Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Open letter to Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, the idea of forcing Full Fiscal Autonomy on Scotland is all the rage in Conservative circles, if this is pushed through you will alienate the very people who saved the Union, David Cameron cannot allow this idea to become policy, ordinary Scots would suffer severely leading many to believe the Union exists in name only

Dear Daniel

“I’ve long had a pet theory that voters get it right. General elections, in Britain at any rate, are won by the party that most deserves to win – or, at least, lost by the party that most deserves to lose”.

In the main, I would agree with you that voters do get it right, even when they get it ‘wrong’. That is what happened in Scotland was the voters got it badly wrong but they have the right to do so. This isn’t a defence of any particular candidate or party who suffered badly on May 7th in Scotland but an observation of how toxic it is in Scottish politics since the Scottish referendum.

“Labour, Greens, Scottish and Welsh Nationalists: all raged against “Tory austerity” as though it were a whim rather than a necessity”.

David Cameron played a blinder of an election, he used the SNP as a ‘bogeyma’n to win in England, and it worked very well. But let’s look at Scotland; I understand the Conservatives made no gains in seats, although I think it has been said the vote share went up. The SNP tapped into dissatisfaction with Westminster, when you have the ‘bedroom tax’ and you have ‘financial benefit sections’ of the poor, do you think they will rally to your cause?


The SNP presented themselves as the milk and honey party, the party of nirvana, except there isn’t any milk and honey in their nirvana.

“The reason public spending was not rising, they asserted – and seemed genuinely to believe – was not that we had run out of cash, but that the country was governed by psychopaths who took some kind of sadistic pleasure in hurting the poor”.

Is benefit sanctions which mean people have no money for food an act of kindness? Did the “psychopaths” sit down and say, we really do need to do an act of kindness, to which someone presumably with an Oxford degree and from a rich family said, ‘well, I always found that stopping people’s money ‘helps’ people who have no money to fall back on’. I was nearly stabbed to death once, did my attacker feel this measure was an act of kindness to ‘help’ train hospital staff and reduce my weight?

“On one doorstep, I was confronted by an angry trade union representative from the local hospital. The idea that there was a limit to government expenditure sent her into a purple, choking fury”.

Does meeting someone who doesn’t understand economics really prove your case? If there isn’t a bottomless pit of money could banks be put in the same category? I don’t know but I think many poor people would like to ask that question of you.

“Commentators struggle to explain the rise of the SNP: why, seven months after rejecting separation, should Scots turn to the separatist party?”

Unhappiness with the Westminster system, there isn’t a struggle; people found that when they sought ‘representation’, they weren’t getting it. The joke of this story is that they don’t know yet, that they still wouldn’t get it under the SNP.

If by some quirky of madness that David Cameron went down the road of FFA, he would be doing so in the knowledge that chaos would ensue in Scotland, as the SNP cut, cut and cut, they would point the finger at England.

Here is a choice for you Daniel to pick, would you rather be burnt in the frying pan or burnt in the fire?

Is that what free-marketeers in the land of Adam Smith want?

No, they want what people everywhere want, they want a government that makes their lives better. If FFA was forced on Scotland, the SNP would cite that they couldn’t get the changes they wanted in place and blame the Tories. The SNP need a villain and what better than a Conservative Government. 35 years, the Conservatives have spent in the wilderness in Scotland, new broom Ruth Davidson delivers a massive failure; her first test equals failure.

Do you think 2016 will be looking rosier for her?

“The SNP demands full fiscal autonomy, and David Cameron should hurry to meet that demand. Partly because linking taxation to expenditure north of the border might allow a revival, over time, of Right-of-Centre politics in Scotland”.

I am a great believer in doing pilots, that way test data can be accrued and analysis done, if we take your MEP salary and expenses away from you, how long would it take for you to become politically economically unviable? Then as your situation deteriorates this could be ‘helped’ by penalising you further by withdrawing other resources, and yes, I do mean toilet paper and light bulbs.

If you want a viable right-of-centre politics established in Scotland, then I strongly suggest you understand not what it means to be Tory, Labour, Lib dem or Nationalist, but what it means to be Scottish.

Finally, there is a sizeable chunk of Scots that are anti-Westminster, do you want provide an argument using FFA to convert others?

On the 19th February I did a blog post that the Labour Party was making a mess of their Scottish election by doing ‘tat’ instead of tackling real issues.

A Conservative in East Renfrewshire told me on Facebook:

“George as ever you were on the money”.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University   


Anonymous said...

I was brought up with that old saying "careful what you wish for" and I believe the Tories in their perverse way will be hurrying to give the Scottish electorate their wish. Power to the people is on it's way In the form of FFA.
It's been a Tory mantra ever since I can
remember, spend what you can afford.
Maggie Thatcher once said " socialists are very generous. .... with other people's money.

Anonymous said...

Mr Laird David Cameron has already said he will not introduce FFA.


However that said, the SNP have it easy, they have power without financial responsibility.

The opposition need to be better at holding them to account.

As the SNP's record in Government is lamentable.

I see Alex Salmond has been given a 'Floating role' at Westminster, to attack where he thinks best.

Perhaps an indication that the SNP cannot control him.

G Laird said...

Dear Anon

People can change their minds, so it is important that this view of no FFA is rammed home.


Hun fae Perth said...

The Tory government just need to sit on their hands and relax. No FFA. No anything fiscal. The SNP have peaked. Let them show how ridiculous their reasoning and arguments are. Like all winds, it will soon blow itself out. They can hoot and roar in Westminster and flap about a lot but they won't get anywhere. They're like toothless watchdogs or a bunch of headless chickens. (Halal obviously) A complete waste of our oxygen, taxes and a good election. Salmond floating about Westminster like a big jobbie in a swimming pool and about as welcome also, is going to do nothing either.

If Cameron doesn't give the oxygen thieves FFA, they blame the Tories. If Cameron does give them FFA, the rest of his BB's and many others will want Barnett scrapped. Fair enough. Swinney will borrow like hell and blame the Tories for his requirement to do so. Then comes the cuts and tax rises to cover everything. Rates shoot up to the same as ALL other small countries in Europe which is much higher than ours in UK, then they blame the Tories. A ridiculous thing for any PM to do in his UK. The SNP are really conning the electorate, just to claim their prize of independence. Whatever happens, they blame the Tories. This has been their stuck record for years. They need to blame the Tories to keep the hate fires well stoked and their insane politics alive. It's real simple. If Scotland separates or has FFA, then taxes escalate and cuts galore. All the bullshit in the world is not going to change these facts. Go live in Belgium, Denmark, Nederland's, Sweden or Norway. Feel the tax. Feel the immigration. Feel the Islam.

Anonymous said...

The other Anon is right about Salmond. I've said earlier he is the SNPs biggest liability. He did manage to drag the party up from the dregs, but now arrogance is dominant in his personality.

They say that power corrupts. How true.

Perversely, it won't be the new intake of MPs that cause the SNP problems. It will be Salmond. Robertson has been given is old role back, which I think is right, even if I can't stand him as a politician.

FFA would cause a repeat of the Darien scheme. Money would get thrown around in order to push independence, then everything will go pear shaped.

And this time round no one will want to bail us out, unless we sign up to EU austerity measures that make the current ones seem tame in comparison.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr George Laird

As long as Scottish Devolution exists and Scotland having it's own Government and Parliament, Scotland should get FFA (Full Fiscal Autonomy) and be allowed to stand on it's own two feet. The Scots voted for Devolution in 1999 and should have to live with it's consquences both good and bad. Scottish Devolution has been a complete and utter disaster for both Scotland and Great Britain. Scottish Devolution has divided Scots and Scots and has divided Scots and English. Scottish Devolution has led to the rise of Scottish Nationalism and the SNP and has fueled resentment in England because England was not given it's own Devolution with it's own Government and Parliament. The Time has come to scrap devolution, abolish the Scottish Government and close down the Holyrood Parliament. The Scottish people want the powers of self government but with out the responsibility. No matter what England does in Scotland it will always be blamed, after all the Scottish NHS is a devolved matter and in full Scottish hands but the Scottish Government (SNP) blames England for all the problems, even though England helps support the Scottish NHS. I believe it is time Scotland to get FFA and hopefully when things go wrong the Scottish people will wake up and see the light on what the SNP and Scottish Nationalism is all about. Scotland you wanted Devolution now you got it and you have to deal with the problems that will come with it. Tony Blair should have told the Scottish people if you want Devolution fine but you will get FFA with it, how many Scottish people would have voted for Devolution had that been on the table as well. The Scottish people and Devolution is a like an alcoholic with alcohol, an alcoholic has to hit rock bottom before they realise they have a problem and they have to stop drinking alcohol, likewise the Scottish people have to hit rockbottom and realise that Scottish Deovlution is not for them. Scottish people are like an out of control teenager who does not want to live under their parents rules and demands independence, but before they leave they beg their parents to keep funding thier lifestyle by giving them money, food, etc. If you don't want FFA George, then Scottish Devolution MUST END. The Scots can't have their cake and eat it at the same time. I Propose that the British Government REVOKES Scottish Devolution by ABOLISHING the Scottish Government and the Holyrood Parliament and then use that money is used to keep these institutions afloat will then be used in things like the Scottish NHS, Education and Welfare Benifits for example. Scottish Devolution is a waste of money that could have been used much better in Scotland. If I was the Prime Minister of Great Britain, I will give the Scots a choice, they can have self rule in Edinburgh with it's own Scottish Government and Holyrood Parliament with all the benfits and responsibilities with FFA or they can have centralized rule from London by the British Government and Westminister Parliamen abd be protected from any hardships that migh arrise. I say it is time for Nichola Sturgeon and the SNP put up or shut up and the best way to do that is giving Scotland FFA and watch them make a complete mess of things and hopefully the Scottish people wake up. Even with out FFA England is blamed for Scottish problems. No More BS.

Anonymous said...

Just thought of something. Not being sizeist (my mother is rather short), ever noticed how some of the most dictatorial leaders in history have been short?

Draw your own conclusions.

Anonymous said...