More Savage Austerity Cuts In The Pipeline – Child Poverty – Education – More Despair For The Easy Targets – More Money For the Rich. It Isn’t Fair

polyp_cartoon_redistributionThe Child Poverty Act received Royal Assent on 25th March 2010.

The target is to eliminate child poverty by 2020 and legislation makes tackling child poverty a priority for all governments. The Child Poverty Act requires the Secretary of State, when setting the child poverty strategy, to consider which groups of children in the UK are disproportionately affected by socio-economic disadvantage, and to consider the likely impact of government policy on children in these groups. This will provide a mechanism to target children most at risk of poverty and will allow decisions to be made on the basis of whether they will help these children in the long term. Further reading :


A reality check is in order

Many crucial programmes that enabled over a million children to be lifted out of poverty over the period 1999-2009 have/are being dismantled forming part of savage, “austerity measures” introduced by the Tory government in 2010. UK wide major political parties are committed to extending and further increasing the aforementioned austerity programmes reducing state expenditure by £20-30billion. The brutal cuts forming part of the manifesto’s of the UK wide political parties will increase the numbers of children living in poverty by around one million over the lifetime of the next government.

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But the Scot’s want a different approach

SNP policy rejects, “austerity” as the way forward giving favour to an expansion of the economy increasing the value of the state, better managing the balance of payments deficit and long term debt incurred at the time of the 2006-2008 financial crisis and the last five years of failed, “austerity” driven Tory party government which doubled to long term debt of the country.


Facts and figures don’t lie

* There are 3.5 million children living in poverty (households below average income) in the UK today. That’s 27 per cent of children, or more than one in four.

* There are even more serious concentrations of child poverty at a local level: in 100 local wards, for example, between 50 and 70 per cent of children are growing up in poverty.

* Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. Two-thirds (66 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family (households below average income) where at least one member works.

* People are poor for many reasons. But explanations which put poverty down to drug and alcohol dependency, family breakdown, poor parenting, or a culture of worklessness are not supported by the facts. Population estimates of problematic drug users in England who access DWP benefits, Department for Work and Pensions, 2008, suggest that 6.6 per cent of the total number of benefit claimants in England were problem drug users. While drug misuse may prove to be a key reason this group of people finds it hard to escape poverty, it clearly has no explanatory power for the other 93.4 per cent of claimants.

* Child poverty blights childhoods. Growing up in poverty (households below average income) means being cold, going hungry, not being able to join in activities with friends. For example, 61 per cent of families in the bottom income quintile would like, but cannot afford, to take their children on holiday for one week a year.


* Child poverty has long-lasting effects. By 16, children receiving free school meals achieve 1.7 grades lower at GCSE than their wealthier peers. Leaving school with fewer qualifications translates into lower earnings over the course of a working life.

* Poverty is also related to more complicated health histories over the course of a lifetime, again influencing earnings as well as the overall quality – and indeed length – of life. Professionals live, on average, eight years longer than unskilled workers.7

* Child poverty imposes costs on broader society – estimated to be at least £29 billion a year.8 Governments forgo prospective revenues as well as commit themselves to providing services in the future if they fail to address child poverty in the here and now.

* Child poverty was reduced, (addressing major increases in the level of child poverty in the time of the Tory government), dramatically between 1998/9-2011/12 when 1.1 million children were lifted out of poverty (households below average income). This reduction is credited in large part to measures that increased the levels of lone parents working, as well as real and often significant increases in the level of benefits paid to families with children.

* Under current government policies, child poverty is projected to rise once more from 2012/13 with an expected 600,000 more children living in poverty by 2015/16.10 This upward trend is expected to continue with 4.7 million children projected to be living in poverty by 2020.

The full report on child poverty can be found at:


Spongers, down and outs, overweight and alcoholics

The denigration of people in poverty is not new. The state assumes de facto responsibility for the care of ‘paupers’, and the terms ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ are once more prevalent in the language of politicians. The divisive, self-justifying distinction between the workless, rogues, idlers and scroungers on the one hand and the hardworking, law-abiding, responsible, taxpayer has not. Recently poublished research highlights how recent welfare reforms continue the states’s long tradition of shaming people who live in poverty.


The Conservative manifesto 2010 – education of our children is paramount:

* We will improve standards for all pupils and close the attainment gap between the richest and poorest. (but there remains a fast growing gap between achievements in reading, maths and science between the richest and poorest students).

* We will enhance the prestige and quality of the teaching profession.

* We will give heads and teachers tough new powers of discipline. (but violence in the classroom is a serious and growing problem).

* We will restore rigour to the curriculum and exam system and give every parent access to a good school.

* We will improve our school system to world leadership standard. (but Britain has slipped further down the world leaguetable for student achievement).

* We will make opportunity more equal for all students and address our declining social mobility.


So how did they do?

Not at all good – Under the auspices of Michael Gove, (whatever happened to him?) and his successors teachers are still overworked, underpaid and underappreciated. Schooling is still beset with brainless standardization with which students are increasingly non-compliant. The depressingly constant undermining of teachers and their skills only serves to devalue the learning process. Teachers thrive in a listening not telling environment and society would do well to encourage politicians and the state to take a back seat allowing the teaching profession to improve the learning process elevating their skills and place in society.

Tory, Labour and other UK Parties have failed our children – underfunding, overcrowded classrooms, poor payment of teachers, inadequate financial resources to schools and low attendance all beset education.


How do our children compare with other nations?

A UN report this week named the UK as the worst place to grow up, and Holland the best. Why? – The Unicef team assessed six different areas: material well-being, health and safety educational well-being, family and peer relationships, behaviours and risks and the young people’s own perceptions of their well-being.

In the Netherlands, 73.2% of children found their peers “kind or helpful” – but in the UK only 43.3% felt the same. More than a third of Dutch children liked school “a lot” but in the UK this was less than 20%. 31% of UK children admit to having been drunk on one or two occasions. In the Netherlands it is 12.9%.


One child – Chloe, 14, has just finished posting leaflets through letterboxes. She is bright, with high aptitude test scores but she has enormous difficulties at school and has been excluded 14 times. She has to be on her best behaviour for the next eight weeks or she is out. Chloe swears a lot at the teachers and answers back and so gets put in isolation all the time, where she has to sit in a cubicle at a desk on her own for seven hours. Chloe hates that and runs off. “They focus more on punishment than on rewards,” she snorts. The police have been called to her parents house a few times when Chloe kicked off and once she was almost charged with domestic violence, though she got let off with a warning. Chloe’s mum, Michelle, 36, says her daughter was “paralytic” when she got to her. The family doctor said Chloe was just a spoiled brat acting up. He sent her to a therapist but she “kicked off” there too.

In Holland secondary school children wear what they want and they say this is why they are happier. There are 10 “golden rules of school”, including no bullying, using bad words or mobiles and smoking is only allowed in identified smoking areas in the playground. But very few children smoke.

Feedback from children believe it is this tolerance that stops them pushing too many boundaries. They say they are treated like adults and are allowed to grow in their less rigid environment. “In Holland, we are much more free,” explained one child, in England, you have uniforms and we get to do more things with clothes and make-up and express ourselves.” A friend 16 added: “No-one is alone here. Here everyone has friends and I think we’re a bit more helpful – we help each other out.”

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rigid systems breed contempt

A poverty inquiry identified growing inequality in schools – The School-Wear Association, the body representing independent retailers which claims to clothe three-quarters of Britain’s schoolchildren, suggests it costs about £80 to kit out a state secondary school pupil with one new uniform set.

How does a low income family, struggling to pay rent, bills and food manage the cost? For an unemployed parent, it’s just not possible. Families in increasing numbers are turning to loan sharks and high credit lenders to ensure their children have suitable uniform and shoes so they do not suffer the stigma of standing out as poor. A typical parent response;

“I don’t know which schools the School-Wear Association looked at but £80 didn’t even cover half of what my daughters high school specified, and we don’t live in a wealthy area. The blazer alone cost £39, I cant remember the cost of the rest. The blouse and black trousers/skirt were the only items that could be generic, everything else had to be from named suppliers, including school sweatshirt, PE sweatshirt, PE T-shirt, PE tracksuit bottoms, tie, PE kit bag, even the PE socks had to be from the named supplier. Add school shoes, PE pumps, trainers for outside PE, two aprons (also specified supplier) for cookery and textiles. Contrast with when I was at school you could buy nearly ALL as generics, and even buy sew on logos for the blazers in some cases. Many children are ashamed of not having everything they need, or bullied because of it, which has a detrimental knock on effect on their confidence – and their education.”


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Lin Homer – Civil Servant Deemed Unfit For Service in a Banana Republic Gets Her Reward – Early Retirement – a Damehood and a £2.2Million Pension Pot







Whitehall mandarin made a Dame in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list despite coming under fire for mishandling of tax-dodgers is standing down

The head of HM Revenue and Customs quit  the Civil Service with a £2.2million pension pot (one of the biggest in the Civil Service, swelled by an additional £70,000 to £75,000 last year) and a promise not to take a job in the private sector which will embarrass ministers.

Dame Lin Homer, who has run HMRC since 2012, will leave in April after MPs criticised a series of failings and “abysmal” levels of customer service for members of the public.

Dame Lin was also under fire for securing only one prosecution from a list of 6,800 UK-related secret Swiss bank accounts provided in 2010 by French authorities. In her previous job running the UK Border Agency, Dame Lin was censured by MPs for her “catastrophic leadership failure”.

Homer epitomised all that is wrong with the UK Civil Service.  Unaccountable Civil Service mandarins enjoying self-congratulatory praise whilst abusing the protection of the State, covering up massive cock-ups costing the UK taxpayer many billions.  A summary of her worst efforts follows.

Additionally a number of unsavoury incidents (some involving Cameron’s sidekick, Chief Civil Servant, Sir Jeremy Heywood) occurred in the course of the Scottish Independence Campaign giving urgent notice that the Scottish parliament must have authority over Civil Servants working  in Scotland. The Smith Commission failed to address the issue and it needs to be raised with Westminster soon.








A Scottish, civil service, with no ties to Westminster, clear of the tentacles of “Common Purpose” would better serve Scotland.

The marked increasing incidence of recurring catastrophic leadership disasters in the, “UK Civil Service” is of concern. Very many inadequate civil servants are/have been promoted well beyond their abilities, through their shadowy, “Common Purpose” network contacts. Hence the increasing number of financial, transport, media, immigration and other disasters which have and continue to blight the UK. The UK civil service, put in place by the public, charged with the mission always to serve their needs is not fit for purpose.



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March 26 2013; Who are her backers? The Unstoppable Rise of Lin Homer, (Common Purpose Member)

Born in Norfolk, Lin Homer studied law at University College London, before working at Reading Council for two years then Hertfordshire Council, where over a period of 15 years, she rose to the position of Director of Corporate Services. Now a member of “Common Purpose” This provided the springboard for her first major town hall job, in 1998, as chief executive of Suffolk Council.






4 April 2005; Judge upholds vote-rigging claims – Lin Homer Threw rule book out the window,

Homer was parachuted into the same post at Birmingham City Council, on a jaw-dropping £174,000-year.

In 2005 she was accused of throwing ‘the rule book out of the window’ in a major postal votes scandal in Birmingham that ended up before the courts.

Election judge Richard Mawrey said fraud in the city ‘would have disgraced a banana republic’.

He described Mrs Homer’s decision to allow postal ballot papers to be transported to the count in shopping bags as ‘the direst folly’.








25 March 2013; Jerry Hayes – Solicitor and ex Tory MP – Lin Homer, eat my shorts.  Allah UKBA!

What is even more fascinating is how LIn Homer has soared effortlessly to the Whitehall stratosphere.

I first came across her in 2005 and found her perfectly agreeable. She was the Chief Executive of Birmingham Council and I was parachuted in to represent two Labour councillors accused of electoral fraud.

It was the first electoral commission in one hundred years. It was as a result of a petition moved by the splendid John Hemming, now a Lib Dem MP.

It was an eye opener exposing the corruption of the postal ballot system which according to the Commissioner, Richard Maurey QC “would have disgraced a banana republic”.

Let me set the scene:

“My chaps were found in a warehouse in the dead of night in front of a table groaning with postal ballot forms, pens and tipex. As we say in the trade this caused one or two evidential problems. Worse, heads of Asian families were hoovering up votes within their households. And (not connected with my clients) there were accusations that postmen laden with postal ballots had been threatened with having their throats cut if they didn’t hand them over.

It didn’t say a lot about British democracy. It spoke volumes.

But most shocking of all was the utter chaos of the count. The Commissioner remarked that the transportation of voting papers via carrier bags was the “direst folly”.

And after the Lib Dems had raised an almighty stink it was discovered that Tesco bags of uncounted votes were discovered in council offices.

The Commissioner commented that Lin Homer as Chief returning Officer had “thrown away the electoral rule book”.








18 Nov 2013; United Kingdom Border Agency savaged by MPs

But later that year she was chosen by the Home Office to run what was then called the Immigration and Nationality Directorate – this time on £200,000, plus bonuses

Already in chaos, it was on her watch in 2006 that we learned of the mistaken release of 1,000 foreign criminals.

It later emerged some 450,000 asylum cases had not been dealt with but left in boxes at the Home Office.

Appearing before the Home Affairs committee Homer, now head of the newly formed UKBA gave an undertaking to fix things.

But despite promises from former chief executive Lin Homer and her successors as head of the UKBA since the UKBA was founded in 2008, nothing was being done to try to find asylum seekers whose claims had been rejected and to remove them from the country.

The UKBA had supplied wrong and misleading statistics to the Home Affairs Committee since it was formed in 2008.

Senior UK staff ‘misled’ the Committee; The UKBA’s senior staff misled the Committee on so many occasions that it was clear that senior staff were either deliberately misleading the Committee or thoroughly incompetent.

Files were so poorly compiled and were missing so much information that it was impossible to carry out security checks on applicants for asylum.

Progress in dealing with historic cases had been slow and poorly performed. The Committee expressed doubt that checks on archives of historic cases to try to determine whether the applicants were still in the country were carried out properly.

The UKBA was not working properly with the police to find and detain foreign nationals who are awaiting prosecution for criminal offences.

The Committee was especially scathing in its criticism of Lin Homer. It accused her of trying to ‘evade responsibility for her failings’.

Ms Homer told the committee in January that she had always given the committee all the figures that had been requested as soon as she had them. The committee refutes this.

The new UKBA was meant to clear up the mess, and Mrs Homer became its first chief executive, on an astonishing £208,000 a year.

But among a fresh run of scandals was the revelation that nearly 400 of the 1,000 foreign prisoners were told they could stay in Britain and dozens remained untraced.

She was quizzed over more than 100,000 items of mail left unopened as staff struggled to deal with 147,000 immigration case files, some dating back to the Nineties, parked in a ‘controlled archive’. It later emerged that in 40,000 cases, individuals could still be in the country and were potentially untraceable.

Ms Homer apologised that the cases had not been checked against up to 19 databases, including the Police National Computer and anti-terrorist watchlist, and said she regretted she may have ‘inadvertently misled’ the committee over the size of the backlog and whether security checks had been carried out.

Mr Vaz accepted her apology – but said if it happened again it would be reported to Parliament as a ‘contempt of the House’.

Tomorrow’s report is expected to express MPs’ fury that Ms Homer, 56, does not appear to accept she failed during her time as head of the UKBA – and cast doubt on her ability to carry out her duties at HMRC.

She was paid almost £1 million in salary and bonuses during her time at the beleaguered agency.

The report is expected to conclude Parliament should be given a stronger role in appointing top civil servants – a view likely to be shared by No 10, where senior figures have expressed frustration at the way Whitehall tries to block key reforms and rejects interference over its appointments. (includes video report)




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10 Oct 2012; Rewarding Failure – permanent secretary of the UK Transport Department Lin Homer lasts barely a year.

Millionaire mandarin Lin Homer, Permanent Secretary at the DfT throughout 2011 when details of the new rail franchise business model were being thrashed out was today named by Sir Richard Branson as one of a handful of officials at the department whom his Virgin Rail team met during 2011 to voice concerns over the bid process.

Those concerns were ignored, said the rail boss whose warnings proved correct last week when the Government U-turned on its decision to award the lucrative franchise to his rival First Group due to an alleged catastrophic business model error.

The mistake is estimated to cost taxpayers £100million and the DfT has now been labelled “not fit for purpose”.

Ms Homer’s meteoric rise through the civil service — she received another promotion last January — prompted one MP last night to question whether there was an unchecked “reward for failure” culture at the heart of Whitehall.








25 March 2013; Appointment of HMRC head Lin Homer raises ‘serious concerns’

The Commons’ Home Affairs committee said in a report published today, it was “astounded” at Homer’s appointment to chief executive and permanent secretary at HMRC at “what is a challenging time for that organisation”.

It added that the appointment raises “serious concerns about the accountability of the most senior civil servants to Parliament”.—regulation/appointment-of-hmrc-head-lin-homer-raises









6 November 2013; Public being charge extortionate telephone premium rates in calls to HMRC

Homer admitted to MP’s that tax payers are charged premium call rates upon telephone enquiries made direct to HMRC and that there was an inordinate time taken to answer enquiries. But she was dealing with the matter.

Homer decided that HMRC will close all 281 of their Enquiry Centres before the end of 2014. Replacing the service with an updated, “super dooper” call centre system, passing the buck to the Citizens Advice Bureau and other voluntary organisations to provide tax advice to the public.

Watch Lin Homer (Chief Executive & Permanent Secretary) and Ruth Owen (Director General Personal TAX HMRC) squirm when Ms Hodge has a go at them about 0845 numbers! Priceless!!!









5 November 2012; Homer admits Government powerless to force multinationals to declare profits

Homer briefed MPs that over half of Britain’s biggest 770 firms funnel profits overseas and the Government is unable at the present time to prevent these big international corporations from paying almost no tax on their profits in this country.

She offered that they achieve this by declaring their profits in foreign countries with tiny tax rates – even if they made those profits in this country.









30 July 2013; £135 million collected from leaked Swiss list

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has recovered £135 million in lost tax from individuals named on a leaked list of HSBC’s private banking operation in Switzerland.

This is considerably less than the amount pulled in by the Spanish and French tax authorities, who have recouped £220 million and £188 million respectively.

Speaking at a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), HMRC chief executive Lin Homer said that 130,000 names were on the so-called Falciani list – named after the former employee of the bank who handed over the details.

Of the 130,000, HMRC had identified 6,800 UK-based entities at some 5,000 UK addresses.

Ms Homer said however that the poor quality of the data meant that just 3,400 taxpayers have been contacted so far – resulting in a yield of just £135m. She said however that HMRC’s efforts “were not yet finished.”

Asked about the Lagarde list – a subset of the larger HSBC database – Ms Homer said that “major progress” had been made in tackling 15 live cases. Of these, two have been settled as civil cases, four remain open, five have settled within the Swiss disclosure agreement and four are still being negotiated.

HMRC’s actions over the Liberty tax avoidance scheme were also considered by the PAC, with Ms Homer confirming that £400 million of tax was at stake.

According to HMRC data, of the approximately 2,000 users of the scheme, the tax authority had failed to serve Section 9 notices in 30 cases, which HMRC’s internal review suggested had put ‘well below’ £10m of tax at risk.

HMRC were also censured over errors which saw the department overstate the amount of extra revenue collected by £1.9bn compared to targets. Ms Homer apologised for the mistake, which she said was down to an incorrect calculation of the baseline from which later calculations were taken.

She is under pressure from the, “Commons Public Accounts Committee”, who asked about, “sweetheart” deals she authorised, giving immunity to around 6,000 British names linked to HSBC bank accounts in Geneva.

At least 500 of these wealthy tax dodgers are being or have been investigated but it is expected they will be offered immunity in exchange for payment of a penalty AND their tax bills AND allowed to keep their identities hidden AND be protected from prosecution”?








11 February 2015; MPs debate HSBC scandal: Politics Live blog

MPs from the Commons public accounts committee have launched a withering attack on HM Revenue and Customs over its response to information it received about clients of HSBC’s Swiss division dodging tax.

Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP who chairs the committee, said accused Lin Homer, the HMRC chief executive, of a “pathetic” response.

Hodge also said HMRC was sending out a “really rotten message” to people considering evading tax because its action was so weak.

She said HMRC was sending out the message that “it’s a risk worth taking – the worst that can happen to you if HMRC can be bothered to catch up with you is that you may have to pay, you won’t have a prosecution, you won’t have any shame, you won’t be an example to anybody else, you’ll get away with it”.

She went on: That’s a terrible message to get out to British taxpayers, it’s a really rotten message. (Video coverage of the debates) <a href=”








Financial Services Uncategorized

State Pension Bombshell – Less Than Half British Retirees To Get Full Pension – So the 55 Year Old Plus No Voters Get Their Return – Listen to Gordon Brown at Your peril- He Will Return Towards the End of the GE Campaign To Promise you more Goodies


January 2014; Three quarters of women fear the struggle to survive in old age over pension uncertainty

Three-quarters of women fear they will struggle to get by when they reach retirement age because their current income is too low for a decent pension, a study shows. Research also showed widespread confusion among working age women over the effect of changes to the pension system and the rising retirement age. The study by the Pensions Advisory Service found that almost four in 10 women did not know when they would be able to draw their pension, because of changes to the qualifying age, and six in 10 had no idea if they had paid enough National Insurance.

Overall, it showed that seven in 10 did not feel confident about making decisions when saving for retirement. Meanwhile 76 per cent do not believe they will have enough income to be financially comfortable once stopping work.

Around 40 million people currently of working age will receive the new single-tier pension, which is due to come into effect in 2016, simplifying the state pension arrangements. It will run alongside the Government’s landmark plans to automatically enrol people into workplace pensions.

Michelle Cracknell, chief executive of the Pensions Advisory Service said: “The odds of women being able to provide for a comfortable retirement are stacked against them from the start. “Women are much more likely than men to have career breaks, work part-time and have low-paid service sector jobs. “The price they pay is an incomplete state pension in their own right and not much, if any, private pension to add to it.”


April 2014; Government to give life expectancy estimates with pensions advice

Pensions minister Steve Webb has announced plans to give retirees rough estimates of their life expectancy as part of pensions advice from April 2015.

Specialist pensions experts will calculate how long older people have to live, based on their gender, lifestyle and location. The move is a reaction to concerns people will be irresponsible with their pensions, now that there are fewer restrictions around withdrawing their pot in one go.

The news comes a day after Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures revealed people in the UK are living longer, but stark regional contrasts persist. The area with the highest life expectancy is Purbeck in Dorset, where the average woman will now live to 86.6. The figure is 82.9 years for a man in the same region.

In Glasgow life expectancy is 72.6 for men and 78.5 for women.

Webb highlighted this geographical contrast, along with lifestyle considerations, as one of the main reasons behind the policy.

“The idea is that you come to think about retiring, but you don’t know how long that retirement is going to be,” he said. “My idea is to say to somebody, look, someone of your generation, living in this part of the country, you’ve not smoked, you could easily live for 27 years.”

Webb added the consultations would not be bespoke, but based on a chart for people with similar circumstances. He also said the Government was conscious the consultations should not be “crass and insensitive”.


February 2014; The new state pension winners and losers – and what you can do about it

Single-tier pension winners;

• People who contracted out into a personal pension.

• The self-employed. Currently they are only entitled to the basic state pension of £110.15. Under the new system they will get the full £147 provided they notch up 35 qualifying years.

• Women and part-time workers. Broken work histories and low part-time earnings have meant many have not built up full state pension in the past.

Single-tier pension losers

• People who have never contracted out of the state system.

• Young people. Losses increase over time: someone aged 49 on £26,000 a year will be £29 a week worse off, while someone in their mid-30s will be £40 a week worse off by the time they retire, according to the TUC.

• Existing pensioners. Anyone who reaches state pension before 5 April 2016 will be excluded from the single-tier pension. Some could have got more under the new rules
You win and you lose.

• People in private-sector final salary schemes that are contracted out will get more state pension but will pay more national insurance. Employees currently contracted out will see an increase of 1.4% in their NI contributions from 2016 because their schemes will become contracted in.

What can you do

So if you are a pension loser, is there anything you can do about it? Find out what you have built up so far, so you can work out how much more you need to save. To receive an estimate of your future state pension go to;

Think about buying extra years. Millions of people may be able to buy up to £25 a week of extra state pension. It is aimed at pensioners and those due to reach state pension age before April 2016, and will allow people to swap a cash lump sum for extra state pension worth between £1 and £25 a week. It is suggested pensioners will be allowed to pay from £900 to as much as £25,000 to top up their pension.

You may be entitled to top up your state pension with voluntary national insurance contributions (NICs). The 2014/2015 top-up is expected to be around £850 for standard class 3 voluntary NICs. However, you have to be eligible. Those entitled to pay class 3 voluntary NICs include everyone who has reached state pension age (though you can only pay for the past six years), plus some other groups. For more information;


January 2015; Fewer than half retirees will receive full state pension

The government has admitted that fewer than half of all pensioners will receive the full £150-a-week new “flat rate” state pension from 2016 despite promises by the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith that it will give workers “clarity” about their retirement income. In response to a freedom of information request, the Department for Work and Pensions said only 45% of the 3.5 million people who will retire between 2016 and 2020 will receive the full £150 a week.

The new single-tier pension will from April 2016 replace the existing two-part system of basic state pension plus the state second pension (also known as Serps). A final figure for the combined pensions will be released nearer to the date of introduction, but is expected to be around £150 a week. However it is confirmed that because millions of workers are “contracted out”, they will not be entitled to the full amount.

Under contracting out, employees used a rebate of national insurance contributions to build up a separate private pension pot. Others, such as mothers and the self-employed, have frequently failed to build up a sufficiently long national insurance record to qualify for the full amount. Under the new system, employees will need to have 35 years’ of NI contributions to obtain a full pension, compared to 30 before. The figures reveal that one in three retiring workers will be paid a state pension of no more than £133.56 a week rather than the £150 many have been led to expect.

A pensions advisor said: It is imperative individuals receive a proper state pension forecast. Without this, they could get a nasty shock when they do reach state pension age.” It is possible to obtain an estimate of the state pension you will get at retirement from, which also has information on how to pay in extra now to qualify for the full pension. The government says you are more likely to be contracted out – and therefore not eligible for the full new state pension – if you work in public sector organisations such as the NHS, local councils, the civil service or in teaching;


January 2015; Less than half British retirees to get full pension

The UK government admits that less than half of all British pensioners will receive their full £150-a-week state pension from 2016. The Department for Work and Pensions says only 45% of the 3.5 million people who will retire between 2016 and 2020 will receive the full annuity. The new single-tier pension will from April 2016 replace the existing two-part system of basic state pension plus the state second pension (also known as Serps).

Now Rodney Shakespeare, a London-based professor of economy and political commentator, believes the pension system is being manipulated. “The pension system is part of a general cutback in state benefits of one source and another. Behind this is a collapse of the real economy, and that is because the UK system like that of Europe and in the Western system generally does not put any money supply into productive capacity. It only puts it into the banks and those who have existing assets and it all ends up in a sucking up of wealth to the one percent.”

“Just about half of the people who are retiring in the next year or two are going to have much less in state pension and they had been conned and they had been deceived. They were allowed in the past, in addition to their taxes not to pay an element of the national insurance pension contribution,” Shakespeare went on to say. Under the new system, employees will need to have 35 years’ of National Insurance (NI) contributions to obtain a full pension, compared to 30 before. The figures reveal that one in three retiring workers will be paid a state pension of no more than £133.56 a week rather than the £150 many have been led to expect.


Trident to Be Transferred To Wales – Dependent On A large Number Of SNP MP’s Being Returned to Westminster In the General Election


January 2015; Trident – Secret plan for nuclear submarines

Defence officials have secretly been conducting well advanced, closed-door contingency planning exercises examining proposals to move, from their base at Faslane in Scotland to Wales, Britain’s four Vanguard Trident ballistic nuclear missile armed submarines.

Coulport on Loch Long, eight miles from Faslane, where the warheads are stored (The sites are kept separate for safety reasons) will be converted to munitions storage in support of the conventional fleet.

Eliminating any need to build storage facilities at Milford Haven plans are to retain Trident warheads, not allocated to submarine use, at Aldermaston, in Berkshire. This best case scenario has the advantage of having a direct route, (using the M4) between locations. The change will achieve significant financial savings through the elimination of duplication of security of storage and associated personnel costs.

It is expected savings will be allocated to the build of docking facilities for the submarines, (which is not expected to be significant). The change will be completed within the lifetime of the next parliament. Faslane is to be retained as an operational naval base providing facilities for other submarines of the fleet and an increased basing of surface NATO warships providing security of the northern part of the NATO alliance.

Gordon Brown Announces Plans To Cut Trident Submarines

It is understood relocation of Trident has been agreed with Labour, assuming the SNP are returned to Westminster in large numbers and hold the balance of power. The deal will be implemented in the event of a hung parliament in the 2015 general election and the SNP commit to the support of a Labour government. The SNP yesterday welcomed a YouGov poll showing that, when ‘don’t knows’ are removed, 53 per cent of people in Scotland agree that the UK should give up nuclear weapons.

Labour’s First Minister in Wales, Carwyn Jones, is said have indicated he would be happy to see Trident submarines relocated to Wales, a natural deep water port and work has now begun on the practicalities of shifting Britain’s nuclear defence systems to Pembrokeshire.

Additional financial powers covering a number of areas, similar to proposals for Scotland, are expected to be to be devolved to Wales forming part of the deal.

A Labour spokesman said: ‘Our position on Trident is clear and unchanged. Labour believes Britain should be leading international efforts for multilateral nuclear disarmament while maintaining a minimum, credible independent nuclear deterrent.’ which is a different different position to that of the Tories.

Scottish Referendum Uncategorized

The Aftermath Of The Referendum Press Statements To Be Retained For future reference.

never give up

The aftermath of the referendum brought with it a number of press statements which need to be retained ready to hand for future reference.

BBC biased coverage of the Scottish Independence Referendum criticised.

With no exit poll isn’t there a democratic deficit?

I feel for all those for whom the yes campaign brought hope.

This glorious failure could yet be Scotland’s finest hour. Forget Bannockburn, the Scots reinvented and re-established the idea of true democracy.

The lifestyle of top executives like Brian have become more luxurious, while ordinary people like Brenda have found it harder and harder to make ends meet.

The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world. The gap between pay at the top and bottom is huge. Living standards for everyone – apart from those at the very top – remain squeezed. But we argue, it doesn’t have to be like this.

The gap between rich and poor is the widest in 30 years. Inequality is still rising. If current trends continue, we will have reached Victorian levels of inequality in 20 years.

Inequality and the top 10% getting Richer and Richer by the year will Destroy the UK Economy, Democracy and even the NHS.

Three main Unionist party leaders signed up to a historic joint statement

john McLean

Democracy in the Dark – the Decline of the Scottish Press.

Newspapers don’t just sell news; in fact, that has been an increasingly small part of their function in the last century. Newspapers have been cultural curators, critically evaluating artistic and literary trends, providing a showcase for good writing, informing readers on important developments in science and society. They have provided a forum for informed debate, & promoted their own vigorous opinions on affairs of state, forcing politicians to take note.

But the financial problems of the press are making it harder and harder for them to provide this essential cultural service. Scottish papers, reports the National Union of Journalists, have lost half their journalists in the last decade or so. UK papers with nominally Scottish editions now dominate the Scottish market.

This is becoming a constitutional issue because the Scottish and UK newspapers are almost exclusively unionists – often militantly so. It is right that newspapers have strong editorial views, but it is not healthy when they all have the same editorial views. Iain Macwhirter (political commentator for The Herald and Sunday Herald newspapers).


1. That single phrase, about it being right for newspapers to have strong views “but not when they all have the same views”, goes to the heart of a wider debate about the relationship between ownership and editorial content. It also touches on the fact that a large proportion of the Scottish press is Scottish in name only. With the exception of DC Thomson’s operation, the major newspapers are published by companies based in London (and, in The Herald’s case, ultimately in the USA). Now I happen to be agnostic on the Scottish independence debate or, arguably, conflicted. I understand why, even in the 21st century, there remains an insistent pressure for independence from nations that have been colonised or incorporated by other nations. Reality impinges, however. I realise distinct societies that, for one reason or another, have failed to hold on to their nation state status (or never even had one) do need to regain it or achieve it.

2. They must assert their nationhood as a stage on the road to the eventual dismantling of all such geopolitical boundaries. I’m glad I’m not confronted by a yes-no voting form. But I am, like Macwhirter, concerned that a fake “Scottish national press” has adopted a single view on the matter.

3. From my point of view, the Scottish press is not serving its audience (the thinking people of Scotland) and that is very sad. However I must say, people have been getting up of their asses and actually doing something about. There is an online scene of bloggers and news sites that are starting to provide an opposing view to the hideously one side unionist pro-UK press. I would like to think that new models for news and opinion will grow out of this. For sure they will be needed , irrespective of the referendum result, to hold politicians accountable, when the traditional newspaper and TV fail to do so, because they become too comfortably close, and because of commercial interest. Thomas William Dunlop reader.


The Referendum – The Queen – Her Think Carefully Slip- The Government- The Hypocrisy – The Reaction of 1000 Scots


One of the most controversial events in the course of the referendum campaign was the intervention of the Queen on the eve of the vote. Her unwelcome involvement had been carefully orchestrated by the Government and partners in the Better Together team comprising the Unionist parties who were concerned that the Scottish electorate were indeed ready to vote for independence which would end the gravy train for all those feeding on the wealth of Scots.

This is the feedback from Scots who were only advised of the true nature of the involvement of the queen through a leaked email released by a horrified whistleblower close to the ACTION.

So she’s not neutral then. She willingly took part in a PR campaign to influence a democratic vote. I would have some respect if she had just come out and said it, but the way it was stage-managed, to make it look as if she just happened to say it as she was meeting a member of the public, leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

The Queen’s neutrality is a bit of a con, really. She gets time with the PM every week to provide ‘guidance’ – in effect, she’s the only lobbyist with a codified constitutional position.

I find it depressing we’ll end up seeing more monarchical interventions.

So she’s not neutral then. Only fools ever thought she was. Ever heard of a monarch in favour of breaking up their kingdom? The ‘No’s’ were shafted, fooled by their ‘betters’ and conned by the lying Unionist politicians. We warned you. but you fell for it anyway.

You can tell by her expression in that photo what a lowlife cretin she thinks Dave is. She probably envies her predecessor, of the same christian name, who could (and very probably would) have ordered him taken to the tower to be beheaded.

If I were a Scot I’d want another ballot. Pronto!

A Constitutional Monarch? Lying bastards.

Next time we include an independent Republic on the manifesto – ditch the anachronism and make a modern state for the 21st century.

I agree. Constitutionally this is a game-changer. The Queen intervened in politics at the behest of the ruling party. Republic of Scotland, anyone?

As the queen represents Wales, leeks are obligatory.

So the snivelling toerag Cameron got the Queen, Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling to save his ungrateful butt – Then he repaid them by revealing private conversations with the Queen and immiediately screwing over Brown and Darling in order to advance his feeble position. The bloke is devoid of a moral compass.

I look at Cameron and I see a walking void, not just sans morality, but sans vision, sans hope, sans thought. He’s a grasping, hungry nothing clad in a suit. There’s not even a will to power there, he lacks the blood-lust of a true Tory that at least marks them out as living creatures.

The final execrable product of the machine-production of politicans for the media age. A hologram reading lines scripted by committee. A golem running on tabloid instructions. A focus-grouped ghost.

I thought it was a moral compass and then the fog cleared and there was just a middle digit pointing north.

One of the (many) advantages of an independent Scotland is we could choose to ditch the Windsor benefit fraudsters and forge ahead as a new republic.
That would be a grown-up country for the 21st century.

errmmm – Salmond wanted to keep this anachronism.

Only because he feared ditching them would be unpopular, for sentimental reasons. I would have gone for Yes with ditching the royals. I would have left NATO too, and established a Scottish currency or joined the euro. But then I wasn’t in charge of the campaign, Alex Salmond was. Maybe next time we will get it right. 2016?

Y’mean he was bein’ dishonest ! Next you’ll be telling me his plans for Scotland’s economy was based on Scotch mist ! A Scottish currency – good idea if Scotland wanted true independence. Who’d have backed it though ? Join the Euro ? thought you wanted independence ?

I wonder what the result would be of a referendum now

I think there has been a moral victory for the yes, nationalists. The establishment is holding this country back

I wonder what the result would be of a referendum now

At least now the truth is coming out, kudos to the guardian for that, what little difference it makes now.

Now repeat after me – “Oil revenue was always seen as a bonus….”

Wow, who would have thought it? You mean a ‘well-wisher’ did not just happen to ask the queen that question and it wasn’t just coincidentally overheard by a
reporter and it didn’t get reported on national news by accident? Well I never. What a great day for democracy.

Buckingham Palace issued a statement which read: “The sovereign’s constitutional impartiality is an established principle of our democracy and one which the Queen has demonstrated throughout her reign. “As such, the monarch is above politics and those in political office have a duty to ensure this remains the case. “Any suggestion that the Queen would wish to influence the outcome of the current referendum campaign is categorically wrong. Her Majesty is simply of the view this is a matter for the people of Scotland.” So …. the Palace lied………………..

I was definitely on the side of no, but the fact the Queen’s neutrality was publicly breached was one of those moments where I genuinely questioned what the fuck this country is even about. It just goes to show what a fustercluck this government is. I see that Cameron’s been trying to position his party as competent and Labour as inviting chaos. What an absolute killer of a joke after the past five years of car-crashes, trainwrecks, blatant mismanagement and unforced errors. The irony of it is so thick and multilayered it’s like a gateaux of whipped double-fat bullshit and thick, moist slices of naked hypocrisy. Christ. It’s getting to the point where I look at our unelected, octogenarian hereditary monarch and go “could she really do a worse job than the clownshow we’ve got running things at the moment?”

They are there to preserve their rule, as they are ‘superior’ to us oiks who actually make this country work.

It’s obvious that the Queen & the rest of her family are right wing Tories, this article is wrong, she has not been “Scrupulous” about getting involved in political issues, in 1977 she spoke out against Scottish independence as well. Funny how she never spoke up for the miners, unemployed or homeless in the Eighties, only when it affects her selfish family. (Independence affects them, due to the vast amount of land they own in Scotland).

Charles wanted to join the Labour party when he was at college, but was told he couldn’t.

Yeah, too patronising…

It’s not difficult to imagine which side of the referendum the Queen was on, really.

Well it’d be a bit embarrassing to be the monarch who presided over the break up of one’s own country.

She’s compromised now. The lid has been lifted on our so-called ‘benign’ monarchy. They still rule this country. This isn’t a democracy.

All those ballot boxes are just a sham then?

Most of them were – mainly the tampered ones..

No actually. The crooked leeches in the City of London bought our Political Class. The Self Proclaimed Talent. The biggest spongers of all. Royal Family is sideshow nowadays. Rather boring one in my book.

You should think very carefully before lending credence to information provided by unattributable whitehall sources.

Quite right, that’s Malcolm Rifkind’s job.

There should be no ‘Queen’ in a modern democracy – anywhere, including those lauded elsewhere in Europe, imho.

Your statement might be correct but for one point. There is NO modern democracy in the UK. So until there is, I’d prefer Elizabeth remain where she is.

errmmm… if push came to shove how far do you think she would go to preserve any sort of democracy ? Not very – she must keep ‘the firm’ in business. I can see why, though.

Coronation of George IV, 1821, Westminster Abbey.

Another vow broken then. As if we didn’t know what side she was on. Protecting her real estate methinks!

Amazing. Idiots ruin the country then ask the one person who is expected to shut up and not air her own opinion, to intervene. I bet she’s well impressed with her current prime minister.

I admire the Queen but I am very disappointed if she allowed herself to be used in this way, There needs to be another vote in Scotland. Polling already shows Yes ahead, if there was to be a rerun now.

Im a yes voter and Scotland does not deserve another referendum. The scots must now face the full onslaught of the austerity agenda that is coming their way maybe then in 10 years theyll finally maken the right choice. Im am deeply ashamed of scotland. I live here and I really wish didn’t at the moment.

Are you being too harsh on yourself and others? Remember the propaganda and fear that Scotland was bombed with. To say ‘does not deserve’ fulfills that awful old saying that ‘the Scots are half in love with failure’. But only half were in love with that. And their regrets are coming out now. It won’t be 10 years.

Here’s how it was reported at the time: A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “We never comment on private exchanges or conversations. We just reiterate what the Queen has always said: she maintains her constitutional impartiality. As the Queen has always said, this is a matter for the people of Scotland.” Except, of course, she did not. In fact she plotted with the government, PM and civil servants to do exactly the opposite and hoodwink the Scottish electorate into favouring a particular choice. All with the connivance and complicity of the media. Failing to remain constitutionally impartial surely forfeits the position of the monarchy as head of state. Republic now! If I were a Scot I’d want a second vote – they’ve been duped.

It also shows the BBC complicit in the charade.

Don’t worry Liz we are definitely listening carefully now, just check the polls….

As a druid, I can’t see why asking voters to “think very carefully” is controversial. Her Madge was basically asking them not to vote frivolously – a trait well-known in the happy-go-lucky Scottish psyche.

I reckon The Queen would still quite enjoy being the Queen of the two existing kingdoms of Great Britain, even if Scotland were an independent/separate place (delete independent/separate according to one´s preferred thoughts on Scotland´s constitutional debate). On 24 June 1953, following her coronation at Westminster Abbey, the crown was carried before Queen Elizabeth II in a procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to the High Kirk of St Giles, Edinburgh, where the Honours of Scotland, including the crown, were presented to The Queen during a National Service of Thanksgiving. This Pathé News reel footage of the St Giles ceremony is quite remarkable as the Honours of Scotland are handed over and the Scottish Crown is offered to the Queen: Certainly reminds people the United Kindom isn´t quite a “United Kingdom” as it sometimes seemed before the recent debate. And I´m sure the Queen knows this more than most since the crown has been present and represented at the Official Opening ceremonies of sessions of the Scottish Parliament since 1999.

The Pathé reel is also interesting because the Queen, at the advice of the then government, wasn’t dressed for a coronation — lest it inflame nationalist sentiment.

Now you mention him – should we tell him that Princess Margarita of Romania is 93rd in line to the throne? He’d do his nut.

I am somehow bemused by the moral high ground the Guardian takes now. The Guardian made very clear that it opposes the separation. The Guardian threw down the gauntlet. It should have known that others did as well. So why the outrage that they did? The Guardian is equally responsible for the fact that the Scots were taken for a ride.

As a Londoner, I no longer have any belief in the United Kingdom anymore. I’m for a united island but the political paradigm that currently holds it together is inherently right wing and malignant. This latest stunt by the Conservative Party is utter cowardice, as they refrained from such a bellicose vernacular over English sovereignty in the period running up to the referendum, because they knew it would serve to confirm the hatred that the Scots quite rightly have for the Tories. What Cameron wants to preserve England as a matriarchal state that would effectively negate and weaken any form of Left Wing Coalition that decided to form a government. It’s good ol fashioned gerrymandering , the same they used in Northern Ireland.

Well said and entirely correct.It’s just a pity that they are being allowed to get away with this betrayal of Labour after saving Camerons political hide by campaigning to keep the Union intact. It just shows the Tories do not deserve any support by fair minded people.English votes for English people, a ruse to keep the Tories in, that’s what it’s all about. By announcing it against all advice to the contrary Cameron has fueled nationalism even more and guaranteed another referendum in the future just to get his rotten stinking Government another flip of the coin.

Once a dictator, always a dictator. I always thought the Monarchy would save us from Presidents and Dictators who could do what they want, but unfortunately this current Coalition has changed my mind. Bring on the revolution.

Given the Guardian’s pursuit of the publication of Prince Charles’ letters, I look forward to your editorial condemning the monarch’s intervention in party politics. We deserve an apology, not “no comment”.

Reading the article, I think the Queen has intervened in Tory party political matters more than she should.


“This is purely a matter for the Scots” said Cameron. …………And the Queen and the Treasury and the BBC and the MSM and every World Leader that Westminster could rope-in and some of their Lordships who stated that Independence would lead to the “forces of darkness” taking over the World and causing more children to die in the Third World/Africa and even Saint Bob Geldof giving his tuppence-worth. Yep……a matter “purely for the Scots”, right enough!
I think the one that annoyed me the most, well aside from the prat who sprouted that Scottish Independence would mean the terrorists will win, was that fud Obama. Bet that particular fud couldn’t even find Scotland on a map, if we didn’t have the Nuke Boats here.

The Queen didn’t need to voice her opinion on the referendum – she has the entire establishment in Britain, powerful allies and friends abroad and a not inconsiderable band of obsequious, subservient subjects at her disposal. Nonetheless, independence I feel will come in the next 10 years – I think we needed a kind of dress rehearsal to build up our confidence – but that is growing and consolidating gradually. And in time getting rid of the monarchy and all the inequality and elitism that it represents would please me a great deal.
the ‘think carefully’ remark was carefully planned and thought about and not just an off the cuff remark.

So the monarch did the one thing they are expressly forbidden to do. Become politically active.

Wow, so the queen was part of a thing, a conspi.., no, a thing where powerful people agreed to try to stop Scots voting for the right to self-determination?
It’s incredible. Next, someone will say that the media consp.., no, agreed to help spread fear and stifle the debate.

Just relieved that Severin Carrell is there to keep us informed, the intrepid, investigative sort that he is! I have a queasy feeling that this is all heading to a Tory/UKIP coalition to coincide with the coronation of King Charles.

16 December 2014; The hoo-haw is around the fact that it only needed to swing the minds of 1% of the voters in the Scottish referendum, because the vote was that close. And although it is being officially admitted today, “the intervention” was effectively declared on Radio 4 on the day after the election. I remember one particular interviewee, I can’t remember his office, but in a very Toff accent, he was overjoyed at the Scottish Referendum “No” vote, and he was boasting about how wonderfully tactful had been the Queen’s finely delivered plea at that Sunday Church service. There was no question that this man was a monarchist and a unionist and that he thought the world had been saved from a fate worse than nuclear armageddon. The manner of his boasting was so suggestive that political intervention had been manipulated! Well, the Queen doesn’t care. She’s practically retired anyway, and just more interested in collecting her pension. But if I had been part of the Scottish “Yes” campaign, I would be pissed at her Government.
The Scots were cheated and I wish the Queen hadn’t been stained by this crap.
The Scots were conned into voting ‘No’ by the British establishment, (including the monarchy), with the connivance of the Labour Party. They should be given another chance to decide their own destiny without interference, and be offered another referendum.

We will have another referendum and this time we start with a support base of 45%+ not the 25% we did last time. I have spoken to dozens of No voters that regret their choice. Plus we know where our political classes went wrong last time and won’t make the same mistakes.

The Queen should have absolutely no influence over politics – constitutional or otherwise, full stop. That sleazy politicians were prepared to grovel for help just further illustrates their depravity.

Cameron and George Osborne were so nervous about a yes vote, which would have thrown his premiership into a potentially fatal crisis’ thus says it all Britain. … they don’t give a toss about scotland or the union just their own brass necks.

he Scots make a really bad decision, I’m sure they regret it now, its not just this government all the parties are corrupt to the very core. No one in their right minds would want to be part of the UK.

The point is , the queen, and every governmental force (including covert forces) were at work to ensure Scotland voted the right way. So the vote went the right way. Of course. …surprised?

We all know that when someone uses the phrase “you should think very carefully” it is often used as a somewhat aggressive warning. It can also just mean exactly what it says. We don’t know how it was meant and can only guess. But what is quite clear is that the remark to a “well wisher” was not “off the cuff” at all but was a carefully planted comment designed to be reported widely by the media. I am truly shocked and horrified that the queen conspired to fool the Scottish voters in this way.

I can imagine Cameron crying down the phone to his wife: “Why doesn’t anybody like me? I’m doing the best I caaaaaan *sobs*”.

So this is supposed to be a 21st century democracy.

Makes you want to fking weep.

Fucking vermin, the lot of them.

cabinet secretary and monarch’s private secretary crafted words that voters should ‘think very carefully’

Not to worry next time they won’t have to.

MoS2 Template Master

I’m not familiar with the Constitutional law but I imagined that since the Union of the Crowns preceded the Union of the Parliaments, then it would be perfectly feasible to unwind the parliamentary union without destroying the place of the Queen.

Yep, but then even if there hadn’t been the union of the crowns, there’s an argument in the form of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and much of the Commonwealth, that the queen’s position was as safe as she could have liked.

Quite disgraceful of the politicians and civil service to involve the Queen, and for Cameroon’s comments afterwards.

This acrd the triumphalism afterwards has meant that Scottish independence is now but a matter of time.

That any part of the United Kingdom should end up having so many of its people so very fed up with central government acts and attitudes with regard to their daily lives, and feel so thwarted in democratic opportunity to improve things, is simply damning of central government. And beyond my comprehension.

I don’t know to what extent the press can be used as a reliable source of information. Clearly in times of crisis someone has to have credibility…yet the press spend most of their time decredibilizing the world of politics and politicians by name and in intimate detail; subjects are handled, or not following relatively clear propaganda lines … leading sheep by the nose and leaving others without any credible source of information.

so many of its people so very fed up with central government acts and attitudes with regard to their daily lives, and feel so thwarted in democratic opportunity to improve things, is simply damning of central government. And beyond my comprehension.

Millions of people in Scotland can answer the question posed in your last paragraph – the press cannot be trusted at all, the referendum campaign has opened many eyes to the misleading propaganda in the media(not only on the subject of Scottish independence) and I believe they’d be as horrified as I was if they’d taken the time to read some of the things written about Alex Salmond, in particular, in English newspapers.

Ah kent it wis a fuckin stitch up all along

And the MI6 and the BBC, and every knighthood chasing careerist politician in the world. We will only find out what happened to our freedom when the oil runs out. As per.

So some of the finest political minds of the British establishment got together and came up with the queen casually saying to a “well-wisher” at Balmoral: “Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future.” And if that hadn’t worked they would have had Bruce Forsythe on every channel at once making a four-hour long, Chavez-style broadcast. Goodness, those clever boffins in Whitehall.

Quite- the sad thing is that people were ever in any doubt about her views on this If this “intervention” actually had impact on the result then God help the poor Scots, they’ll never be free.

Britain’s most senior civil servant and the Queen’s private secretary crafted a carefully worded intervention by the monarch, as No 10 experienced what one senior official described as “meltdown” in the closing stages of the campaign after polls showed growing support for a yes vote. …

The Queen, who has been scrupulous during her 62-year reign in observing the impartiality expected of a constitutional monarch, intervened publicly on 14 September. Speaking after Sunday service outside Crathie Kirk near her Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, the Queen told a wellwisher: “Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future.”

There is no other way to easily put this. If this is true, it was outrageously dishonest deceit, intended to mislead and influence the public in an election.

This was spun to the public, as if the Queen had made an ad lib comment to a well wisher, when all along this was a carefully planned political intervention, contrived by Downing Street and Buckingham Palace

What’s more if this is true, Buckingham Palace deliberately lied to mislead the public. This is what it said in the Telegraph at the time.

Buckingham Palace insiders insisted her remarks were politically neutral but on Sunday night they were being viewed as the clearest sign yet she hopes for a No vote on Thursday. Henry Bellingham, a Tory MP, said Royal observers would be “in no doubt about her views.”


Self-evidently it wasn’t politically neutral if it was carefully drafted by Downing Street “spin doctors”. This would mean that Buckingham Palace definitely lied. There is no other way to put it.

Apparently even the Police were in on this carefully crafted deceit and ruse.

In an extremely rare move, police invited press to observe the exchanges after she and other members of the Royal Family left a service that had included a prayer asking God “to save us from false choices”.

This is the type of thing you expect in a tinpot dictatorship.

Surely such high level deceit, and collusion involving Buckingham Palace, No.10, and the Police, to mislead the public like this during an election, was in breach of electoral rules.

This raises serious questions about all elections if the Establishment colludes to fix the results.

What it does tell us is that we shouldn’t believe a word of what the Establishment and media tells us.

Here’s Prince Charles doing a sword dance in Saudi Arabia all dressed up in national costume waving his sword about. Do you think he visited chop chop square?

This is why we dont want the English monarchy. Actually, it is probably the most minor of the reasons why we dont want them.

Yep. This is fairly minor in the inbred, idle sponger scheme of things. But still one for the list. Purrrrrrr….. Isn’t that what she said?!

Don’t think it’s all over. It’s not. The inevitable independence is yet to come.

Aye and a 2.8% swing is all that’s needed.

I’m appalled that even now in this day and age we have to endure party cronies and peerage buyers in an unelected House of Lords,and frankly would welcome a referendum on the monarchy.

If being manipulated does not ruffle your feathers then you should ask yourself one question…. Am I really alive?

It’s the travesty that followed the No vote that was and continues to be a disgrace. Cameron wss shedding his crocodile tears over the “effin’ Tories” then as soon as it was in the bag he stuck a massive two fingers up at the country and sought to spin it so hard to his party’s private political advantage that it made our eyes water.

And the Queen endorsed that too. She said: “I hope people feel very stupid for having fallen for my David’s shitty tricks. Weep cretins and know your place. I AM the fucking establishment!” More fools us, eh.

Cameron you said it. Are you going to break another of your statements of English votes on English issues? THOUGHT SO. That’s why nobody can trust the Tories.

I think I will join the anti-monarchy protests the next time the old cow comes to Scotland.

Good idea! I wonder if anti-monarchy protests are allowed in England and Wales? I’ve never seen or heard of any, isn’t that strange?

Read the full story: insiders reveal the full story of how the union was won. Except it isn’t the full story, dear Guardian is it? For a start it conveniently omits the role of this very newspaper in disseminating fear amongst their Scottish readers. I learnt to read – age four – by deciphering the headlines in my parents’ print edition, and it was “my” newspaper for over fifty years, but I cancelled my daily delivery in protest, several days before the referendum. It feels odd after almost a lifetime not to do the Guardian crossword over breakfast! But before other posters rush to accuse me of sour grapes, that simply isn’t true. I respect the majority decision of my fellow Scots and will live with the result, even though I believe a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was lost. However, I do object to brazen attempts at influencing my vote. By drip-feeding intelligent Scots voters with highly tendentious journalism pre-referendum, The Guardian has quite simply forfeited my trust!

So many organisations and treasured media outlets revealed themselves to be mouthpieces for the empirical elite during the referendum,that many of us have become sadder and wiser. The BBC/mi6 connection genuinely shocked me. I cannot listen even to the Archers now without trying to guess the agenda. Sad but true. I watch Russian news now.

So Cameron is on the verge of seeing the union disintegrate on his watch ,he then shits his pants ,so calls in the supposedly non-political Mr’s Saxe-Bats-Coburg -Windsor and Eton ( “I ahm above it awl” as Liz probably says in private fits of laughter ) to make an obviously biased statement which probably persuaded wavering ,Scottish anti monarchists to vote for independence . These corpulent toffs are shifty ,annoying and sadly very lucky at the same time..i e Cameron’s contribution to the Better Together campaign was merely to convince people that they might be better apart from him and his party .So Cameron the day after the victory announces that we need Tory votes for English voters or whatever thus knifing those politicians in the back who had saved his career as an oily ,nasty ,third rate PM .

I bet there will be a film about this one day called “The Queens Speech “where Liz is shown saving the union from savages ..Gordon Brown will be a minor character despite his contribution to the No campaign being bigger than that of the toffs. In this film Gordon Brown will be Irish.

The ‘deep state’. Says it all. “Every day its a getting closer Just like a roller coaster”. Scotties will be free of Tory, Elitist South East of England.One day yes. Labour first next May though.

Peter Mandelson Mellowing

If we ever decide to opt for true democracy in the UK, we first have to rid ourselves of this parasitic infestation at the top of our political system.

The only other time the Queen let her true personality come to the fore was just after the death of Princess Diana. She was found lacking then, and her interference in Scotland’s bid for independence shows that she’s prepared to prostitute her position for the status quo.

Sell her and her dysfunctional family to the United States, they still believe in fairy tales. We know it’s more a case of no longer Snow White, more like the Wicked Witch of the Woods!

Aye well, Scotland is planning to keep all of her crown estate earnings as part of the Smith commission resolution, so hahahahaha, Lizzy!

Old trick. But always works. Maybe next generation, Scotland.

This dreadful woman doesn’t have the guts, the courage, the common decency to stand up in front of her “subjects” and address them directly, face to face. Instead she demeans herself and her office by mouthing hints and riddles concocted by unelected, unaccountable civil servants to planted stooges within earshot of the complicit media.

This whole episode demonstrates in the clearest possible way what a sham so-called English democracy really is. Brenda, her tribe, and her acolytes between them have betrayed the people of Scotland, England and the rest of the UK by attempting to subvert proper democratic process.

The sooner we rid ourselves of the feudal anachronism of monarchy, the sooner the whole shabby edifice of heredity power and privilege that controls all of our lives can be torn down.

“Think well upon it” said the 1st Charlie who ultimately interfered his head off!

The Guardian lost all creditability under Rushbridger and the Tory cheerleader political editor Wintour. Let us hope new leadership will change the organisation otherwise the Guardian is heading to bankruptcy.

I must confess that when making difficult decisions myself I don’t think it’s once occured to me to wonder what the Queen’s opinion might be.

Funny, I always think “what would the Queen do?” Then do the opposite.

Well this has pushed me towards republicanism much more than previously. I used to think the royal family were OK. Not so much now, I think they should be gotten rid of. Or they can donate all their money to the food bank charities.

This is a PM who has today used the tragic events in Sydney to try to instil fear into the electorate and play on the same fears that the EDL exploit. Who has used the memory of his son to vow never to privatise the NHS his government is currently privatising on the sly. Nothing is beneath him. He makes Tony Blair look like a pretty straight sort of guy. I wonder what job awaits Dave when he’s quite finished wrecking the country and being the queen’s chief tummy tickler.

I was quite appalled at the time by the blatant wheeling in of HM to bolster the No campaign… but I’m even more angry now to read that the supposedly neutral Civil Service orchestrated all this. Civil servants (especially in London!) shouldn’t have been biased towards particular outcomes of the Scottish referendum.

Just as I was ‘angry’ that the civil servants in Scotland were crafting Yes propaganda.

Yes it would seem that for many, a naive respect for ‘democracy’ ended with this farce of a rigged referendum.

I don’t care what the queen thinks of Cameron. I don’t care about their porridge. Her taking sides in a democratic process is A SCANDAL.

I think you need to learn about crown neutrality and what constitutional monarchy means. Did you even read the article? The Queen, who has been scrupulous during her 62-year reign in observing the impartiality expected of a constitutional monarch,

No she is not. As a constitutional monarch of the UK she is obliged to be impartial on all political matters.

It’s actually only customary that she is impartial, she’s not obliged to do anything.

Not even a pathetic attempt to hint at an answer to your factually incorrect statement about her being entitled to stick her oar in. Dont worry no one spotted you seamlessly diverting attention away from your error.


Well thank Queenie for that! Seen the price of oil lately? We don’t want to end up like Russia after all…

Just what has the Queen done for Britain considering that her role is largely ceremonial within the British political system? I suppose you you could praise her role as a tourist draw card bringing in the foreign dollar (especially during royal weddings, jubilees etc.), but praising her role as an exemplar of capitalism seems a bit tawdry…..

Who ever listened to this old Queen? The referendum was a fix from beginning to end. Scotland will have it’s freedom from the Westminster clique whether they like or not. Bye bye!

Why would she want Scotland to go independent? That would mean 10% of her minions & 10% of her guaranteed income would be lost.

Politics is the entertainment division of the industrial military complex.-Frank Zappa.

This is why we aren’t giving up

The Monarchy, all of Westminster, Presidents, the EU and big business were against us YES voters.

We done brilliantly to get to 45%.

45% was good. At least you live in a country that respects you enough to give you the option to have a say on your future — most of us don’t have that around the world.

The Queen is for me beyond reproach, however the politicians are just gob shites.

Hear, hear.. I could never forgive the three amigos. And as for that f**kwit Murphy. **”*”**.

Sure the Queen might have discreetly campaigned for the No vote with a choice remark or two but in the end it was the Scottish voters that gave into the fear and chose to remain with a decaying second rate nation….

Second rate is right Shane. No natural resources since Thatcher closed the mines. That’s why the whole thing was engineered by the BBC/mi6. Democracy lost. The vote was a sham.

A “good day” to bury this one, then. Beneath contempt. cobra meeting about some shit in the morning.

Why does it not surprise me that Cameron was panicking? Everything I’ve read about him leads me to believe that the man is a politician who sees everything in terms of the short term benefit of the Tory party. He has no long-term vision whatsoever, other than to try and cling on to power until the literal last moment.

Don’t really mind that the old relic fought to save her lot, but I am concerned to think that there are still people who would base their vote on something so important on what she has to say.

What we are saying is that the whole thing was decided by the vote counters beforehand. The involvement of Lizzy, just proved that they were going to stop at nothing to prevent England losing out on oil, and it’s nuclear dump.

So, after 62 years of “impeccable service” shes buggered it up in the final straight by getting involved at the (Tory led) govts behest. Shameless.

The dopey son writes secret letters to ministers. She takes sides.

The rest of them spend OUR money like water whilst their “subjects” live off food banks to feed childern that live in damp squalid dumps. Will the British people ever wake up to the shame of this democratic monarchy ? Vile, just vile.

All the while mind you while children live in appalling poverty in Scotland with existing tax raising powers gathering dust and real spending on the NHS going down in comparison to what “the evil Tories” in Westminster are spending!

The shame of a bourgeois democracy which ‘allows’ us to elect government ‘over’ us to control the waged slaves.Turkeys voting for xmas is the equivalent. Abolish the wages system. Elect yourselves .Win the world. The philosophers have interpreted the world in various ways, our task is to change it.

how the hell is people should think very carefully rare intervention? lols people need to think very carefully how much they over revere a very old rich person.

I’m trying to reconcile “scrupulous impartiality” with making a clear intervention. “in language which, while broadly neutral, would leave nobody in any doubt about her support for the union”

I suppose, did anyone doubt the Queen would be pro-Union? The fact she had to do this shows what an idiot Cameron was made to look by this whole debacle.

Well, what a surprise. Establishment suggests voting for the Establishment. Who’d have thought it? Her comment was read by many as patronising drivel supporting Project Fear. And this proves them right. Lies, lies and more lies….

I voted YES, but 100% trust the queen, it’s the hangers on I mistrust. The hangers on being her family?

No mention of this on BBC website.

It is extraordinary that she is now looking like George III.

If she is so clued up and always exercises such remarkable statecraft why did she even respond to the question ? Did she think her response would be ignored, tossed aside as opposed to being poured over, analysed and forensically examined ? If she believed her comments would be disregarded the by opening her trap she confirmed what we previously only suspected – she is dim.


So, a government that derives its legitimacy from democracy decided to flout its duty to the electorate and centuries of constitutional history to invite an unelected dynast to drop a cryptic comment in order to sway a democratic event. APPALLING.

When are the People of these islands going to wake up and establish the democratic republic they deserve?

the options are not the Queen or George W Bush but between an unelected hereditary linage or a democratic decision of the people.

If she’d chuntered on about the forces of darkness being unleashed, she might have made the top ten.

Didn’t he lose the American colonies…Her Majesty came pretty close with just a 2.8% swing needed

Perhaps, but the monarch was not faced with the dissolution of her kingdom, since an independent Scotland would have retained the Queen as head of state – she would still have been Queen of Scotland and the rest of the UK.

I dont happen to support that, I think having a royal family in the 21st centure is ridiculous and immoral.

Union of crowns was around before the United Kingdom, It is concerning that people don’t know this. The United Kingdom was as is now, based on the politics of the time. Nothing more.

The party that went against the YES voters the most was until 2007 , the main party of Scotland. If in power, the Labour party would not even have given Scotland a referendum. Why they are now royally screwed.

and so cameron says to her maj… queen, your maj…..i am but a vaj…all is not serene…in this pitiful scottish scene…perhaps i could i ask you to intervene…after some delightful fish soup…which i shall serve you from this tureen…honk honk!

Scotland Should have another Referendum on their Independence from United kingdom which is just a Satellite state of USSA. and go their own way to get freedom back because are losing it now.

The only way to keep the monarchy out of politics is to dump it. Seize the royals’ wealth, which they first took from the people, and send them packing.

Medieval Lives. Wake me up in 20 years’ time…..zzzzzzzzz

That’s why an unelected head of state is dangerous, no matter how much they shun their power. They can always be used as a prop.

In Ireland we thought very carefully and decided

No established church No unelected upper house of govt No monarchy No proscriptions on the religion of the head of state or partner thereof No hereditary privilege No nuclear weapons No fantasies about “punching above our weight” on the world stage No membership of any military alliance and we have proportional representation and are very fond of it. In addition, we have influence in Europe that the Scots can only dream of (a seat at the table and a veto). Better luck next time Scotland.

‘Scrupulous in observing the impartiality expected of a constitutional monarch’. Apparently not the case with respect to Australia in 1975. Jenny Hocking in her book on Gough Whitlam indicates that the Queen was made aware in September 1975 – 2 months before the event – that Kerr intended to sack Whitlam. Through her Private Secretary she appears to have, at the very least, done nothing to disabuse Kerr of his plans. She was therefore failed to carry out one of her most important roles as monarch which, according to Bagehot, is to ‘advise and to warn’. She apparently neither advised Kerr on the repugnance of his planned actions nor warned Whitlam about the coming coup.

The remark was presented by the queen as a casual off-the-cuff one but was not. It was also presented by the media like that. That is not honest and straightforward even as reporting nor an open and transparent decision-making process from a state within a state no-one knows about. It is a myth like a fairy-tale that the queen is independent of politics.

And how do you know this who back room talk even happened? You believe Cameron? More fool you. Well you can ask Sir Christopher Geidt yourself if you like. But the Palace says:
“We won’t comment on the questions relating to Sir Christopher’s work before joining the royal household.” I’m treading carefully here… the Guardian article on tbis person some have without foundation previously alleged to be a spy begins ‘This article was amended on 31 May 2013 to remove a number of inaccuracies regarding Sir Christopher Geidt in the article, which overstated his role as the Queen’s private secretary in relation to the royal charter for the press. We have also clarified aspects of his legal action against John Pilger and Central Television. We apologise for the errors. Read the PCC adjudication…’ So I’m sure you’re right nothing at all to worry about everything hunky-dory no probs. I agree with both the Palace and Downing Street who are in agreement and say no comment and so should we all God save the queen and all her advisers, and all of us!

Scottish Thistle

The way this was reported in our media (Guardian included) was ridiculous. It was reported as if the Queen was “overheard” saying it. Anyone with half a brain knew it was simply a PR stunt, and yet our so-called journalists reported it as them having overheard it, without question at all. This is just one of many, many examples of this type of gutter journalism that popped up during the indyref campaign. This was to be expected from rags like The Sun and Daily Record, but the Guardian “journalists” were at it too, clearly trying to influence the outcome of a democratic vote in any way they could. Some “fair fight” the indyref turned out to be.

Cameron’s a walking disaster zone with a misplaced superiority complex. Both dim and devious all at the same time.

This whole episode sums him up. He very nearly lost what should have been an unlosable referendum due to his own arrogance and cluelessness. And he then put pressure on the queen to rescue him despite the conflict of interest facing her, or the personal embarrassment caused.

He is a Libra male – that speaks to your 1st para’ [read Cainer]. As to Cameron being ‘alone’ in gettng QE2 to put her ha’penny’s worth in? It took all 3 major political chumps to do that – her Maj is not that stoopid as to align herself to the whims of one [Tory] party leader – that would not be eitable to her Subjects, on the hole… it took all three Amigos to tango and elicit that bone-shaking-comment out of Buck House Inc. damaged and finished future for royals for good as a non-political and neutral body.

Not really a big surprise, you can’t get more London establishment than the Queen.

Keep an eye on the honours lists for the next couple of years and see how many businessmen and bankers that made helpful predictions of doom for the No campaign get their payoff.

Ah the Queenie and Cameron; very much in words popularised by Auden ‘the old gang’. Waning relevance. The ironic thing is that the people of Scotland did not ultimately ‘think very carefully’, but fearfully. Big difference.

Its been here a wee while, Mr Smith -think about it. Its jut taking longer than anticipated as bailiffs are dawdling in issuing eviction orders to some very stubborn tenants who have defaulted on rent for 1000 years 🙂 Alongside this system, the UK is also a constitutional monarchy. This is a situation where there is an established monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II), who remains politically impartial and with limited powers. Best tell parliament then that they are wrong and you are right get rid off all these anachronistic vampires and repatriate all the money they have squeezed out of Britain

One needs to think very carefully about the future if Mr Salmond and the referendum ghost return to haunt the corridors of Westminster next year. I’d watch my back Alex if I

Alright I’m stumped, I’m not sure what the monarchy actually does. Brits will have to explain to me why this antiquated figurehead institution is actually supposed to mean anything, and how it somehow is part of a “Democracy”.

As illuminating as these revelations are, it’s all a bit shabby considering the mindless and regressive British nationalism that you were peddling at the time.

How different the outcome would have been if the well wisher outside Crathie had kept off the subject of politics. Damned commoners, but for that the referendum was lost. Not the conniving Establishment and it’s evil henchmen after all then, just some damned peasant who did not know better than to discuss politics in public, begad. Well, finally we know.

Nothing about this scandal on BBC website, I wonder why not?

No doubt 44% of Scottish people thought very carefully about the future and voted YES. Sometime in the future perhaps more Scots will think carefully about the future, and of

the past, and vote YES.

Scotland won’t have another ‘chance’ to go-it-alone. They are part of the Union. Imagine California wanting to declare unilateral declaration of independence? Civil War. Arnie

“I’ll be back” Schwarzeneger may have swung it. Anyway, its not on the cards ref. Haig today blocking future renegade moves up North. Its better together – and why is there so

much antipathy – mainly from North o’ the Border – to the United Kingdom remaining as a viable unit? Cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face has never made sense to me?

unless one is masochistically inclined with sociopathic leanings. Hi Alex, how’s the weather in Brigadoon laddie?

It was common knowledge it was ‘the talk’ of the aristocracy at all the dinner parties. Darling and Brown were already made fools of by Cameron without the living dead making an


We Scots must be very important to the English, so why are we less prosperous than the S.E of England. These people blew up an effigy of our First Minister in celebration of

what ? Perhaps their wealth comes from us ?

So who the hell is this ‘Queen’ person? And why does everyone answer to her? What century do we live in?

The break up is coming, we know who are our enemies now… Scotland will be a republic, just like Ireland.. And I for one will be glad of it… Its time for a breath of fresh

air, and an end to the English caste system.. It will do us all good, to break from the degenerate English establishment, their day is done..

Winning the battle doesn’t win the war. It still amazes me that the head of a church can impose the will of the church on everyone so freely. The church should never be involved

in making policies of the state, IMHO.

Isn’t she German ??? or from Germanic Stock ??? Cameron could get laid in a brothel, The UK is a joke of a nation, no wonder why you guys produce the best comedians you have to

so as to laugh at yourselves as there isn’t much left in Great Britain now is there? The only thing is you guys need to work out is the rest of the globe laughing with you or at

you? The English seem to need Wales/ Scotland and Northern Ireland more than those guys need the English or want the English, Why if the English are so superior why don’t they

go it alone hey do the reverse themselves become Great England and see what they can do?


Disgraced Ex Assistant Metropolitan Commissioner Bob Quick – His and Gordon Brown’s Participation In The Damian Green Whistle-Blower Witch-Hunt Fiasco – No Mention Of Computer Porn







July 1985; Gordon Brown, “The Leaker” Sets The Standard For Jim Murphy And Fellow Labour Politicians To Follow

During his long years in opposition Brown became a regular conduit for publicising confidential documents leaked to him by civil servants and he was admired for the way he could put them to good use when attacking the Conservatives.

In distributing his leaks and tip-offs among the political correspondents of Westminster, he had made some friends for life.

Once Labour were in power, he demonstrated an equally deft touch when making use of the journalists he could trust.

The press build-up his Budgets and financial statements was always carefully manipulated to prepare the ground for any changes which he intended to make and Brown has continued as Prime Minister to be Labour’s leading exponent of institutionalised leaking.

The master leaker had the Tory Damian Green arrested on allegations of the same thing whilst he was Prime Minister.  

Yet at the time he was interviewed by the BBC’s Frank Bough in July 1985 he just couldn’t avoid gloating and smirking about the leaks he had orchestrated, received and passed on through his network of minions who were always eager to do his murky deeds.

Many people will have cause to have hatred in their hearts for him.

He has departed the scene as a politician, but he leaves a foul stench that will linger for years to come.




December 2008; The Damien Green Fiasco – Scotland Yard Determined To ‘Motor On’ In Tory Leak Case

The Telegraph has learnt that senior officers met with lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service last week to discuss possible charges against Damian Green and Christopher Galley, who are under investigation over allegations of leaking confidential information.

MPs on the all-party Home Affairs Committee are preparing to launch their own investigation into the affair, in a move which will intensify pressure on the Metropolitan Police and on Michael Martin, the Commons Speaker.

Mr Green, the Tory immigration spokesman, was questioned for nine hours and had his homes and Commons office searched 10 days ago.

He is suspected of receiving leaked documents.

Ten days earlier Mr Galley, 26, an assistant private secretary at the Home Office, was arrested at his home at dawn and taken to Paddington Green, the most high security police station in Britain.

He is suspected of leaking the information.

Senior officials at Scotland Yard, who have been accused of being heavy handed, denied yesterday that they are “backtracking” over their actions or seeking to drop the case.

They remain satisfied that they acted lawfully and proportionately, even though there is understood to have been disagreement at the highest level within the Met over whether Mr Green’s arrest should go ahead.

Sir Paul Stephenson, the Acting Commissioner, was told of the plan in advance and challenged Bob Quick, the head of anti-terrorism at the Yard and the man who ordered the arrest, over the wisdom of the move.

Sir Paul has now called in one of Britain’s most senior police officers to scrutinise his force’s handling of the operation.

Ian Johnston, chief constable of the British Transport Police and chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers crime committee, will produce an interim report on the case on Tuesday and a full report the following week.

One source said: “We are not looking to drop this action. If Ian Johnston says everything was handled properly, then we will motor on.

We are confident that we have acted legally and the investigative team is happy it took proportionate action.

But a fresh pair of eyes [Ian Johnston] may see it differently to others who are close to the case.”

Mr Martin’s position was eroded yesterday when a Labour MP called for him to quit over the police raid.

Bob Marshall-Andrews said that Mr Martin had lost the confidence of the House after he allowed police to enter the Commons without a search warrant, and should now go.

Mr Marshall-Andrews, who is the first Labour MP to call for the Speaker’s resignation, said that Mr Martin’s handling of the affair represented a “deplorable breach of his duties”.

The Home Affairs Committee investigation, revealed today, is set to be announced this week.

It is understood the official in charge of security for the House of Commons, Jill Pay, the Sergeant at Arms, will be called to give evidence, as will senior Scotland Yard officers including Sir Paul and Mr Quick.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, and Sir David Normington, her permanent secretary, are also expected to be called.

Mr Martin is not expected to be called, but it is understood his role in the affair will also come under scrutiny.

Commons officials could have demanded that police had a warrant before they searched Mr Green’s parliamentary office, but allowed officers to proceed without one – a decision which has caused widespread anger among MPs.

Mr Martin has announced plans for a separate all-party inquiry into the “Greengate” affair, but it will be launched only after the police have concluded their investigation, which may take months. Mr Green has been bailed until February.

Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, said he feared there could be a long delay before the findings of the formal parliamentary inquiry were known.

He said: “We welcome the fact that the Speaker is setting up an inquiry through a motion put forward by Harriet Harman, but we are concerned by the fact that it is to be delayed until after possible criminal proceedings come to an end.

This is all required rather more urgently than the motion allows.” In a statement to the Commons last week, Mr Martin expressed “regret” that police officers were admitted to the Palace of Westminster without his personal authority.

He claimed that officers did not inform Ms Pay that she could decline their request for consent to carry out a search.

However, in a letter to Ms Smith, which was made public last week, Mr Quick, an Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, appeared to contradict the Speaker’s statement.

Scotland Yard has said that Mr Green was held “on suspicion of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office and aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in a public office”.

The likelihood of a charge is thought to centre on whether the MP directly asked Mr Galley to provide leaked information, which would be illegal.

The Tories insist that they merely received information from a whistle-blower.

Mr Quick is understood to have reassured Sir Paul before Mr Green’s arrest that he was confident that correct procedures had been, and would be, followed.

Both men have applied to be the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

When the news of the leak inquiry broke, Mr Galley was moved to an RAF base at taxpayers’ expense to isolate him from reporters and the Westminster rumour machine.

The civil servant was smuggled into RAF Uxbridge in west London and remained there voluntarily for several days in a carefully-planned Home Office operation.

A Home Office spokeswoman refused to comment on the manoeuvre.

The civil servant is understood to have since moved off the base “under his own volition”.

Gordon Brown and Ms Smith have both denied involvement in the decision to arrest Mr Green and insisted that it was purely a matter for the police. (The Telegraph)





December 2008; New Laws To Permit Search Of MPs’ Offices Without a Warrant

A new Bill outlined in last week’s Queen’s Speech contains small print allowing officers of the Electoral Commission unfettered powers to search MPs offices or homes.

If the Commons’ Speaker tried to stop the searches, he would be committing a criminal offence.

The details of the Political Parties and Elections Bill, appear to blow out of the water claims by Michael Martin, the Speaker, that in future no MP’s office will be able to be searched without a warrant.

Mr Martin, who is clinging to his job in the wake of the police raid on the office of Mr Green, the Conservative immigration spokesman, made his claim during his statement on the affair in the Commons last week.

Last night Francis Maude, the shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, branded minister’s new plans “alarming” and said they were a further blow to parliamentary privilege.

Currently, Electoral Commission officials are allowed to make unannounced raids, without a warrant, on the offices of political parties, to search for information or documents.

The new Bill seeks to widen these powers to apply to the offices or homes of “regulated doners”, which include MPs.

No warrant would be needed – just a “disclosure notice” issued by the commission itself.

The new laws could also apply to the homes and offices of anyone who has ever made a donation to a political party.

The Speaker told the House of Commons in his statement last week that “from now on a warrant will always be required where a search of a Member’s office or access to a Member’s Parliamentary papers is sought. Every case must be referred for my personal decision as it is my responsibility.”

However, under the new proposals, he would not be consulted and he would face arrest if he resisted.

The Damian Green case has taken a new twist after it emerged that ministers plan to legislate to make it easier for state officials to raid MPs’ offices without a warrant. (The Telegraph)




December 2008; The Damian Green Affair: The Unanswered Questions

* Did the Commons Speaker, Michael Martin, really play such a small part in the decision to allow the police to search Mr Green’s office as he claimed in his Commons statement last week?

* If so, why was he not fully involved in making such a major decision?

* Will the Sergeant at Arms, Jill Pay, explain publicly for the first time why she allowed police to search Mr Green’s House of Commons office without a warrant?

* Whom did the Sergeant at Arms consult before making her decision to give written consent for the search?

* Why was Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, not informed in advance of the raid on Mr Green’s offices, as she claims?

*Did Jacqui Smith instruct her staff in advance not to inform her if any opposition politicians were about to be arrested?

*Did the alleged whistle-blower, Christopher Galley, provide Damian Green with any information which threatened national security?

*Did Mr Green ask Mr Galley to leak particular documents?

* Did Mr Galley receive payment or the promise of a job in return for leaking?

* Were the police misled by civil servants about the severity of the leaks?

*Specifically, were police told that the leaks involved high-level state secrets involving terrorism?

* Did Scotland Yard make any attempt to obtain a warrant to search Mr Green’s office?

* If so, were they refused?

* What steps have been put in place by Scotland Yard to protect sensitive and private communications between Mr Green and his constituents, particularly as some of the information may relate to the police themselves?

* Will Gordon Brown, and other senior Labour figures, come under any sort of official scrutiny regarding leaks of government material they obtained and released when Labour was in opposition?  (The Telegraph)





December 2008; Speaker Michael Martin Under Pressure As MPs Prepare To Debate Damian Green Affair

MPs are set to increase the pressure on Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House of Commons, when a debate on the way police were allowed to search a Tory MP’s office gets under way at Westminster.

Damian Green, the shadow immigration minister, had both his Commons office and home searched by anti-terrorist police investigating a Whitehall whistle-blower.

Last week Mr Martin admitted that he did not know about the search and blamed his junior officials – in particular Jill Pay, the Sergeant at Arms – for allowing the raid to go ahead without a warrant.

MPs do not usually criticise the Speaker, but that convention will now be put under strain.

Some MPs have openly questioned Mr Martin’s position.

David Cameron, the Conservative leader, used very careful language over the weekend.

He said he “wanted” to have confidence in the Speaker.

Senior Labour figures are now discussing a plan to persuade Mr Martin to announce he intends to stand down at the next election. (The Telegraph)




December 2008; Commons Speaker Michael Martin Under Pressure From MPs

The position of the Commons Speaker Michael Martin is looking increasingly precarious after a poll of MPs found more than 30 backbenchers say they have lost confidence in him.

On the eve of a crucial Commons debate on the Damian Green affair, more than a third of MPs responding to a BBC survey indicated the Speaker should go.

The findings came as more senior figures voiced their misgivings at his handling of the whole affair, while one former deputy speaker said that he should now stand down “with a degree of dignity”.

The survey, by Radio 4’s The World This Weekend programme, approached 130 MPs of whom 90 took part.

Of those, 32 said that they had lost confidence in Mr Martin.

They included eight Labour MPs, 14 Tories, and seven Liberal Democrats.

Another 50 said that they thought the Speaker was in some way “culpable”, including 14 Labour, 22 Tories and 14 Liberal Democrats.

Labour former minister Stephen Ladyman was one of a series of senior backbenchers to express misgivings at one had happened. “It is a very serious matter for a Member of Parliament to lose confidence in the Speaker,” he told The World This Weekend. “We will be incredibly distressed if the inquiry throws up evidence that there was any level of culpability in the Speaker, that he did have the opportunity to do something about it but didn’t do it. “It is a very serious matter and we have to put our loyalty to democracy before our loyalty to the Speaker and our friendship with the Speaker.”

Tory former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind said that the concerns were widely shared across Parliament. “I say it with a great degree of sadness that I was deeply surprised and very, very disturbed,” he told The World This Weekend. “One can’t just say it is a small number of people who are worried and concerned. I think most Members of Parliament, regardless of political party, believe the way in which these matters were handled in the last week was seriously flawed. “I don’t think I am being controversial in saying I don’t think that Speaker Martin will go down as one of the great Speakers of the House of Commons.”

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said that it was “unfair” that the Sergeant at Arms Jill Pay had been left by Mr Martin to shoulder the responsibility for allowing police into the Commons without a warrant. “It is right to say that MPs are reluctant to criticise any Speaker, but I felt that I couldn’t just sit on my hands when a senior member of staff was treated in that way and I think that ultimately we become complicit if we remain silent,” he told the programme.

However the most scathing comments came from the former deputy speaker Michael Morris, now Lord Naseby, who said that he was “amazed” that Mr Martin had not stopped the police from entering. “Why the Speaker was not in lead role is something I find absolutely incomprehensible,” he told The World This Weekend. “He needs to reflect on that situation. I don’t think that it is for the members to necessarily put down a motion of no confidence, because that is a very drastic stage, but I think he needs to reflect on his position frankly. “In my judgment he has let the House of Commons down.” He said that he believed that Mr Martin should now consider stepping down before the next general election in order to give his successor a chance to settle in, “We are all human, we make mistakes. In my judgment he has made a mistake, and a very big mistake, and I think you go out with a degree of dignity,” Lord Naseby said  (The Telegraph)






December 2008; Damian Green Affair Must Never Be Repeated

Sometimes vindication can be a bitter pill.

Despite the intensity of my belief that this government was systematically undermining our historic freedoms, even l was shocked by the senseless and insensitive behaviour of our police force in arresting my close friend and colleague, Damian Green.

Whether it was chaotic mishandling of the first order by the police, the Home Office, and the House of Commons authorities, or the inevitable consequence of a weakened Commons and over mighty Executive, or something even more sinister, we may never know. Whatever the cause, it must never, ever, happen again.

If it is allowed to stand it will fatally undermine the last vestiges of power in the Commons, intimidate legitimate whistle-blowers from highlighting misdeeds and cover-ups in government, and suppress free speech.

We also hear a lot of bogus talk about threats to national security. When this is challenged we are told “we don’t know all the facts.” Well, yes we do, as far as this case goes anyway.

Remember, we are not talking about leaks to the Russians here. We are talking about information that appeared in newspapers, all of which by definition we know about.

That is why this investigation was launched: it has nothing to do with the security of the nation, and everything to do with the psychological insecurity of the Home Office.

The answer lies in making the shield of parliamentary privilege-or democratic protection as it would be better named – a far more robust device.

“The privilege of freedom of speech enjoyed by Members of Parliament is in truth the privilege of their constituents. It is secured to Members not for their personal benefit but to enable them to discharge the functions of their office without fear of prosecution, civil or criminal.”

Those are the words of the House of Commons Privileges Committee, ruling in 1939 that the government would not be allowed to prosecute Duncan Sandys, who had effectively disclosed Britain’s weakness in defence against the looming Nazi threat.

Duncan Sandys had been threatened with prosecution, not for saying what he said, but for refusing to disclose to the government which Civil Servant had given him the information, or help them in their subsequent witch-hunt.

The protections we have as elected representatives should not be absolute – but they should be clear.

A few are currently codified, essentially in the Bill of Rights.

The rest is governed by the House of Commons itself in a combination of convention, consensus and common sense. Last week that combination came apart at the seams.

Members of Parliament do a number of jobs, and each has its implications for privilege.

In dealing with their constituents, they deal in matters of extreme personal trust and confidentiality.

In exposing failings in government, and the associated cover ups, they act more like journalists.

What this all means is that the House of Commons should apply some fairly straightforward tests before allowing the police to ransack the files of an MP and breach the confidentiality of his constituents and informants.

* Firstly, the crime involved should be serious and specific. Neither should it be a widely cast vague charge as “conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office” very much is.

* Secondly, there should be solid evidence. If the MP has not been charged – as Damian Green has not, then this almost certainly means obtaining explicit approval from a Law Officer.

* Thirdly, the charge should not relate to the MP’s legitimate parliamentary activity. The Duncan Sandys case was serious – disclosure of official secrets about military preparedness –yet it was ruled as appropriate Parliamentary action. History proved that judgement right.

* Finally, the intrusion on constituents’ privacy must be absolutely necessary, not some further fishing expedition.

Amid a classic who-said-what-to-whom farrago, the Speaker has been contradicted by the police, who have in turn been contradicted by eminent lawyers.

Even more deplorably, the committee of seven senior MPs proposed to resolve the affair will not even start work until the police (and possibly the courts) have completed their work.

The truth is that the protections we assumed we had for our constituents and whistle-blowers are either not believed in, or are not upheld, by the authorities. Convention has broken down.

The only route left to us is to codify the protections, either in the standing orders of the House, or law, or both.





December 2008; Damian Green Affair: Timeline

MPs are to debate the police raid on the House of Commons office of Tory frontbencher Damian Green amid deepening concern over the role played by Speaker Michael Martin.

Here is a timeline of events surrounding the arrest of the shadow immigration minister:

* October 8: Gus McPherson, Cabinet Secretary calls in the Metropolitan Police to investigate the Home Office leaks.

* November 19: Junior Home Office official Christopher Galley is arrested and suspended from duty.

* November 27: Shadow immigration minister Damian Green is arrested and held by the Metropolitan Police for nine hours, on suspicion of “conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, and aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in a public office”.





December 2008; Labour’s Hypocrisy Over Leaks And Damian Green’s Arrest

Labour cannot shrug off the charge of hypocrisy over the arrest of the Conservative shadow minister Damian Green because under the Blair and Brown governments successive Home Secretaries have engaged in the deliberate and systematic leaking of their own decisions in order to gain political advantage.

Jacqui Smith’s private office at the Home Office was no different to any other in Whitehall.

Right across the various government departments, Labour’s political spin doctors have shown scant regard for the confidentiality of ministerial announcements and they have regularly been trailed in advance through leaks to sympathetic journalists.

The poisonous legacy of Tony Blair’s action in doubling and then trebling the number of ministerial special advisers has been a rapid acceleration in the politicisation of the flow of information from the state to the news media.

Even though young civil servants have had to sign the Official Secrets Act it is no wonder they might occasionally be tempted to leak information.

They work alongside special advisers who also have the status of temporary civil servants but who are not subject to the same rules and who have the freedom to pass on confidential data to journalists.

Tipping off newspapers about the content of forthcoming announcements has become a way of life under New Labour.

When Jacqui Smith defended the Metropolitan Police for arresting the twenty-six-year old civil servant Christopher Galley and the Conservative shadow minister Damian Green she complained about there having been “a systematic series of leaks from the department which deals with some of the most sensitive confidential information in the government”.

But she could just as easily have been giving the job description of one of the many Labour Party spin doctors working at the heart of the government.

There has been a systematic trailing of Home Office decisions on her watch, just as there was during the tenure of her predecessors who showed the same cavalier disregard for parliamentary conventions by pre-empting announcements.

The last of the leaks which preceded the arrests of Galley and Green related to the impact on crime of the economic downturn. “Crunch will send crime soaring” was the Daily Mail’s front-page headline (1.9.2008) over its report about the leak of a “dynamite draft letter” from Ms Smith to the Prime Minister predicting a sharp rise in burglary and violence.

Perhaps the Home Secretary has chosen to overlook the exclusive stories which her own spin doctors have leaked to the News of the World:

* “War on Guns” — an exclusive front-page splash about Ms Smith’s plan to announce a “dramatic gun amnesty to clean up Britain’s streets of fear”. (News of the World 26.8.2007)

* “It’s victory for Sarah” — an exclusive report confirming that the Home Secretary would “push ahead with plans to protect kids from paedophiles in a major victory for our Sarah’s law campaign”. (News of the World 17.2.2008)

The failure of New Labour to recognise their own double standards beggars belief.

Lance Price, a former BBC correspondent who became a Downing Street spin doctor, revealed all when writing about Green’s arrest for the Daily Telegraph (29.11.2008).

He admitted that during the early years of his premiership Tony Blair routinely leaked information which pre-empted government announcements.

Price’s account of the hidden trade between politicians and the news media can hardly be bettered: “I sat in on briefings with senior journalists in which he (Blair) would reveal, ahead of time, the government’s plans in one area or another.

It was my job to do the same on an almost daily basis, and I was paid from the public purse for the privilege”.

Gordon Brown’s difficulty in attempting to castigate Damian Green is twofold:

not only was Brown an assiduous exploiter of leaked documents during his days in Opposition, but he has also become the Labour government’s most prolific and longest-serving trader in government secrets.

Brown learned the hard way how to cover his tracks.

He did not repeat, for example, the mistake he made in a BBC Breakfast interview in 1985 when he owned up to the presenter Frank Bough about the origin of a leak about the latest estimates for supplementary benefits.

Brown: “I was given them by a civil servant who was as concerned as I was about a government that misled people”.

Bough: “You’ve got a very good mole in there, haven’t you?”

Brown: “Well, I don’t know, I’ve got someone who’s very concerned about the public interest”.

A decade later when he was shadow Chancellor he took greater care not to be caught off guard.

In November 1993 he obtained a leaked copy of the government’s latest review of social security and after being interviewed with the document in a report for Breakfast with Frost he complained that it could be seen in close up.

Brown demanded that the shot should be removed from all further news bulletins because he had said “seventeen times that no minister should see it”…and he wanted to “make sure if Virginia Bottomley (Secretary of State for Health) is interviewed by On The Record she doesn’t get to see it”.

But Brown’s quote to end all quotes was from Budget day in 1996 after Labour had made use of an illicitly-acquired document which contained most of the key announcements and which the shadow Chancellor’s aides leaked so comprehensively that it torpedoed Kenneth Clarke’s final Budget for the Conservatives.

“1p off tax today” was the front-page headline in the Sun which thanks to the help of spin doctors like Charlie Whelan correctly pre-empted most of Clarke’s announcements.

But when he was interviewed that morning on Today, Brown could hardly have sounded any more upstanding.

He said that when he personally was offered the chance to read the 94-page pack of Treasury press releases, he refused.

With a general election only months away, Brown must have looked over his shoulder momentarily, remembered his own questionable behaviour in the past, and realised that as the likely future Chancellor it was time, at least in public, to play by the rules of Whitehall and to start attacking leakers.

Had Margaret Thatcher still been in the House of Commons, she would not doubt have been incandescent at the effrontery of Brown’s answer on Today: “Nobody can condone the leak of sensitive Budget matters the day before the Budget…The most important thing to recognise is that the civil servant who did this is serving no public purpose. I don’t think anyone should condone the action”.

In his decade as Chancellor, Brown progressively disregarded virtually all the ballyhoo about pre-Budget purdah and the traditional secrecy surrounding the contents of the Budget box.

During his long years in opposition Brown had become a regular conduit for publicising confidential documents leaked to him by civil servants and he was admired for the way he could put them to good use when attacking the Conservatives.

In distributing his leaks and tip-offs among the political correspondents of Westminster, he had made some friends for life.

Once Labour were in power, he demonstrated an equally deft touch when making use of the journalists he could trust.

The press build-up his Budgets and financial statements was always carefully manipulated to prepare the ground for any changes which he intended to make and Brown has continued as Prime Minister to be Labour’s leading exponent of institutionalised leaking.( Spinwatch)


Michael Gove




December 2008; Gordon Brown Gave Me Leaked Whitehall Secrets – Michael Gove

He was a young Opposition politician motivated by an admirable sort of idealism.

He believed the establishment was arranging things, which mattered hugely to his constituents, entirely on their own terms.

He felt that the public should be informed about big issues which touched on their livelihoods and safety.

So when a leak came, indeed when a series of leaks came, that blew open just what was going on behind closed doors, he shared the information with me.

The young Opposition politician in question? Gordon Brown.

In the early 1990s, when the Prime Minister was in the shadow cabinet, I worked for Scottish Television.

Gordon had cut his teeth as a producer for STV years before.

Not only did he appreciate how broadcast news operated, he was also co-operative towards young journalists at his old station.

That is why he would always make time to troop out to the rain-soaked green outside the Commons to share with me details of the latest leaked document he had received.

As shadow trade and industry spokesman, Gordon was developing a formidable Commons reputation and was clearly in the party’s top three performers.

He had the safest of seats in Fife and a loyal phalanx of supporters within the Scottish Labour Party.

He had no particular need to cultivate his own, very secure, backyard.

But he took the trouble to keep me informed because the leaks touched on a constituency issue that mattered hugely to him – the future of the Rosyth naval base, which was smack on his doorstep.

Over a prolonged period, Gordon was in receipt of a whole series of documents which led him to believe the Government was preparing to do the dirty on Rosyth.

He feared that electoral calculations would lead the Government to favour naval bases in Tory seats down South, when ministers should be standing by Rosyth.

He fought a tenacious campaign, which as a young reporter I appreciated being able to cover.

And what gave the campaign an extra edge and panache, indeed what gave it the ability to dominate the Scottish media and influence Cabinet opinion, was the potency of the leaks.

Papers flowed from the heart of the Ministry of Defence into Gordon Brown’s office and straight onto the nation’s news-desks.

Papers which gave Gordon a fantastic platform. But papers which also, crucially, touched not just on his constituents’ security of employment but also the security of the nation.

For Rosyth was home not just to Type 42 destroyers but was also a base for refitting the nuclear submarines which provide Britain with its deterrent.

And the leaks we received came, as Gordon often pointed out himself, at a time when British forces were committed in the Middle East against Saddam Hussein.

Of course, at the time, Gordon argued he was enhancing our national security.

Securing guarantees for Rosyth’s future was in the national interest, he maintained. And I saw force of the argument then.

But if that justification was valid when Gordon Brown was an opposition politician, then what does it say about the Prime Minister’s attitude now?

It seems hypocritical to say the least for Gordon to argue that my colleague Damian Green has committed some sort of grave sin by publicising information he has received.

Damian has placed information in the public domain, about the Government’s failure to police immigration, which is crucial to the national debate about how we secure our borders.

No-one has argued that the public debate has been cheapened or demeaned by Damian’s actions.

Exposing the fact that thousands of illegal immigrants are working in the security industry is important, and a telling example of the Government’s failure to get a grip on a hugely sensitive issue.

But, in security terms, there’s a difference between what happens with Group Four guards and what happens with Trident submarines.

And it must be clear, even to the most partisan Labour stooge, which is the bigger national security issue.

Police will continue to ask their questions. But that mustn’t stop opposition politicians asking serious questions too.

Why did officials decide that this was a criminal investigation and not a simple matter of breach of an employment contract?

As Maurice Frankel of the Campaign for the Freedom of Information has pointed out, the law was specifically changed in 1989 to ensure these sorts of leaks were employment issues, not criminal matters.

What was the ministerial involvement in launching this investigation and who within Government, at whatever level, has been kept informed about the its progress?

What national security issues are really at stake?

Are they anything like as serious as the nationals security issues raised by the MoD leaks to Gordon Brown in the 1990s?

And if they’re not, then why do the police think it right to arrest someone now when they didn’t then?

Above all, why should the full investigative power of the criminal justice system be used to harass and intimidate a politician who has exposed Government failure?

And why won’t Gordon Brown tell us what he thinks?

He was never so shy 17 years ago when the leaks were all coming his way.  (The Telegraph)




Exposes Uncategorized

George Osborne – Man – Mouse or Tory Rat – The Man Who Would Be King

MoS2 Template Master

October 1 2011; George Osborne: from the Bullingdon club to the heart of government

When George Osborne was 17, he took part in a school debate on nuclear disarmament. He was then an A-level politics student at St Paul’s in London, one of England’s leading public schools. On the day of the debate, a crowd of sixth-formers gathered to listen. Osborne, already perhaps displaying latent right-wing sympathies, was to argue in favour of the nuclear deterrent. On the opposing side, his classmate Sam Bain would put the case for the CND. But as Osborne rose to speak, a rugby teacher came into the classroom to say he was required to play in a match. Osborne rushed out, leaving the notes of his speech behind. “Some guy in the audience read it out and he won pretty unanimously,” recalls Bain now. “So basically, I failed to win a debate against him even though he wasn’t there.”

For Bain the humiliation was not entirely unexpected. Even as an adolescent, Osborne seemed preternaturally composed, somehow older than his contemporaries and with a clear idea of where he was heading and of the kind of person he wanted to become.

“We were 17, and at that point he was grown-up in a way that no one else was in our year,” recalls Bain, who went on to co-create Channel 4’s Peep Show and the new student comedy Fresh Meat. “He looked and behaved like a man who had already decided what he was going to do with his life.”

The story of how that teenager went on to become the youngest chancellor of the exchequer in 120 years is an intriguing one. It contains many surprising elements, including tales of riotous debauchery, allegations of electoral malpractice in student politics and, at one point, an intimate encounter with the pop star Geri Halliwell – more of which later. But in many ways Osborne at 40 still retains the essence of Osborne at 17. Those who work for him now remark on his exceptional political brain, on his ability to out-think his opponents with strokes of tactical genius, to present even the most dense economic argument with an eye to what will make the next day’s headlines and to know, deep down in his bones, what will win over a crowd.

“I remember many times when we were faced with a tricky political problem and there’d be a light bulb moment,” says Conservative MP Matthew Hancock, who was Osborne’s economic adviser and chief of staff until last year. “There’s nobody else I’ve ever met where that moment was so obvious – his entire face would light up and he’d say: ‘No, we’ll do it like this.’ And it was always a really brilliant idea. He’s very creative.”

Yet for all that he inspires loyalty among those who work for him, Osborne has enough self-knowledge to realise that his public persona is fatally lacking. On television he comes across as stilted, lacking David Cameron’s easy bonhomie and banter. In parliament his youthful features – a plump, pale face; foppish dark hair – only serve to underline the impression that he is an overgrown public schoolboy not quite up to the job of steering the country through a devastating financial crisis. His privileged upbringing – Osborne is the eldest son of Sir Peter Osborne, the 17th holder of a hereditary baronetcy and the co-founder of wallpaper designers Osborne & Little – adds to the tabloid caricature of a toff with a trust fund. His mouth, according to one commentator, “is curled into a permanent sneer so it looks as if he’s laughing when he announces yet more cuts to public services”.


Unhelpfully, he is forever dogged by two infamous photographs from his past: the first, taken in 1992, depicts Osborne as a latter-day Sebastian Flyte, resplendent in tails and a blue bow tie as a member of Oxford University’s Bullingdon Club; the second, taken a few years later, shows him grinning inanely with his arm flung casually around the shoulders of escort Natalie Rowe, surrounded by empty bottles of wine and what might or might not be a line of cocaine on the table in front of him. Those two images have reinforced – unfairly or otherwise – an overriding public sense of Osborne as a dilettante possessed of a healthy sense of entitlement. At a time when he is championing a series of swingeing austerity measures, Osborne is only too aware that such a preconception is unfortunate.

As a consequence he carefully rations his public appearances – a tactic that has earned him the nickname of “the submarine” among Tory staffers. “He stays underwater for a long time and when he appears he prepares impeccably,” explains Janan Ganesh, the political correspondent for the Economist who is currently writing a biography of Osborne. “He’s very open in private that he will – in his words – ‘never be a man of the people’. It’s a combination of material privilege and more superficial stuff, like the way he looks and sounds… During the past election campaign, for instance, he was not visible. That was because he knew he was more of an asset behind the scenes.”


Osborne at 17 could win a school debate without having to appear in person, but simply by having someone else read out his cleverly structured arguments. Twenty-three years later, as chancellor of the exchequer, that same strategy has been successfully refined and redeployed, albeit on a rather larger scale.

For Sam Bain, Osborne’s erstwhile debating partner, there is a feeling of inevitability about his classmate’s rise to power. “I certainly feel very old now looking at him as chancellor, but thinking about how he got there, it does make sense,” he says. “You probably have to be working at it for 20 years or more to achieve that. It does speak of someone who is very single-minded, and whether or not you agree with his politics, that’s a pretty extraordinary thing.”

To those who have observed his ascent from the outside, Osborne has always seemed to know exactly where he was going. Friends say that he is adamant that there was no steady teleological process – after graduating with a 2:1 in modern history from Magdalen College, Oxford, he toyed with the idea of becoming a journalist and pursued a number of dead-end jobs (at one point refolding towels in Selfridge’s) before a friend mentioned there was a vacancy in the research department of Conservative Central Office. From there he rose to become political secretary and speechwriter to William Hague before getting elected Conservative MP for Tatton in 2001 and then being appointed shadow chancellor by Michael Howard at the precocious age of 33.

Anyone looking at that inexorable rise would be forgiven for thinking Osborne had a masterplan. “Actually at every step [of his career], he had massive doubt,” says one friend. “It was: ‘What the hell am I going to do next?'”

george & francis osborne

Although there might have been doubt beneath the surface, superficially he seemed ambitious from the off. During the early days of Cameron’s opposition, employees at Conservative Central Office remember that Osborne’s professional style was markedly different from that of the leader’s. Whereas Cameron would come in each morning bluff and cheerful, greeting everyone by name, Osborne would walk straight to his office without a word and close the door.

“Osborne comes from this clever, entitled background; he’s got this ‘born to rule’ attitude,” says one peer. “He’s sharp, but he’s not as clever as Cameron.”

The Cameron-Osborne partnership has always been close – they are godfathers to each other’s children – in large part because of their differing strengths. Whereas Cameron is the public face of the party and the embodiment of a broad ideological vision, Osborne is the arch-tactician, the political chess player who delights in the game. He is in some ways the purest (and, some might say, the most terrifying) form of politician: driven not by any specific ideology but by the thrill of the chase, the exercise of statecraft and by ambition itself. “For him, politics is the biggest toy in the playground,” says one acquaintance.

“His first thought is: what is the politics of this, both internal and external?” says a former adviser. “It’s a great strength, but it can also be a weakness. There are plenty of times in politics where the right thing to do is not the politically correct thing to do. I think George is put on the spot in interviews when people say to him: ‘Why are you in politics? How do you want this country to be?’ That shines a telling light on him as a person and a thinker. His wiring is political and that means it is contextual, so his answer would depend on the prevailing political mood.”

Occasionally his obsession with day-to-day tactics rather than an overarching strategy has led to criticism within the Tory ranks. During the 2010 election campaign, which Osborne was masterminding, he produced a “Top Tory of the Day” T-shirt for any staffer who came up with the cleverest publicity coup. “He loves that kind of stuff,” says one political commentator. “He can put doing over your opponent ahead of the need for an underlying vision.”


His Liberal Democrat colleagues in the coalition government talk darkly of Treasury briefings against them, always carried out by underlings rather than Osborne himself, who is careful to remain charming in person. “Of course it’s partly Treasury arrogance – the institutional inability to give any other department credit,” says Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott, who quit as a House of Lords Treasury spokesman earlier this year in protest at Osborne’s failure to take strong enough action on bank bonuses. “Osborne is a very, very clever operator. He’s got a real eye for the political main chance.”

And yet Cameron – who is five years older than his chancellor – has been canny enough to harness this to his own advantage: he already has the advice of Steve Hilton (Cameron’s director of strategy) for blue-sky thoughts about Big Societies and the like. Osborne, by contrast, provides the hard-headed calculation. He also has more liberal instincts than Cameron on issues such as abortion and gay adoption. A low-tax, small-state Conservative, he is said to find some of Cameron’s money-guzzling social and environmental initiatives baffling. And Osborne can be radical: as a new backbencher, he proposed that the royal family should pay rent for Kensington Palace. It is for these reasons, says Ganesh, that “Cameron absolutely counts on him”. They are a complementary partnership.

Unlike Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, whose alleged gentlemen’s agreement in 1994 over who would stand for the leadership became part of New Labour political mythology, Osborne insists he struck no such bargain. “There was no deal over the rabbit polenta,” he said in an interview six years ago with the Daily Telegraph. That, of course, does not mean he has no ambitions for the leadership – quite the contrary.

“To be a politician at that level, you have to take yourself very seriously and believe you can be leader,” says a former Conservative MP who used to work for Osborne. “But I think they learned a lesson from the Blair-Brown years. And that was: never, ever let it happen to us. They are genuinely brothers-in-arms. They’ve always both just put winning at the top of their list, even if their outlooks and priorities are different.”

The door between No 10 and the Treasury at No 11 is always open – in stark contrast to some previous regimes – and the prime minister trusts Osborne enough to allow him to chair the daily 4pm strategy meeting with Cameron’s inner team if he is away.

Mac Daily mail Osborne cartoon

“They were always very close,” says one former Conservative cabinet minister, “but David was always clearly the dominant figure in that partnership. When I first met George and David for discussions, George would be silent. He would occasionally chip in, but it was evident that there was a lack of assertiveness and self-confidence. I think that’s changed. He’s grown in stature very encouragingly, because he needed to if he was going to be effective.”

How would his lack of confidence manifest itself? “You’d notice it. There was a certain nervousness.”

Again, there is a disparity here between the public and private Osborne. In public he comes across as being almost too confident for his own good; smoothly assured that his deficit-reduction plan is the right course of action even though almost no other western nation has followed suit and some economists continue to predict fiscal measures will cause sluggish growth and high unemployment for decades.

According to one senior adviser: “That’s when his political instincts come straight through and he says: ‘OK, I’m going to take some flak for this; I’ll fight my corner.’ I’ve not seen any impression of any particular gloominess. He’s not often shy of political jousting.” He is also well-regarded on the international stage, counting Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, and US Treasury secretary Tim Geithner among his admirers (not bad for someone who used to have a beginner’s guide to economics in his office).

In private, however, there are signs that his self-assurance in parliament is something of an act. At parties he often appears uncomfortable and guarded, as though constantly on the lookout for a potential conversational banana skin. People who meet him outside the House of Commons find him difficult to connect with. “There’s an emotional distance there,” says one. “Everyone who works with him says he’s so charming, but I must admit I’ve always found him rather charmless.”

And it is true that in the corridors of power it is difficult to find anyone with a bad word to say about him on a personal level. Even his most strident critics admit he is likeable, even if his policies aren’t.

Westminster London SW1 19/03/09

In coalition he has, according to one Liberal Democrat, been “a courteous colleague. He’s a very smooth operator”. After the election Osborne made a point of going to business secretary Vince Cable’s office to introduce himself, even though it is customary for the more junior minister to make the effort. “He is always polite, quick and very sharp,” says one Liberal Democrat. This in spite of the fact that, according to one Conservative peer, Osborne finds the constraints of coalition “extremely irksome”. His relationship with Cable is said to be good – at least on the surface – but, says the Lib Dem: “We have to warn Vince about Osborne, because when someone’s being nice to him he lets his guard drop.”

Within his close team of young advisers – chief of staff Rupert Harrison, special advisers Eleanor Shawcross and Ramesh Chhabra are all in their late 20s or early 30s – he inspires almost fanatical loyalty. They are keen to stress his quick wit and dark, acerbic humour (although the best Osborne joke I heard was his remark during a Christmas party attended by the rapper 50 Cent. He is said to have quipped to guests: “That’s Mr Cent to you”), his sympathetic attitude to mothers who need to knock off early if their child is ill and his willingness to give career advice to up-and-coming politicos.

Time and again I am told that “the worst thing you can do in a meeting with George is not to speak your mind”. No one I talk to has ever seen him get angry, which suggests a remarkable level of self-control. “No, I’ve never seen him lose it,” says Hancock. “He gets passionate about things, but that’s different.” There is certainly no phone throwing these days in No 11.

“The people who work for him say that Osborne is young enough to remember what it was like to have a boss,” says Ganesh. “People say he’s considerate, and as a result of this he engenders a lot of residual personal loyalty. He’s developed a parliamentary following – MPs like Greg Hands, Claire Perry, Matt Hancock – all of whom worked for Osborne at some stage and who have retained their former loyalty.”

If he ever did decide to stand for leader, an Osbornite cabal would already be in place.

Osborne was born in 1971, the eldest of four brothers in a liberal-leaning, bohemian family. His mother, Felicity Loxton-Peacock, was a former debutante turned anti-Vietnam protester who eventually switched to voting Conservative after Margaret Thatcher became leader. His father, also liberal-minded, set up the family wallpaper business around the kitchen table in Notting Hill. It was, Osborne has said in the past, “a metropolitan upbringing [rather] than a landed, shire-county upbringing” of the kind David Cameron enjoyed.

The fact that he turned out a Tory is a cause of some amusement among his extended family. His brothers – Adam, Benedict and Theo – have all followed less conventional paths. Adam Osborne is a doctor who was suspended from the General Medical Council for six months last year after improperly prescribing drugs to a cocaine-addicted escort. He converted to Islam to marry his wife Rahala in 2009. Benedict is a graphic designer, while Theo runs an online bookmaking company.

As a child Osborne was, by his own admission, “the most sensible out of all the kids. I was extremely well behaved.” His love of learning earned him the nickname “Knowledge” from his siblings.

In reality the name his parents gave him was Gideon, which he famously chose to drop at the age of 13 for the more straightforward George (his grandfather’s name) because “life was easier as a George”. Some of his classmates at St Paul’s believe Osborne made the change in order to sound less exotic and “more prime ministerial”. “It certainly falls in with my profile of someone who was already thinking about his image,” says one.

At school he was clearly bright, but not especially popular. His personal tutor Mike Seigel remembers him as “one of the most talented students I came across in a quarter of a century. He had a determination to do well.” Osborne went on to Oxford, where he edited the university magazine Isis in 1992 and produced a special edition partially printed on hemp paper to indicate the importance of “green issues”.

Unlike his future boss William Hague, who had graduated from Magdalen a decade before, Osborne did not get involved in the Oxford Union. But as a 19-year-old he did stand for the post of Entertainments Representative in his college junior common room (JCR) along with a friend. It was here, perhaps, amid the cut-price beer and freshers’ high jinks, that he got his first taste for politics. In fact his electioneering was so enthusiastic his rival for the position wrote a letter of complaint to the JCR vice president outlining Osborne’s underhand tactics.

The letter, dated 15 November 1990, reads: “I wish to lodge a complaint concerning electorate malpractice on the part of Messrs George Osborne and [the friend] on three counts, namely:

1 The dissemination of five different wordings of posters, instead of the mandatory two.

2 The posting of the above on places other than noticeboards, such as doors and walls.

3 The attempt on the part of Mr Osborne to pervert the democratic process by electioneering in the JCR.

I would urge that these matters be considered with a view to possible disqualification.”

The complaint is signed by RD Harding, who went on to win the election. Rupert Harding, who now works at a language school in Finland, is rather embarrassed by the strident tone of his letter. “I have little to no recollection of the campaign,” he says. “Perverting the democratic process I think meant going up to people after Neighbours and asking them to vote for him.” Osborne was, in any case, roundly defeated at the hustings.

At Oxford, Osborne’s contemporaries remember him as one of a clique of “braying public schoolboys”. His friends saw a different side – “My recollection of George is that he was a nice bloke, quite approachable, shy and very bright,” says one – but his membership of the notorious Bullingdon Club did little to dampen the perception of elitism. Infamous for its riotous behaviour, the society is open only to sons of aristocratic families or the super-rich. The initiation process was to down a bottle of tequila while standing on a table. That immortal Bullingdon photo would come back to haunt him.

The goings-on of the Bullingdon are extremely secretive, but one of Osborne’s contemporaries, who has never spoken to the press, told me what happened after that photograph of Osborne, standing imperious in bow tie and tails, was taken. “We got on a double-decker bus and drove to Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire,” he says. “It started to get really out of control. I remember a guest being comatose on the lawn, being tended to by a butler who was applying cold towels to his forehead, trying to bring him round. One of the guys got into a fist fight because he was Italian and a football match was on and there’d been some racial taunting. Plates had been thrown. As usual, it escalated. It was a group of young, testosterone- and alcohol-fuelled men, many of whom don’t ever have to work. I think George was mildly alarmed. He was enjoying the food and wine, enjoying watching the football, and I just remember him looking at me with raised eyebrows at what was going on. I never saw him take drugs.”

On a different occasion with Osborne also present, he remembers one Bullingdon member “trying to snort lines of coke from the top of an open-top bus and the bus was speeding along so it kept blowing away. I said to him: ‘You’re stupid. It’s blowing away,’ and his response was: ‘I can afford it.'”

Another time Osborne and the other Bullingdon members went for a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Berkshire where, coincidentally, the comedian Lenny Henry was having dinner with his then-wife Dawn French. “We interrupted the whole evening,” the source says. “A couple of the boys started getting obnoxious and talking about their family wealth and Henry said: ‘Actually, sod off.’ Then there was a slight altercation when a member put a cigar out on someone else’s lapel and it turned into a fight and furniture was broken. It was horrible, horrible. We used to smash everything up and then pay a cheque, saying: ‘It’s OK; we can pay for it.’ It was pretty shocking.”

How did an undergraduate who supposedly smashed up furniture and downed tequila get from there to become chancellor of the exchequer? “In a sense there’s no difference between the Bullingdon George and the chancellor George: they both simply wanted to be the best,” explains one former colleague. “Being the best at Oxford, in his eyes, meant joining the Bullingdon.”

Natalie Rowe Hooker

Osborne has remained understandably tight-lipped about his youthful excesses, insisting, even when the photograph of him with vice-girl Natalie Rowe emerged in 2005, that MPs are entitled to have lived a life pre-politics. But it certainly appears from this account that Osborne liked to cut loose and have a good time. And it seems an element of that has stayed with him, despite the guardedness he is now careful to assume in public. When I ask a senior coalition colleague how Osborne made the transition from party animal to sober-minded politician, the reply comes: “I don’t think anyone’s ever believed he’s sober. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was trying to relive the youth he never had.”

A few years ago, at the wedding of his brother-in-law Toby Howell (Osborne’s author wife, Frances, is the daughter of Conservative peer Lord Howell and the couple have two children, Luke, 10, and Liberty, eight), Osborne was, according to onlookers, encouraged to play a game of “pass the ice cube” with fellow guests. Osborne gamely agreed and is said to have found himself mouth-to-mouth with the pop star Geri Halliwell, who was there as the girlfriend of Henry Beckwith, the son of a millionaire property developer. Posterity does not record the reaction of either party. By all accounts, Frances would have taken it in good part. “She’s very much her own woman,” says an acquaintance. “They both lead quite independent lives.”

More seriously, Osborne’s taste for the high life also led to one of the worst errors of his political career. In October 2008, it was claimed that Osborne had tried to solicit a £50,000 donation from the Russian aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska while holidaying on the oligarch’s yacht with Peter Mandelson off the coast of Corfu. Such a move would have been a violation of the law against political donations by foreign citizens. A formal complaint was made to the Electoral Commission. Although the Commission rejected the claims and Osborne has always strongly denied the allegations, he was astute enough to know that it did not look good.

“He learned the lesson of his folly in Corfu,” says one former chancellor of the episode. “It was obviously very silly. But the important thing was not that he did it but that he learned his lesson and that will prevent him from doing something stupid in future.”

When Natalie Rowe gave an interview last month to the Australian news channel ABC in which she claimed Osborne had taken cocaine with her, the chancellor seemed unperturbed. He did not comment on the allegations, even when there was speculation that Osborne remained so indebted to the then News of the World editor Andy Coulson for not making too much of the Rowe story when it first broke six years ago that he recommended him to Cameron as his director of communications.

“He definitely thinks he’s silly to have done some of those things,” says one of Osborne’s close associates. “But it does speak to his deep self-confidence that he’s always assumed he’ll be running the country and none of this breaks his stride.”

From the school debating team to the Bullingdon and all the way to No 11, Osborne has always wanted to be the best. If this means the next logical step is to become prime minister, it would be foolish to underestimate his determination to get there.


The 1707 Act of Union, Scotland & England (A Recap)

The 1707 Act of Union, (A Recap)

Although ruled by one monarch, (from 1603 – 1707) England & Scotland remained to be separate countries, each with their own Parliament’s. There continued to exist a deep seated lack of trust between the 2 Nations. The Scots were fearful, (reflecting on the fate of the Welsh Nation 400 years before) that joining with England would, (in time) bring about the demise of Scotland, rendering it a, “region” of England. Always to the forefront of their thought’s, the English were consumed by fear that the Scot’s might, once again join in an alliance with the Roman Catholic French. It was crucial that the much feared, “Scottish Army” did not join with the French.

Subsequent to his death, in exile, in France, of the Roman Catholic, Charles 11 his Roman Catholic brother James 11 inherited the throne. He was a disaster, favouring Roman Catholic over Protestant. A, “fed up” English establishment secretly invited, the Dutch warlord, William of Orange to seize the throne saving England from the, “Romans” He willingly accepted and came to England supported by a substantial Dutch force. William engaged and defeated James in battle in Ireland and was crowned King William 111.

Enjoying the confidence of the newly crowned King, the Scotsman, “William Paterson” a worldly traveller who had made a substantial fortune through trade persuaded King William to create a , “Bank” to be supported by gold held in a central vault in London. William was an astute man with a long history of plotting, duplicity and deviousness and in 1694 he issued a decree requiring all gold deposits, (held by goldsmiths) in England to be given up, in exchange for notes and coinage, to a newly formed, “Bank of England”. With the gold safely under it’s control the, “Bank of England” printed notes and minted coinage far in excess of the gold reserves. In a very short period of time the, “Bank of England” became a very powerful banking force.

Building upon his success, “William Paterson” then convinced King William and the, “Bank of England” to jointly finance settlement and colonisation of ports in the, “Indus of Panama”. A successful venture which would reduce shipping times to the financially lucrative, “Far East” market by half. Eager to be in favour of the Scot’s, King William authorised the creation and funding of the, “Company of Scotland”. The board of directors were to be equally comprised of English and Scot’s. Financial and any other risks would be borne, half by the English and Dutch the remainder by the Scot’s.

Full of confidence that all aspects of funding and support was in place, William Paterson went off to Scotland to organise the expedition. In July 1698, 5 ships, (1200 souls) set sail from Edinburgh to Panama. William Paterson led the party. Not long after the flotilla left news was released from England that King William had ordered English and Dutch elements of the, (Company of Scotland) to withdraw from the venture, leaving the Scot’s to their own devices.

The trip was an ordeal, many pioneers died from disease and only about 700 souls landed in Panama.

Over a period of some months the almost defenseless settlers were attacked by Spanish forces on numerous occasions, (with the full knowledge of King William and the English parliament who had instructed English ships that no assistance was to be provided to the Scot’s in Panama).

Malaria was rife and food scarcity resulted in malnutrition and death of a further 400. Because it was not possible to communicate with those that had gone before a further 11 ships sailed to Panama the following year. The bulk of those that travelled did not return succumbing to similar fates. Eventually 1 ship returned with a few survivors.

The collapse of the, “Darien Scheme” brought financial chaos to Scotland.

King William, (seizing the moment) briefed, (in secret) the Scottish aristocracy and sympathetic Scottish MP’s that the, (Bank of England) would provide finance replacing their losses, with the rider that they would need to vote to unite the Parliaments. Many of the, “Scottish Gentry” took the money.

Robert Burns captured the betrayal in his heartfelt poem, (Scottish MP’s were “bought and sold for English gold”).

Verse 1

Fareweel to a’ our Scottish fame, fareweel our ancient glory
Fareweel ev’n to the Scottish name, sSae famed in martial story
Now Sark rins over Salway sands, an’ Tweed rins to the ocean
to mark where England ‘s province stands, such a parcel of rogues in a nation

Verse 2.

What force or guile could not subdue Thro’ many warlike ages
Is wrought now by a coward few for hireling traitor’s wages
The English steel we could disdain, secure in valour’s station
But English gold has been our bane, such a parcel of rogues in a nation

Verse 3.

O, would, or I had seen the day that treason thus could sell us
My auld grey head had lien in clay wi’ Bruce and loyal Wallace
But pith and power, till my last hour I’ll mak this declaration
We’re bought and sold for English gold, such a parcel of rogues in a nation

Scottish Referendum Uncategorized

The Unionist Partys Perceive Scottish Women To Be Politically Weak-Vacillating and Easy To Manipulate and Deliver Their Strategy Accordingly – It Worked in 2014 and the Poor Deluded Fools Havn’t Tumbled Us Yet – They Think!!



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In the final days of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum the pendulum finally swung in favour of  a “Yes” vote.

Just as it appeared that the Westminster state funded campaign of media manipulation, disinformation, frighteners, celebrity love bombing, world political leaders support and the “ace in the pack” intervention of the Queen had failed.

The Westminster establishment illegally promised a “Devomax” sweetener through a National newspaper.

Further aiding “Better Together” the studiously impartial BBC provided Gordon Brown with an unprecedented four hours of blanket media exposure allowing him to deliver a long and rambling speech to  a captive Scottish television viewing public.

Brown’s widely promoted rhetoric proved to be successful when, a few days later, faced with the reality of a vote a number of Scots expressed a preference to retain the Status Quo.

Events since have exposed the cynical behaviour of politicians who conspired together across the political spectrum agreeing a promise of “Devomax”  withe the knowledge it would not be delivered.

Yet again the political maxim of “delay is the most invidious form of denial” was successfully applied and Westminster prevailed.


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The 2016 US Presidential election and Donald Trump’s unexpected victory over media promoted and establishment preference candidate, Hilary Clinton.

The Democratic Party campaign was largely organised and delivered by the same Obama supporting electoral team that had assisted the Westminster “Better Together” campaign in the 2014 Scottish referendum.

Same tactics. disinformation, character assassination, lies, massive  state-financed expenditure, Celebrity love bombing etc. yet “David beat Goliath.”

The differing outcomes of the two campaigns is best explained by the influence of a fast-maturing “social media” driven by internet users who exposed the hypocrisy of the US political elite.

In doing so disenfranchised voters added another dimension to the mainstream media, questioning its honesty and integrity.


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The  2016 European Community referendum also produced a surprise result exposing a wide political difference in the views of the electorates of England and Scotland.

Scotland preferred retention of EU membership but Scotland was forced to conform to the wishes of the English electorate and the Westminster establishment.

The “Brexit” notification was served  on the EU by Westminster in March 2017 with a formal withdrawal expected to be completed within two-three years, (March 2019-2020).

But the Westminster government proposals for Brexit are not acceptable to the EU leaning Scots electorate and it is expected the proposals, if forced upon Scots may trigger another Scottish Independence Referendum.

Preparing in advance for a Scottish challenge the Tory government in Westminster created a “Constitutional Civil Service Team”.

The team is fully financed with Scottish Grant money purloined by the Secretary of State for Scotland to whom it reports.

Its remit, carried over from the 2014 independence referendum when it was credited with winning the referendum for the Tory’s is to nullify any challenges to the retention of the United Kingdom.

The team, as it was in the 2014 Independence Referendum will be enabled in its campaigns of disinformation by the BBC and UK press.

A pseudo-Scottish government is based in London at present but is scheduled to be relocated to Edinburgh early in 2020, after the Tory Party is re-elected to government.






The impact of internet driven social media is fast increasing providing balance between political agendas

In 2015 media bloggers identified and exposed a mind bending policy (designed to manipulate women voters).

Developed by President Obama’s election team the tactic had been widely used by “Better Together” in the 2014 Scottish Referendum and in the US 2016 Presidential election.

Crucial to the outcome of any future Scottish Independence Referendum the unsavoury practices need to be revealed to the Scottish electorate and women in particular

The attached video (above) provides visual and oral evidence of the  practices operated and should be widely distributed and viewed by young women voters in Scotland.


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Love-Bombing – A study of the conduct of “Better Together” in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum

Just about every time Cameron made speeches extolling the virtues of Britishness and his love for Scotland he,  extracted his information from the Canadian Love-bomb handbook compiled by Canadian government media advisors and widely used at the time of the now notorious Montreal, “Unity Rally” when an estimated 100,000 Canadians gathered in Montreal to “love-bomb” Quebec.





The late introduction of the “below the line”  anti-Scottish independence campaign “Lets Stay Together”  launched in the last 6 months of the 2014 campaign.

Fronted by a number of,  London based, Labour Party celebs the tactic mirrored the previously mentioned, “Montreal Love-Bomb” tactic.

The final frame of the video tells viewers to “call family and friends in Scotland and tell them they’re our ‘best friend'”.

The sickly celeb plea can be directly linked to Cameron’s infamous speech at the Olympic Park in East London in February 2014 (nationwide television broadcast) when he urged “every Briton with a friend or family member in Scotland” to persuade them to vote against independence.

A spokesman blustered that the costly campaign “Let’s Stay Together” was entirely unrelated to, “Better Together” and had no connection to any of the main pro-UK parties in Westminster. Just people wishing to express the english view.

But later investigation revealed the “Let’s Stay Together” campaign was funded by the Labour Party and was set up by three senior advertising industry figures. Namely:

John Braggins: Director of media company B.B.M. who worked closely with the Labour party on elections and planning campaigns and proudly claimed the credit for Labour not losing a single by-election in the period between Blair’s anointing as Labour leader and the 1997 General Election.

Andrew McGuinness: Who contributed financially to Tony Blair’s Election campaigns. He continues to work closely with the Labour Party.

MT Rainey:  Probably the most powerful woman in British advertising who is on record defending the media’s right to create false images.


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“Better Together” worked closely with Cameron’s former strategy director Andrew Cooper

M&C Saatchi, with a long relationship with the Conservative Party, advised and delivered the campaign’s advertising, marketing and message development.

They worked with a number of other media image agencies, including the “Grey” and “BD” Networks.

TBWA UK, which works with the Labour Party, was also involved in the opening pitch process


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Probably the most powerful woman in Scottish/ British advertising Scot MT Rainey is on record defending the media’s right to create false images. Her links with the Labour Party in Scotland are well established.

MT Rainey is the chair of digital advertising agency TH_NK.

TH_NK, is pronounced “thunk”, the noise that the “Let’s Stay Together” campaign made as it landed in the middle of the 2014 independence debate.

It has a large portfolio of high profile clients, including, JK Rowling, the BBC, Channel 4, and the TV Licencing Authority.

In November 2013 at Labour’s Scottish conference in Inverness, Magrit Curran announced that Labour was to set up a new employment taskforce, to be headed by former Labour MP for Dumbarton John McFall ( who now rejoices in the silly made-up title Lord of Alcluith Tywysog of the Strathclyde Britons) and another former native of Dumbarton, a certain MT Rainey.

Not long after, Labour’s national leadership in England announced it was setting up a review of the Creative and Digital Industries.

A member of the review board was to be the busy Ms Rainey.


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