Thursday, March 2, 2017

A point worth repeating, because it's a fact : *AGRICULTURE IS ALREADY DEVOLVED*

In an article for the Herald, Iain Macwhirter wonders aloud whether Nicola Sturgeon's new warnings about the Tories removing powers from the Scottish Parliament may be a sign that the SNP have 'blinked' on the holding of an early independence referendum.  I must say my own reading is that the opposite is true - it seemed to me that Ms Sturgeon was simply adding one more casus belli for an indyref to a long and familiar list, and thereby making the case even more watertight.  However, I don't base that assessment on any special knowledge of the SNP leadership's private thinking, so we'll just have to wait and see.

On one point Iain is undoubtedly wrong, though.  He claims to be setting people straight on their "misunderstanding" that powers over agriculture and fisheries will be automatically transferred to Holyrood after Brexit.  He reckons that, instead, the nature of devolution is that Holyrood will in future be constrained on these policy areas by UK law in much the same way that it is currently constrained by EU law.  But the reality is that it's Iain who fundamentally misunderstands how the current devolved settlement works.  As things stand, Holyrood can only be constrained on devolved matters by EU law.  Practically the definition of a devolved power is that it's something UK law cannot constrain - because Holyrood can simply repeal any law of the UK parliament that gets in the way.

Now it's quite likely that Iain is correct in the sense that this will all soon change and that London is determined to re-establish overlordship on agriculture and fisheries - but the point he's missing is for that to happen, the devolved settlement as we know it will essentially have to die.  A coach and horses will have to be driven through the Sewel Convention, and powers over agriculture and fisheries will have to be transferred from Edinburgh to London without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.  That's not a small matter, so the SNP's anger about it should not be misinterpreted as being synthetic or tactical.  Even if we weren't leaving the European Union, I'd suggest the end of the Sewel Convention would in itself be sufficient grounds for holding a second independence referendum.

The extent of Iain's misunderstanding is betrayed when he charges John Swinney with having struggled to come up with examples of powers that are going to be taken away from Holyrood, bearing in mind that the UK government have already said that no power currently held by Holyrood will be removed.  But that misses the point that the UK government are (deliberately) talking at cross-purposes with the SNP.  When London talk about 'current powers', they're only talking about powers that are in practice currently held in Scotland, and are excluding other powers that are automatically held as of legal right by Scotland unless EU law is there to constrain them.  Quite understandably, the SNP do not make that distinction.  Agriculture is a devolved matter, not a reserved matter.  Unless the Sewel Convention is breached and the devolved settlement ripped up, powers over Scottish agriculture cannot be 'repatriated' from Brussels to London - only from Brussels to Edinburgh.  Those powers may not be exercised by us at present, but they already belong to us.

Here's an analogy.  You're paying rent to two absentee landlords - one in London, one in Brussels.  You're forced to give up the flat owned by the Brussels landlord - but then the London landlord announces that he'll be immediately increasing the rent on his own flat by exactly the amount you were previously paying to Brussels.  "You won't really notice the difference, will you?" he says.  "You'll be no worse off than you were.  In fact, you'll be slightly better off, because after I've hiked the rent, I'll consider giving you a 50p discount.  Possibly.  If I'm in a good mood."

That's not a natural progression - it's a cynical, opportunistic rip-off.

*  *  *

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59 comments:

  1. Theresa Trumpette and her revolting kipper toriesMarch 2, 2017 at 9:09 PM

    Thepnr‏ @Thepnr 2 hours ago

    Just this week the DWP took £3.7 billion over the next 5 years from the disabled in the UK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean skivers! Do remember that hard working taxpayers foot the bill.

      Delete
    2. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandMarch 2, 2017 at 11:34 PM

      Disabled people are skivers. Aye, right ye are ya tory scumbag.

      Do fuck off back to stormfront ya yoon twat.

      Delete
    3. Westminster Twattering Class 2March 2, 2017 at 11:44 PM

      NeilMackay‏ @NeilMackay 9h

      Utterly embarrassing lack of understanding by London press of the Yes movement. Scotland's up the road folks not the other side of the world

      Delete
    4. Westminster Twattering Class 2March 2, 2017 at 11:46 PM

      NeilMackay‏ @NeilMackay 9 hours ago

      I could honestly do a better job reporting on the nuances of Uzbek politics from my desk here in Glasgow than London hacks do on Scotland

      Delete
    5. Theresa Trumpette and her revolting kipper toriesMarch 2, 2017 at 11:50 PM

      Boy with no arms and legs told he must prove he is disabled or his benefits will be stopped

      16-year-old Edward Bright, of Ripley, Derbys,, lost all four limbs to meningitis is threatened with having his Personal Independence Payment stopped

      A skiver according to the shit for brains BritNat troll.

      Delete
    6. Mick, do you genuinely think the rest of the internet doesn't know how to use Twitter or something?

      You don't need to retype stuff for us, we can just go there and read it for ourselves.

      Delete
    7. Theresa Trumpette and her revolting kipper toriesMarch 3, 2017 at 2:35 PM

      Do you genuinely think we give a shit what some out of touch tory twat thinks?

      Go back to whining on stormfront with the rest of the revolting far-right pondlife.

      Delete
    8. Dugdale's Suicide SquadMarch 3, 2017 at 2:56 PM

      Gerry Braiden‏ @BraidenHT 5 hours ago

      Wow!!!! This is up there with anything from Britain First. And from chair of Fabian Society & Labour member.

      https://twitter.com/scott993/status/837435060395601920 …

      Delete
  2. Trump's Golden Shower of Kipper ToriesMarch 2, 2017 at 9:11 PM

    ᴎᴁʙᴅ ��‏ @naebD 7 hours ago

    By my calculations, Unionists claiming to be fighting against The Establishment are 9000 times more risible than UKIP when they do the same.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Better Together? LOLMarch 2, 2017 at 9:34 PM

    The BritNat Yoon cringers will rejoice in any loss of power to the scottish parliament. They are completely oblivious (far too stupid to realise) that their tiny narrow view of weakening/getting rid of Devolution is overwhelmingly rejected by a singificant majority of the scottish public. Regardless of Independence.

    They are the useful idiots hammering the last few nails into the coffin of the union.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. England for Jock IndependenceMarch 2, 2017 at 9:46 PM

      Why complain then?

      Delete
    2. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandMarch 2, 2017 at 11:36 PM

      Don't worry about it twat.
      Tory scumbags like you will never get it.

      Delete
  4. My understanding is that the Scotland Act sets out those areas that are "Reserved". Everything else is presumed to be devolved, including agriculture and fisheries. However, the Scottish Government must exercise those powers within the constraints of EU law. Once the UK leaves the EU, those constraints are lifted, which means that the Scottish Government has complete power over those areas. That will be the position, as you say, James, unless and until the Westminster parliament legislates otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Jock fae the East EndMarch 2, 2017 at 10:22 PM

      The reality is the Nat sis do not want powers that the EU have. They do not want the Westminster government to reclaim powers from the EU. They do not want brexit.
      The Nat sis were happy for the EU to dictate policy but are sad it is almost all over now.

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working Class 2March 2, 2017 at 10:38 PM

      Allowing others to control you is a subconscious habit. If you are doing it,you probably learned to do this a very long time ago when you didn’t have the option of making your own choices. In fact, someone probably prevented you from making
      independent decisions and learning from your mistakes.

      In short, you had to give your power away to someone else who was eager to prove how righteous he or she was. The habit of giving power or control away turns into a psychological attachment. The frustration of feeling pressured and controlled becomes more of a way of life than anything else!

      CHOOSE LIFE CHOOSE INDEPEDENCE.

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Jock fae the West EndMarch 2, 2017 at 11:01 PM

      I agree entirely with Glasgow Jock fae the East End. Jock has his finger on the pulse and has sussed Nat si lies and deception. The Nat sis want to hand political power over to the EU. They are traitors to Scotland.

      Delete
    4. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandMarch 2, 2017 at 11:38 PM

      Whit the fuck do you know about scotand you westminster bubble tory sockpuppet twat?

      You thought Loki was the same as Tommy Sheridan.

      ROFL!

      Delete
  5. The Tories have always opposed devolution and in their desperation to create the image of a strong united UK will definitely want as much power concentrated in London as possible.
    They think that they are omnipotent at present and once they consider themselves freed from the shackles of the EU will set about trying to reconstruct the British empire.
    That will also include ensuring the rebellious Scots are crushed and brought to heel by neutering our parliament and recentralising decision making in London.
    Devolution and empire building are mutually exclusive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Jock fae the SoothsideMarch 2, 2017 at 11:08 PM

      This is propoganda based on lies and fake created propoganda. Scots are not in shackles. The Nat sis will crawl into the gutter with their anti English fascist rhetoric.

      Delete
    2. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandMarch 2, 2017 at 11:39 PM

      Away an cringe on stormfront ya tory embarrassment of a sockpuppet.

      Delete
    3. Wee Mick fae ra GorbalsMarch 3, 2017 at 12:06 AM

      The Nat si above is an English hating fascist and wants to divide the people on our wee landmass.... Real Nazi scumbag.

      Delete
    4. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandMarch 3, 2017 at 12:23 AM

      Whit the fuck do you know about scotand you westminster bubble tory sockpuppet twat?

      You thought Loki was the same as Tommy Sheridan.

      ROFL!

      Delete
    5. woman that draps her drawers easily.March 3, 2017 at 12:41 AM

      Who is Tommy Sheridan?

      Delete
    6. Wee jimmy fae BridgetonMarch 3, 2017 at 4:44 AM

      The English think that incompetence is the same thing as sincerity.
      Quentin Crisp, British writer, in the New York Times, 1977

      Delete
  6. Vote No,get nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jock fae AberdeenMarch 3, 2017 at 12:12 AM

    Whats the difference between and Englishman and a Jock? The Jock trys foreplay before shaggin a sheep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump's Golden Shower of Kipper ToriesMarch 3, 2017 at 12:22 AM

      What's the difference between Nigel Farage and a KKK Grand Wizard?

      Nothing.

      Delete
    2. Dundee Nat si Republican FascistMarch 3, 2017 at 12:34 AM

      Farage does not know what a pokey hat is, is the answer.

      Delete
    3. Jock fae naewhereMarch 3, 2017 at 1:58 AM

      Help Ive lost the plot ...

      Delete
  8. @WasteMonster Wanker

    Everything is now subject to "normally" which can means whatever I like. As the Supreme Court said I, WasteMonster, can do what I like whenever I like and there is nothing you jocks can do about it.

    So whether or not something is devolved does not in fact mean anything. I can dissolve the devolved governments whenever I want and I will do it when I feel like it. Firstly though I'm going to play a game with you and let you hold a referendum. I am going to fiddle the result just like I did last time. Then I am going to dissolve you. Ha Ha there's nothing you can do.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Teresa May actually using the Ein Volk defence while wrapped in her beloved fleg in front of an audience of fleg waving nationalists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cut MSP'S by HalfMarch 3, 2017 at 11:44 AM

      Teresa tells saggy bottom Knickerless tae stop mouthing aff and go for it. Knickerless says am only kiddin hen we need yer subsidy tae pay the benefit money fur ra wasters in Holyrood.

      Delete
    2. Nigel Farage and his £ 3 Million in Expenses claimsMarch 3, 2017 at 2:45 PM

      Hows that Tory election Fraud going ya clueless far-right bawbag?

      Delete
  10. Wee Jimmy Krankie the national socialist,does not like Trump because,wait for it he is a Nationalist and wants jobs for Americans first.So the reality is that wee Krankie is in fact a globalist like her clone commie sis Merkel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nigel Farage and his £ 3 Million in Expenses claimsMarch 3, 2017 at 2:43 PM

      Kipper twat

      Delete
    2. Kelvinside Posh ToryMarch 3, 2017 at 6:47 PM

      Bimsy has something there. Merkel was an East German and brainwashed by the commies some who were former Nazis. The Scot Nats want to be her friend and abandon their neighbour England.

      Delete
    3. Westminster Twattering Class 2March 3, 2017 at 8:33 PM

      Can't wait for the racist kipper tory twits to tell the infamous German heritage Saxe-Coberg and her Greek immigrant hubbie to GTF.

      ROFL

      Delete
    4. Exactly Posh Tory.Krankie is a 5 star hypocrite champagne socialist who likes spending other peoples money.She wants to expand her empire whilst flying the saltire,but it is all an illusion and deception.Shes is a racist against the English and should be put up on a hate crime.Maybe that would make her THINK AGAIN.

      Delete
  11. Snackbeard has a hissy fitMarch 3, 2017 at 2:42 PM

    Ross Colquhoun‏Verified account @rosscolquhoun 9m

    The unscripted, confused and angry state of unionism in Scotland. Watch the full interview from 11:40:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08h4zx0/daily-politics-03032017 …

    LOL

    Quite possibly the most incompetent and clueless scottish tory in decades.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Kate Forbes MSP‏Verified account @KateForbesMSP 7 hours ago

    "29% of Conservative grassroots members would actually welcome Scots independence"

    ReplyDelete
  13. Theresa Trumpette and her revolting kipper toriesMarch 3, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    Wings Over Scotland‏ @WingsScotland 3 hours ago

    What the Scottish Tory conference lacks in raw numbers, it makes up for in diversity.

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/tory-resurgence-continues/

    PMSL!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Davidson's Cringing YoonsMarch 3, 2017 at 3:19 PM

    ᴎᴁʙᴅ ��‏ @naebD 6 hours ago

    Centre of gravity of Scottish Unionism is now with the "shut Holyrood" brigade, so this kind of thing isn't surprising at all.



    Philip Sim‏Verified account
    @BBCPhilipSim

    Ruth Davidson tells #bbcgms that "in first instance" powers will go to Westminster post-Brexit, before "mature discussion" about devolution

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes sense because all the SNP care about is independence. They do not have a brain about them to discuss serious issues.

      Delete
    2. The 'brains' behind BrexitMarch 3, 2017 at 8:29 PM

      Boris 'the buffoon' Johnson

      Liam 'Adam Werrity' Fox

      Nigel 'expenses fraud' Farage


      Delete
  15. Dr Craig Dalzell‏ @thecommongreen 14 minutes ago

    Rather than hold the scheduled policy debate, the @ScotTories are giving each other trophies. Wish I was making it up.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wee Jock McSwally a LotMarch 3, 2017 at 6:33 PM

    Nat sis still shittin themselves tae call a referendum. If ye want independence give the English a vote. Who and where will you crawl tae next for a bail oot. You will need a Berlin Airlift to sustain your wee parochial si state,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump's Golden Shower of Kipper ToriesMarch 3, 2017 at 8:29 PM

      From the Times (BritNat Yoon newspaper)

      Scotland to demand new referendum, No 10 fears

      May is warned that start of Brexit will trigger ‘devolution crisis


      FEARS

      Hahahahahahahahahaa!

      Delete
  17. The Past

    Both authoritarian communism (as in Russia, China etc.) and ‘labourism’ (ie. The labour parties of the world), have failed to solve our global crisis. We need a different path to a better world. Anarchism offers itself as a guide on that path.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jesus is my light and guide.

      Delete
    2. Theresa Trumpette and her revolting kipper toriesMarch 3, 2017 at 8:40 PM

      Theresa May Says God And Her Faith Are Guiding Brexit Decisions

      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/theresa-may-says-god-and-her-faith-is-guiding-brexit-decisions_uk_583bdcd7e4b0207d1918523c

      Explains a lot, doesn't it? :o)

      Delete
    3. Theresa May to have John Mason's child. The three wise men to arrive soon.

      Delete
  18. The Daily Heil is not above the LawMarch 3, 2017 at 8:38 PM

    Byline‏ @Byline_Media 8m

    IMPORTANT: blagger Steve Whittamore confirms to Byline his activities for the Daily Mail after arrest were illegal

    http://www.byline.com/column/3/article/1513 …

    ReplyDelete
  19. Theresa Trumpette and her revolting kipper toriesMarch 3, 2017 at 8:43 PM

    Nearly Legal‏ @nearlylegal 5 hours ago

    Housing benefit removal for 18-21 year olds goes ahead.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2017/252/pdfs/uksi_20170252_en.pdf …

    Astoundingly stupid. Watch street homelessness rise

    ReplyDelete
  20. Theresa Trumpette and her revolting kipper toriesMarch 3, 2017 at 8:44 PM

    Gareth Quinn‏ @GarethBQuinn 12 hours ago


    Theresa May: "SNP represent a narrow nationalism"
    Theresa May as Home Secretary: "GO HOME"
    #scc17

    ReplyDelete
  21. Bumblefuck tories for racial unityMarch 3, 2017 at 8:46 PM

    Faisal Islam‏Verified account @faisalislam 10 hours ago

    Faisal Islam Retweeted graeme.christie

    Quite regular this stuff now..thought all left behind in 1980s. On personal basis - I don't care. what must be going on generally - terrible

    graeme.christie‏
    @ChristieGraeme

    @faisalislam you could return to your native land, or go to Europe!

    ReplyDelete
  22. You don't say anything about what the consequences of the egregiously misnamed Great Repeal Bill will be. Fair enough, given that nothing whatever has been said in public, still less discussed in Parliament, about how in detail the GRB process will work. But please don't fall into the trap of thinking that GRB will not happen, or that it will not bring about exactly the effects on, for example, the devolution of fisheries policy that Mrs May wants for it.
    The Supreme Court decision also tells us that no challenge to this process in the courts, based on the Sewel convention, will succeed, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the Great Repeal Bill rips up the current devolution settlement and breaches the Sewel Convention, that'll be exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about, Frank. The mechanism by which its done is largely irrelevant.

      Yes, the Supreme Court made clear that Sewel is a convention rather than something that can be legally enforced - if that wasn't the case, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. But unless Sewel is adhered to, devolution as we know it falls apart.

      Delete
    2. The most obvious attempt will be to ammend the restriction on Holyrood's ability on matters involving the EU to all international treaties.

      So at first glance control of fisheries and farming might be back in Holyrood but as the first will probably have been part of the EU exit negotiations it's not stings that'll be attached. It'll be sodding great ropes

      Delete