I’M NOT POURING SCORN ON THE IDEA OF A FEDERAL BRITAIN, BUT…

I haven’t read Kezia’s article, so no, I’m not going to pour scorn on it, or on the notion of federalism, with or without venom.

Kezia is talking about the need for a new Act of Union, this Federalist thing  that Labour has been touting around the place all week.

Frankly, I would welcome it because every time we get more power we are a step closer to independence. The Noble Baron Robertson got it so wrong when he said that devolution would kill independence stone dead. Mind you, having chosen to be a nobleman from Port Ellen where a sizable proportion of the population speak Gaelic, and then telling folk that Scotland couldn’t be independent because it doesn’t have a separate language of culture, he’s actually pretty practised at being wrong.

But Gordon Brown promised us that two years ago, and there is evidence to suggest that his promise (made on behalf of the two potential post-2015 election prime ministers, because neither of them was popular enough to come and speak personally to Scots) swung the vote in favour of staying in the union.

Of course what we actually got were a few small powers, some useful, some not, but nothing even vaguely approaching federal government. (And before Labour supporters argue, if it had been delivered, why are they touting it again two years later?) Indeed, as the Scotland Act 2016 passed through the Westminster parliament, “Federal” Labour voted against everything that the SNP, with a 90+% Scottish representation in the chamber, proposed.

We were, it seemed, not bright enough to cope with the raft of powers that SNP members proposed.

So, Duncan, I’d ask why you, Kezia or (as I read somewhere) the Noble Baron Darling, think we would believe you’ve all changed your minds? Is it because you’ve had a Damascian conversion to the idea that we aren’t, after all, too wee, poor and stupid to decide on our own abortion law, y’know like Guernsey is, for example?

New Scottish Labour Leader Announced

 

Or is it that at 14% in the polls and having lost the privilege of being the second party in Holyrood to the TORIES, you’ve taken a tumble to yourself that maybe you should listen to the voters in Scotland instead of the Home Counties?

Or could it be that you reckon, well…it worked last time, why wouldn’t it work again? I mean, you don’t actually have to deliver, do you…and how could you anyway, being the third party in Holyrood, and about as likely to form the next Westminster government as that Liberal blokey that wants to join up with the Tories…erm whatisname again?

In any case, it’s academic. From what I’ve been reading about Brexit, the British government’s constitutional departments will have their hands full for the next 10-15 years trying to salvage something from the chaos of the overwhelming(?) wishes of the English and Welsh people.

Not sure when there will be time for any of their people to consider notions like a new Act of Union.

So, hot air then?

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I THOUGHT THIS WAS WORTH HIGHLIGHTING

Over the last three years, the Department for Work and Pensions has handed out £139.9 million in bonuses to its staff – £124.37 million of which has gone to Senior Civil servants according to an article in the Independent.

I’m wondering what the proportion of Senior Civil Servants is to the lower orders? Because the bonuses given to the top people amount to approximately 89% of the total cash available.

I doubt if that is a reflection of the staffing situation.

I only mention it because it is your money.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

 

Disagreeable old woman, oh sorry “lady”. She’s an aristo, don’t you know?

 

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Citigroup has shifted from warning about moving jobs from Britain to firming up plans to do so by picking specific destinations, according to an article in the Indy. I wonder what kind of financial incentive this broke country can offer them to stay.

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Donald Trump has increased membership fees to his Turnberry golf club by £700 per annum.  The 38% rise takes the fees to over £2 500 per annum. Serious stuff.

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That just might be an offence, although your falsified votes are unlikely to have been counted. Even if you and your mates are a bit dim, the people counting the survey probably aren’t. Oh, and it’s “my pals and I” you silly boy. Here’s a wee tip. When you don’t know which pronoun to use, take out the other name(s). Would you say “me sat and made up 40 people”? No?  Well, why would you use a subject pronoun when you’re on your own and change it to an object pronoun when you add a few mates? Duh!

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SOPPY SUNDAY

For captions hold your mouse over the picture. Or if you wish to see the slideshow, click on any picture, the caption will show at the bottom. Hope this works OK for you.

I’ve just read Mark Frankland’s blog about Donald. As ever I leave Mark’s blog with tears of sadness and anger in my eyes. I am truly ashamed to be a part of a country that treats people like this but at the same time I’m  proud to be a part of a country that has people like Mark Frankland in it.

Mark has more than met his target to keep Donald warm until the mean-minded bastards at the DWP see fit to give the guy some money to keep warm, and Mark and his team will feed him from First Base until February.

But we all know that Mark will have to face more Donalds before long.

If you can give here’s the link.

Y’know, they talk big about Great British Values and how we are a Christian country and how their every step is guided by the gospels. But how in the name of hell can they be when they do this to people. Maybe they just had different gospels from the ones we read at school.

GREAT BRITISH JUSTICE SYSTEM UNFIT FOR PURPOSE, SAYS GREAT BRITISH CHIP WRAPPER/CAT LITTER

According to the Mail, then,  the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the one to which they, the Mail,  have been fighting to bring back power from Europe (decent British judges, applying decent British law, enacted by decent British elected parliament…. (try not to laugh at the back), using decent British values), is fundamentally corrupt and can’t be trusted to make a decision about the law of the United Kingdom and its constituent parts  regarding the right, under the legal systems operating therein, of the queen to enact the  necessary legislation to remove the UK from the EU.

They seem to have little sense of irony at the Mail. I wonder if the British government doesn’t get its way on this, will the Mail demand that the case be taken to the European Court? After all, they clearly have serious doubts about the integrity  of the UK’s own very most senior judges, and their abilities to distance themselves from their connections or private feelings when it comes to making judgements…and seriously, that bodes ill for justice in a newly independent UK.

No one is saying, of course, that the will of the people, as indicated in the referendum, should not be enacted. Article 50 should be enacted. The question is more technically about WHO enacts it. And in law that can be everything. Do something wrong at the beginning of the journey and it can invalidate everything you do thereafter.

If British/English/Scots/Irish laws say that use of the Royal Prerogative is illegal, then surely everything that follows from its use would be illegal. How embarrassing would that be?

Britain's Queen Elizabeth arrives at the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament in London
Are you questioning my rights, Munguin?

As I see it, the first question is: Does the UK government, using whatever law it uses (English, I assume) have the right to invite the queen to use her powers under Royal Prerogative to initiate the Article 50 procedure, or must this be decided by the sovereign UK parliament?

 

The second question is: how is that right affected by different Scots and Irish law, and, given the results of the referendum in Scotland and NI, what rights, if any, do THEIR non-sovereign parliaments have to represent their will, and for it to be considered?

Of course, unlike some of you, I’m not a lawyer, so I’ll be very happy to stand corrected on any of that. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

Oh, and one last thing. The Daily Mail has just trashed the Supreme Court of the UK for being a pile of unelected (unlike the Daily Mail) Europhiles. Any judgement they make is bound to be biased. So, what happens if they agree with the government that the queen is entitled to make the decision and the Scotland and the Irish can like it or do the other thing? Will they still be a pile of unelected idiots, or will they suddenly have become sensible and sober upholders of the Great British legal system?

Will they still be a pile of unelected idiots, or will they suddenly have become sensible and sober upholders of the Great British legal system? It’s awfully complicated.