Thursday, 21 June 2007

No taxation without representation

Fiona Hyslop, Scotland's Nationalist education minister, is planning to spend Taxes raised from England on Scottish school children.

How? Because taxes raised in the UK go in a common pot and are then divided out unevenly in favour of Scotland.

The Scottish parliament can spend their own money on what they like - and if that goes to reduce infant class sizes, or student grants, then fine.

But did they ever hear of the phrase “No taxation without representation”?

Blair Gibbs, of the Taxpayers' Alliance pointed out:

"Sooner or later the Government is going to have to explain why it is OK for SNP ministers in Holyrood to make pledges on public spending with money raised from English taxpayers.

"Voters north of the border are within their rights to want more local control but fairness means not asking someone else to pay for it. English taxpayers once again see the SNP avoiding the logic of their own independence objective. You can't go your own way if you don't pay your own way."

Joel Barnet, who created the formula, is calling for it to be scrapped, as it comes under intense and increasing political scrutiny because the disparity between public spending in Scotland and England is now more than £1,500 per head. This is threatens to create a public backlash in England.

A YouGov opinion poll indicated 70% of English voters now believe Scotland is being "subsidised" by the rest of the UK and things should be balanced. By contrast, 74% of Scots want to keep the money rolling in just as it is. Why would you be surprised?

Defenders of the current system (the 74%?) say cutting Scotland's share of funds from central government could severely damage the country because there public spending forms a much larger part of the economy than in the rest of the UK – well it would form a larger part wouldn’t it, because they can afford it having an extra "subsidy of more than £11 billion a year.

The disparity is funding artificially inflated levels of Scottish public spending, among the highest in Europe.

On top of that there is also the minor matter of Scottish MPs being able to vote in Parliament on purely English matters - that will not impact on their own electorate.

In this respect they are effectively unelected and unaccountable by and to, those they govern - This is not democracy.

A Critique of a Critique

This Examination of Kevin Carson's Contract Feudalism by Paul Marks is worth a read and makes some telling points.

EC President against UK referendum

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is now urging the UK not to hold a referendum the constitution /treaty h is trying to push through at this week's EU summit.

Speaking to BBC, he said:

"Sometimes I hear people saying that for Parliament to approve it would be by the back door.

Is that the respect some people show their Parliament, maybe the greatest Parliament in the world? I don't consider Parliament the back door”

We are talking about Tony Blair approving it not Parliament. If it is done without a referendum it is certainly by the ‘back door’, the British have not had to opportunity to express an opinion and the EU has very little impact on what party they voted for as there is not much difference.

And do we really respect Parliament? I suspect most of us could count the politicians in parliament we actually respect on the thumbs of two hands - So that would be no then.

He went on:

"Britain is the country that exported Parliamentary democracy to the world. Do the British people consider Parliament the backdoor?

"Do the British people who killed their king to protect the rights of Parliament consider it the back door? “

Is it the backdoor? Absolutely - and Jose, it was a civil war. It was a Puritan Parliament killed the King. Plenty were fighting for him, just less organised, less well equipped. What has that got to do with it anyway?

He went on to say leaders had to stand up to the sort of "ugly nationalism" that traded on "imaginary threats" such as the idea that the EU was becoming a super state.

Here he is again branding the desire to actually have a say in the matter as ‘ugly nationalism’ this time and urging the political elite to stand up against the democratic process and resist it.

No. The idea of the EU becoming a super state is completely ridiculous, how could we imagine it for a moment?