Scottish Parliament

Bruce Promotes LGBT+ Equality Campaign In Parliament

Bruce Crawford MSP wearing his TIE campaign tie
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The Settled Will of the Palace of Westminster

Clock of Palace of Westminster

By Steven Paterson former MP for Stirling

In the end, the Tory Government got its way with the EU (Withdrawal) Bill this week when it returned to the House of Commons for what turned out to be the final time.

The Bill has now squeaked through, by just sixteen votes. It remains to be seen if the handful of rebel Tory MPs who could have delivered a painful defeat on the Government actually won a concession as substantial as they would have us believe, on what is for them the crucial issue of allowing Parliament a ‘meaningful vote’ on the final Brexit deal – if there is one that is.

Meanwhile, the week has confirmed that the devolution settlement which has operated for the past nineteen years is a thing of the past thanks to the UK Government’s insistence that legislative might is right. The new convention replacing it says that whether it comes to a devolved or a reserved power, it is the UK Parliament which reigns supreme. Any powers conferred to the subordinate Scottish Parliament are conditional and subject to withdrawal should any future UK Government so choose.

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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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Outrage As Stirling Tory MP Votes To Take Powers Away From Scottish Parliament

UK power grab
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Home Energy Efficiency Programme Extended To Stirling

Bruce Crawford MSP.
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The Art Of Deflection

deflection ahead

I watched First Minister’s Questions on Thursday and witnessed the poorest performance from Tory leader Ruth Davidson in quite a while as she was resoundingly trounced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

It wasn’t just that she didn’t land a glove on the First Minister, it was the fact that she raised an issue – the Cambridge Analytica scandal – which everyone and their dog knows the Tories are mired in up to their necks, it was that she shamelessly raised it anyway with the full knowledge that our gleeful, servile mainstream media press pack would chase the stick she threw regardless. Even as the First Minister humiliated her in the embarrassingly one-sided clash, Ms Davidson retained the same silly grin on her face as she knew that simply by raising the issue, she had succeeded in her mission of deflection.

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Parliament Group Celebrates Year Of Young People

Bruce Crawford MSP chairs the CPG on Tourism – with special guest Fiona Hyslop MSP.

Bruce Crawford MSP, the convener of the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Tourism in the Scottish Parliament, chaired the recent meeting where special guest speakers included Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs. The meeting, which took place on Thursday (15 Feb) focussed on 2018 as […]

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Stirling MSP Chairs Longest Ever Finance and Constitution Meeting at Holyrood

Bruce Crawford at Holyrood
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Parliamentary Praise For Local Thistle Awards Winners

Bruce Crawford at Aberfoyle
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Our Westminster Overlords

UK power grab

By Steven Paterson former Stirling MP

In a written statement issued by the Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley this week, the first instalment of the billion pound bung of our money to be allocated to Northern Ireland was dished out.

No less than £410 million has been paid from UK Treasury coffers, explicitly part of the confidence and supply arrangement that ensures that the Tory Government remains afloat thanks to paying off the DUP. Although ostensibly this is direct rule from Westminster over devolved issues in Northern Ireland, in reality, the DUP is in complete control of this process thanks to the present arithmetic in the House of Commons.

Meanwhile, the UK Government is seeking to assume direct rule over one of the other devolved legislatures: Holyrood. Although altogether different in scale, at least for the moment, the attack on Scotland’s devolved parliament resulting from the Brexit vote could have far-reaching and unwelcome implications for the future. In short, if this power grab is allowed to proceed and a precedent is set, this could be merely the thin end of the wedge leading to the aggressive reassertion of London supremacy over hitherto devolved competences.

This is why the Scottish Government is entirely correct to fight this Westminster power grab all the way. Since 1999, the principle of consent has been adhered to when it comes to Westminster legislating on devolved areas and agreement with the Scottish Parliament has been required whenever legislation is being considered at Westminster that has crossed into a devolved area.

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