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Showing posts with label devo-max. Show all posts
Showing posts with label devo-max. Show all posts

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Comment – and my reply – on the Scottish Select Committee

I have pulled out this comment and my reply on to the main blog because I think it is important.

Anthony Little Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hi Peter
I have to say that I no longer watch any of the meetings of this absurd committee. As far as I see it, they have no remit to discuss many of the issues that they now consider. Nothing of this is related to "examine the administration, policy and expenditure of the Scotland Office and relations with the Scottish Parliament." (Taken from the UK Parliament's own web page).
However, that being said, the clips were interesting, and as you say, Moore did OK! I may have to amend my opinion about him.
I will watch developments with interest, although I also note that Alex Salmond is today saying that claiming an agreement on the Referendum may be somewhat premature! (Given that the consultation results are not yet released, I would personally be surprised if any agreement is reach before that!)

My reply:

In fairness to this committee, they have also addressed a wide range of items and experts within that remit, and it has been valuable in a number of ways.

We have the bizarre situation that the SNP is boycotting the Committee, ostensibly because their representative, Eilidh Whiteford, was insulted by the Davidson. (She was, outrageously) The real reason is that they either could not - or would have been reluctant to - answer the range of questions asked, and to confront the views of 'experts' summoned by the Committee.

This is understandable, given that it would have blown their negotiating position on Sect. 30 and ultimately on their white paper releases in 2013, setting out their full prospectus for independence.

I have to say that the SNP strategy has worked, despite my initial misgivings. The Committee at one and the same time have managed to frame important elements of the debate, and elicit vital information while managing to make themselves look petty - and apprehensive - in the process. They have been out-manoeuvred by the SNP at every stage.

The mini-fiasco over the 'deal that wisnae' - with SNP politicians and backroom staff celebrating online a deal that wasn't yet finalised, to the considerable annoyance of the FM - simply illustrates the vital negotiating principle and discipline that nothing is agreed till everything is agreed, and no comment is the iron rule till then.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Moridura’s contribution to the Ipsos Mori debate

YOUR QUOTE: "Other polls have shown higher levels of support for ‘independence’; crucially however, respondents in these polls are not presented with a definition of what independence means, possibly because such a definition has yet to be fully articulated."

I would suggest that Scottish voters have a very clear and straightforward idea of what independence means, in a definition that has repeatedly and clearly been articulated by the First Minister and others, e.g. Stewart Hosie MP.

Independence is the full autonomy of Scotland as a nation, with control of foreign policy, defence, taxation, resources, all revenue and expenditure, membership of the EU and membership of the UN. In other words, what every independent nation in Europe defines as independence. Scotland will be a sovereign state, but it will retain the Queen - and her rightful heirs - as constitutional monarch.


What flows naturally from that, as any school child can understand, never mind adult voters, is that Scotland, as an independent state in the modern world will also be interdependent with other nations, and will enter freely into treaties and agreements, and will freely incur obligations and responsibilities and other arrangements that are in Scotland's interests and yield corresponding benefits.

Such agreement will naturally focus on mutual cooperation with our near neighbours and long-time friends in these Islands - England, Wales, Northern, Ireland and the Republic of Ireland - and with the European Union. They will also include the obligations of membership of the United Nations.

Such treaties and agreements will be freely entered into, and crucially, freely terminated under the terms of the agreement when they no longer meet Scotland's interests. They will include matters relating to defence and the armed forces, and any other matter where cooperation and sharing of resources is in  Scotland's interests.

There will be one over-riding proviso in any defence agreements - that Scotland will not be a party to the use of nuclear weapons, and will reject absolutely any basing of nuclear weapons or nuclear delivery weapons systems within the boundaries of Scotland. That resolutely non-nuclear position will be a deal-breaker in any defence-related agreements or treaties.

Any other options such as the so-called devo-max option, i.e. full fiscal autonomy, are not independence options - and they do not represent the core objective of The Scottish National Party. While the UK exists, and is the sovereign state, the Scottish government will continue to press for the maximum autonomy within the devolved settlement, and progressive extension of its fiscal powers and control of resources.

However, what the SNP and supporters of independence want is not necessarily what all of the Scottish people want - determining that is the intent and purpose of the referendum. What questions will be posed and what options offered in the referendum ballot remain to be determined, and will be determined - by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament alone - before the ballot.

What the opponents of the independence of Scotland appear to be doing is making the patently ridiculous demand that the Scottish government should present to the people the full complex detail of the negotiations that will follow the independence referendum, not precede it. Leaving aside the fact that doing this would prejudice the Scottish governments negotiating position, it would be totally and utterly impracticable. No other nation seeking its independence has ever proceeded in such a fashion, Nor will Scotland.

If I may mix a Scottish saying with an American one - the Scottish voter didnae come up the Clyde/Forth/Tay on a bike, and he or she can tell **** from Shinola when it comes to evaluating the case for their country's independence.

Saor Alba!