“A Union dividend”

The UK government has started talking in terms of a Union dividend for Scotland. They tell us there is a “Union dividend of £1941 per person” in Scotland “demonstrating the strength of all parts of the UK working together”.

The “dividend” has two parts. Scottish taxpayers pay on average £308 a year less tax than the UK average. Scotland receives £1633 more public spending per person a year. The dividend of £1941 is up 7.5% on last year.

It is interesting that this increase has happened at a time when polls suggest support for independence is rising. This implies voters in Scotland either do not know this fact, or think there are more important things than taxes and spending levels.

The government is making an economic case for the Union. It points out Scotland would be massively in deficit if it were not part of the UK. The devolved Scottish government which has been given £6.5bn more to spend during the CV 19 crisis would be struggling on its own, with a £15bn or 8.4% budget deficit before the pandemic recession. This means an even bigger running deficit now.

The Union itself should not be in doubt as it was settled for a generation by a referendum a few years ago. I have always only wanted volunteers in our Union and pledged to respect whatever decision the Scottish people took in their big vote. Now is not the time to have another. Wanting to belong to a country is more about feeling and loyalties than about money for the believers on both sides of the argument.

For those with less passion about the issue it is important to remember the inability of the independent Scotland side to settle on what currency an independent Scotland would have or how it would handle a collapse in oil prices which duly happened. What do you think about the current level of the Scottish “dividend”? Why is there no English dividend?

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  1. Adam
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    A Union should hold itself together according to its inherent values of belonging. Loyalty dependent on bribery is worthless.

    • Cynic
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      The EU has been bribing countries for years. Some might say it also bribes politicians.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink


        can we please have some very concrete examples ?

    • Fishknife
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      The Scots, and particularly Scots politicians, aren’t going to go away – so we need solution.
      I would offer a referendum, to coincide with the next General Election – with conditions:
      The winner for devolution would have to be half the POPULATION of voting age, not voters.
      In the event of a pro Union vote the number of MPs would be reduced to reflect the national average – to coincide with UK boundary changes and a general reduction of the total number of MPs.
      The Barnet Formula would be scrapped and replaced with a realistic rent for the submarine base at Clyde, a scheme to allow increased migration with no ‘back door’ to settlement in the rest of the UK, and ‘help’ to make Scotland financially self supportive.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Agree but I would want the withdrawal agreement to be finalised prior to any referendum. Payments by Scotland to the union for debt and infrastructure and currency being the top items but trading arrangements and oil too.

    • Peter
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Why all this talk about the Union now ?

      Is it anything to do with a No Deal Brexit leading to a break up of the Union ?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        No it’s the Remainers trying to break up our Union.

    • Hope
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      JR, the answer to your last question is Cameron and the Fake Tory govt. It promised to address the Lothian question and deliberately failed to do so! Is your memory that bad or are you trying to spin blame away?

      You might recall Cameron asking loathsome Brown to help him bribe the Scots with English taxpayer money to stay in a union- no mandate to do so. Nor did your govt. ask the English taxpayers their view!

      Do you rember lies about balanced structural deficit by 2015, low taxes while at a fifty year high and now being leaked today how taxes will have to rise!

      How about cutting immigration, in all forms the highest number on record! U.K. Overseas aid nearly £16 billion plus another £3.75 for EU overseas aid. Today we are told Fake govt. will keep its target! Outrageous.

      Your fake Tory govt. has failed every major policy issue. It literally serves no purpose. No one knows what it stands for, certainly not conservative views or values. It is a socialist left of center Blaire tribute act. There are a few of you left, but you are ignored and left on the fringes to become irrelevant to the party.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        But it will deliver a clean Brexit, which outweighs all the negative.
        Let’s get that! Months away.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Totally agreed Adam . . .And a union shouldn’t have a system where one country says it will welcome millions of migrants when those migrants have no intention of staying in the one that let them in . . but . . have every intention of then just walking into the other country to get freebies.

  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    The trouble is since March the Government has given Nicola Sturgeon a licence to look like she’s the only adult in the room and the media always let her ramble on unchallenged. They don’t even mention her appalling attack on free speech with her Hate Crime Bill.

    Meanwhile on the day as the Government wants to encourage people back to work, Matt Hancock starts salivating about a second lock down and the treasury talks of massive tax rises.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Good Morning,

      It’s too easy to throw rocks at the Boris government, we know the problems, however there IS a shining light big win IF they hold to their promise; of course a full return of sovereignty at the end of the year. If Boris can achieve this then he can, legitimately, talk of a ‘fresh start’ or clean sheet.
      If the EU is seen to retain any hold over the UK after December then Boris will be seen as nothing more than an opportunist windbag.

      • M Davis
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        … If the EU is seen to retain any hold over the UK after December then Boris will be seen as nothing more than an opportunist windbag.

        If the EU is seen to retain any hold over the UK after December then, this will be the end of the Conservative Party and this Blog for me!

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          It will be the end OF ME! But we will have our clean Brexit.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        I was against the lock down from the start as I saw no obvious reason for it, apart from media hysteria. I had already read a report that said the reported deaths from Covid 19(84) in Italy were about the same as flu in Italy 2 years previously.

        I was willing to give the government the benefit of the doubt but they have just been so slow returning to normal. It was obvious the whole would go close to zero by summer which would have been the perfect time to open everything up completely.

        Today 1 reported death and yet Matt Hancock talks of further lock down.

    • Philip P.
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      ‘The treasury talks of massive tax rises.’

      Of course they do, they’ve looked at the books.

      How about a tax on the media that helped so much to get us into this horror show scenario?

      • BeebTax
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Good suggestion.

    • steve
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Stephen Priest

      “her appalling attack on free speech with her Hate Crime Bill.”

      Yeah but it’s ok for her to hate the English. Astounding hypocrisy.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        We will destroy her wee dream of Leading Scotland to the slaughter. Of course she hates us.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed, the MSM descend on the Conservative Government like some rabid bunch, ripping and shredding anything and everything they can, while sitting dutifully and silently at the feet of Nicola Sturgeon.

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Stephen Priest, Yes the SNP’s Hate Crime Bill is extremely sinister. I wonder if most Scots are aware of it? If they were, it would prove that Scotland was independent already, in all but name, and would also demonstrate the thin end of the wedge of national socialism.

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Stephen Priest

      So you want to allow hate crime to happen unchallenged? That’s not the sort of society you should be proud of or indeed one I wish to live in.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        We need another oppressive pc bill like we need a hole in the head…

        Everyone should be used to how everything gets manipulated by some people in authority who stretch the meaning of such laws to suit their left wing leanings…

        As usual this has nothing to do with fairness and everything about extending hatred

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        This Scotish Bill is truly appalling. It creates offences without any intent even being examined, merely that the words, action, or artwork might do so. The “offence” could even be applied to being in possession of materials produced by someone else, where sharing the material could stir up hatred.”

        This would rationally include many religious texts like the Bible and millions of other things potentially. It is a massive and dangerous attack on free speech.

      • NickC
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Margaret, Apart from anything else the woke phrase “hate crime” is a tautology – if “hating” is a crime, then there is no need to add the word crime to the label. It’s like saying “burglary crime”, which is nonsense.

        In reality, as practised here, and obviously Scotland, it is a fabricated method of thought control and intimidation by the hard left elites. It is being used as a political tool to suppress sense, criticism of the establishment, self-determination, patriotism, and free speech.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Crime shouldn’t go unchallenged Maggie.

        What gas hate got to do with it?

      • M Davis
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Margaret, I hate and detest Socialism! I’m sure you could easily find a REAL Socialist Country if you tried, where you might, hopefully, eventually (NOT), have your desired utopia, ha! Why don’t you go?

      • BeebTax
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Have you seen the draft? It could shut down free speech. Opponents include the Church of Scotland and the Secular Society…they are not going to be on the same side of an argument unless there is very good reason.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        You obviously have never heard about the bill.

        If you were say anything that someone else finds offensive you could go to prison for 7 years.

        Freedom of speech is under constant attack. The list of “offensive” words change changes daily:

        “Coloured person” – racist!!!!!!!!!
        “Person of Colour” – Politically correct, woke.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          Let’s hope the first people to be tried and go to jail are the ‘politicians’ who pass the Bill. We need to monitor every word!

  3. Arthur Wrightiss
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    What percentage of the National debt will become the responsibility of Scotland?

    • Peter Wood
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      GREAT question, I’d love to see a real calculation, but I think you’ll only get a political one…

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      And what is the mechanism that will be used to ensure that Scotland takes on its fair share? This question needs raising by the Holyrood Conservatives. Sturgeon won’t have an answer that the Scots will want to hear. This pro-Union Englishman won’t be prepared to see rUK keep all of the debt.

    • agricola
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Probably about 8%.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        ….and then there is the little bill for bailing out RBS in 2008 – plus interest?

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink


      Very good question…. How would that be determined?

      Initially on leaving the UK, Scotland would have a very poor credit rating — Their debt would spiral well beyond their part of the UK debt

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink


    • NigelE
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      And of the £39billion plus we ‘owe’ the EU.

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        ah…that will be paid in full by the English tax-payer

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      The EU wants us to turn on each other. That’s why we were trying to be regionalised by Blair turn the NE against the NW and the Northern region against the South, the NE saw through it. We must not allow this to continue.

      The money needs talking about now because Scots have been taught their oil revenue was plundered for England. Decent historians need to set on record the truth about whether there was a bankrupt Scotland joining the Union that needed bailing out, how much did it cost, how long did it take to pay for it. How much UK investment was spent over the years in Scotland, what money paid for all the infrastructure up there.

      My son pays 9% more tax in Scotland than the Scottish just because he was born in England.

      In the past I always called myself British, I never knew the strength of feelings of people from Scotland and Ireland against the English conservatives, the one sided information they are taught from Primary.

      I’m getting embarrassed to consider myself small c conservative anymore.

      • JoolsB
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink


      • Hope
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        You should not be embarrassed to be a conservative. However, you should be embarrassed if you voted for JRs lot. They are certainly not conservative in any way shape or form. That was obvious from Cameron onwards.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          ‘JRs lot‘ save us from certain extinction. Differentiate between ‘JR’s lot’ and the Boris/May/Cameron/Major Governments by all means.
          We desperately need to give JR’s lot the reins Jan 2021!

          • a-tracy
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

            Lynn, Boris could have filled his cabinet with experienced MPs working to a ‘leave program’ he chose not to. Do you think the old guard would have to avoid tv interviews – No.

            Boris promoted people to the Lords people that went against the previous conservative manifesto promises to the electorate that gave them the job. They are now in place to work against the government.

    • Christine
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      They are arguing that they won’t be liable for any of the national debt because the debt will stay with the remaining members of the union. However they will continue to use the British pound.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        Oh does that go for the EU too?

    • Wrinkle
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      ‘What percentage of the National debt will become the responsibility of Scotland?’

      Any idea, JR?

  4. Oldwulf
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Is it time for the people of Scotland to be given a choice…. either Westminster or Holyrood…. not both ?

    • BOF
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Wales too please.

    • steve
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink


      Exactly. I think there should be another indyref now, but this time include the English vote.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink


    • a-tracy
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Well we didn’t do that with the Southern Irish did we?

      • Peter
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        There is no such thing as the ‘Southern Irish’.

        The most Northerly point on the island is in county Donegal, in the Irish Republic.

        You mean those who are not in Norn Iron or ‘the six counties’ as some refer to it.

      • NickC
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        A-tracy, Are you suggesting that the Borders remain in the UK?

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          The first question I have is what does Scotland mean by Independence, how much are they going to expect those of us in the union i.e. Wales, Northern Ireland and England to gift them everything and write it off? Do they have to pay for the investments up there, do they have to pay for the railway lines in England being built to service Scotlands needs. Why should we underwrite 20 years of currency risk whilst they stabilise. We need to know what it is that is being suggested.

          Who underwrites their governments borrowing.

          When they talk independence is it like in Zimbabwe where the English in Scotland would be kicked out of their lands, jobs, the homes and land they own, how are the British organisations in Scotland going to be treated will they get punished with extra taxes?

          We’re trying to extricate ourselves from a treaty that has been in place less than half a century and the EU didn’t bail us out, they used our money and told us where we could spend it in the UK. When the Rep of Ireland got its independence, my history is poor here, what did they have to give up? What did they pay us in divorce settlement? What do they pay to the UK keep the Common Travel Area and voting rights and free trade?

          There is a loose border between the Rep of Ireland and the UK that has suited them up to now.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Or Brussels?

  5. Old Albion
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Why is there no English parliament?

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink


    • agricola
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      There could be. All that is needed is that the Speaker decides what is a wholly English subject under discushion and invite the representatines of NI, Wales, and Scotland to go for a cup of tea and not to return until Union matters arise. The beauty of what I suggest costs nothing.

      • JoolsB
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Sorry agricola but that does not constitute anEnglish Parliament. We need dedicated English MPs demanding what’s best for England, not UK MPs squatting in English seats who can’t even say the word England let alone stand up for it.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Let us face it mate, we ain’t getting one because not enough of us are demanding one. Our best hope is for them to just b****r off !

    • Andy
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      It’s in Westminster. It has a Conservative majority who can do whatever they like.

      They do not have to listen to anyone from Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.

      And it turns out they don’t listen to them.

      That is why this is the last decade of the United Kingdom.

      • NickC
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Andy, A UK government with a majority of 80 cannot do whatever it likes. That’s not how government works in a democracy – not if the government wants to be re-elected anyway. And the last Tory government was dependent on Northern Ireland MPs, so clearly was listening.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Another expensive talking shop? No thanks. Local and central government are quite enough telling me what to do and charging me taxes.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      It was clearly (gerrymandered) by Labour so as to keep their political bases in Scotland and Wales but not lose control of the UK & England. It did rather backfire for them though – thank goodness.

      Surely few sensible English want to be ruled by a Labour dog wagged by the SNP/Plaid/Green do they. Even one not now led by Corbyn/Mc Donnall.

      • JoolsB
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Sadly, I think it will take a Labour/SNP Government foist on England against it’s will to finally get the English Parliament we deserve. The English will rise up and demand one. When that happens the Tories will be finished for having stood by and allowed it to happen. They have the power now to avoid us ever getting a Labour/SNP Government foist on us against our will by giving us parity with the devolved nations but they choose not to such is the contempt they have for us.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Because we are the United Kingdom and have an ancient constitution and parliament. 800 years old.

    Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    The SNP will as Labour did, nobble democracy to achieve a victory. We saw this sinister, unopposed, abuse at work (various allegations and cases of PV rigging ed) and if the SNP engineer another vote for independence they’ll mirror the same strategy and manufacture the same outcome

    It isn’t the UK that is under threat, that died years ago when Blair adopted the EU’s strategy of devolution to weaken the union by encouraging nationalism in each region of the UK.
    Divide and conquer was the fundamental objective of the EU’s political agent Blair. It is democratic accountability that is now under serious threat by political parties who find democracy inconvenient and troublesome which explains vile Labour’s construction of a client state that circumvents any democratic restriction

    There is little doubt in my tiny, shriveled mind that in 25 years time the UK will cease to exist as a fully functioning, recognisable sovereign nation.

    Most of those who understand Labour and the SNP also understand they have become sinister in nature and sinister in intent but it is the Tory party’s refusal to confront this development that should concern us all.

    I get the feeling that the party I used to vote for and now led by a man that has utterly betrayed his core principles has simply given up the fight. This party is now a busted flush.

    I watched a speech by MT yesterday. I was doing nothing else. Oh, what we lost when she passed away. The UK died with her as did our freedoms

  7. agricola
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    I am all in favour of the Union, but find the constant bleating of their leader and their representatives in the Commons tedious. On average constituency size they are over represented in the Commons. As you point out they are well supported financially as members of the Union.

    Can we have a forensic audit of what they get the money for and what they actually spend it on. This might throw light on the cause for their constant complaining or reasons for their performance in various critical areas.

    Why is it that every time I wish to look at what the Westminster Parliament is doing and discussing, I find that the BBC is always focused on the Scottish Parliament. For a place of less size than Yorkshire it is over representation on UK airwaves. Scotland used to play at much greater than its weight in the World, now they come over as the World most vocal bellyachers. The nagging wife at risk of being replaced by an English mistress.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      They should be under represented at Westminster not over. They have their own parliament in Edinburgh where most decisions affecting them are made.
      What does the massive amounts of English taxpayers money the UK Government shovels in their direction go on? Free tuition fees, free prescriptions, free hospital parking, free eye tests, free dental checks, free personal care for the elderly. All thing denied to us English on grounds of cost. The UK Government is taking us for mugs.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      The Guardian front page is more interested in Trump than Northern England,
      How many people from the North, especially that still live in the North are in key shows in the BBC compared to say the Scottish, Irish or Welsh, we’re so worried now about the impression of fair representation.

      This is how division works folks. Make the problem xx worse by visualising disproportionately.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        We in the North don’t care for TV shows or the Gruniad. When it’s serious, like the Brexit Referendum, we are front and centre, punching above our weight. We were not the richest part of the world at one point, for nothing!

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          Well according to Peter’s comment below Lynn the North particularly the North West now gets more subsidy per head than the Scottish!

    • acorn
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      The Treasury already does an audit and publishes the Country and Regional Analysis stats. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/country-and-regional-analysis-2019#history The Tables A and B, give detail for country and region and at sub-function level.

    • turboterrier
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Forensic Audit? Exactly. Take into account the billions paid by the consumers with their electric Bill’s to pay for their wind turbines and all the “community benefits ” which is more money for the SNP to waste on buying their dream of being independence. All the freebies handed out and still with a massive debt problem. Nay problem the English will bail us out as they have always done.

  8. Carlo Nash
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    “English MP talks down to Scots”. Thanks, another few votes for independence, do keep sticking your nose into our affairs

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      Oh, please accept our apologies. Here’s another bung. I hope that helps.

    • SM
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Your comment sounds like a whingeing teenager, demanding absolute autonomy over his life while still expecting to live at home with his parents, who will of course still fund his lifestyle and deal with all the emergencies that life may thrust upon him.

      Give us some outline here of how YOU foresee Scotland coping as an independent economic entity, and I’ll read your contribution with due respect.

    • agricola
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      We are entitled; we pay the bill.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      C N

      Sometimes the facts hurt !

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      A load of utter tosh. First there are no such things as English MPs, that’s the problem. There are 550 something Constituency MPs whose constituencies just happen to be in England. They can’t even bring themselves to say the word England, let alone stand up for it. And secondly, if anyone talks down to others and loves to poke their noses into others affairs, it’s the over-represented arrogant bunch of SNP MPs who are till allowed to meddle and vote on English only matters because weak and pathetic UK Governments of all colours bend over backwards to pander to them at great cost to the English.

      You Scots will never vote for independence because you have it so good courtesy of the English taxpayer who get none of the freebies you enjoy north of the border but if John and his colleagues continue to refuse to address the English question and the WLQ as they do, it’s not Scotland but England who will be demanding independence. Bring it on.

      • Original Richard
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink


        You are correct that “the Scots will never vote for independence” but the SNP have rigged the independence referendum by giving the vote to all the residents of Scotland whatever their nationality – EU nationals, Chinese, Russians etc. – but not to Scottish ex-pats living in rUK or abroad.

        This explains why the SNP are so keen on EU membership and high levels of immigration.

        Also why the SNP always say “the people living in Scotland should have a second independence vote and not “the Scottish people should have a second independence vote”.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Carlo, how is this talking down the Scots to say they get more money spent per head? Is the truth an inconvenient problem for you?

    • Longinus
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      The English have every right to stick their noses into Scottish affairs as long as their taxpayers are funding them. Let’s hope the next Independence vote is UK-wide.

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Carlo, That depends on who you mean by “ours”. How much the central UK government pays out to the regions is very much our (every UK taxpayer’s) concern. And in what way was JR “talk[ing] down to Scots”?

    • Jack Falstaff
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Nobody likes being kicked in the sporran I suppose!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      And ‘Carlo’ is a Scot? 😂😂

  9. Sea Warrior
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    That dividend needs capping, in cash terms. I can see why SOME additional support for regions at the extremities of the land might be needed – but not to that level. It seems that this government – and predecessors – just throw cash at any problem. Right now the most pressing thing for a government wanting to keep the kingdom united is to stop U-turning and start looking like it is competent at national-level government. Cost: zero.
    P.S. I see that the 1922 is now aware of the problem and is agitating in the Press. Good.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      It is VERY clear that anyone from anywhere can get money from our govt – -EXCEPT the people whose taxes are being given away.

  10. oldtimer
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    For the SNP I suspect it is not about money but independence from the Sassenachs. Brexit motivations were similar but sought independence from the EU Commission. Like you I was under the impression the issue had been “settled for a generation” by the referendum. No doubt it suits the SNP’s political agenda and hold on power in Scotland to keep banging on about it.

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Oldtimer, Indeed it does suit the SNP to keep banging on about it – the more they can annoy the English the more likely they are to be kicked out of the UK. Which is what they’re counting on. But do most Scots really want that? What is needed is a genuine Scots Unionist party to oppose the SNP. Then it would be apparent how much support the SNP gets is actually a desire for independence, and how much was simply a dislike of the Labour and Tory parties.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      All lowlanders are Sassenachs – I am 1/4 Highlander (surname Catternach) and claim 1/4 Highlander outranks 100% Lowlander 😉

  11. SM
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I think we should retitle Ms Sturgeon’s political aim as being that of “So-called Independence”.

  12. Pat
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John,

    The subsidy to Scotland appears to be very generous indeed and must cause deprivation in less prosperous parts of England, particularly in the North and Midlands.

    There is no democratic mandate for this due to the lack of English parliamentary representation.

    On a purely arithmetic basis, I also find it difficult to gauge this question as I don’t know the corresponding figures for England and it’s regions. That is do we need to know the level of English tax overpayment and subsidy underpayment to average to see the differential to Scotland? Is the differential double the figures mentioned in your article?

    • ChrisS
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      We don’t need to have figures for the English Regions because England has been one country for a 1,000 years.

      I can tell you that, pre-Covid, the English deficit was an insignificant £218 per person compared with over £5,000 in NI, £4,274 in Wales and £1,941 in Scotland.

      Cancelling England’s share of the Foreign Aid budget would completely eliminate the English current account deficit !

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        And it extended to the north of Edinburgh… ‘Edwin burgh’ after the Northumbrian King who issued his own currency (not minted in valuable metal – so it was a genuine promisary note – such was his status!)

  13. BW
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Sir John. It is because we don’t have a Parliament. The SNP hate the English with a passion. That’s allowed though. You hear it every time the SNP speak in Westminster. Since devolution that left us in this position the English have been attacked from all sides. The SNP would rather break up a 300 year union and hand everything on a plate to the EU that resembles the Titanic, which makes no sense at all. Couple this with the amount of people in the U.K. that hate the country itself and the constant attacks to our country and flag by the media the BBC etc. It’s it any wonder the English have lost everything and the U.K. need to bribe the countries within it that have a voice. Good grief even Cornwall wants. independence from England. Who can blame them.
    Now if you add this to the current state of democracy. If you don’t win the election let’s do everything in the next 5 years to bring the government down. If you don’t win a referendum let’s do everything in our power to overturn the democratic vote. Indeed let’s have another vote until we win. If you don’t like the country let’s form a pressure group as they have more voice than the English. It doesn’t stop there. The ant English and U.K. BBC propaganda machine has more voice that the English. What are we doing about it……………just give them money. That will do the trick. Bit like the foreign aid budget.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      One thing I would like to see, or more hear actually, are the words; “England, and English” being used in the HoC and not, “The Regions.”

      • ChrisS
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink


      • JoolsB
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        +2. I think UK MPs who are squatting in English seats are indoctrinated to avoid saying the word England at all costs. Despite much of what they say only applying to England all we hear is ‘up and down they country’ A deliberate ploy to conflate England with the Uk so we stupid English won’t realise we are being treated differently.

    • ChrisS
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Entirely cynical, BW, but overwhelmingly true.

      You missed out the large percentage of those in Northern Ireland who also want to leave the UK ! That would surely be the best solution, given that there is now peace in the province.

      It would save English Taxpayers another £15bn a year which, in NI, dwarfs the amount of £2,862 we pay for every Scottish resident. In NI, each man, woman and child living in the province costs us £5,089 !

      Problem is, despite their aspirations for a united Ireland, the politicians in Eire know they can’t afford to take on the North and I can’t see German taxpayers willing to make up the shortfall, either.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        ‘ there is now peace in the province‘ WHAT! Did John Major tell your that?

  14. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Too little too late, as ever, I think, John.

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      How typical of you to think that, Martin.

  15. dixie
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    The issue is not the difference in government “dividend”per head, that would naturally vary across the union. The issues are the abusive, effectively racist, antagonism of the Scottish extremists towards the “English” and the refusal of any government to stick up for the rest of the union while kowtowing to the SNP.

    • Pat
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Sir John,

      It would be interesting to know whether the cost of the Scottish administration’s abusive veto of funding for English Students is included in these figures.

      As many student loans will never be repaid, this is effectively a subsidy, in addition to it’s blatantly discriminatory and divisive cultural impact.

    • turboterrier
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink


      Too bloody true. No party has stood up against the extremists in Scotland. Of course they want independence all they ever see was in the early days of Irish membership
      to the EU how many billions of funding they received. Like with the NHS you can throw all the money you can at Scotland and achieve nothing.

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Dixie, There is an unfortunate proverb about the English: that we buy our enemies, and sell our friends. Our sojourn in the EU illustrates the truth of that all too plainly. If only our elite were aware of such a proverbial tendency they could guard themselves (and us!) against it.

      • dixie
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Nick, I hadn’t heard that proverb but it comes as no surprise.

        The governing classes clearly live in a different country to the rest of us and I don’t believe we can rely on the “elites” to defend our interests.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Matt Hancock will be the architect of this counties demise.
      Threatening everyone with fines for failing to wear a useless face nappy.
      Pontificating about a second lockdown whilst Boris is trying to get the country back to work.
      He makes failing Grayling look competent.
      Meanwhile wee kranky runs Westminster despite the abject failure of SNP policies north of the border.
      We would like free university education, prescriptions and social care but of course we are only here to finance Scotland.

  16. Pat
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    To get some perspective of the Scottish dividend an international comparison would also be useful.

    For example, what dividend do the former Soviet bloc states of present day Germany receive, and how does this compare to Scotland within the UK?

  17. Nigl
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Under two grand per person. A piffling amount. Makes no difference to me whatsoever. As for an english dividend, sounds like empty political rhetoric. What are the other nations going to do, pay us?

    I ll tell you where the English dividend is, in massive waste, HS2, overseas aid, NHS spending out of control etc. Over 700000 people in agony because waiting for operations, 2 million plus cancer patients etc because of your Covid policy or more like, lack of it.

    A recent elderly friend passed on, not Covid. Your nasty vicious policy meant that a long life of service, RN and police could only be celebrated by 9 people, the number allowed into the crematorium.

    And we are talking about an extra tuppence to Scotland. Strewth.

  18. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    I think our views haven’t changed on this. The 2015 referendum was run on a status quo basis, rather than an all in or all out one .
    They have to be either all in or all out. Be run by the UK Parliament, no separate wee sneaky pre-empting of decisions for the rest of the country, no special treatment. Otherwise free to go their own way, but of course carrying their share of historic liabilities just as their beloved EU insists for the UK.

  19. Richard1
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    It seems very unlikely that Scots would actually vote for separatism given the advantages of remaining in the U.K. another referendum within the timescale of a ‘generation’ of the first would make a nonsense of that 2014 referendum. Of course the argument that something has changed – there’s a Tory govt, there’s Brexit etc – can always be made. Scots voted knowing that this was the case.

  20. The Prangwizard
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Dodging the real issues as usual.

    Why is there no English parliament?

    Why do the Tories think the English are not deserving of their own parliament?

    Why do the Tories not recognise English sovereinty and indentity?

    Why are the Tories so arrogant that they think these issues are theirs to decide upon?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      We absolutely DO NOT WANT AN ENGLISH PARLIAMENT! It’s a trap so we trash our ancient UK Constitution and are enslaved by the writers of our new, codified, constitution!

  21. Richard1
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    It is reported that ‘Treasury officials’ are urging Rishi Sunak to raise CGT to the highest level in the developed world. I hope and assume that Mr Sunak on his own has enough understanding of business, economics and investment to shut this down. In case not I suggest Tory MPs point out the extreme folly of such a move as we try to make the UK competitive post-Brexit.

    It is also reported that ministers are frustrated at officials’ lack of response to requests for cuts in spending. Perhaps those ‘treasury officials’ proffering such silly advice would be a good place to start. Far more sensible advice could be had, even for free, from the private sector.

  22. Lifelogic
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I think the current level of the Scottish “dividend” is an unfair competitive advantage to Scotland which makes England less competitive and destroys English jobs. The mad energy strategy of the mad climate alarmist loons is another massive subsidy to Scotland.

    You say you have always only wanted volunteers in our Union. So can the Cornwall, London, Yorkshire and the Isle of Wight opt out too – and have sensible levels of taxation and government spending. About half current levels would be about right – so these places become rather more competitive in the world.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      I suspect a vote in England for English independence from Scotland, Wales and Northern Island might be voted through. Given that they are largely the cash cow being milked.

  23. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    For the SNP this has only been about money — They imagine if Scotland were in the EU, and of course they’d be happy to accept the euro, the EU would prop them up financially in the manner they prefer…. Not like the skinflint English that do not subsidise them enough.
    The SNP dress to the left — They don’t like detail such as what currency they would use while waiting to be absorbed into the EU. They ignore their potential bankrupt status. Likewise, they believe the world owes them, while they permit Scotland to be eve more unproductive and relying on benefits.
    If Scotland left the UK, wouldn’t a huge area of fishing grounds be ceded eventually to the EU through their membership? — That’s one reason why we need Scotland in the UK.

  24. George Brooks.
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    SNP tried every which way possible to win the referendum and failed and weren’t they lucky having based their economic argument on North Sea Oil!!!!!!!!!

    They don’t have a sound financial plan for any future referenda so the whole matter of separation should be ignored and the extra funding per capita used to pay off some of the debt incurred during the pandemic.

    The media don’t help as they love stirring it

  25. Fred H
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    It is not a dividend -that implies interest on an investment. It is a benefit. But why should an extra support be paid. Go Forth!

  26. Mark B
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Let them go and join the EU and be ruled by Germany and France instead. I want a hard border between the two of us and them treated as a Third Country. I also want them out of the Commonwealth. The Shetland Isle can have a vote if they want to go with Scotland or remain part of the UK. This is because they were never originally part of Scotland but of Denmark and came as part of King James I wife’s dowry.

    • BeebTax
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      That last point on the Shetlands is very interesting. Another contributor commented that losing Scotland would involve losing substantial fishing grounds. That might be minimised if Shetland stayed in the Union.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Shetland ‘owns’ most of the oil fields as well a the fish. They have said they will not go along with an ‘independent’ Scotland. They might rejoin Norway;

  27. Sakara Gold
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    A large part of Scottish support for the SNP stems from their socialist policies on spending British taxpayer’s money. Funding for commitments on tuition fees, childcare, free personal care, free prescriptions, over generous unemployment benefits etc stem in part, from policy priorities in Scotland and are popular with their electorate.

    Alcoholics in Scotland are given free booze on the taxpayer to keep them off the streets. The racist fees policy on English students who wish to attend Scottish universities is highly popular. Clearly, Holyrood has been weaponised by the SNP as a Trojan horse against the very Union that devolution was meant to secure.

    I would argue that what is actually needed is a new, revised Act of Union. This should include Westminster legislating in devolved areas, getting rid of the Scottish Parliament, making elections and referendums reserved matters and to stop spending British taxpayers’ money on the SNP’s vote-winning socialist policies.

    However, doing so would be met by the full force of hysterical self-pity and imagined oppression that the Scottish establishment can muster. Nevertheless, there are many people in Scotland who support the Union. Unfortunately, their voice is rarely heard.

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Sakara.

  28. Colin B
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Ouch ! Dixie your right. Devolution was a bad idea, another Blair failure – it should be reversed. The weakness of the EU’s structure of not being fully centralised when dealing with Covid, etc has played out in a similar fashion in the UK including having invisible borders between the UK and Wales and Scotland for a short time.

    Scotlands moaning has the advantage for Scotland that squeaky wheels always get oiled first and as a means of always suggesting that independence is always on the cards so the UK govt had better pay up or else. Why do the UK politicians fall for it every time. Any rational person would do the sums to reach the conclusion that Scotland is supported to a higher level than any largesse the EU could throw at it.

    The current system of wealth distribution and support for regions has been a bugbear of mine for some time. Why should Scotland, Wales and NI receive higher payments than the North, Midlands and South West of this great country. Unfortunately these regions do not have sufficient say unlike our squeaky wheeled neighbours. Perhaps we need to re-consider the Poll Tax and re-introduce the Regional Development funds – a much fairer way of allocating funding.

    My memory is not as good as it was but doesn’t London ( where most taxes are paid ) receive over £3,000 per person compared to the rest of the country only receiving £1,800 per person from central revenues plus there is the stupid idea of the Barnett formula on top ( stupid because it needs an overhaul). No wonder we have potholes the size of bomb craters in the north whereas Scotland can offer its Scottish students free university places, free care for the elderly, free hedge cutting for the elderly, etc.
    Without the Barnet formula being applied my understanding is that Scotland would have roughly the same standard of living as the rest of the UK so why does the UK continue to use this outdated formula. Is it because our politicians are too timid and just want am easy life.

    Anyway, is it not racist that Scotland continues to offer Scottish students and EU students free university places but excludes other UK students from their freebie scheme. We need another Committee to investigate.

  29. steve
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    “What do you think about the current level of the Scottish “dividend”?”

    I think it should be set at £0. Scotland should not be paid one penny of bribe money to hold the ‘union’

    “Why is there no English dividend?”

    Because if there was it would be seen as racist.

    • BeebTax
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink


  30. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Just face facts.

    So called Devolution has been a disaster for the Union.

  31. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Hip and knee replacements available in Scotland with only 3 month waiting list. In England it’s 2 years. No uni fees, lower council taxes, free dental checks, free prescriptions and no hospital parking fees. What’s not to like and yet all we find is racism towards the English and the SNP determined to undermine everything Westminster wants to do. I get fed up with hearing the words “It’s not in Scotlands interest” while grabbing the handouts with both hands. It’s about time Scotland was told it’s not all about them. They belong to a union and should try to act for the good of us all. Sort out this unfairness towards to English. We’ve had enough of being taken for fools and being used as cash cows.

  32. Andy
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    For nearly five years now we have pointed out for Brexit voters to severe negative economic consequences of Brexit.

    Unable to counter economic fact they keep telling us that you cannot put a price on freedom.

    Scotland will shortly be going its own way. And good luck to them. Even if there is an economic cost overall they will be far better of being free from Little England.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      So independence is great for Scotland.
      But not for the UK
      Strange logic.

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Geography (and history) says you’re wrong, Andy. And Scotland is far far “littler” than Little England. By the way, you do know that a “Little Englander” was someone opposed to the British Empire, as you are? That make you the Little Englander.

  33. Iain Moore
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Why is there no English dividend? Because we have no one fighting our corner as a people . It has been British establishment policy to ensure the English have no collective voice. In fact the policy is to fragment England , by regionalisation, the un-English mayoral fiefdoms, or the identity politics of multiculturalism and race.

    They have even ensured the English have no voice in the MSM. The BBC invests money in a BBC Scotland, a BBC Wales, a BBC Northern Ireland, even an apartheid BBC Asian Network, but there is no BBC England, so while the Scots go off to have their dedicated BBC Scottish NewsNight, we in England have the delight of having Kirsty Wark deciding what should be discussed, and one thing you can be sure of it won’t be about the English getting a raw deal from the Union.

  34. Peter Parsons
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    There is an “English dividend” depending on where you live.

    According to analysis by the Institute for Government, it is actually only London, the South East and the East of England that run a “surplus” (pay more tax than is received in public spending), the other regions are all in the same situation as Scotland is.

    Their analysis is that both Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands are both subsidised to a similar level as Scotland is, and the North West is subsidised significantly more.

    Statements made to the Scottish people during the 2014 campaign have now proved to be false. Under such changed circumstances, it is reasonable for the question to be reconsidered.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      I have heard that too Peter, it is a sad state of affairs. I wonder what is causing the drain in the North West? Is the money going to all Councils equally or to certain troubled spots?

  35. rose
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I am worried that the Scottish National Socialists, whose voters were less numerous than those Scots who voted for Brexit, are succeeding in convincing England that Scotland wants to split, and, furthermore, succeeding in turning the English off the Scots as a part of the strategy to win a premature referendum. Broadcasting the tax and subsidy gaps will make this worse.

    Those who want to go it alone aren’t going to think about the money. On the contrary, as with the Welsh separatists, they say the English subsidies are holding them back, preventing enterprise from flourishing, and entrenching dependency and poverty. We use this argument ourselves about Africa and Aid.

    Instead, we should be concentrating on the security arguments. The Scottish National Socialists have already shown themselves to be open to Putin’s money, and the greatest danger is a Russian naval base being established. Then there is Mao Tse Ping, who isn’t backward in taking over little regimes in strategic places. The border would be a nightmare to police against illegal immigration and other traffic.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      +1. Aka the SNP

  36. Lifelogic
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The Sunday Telegraph today:- Bombshell tax hikes to pay for virus
    Treasury pushes for raid on capital gains, pensions, internet sales, fuel and inheritance

    Sure except tax rate hikes will raise less tax revenue not more. Plus they will strangle the economy further giving a smaller tax base and even less tax revenue next year. The private sector has taken on large debt that needs to be repaid too.

    This government must cancel HS2 the absurd green crap agenda and all the other endless government waste and slim down government by about 50%. We have seen with so much of the state sector “working” from home on 100% pay most are not even missed. Many anyway do more harm than good.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      It would be good if, with so many civil servants “working” at home on full pay, the government finally realises (or now analyses) how little of any real value so many of these people deliver to the public. Also how many of them do far more harm than good to the economy too.

      If the government want better productivity get the government out of the damn way please.

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        All the government has to do to increase productivity on civil servants working for say HMRC is allow a complaints button on the website, and this is judged in the first instance by the Managers of the homeworkers, if complaints build for certain sections then the Seniors get notifications if more than ten complaints per week, the staff there should be judged on how many calls they take, the speed at which they answer problems and have a standard to achieve. As it is what productivity guidelines are there for the staff, how is the CRM judged and by whom?

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          Plus I would add LL I disagree with you about the value of civil servants, without them there would be no civility it would be dog eat dog and people not paying their fair share.

          I just genuinely wonder how homeworking can be more productive with no measures in place? I couldn’t run my business like that with no supervision.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      The Times has “Sunak plans triple tax raid on pensions, second homes and the wealthy”. What a moronic and damaging thing it would be to do that. Shooting the economy in the foot yet again. Pensions and second homes are already hugely over taxed.

      This to pay for idiotic things like renewable subsidies, climate alarmist lunacy, half price dinners, a bloated inept state sector, a dire monopoly health service, duff/worthless degrees and soft loans for nearly everyone, insulation grants, HS2 and other complete insanities – one assumes.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      This sort of tax raising will kill the Conservative Party, as JR already knows.

  37. majorfrustration
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The SNP will never see reason until they face the reality of Independence. For the English seeing the departure of Scotland could take the place of Brexit.

  38. NigelE
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The only way the English can achieve a ‘dividend’ is to stop the payments to Scotland.
    On the question of Scottish independence, I suspect a majority of English would be supportive.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Please don’t play into Nicola’s hands. Most English people love being British. Loved our Scottish Countrymen and women as equals. We meet, mix and marry within the Union and long may it continue. We need to stop the poison without cutting off a limb.

  39. formula57
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I think the “dividend” (a much nicer word than “bribe”) must continue or how else will the one party state maintain its largesse with regard to tuition fees, care homes, prescriptions and more that is denied to citizens in the rest of the Union?

    The bribe totals some £11 billion per year and I am glad that, as with foreign aid, the UK Government has plenty of spare cash to keep paying out. Whilst it does so, I would be aghast if your pal Rishi ever speaks of restricting spending.

    • formula57
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      But according to reports today the Chancellor wants to raise taxes by £30 billion to pay for Covid measures. He would not have to do so if the bribe were clawed back and foreign aid cut to emergency help only.

      • rose
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        He could also impose an on-line sales tax. How can anyone justify the bleeding of the High St and all the taxes to which it is subject, while allowing giant international companies to get off Scot free, as well as harm the shops?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink


      • a-tracy
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        Foreign aid doesn’t have to be cut, it needs to be better organised, for example all the free NHS treatments we provide for foreigners should be paid for out of the foreign aid fund. All of the hotels we pay to house foreigners should be paid out of the foreign aid fund. All of the legal aid that foreigners receive should come out of the foreign aid fund. We pay much more foreign aid that just that exported and this money can be then spent in the UK services that we are providing improving the lot of everyone.

        As we keep being told by the EU and others, we are a small, insignificant player in the World, it doesn’t seem to be that way when they want our money and charity.

        • rose
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          Very good point about spending on foreigners here.

  40. Nigl
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    And now we see that most of us who have followed the rules, cost the state nothing are going to be fined in terms of increased taxes, much caused by your governments failures whilst still pouring money on wasteful projects and abroad.

    I will vote for Starmer next time however far away because he couldn’t be more useless than this lot.

  41. Syd
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I would be interested to hear your views of the newly formed Alliance4Unity movement headed up by George Galloway.
    The sole aim of the movement is the removal of the SNP Government and the continuation of the Union.
    However, to succeed, it requires the 3 Opposition Parties at Holyrood to put aside party politics and work together with each other and the new movement.
    Now I know George isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but his *Scottishness* is on a par with that of Salmond and there is no other politician on the scene who displays the same passion for the Union.
    If the three opposition parties refuse to cooperate with Alliance4Unity, does that show us they are really quite comfortable with the idea of Scottish Independence?

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Syd, Interesting . . .

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Is George G willing to work with the Scottish Tories!?

  42. Hh
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Just as you have been banging on for years about taking back control so the Scots also wants to take back control and map out their own destiny. There is no reason to suppose that the Scots in the longer term will be any the poorer because of Independence. Just look around and see the other smaller countries near us who are doing quite well ie. Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark etc. the only union they belong to is an economic union otherwise they are completely independent- lastly money is not everything- we should give a nod to the past but not be bound by it

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Hh, The EU is not merely an economic union. Have you read Lisbon? Every EU sub-state’s laws must comply with EU laws, and the highest court in each land is the EU’s court (ECJ or CJEU). No state within the EU empire is independent.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      The Scots held a great power over the whole of the UK under the Blair government from 1997. A united Labour Party was the control they craved.

  43. JoolsB
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Is this a wind up John, asking us English what we think of the rotten deal we continue to get from your Government? Do you not already know what we think on this site not to mention what your constituents think? My Tory MP knows what I think. The question is what do you and my MP and all the other UK MPs supposedly ‘representing’ us intend to do about it? You can all carry on as you do now and ignore the fact your constituents and every constituent in England get much less of their own money spent on them than the devolved nations and the fact England still has no representation whatsoever despite having had a Tory Government for the last 10 years there by the grace of England or you could stick your heads above the parapet and insist this can’t go on. The English are beginning to wake up to the fact they are blatantly discriminated against at every turn both constitutionally and financially so I suggest the Tories should take their heads out of the sand and start doing something about it before it is too late. The alternative is to carry on as they do now and ignore us and the result as I’ve said previous won’t be the over pampered Scots demanding independence from your beloved union, it will be the long suffering English. We’ve had enough.

  44. John E
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    The English really need to stop acting “Frit” and stand up for the principles of the Union. The current stance just invites contempt. If you keep throwing meat to the wolves there’s no point complaining if they ask for more, they’re just doing what you have trained them to do.
    Cameron was the idiot who started this with his very public panic. Johnson is totally shot and even weaker. The sooner he goes the better for everyone.
    Stop treating the Scots like a mail order bride being bought for an annual payment and try some mutual respect and understanding.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Is it all ‘the English’ though John E? Or just our politicians, they don’t even put their plans for the Union at the forefront of their promises at Election time.

      This was started when the Labour Party won big in 1997 and put a massive % of Scots around the table at no 10, devolution, give aways, separation and boy did that backfire on the shortsighted Labour politicians making way for the SNP, the Alex then Nicola sewing division and nationalism large.

      Don’t be under any misapprehension that the English are cool about this though.

  45. Walt
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Throughout our UK (and maybe even our British Isles), assymetric allocation of financial resources is acceptable where the circumstances of the people need it. The creation of the devolved assemblies for Wales and for Scotland was an error if in good faith, treacherous if not; either way, it was not acceptable without a corresponding assembly for England. Over-representation of any devolved chamber at Westminster is not acceptable.
    Three hundred and twenty years ago Scotland was in a sorry state: riven by internal factions and having suffered the human and financial losses of its failed Darien project, Scotland chose union with England, for which Scotland received English gold, access to the London market, access to English trade routes and the protection of the English navy. Scotland blossomed and the union as a whole became greater than the sum of the parts. It still is. Scotland’s banks were among the most reckless in the run-up to the financial crisis of twelve years ago and, again, they were rescued by English money; which in England we view and apportion as UK money. There are decent level-headed Scots who honour their Saltire and prefer its place in our UK to the narrow bigotry of the SNP. Similarly, re English and our St George’s Cross. Please will Westminster reduce the number and influence of the SNP; please will the media reduce the air time given to their bile.

  46. Keith in Leeds
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    There is a simple solution. Give Scotland financial independence now, let them be forced to live within their own income for 5 years then have a referendum on independence Make clear the UK Government will not stand behind any Scottish debt incurred & charge them the interest on their proportion of the UK national debt during this time.

  47. Ian @Barkham
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    It is also weird in that England is Scotland’s biggest market for their goods and services, in terms it is larger than all their other market combined.

    The other disparity is that Scotland gets proportionally more MP’s per head of population than English constituents do. Which is further distorted in that Scots MP’s get to vote on English matters, but English MP’s cant vote on things pertaining to Scotland.

    But we live in a weird bizarre form of dictated democracy. The political class rule basically by decree, the upper revising chamber gets chosen by the gang leaders of a political sect. The people, the ones paying for it all are excluded when and were ever possible.

    The Scots feel disenfranchised because we all are. You strengthen the Union by creating real democracy, were the people get to hold all those wishing to accept the taxpayer shilling are held to account at every juncture. The whole mess we are enduring is due to the refusal to embrace and keep strengthening democracy.

    Even the only democratic process in recent years of the people wishing to have a clean break from the similar disparaging political class in the EU, has been largely ignored, talked about but never enacted on. Clearly there is the desire for our rulers to stay in bed with others of a similar disposition.

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Ian, An excellent read – thank you.

  48. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Mrs Sturgeon is a very capable politician who has brilliantly capitalised on the Covid Crisis and the obvious weakness (I mean healthwise) of our Prime Minister.
    Independence for Scotland is simply not going to work. The nation (note that BBC word) is in terrible straits without oil and also in many ways it is not what it once was at all.
    But then, people are like sheep…

    • rose
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Mrs Sturgeon could not possibly have capitalised on this national emergency and human tragedy if she had not been consistently aided and abetted by the MSM. Are they, for example, ever going to tell you that her nursing homes have the highest rate of deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus in the whole of Europe, or that she hardly does any testing? Are they going to let you know that her health and education policies – i.e neglecting them in favour of clamouring for another referendum – are a disaster for the people of Scotland? Are they going to tell you that she could be in trouble for not keeping proper records? No, they aren’t, because that would not, as they say, fit the narrative, the narrative that the PM is no good and she walks on water.

  49. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    129 MSPs = 1500+ MPs

  50. William Long
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    It is surely wrong to call the payment a ‘Dividend’; this implies a share of profit to which the recipent is entitled as an owner of a business. The correct term for the payment, in my view is: ‘Subsidy’, implying something which is paid to you to provide you with benefits which you could not otherwise afford, which is exactly why the payment is made to Scotland.
    Devolution has made it crystal clear that the United Kingdom is made up of four separate entities with differing priorities, sharply differing, it is becoming apparent as far as Scotland is concerned. Economic reality appears to play a very small part in the thinking of the SNP so the efforts of HMG to highlight it are almost certainly in vain.
    I think that the HMG would do better to recognise how things are now, rather than making further and increasingly desparate attempts to keep the status quo in place and start investigating possible alternative structures for the UK. Some form of federation seems an obvious starting point, with England having the same political structure as the other three members.
    In the absence of this sort of action, if the SNP win the next Scotch parliamentary elections, the likely pressure for another Referendum on independence wil make one inevitable, with the very probable result that Scotland will go its own way. There is certainly room for more than one view on how much of a disaster that would be.

  51. a-tracy
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Your government has ignored the Scottish nationalism that has been allowed and actively encouraged in the under 30’s for the last three decades.

    I never knew the strength of feeling against the English and specifically ‘English Tories’ always said with spitting contempt – actually to my face once in Glasgow Central when someone was trying to put a circle sticker on my coat to get rid of the English Tories.

    You allow Southern Ireland to keep its common travel area and a vote in the UK yet they blew people up to get their Independence. So it is no wonder the Irish and Scottish want both bites out of the cherry to be Independent but still able to enjoy all matters English, take our jobs, their graduates pay less tax, contributions even for them to study in England, yet the other way around the English must pay in full tuition fees in Scotland yet everyone else in the Eu gets to only pay £1500 how? Why did conservatives elected mainly by English voters allow this to happen? Seriously John you were in there voting and not stopping this.

    They think they are owed years worth of revenue from oil taxation that went to Westminster instead, what do they think paid off their debt when they bankrupt themselves and joined the Union in the first place, does this debt just get written off, the left are good at siting history when it suits their side. What paid for all their bridges, roads 1000s of miles of road to small communities, railways, schools, hospitals (they have more per person than we do from NHS hospital provision), someone needs to actually put history straight.

    I’m just getting sick of all this one sided history. English bad – everyone else good.

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      A-tracy, Sad, but true. Will the UK government, and English MPs listen? No, not until it’s too late.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink


  52. Caterpillar
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Rest of UK needs to be planning for when Scotland leaves, in particular defence w.r.t. submarines and air space (radar, airforce, flyover etc.). Moving of defence facilities should already be happening. U.K. space industry investment Govt support should not be going to Scotland. Border control should be being planned. It is clear Scotland will leave; preparations and withdrawal should be happening. There should be no bridge built at U.K’s cost between N.I. and Scotland

    Also the rights of Scottish born w.r.t. the future rest of U.K.need to be clearly determined and limited. If people born in Scotland reside in other parts of the U.K. when Scotland leave then a decision has to be made about their future residence rights and/or potential to work to citizenship. Perhaps the easiest would be to say that Scottish born must return to Scotland and apply to immigrate into rest of U.K. (assiming whoever replaces Ms.Patel, the sooner the better, puts together a better policy). Scotland should not complain about this as it wishes to increase its immigration – it has the opposite population issue to England.

    If the Govt wishes to make a last ditch attempt at getting devolution to work then it needs an English Parliament centred in England (Birmingjam/Coventry/Leicester) and the U.K. parliament shifted north westwards(Liverpool/Manchester). Devolution should be maximal to all four nations though there will be need for some federal level taxation and borrowing as some transfers would still be needed and defence and other international policies would need to be funded.

    The piecemeal approach to devolution needs to end one way or another.

    • NickC
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Caterpillar, I hope you are wrong for I am a UK unionist.

  53. BJC
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    With the SNP, any government is up against a supremely clever Party when it comes to propaganda, which has proved difficult to tackle so it’s been left to fester. Their only “answer” to their sabre-rattling has been to throw money at the “problem”. Just like Foreign Aid, this flow of ever increasing funding is seen as an entitlement and budgeted for. Any increases are considered “bonus” funding and syphoned off for undisclosed/unrelated reasons, cynically keeping the people it was destined to help in exactly the same state of deprivation that ensures the money continues to flow and increase. Cause and effect. Clever, huh?

    Of course, the UK government only allocates the funding, it doesn’t choose where it’s spent, yet the SNP continually demonises Westminster as if the Scots have no representation and are being beaten into submission. The answer is to have all the government’s arguments based on the assumption that Scotland’s Westminster representatives always fight long and hard for their enhanced funding and other advantages enjoyed by Scotland (unlikely, but denying it is an admission they’re not doing their job properly!), so the only question the government needs to ask over and over again is why, after all the battles fought by their brave warrior Westminster MPs, hasn’t the SNP had the ability to improve Scotland’s situation? If they have, they can prove it and Westminster takes the credit for enabling it, if they haven’t, they’ve shot themselves in the foot. Win/win. Everything else is white noise.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Blame the Scottish Tories for not getting the message out, not demanding fair representation on the media. The new leader was the one who stabbed Boris in the back very strange promotion of someone that caused problems not so many months ago, perhaps that is what is required in Scotland someone that speaks out against the Conservative Union government.

  54. Ian @Barkham
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Lots of chatter today with regard Tax Rises to pay for the lack of conviction bay a flip flopping Government.

    I may not be a great student on how things work but observations on how things turn out does lead to conclusions. A Tax rise means someone’s job is lost, so self defeating. Alternatively it means money is moved elsewhere, so self defeating. A Tax rise means less disposable income, so self defeating.

    The UK as one of the highest taxed societies in the World can it weather further punishment.

    However, every time taxes are reduced in this Country – tax revenue rises. Its ‘simples’ the lower the less complicated the taxes the less avoidance there is, then there is more employment and better prospects for all.

    I know we have a socialist flip-flopping bend to the media Government, but it is becoming disillusioning and demoralizing that they are unable to push the agenda they were voted in on.

  55. Iain
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Up here in Scotland it is frustrating how the Media in general and the BBC in particular all go very quiet on the SNP poor government. The recently published GERS figures are a case in point.

  56. Everhopeful
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Currency union dictates financial transfers from richer to poorer regions.
    Happens in USA.
    (Reality of monetary union still a problem in EU. Germans do not want to send their hard earned to economic basket cases like Italy).
    Such is the emotional appeal of Scottish independence to many Scots they don’t appear to care that after independence they would be on their own.
    No Pound, no Bank of England as lender of last resort.
    Perhaps our govt. needs to be much firmer in articulating the economic home truths of IndyRef2.
    Govt. desperate to keep Union because of investment made in Scotland.
    A lot of our defence assets are located there.

    However annoying Scotland/SNP is we have to rise above their game plan.
    i.e. Having reached a ceiling of support for Indy in Scotland they are now adopting a strategy of making the English useful idiot cheerleaders for destroying the Union.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      They believe they will get more financial support from the EU than they will get from the UK. They believe they will get the same treatment as Southern Ireland on their Independence ie. the cake and the cherry on the top using the words of a certain EU politician.

  57. NickC
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Ever since the ice sheets retreated due to global warming, the peoples who travelled north from the ice age refuges in southern Europe have formed the natives of what became these islands. DNA analysis confirms this, since the DNA mix was isolated here after the British Isles were formed (by about 6000BC).

    For thousands of years tribal kingdoms straddled what is now the border between England and Scotland. Post-Roman Britain, those kingdoms included: Northumbria; Rheged; and Strathclyde. They spoke a language similar to old Welsh (inferred for Northumbria, emerging from Deira and Bernicia).

    All the native peoples of the British Isles share a similar history, culture and genetic make-up. Both England and Scotland bear the name of previous conquerors – Angles from northern Europe (England) and the Scotii tribe from Ireland. They met roughly north of the current border. Conquerors replaced the elite – they did not exterminate the native people.

    There is no substance to the idea that there are literal differences between the people of England and Scotland, in the same way there are differences between the French and the Germans. The existence of the UK therefore makes historical, cultural, and genetic sense.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      +1 and we are still ‘amalgamating’ there is hardly a Scot without English blood and certainly none without Irish blood.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink


      Your analysis works well up until when the Romans arrived. The then leaders cultural and political of these islands, the Druids were rounded up by the Romans and eliminated on mass. How else were these invaders going to control a population. They feared what they didn’t understand so elimination was seen as defense.

      We should always celebrate difference, its what makes who we are. We are the Human Race, although nowadays some think they are something different.

      • NickC
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Ian, The new invaders controlled the population in the same way as the previous elites – by fear, law, and custom. Whether the conquerors were Roman or Norman the old elites were mostly exterminated, but the peasants were usually left alone to carry on creating wealth for the new elite, unless they rebelled. Hence the DNA mix was less affected than most people assume, and this shows up in modern studies (see: “The Origins of the British”, Stephen Oppenheimer).

  58. BillM
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Without the whole of the UK supporting it, Scotland will be doomed to failure.
    Their main product is Oil and we all know where that is headed. Furthermore, Sturgeon and the SNP are hard line socialists who will no doubt apply an increase in tax on Oil Companies earnings to fund their outrageous plans. The Oil companies will shut down their operations rather than run at a crippling loss resulting in more unemployment and zero income from Oil taxes. Banks and other financial services have made it clear that should the Scots devolve they will all move South of the border taking their thousands of jobs with them. Ditto the UK Government offices up there. And we shall have no choice but pull out of the Fasland Nuclear Submarine base causing a huge collapse in the economy of that particular region – for some 5000 jobs are at stake there.
    There is no doubt in my mind, and Independent Scotland is doomed to bankruptcy ‘a al Argentina’. How will they generate sufficient money to pay for their agendas? Who will buy a Scottish Government Bond? – assuming they have their own currency because Sterling will not be available to them. Sadly, as usual, it will be the poor citizens who will suffer the most so they had better think very hard before going it on their own. NB After devolution, there will be no turning back!

  59. ChrisS
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    My views on this subject are well known here :

    Firstly, we currently have the worst of all worlds. Sturgeon and the SNP have done nothing to develop the Scottish economy beyond blaming England and Westminster for everything. Yet they had a £15bn deficit which is entirely paid for by English taxpayers alone and she is free to give Scottish voters benefits that those that are forced to pay for her largess do not get !

    The Barnett formula was never intended to last more than 18 months and even its author said it was way out of date before he died. English politicians at Westminster are so frightened of the SNP that they will not tackle the issue, expecting us to continuously fork out £15bn each and every year to keep the Scots in a style to which they should never have been allowed to become accustomed.

    If they think that this is buying support for the Union, they are wrong : Sturgeon will achieve another overwhelming win in next year’s Holyrood elections on a clear manifesto commitment to a second independence referendum which will then be impossible to resist, and rightly so. Westminster must, however, insist that all politicians in Scotland first declare in writing that there will not be a further vote on the issue for at least 30 years

    I would like to see a fair re-run of the issues with the Independence case on one side and the pro-Unionist case centred around the benefits of the Union but with a clear undertaking that Scotland will be given full fiscal control : in other words, full tax-raising powers as well as expenditure, provided that all money spent within Scotland is raised within Scotland.

    I do not particularly care whether Scotland chooses to go it alone or stay within the Union, just as long as English taxpayers no longer have to subsidise the place.

  60. forthurst
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    In addition to the cash given the Scots for living in a backward part of the UK, there is also implicitly the issue of the Current Account of an independent Scotland to be denominated in some currency or other: Scotland has the major industries of hydrocarbons and whisky as well as ship and oil rig building; however, much of this industry is foreign-owned and the margins for treating hydrocarbons as cash cows are no longer available. The Scottish landscape is despoiled by wind turbines but the British taxpayer would not be available to subsidise them in order to SavethePlanet; perhaps Scotland could become top of the list for foreign aid and replace India and China?

  61. Christine
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    There’s not only a divide between the different countries in our union. We also have a divide between our cities and towns. We see mayors asserting their power to get new jobs and subsidies on public transport, for their area, paid out of general taxation. Those who shout the loudest seem to win. Who stands up for the majority of hard working Brits who don’t happen to live in cities, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland? We have a very weak Government that hasn’t delivered anything of note, just U-turn after U-turn. In fact I can’t think of any positive policies in the last 30 years. This might be a good subject for discussion “Good Government policies from the last 30 years”.

  62. Jeff12
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like 1941 reasons per Scottish person for the English to want to leave the union.

  63. steve
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    “Oh bugger, I hadn’t realised how much offence has been caused by the SNP, better not allow anymore responses and move on to a different topic quite sharpish”


  64. John
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    If you only want a union of volunteers then let the English have their freedom. Oh, I forgot no British ever ask the English people about anything do they?

  65. blake
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    It was a dividend payment for Scotland right from the start to enable the very Union- money was splashed and lands divided not to mention peerages dished out to the many and the few and that’s how the Union of 1707 was formed. The Union with Ireland in 1800 was formed in the same way- the plain people of these island had no choice in the matter. Paying dividends/ bribes by another name was a way of life for the English it was the very way the British Empire was formed and held- so nothing new here. However there are things more important to people than money like dignity and having the freedom to run their own affairs- am afraid that the Parliament in London is just too far away and not in touch with regional interests- I say if the Scots want to join the EU as an independent country then they should be facilitated- and good luck to them- no point in pretending anymore

  66. glen cullen
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    The union is divided because we are not equal

  67. Original Richard
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    “The [Scottish] dividend of £1941 is up 7.5% on last year.

    It is interesting that this increase has happened at a time when polls suggest support for independence is rising.”

    The more the government gives in to SNP bullying to increase the dividend the more people will vote for the SNP.

    The SNP wouldn’t be anywhere near so popular if the extra spending and freebies were paid for by Scottish taxpayers.

  68. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    By giving one sector an advantage you are putting another at a disadvantage, what is the argument for putting England at a disadvantage to those that she supports?

    It sounds like a Hague Idea, same logic as Biden winning being an advantage 😂😂 I can laugh because he is out of power. Imagine if he he had become PM!

  69. Original Richard
    Posted August 30, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    “Why is there no English dividend?”

    The English could obtain a per person dividend equal to Scotland’s per person public spending dividend by cancelling the £100bn HS2.

  70. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    The increased subsidy for Scotland is actually fuelling Nationalist sentiment. Governing with a 19% premium on public expenditure financed by English taxpayers allows the Scottish government to look good. For example, the Scottish government finances free University education for all students EXCEPT THE ENGLISH.

    Cut Scotland’s public expenditure premium to something like 10%, the maximum that can remotely be justified, and the Scot Nats’ government will face more of a head wind and look less good to the Scottish Electorate.

    A similar robust attitude should be taken to Irish nationalism. If, after all of the unwise concessions made in the Good Friday Agreement, Irish nationalists still don’t like living in Northern Ireland, there should be a simple response: “Eff off South”.

  71. DavidJ
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    I’m fed up of reading crap from Sturgeon and Co. Lets be rid of the devolved administration and return to a truly United Kingdom.

  72. Mike Durrans
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I agree with David J, its time for the conservatives to undo the Tony Blair actions and kill off the devolved administrations as they are not good for Great Britain as a whole, they only feed the enemies of our country just as Blair war criminal wanted

  73. NickC
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Polly, Alternatively the SNP could improve their dire administration (they would probably be forced to do so). And don’t forget that the rest of the UK would probably give them a good payoff, yet they’d still excuse any poor governance as the fault of the English.

  74. anon
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Can your government deliver sovereignty? and democracy that might be a dividend.

    The very delay your party has imposed on the UK Brexit implies that the UK union is of no consequence compared to the EU goals.

    Once Brexit is achieved then perhaps our political and economic union can pull together after being deliberately targeted for dis-assembly.

    Where has your party response been to clear discrimination.
    When measures like English students were being treated unfairly re fees.

    Politically and relentlessly call them to account in Westminster for the wilful sowing of division for the purpose of engineering a political outcome.

    Reduce the number of MP’s and equalize constituency sizes.

    Allow further referendums in Scotland to either remove the devolved assemblies & return to a union or in effect vote for a similar English Assembly.

    A Federation would seem sensible but we don’t trust the remainer establishment and our dithering representatives who appear to have a fondness for totalitarian legal measures be it in a domestic or foreign (EU) setting which would deny us sovereignty.

  75. XYXY
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    No-one ever makes the case for the Union from an English perspective.

    In the 2014 referendum, Darling, Chancellor at the time, wrote a long document explaining the benefits to Scotland. It was a purely economic case.

    There is a cost to England and the only upside is a geopolitical one. There have been times when Scotland has threatened to be a communist country if it were outside the UK. Ireland took a supposedly neutral stance but actually assisted the Germans during WWII (the part of Churchill’s victory speech where he excoriates Ireland for this is routinely edited out by the BBC and others).

    There’s also the slightly reduced influence of being a smaller country and a negative credibility factor in having your country/union break up, albeit a temporary one.

    We do need to adjust the Barnett formula (which was meant to be temporary) and make the case for the Union in geopolitical terms, not only economic terms, because ta the moment the Union is not popular in England and that’s not good for its continuation.

    We also need to stop handing Scotland funds to distribute as though they are Scottish money – and with no accountability whatsoever (suggestions that Sturgeon is sitting on emergency funds while unemployment soars). this is just poor politics (where was Gove on this?).

    There are even suggestions that Gove is pushing against a WTO Brexit because he “fears it will damage the case for the Union”. Absolute nonsense of course, but… where was Gove when these opportunities to show Scotland being dependent upon UK money presented themselves? I still have my doubts as to the motivations in that neck of the woods.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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