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HS2 Is it necessary at this time?

  bremner 12:20 21 Aug 2019

The government his two review whether we really need HS2 BBC Article

I cannot support a scheme to get some quicker to Manchester or Birmingham, that is likely to cost in excess of £100B at a time when:

  • The NHS and social care, education, policing, fire services, local government etc etc are massively underfunded.
  • The one train line into Cornwall is regularly out of action due to it passing so close to the sea.
  • Many rural communities have broadband that struggles to reach 4Mb

My list could go on and on.

What do you think?

  Dunk 18:47 25 Aug 2019

Why do we only seem to use 'income' tax as the main revenue? Only a proportion, as oresome says, actually pay it. But what about VAT, fuel tax, road taxes etc etc, you do very little these days without paying a tax ( so I don't think half taxpayers are "divorced from cost of state provision" . We all pay. That was why, earlier on, I did ask FE what his quoted figures actually were.

  oresome 19:26 25 Aug 2019

Few who pay no income tax will afford their own personal transport.

Likewise there is no VAT on basic foods or food bank supplies. Charity shop clothing is probably also VAT free.

I take your point though that money cycles round and the Government gets it back one way or another. Think of it as only being on loan to you!

  wee eddie 19:38 25 Aug 2019

They are the English.

My opinion of "The Sainted Nicola" is unprintable.

I believe that Scotland is better off as part of The Union.

I also believe that the EU is heading for the Junkyard and that the UK is better out of it

  morddwyd 20:15 25 Aug 2019

Scotland doesn't want them on their soil.

That is the whole point of a sovereign base: they wouldn't be on Scottish soil, any more than they were stored on foreign soil when deployed overseas in the past.! Besides, that is only the view of one party. As i said, if we elect a Conservative government, and remember they are the second biggest party in Holyrood, and growing faster than the SNP, Ruth Davidson is not going to tell Boris to sling his hook! Even Richard Leonard, for all his posturing,, would come to some compromise if he had to form a coalition or minority government, as the Scottish Constitution is designed around.


Probably not widely reported in the South, but the defence run-down in Scotland is marked.

Reading between the lines I suspect that the MoD is using its intelligence skills in the UK for once and is pencilling in some post independence strategic plans.

In addition to Kinloss which you mention, we have lost Leuchars, Machrihanish and Turnhouse. I served on seven RAF stations in Scotland, and there were two or three more I didn't serve at.

There is no naval presence outside Faslane, apart from some Coastguard vessels and a couple of fishery protection vessels run by the Scottish government.

The army is in similar straits. Fort George at Inverness is on care and maintenance, as are Dreghorn Barracks in Edinburgh.

I get the feeling that the MoD see it as a done deal and no-one at Westminster is contradicting them!

I may yet have to move back south!

  Dunk 20:47 25 Aug 2019


You said, about Scotland, "if we elect a Conservative government, and remember they are the second biggest party in Holyrood, and growing faster than the SNP",, I had to google 'polling' because I always thought Scots hated Tories and I immediately found this click here graph explains why what you say hardly seems believable. Like it or not the SNP seem well ahead in every poll. No chance of a Tory government up there, I'm afraid. But I'll keep looking as I'm interested now

As for expecting them to accept our nuclear arsenal by them allowing us a sovereign base is wishful thinking IMHO.


If Scotland is costing us £9 billion a year, I do not want them in the union if they don't want to be. What is your reason for wanting them to stay?


  john bunyan 21:29 25 Aug 2019


I feel British, NOT English, and have many friends in Scotland, who wish to remain in the Union. The United Kingdom, in my view, has stood us in good stead for hundreds of years. The first duty of any Government is”The Defence of the Realm”, and the Scots have a great tradition as part of that - so many famous regiments such as The Black Watch, Scots Guards and many more.

Many regions of the U.K. have higher average “subsidies “ than their average total tax take( income plus all other taxes like VAT), and to take your argument to a conclusion, you would exclude not only Scotland, but Wales and N Ireland. Then what? Yorkshire has nearly as many people as Scotland, Isle of Wight and other areas are “subsided “. You would end up with “Balkanisation “.

I understand and respect the Scots desire for more decisions to be made locally and had hoped that more could be devolved to Holyrood, when taxation would convince folk that full independence would be very costly. I would be disappointed if England became as Nationalist as the SNP. The British, like me want to retain the Union

  Dunk 22:06 25 Aug 2019


I am English first and object to money from us being squandered on Scots when we have our own problem areas.

The reason my 'argument' does not include Wales and N Ireland is because only Scotland wants to become independent. If Wales wished it (and had enough support) then I would not prevent it, and I think a united island of Ireland might be a good thing as well.

These three are Nations in their own right, unlike Yorkshire, and must be treated so.

My argument is "If they want to go and it costs us money to keep them, why do we prevent them leaving"?

  wee eddie 22:41 25 Aug 2019

Dunk: Tread carefully.

In the 60's there was a movement "UDI for East Anglia". We were thoroughly pissed off with Central Government and had a considerable following among the those below 40. The practicalities of policing a long border were among out bugbears but we had support from Yorkshire.

Sounds mad, but if Scotland goes, Wales will.

And I would not be surprised if the young in the Northern Counties became restive as well.

Complete lunacy

  Quickbeam 06:53 26 Aug 2019


'we have our own problem areas.'

You're writing as though Scotland is already gone and wanting back.

Don't make the assumption that the SNP vote is in any way indicative of the proportion that would support a split. There are many that support SNP for a national government, but do not want independence.

  Quickbeam 07:09 26 Aug 2019

wee eddie

'I also believe that the EU is heading for the Junkyard and that the UK is better out of it'

This is something that I hear quoted often as a conclusive reason to leave the EU, but it comes over as a bit of desperate justification to Brexit as no evidence other than having the general approval from the bus stop queue to support it. Even the FE quoted it recently!

But it's all conjecture... Personnally if Scotland breaks away, my gut feeling is that the monarchy will be under a real threat of abolition. As the Union is seen to dissolve, people will ask for what purpose do they exist?

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