Happy GERSmas day

The annual GERS figures are due out on Wednesday 21 August, but I am off to Dundee to speak at a Roadshow event for The National.  I published a version of this blog post last year, but since we’re going to go through the exact same thing this year as we did the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that, I thought there was no reason not to publish it again – albeit with some minor revisions. It’s not like anything will have changed, the exact same arguments will be trotted out, the same graphs flourished on social media with a Cringing glee.  GERS day is the groundhog day of Scottish politics.

It’s GERS Day, Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland, the Scottish version of Groundhog Day. It’s the day when a certain anti-independence blogger goes around on social media showing off his graphs. It’s the day when the BBC misleads the public by telling us that the Scottish Government has a deficit of £13.4 billion, when in fact much of the deficit that we’re told we have is due to spending decisions made on Scotland’s behalf by a Westminster government which resolutely keeps a vice like grip on most of the levers of taxation and allocates us a share of spending on stuff we don’t want, which borrows and allocates us a share of its debt.

It’s GERS day, the day when a series of British nationalist politicians pop up in the media to gloat about how poor they’ve made Scotland, like that was a good thing.  The GERS figures don’t provide a crystal ball about the likely performance of the Scottish economy after independence, they’re really crystal meth for British nationalists.

It’s GERS day. It’s the day when the rest of us should declare a national public holiday and bugger off to a beach in Largs, in the rain. Cos poking out your eyeballs with a rusty knitting needle while sitting on pebbles in the cold and the wet as the tide comes up the Firth of Clyde and threatens to drown you is infinitely more productive than arguing on social media about the GERS figures with opponents of independence who think that the figures are Holy Writ and questioning them makes you a heretic.

It’s GERS day, when the UK Government’s spending in Scotland and spending which is (supposedly) for Scotland are conflated together to produce a humungous deficit.  Scotland is given the bill for expenditure which we’re told is spent on Scotland’s behalf outwith Scotland, but is credited with none of the revenues or economic activity which that spending generates.  This accounting trick inflates Scottish expenditure at the expense of decreasing Scottish revenues.  It’s one of the reasons why the political economist Professor Richard Murphy said that GERS is “not a meaningful account [of Scotland’s true financial position], but is just a political stunt.”

So the next time some opponent of independence claims that an independent Scotland would have the largest deficit of any European nation, remind them that no independent nation spends a large proportion of its annual budget outside its own territory and doesn’t generate any tax revenues from it, nor benefits from the economic activity which that spending creates.  That is precisely what the GERS figures claim for Scotland within the UK.

Wee point here, the GERS figures are not science. You can’t equate questioning them with questioning climate change. They are estimates of economic activity which are based upon the financial policies of the British government. It has been well documented that they are decidedly political in their conception. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12432586.Gers_was_conceived_as_a_political_exercise/ Unlike science. GERS was designed by Ian Lang when he was the Conservative Scottish Secretary of State back in 1992 as a political tool to be used against those arguing for greater Scottish self-government, a role they have continued to fulfil ever since.  Lang wanted a tool he could use to “undermine the other parties”, who were then arguing for a Scottish Parliament which the Tories opposed.  According to Ian, the GERS figures were “an initiative which could score against all of them.”

So instead, in this blog post, I’ll just leave you with a few wee things to ponder. Like this quote from the British nationalists’ favourite Scottish economic think tank, that one that sounds like a knitwear college in Pitlochry and a leading provider of rusty knitting needles. Yes, it’s the Fraser of Allander Institute. Here’s what they had to say about GERS.

If the very purpose of independence is to take different choices about the type of economy and society that we live in, then a set of accounts based upon the world today will tell us little about the long-term finances of an independent Scotland.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/fraser-of-allander-what-the-gers-report-tells-us-about-independence-1-4787843

Here’s some other proper economists, Jim and Margaret Cuthbert, who also cautioned against using the GERS figures to make predictions or claims about the economic performance of an independent Scotland as is so beloved of our media and anti-independence commentariat. They say,

The temptation … is for users to take the results of this type of analysis [ie GERS] and then to generalise the implications, either through time, or to different possible constitutional arrangements. Such a generalisation however, should not be attempted without examining how robust the results are likely to be in the face of changing circumstances. In particular, how robust are the conclusions of GERS likely to be in the face of major constitutional change.

It seems to us that the results of a GERS type analysis are highly conditional on specific constitutional arrangement, and are therefore unlikely to be generalisable in the face of constitutional change.

https://pure.strath.ac.uk/portal/files/41840524/FEC_24_1_1998_CuthbertJCuthbertM.pdf

Here’s the key fact to bear in mind about GERS. At best, flawed and political as they are, they give some indication about where Scotland’s economy is starting from. They tell us nothing at all about where the economy of an independent Scotland can go.

What the GERS figures do reflect is the mess that successive British governments have created of Scotland’s finances. At best, the GERS report tells us where we’re starting from as a part of the UK. If that starting point is poor, that’s not an argument against independence. Instead it’s an argument that we need to get out of the mess.

You could ask some of your favourite anti-independence campaigners what their plan for getting out of the mess is. Where’s their Growth Plan report, where’s their equivalent of the How to Start a New Country book. You’ll be waiting for a long time for a reply, because the only thing that they have to say is that independence is baaaaad. All they can suggest is that Scotland continues to be reliant on the kindness and generosity of Conservative governments which we haven’t voted for, which is rather like expecting the eunuchs in the court of the Chinese Emperor to start a sperm bank.

Then there’s the peculiar fact that Scotland, according to the GERS figures, has a notional deficit of £13.4 billion annually, whereas according to the most recent equivalent figures for Wales and Northern Ireland that I can find, Wales has an annual deficit of £14.7 billion (source https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/15bn-tax-deficit-heart-wales-11131738 ), while Northern Ireland has an annual deficit of £9.85 billion. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-40014685 This page gives the figure per head of population, which can be multiplied by the 1.811 million population of Northern Ireland to give the total annual deficit.)

This means that the three of the four parts of the UK which aren’t England are collectively responsible for £37.95 billion of a UK annual deficit which according to the Office for National Statistics is £46.9 billion. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland together contain a population of 10.3 million, as compared to the UK population of 66.5 million. England on the other hand, with a population of 56.2 million, is apparently responsible for the rest of the deficit, a mere £8.95 billion. Which means that according to the published figures, 15.5% of the UK population is supposedly responsible for 80.9% of the deficit.

There are only two possible explanations for this, either the economic and financial decisions of successive UK governments have over the decades reduced the Celtic parts of the UK to penury. As far as Scotland is concerned they have left us reliant on handouts and subsidies despite the massive economic potential that Scotland possesses. This is not an argument making the case for the good government of the UK, and for the life of me I will never understand why opponents of independence believe it to be their best argument against Scottish independence. Stay with us Scotland! We’ve screwed you up and pauperised you! It’s not a great slogan. Or alternatively the figures are not giving us an accurate picture of what’s really happening. You decide.

Neither I nor your average anti-independence blogger are actually economists, but only one of us pretends to be one. So finally, I’ll just leave you with the words of a proper economist, someone who does actually know about these things.

Many thanks to Phantom Power for the video.

And finally, here’s a wee carol for GERSmas day:

It was a GERSmas morning, and all through the land
the scare stories were tickling the naysayers’ glands.
Doom and gloom was published by the papers out there,
to get the wee Scots and Nicola into a scare.
The britnats were nestled all snug in their twitter,
while visions of penury made them all titter.
And yer maw in her Facebook, and Yes Scotland tap,
had just debunked and dismantled all the newspapers’ crap,
When on the Twitters there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my laptop to see what was the matter.
Away to the screen I hurriedly sped,
I launched the app and opened the thread.
The blue light shone with an ungodly sheen
and lit up the text that appeared on my screen.
Then what to my rolling eyes did appear,
but a graph and a bankrupt GERS deficit sneer,
and a Scotland secretary so crabbit and thick,
I knew in a moment he’d sold his soul tae Auld Nick.
More rapid than vultures the cringers they came,
and GERS whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Ruthie! now, Richard! now Wullie and Rosser!
On Beeb! on Herald! on Hootsmon! ya tossers!
To the top of the newsfeed! to each Facebook scrawl!
Now cringe away! cringe away! cringe away all!”
Pursed lips that believe the wild Daily Mail cries,
they can only see obstacles, they won’t even try;
So off to the redtops the naysayers they flew
Nae toys for you Scotland, or that Nicola too—
And then, predictably, I heard on the telly
The Proud Scot whose spine has turned into jelly.
He talked Scotland down, going straight to his work,
and trashed any hope; then turned with a smirk,
and laying his finger aside of his nose,
said you’re poorer than Greece, everyone knows.
He brandished a think tank, gave a Tory dog whistle,
another year’s work of crushing the thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight—
“Rotten GERSmas to all, cos if it’s Scottish it’s shite!”


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51 comments on “Happy GERSmas day

  1. You give me all your pay. I give some of it back & spend the rest. Then I get you to pay my mortgage and credit card. I add my interest to your account. Then we start all over. Your bill rises each time and I scoff and say you’re broke – you’re really dim.
    And I’m right. #GERS…….

    Derek Bateman sums up GERS very well

  2. Alan says:

    Unfortunately, the SNP used GERS prior to indyref when the figures were favourable to Scotland and it has hamstrung them ever since.

  3. douglasclark says:

    I have a dream. In that reality Scotland becomes an independent nation. In 2020 it finally puts the cap on UK imperialism. She walks free. The books balance and we become a net exporter of clean energy. It becomes a hurdle to meet an ethical standard to be allowed to invest in Scotland. The standard includes treating your employees decently, not fucking up the ecology, being positive about people rather than shareholders, accepting that there is no such thing as a corporation and that it is people that are responsible for decisions.

    And so on and so forth.

    You get the agenda, or you hate it.

    Which is it to be?

  4. Grafter says:

    GERS……Yet more Westminster fraud, devious obfuscation and financial trickery all stamped and approved by the Great British Establishment. A stick with which to beat up Scotland and ridicule her drive towards independence. Let them spread their poison through the corrupt MSM. Let them try to lie and cheat us with their bogus facts and figures but in the end their shit will not stick because we are stronger than they are.

  5. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    In the news headlines summary of Good Morning Scotland, GERS was presented as ‘this shows what Scotland’s financial position would be in the early years of independence’.

    No bias there!!!!

    • The lass presenting 90 seconds of ‘News where you are’ had a broad cheery grin as she ran through this mornin ‘s litany of terrible news to remind us all that Scotland is a dark bad decaying country presumably under the editorial orders of its Calvinist CEO.
      We’re doomed.
      Nothing good happened in Scotland yesterday, or any other day for that matter.

      Todays Scotland is Shite 90 seconds:-

      GERS nonsense of course for 20 seconds. Really in-depth stuff on Scotland’s economy under colonisation.
      Opponents say’ that Independent Scotland would have to cut public services and raise taxes’.
      And that’s it for GERS.

      Then a murder.

      Then Scottish Farmers ‘warning’ that suppressed beef prices as Irish beef stockpiled because of Brexit is forcing prices down, and, clever wee edit here to divert blame from the UK Government, ‘The Scottish Government (by implication to blame for Brexit) is pledging to support farmers, blah de blah.

      Then for a finale, Scottish Small Businesses announce that 9 businesses a month are closing.

      And that’s it.
      Donalda MacKinnon’s Scotland.

      And it will be peeing down with rain.

      Then a wee advert for Stephen Jardine’s 3 hours of phone in (yes, 3 effin’ hours) on BBC Radio Jordanhill.

      Topics? Should online users be forced bylaw to ID themselves? (Like me?) and what pastimes from childhood will adults admit to playing now that they are grown ups?

      And….no, I’ve forgotten the rest.

      We live in a failing miserable idiocracy if we are to rely on BBC Scottish output as a reference point.

      Still, the lass signed off with a cheery grin and a hope that we would all have a good day.

      This early morning nonsense usually hints at the agenda for the 6:30 evening Distorting Scotland bulletin.
      GERS and small businesses failing it is then.

      Is this the quality we can expect from hundreds of BBC PQ staff and tens of millions of my hard earned?
      You betcha.
      BBC says ‘Scotland is Shite’.

      Back into my self imposed purdah now.

  6. Macart says:

    No, I don’t pay it much attention either at this point (shrugs).

  7. Robert Graham says:

    A question to all the intelligent folk here , has the GERS pantomime ever shown a surplus , has the Scottish budget ever been in the Black , just asking because if the way you operate continually shows you are operating at a loss , you might want to change your business model , I know Countries operate in a different way to businesses but the same old same old is getting a bit lame now .

    • 2p3rf3ct says:

      Hi, Phd in mathematics – applied. Senior lecturer in Computing and Maths, now working as an analyst in the City (for my sins).

      GERs is a joke – its like a bad presentation by an intern, we laugh at it.

      It is predicated on the Macro control of the UK determining how Scotland works, when it can only work inside that control. It is full of ‘holes’ – estimates – and simply shows UK incompetence.

      As for ‘in the black’ … no, there is no ‘Scottish Budget’ – its never been done that way in the UK formally … for obvious reasons.

      I could go on, but I have.

    • weegingerdug says:

      GERS is designed to show a deficit.

      • wm says:

        GERS is only one of the many things designed to frighten the Scottish people, and to “prove” that we are to wee and stupid to be independent, sure it has worked for 300 years.

  8. Welsh Sion says:

    I fear that this (quite naturally for a Scottish blog) will be swamped by GERS, today.

    No matter. I think it important to get it out there to share with our Scottish friends and co-anti-Westminster colleagues.

    “YesCymru going from strength to strength as support for independence grows”

    https://nation.cymru/opinion/yescymru-going-from-strength-to-strength-as-support-for-independence-grows/

  9. Luigi says:

    Oh Dear. The disparity in Scotland’s dept in relation to the entire uk (50 percent?!!!) indicates that this was a rushed job. The British establishment is clearly panicking big time, and these government-sanctioned, “expert” analyses are beginning to look ever so ridiculous. Still, with Brexit looming and UK politics in absolute turmoil, not to forget indy support rising, it was obvious that Westminster were going to up the ante and over-egg the pudding, as they always do.

    People believe what they want to believe, and the GERS report will only provide temporary comfort to the British nationalists, and further antagonise the rest of us. Healing the nation? Brining everyone together again? Aye right! Nope, they wrote us off long time ago. This is all about shoring up their own (dwindling) support base.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Yep, just read the same, by this time next week GERS will have been so ridiculed by experts that it will be as welcome as the Sun in Liverpool…

    • Now I know why the New Grand Vizier of the Northern Colony Alister (B-lister) Jack’s contribution on BBC Northern Branch of the Ministry of Truth ‘froze’ and the cheery wee lass who had earlier in the day rattled off 90 seconds of the diurnal dirge, Scotland is Shite, apologised for ‘technical difficulties’ thus ending the risible GERS item completely.
      Apologies; I’ve been driven indoors by the deluge.

      • Anne Martin says:

        Aye, and the ‘technical difficulties’ covered up the reporter saying that the Wales deficit was worse than Scotland.

  10. JGedd says:

    I often think, when Gers comes round again, that the situation of Scotland in the UK is like the plot of a Victorian melodrama where a sly, grasping relative having lived way above his means, has discovered that he can dupe a trusting cousin with an inheritance, to come live in his household. Greedy relative can then fleece his poor victim of his inheritance while convincing the simple soul that he is actually a financial burden who would be incapable of managing on his own.

    I have to say that the audience for such a plot would a) be exasperated by the victim while hissing at the villain and b) think it a hackneyed and incredible plot-line anyway. No one could be so consistently and easily manipulated we might say. And there we have the problem. It is difficult to convince the No voters that as a population, they have been gulled and misled for so long. People would rather avoid the truth than recognise that they have been lied to.

    Also it is such a Big Lie and we all know what has been said about the psychology of people and the Big Lie. There are still people who believe that governments don’t lie to them. Then there are those who actually admire the grasping and cunning relative and have little empathy for the victimized. Not forgetting those who actually benefit from some of the spoils and join with the arch conspirator to keep the poor (but rich) relative in ignorance of the true situation. We all know who they are too.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Love the Victorian melodrama analogy, frighteningly apt…
      As to the Big Lie, Brexit is continuing proof it still works…

    • Bob Lamont says:

      It is all contrived theatre akin to “I am being serous and stop calling me Shirley”.
      The audience is not the Irish but the blue-rinses in Surrey who still believe Ireland was stolen from their parents, and middle England ignorant of it’s government’s horrific treatment of Ireland and it’s all the EU’s fault. For nincompoops by nincompoops…

    • Macart says:

      Oh, for the love of… 😮

      That’s a Q.E.D. moment if ever there was one. And it goes straight back to the point of Paul’s previous post.

      Good catch W.S.

      • The Tribe That Lost Its Head.
        I never tire of repeating that.
        Johnson envisages Empire 2 of course, so why not Ireland being the first to ‘reconcile’, plead for forgiveness, and sink into the welcoming embrace of Mother England?
        And they wonder why old codgers like me are outraged and can’t begin to consider them other than as enemies of the Scottish people.
        If this is what Cummings is even contemplating within the War Room at No 10, what chance Holyrood surviving November?

        Our NHS will be the first to be subsumed into their teetering soon to be US-Privatised Health Service.
        ‘And then they came for me’.

  11. Merkel, the ‘good cop’ has given Johnson 30 days to come up with ‘alternative arrangements’ to the backstop to ensure the integrity of the EU border between the Irish Former Southern Colony and Arlene Foster’s Dominionof Ulster.
    Johnson mumbled on about the alternatives already mooted, and rejected by the EU, which he feels weren’t pushed hard enough by May over the 3 fruitless years of the Davis Raab Barclay Exit negotiations.
    The EU will not blink.
    Tomorrow Macron will play ‘bad cop’ and reiterate the EU’s unblinking position.
    The backstop or the Guillotine.
    The smart money is on Le Chop.
    Get yer knitting out.

    I offer this ‘alternative arrangement’ for free.

    Goods crossing the border heading South should be packed in crates with the Butchers Apron painted on them, and sheep cattle and chickens dyed in red white and blue.
    Similarly livestock and goods from the South to the Dominion of Ulster can be painted Green White and Orange.
    No need to check anything at the border at all.
    Similarly people crossing the border will be required to wear Hi Vis vests in red white and blue or green white and orange.
    I don’t know what all the fuss is about.
    Trade and travel rely on trust, surely?

    Or, we are headed for No Deal and Bormageddon.

    And still the WM MP’s sun themselves on the Algarve for another fortnight.

  12. Legerwood says:

    GERS, voodoo economics and trickle down theory – the (un)holy trinity of economics.

  13. Welsh Sion says:

    Get yer knitting out.
    _____

    All hail, Jack collatin.

    Honorary Life President, Madame Defarge’s Knitting Circle (Scotland) Branch.

    Tumbrils primed, sir!

  14. Charles McGregor says:

    The 55% figure is completely mental.

    If we, for the sake of argument(I know), accept the figures they for just for the three Celtic nation’s deficits (and I am certain there are many regions of England in deficit as well) Scotland only accounts for 36% of that total.

    Have they lost their minds completely?

  15. Charles McGregor says:

    Again without typos, brainfarts.

    The 55% figure is completely mental.

    If we, for the sake of argument(I know), accept the figures they give just for the three Celtic nation’s deficits (and I am certain there are many regions of England in deficit as well) Scotland only accounts for 36% of that total.

    Have they lost their minds completely?

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Indeed, the presumption is that they had minds to lose rather a career supported by financiers whom they are compelled to obey, add Cummings and the bizarre can be made truth through repetition… Richard Murphy’s graph in @Macart’s posting underscores the driver of this, deficit propaganda…
      But the compliant role of the media is startling when the clear fiction that this is goes unremarked.. A hobbyhorse of mine is the Beeb website and the Scottish political section in particular. For instance :
      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-49413345
      The ready army of anti-Indy/SNP/SG drowning the comments section with disdain and sarcasm within minutes of publication is too well orchestrated/scripted, and boosting approvals of the negative posts convey a Scottish majority entirely out of kilter with the cross-section of the Scottish political leanings of the electorate.
      Conversely, silence on it in BBC Welsh politics, despite widespread derision of the data on social media (60% deficit asserted due to Wales) is spreading like wildfire and increasing the ridicule…
      In trying so hard to press the “too wee too poor” buttons, the propaganda and it’s messengers have gone over the edge and are creating an ever angrier electorate…

      • Good old Ministry of Truth at Pacific Quay.

        By the wonders of i Player, I note that on BBC N West version of the 90 seconds of BBC Breakfast ‘Distorting North West’ this very morning, ‘The News Where They Are’, they featured Crewe Station discussing the notion that Boris Johnson is considering scrapping HS2 which despite Danny Alexander’s assertion when he was in the Coalition as Treasury Secretary where he sacked 500,000 public servants that the total cost of HS2 would be a paltry £47 billion, including contingencies, the costs have spiralled to £54 billion and counting, with £7.5 billion already spent.

        You may recall that the Blue Red and Beige Brit Nat Tories cut £32 billion from UCS, Disability, Pensions, and Government Departments, and cut 20,000 Police Officers in England and cut LA funding in England by 40%, and gave the Filthy Rich a 5% tax cut, and Willie Rennie boasted that austerity was a success with the deficit cut, despite 120,000 UK citizens dying according to a UN Report, because of the ‘difficult decisions’ (attr. Ed Balls) that Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie, and Kezia Dugdale backed as True Blue Better Together Brits.

        Scotland has to pay 8% of HS2, which stops at Liverpool and Leeds, London’s new sewers, the SE Crossrail, and Heathrow’s third runway, and the HQ’s for the Navy Army and Air Force, and the HMG Government Departments, and the wages 100,000 SE based civil Servants, and on and on.

        GERS is a farce, and I am at a loss to know why the SNP Government perpetuate the myth that this load of old ‘bollocks’ if I may coin Swinson’s team’s language, can be used as any serious measure of Scotland’s current economic status, or as an indicator to Independent Scotland’s future economic position.

        England is in flames NOW, never mind when the absolute and criminal disaster that awaits After the Deluge of Brexit in November.
        Their NHS, their education system, their police force are in ruins due to Blue and Beige Tory cuts over the past 9 years.

        Local Authorities Down There are putting up homeless families in Office Blocks and freight containers.
        Teachers are feeding hungry pupils from their own pockets.
        Yet there is no GERS equivalent for Merrie England?

        BBC Pacific Quay produces this farcical summary of Shite Scotland and opens up their BTL to the mad Yoons to spout their usual arrogant lies and bitter hateful anti Scottish bile.

        They are getting maniacally desperate now.
        Scotland’s share, 8% (-ish) of the £7.5 billion wasted already works out at £937,500,000, so that trains (20 an hour apparently) can travel from Birmingham to London in 45 minutes.

        GERS is an insult to this country’s intelligence.
        Fuck You BBC Scotland.
        How can anyone with a vestige of principle work there?

        • Never calculate % in your head when you are ragin’.
          It’s only cost us £600,000,000, plus change so far.
          That’s a lot of Mental Health Wards Ruth ‘Buy My Book’ Davidson.
          What about money for kids’ mental health, Willie, self appointed champion of Scottish, sorry ‘British’ children.?
          Plus the hundreds of millions in trade which Aberdeen and Dundee are expected to lose to the ‘Northern Powerhouses’ when HS2 is up and running, or not, in ‘the North’ of course.
          That would be England’s ‘North’.

          • Dave tewart says:

            Don’t worry Jack.
            The herald this morning have suspended reality.
            Their leader today says that Scotland’s share of the debt is Six Times larger than the Whole debt.
            News for the herald, the TARDIS doesn’t exist, it’s only another made up story from the ebc.
            Back to school for the herald, how to fit Seven litres into a One Litre container, they’ve just said it’s possible.
            Your point is well made the englanders spend more money in defence in Scotland than a nation like israel, they need to spent it with their position on their neighbours.

            • At lunchtime out on my old jalopy out of the corner of my ear I heard John Beattie, Rugby Hero, British Lion, and mainstay of BBC Radio Jordanhill, mutter in defence of how GERS is concocted that, as a ex accountant ‘all figures are ‘estimates”.
              What a desperate remark to make to attempt to justify the farce that is GERS.
              I’m trying to imagine this man doing a company’s books.
              John ‘Roughly’ Beattie?

            • I fear that you could fit a settee, two armchairs, and a coffee machine inside the head of any Cut and Pastry Brit Nat Hack; there’s all that vacant space.
              They must know that many hundreds of them are just one ‘Nicola Sturgeon under pressure to..’ strap away from the Big E.
              I marvel that they are still in business at all..who are buying the Brit Nat Dead Tree Scrolls these days?
              The Loyal Sons of Gerrard and the Fenian Boys?
              Meanwhile in Paris…..

  16. Tol says:

    How is everyone in Scotland not laughing so hard they wet themselves?

    Seriously, this years were a whole new level of hilarious. I want to see a news cross to NS where she and her team are just doubled over in laughter…nothing more needs to be said.

  17. Luigi says:

    RE: Richard Murphy’s graph – fantastic. Definitely a keeper – spread it far and wide. How I Iove it when the British Bias Culture is demonstrated graphically. Either that or its one heck of a coincidence. 🙂

  18. Petra says:

    Scot, Dorothy Byrne, Channel 4 boss says that it’s time for the media to call out politicians for lying. We’ll all, no doubt agree with that, however who’ll call out the media for lying? GERS being a good example. One of MANY.

    Another case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-49432821

    • She waited until the twilight of her career to ‘speak out’.
      What about her colleagues who lie for the Establishment on a daily basis?
      Who shaves the barber?
      All the shock horror headlines this week about Lord Mountbatten and his ‘lust for boys’.
      As if the MSM didn’t know..aye, richt.
      This is how Saville got away with it for decades.
      WE all knew….

      • Bob Lamont says:

        ‘She waited until the twilight of her career to “speak out”‘ is what I find most abhorrent as it implies honesty here no longer exists unless career or politically convenient. Her pension is secured so now she can be honest? Really?

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