The Labour Party And A Promise Betrayed – A Scottish Parliament with Full Home Rule – Scots Never Forget Those Who Renege On A Promise

 

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1999: A Promise Betrayed- A Scottish Parliament with Full Home Rule

New Labour under the leadership of Tony Blair fell under the spell of the USA and Press baron Murdoch. The lurch to the right brought with it new thinking about Scottish devolution, to which he had been forced against his will, to commit to by John Smith politicians within the new government as part of the leadership campaign. The difference agreed to by Blair was the emphasis to be placed on Scottish devolution and the amount of powers to be transferred to it.

Donald Dewar, good friend of John Smith and keen supporter of Scottish Home Rule reluctantly agreed to devolution with minimum powers with a promise that, over time the authority of the new parliament would be expanded to full home rule effectively creating a UK federal State with a central governing body taking charge of concerns with an external bias. He died before the commitment would be honoured. New Labour reneged on their commitment.

Scot’s have long memories and provided with the opportunity through the ballot box removed the Labour Party from power over Scottish political affairs and on 7 May 2015 the rout will be complete with the rejection of the Labour Party in Scotland.

It could all have been so different. Had John Smith lived Scotland would have benefitted from full Home Rule and the Labour Party would have retained the trust of the Scottish electorate.

 

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April 2014: John Smith – Scotland’s lost leader

In a remarkably prescient 1992 speech at Strathclyde University John Smith questioned the nature of British democracy, warning that people were losing faith in the democratic process; arguing government had become remote and overly centralised.

He objected to the clawing of power back to the centre, the stifling of voices of dissent and the closing down of channels of open and accountable government.

He argued that democracy needed reform and the process of centralisation needed to be reversed and he wanted to restore people’s faith in their system of government.

Key to that reform was, he believed, the conscious devolution of power to the nations and regions of the UK, and the first step was the establishment of a Scottish Parliament, effectively committing the Labour Party to establish that parliament as the “settled will” of the Scottish people.

Smith was a convert to devolution in the Seventies, not because he saw it as a means of killing “nationalism stone dead” or to buy time for a Labour government, but because he saw it as a means of addressing a democratic deficit, bringing politicians closer to the people and making them more accountable for their actions.

While administrative powers were increasingly ceded by Whitehall to the Scottish Office, answerable only to the secretary of state, there was no corresponding devolution of political control over Scottish affairs to the Scottish people over areas of policy that had a direct impact on the lives of Scots. That had to change.

A Scottish Parliament, he believed, was essential to the democratic governance of “our nation”, by which he meant the United Kingdom not just Scotland and in Smith’s view “unfinished business”. Devolution was in the interests of the UK, not just Scotland, and a key part of the democratic renewal of the British constitution and its civil institutions.

It would be a parliament to legislate on matters unique to Scotland but with a government in Westminster to address the wider concerns of the UK as a whole. Mike Elrick:  Press Officer to Labour leader John Smith

 

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Red Tories In Scotland Increasing Distribution Of Leaflet’s Full Of Lies – Lying Liebour Needs Exposing

 

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Murphy at it again with his GE leaflet lies. These need to be challenged in public so that Scots attention is drawn to the misinformation policy of the Red Tory Party

 

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February 2013: The Living Wage

The living wage, designed to reflect the actual cost of living, is paid voluntarily by some employers. The SNP Scottish government has guaranteed the living wage to its own staff and says it would like to extend its application. EU employment law does not provide for a universal living wage.

In a recent statement Nicola Sturgeon said “We don’t disagree with the objective of making payment of the living wage a mandatory requirement of public contracts. We’re the first Scottish government to adopt the living wage for all of our employers and we encourage all other employers, public private, third sector, to pay their staff the living wage.”

The Chair of the Scottish Living Wage Campaign Peter Kelly said “With the problem of in-work poverty continuing to increase, the Scottish Government’s continued support for the Living Wage must be congratulated. Today’s announcement will ensure that some of the lowest paid workers in the public sector will receive a wage increase that will provide real help in these difficult times. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to ensure that more employees across Scotland can get the benefit of the living wage.”
http://wayback.archive-it.org/3011/20130201193655/http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/11/Livingwage051112#

 

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May 2014: Zero Hours Contracts

The SNP government position: “Zero-hours contracts are not always appropriate and present many people on benefits with real challenges in managing their income. While the UK government is encouraging the use of zero hours contracts, the Scottish SNP Government has been looking at options available to tackle the issue within its limited powers. As employment policy is reserved to Westminster, this is yet another example of how we can do things differently, and better, with independence.”
http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/may/jobseekers-forced-work-zero-hours-contracts

February 2015: Press release from Jim Murphy announced that Scottish Labour will abolish exploitative zero hours contracts and make work pay for Scottish families.

He said “In this May’s election, Scotland can choose to end the scandal of exploitative zero hour contracts by sending Scottish Labour MPs to kick out the Tories and form a UK Labour Government. There are 84,000 proud Scots who are too often forced into zero hour contracts. Too many are left worried about whether they will have enough work and wages to be able to put food on the table from one week to the next. Many are blocked from getting credit they can afford and turn to extortionate pay day loans. It’s no way to treat people who want to work hard and get on in life. When working families prosper Scotland prospers, when people have decent pay and conditions they spend more and Scotland’s economy grows. That’s the way to build a fairer Scotland. Too many Scots who want to work rather than be on benefit are caught in a cycle of poverty pay. They have no idea what they will earn from one week to the next. In 2015 too many Scots are still exploited for their labour. I am determined to change that once and for all. In May we can replace the Tories with a Labour Government who will ban exploitative zero hour contracts. The SNP had their chance to ban zero hour contracts last year and they let people down. It’s time to bin these exploitative contracts once and for all.” https://www.politicshome.com/document/press-release/murphy-%E2%80%93-%E2%80%9Cwe-will-call-time-zero-hour-contracts-make-work-pay%E2%80%9D

April 2015: Ed Miliband pledged that workers on zero-hours contracts will have the right to regular employment after 12 weeks. The policy, will be included in Labour’s election manifesto. So Murphy is at it again. Employment rights are not delegated to the Scottish Parliament as such he will need to conform to the will of the English Labour party.
https://www.politicshome.com/economy-and-work/articles/story/labour-crack-down-zero-hour-contracts

 

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March 2015: Rent Controls

Rent controls were in place from 1915-1989 in the UK after legislation was passed in the House of Commons in response to the Glasgow rent strike of 1915. Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government got rid of the controls in 1989.

Since that time, private rent prices have skyrocketed, and campaigners say a cap on rents would save billions in housing benefit payments which, they argue, is effectively a subsidy for landlords.

Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government is consulting on the introduction of rent controls to address high prices in the private-rented sector in Scotland.

During a questions session after her lecture at the London School of Economics (LSE), she was asked by a member of the audience about what the Scottish Government would do to tackle “the housing crisis” in Scotland, and specifically whether she would consider the introduction of rent controls, which is a cap on the prices landlords can set rents at.

She replied the most fundamental issue was “to build more houses”, adding that the Scottish Government scrapped the right-to-buy scheme because it didn’t make any sense to lose that investment into social housing.

She further added that the government “were consulting” on the issue of rent controls, saying that there was a “strong argument for it. But, she stated it must be balanced with a need for “a good and high quality supply of private sector housing.” https://commonspace.scot/articles/731/scottish-government-considering-introduction-of-rent-controls-first-minister-says

 

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A Labour Victory Will Be Handing Unfettered Power To The Irresponsible Politicians Who Flogged Our Gold Reserves For A Pittance – A Large Group of SNP MP’s Will Be Able To Moderate Their Behavior

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Browns Bottom – Sale of Britains Gold

Newspaper headlines, at the time summarised Gordon Brown’s decision to sell off Britains gold reserves at the bottom of the market as “the worst economic judgement ever made by a chancellor.”

Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor and Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party, were close aides to Brown when, between 1999 and 2002, he ordered the sale of almost 400 tons of the gold reserves when the price was at a 20-year low. Since then, the price has increased manyfold meaning the decision cost taxpayers an estimated £20 billion. A huge amount which would have eased the burden of austerity which has been borne by the taxpayer in the period 2010-15 and is expected to continue until at least 2020.

It is understood that Brown pushed ahead with the sale despite serious misgivings at the Bank of England. It is not thought that senior Bank experts were even consulted about the decision, which was driven through by a small group of senior Treasury aides (Balls & Miliband) close to Brown.

After a public outcry and many aborted “freedom of information” requests the Information Commissioner was finally forced to hold a series of “private” meetings with the Treasury following which he agreed for much of the paperwork to remain hidden from the public so there has only been a “limited” release of information.

 

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Where did it go wrong?

* The price of gold has increased markedly since Brown sold more than half of Britain’s reserves.

* The Treasury pre-announced its plans to sell 395 tons of the 715 tons held by the Bank of England, which caused prices to fall.

* The bullion was sold in 17 auctions between 1999 and 2002, with dealers paying between $256 and $296 an ounce. In January 2015 gold was selling at $1400 an ounce.

* The taxpayer has lost an estimated £20 billion, five times the amount lost when Britain left the ill-fated Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sale_of_UK_gold_reserves,_1999%E2%80%932002

 

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