Scottish Politicical Handling of Sexual Harassment Charges – Tory Party Closes Ranks and Supports Miles Briggs – But Another Politician Is Hung Out to Dry

 

 

 

Miles

 

 

Miles Briggs answers sexual harassment charge

Miles Briggs, Tory (list) MSP says he has been through a “living hell” after being cleared of sexual harassment following a party disciplinary hearing into the claims. He insisted that the accusations made by a female worker with another party were “completely false.”

But the woman behind the claims says she was “sad and angry” at the way the Tories handled the claims and suggested the outcome of the hearing had been decided beforehand.

Sandy Brindley, from Rape Crisis Scotland, who has been representing the woman, slammed the Tories’ handling of the complaint. She said:

“This is why women are reluctant to come forward with sexual harassment complaints. In our view the Scottish Conservatives need to urgently change their approach to investigating sexual harassment complaints. This is not about party politics, it’s about ensuring that anyone experiencing sexual harassment feels able to come forward and expect fair treatment if they do.”

Campaign groups warned that the Conservatives’ procedure was “inappropriate” and will deter women coming forward with harassment claims.

The four-person panel who heard the complaints comprised two men and two women and was chaired by advocate Leonard Wallace. Mary Bain, Gavin Scott and Councillor Shona Haslam also sat on the panel.

It had initially been proposed that Briggs would be able to “cross examine” the complainants version of events, although the Tories agreed to drop this.

But although this line of questioning had been dropped, the complainant still faced the prospect of cross-examination from the chair of the committee who would put Briggs’ questions to her.

A written statement was instead provided by the complainant along with written statement from two persons backing her version of events. Briggs gave oral evidence together with a supporter.

The “adversarial” approach of the panel came under fire from Rape Crisis Scotland who said it was “not appropriate” for a case of this nature.

 

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Setting the Scene

Briggs admitted that at a flat party in Edinburgh he had got embroiled in a heated argument with the complainant (in the course of which he called her a “crazy bitch,”) about the Tory so-called “rape clause” policy of cutting off benefits to mothers unless they proved conception of a third child occurred through rape.

Admitting he had been drinking but was not intoxicated he said he  had left the party 20 minutes after arrival since he was catching a flight to London the next morning at 6:30am

He insisted his behaviour on the night did not “fall short” of that expected of an MSP.

In written submissions, two witnesses backed the complainant and said Briggs had, “wrapped himself around her” and was “playing with her hair” and that she she had looked extremely uncomfortable.

Briggs supplied written statements from individuals rebutting the claims.

 

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His Twitter apology to the complainant.  But he told the panel he was fully “compos mentis”

 

 

Miles Briggs complainant sad and angry at process and outcome

In an interview shortly after the complainant said she was appalled that Mr Briggs could be exonerated without evidence from her and two witnesses to the alleged harassment being heard.

The three had refused to appear before the committee on the advice of Rape Crisis Scotland on the grounds that the process was “flawed”.

In particular, she objected to the “adversarial” approach under which herself and her witnesses were to undergo “cross-examination”.

Rape Crisis Scotland had called for the process to be more of a fact-finding exercise similar to that now adopted by the Scottish Parliament, but says the Scottish Conservatives refused to back down.

The complainant said she agonized over whether or not to report the incident, but had been losing sleep.

When she first wrote to Ruth Davidson, she says her main priority was to avoid publicity.

She claims before she sent the letter, she met party director Lord Mark McInnes to seek reassurance, and was told she would be protected and Mr Briggs would be suspended pending a hearing. This never happened.

Later she says it became clear the disciplinary committee was not treating the complaint with sufficient rigour. It took more than a month to get a response from Briggs.

“No-one asked us to provide witness statements – Rape Crisis Scotland had to say to them, don’t you want them? And no-one kept in touch about the progress of the case – we heard very little until a week and a half ago when Rape Crisis Scotland was told I would have to submit to direct questioning by Miles.”

After chief executive Sandy Brindley intervened, the party agreed to ask Briggs if he would be willing to leave the room and allow the complainant to be questioned by the chairman. He agreed, but all other witnesses were expected to give their evidence in his presence.

The Complainant said she was not comfortable being questioned on the basis of Briggs’ statement which she had not seen.

Rape Crisis Scotland sought clarification on the gender composition of the committee and reassurance that its members had undergone sexual harassment training. It says it got neither and advised the complainant and her witnesses not to attend.

Summarizing the complainant said:

“I am gutted that Miles has been found to have done nothing wrong. I am sad and angry that the process was so terrible that it felt as though this end result was written from very early on. My question is how is anyone on that committee is qualified to judge my credibility, it’s not a court. These last few days have been terrible. If this had been dealt with well, I would not have gone to the press.” (extracts from The Scotsman)

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MP Expense Claims Exceed £120 Million Each Year – Up by 25% – Many Fall Foul of the Rules Yet the Largess Continues – Despairing Times For Taxpayers Hit Hard by Austerity Measures

 

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2 Days ago: Hundreds of MPs’ have their parliamentary credit cards suspended for breaking expenses rules

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), was set up in the wake of the disgraceful expenses scandal 10 years ago.

Parliamentary credit cards were introduced for MPs’ following the scandal, to ensure spending could be closely monitored.

Westminster authorities, ruled that information should not be released to the public because it could hinder the safe operation of the system.

But a former high court judge reversed the ruling and ordered that the information be released to the public saying that the risk of “embarrassing” MPs’ was not sufficient reason to keep the information secret.

True to form those elected to serve the electorate soon found ways in which they could circumvent the rules.

Scots who vote to maintain the rotten and corrupt political system that is Westminster need their heads examined.

 

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The folderol that is Westminster and the Fiddle-de-dee behavior of MPs’

Information recently released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that since the 2015 General Election 377,  MPs’,  (1,114 suspensions in total) have had their gold credit cards suspended for claiming for disallowed items, failing to pay back ineligible expenses or failure to provide receipts.

Many are repeat offenders, including Tory, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, (card suspended 5 times).

Claire Perry, energy minister, admitted wrongly used her parliamentary credit card to pay for her Amazon Prime subscription.

Ian Paisley, DUP MP, ran up debts of £1,193 and had his credit card suspended.

Damian Collins, Tory MP and chair of the Commons media committee, Chloe Smith, Tory government constitution minister and 7 other MP’s have had their card suspended more than ten times over the past three years.

Stephen Barclay, Greg Clark, Chris Grayling, Robert Buckland, Claire Perry, Rory Stewart, Jeremy Wright, David Mundell and Boris Johnson, all ministers of cabinet status are among the MPs penalised.

In the Labour camp, party leader Jeremy Corbyn was revealed to have had his card suspended twice, while Shadow Cabinet ministers Rebecca Long-Bailey, Richard Burgon, Diane Abbott and deputy leader Tom Watson were found to have also fallen foul of expenses rules.

Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the committee on standards in public life, said:

“It shows there is either something fundamentally wrong with the system, or we’ve got a bunch of highly incompetent slovenly MPs’ who can’t keep to the rules.  MPs’ have become lax and casual in their approach to meeting the rules. If MPs can’t deal with this rather narrow sphere of finances, why should we trust them in dealing with the nation’s finances?”

The amount taxpayers were charged for MPs’ allowances increased by 22 per cent since 2009.

In 2018 the expenses bill was £117.4million – equivalent to £180,000 per MP. This includes accommodation, travel, hotels, subsistence and staffing costs.

 

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Westminster Officials Personal Expenditure On Their Taxpayer Funded Gold Cards Exceeds £1.5 Billion – When Will the Largesse End?

 

 

 

 

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August 2011: Voter fury over Gold Card abuse cover-up

Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell has been blamed by key members of the Government for blocking moves to reveal the true extent of spending on the cards, which are given to officials to pay for their ‘expenses’.

A cloak of secrecy is being used to conceal widespread abuse of public money spent on the cards every year.

Some officials have already been caught using them for personal items such as hamburgers or supermarket shopping trips – but the real number of culprits is suspected to be far higher.

About 140,000 Government Procurement Cards (GPC) are in circulation, and any bills lower than £1,000 a month are not routinely audited.

Responding to growing public anger over the revelations, Whitehall finance mandarins issued secret advice warning Ministers against publishing information that exposes exactly how much has been spent using the cards

But estimates place the figure at £1.5bn from 1997.

The Downing Street Cabinet Office is opposed to the release of backdated information, including the identity of cardholders, as it would be a ‘poor use of resources’.

Claiming the backing of Downing Street in opposing wider publication, the guidance declares that £235,000-a-year Sir Gus is personally resistant to the idea.

The row coincides with the release of bank statements revealing how officials at the Commons racked up a £1.5m bill on taxpayer-funded credit cards over the past three years.

A list of nearly 4,000 purchases, released under Freedom of Information rules following pressure from open-government campaigners, included £3,700 spent in The Claridges hotel in New Delhi.

A compromise deal has been agreed under which Government departments will publish a list of items purchased using the cards.

But to the anger of some the list will cover only items costing more than £500  and it will not identify cardholders.

A senior politician who lobbied behind the scenes for full disclosure said: “For too long officials have treated this perk like a Gold Card on the taxpayer. We have been banging our heads against a brick wall trying to get all this information out there and we are convinced there has been an abuse of this perk on the scale of the MPs’ expenses scandal, but the Cabinet Office has resisted at every turn and it has been made clear that Sir Gus is not on our side.”

In recent months newspapers have revealed a series of eye-catching and exotic purchases made by civil servants and local government officials on taxpayer-funded cards, including £25m spent on first-class flights, exclusive restaurants and shopping sprees.

Yet another newspaper disclosure highlighted how officials working for a Government policing quango had used the cards to buy items including exotic lingerie and beehive hairdo’s, racking up bills of more than £3m a year.

Parliament’s “Men in Tights” racked up a £1.5m bill on official credit cards in settlement for stays at luxury hotels, long-haul flights, food and drink charges at top restaurants.

A recently released (redacted) list of “procurement card” spending revealed senior Commons officials also used the cards to pay for:

* £3,700 for room hire in the exclusive Claridges hotel in New Delhi.

* £1,705 Settlement of an account at the Ritz-Carlton hotel.

* £2,000 on car hire from the Bermuda Motor Car Renting company.

* £1,280 to the Cotswold Water Park.

* £190 for French lessons at London’s French Institute. .

* £393 hire of a Moss Bros suit and top hat. (to attend Royal Ascot)

* £200 on purchase of food from Tesco.

* £77 purchase of a “Decanter” magazine subscriptoion.

* £885 for the purchase of a food blender!!!!

* £450 purchase of alcohol from Majestic Wines.

* £11 at a Giraffe family restaurant.

* £7 at Nando’s.

* £5 at Snappy Snaps.

* £3 At Burger King.

* £8 For the purchase of a spare set of keys.

 

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Commons officials, who wear elaborate 19th Century court dress on formal occasions, lived up to their nickname by flashing the taxpayer-funded cards buying tights.

There was also evidence that staff had used them to withdraw in excess of £500 in cash, which is forbidden for procurement cards used by Government departments.

A Commons spokesman said the system allowed staff to pay for relatively low-value items in a cheap, secure, and quick way reducing the Common’s processing costs enabling suppliers to be paid more quickly.

Cards had an individual transaction and a monthly transaction limit and the bulk of the £1.5m spend was on behalf of MPs on official business either in the UK or abroad. But Commons authorities accepted they faced challenges to justify a great deal of the purchases.

Staff are advised that the cards are only to be used only for official business purposes and never for personal expenditure, other than in exceptional circumstances where private expenditure is incidental to official business. Expenditure in the latter category should be reimbursed by the card user, but even though Commons auditors are supposed to exercise strict control over August 2011; Voter fury over taxpayer Gold Card cover-up – Ministers blame the head of the Civil Service for blocking exposure of abuse transactions details of the bills still brought surprise.

 

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About Sir Gus O’Donnell

Sir Gus – known by his staff as ‘GOD’, after his initials – is a long-serving high-flyer who has been head of the Civil Service for nearly six years.

The 58-year-old joined the Treasury as an economist in 1979, serving as Press secretary to Chancellor Nigel Lawson and later to Prime Minister John Major.

He was Permanent Secretary at the Treasury when Gordon Brown was Chancellor, before being promoted to serve Tony Blair, Brown then David Cameron as Cabinet Secretary.

He is planning to leave his post before the end of the current Parliament.

 

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A spokesman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“When a House of Commons official get their company credit card out they need to think about whether they could justify the expenditure to an ordinary taxpayer.

Only the very rich on their holidays stay in the sort of hotel MPs used in India, so it is absolutely unjustified that officials should do so when they go on work trips. (The Mail)

 

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The Smith Commission Committed Westminster to Devolving Powers To the Scottish Government – But Failed to Deliver the Package

 

 

 

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November 2014: Devolution deal for Scotland

Lord Smith of Kelvin, praised Scottish political leaders for coming together after a “bruising” referendum, with a reminder that:

A cross-party commission had been set up after the unionist parties promised greater powers for Scotland in the event of a no vote in the independence referendum, in a pledge known as “The Vow”.

The deal was promoted by Unionist “no” campaigners as the greatest transfer of powers to Scotland since the Scottish Parliament was set up 15 before.

Drawn up in little over two months it included the transfer to the Scottish Parliament of the following powers:

 

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Powers

Scotland to be able to set the rates and thresholds of income tax, but the personal allowance is to remain set in Westminster. All revenue raised is to remain in Scotland. But it will be administered by HMRC, with any extra costs to be charged to Scotland.

Scotland to take the first 10 percentage points (i.e. half) of VAT receipts.

Scotland to have have the power to borrow on the international markets, within a “prudential borrowing regime consistent with a sustainable overall UK framework.”

Scotland to have control on air passenger duty from Scottish airports, and can scrap it. (A red herring since climate change will rule out introduction of the tax)

Power over the running of Scottish Parliament elections, including spending and the age of the franchise and the number of MSPs.

Consultation and a greater role for Scottish ministers on negotiations with the European Union, allowing Scottish Government ministers to speak on behalf of all of the UK at the Council of Ministers in Europe.

The Crown Estate i.e. Government land to transfer to the Scottish Parliament. This includes the seabed, rural estates, stretches of coast line and mineral and fishing rights. But it will not cover “critical national infrastructure” covering defence, oil and gas.

The Scottish Government is to have a role in reviewing the BBC’s charter and the BBC – vilified in the referendum campaign by nationalists – will have to answer to the Scottish Parliament’s committees.

Scotland to have a greater say over running the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Northern Lighthouse Board, Ofcom and Ofgem.

The ability to top-up benefits payments to cancel out the so-called Bedroom Tax.

Benefits for carers, the disabled and the ill

Cold weather, funeral payments, maternity grants and winter fuel payments.

The right to create new benefit payments.

The running of back-to-work schemes for the unemployed.

The report called for “serious consideration” to devolving control over abortion and call for immediate consideration.

It called for a discussion around the devolution of medical rules on embryology, surrogates and medicines.

Tribunals to be transferred to Scotland, except the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission.

Transport to be devolved, including the power to set speed limits, and allowing the state to bid for rail franchises.

The level of so-called Green Levies on fuel bills to remain in Westminster, but how they are raised will be devolved.

Scotland to take control of onshore oil and gas licencing, but off-shore is to remain a UK-wide issue.

Scottish ministers enabled to request competition authorities to investigate issues in Scotland.

Scotland to take control of consumer advocacy, and to have the power to prevent the spread of payday loan shops and fixed odds betting terminals.

Powers explicitly to remain with Westminster:

The Barnett Formula, setting the block grant from Westminster.

The state pension, including the pension age.

National Insurance, Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Corporation tax, fuel duty, oil and gas receipts.

Universal Credit, the new DWP system for delivering working age benefits, including the rates and sanctions regime- Housing benefit, maternity pay, statutory sick pay, bereavement allowance and child benefit.

the National Minimum Wage.

The Equality Act, but Scotland will be able to set new rules such as gender quotas.

Overall responsibility to manage risks and shocks to the economy, including a power to levy UK-wide taxes if required.

He concluded urging Scots to be patient since:

“The delivery of new powers of this magnitude could be rushed through. Inter-governmental working needed to be improved and as a first measure, David Cameron, Nicola Sturgeon, the Speakers of the Commons and the Scottish parliament were scheduled to meet to discuss outcomes, in late January 2015.”

report available here: https://www.smith-commission.scot/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/The_Smith_Commission_Report-1.pdf

 

 

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John Swinney:

The Scottish finance minister and Deputy First Minister, said the proposals lacked the job creation powers, welfare powers, control over personal allowance or national insurance that would allow Scotland to succeed. The Scottish Government recognised the Smith Commission could not grant independence but they had hoped it would allow Scotland to succeed economically.He added:

“We regret these powers have not been delivered. We welcome the new powers – as we support all progress for Scotland – and pledge to use them when they are in place in the best interests of the Scottish people. We also welcome the acknowledgement of the ‘sovereign right’ of the people of Scotland, and our ability to proceed to independence if we so choose. But the proposals clearly do not reflect the full wishes of the people of Scotland, and also fall far short of the rhetoric from the “No” campaign during the referendum.

In an illegal and late intervention, only days before the referendum and well within the purgatory period Gordon Brown promised nothing less than a modern form of Scottish Home Rule and as close to a federal state as the UK could be. That was the context for the extensive new powers promised in the Vow. Author’s comment:(Brown’s illegal and heavily promoted by the BBC, game changing intervention was apparently condoned by the Electoral Commission)

Regrettably, the Westminster government and other political Unionist supporters failed to deliver the powerhouse parliament the people of Scotland had been promised. Under the proposals, less than 30 per cent of Scottish taxes is to be set in Scotland and less than 20 per cent of welfare spending is to be devolved to Scotland.

This is not Home Rule – It is a continuation of Westminster rule.

Most significantly, the proposals do not include the job-creating powers that Scotland so badly needs to get more people into work and grow the economy, or welfare powers to tackle in-work poverty.

A claim based on two spcific sentences in the report:

a. Reflecting the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to determine the form of government best suited to their needs, as expressed in the referendum on 18 September 2014, and in the context of Scotland remaining within the UK, an enhanced devolution settlement for Scotland will be durable, responsive and democratic.

b. It is agreed that nothing in this report prevents Scotland becoming an independent country in the future should the people of Scotland so choose.

 

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Gordon Brown:

Was unhappy with tax changes, saying:

“The devolution of income tax is a “trap” because it will force Scottish MPs to surrender significant voting rights in Westminster over budgets, putting the Union itself at risk.”

Then, reflecting on the agreement, he went on:

“But, the Vow to deliver a stronger Scottish Parliament within the UK has been kept, as promised, and the timetable for draft laws to be published in January will now be honoured, as promised. The Smith Commission has ruled that income tax is a “shared UK tax” and that a reserve power to levy a UK-wide income tax has been retained. The Commission has rightly Rejected the Conservative proposal ​from the day after the referendum for excluding Scottish MPs from voting on Budget income tax decisions. It has rightly ​recommended that the whole of the House of Commons, including Scottish representatives, will ​always ​vote on​ every aspect of UK Budget tax decisions.”

 

 

 

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Jim Murphy:

The designate Leader of Scottish Labour, said:

The devolution of income tax exceeded what Labour intended. But, under the agreed deal,it is expected Scottish MPs will retain votes over budget votes at Westminster.
We listened to the people of Scotland and changed our minds reflecting on the wishes of the people of Scotland. I think this morning very many Yes voters who are not dyed-in-the-wool SNP people, will be pretty satisfied with this deal. But the second thing is that important parts of pooling and sharing of resources within the UK remain, the Barnett formula will remain, issues about the state pension will remain, and the ability to deal with a downturn in the economy will remain by Universal Credit and things like that remaining part of the UK. So I think it’s a remarkable deal and a best of both worlds deal: really strong devolution but Scotland remaining part of the UK.”

 

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Lord Forsyth:

Formerly John Major’s Scottish Secretary, he attacked the reforms, stating:

“The income tax changes are “piecemeal” and easily avoided. The wealthy can take their income as dividends. This is why it’s mad to rely on income tax as your main source of revenue. If the proposals are that dividends in income should be not taxed, they can change to have most of their income in dividends and avoid the Scottish rate of tax. I think we could end up if people think more powers to the Scottish parliament means more money… this has not been thought through. The Labour party’s idea that we should have a constitutional convention for the whole of the United Kingdom, and not do this piecemeal reform as a panic measure to the rise of the nationalists and the result of the referendum.”

Boris Johnson & many other local government appointee’s in England:

Submitted a letter to the Westminster government cabinet titled “What is Good Enough for Scotland.” Its content stated:

“We leaders and supporters of local government in England of all parties and types of local government congratulate Scotland on the measure of devolution they have worked for and that is now proposed by the Smith Commission. We now call upon central Government and party leaders to recognise that local government should be the vehicle for devolution in England and to now negotiate with us using a similar non-party Commission to agree a comparable package of measures for local government in England.”

 

 

Commission members commented:

Iain Gray for Labour: the vow has been kept stating: “This is a good day for Scotland.”

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Annabel Goldie, ex-Scottish Tory leader: “the Scottish Parliament will have to look people in the eye over how taxpayers’ money is spent.”

 

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Michael Moore, Lib/Dem: “the deal is home rule for Scotland and a transformation of the United Kingdom.”

 

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John Redwood, Tory MP:

The standard bearer for the Tory right, warned Scottish MPs voting on English income tax would be “unjust”.

He wanted a new settlement where the Speaker would declare which issues are English only.

“I’m here to speak for England, and what we need is the ability to make a decision on behalf of England, just based on the votes of the English MPs at Westminster.

Or in some cases we may be doing it with Wales and Northern Ireland if the issues are not devolved there, but not with Scotland, because the issues have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

“Now that Scotland is going to get this mighty power to choose the tax rates and the bands for income tax, it’s important that Scottish MPs don’t come to Westminster and then impose an income tax rate or income tax band on England that we don’t want.

It would be quite unjust if Scottish MPs were still able to vote on our income tax when they could not vote on their own income tax, and when Scotland had her right to choose her own income tax without us.”

 

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Nick Clegg:

The former leader of the Lib/Dem Party said the parties had over-delivered on The Vow.

“Call it Vow Max, Vow Plus Plus,” he told his weekly radio show audience on LBC. “Because what you have got in the Smith Commission, which I think is truly remarkable, is the devolution over money so that Scotland now will be responsible for the majority of the money that it spends which is a good thing.

This is not asking more of English tax-payers. It is saying that if the Scottish people and the Scottish politicians they elect want to do more things, on welfare for instance, they have got the freedom to raise it for them themselves and they will have, basically, a new welfare system for them to manage themselves in Scotland.

They will have to fund it but they will be allowed to take responsibility for it.

That is basically Home Rule and that is something that Liberals down the ages have argued for over a long period of time.

We also need Home Rule for Sheffield for Liverpool for Newcastle… we need devolution, decentralization across the country.”

 

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David Cameron:

The Prime Minister welcomed the Smith Commission report, and said the case for English votes for English laws is now “unanswerable”. He intends to unveil proposals before Christmas. “I’m delighted with what’s been announced. We are keeping our promises and we’re keeping our United Kingdom together. I always said that a ‘no’ vote didn’t mean no change. Indeed, we made a vow of further devolution to Scotland. And today we show how we’re keeping that vow and we’ll continue to keep that promise. The Scottish Parliament is going to have much more responsibility in terms of spending money. But it will also have to be accountable for how it raises taxes to fund that spending. And I think that’s a good thing. I think the report today also makes the case for English votes for English laws unanswerable and we’ll be taking action on that shortly. And I think, taken together, this extra devolution for Scotland and dealing with the all the issues in our United Kingdom will make our United Kingdom stronger. So it’s a good day for the UK.”

 

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MP’S discussed the Smith Commission report in the Commons:

Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish Secretary, said:

“The measures will be implemented without hesitation, without reservation and without equivocation. Work to convert the recommendations into draft legislation will be completed by Burns Night in January 2015. For the first time over 50 percent of the money spent by the Scottish Government will be raised by the Scottish Government.”

 

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Former Chancellor, Alistair Darling, said devolution should do nothing that would undermine the integrity of the United Kingdom.

 

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SNP Deputy leader Stewart Hosie said the SNP “would not seek to delay the implementation of the package but it has not turned the Scottish Parliament into a “powerhouse. Scottish voters had been betrayed.”

Carmichael chided Stewart Hosie saying: “He predictably and depressingly seeks to claim the Vow has not been delivered.” Waving a copy of the Daily Record, which declared: “The Vow Delivered.” He demanded that the SNP respect the outcome of the referendum for a generation. He went on to say, “Britain needs federalism,” but held back from saying that’s what the report achieved.

Tory right winger John Redwood demanded English MPs have control over English taxes.

Carmichael avoided commenting directly confining his reply to the comment that: “the Smith Commission ruled income tax to be a UK-wide tax. English MPs shouted, “Rubbish!”

Carmichael was asked if the UK Treasury would have to undewrite Scotland’s extra borrowing. In response he said, “Scotland will be liable for any debts it incurs under its new borrowing powers”. (How that works in theory and practice is not clear since the UK retains responsiblity for overall fiscal framework.)

Carmichael was asked whether Scottish control of income tax could trigger a low-tax race between England and Scotland. His response, “That is indeed one of the possible consequences.”

 

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Pete Wishart (SNP, Perth) said the package was very disappointing.

Carmichael said Wishart simply wanted independence, adding, “He lost and it is about time he and his party came to terms with it. For him and his party to try and get independence by the back door does not respect the views of the Scottish people as expressed in the referendum. He has a duty to speak for his own constituents who rejected independence.”

Asked about English votes for English laws, he said: “I am confident that England will get what England wants, when England decides what it is it wants.

 

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David Cameron – reported to the Fiscal Committee

He advised that borrowing would be capped at £2.2 billion and the UK would be the lender of last resort.

The government intends to clarify what English votes for English laws really means – and whether MPs from north of the border will be barred from voting on income tax bands and rates in the rest of the UK.

An government spokesman said that the principle would be that the differentiation would apply to “all financial matters. Some elements of income tax would remain UK-wide, such as the allowance thresholds and how income was defined – and there would continue to be a UK Budget.”

Asked specifically if MPs from north of the border would be excluded from voting, for example, on a change to income tax bands or rates in the rest of the UK, he declined to provide detail of specific plans but added, “Where you see significant areas of devolution, there is an important principle there in terms of English votes for English laws.

The Prime Minister was pretty clear when he was in front of the select committee that he is going to bring forward proposals which are going to reflect that because that is the fair thing to do.”

 

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Ed Miliband:

Insisted the settlement meant Scottish MPs Would vote on English budgets, stating. “The system of tax reliefs remains at a UK level, other aspects of the income tax system remain at the UK level. I think it’s part of the integrity of the UK that it continues to be the place that Scottish MPs vote on the budget. The Smith Commission itself recognizes that in their report.”

 

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Tried and Tested and Successful Secret Services Tactics Designed to Damage Credibility of Scottish Independence

 

 

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The AUOB march in Glasgow last weekend was a tremendous success, in spite of disruptive efforts designed to reduce the impact on the Scottish public by Glasgow District Council the BBC and nearly all of the Scottish media outlets.

Another Scottish Independence referendum is scheduled to be held before the next Scottish Government election referendum and the well practiced and successful tactics of the British secret services and the Unionists will be used against the Yes movement with the intention to neuter Scots.

The undernoted posts are as relevant today as they were when I compiled them. Worth a read

 

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https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/03/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part1-secret-intelligence-services/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/04/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part2-defoe-strikes-again/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/04/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-3-tories-and-labour-in-disarray/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/05/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-4-tories-in-complete-meltdown/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/05/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-5-davidson-and-tomkins-surface/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/07/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-6-the-secret-service-implements-its-denial-strategy/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/08/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-7-conduct-of-the-referendum/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/09/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-8-the-aftermath-of-the-referendum/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/08/12/plausible-paranoia-how-westminster-hoodwinked-the-scots-in-1707-and-2014-and-their-preparedness-to-do-so-again-part-9-the-uk-parliament-is-sovereign-the-scottish-parliament-is-not/

https://caltonjock.com/2016/05/01/unmasked-thetory-lord-what-won-the-referendum-for-westminster-we-didnt-stand-a-chance/

https://caltonjock.com/2016/02/28/the-bbc-the-secret-service-and-the-westminster-government-a-corrupting-and-controlling-influence-nothing-will-change/

https://caltonjock.com/2017/04/10/ruth-davidson-boasts-no-love-of-scots-and-is-concealing-the-post-brexit-tory-party-centralising-agenda-holyrood-powers-to-be-returned-to-london-wake-up-scotland/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/10/12/british-spymasters-revealed/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/05/24/scottish-press-the-labour-party-in-scotland-and-bbc-scotland-conspiracy-pact-exposed/

 

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A Bunch of Political Ba-Heids Aim to Manipulate Gullible Scots by Deception – Political Armageddon the Agenda for Scotland

 

 

Baroness Smith, David Mundell, Catherine Smith, Michael Gove and Lord McCluskey at the launch of the centre

 

 

The Glasgow University supported John Smith Centre is an insidious development that will adversely impact upon Scottish politics.

This warning might possibly fall upon many deaf ears but it is my intention to post/repost articles that amplify and support of my concerns.

For information: amid many differences between “Old Labour” and “New Labour” is that “New Labour” is Fabian. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are Fabians.

The ultimate objective of the Fabians is to create a One World (‘Third Way’) government. This links to the “New World Order” project financed and controlled by the USA.

Fabian New Labour has developed and implemented the secretive “educational charity”, “Common Purpose”, which controls many aspects of local and mainstream politics and the media (BBC).

More on “Common Purpose” here: http://www.stopcp.com and here: http://www.cpexposed.com .

In Blair then Brown the NWO/Bilderberg movement enjoyed the guarantee that the UK government would manipulate the electorate and parliament to support their efforts without question. War and War and yet more War. All unjustified.

John Smith was a Bilderberger!!

The SNP should be alerted to the dangers of unwarranted and mischevious statements from persons with an interest in the Centre, designed to cause political instability.

 

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John Smith centre for public policy

The John Smith Centre Board oversees the conduct, leadership and management of the Centre and includes members of the Smith family, University of Glasgow alumni, public service practitioners and academic staff.

The Board sets the priorities; benchmarks best practice; and reviews performance to enable the Centre to achieve its aim to promote trust in politics and public service and to empower and attract more people to contribute to public life.

 

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The Board

Catherine Smith (Chair): Catherine is John Smith’s youngest daughter.

Professor Anne Anderson OBE: multi disciplinary educational activist.

Rt Hon Ed Balls: Was on Strictly Come Dancing. Hard right “new Labour” politician

Dr Matt Carter: Right wing “New Labour” political strategist. Tony Blair’s man.

Rt Hon Ruth Davidson MSP: Leader of the Tory party Branch Office in Scotland. What the hell drove her to join this lot??

David Muir: Ultra right wing “New Labour” strategist. Gordom Brown’s man.

The Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill: Created a peer in 1995. Long career in the secret services. Widow of Labour Party Leader the late John Smith

Andrew Wilson: A banker:From 2003 he held a number of posts at the RBS Group, including Deputy Chief Economist and through the banking crisis as Head of Group Communications.  Founder of political media company, Charlotte Street Partners.

Kezia Dugdale: Former leader of the Labour Party in Scotland has been appointed Director of the Centre.

 

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Tony Blair’s brutal epitaph to the career of John Smith

Blair predicted to his wife that John Smith would die prematurely and he would win the race to become the next Labour leader, not Gordon Brown.

He made the “strange” statement during a stay in a French hotel with his family in April 2004, the month before Smith suffered a fatal heart attack.

Blair woke his wife, Cherie, one morning and told her: “If John dies, I will be leader, not Gordon. And somehow, I think this will happen. I just think it will.”

Smith had suffered a previous serious heart attack in 1988 and Blair argued this was thanks to his lifestyle and, in particular, his heavy drinking.

Branding Smith a “stupendous toper”, Blair wrote: “He could drink in a way I have never seen before or since. If there was an Olympic medal for drinking, John would have contended with such superiority that after a few rounds the rest of the field would have simply shaken their heads and banished themselves from the track.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/7976017/Tony-Blair-predicted-John-Smiths-early-death.html

 

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The Maladroit Performance of the Unionist Politicians in Scotland is Disgraceful- Scots Should Reject Them

 

 

 

 

The imposition of Welfare cuts by Westminster politicians

In the period 2002, to date, the UK welfare benefits system was subject to significant reforms.

First introduced by “New Labour”, under the auspices of Blair and Brown, the cuts were followed up by rampant Tory’s who didn’t hang about when they took up office, greatly enhancing the range, level and speed of introduction of welfare cuts regardless of the adverse impact on the health and well being of individuals most in need.

The 10 year period of austerity (2008-2018) heralded as a great triumph for British democracy, by New Labour and the Tory’s resulted in an unprecedented number of individuals having their benefit entitlement reviewed and brutally stopped resulting in them being forced to rely on charity to survive.

Much of the change disproportionately affects vulnerable individuals suffering recurring ill health and/or disability and who by result rely on welfare benefits as their main source of financial income.

It is estimated that welfare expenditure in Scotland has been reduced by a recurring annual sum in excess of £1.0 billion.

The changes impact 100,000 sickness benefit claimants, including 50,000 in receipt of disability support and approximately 85,000 households punished by the “bedroom tax” reductions.

The recent introduction of the appallingly named “rape tax” welfare restriction is yet another example of the hard line pursuit of the needy by Westminster politicians.

 

 

 

Post 2014 Independence Referendum Welfare Changes

The right wing Unionist supporting Scottish press, BBC (Scotland), other media outlets and Unionist politicians of the Labour, Tory and the Liberal Democratic Party’s continue to “turn their faces away” from the Scottish electorate “beating the “Lambeg drum” in support of Westminster.

Their recurring ranting includes highlighting the very limited devolved welfare powers and finance, given over to the Scottish government, by Westminster after the referendum.

Their view is that finance should be directed away from some areas of governance and given over to welfare.

But when asked to participate in discussions with government, designed to achieve the outcome they desire they refuse to get involved.

The snide behaviour of the Unionists is reprehensible but “par for the course”.

The Scottish government does provide welfare assistance, enhanced over that available to claimants in England.

But in doing so it runs the risk of being punished by the “Barnett Formula” which automatically adjusts the amounts of public expenditure allocated to Scotland reflecting changes in spending levels allocated to public services in England.

And the bloody unionist politicians in Scotland are well aware of what they are asking.

Their loyalty is not to the Scottish electorate. It is to their controllers in Westminster.

What is to be done?

The answer!! Achieve independence!!!!!