I just saw this graphic on Gerry’s Twitter feed.

The £15b black hole pays for Nuclear Weapons; “punching above our weight around the world”; wars in places that we have no business to be; ridiculous cost of doing up Westminster and the running of the Commons and Lords (which care not a whit about Scotland and spend most of their working/drinking time on English matters); royal weddings, funerals and general upkeep of princes, princesses and palaces; infrastructure projects like Cross Rail, London Sewers, HS2, etc, etc. (Feel free to add to these things that the Brits let us pay for.)

The English-based unionist press tells us repeatedly that England subsidises us. Politicians and “lords” repeat the fantasy. Some baroness said the other day that we need to remember that the South East pays our bills. It’s utter rubbish, but it’s what they want us to believe, and amazingly some still do.

Gerry writes:

I see a letter in the local newspaper this week talking about the Scotish Government “deficit”.We need to get something like this out to every household to open their eyes.Check out your local printing service and see how much they would charge to print 1000. Then distribute them.

Always remember that there is no deficit in the Scottish government. The deficit comes from the British government spending. Some of it necessary; but a great deal of it to pay for the tra la la that goes with a country that Britain would like to be, but isn’t and hasn’t been for a very long time.

Visaprint does 1000 small leaflets for around £20; 5000 for around £40. But you may get better prices locally. Of course, some printers may refuse to print indy stuff and would have the supreme court ruling on the gay cake behind them. You can’t be forced to produce material which goes against your principles. They are reliable. They printed Munguin’s mugs.

I’d like to give a plug here too for Indyposterboy

You can print his stuff from your computer.

Thanks to Gerry for bringing this to Munguin’s attention.

35 thoughts on “WHAT ABOUT THIS FOR AN IDEA?”

    1. Munguin says I’ve not to get big headed and that the bathroom floor needs washing and the limo’s tyres need reflating, and when that”s done he’d like his cocoa with a drop of cognac…

      But thanks for letting me know. I’m now almost as famous as that Freeman bloke who’s always appearing in the National.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Even that is hard to understand. I get it that we are being ripped off by Westminster. The very bottom of the diagram needs some additional clarity, for simpletons like me. Where does the figure of £43B come from? I have tried to work it out but cannot.

    OK, round two of trying to understand this:

    The taxes, I assume we are talking about taxes here, are a revenue stream of £58b (per annum?) All of this money is collected by Westminster. Westminster then determines the share-out between what is chooses to see as domestic expenditure, circa £30b and what is required elsewhere, around £28b.

    Am I right up to that point, arithmetically speaking?

    It is “interesting” that some of the money retained – the £28b – could accrue just as readily to Scotlands expenditure as the UK expenditure. For instance, pension payments through NI contributions. Who can legitimately say that these should be allocated to Westminster rather than Hollyrood?

    But try as I may I cannot make the diagram work!



    1. I assume, from the list of items under the London skyline, that the point is that at least £15Bn and probably more of the £43Bn spent on “Scotland’s behalf” does not, in fact benefit Scotland at all.

      However (i) I don’t think that this immediately springs out from the graphic and (ii) I would amend the list of items that don’t benefit Scotland. For example, whatever I may think, I don’t think that the average voter would necessarily agree that spending on the armed forces and the royal family was not in Scotland’s interests.

      I like the idea, but I think that some redesign is needed.


  2. Thanks Gordon.

    Whilst I would partially agree with the former, I would rabidly disagree with the latter.

    “For example, whatever I may think, I don’t think that the average voter would necessarily agree that spending on the armed forces and the royal family was not in Scotland’s interests.”

    Though I don’t think we want to be a nuclear power, in the sense of bombing folk. Is that just me?

    Nor do I see a high desire ( is that the right word?) for spending money on perhaps the richest woman in the world?

    Each unto their own.

    You at least engaged, which I welcome.


    1. Hi Douglas,

      The reason that I’m a bit cautious about treating the royal family and the armed forces as some sort of Westminster imposition on Scotland arises out of my experiences volunteering in the SNP’s London call centre and travelling to Edinburgh to do some campaigning in the last days of the 2017 election.

      My experience from the call centre and going round doors is that the idea that the SNP would abolish the monarchy is not a vote winner, and this is backed up by the most recent (YouGov?) poll which showed 53% of Scots still in favour of the monarchy and only 36% definitely opposed.

      Indeed, one of my colleagues at the call centre spoke to a woman who was explicit that she liked what the SNP stood for but wouldn’t vote for us because we would get rid of the queen (not actually our policy).

      Also, to gain independence we have to persuade voters in the small-c conservative areas such as the North East and the Borders to vote for us (and they have voted SNP in the past), and I think that attacking institutions such as the monarchy and the armed forces would be counter productive. It’s not as if we don’t have a lot of alternative examples!

      However, none of the above would stop us opposing Trident or our involvement in foreign wars.


      1. I’ve always said that dealing with the matter of the Saxe Coburg Gothas is a minor matter in comparison to getting independence and forming a decent democratic country along the Nordic patterns. I can understand that there are still people who like the royals. Nothing like the numbers in England (recent polling showed that the majority of people in Scotland don’t give a fig about Harry and Meg having a baby whilst there is a least some enthusiasm in England).

        An independent Scotland wouldn’t be paying much for the royals anyway. Canada and New Zealand pay only when they are in the country and have a Governor General or something resident (of their own nationality) but they aren’t obliged to keep the GG and his or her extended family in ridiculous splendour.

        I could live with a Norwegian/Danish/Swedish style monarchy with only the very top people having these silly titles and living at the state’s expense, and the rest of them getting out there and getting a job like everyone else has to do. Clearly, of course, I would prefer democracy. In Scotland, as the Queen of Scots, Elizabeth has far fewer powers or influence than she does as the Queen of England

        Of course, Scotland needs to have a military, but as a small northern country, it really doesn’t need to get involved in wars all over the world. It clearly wouldn’t be on the Security Council as PM so it wouldn’t have to pretend to be powerful. Surely we could have the same sort of military as Norway or Denmark. And thus we would save a lot of money. Clearly not being a nuclear power (or at least pretending to be one) would be a massive saving.

        Most of all the savings, however, would come from these massive projects that are done in London for which we get no consequential because London is supposedly “our” capital.

        I absolutely agree with you that we should not piss off older voters who love the queen by proclaiming that we will immediately get rid of royalty. Surely these things are the business for referendums after we are independent.


        1. Queen of Scots, I think not she has touched the Scottish Crown but has never worn it never mind been crowned with it, the Whitehall Mandarins have made it quite clear to her that wearing the Scottish Crown acknowledges the fact of Scotland as a Kingdom and a Country !

          Liked by 1 person

        2. We should do as the Irish do: contribute peace-keeping forces, troops who are trained to bring peace rather than wage war. We could usefully coordinate our efforts with theirs, as the whole might prove greater than the sum of its parts. Perhaps the Honorary Colonel, even, could volunteer to do a spot of demining when she gets back from maternity leave (no, it’s not like dealing with unexploded WWII bombs like we’ve seen in the movies, I’m not suggesting for a moment that I want her to get blown up – just to use her talents for something more useful than leading the Scottish Tory Party or taking part in the Great British Bake-off).

          We could play a major role – given the strengths we have in so many areas – in making the world a better place. On the humanitarian side, we could be training more doctors, nurses, surgeons, pharmacists and the like, from Scotland and from abroad, in the medical specialisms that are so desperately needed in the least-developed countries – to perform simple cataract operations, for example, or the kind of surgery women may need when birthing a baby the old-fashioned way has done damage that needs surgical repair, to mention only two of the surgical specialism.

          If you’re looking for an example of that kind of humanitarian action, Cuba does that sort of thing (they do it as a sort of contribution in kind, because what with one thing and another, they don’t have money to contribute instead).

          Just as for examples, we could put together a system of roving peacetime field hospitals to back up WHO, the Red Cross, Médecins sans frontières, UNRWA and other UN relief operations. Contributions of that kind made in the context of UN-mandated missions, by the way, have an agreed monetary value placed on them which is set against the amount the country is due the UN according to the scale of assessments set by the Committee on Contributions (if you fancy a bit of boring detail, start here: https://is.gd/fKsRAD).

          I’ve mentioned medical education, but we can add to that; also with the aim of making the world a better place, we can teach engineering and other technological skills. We have strengths in hi- and low-tech areas, and heavy and light engineering. We can do IT systems, renewable power generation, green energy in general, clean water, sewerage systems, sewage treatment – if we train more people, from here and elsewhere, in areas such as those, we benefit not only people elsewhere but here in Scotland as well.

          Actually helping build stuff afterwards – is another part of our contribution to foreign aid (known as “international cooperation” to stress that recipients have to have some say in how it’s done). People bellyache all the time about foreign aid, but it’s really a very small fraction of countries’ GDP. It is said that it really needs to be much, much more if it’s to make any difference. If only we didn’t waste so much blood and treasure on war…

          The world is rapidly urbanizing, which creates its own problems. When I lived for a while in Arusha in Tanzania, a German international cooperation agency, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) was bringing the water supply and distribution system there up to European standards. I heard a lot about it from the German water engineer sitting next to me on a flight back from Kilimanjaro Airport to Amsterdam – I found it fascinating, but I’m sure everyone realizes by now that I’m really rather peculiar.

          What else are we good at here in Scotland? Loads of things. We should damn well start blowing our own trumpets more, because Westminster sure as hell ain’t going to do it for us. And whatever we do in the future, let it be ethical, and add to the sum total of human happiness, health, well-being and prosperity. Let the “British” Establishment go on making weapons of war and mass destruction, arms and ordnance to kill innocent children and their parents, and destroy the homes and the livelihoods of those who are left. Let their own rotten political system give decent, innocent English people the guilt of having blood on their hands, not ours.

          If that sounds harsh, if it sounds as if I want us to wash our hands of it, it is only because only the English people can stop the Westminster regime from doing whatever it wants to do. We simply cannot, not alone. We certainly cannot stop Them from within the UK – 300 years and more of historical experience should have taught us that by now. We can exert far more pressure on any Westminster regime by joining with others from outside the UK to put pressure on Them, but ultimately – only the English people themselves can change the direction their country is taking. There is only one alternative to that: war – and very few people would want that, except, of course, the kind of b*astards we have right now down at Westminster, the kind of b*astards, both within and outwith Government, who rule and misrule us all.

          Just pray to whatever gods you worship that They never unleash their warlike instincts on us here in Scotland.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m all for Scotland getting involved in the humanitarian side of peacekeeping.

            Most countries do something like that. I remember he part that Norway played in the Palestinian peace process (which later involved Spain) and was working well till Netanyahu was elected PM.

            I just think that the West in general messing in the affairs in other parts of the world always ends badly and I want no part in that.


  3. Scots need to make their minds up whether a Scottish government spending that £43B (or any figure really) on their behalf would be a better bet than leaving it up to England’s Tories.
    If we had a confederal system in Britain,we could agree with England etc what our contribution to shared services would be and there would be no arguments about this sort of thing.
    However,Westminster likes to operate under the Secrecy and Stealth modus which precludes any open accountancy.
    For the Tories,what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine as well.
    All mine.
    Rule Britannia.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. bringiton

      Cheers, I agree. But can you make the numbers add up? I certainly cannot. I am looking for an explanation of the diagram, and frankly, none has been forthcoming. The UK retention of our money is perhaps to do with our military. I have no idea why that should not be directly, realistically , our money.

      Perhaps someone can tell me where or how the £48b is arrived at?

      For a mere pleb such as I, it is not at all clear. My pathetic arithmetic does not arrive at that number. No matter what I do.

      Perhaps the good folk on here can explain, y’know, in a reasonable and rational way, what the heck is going on?


        1. OK Douglas.

          It says that Scotland tax take is £58 billion. All of this goes to London. London gives us £30 billion of it back to run our government… and all its services.

          London claims that IT then spends £43 billion on Scotland’s behalf. That would include paying social security, pensions, military, Liz and her brood, Embassies, EU payments, blah blah… etc ad inf.

          So they say that to run Scotland the way it is run today costs the £30 billion that the Scottish government spends PLUS the £43 billion that the English spend on our behalf.

          So that is £73 Billion.

          But Scotland only earns £58 billion.

          So the English are subsidising us annually to the tune of the difference between £58 billion that we take in tax, and the £73 billion that is spent (£30b by Edinburgh and £43 b by London).

          That is our black hole. £15 billion.

          I hope that makes sense. 🙂

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Not contradicting your figures Tris, just different presentation.
            Douglas, or we get £30 billion back from our £58 billion we gave them (Westminster), that leaves them with only £28 billion spenders but they say they need £43 billion to spend, on our behalf and for our benefit. The difference is £15 billion and a benefit junky badge, for everyone in Scotland.
            I wouldn’t beat yourself up Douglas, over your math skills. Westminster manages to believe the outcome of their figures, resulting in the likes of the above . Which taken over the whole “Union”? gives that only 10% of the population, of the UK, is responsible for 65% of the deficit.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. I’ll just add (sorry, my little joke) that those figures reflect the GERS figures which allow the Yoons to do their shamanistic chant of “Black Hole, Black Hole, Black Hole WooWooWoo Too Wee Too Poor Too Stupid WooWooWoo”.

              However, there is another way to look at those figures. We earn £58 billion. We spend £30 billion. That leaves £28 billion we spend outwith Scotland. NO COUNTRY ON EARTH spends almost as much in other countries as it spends within its own borders. It would have to be absolutely mad to. Of course we are (notionally) buying services from Westminster which we currently do not perform for ourselves – but to the tune of almost half our total government revenue? Gimme a break!

              Liked by 2 people

                1. Not one of mine, alas, Alan – I nicked it shamelessly from a recent book called “On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century” by American author Timothy Snyder, which I bought in for a little light bedtime reading. At least I think that’s where I nicked it from.

                  I know that I do bang on and on and on about the dangers of the far-right regime we have in Westminster and the moves They are making to push down even harder towards fascism, but Snyder is better and more cogent at it than I am. He also shows us the kind of mental hygiene we need to practise to be awake and aware enough to know when and how to resist.

                  Here’s a URL for getting cheap(er) copies: https://is.gd/QxbyoJ, and sort by price.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Thanks for the link, have ordered a copy.
                    You’re correct about the far right within Westminster. They are very organised, have good funding and internationally connected. They are also in it for “the long game”.

                    Liked by 1 person

              1. Presumably though, in fairness, it includes money that London spends inside Scotland (as well as outside). Pensions, social security, pathetic though they are, for example.


  4. People like talking about all the things we could do for the world if independent. Maybe we should get off our idealistic high horse and concentrate on Scotland first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Susan, I think that it doesn’t do any harm for us to discuss what kind of country we want to be.

      It’s a fair comment to say that most countries, even small ones, play some role in the rest of the world. Especially the well off ones. It would be surprising if Scotland, relatively rich, declined to.


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