Coffee House The View from 22

Podcast: Breaking up Britain, can Labour win the election and Cameron’s quango enemies

6 February 2014

6 February 2014

Despite the unionists’ polling lead, is the future of the United Kingdom in peril? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Alex Massie and Matthew Parris discuss why Alex Salmond is still on course to have his way in the upcoming Scottish independence referendum. Why would a no vote in September not be the final answer? Are the unionist parties ready for a ‘nerverendum’ if they win in September? And which side should listeners put a bet on?

Marcus Roberts and James Forsyth also discuss whether Labour and Ed Miliband are up to winning the next general election. Although the Labour leader has plans for the country, is he able to tackle his party’s internal issues? Are there too many hands trying to create an election strategy? And will chief strategist Douglas Alexander be their saving grace?

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Plus Fraser Nelson looks back at David Cameron’s failure to have a proper quango bonfire, how this week’s row over who runs quangos has dominated the news and why the Environment Agency should be scrapped.

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Show comments
  • Terry Field

    Either way, the phalanx of Scottish socialist MPs will be moving out of Westminster in the near future.
    A no vote would trigger a fully devolved Sccottieland and the W.L. question would require the haggis eating reds to sod off north. Dragging their deep fried M bars with them.

  • Bonkim

    It will be a pity and a sad loss but the Scots should have their say on the Union. I also like Salmond although don’t have much time for nationalistic politics.

  • Cymrugel

    I have never been able to take Parris seriously on Scottish Issues since an incredibly catty little speech he gave on home rule on Breakfast TV way back in the 1980s.
    They sued to have a small spot where a public figure would give a little sermon on a topical issue and he was a frequent flyer
    Then gist was that England had militarily defeated Scotland, subjugated her and taken everything of value from her so she was free to go if she wished and good riddance. He spoke as one would from the view of a violator to a rape victim – contemptuous and unrepentant.
    It was an astonishingly nasty little rant from this effete little man and I have never forgotten it.

    • justejudexultionis

      So he is a typical southern English Tory, then?

  • asalord

    The people of Scotland have never been allowed to express their views in a vote or referendum about the union with England.
    The current Scottish government is now allowing the people of Scotland to speak; for that alone they deserve much credit.
    I believe the people will vote for Scotland to regain its independence, no amount of unionist lies and scaremongering will deny them that result.
    At last, after more than three centuries, this unfair, prejudiced political union between Scotland and England is coming to an end.

    • CharlietheChump

      Goodbye, we wish you well with your fully thought through and costed plans.

      • asalord

        Thank you, CharlietheChump, for your support.
        The debate needs more calm, considerate views as stated by your good self.

    • sir_graphus

      Nor have the English people been given a choice. Given that the referendum is no longer about a clean break, but a new, different relationship between England and Scotland, why are only the Scottish people being asked if they approve of it?
      If you want to go, go. But if you want the English taxpayer to stand behind your debts (as Salmond is expecting), then it’s no longer a question for Scots alone.

      • Paul Bethune

        All UK debts will be honoured by the Treasury as they stated in January. It is for Westminster to negotiate with Scotland on a settlement of that debt.

      • albertcooper

        The Scottish Salmon wants all the benefits of the Union without any of the penalties

        • terregles2

          There are no benefits in sending all our revenue to Westminster to be squandered by the incompetent government. There are no benefits for Scotland in the union that is why we wish independence.

          • albertcooper

            Have you heard of the “Barnett Formula” not liked or desired by the English.

            • terregles2

              Most Scots dislike the Barnett formula probably more than the English. It is ludicrous that Scotland sends all our revenue to Westminster and then waits for Westminster to send us pocket money back via the Barnett formula.
              Scotland raises high revenue from our exports and natural resources of Textiles. Hydro power, Renewables, Whisky, Food exports, Oil, Mechanical Engineering, Minerals, Gas, Tourism, Electronics, Technology, Fisheries, Chemicals etc.
              Cameron is many things but he is not stupid. Do you seriously believe that Cameron would be urging Scots to vote no in September if he was not making a profit from Scottish resources?

              • albertcooper

                No David Cameron believes as I do that unity is strength,period.
                The Scottish nation receives far more back with the Barnett Formula from England,than is supposedly paid to the exchequer,by Scotland.
                For me if Scotland leaves the union I will shed no tears as most English folk.

                • terregles2

                  So you are saying that Cameron believes that keeping hold of Scotland when it is a drain on the English economy makes England a stronger country. Are you claiming that Cameron is quite mad.?

                • Eddie

                  You really don’t get this unity thing do you laddie?
                  Plenty of areas and regions which cost the southern English money – Liverpool and the north, Wales, Devon and Cornwall. But unless we go back to city states that is sort of how countries work!
                  We are better together.
                  Your thinking is silly, short-termist, and blatantly jingoistic really.

                • terregles2

                  No Eddie you are right I don’t get this unity thing at all. You tell me that Scotland spoils democracy in England by inflicting Labour governments on the English people against their wishes. You then tell me that the English taxpayers subsidise Scottish people.You also say that Scotland gets far too much attention.
                  When Scottish people then advocate Scottish independence and stop being a burden to England you then say NO NO we are better together stop being blatantly jingoistic.
                  You are so right. I really don’t get this unity thing.

                • Eddie

                  Your thinking is short term and chauvinistic.
                  It would be financially better for southern England to declare independence from the north and Wales and Scotland. It does not because we are BETTER TOGETHER in all ways. That is sort of how countries work.
                  Look at other countries – in France they have regions and until 100 years ago most there did not even speak French, Ditto with Italy, Germany is a 19th century creation. And China realises that unity is strength – because it so clearly is (and oddly the EU-licking SNP seems to want to be part of a country called Europe too – so how exactly is that ‘independence’. That is just replacing one subsidising state with another!)

                • terregles2

                  You are comparing southern England and Scotland. Comparing an area of England with another ancient country is a bit like comparing apples with pears.
                  Scotland is an ancient nation that has only been united with England since 1707. We still have our own education system Church of Scotland our own legal system. Comparing us with regions in England illustrates how much Scottish Independence is needed.

              • Eddie

                You are like Salmond in that you can’t do the maths.
                Scotland gets 10% more public spending than England. You get a big old profit out of the union – with oil included.
                Wanting the union to stay is nothing to do with making profit. AND it is nothing to do with Cameron versus Salmond – or shouldn’t be.

                • terregles2

                  Government figures show that Scotland is not subsidised by England. Have you read the GERS figures or the McCrone report.
                  I agree thougfh it is not all about money there are many other factors the main one being self respect. I do not like living in a country that is told that they are subsidised by England especially as it is untrue.
                  Independence will be much better for Scotland.

                • Eddie

                  Don’t be so ridiculous! If you live under the delusion that at present Scotland actually subsidises England, then you are in for one heck of a shock if you do become independent and your accountant calls you in for some bad news…
                  Wales, NI, Scotland are subsidised by England – and northern English cities are subsidised by southern England. Facts, dear boy, facts. Sorry if you don’t like them, but really, grow a backbone man and man up – they are the facts.
                  You are clearly very insecure if you think that Scotland needs independent for you to have self respect. Most Scots I know wouldn’t recognise what you are talking about – but maybe they are more educated and well-travelled than provincial tub thumping jingoists like you eh?

                • terregles2

                  If England subsidises Scotland we must end this unfairness. It is another reason why we will vote YES in September.

          • Eddie

            Nope, if Scotland goes independent you’ll be sending it to Hollyrood for them to squander. Before the IMF gets called in, that is.
            The fact is, if it wasn’t for English cash, Scotland would not only be poorer but bankrupt, esp after the RBS fiasco. Remember too the massive investment of English taxpayers’ money in north sea oil. A rebate would be due if Scotland goes independent.
            The sheer ignorance of the Scottish people about their finances is astounding – Salmond is betting on continued ignorance, and that is why he is appealing to the heart not the head, and to short term thinking as he tried to make this a choice between him and Cameron – which it isn’t!

        • Eddie

          Indeed. Cherry-picking the best bits and then still expecting English/Welsh cash to save RBS and fund Scottish care homes and students, plus having Sterling, plus the monarchy, plus EU membership, plus massive subsidy and loads of British state and defence jobs.
          The UK government and the Bank of England should make the reality 100% – because many Scots seem think enough to believe the pure fantasy and lies dribbled by that devout racist Salmond.
          Weirdly, many Scots like him and this whole vote has become some nasty silly personality contest – as if it’s a vote between Salmond’s one man party SNP and English Tory landowners. If the Scots are thick enough to believe that, they deserve to be cut loose – then we can all watch their currency devalue, their economy crash, the IMF get called in etc.

          • terregles2

            Tony Blair was voted in on a landslide victory he had a majority of 179 seats. He would have been in governemnt in Westminster even if Scotland has been independenct.

            • Eddie

              Yes, but there have been many other elections won by Labour with small majorities – the late 70s Wilson government, for example. Maybe even 2010. And it may happen again if, as predicted, the union stays intact.
              These things do matter – and the English have had to abide by democracy and a nation with less than 10% of the UK population deciding who their leaders are. So the Scots blubbing that they have had Tory governments (and thus have benefitted from an improved economy often enough) can hardly complain. That is sort of how it works. The alternative is to get rid of countries and have city states.
              Now they have to put up with blatant discrimination, as Scottish and EU students get university fees paid but English and Welsh students at Scottish unis do not. Oh how that old slimeball bigot Salmond loves that! The man is utterly untrustworthy and his motivation is starkly racist, frankly. His popularity shows the Scottish people in a very bad light.

              • terregles2

                We are certainly in agreement. England should be an independent country to ensure that England always has the government that it votes for. It is only fair.
                Many people who have never voted SNP are voting YES in September there are now more parties than SNP campaigning for YES. Many YES campaigners have been puzzled by Cameron campaigning for no as he gets so few votes from Scotland.
                Still after September all these questions might not matter anyway,

                • Eddie

                  Yes, but many people are not short-termists like you, thinking about party politics, who happens to be in number 10 right now, or see everything in terms of victimhood-craving conspiracy theories about the English supposedly wanting to diddle Scotland.

                  Listen – this is bigger than that. It is about a union which has in effect been in position for over 1000 years being undone. That is opening a Pandora’s box for Scotland. It leave Wales and NI isolated.

                  It may well indeed profit England in many ways to split – but Cameron, Gordon Brown and many others see the long-term picture. I hope the Scots do. If they do leave (maybe 40% want to) they will rue the day and can’t expect the English to bail them out ever again. Many SNP fantasists think they can sever the link from what they see as bad things in the union whilst keeping the good things. No, No, No. We shall nae let yer, laddie! You want out – the GO and expect no cash or help from the English/Welsh ever again. I shall expect mass sacking of Scots by the UK government and the BBC too.

                • terregles2

                  Well if you are warning us against Scottish independence on the basis that England will not bail us out, that must mean you believe that England subsidises Scotland.
                  If England was subsidising Scotland that would be grossly unfair on England and I hate injustice.
                  In order to end the unfairness I will be voting YES in September that is the only fair decision to make for England.

    • Cyril Sneer

      If Scotland leaving the union results in less support for Labour then you have my support.

    • Wessex Man

      We can only hope, but I’m afraid that too many Scots are more canny than you.

    • Eddie

      ‘The people of Scotland have never been allowed to express their views in a vote or referendum about the union with England.’
      And nor have the English, or Welsh.
      A sort of oily, self-righteous elf-pity seems to be the national sport of Scotland these days.

  • London Calling

    It looks like we will be heading for another hung parliament come the next election, the country is divided………. As long as Cameron continues to make the right choice at the right time, he may win favour……….As for the Scots, why on earth would they want to separate from the United Kingdom is beyond me, don’t they know which side their bread is buttered………….:)

    • asalord

      The bread is stale and the “butter” is low-grade margarine.

  • David Lindsay.

    The picture shows Cameron looking down on Salmond in imperious gesture.
    This is correct for the British PM and will remain so after the referendum.
    As such Westminster will retain the Scottish Labour MP’s enhanced by the SNP gllon and we will see at least 10 Glorious British Years.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Trade mission finish early, telemachus?

      • Kitty MLB

        Is David Lindsey actually Telemachus?
        Good heavens.

        • Colonel Mustard

          This David Lindsay is.

          • Kitty MLB

            I am quite flabbergasted by this Colonel.
            Although I have only been posting here for a few weeks,
            I have been posting at ConservativeHome for a couple
            of years, and so has David Lindsay.
            A quiet, serious and respectful man, who just
            produces productive posts and not too tribal-
            he also never really involves himself in debates very often.
            David Lindsay as never exchanged a post with me.
            In every account Telemachus is completely different
            in character…Good God !

            • Colonel Mustard

              Telemachus sometimes posts as David Lindsay. There is another David Lindsay. The relationship between the real David Lindsay and Telemachus is obscure

    • MichtyMe

      Perhaps asking Salmond’s advice on how to whack Labour, if Cameron had Salmond’s share of the vote he would have 600 on the benches behind him.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Cameron was just too pusillanimous to do the Conan that this country sorely needed in 2010:-

    “To crush your (Labour) enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their (Labour quango) women.”

  • Iain Hill

    For Gods sake, see the potential break up of the UK as an opportunity, not a “peril”. This is a broken society, catering only for financial and other elites, with no democratic voice for the people, hollowed out political parties, and a non constitution which favours only corporate interests at the expense of the poor. Action on a willing basis will surely forestall disruption at a later date.

    • Colonel Mustard

      You missed out the vast suffocating blob of the left wing champagne socialist elite in that summary, living it high on taxpayer subsidies whilst peddling strife and factionalism.

      • dalai guevara

        For ever and ever will you go on and on about irrelevancies.
        Where is LABOUR in that picture? It isn’t.

        This is between YOU and the SNP. YOU are about to lose. YOU will be blamed forever and ever till the end of days for losing Scotland.
        YOU Thatcherites, just to rub it in.
        Now go irrigate my backside with Champagne since you are so obsessed by it.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Calm down fräulein. About the picture it not just is.

          No Englishmen would write “irrigate my backside”.

          • dalai guevara

            Ja? Watt wood day right?
            “Irrigate my colon with Sekt?”
            Perhaps you are write their.

      • terregles2

        Suffocating blob living high on taxpayers subsidies. Sounds more like the House of Lords.

    • albertcooper

      Scottish Salmon you can keep him !

      • allymax bruce

        We will!

    • justejudexultionis

      So true. The time has come for a constitutional revolution in this country.

  • Kitty MLB

    Test

    • Coffee House the Wall

      Yes Test.

      Test out real issues:

      Greenwich District Council,which includes Woolwich,has declined to establish a memorial to Lee Rigby inspite of 12,000 requests.

      This is the same district which has a memorial at the place Steve Lawrence died.

      Radford NG
      February 5th, 2014 – 23:10
      http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/the-coffee-house-wall-3rd9th-february/

      • Eddie

        Yes, and let us not forget that Greenwich University is where the two killers of Lee Rigby studied and that many universities (usually former polys) turn a blind eye to Islamic extremism and the radicalisation of Muslim youth on campus – all in the name of equality and diversity.
        A dark skin and a religion will make you immune to criticism in such places. The killers of Lee Rigby would have felt vindicated by latent support for their world view at their alma mater.
        These universities have to share the blame for homegrown terrorism – their negligence (at best) and support for Islamism (caused by leftwing hatred of Israel, at worst) has led to scores of deaths. The 7/7/ bombers were all UK university students.

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