Let’s firstly take a look at the facts:
- The YES campaign in the Scottish referendum LOST. Democratically. They are ignoring the fact that the majority of Scottish people voted against them and they are trying to still achieve independence.
- The price of oil is in long term decline due to technology allowing vast North American oil shale and tar sand reserves to be tapped at low cost. Even OPEC is fighting for market share. Much Scottish oil is now being extracted at a loss, new developments are uneconomic. An independent Scotland, without English subsidies, would be a very poor place indeed.
- Scottish MP constituencies are smaller than English ones, which is undemocratic and gives Scottish voters more power than English voters. Scottish MPs at Westminster are allowed to speak and vote on purely English matters, which is undemocratic.
- The Barnett Formula means that English taxpayers massively subsidise the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who receive more annual government per capita spend. This is a fact and it is utterly wrong. Scottish people receive far more government services than the English, yet it is the English paying for them. Current per capita government spending:
- England £8,529
- Scotland £10,152
- Wales £9,709
- Northern Ireland £10,876
During the referendum campaign Gordon Brown (who is just an ordinary MP and who rarely does his job) stood up and promised the Scots tax raising powers. Without any democratic reference to the rest of Great Britain, or to the British Government.. This was reluctantly endorsed by the main Westminster parties. After the referendum the Smith Commission was set up to decide what constitutional changes to make. Here are their conclusions:
- The Scottish parliament to have complete power to set income tax rates and bands.
- The Scottish parliament to receive a proportion of the VAT raised in Scotland, amounting to the first 10 percentage points of the standard rate (so with the current standard VAT rate of 20%, Scotland would receive 50% of the receipts). However, the Scottish parliament cannot influence the UK’s overall VAT rate.
- The Scottish Parliament to have increased borrowing powers to support capital investment and ensure budgetary stability. These powers are to be agreed with the UK government.
- UK legislation to state that the Scottish parliament and Scottish government are permanent institutions. The parliament will also be given powers to legislate over how it is elected and run.
- The Scottish parliament to have power to extend the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds, allowing them to vote in the Scottish Parliament general election, 2016.
- The Scottish parliament to have control over a number of benefits including Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, winter fuel payments and the housing elements of Universal Credit, including the under-occupancy charge .
- The Scottish parliament to have new powers to make discretionary payments in any area of welfare without the need to obtain prior permission from the Department for Work and Pensions.
- The Scottish parliament to have all powers of support for unemployed people through employment programmes, mainly delivered at present through the Work Programme.
- The Scottish parliament to have control over air passenger duty charged on passengers flying from Scottish airports.
- Responsibility for the management of the Crown Estate’s economic assets in Scotland, including the Crown Estate’s seabed and mineral and fishing rights, and the revenue generated from these assets, to be transferred to the Scottish parliament.
- The licensing of onshore oil and gas extraction underlying Scotland to be devolved to the Scottish parliament.
- The Scottish government will have power to allow public sector operators to bid for ail franchises funded and specified by Scottish ministers.
- The block grant from the UK government to Scotland will continue to be determined via the operation of the Barnett formula. New rules to define how it will be adjusted at the point when powers are transferred and thereafter to be agreed by the Scottish and UK governments and put in place prior to the powers coming into force. These rules will ensure that neither the Scottish nor UK governments will lose or gain financially from the act of transferring a power.
- MPs representing constituencies across the whole of the UK to continue to decide the UK’s budget, including income tax.
- The Scottish and UK governments to draw up and agree a memorandum of understanding to ensure that devolution is not detrimental to UK-wide critical national infrastructure in relation to matters such as defence and security, oil and gas and energy.
This is vastly more than Gordon Brown promised and is an immense constitutional change. It is a license to hand out English taxpayers’ money in vast benefits to the Scots. And it has been agreed by the Westminster parties, without the English voters having any say.
And still Alex Salmond is not happy. He says Scotland was promised Devo Max. Which is just untrue. He wants to salami slice ever more power to the Scots but with three conditions: 1) The English taxpayers continue to subsidise Scotland 2) Scotland does not take responsibility for its share of national debt 2) English taxpayers continue to pay for Scotland’s defence, diplomatic cover, central banking etc.
Now I will introduce you to a frightening scenario. There will never be peace in Israel because it is impossible to form a government without including Zionist nutter political parties who want to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians. A similar awful scenario could be coming to Great Britain soon. After the 2015 General Election it is very likely that the balance of power will be held by the Scottish Nationalists, Ulster Unionists, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Greens, with the Scottish Nationalists being the biggest, after Labour has suffered Scottish meltdown. So any government will be a coalition. This will allow Alex Salmond, as SNP leader at Westminster, to lay down conditions. To blackmail the British Government. For a small number of Scots to dictate to a large number of English. Obviously Cameron is tough (he stands up to the EU and Putin) so will have none of this. However Miliband is very weak and will do anything for power, including stabbing his brother in the back.
English taxpayers are being taken for a huge ride by Alex Salmond and nobody seems to want to do anything about it. The only solution is a clear overall Conservative majority at the General Election. Or just get rid of the whingeing Scots.