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Suedehead2
post Sep 20 2014, 01:21 PM
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Just before the Scottish referendum the leaders of the three main Westminster parties promised to devolve more powers to Scotland in the event of a No vote. Implicit in that was that there should be changes to the way the rest of the UK works. Quite what those changes will be is another matter although all three parties would cede significant tax varying powers.

The Tories have revived their idea of "English votes for English laws". In other words, Scottish MPs would not be allowed to vote on issues which are devolved to Scotland on the grounds that the vote does not affect their constituents. This has a number of flaws. First, it is purely party political. The Tories know that it will make it harder for any future Labour government as they may not have a majority without Scottish MPs. It also ignores the fact that all MPs are elected to a UK parliament and therefore have a right to participate in all votes. After all, the Tories were perfectly happy to use the votes of English MPs to impose the Poll Tax on Scotland. It would also mean potentially having ministers who could not vote for their own department's legislation.

The daftest idea has come from Kenneth Baker (former Tory minister accurately represented on Spitting Image as a slug) who has suggested that UK-wide matters would be discussed on Monday and Friday while English matters would occupy Tuesday to Thursday. Therefore, Scottish MPs would have to travel to and from Westminster twice a week. Of course, a cynic may think that he is hoping that many Scottish MPs (and only one of them is a Tory at the moment) would attend on Monday or Friday but not both.

Unless Charlie, Danny or Tirren know better, Labour's plans are unclear.

The Lib Dems have been in favour of further devolution for decades. This would involve elected regional assemblies in England rather than an English parliament (whether elected or cobbled together as above). These assemblies would have wide-ranging powers. As a result the number of MPs would be reduced significantly as they would have less to do. There are two main objections to an English parliament even if it is elected. First, it would be dominated by London and the South East with the City of London still calling the shots. Second, any federal structure cannot function effectively if more than 80% of the population live in one of the four constituent parts.

The Tories have been making a lot of noise about how Scottish MPs would be able to vote on tax matters which no longer affected Scotland if the Scottish parliament was able to set its own rates. That can be resolved. We could have something similar to the US Federal Tax with the regions having the power to raise additional funds though a regional income tax. The Federal Tax would raise enough to pay for federal matters such as defence as well as allocating grants to the regions - and local government - for redistributive purposes. Administration could be done centrally to avoid employers having to handle a multitude of tax rates.

I an sympathetic to the idea of using the regional assemblies to populate the second chamber in the same way that the make-up of the German second chamber is dependent on the make-up of the state governments. The regional assemblies (elected by PR) would nominate members in proportion to their numbers in the assembly. Ideally, we would also follow Germany in having the regional assemblies elected at various times rather than all at the same time. Therefore, the make-up of the second chamber would change gradually throughout the lifetime of a parliament.

Discuss.
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Danny
post Sep 20 2014, 01:36 PM
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QUOTE(Suedehead2 @ Sep 20 2014, 02:21 PM) *
Unless Charlie, Danny or Tirren know better, Labour's plans are unclear.


I think they've been talking about giving cities more power, which I don't like all that much because the northern cities (especially Manchester and Liverpool) are actually doing OK-ish, it's the working-class towns in the north that have really been neglected and left to rot away over the past decades. I'd rather regional parliaments/assemblies to look after everyone's interests.

Love how nakedly partisan the Tories' "English votes for English laws" thing is, but don't know why Labour commentators are going so crazy about how it would stop them winning any elections; by my maths, they would only need to win 8 additional seats in England to make up the ground lost by excluding non-English MPs.
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Popchartfreak
post Sep 20 2014, 02:46 PM
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Abolish house of lords use their assets as the basis for elected reps on English only matters.

I like the idea of elections at different times and the second chamber could function as a check on hastily drafted laws that needed a bit of tweaking.

I don't see why counties can't be the basis for p.r. elected members numbers to be based on population.


Sorted.... laugh.gif


This post has been edited by popchartfreak: Sep 20 2014, 02:48 PM
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Soy Adrián
post Sep 20 2014, 04:59 PM
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QUOTE(Danny @ Sep 20 2014, 02:36 PM) *
I think they've been talking about giving cities more power, which I don't like all that much because the northern cities (especially Manchester and Liverpool) are actually doing OK-ish, it's the working-class towns in the north that have really been neglected and left to rot away over the past decades. I'd rather regional parliaments/assemblies to look after everyone's interests.

It wouldn't be a case of ploughing money into city centres necessarily - it would be directed towards metropolitan counties or city regions, which a lot of the most neglected areas fall under. If nothing else then the number of Labour MPs in further out areas would presumably make it inevitable that non-metropolitan councils get greater powers as well.

I read in the Independent that Ed is going to propose that the Lords is replaced by "a senate of nations and regions" in order to make it more representative. Bit vague but I'm guessing that means appointed figures from local authorities.
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Suedehead2
post Sep 20 2014, 05:07 PM
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QUOTE(¿ REY CARLOS ? @ Sep 20 2014, 05:59 PM) *
It wouldn't be a case of ploughing money into city centres necessarily - it would be directed towards metropolitan counties or city regions, which a lot of the most neglected areas fall under. If nothing else then the number of Labour MPs in further out areas would presumably make it inevitable that non-metropolitan councils get greater powers as well.

I read in the Independent that Ed is going to propose that the Lords is replaced by "a senate of nations and regions" in order to make it more representative. Bit vague but I'm guessing that means appointed figures from local authorities.

That sounds similar to what I was proposing in my original post.
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Brett-Butler
post Sep 20 2014, 05:20 PM
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Given that the UK's not going to get any smaller, there's now nothing to say that it can't get bigger. Therefore, I think we should invite Iceland to join the United Kingdom. That way, the UK gets a volcano. And who doesn't like volcanoes? Aside from dinosaurs, obviously.
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Suedehead2
post Sep 20 2014, 06:10 PM
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QUOTE(Brett-Butler @ Sep 20 2014, 06:20 PM) *
Given that the UK's not going to get any smaller, there's now nothing to say that it can't get bigger. Therefore, I think we should invite Iceland to join the United Kingdom. That way, the UK gets a volcano. And who doesn't like volcanoes? Aside from dinosaurs, obviously.

No, we can't have that. It would mean average summer temperatures would be lower tongue.gif
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Candlelit Snow
post Sep 20 2014, 09:10 PM
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QUOTE(Brett-Butler @ Sep 20 2014, 05:20 PM) *
Given that the UK's not going to get any smaller, there's now nothing to say that it can't get bigger. Therefore, I think we should invite Iceland to join the United Kingdom. That way, the UK gets a volcano. And who doesn't like volcanoes? Aside from dinosaurs, obviously.



Could that be possible? Would Iceland want to join the union?

The Senate, looking after almost federal-state-like interests, sounds amazing.
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Doctor Blind
post Sep 20 2014, 09:20 PM
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Definitely get rid of the House of Lords. Labour have been suggesting replacing it with a democratically elected regional/national federal senate for some time now and it sounds like a pretty sensible suggestion to me.
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Soy Adrián
post Sep 20 2014, 09:34 PM
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QUOTE(Brett-Butler @ Sep 20 2014, 06:20 PM) *
Given that the UK's not going to get any smaller, there's now nothing to say that it can't get bigger. Therefore, I think we should invite Iceland to join the United Kingdom. That way, the UK gets a volcano. And who doesn't like volcanoes? Aside from dinosaurs, obviously.

I think we can still count on the dinosaur vote as long as no one's advocating a union with the Federation of Meteorites.
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Brett-Butler
post Sep 20 2014, 09:38 PM
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QUOTE(!Khimaros! @ Sep 20 2014, 10:10 PM) *
Could that be possible? Would Iceland want to join the union?

The Senate, looking after almost federal-state-like interests, sounds amazing.


They probably would have given it serious consideration had it been offered five years ago when their economy went belly-up, and it would mean that they would be able to become part of the EU automatically (which they have been considering for a few years after being dead set against it beforehand) but very much unlikely to happen ever. Besides, the language barrier would be problematic, although given that people on the mainland have trouble understanding me when I'm there, even though I speak the same language, it wouldn't be an impenetrable problem.
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ChristmasEve201
post Sep 21 2014, 12:25 AM
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Great article -

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-forty-five/#more-5089
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Qassändra
post Sep 21 2014, 01:57 AM
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QUOTE(¿ REY CARLOS ? @ Sep 20 2014, 10:34 PM) *
I think we can still count on the dinosaur vote as long as no one's advocating a union with the Federation of Meteorites.

God Charlie how dare you suggest people in UNIONS ARE DINOSAURS mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif
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Soy Adrián
post Sep 21 2014, 07:30 AM
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QUOTE(Cassandra @ Sep 21 2014, 02:57 AM) *
God Charlie how dare you suggest people in UNIONS ARE DINOSAURS mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif

Oh god, it's like I got to conference early.
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Qassändra
post Sep 21 2014, 11:32 AM
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I'm not going this year so I'm DOSING UP WHILE I CAN

I feel like the one child in the class who isn't going on the school trip.
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Doctor Blind
post Sep 21 2014, 02:56 PM
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Here's an equally interesting blog written about the 'cult of the yes campaign' written by Ewan Morrison.

QUOTE
I noticed that the whenever someone raised a pragmatic question about governance, economics or future projections for oil revenue or the balance of payments in iScotland, they were quickly silenced by comments such as “We’ll sort that out after the referendum, this is not the place or the time for those kinds of questions”. Or the people who asked such questions were indirectly accused of ‘being negative’ or talking the language of the enemy.


http://wakeupscotland.wordpress.com/2014/0...-changed-to-no/
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Umi
post Sep 21 2014, 03:29 PM
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QUOTE(Doctor Blind @ Sep 21 2014, 03:56 PM) *
Here's an equally interesting blog written about the 'cult of the yes campaign' written by Ewan Morrison.
http://wakeupscotland.wordpress.com/2014/0...-changed-to-no/

Poring over the comments section...

"we need that hope, we can’t be scared of change or intimidated by economics … pride is worth more than money, it’s worth the sacrifice"

Hmm.
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Qassändra
post Sep 21 2014, 03:50 PM
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Pride DOESN'T PAY THE BILLS

And not paying the bills TENDS TO NOT LEAD TO PRIDE
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Qassändra
post Sep 22 2014, 08:25 AM
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QUOTE
Salmond: We don’t need referendum for independence

ALEX Salmond has raised the prospect of Scotland becoming independent without going through another referendum.

The First Minister, who is due to step down in November, said that a vote like last week’s is “only one of a number of routes” that could be taken.

He said that although a referendum was his preferred option, achieving a majority at the Scottish Parliament was another way of reaching his party’s goal.

Mr Salmond’s comments came as another senior party member, former deputy leader Jim Sillars, said on Twitter that a majority for the SNP in the 2016 Holyrood election would be enough to declare independence.

Mr Sillars tweeted: “Let Yes assert new indy rule – no more ref – majority votes and seats at Holyrood 2016 enough.” He later added: “What’s this about a waiting a generation – indy remains on agenda now”.

In a broadcast interview yesterday, Mr Salmond said that for most of the SNP’s history, a referendum had not been the preferred route to independence and warned that the “writing is on the wall for Westminster” after last week’s No vote.

He said: “The referendum route was one of my choosing, it was my policy. I thought that was the right way to proceed but, of course, there are a whole range of ways Scotland can improve its position in pursuit of Scottish independence.

“There is a parliamentary route where people can make their voice heard as well, so a referendum is only one of a number of routes.”

Mr Salmond said: “This is a real thing, this generational change of opinion in Scotland, and I think the writing is on the wall for Westminster. It’s a question of how fast and how far we get.”

He also ruled out taking a seat in the House of Lords after he steps down as First Minister.

“My policy is to abolish the House of Lords,” Mr Salmond said, adding that “rocks would melt with the sun” before he would “ever set foot in the House of Lords”.

Pro-Union parties accused the First Minister of wanting to “stage a coup” to achieve independence. Opponents said Mr Salmond was being “undemocratic” and wanted to ignore the will of the Scottish people expressed in last week’s referendum.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said: “Having decisively lost a democratic referendum on independence, Alex Salmond is now suggesting the Nationalists can ignore the sovereign will of the Scottish people.

“His words are fundamentally undemocratic and an insult to the people of Scotland.

“Salmond may regret the result but this reaction is dangerous and wrong. Alex Salmond lost. It is not for him to try to overthrow the will of the Scottish people in some sort of coup.”

Ms Lamont called on his likely successor Nicola Sturgeon to “distance herself from these disgraceful remarks”.

She added: “While the rest of us seek reconciliation, Alex Salmond seeks more division. Scotland will not have it.”

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: “The First Minister’s grace in defeat barely lasted a day.

“He claimed on Friday that he accepted the outcome of what was the largest democratic vote in Scottish political history yet, going by today’s extraordinary outburst, there is anything but acceptance in the Salmond household. Instead, there is petulance, bravado and a crass finger cocked at the majority of Scots. Scotland spoke very clearly and quite decisively: the majority made clear that the ‘sovereign will’ of the people of Scotland is to remain in a UK in which further responsibilities are gdevolved to Holyrood.

“Mr Salmond misunderstood the will of the majority during the campaign and now he seeks to misrepresent it in defeat.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie urged Mr Salmond to “calm down and take a bit of a breather”.

He said: “On Friday, the First Minister said he would work constructively with other parties. By the time he recorded his interview on Saturday, he had changed his mind. Within hours of a result he said he gaccepted he showed that he just can’t help himself.

“The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the leader of the opposition, former prime minister Gordon Brown and senior political figures across the parties have been clear that a No vote at the referendum will not mean no to positive change.

“The First Minister still has a real role to play in the process on more powers that is already under way, as promised. I hope that he will take some time for reflection and embrace the positive agenda for change rather than scrabbling round for a new grievance to nurse.”

Labour MSP James Kelly said: “Alex Salmond has created divisions in Scotland where there was none. Now when the nation should be healing, the retired Salmond seeks to divide Scotland further.

“He should be true to his word and accept the result. Let Scotland move on without him, rather than allow him to ferment division. Rather than speculate on how individuals voted, he should accept Scotland’s settled will. Instead of talking about tricks, he must accept that Scotland refused to be tricked into separation.”

“Scotland has spoken. Scotland will move on. The silent majority has spoken and it befits Salmond now to fall silent if he has any regard for his country at all.”


http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-...dence-1-3548270

manson.gif! manson.gif! manson.gif!
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Popchartfreak
post Sep 22 2014, 10:55 AM
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so much for democracy. Having tried to use patriotism to mask the rubbish economic case he put forward (and it was tosh, nothing had been thought through properly or discussed in an adult predictive way) he decides that the people of Scotland are in some way incapable of thinking for themselves over such an important issue and he can just ignore what they said cos he knows better.

Bit of a diva, really, with a fair bit of toys out of the pram sulking.

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