GERS groundhog day

undermining

It’s GERSmas day, when all across the land British nationalists wake up with glee to see just how poor Scotland is this year, and celebrate by exchanging pretty multicoloured graphs while they gloat about the deficit that they believe an independent Scotland would be lumbered with. The insist that their pretty graph based upon denying Scotland the financial freedom of action of an independent state proves that Scotland cannot be an independent state and then use it to continue to justify denying Scotland the ability to act as an independent state.

The annual GERS miseryfest is a textbook example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The pessimism and negativity of British nationalists reproduces itself by denying Scotland the ability to act, creating a passivity and dependency that they then use to justify their pessimism and negativity. It’s the perfect circle of negative perception. British nationalism in Scotland is not so much a political philosophy as an exercise in masochistic self-flagellation. There are night clubs for that sort of thing you know, we don’t need it in government. British nationalists in Scotland tell us that Scotland can’t be allowed to drive its own economy, because the British Government hasn’t yet finished driving it off a cliff.

The response to them is of course the same as it was last year, and the year before that, and the year before that … How come, if this so-called union is so wonderfully beneficial to Scotland, does every one of our independent neighbours manage to have a higher GDP, better public services, and a more equitable distribution of wealth? How come, if this so-called union has been so great for Scotland, has it reduced this country with its abundant resources, wealth of talent, and skilled and educated populace to penury? How come, if GERS is indeed an accurate reflection of Scotland’s financial position, can British nationalists continue to defend a UK which took a Scotland possessing all the ingredients necessary for a prosperous, stable, well-resourced nation, and turned it into a basket caset? Because if we accept the GERS figures at face value, all that they prove is an economic incompetence on the part of the British state which some might call criminal.

Trying to relate the GERS figures to the economy of an independent Scotland isn’t even like trying to compare apples with oranges, it’s like comparing apples with a photograph of Michael Gove not looking smug. One is a foodstuff, the other is an inedible piece of uselessness that makes you nauseous. Although admittedly a photo of Michael Gove not looking smug would have incredible rarity value. That’s because such a thing doesn’t actually exist in this universe, exactly like the bearing that the GERS figures have on the economic case for Scottish independence.

There is a common misconception that GERS stands for Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland. It doesn’t. It stands for Government Expenditure and Revenue: Scotland, without a preposition. That seemingly insignificant point is in fact very important, because the GERS figures are made up of two components. There’s government spending which is spent inside Scotland, and then there is government spending which takes place outwith Scotland but which is assigned to Scotland by the British state.

The published GERS figures don’t make it immediately obvious just how much public spending is carried out by the British government outside Scotland but which is then assigned to Scotland. That is deliberate. However a considerable chunk of the expenditure assigned to Scotland isn’t actually spent in Scotland.

So to use the example that I trotted out last year, and the year before, and the year before, the GERS figures allocate approximately £3.3 billion of UK defence expenditure to Scotland. This is based upon Scotland’s population share of the UK, so the total UK defence expenditure is divided by Scotland’s share of the UK population and the resultant figure is assigned to Scotland as Scottish expenditure. The rationale for this is that defence expenditure benefits the UK as a whole, irrespective of where in the UK it is actually spent. A Royal Navy vessel based in Portsmouth is theoretically defending Scotland too, even if it takes it two days to get the Moray Firth when a Russian navy ship is sighted there.

However it is universally agreed that the amount spent within Scotland on defence does not come close to approaching the figure assigned to Scotland in the GERS figures. Most estimates put defence expenditure within Scotland at around £1.7 billion – which includes the spending on the nukes in Faslane which an independent Scotland would have no interest in continuing. Much of the remainder is spent in the south of England where the UK has concentrated the MoD offices and its military bases. No independent country in the world spends almost half of its defence expenditure in someone else’s country, especially not a small country like Scotland which has no punching above its weight and pretending that it’s still a global player even though its glory days are long gone. The UK is the Norma Desmond of global military power.

The defence expenditure which is allocated to Scotland but spent outside Scotland isn’t dead money. It goes to pay people’s wages. Those employees need housing, they go shopping, they buy things. It is spent on goods and services which support the defence installations. This in turn creates other economic activity in the form of the ancilliary jobs which are supported and the goods and services that these require. All of this economic activity then generates revenues for the government in the form of taxation. But despite this revenue being supported by expenditure which is assigned to Scotland, none of the revenue is credited to Scotland. It is credited to the part of the UK where the notionally Scottish expenditure takes place.

Even that part of the expenditure which does take place within Scotland does not necessarily work in Scotland’s economic interests. The vast defence expenditure lavished on Faslane generates very few jobs compared to the amount of money which is actually spent. Much of that spending in fact ends up going south of the border to specialist companies and suppliers in England, so even though it notionally takes place in Scotland, it doesn’t stay in Scotland for long.

By way of comparison, Ireland spends approximately £900 million annually on its defence expenditure. The UK state spends money on things that Scotland doesn’t want, spends it in ways that don’t benefit Scotland, and spends it outside Scotland. Then it sends Scotland the bill and tells us we’re too poor. That’s how the GERS figures work. It’s how they were meant to work.

This is your annual reminder that the GERS figures were first established in 1992 in the context of the debate on devolution by the Conservative Scottish Secretary of State Ian Lang.  Lang wanted them as a political tool to be used against those who were arguing for greater self-government for Scotland. Almost thirty years later they’re still being used for the same purpose.


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114 thoughts on “GERS groundhog day

  1. Has anyone made a realistic estimate of how much an Indy Scotland would likely spend on defence and the other main headings covered in the GERS figures?

  2. To Nicola’s surprise, it was Ribald Leotard who introduced the sadly-familiar strains of the GERS waltz to Parliament today, and not Baroness Boughtup. And got well slapped as BoJo toady of the day for his trouble.

  3. Pingback: GERS groundhog day | speymouth

  4. A desperate and dreadful lie told to undermine the calls for a devolved parliament in Scotland. A plan to create the illusion that Scotland was a subsidy junky. Now being pushed to prevent independence. It would seem that unionists don’t like the idea that Scots pay their way in the UK and have helped define it and not just a passive consumer of charity.

    Why?

    Because deep down, even Scottish unionists don’t trust the Scots to “want to be British” – A unionists “British” identity is a fragile thing indeed. I put to you that there is a strong case to be made that their is no such thing as British Identity at all.

  5. It’s liberating to note that 25 of the 26 GERS figures are guesstimates, and that these false accounts wouldn’t be relevant, not that their relevant now, in an independent Scotland.

    I’m confident that most people who follow Scottish independence online now know that GERS figures are nothing more than British nationalist propaganda.

    • Republicofscotland, That’s all very well but(theres that but again) most people don’t follow independence to that degree. In my experience discussing this topic sees peoples eyes glaze over as they do not understand the figures. They therefore swallow the lies as it says they are Government produced by OUR Government so they must be True!!!!! Other than me, in my social circle, no-one bothers to read them.
      Westminster has stitched us up AGAIN!!!

      • Really looking forward to that exchange I have to confess Paul, he’s one of the few champions of Scotland’s financial credentials who despite all the flak continues to rise above the noise with sound financial logic…

        • … as does Gordon McIntyre Kemp of @BizforScotland, who, with his team is doing a brilliant job in producing “Scotland the Brief” book and booklet, explaining clearly Scotland’s true wealth in clear detail, with proof all referenced. Same with the GERS nonsense.

      • Hi Paul,
        Any chance you could get Graeme McCormick on to explain his proposal for a Land and Roof TAX which incorporates a basic income for all citizens?

    • Comments are well worth reading, they’re not alone in wondering why the SG defends these figures, though today Kate Forbes was quick to say that today’s GERS figures are a good reason for Scotland being independent.
      Scotland responsible for 60 % of the UK deficit, come on SNP get a grip.

      • Well, Nicola wasn’t “defending it” in Parliament today. She was crystal clear about exactly what GERS represents and what it doesn’t.

        • Thanks, if you have a link would be great. I posted a link up thread under your comment, its limited to dealing with furlough, was it part of the exchange between her RL.

          • Thanks for that Grizebard. Covers independence, independence, independence, what Westminster controls, GERS and then she goes on to totally decimate Leonard on the child poverty issue also. No wonder so many people are doing their damndest to get rid of her. She must rank as being one of the best leaders in the world, in fact probably the best taking account of the fact that she’s leading a non-Independent country, bound and shackled at every turn and totally surrounded by enemies.

          • Didn’t she do well, first class. Thanks for posting the link. Dire performances from the opposition.

  6. Oh surely this can’t be true,
    According to BBC Scotlands website the figures are described as

    ” Free of All political Interference ”

    The Laughter can be heard from outside the BBC headquarters where they are having their annual piss up and having great fun about the gullible Jocks actually believing this Pish every year, That is the Top Story according to the BBC

  7. Sounds like the Seven Years War and French and Indian War debts put upon the colonies.
    We all know how that played out.
    I’m sure the costs of trying to block independence and vacation allowances are included, although I’m always confused about where royalty fits in, but then again, who isn’t?

  8. This is the same Ian Land who advised Mrs Thatcher that Scotland must not be allowed to find out how much revenue came from oil because it they knew (the Scots) they would be demanding their fair share or even worse Independence

    He even wrote it down in a letter that was kept secret within the UK government, a bit like they keep everything they do a secret until we find out 30 years later when the population demographic has changed and becomes less of a concern to the Tories or Labour because the young of today tend not to vote on the issues of yesterday, especially if they don’t know about those issues as they pertain to today

    Take oil for one example, the UK government spent and spent and spent again the vast amounts of money that came pouring in from the black stuff, now they say yeah we know we did that but that was then and it’s all gone now (which is still as big a lie now as it was then) and you can’t use it anyway because we all want to be happy clappy greenies so good luck getting young people energised over that successful con we got away with, so ha ha ha

    The next UK con is always right around the corner, with Independence we stop the the bloody vampires

  9. You would think by now the Scottish Government would have their /our guesstimate out there right now showing how Scotland has subsidised England for over three hundred years.
    Surely to goodness they could at least try and get some figures out there.

  10. I doubt even Norway with it’s vast oil wealth could afford to support Westminster’s profligacy.
    Using these voodoo calculations,no doubt they would be showing a deficit as well and have nothing to show for it.

  11. One other thing from FM questions today was a question from Oor Willie about foreign students.
    Willie wanted to know what the SG was doing about enforcing quarantine on students arriving (presumably in Fife,St.Andrews) from countries with hot spots of Corona virus.
    Did he mean England?
    Doubt it.

  12. Kate Forbes today – “the UK controls 40% of the spending and 70% of the taxation referred to in the GERS figures”- but the Britnats say it is all about Scotland. A good chunk of the 40% of the spending benefits England (mainly the South east and London).

    Only an independent country that controls 100% of its spending and revenue raising can honestly say it has a deficit or surplus. The only deficit Scotland has is a democratic deficit.

    So so sick of this annual joke called GERS – propaganda and lies – 100%. Now that I have an SNP MP again I will be writing again asking why we have to put up with this offensive GERS crap. DOES IT NEED TO BE DESIGNATED AS A HATE CRIME against the people of Scotland before the SNP will do something.

      • Potter, what do you suggest then should be done after 28 years of this nonsense.

        The SNP have been in Government for a good chunk of the 28 years. It is batant anti independence propaganda.

      • Petra, I had already read the post by WGD. I agree with the first sentence. I disagree with the second sentence.

        1. The GERS is full of estimates.

        2. The SNP without having to do their own version of GERS could attach their own notes “clarifying some facts re the information” to the current UK GERS report that would put the nonsense £15 billion deficit claim in the correct perspective. The correct perspective being that it is UK propaganda.

  13. Most Scots are wise to the GERs arguments now.
    As you point out Paul the figures only emphasize the incompetence of Westminster. Better figures are GDP / Capita, The UKs place in the UN wellbeing index when compared with Denmark, Ireland etc. The problem the Yoons now have is the 2014 economic arguments no longer hold. The pound … trashed. The UK economy….trashed. Increasingly the demographics that really matter ie under 65s want to live in a ” Denmark / Ireland / Norway ” country, not a ” Brexit / Trumpian ” one and they see beyond the currency/economic argument. As an aside Davidson’s silence on GERs was telling today. She knows that argument is a busted flush. Maybe keeping schtum as it was reported again today that the UK economy ( and consequently an economically neutered Scotland ) will deliver the worst recession post Covid of all G7 nations

  14. the economic argument will be the unionists last line of defence in the coming struggle. as such, this gers report will be to the forefront.

    a very thorough item by item dismantling report needs to be done.

    the dug cast text with Richard Murphy should be publish here as well Paul

  15. Neatly done. 🙂

    For the average British Nationalist policy gonk and supporter in general? (We know you like to have a wee read now and again) It may be of benefit to skip straight to a summary.

    If Scotland is at all poor, defenceless, under valued and under represented… It’s mainly ALL on you.

    Kinda weary at this point of the diplomatic approach. 😎

  16. The BBCs website says the GERS figures are ” free of political interference ” – Scotland really really is like North Korea.

    As WGD points out in his article GERS was created as a poltical propaganda tool by the Tories in 1992.

  17. ALL Government spending in England and abroad is deemed of benefit to Scotland. Our population share of our taxes is used to pay for things which we do not need and would not need to be payed after independence.

  18. The SNP needs to produce a firm economic case to counter coming British nationalist rhetoric on a central bank, or the lack of it, a currency, hopefully not Sterling, as that gives the British nationalists a shooting gallery to say no you can’t use the pound, as they successfully did in 2014.

    We need some straight answers on these two topics, and not some outdated backslapping Growth Commission report slightly tweaked by Benny Higgins and Co to make it seem new and refreshing for 2021.

    All of the British nationalists scaremongering can be shot down in flames, but the above two topics must be solid on going into an independence referendum before the day arrives, or they will focus on it.

    There’s nothing an independent Scotland cannot achieve that England has, apart from a seat on the UNSC (permanent member) but we must have our economic ducks in a row first.

    • The more detail that the SNP/SG gives, the more opportunity it offers to the BritNat opposition to nitpick it to death, heavily enabled as it will be by the economic doomster squad at the BBC. They just love to distract the world with floods of this dismal “science”. And it will be so whatever position is taken, whether with currency or anything else.

      Don’t let us get dragged into another sterile economic dogfight down in the gutter where the opposition is right at home with all the advantages, and no amount of fine detail ever satisfies.

      It’s time that we collectively woke up to their dirty game: it’s another example of the latest wheeze, when you are on a shoogly peg, generate a mental fog by producing a large amount of superficially plausible but spurious “information”, supported by a welter of (secretly-funded) so-called “think tanks”, all of which intentionally leaves everyone confused and uncertain, paradoxically calling for “more information” when what they are really seeking is reassurance and a trustworthy offer of a clear way forward.

      Instead of adding fuel to their fire, what we need to do is present some very simple propositions, and couple them with a simple injunction that, if every country in the whole world can manage to manage themselves, it is patently absurd to try to claim that Scotland, with its great abundance of natural resources, couldn’t do exactly the same. Blast away the fog with a self-evident fundamental truth.

      Oh, and why is this stingy Tory UKGov so desperately keen to keep us when it keeps claiming that we’re a heavy burden…?

      • We simply need answers to those two questions before the independence referendum, Scots are a canny bunch when it comes to economics, if they think via British nationalist propaganda that they’ll be out of pocket if they vote yes, then they won’t do it.

        The best way to counter that argument is to have a clear and concise plan not just to thwart the British nationalists but to allay any doubts among the voters as well.

        I’m all for a floating a new Scots currency that will nip in the bud any Allistair Darling, and other British nationalist propaganda that you can’t use Sterling, though sleekit Darling later after defeat, said we could use Sterling.

        • RepublicofScotland ….you said “ Scots are a canny bunch when it comes to economics,“

          That is exactly what my English and American friends often say , are you English ? Or from USA by any chance ?

          In my experience it’s not an expression I ever hear a Scottish person use

          • What a stupid question, oh look your names Terence, sounds a bit English to me, to answer your question no I’m Scottish.

    • That data will no doubt be in the Independence Prospectus being sent out to every household in Scotland RoS and then there’s a million copies of the Wee Blue Book to be distributed. That should be enlightening.

  19. I think we all know the Gers figures are a Tory creation. What I’m not so sure about is why year on year the SNP give credibility to them by justifying our economic performance comparatively?

    Is it because most of Scotland’s senior civil servants are from rUK or is it because the current SNP leadership are complicit?

  20. The problem with devolution is that Scotland doesn’t get to choose what is devolved.
    England chooses.
    Then , once they’ve retained the areas they want to control they issue little detail about how england spends scotlands money on those retained areas.
    Scotland is left in the dark.
    It’s not just defence where expenditure is allocated to Scotland even though the money was not spent by or in Scotland that happens in other areas too.

    The plan is to keep control
    Whoever controls the money controls it all
    And it’s England’s Westminster that controls Scotland’s money

  21. GERS is just a trick by England’s Westminster most people in Scotland know that now.

    Ruth Davidson going to the House of Lords is just another trick by England’s Westminster
    Ruth Davidson won’t be going to the House of Lords
    She is of no use to them whatsoever unless
    Scotland decides it wants England’s Westminster to continue controlling Scotland

    Only if Scotland decides against Scottish independence will Ruth Davidson go to the House of Lords
    she will then be flaunted as an example of the gifts you can receive if you betray your own country and support England’s control

    A vote for Scottish independence will see Ruth Davidson disappear into obscurity a forgotten sad figure of ridicule
    The House of Lords in London will shrink, all those Scottish lords will be retired no longer needed and England won’t continue to pay their cost

    Ruth Davidson is presented as a newly invigorated strengthened figure because of this House of Lords promise but it’s all fake just another method of trying to trick people in Scotland

  22. Great article from Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp. Well worth a read.

    ‘New GERS data fundamentally makes the case for Scottish independence.’

    …”Scotland possesses natural wealth unequalled by any other small northern European country, none of which have the supposed advantage of having their economies run by Westminster.”..

    …”Those nations have far lower levels of natural wealth than Scotland. Even Norway, which has produced almost the same amount of oil as Scotland, is not as naturally wealthy overall. Unlike Scotland, Norway does not have whisky exports of £25 per second, Scotland’s reputation for quality food and drink, and it is not the home of golf or of the world’s largest cultural festival that helps drive our tourism industry.”..

    http://www.businessforscotland.com/new-gers-data-fundamentally-makes-the-case-for-scottish-independence/

    ………………………..

    And the video embedded in the article. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG-66247-ic&feature=youtu.be&t=21

  23. The dumbest thing the UK government ever did was to announce the ascending Baroness’s new shiny rewardy position then put her in charge of the party she tried to sneak away from quietly because they were an embarrassment to her career objectives and obviously bad for Scotland so she had to hide …..again!
    Now she’s stuck right back in the place she desperately managed to extricate herself from except she’s at an even bigger disadvantage than before because Scotland doesn’t like the whole Lords and Ladies and Barons and Earls entitled spongers and Nicola Sturgeon will throw that in her face every chance she gets, and the public will relish the noble Baroness getting her backside kicked as regularly as the FM can find the time to

    So how does the Baroness intend to stop Independence this time round by showing folk she’s about to be joining the other spongers of the Bitter together House of Lords who screwed Scotland over the last time, even the moderates with little or no experience of politics aren’t going to buy that crud

    The Baroness can’t fake her cheeky chubbly wubbly cartoon character anymore

  24. The wee runt is still lying.

    ‘Douglas Ross: I’ll halt pro-indy surge with unrelenting war on SNP.’

    ..”“I’m on the side of the vast majority of people in Scotland, less than one in five think the SNP’s obsession with independence should be the priority.”..

    https://archive.vn/PDqkt#selection-59.0-59.66

    ………………………………….

    Another one.

    ‘Professor of German History says English taxpayers saved Scotland.’

    https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/08/26/professor-of-german-history-says-english-taxpayers-saved-scotland/

    • Oh jinkies!. 😀 Regardless. He’s way off the mark.

      If the SNP were to disappear from the world tomorrow it wouldn’t stop independence for Scotland’s population. He and his chums have been waging an unrelenting political and meeja war on the SNP for decades. How’s that worked out for them so far? I mean… Their version of plan ‘A’ hasn’t worked out well to date. There’s a clue in that little factoid for them.

      Firstly; that the SNP aren’t the YES movement
      Secondly; that you can’t wage war, kill, assault, batter, or otherwise abuse an idea/ideal

      Especially not one whose time has come.

      Might be worth a thought for the fella.

    • Yes, and just like the Tory poll tax, they tried it out on us first, back in 2014. Not BoZo either, but the “respectable” Cameron+Osborne, in cahoots with their enthusiastic Red Tory-Orange Tory enablers.

      And not a single one of the entire disreputable parcel of rogues has since “blown the gaff” and confessed to the gallimaufry of lies, let alone apologised for any of it.

  25. This wouldn’t surprise me. One after another pop up like a bl**dy Jack in the Box, decimates the UK, and in particular Scotland, and then just walks away.

    ‘Boris Johnson rumoured to be planning to step down after Brexit.’

    https://archive.fo/93pWx#selection-1235.0-1235.63

    ………………………………………..

    ‘On GERS Day it’s worth remembering that for 180 years the UK told India that it was running a deficit, whilst extracting an estimated £45Trillion. It’s doing the same to Scotland now.’ https://twitter.com/Zarkwan/status/1298549573489696768

    • Johnson was never supposed to actually lead and be a Prime Minister, he was only supposed to be the Brexit salesman then coast along until they chose the next guy but Corona virus came along and exposed him for the clot he is and now the mandarins behind the scenes have to remove him on some pretext or other like illness from Corona virus lingering over the poor wee soul and he’s gone a hero of the Union to be replaced by? Michael Gove? or some such other, there’s really no difference

      Now that the people of Scotland are demanding a referendum to get ourselves out of this mess it works out very handily for the Mandarin’s next move which will likely be another general election in an effort to bump Scotland’s democratic rights off the map once again

      This tactic won’t work this time round because it’s not the just the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon demanding democracy, the people of Scotland are behind her now in these demands

      • I can’t help but feel that the establishment know the ‘ games a bogey ‘. They’re busy filling their pockets openly from the public purse in what might be recorded in Tory history as the ‘ happy times ‘. A cabinet full of incompetents, non entities and charlatans have exposed the corruption at the heart of the British state, but I can’t help feeling that’s exactly what the establishment wanted. Specially selected British blame takers, pampered, protected and promoted to be offered up as scape goats while the real villains are laughing all the way to their tax havens.

  26. What a load of corrupt tory shit.  You guys need to get the F away from this Nazi government ASAP!! Great article also. Big Pat for wee Dug,  cheers mate Gordon..

  27. They can only use GERs because we accept it. The opening statement is ALWAYS the figures PRODUCED by the Scottish Government.
    Stop playing to their rules.

  28. I can’t see any opening statement that says “produced by the Scottish Government” though the required titles do say “Published by The Scottish Government, August 2020”.

    I don’t see anything significant in that. What I do see though in the actual opening statement which is the introduction and the second bullet point.

    GERS is a National Statistics publication. It is assessed by the independent UK Statistics Authority to ensure that it meets the Code of Practice for Statistics.

    Anyone who thinks that the Scottish Government is not trying to refute these figures need to do more research. They are doing the work and the evidence is all on the SCot.gov website. The problem is no one in the BBC or MSM actually talks about the rebuttals. Seems to be only us anoraks that do such things, for example, see the faqs on GERS on the website where there is an attempt to explain clearly but in simple terms what the figures in GERS mean and where they come from in a Q&A format. Such as.

    Q: Who produces GERS?

    A: GERS is produced by Scottish Government statisticians. It is designated as a National Statistics product, which means that it is produced independently of Scottish Ministers and has been assessed by the UK Statistics Authority as being produced in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics. This means the statistics have been found to meet user needs, to be methodologically sound, explained well and produced free of political interference.

    https://www.gov.scot/publications/about-government-expenditure-and-revenue-scotland/pages/faqs/

    Much more useful though is the documents that have been published alongside the GERS documents in the last 3 years describing the methodology behind the statistics used to compile GERS.

    This is where the Scottish Government makes it clear which numbers can rely on 100% because they have all the evidence for THEIR own income and expenditure. Then they tell you all about how all the other figures Scottish Government statisticians have to accept as being representative data that come from the UK Government but are very much a guess at best and generally useless.

    If you read anything at all from these links read some of this one.

    https://www.gov.scot/publications/gers-detailed-methodology-2019-20/

  29. Things that make you go hmmm.

    Why was the Queensferry bridge paid for out of the Scottish block? Is that not essential British infrastructure? Why was the bouncy-bouncy footbridge across the Thames deemed British expenditure?

    Apart from a spaceport in Scotland, and a nuclear power station in Wales, why does all other British expenditure (and Barnett invisible) happen within England’s borders?

    Does HS1, HS2&3 really reduce journey times within Scotland or Wales or NI?

    Why is there no revenue from oil and gas in the figures (last time I looked) allocated to Wales or NI… even on a per capita share?

    Why does UK expenditure from a different government current account become Barnett invisible, (London sewers)? Is it because the privatised water companies in London must pay dividends rather than invest in their businesses?

    Why no interconnection for electricity between the Western and Northern Isles and the Scottish mainland? Would that be because Westminster are doing it on purpose?

    Same old same old. GERS do not exist for the purpose of scrutiny. If they did, The Scottish government would be grilled as to why Scottish taxpayers are subsidising private water companies in London. Why they have failed to import green electricity surpluses to the mainland and so on.

  30. Those “regional” breakdown results from YouGov, Westminster voting intention polls continue to throw up odd findings.
    Field work 24th – 25th August, Scottish sub-sample.
    Con 23%, Lab 15%, SNP 53%, LibDem 4%, Brexit 2%, Green 3%, Plaid Cymru 1%.
    Yep, that 1% Plaid vote is back again.
    Also of note, in the London, Midlands & Wales (apologies, that’s how it appears) and North “regions”, 1% of respondents would vote SNP. Perhaps Gove and Galloway’s “indigenous Scots”, cunning plan would backfire if actually implemented.

  31. The Barnett Formula was introduced so Thatcher could take the oil revenues out of Scotland, It was kept secret under the Official Secrets Act. Thatcher used the Oil revenues to fund London S/E and cut the Scottish budget. Closing down every manufacturing facility in Scotland.

    Thatcher used the revenues to build Tilbury Docks and Canary Wharf. Putting the transport system through London causing more congestion. Thatcher deregulated banking and caused the banking crash. The bankers fund the Tory Party. Interest rates were 17% and the only place unemployment was under 10% was London S/E. In Scotland unemployment was 15% and in NI 20%. The Troubles caused by illegal Partition.

    There was violent social unrest and the Poll tax. The Tories had to get rid of Thatcher for closer ties with Europe to improve the UK economy. Deja Vu.

  32. Ot

    Event Scotland / Visit Scotland has just sent out to individuals and groups a link to respond to a survey about attending sports events.

    Started to fill it in until I realised it stated

    “U.K. sport, Inspire the Nation”.

    Sometimes we are own worst enemy.

  33. Westminster poor bad decisions have cost Scotland dear. £300million Oil revenues. Illegal wars and tax evasion.

    Scotland loses £20Billion a year on average. £3Billion in tax evasion, £4Billion paying repayment of loans not borrowed or spent in Scotland, £1Billion more on the Military, Scotland cannot borrow £6Billion to grow the Scottish economy. It would pay for itself. £Billions will be lost on Brexit. It has already cost more than all the contributions every made. The EU costs Scotland nothing and brings in CAP payments, shared reduced military costs. The nearest largest market.

    Illegal wars, tax evasion and financial fraud have wasted Scottish revenues. Scotland has to pay for HS2, Hinkley Point and Trident. A total waste of monies.

    Scotland has raised £3Billion more. £66Billion. Scotland gets back £30Billion+. £15Billion? In (UK) pension/welfare benefits. Pays £4Billion plus on military. £4Billion on loans not borrowed or spent in Scotland.

    Westminster is beyond useless. Devolution shows how much better Scottish Gov can govern.

    Scotland could raise the same as Norway £80Billion, without Westminster mismanagement in the unequal Union.

    • I have a book full of photographs from 1980 by the French photojournalist, Raymond Depardon. Titled “Glasgow, it shows our largest city as it was during an unprecedented oil boom.

      I believe the images are available online and are worth a look as an illustration of the reality of our so-called successful union.

  34. Scotland is self sufficient in food, fuel and energy. In surplus 25% in fuel and energy and nearer the source. Scotland pays 10% more because it is colder. Without parity. One of the best places in the world for renewables.

  35. O/T.

    But rather interesting I think.

    I was quite surprised to see on a visit to a Tesco’s shopping centre in Maryhill Glasgow recently a pillarbox outside a post office inside the shopping centre that has the EiiR royal cypher on it. I was also dismayed that my fellow Scots passing by the offending pillarbox either didn’t seem to notice or care about the British nationalists chicanary.

    There was no Queen Elizabeth Ist of the UK, in the past Scots raged against this type of imposed tyranny in the Pillarbox war. Of course all sorts of Union Jackery etc is now in full flow in Scotland.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pillar_Box_War#:~:text=The%20Pillar%20Box%20War%20refers,new%20British%20monarch%2C%20Elizabeth%20II.

    • Look at it another way.

      In an idle moment the other day, you’d have caught me watching daytime TV. (Yes, I know, I wouldn’t really be challenging ‘the little grey cells – or maybe that’s the point: daytime TV is a means of killing off brain cells, so that we don’t rise up against the so-called ruling classes. But I digress.)

      Anyhow, a programme came on involving the super-Royalists and how they do their bit by worshipping at the altar of all things Saxe-Coburg und Gotha. Now the presenter was someone called Joey Essex (I think he’s known as the intelligent one on The Only Way is Essex – devotees of TOWIE as it is otherwise known as can tell me more. His role was to play the straight man interviewer asking the questions of the various old biddies (invariably Royal superfans ARE ‘old biddies’) about their fascination with all things involving the Royals.

      Now, bear with me as I introduce one such superfans, who we shall call Daphne (I forget her real name – and apologies in advance to any Daphnes out there.). Daphne was pleased to let the cameras roam in her house (some urban semi-, otherwise nondescript, but somewhere in England) which was awash/flooded/festooned in both Royal paraphernalia and Union Jackery. There was barely anything – from mugs, bed covers, commemorative plates, dog leads that did not feature one or other of these things. And then we came to the settee cushions. By this time, you’d probably have not surprised that they featured the EIIR Royal Cypher. Then then followed the following discussion – all filmed on ‘national’, telly don’t forget:

      JE: Now what does this EIIR mean, Daphne?
      Daphne: Well, Joey. It means ‘Elizabeth the Second Reigns.’

      Cue an explosion of laughter from *my* sofa … followed quickly by a modicum of pity. (Yes, I am human enough to feel some pity, for some Union supporters.) How in the name of everything that is sacred, that a self-proclaimed superfan of the English/British Royal Family get something (seemingly so basic as this), so completely wrong? And to allow it to be filmed for the consumption of ‘the rest of the country’ – including Windsor sceptics like me? Couldn’t they have cut the exchange when editing? Did Daphne later realise that she was a complete wazzock? And Joey Essex – did not he think to save her blushes – or didn’t he know either? Were all the Production Team all complete prats as well?

      There you have it. prize Union supporters who extol the greatness of their system exemplified by Elizabeth of Windsor and her brood, and don’t know some of the most basic stuff about them.

      Cliche alert: “You couldn’t make it up!”

  36. I listened to the crap being spouted by Galloway and my immediate thought was just how much he sounded like Donald Trump. A despicable half wit. A pseudo socialist of the self serving Labour variety preaching violence.

    Egotistical scum is what he is. He will have no difficulty cooperating fully with fascist elements in the Brits together campaign – he is one of them.

  37. And right on cue, those paragons of truth, the Scottish MSM are proudly declaring how much new debt we have. Exultantly celebrating an additional 40 billion of debt. Isn’t it great being Scottish and shite? ask the defenders of Union. What would we do without the English paying us free money. Thats why its braw being in the Union. Free Money!

    That we couldn’t have acquired that amount of debt considering the strict rules governing Scotland’s fiances is pushed aside. They are just pushing our “poverty” and “basket case” economy as proof positive of why we can’t have independence. If true, then the Union has been a total disaster for Scotland. If true why would any Englishman in his right head keep paying us free money. The truth is they don’t. They never have. They never will.

    I am sick to the stomach of the Unions favourite holiday, which is GERS day. Or as I have seen it put elsewhere. “Scotland is shite” day.

  38. The only deficit Scotland has is a democratic deficit.

    Only an independent Scotland will provide democracy for the people of Scotland for the first time ever.

  39. I wonder if I went on Twitter like Tory MP Douglas Ross and threatened an unrelenting war against the Tories or any political party for that matter like he just did about the SNP that the Polis might not be coming round my house to investigate who I am and why I would write such a threat
    See if you’re a Tory MP you get to say stuff like that and not an eyebrow’s raised but if you’re me there’s every chance of being arrested, so Tory MP Douglas Ross is allowed to hate but I’m not

    Yesterday in the Holyrood chamber where they are supposed to have rules about name calling and certain kinds of inappropriate language Tory MSP Oliver Mundell hurled some abusive name calling in the direction of SNP MSP Fergus Ewing, there followed points of order and complaints from other MSPs about his behaviour but Labour MSP and Presiding Officer Ken MacIntosh ruled it as *borderline* so no action required then proceeded to make a complaint himself about language used at FMQs again over which he took no action, now if the Presiding officer himself is complaining about inappropriate language after the fact and taking no action he is obviously incapable of carrying out his duties

    Ken MacIntosh used for his defence the completely and totally unwritten rule of whataboutery to retrospectively compare the value of a complaint around improper language, in other words if you happen to be a Unionist you can say what you like and get away with it because because because

  40. Well skewered, Paul.

    Of course his has been going on for a long, long time, with generations of Scots being short changed by a grasping Westminster establishment.

    I printed off a number of copies of the Wings article, “The Historical Debt” for the benefit of waverers during the 2014 campaign.

    At a time when separate Scottish figures were available, they illustrate that as little as 17% of our revenues were returned to us. The highest being 49%. The rest spent by London, described as, “Contribution to Imperial Services”

    Talking of imperial services, I have asked friends, unconvinced by independence, why 5.4 million Scots are helping to pay for two aircraft carriers in a post-imperial age.

    It’s something to do with, “clout” apparently. When asked who they intend to clout, the answer goes along the lines of, “whoever we need to”. The “we” betrays a London-centric view of the world many Scots of my post-war generation can’t seem to shake.

    At primary school in the sixties the perceived orthodoxy was that India was a poor country. Our parents told us it was. A myth established and unquestionably accepted for generations, just like Scotland.

    It has recently been calculated that Britain syphoned $45 trillion from India during it’s occupation.

    As you have correctly pointed out in the past, Paul, there is great difference between poverty and impoverishment.

    Many thanks for continuing to brighten our days with your blogs and I look forward to the Dugcast with Richard Murphy.

  41. Trump was looking like he was going to get his arse tanned in the Election,

    So what does he do cause as much mayhem to prove how tough he is .

    Johnston looks like he’s going to get his arse tanned in the Election

    Yep fair warning Johnston mimics Trump , be prepared Jocks be very prepared

  42. I posted, I think on here, several links to articles written in 1840’s 50’s. The articles looked at Scotland’s financial contribution to the union in some detail, with various categories of spend in Scotland, very similar too the current GERS. Anyway long story short the author accepted that Scotland should pay a contribution to imperial services but felt that Scotland’s contribution was disproportionate in comparison to others and questioned the amount apportioned as spent in Scotland being actually spent.
    Sounds familiar doesn’t it.
    There was letter in I believe the Scottish Telegraph, written by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland asking, ‘where does Scotland’s money go ‘, this was in the 1950’s.
    John Happy, 1960’s pre oil boom, discovered to his amazement( he was a civil servant ), that Scotland was a net contributor. Even in the civil service the truth wasn’t known.
    3 days after the date the Act of Union came into force, Scotland at that time had no debt, 13 wagonloads of Scots dollar headed south from the Scots treasury, in its place we were given 25% of England’s debt.

    • Three short videos of John Jappy being interviewed by Independence Live in collaboration with Clan Destiny Films back in 2014.

      Hiding The Truth: “Examines how the truth about Scotland’s finances has been hidden since the sixties, and how the Scots have been unfairly portrayed as subsidy junkies.” (5.17)

      Politicians Quotes: “Exposes the inconsistencies in what prominent politicians have said on the prospect of Scottish independence.” (4.49)

      Scotland’s Oil: “Examines what happened to the billions of pounds of Scottish oil revenue.” (8.53)

      https://thehub.scot/blog/2018/10/18/john-jappy-video-archive/

      Useful info for passing on to others and well worth a watch.

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