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Wings Over Scotland


Introducing Devo Nano

Posted on March 18, 2014 by

So, the wait is over. Two full years after announcing the setup of its “Devolution Commission” (comprising three MPs, three MSPs, one MEP, a pair of general-purpose office wonks and one increasingly-unhinged councillor), this morning Scottish Labour unveiled its final report, strikingly clad in the flag of, er, Shetland.

labshetland

As we write, only the executive summary has been made available – a slim 14 pages including the preamble, reasoning and recommendations. These are our observations.

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1. Most glaringly, throughout the report there’s no reference whatsoever to the UK Labour Party – which would be solely responsible for actually implementing the recommendations – committing itself to the findings. There is no pledge that the report will form part of Labour’s 2015 election manifesto.

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2. The foreword contains the following paragraph:

“It was never the intention of devolution to devolve power to the Scottish Parliament, only to see it accumulate powers upwards. This has got lost in the mists of a political debate dominated by the issue of separation. Empowering communities means trusting people, and we set out in this report what I believe is an ambitious agenda for reinvigorating local democracy”

We’re not sure what any of that means. How can the Scottish Parliament “accumulate powers upwards” if those powers were devolved to it in the first place?

But it’s interesting to see that the core aim of the document is to “reinvigorate” local democracy. We noted in 2012 what we think that implies – Labour is convinced it can’t win another Holyrood election for the forseeable future, so it aims to bypass Holyrood altogether and divert power to councils, where Labour still has a stronger presence.

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2(a). The foreword also contains this line:

“It is clear that the Scottish people do not want independence, and I firmly believe this will be proven – once and for all – in the referendum later this year.”

If you only believe it will happen, then it can’t yet be clear, you halfwit. How this woman was ever allowed to teach English to our children ought to be the subject of some sort of inquiry.

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3. The opening section claims the UK “is founded on a moral purpose – that no matter where you reside and what your background is, every citizen enjoys the dignity of not just equal civil and political rights, but the same basic social and economic rights.”

This, of course, is plainly and demonstrably tommyrot. UK citizens do NOT all have the same “civil, political, social and economic rights”. Those resident in Scotland, for example, are entitled to free prescriptions, university tuition and personal care in old age. Citizens of England do not share those rights.

Whether this is merely fatuous writing or a signal that Labour proposes to standardise English policy across the UK as part of its “One Nation” platform, we can’t say. But as Johann Lamont only days ago insisted that she wasn’t backing down on her anti-universalism message from 2012, evidence seems to point towards the latter.

“The Labour MSP for Glasgow Pollok insisted she would not move away from the ‘something for nothing’ stance she set out when launching the potential shake-up of Labour’s policy on public services 18 months ago.”

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4. The next passage of note is this:

“We take the view that the preference should be for home rule for Scotland, and that the Scottish Parliament ought to be funded by an appropriate balance of shared UK taxes, which give effect to social solidarity, and its own tax resources, to empower it and strengthen its accountability.”

(We apologise, and our apology stands for the entire duration of this article, if readers are sent into a coma by the outpourings of vacuous, bloated and near-impenetrable wonkspeak contained in the report.)

Being responsible for collecting its own taxes may indeed increase a government’s accountability, but it does not “empower” it, if said taxes only replace monies that it used to be given anyway. It’s a bit like a child reaching the age where it’s no longer just handed some pocket money, but is expected to go out and get a paper round in order to receive the exact same amount.

This is another premise we’ve been discussing in detail on this site for some time. “Responsibilities” and “powers” are not interchangeable terms. It’s no good raising your own money if you still don’t decide what you get to spend it on.

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5. We then come to the key section of the report.

devonano1

Quite openly, the paper notes that Scotland cannot be allowed control of “financial and economic matters”. We’re not sure that needs any further elaboration from us. Scots cannot seek to enhance their own economy, and must rely on London to do it for the whole UK, and then trust it to share the proceeds equitably.

A whole raft of other areas are then similarly locked away, all the way from foreign affairs and welfare right down to lotteries and broadcasting. Readers of the list might be forgiven for wondering what of any value was left.

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6. But almost immediately we get to find out.

“The Scottish Parliament is a permanent feature of the UK constitution and that legal provision should be made to reflect the political reality that the Scottish Parliament is indissoluble and permanently entrenched in the UK constitution.

We also recommend that the ‘Sewel convention’ should be given a statutory basis. This should be enshrined in law to give effect to the convention that the UK Parliament regards the right of the Scottish Parliament to legislate for the matters it properly controls, and that its powers cannot be changed without its consent. “

This entire passage is meaningless. One of the most fundamental principles of the UK’s system of government is that no administration can ever bind the hands of its successors. Labour could certainly pass laws to the effect of the quoted paragraphs, but any government which followed it could rip them up just as easily.

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7. But there’s more!

“In addition, the Scottish Parliament should have administrative control over its own electoral system, as it has for Scottish local government elections, with the UK Parliament remaining responsible for UK General Elections and European Elections.”

Try to contain your excitement, readers.

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8. Now for the explosive part.

“Partnership arrangements between Parliaments and Governments whose responsibilities will inevitably overlap should be established, so that they work together for the common good, safeguarding civil and political rights, and promoting social and economic rights such as welfare and full employment. 

There is a strong case for giving partnership arrangements a legal existence, in the form of statutory obligations on both administrations to co-operate in the public interest, or through the creation of a formal Intergovernmental Council or its equivalent with the duty to hold regular meetings. “

We’re not sure, but we think that was the exact rallying cry of the French Revolution.

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9. What the Scottish media will have to try to sell as the thrilling new powers Labour will be offering in return for a No vote in the referendum comes next.

“There is scope to enhance the autonomy and accountability of the Scottish Parliament through an extension of tax powers.”

Jolly good.

“Labour will give the Scottish Parliament the power to raise around £2 billion more in revenues beyond the recent Scotland Act, so that it raises about 40 per cent of its budget from its own resources.”

This is an intriguing sentence. We don’t think it could have been possible to phrase any proposal any more muddily, to obscure its true meaning any more effectively from voters. We can only assume it to have been done deliberately.

How many Scots would know, were you to stop them in the street and ask, how much in revenue was to be raised via the bewilderingly complex tax functions of the Scotland Act 2012, which haven’t yet come into effect? We suspect almost none, and £2 billion is a totally pointless figure when robbed of that context. If you raise £20bn, another £2bn is a pretty trivial change. If it’s £1bn, adding £2bn on top is a big deal.

The use of the phrase “the power to raise around £2bn more in revenues” is deeply misleading in any event. It suggests the Scottish Government having £2bn more in its coffers, when in fact by default its budget will be exactly the same – the “extra” £2bn is merely a replacement for £2bn in block grant from Westminster which Labour proposes to do away with. But more on that shortly.

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10. But then there’s a weird bit.

“We will also introduce new Scottish Progressive Rates of Income Tax, so that the Scottish Parliament can increase the rates of tax in the higher and additional bands. For the first time, the Scottish Parliament will be able to alter both the level of tax and the progressivity of the tax system, but without the risk that a Scottish Government could force tax competition within the UK by cutting only the top rates, to the detriment of public services.”

When we heard that in early news reports, we assumed the journalists in question must have misunderstood something, but there it is in black and white. Labour proposes, apparently with the expectation of being taken seriously by intelligent humans, that the Scottish Government will be able to INCREASE the top rate of tax without increasing lower bands, but NOT to then reverse the move.

In practice, what that means is that governments will never increase the top rate, because they’ll be tying their own hands and creating a massive hostage to fortune if the policy leads to the creation of “tax refugees” as rich people hastily move to Newcastle to pay less tax.

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11. And of course, it’s all nonsense anyway.

“Labour in the Scottish Parliament would be able to use these powers if a UK Government did not set fair taxes at these levels.”

In other words, these powers will only come into effect if there’s a Labour UK government, at which point there’d be no need for them because that government would be imposing the new rates across the whole UK. And if there wasn’t a Labour government, the Tories would never give such powers to Holyrood. (Or would repeal them the moment they got elected.)

But as well as being pointless, idiotic and unworkable in practice, the proposal is absurdly and obviously undemocratic. What if Scotland elected a party who stood on a manifesto of cutting the top rate of tax (as Labour itself has done several times)? That party would be prevented from enacting something it had a democratic mandate for.

Labour, in short, is trying to enshrine its own ideology as a permanent article of constitution, ensuring that it effectively dictates policy even when it loses elections.

It’s an embarrassing, juvenile, utterly inconceivable notion. The entire idea is a total waste of time, a trompe-l’oeil for the brainless and gullible. So expect to see it screamed like the Ten Commandments from every newspaper in Scotland tomorrow.

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12. Now for the sucker punch.

“The Barnett formula should remain as the funding mechanism for public services in Scotland. Under our proposal, as is the case under the Scotland Act, the Barnett grant will be reduced to take account of the fact that the Scottish Parliament will have a revenue stream of its own.”

Sounds fair and harmless, right? But wait. Labour and the other No parties never tire of reminding us that through Barnett, Scotland gets more than its “fair share” of UK public spending. (For the purposes of this article we’ll ignore the fact that that’s a huge distortion of the reality.)

bt1200

What that asymmetry means is that if you cut Barnett funding by half, you have to MORE than double the corresponding Scottish revenue stream to make up the shortfall. That means higher taxes (or spending cuts) in Scotland, and more money for England, as we’ve been telling you on Wings for almost a year now.

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13. And to soften the blow, the biggest attempted bribe:

“We are in favour of devolving Housing Benefit. This is the largest single benefit paid in Scotland after the state pension – amounting to £1.7 billion a year. We will use this power to abolish the Bedroom Tax, ensure secure funding for the provision of social housing and reduce abuse by unscrupulous private landlords.”

As with the one-way tax-varying powers, this is an entirely hollow pledge. If a Labour government is elected in 2015 they’ve promised to abolish the Bedroom Tax across the entire UK anyway, and if a Conservative one is elected then Holyrood won’t be getting the power, so devolving it makes absolutely no difference to anything.

(In any case, devolving Housing Benefit by itself does nothing to address the CAUSE of the problem. Without control of economic and legislative levers – eg increasing the minimum wage or imposing rent controls – the housing benefit bill will continue to soar, and all the Scottish Government will be able to do is rob other public services in order to mitigate the effects, as it’s having to do now with the Bedroom Tax.)

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14. They’re on a roll now. They’ve gone devolution crazy!

“We believe in the need to establish a Scottish Health & Safety Executive to set enforcement priorities, goals and objectives in Scotland.

This body would still be required to operate within the reserved health & safety framework and regulations, but it would be for the body – reporting to the Scottish Government, scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament and accessing funding provided by that Parliament – to set and achieve the health & safety objectives of most relevance and importance to Scotland.”

Wow. More health-and-safety bureaucracy. Have the street parties started yet?

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15. Still not enough for you?

“We believe that responsibility for the operation of employment tribunals should be devolved to Scotland.”

And to think YOU thought they weren’t serious about this “more powers” thing.

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16. Stop! We can’t take any more devolution!

“We see the case for establishing a Scottish model for the delivery of consumer advocacy and advice, one that would secure and build upon the strengths of the current providers of consumer advice and consumer advocacy respectively.”

Not a clue, sorry.

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17. It could be argued that as the effective “manifesto” of the No campaign, in the context of the Labour voters who ultimately will in whole or large part decide the outcome of the referendum, Labour’s Devolution Commission paper is the most important document in the 307-year history of the Union. So one would assume it would be clear, concise and powerful. If one had never met Scottish Labour.

doubledevo

If you’ve suddenly burst into tears trying to plough through all that pompous management drivel – which goes on for a whole further page in similar vein – let us helpfully summarise it for you, for by now we feel no pain or other human emotions.

It says “We’ll give more power to local people, but we don’t have the faintest idea which powers or how”. Okay, let’s move on.

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18. This next part is quite telling.

“Full devolution of responsibility for delivery of the Work Programme to local authorities on the basis that they are better placed to meet the requirements of local labour markets and this would enhance democratic accountability.

However, we believe it is essential and right that the Scottish Parliament play a key role in providing strategic oversight of local authority delivery of this service.”

By common consensus the Work Programme has been a complete disaster, spending billions of pounds in order to achieve – literally – worse results that would have come from doing nothing at all. Does Labour propose to give the Scottish Parliament the ability to end it and use the money more wisely? No. It just wants to put poorly-paid councillors in charge rather than ministers. Awesome.

(Also, there, a sneak preview of Labour’s attitude if it wins in 2015.)

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19. What about Scotland’s abundant renewable resources? Do we get those?

“A Memorandum of Understanding between the Scottish Government should be agreed with the Crown Estate becoming accountable to the Scottish Parliament, with devolution agreed in respect of their common objectives on the development and management of the seabed and foreshore, and those local authorities with an interest in this area should be fully consulted throughout as to its contents.”

Nope. We get to collect the Queen’s money for her.

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20. Anyone for some more empty gestures?

“We recommend establishing a constitutional guarantee of powers to local government.”

See (6).

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21. And at that point we’re actually pretty much done. The remainder of the paper is just a recap, listing the recommendations in bullet-point form. But we’ll have a quick scoot through them anyway just to see if we’ve missed anything, and because some of them sound even more ridiculous boiled down to a sentence, eg:

“RECOMMENDATION: Whilst it is inconceivable that the Scottish Parliament would be abolished, we believe the Scottish Parliament should become permanently entrenched in the constitution and indissoluble.”

Translation: the Scottish Parliament will never be abolished, so let’s waste our time legislating (as our first listed priority) to stop it from being abolished, even though that legislation itself could simply be abolished.

NB: The UK does not have, in any tangible form, any such thing as a “constitution”. It has laws and conventions, any and all of which can be repealed and/or ignored as the government of the day sees fit.

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22. Now for something controversial:

“RECOMMENDATION: Partnership arrangements between Parliaments and Governments whose responsibilities will inevitably overlap should be established, so that they work together for the common good, safeguarding civil and political rights, and promoting social and economic rights such as welfare and full employment. “

Translation: it’s probably best if governments co-operate with each other, as a general rule. We’re not absolutely sure that it needed two years and a dedicated commission to come to that conclusion.

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23. You’re right, that doesn’t sound enough. Let’s beef it up.

“RECOMMENDATION: There is a strong case for giving partnership arrangements a legal existence, in the form of statutory obligations on both administrations to co-operate in the public interest, or through the creation of a formal Intergovernmental Council or its equivalent with the duty to hold regular meetings. “

Translation: Let’s make sure the simple principle of basic human co-operation is extensively codified, which will encourage people to look for and exploit loopholes in it, because that’s how people think.

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24. Check priorities are in order.

“RECOMMENDATION: The following matters should remain reserved as they are key to the maintenance of the union: [long list of almost aspects of governance, from defence to regulation of animal medicine]”

reserved

Translation: Remember, above all else, that this isn’t about what’s best for the people of Scotland – it’s about whatever will preserve and maintain the Union.

We must ensure, as a matter of deliberate and conscious policy, perhaps even law, that Scotland is never better off than the UK as a whole. If that means taking more money from Scottish taxpayers and giving it to the rest of the UK, thereby helping Labour win votes in English marginals, better still.

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And that, readers, two years in the making, is Scottish Labour’s vision for a post-No Scotland. We get employment tribunals, a little bit of health and safety, and a cut in Barnett funding in exchange for taxation “powers” which never can and never will be used to do anything other than exactly mirror the UK tax structure, and the chance to take quite a lot of tedious paperwork out of Westminster’s hands.

Even if we were to somehow grow our economy (a difficult task, as the paper expressly and explicitly specifies that “financial and economic matters” must remain reserved to Westminster), we’d hardly be able to do anything with the money, because 99% of welfare will also remain reserved, as will nearly everything else.

And of course, best of all, we get to keep paying for Trident and aircraft carriers and going abroad to shoot thousands and thousands of brown people, as the queues for foodbanks stretch the length of our High Streets.

It’s quite the counter-offer, we’ll give them that.

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122 to “Introducing Devo Nano”

  1. bookie from hell says:

    labour devo +

    written by

    William Nawllace

  2. james Morton says:

    rev point 16 is devolving what we already have?

    http://www.glasgowcentralcab.org.uk/

  3. Geoff Huijer says:

    Abolish the Bedroom Tax?

    If only they had bothered to get off their
    collective arses and vote against it a few months ago
    it would’ve been abolished by now.

    I truly despise these vacuous, self-serving,
    lying, bastards.

  4. kalmar says:

    Well done Stu, that can’t have been fun.

    The Health and Safety one is interesting. I’ve seen suggestions that things have become a bit lax in the oil industry. I.e. it’s a poisoned chalice for the Scottish Government, if and when they have to step in to tighten things up.

  5. muttley79 says:

    FAO MSM in Scotland, and the UK:

    Quite openly, the paper notes that Scotland cannot be allowed control of “financial and economic matters”.

  6. Fin says:

    I can’t see how the media will be able to spin this positively. It sounds like the document will be key in showing how bad the ‘more powers’ suggestion really is.

    Now that Labour have specified what they plan to do, I can’t see how they can defend it as a viable alternative at all.

  7. mai parks says:

    I’ve read some of the white paper and did find it readable .
    This? I find childish , tinkering at the edges of real issues and totally laughable if it wasn’t so scary.

  8. Marcovaldo says:

    everybody chant:

    ” What do we want?? ”

    ” a statutory partnership arrangement between both administrations to co-operate in the creation of a formal Intergovernmental Council or its equivalent with the duty to hold regular meetings ! “

    ” When do we want it ? ”

    “..at some unspecified time in the future…”

    .

  9. bunter says:

    Still nothing on the powers to control Alistair Darlings eyebrows and facial ticks. What was the point eh?

  10. Cath says:

    So what happens to Gordon Brown and his tour of Scotland selling devo mega? Will he go ahead as a lone voice crying into the void and hope a few fools believe it might happen?

  11. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    All I want to know is, where is the money in the oil fund going to come from? You still haven’t answered that, have you…?

  12. Clootie says:

    What ever happened to the skill of writing guidance

    The 10 commanments – 100 words
    The American Bill of Rights – 500 words
    The Declation of Abroath – 1300 words
    The American Declartion of Independence – 1300 words
    The EU guidelines on brussel sprouts – 10,000 words

    Labour is at the brussel sprout end of the skill set!

  13. bunter says:

    BIG credibility test for the media on this. I see The Herald is going with the headline of powers over 40% of all revenue? Is that not a lie for starters?

  14. MajorBloodnok says:

    …the UK “is founded on a moral purpose…

    Who knew?! I thought the UK was founded to exploit the gains of the East India Company and Empire generally, keep Catholics off the throne and to give the French what for.

  15. muttley79 says:

    @Major

    That noble sentiment you have quoted from SLAB’s toilet paper release today belies the fact that we are returning to almost Dickensian social and economic conditions.

  16. desimond says:

    Will JoLa be called to task in any interviews. I hope so. Anytime she tries to discuss such empty vacant useless promises, she shows herself and Scottish Labour up for what they truly are, pathetic.

    They lost me at “Powers for a Purpose”. you just know some ‘The Thick of It’ style adviser was paid about £3k a day to come up with such utter pish.

  17. Kendomacaroonbar says:

    I’m underwhelmed, so many tease and seize.

  18. Cath says:

    “It sounds like the document will be key in showing how bad the ‘more powers’ suggestion really is.”

    There are a lot of people out there who don’t have a clue how few powers the Scottish parliament has right now. With any luck, if they bother to read this properly and not just go be whatever spin the BBC put onto it, it may actually wake them up to that.

  19. Cath says:

    btw, this is a useful link for anyone who thinks the Calman tax powers sound good, or who think independence will “mean complications”.

    The vast complexities the Scotland Act will bring in if we vote no.

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/news/technote-scot-taxrate.pdf

  20. Taranaich says:

    The core of the Welfare State – pensions and the majority of cash benefits. These allow the social solidarity that helps bind the UK together.

    So Scottish Labour, they who propose to defeat the Bedroom Tax despite their UK masters claiming they will be tougher than the Tories on welfare, propose to RETAIN the core of the same Welfare State which is being destroyed by the UK government. In the name of solidarity.

    I have no words for the contempt I feel.

  21. Wp says:

    Bunter,Love the Would, Could, Should part of that herald article. Why all this preperation when Westminster will respond with Wont. All this when they have no chance of getting into power anyway.

  22. tartanfever says:

    Peter Mirtitsch says:

    All I want to know is, where is the money in the oil fund going to come from? You still haven’t answered that, have you…?

    call me crazy, but it probably going to come from..eh…oil

  23. bookie from hell says:

    when you say nothing at all

  24. Grouse Beater says:

    This far, and no further.

    That’s what it amounts to. Or put annother way,

    Here’s a bag of oats to chew on, good Dobbin, (see Samuel Johnson) but we keep the reins of where we are going and how we get there.

  25. Training Day says:

    Thanks must go to Labour’s commission for producing this prize dud, a document so inane and vacuous that it exceeds our wildest expectations of idiocy, timidity and poverty of imagination.

    We could not have asked for a better demonstration of the uselessness of the Union.

    Well done Labour!

  26. Look Skye Walker says:

    This is absolutely brilliant, exactly what I need. Does anyone know where I can get hold of a copy? I have a wobbly coffee table that needs fixing.

  27. Clootie says:

    Training Day

    It wasn’t that good!

  28. jon esquierdo says:

    The wummins a hawfwit

  29. Alt Clut says:

    It’s hard to imagine that this weasel worded spoiler will gain much traction. People who can be bothered to plough through the opaque wording are likely to be smart enough to see it for what it is – throwing dust in voters eyes.

    The danger, of course, is that the unionist propaganda machine of the media will super inflate it; so we’ll have to be ready to counter that. On the plus side, it may create some pressure inside BT as it’s also hard to believe that all Tories and Libs will be able to refrain from pointing out how vacuous it is.

  30. muttley79 says:

    @Training Day

    Thanks must go to Labour’s commission for producing this prize dud, a document so inane and vacuous that it exceeds our wildest expectations of idiocy, timidity and poverty of imagination.

    We could not have asked for a better demonstration of the uselessness of the Union.

    Well done Labour!

    😀 😀 Have you read who helped produced this shitfest of banality and drivel? Poor old Willie Young of Aberdeen CC was one! 😀 😀

  31. Andy-B says:

    In the second paragraph it mentions bypassing Holyrood and going straight local councils, it seems their already well and truly doing this.

    Glasgow City chambers is being taken over by the UK government, to promote Great Britain during the Commonwealth Games, this Great Britain campaign, is to be used to market the UK abroad,and not to influence referendum voters,you’d be a fool to believe that.

    Glasgow City chambers will be used to promote, the UK outside Scotland but not Scotland itself,and the corrupt and unscrupulous Labour held chambers will be more than pleased to do so, beginning with the unfurling of a number of extra union jack flags, over the chambers.

  32. Nick says:

    Crazy – A few useless titbits to whet the appetite of the venerated Scots voter.

    It makes sense for Scots to manage their own. I laughed when I heard of Shetland murmuring about self rule! That would throw a cat amongst the pigeons! What if they were to suggest – It isn’t UK Oil, It isn’t Scots Oil, it is our oil?

  33. annie says:

    It beggars belief that they would think this is acceptable, surely they must hold their voters in total contempt if they think this is anywhere near acceptable.

  34. No No No...Yes says:

    As if Johann’s Lament is bad enough, here is reminder about intent of the real Labour Party, the UK Labour Party. You know the one that aspires to be the next UK government.

    This from the Guardian, in October 2013. Rachel Reeves, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary:

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/12/labour-benefits-tories-labour-rachel-reeves-welfare

    No wonder it attracted 1,316 comments.

    Johann, you can say what you want, but this is more the reality…

  35. call me dave says:

    You folk at the back of the class, you are all confused and lack understanding of what a valuable and far sighted document labour have produced as it’s vision for Scotland.

    Brian T, D Fraser and J Bird will explain it all to us later on BBC TV and Radio. Prepare to be astonished!

    Two years in the making, blimey an elephant would have produced another baby elephant at least.

    @Cath

    You are correct at least we know a little bit about what happens in the event of a NO.

  36. Robin Ross says:

    If section 8 is the French Revolution then can we expect Project Fear to expand into the Reign of Terror?

    Section 8 is so opaquely worded that I get the feeling I’m being sold something I won’t want. Can anyone explain what we’re being sold here.

  37. Macart says:

    “We’ve lost the will to live for now, readers. Tune in later for Part 2.”

    No, please stop there, yer fine.

    I don’t think I can take much more powerless devolution without the aid of strong drink.

  38. HandandShrimp says:

    It is more an ode to the Union than a serious proposal of intent to create a workable extension of devolution.

    A work of either incompetence or something filleted on the way to the counter by vested interests in maintaining the status quo. I suspect the latter but it could be a little from column A and little from column B

  39. Gillie says:

    So a Scottish government can progressively increase the top rate of tax but cannot decrease this top rate downwards without lowering all the other tax bands as well.

    So what is the fu*king point of that?

  40. Thanks for the explanation, Stuart, but now I need to lie down to recover from their undiluted garbage.

  41. Training Day says:

    @Muttley

    Aye, Cooncillor Young and Prof Arthur ‘Bleak’ Midwinter must have had a whale of a time producing this steaming turd.

    That paragraph about Health and Safety cracks me up. I think it’s almost McGonagall-esque in its unconscious hilarity.

  42. Embradon says:

    Lipstick for the pig.

  43. remy2a says:

    Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said the Barnett formula, which determinate the share of UK public spending that Scotland receive, would survive her party’s planned reforms.
    But best specialist about the Barnett formula, a man who created the Barnett formula – Lord Barnett, the former chief secretary to the Treasure and architect of the Barnett formula, said such changes would be incompatible with his funding mechanism. He said: “Once they go for major new financial devolution it cannot be ignored because it’s such major change.You can’t have major financial changes and continue with a formula that is not based on need.”
    The Sunday Times – 16.03.14
    By voting No – you are voting to end the Barnett formula

  44. Gillie says:

    I’ve read most of it ………. god help me.

    Two years, two effing years and we end up with this shyte.

    I would imagine every Labour activist has uttered, “what the fu*k” in response. The bit about H&S is a real hoot.

  45. cynicalHighlander says:

    OT: Sheltie comment.

    http://tinyurl.com/oxg8rpo

  46. Lee Rogers says:

    “Tune in later for Part 2”

    Must we?

  47. desimond says:

    So its a basic choice:

    Vote NO to end the Barnett Formula

    Vote YES to end the Barnett Formula

  48. Proud Cybernat says:

    I am looking at that long list of powers that Westminster WON’T devolve and I am thinking–would you, as a passenger, get into a car when the driver only has control of the gear-stick and clutch but no control over the accelerator, brake and steering-wheel? Of course you wouldn’t and a country’s economy is the same–you need FULL control over ALL economic levers in order to ensure a finely tuned economy that is not heading for a car-crash.

  49. desimond says:

    Gavin Esler now on BBC News heralding Labours new power promise as a response to claims of negativity from the NO Campaign!

  50. chalks says:

    Share everywhere, bout the devo max lot knew that nothing of the sort is on the cards with a No vote.

    Vote No – Get stagnant

  51. galamcennalath says:

    Strikes me as being confusing, indecisive and imprecise intentionally. It’s not intended to ever lead to anything worthwhile. It’s intended to make the hard of thinking believe it offers something.

    And the hard of thinking in BtBC have been hooked, it seems.

  52. Fiona says:

    The sharing union – underpinned by political union, economic and social union – is the ultimate safeguard and guarantor of the Welfare State

    That is the funniest line in the whole thing, I am sure. Though I admit I haven’t been able to read past it yet because I was laughing too much

  53. Training Day says:

    ‘We believe in the need to establish a Scottish Health and Safety Executive..’

    Beaut! About time too!

    ‘This body would still be required to operate within the reserved health and safety framework..’

    Aww! ‘Sno fair! You said I could have my own health and safety executive! Waaah!

  54. desimond says:

    This has got lost in the mists of a political debate dominated by the issue of separation

    Suddenly remembering I havent seen the movie BringMeDoon for years….that mythical Scottish place lost in the mists of political debate

    Paddy Power betting latest….Even money that the word debate appears more than the words Labour or Scotland in Johanns document!

  55. Inbhir Anainn says:

    Flag of Shetland sums it up perfectly Scottish Labour or the Labour Party in Scotland treating the good people of Scotland with utter contempt.

  56. Onwards says:

    It really is pathetic, isn’t it?

    Devo-Standstill.

    If any of the Scottish labour MSP’s had some backbone they would switch sides after this.

    Surely there must be some who actually wanted meaningful changes?

  57. desimond says:

    @Ibhir Anainn

    I would suggest they are treating the good people of Scotland with otter contempt. Theyre tarking the piss!

    Now Getting me coat…

  58. galamcennalath says:

    I note the BtBC in London refer to Johann Lamont … as La Mont … all ow-la-la pseudo-French and posh like. Where the hell did that come from?

  59. kalmar says:

    When a problem comes along
    You must whip it
    Before the cream sets out too long
    You must whip it
    When something’s goin’ wrong
    You must whip it

  60. Morag says:

    If this devo-pico were to be presented in the media for what it is, we’d walk it in September.

    They won’t, though….

  61. Les Wilson says:

    Labour IS the most deceitful party, if you want even more proof of that, look no further than this article.

    They cannot change, they do not want to change, but the DO want to deceive.

  62. Fiona says:

    @galamcennalath

    From Norrie, I imagine. They always called him La Mont. Not sure if it was his own idea or whether they were misled by his first name into thinking he was part of the French ascendancy

  63. muttley79 says:

    @Training Day

    Scottish Labour giants of the past, such as Keir Haride, James Maxton, Jimmy Reid, would no doubt be delighted that the present day SLAB are continuing to honour the struggles of the past; by saying they want to devolve health and safety powers to Scotland, at the expense of the vast majority of taxation, welfare powers, and getting rid of nuclear weapons from the Clyde.

  64. muttley79 says:

    Keir Hardie even…

  65. Robert Louis says:

    Really Labour?? is this it?? Your one last chance to seize back the initiative in the independence debate, and you blow it.

    Seriously, the idiots responsible for this nonsense from Labour will go down in history as the people who screwed down the lid on the coffin of Labour in Scotland. It truly beggars belief that this is all they are offering. If Johan Lamont has any self respect, she will resign.

    I’ll be honest, I expected much more, given the current political context, and thought that maybe Labour might just pull something out of the bag, surprise us all, and give the YES to independence campaign a real fight, but no, we get this pish. The YES campaign are literally laughing their socks off.

    It’s rubbish. It really is. It’s not even worth spending time on. I am absolutely stunned at the ineptitude of Labour in Scotland. Anyway, independence it will be then. Good. 🙂

  66. kalmar says:

    I note the BtBC in London refer to Johann Lamont … as La Mont … all ow-la-la pseudo-French and posh like. Where the hell did that come from?

    Confession: I also pronounced it like that, until I watched FMQs.

  67. Robert Louis says:

    Fiona,

    You are so correct. How anybody in the Labour party can seriously state that the union is the guarantor of the welfare state, at a time when Westminster is brutally dismantling it every single freaking day, is beyond me.

    I must ask, do people still in the Labour party still believe these lies and utter pish? I mean surely nobody ACTUALLY believes it, do they?

  68. desimond says:

    @fiona @galamcennalath

    Same thing happened years ago when Scotlands Paul Lambert played for Borussia Dortmund against Real Madrid in a pivotal Champions League game. The Scots Lion Lambert was given the task to neutralise the wonderful World cup winner Zinedine Zidane.

    Turned out that Oor Paul did such a wonderful job that the ignorant ITV commentator duly assumed he was yet another French superstar and was calling him “Lambeeeeeeeerrrrrrr” throughout the whole game!

  69. BlairBl air paterson says:

    Do they not realize that with independence we will have power over everything that effects us or do they think we are so stupid that we do not know this who would want second best

  70. annie says:

    Just heard the first minister discuss Nano Devolution on the BBC looks like it is now official – Devo Nano.

  71. G H Graham says:

    SUMMARY

    Some power to only raise some income taxes which we will deduct from the block grant anyway.

    And some other stuff about taxidermy or something but it’s really too difficult to understand let alone explain on the telly without a script.

    P.S. Ed hasn’t rubber stamped it yet even though we spent 2 years writing it.

  72. Onwards says:

    The problem is that Scotland isn’t allowed to compete – despite the huge advantages London and the South East have.

    UK Labour won’t do anything that could give Scotland any economic advantage.

    ‘Scottish’ Labour can’t propose anything meaningful, because it would just get vetoed.

    As things stand, if Scotland votes NO, in 20 years time we will see a greater London with double the population, and everywhere else just a feeder zone.

    Most people in Scotland want a better future than that.

    Hopefully these is ‘proposals’ will get treated with the contempt it deserves.

  73. RMFBrown says:

    I have this dread feeling, that with April 1st being close, this is a major piece of black ops to lure YES into a massive false sense of security, then they hit us with the triple whammy. To use a military analogy, they must have their panzer divisions hiding in the Ardennes or something. Surely? How else can you explain this strategy?

    I mean, this is so bad, it’s good!

  74. desimond says:

    Somewhere Ruth Davidson is picking up a phone and calling Lord Strathclydes Butler

    “Operation Placebo is Go. I repeat, Placebo is Go. Labour has now released it Devo document. Can you get someone to just rejig it a little and finalise with his Lordships stamp please. No no, no need to wake him”

  75. kalmar says:

    There should be some more analysis on Radio 4 in the next 30 mins if you can’t wait for part 2. Sadly Eddie Mair is not doing PM today though.

  76. Blair paterson BlairBl air paterson says:

    Do they. Not think we know that with independence we can have all that and more, why settle for second I was going to say best but it is not even that

  77. gordoz says:

    What no control of Oil, Whisky Duty ?

    Diminution of our Nation yet again from Labour, what a sorry lot, nae vision wheres the compassion ? Wheres the beacon of light, wheres the pathway to a fairer society oh its the pathway to prosperity the highway to Westminster for a stint nd then on to the Lords.

    Only hate and bile about SNP and the FM; pooling and sharing resources, fair and honest debate, broad shoulders, pish,pish pish.

    Wasters all.

  78. Morag says:

    Labour have always been like this I think. They truly believe that if they say something, it is so. The statement creates the reality. So if they say that the Union is the guarantor of the welfare state, then that is so.

    It may not have been so five minutes earlier, and it may not be so five minutes later, but at the moment they say it, they truly believe you’ll fall for it.

    And the BBC and STV and all the newspapers will do their best to make sure you do.

  79. Doug Daniel says:

    Is it just me, or does the main priority in mind of Labour’s devolution commission appear to have been “trap the SNP”, rather than “set out a realistic platform of constitutional reform”?

    The thing about raising the top-rate of income tax but not lowering it is basically to trick the SNP into moaning about it so that they can go “oh, so you want to lower income tax, eh? Bloody Tartan Tories!”

    As for removing some of the block grant, this would see Scotland having to permanently have higher tax rates than the rest of the UK, which would serve to “prove” once and for all that Scotland really IS “too poor”, so that if a future independence referendum came about, they would simply point at the higher taxes and go “how could we afford to go it alone when we already need to have higher taxes?”

    I would say more, but people seem to be boarding the plane, despite no announcement being made.

  80. Proud Cybernat says:

    So, apparently (according to ‘The Herald’), we’ll control 40% of our own revenue.

    Is this Labour’s ‘40% rule’ 21st century style? Well, we all know how that turned out last time round.

  81. saporian says:

    BBC Brian Taylor report here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-26638177

    What a load of pish.

  82. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Anyone in Ayr or thereabouts – tonight, 7.30, Foresters Hall, New St.

    SSP Meeting. Richie Venton on the White Paper. This is an SSP Ayrshire branch meeting (normally held in Irvine) but, as ever, all welcome. Just sit and listen if you like, nae pressure.

  83. fairiefromtheearth says:

    RMFBrown i wouldent worry about 100 panzer divisions in the Ardenees we have got the NEDS

  84. Jingly Jangly says:

    Im astonished…

  85. Jim T says:

    It all reminds me of a James Whitcomb Riley poem :

    http://www.poetry-archive.com/r/little_orphant_annie.html

  86. Alex Grant says:

    “It was never the intention of devolution to devolve power to the Scottish Parliament, only to see it accumulate powers upwards.

    Labour are suggesting that they always wanted to devolve power all the way and Holyrood has concentrated its hold or not devolved further. An excuse to take power away as you suggest but dressed as the original intention

  87. Ian Brotherhood says:

    It’s easy for us to slag off this rubbish. Lamont, Baillie, Gray, Dugdale et al are going to have to try and memorise it – nae luck belters!

  88. Training Day says:

    I’d like to apologise for my earlier burst of impetuousness. In the heat of the moment I’d thought that Scotland was tantalisingly close to having its own Health and Safety Executive. I now realise that Labour’s wise counsel must win the day – of course any Scottish H and S should operate within a framework reserved to Westminster. My enthusiasm had blinded me to the chaos that would ensue if Scotland had its own autonomous H and S Executive.

  89. scaredy cat says:

    Point 14 (Health and Safety) is simply a piece of nonsense. If the Scottish Parliament is unable to draft Health & Safety legislation, the matter is not devolved.

    All they are saying is that the Scottish Parliament will fund it and HSE will answer to them. The law will still be reserved. HSE already consult with the Scottish government on loads of relevant matters, e.g. the recent legionella cases in Edinburgh.

    I’m all for Scotland setting its own Health and Safety goals, but to be fair they already have some influence on local issues anyway. We would need control of the legislation and associated guidance to make any meaningful difference.

    Bear in mind that lots of Health and Safety legislation is already enforced by local authorities (in shops, hotels etc). This idea seems to be a simple extension of this. It isn’t exactly further powers is it?

    In fact, it is my belief that this idea will only be damaging to Health and safety in Scotland. The ‘Scottish’ HSE would have little influence in the rest of the UK, while they (the rest of the UK) continued to control the legislation.

    Also, HSE is already struggling, and if it were to be funded by a Scottish government starved of funds it would decline further.

    Despite people’s aversion to Health and Safety (largely fuelled by stupid stories in the Daily Mail), Inspectors do a serious job. They are not interested in trivial risks. Their job is to protect working people (and members of the public), who are exposed to serious risk. It’s easy to forget the positive influence they can have in the workplace, if they are allowed to do their job.

    This, in my humble opinion, would be a backward step for Scotland.

  90. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    devo this devo that, once again scottish labour insult the intelligence of the scottish people. wonderful polling results or wot?

  91. robbie says:

    Johann Lamont on STV news was barely literate.
    She really is as thick as pig shit.

  92. Desimond says:

    @Training Day

    Apparently, Labour suggest that we should have a

    Scottish
    Health
    Institute
    Type
    Executive

  93. msean says:

    OK,but does it actually say.Usually I find that flowery language like this means to say “we are not doing anything,and nothing will change.”. Vote for us,it’s what your Great Grandad would have wanted.

  94. msean says:

    Usually I find that flowery language like this means to say “we are not doing anything,and nothing will change.”. Vote for us,it’s what your Great Grandad would have wanted.

  95. DougtheDug says:

    The following recommendations are the only ones that Labour say “will” happen. Are these the ones Miliband has agreed to?

    Notice they are the recommendations to do with tax and local authorities and notice also that Barnett is not in there because it’s only a “should”.

    RECOMMENDATION: Labour will give the Scottish Parliament the power to raise around £2 billion more in revenues beyond the recent Scotland Act, so that it raises about 40 per cent of its present budget from its own resources.

    RECOMMENDATION: We will widen the variation in income tax in the Scotland Act by half from 10p to 15p. It will mean that three-quarters of the basic rate income tax in Scotland will be under the control of the Scottish Parliament.

    RECOMMENDATION: The Scotland Act enables the Scottish Parliament to increase or decrease income tax rates in Scotland. In addition to extending this power, we will also introduce new Scottish Progressive Rates of Income Tax, so that the Scottish Parliament can increase the rates of tax in the higher and additional bands. For the first time, the Scottish Parliament will be able to alter both the level of tax and the progressivity of the tax system, but without the risk that a Scottish Government could force tax competition within the UK by cutting only the top rates, to the detriment of public services. Labour in the Scottish Parliament would be able to use these powers if a UK Government did not set fair taxes at these levels.

    RECOMMENDATION: We will reverse the SNP’s process of centralisation of local government by embracing the principles of double devolution and subsidiarity. This means a willingness to respond positively to reasonable local demands for an adjustment of powers and responsibilities to suit local circumstances and allow local preferences and priorities to be given effect to.

    RECOMMENDATION: We will incentivise authorities to work together to provide public services in a more efficient way, where their size, geography or priorities allow this.

    RECOMMENDATION: We will work in particular with the three islands authorities – Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles – to develop and extend the powers of islands councils, including:
    – a greater local role in all aspects of inshore marine resource management and utilisation, such as spatial planning and dealing with consents;
    – work with islands councils to support the development of renewable energy resources with genuine community participation and benefits, and to ensure that grid connections can be developed;
    – support to secure the future of inter-islands ferry services in the Northern Isles, funded, operated and controlled from the islands to meet island needs, and to work within the EU to ensure a sustainable future for island to island transport;
    – explore potential changes to fiscal arrangements to allow the islands to benefit more directly from the exploitation of local renewables and fishing resources;
    – look at how to develop more integrated service delivery, with greater local influence for example over health services, to deliver enhanced community planning, better local decision making and greater efficiency of public services; and
    – ensure a more integrated approach to economic development in partnership with Highland and Islands Enterprise.

    RECOMMENDATION: We will work to establish a constitutional guarantee of powers for local government

    RECOMMENDATION: We will promote the co-operative council model to offer the possibility of developing local co-operatively run companies as a model of service delivery for example in social care and childcare where profits are reinvested or shared by staff working for the co-operative.

    RECOMMENDATION: We will require local authorities to incorporate empowerment of local communities into their work. We believe that double devolution and subsidiarity should apply to councils too

    RECOMMENDATION: We will support more flexible powers on compulsory purchase to enable land assembly in town centres and shopping parades, in order to assist local authorities in pulling together schemes to transform the economic performance of town centres and reintroduce residential properties back into town centres.

    RECOMMENDATION: We will tackle the scourge of exploitative payday loans by giving local authorities the powers to prevent the proliferation of Payday Loan shops and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. In relation to FOBTs, working within the framework of gaming and betting as reserved matters, we will extend the powers available to local authorities, in conjunction with the UK Government to address the licensing and technical constraints on Scottish local authorities.

  96. muttley79 says:

    @robbie

    Johann Lamont on STV news was barely literate.

    Her usual performance then! 😀 😀 😀

  97. DougtheDug says:

    If anyone is interested the recommendations go like this:

    Should
    Should
    Should
    Strong Case
    Will
    Will
    Will
    Should
    To be
    Take the view
    We believe
    We believe
    Should
    Should
    See the case
    Support
    To be
    Will
    Will
    Will
    Recommend
    Should
    Should
    Should
    Should
    Will
    Will
    Will
    Will
    Will
    Should
    Should
    Should

  98. Robert Peffers says:

    I had a wee mental picture of Johann Lamont teaching a class of primary school pupils. That London Labour in Scotland report is on the board behind her. The wee class numptie, sitting in the back row, has his hand up and is saying, “But Miss Lamont, Sir, Devolution isn’t on the referendum voting paper anymore. Don’t you remember your lot had it removed”.

  99. robbie says:

    Scotland Tonight will be interviewing clueless hapless illiterate Lamont , should be good for a laugh.

  100. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The following recommendations are the only ones that Labour say “will” happen. Are these the ones Miliband has agreed to?”

    Actually none of them are statements of what WILL happen. They’re all only RECOMMENDATIONS to UK Labour.

  101. Thepnr says:

    @DougtheDug

    Very interesting.
    11 Wills
    13 Shoulds and
    9 Others

    So maybe exactly one third of these useless proposals “will” actually be backed by UK Labour. The language is obviously deliberate and even though I care not for the 33 which are worthless on their own.

    The fact that only 1/3rd seem to have been agreed is so fantastical that it’s almost unbelievable.

    …Pulls down zip to relieve the pressure build up on the frontal lobes.

  102. steven Seagull says:

    O/T but relevant and disturbing.On the Ana Rosa magazine programme,on Telecinco España this morning. I tuned in to find a discussion about post-conflict “tours de revolucionarios”.
    Same sort of stuff as in Belfast.Yet the backdrop to the six panellists and the host, was a giant loop video containing the Saltire,Lion Rampant and a YES banner.
    I missed the beginning of the feature,and the subject topic was obvious.Ireland and Bretaña Francais,y Catalunya got a mention.
    I pointed this out to my Spanish girlfriend that this was associating Scottish symbols with a terrorist campaign as the dominant backdrop visually.
    Astonishing and sinister. I’ll check out the re-run of the show later, and transcribe any mention of Scottish self-determination.

  103. steven Seagull says:

    The “tours de revolucionarios” was about post-conflict in Euskadi “The Basque Country”.

  104. RogueCoder says:

    OT: found this on YouTube. Yes, it’s another Downfall meme, but quite a good one and provides some light relief after all that heavy beaurocratic pish the Rev had to wade through for us (well worth the barely living wage we’re paying you Rev – will you no take a pay rise? Think we can afford it now!)

    Anyway, hope some of you enjoy:

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3N7-1O_8Wdc&w=560&h=315%5D

  105. Ian Kirkwood says:

    As I said to my sister and brother in law just the other day, “where did they find that wee wuman?” If the MSM do not crucify this then they cannot justifiably call themselves serious journalists. Considering all the comments on the WP we are all no doubt looking forward to a professional review of this…..p….paper.

  106. RogueCoder says:

    Sorry Rev, I messed up posting that link. I’m not sure how you’ve got WP configured.

    [doffs cap, walks away shame-faced]

  107. kalmar says:

    RogueCoder: Ha! That one is actually excellent. Good find.

  108. RogueCoder says:

    @DougtheDug

    Not so much “jam tomorrow” as taking the lid off,waving it under the nose of the press, and then locking it firmly back in the cupboard.

  109. RogueCoder says:

    Re: the Shetland flag cover, it’s obviously some designer’s idea of how to spice the document up and make it look patriotic, but one can’t help smile at the irony that Labour can’t even get the fucking flag right after two years of effort.

  110. DougtheDug says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell:

    Actually none of them are statements of what WILL happen. They’re all only RECOMMENDATIONS to UK Labour.

    I agree but it’s an odd use of language in the recommendations.

    To be exact all should say, “we recommend”, but it’s interesting that the word “will” is used exclusively for tax and local authority recommendations.

    I suspect that’s because they’re the core part of the proposal. Pretend the Scottish Parliament has been given more power over tax while at the same time handing its powers over to local authority control.

  111. Simon says:

    “It was never the intention of devolution to devolve power to the Scottish Parliament, only to see it accumulate powers upwards”

    It sounds to me like they thought the Scottish Parliament was to be an aggregated local council, wielding local authority powers, rather than getting its hands on any Westminster powers.

  112. CameronB says:

    Bit miffed that the Rev. stole my line about the Devolution Commission doing it deliberately, before I had even used it. 😉

    Posted this on the previous thread, but I think it deserv4es re-posting.

    Imperialism, as defined by the Dictionary of Human Geography, as “an unequal human and territorial relationship, usually in the form of an empire, based on ideas of superiority and practices of dominance, and involving the extension of authority and control of one state or people over another.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism

  113. Nkosi says:

    Tosh and pish from JoLA so in September I will just vote yes to get the whole shebang for free.

  114. Point 7 to me looks like a time bomb. If Labour ever get control of Holyrood again, they can legislate to get rid of the first past the post bit of the Additional Member system, as that has allowed the SNP to form a majority government with only 45% of the constituency and list votes. Presumably they would replace it all with a form of PR, and continue forming eternal coalitions with the Lib Dems, which is what we were all supposed to let them do in the first place. This proposal is just all about subverting the constitution to the political needs of the Labour Party.

  115. Faltdubh says:

    How did JoLa end up Labour leader? She really is absolutely pish. Did they elect her in as they felt she would strike a chord with the wee Weegie worker? She really is dreadful and no matter the result of the referendum, Labour are going to get their arse handed to them once again.

    I was genuinely a little concerned that today Labour were going to offer something that would be a game turner, not quite Devo Max, but enough for them to secure some of the DKs/Federalist/soft no vote, but it’s much of the same as Calman.

    Why does no one call out Labour about their proposals and what they will do in power. They are currently not in power, trailing up here to the SNP in every Parliament possible and in the UK voting polls, the most recent Tories are 5% behind.

  116. Les Wilson says:

    O/T just watched the car crash of an interview with Jola and Gordon Brewer. I hope the REV dissects this, some amazing comments. Labour are going down the tubes faster and faster.
    Labour voters must be appalled by Lamont in this interview, she who represents them.

  117. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    I have just seen Johann Lamont on Newsnight.

    She was just absolutely appalling – an incoherent mess.

    Is she really the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party in Scotland?

    The really sad thing is that Scottish labour have no one better to replace her as all the competent and semi competent labour politicians have moved to the greater attractions of Westminster.

    So if Labour are going to get rid of her they better find someone good soon. She is just going to be a complete liability to the BT campaign in the coming months – oh dear!

    Changed days from the likes of John Smith and Donald Dewar.

  118. Aidan says:

    @Les Wilson
    What an interview that was on Newsnight Scotland! Gordon Brewer doing his job very well – delivering serious, searching questions in a relaxed way – and Johann Lamont making an astonishingly big mess of her brief.

    Everyone in the country should watch this – in my mind’s eye, I saw YES votes pouring in. What we’d hoped to see in the Nicola v Johann debate is delivered here, very calmly, courtesy of the BBC.

    Add it to Hayley Millar’s gloves-off treatment of Jim Murphy on GMS yesterday and several instances of noticeably fair behaviour on the part of Gary Robertson recently… is it possible? Are BBC Scotland belatedly attempting to clean up their act?

  119. RogueCoder says:

    Got questions about Labour’s proposal? Ask Johann:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26609508

    Post your questions now!!

  120. Muscleguy says:

    Can we order hard copies of this? for free like the White Paper? If so, can we not harness the now established power of Wings and bankrupt Scottish Labour by ordering one copy per household resident?

  121. george paterson says:

    Section 6 “Scottish Parliament is indissoluble and permanently entrenched in the UK constitution” ? The UK doesn’t have a written constitution and in the current constitution can’t be held legally for anything it does. Iraq??

  122. Haggis says:

    Astonishing. The only way this sad effort will get anywhere is by being carried by the obedient mainstream media servants.



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