14 October 2015

Our "One Party State"...

"One party state" Definition: relating to or denoting a system of government where only one political party is permitted.

"One party state" (Scot only) Definition: relating or denoting a system of government in which many different parties are permitted to stand and enjoy representation at every level of democratic government. 

Composition of the Scottish Parliament at time of writing:

Total number of SNP MSPs: 64
Total number of opposition MSPs: 63.
Percentage of governing party MSPs in parliament of "Nicola Sturgeon's one party state": 50%.
Percentage of opposition MSPs in parliament of "Nicola Sturgeon's one party state": 49%

Local government (2012)
Total number of SNP councillors elected in 2012? 425
Number of councillors not in the SNP elected? 798.
Total number of local authorities subject to SNP majority control? 2 of 32 (6%)

European Election (2014)
Total number of SNP MEPs elected?
Number of non-SNP Members of the European Parliament, despatched to Brussels and Strasbourg? 4

Westminster parliament (2015)
Number of SNP MPs elected? 56 
Number of non-SNP MPs elected? 3
Number of Scottish MPs contributing to the UK government's absolute majority? 1. 

Unchecked single-party tyranny index (2015)
Total number of elected representatives in "Nicola Sturgeon's one party state": 1,416.
Total number of SNP politicians elected in "Nicola Sturgeon's one party state": 547.
Total number of non-SNP politicians elected in "Nicola Sturgeon's one party state": 869.

Totting up these figures, it looks like the First Minister's incipient tyranny needs serious work. SNP candidates control a mere 38.6% of seats in Holyrood, in Scotland's Westminster delegation, and in town halls and local authority offices across the country. If this is authoritarianism, it is singularly inept authoritarianism. Yet another area in which the Scottish Government has over-promised and under-delivered, no doubt. It is almost as if this is a deranged fantasy, or tabloid hyperbole, and Scotland isn't a one party state at all...

36 comments :

  1. Plus we're not actually a state. The likes of Tomkins made sure of that last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Er, there is a Scottish state. It's literally jailed people for singing songs.

      Delete
    2. I think, tychy, Doug means that a state in international law has key characteristics based on the Montevideo criteria. Taking a less technical approach, the reason why it matters is that the governing of a devolved region (as in Scotland's case) does not entail power of many of the things that a dictatorial or power preserving regime would require e.g. security services, foreign policy, passports and immigration, anti-terrorism laws, welfare, and the usual stuff that really ensures the population are controlled. Unionists, I tend to find, are quite happy for private school boys in the South East of England together with shady billionaire mates and business interests to control these things because ordinary folk in Scotland who live here definitely couldn't be trusted.

      Delete
    3. It is telling that missing from your list of population-controlling institutions is the police. This year, somebody was jailed in Scotland for singing a song - can you imagine the outcry if this occurred in Saudi Arabia. In December Police Scotland warned that it would investigate any "offensive comments" on social media. And you talk about not trusting the population.

      Of course, I'm against GCHQ etc, but you cannot plausibly oppose this when you cannot recognise attacks on freedom of speech far closer to home.

      If you only defend freedom of speech on some occasions, then there's no point in defending it at all.

      Delete
    4. Omitted Police because it wasn't in the list of items currently missing from Scotland's powers. But anyway, I don't agree with your implied premise, which I think is that if you wish to oppose threats to freedoms, you must oppose all threats to freedoms equally (even if those threats are not equal). I personally think the threats from the UK Government, as evidenced throughout the last 13 years in particular including the recent threat to leave the ECHR are much more serious than the OBF laws (which I don't support by the way partly because I don't think either side targetted by those laws should be given special status :-P)

      So in summary, I'd argue if you only defend freedom of speech on some occasions, make sure you choose the most serious threats to defend against since you need to start somewhere. Like the independence argument: I never agreed with those who said, it's not real independence so let's vote no.

      Delete
    5. Saving membership of the European Court of Human Rights is "much more serious" than, er, saving the human rights of people who have been jailed for singing songs?

      Man, please give up. This is farcical.

      Delete
    6. You're a deontologist? 1 person was jailed you said? How many have been jailed /interred without trial by the UK government or with their assistance? But if you're a deontologist maybe the numbers are irrelevant. Personally I do value deontology but if two cases were being compared, both wrong, I wouldn't stop at that point saying 'well, they are both wrong so I'll walk away implying they are both equally wrong' Again I'll repeat my point from earlier in a different way 'let he who is without guilt cast the first stone' would not be a practical constitutional principle in any society in the real world. My view is that the UK government's policies vis a vis human rights are worse than your example of x number of people (how many again?) being jailed for their speech crime. Another thing to note is that breach of the peace could have made these actions crimes, just from Judge's decisions rather than parliament.

      Delete
    7. Your position is so terrible that it is, in a way, glorious.

      You take as "very serious" the threat to leave the ECHR. But if somebody can be jailed for singing a song under the ECHR, it is totally worthless. In fact, it is even worse than having no human rights legislation at all, because people like you are complacently conned by its existence into thinking that there are no problems with human rights.

      Fortunately, there is a reassuring current of insincerity to your argument. If the UK government jailed somebody for singing a song, you would immediately add it to your list of the UK govt's human rights transgressions. So it isn't about defending liberty in all circumstances (my position). It is just tribalism.

      We can still jail someone for singing via breach of the peace. Stylish finish.

      Delete
  2. Damn you and your clever ways, now he'll have to re-write it, back in your box rascal

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's almost as if Tomkins needs to believe this in order to function (I use the term loosely).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Adam Tomkins P.P. , the professor of pish. Trying so very very hard to be credible as a talking head.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, he is a Tory, but he's also one of the most exciting candidates (so far) in next year's election. This shows what a mess we're in!

      If the Left abandons elementary liberal ideas about freedom, the right will pick them up. My God, in his Spectator piece Professor Tomkins even actually uses the word "Enlightenment" (this reaches my political G-spot). Can you imagine anybody from the SNP or Labour doing the same?

      Delete
    2. 'If the Left abandons elementary liberal ideas about freedom, the right will pick them up.'

      I can think of one example tychy, the movement on the British left to impose eugenics. Prominent socialists such as Wells and Shaw, and papers such as the (Manchester) Guardian were involved, with the strongest opposition coming from the right: religious believers and right-wing Tories, who defeated - thankfully - the ‘progresssives'.

      A Corbynista screamed abuse at me here the other day for quoting Jonathan Freedland, well scream again pal, here is Mr Freedland on the dirty secret of the left -

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/feb/17/eugenics-skeleton-rattles-loudest-closet-left

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure that eugenics was wholly a left-wing jamboree. To me, it seems to emerge from Malthus and to live on today with the Green movement i.e. uncontrolled population growth amongst the lower classes is wreaking a terrible environmental toll etc. But yes, as with the "named person" scheme today, the right and the religious were unexpectedly ahead.

      Delete
    4. I've never understood the objection to the "named person" scheme, it seemed like a fairly small administrative reorganisation of how supervision of vulnerable children is done.

      Delete
    5. Well, I think it is important that you try to understand it.

      Delete
    6. tychy: 'I'm not sure that eugenics was wholly a left-wing jamboree' - Indeed not, and its power petered out from the British left as the Nazis embraced it.

      Not in the Nordic coutries though, Anyone who thinks Scotland has more in common with the Nordics than England should read this -

      http://www.economist.com/node/155244

      Delete
  5. I presume Professor Stompin' is going to be a candidate for the SNP in the sham elections that will be held for the Scottish Parliament in 2016. Because if he's a candidate for another political party then he's talking out his arse - perhaps that's the discipline in which he was awarded his professorship?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was going to do a post on this, but you've pretty much nailed it. Again. Grr.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Simply superb Mr Tickell.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Any one party state worth its jackboots also has a standing army.

    Are the Atholl Highlanders SNP men, all eighty or so of them?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ah, something from the learned AT that regular lay-dunderheids like me can understaun. Must say, I enjoy when he gets all het-up with attitude - cut their gizzards out with a rusty knife!
    Keep the eazy-peazy stuff coming, faither (as well as the brainy stuff)

    Good post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Obviously the editor Fraser Nelson is exaggerating just a wee bit here. However, I think it is a bit scary that over 60% of the voting population is now looking at voting for the one party! A bit more pluralism and diversity in political opinion / representation would surely be more healthy, no? Once we get beyond the front page, I am sure Professor Tomkins will give a more reasoned and nuanced opinion. As a law scholar yourself Andrew, you will know that Professor Tomkins is THE man for constitutional law in Scotland. Hopefully he will manage pick up a list seat for the Tories in Glasgow as I am sure he would contribute a great deal to the level of debate in the Scottish Parliament, especially on legal and constitutional matters.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Now, Now APW how can ordinary folk be expected to believe and swallow the heartfelt words of their betters (only unionists can be betters note) when scurrilous villeins like yourself confuse them with actual facts, on the interwebnet to boot!

    Something Must Be Done!

    ReplyDelete
  12. "For years, I have watched this with increasing alarm from my position as a professor of constitutional law at Glasgow University. I have decided to fight the SNP, and their pernicious ideology, by standing for the Scottish parliament as a Conservative candidate. What follows are my reasons for joining not just a fight for the survival of the union, but to preserve the basic notion of liberty that Scots have done much to define and defend."
    http://new.spectator.co.uk/2015/10/centralising-illiberal-catastrophic-the-snps-one-party-state/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that shows Prof. Tomkins position quite clearly.

      Delete
  13. I don't like being on the wrong side of LPW, but surely there is an argument to be made about the SNP's authoritarianism which might actually help the pro-independence side.

    You could argue that Holyrood does not have enough power to really attract career politicians. You could argue that only the SNP has invested in the Holyrood system (making it a de facto - and note the words de facto! - one-party state). But you could argue that because there are no significant powers to tax and spend, the SNP have had to expand aggressively into our private lives in order to simply prove their legitimacy as a political party.

    Hence the prosecution of people for singing certain songs in public. Hence the "named person" scheme, the largest system of state surveillance in any democracy. Hence the attempts to control what alcohol costs and where people can smoke. Hence the assisted suicide of elderly relatives via targeted drone strike (well, I think it's in the 2016 manifesto).

    And therefore I suppose you could argue that if Scotland was independent, the SNP might mature and move on from a temporary pubescent stage of authoritarian pettiness. Scotland might also get over its innate one-party imbalance.

    Oh shit, what have I just said?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. > the largest system of state surveillance in any democracy

      Surely that's GCHQ's mass surveillance, which applies to everyone, not just children, and including foreign nationals and (as we've just had confirmed) MPs despite the Wilson Doctrine?

      Delete
    2. I was referring to the numbers employed. Of course, GCHQ costs more than the named person scheme, but the latter will have many more primary school George Smileys in the field.

      Delete
  14. From the Spectaor article: "For years, I have watched this with increasing alarm from my position as a professor of constitutional law at Glasgow University."

    "Constitutional Law" definition: the area of law that has to do with the subject matter and with the interpretation and construction of constitutions or that deals with the nature and organization of government (etc)

    "government" definition: "the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state; a particular ministry in office"

    From the Spectator article: "Centralising, illiberal, catastrophic: the SNP’s one-party state"

    Once again: "... as a professor of constitutional law ...."

    Oh dear.

    ReplyDelete
  15. There are things of serious concern, Police Scotland frightens the shite out of me, I have seen kids stopped and searched and what is happening in Kirkcaldy is worthy of a piece by you LPW. That the police are basically told they can ignore the PIRC even when it is relation to the death of a Sheku Bayoh in custody is strange. Although in relation to a "One Party State" as one Labour supporter said on another forum
    "It's arguable that Scotland had a Liberal hegemony which gave way to a Unionist (Tory) hegemony, which gave way to a Labour hegemony which has given way to an SNP hegemony"

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, a little bit funny for the National to erase MT from the colour in SNP MPs thingy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. And finally nationalism is a cancer. bye bye

    ReplyDelete
  18. All well and good. Until you meet this:

    Linda Fabiani said the party had to “move forward in every way we possibly can” to achieve independence adding that broadcasting could be key.

    She spoke out as the SNP conference in Aberdeen unanimously backed a resolution calling for broadcasting to be devolved to Holyrood.

    “Of course Scotland should control its own broadcasting, of course Scotland should be an independent nation,” said Fabiani, the MSP for East Kilbride who represented the SNP on the more powers commission chaired by Lord Smith of Kelvin.

    “We have to move forward in every way we possibly can to get Scotland to achieve that independence and broadcasting is crucial to that. We recognised that in 2007 when we became a minority government.”...

    A stormy fringe meeting on Friday saw BBC executive Ewan Angus heckled while the corporation was accused of peddling more “half truths and lies” than the Germans during the Second World War.

    Speaking in yesterday’s debate the Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said she wanted “a bold and radical alternative to the out-of-touch structure and decision-making of the BBC”.

    She told the conference: “The BBC is barely playing catch-up with devolution, let alone leading from the front, and they know it.

    “Their news and current affairs does not satisfy the audience, with over 50 per cent saying it doesn’t reflect Scotland properly..."

    Source: http://www.scotsman.com/what-s-on/tv-radio/anger-at-snp-call-to-control-broadcasting-1-3920170#ixzz3ovOC34DJ

    ReplyDelete