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April 19, 2011


Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

I'm neither a fan of Vince Cable nor of the Lib-Dems but he is correct in what he says. Thatcherism was never popular in Scotland. Indeed whilst its creator was winning seats in England to give her a good working majority in 1979, her "Vicar on Earth" in Scotland, her "Secretary of State in waiting" - Teddy Taylor, was losing his seat in Glasgow Cathcart.

The Scots are far more Communitarian than their English counterparts and this extends across the religious divide in that country and the social classes. There is more of a sense of Noblesse Oblige in the well-to-do North of the Border. Essex Man, so beloved of Southern Tories, would find it stony ground in Scotland and would be likely to be told to "F**k Off!" by your average Jock. Thatcherism whilst winning three elections -two as landslides- in England was the kiss of death for the Scottish Tories from which they have never really recovered and are now a rump with one MP and a handful of MSPs, most from the List rather than Constituency Winners. Scots will never forgive Thatcherism and the iconic picture of the gasholder and towers at Ravenscraig being demolished will always be linked there with her name.

As to Cable's other assertion that the Lib-Dems have stopped Cameron from doing similar things. This may or may not be true. Certainly being in a Coalition with the Lib-Dems has stopped the Conservatives from implementing some of the policies they wished, not merely in Economic matters but in other such as repealing the Human Rights Act, cutting Inheritance Tax etc. That is part of the price of being in a Coalition and why many Conservative supporters were and still are against it and would have preferred a Minority Conservative Government.

So whatever one may think of Cable, he cannot really be condemned for stating the obvious.


Although Thatcherism may not have been popular in Scotland as in much of England, it really annoys me when the Lib Dems try and pretend they are the nice people in politics and the Conservatives are always the bad guys, the ones that need restraining and can not be trusted on their own. The Tories need to shout louder that they are proud of who they are and in fact, we could argue we are restraining some of the crazy Lib Dem policies such as signing up to any E.U directive come what may and their immigration policy. Both of these I believe would be deeply unpopular for most people.

If you think about it, the coalition has little control in Scotland anyway. It may control much of the economy, social security and national issues, bread and butter issues affecting Scottish people are devolved to the Scottish parliament, out of reach of English Conservatives.


The Scots are primarily a working class population and are very socialist in their outlook. To say that Thatcher was unpopular however is simplistic, most of the middle and upper classes are very Tory but unfortunately are outnumbered. Now before I get lambasted about my use of the 'class system' it is purely to illustrate the social groupings and not from arrogance or snobbery.

My family are Scottish and are stauanch Tories but their neighbours and most of their friends are labour supporters from the cradle, this is the same type of tribalism that you find in Wales. The mines and the shipyards are the background of the majority of working people and their demise, whilst brought on in good measure by their own militancy, is blamed upon the government of the day which was Conservative. They do however forget that the rot set in with labour and their own trade unions.

The crunch though came with the Poll Tax experiment, Scotland got it a year before the rest of the UK and the resentment from that was the catalyst for the civil disobedience and disorder that followed. That was the end of Conservatism in the UK and 13 years in the wilderness followed swiftly on the heels of that stupid decision.

Victor Southern

The LibDems will lose seats in the Scottish Parliament and hold fewer than the Conservatives. That apart I think we have heard quite enough [really too much] from Cable this past few weeks. He really should shut up and get on with his job. I see he claims that if he is sacked he will earn twice as much writing and speaking so there must be a thriving market in disloyalty and economic hindsight.

Elaine Turner

I was born in Fleetwood, Lancashire although moved when my father (in the Forces) was posted. I suppose in heart I am a Southerner though. I have to keep asking the question why are we so loathed in the North and in Scotland? Jobs... or the lack of them.

Why do we have so many jobs in the South? Entreprenuership, the private sector, the ability to get on and run business in an area largely dominated by Conservative councils. Business is allowed to thrive. In the North, Scotland and Wales, they are dominated by the Labour party, the businesses are not attracted to the areas and to prop up the economies of those areas we have had to farm out Government jobs to those regions. Until they stop wallowing in self pity and realise that jobs are created by the private sector and not the state sector, they will never thrive and they need to learn the Conservative ways. Proximity to the Channel and airport links has very little to do with the spirit of the private sector.

Now, getting on to that tosser Cable... get rid of him... he is as useful as a chocolate teapot. He is systematically endeavouring to destroy the Coalition - he must go. Only so much can be tolerated and he overstepped the mark last year.


Vince Cable is unfit for government and should be sacked at the next government reshuffle.

It doesn't add up...

Says former Labour Glasgow City councillor who left the city the same corrupt, hopeless mess he found it.


I like Scotland to visit and I like some of the Scots but politically, it is a failed socialist state shored up with other people's money. Cameron and his friends in the Scotia Nostra are quite happy to bleed ordinary people white south of the border so that the Scots can continue to indulge themselves at the expense of others, while whinging about Mrs Thatcher. Scotland doesn;t want independence because it would have to stand on its own two feet and it has little industry because it is hopelessly uncompetitive. That was true in the 1980's and remains so today. Its best and brightest for the most part leave.


£4.7 billion of goods exported by the oil and gas sector.
£3.6 billion of food and drink exported (mostly by the whisky industry).
One third of all UK shipbuilding.
More medical research is conducted per head of population in Scotland than anywhere else in Europe.

Per capita GVA places Scotland third in the UK, after London and the South-East of England.

We are, probably, more communitarian than other parts of the UK but generally Scots don't want independence because they're instinctively cautious and dare I say it, conservative...


I see: so Scotland has two declining industries left (oil and gas and shipbuilding) and it exports whisky. That's it. The idea that Scotland is a medical research hub is laughable, not least because its standards of education are low.

And it's a funny kind of conservatism that leads to 60+% of your economy being public sector and which demands that other poor if not poorer people in the English regions subsidise the profligacy of your devolved government.


Actually here in dundee it is exactly the biomed sector that keeps an ex industrial city like this going. In conjunction with the university, it has bucked its evilly image for what appears to be appealing to a new generation yuppies.
I admit that it does, however, represent the same problems as the rest of Scotland, high unemployment and over reliance on the public sector. This is why Scotland is affected more by the cuts. Once upon a time at the height of the industrial revolution, this was not the case.
Nonetheless, these green shoots do make the case for fiscal autonomy highly plausible. In order to cultivate growth, Scots must be given the chance to make their government accountable for the economy. It does not necessarily lead to independence but democratic health is an indicator of fiscal health.

john parkes

It is interesting to read some of the remarks made here about Cable`s possible future. It seems to me that he is a prize opportunist, starting from the time when he couldn`t be selected as candidate for a Labour Parliamentary seat so he defected to the Liberal Democrats to improve his chances (and that says a lot about the quality of the Liberal Democrats). His ambition knows no bounds, nor does he let the truth get in the way of a good story. It is clear that he sees Clegg`s vulnerability as Liberal Democrat Party leader and the likelihood of there being a move to unseat him. It is a post that Cable would do anything to gain. He is rather badly placed at the moment, though, being a member of the coalition cabinet; but to resign would give the game away and walking out would demonstrate that he is not a serious candidate to replace Clegg, so he is doing his utmost to be dismissed.
It is fascinating to watch the way in which Cameron is tormenting him by not allowing him the satisfaction of dismissal, with all the kudos he imagines he will gain from getting the chop.
Eventually he will become so desperate that he will lose his patience as well as his reputation by storming off to the backbenches; but not before he has destroyed any hopes and aspirations he might have had, undermining them completely by his lack of judgement as well as his naked ambition .
It`s a pleasure to watch; and anyway, who takes Cable seriously now? Too crass to be a real sage, I think.

Vincit Veritas

I do so agreewith John Parkes. Cable ought to be sacked, I am sure we can all find his expenses cockeyed since he is the minister for Business.

If Coaltion rules wont let him be sacked, he ougfh to be moved sideways to be the minister for public lavatories. That way he can save taxpayer money by travelling by sewer.


It appears that Commentator's exposure to Scotland has been restricted to watching Rab C Nesbitt...

Scottish literacy levels are generally on par with most well-developed nations. We have one university in the UK Top 10. On a per capita basis that would seem reasonable. According to The Scientist, The University of Dundee is the top European site for Life Science Reseach. Half of all stem cell research licenses are issued to Scottish organisations (source: Scottish Enterprise).

And to quote a report from the Scottish Parliament: "Excluding North Sea oil and gas from Scottish GDP then public expenditure relative to GDP has been 5-10 percentage points higher in Scotland than in the UK. When North Sea oil and gas are included in Scottish GDP on a geographic basis then the difference has been in the range 3% more to 5% less than in the UK." Hardly an earth-shattering difference...

Elaine Turner

AS a response to John Parkes... after Ming got the heaveho from the Lib Dems because of his age, the Liberals and in particular, Vince, thought that age was something they weren't looking for. You could almost say they selected the youngest and least experienced boy as a reaction against Ming. If the Libs flip flop on the age thing it will just add to the general belief that they are neither fish nor fowl.

john parkes

....or closet red herrings?!

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

"The idea that Scotland is a medical research hub is laughable, not least because its standards of education are low"


Really Commentator, being Scots born myself, although I have lived for 39 years in England and call that country "home", I take extreme exception to those crass remarks. Not only is the Scottish (State)Educational system considered by many to be better than its English equivalent, but Scottish Medicine is held in very high esteem in the Medical Community, indeed to have qualify from the medical faculties of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Dundee Universities is a positive advantage to a doctor or surgeon. There are also some of the finest specialist facilities at The Southern General (Neurosurgery) and Gartnaval (Oncology) Hospitals in Glasgow as well as those in the other 3 main cities of that Country.

You don't have to LIKE Scotland or the Scots but at least get your facts right when speaking about them!

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