Another day at the office

A guest post by Samuel Miller

Look, I know some readers may want to hear some hugely technical and in-depth feedback on yesterday’s budget, but that’s not really going to happen m’kay? Seein’ as how I am to budgets, what Shrek is to ballet, I reckon its best to leave that one to the experts. However, I can sum up the proceedings in short order and NO, you don’t need a master’s degree in economics to follow what happened.

The SNP government did what they pretty much said they were going to do in their manifesto with the higher rate, which was…wait for it… nothing.

“We will not implement the tax cut proposed by the Tories through the increase in the Higher Rate threshold. Instead, we will freeze the Higher Rate threshold in real terms in 2017/18 and increase it by a maximum of inflation until 2021/22. We will set out the exact level of the Higher Rate threshold each year in the budget process.” SNP 2016 Manifesto

Freezing a tax IS NOT hiking a tax. That of course hasn’t stopped the Conservative party from trying to sell it as such, but then this is a party not terribly well-known for its honesty at best of times. Oh, and sections of oor meeja haven’t covered themselves in glory on that point either.

Ruth Davidson apparently had the mother and father of all car crash FMQs with an embarrassment factor which may have reached all the way up to toe curling (ooft!). Finally, this from Reform Scotland who put it far more succinctly and with less swerry wurds than I would:

The Scotland Act 2012 devolved 10p of income tax across all bands to the Scottish Parliament (the Scottish Rate of Income Tax). This comes into effect from 2016/17. The proposed Scotland Bill 2015/16 will devolve the rest of income tax to Scotland, in addition to Air Passenger Duty and Aggregates Levy (we have not included any assigned revenue from VAT as control over the tax has not been devolved).

However, despite this, the Scottish Parliament will control less than 30% of all tax income raised in Scotland.

More importantly, 71% of all tax revenue raised by the Scottish Parliament will come from a single source – Income Tax.

Reform Scotland believes that with tax income so overly reliant on a single tax, it is likely to be impossible to introduce coherent tax reform that would encourage economic growth. It is a blunt tool, and therefore further devolution is required.’

In short, why would the Scottish Government fall into the ridiculous tax bear trap laid out by a Tory government in the Scotland Bill settlement? Why would a Scottish Government pass on the effects of austerity ideology and the Brexit galactostooshie brought about by the actions of successive UK governments, unless and until it had absolutely no other options to hand? Why should the Scottish electorate constantly pay for the screw ups of central government and why oh why should the devolved government in Holyrood constantly have to mitigate and offset? Because Ruth and Kezia say so? Is that it?

So much for the current Conservative and Labour meme of ‘no more excuses’. I’d like to know what Ruth and Kezia’s excuse is for constantly demanding that their own electorate pay for their head office’s lemming like predilection for clown footed political and economic idiocy? Would make for an interesting read. ‘Most powerful devolved parliament in the world’…..(mutters)

Moving on…

It’s always what’s not reported well by the press which may have the biggest impact isn’t it? Take the other day for example. It turns out that Scotland’s former First Minister, Alicsammin (TM), had a short meeting with one Jean-Claude Junker, President of the European Commission. That would be the commission which has just been put in charge of Brexit talks I believe. This of course, was prior to a function where Mr Salmond received the inaugural Mauritis Coppieters award for services to Scotland in Europe. In fact, as far as I know, only one title saw fit to make the event front page news.

A direct quote from Mr Junker: “Scotland has earned the right to be heard and listened to”

Now bearing in mind both the EU’s stance on pre negotiation over Brexit and the UK government’s stance on Scotland, devolution, Brexit consultation and pretty much everything else? I’m sure the reader can reach their own conclusions on what that may mean. It’s also worth noting that on the world stage, words by ‘serious’ senior political figures are chosen very, very carefully indeed.

The award ceremony speech didn’t miss an’ hit the wa’ either and if the reader has a moment to spare, it’s perhaps worth listening to what Mr Salmond had to say:


Remember those heady days when some folks guffawed at the very idea of Scottish Government visitations to the various EU bodies post Brexit vote? Aye, they thought that meeting officials on varying panels and committees was quite the laugh. I mean it’s not as if they were heads of state or anything, right? In fact, remember those now far off indyref days where policy wonks and meeja metro types queued up to spin anything and everything uttered by an EU official into an indy bad article? AND NOW?

Near deafening silence.

Perhaps, just perhaps, those efforts by the current Scottish Government on our behalf weren’t wasted after all?

0 thoughts on “Another day at the office

  1. What happened is that Labour genuinely thought the SNP would cut taxes for the wealthy and pay for it with cuts to services. The tories genuinely thought the SNP would fall for the tax trap and raise it by hammering the “cough – cough” squeezed middle and use it for useless things like schools. The SNP chose to do neither. The also cut council funding but took away responsibility for those duties that funding covered. They also left the raising of council tax down to the councils.

    What happened next is that the UK parties in holyrood along with the entire scottish msm decided to quite literally ram their heads up each others backsides and spout an absolute & biblical amount of shite.

    There is literally no bottom to the well of contempt I hold them in.

  2. Doing a grand job holding the fort there Sam.

    I’m not surprised in the slightest about the MSM reaction to the budget. Same old, same old.

    What is much more interesting is the statement from Jean-Claude Junker. This is much more important than even the Guy Verhofstadt’s “‘No big obstacle’ to independent Scotland joining EU” statement.

    For Junker to come out with such a statement makes me think that Scotland and the SNP are going to get backing from the EU to have another referendum. Consider for a minute what that might mean. It would make it extremely difficult for Westminster to make any attempt to block a referendum or to dispute the outcome of that referendum. It could also open the way to have the OSCE (I think that’s the correct body) or an Election observation missions (EUEOMs) to oversee the referendum to prevent any british state meddling with the votes. That would make life very difficult for the british establishment.

    We live in interesting times. Ho, ho, ho! 🙂

    • Heh, as I alluded to above, the serious senior politicians don’t throw statements like that around without some consideration being put into it beforehand. 🙂

    • Unionist meddling with votes is a distinct possibility, but equally worrying is the potential for conspiracy theories to emerge after a Yes vote, egged on by HMG and others in the London political bubble.

      • Unionist meddling with votes is not a distinct possibility, it is an absolute certainty. This is not a game, this is a war and Westminster do not intend to lose.

        We must ensure that the voting process is totally robust.

  3. Pingback: Another day at the office | speymouth

    • Referendum 2, on one side, Scotland, EU, Ireland,etc . Other side ,Westminster , 99% of MSM, Trump,Royals etc etc, the propaganda , the warnings, threats, scaremongering , as Dr smith from Lost in Space would say ” oh the pain ,the pain the pain. I say , ” Fool us once etc.” Sturgeon will play a long game and will strike when her iron is extremely Hot and will burn through lies and deceit and Racism .

      ( sorry for my rant, I,m just an angry Scot”

  4. @ John57: Let’s leave Trump off your list, and wait and see what he is made of as president. Yes, I know, bullying to get his own way over golf courses etc. However Trump is a busy man right now yet takes time to call Nicola Sturgeon of wee Scotland. A glimmer of hope maybe.

    • Ok Gavin, Trump is off the list just now , but he may have to go back on the naughty list , especially if he panders to the forthcoming Unionist pressure.

      ps ( calmed down and sedate )

  5. Hey, you’re on fire today Sam!

    That the MSM, print and box as well as Westminster and the usual unionist politicians, have gone full frontal Tonto against anything Scottish, SNP, YES, down to our poor wee schools! is testament to how feart they are. Even brexit is occasionally forgotten!!

    I’ve also noticed an increase in those from far flung places being downright nasty too..I mean, what is that all about?

    I’m not even going to talk tax, ‘coz aaaarrrggghhh… 🙂

  6. Andrew Neil threw everything negative he could think of at Derek Mackay. The calm informed response from Derek Mackay was a joy to behold.

  7. They laughed when the Scottish Government went to Brussels while they rushed round the capitals speaking to individual member state Governments. The UK Government does not understand that the treaty is with the EU as a set of institutions.

    Westminster works on FTP Winner takes all. Crushing the opposition is the goal. Compromise equates to failure. Consensus is an anathema.

    That is totally the opposite of the EU and Brussels which thrives on consensus. Compromise is naturally part of how that consensus is achieved. Scotland’s government does understand this basic reality and at least in part that is because Holyrood is based on the idea of coalitions (even if it was not intended that SNP should ever be the lead party).

  8. Can we contrast the reception the FM and other Scottish politicians have had in preliminary contacts with the EU with the reception the PM got when she went to Brussels. She came off worse than even David Cameron when he was ignored by Sarkozy. I have never seen a politician shown their place in the the scheme of things more effectively than May. If someone is able to put the newsclip on Utube it would be great.

  9. Westminster britnats are trying out its arrogance and ignorance on the EU, in the same way they do to Scotland. Same result.

  10. The aside made by Alicsammin™ at the beginning of his speech was, presumably, not a spontaneous ad-lib. However, much as one would like to think that the aside was the portent of good omens, if the notoriously leaky European Commission is developing policy in Scotland’s interests, then I think we would have heard about it by now, though I am more than happy to be disproved. It would probably be a waste of time and energy sifting the runes to find greater meaning within the aside and, anyway, we have Nicla™’s proposals for a full Scottish Brexit to ruminate over and digest next week. Whatever the proposals contain, the expected response from the meeja will be an outbreak of full-on SNPBadness.

    But, hey, lighten up. Ruth Davidson was a joy to behold; the pantomime dame sticking to a script which looked increasingly like it was written for a different show. Keiza Dugdale said, um, what, no, something forgetful. Derek MacKay very calmly deflated BrillO’Neil. Eilidh Whiteford’s private member’s bill passed despite some Tory idiot being tempted to filibuster it.

    So, all in all, not a bad week. So, to celebrate, why not put some Scottish Parliament Sauce on your chips?

  11. watched the AS acceptance speech and once again was impressed by the giant political stature of the man ….. he truly is a asset beyond worth to the Independence cause. It appears he is feted at the highest level in Europe and doors open when he knocks ….. Scotland could not ask for a better (Unofficial) Ambassador.

  12. Sam, you are a breath of fresh air in an otheriwise fetid arena. Many thanks to the Wee Ginger Dug for giving you the opportunity to hear you.

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