Coffee House

Salmond finally works out how to wind up Darling

26 August 2014

6:20 PM

26 August 2014

6:20 PM

One of the many blows landed by Alex Salmond during last night’s debate centred on Alistair Darling’s criticism of the Office of Budget Responsibility, set up in 2010 by George Osborne to provide independent economic forecasts for the Treasury.

The OBR’s numbers have been key to the Better Together’s onslaught on the numerical black holes at the heart of the Yes campaign. Yet Darling was left spluttering that he was ‘taken out of context’ and ‘misquoted’ when Salmond pulled up criticism the Better Together boss had made of the OBR, with a more partisan hat on.

Salmond recited a sentence uttered by Darling in 2010, as far as Mr S can see, entirely accurately: ‘Right from the start the Tories used the OBR not just as part of the government but as part of the Conservative Party.’


Loyal supporters trumpeted this ‘misquoted’ and ‘out of context’ line on social media in the post-match tussle.

But what of that ‘context’ Darling was so quick to bemoan? His attack came after the OBR had watered down growth forecasts, and for good measure, Darling added that ‘they have succeeded in strangling what could have been a good idea at its birth’.

Better Together have made a big deal out of the accuracy of the SNP and Yes campaign’s somewhat dubious interpretations of reality. But there is no point in pretending this is anything other than a fair hit.

With a campaign funded by Tory money and old Labour faces – who are more used to tearing chunks off each other than tweeting platitudes about unity – Mr S is surprised it has taken Salmond this long to exploit partisan differences.

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  • rjbh

    Fear not dear friends…there is good news…Scotland will regain its status as an Independent nation, of that I have no doubt, furthermore once the dust has settled our relationship with rUK will be renewed with less bitterness than before :))

  • rjbh

    It’s only a few years since our then Secutary for Scotland Micheal Forsyth, Thought that by offering a stane from under the queens throne, would keep the rebels in place. Nice one Micheal.

  • JabbaTheCat

    Of the many words available to describe Monday’s event, debate is not one of them. We merely witnessed content free socialist verbiage from Salmond aimed solely at drowning out anything Darling had to say…

  • Jen The Blue

    As a proud Yorkshireman (who also considers himself English) I am in two minds about which result I want next month.

    My heart says I wish the United Kingdom to stay united, but my head says England would be far better off without those Scottish socialist MPs and without the burden of carrying Scotland.

    I think we also have a better chance of extricating ourselves from the EUSSR without Scotland which will inevitably vote to stay in to keep getting bribery money.

    • ajibee

      Scotland has a mere 59 MPs out of 650, England has 523 out of 650. The last three Labour governments were all elected with large Labour majorities in England alone. The uninformed, such as yourself, bleat about higher public spending per head in Scotland, but there are other regions in England and the UK where public spending per head is higher than it is in Scotland for various reasons, including their relative deprivation. Moreover, the oil revenue from Scottish waters, on average, offsets the higher public spending there, regardless of their relative need compared with elsewhere.

      I too hope that the UK remains united, but uninformed self-interest such as yours isn’t the way to make that happen.

      • Jen The Blue

        But not large Labour majorities in terms of votes. Of course the number of Scottish MPs was only reduced in 2005.

        The fact remains that Scotland which is almost entirely self governing sends 59 (was 72) MPs to Westminster all but one or two of which are socialists of one type or another.

        Yes, of course spending per head varies depending upon many factors, but deprived areas like Liverpool are not de facto independent but still sending MPs to Westminster.

        I have no control whatsoever on whether Scotland remains in the UK, because although it concerns me, I haven’t been given a vote.

  • abystander

    Silly mistake by the No side to put Darling at the head of their campaign.

    He has baggage.

  • Someone

    As David Trant says below, aside from sounding like two drunk Glaswegians in a bar fight the other night, Salmond’s strategy appeared to be say the word ‘Tory’ as often as possible. And he’s apparently a great debater for it!

    Said it once, and I’ll say it again, I would rather the Scots said yes and rid us of periodic Labour rule. That part of the union has served to send nothing but socialist idiots to Parliament, ‘gifted’ the rest of us Labour leaders intent on smashing English identity and burning money left, right and centre. If they want to live in a utopia, wall them off and let them get on with it. The only proviso I have is that when they get into financial difficulties (which they will – the canny Scotsman is little more than a myth!) that we politely send them to Frankfurt. The government should not allow rUK taxpayers and the Bank of England to be the lender of last resort when their economy go belly up.

    • abystander

      Neither is Glaswegian and neither has a Glaswegian accent.

      It is a bit like saying a geordie and a scouser sound like Londoners.

      The rest of what your post is equally ignorant and condescending.

      • Someone

        abystander – sorry for the Glaswegian dig…allow me to rephrase. It sounded like two angry Scots who spent more time talking over one another than addressing the fundamental problem which Scotland faces i.e. an over-reliance on public sector jobs which are subsidised by the British taxpayer.

        Whenever Salmond talks up a currency union, there are a good 50 odd million who are left looking at one another thinking, ‘Is this guy for real? So you spend your time trashing the Union, saying that if only you could govern yourselves that everything will be alright only to say “But if things get really tough, we’ll come crawling back for financial assistance!”‘

        Unless I get a vote on Scottish independence, I want none of the inevitable costs when its economy goes bust under the weight of an overgrown public sector which can’t be supported.

      • Jen The Blue

        Fair point about the accents, ….if they were both Glaswegian nobody would have understood a word.

        But what is wrong with the rest of Someone’s comment?

        It seems to me a fair assesment of how England has been mis-ruled by the permanent socialist majority in Scotland periodically.

        • ajibee

          No. The last three Labour governments were all elected with large Labour majorities in England alone, so look to yourself before blaming others for the tragedy of the Blair/Brown years.

          • Jen The Blue

            Yes, I blame the gerrymandered boundaries. Quote about the 2005 election from Wikipedia:-

            “”Labour polled seventy thousand fewer votes in England than the Conservatives, yet won ninety-two more seats,[1] attributed to the smaller average electorate in urban (usually pro-Labour) constituencies.””

            • ajibee

              I suppose that’s an improvement on your previous position of blaming Scotland. However, ’tis always thus for winning parties under FPTP – it tales fewer votes to elect a government MP than an opposition MP. Back in the days of Mrs. T. (PBUH!) the Conservatives had an inbuilt advantage of around 100 for similar reasons – I don’t recall us whinging about that then or blaming the Scots for it either. As it is, stupid CMD didn’t tie together the AV referendum and the reorganisation of parliament (which he could and should have), hence the duplicitous LibDims shafting him. Again, not the fault of Scotland! Oh, one last thing, 70,000 votes extra is nothing, it’s a rounding error – under our long established system it’s where you get those votes that counts. If you could take 100,000 votes and reallocate them at will you could probably change most GE results considerably. And that’s not Scotland’s fault either.

              • Jen The Blue

                Blaming Scotland? It elected one MP who was not a socialist at the last election. So it certainly bears some heavy blame.

                But this is fine, if the UK is one country…..but since it barely is now, this is an outrage.

                Yes 70 000 is not many – but it shows that England still voted Conservative in 2005.

    • DG550

      Can you explain financial difficulties? According to these documents financial difficulties were caused by Westminster.

      • Someone

        I think the financial difficulties were caused by Brown and the Scottish Labour mafia…still I suppose whichever way you want to spin it is fine by me.

  • Jacques Strap

    Thatcher this Thatcher that,,,,,,

    • McClane

      I did a Search on this page which returned no result for Thatcher. Maybe you’re on the wrong blog?

  • mahatmacoatmabag


    Scoland was having trouble
    What a sad, sad story
    Needed a new leader to restore
    Its former glory
    Where, oh, where was he?
    Where could that man be?
    We looked around and then we found
    The man for you and me
    Where, oh, where was he?
    Where could that man be?
    We looked around and then we found
    The man for you and me!


    And now it’s…
    Springtime for Salmond and Edinburgh
    Glasgow is happy and gay!
    We’re Oil Exploring to a faster pace
    Look out, here comes the tax spending race!
    Springtime for Salmond and Edinburgh
    the Scottish economy is in a fine mess once more!
    Springtime for Salmond and Edinburgh
    Watch out, Europe
    Wee Eck is going on tour!

  • Thats_news

    I think a Yes” vote would be splendid.

  • Adliya Plaza

    I rather hope the Scots vote Yes, then when the businesses all move south to avoid socialism, we can sit back and watch them fail due to Salmond’s unfunded handouts on the never-never #newgreece.

    Just as long as we’re out of the EU by then, so we don’t have to bail them out.

    Then the Scots will become the new Poles: a source of cheap labour to clean the houses and nanny the children of the English, with the advantage that they speak our language (after a fashion).

    • Steve Read

      If they vote yes ti independence then as non-EU members they will not have an automatic right of entry to the new UK. We will be able to pick and choose our Scots immigrants. We need a Hadrian Curtain to keep out the undesirable millions

      • ajibee

        No. Their parents and grandparents served and fought for the UK – only tossers would seek to deny them from living and working wherever they wish in their own land, be it England or Scotland.

    • DG550

      I believe you honestly do not have any idea what this referendum is about. I also believe that any decent Scot would never apply for any job you advertised as i think they would see the racist attitude you appear to have.

    • ajibee

      So pure self-interest and personal bigotry on your part then. Charming.

  • david trant

    The worse thing you can call anyone in Scotland is a Tory, Salmond knows that’s the easiest way to victory.

  • ChuckieStane

    Harriet Harman today called the United and Cecil Club, financial backers of Better Together “shady”. BoJo saying there should be no additional powers for Holyrood when all three parties have committed putting them in their manifestos for 2015.

    There is plenty more ammo like this for the Yes side to exploit

    • The_greyhound

      You can fire all the ammunition your pathetic little campaign has. It makes no difference. After the excruciating boredom of listening to years of the SNP’s delusional ranting, lies, scaremongering and uncosted promises, the Unionist majority remain utterly unconvinced by the poison dwarf.

      It might have been more effective if salmond had answered the currency question, but as we all know, he can’t.

      Instead ,salmond rants to his slackmouthed fans. Like all nationalists he fails to understand how deeply unsavoury he is to decent human beings.

      • Alex Creel

        How rude. Your comment doesn’t add anything to the discourse

        • Inverted Meniscus

          It is, however, true.

      • DG550

        Like all nationalists he fails to understand how deeply unsavoury he is to decent human beings.

        Is this not a pot/kettle statement?

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