Author Archives: the45

Poundage rates for Scotland and England

Tories In Disarray Over Business Rates

One of the main lines of Tory attack for the upcoming council elections is the increase in business rates. The Tories love to portray themselves as THE pro-business party, so they’ve been pushing this theme relentlessly. All of the sycophantic media has been slavishly publishing the Tory propaganda. So I thought we should take a look at the issue and see if the Tory claims bear close scrutiny.

What are business rates?

Here’s how they are described on the myscotgov website: “Business rates (also called non-domestic rates) are a tax on business property to help pay for local council services. They are based on the property and generally don’t reflect the turnover or profits of your business. If you have business premises, it’s important to consider business rates in your financial planning.”

So business rates are based on the property value, not the profitability of the business. Its stands to reason then that if the property value increases then the business rates increase also. There’s even a kind bit of advice on the website, best keep those rates in mind when doing your financial planning. I’m sure most well run businesses would heed that advice.

Who decides on the value of the property?

As we all know, property values vary over time. If we want businesses to pay the correct amount then their properties must be revalued from time to time; in Scotland this is carried out every 5 years. This valuation is performed by the Scottish Assessors Association who are an independent body. The assessors for each area are appointed by a cross party committee of councillors, one of the Aberdeenshire Council Committee members was Cllr Gillian Owen, Conservative and Unionist Party. So if the Tories are complaining about the valuations, they only have themselves to blame.

How are business rates calculated?

Once the rateable value of the property has been determined then the business rates can be worked out. The Scottish Government sets the rate which is known as the poundage rate, i.e. how many pence in the pound will be charged. The poundage rate normally increases with inflation (RPI) and it also matches the increases in England. The Eric Young & Co website has the details:

Poundage rates for Scotland and England

Poundage rates for Scotland and England

So we can see that the poundage rate increase for properties valued below £35000 is exactly the same as the English rate for properties below £18000. The more expensive properties then have to pay a Large Property Supplement. In England this starts at a lower rate than in Scotland (1.3%) but the Scottish rate is higher (2.6%).

What’s the problem?

With the increases being closely matched then you would expect there to be howls of discontent in England too. Poor Victoria Beckham’s store rateable valuation is up 415%. But it can’t be the annual increase that the Tories are moaning about , it must be the revaluation

What does the UK government have to say about it? Well a government spokesman said, “This revaluation improves the fairness of rate bills by making sure they more closely reflect the property market.”

Oh, according to the tory government in Westminster the revaluation improves fairness. The message couldn’t have reached the branch office then because Ruth Davidson says this on the branch office website, “This revaluation is threatening jobs and the wider economy, and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Which is it? Either fairness is improved or jobs are threatened, I’m a bit confused.

Perhaps Murdo Fraser can enlighten us?

He says, “This is fast becoming a crisis for businesses the length and breadth of the country. Many say they face closure, while others are being forced to hike their prices to cover these increased costs. This is not an acceptable state of affairs, and we need to know what Scotland’s finance secretary intends to do about this. It’s time for the SNP to prove it’s not an anti-business government and take some meaningful action to help these businesses which are the lifeblood of our economy.”

So the SNP government is anti-business, what does that make the Tories in Westminster then?

Hmm, maybe we can get some help from the tory candidates for the upcoming council elections?

Here’s Colin Clarke, currently the Conservative and Unionist party councillor for Inverurie and district.

“Inverurie has a thriving town centre with a strong High Street shopping culture, but local firms are being squeezed by SNP tax policy. We should be supporting our employers, especially during the current downturn in the north-east economy. Many of these are family firms with strong links to the local area, but they are being hit with ever-increasing bills. I want to see a freeze on business rates to offer some relief to these companies which are finding it tough at the moment.”

So the increase doesn’t support employers in Scotland but improves fairness in England.

He goes on to say, “At the moment, it seems the SNP see the north-east and towns like Inverurie as a cash cow, with rising income tax, stamp duty and business rates providing a triple whammy of higher bills”

Oh dear Colin, you’re a liar. There has been no increase in income tax in Scotland. The income tax rate next year is exactly the same as it was last year. In fact most people will paying less income tax next year than they did this year due to the lower earnings limit being raised.

Perhaps former Provost Councillor Jill Webster can enlighten us? She gets a mention in the Evening Express. “Cllr Jill Webster said her own manufacturing business faces a six-figure increase which was “quite shocking”. She added: “The Finance Secretary should have done something about this one earlier and rushed this North-east situation on earlier.””

A six figure increase! That sounds dramatic, lets take a look at this claim then:

Cllr Webster,or Jilly as she’s known, runs a couple of businesses at the same time as being a councillor. She does this on a part-time basis we are told, does that mean she is a part-time councillor? Anyway the businesses in question are Rubberatkins Ltd and Reactive Downhole Tools Ltd. A quick search for the Rubbertkins business yields the postcode AB23 8GW.

Lets see how much the rateable value has increased by entering the postcode into the search engine on the SAA website. This tells us the current rateable value is £209000. Looking at the proposed valuation on the same page we see that it will be £307000, that’s an increase of £98000. But that is the rateable value, not the actual business rate, which can be estimated by the business rate calculator on the mygov website. This yields a business rate of £151044.

Rubberatkins business rates 2017

Rubberatkins business rates 2017

But Jilly said that her business faced a six figure increase, so at least £100000 then. Lets work it out shall we?

Her old rateable value was £209000. The old rate was 48.0% up to £35000 then 49.3% above that. Which give us £12250 + £85782 = £98032. So the increase is £53012. It looks like Jilly can’t do her sums.

I wonder what could have cause the increase in the rateable value? Could it be the 1000 square meter extension to the business premises that is mentioned on the company website? Looks like our Jilly didn’t heed the Scottish Government’s advice to “consider business rates in your financial planning.” If she did then she would have seen the business rate rise coming.

So there we have it, the Tories say that the business rates rise is about improving fairness in England but is all kinds of SNP bad in Scotland. Tories’ council candidates lie and can’t do their sums. Who would vote for them?

 

Hard border mainland UK

Borders, NoB orders and Brexit

Hard borders, soft borders, no borders, we’ve heard it all. There has been much debate about which type of border would exist between a post Brexit Scotland and England in the event of Scotland being able to avoid sinking, along with the rest of the UK, into an insular little xenophobic fug with post-imperialistic tendencies. There are various permutations of the argument but we know that the British parties and their “Scottish” stooges will always plum for the most extreme variation in order to scare people into complying with their way of thinking. So lets take a look at that extreme option.

Scotland voted to remain in the EU by a hefty margin, of course the democratic will of the Scottish people matters naught to the British Fundamentalist so they insist that Scotland retains its chains to the sinking ship Britannia and we’ll all sing Jerusalem as we descend to the bottom of the North Sea amid glorious waves of red, white and blue. But let’s assume that Scotland somehow manages to retain her full EU membership (or something very close to it). This option could probably only be achieved with full independence since there is no political will on the part of the British Fundamentalists to do otherwise. They know best you see, just get back into your tartan shortbread tin Scotland.

The British Fundamentalists tell us that a hard border would exist between Scotland and England so we would should really understand what a hard border looks like. First up is the Irish border as it used to look during the euphemistically named “troubles”.

A watchtower on the Irish border

A watchtower on the Irish border

The border itself was very porous with no actual fence or wall dividing Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland. There were roadblocks and checkpoints, watchtowers positioned at strategic points and armed soldiers manning them all. This was a hard border. It existed between two EU member states. It blocked the movement of goods, people and services and damaged both countries economies.

The next border is another hard border, more extreme than the last one. It is the former Inner German Border which used to exist back in the days of the Cold War. I used to patrol it and it was scary, it looked like this:

Inner German border

Inner German border

There were walls, anti-vehicle ditches, mine fields (the ploughed strip above), fences, war dogs on running leashes, watch towers, armed troops and all manner of listening and observation devices. The main difference between this border and the former Irish border was that this one was designed to keep people in, not out. I like to think that this would be the type of border that would exist between England and Scotland, one which is designed to keep the poor little Englanders in since they all aspire to get into the prosperous Scotland which stayed in the EU, well maybe not.

The fact is that all borders are artificial constructs, animals and birds do not respect borders. They are by human beings, for human beings. Designed to keep human beings on one side or the other. They exist only by the will of man.

So would this type of border exist between a post Brexit England and an European Scotland? If it did it would be an extension of the English southern border. It would be an English construct since Scotland neither needs nor wants one. The only people who would want one are the UKIPpers and their Daily Express reading followers who have been fed a constant diet of the dangerous migrants and glorious Britain with its smashing Empire. It would be the border between what remains of the UK and the EU/EEA. If rUK made it difficult at one point the EU would make it difficult at all points.  If rUK made it difficult to cross from Scotland within the EU/EEA into rUK then the EU would make it difficult to cross from all EU ports into rUK. For this reason sanity dictates that it would never happen (assuming some sanity still exists in this world).

Now our Tory Brexiteers insist that there would not be a hard border between a post Brexit Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. No real border exists there now and that’s the way that most people on the emerald isle want it to stay. So how can that be? How can Northern Ireland remain within the UK and have no borders with the Republic of Ireland? Well here’s how:

Hard border mainland UK

Hard border mainland UK

The border would exist around mainland UK! Taking us back to dark days of WWII. If you want to travel around the UK you will have to show your papers. Fancy jumping on a ferry to Larne? You’re going to need your passport. Live in Belfast and want to sell those goods to mainland UK? You’re going to have to pay customs duties and fill in lots of paperwork. This is the reality which awaits Northern Ireland and its soft border with the Republic of Ireland, the hard border will exist but it will be on the mainland.

So to sum up, no hard border will exist between Scotland and England whether or not Scotland retains EU membership or not. If NI remains part of UK it will have a hard border at the UK mainland and no border to speak of with the Republic of Ireland, but if NI remains within the EU it won’t have a border at all. Got it?

OFGEM Announcement

I should have known better

Considering myself a canny consumer I always shop around for the best deals for my electricity supply (no gas here, see It’s a gas, gas, gas). So i was relatively pleased with myself when I found a good deal with a company called GB Energy Supply. The name very nearly put me off but it was a good deal so I went ahead with the switch, but I should have known better.

Like the non existent country that this company is named after this company went bust. But they didn’t bother to tell anyone about their financial troubles. The first I heard of it was on a news site. So I went to the website but it was down, then I went to OFGEM. To be fair they provided plenty of reassurance and information about what was happening. But I had some concerns about whether I would ever see the credit that I had with GB energy again.

That was two days ago and yesterday came the news that a Supplier of Last Resort had been found. That supplier is Co-operative energy.

OFGEM Announcement

OFGEM Announcement

I also receive an email from my new energy supplier telling me that they will honour the terms of my contract with GB Energy Supply, so I keep the same tariff and that they would give me the credit that I had built up. So far so good.

But then I did some digging, being an ethically minded person after all. I thought that I should do some due diligence and see who this new supplier was. It turns out that they are part of the Mid-counties co-operative. Which in turn are part of the Co-operative group.

Digging around some more and I find that the Co-operative group had donated a big wad of cash to the Co-operative party in Q3 2016. £312800 to be precise.

Co-operative Group Donations

Co-operative Group Donations

Then I looked for the Co-operative party and I found their website here.

About the Co-operative Party

About the Co-operative Party

Further down the page I find this:

Co-operative Party Politicians

Co-operative Party Politicians

So if I stay with this energy supplier I will be directly funding Unionist politicians, warmongers,  WMD fans and ermine socialists. Why would I want to do that?

So that’s it I’m off to another energy supplier as soon as I can. If you’re one of the 160000 former GB Energy Supply customers you may wish to reconsider this offer too.

Smackeroonis

The Seven P’s

Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. So went the acronym so beloved of military instructors as they regaled their students with the importance of being prepared for as many eventualities as they could think of. They were absolutely correct and we need to be prepared for the upcoming maelstrom created by the EU referendum and today’s announcement, by the First Minister, of a draft bill for a second Scottish independence referendum. I don’t have a crystal ball but I don’t need one to see some of what comes next. I’ll try to be as logical as I can, but there is not much logic around at the moment so please forgive me if I seem to go off at a tangent here and there.

It’s the economy stupid

The UK economy is in the first stages of what will probably be viewed as the most severe depression ever. The vote to leave the EU caught the UK government with its pants down and exposed its utter complacency in assuming a No vote. Now we are drifting along the river Brexit with no navigator and no means to propel towards any particular destination even if we knew where we wanted to go. The reality of our desperate situation is slowly dawning on the currency markets and they have been dropping the pound as if they have suddenly realised that they are holding a turd (which they are).

The resulting sell off has seen the pound dredge some entirely depths not seen for 168 years according to the FT.

pound-to-euro-13oct16

Pound to Euro 13Oct16 (Graph courtesy of http://www.xe.com)

The fall against the Euro, our biggest market, is bad enough. But it’s the fall against the US dollar which is more alarming:

Pound to Dollar 13oct16

Pound to Dollar 13Oct16 (Graph courtesy of http://www.xe.com)

Since all commodities are priced in dollars the recent falls in the pound/dollar exchange rate are going to push the prices of everything up, the Marmite/Unilever issue is just the tip of the iceberg (Unilever wanted to increase prices by 10%). This will feed through into the inflation figures in around 6 months time and the Bank of England will be under severe pressure to increase interest rates. For an economy which is hooked on cheap money this will be very damaging, can you afford a 5% increase in your mortgage rate? Now would be a very good time to reassess your situation and maybe lock in a fixed rate for a while.

Meanwhile the price of oil has been increasing, $52 per barrel as I write this. This will push the price of everything up and therefore increase inflation as well.

Oil price 12 months 13Oct16

Oil price 12 months 13Oct16 (Graph courtesy of BBC)

Coupled with that are the negative yields on government bonds, or gilts as they are known. Effectively the government is being paid to borrow money! This can’t last of course. Once the financial markets look at the levels of UK debt and the potential for the UK to pay that money back, they’re going to want a better yield for the increased risk. This means that the bond prices will fall from their current highs and the respective yields will increase. It is these yields which drive the longer term interest rate. So the Bank of England will be forced to raise interest rates sooner than it wishes.

In short the UK economy is about to suffer a severe downturn, which will make the tired old economic arguments against Scottish independence look weak at best. The economic argument was the most potent weapon wielded by the despicable Project Fear during the first independence referendum but it will become one of our best arguments for independence very soon.

I don’t particularly like the economic argument, for me independence is a normal state of affairs for a country and having the opportunity to fashion our country in the way we wish it is all the argument I need. However we will need every advantage that we can get in order to counter the British state so I will be thankful that the economic argument will be in our favour.

The Brexit vote will allow us to be able to deploy such arguments as:

  1. UK drowning in a sea of debt (which can’t be serviced and a default is imminent)
  2. Big business deserting the UK for the EU
  3. Huge job losses
  4. Massive, and increasing, wealth inequality
  5. Huge hikes in taxation and reductions in public spending
  6. Big reductions in international investments

The bust will be painful, but as an opportunity to counter Project Fear it must be seized.

Currency

The next most potent argument wielded by that ermine socialist Alistair Darling was the currency question. The Tories of all hues gloated that we couldn’t use our own currency post independence. The argument was a straw man, as fallacious as it was arrogant. But the pound is now in free fall and if it carries on then the Smakaroonis could well be considered a reserve currency in comparison.

Smackeroonis

Smackeroonis

The fatal flaw in the currency union argument, even though it was sound and the best solution for Scotland and rUK, was that it gave the initiative to the UK government who ruthlessly exploited it. We cannot allow this to happen again.

For me the only way to answer the currency question is for us to have a pound Scots. A free floating currency would be preferable, however it would probably be necessary for there to be a peg during the currency’s infancy for stability. This MUST NOT be a peg to the pound sterling because this would hand at least some of the initiative back to Westminster. A peg to the Euro, the US dollar, or preferably a basket of currencies would be my solution.

A little known fact is that for every Scottish pound in existence there exists an equivalent pound sterling lodged with the Bank of England. In 2007 there were just over a billion Scottish notes in circulation and an equivalent lodged with the Bank of England. We would be having these assets back of course, they would be a useful deposit for starting our own central bank.

The weakness in the currency argument is that we may be required to use the Euro. However if we can retain our current membership conditions this wouldn’t be a problem. But I expect the forces of darkness will relentlessly pursue this line, perhaps our friends in the EU can help?

You can’t have a referendum!

I can just picture Her Majesty Queen May standing outside No. 10 telling us Scots that we cannot have a referendum as she wields the royal prerogative against democracy again. I see this discussion being had already but it is unlikely to come to pass. The main reason being that we gave the SNP all the mandate they needed to hold one when we re-elected them. It was in their manifesto and all they are doing is keeping their promise, just like the Tories kept their promise to hold an EU referendum.

Of course the power to hold a binding referendum is reserved to Westminster, it was temporarily devolved for the first independence referendum by the Edinburgh Agreement. So theoretically the UK government could withhold the power. This is unlikely to happen because it would play sweetly into the hands of the SNP who would wield the “denying democracy” argument with devastating effect. Can you imagine the outrage if we were to be told by the Viceroy of Scotland that we couldn’t have democracy?

The Scottish government could hold a non-binding referendum any time they choose, there is a pro-independence majority in the Scottish parliament so the bill would be passed. This would allow the Scottish government to hold the referendum free of the constraints of Westminster. Can you imagine the UK government allowing a referendum to happen which they had no control over? Not a chance.

So I think it highly unlikely that the Tories will block a second referendum.

We need to prepare, for the time is short. I will endeavour to ponder more imponderables soon, but it’s late and I have an exam tomorrow, so it’s Bon Soiree.

shovel-faced lesbian

sorry but i’m a jock
it won’t be much of a shock
that i want to break holyrood
and steal power back for good

once i get my orders from may
i execute them without delay
my words and fundamentalism
spread by organs of imperialism

keeping the rich nests feathered
is the reason i am bothered
hopefully an ermine coat
can clothe this unworthy scot

i can lie to order
knowing the media won’t bother
chastising my deceit
i’m just protecting the elite

the will of the people means nothing
when we have migrants needing expelling
human rights will be eviscerated
once we have brexited

i tell you what to do without mandate
while my chums pollute and rape
the country into which i was born
your criticism only brings scorn

you won’t be getting a referendum
the thought makes snackbeard glum
you’d only vote yes, that’s true
then i’d have to wear flat shoes

Respect democracy

It’s the phrase of choice for British Nationalists, isn’t it? They’re always telling us that we need to respect the result of our independence referendum. They use this phrase as a shield to deflect any and all criticisms of the UK, the stock phrase being “well you voted for it.” And they’re quite correct.

We voted for the status quo, we voted to remain the junior partner in a UK which was a member of the EU. Indeed we were told that the only way to preserve EU membership was to vote No in our referendum. We were promised other things if we voted to continue to be subservient to our London government, but they were more threats than promises. They were threats about HMRC jobs, threats about Royal Navy ships built on the Clyde, threats about our economy and it’s reliance on oil. But one of the biggest threats was the one about our membership of the EU. The architect of this programme of fear mongering dubbed it Project Fear.

It must be some quirk of fate then which moved the HMRC jobs to England, delayed the building of Type 26 frigates indefinitely and drove the price of oil to sustained lows. It must be a pure coincidence that we now find ourselves heading for the EU’s exit door (the one which confounded Nigel Farage). In fact it must just be a fluke that all of the British Nationalists’ threats have come to pass.

But we have to respect democracy, don’t we? We have to respect the fact that 55% of Scots voted to remain a part of one of the most corrupt states on the planet based upon the threats and promises of the serried ranks of corporations, politicians, media and monarchs. Forget the 45% that voted to jettison a 300 year old union which has extracted so much from Scotland that our economy can’t sustain itself. We don’t count because we didn’t win.

We have more democracy to respect now in the shape of the EU referendum. In reality it was more like a Nuremberg rally than an exercise in democracy. Project Fear took time out from demonising the Scottish independence movement and it focused it’s dull gaze, Theresa May like, on “immigrants”.

Theresa May

Theresa May

If anybody doubts that propaganda works, witness the sharp increase in racist attacks since the result of the EU referendum was announced. I hear that the Brexiteers are to rename England to Xenophobia.

But forget how the campaign was won. After all it’s not the means which counts in a referendum, it’s the result which matters. Slim as it was it was the result was still a majority for leaving the EU. That’s cool, I respect that. I respect the fact that the UK as a whole wishes to turn insular and cut itself off from the rest of the world. I respect the fact that the UK wishes to cancel all of the trade deals which currently exist between the EU and the rest of the world.

However, respect is a two-way street. So now that I have proclaimed my respect for the result, so must the British Nationalists. They must respect the fact that an overwhelming majority of Scots voted to remain within the EU, as did the people of Northern Ireland. I doubt that they will, after all we are the losers again. The British Nationalist will not respect our vote in the EU referendum just like they will not respect our qualified vote in the independence referendum. So why on earth should we respect the result of either referendum?

As far as I am concerned all bets are off. We voted to stay in this toxic union called the UK on condition that we retained our EU membership. Now that we are to be torn out of the EU by the votes of another country why should we stay in the UK?

What is to come is one of the most uncertain periods our country has ever faced. We will face massive upheaval, economic shocks and political mismanagement on an unprecedented scale. Given that we can clearly see our fate, how can we best navigate our way safely through its turbulent waters? To which ship should we pin our colours to? Should it be the slave ship Xenophobia with its crew of 65 million (foreigners not welcome), or should it be the cruise liner Europe with its crew of 742.5 million? My money, and most of the rest of the world’s money, is on the EU.

The only way that this can be achieved is for Scotland to become an independent nation once more. For that to happen we will need to hold and win a second independence referendum, we don’t have much time but the broad Yes movement is still with us. Let’s get going. The British Nationalists have already begun, but now their arguments ring hollow and we are no longer afraid. Saor Alba

Angus Glens mountain hare slaughter. Courtesy of Raptor Persecution Scotland

The tears of our land

The Gift of Grouse, a lobby group for the blood sports industry in Scotland, have issued a press release in which they seek to reassure us that it’s good to burn vast strips of our countryside, they laughingly call it Heather on FireOK! They even have a Twitter hashtag for it #hetheronfireok!, although if they were truly understood Twitter they would know that hashtags don’t use punctuation marks. Muirburn is the name that is used for burning the heather, it is used in order to control scrub and to re-generate the heather. This then provides food for grouse.

The whole purpose of this group is to portray the blood sports estates in a benign light, like they are really managing the landscape for the benefit of all. But this is not the case, the continued burning of the heather prevents the land from regenerating naturally and produces a variegated landscape with which we have become all to familiar. Have a look at this picture from Google Maps, it shows the area around Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire. It could be a photo from any upland area in Scotland.

Balmoral courtesy of Google Maps

Balmoral courtesy of Google Maps

There can be no doubt that the landscape is being intensively managed, each one of those strips is the result of burning. Muirburn is governed by the Muirburn Code, regular readers of this site will know that when something is governed by a code there are vested interests at play.

Muirburn is not a harmless thing, it is not some necessary evil which we should accept. It is the wanton destruction of our native environment for the purpose of providing “sport” to the select few who can afford to pay upwards £140 for the privilege of killing a brace of black grouse. When the heather is set alight most larger mammals and birds will get away, but lots of smaller animals, reptiles and invertebrates will be killed since they are just too slow to get away.

Muirburn significantly lowers the water table in the burnt areas, this results in the drying out of the peat which releases carbon into the atmosphere. It also affects the amount of water which the peat can store, combine this with the draining of the peat bogs on the grouse moors and any excessive rainfall is going to rush into the rivers and produce flooding downstream, as happened in Ballater, just downriver of the above photo, last winter. These floods are the tears of our land.

Flooding endangers lives and property, it results in increases in insurance premiums for everyone. In effect all of us are paying for the effects of this poor land management, witness the announcement of the Flood Re scheme yesterday. At least it will help some homeowners to insure their properties, but this will be achieved by foisting a levy onto all insurers, who will pass the cost on to everyone. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be happy because he has just increased the Insurance Premium Tax by 0.5% to 10%, this is after a rise of 3.5% last November.

The same lobby group also released a PR piece about the culling of mountain hares, they place the usual spin on it about protection of the environment blah, blah, blah. But the harsh reality is this (photo courtesy of Raptor Persecution Scotland):

Angus Glens mountain hare slaughter. Courtesy of Raptor Persecution Scotland

Angus Glens mountain hare slaughter. Courtesy of Raptor Persecution Scotland

You see, mountain hares get in the way of grouse shooting. The reason for this slaughter, which repeats itself across Scotland, is cited that the hares spread ticks. That is why they must be butchered annually. And all because the the rich folk want to pursue “the sport of kings.”

These shooting estates are very often owned through offshore tax havens so it is almost impossible to find out who the beneficial owners are, perhaps the Panama Papers may throw some light on some of them. But you ca be sure that every one of the blood sports estates will be receiving a hefty subsidy from the EU. That’s more of our money going to them, but we can’t find out how much or to whom. Most of the blood sports estates are run at a loss, which helps to minimise the owners’ tax liabilities elsewhere. Leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab once more.

To my mind the only way to really get a grip on these blood sports estates, and to find out who the beneficial owners are, is to make them all apply for a licence. We could call it the “blood sports licensing scheme”. We could then ensure that the land is being managed in a manner which befits the many, not the rich few.

The Scottish Government needs to be much bolder in its next term. To that end we cannot allow the pressure groups like The Gift of Grouse and Scottish Land & Estates to dominate the debate. The land belongs to all of us, it is merely being (mis)managed by these people. If this is an issue which you feel strongly about, make your voice heard. After all there are elections soon, don’t let the entirety of the debate be about tax. It’s our land after all.

 

Yet another establishment whitewash

Dame Janet Smith has published her review into the predatory paedophile, serial sex abuser, rapist and necrophiliac, Sir Jimmy Savile at the BBC. In it she concludes that Sir jimmy Savile was indeed a rapist, sex abuser and paedophile while he worked at the BBC. Happily she also concludes that management knew nothing about it, some junior plebs knew some stuff but they failed to report it. So that’s alright then.

Another review was conducted into the sexual activities of another BBC employee, Stuart Hall (formerly OBE), by Dame Linda Hobbs. This review was originally going to be included in the Sir Jimmy Savile review but Dame Janet Smith had a conflict of interest because she knows personally a member of BBC senior management at BBC North West. It’s curious how this conflict did not prevent her from conducting the rest of the Savile review, especially since she concluded that Savile abused his victims “in virtually every one of the BBC premises at which he worked.” Presumable he Sir Jimmy Savile never worked at BBC North West then?

Sir Jimmy Savile presenting Top of The Pops from BBC North West's studio in Manchester

Sir Jimmy Savile presenting Top of The Pops from BBC North West’s studio in Manchester

The Stuart Hall review concluded that some management may have known something about his paedophile activities but nothing specific so nothing was done. Both reports conclude that no one is to blame because of a culture of fear at the BBC which still exists today, as could other predatory rapists and paedophiles. So that’s alright then. The review cost £6.5 million of TV licence payers’ money and the BBC Trust must think it money well spent, since none of them were at all to blame.

These reviews remind me of the Cullen Inquiry into the Dunblane shootings, which was generally derided as a whitewash since it didn’t look into the allegations that the murderer was heavily involved with a VIP paedophile ring which operated at a military school which has the Duke of Edinburgh is the patron; the school is called the Queen Victoria School. Another inquiry has been started into whether there was a police cover up at the time. Lord Burton, a former head mason, alleged that a paedophile ring may have operated at the school which was based around a masonic sect known as the Speculative Society.

Lord Burton said, “The Housemaster told me of how, in about 1990, he believed boys from his then school were being bullied by their peers at the school and sexually abused, both at the school and away from the school. He told me the latter was done by a clique of paedophiles connected with the school (teachers etc. and their friends) and another group of “toffs” who visited the school and took carefully targeted boys away for weekends.”

The modus operandi of the establishment seems to be:

  1. Event occurs which public demand action over
  2. Establish inquiry which takes years
  3. Inquiry eventually reports once furore has died down a bit
  4. No one is to blame but lessons are learned
  5. Carry on as before

How long are we going to take this for? How many must be killed and/or abused before we put a stop to this? We can make a start by getting rid of the BBC, the home of paedophiles and corruption. We can legally withdraw our funding from the nonces, a quick search on the internet will tell you all you need to know.

As a final thought, here’s a picture of the Dunblane murderer and a couple of well known faces:

Two of the men in this photo have had whitewash inquiries carried out on them

The establishment have whitewashed inquiries into two of the men in this photo

I have a "Special Deal"

The Perma-Tory hell of Brexit

Our beloved leader has cast aside his bestialist ways and got us a super deal which gives us “special status” within the EU. Not that the deal amounts to much, it just tinkers around the edges of immigration policy and benefits. But the PM’s biggest achievement is the exemption of the City of London from any EU regulation. How’s that for light touch regulation? Paul Double, the City of London Remembrancer, will be pleased.

Now we are expected to decide whether we want to stay in the EU in a referendum which is to be held on the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, the timing is against the wishes of all of the devolved parliaments and assemblies since the referendum campaign will overshadow the May elections. The referendum will continue to dominate the agenda until then and it will provide a free platform to UKIP which may see their first MSPs at Holyrood.

This referendum is all about the tories and the advance of UKIP who have outflanked them on the right. The tories have always been split on the EU, some tories split from the main party to form UKIP. Tory party grandees fund UKIP and it is they who are driving the anti-EU agenda.

Before we get lost in the EU referendum let’s remember that UKIP want to abolish the Barnett Formula which they conceded in their 2015 manifesto, “…will result in substantial reductions in funding for Scotland.” But hey, that’s OK because we will have some super new powers of our own to compensate for the shortfall. This places UKIP up there with the red tories who want us to raise income taxes in order to mitigate for tory cuts. But they are purple tories after all.

So what would the UK be like if the result of the referendum is to leave?

Well the first thing to go would be those pesky Human Rights that are forced on us from the EU. That would be the end of freedom of speech, we wouldn’t be able to complain about being tortured or having our privacy invaded. The tories would be able to do as they please once the shackles of the European Court of Human Rights are thrown off. We would have no right to life, no right to freedom, no right to property and definitely no right to protest. Goodness no, that would never do.

The next thing to go would be those irritating employment laws, you know the ones that protect the employees from the worst excesses of the employers? So out would go union laws, we won’t be having any of those. Then the tories will make it even easier to get rid of people and as for holiday entitlement, ha ha ha. Pay would be driven down, unless you are a boss of course, and those working conditions would be, how should I put it, improved.

Once you have been booted out of your job and you become “no longer economically active” well, what use are you? You may think that all those National Insurance contributions counted for something but you were wrong. There will be Universal Credit if they ever get the computer system sorted out, but IDS will make it impossible for you to claim it. If you are unable to work through sickness or disability IDS will make you jump through all manner of hoops before declaring you fit to work, so you get nothing. The new benefits regime will be called Work for Freedom.

Did we mention pensions yet? The tories will reduce the state pension but not too much, they do rely on the silver vote after all so it will be nice and subtle. Those other benefits like winter fuel allowance and free TV licences will all have to go, after all we need to pull together now that there’s a war on, spirit of the blitz and all. Didn’t we mention the war? We’ll get to that. The bus passes will have to go, but then pensioners are not economically active so why do they need to get around? As for those company and private pensions, all that lovely cash sitting around is just too tempting to resist, Gideon already has his greedy eyes on that honeypot. After all there is a war to pay for.

Oh yes, the war. Well it turns out that nuclear weapons are no deterrent after all. The £167 billion which was funnelled into arms companies didn’t prevent the war. Well it wouldn’t would it, because war is so much more profitable than peace. If there’s something a tory loves it’s money and cushy non executive directorships, both of which can be had by the bucket load if only the house votes for war.

We’ll need someone to do the dirty work, boots on the ground so to speak. There weren’t many volunteers so the tories re-introduced conscription. Now all our youth must serve in the armed forces, but only working class youth of course. There are lots of exemptions so if you have enough cash your son/daughter will not have to join the slaughter discipline enhancing institutions of the armed forces. Before you know it they will be off to the sand pit with sub-standard kit, made by the lowest bidder, to fight in a perpetual war which cannot be won.

Back home in Blighty there will be fear, lashings of it, all over the MSM. We need to have fear to keep the people in their place you see. There will not be any facts, good lord no. We can’t have the plebs making informed decisions can we? That would never do. The media will do the government’s bidding because they are one and the same. All part of the same establishment because that is what tories stand for: the few at the expense of the many.

Liar Carmichael

The liar’s reward

The Orkney 4 are safe in their burrows tonight after judges ruled that Alistair Carmichael, the lying Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland, could not extract punitive damages from them for having the temerity to challenge his election. He will now have to stump up the cash himself. But let’s not fool ourselves here, the only winners in this case are the lawyers who stand to make somewhere around £300000! How can it be that such a phenomenal sum of money is required to bring our elected representatives to account?

The liar’s fundraiser currently stands at £14595, there’s been a wee flush of activity since the decision of the judges. It’s interesting to have a look at the donors, you get a view into the mind of the yoon. So let’s take a wee peek shall we?

Eric Holford

Eric Holford

First up is Eric who obviously got caught up in the media propaganda, but the lying Liberal Democrat admitted that the document was false back in May 2015. He must have missed that nugget of information. Notice how he blames the SNP for this “attack.” He just doesn’t understand that lying to the electorate is wrong! This is a theme which is repeated throughout the fundraiser. Take Robert Moss for instance:

Robert Moss

Robert Moss

Why is it accepted that politicians lie? Can we not aspire to something more than having self-serving liars representing us? The whole purpose of the Representation of the People Act was to allow politicians to be held to account. Unfortunately it seems to be flawed as it gave the liar Carmichael enough wriggle room to keep his job. The yoonery continues with Robbie:

Robbie Thomson

Robbie Thomson

This is a common thread too, the petitioners are scum for wanting to hold their MP to account apparently. Why does he think that? I think that the media has a lot to answer for in this regard, they went into full propaganda mode to protect their man. All opponents of the union are denigrated, we get a good othering at every turn. Casting the Orkney 4 as scum is a continuation of this line of attack. They’ll be calling us untermensch next.

Next up we have Jill Stephenson, aka History Woman, one of the most extreme yoons there is:

History Woman 1st donation

History Woman 1st donation

History Woman 2nd donation

History Woman 2nd donation

According to History Woman it is all the fault of the Scottish judicial system, even though this is an Act of the UK parliament. The judges decided that he did have a case to answer and because the verdict was divided between the Orkney 4 and the lying Liberal Democrat that no costs should be awarded. Jill clearly doesn’t see that if Carmichael had not lied and come clean to the Cabinet enquiry, then none of costs would have been incurred. Mind you Carmichael would probably have lost his seat, and deservedly so. But what of the cost of that enquiry, reportedly £1.4 million? Is Jill happy for us to foot the bill for that? If Carmichael had been an honest man those costs would not have been incurred either. The Tories will probably see that as a small price to pay in order to keep their single remaining Scottish MP safe.

There was also a donation from Sir Malcolm Bruce, Lord of the Gowk Stane, who bunged the liar £50. Who can forget this former MP telling us that all politicians lie, and that really is the core issue of this sorry tale. Why is it acceptable and legal for politicians to lie? Is this just a feature of the Westminster parliament or does this phenomenon pervade the devolved assemblies too?

This case just goes to prove that politicians are above the law, they can lie to us with impunity. The whole system of “democracy” in this land stinks of corruption. It is a system in which politicians, both elected and unelected, syphon vast sums of money off into tax havens as this excellent article by Steve Topple describes. They do as they please while we pay the price, does that sound like a good system of government to you?