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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:23 pm 
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Jimcee wrote:
But there is no possible way of knowing how an independent Scottish government would have dealt with revenues and taxes had they been in control from the beginning.


You are quite correct Jim, there is no way of knowing but it's safe to say that any INDEPENDANT SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT of whatever political hue would have used the revenue, and any other revenue earned by Scotland, with the interests of the Scottish people at heart.
Unlike Westminster who, to be fair, has to attempt to please the whole of the UK at the same time. (and failing miserably)


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Jimcee wrote:
the promise of untold wealth from beneath the North Sea to fill an Independent Scotland's coffers and give us all a gulf state lifestyle


Don't remember that claim from the SNP during the Referendum, must have been somebody else. :pipes

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:52 pm 
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Two points to the above entry from Bill McD (I must learn how to include quotes)
1) The suggestion that receipts from North Sea oil would be a bonanza to Independence coffers was explicit, if not actually spelt out in graphic detail.
2) The suggestion that the UK government mishandled revenues from North Sea oil to Scotland's detriment is indefensible, The Norwegians may have handled things differently, but then they are among the very few people who can afford to live in Norway (this is a bit like ("pull the ladder up Jack").
Suppose that this particular oil had been discovered in the Bristol Channel. Would the proceeds from this have just been allocated to England, and not to the rest of the UK? We are (at the moment anyway) a United Kingdom and as such share the good things and the bad.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:14 am 
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jimcee wrote:
The suggestion that the UK government mishandled revenues from North Sea oil to Scotland's detriment is indefensible.


No it isn't. It is eminently defensible.

The UK has squandered its oil revenues instead of using them to build a legacy for its people the way Norway has.

Few people would deny that. It is far from being a peculiarly SNP position.

Perhaps you could have a look at this Kenneth Mackenna article on the Guardian website:
How Westminster helped squander Scotland’s black gold

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:19 pm 
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Well Mr administrator, you really are a dab hand at trawling the press to pick out any articles that support your cause.
Even the title tells you the bias "Scotland's black gold".
It was not even on Scottish soil but in UK terretorial waters which just so happened to be off the coast of Scotland.
As to mishandling the revenue by the UK government - Tax from alcohol, petrol, tobacco, income, you name it - tax income we all pay is put in to a pot and used to finance all the services we receive.
This system has been in place ever since Winston Churchill introduced a tax on cars, to pay for the upkeep of roads, and then squandered it to pay for all sorts of other schemes. This is now the norm for anything that legislators consider worth taxing and is unlikely to change even under an independent Scottish Government.
I am sure that smokers would be delighted to think that the crippling tax they pay is earmarked to pay for fast track service in the NHS, ditto to drinkers, or even more "pie in the sky", that our National Insurance contributions are paid into our own personal pension plan.
Spurious claims are made that scrapping Trident would provide 100 new schools or 500 extra nurses but if these extra coffers became available, I rather doubt that they would be ring fenced for that purpose, but just join the pot and could be used to finance any scheme that seemed to be politically worthwhile at the time.
Cynical that may be, but my experience of politicians has not placed them very highly on the Richter scale.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:55 pm 
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jimcee wrote:
but my experience of politicians has not placed them very highly on the Richter scale.


Since the Richter Scale is a measure of the damage caused by an earthquake, then by "not placing them (politicians that is!) very highly" on the said scale suggests that they haven't done much damage. Most have done enormous damage. :cry:
Most Westminster MP/PMs' that come to mind I would place pretty near the top of the scale.
Eg.
Thatcher: Shipbuilding, Coal. Car production, you name it, all ceased under her, leaving millions on the dole. ( maybe she used Scottish Oil Wealth to pay the dole money ) :cry:
Blair: Daft wars and 'spin' ( that means telling porkers to the voters) :roll:

Lower on the Richter Scale?
Eg.
Major: Rather ineffectual but he did manage to get the Irish to talk to each other, and that is an achievement. :D

Where would you place Cameron on the Richter Scale I wonder?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:23 pm 
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Bill McD
as you feel that the Richter scale is probably inappropriate for grading politicians, I would rank them along with most estate agents, car salesmen, bankers, lawyers, financial advisers, traffic wardens, and nuisance telephone callers. But in no particaluar order of demerit.
But to come to the main part of your message.
We live in a global economy, and if the Polish can supply us with coal, the Koreans, ships, the Indians, cricket bats (I just threw that one in), and the Chinese practically everything else, at a more reasonable cost, we cannot obviously compete - unless the cost of production here is subsidised by the Government. This is virtually buying jobs (out of our taxes) to keep employment up.
Your other points - I notice that you continue to harp on with the Westminster trashing - is this some sort of denigration exercise to make that parliament seem like the bad guy responsible for all our problems? And you are still referring to the currently reasonably priced stuff at the pumps as Scotland's Oil - it is UK oil found offshore of the Scottish coast - and considerably offshore at that.
Finally, since you ask, I have no particular respect for Mr Cameron the present incumbent of No 10. He comes across as glib, weak with his party ( a bit like the tail wagging the dog) and almost as insincere as the Blair fellow.
Over to you.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:40 pm 
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Politicians were, I believe, placed on the Golgafrincham 'B' Ark, so perhaps Jim has a point.

However, I am afraid it is a fact that the public record of the majority of SNP politicians is much cleaner than that of politicians of most other hues. There has been singularly little successful dirt dished on the leading lights of Scotland's party of (devolved) government.

Over to you Jim - dish the dirt.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:53 pm 
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I must admit that there are gaps in my knowledge.
I have never heard of this Golgafrincham "B" Ark to which all dubious characters are consigned - politicians included.
As regards the lily white reputation of the current SNP bunch, I can think of one who is no stranger to the Law Courts, and not as a witness.
However I am not into dishing the dirt, and such is the nature of politics, that the opposition (and the press) are on the lookout for any indiscretions that can usefully be exploited.
And, on the whole I think this is a good thing - if they (the politicians) know that any indiscretions might see the light of day there is some pressure on them (if they wish to remain on the gravy train) to have a clean bill of conscience.
It is understandable that our administrator sees all members of the SNP as knights in shining armour, and all others as rather suspect. But such distinctions are probably the realm of the zealot.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:52 pm 
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Well Jim, your view of economics is very different to mine, because the following just doesn't add up.
jimcee wrote:
if the Polish can supply us with coal, the Koreans, ships, the Indians, cricket bats (I just threw that one in), and the Chinese practically everything else, at a more reasonable cost, we cannot obviously compete - unless the cost of production here is subsidised by the Government. This is virtually buying jobs (out of our taxes) to keep employment up.

We produced huge amounts of coal. ships and cricket bats forty odd years ago together with cars, steel and aircraft.
But most of these heavy industries were axed in the 70's and 80's as they were deemed 'unprofitable' since a certain level of 'subsidy' was required to keep them afloat and competitive.

It was within these industries that lads and lassies could, if they wished take a job/career for life, thus paying their taxes and filling a pension pot for themselves. The goods they produced were exported or sold domestically, this created the wealth that provided the nation with the 'services' it required, eg, NHS. defence, social housing/security etc.

We now need to import everything on a large scale, so the jobs in the UK tend to be part-time and low paid, therefore low tax receipts.

So how Jim do we pay for all the Polish coal, ships, dole money, Your pension, MPs' expenses, Bank bailouts/bonuses, NHS, Defence, Cricket bats, and so on without the industry to provide the taxes to pay for it?.
Simple, we slowly squander our wealth, not just the Oil, almost all our service companies have been sold off to fill the financial void left by our lost industries. ( we couldn't subsidise them now even if we wanted to)

So it's not our taxes that's paying for all the above, it's our Kids future.
That's why I "continue to harp on with the Westminster trashing" (it's record is deplorable), and why I want a free and Independent Scotland

So in one respect you are correct, we can't compete because we no longer have the skilled workforce to mine coal, build ships, operate steel mills or the cash to set them up again.

Thatcher claimed that we must not subsidise "failing industries", but her real beef was with the power of the Unions that she saw as a threat to Government Power.
She won that battle, the cost was all of our heavy industry, millions on the Dole and a population split between the have and have nots'.

Our Industries were not perfect, (neither were the Unions) but you don't scrap your car if it's got a baldy tyre, you just get it fixed!.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:53 pm 
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Bill McD paints a very pessimistic picture of the state of our economy.
His "rosy past" was in the glory days of Empire (on which the sun never set). The riches from there were ruthlessly exploited, and it also supplied an inbuilt market which ensured British goods had no competition. This gave us a rising standard of living on the backs of exploited states.
Now we live in a global market of competition without protection, and even Government subsidies to keep ailing, out of date heavy industries was not sustainable in the long tem.
The world changes and we have unfortunately got to adapt to learn to live with changing circumstances.
Blaming the government, of whatever hue, for changing circumstances is not the answer, and the fact that we have an immigration problem suggests that the UK is still a desirable place to be (with all it's faults). The counter argument that we are a soft touch with state handouts has, I think been largely refuted for the vast majority of immigrants.
Were the grass really greener elsewhere, surely there would have been a huge exodus from this country - after all we still have the whole of the EU to choose from without going to the ends of the earth.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:14 pm 
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jimcee wrote:
Were the grass really greener elsewhere, surely there would have been a huge exodus from this country


It depends on what you mean by 'this country'

If you are referring to Scotland then each year around 70,000 people leave Scotland, including more than 30,000 young people, which is more than 700,000 people over the past decade.

And of course Argyll has suffered as much as anywhere in Scotland, becoming a haven for retired people as more and more young folk have to leave to find any sort of work that will allow them to buy a house or raise a family.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:25 pm 
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jimcee wrote:
Bill McD paints a very pessimistic picture of the state of our economy.

Yep!
jimcee wrote:
His "rosy past" was in the glory days of Empire (on which the sun never set).

Nope! I was referring to the 1970/80s.
Jimcee wrote:
The riches from there were ruthlessly exploited, and it also supplied an inbuilt market which ensured British goods had no competition. This gave us a rising standard of living on the backs of exploited states.

Nope! don't remember that in the 1970/80s.( tho' to our shame it did occur a century before )
Jimcee wrote:
Now we live in a global market of competition without protection, and even Government subsidies to keep ailing, out of date heavy industries was not sustainable in the long tem.

Shipbuilding, Steel, Cars, Coal are hardly "out of date".
Jimcee wrote:
The world changes and we have unfortunately got to adapt to learn to live with changing circumstances.

Yep!
Jimcee wrote:
Blaming the government, of whatever hue, for changing circumstances is not the answer, and the fact that we have an immigration problem

Voting UKIP then Jim? ( ain't it annoying when you get quoted out of context)
Jimcee wrote:
the UK is still a desirable place to be (with all it's faults).

Absolutely !!
Jimcee wrote:
The counter argument that we are a soft touch with state handouts has, I think been largely refuted for the vast majority of immigrants.

Yep!
Jimcee wrote:
Were the grass really greener elsewhere, surely there would have been a huge exodus from this country - after all we still have the whole of the EU to choose from without going to the ends of the earth.

Nick answered that one.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:57 pm 
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In reply to Nick B.
Your figures (where do you dig up all this stuff) are misleading.
First of all you suggest that there is an exodus of 70.000 a year from Scotland and therefore 700.000 over ten years.
This is ridiculous -if this had been the case then the population of Scotland would now be half what it was in 1975.
So I suspect that your figures only relate to those leaving the country and no mention of the numbers arriving.
At a guess I would imagine that overall the population is fairly stable.
People come -people go - that has always been the case since they started walking upright. reasons for doing so are varied, and cannot all be blamed on the Westminster government.
Second point - Argyll is full of retired people - admittedly we have our fair share, and with an ageing population will probably be more so. But so do other parts of the country and does this not suggest that Argyll is a desirable place to reside? Retired people eat, drink, wear clothes, drive cars, and do a lot of things just like the rest of society, and need the infrastructure to supply these needs, so there are employment opportunities to supply these needs. And as a rejoinder these same retirees are probably more law abiding, responsible members of society causing less burden on the welfare system.
Thirdly, although there might be a decline in the Argyll population - this is not necessarily doom and gloom. Globally we have a serious problem in store with rising population, and Argyll could be applauded for doing it's tiny bit to reverse this trend.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:33 pm 
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Sorry to split these replies into two.
Observations to Bill McD.-
We have broad agreement on a number of issues raised in the recent exchange.
However the following points on diversity-
B McD seems to focus on 1970/1980 when everything was all right with this part of the world, and it only needed a continuation of policies and we would all have a utopian future, and I suspect that he blames M. Thatcher for rocking the boat.
But, although my grasp of dates is maybe not as accurate as others, I seem to remember this period as a time of the 3 day week, hyper inflation, having to get a bailout from the IMF, miners strikes, and a general disruption to our cosy equilibrium.
B McD seems to think that we could have weathered this instability, had it not been for M. Thatcher's intervention, and that things have been awry ever since, only curable by the splitting up of the UK.
The selfsame lady did make some serious mistakes (the poll tax was not one of them), but on the whole she got the UK into a more viable state to compete with the rest of the world.
When I said that heavy industries were out of date in this country I did not mean that they should be consigned to the scrap heap - merely that the demand was still there, but that we could not compete against foreign competition either by the antiquated state of our infrastructure ( a throwback to colonial days) or our labour laws which protected jobs for life but were totally unproductive.
Finally - I will not be putting my X in the UKIP box come May. They appear to be a one theme soapbox with some very dubious members who have hit the headlines for misdemeanours, and led by a beer swilling, cigarette smoking leader who is about as far removed from potential leadership of this country (and we are still UK) as it is possible to get .


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:36 pm 
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jimcee wrote:
The selfsame lady did make some serious mistakes (the poll tax was not one of them), but on the whole she got the UK into a more viable state to compete with the rest of the world.

I'm impressed by your 'deep blue' goggles Jim. How can the UK be "in a viable state to compete" with NO heavy industry of it's own.
As for the 'rob the poor pole tax' i.e. Wee Hoose=Big Tax and Big Hoose=Wee Tax,............ words fail me.
jimcee wrote:
B McD seems to think that we could have weathered this instability, had it not been for M. Thatcher's intervention, and that things have been awry ever since.

I do,
jimcee wrote:
only curable by the splitting up of the UK.

Splitting the UK wouldn't cure the bad political decisions of the past but Independence for Scotland would divorce the Scots from the polititians high up on the 'Richter Scale' who made them.
jimcee wrote:
led by a beer swilling, cigarette smoking leader who is about as far removed from potential leadership of this country (and we are still UK) as it is possible to get .

Don't underestimate a man who smells of fags and booze, he is a canny and dangerous operator. I'd prefer to see Mr Farage safely marooned south of the border come independence, we've yet to see his true colours but I think we can guess. ( very high on the Richter Scale is Mr F )
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:49 pm 
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Now where is your sense of social justice and fairness, Bill mcD?
The Community Charge (Poll Tax) was an attempt to make those wage earners who benefit from the services provided, pay a contribution towards their costs. And it was not a "wee house big tax - big house wee tax", as you well know the bigger the house the higher the rating band. The reason that it failed was because of the public outcry by those who were now being asked to put their hands into their pockets, instead of getting the services free of charge.
Admittedly a fairly understandable reaction but not a very public spirited one -in fact downright selfish.
A case in point - in the village we lived in were two semi detatched houses. In one lived a widow, and in the other husband , wife and two grown up sons, all working. In the old system and the present one each household pays the same contribution. If you consider that to be fair then you will be disgusted with your SNP's proposal a while back to bring in a local income tax which would have helped to correct this injustice.
But maybe you have a different method up your sleeve for financing council services which encompasses those who benefit from them?
In case you think I am being over critical - we do at least agree about N. Farage


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:05 pm 
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Although the theory behind the "Poll Tax" may have been well intentioned, It was obvious that in practice it could never work and would simply move the injustice of the old Rating System from one income group to another ( as in your example of the semi-detached house ).
It seemed a bit blatant that a Conservative Government introduced it and it was their very own voters who would benefit, and oh! what a surprise! ordinary working ( Labour voting ) families would foot the bill, very neat but it had to fail.

Hardly social justice and fairness is it Jim.

As for an alternative? I don't know but a local Income Tax would probably be as good as any.

Maybe a thread should be started discussing UKIP and Mr F, that might stir things up.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:44 pm 
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Oh , come on Bill McD,
Unfair, bound to fail, unjust?
If I post a letter I have to pay for a stamp.
If I have a meal in a restaurant I get a bill.
If someone mows my lawn I have to pay him.
If I phone a friend there is a charge.
If I get my bin emptied, free books from the library, street lights to navigate darkness, schools to educate my children, roads to move about on,, and a lot of other services, available to those that need them, - and am in receipt of regular income, yet get all these services absolutely free, without contributing - under the present system that is not just or fair.
But obviously we will have to differ on this one.
Starting another line on N.Farage would probably get nowhere, as I don't think he rates very highly hereabouts, and a discussion gets nowhere if all are in agreement.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:03 pm 
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Jim, if someone mows your lawn you have to pay him once. Under the poll tax analogy everyone in your house wojld have to pay the mower. Does that make sense?

The poll tax as a way of paying for local services was unfair for many reasons.

One of the most obvious is that four working people living in a three-bedroomed semi-detached council house patently do not consume four times as many council-provided resources and the one guy living alone in a bit detached house at the end of the street. Each house has one wheelie bin. Each house has one streetlamp outside it. Each family owns one car. I am sure you can think up some other examples.

Operating a simple multiplier based on the number of people was manifestly unfair, tending to place the biggest burden on the poorest. A local income tax would be a much better solution.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:48 pm 
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jimcee wrote:
Unfair, bound to fail, unjust?If I post a letter I have to pay for a stamp.If I have a meal in a restaurant I get a bill.If someone mows my lawn I have to pay him.If I phone a friend there is a charge.If I get my bin emptied, free books from the library, street lights to navigate darkness, schools to educate my children, roads to move about on,, and a lot of other services, available to those that need them, - and am in receipt of regular income, yet get all these services absolutely free, without contributing - under the present system that is not just or fair.


"Let 'em eat cake" Eh Jim? You sound very much like a bloke who has never had to worry about how to pay his bills.

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