Multi-Nationals & the Rich Pay No Tax on Riches – But the Poor Pay Tax on Every Penny

The Chancellor of the Exchequer this week, announced a marked increase and further extension of austerity measures designed to reduce public spending so that on-going budget deficits will be eliminated. Very many of those to suffer most will be the lower paid, unemployed, sick, disabled and elderly. But what of the multinationals and the richer members of society. Not a lot from the top earners. The troughs are open. The under noted report provides an explanation of difficulties, pertaining to an on-going disgraceful failure to recover tax due from Vodaphone, (just one of the multinationals). Introduction of a tax regime ensuring timeous recovery of tax due would eliminate any need to punish the poor for the greed and incompetence of the rich.

September 2011 – Vodaphone – Dave Hartnett and Tax Avoidance Schemes.

Appearing before the, Treasury Select Committee, investigating tax avoidance schemes operated, (to the detriment of the UK) by multinationals, Dave Hartnett, permanent secretary for tax at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) defended a, “sweetheart” deal he brokered with Vodaphone claiming he had achieved the best recovery of tax possible from the company.

In opening exchanges he questioned claims a figure of £6billion tax had been due, but avoided since Vodaphone’s company registration was in Luxembourg and this provided the means allowing operation of a legal tax avoidance scheme. The £6billion figure was very conservative, (some experts put it nearer to £15billion) had been obtained from an examination of the Luxembourg company’s accounts and sources within HMRC.

With at least several billions of pounds in tax at stake covering a decade of tax avoidance, HMRC’s lawyers and specialists were confident of victory, yet Hartnett told the committee: “There were plenty of tax QCs in the UK lined up telling us and the media that we weren’t going to get a penny through litigation.” Strangely, HMRC could not unearth a single such comment to the media.

In fact by the middle of last year, most tax lawyers understood that Vodafone was on shaky ground with its argument that UK laws designed to ensnare the scheme breached European law. Britain’s court of appeal ruled in 2009 that the laws were compatible with EU law, while the European court had judged that “artificial” arrangements could be taxed and companies don’t come much more artificial than Vodafone’s Luxembourg brass plate operation, betrayed by its employment of two men and a dog until well into 2008.

This was not enough for even one Luxembourgeois and his chien to run a company – plus its Swiss branch – that held in excess of £125billion in financial assets and subsidiary companies including the German engineering giant at the heart of the scheme, Mannesman. Few doubt the courts would have found this “artificial”, as even Vodafone appeared to acknowledge by belatedly deploying a handful more bean counters to Luxembourg.

Hartnett admitted that the case had been “escalated” away from inspectors, (who were specialists in the subject) first to a director and her deputy then, when their discussions “stalled” Hartnett stepped in personally and “negotiated a settlement with the chief financial officer of Vodafone”, aka Andy Halford. Coincidentally, of all Britain’s thousands of tax advisers, the company brought in Deloitte’s David Cruickshank, who just happened to have a long track record of doing cosy deals with Hartnett.

Hartnett with only a limited grasp of the relevant tax laws consulted nobody who understood the law properly, including the relevant lawyers, on the chances of legal success and thus what a suitable “deal” might be. Vodafone got what it wanted (including time to pay on a chunk of the bill, despite sitting on its own multi-billion pound cash pile) and the taxpayer was short-changed by a few billion. “Absurd” indeed.

And what a hefty deal it was. Vodafone’s own estimate of its bill, (£2.1billion) had been made as early as March 2006, more than four years before the July 2010 settlement of (£1.25billion). Between those dates, billions of pounds more profits were diverted offshore and interest continued to rack up on the old liabilities. Almost certainly unlawfully, HMRC also promised not to touch the scheme in future and other unrelated tax disputes were dropped as part of the deal.
Tuesday 28 May 2013 Dave Hartnett Ex Head of Tax at HM Revenue & Customs Takes up a Post With Deloitte’s

Dave Hartnett, until last summer the UK’s top tax official, is taking up a job with tax consultancy Deloitte. Does this matter? Yes, it does; both in its specifics, and the light it casts on the relationship between our governing elite and corporate interests.

Mr Hartnett left Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs amid some controversy. It is not every civil servant who is accused of being a liar, as he was by Margaret Hodge. The chair of the public accounts committee accused him of lying over his claim that he did not deal with the tax affairs of Goldman Sachs. He had in fact struck a “sweetheart deal” with the bankers, letting them off a £10million interest bill. That revelation sat alongside other tittle-tattle such as his standing as the most wined and dined official in Whitehall, eating 10 meals with KPMG alone over three years. One doesn’t need to buy the accusations of a meals-for-deals strategy to see in all this a too – cosy relationship between the regulator and the businesses that he regulated. Even other tax professionals went along with that, especially outside the Big Four. Such criticism was justified by Mr Hartnett and his pushing of “enhanced relationships” with big companies. The commissioner might initially have intended the concept to denote more open dealing with big taxpayers and less of the old cat – and – mousery; but it ended up as a variant of the now-familiar light-touch supervision.

The great disappointment is that Mr Hartnett set out to be a much tougher taxman. It is hard to think of any senior official with as in-depth a knowledge of tax law, or with as great renown as a bruiser. Mr Hartnett was a Revenue lifer, yet the hard man ended his career by becoming a soft touch. His appointments to Deloitte and HSBC won’t alter that reputation. Mr Hartnett will help Deloitte to advise overseas governments on how to implement “effective tax regimes”, which seems rather like dispatching the top brass of Stella Artois to advise on alcohol abuse. The contrast between his soft landing and the brutal treatment administered to Osita Mba, the whistle blower who exposed the Goldman’s deal, is stark and troubling.

Provision must be made for top public servants to move on to other jobs, but the current system is not robust enough at detecting possible conflicts of interest. In its emphasis on avoiding personal lobbying of ministers and advisers by former colleagues, the advisory committee on business appointments pays too little attention to how they might otherwise massage relations between a company and Whitehall. It is thus worryingly narrow in how it interprets possible overlaps of corporate interest. The system must be recast to adopt a precautionary principle in looking for possible dangers of abusing insider expertise.
23 March 2013 David Cruickshank, chairman of Deloitte Interviewed

Britain’s biggest accountants have been under attack in recent weeks for their alleged involvement in tax-dodging schemes and last week the Chancellor said he would name and shame accountants and others involved in aggressive tax avoidance. But David Cruickshank, chairman of Deloitte, one of the Big Four firms, insists he has nothing to fear from a tougher regime. ‘That [aggressive tax avoidance] is not the business we are in,’ he says. Critics, including a number of MPs, might beg to differ.

It has been a difficult period for the big accountants, which as well as facing accusations from parliamentary committees of being part of the tax avoidance industry have been blamed for failing to spot the financial shenanigans at banks and elsewhere and of having a competitive stranglehold over accounting advice to Britain’s blue-chip firms.

But it is the tax issue that has prompted the most ire. Cruickshank claims companies have actually been cleaning up their tax act. ‘Most companies are doing now what I would regard as sensible planning, sensible housekeeping in line with their business,’ he says. ‘The environment’s changed an awful lot over the past ten years.’

But Cruickshank says that private individuals have been rather more colourful. ‘On the other hand, there definitely has been quite a lot of activity in the private client market – the sort of personal tax area,’ he says. ‘There’s been a bit of a lag in that market actually, where there are still a lot more schemes than in the corporate market.’ Cruickshank doesn’t name anyone in particular but in the public mind comedian Jimmy Carr has been the most obvious recent case of celebrity tax avoidance. The comedian’s tax arrangements were the most serious recent example – though nothing to do with Deloitte. ‘I won’t comment on Jimmy Carr,’ says Cruickshank. ‘I don’t know anything about the arrangements there or what he did, but I think generally prominent individuals in public life are now taking more care.’

On his corporate clients, Cruickshank is confident they will be on the right side of the Government’s crackdown, called the general anti-abuse rule. ‘The general anti-abuse rules would catch the very extreme stuff, particularly in the personal tax area and individuals,’ he says. ‘I think that will be a deterrent, particularly for some of the more egregious personal tax planning that’s been going on. But for the vast majority of companies, what they are doing wouldn’t fall foul of the rules.’

He suspects the Chancellor’s hope, outlined in the Budget, of raising £4.6 billion through the clampdown is inevitably a ‘guess’. ‘Those estimates are always really hard,’ he says. ‘You are talking about what people will or will not do, because they think they might be challenged. It is always a best guess. And it is very hard to be precise about the numbers. ‘It could put off hundreds or thousands of people from doing what they would have done, but it is hard to measure what you can’t see.’
Friday 06 June 2014 Vodafone’s Increasing Use of the Luxembourg Tax Haven

Vodafone is increasingly using the tax haven of Luxembourg as a base to manage its global spending, in a move that will reignite the controversy about its tax practices.

The company’s annual report, which showed the mobile giant is managing spending of £8.6billion through Luxembourg, also revealed Vodafone paid no UK corporation tax for a third year in a row despite making a post-tax profit of £59.4billion, thanks to the sale of its Verizon Wireless business.

Vodafone said its Luxembourg-based subsidiary, the Vodafone Procurement Company (VPC), “centrally manages the strategic procurement of the majority of our overall spend”. VPC managed spending on areas such as software in the year to March, which “represents around 50 per cent of our spend, up from £5.5billion in the prior year” and “allows us to leverage scale and achieve better prices and terms”.

The report added: “By utilizing the VPC we also learn how to apply best practice across different spend categories. For example, by applying techniques from how we manage the software licences for our data centres under a single contract to how we buy software for our network operations, we have achieved a 30 per cent reduction in prices.”

Vodafone’s use of Luxembourg in the past has been controversial, as critics allege the company has funneled revenues through the country to avoid tax in Britain.

Part of the reason Vodafone recorded a £59.4billion profit in the year to March was that it was able to benefit from historic tax losses of £17.4 billion in Luxembourg, despite limited operations there. Vodafone has previously said the losses relate chiefly to its acquisition of German telecom operator Mannesmann in 2000.

The FTSE 100 group has faced years of controversy over allegations of tax avoidance, in Britain but Vodafone strongly denies avoiding tax and maintains its UK operation makes slim profits in what it says is one of the toughest markets in Europe. “We are committed to acting with integrity in all tax matters,” it has said.

The annual report explained that it paid no British corporation tax as UK profits were again, “more than offset” by continuing payments to the Government towards the £6.8bn cost of its 3G and 4G spectrum.

Those close to Vodafone also insisted it had not shifted its purchasing from the UK to Luxembourg – rather that a lot of buying had been on a country-by-country basis previously and was now being centralised. The company added that the increase in spending to £8.20billion was partly because it has upped investment in new masts and other infrastructure.

Chief executive Vittorio Colao’s pay fell 20 per cent to £8.9m after Vodafone missed profit targets in Europe. But he will have had a huge dividend windfall from the Verizon Wireless sale in America.

Vodafone became the biggest dividend payer in the FTSE 100 this year as the Verizon deal led to a record-breaking £50billion return to shareholders. The sale was structured so it virtually wiped out any tax liability.
Tuesday 30 September 2014 Chancellor of the Exchequer Promises Clampdown on Corporate Tax Avoidance

Osborne announced he was going to tackle technology companies such as Apple and Google, which have been accused of going to extraordinary lengths to offshore profits to avoid corporation tax. Apple’s tax deals will come under further scrutiny this week amid a threat that the European Union will impose a multi – billion pound fine this week for its decades-long deals with the Irish government. Tory officials said detailed measures would be announced in the autumn statement, but hundreds of millions of pounds would be saved from the multinational clampdown on corporate tax avoidance

We seem to have been here before.

Labour Party

Strange Bedfellows Indeed – How the Torys, Labour and Israel Denied Scotland Independence

Strange Bedfellows Indeed – How the Torys, Labour and Israel Denied Scotland Independence

Scottish Referendum – Independence: Good or bad for Jews & Israel?

An independent Scotland would be no friend of Israel. While so many issues remain coloured in grey, heading into the referendum on Scottish independence, this one should be viewed as black-and-white. Over the past decade, Scotland’s First Minister – and the architect of Thursday’s historic referendum vote – Alex Salmond, has consistently presented an anti-Israel agenda to the people of Scotland.

In 2002, it was an attack on then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw for the supply of parts used in fighter planes that Mr Salmond believed attacked “Palestinians in the illegally-occupied territories”.

Five years on and he trumpeted the difference between UK and Scottish foreign policy on Israel. He stated that he was “appalled by the British approach that runs contrary to our Scottish view of the world”. And over the course of the most recent conflict in Gaza, the de-facto Scottish Foreign Minister Humza Yousaf was unequivocal in what he saw as a “heavily disproportionate” response by Israel to Hamas rocket bombardment and terrorism. “With mounting evidence of possible violations of international law the UK must ensure that it is not complicit in the killing of innocent civilians through its supply of arms,” Mr Yousaf said last month. “There must be an immediate embargo on arms sales to Israel and an investigation into whether or not UK arms supplies might have been used in violations of international law.” “We stand ready to play our part as a good global citizen.”

The last line is particularly important. Because while it is obvious that Scotland alone, a would-be-nation of just over five-million people, cannot dictate or influence Israeli policy, its voice would carry a greater weight than ever before. It would join the legions of ‘global citizens’ – inactive in so many other conflicts – in condemning Israel’s right to defend itself.

An independent Scotland would be one extra vote in the United Nations and, probably, one extra voice in the European Union where every vote, voice and opinion of smaller nations counts more than ever and multi – million – euro trade contracts with the Jewish state hang in the balance. Presently, Holyrood has no say in British foreign policy. And although Mr Salmond retains a right to his views, both publicly and privately, they appear to be unwanted when it comes to Israel.

Earlier this year, the former Palaun ambassador to the United Nations explained to me that no voice was insignificant in the UN and most countries formed,  “cohesive voting blocks, with each vote becoming noticed and vied for”. Scotland, like its Celtic neighbour the Republic of Ireland, is a historically left-wing nation never likely to favour Israel in its battle over what the Celts see as an oppressed people, like themselves.

Ireland is a prescient example of what a yes vote may bring and is home to one of the most vocal anti-Israel atmospheres in Europe. The Israeli embassy in Dublin is routinely barricaded and ‘sieged’. The Irish Foreign Minister is routinely asked to expel the ambassador, while members of the Oireachtas (parliament) Friends of Israel are lambasted on social media for their membership of the group and boycotts are spreading.

The President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, is considered one of the most anti-Israel heads of state in Europe and a quick glance at some of the comments directed to @IsraelInIreland Twitter would be eye-opening reading.This is all before taking into account the impact of being ruled by a nationalist party – the Scottish National Party – which Mr Salmond leads. How do we know that, in the years to come, the question of “just how Scottish are you” won’t be asked of Scottish Jews?

In May, the former Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, himself a Scottish Jew, told me that “nations don’t just break up” and said he would “bet everything against a vote for Scottish independence”. Let’s hope he is right.

Labour Party Members Actively Supporting Israel

1. The National Union of Students has supplied many of the Labour Partys senior members over the years. Lot’s of them also joined:

a. Labour Friends of Israel

b. Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre BICOM, a powerful lobbying group always pushing the case for support of Israel in all things in Westminster.

2. This note addresses in brief a group of student friends and their links to each other and the foregoing activities:

3. Jim Murphy was Chair (2001-2002) and still is a member of Labour Friends of Israel and has close links with members of BICOM.

a. WikiLeaks: In 2011, The Daily Telegraph published documents, compiled by a senior US official at the US Embassy in London and published by WikiLeaks, it was revealed that throughout 2009, Jim Murphy was in charge of organising a coalition of Unionist parties whose aim was to, “block an independence referendum” in Scotland. The documents state: Throughout 2009, UK Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy played a leadership role in organizing the opposition parties, hoping to move Scotland toward implementation of the Calman recommendations as an alternative to an independence referendum, according to Murphy’s advisors, Labour party insiders, and opposition party leaders. First Minister Salmond’s response to independence critics (such as Murphy) was to accelerate the implementation of the Calman recommendations as soon as possible – “to call the bluff.”

b. East Renfrewshire has the biggest Jewish community outside London and Murphy is noted for working hard for them. but the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is a lot more extreme than the English one. It is a very hostile political environment for a beleaguered Jewish community of 5,000, which needs to change.

c. Avoiding national service with the South African Army; “I saw for myself the legalization of grotesque theories of racial supremacy” he returned to Scotland, and took up studies at a University in Glasgow before dropping out to become president of the NUS. Then on to become an MP.

e. Murphy is a prominent member of the ultra right wing think tank, “The Henry Jackson Society Advisory Council”. The policies of the group conflict, at times with official Labour Party policy which causes conflict.

4. Lorna Fitzsimons: Grew up in Rochdale where she still lives with her family and runs her two businesses, Lorna Fitzsimons Consulting and MK-LF Partnership.

a. She is currently the Director of The Alliance Project and the Textile Growth Program. The Alliance project was established by industry, Lord Alliance, (David Alliance, Baron Alliance, GBE is a British businessman and Liberal Democrat politician of Jewish origin from Iran). and the Combined Authority’s of Greater Manchester to work with Government on the growth potential in British textile manufacturing.

b. She has completed the biggest study of supply and demand in British textile manufacturing in the last twenty years and presented the findings and recommendations to Government. She is now working with Government, industry and GMCA implementing the recommendations. She directs a £12.8million textile growth fund investing in British textile manufacturing.

c. Lorna has also set up MK-LF Partnership with her business partners. The company runs The Pipeline, a program working with FTSE 100 company’s to develop executive female talent.

d. Lorna served as president of the National Union of Students from 1992 to 1994. She was a NED of Endsleigh Insurance and chair of the European Students Forum. From there she became an associate director at a Saatchi subsidiary. Lorna became the first ever winner of the IPPR’s Young Communicator of the Year award.

e. In 1997, Lorna was elected to Parliament as MP for Rochdale (29). She was PPS to Robin Cook. Lorna was a member of the Hansard Society Board and chair of the Historic Parliamentary Labour Party Women’s Committee, comprised of 101 female MPs.

f. On leaving Parliament in 2005, Lorna set up her own consultancy and became a senior visiting fellow at the Defence Academy.

g. Lorna became the CEO at the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) in October 2006. She left BICOM after five and a half years in 2012 to set up her own company’s.

5. Dermot Kehoe has been Chief Executive of BICOM, Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre since 2012.

a. Dermot has over 20 years’ experience in public affairs, communications and journalism. A career in broadcasting that spans the BBC, ITV, GMTV and Channel 4 and in communications at the Home Office, Social Market Foundation and the Fabian Society.

b. His Credits include The Sunday Programme with Alistair Stewart, GMTV Election ’97, The Street Weapons Commission (C4) and The Iraq Commission (C4).

c. His partner John David Cairns MP died  from acute pancreatitis 9 May 2011

6. John David Cairns (7 August 1966 – 9 May 2011) was a Scottish Labour Party politician, who was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 2001 until his death.

a. He represented the constituency of Inverclyde.

b. He was the Minister of State at the Scotland Office until he resigned on 16 September 2008.

c. He died from complications of acute pancreatitis on 9 May 2011, aged 44.

d. He was a catholic priest but gave up his vocation to become a politician. Openly gay his long time partner was Dermot Kehoe.

e. He was a member of Labour Friends of Israel.

7. Michael Dugher was elected to serve as the Member of Parliament for the Barnsley East constituency at the 2010 General Election.

a. He is the Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, having been appointed as a full member of the Shadow Cabinet in October 2013.

b. He had previously attended the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister without Portfolio since October 2013 and was also Vice-Chair of the Labour Party.

c. Prior to that, Michael was: Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband; Shadow Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology; and briefly a member of the Public Administration Select Committee.

d. Jim Murphy and Michael compiled a document whilst in office setting out the benefits of defence purchasing from Israel

e. He is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.
8. Stephen Twigg is the Labour Co-operative MP for Liverpool West Derby and shadow Secretary of State for Education.

a. Openly gay he championed the removal of clause 28 from Schools.

b. He is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.

Tory Party

So Where is the Money Coming From George? Don’t Be Silly From the British Taxpayers of Course.

So Where is the Money Coming From George? Don’t Be Silly From the British Taxpayers of Course.

1. More problems, (other than the £4 billion annual cost of the war in the Middle East) for George to deal with in the next few weeks. All of which will be passed on to the taxpayer whether they agree with it or not.

2. George Osborne, (Chancellor of the Exchequer) in his autumn statement, for delivery to the country in November will announce an increase and extension of existing austerity measures. This will include a number of new cuts in welfare spending and public sector pay restraints, to last for the duration of the parliament and beyond.

3. But MP.s will take up their 11 per cent pay & expenses rise at the start of the new government in 2015.

4. Another bombshell, landing on the desk of the Chancellor is the report, (commissioned by the Speaker of the House, Mr Berkow) from an eminent group of building surveyors giving warning that the entire building is suffering from chronic and continuing deterioration due to subsistence.

5. Corrective measures will need to be put in place so that the Grade 1 listed building can be protected from any further deterioration. These will address;

a. Big Ben is off the vertical by around 18 inches.

b. Significant stress fracture cracks in the walls of the building.

c. Boilers and piping systems are in very bad condition due to their age.

d. Electrical wiring is badly in need of replacement due to fire risks and multiple safety hazards.

e. Internally the Commons chamber itself also needs extensive work and at some point during the next Parliament will have to be shut for 18 months. MPs are expected to relocate to the Lords, with peers probably meeting in the QE2 conference centre opposite Westminster Abbey.

6. The entire programme of works will take between 10 and 20 years to complete and will be tackled in stages so as to reduce disruption. Projected costs vary but conservative estimates are between £4 and £6 Billion over 10 years. Note: Forward planning costs for such a large project is an art not yet perfected and the eventual total cost to the nation may well be in excess of £10Billion.

7. Both Houses agreed that doing nothing is not an option and an independent appraisal of a range of options is under way. The priority will be to ensure value for money for the taxpayer while safeguarding the heritage of the Palace. The final decision will be taken in the next Parliament.


Craig Murray Ex British Ambassador – A Lone Voice in the Political Wilderness

I compiled a few videos of Craig Murray in full flow setting out the facts, as he remembers them. In light of the, “New” campaign in the Middle East there must be doubts in the minds of many as to the real motivation behind the commitment of the UK to support of the USA in it’s efforts. Noteworthy is the absence of Germany, Italy and the country with the largest land army in NATO, Turkey. The videos present another, less heard of perspective and are useful in that respect.
UK Ambassador Blows Whistle on Torture

“Realism or Hypocrisy? – Western Diplomacy and Freedom of Expression”

Former British ambassador Craig Murray says UK and USA sent prisoners to Uzbek to be tortured

Murray: CIA used Uzbek torture to create false intelligence; support for regime continues

If you want to seize control of the massive natural gas deposits in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, but you can’t run a pipeline through Iran or Russia (because leaders there aren’t US puppets), what do you do?

This video presented by Journeyman Pictures. you could watch this video uncut at journeyman’s youtube. I am working on Uzbek version so people of Uzbekistan should know what we people in the West know about Karimov. .

Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Provides Evidence on UK Government Complicity in Torture.

Craig Murray – Against Islamophobia

Scottish Independence

Must watch, Illustrated interview with Ambassador to Uzbekistan Mr. Craig Murray. Ex-British Ambassador about Uzbek Dictatorship; boiled alive prisoners, jailed mothers, prosecuted Muslims, etc..

“Truth is a universal concept, and the ability of governments to bury the truth is a universal problem.”

The Spirit of Independence caught up with Craig Murray whilst he was in the town to present at the Yes Fest. Here are his thoughts on why Scotland should be independent.

Labour Party

Scotland has Been Changed Forever by the Outcome of the Referendum

Scotland has Been Changed Forever by the Outcome of the Referendum

Lamont finally agrees Scotland has been changed forever by the outcome of the Referendum – But can the Labour Party in Scotland Change?? or Will it Still, “Cow Tow” to the Instructions of the English Labour Party??

Johann Lamont smiled for the cameras, ignoring the abject failure of her Party machine to motivate Labour leaning voters to support a, “No” vote in the referendum. Instead she weakly offered a view that it was clearly time for change. Addressing colleagues she went on to express concern that whilst Scotland had voted decisively to remain part of the UK significant numbers of Scots had expressed a strong wish to be independent and it was important that the establishment directed efforts towards healing wounds bringing Scotland together once more.

She studiously ignored the fact three of the four areas of Scotland that had voted, “Yes” were Labour Party controlled previously impregnable heartlands, (North Lanarkshire, Glasgow and West Dumbartonshire. Indeed the constituencies of MPs, Margaret Curran, Tom Harris, Willie Bain, Frank Roy, Ian Davidson, Anas Sarwar, Gregg McClymont and Tom Clarke, as well as MSPs Jackie Baillie, Paul Martin, Patricia Ferguson, Michael McMahon and Johaan Lamont herself were among those that voted, “Yes. As is always the case Labour sought to point the finger of failure at other parts of the, “Better Together” campaign asserting it was the barnstorming intervention of Gordon Brown that had saved the day.

But some Labour Party activists did accept there were many shortcomings in the entirely negative campaign and direction the Party had taken in recent times that would need to be addressed and corrected, if the Party was to recover it’s former place in Scottish society. Noteworthy comments;

“The problem has been too many in Labour politics believe they’ve a seat for life. There was a mini-cull of Labour councillors in Glasgow several years back and there may well be one in Lanarkshire very soon.

“The party is too remote from the voters and needs to talk about its failures and failings. [Council leaders] Gordon Matheson and Jim McCabe have serious questions to answer.”

Tory Party

Ruth the Mooth Gives Early Warning – When The Tory Party Takes Up the Reins of Government at Holyrood in 2021 Lazy Scots Will Be Forced Tae Get Tae Work Or Feel Her Wrath








10 August 2012: Bull in a china shop –  Ruth Davidson Castigates lazy Scottish Electorate for living off handouts from Westminster

Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, has claimed that nearly 90 percent of Scots households are currently “living off state’s patronage,”  reports.

Davidson cited that only about 283,080 households in Scotland – 12 percent of the total number – pay more in taxes than what they receive in public services from the state.

In addition, due to the dominance of the public sector in Scottish life, she said that state spending now represents at least one-half of Scotland’s wealth.

“It is staggering that public sector expenditure makes up a full 50 percent of Scotland’s GDP and only 12 percent of households are net contributors, where the taxes they pay outweigh the benefits they receive through public spending,” she thundered.

“The rotten system of patronage, which denies so many people real choices in their lives, has created a corrosive sense of entitlement which suits its political gang masters.”

Referring to the exalted 12 percent who are “responsible for generating Scotland’s wealth,” she rhetorically asked: “I wonder how many of them work on public sector contracts.”

Citing data from the Office for National Statistics, Davidson said that the average Scottish household uses £14,151 more in public services every year than it pays out in taxes.

Even middle-income Scots, she noted, consume £20,000 more in state spending than they pay out.

Only Scotland’s wealthy, that is, those who account for the top 10 percent of earners, pay £17,205 more in tax than they receive in public services.

She also alleged that over-dependence on the public trough has created a generation of Scots who are hopelessly loyal to the Labour and Scottish National Party, at the expense of the Tories.

“If the gang master state is the only provider people can see for their housing, education and employment, it’s no surprise those who seek to break the stranglehold find barriers in their way,” she declared.

But the facts are that Scotland pays 9.6 percent of the United Kingdom’s total tax bill, while accounting for only 9.3 percent of British public spending. (The btimes)

Davidson likes to get herself in the news just as often as she can.

Some of her more bombastic performances are listed below.





5 January 2012: RD keynote speech about Scottish Conservative Party policy.

29 January 2012: RD  and Cameron denying more devolution of tax powers to Scotland.

29 January 2012: Too wee, too stupid, too poor, to be independent, what a shower of toe-rags.

16 March 2012: RD Overstates her case again.

10 May 2012: Scottish regiments betrayed by Tory Party.

17 May 2012: The Leveson Inquiry.

28 May 2012: The big debate Part1.

28 May 2012: The big debate Part2.

31 May 2012: MSP’s agree that Scotland should be an independent country.–ET7PUI2wM

8 October 2012: RD. Scots are happy to live off welfare from England.

9 October 2012: RD. only 12% of Scots households are net contributors to tax revenues.






30 January 2013: Blair Jenkins and RD – Scotland Tonight.

31 January 2013: RD has lost the plot on Europe – failed to keep up with events!

8 March 2013: North Sea investments will generate an additional £3 billion by 2017.

26 March 2013: RD – Speech on strengthening Scottish Devolution.

29 March 2013: RD talking legal, political and constitutional nonsense.

23 May 2013: RD Gets over excited.

7 November 2013: RD questioned Scotland’s place in the EU following independence? The BBC said the Spanish Prime Minister said we would be out!

20 November 2013: RD MSP speaks in the Equal Marriage Debate.

12 December 2013: RD implied Alex Salmond was a liar by referring to him as Pinocchio.

12 December 2013:  RD calls FM Pinocchio – Reprimanded by PO.





2 May 2014: Bested by Alex Salmond,  RD slams her pen down in fury.

29 May 2014: RD rashly embarks on Treasury facts with predictable outcome.

2 June 2014: RD and Sarah Smith – More Powers for Scotland.

7 June 2014: RD – Oil and the economy.

2 July 2014: Referendum two months away. Campaign takes priority.

21 August 2014: RD speaking in the Scotland’s future debate.

14 September 2014:  Treasury briefing breaches Purdah.

15 September 2014: RD “I do not want an equal society” – in her own words.

22 September 2014: RD  implies illegal collation of postal votes.

28 September 2014: RD Speech To the Tory Party Conference.

29 September 2014: RD waffles and refuses to reveal target seats.

10 October 2014: RD comprehensively demolished by the First Minister.

12 December 2014: RD Defends flat-lining Tory Party.





12 April 2015: Unionist leaders bullying Nicola Sturgeon.

27 April 2015:  Tory Party not to blame for the alarming rise in food banks.

7 May 2015: RD wishes away the election outcome.

4 May 2015: RD and the success of the Tory party.

14 May 2015: RD on education.

28 May 2015: Question Time Aberdeen “Mr Plant”  back in the audience.
















2015 General Election

The Mansion Tax – Pie in the Sky?

Ed Balls, (Shadow Chancellor) in his speech, (explaining the monetary policy of a future Labour government) said that additional substantial finance would be found and allocated to the National Health Service. One of the measures proposed is the introduction of a, “Mansion Tax” on homes worth more than £2million. Reaction has been mixed but on balance there is doubt the tax would result in the release of any measurable amount of new money.
My Comment

There are many that would applaud the introduction of a mansion tax, but it would need to be modified in a number of areas so that cash poor, property rich owners, e.g. pensioners would not be punished for a house purchase made many years before in a now affluent area. Proposals are to defer tax collection in such cases until after death which would adversely impact upon inheritance benefits to be passed on to surviving family members.

Introduction would be made difficult since many owners, (assisted by estate agents and solicitors) would endeavor to find ways of reducing the sales value of their houses. Tax revenues would therefore, be difficult to identify and collect, possibly in the first 2 years of introduction and any measure of success might only be achieved through the establishment of a new government body payment of which would adversely impact on any net revenue. The roll back in property values under £2million would also add to the consequent depression in house values.

Net revenue from the tax, (95% of which would be gathered from homeowners in London and the South East of England) would be well below Labour Party projections, (most likely to be under £700Million). Transfer of finance to the National Health Service, would be put in place at the start of a new governments term of office. The Scottish National Health Service would benefit since £70Million would be given over to Scotland. A small re-distribution of wealth which, for the turmoil it is likely to bring with it is an exercise in futility.

I expect the Mansion tax will be, “kicked into touch” in favor of a UK wide property revaluation, since the last one was done over 25 years ago, well before the various property bubbles, crashes and subsequent increases occurred. The revaluation would increase the levels of, “Council Tax” substantially, but income generated, (which might be in excess of £15Billion would be spread evenly across the UK.

2015 General Election

Austerity Measures-Child Benefit to be Frozen by a Labour Government

Austerity Measures-Child Benefit to be Frozen by a Labour Government
Under austerity measures introduced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government, child benefit has been frozen from 2010 to this year. Tory Chancellor George Osborne has already said it should increase by 1 per cent in 2015-16. But Mr Balls said the restraint should continue for another year. With inflation running at around 2 per cent, it means the value of child benefit is falling further in real terms.

Mr Balls said, “I want to see child benefit rising again in line with inflation in the next parliament. “But we will not spend money we cannot afford. So for the first two years of the next parliament we will cap the rise in child benefit at 1 per cent”. “It will save £400 million in the next parliament. And all the savings will go towards reducing the deficit.”

The Children’s Society, Chief Executive Matthew Reed said, “Labour’s announcement on plans to cap child benefit rises comes after repeated squeezes on this bedrock of the family budget. “It represents a major real-terms cut to 13 million children. “Policy is about making choices and the shadow chancellor has made a choice, to look for savings by cutting help for children.

“Child benefit has already been frozen from 2010, and then increased by just 1% this year, falling well below rising prices. “Now this proposal will compound that loss, seeing average families facing a £400 cut in child benefit per year by 2017. “We urge the shadow chancellor to reconsider so that children and their already struggling families do not suffer even more unnecessary hardship.”
Families charity Gingerbread, (President J K Rowling) commented, “Child benefit helps to pay for essentials like food and clothes. For many parents, single parents especially, it can be a lifeline.” “Freezing child benefit will raise relatively little in terms of government savings, but means cutting vital support at a time when families are struggling to make ends meet and the number of children living in poverty is projected to rise rapidly over the next few years.” “This proposal would only make it harder for families to pay the bills.”

An independent Scotland would not have taken around £400 each year from families with children. A matter not given a deal of attention to by the President of Gingerbread. A bit late now.

2015 General Election

2015 General Election and it’s aftermath – What next for the UK?

2015 General Election and it’s aftermath – What next for the UK?

Mythical new powers for Scotland have yet to be brought forward, for discussion between political parties in Scotland and any, “relevant groups or individuals within Scotland”. The UK Government appointed Lord Smith is Heading a Commission aiming to get agreement between the SNP, Scottish Labour, the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Greens on the way forward by 30 November 2014. Each of the 5 main political parties is to be asked to nominate two representatives to take part in cross-party talks.

The mission of the Commission is to produce, by 31 October 2014, an agreed, “Command Paper”, setting out the issues and proposals for change. The Paper will then be sent to Westminster for review, discussion, change where considered necessary and production of a, White Paper” by 25 January 2014. Mechanisms for change, (Acts of Parliament) reflecting agreed outcomes are to be prepared, ready for implementation, in the period February to April.

Implementation of proposed, “new” legislation is to be deferred to a newly elected parliament, at Westminster. It is anticipated readings in the Commons and the Second Chamber coupled with a binding vote in Parliament will be complete before the end of Jun 2015.

There is the caveat that an incoming, “new” government cannot be held to account in regard to proposals for change agreed but not implemented before it’s term of office. So it is possible the entire discussion period could well be an exercise in futility. We will not know until next July, at the earliest and the political scene in the UK and the World will be much changed by that time. There is a saying apt for this situation, “Delay is the most invidious type of Denial”. Is Scotland to be denied?
What Needs to be done in Scotland in the next few weeks

The Labour Party in Scotland has been wounded through it’s support of the Tory Party and the, “Better Together” campaign. The damage might well be temporary in nature, previous history indicates a number of Labour voters, particularly in the West of Scotland are tribal in their approach to politics and might well choose to be guided in their voting, as previously by church and community ,(Labour) activists.

Membership of the of the proposed, “Commission” is designed to, “divide and Rule”. Those in favour of substantial meaningful new powers are outnumbered 6 to 4.

There is also the matter of the members of the many, “Yes for Independence” groups that spontaneously formed and worked tirelessly throughout the campaign. Who is to speak for them? The SNP & Green Party should take up the mantle, without undue delay convening early meetings seeking the views of the foregoing important persons.

Then there is the May 2015 General Election which is just around the corner. Johaan Lamont is under pressure to stand down in favour of a stronger leader experienced in the hustle & bustle of UK politics. Jim Murphy has been muted in the press and despite protestations from some members of the party it is entirely likely he will take up the reins of power of a yet to be formally created, “Westminster Group” of the party in Scotland assisted by a deputy, probably Anas Sarwar. The role of the Scottish labour Party activists and MSP’s would be to take direction from and provide support to the Westminster Group as directed by Jim Murphy. I fully expect there will be speedy movement in the Labour Party to get things under way so that early attention can be given to healing the wounds created by the Referendum campaign.

Back to the, “Yes” campaigners. Are they up for the new battle for the hearts and minds of the Scottish Electorate? I think not. From my observation of many contributions to a number of, “blogs” the vast majority are still morosely, “licking their wounds” and in some cases insisting on fighting on hoping to overturn the result of the Referendum, which is not going to happen.

The, “Yes” campaign needs to rapidly re-group basing it’s broad strategy and forward thinking on that of the SNP, which in turn should broaden it’s base, for the period of a Westminster government, (2015-2020) forming a political group, “The SNP Alliance” encompassing any of the various smaller political parties, in Scotland that are prepared, (for the better future of Scotland) to place their political ideologies on the back burner agreeing to be bound by the rules of the, “Alliance” for the period of the next Westminster parliament.

This would allow the, “Alliance” to nominate a single candidate for election to each constituency in Scotland maximizing representation in Westminster at a crucial period in the history of Scotland.
Back to Westminster in May 2015

Should the Tory Party be re-elected with a small majority, (reliant on a number of smaller parties for support) it will bring forward New Scottish legislation, linking it with measures resolving the, “West Lothian” question. The Labour Party and possibly some other MP’s would vote against the package since it would effectively ensure it would never again take up the reins of government. A substantial group of Scottish , “Alliance” members would be in position enabled to get the package through.

A Labour Party government, with a small majority, (dependent upon it’s Scottish MP’s) would be honour bound to submit the, “package for change” to Parliament without recommendation, allowing a free vote, hoping that proposals pertaining to the, Lothian Question are rejected but allowing changes for Scotland to be implemented. A strong, “Scottish Alliance” presence
would be enough to ensure the defeat of the labour government bringing in the new legislation for England.

Much to do. little time to do it. Leadership is crucial at this time. I would offer Alex Salmond is best placed to bring about the creation of the Scottish Alliance allowing Nicola Sturgeon to get on with her new role as leader of the SNP

2015 General Election

Labour Party Manifesto Plans for the 2015 General Election

Ed Balls set out the direction a future Labour Government would take, if elected. Overall it seems his proposals would increase the budget deficit to around £100Billion. This would require funding and bets are the party would need to increase personal taxes significantly OR borrow the money from the World Bank adding the new loan to the £1.8trillion the country already owes. What a disaster!! A terrible legacy to be handed over to our children. Meantime bankers and their ilk are picking up salaries and bonus packages well in excess of £3Million  each year. The very very rich need to give much much more back to society.

Labour Party Manifesto Plans for the 2015 General Election
1. Mistakes Made by the Last Labour Government.

a. Labour admitted the previous administration had got it wrong on immigration, tax, regulating the banks and tackling poverty. But insisted they had learned lessons of the past, and would not repeat them in the future. In an attempt to persuade voters to trust the Party with the nation’s finances,the Shadow Chancellor apologized for failing to regulate the banks in the last labour government. He said, “While it was the banks which caused the global recession, and it was the global recession which caused deficits to rise here in Britain and around the world, the truth is we should have regulated those banks in a tougher way”. “It was a mistake. We should apologize for it. And I do.”

b. On immigration, he said there should have been tougher rules on immigration from Eastern Europe. He added: ‘It was a mistake not to have transitional controls in 2004 and we must change the rules in the future.’ He went on: ‘We didn’t do enough to tackle the underlying causes of rising spending on housing benefit and in-work poverty. “So the next Labour government will raise the minimum wage, build more homes to get the housing benefit bill down and cap overall spending on social security”.
2. List of Things to be Introduced and Scrapped.

a. Child benefit increases to be capped at 1 per cent until 2016-17

b. Married couples tax break to be scrapped.

c. Retirement age to be increased further for Both Sexes.

d. Bedroom Tax to be scrapped.

e. NHS Bill to be repealed.

f. Benefits Cap to be retained at £26,000.

g. Winter Fuel Allowance to be means tested and removed from the richest 5 per cent of pensioners.h. Ministers’ pay cut by 5 per cent, and frozen until nation’s books are balanced.
i. Mansion tax on homes worth more than £2million to be introduced.

j. Minimum wage to be increased to £8-an-hour by 2020.

k. Compulsory jobs guarantee for young people and long-term unemployed to be introduced. (paid for by a new tax on Bankers)

l. Free childcare for working parents to be extended to 25 hours a week. (Funded by a new Bank Levy)

m. Business rates for 1.5 million business properties to be reduced. (funded by cancelling a planned cut in Corporation Tax)

n. Top rate of tax at 50p to be scrapped. (Reversing the coalition’s decision)

o. Firms paying workers the living wage hourly rate of pay to receive tax breaks.
3. Stating the Case for Financial Prudence

a. Labour vowed to restore the broken link between the wealth of the nation and family finances. “While our economy is growing again most working people are still not seeing any benefit from the recovery.” “This is our task: not to flinch from the tough decisions we must make and to show the country that there is a better way forward.” “Three years of lost growth at the start of this parliament means we will have to deal with a deficit of £75 billion – not the balanced budget George Osborne promised by 2015. And that will make the task of governing hugely difficult.” “Working people have had to balance their own books. And they are clear that the government needs to balance its books too.” No new spending commitments funded by extra borrowing

b. Ministers’ salaries were cut by 5 per cent when the coalition came to power and left at that level for the whole parliament, in the aftermath of the expenses scandal. Labour to reduce salaries by a further 5 per cent-reducing a cabinet minister’s salary by almost £7,000 to around £127,800.

c. Married couples allowance, worth £200 a year to couples where one partner does not pay income tax, due to be introduced next year, is to be scrapped saving £3 billion. money to be used introducing a lower 10p starting rate of income tax providing a tax cut for 24 million people on middle and low incomes.
4. Balancing the Books’ by 2020.

a. Analysis claims that Labour tax policies could cost the UK 300,000 jobs and more than £25billion in GDP. A, “Centre for Policy Studies” report analyses ten major tax announcements made by the Opposition, including an increase in corporation tax for most firms from 20 per cent to 21 per cent, a new top rate of income tax of 50p, a mansion tax on expensive homes, and a new financial transactions tax.
5. a. How Will the Deficit be Eliminated?

Questioned about how a future Labour government should tackle the the deficit Labour insisted their manifesto would contain no new spending commitments funded by extra borrowing. However, there is increasing pressure from many in the Labour Party to put up taxes instead of cutting spending.

42 per cent argued for more tax rises
18 per cent wanted spending cuts
7 per cent call for increased borrowing and
4 per cent said there is no need to reduce the deficit

6. A ComRes survey for BBC Sunday Politics found that;

85 per cent of Labour candidates thought the level of public spending was, “‘about right”‘
10 per cent said it was, “too low”
4 per cent said it was, “too high”

7. A survey of 73 Labour candidates by ComRes showed most want to see more tax rises to tackle the deficit, with only 18 per cent supporting cuts to public spending. But poverty groups warned the moves to prove Labour would be tough on the deficit would only make it harder for families to pay the bills.
8. Comments on the Proposals

a. Conservative Treasury Exchequer Secretary Priti Patel said, “The speech isn’t a serious plan for the economy – Labour would put the deficit up, not down.” “Savings on ministerial pay only cut a minuscule fraction of the deficit – less than 1 per cent of 1 per cent.” “For all the bluster, Labour still refuse to admit that they spent too much and they have opposed every decision we’ve taken to cut the deficit. “All a Labour government would offer is more inefficient spending, more taxes and more debt than our children could ever hope to repay.”

b. Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said Labour was, “on the wrong track if they think that raising taxes is the way to secure the economic recovery.” He added, “Bringing back the 50p rate of income tax will raise an insignificant amount for the taxman while sending a clear signal that Britain doesn’t want wealth-creators. Labour’s previous success came because they recognized the importance of enterprise in creating a prosperous society.” “To prove that they are pro-business, Labour must drop the commitment to this self-defeating, envy-driven tax.” “Recent cuts to corporation tax have benefited all businesses and made the UK a competitive place to invest. We would strongly urge Labour to think about the consequences for growth and jobs before hiking rates.”

c. The limit on increases to child benefit is expected to save £400 million over five years. However, it comes after Mr Balls has spent four years criticizing the coalition for cuts and changes to child benefit. Child benefit is paid at £20.50 a week for the first child and £13.55 for every other child, regardless of parental income. Since January 2013, families where one parent earns more than £50,000 have seen their child benefit cut, and those on more than £60,000 have lost it altogether.

d. Under austerity measures introduced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government, child benefit was frozen from 2010 to this year. Tory Chancellor George Osborne has already said it should only increase by 1 per cent in 2015-16. But Mr Balls said the restraint should continue for another year. With inflation running at around 2 per cent, it means the value of child benefit is falling in real terms.
Mr Balls said: ‘I want to see child benefit rising again in line with inflation in the next parliament. ‘But we will not spend money we cannot afford. So for the first two years of the next parliament we will cap the rise in child benefit at 1 per cent. ‘It will save £400 million in the next parliament. And all the savings will go towards reducing the deficit.’

e. The Children’s Society, chief executive Matthew Reed said, “Labour’s announcement on plans to cap child benefit rises comes after repeated squeezes on this bedrock of the family budget. “It represents a major real-terms cut to 13 million children. “Policy is about making choices and the shadow chancellor has made a choice, to look for savings by cutting help for children. “Child benefit has already been frozen from 2010, and then increased by just 1% this year, falling well below rising prices. “Now this proposal would compound that loss, seeing average families facing a £400 cut in child benefit per year by 2017. “We urge the shadow chancellor to reconsider so that children and their already struggling families do not suffer even more unnecessary hardship.”

f. Families charity Gingerbread. Chief Executive Fiona Weir said, “Child benefit helps to pay for essentials like food and clothes. For many parents, single parents especially, it can be a lifeline.” “Freezing child benefit will raise relatively little in terms of government savings, but means cutting vital support at a time when families are struggling to make ends meet and the number of children living in poverty is projected to rise rapidly over the next few years.” “This proposal would only make it harder for families to pay the bills.”