A Time of Despair For Scots – Blessed With A Neutered Authority in Scotland and Governed by a Bunch of Incompetent Tory Wide Boys In London

 

 

Image result for scottish devolution

 

 

 

The 2014 Smith Commission

Lord Smith of Kelvin engaged with thousands of stakeholders across Scotland during the work of the Smith Commission. The outcome prompted him to make a personal recommendation in the Smith Commission Agreement. He said:

“There is a strong desire to see the principle of devolution further extended with the transfer of powers from Holyrood to local communities. The Scottish Government should work with the Parliament, civic Scotland and local authorities setting out ways in which local areas can benefit from the powers of the Scottish Parliament.”

 

Image result for scottish devolution

 

 

The Unionist Government Approach to Scotland

Scottish Secretary David Mundell stated:

“The choices made by the Scottish Government are significant. Serious cuts to local authority budgets, and absolutely no new devolved powers to raise their own funding. In fact the reverse, with the Council Tax freeze retained yet again. Local councils are starved of any powers to raise their own funding and power and responsibility to make their own decisions should be transferred from Scottish government ministers and civil servants to Councillors in local communities.”

 

Comment:

Mundell studiously ignores the Scottish government efforts to add powers to local government. See:

https://www.gov.scot/policies/community-empowerment/”

b. Workplace parking tax:

Jackson Carlaw, in parliament, complained that “tens of thousands of Scottish workers are to be fleeced for hundreds of pounds a year just because the SNP government can’t say no to six dismal Green MSPs”.

John Swinney responded, insisting that the proposal was about “empowering” councils. He said: “It will enable local authorities to exercise a judgment as to whether they wish to apply a workplace parking levy. The decision will be up to local authorities – it is an example of localism in practice and I would have thought the Conservatives would welcome that. Jackson Carlaw has been found out today, he goes around the country arguing for more powers for local government and when we deliver them, he comes here in an act of rank hypocrisy and criticizes them. The people of Scotland can see through the hypocrisy of the Tories, they can see what the Tories are about, their spots have never changed, they want to cut public spending and they will take the hypocritical way of doing it.”

 

Comment:

Typical “push me pull me politics” from the Tory party. The SNP government devolve Tory supported decision making to local council authorities only for the Tory’s to renege on their support. Never trust a Tory.

 

Image result for scottish devolution

 

 

 

 Local Government Funding

The funding of local government, a crucial part of the civic structure of Scotland, has been significantly reduced over the last decade, in direct consequence of the imposition by the Westminster Tory government of a brutal austerity regime that has caused so much damage to Scottish society.

True to form the Unionist Party’s in Scotland repeatedly lie to the Scottish electorate, rewriting the oracle, transferring blame for the reduced funding of councils away from Westminster to the Scottish government.

Their efforts to deceive are actively assisted by a complicit Unionist backing media, including the BBC, (who accrue £325 million annually from Scots). Biting the hand that feeds it is an apt description.

 

Image result for scottish devolution

 

 

Capital Investment

Capital investment in Scotland dried up between 2008-2015, as funds were directed at major investment programmes in London and the North of England.

The re-elected Tory government was forced by political pressure, to address the lack of capital under funding in parts of the UK, other than England.

It did so through the commitment of new finance to “City Deals”. The deals, funding specific approved developments were to be delivered through local level partnerships, supplemented by appropriately qualified persons from business and other government officials.

Great news, but not for Scots. Huge deals were approved for Northern England (where the Tory’s are weak). Scotland was short changed yet again.

But the Scottish government intervened and allocated finance to Scotland’s “City Deals” correcting and in many cases exceeding the Westminster shortfall.

 

Related image

 

 

 

Double Devo a Warning??

Mundell said:

The Smith Commission Agreement was explicit that responsibility for managing the Crown Estate, which is being devolved in the Scotland Bill, should be further devolved to local authority areas such as Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles or other areas who seek such responsibilities and there is an argument that the UK Government should legislate to devolve these and other things directly to Scotland’s local authorities: so-called ‘double devolution’.

An Englishman, ScepticalChymist commented:

“England’s policy towards its neighbours for centuries has been divide and rule. Religion has been the main tool in Ireland; language in Wales. In Scotland, they have persistently, but so far unsuccessfully, tried to stir up highlander/lowlander or similar regional friction. Hold firm, Scotland… and craft your own allocation of powers when you have achieved independence and are freed up from the malevolent influences of the British State.”

 

Image result for mundell

 

 

 

The Mundell Myth – Westminster Control is Being Reduced

Mundell said:

Attention is being given to the crucial issue of breaking up the Westminster central control monolith, and the Conservative Government is setting the pace and leading the way.

The Northern Powerhouse is breaking new ground. It explicitly models itself on Dutch and German models of metro-area devolution and infrastructure integration.

Already major powers over health, transport and planning have been hewn out of the Whitehall monolith and deposited wholesale into Lancashire. And the Midlands Engine is implementing plans transferring powers to the Greater Birmingham area, and their are plans afoot in urban Yorkshire, suburban Hampshire and even rural Cornwall – the direction of travel for the UK excluding Scotland is becoming crystal clear.

There is now a real risk that the towns and counties of Scotland, will be left behind.  The Scottish Parliament has had full control of local government in Scotland for sixteen years. And in that time – what has it done to empower them? What has the Scottish Parliament put forward to match the ambition and vision of the Northern Powerhouse?

The Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, set out a new and ambitious approach to give real power to cities, counties and towns in England. The approach is bottom up, not top down.

It does not force changes on councils, but rather it establishes a legal framework to allow local councils to shape their own destinies.

Groups of local authorities can come together to agree their own priorities and set their own paths to take over new powers for their area. It could be taking control of local transport, housing, strategic planning, health, social care and skills training to boost growth and improve lives for their citizens.

And with greater powers comes greater responsibility, accountability and scrutiny, in some cases in the form of directly-elected, metro-wide mayors. And it leads inevitably to thought of fiscal devolution from central government to local councils. I’m sure many councils feel that the recent budget settlement shows the pressing need for a debate on that.

 

Image result for scottish devolution

 

 

 

The Reality of Mundell’s Transfer of Powers

The  2014 Smith Commission:

Leaked drafts revealed that formally agreed plans to give Holyrood new powers over abortion law, lotteries, and health and safety at work were dropped from the Smith Commission.

The documents showed that a range of major powers were set to be devolved to Scotland as part of the Unionist “vow” made during the independence referendum, but were axed in the final days of negotiations.

They included full devolution of abortion law and the creation of a separate Scottish Health & Safety Executive.  Both were downgraded to the status of “additional issues for consideration,”  and may or may not be devolved in future.

Plans to give the Scottish Government more control over the treatment of asylum seekers, and a greater say in the governance of the BBC were also removed at the instigation of Unionist parties.

The final draft also included proposals to devolve income tax personal allowances, employers’ National Insurance contributions, inheritance tax, and the power to create new taxes without Treasury approval. However, these were never adopted into an agreed text.

According to sources close to the Commission, Labour, LibDem and Tory members were frequently on the phone taking instruction from their parties in London, with the LibDems and Tories particularly exercised about welfare proposals and Labour more focused on tax.

The Commission chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, also appeared to give extra weight to the views of the three main Westminster parties, a source said. “The position that Lord Smith took was that if the parties who were either in the current UK government or might be in the next refused to budge on something, he went with it. The Unionist votes seemed to count for more.”

The BBC revealed that the draft version included late proposals to devolve power to vary Universal Credit. But these were dropped after the UK Cabinet was informed, and only a power to vary the housing cost element remained.

Other powers agreed by the Commission were later cut. The most controversial of these concerned abortion. The decision to devolve had been agreed on a 4-1 basis, with only Labour opposed to it. But during the final day, Labour kept pushing its opposition in meetings with Lord Smith, who then raised it again with the other parties. The Conservatives then sided with Labour and the commitment to devolve abortion was removed.

Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Greens, who sat on the Commission, said: “The reaction against devolving abortion in the final few days surprised and disappointed me. Concerns that Scotland would do the wrong thing and undermine women’s rights are misplaced. The real threat to women’s reproductive rights comes from the voice we hear at Westminster.”

Another missing power was the creation of a separate Scottish Health & Safety Executive. This had long been supported by Labour and the trade union movement, but was removed at the behest of the UK Government. The draft stated: “Power to establish a separate Scottish Health & Safety Executive to set enforcement priorities, goals and objectives in Scotland will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. This was struck out and relegated to the “additional issues” annex of the final report, which said the Scottish and UK governments should merely “consider” changes.

The final draft also included an agreement that: “The power to permit the creation and regulation of new lotteries in Scotland will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.” But the final report devolved only the power to “prevent the proliferation” of highly addictive gaming machines known as fixed-odds betting terminals.

Also removed was a statement that said: “There will be greater Scottish involvement in BBC governance beyond the current right to have one Trust member and the current Audience Council Scotland.”  (The Herald)

 

Image result for scottish devolution

 

 

 

Impact of the UK Withdrawal from the EU

In the UK, the Parliament at Westminster is sovereign. This means the UK Parliament has the power to make the final decision on laws and how the country is run. However, the UK Parliament devolved a limited number of powers to the Scottish Parliament. The institution is able to make decisions in certain defined areas.

In the past the UK Government also had to follow laws made by the European Union (EU). Following the 2016 referendum the UK decided to leave the EU and will no longer have to obey decisions made by the EU in Brussels. It is expected that the UK will have left the EU by the end of March 2019.

To facilitate Brexit the UK Government published a list of areas of responsibility, formally devolved to Scotland, indicating Westminster intent to retain power after Brexit.

The 24 powers include those over fisheries, environmental protections, food regulation and animal welfare. Public procurement rules currently held by the EU will also be kept at a UK level.

Comment: I believe the slippery slope through which Scotland’s flirtation with devolved responsibilities and a parliament to boot is likely to be brought to an end, over time. The Holyrood parliament will be declared defunct and all powers transferred to the authority and control of the Westminster government in Scotland. Scottish Tory MP’s (assuming there are some) will serve in the government. The building has been leased and other plans are being developed. Mundell wins the day.

 

Image result for scottish devolution

Advertisements

Thatcher Hatchet Man Michael Forsyth Still the Darling Of the BBC – He’s On Question Time Tonight – Yet Again – Read This Then Judge His Contribution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for michael forsyth

 

 

 

Michael Forsyth – The Man With Red White and Blue Blood

In a statement, confirming his commitment to the Union, not long after the 2014 Independence Referendum,  Forsyth challenged the way in which David Cameron played the English card the day after the Scottish independence referendum in offering English MPs a greater say over English only laws.

He said:

“David Cameron, instead of going up to Scotland the next day (after the referendum) and saying ‘look we’ve got to look at this now from the point of view of the whole United Kingdom’, started the English votes for English laws thing which was not the true Unionist position and that shattered the Unionist Parties alliance in Scotland against the breakup of the United Kingdom. I do not support English votes for English laws. It doesn’t seem to me to be a very good policy to try and deal with the rise of Scottish nationalism by stirring up English nationalism. We need to find ways of binding the United Kingdom together, of binding that partnership together. Questioning the legitimacy of SNP MPs is unwise and runs counter to the assurances offered during the referendum about guaranteeing an inclusive UK. And I have limited sympathy for Labour, which is paying the price for adopting the language of nationalism in the 1980s then claiming that the Tories had no mandate to govern in Scotland. They now find themselves being devoured by the nationalist tiger.”

Forsyth’s remarks added reassurance because he is an ardent Thatcherite and Unionist who played a leading role in fighting against Labour’s plans for a Scottish parliament in the 1997 election campaign.

Comment:

“Thank you Michael Forsyth! This is pretty much exactly what I thought….. that Cameron played a partisan game certain to inflame Scottish nationalism with an English betrayal only hours after the vote, critically damaging the very Union he claimed to champion, in the interests of a short-term electoral gain. The only question I’ve never quite been able to settle in my head is whether when he made his little play to English nationalism he was stupid enough not to see what this would do in Scotland, arrogant enough to assume that it didn’t matter now the referendum was over, or insincere enough in his professed concern for the Union (which is part of his party’s name) that he didn’t actually care as long as it boosted his chances of re-election. David Cameron, fool or knave? It seems a hard choice (though there is an obvious answer). Cameron blundered hugely: having signed a vow, with other Unionist party leaders, promising Scotland substantially extended devolution then, only one day after the result, turning around and retrospectivy slapped conditions on it. Forsyth’s point was — Cameron took a giant public dump on a signed pledge just days old. A huge kick in the teeth to the “no”voters in Scotland. Not wise!!!!”

 

Image result for david cameron

 

 

 

If In Trouble Attack

Adding insult to injury, Cameron then instructed the start of “operation totally terrified”, demonising Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. Entire pages of daily newspapers were devoted to the “evolution” of Nicola, complete with “comments” such as “jimmy crankie” “mary doll” and the vile and nasty “She’s a witch! Burn her!” “Did you dress her up like that? No, no, no! Yes, yes. only a wee bit” “But she’s got a wart”and I wish she would have an accident or car crash.” Negative seeding in action!!!!

Unionist politicians of all Parties also continued with their ridiculous claims that Scots sent to Westminster by the voters of Scotland to represent them, were actually “fifth columnists” infiltrating the sovereign English parliament. The Westminster political establishment confirmed the views of many, that Scots were only party to the benefits of the Union so long as they did not attempt to participate in its governance.

The British Nationalists of the Tory, Labour, Lib-Dem Parties were also determined to hold the union together despite their long record of unparallelled economic incompetence, promoting austerity, inequality and privatisation, ignoring the impact of their policies punishing Scots who were entirely blameless of the financial crash of 2007-08.

This offensive behaviour was instrumental in persuading the Scottish parliament to petition for another referendum, refused by Prime Minister May who off-handedly said “now is not the time”.

Comment:

The Unionist Parties burned their legitimacy in Scotland, promising devolution that they had no intention of delivering then, when their votes in Scotland plummeted, indulging in petty acts of revenge, using Scotland as testing site for their most bloody minded policies. ……making dishonest promises to Scotland then indulging in petty acts of spite….sounds familiar. Remember Thatcher?

It is ironic that during the 2014 referendum the “Yes” side was persistently accused by “Better Together” and other “Yes” supporting entities, of paranoia and seeing conspiracy’s against them everywhere. Fears that proved to be entirely justified when, in the months before Xmas 2014 and in the first few months of 2015, the promised additional devolution of powers was downplayed then denied Scotland by the obstructive behaviour of Unionist politicians and the right wing press and media.

 

Related image

 

 

 

David Cameron – The Tory Wideboy Who Conned a nation

Cameron played a dangerous and stupid game with the Union. His idiocy on the steps of Downing Street the morning after the 2014 referendum revealed how the Unionsts planned to put partisan considerations before the national interest and bridge building.

Cameron did not give a toss for the Union, based on his deliberate machinations and incendiary comments…. But bets are that he did care about keeping the neo-liberal gravy train rolling and was prepared to risk breaking up the Union to achieve it. He was a dangerous politician who made it up as he went along, simply to look good, and then flippantly ditching his position, if it no longer suited his purpose.

He is the root cause of today’s Scottish resentment, highlighted by his stupid boastful claim that the Queen “purred down the the phone”, after he “won” the referendum with a mixture of blackmail, dire threats and deceit, but he was a notorious “swinger” in opposite directions on almost everything. He claimed to be a “compassionate, moderate Tory, whilst he simultaneously boasted about going further than Thatcher. He claimed to be green, and claimed to want the “greenest ever government” from the “bottom of his heart”, and then was reported to be going around saying, “let’s get rid of the green crap”. His “hugging a hoodie” posturing saw him claiming that young people shouldn’t be demonized, before his “lock’em up” hysteria after the rioting and looting, and he also terminated housing benefit for the young.

In his impulsive attempt to keep Scotland in the UK he angered Scots and handed the SNP a landslide in the 2015 GE. David Cameron was the SNP’s best recruiting agent.

He was a reckless and dangerous politician who, assisted by Tory backing proprietors and executives of the right wing controlled media and the government controlled BBC, inflicted massive damage on the social fabric of Scotland.

 

Related image

 

 

The 2015 GE – Why did Scots Embrace the SNP

Scotland voted against the Unionist Parties because they felt that the Labour, Tory and the Lib-Dem Parties had done “bugger all” for Scotland. The Tory’s shafted Scotland by shutting down and transferring industry to England. More punishment was inflicted when the Labour Government failed to introduce policies reversing the disaster left in place by the Tory’s. What Scotland did get was empty promises, zero-hour contracts and ruthless policies designed to dismantle the “Welfare State” and austerity measures that vastly increased poverty punishing the poor, whist rewarding the cupable rich people so guilty of the financial crash that crippled the UK. Where’s the justice in that? Rich man’s justice. And George Osborne, the Chancellor responsible for the 10 year+ austerity measures added insult with his recent cash purchase of a £3millon house in Switzerland.

 

Image result for unionist party

 

The SNP – The Dream Will Never Die – The Architects of Success Live On

 

 

Image result for alex salmond

 

 

Alex Salmond – Is This His Political Obituary

Seen as one of the most talented politicians of his generation, Alex already had a high-profile in Scottish politics before he won two historic Holyrood elections as SNP leader, securing the mandate to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in the process.

Born in 1954 in Linlithgow, he graduated from St Andrews University and began a career in economics, working for the Scottish Office and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

He served as party leader from 1990, standing down after 10 years only to make a dramatic comeback to the SNP’s top job before winning the 2007 Holyrood election.

He began his parliamentary career as MP for Banff and Buchan in 1987, building a small team of dedicated supporters who would remain loyal throughout his time in politics.

Often derided by his political opponents as arrogant and self-serving, he nonetheless succeeded in turning his party into the most popular in the history of devolution, on his platform of fighting for Scottish interests.

Despite a hard-fought campaign on the “Yes” side, voters rejected independence by 55% to 45% in the 18 September vote and, the following day, Alex  announced he was standing down as first minister and SNP leader.

At the time of his unexpected resignation he could not have foreseen the landslide SNP victory (gained only six months later) in the 2015 General Election.  A success brought about by the disgraceful backsliding of “Unionist” politicians, their Civil Service helpers and other parties interested only in the containment of Scots within the existing political constraints.

The much touted joint Unionist commitment to fully implement their “Vow” !!!!……to devolve powers to Scotland, just short of independence, proved to be a “lie” that broke the hearts of many Scots who had voted to remain in the Union only on the substance of “Unionist! promises.

Private polling, coupled with a massive increase in the membership, in the months before the election provided early indication of a marked upturn in the fortunes of the Party.

The new blood intake included a number of gifted individuals, many of whom were selected to stand as parliamentary candidates throughout Scotland. The battle for the hearts, minds and votes of Scots was taken up, once again by those who would not be denied freedom from the oppressive Westminster political machine.

Alex, semi-retired from active politics by many, consulted the Party heirarchy and gained support for a challenge for the Banff & Buchan constituency. Which he subsequently won.

The fifty-six 56 MP’s, many of them new to politics, realised early on that they would need to overcome a “Westminster” bias against Scottish politicians.

Rich with talent and enthusiasm but lacking political experience the SNP “block”, of MP’s appointed Angus Roberston to lead it.

Alex took on the role of Foreign Affairs spokesman for the Party ensuring his place at Westminster would be productive but excluding any political input into events in Scotland.

Well able to deal with the tricks of a truculent “Speaker” and the Unionist majority in the Commons he commanded the Commons stage when he spoke to his brief but there was a sadness noting him sitting on the fringe of the SNP group (after so many years viewing his centre stage domination of the Holyrood debating chamber) allowing his leader, Angus Robertson the centre stage.

The unexpected 2017 General Election provided Alex with another  opportunity to bow out of Scottish politics, so that, as an elder statesman he would be able to further develop his interest in foreign affairs, perhaps through the many media outlets who had provided him with numerous appearances over the years.

Spurning the chance of a new political direction he decided to stand, (against advice from those closest to him) once again, for a seat at Westminster, representing Banff and Buchan.

But he, (as did many others in the party) had misread the political scene.

The influence of the large body of SNP MP’s at Westminster had been of little consequence when set against the blatant refusal by the Unionist parties to uphold their 2014 referendum promise to devolve additional powers to the Scottish parliament.

And the campaign managers of the Scottish branches of the Unionist Parties, agreed to assist each other, easing their activity where they had little chance of gaining a seat and in many cases promoting the cause of the Unionist candidates.

Faced with this scenario Alex and many other SNP candidates failed in their bids for re-election.

Alex accepted a need to change direction and investigated a number of media opportunities, the most promising being employment as the editor of a major Scottish tabloid newspaper.

This failed to materialise, due to the application of pressure from major finanacial backers and in consequence Alex became dependent on appearance invitations from the right wing media and BBC. But shock and horror, he was denied that platform through the Unionist controlled entities.

Lesser persons would have given up the ghost by now. But not Alex who turned to the english language television and radio station, Russia Today (RT) and, having been given written assurances there would be no censorship or any other adverse pressure applied to himself, his guests or content, he signed up to produce and present a weekly current affairs television show.

The show proved to be a hit with viewers (it still is) and with his future assured Alex was a happy bunny once again. All’s well that ends well.

 

Clockwise from left: Robin Sturgeon, Harry Murrell, Jim Owens, Ethan Owens, 17, Cameron Coyne, 14, Gillian Owens, Ross Coyne, 12, husband Peter Murrell, Finlay Coyne, 8, Joan Sturgeon, Nicola Sturgeon, Harriet Owens, 8

 

 

Nicola Sturgeon – Alex Salmond’s Protege

Nicola was born in the North Ayrshire town of Irvine in 1970. She joined the SNP at the age of 16, when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister.

She said her decision to become an SNP member rather than Labour was borne from a “strong feeling that it was wrong for Scotland to be governed by a Tory government that we hadn’t elected” and that the country would only truly prosper with independence.

After studying law at Glasgow University and working as a solicitor at the city’s Drumchapel Law Centre, Nicola’s entry into full-time politics came at the age of 29, when she was elected to the new Holyrood parliament, in 1999, as a Glasgow regional MSP.

She gained an early reputation for being overly serious, which earned her the nickname “nippy sweetie”.

After the SNP’s victory in the 2007 election, Nicola became Scotland’s Deputy First Minister and Health Secretary, seeing through popular SNP pledges such as the reversal of A&E closures and the abolition of prescription charges.

She also won praise for her handling of the swine flu crisis, and played a large part in the SNP’s historic majority in the 2011 election.

Nicola later described the result – and the dismantling of Labour strongholds across the country – as having broken the mould of Scottish politics, and put the SNP’s success down to being “in touch with the country it served”.

She subsequently accepted one of the Scottish government’s biggest roles, overseeing the 2014 independence referendum, and was the obvious successor to Alex when he stood down as both first minister and SNP leader after voters rejected independence.

In her first six months in the job, Nicola led the SNP to a stunning success in the 2015 General Election, when the party won 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland.

The party also won a third successive victory in the Scottish Parliament election on 5 May 2016, when it won 63 of the 129 seats – short of a majority, but guaranteeing that Nicola would remain as first minister.

Nicola, married Peter Murrell, Chief Executive of the SNP in 2010, after meeting 15 years previously at an SNP youth weekend in Aberdeenshire.

 

 

 

Nicola Sturgeon and her Feminist Agenda

Nicola used her acceptance speech as First Minister to try to reassure opponents her administration would be more than just a vehicle for constitutional campaigning.

But she dwelled longest on her achievement of becoming the first woman to lead the Scottish Government. Her election showed “the sky’s the limit” for women and girls across the country, she told MSPs before adding:

“But it is what I do as First Minister that will matter more – much more – than the example I set by simply holding the office.”

Looking up towards her niece Harriet, eight, in the gallery, she added:

“She doesn’t yet know about the gender pay gap or under-representation or the barriers, like high childcare costs, that make it so hard for so many women to work and pursue careers.

My fervent hope is that she never will; that by the time she is a young woman, she will have no need to know about any of these issues because they will have been consigned to history.

If, during my tenure as First Minister, I can play a part in making that so, for my niece and for every other little girl in this country, I will be very happy indeed.”

Nicola also paid tribute to her predecessor, Mr Salmond stating:

“Without the guidance and support that Alex has given me over more than 20 years, it is unlikely I would standing here. I know that I will continue to seek his wise counsel and, who knows, from time to time, he might seek mine too!”

 

Image result for peter murrell

 

 

Peter Murrell – Scotland’s First Laddie?

Peter was born, in Leith, Edinburgh, on 8 December 1964. He attended his local comprehensive, Craigmount High School, then attended Glasgow University. He is not listed as an alumni so it follows he did not finish his degree.

Peter loved music and like many people from Leith he was won over to the Nationalist cause by the Leith born twins, “The Proclaimers” who, at their gigs circulate leaflets promoting the SNP and independence.

He and his close friend, Party stalwart, Angus Robertson, joined the SNP in 1984 and soon became active in the movement.

Angus later left politics for a time taking up a career in journalism with the BBC but Peter chose to remain in Edinburgh and subsequent employment with the Party HQ, in Leith. He never left.

Members of Peter’s family were “new tech activated” and their enthusiasm infected Peter who readily accepted the need to introduce new technology into the daily running of the offices and other operations. It was this early foresight that impressed the Party heirarchy who gave him the authority to expand his activities further developing the use of IT within the Party. The benefits of this foresight would manifest with the Party successes later in Peter’s career.

The mastermind of the SNP’s success is also married to Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first female First Minister.

It is fair to say the huge surge in party ‘newbies’ after the 2014 independence referendum brought a measure of solace to himself, a man who devoted his professional life – and much of his personal one – to the cause of nationalism.

But, Peter is not just married to the leader of the SNP. He is in his own right one of the party’s most powerful and dedicated generals.

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon might have been the public faces of the 2014, independence campaign – but the First Minister’s husband was one of its key architects and there is little question that he emerged as one of its biggest winners.

 

Image result for peter murrell

 

 

 

Peter Murrell – Chief Executive and Campaigns Manager

Peter is a passionate Nationalist who,in his early twenty’s, at the start of his tenure with the Party, decided his political career would be best achieved if he worked behind the scenes.

He was part of Alex Salmond’s constituency office team in Peterhead and it was Alex who recognised his talents and sponsored his rise through the party ranks. The two have remained close ever since.

Few people know him well. Rarely seen, except at elections and at Party events, he is nearly always present in the main auditorium, usually standing in the shadows to the side of the stage whispering instructions to Cabinet ministers as they prepare to make keynote speeches.

A powerful and dedicated general blessed with a level of authority more comprehensive than the casual watcher could possibly realise.

By 2001, he was one of the key players in the SNP “back room” and replaced Mike Russell, as Chief Executive.

Under the leadership of John Swinney he assisted with the organisation and delivery of the disastrous 2003 Holyrood elections, in which the Party lost eight seats.

John Swinney resigned as SNP leader in 2004 and Nicola Sturgeon launched a bid for the leadership of the Party, before withdrawing from the contest after Alex Salmond announced his intention to add his name to the list of contenders.

Nicola subsequently agreed to take on the role of Deputy leader of the Party and to “stand in” for him as the Party’s “Holyrood leader” while he remained an MP at Westminster.

The return of Alex Salmond brought promotion to Angus Robertson, who was appointed to the crucial new role of, “Party Campaigns Director”.

Angus made his mark soon after when, in 2006 he announced there would be a meeting at the Speyside hotel, Craigellachie, to be attended by the best of the Party’s “next generation”. Many of whom are still leading Party members today.

Alex Salmond, his then deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, and other key elected members, including Peter Murrell, were left out of the mix to encourage freedom of expression.

The group revisited three important points that would become the mantra of 2006:

1. The 2007 election would be a two-horse race.

2. Only the SNP could beat Labour.

3. It was a straight choice between Alex Salmond and Jack McConnell.

The meeting also complimented a process of reform already under way at Party Headquarters in Edinburgh, in place at the instigation of Peter Murrell.

The process crucially included the development of the then cutting-edge “Activate” computer-based, campaigning data management system and a, “Campaign Plan” comprising five key factors:

1. Communication
2. Governance
3. Message
4. Organisation
5. Resource.

Timelines were agreed for the routine measurement and monitoring of objectives at weekly meetings before, then daily during the last weeks of the campaign before polling. Including:

1. Objectives
2. Critical success factors
3. Performance targets
4. Performance measures
5. Benefits and actions

The unfuddled approach to campaigning, organised and directed by Peter,  ensured the Party would first gain power at Holyrood in 2007 then retain it with a landslide victory in 2011 and to hold a referendum in 2014.

No easy achievement since at the start of 2011 it seemed Labour was in the ascendancy and some senior members of the Party cast doubt on the strategy of the campaign.

Keeping his cool Peter circulated a memo declaring: “We are winning. We are winning with an overall majority and we will win an “independence referendum.” Stirring stuff indeed!!

There was an acceptance that Peter was an invaluable Party asset and he was rewarded with a marked increase in his remuneration package which soared from £35k to more than £100k.

 

Image result for 2014 referendum

 

 

2014 Referendum

Having achieved the first two objectives with clinical proficiency, the third began with polls indicating the “No” campaign would prevail with ease since it appeared only around 25% of Scots would commit to supporting independence.

But fortunes changed as the campaign progressed through the summer of 2014 and by early September polls declared the outcome to be too close to call.

In response and in a desperate panic, only a week before the day of voting and therefore “illegal”,  the “Unionists” published, then heavily promoted “new” offers of greatly increased devolved powers, just short of “home rule”.

The BBC and other media outlets further assisted the effort orchestrating  skullduggery and delivering it through mass media subversive tactics resulting in the pendulum swinging back in favour of the “No” campaign.

Scotland voted “No” to independence on Thursday 18 September 2014, recording Alex Salmond’s place in history, as the man who just failed to lead his country to independence.

But it was not a “one man band” effort. He was ably assisted by Peter  whose performance was commented on by the founder of Edinburgh PR firm Charlotte Street Partners, former MSP Andrew Wilson, who said:

Peter is extremely well-liked by everyone I know and I don’t think we’ve ever had a better chief executive. He is really professional at his job, but is not a professional politician in the sense that he doesn’t ever seek the limelight. He doesn’t want kudos or anything for himself, he’s just assiduously gone about doing his job for such a long time and done it extraordinarily well. A key architect.”

 

Image result for angus robertson

 

 

 

Scottish Voters Angry at Unionist Backsliding On Their Promises Turn To The SNP

Angus Robertson conceded that after the 2014 referendum, no one within the party predicted or planned for what happened next. He said:

“Nobody could have planned for what happened soon after the referendum. People joined the SNP online, others tweeted, ‘I’ve just joined the SNP, why don’t you’? It was like watching something happening that you had no control of. It took up a momentum all on its own….. It was clear that something big was happening and nobody could have foreseen then that the membership levels would continue rising …… breaking all kinds of records.  and it wasn’t something that was politically directed.”

Hindsight can play tricks but I also don’t think anybody could have seen the Nicola phenomenon. It was a conjoining of a number of different factors:

1. Her great talents, which everybody in politics in Scotland has known for a long time.

2. Her taking office at exactly the right time, with her very particular communication skills, style and empathy, which evidently connected very powerfully with the electorate

3. Alex Salmond demitting office and  speedily confirming his candidacy for Westminster.”

 

Image result for 2015 General election scotland referendum

 

 

 

The SNP Landslide Victory in the 2015 General Election

The campaign committed the Party to a rejection of the punishing austerity policies inflicted on Scotland by uncaring Unionist politicians. To stand up for Scotland and on the promised delivery of new devolved powers.

The performance of Nicola Sturgeon in the debates, (UK and Scottish) was outstanding and persuaded Scots to the view that SNP reflected their hopes and ambitions.

The participation of record numbers of supporters and volunteers and a very talented range of candidates in the election greatly enhanced the campaign.

The election resulted in a landslide for the SNP who returned 56 MP’s to Westminster, leaving just three, to be shared with the Unionist parties.

Angus Robertson, who  was appointed to lead the SNP team of MP’s at Westminster, said:

“Westminster is going through culture shock in coming to terms with the fact the SNP did so well in the election. That we are here in such strong numbers, elected as Scots who support independence, is also not lost on them. We were elected to pursue an anti-austerity agenda and more devolved powers for Scotland. and we will do just that.”

 

Image result for 2015 General election scotland referendum

Have We Seen The Last Of Ruth Davidson in Scottish Politics Or Will The Tory Beast At Westminster Reject Her

 

 

 

Image result for ruth davidson

 

 

31 Aug 2018: Has Scotland Seen the Back of Ruth Davidson?

Ruth Davidson could quit Scottish politics after she has had her baby and become a Cabinet minister in London as a launch pad for a bid to be Tory leader.

She reportedly told friends that she could take up a peerage in the House of Lords so she could be parachuted into the Government.

If she makes the move to Whitehall she would immediately be one of the favourites to succeed Theresa May who announced recently she would stand down as leader of the party before the next General Election.

A spokesman for Ms Davidson would not deny that she has had speculative conversations with friends about her possible future in Westminster. (Daily Mail)

 

Related image

 

 

 

Comment:

I am wondering if the Tory party is ready to be led by an “unmarried mother !!!!  given the historic and current condemnation of such mothers by senior members of the party.

The baby has been named, Finn Paul Davidson, (presumably recognizing the marital status of the birth mother) .

He was conceived following IVF treatment, provided by the NHS.  The identity of the sperm donor has not been divulged.

Time for a look back to Tory Party leaders pronouncements against unmarried mothers and Party policies directed at punishing unfortunate young woman who had babies out of wedlock.

 

Image result for ruth davidson

 

 

The Tory Party and Its Vilification of Unmarried Mothers

Rhodes-Boyson MP, way back in 1986, condemned single parents as ‘evil’ in having made their cases so well they expanded their subsidies from the public purse from some £1.5million in 1960 to £1billion in 1983.

But 1993 was the year in which the Tory Party pathologizing of single mothers reached its peak,  strategically exploited to initially usher in the freezing of one-parent benefit by the Tories.

It also paved the way for a proposal to scrap lone parent premium two years later (Conservative Party Budget, November 1996).

By the early 1990s, a frenzy of newspaper reports spread and heightened moral panic over the supposed splitting of our societal seams, and as press headlines asserted ‘Single Parents Cripple Lives’, it was women bringing up children on their own who were seen as culpable.

The then Home Secretary Michael Howard warned that the rise in single parents threatened the ideal of the traditional family, this, despite the fact that in 1993 only 17% of British families with children under 18 were one-parent families.

As “New Right” ideologies of the family started to dominate public discourse, the plan to pave the way for dramatic cuts in welfare benefit meant that more strategic attacks were needed to home in on those lone parents who were receiving most state support.

And so, at the (Conservative Party Conference in 1993 Peter Lilley attacked young never-married mothers as ‘benefits-driven’ and’ undeserving’ compared to those who had experienced a more traditional relationship.

He stated:

“A year ago I told you my goal was to close down the something-for-nothing society. The third main area of rising spending is on lone parents. There are now 1.3million of them.  Since the sixties their numbers have risen seven-fold and throughout that period it has been ‘politically incorrect’ to uphold the traditional family as an ideal. Earlier this year the decision was taken that the party would break that taboo.”

Former Tory Minister, George Young also informed the 1993 Tory Party Conference of new curbs to limit single mothers’ access to decent council accommodation so priority could be given to those in traditional relationships.

He said:

“How do we explain to the young couple who want to wait for a home before they start a family that they cannot be rehoused ahead of the unmarried teenager expecting her first, probably unplanned child?”

The Tory dominated media eagerly grabbed hold of the debates around illegitimacy and championed their moral crusade with tales of the supposed sexual promiscuity of single mothers, peppered with accounts of 14 year-old girls becoming pregnant.

But press space wasn’t given over to seeking answers to why adequate and inexpensive child-care wasn’t available. Rather,the tabloids chose to sink into a wave of derogatory condemnation.

Tory politicians also focused their comments on who was fit to parent, and Michael Howard, in his own ‘back-to-basics’ way, seized the moment to argue that:

“it would be a good thing if more unmarried mothers gave up their children for adoption.”

The Tory Secretary of State for Wales, John Redwood said:

“One of the biggest social problems of our day is the surge in single parent families.  What is worrying is the trend in some places for young women to have babies with no apparent intention of even trying a marriage or stable relationship with the father of the child.  The natural state should be the 2-adult family caring for their children.

Full article: (Happy Families? Single Mothers, the Press and the Politicians by Karen Atkinson, Sarah Oerton and Diane Burns)

 

Image result for tory party cartoons unmarried mothers

 

 

7 Nov 2016: Benefits cap a monstrous new assault on single mothers

The Tory Government stands accused of “chilling callousness” over the tougher new benefit cap that comes into force with immediate effect.

The National Secretary of the GMB said:

“This has echoes of the staggering hypocrisy and chilling callousness that saw the victimization of single mothers in the bad old days of the early 1990s.  The unfair benefit cap will shatter the life chances of the poorest children. Theresa May once said she would change the ‘nasty party’ but the mask has slipped again.” (The Express)

 

Related image

 

 

14 Feb 2018: Tories stigmatize single parent families

According to a government policy report, (signed off by a host of prominent Tory figures) single parent families are costing society £47 billion annually.

During a debate on it in the Commons, Sir Edward Leigh said:

“There is an absolute wealth of evidence on the importance of marriage to the welfare of children, and a wealth of evidence that marriage works, in that couples are much more likely to stay together.” (Grimsby Live)

 

Image result for tory party cartoons unmarried mothers

 

 

7 Oct 2018: Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey: Single mums ‘deliberately become pregnant’ for benefits

Single girls in inner cities “deliberately become pregnant” in order to secure homes and benefits from the government, the Conservatives’ London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, wrote in 2006.

Bailey, wrote in the Telegraph that:

“any young girl living in the inner city will be clued up on how the system works. They won’t be too careful about not becoming parents. In some cases, they will deliberately become pregnant – as they know that if they do, they will get a flat. It is the same with benefits. These people are not stupid. If the state offers them money for doing something, they will do it. It is as simple as that.”

Bailey also wrote that the state needed to get away from the idea that it is “acceptable” to be a single mother.

He said:

“Many of the first single mums were housed in my part of London, reassuring them that it was acceptable – even desirable – for mothers to have babies on their own. That assumption is flawed because we now know that a child growing up without a father is so much more likely to be disadvantaged.”

In similar comments speaking at the Conservative party conference in 2008, Bailey also said

“There is a cottage industry in young women getting pregnant for state support. Girls getting knocked up to get housing? It’s a cottage industry where I come from.”

Bailey’s comments about single mothers follow his suggestion, in a policy paper he wrote in 2008 suggesting that:

“Hindu and Muslim communities rob Britain of its community,  contributing to the UK becoming a crime-riddled cesspool.” (The Business Insider)

 

Image result for tory party cartoons unmarried mothers

 

Reckless Homosexual Behaviour Saw an End to the Tory Party in Scotland – Ross Thomson ETAL Appear to Have Chosen to Ignore Behavioural Lessons From the Past – A History of Electoral Abuse Revealed

 

 

 

Tory MP Ross Thomson spoken to by police amid ‘sexual touching’ claims in Commons bar

It is alleged that:

Thomson repeatedly sexually assaulted three young men  having been three times escorted out  of the Commons Bar. He returned repeatedly to feel their bottoms and fondle their genitalia and tried to enter their underpants.

The Daily Mirror Reported

Scottish Tory MP Ross Thomson was spoken to by police after allegations were made of ‘sexual touching’ inside a House of Commons bar.  He is alleged to have sexually touched three men, but no formal allegation or arrest was made. Witnesses commented:

“I saw Thomson walk out of the Strangers Bar with a police officer.  He appeared to be “extremely drunk” and “slurring his words”.

“I saw Thomson in the corridor with a lot of police. At first everyone thought we were on lockdown which is your first thought when you see police.

“A friend alerted me to the fact that  Thomson was extremely drunk. It was quite busy and I looked over and it did seem that he was particularly drunk.”

“He was sort of staring into blank space, he was kind of swaying back and forth. Other MPs were excluding him from conversations and I think trying to persuade him to stop talking to people and leave.”

“He came over to my group, and was slurring his words, he couldn’t really string a sentence together.”

“He’d  tried to introduce himself to us but we couldn’t  understand what he was trying to say so we just left him and I think one of his colleagues came  and removed him.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives said:

“We are aware of reports of an incident last night and the matter is being looked into. We have no further comment to make at this stage.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said:

“Police were called at approximately 23:00hrs on Tuesday, 5 February to a bar within the Palace of Westminster following a report of sexual touching. Officers attended and spoke to the parties involved. No formal allegations were made to the officers and no arrests were made.”

 

Douglas Mathewson Betrayed then dumped by his partner Ross Thomson commented on the police caution issued to Thomson for inappropriate homosexual behaviour in the House of Commons bar

This chap has form. See Below:

https://caltonjock.com/2017/09/14/westminster-debate-israel-palestine-tory-mp-for-aberdeen-south-ross-thomson-seizes-his-chance-to-donate-his-own-weird-and-wonderful-interpretation-of-recent-historical-events/

https://caltonjock.com/2017/05/23/ross-thomson-mp-six-times-rejected-by-the-aberdeen-electorate-now-lords-it-over-them-but-why-does-he-bite-the-hand-that-feeds-him/

 

PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon

 

 

 

Betrayal then Meltdown – A Tory Party Predilection – A look Back Before Looking Forward

Prime Minister, John Major delivered a speech on 8 October 1993 highlighting disagreements within the party, over Europe:

“Disunity leads to opposition. Not just opposition in Westminster, but in the European Parliament and in town halls and county halls up and down this country. And if agreement is impossible, and sometimes on great issues it is difficult, if not impossible, then I believe I have the right, as leader of this party, to hear of that disagreement in private and not on television, in interviews, outside the House of Commons.”

He then changed the subject and attacked many of the changes in Britain since the Second World War, singling out developments in housing, education, and criminal justice:

“a world that sometimes seems to be changing too fast for comfort”.

He then continued:

“The old values – neighbourliness, decency, courtesy – they’re still alive, they’re still the best of Britain. They haven’t changed, and yet somehow people feel embarrassed by them. We shouldn’t be. It is time to return to those old core values, time to get back to basics, to self-discipline and respect for the law, to consideration for others, to accepting a responsibility for yourself and your family and not shuffling off on other people and the state.”

He mentioned the phrase once again near the conclusion of his speech:

“The message is clear and simple, we must go back to basics. We want our children to be taught the best, our public services to give the best, our British industry to be the best and the Conservative Party will lead the country back to those basic rights across the board. Sound money, free trade, traditional teaching, respect for the family and respect for the law. And above all, we will lead a new campaign to defeat the cancer that is crime.”

The year 1993 was also a time when Britain was going through a moral panic on the issue of single mothers. Government ministers regularly made speeches on the issue, such as John Redwood’s condemnation of “young women [who] have babies with no apparent intention of even trying marriage or a stable relationship with the father of the child”. and Peter Lilley’s characterization of single mothers as “benefit-driven” and “undeserving” from the same year.

Comment:

John Major’s government was defeated at the next GE and he left office in 1997. A few years after, it was revealed that he had conducted a four-year-long extra-marital affair with fellow Conservative MP Edwina Currie in the 1980s. The liaison occurred when both were back-benchers. Currie disclosed the romance in her diaries, published in 2002, adding that she considered the “Back to Basics” campaign to have been “absolute humbug”.

 

CARTOONS by Frank Boyle:: The Scottish Tories, along with ...

 

 

 

John Major Set High Standards for His MP’s To Follow – Many Failed – Remember Eastwood?

Alan Stewart (d2016)

In 1997 the East Renfrewshire constituency of Eastwood was considered to be the safest Tory seat in Scotland. A bell-weather prized hold in Scotland.

Allan Stewart had been the Tory MP for Eastwood for a decade and a half. A former government minister on two occasions, he was respected within the constituency and throughout Scotland by Tory’s and political opponents alike.

That is, until the anti-motorway protest of 1992, (1) when he turned up at Pollok Park, worse the wear for drink, accompanied by two teenagers carrying air pistols and threatened protestors with a pick-axe handle. (2)

Known from that time as the “Beast of Eastwood”, he destroyed the carefully created and protected public image of himself being a happily married family man with two children and an astute politician with an assured future in politics.

Stewart had problems with alcohol – a fact known to many within the constituency – but he was not short of help and advice from people in his inner circle of friends and was provided with “secret” treatment at a clinic – in Scotland. It was the Tory way no less. But there is nothing secret for very long in Scottish politics and the press revealed the truth to the public.

The incident at Pollok Park and the revelations about his alcoholism were not a hammer blow to his aspirations for re-election but the release of details of his on-going affair with Catherine ‘Bunny’ Knight, a married mother of four (whom he had met at a “drying out” clinic) was a killer blow to his campaign. He withdrew his nomination for re-election and resigned.

Notes:

(1). This was the time when the dreadlocked Gael Colin MacLeod (deceased) became famous as the “Birdman of Pollok” after spending nine days in the branches of a beech tree in a bid to prevent it being cut down by Wimpey construction workers. He was then joined by a small group of locals angered that the £53m motorway was being built through seven miles of heavily wooded land in Pollok Park which had been bequeathed to the people of Glasgow by Sir John Stirling Maxwell.

Macleod proclaimed: “Pollok Estate was given to the people in 1939. Once given it cannae be ungiven, it can only be stolen.” Ultimately, the campaign to halt the motorway and save the 5,000 trees cut down to make way for it failed.

(2). Stewart was subsequently tried, convicted and fined £200 at Paisley Sherrif Court. His son, Gareth, and friend David Clow, both 17, pleaded guilty to possessing loaded air pistols without lawful authority in the same incident. Sentence on them was deferred for a year.

 

PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon

 

 

 

Sir Michael Hirst

There’s nothing more satisfying to the Scottish psyche than the degradation of the great and the good, particularly when their rise has been accompanied by a large dose of pomposity.

Stewart’s untimely resignation, presented problems but these were soon resolved by the speedy selection of a “safe pair of hands” leading Scottish Tory politico, Sir Michael Hirst, a clean-cut father of three, a partner in a distinguished accounting firm, an elder in the Church of Scotland Chairman of the Scottish Tory Party.

But, within days of his nomination process, stories began to circulate, (reputedly from Tory’s worried his past indiscretions would surface) that Hirst was a closet homosexual, who had betrayed his wife and family by having gay affairs with political colleagues.

Hirst withdrew his nomination, hoping the press and the public would lose interest.(3)  Not to be denied the truth of the matter the press continued to investigate and report on the allegations and the day following Hirst’s resignation (4) it was revealed that he’d not only been involved in homosexual activities with a number of men, he’d been most involved with a man connected to the Tories’ biggest payola scandal.

Conspiracy or malice, events proved the events at Eastwood to be a “masterpiece” of a cock-up. Stewart had a nervous breakdown. Hirst not only withdrew his nomination he was forced to resign, in disgrace, from his position as Party Chairman, (5) resulting in losses at the GE which almost wiped the Tory Party, in Scotland from the political map.

Notes:

(3). Married Sir Michael Hirst was forced to quit as chairman of the Scottish Conservatives as a result of indiscretions (homosexual dalliances).

(4) Hirst’s letter of resignation, read: “I very deeply regret these circumstances which have caused great distress to my family and which may, I fear, cause embarrassment to the Party in the current climate”.

(5) Hirst, life after death: http://scottishlaw.blogspot.com/2011/03/new-chairman-of-law-societys-master.html

 

John Major Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from ...

 

 

Ian Lang

Then Scottish Secretary, (President of the Board of Trade (and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, 1995-97), Ian Lang was accused of covering up the “Gay” double life of shamed Party Chairman, Hirst.

The allegations were that he failed to follow up on Hirst’s denial of alleged flings with former researcher, Andrew Barnett and personal assistant, Paul Martin. (6) and (7)

It later transpired that at a Party Conference in Brighton, two years before, Barnett had spoken publicly about his affair with Hirst. A senior Tory said: “This goes all the way to Ian Lang.” Astonishingly, some party workers had known about Hirst’s gay secret for ten years.

It was also revealed that Hirst hadn’t the courage to tell his wife about his secret life or that it was was about to be made public.

Jackson Carlaw tried to play down the stunning events and said that many in the party were “distraught” that the chairman had had to resign. But he claimed this had hardened the resolve of party workers to win their target seats.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/SCANDAL%3b+Tory+top+brass+covered+up+for+gay-shame+Hirst.-a061018638

 

Notes:

(6). The downfall of the Tory’s in Scotland is a consequence of homosexual intrigues within the party created by a “gay mafia” whose tentacles of power stretched from the party’s grass-roots through to the top of the party.

Scots Secretary Michael Forsyth’s agent, Simon Turner – the man running his election campaign –was openly gay. And it was two other ambitious young gays who brought about the downfall of Scots Tory chairman Sir Michael Hirst. They were his former researcher Andrew Barnett and campaign worker Paul Martin.

Barnett, tried to deny any close relationship with Hirst – but a Tory insider said: “The affair was well-known.” The relationship between Hirst and Barnett ended in tears two years ago.

Devastated that the affair was over, Barnett poured his heart out to Tory grandees at the Brighton conference in 1995.

One Tory source said: “Andrew was made a fool. He was very upset. Heis a decent man and I felt sorry for him.” Another Tory close to the debacle at the time said: “Andrew doted on Hirst. But when it was time for him to move on he, understandably, felt spurned.”

Despite the sleaze that engulfed the party, there were some old- fashioned Tories determined to stick to their tradition of family values. It was they who blew the whistle on Hirst  because they were sickened by his double standards.

The complaint arrived at the desk of Ian Lang, Scots Secretary at the time. Another party insider said: “The matter was referred to Ian Lang, but Hirst denied the affair.”

Barnett’s affair with Hirst began in the early 1990s. The former chairman of the Tory Association at St. Andrews University, was working as a researcher in Hirst’s office. It was the second time Hirst, the promoter of family values, had been embroiled in a homosexual affair with a young Tory hopeful.

He struck up a relationship with Paul Martin who worked in the campaign team in 1987 when Hirst lost the Bearsden and Strathkelvin seat to Labour’s Sam Galbraith.

Martin was given the elbow when word spread that he had been talking openly about his fling with father-of-three Hirst.

Concern was growing within the constituency association and Hirst was advised that Martin had to go to avert a scandal. Instead of taking action against Hirst, they moved swiftly to ensure that he was protected and Martin was sent packing.

One source close to the situation at the time said: “The Association was alarmed at all this loose talk and Michael was told he had to get rid of Martin. “He did, but gave him a very good reference to help him get a job. Soon after he stood down he got a top post in the CBI.”

Martin, had been a Tory Councillor in Edinburgh at the age of 21. Three years before, while employed by the Ministry of Defence, he was at the centre of allegations that he was part of a gay love triangle with English Tory whip Michael Brown and 20-year-old student Adam Morris. He was quite open about his fling with Hirst and boasted about it at a Tory conference.

One insider said: “Martin is trouble. He is a vindictive old queen.”

It has been revealed that the gay links with the Tory party stretch from grass-roots wannabes to the very top of the tree.

Top Tories have always been uncomfortable with Forsyth’s choice of an open homosexual like Turner for such a high-profile job.

They were also critical of other gay appointments made at the Scottish Tory HQ when Forsyth was party chairman. One source told the Record: “There is always the worry that even a whiff of scandal attached to these people would reflect badly on Forsyth.”

As events unfolded in the Eastwood constituency last week, a small band of high- ranking Tories gathered to make sure Hirst didn’t try to replace Allan Stewart. It was they who tried to get Hirst sidelined two years ago when the Barnett affair broke.

One senior Tory said: “We thought if we didn’t get rid of him he would get rid of us. “No-one listened to us although we tried hard to get him moved to a more junior post. The powers that be are now reaping the inevitable result. “It would not surprise me if someone in our own party shopped Michael to the press because of his own open arrogance.”

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/GAY+MAFIA+BURIES+TORIES%3B+Homosexual+links+lead+to+downfall+of+Scots…-a061018639

 

(7). Tory Ministers face questions over the secret appointment, to the Civil Service, of a Tory advisor, at the centre of allegations about an illegal homosexual affair.

Paul Martin, formerly a high-profile Conservative Councillor in Edinburgh and twice a candidate at general elections, was appointed to the allegedly politically neutral Civil Service.

Martin, a convicted drink-driver, has been suspended from his position as an official in the Nato and European policy secretariat after being named with the Tory MP Michael Brown, in newspaper allegations about a homosexual relationship with an under-age boy. (The Independent)

 

 

 

Michael Forsyth:

Forsyth Scottish Secretary (1995-97) was attacked by Tory colleagues over his vanishing act at the time of the unravelling of a series of sleaze scandals. They also gave warning his lack of leadership would affect his political future.

A senior party insider said last night: “His failure to lead from the front has astonished and disappointed us all. “It’s almost as if he has conceded defeat in the election and is waiting for the meltdown to happen so he can be a big player and power- broker in a new ultra right-wing Conservative Party.”

Opponents dubbed Forsyth “The Phantom” because he had not been seen nor heard off on the political hustings since the election was called. He even sent backbench MPs to represent him in TV debates. And he has came up with a series of weak excuses for his absence.

First, it was said he was carrying on “the business of government” in London. Then it was said he was attending to constituency duties – although opponents claimed he had not been seen on the ground in Stirling.

 

David Cameron Photos Photos - The Scottish Conservative ...

 

 

The 1997 General Election

The Tory Party was almost wiped out in Scotland, a consequence of the appalling behaviour of many of their MP’s. Scots would no longer tolerate the underhand betrayal of values, held dear by many voters. The suffering, abuse and excesses inflicted upon Scots by a group of individuals whose morals and actions mirrored that of a snake, was at an end.

The voters of Eastwood had been betrayed and abused more so than in some other constituencies. Family values had been ditched by the incumbent Tory MP Alan Stewart, his drunken affair with a married woman and an attack on a constituent with a pickaxe handle.

And, “rubbing salt into raw wounds” the Tory candidate Sir Michael Hirst, who replaced him was then revealed to be a “chancer” who betrayed his wife and family, engaging with Party colleagues in a number of secret homosexual affairs over many years.

Reflecting on the foregoing the voters of Eastwood were determined to ensure the return to Westminster, of an MP who would be an upright citizen, a pillar of the community, preferably married and settled in the constituency,

A young man entered the fray, Glasgow born, (ex South African resident) Labour Party supporter, Jim Murphy, a clean cut, soccer playing, fitness fanatic who had avoided the South African military draft by fleeing the country, taking up his further education at university in Glasgow, at which he was soon elected leader of the Student Union.

His candidacy required him to abandon his university studies giving up the chance of gaining a degree, but Jim was dedicated and wished only to contribute to the common good of Eastwood residents.

Murphy was duly elected to represent Eastwood in 1997 and was re-elected in the GE’s of 2001, 2005 and 2010. But all good things come to an end and Murphy’s demise was swift after his involvement in a number of scandals was revealed to the public. (8)

 

Notes:

(8). In 2010, a commission chaired by Sir Thomas Legg demanded Murphy repay £577.46 in expenses which he had over-claimed. He did not appeal, and repaid the money in full. Expenses documents made available also showed he claimed over one million pounds between 2001 and 2012.

In 2007/8 he claimed £3,900 for food, £2,284 for petty cash and £4,884 for a new bathroom. He claimed £249 for a TV set and a further £99 for a TV stand; £1762.50 of taxpayers money paid for Murphy’s website whilst further claims included Labour party adverts in the local press. He claimed almost £2000 of public cash to pay private accountants to handle his tax returns.

In 2012 Murphy was among a group of 27 MPs named as benefiting from up to £20,000 per year expenses to rent accommodation in London, at the same time as letting out property they owned in the city. Although the practice did not break rules, it has been characterized as a “loophole” that allowed politicians to profit from Commons allowances.

He also designated his constituency home in Glasgow (where his wife and family permanently resided) as his second home for which he claimed £780 a month in mortgage interest payments in 2007/8.

Murphy had, had the audacity to previously to apologize to the public, “on behalf of all politicians” for the expenses scandal in 2009.

In 2011, “Wikileaks” revealed details of his secretive leading role in 2009, organizing the support of opposition parties, promoting the implementation of the Commission on Scottish Devolution’s recommendations. The aim was to “block an independence referendum” in Scotland.

Murphy praised the “vital” role of NATO during the military intervention in the 2011 Libyan crisis resolution, stating that Libya had been set “on a path to censure, democratic and peaceful future”. Libya remains a failed state eight years later. Nato’s actions resulted in the death and destruction of the people of Libya on a horrendous scale.

Later that year, Murphy was moved to the “non-job” post of Shadow Secretary of State for International Development in a “purge of Blairites” by Ed Miliband. His unease with the Labour leader’s decision to oppose military action in Syria is thought to have contributed to the move.

Murphy then stepped down stating he had agreed to take a more prominent role in the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum campaign supporting “Better Together” to keep Scotland in the UK.

 

Scots Need To Exercise Caution – Ultra Right Wing ...

 

 

The Tory Party-post 1997.

The party was wiped out in Scotland in the 1997 Labour landslide victory which brought 18 years of Conservative rule, to an end. John Major resigned as party leader, saying “When the curtain falls, it is time to leave the stage”.

The appalling results led to a number of years of infighting as different factions jostled for power and in result the Party returned only a single MP from Scotland at the 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2015 general elections.

Scots have long memories and would no longer tolerate being ruled by a political party in which power is in the hands of a cabal of individuals whose motivation is driven by unbridled excess, avarice and machismo.

The MP returned to Westminster, in 2001, (scraping through with a majority of just 74 votes) was Peter Duncan, representing Galloway and Upper Nithsdale making him the sole Tory MP for the whole of Scotland and the first Tory MP to be returned from Scotland since 1997.

Duncan was a successful local businessman, a “pillar of the community”. He was also very happily married, with two children.

In the election campaign the Tory party media moguls had promised the public that the Party had learned from its mistakes and in rejecting the unacceptable behaviour of the past could be

trusted once again. Apart from electing Duncan, the people of Scotland did not believe the hype. (9)

In November 2003 Duncan was appointed, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and was later named as Chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party. His constituency was abolished for the 2005 general election and replaced by Dumfries and Galloway. He failed to win the new seat.

Notes:

(9) True to form, the clean cut image of Peter Duncan, was later sullied by the release of information by “The Ferret” revealing he was the Chairman of the shadowy Scottish Unionist Association Trust (SUAT) that had secretly donated nearly £320K to Scottish Tory election campaigns between 2001-2019.

Termed “dark money” by the press, it was identified that half of the salary (around £20K) of David Mundell’s, 2014 and 2017 GE, campaign manager had been paid by the Association, the other half being met by the Scottish Borders Conservative & Unionist Association (SBCUA).

The groups also jointly funded a campaign manager for Tory MP John Lamont in Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk in 2015 and 2017.

Mundell was cagey when asked by a BBC interviewer if he had benefited from the trust’s cash. He said:

“I personally have not received cash because we go through a process of funding associations and I am confident that over the full period during which I have been involved in politics, all donations I have received from any source have been appropriately declared.”

Asked how much money his campaign had received, he said:

“That is a question that can be sourced from all the declarations.”

A statement released by the SNP said:

“The Tory dark money scandal is a running embarrassment for the party, and they’re doing themselves no favours in trying to hide from scrutiny. David Mundell has repeatedly tried to deny his links to the Scottish Unionist Association Trust. Now it seems they helped bankroll his election campaign. We’re talking about one of the most senior Tories in Scotland here. He should be open and honest over where this money came from. Transparency over party finances is absolutely essential in any healthy democracy. The public have the right to know who helped put their politicians into office.”

More about the SUAT:

The SUAT is not registered with Companies House, the Financial Conduct Authority, nor Scotland’s charity watchdog and there is no public information about who currently manages the organization, and no public accounts to indicate donors or assets.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford brought up the SUAT in the House of Commons and was shouted down by loudly braying Tory MPs as he accused the party of buying democracy. He said:

“the Tory’s in Scotland are systematically shielding their donations from public scrutiny.”

A few days later, the SUAT released a statement through the PR company of “trustee” former MP, Peter Duncan revealing that the “trust” had been formed in 1968 from the “assets” of the (then) Scottish Unionist Association, (primarily from the “historic proceeds of raffles and tombolas and sales of property).

The cash “assets” had been invested and the proceeds were being made available to further the aims of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.

A week later Duncan announced he would be standing down from SUAT because he wanted “more separation” between its work and his role as an active political lobbyist, Which precluded his involvement with any political party.

No other information has been forthcoming and yet again Scots are on the receiving end of Tory abuse of the electorate. The leopard has not changed its spots.

 

Ruth Davidson, the Conservatives’ northern star - Bagehot

 

 

 

David Mundell

2005-2010

The 2005 GE was conducted under new arrangements introduced by the Boundary Commission which established new constituencies in Scotland reducing the number of MP’s from 72 to 59 reflecting the new parliament at Holyrood.

The outcome of the election could not be accurately predicted since, on paper the changes had created a number of marginal seats. But one thing became

evident in the outcome. While the Tory Party gained a number of seats in England, in Scotland it was still a dead duck at the polls.

The one MP returned was David Mundell who was elected to the new seat of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale.

Mundell had previously been elected to Holyrood in 1999 and 2003, as the Tory “list” MSP for the South of Scotland. This gained him an advantage over the other candidates since he had been politically active in the largely rural area for area for over 6 years.

The background of the former lawyer also appeared to be impeccable. He was happily married to a local teacher and had three children.

Of note, in his campaign literature was that he took great care to ensure he would not be over associated with the Tory Party by omitting any mention of it. Instead he promoted himself as being the only person capable of preventing the Labour candidate from winning. This allowed him to garner the farming communities to his cause.

He also committed himself to his constituents emphasizing his independent thinking regardless of Tory Party policy. At this early stage he impressed as an astute politician with an eye on a fruitful political future.

At Westminster he plotted a course of action, the completion of which would place him at the political heart of the Party at Westminster.

The key move was his ready acceptance of David Cameron and his cohorts, the new kids on the block. His reward was the very early promotion in 2005, to the post of, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, which he retained until 2010.

He also declared his politics would be to the “right wing” of the party by joining the “Cornerstone Group” a powerful political organization of Tories whose core focus espoused traditional values of: Faith, Flag, and traditional marriage. (10)

His time in office as Shadow Secretary brought with it an extended period of political infighting within the Tory Party in Scotland the savagery of which horrified many Scottish political commentators and disgusted many voters. (11)

 

The Glasshouse Hotel Edinburgh Stock Photos & The ...

 

 

2010-2015

The GE of 2010 was conducted against the background of the abject failure of the Labour Party to protect the Nation from the excesses of financial gangsters due to incompetent management of the economy.

Yet again the Tory party in Scotland was rejected by Scots, save Mundell who was returned to Westminster, albeit with a much reduced majority.

The nationwide result was a hung parliament where no party was able to command a majority in the House of Commons. A coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats was formed.

Mundell’s long held aspiration for high office was denied him since the Liberal Democrats’ held a greater number of Scottish seats.

He had to be content with the non-cabinet role of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland.

The Calman Report exposed Mundell and the Tory Party negativity towards Scottish devolution. (12)

In February 2011 the Scotland Office was accused of being a political propaganda unit maintained to retain supremacy over Scotland. Twenty staff were employed to cope with just three letters a day, at an annual cost to Scotland of £6m. An astonishing revelation which sparked calls for it to be scrapped as an irrelevant waste of cash.

The Scotland Office occupied plush Dover House in Whitehall and is supposed to look after Scotland’s interests down south. But its role has shrunk dramatically since devolution in 1999.

The 20 staff, who are employed to deal with mail replied to 1252 letters in 2006-2007 – just over one per member of staff every week. The letter scandal follows a series of damning reports on money-wasting at the department.

 

 

 

2015-2016

Yet again the Tory Party emerged victorious from the election campaign, in England, despite promising many more years of cuts in public expenditure and even more austerity.

But, in Scotland it was a different matter. The SNP won 56 of the 69 seats with 50% of the vote.

Labour came a very poor second and was left with only one seat.

The Tories held onto their one seat, but their overall vote in Scotland declined significantly.

Mundell retained his seat, with a reduced majority of 798.

The Liberal Democrats paid the largest price for their time in Coalition with the Tories, emerging with one seat.

Yet, in 2015, emboldened by his re-election and appointment as Scottish Secretary he announced that the Human Rights Act would be scrapped when the UK left the EC.

The Scottish government said it would “robustly oppose” withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) stating that the Scotland Act (1998) stated all legislation passed by Holyrood must be compatible with the ECHR.

Mundell flatly rejected the Scottish Government’s opposition stating it was for him to decide. One of many clashes between Mundell and the Scottish Government, all displaying his arrogance to anything political originating in Scotland.

In January 2016 Mundell stunned Scots with a public statement that he was homosexual.

The media spin promoted the story that he enjoyed the support of his family, but this was not entirely accurate since only his son and political protege, Oliver, a list MSP at Holyrood, spoke out in favour of his announcement.

It emerged later that Mundell had been separated (divorced 2012) from his Schoolteacher wife Lynda and three children some time before 2010.

A betrayal mirroring that of Sir Michael Hirst yet he remains unscathed!! (13)

 

Notes:

(10). https://caltonjock.com/2016/12/10/heterosexism-promoted-by-the-tory-party-cornerstone-group-founder-member-david-mundell-comes-out-of-the-closet-i-wonder-what-the-group-think-of-that

(11). In the first half of 2007, just before the Scottish Tory Party conference, information was released anonymously to the press.

The front page headlines read: “Scots Tories are clueless – by Scotland’s only Tory MP.”

The headline had been created using information contained in a four-page memo Mundell had written to David Cameron written some months earlier in which he was scathing about Tory MSPs’ abilities saying:

“Whilst it is possible to agree in principle that the party in Scotland can make its own policy on devolved matters, the simple lack of thinkers is apparent.”

He also urged a purge of lame-duck MSP’s and the speedy appointment of a new Scottish Party Chairman, new Scottish Party Leader and a new management team comprising strategic thinkers.

His advice prevailed and the Scottish Tory party was subjected to a brutal “putch” which brought Ruth Davidson, and her team of wanabee’s into the Scottish public domain.

(12). https://caltonjock.com/2019/01/18/arch-plotter-david-mundell-more-damaging-to-scottish-aspirations-for-self-government-than-any-other-politician-in-history/

(13). Living the lie. How does he match his sexuality with his support of the Tory right wing Cornerstone Group?

 

Wings Over Scotland | Chris Cairns

 

Removing the Bias From Scottish Broadcasting – This is the Solution Pass it On to Nicola Sturgeon Please

 

 

 

 

 

A History of Scotland (TV series)

 

Introduction

Scotland’s Gaelic TV channel BBC Alba, attracts many more Scottish viewers than there are Gaelic speakers and the potential for growth is well recognized in the trade.

Independent programme makers in Scotland produce quality television for the station but in insufficient quantity to fully support the channel.

The channel broadcasts for around 7 hours daily and comprises a 70/30 split in favour of BBC content.

The BBC has a commitment to provide quality programmes and does this by raiding the extensive BBC archives searching for content from yesteryear which it broadcasts with increasing frequency.

The tactic allows the BBC to claim it is supporting the channel at great cost since it applies the current charge out rate for the old repeats.

 

Scottish Music - Caledonia ♫ - YouTube

 

Funding

Lack of finance has always been a major factor preventing expansion, a historical consequence of the Westminster government’s resistance to the creation of the channel despite being a signatory to the (1998) European Declaration on Minority Languages which committed the Westminster government to supporting Gaelic, Doric and Scots through funding and support of a broadcasting service.

At that time the Westminster government accepted a commitment to have a new channel, (fully funded by a Westminster government direct grant mirroring the Welsh SC4 model) up and running by 2003.

Alba first broadcast in 2008, soon after the minority SNP took up government at Holyrood.

The 10 year delay was attributed to resistance from the UK Treasury which refused to provide the  £100m plus budget similar to that already in place in support of the Welsh language channel.

The breakthrough was achieved by the SNP government who applied pressure forcing the Westminster government to increase the block grant by £10m.

The BBC committed to supporting the new channel and formed a joint venture partnership with the Gaelic Broadcasting Agency.

It also promised up to £4m of programming content.

Broadcasting on a shoestring the new channel proved to be a bit “hairy” in the first months, as it became evident it was hopelessly underfunded (SC4 the Welsh language channel had a Westminster financed operational budget of £110m).

The under-funding was corrected by the SNP government, which provided £10m, new money (without an increase in the block grant) and the BBC, responding to pressure from the SNP government increasing its programming support to £8m. Again charging current charge out rates for old progammes. Real worth probably nearer £2m.

Financing of the £110m SC4 Welsh channel was transferred to the BBC by the Westmnister government regularizing broadcasting finance. Nice one £110m to Wales and £4m to Scotland. Hardly fair to Scotland

 

Phantom Power releases ‘Journey to Yes’ films – Towards ...

 

 

Programming

Many more Scots non-Gaelic speakers than the targeted audience view the channel regularly, which is attributed to the creative programming of the Gaelic Broadcasting Agency and the broadcasting of “live” rugby, soccer and other niche sports.

 

Crowdfunding to Create NATION - a series of films about ...

 

 

The future

Scottish Government’s policy is:

“To encourage inward investment in film and television production in Scotland, and use our new overseas network to promote Scotland as a location for film and television production.

We plan to continue the existing fiscal incentives for such production, and, within the first term of an independent Scottish parliament, we propose to look at ways to encourage further development in the sector, through incentives, infrastructural investment and support for development, skills and training.”

The Westminster government can no longer claim to be supporting “Alba” and the BBC commitment to Scotland is pathetic in comparison with the £110m finance it provides to the SC4 channel.

The use of optional sub-titles is not yet a common feature, but increasing use of “streaming” programming coupled with additional funding, through the Scottish government should address the issue.

Programme content needs to be expanded and improved upon and can be achieved by the SNP government significantly increasing financial support and expansion of the remit of the Gaelic Broadcasting Agency to include the presentation of “live” news and current affairs programmes free from the influence of the BBC.

Phantom Power Films are one example. They produce excellent television standard films and these and others deserve to be viewed by a wider Scots audience.

The changes need to be put in place now to ensure Scots can be provided with information about their country free of the bias of the “Unionist” State media that has done so much harm to Scotland.

 

Phantom Power Films Archives | Inform Scotland Inform Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arch Plotter David Mundell – More Damaging to Scottish Aspirations for Self Government Than Any Other Politician In History

 

The SNP are the Ultimate Insiders | Daily Political View

 

 

 

The impact of the 2007 Holyrood election of the SNP to government

The Holyrood election of 2007 elected an SNP minority government, turning on its head the weird and wonderful electoral system designed by the Unionist party’s with blocking mechanisms to ensure there would never be an SNP government.

To say there was panic in the Unionist ranks would be an understatement. Urgent and secret meetings were convened by the Westminster Unionist party’s at the highest level. with a remit to agree a joint response to the very real threat, (assuming a successful SNP government) of Scotland leaving the Union.

The outcome was, “The Calman Commission” a wide ranging group of Scottish based “intelligentsia” who would bring forward agreed proposals for change, increasing the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament, short of independence.

The SNP government declined the invitation to participate since the purpose of the party was to gain independence and this was not included in the remit of the group.

 

Kenneth Calman

 

 

The Calman Commission

The Commission was established in March 2008, to be an independent review of the experience of Scottish devolution since 1998 and had the support of both the Unionist party’s at Westminster and Holyrood. It had the following terms of reference:

“To review the provisions of the Scotland Act 1998 in the light of experience and to recommend any changes to the present constitutional arrangements that would enable the Scottish Parliament to serve the people of Scotland better, that would improve the financial accountability of the Scottish Parliament and that would continue to secure the position of Scotland within the United Kingdom.”

 

Scotland must vote on this tax time bomb - Telegraph

Calman & commission members

 

The Commission report

The commission produced it’s final report in Jun 2009 and the Lib/Dem coalition government brought forward final recommendations on 29 May 2010.

The contribution of Mundell (at Westminster) to the process (see below) was disloyal being totally at odds with that of Annabel Goldie, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives who actively participated in the work of the commission and was instrumental in bringing forward proposals.

His entirely negative diatribe exposed the true intentions of the Tory Party which was to wreck any agreement for change, as they did in 1979.

That the agreement did evolve into an acceptable White Paper in May 2010 was only possible due to the election of a coalition government which forced Mundell and his ilk to accept watered down proposals.

And Mundell was not appointed to the position of Scottish Secretary which reduced his influence over affairs.

Also of note is Carmichael’s comments which were rightly critical of Mundell’s unwelcome contribution to the debate.

Mundell’s behaviour should be set against his performance as Secretary of State for Scotland, from 2015. The most disingenuous person ever to have held the position.

 

Gordon Brown Images et photos | Getty Images

 

 

The Calman Commission Report and Agreed Recommendations for Change – A debate in the House of Commons

Jim Murphy (Secretary of State for Scotland) Labour

Scots are proud of the Scottish Parliament and the way that it allows them to find what the late Donald Dewar called “Scottish solutions to Scottish problems”. While Britain brings strength to Scotland, Scotland brings breadth to Britain.

The White Paper that we are publishing today takes forward the recommendations from the final report of the Commission on Scottish Devolution.

On 15 June this year, I welcomed the commission’s report on behalf of the Government. I pledged to take the recommendations forward, with consensus and momentum. That is why we established a cross-party steering group.

I thank representatives of the Labour party, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative party in the House of Commons and in the Scottish Parliament for working together on that group.

The commission concluded that devolution has been a “remarkable and substantial success”. It brings government closer to the people of Scotland and secures Scotland’s position within the United Kingdom.

In order to refresh the settlement, the commission made recommendations in three distinct areas:

1. That closer working was needed between the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament and between the UK Government and the Scottish Government.

2. That a new, more accountable means of financing devolved spending in Scotland was needed, to strengthen the financial accountability of the Scottish Parliament.

3. That while the division of responsibilities between the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament works well, some changes could be made in both directions to further strengthen the devolution settlement.

The Government agrees with the commission’s conclusions, which were based on a wealth of evidence.

 

Scottish Tories – A Party of Political Eunuchs Managed By ...

 

 

 

Responding – David Mundell, the lone Scottish Tory MP at Westminster

I thank the Secretary of State for his statement, for the advance notice of it and for the extent to which both he and his predecessor have engaged with fellow Unionist politicians in Scotland during the Calman process.

The Conservatives fully supported the setting up of the commission and have played a full part in its work and (mindful of the under-noted questions) I look forward to reading the White Paper.  But:

1. Does the Secretary of State concede that the timing of it so near an election inevitably means that the issue will have to be revisited by the next Government?

2. Does he acknowledge that his Government’s White Paper will not bind any incoming Conservative Government?

“Conservatives accept that the Scottish Parliament needs to be more financially accountable, that the devolution settlement needs to be tidied up and that Westminster and Holyrood need to start working constructively together for the good of Scotland and Britain, but we will ensure those things through our own White Paper, not this Government’s proposals launched in the dying days of this Parliament.”

3. Will the Secretary of State welcome that commitment and undertake to continue in the spirit of Calman, on the basis of consensus and momentum, regardless of who is in government, and resist the temptation to play party politics with such an important issue as Scotland’s constitution?

4. Will the Secretary of State acknowledge that the guiding principle in deliberations on the Calman process has been, and must continue to be, securing Scotland’s position within the United Kingdom?

5. Is he as heartened as I am by recent polling in Scotland that demonstrates that there is very little support for separatism and an independence referendum?

6. Does he accept Sir Kenneth Calman’s view that the establishment of better working relationships between the British Government and the Scottish Government and between the Parliaments here and at Holyrood must be in place to underpin every other recommendation in his report?

7. Given that most of the measures to improve relationships do not require any legislation, can he tell us what he will do to re-establish the good will between Westminster and Holyrood, which appears to have ebbed away?

8. Whatever differences we may have with the Labour Government about how to take forward the Calman recommendations, may I invite the Secretary of State to agree with me that they are as nothing compared with the divide between us and the Scottish National party?

9. We are Unionists; they are separatists. We are in the mainstream of the constitutional debate; they are on the extreme. However, does the Secretary of State also agree that there are no grounds for complacency?

10.The Calman commission contrasts markedly with the so-called “national conversation”, whose main participants appear to be insomniac cyber-nats. Is it not the case that the First Minister of Scotland’s publicly funded, self-indulgent chit-chat will not survive?

 

Highlands urged to bid for new powers | Press and Journal

 

 

Alistair Carmichael- For the Liberal Democrats.

I, too, thank the Secretary of State for his statement and for advance sight of it prior to coming to the Chamber.

I also place on record my party’s gratitude to Sir Kenneth Calman and the members of his commission for their very substantive and substantial piece of work.

On the substance of the White Paper and the Secretary of State’s statement, I am completely in support of the Government’s position, which is of practical as well as constitutional significance.

However, I must ask the Secretary of State what his White Paper really adds to the process apart from further delaying implementation when there is consensus, and giving the Conservatives an opportunity for the sort of backsliding that we have just seen from Mr Mundell.

I listened to the hon. Member for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale (David Mundell) speaking about producing another White Paper the other side of a general election, and I could almost hear the ghost of Sir Alec Douglas-Home speaking prior to the 1979 referendum.

He also promised that we would get something better from the Conservatives, but they betrayed us after the 1979 election, and they would betray us again tomorrow given half a chance which, fortunately, they are unlikely to get.

May I also remind the Secretary of State that Calman was established because we wanted to make the UK work better?

In order to do that, we must now move forward with the work that Calman acknowledged needed to be done, and we must find a needs-based formula to replace the Barnett formula.

When will the Secretary of State and the Government understand that serious threats to the future of the Union, which exist, can come from the south as well as the north of the border?

Comment

Carmichael was astute in his statement, giving warning of the wilful intent of Mundell and the Tory Party to yet again betray Scotland so that they would be able to retain power at Westminster.

The disgraceful behaviour of Mundell, undermining the contribution to the commission report of Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Tory Party Leader and then plotting against her bringing about her removal from office, and replacement with the MI5 supported Ruth Davidson is truly reprehensible.

https://caltonjock.com/2018/05/27/scottish-secretary-of-state-david-mundell-mp-clueless-bunch-of-no-hoper-tory-msps-still-in-place-despite-purge-indicative-of-a-dearth-of-tory-political-talent/

 

Mundell admits PM’s deal not perfect, but will still give ...