Wednesday, 24 September 2014

An hour in the sun

The SNP got their majority in Holyrood, they got their referendum, they lost it and they are now showing themselves to be constitutionally incapable of accepting the result. Alex Salmond couldn't do his speech accepting defeat without inserting the words "at this stage" and now his probable successor Nicola Sturgeon, while ruling out Eck's more fanciful idea of independence without a referendum, is talking about another referendum some point in the probably not too distant future if it's in the SNP manifesto and they get another majority. Calton would have thought that that was one sure way of getting kicked out of Holyrood but the DFM's chutzpah is such that she may well go for it. One can only hope......

Meanwhile the SNP leadership non-contest is looking very like the succession of Gordon Brown to the Labour Party leadership and post of Prime Minister after years in Tony Blair's shadow and we all know what happened then. Nicola should enjoy her hour in the sun because Calton predicts that it won't last long.

Friday, 5 September 2014

A lost opportunity

Calton thinks that MP Andrew George's Affordable Homes Bill is eminently sensible and is glad to see it making it through to the next stage in Parliament. If the measures contained within George's bill had been included at the start, much of the controversy over the "bedroom tax" would have been avoided. Calton has always said that he doesn't see why taxpayers should be paying for people to stay in homes with more bedrooms than they need, however, cognisance should be taken of the fact that the disabled have special needs and also of the fact that we are in rather short supply of one bedroom council houses in some (most) areas of the country. It is hard to understand why all but one Conservative MP voted against the bill given that, if it succeeds, it will spike one of Alex Salmond's guns i.e. the promise that, in an independent Scotland, the "bedroom tax" will be abolished. The reason the spare room subsidy legislation is so hated in Scotland is because it is seen to penalise the disabled and those who are unable to find a smaller property in their area. Sort those problems with the legislation and it becomes altogether more reasonable. It's a pity that the Tory Party seem unable to put their hands up and admit that, in this case, they got it wrong. (And it's even more of a pity that, after all their criticisms of the "bedroom tax", only 2 SNP MPs were at Westminster to vote for today's bill.)