Alien body snatchers at large in Westminster

I have to admit I was fooled into thinking that Wednesday's statement in the House of Commons which claimed that the Scottish Parliament had no power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence was made by Michael Moore, the LibDem MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk and Secretary of State for Scotland.

     

However it has now become clear that this proclamation was not in fact made by him, but by an alien being that has taken control of his body.

How can I be so sure? Well, this is what the real Michael Moore said in an interview on the Politics Show in May last year:

UK "will not block" Scottish independence referendum

The UK government will not move to block a referendum on Scottish independence, the Secretary of State for Scotland has said.

Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore said there would not be constitutional questions raised about the rights or wrongs of holding a vote.

The newly-elected majority SNP Scottish government intends to bring forward a referendum in its five-year term. The Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems all oppose independence.

Mr Moore told BBC Scotland's Politics Show it was now up to the SNP to bring forward the referendum, which First Minister Alex Salmond said would come "well into the second half" of the new, five-year parliament.

"I firmly believe the Scottish Parliament, if it so decides, can proceed with a referendum," Mr Moore said, adding: "There will be the normal electoral rules that have to be followed and it will have to be discussed carefully with the relevant authorities."

The Scottish secretary added: "We could, I suppose, try to make a constitutional issue about where the powers lie or don't, but I don't think that would be a sensible use of anybody's time."

BBC, 8 May 2011

So we shouldn't be taken in by the new-found dogmatism coming from the unionist parties this week. What they are saying now is definitely not what they were saying only a few months ago.

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

the "is it legal" or not question really annoys me. Constitutionally neither the Scots Parliament nor the Westminster Parliament can undo the Act of Union. But thats the thing about the British constitution - it's stupid. If Parliament declared it could make laws to the U.S, that would constitutionally be ok (Par Sover).

We must look at reality. In reality if 50%+ of the Scots people vote Yes. Are you seriously telling me Salmond and the Scots would allow London to go through the courts (which would take years). Before allowing independence?

Just like with Ireland - would the Irish people have waited for a House of Lords judgement when they announced it was going to be a republic and no longer a dominion? No.

So in reality, the Scots referendum may well be illegal, however in the real world if it is a yes vote = the power of the people will overcome everything.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:08

You are quite right.

In voting for independence the Scots would be voting to sever all constitutional and legal links with the UK - so that essentially both are irrelevant.

It's entirely a political issue - Scottish nationalist against British/UK nationalist.

It's no use a husband resorting to his solicitor to prevent his fed-up wife leaving him. She'll go regardless of his threats, probably all the sooner, and take more with her.

The unionists (Cameron, Clegg, Miliband et al and others who have a vested interest in UK plc) raise the legal and constitutional issues partly because they don't understand the frame of mind of those of us who are unhappy to remain in a Britain which has served them so well, and us so badly. They just don't get it, and they don't want to understand it either. If and when they do, it'll be too late. That happened with the Irish in 1922 and a host of former British colonies since then.

Cameron thinks the UK is wonderful - there's going to be the diamond jubilee celebrations and the Olympics to lift us all out of the misery that Labour and Tories have inflicted on us in Wales (and Scotland) since time immemorial.

To most of us it's a wealthy privileged anglo-German royal family and it's a London olympics which we're paying for and getting little in return.

Meanwhile the wealthy in London and the south east get richer and most of us in Wales get poorer.

Anonymous said...

11.38
I'm not talking about the legal issues as a nationalist but as a realist. I don't know why Salmond or any Professor haven't just said that the legal issues are irrelevant. For as long as the referendum is done in a fair way - if there is a Yes vote then that is it. Any legal issues on where the power lays, or if the question wasn't asked correctly under the Referendums Act goes out of the window. Why don't the SNP just say that?

As for Cameron; clearly he does think a united UK is best. And even I as a nationalist can say there are pro's at being united [but in my view, the negatives outweigh the pros]. Why doesn't he and Clegg concentrate on these.... rather than concentrate on "legal" issues which are muddy and nobody cares about?

If they were to do that, they could gain support because I saw John Swinney on with A.Neil and he was VERY poor under questioning on currency and RBS. Him being the Finance Minister- he needs to get a bit more confident as he will be up against economic pro unionists very soon. That is why I worry about Plaid AM's. Very few, in fact none of them are good economists (like Alex) so when the economy/independence comes under question they crack badly. Plaid needs to sort this out.

All I raised was why are they going on about the legal issues, or does this rubbish suit Alex and the SNP (gives them ground to prepare for real debates?).

Gwalchmei said...

The ‘legality’ of the vote doesn’t matter a brass farthing. If the Scottish people are wise enough to vote for severing from their wily neighbours, be it ‘constitutional’ or not, the game is almost over for those in the South East of England who covert our resources, unless, of course, they play dirty, which they could well do.
The ‘bean counters’ of South East England are only interested in what they can get out of us. Scottish oil figures high the Scottish game, but Wales has potential assets too. We are sitting on tons and tons of previously untapped coal resources. These resources are likely to become accessible in the near future (see my blog...re Underground /Under-sea) Coal Gasification. A pilot study is already underway in Swansea Bay).
Unfortunately, our friends across the border do not necessarily play by the rules when money is involved. I suppose it might be a little bit like when Slovenia broke away from Yugoslavia. This was successful but it took the ‘Ten Day War’, not nice stuff, before Slovenia was out of the marriage they didn’t want to be in. England will be far more subtle in their approach. So, as the boy scouts say, be prepared.

Anonymous said...

I agree Gwalchmei. Not just the political class - but the entire British (or rather the English) establishment will be out to get them.

Already the way the BBC are reporting this is quite sneery. David Dimblebey clearly is not a fan of the SNP. Luckily the Scots have their own papers, so articles from the Daily Mail isn't an issue.

I can imagine there is a department in the treasury right now pumping out figures on how hopeless Scotland would be without the UK. Who knows, there may even be a document "left on a train" that a paper may find.

But the SNP must up their game. I've no idea why Salmond wants to the Bank of England to control Interest Rates. Surely it would be better for the scots to have a Scottish pound (like the Irish punt) that is pegged to sterling - but crucially have their own central bank. Because Scotland's economy will change, and they need a central bank to keep control on this. Or, as will be inevitable- like the Irish did, they will need to stop pegging to sterling.

I've been a fan of the SNP throughout this. But some of the things I've heard come out recently has been quite odd- so the SNP too, must now sit back and say "right lets sort everything out".

I've also heard Salmond on RBS being quite od. Channel 4 news said if he gets 80%+ of the North Sea oil, why shouldn't he get 80%+ share of RBS's debt. He came out with something like it is historic debt. The simple answer would have been "had we been independent, we may not have guaranteed their debt- the UK treasure did this without the Scot Gov consent - this is UK debt". So I feel the SNP is getting less slick than they used -which worries me.

I believe what we might get in the future is a series of debates. Great if it was Salmond v Cameron. However I think the BBC/SKY may be tempted to get a poor SNP representative vs a strong unionist. This will be a dirty battle!

Anonymous said...

One thing I did want to ask on Welsh independence. If Wales was a separate E.U member. Would the severn bridge tolls be illegal??

Customs duties / taxes / anything restricting 'free movement' are banned between member states - would this be illegal? i.e a charge to enter the country almost.

Gwalchmei said...

I thought Alex Salmon came over very well in that interview. As they say, you have to be up very early in the morning to catch him out.
The present issues are focussing quite rightly on the immediacies. However, we must look to the longer game. I have no doubt in my mind that Scotland and Wales will win independence. The real question is on what terms.
Ethiopia is going through a ‘revival’ in agricultural development, but there, it is foreign investment (and maybe foreign asset-stripping) that is the driving force. The local people only benefit through ‘trickle down’ from the big show. Agriculture is now booming, but the major bucks flow out of the country. It’s a bit like the ‘potato famine’ in the 1840’s in Ireland, where people were starving whilst their valleys were full of corn and wheat which were for export.
We need to adopt a mechanism that enables us to keep control of our assets, or we will be stuffed.

Gwalchmei said...

Anon 23.19’s question does raise an interesting point, even though s/he might be extracting the urine.
I would imagine that border crossings would be very much as they are in the island of Ireland. The Severn Bridge is a tollgate and nothing to do with borders...and yes, I do think that the English should pay to enter the ‘Land of Song’. Note that we don’t charge them to go away. Is there a message for you there somewhere?...paourkaezh! ...Look it up my good friend.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the lizard people have taken over the Labour front bench again in the House of Commons, with their harmful-to-humans economic policies, after briefly letting out the real ones - or did they?

Anonymous said...

"One thing I did want to ask on Welsh independence. If Wales was a separate E.U member. Would the severn bridge tolls be illegal??

Customs duties / taxes / anything restricting 'free movement' are banned between member states - would this be illegal? i.e a charge to enter the country almost."

Don't think so. The Oresund bridge between Denmark and Sweden is tolled.

The Severn bridge/tolls is privately owned and that basically trumps all laws! The EU has its plus sides but it tends to facilitate rather than restrict privatisation.

The contract on the Severn will expire at which point the crossings will revert to public ownership by the UK Govt.

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