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Scottish raiders

Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley, ponders the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK in this week's column

Published on May 21st 2008.


Scottish raiders

'No taxation without representation,' was the angry and just demand of settlers in America at the end of the eighteenth century, and it led directly to an independent and democratic United States of America.

All the SNP policies: frozen council tax, cheaper prescriptions, free dental checks, higher nurses pay, free care for the elderly are designed to put pressure on the union between England and Scotland.

It is an odd, but hardly ever commented upon fact, that in establishing the Scottish parliament we have created a unique political institution that enshrines the principal of ‘representation without taxation’.

The Scottish parliament is of course an elected quango, not a parliament.

The constitutional perversity is made even stranger and less acceptable by the application of the thirty year old Barnett Formula which guarantees Scotland always receives a proportionally bigger slice of public spending than England.

English regions that are poorer than Scotland unbelievably get less spent on their health, education and other public services.

This constitutional charade and financial mugging of England were created to keep the Scottish National Party and Scottish Independents at bay.

Inevitably, they have failed as they were built on no discernable principle.

The SNP are in minority control of the Scottish parliament and are mischievously using the £11.2 billion of the disproportionate subsidies England pays to Scotland to antagonise English voters.

All the SNP policies: frozen council tax, cheaper prescriptions, free dental checks, higher nurses pay, free care for the elderly are designed to put pressure on the union between England and Scotland.

Alex Salmond the leader of the SNP is having a whale of a time teasing Gordon Brown about the date for the referendum on Scottish independence.

Wendy Alexander, leader of the Labour Party in the Scottish parliament has just done a hand break u-turn on whether or not she supports a Scottish referendum.

These subsidised shenanigans will continue until the Government sorts out its principles and acts upon them.

It should ensure that public spending should be on a consistent basis throughout the United Kingdom, i.e. on the basis of need (the Prime Minister showed breathtaking ignorance at a recent Prime Minister’s Question Time when he falsely claimed the Barnett Formula is based on need).

The Scottish parliament should become a real parliament and be given control, not just of expenditure but of Scottish taxes.

It should have the pain of taking money out of people’s pockets as well as handing out the goodies.

There is no possible excuse for denying Scottish people the right to vote on independence. A referendum should be arranged in which English and Scottish people can decide if they wish this union to continue.

People in Manchester would still be the victims of a democratic deficit if the above changes were carried though compared to people in Edinburgh and Glasgow, who have democratic control over their health and transport services.

This is the West Lothian question and it is simply answered by giving democratic control over these services and others back to Manchester and other major conurbations in England.

This is the fair way to deal with the so-called ‘Scottish problem’, not by sending trains full of gold from England to Edinburgh.

And by the way, this piece was not written in pique after the Rangers fans devastation of Manchester- honest.

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

JoeAlbaMay 21st 2008.

I'm sorry but England does not subsidise Scotland, it's the other way around which is why Gordon Brown is strongly against a vote on independence. Also the SNP is bringing in their progressive proposals not to 'wind up the English' but because they are a left of centre party!

TerryMay 21st 2008.

Spot on Graham. I'll never vote labour whilst they have a leader who, so obviously, feathers the nest of his kith and kin up north! Labour were warned about Brown having a Scottish seat and therefore not having a mandate to rule over English only matters. Why did everyone stand by and let hm walk in?The unfortunate thing is that all Labour MPs will pay the price at the next election.

Juan KerrMay 21st 2008.

Terry. You are clearly as demented as your MP. Also you clearly did not read any evidence given, Just stuck into your same old groove. If you seriosuly think Gordon Brown loves his people you are grossly mistaken. Your MP is acting in a simmillar manner to a man who has been assaulted by a black person. Because he feels anger at a scottish leader of his party loosing him his job, he then decides to take out his fury on all scots. Just like the assaulted man vents fury at all black people regardless of them being decent or not.Vindictive rascism. That is even worse.SHAME ON HIM!

Mr TMay 21st 2008.

What the hell is wrong with Jedi's?

MacneilMay 21st 2008.

It was the contributions of all The UK countries that put "the Great" in Britain.We should stick together

shARONMay 21st 2008.

I feel United won a lovely game of proper attack football. Isn't continental fottball ****.

BriantheScotMay 21st 2008.

This article is based on the premise that England subsidizes Scotland.Is it possible that the reverse is true and this is a reason for the reluctance of Labour to let Scotland become a independent nation that has taxation with full representation.

Juan KerrMay 21st 2008.

The above screen shot was taken from the scotsman website. It would appear the press in Scotland is no free than in Zimbabwe. I think the above MP should resign and hold his head in utter shame. His desperation to switch the ball like a magician is insulting also to the electorate of your region. Who will he start on next, when ther elctions closer? Gypsies? Bangladeshi's, italians? jedi?

johnthebriefMay 21st 2008.

Are you sure this is the real Graham Stringer? I'm sure the whips won't let him get away with accusing the PM of "breathtaking ignorance" ... Or has our local MP decided Gordo is on the way out and need no longer be feared? I'd be interested to hear if Tony Lloyd, our invisible city centre MP shares the same views.

Juan KerrMay 21st 2008.

Can I reffer you to a number of documents such as the gers report that scorch nay myths this MP would like to support. As a Scot, I find it deeply worrying that MP's like to play on racial and cultural stereo types to garner votes. If your readership would like to hear the truth please look at these articles and attached reports, too enable you too see through this idiots nonsense.www.channel4.com/…/Regards… J. Kerr, Edinburgh

AnonymousMay 21st 2008.

what a load of ill-informed conjecture - it is frightening that someone who is elected to represent us has such a poor grasp of the issues at hand. there are a number significant reasons why Scotland (and Wales and Northern Ireland) have such subsidies - with the cost of maintaining less populated parts of the country high on the agenda. i wonder if Mr Stringer would be as keen to argue for an independence referendum in which the people of Northern Ireland (which has a higher subsidy than Scotland) and England decide? still, Stringer will be out of a job in a couple of years - i wonder if he has planned his autobiography yet?

reallyflatbrokeagainMay 21st 2008.

i cannot believe what I have just read. Is this an April Fools joke ???Graham Stringer should resign not only for his ignorance but an ill researched article recycling right wing rubbish.Please I would love to hear from Mr Stringer...what next "Aliens stole my grandma !!"

Juan KerrMay 21st 2008.

bp0.blogger.com/…/a_alfie.jpgThis… is the kind off tactics his unionsist chums would like to support. Press censorship and inhouse xenophobia. All to support a union we know in our hearts is long dead. West Minster try too fiddle the figures in 1974 with Barnett. Unfortunately the cat is long since out of the bag and has had many kittens. If Scotland was Kosovo. You would see no problem. We are 2 distinct countries that in this modern age can live in peace and no envy. It is time to go our seperate ways and remain good cousins.

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