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By Martin Kelly
A request by the Scottish Government for funding to be made available for ‘shovel ready’ projects looks set to be ignored by UK Chancellor George Osborne.
First Minister Alex Salmond had asked for £300 million to be made available after UK PM David Cameron reportedly said he was sympathetic to the case.

However media reports claim that the Mr Osborne has dismissed the idea which followed a request by the PM that Scottish Ministers submit a list of projects for consideration.

Mr Salmond has said that he would be “extremely disappointed” if the request was to be rejected in such an offhand manner, Scotland’s capital budget was cut by 32% by the coalition government.

In a letter to Mr Cameron the First Minister reminded the PM he had made “these representations in good faith”.

Mr Salmond added: “As you will remember, you told me that you were sympathetic to the capital investment point but were sceptical as to whether projects could be ready to take effect from this coming financial year.

“You readily agreed to being sent a list of ‘shovel-ready’ projects that could have an immediate and beneficial impact.  The clear understanding was that if we could demonstrate that such projects could be taken forward in an appropriate timescale then they would be given proper consideration.

“This we have done and there is now no argument that some £300m of capital projects could be deployed in the coming financial year, giving a vital boost to local economies around Scotland.”

He called on Mr Cameron to confirm whether reports that the Scottish Government’s call for funding would be dismissed in the Budget were correct.

The First Minister challenged the PM to confirm his earlier indication of support.

“I therefore invite you to dissociate yourself from the comments that have been attributed to representatives of your government,” said Mr Salmond.

“I also ask once again that you take action to ensure that this week’s Budget delivers for Scotland.  You could do this by agreeing to provide the additional funding to support the list of ‘shovel-ready’ projects I enclosed with my letter.”

The Scottish Government had submitted a list of capital projects on which work could start immediately if additional funding was made available.  Ministers estimated that every extra £100m of funding would create 1,400 jobs.

Calls for additional capital spending were backed by STUC assistant secretary Stephen Boyd who yesterday called for investment in infrastructure to boost the economy.

Giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee, Mr Boyd said:

“Politicians right across the spectrum recognise you should invest in infrastructure in this moment in time, which not only gets the economy moving in the short-time, but it boosts the long-term capacity of the economy to grow.”

Joan McAlpine, SNP MSP for South Scotland and member of the committee, also tabled an amendment to a parliamentary motion urging David Cameron to respond to the Scottish Government’s demand that funding be released for upgrade of a section of road in her region.

Speaking yesterday Ms McAlpine said:

“This call from Stephen Boyd chimes with the SNP’s position that the UK Government must invest in infrastructure to get the economy moving.

“Mr Boyd recognises this will not only help immediately in boosting the economy, but also will help in the longer term.”

The SNP MSP said that the mounting calls for investment should not be ignored and called for immediate action to promote investment, employment and economic growth and “not another damaging cuts campaign.”

Ms McAlpine added:

“The Scottish Government cannot borrow for infrastructure investment due to the constraints of devolution.  “David Cameron told the First Minister he would consider giving capital projects the go ahead if the Scottish Government provided details.

“Mr Cameron has now been sent details of 36 shovel ready projects and he should prove he is true to his word.

“The A75 in the South of Scotland should be a priority – that’s why the Scottish government has included the upgrade of the Hardmount to Kinmount section in the list of projects submitted to Downing Street.”


# ubinworryinmasheep 2012-03-21 02:31
You know they cant let our government show them up by actually being efficient and getting things done. If they gave Scotland this money would the outer reaches of England not be a bit miffed for Londons lack of job creation ?
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-21 07:13
Same tory old, same tory old.

Cheer yourself up with Jennifer Dempsie (SNP’s communication adviser) analysis of the Council Election parties’ advertising strategies and tactics:…/…

“There are two main formulas for PPBs for the political communications enthusiasts among us: negative vs positive, and policy vs personality.

I think there needs to be a new dimension considered: people vs politicians.

People over personality and politics seems to be the aim of the game for the SNP, and is a theme I suspect will play out over the referendum campaign too.”

“It’s all about People Power”
# RJBH 2012-03-21 07:39
The only way we can run the country efficiently is when we have all the levers of power in our command…roll on Aurumn 2014.
# UpSpake 2012-03-21 07:48
How has Alex Salmond rubbed the establishment up the wrong way ?. Could it be that they dismiss any idea that he has a mandate for what he is ‘requesting’. Could it be that he is widely popular in Scotland ?. Might it be that he leads a majority administration ?. Could it be that the management of Scotland’s economy, deeply restricted by dead hand Westminster is not to their liking.
Could it be that by ‘giving’ Scotland these levers and Mr. Salmond and his team making a great job of it would further increase the desire for more ‘independence’ ?.
Simply blanking Mr.Salmond’s approach is seen immediately as anti-Scottish and further raises the desire to be free of London rule.
Meanwhile, Mr.Salmond needs to radically re-think his strategy as the current one clearly ain’t working.
There is a Parliament in Scotland, about time to start making it work like a Parliament as opposed to a disbursment department of London.
# Jim Johnston 2012-03-21 08:29
Hi Upspake,
I’m sure all the possible reasons why Westminster hate anything that the Scottish Government do or propose are exactly the way Westminster see things.

For the first eight years The Scottish Executive did exactly what it was set up to do. I.e. be a disbursment department of London, and return extra money they did not have the wit to put to work for Scotland. All that changed when the SNP Scottish Government won a minority at Holyrood. It has moved on a pace now that the SNP Government have a solid majority, all in the space of four years. This looks like an action Government to me UpSpake.

Short of breaking the law and raiding the Treasury wearing face masks, I cant see how else to get the money required out of Westminster.

I’m more certain by the day that Scotland will be Independent in time for the next Holyrood elections, then watch Scotland go up several gears in the next four years post Independence.
# Fungus 2012-03-21 08:53
Quoting UpSpake:
Meanwhile, Mr.Salmond needs to radically re-think his strategy as the current one clearly ain’t working.
There is a Parliament in Scotland, about time to start making it work like a Parliament as opposed to a disbursment department of London.

Sorry I don’t quite understand the point here Upspake. How can the government act like a Parliament when they are still in thrall to Westminster? They could, I suppose, stand up tomorrow and declare that Scotland is an independent country and throw up two fingers to London. But where would that get us, would he have the support of the people remembering the polls are not showing a majority for indy yet? Westminster would simply refuse to accept it, we would certainly not be able to get rid of Trident, they would put pressure on the likes of oil companies to keep paying tax to London and starve us of what little money we already get from them. It wouldn’t surprise me if they declared a state of emergency and sent in troops.

Slow and steady wins the race as a tortoise once said.
# Aplinal 2012-03-21 08:53
Meanwhile, Mr.Salmond needs to radically re-think his strategy as the current one clearly ain’t working.

Really? Firstly let’s just remember that the SNP are not the ANC. We are not in a war with oppressors in the way that the ANC was in South Africa. We are working within a political and economic establishment and wish to dissolve the treaty that binds us to that establishment. The ONLY way that the SNP can do this without being labelled as ‘terrorists’ or ‘agitators’ etc. – which we ALL know would be cream on the cake for the BBC and MSM – is to keep showing responsible government, responsible requests, and responsibly identifying how Westminster could actually do good for Scotland.

The fact that Westminster does not do this, is the key to winning over many of the doubters and fearties.
# Macart 2012-03-21 09:40
Pretty much my take on it Aplinal. We’ll win this by markedly and demonstrably adhering to rules and powers available, leaving clear air between Westminster and Holyrood in terms of practicality, behaviour, responsibility and results.
# alicmurray 2012-03-21 08:38
Thought Greatrex was a very unusual name and wondered if he had any relatives in Glasgow?…/…
# Fungus 2012-03-21 09:25
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 09:51
What an amazing story. Am I alone in Scotland, in never having heard of this before?
# Holebender 2012-03-21 09:56
No, you’re not alone. How could we hear of it when that would require learning Scottish history?

Far better to learn of Dr. Crippen killing his wife in London and running off to Americay with his young lady, don’t you think?
# portreekid 2012-03-21 08:56
During the minority government years, the Unionits, especially the labourites voted against everything that the SNP brought forward as a matter of principle. They eventually got trounced by the SNP. Cameron and Osbourne would be wise to “consider” this

# nottooweeorstupid 2012-03-21 14:38
I love ‘unionits.’ If that was intentional it’s a masterstroke, portreekid! If it was a typo it’s still brilliant. I’m going to call them Union Nits for evermore now.:)
# alexb 2012-03-21 09:25
We, the Scots, have been “conned”, in some cases allowed ourselves to be, by successive Westminster Governments since time immemorial. How anyone can even consider voting for the status-quo in the forthcoming referendum is beyond me, and despite A.S asking for what is a miniscule amount, it will be rejected out of hand, showing, once more, the utter contempt the U.K Government has for the S.N.P, and Holyrood. As usual, absolute silence from the unionist parties on the subject of a political party standing up for Scotland. No wonder their support is disappearing faster than snow aff a dyke. And this is the second time in a few days that the S.T.U.C has bravely, considering their historical links to the Labour party, shown themselves to be completely in tune with S.N.P thinking, so good for them. I wonder what, “A,m a wife and mother”, will say to that.
# amfraeembro 2012-03-21 10:17
It’s outrageous, AS picking fights with Westminster like this.
# Marga B 2012-03-21 09:38
Astonishing package offered by Alexander to Scotland while he turns down the shovel-ready projects of the Scottish government:

“These include making Edinburgh one of the ten “super connected” cities (one presumes in the UK – my comment) for superfast broadband giving businesses and residents up to 100 megabytes per second to boost the economic success of the city.

“The development will help 180,000 living in the city, while a total of 486,000 people around Edinburgh will also benefit from better wireless connections”

That’ll go down well in Glasgow.…/…
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 09:54
The thing that really irks me about these ‘super fast’ broadband schemes is that they ignore the fact that in large parts of Scotland, people are still using old broadband, which is so slow as to make using the internet for pretty much anything useless.

I can’t really see the point in people in Edinburgh having ‘super fast’ broadband, when parts of Scotland don’t have broadband at all.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-21 11:29
Glasgow is my home.You’re dead right Marga B,”That’ll go down well in Glasgow”.
Heard the news on radio at breakfast.
Glasgow all over,NEEDS jobs.
Crying out for them.
Are the ConDems at Westminsteron on this planet?
The blinkin Labour Party has let us SO badly down—-13 years,and what have we to show for it?Trillions of UK debt.

Also forgot to say—about 40 years in Glasgow government’and my Gran still gets wet walls in the winter.
They tell her to keep ventilated–she does,and it makes no difference.
Shame on you Labour.Bet your walls aren’t running.

Enough is enough.No self respecting independent country would put up with it’s major city in the state it’s in—–when you look behind the scenes.
Be off with you Labour,and don’t come back until after independence.
# Old Smokey 2012-03-21 12:34
‘That’ll go down well in Glasgow’
You will find that’s the general idea – remember the unionist ploy divide and rule

On the topic of this so called super fast broadband, it should be noted that its only providing the means to access it, but the consumer still has to pay for it
Where as the ‘Shovel ready’ projects would have created jobs and earned people money.
And while I’m on my box, what irritated me this morning was all the idiot BBC reporters et al , describing the £ 300 Million investment in ‘Shovel ready’ as ‘hundreds of millions’
# alasdairmac 2012-03-21 09:54
It’s in the FM’s letter but nobody else has highlighted it – Cameron actually asked the FM to submit the “shovel ready” list.It wasn’t as if this was some sort of uninvited attempt to get extra spending. This aspect of the issue as well as the way it has been leaked which is a disgracxe, need wider publicity
# Barontorc 2012-03-21 12:54
Alasdairmac…reading the report of comments from AS, he said Cameron “agreed” to look at proposals and Cameron was “sympathetic”, but to me, it’s that AS pushed him on funding and Cameron was just about saying anything to get away oot the road.

That would show Cameron as a feartie and not to be trusted – which, of course, is becoming more apparent by the day.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 09:56
If these ‘shovel ready’ projects are ignore by the Tories today, then it will be an even bigger insult to Scotland. If the London Tories had no intention of taking them seriously, then they should never have asked for them in the first place.

Of course once we are independent, we will no longer as a country have to go cap in hand to London pleading for some of our own money back.
# Saporian 2012-03-21 10:35
O/T “Holyrood will be given new income tax and borrowing powers as part of a deal struck between the Scottish and UK governments”…/…
# tartanfever 2012-03-21 10:41
Just reading that article. This is the double edged sword from Westminster. As these powers are part of the Scotland Bill, (and we all know the ridiculous amendments currently chaired by many of the ermine squad in the HoL), so if we want more tax raising powers then we have to agree to the other stuff included in the bill.

The unionist parties are hoping that the bill will be rejected by the SNP govt. so they can then make claims that we don’t want any further powers and this story will be selectively covered by Westminsters media pals, especially the BBC.
# The_Duke 2012-03-21 10:48
You sometimes wonder if they have been reading “Politics for Dummies”

It is so transparently obvious. I smell a rat!
# Marga B 2012-03-21 10:55
“Both administrations have confirmed they will recommend that MSPs and MPs support the bill when it comes before Holyrood and the Commons.”

For one, how can Salmond agree to a pig in a poke? Is it to include any of these famous amendments or not? I just don’t believe Salmond has agreed to this. What’s going on this time?
# Jim1320 2012-03-21 11:39
Have Westminster kept in the Lords’ wish list? I got the impression reading the article that most of the rubbish including the initial proposals to return powers to Westminster have been removed. Consequently Westminster expect this to go through on a nod at Holyrood. It says that Holyrood has the right to reject it.

If this is the case it is another incremental step. It maybe not a huge step but every step in the right direction is a good thing.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-21 11:17
On a Scotland Bill,surely even the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation,Sco  tland Region,could have given Scotland that.

Bruce Crawford MSP,in the Scottish Government,(is reported by the BBC)as sayinghe believes the proposals will quickly become out of date before reaching the Statute Book.
# Fungus 2012-03-21 12:11
Fantastic, I was worried we wouldn’t get control over air weapons. I’ll sleep easier tonight.
# Jim1320 2012-03-21 12:22
Air weapons today, our own navy in 2016 🙂
# Islegard 2012-03-21 12:27
This story is another BBC lie there have been no amendments tabled to stop the return of powers. Also the hand over of power over Air Guns has been radically altered by Lords amendments. We only get to have some influence over air gun legislation if we consult with Westminster and every police force in England. Again this has been altered to make it virtually unusable.
# Legerwood 2012-03-21 11:43
O/T but Ian Bell’s column in today’s Herald is worth a read.
# daveniz 2012-03-21 11:52
newsnetScotland change the headline it wasn’t a plea by the Scottish government it was a list of shovel ready projects requested by David Cameron when he met alex salmond!
# call me dave 2012-03-21 12:02
Well if I were a Salmond or a Sturgeon I would be a bit wary of swallowing this particular worm with the pungent rodent smell and the union jack flag stamped on its tail.

Tricky one though! , to turn it down out of hand and ‘Oliver Twist like’ ask for more may seem to some on the sidelines, who are not immersed in the independence fight, as not at all neighbourly.

I am sure that the SNP have inspected the said worm and will try and put it back in the can as not required yet for the voyage.

Anyhoo! The day is not over and we have this tantalising diversion to keep our Scot’s eyes off the ball that is the budget and big Brian will fit all the jigsaw into place for us I am sure – -NOT!
# Islegard 2012-03-21 12:04
It has been already well documented the tax powers Westminster are proposing are usuable and unworkable. Firstly they want us to pay an astronomical amount to have the tax raising powers and to use them. Also we aren’t allowed our own collection agency. It must be in agreement with the Treasury we would have to ask them if its ok to use the tax varying powers and they may say no. Also there is no system to recognise “Scottish” tax payers. Then the way the powers are designed if we did use them they have a mechanisn in place where the block grant will be cut by the amount raised in extra taxation. After all that Michael Forsyth added an amendment any change in powers would have to be put to a referendum.

The “tax powers” of the Scotland Bill are a sham. As is the whole Bill it is purely intended to undermine devolution, to allow Westminster a foot in the door in interfering with devolved matters and a start to taking back devolved powers.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 12:07
There is no way the Scottish Government can accept the Scotland Bill. It would be suicide for the Parliament and their voting chances.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-21 12:28
I no longer trust the UK government.
Their scare tactics of separation over the past few months,assisted by the unionist media and the British Broadcasting Corporation leaves me in no doubt whatsoever that they are all in it together.FULL STOP.

Final straw is Lord Patten’s resounding silence,weeks following his meeting with the First Minister of Scotland.

‘British Establishment’.
Rumbled by me rather late in the day—-now at least I know.

Come to think of it—-Labour is also the British Establishment—-just think of Trident for starters,and Margaret Curran Labour MP,shadowing

Michael Moore our Scottish Secretary of State for Scotland.
The Scottish Office
Dover House

Somehow,I believe Mr Moore will be the last Secretary of State for Scotland.
# Hing em high 2012-03-21 12:13
Cue MSM attack on SNP as Unionist Alliance rolls out anti Scottish budget!
# Dundonian West 2012-03-21 12:58
[quote name=”Hing em high”]Cue MSM attack on SNP as Unionist Alliance rolls out anti Scottish budget![/quot

Do I see Labour’s ‘Prince of Darkness’ fingerprints all over this?
These unionists must stick together.ConDem/Labour.
Blue,yellow and red.

P.O.D. was a term used by the media to describe Peter,now Lord Mandelson—–he of Labour spin and ultimately architect of what eventually became Labour’s political demise.
Friend and colleague of Blair,and in his political twilight months,also of Brown,as desperation turned into panic within No.10 and next door in Darling’s No.11.
# Marga B 2012-03-21 12:29
So it’s true, the Scotland Bill is to become law – see Scotsman. More powers for Scotland, just like the Scots are asking for, says the Scottish Government.…/…

Lower income tax and the rest – how’s this going to work? Watch this space, no doubt …
# Islegard 2012-03-21 12:35
I would have to say if the SNP allow the Scotland Bill through I’ll no longer be a member.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 12:58
Quoting Islegard:
I would have to say if the SNP allow the Scotland Bill through I’ll no longer be a member.

Wholly agree with you. This testament by the Scottish Government that they will accept the bill is nothing short of a disgrace. This bill is full of power grabbing amendments that will very much be to the detriment of Scotland.

The Scottish Government have betrayed Scotland and members of the SNP in accepting this disgraceful bill.

No substantive objectionable sections have been changed.

I note also, the extremely cynical aspect of the fact that this announcement of this acceptance of this awful piece of legislation has been released the day of the UK chancellor giving his budget.

I am very angry about this. What on earth are the SNP thinking???


I might now leave the SNP. Seriously, seriously hacked off at this betrayal.
# The_Duke 2012-03-21 12:46
I wonder if the SNP are going along with the sham as they are

A. Confident that Independence will be achieved in 2014 and will render the Scotland Bill useless


B. It won’t give the opposition and the MSM the stick with which to beat them … with the Unionists coming out and saying, “well we offered you more powers and you didn’t want them”
# scottish_skier 2012-03-21 13:02
That is exactly what they are doing. The status quo will be established.

To say no to more powers, even if they are relatively worthless, would be used as a very big stick to beat the SNP with.

If the bill is not harmful, then best to agree to it. It’s hard to attack those who agree with you.

Then of course get back to asking for – and being refused – more powers. It will be westminster not being open to negotiation even though the SNP just have been…
# Islegard 2012-03-21 13:05
This Bill can do a lot of damage to Scotland between now and 2014. It also allows for Westminster to have more say on devolved matters and makes provision for cooperation at all levels between the Parliaments. With Westminster again allowed to be involved in the running of the Parliament.
# scottish_skier 2012-03-21 13:16
I doubt the SNP would agree to anything that would be badly damaging.

Only part of the Scotland bill has been agreed to.…/…

This will wrong-foot the unionists as I’m sure they were expecting the SNP to oppose everything, just as they do.

Just think, with the Scotland Bill out of the way, what’s next in terms of powers? No longer could the SB be held up as more powers coming our way….
# Islegard 2012-03-21 12:50
The biggest return of powers in 300 years are:-

Unusable, unworkable tax powers.

Some legislation rights on drink driving now thanks to the lords subject to consulatation and agreement with Westminster and other bodies.

Some legislation rights on speed limits now thanks to the lords subject to consulatation and agreement with Westminster and other bodies.

Some legislation rights on air guns now thanks to the lords subject to consulatation and agreement with Westminster and other bodies.
# Saporian 2012-03-21 12:36
O/T Why do we allow our country to be used as a dumping ground for radioactive waste?…/…
# bipod 2012-03-21 12:52
the snp surely are not agreeing to the “scotland” bill? the bill has been designed to lock scotland into the “union” and it takes more powers than it gives back.
# Jim1320 2012-03-21 13:01
Well they seem to be saying the grab back bits have been removed. Westminster is under no obligation to accept amendments by the Lords so I have no idea which, if any, of the mad stuff Forsyth and Foulkes were suggesting have stayed in.

On the tax, it is academic because if the 2014 referendum is successful the whole thing falls by the wayside anyway.

I would like to see how the final version compares with the draft and a track of the changes and insertions. Severin over on the Guardian is having it that Salmond has won minor concessions. As he tends to the Unionist side one has to unpack Severin a wee bit, so I’m reading that as the Scotland Bill has been effectively neutralised in the run up to the referendum. I think he refers to it as a tactical move by Alex Salmond.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 13:06
There have been NO AMENDMENTS to the Scotland Bill stopping the grab back of powers. The only amendments there are are for more powers and responsibilitie  s for Westminster.
# Jim1320 2012-03-21 13:12
Perhaps so but that is not what any of the reports are saying.

Bruce Crawford said “We fought hard to get more powers in the Scotland Bill, and succeeded in removing the harmful elements, but the UK government resisted more significant changes”.

I think I will wait to see what all this entails before passing judgement
# J Wil 2012-03-21 13:55
It was extremely disappointing to hear him imply that having air gun legislation and speed limits in the bill was something of a triumph.
# Marga B 2012-03-21 12:55
Interesting, folks – don’t you think that this is a Salmond move to short-circuit the Devo Max/Plus argument?

Done that (Devo Max), you can see the advantages but there’s also big problems to sort which only independence can solve. Just a theory based on the fact that Salmond does not walk into traps, he sets them.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-21 13:04
Quoting Marga B:
Just a theory based on the fact that Salmond does not walk into traps, he sets them.

I’d agree with this, but I’d be a lot happier if I could work out where the trap is. I don’t think he can realistically claim that the Scotland bill is DevoMax.
# RTP 2012-03-21 13:00
Just hearing Osborne and seeing his henchmen Clegg and Alexander nodding agreement what a pair more Tory than Cameron.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-21 13:05
Just a thought—in two and a half years time,everything including the above, comes back to Scotland by PUBLIC MANDATE when the world is watching.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 13:11
This Bill is almost at Royal Assent. It will be fully working and wrecking havoc for more than 2 years before the referendum.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 13:22
Exactly. agreeing to this is nothing short of betrayal of trust by the SNP.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 13:21
This is absurd. The Scottish Government have a statement on their website dated today, that they will consent to the Scotland bill.…/…

However, the bill itself is still being amended in the house of Lords TODAY at 330pm…/…

Why on earth would the Scottish Government agree to such a damaging piece of legislation, when they do not even know what the final bill will be???

This is utter, utter madness. I am furious.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 13:28
I completely agree with you. I’ve been following this bill since Calman I don’t think people understand the damage it will do. It’s the undoing of devolution.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 13:33
You are absolutely correct, it is the undoing of devolution, and apparently the SNP are OK with it.

Am I missing something??????
# Jim1320 2012-03-21 13:27
Not a lot of trust being displayed here. Should we not wait and see what the final version looks like before burning bridges?

On the Beeb it says

Both administrations have confirmed they will recommend that MSPs and MPs support the bill when it comes before Holyrood and the Commons.

To secure the deal, UK ministers dropped plans to return certain powers to Westminster.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 13:31
As I pointed out above, the Bill will this afternoon at 330pm continue to be amended in the house of Lords.

The Scottish Government, nor anybody else knows what the final resulting bill will be.

This is stupidity of the very worst kind.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 13:34
Also there have been no amendments removing a hand over of powers and responsibilitie    s. The whole bill is handing back powers and responsibilitie    s. To remove them there would be nothing left. Are the SNP going to use the borrowing powers to pay billions for introducing and maintaining a tax sytem they can’t use?
# Jim1320 2012-03-21 13:39
I can’t comment as I don’t know what the Scottish and UK Government have agreed. Any Lords amendments are not binding on the Commons.

I suggest we wait and see what comes before Holyrood.
# J Wil 2012-03-21 13:58
We should know sooner than that.
# flyingscotsman 2012-03-21 13:51
As Spock said to McCoy, “You must learn to govern your passions; they will be your undoing.”

Have patience and faith, we do not know what they will be agreeing to. If it does not damage the referendum then thats the core policy that matters.

Politics is a game of chess…and Mr Salmond is a grandmaster…we do not know his strategy but we would be wise to follow the grandmaster with open eyes
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 13:41
Here’s how to get bad legislation implemented.

Write the bill, then Scotland says it is bad for Scotland. Then make lots of truly offensive absurd amendments, and Scotland again rejects it.

Then, say to Scotland, ‘we’ll remove these nasty amendments’, and Scotland glibly accepts the bill in its original objectionable form.

I really thought the Scottish Government were a tad sharper than to get suckered like this.
# pa_broon74 2012-03-21 13:45
I think thats incredibly simplistic, I can’t believe they’d fall for that.

No idea whats going on, we only have the MSM reaction which we know is not to be trusted.

I think its far to early to form an opinion on this.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 13:48
I understand, but I am very concerned that this news has been released by the SNP Government on the day of the UK budget, when all eyes are diverted to London. What is there to hide??
# Harry.Shanks 2012-03-21 13:43
If Alex Salmond thinks this Bill is worth accepting (presumably as part of a bigger plan) that’s good enough for me.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 13:46
I have been in the SNP for years, and have a lot of respect for Alex Salmond, but approving a bill that hasn’t been finished is dumb. Period.
# Jim1320 2012-03-21 13:52
It isn’t possible to approve a Bill that isn’t finished. What comes before Holyrood is what will be voted on. What appears to have been agreed is an outline agreement which the SNP feel effectively clears the decks of the Scotland Bill. If something is snuck in at the last minute they can still reject it.
# Old Smokey 2012-03-21 13:57
RL – Its whats called politics
But have faith, as the saying goes, ‘it aint over until the fat lady sings’ at the moment she isnt even gargling!
Experience shows that the Scottish Government are not that stupid and particular Alex Salmond is a shrewd operator (someone not to play poker with, thats for sure).
I would wait until 3.30 to see what develops. Ive read the statement on the SG web page and see it as a ‘holding statement’
# J Wil 2012-03-21 13:49
I seems that the SNP have got some concessions into the Scotland Bill which almost puts them in a position of having to accept it. However, if the insanity clauses inserted by the faux Lords and the ones that were there before that are still in it, then the have every right to reject it.

The agreement can only be a provisonal one as it still has to get through the Commons. Surely agreement must be provisional for the SNP too.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 13:53
This is the problem, the SNP are now saying they will agree to it, before it is even finished in the Lords.

from the Scottish Government news website;


“As the Scotland Bill nears the end of its parliamentary processes at both Westminster and Holyrood parliaments, the UK and Scottish Governments have been in negotiation over final amendments, Cabinet Secretary for Government Strategy Bruce Crawford said today.

Having agreed a package of changes to the Bill, and undertakings on its implementation, both Governments will now recommend that their respective Parliaments support the Bill.”

[my bolding].

# X_Sticks 2012-03-21 13:52
Like others here I simply cannot understand the SNP’s acceptance of this trojan horse from westminster.

If it turns out to be as bad as I think it is, with considerable loss of powers from Holyrood to westminster then my trust in the SNP will be brought into serious question.

I had fully expected the Scotland Bill to be rejected, and I find the sad lack of explanation of its acceptance worrying. I think the SNP NEED to explain themselves or lose significant support.
# scottish_skier 2012-03-21 14:03
“I think the SNP NEED to explain themselves or lose significant support or lose significant support”

To whom? Labour, the Libs, the Tories? Fine if it’s the greens, SSP etc.

Everyone was expecting the SNP to reject this. That’s exactly how they like to play things. Now we have a load of unionists with mouths hanging open wondering what on earth is going on. Just where we want them.

Dinnae panic, this was very cleverly done. In time, this will become clear.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 14:20
Sorry, I just do not for one second buy this at all. The fact the press release was done by the Scottish Government on UK budget day, makes me even more suspicious.

Surely, if this was a cunning plot to wrong foot London, then the news would not be released as George Osborne is about to start speaking.
# scottish_skier 2012-03-21 13:54
The SNP are playing the pipes and the unionists are dancing to the tune.

I have to say this is a classic move; unionists completely wrong footed. Their reactions are quality.

No point wasting breath in the Scotland Bill; it was never going to contain the powers Scots want. So, better just get it out of the way – will all be forgotten about in a few months with the status quo still being seen as not what people want at all.

All perfectly timed for the end of the consultation period on the referendum where Devo Max will come out as what everyone is calling for, from the electorate, to civic scotland. Ok Westminster, what are your plans on this?

# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 13:55
It isn’t as simple as that. The bill as it stands contains clauses that remove powers back to Westminster.

In what way is accepting such a bill, a smart move???
# Islegard 2012-03-21 13:59
Not only powers.

There is also a lot being said of breaking down the separateness of the Scottish Parliament and Westminster.

There is also talk of “The UK Parliament should end its self-denying ordinance
of not debating devolved matters as they affect Scotland, and the House of
Commons should establish a regular “state of Scotland” debate. Meaning Westmonster can now debate devolved matters and increase LCM usage London legislating on devolved matters.

“A standing joint liaison committee of the UK Parliament and Scottish Parliament should be established to oversee relations and to consider
the establishment of subject-specific ad hoc joint committees.” Again Westminster wants to be involved and interfere in devolved matters.

“Committees of the UK and Scottish Parliaments should
be able to work together and any barriers to this should be removed” and “Any barriers to committees in either Parliament being able to share
information, or hold joint evidence sessions, on areas of mutual interest,
should be removed.”

Barriers being removed means making there no division of powers more power sharing again interference. There is a lot of mention of removing barriers and working closely with Westmonster on devolved issues. Interference and control.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-21 14:01
Why would anyone vote for Devo anything when Westminster has just demonstrated that it’s more interested in taking powers back? They had the opportunity to give us more powers and they produced the Scotland Bill. If you want more powers, independence is clearly the only option. And when it’s achieved, we get back the powers that the Scotland Bill briefly takes away.
# scottish_skier 2012-03-21 14:06

Taking powers back…

Do you think Westminster will try that? Independence guaranteed in an instant. I hope they do!

Get calman out of the way. Do not oppose for the sake of opposing – just get people to think you will – then surprise them/wrong foot them before getting back to the real business.
# Marga B 2012-03-21 14:07
The BBC report says that’s been sorted – but let’s wait and see, they have been known to get things wrong!
# Marga B 2012-03-21 14:03
Yes, I see the unionists are all enjoying their moment in the sun.

Like I said, Salmond sets traps, does not fall into them. After all this time I don’t think he’s about to change.

Let’s just give him a chance …
# Dundonian West 2012-03-21 14:07
Absolutely agree with you.
See my post below.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 13:58
You only need to look at the note of triumph in the pieces on the BBC and the Scotsman while the SNP are laying low.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-21 14:01
I’m with the Scottish Cabinet’s take on this.
They’re no stupid
They are all SNP members AND members of the Scottish Cabinet.
Trust them.
We are going to get independence at the Referendum,desp  ite the machinations of the unionist clique at Westminster.

Westminster lacks legitimacy in the long term.
If there was a snap General Election tomorrow,or in six month’s time,most Scottish Labour MPs would be wiped out,and 40 or so SNP MPs IN at Westminster.

The unionists’ house,in government and in opposition,is made of straw at Westminster.
Scotland doesn’t trust them anymore—-or in two years’ time.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 14:16
Why oh why would the SNP agree to the dreadful changes in the Scotland bill. It does no good. The Lords call it a trojan horse, and they are right. The SNP will likely never have an overall majority in the Scots parliament again, and yet they are going along with this Calman rubbish.

What on earth are they thinking???????

Why are they not being more vigorous in their discussions with London??

In fact I still have no idea why they are even giving this bill the time of day. It is appalling and will damage Scotland.
# amfraeembro 2012-03-21 14:25
“will damage Scotland”


Expose the unionists for what they are.
# mountaincadre 2012-03-21 14:25
RL lets just wait and see.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 14:03
The Lords added numerous amendments which still stand taking control of the referendum.
# Jim1320 2012-03-21 14:12
Do you honestly think that Alex Salmond would agree to that? The final version is the one that goes through the Commons. If what comes out of there still has those spoiling pieces in it then it will hardly get a favourable hearing in Holyrood.

Might it not be the case that a draft final version has been agreed and the game of process is being played out in the Lords?

There is no absolute commitment to pass a Bill and it still has to go through Holyrood.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 14:14
The SNP would look even more ridiculous if they backtracked over agreeing later on. More than they doing now agreeing to a work in progress.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 14:13
There was much about giving the Supreme Court legitimacy and supremacy over Scot’s Law. Effectively ending its independence and making it subserviant to English Law. As I understand it Westminster have promised to “review” the role of the Supreme Court. I take it the SNP have signed away Scots Law?
# Marga B 2012-03-21 14:22
Quite the opposite it seems, Islegard, they’ve got talking space to stop the UK court’s mission creep. Let’s see who blinks first.

But you have to laugh at provincial governor Moore, when he’s not talking about “Scotland’s two governments”, it’s:

“The bill also remains faithful to the work of the Calman Commission which received such overwhelming support at the last general election.”

The tradition after reading this kind of stuff is to have to mop up the computer, I think.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 14:27
Marga B

Do you know something I don’t? This bill is VERY damaging to Scotland, and damages devolution.

Why are the SNP Government supporting it? I really want to know.
# Marga B 2012-03-21 14:57
No, I know nothing, but I’ve heard all the SNP speakers who come over hear to talk about independence, and I read all I can on forums, and can’t imagine that it is anything but a good move – OK a leap in the dark for members and people here.

It’s easy to forget that people who don’t keep up with things will only see part of this, the good side, and will probably give the SNP all the credit – who’s heard of Calman apart from followers of politics?

If there are problems, it’s Westminster’s fault. I hope I’m right. Let’s give the government the benefit of the doubt, say I, which from this distance is easy to say, I know.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 14:23
Indeed, but the review will apparently be in 3 years time. Meanwhile, work carries on at pace to remove the independence of Scots law, and ensure its subservience to English law.

Well done SNP. Played a blinder.

Jim Wallace and Foulkes will be laughing their collective socks off.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 14:17
Oh if anyone is interested today Michael Forsyth added to an amendment that independence can only be achieved after England holding a referendum agreeing here:-…/…
# Islegard 2012-03-21 14:19
Or you might find the amendment made yesterday giving control to Westminster of the referendum worth a view here and stating Scotland would have to have a referendum to alter tax powers amongst many others:-…/…
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 14:24
In light of this, why on earth is the SNP Government agreeing to such changes??

Is this a dream? Have I suddenly been transported to a mad parallel world where the SNP take orders from London???
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-21 14:33
I don’t believe they have agreed to those changes. They appear to have been negotiating with Westminster for a bill which, when it comes back to the Commons, will have significant amendments to its amendments.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-21 14:25
Scotland Bill–“A missed opportunity”.

“Thankfully, the people of Scotland will now get the chance to choose those real job-creating powers in the independence referendum in autumn 2014.”
John Mason.SNP.MSP.…/…

From today,Wednesday  .
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 14:29
So, if it’s a missed opportunity, who on earth are the SNP supporting it??

This makes no sense. It is verging on insanity.

SNP say the bill is bad

SNP duly approve said Bill.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-21 14:31
They don’t say it’s bad. They say it’s not as good as it could have been. There was an opportunity for Westminster to show their commitment to increased devolution and they missed it. That’s something worth repeating for the next two and a half years.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 14:36
This bill removes powers from Scotland.

Why would anybody in their right mind approve it. Am I missing something??
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-21 15:11
You’re missing seeing the final version of the bill, which appears to have been agreed in negotiations. What’s gone on in the Lords will not stand.
# Marga B 2012-03-21 16:10
Maybe it’s quite clever.

Normal people probably have no conception of what devo max is. Here’s a solid example, given them by Westminster on a plate, of a feeble Devo plus. Unionists were thrashing around tryiing to (or not to) define it. Here it is.

Already talked about by the SNP in terms of “it’s OK but we could do better”.
# amfraeembro 2012-03-21 14:29
I wish folk on here would calm doon.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 14:32
OK. We’ll all calm down, if somebody can explain to me why the SNP are going to pass a bill that they think is bad.

It makes no sense at all.

Is it really the case that they will approve bad legislation simply so they can say, nah, nah ne nah, nah, you didn’t expect us to approve this.

Well congratulations SNP.
# amfraeembro 2012-03-21 14:38
1. It demonstrates that Westminster has no interest in meaningful further devolution.
2. I would assume that if it contained any of the mental lords’ stuff, or anything seriously damaging to Scotland, the SNP would not consider approving it.
3. Long term strategy in which AS excels.
# Jim1320 2012-03-21 14:35
Meh I’m bowing out of this one – I think I will wait and see what has been agreed as opposed to what the Lords would dearly like to be agreed.
# Seagetagrip 2012-03-21 14:33
Have e mailed SNP HQ and suggested that their apparent actions re Scotland Bill is causing apparent confusion among their friends on Newsnet. Maybe we shall have a positive reaction
# john__ 2012-03-21 14:36
Foulkes, Forsyth et. al are wind up merchants. Judging by the reaction of some here, they have hit their targets. Just because a lord has inserted an ammendment doesn’t mean that it is in the final bill. How many of the previous ammendments are in the current bill?

Having said that, I think that the Scotland bill is next to useless, but as long as all the harmfull aspects have been removed, and nothing harmfull added I am prepared to accept it for political reasons (and the borrowing powers).

If it can be demonstrated that the final bill is harmfull to Scotland’s interests, then it must be rejected. There is no problem in rejecting it as long as it can be shown that it is harmfull (and that what is in it is contrary to what was agreed to be in it).

My advice is wait, read the final bill and make a judgement then. Saying that we are minded to accept it at the current moment just shows an open mindedness that is lacking on the unionist side. If we reject it before it is complete, then we will be accused of “picking fights” or “not acting in Scotland’s interests” as I can assure you that if that is the case, then every interest group that may have received a marginal benefit from the bill will be parraded in fromnt of the TV cameras to talk about narrow mindedness.

We have a long way to go, and along that journey, the unionists are going to try to get us to alienate individual groups. As we only need to alienate someone once to lose their vote in the referendum.

Our job over the next two years is to highlight all the people that are being alienated by continuing rule from London.

# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 14:40

I understand what you are saying, but the bill is still being amended this very afternoon, in around one hours time in the Lords. How can the Scottish Government provide a press release stating that they will now recommend the bill is approved, when it is still not in its final form?
# john__ 2012-03-21 14:43
They have said that they have agreed with the coalition what will be in the bill, and what they will agree to. If the final bill does not have that in it or has more in it, then they will reject it. It is a simple concept. It also mean that all the lords ammendments will be rejected (if they are not in that agreement). Why are you allowing yourself to get wound up by these ermined schoolboys?

# Islegard 2012-03-21 15:17
Don’t forget the amendments from the last 2 days detailed above handing over more powers.
# amfraeembro 2012-03-21 14:40
Well put, John
# Dundonian West 2012-03-21 14:42
Let the unionists bask in today’s sun.
Their track record we agree,is abysmal.
Mr Moore is today perhaps,the Toast of Westminster?
Let them bask————–.
Let them bask————–.
“Tomorrow is another day”
# Mei 2012-03-21 14:44
Wait till the Scottish Government hold a Referendum to ask the people if they want the Scotland Bill proposals or if they want further tax raising powers.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-21 14:50
According to the Herald, here’s what Willie Rennie said;

“The SNP are either the worst negotiators in the northern hemisphere or were embarrassed that their extra power plans crumbled under the slightest examination.”

What a coup for the SNP. Not.
# amfraeembro 2012-03-21 15:06
Whae’s Willie Rennie?
# westie7 2012-03-21 14:54
See the Great Tangerine has a piece exalting Michael Moore!! on the Scotland Bill page
# Marga B 2012-03-21 16:12
Who knows, Salmond may even offer him a job after independence.

What level it will be, is another matter, but I wouldn’t put it past him!
# jafurn 2012-03-21 14:58
From what i know and have seen of the Scotland Bill as it weaved its way through the parliamentary process I would have to say I have ‘NO CONFIDENCE’ it would be good for Scottish Interests. I will however wait till the end vote before casting judgement. However I do wonder what the SNP are up to on this one.
# jafurn 2012-03-21 15:04
Just listened to Mr Swinney and I am not convinced that this is good for Scotland …I know John Swinney is better equiped than I am to assess these things but this just does not,at the minute , look good for Scotland…in my opinion.
# J Wil 2012-03-21 17:06
I thought he was upbeat about the Scotland Bill it, but there may be other things going on that we don’t yet know about. Like an offer the SNP couldn’t refuse. –|—— ?

He wasn’t too happy about not getting money for his projects.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 15:15
I wonder if insolvency laws are still being taken from Scots Law and after 300 years with us subject to English Insolvency Laws.

Or are Scottish charities dead? The Bill was going to end Scottish charities only allowing “british” ones. Another excuse for us handing over money and areas outwith Scotland keeping it for themselves.

Or regulation of Health Professionals we are supposed to have our own health service but they wanted to control our health workers.

Will we still have drug misuse control they wanted that one to?

# Islegard 2012-03-21 15:16
Still we can ask if its ok to change some speed limits only after we ask permission and consult widely across England as well as Scotland.
# Seagetagrip 2012-03-21 15:17
The Scotland Bill in whatever shape has to to be presented to the Scottish Parliament warts and all.
The inadequate aspects will be subject to scrutiny and rejected by reasoned debate and disposed of by the SG majority. I do not foresee any problem
# Islegard 2012-03-21 15:18
So why would the SNP pre-empt this and announce they are accepting it?
# Islegard 2012-03-21 15:19
Rockall is now part of England.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-21 15:20
No. Let’s wait and see what’s in the final version of the bill, eh?
# Islegard 2012-03-21 15:23
The SNP aren’t.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-21 15:34
They’re saying they’ve negotiated a final version. If the actual final version isn’t the negotiated final version, I don’t suppose they’ll be supporting it.
# AshleyJHP 2012-03-21 15:21
Why has the BBC not reported this? Or the protests outside Downing Street? All you get for Scotland is ‘Tax boost for offshore oil sector’ – it’s not as if Scotland reaps the benefits of its rich natural resources or consistently stronger fiscal position relative to the UK economy.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 15:22
Oh it also gives the Supreme Court the power to repeal acts passed by the Scottish Parliament.
# Seagetagrip 2012-03-21 15:30
Islegard. Forgive me but I think you are maybe a wee bit off message. The Bill is still only a Bill and will remain as such until passed by Holyrood. It has to be debated by all MSPs before progressing and we are obliged to have something to debate before it is rubbished by Holyrood.
That is my understanding of the present situation but willing to be corrected.
# Islegard 2012-03-21 15:34
Seagetrip I understand that. However the SNP have unilaterally announced they will accept it even going as far as to post it on the Scottish Government website.

Up until now it has been lets wait and see. Now the SNP has made this announcement which has changed all that. Even the unionists realise this as they are gloating and having a right old laugh about it. With no rebuttal from SNP indeed they appear to be keeping their heads down.

By making this announcement they have deviated from the stance you advocate.

Why make the announcement in the first place? Which is being widely reported and the SNP aren’t denying.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-21 15:36
“the UK and Scottish Governments have been in negotiation over final amendments”, Cabinet Secretary for Government Strategy Bruce Crawford said today, “Having agreed a package of changes to the Bill”
# Islegard 2012-03-21 15:39
Michael Forsyth is part of the Westminster government and over the last couple of days has been firing amendments off left, right and centre taking power back.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-21 18:13
Quoting Islegard:
Michael Forsyth is part of the Westminster government

No, he isn’t.
# Jim1320 2012-03-21 15:40
If I was a Lord I might be a tad suspicious that I was wasting my time spending any more effort on this. If the two Governments have agreed a form of words they both find acceptable…off piste as it were….then so much as another full stop is a waste of time.
# Jim1320 2012-03-21 15:42
Even the unionists realise this as they are gloating and having a right old laugh about it.

You think? Johann Lamont sounded confused…no change there I suppose.
# Seagetagrip 2012-03-21 15:42
Anyone who has attended a Conference will be well aware what a stickler for procedures is Bruce Crawford!
I doubt he has his procedures all wrong in this case. Keep your cool!
# jafurn 2012-03-21 16:27
I am very concerned about this ..scotland bill.. if the SNP actualy vote for this at Hollyrood then it will REALLY make me question my support.
# jafurn 2012-03-21 16:45
live in the lords now……/8756700.stm

PS if the snp have any part of this travesty then I am gone from being a supporter of the SNP ..I will still be supporting Independence but can no longer support any party that is a party to this farce>>>>
# gopher3 2012-03-21 17:01
Caught Forsyth saying that English tax payers would have to bail out Scotland.
# J Wil 2012-03-21 16:57
John Swinney said in an interview this afternoon, words to the effect that the damaging clauses in the bill regarding taxation had been modified and a new system of adjustment of the monies coming to Scotland were on a better (more acceptable) basis.

No doubt Dr Watson (Gordon Brewer) will be on the case this evening.

As someone else pointed out, it may all be theoretical if the referendum says ‘yes’ to independence.

There wasn’t a lot said about it, but it looks like the pensioners are going to take a hit in the future with the tax threshold being frozen. That includes me.
# jafurn 2012-03-21 17:16
watch this crap and weep….…/8756700.stm
# jafurn 2012-03-21 17:23
How can the SNP be a party to this crap?????…/8756700.stm

Words fail me …
# amfraeembro 2012-03-21 17:38
The noble lards are WUMs – ignore them.
# jafurn 2012-03-21 17:44
When Lard Forsyth gets to gloat it is beyond the point of ignorance!!!
# jafurn 2012-03-21 17:46
He (Forsyth)just said the referendum has got nothing to do with the scots parliament as it is a reserved matter….Is this what the SNP have agreed to????
# Legerwood 2012-03-21 17:49
I read the piece about the ‘agreement’ about the Scotland Bill on the BBC web site and just could not believe it.

The whole tone of tghe piece was to the effect that ‘new powers’ had been given to the Scottish Parliament and the bit about Calman and the support that it got at the election was surreal.

The Scotland Bill is a deeply flawed piece of legislation. By accepting it, as they appear to have done, the SNP have carried out the biggest U-turn imaginable and run right into a brick wall in the process.

Sorry but I think the whole independence thing just went pear shaped because what people are going to hear is ‘new tax powers’; borrowing powers’ etc etc so will think they have got ‘devomax’ or some approximation of it and that will negate any reason for independence as far as they are concerned.
# Marga B 2012-03-21 19:49
No, don’t you see? The SNP is already briefed to say, thanks and all that, but it’s only a fraction of what Scots are looking for.

Cameron must do better!
# jafurn 2012-03-21 19:56
No, don’t you see? The SNP is already briefed to say, thanks and all that, but it’s only a fraction of what Scots are looking for.

Would be fine if it was left to us to do that but unfortunately we do not get to say what IS GOING ON IN SCOTLAND and you can bet that this is not going to get a ‘favourable’ press…..if I am wrong then no one will be more happy but…..
# Legerwood 2012-03-21 21:11
Marga B 2012-03-21 19:49
No, don’t you see? The SNP is already briefed to say, thanks and all that, but it’s only a fraction of what Scots are looking for.

And how exactly will they get that message across?

They were having some success in getting people to acknowledge it was a flawed piece of legislation that did the pro-union side few favours. Now there is a volte-face and the SNP are going to agree to it. What message does that send?

There is such a thing as being too clever and I have a feeling that this is one such example.
# jafurn 2012-03-21 18:05
Did the snp think no one would notice if they done this on the day that osborne has done this…
# J Wil 2012-03-21 19:26
I thought the reason given for the SNP’s acceptance of the changes was a bit weak. That the Scottish people would not understand why the SG was rejecting a bill which gave Scotland more powers.

Just try them!
# Barontorc 2012-03-21 19:54
I’m with Harry Shanks 2012-03-21 13:43 – The way it should be looked at is; where there’s no logic in a decision, there’s no future for that decision.

Bruce Crawford “Having agreed a package of changes to the Bill, and undertakings on its implementation, both Governments will now recommend that their respective Parliaments support the Bill.”

That is nicely topped off by Mei 2012-03-21 14:44
“Wait till the Scottish Government hold a Referendum to ask the people if they want the Scotland Bill proposals or if they want further tax raising powers.”

It’s the referendum that counts!

Blow me down – the MSM, BBC and the Lords will be looking so stupid come that result!

Keep the faith.
# jafurn 2012-03-21 23:25
If the Scotland bill is allowed to pass as is then it my opinion. be a major mistake on the part of the SNP

This bill should be rejected by the scottish parliament as unworthy and unworkable and ,more to the point, unwanted by the Scottish Parliament ..and that should be it …because WE DONT WANT IT
# Barontorc 2012-03-22 11:14
jafurn – wait till we see what’s being “offered”. As has been said in another blog – this is an Act in the making, but it has to pass through quite a few hoops and then, shown in the cold light of day – we – the voters will have the final say at the referendum vote.

The Scotland Bill will be meaningless in an independent Scotland and don’t forget, that is and always will be the ultimate aim of the SNP.

This is a master-stroke by the SNP.

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