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Shall There Be A Scottish Parliament?

Scottish Parliament

By Steven Paterson, former MP for Stirling

The sheer contempt in which Scotland, its MPs and the Scottish Parliament are held by the Westminster establishment was laid bare this week when House of Lords amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill were debated in the House of Commons.

The delirious shower of sneering, braying, and giggling Tories inhabiting the Government benches – including those representing Scottish constituencies – savoured the delicious moment that Westminster’s power grab was completed against Scotland’s Parliament. The “debate” (if indeed the English language can forgive me calling it thus) was relegated to the very end of the day’s proceedings thanks to the Government’s Programme Motion setting out the timetable, order and limit on debates, meaning there were a mere nineteen minutes remaining of parliamentary time to discuss the Tory attack on Scottish devolution.

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SNP Investing £9.5 Million In Stirling Area Schools

St Ninians Primary School
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Outrage As Stirling Tory MP Votes To Take Powers Away From Scottish Parliament

UK power grab
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RBS Postpone Bannockburn Closure

Bruce Crawford MSP at Bannockburn RBS
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Home Energy Efficiency Programme Extended To Stirling

Bruce Crawford MSP.
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DSG Operation in MOD Forthside

An open letter by SNP Councillor Alison Laurie
Last Thursday was an upsetting day for the many employees and their families who have experienced a redundancy as a result of Babcock closing their DSG operation in MOD Forthside. In a bitter irony, this was done on the same day as Heads of Terms for the Stirling City region deal were signed just along the road at the Engine Shed.

The service employed 56 people. These were highly skilled jobs, and almost 50 of them have now been made redundant. 

Yes, this was a decision made by Babcock Intl – a private company looking to further profits – but it came as the result of decisions made by the Tory Government to decommission MOD Forthside. 

In a press release, dated 7 September 2017, Stirling’s Tory MP Stephen Kerr boasted that he was “saving our jobs at Forthside”. 

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Paying a High Price for the DUP

By Steven Paterson former MP for Stirling

It is almost a year since the Westminster General Election which saw the DUP sweep to an unprecedented level of power and influence through parliamentary arithmetic which means they effectively own the Tory UK Government. The continued support of their ten MPs in the House of Commons is the single reason Prime Minister Theresa May’s flagginggovernment can continue to survive week after tortured week

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The Many Faces of Unionism

The Union flag

By Former MP for Stirling, Steven Paterson

This week’s Unionist conference in London drew together the big hitters of the Better Together world: Tory; Labour; and of course, DUP. Keynote speeches were delivered by Ruth Davidson, Michael Gove, Arlene Foster, Brandon Lewis, Alistair Darling, Jim Murphy and Theresa Villiers, as the Union and Unionism past, present and future were examined.

The tone was exactly what you’d expect. Generous dollops of gushing praise for the 300 year old Union which, it was alleged, has served us all so well for all this time, and predictable condemnation for the SNP for not taking the No vote in 2014 as an all-time, all-circumstances rejection of Scottish self-government forever and ever and ever.

Ruth Davidson stated a somewhat strange belief that talk of independence only started in 2007 – I’m sure I heard the concept mentioned before that – then went on to peddle the myth that the devolved Scottish Parliament she sits in is somehow an “autonomous and powerful parliament for Scotland”. This ridiculous falsehood at the very time her Tory colleagues at Westminster are ignoring the Scottish Parliament’s democratic vote to resist the stripping back of the powers it has by Westminster in response to a Brexit Scotland didn’t vote for but is being dragged towards anyway.

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Co-operation and Partnership, Westminster-Style

The Scotland Office - time to go! Image By Paul the Archivist [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By former MP for Stirling, Steven Paterson Perhaps Stirling’s unpredictable Tory MP Stephen Kerr was overcome and swelling with Britannic pride this week owing to wall to wall and unavoidable coverage of a royal wedding. Or maybe he just took a wee turn in the hot weather. Whatever the reason […]

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SNP Councillor Condemns Tory MP’S Defence Of Rape Clause

Maureen Bennison

Bannockburn SNP Councillor Maureen Bennison, has condemned Stirling’s Tory MP Stephen Kerr over twitter comments he made defending the disgraceful Tory ‘Rape Clause’. Measures brought in by the Tory Government at Westminster mean that women may only claim child support tax credits for a third or subsequent child if they […]

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