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Oddquine last won the day on June 24 2018

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About Oddquine

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    Many and varied....but not as many and varied as when I was a spring chicken as opposed to an old hen.

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  1. Don't need all that... "Scotland government competent - UK Government gibbering lunatic spendthrifts" would do fine, don't you think?
  2. Yngwie, when did the SNP ever acknowledge that, out of interest? But I agree the £120bn a year figure is garbage. If you actually bother to look at the GERS figures, which are based on those produced by the ONS/HMRC guesstimates and re-guesstimated by The Scottish Governmment economists to more accurately reflect the Scottish Income and expenditure (figures which, incidentally have been accepted as national statistics)...and bear in mind the FACT that the Scottish Government is, by law, not ALLOWED to overspend their income....perhaps you could explain which bit of the UK is producing the enormous deficit...because, sure as hades, it isn't Scotland. It is being in the Union that gives us a big deficit...because the bulk of the deficit is money spent for Scotland, whether we want/need it or not...money which heads down to Westminster departments to enter the English economy, mostly in London, and boosts the English tax take. When was the last time Scotland got a chunk of money out of the UK borrowing, which costs us £3+ billion a year, to spend as WE want (that would be never, I suspect). Why should we pay for (or trust) a bloated and inefficient Westminster Government parked in London, doing stuff like producing 2000+ pages of tax laws, with built in loopholes that accountants get rich from finding and exploiting, to do things for us that we could easily do for ourselves and probably do better, if we were independent?. Out of our limited income, we fund the administration and spending of the devolved government departments,the staffing and maintenance of the Holyrood building, the salaries/expenses of MSPs etc, AND the Scottish Office and around 90 Scottish National bodies, NDPBs, NMDs NGOs etc...like the Crofting Commission, National Records, National Galleries etc. We mitigate, as far as we can, the austerity brainfarts Westminster Governments impose upon us..we pay for Education, housing and the NHS.and we still manage free prescriptions, free uni tuition, free bus passes etc. If we allow that, whatever else we have to do in an independent Scotland in the short/medium term, is pay social protection, at at least the same level as it currently is being paid in the UK...then what was spent IN Scotland FOR Scotland, is the total of what the SG spent from the block grant, the devolved taxes raised and Local Government input via business rates etc. plus the social protection payment from Westminster. The SG spent £42,848 million and adding the Social Protection of £18,199 million, sent direct from Westminster to individuals..gives a grand total, (including accounting adjustments) of £61,047 million, against an income of £59,957 million....so a deficit of £1,090 million we know DID come from Scotland. Therefore the bulk of our deficit was made by Westminster charging us £12,251 million (nearly as much as we spent on the NHS in Scotland last year) to do things for us that we could just as easily, and probably more efficiently and effectively, do for ourselves as an independent country. Anyone who thinks that, after Independence Scotland is going to have a Westminster style bloated Government with over 400,000 civil servants, 650 elected legislators and 800 unelected ones, 25 Ministerial Government departments and 20 Non-ministerial ones, with up to 109 paid ministers between them, and about 520 agencies, public bodies, high profile groups and public corporations and with military services, including Trident, geared up for offence rather than defence and a national debt approaching anything like £2 trillion is looking at independence through very heavily tinted red,white and blue specs. The £12+ billion we sent to Westminster would have paid last year's administration costs for all the Westminster Government Departments with a couple or three billion £ to spare. (and we are paying for our own Scottish equivalents of most of them already.) GERS Data is produced for Scotland as part of the UK, It does not model scenarios for an independent Scotland in which the Scottish Government would be able to make ALL its own choices..including not to run the economy for the benefit of London (though I would hope we wouldn't do it for the benefit only of Edinburgh and the central belt either) We probably will have some level of austerity in Scotland until we get up and running, but it will be, I hope, an austerity not wholly paid for by the poorest and most disadvantaged of us, while the better off get tax cuts....but we are equally probably facing worse austerity in a post-Brexit UK...and what looks like Tory Governments forever, given the voting tendencies in England. We are almost undoubtedly going to be facing drastic change soon...so there is going to be uncertainty whichever way we jump...so why not independence, if for no other reason than that the uncertainty won't last as long as the infighting within the Tory and Labour parties before they get down to doing anything useful, if measured by their incompetence in the past two years. It makes more sense to discard the crumbling security blanket of the Union and join all the other small countries who seem to manage well enough...like New Zealand,Denmark, Finland, Norway and Ireland for example......if they can succeed, why would anybody think we Scots couldn't?
  3. But aren't the LBGT community deliberately stereotyping themselves by having gay marches? Are they not just human beings like all the rest of us, despite sexual orientation.or in other cases, race, religion, political leanings etc? Why do we need to celebrate diversity when it is a fact of life and, in a global society, quite unremarkable as far as the majority are concerned?
  4. Thought long and hard before replying to your post, Scotty....but it isn't doing it for me........there is as little point to a celebratory week as there is to a celebratory march. I don't think celebrating being gay warrants a march or parade any more than being heterosexual warrants a march or parade. If people want to be treated like everybody else, they don't march to celebrate being different to everybody else, imo. The protest marches I understood....the"look at me I'm gay" marches I just don't.....any more than I understand the reasoning behind the OO type sectarian marches in Glasgow....or Inverness....or anywhere else over something that happened over three centuries ago. I often wondered, the only year I attended the Bannockburn rally, back in the day, what the reaction would be if there was a Culloden March and rally every year organised by a Scottish-based English group to celebrate beating the clans and subduing the Highlands.
  5. Tbh, I didn't actually think about pro-indy marches in that light until I took part in one...but I have always been against the OO kind of pointless marches, and it doesn't seem to me that the pro-indy ones are any less pointless, in the great scheme of changing attitudes, just by our presence....in fact is as likely to polarise attitudes than change them. The kirking of the council is a modern continuation of a historical event, attended by those of any and no religion, nowadays AND it's on a Sunday mid-morning, so less people about to disrupt. But maybe you can tell me what the point of the LGBT march is....I might change my mind if there is a point to it. I kinda get the impression with your Are you entirely sure that it's the inconvenience and disruption you object to ? that you are insinuating that maybe I'm homophobic. I'm not, btw, but I would say that, wouldn't I? I don't dislike anybody because of how they define themselves , I do dislike people, however they define themselves, if they give me good reason to dislike them, but I don't extrapolate that dislike to all those who define themselves in the same way. I always thought that's what normal people did.
  6. But marches don't show there is an appetite for indy...they just show there is an appetite for indy by some people, who bus in from all over to swell the crowds in one particular place at one particular time. Polls are a better indication if there is an appetite for indy, because they don't double count the people who turn up at every march. People coming into in the YES shop I worked in in 2014 were getting all excited at the numbers of people who were members of pro-indy FB Groups ...and were convinced that we were going to win based on adding up the hundreds, thousands/hundreds of thousands who had liked pro-indy pages/joined pro-indy groups. I disagreed...because I knew I was being counted twenty or more times in those pages/groups...and I was sure I wasn't the only one, going by the numbers of my FB friends who were members of the same groups/following the same pages. . Pro-indy marches are for pro-indy people to make them feel they are doing something in the long hiatus beween 2014 and whenever the next referendum takes place. I'd have thought a better way of showing the appetite for independence would have been NOT disbanding all the YES groups on the ground post 2014, and a periodic lower key continuation of appropriate leafleting as a drip-drip counteraction to the drip-drip of media propaganda..even if it was only the Chris Cairns "driving instructor " cartoon shoved through doors after every annual GERS production as the media is going ballistic about the Scottish deficit.
  7. Does anybody really think we are going away? Honestly? And truthfully, does anybody looking on as we march think to themselves...well if all those folk think independence is a good thing, maybe I should change my mind and join them...and vote YES next time. The people marching would have been much better and more productively used leafleting Inverness. If the politicians really thought we were going away, why would they keep on harping about no indyref2 any time a microphone is waved in front of their faces? A march on the lines of the indy ones, the LBGT ones or the OO ones are completely pointless and are no more than an ego-massaging exercise. We all know that the pro-indy people exist and have done since the date of the Treaty of Union...we all know that LBGT people exist probably since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and we all know that the OO exists (though I've never understood why)...why do they need to march to rub everyone's faces in 2018, in the fact that they aren't quite the same as the majority....given we all KNOW that...the equality act tells us that, if nothing else does? I never meet people and introduce myself by citing my political leanings, my religion(or lack of it) or my sexuality...but I have met people who proclaim, as they shake my hand, that they are born-again Christian, or when being driven by a mutual friend, and sharing the back seat of a car for a few miles, telling me, appropos of nothing at all, that they are gay, or relations telling me that they voted NO in 2014 (and after I had been at pains not to talk politics at them, because I knew it would be a waste of time and lead to arguments) and I wonder what is it about people that they think anybody but them gives a toss about how they define themselves. The FB petition post to which I originally responded talked about Scotland being a progressive country and marches were a sign of that.....but marches for no obvious reason, bar they are allowed, are anything BUT a sign of a progressive country......a progressive country doesn't need marches just because some needy groups want and think they deserve attention and/or advantages more than any other group ....because in a progressive country everyone is equal under the law, nobody should care what sex/religion/political outlook etc anybody has and no religion/political outlook/sexuality is more worthy of approval/diapproval than any other. Ergo....as long as we allow LBGT marches, OO marches and pro-indy marches to disrupt communities at public taxpayer cost...where DO you draw the line, because going by the nuimber of days in a year allocated to remembering this event or that disadvantaged group or the next sufferer from this that or the other, we could fill our whole year with costly to the taxpayer, ego-massaging marches...and for what, exactly?
  8. I did say Although I did go on the indy march in Inverness, because I felt obliged to, given it was so near me, I can't see the point in indy marches either. Getting together in one place as a group, as the indy march did at Castle Heather, does more to keep up spirits and keep people involved in the movement, than parading through the streets hoping for media attention, and in the meantime irritating all the folk on the street who are either anti, couldn't give a toss, just want to get to the shops without having to push through crowds on the pavement, or having to detour past the march to get from one side of the street to the other. That one was my first and last.
  9. No harm, I suppose...... if you aren't shopping or trying to get through Inverness in a car...but what exactly is the POINT? What do marches achieve of use or ornament? If they want to have a gathering of LBGT people and their supporters...aren't there parks where they can congregate without marching through the town? Although I did go on the indy march in Inverness, because I felt obliged to, given it was so near me, I can't see the point in indy marches either. Getting together in one place as a group, as the indy march did at Castle Heather, does more to keep up spirits and keep people involved in the movement, than parading through the streets hoping for media attention, and in the meantime irritating all the folk on the street who are either anti, couldn't give a toss, just want to get to the shops without having to push through crowds on the pavement, or having to detour past the march to get from one side of the street to the other.
  10. I'm likely going to get pelters for this...but I am copying a FB post I made on a share of the petition in support of the March (but here I have broken it up into paragraphs) ..... I genuinely don't see the point or necessity in marches celebrating difference in a country in which acceptance of difference is enshrined in law, whether that difference is racial, gender-based, religious or anything else. Marches are for protests against Government policies in an effort to influence them and should take place where the Government is. What is the point of marches in any random town just to say we are what we are and we are proud of it....what next after Gay Pride and OO sectarian pride ...feminist pride marches, heterosexual pride marches, Muslim pride marches, Wee Free pride marches, Polish pride marches? In your face and celebrating doesn't do anything for general acceptance, but creates polarised division...if independence and OO marches, have taught us nothing else, they have taught us that. In a progressive society people wouldn't feel the need to celebrate their differences because their differences wouldn't matter....and no amount of marching is going to change the minds of people who think differences are not acceptable or change the minds of anyone who thinks they are entitled to walk the streets in their home town without being inconvenienced by people marching to stroke their own egos.
  11. London is also a lesson for any future independent Scotish Government...one it would be sensible to heed.. They mustn't put all their government eggs in the Edinburgh/Glasgow/Central belt basket. Edinburgh may well be the Capital city, but having only had the Government installed there for 19 of the last 314 years, they should be seriously considering decentralising goverenment departments and sharing the jobs around the country...or else Edinburgh will just become a Scottish London, the rest of the Central Belt will become the Scottish equivalent of the South East and East of England.....and the periphery areas, like the Highlands and Borders will be left as far behind as Scotland has been by the Westminster Government. With the ease of communication such as video conferencing, for example, there is no longer any requirement for everything to be concentrated in one city. They have made a start with splitting the DWP between Glasgow and Dundee, but why is Fergus Ewing's Department not based in Inverness with peripheral offices in the Borders and Caithness, for example? Everything doesn't have to be where the decisions are made...the organs of implementation of decisions made by Cabinets/Parliament can be spread about a bit. Centralisation of everything is what produces monsters like London....and if Scotland emulates Westminster in the centralisation stakes, we are heading for a North/South/Edinburgh (and the Central Belt) divide as bad as the Scotland/Westminster divide we have now. ( As an aside, I was reading somewhere that the only capital city which accounts for a bigger share of a nation’s wealth than London, is Moscow, which according to us (or at least Westminster), is full of crooks, chancers and other undesirables.....unless they can bring lots and lots of Moscow's money into London)
  12. London doesn't subsidise the UK...UK borrowing subsidises the UK and we all share in paying for that....that's what an annual budget deficit means. Anyway, there are three regions which have income over expenditure surpluses, not just London, the East and South East also have surpluses, although I suspect they also don't have annual accounts which add a share of UK debt, a share of UK defence, the annual maintenance and running of an English Parliament and its dedicated MPs or the whole funding of the infrastructure built in London, so much of which is deemed to be of benefit to the whole UK, even though it isn't, in order that the taxpayer pays a share. It is unsurprising that London has the highest income in the UK, anyway, because pretty much everything in the UK ends up in London .....but what would go if it became an independent state? Would rUK continue to have the UK/English Parliament there and the Government Cabinet offices/Departments with all the highest paid jobs, and the 18.5% of UK civil servants (78,000+ London taxpayers, many of them highly paid taxpayers) employed there? Would rUK pay a large chunk of the maintenace costs of Westminster, Buck House, Tower of London etc? Would the UK public sector employers who employ around 600,000 people in London still be in London as an independent country? And if London was an independent country outside the EU, would it still have the same reach for selling their financial and other professional services? And would they be able to afford to allow big businesses to dodge tax in London as they currently turn a blind eye to in the UK? If they could be sure of keeping what they have, then they probably could be independent, but could they keep what they already have without being the Capital of the UK, and sooking doon to London most of the UK companies head offices and their profits to the head offices of the banks? London itself doesn't produce much that is tangible and exportable so I suspect their import/export statistics re food and "things" would struggle as much as England's does now, even with London's exported services and Scotland trade surplus. Independence for London is an interesting idea, though.
  13. I'm inclined to agree about the cherry picking, because I have always thought that trying to give the impression that money we hand over to Westminster is specifically going to London and the South's infrastructure embellishments is illogical. I think that is pointless anyway, when you just need to say that, of that £71 billion of public spending , the amount spent in Scotland by Scotland for Scotland, was approx £37.5 billion (ie the Scottish budget, including £24 billion Block Grant, adjusted for SRIT etc), of which £34 billion is spent by the SG on the devolved responsibilities, and the orher £3.5 billion or so is for NHS/Public Service pensions and directly funded bodies, if we add £18 billion in Westminster direct payments on State pensions etc, it makes a total of £55.5 billion against the Scottish revenue you quote. The rest of the £71 billion goes to pay what westminster charges us for. and spends for Scotland ..because only one devolved competence doesn't have at least one Westminster finger in the pie...Housing and Local Communities. So we pay £7 billion towards Defence, International Services and National Debt Interest which are reserved responsibilities, and the rest of the difference goes in payments to Westminster departments, like the Home Office for Border Control, Transport for Network Rail etc for whatever (and the people we are helping to pay with that contribution are paying tax into the "English" tax system, mostly....not into the Scottish one.). Ireland spent about 68.9 billion Euros (about £60 billion at today's rates) running a whole independent country in 2016-2017, including debt payments of 6.3 million Euros on debt of around 201 billion Euros (and what have we had to spend in Scotland every year from our £3 + billion annual contribution to the UK debt mountain?) and EU contributions of 2.3 billion Euros and a couple or so billion Euros on Defence and Foreign Affairs (we pay more to Westminster for International Services than Ireland spends on Foreign Affairs), and has a lower debt to GDP ratio than the UK. So why does everybody seem to think it would be so damned impossible for Scotland to at least manage to do that? It isn't as if we have the safe broad shoulders of the UK to lean on any more, Brexit Britain has put paid to that...and the status quo we voted for in 2014 is long gone, never to return. There is uncertainty whichever way we bounce...but more uncertainty in a Brexited UK than in an independent Scotland, I suspect....and most certainly worse Government....you mightn't like all that the SNP does...I don't like all of it myself.....but you can't deny they are a sight more competent than the current UK Government...yet the Tories are still ahead in the polls for the next UK Election. Go figure!
  14. I'm really lucky.....I don't have a TV licence...and even if I did, I wouldn't watch the wedding of the lassie from Suits no matter who she was marrying.