Three Ways Westminster Has Weakened the Scottish Parliament’s Powers
Believe In Scotland Blog
by Jackie Kemp
1y ago
  The last few years have seen a sustained attack on the powers of the Scottish Parliament from Westminster. In a paper called “Devolution Since the Brexit Referendum”, Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson looks in detail at what has taken place. Here are three key takeaways from the paper.  #1 Breaking the rules – The Sewel Convention When the Scottish Parliament reopened in 1999, there was a rule put in place that Westminster would not normally make laws that affect Scotland in an area where power was devolved without the consent of the Scottish Parliament. This was called the “S ..read more
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5 things you need to know about today’s independence paper announcement
Believe In Scotland Blog
by Niamh McGhee
1y ago
  Today the Scottish Government released its fourth paper in the ‘Building a New Scotland’ series. This paper covered the constitutional future of an independent Scotland. Following independence, Scotland would move away from the UK constitutional system by adopting a written, codified constitution, enshrining the rights of all citizens and describing the powers and limitations of the branches of government (such as parliament, government and the courts of law).  Here are five things you need to know from the announcement of today’s independence policy paper:  1. Scotland needs ..read more
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Who do you want to represent Scotland internationally – so-called “lords” or democratic representatives? 
Believe In Scotland Blog
by Jackie Kemp
1y ago
  Who do you want to represent Scotland internationally – unelected peers or democratic representatives?  Who has the right to represent Scotland’s interests abroad? Is it elected representatives such as Angus Robertson – or unelected Conservative donors such as ‘lord’ Malcolm Offord? Many will ask – what possible right does Malcolm Offord have to represent Scotland internationally? And yet he does.  The UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said that all meetings between Scottish Government ministers and overseas governments must be organised through the UK Government and att ..read more
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Good news for the independence movement as “Yes” vote holds firm
Believe In Scotland Blog
by Jackie Kemp
1y ago
  Recent polling shows support for ‘Yes’ to independence is holding steady at 48%, even as the SNP as a political party has lost some ground. It is good news for the independence movement – although it means that independence support is not as closely linked to SNP support as it used to be.  That raises questions – is this a blip or a longer-term trend? What strategic challenges does it present to the independence movement? Independence is not the property of any party The main conclusion has to be that we can’t leave independence to the SNP or to any political party. In the end, it ..read more
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Energy freeze won’t cool Scotland’s anger over energy rip-off
Believe In Scotland Blog
by Jackie Kemp
1y ago
  The UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has decided to extend the current cap on energy prices for another three months – but that is not enough to help Scottish families who have to pay over the odds to heat their homes.  The headline figure says that this will keep average bills at £2,500 a year instead of pushing them up to £3,000. But Scots, especially in rural areas pay more and average incomes are lower – leading to soaring levels of fuel poverty. Energy Action Scotland calculates that the Scottish average bill is £1,000 more than England.  An analysis from February 2022, before t ..read more
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The UK is ripping up workers’ rights – an independent Scotland can do better
Believe In Scotland Blog
by Jackie Kemp
1y ago
The UK government is attacking workers’ rights in draconian new laws, which will be imposed on Scotland –  despite fierce opposition from Scotland’s democratically elected Parliament.  The UK is also ripping up many workers’ rights that depend on EU laws – such as mandatory rest breaks and holiday pay for part-time workers.  Meanwhile, the UK has slumped seven points to its lowest-ever place in an international ranking of government standards on honesty. An independent Scotland would be able to get on with building a stronger, fairer country without being dragged down by the UK ..read more
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Starmer and Sunak’s speeches try to relegate Scotland to a region of England!
Believe In Scotland Blog
by Jackie Kemp
1y ago
  The start of the year has seen keynote speeches from the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and a response from opposition leader Keir Starmer. Both proclaimed they were setting their visions and their priorities for UK governance. One glaring similarity between the two speeches is that they both largely ignored Scotland and the other devolved nations, even implying that Scotland as no more important than an English region.  In particular Starmer’s clumsy attempt to suggest similarities between Brexit and Scottish independence demonstrates that he and his New Labour Party have zero underst ..read more
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5 Things You Need to Know About Labour’s Latest Vow on Constitutional Reform
Believe In Scotland Blog
by Niamh McGhee
1y ago
  In Leeds today, Keir Starmer, flanked by former-PM Gordon Brown, unveiled Labour’s plans for UK constitutional reform. There is a clue in that first sentence as to why it’s not going to blunt moves towards Scottish independence. This report is about Labour reclaiming its so-called ‘Red Wall’ seats from the Tories and it offers nothing new for Scotland. In fact, it confirms that Labour are committed to Brexit and therefore the power grab that goes with it. The key recommendations are focussed on England and the English regions, with the devolved nations as an afterthought. Included in th ..read more
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Media Watch: Times Scotland frontpage headline changed online after legal rubbishing
Believe In Scotland Blog
by Jackie Kemp
1y ago
  Frontpage headlines rarely cause laughter – unless on comics like the Broons.  But listeners to the press review on BBS Radio Scotland’s Sunday Show last weekend may have chuckled as reviewers joked about the Sunday Times Scotland’s latest anti-independence splash. Separately, a law professor condemned the editorial team behind the weekend’s splash headlines as “deeply unserious people” “more interested in scandal-mongering than checking the accuracy of their stories”.   The story, which was later altered online, fell below the standards of a quality newspaper. On occasio ..read more
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Scotland scunnered with rule by House of so-called “Lords”
Believe In Scotland Blog
by Jackie Kemp
1y ago
A proposal that Scotland’s Secretary of State Alister Jack should postpone taking up his controversial peerage until the next general election in order to avoid a by-election in his marginal seat of Dumfries and Galloway is being condemned as an attempt to play the system, in a new scandal for the UK’s unelected Upper House. Disgraced former PM Boris Johnson is handing out 20 more places in the “Lords”, which will take the number of sitting members above 800 (830 total). The House of  so-called “Lords”, the second-largest legislative chamber in the world behind the Chinese National People ..read more
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