Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How the Scottish general election result was once again overturned by English MPs

I'm not sure whether anyone has done this yet, so I thought I'd put together a breakdown of how Scottish and non-Scottish MPs voted on some of the crucial amendments to the Scotland Bill on Monday.

Vote on whether the power to call an independence referendum should be unambiguously transferred to the Scottish Parliament -

Scottish MPs :

Yes 53
No 1

English, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs :

Yes 3
No 288

Scottish result overturned, with an overall result of Yes 56, No 289.  The only non-Scottish MPs to vote in favour were the Greens' Caroline Lucas, and the SDLP's Margaret Ritchie and Mark Durkan.  Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams and Jonathan Edwards acted as the two non-voting tellers for the 'Aye' side to allow all SNP members present to vote.

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Vote on whether to devolve working tax credits and child tax credits to the Scottish Parliament -

Scottish MPs :

Yes 53
No 2

English, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs :

Yes 3
No 475

Scottish result overturned, with an overall result of Yes 56, No 477.  The only non-Scottish MPs to vote in favour were the Greens' Caroline Lucas, and the SDLP's Margaret Ritchie and Mark Durkan.  Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams and Jonathan Edwards acted as the two non-voting tellers for the 'Aye' side to allow all SNP members present to vote.

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Vote on whether equal opportunities should be fully devolved to the Scottish Parliament -

Scottish MPs :

Yes 53
No 1

English, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs :

Yes 8
No 287

Scottish result overturned, with an overall result of Yes 61, No 288.  The only non-Scottish MPs to vote in favour were the Greens' Caroline Lucas, the SDLP's Margaret Ritchie and Mark Durkan, the DUP's Gregory Campbell, Gavin Robinson and Jim Shannon, the independent Northern Ireland unionist Lady Sylvia Hermon, and the Liberal Democrats' Greg Mulholland.  Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams and Jonathan Edwards acted as the two non-voting tellers for the 'Aye' side to allow all SNP members present to vote.

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The Scottish result was also overturned on the vote to decide whether the Sewel Convention, which prevents the Westminster parliament legislating on devolved matters without the express permission of the Scottish Parliament, should be made legally binding.  (That was an integral part of the Smith recommendations, incidentally, so by voting it down the Tory government have demonstrably failed to deliver the Smith package in full.)  Because Labour voted with the SNP, it was a more complicated result than some of the others, and it would take much longer to work out the breakdown for sure.  But as the SNP's turnout (including Michelle Thomson) seemed fairly steady throughout the day at 53, I'm fairly confident in saying that Scottish MPs voted Yes 54, No 1, and non-Scottish MPs voted Yes 191, No 286, with an overall result of Yes 245, No 287.

Labour also went into the "Aye" lobby with the SNP on a vote to partially devolve equal opportunities to the Scottish Parliament.  On that division, Scottish MPs seem to have voted Yes 54, No 1, and non-Scottish MPs seem to have voted Yes 188, No 286.  The Scottish result was overturned with an overall outcome of Yes 242, No 287.

As a result of the very justifiable outrage over these events, there have been some wild calls on social media for the Scottish Parliament to use its (unofficial) Sewel Convention powers to block the Scotland Bill altogether.  Although I think the SNP are entirely right to play hardball over this in the hope of improving the Bill, I hope they would only actually use the nuclear option as a genuine last resort, ie. if the alternative would be catastrophic for Scotland.  As pathetic as this transfer of powers is, it's basically what we've got to show for the success of the Yes campaign, and I wouldn't want to see it thrown away lightly.

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107 comments:

  1. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 11, 2015 at 2:51 AM

    James, l do watch the Parliament Channel. The Nat sis can only only pretend they agree and toe the line pretending they are anti Tory. They are not and you know this.They hiv tae express themselves without wee Jim Jung Eck tellin them witt tae dae.

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    1. Voting breakdowns aren't available on the Parliament Channel, so I just thought I'd enhance the viewing experience for you. So much for gratitude.

      Eat your cereal.

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    2. Away you to fuck. You are as welcome here as a fart in a lift.

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  2. This time Labour voted WITH the Tories instead of abstaining - didn't even have the 'sense' to vote FOR amendments knowing they would fail anyway and thus claim some sort of moral high ground.

    They really have shown their true colours...

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  3. I did this for previous amendments to the Scotland Bill:

    https://wildernessofpeace.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/scottish-votes-for-scottish-laws/

    I was planning on doing this for the final batch, but you beat me to it! I think I'll revisit it to look at all the Scotland Bill amendments. It's especially important to note the times when not just the SNP, but other Scottish parties were rejected. It's one thing for the mandate of 50% of Scots to be rejected, but for over 80% when you include the Lib Dems and the Other Party to be overturned by a party representing only 14.9% of the Scottish electorate?

    As for rejecting the bill, I definitely don't see it as the hard-won result of the Yes campaign, save in showing just how much contempt the UK parties have for Scotland. The real result of the Yes campaign was returning 56 pro-independence MPs with a greater mandate than any other party in Scotland for a century on a greater turnout than it's enjoyed for decades.

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    1. Which is an achievement for one parliament only. It means nothing at all unless it results in concrete constitutional progress. Our strength could turn into a weakness if we get so carried away with it that we sabotage ourselves. We won't have something better to show for it, we'll have nothing at all.

      This nascent "reject the Bill" movement reminds me of Jim Sillars arguing that voting No to devolution in 1997 (or was it abstaining?) was necessary to achieve independence, because the whole thing was a unionist trap. Margaret Ewing replied "What's the alternative? The Big Bang Theory in 300 years' time?" Who can doubt now that she was right?

      No unionist "trap" involving MORE power for Scotland has worked so far, and I see no reason why this one should be any different. We should only block it if it would genuinely be economically catastrophic.

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  4. I'm with Taranaich, if this is a win from the referendum result then it's like the goodie bag you get at the end of 10k races and the like. A waste of carbon and a marketing opportunity.

    So I too think that ScotGov should decline to assent to it. Send it hameward so they can think again.

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  5. Nothing was overturned. These were votes of the UK parliament - and the UK consists of more than just Scotland, despite the seps' belief that Scotland is the centre of the universe and, indeed, the universe itself.

    It is my understanding that the Scottish parliament can create new benefits of its own based on moneys raised through increased Scottish taxation. So what is the problem? You now have greater redistributive power - use it.

    The sep approach here is akin to holding a winning lottery ticket yet complaining because it is slightly dog eared.

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    1. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH :D :D :D

      Trying out your new wee phrase from your nasty wee Tory pages. Fuckwit.

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    2. So basically English Votes for Scottish Laws or in fact back to normal. Now Aldo you are about as welcome as the Black Death here, so why don't you take your nasty wee comments and bee off with you. Oh and take that nasty wee non Glasgow non working class njaff with you.

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    3. I had at least expected some sort of constructive, reasoned reply.

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    4. No, I really don't think you did.

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    5. And what makes you think that?

      These powers give you the chance to top up existing benefits and create new ones. These are substantial, useful capabilities. When will they be used? What will they be used for? Will they be used?

      The SNP nit picking with this bill has become laughable. I expect their next announcement to be "look, a spelling mistake!" or "look, over there - a man walking a dog!!"

      Anything to distract from the fact they are cr@pping it at the thought of actually having to do something.

      Most amusing - and most transparent.

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    6. "These were votes of the UK parliament - and the UK consists of more than just Scotland"

      It was English, Welsh, and Northern Irish MPs deciding on what Scotland should or shouldn't have responsibility over, regardless of what the people of Scotland think Scotland should or shouldn't have responsibility over.

      "It is my understanding that the Scottish parliament can create new benefits of its own based on moneys raised through increased Scottish taxation. So what is the problem?"

      The problem is that the UK government gave zero guarantees that it would not attempt to recoup that money through further changes to the benefits system - mitigating the mitigations of the Scottish government in the first place. This is, of course, the same party which said before the election there would be no changes to tax credits in the first place.

      "The sep approach here is akin to holding a winning lottery ticket yet complaining because it is slightly dog eared. "

      I'd say it's more a case of holding a winning lottery ticket, only for the government to dock your wages to make up for you spending it on helping out the local community.

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    7. Taranaich, we decide these matters together. That is a direct consequence of sharing the same nation - an arrangement the Scottish people chose to endorse and continue with.

      As for guarantees - I want a guarantee I'm not going to walk out tonight and get hit by a bus. Unfortunately, such a guarantee will never be forthcoming.

      Raise the taxes, spread the wealth and then worry about other problems as they arise. That's if you are genuinely serious about pursuing a leftist agenda.

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    8. I will try although I expect it to fall on deaf ears.

      1) "Nothing was overturned"

      Returning 56 SNP MPs to Westminster demonstrated the will of the majority of the Scottish electorate to achieve the maximum amount of devolution possible within the union, because that was the manifesto the SNP ran on and which each vote endorsed.

      By allowing English MPs to vote on purely Scottish matters, they have been allowed to reject the will of the Scottish electorate. And I am not - I repeat not - talking about independence here - I know a huge number of people who voted SNP only because they wanted to show that while they want to stay in the union they also want a fully devolved parliament.

      However, with EVEL we now face a situation where it is possible that when next an English matter is decided, such as the Heathrow expansion, that all Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs will be banned from the vote, but the government will charge all four nations for it, reducing the money available to spend in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and adding it to our debt share of interest payments to the Bank of England (already a disproportionately large amount compared to English spending).

      That's because in fiscal terms it has declared the matter of national interest, but in parliamentary terms it looks like it will be classed an English matter. That is complete lunacy - if we all have to pay for it, we should all have a say.

      On the Scotland Bill, none of the other three nations would have lost out in monetary terms if the amendments had passed. It wouldn't have increased the actual money spent in Scotland, for instance, it would have moved control of a part of the money earmarked for Scotland but that is at present decided on in Westminster to Scotland.

      2) "It is my understanding that the Scottish parliament can create new benefits of its own based on moneys raised through increased Scottish taxation. So what is the problem?"

      If you are a Scottish resident this is a huge problem, for three reasons. Firstly, the UKGov has now four times refused to say whether it will class these benefits as income. It is completely logical to expect it do so as all benefits paid are currently classed as income. In practical terms this means that ScotGov will divert spending from other Scottish budget areas to fund these new benefits, HMRC will take them into account for their entitlement calculations and further reduce a claimant's benefits. In other words, more money will flow from Scotland into the coffers of Westminster.

      Secondly, as HMRC infrastructure can't be used to manage ScotGov tax raising powers (at least that's what it sounds like so far), ScotGov will first have to duplicate the entire structure at a cost of millions. Westminster will not increase the Scottish grant to do this = loss to Scotland.

      Once it is set up, our tax raising powers are extremely limited to the point where it is quite likely that we may be able to increase our budget by less than a percent in return, i.e. we won't recoup the money for setting up a Scottish inland revenue. And again, as the money will have to come from somewhere, that means cuts to local services like your local hospital or police force.

      Thirdly, if you want to create these new benefits which will in actual terms most likely result in a net increase to claimants of zero pounds, you are advocating that the Scottish government waste millions of pounds to set up an inland revenue that will increase taxes for all of us, making us all worse off. And that's on top of the budget cuts that are coming our way because the money spent on public services in England is being cut therefore reducing the block grant.

      The only bright side to all of this would be for independence advocates, because once we have a Scottish inland revenue service one of the many objections to independence would be gone - the cost and time needed to set up our own tax administration system. I am quite surprised that you would favour that.

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    9. Something I want to highlight here (forgive the brief reply as I am otherwise engaged at the moment). A minority of Scottish electors voted SNP - 49.97%. They do not represent the will of the Scottish people - not exclusively, at any rate. And even if the vote had been 100% SNP, we are still part of a nation, 92% of which would not have voted SNP. See what I mean?

      Devolution affects all of the United Kingdom - not just those parts to whom power is devolved. Therefore, it is everyone's business. If the Scots didn't want the rUK involved in running their country, they could have voted yes.

      Remind me how that went again?

      Will get back to you later.

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    10. I think you fundamentally misunderstand the difference between a fully independent country and a fully devolved parliament. The world, no, actually just look across the channel - the continent is full of fully devolved regional parliaments who all have far more power than the Scottish parliament and who wouldn't dream of leaving their country precisely because they have fully devolved regional parliaments.

      Even local councils in Germany could be said to have more fiscal power than the Scottish parliament because they raise their own income taxes (in full by the way) from their residents, sending on their share to the federal government.

      By the way, leaving aside whether nitpicking over 0.03% is at all constructive or reasoned and that I have never before heard anyone arguing that the majority Labour MPs from Scotland in the past had no right to represent Scotland, I'll just refer you to the reality of our electoral system aka First Past The Post.

      In our FPTP system which is simply based on winning more than the next candidate, a majority is understood to mean winning more votes, and therefore more seats than the next party.

      What you refer to is called an overall or absolute majority - something I made no mention of or laid any claim to in my comment. I honestly believe it helps to read carefully and to be precise when you want to nitpick over 0.03%.

      As you well know, an absolute majority isn't really what FPTP is about anyway, otherwise our current UK government wouldn't be legitimate at all, seeing as it barely represents a third of us.

      Just in case you want to educate yourself on the correct phrases to use when arguing this kind of point in the future, Wikipedia explains this whole majority stuff in several articles, but I refer you to the one that references British parliamentary elections in particular:

      "In British English

      In United Kingdom constituency elections, which typically feature four or more candidates representing major parties, a plurality is sometimes called a majority or a relative majority, while the phrases overall majority or absolute majority are used to describe the support of more than one half of votes cast."

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plurality_%28voting%29

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    11. In addition to my earlier comments..

      Are you actually complaining about Scotland having to pay for the development of a revenue system to handle the extra Holyrood imposed taxes? It seems to me that if Scotland wants it and Scotland votes for it then Scotland should also pay for it.

      With regard to benefits, I have some sympathy with the argument that Westminster could tax the top ups or reduce payments made from central government with the effect of cancelling out the top ups. You know what you do if that happens? You tell people. You scream to high heaven "we tried to give you more money but the UK government took it away!!" The UK government would then have to respond to that. Personally, I don't see any particular reason why this wont work. Why do benefits exist anyway? To help the poorest. It seems that, with tax raising powers and the ability to top up / create new benefits, the Scottish government will be able to do that - unless the UK government engages in wilful obstructionism.

      Aldo

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    12. Aldo'S argument would actually make sense if the UK party in power had won an election straight up 55 to 45 and simply lost one part of the country. It didn't . use 49.7% ? The Tories only got 37. That is hardly a mandate. These plurality only but not close to majority governments are a problem Europe wide. I get his point, but winning a 7 way soccer match 5 to 4 to 2 to 1 to 1 to 1 to 1 to 1 to 1 on penalty kick in the 130th minute and acting as though you have some huge superiority is ridiculous.

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    13. @Aldo not complaining. Explaining that currently Scotland does not have tax raising tools even if it has tax raising power, however limited.

      Also wanted to point out the potentially two-fold absurdity involved in doing this:

      1) topping up leading to top-ups paid for by ScotGov clawed back by UKGov
      2) Spending several times the cost of top-ups to set up tax raising and benefit-admin tools only to have a net gain of zero to the poor and a net loss to Scotland as a whole.

      Either way, financially all of Scotland is worse off. As I favour federal countries over centralised ones, I am slightly in favour of setting up a Scottish inland revenue as this would be another step in that direction.

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    14. A little observation about EVEL - correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't EVEL simply give English MPs veto power over proposed English only matters? They can't initiate anything - and anything passed in England also needs to be passed at UK level. It's just that English MPs now have the power to say "no". But if they say "yes", there is a double lock - a UK majority must also say yes. So, no, they can't spend our money and not give us a say in it. The worst they can do is NOT spend our money, lol.

      Hope that makes sense and, again, I may be mistaken. Please say so if I am.

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    15. The government advisory speaks of consent and veto, pointing particularly at amendments and as we've just seen those can be very important. But let's just wait and see how this will work in practice - maybe it is harmless as you seem to think, maybe it isn't.

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    16. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 11, 2015 at 10:56 PM

      Aldo, the Nat sis will not use their tax raising powers in fact they will deny they have them.

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    17. They can deny it all they like but they will exist nonetheless. I expect Labour to pitch for the left vote, promising a more level playing field in Scotland. I would also expect the tories to pitch themselves as the party of "no tax rises" - or maybe even tax cuts! (Also possible let's not forget!). If the SNP isn't careful, it will be squeezed between these two stonking great political ideologies once again - as it was for much of the 20th century. Yet if they come off the fence and choose a side, they also lose votes.

      The tax varying and welfare powers are going to reshape Scottish politics - and not before time.

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  6. James I think you have summed up the situation wonderfully, nothing has changed since they imposed the Poll Tax on us, they sat in the bars and got sloshed only to just about be able to march through the lobby to vote it in.
    I do hope that the NO voters are happy with what they have. Remembering that they voted into being the Scottish Parliament to give themselves power which they seemed to joyfully have thrown away on the 19th September 2014.

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  7. James I actually think the nuclear option has to seriously be considered. I am a YES voting Lib Dem and while I understand the feeling that the YES campaign need to show something for all their hard work there is a part of me that wonders that doing that puts the agenda and fight further back in some ways. The minimum for myself is a federal UK and Home Rule while independence remains my personal choice. The SNP will run the risk of losing the momentum if they accept the Scotland Act, but I accept the same is maybe more dangerous if they don't accept it in the eyes of the unionist parties/media and maybe some of the diehard no voters. It is a difficult one but I think for myself the Scotland Act is a massive trap in some many ways and to accept it, be forced to use it byt the Tories as future traps are laid will do far more damage to Scotland in the long run. Maybe it's time to put the principles first.

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  8. I think if the "nuclear option" is used, and the Scotland Bill is rejected by Holyrood, on account of the damage that it will do and the fact that it falls well short of what was promised, then 1.6 million YES voters will cheer, whilst a good portion of the 2 million NO voters may just start making an effort to find out what is really going on. Some of them may finally realise just how disgracefully Scotland has been treated by WM since September 2014.

    I see very little risk of rejecting the Scotland Bill, or at least holding out for a better deal (well beyond May 2016, if you see what I'm thinking), but I see enormous risks involved if the Scottish government meekly accepts the crumbs on offer, with the hope of avoiding all the serious traps laid out in front of it.

    The unionist politicians and corporate media would be apoplectic, but the people of Scotland would understand - at 9% belief that the vow has been delivered, it's a no-brainer. The Scottish government has shown remarkable restraint and patience since the referendum, and it has paid dividends. Now, however, we eneter a new phase in the struggle - now is the time to show courage and start fighting back.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I agree. Rejecting the Scotland Bill would wake up a few more people to what is going on. My DH who loathes the SNP (he hates the idea of leaving the union) has no understanding of what the Scotland Bill is or does. He supports Labour and does not want to hear any criticism about them.

      However, when I told him how Labour voted on the Scotland Bill (and pointed at the contempt shown to Scotland during the "debate"), he was not a little confused. Even he couldn't escape all that posturing about tax credits in Holyrood and hearing that they voted against devolving them, well, let's just say he cannot understand or condone their position.

      The point is that he is one of many, many people I know who want to stay in the union, but who expect to be treated as equal citizens within the union - because that is how they see themselves.

      Having it so brazenly demonstrated that they are not, that Westminster holds their entire nation in contempt, whether they voted for independence or not, whether they support the SNP or not, that hurts.

      And he's not a guy that hurts for long without doing something about it. The path is clear and Labour together with the Tories are pushing him hard in that direction...

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  9. Bin the Act, and to hell with Westminster.

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  10. Bin this forthcoming WM Act and bin the twa provocateur ejiits as icing on our neeps whilst you're at it, James: Their Doctor Hyde and Mr Jekyll tag-team contributions ceased to be even risible a long time ago (where is Mick P when needed?)'

    For me, these Unionist elements in WM have essentially and unilaterally abrogated the Treaty of Union.

    Bring on an overwhelming SNP victory at Holyrood next year and then bid them ADIEU.

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    1. I've been extremely busy TBH but not so busy that I haven't had time to look in and laugh at the BritNat chucklebrothers incompetently and obliviously trying to troll James site as he smashes another fundraiser. (Well done James BTW ;) )

      As for the unionist omnishambles of a Scotland Bill I think a great many people are missing the bigger picture.

      Let's be clear, the unionist parties were handed their arse to them on a plate by the Scottish public last May and with the VOW already a laughing stock to most voters they had one chance to try and turn things around and they have blown it big style.

      Be in no doubt, the Scottish public has been crystal clear that the westminster parties are basically on a 'final warning' when it comes to their promises and vows on Scottish powers. (Hence the Westminster election results) Yet instead of taking heed and actually delivering meaningfull powers this joke of a bill with it's childishly obvious 'traps' has been spewed out by the Westminster bubble idiots.

      The fact that we all knew it was coming is testament to the sheer incompetence and suicidal nature of the Westminster bubble unionists. Nothing could better display just how wildly out of touch they are than an utterly clueless Fluffy Mundell blustering gleefully like a child who had put a bag of shite next to a bag of sweeties on a doorstep and petulantly demand to be thanked as everyone watched him and rolled their eyes.

      Point being the tories and Labour can scarcely afford to put a bundle of feeble half-measures alongside some childishly obvious traps into the Scotland bill. They are held in comically low trust and esteem by the Scottish public. (as are their media mouthpieces and papers)

      So when it comes down to the basic WHO DO YOU TRUST? over more powers and this inept Scotland act, designed to obfuscate and not enable, then they are most definitely up shit creek without a paddle as we will see in May.

      Could we just scrap this idiotic attempt from the westminster bubble should we choose? Of course, and it's certainly on the table since most of it was so comically inept and transparent.

      However, I suspect we'll do what we've always done and use those small powers that haven't been totally hamstrung by vindictive Westminster fuckwits while ignoring the obviously unworkable parts and using other ways to mitigate the nasty party stupidity coming down from westminster.

      We are getting exceedingly efficient at doing so after all and have a fresh and very large contingent of extremely strong and savvy Scottish MPs who will be devoting all their time to doing so.

      All this will be done while the chaos around the shambles of a Labour party and Hameron's nasty party twit administration descend further and further into internecine chaos and infighting as the months go on.

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  11. It has to be rejected, there is no way this pile of shit can be endorsed. I know I keep saying this but I was no and moved to yes because genuine federalism was not on offer. I am never going back federalism will not do but I understand why many would be happy with that but now because of the way this has played out even those with aspirations of a united UK with proper federalism are now realising its never going to happen and so are moving to indepence. Reject the bill at 1st opportunity and start in motion UDI with immediate effect

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  12. It has to be rejected, there is no way this pile of shit can be endorsed. I know I keep saying this but I was no and moved to yes because genuine federalism was not on offer. I am never going back federalism will not do but I understand why many would be happy with that but now because of the way this has played out even those with aspirations of a united UK with proper federalism are now realising its never going to happen and so are moving to indepence. Reject the bill at 1st opportunity and start in motion UDI with immediate effect

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  13. It has to be rejected, there is no way this pile of shit can be endorsed. I know I keep saying this but I was no and moved to yes because genuine federalism was not on offer. I am never going back federalism will not do but I understand why many would be happy with that but now because of the way this has played out even those with aspirations of a united UK with proper federalism are now realising its never going to happen and so are moving to indepence. Reject the bill at 1st opportunity and start in motion UDI with immediate effect

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 11, 2015 at 10:51 PM

      Kenny, does yer finger hiv a stutter? In any case UDI would mean a civil war and you would lose. You are a silly billy.

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    2. Hahaha!! UDI!

      There is no point in even discussing what would happen in response to UDI because it would never happen. Career politicians in a western democracy going down a road like that is about as likely as William Wallace's ghost making a personal appearance at the next SNP conference.

      If you think UDI is a goer then there is no hope for you. Your sore elbowism has spread to your brain, lol.

      A brain elbowism.

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  14. The fact is that the three unionist parties and the other three countries in this so called union, are taking the piss out of Scotland, big style.

    I was swithering, a bit, about whether we should accept this dumbed down, poison chalice and possible trap to undermine the work of the Scottish government in general.
    It is however, becoming clear that we are being taken for fools and should reject this bill.
    We will be laughed at and ridiculed either way by the corp media, as per usual.

    We have to retain our integrity by not accepting this on their terms when the people of Scotland did not vote to be shafted by westminster toffs who are going to be laughing all the way to the bank.

    It will be interesting to see what the Scotgov do now.


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    1. If they veto it then they are turning down extensive new powers for Scotland. Plain and simple. I therefore see no reason - no reason whatsoever - why the UK Parliament should continue to waste time on this issue. The Scottish parliament should continue to function based on previous legislation, with further devolution shelved pending a responsible government at Holyrood that will not try to dictate terms to 64 million people.

      Aldo

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    2. "...responsible government at Holyrood..." What you really mean is a supine sycophantic government which does whatever it is told by Westminster.

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    3. Should that approach materialise, aldo, you will be waiting a while for what you term a 'responsible' government.

      In fact, no matter what the unionists do, the old status quo is never coming back. Just as proponents of self-governance had to come to terms with the referendum result, so unionists have to swallow the bitter pill that is perpetual nationalist control of Scotland.

      To use your own parlance, the people of Scotland have spoken. And the more that Scotland is treated like a piece of shit, the more Scots will want to sever our ties with rUK. It's just a waiting game now...

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    4. Basically, Tories (like Aldo), don't think England can 'go it alone' / 'stand on its own two feet'. Hence the reluctance to grant Scotland devo max. Under Devo Max, Scotland is not dictating anything; just looking after itself. Tories hate looking after themselves, preferring to be subsidised and dictating the terms of the subsidy to those that didn't vote for them.

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    5. Full fiscal autonomy. Like say the UK within the EU. Call it a confederation. Scotland just contributes an agreed amount for shared stuff such as e.g. defence and foreign affairs budgets.

      I, unlike the Tories, prefer to pay my own way in life. If I have to tighten my belt at times, so be it.

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    6. Losing the rUK subsidy doesn't mean a few efficiency savings here and there. It means closed schools and hospitals, an explosion of poverty and further huge expansion of food charity.

      If you believe in voluntarily inflicting that on your people then you are far to the right of me. Just be honest about it though - don't tell the gullibles you're selling them socialism when it's actually Thatcher on crack.

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    7. Aldo = subsidy junkie. Typical Tory.

      Get off your arse and support yourself.

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    8. No, Dan - a government that can work collegiately with the UK Parliament rather than peddling grudge and grievance and engineering constitutional crisis.

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    9. You're to the right of me, which is quite an achievement tbh, but you still try to slag me off for being a 'tory'. Are you sure you don't need to have a lie down? Or at least pick up a copy of "the political spectrum for dummies"?

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    10. Aye, Dave seems to have a lot of grudges and grievances with the EU. Engineering a constitutional crisis so he is.

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    11. Tell me Skier, when you're out campaigning for indy or devo max or against EVEL or against fox hunting changes in England and Wales, do you tell 'ra people' you are a small state adherent of Adam Smith who wants to see services and welfare brutally slashed under the guise of Scottish patriotism - or do you say "vote for us - we'll end all your problems - there is no problem the state cannot solve! If you, ra people, vote for us, we will help ra poor!"? :0)

      Delete
    12. Na Aldo, it's Tories that like living off the backs of others; hence you on all the time time about (apparent, unproven) 'subsidies' being something we should welcome.

      Those on the centre to left like to pay their own way; hence they tend to support independence. Clue is in the word 'independence'.

      Oh, and welfare is not a subsidy.

      Delete
    13. @Aldo You must know the figures, surely? Even the treasury admitted that Scotland has been subsidising rUK. Before you point out that it's all changed now that the oil price has plummeted:

      Not only is Scotland running a lower deficit than the UK as a whole, which would bode very well for an independent economy, a lot of the current overspend is borrowing which UKGov simply adds on to the running costs for Scotland. Those are incurred by UKGov for the whole country on a great many things, like HS2 or a future Heathrow expansion. An independent Scotland would not be borrowing to redo the M25 round London, so its debt burden would be far less.

      FYI The claim that is currently being made re FFA is that now that the oil price has fallen, Scotland couldn't afford independence or FFA anyway as the oil and gas revenues have fallen and that this won't change.

      During the referendum campaign a number of unbiased and pro-union analysts conceded that the Scottish economy as a whole is a lot healthier than rUK with a lot of sectors that are doing very well, even if oil and gas are struggling. Which means that revenues from other sources would still allow the country to be fiscally independent.

      Furthermore, no one can forecast Scotland's future oil and gas revenues accurately and if anyone says so they're making them up. The current slump in the price of is the result of deliberate manipulation mainly by Saudi Arabia and the US for political purposes (with the aim of damaging the economies of Russia and Iran). Which both major players have freely admitted.

      Leaving aside the fact that oil price has been artificially inflated for the last two decades, it is, however, more likely to rise again in the future than not. Given that there are vast reserves on the West coast of Scotland, which have not yet been tapped, Scotland would therefore benefit greatly from being financially independent and finally setting up an oil fund.

      That by the way is one of the craziest crazies of UK economic policy - in the entire world, there are only two oil-producing countries which have not set up an oil fund (a.k.a. sovereign wealth fund) to save for the time after it runs out.

      Despite Labour being repeatedly advised to do so in the 70s and the same being recommended to all subsequent governments, the UK has squandered all of the oil and gas revenues it received.

      (Although arguably Iraq has had an oil fund since 2003, it doesn't really count since it's been controlled by the coalition and suffers from murky accounting and funds going missing.)

      Delete
    14. With political 'understanding' such as this, no wonder you lost...

      Those on the left like wealth redistribution. That is, by definition, not "paying your own way".

      People generally voted yes because they wanted a more socialistic society - not greater self reliance. There is a gulf however between what they voted for and what they would have received - greater austerity, not greater socialism.

      A subsidy is money paid out on your behalf by someone else. In the case of Scotland, that's about 14 billion a year - or one pound in every five spent, coming from the rest of the United Kingdom because our tax base is 14 billion pounds short of where it ideally needs to be in order to be self sufficient. It is true that an argument for Scottish independence could be made from the right, imo the extreme economic right, that Scotland needs to cut out the dead wood, become more self sufficient and less welfarist. But in the case of losing one fifth to one quarter of your total budget, that isn't so much losing a few pounds as full blown anorexia. As a moderate conservative, I am opposed to this.

      So where does that leave us? It leaves a tory arguing for social justice and a nat arguing for uber austerity. Welcome to the weird and not so wonderful world of Scot Goes Pop - where reality gets turned inside out, upside down and generally takes a battering.

      But be honest though - tell the yessers about your newfound love of the right and how they will be so much better off when they are waiting 3 years to get a strange lump examined. Honesty is always the best policy. We need more of it in politics!

      Delete
    15. Considering that an independent Scotland would receive 90% of the oil and gas revenues (because of international laws on maritime borders), it's quite disingenuous to use a population base to allocate those revenues. At least that's the only way you could possibly come up with a £14 billion deficit.

      The actual deficit is 9.8 billion which includes over 3 billion in debt interest - debt as I've said before Scotland alone wouldn't incur to the same amount, as most of the borrowing concerns rUK. Almost 5% (another 3 billion) of spending attributed to Scotland is defense spending, much of which is accounted to but not actually spent in Scotland. Those two accounting areas alone would be much reduced in a fiscally independent/independent Scotland, leaving a much smaller deficit.

      Additionally, the deficit alone is no measure of whether an independent Scotland is economically feasible - almost all modern countries operate on a deficit, Scotland would be no different. To use this as an argument against independence shows a considerable ignorance of modern fiscal policy.

      It's also entirely inaccurate to regard the deficit as proof of a UK to Scotland subsidy - as I've said before, this money isn't all spent in and on Scotland, it is accounted to Scotland.

      And finally, before the oil price slump, Scotland was operating on a surplus. Any such future surplus ScotGov intends to invest in a sovereign wealth fund, which could be used to mitigate any fluctuations in revenues (if that ever became necessary, but as I've said above, at the current deficit levels it wouldn't be).

      What I find equally disingenuous is you completely ignoring that we actually have the kind of cuts coming our way as part of the Union that you raise as a spectre of independence. An independent Scotland could avoid most of these cuts by not spending any money on a Trident replacement and by not paying interest on rUK loans.

      Delete
    16. The 14 billion deficit includes a geographical share of North Sea oil, which, incase you hadn't noticed, is now economically non viable and likely to remain so for a very long time. Any savings made by leaving the UK account for a small fraction of that deficit. The one you hear about the most - Trident - could conceivably save us 300 million. That's about one 40th of the deficit. And that deficit is likely to grow as we lose the UK dependent economic boosters - namely banking and insurance - to London.

      As Skier quite rightly points out, Scottish independence would result in a much smaller state - because we simply couldn't afford the largesse we enjoy at the moment.

      Someone really ought to tell 'the 45' though as I think they have the wrong end of the stick.

      Delete
    17. @Aldo not according to the latest official figures. As published in March 2015 here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/1422

      "The current budget balance:

      Excluding North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £13.8 billion (10.3 per cent of GDP).

      Including a population share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £13.4 billion (9.8 per cent of GDP).

      Including an illustrative geographic share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £9.8 billion (6.4 per cent of GDP)."

      For 2014/15 I'd expect oil revenues to drop again, by about a billion or so as the price fell compared to the previous year. Maybe you have figures for 2014/15? If so they'd be speculative at this point as they have not been made public yet.

      I already addressed the overall oil price issue above. But just to reiterate: the oil price has dropped not because oil is suddenly unfeasible, but because of a deliberate manipulation for political reasons by Opec (Saudi Arabia) and the USA. As soon as the instigators either tire of losing billions in oil revenues or believe they have achieved their aims they will manipulate the prices in the other direction - as they have done for decades. Given that fact, predicting that it will be "economically non viable...for a very long time" is based on pure conjecture - not facts or even an educated guess.

      As for Trident - it is now estimated to cost a minimum of 167 billion pounds. Scotland's share of the cost is about 10%. The saving therefore could be not just 300 million but 10 billion, freeing up another 6 billion for defense spending in an independent Scotland.

      Delete
    18. FYI, here's an interesting article on the world wide consequences of the oil price war as the Financial Post calls it:

      http://business.financialpost.com/financial-post-magazine/how-opec-has-earned-itself-a-permanent-pay-cut-in-its-self-launched-oil-price-war

      Delete
  15. Reject. If SG accepts that watered down excuse for 'powers', they will both crow that the matter is at an end, and that the SG must accept the responsibility for raising extra cash.

    While the latter is fine in theory, in practice, Westminster's ability to reduce Scotland's budget along the way will box Scotland tighter and tighter. It will become a popular ball to kick when the Tories are unpopular in England.

    Scotland cannot accept it.

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  16. Reject a watered down Scotland Bill, but offer to be reasonable and continue negotiations with WM for a fair, workable solution. When WM refuses (as they almost certainly will), then tell them to piss off, and include a referendum for FFA/devomax in the 2016 manifesto.


    And watch em squirm!

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. Westminster treats us with contempt thus it's only fair we treat its Bill with contempt.

      Delete
    2. No. Contempt would have been supporting the SNP on FFA and plunging Scotland into a fiscal black hole just for shits and kicks. The UK Parliament is responsible for its people - all its people.

      It even acts to protect us when it would probably be more politically expedient to string us up by the balls.

      Delete
    3. "string us up by the balls."

      Like the bedroom tax or cutting tax credits you mean? People having to go to food banks? etc...

      Tories want a 'low welfare' country. Been all over the papers.

      "Welfare is the provision of a minimal level of well-being and social support for all citizens" (wiki)

      Tories therefore want to look after us to a very minimum.

      And it is not the UK parliament. It is the English Parliament now that we have EVEL. For example, even if I voted Tory and my local Tory was elected, they could never realistically be PM. How could they? I mean they'd have to sit out crucial debates and potentially watch a key manifesto pledge vetoed by English MPs. The press would destroy them.

      Nope, I'm second class in the UK now. You are too; if you actually live in Scotland Aldo.

      That is the reward for No voters. I know a good few Tory unionist who are fuming and plan to vote SNP / for indy now as a result of this. They're sense of Britishness has been destroyed by the Tories. Castigated by their own party for voting No.

      Delete
    4. Scottish devolution ultimately means English devolution Skier. And EVEL is hardly 'devolution', not really - just the right to say "no" to matters that arise, on average, 3 or 4 times per decade.

      So, no, EVEL aint a big deal. There will be no cries of "deliver us from EVEL!" Tee hee!!! :0))))

      The tories want to create a "high wage, low welfare" economy. When you think about it, welfare should be a small proportion of government spending. If you achieve the worthwhile aims of full employment (or near full employment) in jobs that are well paying, then, by definition, you will have a low welfare economy because hardly anyone will need it.

      Delete
    5. There is no British parliament now Aldo. The English just took if for themselves and denied Scottish unionists the ability to elect UK cabinet ministers, inc PM and chancellor by default.

      Like I said, I know some unionists who fumed at that. The idea that their MP can never be leader of the Tories and possible PM really stung. They now back indy. You need to find them and explain how that's all ok. No point talking to me; I think it's great!

      Delete
    6. Such votes have appeared twice in the last 5 years. The idea it prevents a Scottish person being chancellor or PM is, well - you'll need to explain it I'm afraid. I'm not very good on nat mythology.

      At worst you would need to make sure you had the majority with you on English only matters. It would require a certain degree of bipartisanship. The Americans manage it well enough.

      Delete
  17. Aldo
    As opposed to"64 million people" bullying the excrement out of a minority population who are co-partners in an internationally recognized treaty between two nations?

    Are you and GWC siblings, perchance?

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    Replies
    1. Bullying? I hardly think so David. We'll have a powerhouse parliament + tax raising powers + welfare powers + continued subsidy from the rest of the UK. If that's bullying then sign me up for some of it. Maybe the UK government could 'bully' me by sending me on an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii.

      Delete
    2. Aldo = subsidy junkie.

      Get off your arse and support yourself.

      This is why I will never vote Tory. You typify them; all they want is subsidies. No backbone. No get up and go.

      Delete
    3. But enough backbone and get up and go to win the referendum! :0)

      Delete
    4. Not really. Just the media on its side from start to finish.

      Delete
    5. Did you even watch the 2nd debate?

      Delete
  18. Reject.

    You have a snap poll here, James, albeit not random; but even Prof Curtice said today before HoL that this whole kit & caboodle ought to be put to Scots in a referendum.

    However, I do not trust this "beloved" rascal and continue to believe that the FM & team are light years ahead in dealing in dealing with this offensive nonsense.

    Trust the Holyrood results will trigger the denouement of this pig-sty stour of anti-democratic bowel movements by the Unionists (with the Rt Hon Mr Costa WM MP forced to vigorously cleanse the soiled, democratic floor of his and their mass output of loose, oily droppings on an industrial piggery scale - Aldo & GWC to join in combat as to which of them precedes the self-righteous prig that is Mr Costa in the clear-up).

    To conclude, haud our constitutional powder a mite longer and then walk away fraternally and wishing the rUK well as they embrace the further implosions which will beset their fraudulent "constitutional" supremacy.

    Reject, negotiate, then given Holyrood results, bid 'em an aye fond kiss by way of adieu.

    ReplyDelete
  19. No, we should not meekly take what they are willing to let us have. That is capitulation. Reject this watered down Smith Comm, which in itself was watered down. 56 of 59 MPs is a mandate. Reject the Scotland Bill. Treat it with the contempt is deserves. If we don't we are accepting we are too wee, too poor, too stupid.

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  20. Brian
    Point well taken, but I certainly did not advocate "that we should meekly take what they are willing to let us have".

    Nor do I advocate "capitulation".

    I simply say that we pick our own constitutional and democratic grounds to say fcuk you after guddling their bloated tummies into further half-witted somnolence.

    Am not a military professional, but I believe that there is a fundamental axiom (applicable to politics et al) whereby one picks the ground that will best serve one's cause as opposed to allowing the opposition to dictate that selection - as the Pathos Twins, Aldo & GWC mock-GCHQ-siblings, try to incite).

    Personally and given the unilateral repudiation of the Treaty of Union by WM, I'd walk right now.

    However, and on finite loan of trust, I support our team at WM & Holyrood to deliver the democratic goods in a way and in time with or sovereign Scots will or they are oot, too).

    That said, sir, I concur: Reject this thoroughly offensive piece of Westminster imposed legislation.



    ReplyDelete
  21. Essentially, Brian, fcuk 'em but on our terms.

    Best
    Daibhidh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agreed David...My comments were directed more at James than you. If, as he says, we should accept something simply because it's all we've got to show, then the whole YES campaign and the election of 56 MPs were for nothing.

      Delete
    2. James can speak for himself but his point that some of the dumbest unionists thought Devolution itself was a trap for us is still accurate. It was a trap but for THEM and they are still caught in it.

      David is also certainly correct when he says we should fight them on our terms but that was the point I was trying to make earlier.

      This whole act and debate is entirely on our terms. It's certainly not US who have to prove to the Scottish public that we will act in the best interests of Scotland, it's the Westminster unionists - particularly after the VOW and May's result - and boy, have they fucked up spectacularly here.

      There's a reason I highlighted the nasty party imbecile Fluffy when there was a several unionist dimwits spouting ignorant shite during the debate. Fluffy actually believes that the cunning 'trap' (that everyone knew about) will somehow be the downfall of the SNP and that they would 'finally be held ' to account' and be 'responsible' for our actions. I shit you not! I know we joke about how hilariously out of touch the Westminster unionist parties are but they and the London chattering classes in the media do genuinely seem to believe jawdroppingly stupid horseshit like that. It's not an act!

      They think for year after year after year the Scottish public somehow hasn't noticed there is an SNP administration at Holyrood and a tory one in Westminster.

      Some of the most batshit crazy Yoons are still ranting about a 'one party state' completely oblivious to decades of Labour Scottish politics. Some of them are even so deranged and dumb they still haven't grasped that last May was the entirely logical and predictable result of inept unionist parties making no secret that they were far more concerned with somehow trying to 'trap' the SNP than giving the Scottish public the meaningful DevoMax style settlement they so clearly desired.

      So it will be this May because the westminster bubble twits are obviously incapable of learning a thing or even managing a tiny modicum of competence when it comes to constitutional matters.

      The Scottish public want more powers just as we want more powers. It's not an act or some vapid piece of westminster positioning for us any more than it is for the public. They want to give us more powers precisely because they think we can and will act in the best interests of the Scottish public in the face of incompetent westminster parties that seem to have no limit on either their unpopularity or their stupidity.

      The decision on the legislation will be made pragmatically weighing up if it can be saved and how best to implement it and our own measures to ensure it is in the best interests of the people of Scotland while not being unworkable and financially detrimental.

      If we can't mitigate some of the most egregious and stupid 'traps' then sure, we have every right to tell the westminster twits where to go and the Scottish public are JUST A TOUCH unlikely to believe or side with the tories and Labour when they are given the full facts.

      But if we can rescue enough powers from this unionist omnishambles of a Bill and those powers can help enough scots (even in the face of the clear desire of unionists who want them to do the opposite) then we should do so and we will hardly be doing so meekly. We will do so because we've done it before, because the public want us to have more REAL powers and because no matter how 'clever' these tory and Labour seatwarmers think they are they are trapping themselves, not us, with every new power that we get and can use to benefit the Scottish public.

      Delete
  22. James - are you aware of a You Gov poll today (reported in the Herald) with some interesting numbers? Scotland = 55% stay; England = 43% leave (40% stay)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aye. Fieldwork was back in September. For Cardiff University / British Future I understand.

      Fairly standard numbers all round.

      Delete
  23. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 11, 2015 at 8:21 PM

    James, I assume that the Nat MP'S knew what they were signing up to when they went to Westminster to collect their exorbitant salaries. It is a democracy and those who tender the most votes on an issue generally win! So the Nats under the pretense of protecting Scottish jobs have joined Labour and some Tory religious fudamentalists to oppose the extension of Sunday shop opening to bring it in line with Scotland. I take it the word equality has no place now with the Nat sis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh. I think someone has farted in this lift.

      Eat your cereal troll.

      Delete
  24. Really? I thought most polls were showing a decent lead for staying in down south?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most are. A reasonable 'Remain' lead. Kinda like the one No had in Scotland for much of the campaign. Yougov is one of the narrower polls which does hokey cokey.

      Delete
    2. Prof Van de Graaff PoP:

      http://whatukthinks.org/eu/opinion-polls/poll-of-polls/

      Delete
    3. Thanks for that; I suspect that what the You Gov polls suggest is that the gap is closing or is closer than some on the Remain side would want this far out. If Cameron can't pull off even a small "presentational'" victory post negotiations, then Remain will be in big trouble.
      l

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    4. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 11, 2015 at 10:33 PM

      The laugh is if we vote to get out the Nat sis will be fooked. No one tae crawl tae with the beggin bowl.

      Delete
  25. I think the new powers realistically have to be accepted as a start.

    But first on the agenda should be an SNP proposal for a new referendum on the missing powers. Make it the focus of Holyrood 2016

    This settlement is like being given a toolbox with a single hammer, and being told we have all we need to build a shed.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think many people voted SNP for the Westminster elections thinking that if we did so,they would go down to London and tell Westminster what it is we demanded for our nation's parliament (part of current Tory PM's family of nations).
    However,many did not and still don't understand the nature of our so called union.
    The nature of this union is determined by English MPs (now part of England's parliament) who decide what can and cannot happen in Scotland.
    A very one sided union.

    ReplyDelete
  27. New Poll! Survation!

    SNP 38%
    Labour 27%
    Tories 20%

    Game on!!!!! :0)))))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only kidding!

      Admit it - you stained your pants didn't you?

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 11, 2015 at 10:28 PM

      That adds up to 58% for the Tories.

      Delete
    3. After what Skier has said tonight, it seems there are some small state tea party types in the yes movement so your comment may not be far off the mark.

      Delete
  28. This fight for Independence is not a 2 minute affair. Look at Nelson Mandela spending years in jail. Watch Aung San Suu Kyi continue patiently her struggle. We are arrogant to assume that our victory will be swift.

    I await the direction of the SNP leadership on how to play this game. I would urge caution, patience and determination. We are going to be independent. It will come within most of our lifetimes. Those bastards know it too. They are wringing all the juice they can from the orange before they let it go. We were ill served by the nawbies, but even they will know now they were conned.

    Calm down, carry on, do not give up. We are going to win.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've been hearing that for a while. For about 80 years, give or take.

      Indyref 2 is taking its time as well. 1 year, 1 month, 3 weeks, 3 days. Still no sign.

      (Looks at watch)

      :0)

      Delete
    2. Clearly it wouldn't be a good idea to go straight away. You know better than that Aldo. Atop playing the fool!

      Delete
    3. Do you really think it will be any different when we get to 2 years? 3? 4? 10 years?

      The issue is settled.

      Delete
    4. For you maybe. Fluctuations in opinion show that it is not settled for the general public. Come on Aldo, show some sensible thinking on this.

      Delete
    5. Fluctuations in opinion take place all the time. People are fickle. If, in 2018, the tories are hated and Corbyn 30 points ahead in the polls, will the General Election be brought forward? Should it? What if the SNP become unpopular next Autumn? Should the Holyrood vote be re ran just a handful of months after the previous one?

      There is such a thing as making your bed and lying in it. It has to be that way - otherwise there would be no consistency in anything we do or decide. And a firm commitment to something one day can be viewed as being unreliable because people will simply ditch it the next day.

      Aldo

      Delete
  29. Righto. What's the odds for the Carmichael court case?

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    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 11, 2015 at 10:37 PM

      Who cares the shit voted with the Tories on attacking the poor. And you Nat sis have not produced any policies to alleviate this. Three cheeks on the same erse.

      Delete
    2. Found 'not guilty'.

      The original act is clearly aimed at preventing the slander of your direct opponents in a parliamentary election. The self talking thing is a very clever approach to this. But too clever. Judges need to be conservative in their interpretation of law, observe the spirit of the law in which it was intended originally, and be careful not to set dangerous precedents.

      If they rule against Carmichael, it means any politician who has ever lied about his or herself in the course of an election is subject to being removed from office. And you can guarantee that a field day will be had with this - as the big parties start taking pot shots at each other with sums of money crowdfunders could only dream of.

      In the interests of sanity, Carmichael will be cleared. However, he is damaged goods and will not be selected again for future elections.

      Delete
  30. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 11, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    Anon, you love your figures and graphs.
    Mp's pay rise in this time of austerity = 7k per year. × 58 Scottish MP's =406k per year. Divide that by 445 food banks in Scotland= £912.34p. That would buy a lot of beans for the poor.

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  31. Does anybody with a half a brain still think we live in a democracy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try living in a dictatorship then rethink that comment.

      Delete
  32. This Act seems to me to offer precious little and contain a number of potential traps. It's a Trojan Horse. A sugar-coated cyanide pill.

    Reject the bill.

    ReplyDelete