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Wings Over Scotland

Power retained

Posted on May 29, 2015 by

Most of today’s papers quote an unnamed Scotland Office spokesman on the subject of the Scotland Bill 2015, and in particular its clauses concerning welfare powers:

“It is factually wrong to claim there are vetoes in the Bill. These are sensible, practical arrangements to ensure the transfer of new powers smoothly.”

We’ll let readers judge for themselves.






Alert readers may have noticed that the wording changes throughout the document. Sometimes the required “consultations” concern merely the timing of any proposed changes, sometimes “practicability”. Sometimes the Secretary of State for Scotland may not “unreasonably” withhold their permission, at other times they have to agree, with no qualifiers regarding how unreasonable they’re being.

But in all situations the practical effect is the same. “Reasonably” is a subjective term. What the clauses amount to is the ability for David Mundell to refuse any order he doesn’t like. And the name for that state of affairs, readers, is a veto.

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    1. 29 05 15 11:32

      Power retained | Politics Scotland |

    2. 29 05 15 12:17

      Power retained | Speymouth

    3. 16 07 15 23:11

      The Devo Files Return | A Wilderness of Peace

    144 to “Power retained”

    1. Clootie says:

      A longer leash is still a leash

    2. TillyT says:

      There will soon be no point in Scots voting. Whoever gets in in Holyrood, the UK SoS will have a veto. Our MPs in Westminster will have their voting rights curtailed. This is not a democracy. It’s an occupation

    3. Malcolm says:

      But Gordon promised………..
      Surely we haven’t been lied to????

    4. Chic Thomson says:

      Rev Stu…
      I would’ve phrased that “David Mudell, or his successor”, for I have a feeling that successored he is about to be!

    5. gillie says:

      Both Labour and the Lib Dems support The Tory VETO. That says all you need to know about this piece of legislation.

      So much for ‘Home Rule’ and ‘Nearly Federalism’ promised by Gordon Brown. So much for the promise of ‘Devo Max’ by Alistair Darling. So much the Daily Record’s ‘Vow’. So much for the Smith Commission.

      A Tory Twat will decide what is best for Scotland.

    6. Yesemite Sam says:

      I think the more worrying clause is that which follows the consultation requirement. Even if SG do consult with SoSfS the latter still has to agree. Meeting the “consultation” requirement is easy; achieving his agreement less so.

    7. FiferJP says:

      And they all also have the additional nail of either ‘unless … the Secretary of State has given his or her agreement’ or ‘unless … the Secretary of State has agreed’ which is surely more definite wording of the veto.

    8. heedtracker says:

      The one elected tory out of 59 controls Holyrood and Scotland’s devo-max The Vow. Well at least Fluffy was elected but Gordon Brown’s certainly had the last laugh.

    9. Lollysmum says:

      Can’t argue with your summary Stu.

      That is a VETO on all sections shown above. There is no other word for it so basically Smith was a huge con, yes I know we on WoS knew that but others don’t so we need to get that message out.

      Colonial Governorship is back with a vengeance.

      But, this is also a shot across Scotland’s bows. It says stop acting up & you might get a morsel if we feel like it.

      This is yet another nail in the union’s coffin.

    10. Graeme Purves says:

      The Wednesbury reasonableness test is that the decision “is so unreasonable that no reasonable person acting reasonably could have made it”. In practice, it is quite hard to fail the test at law. It is necessary to show that the decision was stark raving bonkers.

    11. Luigi says:

      Well, let’s put it to the test. Let’s see how long befoe this non-existent veto comes into play. What does Mundell say then?

      Something along the lines of: “The SNP (Scottish Government) proposal was so ridiculous and destabilizing, we couldn’t possibly permit it to go ahead, but it’s not the same as a veto, you know!”

    12. mogabee says:

      Totally wrong says wee willie rennie!

      And of course he MUST be right ‘coz he knows someone who used to be a part of the Scotland office….aye right!

    13. a supporter says:

      Excellent stuff Wings. If it looks like a veto etc…. The clauses are also jobsworth junk to keep the Scottish Office and its “jobs for the boys” intact when EVERYONE knows it is now a useless and unnecessary Ministry and should be abolished.

    14. Keith says:

      I would highlight the multiple instances of “Secretary of state has agreed”.

      Consultation is one thing but it is the agreement that is the actual veto.

    15. mogabee says:

      “Unreasonable” is a by-word for “you can do/have it if we say so”

      So when is a veto not a veto?

      *checks for zip up back*

    16. joe macfarlane says:

      The paragraph after also deserves highlighting as it says his or her approval is required in eery example , if that’s not a veto I’ll vote no in next indy ref.

    17. Bob Mack says:

      Shakespeare said ” A rose is still a rose.That which by any other name would smell as sweet”
      These proposals by any other name would still be rancid.

    18. Mundell and reasonable does not compute in any language.

    19. Macart says:

      Stitch up and of course fed to the public with a blatant lie.

      Who knew?

    20. Vronsky says:

      The situation becomes more farcical by the moment. A whole nation will be represented in government by the only Tory they elected, opposed by the only Lib Dem they elected. Now this solitary Tory will decide which bits of Holyrood legislation he doesn’t like (that’s going to be most of it) and forbid it. Who writes this stuff?

    21. ayrmad says:

      All the better to hasten our inevitable independence, happy days.

    22. ArtyHetty says:

      Nothing much to add except that they are taking the p**s. The no voters will no doubt be happy, idiots.

    23. Wulls says:

      Is anyone surprised ?????? Nope…..
      I was actually more concerned with the sentence that followed the “consultation” one.
      “the seceratary of state has agreed with the order being made”
      I see absolutely no problem “consulting” …..I see huge issues with gaining agreement.
      Thing is we were only a 399 vote swing away from Scotland being a Tory free zone and 409 vote swing away from no lib dems either. (That one might be fixed though)
      But here we are getting bogged down arguing about wording of a document that we did not want when It was in our power last Sept………..
      Wonder how many people regret voting no now ?????

    24. Stoker says:

      Once again the extreme need for us to go it alone is demonstrated clearly on here (WOS).

      When one single person has the ability to control what happens in the lives of 5.5 million people then its time to take stock and get to feck out of that situation.

      The situation is magnified beyond description when that one person is a glakit London gopher named Mundell.

      Please, SNP, get independence put into the manifesto.

      Lets do this – Lets take our country back.

    25. galamcennalth says:

      It’s placing an awful lot of power in the hands of someone we didn’t choose as ‘our leader’.

      Perhaps the title Secretary of State for Scotland should be changed to Colonial Governor. That would be more appropriate because Mundell has been give that role by a administration with very little popular backing in Scotland.

    26. Robert Roddick says:

      And here’s me thinking that an ability to read English would be a requirement for employment at the Scotland Office. Especially for a spokesman, named or unnamed.

    27. proudscot says:

      As usual RevSut you’ve cut through the BS and nailed the real meaning and effect of these “small print” clauses. A veto is a veto, no matter how many weasel words try to colour it otherwise.

      So much for the overblown promises of implementing the Smith proposals in full, or Gordon Brown (and others) “guaranteeing” the delivery of “near federalism” or “almost Home Rule”. It also beggars belief that the likes of Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie are still insisting the Smith Commission proposals are being delivered in full.

    28. Andrew McLean says:

      All hail our imperial masters! actually when you look at the stress the poor old SOS will be under I think the legislation is at odds with the Health and Safety at Work act!

    29. One_Scot says:

      I’m not sure going from wanting more powers, to, you have the right to ask for some limited powers, is the same as Gordon Brown’s ‘a system of government as close to federalism as you can have in a nation’ or the Daily Records ‘Vow delivered’.

      Don’t you just love getting the pish ripped out of you, no, me neither.

    30. Karmanaut says:

      David Mundell.

      Emperor of Scotland.

      For fuck’s sake.

    31. John McLeod says:

      I would suggest that, if the plan is to engage in genuine consultation, then there needs to be a mechanism for dealing with situations where both parties disagree. I am reluctant to read the whole Bill. Does anon know whether such a mechanism is mentioned at all?

    32. Midgehunter says:

      Yes Scotland, you can have all these wonderful new powers.

      All you have to do is nicely ask our permission everytime you wish to use them. Why bother!

      Ever tried running a marathon with a ball n’ chain?

    33. Easy way to find out if this is not a veto. Get Westminster to agree to insert the same clauses into every piece of legislation it produces allowing the first ministers of the devolved parliaments the same rights to consultation etc. I am sure they will be as reasonable as Mr Muddle.

    34. Garry Henderson says:

      ‘Veto Max?’

    35. Clootie says:

      “….the British government has the engine of a lawn mower and the brakes of a Rolls-Royce”

      An old joke from the Imperial period.

    36. no no no...yes says:

      Well done for ploughing through the treacle on our behalf.
      The details may well be discussed by the lackies in the MSM but the people WILL decide if the bill is acceptable. It may well all unravel in time for the Holyrood elections.This, allied to WM working against the interests of the Scottish people, increases the likelihood of another referendum being sought by the SNP in their manifeso.

    37. Claire says:

      Interesting distinction made between welfare benefits issues, where permission won’t be “unreasonably withheld” and restraining the profiteering of private sector energy companies, where no such restraint is placed on the minister (if you can call it a restraint, as we are all well aware of how open to interpretation the idea of “reasonableness” is). Clearly the tories are not willing to countenance the Scottish Government interfering with the rights of the private sector to throw more and more people into fuel poverty under any circumstances. If that’s not a veto, I’m buggered if I know what is.

    38. manandboy says:

      Excellent stuff. No consultation required.

      This is legislation by a government with a gun in its hand.

    39. Sandy says:

      Of course 56 SNP Westminster MPs do not even come close to knowing what is best for Scotland.

      That should be left to the solitary Scottish Tory to decide in his infinite wisdom.

    40. R-type Grunt says:

      That’s a perfectly reasonable summation of a veto Rev. Now we need to get this info out there.

      I watched that programme, Rise of the SNP, the other day. They got most of it right but of course left out anything which showed Labour’s failings.

      What they didn’t say though – and what none of these programmes ever do point out – is the rise of the internet in the home. Not just the homes of 8-bit geeks like some of us but everyone. The BBC programme does actually allude to a sea-change around 2003 but they never point to the internet.

      Why highlight to the ever dwindling numbers of numpties the one place they can actually find out the truth.

      Having said that it never ceases to amaze me just how many folk there still are who are perfectly comfortable with people – who’s wages they pay – actively and demonstrably lying to them.

    41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I would highlight the multiple instances of “Secretary of state has agreed”.”

      To everyone: the highlighting in the screenshots is the product of searching the document. It’s the only common wording. There’s no particular significance in it being highlighted in the pics.

    42. Grizzle McPuss says:

      And also according to Prof Tomkins…”Veto…what veto…I see no veto”
      (Scotland Tonight – 10.30pm 28/05/2015)

      So we must conclude, eh…(checks WoS for facts)…hang on, there is a veto!

      Note: this bloke is attached to the School of Law at Glasgow Uni. Does this perhaps explain why so many who go on to practise law are shall we say ‘a law unto themselves’ because they are led by this example and cannot interpret plain English?

      Good one Stu

    43. wingman 2020 says:

      The Scottish Office is a redundant organization with zero useful function to Scotland.

      It’s time for a change.

    44. Molly says:

      So how does this work then ? The SNP have a majority in Holyrood but must then defer to David Mundell ?
      Well I’ll tell you what , how many readers you got Rev ? Let’s everyone email/ write and ask Mr Mundell to clarify if that is exactly what it means . That way there can be no ‘ lost in translation ‘ by our media .

    45. Training Day says:

      Don’t tell me he could veto the Scottish Government seat on the Northern Lighthouse Board too.

      That would be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    46. heedtracker says:

      Tory boy wot wrote it all says stuff like

      “Once implemented the Smith Commission Agreement will make the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful sub-state legislatures anywhere in the world.”


      “A highlight of the Smith Commission Agreement was that Scottish Ministers should become responsible”


      “At last, we can move the argument on from nationalists’ bleating that they don’t have sufficient powers to a forensic examination of how they choose to use their powers.”

      Yet Prof T cant quite bring his giant brain to mention Fluffy’s got the veto on almost all of it shock.

      Sorry to bleat imperial master Adam Tomkinski and you have succeeded in keeping Scottish socio economic policy under England’s control, albeit via the last tory MP in Scotland , Fluffy Mundell.

    47. G H Graham says:

      The media should be asking Mundell which of the orders in the Bill he has already decided to reject on a matter of Tory principle.

      e.g. the orders which potentially make provisions for fuel poverty, bedroom tax, universal credit etc.

      You know, the orders which he will unilaterally decide what’s in the best interest of Scotland.

      With the backing of just 21,000 out of nearly 4.1 million voters.

      From his desk.

      In London.

    48. John king says:

      Karmanaut says
      David mundell
      Emperor of Scotland!

      David mundell
      last emperor of Scotland
      There fixed that for you.

    49. Luigi says:

      What would happen if WM tied to veto a Holyrood bill, but the SG went ahead anyway?

      Tanks on the Mound?

    50. Anagach says:

      If as they claim these are not vetos they can surely have no objection to the replacement with a phrase saying “have informed the Scottish Secretary”.

    51. mike cassidy says:

      If it looks like a fuck (you Scotland), quacks like a fuck(you Scotland), then it’s a fuck (you Scotland).

    52. manandboy says:

      Colonial Governor might do but might be a bit too down to earth. I suggest it lacks sufficient pomp.

      ‘The Governor of Her Majesty’s Colony of Scotland’ has a bit more of The Empire about it. A shame, but Mundell in that role with that title would be a laughing stock. You know what I’m going to say ne

    53. UncleBob says:

      We need action. What can we DO?

      I’m willing and I’m a middle aged quiet person who does not DO stuff like that.

      Talking and moaning is fine, but we need to have a plan.

    54. call me dave says:

      Mr Mundell himself said on the news at tea time Scotland (can’t remember which channel)

      “it was nonsense to suggest that there was a veto”
      among other things he said in a very short clip.

      QT last night Europe Referendum.

      What if, (unlikely I know) over the UK total voting, if England is forced to leave the EU by about 200,000 votes because the Scots voted NO overall but the N Ireland + England & Wales was marginally YES.

      Many red faces all round in both parliaments.

    55. Almannysbunnet says:

      How out of touch do you have to be to try and foist this on a post referendum, post general election Scotland with upcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections on the horizon? (rhetorical question.)
      I suppose there are a couple of options
      1. Send him home to think again and rewrite the bill.
      2. Inundate Mundell by testing clause after clause. Consult the bejasus out of him and shine the full light of publicity on the Scottish secretary each time he disagrees with the elected government of Scotland.
      That should lead nicely into the May elections.

    56. Neil Mackenzie says:

      It’s a bit like legislation requiring royal assent with David Mundell as the queen of Scotland (but with the actual power of a real queen).

    57. Bob Mack says:

      We must pursue the SNP to reject these proposals on behalf of the Scottish people,and by that I mean emphatically.They have a clear mandate to accept or reject on our behalf. If Westminster don’t like it ,to hell with them
      I am no citizen of the Raj, but a free Scot determined to follow my own path ,like many of my countryfolk.
      It has been a long time since I felt so angry!!.
      I am now coming round to the thought of UDI,which I always opposed previously.
      They are inexorably backing the people of Scotland into a corner from which they believe there is no escape.How wrong can you be?

    58. manandboy says:

      Colonial Governor might do but might be a bit too down to earth. I suggest it lacks sufficient pomp.

      ‘The Governor of Her Majesty’s Colony of Scotland’ has a bit more of The Empire about it. A shame, but Mundell in that role, with that title, would be a laughing stock. (You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you.)

      If ever a man was made to be an object of ridicule, it is David Mundell. With him in the Scottish Office, it lowers the tone of the legislation, if that was possible.

    59. Stoker says:

      Anagach wrote:
      If as they claim these are not vetoes they can surely have no objection to a replacement with the phrase saying “have informed the Scottish Secretary”.

      Very good point, but it’s never going to happen.

    60. manandboy says:

      Tablets have their limitations.

    61. One_Scot says:

      Lets face it Mundell has already told us that Scotland does not exist as a country, as it was absorbed into England in 1707, so why would he even consider giving anything to a non existent country.

    62. heedtracker says:

      Another stuffed shirt writes

      “Rather than outline how Holyrood can deal with the challenges we face in health, education and inequality the SNP want to pretend that “more powers” are the key. Like a dragon hoards gold, it is beginning to appear that the SNP covet powers despite having no use for them. Nationalism is indeed a malign ideology.”


      “From the SNP we have seen nothing. Like nationalists around the world, not least UKIP, Ms Sturgeon wants to blame others for Scotland’s problems.”

      Red and blue tory twerps could at least mention absolute Fluffy veto power retained by unionist freak show for their last remaining Man in Scotland but nothing, just the usual UKOK tub thumpers boom boom, SNP bad.

      So as one more teamGB shyste on Scotland unfolds…if they didn’t own the media and the BBC, we might have just a little bitty of their FIFA is SO corrupt style forensic blanket reportage, the gits:D

    63. Calgacus says:

      Zeig Heil meinTory Fuhrer.

      Fuck you Cameron and Mundell if you think this is going to keep us in a box.

      Tory scum here we come.


    64. DerekM says:

      no wonder the source is unnamed ,if he/she had put their name to this we would be tearing them a new butt just now.

      You are right Stu that is a veto ,doesnt matter if they dress it up in a pretty frock its still a veto.

      Now who in the Scottish office approved this would it happen to be fluffy by any chance,so basically what he is saying if you want something you have to come begging to me,well fluffy we do want something your head on a silver platter.

      Tell you what fluffster how about we just declare independence if you are going to be a twat,you are not dealing with the SNP,you are dealing with us and we are not amused.

    65. desimond says:

      Back in your box Jimmy

    66. kininvie says:

      The requirements for consultation and agreement have a rather more subtle implication than a straight veto. They allow the Scotland Office the opportunity to delay – possibly for months – an action that Holyrood wishes to take.

    67. Ciolin Church says:

      Tomkins (unnamed source?) is a unionist troll still having twits with Ian Smart on SNP = bad.

      His appointment and that of the new Lord Dunlop is reason enough to dismantle the Scottish Office. If it stays it should have a “back in yer box” logo on it as that is what it has become.

      Better together, not.

      We believed the abusive spouse will be nicer promise and stop putting us down. Now here comes the next kicking cos we were stupid enough or scared enough to stay.

    68. Dr Jim says:

      We’re too wee, too poor, moaning wingers, lazy Jocks
      We’re subsidy junkies, we’re insurgents, we’re extremists,
      Alex Salmond’s a thief, Nicola Sturgeon is a puppet mistress,
      On and On and On….and yet…

      They cling on to us like a starving wild animal guarding it’s food

      I just can’t think why

      Can You?

      Stands back to avoid %*”@:$%^&”£$^!$@<+ The Bastirts

    69. call me dave says:

      Our veto is bigger than your veto?

      Sturgeon says UK has a veto, Guardian says Scots have a veto too!

    70. manandboy says:

      This Bill is a pig in a poke – which is a perfect match.

    71. HandandShrimp says:

      What makes it worse is that the Veto is held by a useless Muppet that thinks Scotland became a county of Greater England in 1707. I wouldn’t put him in charge of cutting the grass never mind overseeing the implementation of further devolution.

      The amendment stage of this Bill is going to be fun.

      I would change the wording to consult and advise only and make it clear that the colonial governor (I am sure he has already ordered the plumed hat) has no final say on the matter.

    72. mike cassidy says:

      And I presume this is the man/who will be advising Mundell.

      The man with the dodgy donor record

      the man with the political insight of a genius

      The man currently defending Cameron’s pet crook, Andy Coulson.

      This is the man with his lips to Mundell’s ear!

    73. Davy says:

      First has anyone explained to David Mundell that he is the Seceratary of State they are speaking about ?

      Veto Max, is dead on for this piece of legisation

    74. Puzzled Puss says:

      Just when we were all beginning to wonder what the Scotland Office was for (apart from sending out fake memos)……..

    75. Onwards says:

      Anagach says:
      29 May, 2015 at 11:52 am

      If as they claim these are not vetos they can surely have no objection to the replacement with a phrase saying “have informed the Scottish Secretary”.

      If it’s only there as a courtesy, there should be no problem with that..

    76. Xaracen says:

      “It’s the only common wording.”

      Last night I got pretty much the same set of paragraphs from searching “Scottish Ministers may not”.

    77. Stoker says:

      Garry Henderson wrote:
      ‘Veto Max?’

      Nice one, i like that.
      From Devo Max to Veto Max.
      Next thing you know we’ll be right back to Betamax.

    78. Macart says:

      When is a devolved power not a power?

      When someone else effectively has control of it.

    79. msean says:

      If the Scottish Government has to ask the Secretary of State then surely that is a UK Government veto. Anyway,politicians lie,they told us so. If they say it isn’t a veto,then it pretty much is just that.

      Does this phrase mean Secretary of State for Scotland or is that left open to include other Secretaries of State ie at the DWP?

    80. gpspeirs says:

      But Cameron promised pre GE that they would deliver powers that would make Scotland “the most powerful devolved parliament in the world”, more lies, more obfuscation, more bare faced oppression from WM.

    81. dakk says:

      So we’re right back where we started.

      Thanks all you psuedo-Scot No voters,you must be so proud.

    82. Stephen says:

      Well as far as I can see the Scotland Act bill has just made Mundell (or whoever) the Governor of Scotland…

      We will never get Devo-MAX etc etc more likely to get a slow withdrawal of powers.

      Perhaps more folks will now realise Indy is the only way.

    83. Alistair says:

      Its an opportunity really. Come up with a reasonable and proper policy (especially around welfare) that IDS will want Mundell to veto. Get him to veto it publicly. Who backs down first?

      I think that I can see how independence will be eventually achieved. Sooner or later the Scottish parliament will legislate on something beyond its official legal powers. It will be challenged in terms of its legality in court. However, even if it loses, provided it has the full might of Scottish public opinion behind it the people/police/public could just enforce its will.It could be something like a new poll tax or illegal war. The scottish parliament will say, we’re legals;eating on this and dare stop us.

    84. Y Russell says:

      The wording of this Bill removes all control from Holyrood over these areas. Not only does Mr Mundell ( whom I believe was not sufficiently held in enough high regard in the last Parliament to even be made Scottish Secretary) have the absolute power of veto, but he must also be consulted first. We are left without the ability to even plan things out ourselves first – we must run everything past the sole Tory in Scotland.
      I just wonder why we can be expected to subjugate ourselves in this manner when our country so obviously returned 56 MPs with the mandate to strongly represent Scotland’s interest. And we are all supposed to be equal partners in this United Kingdom.

    85. heedtracker says:

      “Scotland’s boycotted the World Cup for 39 years, so should England do it too, bwahaha!” That’s Andrew Neil, BBC Scotch cringer of the Year on his BBC Politics lunchtime show and currently in-depth forensicisiing FIFA corruption.

      It is fascinating stuff at FIFA but Why a Scotch cringer like Neil thinks FIFA has anything to do with teamGB politics is one more teamGB mystery.

      They’re probably NOT burying this farce of a Scotland Bill right and as goons like Mike White of rancid THE Graun told his Scotland region this week, everyone’s a corrupt liar in teamGEnglandB anyway.

    86. msean says:

      Voting NO meant voting no to Scots,but I always thought that to the UK Government,voting NO meant “do as you please,treat us like idiots”.

    87. Malcolm McGarry says:

      The issue here is that the establishment in London is saying, here”s the crumbs, remember who gave them to you and remember who can take them away with out even informing you.

      The establishment in London, can’t even be bothered to police this themselves, they appoint a colonial governor, all of whom through out history are out of touch pompous buffoons.

      Go beyond the snarls and gripes, what do Scottish MPs and Scottish Government do?

      – Is this a waiting game where Scotland waits for this to unravel? – probably not as delay will hurt poorest and most in need in Scotland.

      – Refuse to implement without revision – this ups the anti and could go many directions steered by a biased uk media and bbc

      – Implement in full as is – if policy works it will be down to astute uk government, if it goes wrong it will be Scottish Government failure, again steered by a biased uk media and bbc

      – contest and cause disruption at westminster – this ups the anti to the max and would go multiple directions steered by a biased uk media and bbc

      Alternatively a mixture of all above, plus other strategies – others views welcomed!

      Onus is now on the nationalists, personally I beleive that unless westminster is confronted it will walk all over Scotland – which impacts the poorest first and most!

    88. Breeks says:

      So Westminster wants the power of veto enshrined in its appointed Secretary of State, a man with a tenuous mandate to govern Scotland, but yet English MP’s will work themselves into a lather if Scottish MP’s are merely allowed a vote on issues affecting England alone.
      And the issue is packaged as “only fair”.
      One rule for some…

    89. Maureen says:

      Tilly’s comment, right up near the top, is correct.
      TillyT says:
      29 May, 2015 at 11:05 am
      There will soon be no point in Scots voting. Whoever gets in in Holyrood, the UK SoS will have a veto. Our MPs in Westminster will have their voting rights curtailed. This is not a democracy. It’s an occupation

    90. Democracy Reborn says:

      Definition of “veto”, Oxford Dictionaries online:-

      “A constitutional right to to reject a proposal or decision made by a law making body.”

      Every section of the Scotland Bill referred to by Stu in his post require the Secretary of State to “agree”, or his “agreement”, before the Scottish Parliament can competently exercise its powers in those areas. It is straining the plain wording of the Bill to breaking point to suggest that this is not a ‘veto’.

      @Garry Henderson : good one, it should indeed be called ‘Veto Max’.

      If the Sectetary of State does not “agree” with any acts of the Scottish Parliament or Scottish Ministers under those specific areas in the Bill, then the purported acts would be ultra vires and therefore of no legal effect. From my reading of the Scotland Act, the mechanism for declaring that an act of the Scottish Parliament ultra vires is a referral by the Advocate General, Lord Advocate or Attorney General to the UK Supreme Court.

      Still, good to know that no matter what the Scottish Parliament desire, Viceroy Mundell will keep us on the straight and narrow.

    91. Jim McIntosh says:

      They’re taking the piss.

      If we let them away with this this early in the parliament we’re f@@**d. The SNP government has to react, and quickly.

      We have no genuine access to the media, so how about a letter to every house in Scotland (we have the extra short money) pointing out the duplicity here and stating they will be putting the call for another referendum in their manifesto for next year unless negotiations with WM to have this veto removed and proper powers devolved as promised.

    92. Langspoon says:

      I effectively predicted that this would be the outcome of a No vote – the SoS would become Governor General with powers to ‘direct’ the Scottish Parliament.

      Maybe Fluffy sees himself as a latter day Oliver Cromwell, writing to the Parly ‘I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken’.

      However, this may be an elephant trap for Westminster if the Scottish Government chooses to pursue a policy that has clear, popular support that a Tory Gov has to oppose because of possible demand for same down south. Consent withheld could (would?) lead to constitutional crisis, and then…

    93. Karmanaut says:

      Another potential danger as I see it, lies in how exactly the block grant is adjusted to compensate for the taxes raised in Scotland.

      Does anyone know the details?

      Because wages in London and the South East as so much higher, “pooling and sharing” UK income tax is one area where Scotland benefits.

      So how do they adjust the block grant?

      If we raise X income tax in Scotland, and then X is deducted from the block grant, there would be no change.

      However, if we raise X income tax in Scotland, and then our colonial rulers deduct Y from the block grant, where Y is Scotland’s *population share of UK income tax*, then we lose massively.

      Because wages in Scotland are lower.

      If Westminster uses a “population share” equation to deduct taxes where we contribute less per head (like income tax), but keeps taxes where we contribute more per head (oil and gas), then we’re fucked.

      Or so it seems to me, anyway, but I don’t know for sure. I’d be very happy to be shown to be wrong here.

    94. Petra says:

      One wee man running Scotland: Camerons lackey. Making decisions that will impact on 5 million people. A member of a party that most Scots didn’t vote for and hasn’t done so for decades; representing the antithesis of Scottish values.

      ‘Scotland will be the most powerful devolved Country in the World’. Aye right enough!

      You couldn’t make it up. Democracy my ar*e.

      Fingers crossed that an enquiry into Carmichael will expose Mundell.

    95. Ken500 says:

      Another five years of this nonsense and Scotland will be Independent.

    96. joe macfarlane says:

      msean says:

      29 May, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      If the Scottish Government has to ask the Secretary of State then surely that is a UK Government veto. Anyway,politicians lie,they told us so. If they say it isn’t a veto,then it pretty much is just that.

      Does this phrase mean Secretary of State for Scotland or is that left open to include other Secretaries of State ie at the DWP?

      Good spot , does that mean any secretary of state can veto
      welsh perhaps??

    97. fred blogger says:

      there’s only one direction of travel left for us now!

    98. Effijy says:

      This is yet another string on the bow of insults striking across Scotland, from this old crooked fiddle that is Westminster.
      This latest series of sour notes is the final straw!

      Suggest that SNP Call a spade a spade, draw that line in the sand, and make it quite clear we will not stand for their insulting behaviour.

      Also suggest that a 5 minute cacophony of rapid hand clapping follows this announcement.

      Most likely our nations majority representatives will be ejected from this house of horrors, but no sense staying in there to be abused.

      This may be the only way to show how serious we are at nipping these lying, manipulating parasites in the bud.

    99. heedtracker says:

      “Scottish ministers may not…”


      “The Secretary of State has given his/her agreement…”

      This is my ghastly local far right UK propaganda oufit in action this month

      “A group of MPs has claimed that a package of new powers for Holyrood will fulfil the “vow” made to Scots before the referendum.”

      “Westminster’s Scottish affairs committee insisted the SNP’s accusation that the Smith Agreement contains vetoes was “ludicrous”.


      “In a new report published today, the Scottish affairs committee criticises both the UK and Scottish governments.

      “It said: “The idea that the draft clauses contain ‘twelve vetoes’ is a ludicrous one and it is disappointing that the UK Government failed adequately to rebut such claims.”

      Adequately rebut such claims is probably beyond even perfidious Albion types like Prof Tomkins up there, just lie and deny lads, its the UKOK way don’t you know.

      Fair enough P&J grot was pouring out of same vote GE 2015 creep show that gave us the historic if very casual liar like Carmichael but maybe it is all down to lawyers to interpret what exactly what exactly are UKOK’s 12 non veto vetos, and “ludicrous” too, would be rather helpful.

    100. Dr Jim says:

      We all know what Westminsters notion of the truth is

      Alistair Carmichael. Jack Straw. Malcolm Rifkind. Tony Blair.

      This could take a long time so let’s just say

      All Unionist politicians
      Think about what they’ve just done, in anticipation of this bill going through the House of Lords they’ve put in place a new Lord to make sure the Tories get their way

      Remember Mundells so called new assistant

      Who do we think will be on our side? Jack McConnell? Lord Smith of Kelvin? Lord Liberal Democrats Lord Effing Anybody

      Now I hate to bring up the Movie…But although there were factual inaccuracies Mel Gibson was on the money in terms of the sentiment which was…

      Ye Canny Trust The Bastirts Ever…

    101. DerekM says:

      can i paint my face blue and dig out my claymore yet?

      Just how do we declare UDI do we have to take over our own parliament in a revolution ?

    102. Alex Smith says:

      More veto max than devo max.

    103. stevew says:

      I think that as long as they don’t use the word “veto” they can get away with it.

    104. Grant says:

      The most powerful devolved parliament in the World’s End bar area.

    105. TheItalianJob says:


      I just like your optimism and you posts in general.

      Great. Keep them going.

    106. tartanpigsy says:

      Slightly O/T and thinking ahead a bit.

      With a second referendum almost guaranteed now, in that Smith really is Pish (Who knew?), and The SNP will now have to put a referendum into next years manifesto or all hell will break loose, we need to work on our strategy to limit the No vote, especially that from our elder voters who can’t/won’t be convinced of the overwhelming case for, and innevitability of Independence.

      We need to target this demographic starting now, and we need to suggest abstention. IMHO this could be one of our best ways to reduce the No vote amongst this demographic.

      The argument being, OK we understand that you have emotional ties, have had years of the TWTPTS thrown at you, but the fact remains that Independence is ahead in all the younger age groups, and all you are doing is delaying unnecessarily Scotland’s rightful next move.
      The scares and fears of the future just won’t affect you so let us make this move.

      I’ve got elderly family who are completely blind to Independence and all it offers so am going to try this tactic on them. I reckon others should do so too.

    107. Gregor MacEwan says:

      “Reasonable” is not a subjective term when used in a legal context. Someone is acting “reasonably” only if he acts in the way that a normal person (the “man on the Clapham omnibus”) would consider to be reasonable; it does not mean that the person acting can do as he likes so long as he himself believes he is acting reasonably. I say this as a litigation solicitor.

    108. ronnie anderson says:

      And when is ah Veto not ah Veto.OTEV probibly find that word in the Russian language.

      Getting our chains yanked by Westminster again & again.

    109. Now's the Hour says:

      If Mundell thinks Scotland isn’t a country, why did he accept the position as Secretary of State for Sc…?

      Anyway, worry not, people. I’m sure Fluffy knows best.

    110. starlaw says:

      Mundell would look fine in a cocked hat with cockatoo,s feather Governor General of Scotland. . The word VETO must never be used he can just say NAW

    111. carjamtic says:

      ‘It’s Getting Hot in Here”

      ‘Little’ Dave needs ‘Big’ Dave to keep the Scots in check,but as ‘Big’ Dave never engages with the ordinary people of Scotland,he brings in ‘Big’ Andy to do it for him.

      ‘Big’ Andy has some previous with Scotland,(Project Fear,Poll Tax etc.)so has already shown us his cooking ‘skills’,it tasted rancid.

      The trouble I have with this pairing is they have always been viewed as a Commis Chefs,never Head Chefs.(I wonder why,not)

      From Scotland’s perspective,this is a gift,’Little’ Dave like cheese,bubbles when grilled,chances are ‘Big’ Andy will do likewise,it’s time for us to put on our Chef Grillardin hats and turn up the heat.

      Welcome to Hell’s Kitchen,Welsh Rarebit Anyone ?

    112. Proud Cybernat says:

      “The most powerful devolved parliament anywhere in the world…”

      And the roar from the assembled crowd went up. “PISH!”

    113. Midgehunter says:

      The recommendations of the Smiff Comm. and Scotland Act Bill are not really for devolved powers, but simply the ability to propose changes which may or may not be approved/implemented of by the Govenor General (Viceroy) who represents the UK Government.

      In other words, Mundell/SOS4S and his no. 2 are politically placed a Rang higher than the Scottish Government.

      That is Colony status and nothing to do with bipartite Kingdoms working together.

    114. Midgehunter says:

      Oops – Rank not Rang. Was too quick, anger level very high.

    115. Marie clark says:

      A veto is a veto is a veto. Disguise it how you like, but it’s still a veto.

      Do they think that we in Scotland will sit back like good wee boys and girls and say thank you bwana. Aye right, we have come a long way since our referendum and there is no way we will get back in the box.GIRFUY.

      There may be trouble ahead.

    116. Petra says:

      Oh and I forgot to mention that the Scottish Parliament is still NOT ‘permanent’. Westminster has the power to abolish it.

      This is probably the only truthful comment that Rennie has ever made.

    117. manandboy says:

      @ Breeks : 2:16 pm
      Hate to say so, but a second referendum will suffer the same fate as the first unless we have first secured some sort of control over broadcasting.”

      I’m with you there, Breeks – but I would include the pensioners in the ‘to do’ list. They must be made to feel that they and their pensions will be secure in an Independent Scotland. At the moment they are not; but what is worse is that the SNP seem to have a blind spot about pensioners. I don’t know why – there’s only about 800,000 of them – and most of them voted No out of fear. The SNP should listen to them NOW – before IndyRef2 crashes.

      But, yes, let’s sort out the Broadcasting/BBC first.

    118. Brian MacLeod says:

      Effectively Mundell has been apponted King of Scotland

    119. Democracy Reborn says:

      @Gregor MacEwan 1.44pm

      That’s not quite correct.

      Firstly, only some of the Bill provisions require the Secretary of State’s withholding of agreement to be “reasonable”. The remainder are unqualified.

      Secondly, the ‘man on the Clapham omnibus’ reasonableness test – ie. what he would do or think – is the test that’s been used in eg. civil negligence and defamation actions. It’s not the test used for judging the reasonableness of decisions of public bodies and officials in public and administrative law. That test is derived from the famous ‘Wednesbury’ case. A decision or act under Wednesbury is unreasonable (or irrational) if it is *so* unreasonable that no reasonable person, acting reasonably, could have made it. That is a different (and stricter) test to prove than simple reasonableness. It also means that a court will not find a decision unreasonable in the Wednesbury context simply because it disagrees with it on the merits.

    120. Alan McHarg says:

      Fucking raging!! This has to be rejected by the Scottish government. As a Scottish citizen I don’t accept this oppression and demand my elected government free me and my country from this abusive political union…now!

    121. Lesley-Anne says:

      When is a veto NOT a veto?

      You will have to excuse me for a minute here folks cause I have just had to ask the Secretary of State if I need his clearance on this topic before I can comment any further on his ability to veto the veto of the veto. 😀

    122. David says:

      When I see a WM “practical arrangement” that walks like a veto and swims like a veto and quacks like a veto, I call that arrangement a veto.

    123. Midgehunter says:

      @ LA

      It’s only a little veto, you know like Danny de Vito. 😉

    124. Alan McHarg says:

      I’m sick of petitions to try and get our basic human rights, some honesty, integrity and social justice, but is it worth a petition to the First minister and the Scottish government stating that “we the people of Scotland wholly reject this document and any future document that would attempt to subjugate and/or economically punish and/or impose policy that would be to the detriment of Scotland and it’s people”. Any thoughts!

    125. Lesley-Anne says:

      Good one Midge! 😀 😀 😀

    126. Paul says:

      They’re taking us for mucking fuppets. Apparently a significant proportion of the population don’t mind.

    127. Andrew says:

      All the references are to the Secretary of State but it doesn’t say which one. It certainly doesn’t make it clear that it is the Secretary of State for Scotland. It could be any Secretary of State. It implies consulting only one Secretary of State but does it rule out more than one having to be consulted and more than one having to give agreement?

    128. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      It is always good practice to adopt the Principle of Charity, when considering such documents. Otherwise, we can be deluded into believing our own propaganda, underestimating our opponent and making assertions that are difficult to substantiate, which can lead to us facing ridicule.
      Despite the chagrin of those of us who voted Yes, Scotland remains part of the UK, and, as such, it is reasonable that the Scottish Goverment and the representative of the UK Government discuss proposals to explore the ramifications, not just for Scotland, but the other parts. Government is not just about political debate, it is also about efficient delivery of services. Most politicians and civil servants are not intent on malignity. We must be alert for it, but charity requires trust and respect.
      Secondly, where the word ‘unreasonable’ is used, it normally means that the proposal will be enacted unless there is a good reason. Such reasons are usually established by custom and practice, but, in providing a reason, there is obviously the opportunity to debate the merits or otherwise of the reasons. That is the usual practice.
      However, where the word ‘unreasonable’ does not appear, the Secretary of State has a veto. A prudent Secretary of State would deploy such a veto sparingly and ought to provide reasons, because otherwise, he or she risks provoking a backlash against authoritarianism.

    129. Bit of a stushie says:

      @ tartanpigsy, 1.41

      It would be nice to think that persuading older people to abstain would be enough to see a YES vote next time but I doubt the effect would be sufficient. Pro-independence support may be the majority view in other age groups but not by a big enough margin, at least not yet.

      My 92 year old mother voted YES last September ‘for the grandchildren’ because we spent months, and months, discussing the arguments for and against. I think she would have abstained if she couldn’t bring herself to vote YES on the grounds that if she could not support us, at least she would not oppose us. However, she would only have done that if she saw the basic merits of the argument, despite not quite agreeing. Had she been implacably opposed because of some deeply held belief in the union, she would have voted NO to protect her grandchildren from the misguided notions of their parents. I expect she is fairly typical of many older people who are not particularly political and who fear change.

      My point is that I don’t think it will be enough to persuade older people to sit the vote out because the outcome won’t affect them. Even if the end result is that these people abstain, we must still make the arguments and persuade them that independence is the right future for Scotland.

      Too few people bought the argument last September so all of us who support independence must keep working on older family members and NO voters. I sympathise with those who want to see another referendum as soon as possible but whenever it is, I believe it must be against a backdrop of convincing and stable public support for independence.

      There’s no doubt there were weaknesses in the case last year. We should be asking how to address them. If something big enough happens to trigger another indyref, whether to do with Smith or the EU, we will lose again if our arguments are the same. And then what? I agree we should target older voters but to my mind the aim should still be to convince them that independence is the future for them too.

    130. TamTheBam says:

      So the SoS will effectively have a veto over the new “powers” coming to Scotland. The SoS will be nothing more than a dictator.

      Remind the establishment of that when they shout about single party control of Scotland by SNP.

    131. orri says:

      The only way those aren’t “vetoes” is if instead of powers actually being devolved Holyrood is being given a mechanism to petition the appointed , anointed , representative of Westminster for a variation from the rUK. In one way that allows them to potentially get round the idea that it has no mandate for further devolution. On the other hand it’d lead to trouble unless there was a reinstatement of the Scottish Grand Committee.

      The other pit fall is that this might very well be portrayed as area of genuine devolution and if EVEL does come to pass Scotland will have neither a say in setting the levels to be varied or freedom in said variation s.

    132. Graham MacQueen says:

      And given that the Secretary of State for Scotland is a member of a political party that has not held sway in Scotland for some time now and does not represent the ideologies held by a vast percentage of the country, I think we could reasonably state that the UK government is tiptoeing along a very fine line between totalitarianism and despotism (silly me!, they are one and the same).

    133. Rock says:

      As I had posted immediately after the election:

      It is now the time for the Scottish government to boycott any Viceroy that might be sent to rule us.

      There is no democratic mandate for the post – it must be abolished.

      Any dealings must be between the Scottish and UK governments and between the First Minister and Prime Minister.

      We are now equals and must be treated as equals.

    134. UncleBob says:

      I’m feeling pretty desperate here.
      I need to read all these post but it is depressing.

    135. Stoker says:

      @ Rock (8.58pm).

      Excellently put – with you all the way on that.
      This is when the SNP should be saying in the strongest terms possible – shove it, unacceptable and never insult us again.

      And in answer to one of your usual questions – I for one am not prepared to wait for another generation while our country is being bled dry by Unionist parasites every second of every day.

      If we continue to play these nice wee political games there will be fuckall left to give to our future generations.

      I would prefer to see independence before i croak it, not after.

    136. Lanarkist says:

      Like your thinking A. McHarg. People power reinvested in petitioning Government with respect to the Sovereignty of the people of Scotland.

      At the very least it would give the Scot Gov. A barometer of the collective mood and some ammo in the Bank for Constitutional Issues.

      The Tories have no mandate to Govern outside of England, not even the whole of England!

    137. bugsbunny says:

      If this piece of Legislation goes through Mundell ceases to be SoSfS and becomes Governor General. We cease to be a Nation and become a Colony. This is as good as a Royal Veto, something Westminster would not put up with.

      I have never been one for UDI, but that last barrier is crumbling bit by bit.

      Time to put a second referendum into the Autumn Manifesto for Scotland 2016.

      Enough is enough.


    138. John from Fife says:

      Surely the SNP Government and MPs at Westmontser now have justification to refuse ‘the offer of’ the additional powers including the veto under the Scotland Bill.

    139. Alan Mackintosh says:

      It puts it into stark clarity when you understand that veto is the Latin for “I forbid ”

      That is the image to hold in your minds eye. Mundell uttering those two words.

    140. boris says:

      So, provided with newly devolved powers and finance the Scottish Government will be held to account by the Scottish electorate and the Westminster government.

      But responsibility and accountability can only be only acceptable to the Scottish Government if it is combined with clear delegated authority (without hidden or small print contract riders).

      Anything less should be rejected

    141. orri says:

      Is it worth pointing out that when all this was most probably being written the most probable candidates for naw sayer general were our pal fae the northern isles or possibly big Jim fae Glasga? Jist saying, ken.

    142. neil allan says:

      Sorry folks. It is not a veto if it says reasoanbly. The effect of that is to enable reference to be made to the courts

    143. Kennedy says:

      neil allan
      30 May, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      does that mean we need every new act of legislation in court?

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