Blogs

Margaret Thatcher and Scotland: A Story of Mutual Incomprehension

8 April 2013

7:48 PM

8 April 2013

7:48 PM

There is a poignant passage in Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs during which she contemplates her failure in Scotland. She seemed puzzled by this, noting that, in her view, many of her ideas and principles had at least some Caledonian ancestry. And yet, despite her admiration for David Hume and, especially, Adam Smith, there was no Tartan Thatcherite revolution. Sure, there were some true believers – Teddy Taylor, Michael Forsyth – but Scotland never warmed to the Iron Lady. And she never quite knew or understood why.

Two issues, above all, led to her downfall. Europe and the Poll Tax. The former was a Westminster affair and a matter of internal internecine conflict within the cabinet; the latter lost her the country.

It was a policy conceived in Scotland. Not just delivered but actually conceived and first implemented north of the Tweed. The introduction of the Community Charge – that is, the Poll Tax – would likely have proved disastrous however it was done but it was implemented in ways that could scarcely have been better designed to destroy the Conservative and Unionist Party in Scotland. The Scottish Tories cut their own throats without even realising what they were doing.

The Prime Minister had thought it best to introduce the Community Charge in one go. The Scottish Tories persuaded her otherwise. A rates revaluation was looming in Scotland. This was bound to be unpopular and likely to provoke a backlash against the party in power. So please, please, please, Margaret, can you no speed these boats   and introduce the Community Charge in Scotland a year before it is levied elsewhere? As well-intentioned blunders go, this takes some beating.

The rest, as they say, is history. The Can Pay, Won’t Pay campaign for civil disobedience (enthusiastically backed by a number of Labour MPs) took a hold upon the public’s imagination. The idea that the Duke of Buccleuch should pay the same local taxes as his dustman proved a tough proposition to defend.

Worse than this, however, was the suspicion – mistaken but widespread – that Thatcher was using Scotland as an experimental policy guinea pig. The effrontery of it insulted us. Who did she think we were? Who did she think she was? How dare she.

The truth was more complicated but the legend proved irresistible. And that was that. More than any other single event, the Poll Tax galvanised support for Home Rule in Scotland. Civic Scotland – whatever that is, as the Lady might have put it – united in morally-superior opposition to Thatcherism and all its works. Though John Major won a reprieve for Toryism north of the border it was but a minor flickering of a once great party.  The Poll Tax plus the party’s principled but doomed opposition to devolution  destroyed Toryism in Scotland.

The biggest beneficiary proved, in time, to be the SNP. Alex Salmond first entered parliament in 1987 but he lives, like every other leading politician in Britain today, in Thatcher’s shadow. As he said today, Thatcherism helped conceive the Scottish parliament. More than that, the gathering sense that Conservatives were somehow profoundly, inescapably, “anti-Scottish” helped foster conditions in which the SNP could thrive.

The rise of the nationalists was not immediate but it is telling that the SNP’s first permanent breakthroughs were in Aberdeenshire, Angus and Perthshire. None of these were or are hotbeds of socialism. They were, and remain, small-c conservative places. As Toryism was tarnished, so there was an opportunity for the Conservatives to be supplanted by a different “patriotic party”.

Salmond understands this. He is, though he would not welcome the label, in some respects a very Thatcherite politician. Not only because he divides opinion almost as sharply as the Iron Lady did in her pomp but because he accepts large parts of her legacy. It was Salmond, after all, who suggested that Scots had relatively few quarrels with Thatcher’s economic policies but that they “didn’t like the social side at all”. Moreover, Salmond remains an economic liberal just like the Iron Lady.

[Alt-Text]


The “social side” of course was, in some respects, a reaction against some of the consequences of Thatcherite economics. There is no point in denying the hardship these caused in some parts of the country. Change is always painful even when it is necessary. But Thatcher never managed to find a way to replace the heavy industry jobs that disappeared on her watch. More dreadfully still, the impression that she didn’t much care about replacing them became damagingly widespread. This was a political mistake but, worse, also a moral blunder.

The old ways could not continue forever and Thatcher’s ministries were sometimes more attuned to Scottish sensibilities than is commonly remembered. As David Torrance reminds us, she twice spared the Ravenscraig steelworks from closure, mindful that the plant had assumed a kind of totemic significance in Scottish political culture. It was a reminder of what we once were but would no longer be.

Ravenscraig’s closure marked the end of an era and, more than that, the end of an idea about a certain kind of Scotland. It was the passing of another generation of the last of the Old Scots Folk.

That being the case, I don’t blame some of those most closely affected by the 1980s’ winds of change for either their bitterness or their celebrations today. Even the greatest or most consequential leaders leave a divided legacy and not every boat was lifted by the great Thatcherite tide.

But many were. Scotland rejected Thatcherism and Conservatism despite the fact that much of Scotland prospered on her watch. Transformation does not happen overnight; policy choices often take years to bear fruit. The fact remains that Scotland, relative to the rest of the United Kingdom, saw its lot improve as a result of the Thatcher years.

Alex Salmond and the SNP argue, not necessarily incorrectly, that Scotland contributes more in tax receipts now than it receives in public spending. This would have seemed utterly improbable as recently as 1979. (Recently being “within my lifetime”.) Resisted as it may have been, Thatcher’s economic revolution helped more Scots than it hurt (even if those hurt were wounded terribly).

It is, if you will, an oblique tribute to Thatcher that most sensible observers agree that Scotland, sensibly managed, could thrive as an independent country. Certainly many more Scots are persuaded of this than was the case when she first entered Downing Street. She might have disputed that she had anything to do with this economic revitalisation (a renaissance that is both absolute and relative, in UK terms), insisting that all she helped do was help get the state out of the way. Nevertheless and taken as a whole Scotland has prospered these past thirty years and at least some of that success might sensibly be attributed to the consequences of some of the decisions made by Margaret Thatcher. After London and the south-east of England, Scotland is the wealthiest part of the United Kingdom.

That this is true will not be enough to persuade everyone. So be it. Nevertheless, the fact that an independent Scotland is perfectly feasible is – for reasons good and bad – part of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy.

Her success, of course, also contributed to the ossification of the Scottish Labour party. Resistant to change and all too often in thrall to ancient shibboleths, Labour insisted that the Scottish Parliament become a bulwark against reform no matter whether those reforms were suggested by Conservatives or, even, a Labour government in London. The slow learners in the Scottish Labour party are still coming to terms with the consequences of their own intellectual decay.

But, hey, at least Scottish Labour could take their cue from the complacency made manifest by John Smith’s suggestion that, aye, the Scots are a more moral people than the English. There’s always been a market for Caledonian smugness.

Of course, Thatcher saw herself as a very moral politician too.  She thought her values were also Scottish values. The people, in the end, disagreed. But she had a point. Her problem was that her values were more in tune with the Scotland of the 1950s than the Scotland of the 1980s. She believed in hard work and thrift, considering these the keys to self-improvement and, just as importantly, self-belief. A lass of pairts herself, she was a product of a small town, god-fearing, provincial England that was not so very different from small town, god-fearing, provincial Scotland. Though a Methodist, she had more in common with comparable children raised in the bosom of the Kirk than she did with Londoners or other metropolitan swells.

But her Englishness proved a problem. In the end, she lacked empathy for the other parts of the United Kingdom and this contributed to her problems and her party’s eventual eclipse. I fancy that, in her heart, she fancied England and Britain synonyms.

Then there was her voice. And her tone. These too grated on many Scottish ears. There was something hectoring about her; something nagging that brought the worst out of some of her opponents. Even if she had an appealing message, the tone and accent in which it was delivered hampered her ability to connect with Scots.

Her sex did not help her either. There was then – and, frankly, still is – a thick streak  of often unacknowledged misogynism in Scottish politics. We won’t be lectured and we especially won’t be lectured by a bloody woman. (I think Wendy Alexander discovered this too.) Again, who did she think she was?

Well, she was the Prime Minister and, to borrow from Trollope, She Knew She Was Right. That too did not enamour her to Scots. Her policies were controversial enough but I fancy they might have enjoyed a better hearing had they been suggested by a male rather than a female Prime Minister. In this at least, Scotland was perhaps less “progressive” than it likes to think itself.

I don’t wish to make too much of this. Gender and nationality were not the only reasons Margaret Thatcher failed in Scotland. She did not understand the place as well as she thought she did.

Even so, her failure should nto be exaggerated. In the October 1974 election the Tories won 25% of the vote in Scotland. That rose to 31% in 1979 before falling to 28% in 1983 and 24% in 1987. A decline, certainly, but not a calamitous one if measured in terms of the share of the vote rather than seats. (In 1992 the Tory vote “surged” to 25%.) In other words, Scots voted for Margaret Thatcher in rather greater numbers than is sometimes assumed. It was her legacy and the folk memory of her ministry that proved fatal.

So her legacy north of the Tweed and Solway is complicated. The Thatcherite revolution may have had relatively few Scottish conscripts but it made its impact – in ways both good and bad – on Scotland nonetheless. One of the reasons Alex Salmond has been so successful is that the SNP, in ways that might surprise some people, has reacted to Thatcher’s failures and her successes rather more nimbly than has the Scottish Labour party. He too is in her debt. It is an irony that I am not sure the Iron Lady would have appreciated far less relished. Nevertheless, there it is.

 

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
  • Jennifer Zotou

    wrong. Scotland has been paying far more than its share for at least a century – and certainly far more than is spent either in Scotland or ‘on Scotland’s behalf’. not hard to verify.

  • nigel

    Why does Scotland require a different approach to the U.K??? The money will follow the talent make yourselves worthy of investment then maybe it will come people are sick and tired of this “chip on the shoulder” approach to everything scottish

  • ChinkCrusher

    Scotland is just a wasteland, sorry children the Tories in the end won!

  • Drew Edward

    There are as many myths about Thatcher on the right as there are on the left. In real terms government spending rose each year she was in power by about 1% and total tax revenues as a percentage of GDP didn’t fall below 1979 levels until after she left office.

    The idea that a few photo shoots and glib soundbites staged between Thatcher and Regan brought about the end of the Cold War is also a bit of a slap in the face for the thousands of Eastern Europeans who spent most of the 50s,60s and 70s in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and former Yugoslavia bravely standing up to the puppet leaders Stalin imposed. But the truth is the Soviet Union was collapsing in on itself from the 1970s onwards as economically it had never really been viable.

    Anyone who thinks the Soviets would have accepted so many Gorbachev reforms had everything been hunky dory with the old regime internally is deluding themselves.

  • terregles2

    Wonder why the Spectator has such a strict censorship policy regarding Thatcher. Seems rather contradictory.

  • terregles2

    Maybe Thatcher didn’t get Scotland but we all certainly get the Spectator. They are again censoring any perfectly polite comments about Thatcher. They are as bad as the extreme left in trying to manipulate opinion.

  • Macky Dee

    “… the party’s principled but doomed opposition to devolution destroyed Toryism in Scotland…” – And look where we are today Alex, There is a clear and fundamental issue with Devo for Scotland – poor people in the UK cant afford education – they get it free in Scotland, Old ladies have to pay for their own pensions in England, but not in Scotland – such undignified discrepancies should be curtailed immediately – OR, you Scots just vote to leave the UK – that would be best for all of us! BYE!

  • Drew Edward

    I don’t buy the argument Thatcher has had a big impact on the creation of the Scottish Parliament or the referendum on Scottish independence. We are always told the 1950s were the glory years for the Tories in Scotland when the Unionist Party won a majority of votes in Scotland in 1955 but between 1947 and 1950 over 2 million people signed the Scottish Covenant petition for Home Rule. The SNP’s best electoral performances at Westminster were all before Thatcher came to power.

  • Simon Morgan

    There was an all-woman panel on the ABC’s Q & A programme this Monday, when news of Margaret Thatcher’s death filtered through. On this panel, alongside such illuminaries as Germaine Greer, was an ex-prostitute from England (can’t recall her name). Her reaction was ‘..and me without champagne’. This set the tone for the discussion that followed with Germaine Greer dismissing her for being ‘corrupt and a war criminal’. Of course, we have come to take any utterences from Greer with a large pinch of salt. Some on the Left have called Gillard the ‘Iron Lady’ of Australia in an unintented tribute to Thatcher, because of her accusations of Tony Abbott being a ‘mysogynist’. The comparison is sick joke on every level. Thatcher had principles, and stuck to them. Gillard does not know the meaning of the word.

  • Simon Morgan

    I think we have to draw the conclusion that Darwin’s Origin of The Species made one critical oversight: He did not envision a regression. Like the wonderful cartoon depicting a series of human advancements which resulted in the football supporter, we now have the same human path culminating with that gorilla wearing the tee-sheet ‘the witch is dead’. Proof positive. I fear she is not quite the one-off genetic aberration that we would all wish.

  • A-Polly-Tickle

    And this very English person didn’t understand her either – well, actually I did: For ‘greed’ read ‘enterprise’ etc. If I were a Scot I would definitely vote for independence; how can you turn down this once in a lifetime (probable) opportunity? In the former state of England, we don’t have a say on our own future. I don’t have a country.

  • Jambo25

    Those who are on here to praise Thatcher should read Nik Cohen’s article on the shrinking Tory Party in this issue. He ties the party’s present dire electoral fortunes to present policies but he could, equally, look back to Thatcher and co who made the Tory Party unelectable in large areas of Wales, Scotland , the North and urban England. If you go out of your way to alienate about 40% (or whatever it was) of the nation then you are destroying your longer term electoral chances.

    Look to the last election. Cameron faced an exhausted Labour government under an extremely unpopular leader who had been subjected to one of the most sustained media hate campaigns in generations. We were in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the 29-32 period yet Cameron still couldn’t win an outright majority. He had to turn to the despised Lib Dems who supplied the MPs the Tories are incapable of winning, on their own, from areas of the country which were taught to loathe and despise them by Thatcher.

    The Tory Party has not been able to win an overall majority for more than 2 decades and it looks likely that it will not be able to at the next election either. It may also be that it was Saint Thatch, the uber Brit Nat who will be, longer term, responsible for the break up of the UK. Banking collapse, Tory decline and national disintegration. If you wish to see her memorial, look around you.

  • classieview

    Margaret Thatcher wasn’t exactly my cup of tea in some important areas of domestic policy. But these bitter and often juvenile remarks about her passing from the electronic arm of the SNP, the cybernats, illuminate one truth. The biggest threat to the good name of Scotland lies in the the triumph of a fanatical cause which is bankrupt of ideas about how to move Scotland forward. It looks for external alibis to explain problems that often have internal sources. If Scotland becomes a tight exclusive little country, expect the fury and bile of the cybernats to be directed inwards at Scotland itself and Scots who they feel are deficient in loyalty to the nation.

    Argentinian satisfaction about Margaret thatcher’s passing is probably only a fraction of what these deluded and malicious uber-Scots have provided. And they have the nerve to crow about their nationalism being ‘civic’ and ‘mature’ and the 2014 referendum offering lessons for the rest of the planet! .

    • terregles2

      I don’t think satisfaction about Thatcher’s passing is confined to Scotland by any means. It extends far beyond Scotland. It seems to be strongest in the parts of the UK that suffered most from Thatcherism and large parts of England still have bitterness towards her policies which blighted their communities.

      I am nor sure how any country deciding to be independent can be described as a fanatical cause. Almost every country in the world has self government what is different about Scotland.

      I don’t think wanting to govern your own country makes anyone a fanatic. You say the Independence movement is bankrupt of ideas how on earth did you arrive at that conclusion?. They are presenting many ideas not least the intention to rid Scotland of the obscenity of Trident. Instead of squandering billions on weapons that can kill people they want to spend that money on education,NHS etc. That does not sound fanatical it sounds morally correct.

      You must be rather out of touch with Scottish politics if you think only the SNP are campaigning for a YES vote. There are more than four political parties in Scotland campaigning for Independence not least the Labourforindy movement.

    • Jambo25

      Actually, the comments on Thatcher’s death, from the SNP, have been rather measured and mild compared to many but, hey! don’t let mere reality interrupt your prejudices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.kenny.90 Bill Kenny

    ‘Salmond remains an economic liberal just like the Iron Lady’. Really? Just like the time when he threw a hissy fit in Parliament regarding the ‘obscenity’ of Nigel Lawson reducing the basic rate tax? You obviously mean ‘liberal’ in the left wing, socialist American sense.

  • In2minds

    Mrs Thatcher –

    “her Englishness proved a problem”……….”then there was her voice. And
    her tone. These too grated on many Scottish ears”.

    And so on, a neat example of the one way valve that sits on the border
    between Scotland and England. Just imagine had John Smith lived long
    enough to become the UK PM. Would those of us who live in the South
    of the UK been allowed to moan about his hectoring puffed up posh
    twang?

    • terregles2

      Well why not? Nobody tried to stop anyone denigrating Gordon Brown. Why would they? The word Scottish has been used towards him countless times as an insult. Can’t recall anyone saying nobody should be allowed to say that.
      The things that have been said about Salmond in the British media are more than insulting the attacks on him are quite scurrilous and quite a lot of it is blatant lying.

      Have not heard anyone being told to stop doing that.

      I am not quite sure what point you are making about Thatcher.

    • Jambo25

      Well, you lot,south of the border, certainly never let New Labour forget their Scottishness. Remember Paxo’s “Scottish Raj”; Gorbals Mick”; “One eyed Scottish idiot” etc?

  • http://twitter.com/DouglasDaniel Doug Daniel

    All these articles talking about how Thatcher didn’t “get” Scotland etc ignore the massive elephant in the room. If we’re all agreed that Scotland requires a different APPROACH to the rest of the UK, then why do so many not follow this very, very obvious line of reasoning to its logical conclusion?

    Scotland requires a different GOVERNMENT to the rest of the UK.

    • A-Polly-Tickle

      I totally agree.

      • First L

        I agree too.

        Doing so will neuter Labour in both England and Scotland once and for all. Win win for everyone.

    • Macky Dee

      YES! And all the Scots need to do is vote YES in their referendum, easy.

  • kevin13

    As for the 80s, I cannot say, but the % of female MSPs currently outnumbers the % of female MPs quite considerably. If someone can offer a better metric for assessing misogyny in Scottish politics versus the rest of the United Kingdom I’d like to hear it. More work to be done for sure, but it can’t be argued that Scotland is a hotbed of political misogyny in comparison to the United Kingdom. Simply untrue.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

      Apples and oranges. Compare %age of female Scottish MPs to female UK MPs, elected under the same electoral system. (I have no idea what the answer will be, but including MSPs is unfair.)

  • allymax bruce

    Alex, Thatcher was only good for ‘The City’; she modernised the financial system, making ‘The City’ the world centre of financial trade. The problem with this, is that, Capitalism isn’t about ‘trading finance’ !
    And, look at the Frankenstein monster she’s left us with now; any PM coming in after her ARE OBLIGED to ‘accommodate’ The City, more so than any other area of governing ‘Britain’.
    She completetly obliterated manufacturing, because ‘it cost too much to subsidise’. WHAT ABOUT OUR TAXES SUBSIDISING THE CITY/BANKS NOW ???
    Thatcher completely destroyed ‘working class’ jobs, and never replaced them with anything; she left us to starve, and broke up our families. Thatcher deserves the criticism she’s getting now!
    She privatised our National industries, and now we’re paying 5 x as much for the energy/utilities we used to own!
    She lied to Scotland about our oil, because she hated Scotland, and now every Westminster PM ARE OBLIGED to hate Scotland too !
    It doesn’t matter what political party Westminster put into power, Labour, Conservatives, Liberal, Scotland will always get the archetypal sneering ‘jaggy-end’ of the stick; Scotland must vote for Independence now.
    Vote ‘Yes’ 2014, for Scottish Independence, and never trust Westminster again.
    allymax.

  • http://weourselves.com/ Christian Wright

    Massie:

    “[Salmond] is . . in some respects a very Thatcherite politician . . he divides opinion almost as sharply as the Iron Lady did ”

    Well no he doesn’t, does he? Rather as a leader, he commands majority popular support among the people of Scotland (regardless of party affiliation) and he enjoys an overwhelming parliamentary mandate in Scotland due in no small part to his sound stewardship of the Scottish Social Compact .

    He is not like thatcher at all, is he Alex? This is just more smoke and mirrors from you, is it not?

    Let us not be twee about this. Thatcher’s premiership was, in the view of the great majority of Scots, as a suppurating boil on the ar$e of the British body politic.

    Those of us who were actually adults during that period in the early Eighties when she systematically destroyed the economy of the Central Belt, are under no illusions about the degree of damage she inflicted upon our nation.

    You were but a boy then, Alex, enjoying the advantages of a privileged upbringing, insulated from the devastating consequences of Thatcher’s policy of “managed decline”.

    Massie: “There was then – and, frankly, still is – a thick streak of often unacknowledged misogynism in Scottish politics. We won’t be lectured and we especially won’t be lectured by a bloody woman . . ”

    What utter nonsense. You offer no justification for this objectionable stream-of-consciousness drivel – you just let it pour forth.

    Massie continuing to fly this kite, writes: “Her policies were controversial enough but I fancy they might have enjoyed a better hearing had they been suggested by a male rather than a female Prime Minister. ”

    Alex “fancies” that this is the case. He does not explain why he fancies it is so . . he just does, and that is justification enough to herein libel an entire nation.

    Of course the truth is that Alex has absolutely no clue what it was like to endure Thatcher’s regime in the early Eighties. As a cossetted beneficiary of privilege, born with a silver foot in his mouth, he never had to experience the hardships faced by ordinary working class men and women.

    No, he could wile away the hours “fancying” defamatory truths made up of whole cloth, and find an audience for them in far right fringe rags like this one.

    Chablis anyone?

    • anyfool

      Those of us who were actually adults during that period in the early Eighties.
      What has caused your regression to childhood then, Tony Blair and his bag of sweeties.

      • terregles2

        Always the sign that a person has no logical argument when they resort to insults.

    • terregles2

      Thatcher hated women much more than any Scottish man or woman ever did. She made sure she kept women out of her cabinet because she wanted weak spineless men around her and that’s what she made sure she had. Diana Gould was a strong woman and she had Thatcher on the ropes when she questioned Thatcher over the sinking of the Belgrano. Gould did what the British media should have been doing but Gould also demonstrated why Thatcher avoided women. She knew she could not bully them the way she did the spineless Tory yes men.
      For those of us who lived through the Thatcher years do not let anyone who was not around then tell us about any good she did for any of us.
      Those were dismal days when hatred and confrontation raged through Britain. Street rioting hatred families split apart it was awful. The saddest thing of all is that her misguided policies are still damaging our society today.

      • The_Missing_Think

        That’s why she introduced a law that puts people in jail if they dare say something truthful, that causes offense to the self proclaimed ‘great and the good’.

        This law summaries real core Tory moral values in a nutshell.

        The truth be damned, I spit my dummy.

      • HarryTheHornyHippo

        Oh dear God, how self righteous can one man be… so full of yourself… the oracle on Thatcherism… Mr Terregles2… bored out of his brain…

        • terregles2

          I am actually a woman and I know why Thatcher did not allow any other women in her cabinet. We saw how Thatcher floundered when she was questioned by Diana Gould over the sinking of the Belgrano. Gould ran rings around her. thatcher made sure she surrounded herself with spineless men in order to appear strong.
          Other women would have questioned her and told her that she was out of order. We would never have let her away with calling Nelson Mandela a terrorist or selling arms to Iraq or indeed we would have told her that her friendship with Pinochet was a disgrace.

          • HarryTheHornyHippo

            I don’t remember there being an abundance of female Tory MPs for her to choose from… Edwina Currie I suppose and look how that worked out when she finally got there – eggs and shagging John Major from what I recall. And if Thatcher surrounded herself with men only because she saw men as weak and malleable then what greater accolade to women could there possibly be? And as for Pinochet well bla bla, that’s politics, you have to get into bed with the devil sometimes… see look and you’ll notice your Mr Salmond cosying up to Rupert Murdoch these days… and then of course there’s the nice sell out Donald Trump.. pristine piece of Scottish coastline torn up and ruined so Donald and friends can have their own private golf course… what price Scotland? Pretty cheap if you ask me.

            • terregles2

              Why would we ask you anything about Scotland? We know you are usually too busy enjoying happy hour in Hong Kong.

              • HarryTheHornyHippo

                Is that where I’ll find Abdelbaset-al-Megrahi… supreme murderer of 270 innocent people… released by the Scottish National Party… shhh… better hope the Yanks don’t find out or that oh so massive textile and whisky industry of yours (for which read tourist tat on Princes Street – kilts and bottles of Bells all round) will soon dry out… wait a moment!

                • terregles2

                  I take it the happy hour that you are so fond of is well under way. You sound as though you have overdone it already.

                • HarryTheHornyHippo

                  Soz hon, NYSE is still open whatever the hour out here… there’s gold in them there hills!

                  Have a good ‘eve sweetheart. Before I sign off on you one thing – I would love to hear a Scot Nat simply say ‘I don’t care if independence makes us richer or poorer I want it for its own sake because I’m Scottish and believe in it whatever the outcome’… Now that I can respect… otherwise you’re just conforming to stereotype.

                  La’ers!

            • Jambo25

              Salmond talks politely to Murdoch. Murdoch is one of the larger private employers in Scotland and pays quite good wages. Scottish First Minister is polite to major employer of Scots. Salmond accused. Shock, horror.

              The Trump project was initially pursued by the previous SLAB administration. It’s introduction and execution were pefectly open and above board. My son has a degree in planning and works as a project manager and consultant on planning issues. He took a keen interest in the Mennie Estate project and saw absolutely nothing wrong with it save the attempt to turn down a billion pound project by what was a council sub-committee. In planning terms, that was unusual.

              • HarryTheHornyHippo

                Whoppe dee for your boy… you’ve trashed a pristine piece of coastline for the sake Trump’s cash…. you guys are cheap, always were, always will be. And as for Murdoch.. you sound like Cameron… so I give you the mass murderer of 270 people on a Pan Am flight.
                Welcome to the People’s Banana Republic of Scotland.

                • terregles2

                  Well we know you wont be living in an independent Scotland so it’s not all doom and gloom.
                  Talking about trashing a pristine peice of land. Westminster trashed the Holy Loch when it placed Trident missiles in the Holy Loch close to a highly populated area of Scotland. Scottish protest was ignored. Instead of posting your usual rude aggressive insults you should be working out where they will be stored in England after 2014

                • HarryTheHornyHippo

                  I couldn’t agree more. Now, I’m still waiting to hear you tell me you want independence for its own sake and not because you think it’ll put a wee extra few pounds in your pocket… you think. Until then you’re just another money grabbing Scot.

                • terregles2

                  I’m still waiting to hear you tell me…..Don’t hold your breath. Why on earth would any person living in Scotland explain themselves about anything to a rude little man like you.
                  Keep your puerile abuse to yourself you are confusing us with people who care.

                • HarryTheHornyHippo

                  Clearly you don’t care – as the families of the Pan Am victims are so horribly aware.
                  What a wonderful race of people you are.

                  Ps – If I’m so awful, rude, etc, etc why do you keep replying to me? Tut, tut… there’s that Scottish chip on the shoulder driving you on. Just can’t cope with being bested by an Englishman…

                • Jambo25

                  The fact is that it’s up to the duly elected authorities, in Scotland, how this country is run,not to to you. Strangely enough we have very large areas of coastal dune land and a relatively sparse population. We will dispose of that land as we, in Scotland, see fit.

                • HarryTheHornyHippo

                  ‘We will dispose of that land as we, in Scotland, see fit.’ No idiot, you won’t, and if you don’t get that you don’t get anything. Now – you would take independence even if it made you poorer? Still waiting.

                • Jambo25

                  When you have no argument just insult people. Par for the course for you.

                • HarryTheHornyHippo

                  Truth hurts eh? C’mon say it – I want independence for its own sake, I don’t care if it makes us richer or poorer… I’m waiting… Pewrhaps Robert the Bruce stood on the field of war and declared ‘we’re fighting for an extra £100 a year in the pockets lads, lets get stuck in!’… I think he would be ashamed of what Scotland has become. And when you’re done with it you can apologise for freeing mass murdering terrorist scum, something Robert the Bruce wouldn’t have done either!

          • Simon Morgan

            Everything in hindsight appears so easy and clear cut, doesn’t it? We would never have allowed this, we would always have done that. Of course it was a crime against humanity to sink the Belgrano, nothing less. Heavens above, we Brits should be above that sort of thing – sinking an enemy ship at a time of war? Whatever next!

            • terregles2

              Sinking an enemy ship in time of war is one thing. What disgusted most decent people about that was the British gutter press and Tory government rejoicing in deaths of Argentinian young men.

              The triumphalism within some sections of the British public was distasteful in the extreme.
              Probably most women who have children would view the deaths of another mother’s son with sadness and compassion not with satisfaction. But then decency and kindness seem to be long gone from Britain.

              • Macky Dee

                So it’s the press you despise, Maggie never rejoiced at what was such a hard decision to make

                • terregles2

                  She actually did use the words rejoice when she stood beside John Nott outside Downing Street. You can view it on youtube if you have forgotten.

                  The odious Sun newspaper with the headline Gotcha written by the blustering buffoon Kelvin McKenzie really sickened all decent people throughout the UK.

                  Thatcher was the leader of the country she had a moral duty to speak out aginst the disgraceful behaviour of the English press.. She never uttered one word of condemnation or asked them to show some restraint.

                  i was in visiting England at that time and the jingoism was nasty beyond belief.

                • simhedges

                  She did indeed use the word “rejoice” – it was when British Troops landed on South Georgia – i.e. before the Belgrano was attached and sunk.

          • Simon Morgan

            And your chum Galloway is the best of friends with every brutal dictator on the planet – any opprobrium for him, or is he okay because he is a Leftie? Have you told him that his friendships with Haniyeh or Assad or Ahmaddinejad are a disgrace?

            • terregles2

              My chum Galloway. I despise Galloway and his repugnant rhetoric. I disapprove of any celebration of Thatcher’s death.

              I do not hold any extreme left wing views my political beliefs are more centre ground.

              You demonstrate yet again that you will not tolerate any criticism of Thatcher’s policies. You say we must not criticise Thatcher for calling Mandela a terrorist and we must not criticise her for supporting Pinochet and arming Iraq.

              The reason you give for that is that the repugnant Galloway also befriended dictators. Not much of a logical argument there.

              What the fanatical Thatcher followers seem to be unable to comprehend is that many people who disliked her policies are not supporters of the extreme left.
              Just like the people who celebrate Thatcher’s death should be ashamed you should be ashamed of your remark about Gillard.

              • Macky Dee

                Blair armed Sierra Leone

                • terregles2

                  Blair armed Sierra Leone. That is disgraceful Blair should hang his head in shame. Are you saying that because Blair acted badly it makes Thatcher’s bad behaviour alright.
                  What a strange sense of morality one person does something evil so if another does the same thing that it makes it alright then.
                  Blair and Thatcher both armed dictators.

          • Macky Dee

            Do you think the Falklands should be given to Argentina?

      • Macky Dee

        On the ropes about Belgrano – You and Gould should get a room (in Argentina) Traitors

        • terregles2

          You think anyone who does not rejoice over the deaths of other people’s sons is a traitor. Says it all all. Don’t suppose you thought there was anything wrong with the headline “Gotcha” either

          • HarryTheHornyHippo

            What about the headline ‘mass murderer of Pan Am Flight is Released by the Scottish’? Glass houses Dear, glass houses.

    • Macky Dee

      The Spectator is class – Alex Massie is a left leaning limp

      • Jambo25

        Massie, like his father, is one of the more intelligent and honourable Tory Unionists at large. He is a beacon of common sense and sanity compared to many of the BTL contributors to the Sepctator. Some of the ATL contributors as well.

        • HarryTheHornyHippo

          Does he release terrorists who blow up Pan Am flights and murder 270 innocent people?

  • JohnMcDonaldish

    “It was Salmond, after all, who suggested that Scots had relatively few quarrels with Thatcher’s economic policies”

    Jeeze, talk about twisting words…

  • HarryTheHornyHippo

    ‘After London and the south-east of England, Scotland is the wealthiest part of the United Kingdom.’ That would be because London and SE England are paying for the Scots to have that wealth at the expense of the rest of the UK and not becasue Scotland is creating that wealth – think it’s called politics.

    • MichtyMe

      No Harry, the government statistics of Gross Added Value (GAV) confirm that and as these figures do not include the offshore resources, the oil and gas are attributed to a notional region called Extra-Regio, so as to avoid “distortion”. If included, then Scotland becomes the most econmically productive part of the UK.

      • HarryTheHornyHippo

        Well now here we get into the whole splitting hairs argument about statitics and incomes and maybes and might-have-beens but it seems to me in a country that spends £30 billion set against oil revenues of £12 billion, even accounting for the American tourists in their kilts you’ve got a wee bit of a budgetary problem. Set that against RBS (the ‘S’ stands for Scotland right?) and a post-independence basket case currency in a country where 50%+ of the population are state employed (i.e. doing nothing other than recycling someone else’s money) and you’re looking at a North Sea Banana Republic. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to kiss the sweaties goodbye, the North of England needs all the invesment it can get (fairly apt in a world post Thatcher +1) and has long had to play second fiddle to their tin rattling beggarly neighbours to their north, so I say good riddance (and good luck of course) to Scotland and time for England to focus a little more on the black hole of the North.

        • MichtyMe

          Disdain the facts and prefer hyperbole if you wish but here is a couple more. The per capita non oil taxation in Scotland is the UK average, the oil revenues are the bonus and the region with the greatest proportion of the privately employed is not in the south of England but is North East Scotland, your 50%+ looks suspiciously like a piece of your imaging than the product of research.

          • HarryTheHornyHippo

            You play hooky with statitics my ginger haired friend. NE Scotland’s privately employed population = Aberdeen… in other words the oil industry… the rest of Scotland is still recycling everybody else’s money in the great name of the state, and they make up infintely more than 50% of the population, far more, if I could be bothered I’d look it up. I can play the same game if you like and selectively appoint you the city of London where 0% of the population is state employed… but you know it doesn’t work that way… how silly of me, of course you know.
            Sorry about that, but nice try anyhow.

            Funny that English nationalists are always attacked first by the Scots and yet we’d give you preicesly what you wish for. It does make one wonder if you’re really that certain about all of this or whehter you’re merely weighed down by a few bags of chips on those shoulders of yours… I’ve long had my suspicions…

            • MichtyMe

              An English nationalist, you had me confused. Well Salmond and his party are nationalists, Scots Nats in particular but as Nats they are also enthusiasts for English independence, identity and sovereignty.

              • HarryTheHornyHippo

                Not to fret my sweaty palmed one. Low IQs are the mean north of border if you know what I mean, so ride the confusion and accept your limitations. It’s your genes (that’s not the kind you wear) and there ain’t much you can do about it. Ho hum.

            • terregles2

              What a whinger if you really believed in any of what you said you would be campaigning for English Independence.
              What a cop out…. blame the Scots for everything but don’t do anything to make your own country independent from the dreadful Scots.

              • HarryTheHornyHippo

                My wee skirted friend… something tells me I’ve touched your funny bone and you ain’t laughing… it’s a weekday afternoon and no one’s reading any of this except you and I and nothing we write here will change a thing and yet you find yourself running to your laptop… kilt akimbo in the snow… to chase me away from telling you how it is… is the job centre closed… not worry Hamish… giro comes in Fri, you can soak your sorrows in extra-strength all night long and if you over do it… English tax payer’ll be there to cover your health care. Life’s a breeze eh?

                • terregles2

                  Come on Harry you must tell us why you do not start a political party in England that will campaign for English Independence. Surely it is much needed.

                  If you are looking for a leader perhaps Paris Brown might be suitable she is likely to be on the look out for a new job soon. With her youth and enthusiasm and your brains and experience reckon you could be on a winner.

                • HarryTheHornyHippo

                  You’re too late to the party on this one… you should have plugged it ages back… you tried… but I was too good for you. Anyhow it’s late here in the beautiful city of Hong Kong and this Englishman’s got money to spend and fun to be had, we’re like that us English. Have a good one terregles2 and all the others… you’ve been fun and thanks for playing. Until the next time.

                • terregles2

                  Don’t worry Harry we never doubted that it was ” happy hour ” wherever you were.

    • terregles2

      Scotland is the one of the wealthiest parts of th UK because of the rich natural resources that it has. What resource does the south east of England have.?
      Cameron is desperate not to lose the revenue that he rakes in from Scottish exports and resources of Whisky, Food Exports, Gas, Oil, Textiles, Forestry, Fisheries, Technology, Metals, Paper,Renewables etc
      Those are a few of the things Scotland creates wealth from. Let’s hear a few of the things south east England creates wealth from.

      • HarryTheHornyHippo

        Wentworth Golf Course is worth more than Scotland Jimmy. Look you and I are on the same side… I want you to go, I’m begging you to take your chances and b*gger off, you have my full support. Had I a home in Sweatyland I’d vote for independence no problem. There’s no reverse psychololgy here… please, please, please GO! Get lost. If not for you then at least for the poor people of Northern England who’ve paid the price for Celtic laziness for too long now (and whilst your at it take the Welsh with you as well – it’s called pruning the rose bush and it’s long overdue).

        • terregles2

          Do you never get tired of whinging. If you really wanted to be independent from Scotland you would be out there campaigning for it.
          Why don’t you form a political party campaign for English Independence and if a majority of English people vote for it then you will have it. That is what the SNP are doing.
          You are desperate to be independent from Scotland or so you say. Why take the chance if Scotland votes NO.
          Really you must stop moaning and campaign for English independence. If you really wanted it then you would be trying hard to achieve it.

          • HarryTheHornyHippo

            What’s it to you what I do? Are you really so frightened of independence that you need reassurance from the likes of me. How pathetic.

            • terregles2

              Why would I be frightened of Scottish Independence?. Quite the reverse. I was trying to point you in a more posive direction to hopefully stop your constant moaning.
              You keep bleating that you are desperate for Scotland to be Independent.
              If only you could get rid of Scotland how wonderful life would be. Why not start a campain for English Independence then?
              If you did so we would all wish you good luck. Those of us in Scotland who wish Independence do not waste time denigrating other nations we go out and campaign for what we believe in. You should do the same.

    • chris.455@hotmail.co.uk

      No, you are wrong there. Scotland make a very large percentage of britains wealth but it is all giving to the main parliment. Then they give us a little bit of that money back when they want to give us money.

      • HarryTheHornyHippo

        UK GDP 2.4 trillion dollars. Scotland GDP 200 billion dollars – that’s not even 10%.

        But hey, whatever bakes your biscuit.

        • Jambo25

          1) I would be careful on how those figures are arrived at. 2) Scotland’s population is about 8.5% of UK total.

          • HarryTheHornyHippo

            Kazakhstan’s was about the same for the USSR…

            ‘Scotland is greatest potassium producer in the world…’

  • MichtyMe

    Nice to give a mention to the Duke of Beccleuch Alex, the Duke is one of our greatest benefit claimants, an necessity required on account of being the nations largest landowner, upon which land he is paid benefits for the farming thereof.

  • terregles2

    She called Nelson Mandela a terrorist and was a friend of Pinochet don’t think we need to know much more.

  • Raman

    A blogger on The Economist made a comment that sums up this miserable, ignorant, petty-minded, beserk, boorish fishwife best:

    “Thatcher’s great gift was luck. Luck to be the right compromise candidate when the Tory party was looking for a leader. Lucky to come to power at the beginning of an oil boom, which she squandered on tax cuts. She was also lucky the Argentines foolishly invaded the Falklands when they did, giving her an opportunity to look tough. And she was lucky the Labour party split itself and hung itself on crazy policies like unilateral disarmament etc.
    Thatcher opposed sanctions on South Africa during apartheid and labelled Mandela a terrorist. She was a friend of the despots such as Auguste Pinochet and her government sold arms to Iraq.
    Thatcher had to leave the stage before peace was possible in Northern Ireland. The argument that somehow Reagan and Thatcher brought down the Soviet Union is utterly specious. The Soviet Union imploded on its own failed economics and internal repression. No help was needed or given.
    It’s funny to see those Euroskeptics who like to keep pictures of her on their walls as some kind of second queen. Let’s remind them that Thatcher signed the Single European Act and committed Britain to join the Euro until her friend Nigel Lawson, eventually completely ruined the economy in 1988, making joining the euro impossible. Another stroke of luck.
    When Thatcher came to power Britain was a more coherent united society. Britain still has a society, but no thanks to Thatcher, who admitted that she didn’t believe in society, only selves. Now Britain very much North and South, London and the rest, pro or anti Europe. In short she polarised, she didn’t lead.
    Essentially Thatcher was an old fashioned English Nationalist, who was lucky to come to power when the oil revenues started flowing and the Soviet Union died.”

    An equal of Marx?…….Groucho Marx, maybe. She was the Idi Amin of Britain. A tinpot heroine of a tinpot country.

    • HarryTheHornyHippo

      ‘Thatcher had to leave the stage before peace was possible in Northern Ireland’… Balls man, she crushed the IRA like the bugs they were with the result they came running to the negotiating table. It was ruined by spineless twirps (Blair et al) who cared only for writing themselves a footnote in the history books rather than pressing home the victory. Idiot.

      • Jambo25

        That’s why ex IRA commanders are now ministers of the crown in N.Ireland.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

        “Ruined”? Is there not peace in Northern Ireland today? Have I missed something important on the news?

        • HarryTheHornyHippo

          No, there isn’t peace in Northern Ireland. Clearly you have missed plenty on the news.

    • Eddie

      And yet, more people in Scotland supported Thatcher in the 80s than now support Scottish independence. Yes, really. Check out the evidence.
      Therefore, the Scots Nats must be really loathed by ordinary Scots and the media is exaggerating their support massively for its own ends.

  • Simon Morgan

    I must admit I was a bit worried about what you were going to come up with on this, Mr. Massie. But I think you have done her justice. The hatred of the left for Margaret Thatcher is so much the more bitter because she came from a humble background herself (a real betrayal of the ‘people’). That they can’t forgive, and as you can see from some of the posts here, will never forgive. I’m so glad that you have managed to portray the true Thatcher with both her faults and her virtues. RIP, Margaret.

    • terregles2

      I think many people hated Thatcher’s policies. The kind of person who introduces policies is really irrelevant it is the policy that is hated. A really nice person could introduce a bad policy and vice versa.
      I also don’t think that criticism of her policies was confined to one particular class. I heard many professional people express their dislike of what she did to Britain.

      • Simon Morgan

        The policies she introuduced turned Britain from the sick man of Europe into the second richest nation of Europe – in a decade. The policies she introduced allowed tenants to buy their council homes. These are the policies that kept her in power for 11 years. These are the policies that appealed to both the blue and the white collars, She was a polarizing figure, of that there is no doubt. But this is ONLY because she reduced the power of the unions and made the Left virtually redundant for decades in Britain. This hate fest that is going on around her just proves how successful she was.

    • Jambo25

      What about us on the centre-right who hated her as well? Incidentally, what is all this tosh about her “humble background”? Her father was a prosperous local businessman with not only his own grocery firm but he was a director of several other local firms. He was an alderman and Mayor of Grantham. In any other milieu, apart from the Tory Party her background would have been seen as prosperous and solidly middle class. Incidentally, her husband, Denis, was a millionaire.

      • Simon Morgan

        The man started as a grocer’s assistant, for the love of god. Yes, he became alderman. Yes, he became Mayor. Good for him. But he was hardly born with a silver spoon up his backside, was he?

        • Jambo25

          So I was right and you were wrong. I’m glad that you are gracious enough to acknowledge that.

    • terregles2

      if she had not married a millionaire she would not have made it in politics. When in office she did nothing to help women. Quite the reverse.

  • Jules

    Thatcher lasted so long because, unfortunately, the Left did what the Left always does…..SPLIT!!

    • Simon Morgan

      The Left was shown to be what it has always been – irrelevant. Thatcher’s policies, for example allowing people to buy their council homes, are what kept her in power so long.

      • terregles2

        I think the Falkalnds helped her stay in power. Before the Falklands war she was very low in opinion polls. After the war her popularity rose dramatically. Equally if the war had gone the other way I think she would have quickly lost office.

        • Simon Morgan

          Nothing wrong with patrioism, is there? You are supposedly a patriot of Scotland – how about being a just a little bit proud of the Scottish units that took part in that conflict, like the Scots Guards. I am proud of them (I am half Scottish), and so should you be. Instead, all you have is another mealy-mouthed go at Margaret Thatcher. I’m heartily sick of the seemingly endless and appalling attacks on someone who has just died. If Julia Gillard (my current PM) was to be run over today, I would not shed a tear. But to behave how the Left and many Scots have been behaving is a disgrace beyond words. I mean, ‘The witch is dead’ ???? Come on, people, you are surely better than that.

          • terregles2

            Thank you for the lecture. Personally when my ancestors died in WW2 I thought that they died for our freedom of speech.
            If you cannot tolerate any opinion that is not the same as yours then you are the person with the problem. You are rather arrogant to tell me or anyone else how I should be thinking.
            Where I would agree with you is that celebrations of her death are really distasteful and I would never support such behaviour it is abhorrent.
            I have only ever found fault with Thatcher’s policies and I am perfectly entitled to do that without anyone else telling me I have no right to express them.
            I was very much against Thatcher calling Nelson Mandela a terrorist I was very much against her selling arms to Iraq I was against her policies regarding banking which sowed the seeds for the present banking crisis. I was also opposed to her friendly relationship with the dictator Pinochet.
            If you are not against those things that she did then let us just agree to have different standards in how we judge people. I would not be arrogant enough to tell you that you are wrong.
            You say you would not care if Gillard was run over I think that is a disgusting remark. I would never say that about any other human being.
            I am proud of all the Scottish soldiers who died in war but I will be even more proud of Scotland when it is independent and we have got rid of the obscenity of Trident nuclear weapons. I will also be proud to live in a country that does not start illegal wars such as Iraq.

            • Eric45

              You mean you’re a hard left Militant and as Alex has written, 25% of Scots voted for Thatcher in 1992 (including myself) which is more than the SNP will receive at the next election.

              P.S I used to be an SNP voter,but witnessing people like you scared the crap out of me. We really would turn into the Albania of the north under the post independence loony Nats.

              • terregles2

                I am actually not hard left and most certainly not militant. I am voting YES in 2014 but I am not a member of the SNP.
                I bet the SNP must have been relieved that you left them. You come across as really aggressive and rude I don’t think you would be much of a vote winner for any party.
                You hate any left wing party you hate the SNP and you hate anyone presenting some of the unsavoury policies of Mrs Thatcher.
                I think we can all draw our own conclusions from that.

              • Jambo25

                Eric, you’ve never been an SNP voter. I simply do not believe you.

            • Simon Morgan

              What I said was I wouldn’t shed a tear. I would not dance on her grave or hold street parties. You do see the difference, don’t you? What I can’t tolerate is the tunnel-vision on display here.

              • terregles2

                The largest display of tunnel vision is being displayed by yourself. You will not tolerate anyone who disliked Thatcher saying anything unkind about her simply on the basis that you liked her.
                At the same time you make an unkind comment about Gillard but that is quite acceptable simply because you do not like Gillard.
                Pot calling the kettle black.
                Revulsion over anyone having street parties over any death is disgusting goes without saying.

    • terregles2

      She lasted so long because of the Falklands war and because she surrounded herself with very weak men in her cabinet.

  • Robert Taggart

    ‘Jocks’ are indeed incomprehensible !
    These mardy subsidy junkies are also reprehensible !

    • Jambo25

      Yes, we’re just like all those awful Northerners, Welsh people, Irish people etc who either hated or were absolutely unmoved by Thatcher.

  • HenBroon

    Why anyone who made the statement, “we English, who are a marvellous people are really very generous to the Scots.” would then expect to be greeted with open arms by us is a mystery indeed. Thatcher exuded all we Scots despise about England. Her patronising sneering tone was what did for her and her Tory goons. Good bloody riddance to them all.

    • Robert Taggart

      Good bloody riddance to Jockland – next year !

      • terregles2

        It is so funny to read these anti Scottish insults written by someone with a fine Scottish name like Taggart. The Pictish name Taggart meaning Priest from the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. A name common in Ross-shire.
        Must be hard to have a connection to something you don’t seem to like very much.
        A bit dare I say like a Scottish person being called Thatcher.

        • CraigStrachan

          “The Pictish name Taggart meaning Priest from the beautiful Highlands of Scotlands”

          I thought it meant a flush-faced Polis from the dear green City of Glasgow?

          • Maidmarrion

            Taggart was NEVER rosy cheeked! More pallid and unhealthy looking much like the real McCoy!

            • CraigStrachan

              No, there was a distinct reddish tinge to his complexion (although I suppose it may have had more to do with broken capiliaries than rosy cheeks per se).

        • Robert Taggart

          Taggart = son of the priest – and this one be a Sassenach Atheist !

          • TheRealHenBroon

            The word is Sassunach, and it means arsehole!

            • Robert Taggart

              YOU should know !

          • Iain Macmillan

            It would need the patronymic prefix “mac” to make it “son of” anything, so maybe you should just shut up until you know what you’re talking about. Choob!

      • terregles2

        Why are you wasting time posting rude remarks about Scottish people. Why not do something more productive. Form a political party that believes in Independence for England then go out and campaign for votes.
        That’s what people in scotland have done and you should do the same. Nobody likes a whinger. All whinge and no action is worse.

        • Robert Taggart

          If the Tory party had any sense they would be the English National Party – for real – they already are DeFacto !

          • terregles2

            Good point Robert. There is obviously a wish for Independence in England and why should you not have it. I think it is time there was an English Independence party and I am surprised that not more English people are campaigning for it.
            We wish you well whatever the future holds for you. It is time that everyone in the UK had a government that is more representative of their wishes and indeed more accountable to the electorate.
            Good luck.

            • TheRealHenBroon

              England have had a government that represented their views since 1707. Their overwhelming majority in the commons made sure that UK policies were designed to the total advantage of England, which is why the union 0f 1707 was doomed from the start. They did well to conceal the truth for nearly 300 years. The rise of the SNP and the FOIA has been their undoing.

              • terregles2

                I quite agree. I am just tired of hearing the constant bleating from some on this forum. Whinging about Scotland and all things Scottish. I thought if I suggested they go for their own Independece it might stop them moaning. Probably wont but it was worth a try.
                Don’t think it could ever happen as all the present Westminster rabble have access to the true economic figures.

                • Jambo25

                  It’s displacement activity on their part terregles. They’d really like to get wired into the more dusky skinned parts of the population to vent their hatred but even the ‘Speccie’ wouldn’t allow that in these more enlightened times. You really cannot go online calling people p..is and ni…rs any longer. It seems you can get away with being nasty to the Jocks and Taffs so let it rip against them.

                  There appears to be a lot of barely suppressed rage in England, particularly parts of the South. I’m starting to think of it as ‘Weimar England’.

                • HarryTheHornyHippo

                  ‘I want independence for its own sake, I don’t care if it makes us richer or poorer, I’m a proud Scot and I believe in our independence no matter what the cost’… why do you people never say this? It’s all about the money. And then you wonder why we belittle you and can’t respect you. You have only yourselves to blame.

                • Robert Taggart

                  Weimar England – like the idea !

        • Eddie

          He was merely responding to typical anti-English racism:

          ‘Thatcher exuded all we Scots despise about England’

          Why waste your time, laddie, obsessing about how awful the English are and blaming them for all your woes (reminds me of people blaming ‘the chosen people’ for the same actually). Convenient hate, yes. But silly, factually inaccurate and bigoted.

          Nobody likes a whinger? So you must hate yourself and your SNP numpties constantly then! Good grief! Some Scots do nothing but whinge!

          But, as Alex Massie has reminded us, it was the Scots (albeit the Tories up there) whose fault it was that the poll tax was introduced in Scotland earlier than England.

    • Jules

      Thatcher was probably the closest thing to an English Nationalist we have ever had. It was very instinctive for her. She had the ‘superiority complex’ that is a hallmark of English people and something that is unique to them and the main difference in characteristic between English people and those from other parts of the Union. The English are naturally this way and thus they cannot comprehend how much it grates on others who are not English.

      Though in not quite the same grating way Tony Blair also has the very English ‘superiority complex’, but he also had the ability to show empathy, something missing from Thatcher.

      • rubyduck

        Blair is Scottish.

        • terregles2

          Blair’s father was English and his mother was from Northern Ireland. he was adopted by Scottish family but his birth parents were English.

          • Jambo25

            His children carry Irish passports.

          • rubyduck

            Blair was born in Scotland, which is good enough for me. His father was adopted by glaswegians, according to wikipedia.

            • terregles2

              Living in a stable does not make you a horse. Blair’s father’s parents were English actors the father was named Parsons. If Leo had not been put up for adoption Tony Blair would have been Tony Parsons.
              Tony Blair is a proud Englishman proud that his father was born in Yorkshire of English parents.
              If English parents gave birth to a child in France then returned to live in England several years later don’t think they would consider their child to be French.

              • rubyduck

                If the child were adopted by French people and raised in France, it would be French. Leo was Scottish.

                Blair was born in Scotland to a father brought up, at least, as a Scot and an Irish mother. He was educated at Fettes College.

                The Scots may well not want to own him.

                • Jambo25

                  Being educated at Fettes is not really a ‘Scottish’ education. I went to a similar school in Edinburgh and played sports against Fettes. ‘Granny’s Hielan Hame’ it wasn’t.

                • simhedges

                  There are an awful lot of Scots who would fail the ‘Granny’s Hielan Hame’ test! Fettes may not be the usual kind of Scottish school, but it doesn’t make it any less Scottish. Scotland has posh people too!

                • Jambo25

                  Schools such as Fettes are completely abnormal in educational terms in Scotland. I know Scotland has posh people. I went to a school full of them. Still friends “40 years on” with some of them.

                • terregles2

                  Tony Blair’s father was English and his mother was Irish. If you want to say he was Scottish then fair enough. It’s a bit like saying an apple is really a banana but if it makes you happy just do that.
                  At this rate and with this logic we will be getting the blame for Nick Griffin next.

                • HarryTheHornyHippo

                  Bit like saying somebody’s parents are Pakistani so that don’t make ’em a Brit… indeed you do the BNP proud sweetheart.

                • terregles2

                  No it will be difficult for you to understand as you frequently use the word Scottish as an insult. You are so ignorant that you cannot see that there is anything wrong with that.

                  If you took away the word Scottish and substituted another nation for the abuse that you spout it would indeed sound like a BNP member.

                  There are other ignoramuses on this site who use Scottish as an insult often used to insult Tony Blair.

                  There again you use the term sweetheart and you think that is an acceptable way to address a woman. Says it all really.

                • HarryTheHornyHippo

                  ‘There again you use the term sweetheart and you think that is an acceptable way to address a woman’ – terregles… do you wear polo necks and knee length skirts? Honest now.

                • terregles2

                  Intelligent and succesful women do not like to be called sweetheart. Not suprised that you don’t know that. It is unlikely that you come across many. They are not likely to mix in the same circles as a rude little man like you.

        • Robert Taggart

          Bliar is a mongrel – genetically, socially, politically… !

      • Robert Taggart

        Nothing wrong with ‘our’ superiority !

      • simhedges

        given that an inferiority complex is when someone feels inferior and so acts superior, is a superiority conflict when someone feels superior and acts inferior? In which case, I don’t think either Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher had it! Tony Blair, of course, was originally from Scotland and was partly educated there.

    • anyfool

      John Smith’s suggestion that, aye, the Scots are a more moral people.

      Did you miss this line, is that patrimony or superiority

      The young people celebrating her death in Glasgow says all you need to know about the current state of Scottish confidence in its ability to recreate a successful independent state.
      The last time you were independent you had to go begging to London for money, this time London will have none, if you have the nerve to give it another go

      • terregles2

        What has 1707 got to do with 2013.? If there are begging bowls out after Scottish Independence don’t think they will be held out by Scotland. We are rich in natural resources, What resource does England have that Scotland does not?

        Scotland has a Fiscal deficit of 2.6% compared to the UK deficit of 6%

        When Scotland is Independent instead of having our resources wasted by an incompetent Westminster government we can properly manage our revenue from Whisky,Textiles,Forestry,Renewables,,Tourism,Electronics,Biotechnology,
        Fisheries,Oil, Metals,Gas,Stem Cell Research,Food Exports etc.

        • Robert Taggart

          Darien Disaster = Jockland writ large !

          • terregles2

            Must be sad for you to still be thinking of 1707. The world has changed since then. Have you not noticed
            Scotland is now a wealthy country in spite of its rich resources being mismanaged by Westminster our fiscal deficit stand at 2.6% compared to UK 6%.
            You really must look to the future and not waste time throwing insults at Scottish people.
            Get out there and campaign for English Independence. It will help to give you optimism for the future. Scotland is certainly feeling more optimistic and positive about the years ahead.

      • TheRealHenBroon

        I suppose those ;celebrating in England are her guardian angels, you utter trumpet.

  • terregles2

    Don’t think Thatcher ever contributed anything to the wellbeing of Scotland either socially or economically. She wasted so much of North sea oil money on financing the dole queue. No country can prosper if it has high unemployment and she brutally destroyed our industries because in doing so she could also destroy union power. This high unemployment saw a rise in alcohol and drug abuse.
    Although she was a woman she did nothing to improve any area of women’s lives. She did nothing to improve childcare or anything else for working women.
    Our towns and suburbs still bear the scars of her housing policy. Now that so much social housing has disappeared we have private landlords everywhere.
    Where there were well kept suburbs with private housing we have TO LET signs sitting in neglected gardens. Some of our nicest suburbs have been destroyed by Buy to Let. Landlords don’t care if the property is neglected as long as the rent money is paid.
    Thatcher said there is no such thing as society so as long as some landlords are making a quick buck it doesn’t matter if people in decent areas have anti social neighbours inflicted on them.
    Thatcher might have found it hard to comprehend Scotland but Scotland understood Thatcher very well. We very clearly understood her message and didn’t like what she was saying. Don’t think any of it was because she was a woman a bad message is a bad message whoever delivers it. Can’t remember many Scots being too keen on Ted Heath either.

    • Eddie

      And yet, more people in Scotland supported Thatcher in the 80s than now support Scottish independence. Yes, really. Check out the evidence.
      Scotland didn’t like Thatcher because 1) the Scots (like some of the northern English) are deeply conservative and luddite, and resists change at all costs; 2) she was a woman, and Scotland was extremely sexist and loutish and bigoted back them (and some say still is); 3) She was a convenient hate figure for anyone to focus their anger on as part of their Manichaean agenda.
      You exaggerate Thatcher’s power: she did not change the world economy – she adapted our economy to it. And someone had to. There was no alternative. The lady did not destroy heavy industry: technology and changing world did. It would all have gone anyway.

    • Macky Dee

      “…she brutally destroyed our industries …”
      No, she forced people to modernise

      • Jambo25

        She modernised places like North Lanarkshire, North Ayrshire and parts of Fife out of existence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

    Scotland could thrive as an independent country because it’s floating on hundreds of billions of pounds-worth of oil, not because of anything Margaret Thatcher did. We wouldn’t be in half the mess we were in now without her squandering all the oil money and destroying most of our industry in the process. Norway is the same size as Scotland and has around the same amount of oil. Why are they rich while we’re up to our necks in debt? Because of years of Thatcherite and neo-Thatcherite government from London.

    • alabenn

      The Norwegians are now a dull lifeless race with very few redeeming features, they have taken to the nanny state as a replacement identity.
      Breyvic killed dozens of young men and women at a socialist training camp and none had the gumption to attack him as a group or individual as he stalked around picking them off, none felt they could do anything, that is what awaits Scotland, the only spirit left will be whisky to dull your sense of self even more, self pity is destroying Scotland more than Thatcher could ever do.
      You will never vote for independence, Thatcher gave you an excuse to cry foul.
      Braveheart what a joke.

      • terregles2

        Well the members of the Scottish public who attacked the terrorists during the attempted bombing at Glasgow airport in 2007 were certainly brave.
        They ran towards the terrorists and tried to stop them from carrying out the attack
        Can’t say we have seen many people behaving like that in other terrorist attacks.Seven members of the public received bravery awards for their actions on that day.
        Can’t say I see much evidence of self pity around Scotland these days. Seems to be more optimism about the future than anything else. As for the whisky we are too busy boosting our economy from the expanding whisky market exports to have time to drink it.

        • alabenn

          that is what awaits Scotland
          Do you not understand the tense

          • terregles2

            I do understand tense and I also understand sour grapes when I see them.

            • Eddie

              That’ll be your piles, son…

            • Maidmarrion

              Soor plooms!

        • Eddie

          ‘They ran towards the terrorists and tried to stop them from carrying out the attack’
          Or they were trying just to charge them for parking there perhaps?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

        Jesus, what a load of racist pish. Breivik was carrying assault weaponry and most of his victims were kids. The reaction of Norway’s people to the tragedy was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen from humankind in my life. If we can be more like them that’ll be a wonderful thing.

        • terregles2

          Quite sad that some people take time to try and score cheap politcal points from the death of children. it is a strange dichotomy some of the posters on this forum love telling us that they hate the Scots while at the same time try to discourage the concept of Scottish Independence.

        • smileandwave

          Speaking to Jesus are you? Do you find that happens a lot when you’re off your medication?

          In one of your more lucid moments you might have read about Buruch Goldstein who killed 29 muslims with an assault rifle at one of their services. The reason he didn’t kill any more was because he was overpowered and beaten to death by congregants that include boys of the same age group as Breivik’s victims.

          As for Scottish independence I’m all for it. Let the Scots man up and take control of their own destiny – assuming they’re prepared to put their English funded benefit cheques on the line?

          • Jambo25

            What on earth are you on about?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

            It’s a LOT easier to overpower someone in the confined space of a mosque than when everyone’s scattered across an island.

            Scotland has subsidised the rest of the UK to the tune of tens of billions of pounds since the 1970s. All we’ve got in return is debt.

            • Simon Morgan

              And not much in the way of thanks, either…

          • terregles2

            Scottish benefits are funded by Scottish resources. I can understand why the concept of a country actually making money from exports and natural resources is a hard concept for some of you to grasp

          • terregles2

            Think if you were that keen on Scottish Independence you would be out campaigning for a party to stand on an English Independence ticket.
            I would want to ensure that England got independence no matter what the Scots vote for.

        • alabenn

          No most were adults, 37 of the 62, of the rest 3 were under 16 22 under 18.

      • Erik Kennedy

        ‘Scotland, like Norway, has oil. I, for my own bigoted, unexplained reasons, dislike Norwegians. Therefore, if Scotland takes advantage of its oil resources, the Scots will become like Norwegians. And that will be bad.’

        Not what I would call a well-reasoned comment.

      • Raman

        “The Norwegians are now a dull lifeless race with very few redeeming
        features…”

        They would have to work very hard indeed to equal the English in this aspect.

        • Jambo25

          Try Christmas in Leicester. The definition of boredom.

    • Eddie

      Errr… most of the oil would not be Scotland’s anyway. It is not in Scottish waters. Read some maritime law.

      Also, the English taxpayer spent vast sums exploiting that oil – and finding it in the first place. Those bills would have to be paid if Scotland demanded the oil fields.

      Also, don’t the Shetland Islands have a better claim to the oil than some greedy shysters in Edinburgh and Glasgow?

      You are clearly another idiaot who thinks Mrs Thatcher was responsible to the decline of heavy industry. Without Thatcher, the same would have happened. It’s a world economic and historical cycle.

      Typical victimhood-craving pity party ranter. Why not try visiting London and seeing all the poverty there?

      Thatcher may be a convenient hate figure for bigots, but really, to blame her for the decline of heavy industry is affording her too much power: things change. Adapt.

      • http://twitter.com/randyfmcdonald Randy McDonald

        The Shetlands are part of Scotland, right?

        • terregles2

          There is no point in any person answering any of Eddie’s hysterical rants. Trying to reason with him is like trying to swim in treacle. It is just not possible. He called me a Scottish bigot who had never seen a black face in my life. When I asked him how he knew I did not see a black face when I looked in the mirror he started ranting that I must hate English people because it says so in the Radio Times.
          It is best just to let him post his hysterical drivel and ignore him.

          • Eddie

            And yet again you show why Nationalistic bigots like you have no logical, sound, reasonable arguments for Scottish independence: just abuse, ad hominem attacks, straw man prevarication and bluster. Pah! Shoo wee beastie!

            Read that Radio Times article too – it shows that your Braveheart SNP fiction is just that. Fabricated history – romantic, self-pitying drivel. No kilts, no blue faces, no heroics at all.

            In fact, most symbols of Scottishness were cobbled together by Walter Scott and the 18th and 19th century English; even the bagpipes and kilts and tartans are not Scottish is origin – and neither is whisky (first created by Welsh monks). There is more reality in Dr Who than in your ‘Scottish story’, Mr fantasist.

            • Dicky14

              Not wanting to rain on your erusite parade but this guy does seem to know his onions, unlike your good self.

              http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2013/03/propaganda-against-scotland/

              • terregles2

                Really no point in trying to reason with the Eddie poster. It cannot be done. If you look at his other outbursts you will get the picture. Best ignored.

                • Eddie

                  Yep, you are best ignored, you silly, racist, obsessive, chauvinistic, victimhood-craving Scottish nationalist fantasist.
                  Every time you post your silly posts warning others not to reply to my posts, you lose the argument – and show just what a bunch of blundering bullies and twerps the pro-independence nationalist bigots are.
                  The union is safe.
                  ‘More people supported Thatcher in Scotland than support Scottish independence’.
                  Read that fact again, son, and cry into your curry (surely Scotland’s national dish?)

        • Eddie

          Scotland is part of Britain, right?
          Why shouldn’t the Shetlands be independent or stay British? They have no truck with SNP bigots up there.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here