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'On the 20th anniversary of devolution, Tory Brexit proposals constitute a blatant power grab from Scotland'

'On the 20th anniversary of devolution, Tory Brexit proposals constitute a blatant power grab from Scotland' | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
TOMORROW marks 20 years to the day since the referendum result which heralded a new era of Scottish democracy.

That day the people voted overwhelmingly for a Scottish Parliament, to take responsibility of a whole range of policy areas affecting their everyday lives.

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, September 10, 2017 4:42 AM

The First Minister understates the issue. It is not merely that devolution is being challenged, but that the very existence of the Scottish Parliament is under threat. The threat is real. And it is immediate.

 

To understand what is going on one must ask why the UK Government is behaving as it is. Why are they taking devolved powers back to Westminster? What possible motive might there be? The simplest and least controversial course of action would be to follow the established principle that powers not explicitly reserved are devolved. The easiest thing would be to adhere to the existing schedule of reserved areas. The most obviously sensible way of dealing with the issue of where powers should go as they are returned from the EU would be to allocate them in accordance with what is currently devolved.

 

But this is not what the British ruling elite is doing. They are seizing those powers for themselves. They are arbitrarily and unilaterally adding them to the list of powers already being withheld from the Scottish Parliament. We are entitled to ask why.

 

They promise that these powers will be re-devolved at some unspecified later date. But we know what British promises are worth. If the intention was to ensure that the powers go where they belong, why add this extra and wholly unnecessary stage to the process? The only credible explanation is that there is no intention to relinquish the powers grabbed under the terms of the Brexit legislation.

 

Again, we must ask why. Surely this will make a mockery of the entire devolution project. Surely it will be a recipe for endless, and escalating, disputes between Holyrood and Westminster. Surely it will make the devolution settlement unworkable.

 

In the absence of any other even remotely plausible explanation, we must assume that this is the British political establishment's aim. They want to make it impossible for the Scottish Parliament to function. They want to undermine its practicality and erode its legitimacy. They want to shut it down. They want to impose direct London rule.

 

Some of us have seen this coming since 2014 and the referendum vote which effectively gave the British state licence to do whatever it wanted with Scotland. And, by definition, what the 'One Nation' British nationalists presently dominating British politics want is to bring Scotland back into line with the rest of the UK.

 

The distinctive political culture that has developed in Scotland since devolution, and especially since the SNP formed its first administration in 2007, has become an increasing embarrassment to a British political elite wedded to neo-liberal ideology and obsessed with austerity.

 

The combination of the effective political power of the SNP; the Scottish Parliament becoming the principal locus of Scotland's politics; and the determined democratic dissent of the Yes movement, has rendered the British ruling elite fearful for the integrity of the British state's structures of power, privilege and patronage. History teaches us that the British state responds to such threats in brutish fashion.

 

It may not be politic for Nicola Sturgeon to speak too openly of the imminent threat to Scotland's democracy. That she says as much as she has is a measure of how seriously she takes this threat. We must heed her call to defend our Parliament. We must unite to protect our democracy.

 

The people of Scotland face a stark choice. Either we bring our government home completely, or we will lose it entirely.

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SNP lift suspension of councillor at heart of 'McMafia' racism scandal

SNP lift suspension of councillor at heart of 'McMafia' racism scandal | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
THE SNP councillor at the centre of the McMafia racism scandal that exposed bitter divisions in the party in North Lanarkshire has been reinstated.
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Brexit: 325 Tory MPs fail to turn up for House of Commons vote to guarantee EU nationals the right to remain in UK - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Brexit: 325 Tory MPs fail to turn up for House of Commons vote to guarantee EU nationals the right to remain in UK - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
The Government has refused to support a motion passed in the House of Commons calling for EU nationals to be guaranteed the right remain in Britain following the vote for Brexit.
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SNP MP calls for transparency regarding nuclear convoys in Scotland

SNP MP calls for transparency regarding nuclear convoys in Scotland | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

SNP MP calls for transparency regarding nuclear convoys in Scotland. SNP's Douglas Chapman has called for local authorities to be notified of nuclear convoys in advance.


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Standards commissioner launches full inquiry into SNP MP's financial interests

Standards commissioner launches full inquiry into SNP MP's financial interests | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

THE SNP faces the embarrassing prospect of a third MP withdrawing from the party whip after Westminster’s sleaze watchdog launched a full parliamentary investigation into the Nationalist’s conduct.

Phil Boswell, who admitted he had benefited from a tax avoidance scheme despite campaigning against them in the Commons, is being probed over whether he breached parliamentary rules on MPs declaring company directorships.

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Why vote SNP at the UK Election?

Why vote SNP at the UK Election? | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
Nicola Sturgeon says this election – the UK Election on May 7th – isn’t about independence, and she is right.  Whatever the outcome, Scotland will not emerge as an independent nation.  So why are more and more Scots saying they will vote SNP, the...
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Barroso backtracks on Kosovo comments as pressure builds on EC President

Barroso backtracks on Kosovo comments as pressure builds on EC President | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

José Manuel Barroso has signalled a u-turn on claims he made in a BBC interview in which he compared a newly independent Scotland to Kosovo.

 

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Don’t Let Big Business Hold Back the EU Referendum

Don’t Let Big Business Hold Back the EU Referendum | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
Last week, Vince Cable stood before a gathering of economists and said: “The prospect of a referendum and possible exit from the EU is deeply unsettling for businesses trading in the European single market, from the car industry to financial...
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Scottish independence: unregistered voter call

Scottish independence: unregistered voter call | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
CAMPAIGNERS for Scottish independence have appealed to the country’s ‘missing million’ unregistered voters to ensure they are registered to vote in the referendum.
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Dennis Healey admits oil tax cover up

Dennis Healey admits oil tax cover up | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

FORMER Chancellor Denis Healey has admitted the Government underplayed the value of Scottish oil in the 1970s.

 

The Labour peer said figures were massaged to counter the threat of nationalism in the runup to the 1979 devolution referendum.

 

And he claims Westminster parties are now “worried stiff” about losing oil revenue if Scots vote to break from the UK.

 

THE former Labour Chancellor, Denis Healey, has admitted his Government played down the value of Scotland’s oil reserves in the 1970s because of the threat of nationalism.

 

Now Lord Healey of Riddlesden, the Labour peer said tax receipts from oil is the biggest factor behind Westminster opposition to both next year’s and the 1979 independence referendum.

 

The 95-year-old also claimed the Westminster parties are “worried stiff” about Scots voting Yes in next year’s poll because of the valuable income from the North Sea.

 

Meanwhile he joined former Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson in backing a bid for the UK to quit the European Union.

Lord Healey said the UK would “sufferenormously” withoutthebillions of pounds of tax from North Sea oil.

 

He said: “I think they [Westminster politicians] are concerned about Scotland taking the oil, I think they are worried stiff about it.

“I think we would suffer enormously if the income from Scottish oil stopped but if the Scots want it [independence], they should have it and we would just need to adjust. But I would think Scotland could survive perfectly well, economically, if it was independent. “Yes, I would think so . . . with the oil.” In 1974 a leading Government economist, Professor Gavin McCrone, wrote a report which stated that Scotland would have had “embarrassingly” large tax surpluses as a result of the North Sea oil boom.

Lord Healey’s Labour Government decided to keep that document under wraps until it was eventually released in 2005.

 

Reflecting on this time, Lord Healey said: “I think we did underplay the value of the oil to the country because of the threat of nationalism but that was mainly down to Thatcher.

 

“We didn’t actually see the rewards from oil in my period in office because we were investing in the infrastructure rather than getting the returns and, really, Thatcher wouldn’t have been able to carry out any of her policies without that additional five per cent on GDP from oil. Incredible good luck she had from that.”

 

Asked if he had considered establishing a sovereign wealth fund with the oil revenues to invest in the country’sfuturewhenhewasinoffice, he said: “It’s true that we should have invested the money in things we needed in Britain and I had thought about an oil fund, but it wasn’t my responsibility by then.”

 

Lord Healey also said he would now vote to leave the European Union.

He explained: “I can see a lot in favour of coming out of Europe and the thing is that we did keep out of most of the European institutions but we are still interdependent because of the relationship and if we decided not to be part of the EU I think, that in many ways, we would gain from it.


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The ground war

The ground war | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
I make videos. The written word is not my weapon of choice. But "Better Together" have left me no alternative. Let me explain. I'm a recently-retired video producer. Another recently-retired video ...
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Scottish Independence via YES. Scotland should be an Independent Country
Energy...

Scottish Independence via YES. Scotland should be an Independent Country
Energy bills will be cut by 5% a year by the Scottish govt. after a Yes vote !
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BBC Platform for anti-independence campaign chief questioned

BBC Platform for anti-independence campaign chief questioned | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

The BBC has come under fire for apparently breaking with convention by allowing a senior figure from the anti-independence campaign Better Together to attack the SNP in air in the middle of the party's Perth conference.

 

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Income tax may double for Scots after independence - Gordon Brown

Income tax may double for Scots after independence - Gordon Brown | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

The chronic state of Scotland’s public finances could be enough to double income tax bills after independence, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned.

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Ruth Davidson signals support of Scotland staying in EU’s single market

Ruth Davidson signals support of Scotland staying in EU’s single market | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

Scotland must retain access to the European single market to protect the economy, jobs and public services, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has told Europe Minister David Lidington.

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Brexit: 325 Tory MPs fail to turn up for House of Commons vote to guarantee EU nationals the right to remain in UK - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Brexit: 325 Tory MPs fail to turn up for House of Commons vote to guarantee EU nationals the right to remain in UK - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
The Government has refused to support a motion passed in the House of Commons calling for EU nationals to be guaranteed the right remain in Britain following the vote for Brexit.
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Nicola Sturgeon to address SNP conference for disabled members

Nicola Sturgeon to address SNP conference for disabled members | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

The SNP is to stage Scotland’s first ever political conference for party members who are disabled.


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SNP want polls to show 60 support for independence for a whole year before calling referendum

SNP want polls to show 60 support for independence for a whole year before calling referendum | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
The SNP will not seek another Scottish independence referendum until polls consistently show more than 60 of the public would vote to leave the…
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Gordon Brown-Ming Campbell - Lab-Lib plot - YouTube

Gordon Brown was so desperate to keep Alex Salmond from being First Minister he tried to cut a deal to keep him out of power. Revealed in Menzies Campbell's ...
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Catalan president: Spain cannot block our independence vote — RT ...

Catalan president: Spain cannot block our independence vote — RT ... | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
Defying Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy's insistence that he would not allow a referendum on independence for Catalonia, Artur Mas, the Catalan president, said a “knee-jerk” reaction to block it would seriously damage Spain's ...
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Controlling our future: Scottish fishing and the need for independence

Controlling our future: Scottish fishing and the need for independence | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
It is difficult to imagine that there is any connection between the success of a country’s economic strategy and Scotland’s fishing industry.� But there is and it’s a salient lesson. Scotland's economic strategy Strategy is the art of placing yourself in an advantageous position for the
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RBS would move to London if Scotland breaks away - Cable | Reuters

RBS would move to London if Scotland breaks away - Cable | Reuters | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland would inevitably move its headquarters from Edinburgh to London if Scotland votes for independence later this year, Business Secretary
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Why Scotland needs a strong independent online news media

Why Scotland needs a strong independent online news media | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
Scottish News, News Scotland - Politics, Referendum, Economy, Culture and intelligent opinion | Newsnet Scotland, uniquely Scottish
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Women for Scottish Independence
For anyone who missed this last night.

Women for Scottish Independence
For anyone who missed this last night.
Party Political Broadcasts - Scottish National Party: 18/10/2013
www.bbc.co.uk
A party political broadcast by the Scottish National Party.
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Scottish independence: White paper out in November

Scottish independence: White paper out in November | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
ALEX Salmond has revealed the Scottish Government will publish its blueprint for independence on Tuesday 26 November.
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