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Scotland - Sally's Journal
October 29th, 2007
11:52 am

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Scotland

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From:ilanin
Date:October 29th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
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The Labour government would not have succeeded in passing the Health and Social Care Bill 2003 (foundation hospitals), the Higher Education Bill 2003-4 (top-up fees), or the Education and Inspections Bill 2005-6 without support from Scottish MPs voting on matters that didn't affect Scotland[1]. "Have power over" is currently overstating the case; after the next election it probably won't be, as the most likely results are "Labour majority only because of Scots/Welsh MPs", "Hung Parliament but Conservative majority in England" and "Razor-thin Conservative majority which would be a lot more workable if it was England-only".

1. Modulo variables in the Barnett formula being futzed with.
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From:robert_jones
Date:October 29th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
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It still distorts the system rather less than the FPTP electoral system!

That's a rather tendentious point of view! FPTP the post is the system. We can argue about whether it's the right system or not, but I don't see how it can be said to distort it.
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From:ilanin
Date:October 29th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
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Those matters affected the entire United Kingdom. The entire United Kingdom voted on them. The Conservatives had a majority. I fail to see the relevance.
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From:robert_jones
Date:October 29th, 2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
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So? The digitial switch-over is being tried out in Whitehaven. That doesn't seem to be an argument for Whitehaven autonomy.
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From:ilanin
Date:October 30th, 2007 10:47 am (UTC)
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It's not exactly uncommon for pilot programs to be run in areas in which the current government is unpopular. The only thing that surprises me about the Poll Tax is that the Thatcher government felt the necessity to stuff the Scottish Grand Committee to get the trial through rather than just doing what the Blair government does and run it through full Parliament.

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From:robert_jones
Date:October 30th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
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It has been much more common in the past for Scotland to vote one way, in terms of seats, and to receive a government of a different colour when seats from elsewhere in the UK are included.

The same is true of Tyneside. The same is true of any geographical area which has historically voted Labour. If we were to take your argument to its logical extreme, then any person who voted against the governing party could petition for self-rule.

The whole point of having a Parliament is that different local interests are represented and a national consensus is reached. Scotland's interests were represented (in fact over-represented) during all those Parliaments. You can't reasonably complain if the representatives of other regions formed differing views.

Anyway, this isn't Scotland's problem, or Scotland's fault. It's up to England to sort it out.

Why?
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From:robert_jones
Date:October 30th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
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Louisiana has a quite different legal system from New York. It doesn't mean they aren't both American. I don't see where this point is taking you.

It is the very fact that there is an Act of Union between England and Wales, on the one hand, and Scotland, on the other, which means that Scotland (and indeed England) has to put up with whatever colour of government is elected by the people of the UK as a whole. If you want to repeal the Act of Union, fair enough. If you can get a majority of Scots (or English people) to agree with you, then I won't stand in your way. Until that time, the nature of democracy means that the Scots viewpoint will not always be paramount in national affairs.
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