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Better Together ?

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1 hour ago, DoofersDad said:

All of this mess could have been avoided if we accepted a simple principle for major constitutional change.  This is that there should be more than 50% of all those eligible to vote, actively voting for change before change is implemented.  Such change is too important to be made on the will of a minority of the electorate and the apathy of another minority.  

Agreed absolutely. At the moment, all that's needed to break up a hugely successful arrangement which has worked well for over three centuries is for the SNP to call a referendum and get a majority of ONE on ONE occasion, irrespective of how few people vote. Add to that the fact that if they don't get the answer they want, they're prepared to keep holding the things until they do, then there has to be something far wrong with the system. I remember the days when SNP folks used to go on self-righteously about "the settled will of the Scottish people" which really seems to mean "once we've fluked it once, we'll just cut and run". Or as the IRA said: "We only have to be lucky once - you have to be lucky all the time."

The day the Euro result was declared and she effectively announced a second Scottish secession vote on the grounds of a claimed material change of circumstances, I emailed Ms Sturgeon asking her what arrangements she had also made for a third vote, given that - following the unlikely eventuality of a yes second time round - the likelihood of further "material changes" was actually quite high.

For instance they include - the Scottish economy going belly-up and developing an even bigger black hole, the oil industry/GTA disappearing even further into the past, people going "oh sh!t" at having to show their passports and change their currency in order to visit their grannies in Carlisle then having to pay duty on bringing fags back home and us becoming members of the EU on terms far, far more stringent and sovereignty-sapping than at present.

Strangely enough, two weeks on, I haven't had a reply. On the other hand she's been terribly busy embarrassing us all by pretending to be an international stateswoman in Brussels when she should be back here sorting the functions which they've so far had devolved to them but have utterly failed to deliver with any credibility at all.

PS - editing time seems to have expired on my earlier post so I am unable to sort a couple of gremlins - a typo stating "Scot Scottish" early on and the name "Elizabeth" which of course should be "Margaret" with respect to the marriage of the Thistle and the Rose.

 

 

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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I notice there is feeling that royal  Estates and other places should be forcibly put into public hands

When  Robert Mugabe did it it was condemned throughout the world

 

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7 minutes ago, Laurence said:

I notice there is feeling that royal  Estates and other places should be forcibly put into public hands

When  Robert Mugabe did it it was condemned throughout the world

 

Laurence... possibly one of many differences is here is that in Zimbabwe, apart from the fact that ANYTHING Mugabe did is worthy of condemnation, those who were dispossessed didn't to the same extent have what they had simply because their ancestors cheated, stabbed and fornicated their way into positions of power and wealth.

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The thread title says "Better Together?" Well looking at this story....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/37076734

....the answer would appear to be "Definitely!"

As I write (7pm Sunday... I say that in case there are changes to the linked text as events unfold), 16 Scottish performers in Rio have won, or are guaranteed, medals in a total of 12 events. However of that 16, only THREE are in individual events. The other 13 are in vital combination in GB teams with people from elsewhere in the UK. If Salmond had achieved his "Independence Day" back in March then Team Scolympia would have produced only a poor shadow of that. For a start, Scotland would have neither have been able to raise nor afford Scottish combinations in most of these events and where it could, medal prospects would have been infinitely less without this vital partnership from across the entire UK. So, far from winning medals, most of that 16 would never even have got as far as Rio in the first place in Team Scolympia.

Football is different. You just have to assemble your 11 guys plus subs and you field them, however downright poor they are, but this mediocrity is still persisted with. The Olympics are different. You have to be really good even to get there and a small country like Scotland could neither finance nor even find teams of a sufficient standard. Team Scolympia would therefore be tiny and in particular it would be devoid of the combinations like rowing eights and relay teams where Scottish performers in Rio have enjoyed great success - because they have been part of that larger and far more viable unit.

And all of that is before you consider how many top Scottish sports people benefit from GB training facilities which are overwhelmingly in England - facilities which would no longer be available to prospective Scolympians. Indeed I'm just a bit mystified as to why the media keep stressing about how many "Scottish" medals there have been. Like the Brexit vote, what happens in Rio is the product of the single unit which is Great Britain.

So Rio does rather nicely encapsulate the Better Together principle.

 

 

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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Well Charles as much as you talk Scotland down I would be proud if as an Independent Scotland we won 3 medals at the olympics! 

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2 hours ago, IBM said:

Well Charles as much as you talk Scotland down I would be proud if as an Independent Scotland we won 3 medals at the olympics! 

Oh well, if you're happy to rate Scotland's sporting prospects alongside those of Iran and Chinese Taipei who also currently have 3 medals.......

"Talking Scotland down" - I really do love that inane cliche which Nats trot out when someone illustrates a reality which rubbishes and exposes their hyperoptimistic, propagandist "$113 a barrel" overstatements.

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Where on earth does all this talking Scotland down nonsense come from?  Competing in team GB gives Scotland's top sportsmen and women the opportunity of competing in teams which are capable of competing and winning at the highest level.  They and those in individual events all benefit from the top level training set ups which are funded at a UK level.  As part of team GB, Scottish athletes therefore have an opportunity for success which supporters of independence would deny them.  This is not "talking Scotland down" - it is talking Scottish people up and giving them the opportunity to maximise their potential on the national stage.  As Charles says, the Olympics really does encapsulate that we are all "Better Together".

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13 hours ago, DoofersDad said:

Where on earth does all this talking Scotland down nonsense come from?  

It appears to have its roots in a fundamental fallacy which has underpinned much of SNP dogma for a very long time. The fallacy is that the starting point for justifying separation is the presumption that separation is a good and sound idea. It's a bit like supporting an assertion that your ship will fall off the edge of the earth once go get to the Bahamas by assuming that the earth is flat. We saw quite a lot of this kind of illogical thinking on here during the 2014 referendum debates where the separatists would try to build a case that separation was good based on the assumption that separation is good. You can, of course, see where this comes from because a large number of Nats are incapable of perceiving the world in terms other than a separate Scotland being good.

As a result, when fundamental and often quite obvious weaknesses in the notion of a separate Scotland are pointed out, since the "Scotland good" dogma is taken as a "given" which is immune from challenge, any such challenge is therefore rejected in the form of the vastly overused and mindless cliche "talking Scotland down". In fact it's more or less in the same category as that 1950s McCarthyism "un-American activities". For instance, suggesting that investing most of your cash into sending fleets of ships to sell bibles and beads to the Central American Indians of Darien in the 1690s was actually a pretty obviously naff idea is a good example of what Nats call "talking Scotland down". It was a Scottish idea which could not therefore be totally naff, so the only way it could have bombed so spectacularly was that it was sabotaged by the English..... or Westminster by more modern nationalist convention. Note also, therefore, the link directly to the Nationalist Grievance Culture. Similarly, if the cliché had existed back in 1978, it would also have been applied to those of us who were somewhat sceptical of Ally McLeod's assertion that Scotland was going to "win the World Cup". More recently, doubting $113 a barrel has come into the same category.

Regarding sport, what an excellent allegory it is for the current political situation! In combination with their team mates from the rest of the UK, Scottish sportspeople are currently enjoying and participating in an unprecedented run of success which places their Team GB among the best in the world. Then, in wild contrast, you look at the "independent" entity of Scottish football - failed, inept, with a chip on shoulder inferiority complex and utterly unable to compete in its location right next door to a much larger and much more successful market of which it is no part.

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Sorry if this latest dose of hard facts "talks Scotland down", but the final Rio reckoning tells us that Scottish competitors have won 4 gold, 11 silver and 2 bronze from a total of 13 events. However, of these medals 3 gold, 10 silver and 1 bronze came from teams and combinations with team mates drawn from the 55 million people in the rest of the UK - teams and combinations which, even in the unlikely event of separate all-Scottish equivalents even qualifying and/or being funded to go to Rio, would have been highly unlikely to have been good enough to win medals.

Take as an example Eilidh Doyle winning a bronze medal as part of Team GB's women's 4 x 400m relay team. Had she instead been part of a Scottish team then the athletes' times indicate that Team Scolympia would not only have failed to win a medal, not only failed to reach the final but would have had the slowest time by over two seconds in the heats. In practice, it would never have got near the Games in the first place.

So when you remove all those medals that Scots won because they were part of GB in team events, you are left with Andy Murray's tennis gold, Callum Skinner's cycle sprint silver and Sally Conway's judo bronze. And of these, we have to wonder how Skinner and Conway would have fared if they had not had UK training facilities and backup based outwith Scotland.

In short, a separate Team Scolympia would have lost 80% of the medals that Scots won with Team GB so - especially when you look at this alongside the state of "independent" Scottish football - the term "Better Together" does rather tend to come to mind!

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Spot on, Charles.  

An interesting point here is the question of which country athletes would choose to represent in the event of independence.  It is interesting that in the Scots heroes tally, both Andy Murray and Heather Stanning are well to the fore, but whilst Murray was born in Scotland, he lives in London, and Stanning lives in Lossie but was born in England,  Both are claimed by the Scottish media to be Scottish. Large numbers of people would presumably have dual nationality and top athletes may well choose not to represent  Scotland if they felt they had a better chance of success by being in the team GB set up.

Things could be very complicated indeed.  Best just to stick as part of Team GB, both in sport and other aspects of life, and to celebrate the success that folk from all parts of the UK can achieve when given the opportunity to work together.

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4 hours ago, DoofersDad said:

Spot on, Charles.  

An interesting point here is the question of which country athletes would choose to represent in the event of independence.  It is interesting that in the Scots heroes tally, both Andy Murray and Heather Stanning are well to the fore, but whilst Murray was born in Scotland, he lives in London, and Stanning lives in Lossie but was born in England,  Both are claimed by the Scottish media to be Scottish. Large numbers of people would presumably have dual nationality and top athletes may well choose not to represent  Scotland if they felt they had a better chance of success by being in the team GB set up.

Things could be very complicated indeed.  Best just to stick as part of Team GB, both in sport and other aspects of life, and to celebrate the success that folk from all parts of the UK can achieve when given the opportunity to work together.

Going off at a slight tangent, the nationality rules for countries selecting their squads for any sport has been questionable for decades.  Years ago our golf club (Reading G C in Berkshire) used to hold an annual Anglos v Celts match, based very loosely on the Ryder Cup format.  It always ended with a dinner at which both captains made a speech, amid much raucous banter, alcohol fuelled, from the opposition.

Back in the 1990s I had the honour of captaining the Celts side on one occasion. I knew I would get stick from my opposite number about the eligibility of one or two 'ringers' I freely admit I had playing for the Celts, so I had prepared a defence indicating that I had used the same eligibility rules as the England cricket team.  At that time it was liberally sprinkled with South Africans, Zimbabweans, Indians and Pakistanis, so, when it was my turn to speak, I analysed practically the whole England X1 explaining why their ancestry should really have precluded them from representing England.  That is, all except two, Jack Russell ( and even he presumably had canine blood in him!), and big Malcolm from Devon (Devon Malcolm of West Indian origin).

Although I say it myself, this last bit 'brought the house down', and not only did the Celts win the golf that year, we got the better of the battle of words in the post match dinner.

Happy days.

Edited by Caley Mad In Berks

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"Place of origin" at these major championships is always a nightmare. For instance the swimmer Stephen Milne has been listed as "from Inverness" but moved to Perth whilst a toddler and learned to swim there. Inverness also gets far more credit than it is due because loads of team members over the years from all over the Highlands have been brought into Inverness to be born at Raigmore. One of the GB marathon runners is a Eritrean refugee while the hurdler Tiffany Porter is effectively American and her sister runs for the USA. If you looked closely, you would also have seen all manner of hues and pigments competing in the vests of Norway, Denmark etc etc.

Maybe Wee Nicola has been panicking about losing lots and lots of what they hope would be future Scolympians due to repatriation and that's why they've been combing the ranks of their supporters for disgruntled Germans and hard done by Gaelic speaking Australians to stand up and make a fuss when they are told to do so, just to keep the grievance factor going.

I wonder if they have been as scrupulous about seeking out any English who perceive themselves to have been disadvantaged by Brexit and immigration rules?:lol:

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34 minutes ago, Charles Bannerman said:

"Place of origin" at these major championships is always a nightmare.

As is gender these days!

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On ‎8‎/‎22‎/‎2016 at 0:38 PM, DoofersDad said:

Spot on, Charles.  

An interesting point here is the question of which country athletes would choose to represent in the event of independence.  It is interesting that in the Scots heroes tally, both Andy Murray and Heather Stanning are well to the fore, but whilst Murray was born in Scotland, he lives in London, and Stanning lives in Lossie but was born in England,  Both are claimed by the Scottish media to be Scottish. Large numbers of people would presumably have dual nationality and top athletes may well choose not to represent  Scotland if they felt they had a better chance of success by being in the team GB set up.

Things could be very complicated indeed.  Best just to stick as part of Team GB, both in sport and other aspects of life, and to celebrate the success that folk from all parts of the UK can achieve when given the opportunity to work together.

Who do they choose to represent for Commonwealth Games?

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They may have a choice on that whilst Scotland is part of the UK, but after a splt they wouldn't if they wanted to benefit from the UK's superior funding, facilities, coaching etc

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4 hours ago, Alex MacLeod said:

Who do they choose to represent for Commonwealth Games?

It would be very unwise to attempt to equate the Commonwealth Games with the Olympics in any way, shape or form. To be realistic, the CG is an event which a number of the real big hitters give a miss because they get in the way of major championships. You just have to look at typical qualifying standards for Commonwealth Games to see the difference between them and the Olympics - standards which are therefore achievable by far more Scottish competitors than the Olympic ones. That also explains why Scotland tends sometimes to achieve quite flattering medal totals.

The fact that, for the CG, the UK is split up into its smaller regions - including Scotland and also including the likes of the Isle of Man and Guernsey - says it all. You need to split up the Mother Country to stop it from overwhelming the rest and also to give it sufficient team selection opportunities to match the extent of its combined sporting talent. Because, outwith Great Britain, the Commonwealth effectively has Australia and Canada, maybe South Africa and NZ and after that it's largely a series of underdeveloped African countries and obscure islands. Indeed, at the CG, England tends to be dominant enough for there to be a case for splitting it up into maybe England North and England South.

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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Scotland could just have doss guys like the Harriers represent them, all those mugs from the IRA and Millburn, pretending they are athletes while waiting for their UCCA scores to get into Napier.

#lappedtofeck

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11 hours ago, dougiedanger said:

Scotland could just have doss guys like the Harriers represent them, all those mugs from the IRA and Millburn, pretending they are athletes while waiting for their UCCA scores to get into Napier.

#lappedtofeck

Oh dear, when ARE we going to get some kind of even half-credible discussion of their rapidly disintegrating pipe dream from our Separatist chums on here? Dougie's nationalist fantasy is collapsing about his ears amid a £15bn black hole, a 97% reduction in oil revenues, passport control at Gretna, polls which have not responded to the Brexit decision and burgeoning incompetence among totally distracted SNP ministers (*) - and this is the sum total of Dougie's cerebral contribution!

There is some compensation though. The SNP and nationalism most definitely deserve supporters like DD - and indeed have plenty of them, right down to that very large chip.

(*) - on the subject of SNP ministers, I see that the arch-roaster who is Michael Russell has, following his previous sacking, been reinstated as Minister for Brexit:lol: It's kind of like putting Dad's Army in charge of a nuclear power station! On the other hand the SNP perhaps imagine some obscure scenario where they might perceive some kind of electoral benefit from having the whole Brexit process descend into utter chaos with Russell in charge.

Edited by Charles Bannerman

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I am sure Charles will do a few sums and convince himself and Doofers Dad that they are right!  

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:shrug:

The readers' comment underneath the letter are worth a read.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1feecc2c-6bb4-11e6-a0b1-d87a9fea034f.html#axzz4J2nQdvrk

"I'm afraid the esteemed professor is missing a rather basic point here: North Sea tax revenues are generated by taxes on production profit, not revenue. It is a source of some concern to me that a member of the SNP's Fiscal Commission Working Group would be ignorant of such a basic fact ... and of even greater concern that he leaps to the conclusion that the accounts must be wrong rather than checking how these taxes actually work"

 

And another: "If this guys a Professor of Economics at St Andrews University, the Scottish higher education system is truly in dire straits."

Quite.

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7 hours ago, dougiedanger said:

IMG_20160901_165602_zpsbg13vlbf.jpg

This really is quite hilarious and shows us yet again the kind of optimistic tripe the Nats are prepared to believe and even to try to get the rest of us to swallow! A simple Google of "Andrew Hughes Hallett SNP" already reveals a plethora of ridicule from a small battalion of people who can't all be as uninformed as DDanger claims the Learned Prof to be encyclopaedic (see also Yngwie's post). In the course of this brief search, I also came across a Scotsman article from the summer of 2014 where Prof HH was predicting oil revenues for 2016-20 as likely to be an annual 4.5 - 5bn:lol:

It gets better though. The top line of the story was that Prof HH's numbers indicated that Salmond's pre-Referendum bollox had OVERSTATED revenues by about £2bn. Big Eck was claiming £6.9bn:crazy: for the first financial year after "Independence Day":laugh: Remember also that this discredited overinflated numpty, with an ego to match his bodyform, also claims to be an economist! Actual events have shown that Big Eck has more likely overstated things by the Full Monty £6.9bn.

Look.... it's really quite simple for you SNP chaps. You've now gone from 40 years of sloganizing "It's Scotland's Oil" to "The Oil Is Irreversibly F****d" - along with any separatist case you may have had in the first place. Just get used to it and leave us in peace.

Which all reminds me of the SNP's post-Referendum statement that they would be looking for another shot at the bookies if there was "material change". Well I really must come clean here and admit that, since September 2014, there have indeed been several instances of the said "material change"... viz.....

* The backside has fallen irreversibly out of the oil - see above.
* Their nonsensical pre-Sep 2014 oil claims (see above also) have been as brutally exposed as the nonsense of their White Paper was by their own former SNP spin doctors.
* We have passed Peak Nat and they no longer have a majority at Holyrood, so in a tight spot would now have to go, Glengarry in hand, to their hand-wringing Green chums.
* Back to back £15bn GERS deficits corresponding to almost 10% of expenditure. These are what ACTUALLY happened... not realistic predictions dismissed as Project Fear.
* Brexit now means that the only way a separate Scotland could get into Europe would be by fresh application - but not with a car crash economy like that.
* Brexit now means that even IF Scotland DID get into the EU there would have to be a hard EU/nonEU border from Gretna to Berwick, with customs, currency exchange and passport control.
* Scotland in the EU would prejudice its trading arrangements with its overwhelmingly largest trading partner - non-EU England which provides 65% of business.
* The SNP have remained so obsessed by their idee fixe that our schools, hospitals, police etc have been allowed to get into an even worse state than they were before.
* The  56, 55, 54 have been elected to Westminster, making Scotland look even more ridiculous than it did before on the big stage.
* Mike Russell*=)) rolling on the floor has been appointed Minister for Brexit, which is rather like putting Dad's Army in charge of a nuclear power station.
* And finally, a potentially bigger change - one of several indicators of which is Paw Sturgeon failing to get elected to an SNP council seat in North Ayrshire. It's kind of like Pastor Jack Glass getting blackballed by Lodge Loyal 1690. Paw Sturgeon's defeat by Labour forced the SNP into the minority and obliged Maw Sturgeon to stand down as Provost. (*) When you start adding this straw in the wind to several others, now increasingly evident, a very encouraging trend - and indeed "material change" - begins to crystallise.
 
But there is one thing that hasn't undergone "material change" and that's support for separation, despite a Brexit vote which is meant to have had 62% of us "pure dead bilin'", painting our faces blue and white and bellowing FREEDOM!!!!
 
(*) - God Almighty.... if Maw and Paw are that obsessed by The Cause as well, can you imagine what a barrel of fun Wee Nicola's visits back home must be?
Edited by Charles Bannerman

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I'm genuinely taken aback by Hallett's letter. I can't remember ever having seen anything so incompetent by a professor in any field. Let's do some sums to show how simple it is. 

Let's suppose that the price of oil is £100 per barrel and that the price at which a company can make a profit is £45.5.  This means they make a profit of £54.5 per barrel. 

If the price drops 54 per cent it will cost £46 per barrel and the profit will be just £0.5 per barrel. The drop from £54.5 to £0.5 represents a drop of 99 per cent.  The dim prof's "discrepancy" is explained by very basic arithmetic.  

The SNP supporting prof also conveniently forgets that the UK government has given oil companies tax breaks to help cope with the fall in oil prices.  There is no sinister accounting here - just more evidence of Scotland being better together as part of the U.K.  

 

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11 hours ago, DoofersDad said:

 There is no sinister accounting here - just more evidence of Scotland being better together as part of the U.K.  

 

Och DD, I'm sure you'll feel differently about all of that once Nicola has had her "conversation":lol:, by which time you'll also be believing that black is white and that the earth is flat.

I'm actually REALLY looking forward to this "conversation" - apparently involving Nats chapping at your door and "listening" :laugh: to why you voted NO. The reality is that this is no more than Nicola desperately trying to find something with which to distract her Bravehearters as she takes stock of the constantly (from their point of view) declining political situation which says louder and louder that people really can't be *rsed going through that 2014 pantomime again. And, if forced to do so, "the people of Scotland" will give the entire daft idea the bum's rush for a second time and finally consign the already deceased separatist dream to the dustbin of history. But, any Nat chapping at 500 doors will be entitled to a brand new Colin and Chris Weir-sponsored saltire flag, a tube of blue face paint and a tube of white as well! There's also an extra bonus for Dougie Danger who will receive a Frae Bonnie Scotland mug for every 100 copies of Prof HH's letter he hands out but which don't end up on a nail in anyone's toilet. Looking like thirsty work Dougie!

Apparently they are HOPING to convert what they call "soft NO voters" - but conveniently seem to ignore the reality that, in the face of more or less weekly revelations of fact as opposed to $113 a barrel fiction, it's their own recently conned supporters that are more likely to disappear like snow off a dyke in a heatwave.

Now the real punchline here is the thought of Nats "listening":crazy: Nats simply don't DO listening so, any time any of them comes and chaps at my door or accosts me in the High Street which they seem to hang round like the Green and White around Celtic Park, I'm going to give them every opportunity to listen to what I have to say. And I'm also going to set myself the challenge of, within three minutes, having them jumping up and down and drowning me out with bellows of FREEDOM.

Edited by Charles Bannerman

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If Sturgeon was willing to listen she wouldn't be calling for any conversation. Listening to footage of herself stating that the 2014 referendum was a once in generation thing should end any further thoughts of another one.

But because the SNP are so lacking in integrity, that will not happen. The danger here is that unless those who oppose independence make their voices heard loud and clear, the floating voter will be taken in by the kind of lies and misinformation which made the 2014 referendum relatively close. 

Hopefuly the unionist parties will get their arguments together better than they did 2 years ago. If so, we should be able to put this nonsense to bed once and for all. 

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