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Oddquine last won the day on June 24

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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. Oddquine

    EU In or Out

    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)
  2. Oddquine

    EU In or Out

    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.
  3. Oddquine

    EU In or Out

    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!
  4. Oddquine

    The Royal wedding

    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.
  5. Oddquine

    Indepencence Referendum 2018/2019

    Of course they will re-select them.....because if found guilty, they are talking about a one year jail sentence as a maximum, in anything I have read. You have to get sentenced to over a year in jail to automatically lose your seat and trigger a by-election. Under a year, voters can petition to have their constituency MP removed if 10% of his/her electorate sign it...or the amusingly named "Commons Committee on Standards in Public Life" can decide, if a less than 12 month jail sentence was for a heinous enough crime that would warrant being removed, to do that. I think that any MP jailed for anything at all should be removing themselves as unfit to hold a responsible position in the Government of the country....but that would imply some measure of morality among our ruling elite....and few of them do morality.. or empathy...or even basic thinking past the ends of their noses. Given prisoner's can't even vote...why should it be acceptable for prisoners to be MPs? I often wonder if that was the reason for Parliament deciding that it doesn't matter to the general public if their well paid representatives become jailbirds, thus making it impossible for them to do their jobs, and then choosing a maximum sentence length to coincide nicely with the worst that could happen if an MP was found guilty of election fraud? In an independent Scotland...let's not allow our legislators to write their own contracts of employment....we'll do it for them....something more on the lines of an employment contract in any business...where performances are expected to be at least adequate, and less than that gets you a warning to pull your socks up...and failure to improve means you get sacked...and one with a strict gross misconduct clause...with real penalties for transgressions. Keeping their basic salary, expenses and perks might then concentrate MPs minds on more than just working out ways to get more money on the back of being MPs.
  6. Oddquine

    Indepencence Referendum 2018/2019

    DD But it is not highly disruptive to the Brexit negotiations to have a General Election a month after the local council elections, in order that May can avoid the possible consequences of the CPS decision on the electoral fraud cases and get her own party under control? She had nine months after the referendum, while she was telling us there wasn't going to be a General Election, to get her house in order...but patently didn't bother......and we can guess why.....because the polls didn't give her enough of a lead over Labour to ensure an even bigger majority than she already has.. Quite self evidently now is not the time to have an independence referendum....because that will remove Scottish resources from the UK to use to gain concessions in negotiations. If she thought she could claim the North Sea as English Waters, she'd not be particularly bothered. After all, she is nothing if not pragmatic.....given she went from being a Remainer to being a Brexiteer with alacrity when she realised there was a PMship up for grabs. So the reason it is not the time for a Scottish referendum, but it is the time for a referendum involving the whole country...is because it would tie her hands in negotiations with the EU not to not be able to use the likes of Scotland's fishing grounds to get the odd concession or quid pro quo. She probably hopes that once the deal is made, it will be so long after the vote that the EU will forget what they used to make it. The SG has never intended to have the referendum before it was clear in which way the negotiations were heading anyway.....which is why they were leaving the timing open until the negotiations were coming to a conclusion nearer the tail end of 2018...or if an extension to the negotiating time scale is agreed, maybe a bit longer. The time for the independence referendum was never now.....the time for agreeing to have an independence referendum once the Brexit terms were clear was what was now. The Edinburgh Agreement, after all, was signed two years before the actual referendum with no specific date, just a rough timing as to the latest it could be held (and it made no promises as to never having another one within any timescale either, btw) So it seems to me that, by the time there would be a referendum, it would be pretty clear how the negotiations were working out....and if we had it before the UK actually left the EU, we would not have as long to get back in...or at a push could join EFTA, thus continuing some level of connection with the EU instead of years in the wilderness. However not agreeing to have,a section 30 order through both Westminster and Holyrood and in place to be used when the time WAS right (a bit like May waiting until the polls made the time right fot her to have this GE now), means that Scotland would be out of the EU and, if May gets the stonking majority she expects....I'd be surprised if Holyrood won't get some of what small powers it possesses removed....or even gets abolished altogether. Once Brexit is done and dusted...whenever May deems that to be...will Scotland be in a position to have another referendum. I'm not at all sure it will.
  7. Oddquine

    Indepencence Referendum 2018/2019

    Would that be the majority who thought that, by voting NO, they would be guaranteed to remain in the EU, as opposed to being refused membership of it by the other EU countries if we voted YES, as continually stated as fact by the Better Together crew and sundry unionist politicians? . That majority? Another independence referendum will let us see exactly how big that majority is now, won't it?
  8. Oddquine

    Indepencence Referendum 2018/2019

    This Election is not about Scottish independence from the UK...or even really much to do with Brexit, as far as I can see. This is an election to sort out the Tory party...not to sort out anything to do with the country. She's having it around the time the CPS is meant to report on who is going to be prosecuted(or not) over the election fraud accusations in at least one by-election and quite a few marginals in the 2015 GE.....because if up to 24 individual elections have to be rerun, she has more chance of losing her majority in England than she will in a full-scale UK General Election after a few weeks of UK wide doom and gloom forecasts for the economy if anybody but Tories get back in to negotiate Brexit.
  9. Oddquine

    Indepencence Referendum 2018/2019

    It was hilarious. Every time I answered a question with "SNP", she came back with "if there was no SNP candidate, who would you vote for"...and I said....given the choices probably LibDem. I was so chuffed at being polled for the first (and only) time in my life that it took me a while of this "SNP/probably LibDem" responses to everything that I realised she was ticking boxes. I asked her if she was recording the order of voting preferences(SNP1 LD 2) and that was when I found I'd become a LibDem voter. I guess the polling company hadn't heard about the SNP at that time.(or were doing the poll for the LibDems and were being paid by favourable results). I always wondered how much it had skewed the expectations of the LibDems in an area with a fairly decent SNP vote if she had picked on a lot of the wrong people to talk to on Forres High Street.
  10. Oddquine

    Indepencence Referendum 2018/2019

    Would that be the one in the Times? The one in which respondents are asked to choose between a referendum in "the next year or two", a referendum "in about two years"(after negotiations), or no referendum "in the next few years". Can you explain how a referendum, possibly taking place some time between Autumn 2018 and September 2019, when the terms of the negotiations should clear, or even be ready to be debated in all EU Parliaments, do not conform to both "the next year or two" and "in about two years" questions...making that 32% + 18% (ie 50%) in favour of Nicola Sturgeon's time frame....and 50% preferring "not for a few years" which could be any time after "about two years" ...couldn't it? Anyway, it is pretty much the same split as in the last poll. I notice, incidentally, that a Comres poll has 52% of those polled saying that any second Scottish referendum on independence should not wait until Britain has completed the process of leaving the EU....which does fit nicely with the preferred option of Nicola Sturgeon.. The last seven polls have had three with an increased pro-indy vote, two with the pro-indy vote much as it was in 2014 and two with a drop in the pro-indy vote that one and one which does not include the 16 and 17 year olds in their sampling. Must admit, I have never given polls any credence since I was once polled, during a General Election in a constituency with an SNP candidate(who won incidentally) but there was no SNP(or "Other" option) on the form...so I was put in by the person asking the questions as a Lib/Dem...and I haven't believed a poll since. But they're fun to talk about.
  11. Oddquine

    EU In or Out

    A UK wide referendum has the same franchise as a General Election, Scotty....so ex-pats who were registered to vote in UK within the previous 15 years, Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in UK can vote, but not EU citizens resident in the UK, Lords, or prisoners. For Brexit, Gibraltar was added for the referendum because it was going to be directly affected. The franchise for the Independence Referendum was the same as for a Scottish election.....a current voter registration at a Scottish address.....Westminster didn't extend the ex-pat rule to Wales, NI or Scotland elections. I'm pleased about that, because I don't see why anyone who has moved away permanently enough to have given up his home in Scotland (or anywhere else in the UK, for that matter) should have the right to continue to influence the make-up of any UK Government and not suffer ALL the consequences of the choice they made. It's bad enough that people living elsewhere, with a second home in Scotland, can register to vote...and influence the results of elections which will only affect them from time to time. It is an offence to vote twice in the same type of election, but a Scottish Election is not a General Election. And aren't you lucky...because the Government is thinking about letting ex-pats vote in UK elections for life....which is flaming ridiculous!
  12. Oddquine

    EU In or Out

    DD, What change is more material than being removed from the EU, having stayed in the Union on the basis that it was the only way to guarantee staying in the EU? In fact,into the bargain, what is more of a material change than the imposition of EVEL, which prevents Scottish constituency MPs voting on "English only" law, even when the passing of that law will impact on the Barnett Consequentials, which are part of the Scottish income....or more material than the recent acknowledgement by Westminster that the Sewell Convention applies to what Westminster says it applies to...thus illustrating that Scotland can not even define what is a devolved matter within the devolved competencies. However, if you notice, a second indyref hasn't yet been called. It is still avoidable if Westminster does as much for Scotland in negotiations as she intends,it is being said, to do for NI, the car industry, the financial services industry, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands etc. I'm not holding my breath, but you can if you like. What once in a generation pledge? There is nothing in the Edinburgh Agreement, the Memorandum of agreement or the Section 30 order stating anything about any "once in a generation pledge". Because Alex Salmond said it in a BBC interview after the vote and just before he resigned as First Minister makes it a pledge from the first SNP FM of Scotland. He cannot bind any future FM of Scotland to his personal opinion, any more than any PM of the UK can bind any other administration to his/her policy continuation, far less to anything said in a BBC interview. You want a list of all the "promises" made by future PMs pre-election which got either ignored or u-turned on when THEY got into power. Alex Salmond made no promise he didn't keep...he just was not, after he resigned, in a position to keep it. Anyway, what is meant by a generation? A generation in Westminster Politics is five years and, in Scottish politics, four years and we are into both those generations now...and this is the first time those of the 14-15yo generation who could not vote in indyref1 will likely be eligible to vote in a future referendum. I don't actually see what you are getting your knickers in a twist about, though, the bill went through, as we all knew that it would, given the whips imposed...or did you honestly think every MP in the House of Commons should dutifully vote for the bill to show solidarity with a Brexit they never wanted...and allow the Tories and UKIP to claim that the whole country was behind them. Hecky thump, MPs/MSPs won't even vote for bills, decent bills, even if lifted by the party proposing it straight from their own manifestos, because if they are not proposing they oppose(or sit on their hands).
  13. Oddquine

    EU In or Out

    DD....I won't quote your post, because mine is more than long enough to fill the space Let me get this straight....MPs are paid £70,000 a year plus expenses to represent the political party for which they stood, to help individual members of their constituency, if they have problems caused as a result of government/government policy, but not elected to represent the majority in a constituency, when that constituency opinion/position is clearly understood? Aye, right! I am sitting right now looking at a leaflet from my local list MSP, which has, appended to it, a survey proclaiming that my views are important to him, but you are saying that they aren't and he is not elected to represent my views and the views of all his other constituents....just to deal with those individuals who go to him with problems and the survey on the leaflet is just a bit of window-dressing to pad out his succession of photo-ops and self-promotion? Given that relatively few of his constituents will complete and return the form, he will still take it upon himself to take those responses as "the opinion/position" of all his constituents, and respond appropriately, yet you claim that in a constituency which voted in a majority(even if only just) for one specific position, he would have no obligation to take heed of that "survey" and could ignore it. And you think that is acceptable? Regarding HIE, was there an indication that the majority in the Highlands and Islands were against the centralising of the committees which oversee the actions of those who actually produce the plans that you say "betrayed their constituents on the recent vote of the HIE"? Can't say it bothered me, given those who were being "amalgamated" were not the workers but the overseeing quango....and they don't need to be in Inverness to oversee. Regarding "there is no EU state"...there is no UK state either. There are treaties signed forming the EU out of 27 different countries, and there are treaties signed forming the UK out of three countries and what is now a province. Treaties are not set in stone, however much Westminster would like to think they are when it suits them. If Treaties were set in stone, there would have been no Irish Free State or an independent Ireland now, would there........or, if it comes to that....a Brexit? I agree that there is no comparison between the EU and the UK..the EU is democratic, for a start, the UK never has been. It might have been considered so in 1707 when there was an accepted version of democracy which was not applicable to citizens if they were not lords, landowners or burgesses, but, apart from the advent of universal suffrage, Parliamentary democracy is still no more democratic than it was in 1687, when the English Parliament took over the sovereignty of the monarch and reduced him to a figurehead...controlled by the peers, landowners and burgesses, elected by their friends and cronies...or than it was in 1707 when the English Parliament, with all its historic idiosyncracies, became the Parliament of Great Britain and later of the UK....in effect(and probably intention) making the UK a bigger England, with the addition to the English Parliament of MPs from the other countries...(but not enough of them to overrule the English ones even if they all voted together). A sovereign Parliament, created by and for just one of the countries within that Union and which writes the rules and regulations to govern its own actions, with no way for it to be held to account by the people it governs, because there is no jointly agreed written UK constitution for it to be judged against, is not a democracy. Representative democracy in a two party FPTP system with an unelected revising chamber and a whipping system which is intended to prevent MPs actually representing their constituents,is not democracy....that is an elected dictatorship. And into the bargain, instead of a written constitution, we have "conventions" to guide the behaviour of our Government, and "conventions" like devolution, are the gift of the sovereign Parliament which can ignore them at any time. You call that democracy? Scotland does not require the permission of Westminster to hold a referendum on anything, Scotland requires Westminster to pass a bill making the result of a referendum binding. As far as I am aware, nobody in the UK needs Westminster permission to hold a consultative referendum, not even me. However,in the end, it doesn't really matter if the referendum is only consultative....because if it is a vote for independence,and Westminster doesn't agree to put forward a Bill to repeal the Acts of Union, Scotland can declare UDI or, as it works nowadays, call on the right to self determination under the UN charter. The "complex infrastructure" of the UK is not nearly as complex as that of the EU. The biggest problem re negotiations is going to be Westminster, not Scotland, if you are going to take the indyref1 Project Fear pronouncements as any guide, just as the stance of the EU is going to be the problem for the UK in the EU negotiations. I haven't yet seen Theresa May say one word about her plans for negotiating with the EU..just her vision of what the UK can expect to get from the negotiations...can you give me a link to her plans? The negotiations with the EU are the "terms of withdrawal from the EU", not what the UK will be like or do after we withdraw, but what our relationship with the EU will be after we withdraw. The negotiations with Westminster will be the same,an apportioning of assets and liabilities, how to deal with the transition period and how that is to be achieved. Given it was just fine for the UK to step off the EU cliff without having a safety net prepared and spread out ahead of time...why is that being demanded of Scotland. And we do know what currency we will be using after we vote for independence, we always have known....the pound until the end of the transition period....and whatever we decide after that.
  14. Oddquine

    EU In or Out

    MPs are not elected to represent the positions of their Parties on every individual manifesto promise, they are elected to represent the positions of their constituencies. It is a very rare occasion that the members of a constituency have the opportunity, en masse, to tell their MP what their vote should be. As a result, MPs are honour (if they know what that means) bound to vote in response to the wishes of their constituents. That will mean that Article 50 should be triggered, but it will also mean that those MPs whose constituencies did not vote for Brexit should ignore Party Whips and vote against that triggering. Party whipping has no place in a vote on a referendum result (It has no place in politics at all, imo, but certainly not in a case like this.) The Scottish representatives in the House of Lords attempted in 1713 to extricate Scotland from the Union, and despite there being, as there is now, a large difference in relative numbers, they lost that attempt by only 4 votes. I suspect, given the chance, if English MPs voted as their constituents wished....there would no barrier put up to Scottish Independence. However, if a second independence referendum resulted in a majority for independence, and English or any other MPs chose to ignore that result...then there is a case for declaring UDI. And the difference would be, as you know very well that the Brexit referendum was a UK one, an independence referendum would be limited to Scotland. Did all the EU representatives in the EU parliament get a vote on whether we were to be allowed to leave the EU........because that is the comparison to be made?
  15. Oddquine

    Kar Krash Kez

    Charles said Part of their problem is that they have outlived the purpose for which they were formed. In an era of universal benefits, Victorian workhouse living conditions are long gone and trade unionism largely discredited itself in the 60s and 70s Problem is that the Welfare system has possibly gone too far due to Labour Governments in the post-war years handing out benefits to win elections, and now, because expectations have been instilled, and we feel we are entitled, relative to what we had, we can be seen to be moving back to Victorian workhouse conditions.and while I am not a TU fan, they have been emasculated to the point of being next to pointless....and the Labour Right can't see that. There is a happy medium....but the Labour Party of Blair thought and still thinks the only way to get elected (nothing about what is best for the bulk of the population) is the Tory way, differentiated only by the tweaks which have got us where we are.today. A choice is not two unionist parties both of which promote inequality, with the only difference being in how much inequality will be deemed acceptable.