Campaign For Scottish Home Rule statement – Kate Higgins joins steering group

Kate Higgins, blogger at A Burdz Eye View

Kate Higgins, blogger at A Burdz Eye View

Indy campaigner , blogger and co-founder of Women for Independence, Kate Higgins has joined the steering group of the Campaign for Scottish Home Rule. Launched in October, the campaign is seeking to help deliver a meaningful home rule settlement for Scotland.

The campaign is about to launch a nation wide consultation and roadshow across Scotland to find out what the people of Scotland want from a Home Rule settlement.

Kate Higgins said:  “There is a need for honest brokers to help build consensus on what home rule means and would look like for the people of Scotland, given Smith Commission’s failure to deliver.

“We were promised extensive new powers and we now know that the Smith Commission has not delivered that. In fact, given that many of the 16,000 submissions to the Commission called for the transfer of most tax and welfare powers, it appears to have ignored what much of Scotland wants.

“Instead, what we have is a guddle of pieces of policy devolved rather than the real powers needed to tackle poverty and create jobs.

“That’s why it is crucial that this campaign transcends party colours and reaches out to all the parties and people of Scotland to help achieve a meaningful Home Rule settlement. I’ve joined the Steering Group in a personal capacity but obviously I’m particularly keen to ensure that we bring about Home Rule so more women can have greater independence in all aspects of their lives.

Smith is only the beginning of that process. CSHR has  exciting plans to get out there and engage with civic Scotland  and I look forward to being part of this next step in Scotland’s journey.”

Welcoming Kate to the steering group, campaign chair Ben Thomson said: “It’s great to have such a talented campaigner who played such an important role in the referendum join our steering group. Kate brings a wealth of experience and real insight into why it’s so crucial that, at the very least, Westminster devolves to Holyrood those reserved powers linked to current devolved responsibilities, in particular relating to welfare.

“Scotland needs the full package of poverty alleviation and job creation tools at Holyrood so we can move towards a more focused and effective policy platform.”

NB

1. The Campaign for Scottish Home Rule includes people from across the political spectrum and from outwith party politics who have come together to make the case for an effective, sustainable and productive Home Rule settlement for Scotland.

2. The campaign has three basic principles: Responsibilities Devolved, Raising What You Spend, and Mutual Respect. More information at www.homerule.scot



Categories: Commentary

27 replies

  1. A waste of time, really. I wish you all the best though. For powers to come north of Hadrian’s Wall, we’re going to have to take them away from Westminster, not ask.

  2. We must have the right to raise our own taxes, especially on those rich enough (ie landowners and their multi-million pound estates) to afford it. We must also be given the right to benefit from our own resources so the Scottish Government must be handed control over the Crown Estates. With these resources we would be able to alleviate somewhat the effects that austerity and the cuts will have on the poorest in out society.

    • Well of course for many years Scotland has had the right to raise its own taxes by way of 3p in the pound on income tax (upwards or downwards) under the terms of the Scotland Act 1998. But this a power that has never been used by the Scottish Government. The reasons given have been many and various.

      In the run up to the first Holyrood election in 1999 , the SNP campaigned for the Scottish Parliament to use its powers not to implement the 1p income tax cut brought in by the Labour government at Westminster. Called the Penny for Scotland policy, the SNP said it would raise £230m a year for public services.

      But the policy didn’t appeal to voters – following the 1999 election Labour won the most seats and went on to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. The SNP dropped the Penny for Scotland plan in 2002 even though, on the face of it, that £230 million a year could have alleviated somewhat the effects of “austerity” which you deplore.

      On the face of it, and on the basis of Occam’s Razor, it seems that Scottish voters only support tax-varying powers if the net result is a reduction in personal taxes.

  3. Being able to raise our own taxes is another way of saying we don’t want to share our taxes with other people and we don’t want a share of their taxes if times are tough for us.

    • We’ve been sharing our taxes for 308 years. Are we any the better for the way they have been squandered on the games of fools?

    • I wish to share my tax – I would like to share it with those in greater need than the SE of England however..
      Andrew can only see one model as always – the UK.

    • Most countries negotiate with others what they will share and under what circumstances.
      Of course,if you are not a country…….

    • Exactly! Its called standing on your own two feet. Most grown-ups manage it.

    • The trouble is that the ‘sharing’ has only ever worked one way. From Scotland to rUK. That’s not sharing, that’s exploitation.

      Scotland contributed more to the UK than was returned long before Oil.

      Year / Revenue from Scotland/ Expenditure in Scotland Contribution to Imperial Services/% Spent in Scotland/ % Spent Outside Scotland (subsidy to rUK)
      1900 £16,859,000 £4,973,000 £11,886,000 29% 71%
      1901 £18,135,000 £4,925,000 £13,210,000 27% 73%
      1902 £19,587,000 £5,059,000 £14,528,000 26% 74%
      1903 £20,311,000 £5,145,000 £15,166,000 25% 75%
      1904 £18,550,000 £5,377,000 £13,173,000 29% 71%
      1905 £18,808,500 £5,664,500 £13,144,000 30% 70%
      1906 £18,877,000 £5,699,500 £13,177,500 30% 70%
      1907 £18,811,000 £5,962,500 £12,848,500 32% 68%
      1908 £18,847,500 £6,300,500 £12,547,000 33% 67%
      1909 £13,527,500 £6,654,000 £9,383,500 49% 69%
      1910 £16,196,000 £7,450,500 £6,687,500 46% 41%
      1911 £22,321,000 £7,927,000 £12,033,000 36% 54%
      1912 £20,900,000 £8,311,500 £10,331,500 40% 49%
      1913 £20,900,000 £8,311,500 £10,331,500 40% 49%
      1914 £23,488,500 £10,105,000 £11,204,500 43% 48%
      1915 £25,962,000 £10,178,000 £14,564,000 39% 56%
      1916 £25,962,000 £10,178,000 £14,564,000 39% 56%
      1917 £58,600,000 £9,763,500 £52,214,500 17% 89%
      1918 £58,600,000 £9,763,500 £52,214,500 17% 89%
      1919 £92,307,500 £19,527,500 £77,794,000 21% 84%
      1920 £113,525,000 £28,990,500 £84,496,500 26% 74%
      1921 £120,386,000 £33,096,000 £86,657,000 27% 72%

      Even before that, we know from a parliamentary question that Scotland was subsidizing the UK during the 1880s and 1890s to the tune of £4bn per year at today’s prices.

      In 1952/53 £410,000,000 was raised in taxes from Scotland but only £207,000,000 was spent here.

      In 1965 the Kirk’s Church and Nation Committee noted that “A yearly drain from Scotland of between 20% and 25% [my comment, the Kirk’s estimate seems too low] of the total revenue raised in the country could scarcely have failed to have some influence on the level of Scottish unemployment, double that of England, and also on the continuous stream of Scottish emigration. During the last 13 years 345,000 people had left Scotland”.

      The GERS report was instituted in the 1990s by the Tories in order to ‘prove’ that Scotland is subsidized – but has in fact proven the exact opposite.

      Just since 1980 the cost to Scotland of being part of the UK has been a cumulative £150billion. One hundred and fifty thousand million pounds. http://www.cuthbert1.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/papers%201/cumulative%20fiscal%20balance%20note%205%205%202014.doc For comparison the new Forth Road Bridge – one of the largest engineering projects on site in Europe at this time – will cost £1.45bn. We could have afforded a hundred such bridges from the subsidy we have sent south in those 35 years.

  4. Complete waste of time but at least it keep her out the way

  5. Sounds awffuy like the Constitutional Convention which despite avoidance from major players did good work.

  6. Good luck to everyone involved. Home Rule would be another important step in the road to independence.

  7. I’m as pro indy as the next man but this group will do good work. For one it crosses the political divide and starts to pick up on what the other 55% need to hear. It also follows up on the civic Scotland contributions to the Smith Commission which were completely ignored and starts to include their ideas and gain their support.

    The thing about this is two fold
    1) It nails down exactly how Home Rule / devomax / federal Scotland could and should work – it becomes an accepted model and reference point when home rule is discussed and debated. No longer would anybody get away with the vague terminology used in the indyref and vow.
    2) It shows exactly what the people want and support in terms of home rule – therefore everybody knows if UK government sells the Scottish people short if it does promise meaningful home rule at some point in the future. The thing about it is you have gained a concensus that stretches beyond the 45% that voted YES and if they are sold short on the home rule then they are 3/4 of the way to voting yes in a second indyref to achieve the objectives (fairer society etc) that home rule would give but denied by westminister establishment.

    Don’t knock this group as it is an important piece in the jigsaw toward gaining full independence !

  8. Well I, for one, am pleased to see Kate Higgins on board!

  9. Sadly I think negotiating with Westminster for more powers. Will be like asking a referee to rescind a red card. In other words we can mump and moan all we want they just won’t listen. However I applaud your endeavour. The best way to get power is to take it. That means a majority SNP at Westminster. Then disrupting Westminster so much that they will be forced to cede power back to Scotland. The end of the Uk is coming like a train crash!

  10. Home rule is not on the agenda of Westminster decision makers. In any case, even if it was on the agenda it is not a good option for Scotland as it still leaves key policy decisions in the hands of the eegits at Westminster.

    SNP need to contest GE2015 on securing a mandate for independence. They are assured 45% of votes, and perhaps over 50% if we add those who have seen through the vow scam. 30+ seats is all that is needed for independence under FPTP. Will Nicola’s troops deliver that mandate, or will they sit for 5 years in their tartan Westminster seats happily taking the unionist shilling, and unionists insults? Perhaps the SNP political career classes need to find a wee spine…………

    • I have to disagree, a large pro YEs return to Westminster cannot be used to go down the UDI route, it must be used to secure another referendum, a short quick campaign, vote in one monmths time, no postal votes, no proxy votes, and an independent neutral foreign agency to count the votes at 5 past ten in every polling station. Only then can Scotland turn to the world and tell them it was a democratic decision by the people of Scotland and we are now an independent nation.
      We’re going to have to live with the rest of the world, let’s start off of good terms.

      • Somehow, I can’t see Wastemonster agreeing to conditions such as barring postal or proxy votes or bringing in some truly independent agency from abroad to oversee things at polling stations. Once again, the Brits would run a completely bent campaign, so would it be a truly democratic decision? Sorry to appear negative, but we have to be realistic.

    • UDI without overwhelming popular support would lead to war. That’s it. People – a lot of people – would die. There is not that level of support for Independence at this time.

      But there is 75% is support for full Devomax. Everything but foreign affairs and defence. And the No campaign, in their panic and stupidity, promised exactly that.

      • Devomax/FFA will not be on offer, ever. The 30+ SNP MP Scots majority must stand for and declare independence.That is how the union was enacted and that is how it should end. Filling ‘tartan seats’ at Westminster is futile – 30 against 500+.

  11. Steve you are right we don’t need Westminsters authority for a referendum on a Westminster majority. The parliament is sovereign unlike Holyrood. So a majority and some balls would be the mandate for a referendum on Scotland’s terms.

  12. Every and any effort to meaningfully increase Scottish self-government is worthwhile.The involvement of people who are not committed to full independence is worthwhile. There are those who see a need for change but consider a greater degree of self-government to be a more pragmatic approach. We have to fight on many fronts and I welcome any initiative to progress the goal of effective Scottish self-government. My commitment is to independence but I am prepared to accept a gradualist approach to achieving it until the time comes that there is a practical alternative available. Going for bust, as in declaring a UDI, when we know that very many Scots are against independence is not a practical approach We need a combination of infinite patience and absolute commitment to Scotland disentangling itself from a bad union and becoming an independent nation again.

  13. Seems to me that for this movement to have any effect it should be grounded within the ‘No’ voting sector of society and politics, otherwise the usual cries of ‘SNP’ will be all over it from the media and the Labour Party.

    So with that in mind, and while I understand the motivation for Kate to become involved, I think it’s the wrong move, even though her history is within the Labour Party, she is known more for her role as advocating Independence.

    The SNP’s involvement in the Smith Commission achieved one thing, it allowed the unionists to claim that the findings of the Smith commission are the agreed will of Scottish politics. The same badge will be tagged to this group, that of ‘YESnp’ or whatever it was they liked to call us. This will be used as a slur by the unionist parties and happily trolled out by unquestioning journalists – ‘promote the smear/ mis direct attention from the message’ has been, is and will be the same media tactic.

    Can activists from the Yes campaign please start considering that any role they take might actually work against a Home Rule or Independence movement ? If the goal is to persuade No voters, then let devo maxers like Ben Thomson persuade them, or better still, let No voters who have since changed their minds take part.

    These people have or had no role as Yes activists and are not the easy Yes targets that our despicable press have so far dispatched with ease.

  14. The next phase in the battle for Independence is about implementing the correct tactics.To achieve independence IMO would require another referendum. Correct me if I’m wrong, but a referendum cannot go ahead without agreement of the UK government. The current politicians will never agree to another referendum so we must wait probably another 5 to 10 years. The Establishment through Broon and the Vow, promised Home Rule/Devo Max. Therefore, the Home Rule approach is a good idea to be used as a staging post, a milestone on the road to full independence. As David Steel has described in an earlier post, a defined and detailed concept of Home Rule should be able to draw in a substantial number of the NO’s. It may be possible to gain 70% support for Home Rule. (kier hardie, jimmy reid believed in Home Rule helpful in drawing in labourites)- Over time as people realise that the Establishment will not even allow what they had promised, the opinion of the NO’s should gravitate to full Independence. So that when the next Indy Ref takes place – the YES vote will be overwhelming.

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