It is felt the changes would make the area a much more pleasant shopping environment once trams start running in the capital.Trams running! Good grief!
Saturday, 31 August 2013
Wednesday, 28 August 2013
“I said I thought it was racist that if you come from Edinburgh you can get brown sauce free but people from elsewhere, who like ketchup, have to pay. They just said it’s what they do.Most of the commenters see this for the nonsense that it is. But the real point is that there shouldn't be any laws concerning human action whatsoever so long as there's no initiation of force or fraud. All laws against "racism" should be swept away along with those laws that restrict freedom of speech and of association (and non-association).
We went to another chip shop and the guy was killing himself laughing when we told him. It reeks of racism. Just because we come from the west and tend to like ketchup instead of brown sauce. It’s clear they’re discriminating and I don’t think it’s right.”
Monday, 26 August 2013
Friday, 16 August 2013
Welcome to the ScotFree2014 blog. It represents libertarians who are going to vote for Scottish independence in the referendum on September 18, 2014. Here we want to discuss all the issues that will arise in winning freedom for Scotland, economic, social and political. But above all we want to explore how this new freedom will enrich the personal lives of the individual men and women who live here. We look forward to hearing from you.
Monday, 19 November 2012
But I just can't stop myself reading this sort of thing:
Scotland’s economic future would be brighter if North Sea oil and gas revenues were allocated on a geographical basis, as the IFS claims its public finances “look to have been somewhat stronger than the UK’s in recent years”.Now I don't believe that the oil belongs to any government. It should be solely under the control of the companies that drill it from under the seabed. Subject of course to any justifiable compensation to fishermen who had previously mixed their labour with the relevant parts of the North Sea.
However, the report warns that if Scotland was to receive oil and gas revenues based on its population rather than geography, the situation would leave the country’s economy in a much weaker position in the long term, due to public spending outstripping tax revenues.
But if one accepts that government may tax the oil then it surely follows that the government of the country in whose waters the oil resides would be the one to levy any taxation.
The oil in question has already been allocated by geography and geology. Unsurprisingly, international law accepts that the vast majority of the oil in question lies in Scottish territory. If you're not too keen on technical legal matters, consult a map.
If the oil is to be "allocated" on a population basis then it follows that around 8.5% of the M25 would belong to the government of an independent Scotland.
Monday, 5 November 2012
I started F&W back in April 2002 using the original system developed by Blogger.com. Back in those days blogs didn’t have comments. Then a company by the name of Haloscan came up with some software that could be placed onto the Blogger template and this enabled commenting on Freedom and Whisky.
After a while Google acquired Blogger but the only difference was having to log on using a Google password instead of a Blogger one. Haloscan was also acquired by another company – in this case Echo.
Google gradually introduced various new template styles and the later ones included built-in commenting facilities. I resisted upgrading the template because of various reports that I may lose old comments. That was probably a mistake.
On 1st April (Ha! Ha!) this year Echo (formerly Haloscan) announced that all comments would disappear on 1st October. Not to worry though, I could download something called an “XML file” and use it to upload the historical comments to another commenting provider.
I then decided that it really was time to use an up-to-date Google template.
Many web searches indicated that the Disqus system would best be able to cope with this, but, alas, that was not to be. To cut a very long story short, Disqus managed to "download" around 160 out of 5,000-odd comments from the XML file to the new template, but without any of them actually being readable on the blog!
Back to the drawing board.
I went back to the original template. By an amazing stroke of good luck I discovered that I could change the Haloscan/Echo system's controls to show the comments directly onto the face of the blog rather than it being necessary to click through to read each post's comments. That meant that I could copy and save all of the monthly archives, including comments, into around 120 files instead of perhaps 5,000!
I did that during August and September.
Then I switched back to the new template and started the process of copying and pasting the old comments onto the new template, with each post's comments being transferred as a batch. The job was finished earlier today. Here's the control document:
Almost all comments ever written have been transferred, although quite a few in 2003 seem to have completely disappeared from the commenting history. And since then only the last 25 comments from each post have been recovered. The vast majority of posts attracted less than 25 comments but some did go up to 57 comments!
Nevertheless, I reckon that around eighty to ninety percent of all comments now appear on the new template.
If any aggrieved commenter has records of any missing comments please get in touch...
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
The Bank of Scotland: RIP
Ever since the "merger" of the Bank of Scotland with the Halifax there's been an outpouring of complaints from irate customers of "The Bank". Hardly a day goes by without a letter being published in the Scotsman and today we have three. (Here's one from Monday.)
My mother's family banked with the British Linen Bank in Annan. They even lived in Bank Street! Ever since moving away in the 1940's my mother always kept a small balance in "her" bank and didn't mind too much when it became part of the Bank of Scotland. Out of the blue she received a letter "thanking her for choosing to bank with the Halifax". She hadn't, nor had any of the other Bank of Scotland customers whose accounts were unilaterally transferred after the "merger". My mother is now unable to communicate with the Annan branch - that's no longer allowed.
My wife and I both opened ISA accounts with the Bank of Scotland - it offered the best rates at the time and we liked the Scottish connection. These accounts were also unilaterally transferred to the Halifax after the "merger". Last night my wife phoned the bank to transfer a sum from her ISA account to her current account, which is with the Clydesdale Bank. First she had to "re-register" her account with a new security code and was then told that she could only make a telephonic transfer from her ISA account to a current account with the Halifax/Bank of Scotland and not to an outside bank. She would have to go into town, withdraw cash from HBoS and deposit it into her own bank! These were the new rules that now applied to ISA accounts according to the phone operator. We cursed Gordon Brown. After the call we had a look at my wife's ISA statement and saw that she had indeed made a similar telephonic transfer to the Clydesdale not too long ago. This morning she phoned HBoS again and was asked to "re-register her account with a new security code" although she had done that last night! Today's operator confirmed the new rules: they're nothing to do with Mr Brown but are the result of the bank "integration". She also said that we could change our accounts from "branch-based" to "telephone-based" ones, and that would enable us to transfer funds to another organisation by telephone in future. This would take ten days to organise! But our accounts weren't opened at any particular branch - the forms were sent by post from the Bank of Scotland's head office. We never chose to have "branch-based" accounts. We were also told that the telephone account would pay an extra 1% interest. Why weren't we told of this option before? All-in-all this "merger" has been an unmitigated disaster and looks like destroying one of Scotland's oldest and proudest businesses. It's such a shame.
My immediately previous post was about "forthcoming" financial problems involving the US housing market...
Wednesday, 24 October 2012
It's the SNP's fault because they shouldn't hold any opinion on whether an independent Scotland should be in the EU or in Nato.
It is of course conceivable that someone may think that getting nuclear weapons out of Scotland is their number one political objective. They may then conclude that an independent Scotland is less likely to contain nukes and then go on to support Scottish independence for that reason alone.
Equally, one might conclude that an independent Scotland would be less likely to withdraw from the EU than would a UK dominated by Eurosceptic folk down south.
But it's perfectly possible to believe in Scottish independence and be pro or anti Nato or to be pro or anti the EU.
We don't even know whether the UK itself will be in or out of Nato or the EU after 2015. Who knows what will happen at the next general election?
Surely the point of the SNP is to persuade people here that Scotland is a nation and that therefore it should be independent whether the resulting government be left wing or right wing, authoritarian or libertarian, pro or anti NATO or the EU. It is also a perfectly valid argument for Unionists to agree that Scotland is a nation but that its interests are best served in a multi-national UK state.
The whole question of becoming independent or remaining in the Union should be judged on that basis alone.
And those who think that an independent Scotland would necessarily be a right-on and left-wing paradise might well be in for a rude shock.
Monday, 8 October 2012
It is staggering that public sector expenditure makes up a full 50% of Scotland’s GDP and only 12% of households are net contributors, where the taxes they pay outweigh the benefits they receive through public spending.
Only 12% are responsible for generating Scotland’s wealth. There are people with household incomes of £50,000 who are paying thousands – indeed- tens of thousands of pounds in taxation, and even that doesn’t cover the amount of money government spends in their name.Now I'd like to see her "workings" but I did a few calculations in my head and am quite prepared to believe the basic message.
So what's the problem then?
It's this. Government statistics show that taxes collected in Scotland are slightly higher than our share of government expenditure, both devolved and reserved. So while it may well be so that only one Scot in eight is a net contributor to the state, the figure for the rest of the UK - and that essentially means England - must be worse.
But that message hasn't exactly made its way to the Tory heartlands has it? Read the comments in the Telegraph and see just how little is known about Scotland down south. Whenever each misconception is corrected, another ten pop up.
So I'd bet that most Tories at their Conference will be thinking: "Even the Scottish leader says that all the Jocks are living at our expense. Let's kick them out."
Is Ms Davidson in the pay of the SNP?
Sunday, 30 September 2012
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Sunday, 9 September 2012
But this creates opportunities for others. A bit of Googling led me to Mrs McCornack of Annan. And then I found these folk, also of Annan. A coincidence you may think?
Actually no. I was born in Annan and it looks like I've found the answer to the missing Herdwick question.
Support your local sweater.
Saturday, 8 September 2012
The announcement means that the debate over whether Heathrow should have a third runway, or whether a new airport should be built in the Thames Estuary, which has split the Conservative ranks, will drag on for many more months.For some reason a third Heathrow runway would take around ten years to construct and Boris Island even longer. But what no one ever seems to mention is the real nature of the actual problem.
All of the UK's transport, employment and housing problems are caused by our having an extraordinarily centralised government that is located at one corner of a long and narrow land mass. Not only that, our capital is at the corner of the island that is nearest to the rest of Europe with all of the resulting advantages.
There are three ways out.
The best solution is to get rid of at least ninety percent of government activity. In such a paradise there would no longer be all of those government jobs in London but also no reason for so many private companies to locate there.
Next best would be to establish a proper federal system with the national capital on the Isle of Man. Preferably this would include a reunited Ireland. Again, that would result in a radical decentralisation of the UK.
Finally, if we really can't do without an oversized, hugely centralised and non-federal state, we should move the UK capital to Glasgow. We have the airport capacity. HS2 can start at the top and proceed southwards. To the provinces... And surely there's a Cameron tartan so that the PM could legitimately claim his state kilt on expenses. Then there'd be a British football team, based at Hampden Park of course. And I'm sure that the Queen would love to spend more time at Balmoral, enjoying drams with the Keeper of the Royal Stable, Lord Salmond.
A rebalanced UK would solve so many of our problems. Forget Boris Island and LHR3. Move it all up here.
Tuesday, 4 September 2012
I've now switched on Blogger's own commenting system.
Back ups of all previous comments are on my computer and I may try to reinstate them at some time in the future.
Monday, 3 September 2012
Monday, 2 July 2012
There is a way out of this, of course. With one jump Alex could be free. What Salmond needs to say is that an independent Scotland would have no official currency at all. Running the monetary system just isn't a legitimate function of government. The First Minister should say that an independent Scotland would leave the choice of what money to use in the hands of the people, from whose hands it should never have been taken.
This would require a ban on bailing out the shareholders or bondholders of financial institutions that got into difficulty. The government shouldn't be supporting any private company and that obviously includes banks. In addition a proper government of an independent Scotland shouldn't even protect the accounts of customers in banks. Caveat depositor. In such a world people would be very wary of banks and a reputation for conservative management would be essential for any bank to survive, let alone prosper.
More importantly, what would money actually be in a world (OK, a Scotland) without central banking? All historical evidence suggests that people would pick something like gold or silver as the money of choice. But that should be up to the people themselves, not a subject of legislation.
An independent Scotland could lead the world in re-establishing monetary soundness. Interest rates should be set by supply and demand, not by cosy cabals of bankers operating in a state created and controlled insiders' club.
Sunday, 1 July 2012
Naturally I had to respond:
Good idea Alex.
But in UK terms Manchester isn't in the North. It's only just beyond the end of the Metropolitan Line. The mid-point of the UK mainland is Kendal. If we count the offshore islands the centre of the country is Lockerbie...
So let's really put the new Senate in the north. I suggest Glasgow as a suitable location.
We need an appropriate building; one close to the city centre but not too far from the airport. A listed building that's close to the motorway system. A building that may shortly become available. A building that would come complete with the world's largest supply of union jacks.
Put the Senate in Ibrox Stadium!
Friday, 18 May 2012
Probably far more if this is implemented:
Amateur Photographer (AP) can exclusively reveal that Glasgow Subway passengers will be told they must ‘not take photographs, or make video, audio or visual recordings on any part of the subway'.These authoritarian bansturbators are a menace to civilised society. The Glasgow Subway is one of the city's great icons and it's exactly what tourists will want to photograph. What a message to send to Scotland's visitors. What's needed is for major investors to refuse to do business in cities ruled by authoritarians.