Anger after UK Minister compares Scottish Parliament to English County Council

A UK Government minister has caused outrage after suggesting the Scottish parliament had no more significance than an English county council.

Conservative MP Caroline Nokes was appearing in front of the Scottish Affairs Committee when she was asked whether powers over immigration might be better devolved to Scotland.

Responding to Committee Chair Pete Wishart, Nokes said: “I wouldn’t grant any powers to the Scottish Government that I wouldn’t grant to Lincolnshire county council.”

The comment from the UK Minister of State for Immigration caused outrage on social media.  One comment on twitter read: “Arrogant, condescending, ignorant, and typical. They treat us as a colony that has resources to exploit but no say in how we manage our own resources. Until enough people waken up this is what we face. It disgusts me.”

Scottish Government Brexit Minister, Michael Russell, tweeted: “Without doubt this is how @GovUK now sees devolution – the “granting” of powers by junior ministers at their whim to distant and very limited local institutions. So much for the rhetoric of #indyref – remember a “partnership of equals”?”

Others contrasted what they described as an arrogant dismissal of Scotland’s parliament and people, with comments made by Theresa May in 2012 when the Prime Minister spoke of: “A future in which Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England continue to flourish side-by-side as equal partners.”

The episode is not the first time Conservative MPs have caused outrage after insulting Scotland and its people.  In 2015 a Conservative MP was forced to apologise after suggesting Scots should be sold into slavery.

Tory MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Lucy Frazer, laughed about how Oliver Cromwell had sent Scots as “slaves to the colonies”.

She said: “It is the home of Oliver Cromwell who defeated the Scots at Dunbar, incorporated Scotland into his Protectorate and transported the Scots as slaves to the colonies.”

The comment prompted laughing and sneering from party colleagues.  A smiling Frazer then added: “Now there is an answer to the West Lothian question – but not one that of course I would recommend.”

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15 thoughts on “Anger after UK Minister compares Scottish Parliament to English County Council

  1. m biyd

    Now the English have us where the want us why shouldn’t they gloat about restricting our powers and sending our forebears to the colonies. It’s worth the Yoons remembering that Cromwell sent Presbyterian Scots to the colonies and sought to destroy their base in N Ireland.

  2. Jockanese Wind Talker

    So The Democratically elected Scottish Government = Lincolnshire county council in the eyes of this Tory?

    There was me thinking The Kingdom of Scotland was the other signatory of the Bi-Partite Treaty of Union and therefore an equal.

    What happened to “lead us, don’t leave us”? 😉

  3. Lorna Campbell

    I’ve been saying for the past few years, since the Leave vote, that they want to reduce the Scots and Scotland to regional status, post-Brexit. She is saying just exactly what they think. When are we going to understand that they despise us? You really have to despise people who allow you to rob them blind and still vote for you. This kind of stuff is actually racist and anti-Scottish, but nobody says a word. Many in Scotland actually agree with her and would love to see Holyrood suspended as they run around like tartan toilet rolls, wiping the bums of anti-Scottish Tories.

    1. Iain MacLaren

      Sentence 1 of your comment – fair opinion.

      Sentence 2: Her remarks were in the specific context of discussing immigration (which, whatever you think about it, and I suspect that here we may not disagree, is logically a reserved matter).

      Sentence 3: ‘They’ don’t despise us, and to suggest it is (I suggest) infantile.

      Sentence 4: See 3, with added histrionics.

      Sentence 5: See 4, with added unfounded (and objectively ridiculous) accusations of racism.

      Sentence 6: A stretch, but fair opinion. Not one which can be reasonably extrapolated from her comments, though.

      1. Lorna Campbell

        1. reduced status is inevitable post-Brexit; 2. it may be logically a reserved matter for the UK, but it limits Scotland’s ability to function properly; 3. if they don’t despise us, why do they treat us like a despised people in a Union that is the foundation of the UK as a political state – you really have to despise people to be that dismissive, to help yourself to their resources and tell them at the same time that they are not worth much – what do you classify as despising?; 4. histrionics? Nah, truth; 5. to treat a people who are legally your partners in the Union in the way they have treated Scotland and the Scots is very much a racist attitude – imperialist/colonial attitudes are racist in themselves; 6. really? When the Brit/English Nats up here are forever calling for Holyrood to be suspended? What did you think she meant by comparing Holyrood to a Lincolnshire council?

        1. Lorna Campbell

          Addendum: your whole attitude is infantile. Only someone with an immature understanding of the politics of the UK could reply as you have done. When you grow up and understand what is actually happening, then, maybe, we’ll be able to debate sensibly.

          1. Iain MacLaren

            1. That’s an assertion;

            2. The same is true of England and the rest of the UK, to the same extent;

            3, 4, 5. I stand by what I wrote – I simply don’t buy your ascribing of base motives to people with whom you disagree;

            6. See my earlier point 2 (and the exchange itself) for the *specific* context of her remarks.

            Addendum: No need.

  4. ScotsCanuck

    …. for those who adhere and adore the “Butchers Apron”, let them lap this stuff up !! … but the younger demographic (I’m an ‘older’ Nat !!) can now patiently see the dichotomy of Scottish / British, in respect of not being respected in being Scottish …. similar to our Irish & Welsh cousins … so in my humble opinion, let this self important, opinionated, vacuous, condescending nobody spout off her pish …. the young folk will see that having a “mooth full o’ marbles” does’ nae make ye smart … no lang now people !!

  5. Robert Graham

    Thats what happens when you surrender your country to another , well done to all those who voted NO this is what you got f – all and you will continue to get f- all dont you people get it ? .

    I bet we dont see this on BBC Scotland we cant let the plebs see how they are being pissed on .

  6. Robert Peffers

    The most telling thing that shows the Westminster Establishment mind-set was the Government commissioned, (taxpayer’s money), paper that claimed the Treaty of Union had “extinguished”, the Kingdom of Scotland and renamed the Kingdom of England as the United Kingdom.

    There is nothing in the Treaty Of Union that even hints at this. In fact quite the reverse. Furthermore, the facts prove it to be absolutely not the case. First of all the Parliament of England sat and officially ended the last Parliament of the Kingdom of England on the last day of April 1707. No other Parliament of England, kingdom or country, has been voted for and elected ever since. What began on 1 May 1707 was, “The United Kingdom of Great Britain”, and factually, “Great Britain only includes Scotland, Wales and England”. The only connection between, “The Parliament of Great Britain” , and the former Parliament of the Kingdom of England was that they used the same building. That original building burned to the ground in 1834. It was rebuilt with United Kingdom Taxpayer’s money and thus does not belong to England alone.

    Yet the current Secretary of State confirmed the official UK Government views on national TV that, “The Treaty of Union extinguished the Kingdom of Scotland and renamed the Kingdom of England as The United Kingdom” :-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OIRUr4R7GQ

    Yet people, claiming to be proud Scots, are prouder still to wave the Butcher’s Apron in our faces claiming they are, “Patriotic”, but patriots of what?

  7. Christian Wright

    Further to Robert Peffers comment above.

    Below is partially culled from an article I wrote that appeared Bella Caledonia in Feb 2014.

    Part IV of the legal opinion to which Robert alludes, published by HMG late 2012 if memory serves, and adopted as HMG policy in 2013, claims Scotland was “extinguished” when it was absorbed by England in 1707, and that the dispositive evidence to the contrary of Articles of Union can be discounted.

    It is the work of two well paid and eminent lawyers, James Crawford, and Alan Boyle, who were tasked to provide legal advocacy and the imprimatur of learned consideration, for a line of argument that does not withstand even the most cursory examination.

    If you peruse Part IV of the UK Government’s Legal Opinion of 2013, HMG went to extraordinary lengths to argue England is the continuator state. This was necessary in the context of the 2014 referendum in the event Scotland voted YES.

    HMG had no alternative but to argue that case if it was to be reasonably sure of retaining its vanity permanent seat on the UN Security Council, have minimum difficulties in retaining its opt-outs within the EU, and to continue the fiction of a UK marching on “move along, nothing to see here” as a major power.

    The fly in the ointment was that they simply could not afford another 100+ billion debt on the books as their state was simultaneously diminished, losing close to 10% of its GDP, 90% of its oil and gas reserves and revenues, and a third of its landmass.

    That is why they had to adopt this convoluted argument that Scotland was “extinguished” when it was incorporated into England in 1707, that England continued, and that the titles “UK” and “England” are synonymous, describing the same continuing unitary state.

    They argued therefore that Scotland is part of the territory of the continuator state of England/UK, a part which would secede from the mother country of which it has been a province for the (at that time) past 307 years. Scotland would then be a newly born state with no right to the assets of the UK (but liable for it debts).

    However, the Articles of Union of 1707 do seem to offer dispositive evidence to the contrary.

    Consider this statement from Article IX:

    ‘… the Parliament of Great-Britain, to be raised in that Part of the united Kingdom, now called England …’

    Now, doesn’t that single statement kill HMG’s case stone dead? What it is saying is that England is part of the UK, not that it IS the UK or that it has absorbed Scotland, which by deduction must be the other part of the UK, and therefore not part of England. That is to say, the statement tells us they are both component parts of a binary union. N’est-ce pas?

    This is but one example of the evidence leading inexorably to the conclusion that HMG’s position in 2013 and its position today, is bunk.

    [I would refer you also to the Articles of Union of January 16 1707, articles I thru XXIV, where you will find twenty five (25) specific reference, not to England, but to the “United Kingdom of Great Britain”. It is also specifically stated in the enabling act of the Scottish parliament in that year, to the effect: “There shall be created the United Kingdom of Great Britain”. ]

    Alright, so can we construct that more reasonable and convincing case than these eminent and richly rewarded lawyers who completely dismissed as irrelevant the very treaty that brought the UK into being?

    Well let’s see . . .

    The United Kingdom of Great Britain is a legal and political entity formed by the Union of two and only two countries – the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England (incorporating Wales). It was created by a bilateral internationally recognised treaty.

    Note that Wales in 1707 is part of England (incorporated) and that therefore Great Britain comprises ONLY Scotland and England.

    It is the case that upon dissolution of the Treaty of Union, its associated enabling acts of parliaments, and any subsequent contingent intra-state treaties and agreements derived therefrom, the United Kingdom of Great Britain will cease to be.

    As you might expect, two and only two successor states will emerge from its discarded husk – the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England. There can be no continuing state of an extinguished voluntary union of two nations. It is on its face a daft proposition.

    Consider the tautology: When the Union is dissolved, the Union ceases to be.

    Let us labour the point. By definition, when Scotland leaves the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the United Kingdom of Great Britain abolished.

    1. Lorna Campbell

      Excellent analysis. There is also the point that the two treaties (Scottish and English) specifically guarantee our institutions of law, education and church – all three now under threat, and it was not until late into the 20th century that the Westminster government (Thatcher’s) began to interfere heavily in Scottish affairs and this has continued relentlessly now for over 40 years. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the Westminster government means to drag us into line, and that will mean, post-Brexit, that they will make a concerted attack not only on the rights of working people, but also on the devolved areas’ powers so that we fit into the Tory idea of the new UK.

  8. Pingback: Immigration Ministers Former Agent and Association Chairman Suspended from Tory Party for Racist Slur | Nadine O'Connor

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