There’s an interesting piece in the Tory press tomorrow which is titled, “Ban Scottish MPs from becoming Chancellor, Tory MPs demand.” Just think about that for a minute, if these plans go ahead Scotland would never have a man in the UK Treasury again. Even though we would still be a part of the UK. But, why stop there? UKIP’s Nigel Farage said, “Ultimately if you can’t have people voting on English laws then you can’t have them holding senior office either.” I’m sure he speaks for a lot of other MPs too.
So that would mean that no Scottish MP would ever hold a position of authority in the UK Parliament ever again. How do you feel about that Scotland? Does that sound like representative politics to you? We would end up as second class citizens even though we pay the same rates of taxes. We would never have a voice at the top table of politics in this land. We would be unable to have any influence upon any decisions which directly affect our lives.
In more briefing of the Tory press apparently the Tories are pledging to stop Scottish MPs from voting on English taxes, even though those decisions will directly affect the funding to the Scottish Government via the Barnett formula. It is clear that the Tories are ramping up the rhetoric over EVEL but they have not considered the effects on Scottish people, they are playing to an English audience.
So what are those effects? My prediction is that the people of Scotland will see each move against the voting rights and the rights to hold office in the UK Parliament as an affront. They will be disgusted with the rewards of voting to remain within the UK. They will move towards Yes and they will clamour for another referendum, which the Yes side would probably win.
But all of this is speculation. None of these things will happen if the Tories, of whichever flavour, don’t retain power in the next general election which would be a good reason not to vote for them or their cronies. But they will get in eventually, such is the joy of the two party political system in Westminster. What then?
Article 6 enshrines everyone’s tight to a fair trial, including a public hearing, before an independent and impartial tribunal within reasonable time. The article also enshrines the presumption of innocence and other minimum rights for those charged with a criminal offence, such as adequate time and facilities to prepare their defence, access to legal representation, right to examine witnesses against them or have them examined and the right to the free assistance of an interpreter.
Of course this has already happened with the introduction of the Justice and Security Act 2013 which means that you can be charged, tried, convicted and sentenced without knowing of any of the details of the case against you. You will not hear any of the charges against you. You will not get to know any of the evidence against you. You will not be allowed to be present in the court which decides your fate. You will not even hear what your sentence is. The first thing that you will know will be the police coming to your door to arrest you and place you in prison to serve your sentence.
This legislation is in direct contradiction to Article 6, which is probably why the Tories want to get rid of the Human Rights Act so they can chuck whoever they please into prison.
The Prime Minister thumped his tub in parliament today saying, “Britain will not be paying €2 billion to anyone on 1 December.” David Miliband tried to find out when the UK Government knew about the increased payments but the Prime Minister brushed the question aside. So the questions are, who knew what and when?
The budget, and the changes to each countries charges, was discussed on 26th May 2014. The measures which increased the UK’s share of the budget were waved though, “without discussion.” On the same day the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson issued a press briefing which said, “Asked about the European Commission’s intention to increase its budget, the PMS pointed out that this was an annual budget, which formed part of a 7 year spending period. And, as a result of negotiations led by the Prime Minister last year, the EU budget would fall in real terms over that period.” So David Cameron KNEW about the increase to the budget the day before he flew out to have an informal dinner with other EU leaders on the 27th May 2014, but he was too busy crowing about the European election results to be bothered to bring the topic of a £1.7 billion increase in the UK’s contribution.
On the 24th October 2014 the PM said, “Well I first learnt about this yesterday on Thursday, and immediately started to seek allies, and I found allies in the Italians and the Greeks and Dutch and others, on just how unacceptable this is. In terms of when the Treasury got this information, it was a little bit earlier in the week. And I think the answer to that is when these sorts of memos come about is that they have to be interrogated, they have to be examined, people have to work out what lies behind them.” This is clearly a lie.
So why are the press not going for the jugular? Because Dave is ‘their’ man in Downing Street perhaps? Or are the press doing the government’s bidding? Or is it both?
The Prime Minister has promised that the UK will not pay it’s debt to the EU on the 1st December which would leave the UK in default. David Cameron said, “If people think I am paying that bill on 1 December, they have another think coming.” This will henceforth be known as the “Call Me Dave” defence so the next time HMRC come knocking, wanting you to pay your tax bill by such and such a date, you just have to tell them that your name is Dave and the problem will disappear. How do you think that will work out? Exactly, and the same thing is going to happen here.
The spat is designed to make the PM appear to be tough on the EU but the effect so far is to alienate our trading partners and neighbours as well as diminishing our global standing. Who is going to trust a country which does not pay its’ debts? As Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Tory Lickspittle, said during the Scottish Independence Referendum about the SNPs’ promise not to pay its’ share of UK debt, “The Scottish Government’s plan to renege on Scotland’s share of the debt in the event of independence is simply not credible. Mortgage rates would go up, credit cards and bills would go up and the Scottish Government would have to resort to the bond markets equivalent of Wonga to raise money to pay for public services in Scotland.”
So that’s it then, we can expect higher mortgage rates, credit cards and bills to go up and UK government will have to go cap in hand to Wonga to bail them out. Just because Dave want’s to appear to be tough on the EU. Just because the Tories are running scared from the UKIP threat. We’re definitely Better Together now then.