Every year, they forget GERS really are crap!

From Uncle Tom Gordonstoun at the Herald today:

Today’s Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures are forecast to show Scotland had a deficit of up to 25 per cent of GDP in the first full year of the Covid pandemic.

Who could be better than TG to use this rusty old tool once more to bash the Nats?

To be fair, he does let Fiona Hyslop remind readers that the GERS figures reveal what the Union has done to the Scottish economy and not what independence might do for it, and also that:

But, to counter that, we get Pamela Nash of the uber-Unionist ‘Scotland in Union’ thoughtless tank. I won’t repeat the dribble.

We don’t get the truth about GERS.

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote:

In a remarkably out-of-touch piece, Douglas Fraser who, according to an odd BBC profile page, ‘is alleged that he has degrees from Oxford and Harvard‘ has written to argue that the GERS figures seriously undermine the case of Scottish Independence.


He writes:

GERS shows the gap between Scottish tax take and spending is big, but coronavirus is set to make it humongous, with fiscal repairs requiring years of effort.


This is a very old view of things. Two years ago Professor Richard Murphy seemed to finally demolish the case for GERS:

Then only three days ago, Brain Taylor, Fraser’s colleague at Reporting Scotland Badly, seemed to suggest that BBC Scotland too were about to drop the GERS, with this comment on Good Mourning Scotland:

The thing to bear in mind is they [GERS]were first published in 1992 in John Major as Prime Minister and [the vampiric] Ian Lang as Scottish Secretary and yes I covered that news conference. The point is that although they are statistical calculations, from the very outset they had a political purpose at that time. It was designed to undermine what was seen as a drive toward Scottish self-government.

16 thoughts on “Every year, they forget GERS really are crap!

  1. Of course they are not ‘forgetting’. This is a piece of propaganda which was set up by Mr Ian Laing, c1992 when he was Secretary of State for Scotland and it was explicit propaganda as Mr Laing boasted. He wanted something to hit the ‘nationalists’ with. And GERS is what we got.

    So, each year, it is produced and the unionists and the media recycle their articles from previous years. Keep saying the same thing again and again and some people believe them.

    One ruse has been to transfer responsibility for producing GERS to Holyrood, but giving Holyrood little discretion on how this is to be done. This provides the unionists and the media with another club: “On THEIR own figures, the SG has shown there is a ‘yawning gap’ in Scotland’s finances”.

    I remember back in the 1990s when ‘targets’ were introduced into Scottish education. Schools received letters of ‘advice’ on how to set targets, but, essentially, it was ‘here is what we think the target should be, if you want to change it, you must justify your change.’ All justifications, were, of course, rejected. Then Ministers would go on the media and say, “Schools have been unable to meet the targets they set THEMSELVES”, therefore, we must be more strict in what we are demanding.

    GERS is an example of this.

    Remember, although it was the Tories who started target setting, Labour under Blair and The Bodger hugely extended the number of targets that had to be set. It was a centralising and controlling ploy under the mendacious cry of setting schools, etc ‘free from the dead hand of bureaucracy’. A shameless LIE!!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thatcher. 1979-1990.

      Scotland 15% unemployment, interest rates 17%. Inflation. Mass unemployment. People on unemployment/ sickness benefit. Scotland budget cut. Oil revenues went South to fund London S/E. Equivalent of £Billions taken secretly and illegally. Kept secret under the Official Secrets Act.

      Scotland left in poverty and deprivation. Miner strike, Poll tax. Mass violent, social protests. Loads of money banking. Funded the Tories. Tax havens. Banking deregulated. Led to the (world) banking crash. House owning, share owning notion left behind. Privatisation.

      1990 Scottish Office. Unionist controlled. Devolution 2000

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As always,a reflection on how badly Scotland performs on paper under London rule.
    The trick for the unionists is to pretend that London doesn’t really determine economic outcomes in Scotland and that no matter which economic decisions are taken,Scotland will always be a basket case.
    Where would Norway be now under similar restrictions?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I was looking at the Institute for Government report on Government Expenditure and Revenue for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, which also includes ‘the deficit’ for England.

    I could find no reference to when these data for 2021 for NI and Wales will be published. I had thought that they would be produced at the same time as Scotland’s given that the Treasury sets the calendar and that, in turn sets the dates for the budgets by the devolved governments.

    I checked the NI and Wales BBC websites, but there is no mention about GER. On searching Google I could only find the Welsh figure for 2019.

    The Wales and NI ‘deficits’ are, historically, many times higher than Scotland’s, which, in turn, is – surprise, surprise – many times higher than England’s, which almost balances its books.

    Given that I was unable to find 2021 data for Wales and NI, does this imply that it is only in Scotland that such a stooshie occurs in the media and with unionist politicians each year?

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Aye, and Good Moaning Scotland were at it first thing with Douglas Fraser’s tribute to another Fraser with his own version of “Wur doomed, doomed and marooned…”

    Skip Brexit, skip the referendum, fast forward to a newly independent Scotland with a new currency, no financial settlement and a pandemic hitting all at once….

    Ian Lang’s construct intended to avert Devolution and has been recycled ever since to dissuade independence, but those who give any credence to it now are in a much shrunk minority.

    Another Douglas will be along shortly to talk of the UK’s broad shoulders again avoiding all mention of the Teflon shoulder pads……

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Set up to take the Oil revenues out of Scotland. Thatcher lies. Lang, Forsyth accomplices. Most of them should be in jail. The lies the duplicity to take all of Scottish assets, revenues and resources. £Billions taken out of Scotland. Kept secret under the Official Secrets Act. Iraq, Dunblane and Lockerbie kept secret for 100 years.

    £Billions have been taken out of Scotland and wasted. Westminster total appalling mismanagement. Totally undemocratically. Against International Law. Westminster unionists have illegally taken £Billions out of Scotland and lied about it. Kept it secret under the Official Secrets Act. Westminster broken International Laws.

    Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion have cost Scotland dear. No taxation without representation, Scotland outvoted 10 to 1. An absolute disgrace.

    The GERs are a complete concoction of Westminster duplicity and lies for years. The corruption, greed and illegal actions of Westminster unionists. Most of them should be in jail.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Remember, the damage was done BEFORE Mrs Thatcher became PM. The Labour Government deliberately withheld information regarding the revenues because, they feared that it would make the economic case for independence unstoppable. The British National Oil Corporation (BNOC) set up by Labour was based in St Vincent St in Glasgow and was a sop to show that the oil exploration would be controlled from Scotland. Special deals were made for Orkney and Shetland Islands Councils.

      But, once Labour collapsed after the perfidy of the 1979 referendum, Mrs Thatcher eagerly snatched the revenues to finance her attack on Trade Unions and the nationalised industries, particularly coal and steel, as well as the railways and to pay pittances of ‘social security’ to the millions thrown out of work in Much of England, Wales and Central Scotland. She also ensured that more of the revenues went to the oil exploration companies and the oil distribution companies.

      When Blair and Bodger came in they made no attempt to change this. After all, it was an example of ‘pooling and sharing’, but, not as The Bodger mendaciously wanted ‘NO’ voters to believe.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Ah, thanks, interesting so did Thatcher take the ‘national’ out of BNOC, because I recall seeing oil lorries with ‘BOC’ on the side years ago. Always wondered what it meant.


            1. I think it was called Britoil. I am sure I still have a metal key fob with the logo on it. The old headquarters are in St Vincent Street, Glasgow. Not sure who has the building now.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m going to make a daft comment here, numbers were never my strong point, but I have read that Scotland is banned from borrowing any money, so how can Scotland be in debt? Oh and I dreamt about GERS, I was asking someone if they’d ‘published it yet’ crikey. I believe Mark.

    Liked by 1 person

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