Nationalist hypocrisy? Surely not…

Further to my recent posting about Boris Johnson and Crossrail, I noticed when I was checking who had voted on the Second Reading of the Crossrail Bill, that four SNP MPs – Angus Robertson, Pete Wishart, Michael Weir and Stewart Hosie – voted against.

So much for the SNP principle of not voting on devolved matters. If, however, our secessionist friends believed they should vote on it because significant sums of money being spent on the project by the Treasury would have an impact on the Scottish block grant, then, of course they are right. Welcome to Unionism!

Mind you, why they voted against is a mystery if that was indeed their motivation. The extra capital spend on Crossrail will be “Barnettized”, as it were, so that Scotland’s block grant is increased by a proportional amount.

Curiouser and curiouser.

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4 Comments

Filed under Department for Transport, Parliament, Politics, SNP

4 responses to “Nationalist hypocrisy? Surely not…

  1. It’s an interesting problem though isn’t it. On the one hand, you can argue they shouldn’t vote because it’s a London/South-East policy (in which case, who should?). On the other hand, a transport project of this scope and size and cost inevitably pushes other projects further away if approved. So for the SNP as a party to push something like say a North/South HSL (direly needed every bit as much as Crossrail) could vote down Crossrail arguing that it’s not the correct UK priority.

    Also, you could argue that they would be right to vote against on funding grounds. After all the appalling Tube PPP collapse has taken £2bn in compensation from the taxpayer and was condemned by many including Livingstone at the time as being not fit for purpose. Compensation of that form doesn’t get “Barnettized”, one presumes.

    Still, at least Frank Field isn’t entirely wrong now in his comments on SNP votes on “English” matters.

    Finally, surely the SNP abandoned the policy of abstaining on “English laws” as soon as Salmond spoke up at the SNP conference for making Westminster dance to a Scottish jig with SNP MPs holding the balance of power. Or was he planning on having an administration that could only pass UK wide bills or face a loss of power? That would be fun, wouldn’t it.

  2. It’s a bit difficult for Labour to assume the moral high-ground on this.

    You’ve gerrymandered the constitution so that your Scottish contingent can vote on English legislation – which by rights doesn’t concern them – but you’ve left the discredited Barnett Formula in place so that English legislation has a knock-on effect on Scottish funding.

    Hardly “Welcome to Unionism”. More like “Welcome to a Labour’s constitutional abortion that will break up the Union”.

    Your smugness will be short-lived. Frank Field is on the right track, and Labour arrogance will force the Tories into arguing for an English parliament.

  3. They are not the only ones, a few years ago Ruth Kelly bribed Plaid Cymru to vote on an English education bill that she was having problems with by giving money to a welsh medium school in England. The whole kit and caboodle at Westminster including the tories are bent.

  4. I thought the Barnett formula meant that Crossrail added £400 million (from memory) to the Scots’ budget? So they were voting for more independence from the pitiful attempts of the English to keep the clans in financial dependency.

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