John Swinney apologises to Scottish Parliament over Tartan Tax powers

John Swinney
John Swinney
The Scottish finance secretary John Swinney made an unreserved apology to the Scottish Parliament today in the row over the lapsed Tartan Tax powers – effectively saving his job from a concerted opposition effort to unseat him.

Mr Swinney told the Scottish Parliament he got it wrong when he decided to keep secret the fact that the so-called Tartan Tax tax-varying powers had been allowed to lapse.

Mr Swinney expressed his “regret” that he did not make the right decisions when he chose to keep the issue secret and “apologised” to the chamber for not informing MSPs of what he was going on.

Mr Swinney has come under intense pressure over a dispute his department has had with HMRC over the past three years. The dispute led to the Tartan Tax falling into abeyance because the Scottish Government refused to pay the sums necessary, both to keep an up-to-date database and also to pay for an improved IT system.

Opposition MSPs expressed their fury in parliament today – not with the decision to get into a dispute with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – but with Mr Swinney’s decision to keep the issue secret.

As a result of this decision, the Scottish Parliament was not told that the Tartan Tax powers had effectively lapsed and could not be used for several years to come.

In his opening speech in a hastily arranged debate on the issue, the finance secretary told MSPs that he had been involved in detailed discussions with HMRC over the money required to keep the tax power up to date.

Mr Swinney said: “I judged that to come to parliament while those discussions were underway would breach the confidentiality the Secretary of State, amongst others, had requested.

“Those judgements have been called into question. I made those judgements in good faith for the reasons I have set out but I express my regret to parliament that, in retrospect, I clearly did not get all of those judgements correct.”

And then, in his wind-up remarks, the finance secretary went further, adding that he had made “mistakes”.

“I apologise to parliament for making an error of judgement in not coming to parliament,” he said.

The opposition parties were due to unite later this afternoon to pass a motion condemning Mr Swinney for his decision, accusing him of misleading parliament and demanding a full apology.

If Mr Swinney had not apologised, then the parties were determined to unite in a “no confidence” motion, forcing him from his job and possibly forcing an election on the country as well.

However, the early indications from opposition parties this afternoon were that Mr Swinney’s apology would be enough to prevent further action from them, including a possible “no confidence” motion.

During the debate, the language from all the opposition parties was fierce.

Iain Gray, the Scottish Labour leader, attacked Mr Swinney’s decision to keep the tax changes secret. “It was taken not just without the agreement of this parliament but the knowledge of this parliament,” he said.

And he concluded: “This is a deliberate and systematic attempt to mislead both parliament and wider Scotland into believing that the government still had the option of varying the Scottish Variable Rate.”

Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Tory leader, said that the tax power was not Mr Swinney’s to give away, but was the property of the whole parliament.
She described Mr Swinney’s approach as “grossly misleading and blatantly hypocritical”.

While, in a furious tirade, Tavish Scott, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, lambasted the finance secretary for “mess, deceit and incompetence”.

A joint statement from the opposition parties was expected to be published later this afternoon. The parties were expected to refer Mr Swinney’s case to the Finance Committee for further investigation. The finance secretary is also expected to face an investigation into allegations that he broke the ministerial code.

  • RandomScot

    Over on his analysis, Brian Taylor suggests that the powers had actually lapsed under the Labour-Liberal administration that governed until 2007

    Just a point

    • RandomScot

      In fact the letter from HMRC saying that it had lapsed was dated two days before Mr Swinney was appointed, while Jack McConnell was still FM

      • Kenny Duarte

        This administration was given the option and allowed the chance to lapse. When asked if they would use it the suggestion was it was in working order but they weren’t going to use it. The suggestion was dishonest and they were caught doing it.

        • RandomScot

          No. it had already lapsed. The SG was told that it would be some months before it could be used, depending on how much the SG coughed up. The lower number was 10 months, so hardly ready to be used.

    • prophet

      The point you make is the most crucial point – I understand it lapsed under Lib-Lab

      • Andy Simpson

        Umlike many others I still want to give Cal Merc a chance,there is more to this site than Mr Macdonell.
        There is a real question now as to why Jack McConnell’s executive let the contract with HMRC lapse.We now know the powers didn’t lapse though.
        So in the interests of balance and fairness can we expect Cal Merc to do a piece on this.Not Mr Macdonell it would be unfair to expect him to risk some of his sources by investigating this. And I simply don’t believe he is capable of writing a balanced article on this matter.
        I would just like to hear why Mr Swinney is hammered by the media for this yet the previous executive seems to be untouchable.
        And I know the editor denies any bias however there can be no justification for only taking and writing about the unionist point of view.
        Also today in the parliament saw Tavish Scott completely losing control,it was actually strange to watch someone who knew his actions were being observed behave in such a way.

        • Kenny Duarte

          What should be understood here is this highlighted a dishonest attitude by John Swinney to questions in Holyrood. There wouldn’t of been any statements of regret if things had been above board. What people will be thinking is if a finance secretary acts dishonest, then I do not believe that John Swinney can be trusted with Scotland’s finances. I know that I do not believe that John Swinney is trustworthy at all after such a deception and so I find I do not have any confidence in John Swinney’s ability to look after Scotland’s finances.

          I feel the need to vote for the Labour Party at the Scottish Election.

          • RandomScot

            The same Labour parry that actually let the tax collecting me mechanism lapse?

            And never told anyone?

            That Labour Party?

            Thanks for your double standards

      • me – I’m counting

        Like the Calypso Crocodile, I see cybernats live in De Nile.

        Swinney messed up. The Nats mess up. A lot. They probably won’t get reelected, so deal with it.

  • Keith Roberts

    No thoughts Hamish on the role of the previous government in this debacle, the role of the previous Scottish Secretary, the dire financial input of Mr Kerr, or even the views expressed by Mr Harvie?
    By your own standards this is a nothing piece. Striving to be impartial may not be natural for a journalist in the west of Scotland, but keep working at it. Some of us are still reading, and hoping, waiting for FMQs tomorrow,and Rab.

    • RH

      Lol, have you never read Hamish’s propaganda-like efforts before?

      I particularly liked:
      “SNP’s irresponsible council tax plan will subsidise the rich”
      (oct 15 2010)
      “Salmond, secrecy and claims of misleading parliament”
      (earlier in the week)

      These were both filed under “analysis” but his “news” aint much better.

      Mmmmmmmm… impartiality.

      To be fair to the Caledonian Mercury it has Rab and the rest of the journalists are good to read. Hamish I read for the comments. The article itself usually isn’t worth the time.

  • No mention of the mess John Swinney inherited? and instead of trying to make political capital out of it at the time the honourable man I believe him to be set about putting it right.He has to reason under these circumstances to apologise to anyone certainly not the incompetents he took over from I would like A.Salmond to call an election tomorrow at FMQ since the opposition think they are making such a bad job of everything

  • Alibi

    John Swinney should not have apologised. He is too decent a man for his own good sometimes.

    This is a made-up issue of no consequence. If Swinney is expected to apologise for saving Scottish taxpayers tens of millions of pounds, there is something seriously wrong with the ethics of the opposition parties.

    For the benefit of Andy Kerr, who isn’t the sharpest tool in the box, Ethics is not a county in the south east of England. and although Andy might not be the sharpest tool, he is indeed, along with many of his Labour co-crooks, a tool.

    • Cammy

      The first sign of losing an argument is abuse of your opponent. Congratulations.

      Andy Kerr, you don’t like and don’t rate. Fine.

      Kerr at least has the comfort of knowing that it was not him, a Scottish Labour MSP who took the outrageous decision to hand back powers to Westminster but an MSP of a party whose EXISTENCE DEPENDS ON EXTRA POWERS FOR SCOTLAND, LEADING TO INDEPENDENCE.

      As someone betrayed by such a decision, who is the tool now?

      • Alibi

        As it appears that the power lapsed under Labour, I would suggest Andy Kerr and his cronies.

        FWIW I don’t think the tax raising power matters. As the SNP did not intend to use it, it was not eeded for at least 4 years. Therefore why waste money paying for something you don’t need? As for it taking 2 years to bring the power out of hibernation, that is clearly ridiculous. Also, even had the powers been kept, it would take 10 months to set it up. That is ridiculous too.

        As for “losing an argument”, that is nonsense. The real argument hasn’t even started yet and in the mainstream media it probably won’t start because you ca be sure that when there is wrongdoing afoot, Labour will be involved up to their mucky necks.

        • Cammy

          Once again reality escapes the Separatist mind, party before parliament and country.

          FWIW, the separatist confusion as to what is truth and what is lies endured a particularly humiliating death yesterday, the architect John Swinney no less.

          The SNP was put into a position of trust. Over 1,500,000 Scots voted for tax raising powers. By confessing to misleading parliament, the SNP betrayed that trust. It will not be offered that trust again.

          As Sean Connery tells Kevin Costner in The Untouchables, “here endeth the lesson.”

          • RandomScot

            I assume them you also deplore Andy Kerr’s abuse to Alex Neil and John Swines on Newsnicht?

        • Cammy

          Is it not the case that ALL THREE leading SNP MSP’s at Holyrood (Salmond, Sturgeon and now Swinney) have now been forced to come before their peers, explain then apologise for misleading parliament?

          Up to their mucky necks right enough.

          Even for a parliament that has only been in existence for 11 years that must be some kind or record.
          .

          • RandomScot

            If you have a majority of hostile opponents to deal with, then they can do this whenever they want.

            Just like the Republicans already threatening Obama with impeachment proceedings as soon as they can come up with a reason, a hostile legislature can derail the administration because they feel like it

  • spagan

    Hamish
    I presume that you weren’t at the debate – but that you were maybe just handed a briefing by one of your political “contacts”? (Nudge nudge – know what I mean – nudge nudge?)

    Even over at the Beeb, Brian leads with –
    “The document produced by the Scottish Government dates from 14 May 2007, just after Mr Swinney entered office.
    From that, we learn that the Tartan Tax would not be ready until April 2009 – but could be prepared by April 2008 at higher cost.”

    I think that is the kernel from this afternoon’s posturing and false sanctimony.
    The previous administration – LibDumb and LabDumber – had effectively mothballed the Tartan Tax – without letting anybody know.

    John Swinney’s only fault appears to be that he didn’t seek the input of Andy Kerr.
    He’d have been better seeking the input of not one – but all of the Diddymen.
    However, with fingers crossed firmly behind his back he’s apologised for not informing Andy.
    Storm in Sanctimonius TeaCup – over and done with.
    As if they would have dared to force a vote of no confidence.
    Political posturing by the Unionists – absolutely nothing more. You know and we all know it.
    Slainte Mhor

  • Wee Willie Bee

    Now that is what I call a good report with all the facts given as far as I can see.
    Thank you Hamish. You do not get many of those.

    • Corruption and Lies

      L.O.L

  • GrassyKnollington

    “However, the early indications from opposition parties this afternoon were that Mr Swinney’s apology would be enough to prevent further action from them, including a possible “no confidence” motion.”

    well there’s a surprise. As if the ranting “Team Union” at Holyrood would ever have risked an election.

    Tavish Scott’s high pitched ranting spoke of years of suppressed bitterness against Nationalists I thought. At this rate Gillian McKeith will be hollering from the jungle ” Listen pal, I’m the only mad Scot in the village”.

  • Davie Dites

    Crocodile tears from the unionists. It is difficult to get the real story with all the misinformation being thrown around but the power to vary tax by 3p was never used and no one intended to use it. John Swinney never gave away the power; it is still there until it is replaced by the Calman proposals which will abolish it. Hooray for Mr Swinney for not paying for something we don’t want to use.

    As for the 7 million pounds to upgrade the HMRC computer system, John Swinney was perfectly correct in insisting it has no legal basis. It seems the Secretary of State requested that this be kept confidential. Would that be Mr Murphy (Labour)? Then along comes Mr Moore (Con/LibDem) who decides to make it public. So they knew. Hooray for Mr Swinney for refusing to submit to a £7 million blackmail demand.

    And while they are ranting about what the people voted for, the unionists might reflect that the people did not get to vote on the Calman proposals. They are being imposed on us. Boo to the unionists.

  • Tormod

    Well my take on it is of course hindsight is a wonderful gift and I imagine that if John Swinney had any idea that the HMRC were going to cancel the SVR mechanism he would have brought this to parliaments attention.

    In this whole debacle there has been zero scrutiny of Michael Moore or HMRC, who ordered the HMRC not too talk to John Swinney?

    Who ordered them to cancel the SVR mechanism?

    Jings thats a hard one to work out, still the marker has been placed no more mr nice with HMRC.

  • The Black Douglas

    Hud on a cotton-pickin’ minute. Let’s not get distracted here about technicalities. Swinney has apologised because he misled parliament.

    HE MISLED PARLIAMENT.

    He knows he’s in the wrong. That’s what he apologised. Unless he’s misleading parliament again.

    • Tormod

      In what way? Until Michael Moore’s letter how did he know that the HMRC cancelled the 10 month readiness?

      Technicalities are facts.

      • The Black Douglas

        Oh aye, why did he apologise then? For the fun of it? If he was in the right he should have had the guts to say so. He didn’t. He apologised for misleading parliament because, get this, he misled parliament. Even the Greens – usually soooooo pally with the SNP – said he was wrang.

        • Tormod

          No he apologised for not telling parliament about the troubles he was having with the HMRC and the problems they were having updating there platform.

          • The Black Douglas

            Uh-huh. You do know “not telling parliament” is the same as “misleading parliament” dontcha?

          • Cammy

            Which is another untruth. Another day, same SNP.

            Actually, he said

            “I should have come to parliament at the very beginning. I made a number of wrong judgements. I didn’t cine before parliament. Fir this I apologise to parliament invmaking that error of judgement”.

            Hope this clarifies matters for you.

            John Swinneycshouldn’t have had to wait for a vote of ‘no confidence’ in his behaviour.

            Following this confession, John Swinney should do the decent and honourable thing and resign.

            But he won’t. He is an SNP MSP.

        • Curley Bill

          The Good Sir James has a point – why did Swinney apologise for something that was not of his making? Did Mr Salmond so instruct him as to avoid a damaging vote of no confidence?
          I am a Nationalist, and I have become increasingly disillusioned with the lack of cojones displayed by the hierarchy.
          Fiona Hyslop shouldn’t have resigned – Holyrood SNP caved.
          The LIT bill should have been brought forward, it wasn’t – Holyrood SNP caved.
          The Referendum Bill ditto, it wasn’t – Holyrood SNP caved.

          They let the Rainbow Tories away with lies and deceit, they act reasonable with hostile interviewers instead of letting rip and so on and so on.
          If the SNP win in May then it will be despite these actions, not because of them.

          • albaScot

            For once, a Separatist with honesty.

            Can I remind everyone that when his party came to power Alex Salmond promised to be open and transparent with us. Pointing a finger at what he calls the London parties, Salmond looked straight into the camera lens and said his party would be different; the SNP would show honesty and sincerity.

            Swinney performannce today was sickening.

            As his mates here defend every SNP howler, he apologised, for misleading parliament AND the Scots people.

            But is that enough? Put aside the SNP hypocrisy of staying schtum when the Greens ask about using the tax to balance the books and when loyal backbenchers demand extra powers which they say are ‘Scotland’s right’, the SNP, a party that for 80 or so years has demanded financial powers to come north, effectively HANDED BACK POWERS, a breathtaking act of betrayal.

            John Swinney had the opportunity to right a wrong here by coming clean with us.
            He failed.

            Given the opportunity to draw a line in the sand by offering his resignation, he instead offered weasel words which many may judge as the actions of one who is little better than just another opportunist, a man more interested in keeping his well-paid job and his party in power than one given the honour of one of Scotland’s most important jobs.

        • somepapfaedundee

          You’re labouring under the illusion that this can be rationally analysed. He ‘apologised’ because the facts were insufficient for the ‘coalition of opposition’ they were in full-on yappy dug mode.

          He ‘apologised’ for not telling the parly that the LibLab administration had let ‘The Power’s arrangements lapse, he ‘apologised’ for purusing an option presented to him that sought to restore functionality in the most cost effective way possible, he ‘apologised’ for the fact that HMRC failed to deliver that functionality. As I’m sure you can see, he ‘apologised because as usual the ‘coalition of opposition’ had found a political football, the media were the crowd and as you know there are no referees.

          Labour, outraged that someone deviated from an autistic interpretation of the referendum ballots twitteresque description of tax varying powers. Failed to be outraged that they had themselves deviated from the same prior to the SNP coming to power. The libdems got on their high horse too, while conveniently forgetting that they were part of the coalition that let collection arrangements for ‘The Power’ lapse, as if anyone believes a libdem about anything now.
          So why did Labour not inform the parly? Why did the Libdems not inform the parly? Where is the outrage?
          Tories?; its’s in there with UFO’s, Kennedy and other conspiracy theories, oooooooh!
          Frankly, the amount of mud that was slung in the parly; deceit and conspiracy over years, I find it hard to understand how either the party accused should not have been removed, or the parties accusing should not have been removed.
          That is the joke that the coalition of opposition make of our Scottish parliament.

  • Tormod

    No it’s not Black Douglas.

    • Aye, so not leading someone somewhere is the same as mis-leading them somewhere. Gary Glitter will be pleased to hear that one.

  • Calum

    Having just watched the Finance Secretary’s speech in parliament, I can not believe the blatant disregard of the facts in this piece by Hamish Macdonnell.

    If you were to look at the facts we would be hearing that:
    1. The Scottish Government inherited an SVR system that had already ‘lapsed’

    2. HMRC, whose agreement with the previous administration for £50,000 a year had come to an end, demanded millions of pounds in order to make the ‘tartan tax’ available for 2009.

    3. The Scottish Government spent the time between 2007 and 2010 attempting to gain solid information as to the cost and efficiency of the IT upgrades required.

    4. In 2010 HMRC informed the Scottish Government that they were to pay £7 million in order to have the SVR ready for 2013-14, they had three weeks to pay.

    5. The Scottish Government got no response when attempting to clarify what the £7 million was for.

    These are facts, something Mr Macdonnell should consult before writing an article, or did Mr Rumbles write this for you. I hope so as otherwise it’s an embarrassment to the name of journalism.

  • Swinney had nothing to apologise about. Labour-Lib Dems (how stupid are the LDs?) let the powers lapse. Plus, why should Scotland be held to ransom by the London tax machinery?

    • Alastair

      If indeed there is a need for an IT system to run the Scottish Variable Rate tax then should it not be located in Scotland where the people could administer it.

      I cannot think of a more expensive location in the UK than London to hold any IT infrastructure. Far too much government money is spent already from the UK treasury within the bounds of the M25.

    • Pantone 280

      Comedienne Karin Dunbar’s famous saying ‘I smell shhhh…..’ is particularly useful here.

      Apology. Unreservedly. Regret. Sorry. Never again.

      Grovelling is one thing but is it enough?

      This beats the building cost fiasco and Al Megrahi’s release.

      This is a humiliating experience for Swinney, Casual observers will note that, once again, Salmond is nowhere to be seen when Ms. Dunbar’s line is trotted out.

      Surely the only route open now for John Swinney is resignation?

      • RandomScot

        Yes, Swinney should resign for Jack McConnell letting the collection arrangement lapse!

        And Salmond, the one sayng ‘I am Spartacus’, yes that’s hiding!

        strewth!

        • Pantone 280

          Fat pasty coloured politician compared with a lithe, golden tanned warrior from xthousand years ago and portayed in a multiple-million dollar award-winning homo-erotic spectacular by Kirk Douglas?

  • Jimmy the Pie

    What surprises me is no ‘no confidence vote’

    Looks like the unionists in London said no……………….???

    • gravitas

      I’m glad the SNP didn’t force this, as it’s a call I don’t think the Opposition parties wanted to take.

      Why?

      Well it could trigger an early election which tactically, isn’t in the Opposition parties interest. Not that the SNP have a chance of winning, but it’s a case of not counting chickens.

      Another few months of commenting on SNP cock-ups can only help the demise of this useless group of self-serving second-rate politicians.

      I can wait.

  • Angus Jura

    So, it appears that he Lanarkshire Mafia have sruck again! McCabe and McConnell, the Francie & Josie of Scottish politics, appear to have been true to Lanarkshire Labour type and messed up the SVR (which no one ever intended to use!) payments to their masters in Whitehall. Oh the irony!!
    If this is indeed true (and it appears to be so) then will Ian Gray make a statement to parliament tomorrow, apologising for this oversight which will, unfortunately, mean that he has to ditch all those exciting and expensive plans he put forward in Oban the other week? Hmmm!!!
    How fortuitous would that be!
    There are so many versions of the ‘truth’ flying about that I am totally confused. Will some responsible journalist PLEASE take the time, and make the effort, to find out the REAL truth of the matter?

    • Alastair

      Angus,

      “Will some responsible journalist PLEASE take the time, and make the effort, to find out the REAL truth of the matter? ”

      Oh you made me laugh at that idea. In Scotland are you kidding. If you are not a card carrying member of the Union/unionist camp then you are not allowed to be a journalist in Scotland. Without a Glasgow Labour reference you certainly cannot get a job for the BBC in Scotland.

  • Alastair

    I would not pay £7 Million for a provision that I was not going to use. Only a diddy from the Labour party would consider that a reasonable use of the public purse.

    Swinney is not defending this as it is better to let it run and run in the unionist press and let the people make their minds up.

    £7 Million to HMRC or £7 Million spent in Scotland for the benefit of the Scottish people.

    I sometimes wonder where they find these Labour drones with no experience in a world where tax is generated not consumed. There is not a single one with the slightest idea of how to run an efficient business.

    Can you imagine a single business in the world spending £7 Million on a provision that is not required. But I bet you can imagine every council in the country doing it!

  • Jock Mad McMad

    To those folk already beelin’, goin aff their heid, skelly and generally hot under the collar make sure you are in your bed before Newsnicht and a dose of the Glen Campbelly’s – who makes Hamish look demure and balanced in his comments.

    Here it is – Westminster has woken up to YouGov polls that make very poor reading as far as the Unionist Parties and support for them in Scotland is going.

    On the question of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland 51% of Labour voters want it, 55% of Libdem voters are for it and 75% of SNP voters (the other 15% of SNP voters want to go straight to independence). As real people see the impact of Westminster’s cuts in Scottish pocket money, support for independence amongst us is back in the mid 40’s up from 23% in May 2007.

    Now with your party (the Libdems) in serious voter collapse across the UK and your Labour (North British Division)broke in the run up to the 2011 election and unable to land a telling blow on the SNP why would you not stir up this vacuous load of nonsense (which is actually Jack McConnell and Jim Murphy’s fault) and try to throw enough mud to make some stick?

    After all the Unionist blinkered MSM will do your bidding.

    This whole affair stinks of the Unionist fear that they are loosing the war, not just the battle for Scottish hearts and minds. There will be worse ‘revelations’ to come which will just stop short of actionable in their personal attacks on members of the SNP Government. Finally there will be a Unionist ‘banzai’ moment that hopefully will lead to the end of ‘Unionism’ and a realisation amongst Scots that self determination is the only sensible way to rebuild our country after three hundred years of (as Carol Craig – a well known Labour supporter put it) colonial rule by Westminster.

    In 2007 the Unionists and their media chums tried to pull the wool over the Scottish voters eyes with scare stories about an SNP Government costing us each £5,000 a year more in taxes, that Kerr’s PFI was not the liability the SNP claimed, that the tolls on the Forth Bridge would never be removed, that the SNP opposition to Edinburgh’s Trams was ‘misguided’ – now we know who was lying and it was not the SNP.

    • Alastair

      Glen Campbell is my favourite unionist. I listen to him on the Radio and I watch him on TV. Whenever I need to know what the Labour party in London are thinking. I just tune into Glen.

      I often have trouble listening what the Labour diddymen are saying. Elmer puts me to sleep, Skull makes me feel creeped out and Bendy’s shrill voice is to high pitched for my old ears to tune into. Many of the other Labour drones have not be programmed to speak in coherent sentences.

      So when I want to know what Unionists are thinking tune into to BBC Glasgow and listen to Glen.

    • Cammy

      If you think the SNP ard going to win the election then I can only assume you are mad.

      • Rise Above Threats

        Yup, mad, defo.

        The very latest poll from IPSOS MORI. Here’s the comparison from 12 mnoths ago 😉

        2009
        Scottish Labour 32%
        SNP 36%

        SNP +4
        ———–
        2010
        Scottish Labour 41%
        SNP 31%

        Scottish Labour +10

        Wonder how that translates in actual seats?
        Wipeout for the Separatists?

        lol
        😉

    • Rise Above Threats

      Seen the latest polls for Holyrood?

      Here it is

      Over the last 12 months. To mosty of us, that is the time beginning following Salmond’s Honeymoon period.

      2009
      Scottish Labour 32%
      SNP 36%

      SNP lead of 4 points
      ———–
      2010
      Scottish Labour 41%
      SNP 31%

      Scottish Labour lead of 10 points

      Not good reasding for the SNP, is it? NI suspect THAT is what happens when you get found out – ONLY 3 in 10 voting for you for the SCOTTISH parliament election!!!!!!

  • GrassyKnollington

    I noticed that in the post statement interview at Holyrood on the BBC politics show the female reporter asked Wendy Alexander twice if Labour would have paid the £7 million.

    Answer came there none.

    The former hammer of the ethenppee and dabbler in dodgy pastel bed jackets and even dodgier donations was then allowed to waffle on whilst refusing to even acknowledge she’d heard the question let alone answer it.

    No doubt the cream of Jockland’s media will be unleashed to ask the question of the unionists again tomorrow. “Will you pay the £7 million pounds?”

    Or perhaps not….

  • PeterG

    Ths SNP took over as the Government on the 16th of may 2007.

    The SVR collection mechanism lapsed on the 14th of May 2007.

    It is Labour’s fault.

    They and only they are responsible.

    Will all the liars in the media now resign or be sacked?

  • fitalass

    “Ths SNP took over as the Government on the 16th of may 2007.

    The SVR collection mechanism lapsed on the 14th of May 2007.”

    Nearly two weeks after the election, and they are going to try and quibble over those two days. So Swinney/Salmond just wondered into the building and got their first briefing on the 16th?

    • Angus Jura

      I wonder why they ‘wondered’ into the building?! Don’t tell me that if the situation was reversed you wouldn’t be going off your head that the irresponsible SNP hadn’t paid their ‘dues’?!!
      Manufactured righteous indignation all round!! To be honest, none of the parties, Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrats would have dared imposing an additional 3p income tax on th Scottish people: and none wanted to, for fear that they would be turfed out of power at the first election.
      It’s all a big game and we’re getting a wee bit sick of it.

      • fitalass

        To be honest, this whole mess reflects poorly on Holyrood and their politicians.
        And yes, I think the main culprits here remain the SNP for keeping this from Parliament. Add in the complete silence from the Scottish Office under Jim Murphy, and no one comes out this looking honest, open or transparent. I may not vote SNP, but I should be able to trust the government at Holyrood to be honest, open and transparent. That is where the real damage has been done, and drowning out any dissenting voice on political threads in the blogsphere won’t make that fact go away.

        The SNP undertook their big conversation while in power. But not listening or respecting those that have a differing point of view online doesn’t win any arguments. It just leaves the SNP posters talking among themselves, little realising that they have lost the argument if others have not only stopped listening, but have been ground down to the point where they have stopped engaging in debate with them.

        And all those that are now having yet another pop at Hamish Macdonell, please take the time to read his article again. His main criticism on this issue was simple, its the secrecy and misleading of Parliament that is important here. I think he has a very valid point. Sometimes politicians do stupid things, but this is the sort of poor political judgement that gives the whole Parliament a bad name, and its all the more important because its about more than partisan spats. And I would hope that our politicians are not just displaying some faux outrage for that reason alone.

        • Gavin Greig

          I’m not in the habit of criticising Hamish Macdonell (nor am I affiliated with any political organisation), but I am uncomfortable about the content of this report. It seems to omit any mention of the key points put forward by John Swinney and the SNP in their defence, concentrating solely on John Swinney’s apologies and the attacks upon him. Surely even an opinion piece – and this appears to be intended as a factual report rather than editorial – surely even an opinion piece should have mentioned the case for the defence?

        • Jock Mad McMad

          Fitlass – Glass houses and stones comes to mind.

          Dr Reid on Afghanistan – no shots will be fired: what’s the death toll for UK service personnel?

          Any single one of the random Labour Ministers of Defence – our troops are properly equipped…. not according to numerous corners who routinely point out why Labour has failed the troops.

          How about Blair and Labour’s famous Iraq Portfolio?

          The there is Labour’s execrable record over parliamentary expenses, the disappearing Brown, Millband, Murphy…..

          Or how about the Tammany Hall that is Glasgow Council. Please explain how some one can be forced to resign from the position of Chief Exec of SPT due to dubious expense claims but a few weeks later is employed by Glasgow Council on a higher salary scale than he had at the SPT?

          Then there is the suppurating Labour boil that is the ‘Purcell Affair’, the hands off companies whose boards are packed with labour councillors and Labour Party ‘friends’.

          How about the Edinburgh Trams fiasco another Unionist Party big idea?

          Fitlass – just what level of denial do you live in when it comes to Labour’s serial failures in Scotland?

          • oldnat

            Fitalass is a Tory – there are some in Scotland! 🙂

          • fitalass

            I have, and will continue to criticise the Scottish Labour party when they screw up, and ditto the Libdems or the Scottish Conservatives too. I wasn’t a fan of Holyrood or devolved government up here. But I would rather that they proved me wrong than proved me right on this. But at the moment, I am more disillusioned than ever.

            If we are at the point of threads on political blogs hitting over a hundred comments with barely a dissenting non SNP voice these days, and liberally mixed with conspiracy theories about various groups trying to silence the nationalist message. Surely someone is going to notice the irony at some point? You should try being a Scottish Conservative for a week, never mind the last twenty years up here in Scotland, then you will know what critical or negative coverage really feels like. 😀

            Stewart Crawford – Opinion: Our open and transparent Scottish Parliament?

            And this article from Stewart Crawford in the CalMerc deserves to be highlighted too while we are on the subject of open and transparent government.

        • Calum

          How on earth can you claim that this was kept secret? Remember it was Michael Moore who brought this story to the media. The information was always there to be seen.

          The finance secretary made clear that the reason he didn’t inform Holyrood was because it would have been wasting their time – just to inform them that the Labour party had allowed the tax database to ‘lapse’. Without any solid information coming to Scotland from HMRC what was Swinney meant to have told Parliament?

          It is all fine to come at this from an impartial point of view, but quite clearly Hamish Macdonnell has failed this.

        • somepapfaedundee

          Coming at form the p.o.v. of the SNP in 2007, what’s wrong with not saying anything to the parly? They came in and arrangements facilitating ‘The Power’ weren’t there any more, no parly announcement had been made by the LibLabs had it? Why would there be a differential of expectation nw that they were in? Why, then would the incoming SNP expect to have to make any announcement that they tried to resucitate ‘The Power’?
          Oh, sure, looking at it now through the fog of righteous indignation from all corners everyone’s hindsight is telling them what ought to have happened, but come off it.
          The SNP came in and arrangements for ‘The Power’ had been ‘mothballed’.
          Swinney got guidance on options to restore ‘The Power’.
          He picked one, and asked his HMRC to get on with it.
          They did, sort of, veeeeerrrrrrry slllloooooowwwwlly.
          They wanted a bucket of money, he said ‘wait a minute, let’s talk about this’.
          Cue outrage.

          There is no secrecy. Not saying doesn’t equal hiding. If no-one else had been involved in ‘the great lapsing’ you might have stretched to that point by saying ‘but who knew enough to ask?’, but Lab and Lib at least both knew what he starting conditions were and asked nothing.

          So Hamish doesn’t have the point you give him, and the faux outrage flows from more than tha ‘coalition of opposition’.

          • gravitas

            I don’t think any reasonably intelligent person can believe that.

            Swinney, finally acknowledges his failings, and that such a stance was untenable.
            That it had to go to such lengths reflects badly on the man. But that is his problem.

            Man up and acknowledge you are wrong.

    • somepapfaedundee

      There is no ‘quibbling over two days’ over the nation’s governance, that is when they became responsible for the government of Scotland, prior to that the cozy little LabLib setup was running everything.

      What’s the matter? Cognitive dissonance getting to you?

      • gravitas

        That you should wish to put the blame on the previous administration speaks volumes.

        Swinney was accused of misleading Parliament.
        Swinney apologised for misleading parliament.
        Swinney misled Parliament.

        History will show Swinney was accused, asdmitted his guilt. and apologised.

        And that’s the way it should be.

        Whether he stays on or not is the NEXT question.

        • somepapfaedundee

          It transpires that it was the previous administration that rendered ‘The Power’ unusable, all of a sudden it is acceptable to ignore that fact, despite the fact the entire outraged opposition hasn’t shut up about Swinney being the one who let it lapse. That is what I point out, ‘blame’ the previous administration – only in terms of the facts I suppose – the truth is that I don’t really care that ‘The Power’ isn’t available at teh flick of a switch.

          Swinney was accused of all sorts.
          Swinney apologised for not informing parliament.
          You assert that Swinney misled parliament, nothing more.

          History is a complex thing and its records come from many sources, so no. More correctly some historical records will show some things, some will show other things. But i’m sure ‘any reasonably intelligent’ person would understand that. So why say it? A wee gloat? ‘Guilt’ Pathetic.

          Who let it lapse? – the cuddly LibLab coalition!
          Who tried to get it reinstated? – Swinney!
          Who knew about the situation? SNP, Labour, LibDems!
          Who failed to reinstate it? HMRC!
          Who kept demanding more money for the thing they hadn’t done? HMRC!
          Who wants to pay money we shouldn’t for a soon to be redundant system? Every party except the SNP!

          The NEXT question is who keeps voting for the point-scoring coalition of opposition?

          Man up and admit you don’t actually care about the facts, it’s just an excuse to score points by weight of parliamentary numbers.

    • albaScot

      The SNP are desperate. Even now, they see not the damage they have done.

      On 110 separate occasions, Swinbey had the opportunity to appraise Parliament of the SNP’s decision to pass back powers, and on 110 separate occasions they chose to say nothing.

      When Patrick Harvie asked John Swinney if using the powers to bring in money Swinney did’t hesitate. He looked him straight in the face and said it wasn’t ruled out.

      How could anyone follow such a party?
      A party with such open contempt for it’s fellow MSP’s, and the Scottish public?

      This is officially an “oh dear” moment.

      The sooner we are shot of them the better.

  • JamesII

    Surely the CalMerc can’t be that hard up for a journalist to write for them that they have to keep Mr Macdonnell sweet!

    • somepapfaedundee

      Hamish gets the comments rolling in no doubt, a web-based paper is just like a dead-tree paper in that regard, any means to get the traffic will do. That’s why it will fail.

      • Cammy

        It was feted as the place to go by SNP supporters not too long ago!!!

        Heeheehee

        • Rolf

          Cammy, it was feted as THE place to go to for unbiased political analysis and debate not too long ago!!! Heeheeheee

          Shame it’s not.

          • Cammy

            That statement only works if there is some coclusive proof that there is some agenda against the SNP.

            IMO, Separatists saying the Caledonian Mercury IS biased, doesn’t make it so.

  • somepapfaedundee

    By the way Hamish, how do you feel now that you know that the previous LibLab administration (and i quote you)
    ‘took a decision to let the Tartan Tax powers lapse’
    and
    ‘But they didn’t tell anybody it. They didn’t take it Holyrood and tell opposition MSPs. They didn’t announce it in a statement, they didn’t initiate a debate on it or have a vote on it. They did it in secret and then kept it secret for three years.’

    Where is your outrage to be vented now?

    • fitalass

      What outrage? Going and check your dates and then reflect on this post.

      • somepapfaedundee

        This particular message was intended for the author of the original post, I must have inadvertently typed it in to a reply box for your post. It does start ‘Hamish’, but apologies nonetheless.

        While I’m here though, what dates is it you think I need to check?

  • oldnat

    Fitalass

    You make a very reasonable point. While I’m never likely to share your centre-right stance on many issues, it’s a valid political stance and deserves a fair hearing (before we reject it 🙂 )

    The MSM isn’t just institutionally Unionist, it’s institutionally Labour – and that is part of the whole network that Labour has created over years. Too many people in influential positions in Scotland have tied themselves to the existence of Labour (often far to the right of you) being in power to progress their own positions.

    • fitalass

      Oldnat,
      I have never been a great fan of the Scottish media when it comes to political coverage up here to be honest. Too close to those they report on from all parties, it makes the lobby down in Westminster look positively reactionary when it comes to applying some real scrutiny or running with a big story. Its like a wee village pub, and that familiarity breeds a gentile and sanguine style rebuke for even the most serious of misdemeanors.

      Looking back the Hamish Macdonell article that brought forth the might of the usual crowd down on him and the Calmerc team for daring to even raise the suggestion that this story might be worth scrutiny or even criticism of the SNP administration. They missed the obvious caveat’s that afflict so much of our Scottish political reporting. But that so infuriate those very same posters when its another Scottish party under the spotlight.

      “When it first emerged that Alex Salmond had failed to pay for the upkeep of the Tartan Tax, I first thought that there wasn’t much of an issue there. After all, nobody has ever wanted to use the Tartan Tax (well, not in government anyway) so what was the big deal?
      But, as the days have gone on and more and more has emerged about what was done and why, it is now a very big issue indeed.”

      “But, as the days have gone on and more and more has emerged about what was done and why, it is now a very big issue indeed. Finance Secretary John Swinney’s job is on the line over claims he misled parliament. He will face detailed questioning for the whole of this week.
      This increasingly controversial issue will, though, probably not lead to the resignation of a senior minister – but perhaps it should.”

      That is a prime example of what is wrong, and its something you see time and again up here when a really big story breaks for any party.

      Take for example the Wendy Alexander case, or that of Nicola Sturgeon, or even Purcell or the last couple of Scottish Labour leaders? And then go back and try and remember the last Scottish party leader that resigned over a big media storm up here, and the reason why. Mcleish and taxi expenses vs Purcell for media coverage up here with a real political scalp at the end of it? And then, just maybe someone will start to really question what goes on up here in the Scottish media. Far too many journalists wear their politics on their sleeve, and those that don’t pontificate on the point of detail so as to end up not even being a ripple in this wee pond up here.
      They might as well title their efforts as ‘Hear hear, having looked at this from all angles, nothing to see so move along with your lives’.

      The Sheridan case is getting more publicity because the guy is no longer in Parliament, and some really fruity details are actually emerging and being reported. And that is a really sad indictment of Scottish political life up here.
      But nearly one hundred and fifty thousand voters can have their vote binned in the 2007 Scottish elections despite numerous warnings and a total dereliction of duty by all our parties up here. And the end result, no one gets to be held accountable for it. Don’t mention a problem with something as absolutely vital to Holyrood powers as our tax raising ability, and it still gets less attention than the Sheridan case in the end. Now I was as angry about those voters being disenfranchised as I am about this story of secrecy over our tax raising powers. And my politics didn’t even come into it.

      We can all titter about the Sheridan case, but I am fed up with onlookers being able to titter about our inability to take far more serious political news and really get at the truth, never mind challenge our politicians. There is no conspiracy to silence the SNP in our media, if there was, they wouldn’t get the same preferential treatment as the Labour party. And they do, it just doesn’t feel like that to some of their internet supporters because they over react to both lack of criticism of the Labour party, but also any criticism their own party. And that is the real dilemma here, only it often takes someone on the outside looking in to see it. If you cannae tolerate any criticism of your party, dinnae come complaining aboot the lack o’ it elsewhere in the media up here.

      We are not going to even make a ripple with the public outside Holyrood until our politicians and our political lobby start getting really hungry to make a real wave or two which really engages the public and might even make them angry. The idea that this issue of our tax raising powers was void anyway because no one was going to ever use them shows how apathetic we are to even tackle some tough choices for change. We have just had an economic tsunami, and now we are making huge cuts to the public sector to deal with an horrific debt and deficit problem. And its no comfort that its not quite as bad as Ireland. Our politicians or anoraks like moi can suddenly think, OMG, what if we had really needed that extra revenue for a failed bank etc.

      Another prime example is the funding of further education. While our students travel down to Westminster to make a noise, or take to the streets up here for some good natured banter, we don’t even have a Brown report of our own to chew over. Its all been kicked into the long grass post May next year. Me, I am worried because I have three teenage kids about to embark on further education, so that makes this a big issue for me from a personal angle rather than a partisan one. But who is going to go to bat for me and or other parents and students in either Holyrood or our media?

      • RandomScot

        So you are outraged that a Parliament you didn’t want cannot exercise a Power you didn’t want in part because of an agency of the Parliament you do want?

        This is the problem, faux outrage over a process story where the real questions should be directed at HMRC, which is what the SG has been doing.

        • fitalass

          Read my post through, then address the issues I raised. But please don’t decide that I am non Nat in the first paragraph so therefore hostile and to be dismissed or treated as if I am stupid. HMRC are not the current government at Holyrood, and they are not responsible for misleading or reporting this issue to that Parliament.

          • you think the S N P gets an EQUALLY fair shake from the Scottish media as the labourites ? and then you make a plea that people shouldnt rush to judgement and describe you as ….foolish .
            sorry , not stupid ?…. your post was full of tendentios mince , for example the S V R isnt something that was dismissed …because of “apathy”, but because of its regressive bluntness , the dislike you feel for Scottish politics …is noted, but if you wish to be taken seriously , dismissing the the anti S N P nature of the M S M as a paranoid fantasy of the “cyber-nats” , is to be willfuly blind

  • GrassyKnollington

    Will the silent majority of irate Tory bloggers PLEASE sign in. (We know you you’re out there and that these nasty cybernats have been hogging the comment boards all across t’interweb…..)

    (Original Phrase and general intention copyright Shereen Nanjani via BBC Scotland)

  • RandomScot

    No, I acccept that Mr Swinney could have raised the issue earlier, however the original fault was not his (previous administration) and he has been attempting to find out what is going on.

    Why are HMRC demanding so much more money?

    What is the work that requires so much time?

    Why was the previous £12 Million not enough?

    Why was the maintenance increased from £50K to £1.3 million?

    The only people asking these questions are the SG, the rest are just happy to bash the Nats with something, anything, rather than consider questions of good governance,

  • Tormod

    So when did the previous two executives come to parliament and say that the SVR mechanism was mothballed and it would take 2 years and an several million pounds to fix?

    Anybody remember that statement in 2000,2001,2002,2003,2004,2005,2006,2007?

    Why not Tavish, surely you were denying a vital piece of information to the Scottish people and our fledging parliament.

    So John Swinney tries to fix there mess and gets stuffed by HMRC and HE is the bad laddie.

    Unionist hypocrisy Tavish style.

  • liberty

    Hoho! Now that the pretendy parliament has voted 76 votes to 46 that it is unacceptable for ministers to mislead the parliament over the existence of tax raising powers, can we the people be reimbursed for the Calman fiasco?

  • Sid the sceptic

    morning all , I congratulate Mr Moore,throw a grenade into Scottish politics sit back and watch everyone have a good old Scottish rammy whilst the westminster government get on with implementing the calman commission while we are all to busy fighting over something that doesn’t matter. has anyone seen the said Mr Moore since he kicked all this off with his press release that only had half the story??
    Sid

    • Tormod

      Aye it is impressive that his missive was treated as solid gold, and Michael Moore and the HMRC have received ZERO scrutiny.

      As in if the HMRC took the decision on there own, they are more rogue than I thought, or there action had to be cleared by a politican.

      Any takers on who that might be……

  • Tormod

    The sum of £12m that Andy Kerr was referring to, who can anybody remember that being brought to parliament to discuss or approve or the SLA for the maintenane fee?

  • Read McWhirter in the Herald for a sane reaction to all this synthetic “fury”.

    • Wee Willie Bee

      Tommy, I am afraid it will take more than an article by McWhirter to make me buy the Herald again. That goes for the rest of the Scottish press too.

  • i have not been on the Cally merc for some time and must profess shock at the slide in its tone , almost as anti S N P as the gutter press , i thought i had wandered onto another site by mistake , almost as many “S N P accused…” headlines as the e-fishwrappings that take our nations name in vain .

    my only reservation regarding the S N P , is that they neuter the REAL opposition to unionism that is needed to progress the cause of nationalism , by virtue of their parliamentary fetish , if the british made the wee pretendy parliament you can be sure it was well crafted to achieve its stated aim ….” to kill nationalism stone dead ”
    after the media , and in this it seems we must include this site , have finished their campaign of vilification and character assassination , it is not only the political program of the S N P that will be discredited , but because we have put all our eggs in the ONE parliamentary basket , they will have damaged the very concept of Scottish independence , by its being associated with their timid political ineptitude

  • GavivC

    On your TV screens now:
    the Blockbuster “SVR Selective Amnesia”, starring the three stooges Gray,Kerr and Scott. Cameo role by Bella Dignation
    Based on a fable by a mystery organisation HMRC, then dusted off by a ghost writer, pen named So’S.
    So’S’s background : He is a reclusive person, only known for campaigning against unnecessary political posts. He now occupies a political post which is unnecessary to describe.
    Filmed and EDITED by Aunty Beeb
    Special Defects and Bias by Aunty Beeb.
    The three stooges are hilarious, Gray will have you drowsing, Kerr, hyena-ing with guffaws as he digger deeps, while with Scotty’s mannerisms you will Flail about laughing.
    And the best part? The three stooges cost us a bomb! Isn’t that a laugh?

  • Jock Mad McMad

    Fitlass –

    As an SNP voter this what I would prefer to see:

    The House of Lords abolished and replaced by a unicameral UK senate looking after issues such as Defence, Foreign Policy and being a finally body for the electorate to appeal to. The senate would only require 60 to be elected to it as opposed to the750 non elected ‘Lords’

    Full fiscal autonomy for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the return of Westminster to its real function as the parliament of England.

    The chances of this happening are remote, Westminster is unable to devolve power, it is patronising to voters in the extreme, put itself above and beyond the law – would you or I be let off a criminal offence we are guilty of by apologising to the ‘house’, I think not.

    Now how happy are you that ‘Call me Dave’ claims the Scottish Conservatives are ‘independent’? Do you think he really understands what the impact is on Scots of their perception of the Tory Party and its toxicity?

    Worse the SNP are engaging the innate conservatism of Scots across the board by their careful steps and sensible use of the Scots pocket money.

    The links between Moore’s press statement and the Scotsman Yougov poll showing growing support for independence and majority support for fiscal autonomy may be co-incidental but I have watched UK politics for long enough to have doubts.

    My point about the Labour politicians I highlighted to you is – if they had been SNP politicians they would have been hounded by the self same media that is so totally silent on the objective evidence of ‘jobs for the boys’ and down right corrupt activities of Labour (North British Division)

    Then finally the pedantic but oft ignored point England = Britain, the words are synonymous and have been since Roman times. Greater Britain, Great Britain or Northern Britain was a semantic construct created by the likes of Sir Walter Scott in the 1820’s and has never taken hold in Scotland.

    We call our selves Scottish not North British or British and always have done so as is on record around the world – The Scottish Samurai is but one example.

    • Cammy

      Yeah, the THREE supposedly most important Holyrood politicians have been forced to apologise before parliament in the world.

      Aye, makes one proud to be Scottish, right enough.

      BTW, in response to your wee rant about this North British rubbish, as you know, the majority of Scots wish to retain the link with Britain.

      If your party had had the backbone to call the unionists’ bluff and ‘Bring It On’, you would have the conclusive proof by now.

      Interesting you should mention Sir Walter Scott., a guy who did more for Scotland than any Separatist you can care to mention. If Scotland only had more Sir Walter Scotts.

      Even a dozen or so would be better than the parochial and narrow-minded SNP and their anti-English fan club.

      • Pantone 280

        lol

        Tell it how it is.

        My contempt for the post you comment on was bad enough until I encountered the sad anti-English rant at the end.

        So sad.

        Wha’s like us, right enough.

  • ex labour voter

    London Labours Jack Mconnel was busy sending back £1.6 Billion of
    Scotlands money to notice it had lapsed in 2007 under his watch.

    I fear Elmer Fudd and his Bouncer Andy Kerr will come out of this looking like the hypocrites.
    Seems as if Kerr wants this to just go away , silly man.

  • Angus Jura

    Frankly my dears, I don’t give a damn, as Ret Butler might have put it. Synthetic anger and righteous indignation over something as trivial as the tartan tax, which had about as much chance of being used as Britain’s nuclear deterrent, cuts no ice.
    I wish these guys would stop playing playground politics and get on with some serious government. At least the SNP seems to be trying, against the odds, to move Scotland forward; some constructive opposition would greatly help, but alas, with mcro-light politicians like Gray, Kerr, BAker,Goldie and Scott, there is little chance of that.
    Echoing a previous post, McWhirter’s article in the Herald (I haven’t given up just yet!) today,puts it all into very succinct perspective. Storm, teacup – you can link them up for yourselves!

  • Pingback: Scottish Dresses Tartan | Dress To Gowns Store()

  • Corruption and Lies

    Poor effort again Hamish, did you not listen to the constructive criticism about your last unbalanced article. What will be next for your one sided analysis? (roll eyes)

    Really must try harder to REPORT FACT rather than relay a Labour script.

  • Pantone 280

    Caught out misleading parliament, and threatened by a big stick, Swinney eventually did the right thing and apologised.

    It’s a mark of the gravity of the siruation for the Separatists that Salmond, never one ususally to cow tow, also offered up an apology.

    On another topic, the Royal Wedding announcement couldn’t have come at a better time.

    Battered by parliament, and fearing the consequences of their deception in the next series of polls (as well as the BIG poll next May!!!), Salmond got what remains of his troops together and (fairly quickly) announced there would be a public holiday in Scotland to ccelebrate The Wedding.

    That’ll leave the cadre of reublicans and Monarchy-hating Separatists to keep the buses going, and ensurng the thousands who are now out of a job under Salmond, can get their dole money.

    Surely they won’t be wanting the day off?

    • Corruption and Lies says

      What was that all about!?

      • Pantone 280

        Latest polls from Ipsos Mori is out (or is that ‘are’ out?)

        Anywhow, ain’t looking good for the SNP (roll eyes).

  • GavivC

    Pantone 280 – Nanny State says time for bed. Yes you can take your teddy Ipso with you. PP’d?

    • Pantone 280

      Bed time and nightmares over Salmond’s stewardship of the country.
      Could have been muuuchhh worse had we listened and jumped on the separation train.

      Under Thr SNP we would already be in the Eurozone, potless, aligned to a dying currency, and with the Irish and Portuguese banging on the door looking for handouts!!!

      • baglady

        well panto,you seem to be making it up as you go along, where did you get

        your imformation,labour party headquaters……must be…. they are the

        only ones who know EVERYTHING….especially in hindsight……

  • GavivC

    Nightmares Panto! With a Con/LibDem as the UK government and the prospect of a Lab/LibDem the government in Scotland. it won’t be a nightmare as you sleep you’ll experience it will be the abyss you will awaken to.
    Scotland’s welfare in the hands of Gray,Kerr, Baillie, and who else but Tavish Scott for the rear end of the panto horse.
    Witness the pantomine this past week whereby these clowns have demanded apologies from two decent and honourable men, Swinney and Salmon. Their error? Refusing to hand over millions of our money for a soon to be redundant IT system for which the Lab/LibDem clowns had already handed over cash previously.
    Where’s Labour’s focus on important matters of government? No, Gray’s proud policy “We’ve harried and hamstrung the SNP minority government”‘
    And no, we wouldn’t be in the Euro. Timescale for negotiation needed.
    Helping Ireland? The UK is skint but can borrow at a lower rate than Ireland. So the help we’re providing to Ireland is to borrow at say 2% interest and loan these borrowings to Ireland at say 5%. USURY in capital letters.

  • baglady

    morning all,i have decided to return to this blog, because i note the inmates

    have taken over the assylum,and we cant have that….. now then John Swinney

    had to appologise BECAUSE HEAND THE SNP WON THE ELECTION,AND MOORE, HAD TO

    TAKE THE HEAT OFF WESTMINSTER….dirty tricks are afoot here less ‘powers’

    to be given,than promised,WHAT A SURPRISE…..IT SEEMS OUR INFANT PARLI. IS

    TO BE GIVEN ANOTHER DUMMY… to try to pasify it tillit GROWS UP…..and the

    synthetic bombast we heard last week… was in fact… the COVER UP……

    wind was the main feature…. and i’m sending the fudd, the screaming banshee,

    and the duchess, some indigestion tablets….. perhaps it’ll give us all a bit

    of peace…….but its not a brain cure…… now thats a pitty…..

  • GavivC

    Fools and apprentices must never view unfinished work:
    If Swinney had laid out before Parliament his Government’s progress in negotiating with the HMRC over the financial demands and the IT shortcomings, Gray, ably abetted by Kerr, would no doubt have proposed that we pay up in line with Labour’s “We’ve harried and hamstrung the SNP government” strategy he so gallantly proclaimed at the Labour conference in Oban.
    Concerning Moore’s part in this : What does it say of a man who campaigned for ending the position of Secretary of State for Scotland, and then promptly accepts the position?

    • baglady

      morning Gavin, yes you got it in one, smart, hypocracy is the order of the

      presant incumbent BRASS NECKS,for want of a better discription,who seem to think

      WE button up the back,a lot of hot air, anything to thwart the SNP GOV.

      disgusting really,

      this morning its the snow, call kaye,was as if our TM.should have been out with

      a spade clearing the roads himself,relentless stupidity,what do these people

      expect……. most of us know it’ll take time…. not them moan,moan, and its

      all politcal,gods sake give us a break…… but i’ll not hold my breath…

  • GavivC

    Panto – Have you got toothache?