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by a Newsnet reporter

A senior figure within the Labour party in Scotland has called on the party to reject the Calman Commission and support Devo Max if it is to have any chance of regaining its former electoral popularity.  

Malcolm Chisholm, MSP for Edinburgh North & Leith, has published an article in the Labour Hame website calling on the party to drop the "corrosive negativity" which has defined the party since it lost power in the Scottish Parliament in 2007.  Mr Chisholm has called on Labour to develop a new public narrative saying, "It is high time we were ... consistently and substantially positive."

Mr Chisholm believes that the Calman Commission has not delivered a meaningful outcome, and Labour must find a new answer to the constitutional question.  Calman has proven so unsatisfactory that Mr Chisholm admitted that some senior party colleagues would prefer independence to the Calman proposals.  Calling on the party to distance itself from Calman and the Scotland BIll he said:  "Scottish Labour is currently caught on the Calman hook and needs to get off it fast if we are to create a Parliament with meaningful financial powers."

Mr Chisholm feels that supporting a form of Devo Max gives the party the best chance of restoring its political fortunes, saying:  "I believe that Devo Max in some form is the right position for the good governance of Scotland and the best way of ensuring that Scottish priorities are to the fore in all domestic policy areas.  Those who are not convinced of that should perhaps reflect that nailing our colours to Calman and the Scotland Bill will boost the independence vote in the forthcoming referendum, as evidenced a few weeks ago when two well-known Labour figures told me they would vote for independence if the alternative was Calman."  

Although the official party line has been to call for an immediate single question referendum, Mr Chisholm believes that this is wrong-headed and has come out in support of a multi-question referendum such as that proposed by the Scottish Government.  "We need a three question referendum and Labour has to define what Devo Max means as a matter of urgency."

He added: "Scottish Labour must respond by developing a Devo Max position.  To be pedantic, that does not have to mean the greatest possible devolution but certainly means very great devolution.  We should therefore not just look at what has come to be called Devo Max – that is, the devolution of all taxes and revenues to Scotland – but also at intermediate positions such as the Devolution Plus advocated by Reform Scotland."

Mr Chisholm is not afraid to openly challenge the hierarchy of the Labour party when he feels they have taken the wrong decision.  As an MP he briefly served as Under Secretary of State for Scotland during the first few months of the Blair government, but resigned in protest at the government's decision to cut benefits to single parent families.

In 2006 while a member of Jack McConnell's Labour administration, Mr Chisholm criticised the decision of Tony Blair's government to renew the Trident programme, in open opposition to Mr McConnell.  Mr Chisholm resigned from his position of Communities Minister after giving his support an SNP motion to oppose the replacement of the nuclear missiles.

Mr Chisholm is the first serving Labour MSP to openly reject the Calman proposals and support devolution max.  Some saw Douglas Alexander's recent speech, which was also highly critical of Labour's negativity, as Labour opening a narrow door to the possibility of further constitutional change than envisaged by the Calman Commission.  Mr Chisholm's article now brings this debate into the open.

Responding to the article, SNP MSP and Scotland Bill Committee member Stewart Maxwell MSP said:

"Malcolm Chisholm's comments will cut to the core of many Labour MSPs who know that the only way forward for their party is to support the ambitions of the Scottish people for more powers for the parliament.

"Malcolm Chisholm is spot on that the Calman powers are a poor deal that does not deliver the real improvements Scotland needs. It is no surprise some Labour members would rather see independence than be caught in the Tories tax trap.

"An overwhelming majority of Scots want to see Holyrood have more fiscal responsibility.  The Social Attitudes Survey shows that three-quarters of Scots believe that the Scottish Parliament rather than Westminster should have key powers, at the same time as the polls show independence moving ahead both north and south of the Border.

"The ambitions of the people of Scotland go far beyond those of the current Labour, Lib Dem or Tory parties, and it should be welcomed that leading figures in Labour agree with the SNP that the Scotland Bill simply doesn't go far enough.

"Malcolm Chisholm now joins Henry McLeish, Eric Joyce and even Lord Foulkes in demanding a new deal with devolution max for the Scottish Parliament.

"The question that Margaret Curran, the new Shadow Scottish Secretary, has to answer is where Labour actually stands.

"In the referendum, will Labour stand with the Tories in rejecting any new powers for Scotland – or will they join with the vast majority of people in Scotland in calling for financial and economic clout for Scotland's Parliament and Government?"

Comments  

 
# mealer 2011-10-20 06:12
Will Devo-max allow us to opt out of trident? Will it give us control of our oil and whisky revenues? Will it give us a veto on sending Scottish troops to illegal wars? Malcolm Chisholm needs to decide who comes first in his heart and mind.Scotland,Britai n or Labour?
 
 
# bobb4you 2011-10-20 06:14
It's a shame Malcolm isn't running for party leader. I've often thought that he's one of the few politicians amongst his party's ranks with any real sense at all.
 
 
# Keef 2011-10-20 06:19
There are still a few in Labour who are willing to stand by their principles and are not afraid to voice their opinion.

If labour decide to go with devo-max, they had best get a wriggle on and define what they want devo-max to mean.

My devo-max definition is simple - INDEPENDENCE.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2011-10-20 07:38
Keef

My devo-max definition is simple - INDEPENDENCE.

I agree.

Full Fiscal Autonomy, Devo-Max, Calman…. naw the futures bright it’s INDEPENDENCE.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-20 19:39
I was always led to believe that the bright light in the sky was something called the sun.

Thank you for putting me right Roll on. Now I know the truth. That big bright thing in the sky is the looming arrival of INDEPENDENCE. :D
 
 
# Blanco 2011-10-20 06:53
One of the few good guys left at the top of the Labour party. Whilst Devo max (however it is formulated) will be a better deal than the current set up proponents of it are only pitting it forward as a reaction to stop independence, and they need to consider the following problems with it: 

1. The Westminster government will have to agree, it's nor a unilateral thing like independence. Can you see the Tories agreeing to it?
2. It would involve formation of an English parliament which currently there is little demand for
3. UK Labour would also have to agree to it - and as it will mean a further reduction in Scottish MPs I don't think they will countenance it  

So, devo maxers, it's not Scots you need to convince for this to work, its the English people, the Tories, and UK Labour.
 
 
# exel 2011-10-20 14:05
Quoting Blanco:
1. The Westminster government will have to agree, it's nor a unilateral thing like independence. Can you see the Tories agreeing to it?
2. It would involve formation of an English parliament which currently there is little demand for
3. UK Labour would also have to agree to it - and as it will mean a further reduction in Scottish MPs I don't think they will countenance it.


All your points are valid for FFA, Blanco, which seems to be the preferred option of the SNP.

Responding to the article, SNP MSP and Scotland Bill Committee member Stewart Maxwell MSP said:

"An overwhelming majority of Scots want to see Holyrood have more fiscal responsibility. The Social Attitudes Survey shows that three-quarters of Scots believe that the Scottish Parliament rather than Westminster should have key powers, at the same time as the polls show independence moving ahead both north and south of the Border.
 
 
# UpSpake 2011-10-20 07:13
He's my MP and although we have never met I think he represents more of the Labour thinking than the Glagow cabal. Nevertheless, any settlement for Scotland that leaves our country dangling on the strings being pulled by Westminster is no change at all. Total and complete independence is the only true way forward for Scots self determination, the right to succeed and the right to fail blaming no-one.
All the other options for Scotland is simple fudge and obfuscation something not unknown to the ranks of Labour.
 
 
# zedeeyen 2011-10-20 07:21
"I believe that Devo Max in some form is the right position for the good governance of Scotland and the best way of ensuring that Scottish priorities are to the fore in all domestic policy areas. Those who are not convinced of that should perhaps reflect that nailing our colours to Calman and the Scotland Bill will boost the independence vote in the forthcoming referendum, as evidenced a few weeks ago when two well-known Labour figures told me they would vote for independence if the alternative was Calman. " Malcolm Chisholm, MSP for Edinburgh North & Leith

That is an astounding admission, and one that I plan to quote every time the issue is raised.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2011-10-20 07:27
OT

Tonight’s Question Time, from Glasgow, should be interesting.

On the panel are:

Alistair Carmichael MP, Deputy Chief Whip;
Brian Cox, actor;
Margaret Curran MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland;
Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Conservative MP;
Mike Russell MSP, Scottish Education Secretary;
Cristina Odone, Daily Telegraph Columnist.

If nothing else it should provide Thursday … Through the night with some cud to chew.
 
 
# Early Ball 2011-10-20 07:49
Predict it will be at least 15 minutes into the programme before Russell gets to speak.

Is there usually six guests?
 
 
# chiefy1724 2011-10-20 09:54
So, let's examine the Guest List.

Alistair Carmichael, Lib-Dem (Government) MP for Orkney and Shetland. (Couldn't they find a Lib-Dem MSP....Oh sorry, silly question) Deputy Chief Whip therefore nothing but the ConDem Coalition line on everything.

Stairheid Mags, leader of "Team Scotland Union Police". 'Nuff said.

Jacob-Rees Mogg, Tory MP for (wait for it) North-East Somerset (about as far from Scotland as you can get on this benighted island. Bits of Norway are closer to us than Somerset is is). Fully-paid up member of the Daily Heil Anti-European Hang and Flog Tendency, described in the 2010 campaign as "David Cameron's Worst Nightmare".

Cristina Odone, Daily Telegraph Columnist. What, wasn't El Presidente Cochrane available ?

vs

Mike Russell.

(I'm reserving judgement on where Brian Cox fits in)

Hmm. Balance. Hmm. Impartiality. Hmm. Nicola Sturgeon Glasgow Rules (You can only talk about the UK).

My money's on Mike.
 
 
# whitburnsfinest 2011-10-20 14:08
From the wiki page about Brian Cox:


In 2007 Cox campaigned for Labour in the run-up to that year's Scottish Parliamentary elections and he is a lifelong supporter of the party.[19] Cox endorsed the Scottish National Party in the 2011 election, however, due to their higher education policy.

Should be interesting....
 
 
# Lianachan 2011-10-20 14:18
Oh it's that Brian Cox. I thought it was the physicist! The physicist, of course, does himself have a tenuous link to Labour.
 
 
# chiefy1724 2011-10-20 14:23
Oh, I knew that it was THAT Brian Cox but given his previous endorsement of Broon/Bliar NuLab, I'm still reserving judgement until he stands up, rips his shirt off to expose a saltire painted on his chest and shouts "FREEDOM".

Or failing that, gives the Tory and the Liberal a good doing on Education.
 
 
# Lianachan 2011-10-20 14:27
Do you know why QT's not coming from Inverness? Seems like the most sensible place, to me.
 
 
# Legerwood 2011-10-20 14:54
I trust that Mike Russell will be ready to point out to Ms Curran et al that they could have had a referendum on independence in the last Scottish Parliament so why if they are so keen now did they not vote for it then?

AND that the Scottish Government published material, Your Scotland Your Voice in 2009 in anticipation of a referendum because no doubt she will start on about 'telling the Scottish people what the SNP mean by independence and the LibDem will go on about the six questions.

I also hope Mr Russell has hisducks in a row on MEgrahi because it is for sure that whatever is discussed David Dimbleby will insert a question on Megrahi.
 
 
# Lianachan 2011-10-20 14:58
Quote:
whatever is discussed David Dimbleby will insert a question on Megrahi



Especially given today's development in Libya.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-20 21:27
What are the chances that Megraghi will pop up in the first question which obviously will be all about Gaddafi.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-20 21:26
Steady on there Lianachan, your implying sense, logic and impartiality etc are words that the BBC understand.

I hate the be the bearer of bad news here but in the BBC version of the Oxford English dictionary these words do not exist.
 
 
# Lianachan 2011-10-20 21:28
True. I should know better by now.
 
 
# gedguy2 2011-10-20 15:06
Anyone who stands up to David Starkey like this has my vote.

www.youtube.com/.../

www.youtube.com/.../
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-20 19:53
Hi chiefy.

As far as I can remember Brian Cox is a Labour supporter, however in the lead up to May's election I believe I heard him say that he was going to support the SNP.

I think Brian is one of those Labour supporters who has seen the light but still wants to hang on to his voting roots. I applaud him for making public his voting intentions in May. I believe he is one of those voters who, provided the SNP continue to show excellent leadership at Holyrood, may very well take that final step and give the SNP his backing without having too much of a personal turmoil.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-20 19:46
They do occasionally have six E.B. but I can't remember ever seeing six panellists on a Scottish version of the programme.

I guess the BBC are getting really quite concerned. They have had to up the number of unionists to counter the poor wee Nationalist panellist. 5 to 1 doesn't seem like very good odds to me. I would suggest that they cancel the programme while the BBC scours the country for MORE unionists to put on the panel. :D
 
 
# moujick11 2011-10-20 07:29
My view is that a Devo Max option should be in the Referendum. Why? At this point in time it is a (possibly superficially) popular option . If it was on the ballot then there is a big possibility that Labour and the Lib Dems would campaign for it leaving only the Tories plugging an ultra "no change" position (as usual). What this would effectivley do is frame the debate, not between Yes and No to Independence but between Independence and Devo Max. I firmly believe that once people actually looked at it they would then opt for Independence, for reasons such as Trident, Defence, Resource control etc.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-10-20 07:41
I'm interested in the article by Malcolm Chisholm, not only because he is one of the few in Labour for whom I have the time of day, but also because, I suspect he is the only person in Labour to actually say what most are thinking.

I genuinely thought that Labour would have moved to a devo MAX position several years ago, not long after the SNP won in 2007. This of course didn't happen, principally due to the fact that Labour, especially in Scotland had their heads firmly planted in the ground, pretending the SNP didn't win, and that really Labour were still in charge.

The result in 2011, whereby the SNP ended up with an overall majority (previously believed to have been impossible), and took many 'safe' Labour seats, has finally forced Labour to literally sniff the coffee and wake up.

Whilst I respect Mr. Chisholm's views, I have to say it is woefully too late. Even the devo max train has left the station, such is the pace of change in Scottish politics. Last year, their were many discussions including here, about devo MAX, but over time, most have moved on from that, due to it's limitations and inherently complicated nature. Devo MAX offers some things to Scotland, yet it is so restrictive and complex in nature, that it would be cumbersome for any Government to manage, and it quite literally means different things to different people. It would NOT restore the sense of self esteem that independence would bring, it would not free up the vast investment opportunities that come with independence. Devo MAX is the perennial damp squib of Scottish politics - all fizz and no substance.

The real problem with Labour, especially in Scotland, but across the UK, is they seem to be locked permanently, as our harvard educated North American chums might say 'behind the curve'. By pinning their hopes on the donkey that is devo max, Labour have shown that not only are they still woefully behind current political thought in Scotland, they seem unable to do anything about it. Trapped by their own misplaced dogma, in a political environment that no longer exists in Scotland.

Political thought is moving on at some pace in Scotland, and despite Malcolm Chisholm's best intentions, Labour is still at the starting blocks. Labour need to make a massive leap forward in their thoughts on the union and Scottish independence, otherwise they will never catch up, and once again become the self proclaimed 'party of Scotland', as they bizarrely believe to be their birthright.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2011-10-20 07:52
RL

I totally agree but add an addition to your following quote:

I genuinely thought that Labour would have moved to a devo MAX position several years ago, not long after the SNP won in 2007. This of course didn't happen, principally due to the fact that Labour, especially in Scotland had their heads firmly planted in the ground, pretending the SNP didn't win, and that really Labour were still in charge.

Fortunately/unfortunately the greater influence over NuLabour North Contingency regarding Devo-Max would have come from their leader at Westmidden, one Jimmy Brown, Could you see him agreeing with Devo-Max.
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2011-10-20 07:52
Hi there,


No, I am convinced that it is not just my imagination, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but have we not been here before? Its all very well SLAB maybe (maybe not) going to start shouting from the rooftops about implementing devo-max now that they are not in government, but where were they when Calman was being formulated? Oh yes, let me think - IN CHARGE.

When will they be back in power in Westminster to be able to produce this fabled devo-max bill? - Not for YEARS, possibly decades. And what are we Scots supposed to do in the meantime? Yes, 1 remain loyal to Labour in the vague hope that one day they might be able to form a government in Westminster, and 2 that they might, just might, keep their promise when they do.

Meanwhile we're just supposed to sit back and allow the Tories and Liberals to continue to rip the heart out of Scotland? I don't think so.

What a load of shysters. Give me Independence NOW and be rid of these con-men.

Regards,
 
 
# Stevie Cosmic 2011-10-20 09:48
Indeed Rab, Scottish Labour voters of an indie or devo max persuasion would be well minded of how many times Labour have hopped from one foot to the other whenever it suited their political manoeuvrings.

They cannot be trusted to deliver anything, either now or at any time in the future. Period.

Chisholm's utter ignorance of the fact a cumbersome and unwieldy Devo MAX settlement would have to be delivered by both the English voters and a Tory government betrays his underlying motivation; this is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to revive Labour's political fortunes north of the border. It's empty rhetoric from a party in a state of sheer panic.
 
 
# Robabody 2011-10-20 15:05
Spot on Rab, Malcolm can chunter on all he likes about labour and devo-max, the fact is he / they cannot deliver it until they are back in UK power. There after watch how quickly it would disappear off the RADAR with cry's of "there's more important things to do, we need to sort the....." [insert excuse of your choice].
 
 
# Keef 2011-10-20 07:52
Well said Robert Louis.

I do hope labour does hitch it's band wagon to devo-max though, it will only help the independence argument.
 
 
# cuthill76 2011-10-20 07:52
Hi all,

Slighty off-topic but...

You might all be aware of this but someone just sent me this link:

parliament.uk/.../...

I had heard that a select committee were going to look at the issue of independence but I must admit I am a bit taken aback by what it is they say they are going to look at.

Seems to be rather political, which to me is immediately reflected in the title "Referendum On Separation For Scotland".

It also seems that the second part is a pure politics and does nothing to enhance the reputation of Michael Moore. I also note that that he does not feel the need to explore such issues as Scotland's assets, oil comes to mind.

Just a thought but is there an opportunity for pro-independence minds to make a submission to this committee? Would it be worthwhile?
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-10-20 07:58
Best not to even give this nonsense joke committee the time of day. If you address them with submissions, you merely give them a credibility that they currently lack.
 
 
# Jimbo 2011-10-20 09:24
Hi Cuthill,

There is to be a debate in Westminster on 27 October to discuss a motion from Tory MP David Nuttall to hold a referendum for the UK to leave the EU.

Note the difference in the way it is phrased by the UK MSM and Unionist politicians; The UK would 'Leave' as opposed to Scotland 'Separating'. Not to give the people of the UK their say would be extraordinary and beyond belief, as opposed to doing their utmost to obstruct the people of Scotland from having their say.

Tory MP Bill Cash: "It would be quite extraordinary for the Prime Minister to prevent the British people from having their say on a European project that is quite clearly failing."

"For the Prime Minister to ask the Conservative Party to vote against asking people their views would be beyond belief."

dailymail.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# km 2011-10-20 14:31
Michael Moore reportedly said:

Quote:
"It is not only right but essential that the European Union can scrutinise the UK Government’s case for leaving and weigh up its evidence and arguments. If the UK Government thinks it can hold a referendum without real scrutiny and full debate, it is badly mistaken."
 
 
# Angus Ogg 2011-10-20 08:03
Regarding QT tonight from Glasgow. It will be interesting to see if Dimblebore applies his Nicola Sturgeon Glasgow rules, and restricts the panel to only talking about matters that affect the UK. he will have trouble keeping the lid on Mike Russell. I doubt I will watch without safety glass round the telly as there are two people on the panel that give me the dry boak. The two Cs, Curran and Carmichael. Never have two more patronising politicians given vent to such bottom feeding guff as these two.

It would have been good to see Moore on there up against Kenny Gibson, he is one of the most tenacious of them all and does not miss a trick. It will be interesting to see if the Carbon capture scandal gets allowed to air.

Malcolm Chisholm is getting there. I believe the time is nigh when a snap referendum should be called, with one question only.

DO YOU WANT SCOTLAND TO BE AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY......YES/ NO.

The Tory campaign for an EU referendum is gathering steam, it is all grist to the mill.

Personally I do not want any thing to do with the EU or the UK. Both unions are dripping with corruption.
 
 
# cirsium 2011-10-20 12:23
"Personally I do not want any thing to do with the EU or the UK. Both unions are dripping with corruption."

Well said Angus Ogg.

The Scotland Bill is an attempt to dismantle the current Devo Lite arrangement. What makes Mr Chisholm think that a Devo Max arrangement will have any more staying power?
 
 
# Polstar 2011-10-20 15:53
A few weeks time would be a fantastic time to call a snap referendum, most of the public sector are going to be on strike on November 30th, the Con-dems and their inadequacies will be in the spotlight and the UK governments popularity at it's lowest. It looks like there will be rolling strikes throughout the winter so public unhappyness will undoubtable grow as the strikes go on.

If AS called one tomorrow how soon could we be voting on it?
 
 
# Holebender 2011-10-20 16:23
If he did that he would lose masses of credibility over his not infrequent statements of "in the 2nd half of the term". Not to mention giving the unionists what they want. Where's the upside?
 
 
# Polstar 2011-10-20 18:10
Are you saying that there is no situation that could arise where Alex Salmond would say enough is enough and call the referendum early?
 
 
# Holebender 2011-10-20 18:21
No, I'm saying it is highly unlikely as he is on record (so many times) saying it will be during the second half of the Parliament. There would have to be an extremely good reason for changing that.
 
 
# Polstar 2011-10-20 18:31
And a winter of discontent by pretty much the entire public sector, the likes of which we have never seen in my lifetime would not be a good enough reason to at least make him consider it?

I think you do AS a great dis-service by suggesting he would let the nation burn to preserve his credibility.
 
 
# UpSpake 2011-10-20 08:25
Angus Ogg. Was just about to post the very same. You did a better job of it.
Thanks.
 
 
# tartanfever 2011-10-20 08:44
This is Labour's new line of assault, don't be taken in by it.

This is the positive campaign and it's so obvious. 75% of Scottish people say they want Scotland to have more power of her own and now Labour have finally caught on.Instead of all the negative spin this is their attempt to make their campaign more positive.

This is the start of them angling to try and influence they way the referendum progresses and influence what 'devo-max' or 'independence lite' actually is, much like certain parties are trying to do in Westminster.

There is only one party that should make the terms for an independence referendum - the SNP, we have been given the mandate from the people of Scotland to do so.
 
 
# Holebender 2011-10-20 09:19
Actually, I'd be happy to have Labour define what devo-max means. The SNP made the inclusive offer, but they have no need to champion or even define non-independence. Let Labour have it and make a mess of it!
 
 
# mountaincadre 2011-10-20 09:21
On the button tartan and rabnagleann,Per sonnally i believe that Mr Chisholm is in favour of Independance.But to all posters,in your heart of hearts do you really believe Westminister would not corupt this to there own benifit?. I mean this would give west minister another open goal to kick Independance into the very long grass,or at least until our country has no natural resources left.
 
 
# J Wil 2011-10-20 08:46
"The question that Margaret Curran, the new Shadow Scottish Secretary, has to answer is where Labour actually stands.

On the sterheed obviously!.
 
 
# Old Smokey 2011-10-20 09:37
Malcolm in the Middle
Caught between what he believes is right for Scotland and what his party belives is right for Labour and the union
 
 
# chiefy1724 2011-10-20 14:40
"Trying to make some sense of it all
But I can see that it makes no sense at all
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor
Well I don't think I can take anymore
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you."
 
 
# velofello 2011-10-20 09:42
DevoMax: Scotland collects and retains the taxes raised from sales of oil, gas, electrical power, VAT corporation tax, income tax, et al., and so Scotland enjoys a healthy fiscal surplus.

Unfortunately defence and foreign affairs, with DevoMax, are retained at Westminster. We will be represented by 52(?) MPs at Westminster, and so as now, impotent to influence/veto Westminster decisions as would be the case with a Treaty. How then do we end the siting of Trident in Scotland ,or prevent a decision to replace Trident, or decline to be involved in another war? Or prevent Westminster tinkering (reclaiming) with devolved issues - as intended with Calman?
The healthy fiscal surplus we could have with DevoMax Westminster would be able to vote to be spent on Trident, wars etc and Scotland would be obliged to stump up.

Independence, and now Labour's Halloween word, Seperation.
If DevoMax sugars the pill of the semantics fine by me, but the reality must be DevoMax is Independence.
 
 
# Blanco 2011-10-20 10:26
Eh, I don't think oil and gas revenues will ever be on offer under devo max, this is 'ex-regio' income and will stay that way all the way up to independence day.
 
 
# chiefy1724 2011-10-20 10:09
OK, Dry Boak and Darkened Room Warning

Searching for coverage of the SNP conference on The National Broadcaster, I came across this Impartial, Unbiased, etc. piece from our Dear Friend Mr Andrew Black, Political Reporter for BBC North Britain.

bbc.co.uk/.../...

Jauntily Entitled "Team SNP", (the monicker Team Scotland already having been misappropriated by the Fragrant Member for Glasgow East and her Excess Eleven), the piece dresses another one of Mr Black's thinly veiled attacks on the SNP as a News Story.

Mr Black must already have his flat in London sorted out for when he is called to "Higher Things" on "The Network" along with Scoop.
 
 
# Macart 2011-10-20 10:21
They really are sweating bullets now! You'll know its hit the fan when the high heid yins on telly start making the same noises as Mr Chisolm. :0)
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2011-10-20 10:22
Malcolm Chisolm is a Labour MSP. He's no more the great white hope of Scotland than Iain MacWhirter as both are instinctive unionists who would rather any form of unionism to an independent Scotland. For Malcolm Chisolm, in common with his Labour colleagues, that includes preferring Tory rule from Westminster to independence.

I wish people would stop and think about Devo Max and FFA. They are just wishlists in the gift of Westminster.

Chisolm could urge Scots to vote for a mercedes for every man woman and child and a lifetimes supply of snack size mars bars.

We could vote for it and the majority of Westminster MP's could look at the result and say " ok that's what they want, will we give it to them? erm... na "

FFA and Devomax are no different.

Alex Salmond and the SNP can give us a once in a lifetime chance to take our independence back or a rag tag and bobtail of assorted faint hearts and unionists can encourage us to vote for a possibility of more powers but only if England agrees to it. Even if they do agree to it, they may cheat us afterwards but no matter our one shot at independence will be gone.

Please think about that when throwing these pretty meaningless phrases about.
 
 
# Macart 2011-10-20 10:34
GrassyKnollingt on

Very much agree! Chisolm smells like another water tester to me. He'll get some coverage with this statement and see what comes back from grassroots level. Nothing more!

Just vote yes!
 
 
# chiefy1724 2011-10-20 10:38
Amen. The only thing that we can Take is Independence - anything else is the "gift" of the Union Parliament in Wastemonster.

There should only be one question on the paper.

All of this does maybe indicate the presence of a Murdo Fraser tendency within "Scottish" Labour. The "thinkers" may have realised that the Game Is Up and that they are starting to position themselves for Post-Independence and formation if not leadership of a Labour Party of Scotland.

We have this image of Malcolm as "one of us". He's a principled man, resigning from Ministerial Office twice over Nuclear Weapons and Benefits.

But as Grassy says, He's One Of Them. He is either for Independence or Against it.

DevoMax and FFA and "Indy Lite" and all of the rest of it, whatever formula London comes up with to keep its hands around the throat of this Scotland, That's Not Independence.

Two cheers for Malcolm. An apparently decent, principled man who just happens to be blowing the wrong trumpet.
 
 
# Jimbo 2011-10-20 11:30
Totally agree, GK.

We shouldn't be fooled by Chisolm's con. There's an election coming up and he knows a lot of Labour coats are on shoogly pegs. For years Chisolm was happy to follow the London Parties line, as stated by Dewar, Broon, Thatcher and Co, that our oil is worthless and we are too wee, too poor, too inadequate to run our own affairs. When Dewar was comparing Scotland with Bangladesh, I don't remember Chisolm refute it. When Cameron said we'd be 'flying by the seat of our pants', Chisolm remained silent.

For him to come out now and try to give the perception of the voice of reason within the Labour party is a bit late.

I'll start to take notice of Chisolm & Co when defend Scotland against such comments. When they state our oil has kept the UK afloat, and that we're far from being too wee, too poor and we are not incapable of running our own affairs.
 
 
# Training Day 2011-10-20 12:01
Hear, hear, GK et al. While I am prepared to accept that on a personal and local level Chisholm may well have been a good representative, this proposal - and its timing - is about self-preservation and nothing else.
 
 
# cirsium 2011-10-20 12:27
say it, GK, say it!
 
 
# pa_broon74 2011-10-20 13:02
FFA and Devomax.

You might like the idea in theory, be more pally with our neighbours, means no seperation, cooperation, working together and safety in numbers blah blah blah.

But it won't work. Look at how westminster behaves now, why would it be any different after FFA or Devo max is requested?

Its a nice idea, even I like it but it is not practical, it wouldn't work. At best it would mean no change effectively, at worse it would be a backward step kicking as it would do full independence into the middle distance and locking Scotland into yet another interminable period of subserviance to the greater numbers south of the border and the asset striping of our resources to fund them.

Malcolm Chisholm might seem to be the new face of fluffy labour, but he has nothing new to offer except more cynical utterances in favour of preserving the union and Labour's standing in it, such as it is at this time.

He's not saying these things for the good of Scotland, he saying it for the good of Labour, be in no doubt because we all know the arguments for the union in any form don't stack up.

To FFA and devomax I say; Meh, not interested.
 
 
# deepwater 2011-10-21 14:32
GK

Looking at the man's track record, actions and voting history I can only wonder at why he's not in the SNP - many others have made the switch.

The only reasoned argument I can arrive at basically agrees with you. First and foremost he's a Unionist.
 
 
# mato21 2011-10-20 10:46
I too agree lets stop all this talk about anything other than independence for as sure as night follows day if we lose the vote life in Scotland will not be worth living.We think we are ill done by just now we will be treated worse than the third world countries for there will be no overseas aid for us
 
 
# UpSpake 2011-10-20 11:31
Just been announced on BBC Daily Politics that Ghadafi has been wounded and captured in Lybia, Magraghi on his deathbed, Watch out Blair.Bush and the rest of you warmongerers.
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2011-10-20 12:31
Hi UpSpake,

That was my reaction too when I heard the news half an hour ago, that he had been captured alive.

One very nervous Tony Blair. Goodness knowns what Ghadadfi will reveal. Mind you, possibly not all that much as it seems the new Libyan government is somewhat beholden to the UK and USA for the development of their oil.

Its nice to speculate though.

Regards,
 
 
# Lianachan 2011-10-20 12:36
The word on the street is that Gaddafi is dead.
 
 
# tartanfever 2011-10-20 13:38
Blimey, you get in quick with that one Lianachan !

Just been reported on the BBC at the moment. Shame if it is the case, I'm sure he had plenty to say about Blair and Bush etc.

Now if Megrahi dies the one I'll have some sympathy for will be Dr Jim Swire, who now may never know the truth about Lockerbie.
 
 
# Lianachan 2011-10-20 14:15
Indeed, a great opportunity to find out more about Lockerbie (among other things) has been lost.

Also, I bet Tony Blair's fixed inane grin got a little wider when he heard the news.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-20 21:57
I'm not so sure Blair's grin got any wider Lianachan. I have a funny feeling that grin has suddenly started turning from a grin into a grimace, and not a moment too soon! :D
 
 
# pa_broon74 2011-10-20 14:20
One assumes all that could be gotten from Gaddafi is that it wasn't Libya that did Lockerbie.

The answers Dr Jim Swire seeks I don't think are even in that country.

Anything uttered by him (Gaddafi) would be dismissed as mad rantings from a deposed dictator ably backed up by sensible discourse from the likes of the BBC's Andrew Marr, he managed to do it for tony blair so Gaddafi should be easy enough.

johnpilger.com/.../...
 
 
# oldnat 2011-10-20 11:33
The trick might be to ask the questions the other way round.

1. The Scottish people are sovereign, and no Parliament can take away their right to decide their own constitutional future. Agree/Disagree

2. The Scottish Parliament is mandated to negotiate with the Parliament of the United Kingdom for the common management of Defence and Foreign Affairs, and other matters of common interest. Agree/Disagree
 
 
# Mad Jock McMad 2011-10-20 11:33
This is what is informing Malcolm Chisolm's thinking:

gerryhassan.com/.../...

It is well worth a couple of reads to get to the meat.

Alex Salmond's refusal to leap into the referendum trap is forcing this change in Labour approach. Worse, Labour will not only have to define what they mean by 'devo-max' but also establish a time line for its implementation. Then you come to the $1 million question - how can they implement 'devo-max' as the opposition party at Westminster?

Cameron will force Calman through because it suits his long term aim of giving England back to the English Conservative Party. In doing so he will solve the Labour 'problem' for a political generation.

I leave you with Labour stuck between a 'rock' (Calman) and a hard place (independence for Scotland).
 
 
# EdinScot 2011-10-20 11:51
Malcolm Chisolm is the msp which represents my area Leith. I can honestly say that he is a very good local msp. A few years ago when i lived at my former address, the area was targeted with anti social behaviour and people were at their wits end including myself as i worked shifts. I can tell you that he not only helped us but went way beyond the call of duty in doing so providing us with information that wasnt forthcoming from other organisations were there was a lot of stonewalling going on.

When i came to cast my vote after this, i had a dilemna as i had voted SNP for around a good ten years. Yet this man had helped me so much so how could i not give him my vote! So it was with a heavy heart that i didnt give him my vote. Despite him being principled, helpful, hard working and one of the only Labour politicans i could trust, he fell short becasue despite all that, he couldnt put my country first and chose to have it shackled in the most unbalanced so called Union you could ever have, where one does the telling and the other suffers the consequences as the arithmetic between the countries just doesn't add up in voting terms. Actually, i gave myself a hard time in making the decision as in hindsight it was really quite simple. If only he supported independence for his own country, he would have my vote in a flash.

That he advocates devo-max doesnt surprise me as i can detect he's a bit of a thinker and one of the more clued up in Labour as to what the political climate is at present. He is very very wrong on this though. Devo-max wont stop Westminster mps' fiddling their expenses and flipping their second homes which we have endured as his Labour party crashed our economy and made us even poorer. Westminster would still poke its nose in to 'pick fights' with a Scottish Government and would threaten to take back powers, they would involve us in more foreign wars and bankrupt us to fund their war chest in doing so, as well as still keeping their weapons of mass destruction on our beautiful and stunning shores. It really would be a crime to allow them to continue these obsceneties. So its a no brainer im afraid. Scotland needs to wipe the slate clean, we need a clean break, it just has to be independence.

At the recent May elections, Malcolm Chisolm got the fright of his life as the SNP almost took the Edinburgh North & Leith seat from him. After years of walking it he now suddenly finds his huge majority has been wiped out. He has a good reputation here so its not him, therefore it must be the party he represents. He should take note as next time its a very real possibility that Leith will fall to the SNP and so Mr Chisolm will lose this seat.
 
 
# exel 2011-10-20 15:09
EdinScot 2011-10-20 12:51
“When i came to cast my vote after this, i had a dilemna as i had voted SNP for around a good ten years. Yet this man had helped me so much so how could i not give him my vote! So it was with a heavy heart that i didnt give him my vote. Despite him being principled, helpful, hard working and one of the only Labour politicans i could trust, he fell short becasue despite all that, he couldnt put my country first and chose to have it shackled in the most unbalanced so called Union you could ever have, where one does the telling and the other suffers the consequences as the arithmetic between the countries just doesn't add up in voting terms. Actually, i gave myself a hard time in making the decision as in hindsight it was really quite simple. If only he supported independence for his own country, he would have my vote in a flash.”

You have my sympathy. Unfortunately that is the problem with the party political dictatorships which have evolved in the UK. We are not represented by our MPs, MSPs locally. They are at the beck and call of the PARTY nationally. Until the system is replaced by one in which autonomy is local (fiscal and political) I will not vote for Independence.
 
 
# Holebender 2011-10-20 15:28
So you prefer the status quo. Why am I not surprised?
 
 
# exel 2011-10-20 15:47
Holebender 2011-10-20 16:28
So you prefer the status quo. Why am I not surprised?

Did I say that?
 
 
# Holebender 2011-10-20 16:17
Yes you did. Here are your words; Quote:
Until the system is replaced by one in which autonomy is local (fiscal and political) I will not vote for Independence.



As what you are demanding is not on offer from anyone you are saying you will not vote for independence. By not voting for independence you will be supporting the status quo. Seemples.
 
 
# EdinScot 2011-10-20 16:20
Thats why ive always wished Malcolm Chisholm would cross the floor if not to the SNP then most definitely to stand as an Independent msp just as Dennis Canavan once did and in so doing freeing himself up to truly speak his mind without fear of falling out of line with the Labour party machine on all matters. It always makes me wonder if Chisholm and others privately agree or disagree with the big important stances taken by their parties. Who knows.

I do beleive that local democracy would be all the better for it so i agree with what you are saying exel. I just think its as vital that our country also acquires all the powers of every other normal independent nation to be able to take the actions to drive our economy and empower us at a national level too.
 
 
# pa_broon74 2011-10-20 16:29
"They are at the beck and call of the PARTY nationally."

You've actually twisted what Edinscot has said to suit your own argument here.

While it's true to say politicians operate on a by party basis (not sure anything else would work and it's human nature to find accord anyway, well; civilised human nature.)

The problem in this context (of the Scottish parliament and unionist parties) isn't that politicians answer to party whips, its that politicians answer to party whips that essentially have another countries best interests at heart.

That isn't quite the same as say the SNP whip (for example) forcing SNP MSP's to vote a certain way in the Scottish parliament, if forcing is even the right term to use.

I think sometimes when people engage you in debate they forget that you're a federalist at heart which is fine except, it wouldn't work with westminster. You simply cannot expect 50 million English people to be forced to bend to the will of 6 million Scots people WCC or not.

I'm not sure there is working example of what you propose anywhere in the world. 100 representatives (say) sitting in a parliament completely nonaffiliated with each other in any way, then above that a federal government with equal numbers of representatives for the component states even although those states are vastly different in size and make up.

I just can't think of a country or geographic area that works that way.
 
 
# deepwater 2011-10-21 14:39
exel

Which do you perceive give you the better opportunity for your desires.

A Westminster yet to willingly give significant change after three centuries (witness AV) or an independent Scotland free to make her own decisions.

It would appear, in essence, that you are intentionally voting against your best chance to get what you want.
 
 
# oldnat 2011-10-20 12:09
Brit lawyers still seem to be saying that the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 was "illegal", in a (not wholly serious!) debate in Philadelphia.

bbc.co.uk/.../...

Its a useful point to make when anyone says to you that it would be "illegal" for Scotland to declare independence.
 
 
# BeltaneFire 2011-10-20 12:37
It was only illegal in the eyes of imperialists wishing to keep their boot on the necks of the colonies. After all, it was a huge source of income for Westminster.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

I'd question the legality of their colonisation of the Americas in the first place.

They are hilarious!
 
 
# JRTomlin 2011-10-20 16:44
Yeah, and we didn't "know what independence would look like" either. Didn't even figure out our Constitution until eleven years later.

And you see how horribly THAT turned out for us. Independence is such a bad thing.

PS We also didn't know what size our military would be.
 
 
# BeltaneFire 2011-10-20 12:30
For Labour to be "substantially positive", they'd have to come up with a positive argument. To-date, they have failed to do that because their argument for remaining in the Union is about as positive as it gets for them.

For them to be positive, they will have to adopt a stance at odds with their leadership in London; and that is to put Scotland before party politics. Highly unlikely!

What should really worry Labour is the number of their traditional supporters who indicated to me that they would vote 'yes' in an independence referendum, while I was canvassing doors during the last election campaign. And this is before the debate gets going.

Britain is dead!
 
 
# cokynutjoe 2011-10-20 13:26
Wonder why Chisholm never thought of this cunning stunt before the Labour conference, it would have had rather more relevance!
 
 
# Taldor83 2011-10-20 13:45
QT looks interesting tonight but let's not forget one thing...

Almost EVERY week issues are discussed that are NOT UK wide issues. They are English only issues. Now, whilst recorded in England that in itself isn't a problem. But when in Scotland it should be SCOTTISH issues brought to the fore.

And to be honest, I'd love it if it was Wee Eck himself on tonight!
 
 
# Holebender 2011-10-20 13:53
I suppose it is going to be very difficult for them not to mention the SNP conference.
 
 
# Grenscot 2011-10-20 14:21
I disagree. I think Mike Russell is the ideal choice. He takes no prisoners when it comes to dealing with television presenters. He is also English. It is good for a UK wide audience to see that the SNP is not the xenophobic anti English party it is made out to be.
 
 
# loveme2times 2011-10-20 14:26
Off topic, was reading a football forum and came across people discussion Mr Salmond's performance on breakfast TV, link below.

bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# chiefy1724 2011-10-20 14:34
You've got to feel quite sorry for poor Bill Turnbull really. Clearly Under Orders to Keep Asking The Same Question.

You would almost think that they had him chat to Scoop (BBC Network Scotland Correspondent) for some tips on How (Not) To Interview Alex Salmond.

Dearie Dearie Me. The Beeb Haven't had a good day against The First Eck really.
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-20 14:46
Wonderful stuff there. I loved the line: "What it is about the word 'independence' that London commentators seem to find so difficult [to understand]."
 
 
# exel 2011-10-20 16:05
uilleam_beag 2011-10-20 15:46
“Wonderful stuff there. I loved the line: "What it is about the word 'independence' that London commentators seem to find so difficult [to understand]."

The manifesto actually said: “We think the people of Scotland should decide our nation’s future in a democratic referendum and opinion polls suggest that most Scots agree. We will therefore bring forward our referendum bill in this next parliament.”

Not the second half of this next parliament.The SNP suddenly faced with an unexpected majority,quickl y backpeddled.
 
 
# Holebender 2011-10-20 16:29
And how many times during the campaign did AS say the referendum would be held during the second half? The manifesto is only part of the picture, and statements made during the campaign have to be taken seriously too.

btw, what did your post have to do with the one above, to which you were "replying"?
 
 
# balbeggie 2011-10-20 16:46
very true

Even the BBC reported it as being in the 2nd half of the Parliament BEFORE polling day.

bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# exel 2011-10-20 20:28
Holebender 2011-10-20 17:29
“And how many times during the campaign did AS say the referendum would be held during the second half? The manifesto is only part of the picture, and statements made during the campaign have to be taken seriously too.
btw, what did your post have to do with the one above, to which you were "replying"?”

Do keep up Holebender, or did you not listen to the video referred to?
 
 
# pa_broon74 2011-10-20 17:15
Mmm.

As far as I can gather, both the first and second half of this parliament, are- in this parliament.

Nobody lied, no one has done an about face except... Who did a u turn on this... Oh aye, the unionist parties all moved from a position of NO NO NO to NOW NOW NOW.

On this most important topic the SNP kept their word and it infuriates the opposition because for them it is an alien concept.
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2011-10-20 20:51
NOO NOO NOO pa_b, you've no' tae rub their noses in it.
 
 
# deepwater 2011-10-21 14:47
exel

This is a very interesting and wholly erroneous position to take.

There was no backpedalling.

Take a different view - if I say I'm going to give you some money. (I'm not - example only).

You accept this.

Later you ask or I choose to define ten pounds.

Is that backpedalling?

No - it is refining the promise in an appropriate manner.

It's exactly the same when one uses time as in this example.
 
 
# whitburnsfinest 2011-10-20 15:29
This came to mind as I read the article and comments:

Stop all the nonsense
ignore all the lies
Stay calm and stay focused
Keep your eyes on the prize

Our own country's freedom
Hard fought and hard won
No more voting Labour
"like father like son"

We'll stand up for Scotland
Into a new dawn
A new age is coming
The old days are gone

So as we move forward
In justice and truth
We'll do it together
Independence is proof!
 
 
# Gaavster 2011-10-20 18:06
Liking it Whitburn :)
 
 
# Edna Caine 2011-10-20 21:36
Excellent, Whitburn.

"Keep your eyes on the prize" ??

From the first country to throw off the British Imperial yoke comes -

www.youtube.com/.../

Quote -
"The only thing that we did wrong
Stayin' in the wilderness too long"
 
 
# Gaelstorm 2011-10-20 15:31
When I read this, I had to go straight over to the daily Ranger & the EBC to see how they were handling it. Does anyone need more than 1 guess?
 
 
# Ard Righ 2011-10-20 15:46
All these ******** titles and issues like the West lothian question, Calman, Devo max, Indpendence Lite are placed to keep everyone diverted from the main goal, full independence from a parasitic union.

[Edited by Moderator]
 
 
# Grenscot 2011-10-20 15:47
I was just speaking to a business contact in London. He saw the AS interview on GMS and commented on it. It is the first time he has seen AS in action and he was mightily impressed.
 
 
# Alba4Eva 2011-10-20 18:20
Compared with that Westminster mob in London, your business contact would have to be! *;0P
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-10-20 16:09
moujick11

Exactly. We are removing the staus quo as an option. Labour/LibDem figures who come out for Devo Max can't go back to status quo
 
 
# lochside 2011-10-20 16:09
Malcolm Chisler (oops sorry) Chisholm is just another geek bearing gifts i.e selling a dummy to gullible fearties who can't get the courage to tell him and the rest of his unionist toadies to f*ck off with their devo max bull. Just like the soft drink equivalents 'light' 'max' etc. they are toxic and designed as marketing wheezes to halt independence in its tracks...if we let them. Like all Uncle thomases before him he is speaking with a forked tongue designed to save his sorry neck not his country.
 
 
# mountaincadre 2011-10-20 16:23
Perhaps Mr Chisholm is giving his own party a warning? for him to say that there are labour msp's who would rather vote for Independance than Calman is putting a very clear shot,"in my own view" over the bows of West Minister Labour.My own view on this is that they have waited for wee dougie to make his statement to see if it was anything sensible,having listened and heard that its not he has come out and basically said,All those that don't mind Independance and want to see a truely Scottish Labour party follow me.
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-10-20 17:20
What Malcolm Chisholm, who never makes unguarded comments, said is deeply significant. He is underlining what all SNP activits already know but what Labour would very much like to be unsaid - ie a substantial section of lLabour's Scottish support is in favour of independence and even more of them are completely relaxed about it. I think Chisholm is laying down a marker here for Scottish Labour.
We will watch Malcolm carefully if Labour refuse to move - as we will watch Murdo if he fails in his bid to lead the Tories
These guys have both chosen roads which they may have difficulty getting off if things don't develop as they would like
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-10-20 17:35
What we should never underestimate is the loylaty factor in politics. It is noteasy to move from a party tha thas been you life, with all your friends and acquaintances in it, and join the opposition. Having been in the SNP for over fifty years with its ups and its downs and how much I appreciate those in the SNP who stuck to it when they could have done other things in other places. It is no easier to leave the Labour or Tory Party than it is to leave the SNP and those who cross the floor are very often very brave people indeed. And very oftenreviled by some in the party they have just left.
It would always be better for the Labour Prty in scotland to debate the constitutional issue and decide to go for independence. That's normally what radical left wing parties do.
A little patience with some of our opponents at this time is probably wise. But,as I said, do not understimate the value of loylaty in political terms and how hard it sometimes to make the move that is offering itself to you.
 
 
# mountaincadre 2011-10-20 18:30
Sneck i think your right about loyalty, but to someone like chisholm what the Labour party are know is not what he is loyal to.
 
 
# gedguy2 2011-10-20 19:08
The Labour party has not been what its founder had thought it would be since the formation of the USSR. Since the workers and, by proxy the Labour party, dabbled with communism in the 20s and 30s it infected the Labour party right up to the time of Neil Kinnock who tried to smash its influence in the Labour party but was washed aside by them. There was even a Coup d'état in the 70s to get rid of Wilson because of his connections to the KGB. Blair had the right idea by aiming for the central ground but I think he was seduced by the power and the future earnings and sold out.
But this is just an excuse because the Labour party in local, regional and national level have been slurping up the swill in the trough for so long that they actually think they are entitled to it. In doing so they have deliberately turned their backs on the people who voted for them, but worse than that they treated their own voters with disrespect. I hope the people who used to vote for them see that now. It is so sad that the original ideals of the Labour party have been treated with such little respect for such a long period of time.
 
 
# the wallace 2011-10-20 19:02
The snp dont need to explain anything about that devo max guff,let labour spell it out.Alex salmond should just concentrate on a simple yes or no question,and not be distracted by others.
 
 
# EdinScot 2011-10-20 20:13
Exactly the wallace. Dont let the Unionists muddy the waters in an attempt to confuse the electorate. Dirty tricks will be their fightback as they havent came up with a positive case for staying in the Union to date.
 
 
# Kinghob 2011-10-20 21:26
Labour Tory and libdem bedfellows colluded to foist the Scotland Bill as their idea of opposing the SNP progressing towards even a token responsibility for our own tax raising and decision making- labour are right now colluding to ignore the may election result and give us their alleged "scrutiny" of the referendum to see if they can Barmouth it.

Chisholm and any number of others will see the inevitable progress towards far farvgreater responsibilitie s for the Scottish parliament, but they will always hamper the inevitable.......do not trust them or what they say.

Five years of labour media has failed, Scotland has changed in spite of labour and their media darling status which was a failure as far as Ellington it to Scotland is concerned.

I would be more into multiple questions if the Calman tripe as the Scotland Bill wasn't so supported by the unionists, all of them.

Their new found realism if it materialises will always involve demonising the SNP and Scotland will be dissed as the references to Megrahi are given a makeover that attempts to make Tony Blair and labour seem as if they were sweetness and light whilst invalid vacuous spiteful rhetoric against the Scottish Government and Scots law will be heavily laden with innuendo and lacking in proper factual reportage.

I don't want two questions, I totally disagree with the comment above that said that Lex Salmond has abandoned an Independence Referendum, but if there are two questions, then the labour lot have to wash their hands off Calman very soon as I don't believe in those who lose the argument and talk down Scotland because they can't defeat the SNP gaining anything in political matters and progress of the same within Scotland.

They can get.........


They can be properly seen to uturn over Calman and the Scotland Bill that they still back for now, but would be certainly right behind that Bill until the implementation had the Scottish electorate told them (and keeps telling them) to think again about a Scotland Bill that is flawed and has been basically supported by most Scottish and British media bar a few notable and worthy exceptions............ Newsnet team..........
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-10-20 21:32
I think you will find that the SNP is adroitly muddying the water for the unionists who are now all over the shop on the constitutional issue.
 
 
# oldnat 2011-10-20 21:42
Tories in serious split over independence referendum!

guardian.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Edna Caine 2011-10-20 23:00
Sweet!

Where have heard these arguments before?
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-20 21:43
Just heard Brewer do his leader for Newsnight Scotland tonight.

What an absolute TWERP.

With the SNP celebrating their election victory at their conference in Inverness do they still have the appetite for Independence?

Excuse me Brewer. For as long as I can remember you and your unionist buddies have been accusing the SNP of having only one policy so why on earth would they drop that policy now? Awa an boil yer heid ya numpty!
 
 
# whitburnsfinest 2011-10-20 21:48
HA! Arbroath, I saw that too.... your reaction was far more eloquent than mine though!! :-D
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-20 22:39
All part of the service! :D
 
 
# Mad Jock McMad 2011-10-20 21:52
The UK break up will be caused by Westminster retrenchment and not the SNP.

I have argued in a more simplistic manner that 2007 was a warning shot to Westminster to change the devolution game as at the time 'fiscal autonomy' was running at between 60 and 80% support in opinion polls. It was clear that McConnell could not be seen to support greater autonomy and so the crumbling of the Labour vote began in earnest.

Labour chose to ignore the signs and stepped up the too poor, too stupid, too small narrative with regards to Scotland as MSM was briefed on 'subsidy Scotland'. Calman was going to do the SNP in once and for all and seal Westminster supremacy. Many warned that the toxic Scotland Act Amendment Bill would come back to hurt Labour but hubris won the day.

2010 was about 'stopping the Tories' and not about a return to Labour. I contend the new coalition carrying on with Wendy and Gordon's Calman based bill coupled with some of the more extreme amendments from people like Wallace, Foulkes and Forsyth further trying to hamstring the Scottish Parliament more and more Scots decided enough was enough, Westminster was seeking to retrieve back devolved powers rather than the opposite. The only party that was standing up for Scotland on these issues was the SNP, a party with aspirations for Scotland rather than 'you'll be going to the naughty corner' messages.

May 2011 was the point when the Scots said to Westminster if you do not reform and create a federated UK and quickly we are off. The SNP have read this message and understood it, hence the delay over the referendum, by doing so they are giving Westminster the opportunity to engage thoughtfully or enough rope to hang themselves. Currently Westminster is hell bent on the latter with Moore's cunning plan to exclude Scottish MP's from voting on England only bills in an attempt to 'Scotch' the SNP. As a plan it is of Baldrickian cunning as only Labour will suffer - the SNP MP's abstain on English only bills.

There was another 'naughty corner' slap on the wrist for Scotland with the collapse of the Longannet carbon capture program. It is almost as if Westminster believe their 'subsidy story' as true. What is true is the support for the SNP social democratic program and positive view of a responsible Scotland is growing.

Maybe some one in the Westminster asylum will wake up to the message the sovereign people of Scotland are actually sending but after all these years of not listening, just telling, I seriously doubt it and as a result the opinion poll support for Scottish independence is trending upward and by late 2013 Westminster will be well hung.
 
 
# tartanpigsy 2011-10-20 22:10
'As a plan it is of Baldrickian cunning'---
'I like', spot on MJM
 
 
# oldnat 2011-10-20 22:16
Alex Neill brilliant on the Newsnicht interview!
 
 
# oldnat 2011-10-20 22:24
Hassan & Crawford great as well. First time I've enjoyed Newsnicht for a whilie!
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-20 22:47
Damn I missed it. I sat through Q.T. waiting to see if there was ever going to be a question about anything Scottish. Don't know why I bothered really. All we had were a series of "British" questions.
 
 
# tartanfever 2011-10-20 22:43
Mike Russell did a good job on Question Time also.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-20 22:54
Yeah I thought so too. Mind you I would have expected nothing less from such a seasoned professional politician unlike the performance of "stairheid rammy".
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-20 22:43
Well wasn't Q.T. very interesting.........NOT!

I didn't bother counting the noxious questions on offer nut there was not one about Scotland, Independence or thee Independence referendum. The closest we got was when Mike Russell opened up the question on the E.U. referendum to the referendum on Scottish Independence. True to BBC biased tradition Dimblebone shut that particucular line down.
 
 
# tartanfever 2011-10-20 22:55
True, Mike Russell tried his very best to try and turn the question into one about Scotland, and i think to be fair, Stairheid Mags would have been quite keen for that to have been the case, I'm sure I heard her saying off mic 'yes, lets talk about that' or words to that effect.

Shame they didn't.
 
 
# pa_broon74 2011-10-20 22:44
QT was a damp squib.

Nothing to see here, move along now.
 
 
# Diabloandco 2011-10-21 08:28
I see reporting Scotland has taken to time filling using a programme set to follow the "News"
Maybe Rangers are having some local difficulties , maybe the mannie in charge is not as squeaky clean as the BBBC wants him to be BUT I don't need an overdose of their opinions and ,michty me , did it no prevent them from giving more time to the SNP confernece and the bon mots of the First Minister?
 
 
# exel 2011-10-21 15:50
pa_broon74 2011-10-20 17:29
“I think sometimes when people engage you in debate they forget that you're a federalist at heart which is fine except, it wouldn't work with westminster. You simply cannot expect 50 million English people to be forced to bend to the will of 6 million Scots people WCC or not.”

I am a federalist, I agree that at the moment federalism would not be accepted by the Westminster parliament, but that is not to say that by the second half of that administration it will be the only way to go for the UK.

What is more relevant is how the Scottish Parliament sees the future administration of Scotland.
In my opinion a unicameral parliament will not work and those who post here are well aware of my reasons for holding that view.
I do not claim to have the whole answer, better minds than mine I submit can work it out. But the Scottish people must be consulted before they vote to leave the union. In this case smaller is most certainly not better (necessarily)

Your statement below does not represent what I propose.
“I'm not sure there is working example of what you propose anywhere in the world. 100 representatives (say) sitting in a parliament completely nonaffiliated with each other in any way, then above that a federal government with equal numbers of representatives for the component states even although those states are vastly different in size and make up.”

For the UK the Federal system would be based on regional parliaments (Highlands, Borders, Yorkshire, Anglesey, and Londonderry for example) not Scottish, Welsh, English and Northern Irish parliaments.
OR
For Scotland regional parliaments (Shire or Lander) with a senate and congress (the names do not matter) what matters is the bottom up government by the people exercising their sovereignty. All set out in a Written Codified Constitution of course, so that we all know where we stand.
 
 
# exel 2011-10-21 15:51
deepwater 2011-10-21 15:39
exel
Which do you perceive give you the better opportunity for your desires.
A Westminster yet to willingly give significant change after three centuries (witness AV) or an independent Scotland free to make her own decisions.
It would appear, in essence, that you are intentionally voting against your best chance to get what you want.

I am amazed that your post above is so timely deepwater (on behalf of Hazel?) you must be reading my thoughts. I have been struggling with my answer to pa-broon above.

Just before I read yours I was browsing the letters in the Scotsman and I found this one.

“At present I do not even know what Alex Salmond means by “independence”. We are told by leading Nationalists that it’s not what they meant in the 1970s, as things have changed since then. But considering the outpourings of the cybernats, it would seem they have not convinced at least some of their fellow members.”

I will leave it to you to find who wrote it. I have said before I would prefer a UK federal solution, but if it is not in sight before we get a Scottish solution spelled out for discussion, then I fear my vote will not be for independence continuing with the failed system.
 
 
# gt-cri 2011-10-21 19:47
@Exel "I have said before I would prefer a UK federal solution, but if it is not in sight before we get a Scottish solution spelled out for discussion, then I fear my vote will not be for independence continuing with the failed system."

Quite within your rights. If the proposal doesn't suit your preference, go against it & lose any chance of acheiving what you want! Democracy not for you, is it? ;-)
 

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