Ritchie on GERS

As I predicted in the link, above, there was remarkable unity amongst those giving evidence. It was agreed that GERS now misses the point and further investment in it makes little sense. The consensus was that developing a system that assumes, in effect, that an independent Scotland which does not exist would continue to function as if it were still a part of the UK is a complete waste of time. Apart from some rather pointed questions on GERS from Jackie Baillie MSP (who seems to be a GERS enthusiast) to me, which did not take us very far because, as I pointed out, I could not give her precise answers to questions that GERS data would not permit to be answered in the way she demanded, the entire focus of discussion was on what to do to move on to delivering better data.

We have video of this event!

36 thoughts on “Ritchie on GERS”

  1. Margaret Cuthbert, an actual economist who has reviewed GERS since outset (and as a result of her criticisms has seen it improve), politely said Ritchie is an idiot.

    I particularly like the bit where she says that the team she is part of has reviewed each line entry to try to improve it.

    Ritchie then admits that he hasn’t looked at things in any depth and all his thinking is just a blog post.


  2. ‘The consensus was that developing a system that assumes, in effect, that an independent Scotland which does not exist would continue to function as if it were still a part of the UK is a complete waste of time. ‘
    And he’s a lying cunt. From what I’ve read, no one assumes GERS would be the same in an independent Scotland, but that it is a very useful place to start.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    I started watching it but by browser locked up in the middle of one of his incredibly long winded explanations. I’m glad it did because I was completely lost in what he was saying and getting fed up at looking at the grinning, inane, twat.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    One thing that did strike me, he often points out that company and household accounts are not like national accounts. Fair enough, I get that, but the he kept going on about comparing GERS methodology to the way company accounts are produced and saying it would be professional misconduct for accountants to work in the same way as GERS.

    Or did I miss something?

  5. That’s what he seemed to be trying to say, BiND, but he is a guy completely out of his depth and flailing around like crazy in an attempt to disguise his total ignorance of the subject. At one point he admitted that his deranged obsession with spending for Scotland outside Scotland would have a marginal effect on the figures but in the next breath he was back on his “no one really knows” bandwaggon. To me he came across as an arrogant, ignorant, self-important prick. The rest of the panel seemed to be of similar mind

  6. He must have really burnt his boats with the Labour Party (which he never mentions on his blog now) to be spending so much time on Scotland. Looks like the SNP is his last hope for that peerage.

  7. I can’t bring myself to watch the cvnt so shall have to rely on the reports of others.

    So, well given Vermine is in the long grass, advisorship to leading politicians seems to have been burnt for Labour and to be receding for the SNP, Brexit looms so that gravy-training for EU institutions is a long shot, what now remains for our irascible tax zealot?

    Maybe special advisory counsel to the Bank of England?

  8. To all those that don’t want to watch it, please do. You will be glad you did as you revel as he squirms, bluffs and then finally agrees he’s no fucking idea. Ending with that smug grin he has when he thinks he’s told you what’s what.

  9. His major problem is that he thinks that there was widespread agreement around the table. I think there was but not in the way he thinks. He came across very badly, almost as badly as when brillo interviewed him

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    Does he get paid for that appearance or even get his expenses covered? If he does and I lived in Scotland I’d be writing to my MSP asking what the fucks going on. They could have just read his blog.

  11. Diogenes

    he thinks that there was widespread agreement around the table.

    “Right-thinking people agree with me, Me, with MEEE!”

  12. BiND at one point he was writhing around and bloviating about the need for a balance sheet for Scotland, so you are right that he thinks government accounts are just like company accounts. To be honest he was just throwing out random words in a futile attempt to show knowledge.

  13. The part where Jackie Baille lists his opinions on GERS and asks for agreement from the panel…..Silence.

  14. He should not be calling himself an economist, but an anti-economist.

    He is a qualified Chartered Accountant, but the question is whether the Institute should withdraw his membership on the grounds that 1 he is bringing the profession into disrepute and 2 he is of obvious unsound mind

  15. Robert Ley says:
    September 20 2017 at 1:40 pm

    You depth of knowledge of the GERS problems was very obvious, and will be useful for them when considering how you could assist in the future.
    Well done.

    Richard Murphy says:
    September 20 2017 at 3:01 pm


    Richard, you total fucking plum. You self-absorption renders you unable to spot a steaming pile of turds if they’re wrapped in even the flimsiest of veneer of a compliment.

  16. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant…

    No. Just no. At one time he may have been a marginally qualified generalist, but not anymore. His level of intellectual dishonesty has him publicly misrepresenting tax law and financial reporting standards, as well as hurling baseless accusations at various governments, government ministries and individuals.

    There are several elements that go into making a Chartered Accountant (and Certified Public Accountant) qualified. One of the elements is intellectual honesty – personal integrity if you like – of which Murphy has none.

    As either a Chartered Accountant or a C.P.A. is you are in direct violation of professional ethics if represent yourself as having expertise you do not possess

    Look at the video.

  17. “Look at the video”

    Sadly it seems I will have to. I will prepare by not eating for a few hours beforehand, in case it causes me to heave

  18. “Punam Chritsuy” (6,2,1,4)

    What a complete fucking spastic he is. So totally vulnerable to the faintest of compliments.

    And Dennis, report him to ICAEW. There’s almost no chance they’ll do anything, but they can’t keep doing nothing forever.

  19. It is well worth a look – or well worth a listen at the least. The way he huffs and puffs as he’s asked a few pointed questions (i.e. asked to provide evidence) is excellent to hear. You can just sense he feels like he’s being roasted, being found out. Well, it could be that, or he’s huffing and puffing at the audacity of someone daring to question a Professor of Practice. Not sure now… And then he covers (or, tries to) by just machine-gunning phrases all over the place. Jeez, he comes across as bumptious twat.

  20. @Diogenes

    So long as you start with “Well done Richard” you can say pretty much anything.

    He seems oblivious to sarcasm, irony and general piss-taking.

  21. I don’t know why I did it buy I watched the video again. It really is not pretty to watch someone get so much wrong in such a short space of time. But it strikes me that he makes the fundamental error of assuming that people think that GERS shows the position of an independent Scotland. Whereas it obviously shows the status quo of Scotland as part of the UK. He was clearly the only person in the room who was making that assumption. So that invalidated in advance practically everything he had to say. So when someone says that Scotland needs to try to develop an understanding of how it would look as an independent nation, Snippa thinks he had persuaded them to his point of view. A point of view that they already held before he started spouting his gibberish

  22. And Dennis, report him to ICAEW. There’s almost no chance they’ll do anything, but they can’t keep doing nothing forever.

    Not a chance. English CAs are notoriously snooty towards ‘Merican CPAs. I need Richard Murphy as a CA for the next time one of those assholes tries to tell me why CAs are superior to CPAs. Murphy having his charter ensures I’m heavily armed for that encounter.

  23. You would think his general disgust for professional accounting firms and their staff and the myriad of indirect accusations he makes should be enough to have him censured, but maybe it’s a case of why even acknowledge him, to him it will just validate his views

  24. Many intelligent people in that room agreed. About him, not with him.
    Always nice when someone makes their own case for being ignored by decision makers. He even has a track record of such.

  25. @Worzel: you’d really think by now he’d have a rough idea of who was who in the higher echelons of the Third Reich. Having said that, I doubt Spud would find much fault with the economic policies of the real Reichswohnungskommissar.

  26. Thinking about it, the SNP have been bigging up the potential of the Scottish economy, so they bring up Snippa to do a job…. And is totally unconvincing. The best the fatto can say is that a few percentages could be tweaked. Arson in Ely could be in the headlines soon

  27. @ Dennis
    There are several accountancy bodies in the UK and Chartered Accountants (“FCA”s) are snooty towards *all* the other types of accountants, not just American ones.
    OTOH FFAs like GlenDorran are fully entitled to be snooty about FCAs.

  28. I did note the other people in that meeting were too polite to not burst out laughing when His Spudness took credit for inventing country-by-country reporting.

    Had I been present it would have invoked a “bullshit” cough.

  29. Diogenes: Arson in Ely

    Is it correct to assume an undesired autocorrect has interfered with your meaning here?

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