The West Lothian Question: Where do you stand?

Discussion in 'The ARRSE Hole' started by AndyPipkin, Jun 19, 2006.

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  1. Dissolve the UK

    12.2%
  2. Devolution for England

    12.8%
  3. Fewer Scottish MPs

    8.3%
  4. English Votes for English Laws

    57.7%
  5. Other

    9.0%

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  1. It isn't just the west Lothian question, it is also the Barnett Formula and the entire cabal of tartan tyrants at the core of Neue Arbeit that rankles and the attempt to break us into a series of Euro regions. We are not European... We are not British.... we are English and the slumbering lion is awakening!
     
  2. Well said, WP. It pleases me immensely to see the profusion of St George's Crosses round my way and the almost complete absence of Union Flags.
     
  3. As it pleases me.... I have noticed one or two Jock flags being flown amongst the pads which amuses me.... Like King Canute trying to stop the tide aint they?
     
  4. We're all just sh*tting ouselves :roll: .
     
  5. Biscuits, thats the thing, once the economic reality of your future independent nations sink in without we English subsidising you, you may well be scared!

    The UK is merely a collection of English dependencies anyway and being honest, we've had enough, now go back to your own countries and prepare for poverty.
     
  6. The Scottish drift that is unnerving Brown
    Michael Portillo


    from yesterday's sunday times:


    While England was awash with the cross of St George, Gordon Brown chose last week to announce the minting of a new coin to celebrate the Act of Union of 1707 that brought England and Scotland together. The Union Jack flies above 11 Downing Street and the chancellor has made it clear that he supports England in the World Cup, adding the dubious claim that two-thirds of Scots share that view.
    In fact Brown knows that his enthusiasm for Sassenach success goes down badly at home. He has compounded the offence by praising the goal scored by Paul Gascoigne that helped to end Scottish hopes in the Euro 96 competition. The remark exhibited a magnanimity rarely associated with the chancellor.



    Why is this risk-averse man, a politician to his fingertips, alienating his Scottish constituency? Because an English backlash against Scottish devolution could make it highly controversial for an MP from a Scottish seat to become prime minister, and English discontent may dominate Brown’s tenure in No 10. The forces unleashed could terminate the union. Labour would find it difficult to win a majority in the English parliament that would then emerge, among other consequences.

    The problem arises because Labour’s devolution of power to Scotland, like its reform of the Lords, is half-baked. North of the border, members of the Scottish parliament legislate on issues such as health, education and transport. But the members elected from Scotland to Westminster vote on such matters for England, even when the legislation does not affect their own constituents.

    The so-called West Lothian question (named because it was first raised by Tam Dalyell who represented that seat at Westminster) will not go away. It is even more prominent because with a smaller majority than before Labour may from time to time need the votes of Scottish members to carry bills that apply to England alone.

    John Reid, who appears daily on our television to hector English civil servants, judges and the public, is unmistakably Scottish. His ranting serves to remind us that two of the great offices of state are now held by MPs from Scotland. But whereas the chancellor has responsibility for the United Kingdom economy, the home secretary has only limited powers north of the border.

    The full implications of having a prime minister from Scotland have probably not yet impinged on the public mind. But when Brown occupies that position he is likely often to be put on the back foot as he makes policies that do not affect his own voters in Kirkcaldy.

    It is painfully apparent that the greatest talents in Scottish politics are not content with running their own country of 5m people. They prefer to rule the 60m who make up the UK, enjoying the sway in international affairs that Britain as a whole carries.

    If the opinion polls were translated into an election result there would be a high chance that Labour would have enough seats to form a UK government again, but would have less seats than the Conservatives in England. So a Scottish prime minister would wheel out Scottish MPs to vote down that English Tory majority.

    It is hard to see how the present “settlement” between England and Scotland can last. Lord Baker, a Conservative peer, has proposed legislation that would oblige the Speaker in the Commons to decide for each bill whether the Scots should have a say on it. At the last election the Tories pledged to disbar MPs with Scottish seats from voting on English matters, and that is one Michael Howard policy that David Cameron will not disown.

    Labour warns that such a change would create two classes of MP. So it would, and perhaps the party should have thought of that before embarking on its devolution course. Brown will be thinking that the prime minister could scarcely be chosen from the B class of parliamentarian.

    The balance of terror has shifted. The English used to be worried that Scotland would break away. The Tory party was against it because its full title was Conservative and Unionist. When Britain felt economically inferior to Germany and France the English worried that they would count for still less if they lost part of their population, and they feared that the Scots would make off with North Sea oil and gas.

    All that has changed. The Tories see the West Lothian question as a good stick with which to beat Brown. In the longer term their chances of holding office would be better if England bade farewell to Scotland. Britain today is growing faster than its large continental rivals, and the loss of a twelfth of our population in a region that drags down our national performance could not harm us. Our hydrocarbons are less of an issue now that they are being exhausted.

    Anyway, the English are tiring of Caledonian Anglophobia. I am half Scottish by blood but I weary of the whingeing which has continued even though the Scots now have their own parliament. The announcement made by Jack McConnell, the Scottish first minister, that he was supporting Trinidad and Tobago against England in the World Cup displays an undignified chippiness. It offends me despite the fact that football bores me. Perhaps McConnell needs reminding that his population lives as well as it does thanks to subsidies extorted from English taxpayers.

    That last point leads to the thought that separation might not be so bad for Scotland either. It is a pensioner economy existing on English handouts, and consequently its politicians implement centralising policies of a kind abandoned in the former Soviet satellite states. When the chairman of Scottish Enterprise remarked last year that government spending in Ayrshire was at “eastern bloc” levels, it led to heated disputation between academics and columnists.


    However, Scottish politicians scarcely troubled to debate it. The Scottish executive and parliament have invariably opted for policies that increase the size of the state. They have abolished student tuition fees and granted free nursery places for three and four-year-olds and free personal care for the elderly. As Scottish public debt rises, it is doubtful whether the giveaways are sustainable. New Labour is an English phenomenon. The party’s Scottish core is unreformed.
    In the grip of old socialist thinking, Scotland’s economic growth rate has been almost a percentage point lower than England’s over the past decade. In the Calton district of Glasgow male life expectancy is 53.9 years, much less than in Bangladesh. The majority of adults live on benefits, and child obesity is higher than the American average.



    In contrast to Scotland, Slovakia has enjoyed a growth rate over recent years averaging more than 5%. It has standardised corporate and individual tax at a flat rate of 19%. Ireland has done about as well and it has chopped corporate tax to 12.5%. As the Irish economy has freed itself from British influence, and in a new context for relations between London and Dublin created by the European Union, the Irish seem largely to have shed their anti-British hostility.

    Before the expansion of the EU, we used to think that Scotland would be too small to go it alone. But with a population of 5m it is larger than Ireland, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Malta, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, and about the same size as Denmark and Slovakia, all of which are member states.

    A BBC television series celebrates the Scottish enlightenment of the 18th century when the rationalist philosophy of David Hume was influential across Europe. There are hundreds of brilliant Scots whose intellect and skills substantially assisted the progress of mankind. Yet today it seems that the thinking of Adam Smith is better respected and applied in Bratislava than in Edinburgh or his native Kirkcaldy.

    Perhaps Scotland could return to greatness if it severed the apron strings that bind it to England. Given its independence it would need to slash the size of its state and compete for foreign investment. Leadership would surely pass from the trade unionists and former public sector workers who fill the posts now, to those who could display the necessary dynamism. Socialism could not survive there any more than it has in eastern Europe. A Tory Scotland would be on the cards again.

    Only such a dire prospect could lead the chancellor to declare his support for Beckham and the boys.
     
  7. Poverty? There's lots of that round my way. But then again, I live in the North East of England and it seems that some of the locals have never known anything but poverty.

    Personally I'm loaded, so I couldn't give a f*ck :1: .
     
  8. Yet another anti Scottish thread by you Andy.

    How fascinating!

    Just because you and a couple of other idiots are so vehement in your fervour for the dissolution of the UK doesn't mean that it's a viable option, or indeed desirable for any of us, English and Scottish alike.

    On a slightly different note, why have you got such a bee in your bonnnet about Scots?

    Has someone been using your wife as a sporran warmer?
     
  9. I'm also from the North East so when Scottish politicians give Ship Building contracts to their own constituencies then some of us get a little peed off, especially when labour politicians intimate that had we voted for their precious regional assembly we may have got some of the contract.

    As for the poverty in the North East.... you are right.... but we also have one thing that money can't buy... Pride in our own identity.... why do you think New Labour hates us!!!
     
  10. Two ways to look at this there are over 600 MP's elected to parliament of these 70 or so are Scottish (or represent Scottish constituencies)
    about 14 from Nortern Ireland -2 unmentionables who don't take their seats or is it 3 now, just grab what money they can, and I'm not sure how many Welsh MP's there are, won't be that many Wales is not large. So using my bad Aritmetic that leaves at least more than 500 from Engish constituencies so who rules who???.So if the representatives from England want a specific law passed or not, surely they can manage to outvote the rest of the UK if Maggie hadn't been so far right and had been a one nation Tory devolution for Scotland would have went no where,The Scots felt maggie picked on them e.g.Poll tax brought in one year earlier than in England The Scots had sedate anti Poll tax marches, Tommy Sheridan ranted and raved, no body paid a blind bit of notice, then bring it in in England find out how it worked in practice big riot in London it was reformed long term result the Tories got punished in elections up here then add on some places in Scotland if a gorilla stood for parliament with a Labour Party rosette he'd/it would be elected Now devolution which has no more power than the .Scotltish office had just more morons making a pigs ear of it, Scotland always had separate law and education People here are regretting devolution, majority don't want break up of the Union what a horrible thought, no body to keep the loonies at Holyrood in check. the more you hear them the more you shudder I live in Scotland I'm not Scottish have you St.George's flag by all means it's just part of the Union Flag after all.Do you fancy an English Army? rather than a British Army think of all the Scots,Welsh,Irish who join, besides you'd lose the opportunity to send unwanted asylum seekers to the Outer Hebrides.Sorry about the ramble.
     
  11. I don't vote Labour WP, never have done. As for this lot who are in power now, I detest every one of them.

    Most Scots find the current situation absolutely ridiculous in that Scots MPs can vote on purely English issues yet a reverse policy doesn't exist. I think that reality of that has hit home at Labour and it'll not be long before it stops.

    Pride in your own identity? Is this a County or Regional thing? I only ask as during the years I have served with English soldiers, you all appeared to regard 'county' as more important than 'country'. Merely an observation.

    As for TT's observation on AP, I have to agree. Our Andy is a racist, but that's something I've also observed in the English.


    As for Scots politicians giving ship building contracts to Scotland, well the English have been doing that for decades, so now you see how it feels. Thatcher did nothing to help Scotland, in fact she did the reverse. There's a lot of ill feeling in Scotland still because of her and her Government's attitude to Scotland. But there is a beligerance amongst some in Scotland what says that they don't give a monkeys what happens to the UK. Unlike the person who wrote the article, I doubt the UK will break up, despite the jingoism currently being displayed by the English.
     
  12. T-T - it's not an anti-Scottish thread, it's a thread about the WLQ. And I've been using your wife's sporran as a willy-warmer. :p

    Biscuits, it's the mark of a poor argument made by a cretin that you resort to calling me a 'racist' :roll: . But apparently all us English are, according to you. So who's the racist?
     
  13. Biscuits when you aren't being an Arrse you post some well reasoned points but your inate racism shows through.

    Why is it when the English argue for their national identity it is jingoism but it is national pride/heritage when the subject is Scotland/Wales/NI?
     
  14. Andy, my problem isn't with this thread in particular, it's just that you've started so many in a similar vein. Is this because you want to keep pushing your agenda on us, so almost as soon as one thread has disappeared you start a new one? It's a touch 'Herrenbloke-like' don't you think?

    I've seen quite a few blatant anti Scottish remarks posted by you. Shall I do a search?