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Old Yesterday, 08:20 PM   #10461
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Originally Posted by anonymous_redrum View Post
Plus the stuff you said about HS2 being good for Scotland(!),
Can we please stop with the HS2 bashing? Nicola Sturgeon believes it's a good idea and put it in the SNP manifesto.
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Old Yesterday, 09:40 PM   #10462
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Originally Posted by anonymous_redrum View Post
I will just forget lines like that for now, all i can see amongst your arguments most of the time is Scotland crap, UK good.
Scotland is not crap. Scotland has problems. Are you saying you believe it is perfect? If so, I wonder why you're apparently supporting the most drastic of constitutional change imaginable...

I'm actually pretty content with things. However I do not want people coming along and damaging our economy for the sake of ideology.

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You can't blame me for saying unionist apologiser, i am not calling people on benefits stupid and you know that. Public spending per person might be higher but it is offset by what Scotland contributes, there are no freebies from the generous union. GERS/IFS figures do not tell the whole story, why should we be paying to the debt that Westminster built up for a start(they are in charge of fiscal policy), why should we contribute to HS2, London sewers and so on. No wonder it is in surplus when it is subsided by the rest of the UK.
The Scottish Government's GERS figures do not tell the whole story? They underplay Scotland's contribution? Why would the Scottish Government do that?

Anyway, you're not paying a penny towards London's sewers. This was a fiction put forward by a certain slightly mad SNP MSP. The Thames Tunnel project she referred to is, unsurprisingly, being funded by Thames Water.

As for HS2, I've already pointed out that benefits the whole UK. It cuts journey times from Edinburgh to London by 45 minutes. That is a considerable positive for our railway network, which - across Great Britain - is an integrated service.

The statement that "Public spending per person might be higher but it is offset by what Scotland contributes" is factually false. There's no two ways about that.


Quote:
Let's put the FFA thing to bed once and for all, since it is not on offer at the moment anyway.

David Cameron the other day:



Cameron has spent the last couple days saying FFA would be bad for the UK. Basically, he has just admitted Scotland gaining FFA would be of 'detriment to the rest of the UK'. If the UK is bailing us out in bad years and Scotland is such a burden and subsidised, why would they be utterly against FFA? They would be all for it and then watch Scotland's economy free fall, if the £7 billion 'black hole' is to believed that is.
Except you are assuming that somehow unionists believe Scotland benefits in the UK to England's detriment. That's a rather bizarre assumption. I don't think the UK is there to be some sort of method for depriving English people of their cash. I believe it benefits us all.

Yes, David Cameron was entirely right: FFA would hurt the entire United Kingdom. It'd threaten our trade relationships, we'd lose economies of scale in terms of tax and welfare, we'd undermine our stable public finances and end up in a situation of constant constitutional conflict.

Several great kingdoms and empires have believed that the only way to succeed is by beggar-thy-neighbour policies. However in modern times, we've come to realise that the success of others contributes to our own success. That's part of the reason we give international development funding, part of the reason the EU provides regional development assistance, and part of the reason for the Barnett formula.

Our success is tied to England's success, and Wales's, and Northern Ireland's - and, as I pointed out in a previous post about deficits, our neighbours in Europe. Putting Scotland into a recession by creating a huge fiscal black hole is hardly going to benefit our neighbours.

As for FFA being off the table - probably best inform Nicola Sturgeon, who had it in her manifesto today.

Quote:
It is never anything aspirational, it is all stay with mother England and you will be ok little one. Plus the stuff you said about HS2 being good for Scotland(!), London is in surplus and bails out everyone else, comparing Scotland to Greece and Slovenia(!) and so on.
I aspire to things quite different from impoverishing the nation for my own sense of identity. You know what my aspirations are? A better economy, more people able to go to work and earn a decent living, fewer people isolated by mental illness or addiction, the elderly being confident they will be looked after in old age, the idea that human advancement will continue to make our lives better and freer. These are important goals, and I actively believe FFA and Scottish independence will undermine them.

Scottish independence and FFA harms all that.

Anyway, all of what I stated on HS2, London's fiscal balance and Scotland's deficit being second (well, rather, third) only to Greece and Slovenia in the EU is factual. If you have a problem with me saying that then your problem is not with my political opinions, it's with reality itself.
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Old Yesterday, 09:53 PM   #10463
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Can we please stop with the HS2 bashing? Nicola Sturgeon believes it's a good idea and put it in the SNP manifesto.
Well, quite. But I think she's entirely mistargeted here.

The best thing I can see wouldn't be bringing HS2 further north - I suspect that's to give the impression that it somehow won't benefit us without actually being built here. What I'd prefer is to link HS2 more effectively to HS1, giving Scotland and the north a seamless and effective connection to continental Europe.

High speed rail between Edinburgh and Glasgow is a bit of a crap idea all-in-all. We are already capable of faster journeys between the two cities - the journey time has increased over recent decades. What would actually be of benefit, and what will be partially addressed under the new franchise arrangements, is the quality of the service. Plug sockets and WiFi/mobile coverage that actually works should be top of the agenda.

The Scottish Government, to their credit, are creating longer platforms at Queen Street - although as far as I'm aware they have no control over the length of trains which, even at peak times, could well be longer under current arrangements. What primarily will benefit is if the infrastructure is there to allow people to work on Glasgow-Edinburgh trains.

... and yes, I say this as a former (and extremely frustrated) intercity commuter who splashed out £350 a month for my season ticket.
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Old Yesterday, 10:39 PM   #10464
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Originally Posted by 1M14 View Post
Can we please stop with the HS2 bashing? Nicola Sturgeon believes it's a good idea and put it in the SNP manifesto.
Aye, if you start building from one end to the other.
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Old Yesterday, 11:18 PM   #10465
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Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
Scotland is not crap. Scotland has problems. Are you saying you believe it is perfect? If so, I wonder why you're apparently supporting the most drastic of constitutional change imaginable...

I'm actually pretty content with things. However I do not want people coming along and damaging our economy for the sake of ideology.

The Scottish Government's GERS figures do not tell the whole story? They underplay Scotland's contribution? Why would the Scottish Government do that?

Anyway, you're not paying a penny towards London's sewers. This was a fiction put forward by a certain slightly mad SNP MSP. The Thames Tunnel project she referred to is, unsurprisingly, being funded by Thames Water.

As for HS2, I've already pointed out that benefits the whole UK. It cuts journey times from Edinburgh to London by 45 minutes. That is a considerable positive for our railway network, which - across Great Britain - is an integrated service.

The statement that "Public spending per person might be higher but it is offset by what Scotland contributes" is factually false. There's no two ways about that.

Except you are assuming that somehow unionists believe Scotland benefits in the UK to England's detriment. That's a rather bizarre assumption. I don't think the UK is there to be some sort of method for depriving English people of their cash. I believe it benefits us all.

Yes, David Cameron was entirely right: FFA would hurt the entire United Kingdom. It'd threaten our trade relationships, we'd lose economies of scale in terms of tax and welfare, we'd undermine our stable public finances and end up in a situation of constant constitutional conflict.

Several great kingdoms and empires have believed that the only way to succeed is by beggar-thy-neighbour policies. However in modern times, we've come to realise that the success of others contributes to our own success. That's part of the reason we give international development funding, part of the reason the EU provides regional development assistance, and part of the reason for the Barnett formula.

Our success is tied to England's success, and Wales's, and Northern Ireland's - and, as I pointed out in a previous post about deficits, our neighbours in Europe. Putting Scotland into a recession by creating a huge fiscal black hole is hardly going to benefit our neighbours.

As for FFA being off the table - probably best inform Nicola Sturgeon, who had it in her manifesto today.

I aspire to things quite different from impoverishing the nation for my own sense of identity. You know what my aspirations are? A better economy, more people able to go to work and earn a decent living, fewer people isolated by mental illness or addiction, the elderly being confident they will be looked after in old age, the idea that human advancement will continue to make our lives better and freer. These are important goals, and I actively believe FFA and Scottish independence will undermine them.

Scottish independence and FFA harms all that.

Anyway, all of what I stated on HS2, London's fiscal balance and Scotland's deficit being second (well, rather, third) only to Greece and Slovenia in the EU is factual. If you have a problem with me saying that then your problem is not with my political opinions, it's with reality itself.
The UK has problems, the world has problems. I don't believe in being tethered to a country that has a £1.5 trillion debt(a debt Scotland's economy never needed), that goes on illegal wars(renewing weapons of mass destruction too) and leaves our people in abject poverty. What this government is doing to the disabled is absolutely immoral. The Tories ripped up the post war consensus and should have been shamed out for Britain for good. They are self serving and do not care about ordinary citizens, only making the rich richer. Everyone knows what is happening, inequality not seen since Victorian times, rising child poverty, millions people going to food banks, rising suicide rate and so on. Britain is a sham, it always has been.

The Scottish electorate support devo-max/FFA overwhelmingly, your opinion is the minority one actually. The unionist parties promised it 7 months ago.

Yes you are content, a cost of living crisis, 1 million going to food banks and thousands of Atos deaths show that things are not content for most. When the Tories are in power, people with money are always happy.

The GERS figures are just a snapshot of the economy in the union right now, they do not tell you what it would be like under independence or FFA in the past/present or future.

Thames Water was bailed out to the tune of billions by the UK taxpayer, that is all of us.

How does it benefit Scotland paying interest to a debt that it never made? If we had been independent 40 years ago, we would be in surplus. Your union built the deficit Scotland has up. We shouldn't get FFA to address it? This affects our economic growth but you don't want it?

Our success is not tied together, there is London on its own, with everyone else subsiding it and then getting very little back. The North of England is falling to bits. Northern Ireland is off doing its own thing, Scotland is not happy. London's success is not shared around the country actually, it is a city state.

David Cameron is making assumptions with no evidence.

The SNP had it in their manifesto but it is years away and not on offer at the moment, these are the actual pledges:
Quote:
  • Using SNP votes at Westminster to ensure the promises made during the referendum are delivered
  • Demand that the proposals of the Smith Commission on more powers for Scotland are delivered quickly and in full
  • Oppose any effort to undermine devolution
  • Seek agreement that the Scottish Parliament should move to "full financial responsibility"
  • Prioritise early devolution of powers over employment policy, including the minimum wage, welfare, business taxes, national insurance and equality policy
Those aspirations you mentioned are all well and good, you will never get them in this union though.

Government figures are a snapshot, they are not completely factual unless you mean 'that is the economy in the union, under one year'. It bares no relation to FFA or independence.

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Old Yesterday, 11:23 PM   #10466
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Old Today, 12:10 AM   #10467
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous_redrum View Post
The UK has problems, the world has problems. I don't believe in being tethered to a country that has a £1.5 trillion debt(a debt Scotland's economy never needed), that goes on illegal wars(renewing weapons of mass destruction too) and leaves our people in abject poverty.
Now come on. Even relative poverty has declined significantly over the last decade. We're one of the wealthiest countries on earth and while extremes exist, it is far from the normal in our society. The national debt has nothing to do with poverty - if anything, that debt has been funded by providing a more robust welfare state than most developed countries offer. But either way, we shouldn't be aiming at state support for people in poverty - we should be aiming for jobs and self-reliance.

We have a defence budget. It's not actually that large in the grand scheme of things. In fact, it's probably going to fall back below the level we should be reaching as part of NATO.

Quote:
What this government is doing to the disabled is absolutely immoral. The Tories ripped up the post war consensus and should have been shamed out for Britain for good. They are self serving and do not care about ordinary citizens, only making the rich richer. Everyone knows what is happening, inequality not seen since Victorian times, rising child poverty, millions people going to food banks, rising suicide rate and so on. Britain is a sham, it always has been.
Child poverty is at a lower level now than it was at any point before 2010 since statistics began, and inequality is pretty much at the same or a slightly lower level. Over the last decade the suicide rate in Scotland has fallen by 19%.

This isn't to justify the problems that still exist - of course it isn't. But it is to acknowledge that things are actually getting better and the bleak picture you paint is far from accurate.

Quote:
The Scottish electorate support devo-max/FFA overwhelmingly, your opinion is the minority one actually. The unionist parties promised it 7 months ago.
I'm not aware of a single unionist politician that supported FFA. As for what the public believe, actually polling generally indicates they want key benefits to remain UK wide and pensions too. Opposing such things was a key plank in the pro-union campaign in the referendum: all that talk about pooling and sharing actually meant something to people like me. All of the three major pro-union parties set out proposals for devolution that specifically rejected FFA - and rightly so.

That's not the point though. It's not about how popular an argument is, it's about whether it's a good idea or not. Things like pensions are less affordable within Scotland alone.

Quote:
Thames Water was bailed out to the tune of billions by the UK taxpayer, that is all of us.
I'm sorry, but that's simply another entirely false statement. Thames Water is a profit-making private company. It is not being bailed out - it is paying for the London sewers (Thames Tunnel) project from its own funds.

Quote:
How does it benefit Scotland paying interest to a debt that it never made? If we had been independent 40 years ago, we would be in surplus. Your union built the deficit Scotland has up. We shouldn't get FFA to address it? This affects our economic growth but you don't want it?
Scotland has run a deficit in 23 of the last 24 years. To suggest we haven't built up debt from that is, again, simply false.

Quote:
Our success is not tied together, there is London on its own, with everyone else subsiding it and then getting very little back.
Like I said, London has higher public spending but, unlike Scotland, contributes a surplus to tax revenues. We have one of the world's great global cities on our doorstep. That is an advantage, not a detriment.

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Old Today, 12:44 AM   #10468
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Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
Well, quite. But I think she's entirely mistargeted here.

The best thing I can see wouldn't be bringing HS2 further north - I suspect that's to give the impression that it somehow won't benefit us without actually being built here. What I'd prefer is to link HS2 more effectively to HS1, giving Scotland and the north a seamless and effective connection to continental Europe.
There's zero case for any services to Europe if there isn't a full high speed line down to London. Even then, the case for the link is ropey because of the Schengen issue. In any case, what would need to be done to connect HS2 and HS1 is something that is far smaller than the whole of HS2 to Scotland, so I think we need to focus on the big picture first.

Quote:
High speed rail between Edinburgh and Glasgow is a bit of a crap idea all-in-all. We are already capable of faster journeys between the two cities - the journey time has increased over recent decades. What would actually be of benefit, and what will be partially addressed under the new franchise arrangements, is the quality of the service. Plug sockets and WiFi/mobile coverage that actually works should be top of the agenda.
The reason journey times have increased is because more and more people are using the intermediate stops like Croy or Falkirk High. Unless you want to ditch these passengers, and give them no choice but to drive, then you have to deal with longer end-to-end journey times. Part of the advantage of E&G HSR is that it means there would be no city-city non-stop travellers on the normal services, meaning they could be targeted at locals only and so be better for them.

Quote:
The Scottish Government, to their credit, are creating longer platforms at Queen Street - although as far as I'm aware they have no control over the length of trains which, even at peak times, could well be longer under current arrangements. What primarily will benefit is if the infrastructure is there to allow people to work on Glasgow-Edinburgh trains.

... and yes, I say this as a former (and extremely frustrated) intercity commuter who splashed out £350 a month for my season ticket.
The platforms are being extended at great cost so that the peak service would consist of 8-car sets. If the new ScotRail franchise weren't forced to do that, there would be no point extending the platforms.
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Old Today, 01:15 AM   #10469
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There's zero case for any services to Europe if there isn't a full high speed line down to London.
Well as a broad point, you don't need a fully high speed line to London to improve service considerably. A partially high speed line, as is proposed, also has considerable benefits. If you're taking a UK-wide view, I suspect continental links probably provide greater general benefit.

Quote:
The platforms are being extended at great cost so that the peak service would consist of 8-car sets. If the new ScotRail franchise weren't forced to do that, there would be no point extending the platforms.
I don't think there is any way for the Scottish Government to "force" that. It's fundamentally down to the operator.

One can argue that rather undermines their case for extending platforms. At the moment, I've experienced peak trains which are shorter than the maximum allowed, while passengers have to stand.
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