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Wings Over Scotland

Irony of the week

Posted on March 15, 2014 by

Conservative MP for Carlisle John Stevenson has drawn up a “10-Minute Rule” bill proposing that should Scotland vote Yes in September, citizens of Scotland should be barred from voting in the 2015 UK general election, even though at that point it’ll still be at least a year until Scotland is actually independent.

It’s not an unreasonable point – we’ve previously noted the constitutional chaos that could arise from that election going ahead after a Yes vote. But we couldn’t help but smile at the MP’s outraged justification for the step:

“You just can’t have your government chosen by the citizens of another country.”

We couldn’t agree more, Mr Stevenson.

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47 to “Irony of the week”

  1. Vronsky says:

    I’m an old fogey who doesn’t like, usually doesn’t get, those internet ciphers, but..


  2. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    So, Mr Stevenson effectively wishes to move through legislation to disenfranchise Scottish voters? In this case, Scotland will have its government and its decisions chosen by the citizens of another country. He doesn’t see the problem with that then??

  3. Jim Watson says:

    The total irony of course is that Scottish Unionist MPs will obviously vote against this proposal because it will upset their gravy train…but they could still lose due to the rest of the house backing the motion. If this doesn’t make the point clearly to the unionists then I cannot think what possibly could…

  4. heedtracker says:

    Always voted in everything but after Independence YES in Sept, I probably wont bother with this one. Mind you if it bugs Westminster tory boys then I probably will drag my hairy Scots arse down to the polls and vote SNP!

  5. Claire McNab says:

    It’s tempting to sneer at him, but wouldn’t it be better to cut a deal?

    As soon as Westminster takes its subs out of Faslane and its nuclear warheads out of Coulport, hands over 100% of the oil revenues and all the rest of the taxes levied in Scotland, then Scotland will withdraw any remaining Labour MPs.

  6. Proud Cybernat says:

    Doesn’t Mr Stevenson realise that Scottish MPs make no difference to the outcome of UK elections anyway?

  7. Juteman says:

    You have to laugh.
    Or cry.

  8. Thepnr says:

    Their not only losing the fight, their also losing the plot.

  9. sionnach says:

    Like Vronsky, I don’t go much on those internet acronyms. But I really did LOL at this!

    Come on Stevenson, wake up and smell the porage 🙂

  10. Patrician says:

    So is he suggesting that Scotland’s Independence day is 19 Sept 2014 and we don’t need to wait until early 2016? So all negotiations will have to be done between then and the rUK election in 2015.

  11. Mosstrooper says:

    What, even the foreign ones living in engerland?

    and what about the other members of the EU domiciled in Scotland?

    OOO! scary thoughts.

  12. Thomas Barrowman says:

    Oh god please let it be a YES vote!

  13. Scotsnomad says:

    What !!! They cant do that… It will spoil all my fun causing panic down in Westminster…..Think we can also not vote for those currently down there just to mess them up lol…… I will think this is against my constitutional rights and my human rights lol…

  14. Croompenstein says:

    O/T Another fantastic column in the Daily Ranker Saturday Mag by Libby McArthur (Gina oot River City) well balanced and refreshing to read in the MSM, unfortunately I can’t find a link online for this but if you have friends/relatives who get the Ranker it’s well worth a read and I will be emailing Libby to say thanks.

  15. Mad Jock McMad says:

    The constitutional position is simple: on a Yes vote, sovereignty returns to the two original sovereign signatory parliaments as required by the articles of the 1706 Treaty of Union so these two parliaments can undertake the negotiations to disentangle joint treaty obligations. (McCormack vs the Lord Advocate, 1953, before Lord Cooper)

    In effect, on a Yes vote, the UK Parliament ceases to be sovereign. It follows the election to Westminster in May 2015, after a Yes vote, is an election to the sovereign parliament of England and Wales (with NI). This constitutional position has already been conceded by Ed Balls who hopes to be Chancellor of rUK after the May 2015 election. The Scottish Parliament’s next election is due in May 2016.

  16. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    after the 18th sept i wont give a redarsed monkeys fuck about westminister elections, same as majority of us.

  17. msean says:

    I agree with this Tory,laws for one country shouldn’t be made by someone from another country. You really couldn’t make this one up,haven’t they been listening? Oh wait…

  18. call me dave says:

    I think that the more SNP MP’s that are elected the better. There will be things to do, negotiations to conduct, odds and ends to tidy.

    But most of all on the great day, what an event to see all Scottish MP’s, leave the HoC and get into a victory ‘goodbye’ parade bus convoy.

    Many of us probably going down there to witness the historic proceedings and accompany our SNP MP’s home.

    Ahem! We need to have a YES vote first though… 🙂

  19. Gary says:

    The “Irony” is that they don’t even get the “Irony.” Nice to see though that the consequences are, at long last, beginning to get through some of those thick Tory skulls. Give it a few months and the general public in England (not being unfair but Wales and NI will already have worked this out)will be thinking about what this means for them too!

  20. Brian MacLeod says:

    We will need as many Scottish MPs in that election as usual.

    We need them to represent our interests because that is the period when the cake gets divided up.

    No Scottish MPs and the English can grab everything.

  21. Claire McNab says:

    @Mad Jock McMad

    I’m not so sure that McCormack will quite have that effect. I wish it would, but the situation is somewhat complicated by the overlaying of the 1707 union with the 1801 union. I hope you are right, but I expect that the courts in London would not agree, and that even those in Scotland might shy away from declaring the union dead as soon as the votes are counted.

    There is a interesting parallel in English marital law. If a marriage is dissolved through divorce, the dissolution does not become absolute until all the details are resolved. However, if a marriage is annulled, then it is over as soon as that declaration is made, regardless of whether it was void ab initio (as with bigamy) or voided subsequently (e.g. in cases of non-consummation). The details of property division and custody of any children are resolved after the annulment is in effect.

    The position you suggest would be akin to annulment. In that case, the Parliament of the United Kingdom should immediately cease to exist, and the territory of Scotland would immediately become sovereign.

    In practice, such an abrupt split would suit nobody. Both sides would be better served by an planned end to the union, with co-ordinated separation of taxation, handover of military facilities, etc. I presume that is why the Scottish Govt plans for an 18-month period to agree terms; though I note that the Edinburgh Agreement does not commit the UK govt to that timetable.

    However, this will become highly relevant if and when Westminster fails to agree terms in time. We have already seen warnings from Margaret Jay (and I think some others) that Westminster doesn’t feel bound by the 18-month timetable, and if they drag their feet then McCormack would become very relevant.

    In that situation, we would have a clear constitutional clash. The Scottish Parliament and courts would uphold Scottish sovereignty, while the Westminster Parliament and London Courts would uphold the sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament until it decides to relinquish it.

    That could get very nasty.

  22. Claire McNab says:

    @Findlay Farquaharson

    After a yes vote, the Scottish MPs and peers matter more than ever. Westminster will have to approve the legislation to end the union, and it will need a strong contingent of tough Scottish MPs to ensure that a Scottish voice is heard in those debates.

  23. scottish_skier says:

    after the 18th sept i wont give a redarsed monkeys fuck about westminister elections, same as majority of us.


    I’ve never imagined Scots would sent MPs to Westminster in 2015 following a Yes. I believe Angus Robertson already hinted about this saying the SNP would not be standing or something.

    I can’t understand why people think Scotland might take part in rUK elections following a Yes vote. While we talk about an official independence day, the real moment Scotland becomes independent is the moment it says Yes.

    A Yes and Scotland is defacto independent from day 1. No new laws passed by Westminster could be put into effect in Scotland and Scots MPs should not be voting on rUK matters. Nope, Scots MPs walk out of Westminster on the 19th/20th to never return. The negotiating teams from both sides just continue their work and start implementation of what has already been agreed.

    I idea of Scots MPs voting in rUK elections after a Yes is like after the 2010 general election, Labour just kept on ruling for the next 18 months but even more ridiculous.

    Interesting that Scots MPs gives Dave a majority too. Hell, he could even maybe delay the 2015 election due to ‘exceptional circumstances’ and meantime push through boundary changes in the Tories favour…

  24. edulis says:

    Just to put this Tory guy in context. He is another one of these carpetbagger Scots who take the high road to England to find a seat and literally have it in for Scotland in their zeal to be more English than the English.

  25. scottish_skier says:

    Interesting that the removal of Scots MPs gives Dave a majority too

    That should be, amongst other obvious mistakes.

  26. Joseph Curran says:

    Think I read during the week that the Foreign Office have already decided that following a Yes vote we will be “Independent” and they will no longer represent Scots abroad.

  27. JLT says:

    Well pointed out, Rev.

    I most definitely believe, that the irony really would be lost on Mr Stevenson.

  28. handclapping says:

    ( I had this fantasy of standing against Gordon Brown as the Monster Raving Loony candidate and winning. Its gone phut for the reason below)

    Expect a whole lot of troughers to “stand down” for 2015 if there is a Yes. Stand down and get all the leaving perks and a chance of ermine or carry on on behalf of your constituents till March 2016 and get flung out with nothing?

    What do you think?

  29. call me dave says:

    I seem to remember that MP’s get resettlement grants when losing their Westminster seat… Maybe there will be a cash splash for Scotland in 2016 when they are to hand in their P45. Will these rules apply?

  30. ronnie anderson says:

    Noo hud on a minute sunshine,are you gonna disenfranchize awe

    they hard working BT actavists,when Scotland votes YES,

    Westminster troughfers rewards know no bounds.

    You,ll get your answer a little longer than 10mins, 15 hours on

    18th Sept.

  31. Morag says:

    I think that the more SNP MP’s that are elected the better. There will be things to do, negotiations to conduct, odds and ends to tidy.

    But most of all on the great day, what an event to see all Scottish MP’s, leave the HoC and get into a victory ‘goodbye’ parade bus convoy.

    Many of us probably going down there to witness the historic proceedings and accompany our SNP MP’s home.

    I just had a thought. Why don’t we put up the sitting SNP MSP for each constituency where possible, or in the constituencies without an obvious SNP incumbent (bear in mind the boundaries are quite a bit different), one of the regional list MSPs. That would give them the dual mandate to negotiate, it would be perfectly doable since there won’t be significant Westminster constituency work, and they could all simply walk out of Westminster in March 2016, right back to Holyrood.

  32. Croompenstein says:

    As Stuart mentioned with the crowd fund, it doesn’t end with a yes vote as the negotiations with the imperialists are going to need strong heads and the Rev will still be here monitoring the situation

  33. Sandy M says:

    Westminster will be in such disarray after the YES victory. I expect changes at the top in the 3 main UK parties and possibly a snap election before Christmas. It is only a coalition anyway. Mr Stevenson would like a Tory majority, unfettered by any bleeding heart Liberals, but as the party that lost Scotland they would expect to lose votes in rUK. The self serving member has spotted that by excluding Scottish seats from this snap election there may just be a way of clinging onto power and ingratiating himself to his next leader.

  34. Macart says:

    Oh Jeez, that’s a beaut Rev. 😀

    The silly bugger probably won’t even get the irony of his own words even well after the fact.

    I’m not seeing much of a problem though. We vote yes and that’s that. I won’t be giving the proverbial flyin’ wossiname about voting in a UK GE.

  35. Krackerman says:

    I’m sorry but unless the proposal is also that Scots will stop paying all taxation into Westminster from the date of the 2015 election then this Tory guy and all of the MP’s in Westminster can kiss my fat hairy Scottish arse…

    No representation – NO TAXATION!

  36. tartanfever says:

    Krackerman – exactly what i was going to say, you’re spot on with that.

    Maybe someone should send this Tory MP a box of tea from Boston –

    can we afford one of these Rev ?

  37. kininvie says:

    You can’t have it both ways….the whole EU argument for example revolves around the fact that Scotland will remain part of the UK between 2014 and 2016. If we remain part, then we have the right to be represented.

    If Westminster passes an act debarring Scottish MPs while we are still legally part of the union, I woud have thought an immediate constitutional crisis was on hand. I doubt they would be so silly.

    More to the point is that between 2014 and 2016 we are going to need MPs who can bring to light the inevitable attempts to block any independence settlement by Tory/Labour MPs who cannot bring themselves to believe that the old order has changed.

    The sensible solution to this would be for Westminster either to defer a GE until after the independence settlement, or else to legislate for a new one immediately following it. I’ve long been of the opinion that March 2016 is a tad optimistic, considering the likelihood of extremely difficult negotiations, so elections to a new rUK parliament would likely be 2 years if not more, after 2015.

  38. Bill says:

    In all seriousness, I think this is a very large part of the problem with how the unionist politicians think. They seem incapable of seeing politics from a purely Scottish viewpoint and instead only see with their Westminster heads on. All of their scare-mongering, lies, and other negative comments all revolve around Westminster rule.
    ” You can’t do this, or can’t have that, won’t be able to do that after a Yes vote”
    They fail to see that we will have all the power we need to do ANYTHING we want as an Independent Nation, without England’s permission! Really….it just gets more tiresome!!

  39. Mary Bruce says:

    @Morag: “Why don’t we put up the sitting SNP MSP for each constituency where possible.

    Yes, a good, sensible idea.

    Or, for a laugh, we could try and persuade people like Limmy, Kevin Bridges and Frankie Boyle to stand. Then they could spend our last year at Westminster getting up to all sorts of mischief and shenanigans…

  40. Morag says:

    I really think putting up sitting MSPs would work. We wouldn’t be asking people to take 18 months out of their lives to sit in London. We would be putting up proven politicians with track records, not scouring the bottom of the approved candidates list for dross like Bill Walker. And it would put the Holyrood politicos right where the action is, any time they wanted.

    Obviously I’d exempt the seats already held by our sitting MPs from that plan, but for the rest of them – absolutely.

  41. Craig says:

    What a lovely sight it will be to see Scottish Labour MPs and Lords dragged out of Westminster, screaming and shouting.

  42. Morag says:

    The Lords may get to stay, sadly.

  43. jc says:

    You can’t have the citizens in charge of themselves!

  44. lumilumi says:

    I love the irony of “You just can’t have your government chosen by the citizens of another country.”

    There you have it. The prime democratic case for Scottish independence.

    I’ve been thinking about the constitutional mess of a YES vote in 2014, ( r)UK GE in 2015 and formal Scottish independence in 2016 (followed by indy Scotland’s first GE in 2016).

    As a couple of posters have commented above, while Scotland remains part of the UK (from a YES vote until 2016 or whenever the negotiations are concluded), there cannot justifiably be taxation without representation, even if Scottish MPs don’t count for much in Westminster (less than 1/10 of all the MPs).

    As to the House of Lords, nobody in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland elects anybody to that law-making institution. Its rules are so antiquated that Scottish Lords probably won’t be able to be thrown out.

    They are either “Life Peers” (meaning what it says on the tin, i.e. members for life, nominated by UK political parties) or even more arcane hereditary peers (blue-blooded aristocrats deemed to have a right to rule over the common people by the accident of their birth). The latter group now make up a small minority in the HoL, thanks to reforms in the 1990s.

    But, yes, I think Morag is right, rUK cannot get rid of “Scottish” Lords. Unless it wants a wholesale reform of the “upper” house of parliament, i.e. House of Lords. The last time they (LibDems at least) tried a couple of years ago, it was kicked in the long grass.

    One of the unintended consequences of Scottish independence could be to prompt HoL reform, maybe even leading to an elected “upper house”, so that’d be good for English (incorporating Wales and NI) democracy, no?

  45. Helena Brown says:

    Sadly Dave cannot delay the 2015 election, he has to go to the country then as he will have reached the end of his five year term. We need to elect as many SNP MP’s and where possible SSP MP’s as we possibly can because would you trust a load of ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s to negotiate for you after they have by then spent nearly three years doing the country down. I certainly would not trust one of them, before we knew it we would be back to where we were.

  46. Andrew Coulson says:

    Claire McNab and Mad Jock McMad:
    Would any court think that ‘do you think Scotland should be an independent country?’ was equivalent in legal effect to ‘is the Act of Union to be annulled at midnight?’. The voting is being described as a ‘referendum’, but in reality (including legal reality, surely?) it’s a whole-nation opinion poll.

    But there is obviously an uncertainty here, that can only be resolved by a UK government answer to the straight question:
    “Will a ‘Yes’ vote affect the timetable or rules for the 2015 General Election?”

  47. Muscleguy says:

    Jon Stephenson had better remember the lesson those American colonists taught the British state. What was it again, oh yes:

    No Taxation without representation.

    So, if Scottish MP’s are no longer welcome on September 19 then we expect that from that date ALL taxes and incomes from Scotland be accorded to the Scottish exchequer.

    Ideas for a Scottish version of the Boston Tea Party here please.

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