Saturday, 28 November 2009

New Powers for Scotland - Where's the Catch?

I purposely haven't posted on Jim Murphy's announcement, made earlier this week, of 'new powers' for Scotland, because I saw no need. It was a move to achieve headlines, nothing more and nothing less. It is not going to happen because labour will not win the election and the Scots won't be so blatantly bribed.

'Scotland will be given greater tax-raising powers under the biggest shake-up in the nation's finances for 30 years' reported Reuters and the MSM splurged similar headlines over their front pages. Sounds too good to be true that Jim Murphy would agree to implement the recommendations of the Calman Commission doesn't it? Of course it is.

Firstly there is consensus in the Scottish Parliament that Scotland should have control over its speed limits, drink driving laws and air gun law, but Westminster refuse to hand over any powers until after the general election. The Scottish government has made it clear that it is ready to legislate where agreement exists and has now laid out a timetable but it is the UK government which is stalling the process.

Commenting on the UK government's proposals to transfer certain tax raising and borrowing power, Pete Wishart MP stated: "The Calman Commission's own experts have described these flawed tax proposals as 'worse than undesirable, they are unworkable'.

"The SNP government is seeking full fiscal autonomy and with that full responsibility for Scotland's finances. Anything less risks being a messy fudge which will damage the Scottish economy in the long term."

The catch? None of the terms of the announcement will be implemented until after the general election. What if labour lose the general election? There's the catch. In that case will the Tories implement the Calman recommendations? No. David Cameron has already stated he would not consider constitutional change in the next parliament and that would mean until 2015 at the earliest.

Scotland doesn't need flawed tax raising powers which will tie it to England even more. We need full fiscal control. What other country is unable to raise and spend its own taxes and have full fiscal control?


Anonymous said...

Murphy's much vaunted pronouncement was nothing more than a cynical jam tomorrow ploy namely "vote Labour at the UK general election and we will give Scotland more powers" in order to try and prop up Labour's staggering vote and try and take some votes off the SNP and Tories.

David Cameron could severely damage Labour's voting prospects in Scotland if he has the courage and conviction to put a promise in his Tory manifesto to give Scotland full fiscal autonomy once elected. If he is correct in his assertion that there is no Scots stomach for independence he has nothing to fear from a promise like this.

So far as the SNP is concerned they should campaign on the slogan "why go for a slice of the cake from Labour when you can have the whole cake with the SNP".

Hammer said...

Maybe Murphy is really a closet Nat and he's trying to drum up support for independence by encouraging us to hate the Tories ;)

More likely, he's playing politics with the SNP: Vote for the Nats who might work with the Tories or vote to keep Labour in and we'll reward you.

It's a nasty game that's being played here and it's hard to tell who's going to come out smiling (although I suspect the Lib Dems will be facing casualties in Scotland next year).

subrosa said...

Totally concur M and really have nothing to add.

I omitted on the post to add 'Jim Murphy the man who can't speak a sentence without mentioning the SNP.

Really it's time he and his ilk were faced down. I continue to do it whenever I can and I don't mean by sitting here typing.

Such a shame the MSM are so compliant with the labour party. If they held a more balanced view then I'm sure many more people, throughout the UK, would buy their papers and listen to their news broadcasts.

It's time bloggers made efforts to complain to the BBC about the airtime the Scottish government are given. I write endless emails to them complaining but I think I'm a voice in the wilderness.

Anonymous said...

Murphy is constitutionally abusing his position by indulging in naked politicking ref Scotland's domestic matters on behalf of Labour when his role requires him to keep out of Scots domestic politics by representing Scotland at UK level only. Labour would be the first to complain if the shoe was on the other foot. The SNP should be making an issue of this with the UK government and MSM.

I don't think that the SNP being constantly attacked by the MSM is entirely unexpected for the MSM are pillars of the UK establishment who feel most threatened by the independence movement and will of course seek to attack the SNP at every opportunity. However it does appear that the SNP has become somewhat complacent and muted since it assumed government. To counter this the However the SNP do need to up their game media wise by issuing a daily stream of "how an independent Scotland would have done it better" press releases which the MSM could not ignore.

subrosa said...

I doubt if he's a closet nationalist Hammer but he should stop talking Scotland down. The SNP government are doing a far better job than labour did in their 8 years.

Remember the libdems have support in the north west and of course, Fife. Why Fife I have never managed to understand although I have one idea.

subrosa said...

I said just the other day M that I hoped the SNP hadn't become so enthralled with the trappings of power that they'd forgotten their reason for being.

It's beginning to be noticed that they never stand up to the likes of Murphy and seem to prefer the 'let's ignore it' card.

The problem is people don't hear silence.

subrosa said...

Thanks for your comment Jeanne. I look forward to hearing from you.

Quiet_Man said...

With respect, the tax raising powers aren't tied to England as we don't have an English parliament and have no control over our spending. What you have is Scotland tied to a UK unionist parliament, who rides roughshod over all the nations in the union in its pursuit of political dogma. Only the nationalist parties respect the views of the people who live in their nations and hopefully it is the nationalist parties who will eventually break the Westminster system allowing greater control over a nations taxes by and for their own people.

subrosa said...

Ooops you're quite right QM, I should have said the UK not England.

I hope that too. I have noticed a slight increase in English nationalism (the good type nothing to do with BNP) and I hope that continues. There would be much support from Scotland towards England having her own parliament.

Am I being daft if I say this will be brought about by the EU and not the people? Now we've sold the UK down the Swanny and it has been said the EU brought about devolution for Scotland and Wales, it's not too much of a long shot to say they may do it for England too.

Quiet_Man said...

The EU may well devolve power down to Scotland and Wales as the political units they form are about the right size for an EU region. However from an English point of view that's unworkable as regionalism (by dividing us into 8 regions) isn't wanted here, it was rejected by the people of the Northeast of England by a margin of 3 to 1 when they last asked. Then again I've noticed recently that the EU doesn't tend to ask anymore, so we may end up with it like it or lump it.

subrosa said...

You're right QM, it will be inflicted upon you. I've thought for years that's the way it will go after the attempt by the ex-sailor to convince you.

I've lost it now but I did have some EU documents which showed that was the way the UK would be broken up. Perhaps they're still online.

Somehow the EU will get what it wants. The last Irish referendum shows they'll stop at nothing.

Quiet_Man said...

There's a map here down the page a bit.

Don't worry they don't bite and rather like Scottish Nationalists ;-)

subrosa said...

Don't bite QM? Time they did and barked a lot more too.

Yes that's similar to what I had years ago. Thanks for the link. Very kind of you and I'm now out of the site without a scratch on me. :)

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