Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Universality of Cheese.: What have the SNP ever done for us?

The Universality of Cheese.: What have the SNP ever done for us?

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

LONDON LABOUR MAFIA

Labour MP's friendship prompts council planning concern
By Mark Daly BBC Scotland Investigations Correspondent

Looking forward to tonight's Newsnicht. I wonder if McCann will appear, he is one MP I would love to see getting the nick, stand by............





Left to right; McCann, Liar Ingram, Keane.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

GAME ON BRING IT ON




The Scottish National Party, which won power four years ago for the first time, may still emerge as the largest group in the Edinburgh parliament after May 5 elections, according to a poll of voting intentions.

The pro-independence SNP, led by First Minister Alex Salmond, led the Labour Party by 37 percent to 36 percent in the constituency vote and by 35 percent to 33 percent in the regional vote, an Ipsos MORI survey for the Times newspaper found. Voters cast two ballots in Scottish elections, one for a specific lawmaker and one for a party in the region.

The poll indicates a change in fortunes for the SNP, which has been trailing Labour in recent surveys by as much as 16 percentage points. Labour, led in Scotland by Iain Gray, had been picking up support from defecting Liberal Democrats, which formed a coalition in the U.K. government with Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives in May last year.

Labour led the SNP by 49 percent to 33 percent in the constituency vote and by 47 percent to 33 percent in the regional vote, according to a survey of voting intentions by TNS-BRMB published on Jan. 17.

The Scottish government has powers over justice, health, education, the environment and some financial affairs under the devolution agreement that re-established the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Broader economic policies such as taxes and regulation, as well as foreign affairs, defense and energy, are reserved for the U.K. Parliament at Westminster in London.

The Ipsos MORI poll for the Times asked 1,019 adults in Scotland between Feb. 10 and Feb. 14. The support for the parties was based on 627 people who said they were certain to vote. No margin of error was given.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodney Jefferson in Edinburgh at r.jefferson@bloomberg.net

Thursday, 10 February 2011

A Corporate Coup d’Etat


 

Monbiot.com

 

You thought elections counted for something? Look at what wasn’t in the manifesto.

By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 8th February 2011
“I would love to see tax reductions,” David Cameron told an interviewer at the weekend, “but when you’re borrowing 11 per cent of your GDP, it’s not possible to make significant net tax cuts. It just isn’t.”(1) Oh no? Then how come he’s planning the biggest and crudest corporate tax cut in living memory?


If you’ve heard nothing of it, you’re in good company. The obscure adjustments the government is planning to the tax acts of 1988 and 2009 have been missed by almost everyone(2,3). They are, anyway, almost impossible to understand without expert help. But as soon as you grasp the implications, you realise that a kind of corporate coup d’etat is taking place. Like the dismantling of the NHS and the sale of public forests, no one voted for these measures, as they weren’t in the manifestos. While Cameron insists that he occupies the centre ground of British politics, that he shares our burdens and feels our pain, he has quietly been plotting with banks and businesses to engineer the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor and middle to the ultra-rich that this country has seen in a century. The latest heist has been explained to me by the former tax inspector, now a Private Eye journalist, Richard Brooks and current senior tax staff who can’t be named.


Here’s how it works.
At the moment tax law ensures that companies based here, with branches in other countries, don’t get taxed twice on the same money. They have to pay only the difference between our rate and that of the other country. If, for example, Dirty Oil PLC pays 10% corporation tax on its profits in Oblivia, then shifts the money over here, it should pay a further 18% in the UK, to match the corporate tax rate of 28%.

But under the new proposals, companies will pay nothing at all in this country on money made by their foreign branches.


Foreign means anywhere. If these proposals go ahead, the UK will be only the second country in the world to allow money that has passed through tax havens to remain untaxed when it gets here. The other is Switzerland. The exemption applies solely to “large and medium companies”(4): it is not available for smaller firms. The government says it expects “large financial services companies to make the greatest use of the exemption regime”(5). The main beneficiaries, in other words, will be the banks.


But that’s not the end of it. While big business will be exempt from tax on its foreign branch earnings, it will, amazingly, still be able to claim the expense of funding its foreign branches against tax it pays in the UK. No other country does this. The new measures will, as we already know, accompany a rapid reduction in the official rate of corporation tax: from 28% to 24% by 2014. This, a Treasury minister has boasted, will be the lowest rate “of any major Western economy”(6). By the time this government is done, we’ll be lucky if the banks and corporations pay anything at all. In the Sunday Telegraph David Cameron said “what I want is tax revenue from the banks into the Exchequer, so we can help rebuild this economy.”(7) He’s doing just the opposite.


These measures will drain not only wealth but also jobs from the UK. The new legislation will create a powerful incentive to shift business out of this country and into nations with lower corporate tax rates.

Any UK business which doesn’t outsource its staff or funnel its earnings through a tax haven will find itself with an extra competitive disadvantage.

The new rules also threaten to degrade the tax base everywhere, as companies with headquarters in other countries will demand similar measures from their own governments.



So how did this happen?

You don’t have to look far to find out. Almost all the members of the seven committees the government set up “to provide strategic oversight of the development of corporate tax policy” are corporate executives. Among them are representatives of Vodafone, Tesco, BP, British American Tobacco and several of the major banks: HSBC, Santander, Standard Chartered, Citigroup, Schroders, RBS and Barclays(8,9).


I used to think of such processes as regulatory capture: government agencies being taken over by the companies they were supposed to restrain. But I’ve just read Nicholas Shaxson’s Treasure Islands – perhaps the most important book published in the UK so far this year – and now I’m not so sure(10). Shaxson shows how the world’s tax havens have not, as the OECD claims, been eliminated, but legitimised; how the City of London is itself a giant tax haven, which passes much of its business through its subsidiary havens in British dependencies, overseas territories and former colonies; how its operations mesh with and are often indistinguishable from the laundering of the proceeds of crime; and how the Corporation of the City of London effectively dictates to the government, while remaining exempt from democratic control.


If Hosni Mubarak has passed his alleged $70bn through British banks, the Egyptians won’t see a piastre of it.
Reading Treasure Islands, I’ve realised that injustice of the kind described in this column is not a perversion of the system; it is the system. Tony Blair came to power after assuring the City of his benign intentions. He then deregulated it and cut its taxes. Cameron didn’t have to assure it of anything: his party exists to turn its demands into public policy. Our ministers are not public servants. They work for the people who fund their parties, run the banks and own the newspapers, shielding them from their obligations to society, insulating them from democratic challenge.


Our political system protects and enriches a fantastically-wealthy elite, much of whose money is, as a result of their interesting tax and transfer arrangements, effectively stolen from poorer countries and poorer citizens of their own countries. Ours is a semi-criminal money-laundering economy, legitimised by the pomp of the Lord Mayor’s show and multiple layers of defence in government. Politically irrelevant, economically invisible, the rest of us inhabit the margins of the system. Governments ensure that we are thrown enough scraps to keep us quiet, while the ultra-rich get on with the serious business of looting the global economy and crushing attempts to hold them to account.

And this government? It has learnt the lesson that Thatcher never grasped. If you want to turn this country into another Mexico, where the ruling elite wallows in unimaginable, state-facilitated wealth while the rest can go to hell, you don’t declare war on society, you don’t lambast single mothers or refuse to apologise for Bloody Sunday. You assuage, reassure, conciliate, emote. Then you shaft us.
www.monbiot.com






References:
1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/david-cameron/8306110/David-Cameron-Sorry-but-we-cant-afford-tax-cuts.html
2. See: HM Treasury, 2011. Overview of draft legislation for Finance Bill 2011.
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/financebill2011_draft_leg_overview.PDF
and:
3. HM Treasury, 2011. Corporate Tax Reform:
delivering a more competitive system.
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/corporate_tax_reform_complete_document.pdf
4. HM Treasury, 2011, Part IIIB: Foreign branch taxation, para 2.16.
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/corporate_tax_reform_part3b_foreign_branch_taxation.pdf
5. HM Treasury, 2011. Overview of draft legislation for Finance Bill 2011, page 75.
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/financebill2011_draft_leg_overview.PDF
6. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmtreasy/memo/taxpolicy/m46.htm
7. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/david-cameron/8306110/David-Cameron-Sorry-but-we-cant-afford-tax-cuts.html
8. Members of the Liaison committee are listed here:
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/corporate_tax_reform.htm
9. Members of the six working groups are listed here:
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/consult_cfc_reform.htm
10. Nicholas Shaxson, 2011. Treasure Islands: tax havens and the men who stole the world. Bodley Head, London.




Monbiot.com

Monday, 7 February 2011

Revel Alderson and Jackie Bird on the Rep Scot.lunchtime cartoon slot

What a hoot watching the contortions of the invertebrates of the union writhing and twisting as the truth about Blair and Borwns duplicity on the Megrahi case is given a full international airing, thank you Wiki leaks.
However the most hilarious spectacle of all was the thick toungued spluttering and incoherence of Revel Alderson and Jackie Bird on the Rep Scot.lunchtime cartoon slot. he spluttered he muttered he paused he took deep breaths and still he could not find the words to spin this into  the BBC Scotland default "SNP accused" position. Knowing as he did that just seconds before Laura Kinsburgh that fine Scottish lassie  had just broadcast the unadulterated truth from the bowels of the establishment, Westminster that the DNA and prints of LONDON SAD OLD LABOUR  are all over the Megrahi case. Well done Cameron for releasing the papers. Blair, Brown, Murphy, Straw, Campbell, guilty as charged, take them down. What a joy you can here the hooching and pipes playing in Bute house from here, as they prepare for another four years of successful government. Congratulations Alex Salmond.


VOTE SNP


DESTROY THE AV PAPER BY WRITING INDEPENDENCE ACROSS IT.


THE SILENCE OF THE LIB LAMBS

Great to see the FM on the Newsnet Scotland site endorsing and congratulating the people who have made it such a success, including me who is a regular contributor to their Paypal button. Thankyou Alex Salmond. It means that Newsnet Scotland has come of age and has filled the cyber vacuum created by the Media being totally unionist or English owned. Are we allowed to say English, I know some people are very twitchy about using the English word.

NUDGE NUDGE WINK WINK was the title of an article in todays Sunday Mail by Mark Aitken on the dire performance of the present Secretary of State for Scotland. I cannot find it on their web site to link to it so will type it up instead.

"SCOTS secretary Michael Moore did not say a single word during a crucial two hour summit, we can reveal.
The Lib Dem MP stayed silent during the meeting with leaders of the devolved parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
First Minister Alex Salmond was at the talks in Whitehall on Wedensday.
The meeting chaired by Nick clegg, included discussions on fuel prices, welfare reform, the economy, and Scotlands threeatened RAF bases. But insiders say Moore, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh, and Selkirk, failed to contribute-even when the devastating effects of air base closures was discussed.
A senior Whitehall source said:"Hugely important issues for Scotland were discussed, but Michael Moore had nothing to say."
SNP MP Angus MacNeil said:"He might be an accidental Scottish Secretary but Moore needs to step up to the mark and start taking responsibility for Scotland. When he should have been calling for investment in Scotland he was as silent as a Callanish stone." A Scotland office spokesman yesterday admitted Moore was silent but insisted he remained "fully active across government on all Scottish issues." END.


If that is Moores definition of remaining fully active on all Scottish issues then God help us all. To me that article epitomises all that is wrong with this Union and Scotland's subservient place in it. Once these Unionist politicians are exposed to the democratic deficit that they can see exists in Westminster for the smaller nations of the unequal Union, they appear to become star struck and impotent with fear. The Scottish Office is no more than a propaganda unit as revealed in the latest Wiki leaks tiny.cc/pdqdy documents that show how Murphy used it for his own political ends, ably assisted by one Mr Middleton a civil servant who should be sacked in my humble opinion.

tiny.cc/wxhbr
Critics demand Scotland Office is scrapped TWENTY staff are employed at the £6million-a-year Scotland Office to cope with just three letters a day. The astonishing revelation sparked calls for it to be scrapped as an irrelevant waste of cash. The Scotland Office occupies plush Dover House in Whitehall and is supposed to look after our interests down south. But its role has shrunk dramatically since devolution in 1999. We can reveal 20 staff employed to deal with mail replied to 1252 letters in 2006-2007 - just over one per member of staff every week. The letter scandal follows a series of damning reports on money-wasting at the department. Its 50 staff, who work between Edinburgh and Dover House, claimed £75,000 hotel expenses last year and another £8000 on hiring plants. Matthew Elliot, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "These figures show how little work the Scotland Office is doing at the same time as it is costing taxpayers an extortionate amount.

It was very evident in the 80s and early 90s how powerless and useless our so called Labour MPs were then as Thatcher raked her spurs along the flanks of Scotland. The only time the "feeble fifty" Labour MPs did anything of significance in Westminster during that time was when the disbandment of Strathclyde region was announced, the Labour MPs walked out in protest with Dewar assaulting the mace. The present holders of the Labour flag are even worse if that were possible.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

NEWSNET SCOTLAND

Great to see the FM on the Newsnet Scotland site endorsing and congratulating the people who have made it such a success, including me who is a regular contributor to their Paypal button. Thankyou Alex Salmond. It means that Newsnet Scotland has come of age and has filled the cyber vacuum created by the Media being totally unionist or English owned. Are we allowed to say English, I know some people are very twitchy about using the English word.

NUDGE NUDGE WINK WINK was the title of an article in todays Sunday Mail by Mark Aitken on the dire performance of the present Secretary of State for Scotland. I cannot find it on their web site to link to it so will type it up instead.

"SCOTS secretary Michael Moore did not say a single word during a crucial two hour summit, we can reveal.
The Lib Dem MP stayed silent during the meeting with leaders of the devolved parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
First Minister Alex Salmond was at the talks in Whitehall on Wedensday.
The meeting chaired by Nick clegg, included discussions on fuel prices, welfare reform, the economy, and Scotlands threeatened RAF bases. But insiders say Moore, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh, and Selkirk, failed to contribute-even when the devastating effects of air base closures was discussed.
A senior Whitehall source said:"Hugely important issues for Scotland were discussed, but Michael Moore had nothing to say."
SNP MP Angus MacNeil said:"He might be an accidental Scottish Secretary but Moore needs to step up to the mark and start taking responsibility for Scotland. When he should have been calling for investment in Scotland he was as silent as a Callanish stone." A Scotland office spokesman yesterday admitted Moore was silent but insisted he remained "fully active across government on all Scottish issues." END.


If that is Moores definition of remaining fully active on all Scottish issues then God help us all. To me that article epitomises all that is wrong with this Union and Scotland's subservient place in it. Once these Unionist politicians are exposed to the democratic deficit that they can see exists in Westminster for the smaller nations of the unequal Union, they appear to become star struck and impotent with fear. The Scottish Office is no more than a propaganda unit as revealed in the latest Wiki leaks tiny.cc/pdqdy documents that show how Murphy used it for his own political ends, ably assisted by one Mr Middleton a civil servant who should be sacked in my humble opinion.

tiny.cc/wxhbr
Critics demand Scotland Office is scrapped TWENTY staff are employed at the £6million-a-year Scotland Office to cope with just three letters a day. The astonishing revelation sparked calls for it to be scrapped as an irrelevant waste of cash. The Scotland Office occupies plush Dover House in Whitehall and is supposed to look after our interests down south. But its role has shrunk dramatically since devolution in 1999. We can reveal 20 staff employed to deal with mail replied to 1252 letters in 2006-2007 - just over one per member of staff every week. The letter scandal follows a series of damning reports on money-wasting at the department. Its 50 staff, who work between Edinburgh and Dover House, claimed £75,000 hotel expenses last year and another £8000 on hiring plants. Matthew Elliot, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "These figures show how little work the Scotland Office is doing at the same time as it is costing taxpayers an extortionate amount.

It was very evident in the 80s and early 90s how powerless and useless our so called Labour MPs were then as Thatcher raked her spurs along the flanks of Scotland. The only time the "feeble fifty" Labour MPs did anything of significance in Westminster during that time was when the disbandment of Strathclyde region was announced, the Labour MPs walked out in protest with Dewar assaulting the mace. The present holders of the Labour flag are even worse if that were possible.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

'Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we?

Thought you might like to read this letter to the editor of a British national newspaper. Ever notice how some people just seem to know how to write a letter?.

Here is a woman who should run for Prime Minister!

Written by a housewife, to her daily newspaper. This is one ticked off lady.
'Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores in July 2002, and in New York Sept 112001 and have continually threatened to do so since?

Were people from all over the world, not brutally murdered that day in London, and in downtown Manhattan , and in a field in Pennsylvania ?

Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?

And I'm supposed to care that a few Taliban were claiming to be tortured by a justice system of the nation they come from and are fighting against in a brutal insurgency.

I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11 and 7/7.

I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere belief of which is a crime punishable by beheading in Afghanistan

I'll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.

I'll care when the cowardly so-called 'insurgents' in Afghanistan come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques and behind women and children.

I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of Nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.

I'll care when the British media stops pretending that their freedom of speech on stories is more important than the lives of the soldiers on the ground or their families waiting at home to hear about them when something happens.

In the meantime, when I hear a story about a British soldier roughing up an Insurgent terrorist to obtain information, know this:

I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take this to the bank:

I don't care.

When I hear that a prisoner - who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and 'fed special food' that is paid for by my taxes - is complaining that his holy book is being 'mishandled,' you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts:

I don't care.

And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled 'Koran' and other times 'Quran.' Well, believe me!! you guessed it ........

I don't care!!

If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to all your E-mail friends. Sooner or later, it'll get to the people responsible for this ridiculous behaviour!

If you don't agree, then by all means hit the delete button. Should you choose the latter, then please don't complain when more atrocities committed by radical Muslims happen here in our great country! And may I add:

'Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. Our soldiers don't have that problem.'

I have another quote that I would like to add, AND.......I hope you forward all this.

Only seven defining forces have ever offered to die for you:

1. Jesus Christ
2. The British Soldier.
3. The Canadian Soldier.
4. The US Soldier, and
5. The South African Soldier
6. The Ghurka Soldier
7. The Australian Soldier
One died for your soul, the other 6 for your freedom.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO PASS THIS ON, AS MANY SEEM TO FORGET ABOUT ALL OF THEM.

AMEN!

GIVE THIS LADY A STANDING OVATION. SHE HAS INDEED TICKED ALL THE BOXES

Scot Independent.

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