By Andrew Barr
The Westminster government were the “co-authors” of the Barclays banking scandal due to “catastrophic” regulation failures, SNP Westminster Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie has claimed.
The allegations come after it was revealed the London Interbank Market [Libor] lending rate was being manipulated by several banks in order to increase profits and bonuses in the banking sector.

The activity has resulted in Barclays being fined £290m and is described by the Financial Services Authority as having lasted for three and a half years.

The rigging of global interest rates occurred between 2005 and 2008, and was intended to boost bank profits and increase bonuses for traders.  Analysts have also claimed that house buyers in the UK almost certainly had to pay higher mortgages as a result of the scam.

There is now speculation that criminal proceedings could result from the scandal and that banks could face claims for compansation.  One analyst described the situation as a "nuclear bomb" exploding on the City of London.

Chancellor George Osborne has said that HSBC, RBS, Citigroup and UBS are also under investigation.

In a statement to the Westminster parliament, Mr Osborne told the House: "The FSA report is a shocking indictment of the culture at banks like Barclays in the run-up to the financial crisis.

"Through 2005, 2006 and early 2007 we see evidence of systematic greed at the expense of financial integrity and stability and they knew what they were doing,"

Alistair Darling, former Labour Chancellor, said: "This whole thing stinks.  The banking industry needs this news like a hole in the head and they only have themselves to blame – again."

However, commenting on the emerging scandal, SNP MP Stewart Hosie said that the it “raises questions” about the actions of Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling during their term in Downing Street, which was the period the practices were taking place.

There will also be questions over what former FSA advisor and Barclay's Finance Director, Naguib Kheraj, knew of the scandal and whether he informed Treasury officials or Labour Ministers when he was recruited to the regulatory body in April 2008.

Kheraj was Barclay’s Finance Director at the time the practices were taking place, having previously held the roles of deputy chairman of the global investors department and global head of investment at Barclays Capital, where the misdemeanours took place.

In 2008, when Kheraj was recruited by HMRC's Dave Hartnett to advise the FSA after the Northern Rock collapse, Alistair Darling was UK Chancellor and Gordon Brown was Prime Minister. 

The FSA has already revealed that a culture at Barclay’s saw traders openly lobby colleagues in order to manipulate interest rates.  Martin Taylor, who was Barclays' chief executive from 1994 to 1998, said the bank had engaged in "systematic dishonesty".

"It's hard to believe that a policy which seems to be so systematic was not known by people at or very near the top of the bank." he added.

Stewart Hosie called for the Financial Services Bill, currently being considered by parliament, to be reviewed to ensure that the Financial Conduct Authority is equipped with “powers and sanctions” to deal with the scandal.

Mr Hosie – a Member of the Treasury Select Committee – said: “The scale of the manipulation of Libor – described by the FSA as lasting for three and a half years is truly scandalous.  It is incredible that, at the present time, this manipulation is not a criminal offence.

“The public will quite rightly be asking what on earth the FSA was doing for the three and a half years that this was happening and, equally, this scandal raises questions for those who occupied Downing Street at the time that this abuse was going on – Labour’s Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling.

“While Barclays will be held to account for their actions by shareholders and regulators, it is clear that Westminster’s catastrophic regulatory and supervisory failures were the co-authors of this scandal.

“The last Labour government’s age of irresponsibility is catching up with Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown.

“The evidence over who is responsible for the economic crisis, and the regulatory failures which contributed to it, all lead directly back to Downing Street.  The failure of regulation was ‘made in Downing Street’ – numbers 10 and 11.

“With the Financial Services Bill still before parliament we must take the opportunity to ensure that the new Financial Conduct Authority has both the powers and the sanctions to deal with this sort of abuse.”

The current chief executive of Barclays, Bob Diamond, is now facing calls to resign.  On Wednesday Mr Diamond said he would give up his bonus for this year, but many believe that further action such as criminal enquiry is required.

Labour leader Ed Milliband, said: "This cannot be about a slap on the wrist.  When ordinary people break the law, they face charges, prosecution and punishment.  The same should happen here.  The public who are paying the price for bankers' irresponsibility will expect nothing less."

In the House of Lords, Labour's deputy chief whip, Lord Tunnicliffe, admitted his party was responsible for gaps in the law.

Lord Tunnicliffe said: “Criminal sanctions are extraordinarily difficult to bring about because of the burden of criminal law.

“It is fair to say though that you can't find them in the current legislation.  And, yes, OK, it's our fault.”

The scandal is not the first to engulf Barclays bank, which in 2006 was at the centre of a series of tax avoidance scams that saw £300 million having to be paid to the Irish Treasury.  Despite having broken rules in the UK, HMRC are believed to have levied no penalty on the bank.

One of the schemes that experts estimate cost the UK taxpayer £1.5 billion in unpaid tax was headed by the aforementioned Naguib Kheraj.

Mr Kheraj rejoined Barclay's in April last year after a discussion with under fire Chief Bob Diamond.  The position of vice chairman, working with Mr Diamond and finance director Chris Lucas, was created specially for him.

Commenting at the time, Mr Kheraj said: "I spoke to Bob after I decided I was going to leave Lazard. He said if I was interested in doing something part-time, he would be interested in exploring it."


# ButeHouse 2012-06-29 00:30
Another bombshell for our London Masters. Presumably this will NOT be in their LONG - all right - Longish - OK Short then, list of reasons for Scotland to stay in the Union i.e. Union Benefits.

Not exactly doing the chief Scotland basher Mr Darling's reputation much good either is it? Perhaps time for a change at the top of that particular Tree - OK, Bush.

Thank God for Stewart Hosie. The man is a rock and smart with it. Who says the SNP is a one man band?

But even if it is, what a man and what a band and what a braw tune it plays.

VOTE YES in 2014
# Traquir 2012-06-29 01:44
Darling, head of the NO Campaign, has been caught red handed as an utter liar. He TODAY states he now realises LIBOR flawed,but in April 2008 was told that LIBOR was open to abuse,yet he did nothing. He is either totally incompetent to have had 350 Trillion of fraud contacted on his watch or
worse is complicit in this with banks to 'stabilize' and/or defraud the markets.
The City of London is shown to all the world to not only have been cheating Scotland but they have been cheating the entire world of billions. The City of London is the rotten core of a rotting Union.
# J Wil 2012-06-29 07:11
Not O/T

You would hardly believe it.

The Queen is putting her diamonds on display in the middle of the recession.

Flaunting her untold wealth to a public who are losing their jobs, having their houses repossesed and being generally ripped off by the institutions which are ostensibly part of her domain.

Regarding Darling's part in the demise of Britain's economy, there is an opportunity for this to be brought up at the forthcoming TV debate on Scotland's future.
# Legerwood 2012-06-29 13:56
Actually it is our wealth. Only a few of the items are personal jewels the rest are part and parcel of the Royal treasures and as such belong to the people. So when it comes to independence they will be part of the assets to be divied up.

Wavemachine etc below,
When it comes to the decimation of manufacturing in the UK please do not forget the role of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and A Darling. During Labour's years in power Brisish manufacturing as a percentage of GDP FELL from 22% to 11.5% i.e it halved while Financial services i.e. banking etc ROSE to nearly 12%. Jobs lost in manufacturing was round about 2 million hence G. Brown's expansion of public sector/Civil Service jobs by 900,000 to disguise just how perilous things had become in the manufacturing sector. Of course the first jobs cut by the Coalition were those 'extra' public sector jobs.

By contrast during Mrs Thatchers time in office British manufacturing as a percentage of GDP fell from 25% to 22%.
# Wave Machine 2012-06-29 07:26
We are living in a period that, in future periods, will be regarded as a Period of Greed.
At some stage someone needs to come forward and start making a lot of noise about this. You would think that a Westminster politician would champion the consumer, the ordinary person, in all of this, but isn't it telling that no Westminster politician is doing this. That tells a story.
The story is this; the UK economy is so weak, so lacking in depth and diversity, that it is totally reliant on the London financial institutions for tax returns. That is the real story here. If you put all your eggs in one basket you beome totally dependent on that one basket to carry your eggs.
What a mess, and what a negative picture it paints of the skills, or sheer lack of them, of Blair, Brown, Darling and their successors, Osborne and Cameron.
Empty shells of politicians, devoid of ideas and lacking in moral backbone.
# WRH2 2012-06-29 09:35
[quote name="Wave Machine"]
The story is this; the UK economy is so weak, so lacking in depth and diversity, that it is totally reliant on the London financial institutions for tax returns. That is the real story here. If you put all your eggs in one basket you beome totally dependent on that one basket to carry your eggs.
I couldn't agree more. The destruction of manufacturing was one of the biggest mistakes of 20th century. Without producing goods to sell/export we were left with no base for our economy just over reliant on services industries such as banking, insurance and retail. I've always thought of it like trying to make a sandwich without using at least one slice of bread. Looks fine on the plate until you try to lift it and then it falls apart.
# Siôn Jones 2012-06-29 11:05
. . . Except that the taxpayer's bailouts have cost 8 times all the tax the banks have paid in the last 13 years since they have been deregulated. Does not compute.
# Astonished 2012-06-29 07:32
I do wish you would all stop criticising darling. The BBc don't and won't.

JWil - I think it very unlikely that a question regarding darling's incompetence (There you've even got me doing it)will get aired on any TV debate. However I do so hope someone manages it.
# J Wil 2012-06-29 09:19
There are a few independence supporters who could be on the panel and who would have no hesitation in giving Darling the proverbial doing. I do agree that the BBC could are very likely to manipulate events, either by not inviting individuals who would speak the truth, or by editing the programme.

It seems that the Labour Party, who are keen on using the 'separation' word, have been hoist by their own petard now that both the rail mainlines between Scotland and London have been severed.

In addition to the manipulation of the Libor rate, there is also a small matter of loans to businesses, with companies being put out of business by the banks because they were not fully informed about the consequences of the deals they were getting from the banks. Businesses equate to jobs, or lack of them if they go down the swanee due to questionable banking practices.
# Rabbie 2012-06-29 10:17
"who are keen on using the 'separation' word"

A cannae see ocht wrang wi Scotland bein separated fae London control.
# J Wil 2012-06-29 10:42
A cannae see ocht wrang wi Scotland bein separated fae London control either.

However, the Labour Party use the word relentlessly instead of saying independence. If you listen to politicians you will hear it used regularly and especially on Davidson's Scottish Affairs Select comittee. It's intended to put fear into Scots who might vote for independence and suggests that Scotland would be cut adrift from the UK completely and sail out into the Atlantic Ocean never to be seen again.

The SNP have made representations to the BBC that such provocative words should not be used in the coming debate.
# hiorta 2012-06-29 12:22
The regimented use of language by our 'political representatives ' clearly demonstrate that they do not, in fact, do this.
I do not wish a time-serving puppet as a 'representative'.
# UpSpake 2012-06-29 07:35
Crass, institutional incompetence overseen by Statler and Waldorf, neither of them who had any banking of finance experience and were so out of their depth.
Statler/Brown was a history graduate and Waldorf/Darling a lawyer. Need I say more. Credibility neither of them. Criminally incompetent - sure.
Discredited - totally !.
# Barbazenzero 2012-06-29 08:58
This is a malicious slur on two fine Muppet thespians.

The incompetent Duff Gordon and Capn. Darling are not worthy of cleaning the dressing rooms of Statler and Waldorf.

If you must compare them with thespians, would not Dastardly and Muttley be more apposite?
# border reiver 2012-06-29 07:37
The fact that government ministers are saying crimminal procedings cant be brought is very suspicious, seems like a clear case of fraud/theft has been committed. Is it that this is anouther scandal that is being hushed up for political reasons or to protect the city institutions from further scrutiny?
Libor is regulated by the British Bankers Association which is chaired by Marcus Agius who also just happens to be the chairman of Barclay's
# fynesider 2012-06-29 13:24
"This whole thing stinks. The banking industry needs this news like a hole in the head and they only have themselves to blame – again."

Alistair Darling....'Nothing to do with me at all'
# Old Smokey 2012-06-29 07:38
I see John McFall or is that McFail, is doing the rounds of the BBC studios touting is view on the current situation.
On Newsnight Last night avoided answering a question by Isabel Fraser, that he was in the Labour government that advocated the light touch to banking
McFail on again this morning on GMS again trying to deny that Labour are responsible for all this.

But there is something interesting going on and it is this. Alistair Darling, Gordon Brown were courting Barclays all through and before the banking crisis. They were responsible for what is now being revealed. YET Darling is no where near a camera to explain himself, why is that, oh yes he is heading up the Bitter together campaign. Now the BBC are doing their damnest to tie in RBS in the current mess, with 'helpful' soundbites by Douglas Fraser talking of it being a 'bad week' for RBS, what with the computer glitches and now 'this'. They are trying to get traction on RBS, to yet throw that against the referendum campaign, you just wait and see
# Edzell Blue 2012-06-29 08:15
I watched Newsnight Scotland last night and the opening rant by Ian Fraser was most interesting. He placed all the blame on Blair/Brown who encouraged the dregs to London after the States introduced the Sarbanes Oxley Act in 2002 in response to the Enron failure. When McFall was asked to respond he completely ignored the Blair/Brown accusations. McFall comes across as just another typical labour politician denying any responsibility for the current financial downturn.

Ian Fraser’s web site is worth a look, just search on his name.
# Marian 2012-06-29 16:12
SKY News are reporting that a letter from RBS is saying that the computer "glitch" that caused the online banking crisis for Natwest and RBS etc earlier this week originated in Edinburgh and not India.

Whats the betting that Labour and their chums at BBC Scotland will try and twist and use this piece of information to attack independence?
# fairliered 2012-06-29 23:01
I wouldn't even be surprised if they try to engineer a run on RBS just to try to show Scotland in a bad light.
# From The Suburbs 2012-06-29 07:42
Funny we don't hear Barclays described as an English Bank which it obviously is and given the more numerous Branches in England RBS and HBOS were clearly British Banks.
# Wee-Scamp 2012-06-29 08:35
One of the main reasons I support Scottish independence is because I believe it's critical Scotland gets out from under the malign influence of the Treasury and the City. I think this event underpins the neccessity to do that.
# Mac 2012-06-29 10:22
So who knew what at the Treasury and what did they do about it?

There must have been rumours of what was happening. Suspicions confirmed. People would have said things. This must have been recorded and the information passed on upwards. Questions must have been asked. Investigations done.

It seems inconceivable that Treasury ministers did not what was going on under there noses. The Chancellor and the Prime Minister must have known and taken action.

Or did they all turn a blind eye, kept quiet and simply sat on their hands?
# fairliered 2012-06-29 10:34
Another failure presided over by the Financial Services Authority. An independent Scotland will need an independent financial regulator.
# Siôn Jones 2012-06-29 10:49
This wasn't so much a failure to regulate the banks - it was a deliberate decision to de-regulate them, and trust the bankers to behave in a civilised and trustworthy way. It was a key tenet of the neo-liberal ideology begun by Thatcher, and pursued enthusiasticall y by Blair, ably supported by Brown,Balls, and Darling. There is no sign that either of the London parties are ready to abandon their belief in the supremacy of the markets.

At least now it will be harder for Cameron to dismiss a financial transaction tax, which could mitigate most of the cruel cuts he is inflicting - as being unacceptable because it will damage the city.
# Jimbo 2012-06-29 11:50
There is no sign that either of the London parties are ready to abandon their belief in the supremacy of the markets.

They won't/can't, Sion. Since they've de-industrialised the country the money markets are all they have left to rely on for income.

As I said elsewhere: The ties that bind us to England's Westminster government are tying us to economical misery for years to come.
# Siôn Jones 2012-06-29 22:11
I don't share your pessimism - the people can and should be the masters of the markets. They perform a function, that is all. I have worked with traders, and while a few - very few - were admirably intelligent and thoughtful, most were stupid yobbos.
# border reiver 2012-06-29 10:56
Its no wonder there has been a failure to regulate as the financial market has set up a system which is impossible to understand, even many traders do not fully understand the market in which they are dealing in. The derivative market is a great example of this in that Warren Buffet once described derivatives as "financial weapons of mass destruction" when they were first introduced into the financial markets the law in America had to be changed as they fell into the same gambling category as the las Vegas casinos. until governments get to grips with this market and properly regulate it there is little chance of financial stability.
The following are just a few of the key words involved in derivative trading.
Credit default swap, overnight index swap, interest rate swap, over the counter derivatives, exchange traded derivative contracts, binary options, call options, put options exotic derivatives, strike price, bond futures, weather derivatives, arbitrage opportunities, in/out the money options, Black-Scholes Model, finaly you can even have a Swap or a Swaption.
How on earth do you regulate a system like this?
# taimoshan 2012-06-29 10:59
Darling is my Charlie!
# hiorta 2012-06-29 12:45
Heh you! Ma dug's called Charlie.
# taimoshan 2012-06-29 19:41
deepest apologies to yer dug!
# Angus 2012-06-29 11:01
Listening to McFall on Radio BBC Propaganda Scotland this morning, McFall passed the whole thing of as 'it happened to the whole world'.
And he got away with it
# Vivas2 2012-06-29 11:05
If you listen to McFall, he's an utter bluffer in the subject area - and always has been. Still landed an ermine out of it though.
# Dundonian West 2012-06-29 12:47
At 3'20" on BBC iPlayer,Newsnig ht National,(not Scotland =pathetic),Paul Mason,BBC Economics Editor seems to quote either directly or indirectly Bob Diamond as inferring Darling or Brown would have been consulted re changes to Libor.

If Mason IS saying what I think he's saying,that confirms,or comes pretty darn close,Stewart Hosie's assertion.

A more financially knowledgeable person than I may make more sense of what Mason was inferring re Diamond/Darling and Brown at that 3'20" point.
Apologies all round if I've got this wrong, and wasted anyone's time!
# mato21 2012-06-29 13:38

I am having difficulty with flash player so cannot watch the clip, though I did see it last night and from what I remember I am sure you are correct and I'm sure someone made the point that it would not be junior people who would be involved (on the banks side) that this would have been done at the highest level

Again I'm only going from memory and may well be wrong, but was this revelation not taken from a letter B.Diamond has sent confirming his appearance in front of the ?finance committee
# Dundonian West 2012-06-29 14:33
mato21--Your first para is certainly spot on,but regarding the second,I'm not certain of the full content of Diamond's letter.
Thanks for replying.
PS. Sorry about the Flash Player problems. They're always asking me to click on updates!
# lumilumi 2012-07-01 05:23
The whole mess was made possible by the de-regulation of banks, so enthusiasticall y embraced by Blair, Brown, Darling. You cannot expect banks - whose purpose is to make as much money as possible - to self-regulate. Banks will do anything they can get away with.

re: Flash Player problems. I started having them after installing Flash Player All problems stopped after I reverted back to FP Advice on how to do it can be found here:
# Adrian B 2012-06-29 13:42
Another must watch for those that did not see it was last nights edition of This week on BBC1. Michael Portillo giving details of how this whole Natwest interest thing came about by Labour in 2002!

Its a Must watch - Have seen nothing of the story being reported anywhere today.

This makes Stuart Hosies assertions as written above far more damaging for Labour, and starts to really show the scale of the banking problem on a whole other level. This problem is far bigger than is being reported - its been happening for far longer than is being reported - Tip of the iceberg most likely!

Edit - been watching to find timing of Portillo's remarks - cannot find! have they been edited out?

Has anyone recorded the original broadcast last night?
# scottish_skier 2012-06-29 13:01
O/T, but here's one for our Welsh cousins...

Leanne Wood: Wales will be independent in a generation

Wales will be independent within a generation and part of a British "neighbourhood of nations", according to Plaid Cymru's leader.
# Welsh Sion 2012-06-29 19:54
Skier, many thanks. Can I add to your posting a more detailed account of Leanne's speech?
# hiorta 2012-06-30 08:46
""In her article, Ms Wood describes England as not simply a neighbour, but a “sister nation”

If so, our 'sister' has been a very naughty girl. She steals from us, lies to us and dumps her filthy rubbish in our rooms.
# Macart 2012-06-29 13:04
Also slightly O/T

Check out this Murdoch investment priorities article on Guardian site.

Most especially look to Murdoch's direct quotes in the article.

# Old Smokey 2012-06-29 13:43
"Asked by Cavuto whether this was because of what he went through, Murdoch replied: "No, not at all, just the English.""
I caught that at the tale end on a TV interview (cant remember id it was ITV or Channel 4) last night, just about fell of my chair when I heard that. The broadcaster couldnt cut away quick enough!
# Macart 2012-06-29 14:26
@ Old Smokey

That'll definitely leave a mark in the mornin'. :)
# Legerwood 2012-06-29 15:04
This whole debacle - libor, loans to small businesses, computer glitches etc. - should serve as a salutary lesson to those planning for independence in Scotland particularly in the area of banking regulation.

Investment and retail banking must be seperated. We as taxpayers can guarantee people's deposits but should not be guaranteeing investment bankers cavalier attitude to money and banking.

Worryingly in the recent discussions and reports about the currency post-independence I saw a statemen in one report attributed to Mr Salmond, I think, saying that: 'An independent Scotland would adopt the same banking regulations as the rUK'.

Better if we draw up our own more stringent regulations and use countries such as Canada whose banks are tightly regulated and have weathered the storms more successfully than use the failed UK regulatory system. The new regulations that have been introduced are still not stringent enough. The Tories have been too mindful of their backers and supporters in business to bring in a proper system.
# UpSpake 2012-06-29 16:46
Legerwood. No worries. Already in the SDA's policy documents. Somewhere lagging way behind, it might enter the SNP's thinking, but there are no guarantees.
# Juteman 2012-06-29 16:46
It's a clear case of all the nudists not wanting to point out to the ordinary Emperor that he is fleeced.
# Juteman 2012-06-29 17:03
Nobody has the right, at the moment, to draw up any banking regulations for an independent Scotland.
That right will fall to the first government elected in the post referendum elections.
# call me dave 2012-06-29 17:52

No Scots in the Olympic Footie team. . .

BBC Scotland TV news.

Edited: Or N. Ireland
# rapid 2012-06-29 18:19
O/T - BBC1 now. debate.

the only problem is that I'm worried that I've eaten something a wee bit off - because the debate seems quite pro-YES. This cannot be true. The mushrooms in tonights lasagne might not have come from Tescos.

Curran struggling.
Audience appears very YES biased.

(OK it's only 16 minutes in)
# aiberdeen sheep 2012-06-29 18:32
The bletherer even seems biased towards us.

Curran is a joke, in fact all labour politicians are embarrassing.

A horrible thought for me is for Curran to be in an independent Scottish government.

I may emigrate to Norway if that happens.
# Corm 2012-06-29 18:38
Aunty Bella's face is a picture. I cant take [Edited - NNS Mod Team] seriously I dont trust anything he utters anymore. I dont really detect a pro yes flavour to it either but I never caught the first 15 mins. I typing this whilst listening I cant watch him bounce around on stage anymore either im getting motion sickness =P
# Juteman 2012-06-29 18:48
Margo is doing well.
We need more Margo, Canavan, etc.
Stop trying to please all the people, and say it how it is.
The SNP were elected because they didn't spin, and folk liked that honesty. Don't fall into the trap of political language now!
# oldnat 2012-06-29 19:29
Excellent from Margo - nae spin and a lot of sense.
# Taighnamona 2012-06-29 18:52
How much has 'magrit' paid the bbc to let her run this show...between her and brian no one else is getting a word in...
# gus1940 2012-06-29 19:24
I thought Taylor was surprisingly fair and gave Curran a hard time.

The composition of the audience was very interesting - it looks as if YES supporters have got the hang of getting round the Beeb's selection procedures.

All in all I would say that The Guys and Gals in The White Hats (including the audience) had a good night given that it was pre-recoded with the opportunity for The Beeb to edit.

I would love to see a future debate with Denis Canavan and Lesley Riddoch versus Lamont and Ruth Davidson - it would be a massacre worth watching.
# gus1940 2012-06-29 19:43
[Thanks - NNS Mod Team]
# Northerndiver 2012-06-29 19:34
Just watched the BD.

Curran was feeling a little uneasy when asked if she would prefer a tory gov in westminster or a labour one in an independent Scotland, good to see Brian pushed her on that one.

Also good to see her put right on the anti-English comment.... Do you think it will be in the papers tomorrow? If Fiona Hyslop had called a supporter of the union anti-Scottish....would that be reported? or should I say, is there any chance it would not be on every front page in Scotland.
# J Wil 2012-06-29 19:36
Bring Back Isobel Fraser, all is forgiven.

Why does Brian keep interjecting and prancing about? It upsets the rhythm of the debate and is very off-putting? Maybe he thinks he is still on radio.

In fact it could hardly becalled a debate.

If they focused on being more in-depth by dealing with one aspect instead of a bunch of 30 second superficial statements where most viewers will be left wondering what it is all about.

e.g they could discuss the benefits of independence v. more devolution for an hour.

It would put both sides on the spot. Especially the unionists with their promise of jam tomorrow, but giving nothing away.

Then there is defence for another one hour debate and welfare for another.

However, I suspect that the Unionist camp would not be happy for their ideas to be probed too much and the BBC would be happy to go with that too.

I suggest that they could do a one hour special with only Margaret Curran providing the entertainment. Dealing in depth with the technical aspects of the present financial situation. Brian said there was lots to come.
# call me dave 2012-06-29 19:51
Saw the last 30 minutes and I agree that Brian disrupted the flow, often cutting across the answers the panelists were giving.

On the whole it was a good effective display from the pro-independence side.

Augers well when it gets nearer the crunch time.

Got two t-shirts on order

newsnetscotland .com
on the front and

on the back.

I'll be out and about in the holidays brightening up the central Fife area.

# govanite 2012-06-29 19:38
its on iplayer:
# gopher3 2012-06-29 19:39
They'd never let that happen.
# RTP 2012-06-29 20:05
Saw some of the debate and why was Curran on and not an MSP for Lab are they not up to the job we know that I liked the bit when the man corrected Curran about not hating the English only Westminster.
# oldnat 2012-06-29 20:23
"why was Curran on and not an MSP for Lab are they not up to the job"?

I think that is what they call a rhetorical question!

Ken McIntosh is one of Labour's better MSPs and look what happened when they last let him out in public.
# brusque 2012-06-29 20:32
Curran shows the very worst face of Labour, I would have her on at every opportunity to be honest, the YES Campaign wouldn't have to work very hard to best her in any debate.

She was spitting feathers when the good Brian (he's a bit light on his feet when he is on the telly!!!) hounded her a bit on whether she preferred a Tory Government in London than a Labour one in Scotland.

Puce is not her best colour:-)
# SCOTLAND YES 2012-06-29 20:48
Though proramme was reasonably balanced except for Curran interepting all the time and Brian taylor asked her to answer directly points from the audience but anti independence comments were not directly put to Margo or Fiona.
# brusque 2012-06-29 21:14
Though proramme was reasonably balanced except for Curran interepting all the time and Brian taylor asked her to answer directly points from the audience but anti independence comments were not directly put to Margo or Fiona.

Yes, noticed that, but given the extreme bias we usually get on these set pieces it was slightly better.

I agree with the man who wants Independence only (and Margo) on the ballot paper. I've not spent the last nearly sixty years praying for the prospect of a few more crumbs from the Unionist table. These debates are unfortunately not doing enough to spell out to people that once Independence is sorted, then is the time for the Scottish Government to work on the issues of where we go from there.

Whilst the SNP are trying their best to answer some of the questions, the Unionist Cabal refuse to even acknowledge that the answer would be YES; and as such, are completely unprepared to say what their policies would be if they were the party of Government.

They should not be allowed to pre-empt the wishes of the people of Scotland by refusing to say what they would do in an Independent Scotland, so it looks like more of the same from them.
# rapid 2012-06-29 21:23

indeed - there is a logic bomb with the NO argument. They can't answer questions about what happens after a NO vote - which is likely to disenfranchise voters.

a) a NO vote indicates that it is "Business As Usual" with a Westminster Parliament with a develution limited Scottish government that currently has an SNP majority

b) therefore, policy questions would be answerable by whichever party was in control of a Westminster Parliament

c) and thus the NO team can't provide a single answer to any question. none of the NO team can make promises about any policy: whether it be Devo PlusABit, Max or whatever - because they may well not be in power to make it so.

d) to defeat any NO positive point; all you have to do is ask one of the other parties what their policy would be. Brian Taylor did this to some effect with M Curran tonight.
# Siôn Jones 2012-06-29 22:50
Spot on! all the no parties are promising something better after a no vote, but none of them will say what that is. And a no vote in 2014 would be followed by a UK general election in 2015. Who wins that election will be decided by Middle England, Scotland will have little influence on the result, so once again the English will decide Scotland's future. Is that acceptable to anybody?
# nchanter 2012-06-29 21:24
O/T I know this might seem silly, but why are there MSPs who want to deny independence for their own country. Are they not representing Scottish people and work in their best interests. I find this very puzzling. ( or am I thick)
# exel 2012-06-29 21:36
@ Nchanter

It is not silly, it is what politicians do. Toe the party line.

Margo was the only independent in the room.

Hislop did nothing but rave about POWER (sovereignty) for the Scottish Parliament.

We already have parliamentary sovereignty at Westminster, why would we want to continue with that system at Holyrood?
# oldnat 2012-06-29 21:58
None of the pro-independence parties currently want to continue with parliamentary sovereignty at Holyrood. All embrace the belief that sovereignty lies with the people - not with the "Queen in Parliament".

However, I'm too long in the tooth to trust any politician of any party. I'd like to see them all committing themselves to an initial format of a Scottish constitution that embodies that, the guarantee of a process to define that constitution in more detail, and a referendum on that constitutional draft within two years of independence.

The Icelandic model is an interesting process.

You bang on about the need for a constitution. Were you at the debate in Holyrood on that topic last night?
# exel 2012-06-29 22:38
oldnat 2012-06-29 22:58
“None of the pro-independence parties currently want to continue with parliamentary sovereignty at Holyrood. All embrace the belief that sovereignty lies with the people - not with the "Queen in Parliament". However, I'm too long in the tooth to trust any politician of any party. I'd like to see them all committing themselves to an initial format of a Scottish constitution that embodies that, the guarantee of a process to define that constitution in more detail, and a referendum on that constitutional draft within two years of independence.”

So why do we not have the question now and spend the next two years discussing what kind of government we want for our Independent Scotland?
# oldnat 2012-06-29 22:53
The real trouble with your obsession is that you single-mindedly make the same points and ask the same questions on multiple threads.

You asked exactly that question of someone else on another thread, and I responded to it there.
# the wallace 2012-06-29 21:48
Loved watching curran squirm when taylor asked her if she,d prefer tory rule or home rule?,this point should be hammerd home at every chance by the yes campaign its their achilles heel get your arrows ready folk lol.
# Hirta 2012-06-29 21:55

Any news on this?

Real or someone's imagine running riot?


Seems genuine :) Good.
# Old Smokey 2012-06-30 00:15
(bottom right hand corner)
# Big Eye 2012-06-30 00:21
The bottom line is simply this.

A NO VOTE is a vote for Tory rule.

This is when the decades of Labour living off a vote for the SNP is a vote for the Tories comes back to bite them BIG TIME!
# Seagetagrip 2012-06-30 07:35
On Newsweek Scotland, Ken McDonald the presenter reported that BBC HQ in London were issuing instructions that the anti Independence should not be referred to as the "No" Campaign. Is this an admission, at long last, that they are running the "No" Campaign or, atleast, supporting it.
Maybe a listen to the programme on Ipod later might clarify the instructions
# Davy 2012-06-30 08:26
Aye did you notice goldie snuck in a fast one last night about no warships would be built on the clyde if we get independence. But she and everyone else forgot to mention the four Royal Navy tankers being built in South Korea.

And I could'nt believe the numpty who wanted to go back to Westminster rule, does he not relise the world and Scotland has moved on, and as someone already has mentioned the YES supporters do appear to have figured out the BBBC selection process. oops.
# Edulis 2012-06-30 08:57
Newsweek Scotloand is now a 'must listen' for every Independenista. This mornings offering from Prof Paul Rogers of Bradford University Peace Studies Dept was his opinion that he has not been convinced of the case for a nuclear deterrant for many years. This can be a big bazooka for the Yes campaign. We would be doing the Westminster Govt a favour by taking a hard line on removal of all WMD from Scottish soil.This has got massive traction and underlines further the moral case for self determination. I think even some Tories in Westminster would go with that given the cuts to the Army otherwise.
# Seagetagrip 2012-06-30 09:31

The Claim of Rights which declares the Sovereignty of Scotland lies with the People of Scotland will suffice to my way of thinking.
Re referring to you as "son" was unnecessarily provocative but it was first thing on a Saturday morning! I do apologise.
# ituna semea 2012-06-30 09:42
Who can forget the line in The Times April 2007 from that economic genius who is now Scotland's first minister?
"We are pledging a light-touch regulation suitable to a Scottish financial sector with its outstanding reputation for probity, as opposed to one like that in the UK, which absorbs huge amounts of management time in 'gold-plated' regulation."
# scottish_skier 2012-06-30 09:55
George Osbourne on the arc of prosperity.

"A GENERATION ago, the very idea that a British politician would go to Ireland to see how to run an economy would have been laughable. The Irish Republic
was seen as Britain’s poor and troubled country cousin, a rural backwater on the edge of Europe. Today things are different. Ireland stands as a shining example of the art of the possible in long-term economic policymaking, and that is why I am in Dublin: to listen and to learn."

The Times
February 23, 2006.

Very keen on unsustainable property booms was George it seems.

I wonder if the leader of the opposition in Scotland had access to all the FSA/treasury data about the banks and their operations in early 2007.
# call me dave 2012-06-30 10:11
That's fair comment.

No one has the allseeing eye but AS is my preferred choice from among the present lot to have Scotland at the heart of the decisions.
I'm with Skier on this one.

Keep up the good work Ituna we need your opinions to keep our feet on the ground and to make us more determined.

# scottish_skier 2012-06-30 12:09
No one has the allseeing eye

Yes, of course, nobody has a 'monopoly of wisdom'. I'd tend to trust those that admitted to that openly.
# ituna semea 2012-06-30 12:16
Gordon Brown was in thrall to the banks whose tax revenue helped him to buy votes, but If you are trying to say that Mr Salmond of all people was unaware of the banking culture,your naivety is hardly credible or your probity is in doubt.
# scottish_skier 2012-06-30 12:32
Mr Salmond is an oil economist, so yes, he must have had a basic idea about economics, but not necessarily the intricacies of complex trading on the international markets. In any event, from your quote he was talking about the Scottish finacial services industry, which offers very different services to that of the square mile.

It seems he was also correct in that the way London banking was being regulated was poor. We never did get to see his alternative though.

What is George's background BTW? I think it is towel refolding? You can see the result - a double dip. Reports suggest it may be a lot less bad in Scotland, what with the limited powers the scottish government have.
# ituna semea 2012-06-30 19:43
So when Mr Salmond spoke about financial probity and light touch regulation he was excluding his old employers RBS to whom he offered whatever help they needed in the disastrous ABN/AMRO folly,"yours for Scotland Fred". The same outfit who were involved in LIBOR manipulation and headquartered and run from Gogarburn.
# scottish_skier 2012-06-30 19:54
And regulated by the FSA in London in conjuction with the Treasury; far outside Mr Salmond's jurisdiction and he clearly made a grevious error in judgement trusting these organisations to regulate the banks effectively.

Have you exact details of what Mr Salmond was proposing and whether it was actually a lighter touch or in fact much tougher that the UK government / FSA were actually applying? What they were doing was supposed to be gold standard, but in fact it was maybe cheap plastic standard. Or are you - as I suspect - just hoping that all of a sudden all those people that support the SNP, devo max, independence etc will suddenly change their minds based on a few things a person they don't have to elect as PM in an independent Scotland said over 4 years ago?

In any event, joe public seemed to trust Mr Salmond - the SNP went on to win the next two elections and there shall be a referendum on independence in 2014. In that sense, you might want to consider looking for stronger arguments for your cause.
# oldnat 2012-06-30 20:00
You can't help yourself from selective sneering, can you?

In common with virtually all politicians in the UK and most of the rest of the Western world, Salmond got that wrong.


Barclays and the rest of the Libor manipulators were doing that from London (which is where any RBS involvement also took place), while the supposedly responsible UK political establishment looked on and chose not to investigate.
# call me dave 2012-06-30 20:57
Come on Ituna semea, your not seriously trying to frame AS as the tail on the UK donkey as far as banking and political meltdown is concerned. There are better candidates who were actually in charge at the time. Perhaps you should have contacted the guilty ones then, or dropped AS a letter warning him to be careful and saved us a lot of grief.

Skier and Old Nat have effectively rebutted your criticism of AS as far as I am concerned.

Let's move on
# cynicalHighlander 2012-06-30 22:13
Andy Murray is still British at the moment and an anagram of your name 'emit nausea' seems applicable for your repetitive posts.
# oldnat 2012-06-30 22:19
When Scotland is independent Murray will still be Scots and British and European and male and white and heterosexual and a bloody good tennis player and ... and ....
# call me dave 2012-06-30 22:48
Quoting oldnat:
When Scotland is independent Murray will still be Scots and British and European and male and white and heterosexual and a bloody good tennis player and ... and ....

Quoting oldnat:
When Scotland is independent Murray will still be Scots and British and European and male and white and heterosexual and a bloody good tennis player and ... and ....

and and ... . hopefully get rid of the 1936 albatross of Fred Perry.

I thought i might help you complete the sentence.

PS: I have great respect for Fred by the way!
# Barbazenzero 2012-06-30 12:06
"Light touch" does not mean "Shut your eyes and hope for the best"!

We're getting more evidence every day that Duff Gordon and Capn. Darling acting on the advice of HM Treasury did precisely the latter.

We'll obviously never know precisely what the FM meant by the former but surely the suspicion must always be that as an experienced economist he gave that dynamic duo and HM Treasury far too much benefit of the doubt.
# scottish_skier 2012-06-30 13:06
Yes, given what is becoming apparent regarding the gulf between how we believed banks were being regulated and what was actually the case, Mr Salmond's one line suggestion - if it had ever been fleshed out - may have in fact turned out to be quite rock solid.
# taimoshan 2012-06-30 10:56
Just been to a "Yes, Scotland" meeting for West Fife Villages, chaired by Kate Stewart, a local councillor. Lots of light and enthusiasm directed at countering the negativity of the unionist cabal. Organisation of our local campaign beginning to take root. If this was rolled out Scotlan-wide we'd walk the referendum. OK i'm a bit enthused at the moment but have a really good feeling about this campaign!
# Marga B 2012-06-30 13:34
Congratulations Taimoshan, from an East Fifer but with West Fife origins, it seems things are rolling at last. This can only help empower communities in general, not just on the independence issue.

And a sneeky comment on Macart below - I can vouch for the fact that the independence debate, whether you are one side or the other, is raising Scotland's profile throughout Europe, linked to the other "nations without a state". Many people are tracking Scotland and learning a lot on the way.
# exel 2012-06-30 10:58
Seagetagrip 2012-06-30 10:31
“The Claim of Rights which declares the Sovereignty of Scotland lies with the People of Scotland will suffice to my way of thinking.
Re referring to you as "son" was unnecessarily provocative but it was first thing on a Saturday morning! I do apologise.”

Which are we discussing?

Claim of Right can refer to:
• Claim of Right Act 1689, an Act of the Parliament of Scotland, confirming the succession to the throne of William II and Mary II following the Glorious Revolution in England
• Claim of Right 1989, a document crafted by the Scottish Constitutional Convention, signed by most serving elected Scottish politicians and civic bodies, acknowledging the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs
• Claim of right doctrine, in United States taxation case law
A Claim of Right for Scotland was a document crafted by the Scottish Constitutional Convention in 1988, declaring the sovereignty of the Scottish people. It was signed by all then-serving Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, with the exception of Tam Dalyell (Labour),[1] a strident opponent of devolution. The list of signatories included several MPs who would later attain high office, including future prime minister Gordon Brown, future chancellor Alistair Darling, and future leaders of the Liberal Democrats Charlie Kennedy and Menzies Campbell.

The Claim of Right was signed at the General Assembly Hall, on the Mound in Edinburgh - on the 30th March 1989 by 58 of Scotland's 72 Members of Parliament, 7 of Scotland's 8 MEPs, 59 out of 65 the Scottish regional, district and island councils, and numerous political parties, churches and other civic organisations, e.g., trade unions. The document has never had any legal force, and remains a statement of popular opinion.

The Claim was part of a process which led to devolution of powers from the Parliament of the United Kingdom to a new Scottish Parliament in 1999. Its title was a reference to the Claim of Right Act 1689, an Act of the Parliament of Scotland which limited the power of the Scottish monarch (at the time, William and Mary) in much the same manner as the English Bill of Rights passed the same year.
In October 2011 the Scottish Government announced that the Claim of Right will be brought before the Scottish Parliament to allow MSPs to re-endorse the claims of the sovereignty of the Scottish people.

Text of the Claim
The Claim of Right reads-
We, gathered as the Scottish Constitutional Convention, do hereby acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and do hereby declare and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests shall be paramount.
We further declare and pledge that our actions and deliberations shall be directed to the following ends:
To agree a scheme for an Assembly or Parliament for Scotland;
To mobilise Scottish opinion and ensure the approval of the Scottish people for that scheme; and
to assert the right of the Scottish people to secure implementation of that scheme.

The Claim of Right is an Act passed by the Parliament of Scotland in April 1689. It is one of the key documents of Scottish constitutional law Therefore, a Convention of the Scottish Estates met to consider letters received on 16 March 1689 from the two contenders for the Crown. On 4 April they voted to remove James VII from office, drawing on George Buchanan's argument on the contractual nature of monarchy.
Later that month, the Convention adopted the Claim of Right and the Article of Grievances, enumerating what they saw as the contemporary requirements of Scottish constitutional law. It also declared that, because of his actions in violation of these laws, James had forfeited the Scottish throne.[2] The effect of the Claim of Right was to "bolster the position of parliament within the Scottish constitution at the expense of the royal prerogative".
The Convention proceeded to offer the crown on the basis of these documents to William and Mary, who accepted it on 11 May 1689, and were proclaimed King and Queen of the Scots as William II and Mary II, though with subsequent controversy over whether the Claim of Right articles against Episcopacy were fully accepted by the new monarchy.
No apology required, at my age I also get “tetchy”
# Dundonian West 2012-06-30 11:18
BBC BIG DEBATE LINK.iPlayer.Posted last evening on this thread(above),b ut could well do with a second airing today(Saturday) .
I'll be putting it on to my Facebook Page.
Lots of comments ,above, re the programme and arguments put forward.

The presenter was billed by BBC Scotland as Isabel Fraser.Does anyone know why Brian Taylor was parachuted in?
# Seagetagrip 2012-06-30 12:11
Very impressed.
The one approved by the Scottish Parliament quite recently will do me fine but thanks for the history lesson
# Macart 2012-06-30 13:19
I prefer to watch what people do rather than what they say.

To date Messrs Swinney and Salmond have returned balanced budgets and raised Scotland's image on the international investment watch list. They have also managed to lower unemployment figures in Scotland now month on month for what, six, seven months? Last but by no means least their fiscal approach has retained vital services for the public in general and the less well off in particular.

All done on a shoestring and restricted powers. I think even those of a more cynical nature, should be saying fair played at this point. Nobody is under any illusion that this could last forever under the austerity measures being enacted by Westminster, but I trust those two gentlemen to make the social contract last as long as they possibly can.

As for messrs Osborne and Balls?

Not as far as I could throw them.
# cynicalHighlander 2012-06-30 22:33
Cameron is willing to conduct a review and Milliband wants a public enquiry and if the governmental positions were reversed so would the their requests.


"Several governments have tried to democratise the City of London but all, threatened by its financial might, have failed. As Clement Attlee lamented, "over and over again we have seen that there is in this country another power than that which has its seat at Westminster." "

The tax haven in the heart of Britain:

The Remembrancer, whose position dates from the reign of Elizabeth I, is the City's official lobbyist in parliament, sitting opposite the Speaker, and is "charged with maintaining and enhancing the City's status and ensuring that its established rights are safeguarded". His office watches out for political dissent against the City and lobbies on financial matters. Then there is the City's Cash, "a private fund built up over the last eight centuries", which, among many other things, helps buy off dissent. Only part of it is visible: the Freedom of Information Act applies solely to its mundane functions as a local authority or police authority. Its assets are beyond proper democratic scrutiny.

This is what the Bitter Together parties are defending a system dating back to the 16th century either through ignorance or a red bench place.

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