Referendum 2014
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
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The visceral hatred of Westminster politics | Snowblog | Snowblog

The visceral hatred of Westminster politics | Snowblog | Snowblog | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Sex, greed, over-centralised politics, and London-centricity - they all play their part in the alienation from Westminster politics that many of us are finding within and beyond the M25.
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'Tory MPs secretly want Scotland independence for Westminster majority' claims Lord Forsyth

'Tory MPs secretly want Scotland independence for Westminster majority' claims Lord Forsyth | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The former Scottish Conservative Secretary claims some Tories believe Scotland could make all the difference in the next election
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The benefits of a unified government

The benefits of a unified government | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

During the 1980s, pressure for a Scottish Parliament stemmed largely from the view that devolution might be able to protect Scotland from the worst excesses of Thatcherism. The last fourteen years have certainly confirmed that logic, even if some of that Thatcherism was being pushed at Westminster by New Labour. The decisions taken at Holyrood by this administration and its predecessors have almost all been either better than Westminster’s equivalent decisions for England or at least no worse. That’s why the idea of abolishing the Scottish Parliament, as floated by the occasional fringe voice from the Tories or Labour, is now utterly inconceivable.

Peter A Bell's insight:

The "one parliament" point is an extension of the gradualist argument that once competed, within the SNP and elsewhere, with the absolutist position that saw devolution as an obstacle to or diversion from independence rather than a means to the end of restoring Scotland's rightful constitutional status. But it is an interesting point in its own right - not least because it is entirely pragmatic. It's just about making the system work better.

It is interesting too when examined in the context of the noises being made of late by the British parties in Scotland about continuing, or evolving, devolution. The gradualist case for accepting devolution at the end of the last century was that the devolution of one power would tend to weaken the case for reserving another. As more powers were devolved, it would become increasingly difficult to justify keeping the reducing number of remaining powers in Westminster's hands.

Who can doubt that the gradualists have been proved right.

But all of this leads us to an intriguing thought experiment which illustrates the vacuousness of the unionist portrayal of devolution as a continuous process. It inevitably begs the question, if devolution is an evolutionary process, what does it evolve into?

If devolution continues - as the British parties are desperately trying to pretend will happen in the event of a No vote - where does it go? If it is more than ineffectual, and quite possibly damaging, tinkering around the fringes of policy areas, then devolution must mean nothing less than the transfer to Holyrood of full powers in particular policy areas. Given that there are a finite number of policy areas, and a finite range of individually transferable powers within each of these policy areas, "evolving" devolution must inevitably reach a point where there is but one area in which the UK Government retains its influence over policy in Scotland. And, quite possibly, only partial power.

Surely it is at this juncture, if not much earlier, that we would be asking, "What's the point?".

If it is daft and inefficient to have powers divided between two parliaments, how much more daft and inefficient is it to have a situation where the Scottish Parliament exercises the full powers of an independent nation with but a solitary exception?

Even if there were a devo-whatever option available to voters in next year's referendum; even if there was a chance that this devo-whatever might be delivered by a UK Government; and even if that devo-whatever was the "evolving" thing that the British parties portray, it would be a nonsense that would inevitably lead to the kind of ludicrous division of powers described. Which, being clearly unsustainable, must in turn lead to full independence.

So why are unionists peddling a concept of devolution that they must surely be aware is both unworkable in practice and will lead to the very outcome that they seek to avoid - independence for Scotland? There seems to be only one possible answer.

It has been truly said that power devolved is power retained. The reality is that a devolved administration can be snuffed out like a light pretty much on the whim of the central government. The only conceivable motive for persisting with devolution as portrayed by unionists is the power it leaves in the hands of the British state to emasculate or abolish the Scottish Parliament.

One way ore another, the "two parliaments" anomaly will be resolved. The question is whether it will be resolved in favour of Holyrood or Westminster.

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Logic fail

Logic fail | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

We meant to mention this in yesterday’s post about the Future Of England Survey, but it was so hot the part of our brain holding the thought got incinerated when we foolishly went to the corner shop to buy some milk.


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Westminster Democracy Style

Westminster Democracy Style | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
By Mike Small An extraordinary performance by Ian Davidson as Westminster passes its Section 30 order today, unopposed. A virtually empty chamber at Westminster saw a few bloated Labour and [...]
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Scrutiny call over Westminster refurbishment costs | Scottish National Party

Scrutiny call over Westminster refurbishment costs | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The SNP's Pete Wishart MP has called for clarity over proposals for refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament following reports that it could cost at least £3 billion.

 

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Race for the undecided

Race for the undecided | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
I read the accounts and reports of the Unionist Party referendum campaign launch with mounting levels of boredom. There was nothing new, no excitement or anticipation of anything really.
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MPs examine independence question

MPs examine independence question | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Plans for an independence referendum in Scotland will come under the spotlight as Scottish Secretary Michael Moore addresses MPs.
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Peter A Bell's comment, February 22, 2012 7:18 AM
Why talk to him? He knows nothing. And he has no say in the matter of the referendum.

But he will give Ian Davidson's little British nationalist clique the answers they want.
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Which *Nag is Your Money On?

Which *Nag is Your Money On? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
I was planning a piece on the Commons debate on our independence and I did sit down and watch with my notebook and pen and I did have a few ideas and maybe a thought or two and…and…well, the truth ...
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The day Westminster asked my opinion

The day Westminster asked my opinion | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

One Monday in June the Westminster Parliament’s Business, Innovation and Skills Committee came to Glasgow specifically to look into “the Implications of Scottish Independence on Business”.  I was delighted (if a little surprised) to be invited along to give evidence on behalf of Business for Scotland’s membership but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.


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After more Westminster cuts, Scotland's future should be in Scotland's hands

After more Westminster cuts, Scotland's future should be in Scotland's hands | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of Yes Scotland, has warned Scottish voters that the latest austerity cuts and changes to our society announced at Westminster this week, provide further clear evidence that Westminster isn't working for the people of Scotland.

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THE NEXT GOVERNMENT YOU DIDN'T VOTE FOR?

THE NEXT GOVERNMENT YOU DIDN'T VOTE FOR? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

If you don’t like this Government you didn’t vote for, then brace yourself for the possible next one. If you think that the Tories governing Scotland with the Liberals is bad, what about the Tories governing Scotland with UKIP?

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Scots better off in UK, say MPs

Scots better off in UK, say MPs | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
MPs vote in favour of a House of Commons motion which declared that Scotland was "better off" in the UK.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Hardly unexpected. The point is, it has nothing whatever to do withmost of these MPs. It is a matter for the people of Scotland alone.

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Inquiry into implications of independence | Herald Scotland

Inquiry into implications of independence | Herald Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

WESTMINSTER'S scrutiny of the implications of Scottish independence will intensify after the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee announced yesterday it will be launching an inquiry – as revealed by The Herald in February.

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Scots ‘do not trust Westminster’ | Free Scotland

Only two in ten people believe it is better for Scotland to remain in the UK if the Tories are in charge, according to an SNP poll.

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