Tag Archives: UK government


PM Squeals about “Pooling and Sharing” of Resources

The Prime Minister has “demanded” emergency talks with the EU about their demands for more money from the UK. The demands themselves stem from the UK economy’s outperformance since 1995 and they amount to £1.676 billion. The Netherlands, Greece, Italy and Cyprus are also in the frame for their underpayments to the EU. These “demands” have been acceded to by the EU.

Some countries have been made overpayments to the EU and now they are due a refund. The countries are: France, Germany, Denmark, Poland and Austria. Given how strong these countries’ voices are within the EU, and the fact that they are due a rebate, I don’t think that the PM stands much of a chance of getting the surcharge waived.

This announcement from the EU is a big blow to the Pm and the Tories, with the Rochester and Strood by-election coming up on 20th November and UKIP nipping at their heels. The PM has to appear to be tough on Europe or risk losing more votes to the right wing UKIP. Unfortunately for David Cameron the majority of people are against leaving the EU so the PM is really on the hook. If he succeeds then the Tories will look good to UKIP voters but if he fails then he can expect a backlash against his party.

But what about our moral obligations? Think of it this way, if you had under paid your taxes to HMRC you can be sure that they would want you to pay that money back. So what is the difference here? Are the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition involving themselves in tax dodging?

They’re just like their rich chums.

Keep Calm Learn Your Command Words

The UK Government Commands

The government has issued its commands to the Smith Commission today, and what a right riveting read it is too. The “Command Paper” was published to “set out the range of proposals that have been made on further devolution.” So what’s it all about?

In a nutshell it re-iterates the main Unionist parties’ preferred options for further devolution to the Scottish Parliament.  Can you remember what went down before the referendum? Each of the main Unionist parties had a wee bit of a get together and , between the champers and caviar, came up with a range of proposals. They then published them:

Scottish Conservatives and Unionist Party: Commission on the Future Governance of Scotland

Scottish Liberal Democrats: Federalism: the best future for Scotland

Scottish Labour Party: Powers for a purpose – Strengthening Accountability and Empowering People

Now, as we all know, the word “Scottish” means nothing in those party names. We know that they take their orders from London. So whatever view is expressed in those papers is the settled view of the Westminster holding party. The commands are therefor issued directly from Westminster. If we think back to composition and remit of the Smith Commission, which was discussed in an earlier post, we can see that it is 60% Unionist – 40% Pro Independence and a consensus has to be reached (in a very short timeframe). Which means that whatever the Unionist parties agree to will be the consensus.

Having had a read of the document that means that Air Passenger Duty will be devolved. Ace, the only increase in tax raising powers will be the ability to vary the rate of tax on air passengers. There are various proposals for the devolution of spending money, but you can’t spend what you haven’t got. But we might be able to borrow a bit from the treasury, if they let us. Of course, the Barnett Formula will be adjusted to reflect the taxes raised in Scotland.

I’m looking forward to the Unionist crow fest tomorrow when the House of Commons will get to shove the referendum result down our throats again. That’ll be just dandy. Oh, don’t forget Gordie Broon’s wee debate on Thursday either. Then we will have to wait until the end of the month for the Smith Commission to report, but I wouldn’t expect anything of substance to come from it. So much for “Devo-Max” Gordie; you’ve been played for a fool and so have the people of Scotland.


Liberty & Security

The European Convention on Human Rights, Article 5: Liberty & Security

Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides that everyone has the right of liberty and security of the person. The tories want to abolish these rights.

It’s good to know what you’re voting for.