UK Public Brainwashed Into Accepting Austerity – We’re All in It Together – Nuts Say the Tories – Our Money Is In the Bahamas With the Hedge Funds – Is It One Finger Or Two?




Stock Photograph - Hedge Fund Manager. Fotosearch - Search Stock Photography, Posters, Pictures, and Photo Clipart Images



21 September 2015: Hedge Funds and power over people and governments. This is power. Hedge Fund manager increases drug cost from $13.50 to $750 per unit

What would you do if the price of your everyday prescription rose 5,500%?

It may seem far-fetched, but it’s exactly what happened to Daraprim (pyrimethamine), a drug originally developed over 60 years ago to fight protozoal infections like malaria and toxoplasmosis. After Martin Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager, acquired the drug for his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, he raised the price by 55 times overnight.

Daraprim used to cost just $13.50 per dose. Now it’s $750 for each and every tablet, meaning some people who need it to manage chronic infections have seen the cost of their health-care explode into the six-figure range. People who take Daraprim include immunocompromised HIV and cancer patients.






The Tory Party and the Hedge Funds

The purpose of this post is expose to readers the tolly that is political wheeler-dealing and multinational corruption. The true nature of the relationships between the Tory Party and Hedge Funds. There might well be some who take the view the subject has been done to death but I do not subscribe to this.

Hedge Funds control vast sums of money and are accountable only to their shareholders who in turn are fabulously wealthy and spread over every country in the world.

Hedge funds are protected from any government interference since all accounts are held safe and secure being located in tax havens such as the Bahamas. Information pertaining to how much is held and by whom is, by result unobtainable.

Any income tax liability to the UK, which may arise is contested until exhaustion, usually requiring payment to the UK treasury of a ludicous amount, much less than should be the case.


Jesse Livermore

Short selling caused the 1932 stock market crash and the 2007-2008 financial disaster



Short Selling – A thieves charter

It is also the case, but not widely known that Hedge Funds brought about the world financial crisis in 2007-2008 through a process called “short selling”

“Short selling is the sale of a security that is not owned by the seller, or that the seller has borrowed. Short selling is motivated by the belief that a security’s price will decline, enabling it to be bought back at a lower price to make a profit.”

What the Hedge Funds did was sell off large amounts of their holdings, at a higher price in a number of key worldwide financial organisations (banks & building societies). The value of the shares dropped massively, in theory providing opportunity for the Hedge Funds to buy back shares at a much reduced price making large profits. But the risky “ponzie scheme” backfired as many of the organisations were already exposed to other pressures. Hence the near collapse of the worlds financial base.

But Hedge Funds were unaffected since their money had been safely salted away in the Bahamas etc. And they reaped a massive financial reward when governments bailed out failing financial institutions increasing the value of their stocks, doubling and more, their profits at the expense of the UK taxpayer. David Cameron, George Osborne and many other Tories have accounts in tax havens reducing their tax liability.


Word cloud for Naked short selling - csp11714350




28 September 2008: Cameron’s secretive donors bet on the collapse of Bradford & Bingley and other institutions

David Cameron faced embarrassment on the eve of his party conference last night after members of a secretive club of Tory donors were linked to the ‘short-selling’ of the collapsing Bradford & Bingley. As the bank was taken into the hands of the authorities ahead of its break-up or nationalisation, two members of Mr Cameron’s elite Leaders Group were revealed to have bet on its falling share price, which has dropped by 95 per cent in a year.

A hedge fund managed by Michael Hintze, who has given £660,000 to the Tories since Mr Cameron took over, declared ‘bets’ on the bank’s falling share price in July. A second fund, GLG Partners, which declared its ‘short-selling’ in Bradford & Bingley in June, is managed by Belgian Pierre Lagrange, whose wife Catherine has given £50,000 to the Conservative Party. Both Mrs Lagrange and Mr Hintze are members of the Leaders Group, which grants access to the Tory leader and his inner circle in return for a £50,000 donation.

The links between Mr Cameron and the City of London figures dubbed alleged ‘robbers in pinstripes’ emerged after Channel 4’s Dispatches programme obtained the names of the 100-strong Leaders Group. The programme, identified Paul Ruddock and David Craigen of Lansdowne Partners, who have given £260,000 between them, as among seven hedge-fund members of the group. Lansdowne is reported to have made £100million by betting that Northern Rock would collapse and has helped to drive down the value of Barclays by selling shares in the bank worth £151million in recent months.

In April it was announced that Mr Lagrange, one of two managers of GLG, had paid himself £400million after using complex financial instruments to make money in the global downturn. Last year the company paid more than £1.5million to American authorities to settle claims of illegal short-selling, without admitting or denying the allegations.

Mr Lagrange, 45, who lives with Catherine and their three children in a £15million house in Chelsea and a £21million mansion in Oxfordshire, was forced to declare his company’s ‘short’ position on Bradford & Bingley, along with Mr Hintze’s outfit CQS, after the Financial Services Authority (FSA) ordered institutions to do so. The practice has now been banned until January after it was blamed for the demise of banks such as Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and HBoS.

Last year Mr Cameron apologised ‘unreservedly’ after The Mail on Sunday disclosed that he had been using his taxpayer-funded Commons office to stage lunches for the Leaders Group. The Committee on Standards and Privileges criticised Mr Cameron for ‘abusing’ Westminster facilities. Members of the group are promised that they will be ‘kept close to policy developments and meet with the Leader several times a year at small dinners or lunches’. Its activities are shrouded in secrecy. The Tories refused to disclose who attends the meetings or to confirm that they have been held at Mr Cameron’s home.

Neither would they explain why Mrs Lagrange had made the donation rather than her husband, or whether her donation gave Mr Lagrange the right to attend the meetings. Mr Lagrange’s spokesman said the donation was made by his wife on the basis that ‘her and her husband thought the party was doing some good things and decided to give them some money’.

Last night Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, whose request to Mr Cameron for details of all meetings held by the group since April 2007 was refused, said: ‘It seems that Mr Cameron’s commitment to freedom of information stops as soon as it concerns his own financial activities.’

A Tory spokesman said: ‘We have donors from a wide range of businesses, including retail, industry, property, insurance and financial management. All donations are legal and comply with Electoral Commission rules. ‘This party has led the way on party funding reform. Only when Labour failed to address the question of its heavy reliance on trade unions did recent talks on the issue collapse.’






24 January 2009: Revealed: Day the banks were just three hours from collapse

Narrow escape: The Bank of England was forced to contact RBS’s creditors abroad to persuade them not to withdraw their funds. Britain was just three hours away from going bust last year after a secret run on the banks, one of Gordon Brown’s Ministers has revealed. City Minister Paul Myners disclosed that on Friday, October 10, the country was ‘very close’ to a complete banking collapse after ‘major depositors’ attempted to withdraw their money en masse.

The Treasury was preparing for the banks to shut their doors to all customers, terminate electronic transfers and even block hole-in-the-wall cash withdrawals. Only frantic behind-the-scenes efforts averted financial meltdown. If the moves had failed, Mr Brown would have been forced to announce that the Government was nationalising the entire financial system and guaranteeing all deposits.

But 60-year-old Lord Myners was accused last night of being ‘completely irresponsible’ for admitting the scale of the crisis while the recession was still deepening and major institutions such as Barclays remain under intense pressure.

The build-up to ‘Black Friday’ started on Monday, October 6, when the FTSE 100 dropped by nearly eight per cent as bad news on the economy started to multiply. The following day, Chancellor Alistair Darling began all-night talks ahead of an announcement on the Wednesday that billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money would be used to pour liquidity into the system. But shares continued to plummet, turning into a rout on the Friday when the FTSE crashed by ten per cent within minutes of opening.

Both Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS were nearing complete collapse – but Lord Myners, who built up his fortune during a long career in the City, said the problems ran far wider. ‘There were two or three hours when things felt very bad, nervous and fragile,’ he said. ‘Major depositors were trying to withdraw – and willing to pay penalties for early withdrawal – from a number of large banks.’

The threat to the system was so severe that the Bank of England was forced to contact RBS’s creditors in New York and Tokyo to persuade them not to withdraw their funds, but it is not known which other banks faced a run on their reserves. ‘We faced the very real problem of how banks could stop depositors from withdrawing their money,’ a Treasury source said yesterday. ‘The banks themselves were selling their shareholdings, accelerating the stock-market falls, and preparing to shut up shop. Mortgages would have been sold on and savers would have been spooked, to put it mildly. It would have been chaos.’

After a weekend of crisis talks, which concluded at dawn on the Monday, it was announced that Lloyds TSB was taking over HBOS, supported by £17billion of taxpayers’ money, and RBS would receive an injection of £20billion – prompting the resignation of RBS’s infamous chief executive, Sir Fred ‘the shred’ Goodwin. Share prices at last started a small rally.

Ruth Lea, economic adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group, said ‘We are not out of the woods yet,’ I fear for Barclays, after the fall in its share price, and Lloyds has been damaged by the HBOS takeover. Adding If it was panning out in that way, then the Government would have had no choice but to step in and nationalise the entire financial system.’

Lord Myners also said that bank executives had been ‘grossly over-rewarded’ during the ‘golden days’ of big bonuses. ‘They are people who have no sense of the broader society around them,’ he said. ‘There is quite a lot of annoyance and much of that is justified.’




Forward in time to 2015

A leap forward to 2015: after 5 years of a Tory/LibDem government the UK is even worse off than in 2008. National debt exceeds £1.6trillion and the Tories are returned to office, with a working majority. The key word being bandied about by Cameron, Osborne and other members of the Tory party is “austerity”. They are determined to reduce debt by slashing the UK’s welfare state, no matter the cost to middle and low income families. But Hedge Funds and the wealthy are of course well protected from the effects of any austerity measures.

The Tories and the Hedge Funds merge their interests, to the detriment of the UK. Cameron and his buddies bed down with the very people who almost destroyed the UK. Unbelievable.!!!






5 February 2015: Party of the rich? Almost 50% of Tory donors are hedge fund managers – research

The ruling Conservative Party is unlikely to shake off its image of being the ‘party of the rich’ as recent data shows nearly half of its donors come from wealthy hedge funds.

The analysis, which was put together by the opposition Labour Party, showed how nearly 50 percent of donations to the Conservatives were linked to big business in the City of London, effectively acting as an unofficial lobby group.

According to the data, 27 of the party’s major donors featured in the Sunday Times “rich list,” and have donated more than £19 million during this election cycle. The news comes in spite of warnings from Tory leaders that the Conservatives are still too close to Britain’s elite.

The criticism came after Boots boss Stefano Pessina, who is worth an estimated £7.5 billion, said the Labour leader’s policies would have a “catastrophic impact” on commercial activity in the UK.

“David Cameron is debasing political debate by refusing to answer questions over his hedge fund backers,” Labour’s vice-chair of its election campaign, Lucy Powell, told the Guardian. “This research shows just how reliant the Tories’ campaign is on those in the hedge fund industry.”

“While Labour would clamp down on tax avoidance by hedge funds in order to deliver investment to the NHS frontline, the Tories have given hedge funds a tax cut worth £145 million. The Tories are standing up for those at the top rather than hardworking families, and David Cameron doesn’t want to admit it.”

The report has a strong correlation with analysis conducted by the Financial Times last year, which found the City’s support for the Conservatives had doubled compared to the period between 2005 and 2010.

FT analysis additionally found that 35 percent of Conservative Party funding came from eight elite business people in the City, who have, to date, donated £12.2 million to the party.

Earlier this week, Miliband attacked the prime minister for failing to tackle tax avoidance by hedge funds, which the party believes costs the UK more than £100 million a year.

“Everyone pays stamp duty on stock market transactions except hedge funds, who are allowed to avoid it, costing hundreds of millions of pounds. You have been funded to the tune of £47 million by the hedge funds,” Miliband said during this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions.






20 February 2015: Dirty’ Money: Political parties face public scrutiny over ‘suspect’ donations (VIDEO)




Tories bankrolled by hedge funds in offshore tax havens, new analysis shows

Conservative Party candidates are bankrolled by hedge fund donations siphoned to Westminster from lucrative tax havens including the Cayman Islands, new analysis suggests.

Figures released on Thursday by the Electoral Commission detail donations received by Britain’s political parties since the general election campaign began.

Sixteen of Europe’s 50 most prolific hedge funds are financing the Conservatives. Each of these funds is nestled in a far-flung offshore tax haven. Critics suggest the Conservative Party’s outward opposition to tax avoidance is politically motivated lip service, with no firm basis in policy.

The Labour Party said the data is evidence of the Conservative Party’s intimate relationship with wealthy financiers. The party’s Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Ashworth said it is unsurprising the Conservatives are failing to tackle tax avoidance when their most lucrative donors own hedge funds situated in tax havens. “The Tory campaign is bankrolled by big money donors from hedge funds,” he added.

Hugh Sloane and George Robinson, co-founders of hedge fund Sloane Robinson, have collectively handed almost £950,000 to the Conservative Party. A number of their funds are strategically located in the Cayman Islands. Both financiers were hit by allegations of tax dodging in 2012 after investing in a tax avoidance scheme used by City banks and footballers. A judge said at the time the Guernsey-based trust was purely “cosmetic,” and ordered them to pay back millions. Speaking to the Guardian, Sloane said Labour’s critique of the Conservatives financial backing shows the party misunderstands the hedge fund industry. “They are barking up the wrong tree. We have done nothing wrong, and we are paying taxes in the UK,” he said.

Another leading hedge fund donor who has given generously to the Conservatives is Michael Platt of BlueCrest Management. Platt, who founded the Jersey-based firm, has reportedly offered £125,000 in total to the Conservatives.

Additionally, Paul Ruddock and David Craigen, from hedge fund Lansdowne Partners, have given more than £900,000 to the Tories. The firm has funds in both the Cayman Islands and Delaware. Although Ruddock officially stepped down from Lansdowne Partners in 2013, he remains a Conservative Party donor.

Twelve of the 16 hedge funds bankrolling the Conservatives have at least one fund in a Cayman Island tax haven. The Caribbean islands are a leading global financial center, and are particularly popular with the international hedge fund industry.

Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron announced plans in 2013 to tackle financial secrecy, clamp down on tax avoidance and make tax havens linked to Britain more transparent. However, despite his assurance Britain’s crown dependencies and overseas territories would create registers to identify the owners of secretive shell companies and trusts based in these tax havens, no progress was ever made. Most of the relevant tax havens – including the Cayman Islands and Jersey – later confirmed they would not be implementing Cameron’s proposed reforms.






19 February 2015: Hedge fund lobbying’: Tories wine and dine 45 tycoons in 12 weeks

The Tories held lavish private dinners for 45 wealthy businessmen and hedge fund chiefs over the course of 12 weeks in 2014. Critics say the tycoons are funding marginal Conservative seats that could sway the result of the general election. In the Conservatives’ most recent transparency filing, details of glitzy dinners held for wealthy donors have caused controversy. According to official figures, private dinners were hosted for members of Prime Minister David Cameron’s “leaders group” whose collective donations to the Conservatives since 2011 surpass £40 million.

The tycoons have recently channeled £5 million towards various Conservative constituency groups, 70 of which relate to marginal Tory seats. In return for handing over £50,000 each, they receive direct access to Cameron and his cabinet members. The extravagant dinners differ markedly from other Conservative fundraising events such as black tie balls. They are reportedly much more intimate evenings, where donors can freely discuss politics and policy with key government ministers.

Cameron said in 2010 lobbying was “the next big scandal waiting to happen” in Britain. However, since the Tories have been in power, anti-corruption think tank Transparency International UK says British politics has been blighted by at least 14 major lobbying scandals. The think tank says such scandals include MPs and select peers agreeing to lobby for payment, the coalition’s failure to publicly disclose evidence for certain policy decisions, and evidence of a revolving door between business and politics.

The Tories’ transparency filing shows key Conservative ministers wined and dined scores of its top donors between October and December 2014. It also indicates the PM personally hosted wealthy hedge fund manager Sir Michael Hinzte at a private dinner last October.

Labour’s Shadow Cabinet office minister, Jon Ashworth, said the revelations suggest the Tories had effectively become the “political wing of the hedge fund industry.” Ashworth warned a self-interested group of hedge fund chiefs and businessmen are assisting the party in buying the general election. He stressed these are the very millionaires the Conservatives recently offered tax cuts to.

Another donor who attended the Tories’ private dinners is Swiss national Georg von Opel. Opel has been resident in Switzerland since 1973. Renowned for its financial secrecy, the country is a hive of hedge fund activity.

Other well-heeled donors who attended the soirees include Howard Shore, founder of stock brokers firm Shore Capital, Michael Spencer, founder of disgraced City inter-dealer broker Icap, and metals trading tycoon and Tory treasurer Lord Farmer. Alexander Temerko, chief of oil and gas firm Offshore Group Newcastle, was also an attendee. Temerko told the Newcastle Journal in November the Tories “spend time and listen to us.” “They change the law and they change the regulation, and the regulation today is simpler and much more effective,” he added.

As details of political party donations across Britain emerged on Thursday, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life Lord Bew said “public skepticism” is rife. He said resistance from Conservative and Labour MPs makes the system very difficult to reform. Bew argued increased transparency is paramount, particularly regarding the financial affairs of wealthy donors who are made peers.

Britain’s Electoral Reform Society published a report on Thursday addressing the murky world of political party funding. The report said transparency is key to public trust. It argued Britons have become so disenchanted with mainstream UK political parties, they “have grown to expect” funding scandals.

The Electoral Reform Society’s research revealed eight political parties in Britain received a total of £22 million in the last quarter of 2014. The group called for a cap on donations to curb Britain’s “big donor” culture, increased public funding of political parties, and the imposition of a cap on campaign spending.

Transparency International UK also calls for widespread reform of lobbying in Britain. It warns many “lobbying distortions and abuses” are currently legal in the UK. In a report published earlier this year, it said MPs must target and clamp down on “lobbying loopholes” that facilitate “corrupt activity.” 40% of Tory Donations come from Hedge Funds 20% come from sources linked to Private Healthcare.


Queen confirms, “we are all in this together” as she starts her new job





Scotland – The Only Country Ever to Vote Yes To Being Governed by Another Nation – Well You Asked For It – So here’s a Wee Look Forward to What May Be the Future



Early moves setting up the UK Goverment of Scotland





Let me Set The Scene The UK Government of Scotland

Many will not know this body of government over Scotland exists, but it was formed in secret only recently. Sir Andrew Dunlop and Mundell are the architects of the change and they are a couple of cute cookies who will have ulterior motives fordoing this.

I know Mundell has been beavering away in Orkney and Shetland in recent months, concocting plans usurping the Scottish Parliament, creating an environment within which he would be able to divide and rule Scotland whilst giving the impression he is only seeking to assist the regions.

His mucker Dunlop has been charged with the role of Foreign Minster for the Scottish Government in the UK. To this end he has been busy setting up his own contact network within the EC and other parts of the world.

Other MP’s in Westminster with Scottish connections will, in time be allocated posts in the newly formed Scottish Government for the UK increasing it’s size and powers

The Scottish Parliament will be neutered  dealing with mundane matters.

Scottish MP’s will become increasingly disaffected as their role at Westminster fades and questions will be raised at Westminster as to the need to retain them in light of the new arrangements.


Image result for scottish referendum disappointment images


The UK Government in Scotland. A Likely Scenario

The Scotland Office is part of the UK Government for Scotland. It’s full terms of reference will become clear in time. But in essence all finance allocated by Westminster will be first transferred to the UK Government for Scotland. Distribution of Funds will be decided by The Secretary of State for Scotland after consulting with appropriate bodies within Scotland. The emphasis of governance will be to allocate some budgets to local government on a direct reporting basis.

Finance not so tramsferred will be allocated to the Scottish parliament to administer to universal functions on a national basis in Scotland. A number of budgets will be ring fenced and any year end underspend will be returned to The UK Government for Scotland for consideration of amended distribution or return to the UK Treasury.

Special development areas will be formed,  or they may apply directly to the UK Government for Scotland, with/for, increased levels of autonomy. The elected leaders of these areas will work closely with the office of the Secretary of State for Scotland so that improvements can be assured and monitored. Two areas will be formed within the lifetime of the present UK Government for Scotland, namely Orkney and Shetland.





Good Governance and the Role of the Upper Chamber

At the time of the 1999 devolution settlement the need for a second chamber was given consideration, but rejected as unnecessary due to the limited powers of the newly formed parliament.

However, the recent decision to greatly enhance devolved powers brought about the need to establish an upper chamber with powers and responsibilties matching those presently enjoyed by the House of Lords at Westminster.

The upper chamber, to be known as the Scottish House of Lords will sit at the Royal High School in Edinburgh. It is expected to be in place by 2019.

Under these arrangements Scottish peers presently at Westminster will transfer to the Scottish House of Lords or resign. In the event of resignation from the House they will retain their peerage. Total membership of the House will not exceed 50. Retirement will be compulsory at age 70. 25% of peers will subject to election at the end of each parliament.





There will be other changes and these will be published in the course of time.







Scotland is the only nation in the world in modern times to have rejected freedom in favour of being governed by another nation whose track record over the past 300 years is worse than that of Ghengis Khan and his hordes. I love my country and fear the future.





Westminster Strategy – Asset Stripped – Oppressed and Enslaved the Irish for over 120 Years Before They Broke Free. Read Their Story and Reflect upon Scotland’s Journey



Ireland under the Union 1800 – 1900

In 1800 Westminster announced Ireland had agreed to join the United Kingdom, mirroring the 1707 decision of Scottish lords. But, as it was in the case of Scotland where Scots were not consulted, the Irish too were sold down the river. It would take Ireland 130 years of brutal suppression, clearances, penal colony banishment and armed struggle to regain it’s independence from the most insidious form of governance the world has ever witnessed.



This is wee taster. It is noteworthy that very many of the lies, deceit and brutality (the Scots’ 1745 refusal of obedience to “German Geordie”. Culloden and 50 years of martial Law inflicted on the highlanders.) had been practised on Scot’s in the ninety years’ that had elapsed since the “Act of Union” had been signed.

Westminster politicians simply implemented their dastardly plans well knowing, (through their successful subjugation of the Scots) the effects their political expediency would have on the Irish, placing English desires for expansion above morality.




1800 The French revolution and  it’s impact on England

The French revolution caused great concern in Westminster. The very thought that the public would be paramount in decisions about how a country would be governed almost caused apoplexy within royal circles, the ruling class and amongst Westminster politicians. Their was much talk of war and the religious leanings of the Irish towards Rome. Something needed to be done.




1800 Westminster makes it’s move and annexes Ireland into the United Kingdom

The horror of death lay over Ireland; cruelty and terror raised to a frenzy; government by martial law; a huge army (upwards of 170 battalions of infantry and artillery) occupying the country. In that dark time the plan for the Union with England, secretly prepared in London, was announced to the Irish parliament.

It seemed that England had everything to gain by a union. There was one objection. There was fear that a hundred Irishmen would strengthen the democratic side of the English parliament; others that their eloquence would lengthen and perhaps confuse debates. But it was held that a hundred members would be lost in the British parliament, and that Irish doctrines would be sunk in the sea of English common sense.




In Ireland a union was detested as a conspiracy against its liberties. The parliament at once rejected it; no parliament, it was urged, had a right to pass an act destroying the constitution of Ireland, and handing over the dominion to another country, without asking consent of the nation.

Pitt, the British Prime Minister refused to have anything to say to this Jacobin doctrine of the sovereignty of the people. A doctrine he would oppose wherever he encountered it.

The Union, Pitt said, was no proposal to subject Ireland to a foreign yoke, but a voluntary association of two great countries seeking their common benefit in one empire.


Just had to get her in





There were progresses of the viceroy, visits of political agents, military warnings, threats of eviction, to induce petitions in its favour

All reforms were refused the outrageous system of collecting tithes, the disabilities of Catholics so as to keep something to bargain with; 137,000 armed men were assembled in Ireland.


They disrespected the flag and were made to carry it around the town. Their bodies were found in a field outside town 




But amid the universal detestation and execration of a Union the government dared not risk an election, and proceeded to pack the parliament privately.

By official means the Commons were purged of sixty-three opponents, and safe men put in, some Englishmen, some staff-officers, men without a foot of land in Ireland. There were, contrary to one of the new laws, seventy-two place-holders and pensioners in the House.

Fifty-four peerages were given to buy consciences. The borough-holders were offered 1 ¼ millions to console them for loss in sale of seats. There was a host of minor pensions. Threats and disgrace were used to others.

Large sums were sent from London to bribe the Press, and corrupt the wavering with ready money. Pitt pledged himself to emancipation.

Thus in 1800, at the point of the sword, and amid many adjurations to speed from England, the Act of Union was forced through the most corrupt parliament ever created by a government.




It was said that only seven of the majority were no bribed. An Act “formed in the British cabinet, unsolicited by the Irish nation,” “passed in the middle of war, in the centre of a tremendous military force, under the influence of immediate personal danger,” was followed, as wise men had warned, by generations of strife.

A hundred years of ceaseless agitation, from the first tragedy of an abortive rising in 1803, proclaimed the undying opposition of Irishmen to a Union that from the first lacked all moral sanction.

An English parliament, all intermediate power being destroyed, was now confronted with the Irish people. Of that people it knew nothing, of its national spirit, its conception of government or social life.

The history and literature which might reveal the mind of the nation is so neglected that to this day there is no means for its study in the Imperial University, nor the capital of Empire.




The Times perceived in “the Celtic twilight” a “slovenly old barbarism.”

Peel in his ignorance thought Irishmen had good qualities except for “a general confederacy in crime … a settled and uniform system of guilt, accompanied by horrible and monstrous perjuries such as could not be found in any civilised country.”

Promises were lavished to commend the Union. Ministers assured Ireland of less expenditure and lighter taxation: with vast commerce and manufactures, a rise in the value of land, and a stream of English capital and industry.

All contests being referred from the island to Great Britain to a body not like the Irish influenced by prejudices and passions. Ireland would for the first time arrive at national union.

The passing over to London of the chief part of Irish intelligence and wealth would give to Ireland “a power over the executive and general policy of the Empire which would far more than compensate her”; and would, in fact, lead to such a union of hearts that presently it would not matter, Pitt hoped, whether members for Ireland were elected in Ireland or in England.

Ireland would also be placed in “a natural situation,” for by union with the Empire she would have fourteen to three in favour of her Protestant establishment, instead of three to one against it as happened in the country itself; so that Protestant ascendency would be for ever assured.

The Catholics, however, would find in the pure and serene air of the English legislature impartial kindness, and the poor might hope for relief from tithes and the need of supporting their clergy.

All Irish financiers and patriots contended that the fair words were deceptive, and that the Union must bring to Ireland immeasurable disaster.

Any discussion of the Union in its effect on Ireland lies apart from a discussion of the motives of men who administered the system in the last century. The system itself, wrongly conceived and wrongly enforced, contained the principles of ruin, and no good motives could make it work for the benefit of Ireland, or, in the long run, of England.

Oppressive financial burdens were laid on the Irish.

Each country was for the next twenty years to provide for its own expenditure and debt, and to contribute a sum to the general expenses of the United Kingdom, fixed in the proportion of seven and a half parts for Great Britain and one part for Ireland.

The debt of Ireland had formerly been small; in 1793 it was 2 ¼ millions; it had risen to nearly 28 millions by 1801, in great measure through the charges of Clare’s policy of martial law and bribery.



The Black and Tans


In the next years heavy loans were required for the Napoleonic war. When Ireland, exhausted by calamity, was unable to pay, loans were raised in England at heavy war-rates and charged to the public debt of Ireland.

In 1817 the Irish debt had increased more than fourfold, to nearly 113 millions. No record was made in the books of the Exchequer as to what portion of the vast sums raised should in fairness be allotted to Ireland; there is no proof that there was any accuracy in the apportionment.

The promised lighter taxation ended in a near bankruptcy, and the approach of an appalling famine in 1817.



Bankruptcy was avoided by uniting the two treasuries to form one national debt—but the burden of Ireland remained as oppressive as before. Meanwhile the effect of the Union had been to depress all Irish industries and resources, and in these sixteen years the comparative wealth of Ireland had fallen, and the taxes had risen far beyond the rise in England.

The people sank yet deeper under their heavy load. The result of their incapacity to pay the amount fixed at the Union was, that of all the taxes collected from them for the next fifty-three years, one-third was spent in Ireland, and two-thirds were absorbed by England; from 1817 to 1870 the cost of government in Ireland was under 100 millions, while the contributions to the imperial exchequer were 210 millions, so that Ireland sent to England more than twice as much as was spent on her.


The tribute from Ireland to England in the last ninety-three years, over and above the cost of Irish administration, has been over 325 millions. A sum which would probably be much increased by a more exact method both of recording the revenue collected from Ireland and the “local” and “imperial” charges, so as to give the full Irish revenue, and to prevent the debiting to Ireland of charges for which she was not really liable.

While this heavy ransom was exacted Ireland was represented as a beggar, never satisfied, at the gates of England.




Later, in 1852, Gladstone began to carry out the second part of the Union scheme, the indiscriminate taxation of the two countries.

In a few years he added two and a half millions to Irish taxation, at a moment when the country, devastated by famine, was sinking under the loss of its corn trade through the English law, and wasting away by emigration to half its former population.


An eviction



In 1896 a Financial Commission reported that the Act of Union had laid on Ireland a burden it was unable to bear; and that, in spite of the Union pledge that the ability of Ireland to pay should always be taken into account, she was paying one-eleventh of the tax revenue of the United Kingdom while her taxable capacity was one-twentieth or less.

While Great Britain paid less than two shillings in every pound of her taxable surplus, Ireland paid about ten shillings in every pound of hers. No relief was given.


An eviction



Under this drain of her wealth the poverty or Ireland was intensified, material progress was impossible, and one bad season was enough to produce wide distress, and two a state of famine.

Meanwhile, the cost of administration was wasteful and lavish, fixed on the high prices of the English scale, and vastly more expensive than the cost of a government founded on domestic support and acceptable to the people.

The doom of an exhausting poverty was laid on Ireland by a rich and extravagant partner, who fixed the expenses for English purposes, called for the money, and kept the books.




The Union intensified the alien temper of Irish government. Dublin Castle, no longer controlled by an Irish parliament, entrenched itself more firmly against the people.

Some well meaning governors went over to Ireland, but the omnipotent Castle machine broke their efforts for impartial rule or regard for the opinion of the country.

The Protestant Ascendancy openly reminded the Castle that its very existence hung on the Orange associations.

Arms were supplied free from Dublin to the Orange-men while all Catholics were disarmed.




The jobbing of the grand juries to enrich themselves out of the poor. The traffic of magistrates who violated their duties and their oaths. These were unchanged. Justice was so far forgotten that a presiding judge spoke of the counsel for the accused as “the gentleman on the other side.”

Juries were packed by the sheriffs with Protestants, by whom all Orange-men were acquitted, all Catholics condemned, and the credit of the law lowered for both by a system which made the juryman a tool and the prisoner a victim.

It is strange that no honest man should have protested against such a use of his person and his creed. But jury-packing with safe men remained the invariable custom till 1906.




Nothing but evil to Ireland followed from carrying her affairs to an English parliament. The government refused the promised emancipation, refused tithe reform.

Englishmen could not understand Irish conditions. The political economy they advocated for their own country had no relation to Ireland.

The Irish members found themselves, as English officials had foretold in advocating the Union, a minority wholly without influence.

Session after session, one complained, measures supported by Irish members, which would have been hailed with enthusiasm by an Irish parliament, were rejected by the English.




Session after session measures vehemently resisted by the Irish members were forced on a reluctant nation by English majorities.

When Ireland asked to be governed by the same laws as England, she was told the two countries were different and required different treatment.

When she asked for any deviation from the English system, she was told that she must bow to the established laws and customs of Great Britain.




The reports of royal commissions fell dead such as that which in 1845 reported that the sufferings of the Irish, borne with exemplary patience, were greater than the people of any other country in Europe had to sustain.

Nothing was done. Instead of the impartial calm promised at the Union, Ireland was made the battle-cry of English parties; and questions that concerned her life or death were important at Westminster as they served the exigencies of the government or the opposition.

All the dangers of the Union were increased by its effect in drawing Irish landlords to London. Their rents followed them, and the wealth spent by absentees founded no industries at home.




A land system brought about by confiscation, and developed by absentees, meant unclaimed wastes, lands half cultivated, and neglected people.

Landlords, said an indignant judge of wide experience in a charge to a jury in 1814, should build their tenants houses, and give them at least what they had not as yet, “the comforts of an English sow.”

To pay rent and taxes in England the toilers raised stores of corn and cattle for export there, from the value of eight million pounds in 1826 to seventeen million pounds of food stuffs in 1848, and so on.

They grew potatoes to feed themselves. If the price of corn fell prodigiously. As at the end of the Napoleonic war, or at the passing of the corn laws in England. The cheaper bread was no help to the peasants, most of whom could never afford to eat it; it only doubled their labour to send out greater shiploads of provisions for the charges due in England.

On the other hand, if potatoes rotted, famine swept over the country among its fields of corn and cattle.


1916 Easter rising



And when rent failed, summary powers of eviction were given at Westminster under English theories for use in Ireland alone; “and if anyone would defend his farm it is here denominated rebellion.” Families were flung on the bogs and mountain sides to live on wild turnips and nettles, to gather chickweed, sorrel, and seaweed, and to sink under the fevers that followed vagrancy, starvation, cold, and above all the broken hearts of men hunted from their homes.

In famine time the people to save themselves from death were occasionally compelled to use blood taken from live bullocks, boiled up with a little oatmeal; and the appalling sight was seen of feeble women gliding across the country with their pitchers, actually trampling upon fertility and fatness, to collect in the corner of a grazer’s farm for their little portion of blood.


The  notorious Black and Tans




Five times between 1822 and 1837 there were famines of lesser degree: but two others, 1817 and 1847, were noted as among the half-dozen most terrible recorded in Europe and Asia during the century.

From 1846 to 1848 over a million lay dead of hunger, while in a year food-stuffs for seventeen million pounds were sent to England.


A starving Irish family from Carraroe, County Galway, during the Famine.
Source: National Library of Ireland.



English soldiers guarded from the starving the fields of corn and the wagons that carried it to the ports; herds of cattle were shipped, and skins of asses which had served the famishing for food.

New evictions on an enormous scale followed the famine, the clearance of what was then called in the phrase of current English economics “the surplus population,” “the overstock tenantry.”




They died, or fled in hosts to America. Ireland pouring out on the one side her great stores or “surplus food,” on the other her “surplus people,” for whom there was nothing to eat.

In the twenty years that followed the men and women who had fled to America sent back some thirteen millions to keep a roof over the heads of the old and the children they had left behind.

It was a tribute for the landlords’ pockets. A rent which could never have been paid from the land they leased. The loans raised for expenditure on the Irish famine were charged by England on the Irish taxes for repayment.

No Irish parliament, no matter what its constitution, could have allowed the country to drift into such irretrievable ruin.




In the whole of Irish history no time brought such calamity to Ireland as the Victorian age.

“I leave Ireland,” said one, “like a corpse on the dissecting table.” “The Celts are gone,” said Englishmen, seeing the endless and disastrous emigration.

“The Irish are gone, and gone with a vengeance.” That such people should carry their interminable discontent to some far place seemed to end the trouble. “Now for the first time these six hundred years,” said The Times, “England has Ireland at her mercy, and can deal with her as she pleases.”    Alice Stopford Green







Ian Murray – The Lone Arranger – An Avid Twitterer – A Look at His Tweets Reveals a Lot About him – Time the Baby Faced Assassian Faced the Ninja Force


Couldn’t resist it

April 2010: Murray Campaign gets nasty early – Sign of things to come?

Early warning for anyone intending to run for political office against Murray. He gets into the gutter very early on and will broadcast anything to gain advantage regardless of truth.

Success in politics is not gifted to decent people. Their are traits in the character of successful politicians and Murray has them in abundance. He is an excellent constituency MP and spokesman on national affairs for his party. In the 2015 GE the SNP underestimated his abilities and paid the price.

His strengths and weaknesses:

  • He studiously observes the “5P’s” (Proper, Planning, Prevents, Poor, Performance) in his approach to everything he does which may impact on his professional career.
  • He works long hours in his constituency and at Westminster.
  • He is media savvy and more than useful with computer graphics
  • His pen is his weapon of choice and he weilds it well.
  • He interviews poorly reacting badly, taking personal offence any time a negative spin is inserted by journalists.
  • There is a danger he will succumb to the “Marlyn Monroe” complex “Next” as his portfolio expands.
  • He is no friend of his new leader and will find it difficult to buckle down and commit to policies with which he is uncomfotable.
  • He liked being called a baby faced assasian by a twitterer. I think “Bopeep” is more apt.
  • I place him in the same vein of politician as Jim Murphy and expect he will be around for some time yet
  • He is a Heart’s supporter which places him at odds with one half of Edinburgh.
  • He is an avid Twitterer.

Can’t be sure. It could be him!!

Current Office: Shadow Business Minister for Trade and Investment 2013-

Offices Held:

Shadow Business Minister for Employee Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs 2011-2013

Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Ivan Lewis MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 2010-2011

Vice Chair Backbench DCMS Committee 2010-2011

Committee Membership:

Member, Business, Innovation and Skills Committee 2010 -2011

Member, Environmental Audit Committee 2010-2013

All Party Parliamentary Groups:

Member, All-party Parliamentary Space Committee

Member, British American All Parliamentary Group

Member, All-Party Parliamentary BBC Group

Member, All-Party Parliamentary ITV Group

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Journalism

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Football Group

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Events

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Haiti

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Equitable Life

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Palestine and the Middle East

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Students

Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on the United Nations

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Business, Finance and Accountancy

Organisation Membership:

Member, Scottish Labour Party,

Member, Co-operative Party

Member, USDAW

Member, Community

Member, Fabian Society

Member, Progress

Trustee, McCraes Battalion Trust

Trustee, Royal Observatory of Edinburgh

The list links to my earlier comment.

Building a picture of Murray

An old friend once advised myself that success would be assured in battle only if you took the time to get to know your enemy and his tactical nuances. Advice I heeded, to my advantage on many occasions.

Mindful of the foregoing I dug around, extracted six months of his twitters and grouped them for analysis. I have posted theoutcome below, largely without comment as I answered many of his utterings at an earlier date.

Enjoyment is guaranteed by reading his twittering then flicking to my responses.   You might well be able to add a few of your own.

Zero hours Contracts & Cost of Living & The Living Wage
Kezia Dugdale MSP reminding people that SNP voted against putting living wage in govt contracts. They also redirected £1bn from poverty projects.

UKTogether Brian Wilson 1967 bang on. SNP voted against Living Wage last week. They have powers but refuse to use them to help inequality.

Can anyone explain why SNP voted against introducing Living Wage & banning of zero hours contracts in Scot Parly tonight? Kezia Dugdale MSP

Small Biz Bill considering public procurement & impact on biz. Raised issue of Scot Gov voting against incl Living Wage in govt contracts.

Salmond talks of social justice but has absolutely no redistributive policy. In fact his only economic policy is 3p tax cut 4 big biz.

Cant fathom why SNP voted to exclude the Living Wage from SP procurement Bill today. Public contracts must lead by example 4 better pay.


SNP manifestos in 07 & 11 promised 600 hours of childcare to all 3 & 4 year olds & haven’t delivered it. They could deliver it tomorrow.

The Independence Referendum

We continue on the doors as protests at BBC, talk of “days of reckoning” & anyone who disagrees with Salmond shot down.

That’s worrying. Social injustice not resolved by nationalism.

Political proposition that risk Edinburgh & Scotland losing RBS, Lloyds & Standard Life is economic vandalism that costs jobs.

Hello everyone at ide bate, apparently me standing up for my constituents jobs means I’m not in Team Scotland. A sad day for Scottish politics.

Thousands of jobs in my constituency depend on Standard Life. It’s time people realise the severe risks of independence

Guardian supports no thanks

Gordon Brown “1m jobs in Scotland are dependent on being part of the UK”. This is the most positive case for UK. Strong single market.

Gordon Brown “Labour took 2m pensioners out of poverty with pension credit so don’t let nationalists tell you otherwise.

Gordon Brown has asked Speaker to allow time for debate immediately after referendum to get timetable for implementing more devolution.

Trade Union GMBScotOrg has also launched their cost of indy calculator.

GMB are campaigning for a NO vote in the indyref for jobs, pensions and solidarity GMB vote.

Currency union would mean a foreign govt would set our budget & control our economy. which is why UK not in €.

On the basis of Yes argument on EU and £ next time you get a parking ticket forget about the law and legal advice as pragmatism will kick in.

I don’t get the German re-unification argument on EU as that was a country coming together as a member not leaving an existing EU member.

How does a 3p corporation tax cut fit with greater fairness in Scotland?

UK is not in € because UK doesn’t want EU currency union. Why would a £ currency union be any different? Arguments against € r same as £.

More misrepresentation from yes side. Alistair Darling said “you can use the £. The Ruble. The $. It’s the central bank that’s the issue. ”
I have a solution. If u want £, want EU, want a single market, want free movement & want mortgages to stay same u vote no. It’s called UK.

Salmond said “the £ is a millstone around Scotland’s neck” and wanted Euro, now he wants £ with 3 plan Bs. Total economic vandalism.

Sturgeon talks about a Wendy Alexander speech when she tried to predict oil price. Wendy got it wrong. Shows u can’t predict volatile price.

Lots of people r talking about the passionate speech by Archie McPherson yesterday. Here it is

I remember when First Minister said Pound was a “millstone around Scotland’s neck” when he wanted the Euro. All over the place on currency.

After another 90 minutes debate there was still no answers to the key real issues of currency or economy. That’s too important to ignore.

North Sea oil is not a bonus but supports current expenditure. It’s 50% of projected revenues.

Independent Institute for Fiscal Studies estimated a £6bn black hole in Scottish finances. That’s a very large amount of money.
Oil revenues fell by £5bn last year. The entirety of education budget. How would that gap be closed? Currency is not to be laughed about Mr Salmond it underpins my constituents jobs, mortgages and livelihoods.

Scottish Govt can help save Fergusons shipyard now as with Prestwick Airport under devolution.

The “Panama Plan” – using a currency without a central bank – is like driving a car without insurance.

Everyone knows if you don’t pay your debts you get a bad credit rating and then it costs you more if you can get it.

Salmond says he has 3 plan Bs but I’ve not heard 1 yet. Maybe I missed them. I think 1 option was a bus.

The wonders of a democratic society. We got 18 years of Tory Govt in 1979 due to the SNP helping bring down the Labour Govt.

It’s little wonder politics is held in such low regard when the devolved NHS is so disingenuously used to con public

The £ not “a millstone around Scotland’s neck” according 2 Salmond when it suited. Now it’s integral to indy. say anything

Salmond claims on £ can’t even persuade his own side as Yes Scotland Chair wants separate currency or Euro!!

Dennis Canavan I don’t think you could describe me as new labour but keep putting the old tags on people if you like.

My speech indy debate on Tuesday evening. The motion – “Independence is the greatest threat to Edinburgh”

The do anything, say anything, be anything approach of Yes campaign has been exposed by impartial IFS as unaffordable

The debate in Scotland must rise above denigrating those that disagree but example must come from the top & FM has failed to do that

The Smith Commission is asking for submissions from you. Make sure you send them by 31/10 for all the info.

Why the CWU union have voted to say “no” in the indyref. A sensible and interesting blog by Scottish CWU Member

Bills of ’97 Labour Govt delivered Scottish Parliament. 1st Bill of a ’15 Labour Govt will be more powers on tax & welfare

Record View: Labour proposals offer good reason to say no to independence

The world of work is critical agenda. Let’s talk about real issues rather than indy for a change.

We have a First Minister that refuses to deal in established facts and rather prefers the maybe instead. Simply not good enough.

Wonder if we will get Salmonds currency plan B on Marr Show – I doubt it. SNP rejected Euro for same reason £ currency union doesn’t work

The reintroduction of the 10p and 50p tax rates are pillars of fairness when people are struggling. SNP refuse to back this fairness.

Chair of manufacturing body, EEF says the future of manufacturing requires the UK to stay together. He’s obviously a bully!

The primary job of MP/MSPs is to represent & support constituents. My letter to SNP MSPs on the threat to local jobs

Businesses have been advised to include the risk in their reporting analysis. That’s why they’ve spoken out.

1,000s of my constituents work in Standard Life & RBS. Not good enough 4 SNP 2 dismiss them. SNP MSPs represent their constituents, no?

Quite possibly my favourite cybernat tweet yet. babyfacedassassin

Don’t forget they (the SNP) campaigned 4 Indy throughout Labour in office. They also brought in 18yrs of Tory rule in ’79.

Powerful positive case 4 the UK. Pooling & sharing across our islands

And can Scottish taxpayers not pay for the new white paper please. £800k better spent on people & services.

The SNP’s reasons 4 rejecting the Euro must surely be the same reasons for why £ currency union wouldn’t work? Identical issues.

My speech today from the House of Commons debate on Currency in Scotland post 2014.

Pete Wishart complains there is not enough time for currency debate but hasn’t even put in to speak.

SNPs Pete Wishart accepts that things might “not work out” with separation then dismisses BofE governor in £

Head of BP expresses concerns about indy & £. He’s slated as “British Nationalist” by Yes. BP invests £10bn a yr in Scotland. Shameful.

SNP no clear plan 4 pensions says ICAS in devastating indictment of white paper

The EU is mentioned 719 times in the indyref white paper but we don’t know if we will be in EU or how long it will take. Lots riding on it.

The childcare policy in Indy White Paper can be delivered NOW as it is devolved to the Scottish Parliament. More smoke and mirrors.
Over 600 pages of assumptions on currency,

EU, debt, pensions etc. All these big assumptions will have to come off to keep things the same!

Fantastic piece by Douglas Alexander MP on the positive case for the UK remaining together

Transcotland. SNP use £800k of taxpayers cash 2 promote political white paper & now “impartial” Transport agency goes political with ur tax

BBC Scotland News. Alex Salmond we got “18 years of Margaret Thatcher” because SNP voted to bring down Labour Govt. FM rewrites history again

The Bedroom tax

The social justice mask slips from SNP as indy ref approaches bedroom tax Not 1 redistributive policy from SNP in 7 yrs in power, not 1 in white paper & now too busy with indyref to turn up to bedroom tax vote.

Apologies for cancelling Friday constituency diary commitments but we defeated the Govt on the bedroom tax.

Pete Wishart childishly ticking off names of scottish labour members voting against bedroom tax when he didn’t even appear to attend debate.

Pete Wishart you know that’s not the way it works. Why don’t you lobby your boss to do something about it rather than peddling nonsense.
SNP r desperate as they can’t defend doing zero on bedroom tax. Labour MPs did NOT abstain. MPs get paired off for absence. SNP know this.

Wings over Scotland Get up his nose

Minutes since I posted my blog piece and wings over scotland still not confirming retraction. He was quick enough to write it.

Wings over Scotland your entire story is about vandalism to the doors of my office. That is not what happened. Retract it as its not true.

Wings over Scotland will you now formally retract inaccuracies that were not checked?

I have therefore produced a response & people can make their own mind up about accuracy of Wings over Scotland blog.

The bile on my feed says it all  He has chosen not to do so but merely to say he will correct any errors “of which there are none”.

According to Wings over Scotland I took time out of my busy diary to give Wings over Scotland a courtesy return call in order for him to retract his false blog last night.

My constituency office was vandalised by Yes supporters last night. I can take personal abuse but it’s getting out of control.


Scotland – Bristling With Nuclear Weapons and Submarines – But There Is No Surveillance and Reconnaissance Cover – Which Is Why A Russian Submarine Was Reported Near To the Entrance To the Clyde – The Buck Must Stop Somewhere – Allegations of Professional Incompetence Need To Be Subject To A Public Inquiry

Nimrod aircraft scrapped at Stockport BAE factory


£30bn to be spent purchasing aircraft from the USA





Negligence bordering on the criminal – Scrapping the Nimrod MRA4 planes Left a bloody great hole in the defences of Scotland

In 1994 proposals were submitted to the Tory government, which if implemented would deliver to the RAF, by 1998 a “state of the art” surveillance and reconnaissance plane replacing an increasingly unreliable fleet of clapped out Nimrods. An alternative option, to purchase excellent well tested aircraft “off the shelf” from the USA was rejected. The MOD were determined the UK should build a new aircraft from scratch.

The outcome was the “well trumpeted” all British super duper, “Spy in the Sky” Nimrod MRA4 surveillance and reconnaissance plane. The hype promoted was that the new all British plane would be a unique, world class, multi role platform aircraft which, in addition to completing traditional maritime roles, would also have intelligence gathering capabilities, crucial in a troubled world.

In 1996 the MoD signed a contract with BAE, to build 21 Nimrod spy planes. This was later reduced to 12 and later still to nine. Then, in 2010 the multi-million pound Nimrod MRA4 surveillance and reconnaissance planes project was scrapped in the defence review by the Con-Dem government.

Nine of the planes, nearing completion, were subsequently dismantled and sold of as scrap metal. Protesters described the decision as the, “greatest blunder” in the history of the UK aircraft industry”

The Nimrod MRA4 development programme had been in place for nearly 15 years. At the time of cancellation finance in excess of £5bn had been spent and this was written off.

Approximately 2000 BAE and other workers were also laid off in consequence of the cancellation.

In an open letter to the Times signed by; (Marshal of the RAF Lord Craig, Major General Julian Thompson, Air Vice-Marshal Tony Mason, Major General Patrick Cordingley, Admiral Sir John “Sandy” Woodward and Air Commodore Andrew Lambert) they warned that scrapping the RAF’s Nimrod surveillance aircraft has left a “massive gap” in UK security.

“Vulnerability of sea lanes, unpredictable overseas crises and traditional surface and submarine opposition will continue to demand versatile responsive aircraft”. “Nimrod would have continued to provide long-range maritime and overland reconnaissance – including over the UK – anti-submarine surveillance, air-sea rescue coordination, and perhaps most importantly, reconnaissance support to the Navy’s Trident submarines.”

Union leaders attacked the Tory Government’s controversial decision to scrap the Nimrod spy planes. Unite national officer Bernie Hamilton said: “The lunatics have taken over the asylum when the Government orders the Ministry of Defence to break-up £5bn worth of world-class defence equipment.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman statement said: “Ministers and service chiefs have made clear that the decision not to bring the Nimrod MRA4 into service was difficult, but it will not be reversed.”


A giant ponzie scheme rip off ?


All thats left. Nimrod sent to the RAF museum. Celebrating a major cock-up. The Tory’s are past masters at this




But there is another version of the truth providing the real reason why the Nimrod MRA4 was cancelled?

During an exchange with Mr Kevan Jones (Lab) on 3rd February 2014, Mr Hammond, Secretary of State for Defence, replied:

“It is a bit rich for him to say that the gap in maritime patrol cover was created by this Government. What this Government did was to recognise the reality that his Government had been investing in aircraft that would never fly, would never be certified and would never be able to deliver a capability.”

It is a pity Mr Hammond did not expand upon “would never be certified”, given the Government had hitherto implied the Nimrod MRA4 had been cancelled to save money. This made no sense, given nearly £5Bn had already been sunk. Gradually, through similar comments, the real truth has been confirmed.

The Nimrod MRA4 could never be certified as airworthy due to legacy systemic airworthiness failures. A fact that became clearer by the day after notification to senior MoD staffs in 1994.

So there it is. The new Nimrod would never have been granted a airworthiness certificate allowing it to be introduced into service. And this information was known to the Tory Government in 1994. Why then was a £ multi-billion contract awarded to BAE in 1996.

If the contract cancellation was, as advanced by Hammond truly a “savings measure” then that would, perhaps, be sufficient reason not to hold a public inquiry into the £5Bn. But the latest admission that the aircraft could never be certified warrants a full inquiry into the conduct of the programme.

The (mandatory) Post Project Evaluation (PPE) report, confirmed that the aircraft could never be declared airworthy. PPE references Project History Sheets and it should be possible to identify exactly when this information was recorded, by whom and what was done with the information. A public inquiry would be able to ask why the programme was allowed to proceed fruitlessly for another 15 or so years.

But inconvenient facts are usually well buried by MoD. And in this case also by the Tory Government, given who was in power when the problems were notified and ignored.

Something Kevan Jones wasn’t quite knowledgeable enough about when Hammond misled Parliament.

Misleading Parliament? Isn’t that a serious transgression under the Ministerial Code of Conduct? Ah, but it doesn’t apply when there are senior people to be protected. The levels of incompetence and deceit are breathtaking but I expect this one might end up lost in the long grass.




What might have been but never was.


A Nimrod monitoring a Russian nuclear submarine But dream on The Nimrod was the plane that never flew.







JK Rowling – Staunch Labour Party and Better Together Champion – A £1Million Contribution to the Cause and a Long Statement Issued to the Unionist Press Justifying Her Decision – Anticipating the Next Referendum I Addressed Many of Her Concerns


JK and Alistair Darling





“Yes” Campaign supporters consider JK Rowling £1million donation to the Labour Party’s anti independence campaign offensive

In her letter to the public, JK predicted that some pro-independence campaigners would discount her views because she was born and raised in England. She likened that approach to the obsession with pure wizard blood of the villainous characters in her magical saga. “When people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste “you need to know that there is going to be a referendum on 18th September on whether or not Scotland should leave the United Kingdom. If you’re only vaguely interested, or pressed for time, there’s further mention of Death Eaters later in my letter”

It is argued, with good reason, that Rowling, in her post invited attacks upon herself, since it was she who first gave mention to “Death Eaters”. Indeed she made great effort mentioning it twice
She wrote “when people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste.” I wonder what moved her to invite negative comment about her lineage, since it was a subject given no coverage in the debate. Indeed a multitude of expats, from many countries living in Scotland, have expressed strong opinion supporting views totally contrary to those of JK Rowling.




J.K. Rowling explains why she is supporting the Better Together Campaign.

This is a Statement released to the press. The comments are my observations.

Before you read the following, please be warned that it’s probably of interest only to people who live in Scotland or the UK (and not all of them!) If you read on regardless, you need to know that there is going to be a referendum on 18th September on whether or not Scotland should leave the United Kingdom. If you’re only vaguely interested, or pressed for time, there’s a mention of Death Eaters in paragraph 5.


Why oh why give mention to Death Eaters? and in the first paragraph of the statement to boot. The opening gambit is negative and sets the tone of the remainder.


JK Rowling and her friend Sarah Brown




I came to the question of independence with an open mind and an awareness of the seriousness of what we are being asked to decide. This is not a general election, after which we can curse the result, bide our time and hope to get a better result in four years. Whatever Scotland decides, we will probably find ourselves justifying our choice to our grandchildren. I wanted to write this because I always prefer to explain in my own words why I am supporting a cause and it will be made public shortly that I’ve made a substantial donation to the Better Together Campaign, which advocates keeping Scotland part of the United Kingdom.


It is your money and you can give to whomsoever you wish but in doing so you aligned yourself firmly and with a high public profile with the “No” campaign. Through Your actions you challenged the credibility of Yes campigners and as such granted them right of reply in any statement made by yourself.







As everyone living in Scotland will know, we are currently being bombarded with contradictory figures and forecasts/warnings of catastrophe/promises of Utopia as the referendum approaches and I expect we will shortly be enjoying (for want of a better word) wall-to-wall coverage.


So true. The Campaign of fear in full attack mode spreading lies and despondency. A tactic used by Westminster in Ireland and other countries eg India.






JK owling and her friend Alistair Darling


In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I am friendly with individuals involved with both the Better Together Campaign and the Yes Campaign, so I know that there are intelligent, thoughtful people on both sides of this question. Indeed, I believe that intelligent, thoughtful people predominate.

However, I also know that there is a fringe of nationalists who like to demonise anyone who is not blindly and unquestionably pro-independence and I suspect, notwithstanding the fact that I’ve lived in Scotland for twenty-one years and plan to remain here for the rest of my life, that they might judge me ‘insufficiently Scottish’ to have a valid view. It is true that I was born in the West Country and grew up on the Welsh border and while I have Scottish blood on my mother’s side, I also have English, French and Flemish ancestry. However, when people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste. By residence, marriage, and out of gratitude for what this country has given me, my allegiance is wholly to Scotland and it is in that spirit that I have been listening to the months of arguments and counter-arguments.


No mention of the UK nationalist’s. Where’s the balance?





On the one hand, the Yes campaign promises a fairer, greener, richer and more equal society if Scotland leaves the UK, and that sounds highly appealing. I’m no fan of the current Westminster government and I couldn’t be happier that devolution has protected us from what is being done to health and education south of the border. I’m also frequently irritated by a London-centric media that can be careless and dismissive in its treatment of Scotland. On the other hand, I’m mindful of the fact that when RBS needed to be bailed out, membership of the union saved us from economic catastrophe and I worry about whether North Sea oil can, as we are told by the ‘Yes’ campaign, sustain and even improve Scotland’s standard of living.


Oh dear an understanding of economics is sadly lacking. The RBS in Scotland did not need to be bailed out. It was the carousel banking operation in London that was in trouble. Rightly, but belatedly the Westminster government stepped in and bailed out the banks but this was necessary because the Chancellor Alistair Darling and your good friend Gordon Brown failed to maintain adequate control over banking systems applicable in all parts of the UK


JK Rowling and her friend Alistair Darling




Some of the most pro-independence people I know think that Scotland need not be afraid of going it alone, because it will excel no matter what. This romantic outlook strikes a chord with me, because I happen to think that this country is exceptional, too. Scotland has punched above its weight in just about every field of endeavour you care to mention, pouring out world-class scientists, statesmen, economists, philanthropists, sportsmen, writers, musicians and indeed Westminster Prime Ministers in quantities you would expect from a far larger country.


Nothing nostalgic or wrapped in romantisism in the outlook of pro-independence people. By your own words, in the last sentence of your paragraph Scotland punches well above it’s weight in almost every field. You gave mention to a few.




My hesitance at embracing independence has nothing to do with lack of belief in Scotland’s remarkable people or its achievements. The simple truth is that Scotland is subject to the same twenty-first century pressures as the rest of the world. It must compete in the same global markets, defend itself from the same threats and navigate what still feels like a fragile economic recovery. The more I listen to the Yes campaign, the more I worry about its minimisation and even denial of risks. Whenever the big issues are raised – our heavy reliance on oil revenue if we become independent, what currency we’ll use, whether we’ll get back into the EU – reasonable questions are drowned out by accusations of ‘scaremongering.’ Meanwhile, dramatically differing figures and predictions are being slapped in front of us by both campaigns, so that it becomes difficult to know what to believe.


That someone so confused by the arguments should so readily donate £1Million to one side providing substantial funds allowing the “No” campaign to adopt a profile much higher than would otherwise be the case, is confusing in itself. The four primary reasons that persuaded you to side with the Staus Quo are of course red herrings swallowed hook line and sinker by yourself and any other person that voted in the same way as youself:

1. The economy feels fragile and there is concern about Scotlands ability to cope in the world markets. But this fish is incapable of swimming. The world markets you mention are to be destoyed by TTIP and other agreements which will regulate all markets throughout the world. This will provide economic balance. As an aside, Whisky (a Scottish success worldwide) is presently exported from England by result credit for income arising, (many £billions annually is credited to the UK treasury) With independence the revenue will be credited to where it rightfully belongs. Same statement applies to Gas, which is shipped ashore in large quantities from Scottish gas fields but again income is credited to the Uk Treasury. Before I move on I must give mention to electricity. Scotland will with sustained support be able to provide well over 60% of the needs of the UK. And I haven’t even mentioned fish. The EU recognises that Scotland is the economic powerhose that drives the UK. Westmister does one thing only. It controls the “City of London” international cartel trading hedge funds for super-duper rich people throughout the world.
2. Heavy reliance on oil revenue is a whole load of twaddle. A careful read of the Scottish white paper on independence makes it clear that the financial case supporting independence is not influenced by the price of oil or revenue arising from it. Oil revenue would be a bonus serving the needs of Scots by prudent management of the extra income. One dead fish!!!
3. Your friend “Gordon Brown” no doubt explained that Scotland would be able uner international law to retain “Sterling” as it’s currency regardless of the views of Westminster. So that rules kills that fish!!! You will probably raise the matter of the “Bank of Last Resort” and Osborne’s assertion that the Bank of England would refuse to undertake the role in the event Scotland retained Sterling. Well, this is covered by the EU who would undertake the role and would require rUK to contribute up to 10% of any money required should the unlikely scenario arise. Much as the EU did in the case of Ireland, Spain, Cyprus and Greece
4. Your doubt about Scotland being allowed back into the EU following on from independence is easy to resolve for you. You cannot get back into something you never left. As it stands each and every person in Scotland is a European citizen and there is no mechanism in place that allows citizens to be banished from the state of which they are members. This was confirmed by a very senior EU official, who, in the course of the campaign took Westminster detroyed any thought of asking Scotland to leave the EU. He said there was no precedence for such an act and it would be for the EU to find a way forward with Scotland still in the EU.




I doubt I’m alone in trying to find as much impartial and non-partisan information as I can, especially regarding the economy. Of course, some will say that worrying about our economic prospects is poor-spirited, because those people take the view ‘I’ll be skint if I want to and Westminster can’t tell me otherwise’. I’m afraid that’s a form of ‘patriotism’ that I will never understand. It places higher importance on ‘sticking it’ to David Cameron, who will be long gone before the full consequences of independence are felt, than to looking after your own. It prefers the grand ‘up yours’ gesture to considering what you might be doing to the prospects of future generations.


You cannot be serious. To think that almost half the population of Scotland are in support of independence because they wish to give 2 fingers to David Cameron reflects badly of your opinion of Scots. Patriotism is the tool through which Westminster has abused the Scot’s for over 300 years.







The more I have read from a variety of independent and unbiased sources, the more I have come to the conclusion that while independence might give us opportunities – any change brings opportunities – it also carries serious risks. The Institute for Fiscal Studies concludes that Alex Salmond has underestimated the long-term impact of our ageing population and the fact that oil and gas reserves are being depleted. This view is also taken by the independent study ‘Scotland’s Choices: The Referendum and What Happens Afterwards’ by Iain McLean, Jim Gallagher and Guy Lodge, which says that ‘it would be a foolish Scottish government that planned future public expenditure on the basis of current tax receipts from North Sea oil and gas’.


1. The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS). This is the organisation that devised the Poll Tax for Margaret Thatcher to introduce in Scotland so I am hardly enamoured to the views of a right wing think tank based in London who appear to predict the future basing their judgements on inaccurate information and opinion presented to them from many organisations. I looked again at the financial analysis supplied by the IFS and was left with the impression that the authors had decided the outcome for propaganda purposes beforehand then gathered information suited to their cause so to impress the casual reader who might believe the IFS to be that body who must be believed.

2. The view of the authors of “Scotland’s Choices” that a Scottish Government would be foolish to plan future public expenditure on the basis of current tax receipts from North Sea oil and gas is one I support. But so to does the Scottish Government who made it clear this would not be the case

3. But in addressing the matters raised it is appropriate to mention some other statements made by one of the joint authors of the book, Professor Jim Gallagher. The anti-independence campaign is under pressure to drop their fear tactics once and for all after further examples emerged of their arguments being dismissed by their own chief adviser.

* The No campaign has previously faced embarrassment after it emerged that Professor Jim Gallagher had demolished their arguments by making clear that requirements for an independent Scotland to join Schengen or the Euro “can surely be avoided” and that any prospect of major powers being devolved in the event of a No vote was “fantastical”.

* The anti-independence campaign faced fresh embarrassment after it emerged that Professor Gallagher has previously said “there is no doubt that these islands, particularly the island of Britain, are an optimum currency union.” He went on to add that “having one currency makes a lot of sense.”

* He also undermined “No” campaign scaremongering over NATO membership for an independent Scotland, with a book he co-authored arguing that “as part of the UK, Scotland has played an important role in the NATO alliance. It seems likely that NATO would want an independent Scotland to remain a member, though the terms of membership would need negotiation.”

* Prof Gallagher said “the idea of Scotland winning some version of devo max in the aftermath of a No vote is fantastical. The term as understood by most people is just independence light and will never be accepted by Westminster.”

* Scotland’s Referendum: Informing the Debate, University of Edinburgh blog, 10th April 2013

“So, for example, it seems pretty likely that Scotland would be an EU member state, probably after an accelerated set of accession negotiations. Precisely what the conditions of membership would be is not quite so clear, though immediate requirements to join the Euro or the Schengen agreement can surely be avoided.”

* Scotlands-choices-the-referendum-and-what-happens-afterwards by Iain McLean, Jim Gallagher and Guy Lodge:

NATO page 197: “Whether an independent Scotland joins NATO will be an important consideration. As part of the UK, Scotland has played an important role in the NATO alliance. It seems likely that NATO would want an independent Scotland to remain a member, though the terms of membership would need negotiation.”

* Evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs, 24th October 2012

On a shared currency: “From a purely economic perspective, there is no doubt that these islands, particularly the island of Britain, are an optimum currency union. It has all the characteristics. It is a single market. Labour moves and capital moves. From that perspective, having one currency makes a lot of sense.”
SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing said:

“It is no surprise that the desperate scare stories the anti-independence campaign has indulged in are not being believed – but when it is your own chief adviser who has dismissed them it is hugely embarrassing. Did the No campaign forget to check what Professor Gallagher had said on these issues before they appointed him? There is no doubt that these comments are a major problem for the No campaign. It shows that the approach being taken by their Project Fear has zero credibility. With the polls showing that the No campaign is facing a public backlash to their deeply negative approach to the referendum, the time has long since come for them to drop their ludicrous scaremongering. As the contradictions and hollow claims pile up for the No campaign, it is clear that the only positive choice for Scotland is a Yes vote in September – giving the people of Scotland the tools we need to build the fairer, more prosperous country we all want to live in.”




My fears about the economy extend into an area in which I have a very personal interest: Scottish medical research. Having put a large amount of money into Multiple Sclerosis research here, I was worried to see an open letter from all five of Scotland’s medical schools expressing ‘grave concerns’ that independence could jeopardise what is currently Scotland’s world-class performance in this area. Fourteen professors put their names to this letter, which says that Alex Salmond’s plans for a common research funding area are ‘fraught with difficulty’ and ‘unlikely to come to fruition’. According to the professors who signed the letter, ‘it is highly unlikely that the remaining UK would tolerate a situation in which an independent “competitor” country won more money than it contributed.’ In this area, as in many others, I worry that Alex Salmond’s ambition is outstripping his reach.

* The statement “it is highly unlikely that the remaining UK would tolerate a situation in which an independent “competitor” country won more money than it contributed” is offensive. The eminent professors should get their facts right before making public utterences. The truth is the reverse of that stated by the professors:

“Generous Scots have debunked the old stereotype that they are stingy misers as they give more to charity than the average Englishman and a third more than Londoners. The Ipsos Mori poll released today found Scottish households with incomes of less than £150,000 gave away an average of £356 last year. Overall Scotland is the most generous nation in the UK on average, followed by Wales on £328 and England on £285.

On the eve of Comic Relief, a new study also shows that those in poorer areas also donate more to good causes than their richer counterparts in the south and east of England.
Londoners donated almost £100 less – £268 – despite earning 25 per cent more than the Scots.

Other statements that debunk the “Better Together” propoganda:
* The head of a North-East university predicted that research would “continue to thrive” in an independent Scotland. Ferdinand von Prondzynski, principal and vice-chancellor of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said the argument that the sector would lose leading researchers and find it hard to replace them did not “stand up to much scrutiny”.

* The chief executive of the British Heart Foundation said “Whatever happens on the political landscape, we will continue to work with the people of Scotland.”

* I have almost 20 years’ experience as a director of various charities, including five years on the board of a well-known cross-Border organisation. I’ve never heard anyone voice such concerns. Many charities already choose to operate different structures in Scotland and in England, without any difficulty. Furthermore, since charitable giving is often higher (per head) in Scotland, any subsidy seems just as likely to flow in the other direction.
* The Scots are way ahead of many other nations (including the U.S.) with respect to electronic record keeping. “Scotland has excelled at collecting data and tissue for years, which means we have outcomes data without additional studies,” says Rhian Touyz, director of the Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow. “For every patient admitted to a hospital in Scotland since the 1970s, we get their data.” Pharmaceutical companies looking to conduct clinical trials are given access to a fully phenotyped population of over 5.1 million.

* clinical research is a source of national pride in Scotland; last November, the Edinburgh BioQuarter cut the ribbon on a £60 million ($95 million) Centre for Regenerative Medicine, heralded as a leading institute for the study of stem cells. Generation Scotland, a large-scale collaboration between the Scottish university medical schools, biomedical research institutes, and NHS Scotland, aims to create more effective treatments based on genetic knowledge. Its banner project—the Scottish Family Health Study—involves an “intensively phenotyped, family-based cohort with which to study the genetic basis of common complex diseases and response to treatment.” The program has already enrolled its target 25,000 family members.

* Professor Sir Ian Diamond, the principal of the University of Aberdeen, said there would be “no question” that Scotland would still be able to receive funding from Research Councils UK if the country gained full independence following the referendum next year. Research Councils UK is currently financed by the UK government’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

* Diamond said he was keen for Scotland to continue to receive the funding. “I can’t see it’s in the interests of anyone in the rest of the UK to want to exclude Scotland,”

* Diamond commented, “nor is it in the interest of Scotland to be excluded from collaboration. You need to freely and easily be able to collaborate across the UK. Knowledge does not know state boundaries. It seems to me it could be done fairly straightforwardly.”

* The principal said that cross-border research partnerships already existed the EU, citing that the European Research Council as an example. Diamond also indicated that Scotland would be willing to develop its own “single research area”, reflective of those also already operating elsewhere in the EU.

* Major Indian Medical and Biological Research institutions announced plans to collaborate with Scottish universities. A partnership between the University of Dundee and the National Centre for Biological Sciences will be signed in August. The collaboration will concern itself with the field of antibiotics, and the global problem of the growing resistance to antibiotics amongst populations suffering from malaria and tuberculosis.

* A collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and the Christian Medical College in Vellore, and the Indian Christian Medical and Dental Association, for a new distance learning Master’s degree in Family Medicine is to be put in place. This will help general practitioners working in Asia and Africa to better serve poor and rural communities.

* Aberdeen University announced that it is investing £500,000 in PhD studentships for Indians, with a focus on the life sciences, health and energy research.

* The debate on the impact that a ‘Yes’ vote in the upcoming independence referendum will have on research in Scotland’s universities has, thus far, been short of evidence, at least from the ‘No’ side, which has tended to assert versions of the, “too wee, too poor, too stupid”, with – in some cases – a “too clever” variant. Let us consider the evidence.

* An independent Scotland will be better placed economically to support its universities. In an analysis of Scotland’s potential after independence, the Financial Times concluded that it would be one of the world’s top 20 richest countries.

* In contrast, a ‘No’ vote to retain the union with the UK would mean a substantial reduction in university funding in Scotland because of the further planned cuts of £25 billion in UK public sector funding and reductions to the Scottish budget through changes to the formula used to allocate funds to Scotland. That is the real threat to research in Scotland’s universities.

* Medical research charities are also a large source of funding for university research in the UK. Over the last four years, Scotland received 12.5 per cent of funding from this source against 10.9 per cent of full-time academic staff and 15 per cent of medical schools.

* As these charities raise funds in Scotland, it would be strange if they did not continue to support Scottish-based researchers. As for endowed charities, it could be argued these are the common assets of the UK but, regardless, why would they not fund the best researchers if they are based in Scotland?

* An important dimension of R&D is private sector expenditure and its links to university research. Scotland is the most successful part of the UK in creating new spin-out companies, giving rise to 20 per cent of the start-ups formed over the last ten years.

* But, despite the quality of its university research and innovation, Scotland accounted for only 3.75 per cent of total private R&D funding from 2001-11.

* This is a little under half of its population share and an even lower proportion of its GDP share, indicating a branch economy which would only be addressed by independence.

* Another important issue is Scotland’s international brand. Despite its excellence, the Scottish higher education and research sector is not as visible internationally as it could be, because it is perceived as being part of the overall UK brand.

* Independence will offer Scotland an opportunity to develop its own quality brand and to attract international students.

* Scotland’s share of UK research council funding is cited to show how well Scotland is doing, and to argue that such funding would not continue under independence (too clever but too poor).

* Such analyses tend to focus on one category of funding for one year, usually citing the fact that Scotland was awarded 13.1 per cent of research council grants, studentships and fellowships in 2012/13, against a population share of 8.3 per cent.

* However, the average share awarded to Scotland over the last eight years was somewhat lower, at 12.3 per cent.

* In any case, the comparison should not be with overall population, but with the size of the university sector.

* Scotland has 10.9 per cent of the UK’s full-time academic staff.

* The research councils also fund independent research organisations and infrastructure.

* Here, Scotland does very badly, receiving an average of 7.6 per cent of funding over the last eight years.

* Taking the two categories together, Scotland received 10.6 per cent of research council expenditure in the last eight years.

* Given that it has 10.9 per cent of academic staff, this is a small under-allocation. Against Scotland’s 9.2 per cent share of total UK GDP this leaves a potential funding gap of around £35 million.





I’ve heard it said that ‘we’ve got to leave, because they’ll punish us if we don’t’, but my guess is that if we vote to stay, we will be in the heady position of the spouse who looked like walking out, but decided to give things one last go. All the major political parties are currently wooing us with offers of extra powers, keen to keep Scotland happy so that it does not hold an independence referendum every ten years and cause uncertainty and turmoil all over again. I doubt whether we will ever have been more popular, or in a better position to dictate terms, than if we vote to stay.

Load of nonsense that could have been written by your friend Gordon Brown. You offered in support of your argument a book written by Prof Gallagher but I wonder if you read it first. He wrote “the idea of Scotland winning some version of devo max in the aftermath of a No vote is fantastical. The term as understood by most people is just independence light and will never be accepted by Westminster.” Westminster will devolve nothing of any significance and Scotland will hold another referendum.





If we leave, though, there will be no going back. This separation will not be quick and clean. It will take microsurgery to disentangle three centuries of close interdependence, after which we will have to deal with three bitter neighbours. I doubt that an independent Scotland will be able to bank on its ex-partners’ fond memories of the old relationship once we’ve left. The rest of the UK will have had no say in the biggest change to the Union in centuries, but will suffer the economic consequences.


Why would Scotland ever wish to “go back” as you put it. Scotland would be an equal partner with rUK within the EU. A case of need would never arise. The work of disentangling interdependence issues would be completed in a period of time agreed by the participating teams. With goodwill and common sense this should not pose problems.

I do not understand the quote about three bitter neighbours. Relations with the Republic of Ireland are amicable and productive. The rest of the UK had no say in the biggest change to Scotland and England at the time the Union was created so your argument is rebuttable.







When Alex Salmond tells us that we can keep whatever we’re particularly attached to – be it EU membership, the pound or the Queen, or insists that his preferred arrangements for monetary union or defence will be rubber-stamped by our ex-partners – he is talking about issues that Scotland will need, in every case, to negotiate. In the words of ‘Scotland’s Choices’ ‘Scotland will be very much the smaller partner seeking arrangements from the UK to meet its own needs, and may not be in a very powerful negotiating position.’


Successful negotiations are not related to differences in size between nations and I am confident both sides will appoint suitably qualified persons to their teams.








If the majority of people in Scotland want independence I truly hope that it is a resounding success. While a few of our fiercer nationalists might like to drive me forcibly over the border after reading this, I’d prefer to stay and contribute to a country that has given me more than I can easily express. It is because I love this country that I want it to thrive. Whatever the outcome of the referendum on 18th September, it will be a historic moment for Scotland. I just hope with all my heart that we never have cause to look back and feel that we made a historically bad mistake.

Making historical bad mistakes is an occurence with which Westminster is well versed. In the course of leading the UK over for 300 years Nationalistic UK political masters have made countless terrible mistakes costing the lives of millions of young men and more recently women in the armed forces. I could write a book, there are so many.

For myself (and I feel confident I speak for all but an insignificant number of luddites) I welcome your opinions, input and honesty. Scotland is richer in so many ways by your continued presence and that of your children. You deserve your place in Scottish society and I expect you will be remembered forever for giving our children “Harry Potter”.





Afternote: I am posting information I happened across on my travels which provides a fascinating insight of JK Rowling

The charity to which she has the strongest bond is the MS Society of Scotland. It is a cause close to her heart. Rowling’s mother was crippled by the disease and it eventually killed her. She donated a large sum to help fund a senior fellowship in MS research at Aberdeen University, and she hosted a Halloween ball at Stirling Castle which raised £280,000.

JK also wrote an impassioned essay about the appalling lack of government funding available to help people with the disease and it caused a furor in Scotland. She, with others then marched on the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood to raise awareness of the cause and her participation led to massive reform in the way the disease is treated. She was patron of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Scotland (but resigned due to difficulties with the MS controlling charity in London) But she has and continues to give generously of her time and a lot of money to the cause that means so much to her.

“She’s in it for the long haul,” says Mark Hazelwood, director of MS Scotland. “She has a deep and personal concern about MS because she has experienced how it affected her mother. She may attract press and publicity when she visits our centres but when the media have moved on she stays for a few hours just talking to people and I think that says a lot.”

With the awards and money JK received, she contributed to many charities and benefits. At a charity fund raiser she said “I think you have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need to do wise things with it and give responsibly. This is exactly what she continues to do. JK, using the money that her book and now movies have made, has donated to many charities and fundraiser. Some of these include one million pounds to the Labour Party and four hundred ninety-five thousand dollars to a reward fund for the safe return of a girl who went missing in Portugal.

She has founded or is involved with certain charities. They comprise, “The Volant Charitable Trust” which she established in 2000, “The Children’s High Level Group” which she co-founded with a friend in 2005 and she is also president of “One Parent Families” as she was once one herself.

She is a fascinating person. A true hero. She is also a hard worker who has experienced many hardships but has never forgotten her roots. Many people admire her, including young readers, for the donations she has made to people in need as well as raising a family of her own in her busy life. She is a woman who is admired by many and a role model and idol to people all over the world for both her writing and ability to overcome adversity.


J K Rowling

JK is a close friend of Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah (2008)



The Dogs of War Are At It Again In Westminster – If Only the Scottish Electorate Could Veto Any Scottish Participation



British Generals 1914-1918 War, Not normally billeted over close to the front line. Strategy based on a study of maps.

Almost all ex Eton students


Eton boys and them


Field Marshal Haig 1915-1918 Master of the bloodbath






The Armed Forces Day Con

In 2006. British armed forces casualties began to increase in Afganistan, Gordon Brown, (Chancellor of the Exchequer) realized there was a markedly increasing recurring cost to the exchequer, incurred maintaining support for many maimed and permanently disabled servicemen and women being returned to the UK. Seeking to defray the financial burden he conceived then proposed to Westminster that a, “Veterans Day” be held on the last Saturday in June each year, providing opportunity for the Nation to raise public awareness, (and lots and lots of money) to the needs of veterans, celebrating the contribution made by those who had served in the Armed Forces. The day, which encouraged young people to show their appreciation of war veterans was held in the years 2006-2008

Late 2008 there was a realization in Westminster that the war in Afganistan was not going well. It was necessary to find a way to mobilize the nation to give support to the military whilst avoiding any amount of discussion or critical examination as to whether the war should be sustained.

In 2009 Gordon Brown, (then Prime Minister) decided a change in emphasis was needed, moving away from remembrance of veterans, introducing the jingoistic, (Armed Forces Day) claiming it was intended to raise awareness and appreciation for those on active duty knowing full well, in reality it was to stir-up blind patriotism and support for the war.

Armed Forces Day’s have since been held, in places throughout the UK, on the last Saturday of June. They are arranged and conducted continuing to feed upon the feelings and beliefs of people who think that the UK is always right and who are in favor of aggressive acts against other countries

2014. Armed Forces Day. What was my day like? Rotten. I reflected and shed tears, upon the fate of a three of my uncles, (all Calton Boys) who were conscripted then sent to die in Belgium, sating the greed and power of politicians in Westminster. Two of my uncles died at the Somme. My uncle Johnny in battle at, “Ypres”. He was just 18y. My father told me Johnny had never even had a girlfriend.

In the war 1914-1918, of the 557,000 Scots who enlisted or were conscripted in all services, 27 percent lost their lives. This compares with an average death rate of 12 percent for the rest of the British army between 1914 and 1918. The primary cause of the higher-than-average casualties among the Scottish soldiers was that they were regarded as excellent, aggressive shock troops who could be depended upon to lead the line in the first hours of battle.

A General, (Eton educated and located 30 miles from the front line) when asked by one of his brigadiers why his Scot’s had to, (despite a mauling only four days previous), lead the line in a planned assault said, ” Because the “jocks” need to be less concerned with the politics of the war and more with survival”. “Lions led by Donkeys” indeed!!! 35 General’s serving with the Army in the war were educated at Eton.

Armed Forces Day should be abandoned, in Scotland, and the nation should revert to the day of respectful remembrance already in place. This would thwart todays Westminster politicians in their abuse of the electorate, ever plotting ways of transferring justification and the cost of their wars onto an unwitting public for support.

In the next referendum all Scots’ should Vote, “yes” so as to ensure our son’s and daughter’s will be free of the probability of conscription to fight in war’s entered into by Westminster politicians

Two songs to reflect on: (The Green Fields of France) (The Band Played Waltzing Matilda)


Time out for the bairn Trenches 1917


Highlander clearing German Trenches 1917               General reviewing  hte Black Watch before sending them up the line 1916






Rules By Which A Great Empire May Be Reduced To A Small One The Demise of the United Kingdom

Benjamin Franklin, one of United States of America’s founding fathers, loved Scotland and the company of it’s highly respected philosophers of the, “Great Scottish Enlightenment.” Had he lived in these times he would have encouraged Scotland to vote, “Yes” to independence. In discussion with, Thomas Jefferson, (a fellow founding father and friend) referring to a Scotland’s right to be free he said;

“He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither”

His advice was clear and unambiguous. Do not succumb to patronising unspecified promises of jam tomorrow, (remember 1979.) Have confidence take the opportunity and elect for freedom in the next referendum.

He also wrote, “Rules By Which A Great Empire May Be Reduced To A Small One”. Evidently Westminster politicians either did not read it or choose to ignore the advice, which is possibly the reason why only Scottish independence will bring about all that is predicted in it.


The Windsors: Caretakers of the Act of Union



Culloden 1746. Heavily outnumbered Scots cut to pieces by composite English Army


Culloden 1746. brave highlanders charged the much larger and better equipped English Army






Impact of the 1707  “Act of Union”

It is a fact that for most of the 308 years the, “Acts of Union” treaty has been in place the philosophy of the Westminster government has been one of Conquer and rule. In the autocratic male dominated society that was the UK, recurring wars were deemed to be a useful natural extension of the state. To achieve fulfilment men needed to die in the glory of war. Peace, on the other hand, (in the view of Westminster politicians) was bad since the morals of the people became corrupt as they enjoyed a lifestyle of happiness, breeding and well being.


Security Council Discusses Recent Violence in Jerusalem, West BankUN Security Council





The United Nations Charter

Eventually sense prevailed and a realistic alternative to war was agreed to in 1945 by all nations – The United Nations charter spelled out the fundamental aims of the body. It states;

“We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, and for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims.”


House of Commons




Westminster politicians Find a Way To Subvert the UN Charter

War, is a much valued tool, through which Western politicians impose their will upon other nations, and they were determined not be denied their conflicts. To facilitate this Westminster erased “war” from political and military vocabulary and replaced it with, “humanitarian action” thereby providing a mechanism allowing the UK and the USA to, (in support of the much vaunted special relationship) commit our armed forces to the provision of extraordinarily expensive assistance, supposedly easing the burden of oppression anywhere in the world it might surface.




The Role of the Media

Broadcast Media, internet traffic, and News outlets are now firmly an extension of the state, (witness BBC Scotland’s biased coverage of the referendum campaign.) There are no, “War Correspondents” only, “embedded journalists” who produce heavily censored and sanitized reports. Where targets used to be, “bombed into submission” they are now subject to, “surgical strikes” creating a false premise that such actions are, “healing” by their nature. Death of civilians and massive destruction of dwellings is  often reported as, “collateral damage”.

What a confusion, “War is Peace and Peace is War.” George Orwell.


George Orwell



Young British recruits in training before being sent forward to fight 1914-1918





The Fear Not Fair Scottish Referendum – The Contretemps Over Sterling – A Unionist Political Lie Won the Day






The Greatest Red- Herring of the Referendum

In the course of the referendum I wrote to my blog that my preference would be for Scotland to establish it’s own currency following a, “Yes” vote. I did so in support  of the Scottish government’s preferred option which was to remain tied to Sterling, with or without monetary union with rUK.

The  grossly immoral assertion of Unionist politicians was that whilst they could not prevent Scotland from using Sterling there would be no monetary union. The rUK would, if necessary retain responsibility for all current debt at the time Scotland branched out once more as an independent nation.

In a reprehensible follow up the Unionists stated that rUK would not undertake the role of the, “Lender of Last Resort” in the event Scotland met debt difficulties at any time in the future.

The Westminster Unionist politburo then set about blackmailing Scottish voters into a, “no” vote, constantly harping on about the need for a, “PlanB” on the presumption that their campaign of fear over the future currency of an independent Scotland had taken root. Which it had!!

Alex Salmond, (Scottish First Minister) repeatedly stated that there was no, “PlanB”. Scotland would continue to use Sterling as it’s currency. He was of course, entirely correct in his assertion. There was no failing in his approach. But the Unionist lies won the day.

In the next referendum the “Yes” campaign should destroy the false assertions of the Unionists at the very start. The undernoted information sets out the position of the EU in regard to support of member state currencies.


Note:  Scotland would be provided with fast track membership of the EU on the basis that Scots are already citizens of the EU and there is no precedence which would allow anything other than continued membership. This was confirmed by an EU spokesman, (I posted the statement in an earlier blog post)




The EU would be the Lender of Last Resort

European Union Finance Ministers, were recently summoned to Brussels to sign up to the, “European Stabilisation Mechanism”. Britain was unable to veto the measure as it was put through under the, “qualified majority voting” system.

The deal, to be applied to any member country’s currency, was denounced as a “stitch-up” by the UK government. The proposals were put in place so that the, Irish, Greek, Spanish and Portugese government’s would be able to finance their debt.

Euro-zone leaders acted to bypass objections from the UK by invoking Article 122 of the Lisbon Treaty, intended to enable a collective response to natural disasters. This did not require unanimous agreement since the decision was taken by qualified majority vote, 16 euro zone leaders ensured its passage.

UK exposure to liabilities created by the bail-out under the scheme amounted to around 10 per cent of the total loan. If any country had failed to repay, the cost to the UK would have been, (£8.6 billion, for every £86?billion) on which the said country defaulted.

The European Commission President stated, “We will defend the currencies of our member states, using the, “Lisbon Treaty” clause as the legal basis for a European bailout scheme. Under the clause, an EU member state hit by “natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control” can receive “financial assistance” after a qualified majority vote by European leaders. It was agreed, “exceptional circumstances” included market, “attacks” on any, “Member States” currencies.

The change legally obliges the UK treasury to undertake responsibility, together with all other EU member states to be a joint, “lender of last resort” for any EU member state that might be liable to default on that nations debt.


So. There it is!!! Why o’ why did Alex Salmond and the “Yes” campaign not destroy the Unionist attack with the foregoing defeats me.




The Labour Party – One Nation – Unionist to the Core – But What About Scotland – Bugger The Scot’s – We Are All About the Money Honey


Richard Heller




Richard Heller, (former adviser to Denis Healey and Gerald Kaufman): A Private View

It could become a pub quiz question: who was the first British prime minister to sell himself to a foreign power? It would be too easy to guess the answer — Tony Blair, who recently signed a multimillion pound contract to advise President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan. He has reportedly opened an office in the capital, Astana.

Other than the president, no-one knows what advice Mr Blair is giving. His client does not need any advice on winning elections: grateful Kazakhs gave him over 95 per cent of their votes in their last presidential elections in April this year. His party already holds all the seats in parliament. Some media reports suggest that he is advising on financial institutions.

According to other reports, he is helping the president prepare a bid for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Again, Tony Blair seems a strange source of advice, until one remembers that the prize was once given to Henry Kissinger.

As with other British ex-politicians, Tony Blair’s paid activities in Kazakhstan are virtually beyond any public scrutiny or control. They are not mentioned on the website of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), the fangless watchdog over ex-ministers who sell their services in the marketplace.

Since Tony Blair is not a peer, he did not have to supply the minimal and haphazard information required for the Register of Lords Interests. He did not have to notify the Foreign Office of his Kazakh appointment and it is not mentioned on the website of our local embassy.

Curiously, Tony Blair may face greater scrutiny in the United States than in our own country. If he helps the Kazakhs there in any way, he is potentially liable to register as their agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.

This wide-ranging law was originally designed to combat Nazi and Soviet agents: it is piquant to think that it might catch Tony Blair and positively delicious to imagine him receiving a late-night visit from the FBI.

Whatever Tony Blair is doing in Kazakhstan, he should stop it and hand back the money. It does no good to our country and our political system — and it is in very bad taste.





Whether he likes it or not, Tony Blair is taking sides in the internal politics of Kazakhstan, which are murky and dangerous for an amateur outsider. He has become a trophy for the ruling president and a figure of contempt for the opposition.

As North Africa has proved, even very long-running rulers can eventually fall, and if that happened in Kazakhstan (a country of great strategic importance) Tony Blair will have harmed our country’s relationship with the replacement government.

But while President Nazarbayev is in power, it must strengthen his ego and his authority in any discussions with our country to have a former premier in his pocket. Whether he likes it or not, Tony Blair will diminish the authority, and in all probability the access, of our ambassador in Astana, David Moran.

If Tony Blair gives the president any advice on how to deal with this country he will be approaching the frontiers of treason. Selling himself to a foreign ruler for any purpose at all seems hard to reconcile with his lifelong oath of loyalty to the Queen and her successors as a privy councillor. Its language is orotund and opaque but its tenor and general purpose are clear.

It ends: “You will to your uttermost bear faith and allegiance unto the Queen’s Majesty; and will assist and defend all jurisdictions, pre-eminences, and authorities, granted to Her Majesty, and annexed to the crown by acts of parliament, or otherwise, against all foreign princes, persons, prelates, states, or potentates. And generally in all things you will do as a faithful and true servant ought to do to Her Majesty. So help you God.”


Old Friends




Tony Blair does not care much about history unless he can invent it, but if he did take this oath seriously it would warn him against trying to serve two sovereigns and putting himself in the pay of any foreign state or potentate. If the oath means nothing to him, Tony Blair should reflect on the impact on the image of our country when a holder of its highest office hawks himself about to foreign governments. What message does it send to disenchanted British voters who already believe that their politicians are only interested in money?

In recent articles I have called for the strengthening of ACOBA and of the Lords Register of Interests to give the British people more information about ex-politicians’ money and more influence over how they can earn it.

After Tony Blair’s Astana adventure, I think we need to go one step further. No ex-minister should be allowed to work for any foreign ruler or government or state agency without the prior approval of the Queen-in-Council, including the prime minister and foreign secretary of the day.

There should be a presumption against any approval, although an ex-minister should be allowed to do voluntary service in a poor country, or to serve as an independent peace envoy or for other humanitarian purposes. That would not bar any ex-minister from joining an international body or a non-governmental organisation.

Without such reforms, our country will see an uncontrolled marketplace for ex-ministers. On second thoughts, maybe that’s no bad thing. Given the recent record of British government, with many more failures and disasters than success stories, it is surprising that such a market exists.

Plenty of voters might be happy to sell ex-ministers to any foreign country to make a bid for them. Or even current ones. If Kazakhstan wants to take anyone from this government, I’ve got a little list and they’d none of them be missed.

A former adviser to Denis Healey and Gerald Kaufman, Richard Heller’s advice has never been sought by any foreign government.






26 Jan 2012: Tony Blair’s fortune to treble to £45million next year

 Tony Blair’s fortune is set to treble to £45million next year as he returns to his lucrative career after appearing at the Iraq war ­inquiry. The former PM and wife Cherie are building up a property empire and he now plans to maximise his earnings over the next two years.

Friends of the pair have told the ­Sunday Mirror Mr Blair – who will be 57 on the expected General ­Election date of May 6 – wants to build up a “substantial” retirement nest egg before he hits 60.

His earnings this year alone could hit £15million, on top of the estimated £15million he has raked in since standing aside as PM in 2007. A ­further £15million next year through Mr Blair’s jobs, ­ speeches and expanding property empire would take his estimated family fortune to £45million.

A friend of Mr Blair’s said: “Tony spent weeks preparing for his ­appearance at the Iraq inquiry, often getting up at 6am to start work. “Now that is out of the way, he wants to focus on his unpaid job as Middle East peace envoy and earning serious money in his other roles before he retires. “Many of Tony and Cherie’s friends now are extremely wealthy and they both enjoy moving in those sort of social circles. But that takes serious cash.”

Mr Blair’s millions are paid into a complex network of companies involving up to 12 different bodies – making his exact riches hard to calculate. But a Sunday Mirror probe has ­unravelled many of the sources behind his growing wealth.

The Blairs have six luxury homes worth more than £14million – the latest was bought for ­£1.13million cash last ­September. Their main home is a ­£4.5million mansion – bought for £3.6million – near Hyde Park in London. They extended that property by ­buying an £800,000 mews house behind it.

The Blairs’ country home is a Grade I listed pile, once owned by Sir John Gielgud, worth an estimated £6million. There is the infamous apartment in Bristol, bought by Cherie with the help of Aussie conman Peter Foster, for her eldest son Euan while he was at ­university. It is now worth an estimated £300,000. The latest purchase is a £1.13million London mews house bought for second son Nicky. Mr Blair’s ­constituency home in County Durham was put up for sale last year for £300,000 – 10 times what the couple paid for it in 1983 when he ­became MP for Sedgefield.

The former PM also has a number of highly paid jobs which bring in between £5million and £9million a year. His latest money-spinning contract – a role with hedge fund firm Lansdowne ­Partners – is expected to earn him £250,000 for just four speeches.

Mr Blair also has a £2.5million ­annual deal with JP Morgan, to “explore business opportunities in Libya”.

He has a £2million deal with Zurich Financial Services and has been signed up by Random House to publish his ­diaries for £4.6million.

Mr Blair also earns between £50,000 and £170,000 for making a speech. On top of that he gets a prime ­ministerial ­pension of about £65,000 a year – and Britain contributes to the cost of his office staff and 24-hour security.




Verdict… By Jason Cowley, Editor of New Statesman

Tony Blair is a great showman – the most talented actor-politician of modern times, with the exception of Bill Clinton.

All his skills of presentation and manipulation were on display on Friday when he appeared before the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war. Tanned and wearing make-up, his hair thinner and much greyer than during his last days as Prime Minister, he performed brilliantly. But it was a performance all the same. He was in control, as fluent and articulate as when he was making the case for war in 2002. He seemed to have the five committee members just where he wanted them – feebly starstruck, helpless to challenge or wound.

Blair spoke with the zeal of a man who believed that he had done the right thing. “Saddam was a monster,” he said. “A threat to the world.” At the end of the long day’s questioning, Blair was asked by Sir John Chilcot, the Whitehall mandarin heading up the inquiry, whether he had any regrets. Any person of compassion would have said that he regretted the deaths of the 179 British soldiers killed in Iraq as well as more than 100,000 Iraqis. But Blair turned his answer into another extended riff of self-justification. We have learned important lessons about nation-building, he said, as well as about the threat posed by Iran and al-Qaeda. Sir John pushed him again: “So no regrets?” No, Blair said.

Chilcot is the fourth inquiry into the Iraq war. That there have been so many, each exploring much the same territory, is testament to the war’s bitter legacy. For the Americans, the war was never about whether or not Saddam Hussein did have weapons of mass destruction. It was about “regime change”, clear and simple. It was about the taking out of an enemy of the US and of the US’s strategic Middle East ally, Israel – an enemy that also happened to be an oil-rich state.

The al-Qaeda attacks of September 11 2001 on New York’s Twin Towers had created the conditions in which the Americans could complete the unfinished business of the first Gulf War of 1991 and topple the despised Saddam. Post-war British foreign policy has been predicated upon our being America’s number one ally.

But Blair was not compelled to support the Bush regime so unequivocally. After all, in the 60s Labour premier Harold Wilson rightly refused to send British troops to fight in Vietnam, as Australia did. No, Blair chose the course of war because in his view “it was the right thing to do”, and because he believed himself to be on a kind of divine mission.

Remember how at the Labour Party conference of 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks, he had spoken of how the time was right to reorder the world. “This is a moment to seize,” he said. “The kaleidoscope has been shaken. The pieces are in flux. “Soon they will settle again. Before they do, let us reorder the world around us…”

Our soldiers are still dying in distant lands because of Blair’s messianic dream of reordering the world through bloodshed rather than seeking the disarmament of Iraq through consensus and the United Nations.

Blair will go to his grave believing that history will judge him kindly. “I’m ready to meet my Maker and answer for those who have died as a result of my decisions,” he has said. But he will never escape censure on this Earth. He exaggerated the threat that Saddam posed to the UK. His actions brought Islamic terrorism to our streets. He took Britain into its worst foreign policy disaster since the then Suez crisis in 1956.

And the war resulted in a breakdown of trust between the people and the politicians – between those who govern and the rest of us. That is a terrible legacy. the Iraq war was, above all else, Blair’s war. Brown as Chancellor might have signed the cheques to fund it, but ultimately Blair is culpable. I’m sure his Maker is looking forward to that conversation.



But There’s More Cherie Get’s in on the Action

Cherie Blair is being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds for a few months’ legal work by Kazakhstan, whose autocratic president employs her husband as an official adviser. Mrs Blair’s law firm Omnia Strategy agreed a deal with Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Justice earlier this year to conduct a review of the country’s “bilateral investment treaties”. The first stage of the review, which was expected to take as little as three months, is worth £120,000, sources have told The Sunday Telegraph.

A second phase of the project is worth a further £200,000 to £250,000 for another three to four months’ work, it is understood. Omnia Strategy, which Mrs Blair set up in 2011, also has an option to complete a third stage of the legal project for the Ministry of Justice at a fee to be decided, according to the source. Mrs Blair is understood normally to charge clients £1,150 an hour but will bill the Kazakh taxpayer at a reduced rate of £975 an hour if the Ministry of Justice, based in the capital Astana, continues to employ Omnia on the legal review into its third stage.





But there’s even more – Tony & Cherie Blair, the oil tycoon and jobs for Blairites in poor Albania

On the face of it, Albania, once the most hardline of Stalinist states and still one of the poorest countries in Europe, seems unlikely to hold much attraction for Tony Blair. But The Telegraph can disclose that the Balkan country, recently discovered to be abundant in oil and gas, appears to be providing rich pickings for a dynasty of Blairites.

This newspaper has already disclosed how Mr Blair is a consultant to Albania’s Labour government. Now it has emerged that his wife Cherie picked up a lucrative legal contract with the previous government; while even the nephew of Alastair Campbell, Mr Blair’s former spin doctor, has landed himself a job advising the new Albanian prime minister.

Mrs Blair was awarded a contract worth £300,000 to advise the Albanian government after making friends with the wife of the Balkan country’s then prime minister while in Downing Street.

Mrs Blair, best known in the legal world as a human rights lawyer, acted for Albania in a billion dollar oil dispute with an American energy firm.





There’s even more – Tony Blair strikes gold in Mongolia

The former prime minister has negotiated a contract to advise the Mongolian government just as the country strikes it rich from a vast copper and gold mine in the Gobi desert. The Sunday Telegraph can disclose that Mr Blair spent two days in March in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia’s capital, striking the deal with the country’s president and prime minister.

His diplomatic skills will be needed in a country undergoing a rapid economic transformation. The Mongolian government has been in dispute with Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian mining conglomerate, over the operation of the country’s biggest mine. Sources have suggested Mr Blair was called in to mediate between the two although Mr Blair and Rio Tinto both denied that last night.

The addition of Mongolia to Mr Blair’s portfolio will bolster the income of Mr Blair’s Government Advisory Practice, which operates as part of Tony Blair Associates, “the umbrella organisation” for Mr Blair’s “commercial operations”.

Investigations have shown Mr Blair and his team of consultants are now paid millions of pounds to advise governments in;

Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Colombia, Brazil, Albania, Malawi, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Liberia, Guinea and Libya






Berwick A Town Unwanted By England – Torn From Scotland – Left In Limbo By The English For 500 Years and They Wonder Why the People Of Berwick Wish Only That They Be Returned to Their Kinfolk in Scotland









Berwick – Ripped From Scotland By The Bloody Hands Of Edward Longshanks and His Successors – But Not Assimilated Into England Until 1974

With Westminster being almost 350 miles away from Berwick-upon-Tweed, its residents do not feel connected to English politics. With bagpipes playing and Scottish flags fluttering in the wind, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Scotland.

But this is Berwick-upon-Tweed, part of Northumberland – the most northern town in England and just two-and-a-half miles from the Scottish border. It has a turbulent history – passing between English and Scottish hands at least 13 times, starting with King Edward 1st who slaughtered and/or destroyed just about everyone and everything in the town, (children, adults, livestock and grain) for having the temerity to pledge their allegiance to Scotland. The killing, raping and plundering went on for days and the streets of Berwick ran red with the blood of the innocents.

With the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh just over an hour away by road, and Westminster more than six hours by car, do the people feel more Scottish than English? Well the answer was provided by the people of Berwick in 2008 when ITV carried out an unofficial referendum to find out if residents would prefer their town to be part of Scotland. The poll saw 1,182 voters in favour of becoming part of Scotland and 775 in favour of staying in England.




The Scottish Parliament was convened again in 1999, for the first time since 1707 following a devolution referendum.

Our kinfolk in Berwick watched on with aching hearts longing to be to be part of Scotland once more. A local interviewed at the time of the ITV referendum said “As devolution cut its teeth and aged, I think Berwick people became aware of the differences perhaps more than anyone else in England because [Scotland] is so close and they can see what’s happening just over the border,”

The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, defenders of Berwick and freemen of the town recently marched through Berwick after returning from Afghanistan. Locals turned out in force to welcome their boys home and many were adamant Berwick should be returned to Scotland.

Berwick resident Eileen Buchanan felt the town was detached from what was happening at Westminster. “They do nothing for us at this end of the country,” she said. “Nothing. This is like the back of beyond as far as London is concerned.”

Marion Bates, who was born and raised in Berwick, waved a Scottish flag as she watched the parade with her husband Trevor Bates, who was born in Scotland. When asked if she felt her hometown should be part of Scotland, she said “Berwick is just a lost town. “My youngest son came out of the Army two years ago and there are no jobs. There is nothing for him.” Mr Bates added: “From Parliament in London to Newcastle, that’s where it stops.”

Part-time student Jonathan Bain, 34, said “When you look at Berwick’s history, it’s no surprise that the town is divided.”


Kings Own Scottish Borders march through their hometown of Berwick celebrating “Minden Day”




The Royal Scots Borderers march through Berwick


Kings Own Scottish Borderers veterans marching into the KOSB barracks in Berwick


A Brief Recap of Berwick’s History

In Anglo-Saxon times, Berwick-upon-Tweed was part of the Kingdom of Northumbria – an area stretching between York and Edinburgh. In 1018, following a battle between the Scots and the Northumbrians, it became part of Scotland.

Its importance as a Scottish town grew and, by the Middle Ages, it was the richest port in the country. In 1296, England’s King Edward I captured Berwick-upon-Tweed, beginning a period of warfare between the two nations which saw the town change hands 13 times. The last time it changed hands by force was in 1482 when it came under English control.

Even then it remained independent, with legal documents referring to it as being of the Kingdom of England but not within it. In 1885, it became part of the county of Northumberland for administrative purposes and was fully integrated into the county in 1974.
Historian Derek Sharman said the people of Berwick felt independent. “It’s been a ping pong ball for centuries,” said Derek Sharman, a historian and tour guide in Berwick. “It’s a very very on-the-edge kind of place. “The people of Berwick feel really independent. You are a Berwicker first, Scottish or English second.”


Image result for berwick upon tweed images





Capture of Berwick 1492