No will mean NO additional powers that mean anything.

What a title but I suspect true. There has been much debate the last couple of days around Gordon Brown and Ming Campbell’s intervention to the constitutional arguments of Scotland.

But before I go on, the Scotland Act 2012 will deliver additional powers to Scotland in 2016 or thereabouts, however the process to decide these powers was started in 2007. This means that the Scottish Government will have responsibility for a new Scottish rate of income tax to be in place from April 2016 but this will have taken nine years, other powers include:

New borrowing powers for the Scottish Government.

Full control of stamp duty land tax and landfill tax from April 2015 .

The power to introduce new taxes, subject to agreement of the UK Government.

The power to legislate on matters relating to air weapons.

Giving Scottish Ministers powers relating to the misuse of drugs.

Giving Scottish Ministers powers to set regulations for the drink-drive limit .

Giving Scottish Ministers powers to set the national speed limit .

Giving Scottish Ministers powers relating to the administration of elections to the Scottish Parliament

The Act also formally changes the name of the Scottish Executive to the Scottish Government.

The above is supposed to be the biggest transfer of powers from Westminster in 300 years but when you think about it is still insulting and pretty much meaningless at the end of the day as they will do little to actually change the economic and political landscape in Scotland.

However, Gordon Brown is saying that in the event of a no vote Scotland might, just mibe, get some of the following:

A new UK constitutional law to set out the purpose of the UK as pooling and sharing resources for the defence, security and well-being of the citizens of all four nations.

A constitutional guarantee of the permanence of the Scottish Parliament.

A new division of powers between Scotland and Westminster that gives Holyrood more powers in employment, health, transport and economic regeneration.

A new tax sharing agreement that balances the commitment of the UK to pool and share its resources with the need for accountability to the electors in all the places where money is spent.

New power-sharing partnerships to address shared problems on poverty, unemployment, housing need and the environment.

A “radical” transfer of powers downwards from Westminster and Edinburgh to local communities.

All of what Gordon Brown is saying is vague, and it tells you nothing at all about what any of it actually means. It doesn’t commit the unionists to any additional powers for Scotland and in particular the pooling of resources would probably result in more money from Scotland going south as Gordon Brown has said in the past he would not be against. Gordon Brown is offering nothing but more poverty and cannot guarantee anything as he has no power and I would suggest little influence anyway.

Ming Campbell has said that his report will also suggest a timeframe in which new powers could be delivered “swiftly” in the event of a no vote. He said: “This is a momentous opportunity to grasp the growing consensus on more powers. “In the event of a no vote in 2014, we can move swiftly towards delivering what we know that majority of people in Scottish wish to see. “That is, a stronger Scottish parliament within the United Kingdom family of nations.” So Ming is saying, well I’m not really sure what he is saying but it certainly isn’t any more powers.

Whichever way you want to look at it, to make meaningful change in Scotland , the Scottish Government, at the very least, require control over all social security and taxation powers and I mean all. Being able to raise tax, in whatever way, and for that money to go to Westminster is an absolute waste of time and just sets us back even more and makes us poorer. The simple reality is that if you vote No in September I suspect there will be no additional powers anytime soon, in fact what is more likely is the return of powers to Westminster and the ending of the Barnett Formula which decides our pocket money. I believe a No vote will result in even more poverty, less representation and will give the unionists free rein to do whatever they want to Scotland, against it’s will, and they will do whatever they want because you will have voted to give them that license.

We all need to sit up and take notice of this debate, research it, listen to what the Better Together camp are saying but more importantly what they are not saying, and what they are not saying is what additional powers will come to Scotland.

Think before you Vote.

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4 comments

  1. hektorsmum

    Well I always have thought hard before voting, therefore I have never voted for one of the Parties enthralled to the Union. I am looking forward to the next time I see Gordon Brown in the High Street of Dunfermline, I want a word or three with him. So Gordon should you see a wee woman coming up to you I suggest you lose the smile, it is fake any way and you, as they say these days “Man Up”.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Totally agree, I have always thought about my vote over the years even though I often sometimes wonder why I bother. I listend to FMQs today and again think who in their right mind can vote for any of the unionist parties. What is with these people that they take great pleasure in their country and fellow Scots being poorer, what is it that makes them hate Scotland so much because they do, they really hate Scotland. Gordon Brown, to me, he has always come across as a spolit child, not a very bright one and one from a generation of labour, like Lamont, Alexander, Curran, Darling who seem to think they have a devine right to manage the region formally known as the nation Scotland, they make me sick.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. bringiton

    Labour know that their chances of regaining control of Holyrood are next to zero so are proposing to bypass our parliament and fund their power bases in the cities directly.
    This is also part of the traditional British policy,when dealing with hostile natives,to divide and rule.
    In any case,why should we leave decisions up to a handful of individuals to decide what we can and cannot do when a Yes vote on the ballot paper will hand that power to the people of Scotland as a whole.
    They are just trying to shore up the Labour (No) vote since the polls are showing a shift towards Yes and it will be noticeable how quickly Westminster loses interest in matters Scottish should we be foolish enough to return a No result.
    With a Yes vote,Broon and his fellow retirees can then return to the lucrative lecture circuit and leave the rest of us to get on with things.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Bringiton

      I agree that Labour in Scotland , in some ways , want to try and shore up local councils because they believe they won’t win in 2016 what ever happens in September and I suspect they are correct in that one. A YES vote will deliver the kind of political freedom that I certainly want as this whole process is about democracy for me, I also believe the vote will be very very close and no one can really tell or predict the outcome this far out.

      Some people also say that Labour died with John Smith but I would argue that it died with Neil Kinnock gaining the leadership as he started to make too many compromises to try and get the middle England vote. That is the whole point, my vote does not matter at all, no matter what I vote in a GE I will get whatever government the south east decides I am going to have and that is not democracy. Labour though have now gone too far to the right and are starting to alianate their traditional Scottish vote, whether this will be enough come September to swing things only time will tell, but watching Johan Lamont today at FMQs can only help as everytime she stands up to speak it is always too wee, too poor and too stupid. They delight in talking Scotland down and I really sense that people are starting to get really sick of it.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

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