When hand wringing becomes neck wringing

Scotland’s half baked baker’s dozen of Conservative MPs have been terribly upset of late. They tell us that they’re unhappy that their government hasn’t introduced the necessary amendments to the EU Exit Bill to make it comply with the devolution settlement. That’s despite the fact that promises were given by the British government to make the amendments, promises which were ignored. They’re very disappointed, they tell us. They think that the actions of the government in kicking the bill up to the Lords aren’t good enough. Now unelected peers will have more of a chance to affect the bill than Scotland’s elected MPs. So much for bringing back control from Brussels to the House of Commons. Tory MPs wring their hands while their government wrings the neck of the devolution settlement.

Labour, to its credit, for once decided to do something other than abstain, and introduced an amendment of its own. The bill leaves Scotland and Wales at the mercy of a Conservative power grab. The Labour amendment would have removed the restriction on the devolved legislatures from altering retained EU law in areas in which the devolution settlement says they have competence. The amendment would also have established a procedure for reaching agreement on UK-wide frameworks on those policy areas which are currently legislated for at the EU but are devolved within the UK. It was a reasonable and sensible solution to the problem, one which could have ensured that the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Senedd would not oppose the Brexit Bill and spark off a constitutional crisis.

Labour’s amendment was defeated by 321 votes to 297, a majority of 24. If Scotland’s 13 useless wastes of space had voted with the opposition, they’d have defeated the bill. Instead they voted with the government to deprive Scotland, and themselves, of the chance to influence the course of Brexit. They’re happy to allow cabinet ministers to make all these decisions on Scotland’s behalf, without checks, without scrutiny, without accountability. They’re happy to overturn the devolution settlement which says that all powers which are not specifically reserved to Westminster are devolved. And they are happy to do all this without giving the people of Scotland a say in the matter. They’re defending Scotland’s interests like a blow to the head with a hammer defends against brain injury.

If a Scottish Tory MP says that their party supports the devolution settlement that was agreed in the 1990s and supported in a referendum, a vote that was described at the time as the settled will of the Scottish people, then you know that they’re lying. You know that their protestations that they’re terribly upset are meaningless. You know that they have as much interest in doing what’s right by the people of Scotland as they have of returning ScotRail to public ownership and protecting the NHS from privatisation. Despite the fact that all of Scotland’s MPs except the unlucky 13 voted against the power grab, despite the fact that the Scottish Parliament has not been consulted nor its consent sought or granted, despite the fact that the Scottish people have not been asked and have barely been kept informed, the Conservatives have taken it upon themselves to change the underlying principle of the devolution settlement.

These changes will be made without even the House of Commons being involved, Conservative ministers have arrogated the rights of the people of Scotland to themselves, a right to self-government which the people of Scotland sought, demanded, and approved in the referendum of 1997. So much for respecting the result of the referendum. The Conservatives have now lost all right to demand that anyone respect the result of a referendum, when they’ve run a coach and horses through the Scottish devolution referendum of 1997.

Not that any of this is particularly interesting to that British press that kept telling Scotland how much we’re loved and valued by the British establishment. The most prominent Scottish story in the Guardian at the time of writing this blog post is that salmon season has opened on the river Tay.  This is the same Guardian newspaper which told us shortly after the General Election that Scotland’s new cohort of Conservative MPs were going to vote as a bloc to protect and defend Scotland’s interests.  Uh … Huh. Nice to see the Guardian holding them to account. Oh no. The other thing.  Apologists for British rule in Scotland can protest all they like to the contrary, but this is what it looks like to live in a colony. Scotland, only relevant for huntin’, shootin’, and fishin’, and of course for the oil, as somewhere to park the nukes, and as a retirement home when you sell off the semi in Surrey.

All those people who say that they hate Thatalicsammin, Thatniclasturjin, Thatessenpee, the minute that Westminster uses a power that it’s grabbed from the Scottish Parliament and shafts them with it, those people will be nodding along in agreement to newspaper articles quoting Tory MSPs who blame the Scottish Government for not doing something to mitigate the situation. It’s hard to believe that the Tories are not trying to prepare the ground for the destruction of the devolution settlement. They’re not so stupid as to try and abolish the Scottish Parliament outright, instead they’ll just strip it piece by piece of power and authority, all the while blaming it for its lack of power and authority.

So the next time a Tory demands that an independence supporter respects the result of the 2014 referendum, remind them that their Conservative government is traducing the result of the 1997 one. Remind them that in 2014 we were told by those same Conservatives and their Labour and Lib Dem allies in Better Together that we were voting for stronger devolution, a form of devolution that was more entrenched, a more powerful devolution. They’re not respecting the promises they made in that referendum either. Referendum results will be respected, just as long as it’s a referendum result which gives more power to Tory politicians in Westminster and which is an assault on what’s left of democracy in this country.

Anyway, never mind any of that. Let’s concentrate on the real issue here, the one that’s going to occupy the British nationalist media in Scotland for weeks to come.  It’s snowing in January. Nicola Sturgeon must apologise.


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42 comments on “When hand wringing becomes neck wringing

  1. john 59 says:

    Excellent post Paul, the Scottish Conservatives = Molluscs

  2. Macart says:

    Clocked the result earlier Paul. Wasn’t shocked. Wasn’t surprised either. Disgusted though? Yes, that’s a good word. Disgusted. Pretty much full of contempt for all things Tory about now. I don’t think there’s any doubt that they were always going to vote in the interests of Conservative government. It’s what they are. It’s who they are. Party ideology before the needs of the people. Party ideology before the rights of the people. Party ideology before the institutions of the people.

    And what an ideology it is.

    Those thirteen Tories just sold out the rights and protections of Scotland’s electorate at the drop of a hat. Think about that. Your parliament, your rights and your needs.

    I’d say you’ll have a choice to make soon. You can let those Tories know what you think about their attempt to remove your rights and depower your institutions.

    The bill in question and what it means:

    https://www.snp.org/eu_withdrawal_repeal_bill_what_happens_now

  3. Robert T says:

    Paul a thing I have been havering on for a while on different sites is when we get indy we must have a proper RECALL law to hold our elected representatives to the account of voters , this lot of tractors have voted against ( i hope ) the wishes and aspirations of their electorate and the ability to be governed by a legislature that reflects and represents the majority of citizens within our country .

    They have basically reneged on their duties to their constituents and the people of Scotland who overwhelmingly voted for devolution , as far as I’m concerned they are a disgrace and a stain on democratic principles , where politicians are elected to SERVE AND REPRESENT their constituents not to enslave and subdue their hard fought for rights and freedoms gained through devolution .

    If any of these two faced lying party lickspittles represented my constituency I would do my utmost to have them removed

  4. Petra says:

    Look on the bright side. These 13 Tories will go down in history for contributing greatly to the end of the Union. Well done folks.

  5. hettyforindy says:

    Hope so Petra. The lying scheming, rotten to the core Tories will get their just desserts, of that we can be sure.

    I wonder, can the Scottish government take this to the UN or wherever it states that a people can and should have a right to sovereignty, or indeed, not have it removed by another country. I hope at the very least that this can be challenged outwith the so called UK.

  6. Sine Smillie says:

    I could greet, i’m so angry. Bastards, all.

  7. Well said, Paul, and others.The Dirty 13 will be unfurling Saltires and Lions Rampant when we reassert Self Determination, and Herald New Scotland’s Independence Editor Tom Gordon McGordonface will be declaring that they were ‘for Self determination all along’.
    I hope the good citizens of the North East are happy with the Stellar Six’s betrayal of Scotland.
    Agriculture and Fisheries will be power retained.
    The WM subsidies for agriculture will be subject to an Austerity 25% reduction ‘in real terms’ once CAP is gone.
    Scottish Fishing will be given to a chinless wonder RH Member from Essex, and the Sewell Convention will go the way of its namesake, into oblivion brought about by murky scandal.
    I’m off to the dentist now.
    One of my three squeaky bum time neurosis.
    Woe betide Fluffy Mundell if I bump into him in Byers Road this frosty morn.
    Later.

    • Macart says:

      They made a choice last night Jack. Party and state before people and home.

      There is no way of painting that in a better light. No words. No excuses. No explanations. Arrogant, ignorant people rarely require such things anyway. They believe it is their right and entitlement to do as they will and have others dae as thir telt.

      Right up until those others point out the error of their ways to them. That’s one more domino/barrier down and a confirmation (if any were required), that putting your life and life choices in the hands of any Conservative, anyone supportive of the Westminster state construct, is a choice you may come to badly regret.

      Tick tock.

      • wm says:

        After indipendance the 13 of them should be jailed, and not for just two or three months

      • John Beattie and David Porter at lunchtime denying that the Baker’s Yoonzen voted with the Government.
        Porter alleged that there was criticism from ‘all parties’ that the fate of an amended Clause 11 would now be decided by a Bra Queen, and Anglican Bishops. No there wasn’t, Porter. The Blue Tories didn’t even do a Red Tory and abstain.
        BBC Scotland seems unaware that the Blue Chinless Jockstraps voted with the WM Blue Tories and against the will of the people who elected them.
        Tick feckin’ tock, as you say,Sam.

      • AAD says:

        I should have been off to the dentist also but that rotten SNP made it snow and my dentist was stranded at the back of beyond.

  8. Excellent piece. Thank you! Wake up Scotland!

  9. daibhidhdeux says:

    “Devolution is dead!” chant this Bakers Dozen – aka the Mooth’s Ustache guerilla gang – as they go about complicitly bayonetting the devolution settlement.

    Aye, maybe, but not quite yet.

    Independence certainly is not, however, but, rather, advanced even further by virtue their actions and non-actions which amount to a political and constitutional form of seppuku by the JockBrit Tory Brigade of the ragtag Unionist Front.

    I am with Petra’s take on this even though I ca’ canny whenever the positive thinking/negative vibes thing crops up (see the classic movie “Kelly’s Heroes” on my take on this – the discussion between the tank commander and the driver).

    Back on point, they have just fcuked themselves up big time by dint of their inaction.

    Betcha the Mooth savvies this and will be legging it asap to Surrey or wherever in England’s Green and currently Unpleasant Lands whilst abandoning these doughty kamikaze pilots to their fate at the hands of the Scottish citizenry and the tumbril ballot box.

    Forward to re-independence and may Ross Thomson get counseling for his mad man stare.

    • Cairnallochy says:

      Do you think this vote will have helped Ruth’s chances of a safe seat south of the border ? After all, her party has delivered. Not even bought and sold.

      I await the prospect of May telling us all what Scots Tory MP’ have done for Scotland.

  10. Luigi says:

    “Respect the Devolution Referendum result of 1997”.

    That’s a keeper, Paul. A powerful argument to nail the usual “Respect 2014” suspects. After all, I seem to recall those in favour of devolution in 1997 far outnumbered the 55% that voted NO last time (many of whom now seem to bitterly egret having done so).

    I’ll be banking that one. It won’t be long until it is needed to shut up some greetin-faced yoon, I dare say.:)

  11. Macart says:

    If you’re on Facebook, twatter, anything. Get this out there.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/15846955.Scotland_s_Tory_MPs_vote_to_allow__naked_power_grab__from_Holyrood/

    We’ll do the job the rest of the media won’t.

  12. grizebard says:

    Ruthie’s unlucky 13 forelock-tuggers – a modern parcel of rogues. Bought off even more cheaply than that last lot.

  13. To the bakers dozen, may your arse have more boils than the sky has stars!

  14. […] if you can square their honeyed words with what happened last night. I would simply love to know how they think they are representing the interests of their […]

  15. Ziggy M says:

    Looking from the outside, from a supporter of your cause.
    They’ve handed you a weapon that used wisely could be the lever that you need.
    I realise that you’re all out there talking and trying to convert, but this seems the thing, at least some of the ammunition that was lacking.
    The coven have now exposed themselves for what they really are…Quislings.
    Knowing that the final destination is the dismantling of 1997 devolution act what other description can be applied.
    Good luck

  16. Robert Graham says:

    Even more shocking than the 13 bending over as usual, is

    The Scottish media lying by omission , this is a much more worrying symptom of the erosion of democracy in this country , than these Unionist tossers

    The state broadcaster should be stripped of the ability to effectively Lie and and prevent people in Scotland from finding a truthful news outlet we pay for .

    The whole pantomime that was Devolution , The Devolution forced on the British establishment by the EU , no it wasn’t Dure or the bloody Labour Party it was the EU , and dures statue should be sent to the same scrapyard as the ED Stone

  17. David Agnew says:

    The Tories in Scotland really the nasty wee jobbie party.
    They think May will give the a pat on the head and a biscuit. Maybe she will. Maybe she’ll reward her poo emoji mini-me party with a little creep achiever award. Scotland on the other hand will consign them to the midden of history. A fate not only long overdue but richly deserved.

  18. Gavin C Barrie says:

    Ziggy M applies the Q word musing – “what other description can be applied”.

    I recall, leading up to the 2014 IndyRef, appeals for proIndy bloggers not to use the Q word.

    What now? Contempt feels too tame a description of the dirty 13 Tory MPs from Scotland.

  19. Once Independence is achieved and Scottish Citizenship becomes something meaningful to all, I propose that the Dirty Baker’s Dozen are refused it!

  20. “Conservative ministers have abrogated the rights of the people of Scotland to themselves”

    Sorry to play the pedant here, but I think you meant “arrogate” (‘to take or claim for oneself without right’)?

    (‘Arrogate’ is also, of course, a small rather posh town in Yorkshire.)

    As regards the State Broadcaster, then little will move on unless – as we had down here in England’s Oldest Colony with regard to the language issue – you start a campaign of non-payment of the Propaganda Tax. That will take to start with a couple of score thousands of people willing to put themselves on the line for it, but such a campaign would become impossible to ignore even by the PQ megaphones. Non-violent direct action would also raise the issue’s profile.

  21. Whitburnsfinest says:

    Well, wid ye look at the state ay our country. Ah just went tae huv beanz oan toast fur ma tea an ah’ve nae beanz. This is a nashunal disk….dizc…nevermind ALICSAMMIN MUST APOLOGISE!!! NICLA MUST RESIGN!!! Quick, phone the grunaid and get the headline in quick, ESSENPEE CAUSES CRITICAL SHORAGE AY BEANZ!!!

  22. Patience is a Virtue says:

    No fear, the outstanding winner of ‘the best Scot at Westminster’, the only MP in Scotland to vote for the retention of Trident in Scotland- where the needs of the few (1) outweighs the needs of the many (58) and now pro=Brexiteer (with all those ‘opportunities’ that await us) – despite his and all other Scottish Constituencies voting to Remain in the EU, i am sure, as will his Party, continue to do their upmost for Scotland….what more can we hope for….

    apart of course, for Independence.

  23. Anne Martin says:

    The best they could do on Misreporting Scotland for a news story tonight was apparently a swimming hedgehog! Give me strength!!!

    • O the day when the new SNP GCC settles the ten Years’ equal pay dispute dragged out by Scottish Labour, Tha Dick, ‘The Scarf’ Leonard appears on a PPB at 655 lying to a group of fresh faced young actors that his Labour Party was the only Party championing equality and equal pay.
      Who will the Branch Office elect as ‘leader’ next year when The Dick mucks it up yet again?
      What a dull dispirited little shop steward this man is.
      By the law of diminishing returns, a single cell amoeba could do the job next time ’round.

    • But, Anne, Ra Burd purred:-
      ‘Now if that didn’t warm your heart, nothing will’.
      Is this woman really that pea brained?
      Looks like it.

  24. The English Westminster Government is desperate to retain Scottish oil and gas production
    as it’s own otherwise the pound will plummet.

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