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by Alex Porter

News this week that the Conservatives in Scotland must hand over their management and their money to their London headquarters is yet another indication that the Unionist parties face an identity crisis in Scotland.

A growing membership means their SNP rival can now claim, with validity, to be not merely Scotland's largest party but Scotland's party.

As Unionist measures to control the Scottish political landscape become increasingly bizarre, the issue is not about whether Scots can be persuaded to remain within the Union but rather whether Britain's current economic, social and political crises are signals that the Union's end is imminent and irreversible.

Conservative branch

The story of how the Conservatives in Scotland have been brought to heel by their London bosses broke in yesterday's Telegraph in an article by Simon Johnson:

"Senior insiders told the Daily Telegraph that money raised by the Scottish Tories is being passed to the UK party along with ultimate oversight over a radical restructuring of their operations."

Ahead of the Holyrood elections Scottish party chiefs are to be sidelined according to Johnson and applicants for three new regional campaign manager posts in Scotland must apply to the Conservatives’ Millbank headquarters in London.

The London party is not happy that the party in Scotland managed to secure only a single MP in Scotland in the Westminster election last year.  After a review by Lord Sanderson of Bowden senior party insiders, who have expressed the view that the party in Scotland is not trusted to deliver desired changes in terms of leadership, financing and membership recruitment, are quoted as saying that London has "taken control" and, "Every penny we raise now has to go to London.”

An advert, announcing the campaign manager posts, has been placed on the Conservative website and states that the successful applicants will be based respectively in the east, north and west of Scotland.  The job description says: "Reporting directly to the Scottish Field Director the Regional Campaign Manager will be responsible for front-line campaigning in all constituencies in their area."

The party will now face ridicule as it seeks to examine the economic prospectus of the other parties during the Holyrood election campaign as their adversaries will simply point out that if they themselves are not trusted with their own money then how can they be taken seriously with Scotland's money.  More serious though is the historical significance of this development.  It can be seen as another sign of Unionist parties losing control in Scotland.

Labour branch


There is perhaps no clearer a sign of this crisis of Unionism in Scotland than the fact that Labour simply never accepted that they lost the Holyrood election to the SNP in 2007.  Having assumed for generations that Scotland was their natural fiefdom their loss was traumatic and in opposition Labour have exhibited symptoms of denial.

Failure to come to terms with losing to the SNP has meant Scotland has missed having a constructive parliamentary opposition.  Instead, the parliament and public debate have been trivialised by the use of abusive procedural tactics against the SNP minority government.

The motivation for this is merely to wreck legislation and disrupt ministerial activities in accordance with an overarching plan to undermine everything the Scottish government tries to achieve.  Labour's Holyrood strategy team is not concentrating on improving the lives of Scots families or the long term health of Scottish institutions but purely and simply on getting elected.

This weekend the press is carrying a story that internationally renowned academics have lodged a formal complaint to the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner over their treatment after having agreed to give evidence to the Scotland Bill Committee.  Expert economists Professors Andrew Hughes-Hallet of George Mason University in Virginia and Drew Scott of Edinburgh University prepared, in advance and as requested, to give evidence in relation to Westminster's Scotland Bill.  The professors are known to hold views favouring the Scottish parliament having the powers of fiscal autonomy.  The committee, chaired by Labour MSP Wendy Alexander, 'ambushed' the academics on that subject showing no interest in their evidence in relation to the Scotland Bill.

Scotland's parliament has had a good relationship with experts who over the years have offered up their time freely to help its committees improve legislation before becoming law. This latest furore will undoubtedly undermine the parliament's committee system.  One academic and constitutional expert who does not support the SNP, Alan Trench, has already cancelled his visit to a hearing by the same committee describing its treatment of fellow academics as an 'inquisition'.

The issue has drawn attention internationally as a senior colleague of Professor Hughes-Hallett from Virginia, Professor A Lee Fritschler, who served in the sub-Cabinets of Presidents Clinton and Carter, has written to Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson expressing his “dismay” at the way the two witnesses were “harassed in mean, petty and non-germane ways”.

Sadly this is only too indicative of how Labour in Scotland have behaved as an opposition.  It is only a few weeks since Iain Gray, in his visceral desire to undermine the idea of small countries gaining independence, inadvertantly insulted Montenegro resulting in incensed diplomatic communiques from the Montenegrin chargé d’affaires, Marijana Živković.

The reason that the opposition parties are in such a pathologically oppositionalist mode is because they really are not allowed to offer anything more to Scotland.  With no real scope to offer increased powers or an alternative agenda to what's currently on offer from London, Labour can offer no vision nor even a better managerial team.  It is therefore reduced to carping and insulting and the net effect is that the Scottish electorate switches off.

Lib Dems branch

And the last of this oppositionalist triumverate are the LibDems.  Many of their voters were angered that they didn't form a coalition with the SNP to create a majority governement for the good governance of Scotland.  Their move into opposition was seen as a result of interference from London.  Against this backdrop their forming a UK coalition government with the Tories in London has discredited the party in the eyes of many Scots voters and a mauling at the Holyrood elections is expected by political commentators.

Centralisation of a failed state

Scotland is being pulled in rival directions.  Both London and the Scots want more control over Scotland.

The forces which are at work run deep.  Britain PLC is running deficits which are spiralling out of control.  In the month of November government borrowing reached £23.3 billion and total UK government debt is approaching £1trillion.  If you think about this in terms of the grant given to Edinburgh from Westminster it amounts to over 30 Scotlands.

This year North Sea oil receipts will represent 25% of UK government revenues from corporation tax and that ignores tax revenues from the pumps.  Without North Sea oil the UK would not be able to offer repayment guarantees to creditors.  In that scenario the current planned UK austerity cuts would seem like a walk in the park in a late spring morning.

When the City imploded, Gordon Brown, advised by current shadow chancellor Ed Balls, bailed them out with tax payers' money.  The mighty merchants of the City of London failed as capitalists and begged for state benefits in the form of bail outs from hard working citizens.  People who were conned into believing that the bail outs saved their jobs and savings.

That wasn't enough for the bondholders and shareholders, so the Bank of England and Brown and now Cameron turned on the money printing machine.  The new money diluted the wealth of the people and was given to financial institutions so they could continue trading fraudulent financial packages with each other and draw down large bonuses which properly reflect their skillsets as preeminent scammers.  The population is continually threatened that if the bankers don't receive large bonuses they'll leave.

Yes, the supine British media presents that as a threat rather than a promise.

In recent weeks some of the Icelandic bankers who caused their own financial system to collapse have been arrested as has former Prime Minister Geir Haardie who faces charges of gross economic negligence - a crime which carries a two year jail sentence.  It is perhaps stretching credulity to compare Britain to a European democracy.

There's never going to be enough for the City.  Bail outs are a guarantee that no matter how much risk you take you can't lose and so they go gambling away with impunity.  That's why the austerity cuts are coming.  Bankers know that another round of bail outs are in the pipeline and are making sure that there's enough cash around for them to go back to the public trough.  The citizens are being squeezing in anticipation.

This is the real reason that Scottish economic independence is being resisted.  London City needs its next fix and the surplus in Scotland's national accounts is ripe for the plucking.  However the real threat to Britain's kleptocratic rulers is that if Scotland demands economic independence the oil money will be next and then you can forget about the ballooning deficit.  No-one will lend to Britain PLC.  The IMF will come knocking on the door and demand austerity cuts that will relegate Britain from the league of first-world countries.

Right now Mexico is declining as an economic power and the accelerating trend is towards centralisation.  When states go into a death spiral they suck capital into the centre from the peripheries in a desperate attempt to shore up the apparatus.

The result is rapid economic decline around the peripheries leading to the dramatic drop in tax revenues we are now witnessing.  The centre can buy a little more time but it has increased the unsustainability of its hegemony.  When the penny drops the state experiences capital flight and the population is fed to the dogs.  Ask Argentina.

Failed states are typically characterised by social, political and economic crises and the rapid process of centralisation of resources just in advance of the tipping point where the state seizes up, fractures and then awkward pieces start breaking off.  The Soviet Union is a case in point.

This is why Scots are not being offered a referendum on the Scotland Bill.  The alternative is far too attractive but for Westminster far too dangerous.

The Conservatives may not like having their money controlled by their London bosses.  Pondering the Tory membership of the Calman Commission in light of this turn of events would make you laugh at the irony of it all if it didn't underline and highlight an unedifying Scottish trait.

For some reason Unionist parties can effectively argue that Scots can't trust their own Parliament with the powers needed to improve Scotland's economy even at a time when London is technically bankrupt.  That deep-rooted insecurity in my fellow Scots concerns me.

 

 

Read previous essays written by Alex Porter for Newsnet Scotland:

Scotland's Choice: Calman's Gulag or Economic Independence

Scotland versus Britain
Part 1, Part 2

LABOUR'S BANKRUPT BRITAIN


Rediscovering Oil – A From Rags to Riches Story

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Would an independent Scotland have a viable economy?

Comments  

 
# UpSpake 2011-01-23 09:44
Another excellent article from Alex. This utter disdain shown by Labour in Scotland to the excellent progress the SNP have made in this parliament coupled with their vacuous offerings merely amplify there complete lack of concern on any level for the prospects of Scotland and it's people.
Unionist parties have NO plans for Scotland other than to rape the country and denude Scotland of it's mineral wealth. For the moment Scotland bankroles the moribund UK and the establishment know it full well. Only when the mega oilfields are 'discovered' in the Falklands will the attention turn away from Scotland's oil. Until that time, the establishment will - never - let Scotland become independent and will do - whatever it takes- to prevent such an occurrance. Forget the excellent progress the SNP have made in the last 4 years as a minority administration - up against it by a parcel of rogues. From now until the election I will be full square behind the SNP and will use every occassion and opportunity to support them and bring the lies and deceipt of the unionists out into the open. Two voices are better than one and it sounds better too. If there are small 'c' conservatives out there who have a smidgin of love for their country then they should join the SDA where they will find a natural home. London Conservatives, London Labour and London Lib Dems. Well you can clearly see where our choices lie.
 
 
# colin8652 2011-01-23 09:50
Any Conservative campaign in Scotland will of course be as effective in Scotland as peeing on an oil well fire.

But moving control to London will show just how out of touch the Conservatives are with Scotland. Expect a campaign full of self indulgent union flag waving, and too wee too stupid and too poor references, fronted by Murdo Fraser shouting "nonsense" and "rubbish" all the time as that is the extent of his debating skill. Sort of an elmer with a silver spoon.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-01-23 10:47
Quoting colin8652:
........Expect a campaign full of self indulgent union flag waving, and too wee too stupid and too poor references, fronted by Murdo Fraser shouting "nonsense" and "rubbish" all the time as that is the extent of his debating skill. Sort of an elmer with a silver spoon.
(my bold)

Very well said. These changes, whereby London has taken FULL control of the Tories in Scotland does make you wonder about people in the Tory party in Scotland. Do Tory party members in Scotland have no spine?????
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-01-23 09:56
You are absolutely correct in this analysis, Alex. The money coming from the Scottish oil, is quite literally all that stands between 10 Downing Street and the IMF. Does anybody expect Cameron and his English Tories to simply allow Scotland to leave the failed, Bankrupt union.

That aspect alone raises serious, so far unanswered questions about whether Scotland IS a democracy, or merely a controlled annexe of a greater English state.

As far as the political parties go, you merely have to look at where they are registered to get a feel for who stands for Scotland.

Labour (Iain Gray et.al) - HQ in London, England

Tories (Annabel Goldie et.al) - HQ in London, England

LibDems (whatsisname et.al) - HQ in London, England

SNP - HQ in Edinburgh Scotland


It really isn't rocket science, to grasp which of those parties above might genuinely be interested in standing up for Scottish workers, the Scottish economy and Scotland itself.
 
 
# Somerled 2011-01-23 13:07
The Scottish Conservative's head office is at
67,Northumberla nd Street
EDINBURGH EH3 6JG
SCOTLAND
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-01-23 13:44
Quoting Somerled:
The Scottish Conservative's head office is at
67,Northumberla nd Street
EDINBURGH EH3 6JG
SCOTLAND


There is no such political party as the 'Scottish' Conservatives. It is the Conservative party. The address you give is a branch office.

The Conservative party HQ is located at;

30 Millbank, London, SW1P 4DP


I thought that as a Tory you would know that Somerled.
 
 
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2011-01-27 23:22
Robert Louis; Absolutely correct!

Yet another Tory myth dispelled.

Welcome Someled - no offence intended....I hope that you enjoy the cut and thrust of our simple posts here. Perhaps if you read enough within these pages, it may persuade you to think in a slightly different way and perhaps not this time but in elections to come you may "lend" your vote to the SNP so that they can build a better Scotland for us all. We crave your support in a way that Westminster does not my friend. Look beyond your horizon.

The next SNP party political broadcast should simply explain these unquenchable facts and leave the audience to decide whether to vote for political parties who are all based in London and "toe a Westminster line" or a party who is based in Edinburgh and has a vested interest in working and fighting for the Scottish people.

There are people who will always support the union and this will help to galvanize their thinking and let them understand exactly who they are voting for. Or perhaps not?
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2011-01-23 14:47
Somerled,

I'd be really interested to hear your views on the current shake up within the Conservative Party in Scotland.
 
 
# enneffess 2011-01-23 10:16
With regards to the Tories, I think that is an insult to both Scotland and to the Scots who are party members. How must they feel that London is pulling the strings? One wonders if we are going to see a breakaway with a genuine Scottish Tory party. We probably won't agree with their policies, but we might get a party which also agrees with independence, and that is something sorely needed: different policies but the same primary goal.
 
 
# colin8652 2011-01-23 10:26
you are spot on. a right of centre independence party will bring balance. But unless present independence or at least federal leaning tories grow a pair and break away from mother England, it won't happen until after independence.
 
 
# UpSpake 2011-01-23 10:29
Enneffess. Such a small 'c' party was ceated in 2009 to correct this deficit and to, hopefully, provide a credible alternative to the SNP and also a viable opposition. It is called the Scottish Democratic Alliance (SDA).
www.scottishdemocraticalliance.org
The 'traditional' unionist parties are in terminal decline in Scotland in terms of popular vote. It is only the Labour Party that is still clinging on by it's fingernails. Any hope for Labour in Scotland to come up with policies to help Scotland move forward is dashed by the arrival of the Scotland Bill. Exposure of this devisive piece of proposed legislation is paramount. We cannot just leave it up to the SNP as the sole voice for Scotland. We will certainly not get any help from Scottish Conservatives or Liberal Democrats who have sold their soul.
 
 
# exel 2011-01-23 11:19
Quoting UpSpake:
Enneffess. Such a small 'c' party was ceated in 2009 to correct this deficit and to, hopefully, provide a credible alternative to the SNP and also a viable opposition. It is called the Scottish Democratic Alliance (SDA).
www.scottishdemocraticalliance.org
l.


Much as I hate disagreeing with a colleague. Albeit of very short acquaintance, but you have pointed to the very root of the problem, without giving a solution. Another party whether big “C” or small is not the solution.

The current UK constitution is an evolved, unwritten non codified constitution. The system has been hi-jacked by the PARTIES, unionist, nationalist and everything in between. It holds parliament as sovereign, not the people. It is no longer fit for purpose in a devolved, let alone a modern self governing Scotland.

This system allows the leader of the party with the most seats to control the executive, by convention, not by election by the parliament. The Prime Minister becomes the chief executive and goes on to appoint his cabinet again with no reference to parliament. It does not engender consensus nor does it ensure that the most able MPs are members of the Executive.

The situation is further exacerbated and democracy diminished, by the “Whip system” on party MPs to ensure the outcome of a vote. We have in effect a PARTY DICTATORSHIP of one flavour or another.

Nationalists have been advocating Independence for years. But as political parties, they always shy away from changing the present system, which allows them power through parliamentary sovereignty. Since their election to minority government in 2007 support for the SNP has fluctuated around 35%. So a majority of Scottish voters are not convinced. Why throw away, the broken UK system, until they are offered something better.

At the next election something better must be offered. We are stuck with the parties for the time being so the only way forward is one of them has to convince the electorate that Scotland can opt for a better government.
 
 
# Willie Hogg 2011-01-24 09:48
UpSpake

When can we expect the SDA to put up candidates? Until they enter the fray there will be no truly Scottish centre right party for disgruntled liberals and conservatives to get behind and there will be no mass membership and no constructive opposition MSPs.
 
 
# gus1940 2011-01-23 11:32
How about an SNP campaign along the lines of:-

'Do you think Scotland is too wee and its people too stupid to run their own affairs?'
If you disagree with the above the only answer is to VOTE SNP.'
 
 
# rodmac 2011-01-23 11:57
IQuoting gus1940:
How about an SNP campaign along the lines of:-

'Do you think Scotland is too wee and its people too stupid to run their own affairs?'
If you disagree with the above the only answer is to VOTE SNP.'

had the misfortune to have a labour supporting Unionist actually come out and say this to me!!! He seriously believed this to be the case, and could not actually see that he was thus speaking about himself.
As soon as I started to dismantle what he was saying, he quite took the huff, and wouldn't discuss anymore, as he stated he couldn't be bothered talking about all this political crap!!!
Now, this coming form a quite normally intelligent guy was a real eye opener for me!!
You cannot discuss anything with someone who doesn't want to discuss, and particularly so, if they are stuck in a brainwashed mind frame , which immediately kicks in internal Alarm bells where they are faced with cold logic,which may disprove something which they naively hold dear to. .
 
 
# Holebender 2011-01-23 11:40
Quote:
The story of how the Conservatives in Scotland have been brought to heel by their London bosses broke in yesterday's Telegraph in an article by Simon Johnson:

"Senior insiders told the Daily Telegraph that money raised by the Scottish Tories is being passed to the UK party along with ultimate oversight over a radical restructuring of their operations."

Ahead of the Holyrood elections Scottish party chiefs are to be sidelined according to Johnson and applicants for three new regional campaign manager posts in Scotland must apply to the Conservatives’ Millbank headquarters in London.


Isn't this just how the UK works in microcosm?
 
 
# tartantommy 2011-01-23 11:49
A Fine Article

Its no surprise to read about the Tory's demise in Scotland,Thatch er made sure that that party would be like the Dodo as far as the Scots are concerned. That woman was my reason for becoming a member of the S.N.P, I was always a nationalist & this was just the push I needed to join.

As for Labour the only decent man they ever had was Donald Dewar he fought his whole political career for a Devolved Scotland,its such a pity the man never got to see the lasting legacy he gave the Scottish people.

The Lib/Dem,s have reinvented.them self's as a political party.Nearly as many times Frank Sinatra had comeback's. Then at the first chance they get near Government, Then their policy's change to suit any party that they can jump into bed with.

Could Scotland stand alone in the global community & survive yes I think Scotland & her people can the; with the wealth our country generates for the UK economy is £Billions & Billions.The real Question is Does Scotland need the union? NO. Let Westminster stand alone, because our country does not need THEM.

ALBA GU BRATH..... SOAR ALBA
 
 
# cjmasta 2011-01-23 14:40
Don`t forget that Donald dewer was a unionist who once said that Scotland would be as poor as bangladesh if it were independent.
 
 
# Somerled 2011-01-23 11:56
The party I am a member of is The Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party. There is currently some talk in some of the branches in respect of a change of name but that is unlikely to happen before May.Nearly 500,00 people for the Tories at the last election.Throwing insults at so many people really does not help anyone's cause.
 
 
# Holebender 2011-01-23 12:19
Oh really? Where is the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party constituted? Where is its headquarters and who are its office bearers? Where can I read its constitution and see copies of audited accounts?
 
 
# Somerled 2011-01-23 13:10
The Scottish Conservative's Head Office is at;
67,Northumberla nd Street
EDINBURGH
EH3 6JG
All the other information, including "how to join", can be found on the website:
www.scottishconservatives.com
 
 
# Alx1 2011-01-23 13:33
Is that a regional head office in Edinburgh Somerled?

Edit

Now why on earth would I want to join a British political party when I am Scottish.

In my book you are either British (British = English in their minds) or Scottish not British and come from a region as they would like you to think, of the UK like Kent, London, Yorkshire or even Scotland.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-01-23 13:49
You are correct, Alx1, Somerled is being, as they say down in Westminster 'economical with the truth'.

The registered address of the Conservative Party (there is no party registered with the electoral commission called the 'Scottish conservative and unionist party').

The registered address of the Headquarters of the Conservative Party (and that includes Scottish Tories like Somerled), is;

30 Millbank, London, SW1P 4DP.

You might recall seeing it trashed during the recent student riots against the Tory cuts in London recently.
 
 
# Holebender 2011-01-23 13:49
Why is it that when I visit the website of the UK Conservative Party I can find a list of the Conservative Party members of the Scottish Parliament? Are these people members of the UK Conservative Party? If so, how can you claim they are members of a different party?

How about answering some of my other questions?
 
 
# Dougthedug 2011-01-23 14:13
Quote:
The party I am a member of is The Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party.

Actually Somerled you're not. There is no Scottish Conservative and Unionist party registered with the Electoral Commission and though it is not required for a political party to register with the Electoral Commission if they don't, their candidates have to list themselves as an Independent on the ballot paper.

From the Electoral Commission's guidance.
electoralcommission.org.uk/.../...

Quote:
2.2 Under PPERA, as amended by the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (EAA), candidates at elections to any of the above can stand using the following descriptions:

- the registered name of a registered political party
- a description registered with the Commission by a registered political party
- the word ‘Independent’ (and/or ‘Annibynnol’ in Wales)
- no description at all

Therefore, unless a candidate is standing on behalf of a registered party, they can stand only as an ‘Independent’ (and/or ‘Annibynnol’ in Wales) or with no description on the ballot paper.

So since the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party is not registered with the Electoral Commission and your candidates stand as Conservative party candidates you're either members of the Conservative Party or your candidates have been breaking electoral law.
 
 
# Somerled 2011-01-23 15:34
Well blow me down !!!
All those years and I did not know what I was a member of. !!
 
 
# Dougthedug 2011-01-23 17:35
Think nothing of it Somerled. I'm always glad to help the bewildered who believe they are members of a party which doesn't exist.

Now you know you are actually a member of the Conservative Party, 30 Millbank, London, SW1P 4DP, Leader: The Rt Hon David Cameron are you going to stay on as a member?
 
 
# Hugo 2011-01-23 18:15
Somerled,

I admire your courage and tenacity.

The fact that I think you are wrong is neither here nor there.

One plus point is that you are not vitriolic.
 
 
# Suomi 2011-01-23 19:21
I agree Hugo ,Somerled is welcome.I also think that the focus of this article is getting buried.I an not interested in arguing about the address of the Scottish Conservative Party.What is important is whether they put Scotlands interests first, and whether they have the autonomy to make their own decisions,That is important because a Scottish political party should be responsible to the Scottish electorate,not to to a larger political group based in London.On the basis of the current evidence,it would appear that The Scottish Conservatives are not allowed to be autonomous.
 
 
# Crazyhill 2011-01-23 22:20
Quoting Hugo:
Somerled,

I admire your courage and tenacity.

What about his indefatigabilit y?!! :-)
 
 
# Diabloandco 2011-01-24 14:58
That too!
 
 
# Traquir 2011-01-23 18:24
Can you perhaps explain why no such official political party is registered in the list of official political parties of the Electoral Commission ?

.../regpoliticalparties.cfm

The same is the case for the so called 'Scottish' Liberal Party and the 'Scottish' Labour Party.

It would appear that not one of the mainstream Unionist parties in Scotland has the guts and/or the permission to actually establish and control their own political party.
Perhaps you could explain why that would be ?

This is little more than a shallow con on the Scottish people and one apparently that you have fallen for in the believe that you believe you belong to party that does exist in reality.
 
 
# rgweir 2011-01-23 12:05
Another well crafted article by alex porter.
There is one thing that the unionist parties in westminster are not telling the people of england,what would be the effect on england should scotland become indipendent.
We know that scotland could/can grow and prosper on its own but it would be interesting to know what would happen to england.
 
 
# Dougthedug 2011-01-23 12:05
Hi Alex, a good article as usual but I'd slightly change some of the wording about the parties in it. I started banging on about how there were no such things as separate Scottish parties for Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems all the way back to the time of Jack McConnell and the free for all that used to be in the old Herald and Sunday Herald comments system and it's always been a bit of a bugbear for me.
Quote:
The London (Conservative) party is not happy that the party in Scotland managed to secure only a single MP in Scotland...

Using the, "the London Party", for Conservative head office could be a little misleading. What has happened is that the Conservative party head office has requested that the Scottish region office send their money back to the centre rather than keep and spend it themselves. It's picking hairs but, "London Party", seems to imply that there is a party separation between the Conservatives in Scotland and in London when it's all one single party and registered as a single party by the Electoral Commission.

Quote:
Many of their voters were angered that they (the Lib-Dems) didn't form a coalition with the SNP to create a majority government for the good governance of Scotland. Their move into opposition was seen as a result of interference from London.

Because the Lib-Dem's constitution talks about how the Lib-Dems are a banding together of various different Lib-Dem parties and for example describes the Lib-Dems' Scottish region as a party it gives the impression that they are a confederation rather than a single party with regions which have some constitutionall y protected autonomy. The Lib-Dem party is a single party just like the Conservative party and is registered as a single party with the Electoral Commission. In their constitution the party centre can override the regions on any matter which has UK implications. If the party centre thought a Lib-Dem coalition with the SNP in Scotland was going to have a detrimental effect on the rest of the UK they were quite within their rights to stop the Scottish region of the Lib-Dems going into coalition. If the edict did come from party centre it wasn't interference, it was the Lib-Dems following both their constitution and their Unionist ethos.
If the Lib-Dems members in Scotland don't like being run from London why are they members of a UK party?

Despite the continuous use of, "Scottish Labour Leader", by the BBC the Labour party have in fact the least autonomous inernal Scottish region out of all three UK parties. The Lib-Dems do have a regional manager for their Scottish region as do the Conservatives but the Labour party don't. All they have is an office manager in the form of Iain Gray who leads the Labour MSP's in Holyrood and whose authority within the party runs out as soon as he leaves the building.

As you've pointed out the reason the unionist parties are so negative is that they can't offer anything more radical than the Scotland Bill because they have to work within the policy frameworks of their own parties which regard Scotland simply as an integral region of Britain and because not one of the three unionist leaders in the Scottish Parliament is a party leader.

Two regional managers and an office manager simply don't have the authority to offer solutions of their own for Scotland while the SNP have the autonomy and the freedom to put forward any policy they like and are not operating in the unionist framework of the other three parties which always puts the integrity and success of the British state before the needs of Scotland.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-01-23 12:12
Quote:
The current UK constitution is an evolved, unwritten non codified constitution.


This is TRUE for Britain, however, we in Scotland do in fact have our own WRITTEN constitution.

Prior to the UN ever being thought about the Pope was the next nearest "establishment". As such I understand that a particular document, written in Scotland, was accepted by the then pope as our (Scotland's) written constitution. This constitution has, I believe, NEVER been rescinded, and as such is STILL legal and we can therefore STILL claim it to be our written constitution.

The document......... Oops sorry I forgot to mention that didn't I.:)

Why it is called the DECLARATION OF ARBROATH of course. :)

p.s. The inclusion of brackets is for no particular emphasis. :)
 
 
# exel 2011-01-23 13:16
Quoting Arbroath1320:

Prior to the UN ever being thought about the Pope was the next nearest "establishment". As such I understand that a particular document, written in Scotland, was accepted by the then pope as our (Scotland's) written constitution. This constitution has, I believe, NEVER been rescinded, and as such is STILL legal and we can therefore STILL claim it to be our written constitution.


Fine! Let us all go back to 1320. How many of the Scottish electorate are going to accept “The declaration of Arbroath” as a valid constitution, setting out the way forward to providing better governance of Scotland?

We are in the 21st century now. The UK system of government is broken, but “gie us” a break. A system put forward by the barons and the church to control the power of the kings of Scotland??? Signed: by the head of the church, to add power to the church. Sound like a two party system to me

On reflection: If it wasn’t for The Bruce reputedly adding another party “the Burgers” making it the three estates. Maybe you are correct little has changed. The sovereign, accepted by some of the electorate, in parliament governed Scotland.
 
 
# Mad Jock McMad 2011-01-23 15:49
Excel:

The Declaration of Arbroath was enshrined in Scots Law in 1328 as Scots Law is still sovereign in Scotland it means the Declaration is still 'active' in constitutional terms.

The Declaration was then reiterated by the 1698 'Claim of Right' which reiterated the core premise of the Declaration that sovereignty lies with the people of Scotland and not the crown. As such the crown only holds its position with the open declaration of the Scottish People as expressed by its elected Parliament.

Currently I am researching the impact of the 1954 ruling that reiterated that while the English Parliament may well be the seat of English sovereignty that in Scotland it remains with the we the people and that for Parliament in London to assume English practices were to have superiority was perverse and contrary to the written Scottish Constitution.

Further the 1973 Scottish Council re-organisation is in breach of the Treaty of Union by its removal of the rights and privileges of Royal Burghs and technically this means the Treaty of Union is null and void from the point this bill became law. They failed to split Fife in half to be party of Tayside or Lothians because the Crown of Scotland would have to give permission for this to happen and after consultation with the people of Fife as per the Scottish Constitution the crown refused permission thus the Kingdom of Fife remained as a single entity.

Westminster has trampled all over the Scottish Constitution - and worse we the people have let them trash our rights.

Excel you may have welcome written on your back but this is important to Scotland's future.
 
 
# Hugo 2011-01-23 18:28
I would suggest that anyone with an interest in the Scottish Constitution read 'The Historical Scottish Constitution' by Duncan H. MacNeill (Albyn Press) 1971
 
 
# Weegiewarbler 2011-01-23 12:37
Bit of a moot point..... but I don't see this story in any of Scotland's MSM...? Coincindince...?
 
 
# hiorta 2011-01-23 13:59
So, the Unionist pretendy 'Scottish' Parties was just another wee kid-on., treating the Scottish electorate with the usual contempt.
As if we didna ken.

Ony mair daft wee ploys to fool us, chaps?
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-01-23 14:39
Excel:
The point I was trying to make was that the Declaration of Arbroath is, as far as I can see STILL a legal document. Yes it is an ancient document but we all have to start somewhere.

Personally I would rather live under the written constitution that is the Declaration than under the present unwritten constitution of Westminster. Furthermore, once we are Independent and living under the Declaration of Arbroath constitution then we as a country can review the Declaration and modernise it for the 21st century. But please lets not kick the Declaration into touch just because it was written back in the 14th century.

Surely it is better to use what we already have (albeit ancient) than start with nothing. Are we (Scotland) not BETTER than Westminster?

At least by using the Declaration of Arbroath we are in a position to prove to the European Courts of Human Rights that we HAVE a constitution (ancient as you say) but a constitution none the less. More importantly THIS constitution has NEVER been nullified by ANY legal method from Westminster. Therefore as I understand it we (Scotland) can demand to live by THIS written constitution and NOT by Westminster's UNWRITTEN constitution.

As I understand it the SDA is currently writing a constitution for publication on the web so that everyone can view it and have their say. I believe it has used the Declaration as its basis but modernised it for the 21st century.

Once we are an independent nation THEN we can perhaps adopt the SDA (or equivalent) modern Constitution. However, until Independence arrives we MUST work with what we already have....the Declaration of Arbroath.
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-01-23 14:40
tartantommy

Mostly correct but I note you have swallowed the nonsense about Donald Dewar. He spent much of his life vigorously opposing a Scottish Parliament and in fact at a 7.84 production of the Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil at the audience participation bit hundreds of us saw him walk through the door AGAINST a Scottish Parliament. He only got the job of drafting the bill for the restitution of the Scottish Prliament when, due to SNP pressure, it became inevitable and it was decided that Goerge Robertson wasn't experienced or smart enough to design the complicated legislation. Dewar then designed a voting system designed to prevent the SNP ever getting an independence majority in the Parliament.
The rewriting of history and the Father of the Nation stuff is all bullshit.
Truth be told Dewar was an upper class Scottish tory lawyer who found it convenient to get into Parliament on a Labour Ticket. Teddy Taylor, a contemporary of his at Glsgow Uni, told me this..(Teddy,by the way, was in the Nationalist Club at University but chose to stand as Tory for the same sort of reasons)
If you remember dear old Donald spoke strongly against the privatisation of British Telecon but was found have shares worth over £2 million in it when he died.
Let us be quite blunt
For forty years the Scottish Labour Party in particular has told Scotland lies about Scottish oil. They all - every one of them, Scottish MP and Scottish MSPs - have known it to be lies. But they continue to tell the lies. Not one of them is anything other than a hypocrite - with the possible exception of Denis Canavan.
 
 
# tartantommy 2011-01-23 15:13
No I've not swallowed the nonsense about Donald Dewar, I met the man at a rugby dinner & I ve got a tattoo SOAR ALBA on my lower arm he ask was I a Nationalist, he then spent the rest of that evening trying to convince me that Independence would not benefit Scotland. Several years later our paths crossed again just as he had been elected as FM. He remembered me & said devolution was all we could expect & was I still A nationalist dreamer. it was a cynical dig
 
 
# Legerwood 2011-01-23 16:14
Mr Dewar also landed us with the bill for the Scottish Parliament Building.
 
 
# Gunn55 2011-01-24 01:17
Well said sneckedagain, it really sticks in my craw every time they trot out that Father of the Nation crap. He did all he could to stop Scotland from gaining Independence and then stood there uming and awing and taking glory he was never entitled to. And dont even get me started on the complete smack in the mouth delivered to us in the form of the Holyrood building, an absolute eyesore costing millions o pounds in repairs and falling to bits before our very eyes.
 
 
# DonaldMhor 2011-01-26 10:55
Quoting Gunn55:
Well said sneckedagain, it really sticks in my craw every time they trot out that Father of the Nation crap. He did all he could to stop Scotland from gaining Independence and then stood there uming and awing and taking glory he was never entitled to. And dont even get me started on the complete smack in the mouth delivered to us in the form of the Holyrood building, an absolute eyesore costing millions o pounds in repairs and falling to bits before our very eyes.





The first time I clapped eyes on the finished product I honestly thought that scaffold had been left up and it turned rusty. It is nice inside but the first impression on the out side is horrible. The area it is in I would have thought would have been enough to prevent such a monstrous carbuncle being built there.

I have been in the Royal High School chamber and it is superb, and in the perfect location. To not have used it was a crime against Scotland. Dewar was a watery moothed old quisling like the rest of his kind. His statue in Glasgow is a joke. And whilst I am on my horse the burial of John Smith on St Kilda showed us the depths to which the moral fiber of this country had sunk under Labour. The regard they have for them selves is entirely misplaced. St Kilda the sacred burial place of Kings of Scotland. They had no right burying a politician there. John Smith was the best of the bunch, but no saint.
 
 
# farrochie 2011-01-23 15:06
Alex, thanks, this is a nice analysis of the current situation. Like others, I often wonder about the continued support for Labour but I think you capture the reason in your final sentence when you mention the "deep-rooted insecurity" of our fellow Scots.

Only by inderstanding the multiple causes of this insecurity can Scotland do something to overcome it. It must be obvious to most people that Scotland's politicians can manage international political and economic challenges as well as those within our own borders. At one point the UK cabinet was "over-represented" by "talented" (err, emm?) Scots.

I would be interested to hear your views on the sources of our insecurity and what can be done to overcome it.
 
 
# Seagetagrip 2011-01-23 16:01
Breaking News. NI Sec of State has called for substantial cut in Corporation Tax for NI to allow it to compete with Eire for business. Reported on Yahoo news
 
 
# Traquir 2011-01-23 16:34
The SNP should restart (should never have stopped) the It's Scotland's Oil Campaign. One good way to kick start this would be to get some expert academics to research lost economic values of the 100's of billions stolen the last several decades and the opportunities to come from the 100's of billions still to come (despite perpetual Unionist lies that since the 1980's the Oil has always been on the edge of running out). Now what academics would have the necessary skills and incentive to do such a much needed piece of independent research ? Well perhaps Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett and Professor Drew Scott would be suitable candidates especially now they have personally witnessed the brutal and barbaric lies, abuse and manipulation of the Brit Nats. Clearly they are getting no satisfaction from the their complaints to the likes of Comrade Alexander nor the apparently completely impotent presiding officer (the response I just got from the Presiding Officer in regard to Montenegro is one of the most ineffective and pitiful piece of avoidance I have had the misfortune to witness). Some independent & professional research of true worth of the past, current and future assets of our nation is sorely needed to cut through the Brit Nat webs of deception spun by their every willing servants/puppets of so called Scots like Alexander.

Scots need to be presented with the truth about our nation rather Brit Nat propaganda , but of course the Brit Nats will resist this with all their might as there is nothing they fear more than the truth.

Saor Alba
 
 
# colin8652 2011-01-23 17:00
see elmer has put his foot in it again ! He has even managed to upset the unionist press.
thescottishsun.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-01-23 17:37
Legerwood
The Scottish Parliament Building stooshie is a bit of a red herring.
The original quote for £40 million was on the presumption of a revamped Royal High School being used and it already had a debating chamber and was almost ready for use.
I have talked to construction professionals and they don't find the eventual cost of the very complicated new building in any way surprising or unacceptable particularly as a difficult site had to be cleared and listed properties had to be protected and incorporated .
It cost just about the same as a new office block for the Westminster parliament
The whole hoo ha was manufactured by those who had an interest in doing down Scotland's new parliament.
If you are talking about whether the new building is nice or suitable that's an entirely different discussion
 
 
# Legerwood 2011-01-23 21:14
sneckedagain
Sorry but I think I am right in what I said. Here is some info on the whole sorry saga.
From a BBC report
A White Paper published shortly after Labour's 1997 general election victory initially put the construction cost of a Scottish Parliament building at between £10m and £40m.

The following year, Holyrood was named as the site of the new parliament and the search began for a designer.
By this stage, the cost had gone up to £50m. The same year also saw a decision to use the "construction management" method for the building, in which the client has full control but also carries all the risk.
After the first Holyrood election in 1999, the then Scottish Office handed responsibility for the project over to the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body of senior MSPs.
The newly-elected parliament voted by 64 to 61 to continue with the project after First Minister Donald Dewar put the cost at £109m.

news.bbc.co.uk/.../6382177.stm

The Royal High School was converted for use as the Scottish Assembly in the 1970s. It was used sometimes as a meeting place for the Scottish Grand Committee. It was NOT chosen as a site for the new Scottish Parliament because it was considered by Donald Dewar et al as a “Nationalist Shibboleth”.

The School's Great Hall was converted to a debating chamber prior to the failed 1979 devolution referendum. However, it failed to provide sufficient backing for a devolved Assembly in Scotland. Instead the building has been used as offices for departments of Edinburgh City Council, and the Sports and Outdoor Education unit.. In 1994 Edinburgh City Council reacquired the complex from the Scottish Office for £1.75m.

From the BBC report of the Inquiry into the cost of the new building for the Scottish Parliament:

“”MSP Wendy Alexander, a former adviser to Mr Dewar, said the initial White Paper cost estimate of up to £40m for a parliament building related to the "”notional cost of a new build, as opposed to the old Royal High"”.
news.bbc.co.uk/.../3619533.stm
.
When the Scottish Parliament met for the first time it was in the Assebly Rooms of the CHurch of Scotland on The Mound and that remained its home until the new building was built at Holyrood.

I rest my case.
 
 
# 1scot 2011-01-23 18:05
Anyone surprised that Dewar was a dipstick. I most certainly am not. He is just another in the line of Scottish haters. Gray, McLetchie, Goldie., Rumbles and Scott, the biggest loser of them all.
I predict that Lib-dems will be no more in Scotland after the shameful performance of their leader, what's his name again?
 
 
# Ken Mac 2011-01-23 18:22
'This year North Sea oil receipts will represent 25% of UK government revenues from corporation tax and that ignores tax revenues from the pumps. Without North Sea oil the UK would not be able to offer repayment guarantees to creditors'

25%? That's a hell of a claim and extremely important, sources please.
 
 
# Jimbo 2011-01-23 22:00
Last year North Sea corporation tax accounted for 20% of the UKs total corporation tax take. The total amount of tax taken in then was £6.557 billion.

This years projected total tax take from the North Sea [this was assuming an average oil price of $85 per barrel during the financial year 2010/11] is £9.196 billion. As oil is currently $89.10 per barrel, and according to oil-price.net, is expected to rise to $102 per barrel it is safe to assume that that North sea tax revenues will be much higher than last year.

The above figures exclude the VAT and government tax on the refined fuels (80 pence for every pound spent) paid for at the forecourts.
 
 
# Ken Mac 2011-01-24 07:48
Thanks Jimbo
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-01-24 08:31
Quoting Ken Mac:
'This year North Sea oil receipts will represent 25% of UK government revenues from corporation tax and that ignores tax revenues from the pumps. Without North Sea oil the UK would not be able to offer repayment guarantees to creditors'

25%? That's a hell of a claim and extremely important, sources please.



A good source is this document, from 2009. It is in the format of a pdf, but makes interesting reading.

oilandgasuk.co.uk/.../...

On page 10, there is a good overview of tax revenue, and also very importantly, the direct effect that oil from Scotland has upon the UK trade deficit. The effect of Scottish oil on the UK balance of trade is very, very often ignored.

The figures are now a bit old, but do give a good indication of the financial impact of Scottish oil on the English treasury. Interestingly, its predictions for future tax raised are based upon a oil price of 47 dollars per barrel. Currently the crude price is at 89 USD, with the one year price predicted at 103 USD.

I am sure somebody else can give more recent figures.

Last year there were significant new finds in Scottish waters, with one of the largest (catcher field) in ten years.

So, it is hardly surprising, that with the UK being bankrupt, that England is ever so keen, despite their lies about subsidy, to keep a firm grip on Scotland.

I am personally of the belief, that even without oil, Scotland could have a successful economy, but with oil, combined with huge renewable resources, Scotland would have a distinct advantage if independent.

Those in London (and their quisling Scottish puppets) who suggest otherwise are liars.
 
 
# exel 2011-01-23 19:44
Quote from Mad
“Excel you may have welcome written on your back but this is important to Scotland's future”.
You will have to explain that remark.

Quotes from Arbroath
“At least by using the Declaration of Arbroath we are in a position to prove to the European Courts of Human Rights that we HAVE a constitution (ancient as you say) but a constitution none the less. More importantly THIS constitution has NEVER been nullified by ANY legal method from Westminster. Therefore as I understand it we (Scotland) can demand to live by THIS written constitution and NOT by Westminster's UNWRITTEN constitution”.
and:
“Once we are an independent nation THEN we can perhaps adopt the SDA (or equivalent) modern Constitution. However, until Independence arrives we MUST work with what we already have....the Declaration of Arbroath”.

I have never questioned the existence of the Declaration or the claim of rights for that matter. What I am saying is that Scottish Independence is a political ambition of political parties, advocacy groups and individuals for Scotland to secede from the United Kingdom and become a sovereign state, separate from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Simply stating we advocate Independence and everything else will follow is not sufficient.

The Act of Union is a marginally more recent event than either. At this time in history we in Scotland are governed under the Westminster system. The historical constitution is immaterial. To attain separation, from the union of 1707 (secession), all those arguments are relevant during negotiations. But a vital condition must be present before the negotiations can be started.

The Scottish people must vote in a distinct majority for what is to replace the broken system.

Nationalists have been advocating Independence for years. But as political parties, they always shy away from changing the present system, which allows them power through parliamentary sovereignty. Since their election to minority government in 2007 support for the SNP has fluctuated around 35%. So a majority of Scottish voters are not convinced. Why throw away, the broken UK system, until they are offered something better.
 
 
# chiefy1724 2011-01-24 14:40
You are forgetting one of the fundamental points behind the construction of the "devolved settlement".

That was to have The United Kingdom Labour Party (North Britain Parish Branch) either in majority or in constant coalition with the Liberals. The settlement is constructed in such a way that even if the SNP took almost every constituency seat, the Top Up system would ensure that there would not be a majority government.

This was stitched up between Labour and the Liberals as a fall-back position "In case of Tory UK Government".

In Case of Tory Government in the rest of the UK, retreat to The Celtic Fringes and set up alternative power bases with the sole purpose of disrupting the Tory Government.

It is a frightening concept, therefore, that if UK Labour win the forthcoming Scottish Election, with or without being propped up by a selection of Liberals willing to sell their souls and principles for Ministerial Mondeos, that Elmer Fudd, AKA The Leader of "Scottish Labour", could be the most powerful Non-Tory politician in the country.

Will he work with Westminister, (Prop. D Cameron and N. Clegg) for the benefit of this Scotland and the Scottish people, or will he use the position of First Minister and the powers and responsibilitie s of the Scottish Parliament purely as a sniping post ?

Nationalists have been advocating Independence for years. Strange that, we will continue to do so. But as and until we Achieve that goal and divorce ourselves from the Bankrupt Union and the discredited electoral system that we are forced to take part in, we must stick to the Laws of this Land whether we like them or not.

We can't change the system to suit us like Labour did. Come freedom, there won't be this Constituency/List system. I can't tell you what there will be, but hope that it it will be free, fair and open, decided by the people of this Scotland and not by the whipped votes of Labour, Tory and Liberal MPs in a far off country about which we know little and care less.
 
 
# tartantommy 2011-01-23 19:54
There is more to this Great Country of Ours than oil, don't forget Westminster also gets the duty on Whisky, the money that is spent by tourists,the taxes on ciggies & beer not forgetting our income tax [I think I,ll get my salary in to off shore account. save myself 27.5%] it all add's up we must pay more in than we get out? I blame Thatcher for all the Country's problems cause it was her that sold everything off,deregulated the banks[ blame her anyway] Also if there is oil in The North Atlantic we need to be Independent or they''ll rob us again

ALBA GU BRATH
 
 
# tilly 2011-01-23 19:59
Another excellent essay! The quality of this and other contributors’ essays has been a revelation. The CalMerc, by comparison, is but a pale shadow –even Rab McNeil appears to have gone AWOL and morphed under Robert McNeil in the Herald.

One thing has always puzzled me in relation to Scotland’s standing in the Union; the widely held view by many Unionists (and sadly not all English) that without the large subsidy generously donated by our southern neighbour Scotland would be a basket case. If Scotland is such a drain on the economic strength of England why the determination to keep the status quo, especially given the current dire financial situation?
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-01-23 20:24
The recent GERS figures show that a small subsidy actually runs the other way and I think if we had access to all the figures this would be quite significant.
MSM of course doesn't publish this sort of information..
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2011-01-23 21:06
Cardiff conference on devolution finance – and some striking lessons from Italy « Devolution Matters: .../cardiff-conference-on-devolution-finance-and-some-striking-lessons-from-italy
 
 
# tartantommy 2011-01-23 21:49
Cydernats
Where would find out how my council is preforming with it's budget. Just received local Labour party newsletter & would like to know how accurate this information is? If you can help thanks
 
 
# chiefy1724 2011-01-24 14:24
Quoting tartantommy:
Cydernats


Cydernats ? Is that our response to caffienated drinks and not-minimum-pricing-at-all as outlined by our Northern British NotNuLabAnymore Chums ? We all hit the White Lightning ?

["Haw Pal, gonny gie's 500 Billion for an Oil Fund"]

:)
 
 
# tartantommy 2011-01-24 20:13
chiefy1724

I have just realized my spelling error & offer my humble apologies. At the time of typing that posting I was halfway to independence thank's to the consumption of to much whisky.

I had just received the local unionist Lab councillors newsletter, who was having his usual S.N.P bashing regarding council finance& was looking for how I could get the information to see if his propaganda was CORRECT.

Eventually I found the information required & I now know that typing & the consumption of alcohol can be STUPID. HIC.....

SOAR ALBA
 
 
# Crazyhill 2011-01-23 22:23
I see from today's Wail onSunday that the Conservative and Unionist Party (Scotland) is talking about forming a coalition with the Labour Party in Scotland to help them govern after the May election.
If ever proof were needed that the combined ethos of the oppostition parties in Scotland is that 'Nats' must be stopped at ANY cost, this is it!
Prepare for a rough ride, lads and lassies!
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-01-23 22:45
Perhaps part of the problem is that a certain portion of Scots only see Independence as an end. It may be an optional attack on this view to point out that Independence is NOT an end but a BEGINNING. By pushing this line of thinking will we not be able to convince a significant number of wavering unionist thinking Scots into believing MORE in their country and more importantly give Independence a chance.

Tilly:
Quote:
If Scotland is such a drain on the economic strength of England why the determination to keep the status quo, especially given the current dire financial situation?


Perhaps we need some underground guerillas down south to start urging the "Southerners" to push for the disposal of Scotland. After all we are too small, too stupid, druggies, drunkards and a bunch of skivers, are we not? :)

Surely with this attitude down south I am surprised there has not been a bigger shout from the media to DUMP Scotland. After all England NEEDS every penny it can get at the moment and the less they have to pay out elsewhere surely is a bonus. :)

NAW surely the English media couldn't possibly fall for this old trick could they? Could we REALLY persuade the English media to do OUR job for us? :)
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-01-23 23:19
LegerwoodI
I accept that that was the official line taken, but the costs quoted were ludicrous and designed to get the process through with minimum complaint. As I understand it over £100million was used in clearing a very difficult and constricted site and preparing it and incorporating a large venerable building in the overall development before the buildinwas actually strated. I can only repeat what I was told by some who know, who also pointed out that huge extra security was added towards the end at huge cost.
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-01-23 23:21
I believe the SNP should stand a candidate in every constituency in England and Wales on a platform of a "Parliament for England".
 
 
# Crazyhill 2011-01-23 23:53
But they already HAVE a parliament. In 1707 the English condescended to allow some of our sell-out brigade to take part in it, and this quaint custom continues to this day - I mean our sell-out merchants scuttling on down to Westminster for a seat on the gravy train.
The English parliament never ceased - it just expanded!
 
 
# chicmac 2011-01-24 00:04
Alex, re:
"For some reason Unionist parties can effectively argue that Scots can't trust their own Parliament with the powers needed to improve Scotland's economy even at a time when London is technically bankrupt. That deep-rooted insecurity in my fellow Scots concerns me."

We know the reason don't we? The people do not know what we know. If they did Scotland would have attained normal levels of self-determination a long time ago.

The MSM are the main villains of the piece, and I mean villains.

Self-serving, rotten to the core lying scum who would thwart the modest aspiration of millions of Scots just to keep their own pathetic careers going. Nearly all are operating at a level which is well above their competency.

And those of us who canvass and deep-question the electorate know that it is only the scaremongering by that human detritus which prevents the vast majority of Uparty voters from voting for independence. On questioning, most non independence voters in their heart of hearts would like to see an independent Scotland if only they could be sure the Uscum claims were lies.

And you know, a lot of those MSM Uncle Tom's are perfectly aware of the facts and that Scotland would be better off, but all they think about is themselves and the career paradigm of sticking to their master's song sheet.

I think it is time we told them another truth - namely that what they are doing is rank, rotten, evil.
 
 
# exel 2011-01-27 16:22
Quoting chicmac:
Alex, re:
"For some reason Unionist parties can effectively argue that Scots can't trust their own Parliament with the powers needed to improve Scotland's economy even at a time when London is technically bankrupt. That deep-rooted insecurity in my fellow Scots concerns me."
The MSM are the main villains of the piece, and I mean villains.


Unionist lies and media distortions are not the only villains of the piece as you claim.
The problem has always been the way the UK is governed. The Westminster system is broken, the political parties, all of them, are in control.

Devolution was never meant to work. We voted for it, in a majority, but it was not enough.
So it is up to the political classes to convince the majority of the electorate: how Scotland can achieve the goal of self government?
We will not be asked in a referendum any time soon.

Nationalists have been advocating Independence (secession from the union) for years. But as political parties, they always shy away from changing the present system, which allows them power through parliamentary sovereignty.

Since their election to minority government in 2007 support for the SNP has fluctuated around 35%. So a majority of Scottish voters are not convinced. Why throw away, the broken UK system, until they are offered something better.
 
 
# kofk 2011-01-24 04:04
i feel so heartend with some of the contributers on this site..But theres nothing worse than people who depricate the abilities of our country, or our people, its insidious and damaging......i,ll let you guys fill in the rest..?
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-01-24 13:13
The quality of the articles and contributions here, just keeps getting better and better.

I am getting seriously impressed.

It is now true to say, that so far as Scotland is concerned, Newsnet Scotland, truly is 'the home of independent thinking'.
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-01-24 13:58
How long before the man in the street recognises that UK is a failed state only still able to operate because of the tax revenues from Scottish oil providing the collateral for its massive and unserviceable national debt. There is no guarantee that this will be enough and I know some respected figures believe that servicing our debt will be beyond UK by as early as the middle of this year.
I can remember addressing some SNP meeting about forty years ago pointing out that the discovery of North Sea oil provided simultaneoulsy the best arguement for independence and the biggest reason why we would not be allowed it under any circumstance.
This is very, very obvious today.
 
 
# John Souter 2011-01-24 14:33
What measure do you apply to brand a State as a failure?

Is it a failure to commit itself to World peace by spending fortunes on nuclear bullying, or providing billions to despots and investing in the collateral costs of lives while filling the coffers of the arms industries?

Or has a State failed when it has allowed an industry founded on the principles of gambling to discredit values to such an extent it has to support the myths continuance rather than its de-construction.

Has a State failed when its democratic process has been corrupted by those who claim to practice it; while serving pressure groups whose sole intent is to gain from it.

Apply any of these questions to the Westminster model of democratic government and it fails miserably in not one or two but in all three.

In truth Westminster couldn't give a democratic fig leaf to whatever state the country is in, provided they can meet the demands of their commercial masters which for the last thirty years and now accelerating, is for privatisation and more privatisation. A process that is the underlying motive for the NHS reforms - a de-construction by stealth to increase the wealth of a few while gambling with the lives of many.

The Union is a failure. Its concepts of Britishness and United Kingdoms have failed by the strategies and tactics these have adopted to maintain power while abusing and distorting the democratic process.

But for the few, it still has potential as a source of gold from the public purse.

And Boy! Both the capitalists and the politicians intend to pick that dry.
 
 
# chicmac 2011-01-24 15:10
Spot on!
 
 
# art1001 2011-01-24 16:10
Its not simply the oil but I think the duty on whisky current in bond is worth many billions. They would lose that as collateral for loans as well. The net impact of losing both would sink their currency. Balance of payments implications would probably also be catastrophic for them.

Say we split now. Of the estimated UK £4 Trillion pound debt we could on a per capita share get away with -£400 billion. After 300 years that does not look like a good return. About £-100,000 for every person in the country. However its about the size of the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund based on oil and accumulated over 15 years! Every year we stay in the Union you can add another £15Billion to the debt.

I think there is case for Scotland to announce to the world and the markets that once Scotland is independent it will no longer accept her debt share accumulated by London after 1 Jan 2012 and that collateral agreements made by London based on oil and whisky will no longer be recognized for the non Scottish share of the debt. This decision could be reversed/altered only if the UK were to agree to the rapid dissolution of the Union.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-01-24 19:01
Quote:
Self-serving, rotten to the core lying scum who would thwart the modest aspiration of millions of Scots just to keep their own pathetic careers going. Nearly all are operating at a level which is well above their competency.


Come on now chicmac don't hang back now let's get it ALL out and off your chest. :)
 
 
# Mad Jock McMad 2011-01-24 19:28
Sadly - as long as Westminster sees Scotland as its fiscal salvation in the reverse ' Unionist Darien' that is the QE / Bankers Ponzi Scam they will grasp Scotland's thrapple ever tighter to squeeze the last out of us before discarding the empty shell of our nation.

If you want to start to understand why we are where we are read Carol Craig's - Scotland; a crisis of confidence. Even she, a dyed in the wool New Labour lovey, can not hide the impact of 300 years of Scotland as a defacto English colony and its insidious turning Scots into whelps to be beaten at every turn.
 
 
# Legerwood 2011-01-24 20:36
The Scotland Bill.

Interesting article in today's Daily Telegraph reporting on the institute of chartered accountants of Scotland about the Scotland Bill Committee and the tax powers therein.

telegraph.co.uk/.../...

Quote:
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) said the tax changes proposed by the Scotland Bill could mean a “disproportiona te” amount being spent on collection and a backlash from workers who consider them unfair.

Definitions of a Scottish taxpayer create “anomalies” that could mean workers paying the Holyrood rate even if they spent less than half the year north of the Border, they said.
 
 
# tartantommy 2011-01-24 20:39
Hi Folks

The Labour propaganda machine has already stared to discredit the S.N.P. our local Lab mob have recently delivered a newsletter with what appears to be a misprint to give them the benefit of doubt. Is it possible that in the near future the S.L/UNIONIST PARTY could start to do the same & some people could take this information to be correct or is it just me.

The fact that Labour are about to loose one of it's biggest backers down south that could put the party in trouble' other backers could be ready to stop funding them?
My fear is we could be about to suffer Tory control for a good few years.

ALBA GU BRATH
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2011-01-24 23:21
Constitutional illiteracy and revising devolution in Scotland « Devolution Matters: .../constitutional-illiteracy-and-revising-devolution-in-scotland
 
 
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2011-01-27 23:02
Alex, I'm glad you're on my side! I salute your steely grasp of the facts and the underlying story.
But what you are telling us is that there will be chaos ahead until the whole lot slides into the Atlantic Ocean. Then, after a period of living in caves, we will emerge to build a Scotland that we can be proud of. Ouch!
Is there no other outcome?
 
 
# Manny 2011-01-31 14:59
Quote:
For some reason Unionist parties can effectively argue that Scots can't trust their own Parliament with the powers needed to improve Scotland's economy even at a time when London is technically bankrupt. That deep-rooted insecurity in my fellow Scots concerns me.


They're actually saying "We can't be trusted to run the country on our own - so vote for us!"
It's mental but what's more mental is that people will actually vote for them.
 

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