Duncan Hothersall reviews yesterday’s Scottish budget and sees an SNP failing to use its powers, but still fooling enough of the people enough of the time.


Derek Mackay presented his budget to parliament yesterday and, reading the coverage, one has to be grudgingly impressed with the SNP’s ability to fool enough of the people enough of the time to get away with the same cheap trick every year. They could use their powers and the available cash – including significant reserves built up from repeated underspends – to end the two-child benefits cap and reverse cuts to essential public services. Instead they pretend it’s not within their power.

The cheering section is ready and primed to blame the English – sorry, I mean “Westminster” – and yes, it’s true that these abhorrent policies originate with the current Tory government. But the Scotland Act puts the power in the Finance Secretary’s hands to do things differently. He is choosing not to use it.

TV reports last night, briefer than they would ordinarily be thanks to the surreal goings on in the Conservative Party, focused on the tiny increases in the tax take due to that most timid of decisions, the frozen threshold. This is, of course, just how the SNP likes it, because they can sit snugly between Labour, demaning more progressive tax to fund better public services, and the Tories, outraged that a tax differential means the richest Scots now pay a little more.

But the coverage almost universally ignores the elephant in the room: the Scottish Government, our great progressive beacon, loudly claims for eleven months of the year that it opposes the harshest of Tory policies, but at budget time when they could act they won’t reverse them.

And let’s be clear, it’s abhorrent to leave the two-child cap in place when you have the power to remove it. It is causing hardship and demonising those least able to fight back. But if you take morals out of the equation and focus purely on the politics, the SNP’s approach makes perfect sense. When your main shtick is “Standing up for Scotland” against the bad guys in England, you need the the bad guys to cause Scots pain. If you just use your devolved powers to remove the pain you’re in danger of proving that devolution works and independence is unnecessary. And the party whose single aim is independence can’t have that now, can they.

The SNP’s deliberate approach to not use powers in order to ensure Scots suffer enough to vote for independence used to go further than benefits. It used to stretch to local government spending too, where in past years cuts in the block grant have been more than quadrupled when passed on to councils. But this year there’s a new approach. Oh, the cuts are still there, of course. But now, in collusion with the Greens, the SNP simply lie about their existence.

Yesterday the Scottish Government proclaimed a £198m increase in revenue funding for councils. But according to analysis by COSLA, in reality this is a cut of £175m. £210m of council spending is ringfenced for the extension of childcare hours, and £163 more of centrally defined commitment means councils actually have less to spend on core services like education – you know, Nicola’s top priority. Similarly the SNP’s claim was an increase in capital grants of £207m. But this included £150m of reprofiled money due back to councils from previous settlements, and with a further £75m ringfenced, the reality is a decrease of £17m.

So when the SNP say they are properly funding councils, and their little helpers the Greens claim to have won concessions, it’s really just smoke and mirrors.

Here’s the thing: this approach of lying about cuts and blaming Westminster for the SNP’s failure to act will continue as long as it is effective. And right now it is highly effective. The SNP is polling a consistent and comfortable double figures lead over its opposition.

And the fact that Scots are suffering due to their failure to use the powers they have will not worry the SNP one jot. The cause is independence, not decent governance, and for the nationalists the cause has always been more important than the people.

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47 thoughts on “Groundhog Day for the Scottish budget

  1. Fair enough all valid criticism but I’d rather hear more about what Labour would or should do differently.

    11 years after the SNP took office I’m still not really clear how Labour would find the extra funding for their priorities like education and local government. Would they:

    1) divert money away from other areas of allocated budget
    2) raise extra revenue through higher taxes
    3) reintroduce bridge tolls, prescription charges, university student fees etc.

    Former leader Johann Lamont launched a policy review on the funding of public services in 2012 but to my knowledge it never completed or reported the findings and if it did, I can’t find any information those conclusions about it online. Please provide a link if you can?

    1. Fair enough and valid criticism? Seriously? In what universe? The SNP ALWAYS do the best with what they have while Labour ensures its never enough with their incessant support that denies Scotland FFA and a fully functional fully Independent Parliament with full powers and revenues to act as a Parliament.
      If Brexit has done nothing else it has highlighted how utterly worthless and insignificant Devolution is in the UK. The farce of Brexit shines a light on the farce of Devolution.
      While Devolution ensures that Scottish revenues are used by UK Governments to prop up their ideological needs such as WMDs Warmongering London infrastructure a second unelected house of unrepresentatives a tunnel that links England directly to mainland Europe vanity projects in London and the SE of England etc etc etc Labour demands the SNP spends more of what they help deprive the SNP of owning, Scottish revenues.
      As long as Labour supports the principle of Scottish revenues being taken out of Scotland by a foreign power nobody in Scotland has the power to elect or unelect for their own use they do not have a right or legitimate complaint to make with regards to lack of spending in Scotland and its truly sickening everytime they do.

      1. Believe it or not I do indeed think independence would be a better option than devolution in the long run but in the short term I think the SNP could and should do more under the present system.

        I think the Scottish Greens have the best policies in the parliament.

        Previous Labour governments did some great things. It’s just Labour rarely live up to their potential and have a poor electoral record compared to the Conservatives. If we are lucky, we get a UK Labour Government every 4-5 elections which means about 70% of the last century was goverened by the Tories.

        And generally speaking all Labour achievements are made in the first few years of a Labour administration (NHS, Minimum Wage, Devolution, Good Friday Agreement, the fall in child poverty). The only exception was the Smoking ban which came into force in Scotland during the ‘fag end’ (do you get it? 🙂 ) of the Labour/Lib Dem coalition.

        1. The present system is specifically designed to deny any Scottish Government the ability to do more or better. Labour designed Devolution in the belief that they would always be in charge of the Devolved Parliaments and at least half the time in charge of Westminster as well so in effect half the time there wouldn’t be any Devolution at all.
          It wasn’t foreseen in 1999 that the SNP would take charge so we have a half arsed Parliament kept that way by the farcical Calman commission followed by the half baked Smith commission. Add that to the built in difficulties of getting a Government that isn’t held to ransom by the opposition and you get something only the corruption of Labour could dream up.
          What has Labour done for the NHS? Apart from privatising parts of it and bringing in parking fees not to mention the PFI PPP contracts. They ensured that minimum wage lived up to its name MINIMUM right enough which is why we need the “LIVING” wage. They gave us Devolution you’re having a laugh in 1999 and the Good Friday agreement was a mostly developed in Ireland by the Irish not Labour. And spare me the bare faced lie about child poverty Labour did NOTHING for child poverty except make it worse.
          The smoking ban is the ONLY achievement Labour can brag about.
          Christ you people breath delusion and self deceit.

          1. Yaldy! I got Mike to concede something positive about Labour in that they have the achievement of the Smoking Ban to their name. Surely a first for this website and I’m guessing possibly ever.

            I do think to be fair you are right about something Mike, had Labour known the SNP would have enjoyed electoral success because of the Scottish Parliament, I think they would have been a lot less keen to create it. They expected to dominate Holyrood and the system was designed to prevent an SNP majority.

            So for the opportunity for the SNP to govern and hold an independence referendum, we have Labour to thank.

  2. The Scottish Government once again uses its powers to differentiate the tax system in Scotland to the rest of the UK by making higher earners pay more for services while alleviating the tax burden on those who can least afford to pay tax at all. This used to be a Labour principle until they decided it was better to be Tories than socialists or social democrats in order to chase the SE of England vote.
    If you don’t have an underspend you don’t have an emergency fund available for unforeseen events such as weather extremities and emergency measures. Every Government everywhere worth its salt keeps back emergency funding from its budgets as Duncan well knows.
    Its not the Scottish Governments job to mitigate UK Government ideology its the Scottish governments job to oppose it something the Labour party fails to do not only in Scotland but everywhere else in the UK as well.
    COSLA the labour party quango is never going to give an honest appraisal of anything an SNP government does or doesn’t do. instead they will support wildcat strike action anywhere and everywhere making impossible demands of pay rises of 10% in the full knowledge that the Scottish budget cant afford it because its a labour party strategy to use the unions to help bring down the Government as we’ve seen in Glasgow with the womens strike action over events labour themselves created over decades of misrule in Glasgow council.
    Just another worthless piece of disingenuous garbage from a man infamous for spouting nothing but disingenuous garbage.
    And where is Labour now? What is their strategy for brexit? Its to press for a no deal exit from the EU. Jeremy Corbyn the arch Brexiteer himself would like nothing better as would Theresa May and what will that do to a future Scottish budget?
    Brexit proof positive that Scotland needs desperately to be Independent of the Westminster cabal of organised crime syndicates.

  3. This is only the draft budget now the negotiations begin .
    Liberals say will only negotiate if Indy of the table no chance and they knew it . Greens say they have not entered formal negotiations yet .They want reform of the council tax .No sign Dereck Mackay is even thinking of moving into that minefield .
    Whats the betting they settle .
    Labour the Investment bank is Labour policy has been for a while so why don’t we behind the scenes try for more money for local authorities if we are not already doing that .At least we can say we did come forward .
    Yesterday was wall to wall Theresa Scot budget barely got a tv look in we got Dereck Mackay no James Kelly etc
    I wonder how many people noticed if we leave the EU with no deal Dereck Mackay said he will be back with another budget

  4. Looking back to yesterday there are all sorts of allegations flying now between senior Tories as to who shafted who first and when .
    Rees Mogg is in the doghouse Boris complete with new haircut was in a bad mood would not speak arms folded when he realized PM had won .
    The PM had to promise vote for her will deliver Brexit but will not lead Tories into the next election.
    So she won 200 to 117 and is safe for a year
    The deal she is trying to sell still wont get through the commons what then .
    All week I thought 1 day labour should table a no confidence motion then the next no .They were right not to no one could have predicted the Tories doing what they did and above all the DUP were saying they would vote down a no confidence motion and even after last nights shambles they are saying today they will still support the Government .
    At least until they see what the PM comes back with .
    That’s why Ian Blackford told Thursdays National the SNP have withdrawn their own threat to put down a no confidence motion he said it will backfire .At least until next week
    The PM at a time when strong leadership is needed wont be fighting the next election as leader
    Her own party wont take her seriously never mind other foreign leaders we will all be asking when is your exit date When this deal comes back and if it gets voted down then no matter what the DUP say Labour have to put down a no confidence motion .
    Westminster is in gridlock preoccupied by Brexit and Tory wannabe leadership contenders each as clueless as each other no other business appears to be getting done.
    Like scrapping Universal Credit .
    For me there is no competent Government in Westminster even Cabinet ministers were saying to camera last night .The Tory MPS are unleadable .
    There is no Assembly sitting in Northern Ireland at present if there was maybe things would be different regarding the NI backstop and I think NI voted remain in the EU ref I might be wrong .
    In Wales the Welsh Assembly is functioning doing its job .At Holyrood the Scottish Government is functioning doing its job .
    I might not like which party is in charge but it is functioning
    But having spoken this week to SNP members I admit not a scientific survey they are fed up and don’t understand why there is no sign of the SNP even asking for Indy 2 the PM can only say no if asked if Indy cant be achieved now with the UK government barely functioning then when

    1. She doesn’t want her deal to go through the commons the so called deal is her smoke screen trying to hide the fact that her ONLY intent EVER was to get out of the EU with NO DEAL at all. She is a hard core Brexiteer always has been. Shes hiding her intent because she needs the support of remainers in her party to keep her in number 10. Corbyn is the same he wants a no deal exit always has which is why there is no opposition to May coming from Labour. We are heading for a no deal exit because that’s what all the main players want while Scotland and NI are sidelined as irrelevant because in this UKSSR that’s exactly what we are and always will be and its way past time more people in Scotland Wales and NI woke up to this fact. This UK is nothing but a greater England colony. Brexit PROVES THAT.

      1. More Nationalist nonsense, independence with the SNP would be the ruination of Scotland, this country put simply can’t afford it, stop living on your emotions and think of our economy. I fervently hope that this dangerous nationalist delusion is finally laid to rest at the earliest opportunity.

        1. There are nearly 200 Independent states in the world today can you tell me which of them were ruined as a result and why they would be better off ruled from Westminster?

  5. Got this on the STV News website
    Scottish fishing leaders are angry at a deal between the EU and the Faroe Islands over next years fishing quotas
    The commission has agreed to Faroese boats catching 24thousand tons of Mackerel in waters around the Shetland islands
    That’s more than the 8 pelagic boats based in the Shetlands are allowed to catch its the same deal as last year which was supposed to be renegotiated but was not .
    Fishing talks are due to begin in Brussels on Monday with Brexit it might be the last time the UK is at the table.
    There is more on the STV news website.

  6. “The cheering section is ready and primed to blame the English” – Why do you have to make a pathetic comment like that when you actually admit it is Westminsters fault.

    It is folk like you that falsely stereotype decent Scots as being anti-English and causing grievances.

  7. This was a very …. let’s say …. “disappointing” article. It illustrates perfectly why Labour have become all but irrelevant in Scotland. It all hinges on their implied willingness to increase taxes. However, the evidence of recent decades has shown this to be a hollow promise. Whenever they have had the chance to do so, they have bottled it in favour of political expediency. For instance, Labour whined long and loud about how the Scottish Govt’s council tax freeze was “unfair” and prevented them from raising enough money from the tax payers in the councils they ran; but when it was rescinded and they had the opportunity to raise it as much as they liked …. not one did. You’ll wait an awful long time to hear Mr Hothersall accuse those Labour run councils of failing the vulnerable in society, as he accuses the Scottish Govt, when they had the power to relieve it.

    There is so much wrong with this article’s “arguments”, such as they are, I could write an essay illustrating each and every fault. But I really have better things to do than spend an age refuting nonsense. I’ve already had to do enough of that on this site.

  8. Welcome back Bungo
    Sit back put your feet up and enjoy this.
    In todays Fridays National p16 Shona Craven brilliant very funny piece headlined Can the PM shake off evil spirits who want to kill her career.
    Then on p23 Patrick Harvie has used his column headlined SNP are Anti council tax why haven’t they acted
    Patrick says Derek MacKays tax and spend plans for next year are only half the story .Because as a minority Government he needs another party to support his budget .
    Patrick says this is the 12th budget since the SNP came to power .
    He claims the Tories and the Press like to pretend theres a binary split between parties which always support
    Or always oppose the SNP the truth is very different .
    He says in reality the Greens have voted in favour 4 SNP budgets the Tories have also voted for 4 budgets
    He accuses the SNP of showing no leadership in addressing Council tax replacement he accuses Mr Mackay of
    sleight of hand he says Glasgow could face a funding gap of 60 million .There is a whole lot more .
    I don’t see how after this attack the Greens can support the budget unless he gets a firm commitment to reform the Council Tax

    1. There will be no firm commitment to reform local govt tax as it is too much of a hostage to fortune. There is no alternative that raises the kind of sums Labour councils want, and all would see people paying more (ie … the wealthier end of the social spectrum) than the Tories would like.

      Therefore, in the Parliament, Davidson and the Labour guy would be in full SNPbad mode, with apocalyptic stories about resultant cuts to local services from one side, and sob stories about some granny or other living in a mansion (worth loads) paying more than a poor family crammed together in a terraced slum from the other.

      Outwith the Parliament you’d have the overwhelmingly Unionist media parroting the rhetoric of their political favourites with every scare story hyped to the max and the blame laid firmly at the Scottish Govt’s feet.

      Why would any sane person willingly take on that amount of disingenuous opprobrium trying to resolve the irresolvable? It would only deflect from the real problem where Scotland’s finances are concerned and that is that they are determined both directly and indirectly from Westminster and the policies enacted there. All the Unionist “forces” want that fact kept in the dark and, should it ever venture into the daylight, derided with all the faux ridicule that can be sustained.

      1. Thankyou for your comment Bungo
        I agree with what you say .
        But I am sorry to see you using a phrase like Unionist Forces it does nothing for Indy and when did any paper give Labour a chance Harold Wilson Michael Foot Jeremy Corbyn all supposed to have been KGB influenced .
        But it was some attack from Patrick reminding us the SNP cooperated with the Tories to get 4 budgets through and 4 with the Greens .
        Anyway his point is the Scottish Government committed to council tax reform 3 years ago and have not started to look at it .
        Patrick is saying its his red line for getting the budget through .
        Mind you as a party who support Independence are the Greens prepared to vote against the budget or abstain and if the budget falls take the blame .

        1. The Daily Record, The Daily Mirror, The Guardian, The Sunday Mail, The Sun (during the Blair years), etc.

          1. Bungo just spotted your comment I gave up reading those papers years ago wont reading redtops years ago wont read any paper with soap stars or footballers on the front page don’t read the Guardian

      1. Ooooh zingggg!!!! You’re like Oscar Wilde, Stephen Fry and Noel Coward all rolled into one. With such inciteful and witty observations ranged against us, the independence movement is utterly doomed and no mistake. We must all up our games lest we be thought dullards by comparison.

        (I do hope the irony comes through in the above comment. It’s just that the level of intelligence the original post implies leaves some doubt in my mind regarding the author’s ability to grasp it).

      2. Don’t go underrating your own published contributions. You clearly put most comics to shame.

      3. Gordon I am a Labour party member who buys the National I like to see what people who hold other views think especially the letters page and I enjoy reading Shona Craven and Kathleen Nutt

  9. Then this in todays Fridays times p10 Kieran Andrews Scottish political editor Headline Ministers have failed to ask for details on 2 child benefit gap.
    He claims in an interview with the Times last week Dereck MacKay blamed the DWP for refusing to cooperate with the Scottish Government on efforts to mitigate the 2 child cap on benefits in Scotland he said the UK Government is not going to give them access to those peoples data so we can supplement that payment.
    When asked if he had asked for the information a press officer suggested the interview be stopped early .
    The DWP said we have no record of any approach to the department by the Scottish Government for data relating to the 2 child policy .
    Now I have to say from personal experience of dealing with the DWP just because they say they have not received something does not mean they have not had a document for weeks The DWP needs overhauled tonight if possible

  10. Just a farewell thought for tonight I love conspiracy theories so does anyone along with me think our PM might have given a few people a nudge into triggering a vote at a time of her choosing and made sure she was out of the country to escape the blame.

  11. Spotted this
    When Boris took the huff and resigned as Foreign Secretary he was asked by the Mandarins to leave his grace and favour place within 48 hrs .did not happen .Then leave ASAP did not happen took him a month to clear out .
    His pals are saying the public did not incur any extra expense he paid up for his extended stay .

  12. Much more important Adelie foods based in Kilmarnock are to close their factory and move to London 180 jobs are at risk .
    For me this is what we should be fighting on .all of us

  13. Found this in todays The Herald
    Jeane Freeman has decided she will not take part in any public review of Health boards as was passed practice Also in another change the ministerial review will take place with just the board chair and chief executive not the full board She will not be holding a public q and a public session as part of the reviews .The expectation is the public can meet the board on a separate day from the review .
    In 2004 Andy Kerr Labour started chairing reviews and taking public questions SNP ministers have also done so until now.
    Kevin Pringle in todays Sunday Times
    On income tax he says it was a tory government that transferred control over rates and bands to the Scottish Parliament .He says we need to stop measuring Scotland against whats happening in England and benchmark ourselves against higher performing countries than Britain .He also thinks that over the last 3 budgets on higher rate tax as someone affected the Scottish Government have got it right .
    Also Patrick Harvie speaking to Gordon Brewer made it clear he wants reform of the council tax but it will take years to do it .Wants a commitment to begin now.Patrick also emphasised the Tories supported 4 SNP budgets in the past

    1. Why is the fact the Tories have supported 4 SNP budgets highlighted? So what? The only reason Labour haven’t supported any is a stubborn refusal to support anything the SNP put forward. They even, famously, put forward an amendment to an SNP budget (that the SNP govt accepted) and then voted against their own amendment. It was pathetic and just cemented the view of Labour many Scots now have of the party which has seen them slowly slide into the political background here.

      1. Thankyou for your comment Bungo
        I mentioned the Tories supporting 4 budgets because Patrick Harvie is the one who has mentioned it In the Press and on Sunday tv Political shows I don’t know why

  14. Labour complain about no money – you bankrupt – oil rich our Scotland.

    For twenty years Labours 24/7 mantra – don’t be greedy share the oil.

    Then you import / social dump on our communities for votes.

    Political crimes by the self serving – over the many.

  15. And still Labour continues to show what a sham shit show it truly is with their continued Ball room dance with the Tories over Brexit emphasis on the Balls.
    Corbyn right now HAS TO put forward a vote of no confidence in the UK Government. Instead he bottles it with a worthless going no where vote of No confidence in the PM which requires no response at all. Why did he do this? Easy because just like Theresa May he wants a no deal Brexit. The pair of them are dancing around Westminster hand in hand running the clock down to the point where we end up with rationing isolation no movement on goods and services into or out of Europe over 1 million stranded UK citizens living illegally across Europe and over 2.5 million EU residence living illegally in the UK the pound going through the floor cost of living going through the roof and all because 2 organised crime syndicates want to commit high treason and get away with it AGAIN.

  16. Gordon I read the National because I like to read what other people think especially the letters although it will cost the yes movement when comments like English quislings English occupying forces living here with a vote unionist enemies come to light during an Indy campaign

    1. The absolute denial people like you have to spew everyday regarding the fact that the UK is nothing but a Greater England colony is getting really old and sick. Brexit has made the constitutional setup of the UK UNDENIABLE.
      This is a very English Brexit this is English blood and soil Nationalism running rampant. The whole world sees it and acknowledges it and yet wee Uncle Tams like you continue to wallow in the same worthless deceits and denials.
      Scotland will take its Independence not because of Scottish Civil Nationalism but because of English Blood and Soil Nationalism no matter how people like you try to deny its growing ugly dominance.
      English quislings cant betray Scotland you brainless wee gibber rocket that would be worthless wee spew monkeys like you.
      Scotland is occupied by quisling wee Uncle Tams who live for the chance of being pettied for a job well done when they betray everything the see and breath around them.
      I honestly cant tell if you people are just plain ignorant of all reality or you have some kind of mental illness that removes any effect reality has on you.

  17. Yep the National Monday Dec 17 George Kerevan former SNP MP
    George claims Its no longer Brexit but the internal stability of the UK
    The Tory party fractured beyond repair he says this opens up the possibility of a mass populist movement to its right especially if Brexit is reversed .
    A centre Tory Labour moderate bloc who would impose a second EU referendum.
    He thinks that would see the kind of street violence rarely seen in Britain The DUPS opposition to the backstop is merely to stop Irish reunification which he regards as now inevitable.
    He is warning the SNP must not be driven by the agenda of the British Establishment .He claims the SNP supporting the British establishments drive to reverse Brexit .is in danger of not prioritising Independence .
    He says SNP strategy threatens to subordinate Independence in the fight to reverse Brexit with possibly disastrous if unintended consequences.
    Plus SNP unity will break .AND the SNP leadership has effectively kicked Indy 2 into the long grass.
    In recent weeks he says the SNP have joined a nascent political opposition which includes Tony Blair to engineer EU2
    He claims with all this going on now is the time for to have Indy 2 George says or risk open warfare within the SNP
    Its an interesting column and that’s only some if it.
    Then CH4 News tonight Tuesday reporting on business preparations for a no deal Brexit .Witch they say will be horrendous

    1. Where will Project fear 2 feed from after the SNP proposes and exhausts all the possible perceived safer options for Scotland to avoid a hard crash out Brexit? How will it paint a darker picture than the one Brexit offers when all the other potential perceived alternatives cease to exist?
      What the Scottish Government is doing is pulling the teeth and the tongue of any No campaign before it even gets a chance to open its mouth to spew its worthless lies.

  18. Maybe something we can all agree on Man Utd an 89million pound player manager should have been sacked just
    for that what happened to the beautiful game.

  19. Devolution ends the day the same political party takes control over both Parliaments so you kind of see how fucking worthless Devolution is in comparative terms to full Independence and why the rest of the world chooses Independence relative to Devolution or all other forms of subjugation.
    Kind of sick and dishonest to deny it really.

  20. Thankyou for proving everything I have said in my comments ignoring the fact I lifted the views of prominent SNP supporters including a former SNP MP from the National which supports Scottish Independence which I buy do you I have had emails printed have you English Quislings Uncle Tams etc .And in another blog you threw in Hitler
    Do you not realize or care its people like me the SNP have to persuade to vote yes at the next Indy ref if we get one .
    I don’t think you have ever taken part in a political campaign if you did you would not last 5 mins with language like yours which is on your part deliberate .
    And if another Indy ref is called your language will help the no side big time.

    1. The English can only be quislings if they betray England not Scotland you gibbering piece of utter stupidity.

  21. You are attacking English people living and working in Scotland and you know it name calling will get you nowhere

    1. The is a large contingent of people in Scotland referring to themselves as English for Independence they put the quisling Uncle Tam filth like you to shame because they acknowledge the Independence been sought is from organised crime posing as political authority. Just like those tied to the Soviet organised crime syndication sought after their Independence.

      Disgusting sick little reality denying filth.

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