Scotland’s super power

Amidst all the hoo, the ha, and the Borisoid crikeys about the EU referendum, there’s another date with destiny that’s being overlooked. Time is running out for the UK and Scottish governments to reach agreement on a financial settlement to underpin the Scotland Bill. No agreement, no bill, and the Smith Commission is deader in the water than the Marie Celeste. Gordie promised safer faster change, but the only movement on this vessel is from the rising bilge water that’s going to send it to the bottom of the ocean of lies.

The promises that were made if only Scotland voted against independence have long since been falling one after the other like the guys in the red shirts on episodes of Star Trek. And just like the red shirted guys on Star Trek, the broken promises don’t even rate a name check in the credits. They’re beamed down in a blaze of shimmering lights for their moment of glory then get devoured by the tentacled monster of Yooneron even before they’re able to utter the words “You’ve been conned.” Then they’re unmourned and unmissed and never to be mentioned again as Captain Cameron and his lizard alien companion Osbornion warp off for another adventure while wee Kezia bleats that the dylithium crystals cannae take the SNP.

Monday’s Star Trek red shirt was the announcement that the insurance and financial services company Scottish Widows would be moving its headquarters out of Scotland. That’s the same Scottish Widows that threatened to leave Scotland if we had the temerity to vote for independence in 2014. They’re leaving anyway. This development has, so far, failed to rate a mention on the Scottish news programmes that plastered the company’s indyref threat all over the telly screens just 18 months ago.

This broken promise comes on the heels of a litany of broken promises. Remember your granny was told that she needed to vote no so that pensions would be safe? Well your pension isn’t safe. You’ll be working until you’re well into your 70s, and if you’re reliant on the state pension just remember that some Tory arsewipes are already calling for it to be contingent on you doing unpaid work for it. This is the Britain your granny voted No for, a Britain where the elite will squeeze profits from the lifeblood of the poor. Work until you drop. This is Britain where you live to work, you live to make money for rich basterts who already have got more than they can possibly ever spend, more than you or your family will ever earn in your whole lives.

Remember when Gordie Broon swore blind that the NHS would only be secure if Scotland voted No? Well it’s not safe. Just ask a junior doctor in England. The only reason Scotland’s not facing a similar NHS crisis is because the Scottish Government is diverting funds that should have been spent elsewhere into propping up NHS services because Scotland’s total budget is being slashed by the Tories that we didn’t vote for. And then Labour complains about “SNP cuts” when the cuts are only happening because Labour campaigned to expose Scotland to the full chilly blast of the mad privatisers in the UK Tory party and the Labour right wing.

Remember when they told us that it was only by voting No that we could be certain of remaining a part of the EU? And now they drop an EU referendum on us, timed to dominate the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish elections, so our own issues will be drowned out in the raging sea of Tory euro obsessions. Want a serious discussion of education policy in Scotland? Forget it. The telly only wants to talk about Boris Johnson and his clownfaced bid for career advancement on the back of a referendum that no one in Scotland asked for except David Coburn.

Scotland may well be dragged against its will out the EU into a mid-Atlantic dystopia without the Human Rights Act, without workers’ protections, without any checks on the megalomania of Westminster. Welcome to the respect agenda where respect means being ignored, sidelined and cold-shouldered.

Remember all the wonderful superpowers that would be coming our way? The nearest thing to federalism possible, super devo max, home rule. Scotland was going to be the most devolved country in the world. And it was all going to happen in an instant after the No vote with a wave of Gordie Broon’s sparkly wand. Yet here we are 18 months later and the only power that Scotland has actually got is the power of invisibility. No one in the UK Government can see that we’re here.

Against this backdrop of the serial evaporation of red shirted promises that turned out to have a shorter half life and are more poisonous than plutonium, came the negotiations on a financial settlement for Scotland. Despite the solemn promise enshrined in the Smith Commission that the financial settlement underpinning Scotland’s superdooper new powers would cause no detriment to Scotland, the Westminster Government interpreted this as as much detriment as it could get away with. Which it hoped would be quite a lot of detriment. They were relying on Scotland’s new powers of invisibility in the UK media in order to get away with this, and the UK media have by and large obliged.

Greg Hands, the Tory negotiating on behalf of George Osbornion’s lizard lair, took hands off negotiations to an entirely new level when Mr Hands went off on holiday as the talks were threatened with stalement as the deadline loomed. But then it’s only a Scottish deadline, designed to give Holyrood MSPs a chance to debate the settlement before the Scottish Parliament dissolves for the elections in May, and what with Scotland having the power of invisibility Greg couldn’t see that.

Are you feeling respected yet? Are you feeling loved? Do you feel that Scotland is a valued partner in a union of nations? We’re valued and respected in the same way that the invisible man is, standing in the corner of the cabinet room and no one knows we’re there.

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42 comments on “Scotland’s super power

  1. smiling vulture says:

    what date is the final agreement?been going so long

    thx dug

  2. daibhidhdeux says:

    Are phasers set to Malky?

  3. Davy says:

    I will not be unhappy if the Scotland bill is never signed.

  4. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  5. Flying pigs says:

    This article should be stuffed down the throat of every “No” voter – and I am not a violent person.

  6. Marconatrix says:

    Devo Max. This has been misunderstood, it’s clearly simply an abbreviation for “Devious Maximus”

  7. ‘Are phasers set to malky?’

    Hilarious & thank you, I needed that laugh as WGD’s article had me cursing & swearing worse than any Klingon.

  8. Tinto Chiel says:

    “Scotland may well be dragged against its will out the EU into a mid-Atlantic dystopia without the Human Rights Act, without workers’ protections, without any checks on the megalomania of Westminster. Welcome to the respect agenda where respect means being ignored, sidelined and cold-shouldered.”

    Which is why, for all its manifest faults, most Scots will vote to stay in the EU. The alternative above is a terrifying prospect.

    As for the Fiscal Settlement, I think the SG has been very patient but it’s probably time to walk away from the negotiations. Westminster has treated Scotland with such obvious disrespect that “detriment” is surely guaranteed.

    Once again, an excellent summary of a depressing situation, Paul. Surely the penny is dropping for the Proud-Scot-Buts?

    Naaaa, probably not.

  9. arthur thomson says:

    Since the union Scotland has always been destined to wither on the vine. Except that it is no longer withering. Thanks to the Scottish Government, Scotland is actually getting better despite the worst efforts of the users and abusers who make up the unionist parties.

    The question is: will this be lost on the Scottish electorate? I honestly don’t know. I simply live in hope that the Scots will, in increasing numbers, say ‘enough is enough’.

    The Scotland Bill is the responsibility of Westminster. Ultimately they will have to do something with it – get an agreement to implement it or abandon it. They will have to get around to tidying up their mess sometime.

    The key, in my opinion, is the Holyrood election. If the SNP are returned with a majority in May and nothing has been done about the Scotland Bill then it may be the moment when the Scottish Government has to adopt a less conciliatory, more confrontational approach.

    • Soar Alba says:

      You are spot on Arthur. We actually do have much to thank the Scottish Government for.
      Only complete fools and idiots cannot see this and fall for Liebor, Toley and Lieb Dum lies. Some, of course, are not fools, but just greedy, self-serving basterts.

  10. hettyforindy says:

    Another excellent piece, thanks Paul. Camorons announcement of his EU ref, designed to hide the utter contempt shown towards Scotland regards this so called Scotland bill. The infringement on any kind of democratic process is an utter disgrace.

    In some ways, wanting england to vote leave the EU, ( so we can have indy ref#2) but ultimately, it is perhaps just too dangerous. To imagine what the unfettered toxic tories in power for the foreseeable future, and what more damage they will unleash, if out of the EU, regards Scotland in particular, is very scary.

    The timing is deliberate, camoron thinks he is clever, well his spads do, but it will come back to haunt him, sooner or later.

  11. liz g says:

    Not strictly true Paul we have indeed had a speedy change put in place and a promise kept EVEL was delivered.
    The only change to have come about as a result of the referendum funny that!!!

  12. Paul says:

    Man, you’re on fire just now. Keep them coming!

  13. macart763M says:

    Let’s not forget they also told us that voting no was the only way to retain jobs and job security. I’m sure the folk in the oil industry, TATA, HMRC and B&Q will remember that particular poster campaign with crystal clarity. Oh and them broad shooders in times of economic hardship? Working out well then.

    So here we are seventeen months on, statements exposed as false, respect agenda binned (as if it ever existed) and most importantly, agreed upon outcomes not only not met, but delivery actively avoided.

    The pledges and statements weren’t a guide, they weren’t a serving suggestion. This was a contract between the people and a system of government. Can anyone imagine the furore had the Scottish Government changed its mind and decided not to deliver an independent legislature as promised? This wasn’t a point of policy which some party failed to deliver as part of a manifesto in a GE, it was a contract between a system of government and a sovereign population. Allow us to manage your national sovereignty and we WILL deliver…

    Does anyone believe there shouldn’t be consequences for such a cataclysmic failure of a contract, an agreement between a government and a population?

  14. benmadigan says:

    sue westminster – preferably in an EU court!!

  15. Onwards says:

    Personally, I think we should wean ourselves off the Barnett formula. Take the shitty deal for starters but make clear it is unfinished business. Then hold a home rule referendum to give a mandate for far more powers. The Barnett formula is effectively just a bribe in return for a non-compete clause. Anything gained in the short term is wiped out long term as we are kept at a structural disadvantage.

    Forsyth and Darling in the Lords whining about the bill as being rushed through. 100% income tax devolution cuts the personal connection with UK services. And an unstable deal is recipe for constant grudge and grievance in the future.
    Good. It makes independence look like a far better alternative.

    Many Tories want to kill the bill. They want no change. Taking it forces change in a few years as a flawed deal is unsustainable. Either we end up with federalism or independence. Probably the former then the latter.

    • david agnew says:

      no have to disagree. It’s a shit deal, with a framework that is vague to the point of being invisible. It was only the threat to walk out on feb 14th that got them to admit to the £3bn price tag for this shit on a stick. £3bn in addition to £7bn in cuts over the next five years. what you are left with is a shitty power you dare not use because it is pure poison. It’s not 100%. In reality we are responsible for collecting only 40%. It means that if were to raise the base rate of Income tax – westminster would pocket 60% – there is no guarantee that they would surrender the full amount with cutting the barnett formula further. Meaning that we raise tax and never see the benefit of it.

      The other thing you have to remember is that Barnett is our own money we get back – which if you believe certain yoon’s, magically becomes English money. They don’t want this deal to fail, they expected the SNP to fight like ferrets to get at it. They boasted about what a clever trap it is. Now they realise that the SNP won’t bite. And it’s them holding the shit on the stick, not the SNP.

      fuck this deal.

      • Onwards says:

        It’s income tax devolution plus partial VAT. The 40-50% is of the total budget, But income tax is the most visible tax and the most personal tax. People get used to the idea that they are paying their taxes to Scotland. It builds loyalty to this country in any future financial disagreements.
        And if the SNP accepted the deal, it would have to be as a short term measure only.
        Something for starters, rather than nothing at all.

        Tories are split over this. They want the Scottish parliament to be more accountable, but they fear the long term consequences as more powers are constantly demanded. Many would prefer the appearance that Scotland is dependent on the Barnett formula within the union at least.
        It doesn’t make it any easier for Scots to vote for independence if that is the general impression in times of low oil prices. We would be in a trap of our own making.

        It seems like if the SNP said they would take the deal, the Tories would suddenly have to find a way to improve it – as the alternative is Scots voting for independence in a few years when a declining Barnett formula can no longer be used a weapon.

  16. Saor Alba says:

    SNP x 2 in May.

  17. As mentioned above and just to cheer you up:

  18. Dan Huil says:

    The whole Smith/Vow fiasco is yet more proof of Westminster’s arrogance and ignorance towards Scotland.

  19. Robert Graham says:

    A full scale media blackout you bet there is , they can’t let the people who voted NO find out they were shafted , lied to , conned , and generally treated like total idiots , I have yet to meet , speak to , or have any contact with anyone who voted NO , where are these f/n misguided fools ? , I have heard many people say we need to bring the ones who voted NO onside with YES voters , aye that will be right , they need to be hit right between the eyes with the result of their stupidity , if we don’t the BBC and the media in general certainly won’t .

  20. macart763 says:

    Wa-hell, that’ll be that then. No settlement currently in the offing and the issue possibly being kicked upstairs to FM and PM.

    You’ll have had your near federalism then folks.

    Please, if you voted NO out of caution or a hope that things would come right somehow with Westminster government, that they were worth one more punt, you can’t believe that this is right? The past seventeen months have not covered either Westminster or the UK media in glory. The Scottish electorate, nor our government and its representatives have seen any olive branch, or been treated with due respect and friendship.

    The Smith commission, the devolution package people were led to believe was ‘on the table’ is not what has been offered up by the HoC and all attempts at amendments by the Scottish benches have been binned out of hand. The current settlement is not only devo lite on powers, but its fiscal structure is fatally flawed in favour of the treasury and HMG.

    From now until we have a fully empowered parliament of our own, we could use some help to sort this. If you don’t like the SNP, fine and that’s ok! This isn’t and never has been about them, or any party politics. Don’t look upon it as helping the SNP, look upon it as helping the Scottish government and parliament protect the interests of the Scottish electorate.

  21. Tinto Chiel says:

    This Look-no-Hands treatment of the SG is entirely predictable. Since the 19th of September 2014 and Cameron’s inauguration of EVEL, the Westminster Establishment have proved themselves be very bad winners.

    Taking a longer perspective, look how they left India. I am sure when negotiations begin for us to extricate ourselves from this accursed and deeply damaging Union we will be faced with similar mendacity and bad faith, just as in 1707.

    It will all be worth it for my Scottish passport, though.

    • robert graham says:

      agreed less than eight hours passed before dave pulled “EVIL” out of his back pocket announcing this is one i made earlier ,now listen to what you REALLY are going to get MUGS .

  22. Rhisiart Gwilym says:

    Paul, mention to you simply-excellent wee dug that even Pu-242 has a half-life of three and three-quarter years (other isotopes much longer still). The lying promises from the English-raj (and their arslickan toady quislings from the rest of Britain and from Eire’s foreign-occupied six counties) have surely lasted a lot less than that. In fact, they never really had a half-life, because they were never really active in the first place. Lies for the immediate dishonouring, once the No was got, from the outset.

  23. Janet says:

    I thought that it was actually Standard Life but I could be mistaken.

    Anyway, would I prefer either a 10% cut in budget or 20% cut, asks Westminster? Or medically put, norovirus or flu?

  24. Robert Graham says:

    just watched yesterday’s debate from the House of Regects on the Scotland bill if yer blood pressure can stand it check it out , sorry not able to give you the link But if you get it you will witness yer country being f/kd over by a succession of English & Scottish peers who haven’t a f/n clue most of them what time of day it is .

  25. Jan Cowan says:

    I’ve had more than enough of these people. They behave as if they’re still schoolboys in Eton…….and we in Scotland are the “fags”.

    Forget deals etc. etc. I want out. Nothing more, nothing less. OUT.

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