back to article Scottish gov moans over broadband cash handout

The Scottish government isn't happy about the trifling amount of cash's culture secretary splashed on the rollout of broadband in that country yesterday. Jeremy Hunt allocated £68.8m to Scotland from the £530m pot set aside as part of his ambitious plans to gift the UK with the fastest broadband network in Europe by …


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  1. PsychicMonkey


    people in England deserve to get the same level of treatment from the NHS but we have to pay for our prescriptions, whic those north of the border don't have to. Even when they did it was less than half what we have to pay so what goes around eh?

    Flames, cause I expect to get some for posting this....

    1. David Neil

      Not a flame..

      But if you want the same deal, vote for a party that will deliver it.

      Personally I think it's the usual socialist buy-votes-with-someone-elses-money con that worked so well for 13 years, if wee Eck ever gets his independence vote i'll piss myself laughing as he has to fess up to the stuff we won't be able to pay for any more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The UK and Scotland did have the same government (more or less) for quite a while when this was happening. The New Labour/Lib Dem coalition in Scotland were rather more focused on delivering services in Scotland than New Labour were in the UK.

        Nothing to do with New Labour having a large amount of very senior people having their seats in Scotland, oh no.

      2. Anonymous Coward


        Reminds me of the old classic joke about Andropov's telegram congratulating Cheushesku on the Romanian sportsmen successes in the LA olympics.

        Dear Comrade Cheushesku comma We congratulate you on the successes of your sportsmen in the Olympics stop Gas stop Electricity stop Food stop ...

    2. Chimpofdoom!


      England is now the only member of the UK that pays for prescriptions...

      So wouldn't be moaning about the Scots.. if your not happy.. go complain.. oh wait you just did..

  2. Jedibeeftrix

    "Scottish gov moans over broadband cash handout"

    It is innate to the character of scotlands political class to need to whinge about unfairness from the 'south'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Surely the role of a national government is to represent the people, so by ‘whinging’ they are only trying to get a better deal for the people they represent. As the old saying goes, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”.

      Gone are the days that the ruling party in Scotland was the same as in the UK parliament, which meant that they did as they were told and didn’t complain.

  3. Mike Judge

    Devolutions a bitch

    that is all.

    Now fuck off and stop moaning. You wanted devolution, sort out your own fucking broadband...

    1. Gregor
      Thumb Down

      RE: devolution

      "You wanted devolution, sort out your own fucking broadband..."

      Erm, thanks for that wonderful insight, but broadcasting and communications of this nature is Reserved to Westminster.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Whinging cnuts!

    "We're Scotland... we want independence... we don't need the union... we'd be much better off on our own..."

    So fund your own fast broadband if you want it! Or do you expect to pay stupid amounts so a few thousand arran sweatered farmers and fishermen can watch YouTube and buy from eBay and Amazon (oh no sorry they charge extra to deliver that far out)..??

    1. Mike Brown

      we would....

      ....but you damn UK'ers keep stealing all our natural resources

      1. Anonymous Coward

        You mean the natural resources

        the *UK* government helped pay to extract ?

        1. Mike Brown


          yes your right. but im fairly sure that the oil has more than paid for the extraction by now.

          plus, what makes you think we couldnt have got it our ourselfs?

          1. Jedit Silver badge

            Because they didn't?

            BP had five years of exclusive rights to prospect those waters for oil and gas, and they didn't bother trying. Amoco and Shell then went looking and hit paydirt, and within another five years Aberdeen was richer than Glasgow. Even now, though, the major work is done abroad because it's easier, with Aberdeen serving only as the administrative centre.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once again Scotland gets too much

    This works out at £13 per person for Scotland and less than £7 per person for everyone else.

    Scotland's share should be decreased

  6. Anonymous Coward

    You wanted devolution...

    Pay for it yourselves, stop relying upon the English you so stridently abhor yet still use to bankroll your free prescriptions

    Now for the down-votes

  7. DavCrav

    Scotland gets more cash than rest of UK

    Population of Scotland: 5.2m. (2010 estimate)

    Population of UK: 62.3m (2010 estimate)

    Percentage of UK citizens living in Scotland: 8.3%

    Cash divvied up so far: £430m

    Cash going to Scotland: £68.8m

    Percentage of UK cash disappearing in Scotland: 16%

    So, I have this to say to Jeremy Hunt (nearly spelled his name wrong there): fuck off, you already have twice as much cash as you should, get your thieving hands off the money meant for the rest of the UK. Independence for Scotland! I would really love it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wasn't that ire meant to be directed at Alex Neil?

      And please remember to use the full form of Jeremy Hunt, Culture Secretary to add to the chances of a slip.

      1. Code Monkey

        Hulture Secretary

        What's a Hulture Secretary?

      2. DavCrav

        Apologies to Hunt this time

        "Wasn't that ire meant to be directed at Alex Neil?"

        Indeed, it was meant to be. Whoops. I have a whole sackful of other ire for Hunt though, so it all evens itself out in the end.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          I feel dirty now

          I didn't mean to prompt an actual apology to Jeremy Hunt, Culture Secretary.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      You forgot a variable

      Percentage of UK cash generated from North Sea Oil in Scottish waters....?

      Stupid argument.

      1. DavCrav

        Two can play at that game

        "Percentage of UK cash generated from North Sea Oil in Scottish waters....?

        Stupid argument."

        Percentage of UK cash needed for Scottish banks (HBOS, RBS)?

        I was under the impression Scotland already got extra money from the block grant for this.

        1. Red Bren

          Scottish Banks?

          What does the 'H' in HBOS stands for?

          What is their relationship with Lloyds TSB?

          When did they receive a bail-out from the public purse?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            re: Oil

            The oil and gas thing always comes up and it's always reported as if the Scottish own all of it. In reality a fair bit of the oil fields are south of the boarder, thus making it English, it's just all landed in Scotland.

            As it happens I think the union is a good thing, and the tedious arguments for splitting it up grate on me. I do think that tuition fees and prescription charges etc. should be the same across the uk though.

          2. DavCrav

            Convenient history

            "What does the 'H' in HBOS stands for?

            What is their relationship with Lloyds TSB?

            When did they receive a bail-out from the public purse?"

            What does the H stand for? Halifax. So? It was headquartered in Edinburgh. That's in Scotland, if I remember correctly.

            What is their relationship with Lloyds? If I remember correctly -- and I do -- Lloyds was leant on by the government (i.e., Gordon Brown, who IIRC comes from Scotland) to take over the collapsing, toxic mess that was HBOS. Lloyds was one of the safest banks in the UK, which is probably why they were chosen to be pressured by Brown.

            When did they receive a bailout? Shortly after Lloyds took over HBOS.

            I fail to see how any of your questions make a difference to my point.

            1. jm83

              Re: Scottish Banks

              They're international companies you div.

    3. jm83

      Re: Scotland gets more...

      This might be because Scotland is on the whole poorer than average. Taxes help to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor.

      If you disagree with this then thats a different matter.... and youre a git.

      1. DavCrav

        So it is poorer then?

        "This might be because Scotland is on the whole poorer than average. Taxes help to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor.

        If you disagree with this then thats a different matter.... and youre a git."

        OK, so either 1) Scotland is poorer than the rest of the UK, and Salmond can shut up about independence being good for Scotland, or 2) Scotland isn't poorer than the rest of the UK, and therefore doesn't need the extra cash.

        I have no problem with using money from richer parts to prop up poorer parts, but I do have a problem with Scottish politicians getting annoyed at only having twice the UK average.

        1. jm83

          Re: DavCrav

          I believe the independence argument is based more on self determination than economics? (though im not scottish so dont know (or care) about this). I also dont know what Alex Neil thinks about independence.

          As it is though, theyre not independent and so its down to the MPs to fight for more cash for their regions.

          Though I would have thought Welsh MPs would be kicking up more of a fuss, didnt someone figure out that they were getting squat?

          1. Anonymous Coward

            But they don't need broadband

            They have all the pr0n they need just roaming around in fields ...

            1. jonathanb Silver badge

              Yes they do

              Surely they need to be able to upload it to Youtube for everyone else's benefit?

    4. Jedit Silver badge


      The cash is being allocated to create a network where everyone in the country can have at least 2Mbps - which means significant investment in RURAL broadband. In case you hadn't noticed, Scotland has a hell of a lot more rural areas than anywhere south of the border.

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Missing statistic

      Percentage of Scottish cittizens dwelling in the corridors of Whitehall...

    6. TB100

      Quoting the wrong figures

      Area of UK: 243,610 km2

      Area of Scotland: 78,772 km2 - almost one-third of the UK*, and that's not allowing for all the water in between the land.

      So should that 16% should be doubled? Well, part of the cost - exchange equipment, for example - is related to population, but low density means a lot of cable and cabinets.

      *The BBC, with its skewed TV weather map, tries to disguise this fact.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Oh the irony ...

    Some things never change ... didn't the great Dr. Johnson make a remark about the Scots wanting indepence from everything English except her money ?

  9. Colin Millar

    People living in remote areas

    People living in remote areas cannot realistically have the same expectation of access to mass comms or other utilities as city dwellers.

    By this logic we should be paying for on-grid gas and sewerage connections to every remote cottage in the UK.

    Thats not to say that we shouldn't look for solutions to access problems in remote areas - just that it's idiotic to expect parity of provision and that people might have to accept that the provision they get might not be as good as if they lived in a city.

    I expect that most rural people understand this perfectly well and that this is just the usual bleating from a self promoting politico.

    1. GavinC

      re: people living in remote areas

      Nobody is asking for, or even expecting parity with city dwellers. What is being done is ensuring that those in the country have access to a semi-decent broadband connection. More and more services are moving online, and having a decent connection is becoming essential. If it was left up to market economics, those in the sticks would be stuck using dialup, which is simply not going to be economic in future years. Instead, government funding is being used to upgrade the networks and ensure a decent level of service is available, this will still be a lot slower than what is available in cities.

      How do you think they got phone lines, sewerage and on-grid gas in the sticks in the first place? It wasn't due to it being economically viable, that's for sure!

    2. Oliver 7

      I don't need no steenking title

      Have they never heard of satellite broadband, this could be made part of the mix? Indeed I believe the EU has already funded an extensive roll-out of satellite broadband to many far flung European hinterlands, including the Shetland Islands.

      Why the obsession with cables?

    3. jm83

      Re: People in remote ares

      People in the city shouldnt expect an inexhaustible supply of fresh water as clearly theres no space to store it all. That and fresh fruit n veg, why the hell should they get all that when clearly its the folks in the countryside who grow it (well a small percentage of it)

      Oh and electricity... why the hell should city folk use so much when dont host the power stations.

      1. DavCrav


        "People in the city shouldnt expect an inexhaustible supply of fresh water as clearly theres no space to store it all. That and fresh fruit n veg, why the hell should they get all that when clearly its the folks in the countryside who grow it (well a small percentage of it)

        Oh and electricity... why the hell should city folk use so much when dont host the power stations."

        Answer: they PAY FOR IT THEMSELVES, rather than expect the government to cough up a subsidy for them to get their water/fruit/electricity.

        1. jm83

          Re: paying for

          Its subsidised & regulated. If (for instance) water was treated as a free market, you can bet those counties with huge resources would charge a lot more than 0.001p per litre for it.

          as it is, we are a country not a selection of little regions and that means sharing stuff about for best effect.

  10. Argolis

    Missing the point...

    is it wrong that I dont care about Scottish broadband but am thrilled that WWZ is finally filming?

  11. xyz Silver badge

    Listen you lot...

    If it hadn't been for our oil for the past 40 years, you lot (The English) would be living in mud huts and selling your bodies for a rat dinner. So can it and realise who's "the man," that's been funding your lifestyles since you were born.

    1. dogged

      oh, fuck off.

      "our oil" - without England you'd never be able to afford to get it out of the sea.

      1. David Neil


        US oil companies did a lot of the hard work

    2. DavCrav

      Thanks for it

      "If it hadn't been for our oil for the past 40 years, you lot (The English) would be living in mud huts and selling your bodies for a rat dinner. So can it and realise who's "the man," that's been funding your lifestyles since you were born."

      *cough* £850bn bank bailout for Scottish banks *cough* Gordon Brown's wonderful abilities as Chancellor *cough*. Thanks for half of the oil in the North Sea (the other half is in English waters), but does completely wrecking the UK economy for everyone else make us even?

      1. Mike Brown


        Since when was the 850bn just for scottish banks? Did Lloyds, Santander and Northern Rock not also get bailed out?

        We may have invinted banks, but it was the shower of shit in london that arsed it up.

        Gordon Brown was voted in, along with the rest of Labour, by a massive landslide over the whole country. No blame there for us. In fact if the SNP's dominance in the Scottish elections are anything to go by, Labour will never have power ever again. No need to say thanks

        1. dogged

          "We may have invinted banks"

          You are Steve Jobs and I claim my £5.

        2. DavCrav

          @Mike Brown

          "Since when was the 850bn just for scottish banks? Did Lloyds, Santander and Northern Rock not also get bailed out?"

          Dealt with higher up in the comments: it was RBS (headquarters: Edinburgh) and HBOS (headquarters: Edinburgh) that needed lots of money. OK, I'll knock a few billion off for Northern Rock (headquarters: Newcastle), which still isn't a London bank. As far as I'm aware, Santander didn't need bailing out. Neither did Lloyds TSB, although that HBOS millstone hung around its neck by Brown was what dragged it under.

          "We may have invinted banks, but it was the shower of shit in london that arsed it up."

          See above for how the three bust banks weren't from London. Also, I hate to quote Wikipedia, but: "Banking in the modern sense of the word can be traced to medieval and early Renaissance Italy, to the rich cities in the north like Florence, Venice and Genoa." So shut up about that. Since there are very many inventions and discoveries coming from Scotland, you don't have to lie about things.

          1. Mike Brown


            since when does the HQ location of a business mean its nationality? would you not say Ikea is swedish? if so why is thier HQ in holland? Or are BAA spanish? if so why is there HQ at heathrow.

            a simple google search proves that lloyds did indeed recive a bail out. if you cant manage a simple search im not going to trust your wiki skills either......

            (tbh your right about banking, i got a little confused with the bank of england, and banking in general)

      2. Ejit

        ...talking bollocks..

        There was no £850bn bailout.

        The original NAO report shows that the total amount provided by the UK Treasury to bailout the British banking system was £753 billion. Of this, SPICe estimated that £470 billion relates to RBS and HBOS – but it is only an educated guess because the Treasury has provided no detailed breakdown. However, this does not - repeat, not - mean that the Treasury actually spent £470 billion in cash, paid for by the taxpayer.

        First, the Labour Government took an 83 per cent stake in RBS, paying £45.5 billion in cash, and agreed to insure its riskiest assets for an annual fee. But it charged the bank for the insurance, making a profit on the deal. Again, Brown and Darling injected £20 billion into Lloyds Banking Group, which had acquired HBOS at their urging, in exchange for a 41 per cent stake. The Treasury also provided additional guarantees to insure Lloyd’s liquidity. And again, it charged for the priviledge.

        So that makes an upfront payment of only £65.5 billion in cash and the rest in “guarantees” which the banks pay for. But where did the £65.5 billion in cash come from? The taxpayer? No – it was borrowed especially to fund the deal. However, as this borrowing was set against the bank shares acquired, it does not count as part of the Treasury’s net debt. In other words, it is merely a book-keeping transaction (though interest is paid). Any country of any size could do it. According to JPMorgan Chase, the annual cost of servicing that loan is around £3.2 billion. So the actual cost of rescuing RBS and Loyds was…er, £3.2 billion per year minus the charge to the banks for insuring them.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not all your oil

      Some of it is south of the boarder, therefore English.

  12. Ian K

    "Gie us mair bawbees, oor internet's aye puggled"

    It was like Rabbie Burns himself was in the room...

    1. Oddbin


      I think they were using the broons as reference material.

  13. Chris Miller

    It is never difficult

    to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.

    P. G. Wodehouse (1881 - 1975)

  14. Chad H.

    Typical SNP

    If Scotland got the whole £530 the SNP would still complain.

    Just they way they are... What do you expect from a party that appointed a Banker to be First Minister?

    1. Andy Livingstone



      1. Chad H.


        Lets spend a small fortune on that - duplicating all of those roles that we currently "Share" (or have England pay, depending on who you ask) with the rest of the UK - We're going to need some Ambassadors, and they're going to want pay parity with their english counterparts. Oh, and we'll need a foriegn affairs ministry, and all sorts of other things... Who's going to pay for all of this?

        Oh I forgot... The Unlimited supply of oil in the North sea.

        What do you mean it isn't unlimited?

        1. Chad H.


          3 Thumbs down and no reply.... Just must be a hard truth to accept....

  15. James 51

    Something else to consider.

    Scotland seems to be getting more but then its geography means that the money is needed there more.

    Can't help but think the answer for remote communities is going to end up being satilite uplink in a local post office or pub or something with a wi-fi mesh to get it into homes.

  16. Alan 43

    in fairness

    come off it guys - there are some really remote areas in Scotland that increase the cost of providing basic broadband. Hasn`t the UK government promised decent broadband speeds to the whole UK as part of their programme for Government (and Labour before that). In Northern Ireland e had a similar situation with some very small and rural villages with dreadful broadband speeds approaching dial-up speeds, however the big difference being NI is a relatively small place and the various EU, UK and NI Assembly funding schemes have pretty much plugged the gap indeed surpassed that as most of NI now has infinity speeds.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    People that are making remarks about 'fund your own broadband' etc, clearly don't understand devolution and its limits/reservations.

    Feel free to 'give' us independence and we will gladly seal up the border and let you have your piles of stolen blood-money.


    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      I'm a Scotsman

      What do you mean by "Feel free to 'give' us independence and we will gladly seal up the border and let you have your piles of stolen blood-money."

  18. Mike Brown

    to all the people moaning about scotland "getting more"

    Scotland should get more cash. We bring so much more to the damned union than we get back: Oil, gas, hydro-electric power, and water are just a few of the things we give to England.

    Think about this: If Scotland really was a dead wieght around the neck of the UK, why do the politicians fight so hard to keep us, why not let us go our merry way to oblivion? Its no longer a question of IF Scotland will get independance, but WHEN. And then we will truly find out who subsidizes who.

    1. Andy Livingstone


      Once the last drop of oil has been extracted.

    2. Chris Miller

      Why do politicians want to keep Scotland?

      Well, independence means the Labour party would never be in power again and the Tories are the Conservative & Unionist party (the clue's in the name). Why do you think no-one ever asks the English if we'd like to keep subsidising the moaning minnies north of the border? And there won't be a vote for independence in Scotland because:

      a) turkeys don't vote for Christmas; and

      b) if there's one thing Highlanders* hate more than an Englishman it's someone from Edinburgh.

      * and pretty much everyone outside Lothian.

    3. IanB

      re: to all the people moaning about scotland "getting more"

      Let's do it. No subsidies from England to Scotland, you can spend whatever you generate in your own income taxes and not a penny more.

      You'll be bankrupt and wanting help within a year. Scotland doesn't have the population to pay for it's own expenditure - end of argument.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    The fault of all voting systems

    As a Scot, can I just remind the commentards that we didn't all vote SNP. Some of us like the UK.

    I actually thumbs up many of the comments here - the Scottish Politicians should really stop moaning and actually go and do some good with the money they've got.

    I'd also like to point out to the SNP (and the UK government for that matter) that a large proportion of the people who now live in rural communities actually chose to move to those communities. They are not born and bred locals.

    1. auburnman

      Couldn't agree more

      I am Scottish and I am British, and I am glad to be both. And sometimes I am less than proud to be associated with either, especially in cases where I see both sides bickering back and forth over issues like this and repeating phrases like "it's our oil", "the the English you so stridently abhor" etc etc.

      We didn't all vote SNP, and since the Scottish devolution referendum was in 1997 there are a number of adult Scots around today who didn't actually get a say in the devolution matter

      (I myself was 14 at the time.) Given the waste the Scottish MP's manage with the cash they are allowed to control, I would be horrified at the thought of full independence.

      Expecting $300M to deliver broadband to a minority of people in the islands just makes everyone look daft though. My mum and dad live fairly far up North and their broadband is adequate for light use, but shit if you want to stream video or files. It's a pain in the arse and they do deserve better broadband, but I can acknowledge that the cost per person of this has to be taken into account.

  20. Northwald

    Devolution is not independance

    For clarity, most Scots, myself included, do not want independance but want more say in our affairs - which is devolution [of decision making].

    Mr Neil does not help our case by winging about lack of funds when it is clearly more of a share than our neighbours. Mt Neil should pick his fights which do not make us Scots out to be money grabbers or looking for unfair advantage.

    1. Snapper


      It's SOP in the SNP to 'moan' no matter what. That way the English (who generally support the idea of the UK) get more and more pissed off with them.

      Then you have the result you have here. More and more English people quite happy to put semi-racist comments on air. This would have happened ten years ago.

      Scotland WAS necessary for Labour to get elected and stay in power, that's why it got so much more in subs per person than England. Hopefully that will now change and the independent English will get the government it elects, for good or ill.

  21. Nigel Brown

    Another stupid government promise

    from another stupid government that just doesn't have a scooby about how computer-thingys and telecoms *actually* work.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not sure where you're going with this.

      I agree that this and the last government have shown themselves to be painfully stupid when it comes to all things computery, but as far as I can tell here they're at least giving the promise a go by spreading some cash around. Why so negative mr negative man?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Take, take, take.

    Scotland = take, take, take but don't want to give.

  23. davenewman

    Rural people subsidise city dwellers

    Imagine if supermarkets had to pay farmers fair prices. Then there would be enough money in the villages to pay for long-distance microwave links to connect to the Internet, like many towns in Australia use. In Warnambool, whenever the Internet goes down, someone has to go to the top of a hill to realign a microwave dish.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101


      There has been a boom in the price of cereals such that farmers, arable ones at least, aren't whining any more.

      Anyway, how would giving farmers lots of money mean that villages became rich? Farmers are not villages.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Not sure it is a global rural constant, but in Oz it goes like this...

        Farming happens in rural areas, which is where all "villages", or towns (village isn't really a utilised concept in Australia, except in new urban rural-pastiche developments, where it is just a caricature), occur.

        Farmers live near villages, and as a consequence of such geographic convenience they buy many products and services in villages adjacent to their properties.

        Scenario: Farming makes little profit on produce. Consequence: Farmer reduces expenditure and doesn't spend much money on products and services. Outcome: Economy of adjacent villages suffers revenue drop, putting local employment and services at risk and reducing the viability (both financial and population levels) of entire villages.

        Scenario: Farming makes a healthy profit. Consequence: Farmer spends more money on local goods and services. Outcome: Economy of adjacent villages enjoys increased revenue, propting investment in additional services and employment opportunities, giving local village economies modest economic and population growth.

        Economics isn't rocket science, you know. One studies economic activities and the other studies powered projectiles.

        1. Mark 65

          I believe it goes...

          Farmer makes more money, farmer buys more goods off of the internet due to high local prices of cost-ineffective village economy. Economics isn't rocket science you know.

          1. Anonymous Coward


            Too true mate.

            I stopped going to my local stock merchant when Amazon started selling stock feed by the tonne with free delivery. Last month, when my tractor blew a hydraulic hose, I told my local machinery agent he could go blow himself, because I could order a mechanic in the Channel Islands to do the repairs via email. Why would I spend ANY money locally when EVERYTHING I could possibly need or desire can be sent through the mail or transmitted down a network cable?

            Economics isn't picking your nose, you know. You should stick to what you know.

  24. andymcp

    Having been a resident in one of those remote areas....

    When you pitch up and move in, you recognise that there's a trade-off. You don't get a neurosurgery unit on your doorstep, you don't get standard rate delivery charges, you don't get integrated transport systems, you don't get much of the infrastructure that urban areas take for granted. But you do get lovely living conditions and a nice place to call home, cheaper than many urban spots and a nice place to raise kids. That's the deal and you take it or leave it. I've no time for those who suddenly expect something that wasn't part of the deal to begin with - like folk that move to an island then expect a causeway to make life simpler - which part of 'island' did you fail to understand at the outset?

    Sure, most would probably like fast broadband but until some politico said there was a plan to put it everywhere then it was probably part of the downsides of rural life for most. So let the scots politicians moan at the westminster politicians all they like, but it was only really an issue when some misguided fool promised broadband everywhere in the first place.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I love the rural life

      There should be a word for people who move somewhere and then bitch about it not being what they wanted. "I know that road has always been there, but I've decided that I resent it and want it moved." So many people are tired of Scottish politicians bitching about everything. As dour as a funeral directors arse.

      If someone manages to build a business case for rural broadband then it should succeed, I agree there can be subsidies to give some degree of access but as has been stated Scotland is getting more than a fair share. Plus, they say it'll cost £300m to cover the islands, but I bet that is at BT Openwench prices and I know I've never found BT to be commercially competitive in their pricing. If this money was put out to open tender with a broad scope it would doubtless get more value for money. For £300m you could probably put fibre to every home in the Hebrides! Lets look at the example of Rutland Telecom for rural broadband cost savings!

      1. Mark 65


        "There should be a word for people who move somewhere and then bitch about it not being what they wanted."

        There is - wankers.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    They don't have to sell to the supermarkets...

    "Imagine if supermarkets had to pay farmers fair prices."

    They don't have to sell to the supermarkets - this is how a market system works.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Scottish" Oil Revenue = UK Funding to Scotland ( roughly)

    SNP's figures have been shown to be biased, presenting a lower then reality deficit.

    Several studies in recent years have shown the oil revenue vs UK Funding to be a close thing in recent years.

    In recent years the oil price has been high, very high.

    So clearly, in previous years, there was a net inflow to Scotland.

    AFAIK the Government wasn't inclined to consider Scottish indpendance during those times, so to suggest they're only saying no now for economic reasons is clearly utter rubbish.

    Perhaps, to be fair, independant Scottish economic projections should allow for all the previous funding excess to be returned? Otherwise you'd only be the xth richest country in the world due to handouts from the rest of the UK. Pretty sad for a rightly proud people.

    And frankly, gambling an entire country's future on oil and oil prices is grossly irresponsible ( no doubt partly why the Saudi's own so much property, banks, and other things around the globe ).

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps the government should...

    Perhaps the government should buy everyone in 'urban' areas a nice view and clean air?

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Jocks deserve punishment for their evil politicians

    foisted on a defenceless England. Your useless lot of MP's kept the worst ever UK government in power for years.

    I'd like to see you get independence alright. I'd not only seal the border but build a big tall wall all round your country and think seriously about filling it up with water too.

    I'd like to see your rotten New Years Eve telly declared a war crime as well.

    1. auburnman


      If you're both a) watching telly on Hogmanay and b) sober enough to remember it the next day, you're doing it wrong.

      As for the rest of your post, my heart bleeds for "defenceless England" - I had no idea you weren't allowed to vote down there.

      (Please don't read this as a crack at the English; just at one Anonymous Coward)

    2. Chad H.


      Given the huge number of English MPs when compared to scottish ones.... Isn't it the other way around?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    London actually gets more funding

    London gets more funding per head of population than ANY other place in the UK (including Scotland), parts of England are not that far behind Scotland either, despite having less issues with poverty and deprivation overall.

    Part of the issue with Scottish poverty is England centric policies, several hundred years of oppression (even before the union), Communist leaning local authorities (ever wondered why so many Scottish towns bear such a resemblance to the Soviet Union....its where house designs came from) and political backhanders ( Devonport awarded the submarine refit by the Tories over Rosyth as Rosyth was a safe Labour, compared to Devonport, which at the time was a Tory target seat, despite money having been spent in Rosyth on said facility, which caused a LOT of skilled job losses and a lot of money respent in Devonport)...oh and the elephant in the room.....alcoholism, much of it though fuelled by poverty itself and historical issues (highland clearances, post jacobite crackdown, Employers using "kettle biler" tactics (refusing to hire men subjected to land clearances, leaving them stuck in slums "biling the kettle" for the women of family who were offered very low paid and mostly dangerous work in the 1800s and into the early 1900s - jute mill fever as an example)

    Things need to change, the only solution to a lot of the issues is spending the money to tackle the deprivation, if necessary demolishing bad housing, building infrastructure (such as internet connectivity) in order to make local enterprises more competitive and to take on more local workers, Large tracts of Scotland are now without any skilled work as work has been offshored, contracts lost etc. I had a family member who was made redundant after every contract the company held was cancelled, for example bombardier trains sub contracted to said company and cancelled when they lost the contract for HS2 to Siemens, lots of jobs lost all over the UK.

    Dead end jobs alongside high unemployment create deprivation,rising crime and alcoholism. Create a future for those going through school, give them positive male and female role models (not "I iz a blingged up gangsta aiiiiii, show me your tittiiessss gurl!"), encourage them to think during school, not simply bleat out times tables and take down dictation (after the required mass teacher sacking...those who can't and all that), clamp down on those dealing, using and cultivating drugs and abusing alcohol. This country was successful when we had a strong manufacturing base, a pride in our work and achievements and valueing engineering. Anyone else noticed CMD and Georgie boy backtracking at a rapid rate on Thatcher's "service economy" mantra, perhaps some have realised where we are going wrong....however given the muppets like Hague and the wannabe pope IDS we're doomed.

    Scotland has many of the same issues as the rest of the UK albeit magnified, we need to train people, give them experience....This "needs 5 years experience" culture is a sickness which is killing our economy, how can you get the experience without doing the job? Yet employers constantly scream about a "skills shortage"....well train people then, stop laying off apprentices 3/4 through their apprenticeship, Look for those who could make a sideways change from another trade and thats just off the top of my head.

    The govt claims we are broke, yet they constantly splash taxpayers money on "aid" "loans" etc, so we are not as broke as we seem, if necessary raise taxes and invest the money in infrastructure - fix the roads, build some social housing solely for rent, repair our crumbling schools and require x% of the workers to be trainees / apprentices. Offer companies who agree to train and do train x amount of apprentices a year tax incentives to do so.

    Create a fund to lend money to entreprenuers, where the business case is sound but the banks aren't interested, especially where there are areas of high unemployment / difficulties getting started in a career.

    Of course much easier to wave a 5% income tax cut under middle England's nose right before the election.....

    Seems the Tea Party are in the UK, just that most people know them as the Conservative party......

    1. Mark 65

      RE:London gets more funding

      Its a net benefactor for the rest of the UK though isn't it, and by quite some distance? Roughly 25% of GDP stems from London. Best keep schtum about the funding it receives. I've heard it has quite a high population too and "economies of scale" is only a valid argument up until the point at which that scale (or population density in this case) then becomes counterproductive because it raises all your input costs. Having people closer together (London) doesn't always make things easier or cheaper than them being further apart (Scotland).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Per head of population

        London generates 25% of GDP due to government policies to encourage companies to be based in London alongside access to "lawmakers" by corporate lobbyists.

        Whether or not London generates x amount of GDP does not justify ignoring the massive subsidy Londoners receive while highlighting the amount spent elsewhere in the UK.

        Personally I'm tired of hearing "Scotland gets the most spent per head of population by miles", when said claim is total and utter nonsense.

        In some respects somethings may cost more to provide in London, but many things cost massively less due to economies of scale, large population means a larger number of potential service users thus lowering the cost per person to provide said service.

        A lot of the "cost" in London is land prices, which are so high due to property and land speculation, encouraged by our "esteemed leaders" as it creates a perception of wealth....shame that bubble is very close to bursting in a big way, only thing, which is holding property prices up is seller's artifical view of the worth of their property and denial of near economic collapse.

        TBH London is a model of how not to build a transport network, too many people and not enough capacity to move them all without severe congestion.

  30. Andy Livingstone

    Please remind me

    What was the topic again?

  31. Stu_The_Jock

    ambitious plans to gift the UK with the fastest broadband network in Europe by 2015

    That IS an ambitious plan . . . Now I'm going to sidestep the political debate over Scotlands devolutions, having made the smart decision to leave the UK. Currently I'm sitting on our Norwegian ISPs "ENTRY LEVEL" TV/phone/web package, with a mere 40Mbit/40Mbit, fibre INTO the home, and no "fair use cap".

    Now for those who require to do more than simple browsing and email, they offer packages up to 400Mbit each way.

    Sure we pay more for the service, but then we GET the service they sell us.

    Not sure what the Gov.UK are planning to get rolled out, but that's going to some some wonderful surfing and download speeds if they top us. (Yes I know Norway is not in the EU, but we are part of the EEA which the EU seems to think means they can shove their stupid rules on us)

    Instead of the gov funding all the upgrade works, maybe they ought to enforce ISPs to provide what they sell, at a "realistic" price and use the increased prices to help fund the roll out of fibre. Our fibre line is provided by the local electricity company, who laid a backbone system between all their substation buildings then dug up an area at a time to lay tubes to the property boundary of all the residences that unit powers.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @They don't have to sell to the supermarkets

    Many of them are only just waking up to that fact and choosing not to. It always amazed me to find that farmers would willingly take a deal which meant they'd lose more money than just not doing it at all.

    WRT the comment about London, it also pays more taxes than the rest of the country and the SE is a net subsidiser of the rest of the UK (a bit like Germany used to produce 60% of farming subsidies in the EU and France consumed 60% of the farming subsidies in the EU)

    @"There should be a word for people who move somewhere and then bitch about it not being what they wanted" - there is in Australia. "Whinger" - aka "Whinging Poms"

    WRT living in grinding poverty. There's a solution to that to. MOVE TO WHERE THE JOBS ARE! How do you think the industrial towns became industrial towns in the first place??

    A few dollops of flexibility wouldn't go amiss either - as an example it wasn't cheaper japanese labour which sank the UK ship building industry but the fact that 1 (very well paid and well educated) japanese worker could do the same welding work as 5-10 british workers thanks to better systems the UK workforce refused to adopt. The world doesn't owe rioters a free living, nor does it owe inefficient factory workers one.

  33. cs94njw

    Broadband!? What about gas!?

    Go through a lot of villages in Cornwall, most don't even have a gas connection. Having to use those huge green oil containers.

    But fair does - England only has ~£500m to spend, and we're going to give most of that to Scotland, so Aunty Mable in the back end of Abercomefukombe can email her newphew johnny twice a week!?

  34. Anonymous Coward

    A title ... Yes, it is

    Let's ignore the broadband for a minute (everyone else has).

    The ideal situation is a separate parliament and first minister for each country; England, Wales, Scotland & NI.

    Westminster becomes a reduced UK Parliament, which deals with the Union and Europe. Each country collects their own taxes, etc and distributes them, with a small contribution to a UK fund. The UK fund is used to help out either or all countries. Flooding, natural disasters, financial crisis, etc the fund can be used. We all take responsibility for our own laws, roads, finances, etc.

    Either, our first ministers or an elected representative sits in the UK Parliament giving our say within it.

    I should point out that, yes, I did vote SNP. Do I want Independence? If things don't change, yes. The Scottish people as a whole don't hate the English, we hate the English politicians. And don't say Brown is ours, we don't have a big enough majority in the votes to have elected Tony or him (I know it wasn't a vote), also we have clearly chosen with our votes that we want neither Labour or Conservative. The only reason Labour got in previously is probably because we wanted to punish the Conservatives for giving us the Poll Tax a year before the rest of the UK. SNP have proved they are better for us, but by no means perfect.

    Finally, as a Union, we all tell Europe to fuck off and we make our own laws that keep our Countries/Union alive and wealthy. Then, perhaps , can we all get together and sort out what we're called; United Kingdom, Britain or Great Britain. If I have to scroll through another drop down list box of Countries again trying to find what we're called this time, I'll scream.

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