Coffee House

The Union is in peril

7 November 2013

11:20 AM

7 November 2013

11:20 AM

Something quite remarkable happened last week. David Cameron proposed a major change to the constitutional fabric of the United Kingdom and barely anyone noticed.

The fact that Cameron’s proposal, subject to a referendum, to let the Welsh Assembly vary income tax rates garnered so little interest is a sign of how inured we have become to constitutional tinkering. But these constant constitutional changes are putting the Union at risk.

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If Scotland votes no to independence that won’t, as I say in the column this week, be an end to the matter. Everyone from Cameron to the Better Together campaign have reassured the Scots that if they vote no, more powers will be devolved to them.

Tactically this is the best way to limit the yes vote, but strategically it is a mistake. It not only gives the Nationalists a lever with which to reopen the debate, but compounds the West Lothian Question. To date, the English have been remarkably unbothered by the whole West Lothian issue. But as the backlash over the closure of the Portsmouth shipyard shows, opinion can change quickly. The Union can only bear a certain amount of asymmetry.

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Show comments
  • pauldanon

    This is surely one for the privy council or supreme court, or whoever’s supposed to defend the union’s integrity. Unlike the EU or US, our union has no provision for secession by individual parts. What we could do is get parliament to vote on reconstituting the country as a different entity, maybe consisting of a new England outside the EU with the rest of the UK keeping that nation’s title and its EU-membership.

  • jelliedeels

    A lot of English with a chip on their shoulders about the Scots —why so if as they say they dont care

    • shaunthebrummie

      give us english a vote to leave the god awful union….and you’d see a different result to the scots one…

  • Smithersjones2013

    [Yawn] So we give up on localism and devolution just because the SNP might continue to whine on about independence after the people of Scotland have said no? I don’t think so.

    One thing is sure Forsyth will never make a politician. He cannot see the bigger (devolution) picture. Clearly he has spent too much time inside the Westminster Freakshow. It has been blatantly obvious for sometime that various aspects of financial management would have to be devolved. It is the natural progression in addressing our obese over centralised dysfunctional Westminster centric government. I would have preferred business and retails taxes (not possible until we rid ourselves of Brussels) but if it is to be aspects of income tax so be it.

    PS Politically speaking every further step in devolution takes power away from Labour at Westminster because less and less will their Welsh and Scots comrades be able to justify interfering in English business. The Curse Of Brown and Blair will long haunt the English psyche and ensure that such interlopers can never plague England again!.

  • mark tayler

    We all know a separate Scotland will be bankrupt without English subsidies,

    • Eric McLean

      Who is ‘we’?

      • Maidmarrion

        The man with the crystal balls – wonder what he predicts for the English economy?
        Government should take on a clairvoyant such as he – then perhaps they could avoid trillions of pounds of debt!

        • Eric McLean

          Here is my prediction… interest rates are set to rise…

      • shaunthebrummie

        the english…you idiot

        • Eric McLean

          The fact that you think you know my IQ, tells me yours.

  • Lady Magdalene

    There isn’t a single MP in Westminster who represents and stands up for the rights of the English to have the same degree of devolution as the Scots, Welsh and NI.
    We are ENTITLED to our own Parliament, or at the very least, English votes for English laws.
    At the moment we are discriminated against democratically, yet used as the cash cow to subsidise the Celtic nations.
    Cameron can’t even bring himself to utter the words “England and English” unless he is sneering at us.
    When the backlash comes, it is going to be seismic.

    • Makroon

      Congratulations ! That is about the daftest post, so far.

    • Eric McLean

      Vote UKIP… get it over much quicker. 🙂

      • shaunthebrummie

        UKIP…is a pro british party…so of no use to england…just tories in drag

  • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

    As a Welshman, I disagree entirely. More devolution is likely to preserve the union. Most Welsh, I think, are broadly supportive of the union, but we’re not English, and there’s no reason why our nation, language and culture should be administered by a bunch of bureaucrats in London who are not Welsh, and have little appreciation of or sympathy for Welsh sensitivities (unless they’re the bleeding heart liberal types, which is even more insufferable).

    The USA is the classic example of a vast nation that is very united because of the extensive degree of autonomy enjoyed by the individual states. The issues and politics confronting people in Delaware are very different from those of Utah, but rather than having a one-size-fits-all policy that is bound to please nobody, their own state governments can organise things as they feel appropriate.

    The problem is that the English are denied any form of devolution for themselves, which causes understandable and reasonable resentment.

    • shaunthebrummie

      we need a mass deceltification of england….starting with foreign teams in english sports leagues…..guess which we start with…you parasite…hope for your sake you aint living in england…

      • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

        Now read your post again, replacing “Celt” with “Jew”, and tell me what you sound like.

        • shaunthebrummie

          an fed up anti celt englishman..who wants the united kingdom dead….and all undesirables returned to their glens,,valleys or bogs…..

    • shaunthebrummie

      we dont want regionalisation…we want to be free of the celts…and paying for their lifestyles….raise your own taxes…and spend it on what you want….but not with english taxes….

  • JonBW

    It would be better for all the nations of Britain if the Union came to an end.
    We could live as good friendly neighbours rather than bickering siblings that have outgrown the family home.
    Most English people support Scottish independence.

    • Fergus Pickering

      No. Most English people don’t care one way or the other.

      • jelliedeels

        A lot of Englishmen with chips on their shoulders about the Scots on
        here —And yet they keep saying that they dont care or think about
        them –whats that all about , denial that their scared of scotland
        leaving the UK

        • shaunthebrummie

          scotland and the scottish….haven’t got the courage to vote for independence…we need to remove all the undesirables from england and send them hame….those on benefits..in hospitals..in social housing..in uni’s..those denying the more deserving english jobs….remove all celts from the english based media…fed up of hearing bloody taffs..paddies and porridge wogs on the box and radio….more treacherous an enemy england hasn’t got….more so than the muslims…

  • Doggie Roussel

    Cameron has no interest in the English electorate.

    He has just played a blinder by saying that shipbuilding in Portsmouth must close… unless the Scots vote yes for independence… in which case Scotland’s shipbuilding will be closed and Portsmouth will not be shut down.

    Effectively he has offered the Scots a huge carrot to say no to independence, which must have that Tub of Lard in Holyrood wobbling about in fury… whilst at the same time he has showed his utter contempt for English voters by using them as pawns in his squalid manoeuvrings.

    With all the great dangers and deficiencies this country faces, Bullingdon Dave remains obsessed with white weddings for gays, refusing to talk about or act against the prospect of 28 million East Europeans charging through the open floodgates come January and glibly talking about changing the electorate’s stance about their contempt and disgust for the EUSSR who have just announced that they have ‘misplaced’ another 6 billion pounds, for which we will have to front up 800 million pounds!

    As a sideline, he has put a toy wind turbine on his roof… ostensibly to bolster his green credentials… but in fact of solidarity with his father-in-law who profits to the tune of £ 350,000 pa from these inefficient and pointless eyesores.

    But the worm will turn and Cameron will rue his arrogance and disdain for the hard-pressed English electorate.

    • Eric McLean

      “He has just played a blinder by saying that shipbuilding in Portsmouth must close… unless the Scots vote yes for independence… in which case Scotland’s shipbuilding will be closed and Portsmouth will not be shut down.”

      Please tell us where he has said this exactly? You have a source? No, I thought not. In which case, there is no point to read the rest of your inaccurate baloney.

      • Doggie Roussel

        Thank you, pedant…

        • Eric McLean

          I prefer realist thanks.

  • Iain Hill

    Good, the more the merrier, until the whole rotten edifice collapses, and can be rebuilt into modern states.

    • shaunthebrummie

      england….and couldn’t care less about the other parts…

  • AB

    Is the message “don’t complain about cuts, you could make the money up by raising your taxes”?

    I’d be surprised if a Scots No vote was followed by “devomax” without there also being a cut to funding under the Barnett formula which stopped subsidising the Scots to do stuff like end tuition fees without using their tax raising powers to pay for it.

    • Reconstruct

      You’d be surprised? Honestly?

    • Eric McLean

      There will be an offer of DevoMax early next year from the Unionist parties, to head off a YES vote.

      Barnett is a separate subject.

  • Tom Tom

    Why is Alistair Carmichael in the Cabinet ? Why is David Jones ? Why is Teresa Villiers ? I have a fundamental objection to Devolved Parts of the Uk having their own Lobbyists in Cabinet when Northern England with a far larger population has no Secretary of State representing The North in Cabinet.

    There is simply no Union James Forsyth, it is a decaying empire where centrifugal forces are being held by shifting resources from Northern England to shore up regional parties at the Celtic periphery of the empire

    • Eric McLean

      Well get off your backsides and fight for Federalism.

      The Financial times reported, “The confidence in London’s economy is underpinned by government policies which will concentrate incomes in London and the southeast.

      The Financial Times austerity audit last month showed that cuts to welfare payments will hit areas far from the capital’s spending power up to five times as hard.”

      Your argument is not with the Celtic fringes. Its with the London centre.

      • Makroon

        The Financial Times represents nobody except possibly the small number of incurable Euro-romantics. It talks utter tosh on UK politics, and a fair amount of tosh on economics. It should really stick to business news..

        • Eric McLean

          Really? I rather think they have better readership than many other ‘newspapers’

          • Makroon

            Maybe, for the business news (and maybe “How to spend it”).
            Surely not for the political opinion-piece fillers.

            • Eric McLean

              I read for business and finance news… which includes their austerity audit.

      • shaunthebrummie

        fuck the celts off and divert english money to the north…midlands…and south west….coupled with the kicking out the illegals and undesirables…

  • RavenRandom

    I agree we cannot keep tinkering. The more powers that are devolved to three of the four countries whilst England gets none, is increasingly annoying. It’s manifestly anti-democratic and unfair.
    We need to either have one government (that boat has sailed, thank you Tony Blair), or we need a comprehensive and identical settlement for all four countries, some sort of acceptable federal state. I do not want the union to break up. Britain is my country, though every power given to Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland pushes me towards saying England is my country.

    • Colonel Mustard

      A well articulated and valid point that seems to escape our “representatives” in Parliament who seem to be fudging on mess of their own making into another for their own best advantage.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Thank you for a well balanced and fair minded contribution to an increasingly acrimonious debate. I confess that your views reflect my own but I hold out no hope that we possess a statesman or woman with the integrity and vision to follow such a blueprint.

    • Eric McLean

      I agree with you on the fairness aspect. But the crux of the matter is regions being left behind by the Westminster state. It is time to embrace federalism.
      It is not the ‘Surly Scot’ that has caused this problem. Westminster looked after London and the South East to the detriment of the regions.

      Westminster is responsible for Broken Britain. The ability to appreciate that statement is inversely proportional to your distance from Westminster.

      • shaunthebrummie

        what are you scots so scared of about england…you keep wanting england cut up into regions….coward….remember we bought you in 1707…and we’ve goot the receipt to prove it….

        • Eric McLean

          Sure you did… now go back and sleep the drink off.

  • Wessex Man

    James Forsyth is quite wrong in what he says, some us in England are only too aware of what Cameron is offering the Welsh, it’s that Thet Spectator and the ‘National Press’ in London don’t really want we the Englsh to know.

    Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones is trying to wring a larger share of the Barnett Formula for Wales by saying he won’t co-operate unless Cameron gives him a bigger share of the Barnett Formula and as reported in Scotland on Sunday the Scots are worried that they may lose part of their share of the Formula.

    Basically for anyone who doesn’t know the Barnett Formula is worked out thus for every £100 spent by Central Government on every English person, £112 is spent on every Welsh, £115 is spent on every Scot and a staggering £122 on every Northern Irish person.

    On top of that, as in the case with Portsmouth this week, David Cameron raided money meant for Cornwall and Devon earlier in the year and sent it North of the border. Even worse than that he also sent to Scotland, Wales and NI last month money from the EU Regional Fund for deprived areas of England saying it should be shared by everyone!

    Johannes Hahn, the EU Comissioner for Regional Policy has demanded an explanation from David Cameron as to why he stripped England’s most deprived areas of £650 million. It is no surprise he’s still waiting for an answer!

    I used to believe in the United Kingdom, thinking that England should be treated equally but these shoddy desperate actions of Cameron have convinced me that we the English should be demanding a total breakup on this Disunited Kingdom!

    • itdoesntaddup

      After the other nations, London is the area with the highest per capita spend according to PESA data. A convenient Potemkin village.

      • Wessex Man

        so it’s OK with you that after the other nations of the UK it’s fine for London to be ahead of the rest of England is it?

    • Eric McLean

      “Basically for anyone who doesn’t know the Barnett Formula is worked out..”

      Clearly you don’t.

      • Wessex Man

        Know just as much as you probably more.

        • Eric McLean

          Really?

      • shaunthebrummie

        we know a parasite…..which is what you fucking jocks are….always on the make…look at all the McTurds in england….

  • ButcombeMan

    Whenever I see these arguments back and forth I despair.
    Breaking up the Union is the objective of the EU. we should have nothing to do with it. The Scots should reject it. I believe they will.

    I recall Prescott’s ridiculous attempt at Regionalisation, a UK “Lander” system.

    Heartily rejected by emotionally mature English voters.

    Of course some Scots, some Welsh and even I dare say some Yorkshiremen are emotionally & politically immature, they respond to things like Salmond’s anti-English racism and creation of the English (or Lancastrians) as an external enemy, when they should not. The difference is Yorkshiremen treat the rhetoric as a joke.

    Many Scots in particular, (and I have Scottish heritage) have seen Braveheart too many times and believe it.

    The UK has achieved great things as one country, over 300 years and with our system of government from Westminster and County and town Councils. we have led the world in so many areas.

    Sadly Cameron has absolutely ZERO leadership skills, he thus DOES imperil the Union.

    Different income tax rates on either side of a river, in the same overall political entity, is just bloody stupid.

    If it all goes wrong. The English will be OK.

    The others will not.

    Salmond is leading the Scots, lemming like, over a cliff, largely made up of his ego.

    • asalord

      “Many Scots in particular, (and I have Scottish heritage) have seen Braveheart too many times and believe it.”

      British nationalists continue to be obsessed with Braveheart.They honestly believe that had that film not been made everyone in Scotland would be an obedient little unionist.

      • ButcombeMan

        No. They do not. Nor are they obsessed.

        Look at your own writings here, look in the mirror and decide if you are, just possibly, the obsessive?

        Should the Scots reject breaking up the Union, will you calmly accept it and get on with your life?

        Will it still fester?

        We know the answer, the problem seems to be that you do not.

    • Eric McLean

      Salmond is the democratically elected First Minister, but he is not leading independence. The independence movement is a broad church.

    • Eric McLean

      By the way, the BraveHeart donkey argument has been debunked too many times to mention. Stop reading Unionist propaganda.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I have never seen Braveheart at all. Should I?

      • ButcombeMan

        Dinna fash yerself

        • Fergus Pickering

          I take that as a no.

      • Maidmarrion

        Yes – it’s a great romp with a truthful end!

        • shaunthebrummie

          the ends the best part….when he gets chopped up….wish it really happened to mel gibson…..

  • asalord

    The evil that is British nationalism will be ended for ever when the people of Scotland vote Yes in 2014.
    For that we should all be thankful.

    • Wessex Man

      yes we English will be happy to get rid of the warmongers.

      • shaunthebrummie

        no more scots led labour party wars…kept going by a scots led con/libdem government…why is cameron protecting blair the arch warmongering porridge wog….

    • HookesLaw

      Except that they are going to vote No.
      And you are a thick idiot. But then again I suspect not. The only hope Salmond has got is to alienate the English and with that anti Scottish backlash he hopes to persuade Scots to vote Yes.
      And you are happily following that propaganda line.

      • Maidmarrion

        How many times must it be stated that the Scottish National Party is only the catalyst and those supporting independence come from all political views and none.
        It appears the message escapes those so smug in their rightness ,much like the ” Braveheart re build Hadrian’s wall ” dribblers.

    • rtj1211

      Perhaps you’d like to expound further on the uniquely malign British nationalism, as opposed to the houses burnt down by rampant Welsh nationalists in my lifetime and the Scots not recognising English teaching qualifications as recently as the late 1980s??

      • shaunthebrummie

        we get proper borders…keeping the porridge wogs and other scum out….

  • dalai guevara

    The advantages of Federalism, the pressures of an up and coming referendum in the regions, the energy crisis, the crisis of funding the armed forces, the Commonwealth conundrum, the pressures on the housing market in the capital only.
    All these pressures are mounting and the government are making careful adjustments everywhere. This now includes Wales.
    But are these measures radical enough? What about the ‘laws of the land’? Are they still fit for purpose, or perceived as hindering progress?

  • asalord

    The union continues to disintegrate.
    I consider it a privilege to witness the end of such a destructive and unfair marriage.

    • gerontius

      “I consider it a privilege to witness the end of such a destructive and unfair marriage.”

      As an Englishman I hope the Scots vote for an end to the Union.
      My fear is that they won’t.

      • asalord

        I understand your fear.Sadly there are still British nationalists in Scotland.

        • Wessex Man

          yes I know, sadly it’s a majority and we will still have to put up with people like you.

      • HookesLaw

        Pathetic bigotry.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Once again you are attacking the wrong “enemy”. No wonder Cameron is failing.

  • FF42

    Two things.

    A partnership depends on both parties thinking the relationship is worthwhile. The end comes when one party decides it’s not worth it. Nevertheless, divorce isn’t an inevitable outcome, nor in most cases a desirable one, as any number of successful marriages attest. Marriage is never between two identical people.

    The West Lothian Question exists, but paradoxically has not been important until now, because England has taken no steps to redress it. England could, if it wanted, set up its own Parliament with tax raising powers.

    • HookesLaw

      Westminster can exclude Scottish MPs on English only matters.
      Labour do not like that which is yet another good reason to make sure they are not returned to power.
      The desire for independence in Scotland is not that strong. Salmond’s greatest hope is to whip up anti Scottish sentiment in England to bolster his campaign.
      We can see here how the idiots are following his lead nicely.

    • Andy

      Well actually it is important. The Conservatives have a good majority in England so why do folk such as Clegg think it is ok to block Conservative policies in England ? That is why the West Lothian Question must be solved and the only way to do that is either bar all none English MPs voting on English affairs or an English Parliament. The only workable solution is the latter.

  • HookesLaw

    Offering some tax raising variety ought to bring benefits to a political party offering Conservative principles.
    The people of Portsmouth must be praying for a YES vote in Scotland. I doubt they will get it.

  • Colonel Mustard

    These developments, past and present, don’t gel very well with the “one nation” and “equality” nonsense being peddled by Miliband, whose party is largely responsible for the constitutional mess, divisiveness and potential chaos of the current situation.

    • HookesLaw

      Correct. But unlike what Mr Forsyth says the No vote in the referendum should put to rest the independence bandwagon. As should the decline in North Sea oil and the rise in North of England fracking.

  • gerontius

    “To date, the English have been remarkably unbothered by the whole West
    Lothian issue. But as the backlash over the closure of the Portsmouth
    shipyard shows, opinion can change quickly. The Union can only bear a
    certain amount of asymmetry.”

    Sounds a reasonable enough point, but I suspect that a large majority of us will just shrug our shoulders and carry on: Backlashes tend to be very localised and short term.
    We’re the “yeah, wotever” generation. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying it is.

    • HookesLaw

      Portsmouth will still be the home of the Royal navy. Hundreds of shipyard jobs are also going in Scotland. Ship repair will be concentrated in Portsmouth.

      Its costing us too much to build warships the way our ship building business is structured. Concentrating it in one place makes economic sense. Ships can be built quicker and cheaper and you never know they might even be able to export them.

      Portsmouth is in Britain. Govan is in Britain. Our armed forces are British. I am British and so are you.

      • asalord

        Scottish,never British.

        • HookesLaw

          The Scots Guards are not in the British Army? They did not fight in the British Army to defeat Hitler?
          The Scots Grays did not charge at Waterloo.
          Half the ‘English Army’ at Culloden was not Scottish?

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          No trip to Brazil for you then next Summer.

      • Fergus Pickering

        What happens if Govan ceases to be Britain?

      • Makroon

        BAE Systems is another one of those famous “British national champions” allowed to package up the greater part of the British aviation industry for an easier sale. It has been a disaster from day one, and continues to make disastrous decisions on a yearly basis. As for being a “British national champion”, it ceased being that decades ago, It is mainly an American company which always puts it’s shareholders above everything.
        If Cameron or Miliband wakes up one morning and decides to do what the EU and the Americans want – to remove the “golden share” from Rolls Royce, it would be sold off to the ridiculous behemoth that is the super-conglomerate General Electric, within the year.

      • shaunthebrummie

        you are the enemy of england…and i would love to meet you one day…

  • John Clegg

    Cameron is an absolute political lightweight.

    What he should be doing is saying to the Scots that “fine you can have your referendum but no more devolved concessions afterwards, if you don’t like the Union then b….r off”, take it or leave it, call their bluff. The Scots will continue to whinge as they always have done but they know which side their bread is buttered on and it would have put the referendum debate to bed for a generation.

    As for the politically stupid decision to favour the Clyde over Portsmouth which was childishly naive in the least, what he should have done is to play hardball and leave the decision until after the referendum, that would have concentrated a few minds north of the border.

    But no, we are governed by politically naive idiots.

    • HookesLaw

      No. Putting it politely you are wrong.
      You are the naive idiot.

      • Colonel Mustard

        No, he just disagrees with you and expresses his opinion. Valid in this case. Cameron is a fool and will be wholly responsible for Miliband geeking his way into No.10 with his band of thinly veiled communist fellow travellers in 2015.

        You and the other “de-contaminators” will have contributed more to that end result than anyone standing up and pointing out that the Tory emperor has no clothes.

      • shaunthebrummie

        and you are a traitor to england….fuck the jocks…fuck the british….i would say fuck the queen…but that is stomach churning…just send her back to shitland…

    • Russell

      Cameron should have shut down all ship building and maintenance work in Scotland, which would have encouraged the jocks to clear off out of the UK. Good riddance to lot of them.

  • Greenslime

    The embedded sense of entitlement which seems endemic north of the Central Belt means that even if the referendum comes back with a no to independence the constant drip, drip, drip of the nationalist whining will eat away at our souls.

    Better that they go now. Get the divorce over and done with and get on with our separate lives. The English will be much better off for it.

    • AtMyDeskToday

      It will be an honour and a pleasure to describe you and your kind as foreigners.

      • Colonel Mustard

        You already do, don’t you? Or at least some of you. As far as I know there is no English equivalent to Sassenach. Your desire to differentiate and define Scots nationalism is understandable but let’s not pretend it does not embrace anglophobia and that in some cases that is the imperative for it.

        • HookesLaw

          Lets be realistic. Scotland was a separate country until 1603.
          But since then we have been in a union and we have all been better off for it.
          Before 1603 there was a long long history of dispute between us and indeed that includes a period after it during the English Civil War.

          if you cannot grow up how do you expect the Scots to?

          • asalord

            1715 1745-46

            • Wessex Man

              Mmm, me I always like to quote the date 1513 myself Mr Magoo.

              • asalord

                Gie us oor Jimmy’s heid back!

                • Wessex Man

                  Give us our money back 1888-1958- 1974-2013!

                • Eric McLean

                  Ridiculous. Scotland has been in surplus for the last 30 years. And you are charging us interest on a massive deficit.

                • Wessex Man

                  no you haven’t you’ve just been in surplus before the Barnett Formula is added to the sum spent in each nation.

                • Eric McLean

                  Scotland pays 9.9% and gets 9.3% back.

                  The Barnett formula is a complete red herring. Its a per capita payment.
                  And It should be higher in Scotland to accommodate the increased costs of infrastructure, education, transport and so on.

                  At the moment it is barely a payment that reflects the economic migration and neglect caused by Westminster. It has also been decreasing in real terms since the beginning (Barnett Squeeze)

                  Meantime, special projects like HS2 and London Sewage don’t have Barnett consequential?

                  In any case, London gets a greater per capita figure despite the population density.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  The UK’s structural deficit authored by the most catastrophic Chancellor in living memory and the eye-watering bad debts incurred by RBS and HBOS will of course be part of the severence package I assume.

                • Eric McLean

                  They certainly will. They will be divided according to inter nation statute, the same as oil and other assets and liabilities.
                  GCHQ must be worth a few billion?

                • shaunthebrummie

                  nobody is listening to gaelic speakers…you can have that department…and the queen…….

                • Eric McLean
                • shaunthebrummie

                  we’ve kept you for by your reckoning….270 years

                • Eric McLean

                  The only thing you have kept… is the dribble running out your mouth and down your chin shaunthebummie

                • shaunthebrummie

                  they all look the same….

              • shaunthebrummie

                Ah..flodden….the best day..the best result ever….chop..chop..chop…we should celebrate this ENGLISH victory…and remove any vestige of scottishness from the memorial….except a list of what jocks got topped…..

            • HookesLaw

              And do not try to pretend to me Scotland was united in 1745. 1745 laid the issue to rest in the same way that 1865 laid to rest the issue of American secession.

              But of course the point remains true that Scotland has a history as a separate country, more so than Ireland even.

              But there was a Union and it has been to our wider benefit and will continue to be a wider benefit. Bismark brought Germany together even more recently and I do not see anyone there suggesting it be split back into its component parts.

              • Tom Tom

                If you could spell Bismarck you might be in with a chance, but his
                problem was to stop the Habsburgs from keeping Germany disunited to
                please the French, much as the British used Texas independence to
                prevent the United States from becoming a bi-coastal power

              • rtj1211

                The Bavarians might disagree with you there. They are the Catalonia of Germany.

          • Colonel Mustard

            How on earth you manage to create an argument for me that I didn’t make and then abuse me for it is quite beyond comprehension.

            I don’t “expect” the Scots to “grow up”. I don’t “expect” them to do anything – it is not my place to. But if you think the present (and quite recent) wave of anglophobic Scots nationalism is rooted in an ongoing historical legacy of animosity you are even less perceptive than your comments suggest. It has been grown, deliberately, and encouraged by the stupidity of devolution which was dismantling the Union without dismantling the Union and evidently disastrous. And who was it who promoted and legislated for devolution?

            With “friends” like you the Tories don’t need enemies.

            • HookesLaw

              A lot of people who vote SNP do not believe in independence. the hatred of the English you put upon the Scottish is your invention.
              I repeat you are doing Salmond’s work for him.

              The level of hatred for just about everybody by the usual suspects seems to be ever expanding.

              • AtMyDeskToday

                “A lot of people who vote SNP do not believe in independence. ”
                Very true, many are sick of LibLabCon treating Scotland as a source of votes, a rotten borough, always for the good of the party rather than the people. That’s largely how we arrived where we are today.

              • Colonel Mustard

                “the hatred of the English you put upon the Scottish is your invention”

                Really? Pull the other one. I presume you did actually see the programme about the car with the St George flags?

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  “the programme about the car with the St George flags”

                  Did not see that programme, but I’m reading this thread which tells me more about the English than I care to know.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Which reinforces my impression of you, your prejudice and your original bile. And it is what YOU represent, not the Scots or even the SNP.

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  You **are** angry today! Was it something I said?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I am not angry at all. Banter aside my emotion is one of a slight sadness that a fellow countryman and Scot should welcome the opportunity to refer to me, a fellow countryman and Englishman, as a “foreigner”.

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  No, I would welcome the opportunity, should it come, to describe Greenslime and similar as foreigners simply for the distaste that he expresses for his fellow UK countrymen (believing at that post that he was not Scottish). Now that he has claimed to be Scottish himself my contempt for him grows to the level of contempt that he has shown for his fellow Scots. I will be voting YES next year but will continue to admire and respect all other races in the UK who return that feeling.

                • Wessex Man

                  so would I if I had been given a chance. It’s never ceased to amaze me that as Alex Salmond wants Independence he didn’t want England included in the referendum as a majrity of the English also want Scottish Independence, as against Scotland where the majority don’t!

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  I suspect our motives for voting would be different. I believe that Scotland can prosper and develop as an independent nation alongside and in co-operation with the other countries in the UK. In friendly harmony. We will welcome English immigrants who want to escape. You on the other hand betray a contempt for Scotland which is all too common in southern England. Especially among those who have never ventured north of the M25 and have no wish to do so.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  “Never ventured north of the M25” blah, blah, blah. I must be allowed to make contemptuous remarks about the English but reserve the right to be mortally offended if an Englishman dares to make any remark which I, in my exclusive opinion, deem to be disparaging toward Scotland.

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  I’m not offended. Are you?

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  See my earlier response. Not interested in Scotland, it’s people or your opinion.

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  Glad we cleared that up then.

                • shaunthebrummie

                  i.m not McPrick

                • Eric McLean

                  No.. you’re shaunthebummie

                  Everyone knows you.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Are you suggesting that a citizen of the UK should only be allowed to vote if you deem his/her ‘motives’ to be acceptable? The break up of a 300 year old institution is being proposed. An institution which incidentally, fought two World Wars and survived in addition to surmounting inumerable other crises and yet 52 million of its 60 million citizens will get absolutely no say in the matter. I am struggling to find a greater display of utter contempt than that being heaped on the rest of the UK by the people of Scotland.

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  Another angry Englishman shocked that the natives in the far north want to leave the club.

                • Wessex Man

                  You really are a fine example, I expect most in Scotland will be ashamed by your stupid racist remarks.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  No anger here old boy. I think the big mistake you and many of your countrymen make is believing that we English care. I feel no animosity or anger towards the Scottish people because you are an irrelevance to me. My preference would be for Scotland to secede from the Union because it would reduce the number of Labour MPs at Westminster but I am utterly indifferent to the future of Scotland and it’s people.

                • shaunthebrummie

                  well fuck off then….we’ll have a bill waiting…..

                • Wessex Man

                  You my friend actually know nothing about the various people you insulted today, it just so happens that I have family in Scotland and enjoy my visits to see them, though not as much in recent years, where twenty years ago it was the very rare insult I received now it quite a few.

                  What on earth are you prarttling on about English immigrants who want to ‘escape’ you foolish little person. We Englsih happen to love our country just as much as you love yours.

                • shaunthebrummie

                  you mean have the work of projects paid for by the non scot….piss off

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Are we different races then? I suspect not. That notion only seems to have developed with the large scale arrival of genuinely different races and the redefinition of our language by certain parties.

                • shaunthebrummie

                  you mean hoping to keep the scots hands in english pockets….i’m english and i’m not afraid to say i hate jocks…and the mess they have caused england.i would like to see all celts sent home and england as it was before the multicultural experiment…

                • Eric McLean

                  You are a racist and a bigot. Simple.

                • terregles2

                  That programme was exposed as a complete set up. The car was left in a really deprived area and was typical BBC manipulation. Only way you can be fair is to leave a car with Scottish flags in a highly deprived area of England and see what happens.
                  Indeed some areas of the UK a car will be vandalised with or without flags,

                • shaunthebrummie

                  with the driver in it…..

                • Jim Dallas

                  I saw that car, sitting outside a pub in Partick. They had to move it several times around the vast area of Glasgow before they found a group of yobs willing to oblige their agenda of it being vandalised.

              • Tom Tom

                A lot of people who vote Tory do not want Gay Marriage, Trebled Tuition Fees, Dismantling of the Armed Forces, attacks on Libya or Syria, or Sally Morgan as Chairman of OFSTED

              • Fergus Pickering

                You are just as wrong as the other fellow. Many Scots resent the English, some hate them. Have you ever lived in Scotland? If you have not then what do you know about it?

          • berosos_bubos

            Lets have some examples of how we are ‘better off’ then.

          • Tom Tom

            Scotland was a major component of the English Civil War…the Stuart Accession hardly improved matters……..nor did them having monarchs who seemed to be more French than Briton

          • Daniel Maris

            Let’s be realistic. Norway was in a union with Sweden for a long time till it won its independence in the first decade of the 20th century. Since then they’ve both done better alone.

            Which countries in the Austrian Empire want to revive that union?

            There is even less reason to have a mini-union when we are all bound to the European Union.

            Most Scots already think of themselves as separate. It’s purely a hard calculation now for the canny folk north of the border.

          • shaunthebrummie

            we english haven’t been better off…james 1…was the first of many selfserving jocks….

        • Eric McLean

          Nonsense. Speaking personally, i have a great affection for the English. So there is zero anglophobia. I have instead Westminphobia. Thats my imperative for Independence.

          • Colonel Mustard

            That’s just you that is. One person. Speaking personally I have a great affection for the Scots, although I realise that they are not composed of a single sentiment towards England or the Union. That is why I wrote “some of you”. . .

            • Eric McLean

              Generalisation and anecdotal evidence, the curse of truth and the brother of bigotry.

              You stated that Nationalism embraced Anglophobia. It doesn’t. Even the SNP don’t tolerate fear or hatred of the English. There are many English here who intend to vote YES.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Did I? Neither the comment I replied to nor my reply mentioned “Nationalism embracing Anglophobia”. The subject of the embrace was Mr AtMyDeskToday’s desire.

                In any case I think it more probably the case that Anglophobia has embraced Nationalism.

                • Eric McLean

                  “….Scots nationalism is understandable but let’s not pretend it does not embrace anglophobia and that in some cases that is the imperative for it…”

                  I think these are your words?!

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No, these are my words:-

                  “Your desire to differentiate and define Scots nationalism is understandable but let’s not pretend it does not embrace anglophobia and that in some cases that is the imperative for it.”

                  One sentence and one meaning. Not the partial sentence you have selected to convey a completely different meaning.

                • Eric McLean

                  Semantics… your meaning is clear to anyone who reads it.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                I would be very careful about introducing, however subtly, the term bigotry. It is very difficult to join a debate concerning devolution without employing a measure of intelligent generalisation and those on the other side of the argument are free to dispute such contentions. You are not however free to play the ‘bigotry’ or ‘racist’ cards to shut down honestly held opinions and to stifle debate. I visited Scotland for a Rugby international wearing no England Rugby colours or anything I deemed might antagonise the local populace. I sought no dialogue with Scots save for ordering drinks and meals and did everything possible to avoid causing offence. The foul mouthed and disgusting abuse myself and my friends incurred throughout our visit simply for being English was shameful. I do not, of course, ascribe this foul behaviour to all Scots but if somebody like Colonel Mustard wants to raise the issue of Anglophobia on this forum he should be able to do so without the sententious and sanctimonious jibes of bigotry from the likes of you.

                • Eric McLean

                  My comment still stands exactly as I wrote it. And if you have the wit to write this ascerbic reply, perhaps you’d adapt it to reading what was written.

                  There was zero jibes of any description from me. And I certainly never called anyone a bigot. 🙂

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I have read your original comment and stand by my response or is that a right you reserve only for yourself? It would also appear that more people agree with my interpretation than yours. Finally, it reinforces my view that England will lose nothing following its separation from Scotland and so apologies to all those Scots who believe that separation will inflict pain upon England. It will not. .

                • Eric McLean

                  Why would it be a ‘right I reserve for myself only?’ Rather sad and contrived response from you.

                  People were voting on the ascerbic nature of your comment, not on the accuracy of mine. Bitter and spiteful comments do tend to get ‘points’ …

                  How exactly do my comments reinforce your understanding on the position of England after independence?

                  Your answer and comments are entirely unconnected to what I wrote. Funny, you come across as a bitter angry man, lashing out on the subject of Scottish Independence. 🙂

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I am a very happy chappie actually. Scottish Independence is a matter of complete indifference to me. I have absolutely no interest in the future of Scotland and its people who may do as they wish. I am however, sick of the attitude of Scots towards my fellow Englishman as evidenced by my most recent visit to Scotland. You do not seem content with the prospect of leaving the Union and seem desperate to believe that your departure will, of itself, inflict pain on my country. It will not.

                • Eric McLean

                  You probably attract bad attitude by nature of your own. I had a quick trawl over your posts. I counted dozens where you call people imbeciles, idiots and socialist morons etc.

                  And again you use anecdotal evidence and sweeping generations to defend your, “…I am, however, sick of…”

                  Angry man? Not much.

                  You lash out at me, when I was neither rude or insulting. Then you attempt to turn it into an argument around your bitter biased interpretation of the Scottish psyche.

                  You hide under a schitzophrenic dickens character nom de plume and portray a supercilious superior attitude to other people.

                  Your attitude and anger speaks volumes.

                  You my friend, are a sad man. 🙂

                  I wish you well. And hope your ire improves.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Go and have a lie down before you burst.

                • terregles2

                  Well I wish all in England good luck and all the best after Scottish independence even if you don’t wish the same for Scotland.

                • shaunthebrummie

                  and tell all the fans of sevco…NO..NO..NO..they will never be wanted in english football…they’re crap…give it up and take up the scottish national sport………TOSSING

                • terregles2

                  Why on earth would we want to inflict pain on England. We have family and friends there and we have only goodwill towards English people. Why on earth would we wish you harm.?
                  We don’t like being governed from Westminster no more no less.

                • terregles2

                  If you were abused for being English I do hope that you and your friends reported it to the police.
                  There are strict laws against that type of abuse and the guilty would have been in court.
                  I am glad that none of my English neighbours here in Scotland have experieced anything like that but if they did they would have the perpetrators charged.

                • shaunthebrummie

                  Mc LIAR…..

                • Jim Dallas

                  a bit like when I ordered a drink in the pub across from Cheltenham railway station, I heard ‘Scottish pig’ from along the bar. Being on my own in a strange place I kept my mouth shut. You gets morons in every country, don’t attempt to class it a as national trait…

              • shaunthebrummie

                and they will be staying there…as scots…with no permission to enter england…absolutely no grandfather rights….all those scottish civil servants being sent back to shitland

                • Eric McLean

                  Guess what shaunthebummer, I plan to keep my British passport as well as my Scottish one. It’s called dual nationality. Best of both worlds eh?

                • Jim Dallas

                  and you’ll be perfectly entitled to refer to yourself as ‘british’, as is anyone from the island of Great Britain 😉

                • Eric McLean

                  And European…

                  By the way also 3% Neanderthal 🙂 http://www.23andme.com

                • shaunthebrummie

                  typical porridge wog…wants the best of both worlds…independence…but others pay for it…

                • Jim Dallas

                  the exodus will work both ways in your extremist vision, and some perhaps will need to board a ferry.

              • shaunthebrummie

                we sent them to vote you out…and fuck you off….next we send the bastards from england back HAME…….

                • Sean McDougall

                  Good oh. Clearly a genius.

            • terregles2

              I don’t know anyone here in Scotland who has anything against the English. Quite the reverse. They are against Westminster government but then so are many of my friends who live in England.

              • shaunthebrummie

                you are the biggest liar….

                • Eric McLean

                  shaunthebummer, I don’t think its polite to call someone a liar

                • shaunthebrummie

                  its not….when they are…..

          • Fergus Pickering

            Of course there is not zero anglophobia. I lived in Scotland as a child and suffered from it. The default setting for Scots is resentment. They resent the English simply because we are there, and they doubly resent us because it is not reciprocal. Put simply, we don’t much care what you do. Suit yourselves, but do shut up about it..

            • Eric McLean

              Read my post again. I was talking about myself personally.

            • Eric McLean

              If there is resentment its due to Westminster hegemony, not the English per se. But you are coming across as rather bitter.

              • shaunthebrummie

                i dont know you…but i’d like to punch you….how about that…you porridge wog…..concise and straight to the point..

                • Sean McDougall

                  Shaunthebummer …. I think I am falling in love with you. You are so endearing.

        • Ringstone

          Welsh – from the Old English “welisk” back to proto germanic “walhaz”, all meaning roughly “foreign”. Hence also Walloon, Wallachia and Vlachs. Welsch is still used in Swiss German as a mildly pejorative name for Italian and French speakers.
          Sassenach, obviously enough, comes from the word Saxon.

          • Colonel Mustard

            The point being? I don’t think the English habitually refer to themselves as Sassenach do they? That is a defining of other with connotations.

            • Ringstone

              The question you asked was if there was an equivalent word in English – welsh it is. If you want to add the connotation it’s “grasping whinging teuchter” – but for that you need to borrow from lallans.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Thank you. Understood. But I have never heard Scots being referred to as “Welsh” by English people in a pejorative sense.

        • Ian McKellar

          “Sassenach” is a term of abuse used by Gaelic speaking Scots against Lowlands Scots. It comes from the word “Saxon”

        • terregles2

          We are far from being Anglophobic. Most of us have English friends and family and many English people living in Scotland are campaiging for a YES vote. You may not think calling another nation sweaty socks or jocks is friendly but many of us would disagree.
          I have never called anyone a sassenach nor would I but it is the Gaelic word for a Saxon and not as insulting as being called a jock or sweaty sock.

          • shaunthebrummie

            and we english want you and the other self serving,jocks on the make in england to leave….we prefer porridge wog…

      • Greenslime

        actually I’m Scottish – and from almost as far north as you can go (which includes the need to cross some water). It is the ingrained racism which, to use your phrase, you and your kind, exhibit which makes me think that the English are better off without Scotland.

        As ColonelMustard says, you already see the English as foreigners and nothing that could be said or done would remove the bile from your mind.

        • AtMyDeskToday

          You appear to be displaying more bile than almost anyone on this thread.

          • Colonel Mustard

            No, you did, with your very first comment. If I referred to my Scots colleagues and friends as “foreigners”, or at least expressed a desire to refer to them as such, they would rightly be offended. You dish it out and then take umbrage when it is shovelled back at you.

            • AtMyDeskToday

              I simply refer you to Greenslime’s first post for a lesson in bile.
              You mistake casual insouciance for umbrage.

              • Colonel Mustard

                I mistake nothing. Your prejudice is apparent in every comment you have so far made. Genuine insouciance would not keep you biting as you do.

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  Check the mirror, you’re turning red with rage.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No, you would just like to think that I am. I am just setting the record straight, calmly and without animosity.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  And you have lost the argument.

            • Maidmarrion

              Colonel , we are being fed ” foreigners” should we have the temerity to vote Aye by some very silly English and Scots MPs.

              Bleating from some unsavoury characters in the press about how they wouldn’t want their children to be foreigners because that’s what they’d be if Scotland votes for independence.

              Utter ordure !

              Border patrols ( usually in the wrong place) have been mooted – seems we have some very parochial stay at home politicos who never travel on the continent of Europe ,crossing half a dozen countries with never a border patrol in evidence.

              The media has aided and abetted in misinformation big time.

              Incidentally to all those squealing about the Clyde shipyard versus Portsmouth roughly the same number of jobs have vanished from both leaving around 900 folk out of work at each site and so many families in dire straits at this time of year.

              It seems BAE were intent on closing Portsmouth at least a year ago,

              “Portsmouth’s historic dockyard under threat as defence company considers mothballing 800 years of history

              By Ian Drury, Defence Correspondent
              UPDATED: 07:37, 23 January 2012

              Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2090386/Portsmouths-historic-dockyard-threat-defence-company-considers-mothballing-800-years-history.html#ixzz2k96lQmFL

        • Ringstone

          If that makes you a Shetlander and people are jumping ship I’d ask to revert to 1469 and go with Norway. It’s historic, it’s only an extra hundred miles to Oslo than to Edinburgh,and instead of Wee Eck making policy on the hoof [EU in, out or maybe? Currency, Sterling, Euro or Groat] and hosing money around like a drunken sailor they’ve got sound government and a massive Sovereign Wealth Fund. What’s not to like?

          • Greenslime

            🙂

            Wrong side. Lewis. But we have plenty of Norse history too.

            • Ringstone

              Duff briefing – you said almost as far North as you could go ;P

    • Eric McLean

      You are correct on two counts. Independence will never go away, and BOTH England and Scotland will be the better for it.

      The rest of your comments are sad and frankly offensive.

    • ButcombeMan

      As someone whose heritage straddles both places I can see why that is a view, easy to slip into, if one lives in the south.

      I do not agree though,

      I have not given up on the common sense of the Scots.

      I think Salmon the most odious rabble-rouser and racist, I am not prepared to let him manipulate me as he manipulates some Scots .

      The great sadness to me is that Cameron does not have more leadership qualities on this issue.

      • Maidmarrion

        FFS if you cannot get the mans name right why should anyone give any credence to the drivel you write?
        I doubt if you have ever heard the elected First Minister speak ,I doubt if you are aware he has the highest rating of any UK politician.
        In fact I doubt that you have anything worthy to say on the subject of Scots , Scotland or the SNP – basically because you are ignorant of anything happening in Scotland.
        As a matter of interest WHY would you wish to hang on to us?

        • ButcombeMan

          “As a matter of interest WHY would you wish to hang on to us?”

          I don’t .

          It is matter of indifference for me personally. it will hardly affect me. I do buy my power from Scottish Power but will probably not, next time I review it. I do think Scotland is being sold a pup and I have many friends there who broadly say that. I would prefer the Union to remain intact because I believe Scotland will suffer it it breaks away.

          Scotland already has many adverse factors, distance from other markets, climate, health, longevity, poor diet, drug abuse, alcoholism, tobacco smoking, which deprive many Scots of the living standards in southern England. None of those things improve by independence.

          I cannot see why (as was mentioned in AQ today) many Scots want to move away from the UK market and embed themselves even closer with the EU.

          • terregles2

            You don’t paint a very attractive picture of Scotland do you.? Incredible that a country that had an oil bonanza in the 1970’s 80’s and 90’s can be left in such a poor and run down condition.
            Makes you wonder where all the oil wealth was spent?
            Still never mind Sir Ian Wood the Aberdeen oil industry expert has confirmed that we now have the technology to extract a further £200 billion worth of oil from the North sea.
            On top of that when Scotland is independent in 2014 and Trident is removed from the Holy Loch we can restart the oil exploration on the Firth of Clyde. The Ministry of Defence blocked that exploration as it would interfere with safety where they store the nuclear arsenal. It seems the west coast of Scotland is also oil rich. Scotland though is wealthy even if we did not have oil we have so many other natural resources.
            No wonder the Westminster government are getting a bit twitchy about the thought of Scottish independence.
            Scotland has been mismanged by incompetent government from Westminster for long enough. Time to take control of our own wealth.

        • ButcombeMan

          Salmond (and please excuse my earlier typo) is in my view a racist rabble-rouser.

          He is misleading many Scots, he wants 16 year olds to vote because he thinks they will be more impressionable than older & wiser heads. But you know that.

          He is selling you a pup. An independent Scotland will be poorer than it would otherwise be. Like Ireland for a century, it will be sucking on Englands hind teat. It’s best people will still, like Ireland’s, in many cases, emigrate to England. With the slightest glitch in your economy even more will be off.

          Multinationals will have to be bribed to invest in Scotland (Unless they are exploiting your national resources). If they are exploiting your national resources the money will still be handled through London. The profits will be distributed to mainly UK shareholders because that is where the main wealth is held. Lots of your taxes will go on functions that currently you do not even think about. Running a country that is not to be almost a forgotten backwater, will be expensive.

          When you have decided what currency you are going to have, if it is not sterling, there will be a flight of capital and savings. If you use sterling, your economy and interest rates will still be controlled by London. These are things that Salmond does not tell you.

          Actually he has waffled about your currency and about EU membership. And yes, if the EU does let you in, you will be gripped like a vice in a way the UK cannot be, because of our special circumstances. You will be at the mercy of the EU machine, vulnerable enough to become northern Europe’s Greek economy equivalent. Vulnerable to every EU order and too weak and inconsequential to do anything about it. You will be crushed in negotiations by your very tiny size.

          Vote the wrong way and all this will come to pass. I do not say all this with joy. I still believe/hope that, the Scots will see through Salmond”s rhetoric

          • shaunthebrummie

            we close the border to scots..welsh and paddies….english get priority in everything….

            • Eric McLean

              A drunken Irishman claiming to be English! hahahaha

              • shaunthebrummie

                i’m not irish…i’ve never blown a pub up in my life..i work and i dont live in a caravan or rob OAP’s as paddies are want to…

      • terregles2

        You seem to be forgetting how many non SNP supporters are campaigning for a YES vote,.
        The groups seem to be growing every day we have Labourforindy, Women for independence, Scottish Business for independence, Pensioners for Independence, Jimmy Reid Foundation, Trade Unions for independence and many other groups. They do not support the SNP but support Scottish independence.
        There is no logical reason why Scotland should not be an independent country like almost every other country in the word.
        Cameron is doing the right thing by not leading on this issue. If he became more vocal the YES vote would increase. His government is very unpopular in Scotland.

      • shaunthebrummie

        scots are always on the make….a race of parasites…we should have let them starve after their great darien scheme….PMSL

    • Rocksy

      Be careful. We have the nuclear warheads and Trident.

  • swatnan

    Its time to open a discussion on Federalism. Yes , keep the Union, but lets have greater autonomy for the Scots Welsh, N Irish, and yes an English Parliament.
    That should deal with the West Lothian Question once and for all. Of course the Federal Parliament would deal with the home important issues of Defence and Security and Nationalised Rail, and Water and Energy Industries, rather like the German Federal System. WE could also do with Regional Govt as well.

    • Colonel Mustard

      The last thing we want is more government. There is plenty enough already.

      • swatnan

        The days of being ruled by a monolithic Westminster/SE centric Govt are way gone; devolution is what people want, and more localism. ‘more govt’ actually means decisions being taken at a more local and regional level by elected members. To deny them that is to stand in the way of progress.

        • James Strong

          More government means that aspiring politicians, with ego and self-serving ambition, who can’t get selected for a seat in Westminster will aim for a seat in a regional assembly. If they get there they will find or create things to do and the level of intereference in the lives of ordinary people will increase.
          That’s not a good thing.

          • swatnan

            You could stop that at a stroke by barring anyone being members of a Parish or District or Borough or County or Regional or MEP or MP Parliaments simultaneously. I agree, some people are on a nice little earner, and think they are Gods gift to politics. But stop them by barring them. So eg, if Boris becomes an MP he must step down as Mayor.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Yeah, right. Devolution usually means more local nepotism and cronyism, more political interference in things that should not be political and more fixing of things that aren’t broken at an increasing taxpayers expense. We shouldn’t be “ruled” at all, except by HM The Queen. Our parliaments are supposed to represent us and our local government to serve our needs. Only in recent years has this concept of multi-tiered and ever expanding government to “rule” us been trotted out, mainly it seems as a result of exporting from Europe the Napoleonic code and other bad governmental practices that we largely successfully resisted for about a thousand years. Don’t conflate “progress” with devolved government which just means expanding government into your back yard and ultimately your bedroom.

          The “local” decisions will be mandated by the central ones as Westminster is now largely mandated by Brussels. Forgetting our history of proud freedom from the interference of government we are now being conned into embracing more of the “locally elected” government you advocate. As Gorbachev said “The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.”

          “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers…. The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.” (Aldous Huxley)

          Unfortunately many of the modern British seem to see government as a crutch and a necessary arbiter to tell them how to live their lives in ever increasing detail. Nice work if you can get it – and plenty do – but unsustainable in the long run as the Soviets discovered. I guess I’m a libertarian. Not consciously though but just because I embrace old English values of and beliefs in essential freedom from being “ruled”. Being required to elect more lawmakers in areas where there was never “rule” is hardly progress.

          • HookesLaw

            I should be attending a local meeting next week about our local plan. This planning change involving more localism was brought about by this govt (and the tory end of it).

            I suppose I and others should be grateful that there are people willing to give of their time to deal with these matters. This is the issue – people predominantly are not interested though all too often willing to complain.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Correct. I want to live my life with as little interference from “lawmakers” and would-be celebrity meddlers as possible. I am always suspicious of those who wish to set themselves up over their fellow men, especially when they couch the ambition in philanthropic terms and tell me it is for my own good. I have no desire to meddle in anyone else’s life or to tell them how much food they can throw away – for example. I once attended one of the “local” plan sessions and it was clear that the whole thing had been hi-jacked by political ideologues and other assorted busybodies, mostly of left-wing or “progressive” persuasion.

              If such as those did not meddle and interfere in my (and others) right to live in inherited freedom and free of their increasing interference, red tape and bureaucracy I should have little to complain of anyway. A pox on all of them.

              • HookesLaw

                Find another planet then.
                Presumably one where anarchy rules.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I should not need to find another planet. I was born here, free in a free country with a long tradition and constitution of personal freedom from government. Why should I up sticks and move just because a load of professional wonk politicians, lawyers, grievance merchants and sundry other busybodies, meddlers and agenda pushers have usurped that freedom and decided that they know what is best for me.

                  Let me tell you this, “de-contaminator”, when I was a young man there was no anarchy here and far less government. But there is plenty of anarchy now with far more government. One of the great deceits of you and fellow “de-contaminators” is that things are better now and you tend to re-write history to justify that boast.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Colonel Mustard, you are being got at. You talk more sense on this thread than anyone else. Except me of course

              • rtj1211

                So you’d rather throw lots of food away and not spend it on other local businesses, just to prove how minimal interference minded you are?

                Your right of course, but I do hope you ponder on whether local unemployment might decrease if you allocated your assets more wisely…..

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I don’t think I said I’d rather throw lots of food away did I? There is a world of difference in not throwing food away because one determines for oneself that it is waste and being told by a busybody not to waste food. As for patronising local businesses why on earth should I need some government bod to tell me to do that? Free choice – but it is being overridden on the basis of pandering to the ignorant and infantile.

          • Wessex Man

            Whilst you are a 100% correct, lets’ pay for an English Parliament by doing away with the House of Lords, second in size only to the Chinese ‘Parliament’ which just debates and does nothing about the Commons decisions. The Cabinets that have self appointed themselves in the County Councils and cut the United Kindom Government to 200, even the Yanks manage on that!

        • rtj1211

          I actually read an interesting commentary on the emergence of organised crime in the UK and the US, where it was posited that the reason the UK was relatively free of the organised crime endemic in parts of the USA was the strong central government as opposed to the highly diffuse nature of US government.

          Not saying I know the truth on that matter, but it’s a thought to bear in mind….

      • HookesLaw

        Yes again I agree. How much would an English parliament cost? What quality of ‘EMPs’ would we end up with?

        • Andy

          Well what is YOUR solution to the ‘West Lothian Question’ ? Perhaps devolution should have been properly thought out in the first place rather than merely been considered by the Labour Party.

          • swatnan

            Quite simply, if the Scots and Irish MPs stayed away, we’ve got our English (and Welsh) Parliament, without introducing another elected tier.

            • Andy

              Yes. But what happens if a Government is formed with a majority of Scottish MPs and a minority of English MPs ? Would, for example, the Secretary of State for Health (an English only office) be a Conservative (because the Conservatives hold a majority of English Seats) while the Prime Minister is Labour because they have a majority if you add in Scots and Welsh members ? That is the problem and it is a very real problem.

            • Wessex Man

              why are you including thw Welsh? they have their own assembly!

        • rtj1211

          The theory would go is that an English Parliament would have the same constituencies as used for the current HOC, whereas a Federal UK Parliament would be new and should have no more than 200 elected representatives, perhaps fewer.

          The English Parliament would be solely concerned with domestic issues, administering agreed budgets but having choices on how to spend them.

          The UK Federal Parliament would cover defence, foreign affairs and all projects involving multiple members of the UK (e.g. transport infrastructure, UK airspace etc).

          Salaries in an English Parliament would run from backbench MP salary up to £100k.

          Salaries in the UK Parliament would run from £80k to £200k.

          A new English Parliament would be located outside London and would be designed with the 21st century in mind, not the 15th. It would be located near national transport hubs and have accommodation built next door, suitable for MPs but not suitable as familial accommodation.

          Where you locate a UK Parliament would be up in the air. Some would say where it is now, I’d prefer a new place.

          All up in the air of course, but it wouldn’t cost much more, in fact if you outsourced the domestic spending departments out of London, the savings would be so huge that the overall cost of Government wouldn’t increase.

    • rtj1211

      That’s what the RDAs were supposed to be precursors for. The Tories abolished them!

      The referenda on regional Parliaments delivered a NO outcome.

  • Swiss Bob

    Cameron is Scottish, like Brown and Blair before him.

    More fool the English for letting Parliament be overrun by foreigners and not just the Scotch!

    • AtMyDeskToday

      Judging by the amount of whisky that is sold in Westminster I would certainly agree that parliament is overrun with Scotch. You meanwhile are not overrun with an understanding of the English language.

      • Michele Keighley

        Ah! you must have the early shift, the rest of the nationals rent-a-crowd coming on duty later then, when they’ve left the Guardian CiF? Tell them to hurry upm old chap, I haven’t seen a cut and paste from GERS for at least … an hour or so….

        • AtMyDeskToday

          Is that the best you can do dearie? Frankly I would rather go to the dentist for root canal treatment than read the Guardian, or for that matter contribute to CiF. Good try but really rather pathetic.

      • Swiss Bob

        See above.

        • AtMyDeskToday

          Well I’ve certainly seen you off.

          • Wessex Man

            cant you expand on that what have you done you hero to ‘see off SwissBob?’

    • HookesLaw

      Cameron was born in London and brought up in Berkshire. His father was born in Aberdeen and his mother seems to have a strong English heritage. His great great great grandfather seems to be of German/Jewish descent.

      You might just as well complain that the Dukle of Wellington was Irish and we all know what he said about that.

      Our Parliament is British I am british. You come across as an idiot. I guess as long as you see yourself as an Aryan idiot you would not be bothered.

      • Swiss Bob

        So he’s Scotch then.

        the term Scotch has also been used for the Scottish people, though this usage is current primarily outside Scotland.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scot

        Given most people’s reactions to your comments you don’t come across too well yourself, always the insults to anyone who disagrees with you, typical socialist.

        • Andy

          Well Miliband is Polish.

          • Tom Tom

            No more than Nigel Lawson is Lithuanian or Oliver Letwin American or Russian or Winston Churchill and Harold Macmillan American

            • Andy

              Both of Miliband’s parents were Polish. They became British. Nigel Lawson’s grandfather was Lithuanian but became British in 1911. Oliver Letwin’s mother was American, as was Churchill’s and Macmillan’s. That makes them half American. Still makes Miliband Polish.

              • Wessex Man

                oh come on Andy where are we going here Winston Churchill was half American, give it a rest.

            • Wessex Man

              and Michael Portillo is S[anish but does that have to do with this debate?

      • Tom Tom

        Most British Army generals appear to have been from The Ascendancy if not Ireland

    • Fergus Pickering

      Oh come. Cameron has many faults but being Scottish is not one of them. By the way, why do the Scots so object to being Scotch?.

      • Swiss Bob

        why do the Scots so object to being Scotch

        No idea considering they’re usually full of it!

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