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By David Vance On May 31st, 2011

Peter Robinson, Carwyn Jones, Martin McGuinness and Alex Salmond

The Celtic whingers fringe meets today.

The First and Deputy First Ministers will meet their Scottish and Welsh counterparts in Edinburgh on Tuesday. The trilateral meeting at Bute House will be hosted by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness will attend along with the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones. The talks will focus on areas where there is a “shared agenda” between the three regions.

I think there is a shared agenda between the three “regions” and it can be summarised as follows;

1. It’s about squeezing as much cash out of England as possible. Think Oliver Twist eternally asking for “more”.

2. It’s about ensuring that England takes the brunt of the austerity cuts. Nationalism does not “do” financial responsibility.

3. It’s about dissolving the Union. Scotland wants out, NI seeks to be part of a Federalised Ireland and who knows what the Welsh want?

Perhaps the bluff of these whinging Nationalists of all hues could be called if the Barnett Formula for dispersal of English wealth to the fringes was suspended and they were made to stand on their own economic feet? WHY should English taxpayers fund freebies for Celtic Nationalism?


  1. It does seem very unfair, I bet the English wished their ancesters hadn’t gone to all that bother, conquering its smaller neighbours. Ah well, sins of the father etc. etc.

  2. Although, what I refer to as the Celtic Fringe, has competencies devolved to them, Health etc, they still seem happy for England to take the blame for any shortcomings apparent in how they deal with these competencies.

  3. The irony is that the Barnett formula is the only current rational for the “fringes” to remain in the UK. Most Scottish people would vote for Independence if they felt they Scotland would be financially better for it. Well if the Barnett formula was suspended Scotland would no longer have a financial incentive to stay in the Union. Similarly, with a demographic timebomb soon to go off, the only sensible argument most screeching Unionists can come up with is that the South can’t afford us. Well, with the £2Bn reduction in the block grant that rationale goes out the window.

  4. I think it is fair to say that Scotland has a far greater proportion of its population working for the Goverment than England. Should Scotland become independant how will she pay for all these non contributors to the Gross National Product?

  5. David,
    I don’t think your point adds up. The celtic fringe can’t be both spongers and nationalists (or proper nationalists at any rate). It’s the unionists in the celtic fringe who are happy to sponge off the poor old English taxpayer.

  6. Wales 23%
    scotland 22%
    NI 29%
    England 19%

    Hardly a massive difference between England and Scotland. There has been a decrese this year in the Scottish Figure while the English figure is creeping up. NI of course is happily spongeing away and as a result has a higher %

  7. The talks will focus on areas where there is a “shared agenda” between the three regions.

    Because the state is the people, the people are the state.

    Of course, if your firm trades in NI, Scotland and Wales, if you travel among them, if you have family in them, that is nothing because the what matters between them is what the politicians decide matters.

  8. True, the English have spent Billions helping to protect the ‘Plantation’ – Unionists have no problem sucking the economic lifeblood out of England.

  9. I am all for people being proud of their Scottish/Welsh/Irish/English roots.
    But let’s get real here.
    Only ONE of those countries is economically viable and internationally influential.
    The union has been good for all of us, but England has been the economic powerhouse.

    I just really resent the grief doled out to England, whether by taking money from us, or by continually moaning about the bad things we have done. Nobody would deny that we have done bad things, but by and large we have tried to learn from our mistakes and move on.
    It is the “little people, with the tiny, blinkered minds”, obsessed with what happened years back that WON’T move on.
    Yet they are more than content to take English money, live freely amongst us in England, and bask in the acceptance of a benign and accepting nation -England.
    So for Goodness sake, if you don’t like us, p*** off back to your miserable little corner and stoke your miserable fires of resentment.

  10. politico68 –

    Wales 23%
    scotland 22%
    NI 29%
    England 19%

    Hardly a massive difference between England and Scotland

    That’s because the north of England is as much a sovietised basket case as Scotland, NI and Wales.

    In truth it’s the southern English taxpayer – the much put upon City of London and all – which pays for all. A tax map of the country would a continuous stream of money flowing up the M1 and M40, chucking it out in ever greater amounts the further north it gets.

  11. Well said, Agi,

    As a true nationalist, I have no respect for any of those who sponge of the poor old English taxpayer.

    Although, while I’d agree that NI and probably Wales aren’t economically viable; Scotland probably is.

  12. MourneReg,
    I really don’t want to point fingers at anyone because I was brought up to value the Union, and respect all the countries that make up the UK.
    Like many people I’ve worked alongside the Irish (mostly on building sites ;)) Scots and Welsh.
    Some Scots can be a bit “chippy”, and some Welsh a bit sullen;
    but then so can lots of English people who make me ashamed of my own nation.
    Ignorant, boorish and thoroughly unpleasant.

    I take it that in saying Scotland might be economically viable, you are referring to Alex Salmond’s plan to export sets of authentic bagpipes with his face on..

    might be a winner, I suppose…

  13. David,

    Are Northern Ireland unionists opposed to taking money from England?

    Well, why didn’t you say so….

  14. ?

  15. Pinky, what a silly thing to say. Don’t you realise that Unionism has made a fantastic contribution to British society over the years. The Charm, warmth, loyalty and cultural contributions cannot be measured in pounds or pence. Just see the smiling faces of the average English man or women when u mention Unionism, marvel at how happy they are to know that NI is as British as finchley and an important part the Union.

  16. I would be careful what you wish for David. The English would love to get rid of NI – it is a very costly mistake from their past.

  17. Yes Politico you are so right. Mind you, the years of funding the entire NI state, with hundreds of thousands of ‘well staffed’ civil service jobs, …well it just brings tears to my eyes and warms the cockles of my heart.

    I never knew that Unionism opposed such measures. Perhaps David or the TUV can explain further??

  18. Every morning a Unionist wakes up and opposes something only to find that nobody else agrees so they set up there own unionist party only to find that nobody will vote for them so they rant and rave untill they realise that nobody is listening further fragmenting the unionist ‘family’ to the point that they then scream for unionist unity which nobody will agree to so they set up another unionist party and so the cycle continues never realising that nobody really gives a F*** !!!

  19. Pinky,
    Northern Ireland continues to be part of the UK, and will as long as the majority want it to remain so.
    Our Westminster politicians would like the problem to go away, and after watching a couple of episodes of
    “The story of Ireland” on BBC2,
    I understand a little more how complicated the issue is.
    The tragedy of Unionism is that it is an more divided political force than ever, and will probably become an impotent force, unless they change their mindset.

  20. politico68, Matt McCarthy –

    Not true.

    Most Englishmen and women regard themselves as British also. We do not want the union broken up.

    The difference between NI and Scotland is a growing nationalism north of Hadrian’s Wall which manifests itself as a hatred of the English, all the while trousering our money.

    The jocks can’t have it both ways. If they want independence and to blame everything on the English they can pay for it themselves.

  21. I agree with that. The Scots DO want it both ways but WHY should England fund them?

  22. I don’t know what circles you move in but I have never met an Englishman yet who wants to maintain hold over NI. Yes, I have heard the mumbled platitudes like “if that is what the majority wants”.

    At least Scotland has Oil! What does NI have but belligerence on both sides of the “divide”.

  23. Scotland has oil? Who discovered it, who had the tech/

  24. Matt,
    Didn’t mumble it.
    No mumbles…

  25. It doesn’t, Scotland pays more into the treasury than it recieves back through the block grant and that includes any monies spent on reserved matters. Also the vast majority of Scots do not hate the English, it’s Westminster and the British media that are the problem. But congratulations on neatly sidestepping one of the supposed aims of this site to have a whinge, namely;

    “The purpose of this site is to expose some of the deceits that constitute contemporary political debate in Britain….”

    You’ve pretty much missed that goal by a country mile in peddling the “English Taxpayers subsidies” fairy tale, it’s one of the biggest and longest running lies ever to escape from that laughably undemocratic cesspit in London.

    Odd don’t you think that even though a referendum on Scottish independence is a few years off, if Cameron were to offer full fiscal autonomy (thereby scrapping Barnett) to Alex Salmond tommorow, he would take it without a moments hesitation!

  26. Fionnar,
    If Scotland does in fact pay back more,
    where does it come from,
    and is it possible to buy shares in it?

  27. The Yanks!

  28. Agit8ed
    The English translation of my moniker is not “Google”.
    The facts are out there, if you really want know, go find them.

  29. Aaah!
    In other words,
    it ain’t obvious where that money comes from… 🙂

  30. Which part of “The facts are out there” didn’t you understand?

  31. China; well known as an economic powerhouse
    USA ; ditto
    Germany; ditto
    UK; financial services
    Scotland; financial services, whisky and ‘whine’

  32. UK; financial services, licence to print money out of thin air.
    Scotland; financial services, whisky, and vast natural resources.

    : Edited for accuracy!

  33. Pete
    “We do not want the union broken up. ”

    Not sure about this (I am English), I think the inequity in Scottish/English welfare type payments and the West Lothian has drained desire for union among my countryman. If the Scots (who I like it has to be said) were to get independence most would say “good riddance”.

    Without meaning to generalise the Scots are an industrious bunch with decent natural resources (among which I would count their countryside/scenery) so would probably make a decent fist of independence.

  34. Also, I visit Scotland quite a bit – I dont detect anti-English hatred (although I am a Geordie so they probably view me with sympathy rather than anything else)

  35. Awa’ with ye!
    You’re full of cold air.
    If Scotland was really economically self sufficient,
    people across the globe would be running to do business there.
    As it is,
    neither Sean Connery
    nor the great Billy Connolly
    actually want to live there…..

  36. “Outside London, Scotland had more foreign investment project than any other region of the UK in 2010.

    The figures, published today in Ernst & Young’s latest UK Attractiveness Survey, reveal that Scotland attracted 69 foreign investment projects last year – a 35% rise on the 2009 figure – creating more than 4000 jobs.
    While London was the only region to draw a greater number of projects last year – foreign investment in the UK capital resulted in 289 projects – the projects led to 3229 jobs, fewer than those created north of the Border. Source: Herald Scotland, 25th May 2011.

    This year alone, we have had Mitsubushi announce £100 million of investment in Edinburgh to set up an engineering R&D facility.
    The Spanish power giant Iberdola, who also owns ScottishPower, is to invest £3 billion by way of spend in Scottish businesses over the next two years. Since 2007, Iberdrola has invested £2.7 billion in UK businesses, a substantial part of this in Scotland.
    The company also signed a £700 million contract with Scottish Coal, the single largest coal contract in Scottish history.

    But if Sean and Billy don’t want to live here, I guess we’re screwed!

  37. “Sean and Billy” Interesting that their first names would be a 100% incorrect guide to their religions/ football affiliation.

    Sorry – an irrelevant observation that just occurred to me.

  38. politico68, the English did not conquer their smaller neighbours. The Normans invaded Wales and England was joined to Scotland by the Scottish king taking over the English throne.