Tag Archives: home rule

Does Scotland need Home Rule, or just to use the powers it has?

Siobhan Mathers, Scottish Liberal Democrat activist, former (and, I hope, future) parliamentary candidate and policy convener argues in today’s Sunday Times (£) that it’s time that Scotland got a full home rule settlement. She sets out what she means by that:

I will use the fiscal definition that Scotland under home rule should raise what it spends — self-sufficiency — and the sovereignty-focused philosophical definition of Steel: “The principle of home rule is different from devolution. Under home rule, sovereignty lies with the Scottish people and we decide when it is sensible to give powers to the centre on issues like foreign affairs and defence.”

She says that there is no point waiting for the UK to sort out a federal structure for itself because it’s just not going to happen any time soon and that it’s in Scotland’s “enlightened self interest” to pursue full home rule to see off the demand for independence:

It strikes me as an act of misguided altruism to wait for the constitutional laggards, our bedfellows in the UK. Yes, it would be nice to help sort everyone else’s problems in how they relate to the constitutional parents in London, but it is not a priority for many.

During an air emergency, passengers are advised to put on their own oxygen masks before helping others. I would argue that Scotland’s relationship with Westminster is at such an emergency point and we need to pursue enlightened self-interest by focusing on our own problems first.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 13 Comments

Willie Rennie: No to independence doesn’t mean no to change

Willie Rennie - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsScottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie sent an email to members yesterday outlining what he is trying to do as regards building a consensus around further powers for the Scottish Parliament in the event of no vote in next year’s independence referendum. If I had been him, given the proximity of Scottish Conference and how fabulously awesome it is going to be, with lots of controversy and debate, I would have put a link at the bottom enticing people to go and register.But seeing as he didn’t – you can find out all the information you need here.

Anyway, here is his email in full:

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Opinion: All Liberal Democrats must campaign for a Federal UK

I have always supported Home Rule, involving a new constitutional settlement giving equal status to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and thereafter each nation would promote what each considered to be the most appropriate governance arrangements within a federal state. For Scotland that meant not just the establishment of a Scottish Parliament but the transfer of the maximum amount of legislative, administrative and financial powers consonant with being a nation within a federal state.

Like most Scottish Liberals, I supported the Party’s policy position as set out in Jenny Robinson’s 1976 pamphlet: Scottish Self-Government. I was one of the overwhelming …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 12 Comments

Liberal Unionism in 2012

There’s no escaping history in our party, and current debates of nationalism, unionism and secession should prompt Liberal Democrats to delve back into the Gladstonian past.

The Liberal Party split over the Union. Gladstone favoured Home Rule for Ireland, Liberal Unionists didn’t, and ultimately joined the Conservative Party. This cemented the Conservative Party as the party of the Union, and it is a position the Conservative Party still holds.

The purpose of this article is, however, to challenge the Conservative Party’s stranglehold over being British.

The existing Conservative argument goes that a Conservative Britain is a Britainthat stands proud and takes no nonsense …

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Willie Rennie’s New Year Message

In May, we were nearly wiped off from the Scottish Parliamentary map. I got it. I understood why that happened.

But equally I am convinced that liberalism, not nationalism, will dominate Scottish political landscape in the years ahead.  Our values are embedded in a rich seem of Scottish history and endure despite political setbacks.

Our small team in the Scottish Parliament has shown over the last six months why we need strong liberal voices.

On centralising of the police, places for college students, housing for those in need, the Supreme Court, equal marriage, riots, prison reform, sectarianism and so many other issues we …

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Michael Moore MP writes: I am not your average unionist

In politics, as in other walks of life, labels matter. By accident or design, for good or for ill, they shape our identity — sometimes in our own eyes, but just as importantly in the eyes of others.

For all of us, our identity starts with where we belong. For my part I am a Borderer; a Scot; and British. Perhaps less fashionably but a long-held principle, I am comfortable that I am a European, too.

Beyond that, I am unashamedly a democrat, a liberal and an internationalist. But last week there was a stir in some parts of the media when …

Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged , and | 15 Comments

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