Doing something memorable

So there you are, planning to watch a movie and put your feet up because you’ve taken care of blogging responsibilities for the day, and then the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, the famously unmemorable Ken Wossisname, finally goes and does something for which he’ll be remembered. It’s just a shame that what he’ll be remembered for is being the first Presiding Officer to rule that a bill to be put before Holyrood is not within the remit of the Scottish Parliament, and for being the first Presiding Officer to avoid using the word outwith, which counts as a constitutional crisis all by itself.

The Continuity Bill being placed before Holyrood by the Scottish Government is the Scottish Government’s response to the stalled talks on the Westminster Parliament’s EU Exit Bill between the Scottish and British governments. The bill aims to maintain all the devolved laws currently exercised by the EU after Brexit takes place and will give Scottish ministers the power to alter or amend these laws after Brexit. The Scottish Government says that the purpose of the bill is to ensure that Scotland retains the powers that it currently has, and to put an obstacle in the way of a Conservative government in Westminster which seeks to grab Scottish, and Welsh, powers for itself. Speaking on Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that she refused to sign up to a British Government Brexit plan which “effectively undermines the whole foundation on which devolution is built”.

Ken’s not convinced by this. Or if he is he doesn’t care too much. In a statement, the Presiding officer said that he didn’t believe that the Scottish Government’s continuity bill is within the remit of the Scottish Parliament because it would “make provision now for the exercise of powers which is it possible [that Holyrood] will acquire in future”. So Ken’s legal argument, such as it is, seems to boil down to saying that you can’t legislate for things which haven’t happened yet even if you specify that the provisions in the bill will only take effect if the thing in question does actually happen. If that were true then there wouldn’t be any Brexit legislation at all, because Brexit hasn’t happened yet. I’m no lawyer of course, but then neither is Ken.

James Wolffe, the Lord Advocate, is definitely a lawyer, the top lawyer in the land no less, and the Lord Advocate is of the opinion that the draft bill is most definitely within the competence of the Scottish Parliament. The Lord Advocate has issued a statement of his own saying that the continuity bill is carefully framed to avoid doing anything or having any effect before Brexit happens. He says that it is perfectly lawful for the Scottish Government to legislate now for what is to happen once EU law no longer applies.

Ken disagrees, because he’s got a degree in history and worked as a reporter for BBC Scotland. So naturally Ken is in the right here, and the Scotland in Union member of an anti-independence party is pure dead unbiased and not in any way motivated by any tribal hatred of the SNP. Oh no, not at all. Because that would be wrong.

The Welsh Senedd has fewer powers than Scotland does, but a remarkably similar bill has been presented to the Welsh Senedd and has been accepted as within the competence of the Welsh legislature to vote on. The difference of course is that the Welsh Government is led by the Labour party and so their bill isn’t a dastardly plot to undermine the Union even though it says pretty much the same thing and makes pretty much the same provisions as the Scottish one does. That said, Welsh devolution is underpinned by different legislation from Scottish devolution, and it is technically possible that legislation in Wales can be lawful but an equivalent in Scotland be unlawful. Morally and politically however, the case is unanswerable. Scotland has supposedly got a more powerful legislature than Wales, the powers of which were guaranteed and enshrined into law after the 2014 referendum by the same British government which is now trying to grab them for itself.

Onieweys, according to Reporting Scotland at least, none of this is as important as the incredible and amazing fact that it’s snowing in Scotland in the winter. Because snow in the winter in Scotland totally unexpected. That Humza Yousaf should be out there personally with a snaw shovel. Actually no, strike that. He shouldn’t be making any preparatory arrangements at all. He should be sitting at home and doing absolutely nothing at all, because according to the Ken Wossisname Doctrine, the snaw hasn’t happened yet. It’s clearly outwith the competence of the Transport Minister to make contingency plans for things that haven’t happened yet. But you can bet that if the Transport Minister didn’t make any plans for what would occur if there is indeed a large and disruptive fall of snow, then Ken’s party would be amongst the first to condemn That Humza Yousaf for not doing his job. Funny then that he’s so determined that the Scottish Government should refrain from making any contingency plans for the crap that is going to rain down on Scotland once Brexit hits the fan.

The Scottish Government is pressing ahead with the Bill despite Ken’s objections. The Lord Advocate is due to explain to MSPs tomorrow (Wednesday) why he believes that the Bill is within the remit of Holyrood. Although this probably won’t shut up Tory MSP Adam IT’S THE LAW! Tompkins who seems determined to go down a Madrid style route and claims that the Scottish Government is acting illegally. The matter doesn’t have to be resolved for now, the Scottish Parliament can vote on the Bill, which since it counts on the support of the Greens and the SNP will presumably pass. However the legality of the bill can be challenged during the period when it’s awaiting Royal Assent, and then the matter will be taken to the UK Supreme Court.

Ken Macintosh is going to be remembered at last. He’ll be remembered for being the first Presiding Officer to rule that a bill is outwith the remit of the Scottish Parliament and then being slapped down by the Lord Advocate who has ruled that it most definitely is within the competence of the Scottish Parliament. He’ll be remembered for putting his British nationalism before the permanence and power of a Scottish Parliament which his own party has guaranteed to strengthen and respect. But then Ken’s a Labour politician, and so is constitutionally incapable of seeing a constitutional crisis looming on the horizon without making it worse.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Due to the weather, tomorrow’s The National Roadshow event in Peterhead has been postponed. Forecasts expect a foot of snow, high winds and -10C temperatures for the North East. The event will be rescheduled. Sorry for the inconvenience.


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63 comments on “Doing something memorable

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Doing something memorable So there you are, planning to watch a movie and put your feet up because you’ve […]

  2. scotsmanic says:

    Please do something on fracking, and how a Tory judge has allowed the Ratcliffe clown to keep on attacking Scotland.

  3. Tomorrow Morning, ‘The News where you are ‘ headline during the 93 seconds Pacific Quay Stockade bulletin during 3 1/4 hours of BBC Breakfast featuring England ‘s White Out, will be some daft Yoon Plant in their car stuck in snow drifts on the M80, spittin’ teeth, howling mad that Humza and the BAD SNP had let this weather happen: they should have fired assault rifles into the howling wind and snow storms to disperse the damned thing. That’s what they are doing in Florida and it seems to be working, or not.
    Wee Kenny is a Brit Nat placeman.
    It is getting to the very angry stage now. Ruth Davidson has promised to stop eating babies; well uncooked weans at least.

    But if they are born as the result of rape, prove it or the bairns starve.

    Tomkins is a political joke, yet the MSM big him up for his ‘bravery’, a euphemism straight out of Sir Humphrey’s lexicon. He’ll not be throwing money in the direction of the poor any more.
    A political reject, front and centre at Holyurood demanding that our Government let his WM Masters trample all over the democratic will of the citizens of Scotland. Idiot.

    Tonight Ken’s former employer, BBC Britland, has cancelled Scottish Programmes, a Scots soap and a Shetland Murder Mystery, and foisted an English FA Cup Replay on us Up Here.
    On BBC 2 a Portillo piece of self indulgence on Manchester railways, followed by a feature on Brighton.
    The message from Nicola MacKinnon, Jackie Bird, and Co?

    Scotland, you don’t matter. The message from Ken Boy, Scotland you have no power. England rules Ya Bass.

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I will leave the EU over my dead body, if you get the contradiction of terms.
    What an odious little man the PO is.
    I gather he has a family.

    Post Brexit Scotland ruled by English MPs. Scotland is so insignificant that the BBC can airbrush it out of existence at a stroke. Just like it did tonight.

    This is the future of servitude and colonisation which your daddy is preparing for you.

  4. hettyforindy says:

    It is clear where Ken PO takes his orders from and it’s from his masters in the UKGov. I think the law will take precedent here, but that is just what the UKGov would like to diminish and or remove, Scot Law. They would not just take powers devolved, but they would remove Scots laws and education which have always been the responsibility of Scotland, not dictated by or ruled over by the UKGov. Independent of England.

    If society was organised by Ken’s standards, there would be no use for laws because it would be based on hypothetical scenarios so not in the remit of the society.

    I see your comment Jack about bbc removing programmes in Scotland tonight and replacing them
    with English repeat of English football. I do hope that this will make sure that even Britnats in Scotland will switch off and think about why they are paying for the bbc. Except for the old folks around us, thy all get it free so will watch it anyway. Brainwashed.

    Thanks for the 2 fab articles today btw!

  5. Patience is a Virtue says:

    Assuming is within his ken, the Presiding Officer could perhaps focus on ensuring documents (Brexit impact assessments of the Scottish variety), that the Secretary of State for Scotland tried so very hard to prevent from being viewed by MSPs, can now be made generally available to our elected (Scottish) Parliamentary representatives and to the general public in Scotland.

    i.e letter received… ‘late on Wednesday 7th February to inform him that MSPs would only be able to view the document by appointment only on Thursday 8th February or on Friday 9th February between 10 am and 1pm and between 2pm and 5pm at the Scotland Office building in 1 Melville Crescent.
    Times when MSPs are busy with Parliamentary business or when they’re due to be holding constituency surgeries. MSPs won’t be allowed to copy the papers, to photograph or scan them. They won’t be allowed to take copies away with them. They won’t be allowed unsupervised access to the papers, and they’ve been warned that the content of the papers is not to be made public.’

    … oh yes and even pages only…and most definitely located behind the door with sign saying ‘beware of the leopard.’

    the intent and outcome of trying to hide such papers from Parliamentary / public scrutiny in respect of Brexit, cannot, unfortunately, be considered as ‘mostly harmless.’

  6. astytaylor says:

    Thank you, Paul.
    Things are heating up nicely. (Even if it is snowing.)

  7. Grace Dunn says:

    Brilliant Wee Dug. This is so correct and true, yet here again we have a native Scotsman shooting it down. Sorry, but we do seem to possess some undercover, masochistic kinsmen. Are
    they so conditioned they can’t break free?

  8. What a mess. They are such a mess. Boris added more rubbish tonight. It was desperate nonsense from Ken Thingimebob …who instructed him to declare it ” not within” the remit? They must be in total panic to act so crudely.

  9. The words “flutter” and “hen-coop” spring to mind, Paul. Ken Who? may be the Presiding Officer but he is clearly an irrelevance, since he cannot even find out what is and what is not legal! We plough on (no snow pun intended) regardless. The Lord Advocate has already put him in his place – all we need to do is ‘keep calm and carry on’.

  10. orri says:

    The thing is that as currently written the Scotland Act’s mentions these powers not as being reserved but as residing in the EU.

    Depending on how you look at it the intent may very well have been to allow for a bit of flexibility in removing powers in the future without the tedium of consulting Holyrood in order to trade them to the EU.

    If that was the malicious intent then it’s backfired spectacularly as if/when the UK quits the EU the sum total of powers withheld due to our membership drops to zero.

    In other words in a sane world the Continuity Bill would be a waste of time as it’d simply reiterate the current state of affairs as laid out in the Scotland Act.

    Going by the PO’s logic though, the EU powers aren’t yet back in the hands of either Holyrood or Westminster so any changes to existing laws involving them would be invalid in both.

    Finally whilst the PO might point out/advise that a Bill is outwith the competence of Holyrood that isn’t a final say. For instance changes might be made to bring the Bill into said competence at which point his opinion might change.

  11. Therapymum says:

    The Presiding Officer is supposed to be independent, yet it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Ken McIntosh isn’t. Which is a shame, because his predecessor was.

    So, both Ken and Tompkins know better than the Lord Advocate about the legality of the Continuity Bill? And in Wales the P.O. ruled a similar Bill within the competence of the Assembly. Makes you wonder if Ken and Tompkins were better together today, doesn’t it?

  12. Daisy Walker says:

    It’s Brexshit and bad, all the way.
    Yes Now.

  13. john 59 says:

    This Whole episode and recent cr-p re PO and BJ is worrying. I don’t think for one minute the Britnats have not thought this through . May and her ilk are positioning themselves getting ready for a constitutional crisis . They will have some dastardly plan or weasel words to use in an effort to blame the SNP . If it goes to the Supreme Court for a ruling then I feel we all know the outcome.

    Phrases like ” not normally” leave a very bad taste.

    Am I paranoid or a realist ?

    I feel that we can hurt the Unionists and they know it .

  14. Macart says:

    Heh. Working out nicely.

    Personally, I’m going with the Lord Advocate’s advice. How and ever, if the PO wants to toddle down this particular path… that’d be his choice. 😉

    Seems though, that Labour in Wales and Labour in Scotland (both the same Labour by the by) have something of a communication problem. It also seems that only one of these groups gives a damn about economic impact on a population and an already severely strained handout.

    Who knew?

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/16053055.Scottish_Government_unveils_bill_to_protect_devolution_on_dramatic_day_at_Holyrood/

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/16053082.Blueprint_for_Scottish_National_Investment_Bank_set_to_be_unveiled/

    It also appears Commonweal are publishing their blueprint to an independent Scotland.

    Timing is everything. 🙂

    But wait. There’s more. Probably a good idea to read what someone actually said (in context) and not what some journo thinks they said/wishes they said/made up what they said (out of context).

    https://www.snp.org/statement_by_scotlands_brexit_minister_on_the_introduction_of_the_scottish_continuity_bill

    This is one of the less offensive ones out there today.

    https://archive.is/t4u5B

    You’d require eye and mind bleach for others.

    The general theme is that ‘Sturgeon threatens Brexit crisis’. Few take the ground that the crisis was really introduced by UK government. That crisis for Scotland’s population IS that a Brexit they didn’t vote for, in a vote they didn’t ask for, is being visited upon them.

    UK government and media… bit on the conceited side.

    • robert alexander harrison says:

      And the stupid Yoon trolls are trying to blame the snp for brexit when we know really at fault the Conservatives.

  15. Cubby says:

    BBC Scotland is like a nasty cancer that needs removing. People like the PO are just the cancer spreading throughout Scotland. He has shown he is not fit to do the job.

    Has there ever been anyone who works in BBC Scotland who is not a British Nationalist? It’s just like the Orange Order.

  16. Ann Rayner says:

    Headline in Wednesday’s Guardian – ‘May will refuse Brexit Deal that threatens UK Integrity’.
    Ironic, as by doing so she will almost certainly bring about the disintegration of her precious union.

  17. Stan Wilson says:

    Definitely interesting times ahead for us independent minded people.

    I am constantly bemused by the antics of Unionist supporters, be they politicians or members of the public, when the First Minister or the SNP, rains on their parade by out smarting them at every turn.

    Excellent article again Paul.

  18. Robert Graham says:

    I wonder if Mr Presiding Officer on reflection and given a second bite at the Cherry would still have made the same decision today .

    The chief legal mind in the country deems the bill has no impediments to its progress , but Ken begs to differ , well it’s Lord Advocate 1 Ken 0 .

    This is the Ken who saw no need for a largely Scottish News channel .

    This is the Ken who allows political statements in the guise of questions every week .

    This is the Ken who allowed Wullie to call the First Minister a Liar then proceeded to rebuke her when she tried to retaliate.

    This is the Ken who shut down a Question from Ivan McKee because he didn’t like it .

    Labour never fails to surprise and daily deliver the total waste of space their MPs – MSPs represent .

    • For once, The Scottish Government was within, as opposed to ‘outwith’, its rights to Cry Wolffe (QC) when this odious little man abused his role as PO yet again.
      It’s time for him to go and tend to his constituents needs. But wait, he got booted out by his constituents; he’s a JobsForTheBoys ex BBC Scotland Red Tory List Freeloader, isn’t he?
      Yet he actually believes that he can halt the now inevitable path to Scottish Self Determination.
      Go man, before you are booted out on your neck.
      btw, it’s snowing.

  19. Iain says:

    Ken Macintosh is a polite well-brought-up wee chap from Edinburgh in the Douglas Alexander Head Boy mould. That’s all.

  20. Macart says:

    5,4,3,2,1…

    https://archive.is/Fyu2L

    …BOORACH!

    • We need only sit back and watch as the madness overflows into dangerous posturing over Norn Ireland, Sam.
      In poker parlance, Michel Barnier has called May’s ‘Strong and Stable’ bluff, and upped the stakes with a ‘Calm and Pragmatic’ draft resolution, ‘operationalizing’ the only solution to the Irish Border question which is practicable in the 13 month window remaining for Brexit talks.
      Arlene isn’t pleased, and neither is Ian Paisley Jnr.
      There is of course no solution to this mess which doesn’t tear up the Good Friday Agreement and plunge Ireland back into the hands of the psychopaths, or May’s Government to fall as the Uk breaks up because of her ineptitude and dilatoriness, or should that be dilaTORYness?
      Arlene’s spitting teeth and Ian Paisley Jnr is in ‘No Surrrredurrrr’ mood.
      Perhaps he will emulate his old Pa’s ‘We’ll all be Murdered in our beds!’ Million Man March and lead the Orangemen of the World armed with pitchforks and pikestaffs to the Border and prevent the Furren Border Reivers from contaminating Britain with their tainted European and mostly papish beef and cheese?
      It’s all kicking off neatly.

    • mogabee says:

      Oh Sam, that’ll get them BriNats riled up! Not totally unexpected really as the EU has been telegraphing it’s proposals for a while.
      I’m chuckling at the outrage by some, my view is that the UK is jealous they cannot produce legal text as watertight and neatly typed!!! OH THE OUTRAGE hahaha

  21. Andy Anderson says:

    Interesting times indeed.

    It is so sad that the UK, and particularly Scotland, does not have an unbiased (and truthful) media so that all of us can get at what is really going on. Many people I know are clueless about all this.

    I agree that the nutter Brexiteers will attack the EU’s legal take of what they agreed with the UK last December. You can guess what the EU negotiating teams must be feeling at all this. Best not printed as it would be full of swear words in every language. Our negotiators must feel like chumps in front of the EU teams. Not their fault.

    I think SG are doing a great job. Surely the Unionist parties at Holyrood will not vote themselves out of a job and ignore the people who voted them in.

    • Andy, as long as the Pacific Quay Stockade throws money at them for spouting SNP SHITE propaganda, and our Yoon Unis give them wee bungs as ‘visiting professors’, as long as the Old Boys Network arranges a seat on a Quango or Henry Mc Leish two decades after he resigned from politics following a financial ‘muddle’, needs a team to undertake his latest nice little earner Review of Scottish Football, then this lot of Freeloading nobodies will never be out of work, or short of a bob or two.
      Poor ol’ Professor and Bigot WATP Adam Two Jobs It’s The Law Tomkins, would have to struggle along on his lecturer’s wage, and his index linked unelected list shoo in MSP pension.
      They are like bookies, you never see a poor Yoon politician, not even when we the people, have kicked them out on their self serving arses.
      I could not be in a room with any of them now, such is my rage and disgust at this unprincipled gang of carpetbaggers, liars and imperialists.
      WE are at war, in all but name now.

  22. Dan Huil says:

    Excellent article. British nationalist hatred of Scotland is so ingrained in their attiudes that supposedly neutral holders of positions in poiltics and the media just can’t themselves when casting so-called judgement.

  23. Macart says:

    Oh jings! 🙄

    twitter.com/JamesKelly/status/968824747415998464

    (don’t forget to add https:// before the address)

  24. I should have stocked up on low fat rice pudding and Guinness before the White Out, Macart.
    I blame Humza.

  25. Macart says:

    Just heard that the Lord Advocate has endorsed the competence of the parliament to legislate on the bill.

    Over to the P.O. then. 🙂

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Yesterday Lord Heseltine and today John Major gave very good speeches against Brexit. John Major was great today, he did not miss and hit the wall. It was on BBC2 after 2pm, about ten past I think, if you go to the iplayer.

      A real storm going on about the EU draft bill for the UK departure. Theresa looked annoyed at PMQ today. Idiots all of them.

      I actually want a hard Brexit as it will help the cause of Independence. I know the economical damage but for freedom I think OK.

    • Anne says:

      The P.O. needs tae piss off. He is

  26. deek1044 says:

    Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together

  27. fynesider2 says:

    I “introduced” a senior BT Education representative to the word ‘outwith’ a good 35 years ago…. Word obviously takes a while to spread….!

  28. bedelsten says:

    Are we now at the end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end? Are chickens coming home? Why are all those Brexiteers up a blind alley? What is that white stuff outside?

    Meanwhile, the EU has published the ‘European Commission Draft Withdrawal Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community’.

    Within that document, on Northern Ireland, we can read: ‘HIGHLIGHTING that discussions on the other scenarios may continue to be pursued in parallel, but that this Protocol is based on the third scenario of maintaining full alignment with those rules of the Union’s internal market and the customs union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement, and that it applies unless and until an alternative arrangement implementing another scenario is agreed;’

    Amongst the bluster, wind, spindrift and snowstorm of misinformation emanating from the UK government over Brexit perhaps we have missed the vital piece of information describing how the circle will be squared, how the above paragraph will be achieved, and Northern Ireland will, simultaneously, at the same time, also be within the UK’s single market. Boris has a plan. Boris needs to get out more and, preferably, not return. The Maybot said that “no United Kingdom prime minister could ever agree” with putting barriers between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. However, the last time I looked, from near Stranraer, there is already a significant barrier.

    Nearer to home, the Lord Advocate tells us, and I paraphrase, that if the Scottish Government’s exiting the EU bill is not competent, then neither is the UK government’s version. So, Mr Presiding Officer, whatever your name is, next time, don’t be a prat.

    The next exciting episode to look forward to, or not, is the Maybot giving a speech on Friday from an undisclosed location in Scotland – perhaps revisiting Crathes thinking she might meet Mrs Windsor going to Church which is a common mistake made up Deeside – where she is also giving a speech in Aberdeen to a puckle of ancient folk meeting in the AECC bus shelter.

    • Marconatrix says:

      When the snowdrifts of confusing rhetoric are blown away and the true lie of the land is revealed, the aspect is stark. Brexit and the GFA are simply incompatible. The only way Norn Iron can in effect remain within the critical parts of the EU (no Irish border) AND the UK (no sea border) is if the UK as a whole remains inside the EU, or as near as damn it. This is the stuff of farce, no less! “Well, that’s another fine mess you’ve got us into!”

    • Macart says:

      I’d say the beginning of the end. 🙂

  29. Macart says:

    Consider my flabber well and truly ghasted.

    https://archive.is/GRaeC

    • Well, Sam, Major didn’t write this impassioned plea for cooler heads.
      It has all the hall marks and the vocabulary and phrasing of senior Whitehall Mandarins, backed by the City, CBI, and the Furren Car Manufacturers.
      ‘130,000 Japanese jobs’. Really? This wee slip hints at who the speech writers represent, and it’s not a mechanic from Liverpool.
      Major is just not that clever.
      You may recall Private Eye’s caricature of him tucking his shirt tails into his Y fronts?
      He was put up to this, and handed a ‘line to take’ briefing from The Man.

      Plenty of mention of the 17 who voted Leave and the 16 who voted Remain and the 63% who voted Remain or didn’t vote at all, but no mention of the 62% of Scots who voted Remain.
      Lots of references to the ‘British’ People, and of course the GFA in which he had a (creditable it has to be said) hand.
      Major is a devil’s spawn of Thatcher who started the PFI wrecking ball rolling let’s not forget.
      Maastricht wasn’t his finest hour either.
      But fair dos, he has stepped up to the plate to advocate Soft Brexit, bur Brexit nevertheless.
      He takes a poke at ‘British’ exceptionalism, when he in fact means ‘English’ illusion of superiority.
      In précis he is snarling ‘fuck you’ Jacob, Boris, Michael, David, and Treeza.
      If it were reversed tomorrow, Major would be perfectly content if his English Party continued to rob Scotland blind, and destroy the Social Contract across these isles, and Scotland with clogs on.
      Let’s not forget, he ‘eats babies’, to coin the chubby ruddy faced wee attention seeking, but strangely in hiding, blawhard.
      I’m holding my flabber intact in the meantime, Sam.

  30. Macart says:

    Continuity Bill motion vote.

    YES: 86
    NO: 27

    Bill goes ahead.

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