Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Scotland has more than enough self determination.

"Scotland has more than enough self determination."

I came across this stunning statement  (on a Facebook page which seeks to facilitate debate from both sides of the independence debate) as a reason for a 'No' vote. So I thought if Scotland already has 'enough' self determination what does it look like? What is the evidence we have 'enough' self determination?

A tiny scratch of the enough self determination veneer revealed:

91% of Scottish MP's opposed the Welfare Reform Act 2012 on its final reading. That is the majority of MP's from Scotland reflecting the considered will of the people of Scotland at Westminster, a will which according to the Treaty of Union is paramount for all time, where 'all time' means exactly that - but was, as usual, ignored.

70% of Scots in polls since 2006 have stated a preference for a new more autonomous Union, a federated Union more fitting for the 21st Century - the option Westminster refused to address when it thought it would cruise a No result in September 2014. Once again Westminster ignored the considered will of the people of Scotland.

The 80% of Scots and their Parliament at Holyrood do not want nuclear weapons in Scotland but Westminster says we have to have them because they are too dangerous to be stored, maintained and loaded onto the submarines at Devonport. How does either the 'considered will' or 'self determination' work here?

If we had 'self determination', Westminster could not force Bills and Acts on Scotland contrary to the considered will of the people of Scotland as co partners in the UK Union. Here's the problem - a UK constitution does not exist, it is just 'made up as it goes along'. There is no statement in the Treaty of Union which agrees with the popular misconception of Scotland being 'subsumed by England' and therefore only English constitutional norms are applicable within the Union. The lawful case is the opposite because the Scottish realm with its crown, laws, constitution, religious practices and much else has remained separate since 1706 - we only share a parliament with England and a currency.

Holyrood, as a devolved parliament, only took on the responsibilities which were those of the Scottish Viceroy and his staff in Whitehall, also known prior to 1999 as the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Scottish Office.

Anytime Westminster feels Scotland is getting 'uppity' and not 'toeing the UK line' then they cut our pocket money as Brown did (Peterhead CO2 capture /  DLA reduction of £20 million from the Scottish pocket money), as Darling did year on year in real terms (3% per annum) and as Osbourne is doing by a further £4 billion after 2015 if we are daft enough to vote No and get another five years of Tory Austerity, a policy the people of Scotland rejected in 2010 and are unlikely to buy into it this time around either - even if it is wearing Ed Milliband's off pink Y-fronts with integral 'Teflon' tear off strip, skid mark protection.

So Scotland has very little scope for self determination under the present set up - and none on major issues such as Foreign Affairs, Defence, Fiscal planning, the EU, how the tax it earns is raised or spent or Welfare Provision, bungs to MP's, bail outs of failed banking businesses, over weaning investment in London and the SE to the detriment of the rest of the UK, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

1 comment:

  1. Scots need to realise that Westminster is the place where English votes decide who is to govern us (Scotland).As far as I am concerned,Westminster IS England's parliament and that by returning full powers to Holyrood will give us,for the first time ever,a government democratically elected by Scots for Scots.
    Since I agree that Scotland is a country,all the "debate" around currency,which clubs we will or will not be a member of etc are irrelevant if we do not have the fundamental democratic right to elect our own government.
    Thanks Peter