Additional Defence Spending of £30 Billion Over 5 Years To Be Added To The Austerity Programme – But only For Public Consumption Ater the General Election Is Published – What A Fiddle

Gordon Brown, whilst in government as Chancellor and after as Prime Minister, was always acutely aware that his stock within the military was poor, due to his refusal to properly finance wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to which he and the New Labour Party had committed the armed forces disregarding the advice of Whitehall and military commanders. Direct contact with armed forces personnel and their dependents was by result very much confined to a few carefully arranged press photo only sessions


The Tory Party leadership are even more hawklike in their approach to military intervention. Indeed they fully supported the illegal actions of Blair and Bush in Iraq & Afghanistan and the neo-conservative ideaology of the Tories was brutally evident at the time they brought Libya to it’s knees and the subsequent aftermath that now ensues in that poor country. It is probable that Egypt will invade Libya before long preventing an expansion of Muslim fundamentalist activities, returning the country to some form of parliamentary control.


As before, nothing was learned from the debacle of Libya and piggy-backing on the “Arab Spring” it was the Tory’s intention to commit the military to bombing President Assad of Syria into submission then resignation. A blatant policy of regime change which had never been put to the country for approval. Public pressure forced the “House of Commons” to intervene and those that had learned from the past voted against the proposal thereby preventing the “Tory Hawks” from blundering into a situation from which there would be no withdrawal. The Tories viewed the defeat as a betrayal of the UK’s obligation to support the USA and blame was foisted on the “British Pinkos” in opposition.

Not to be denied ISIS was created by Saudi Arabia (supported by the USA) and proceeded to attack Syria from a safe base in the Sunni (anti-Assad) controlled area of Iraq. But finding the going tough against Syria ISIS soon turned on it’s hosts, the Sunni’s and being well armed, equipped and organised put them to the sword, declaring the entire area of Western Iraq to be a reconstituted “Caliphate “. The mad dog had turned on it’s masters.


This unforeseen and unwanted state of affairs further increased instability in the entire Middle East and it was decided by the USA, UK and their allies that ISIS would need to be destroyed. But successful completion of the mission would require up to 100,000 army boots on the ground for up to 5 years.


Iraqi armed forces, (primarily Shiite Muslim) were badly organised, poorly led and in insufficient numbers to contemplate taking on the task. Indeed ISIS heavily defeated Shiite forces North of Bahgdad at the time they staged the takeover of the Sunni area.

The US turned to Iran, (pro-Assad and predominately Shiite) and agreed an accomodation allowing Iran to provide training, leadership, arms, and non-regular military forces in sufficient numbers making up a force capable of defeating ISIS. This new force attacked ISIS, with mixed results, to the North of Baghdad late February 2015. The US, UK and a number of NATO countries are committed to a role providing air superiority in support of the newly formed Iran led Iraqi army.

mara-angeolosante-1st-winner-1687 (1)

An added complication is the aggressive expansion of ISIS in the North of Iraq. This placed them in confrontation with Iraqi Kurds, who proved to be well capable of dealing with the ISIS threat. At March 2015 the Kurds are making significant advances South.


It is likely ground taken by the Kurds will not be given up in any new Iraq formed after the conflict is over. This might not find favour with the Turks who fear a creation of a new State of Kurdistan to the South of Turkey since nearly 25% of Southern Turkey is occupied by Kurds.

Despite an undertaking by the Tory’s there would be no deployment of British forces, army teams have been deployed to Iraq providing weapons and tactics training and support, (short of military involvement). So more problems to resolve and with a fellow member of NATO!!

Saudi Arabia is becoming increasingly concerned at the way in which events are unravelling in Iraq. Fearful of a spread of Shiite Muslim rule in Iraq and the closer ties with a nuclear armed Iran that would bring. Kuwait, the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia would either develop their own nuclear deterrent or arrange a purchase of Missiles and technology from Pakistan or China. What a mess and the UK and USA are responsible.


It now appears the USA, UK and their allies are backing down from regime change in Syria requiring only that President Assad open a credible dialogue with those in opposition to his government. It is possible a form of federal state might evolve over time. But this is precisely what President Putin asked for before all the trouble started. Gung Ho Nato again!!

Further complicating matters President Putin took advantage of on-going events in the Middle East and carved up the Ukraine taking the Crimea back to Russian control, (which was always on the cards) creating instabilty in the Eastern (Russian speaking) part of the country. The origins of the conflict in Ukraine are complicated but informed sources are of the view that Russia has legitimate claims to the Crimea and the troubles in the Eastern part of the Ukraine may be self inflicted by right wing elements within the country.

No matter who is to blame President Putin’s conduct has changed the political climate in Europe. It might be he has no intention of absorbing the Baltic States but this is not assured. NATO is committed to their defence and it is crucial President Putin is not given the impression NATO will not honour such a commitment.

In consequence of events in the Ukraine NATO convened a summit meeting, held in Wales and issued a clear message to President Putin that NATO would not allow any infringement upon any NATO country. They also committed to the recurring allocation to defence of at least 2% of GDP.

It is against this background of chaos and assurances that the Tory Party is implementing the findings of a defence review conducted after the Afghanistan withdrawal and BEFORE the troubles that surfaced in Syria, Iraq and the Ukraine. The new thinking, holding force at the time of the review is that the UK’s primary concern would be focused on the security of the homeland and that financial resources should be transferred away from heavy infantry defence, creating fast moving teams of up to 5000 multi purpose personnel, capable of rapid response, tackling any terror threats from ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Problems have since surfaced within NATO over the figure of 2% of GDP. The nature of expenditure that is to be counted in or out is not agreed and the UK is under pressure over the decision to include the cost of the Trident nuclear deterrent, (approximately 0.6% of GDP) within the return. The view held is that NATO operates under the umbrella of the US nuclear deterrent and the UK, having no need to retain a pseudo independent deterrent, within NATO should exclude such costs from financial allocations.

Another aspect of costing is the bloated MOD bureaucracy comprising over 500 colonels and 200 brigadiers and generals managing an army of 82,000. Adding personnel, admin, (each officer is allocated a staff car and driver) and service support to each of the officers takes up around 0.2% of GDP. In contrast the 500,000 strong US army has only 310 staff officers of comparable rank, the bulk of which are deployed with their soldiers in times of war.


Concerns emanating from the US are that subsequent to implementation of the defence review the UK will not be able to “deploy troops with accompanying fighter aircraft and naval vessels without relying on American forces” and this would be unacceptable. The Independent Trident 400 warhead nuclear deterrent is also considered to be of little consequence given that the US has placed it’s entire 20,000 nuclear warheads within the command structure of NATO. Finance saved by the UK by giving up Trident could be better used in the maintenance of conventional forces and weaponry.

NATO is committed to the mutual defence of member states in a new fast changing, very dangerous environment and 2% of GDP might not be sufficient to meet the many and varied military challenges it faces. A more realistic figure of 3% of GDP would not be misplaced. It is of great concern therefore to note that the Tory Party are committed to a further reduction in the armed forces allocating only 1.5% of GDP. The level of defence projected additional spending cuts thrusts the UK into a political maelstrom and the backlash from the US and other NATO countries will be unforgiving.

Rory Stewart, Tory Chairman of the Commons Select Defence Committee delivered, in the Defence debate, one the best speeches on defence heard in many a year, It is essential listening. It is only 10 minutes long commencing at 12:18 but provides an excellent analysis of the problems facing the UK at this time and in the future, it is available at:


The Times publishes excellent articles supporting the foregoing ( am not a subscriber so only the headline part is available but this is sufficient to provide  the gist of the full article content
January 24 2015: The British army is overhauling its top brass. About time.


January 24 2015: Army chief to take axe to ‘bloated’ top brass.


January 24 2015: Lions led by pen-pushers, the state of the British Army today.


March 7 2015: Trust us — we’ve a safe pair of hands, says PM.


March 12 2015: Merkel snubs Putin’s military parade in protest over Ukraine.


March 18 2015: Don’t humiliate Putin, Obama told.


March 19 2015: Putin takes control of Georgia’s South Ossetia.


March 20 2015: Police and courts are at risk of cuts to pay for defence.


March 20 2015: MPs quiz Cameron over £170m arms export licences for Russia.


March 21 2015: Russia’s sanctions may fall as EU leaders fail to agree.



UK Government Caves In To Big Business – Food Standards Abandoned – Many Condemned To An Early Death


Salt And Your Health

Our bodies need a little bit of salt to survive, but the amount we eat is far more than we require. Evidence has shown that regularly eating too much salt puts us at increased risk of developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure is the main cause of strokes and a major cause of heart attacks and heart failures, the most common causes of death and illness in the world.


Here are some common questions answered about salt:

1. What is salt? By salt, we mean table salt, which is otherwise known as sodium chloride. It is the biggest source of sodium in our diets and it’s this sodium that’s the problem in relation to blood pressure. While we do need some sodium in our diet to help regulate fluid in the body, it’s unusual for us not to get enough – and only too common for us to have too much.

2. What’s the daily limit? The Government recommends that we eat no more than 6g of salt a day, which is about a teaspoon. Currently, we are consuming 8.1g a day, which is about a third more than the maximum recommendation, so we still have some way to go.

3. Why are we going over this limit? Many people unfortunately don’t realise they are eating too much salt. That is because about 75% of the salt in our diet comes from process foods. It’s not just in ready meals, soups and sauces, though – keep an eye on everyday foods such as breads and cereals, as well as sweet foods harbouring a salty surprise. Foods don’t necessarily have to taste salty to be salty. This is one of the reasons it can be tricky to reduce our salt intake, as it is often already in the foods we buy, and we can’t take it out.   See more at:


2000:  A Non-Ministerial Government Department – Food Standards Agency (FSA) – Created By New Labour.

After the collapse in public trust triggered by a number of high-profile outbreaks and deaths from foodborne illness including the BSE crisis, civil servants within the then Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries were perceived as having put the interests of producers ahead of those of consumers. It was felt that it was inappropriate – and dangerous – to have one government department responsible for both the health of the farming and food processing industries and also food safety.

The Agency soon lost it’s way embarking on major investigative projects requiring increasing numbers of staff and ran head on into controversy about the health claims of organic food and even the role of GM foods whilst being heavily criticised for expensive and questionable research and fruitless public consultation exercises.

It tried to be open to scrutiny with “open board meetings” available for public viewing on the web and even award-winning health advertising campaigns had a short lifespan, with budgets axed. Ultimately, it was the FSA’s difficult relationship with the powerful food industry which undermined its effectiveness and claims to be independent, after manufacturers successfully lobbied in Europe to put an end to its attempt to secure a universal system of “traffic light labelling” for food and drink products.


2010: Victory for food manufacturers – Food Standards Agency To Be Abolished By Health Secretary

The Food Standards Agency is to be abolished by Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, it emerged last night, after the watchdog fought a running battle with industry over the introduction of colour-coded “traffic light” warnings for groceries, TV dinners and snacks. The move has sparked accusations that the government has “caved in to big business”.

As part of the changes Lansley will reassign the FSA’s regulatory aspects – including safety and hygiene – to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Its responsibilities for nutrition, diet and public health will be incorporated into the Department of Health.

Andrew Burnham, Labour’s health spokesman, said: “Getting rid of the FSA is the latest in a number of worrying steps that show Andrew Lansley caving in to the food industry. It does raise the question whether the health secretary wants to protect the public health or promote food companies.”


But New Labour Claimed to Have Resolved These Difficulties in 2000!!!!!

Sadly this is not the case: successive Tory, Labour and Con/Dem Westminster governments get huge donations from wealthy individuals in return for honours. Big business gets its reward in the form of contracts, lax government regulation and, most importantly, governments that implement a pro-big business agenda, ideologically insistent on privatisation, cuts and anti-working class measures.

David John Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Turville, served as the Chair of Sainsbury’s, the supermarket chain from 1992 to 1997. He was made a life peer in 1997, and currently sits in the House of Lords as a member of the Labour Party. He served in the government as the Minister for Science and Innovation from 1998 and 2006 and gifted Tony Blair’s New Labour Party a vast amount of money over the period 1996-2006 (£15m). What did he get in return? A peerage and the post in government as Minister of Science were just two rewards of note.

Elected in 1997 the Blair government continually backed down on attempts to protect the health of the UK population by regulating the food industry. In 2006 the nation witnessed yet another government climbdown on a solemn promise to force food manufacturers to cut salt levels in our food. The plan was to reduce personal daily intake by 10gm to 6gm over the period ending in 2010. The target was revised upwards by the government to 8gm, where it remains as at March 2015. According to health experts, an extra 126,000 UK citizens will have died in the period 2006-2015 as a direct result of the revised policy .

The Food & Drink Federation representing Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets greatly welcomed the relaxed targets. Companies such as, Somerfield, Safeway, Waitrose and Tesco also donated money to Blair and New Labour. So it is not only over Iraq and Afghanistan that Blair and New Labour has “blood on their hands”.


The Circle is Complete

In terms of food standard controls the UK, was to be returned to before the year 2000. All measures considered necessary and put in place as a result of recurring failures by the food industry to ensure the safety of the public to be set aside and replaced with the original inadequate control systems.

Supermarket profits are being hit hard, for many reasons and an ever increasing need to cut costs is placing food standards at risk as supplier costs are reduced. Recent unsatisfactory incidents, such as horse meat, exposure of extremely high and unacceptable levels of Campylobacter in chickens is causing public concern.

The Scottish SNP government took the view that these new arrangements were unacceptable to Scotland and, following a period of intense discussion gained approval of Westminster to set up food standard monitoring body which would report to the Scottish parliament.


Campylobacter: Seven things you need to know about supermarket chicken bug

More than 70 percent of fresh chicken sold in British supermarkets is contaminated with the campylobacter bug, with Asda reporting the highest incidence rate.The investigation, conducted the Foods Standards Agency (FSA), showed that number of chickens contaminated by the campylobacter bug, which is the biggest cause of food poisoning in the UK, had risen from 59 percent in August.

Overall, none of the supermarkets came out well, with all failing to meet the official target of having less than 10 percent of their chickens contaminated. Roughly 90 percent of all fresh chickens come from the intensive farms and abattoirs of just five processing companies.


Food Standads Scotland Act 2015

The Food (Scotland) Bill to set up a stand-alone food safety, standards and nutrition body in Scotland has passed into law. The Bill had passed through parliamentary scrutiny at Stage 3 of the process on 9th December 2015 and received Royal Assent from Her Majesty the Queen on 13th Jan 2015. This step creates the Food (Scotland) Act 2015 and paves the way for Food Standards Scotland as a Legal Entity.

The Scottish Food Standards Ageny will operate from 1 April 2015. Common sense at last removing food standard controls from the supplier to the public of Scotland.

salt-117636074725_xlarge index

Remember the foregoing on 7 May 2015. Labour MP’s always vote in the UK National interest which is increasingly at odds with the interests of Scotland.  SNP MP’s vote only in the interests of their electorate in Scotland. You know it makes sense.

Exposes Uncategorized

Out Of The Closet – Jim Murphy Exposed As A Right Wing Tory – Will He Jump Ship For UKIP???




January 2015: Red Tory Murphy Retains Executive Membership of Tory-dominated Ultra Right-Wing Think Tank – The Henry Jackson Society (HJS)

Named after hawkish Democratic US senator Henry “Scoop” ­ Jackson, the HJS was founded in 2005 to promote a “forward strategy” on global democracy, drawing on strong militaries in the US and EU. The bulk of charitable donations to the society comes from Tory donors such as the Atkin Charitable Foundation, a London-based charity founded by a British businessman turned philanthropist Edward Atkin.


murphy nuc

It first financed the HJS in 2010 with a modest £5,000 grant, but subsequently the amounts increased considerably, totalling £375,000 between 2011 and 2013. The Stanley Kalms foundation, named after the Dixons boss, also gave the society £100,000 last year. Michael Gove MP, theTory Party’s Chief Whip in the House of Commons and a leading neoconservative, was a founding trustee of the HJS.”


fear murphy

Murphy, the only Scots MP holding membership, delivered policy speeches at the HJS’s London HQ in 2012 and 2013, has been a member of its advisory political council since mid-2012, despite the views of some of its key staff prompting even the Tory frontbench to end relations with it in 2011.


Labour leader in Scotland Murphy has been repeatedly urged to sever his links with the controversial think tank which is accused of pushing an anti-Muslim agenda. Human rights lawyer, advocate Niall McCluskey, said Murphy should “consider his position” with the HJS. The Spinwatch group, SNP and Greens also called on Murphy to quit the right-wing outfit.

McCluskey, who works with Amnesty International and has dealt with cases involving people facing extradition to oppressive regimes, said: “The problem with the Henry Jackson Society at the moment is Douglas Murray, who has been articulating certain viewpoints that are of concern, that appear to be anti-Islamic. “The question arises whether or not it’s appropriate for the leader of Scottish Labour to be associated with a society like that, if that’s the sort of message it appears to be espousing.

dearlove_1531139cFormer head of MI6


Major financial donor Nina Rosenwald, “also finances the US-based right-wing Gatestone Institute”, which uses its foreign status to publish potentially libellous attacks on British Muslims and pro-Palestine campaigners and organisations. Gatestone also publishes the work of HJS associate director Douglas Murray, who said in 2006 that “conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board”…. All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop.”

In 2013, Murray claimed London had “become a foreign country” because “white Britons” were a minority in 23 of 33 London boroughs, and last month he downplayed the US Senate report on CIA torture after 9/11 as “largely or partly untrue”. HJS founder and director Alan Mendoza has also blamed ­immigration for a rise in anti-Israeli sentiment in Europe.


Michael-Gove.jpg.pagespeed.ce.0Dv96BPT6T  Michael Gove Tory MP

Last week, the HJS, a registered charity in England, withdrew funding from two Commons groups for MPs on domestic and international security rather than disclose its own sources of income. Commons Standards Commissioner Kathryn Hudson had told the HJS to provide a list of firms donating more than £5000 a year to it, but the HJS refused citing donor “privacy”, and withdrew its support from the parliamentary groups instead. It was subsequently reported that HJS has been receiving large sums from Tory donors.



Professor David Miller, co-founder of Spinwatch, which complained about the HJS in the Commons, said: “When you look at what Douglas Murray has said about Muslims, I don’t understand how it’s ­possible for the Scottish Labour Party leader to endorse the Henry Jackson Society. “It’s moved from an intellectually respectable conservative position to an increasingly anti-Islamic position.”

In 2012, founder member Dr Marko Attila Hoare resigned from the HJS saying it had become “a mere caricature of its former self”. Instead of a bipartisan think tank, he said it has become “an abrasively right-wing forum with an anti-Muslim tinge”.


_63775450_63775448 Gisela Stuart Labour MP

SNP MSP Sandra White said: “Jim Murphy should consider his position as an adviser to this right-wing, neo-con organisation – it is an extraordinary role for a Labour leader in Scotland and a huge embarrassment to his party.”

A Green spokesman said: “Scottish Greens stand for peace, tolerance and a welcoming ­Scotland. What does Labour stand for if its Scottish leader maintains links with what appears to be a lobby group for military and ­corporate interests?”




* There seems to be an ongoing remodelling of Murphy underway, a u turn here, a u turn there. here a change, there a change, everywhere a change, change. Don’t like these principles, don’t worry I have got others seems to be his motto. Well at least we can establish how gullible the electorate is in response to these tactics.

* The path of all Blair’s stooges. Get in bed with the US Military and Industrial complex, and you’re made for life. They even use the old ‘freedom and democracy ‘ New World Order Blair Bush clarion call in a quote here. You may recall that we ‘shocked and awed’ Baghdad for 24 hours to bestow freedom and democracy on the survivors. Murphy is keeping his fingers in every Neo Liberal pie, just like the others. That way lies Non Executive directorships, a Lairdship, a Special Envoy gig, and of course the lucrative £10k a pop lecture tour. He is your classic New Labour gravy trainer, and like all those Labour Lords, Special Envoys, and Former Cabinet Ministers before him, he will eke out a post political career working for the Man.


6a00e54ee8dd9788330162ff8e8aaf970d David Willets Tory MP

May I suggest a casual browse on the Ethernet to follow the post Westminster careers of his fellow travellers on the Westminster Gravy Train to illustrate how well these Socialists are doing these days; military equipment and WMD’s, private health care, security firms and so on. Murphy is hoisted by his own petard (sic). WE ‘sweaty Jocks’ will not be fooled again.


vision murphy

* The Friends of Israel links he maintains is a giveaway. Murphy is ultra-right wing despite claiming not to be. Seems to me he is a perfect match for the HJS.


article-0-004699DB00000258-646_233x423Charles David Powell, Baron Powell of Bayswater Policy advisor to Prime Ministers

* The continued referencing to Scottish labour is irrational nonsense. The is no such thing. Merely a branch of UK labour which channels London orders north and harvests Scottish stooges to pack out the Labour benches. We might as well send inflatable dummies to be deployed as required. The real thing is costly in every sense.

* “Last week, the HJS, a registered charity in England, withdrew funding from two Commons groups for MPs on domestic and international security rather than disclose its own sources of income.” Why does a group such as this have charitable status in the first place? If this group will not disclose their sources of income, then their charitable status should be removed [as should any body, society or institution who fail to supply details of where their “donations” come from].


SNN0309AN--_1613137aDenis McShane MP ( Jailed for fraudulently claiming expeses)

* Have a look at the Charity commission website where you will find copies of the last three years’ accounts. The latest reveal that it has a loan outstanding of £225,000 to Lord Harry Dalmeny, Deputy Lieutenant of Midlothian and the son of the Earl of Roseby, a Scottish nobleman. In the Guardian article you quote from there were details of the sources of income that appear to have escaped your notice. ” Much of the money has come from Tory donors such as the Atkin Charitable Foundation, a London-based charity founded by a British businessman turned philanthropist Edward Atkin.



It first financed the HJS in 2010 with a modest £5,000 grant, but subsequently the amounts increased considerably, totalling £375,000 between 2011 and 2013. The Stanley Kalms foundation, named after the Dixons boss, also gave the society £100,000 last year.” If you think the charity is not abiding by the Charity Commission rules you can report it. Finally, it is pretty clear that it is a Tory-dominated think tank which makes a change from the Labour- dominated charities in England. But I agree with you that tax reliefs should not support politically-aligned charities.

* There’s nothing altruistic or ‘progressive’ about the Henry Jackson Society, however it paints itself. It is a single agenda ‘mafia’ – darkly power peddling means to reactionary ends. A craftily cultivated neoliberal world under a controlling US neocon claw. Should suit US acolytes nicely. Like Mr. Blair and Mr. Murphy of that ilk; and Messrs Osborne and Cameron too, come to think of it.

ancram_1460161c Former  Tory MP Michael Ancram, (Marquess of Lothian).


The problem with the Henry Jackson Society goes far beyond Douglas Murray. The organisation is closely linked to the right-wing Eurosceptic faction of the Conservative Party. Another senior HJS staff-member of long standing, Raheem Kassam, recently left to become senior advisor to Nigel Farage and UKIP; while he was working for the HJS, Kassam edited the websites Commentator and Trending Central, where he focused on publishing anti-Muslim material, including articles sympathetic to Marine Le Pen’s National Front and Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom. HJS eminence grise and financial donor Lord Kalms was expelled from the Tory party some years ago after coming out in support of UKIP.



* HJS President Brendan Simms and Executive Director Alan Mendoza are calling for the UK to abandon Europe; they support the establishment of a European super-state from which the UK would be excluded, but to which it would be loosely linked via some form of association agreement, in the manner of Morocco or Egypt. HJS President Brendan Simms also recently described Scottish independence as a graver threat to Western security than either ISIS or Vladimir Putin. So Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy belongs to an organisation campaigning to take Britain out of Europe, and with pretty extreme views about the national aspirations of half of the Scottish electorate.




Uncaring Craig Miller – Labour Party Parliamentary Assistant to Dr Simpson – Hung His Nurse – Model Girlfriend Out to Dry



Nurse Suzanne Hunter



4 September 2014: – Better Together Team member Suzanne Hunter issued a statement through the, “No” campaign official blog

“As a nurse I understand the health issues that affect families across Scotland. I also understand that the higher level of public spending in Scotland gives us an advantage in getting to the root cause of these issues. After all, that public spending allows us to tackle the specific needs of Scotland with the allocation of that spending being decided by the Scottish Parliament.

Like every Scot, I’m incredibly proud of our NHS. Since 1999 the NHS has been under control of the Scottish Parliament. The decisions about how the public spending on Scottish hospitals is made in Scotland by people who understand the specific health concerns that affect us. The Scottish Parliament enjoys devolved powers over the NHS in Scotland – so it will be future Scottish Parliaments which decide the shape of our service.

Since devolution meant that all decisions over the health system in Scotland were made here in Scotland, we’ve made huge strides in improving the health of people in this country. We’ve seen a ban introduced on smoking in public places as well as the introduction of free personal care for our elderly. As part of the UK, Scotland’s yearly health spending is over £200 per person higher than it is in England.

So far so good but now the twaddle:

Yet under separation, impartial experts suggest that Scotland would face between £3 billion and £10 billion worth of cuts or tax rises. Even the NHS could not escape the inevitable cuts that would come from such an upheaval in our public finances.

I want to see that investment continue to tackle health inequalities in Scotland. I don’t want to see problems worsened by cuts to the budget to fund separation.

The NHS epitomises Scottish and British values in one institution. We care for our vulnerable and sick with no questions asked and no charged levied. These values would persist in a separate Scotland but our means to realise them might not.

Under devolution we can steer Scotland’s NHS in the direction we want it to go but backed up by the larger UK economy. As part of the UK, Scottish patients can get the best of both worlds: excellent treatment in this country’s hospitals while also having access to specialist treatment our families need across the UK.

Only separation puts this at risk. As a nurse I understand the health issues that affect families across Scotland. I also understand that the higher level of public spending in Scotland gives us an advantage in getting to the root cause of these issues.


Comment: Suzanne nailed her colours to the mast of, “Better Together” which was entirely proper since whilst identiying herself as a nurse she was not in uniform and had every right to express her opinion since it was entirely apolitical.

The referendum over and done with Suzanne got off the fence and openly declared her allegiance, (when off-duty) to the labour Party.

This took her into the political world and her activities required careful handling on the part of her political masters so as to ensure her new public profile did not place her at risk of contravening any of the many rules of conduct to which her employment and profession bind her.

They failed in many respects and when Suzanne was exposed, ducked and dived and dodged and weaved, seeking to wrap their failures in a cloak of anonymity.

When this strategy failed they released the dogs of war against the person that displayed excellent integrity at the time he shared the information with his blog readers.





25 February 2015: The undeniable

Below to the left is part of a Scottish Labour election leaflet that’s currently being put through Scottish letterboxes, featuring an alleged quote from an alleged NHS Scotland nurse identified as “Suzanne” from Clackmannanshire. On the right is the “CastingNow” profile of an actress named only as “Suzanne” from Clackmannanshire, who describes herself saying: “I’m very good at making people believe things which aren’t true hence why I’ve always been told to pursue acting.”








Let us examine the leaflets:

While they have very similarly-shaped faces and features, we have no idea whether the two Suzannes are the same person or if it’s just a strange and potentially amusing coincidence. But the point is, there’s no way of finding out. Labour Suzanne doesn’t talk much like a normal person. She talks, curiously enough, exactly like a political party leaflet.

She appears in her NHS uniform, something that numerous NHS employees have told us is not permitted for real nurses because it would link NHS Scotland itself to a party-political campaign. (We haven’t yet been able to find out for sure if such actions are banned, partly because NHS Scotland weirdly doesn’t seem to have a website, but it’d be unusual for any public-sector employee to be allowed to promote a party while in uniform.

But while not specifically prohibiting politics, the Scottish NHS dress code does stipulate that staff should in general not wear their uniform off-duty.)

Neither of our two Suzannes has a surname, making them difficult to verify, although Labour’s ostensibly shows her face so it can’t be in order to protect her identity.

Nowhere on the leaflet does it suggest that the photo has been posed by an actress. And we know that the law permits political parties to lie freely in election literature.

So it would be perfectly possible for Scottish Labour to have put an actress in an NHS uniform, invented a completely fake quote for her to say, and put it on a leaflet to create the impression that NHS staff backed Labour, all without ever admitting that not a single word of it was actually true.

We haven’t a clue whether that’s the case here or not. But we suspect we’re not alone in being disturbed by the fact that if it was we’d have no way of knowing. Alone among advertisers, political parties can invent fake people out of thin air, create opinions for them, and pass them off as being absolutely real without any fear of detection. (Unless they make a completely incompetent arse of it, of course.)

It’s an odd way to run a democracy. We can only hope that if Labour ever finds itself in a position to implement Jim Murphy’s “1000 more nurses than however many the SNP say” pledge, none of them will be imaginary.

But Suzanne  is a close personal friend of Craig Miller who works for Dr Richard Simpson MSP, Shadow public health Minister for the Labour Party.




The nurse and the model are one and the same, she temps for the Sonia Scott Model Agency.


Suzanne h

The views she expresses in the numerous leaflets, now in circulation might well be heartfelt but she was unprofessional expressing them through Labour Party leaflet campaigns whilst wearing the full uniform of an NHS nurse a clear breach of protocol.




Further evidence she his both persons is contained in two posts to her friend Aaron Harper, from Auchie:



Aaron Harper



Post 1: Love for u… I’m still nursing, wouldn’t give that up, have a mortgage 2 pay haha. I’m only modelling in my spare time, have a few jobs lined up. Just fancy doing something 2 make me feel good about myself and the extra cash will be nice 2 ha. Wot u doing with urself now a days? U still living in Sauchie? x




Post 2: The story?! Come on Aaron, u know the story, start 2 finish. Haha Wasn’t satisfied with treating heart attacks, wanted 2 be the cause of them 2 haha. Wot u been up 2? Any half naked pics u want 2 show me??? xxx




25 February 2015: Thrown to the wolves

Before we start, let’s make this plain: we will NOT be submitting any sort of complaint to any healthcare body regarding what we’re about to discuss, and we ask readers not to either. When push comes to shove, we don’t want nurses losing their jobs. Once again, we reiterate: we will not be submitting any complaints and we urge readers not to either. But contrary to Unionist and media assertion, this site does NOT control every angry cybernat in Scotland.

These leaflets have been put through untold thousands of doors and disseminated widely online. The information is already out there and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. We just wish Scottish Labour felt the same way. Earlier today we ran a piece exploring a theme we’ve covered several times on Wings – the unique freedom of political parties to lie with impunity. By way of example we showed a Scottish Labour election leaflet depicting an NHS nurse, who we suggested might been posed by an actress, for several reasons outlined in the article.






The broad point having been made, we were happy to leave it at that. But this afternoon Scottish Labour’s shadow health minister, Dr Richard Simpson, posted the above tweet, angrily insisting that the woman in the leaflet WAS a real Scottish NHS nurse. A number of alert readers tracked her down on several “Better Together” leaflets, and it became apparent that her full name was Suzanne Duncan. Ms Duncan was an active participant in the No campaign. She even appeared in her own blog on the “Better Together” website, talking about the NHS and how it was devolved to Scotland.

This clear understanding of the principles of devolution makes it slightly odd that Suzanne is also to be seen on an election leaflet, saying that she’ll be voting for Scottish Labour in a WESTMINSTER election “because they’re the only party who can get rid of the Tories and pull our NHS back from the brink”.

She also appeared in a BT leaflet alongside the claim that a No vote would “secure the future of the NHS” – though we should note that those words aren’t attributed to her directly – and in several others from the No camp.





But all this is by the by. Suzanne Duncan is perfectly entitled to believe and campaign for whatever political ends she likes, no matter how confused. She is, after all, hardly alone in Labour when it comes to telling Scots that the NHS was totally safe as long as Scotland stayed in the Union, then suddenly deciding that, having won that No vote, it was in deadly peril after all.

Hurray! Scotland voted No! The NHS is safe, right? Oh. But as we say, that’s all fine. Lying, as we established in this morning’s piece, is something political parties are allowed to do.




But for NHS employees to campaign for political parties in identifiable NHS uniforms, not so much. That, we presume, is why all the “Better Together” material featuring Nurse Duncan was very careful to cover up the NHS Scotland logo on her tunic.

Scottish Labour, however, aren’t that competent or conscientious. None of which would have mattered if Richard Simpson had been able to keep his mouth shut. Anyone who saw our article would have come away thinking she was probably an actress and leaving it at that. But by compounding Labour’s ineptitude in leaving the logo on the leaflet, by insisting on shouting all over the internet that in fact she’s a real nurse, Simpson (and his equally brainless parliamentary assistant Craig Miller) have dropped poor Suzanne Duncan right in it.





Once again, we reiterate: we will not be submitting any complaints and we urge readers not to either. But contrary to Unionist and media assertion, this site does NOT control every angry cybernat in Scotland. These leaflets have been put through untold thousands of doors and disseminated widely online. The information is already out there and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. paras 59-61


We hope – sincerely – that nobody is bitter and poisoned enough to act maliciously. But if they do, the responsibility for it will lie squarely with the hate-blinded, tribal idiots of Scottish Labour, and with Dr Richard Simpson.

When your crazed loathing of the SNP has driven you so demented you start risking the livelihoods of young Scottish nurses, perhaps it’s time you stopped and had a long hard look at yourself in a mirror.


25 February 2015: The Daily Record attacks: Wings Over Scotland website fuels hatred and paranoia

The vicious underbelly to the independence campaign was on display again in an unwarranted attack on an NHS nurse who happens to have appeared on a Labour leaflet. Suzanne Hunter is the latest victim of a campaign being waged on behalf of Scottish nationalism from Somerset, 300 miles away. She is not a Labour Party member or activist, just a decent woman who cares passionately about the NHS.




The Wings Over Scotland website seized on Suzanne’s photograph and published it next to the casting profile of an actress, hinting that they may be the same person. The two women do not look like each other in any way, but the mere suggestion of being duped was enough to trigger a torrent of vile abuse against an innocent woman from unthinking cybernats. This brand of politics isn’t unique to Scotland, though it has no parallel in the rest of the UK. It has echoes of far-right US Republicanism that seeks to undermine anyone with an opposite view by inciting online mobs, hatred and vilification.


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This is a world of conspiracy theories, hatred and paranoia. This is a brand of nationalism that seeks to peddle falsehoods and unfounded allegations against anyone who isn’t a believer. It is nasty, sewage politics that debases public life. And yet the Wings Over Scotland is cited as an authoritative source by some leading SNP figures who really should know better. Newspapers are quite properly accountable – in public – for any mistakes they make. Indeed, we carry such a correction on our website’s home page today.

Those who peddle insults from cyberspace aren’t bound by the same standards of accuracy and responsibility. Yet they are, for better or worse, associated with a nationalist movement that will inevitably be judged by the company it keeps. With friends like these, no nationalist needs to make up enemies.


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Comment: The content of the Daily Record article is poorly presented and contains many errors of fact:

“she is not a Labour Party member or activist, just a decent woman who cares passionately about the NHS.”

Almost entirely incorrect, the only part which has a ring of truth is her decency and passion for the NHS. She is actively involved providing support to the labour Party and their general election campaign, witnessed by her active participation, posing for political leaflets and allowing added comment critical of her employers, to be attributed to herself.

“The Wings Over Scotland website seized on Suzanne’s photograph and published it next to the casting profile of an actress, hinting that they may be the same person. The two women do not look like each other in any way, but the mere suggestion of being duped was enough to trigger a torrent of vile abuse against an innocent woman from unthinking cybernats”




Factually incorrect. Comment about her photograph and the casting profile of an actress does not hint that they are one and the same person. It categorically states that they are the same person, which is indeed the truth. Suzanne moonlights from her position as a nurse and works for the, “Sonia Scott Agency”.

“Newspapers are quite properly accountable – in public – for any mistakes they make. Indeed, we carry such a correction on our website’s home page today.”

I fully expect another, “correction” will be forthcoming in view of the foregoing untruths.



26 February 2015: The comical furore about The Nurse Who Definitely Isn’t An Actress shows no signs of making sense any time soon.

24 hours and several demented pages of hysterical tabloid shrieking later, we’re still not sure whether a No activist and Labour supporter from Clackmannanshire is called Suzanne Duncan (as “Better Together” called her until at least June last year) or “Suzanne Hunter” (as the Daily Record calls her), though a bit of Facebook detective work suggests the latter. We do at least seem to have cleared up her employment history, as the Daily Record has now very quietly and subtly changed its article of last night, which claimed she’d worked for eight years at a hospital that’s only been open for five. But a whole bundle of other questions remain unanswered.

The most immediately intriguing is “Who’s been Photoshopping her uniform?” Below are three pictures of Suzanne. The one on the left is from a “Better Together” leaflet from last year, the middle one is from a Labour “vote No” leaflet just before the referendum, and the one on the right is from Labour’s NHS leaflet of this week.





We say “three pictures”, but in fact they’re clearly all the same one. You can tell by the crease lines on her tunic, the position of her watch clip and, well, everything else. But there’s one significant difference. Where “Better Together” appear to have airbrushed out the NHS Scotland logo, presumably to stop the nurse getting in trouble for politicising her job in contravention of the rules for public-sector employees, Scottish Labour haven’t bothered. (At first, judging by a poorer-quality scan, we suspected that they might have crudely Photoshopped the logo ON, but the one above from a high-resolution original looks like the real version.)

Nurses are entitled to hold any political views they like, and to campaign for them in their spare time like anyone else, but they’re not supposed to do so in uniform. By carelessly failing to edit out the logo, and by then ensuring that the offending picture was blared all across the internet and the print media, Scottish Labour and the Daily Record have used her and then abandoned her up a creek without a paddle. But we pointed all that out yesterday, along with the reason.

The Record gives around three times as much space to its screaming, fuming editorial about a website suggesting a political party might have used an actress on a leaflet as it does to “correcting”, in a tiny box under the weather and the lottery numbers, the fact that it told Scots a TWENTY BILLION POUND lie on its front page just a few months ago, and inquisitive readers might wonder why.





There isn’t even the pretence of a fauxpology, or an explanation of how a senior political journalist could have so spectacularly misinterpreted the Smith Commission as to imagine that the UK government was going to hand Scotland an annual £20bn bonanza of free extra cash in the midst of savage austerity. While the Record explodes with fabricated rage across a full-page story and a lead editorial about someone saying they didn’t know if two people were the same or not – risking a nurse’s livelihood as they do so – they bury in a corner the fact that they told a gigantic front-page lie about a sum of money that would cover the entire yearly budget of NHS Scotland twice over, and they don’t even say sorry.

The Record bleats that sites like this one “aren’t bound by the same standards of accuracy and responsibility” that newspapers are. But we said absolutely nothing about Suzanne Duncan/Hunter that was inaccurate, and we didn’t insult or abuse her in any way. Unlike the Record and Scottish Labour, we didn’t put her job on the line. We have nothing to apologise for. The Daily Record, meanwhile, very much does, but it doesn’t seem to want to, and the toothless press watchdog is happy to let it off with a microscopic weasel-worded “correction” no bigger than the NHS Scotland logo that Scottish Labour forgot to airbrush off a nurse’s uniform.

And the reason for the massive smokescreen might be that the Record’s lie about the Smith Commission is still present on its website. On this page, at the time of writing, you can still see the paragraph claiming a 50% boost to the Holyrood budget which was deleted from the original story after we alerted IPSO, and which the Record admits isn’t true.


Also there is the equally-false line about “billions of pounds of extra tax and spending” which can still be found on the “corrected” original page – which this morning carries no notification whatsoever of the correction, despite IPSO saying that it would. So to recap: the Record’s original page still carries a major lie, another page on its website features that lie as well as an even bigger one that the paper claimed to have removed, and there are no links on either of them to the pitiful “correction”. Readers of the paper’s website will still come away with the completely wrong impression that the Smith Commission proposals would mean billions of pounds more for Scotland.

We’re not even going to get into the wider morality of being lectured on ethics by the newspaper group responsible for mass-scale phone hacking or the commonplace intimidation of innocent members of the public. But we promise the Daily Record that it can monster us as much as it likes. We’re going to keep right on watching it, along with the rest of the Scottish press, and every time it lies to the people of Scotland we’ll be there to tell them about it.



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26 February 2015: the-nurse-who-wasnt-an-actress/

Suzanne Hunter States: “I have been made out to be a hypocrite, like someone who represents myself to be something I’m not.” Probably just another coincidence, we imagine.



27 February 2015: Ranting cybernats who posted hate messages about young NHS nurse are slapped down by First Minister

The First Minister today slapped down cybernats who tried to get a young nurse hauled over the coals for appearing on a Labour political leaflet. Nicola Sturgeon said Suzanne Hunter was entitled to express her own views on the NHS – despite trolls on the Wings Over Scotland website demanding she be disciplined by hospital bosses. The furore broke after site’s founder Stuart Campbell posted a photo of Suzanne, 28, alongside an actress, who looked nothing like her, and suggested they could be the same person.




The false comparison sparked a host of bullying comments and vicious accusations that Suzanne, an NHS hospital nurse for the last eight years, was a fraud. Speaking through her official spokesman, Sturgeon condemned the bullies and distanced herself from Campbell.

The spokesman said of Suzanne: “It’s entirely acceptable for her to have a political view.” He went on: “The First Minister has repeatedly, unequivocally condemned abuse of any kind whoever the victim, whoever the perpetrator. You cannot be more categoric than than. “She condemns it. Full stop.”

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Comment: I read over many comments posted to the blog article. A very small minority, from many hundreds of posts may have voiced contrary views but they were speedily asked to moderate their opinions by others in compliance with the wishes of the blog owner so as not to upscale matters. I take issue with the comment of the Daily Record, “The false comparison sparked a host of bullying comments and vicious accusations that Suzanne, an NHS hospital nurse for the last eight years, was a fraud”.


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At no time did anyone accuse Suzanne of being a fraud. Quite the reverse. All those who participated expressed the view that Suzanne had been badly let down by her Labour Party masters who should not have compromised her nursing career, posting party political brochures nationwide with her featuring prominently dressed in her Nursing uniform whilst participating in political activities in contravention of the NHS dress code and professional standards of behaviour which expressly forbid it.




NHS Nurse and part time actress Suzanne Hunter


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?