Monday 11 April 2005

The UKIP "attack" on Scotland

Joe Middleton doesn't think too much of UKIP's plans for Scotland.

Joe's title:

Irrelevant UKIP attacks Scotland - what a surprise!
I was intrigued to find out how exactly UKIP had "attacked Scotland". This seems to be what Joe is worried about:
Mr Neilson told the party’s Scottish conference that Scotland’s 59 first-past-the-post MPs would sit for only two days a week at Westminster, where they could vote solely on UK, and not English or Welsh legislation.

For the rest of the week they would sit in Edinburgh, where they would be joined by 59 MSPs elected by proportional representation, all attending to Scottish legislation.

I fail to see how this plan is an "attack" on Scotland.

Unlike many of my fellow libertarians I was never opposed to devolution. Given Scotland's separate legal identity it is entirely appropriate that domestic legislation be debated and decided here and not in London. Of course once the size of the state is reduced to a more tolerable level the Scottish legislature will only need to meet a few days per year and can be staffed by unpaid, part-time politicians holding real jobs elsewhere in the economy.

The UKIP plan seems perfectly sensible, although in my scenario the "two days a week at Westminster" and "the rest of the week ... in Edinburgh" would occur on very rare occasions indeed.

Unlike Joe, I see a reduction of Scotland's political class as a distinct benefit to the rest of us. That may be portrayed as an "attack" on our ruling class but it certainly doesn't constitute an attack on anyone else.


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Whether or not most Scots support independence (and I doubt it as no Scots students at my uni do) they obviously don't support pro-independence newspapers!

"The pro-independence Scottish Standard newspaper has folded just seven weeks after its first hit the stands." From this site.
26 April 2005, 15:31:00 GMT+01:00 – Like – Reply

Joe Middleton
Well, this is the same solution Tory (Lord) Michael Forsyth suggested so it's not even original!

Mr Forsyth isn't well known for his respect for Scotland which is no doubt why he was eventually rejected buy the Scottish electorate before being elevated to the unelected house of lords.

Devolution has been set up. To go from there to a situation where MP's pop up to Scoland for a couple of day a week before heading back to Westminster would show contempt for the people of Scotland who elected a Scottish Parliament based on proposals campaigned for and designed by the Scottish people theirselves through the devolution convention.

I'm sure it would suit the Tories to effectively disband the Parliament and go back to a Scottish Grand Committee arrangement, however it wouldn't suit the Scottish pople who have used PR in the Scottih parliament to elect MSP's from the SNP, SSP and Greens in proportion to these parties votes.

UKIP are an irrational irrelevance. The UK is already independent! They have no understanding of Scottish politics and no relevance to Scots whatsoever.

Scottish Independence will solve the West Lothian question once and for all.

In poll results reported in the Scottish Standard newspaper today a majority of Scots favour independence:


THE majority of Scots back independence, it has been revealed.
A new opinion poll released shows that 46 per cent of people living north of the border want Scotland to rejoin the international community.
This compares to 39 per cent who were opposed to Scottish independence and 15 per cent who didn’t know.
The poll, carried out by TNS System 3, showed that almost 60 per cent of young Scots favour ending the Act of Union and establishing a new state. It also shows that Labour supporters are evenly split between those who want Scottish independence and those who support the status quo.

Between March 31 and April 7, hundreds of Scots were asked the question: “Do you support or oppose Scotland being a country independent from the rest of the United Kingdom?”
Support for independence was strongest among young Scots with 57 per cent of those aged between 25 and 34 and 53 per cent of 18 to 24 year-olds backing a reborn nation outside the United Kingdom. Scots aged between 35 and 54 also back independence, with 50 per cent in favour, 36 per cent opposed and 14 per cent expressing no opinion.
The only age group opposed to independence are the over-55s who support the current constitutional settlement by 54 per cent to 32 per cent, with 14 per cent unable to state a preference.
13 April 2005, 21:19:51 GMT+01:00 – Like – Reply

Andrew Duffin
I emailed the UKIP's chairman in Scotland and he has assured me the Scotsman has it wrong, they have no policy to force everyone into the state sector, but merely that there should be one state sector, not religious divisions within it, as at present.

Apart from my visceral objection to the state running education at all, it's hard to argue.

Stuart, you can relax, I won't need to vote for myself.
13 April 2005, 18:01:39 GMT+01:00 – Like – Reply

David Farrer said...

Wild Pegasus
Why would a libertarian oppose devolution? If anything, I would think libertarians would support complete Welsh and Scottish independence.

- Josh
13 April 2005, 14:54:51 GMT+01:00 – Like – Reply

Stuart Dickson

As an occasional proponent of swivel-eyed lunacy yourself, why not nip down to the Council's Electoral Registration Office, pick up the Nomination Form, get a few mates to sign it, then wave goodbye to 500 quids worth of Deposit?

Then you could vote for yourself! It seems the only reasonable course of action available to you.

Why are Scottish "Libertarians" so reluctant to actually put their policies before the people. I note that US Libertarians aren't fearties:

Are you worried that they may disagree with you?

As UKIP, and all other parties before them, have discovered: standing for election is a very sobering and maturing experience. It would do right-wing "Libertarians" no harm at all - indeed, a lot of good.
12 April 2005, 23:23:24 GMT+01:00 – Like – Reply

Andrew Duffin
This is from yesterday's Scotsman: "UKIP... would also ... bring all schools into the state system, said Peter Neilson, its Scottish chairman."

What is that about state schools? What are these people thinking of? Have they gone bonkers? Does that have to do with UK Independence?

The swivel-eyed loons may finally have gone too far...

Who can I vote for now?
12 April 2005, 19:03:16 GMT+01:00 – Like – Reply

Alex C
I was not only not an opponent of devolution, but I eagerly anticipated it. UKIP's plans may seem workable, and at least they have made a stab at some sort of solution to the WLQ. Unfortunately, given that UKIP seems to be populated by crypto-fascists, mysoginists and clueless egotists their message will ultimately be lost.

Of course, the only real solution to the West Lothian Question is provided by the SNP. That is a surefire way to bring about an end to Scotland's (and England's political class)
12 April 2005, 17:07:25 GMT+01:00 – Like – Reply

Chris A
As a libertarian, I never truly opposed devolution. OK, yes it may be increasing the size of government, but there was a need to bring government closer to Scottish (and Welsh, maybe Northern Irish) people.

I believe UKIP's plans are feasible. This 'West Lothian' question has to be resolved somehow. It has been unattended for too long.
11 April 2005, 23:40:04 GMT+01:00