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Old February 18th, 2012, 06:04 PM   #2941
Gap74
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It's one area I disagree with the SNP on as well - prohibition or strict controls on supply should be a complete last resort. Why is it that other countries have cheaper booze but no attendant drink problem on the same scale as Scotland?

Is it climate? Is it a lack of things to do? Wouldn't it be better to tackle WHY people want to get wrecked in the first place than how they get hold of it? I don't think there are easy answers here, without getting into big issues like aspirations and wealth inequality, but I'm still not sure that justifies something as blunt as controlling supply, which just makes it even more of a forbidden fruit - without making it genuinely much more expensive, poorer people are just going to spend a greater proportion of their income on it.

I live in an area that's spent the last year or so being part of some serious police efforts to tackle drinking and drink-related disorder in public, particularly amongst underagers. It's on the edge of a South Lanarkshire community growth area, where the last 15 years have seen a few thousand houses built on the farmland that used to surround it. All these developments have been completely car-dependant and with nothing beyond the bare minimum in terms of facilities - i.e. a few small play parks, as prescribed in planning policies.

On their part, South Lanarkshire have closed one of the community centres and a number of play parks. The demand for school places has curiously caught them on the hop, and they now find themselves having to frantically rezone and build two new primary schools, even though a new one has just been completed, and another recently extended.

There is, simply, absolutely nothing for these new communities to do unless they all have access to a car or sit inside in front of tellies. No cinemas, no theatres, no museums, a small library, the nearest leisure centres are a couple of miles away, the shops are all bookies/licensed grocers/tanning salons and takeaways.

I think much more needs to be done at the planning stage - but unless it's a united approach by all planning authorities, developers are just going to piss and moan about contributing to these kind of facilites up-front and go elsewhere.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 06:53 PM   #2942
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The article about problems in France is interesting. I always enjoyed Paris's Left Bank at night, nice atmosphere, felt safe and unthreatening compared to Glasgow, no drunken yobs, haven't been for a few years so was surprised to read that article. Bar prices are very high in the Latin Quarter but, like here, young people are getting tanked up on cheap shop bought booze. Anti social behavior may be a new development for the French but their relationship with alcohol has always been damaging in terms of health. I remember reading years ago that rates of liver disease were among the highest in Europe, and that anti depressant use was extremely high - we know there can be a causal link between alcohol consumption and psychological illness. So I wouldn't necessarily say that cheap booze, particularly wine, has not had consequences in France despite the generally civilised drinking culture there. In Scotland too the problem is not confined to the young or the poor. The middle classes are almost as bad, how many are knocking back a bottle of wine with dinner every night? Education isn't reducing the problem. To me it seems logical that increasing the price would reduce consumption. I would prefer to do it through taxation but as we don't have the fiscal powers minimum pricing should be tried.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 07:40 PM   #2943
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It's one area I disagree with the SNP on as well - prohibition or strict controls on supply should be a complete last resort. Why is it that other countries have cheaper booze but no attendant drink problem on the same scale as Scotland?
The thing is, i think we passed the last resort a few years ago. Stricter controls are the only tool left. This may not fit with the business models of some of the big corporations in Scotland (i.e. the supermarkets) but its costing us too much as a nation through health and social costs (with the real damage only becoming apparent when the current 20/30 year old generation reach the stage of liver damage in the next 15 years.)

I totally agree with your point about planning and local governance contributing to binge drinking. Having been unfortunate enough to grow up in sunny Lanarkshire i started drinking at 15 as there was little else to do.

I have to say though, its a lot harder to get booze now than it was back then. My 30 year old mate go ID'ed in Tesco last week - pubs are taking their responsibility much more seriously too.

Personally though, I definitely find myself buying more beer/wine than I need because of the big specials on multi-packs etc. I'm sure i'm not the only one
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Old February 18th, 2012, 11:01 PM   #2944
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This isn't a thread I normally post on, not having much interest in Scottish politics, but having lived in Nordic countries with far stricter alcohol sales regulation I can say from my experience it doesn't work. If anything it promotes binge drinking. If you're going to all that effort to get the stuff you might as well get totally ****ed on the stuff...
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Old February 19th, 2012, 04:50 AM   #2945
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Yup, that was something else I was gonna mention - having been to Iceland twice not so long ago, where alcohol is expensive and tightly controlled (much more so for off-sales, at least) the weekends out on the town are just as raucous, if not more so, than anywhere I've been.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 05:11 AM   #2946
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Quote:
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The thing is, i think we passed the last resort a few years ago. Stricter controls are the only tool left. This may not fit with the business models of some of the big corporations in Scotland (i.e. the supermarkets) but its costing us too much as a nation through health and social costs (with the real damage only becoming apparent when the current 20/30 year old generation reach the stage of liver damage in the next 15 years.)
I might be a little older than many people of here but I remember before alcohol was readily available within supermarkets (although I was not drinking age at that time!).

I clearly remember as a youngster in the run up to Hogmanay when I was about 8 or 9 waiting with my parents queuing up at a specialist off license. This only sold alcohol and never had any of the promotions of ability to offset the cost as a loss leader of a supermarket. The licenses for these were more stricly controlled as it seems every corner shop and local shop sells alcohol these days and so it is readily available everywhere.

My father even told me that prior to that there was not any off license shops but you bought "off license" from a pub (hence the term cause if you drink it onsite you are on license). The cost of buying off license was much the same as buying in the pub and thus we had thriving pub trade but very little 'uncontrolled' drinking in the house like we do now.

Alcohol is incredibly cheap these days and it is no surprise the pub trade is in such a state as many choose to purchase a case of beer for the house. When that case is sitting there it is very tempting when sitting watching tv to have a couple.

I think the minimum pricing is more than just trying to tackle the youth drinking problem.

It is more to do with the current health time bomb amoungst the 30-50 year olds across all social classes who may tank a bottle of wine every night or a few beers from the multipack.

This is also contributing a lot to the obesity crisis and any steps to try and redress the problems are welcome within the current limited powers to the Scottish Government.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 06:40 AM   #2947
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Conservative Party Leader 2012

David Cameron: "When the referendum on independence is over, I am open to looking at how the devolved settlement can be improved further. And yes, that means considering what further powers could be devolved."

And a warning from history



We all know what happened to Scotland after 1979 when Scotland actually voted 51.6% YES in this referendum...
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Old February 19th, 2012, 03:26 PM   #2948
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This isn't a thread I normally post on, not having much interest in Scottish politics, but having lived in Nordic countries with far stricter alcohol sales regulation I can say from my experience it doesn't work. If anything it promotes binge drinking. If you're going to all that effort to get the stuff you might as well get totally ****ed on the stuff...
I stayed in Finland for a while. As I recall, basically only beer can be sold in supermarkets, and anything stronger is sold in the state-controlled Alko stores. Alcohol is not cheap there; drinking out is very expensive. Off-sales alcohol wasn't cheap in UK terms, but in Finland everybody is more or less normalised to the prices.

Since off-sales are considerably cheaper than booze in pubs, people usually drink up a bit of a base at home before heading out. The Finns are notorious drinkers, who continue to drink to excess. Heavy-handed state control of pricing doesn't necessarily stop the binging. (But I can't say it hasn't reduced it, either.)
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:38 AM   #2949
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I stayed in Finland for a while. As I recall, basically only beer can be sold in supermarkets, and anything stronger is sold in the state-controlled Alko stores. Alcohol is not cheap there; drinking out is very expensive. Off-sales alcohol wasn't cheap in UK terms, but in Finland everybody is more or less normalised to the prices.

Since off-sales are considerably cheaper than booze in pubs, people usually drink up a bit of a base at home before heading out. The Finns are notorious drinkers, who continue to drink to excess. Heavy-handed state control of pricing doesn't necessarily stop the binging. (But I can't say it hasn't reduced it, either.)
I was always led to believe that Finland was more Russian than Scandinavian with regards to some aspects of its culture (such as drinking).

Had a look at countries drinking levels:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ol_consumption

Extremely surprised to see the UK so close to Denmark. Any time i've been there i've never got the impression that they are particularly big drinkers (don't know how they could afford to be given the price over there).

But then, you look at other countries with stricter legislation such as Canada and Norway and they are almost half of the UK's level.

I guess it just suggests that there is more to tackling drink problems than price, however i do think it is encouraging that some of the healthiest nations have adopted very strict controls.

Panorama tonight looks into the problem if anyone is interested.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 11:18 AM   #2950
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The theory behind the new Scottish model is that by increasing the price of ONLY the very cheapest alcohol, we can slightly reduce the amount that ONLY the real problem drinkers are consuming. There is plenty of evidence that this would have a positive effect on their health - which would mean that some of our healthcare budget could be redirected into better dealing with other illnesses. This has to be a good thing for all of us, and if the price we have to pay is ONLY not being able to buy value vodka (for example), while the price of the vast majority of booze bought by moderate drinkers isn't changed at all, it is a very small price to pay.

No-one is suggesting that we go down the very high cost and control route that you guys have been talking about. This is a much more subtle approach.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 11:35 AM   #2951
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It turns out David Cameron made a gaffe during his recent visit to Scotland.

The speech in Edinburgh was given behind a lectern bearing the version of the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom for use in England and Wales.



It was the second gaffe last week after the UK Foreign Office snubbed Cardinal Keith O'Brien the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland and the highest ranking Catholic clergyman in the constituent countries of the United Kingdom.

A visit headed by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi to meet with Pope Benedict and Vatican officials included the head of the Catholic Church in England as part of the delegation however no invite was sent to Cardinal O'Brien.

There is speculation that no one in the UK Foreign Office realised that the head of the English Catholic Church was outranked by his Scottish Catholic Church counterpart.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 04:24 PM   #2952
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It was the second gaffe last week after the UK Foreign Office snubbed Cardinal Keith O'Brien the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland and the highest ranking Catholic clergyman in the constituent countries of the United Kingdom.

A visit headed by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi to meet with Pope Benedict and Vatican officials included the head of the Catholic Church in England as part of the delegation however no invite was sent to Cardinal O'Brien.

There is speculation that no one in the UK Foreign Office realised that the head of the English Catholic Church was outranked by his Scottish Catholic Church counterpart.
And not a single fuck was given.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 06:20 AM   #2953
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And not a single fuck was given.
It is not a major issue but just is more proof that Westminster does not seem to fully understand or just ignores the distinct make up of the UK.

The Catholic Church in Scotland is not happy though it seems.

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The failure of the UK Governmental delegation to The Vatican, led by Baroness Warsi, was felt to be a either a snub or ignorance, a choice between bad and worse, according to sources within the Catholic Church in Scotland.

News leaked out that influential members of the Catholic Church in Scotland are in no way pleased by the UK Government’s failure to invite Cardinal Keith O’Brien to The Vatican
The UK Government is obviously either unaware or it just ignored the fact in the United Kingdom the Catholic Church is organised into three distinct and autonomous Bishops' Conferences. Scotland, England and Wales, and Ireland and strictly speaking all three should have been represented or at least the highest ranking.

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The decision has particularly irritated the Scottish Church because Cardinal O’Brien is a more senior figure than Archbishop Nichols. He is the only British Catholic to be part of the College of Cardinals which elects popes.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 11:22 AM   #2954
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It is not a major issue but just is more proof that Westminster does not seem to fully understand or just ignores the distinct make up of the UK.
Invalid assumption. Westminster perhaps doesn't understand how the catholic church is represented within the UK. That doesn't imply what you say at all.

I find it reassuring to know that Westminster is reasonably disconnected from the church. These people believe in sky fairies, and I don't really care if one of them didn't get to go on a jolly.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 12:24 PM   #2955
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Baroness Warsi is a complete fud.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 02:09 PM   #2956
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Invalid assumption. Westminster perhaps doesn't understand how the catholic church is represented within the UK. That doesn't imply what you say at all.

I find it reassuring to know that Westminster is reasonably disconnected from the church. These people believe in sky fairies, and I don't really care if one of them didn't get to go on a jolly.
Well I am not religious either but if the UK Government is doing an official visit to the Vatican the UK Foreign Office and legions of protocal advisors should at least check out details.

The UK delegation which was led by Tory Minister Baroness Warsi actually included Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore.

When Michael Moore was challanged over the snub he claimed that there was no oversight and that invitations were the responsibility of the Vatican.

This was dismissed by Vatican officials who said UK Ministers should have known that Cardinal O’Brien needed to be invited.

It turns out Baroness Warsi had herself personally invited Archbishop Nichols.

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Baroness Warsi is a complete fud.
I agree
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 11:03 PM   #2957
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The thing is, i think we passed the last resort a few years ago. Stricter controls are the only tool left.
The UK has had moral panics over alcohol consumption since time immemorial. Rather like crime rates, it's one of those things that people assume is forever on the rise. I suppose for once we did genuinely get a dip in drinking within living memory: the war.

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I totally agree with your point about planning and local governance contributing to binge drinking. Having been unfortunate enough to grow up in sunny Lanarkshire i started drinking at 15 as there was little else to do.
I find this hard to believe. I grew up in a village in the middle of nowhere. We had a park, a few shops and a barely existent bus service out, yet shockingly anti-social behaviour was not a big problem. In Lanarkshire, presumably you weren't all that far from a significant town or even Glasgow. As far as things to do go, you had more than most. Children just tend to have more free time at their disposal.


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The theory behind the new Scottish model is that by increasing the price of ONLY the very cheapest alcohol, we can slightly reduce the amount that ONLY the real problem drinkers are consuming. There is plenty of evidence that this would have a positive effect on their health - which would mean that some of our healthcare budget could be redirected into better dealing with other illnesses. This has to be a good thing for all of us, and if the price we have to pay is ONLY not being able to buy value vodka (for example), while the price of the vast majority of booze bought by moderate drinkers isn't changed at all, it is a very small price to pay.

No-one is suggesting that we go down the very high cost and control route that you guys have been talking about. This is a much more subtle approach.
By 'problem drinkers' you presumably mean 'the working class'? I'm not of the opinion that a person's financial standing should be seen by the state as an endorsement of how much they should be able to drink.

Yes, quite probably the more deprived sections of our society cause more alcohol-fueled trouble, but legislating in a way that only impacts on that group - harming responsible drinkers as well - is hardly reasonable.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 11:29 PM   #2958
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It is safe to say that David Cameron's positive case for Scotland to remain within the United Kingdom won't be remembered as a turning point in the debate over Scotland's constitutional future.
It was a good speech and well received. As one of the early shots in the campaign, it will certainly feature in the history books.

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Cameron points out a positive case for the Union is the UK permanent Security Council seat, EU clout (serilously ), worlds 4th larget military and NATO leadership.

This clearly shows the difference betwen the Unionist focus on prestige, power projection and the maintaining the image of global power at all costs (eg trident).

Contrast this with the SNP's focus on the people of Scotland and their needs. With an electorate of Scottish voters I think I know which option will win the most votes!
That's the stupidest false dicotomy I've seen in a long time. We use influence in the European Union to secure a fair deal for British business; we use our membership in the Security Council to create a stable and secure world, which in turn opens up trade. These things have enormous practical benefit for the people of Britain - which is rather obviously why we do them.

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The is mightily similiar to the McCrone Report cover up in 1974 which was buried for over 20 years which showed that North Sea oil could have made an independent Scotland as prosperous as Switzerland.
Well, yes, it is similar insofar as it was Ministerial advice from a civil servant and thus under the general banner of 'things which are usually confidential'. Need we remind you how often the SNP has kept advice to itself in government quiet, despite being asked to disclose it?

Anyway, McCrone's Paper showed nothing factual that wasn't in the public domain. What's more, the projections he relied on were wrong: they were overly optimistic. Facts aside though, if you're interested in Mr McCrone's opinions, perhaps you should take heed of his more recent ones: viz, that the SNP is lying to the public by double or even triple-booking Scottish oil revenue in the event of independence.

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Yesterday Cameron was suggesting more devolution would be looked at by Westminster should Scotland vote no to independence and therefore he is dangling an invisible carrot.
He suggested it would be reviewed, with the possibility of more powers not ruled out. Which is perfectly reasonable: it was reviewed after about a decade through the Calman Commission. It is perfectly proper that, after the Scotland Bill is passed, we consider how it is working.


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As many Nationalists know this is not the truth. Apart from the fact that it was the people of Scotland that delivered devolution to Scotland, Labour were forced to offer devolution to Scotland and Wales by the Council of Europe under threat of sanctions.
Except, of course, that's conspiracy theorist garbage. The Council of Europe does not instruct countries on internal devolution, much less impose 'sanctions' regarding it. It is a complete misunderstanding of the organisation, coupled with the utter nonsense position which is entirely driven by prejudice.

I once received a copy of these "Scotland-UN Committee" papers. They seemed to be written by one man with a slightly wandering mind, who made an art form of prejudicing as many pages as possible on subjects about which he was completely ignorant. It was astounding. In fact, it was childish and embarrassing. The suggestion that they had anything to do with Scottish devolution other than wasting their own time is simply not even worth considering.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 03:25 AM   #2959
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It was a good speech and well received. As one of the early shots in the campaign, it will certainly feature in the history books.
If will feature in the history books as a milestone in the independence campaign.

There are many positive reasons for retaining the union but the trouble for the unionists is that all the advantages accrue to the south of the border and that is becoming more evident with everything they say.

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We use influence in the European Union to secure a fair deal for British business
And the UK chooses to prioritise any workings with the EU to mainly benefit the largest political and population centre in the UK, London and the South East.

Scotland has different priorities, for example fisheries, and we would be better having our own voice instead of someone else speaking on our behalf.

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we use our membership in the Security Council to create a stable and secure world
Pull the other one, the UK is in a post imperial haze and clinging to the prestige of having the permanent UNSC seat and nuclear weapons to try and remain relevant in the 21st century.

The world is a different place now to 1946 and there is increasing pressure for the UK and France UNSC seats will merge into a single one for the EU and the spare seat will be transferred to India.

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Well, yes, it is similar insofar as it was Ministerial advice from a civil servant and thus under the general banner of 'things which are usually confidential'. Need we remind you how often the SNP has kept advice to itself in government quiet, despite being asked to disclose it?

Anyway, McCrone's Paper showed nothing factual that wasn't in the public domain. What's more, the projections he relied on were wrong: they were overly optimistic. Facts aside though, if you're interested in Mr McCrone's opinions, perhaps you should take heed of his more recent ones: viz, that the SNP is lying to the public by double or even triple-booking Scottish oil revenue in the event of independence.
Are you one of the unionists who was telling everyone in the 1970's that the oil would only last for 10 to 20 years?

The remaining North Sea oil in Scotland's waters is worth over £1trillion.

"About 24billion barrels could still be taken from the North Sea, with the total financial value more than what has already been extracted to date, the conference in Edinburgh heard yesterday."

And also "Charles Hendry MP, the Conservative Energy minister, states that there are 11 billion barrels accessible, but that a further 13 billion could be optimized, and that this additional 13 billion is worth £1 trillion to the British economy."

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Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
He suggested it would be reviewed, with the possibility of more powers not ruled out. Which is perfectly reasonable: it was reviewed after about a decade through the Calman Commission. It is perfectly proper that, after the Scotland Bill is passed, we consider how it is working.
The Scotland Bill will not be passed as it is unworkable and also takes as much powers from Holyrood as it gives.

The anti-independence parties do not know if the are coming or going as the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has denied that David Cameron suggested more powers could be devolved to Scotland if it rejected independence.

The Scottish people will not vote for a 'pig in a poke' and if the anti-independence parties want to dangle an invisible carrot that is up to them but we know what happened in 1979.

In the Autumn of 2014 we will have a choice between independence (with the full information on this option being made available 2013 by the SNP) and a choice of 'jam tomorrow'.

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Except, of course, that's conspiracy theorist garbage. The Council of Europe does not instruct countries on internal devolution, much less impose 'sanctions' regarding it. It is a complete misunderstanding of the organisation, coupled with the utter nonsense position which is entirely driven by prejudice.
If there is nothing to hide let the devolution papers come out.

Scottish Devolution and the Labour Myth

"From 1994 on, the Committee of Ministers started monitoring the democratic systems of all the European states, members and aspiring members of the CoE alike. It was obvious from the start that it could not make exceptions, that existing Western member states had to be judged by the same standards that were being applied to the former Communist countries.

When the monitoring committee got round to the UK in June 1996 its report was politely damning. It dealt not only with Scotland, but also with Wales, and it undid the Thatcherite changes to the administration of London. Later additions dealt with other constitutional deficiencies like the method of appointing Scottish judges. The most humiliating of all was that it bracketed the UK in a group with Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Moldova and Ukraine as one of six states having “major problems in meeting standards of democracy.”

Devolution thereby ceased to be a political party issue and became a foreign policy commitment that had to be implemented, no matter what government was in office in London. John Major and the Conservatives were no doubt very thankful that this hot potato bounced onto the lap of Tony Blair and the Labour leadership, whose efforts to kill the Strasbourg action, even while out of office, had resulted in a monumental diplomatic disaster that never achieved publicity.

The Council of Europe issued a statement making it pointedly clear that failure to abide by the international norms of pluralist democracy “would be incompatible with membership of the Council.”

The Tories had stubbornly dragged their feet over the UK’s accession to the Charter of Local Self-Government, but then, in March 1997, a few weeks before the election that brought Blair’s Labour government to power, the Council of Europe pointedly spelled out the sanctions that would be applied, in a series of escalating steps, to any European state that did not “fully and swiftly comply with the basic democratic principles that are at the heart of the European Ideal.”

In plain language, get Scotland, Wales, etc. sorted out or be expelled from the Council of Europe in the most humiliatingly public manner – a step that would have had devastating international consequences, especially just a few weeks before the UK presidency of the European Union.

Total capitulation followed. With the entire international diplomatic corps breathing down its neck, the new UK government signed the Charter on 3 June 1997 (the last one in Europe to do so) and brought in bills for devolution to Scotland and Wales – to written approval by Strasbourg, but described by Blair as “a damnable nuisance.” The fulfilment of this foreign policy obligation was therefore a diplomatic and not a political decision.

Tony Blair and the remaining Labour leadership ostentatiously boycotted the opening of the Scottish Parliament and later the Holyrood building in order to show what they thought of the whole business – an attitude later confirmed in Blair’s memoirs.

Labour’s nose having been well and truly rubbed in the unwelcome devolution project, it was left to Donald Dewar to implement it with the absolute minimum of powers that Labour could get off with, while keeping the Scottish legislature firmly tied to London, and generally whittling devolution down as far as possible. The Holyrood building project was probably intended to be a means of strengthening Labour’s hold on the devolved system as well as glorifying Dewar personally.

The Scottish Government was to be called an “Executive”; the by now superfluous post of Secretary of State would be retained as a kind of anti-Executive tool; Sewel motions for the return of devolved decision making to Westminster were to be used regularly; a flagrantly unconstitutional attempt was made to shift the Scottish-English border in the North Sea northwards in order to transfer 12 major oil wells to English jurisdiction and keep them out of Scottish hands; in defiance of international law, the unionist parties insisted on the fiction that the new Scottish legislature was subordinate to Westminster; and Dewar’s system for vetting Labour MSP candidates made sure that only reliable party hacks and dyed-in-the-wool unionists would be selected.

It took eight years for the old order at Holyrood to burn itself out and for a delayed new era to commence.

On 18 January 1999 Dennis Canavan, who on a number of occasions had rendered services to Scotland-UN at Westminster (and suffered for it when he was blackballed by Labour as an MSP candidate) put a question to Foreign Secretary Robin Cook on when the Council of Europe’s report on the UK’s democratic system was going to be published.

The question was answered by Tony Lloyd, who informed him that “the conclusions of the Committee of Ministers will be made public when available.” Thirteen years later, despite this commitment, there is still no sign of this information being made public, and there is total official silence on the subject.

So when Labour Home Secretary Jack Straw banned Andrew McFadyen’s relevant Freedom of Information request for the devolution documents, after the officials concerned had approved it, this tale will maybe provide an inkling of the reason why.

It would have killed Labour’s pretence to have “given” Scotland home rule, to say nothing of its election chances for both Holyrood and Westminster. It was an acute embarrassment for the Labour leadership, a tale of how they had been outmanoeuvred, outgunned and outsmarted by a group of nationalist amateurs."


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I once received a copy of these "Scotland-UN Committee" papers
You are George Foulkes, the drunken Baron of Cumnock, and I claim my £5 prize.

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Old February 23rd, 2012, 12:35 PM   #2960
Due East
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
The UK has had moral panics over alcohol consumption since time immemorial. Rather like crime rates, it's one of those things that people assume is forever on the rise. I suppose for once we did genuinely get a dip in drinking within living memory: the war.
Its dangerous and naive to think this is some kind of routine moral panic. The majority of statistics don't bear it out. Liver disease is the only cause of death to be rising in the UK and there was recent research showing the effect of alcohol was costing hundreds of millions to the economy. IIRC the health cost for the UK is somewhere in the region of £2billion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
I find this hard to believe. I grew up in a village in the middle of nowhere. We had a park, a few shops and a barely existent bus service out, yet shockingly anti-social behaviour was not a big problem. In Lanarkshire, presumably you weren't all that far from a significant town or even Glasgow. As far as things to do go, you had more than most. Children just tend to have more free time at their disposal.
I grew up in urban Lanarkshire. Doesn't mean there was anything to do though.

I actually really enjoyed getting boozed when i was a young'un. I can see now though that this is where the majority of fighting, sexual assaults and other accidents happen with people not used to drinking going over the score. Some of the stuff that happened at my school was crazy.

Things might not seem bad over in leafy and prosperous Edinburgh (if that is where you are based), but if you take a walk down Shettleston High Street you will think you've landed in a post-communist Russian republic. You can see the drink damage on every second persons face. Something needs to change.
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