolutely right”.

    Really – how? Name one effective redistributive policy that the SNP have actually implemented. Right now. (And don’t give me that flannel about your ‘universal’ policies’, whose hand-outs have absolutely benefited the well off, and the well off only)

    “We believe that the choice of further austerity … fails to recognise the needs and aspirations of the Scottish people”.

    What does that MEAN? (Nothing). I’m sorry, but the Scottish people came to the big party of 1993 – 2008, and its time to clear up. And you’ll stay until the job’s done. (Or you can leave, and set up your own institutions and currency with your own money, the Teacake, or the Battered Sausage, or whatever you want to call it).

    “the SNP wants a very modest increase of 0.5% in public spending across the UK – which would free up £180bn to invest”.

    You can want a ladder to the moon if you want – you are not having it. (And you won’t be getting it; the next govt of the UK will be a Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition. Millibean is going to lose – badly.)

    “The Scottish Government has made it clear that if it had the power to do so right now (which it doesn’t) then it would be minded to reintroduce the 50p rate”.

    So what? All the evidence suggests that a 50p rate would generate little or no additional tax take, and possibly do the opposite. Of course, it ‘feels’ right to some people, especially the kind of people who jealously eye what other people have and blame others for their own problems. I’m aware of the SNP’s fondness for populism though.

    “the SNP government have introduced a much more progressive Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT)”

    What is ‘progressive’ about the politics of envy and interfering in / skewing the property market? I think the word you are looking for is ‘authoritarianism’ (just like your ‘State Guardians’ for every child, i.e. back door Thought Police).

    Spare me your mockrage about ‘bankers bonuses’. Your Dear Leader, Mr Salmond, was trumpeting the virtues of your Scottish banks as ‘great Scottish institutions’ before it all went wrong in 2008. Don’t insult people’s memories, or intelligence.

    You are providing young people with apprenticeship opportunities. Well done (slow clap). Don’t you think that might just be your job as an administration?

    You’re talking about Bus regulation? This is a joke, surely? After you accepted £500,000 from Brian Souter in return from removing bus regulation from your manifesto in 2007?

    You are building some bus stations and stuff. Well done. This does not address the fundamental issue that marketisation of bus transport means great services for people living on busy transport corridors, and dreadful services for people in living in peripheral areas with low demand – especially on evenings and weekends. (This is a complex issue, regulation / franchising raises its own problems and I don’t have a ready made solution)

    But how DARE anyone from the SNP even raise their voice about bus regulation, you disingenuous hypocrite.

    I’m glad you don’t have the power to ‘nationalise’ rail services, as it would be a disaster. (For the record I’d prefer the German type arrangement of a 51% government owned company – but absolutely not nationalisation).

    Your populist authoritarian rabble will have your time in the sun, your 15 minutes of fame – enjoy it while it lasts.

    1. gonzalo1 says:

      The rail system in the UK is a shambles, nobody can deny that. What a 40 plus vote for the SNP will bring is a more progressive and enlightened social body politic to the UK where privatisation is binned for the failure that it is, and NHS will remain protected and public and the ludicrous tax free status of private schools will be ditched forever.

      1. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        I didn’t say the approach to providing heavy rail services in the UK was perfect. I also put forward a better alternative i.e. the German model.

        However you’ve deliberately ignored that, so you can make an irrelevant point about votes for the SNP.

        Care to actually respond to my point, or my other points properly, in a practical sense?

        Or are you going to stick to meaningless rambling about ‘enlightened social body politic’ – ?

        Privatisation must be ‘binned’ as a ‘failure’ – ? What, all of it?

        When, for example, we still have some of the lowest energy prices in Europe? (It’s the rapid rises in the last few years which have caught people out in the UK).

        Are you telling me the SNP are planning or promising mass nationalisation? Is it in the manifesto? Where? Show me?

        (You’re talking rubbish, of course)

        And spare me your bleating about the NHS. Your NHS is in bigger trouble than that in England (because your social problems are worse and the people are even more self-abusive, self-destructive and unhealthy – your mortality figures are still worse than the rest of the UK and much of Europe)

        And notwithstanding anything else, there’s more public spending per head in Scotland. Yet your NHS struggles more. What’s your excuse?

        And what’s your beef with private schools?

      2. Darien says:

        “a 40 plus vote for the SNP will bring is a more progressive and enlightened social body politic to the UK ”

        You really think so? 40+ against 500+ red and blue tories?

        A vote for the SNP is a vote for independence, so let us declare it on May 07.

    2. kelpie says:

      Oh goodness this did make me laugh!

      Such angry pomposity so freely expressed, one would think one’s dummy had been stolen.

      1. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        Care to address any of my cogent, salient, evidenced points?

        No, because you can’t, and your only recourse is to insults. Pathetic.

        And you wonder why you lost your referendum?

        Back to the playground for you. Come back when you’ve grown up a bit and are prepared to debate like an adult.

        1. bellacaledonia says:

          Dissenting voices are welcome here – but this is a yellow card warning for abusive language and tone – please moderate your tone. Thank you.

    3. Hortense says:

      And your proposals are?

    4. Gordie says:

      ‘Or you can leave, and set up your own institutions and currency with your own money, the Teacake, or the Battered Sausage, or whatever you want to call it… But how DARE anyone from the SNP even raise their voice about bus regulation, you disingenuous hypocrite’ Skillfully put and highly evidenced as well Sir!

      1. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        Did Brian Souter give the SNP £500,000 in 2007, and immediately thereafter did the commitment to bus regulation in the SNP manifesto then disappear?

        A yes or no answer will suffice.

    5. Tina Feedgie says:

      Dear Mr Hyperbole,
      First of all, thanks for brightening up my otherwise fairly dreich day.

      It appears you’re not a fan of the SNP – a snap judgement of mine and I may be wrong so don’t let it push your blood pressure up too much. It also appears that you have a rare gift and are able to see into the future, reference is made to your apparent “cogent, salient [and] evidenced point” that a nationalized rail service would be a disaster. (Oh, I just noticed you also state with certainty who will form the next government – can you give me a tip for the 2.30 at Chepstow on Saturday?)

      Oops, sorry, I should start with the request to name “right now” one SNP policy that’s helped poor, vulnerable and ordinary working people…. free travel for pensioners, would that qualify? Oh, I’ve thought of another – no tuition fees. And free prescriptions. No bridge tolls. The abolition of the bedroom tax, does that count? (By the way, he said the SNP “will” work towards etc etc – that means it’s something for the future so your question as to what they’ve done in the past was a little mis-directed, but we’ll let it go eh).

      Perhaps English is your second language so allow me to help out with your question as to what the following phrase means, or rather MEANS, “We believe that the choice of further austerity … fails to recognise the needs and aspirations of the Scottish people”. This follows on nicely from a speech the leader of the populist rabble gave in London last week and, if I understand it correctly, it means that continuing with the austerity measures does not give the people of Scotland what they need or want (“aspirations” is just fancy word for “hopes” you see) i.e. the SNP believe that austerity is failing society. Does that help?

      What’s with the slow clap at the apprenticeships? Surely it’s worthy of a short burst of medium paced applause at least. I wonder what type of reaction you would have if Nicola Sturgeon found a cure for cancer and single-handedly arrested global warming while ending all armed conflicts across the planet – would that merit an enthusiastic, if somewhat reluctant, round of applause? Or just a sneer?

      I do like your “policy of envy” remark though, that’s quite brilliant and speaks volumes.

      To attempt to answer what is progressive about the LBTT I’d suggest that introducing a new, fairer system of taxation is, erm, progress. It may not be perfect but it looks like progress from a system that favours the wealthy, hence the use of the word “progressive”. Am I helping?

      The “you are building some stations and stuff” is great, it has a distinct whiff of Monty Python’s what-have-the-Romans-ever-done-for-us about it. I have to admit, though, that I find it a little disappointing you don’t have a ready made solution to bestow upon us.

      Most of the rest of your entry just reads like a tantrum – don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it hugely but …oh, wait a minute, you said with such certainty that the SNP will not get the spending that I’m beginning to think you’re George Osborne – are you?

      I’m really looking forward to reading more of your entries here Mr Hyperbole…. “debate like an adult” – best thing I’ve read in ages.

      I’d love to stay longer but I’ve got to touch up my ginger highlights, read a bit more about why the English ruined everything for everyone everywhere, and finish my dissertation on how an SNP victory will benefit the pineapple farming industry in Scotland.

      1. bowanarrow says:

        @Tina Feedgie

        Thank you.

        I was near a heart attack of frustration.

    6. Kenny says:

      Name a redistributive policy? What, like the LBTT you just attacked for being the “politics of envy”? It’s very clearly a progressive tax. It may not suit YOUR intentions for the housing market, but for most sensible people what we absolutely desperately need is to slow down speculation in the housing market. It’s nonsense from council house sales (with backfilling forbidden) all the way up to Osborne’s insane Help To Buy scheme that has created the absolute insanity of Britain’s debt-fuelled economic basket case. It might only be a small step, but since the Scottish Government has extremely few powers over tax and welfare, redistributive policies are actually pretty hard to do.

      You attack universalism. You’re an idiot. Universalism is the surest protection there can be for public services. Right wingers will always try to be divisive – blame the poor for you woes because they take all your tax in their benefits and other freebies – whereas progressives and left wingers (used to) believe that services should be available to all, free at the point of delivery. The basis for this (and it was demonstrated years ago with Child Benefit) is that if middle class people who have a voice in society get something out of their tax payments, they feel attached to those services and will fight to protect them. If the service is only for poor people, they don’t have a voice when the right wingers come calling and try to punish them for their poverty as our Tory friends are doing now. Re-establishing the principle of universalism is the first step towards creating a more just and equal society.

      The SNP isn’t perfect – no party is – but I’m really not sure what you’re arguing for as an alternative. Tory hate crimes against the poor, the sick, the disabled, the young? Labour war crimes and tacit support for Tory hate crimes? Or is it Labour’s financially crippling, dishonest and actively dangerous PFI bonanza, pouring public money into private hands in order to get a worse service at higher cost with no assets at the end of the process? The appallingly anti-democratic House of Lords (in which the SNP and Sinn Fein are the only parliamentary parties in Britain to refuse to participate on principled grounds)? Or are you a Lib Dem voter who thinks you’re above all that silly tribal politics and just want to support a party that couldn’t last a month in government without tearing up one of their key manifesto commitments?

      1. Baffled by Hyperbole says:


        Thanks for replying

        “You attack universalism. You’re an idiot”.

        What a charming fellow you are. Peace and love to you too.

        I’ve already been ‘yellow carded’ for language, I’m sure your conduct will be ignored.

        “Universalism is the surest protection there can be for public services”

        That’s fine, when its actually universalism – like the NHS (mostly).

        However, for example, free university education is not universalism – because its effects and benefits are not remotely universal, quite the opposite. Free university education hasn’t really moved the needle in terms of children from less affluent / deprived backgrounds (because its not just about ‘the money’) but of course the well off have lapped it up.

        If free university education in Scotland had moved that needle, you would have a point. But it hasn’t, so you don’t.

        Honestly, I would support free university education in Scotland if you could actually demonstrate that it is being used as an effective tool to address inequality, secure ‘social justice’ etc. But you can’t, so I conclude it is being used as a populist feel good measure to secure the votes of well off people.

        “Re-establishing the principle of universalism is the first step towards creating a more just and equal society”.

        OK – demonstrate to me that it actually works.

        “The SNP isn’t perfect – no party is – but I’m really not sure what you’re arguing for as an alternative”.

        I am merely pointing out their hypocrisy and double standards (and authoritarianism – (‘state guardians’ etc. I find it astonishing that there is so little outcry about this in a country where large parts of it have a strong ‘liberal’ tradition)

        You won’t find me defending any political party. I don’t ‘trust’ any of them, they are not there to be ‘trusted’. I don’t look to politicians to run my life for me or solve my problems.

        And if we take just one of your groups – disabled people (and they are disabled people’ – they are not ‘the disabled’ in the same way that you are not ‘the Scottish’)

        I’ve been involved in some ‘consultation’ activity with disabled people in the past. And their clear message was that the main issue for them was how there has been no change in disabled people having access to employment (and all other life chances) that you and I take for granted (I’m assuming you are not disabled, apologies if this is incorrect). Disabled people don’t want to be dependent on benefits, they want the same life chances as you or I. What’s being done about that? What are you doing about that?

        Much easier to score points about the benefits aspect, because it feels good and right, and ignore the bigger issue.

        I have been a Lib Dem voter in the past – and you would be quite right to criticise / ridicule that. I’ve never been a fan of Clegg, I much preferred Charles Kennedy, though I liked Paddy Ashdown more. And in fairness, there’s an argument for the party to collapse and be rebuilt, though I think they’ll still get 18 – 20 seats.

        Thanks again for replying and calling me an idiot just for disagreeing with you.

    7. keaton says:

      “You can want a ladder to the moon if you want – you are not having it. (And you won’t be getting it; the next govt of the UK will be a Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition. Millibean is going to lose – badly.)”

      It’s highly unlikely that a Con-Lib coalition will be viable. Earlier you predicted a high of 20 seats for the Lib Dems – that would reduce the government’s majority to 1, assuming the Tories somehow manage not to lose a single seat.

      1. bowanarrow says:


        Alright I give in, you are the smatest person in the room.

        I would just like to say though that I understand their is logic, studies and polls that prove this or that point but, I just know that what you are saying is not the answer. I understand that what I am saying is not logical either, that it is not based on facts and figures but it is based on a passion and a heart felt belief. I can never accept that what you are saying can be right. When I read your words and I read the words of your detractors all I can say is, I know you are mistaken. I have faith in the people of Scotland and at the election, I belive that a lot of other people will find the same faith as I have and will vote, more from the heart, than from the mind.

  7. Barbara McKenzie says:

    @ Monty

    If you click on ‘letter to Tom Harris’ in the first paragraph, you will see that this post is a reply to something Tom Harris posted on Labour Hame, which also reads like a press release (I am not sure that ‘John’ actually exists). So I consider Stewart McDonald’s response to be valid.

    1. Monty says:

      Yes but that was published as you say on Labour name. This should have been published on the author’s own website or the SNP website or a similar site

      1. Barbara McKenzie says:

        I see your point. I guess it’s a judgement call by Bella, who have after all provided both ‘press releases’ as statement and reply. We certainly wouldn’t want such releases from every prospective MP!

    2. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

      Why not?

      1. Barbara McKenzie says:

        I wouldn’t want Bella Caledonia to consist of press release type offerings from parliamentary candidates – you may feel differently

        1. bellacaledonia says:

          Hi Barbara – be assured Bella will not be full of press releases. We thought this was an interesting exchange. We remain pro-independence but non-party affliated. We support all the pro-indy parties and are open to innovation and fresh thinking wherever it comes from.

          1. Barbara McKenzie says:

            I wasn’t worried! And yes, I thought it was interesting too.

  8. Johnny come lately says:

    The problem the unionist parties have in Scotland is that the mask didn’t just slip, it fell off during the referendum campaign.
    Unionist mps represent UK interests, and not Scottish interests, therefore the choice is really quite simple.
    If you want Scotland’s interests represented at Westminster then you have to vote for a Scottish party. If you don’t want Scotland’s voice heard, then you vote for a unionist party.
    If a large number of Scottish mps are returned to Westminster and do not succeed in repatriating more powers or gaining concessions for Scotland, this will only highlight the plight that Scotland finds itself in and drive Scotland ever closer to full blown indpendence.

    1. Baffled by Hyperbole says:

      “Concessions” – ?

      Preferential treatment (over and above citizens in other parts of the UK) – is that what you’re really after?

      Happy for you to have more powers that don’t disadvantage other parts of the UK and / or have similar possibly unintended consequences by the way.

      But why should you receive any concessions? (I thought Scottish people were the most tenacious, productive, resourceful people in the UK, indeed on earth, and shouldn’t need any ‘concessions’).

      You are free to go at any time should that be the democratic will of the people, btw.

  9. johnmcgurk66 says:

    I think our MSP’s should go further in the future in that if banks play loose and free with other peoples hard earned cash . And their is a case to answer for their stupidity then our legal system must be involved and bring an action against them as they done on Iceland.

    1. Baffled by Hyperbole says:

      Would these include the banks such as RBS and HBOS who your Dear Leader Alex Salmond was trumpeting as great Scottish institutions, drivers of the arc of prosperity etc. etc. prior to 2008?

      Those banks?

      And who are you going to assert your claim against if there was another liquidity crisis situation?

      And taking legal action to recover your losses immediately would potentially make the situation worse?

      (Good luck with all of that)

      1. david agnew says:

        I was about to write some sort of reply about our new concern troll Mr baffled by hyperbole – the irony being that he uses hyperbole like a mugger uses a cosh.

        As I watched this and other attempts to engage with his salient and evidenced analysis – I realised it was like watching a toothless zombie trying to gum someone to death. Disconcerting at first, but ultimately pointless.

        “Baffled” does not really debate anything. He/she picks a topic to attack the SNP with, then when it is countered, he/she goes away looking for something else and start the whole process again.

        A point scorer who does not actually have a point.

        I have wondered if it really is the same person.

        Grahamski, Longshanker, Bernica, Andrew Skea – different name, same “debating” style. Must be exhausting being a one man apathy engine.

        Apologies to bella if this reads like abuse but I felt it needed saying.

      2. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        Just for the record David – you won’t see any “scalpel like destruction” (dissection – ?) of the Labour Party, Scottish or otherwise.

        I’m not interested in the Labour Party; you certainly won’t find me making excuses for them.

    2. Baffled by Hyperbole says:


      Thanks for replying.

      I note that you haven’t actually engaged with or responded to any of my points at all, and your only response has been personal mockery, insults and abuse.

      I admit that I might have been a bit colourful in my language and tone, and I see I’ve been ‘yellow carded’. Fair enough.

      However at no point have I used the kind of personal mockery and abuse you have resorted to.

      You’ll note that from this thread and others I have engaged in multiple responses to my own points and those of others.

      Your assertion that ‘when I am countered’ that I ‘go away’ is without basis.

      I am not a point scorer, I merely point out hypocrisy, double standards, and outright nonsense, and it is important that where they exist, these things are exposed.

      You, like other posters, are paranoid, in your belief that there is some hydra-like, multi-headed troll out there chasing you down dark corridors.

      Moderators will be able to confirm this is not the case and I am not this Medusa from your nightmares?

      Yes it does read a bit like abuse, but I can take it. (I’ve had for more borderline threatening abuse here, in a short space of time)

      Thanks again for replying.

      1. David Agnew says:

        Thank you for your reply to my reply.

        I have not engaged with your points. Quite correct. You don’t really engage, you just vent scorn and derision upon the SNP or the poster concerned. So no, I won’t bandy insults with you. Rough Badinage perhaps, but certainly not debate.

        Exposing double standards is good. I look forward to your scalpel like destruction of Scottish labour. I mean a party that claims it halted fracking, when it didn’t and MPs who claimed that they voted when they didn’t pretty much screams hypocrisy to me. So good on you for your one man campaign against political corruption. Unless of course you intend to do no such thing, in which case your ceaseless attacks on the snp, are sort of…well…point scoring.

        Paranoid? No, not really. You are one in a long line of unusually verbose anti-snp posters who pop up only to go away. So your either one person who seriously needs to get away from the computer, or the others got tired and left. In which case, we can count the days until you stop posting.

        A thing from my nightmares? Oh dear, have I given you an inflated sense of self? I do apologise.

        I also apologise if you feel you have been abused. I stayed silent at first, because I thought if I jumped in, it might look like bullying. But I felt you needed to have your bubble burst.

        So in closing i will Badinage Mr Baffled. Badinage…its all you can expect from me at the moment.

      2. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        Just for the record David – you won’t see any “scalpel like destruction” (dissection – ?) of the Labour Party, Scottish or otherwise.

        I’m not interested in the Labour Party; you certainly won’t find me making excuses for them.

  10. Frederick Robinson says:

    Wasn’t ‘Darien’ a disaster for the Scots? What a name to choose!

    1. Darien says:

      Darien was more a disaster for the Scots nobility and their burgh placemen (i.e. the elite) who had already by 1700 stolen most of Scotland’s land for themselves; the vast majority of Scots at the time had little or nothing to their name, much the same as today in fact (albeit rather more in the way of personal debt racked up today). That elite minority got their recompense by selling out Scotland’s nationhood, and they still do; today’s equivalent is the ‘Better Together’ lot. I dare say you may ken some of them personally. So no, Darien was not “a disaster for Scots”; the disaster for Scots was the fact our nation was then and still today is owned and run by a greedy, treacherous ‘unionist’ elite.

  11. Johnny come lately says:

    “Concessions” – ?
    Preferential treatment (over and above citizens in other parts of the UK) – is that what you’re really after?

    Definitely not! Just enough concessions to be able to create a level playing field with the other constituent parts of the UK.
    London and NI are able to set corporation lower than the other constituent parts of the UK thus being able to attract jobs and inward investment which the other parts of the UK are unable to compete with.
    London and the SE having no budget cap which whilst the budgets of the other constituent parts are capped thus London and the SE having virtually unlimited spending power to spend on capital investment and infrastructure projects , whilst the other constituent parts of the UK are starved of cash for attracting inwards investment. Why should the other constituent parts of the UK pay for London largess.
    Preferential treatment. No, equality would be a good start.

    1. Baffled By Hyperbole says:


      thanks for replying.

      I’m not sure what you by ‘corporation’. Is this something about tax? There is no preferential treatment on this in any part of the UK.

      Except NI – and this does seem a curious bit of favouritism. I’m not bothered; the NI economy is tiny; the city-region I live has a bigger economy that the whole of NI.

      And your economy is even larger, with a host of natural advantages. Don’t go worrying about NI, worry about yourself (and your economy is doing really rather well, all things considered)

      One of the reasons London does so well is because it’s one of the main drivers of the UK economy, and the UK’s only truly international city.

      the amount of money spent on e.g. infrastructure there is commensurate with the level of economic activity taking place there. (+10% of all UK tax revenues are generated in the City of London)

      No-one is ‘subsidising’ London, or the south east. London and the SE pays for its own largesse.

      (Where I live, we do still operate a deficit; of about £4bn of expenditure against the wealth we generate. We spend far too much on out of work benefits and and other social security, but we are turning it around)

      Scotland is not ‘starved of cash to attract inward investment’. Scotland’s levels of inward investment are at an all time high, and you are very good at this. (This has the downside that a lot of money comes into the country, circulates, gets taxed – and then leaves the country again. But that’s down to the government to balance that against home-grown investment, which again you are quite good at)

      But don’t try and blame someone else for not getting more of something you think you are entitled to.

      If you feel you are being treated unfairly, you already know what you could do instead.

      Thanks again for replying.

      1. bellacaledonia says:

        “One of the reasons London does so well is because it’s one of the main drivers of the UK economy” – one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time. If I have time later I’ll respond in depth, but thanks for that.

  12. Baffledbyhyper. is a Satchi and Sachi Tory trol.

  13. bringiton says:

    The panic stricken and continuing hysterical response from the British establishment and their supporters when faced with a government of Scots by Scots should tell us all we need to know about their real position.
    Westminster has had the reponsibility and still does to a large extent for running Scotland’s economy and we can rightfully point the finger about our failures in their direction.
    As long as Westminster continues to demand major control over our affairs,the buck stops with them.
    Most of us on the Yes side of that campaign wish the buck to stop with us Scots and our democratically elected government but we are where we are,for now.

    1. Baffled by Hyperbole says:

      “tells us all we need to know about their real position”

      Would you like to complete your paragraph and tell us what that is? (help the ‘uninformed’)

      Economic development has always been a devolved power – and in many ways (GDP, GVA, inward investment) Scotland has done very well. By some measures the best performing part of the UK outside the south east. There’s always more to do but …

      “we can rightfully point the finger about our failures in their direction”

      Oh right, it’s like that is it? Everything that goes right is down to the Scottish Government, anything that goes wrong is down to ‘Westminster’.

      Do you have any other records or just that one?

      Does this include the West of Scotland drinking culture that blights the lives of so many? I suppose that’s all the fault of ‘Westminster’ too?

      “As long as Westminster continues to demand major control over our affairs,the buck stops with them”.

      Yes, and you had a democratic referendum about changing that. how did that work out?

      “but we are where we are,for now”.

      You are free to go, at any time.

      1. JBS says:

        What is it you hope to achieve here? Do you think that by sneering and jeering at Scottish independence supporters on this site you will persuade them to vote for one or other of the unionist parties this coming May?

      2. ScottieDog says:

        ‘Free to go at anytime’
        Hmm all three westminster parties seemed desperately keen to keep scotland in the UK in the final weeks leading up to the referendum. Must just have down to sentiment wanting to keep us ‘freeloaders’…

      3. Baffled By Hyperbole says:


        Persuade you to vote for one of the “unionist” parties in May?

        Good god no. There are some people on here with quite considered, balanced views, some unhinged zealots, and everything in between.

        None of them need me to persuade them to do anything. You can vote for whoever you want, and then just sit back and wait for whatever you think it was you are being promised to turn up.

      4. Baffled By Hyperbole says:


        Notwithstanding anything else (and there’s a lot else) one of the practical reasons was not wishing to disrupt a highly interconnected and integrated economy & trading block, which is also a member of an even larger such economy and trading block. (And against all advice, Yes voters were voting to leave that larger economy and trading block)

        I’m not bothered about the sentimental stuff, and in fairness, neither were they, probably.

        1. bellacaledonia says:

          Your use of ‘you’ and ‘they’ is really interesting.

          Some might say that the only serious way to remain with a larger ‘trading block’ (the EU) was to leave the xenophobic British political culture and save ourselves from rule by a government we didn’t elect being dominated by the politics of UKIP.

          It is Unionists like yourself who are leading us blithely into parochial oblivion behind the curtain of incessant ancestor worship and celebrity feudalism.

      5. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        I honestly don’t understand what you are stating / implying about my supposed use of ‘you’ and ‘they’. I’m confused, can you clarify?

        “Some might say that the only serious way to remain with a larger ‘trading block’ (the EU) was to leave the xenophobic British political culture and save ourselves from rule by a government we didn’t elect being dominated by the politics of UKIP.”

        The first part about remaining in the EU and leaving the UK. OK, I understand, but as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, polling indicates that active support for remaining in the EU is only slightly higher in Scotland than it is in England – in both cases less than 50%. People have said that ‘England’ is going to ‘drag’ Scotland out of the EU. If there was a UK wide referendum tomorrow on EU membership, Scotland would play as much a part in the UK leaving the EU as England.

        (It’s like these memes about Scottish people being so much nicer to benefit claimants and immigrants – there are surveys on the very ‘What Scotland Thinks’ website indicating that Scottish people are only slightly less hostile to benefit claimants and immigrants than English people)

        “The Xenophobic British Political Culture”. What the hell is that? Are you seriously telling me that you believe and / or have some evidence this is the case? If anything it is the opposite,

        Honestly, you are being hysterical. UKIP represents a small portion of UK voters (for whom / whose complaints I have little sympathy for) and thin slice of the ‘political culture’. Really, have you spent much time in different parts of England?

        The Conservative Party (as is accused) of trying to ‘out-UKIP UKIP (to reclaim / catch swing voters) is not the same as your imagined ‘xenophobic british political culture’. As someone now living in England where most of my friends are English, I find that irritating, even objectionable. Though of course, England is not homogenous (neither is Scotland)

        There is another point worth making, though its not an excuse. England has experienced a scale and type of immigration completely different to Scotland, not just in an absolute but a proportional sense. And critically, this is not a linear function. Where I live, immigration = ‘diversity’, variety, culture, shops/restaurants, skilled workforce etc.(I will do my ‘I’ve got brown friends too! claim here, my wife’s best friend and her husband are pakistani muslims). In other places, (rightly or wrongly) it means something else. the part of the NW I live in is very different from the part of the NW where UKIP very nearly won a by-election (Heywood and Middleton, and the experiences of immigration are very different. Scotland has not had the same experience overall.

        “It is Unionists like yourself who are leading us blithely into parochial oblivion behind the curtain of incessant ancestor worship and celebrity feudalism”.

        I am not a “Unionist”. If I ‘am’ anything I am a husband, a parent and a liberal (you are free to mock that and It would be quite reasonable to do so). Critically, I am not someone who looks to politicians to solve my problems for me – I and my wife and family and friends solve our own problems. (That is not too hard to do in one of hte most affluent countries in the world offering free excellent education and healthcare, with still one of hte most comprehensive social security systems. As my 2nd generation immigrant pakistani muslim friend tells me – this is the best country in the world.

        I have actually moved my position from being opposed to Scottish independence. I now see the SNP and your new agitating hard leftist leader as being simply too disruptive. If the SNP are the ‘natural party of government’ in Scotland, then I think you should stop causing trouble, go, go quietly, and go soon.

      6. JBS says:

        “…I think you should stop causing trouble, go, go quietly, and go soon.”

        Thank you. There are so, so many of us now who want to. And good luck to you, too. No more to say, really, is there? Though, somehow, I don’t think that’s going to stop you. From pointlessly saying more, I mean.

      7. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        Oh but there is – I have Wee Jimmy Krankie’s UK tour to look forward to.

        So maybe you’ll have to suffer me a bit longer.

        If you are not happy with that, you are free to take a break from the site, maybe pop back once in a while to see if I’m still here.

      8. JBS says:

        Oh, dear. Take a break from the site? I think not.

        Tell me, do you employ that de haut en bas tone with everyone, or is it something you use only when addressing supporters of Scottish independence?

      9. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        Persecution complex.

      10. JBS says:

        Come on, you can do better than that, can’t you?

        I can see why people have come to the conclusion that you’re a troll. Nothing but carping cynicism.

  14. Brian Fleming says:

    Baffled by Hyperbole, are you the Baffled who used to troll on the Herald when it allowed comments many moons ago? Your style is somewhat similar and equally tiresome. It’s a waste of effort to take you seriously, as I do not believe you ARE serious.

    1. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

      No, I’m not another person you accuse of “trolling” on the Herald (as far as I can see it still allows comments?)

      I’m sorry you find that pointing out hypocrisy, double standards and fabrication tiresome.

      You are free to use whatever effort you care to expend in whatever way you see fit.

      And I’m … mostly serious. Mostly.

      I’ll give you an example of something I’m deadly serious about – the corruption of the SNP, and they hypocrisy of calling the Tories corrupt because of their donors. The SNP’s hands are just as dirty, palms crossed with dirty money.

      The SNP’s largest donor is Brian Souter, of Stagecoach fame. This is not some ‘social democrat’. This is a ‘free market capitalist’, ‘neoliberal’, ‘laissez faire’ (or whatever term you want to use). Who uses his capital to bully and threaten anyone who attempts to challenge him.

      He also donated £500,000 to the SNP in 2007 to have the previous commitment to bus regulation removed from the SNP manifesto. This is corruption.

      (And of course Brian Souter himself is an extremely unpleasant proselytising christian fundamentalist, who hates and is prejudiced towards homosexuals and other minorities. He mounted a campaign to try to prevent sex education including homosexuality in schools).

      He is an aggressive free-marketeer and nasty bigot – and this is the largest donor to your ‘social democratic’ party?

      Bus regulation was originally deregulated (as part of the general trend towards privatisation, which has had its ups and downs) by the EVIL THATCHER in 1985, and is still with us today.

      The result has been that affluent people esp. in areas of high travel demand have benefited (where the profits are to be made) whereas people in peripheral / deprived areas of lower travel demand have suffered from loss of service frequency / hours of operation, or service provision completely.

      Bus regulation (which is not without its own problems) would be one possible method of providing more consistent services – including to those in deprived communities where accessibility or the lack of it is a factor in accessing employment and all other life opportunities. Instead of leaving the market to it, because in this case the market fails often large sections of the community.

      I fully expect these facts to be waved away, even though the corruption is there in plain view, which only underlines what’s been going on in Scotland – the personality cult of Alex Salmond.

      The SNP are in no position to criticise Tory Party donor arrangements – the SNP’s arrangements are just as dodgy.

  15. sparkyggb says:

    Since the Union of the Parliaments in 1707, there has always been a section of the population who wished for Independence from English domination, also from earlier the Welsh and Irish. Until recently this was a small minority, thought of largely as a bunch of crackpots, who should listen to their “greaters and betters” and accept that the Union was “all for their own good”
    Over the years or so more and more have come to realise that “all for their own good” has come to mean more for the “good” of Westminster and the South-east of England rather than for themselves.
    Before the Referendum the Unionist parties, forgoing the option of offering other alternatives insisted on a straight Yes or No question being posed expecting that the outcome would be an overwhelming, No. Despite a No campaign which seemed focused on everything negative, ( I cannot remember anything positive, apart from we could carry on as we were) and concentrating on attacking the SNP and belittling their proposals. Conveniently forgetting to mention that in the event of a Yes return that there would be two Elections taking place, General and Scottish, before Independence would happen. These elections would allow the people of Scotland to chose the kind of government that they wished to lead them.
    However, as the date of the Referendum neared, the Unionist block came up with an alternative, vote No and we shall give you the “Vow”. Because of the late entry of the “Vow”, three days before the vote, there was not any time for the people of Scotland to enter into debate on this and what it actually meant, but were asked to believe in the honesty and integrity of the people making this “Vow” to ensure that it came into being. What we seem to be getting offered falls far short of what was mooted at the time.
    The Independence movement, although widespread across all political beliefs in Scotland, has found a voice mainly through the SNP . The “big three” parties have found their support dwindling over the recent years as so many have found that they no longer believe in what they stand for or even who they stand for.
    Despite the Unionists telling us that everything will better if we stick together, the people will continue to have the belief that after three hundred years would it not be better now if we made our own decisions and stood on our own two feet. It is time for us to move out and get our own place. Many Tenants will tell you that a Landlord will promice the earth to keep you till something better comes along.

    1. Baffled By Hyperbole says:


      You are free to go at any time. However;

      “It is time for us to move out and get our own place”.

      Sure. Interesting metaphor.

      You’ll be settling up your digs money before you go?

      I hope that’s not Mum’s debit card – and Dad’s credit card I see there?

      And you’ll be emptying your wallet before you go? No no, that’s your old currency. You’ll need your own new currency, that you’re going to create yourself (and you can – you can easily create your own currency, you’ve told me so often how much wealth you have)

      This old currency, this is ours. We’re keeping that. You’re leaving, and you can’t use it. (Well you can, but they’ll look at you a bit funny if you try and take it into a shop now).

      What’s that? The club membership? The EU club? You want to keep that? Well I’m not sure how that’s going to work? I mean, you’re leaving.

      Oh, you demand your right to membership? Well, it’s mum and dad’s membership – we can’t just hand it over to you, or split it off. Sorry.

      Treaties? Once a member always a member? Well son, you’ll have to take that up with the other 27 members. They’ll all have to agree that you can stay – or come back in – or however it works. They’ll decide of course – not you. Good luck with that.

      Yes, Good luck son. Good luck with everything.

      Seriously – you are free to go, at any time.

      1. Some guy on the internet says:

        Why are you so angry? Half this page is you talking down to people.

        As a friend: this is not an effective way to convince anyone. At this point you could be arguing the sky was blue and people would have to double-check.

      2. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        Angry? I’m not angry.

        Slightly animated at times, perhaps.

        Darien – he’s angry.

        Are you angry?

        As a random stranger; I’m not trying to convince anyone.

        this is a common approach here though; simply try and sideline anyone with the temerity to point out inconsistency, hypocrisy, double standards and fabrication by pointing look at the ‘other’ guy over there.

        Honestly, if you wish to rebut the points I’ve made, lets hear it.

      3. Hortense says:

        Heard all this before. Dullard.

      4. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        You mean all this about ancient history and Vows, conspiracies and its all someone else’s fault?

        I know, boring, isn’t it?

  16. Darien says:

    “you are free to go, at any time”

    Thank you, much appreciated by yer obedient colonials. Independence it is then on May 7th via a Scots majority of SNP MP’s.

    Best of luck with an insolvent RUK, by the way. I’m sure, like Greece, RUK’s creditors may allow a bit more time to pay back the debts. And best of luck with that chronic trade imbalance you’ll have.

  17. sparkyggb says:

    a, “You are free to go at any time.”
    b. “You’ll be settling up your digs money before you go?
    I hope that’s not Mum’s debit card – and Dad’s credit card I see there?”
    These two comments are, I take it, you attempting a humorous joke. Unfortunately during the forty years I lived in the North-west of England it reflects an attitude I encountered almost every day. It is so easy to forget that the Union of the Parliaments was a voluntary union which was to be of benefit to both sides with an acknowledgement that England, the larger party, would have greater representation but this did not mean that the scots would not be paying their way and indeed the scots have paid more than their fair share. In the event of the break-up of the marriage any reasonable thinking person would acknowledge that the assets would be split proportionately and fairly as well as the deficits. Both Scotland and England were using the Pound before the Union, Therefore both have a claim to it and anything setup after the Union would mean that both are entitled to call it their own, I would quite well believe that any gold which had been transferred over to the Bank of England, an institute founded by a Scotsman, if withdrawn now and including interest accrued at anything near average inflation rates over the years, would I believe probably be more than adequate compensation for us having to endure the past three hundred years and fund a new National Bank of Scotland.
    As for the EU, although we would prefer to stay a member, I for one actually voted in 1975 for us to join, it would not be the “end of the world” for us and we seem to be a more risk of having to leave the EU because we are still part of the UK.
    So I accept your comments as an attempts to try and take a rise out of us.
    It is a well known ploy to try prevaricate and ridicule an opinion when reasonable argument fails.

    1. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

      “In the event of the break-up of the marriage any reasonable thinking person would acknowledge that the assets would be split proportionately and fairly as well as the deficits”.

      Yes, that’s what I said. Unfortunately the Scottish government has attempted to do all this in a time that it’s all deficits, but there you go.

      I’ve always suspected the plan was to try to slip out of paying back your share of the debts from the big party of 1993 – 2008, and of course your leaders threatened as much before the referendum.

      You are of course welcome to your assets, declining as they are.

      I think Gordon Brown (a Scotsman) sold all the gold. Sorry about that.

      Thanks for the history lesson. Practically, right now, no-one cares.

      As I’ve said before – in both England and Scotland, less than half the population actively support membership of the EU (with some variation in the ‘don’t knows – more of those in Scotland)

      If there was an EU referendum tomorrow, there is every chance that the UK would leave, and Scotland would be as responsible for the UK and its constituent parts leaving the EU as anyone. Stop trying to sell this baloney that Scotland is a nation of europhiles. You’re not.

      Of course, this is just another example of a Scottish person attempting to deflect or attribute the blame for your own problems on other people. (“It’s all someone else’s fault”)

      I have changed my position on Scottish independence. Previously I was opposed. Now, you should go, go soon, and go quietly.

      You are after all the most tenacious, resourceful people on the planet. You shouldn’t need anyone’s help, especially from those you are separating from.

      (You will of course be absolutely fine, though I’ve no intention of returning. I’m more than happy in the NW of England, and I’ll leave you to your authoritarian populist government with its ‘State Guardians’ for every child)

      And you are free to go, at any time.

    2. JBS says:

      “You are of course welcome to your assets, declining as they are.

      I think Gordon Brown (a Scotsman) sold all the gold. Sorry about that.”

      More jeering and hollow cynicism. If you have no real contribution to make to the debates surrounding Scottish independence, then may I point out that you are also free to go. At any time.

      1. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

        Pointing out that the party funded by one of your major assets is over is not jeering, it’s just how it is.

        And you only have yourself to blame for the ridicule that does come your way after your Dear Leader’s ridiculous claims in ‘Scotland’s Future’.

        You do of course have wind power (really driven by EU directives and the rent-seeking behaviour of the industry lapping up the subsidies) and wave power (decades away, if at all) to fall back on.

        For which, according to your own commission, if it ever does get off the ground, you want the rest of the UK to help pay for the infrastructure required to bring it to market.

        And Gordon sold the gold He sold the gold! Not that many people – including those in Scotland – complained at the time – everyone was having too much of a great time in the 90s / 00s boom.

        No, I think I’ll stick around a while. This is a rich seam of hypocrisy.

      2. JBS says:

        Oho, gold, rich seam – I see what you did there.

        What a slyboots you are. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

  18. hossmackintosh says:


    Can you not just block this Troll. It is getting a bit boring and he is getting more abusive.

    He is obviously very angry that the Lib-Dems are going to be wiped out in Scotland come the seventh of May 7th.

    Funny folk these Unionists – they won the referendum and then they are annoyed at the thought that pro-indy parties may have some influence at Westminster.

    Were we not supposed to Better Together?

    1. David Agnew says:

      Lib Dem? No, I am getting that smug reek that says Ukip.

      1. zeno says:

        I think you’ve got it. It’s the smugness that’s the give away. Girnin auld biddie.

    2. Baffled By Hyperbole says:

      “Can you not just block this Troll”.

      Expressing views that happen to be different to yours, conflict with the consensus / the sounds in the echo chamber is not ‘trolling”.

      This is your automatic response to try and shut people up though, isn’t it?

      And that’s what you’d like in an independent Scotland, isn’t it? For anyone who disagrees with you, or who points out anything inconvenient or unpalatable to you, to shut up.

      Isn’t it?

  19. Johnny come lately says:


    “What is it you hope to achieve here? Do you think that by sneering and jeering at Scottish independence supporters on this site you will persuade them to vote for one or other of the unionist parties this coming May?”

    Excellent point!

    1. Baffled By Hyperbole says:


      thanks for replying.

      As above, I’m not trying to persuade anyone.

      However, I’ve replied to your previous post above; sorry it took so long.

  20. John Page says:

    Please just ignore this stuff. It is simply bad manners to Mike and the contributors who take the trouble to produce thoughtful pieces to allow this disruption to take place.
    ? Same source, different names?

    Thank you

    John Page

    1. Baffled by Hyperbole says:


      Thanks for replying.

      I’d take your point about ‘thoughtful pieces’ if this was a thoughtful piece.

      However this isn’t a thoughtful piece. it’s a press release / propaganda piece. And therefore it is fair game.

      And actually, you know what, maybe you are right and I shouldn’t ‘disrupt’ what are actually other thoughtful pieces, and I’ll respect those.

      There is quite an obsession with me being one of the many heads of some hydra.

      Moderators can confirm this is not the case?

      Thanks again.

  21. kailyard rules says:

    All of the above by “Baffled” is akin to a rollercoastering rant.Like the sentiment of a disappointed insecure schoolteacher or an overly controlling parent, either of whom always knows what’s best. “What have I been saying?” “What did I tell you?””Are you stupid?” “Don’t you know?” “Well,think what you like”. ” I wash my hands,on you go”.”you have it in you to do whatever you choose,but..” “You are not thinking straight” etc..etc.

    Never mind the rhetoric,from wherever.The goal is eventual Scottish Independence.Not a raggedy arsed independence as you foresee it. Just Scotland’s independence,to go it’s own direction,make it’s own mistakes,fulfill it’s own aspirations.Why this neurotic need to talk Scotland down?To see bogeymen?To cling?

    1. bringiton says:

      Yes K R,
      The reaction from the Westminster establishment and it’s supporters to our demand for self determination has been something akin to bipolar or schizophrenic behaviour.
      Screaming about our inability to run our own affairs and then threatening us with dire consequences should we choose to do so is not the behaviour of rational people who have Scotland’s interests at heart.
      This behaviour is borne out of fear as to the effects that our independence will have on their affairs and must be prevented at all cost (in their opinion).
      Very sad.

    2. Darien says:

      “Why this neurotic need to talk Scotland down?”

      A standard psychological personality trait of the Scots-Unionist.

      1. John Page says:

        You guys may well be right about his Unionism but there is also an element of narcissistic personality here…….the only effective solution is to ignore him (and it always is a male).
        Just look back at this torrent of postings over the last week…..last thing at night, first thing in the morning
        Such people are usually very bright and find a clever hook to start things before sucking everyone into the vortex of their self absorption about how special and insightful they are.
        Another dimension is the snearing contempt for those who have the temerity to disagree with him……. It is not just a minor political disagreement it is a challenge to his core perception
        of his special status.
        Please just ignore him and he will leave…..I feel for his family until he finds another outlet for his self regard.
        Fortunately I will be travelling for a few days and will miss the expected reply to this but will look back in next week to hopefully see more of the articles that have made Bella one of the real joys of Scotland’s growing cultural and political reawakening. My personal reading has been enriched because of the many fruitful political, environmental, literary and historical references I have noted in the last year.

        Thank you.
        John Page

  22. zeno says:

    I think he’s been blocked. He’s not posted in over 48 hours. You have to wonder what he thinks he was achieving.

    I noticed there were never any postings in the afternoon or early evening. He would appear to have a part-time occupation of some sort.

  23. Bob Agassi says:

    Baffled by Hyperbole is that you Dougie you scamp

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