Close

Westminster

The Beginning of the Dead-End Game

Prime Minister Theresa May

This week’s comment from Steven Paterson, former MP for Stirling

The tedious creep towards the Brexit endgame suddenly accelerated in the past week or so, as the looming negotiation deadline in September finally forced the Prime Minister to nail down some actual proposals at her Chequers showdown.

Cue the resignations of the Brexit Secretary David Davis, who had clearly been side-lined and ignored by the Prime Minister, and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, whose political calculation after seeing Davies resign on a point of principle was that his chances of becoming the next Prime Minister were better served in resigning too.

Boris Johnson,
possibly your future PM and to quote Frankie Boyle, “a cross between a serious head injury and an unmade bed……” scary thought.
Image licensed from depositphoto.com
Any question that the Prime Minister has seen off her extreme hard Brexit opponents is entirely illusory, of course. Both Johnson and Davies will be vociferous critics of her Brexit negotiations from the backbenches and in the press, and the precarious arithmetic for the minority Tory Government in the House of Commons means that each time a significant vote on the matter comes along, the risk of defeat is very real.

It’s anyone’s guess how many such defeats May’s administration can take before collapsing, but we are probably about to find out. Votes on customs arrangements take place in the Commons today (Monday), and the hard Brexit brigade, whose leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has been scathing in his criticism of the Prime Minister’s position and the White Paper published following the Chequers conference, may seek to derail the Government depending on the level of support he can count on.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Branch Records Its Support For SNP Group’s Action

Branch meeting
Read More

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

UK power grab
Read More

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

Read More

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 […]

Read More

The Collateral Damage Of Windrush

By No machine-readable author provided. Zleitzen~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By former MP for Stirling, Steven Paterson The Tories and many of their supporters in the mainstream media would have us believe that those people of the Windrush generation who have been treated as second class citizens by their own government are some sort of collateral damage: accidental casualties of […]

Read More

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.

Read More

Lack of Contact with UK Government, Letting Down Constituents

Cllr Scott Farmer
Read More