Tag Archives: Scotland referendum

Their own ‘ridiculous conditions’ are ruining Tory plans

zwestminstertricks

The Conservative Party is accusing its Coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, of playing “Westminster tricks” by scuttling a backbench Bill supporting an in/out referendum on the EU – but it seems more likely that the Tories’ own politicking is to blame.

The Yellow Party has retaliated by claiming the Tories were attaching “ridiculous conditions” to the Bill that made it unsupportable, and this seems much more plausible in the light of David Cameron’s reaction to the Scottish referendum debate.

Remember the morning after Scotland voted to stay in the UK? Cameron stepped up to the cameras and promised to deliver the new powers to Holyrood that he and the other UK political leaders had promised – as part of a package that included devolution for England.

Nobody had asked for English devolution to be included. He just inserted it into the deal unilaterally, provoking protest from many quarters (on the reasonable grounds that English devolution is an attempt to ‘lock in’ Tory control over England). This made it possible for him to claim that these protesters were holding up the devolution process when in fact he was the one who had thrown a spanner in the works.

Now it seems he has done the same with the EU referendum Bill. The Liberal Democrats had agreed to support a ‘money resolution’ to approve the costs of the referendum, in exchange for an agreement by the Tories to do the same for a Lib Dem backbench Bill that would modify the bedroom tax.

But the Tories had then insisted that the referendum Bill should be debated in time normally reserved for government, rather than backbench, legislation. The Lib Dems quite correctly rejected this as inequitable.

And didn’t the Tories squeal about it! Bob Neill, the former minister who sponsored the backbench Bill, which came third in the ballot for debating time and is therefore struggling, said the Lib Dems had done “everything they could” to prevent a referendum: “The Lib Dems have killed off our chances of putting into law, this side of an election, an in/out EU referendum by 2017. They didn’t have the guts to vote against an EU referendum in the House of Commons. Instead they have used Westminster tricks to try to deny the British people a say on their membership of the EU.”

In fact, the evidence suggests the only Westminster tricksters in this case are the Tories. And here’s another one: Mr Neill said the Liberal Democrats would be held to account by voters at the next election.

He knows – and we know – that public opinion of the Liberal Democrats has plummeted. They are currently polling behind the Green Party – not because of their attitude to any EU referendum (most of the public couldn’t care less about the EU) but because they have supported a Conservative government whose policies have been compared with those of 20th century fascists – if not Nazis.

The Tories must think we are stupid if they expect us to ignore the fact that they are the ones playing “Westminster tricks”.

Why I Joined Yes and Why I Changed to No – Ewan Morrison

The BBC’s attempt to skew news coverage of the Scottish referendum appears to have succeeded – if only in making Vox Political‘s coverage appear to support the ‘Yes’ camp.

The problem with that is, Vox Political does not support the ‘Yes’ camp. Yr Obdt Srvt would rather the United Kingdom remain – well – united.

Fortunately a quick trawl through today’s blogs has turned up Ewan Morrison’s article on how the ‘Yes’ brigade turned a supporter into an opposer. You can read the whole thing on Wake Up Scotland, but here are a few tasters, to excite your interest:

“Within the Yes camp I attempted to find the revolutionary and inclusive debate that I’d heard was happening. But as soon as I was ‘in’ I was being asked to sign petitions, to help with recruitment, to take part in Yes groups, to come out publicly in the media, to spread the word and add the blue circle Yes logo to my social media photograph – even to come along and sing a ‘Scottish song’ at a Yes event… I noticed that the whenever someone raised a pragmatic question about governance, economics or future projections for oil revenue or the balance of payments in iScotland, they were quickly silenced by comments such as “We’ll sort that out after the referendum, this is not the place or the time for those kinds of questions”. Or the people who asked such questions were indirectly accused of ‘being negative’ or talking the language of the enemy.

“It was within a public meeting that I realised there was no absolutely no debate within the Yes camp. Zero debate – the focus was instead on attacking the enemy and creating an impenetrable shell to protect the unquestionable entity…  Questioning even triggered a self-policing process – The Yes Thought Police – rather like the Calvinist one in which doubters started to hate themselves and became fearful of showing signs of their inner torment.

“The Yes movement started to remind me of the Trotskyists – another movement who believed they were political but were really no more than a recruitment machine… The key is to keep it very simple – offer a one word promise. In the case of the Trotskyists it’s ‘Revolution,’ in the case of the independence campaign it’s the word ‘Yes’. Yes can mean five million things.

“The Yes camp have managed to make it seem like criticism of their politics is an attack on the individual’s right to imagine a better self. To do this, the Yes campaign has had to be emptied of almost all actual political content. It has had to become a form of faith.

“There is no way that the groups under the banner of Yes could actually work together; they’re all fighting for fundamentally different things… You have to ask yourself with so many groups all tugging in so many directions what makes a separate Scotland any different from the rest of the UK with its democratic conflicts, its mess?

“Many people are voting Yes just to express their frustration at not being able to engage with politics as it is. They’re voting Yes because they want their voice to be heard for the first time. That’s understandable and admirable, but Yes is not a debate or a democratic dream, it’s an empty word and an empty political process which means dream of what you want and express it with all the passion in your heart. The dream will die as soon as the singular Yes gets voted and Scotland then turns into a battleground of repressed and competing Yesses. Once the recruitment machine has served it purpose it will collapse and the repressed questions will return with a vengeance… Scotland will be fighting out its internal battles on a world stage after demonstrating it intends to run its new politics on an illusion of unity, a unity that breaks up even as it is observed.”

That was just a taste of this excellent article. For the rest, visit Wake Up Scotland.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
bringing you the best of the blogs!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

BBC manipulation of the Scotland debate continues – have they no shame?

Following on from yesterday’s article on Nick Robinson and the heads of BBC News, take a look at this; it appeared on Twitter earlier today:

scotlandtweet

You can complain to the BBC in several ways:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

Phone: 03700 100 222 *
03700 100 212 * (textphone)
*24 hours, charged as 01/02 geographic numbers

Post:BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922
Darlington
DL3 0UR

Ofcom is the TV regulator. Its website says you should make complaints about bias to the BBC Trust – which seems odd. Why would a biased BBC Trust do anything about such complaints? So here’s the link to Ofcom’s complaint form: https://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/tell-us/specific-programme-epg

Complaints to the BBC Trust merely go through the ordinary BBC complaints addresses/numbers.

You should also write to your MP. All things considered – apart from holding mass demonstrations outside BBC offices, it might be the only way to get your complaint heard.

Additional: VP has been contacted by a commenter, pointing out that the Big Debate took place last Thursday (September 11) – the same day Robinson manipulated his report. While it is true that there was no date on the tweet or the meme that appeared with it today, so it was impossible for Yr Obdt Srvt to have known this, it makes no material difference to the article as it is still an example of the BBC’s shameless manipulation of the debate.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
exposing the secrets the establishment would rather keep under wraps!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards