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Wings Over Scotland

Right-wing party does well in elections

Posted on November 30, 2012 by

But enough about Labour. UKIP also put in some strong performances in the three Westminster polls last night, scoring two second-place finishes and one third place on a night when the Lib Dems sank to an astonishing EIGHTH and the BNP outpolled the Tories in the same Rotherham seat. The truly disturbing thing, though – speaking as a current resident of England – was the total absence of a single viable party of the left.

The turnout in all three elections was dismal, with two of them barely scraping past the 25% mark and the most popular just managing to get a third of voters out. And it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that at least a significant part of the reason for that may be the near-total lack of meaningful choice available.

Not only were all the major parties (though with an average vote across the three seats of just 994, including the Lib Dems in that classification now looks more and more of a misnomer) standing on basically-identical platforms of centre-right neoliberalism, the vast majority of the no-hopers were even further to the right. The much-vaunted Respect candidate Yvonne Ridley beat the Tories in Rotherham but still trailed in behind the BNP, and a lone Green in Croydon North suffered the humiliating indignity of actually getting fewer votes than the Lib Dem.

We’ve been documenting England’s gradual shift towards being a one-ideology state for some time, but last night’s results threw the phenomenon into sharp relief. A geographical and urban/rural divide has become entrenched, with the Tories abandoning pretty much every city north of Coventry, safe in the knowledge that they’ll hoover up enough votes in the south and the countryside.

But when Labour stands for nuclear weapons, nuclear power, handing billions of pounds to private companies to build infrastructure for obscene profits, wasting billions more in a failed attempt to introduce ID cards, creating thousands of new crimes, cramming the prisons and trying to lock people up for months on end without trial or charge, inflating a property bubble while abandoning social housing, doing nothing to revert Mrs Thatcher’s curbs on trade unions, talking tough about immigration, presiding over a huge increase in the gap between rich and poor, and demonising the unemployed and the sick, it’s easy to see why the Tories aren’t too bothered about Labour holding onto a few cities.

The politics of England are ever-increasingly right-wing. Last night’s results, which stretched from the north of the country to the south, were a glimpse of a chilling future, where hardly anyone bothers to vote because whoever gets in will pursue the same ideology, whatever the colour of the rosette they were wearing. And by sheer overwhelming weight of numbers, England will drag the rest of the UK with it. The headline of this piece will be true forever. For everyone who’s still in the UK, that is.

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56 to “Right-wing party does well in elections”

  1. Arbroath1320 says:

    I know that they were only by elections last night and it is only at G.E.’s that you really get a true picture of how the electorate are thinking. However, following last nights results could we this time, in 2015, really see UKIP get people into Westminster? Not only get their members elected but actually become the THIRD party in Westminster politics.
    I just have a feeling that there is significant majority of dissatisfied voters in England and Wales that UKIP might, just might, become the biggest upset of the 2015 GE. Of course there again I could be talking with a bunch of marbles in my mouth, still trying to figure it out. 😀


  2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    The thing is, by any fair interpretation of democracy they should have people in Westminster already. Horrible as they are, they got over twice as many votes as the SNP in 2010 yet have no seats to the SNP’s six.

    It’ll be interesting to see how they do in 2015 – arguably the system will work against them either way. If the Tories are struggling in the polls, right-wing voters may stick with them in order to reduce the likelihood of a Labour win. But if the Tories are doing well, there won’t be enough dissatisfaction to feed the UKIP vote. That’s how our two-party stitch-up of a democracy is designed.


  3. Megz says:

    I hate to say this but it seems to derive from ignorance and frustration (imho) when you have the media telling you it is all the immgrants fault that English people are unemployed, poor and suffering then thats who they are going to blame.  Not the useless government that has no intention of doing anything other than helping out their big business pals, bankers and donors.  Its no surprise that they are turning to parties like UKIP & BNP.  For me it just highlights the ever growing differences between where England are heading and where Scotland wants to.  We just want different things, have done for a while and unless we go our separate ways then we will have to give up what we want and settle for right wing policy.


  4. scottish_skier says:

    UKGE Average turnouts: 
    1945-1997 = 77% 

    Which is just on the lower side of European averages but good for FPTP. 
    New Labour drop clause IV and become a centre-right party,largely following the economic and increasingly (a)social policies of thatcherism.
    2001-2010 = 62.0%
    15% of the electorate just gave up.
    All that supposed euphoria of ‘a new dawn had broken’ masked a democratic disaster in waiting. We’re now seeing the fruits of it.
    What is interesting for me is this…
    2011 Centre (true centre) – left leaning SNP win a majority in Scotland.

    What happens at the next election in Scotland?
    Turnout for council elections in Scotland = 40% = 1.25 x higher than the 32% seen in England.
    Now council elections always have a low turnout, but 25% up on England; that’s a big difference. Unfortunately, we can’t compare to the previous council elections as these occurred at the same time as the Holyrood vote, however this does stand out.
    Might suggest the SNP win is getting people out to vote again because there are alternatives in Scotland; the opposite to what is happening in the rUK.

    I do hope so. 


  5. Oldnat says:

    Sympathy that you’ve been struck down by the dreaded lurgi, Stu.

    It’s probably a plot to silence you – watch out for the polonium! :-) 


  6. RossBoss says:

    I’ve seen a few times on here people comparing UKIP with the BNP as if they are one in the same. I think it is quite irresponsible to do that. While most people on here- including myself- don’t a agree with most of UKIP polices they are certainly not a racist party like the BNP. I think it is dangerous to lump all the fringe parties together. There seems to be a trend of declaring non-mainstream parties as racist, it happened to the SNP (still does to a smaller extent).

    I would say that UKIP are to the Tories what the SNP are to Scottish Labour (A.K.A The party that keeps them up at night) . And for that I hope they get some seats, because like them or not, they have actual goals and are passionate about them, quite a rare thing in Westminster politics.


  7. Jim Campbell says:

    SCARY !
    We are being forced into becoming a right-wing country because the English voters drastically outnumber  the voters in Scotland and we do not control our future.    It doesn’t matter what every Scottish voter, as well as every dog, cat and budgie in Scotland votes for in a general election, we will still get whatever the majority voters in England want.   Unless we VOTE YES IN THE REFERENDUM we will have to finally do whatever Westminster wants even when it is bad for Scotland.  We don’t want a privatised NHS, we don’t want WMD, or billions spent on nuclear subs, or our people killed in foreign wars – we can change this and decide what is best for our country, our future and our children’s future.               Vote YES !


  8. muttley79 says:

    I think the problem for UKIP is that as the Tories continue to struggle in the polls, and the closer we get to a general election, the chances are that the Conservatives will have to promise a referendum on EU membership.  This would probably be enough to tempt at least a section of UKIP’s support to supporting the Tories (again). 

    I think that a lot of the discontent is fuelled by London’s dominance in the UK, not just in Scotland, but in the north of England as well.  I think the only left-wing force in England is the Green party.  However, they are not really a force at all, mostly due to lacking the support, and funding they would get, from the trade unions.  Unlike Scotland, there is not a credible alternative to the Labour party on the left wing and the centre, and this means that England has developed into a two-party state, very similar to the Republican-Democrats in the USA.  It does highlight the distinctive Scottish political scene.  No major party in England is arguing for powers to be taken away from London to other areas.  It also highlights the benefits of P.R.   


  9. scottish_skier says:

    SCARY !We are being forced into becoming a right-wing country because the English voters drastically outnumber  the voters in Scotland

    Nope, not quite that….it’s because of the UK FPTP electoral system – shared with such beacons of democracy as Iran, Zimbabwe and Yemen – and Labour’s betrayal of the left followed by the Libs betrayal of the more centrist liberal. While England on balance is more right than (generally centrist, thus nicely balanced) Scotland, there are lots of lefties there; they just have nobody to vote for so have stopped voting. 

    It’s a vicious circle and exactly the same as the one happening in the USA. Scotland can help by voting for independence and by doing so maybe, just maybe, force electoral reform in the rUK. We’re too few in number to do anything about it within the context of the union; history tells us that.


  10. Juteman says:

    Big business has bought the political process in the UK. It is the same as the US, where you have a choice between 2 right wing neoliberal parties.
    We are lucky to have a once in a lifetime chance to escape this madness. Vote Yes. 


  11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’ve seen a few times on here people comparing UKIP with the BNP as if they are one in the same. I think it is quite irresponsible to do that. While most people on here- including myself- don’t a agree with most of UKIP polices they are certainly not a racist party like the BNP.”

    Indeed. They’re uber-Tories, not racists. Alex Massie had a very good piece on them recently:


  12. Juteman says:

    UKIP will probably force the Tories, and then Labour, to move further to the right. How long will the Scottish Labour members accept this ever increasing right-wards shift? Surely there must be a breaking point?


  13. scottish_skier says:

    Yes, UKIP are just a tad more authoritarian that the Tories. Tories for independence if you like, but they are not per se a racist party. 

    However, in terms of civil liberties/social policy, both are not far away from the BNP in authoritarian stance (see political compass). It’s just the BNP blame/target ethnic minorities as the supposed source of the UK’s ills. The Tories and UKIP blame the poor, disabled, elderly etc as this is a little more PC. 


  14. muttley79 says:


    You could keep an eye on the Labour voters for Independence facebook page.  One of their representatives had a meeting with a Labour west of Scotland branch yesterday.  He seems to have thought it went well, judging by his comments.


  15. Macart says:

    Now that’s just downright disturbing.


  16. Juteman says:

    I read that Mutley. Hopefully the dam will break soon.


  17. antmcg says:

    With the UKGE 2015, how should we vote? I am not sure if the SNP stand in my constituency for the UKGE. If they don’t .. then I have absolutely no one to vote for. I always vote, (one can’t complain if not voting) but it seems to me at this time, that a spoilt ballot is the only way to go. I can NEVER see me voting for the “big 3” so that leaves whom?

    I am not asking someone to make my mind up for me, don’t get me wrong, however I do vote SNP for the Holyrood elections, and am a confirmed yes voter for the referendum.

    So confused right now 


  18. Oldnat says:


    SNP stands in all Scottish constituencies, so unless you live outwith Scotland – ne problem who to vote for!


  19. antmcg says:

    Thanks Oldnat, that reassures me no end :)


  20. The Slog says:

    Whether the Wings over Scotland are Left or Right, isn’t it about time we ditched this 5 million year-old spectrum definition and came up with one that doesn’t force people to be either command economy mad or neocon insane?


  21. Arbroath1320 says:

    I read about the Labour for Independence guy, Alan Bell I think was his name, at the meeting last night.By all accounts the meeting with the local branch Labour members went down very well.
    I think THIS could be the straw that breaks the back of the BT campaign. We all knew or suspected that there were a lot of Labour supporters who are very unhappy with the stance taken by Lamont etc now that this meeting has occurred I reckon we will hear about a lot more of these meetings and as a result a lot more of the Labour card carrying members will move over to join the Labour for Independence group.
    I wonder how Darling, Lamont, Curran,Murphy are sleeping these nights now that this has happened. 😀


  22. Castle Rock says:

    I like Alan Massie’s “Despite Mr Farage’s cheeky-squirrel countenance and pawky, two-gins-before-lunch demeanor…They are an angry party for angry people…”
    But are UKIP racist?  They certainly have ex BNP members who are now UKIP members and they have had a number of candidates standing for election who are ex BNP members but are they racist?
    I’ve not heard about them going round beating people up but they certainly don’t have a high regard for minorities (Scottish or otherwise).
    Are UKIP racist?  Well they certainly aint on the left of the political spectrum and they have some pretty unpleasant characters who are members of their party but whether they are racist or not hasn’t really been answered yet.
    I think the jury is still out.


  23. Doug Daniel says:

    I thought the same as you when I saw the Rotherham result, Stu. An absolute dearth of choice that makes me glad I live Scotland, where even if the SNP “did a Labour”, I would still have the Greens or even the SSP to fall back on.

    Of course, a lot of the blame for this has to be put on Labour voters. They watched their party turn into a right-wing party, but they kept voting for them. Even now, they continue. As long as the left in England persists in backing them, Labour has no reason to go back to the left – in fact they would be mad to.

    At least in Scotland many Labour voters have seen the light and switched allegiances. But too many well-meaning idiots stick with a party that just doesn’t speak for the left any more, thus choking off any hope of another party rising up to reclaim that ground and those voters.

    And of course, you can only vote for what’s in front of you, which isn’t much good if you’re a potential Green voter in Rotherham…


  24. Oldnat says:


    Honest! I’m not out to nitpick your posts! It’s Alex Bell.  More importantly, he is a well known and respected Labour activist in North Ayrshire – so has “street cred” within Labour.


  25. Arbroath1320 says:


  26. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I thought the same as you when I saw the Rotherham result, Stu. An absolute dearth of choice that makes me glad I live Scotland, where even if the SNP “did a Labour”, I would still have the Greens or even the SSP to fall back on.”

    For some reason I disappeared off the electoral register several months ago, and if they hadn’t sent me a series of increasingly threatening letters about £1000 fines I wouldn’t have bothered with it, because I have absolutely no idea who I could possibly vote for next time round. My Lib Dem MP, Don Foster, has been one of the most enthusiastic backers of the coalition, and even though he’s probably not standing in 2015 his party can fuck off forever.

    In 2010, that would have left me (discounting the Tories and Labour) with the choice between a Green who got 2% of the vote, UKIP, the Christian Party or three independent loonies. None of those are worth the shoe leather. My only remaining option is to spoil my vote. In every meaningful sense I’ve been disenfranchised.


  27. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Arbroath 1320

    Completely agree. I believe that Labour for Independence will have a big influence on labour voters. It’s the best means of persuading people to vote YES, who don’t like SNP/ Alec Salmond, and have difficulty breaking from party allegiances, when it comes to the Indepenece vote.  


  28. muttley79 says:

    @Doug Daniel

    Disagree about saying Scottish Labour voters are ‘well-meaning idiots.’  They are obviously very loyal to their party.  Polls show a significant element of their support will probably vote Yes, they need to be encouraged.  We criticise the No campaign for their negativity and the abuse of Salmond from Lamont etc.  Personal abuse does not win over voters, Gerry Hassan makes the point well in his article on the National Collective website.  Also, you have to remember Scottish politics has been very tribal for decades, certainly since the real emergence of the SNP in the 1960s.  Crossing over the divide, so to speak, can be very difficult.  Lets be honest, Scottish Labour have a proud origin, and have had some very talented members. 


  29. Morag says:

    I’ve been putting together some of the information about Scotland’s “balance of payments” within the union, and it really is fairly shocking.

    If we go right back to the years shortly after the union, we have Daniel Defoe’s assessment that Scotland was sending more to England than was coming back.

    And all these put together, if I am rightly informed, do not balance the lead, coal, and salt, which they export every year: So that the balance of trade must stand greatly to the credit of the account in the Scots commerce.

    And what then, would not such an annual wealth in specie do for Scotland in a year, if there was not a gulph, into which it all runs as into a sink?

    If we fast-forward to the 1960s, the article in the Telegraph that another poster linked to, regarding the report of the Church and Nation Committee, said something not altogether dissimilar.  This was referring to the situation in 1952-53, and bemoaning the fact that the government had stopped recording these statistics after that.

    A yearly drain from Scotland of between 20 per cent and 24 per cent of the total revenue raised in the country could scarcely have failed to have some influence on the level of Scottish unemployment, double that of England, and also on the continuous stream of Scottish emigration. During the last 13 years 345,000 people had left Scotland.

    Then if we go forward again to the late 1960s, this is dealt with in a couple of articles by John Jappy.

    As a civil servant in London, and being part of the establishment, I always accepted the general view that an independent Scotland would not be able to survive on its own without financial help from the London Exchequer.

    However, when in 1968 I was able to examine the so-called “books” for the first time, I was shocked to find that the position was exactly the opposite and that Scotland contributed much more to the UK economy than its other partners. This was, of course, before the oil boom. [….]

    It is no longer refuted that Scotland exports more per capita than the rest of the UK. In 1968 when I first discovered that Scotland was in surplus in relation to the rest of the UK, its exports could be broken down into whisky, meat, timber, fish, and of course tourism which is a huge hidden income. Those exports are supported by a population of only 5,000,000 as against 45,000,000 for the rest of the UK, quite a substantial advantage. [….]

    Meantime whisky exports, which I listed in 1968 as one of Scotland’s top assets, have risen at a phenomenal rate. For example, whisky exports to China amounted to £1 million in 2000/2001, by 2007 they had risen to £70 million. They have continued to rise, although I don’t have more recent statistics.

    This was all before oil was a factor at all.  After that, you can look at the McCrone report to see how Scotland would have been placed as an independent country, or even to the second of Mr. Jappy’s articles to see how things actually were between 1979 and the early 2000s.

    On 13th January 1997, in reply to a series of written questions by SNP leader Alex Salmond to the then Tory government; Treasury Minister William Waldergrave admitted that Scotland paid a massive £27 billion more to the London Exchequer than it received since the Tories came to power in 1979. That worked out to £5,400 for every Scot.

    From the Government’s own figures produced at this time, it was easy to calculate that over the next five years, a further £12.5 billion more would go into the London Treasury than Scotland received. [….]

    On 21st August 1998, Mr. Alex Salmond received a letter from the House of Commons Library (ref 98/8/56 EP/rjt) which gave a table showing that based on Scotland’s GDP per capita, Scotland would occupy 7th place in the World’s wealth league, with the UK at 17th place out of 26 countries listed.

    All this before we come to the present situation as exemplified by the 9.6% contribution versus 9.3% return figures.

    Of course there’s a huge gap in there, covering the years of Empire (but also the ’45 and the Clearances), but it’s striking that wherever we have a snapshot the picture is always the same.  Scotland’s wealth being drained south with disproportionately little coming back.
    As the Church and Nation Committee pointed out, a year on year on year drain of revenue from a country will inevitably leave it impoverished.  This has been going on for many many years, apparently since the earliest years of the union.  And unionists look at the state of the country and say, look, Scotland is a poor, down-at-the-heel nation.  How can it possibly survive as an independent country?  It should feel lucky the UK is subsidising it!

    I think there’s an article in this, if someone (else!) feels like doing a bit more research and writing it.


  30. Juteman says:

    Fantastic post Morag.


  31. Cuphook says:

    It’s that old primary school trick where you’re given a series of choices but always come up with the same answer – an orange kangaroo in Denmark. Regardless of which of the main UK parties you vote for you get the same policies.

    What is wrong with ‘The Left’ in England that carpet bagger Galloway is seen as an option?

    And while I’m on the subject of ‘The left’, why is there no left wing organisation in Scotland defending the Union?


    You should write up a proper article and get it in Bella Caledonia or something. As much as Wings has a large readership it deserves a wider audience.             


  32. scottish_skier says:

    @The Slog 
    Whether the Wings over Scotland are Left or Right, isn’t it about time we ditched this 5 million year-old spectrum definition and came up with one that doesn’t force people to be either command economy mad or neocon insane?

    That’s called the centre. It’s not the centre Ed and Dave talk about (which is a right-wing neoliberal authoritarian consensus), but the actual centre. It is where Norway lies economically and socially too. SNP are the closest UK party to this position.

    See here:

    Tories/UKIP are extremist neoliberal and increasingly authoritarian. Libs have gone further right and authoritarian since 2010. Labour catching up with the Tories economically, with it and the DUP closest to the BNP in terms of strict command and control over your civil liberties (or increasing lack of). The only main strong left (socialist)-liberal party are the Greens, but they are therefore a little extreme too; just the other way.


  33. KOF says:

    Good digging there, well done. It looks like a good basis for an article there, already. 

    It’s given me a bit of a thought… How does one put all this information over in an clear and accessible form for anyone to easily understand? This is 300 years of information, at least, a lot to get in. Written articles are one thing, but I think there is a way to supplement it with a very good graphic. A graphic which is easy to understand and accessible to all. I’m thinking of the work of Hans Rosling and David McCandless. It’d need a lot of work, but I believe the rewards would hugely outweigh the cost.

    Here’s a couple of links to see what Rosling and McCandless are all about. It’s best if you just watch, it says more than thousands of words. :) 


  34. Juteman says:

    I agree with Cuphook, Morag.
    Your post is well written. Be confident and write it up properly.
    I have loads of ideas, but no skill.


  35. Juteman says:

    Maybe BBC Alba would be interested?


  36. Morag says:

    Personally, I wouldn’t want to put that out as more than a comment without more research.  I’m sure there are more data to be found if someone had time and the right background knowledge.

    It only came about because a troll appeared on a forum where we were discussing independence, and came out with the claim that the block grant is “MONEY WE PAY YOU”.  So I posted the 9.6% contribution for 9.3% benefit poster, to counter that.  A regular confirmed No voter said, thanks for the snap-shot, what are the figures for the previous 50 years?  I already knew about John Jappy’s article, so I googled it.  At the same time someone here linked to the Telegraph article, which I had never seen before.  So I put that in too.  That covered the 50-year request rather well.

    I had also mentioned Daniel Defoe in the same post, and someone else looked up the reference and noted that he said the same thing, pretty much exactly.  The No voter immediately accepted this evidence, and is actually sounding a lot less of a definite No, having also realised that devo-max or federalism isn’t achievable with a No vote, but that certain definitions of independence don’t look that different from devo-max.  Interesting.

    It was only then that I realised this was the demonstration of what has been said quite often – if Scotland is not prospering, in the union, is that not an indictment of the union much more than an indication the country is inherently incapable of prospering?  In fact, Scotland’s resources have been siphoned off from the earliest years, leaving the country impoverished.  Unionists look at this and say, you’re poor and down-at-the-heel.  How can you possibly survive as an independent nation?  But it’s the other way around.  It’s the union that has caused the poverty, quite literally.

    Interestingly, Defoe blames the union (which he worked to achieve) for having robbed the country of a seat of government and the prosperity that comes with it.  But he also blames the Scottish aristocracy for not investing in their own country in a truly patriotic manner.  But these aristocrats gravitated to where the wealth was, like moths to a flame, and forgot about their own people apart from as a source of the money to keep them there.

    I see an important parallel there with our modern Westminster representatives.  Here’s what I wrote on the forum.

    That’s exactly the background that shaped Ramsay MacDonald and Gordon Brown (and even Tony Blair if you regard him as Scots which I don’t really), and indeed pretty much all the cohort of MPs Scotland sends to Westminster. The Labour ones in particular talk a good line about working to end poverty in their constituencies, but just go and look at some of the constituencies that have been returning Labour MPs for generations. Glasgow East is a particularly bad example, with an MP who was a former bus conductor doing approximately nothing for many years, then resigning about five minutes before the expenses scandal was due to hit him.

    It’s an embryo of an idea at the moment.  Or maybe a foetus, anyway.  I think it could be worked up into something pretty powerful by the right writer.


  37. David Smith says:

    I’m having a bad day today folks and reading this stuff is adding to my sense of frustration. 
    Like Stu I’m south of the border and feel totally disenfranchised. You guys voting YES in 2014 is the only option I have of getting out of the increasingly fascist, couldn’t-give-a-fuck-about-anything-honest-or-decent shithole that is Britain.
    All that will be left I fear will be to seek refuge in a Scandinavian country!
    Sorry guys, just had get that off my chest. Had a frustrating ‘discussion with two of my English workmates who are good guys but just accept all the lies and propaganda as gospel. It must be even worse with our own kind! 


  38. Juteman says:

    Most folk know nothing about Defoe. I’ll bet most of the Labour drones in Scotland have never heard of him. They probably would shriek with horror at the thought of English spies.
    Give them a mirror.


  39. Wullie says:

    The Darien Project bankrupted Scotland
    WRONG. The only people who lost money were the [so called ] landowners.
    Guess who were the only people with the vote in 1707. ?????? The [so called] landowners
    In 1707 Scotland was awash with money particularly its burghs.
    Customs and excise receipts from this time show Scotland to be well financed.
    Guess who was bankrupt and need our money. you guessed it England.
    nothing has changed its why they are desperate to hang on to us.
    They have never been capable of standing on their own without stealing the recourses of other countries whether natural or human.


  40. Morag says:


    I was wondering if Scott might be persuaded to pick this one up and run with it.


  41. Juteman says:

    An evil man is spouting venom on BBC at this moment.


  42. Morag says:

    Watch BBC2 instead.  Scottish history lesson.


  43. Holebender says:

    Morag, I have to say you’ve written it pretty well so far and I see no reason why you shouldn’t write the full article yourself. As you say, powerful stuff.
    Here’s a couple more things to think about; at one time the British Empire covered a quarter of the globe and fully half of the railway locomotives throughout the British Empire were build in the Springburn works in Glasgow. I’ll repeat that; half of all the railway locomotives throughout the British Empire were built in the Springburn works in Glasgow. The other thing is what proportion of the world’s shipping was built on the Clyde? I don’t know the answer, but I bet it was a lot more than our percentage of the world’s population would imply. When you start thinking of things like that, Scotland has never been poor and has always far more than paid her way. How much benefit did Scotland, or even Glasgow, derive from all that heavy industry? How much of the wealth produced by bashing all that metal ever stayed in Scotland?


  44. Morag says:

    I’m a scientist, not a historian.  It’s specialist stuff.  It’s taken me a huge chunk of my spare time for three years to figure out just the kernel of the Lockerbie affair.  I only started writing about that once I believed I had a proper understanding of it.  I only started thinking about this last night.

    Oh yes, and I’m not done with Lockerbie. In fact, we’re moving in on some serious Lockerbie action with any luck.

    At my rate of progress, I’d be ready to write about this about six months after the referendum.  Scott, where are you?


  45. Bill C says:

    @Morag – That was a very powerful piece and like others on here I think you have hit on something that could help enormously in our struggle. What about running it past the YES team in Hope Street, they might be able to suggest how it could be put to best use. Perhaps even give you a hand with more reasearch or suggest someone who might help or indeed take it on as a project.
    Please do not let such a good idea go to waste.
    Just a thought.


  46. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    You have everything there except the gap between 1981 and present but I’ve filled that in for you.
    A tour thro’ the whole island of Great Britain (Daniel Defoe), first published in three volumes between 1724 and 1727.
    1730 – 1800 pretty much exactly as Defoe found it industry wise but an increasing economy – References needed
    1800 – 1950’s Industrialisation and exportation of goods – Cannot find good sources for financial info
    1964 – Church wants tax outflow explained
    1668 John Jappy on his time in treasury –
    1975 McCrone –
    Scottish Office Figures 1981 – 2010 – Moores boomerang admission of a £19 billion relative deficit
    2010-2011 GERS Accounts – 9.6% Taxes to 9.3% spending –


  47. Adrian B says:

    Good post Morag and well done in showing the ‘No’ voter the light.


  48. charlie says:

    having voted in the police commission nonsense elections in the West Midlands, I did vote for a left-wing candidate [Bob Jones – Labour] but I have no idea if he’ll be undermined by the English [London] Labour Party

    Stu, you need an option to digress topics



  49. Craig P says:

    Morag – I can fill in one if the gaps if you like. For example, the NAVSR in the 1850s petitioned Westminster over injustices in royal expenditure in Scotland. In 1853 this was £1,607,139 in London, £107,351 in Ireland, only £23,986 in Scotland – at a time when Scotland paid more tax than Bavaria, Denmark, Greece & Switzerland combined. 
    As far as I was aware, the only time post- union where Scotland received more than it contributed was the post war years of redistribution, nationalised coal, public house building, Rootes factory at Linwood, etc, but Mr Jappy’s articles seem to question even that assumption. 


  50. Craig P says:

    My source for that is an interesting booked called ‘Unionist Nationalism’, covering 1830-1860, and the building of the Wallace Monument. 


  51. Craig P says:

    The 18th century is also a bit more complicated, in that there was a lot of tax avoidance, but I don’t have the figures to hand. We left wingers today don’t mind tax but forget that Scotland was traditionally a low tax country and our forefathers resented paying the new taxes the union brought. For some, such as Jacobites, it was their patrioti duty to avoid Hanoverian taxes. But even those who benefitted most from the union, such as the Glasgow tobacco lords, avoided tax (one of the reasons they were able to muscle out their English competitors). Tom Devine in The Scottish Nation has figures that show about 1/4 of the excise duty owed on imported tobacco went unpaid by Glasgow merchants. 


  52. panda paws says:

    I echo everyone else’s comments abut Morag’s post. It’s excellent Morag, don’t do yourself down. I hope you get time to write it. Despite being dyslexic, I’m actually a good proof-reader and researcher if you want any help.
    Re the English by-elections, it’s truly frightening the way they are lurching ever rightwards to neo-liberal oblivion but as bad as that is for the RUK, it could move a few more people in a Yes direction in Scotland and I’ll take that.
    As for the Rev’s removal from the electoral register, is there a LEGAL way he can sofa-surf his way onto the the register in Scotland? I think he might vote Yes with a bit of persuasion :-)


  53. pandapaws says:

    Oops, I’ve seem to have entered moderation. Hopefully because I typed panda paws rather than pandapaws because I’d hated to think I’ve annoyed the Rev!


  54. maxstafford says:

    Maybe it was Panda Baws! 😉


  55. Morag says:

    I still think Scott should write it.  It’s his sort of thing.

    And the No voter has just announced that the Better Together campaign is “full of friendship, neighbourliness, companionship, helping others”. Plus that the Yes campaign “claim all sorts of negative actions against Scotland by the rUK.”

    So some way to go there I think.


  56. BillyBigBaws says:

    ‘…the Yes campaign “claim all sorts of negative actions against Scotland by the rUK.”’

    Goodness me, why on earth would we make such unthinkable unfounded claims?


    Regarding the degree of UKIP’s racial dodginess, I found this online booklet some years back called: “There’s Something About UKIP.” Very enlightening, and all sourced, much of it from UKIP leaders themselves – particularly one of their founding members Alan Sked. I don’t know if he has a grudge against the party after being dethroned, but he says: “UKIP is even less liberal than the BNP. Certainly there is a symbiosis between the two parties.” The statements made by some of UKIP’s other leading lights seem to support that idea.

    Of course, UKIP is not an explicitly racist party, but since the BNP and NF (ironically) adopted Trotskyite entryism as a political tactic, they are certainly in danger of being swung that way. The worry is that they might not really mind being swung that way, if there was any perceived electoral advantage in it.

    Booklet can be read in .pdf form here:


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