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SNP set 20-seat Westminster goal

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posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 07:22 AM

Alex Salmond is to tell the SNP's spring conference he expects to hold the balance of power at Westminster after the next general election.

The first minister will tell delegates he expects a Tory recovery to result in a hung parliament, which would put the SNP in a key position in London.

BBC Scotland

If you listened to my interview on PTS Mix Show 12, you would of heard my gossip about low level talks between the Tories and the SNP for a Westminister coalition, or working with the SNP to get through English issues at Parliament.

The Shadow Chancellor has said taxation could be devolved to the Scottish Parliament and end the Barlett Formula.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 08:21 AM
This is interesting and I did hear what you said on the AP show.

I just wonder if the SNP are going to win enough seats in Scotland. If I heard you right, are Labour looking to be wiped put in Scotland as the tories were?

Are Labour are going to lose as badly as you suggest, then the Tories may not need any help from the SNP. And you would have to think that any coalition would start with the Loyalist MPs in Northern Ireland.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 12:25 PM
reply to post by Freedom ERP

Salmond needs a Tory government in Westminster, he's openly promised to back English votes for English law and did make some positive remarks about the Tories in his conference speech.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 12:53 PM
As long as it ends the Barnett Formula, I'm all for it.

Although I am pretty sure with end of that and a fair distribution of tax money around the UK, the SNP would be wiped out at the next election, seeing as the Scots rely on the extra £1500/capita spending to provide Free University, prescriptions and freezing council taxes (all of which isn't available in England).

Once the SNP have no money with which to bribe Scottish voters, they'll all turn back to Labour and the Tories. The SNP (and Scottish politics in general) rely on the Barnett Formula to allow them the spending levels they have.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 01:14 PM
Salmond's far too crafty to prop up a minority Conservative British Government, no way, Labour would brand him a Tartan Tory in the same way the SNP were damned by Labour at the tail end of the 1970's.

What he will do is promote division between Scotland & England as each and every opportunity arises. That means Scottish voting rights at Westminster on English legislation being removed altogether (quite right too) & the powers of the Scottish Parliament being hugely increased. That's the trade off. Others in the SNP will be looking for The Scotland Act 1998 to be repatriated so that no Westminster government can ever abolish the Scottish Parliament.

Longer term as Labour voters in England realise they'll never get the government they want they'll drift towards the Lib Dems or perhaps the politicos may cobble together a anti-conservative Lib Dem-Lab pact. But Scottish Labour voters will move over to the SNP in droves.

By encouraging constitutional change he'll finally achieve what he really wants ... the emasculation of the Labour Party as an electoral force and a Yes vote at a Scottish independence referendum.

Yikes. An SNP government in Edinburgh and a Conservative government in London. It's a recipe for chaos and the end of the United Kingdom forever.

Yippee I say !!

Oh Stumason's posted about Barnett. Yawn. That hoary old chestnut again. Barnett, over time is slowly being eroded. Scotland currently receives just over 10% of the English total and that reduces periodically as England gets a greater slice of the cake due to differences in the population of both nations (known up here as the "Barnett Squeeze"). Barnett also means the Scottish grant is being eroded faster by inflation than in England. Barnett is a crude measure of expenditure based on headcount. It doesn't take into account other "British" expenditure, the vast majority of which gets spent in England or overseas.

Can I ask, Stumason, why you think Salmond introduced cheaper/free prescriptions, a freeze on Council Tax rises etc etc ? To rile up folks down South. And to win a few votes up here. That's the way he works. That's why the UK is doomed.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 01:23 PM
They predict hung Parliaments quite a lot, don't they? 2005 was supposed to be a hung Parliament, yet Labour came back with a handsome majority of 66.

The SNP have got a long way to go to get to 20 seats at Westminster, too. They presently have just six out of the fifty nine Scottish seats, and the most they've ever had was 11. An increase of 14 seats for such a small party isn't common, and I don't get the impression that the SNP have been exceptional in Scotland either. Competent? Yes. But not the exhilarating change that people expected. They have their share of dodgy dealings and sleaze (see this golf course being proposed by Donald Trump... the SNP government overruled the decision of a local council to reject it because Salmond wants the golf course to be built - the locals aren't keen on the idea and there are environmental concerns, too). Besides, Holyrood elections don't translate well into Westminster elections.

If there is a hung Parliament (and I'm not convinced there will be) then my bet would be a Labour coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, or a Labour minority government with conditional backing from other parties. The latter, probably. Brown would 'retire' (or be forced out), and Cameron would still be the Tory leader. If the Tories kicked Cameron out then I think they're in opposition for another couple of terms. Of course, based on the present polls the Tories would win with a decent majority... but who's to say what'll happen between now and the next election? It could go either way.

I'm disappointed at the Conservative Party for selling out to the Scot Nats, too. Seems a bit hypocritical given the pro-Union speech that David Cameron gave just a couple of months ago.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 03:24 PM
reply to post by Ste2652

Liberal Democrats may be stupid, but not stupid enough to risk political suicide by hugging up with Labour. Nick Clegg said he would be willing to support a minority Tory government if him and David Cameron agreed on a "liberal policy" for health and education.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 03:42 PM
reply to post by stumason


If the Union ended, we would have to share the national debt (Scotland gets more money per head, so the same will aply to debt). And England may keep the oil and the EU says it will not accept new members (Scotland would be leaving the Union, not entitled to automatic EU membership). The rest of the Union will still be in the EU.

Scotland would be screwed.

England would benefit the most if Scotland waved goodbye.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 04:18 PM
reply to post by infinite

I'm sure negotiations about the Scottish share of the British national debt will have an amicable outcome. As to the "oil money", or what's left of it, I'm certain Scotland would abide by international law when it comes to territorial waters and such like. A large part of the North Sea, oil wells included, would end up in English waters. Que sera sera.

It'd be up to member states to decide whether a constituent country of the UK, already subject to its laws and regulation, retains membership of the EU. That would surely apply to the rest of the former United Kingdom upon its dissolution as much as it does to Scotland.

Because that's the thing. The UK ... and the GB of GB & NI ... ceases to exist upon Scotland's departure. The constitutional lawyers can work all that out.

Perhaps they would have us apply for EU membership again. Joy of joys. I've no doubt a majority in Scotland would wish to remain in the EU ... a slim majority ... but I can't honestly say whether a vote in England would go the same way.

In which case who is left at the margins then ?

Scots aren't afraid of change. That's why so many advocate independence. I'm not scared of being financially disadvantaged either. A post independence government will be faced with considerable financial challenges. Taxes might go up. Services might be cut. Probably both. But if a few quid out of my pay cheque every month is the price of going it alone it's a small price many are prepared to willingly sacrifice with a glad heart.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 05:22 PM
reply to post by infinite

The Lib Dems haven't committed to anything yet, and nor have they ruled it out. Indeed, they've given some pretty conflicting signals over what they'd do if a hung Parliament were to result from the next election.

Like I said, I can foresee the Lib Dems agreeing to support a minority Labour government on a case-by-case basis (a bit like the DUP did with the Tories under Ted Heath), and Brown almost certainly will be forced out if Labour doesn't get a majority in the next election.

As for what would happen if the UK broke up... who knows? It would be a huge political, legal, economic and cultural mess that could take years to sort out. So why bother to find out? It's not about being afraid of change, it's about not desiring change for the sake of change. At the end of the day I don't think any of the four Home Nations get a bad deal out of being part of the United Kingdom. Yes, there are elements that each dislikes or wants to change, but overall I think being part of a family of nations has been beneficial to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Britain is a patchwork of peoples and nations, and it's all the stronger for it... and I'll be sorely disappointed if an ex-bean counter for the Royal Bank of Scotland achieves what Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler couldn't and destroys the UK!

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 05:38 PM
reply to post by Ste2652

The problem is, as stumason will point out, devolution has created a constitutional problem for the United Kingdom. You have a Prime Minister who is not affected by the decisions he makes because Scotland has her own Parliament. Until England is addressed, in theory, a Scottish MP cannot be Prime Minister (The Welsh are still apart of English law and Northern Ireland have always had a seperate system).

For example, Council Tax has been frozen in Scotland but has increased across the other home nations. My parent's bill has increased by 5% in the South East
Higher education is free in Scotland (I'm currently facing debts of £4,000) and perscriptions fees (Which costs me near £100 each year) have been removed too.

The government has three solutions. 1) English Parliament 2) English votes for English laws or 3) Scottish Independence.

[edit on 20-4-2008 by infinite]

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 06:02 PM

Originally posted by infinite
The government has three solutions. 1) English Parliament 2) English votes for English laws or 3) Scottish Independence.

None of which are desirable. There are other alternatives.

1) English Parliament - Do we really want another layer of politicians and bureaucrats running our lives? And, speaking as a Northerner, I'm not keen on the idea of a single English parliament that would inevitably be dominated by London and the South East. This is why I find the notion of Englishness deceptive; the divisions between North and South are deeper than one might expect. The English identity is dominated by the South. I am a Yorkshireman and I'm British, but I'm not English. It means very little to me at all.

2) English votes for English laws - Just what is an 'English law'? Many votes take Wales into account, and other votes that may superficially appear to be English may affect other areas of the United Kingdom. And again, like an English Parliament, it would be dominated by MPs from London and the South East.

3) Scottish Independence - I've covered this numerous times before. Go look up some old posts.

You miss two other key solutions, infinite. Namely:

- Federalism: The Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly are dismantled and replaced by regional assemblies across Scotland, England and Wales. These represent about 3-5million people with Westminster being the central Parliament - governing macroeconomics, foreign affairs, defence, policing and so forth. It would also take into account regional differences (e.g. Highlands/Lowlands, North/South England, North/South Wales etc) The Australian model could be adopted for this purpose. People can then choose whether they want to spend their taxes on free prescriptions and so forth, or whether they want cuts in public services and taxes. It could vary from region-to-region, and each could be virtually self-financing.

- Local democracy: Implement wholesale reform of local government and empower it, having two layers of government: Local councils and Westminster. This would take matters directly to the voters - the people who would be affected by them. Their leaders would be genuinely accountable to the people.

Devolution in its present form is unworkable; we're agreed on that. But there are so many other solutions than simply trotting out an English Parliament in an attempt to appease Little England.

[edit on 20/4/08 by Ste2652]

posted on May, 1 2008 @ 07:52 PM
Hmmph good old fishy's making promises again is he?

Be nice if he could help sort out this buisness in my home town, afterall it is THE oil hub for the entire of scotland....but then again...he might have more important things on his mind....

Like thinking up a new way to gain independance from this "oppressive" regime that we're currently under.

As for independance....All I can ask is...why?

posted on May, 2 2008 @ 01:16 PM
reply to post by devilwasp

Are you referring to Grangemouth by any chance? I'm not normally a fan of strikes but I think the workers there did the right thing. It's ludicrous that oil companies try to dock the pensions of their employees when simultaneously reporting record profits (into the billions of pounds of pure profit).

Consequently, I didn't hear a peep from Mr. Salmond or any of his government. All I saw was John Hutton telling everyone there was enough petrol

It's simple political calculation as to why Salmond didn't get involved... he can't afford to upset the oil company because he knows they'd be serious players in any independent Scotland. He couldn't upset the workers because he'd lose votes (the SNP have just a one seat lead over Labour). So he opted to keep pretty quiet, I suppose.

posted on May, 2 2008 @ 01:28 PM
Seems to me that all moral, political and economic arguments may be settled by a referendum on independence put to the Scottish people.

If they vote for independence, let them have it and pay for their own way in life. The Barnett formula is a clear and present unfairness, as is the West Lothian question.

If they choose to stay a part of the union, the Scottish parliament ought to be dismantled.

It strikes me that this current situation is shafting the English because we are afflicted by the pox of 122 Labour MPs from Scotland, who should not even be able to vote on English issues because it has no impact on their constituencies.

Furthermore, the injustice of the Barnett formula is clearly evident. Demographics are not an issue : all regions should recieve funding which equates to the same amount per subject in that region.

The union is disintegrating. It serves no purpose. It's time for Scotland to fly free and for England's load to be lessened.

posted on May, 4 2008 @ 11:57 AM
Wendy Alexander has signalled a change in Labour Party policy ... Labour will now support a referendum on Scottish independence.

Scottish Labour Party leader Wendy Alexander has called on the Scottish Government to "bring on" a referendum on independence. Signalling a shift from previous comments, Ms Alexander said the SNP should have the "courage of its convictions". First Minister Alex Salmond said those opposed to the independence referendum were beginning to "crack". He said the government's referendum bill would be brought forward in 2010.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

BBC Scotland News

This is an important development. With a majority in Parliament now for a referendum it seems increasingly likely the whole issue of independence will finally be decided by a vote of the Scottish electorate in 2010.

It's great fun trying to imagine the political landscape in only two years time. There's every possibility a Conservative government will be in office at Westminster by 2010 ... most Scots wouldn't be too enchanted by that. Independence & the break up of the United Kingdom seems now to be a real possibility.

posted on May, 4 2008 @ 12:17 PM
Thanks for the update Charity (was your previous sn Niall?).

It all depends upon timing in my opinion.

If Scotland were to go independent, Labour would immediately lose 122 MPs and I would bet my life on the fact that they would lose the general election without those 122 MPs.

That said, Wales and NI would also have to be declared sovereign. I see no problem in this. My allegiance is English first and foremost- I suspect a Scot, Welshman or Irishman would say the same thing.

It would cause a ridiculous scene in NI though! After fighting for decades to remain a part of the UK, the loyalist paramilitaries would have no leg to stand on and Ireland could concievably become united.

posted on May, 4 2008 @ 12:28 PM
reply to post by Charity

If the majority vote "Yes", Wendy has just crippled the Labour party.

Scotland will go independent in my opinion.

posted on May, 4 2008 @ 01:09 PM

Originally posted by 44soulslayer
If Scotland were to go independent, Labour would immediately lose 122 MPs and I would bet my life on the fact that they would lose the general election without those 122 MPs.

How so? Scotland returns 59 MPs to Westminster, 39 of which are Labour. That'd still give Labour a 27 seat majority (not huge, but workable... Labour had a majority of just 3 in the October 1974 election and managed to hang on until '79).

Will the majority vote yes? It's hard to say, but I think it's unlikely. There are a number of reasons:

1) Not everyone who voted SNP wanted independence. Some voters just wanted to give Blair a final kicking before he left office, and the Scottish Parliament election was the only way to do it.

2) The polls are all over the place, but there has never really been a consistent majority in favour of independence.

3) In two years' time, the SNP will be looking decidedly less fresh and radical. And there are a number of issues simmering away that could cause Alex Salmond some trouble (the Trump golf course, allegations of a donation scandal [cash for planning permission, in this case] and so forth).

I think it's going to depend very much on the question that's asked and which voting system is used. If it's a simple 'yes' or 'no' then more people will be in favour. But if there are a number of option (independence, greater devolution, maintain the status quo, less devolution, abolish the Scottish Parliament) - which is probably the fairest, since it gives people a wider choice - then I think it's almost impossible for independence to win out.

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