Current Affairs Politics

That Pre-Vote Pledge By The British Party Leaders

Cameron to cut public funds for Scotland (Íomhá: Wings Over Scotland)

Taking about broken promises the above image is taken from today’s edition of Britain’s right-leaning Times newspaper. So much for all-party pledges in the wake of Scotland’s “No” vote.

However in related news, via Newsweek:

“The Scottish National Party (SNP) has doubled its membership since its independence campaign ended in a narrow defeat last Thursday, overtaking the Lib Dems as the third largest UK political party.

Since last Thursday’s vote the party has gained 22,104 new members by Monday evening, taking its total membership to 47,746. The influx of new members has continued and as of Tuesday afternoon SNP membership exceeds 50,000, meaning the SNP now have more members than the Liberal Democrats’ entire UK-wide membership of 43,451 according to their own estimates.

The surge in support for the SNP also means more Scots have joined the nationalist party in the last five days than the total number of Scottish Labour Party members according to their most up-to-date figures (13,135 in 2010).

A Labour Party spokesman said that Scottish membership had increased “by the hundreds” during the referendum campaign, but declined to give full up-to-date membership figures.”

I bet he did!

9 comments on “That Pre-Vote Pledge By The British Party Leaders

  1. As far as I understand it, the Barnett formula will stay, atleast for now. But the size of the block grant will be reduced as the Scottish government will be given responsibility over more tax, including income. Remains to be seen whether such an arrangement would actually reduce total spending in Scotland.

    There is a big backlash in England going on now. Scotland gets much higher public spending (though this is apparently justified by sparse population distribution compared to England). A lot of anger that Scots get free Uni tuition, prescriptions, dental and elderly care. Ideally these benefits should be equalised across the UK as surely an English person has the same right to free education as a Scot does. But I fear an equalisation would probably mean removing these freebies from Scotland rather than implementing them in England, as our Tory government is opposed to such socialistic policies.


    • I see a recent poll put support for a “home rule” English parliament at 56% in England. A majority, but only just. I would think that long term constitutional stability would be served by three parliaments/assemblies for Scotland, Wales and England leaving the UK parliament as the national quasi-federal one. Everything else, various grants categories and parliamentary formulas included, would seem to me to be too complicated to be appreciated or workable. Muddling through carries some dangers.

      I should add in, an assembly for Cornwall before I’m taken to task 😉


  2. The NO side definitely should not complain about the budget cuts.

    They got what they voted for.


  3. These are certainly “interesting times”. Most of us probably saw this coming, but the last-minute offer by the Westminster parties provided an excuse for many who were in favour of independence but fearful of change. This is not hard understand, nor should vulnerable people be condemned. If you were dependent on a government pension and were told by people you’d been taught to respect that on independence it would be taken away (and that’s just an example of the scare tactics), then even if others told you it was all bollocks, would you really want to take the risk? FUD is hard to combat.

    Meanwhile the WM parties and busy falling out with each other, Labour can’t come onboard with “English votes on English Laws” because they need their Scottish MPs, what they don’t realise is they’ll have precious few of these come the next general election. The urban poor have finally realised that New Labour has been shafting them for decades, and the sight of them fighting alongside the Tories for a NO must have been the last straw. Having votes NO they’re now abandoning Labour.

    The English people who want free this, that and the other, like the Scots and Welsh should vote for a party of parties that will provide them. But here lies a big problem. Unlike the devolved parliaments/assemblies (including London), WM still uses the first-past-the-post system. This makes it very difficult for small/new parties to be represented, and indeed it’s almost inevitable that you end up with two main parties competing for the centre ground. Except in England after Thatcher and Blair, we have two main parties both offering a right wing neo-con agenda. And the LibDems rather than hold the balance of power simply abandoned all their principles at the first whiff of Power. Pathetic.

    The way the three main English parties lined up together for NO should remove any lasting doubts that there is any real ideological difference between them. All that differs is the branding, the packaging. So in effect the UK is a one-party state. Where do the English go for there?

    Back in Scotland, it’s should be clear that the English threw their ideals of Fair Play to the winds, sorry chaps, that just wasn’t cricket, more another case of Britannia Waives the Rules. The terms of the referendum were set out in the Edinburgh Agreement. These included no new offers during the final weeks, especially after postal votes were beginning to be sent in. Also the BBC were clearly biased, there is an impartial academic study showing this (which they tried to suppress). As a public service this is almost certainly against the terms of the BBC charter. The Electoral Commission should have been policing the campaign, where were they? Many Scots will not accept the result as the Settled Will of the People because it was simply not a fair fight. Hopefully pressure will mount although I’m not sure quite what form the response(s) will take.


    • The fact that all the main parties agree on something does not mean that the UK is a one-party state.

      I know that you don’t like the English for some reason, but that’s a ridiculous exaggeration.


    • All eyes on Holyrood and a substantial SNP majority next time around then (even with the system loaded against them). I wonder will the talk of an SNP/Green/SSP/Radical alliance going to the polls lead to anything? One presumes not (why would the SNP need it when they will be the main beneficiaries of the referendum push-back?).


  4. believe the SNP, SSP, radicals and Greens will agree on Indy candidates in the UK General Election next year in the hope of unseating as many Labour MPs in Scotland as possible. Would be interesting to see a large Indy contingent in Westminster.
    Think they may stand on individual manifestos for hollyrood in 2016 but still under the standard of the YES alliance.
    In the meantime they would do well to keep up the movement. They have to be ready to welcome people who voted No and are disappointed as the cuts take effect and the Home Rule/Devo max VOW/Pledge crumbles to dust. Tories, Labour and Lib-dems will forget scotland as they scramble for votes in the run-up to the 2015 UK General Election.


    • I found this opinion piece from the (drum-roll!) “International Committee of the Fourth International” unintentionally hilarious.

      Can’t see the SNP going for a full electoral alliance though individual constituency agreements might be made. The SSP, Radical Indy don’t pull in enough votes (or any in the latter case since they have yet to contest) to make an alliance worthwhile. The Green Party might be a different prospect though they are nationalist-lite.


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