Tuesday 31 July 2012

37 Questions.

The Scottish Conservative chief whip has recently been attempting, to no avail, to get answers to some obvious and pertinent questions about the SNP's plans, or lack of plans, for a separate Scottish state. In total, 19 parliamentary questions, all of which have been returned unanswered.

As it happens, Union Jock has been working on his own list of national bodies and other aspects of UK national infrastructure that we now take for granted, and are not currently devolved (or in a few cases, not fully devolved) in Scotland. So far I have 37, though I'm sure the list is not exhaustive:

1. Defence and national security
2. Citizenship and passports
3. Foreign relations and diplomatic service
4. Immigration control
5. Social security
6. Tax and customs collection and administration
7. Central bank, currency, reserves, bonds etc.
8. Financial securities market (i.e. stock exchange)
9. Corporate law
10. Company registration infrastructure
11. Financial regulation
12. Academic research funding and infrastructure
13. Postal service
14. Driver and vehicle licensing
15. Civil aviation and air traffic control
16. Marine transport
17. Transport safety and accident investigation
18. Railway infrastructure and regulation
19. Public service broadcasting
20. Broadcasting regulation
21. Telecoms regulation
22. Energy regulation
23. Energy distribution infrastructure
24. Business and competition regulation
25. Professional regulation
26. Health and safety regulation
27. Employment legislation
28. Gambling regulation
29. Consumer protection
30. Advertising regulation
31. Medical ethics regulation
32. Data protection
33. Equal opportunities regulation
34. Industrial standards
35. Weather forecasting
36. Mapping and geographic information (i.e. Ordnance Survey)
37. Film and video game classification

If the SNP want to be taken seriously, and not as a bunch of delusional fantasists, then they need to be providing convincing and feasible proposals about how each of these these functions and responsibilities would be executed in their hypothetical independent Scotland, and by whom. Not only that, but honest, detailed estimates of the time, money and effort required to set up, transition to, and run their alternative arrangements are also needed.

We're waiting.


  1. Hmmm--- from what I can see items 2,4,5,6,8,9,10,11,13, 14,15,16,17, 21,22, 23,24,26,27,28,29,30,33 and 34 are controlled in these islands by the governments of the Isle of Man and the Channel Island governments in their territories.

    And they have partial control over 3,7,19 and 20.

    But they make up Tory right-wing Disneyland and so their control of these things are not to be questioned------

    For example:


    I think that is enough to get you on with.

    As I have never seen on this blog any objection to the position of the Crown Dependencies, I guess you might not advocate their integration into the UK. It is a Tory weakness.

    Two noted hard-line unionists both legged to live in the Isle of Man. Moira Anderson campaigned against devolution in 1979 and then shifted there from Glasgow's dulce Maxwell Park whilst George MacDonald Fraser used it to rant from about how the Scots needed to be saved from themselves from getting self-government.

    With all the bleating about Connery, you could not make the two above up!

    Anyhoos, two noted opponents of any form of Scottish self-government also seem to like living outside the UK:-


    All those people impoverished. Where were the Tories saying "if you were part of the UK you would have the benefits of the welfare of state!"

    Oh, concerning foreign affairs:-


    And granted by a Tory-led government. They can make treaties which contradict the UK position. So much for British solidarity.

    To some up, I suspect you have an issue with Scotland having control of the above 37 but do not seem to mind a bit about right-wing fantasy islands doing so.

    Why are they separate? They speak English, are geographically closer to London than Scotland and are CofE. What more do you want?

    Oh I forgot this with the recession:


    Where were the unionists when this dispute happened?

    Talk about shutting the door when the horse has bolted:


    When will the Crown Dependencies (Integration of) bill be introduced by Dave Flashman? Will he upset a lot of his mates if he did?

    1. Not being a resident of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, I don't have strong opinions on their peculiar status. They have, of course, developed their quasi-autonomous status over many centuries as a result of their geographic isolation, and unlike Scotland, have never been part of the United Kingdom per se. They also have fairly unique economies and demographics which can't really be extrapolated to Scotland.

      A lot of the statutory bodies of the Channel Islands and Isle of Man that you refer to are by no means fully equivalent to their UK counterpart - the passports they issue are British passports integrated into the UK passport system, the Jersey/Guernsey DCA doesn't fulfil all the responsibilities of the CAA, Jersey Post relies on Royal Mail and FedEx for international deliveries, etc.

      Your obsession with celebrities is fascinating but hardly germane. I don't remember Moira Anderson or the Barclay brothers (or even Billy Connolly) being paraded at the Better Together launch?

      So, to sum up, the issue I have is that, after 78 years of campaigning, the SNP now have the opportunity to hold a referendum on seceding from the union in the next couple of years, and yet they still seem remarkably reluctant to give us any kind of detail on how they imagine this independent state of 5+ million people would function in a practical sense, in all kinds of ways. Neither do they seem keen to give us any idea about how much all this will cost (not just in terms of money, but also in the diversion of the time and talents of many Scottish people) to set up, transition to, and run. Any major investment needs a convincing cost-benefit analysis, surely?

      And don't assume I speak for all Unionists, or for the Tories. I speak only for myself.

  2. You are a Tory and when it comes to the Crown Dependencies Tories are liars, hyprocrites and shysters. What about the savings those islands could make by being fully integrated into the UK. For example Wales has no separate prison service but both Jersey and Guernsey retain separate prison services (i.e they do not even have common channel islands prison service unlike the common channel islands coast guard service.)

    Could they not save cash by using the UK or England/Wales organisations.

    "They also have fairly unique economies and demographics which can't really be extrapolated to Scotland"

    Who do these people trade with? Particularly the Isle of Man?

    Now if Salmond made a speech like this:


    (Get angry, get very angry!)

    This is a speech to commemerate William Brown "Manx Braveheart" who was executed for doing deals with the Cromwellians in return for retaining Manx autonomy.

    Angry? The guy is still a Manx minister and was indeed promoted recently.

    Scottish Tories when it comes to the Crown Dependencies - liars, hypocrites and shyters.

    I did not drag up celebrity. You did by having a go at Connery and Cumming.

    To be fair on Billy he said in an interview in the Herald that he wasn not getting involved in the no campaign because he did not want to be sharing a platform with "bad people". Who these "bad people" are as said from a Labour supporter as Mr Connolloy, I think you can guess who he is referring to-------

  3. Yes, of course, all Unionists are Tories aren't they? The SNP say so, so it must be true! Ad hominem attacks generally indicate a degree of desperation. By harping on about the Crown Dependencies, I can only assume you have run out of interesting things to say about Scotland.