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« Clegg says Cameron won it | Main | The man who thinks a £6bn deficit cut is chickenfeed »

May 07, 2010


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The solution to all of this:

Firstly, the Tories need to form a coalition with the Lib Dems. They then force through a constitutional reform bill, whereby Scotland’s parliament is enshrined with sovereign Home Rule – ie, full control over everything, its own treasury, its own mineral rights etc, with Westminster retaining control of only defence and foreign affairs, for which Scotland would send an annual stipend. The Scottish Parliament would no longer be devolved from Westminster, but be an equal partner in the United Kingdom. In return for this, all Scots MPs would be elected by PR, though their numbers cut from 59 to 12. Scots MPs would be banned from voting on matters which do not pertain to Scotland – ie, only on matters relating to defence or foreign affairs.

In Wales, the assembly would be upgraded to a devolved parliament, similar to Holyrood now. In return, Welsh MPs would be cut from 40 to 25.

Once this was achieved, Scotland would have its own quasi-independent parliament, run along progressive left lines. England would have Westminster, presumably run along right-of-centre lines. The Welsh would no doubt vote for a similar make-up to the Scottish model.

Therefore, everyone gets what they want. Except the British Labour party, which would see their numbers at Westminster drop from 258 to about 205. A small price to pay though surely, to keep the UK from splitting apart acrimoniously and which would ensure we all got the governments we voted for.

"I, I suspect like many Scots, am simply ever so uncomfortable with Nationalism and it's unsavoury under(/over)tones"
- Such as committing the same crime as Hitler, twice, against defenceless innocent countries such as Afghnaistan and Iraq perhaps?

Perhaps these unsavoury over/undertones include renewal of Trident and support for sickening fundamentalist regimes abroad, such as zionist-Israel and the House of Fraudia Arabia?

Anyone remember Abu Ghraib - or care about the vast ongoing Iraqi atrocities the British government's illegal invasion has created so fertile an environment for, and whose responsibility it is to do something about?

"I, I suspect like many Scots, am simply ever so uncomfortable with Nationalism and it's unsavoury under(/over)tones"

For that line of debate to bear any fruit Ally, you'd have to define what you mean by nationalism and whether the unsavoury 'tones' (of either height) that you refer to are intrinsic to it.

Dear Dear Ally! Nationalism isn't a problem - every country is nationalist so why should it be a problem for Scotland?

The fair weather situation you talk about is a unionist problem - if they do not want a Tory government then why do they want to be joined with a majority Tory country?

Scotland does not need three governments to run it! So why do we need to have MP's at Westminster doing nothing but interfere in English matters? England does not need another tier of government just to add to these unemployed Scottish MP's.

There are already too many politicians and parliaments running Scotland we need to get rid of the useless Scottish MP's at Westminster.

"Nationalism"? Ally, do you regard yourself as having any national identity then ?

I, I suspect like many Scots, am simply ever so uncomfortable with Nationalism and it's unsavoury under(/over)tones - perhaps wrongly.

There is a dichotomy in Scotland's willing partnership in the union when it benefited us and our wish for autonomy when it suits us - fair weather like. Couldn't he people of Yorkshire and 'up North' could easily cite exploitation of resources, without feeling the need to break away - I just wonder why we can't? Surely devolved government at regional and local level within a stronger union is an equally attractive goal?

Thanks for the tip - I'll search out Tom Nairn

Hi Ally, there is a significant minority in Scotland who favour independence and in the last 20 years it has reached 50% in some polls, depending onn how the question is phrased and the political/economic conditions at the time. There are considerably more people who say they would like independence "in their hearts" but their heads tell them no. It's perfectly legitimate for the SNP to seek to influnece these Scots, who have been convinced by arguments that we are too poor/stupid/divided to make decision for ourselves like any normal country. Spending 50k to examine the country's future doesn't seem unreasonable to me, particularly since every point of view was considered and the SNP had it in their manifesto.

The points you make about Scots benefitting from the British Empire are quite correct. Yet at the same time the Empire benefitted from Scotland's natural resources and cheap labour. We were at once colonised and Tom Nairn if you are interested in this strange aspect of Scotland's past.

Thanks for replying Joan, I understand your response and it has some merit, although how much stomach there is for independance amongst the Scottish electorate is untested - and the voting last night demonstrates no real increase, despite the SNP squandering £50,000 in a pointless gesture.

Isn't it true that the countries you cite as examples were possessions of an invasive and acquisitive empire - the imperial power Great Britain. Which included Scotland as an integral and willing part of it, and created through the act of union?

Scotland is a nation in the same way as England is a nation ie not a region like the highlands. Your logic suggests that Ireland, India, Canada etc were somehow narrow minded nationalists in their desire to break with the British Empire (I have no doubt that some argued this at the time). Scottish sovereignty is recognised in the existence of the reconvened Scottish parliament. It did not appear out of thin air. It is the result of a long campaign in the Tory years involving the Labour Party, the Liberals, the Nationalists and civic institutions such as churches and trades unions. They all claimed the Tories had no mandate and signed up to a document called "A Claim of Right for Scotland" that asserted the principle that sovereignty lay with the Scottish people. Belatedly, the Tories recognised Scotland's democratic right to take decisions through its own parliament...which Cameron says he respects and the existence of which is not seriously challenged. I am simply extending this logic to argue for more powers for that parliament. My preference is independence, but full fiscal power would be acceptable. The suggestion that Scotland returned a "unionist vote", the alarming new Tory line, lacks any credibility, sense of history, and is a disappointing step backwards.

Surely "not getting the government YOU voted for" as a justification for a unilateral declaration of independence is to miss the point of a democracy? How far do you take this entropy? Until we are ensconced in little independent utopias of partisan voting - separate Glasgow, Highlands, Borders and Lothians?

The party with the largest (and increased) share of the vote in Scotland is a Unionist party, by your logic surely their philosophy should prevail - or am I missing something?

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