Saturday, December 24, 2011

Brazen : Westminster considers legislating to force the SNP to break its election pledges

I trust if the plan being touted in today's Scotsman ever sees the light of day, we'll hear no more from the unionist parties about "broken SNP promises" - because what is being suggested is that Westminster could literally legislate to force Alex Salmond to break his word on the timing of the independence referendum. It beggars belief - first they move heaven and earth to prevent a referendum being held in 2010 as planned by the SNP, and call that an SNP broken promise on the grounds that Salmond didn't go through the motions of putting a doomed bill to the vote. This time, after a dramatic mood-swing, they're pondering a clause in the Scotland Bill to force the referendum to be held earlier than was pledged. Well, we can accuse them of many things, but certainly not of consistency.

One intriguing point here is that if they do attempt to do this through the Scotland Bill, they'd still need legislative consent for the bill as a whole from Holyrood. They didn't show much sign of making the necessary compromises to get that consent before this latest revelation, and heaven only knows how much ground they'd have to give to get the new wheeze through.

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I've just received an early Christmas present in my inbox -

"Jimmy, you are my long-awaited man!

Greetings my dear! I am a beautiful woman from Russia and I dream to meet you.

I am very energetic but within reasonable limits. But still there is a lack of one person in my life.

That is why I am here. I am waiting for my special man to come to my life. Doors to my soul are open for him. Look at my pictures...I will be waiting for you."


I'm so glad she gave me fair warning about only being energetic "within reasonable limits" - I'd have been bound to do something rash like enter her for the London Marathon otherwise.

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If you enjoy voting in online polls, you might be interested to know that the superb Nationalist posters Mick Pork and TheUnionDivvie are among five people in the running for Political Betting's "Best Newcomer" of 2011. Naturally, given the nature of the site, it's a bit of an uphill struggle for them to get votes, so I thought a small plug might be in order! You can find the voting form here.

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Last but not least, a very happy Christmas to you all!

10 comments:

  1. I was intrigued to read in the Scotsman article that the power to hold referenda lies with Westminster, under the 'UK constitution'.

    This 'UK constitution' would be the one they make up as they go along. Isn't it entirely based on precedent (which they disregard whenever they feel so inclined)?

    Happy Christmas, James

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  2. It won't work as it would produce a backlash.

    Do have a good festive season and a very happy 2012. 2011 wasn't bad for us after all.

    p.s. I voted for them both yesterday.

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  3. http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/opinion/the-secret-diary-of-tom-harris-who-had-a-dream-to-be-labours-scottish-leader.2011128821

    I thought this might interest you...

    ***

    I too have voted.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy Christmas, Tris and Marcia!

    Typical Admin : his favourite joke of the campaign was his own, he delights in telling us that he reduced Johann Lamont to giggles (emphasising that the new leader rates his sense of humour, although judging by Tom's new role she has a good one as well), he "won't be invading any countries as First Minister" (he's happy to leave that to the Prime Minister), he thinks Colin Weir's donation to the SNP is "nauseating" (criticising multi-millionaires for doing what they like with their own money? what sort of Blairite is he?), and this...

    "Really?" I responded. "Humbling? What does that feel like?""

    It's how the rest of the human race feels occasionally, Tom - but with somewhat less justification.

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  5. I started to warm, a bit to Admin at the start of that, though the fact he hadn't told his wife he was floating his name as a candidate didn't bode well.

    That warmth died soon, that 'nauseating' comment was vile, but we've seen him and his li'l buddy Hothersall come out with a load of vileness of late.

    Attaching this to the Scotland Bill is probably so it gets rejected by Holyrood, since the Scotland Bill is such a disaster, so Westminster an say 'well, they've rejected holding a referendum'

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  6. Anon

    I think you are 100% correct.

    "Attaching this to the Scotland Bill is probably so it gets rejected by Holyrood, since the Scotland Bill is such a disaster, so Westminster an say 'well, they've rejected holding a referendum'"

    They know that the Scotland bill will be rejected at Holyrood so they are trying to include this into the bill so the BBC can rush out with the lead story on national news "Nationalists reject bill that would make referendum legal"

    A BBC spokesman will be on to tell us "this is really an extraordinary decision and tells us what the BBC has long suspected, that the SNP are not serious about independence.

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  7. Alex Salmond didn't have the legal authority to make such a promise. The Scotland Act makes that perfectly clear.

    Plus, even suggesting that he did make such a promise during the election campaign is nonsense. It was a comment badgered out of him by Glenn Campbell during the leaders' debates a short period before polling when a good chunk of the electorate had already voted by post.

    If Alex Salmond genuinely thinks it is reasonable to make new policy commitments off the top of his head and that late on before an election day, then he's a fool.

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  8. "Alex Salmond didn't have the legal authority to make such a promise. The Scotland Act makes that perfectly clear."

    Let's see the reference, please. I can assure you that at no point does the Scotland Act state that the parliament does not have the power to legislate for a consultative referendum on whether the Scottish government should open negotiations on independence with the UK government.

    "It was a comment badgered out of him by Glenn Campbell during the leaders' debates a short period before polling when a good chunk of the electorate had already voted by post."

    I'm dubious about that claim as well. I don't have a photographic memory, but I can certainly recall him making the "well into the second half" pledge in interviews, which I would guess were well before the Glenn Campbell debate.

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  9. Moreover, the manifesto makes plain (states it even) that the Scotland Bill has to be dealt with first.

    As the Scotland Bill, manifestly bad bit of legislation that it is, is still an ongoing process, the SNP are holding to their word.

    Labour's Hugh Henry after the election made it clear that he accepted the latter half pledge, he said so to The Scotsman

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