Oh

He concluded

  • “[the economic debate could be improved] if GERS and all the nonsense that goes with it is dismissed as another example of Westminster’s contemptible attitude to all things Scottish
It seems Richard still hadn’t grasped that GERS has nothing to do with “Westminster’s attitude” to anything, because it’s the sole responsibility of the devolved Scottish Government.

In an effort to put this misunderstanding to bed once and for all, I made a Freedom of Information request. The Scottish Government replied with the following (full Q&A in notes below7)

The Scottish Government statisticians and economists who produce the report are responsible for the methodologies and assumptions it contains. [..] The revenue and expenditure statistics in GERS are produced in the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser, in St Andrews House, Edinburgh.” – Scottish Government

The most charitable interpretation I can offer is that Richard waded in without doing his homework. Like a late arrival to a bar-room brawl, he charged in swinging blindly and didn’t realise he was actually punching the Scottish Government’s own economists and statisticians. In the face. Repeatedly.

12 comments on “Oh

  1. The jury is in on Murphy. His career – and I think career is the correct term here – is based on garnering publicity. As conmen and bastards from Titus Oats onwards have found, if you are without shame then there are no limits to what you might achieve.

    So Scotland is his new market and his targets seem rich and ripe for the taking.

  2. He blamed Westminster and from my reading that’s what hardcore Nats want to hear and that’s who is trying to ingratiate himself with. The rest doesn’t matter as they won’t be listening.

  3. Don’t want to be pendantic, but think he meant to write ‘contemptuous,’ not ‘contemptible.’

  4. So the GERS data compares Scottish tax revenue (400 pounds less per capita than the rest of UK) to expenditures (1300 pounds more).

    Is that just tax raised by the Scottish government, or does that include taxes that go to the big coffers at Westminster? Similarly for expenses. Does that include only what the Scottish government spends, or also what Westminster pays for?

    Reason I’m asking is that ISTM that an independent Scotland would have to spend more than current to keep the same level of services. If the UK now has an embassy in Elbonia and spends some taxpayer money lobbing bombs at Iraqis, an independent Scotland would have to finance its own embassy to Elbonia and based on the history of its relations with the belligerent neighbor to the south (*) will have to raise an army of its own.

    (*) Granted, everything I know about English-Scottish relations is derived from Braveheart, a story about Robert the Bruce I was made to read in sixth grade, and a two-week vacation in Scotland seeing a lot of castles where Bonnie Prince Charlie hid from evil Englishmen.

  5. When I lived in Scotland “Gers” always referred to the football club Glasgow Rangers. It’s still presumably still true that Scottish life would be immeasurably improved if Rangers and Celtic were dissolved into a puff of dust. Though I suppose a blue puff and a green puff would find plenty to argue about.

  6. He has fucked up massively on this and publicly outed himself as a tin foil hat wearer. To believe that figures which are produced with a 95% confidence interval are “made up” by Westminster in some sort of conspiracy is crazy. Why the fuck the BBC still uses him is a mystery.

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