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Dumfries and Galloway Council

Question: Do you support the creation of the Scottish Parliament? Why?

Asked by billy to Alastair, Elaine, Jane, Sandra, Ted on 27 Sep 2010 in Categories: .

0 Comment on this question

  • Photo: Elaine MurrayElaine Murray answered on 24 Sep 2010:

    Yes, billy, I have supported the creation of the Scottish Parliament for as long as I can remember. As Donald Dewar, the first First Minister said – “Scottish solutions for Scottish problems”. And its nearer and more accessible than London.


  • Photo: Sandra McDowallSandra McDowall answered on 26 Sep 2010:

    Yes, I support it, billy. I think it right that decisions affecting Scotland are made in Scotland. I know it costs a lot of money but I think it has brought a new confidence and a new pride to the people. I’m not a nationalist but I’ve always felt very proud of my country. I felt very emotional when I visited Hollyrood and hope you’ve been able to go and see it as well.


  • Photo: Alastair WittsAlastair Witts answered on 26 Sep 2010:

    Absolutely, and that should be RE-creation, because of course the Scottish parliament was ‘adjourned’ in 1707 and didn’t meet again until 1999, when the majority of Scottish people voted to have a parliament again in the referendum of 1997. There had been a referendum nearly 20 years before, in 1979, but the vote was rigged because they introduced a 40% rule, which meant more than 40% of the people on the voters’ role had to vote yes for a Scottish parliament before we got one. A majority said yes, but not as many as 40%. That’s the first time any vote was counted like that. Even the dead and the sick on the voters’ role were counted as ‘no’ votes! The first obviously couldn’t vote, and the second probably wouldn’t. So we had to wait another 20 years for a chance to vote for a Scottish parliament. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t trust the UK parliament to be fair to Scotland.

    And what other reasons do I have to want to keep the Scottish parliament? (Apart from not trusting Westminster). The needs of Scotland are very different from the rest of the UK in general and England in particular. We need our own parliament, and I would go further, and say our own government, with the maximum of powers, to allow us to decide what is best for Scotland, and to do it. Here’s one example among many. Scotland produces enough energy to meet all our needs, but England, with its much bigger population, is running short. So the UK government wants to build more nuclear power stations to met this ‘energy gap’, but a lot of people, including the present SNP Scottish government, think nuclear power stations are a risk it is better not to have, and have said they will not allow new nuclear power stations to be built in Scotland, as the Scottish parliament has planning powers to say no. But if we didn’t have a Scottish parliament and the UK government decided to build all its new nuclear power stations in Scotland so that the risk was away from English cities (but the power generated would be sent south) there’s nothing the people of Scotland could do to stop this, whether we liked it or not. I could give you lots of other examples of how it’s better for Scotland to control her own affairs.


  • Photo: Jane MaitlandJane Maitland answered on 27 Sep 2010:

    Yes I do. It brings decison-making closer to the people affected. Before the Parliament, Scottish issues were decided by a Secretary of State assisted by the Scottish Office of civil servants. Democracy is messy and slow, but we have more chance of influencing Scottish affairs now.



  • Photo: billybilly commented on 27 Sep 2010:

    Thank you all for answering my question. I’m proud to be Scottish but also proud to be British and have always been worried that the Scottish Parliament is the first step to independence.
    It wasn’t so long ago that I thought the Scottish Parliament was a brilliant idea, but recently I’ve been having doubts. Is there any way around the West Lothian question that would satisfy most of the people, Scottish and English?


  • Photo: JaneJane commented on 27 Sep 2010:

    I don’t think so. Far cleverer people than I have grappled with this conundrum and only come up with self-restraint on the part of MPs. And that has worked, up to a point, but if the going got really tough, all political leaders would use all legal means to get their way in Westminster, including getting their Scottish MPs to vote on English matters.

    Let’s further the debate Billy, What about considering a really radical solution. Which is to say – OK Scotland, you are on your own, settling tax for yourselves. We Scots will organise Defence with a Service Level Agreement, and keep the Queen because the alternatives are too grisly to contemplate. Do you think we might all become a bit more mature!?