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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 8:34 am 
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Discuss.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 12:30 pm 
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Since it's being sold as an excellent alternative to Independence, it must be a Stinking Fish.
:saltire


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 3:41 pm 
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Well there is a predictable reaction from our two SNP stalwarts.
However NB has thrown down the gauntlet so - an observation, which I think I have voiced elsewhere.
His choice of alternatives is almost bound to raise hackles, although I am probably the only one to rise to the bait.
The Scotland Bill is an endeavour to fulfil the promises that were made during the referendum campaign, and contains all the items that were agreed by an all party (including SNP) meeting afterwards.
The SNP - purely because they have a sizeable representation in Westminster, think they can push the envelope and demand further powers.
This is a bit derisory, as they have not availed themselves of the existing powers they already have.
I suppose it's all good cut and thrust politics, which unfortunately tends to give the perpetrators a fairly low standing in public perception.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 7:52 pm 
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I agree on your last point Jim. The cut and thrust, punch and counter punch of Westminster politics is quite alien to most people and comes across as boorish and juvenile at times. The SNP MPs down there are playing the game as well but the press are using it to set them up as being disrespectful of the traditions of the house.

Your second last point seems a bit strange to me. It is the duty of your elected representatives, whether in power or opposition to "push the envelope" for their constituants. In a devolved Scotland, the power in force is the SNP and they see it their duty to push for more powers for the Scottish Parliament, where they see it belonging, towards the eventual goal of Independence.

To me the Scotland Bill looks like a poison chalice. The Queens's speech references future gifts (in German gift and poison are the same word!!! - as old Betty Saxe-Coburg and Gotha would know!!!). Powers given to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government could be a double edged sword. Raise taxes for social development and businesses leave for rUK, lower taxes and your income dissapears. So you do nothing and get accused of weakness or cowardice, having been given the levers of semi-autonomy and not using them.

But as several top economists have pointed out (including Mark Carnie), the real power to drive an economy (even in a Full Fiscal Autonomy/Home Rule proposed by the Tories) will still lie in central London. The weight of the City and the Bank of England gives Westminster the borrowing power we can only dream of. That is the real holy grail of a Scotland within the UK - 10% of the City and the Bank of England. Our factories, farmers, inventors, workers and 100,000's of dead soldiers earned it over the life of the Union.

That for me would be the only suitable replacement for the Barnett formula which the Tories are desperate to recind. Not the rubbish they're fobbing us off with in this Scotland Bill!


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 11:10 pm 
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The Scotland Bill as published yesterday requires Scottish Ministers to obtain the permission of the Secretary of State for Scotland if they want to use any of the new powers. Repeatedly throughout the bill and the explanatory notes, Scottish Ministers are told they “must have consulted with, and obtained the agreement of, the Secretary of State”.

So - Scotland's only Tory MP will be able to veto decisions made by the Scottish Parliament.

Does this seem reasonable to people? Or does it stink of fish?

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 11:14 pm 
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But on the other hand - it seems that there is a provision in the Bill to entrench the Sewel Convention, which would, amongst other things, make it impossible for the UK government to repeal the Human Rights Act without the consent of the Scottish government.

Scotland bill may give Holyrood veto over Human Rights Act repeal

So - a curate's egg ?

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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 8:42 am 
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A veto on the HRA doesn't mean a lot given that Cameron has backed away from it anyway. For the moment at least.

It would be interesting to see which devolved matters would be affected by UK withdrawal from the EU, however, and where or whether Sewel applies here. I know little of these things, but a Holyrood veto on EU exit would make me grin a bit.

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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 11:15 am 
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What a pleasant change to see a political subject debated without acrimony or one sided propaganda on this site.
I must say I find it hard to believe that if the bill is passed, as NB avers, one Conservative MP can override 50+ SNP members, and veto any of the proposals - not democracy.
There was a move afoot by Mr Cameron at one time, to restrict Scottish members from voting on purely English matters - which had a certain amount of merit to it.
If this is still the case surely it follows that Scottish matters should only be voted on by Scottish members - in which case our one Conservative member would be comprehensively outvoted.


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