IT’S …YAWN… GERS TIME… YAWN… AGAIN

aaaaSo, once again, we’ll say it with a quote from an article in the Herald from some years ago:

<<Gers was conceived as a political, not as a statistical, exercise. We know this because the original correspondence from the then Secretary of State, Ian Lang, was leaked some years ago – he wanted it to “undermine the other parties”, saying “this initiative could score against all of them”.>>

Ian Lang was working hard against his own country when he was John Major’s Secretary of State. His intent was to undermine “the other parties”, including Labour. (Note to Labour. Given that Lang designed GERS to make you lot look bad, your fixation with them now is a little silly.) 

The figures, as far as I can make out, are incomplete and take no account of UK borrowing (a not insubstantial and ever-growing amount). The figures are calculated by the Scottish government based on incomplete evidence provided by the UK government. It is little wonder that they put Scottish finances in a poor light.

So GERS gives a false impression of Scotland in its present situation as part of the UK (as indeed Lang intended). It gives no indication at all of what the financial situation would be were Scotland to be independent and free from the financial responsibility of “punching above its weight” on the world scene; playing in some ridiculous way, at being one of the Big Boys, like China and the USA, instead of one of the small fry, like Denmark or Norway.

That the soon to be unelected MP and now Noble Baron, Mr Lang, was encouraged to concoct something so treacherous suggests that the Major government feared and was determined to stamp out any notion of devolution in the early 90s.

alan

That Lang had to concoct a fiction to do it says all we need to know about the situation.

And the fact that he was prepared to work against his own country in that way, says all we need to know about him as a person. He was, I believe, the one who said, in a debate in the House of Lords, that the creation of an independent Scotland would ‘dishonour’ the memories of all those Scottish soldiers who died fighting for Britain during various wars.

I was pretty close to vomiting when I read that!

Right HONOURABLE??????

Still, he’s ended up doing well out of it… and that’s probably all that matters to him.

37 thoughts on “IT’S …YAWN… GERS TIME… YAWN… AGAIN”

  1. “that the creation of an independent Scotland would ‘dishonour’ the memories of all those Scottish soldiers who died fighting for Britain during various wars.”
    India had a volunteer army of 2million, they fought for the British in WW2, and many other wars, they became independent in 1947, with no dishonour. New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Barbados etc etc became independent with no dishonour.
    Lang is a malicious ignorant fool. Scots put up with it.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Tris

        I remember Lang, he was creepy and he loved it, they saw Scotland as a place to be controlled. I remember hating them every time I saw them. They destroyed communities and brought honest hard working men and women to their knees, my father included. I didn’t know much about politics but I knew that they robbed people of their dignity and self respect and I hated them for it, while they appeared to love doing it. Thay laughed at us, they still do and yet the yoons still bow and scrape to them, I don’t know who I despise more now.

        Bruce

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes. I agree. They were evil, that lot. It was all about London. the res of the country could go hang.

          And then, when they realised how much unemployment there was, and how that could destabilise the country, they started moving civil service jobs to “the regions”.

          So once you were a coal miner or a steel worker, and now they wanted to you to work in a government call centre.

          That was how much they understood about the plebs, or as we would call them, people..

          Then when that only partially worked (becasue the jobs were not suitable for most) they started encouraging ex-factory workers whose lives they had stolen, to get themselves on Sickness Benefits, because the figures weren’t reported monthly (or at all) unlke unemployment figures which were becoming embarrassingly high.

          Then at some point, when their ploy was rumbled, they decided that ALL the people on sickness benefits were skiving ne’er do wells… and they started sanctioning them and shaming and “othering” them.

          In the meantime two-jobs Ruth told us all that far too many Scots were burdens on the state (she who used to work for the BBC then parliament and now the Army) and that we should all have forgotten Thatcher by now. It was all decades ago… she said.

          Then of course she went AWOL since her bunch of weirdo racists and pests got elected to councils and having suspended them, she let them all back in.

          In the meantime rotten 4th raters like the Noble and Rt Hon Baron, got themselves tidy wee non jobs being posh at £300 a day… and all for making repugnant speeches.

          Despise is a good word.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Tris
    I must admit I have rarely blogged about them at all, actually I don’t think I ever have. I remember reading before the indyref that they were bullshit and that the SNP were making a big mistake bigging them up, I always agreed. They have always been a trap as you have illustrated, the SNP though are stuck with them now having made such a big deal about them in the past. I think what needs to happen is a decent analysis of what they don’t do but its a losing battle either way I suppose. Both sides use them, I think the saddest thing is reading comments on BBC Scotland when they open them up on a bad news day, so many people who live in Scotland talking the country down, they might have been born here but they are not Scottish, they are British through and through like the orange order unionists in N Ireland, they don’t have a f clue and while they know they are being used accept it, jockholme syndrome in all its glory. Sad.

    Bruce

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We’re lumbered with them.

      I can;’t see how the government could stop producing them, although they are inacurate in any case.

      My main point though, in writing about them was to show what a complete and utter bag of dross that Lang bloke is.

      He actually sat in his office in Dover House, working out an elaborate scheme to make Scotland look bad.

      He makes me shudder in horror and disgust.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just for you, Tris – a wee pen-picture:

        See his robes all trimmed with ermine:
        See his arms and motto grand –
        Baron Lang, bought Tory placeman,
        Paid to betray his native land.
        Judas too betrayed for silver,
        He was tempted by the wealth.
        At least Judas had a conscience:
        He went out and hanged himself.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Prof Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute at Strathclyde University, and formerly Salmond’s head of economic policy, said forecasts showed the gap in performance between Scotland and the UK as a whole would continue for the rest of this decade.

    In a blog analysing the latest figures, Roy said GERS provided “a pretty accurate picture of where Scotland is in 2016-17” and was a useful starting point for analysing the challenges posed by independence. Those challenges would grow in future, he said.

    So Alex much praised expert says the stats are accurate
    Nat deniers discuss but only with factual provable evidence
    Not snp extremist lying moonshine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, it’s not for me to argue with experts, but didn’t they, just a few weeks ago, find that they had been underestimating (to the tune of billions) Scotland’s income.

      Of course, they give a picture of Scotland’s current situation but an independent Scotland wouldn’t be helping to pay for sewers in a foreign country; wouldn’t be helping to build them a high speed railway, wouldn’t be massively involved in war efforts, wouldn’t be buying a new set of nuclear weapons, wouldn’t be spending billions on doing up a foreign parliament…

      But here you are Niko. Answer me this. Scotland is surrounded by small countries. Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands,

      By common consent they all have better lives than Brits.

      What is it that the people of these small countries have that Scots don’t?

      Like

  4. The propaganda has been too sodding successful: there are far too many people in our country who take it as an article of faith that they are “too wee, too poor, too stupid”. Lang and his pals want to make out that Scotland is an economic basket case, which, if it were true, would be a shocking indictment of Westminster’s rule. As it stands, the usual stooshie about GERS will neatly displace from the news cycle the very good and perfectly accurate analysis by Business for Scotland of Westminster’s outrageous misappropriation and then squandering of the revenue from Scotland’s oil and gas resources. The comparison with Norway’s handling of their oil wealth has always been damning – because, make no mistake, Westminster governments have been extraordinarily incompetent in their management of the UK as a whole, and of Scotland’s in particular.

    The surprise is in fact that Scotland continues to make modest economic progress despite all the obstacles: another reason the Usual Suspects don’t want us Scots to be able to run our own country is that we would most likely show Them up for the ideologically driven, factually challenged fools, incompetents and serial liars that so many of them are.

    By the way, I find it very odd that anyone should take the view that there is something extreme about people who want the people of the country they live in to run that country. It’s like saying the Americans had no business having a revolution, or that Canada shouldn’t have a capital of its own, or that India should still be the Jewel in the Crown of Empire… Or Ireland. Or Kenya. Or Nigeria. Is anyone really saying seriously that the lot of them are extremists for wanting to run their own affairs?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ach, usual editing / proofreading fails: first paragraph, last line, for “Scotland’s” read “Scotland”.

      When I said “management” there, I was thinking primarily in terms of economic management, but oh, if only that were all!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I see that the usual suspects are saying this is proof that Scotland would not be allowed into the EU. Thing is, that the EU has introduced legislation about how regional economic data is reported. Since the WM portion of GERS is based on estimates, and partial survey data they do not meet the EU standard and as such would not be acceptable.

    I would suspect that one of the reasons for WM’s desperation to get out from EU regulation is that much of their “creative accounting” could no longer be used to gull the public.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very good point indeed, BJS. It’s another reason why we really should pay very little attention to GERS except as a source of things we really need to find out more about! Macart over on WDG gives a link to a rather good analysis of GERS by Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK entitled “GERS 2017: why it remains irrelevant to Scottish decision making”. Here’s a shortened version of the link (so it fits on one line): http://tinyurl.com/ycgqs4ts.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We should not be comparing Scotland’s economy with England,the two countries are very different although having an economic model imposed on us which is designed for SE England has distorted things considerably.
    A fairer comparison would be Norway but we would need to indentify and clarify Scotland’s economic data before so doing.
    It is not in the interests of the British state to do that.
    GERS is a political tool,not an economic one.

    Liked by 2 people

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