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Falklands Again
Defending the Falkland Islands

The UK is making moves to increase its defensive capabilities in the Falkland Islands, in the latest sign that a standoff could be brewing in the South Atlantic. Defense News reports:

Britain is to invest £180 million (US $268.7 million) over the next 10 years strengthening its military presence on the Falkland Islands and has already started looking for a contractor to build a key element of a ground-based air defense (GBAD) system.

Speaking in Parliament Tuesday, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon outlined plans to deploy helicopters and upgrade port facilities along with the GBAD system to boost Britain’s military on the islands.

There’s a good reason why the UK has been feeling like its current defenses of the Falklands aren’t enough. Russia and Argentina have a deal in the works that would see Russia trading long-range strike jets for beef and wheat supplies. Given Argentina’s location, there’s really only one conceivable target they could be used on: the Falklands. With Argentina’s beleaguered, nationalistic President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner looking increasingly unhinged, and with Russia unlikely to change tack out of fondness for the idea of peace in the western hemisphere, this is a potential flashpoint to watch.

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  • DecimusBrutus

    It would be helpful if the writers for AI had even a smidgen of military knowledge. Russia has apparently offered Argentina SU-24s, an all weather attack fighter with a maximum combat radius of 615 km. The nearest Argentinian air force base to the Falklands is 700 km away, which means that strike aircraft require refueling. Argentina only has two aging C-130 tanker aircraft, not to mention that its missiles and bombs are antiquated. It has no AEW capability and the rest of its air force is analog, not digital. The Argentine Air Force doesn’t have the logistics, support mechanisms and the training to undertake any kind of aerial assault. A pilot just doesn’t hop into a modern jet fighter, turn the key, and go off to war. Hours upon hours of training are required to make the pilot even basically proficient. And I haven’t even gotten into the maintenance required to keep a modern jet fighter ready to fly.
    There’s no there there.

    • Andrew Allison

      Although I am in general agreement as to the capabilities of the Argentine Air Force, the combat radius of the Su-24 with external tanks is 1,250 kilometers, more than enough to get to the Falklands w/o refuelling.

      • DecimusBrutus

        Even with external fuel tanks the SU-24s would require air to air refueling if they expected to hit their targets with their gravity bombs and return safely to base.

        • Andrew Allison

          What part of a combat radius of 1250 km without refuelling is unclear?

          • f1b0nacc1

            You are making the mistake of confusing specifications with capabilities. On paper, the F-111 was a superior aircraft…in practice however….

          • Andrew Allison

            And you, I fear, may be confusing design and delivered specs. As we know to our cost, the US military-industrial complex almost never, if ever, delivers on its promises (the F-35 being the latest appalling example). The question under discussion is whether the Su-24 could reach the Falklands from Argentina without refueling and the answer, according to a variety of sources, is yes. Whether or not the F-111 was superior to the Su-24 is debatable, but while the F-111 (like all variable-wing designs) had maintenance issues it flew over 4000 combat missions in Vietnam with only six losses.
            To reiterate, I acknowledge all of the logistical and support issues brought up in the original comment, don’t think that the FAA represents much of a threat, and am simply pointing out a factual error regarding the range of the aircraft.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Actually, I am not disagreeing with you about range, there is no question that with drop tanks the Su-24 can fly missions against the Falklands, albeit with a significantly reduced payload and degraded overall performance. Actually it wouldn’t even need the tanks because it won’t be coming back from any of those missions anyway (grin). My point is that the Su-24 isn’t a very good platform even if it can make it to the target zone, as it’s avionics, delivery envelop, and reliability mean that it won’t give you a great deal of bang for the buck, or in this case (since it is being bartered for) for the beef. The Russians aren’t unaware of this, which is why they aren’t too interested in retaining these turkeys, instead fobbing them off on third world nations with delusions of adequacy. As per range, however, I haven’t disagreed with you at all.
            On the F-111 the aircraft’s loss rate (given the environment, it shouldn’t have lost ever) was adequate, but the plane had awful operational readiness (in it’s FB-111 incarnation, it was even worse), and astoundingly poor in-flight reliability. One of my very first consulting gigs (oh so long ago) dealt with updating software used by FB-111s based out of Mountain Home, and I can assure you that a given mission where they didn’t experience at least 2 ‘major’ failures was considered quite unusual, bordering on supernatural. The mechanical issues weren’t the problem (though they were bad enough), the whole system design was bad. from everything that I have read about the Su-24 (and as you might have guessed, this is a particular interest of mine, embarrassing though it is to admit), it was far, far worse, if for no reason other than the awful problems that are endemic to all Russian built engines.

          • Andrew Allison

            Thanks, as always, for your willingness to engage in civil debate. I loved the bit about not needing the tanks!!

      • f1b0nacc1

        While you are correct, external tanks would serious degrade the payload capacity of the aircraft, which is nothing to write home about in the first place.

        • Andrew Allison

          External fuel tanks would degrade payload somewhat, but not seriously. The MoD, Military Factory and Janes all appear to think that it’s a threat. “Even after its Cold War decades of service, the nuclear-capable Su-24 Fencer still presents a fearsome foe.” (http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=194)

          • f1b0nacc1

            We will have to disagree. I should point out that the Russians are getting rid of the SU-24 as fast as they can (they have the newer SU-34, which is a considerably more dangerous platform) without even bothering to upgrade the ones that they do have. The problem with most of these analyses is that they tend to look at raw numbers (payload, range, speed, etc.) and ignore the ‘softer’ details (reliability, engine life, avionics, etc.), which tends to make Russian hardware look far better than it really is. This was precisely the sort of thinking that led many to overestimate the fearsomeness of the Red Army during the Cold War, or Saddam’s forces in the run up to the invasion of Iraq.

          • Andrew Allison

            It is not I with whom you are disagreeing (see elsewhere in this thread), but it is of course your prerogative ;<)}

    • f1b0nacc1

      You are completely correct, but I should also point out that the SU-24 is, at best, of only marginal value as a strike aircraft. It has severe reliability problems, the engine life is pathetic by any reasonable standards, and unless the Russians are trading an upgraded model, it lacks any useful avionics for delivering modern precision weapons. It could kill a few sheep, little more.

  • Fat_Man

    Good for the Brits. Obama is aching to screw them and hand the Maldives back to Argentina. But la Kirchner is so inept and so toxic that Obama may not get the chance.

    • Dan Greene

      Then why did he publicly oppose Scottish independence which would really have “screwed them?”

      • f1b0nacc1

        Perhaps because it wouldn’t have. Scotland is an economic deadweight, and while it has a few useful strategic assets (Scapa Flow, for instance), it offers very little else. From Cameron’s point of view, a Scottish departure might even be a godsend, it would kneecap Labour, for instance.
        I rather think that Obama simply didn’t care about Scotland…

        • Fat_Man

          The Scots are white. Argentina is Hispanic.

          • Fat_Man

            Nobody got the Maldives joke. Sigh.

          • f1b0nacc1

            You know, I read right past it….

          • Fat_Man

            So did the guy with the teleprompter.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Are you sure that he just didn’t know any better?

          • Fat_Man

            I assume he didn’t know any better. And, that is not a reason to let him off the hook.

        • Andrew Allison

          HMNB Clyde (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMNB_Clyde), one of only three UK naval bases might be considered a strategic asset [grin]

          • f1b0nacc1

            Given what is left of the Royal Navy, a new base would be a small price to pay for being rid of the home of haggis…

          • Andrew Allison

            You speak, Sir, of my father’s homeland and a dish that I quite like! [grin]. The question, given the parlous state of British military spending, is how the RN would pay for a new base and how long it would take to construct (HMNB Clyde is more than just Faslane). FWIW, it’s my opinion that Independence would be a disaster for both Scotland and the English Labour Party, but if the Scots really want to shot themselves in the sporran, it’s their privilege.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Actually we agree (not about Haggis, wretched stuff….grin) on the impact of independence on Scotland. It would be a catastrophe for them, as they have devolved from a once proud and productive land to Greece with lousy weather. But as you correctly point out, it is their choice. As for the impact upon Labour, I couldn’t be more pleased with anything that would destroy that group of socialists….

        • Dan Greene

          The issue is not merely Cameron’s point of view.

          Psychologically, the departure of Scotland and the reduction of the UK to “Little England” plus Wales and Northern Ireland (maybe) would have been a very damaging blow to the psyche of rump-Britain in my view. It’s true that with the North Sea in production decline, Scotland represents much less of an obvious economic plus than it did from 1970-2000. Still, just the real estate has tremendous value. England recently surpassed the Netherlands as the most densely populated nation/region in Europe. That relatively unused land area may well come in handy one day as agricultural and energy technologies develop and the southern England’s overpopulation forces an overflow to the north. The Scots have always formed a disproportionate part of the British Army, and Britain would no longer have rough demographic and geographic parity with France and Germany. Without Scotland, England would be a large version of the Netherlands, still dependent on the gradually declining City. I’m not saying that Scotland solves many of the UK’s many serious problems, but it’s departure wouldn’t have solved anything either and would have created new problems. (Of course it was and is up to the Scots to chart their course.)

          I mean, there must have been some reason that the leaders of all the major British parties worked to keep the Scots in the UK. Cameron NEVER articulated any view like the one you are speculating about here. And as I say, I think you are discounting the psychological impact that the break-up of the UK would have on all the constituent parts of the UK.

          >>”I rather think that Obama simply didn’t care about Scotland…”

          Why do you think that? See the link provided by Andrew Allison directly above. It was worth it to Obama to meddle publicly in the internal affairs of the UK, so we have to assume that whatever feelings he has personally about Britain, the view of his administration, as expressed by him, was that the preservation of the the UK was in the national interest of the US.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Lets start with the second question first… For Obama, Scotland provides the votes that keeps Labour a viable party in Britain. Without Scotland’s voters (both Labour and SNP, which votes with Labour), the Torys dominate in parliament. Given Obama’s leftish predisposition, this is enough reason in and of itself for him to interfere in another country’s politics. it is, by the way, more than enough reason for most of the rest of Britain’s political class to do so as well, even the Torys (who are dominated by a squish left-center group, of which Cameron is an excellent example….the days of Maggie are long gone….sigh…) wouldn’t want to see the collapse of the left in the UK.
            As for Scotland being anything other than a net economic drag on the UK, sorry…not buying it. Scotland was ONCE a great engine of prosperity, but that was long ago, and nowadays it is simply a huge welfare sink with bad food. Yes, the North Sea oil/gas deposits were valuable, but they are past the point where they are anything other than marginal offsets for the huge costs associated with keeping the welfare rolls satisfied. As for the potential for place in the future…not likely. The climate is awful, the population uninterested in anything productive, and there isn’t much in the way of natural resources to extract. As for Britain being a larger Netherlands, the Dutch have a work ethic and are prosperous, the Brits don’t and are not.
            Show me something other than ‘potential’ (and provide some specifics), and I could take it seriously, but there really isn’t anything I see that suggests that Scotland has anything to offer Britain other than a few naval bases.

          • Dan Greene

            I doubt that Obama, with everything he has on his plate, is really that worried about micromanaging the British political system. You yourself describe Cameron as “squishy left,” and the tendency across Europe has been towards a compression of the political system towards some sort of center, so would Obama really worry about the fate of the New Labor? I don’t think so. There will always be some vaguely leftish party in Britain as elsewhere, and it doesn’t really matter whether it is called the Liberal Party, the Labor Party or something else.

            Scotland was never “an engine of great prosperity.” Individual Scots have conducted much productive economic activity in the framework of the British Empire, but Scotland itself has always been one of the poorer parts of Western Europe, although many attributes of Scotland in that regard are not that distinct from northern England and Wales. But discounting”potential” means discounting the future. And the welfare problem in the UK is not principally about Scotland and its 9% of the population but about the country as a whole. Getting rid of the Scottish “sink” does not solve that issue for rump Britain.

            I agree that the Netherlands is one of the better-run countries in Europe and you could do worse than aspire to be a larger version of it. But if England/UK is going to go down that road, then they are no longer going to have a major leadership role in Europe. If that is a conscious decision, then fine, but they had best not slide into that new role without taking the consequences into account. We see regions like Catalonia, Lombardy, Flanders, and others wanting to free themselves from their respective states, but where does such a process end? In a world dominated by behemoths–the US, China, and potentially india–and by semi-behemoths–Russia and Japan–how does a Europe discomposing into little bits hold its own in global commercial, strategic and cultural competition? What may seem to be in the interests of England when looked at through a narrow lens, may not be when one steps back to look at the larger picture.

            Again, I think you take a very narrow view of what constitutes assets for the British state. Ultimately, the issue we are discussing is closely tied to the question of the UK, it’s current and future roles in the world, and its relationship to Europe. I have no other “specifics” to give you, but I ask again, what is it that Cameron doesn’t see about the goodness of ditching Scotland that you do? His “squishiness” doesn’t really constitute an answer to that question.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Obama hardly committed significant time or resources agitating against the Scottish referendum, far less (for instance) than what he spent against Bibi in Israel. I imagine that he would have demurred if it had cost him time on the links, but really, how much do you think this cost him?
            As a side point, the notion however, that Labour could have been easily replaced in British politics (by the LibDems? are you serious?) reveals a rather serious lack of understanding of the electoral system in the UK.
            Regarding Britain’s future as a rump state…they have already chosen decline, whether they choose to admit it or not. Their military is shrinking fast, and nukes notwithstanding, they would be challenged in a standup fight with a girl’s school for the disabled at this point, though some of their special forces are quite exceptional. The truth of the matter is that Britain is perhaps a step behind most of the rest of the EU in terms of decline, but only a step, and they certainly don’t seem interested in doing much to choose a different path. One might regret that, but to deny it, or to suggest that amputating the gangrenous mass that is Scotland would do much to accelerate that process simply understates the nature of the problem.
            As for what Cameron doesn’t see that I do, I think he sees what I do, but he has a different set of interests. He is concerned about his own reputation, and the personal and financial concerns of his core constituencies (the pro-EU wing of the Tories). Neither his reputation nor that core group has much to gain by seeing Scotland leave (both would be humiliated, and lost status), but that doesn’t mean that he has any serious concerns about the long-term health of the UK (which is really past saving anyway) regarding Scotland. He simply wants to avoid being the proximate source of blame (as he would have been, if Scotland had left) for the disintegration of the Kingdom, which certainly would have been the end of his political career.
            Look, if you have something substantive here other than national pride and ‘big picture’, by all means, lets see it.

          • Dan Greene

            “National pride” (and the things that generate it or undermine it) and the big picture that integrates all the relevant considerations should not be discounted. They certainly count for more than Scapa Flow, a harborage that’s been closed for 60 years.

          • f1b0nacc1

            And you will note that I discounted the value of Scapa Flow (as well as the other anchorages in Scotland) several exchanges upthread.
            National pride, etc. are simply handwaving….there is nothing in Scotland that Britain needs, and it is a very expensive piece of vanity real estate to own. Let the drunken louts in Glasgow enjoy themselves on the last fumes from the North Sea.

          • Dan Greene

            Sorry–all I saw was this: “Scotland is an economic deadweight, and while it has a few useful strategic assets (Scapa Flow, for instance), it offers very little else.”

            You obviously have some animosity towards the Scots, which is fine by me, but it doesn’t constitute a case for the break-up of the UK from a British or English point of view. In any case, I guess this must be a completely academic question for you, since you appear to see all of Europe, with or without Scotland, in inescapable, terminal decline anyway.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Actually I lived in Scotland for a short while, and adored it (except for the food), and consider its decay as a terribly depressing thing. With that said, I also adore black and white films from the 30s, but rather doubt that any rational business model can exist for supporting a studio specializing in them. In the case of Scotland, whether you like it or not (and you haven’t provided any serious argument for it), it simply is an economic and social deadweight on a UK that can no longer afford it. Whatever I may personally think of Scotland, this is hardly a serious point of debate.
            As for Europe, yes, it is in irreversible decline and I mourn that. But it is a choice that they have made and (perversely) seem rather proud of. I can only hope that we don’t follow the same grim road.

          • Dan Greene

            And yet over 60% of England and Wales wanted Scotland to remain in the UK. Why?

            http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/01/english-welsh-majority-against-scots-independence

            What do you make of these claims (Dec 2014):

            “Over the past 5 years Scotland would have been £8.3 billion better off as an independent country, when taking account of the new report published into Scotland’s finances today. The new report also demonstrates that Scotland generated £800 more in tax per person than the UK average during the last financial year. Scotland’s spending was also lower than the UK average over the past 5 years. Scotland’s spending was 44.2% of GDP over the last 5 years. The UK average was 45.4%.

            Spending on social security last year was also lower in Scotland than the UK average. In Scotland it was 15.5% of GDP compared to 16% for the UK. The front page of The Herald today reports that Scotland’s economy is 11% better off in terms of GDP per capita than the UK.

            The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland Report continues 33 years of strong performances by the Scottish economy. Had Scotland been an independent country, it would currently have a net cash surplus of over £50 billion and no public debt. Scotland’s economic position, relative to the UK finances, would have been £8.3 billion better off in the past 5 years alone. Scotland is clearly a wealthy nation with the resources to be a successful independent country.”

            http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/new-figures-confirm-that-scotland-would-have-been-8-3-billion-better-off-an-independent-country/

            Finally, I think this is a better argument for Scottish independence from an English perspective than the “economic dead weight” contention:

            “A Britain with a Scottish population constantly angry or depressed or demanding further authority is not conducive to the remaining UK being a productive global power. Internal conflicts at home undermine Britain’s power abroad as history has demonstrated time and time again. Numerous distractions for the English, and the rest of Britain, would be eliminated with a yes vote on September 18.”

          • f1b0nacc1

            Better, but still no cigar…
            Lets start off by pointing out that you are citing: 1) The Guardian, a far, far, far left journal whose preferred political position (Labour) would be lost forever if Scotland left. I say that as someone who makes a point of reading it (the UK version, not the lame US one) every day just for the laughs if nothing else (Opinion is Free is definitely worth the time for a look at what the leftie fever swamps are all about); and 2) An amusing aggregator that lists as its core goal an independent Scotland and was founded to tout Scotland’s business prospects. In both cases you are hardly pointing to disinterested observers, and while that doesn’t make their citations wrong (see below), it does leave their objectivity (and judgement) open to question.
            The interesting omission from both cites is their failure to take into account the role of North Sea oil (and its decline) in the national income and future prospects of Scotland. The Guardian comparison omits any serious mention of this, and then by citing only historical data (ignoring that this will not go on for much longer, as even the Scots admit) further ignore that NON-resource driven growth in Scotland is less than 1/5 of that in the rest of the UK (behind even Wales!). Social spending data is a bit more interesting, but they also ignore the fact that a substantial part of the resource allotments from oil/gas go directly to funds that don’t count as spending, thus further skewing the data. Further, given the population disparity, the fact that absolute spending is lower, is hardly an indication of per-capita spending.
            The blog was more intriguing, but it fails the same way. First, it ignores that the Scottish economy is getting a ‘juicing’ from oil/gas revenues (the tip-off is the choice of 33 years for its comparison), and that this isn’t likely to continue for very much longer. Secondly, it assumes (as do all analyses of Scottish economic prospects) that ALL of the revenue would have gone to Scotland (note that almost none of the initial investment came from there), when in fact it would have only gotten part of that revenue. The SNP was caught doing this during the run-up to the referendum, and several independence groups continue with the same flawed reasoning today. Pumping oil and gas from wells and platforms owned by other people and shipping it to facilities owned (in part) by others is NOT going to get you 100% of the revenues…
            As for what the Scots want, I haven’t the slightest objection to their departure (note: I am an American, so I have no skin in the game, but I feel the same way about American states considering secession), with the proviso that they won’t get to keep national assets without incurring national debt (another bit of trivia that both your sources managed to ignore) along the way. There is very little surprise to me that the Yes vote in the referendum was concentrated in the urban areas (where the leeches live) and strongly opposed in the countryside, who would have actually ended up paying for this silliness. That tells you more about what the Scots themselves think about the idea.
            Overall a flawed, but much better attempt. Weak on sourcing, but you made the effort to find something more than assertion. I give it a solid ‘B’

          • Dan Greene

            1. So are you disputing the polling numbers in the Guardian article? My question was why the clear
            majority of English and Welsh supported continued Scottish membership in the UK.



            2. I understand that the figures and statistics in the Business For Scotland (BFS) (extracted from a Scottish government report) are not necessarily to be taken as ironclad. But do YOU have information that confirms or denies the claim that “Scotland generated £800 more in tax per person than the UK average during the last financial year?” or the claim that “Scotland’s economy is 11% better off in terms of GDP per capita than the UK.” Because if those are true, then they contradict your argument that Scotland is an economic basket case (at least in relation to the rest of the UK.)



            3. “NON-resource driven growth in Scotland is less than 1/5 of that in the rest of the UK (behind even Wales!).”



            What source are you getting this from? 



            4. “Further, given the population disparity, the fact that absolute spending is lower, is hardly an indication of per-capita spending.”

            Not sure what you are talking about. The BFS article WAS talking about per capita rates, not total spending.

            5. “the fact that a substantial part of the resource allotments from oil/gas go directly to funds that don’t count as spending, thus further skewing the data.”

            What funds?

            6. “it ignores that the Scottish economy is getting a ‘juicing’ from oil/gas revenues (the tip-off is the choice of 33 years for its comparison)”

            I doubt that the 33 year figure has anything to do with that. It probably represents either a start point for detailed national economic statistics for Scotland or the emergence of the entire UK from the recession of the early 1980s. Oil revenue was steadily rising from the beginning of sustained North Sea extraction in 1975.

            http://euanmearns.com/uk-north-sea-oil-production-decline/

            The bottom line is that you have yet to make the case that Scotland is an economic drag on the UK. And even the prospect of diminished oil and gas revenue (which has in any case declined from a 1982 peak) does not make a very strong case that Scotland is likely to be so much of a liability that it would be better to get rid of it.

            It’s sort of amusing to see you attempting to get all professorial about “weak sourcing” when you have failed to provide even one source in any of your posts to support your claim that Scotland is “an economic and social dead weight.” So if my sourcing is “weak,” then how should we grade you? INC, I think.

          • f1b0nacc1

            1) If I took a poll of candidate preferences at a meeting of the NYT editorial board, I would find overwhelming support for Barrack Obama’s policies. This does not mean that such policies are overwhelmingly popular. Obviously something of an extended example, but I am trying to point out that the Guardian is hardly a disinterested observer. Even if I accepted the numbers are accurate (and I should note that they are somewhat at variance with other polls in more ‘centrist’ publications), the way one frames a poll question can give different answers with different audiences. Finally, there are many reasons to oppose secession that have nothing to do with the actual merits but more with emotional factors such as national pride, etc. In any event however, my point is that the Scots themselves were really the only ones who voted (the only poll that matters) and they voted it down.
            2) The Scots were gaining significant revenue from gas/oil extraction during the time the data was taken (and I freely conceded the accuracy of the data cited), so it is unlikely that it is representative of the underlying value of the Scottish economy over the long run. Did you read what I said?
            3) I am at work, so don’t have time to provide the underlying cite. Disbelieve if you choose to
            4) That wasn’t my reading of the article in question (given (2), I suggest you reread it)
            5) Trust funds that provide the basis for long term social spending in the UK, as well as long-term funding for education (notably construction, similar to the Highway Trust Fund in the US), this is a fairly common accounting gimmick that was a big favorite of Thatcher’s, to her eternal discredit.
            6) Oil revenues have certainly been rising for that entire period, but before that, capital investment tended to swamp out the gains, so only about 33 years ago would you have actually begun to see significant net benefit.
            You obviously have some sort of emotional attachment to this, and while I share your affection for Scotland (a lovely country), I am afraid I don’t have time to indulge you further. Enjoy yourself….

          • Dan Greene

            1. I understand the profile of the Guardian, but it was not the Guardian’s staff that was being polled. Do you accept that a majority of the English and Welsh preferred that Scotland remain in the UK? A straight answer would be appreciated. It’s not really that contentious a question, is it?

            What other polls are you talking about? Please cite and link.

            2. “Did you read what I said?”

            Yes, but frankly you don’t have the easiest prose style to decipher. You might want to work on that a bit.

            The data was for last year, i.e. basically the current situation of the Scottish economy.

            So, you do accept that Scotland is currently providing more per capita revenues to the British treasury than the UK as a whole. Good, now we’re getting somewhere. Given that concession, you can hardly write off “the drunken louts of Glasgow” as the economic burden that was the centerpiece of your argument.

            4. I quoted this once for you before, but I guess you need to have it laid in front of you again:

            The new report also demonstrates that Scotland generated £800 more in tax per person than the UK average during the last financial year. Scotland’s spending was also lower than the UK average over the past 5 years. Scotland’s spending was 44.2% of GDP over the last 5 years. The UK average was 45.4%. Spending on social security last year was also lower in Scotland than the UK average. In Scotland it was 15.5% of GDP compared to 16% for the UK. The front page of The Herald today reports that Scotland’s economy is 11% better off in terms of GDP per capita than the UK.

            I mean, how much clearer can it be?:

            “SCOTLAND GENERATED £800 MORE IN TAX PER PERSON THAN THE UK AVERAGE.”

            “SCOTLAND’S ECONOMY IS 11% BETTER OFF IN TERMS OF GDP PER CAPITA THAN THE UK.”

            5. Specific sources? Oh, that’s right–you’re “at work.”

            6. No, that’s wrong. See the graph I linked in my 6 above.

            7. Still no sources and a very strange defensiveness on your part for a subject of such marginal significance.

            See me after class.

      • Andrew Allison
      • Anthony

        When it comes to politics (generally), people reason backwards from their conclusions (more and better information has almost no effect on the political mind).

        • Fred

          Yes, we all lack your perceptiveness and objectivity. Unlike us mere mortals, you have achieved the Enlightenment “view from nowhere,” or hell, let’s not be insulting, the view sub specie aeternitatus! The rest of us can only bow to your superior wisdom and fruitlessly aspire to your godlike ability to see things in their entirety, exactly as they are in themselves with no need for interpretation and no room for rational disagreement. Oh to be you!

          • Anthony

            See Oct. 23, 2014 reply or Dan Greene’s suggestion about two years.

          • Fred

            Yeah, whatever. I don’ t take you seriously enough to care what you said on October 23, 2014 or any other time. And Dan Greene can rant to his little anti-Semitic heart’s content. I don’t take him terribly seriously either.

          • Anthony

            Oct. 23, 2014 reply or Dan Green’s solicitous suggestion.

        • Dan Greene

          True.

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