Stalling the EVEL minion monkeys

The evil Tories have had to make an evil delay to their evil EVEL plans. Not because they’ve suddenly realised that it’s evil to make major constitutional changes through the back door of a procedural amendment which turns the people of Scotland into second class citizens with second class political representation in the Better Together on the Back Seat Parliament, they’re actually pretty mellow with that entire concept. In fact ensuring that Scotland is marginalised, castrated, and side lined is pretty much what the Conservative Scottish policy consists of. This has been the case since the days of Maggie Thatcher, and nothing much has changed ever since. The Tories don’t do democracy as far as Scotland is concerned. Scotland is a problem, not a partner nation in a union.

But then common morality and basic decency doesn’t rank high in the Conservative agenda either. These are after all people who think it’s perfectly acceptable to make a raped woman prove to a faceless pen-pusher in the job centre that she’s been raped so that she can get benefits for a child who is a product of that rape. This is despite the fact that most rapes go unreported, that women who have been raped find it immensely difficult to talk about the hell that they have gone through, or that an untrained benefits clerk who has been told to refuse payments to as many claimants as possible has zero experience in dealing with the trauma faced by a rape survivor and moreover has an incentive for not believing her. Given that the Tories have plumbed those depths of moral decreptitude and yet think it’s perfectly acceptable, screwing over Scotland’s constitutional rights is but a minor infringement in the cosmic ledger of good and evil. These are some pretty sick puppies we’re talking about here. And all the sicker for not realising just how sick in the heads they are.

So it’s not for any high minded reasons that EVEL has been delayed. Oh no, it’s for the purely practical reason that Cameron’s little bunch of minion monkeys don’t think they’ll get sufficient support from their own side to turn Scotland into a second class part of the UK. Some Tory monkeys have been throwing poo at the idea. And this is not because these Tory opponents have a moral stance against turning the screws on Scotland, the Tory opponents are quite happy to screw Scotland over because they read the Daily Mail too. It’s just that besides wanting to screw over Scotland, they also fetishise the Westminster Parliament and don’t want to make any changes to its arcane procedures at all. Not even changing the menu in the café. Some people really do believe that a Victorian pretendy idea of a mediaeval parliament really is the best way to run a 21st century country.

So the Government has retired to make a few tweaks to its EVEL proposals, and doubtless to make a few private inducements to some of the more reluctant members of the Tory party. You know, like holding up a wriggling white weasel and telling the MP concerned that it’s just waiting to be killed, skinned and turned into ermine robes. And all they need to agree to is to kill and skin Scotland’s chances of ever participating in this misbegotten Union as an equal partner. This is how constitutional amendments get made in a state without a written constitution. There is no principle involved, just what the governing party in Parliament can get away with. And Labour and the Lib Dems campaigned for us to remain a part of this system, so cheers for that.

EVEL, like psychotic killing robots, will be back, although unlike Arnie Swartzenegger it won’t have morphed into the good guy in the sequel, although – like most sequels – it will be even more tedious and predictable the next time round.

Meanwhile Kezia Dugdale, candidate branch office manager of the Labour party in Scotland, has called on the SNP to set out how they propose to defend Scotland from the evil Tories. Kezia clearly has been far too busy screaming SNP bad to listen to anything that the SNP have ever had to say, because the SNP were not, as everyone except Kezia recalls, the ones who wanted us to remain a part of a state where we’d get Conservative governments despite the fact that the party only has one MP in Scotland.

Perhaps Kezia inhabits a universe in which the SNP spent the referendum campaign trying to persuade Scotland that we were Better Together with the risk of a majority Tory government that voters in Scotland didn’t elect, but it’s certainly not the one the rest of us inhabit. Back in this universe, as opposed to the Labour press release universe, the SNP propose to defend Scotland from Tory governments that we didn’t elect by ensuring that we never ever have a Tory government, or indeed any government, that we didn’t elect ever again. We can do that if we have independence, because if you are an independent nation then you get the government that people vote for at elections, and not the one a neighbouring country has voted for. This is a policy position which benefits from impeccable logic, something that you can never accuse the Labour party in Scotland of possessing.

Kezia wants the SNP to say how they will use the powers of Holyrood to mitigate the damage the Tories are wreaking, when it was Kezia’s party which bent over backwards to ensure that Holyrood doesn’t have any substantive powers to protect Scotland from Tory economic policy. It’s like giving someone a 20 year old computer with a knackered floppy disk drive, and then getting annoyed with them because they keep getting beat at Grand Theft Auto. Labour deliberately made sure that Holyrood had unusable tax powers precisely so they could moan about them not being used. It was all a part of the con trick that the party has played on the people of Scotland for decades, only now they’re complaining because we’ve seen through them.

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Tory budget blues

When I was a wean, budget day was about the price of beer and ciggies. It was about how much a gallon of petrol was going to cost. Now it’s about how little poor people are going to have to eat. It’s about how many young people whose family lives have broken down are going to find themselves sleeping in doorways. It’s about how many disabled people and their carers are going to be trapped without support or respite. It’s about how many low paid workers are going to find themselves trapped in a cycle of debt without job security. And it’s about tax concessions for those who are already well off, the braying middle classes whose sense of entitlement grows ever greater. Budget day is about the rich getting richer on the broken backs of the poor. It’s about a fractured society ruled by those who know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

There’s been a sleight of hand rebranding of the minimum wage as a living wage which isn’t a living wage, but a massive slashing of tax credits for low paid workers. The poorest paid aren’t going to be any better off as a result of this budget. As usual, the ones who will benefit will be those who are already better off. It will be those who expect to inherit a million quid from the bank of mum and dad. It will be those on higher than average wages who’ve been taken out of the highest tax brackets. The tired grey faces on the bus will stay tired and grey, worried about job insecurity, worried about paying the rent, worried about putting food on the table, worried about paying for clothes for the weans. But Jocasta and Farquhar will be jetting off to the Seychelles, so that’s OK then.

So some days, you find that your natural reservoirs of patience and tolerance have run dry. Like when you see Labour people on Twitter complain about evil Tory budgets which slash the support for the poor and marginalised, give tax breaks to the better off and increase spending on the military. The word hypocrite was invented for people like that.

You can’t help but tell yourself that this is what they voted for after all. We had a chance to escape from this fate, but when the voters of Scotland were asked to think about the future of their country, Labour told them to think about the price of their car insurance and their holidays to Portugal. They scared them with threats to their pensions, they assured them that the NHS was safe. They lied, they threatened. And worst of all they stood shoulder to shoulder with those Tories they now condemn, and they did this in the full knowledge that Scotland might one day find itself prostrate and defenceless against the axe wielding maniacs of the neo conservative right. They lied and bullied so that Scotland would remain defenceless and incapable of deciding a different path for itself. They insisted that living with the very real threat of Tory rule was better than independence. Then they complain that we are subject to the fate that they wanted for us, and moan that some people call them rude names on the Internet. Well Labour, you got what you fought for. Dry your crocodile tears and suck it up.

So their protestations now against the unfairness and mendacity of Tory budgets ring as hollow as Ian Murray’s head. They’ve not got a leg to stand on, just like the poor who have had their support cut off at the knees thanks to the Tories’ benefits cuts. And all there is left to say to the bankrupt ideologues of Labour is – what the hell did you expect, fools? This is the consequence of what you fought for. You did this. You brought this on yourself, and you brought it on the rest of is. It’s only a pity that moral indignation doesn’t bring much of a comfort. It’s the only wealth we’ve got left.

Neither do Labour and its media friends have any right to complain that that Scotland’s single Tory MP has been able to reject every single amendment to the Scotland Bill. One MP gets to overrule 58. As far as Scotland is concerned, it’s like the General Election didn’t happen. The Conservatives are stuck in a watered down version of the Smith Commission time warp, and refuse to recognise that Scotland’s vote in May was a vote for greater powers for Scotland, that it was a vote to reject the inadequacies of the Smith Commission.

None of this matters. The Tories have a majority, and Labour and its media pals enabled it. They worked to ensure that Scotland remained in a place of powerlessness. Of course what evil Tories do is the fault of the evil Tories, but it’s also the fault of the Labour party. It’s the fault of the Daily Record, it’s the fault of the Lib Dems. They campaigned for Scotland to leave its arse exposed to the Tory air, they can’t complain now that it’s getting kicked.

This budget comes just a day after Kezia Dugdale, the candidate for leader of the Labour party in Scotland, said that the party had done too much for the vulnerable, and needed to concentrate more on those who have holidays in Portugal and complain about their car insurance. So we know what their priorities are going to be. Not fairness, not justice, not social inclusion, not democracy for Scotland.

So this is where we are. A nation that’s not allowed to act like a nation, trussed up on the table of a Tory banquet where we are the meal not a dinner guest, and we’re served up to someone else. The Conservative knives dig into our flesh and cut off slices for the bankers and the rich. And Labour chose this fate for us. They worked to make it happen. They don’t get to complain about it, and they certainly don’t get to lead the struggle against it. Scotland’s independence supporters are the new labour movement, not that sorry excuse of a self-serving party.

This is where we are, but it’s not where we need to remain. Every day, the appeal of independence grows ever more attractive. Every day, the hypothetical risks of self-determination shrink before the brutal realities of life in the UK.

Here were are in the dark days, the bleak times, the depths of winter, suffering the Tory budget blues. But the light of a Scottish spring is coming yet.

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The Scottish play

You can say pretty much what you like in the British media, especially about Scotland. You can publish screaming headlines that tell outright lies about public figures, especially if they support Scottish independence. You can spread falsehoods and by simple repetition make them into truths, like the lie that Scotland would be automatically excluded from the EU if it became independent. You can invent fictions like Gordie Broon’s vow and turn them into game changing events. And you can get away with it. Or in the case of the Record and Gordie’s vow, or Reporting Scotland and its unending diet of kittens fitba and SNP bad, you can even get an award for it. It’s the programme of the Scottish play.

It seems that the very worst that’s going to happen when a newspaper doesn’t do its job is that it gets a slap on the wrist and has to publish a retraction, buried away on an inside page where it will remain unseen and unexamined. It’s like being told you must atone for lying by going deep into a dark and trackless forest and whispering the truth to a tree – before taking a chainsaw to it and turning it into paper on which you print the latest shocking news of Kim Kardashian’s nail job from hell, or something about the fitba.

This is exactly what has happened with the report of the memo published by the Telegraph which wrongly alleged that Nicola Sturgeon told the French ambassador that she wanted the Tories to win the election. The Independent Press Standards Organisation upheld a complain against the paper’s reporting of the Frenchgate memo, and told the Telegraph to inscribe an apology on a leaf on a poison vine, parasitising a tree deep within the Amazonian rain forest where not even Sting is going to find it and do a benefit concert to publicise its plight. And with that, Scotland’s lip was plugged, but not in a shaman kind of way. Although it is fair to say that much of the UK coverage of Scottish affairs reads like it was written after the reporters had ingested some of the more psychoactive South American shrubbery.

Having been told by IPSO that its report was wrong and needed to be corrected, the Telegraph obliged, and printed a five line comment on an inside page by way of compensation for its thousands of words of front page lies, its photo spreads and the acreage of commentary and news their story provoked elsewhere in the fair and balanced media with the Amazonian trippy plants up its nose. Because that’s fair and balanced.

So we are now in the lamentable position where most of the mainstream media and a large part of the Scottish public hold one another in open contempt. The public regard the media with suspicion and won’t take anything it says at face value. And the media’s representatives regard the public with disdain. You can’t maintain a democracy under such circumstances. How can the media scrutinise and bring to heel powerful vested interests when the public believes that the media is a powerful vested interest that is beyond scrutiny and beyond control?

It’s because of the incompetence of the media that we get a Tory government which, when asked to list what it considered English only legislation, included the Scotland Bill. Before some readers get worked up into an outrage at how Scotland’s devolution is apparently considered an English only matter by our Tory masters, the inclusion of the Scotland Bill on the list was clearly a mistake, or a wind up. So instead feel free to get worked up into an outrage at the fact we are governed by morons who are not held to account by a media inhabited with venal idiots.

If we had a media which properly scrutinised the UK government on Scotland’s issues, eejit Tory politicians might think twice before releasing a list of English only legislation to the media, when that list contains the Scotland Bill. Clearly no one had bothered to read the list. Conveniently this provides us with an answer to the question of just how much scrutiny our political masters are being subjected to. It’s none at all. Scotland is defenceless before the most right wing Tory government ever.

But our government is not merely viciously right wing, and entirely bereft of a democratic mandate in Scotland, it’s so shambolic that it makes Wullie Rennie look like he’s a yoga master with the power to retract his own genitals into his body at will leaving nothing but an empty scrotum. Which may explain the habitual look on his face. But that’s the sort of dickless bawbags we’ve got for a government. And by and large the UK media does not seem particularly concerned by this state of affairs. Worse than that, most of them are egging them on to punish us even more.

We’ve become used to the charade now when the Westminster Parliament debates Scottish affairs. There’s an empty chamber in the Commons, only the SNP and a handful of other MPs turn up. There’s a gobsmackingly insane point of order from Jacob Rees Mogg. An irrelevant intervention from a Labour MP who thinks the debate is really about something else entirely. Then a vote is called, Scotland’s MPs troop into the division to vote one way, and they’re instantly outnumbered by hordes of Tories and Labour MPs who appear out of nowhere and vote them down without bothering to sit through Jacob Ree Mogg – although to be fair that last bit is entirely reasonable. Unless you have think a refugee from Jeeves and Wooster is of cutting edge relevance to modern Scotland there is no point to Jacob at all. There are primary school nativity plays which are considerably closer to an accurate depiction of reality than the House of Commons debating Scotland. The entire affair is a pointless ritual, the semblance of democracy but none of the substance, and if we had a media that actually did its job they’d be screaming that fact from the rooftops.

We’re only at the start of Act 1 Scene 1 in the Westminster Scottish play, and Scotland is bored already. How much more of this can we take before we vote with our feet?

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The hangover from a 300 year binge

Oh god. Ma heid. Ma second class representation in the Westminster Parliament. Is there such as thing as syrup of figs for a blocked devolution settlement? Being Scottish in the UK feels like waking up with a 300 year hangover. The groggy recollection that you did some really bad things with India and Africa, the slowly dawning realisation that you’ve got bugger all to show for it, and the growing awareness that you have, in fact, been taken for a complete mug. The things you’ve done and the place you’re in now are not who you really are. There’s an immense mismatch between how you see yourself and how your drinking companion sees you, the one who’s been poncing off you for years and filling your head with crap. And you believed it. It’s cringe-making.

Scotland sees itself as a country. Because that’s what we are. Instinctively we compare ourselves with other small countries like Denmark or Finland. Scottish people do this even without thinking about it. It is ingrained deep within us that we are a country and a nation. And the consequence of being a country and a nation is that it makes us a unit of sovereignty. Even many people who voted No last year share this view. It’s for Scotland and her people to decide whether we remain within the UK or not. We’re a unit of sovereignty and have sovereign right to decide our own future.

The Westminster Parliament doesn’t see us like we see ourselves. That’s why Westminster’s refusal to take on board the wishes of the vast majority of Scotland’s elected representatives feels like a slap in the face. We already knew we were facing rejection, but rejection still hurts even when you were expecting it. Westminster’s braying Tories and ignorant Labourites don’t look upon Scotland see a sovereign nation. They look to the north and they see us as a problematic region which formerly returned a block of Labour MPs as reliably as an alkie turns to a Buckie bottle.

Scotland had a minor supporting role in the Westminster chorus, but now we’re singing a different tune. Scotland has sobered up, we’re looking at the empty glass and we’re just not parliamentary fun any more. We can no longer be relied upon, no longer be trusted to play our part in the game. We’re Westminster’s alcoholic pal who has given up the drink and discovered politics instead, and that means we’re boring and tedious and need to be side lined and silenced. Scotland has discovered that the stories of a union of equals, a partnership, they were only ever that. Stories to tell over an opened bottle to a hauf cut drunk who could be relied upon not to remember.

Tim Farron has grasped this. He wants to silence the sobered up Scotland. Tim wants to become leader of what’s left of the Lib Dems, which is a bit like wanting to lead the 7th Cavalry after the Battle of the Little Big Horn only with Alistair Carmichael’s refusal to resign as a last stand. Tim’s got a well thought out Scottish policy. It’s : “SNP bad, SNP very bad, SNP practically Nazis but I’m not actually going to say the N word because then my poverty of ideas becomes painfully apparent even to the Scottish media.”

On Saturday Tim gave an interview to the Herald in which he said that nationalism can be progressive when it’s getting crapped on from a great height, but when it’s ascendant it’s always borderline fascist – or just plain outright let’s go and invade Poland. Tim wants to ensure that Scottish nationalism remains a progressive force by continuing to crap on it from a great height. So he’s doing us all a favour really. He’s joined in his favour doing by Labour and the Tories, none of whom have the slightest idea of what to do about this newly conscious Scotland except repeat the mantra of SNP bad and hope that in despair we will return to the bottle.

It’s not going to happen. We woke up. We briefly glimpsed a vision of what could be. We learned what hope felt like. We discovered that things don’t have to be the way that our masters in the corridors of power in London want them to be. We discovered the radical notion that a country could be run for the benefit of its citizens and not for the benefit of banks and big business. It’s a sweeter taste than wine.

The Tim Farrons and the Davie Camerons and the faceless drone devoid of personality who will inherit the Labour mantle are the mental giants into whose hands Scotland’s No voters surrendered the country on 18th September last year. These are the people whose meanness of spirit and narrowness of vision constrict our future like a vice. They offer us nothing but a return to the Buckie and buksheesh of Westminster, their brain death and corruption.

Now I know it’s not fashionable to criticise No voters, on account of the fact that we need to persuade them to vote Yes if Scotland is ever to get away from the likes of Tim and live in a universe which involves joined up thinking and grown up politics. However I can’t help but tell the No voters I know that all this rubbish, these insults, this disdain and contempt, it is all because you were suckered, because you were taken in, because you lost your nerve, because you were tricked into drinking a deep draught from the Buckie bottle. That’s why we suffer the cuts and wounds of a Tory government. That’s why anyone has to take Michael Gove seriously instead of entering him in Britain’s Got Talent as a goldfish lookalike. I’m sorry about this, but that’s the bottom line. No voters made a call in September based upon lies and deceit, and now we all have to suffer the consequences. But we can all feel better about ourselves by blaming the Daily Record for not caring about the difference between Labour lies and news.

It’s not too late to redeem things. There is still hope of change. We can still dream of a better life and a better country. It’s coming, there’s still time to say yes to hope.

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Bow down before your Imperial masters

The House of Commons has a committee which scrutinises Scottish legislation – yeah! Scottish scrutiny for Scottish laws – yeah! And it’s even chaired by thon guy that used to be in RunRig – yeah! Mind you, the committee has almost as many English Tory MPs as it does Scottish MPs – because that’s what we voted for at the last election, wasn’t it? I distinctly remember Paddington Mundell counting for almost as much as the rest of Scotland’s MPs combined, the BBC seems to thinks so. So the fact that the Scottish Affairs Committee is made up of four SNP MPs and three English Conservative MPs is totally fair and balanced right? It’s fair in exactly the same way the Iain Duncan Smith’s benefits reforms are fair, like Job Centre sanctions are fair. You know, Michael Gove’s definition of justice. And he’s Scottish, so we can’t complain or we’re just racists who hate the English.

Anyway, the Tory MPs are outnumbered by the SNP ones, so there’s no room on our shoulders for chips. But not to worry, just to make sure that the non-Scottish MPs aren’t outnumbered on a committee devoted entirely to Scottish matters and nothing else, it’s got three Labour MPs as well, and they are all representing English seats too. It’s the flip side of English votes for English laws – it’s English votes for Scottish committees.

So in line with the democratic principle of English votes for Scottish affairs, Scotland’s MPs are going to be outnumbered on Westminster’s only purely Scottish committee by six to four. Still, at least that’s not quite as bad as being outnumbered by 600 odd – some of whom are extremely odd, I mean have you seen Michael Fabricant’s hair? – to 59 which is what happens in the rest of the parliament. This represents a huge advance for Scottish rights and representation, because now we’ve only got six imperial masters to bow down before, instead of bowing down before 600, which really does play havoc on the knees.

So who are our Imperial masters who control our destiny but who were foisted upon us without Scotland having any say in the matter? Och silly us, thinking that we should get a majority say on matters that only affect Scotland. Who are these savants who know more about Scotland than any MP who might actually represent a Scottish constituency and have been given their job by voters in Scotland?

Christopher Chope is the Tory MP for Christchurch in Dorset. He’s not Scottish, although rumour has it that he did once mistake a grouse beater in Morayshire for a grouse. Christopher’s hobbies include scoffing at poor people, revelling in his sense of entitlement, and demonising benefits claimants. So fairly typical for a Tory then. Chris spent the Thatcher years introducing the Poll Tax, so he’s got previous experience at opinionating on laws that no one wants and no one voted for. In a previous incarnation he was a colonial governor, just like he is in this one. Chris is in favour of hanging, conscription, and keeping developing countries in hock to banks.

David Anderson is the Labour MP for Blaydon, which is in Tyneside so that’s practically in Scotland isn’t it? Geordies say things like “doon the toon” so it’s more or less the same as being Scottish. And some small parts of David’s constituency are actually on the northern side of Hadrian’s Wall, so as far as the Daily Mail is concerned that makes him a raving blue face painted Braveheartist. In the real world, he’s at best lukewarm on the subject of further devolution for Scotland.

Jim Cunningham is the Labour MP for Coventry South, but he ran away to the bright lights and bustling opportunities of Coventry from Coatbridge. So he is actually Scottish, a Tom Clarke who couldn’t make the mark. Jim cares so much about his former homeland that he’s been absent from most votes in the Commons on Scottish devolution since 2010 and on the occasions when he has been arsed enough to vote, he’s voted against extra devolution almost as much as he’s voted in favour. And this guy is the only Scot who’s been drafted in to make up numbers.

Stephen Hepburn is the Labour MP for Jarrow, which is also in Tyneside. There’s clearly a theme here. It is perfectly possible that no one in London appreciates the difference between Tyneside and Scotland, and thinks that Newcastle is a suburb of Edinburgh.

Dan Poulter is the Tory MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. But Suffolk starts with the letter S, and so does Scotland, so this qualifies him as an expert in all things Caledonian. He may have a Scottish granny. Then again he may not. No one really cares, just like no one really cares about Dan’s opinions on matters Scottish. He may have gone to Inverness on holiday once, if that’s a help. He’s only on the committee to make sure the SNP are outnumbered.

Maggie Throup is the Tory MP for Erewash, which I always thought was one of the kingdoms of Middle Earth, but apparently it’s in Derbyshire. Maggie may or may not be an elf, but we can be sure that her contribution to Scottish debates won’t be magic. Maggie was chosen for the committee because Derbyshire was the most southernly point that the Jacobite rebels reached in the 18th century, and Davie Cameron is hoping that Maggie will turn around the Caledonian hordes with her magic wand. Her Wikipedia page says “Maggie Throup is the Conservative MP for Erewash” and practically nothing else, that’s how great her dedication to Scottish matters is.

So these are the people that Westminster has chosen to have a majority on the only committee that will scrutinise legislation and ensure that it’s in tune with the desires and needs of the Scottish electorate. They’d probably have stood a better chance of finding people more representative of Scottish public opinion if they’d made a random selection of backing singers from Croatian entries to Eurovision from the past decade. But then representing Scotland isn’t what a Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee is all about. It’s about ensuring that Scotland’s affairs are dictated by Westminster, and about making sure that we don’t get any notions that we get a choice in the matter.

Can we have another independence referendum now please? This isn’t funny any more.

Update: It’s worse than I thought. There’s 11 of them, not 10. And there’s the same number of Tories as SNP MPs. The extra Tory is John Stevenson who represents Carlisle. Carlisle used to be a part of Scotland until the 11th century, but we really don’t want it back. They vote for folk like John, who was educated in Aiberdeen but had to go to Carlisle in order to find people who’d vote for him and his brand of old fashioned homophobia. John doesn’t like the idea that gay people can get married, but then most gay people – and a hell of a lot of straight people – don’t really like the idea of John either. So there’s some balance.

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English Votes for Everyone’s Laws

The Tories have decided to rush through a measure which they claim is dedicated to ensuring fairness and equality between the constituent parts of this greatest Union of nations the multiverse has ever seen. It’s EVEL, which sounds like a description of the Daily Mail, but which supposedly stands for English votes for English laws. This all sounds just fine and dandy and who could possibly object to it? It’s all terribly fair and British and cricket on the lawnish, after all doesn’t Scotland have its own parliament and English MPs can’t vote on Scottish matters. Why shouldn’t England have its say on things which affect it without those uppity Caledonians interjecting in their incomprehensible accents.

But unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work like that. Scotland’s overall budget is determined by the budget set for England, and when Scotland’s MPs can no longer vote on what are supposedly English only matters, they will lose the ability to have a say on the overall budget for Scotland. It’s like going to a restaurant and being told that you can order anything you like, as long as it doesn’t cost more than what your companion has ordered. They can choose anything they like, and their London transport infrastructure pudding counts as a joint UK national expenditure. And then you get the bill after they’ve decided that they want privatisation pie with austerity chips.

But it’s even worse than that. Scotland doesn’t even get to decide what parts of the menu it chooses its cauld porridge from. That is also decided for us by our dining companion. Fancy something full fat fiscal autonomy? Forget it. Tory and Labour MPs we didn’t vote for have decided it’s bad for us, it will ruin our arteries and give us a sense of independence that’s unhealthy. Scotland must restrict itself to the devolved parts of the menu, but it doesn’t have any say on what the devolved parts are. That gets decided for us. We only get to choose from the cheap end of the menu, the appetisers and the nibbles, the parts that don’t allow a full and satisfying meal. One of those tiny side dishes that has the appearance of a dinner but doesn’t contain any calories. Then they can tell us that we’ve had our chips on our shoulders and we need to stop complaining.

Over 500 non Scottish MPs ganged up to vote down a proposal for full fat fiscal autonomy, the proposal that Scotland voted for at the General Election and which was backed by the overwhelming majority of Scotland’s MPs. At the General Election Scotland resoundingly rejected the Smith Proposals as inadequate and derisory and voted for a party that wanted to go much further. And we did so by a landslide.

But this counts for nothing. Westminster and the Unionist parties are stuck on Smith like a fish bone in their throats, even though it’s choking them to death. The Labour and Tory MPs clapped and cheered when they told Scotland it couldn’t have what it had voted for, like they’d scored a mighty victory. But the only victory is the reminder that England is much larger than Scotland and as long as we remain in this Union we will always be outvoted. Outvoted, unappreciated, unwanted unless we haud oor wheesht like good little North Britons and are grateful for the morsels we’re given.

So here we are in the devolution café. English MPs get to decide what parts of the legal menu Scotland can choose from , and English MPs get to decide the overall budgets which form the basis for determining Scottish spending on those parts of the menu that English MPs allow us to choose from. Scotland currently gets outvoted on these things, but at least our MPs have a say. Once the Tories get their way, Scotland’s MPs won’t even have a vote at all. We’ll be silenced and side lined, marginalised and meaningless.

So it’s clear that the Tories are also in favour of English votes for Scottish laws, and presumably also English votes for Welsh laws and Northern Irish laws. Given the recent behaviour of the Unionist parties, we now know that EVEL really stands for English votes for everyone’s laws. That’s democracy Westminster style.

Remember during the independence referendum that Scotland was told, frequently, that it wasn’t a colony. Unionists scoffed at the minority of independence supporters who compared Scotland to a colony. And by and large supporters of independence agreed. Of course Scotland wasn’t a colony – I agreed with that proposition myself. Scotland was a part of a Union in which we all thought that we had a fair say. A Union not a takeover.

But once Cameron passes his measure to bring in English Votes for Everyone’s Laws that won’t be the case any more. Scotland will be without the means to have any say at all over its overall budget, no say on how much it gets for health, no say on how much it gets for education. England’s MPs will determine the total budget and Scotland will get its budget decided in a vote from which our own representatives have been excluded. Scotland will get a percentage of whatever is decided for England, but won’t be able to have any input into what is decided for England. So if in a fit of Conservative madness Tory MPs for England decide to halve the health budget and introduce rampant privatisation, the part of the Scottish block grant accounting for health services will be proportionately slashed too. And there will be nothing we can say or do about it. This is Labour’s pooling and sharing, this is Better Together’s best of both worlds.

What was that that the Americans once said about no taxation without representation? That’s the position the Colony of Scotland will find itself in once EVEL comes into force. We will be a colony, without a say, without a vote, and staring at a menu of stale crumbs that are well past their sell by date with no choice in the matter, no say, no representation. Our MPs will be second class, just like the country that elects them. Welcome to the Colony of Scotland.

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