Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Real SNP Agenda

I'm getting rather sick of listening to Alex Salmond's bleatings about how much he wants a hung Parliament. Could it be because he and his Welsh colleagues will then be in an ideal position to bribe a new government to send yet more English tax monies north and west?

I may not be able to make many accurate predictions about the consequences of this election result, but I will make one. An English Parliament will be firmly on the political agenda, and this time the main parties won't be able to ignore it.


Guy Herbert said...

I think the word you are looking for is not 'bribe', but extort.

Eddie said...

Be careful what you wish for Iain.

Most people in the UK establishment are aware that without Scottish/North Sea Oil, the UK might well have collapsed. There is still plenty left, and it is a bonus which none of the UK's main partners/competitors enjoy, and helps,hugely, with the UK's current credit rating.

Some highly intelligent people,like yourself, still haven't woken up to the reality of what has changed in Scotland.

The SNP is in government,Iain, and you'd do well from your own perspective to appreciate that more clearly than you seem to do.

The SNP is actually a moderate party, full of moderate people. Anglophobia is practically non-existent in the SNP, certainly in the leadership. Anglophilia is more the norm.

However, this dismissive attitude( Clegg was at it as well on a foray north last week) might play well in the short term, among a particular constituency of Scotophobes, but in the long term, everyone, including yourself, is going to have to be more mature.

Sophia Pangloss said...

Gaun yersel' Iain. Get that English Parliament campaign rollin' an free Scotland fae the ragged Act o' Union.

It's what Scotland wants. It's what Scotland needs.

Martin Veart said...

Don't know about that Ian. Here are my takes on it:


cynicalHighlander said...

"bribe a new government to send yet more English tax monies north and west?"

How do you work that out as its a myth peddled by London and the SE to justify there own over inflated spending at the expense of ALL other regions. But if it brings forward an English parliament keep it up.

Ian M said...

Quite. Writing as someone who has a vote next week in England as well as in Scotland (and I'm still deciding which of two Tory candidates to vote for-Ochil and Sefton Central by the way, Debi or Gerry as my sister says)

For someone who is usually quite astute, 'Eck Salmond is playing this campaign very badly-and his own Party is getting somewhat unhappy with him

However the 1998 Scotland Act gives him a remedy. Validated by the Referedum, the Parliament has the power to increase/decrease Income Tax by 3p in the Pound. Unless of course Salmond finds the idea of England and Scotland having a different rate of tax repugnant although I thought that was his principle aim Such an increase would kill any slight hope Salmond has of winning an Independence Referendum

As for Anglophobia being "practically non existent in the SNP", nonsense-its far from that. I agree a majority of members are arguing what they think best for Scotland and I respect that but there are some SNP members and supporters particulary in the more Labour inclined constituencies in the Central belt, had their remarks substituted black people for England and the English would have been prosecuted under the Race Relations Acts

Unknown said...

20TH April SNP spoksman on GMTV suggested UK wide cuts to pay for more spending in Scotland.

wild said...

"still haven't woken up to the reality of what has changed in Scotland."

Alternatively, you haven't woken up to the changes that are happening in England.

ukipwebmaster said...

An English parliament? Do we really need another level of sleazy politicians?
Instead let's start at the top and abolish the MEPs.
Then look at UKIP's cost effective, fair and workable solution to devolution that doesn't break up Britain into tiny pieces that are more easily controllable by Brussels.

Sophia Pangloss said...

Ian @ 6.34pm That's some claim ye make there. D'ye care tae furnish us wi' some examples?

It's the Union that stick's in the Scottish craw, no the English.

G said...

I do not blame them, surely they are elected to do what is best for the people who elect them.

It is not Plaids or the SNPs fault that the English do not have a parliament and therefore in a position to gain in a UK hung parliament.

Maybe the English will finally wake up as to how they are 2nd class citizens in the supposedly democratic UK.

Matt said...

For the record:

"...and his Welsh colleagues" is somewhat misleading.

Wyrdtimes said...

It's about time the re-establishment of the English parliament was on the agenda. England has been getting the brown end of the stick for years.

But still the Tories won't stand for their 99% English constituents by demanding fair funding for England. Still they won't even say "England" when talking about totally English issues.

If they think a day off for St George's Day is doing enough for England they are mistaken.

The English deserve fair funding and the recognition and representation that can only happen with the re-establishment of our English parliament.

@cynicalHighlander it's a valid point about London but the "south east region" gets the least per person funding in the whole dis-United Kingdom.

King Athelstan said...

An English parliament is what we need. The Act of Union was of acottish creation anyway. Bring it on, abolition of the regional quangoes will go a long way toward funding it.

Anonymous said...

@Eddie. The Oil Cliche , the sole manatra again and again! It is time that we counted the number of Scots who moved to England in the last 20 years and the number of students who moved to English universities since the last 5 years. As a result, those Scots who have skills are a rare breed in Scotland and Salmond wants immigrants now. Already the foreign students who go to Scottish universities get generous work visas after graduation, and they move downsouth in droves soom after.

SNP brand of Socialism is more virulent than his compatriot's brand in England. By the way , while Aberdonians and Scots were sitting without skills, it was the foreigners from Texans to Norwegians who set up oil rigs and brought the liquid up. Rotund Salmond has not delivered much, and this is a blackmail. Disappointment waits for him as he lashes out everything alse around him.

Plaid Panteg said...

"Could it be because he and his Welsh colleagues will then be in an ideal position to bribe a new government to send yet more English tax monies north and west?"

Hi Iain,

Genuine invitation. Can you please come down to Wales with a Tory candidate and make that case on the doorstep please? You would be very much welcome to do so.

You probably didn't, but you might want to read the Welsh Conservatives manifesto. Indeed, even David Cameron has promised to review the Barnett Formula and replace it with a needs based formula.

Of course this all academic if you embrace Plaid/SNP's agenda - independence.

I fully support support an English Parliament, we will happily bugger off back to eat leeks and wash in coal as our own nation.

Unknown said...

(a) The SNP have never opposed an "English parliament".

(b) "English tax monies" are not being sent "north and west". Scottish oil and gas monies, however, are sent south.

(c) The Scottish Parliament is not now and never has been a sovereign entity; under the Scotland Act 1998, the Westminster Parliament continues to have the power to legislate for Scotland without reference to the devolved parliament and the Secretary of State for Scotland has the power to block any devolved legislation at will.

(d) People who are as hostile to the non-English parts of the UK would probably be more comfortable in a party other than the Conservative and Unionist Party.

(e) Iain would do better if he put down the second rate autobiographies of Thatcher-era apparatchiks and actually read a meaningful political text once in a while.

Terry White said...

As commenter Ian said @ 6.34pm, substitute what 'some' (only, please note!) Scots say of English people for black people and they'd be arrested.
Why should this section of Scots feel this is OK? Should the SNP win independence for Scotland and settle for taking orders from auld allies France et al, such people will get a nasty shock under Human Rights legislation which apparantly they feel does not apply to them.
As for this predominantly Scottish Labour government's secret but deliberate mass immigration policy between 2000 and 2008 (see: 'Don't listen to the whingers - London needs immigrants' by former Labour policy wonk Andrew Neather, Evening Standard, 23.10.09 and it's view of the English being a bunch of unreformed bigots, said view might be somewhat tested if any of these legal immigrants decided to make their way north of the border, where I suspect they would find a rather frosty welcome, not least amongst SNP and Labour supporters!
#self-righteous hypocrisy

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typos.

cynicalHighlander said...

@Wyrdtimes Point taken re London and SE at least you recognise that there is a completely unfair way in how differing regions are funded. This is then manipulated by taking all other English regions and making misleading comparisons to Wales, Scotland and NI.
If it was reversed to London it would show how much they are favoured. Thats why official figures aren't worth the paper they are printed on.

Plaid Panteg said...

All the 'scabbing celts' stuff is bile.

The SNP and Plaid don't vote on England only matters, they both support an English parliament. Will Iain campaign that Welsh Tory MPs should not vote on England only matters if Cameron has a small majority?

I don't hate anybody, my wife is English. I just want Wales to have its own government, I want England to have its own, ditto Scotland and NI.

Like I said, if you are so annoyed at the system, campaign for English, Welsh and Scottish independence.

Scottish Tories won't allow the SNP a referendum, when their votes could make it happen.

CrazyDaisy said...

Think you need to "man up" Iain, nauseating as it may be to you. The whole of Scotland had their fill of Tory types last time around and you will either have to catch up to what's happened north of the border since 2007, or remain ignorant.

Extremely predictable to hear from you that you are trying to tell Scotland what to think and do, unlucky the genie was let out of the bottle and there's no
going back. We will have to learn to live together or apart.

I know what I wish for....

Sophia Pangloss said...

It's really no fair Iain, to expect you tae have a clue what's gaun doon here in Scotland. The tories lost track of things up here many years ago. Ask any of your Scottish Tory MPs.

Oh dear, ye've only got one, an' he's that funny wee man that managed tae gatecrash the debate this morning. Ye're probably hopin' he loses Dumfrieshire next week so he'll stop embarrasin' ye.

William said...

King Athelstan

"The Act of Union was a Scottish creation" You must have failed GCSE History.
The Act of Union was passed without the approval of the Scottish people thanks to bribes to certain "noblemen", and with the threat of invasion of Scotland by England to protect its northern border from French influence.

Re English Parliament, Alex Salmond was on TV yesterday saying he welcomed one. What could be fairer than that?

Hythlodaeus said...

Excellent that you support the creation of an English Parliament.

The SNP have spoken in favour of the idea for years. There is, however, a slight problem about no-one reporting this outside of Scotland.

Feel free to look up back issues of the Herald or Scotsman for verification though.

Ian M said...

Sophia Pangoss @ 6.51 p.m.

I have seen the SNP for some 40 years since the mid 60s. I respect Alex Salmond's attempt to detoxify the brand by trying to take out blatant anti-Englishness. I can promise you that a mild surfing of the net would find comments both by known and anonymous SNP supporters either blantantly or mildly anti-English

However he is far from 100% successful. Prof Bill Miller's and Dr.Hussein's 2006 study showed 46% of nationalists had a negative view of the English people

Comments by a number of cyber nats are aggresive and even reasoned comments by unionists are attacked as being English stooges or "Uncle Toms". Years ago some people who even voiced mild critism of the SNP case were sent "Quisling Cards" in the post.

As it is some senior nationalists while not voicing criticsm of England and the English do offer excuses for them. But the fringe exists and comments by former SNP leader Gordon Wilson claimed in 2003 that Britain is a “state run by England for the benefit of England" or even on occasion some dog whistle speeches to an SNP Conference by Alex Salmond do nothing to encourage such poison.

Last week I saw a comment from a voter who wished the SNP would spend more time being pro-Scottish than anti-English. I do not believe the majority of SNP activists adhere in anyway to some of the vile comments that would quite easily meld into a BNP blog but the Party does need to make it clear to its members and supporters that such thoughts and actions do Scotland no good at all.

King Athelstan said...

What is a GCSE? I took O levels, and the shake up denied Me the opportunity to do history, however I never suggested there was anything democratic in it. ( I do have an A level in history though.)

King Athelstan said...

Of course the SNP support an English parliament, its their raison d'etre.

King Athelstan said...

An English parliament? Do we really need another level of sleazy politicians?
Have you not heard of the Regional Assemblies? Besides which without it we are doomed. Every English family is financially disadvantaged, every child carries the extra burden.

Wyrdtimes said...


It's not misleading to take a view of England as one nation because that's exactly what it is to me. And the English as a whole get the least per person funding.

We English also pay £7.20 for a prescription (free in Wales, £3 in Scotland and NI).
We English also have to pay for road and bridge tolls, dental check-ups, eye tests and hospital parking (free in Scotland)
We English also have to pay tuition fees (free in Scotland)
We English also face having to sell our homes for pay for care (free in Scotland)
We English also have no voice, no recognition and no dedicated representation.

To those saying an English parliament requires more politicians, it doesn't. It requires different, not more politicians. An English parliament would make the Commons obsolete - you don't need 646 MPs to handle defence and the economy. The Commons is the place to cut MPs. The English deserve and need dedicated representation. The current "English" MPs who serve the UK not England have consistently failed the English people - we should get rid.

subrosa said...

April 25, 2010 10:51 PM , Ian said...
'46% of Nationalists had a negative view of English people'.

Very simplistic. I'd really like to see the questions they were posed.

The fact that so many English people are under the illusion that Scotland is somehow 'kept' by their money perhaps has a little to do with how Scots feel.

Does it never occur to these people that, the oil in Scotland's waters creates vast wealth which is pumped into the treasury and, something which does stick in my craw, electricity produced a stone's throw from me here is sent to England where their bills are 50% less than mine.

Naw, the union's finished. Let's all go our own way and be the best of pals.

G said...

The North Sea Oil arguments. Is it not a 200 mile zone for territorial economic waters. England and Scotland have equal claim to the money generated in the North sea. However if Scotland choose to fight over it then tell us where and when ;-)

Unknown said...

"The North Sea Oil arguments. Is it not a 200 mile zone for territorial economic waters. England and Scotland have equal claim to the money generated in the North sea. However if Scotland choose to fight over it then tell us where and when ;-)"

I'm not sure how much of that is wishful thinking, but you have to remember 'Scottish waters' as defined by the Continental Shelf Act are already under the jurisdiction of Scottish Law, and luckily for the Scots that would include revenues, under international law. There wouldn't be any redrawing of maritime boundaries needed.

Of course, it's entirely possible the UK could dispute international law during the independence negotiations. But to do so would invite and international political crisis. I'm not sure the European Union would tolerate that.

Allan said...

I laughed when I read "Could it be because he and his Welsh colleagues will then be in an ideal position to bribe a new government to send yet more English tax monies north and west?"

Iain its this sort of little Englander tripe that causes Scots to snub the Tory toff party of England. Your party is polling around 15% in Scotland and if more Scots were to read this article then I'm sure that 15% would somewhat fall further.

Your own Thatcher Gov when in power even admitted Scotland would be "Embarrassing rich" should she become independent from the UK.

Less of the You English subsidise the Scots and try sticking to what the UK really needs and that's an end to 13 years of Labour ruin.

Allan said...

Reading some of the comments here one can clearly see that the English have very ill feelings towards the Scots yet they chirp away and insist we stay part of the Union.

Okay why not have the UK parliament in Edinburgh then we will see English nationalism grow tenfold. I think some English Tory voters are behaving towards the Scots in the same way that the BNP behave towards Muslims.

rullko said...

Ah, the fraternité on show between our countries in this thread makes me weep beautiful tears. Long may our union thrive.

Allan said...


It's called friendly banter and even if the union were to be dissolved between Scotland and England I think Blackpool would still be the top destination for Scots holiday makers.

Unknown said...

You say your sick of hearing
Alex Salmond but I think you'll
find the man like you wants an
English parliament.

douglas clark said...

Iain Dale,

Quite what you expected by posting a quite silly idea of what Scottish Nationalism is about, escapes me.

You have garnered a bunch of nutters, at least I hope they are.

G Laird said...

Dear Iain

What is this piece of nonsense by you?

“I'm getting rather sick of listening to Alex Salmond's bleatings about how much he wants a hung Parliament”.

I want a hung parliament, it is the only way to push through several reforms.

“Could it be because he and his Welsh colleagues will then be in an ideal position to bribe a new government to send yet more English tax monies north and west?”

That’s a bit over the score.

Isn’t the money, British taxes?

Or are you suggesting that Scotland doesn’t pay tax revenue?

“I may not be able to make many accurate predictions about the consequences of this election result, but I will make one. An English Parliament will be firmly on the political agenda, and this time the main parties won't be able to ignore it”.

Can I make a cost saving suggestion!

Rather than set up an English Parliament, free Scotland.

Here is another suggestion, if you want to be an MP then learn the difference between British taxes and “English taxes”.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Joe Middleton said...

That's right Iain with only 85% of the MPs England is really exploited by Westminster. Scotland which is outvoted 10:1 is bullying England.

Did you pass through a looking glass recently?

DieKaiser said...

More Taxes from England to Scotland?

Firstly, the Act of Union 1707 clearly indicates that Scotland was to pay higher 'rates' of duties in proportion to the rest of the UK!

Secondly, England has been exploiting the Natural resources in Scotland for Centuries, lining the pockets of rich Lords in London!

Thirdly, various reports clearly show that proportionally Scotland pays more to the State than receives in return from the Treasury!

If your rant is due to the increasing National Debt and rising deficit - heres some news that Government are not making clear to the electorate. The National Debt is made up of 2 elements, firstly the debt incurred by Westminster and secondly debt incurred by Local Government, which are then tallied up to create the 'National Debt'.

If you are worried about this, blame the English Burghs that have acrued Billions in debt, opposed to berating Scotland that is responsible for a fraction of the same!

Scotland has been making vast cutbacks in the Public Sector to pay for the Student fees, free prescriptions etc, with 100s of Schools closing and 10s of 1000s of Public Sector jobs lost over the past 3 years. The same which English patriots are constantly blaming Scotland for 'stealing' out of their purse!

Get real, and stop the bigotted attitude for 2 minutes, and look at the real facts that are driving the Unbalanced Kingdom do fragment!

SNP rock, and are Scotland's Champions, and will lead us to independence - then you will have nothing further to whinge about!