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Scottish independence and devolution superthread

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Cade

^^^^

 

tl;dr version:

 

The SNP's strategy was wrong all along.  They should have cleared up all of the issues that people wanted addressed - not just currency - between 2011 and 2014, and then had the referendum.  If they'd done that, the result might well have been different, and Scotland might well be on the way to independence within 14 months. 

 

It was a lost opportunity.

The only problem with that is that the UK government refused to negotiate anything like that until after the referendum, forcing the SNP to go on supposition and projections.

If the UK government had agreed to hammer out the details and let the voting public make an informed choice, yes the result may have been different.

Which is why they refused point blank to discuss it.

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JamboX2

The only problem with that is that the UK government refused to negotiate anything like that until after the referendum, forcing the SNP to go on supposition and projections.

If the UK government had agreed to hammer out the details and let the voting public make an informed choice, yes the result may have been different.

Which is why they refused point blank to discuss it.

 

I don't think Ulysses is talking about pre-negotiation of the position. It's more the SNP's lack of ability to counter the economic roadblock on currency that was presented to them. Should've had better answers than debt reneging and tariffs or even nonsense about blockading the North Sea. 

 

It was not the position, obligation or requirement for there to be pre-negotiation. The UK government had no mandate from the UK electorate to begin the process of dividing up the nation. The SNP should have had a considered that the UK government may not follow their ideas to the letter. Pre-negotiation was never on the cards. 

 

As Ulysses says, this was their prime opportunity and the blew it. A Tory government, an unpopular one at that, an economy in the slump and high oil revenues during the campaign should have ensured a win. Instead they squandered everything they had tactically and failed.

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Geoff Kilpatrick

The only problem with that is that the UK government refused to negotiate anything like that until after the referendum, forcing the SNP to go on supposition and projections.

If the UK government had agreed to hammer out the details and let the voting public make an informed choice, yes the result may have been different.

Which is why they refused point blank to discuss it.

Yet when the UK did produce a red line like no to a currency union, it was "bullying" Scotland! You can't have it both ways.

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Cade

Aye they could have been braver, taken one option and stuck to it.

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Ulysses

The only problem with that is that the UK government refused to negotiate anything like that until after the referendum, forcing the SNP to go on supposition and projections.

If the UK government had agreed to hammer out the details and let the voting public make an informed choice, yes the result may have been different.

Which is why they refused point blank to discuss it.

 

I agree with you up to a point.  I think part of the problem here is that the SNP saw this in terms of winning and losing, instead of seeing it as a project where they had to win over hearts and minds to their way of thinking and doing things.

 

I saw an article (sorry, I just can't recall where) that laid out a different strategy that the SNP should have adopted after winning the 2011 election.  It said that as a government, they should have called a referendum much earlier seeking a mandate from the people to negotiate the terms of an independence agreement, on the condition that the agreement would be put to another referendum for adoption or rejection by the people.

 

The thinking was that the people would hardly have turned such a modest and reasonable request down - and in a situation where a very big majority of Scots identify themselves as Scottish rather than British, it would immediately have put Westminster and Whitehall at a huge disadvantage.  Negotiate, and they're opening the door to independence.  Refuse to talk, and they're a recruiting officer for the independence campaign.  So then the government negotiates terms over a period of (say) up to September 2014.  During that time, issues of uncertainty would have gotten ironed out, and all the while the Scottish government would have looked more and more like a sovereign government and the idea of being independent would have become normalised in the media and in the minds of voters - but all on the basis that the voters are of course free to reject whatever is agreed if they don't like it.

 

There's no way an approach like that would have produced a lower Yes vote than 45% on referendum day - not a chance.  We can't say what proportion of the other 22-25 percent would have said Yes with much of the doubt eliminated.  But I think a lot of them would have.

 

That's why I think it was a missed opportunity for the SNP.  I think they were that bit too impatient after they won the election in 2011.

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Hasselhoff

Read somewhere that a Scottish OBR is being suggested so that parties can't just invent 'facts' to try and win votes and there will be proper factual evidence on financials over many years which is independent of parties. Seems a good idea and will prevent some of the lies which came out during the referendum.

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jambo1185

Read somewhere that a Scottish OBR is being suggested so that parties can't just invent 'facts' to try and win votes and there will be proper factual evidence on financials over many years which is independent of parties. Seems a good idea and will prevent some of the lies which came out during the referendum.

 

What a surprise, Labour announcing an 8month old Tory policy and heralding it as something tremendous they just thought up.

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Coco

What a surprise, Labour announcing an 8month old Tory policy and heralding it as something tremendous they just thought up.

 

And there isn't any need for one anyway - as we have the august Scottish Fiscal Commission anyway.

:rofl:

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/labour-in-call-for-new-scottish-fiscal-body-1-3664888

 

This would be the body which doesn't seem to have met since March 2014 - and has had nothing to say about the Smith Commission proposals, collapse in North Sea Oil revenue, further evidence of the cost that sterlingisation would have had etc.  Where have they gone post-referendum?

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Economy/Council-Economic-Advisers/FCWG

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JamboX2

And there isn't any need for one anyway - as we have the august Scottish Fiscal Commission anyway.

:rofl:

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/labour-in-call-for-new-scottish-fiscal-body-1-3664888

 

This would be the body which doesn't seem to have met since March 2014 - and has had nothing to say about the Smith Commission proposals, collapse in North Sea Oil revenue, further evidence of the cost that sterlingisation would have had etc. Where have they gone post-referendum?

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Economy/Council-Economic-Advisers/FCWG

The SFC is not an OBR. Were they not the sub team of Salmonds Council of Economic Advisers who drew up currency union?

 

Swinney called for a Scottish OBR a few years ago but never got it through cabinet.

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Coco

The SFC is not an OBR. Were they not the sub team of Salmonds Council of Economic Advisers who drew up currency union?

 

Swinney called for a Scottish OBR a few years ago but never got it through cabinet.

It is Swinney's guy who is saying that a SOBR isn't needed because they want to put the (now apparently defunct) FC on a statutory basis!

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JamboX2

It is Swinney's guy who is saying that a SOBR isn't needed because they want to put the (now apparently defunct) FC on a statutory basis!

My mistake. Personally, I think the OBR and a Scottish version are kind of excuses for governments to fob the duty of honesty to another independent body. If anything, the OBR has proved that once these bodies are established they quickly become matters of dispute and the debate moves from policy to costings and alienates people.

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Coco

Can anyone who has actually read the command paper tell me if there is going to be a Sunset Clause included in the planned Bill?

 

With a group of such low quality people cooking up a new constitution for Scotland in such a rushed timescale there will inevitably be very poor quality aspects to the settlement.

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jambo1185

From my reading of the legislation, Nicola is just having a difficult time understanding the meaning of the word "consult". There are complications around the aspects of welfare being devolved, because the universal credit is staying reserved (as agreed by the SNP) but there is welfare devolution, so I think that's causing some complexity with the drafting to make that clear. But there is absolutely nothing in there which, so far as I can tell, gives Westminster a complete veto over devolved welfare powers (or how the SNP use their powers on the devolved matters) in the way the SNP have tried to suggest. The clauses the SNP are kicking a fuss about, as I read them, apply to the universal credit which can be varied but which ultimately remains reserved i.e. exactly as agreed in the Smith Commission agreed. So to achieve that Westminster has to be consulted on changes the Scottish Government would like to make to it and the Secretary of State has to agree the date those changes take effect (not to be unreasonably withheld).

 

Similarly, Westminster can't make changes to the Universal Credit which would impact Scotland without consulting the Scottish Government first.

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Socrates

From my reading of the legislation, Nicola is just having a difficult time understanding the meaning of the word "consult". There are complications around the aspects of welfare being devolved, because the universal credit is staying reserved (as agreed by the SNP) but there is welfare devolution, so I think that's causing some complexity with the drafting to make that clear. But there is absolutely nothing in there which, so far as I can tell, gives Westminster a complete veto over devolved welfare powers (or how the SNP use their powers on the devolved matters) in the way the SNP have tried to suggest. The clauses the SNP are kicking a fuss about, as I read them, apply to the universal credit which can be varied but which ultimately remains reserved i.e. exactly as agreed in the Smith Commission agreed. So to achieve that Westminster has to be consulted on changes the Scottish Government would like to make to it and the Secretary of State has to agree the date those changes take effect (not to be unreasonably withheld).

 

Similarly, Westminster can't make changes to the Universal Credit which would impact Scotland without consulting the Scottish Government first.

 

The problem is the requirement for the Secretary of State to consent, and what would be deemed as an unreasonable withholding of consent. Would "i'm not consenting because it goes directly against Tory party policy" be reasonable?

 

Also, how can Westminster not make changes to the Universal Credit, just by legislating? Does the Scottish Government have a similar requirement to consent?

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jambo1185

The problem is the requirement for the Secretary of State to consent, and what would be deemed as an unreasonable withholding of consent. Would "i'm not consenting because it goes directly against Tory party policy" be reasonable?

 

Also, how can Westminster not make changes to the Universal Credit, just by legislating? Does the Scottish Government have a similar requirement to consent?

 

It's not consent to the detail of the changes but the date on which they take effect. To me that's not a blanket veto, there's plenty of reading out there on what constitutes reasonable withholding of consent - it features in pretty much every commercial contract and a hell of a lot of legislation as well. It's mainly targeted to ensure there is sufficient time to deal with the changes, so for example it's highly unlikely to be unreasonable for Westminster to refuse consent to changes taking effect the following day (to use an extreme example). It also unlikely to be reasonable for Westminster to refuse agreement to a change taking effect ever (unless what Scotland was wanting to do was beyond the scope of its powers or something, or went to matters of national security - but in those cases there would be some kind of judicial decision on the point I am sure).

 

There is a mirror obligation to consult on changes to varying the Universal Credit, whoever is proposing to make those (the Westminster requirement to obtain consent from the Scottish Ministers wouldn't apply, I don't think, where the changes wouldn't effect Scotland for whatever reason).

 

And in any event Sturgeon has been claiming there is a veto on all welfare devolution, which, even if you argue that the above amounts to a veto on Scotland varying the universal credit (which everyone agreed should be reserved remember - so Westminster should be permitted to make changes unilaterally by legislating, that they need to consult with the Scottish Ministers beforehand is formalising what would happen anyway), is total nonsense. The above provisions don't apply to the wider devolved welfare powers.

Edited by jambo1185

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TheMaganator

There's no veto. Davy-C made that clear.

 

True to form Sturgeon, rather than working to move matters forward on Scotland's interest, is making up false problems to stir up anti-Westminster sentiment and play to the 45.

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JamboX2

The problem is the requirement for the Secretary of State to consent, and what would be deemed as an unreasonable withholding of consent. Would "i'm not consenting because it goes directly against Tory party policy" be reasonable?

 

Also, how can Westminster not make changes to the Universal Credit, just by legislating? Does the Scottish Government have a similar requirement to consent?

On the first part, if unreasonable excuse was given then you could judicially review it in the courts. If held unreasonable then it'd be politically naive to ignore the decision.

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TheMaganator

The problem is the requirement for the Secretary of State to consent, and what would be deemed as an unreasonable withholding of consent. Would "i'm not consenting because it goes directly against Tory party policy" be reasonable?

 

Also, how can Westminster not make changes to the Universal Credit, just by legislating? Does the Scottish Government have a similar requirement to consent?

Davy-C specifically mentioned legislating against the spare-room subsidy, if we wanted to, which is against Tory policy. There is no veto. 

 

I wish she'd stop whining and start governing. What does she plan on doing with the new powers is the conversation we should be having. Government was put on hold during the referendum - lets get things moving again. 

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Boris

Semantics perhaps, however if no veto, why is there a need to consult?

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jambo1185

Semantics perhaps, however if no veto, why is there a need to consult?

Because it's dealing with a matter that is ultimately reserved and it's common decency for the two governments to speak to each other, whoever is wanting to make the change, to see what they feel about it.

 

It happens anyway. It's just formalising how the relationship would work in practice regardless.

 

I'm surprised you seem to be against the two governments having a dialogue Boris?

 

And it's not semantics, consult and consent are not even close to meaning the same thing.

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davie1980

Anyone see that knob in the green jacket noising up an old fella in section E?

 

Bang out of order!

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Gorgiewave

A Yes man?

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Sarah O

We got any "new powers" yet?

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