What I Wrote To The Smith Commission

Dear Lord Smith,

As you are aware, 1,617,989 Scots voted for independence on the 18th of September 2014. I am confident in saying that, in the event of a No vote, each one of those voters would demand as many powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament as possible, by virtue of their support for complete sovereignty from Westminster. If they voted to have all powers, then I cannot see that position changing in the event of Scotland remaining in the UK.

As such, I would argue that the obvious goal for the Smith Commission is to devolve every power possible to the Scottish Parliament, and ensure that those powers currently devolved, remain devolved. Rather than arguing a case for why any particular power should be devolved, the argument must instead be why any particular power should remain reserved to Westminster. Such powers include, but are not limited to:

  • Full Fiscal Autonomy
  • Income tax
  • Corporation tax
  • Currency
  • Pensions
  • Economics
  • Oil & gas revenues
  • Mining & Fracking
  • Energy Regulation
  • Renewable Energy
  • Human Rights
  • Education
  • Law
  • Health
  • Welfare
  • Charities
  • Proceeds of Crime (“Cashback for Communities”)
  • VAT
  • Defence
  • Nuclear Deterrent
  • Foreign policy
  • Trade & industry
  • Agriculture
  • Fisheries & Dairy
  • Food & Drink
  • Transport
  • Energy regulation
  • Constitution
  • Crown Estates & Affairs
  • Civil service
  • National security
  • Immigration
  • Media
  • Broadcasting
  • Resources
  • Coastguard and Maritime Affairs
  • Internal Affairs
  • Insolvency powers
  • Time powers
  • Land
  • Presence in Europe
  • Presence in NATO
  • Space exploration
  • Science & Technology

If the Smith Commission concludes a power should remain reserved to Westminster, then the Commission must provide a full and detailed explanation as to why that power should remain in the hands of the UK Government, rather than the Scottish Government.

While the people of Scotland had no say in your appointment, in the interests of good faith and confidence, we hope that you use your influence as a Lord to gain the best possible outcome for the people of Scotland.

I am at your disposal to answer any questions you may have in regards to these matters.

Sincerely,

Al Harron

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3 thoughts on “What I Wrote To The Smith Commission

  1. Jim Thomson says:

    I like that list Al.

    One of the things, however, that Lord Smith and his (he thinks) esteemed commission has laid down in their conditions for submissions is that each item identified should be justified by the submitter.

    I’ve been toying with the idea of firing off my own submission but, it occurred to me that there is a vanishingly small probability that it will be read, let alone elicit a response, even assuming it is read. It will be ignored because a mere single response from one of the great unwashed will be discounted.

    I still have a day or so to reconsider 🙂

    • alharron says:

      Jim, thanks! I was indeed aware of the condition, which was exactly why I framed my letter with the condition reversed: instead of *us* justifying why a power should be devolved, *they* should justify why a power should remained reserved.

      I’m not particularly fashed as to whether it’s accepted, because I don’t particularly care what an unelected representative thinks. I’m with those who find the commission a waste of time, but I used the opportunity to show the primary reason I feel it’s a waste of time – because we didn’t have any say in how it was set up, so how on earth can we expect to have any say in the outcome?

      If Westminster were interested in the public’s opinion, then they wouldn’t have simply appointed someone with no input from Holyrood, let alone the people. Because in Westminster, Parliament is sovereign – in Scotland, the people are.

  2. Jim Thomson says:

    Here’s the link to the guidelines

    http://www.smith-commission.scot/have-your-say/guidelines-submissions/

    I just think they’re being miserable and are keen to bin as many responses as possible without reading or having to respond on an individual basis.

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